Former American Airlines mechanic Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani had claimed he disabled a navigation component in a jetliner over a labor dispute. But investigators found videos on his cell phone from ISIS promoting radical Islamic terrorism, drawing skepticism from law enforcement over his alleged motives.
Prosecutors are not treating this as terrorism, instead charging him with “willfully damaging, destroying or disabling an aircraft.” If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Alani allegedly glued foam inside a tube leading from outside the plane to its air data module, which reports the speed, pitch and other critical data. This aligns with an article found on his phone which depicts the problems with Boeing MAX 737 planes that have recently crashed.
Authorities also said at least one of the ISIS videos was downloaded on Alani’s phone and sent to another person with a message that called for Allah to “use all your might and power against the Kafir,” or non-believers of Islam.
A native Iraqi who is now a US citizen, Alani, 60, was not charged with a terror-related crime. He was denied bond during the proceeding, where the feds said photos on his phone from a trip to Baghdad and Mosul showed him smiling and posing with relatives.
This was so obviously a failed terrorist plot, it’s hard to believe he’s being given the benefit of the doubt. The evidence may be circumstantial, which is why prosecutors aren’t attempting to charge him with terrorism, but it’s very compelling and all points to jihad.
His brother was a member of ISIS. He traveled to Iraq earlier this year. He had videos and articles on his phone promoting terrorism, including an article that showed why the Boeing planes kept crashing. The way he sabotaged the plane was precisely aligned with the problems referred to in the article he received. His texts demonstrate a desire to kill non-Muslims.
But this was all about overtime, at least according to the accused. I’m not buying it.
If convicted, he should be given the full sentence allowable with no opportunity for parole. They may have technical difficulties preventing them from pursuing a terrorism case, but they can put him in jail for the next two decades. When he emerges from jail in his 80s, perhaps he will no longer be a terrorism threat.
“What you did was at minimum highly reckless. It was unconscionable.” Judge Chris McAliley
There is no reason to believe Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, an ISIS sympathizer, sabotaged the plane’s critical navigation system over a labor dispute so he could get more overtime. He is a failed terrorist, period.
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