Political Unrest In Iraq Worsens After Prime Minister Al-Maliki Is Ousted

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The crisis in Iraq has prompted renewed vigilance here at home.

A North Carolina man was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport on weapons charges earlier this month, a law enforcement official told CBS News.

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The man, identified as Donald Morgan, is suspected of being sympathizer of the Islamic militant group ISIS, the official said.

“I talked to the FBI this morning. This arrest was a precautionary arrest. They’ll interrogate him and find out what’s happening. We have to be really vigilant,” Sen. Charles Schumer said.

Morgan was arrested upon his return from Lebanon, the official said.

Morgan was ordered held without bail after being arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn.

Morgan apparently caught the attention of U.S. counterterrorism agents after several posts on Twitter.

That news came out on a day where the U.S. was using targeted air strikes against ISIS, which is trying to take over parts or Iraq and Syria to form a Muslim religious state, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

The political crisis in Iraq worsened after the new president snubbed the present prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, and nominated the deputy parliamentary speaker to form a new government.

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The United States supports the formation of a new government, but al-Maliki is trying to hold on to power, Kramer reported.

“Our hope is that Mr. Maliki will not stir those waters,” Secretary of State John Kerry said.

However, it appears al-Maliki is stirring those waters.

In a televised speech, he angrily made known his intention to be prime minister for a third term. He’s deployed soldiers into the streets of Baghdad.

His supporters rallied in the streets, and, as images show, U.S. planes bombed ISIS militant targets outside the northern Iraqi city of Erbil.

Kurdish fighters were taking advantage of the U.S. airstrikes. They claim to have recaptured two northern Iraqi towns from ISIS fighters. The Obama administration said the militants — about 30 miles from Erbil — have heavy tanks and artillery. State Department officials confirmed that the U.S. is speeding up shipments of weapons to help the Kurdish fighters.

With President Obama on vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, Vice President Joe Biden told the new Iraqi president that the U.S. fully supports his decision to form a new and inclusive government.

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