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Prosecutors: American Airlines Mechanic Accused of Sabotaging Plane Had Ties to ISIS

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On Thursday, it was reported that a Miami based American Airlines mechanic accused of sabotaging a plane in July of this year told FBI agents that he had an “evil side.” On Wednesday, prosecutors presented alleged evidence of this man’s Islamist proclivities and sympathies at a bail hearing.

Edited by: JV Staff

According to a Fox News report, prosecutors said the airplane mechanic, Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani allegedly illustrated his dedication to the nefarious objectives of ISIS by making statements about wishing Allah would use “divine powers” to harm non-Muslims and sharing ISIS videos on his cellphone — which he allowed the FBI to search. One of the videos showed a person being shot in the head, according to prosecutors, according to the Fox News report.

Federal investigators said they also learned that Alani, 60, lied about taking a trip to Iraq in March to visit his brother and also sent $700 to someone in Iraq. Alani allegedly told an American Airlines co-worker in June his brother was kidnapped and became a member of the terrorist organization, according to the Fox News report. 

Alani worked as a mechanic for the airline when he allegedly sabotaged a Nassau-bound Boeing 737 with 150 passengers and crew aboard at Miami International Airport over stalled labor negotiations, according to the Fox News report. 

Prosecutors said Alani glued styrofoam inside the nose of the aircraft that disabled a part used to gauge airspeed and other critical flight data, as was reported by Fox News. Pilots detected the issue before takeoff, and a subsequent inspection discovered the problem.

Airport surveillance captured Alani, who walks with a limp, working on the plane’s nose for about seven minutes. He was identified by co-workers.

After his arrest earlier this month, he told agents he acted “out of my evil side” and “wanted to do something to delay” the plane “to get overtime” for maintenance repairs, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Medetis told the judge Wednesday.

While Alani is not yet charged with a terror-related crime, Medetis said the potential links to the Islamic State give rise to the possibility that his actions had a darker purpose beyond what he insisted was a labor issue.

The judge ultimately denied Alani bail.

The defense has argued that prosecutors can’t prove Alani intentionally put people in danger. They said Alani was an experienced mechanic who knew the alleged sabotage would ground the plane before takeoff. (Fox News)

 

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