An American man who tried but failed to join the Islamic State militant group faces 15 years in prison after pleading guilty in the United States on Thursday for attempting to support a terrorist group.
The case against 44-year-old Donald Ray Morgan escalated in early August, when he was arrested at an airport near New York City on an unrelated federal gun charge.
According to court documents, investigators uncovered an online trail of Morgan's photos and comments on social media beginning last year in support of U.S.-designated terrorist groups al-Qaida and the Islamic State.
While visiting Lebanon in May, the North Carolina native attempted to travel to Syria through Turkey, but was turned away.
In late July, calling himself Abu Omar al Amreeki, Morgan wrote on Twitter that "killing our enemies and beheadings are justified."
Around the same time, while in Beirut, he told a U.S. television network he was short on money and planned to return to the United States.
Morgan admitted in the interview with NBC that he knew there was a "strong possibility" he would be charged with supporting terrorist organizations or participating in terrorist activities.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 2015. Morgan faces up to 15 years in prison for the terrorism-related charge, and another 10 years on the original offense of possession of firearm by a felon.
He may also be fined up to $250,000 on each count.