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Mechanic due to enter plea in Miami airliner sabotage case

Chicago, USA - May 19, 2018: America Airlines planes at gates at O'Hare International Airport las ground crew finish up before take off.

MIAMI (AP) — A former American Airlines mechanic who prosecutors say may have some links to terrorists is due to enter a plea to charges that he sabotaged an aircraft with 150 people aboard.

An arraignment hearing is scheduled Friday for 60-year-old Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani in Miami federal court. He’s charged with deliberately disabling 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 that 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, and the FBI reported finding violent Islamic State videos on his cellphone.

Alani faces 20 years if convicted.

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