A 20-year-old Orange man was arrested at a Southern California airport as he tried to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, with a fraudulent passport so he could allegedly join Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, rebels, according to federal court documents.
- Breaking News Alerts: Download the NBCLA News App
Adam Dandach is expected to be arraigned on Monday in a federal courtroom in Santa Ana in connection with the case. He was arrested by FBI agents assigned to the Orange County Joint Terrorism Task Force on July 3. He sought to leave on a flight out of John Wayne Airport in Irvine.
"What this man in Orange County was attempting to do is probably one the paramount security threats to the country," said Representative Adam Schiff, who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee. "Americans and Europeans going to Syria, joining the fight, becoming radicalized, learning how to build bombs. And then coming back to try and attack targets here at home."
According to federal court papers, he told investigators that "he was traveling to Syria for the purpose of pledging his alliance 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."
ISIS is the al-Qaida splinter group leading Sunni militants in Iraq.
Dandach had applied for an expedited replacement passport in June, explaining in the application that he had accidentally thrown the original in the trash while cleaning.
Authorities said his mother actually hid the original passport in a closet to stop him from flying to the Middle East in December.
Kate Larsen contributed to this report.