California Student Pleads Guilty to Providing Material Support to Islamic State

Back in July of 2014, California student Adam Dandach, then 20 years of age, pleaded not guilty on counts of passport fraud after FBI agents bagged him at the airport in Anaheim, allegedly en route to pledge his allegiance to ISIS in Syria.

One of the reasons he found it necessary to perjure himself on a passport application was that his mother hid his passport and travel money in a last-ditch bid to keep him from making his jihad journey. KTLA News reported at the time that Dandach said he was “more disappointed that he did not get to go to Syria than with getting in trouble with law enforcement.”

It sounds as if Dandach might have changed his mind about that, because the UK Daily Mail reports that on Monday, the ISIS wannabe entered guilty pleas for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, as well as lying on his passport application.

“He acknowledged in a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana that he supported violent jihad against the ‘occupiers’ of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and planned to offer his services to the terrorism cause,” the Daily Mail writes. He could be looking at up to 25 years in federal prison.

Quite a bit of unappetizing information about Dandach has come out since his arrest:

On July 2, 2014, the day he attempted to fly to Istanbul, he emailed a friend and complained that more people weren’t helping the cause and that it was a ‘golden opportunity,’ according to court documents.

FBI agents found his smartphone loaded with jihadi songs supporting Islamic State fighting, maps of areas the group controlled, and Twitter updates of fighting by the terrorist group.

He told FBI agents who questioned him at John Wayne Airport that he was heading to Syria and planned to pledge allegiance and offer assistance to the Islamic State. He said he believed the killings of American soldiers were justified.

His defense lawyer described him as a “naive” kid who only “wanted to help widows and orphans.”

Either he was miffed about this patronizing portrayal of his mighty jihad self, or he just couldn’t help himself, because Dandach decided to send a series of letters and poems to the Orange County Register to “discuss his feelings about the situation” last March.

Among other things, Dandach praised the Charlie Hebdo massacre and supported the use of violence to enforce Islamic speech codes, mocking the famed “I am Charlie” expression of solidarity with the slain cartoonists by writing “Je suie al-Qaeda,” and inviting the murder victims to “rot in a grave of fire, right where you belong.” He also called upon Allah to avenge him and quoted arguments from terrorist propaganda.

After reviewing Dandach’s writing, a terrorism expert contacted by the OC Register remarked, “This is the kind of stuff that causes defense attorneys to go gray.” He appears to have been correct in that assessment.


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