Continued from page 1

“I take it that was the $64 million question and he said he didn’t have a clue,” said federal defender Peter Kirchheimer.

Despite the agent’s admission that there was no direct evidence Morgan ever joined or provided material support to the Islamic State - designated by U.S. officials as a terrorist organization - prosecutors argued he had the potential to supply arms to the militants. A judge ordered him held without bail and sent him to North Carolina to face the gun charge.

Morgan’s lawyer in North Carolina, Richard McCoppin, said he won’t discuss any pending case. Reached by phone, Morgan’s ex-wife also declined to comment.

Jibril Hough, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Charlotte, said he didn’t recognize Morgan. Hough said he could see how someone can get frustrated with U.S. foreign policy, but not enough to turn on their beliefs.

“Anyone who would be willing to join a group like that is leaving the principles of their faith if they call themselves a Muslim,” he said.

• Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Skip Foreman in Charlotte and Jake Pearson in New York and news researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York.