MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A former American Airlines mechanic suspected of sabotaging the navigation system on a plane leaving Miami was arraigned Friday morning in federal court in Miami.
A lawyer for Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani entered a plea of not guilty.
“The family is shocked, they are looking for the truth,” said Alani’s defense attorney Jonathan Meltz.
Earlier this week, evidence revealed possible ties to terrorists which could result in new charges. For now, he is not facing terror-related charges.
According to a criminal complaint affidavit filed in federal court, Alani admitted that he tampered with a crucial navigation system on a plane that was about to fly 150 people to Nassau in the Bahamas on July 17. He said he did it so he could collect overtime work.
Pilots aborted the flight when they saw an error message for a system that tracks speed, nose direction, and other critical flight information.
Co-workers later identified the person as Alani, in part by his distinctive limp, the affidavit said.
Alani is being held without bond. If convicted of the sabotage charge, Alani faces up to 20 years in prison.
American Airlines said they checked all the planes Alani had worked on and discovered no problems.