American Arrested on Way to Join IS in Syria

Islamist fighters in Syria (Photo: © Reuters)

Islamist fighters in Syria (Photo: © Reuters)

By Ryan Mauro, The Clarion Project

The federal government has arrested Adam Dandach of Santa Ana, California as he tried to join the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria. This is the seventh arrest of an American headed to fight in Syria this year.

Dandach was charged with falsifying a passport on July 2 as he tried to board a flight to Turkey. The detention order filed the next day stated:

“Defendant told the agents that he [was] traveling to Syria for the purpose of pledging his allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (“ISIS”), a known terrorist organization, that he would assist ISIS with anything that ISIS asked him to do, and that he believed the killings of U.S. soldiers are justified killings.”

By interviewing Dandach’s family, the FBI learned that he planned to go to Syria around Christmas time last year. When he told his mother about it, she hid his passport and took his savings away that were to be spent on the trip.

On June 17, Dandach applied for an expedited duplicate passport from the State Department, saying that he accidentally threw the original one away two days earlier. The FBI was informed by Dandach’s brother that he said he knew his mother took it, contrary to his written claims to the State Department that he threw it away. That was enough for the FBI to arrest him on July 2 for lying to get a passport.

Dandach is the seventh American known to be arrested before going to Syria to wage jihad.

The other six are:

Shannon Maureen Conley of Colorado, who was intercepted on her way to provide medical and military assistance to ISIS. She became romantically involved with an ISIS member online. 

Michael Todd Wolfe of Texas, who wanted to join Jabhat al-Nusra or ISIS. 

Nicholas Michael Teausant of California, who wanted to bomb a Los Angeles subway but instead chose to join ISIS. 

Mohammad Hassan Hamdan of Michigan, who wanted to join Hezbollah and defend the Assad regime. 

Avin Marsalis Brown and Akba Jihad Jordan of North Carolina, a pair that wanted to join a jihadist group in Syria.

We’re only seven months the year and seven Americans have been caught trying to go to Syria for jihad. The success of ISIS and its use of social media, much of it in English, will only attract more aspiring American jihadists.

It is reported that over 100 Americans have fought in Syria. So have thousands of Europeans. Every day that the civil war grinds on is another day of training for the next wave of jihadists.


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