An Orange County man who was caught attempting to fly to Syria last summer–the Weekly first reported about his arrest last July–has become the county's first resident to be charged with supporting the terrorist group ISIS.
Adam Dandach, 21, an El Modena High School graduate, was originally arrested on July 3, 2014, at John Wayne Airport, attempting to fly to Istanbul, Turkey, a popular destination for would-be jihadis looking to hop the border and join ISIS, which is short for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and also known simply as the Islamic State, or the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. Officials charged Dandach with lying on his passport application by claiming he'd accidentally thrown away his old passport, when in fact, his mother had confiscated it to prevent him from flying to the Middle East.
On March 5, according to an FBI statement, a federal grand jury in Santa Ana named Dandach, also known as "Fadi Fadi Dandach," in a superseding indictment, charging him with one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization; two counts of making a false statement on a passport application that was obtained in order to facilitate international terrorism; and one count of obstruction of justice for attempting to destroy records after his arrest last July.
According to the FBI's statement yesterday, Dandach, who has been held in federal custody since his arrest, told agents "that he was traveling to Syria for the purpose of pledging his alliance and assistance to ISIL, and that he believed the killings of American soldiers are justified, according to court documents."
Aside from lying on his passport and intending to join ISIS, the FBI statement says the federal indictment "further alleges that Dandach attempted to obstruct the investigation by directing another person to instruct a website administrator to delete his post history on that website."
Dandach will be arraigned on his charges at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana on March 16, 2015. If he is convicted of all the charges, he would face up to 25 years in prison.