A former American Airlines mechanic who was arrested days before Sept. 11 for allegedly sabotaging an airplane — who at the time said the act was part of a labor dispute and because he wanted overtime — has terrorist ties and wanted Allah to harm non-Muslims, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, who is originally from Iraq but gained U.S. citizenship, had Islamic State videos on his phone, said Allah wanted to hurt non-Muslims, and recently returned from a trip to Iraq, prosecutors said. The federal prosecutors presented the evidence at a bail hearing in Miami.
Alani allegedly sabotaged a Boeing 737 carrying 150 passengers in July. A sensor detected the problem just before takeoff, and Alani was then paid overtime to fix the problem. But video also showed him inserting styrofoam into sensitive plane components to cause the problem, an FBI affidavit stated. American Airlines suspended Alani, and subsequently fired him.
“Out of my evil side, I wanted to do something,” Alani admitted, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Medetis, The Associated Press reported.
He could face 20 years in prison for willfully disabling an aircraft, but has not been charged with terrorism.
His attorney, public defender Christian Dunham, asked for $200,000 bail, which he said would be secured by multiple relatives who are in the U.S. as well as former American Airlines co-workers, the AP reported.
The Federal Aviation Administration revoked his aircraft mechanic certificate, Dunham said.
Judge Chris McAliley rejected bail, calling Alani’s actions “unconscionable.”
“You may be very sympathetic to terrorists,” she said.