Adam Dandach, 21, of Orange, California, pleaded guilty today to a two-count second superseding information charging him with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and making a false statement in a passport application.
The guilty plea was announced today by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. Dandach pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge James V. Selna of the Central District of California.
Dandach admitted, pursuant to court documents, that beginning in approximately November 2013 and continuing until July 2, 2014, he attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIL with the purpose of providing material support to the designated foreign terrorist organization. He further admitted that he knew that ISIL was a designated foreign terrorist organization that engaged in terrorist activity and terrorism.
According to court documents, on July 1, 2014, Dandach purchased a ticket to fly from Santa Ana, California, 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 ISIL’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He explained that he wished to live under the control of ISIL 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.
Dandach faces a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years 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. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2016.
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