A Miami aircraft maintenance worker who had tampered with an American Airlines plane carrying 150 passengers has possible terrorist ties with the terrorist group Islamic State, the US prosecutors said in court Wednesday.
According to the reports, 60-year-old Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, who was arrested in September on charges that he sabotaged the navigation equipment of an American Airlines flight, had shared videos stored on his phone of ISIS terrorists, the prosecutors said.
The prosecutors said Alani was an Iraqi born naturalized US citizen, had made statements wishing Allah would use “divine powers” to harm non-Muslims. He had recently sent money to someone in Iraq and has a brother there, who allegedly has ties to the Islamic State.
A federal judge also deemed that Alani was danger and a flight risk and denied bail to 60-year-old mechanic citing new evidence of him being a potential terrorist sympathiser.
Alani, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Iraq who has worked as an airline mechanic for 30 years, allegedly had ISIS propaganda on his phone, Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Medetis said. A video depicting people being shot was allegedly sent from his phone. Alani also told the individual he sent the video to that he wanted Allah to cause harm to non-Muslims.
Reportedly, the two witnesses appeared before the court and mentioned that Alani had said to them that his brother was in ISIS. An American Airlines coworker claimed that Alani said he had to go to Iraq to visit a brother who was a member of ISIS. However, another roommate alleged that Alani said he had to go because his brother was kidnapped.
Reportedly, the American investigators did not find any evidence of Alani’s brother being kidnapped on the phone. They did provide evidence of a brother in ISIS, though. Interestingly, Alani has not been charged for a terrorism-related crime.
Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, the mechanic is accused of sabotaging flight equipment admitted that he tampered with a navigation system on the plane so that he could collect overtime work. Abdul Majeed had confessed that he had tampered with the air data module system on Flight 2834 from Miami to Nassau in the Bahamas on July 17 because he was disgruntled about an impasse over a union contract, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
Fortunately, none of the passengers and crew on the flight to Nassau were injured because the tampering with the air data module caused an error alert as the pilots fired up the plane’s engines on the runway July 17.
As a result, flight No. 2834, a Boeing 737-800 aircraft was aborted and taken out of service for routine maintenance at America’s hangar at Miami international airport.