California resident admits seeking Islamic State role

A resident of the City of Orange, California, pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and making a false statement in a passport application.

The man, Adam Dandach, 21, pleaded guilty before U. S. District Judge James V. Selna.

In a plea agreement filed in federal court, Dandach admitted that, beginning in approximately November 2013 and continuing until July 2, 2014, he attempted to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State forces with the purpose of providing material support to the designated foreign terrorist organization. He further admitted that he knew that Islamic State was a designated foreign terrorist organization that engaged in terrorist activity and terrorism.

“This case demonstrates the need for continued vigilance and swift action to fight the false allure of foreign terrorist organizations that threaten the security of the United States,” said U. S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker.

According to court documents, on July 1, 2014, Dandach purchased a ticket to fly from Santa Ana to Istanbul. The FBI intercepted Dandach at the John Wayne International Airport the following day. Dandach told FBI special agents that his ultimate destination was Syria and that he intended to pledge allegiance to Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He explained that he wished to live under the control of the Islamic State and intended to undergo weapons training.

Dandach also admitted that he made a false statement in a passport application, namely that he had lost his previous passport. In fact, a family member had taken Dandach’s passport from him during the previous year when he expressed an interest in traveling to Syria.

Judge Selna is scheduled to sentence Dandach Jan. 11. At that time, the defendant will face a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison for providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years for making a false statement in a passport application.

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