Accused American Airlines mechanic denies guilt in sabotage case

Published on : Saturday, September 21, 2019

The former American Airlines mechanic who was accused of having some links to terrorists pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that he sabotaged an aircraft with 150 people aboard.

 

The plea came at a hearing in Miami federal court for Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, 60. He’s charged with deliberately disabling a key navigation component inside the Boeing 737 at Miami International Airport in July because, he told investigators, he was upset an ongoing labor dispute was denying him overtime work.

 

Prosecutors unveiled evidence earlier this week indicating Alani, an Iraqi-American, may be sympathetic to terrorist groups such as the Islamic State. Alani purportedly told co-workers his brother is a member of the extremist group, stated that he hoped Allah would harm non-Muslims and the FBI reported finding violent Islamic State videos on his cellphone.

 

No terrorism-related charges have been filed. Alani’s new private lawyer, Jonathan Meltz, said the claims by prosecutors about possible terrorism connections are unfounded.

 

“Some things that may have been alleged are not true,” Meltz told reporters after the brief hearing. “It has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism.”

 

He added: “We’re looking forward to the whole truth coming out.”

 

No trial date has been set.

 


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