A former U.S. police officer from the South who was on his way to fight for the Islamic State (ISIS) after voicing his devotion to the terrorist group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was apprehended in Turkey and awaits extradition back to the U.S., a law enforcement official told the Examiner on Thursday.
According to Chuck Neebler, a former police detective assigned to a special ops unit, the suspect, Don Morgan, became a homegrown Islamist after he decided against staying in the National Guard. At the time his unit was preparing to be deployed to Kuwait during Desert Storm, when the U.S. pushed Saddam Hussein's Iraqi hordes out of that oil-rich Arab nation.
"The 44-year-old, after quitting the military, managed to get into a North Carolina county sheriff's department as a sworn law enforcement officer in Salisbury but was fired after only a year-and-a-half on the job," said Det. Neebler.
News reports have noted that Morgan originally was a Roman Catholic before converting to Islam. He slowly but surely became more and more radicalized and sympathetic to the jihadist cause to set up a worldwide caliphate ruled by Sharia law.
According to several news reports, Morgan supported the Islamic State, which evolved from the terrorist group al-Qaida in Iraq (AQII) and offshoot from the original Osama bin Laden organization.
Morgan is believed to have been on his way to Syria or Iraq after traveling to Turkey, which is just across the border from Syria. However, he was intercepted by Turkish law enforcement officials at Istanbul's international airport.
Police officials in the U.S. claim that Morgan, who along with his wife, was a bodybuilder and trainer at the local gym, told interrogators that he was hoping to serve in the great jihad as a medic of sorts or as a combat member of ISIS.
"Being kicked-out of law enforcement appears to have figured into his behavior especially after he discharged a firearm in a restaurant. The man who wanted to serve as a special forces soldier or a police officer ended up serving two years in prison," said former NYPD police undercover officer Iris Aquino.
"What I believe makes him so dangerous is that whether or not he was deployed as a soldier or stayed on as a cop, he did complete training as both a military and police department member," she added.
Several members of the House of Representatives and the Senate have repeatedly warned about homegrown Islamists and terrorists, but were criticized by liberal-left politicians and Islamic apologists such as CAIR (Counsel on American Islamic Relations) and not given serious consideration by the Obama administration, according to past Examiner news stories.