Florida: Muslim who wrote about taking revenge on non-Muslims not charged with terrorism for sabotaging plane

“Prosecutors said at his detention hearing in September that FBI investigators learned Alani lied about taking a trip to Iraq in March to visit his brother. They also found out he told a fellow American Airlines employee in June that his brother had been kidnapped and was a member of the extremist Islamic group known as ISIS. Prosecutors said Alani allowed the FBI to search his smartphone and agents found a ‘disturbing’ ISIS video in which a person was being shot in the head, and that he sent the video to someone with an Arabic message asking ‘Allah’ to take revenge against non-Muslims.”

Yet despite all that, “Alani was not charged with a terrorism-related offense.”

Apparently to have charged him with terrorism would have been “Islamophobic.”

“American Airlines mechanic pleads guilty to sabotaging plane at Miami International,” by Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, December 18, 2019:

An American Airlines mechanic accused of sabotaging a navigation system on a Miami flight with 150 passengers aboard pleaded guilty Wednesday to attempting to destroy the aircraft in a plea agreement designed to avoid a maximum sentence up to 20 years in prison.

“I do admit the guilt,” Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, 60, said through an Arabic interpreter in Miami federal court.

Alani, a veteran AA employee who had lived in California and commuted to his job at Miami International Airport, now faces up to three years in prison under a joint recommendation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and his defense lawyer. His sentencing is set for March 4.

At his detention hearing in September after his arrest, federal prosecutors suggested that Alani may have possible links to a Middle East terrorist group, but that allegation never came up at his plea hearing before U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke.

His defense attorney, Jonathan Meltz, made that point outside the courtroom when asked by reporters about the allegation. “This case is only about what you heard in court,” said Meltz, who added that his client “has been leading a law-abiding life for 30 years.”

After his arrest, Alani told federal investigators that he disabled the aircraft’s navigation system on the morning of July 17 because he was upset over stalled union contract negotiations with the airline. He said he wanted to generate some overtime for maintenance on the plane.

Alani also said that he meant no harm to anyone.

The Miami-Nassau flight was aborted before takeoff at Miami International Airport after an error alert appeared on the navigation system.

At Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutor Randy Hummel summarized the evidence against Alani, stressing that the AA flight’s navigation system was “deliberately obstructed” with foam by Alani and that the “aircraft was deemed not airworthy.”

Alani was accused of tampering with the plane’s so-called air data module, a system that reports aircraft speed, pitch and other critical flight data to pilots.

Alani was not charged with a terrorism-related offense. However, prosecutors said at his detention hearing in September that FBI investigators learned Alani lied about taking a trip to Iraq in March to visit his brother. They also found out he told a fellow American Airlines employee in June that his brother had been kidnapped and was a member of the extremist Islamic group known as ISIS.

Prosecutors said Alani allowed the FBI to search his smartphone and agents found a “disturbing” ISIS video in which a person was being shot in the head, and that he sent the video to someone with an Arabic message asking “Allah” to take revenge against non-Muslims. In addition, they said Alani sent $700 to someone in Iraq, where he was born and has family….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

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