Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura of the Central District of California and Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office announced today that an Orange County, California, 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 a designated terrorist organization the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Adam Dandach, 21, of Orange, California, was named in a superseding indictment returned today by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana, California. Dandach, a U.S. 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 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.
Dandach was arrested on July 3, 2014, and initially charged in a federal criminal complaint with making a false statement on his 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 who possessed his original passport. At that time, Dandach was attempting to travel from Orange County’s John Wayne Airport to Istanbul 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, 2014, Dandach was indicted by a federal grand jury for making false statements on a passport application. He entered a plea of not guilty in July 2014 and 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 ISIL, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq, al-Qa’ida in Iraq, ISIS, and the Islamic State, according to the indictment, which notes that the ISIL has been continuously designated by the U.S. 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. The 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 is scheduled to be arraigned on the indictment on March 16, 2015.
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.
This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Orange County. Dandach is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, with the assistance of the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division.