Father of soldier accused of terrorism surprised by son

George Tzokas
By George Tzokas
July 11, 2017US News
Father of soldier accused of terrorism surprised by son

Clifford Kang was shocked to hear that his son wanted to join the ISIS terrorist group.

Army sergeant Ikaika Erik Kang was arrested on terrorism charges on July 8, after a year-long investigation by the FBI.

During the investigation, undercover officers documented the 34-year-old air traffic control specialist making training videos and pledging allegiance to the head of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The arrest came as a shock to the soldier’s father.

Clifford Kang said his son was a bit of an introvert, and that it ran in the family. Kang said his son had never had any trouble with the law or had any history of violence.

“He is not really outgoing, he has never been—but neither was I,” Clifford Kang stated. “I wasn’t too outgoing and I was kind of… I’d keep to myself. But other than that he is a great kid, a normal kid”

Clifford Kang knew has son had converted to Islam. They discussed his faith on occasion. While his father knew that some Muslim converts take an extremist path, Kang said his son showed no violent inclinations.

“He told me he was with the Muslim faith now. I’m a Catholic so I figured, well, that’s all right,” Kang said.

“I know there is good teachings of the Muslim faith and the bad. And from time to time when he did live here, he would teach me the Koran.

“I listened to him, but other than teaching or learning that belief, there was no mention of him going astray.”

Sergeant Kang was charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS terrorists. He will remain in custody until his detention hearing on July 13.

Sergeant Kang had served three tours—one each in South Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

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