Back to Squawk list
  • 73

American Airlines Mechanic Jailed Following Aircraft Sabotage

An American Airlines mechanic who deliberately sabotaged an American Airlines Boeing 737 last July in an attempt to gain more overtime has instead been sentenced to 37 months in prison. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Slap on the wrist.
Russ Brown 32
No "luck" on the part of the pilot. Just competence - attention to detail, doing his job. Every day in every way on every flight.
Jim Balducki 31
The article mentions that there were 150 passengers on board. Perhaps the mechanic should be charged with 150 counts of attempted murder. Probable sentence would be of more than 37 months.
Devon Raisch 19
Small price to pay for the opportunity to kill 155 people. Should have been no less than one year for every soul onboard.
DGR Rathborne 9
I am so glad that this hack got 3 Yrs . And i would like to think he serves every day . But due to the planing and indifferance of his savatage , i know many , including myself , feel he should have received more . In all my years of being around aviation , i can not recall such a cold blooded act . Luckily , the Crew found the problem and kept the aircraft on the ground . My Salute to them ........DGR
sorry to say that man is an idiot! he wanted overtime,so he possibly jeopardized people lives? what he did was not like making the coffee maker not work in the galley...37 months n prison is far too lenient..
This idiot worked for me at AA and had to be assigned to small tasks as he showed little or no knowledge of aircraft maintenance. This is one of the thing that is wrong with our FAA testing as it shows that anyone can pass a test as opposed to the more difficult CAA testing in Japan and The UK.
Yuriy Kravchuk 11
Sure... blame FAA. How about AA who hired him? How about the union that protected him? Don't just call someone an idiot to get eyeballs....
wylann 2
Did he actually hold an A&P cert? Lots of mechanics who work on aircraft don't have (and aren't required to have) certs, as long as their work is signed off and regularly checked/supervised.
John Wool 1
It’s a requirement in the airline world on the line. There are some back shops in over haul that don’t require it.
Pat Barry 1
That's correct. An applicant for an A&P must have attended a full time school or had an equivalent in training at a maintenance facility under the supervision of an IA.
Employers (including AA) are reluctant to fire a minority when they can simply make him a gofer, but the man had access.
Many immigrants don't care about repercussions, thinking that they can do things and return to their home countries. Who knows what this chump had in mind?
Now if someone doesn't get hired or is fired for incompetence, next comes the lawsuit yelling about discrimination. And apparently he didn't know enough about an aircraft to not think that an alarm would be triggered in the cockpit indicating there was a problem.
DGR Rathborne 4
Quite the contrary . He knew enough about the physical aspects of the equipment , that if he put a little bit of something to block the tube ,he would really F---- Up the navigation system . His plan was well thought out and quiet sinister . He had figured that if his plan did result in a crash , the NTSB might not find his sabotage . Pretty cold blooded i'd say ...........DGR
DGR Rathborne 3
I just want to add this . His claim is that he meant no harm , but rather he Sabotaged the specific system , so that when the aircraft was returned for service , he could be the Hero and solve the problem quickly , and collect over time pay . So the question becomes , was he trying to kill people , or was it a demented act to make a few extra bucks ? We may never know . ..........DGR
Big thumbs up for both your comments. Unfortunately, this is probably the last we will hear of this, and never know the truth. I don't accept the BS story for a second. What a horrible man.
Last year it was reported that he has a brother in Iraq who is a member of a terrorist group; he had visited there in March of last year. According to the Washington Times:
"Investigators said Alani also had Islamic State videos on his phone depicting mass murders and that he traveled to Iraq in March but did not disclose that to the FBI after his arrest." flags?
DGR Rathborne 0
Hi Sharon . It's been very nice speaking with you . There is a lot of a grey area , as to whither he might have been a possible terrorist . I don't want to do him in ,just by his travel record . If that were the case , an awful lot of people would be in deep s--- . So Sharon , what brings you to this web site ? It's mostly occupied by gear heads . But i still like your comments . Have a good day ............DGR
An interest in aviation in all its aspects. I am fascinated by the concept of flight and the large community that surrounds it. The achievement of mankind's dream since the dawn of the human species. Now I'm waxing poetic but I want to learn all I can. After being terrified by a very scary landing (now I know the plane was "crabbing") I decided that the best way to conquer fear is by knowledge. Cheers!
DGR Rathborne 2
Congratulations Sharon . I too am interested in all things of aviation . My Dad worked for Air Canada , a very long time ago , and i have had the fascination with all things ..aviation ever since . It is truly a fascinating area .
Bye for now .......DGR
Lucky to have a Dad working for an airline! Have a great day....
Dude, your only showing that Management knew of his skills but did nothing to address it. Either with further training or dismissal due to lack of skills
How was he able to get a job working in aircraft maintenance if he supposedly only spoke Arabic? Did this not raise any flags? More questions than answers about this whole affair.
He'll never work in aviation again.
Torsten Hoff 15
Not just aviation -- with a felony conviction there is a large number of jobs he is disqualified from.
lyn williams 8
I understand there are numerous positions in IRAQ that are open. Sheep Herder, Broom Pusher, Brick layer,
and the like.
Sonya Finkey 5
Put him and his entire family on a watch-list and a no-fly list.
That's just mean! What is his family guilty of???
Why do you call that mean? I'd call it prudent.
bentwing60 0
Not for 38 months anyway!
A large number of jobs he is disqualified from???? Not in NY where you cannot ask an applicant about their criminal past anymore. As a matter of fact, I believe there are some felons loading the airplanes at the airport right now
C J 3
State law is above federal law in NY?
According to dictator cuomo it is. Green Light Law, Sanctuary State, and when he gets his hand smacked by the federal government he clenches his fists, stomps his feet and cries like a three year old because he is not getting his way. Then he wastes more taxpayer money with yet another baseless lawsuit in court. $6 billion in the hole and we have a governor that equates to a child being told in the grocery store that he cannot have that candy! And he wonders why more people are leaving NY than anywhere else in the country

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

yep like the impeachment hoax
Torsten Hoff 2
Employers can still run criminal background checks. The applicant must sign a consent form, and refusal to provide consent gives the employer the option of not hiring the applicant. The type of job is also important, there may be additional requirements if the job has the potential to endanger public safety.
This guy should have gone done for a lot longer than the 37 months
Joseph Sede 10
Ironic his name was NOT John Smith.
Henri Demers 19
Oh please! A guy named Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani sabotaged an American airline to get overtime? This was some lawyer's creative defense that was accepted by a cowardly PC judge who was afraid of being called islamophobic. When the F are we going to learn?
bigbill3111 5
1000 likes and thumbs up. You are spot on.
Antonello Davi -1
I work for AA and was in MIA for 18 years. The fact remains that the mechanic did in fact attempt to gain overtime and it was directly related to not having a contract in place. MIA remains one of the most diverse airports (next to JFK and LAX). Please do not judge by name alone.
Jesse Carroll -2
Well done Henri, glad you got the Unions involved! However, by you MIA (missing in action) from AA(alcohol anonymous), does not grant you the right to blame anything on an outdated, worn out mess called Unions!
They where great back in the days but not needed today. How much of your paycheck goes to the Democrats? Just saying!
Oh, I think you meant to say KMIA, right?
Dean Kennedy -4
What's to learn? If an airplane crashes and kills 100+ people at the hands of a "disenfranchised" member of society, well gosh darnit that death is the most honorable death a person can achieve!
Stephen Rich 3
Such a light sentence is a crime in itself.
Well put.
Jesse Carroll 3
37 months? Ridiculous !
jena weber 4
Optimistic that he will become some Bubba’s partner in prison who will give him complimentary trips around the world. Another example of our soft legal system.
DGR Rathborne 4
Nicely put . Some previous comments have been " our prisons are vacation spots , compared to ...say Iran ". Well that may well be , but be assured that the next 3 years are going to be his worst in his life . So where's Bubba ?
Martin Allan 2
Maybe an attempt to gain overtime but, an obviously dangerous act he would have clearly known the potential for multiple fatalities. The likelihood of the outcome depended very much on the alertness and timely observation by the pilot.
He should have been given a lengthy sentence for the potential manslaughter. In my opinion that sentence is too lenient. However I do not support kangaroo courts and lynching!
Bob Hearst 2
He's got a great atty.

They got a dumba!! judge to believe his lie and a mass murderer got of the hook.
Too bad it wasn't Texas,we could haves watched a funeral.

No harm intended!!!!!!
Bob Hearst 2
Should have tried him for

Not enough evidence.
darjr26 2
Did he lose his nonrev privileges too?
David Daly 3
It should have been 37 YEARS in prison! Luckily no one got killed!
SFOBro 2
Jailed? I think we're talking about actual penalties for this. He wasn't grabbing extra sauce from Taco Bell without permission.
AaronMFJ 2
Big yikes
OMG!! More like OMAirline!!
WhiteKnight77 1
Good to see that he got some prison time. He deserves it and more.
William Monti 1
Russ Brown absolutely on the mark.
Chris Petty 1
Only 37 months?
Not enough sentence.
"No harm intended ...." "Solely financial....".The lawyer should have gotten jail time too for such a ridiculous remark ;unworthy of a good defense lawyer.Such a remark,so uttered at sentencing would have caused me,as a judge, to become further incensed .
Sonya Finkey 1
I'd deport Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani with his whole family immediately. Imagine that, having worked there since 1988, and 60 years old. I think his motive was to take as many lives as he could, for religious brownie-points. To secure more overtime? I doubt that very highly. GOOD SCRUTINY, PILOTS! YOU DESERVE A MEDAL!
Robert Cowling -4
He should have gotten life. Hell, Alabama is executing 'an innocent man' today, so this genius should be next.

I worked at a subcontractor that built wire harnesses for Ford sedans. There was a machine that drove the stud the turn signal mounts on into an aluminum casting. Someone figured out how to drive their thumb into the casting. All for 'time off'. And that is why I can't defend unions. I broke quota on all the machines I operated by LUNCH! *sigh*
James Simms 1
That “innocent” man either did the dirty deed or was an accomplice in murdering 3 Law Enforcement Officers. Waiting 16 years is way too long. For certain crimes such as killing Law Enforcement, child killers, & other heinous crimes; have a fair trial & a rope & tree waiting out back instead of living w/3 hots & a cot for 20-30 years paid for by the taxpayer.

I always tell antifa supporters there are four reasons they don’t dare come South: 1) Open & Concealed Carry, 2) Anti-Mask laws enacted after the KKK during the 50’s & 60’s, 3) There are dozens of abandoned underground coal mines no one has been in for nearly a 100 years, 4) Someone always knows someone w/a backhoe & 40-50 acres just lying there.

It’s time the country got back to dealing out serious & immediate justice instead of coddling & glorifying criminals, their lifestyle, & making a cause celeb over their notoriety.
Iain Maciver 11
and what does this comment has to do with avation? Please keep ypur politics to yourself while on this site.
Edgar Henry 3
Thank you!
And if the odd innocent person, who could even be one of your loved ones, gets put to death, oh well. At least it was fair and quick, right?
Dave Steele -5
Give one example in modern history of an innocent being executed.
Cameron Willingham was con­vict­ed of mur­der­ing his three chil­dren by arson in a 1991 house fire. He was exe­cut­ed in 2004. A report from a nation­al arson expert, pre­pared for the Texas Forensic Science Commission, con­clud­ed that the orig­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion of Willingham’s case was seri­ous­ly flawed and could not sup­port a find­ing of arson. The Texas state bar brought eth­i­cal charges against his pros­e­cu­tor, John Jackson—who had gone on to become a judge in Navarro County, Texas — on alle­ga­tions that, in addi­tion to the faulty arson tes­ti­mo­ny, Jackson had pre­sent­ed false tes­ti­mo­ny from a jail­house infor­mant and with­held evi­dence that the infor­mant had received favor­able treat­ment in exchange for that tes­ti­mo­ny. The infor­mant, Johnny E. Webb, lat­er recant­ed his tes­ti­mo­ny.
and the contract has not been secured yet
Mark Weiser 1
Ohhh me oh my, the poor, probably from some foreign group who despises the USA...
Bob Hearst 0
Bleeding heart judge agreed. !
37m. slap on the wrist. i was on that flight with my SICK mom. Bad,Bad,Bad.
Charles Adams 1
Please tell his attorney that we don't really care what his intentions were and we have no sympathy for him. I wonder what happens to his kid's college find now?
Bob Hearst 0
He deserves a good old fashioned
Saturday nite BEHEADING !!

Just like his kind did to Americans.

Beats SuperBowl re-runs !!!!

[This poster has been suspended.]

Bob Hearst 1

Give me your shipping address⛷
Ya know, describing a simple way to sabotage a plane, and even how it would work, in your article might not be in the best interest of public safety!
It's in all the news outlets that have reported this so what this mechanic did is no secret anyway. It was described back in July.
DGR Rathborne -2
I see that there is a lot of anger and hatred towards this man . But i am not ready to say , because of his heritage , this was he reason to tamper with the system .
Sonya Finkey 3
Taquiyya at its best!
Charles Adams 0
More line Kitmān
Would have been BETTER to give EACH Passenger & Family Members, 5 MINUTES ALONE with a Baseball Bat, and this BASTARD tied to a chair. In a SOUND PROOF ROOM!. This is the ONLY WAY we will STOP these ANIMALS from PRAYING ON US! USA Prisons are better than RESORTS in other Countries!


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.