NC man gets 20 years for trying to join ISIS

NC man gets 20 years for trying to join ISIS
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A North Carolina man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for trying to support and join radical Islamic extremists.

Donald Morgan, 44, tried and failed to travel into Syria to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) at least one time in 2014, the Justice Department alleged on Wednesday, and repeatedly expressed support for the group on the Internet and in an interview with an international journalist.

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“Morgan attempted to travel to Syria in order to provide material support to ISIL,” assistant attorney general for national security John Carlin said in a statement, using an alternate acronym for ISIS. “The sentence in this case demonstrates that we will continue to bring to justice those who engage in this conduct, and that protecting the nation against these threats remains one of our highest priorities.” 

He was also convicted of owning a gun after a 1997 felony conviction, for which he was stopped and arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport last summer.

The lengthy sentence highlights the emphasis the government is placing on preventing Americans from leaving the country to go and join ISIS. The terror group has had tremendous success spreading its message through the Internet, which has inspired thousands of foreigners throughout the globe to abandon their homes and take up arms in support of the organization.

“One of the FBI’s highest priorities is to stop American citizens who support terrorist organizations and ensure they are held accountable for their actions,” said John Strong, the FBI’s special agent in charge.