WASHINGTON - A North Carolina man accused of seeking to join Islamic State insurgents fighting in Syria was sentenced on Wednesday to more than 20 years in prison for trying to provide material support to the group, the Justice Department said.
Donald Ray Morgan, 44, pleaded guilty in October to allegations he tried to help the militants between January and August of last year, according to US prosecutors in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Prosecutors said Morgan left North Carolina for Lebanon and tried unsuccessfully in May 2014 to travel to Syria to join Islamic State militants.
He was arrested in August at JFK International Airport in New York on a federal charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
"Morgan attempted to travel to Syria in order to provide material support to ISIL," Assistant Attorney General Carlin said in a statement. "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."
The Justice Department statement said Morgan frequently used social media and an interview with an international journalist to express his support for Islamic State and "violent terrorist activities."