A Southern California man has pleaded guilty to federal charges of providing material support to the Islamic State group, the Orange County Register reported. FBI agents arrested Adam Dandach, now 21, in July 2014 as he tried to board a flight to Turkey at John Wayne Airport in Orange County in a bid to reach Syria to undergo weapons training.
Prosecutors said Dandach knew that the Islamic State group -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- was a "designated terrorist organization" when he became involved with the militant group and told federal agents that he planned to pledge his commitment to them, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Orange County resident also pleaded guilty to making a false statement on a passport application. Dandach had applied for an expedited passport, the indictment said, claiming he had mistakenly discarded his previous one while cleaning out a drawer. But family members later told authorities that his mother had hidden his passport after learning of his planned trip.
Dandach's father lives in Lebanon, but he grew up in Orange County and was attending community college at the time of his arrest, the Orange County Register reported. He now faces up to 15 years in federal prison for providing aid to a foreign terrorist organization and then up to 10 years on the charge of making false statements on his passport application, authorities said.
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U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California said in a statement released Monday that the Dandach case is an example of the “need for continued vigilance and swift action."
“As Mr. Dandach succumbed to ISIL’s online recruiting efforts, the Joint Terrorism Task Force was able to uncover his plan before he left the United States, which prevented this young man from becoming a foreign fighter,” Decker said.
Dandach is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 11, 2016, by U.S. District Judge James V. Selna.