Prosecutors say the American Airlines mechanic accused of tampering with a plane has ties to ISIS. A judge denied bond to 60-year-old Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani who is being held on charges of willfully damaging, destroying, disabling or wrecking an aircraft.
Authorities say that Alani tampered with an "air data module" on a flight from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas, with 150 people on board. The flight crew noticed the issue and the flight was canceled. He allegedly blocked the inlet on the module which is used to measure the aircraft's speed and pitch using a piece of foam.
Investigators found ISIS propaganda on his phone, including a video of people being shot and said that he wanted Allah to harm non-Muslims. Witnesses also told authorities of his suspected ties to the terrorist group, though their accounts differed and investigators were unable to verify their specific claims.
Alani, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Iraq, worked as a mechanic for 30 years. He told officials he tampered with the module because he wanted to earn more overtime pay and knew it would not impact the aircraft because it has redundancies in case the air data module malfunctions.
Alani is not facing charges related to terrorism, but could spend up to 20 years in jail if he is convicted of sabotaging the plane.
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