An airline mechanic described by federal prosecutors as a possible ‘ISIS supporter’ has pleaded guilty to sabotaging an American Airlines flight in Miami earlier this year.
Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, 60, admits he attempted to destroy an airplane with 150 passengers on board as part of a plea agreement to avoid a potential 20-year prison sentence, according to the Miami Herald.
“I do admit the guilt,” Alani reportedly said through an Arabic interpreter in federal court.
Investigators discovered a number of troubling links between Alani and Islamic extremism.
“Prosecutors said Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani allegedly displayed support for ISIS by making statements about wishing Allah would use ‘divine powers’ to harm non-Muslims and sharing ISIS videos on his cellphone — which he allowed the FBI to search. One of the videos showed a person being shot in the head, according to prosecutors,” Fox News reported in September.
“Federal investigators said they also learned that Alani lied about taking a trip to Iraq in March to visit his brother and also sent $700 to someone in Iraq. Alani allegedly told an American Airlines co-worker in June his brother was kidnapped and became a member of the terrorist organization.”
Alani told agents he had an “evil side” during his arrest and claimed he intentionally disabled the aircraft’s navigation system because he was upset about “stalled union contract negotiations with the airline,” the Herald reports.
When investigators asked Alani if he would feel comfortable with his own family flying on a jet with a disabled navigation system, Alani said, “No.”
Alani now faces up to three years in prison, according to a joint recommendation by his defense lawyer and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.