Soldier arrested on terror charges thought 9/11 was inside job

U.S. soldier accused who pledged loyalty to ISIS thought the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were coordinated by the government.

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Reuters

A U.S. soldier accused of wanting to commit a mass shooting after pledging loyalty to the Islamic State (ISIS) group believed the moon landing was faked, questioned the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and thought the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job coordinated by the U.S. government, a former Army bunkmate said, according to The Associated Press.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang, who was arrested in Hawaii over the weekend, was scheduled to appear in federal court in Honolulu Thursday for a detention hearing, the report said.

"Kang's military training, weapons abilities and personal combat skills, coupled with his strong stated desire to kill people in the name of Islamic State, makes him one of the more dangerous criminal defendants to have been charged in this judicial district," prosecutors wrote in a motion asking that be held without bail.

According to court documents, Kang met with undercover agents he thought were from ISIS at a home in Honolulu, where he pledged allegiance to the group and kissed the jihadist group’s flag.

Kang was arrested immediately "to remove the possibility that he would act on his impulse to kill people in the name of Islamic State," prosecutors wrote, according to AP.

Kang and Dustin Lyles, a medically retired soldier, bunked together for a month in 2013 during military training. The two were friends for several years before Lyle left the Army and the two lost touch.

Lyles told AP on Thursday that Kang's arrest came as a shock and that he never heard Kang express support for the enemy, though he did say that he and Kang debated about conspiracies, including one claiming that 9/11 was a false flag attack staged by the U.S. to spark wars in the Middle East.

Kang's court-appointed lawyer, Birney Bervar, said Monday his client may suffer from service-related mental health issues of which the government was aware but neglected to treat. Bervar did not elaborate.

Several Americans have been arrested in recent years on charges of support for ISIS. American prosecutors have charged more than 100 individuals since 2013 with ISIS-related crimes.

In February, a Florida man was convicted of plotting to set off a bomb at a public beach in an act that prosecutors said was inspired by ISIS.

The man, 25-year-old Harlem Suarez, was found guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and providing material support to terrorists. He faces up to life in prison at his sentencing.

Last October, a former California college student was sentenced to 30 years in prison for trying to aid ISIS.

Other examples include a 16-year-old accused of planning to join the group and who was found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm in South Carolina.