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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A Salisbury man who is an admitted supporter of the terrorist group called ISIS, made his first appearance in a North Carolina court Thursday.

Robert Morgan was in shackles as he was brought into the courthouse in Greensboro where he faces one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Morgan pleaded not guilty to the charge.

He was arrested by police and the FBI last month when he got off a flight in New York from the Middle East.

Agents questioned him for hours about tweets he had posted using an assumed name; tweets that indicated support for ISIS.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News in Beruit before his arrest, Morgan admitted wanting to link up with ISIS.

"I purchased a ticket with the intent of entering Syria and either joining up with medical and food aid convoys or directly with the Islamic State," Morgan said.

Asked why he would leave the quiet street in Landis, south of Salisbury, Morgan said, "Someone has to defend Islam. Somebody has to defend innocent Muslims."

There was no mention of ISIS in Greensboro Thursday, and federal prosecutors have not said if they will pursue terrorism charges against Morgan.

His trial on the weapons charge is now set to begin October 14.

Click here to read NBC's full exclusive report

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