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Mechanic pleads not guilty in airliner sabotage case

MIAMI — A former American Airlines mechanic who prosecutors say may have some links to terrorists has pleaded not guilty to charges that he sabotaged an aircraft with 150 people aboard.

The plea came at a hearing Friday in Miami federal court for 60-year-old Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani. He’s charged with deliberately disabling the Boeing 737 at Miami International Airport in July because, he told investigators, he was upset an ongoing labour 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.

No terrorism-related charges have been filed.

Curt Anderson, The Associated Press