The FBI has identified a mechanic suspected of sabotaging an American Airlines jetliner in Florida as a 60-year-old Tracy man.

On Friday, the FBI announced the arrest of Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani for his alleged involvement in the sabotage of a commercial airliner. The FBI and the Miami Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Ahmed Alani at Miami International Airport on the morning of Sept. 5 and took him into custody without incident.

The Miami Herald reported that authorities believe Ahmed Alani deliberately disabled the navigation systems of an airliner on July 17 before a flight to Nassau in the Bahamas. An error alert caused the pilot to abort the flight, with 150 passengers on board, before takeoff.

A subsequent inspection revealed that someone had used a hard type of foam to block a tube leading from the outside of the plane to the mechanism that records air speed and other data, the Herald reported.

Citing court documents filed with the U.S. Court, Florida Southern District, the Herald reported that Ahmed Alani acted out of frustration with stalled negotiations between the mechanics union and American Airlines. He did not expect that his actions would result in anything more than a delay or cancellation of the flight, resulting in more overtime work so that mechanics could fix the problem, the Herald reported.

He appears in court again for arraignment Sept. 20.

Contact the Tracy Press at or 835-3030.

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