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Tipsheet

American Airlines Mechanic Who Sabotaged a Miami Plane Had ISIS Videos on His Phone

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

The man arrested for sabotaging the navigation system on an American Airlines plane that was scheduled to take off from Florida earlier this year had ISIS propaganda videos on his cellphone. According to prosecutors, Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani has ties to the Islamic terrorist group through his brother in Iraq. The new revelations came during a bail hearing in Miami Wednesday. Alani is a naturalized citizen from Iraq. 

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From the Associated Press

A federal judge cited new evidence of potential terrorism sympathies in denying bail for a mechanic charged with sabotaging an American Airlines jetliner.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Chris McAliley imposed pretrial detention for 60-year-old Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani at Wednesday’s hearing.

The new evidence presented by prosecutors includes that Alani has a brother in Iraq who may be involved with the Islamic State extremist group as well as statements Alani made about wishing harm on non-Muslims.

Alani is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Iraq. He’s not charged with a terror-related crime.

Alani is charged with sabotaging a Boeing 737 with 150 people aboard at Miami International Airport because ongoing labor negotiations were jeopardizing his chances at earning overtime.

Alani claimed he sabotaged the plane in order to get mechanic overtime pay. Luckily the issue was noticed by pilots before taking off and nobody was hurt. Alani was caught on surveillance video and he conducted the sabotage for seven minutes.

In recent months, half-a-dozen foreign born naturalized citizens and refugees have been arrested, indicted or sentenced for planning to carry out ISIS attacks in the United States. 

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Earlier this month, the Department of Justice indicted a 43-year-old man from Pakistan after he traveled to Syria, trained with ISIS as a sniper and weapons expert, and came back to the United States.

The Department of Justice announced a five-count indictment against 43-year-old Suleiman Al-Amrik for "conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS; providing material support to ISIS in the form of personnel, training, expert advice and assistance and weapons; receipt of military-type training from ISIS; and obstruction of justice." The combined charges carry a lifetime sentence in federal prison.

Amrik immigrated to the United States from Kazakhstan and is a naturalized citizen. He traveled to Syria, joined and fought with ISIS as a sniper and then came back to the U.S.

"As detailed in court filings, Asainov is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Kazakhstan, who resided in Brooklyn.  As alleged, in December 2013, Asainov traveled on a one-way ticket to Istanbul, Turkey, a common transit point to obtain entry into Syria.  He subsequently entered Syria, joined ISIS and became a sniper for the terrorist organization.  Over time, Asainov rose through the ranks to become an ISIS 'emir' in charge of training other ISIS members in the use of weapons.  He also attempted to recruit another individual to travel from the United States to Syria to fight for ISIS," DOJ released.

In Tucson, Somali refugees were hitting the gym to become stronger for beheadings on behalf of ISIS.

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In July, DOJ announced charges against two Somali refugees living in Tucson, Arizona. According to the indictment, Ahmed Mahad Mohamed and Abdi Yemani Hussein started hitting the gym to get stronger for beheadings.

"On or about June 26, 2019, MOHAMED told the UC (undercover FBI agent) that he and 'abu' jihad started going to the gym so they could get stronger and 'behad those kuffar,'" the indictment states. "MOHAMED indicated that he wanted to make hijrah and asked for help from the UC. MOHAMED state that he was 'a lion bu killing the kuffar and behading.' In addition, MOHAMED told the UC, 'if I go to Syria I want to be the behading person wallahi this kuffar I want to kill them so many I am thirsty their blood.' MOHAMED indicated he wanted to travel to Syria, Egypt and/or Iraq."

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