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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Orange County Man Who Tried To Travel To Syria In Support Of Isil Charged In New Indictment With Attempting To Provide Material Support To Terrorist Organization

SANTA ANA, California – An Orange County man who attempted to travel to Syria last year has been indicted on a series of federal offenses, including attempting to provide material support to the terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Adam Dandach, 21, of Orange, Calif., was named in a superseding indictment returned today by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana. Dandach, a United States citizen also known as “Fadi Fadi Dandach,” is charged in the indictment 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 obtained in order to facilitate international terrorism, and one count of obstruction of justice for attempting to destroy records after his arrest last July

Dandach was arrested on July 3, 2014 and initially charged in a federal criminal complaint with making false statements on a passport application. The complaint alleged that Dandach lied in order to replace his passport so that he could travel without being stopped by a family member in possession of the original. At that time, Dandach was attempting to travel from Orange County’s John Wayne Airport to Istanbul, Turkey, with the intention of traveling to Syria. Dandach told FBI 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.

On July 16, Dandach was indicted by a federal grand jury for making the false statements on a passport application. He entered a plea of not guilty in July, and
he has been held in federal custody without bond since that time.

According to the first superseding indictment returned today, Dandach knowingly attempted to provide material support and resources, namely himself, to work under the direction and control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq, al-Qa’ida in Iraq, and the Islamic State, according to the indictment, which notes that ISIL has been continuously designated by the United States State Department as a foreign terrorist organization since 2004. The indictment further alleges that Dandach, in order to facilitate an act of international terrorism, lied when applying for a replacement passport and then presented the passport to an airline employee for the purpose of traveling to Istanbul, Turkey. The indictment further alleges that Dandach attempted to obstruct the investigation by instructing a website administrator to delete his post history.

Dandach is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on March 16.

If convicted of all the charges in the indictment, Dandach would face a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison for the material support charge, up to 25 years for each of the two passport fraud charges, and a statutory maximum of 25 years for obstruction of justice offense.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Orange County.

Release No. 15-022

Updated June 22, 2015