A long-time mechanic for American Airlines, Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani faces federal charges after being accused of sabotaging a plane before a flight that was scheduled in July.
Flight 2834 was set to depart from Miami, FL on July 17 to Nassau, Bahamas with 150 passengers on board the airplane, but the flight was cancelled after an error message alerted pilots that something was wrong with the engine.
Alani told law enforcement officials that he placed foam into an inlet within the air data module of the plane in order to commit his act of sabotage, according to court documents. The air data module measures crucial information about the plane including its speed and its pitch.
“At American we have an unwavering commitment to the safety and security of our customers and team members and we are taking this matter very seriously,” American Airlines spokeswoman Leslie Scott said.
After American became aware of the malfunction, they cancelled the plane’s take-off before having it inspected shortly afterward. Another mechanic found out that the problem was a loose pitot tube during the inspection. The tube was blocked by the foam, causing a malfunction of the aircraft data module.
Scott says they “immediately notified federal law enforcement who took over the investigation with our full cooperation” once they realized that it was a case of sabotage.
According to the affidavit, Alani contends that his act of sabotage was not an act of terrorism. He claims that he was disgruntled after a contract “dispute had affected him financially.” Alani added that “his intention was not to cause harm to the aircraft or its passengers” but rather to “cause a delay or have the flight cancelled in anticipation of obtaining overtime work.”
American has been in an intense labor dispute with their mechanics, and the company has accused the union representing the mechanics of coordinating a campaign of industrial sabotage to delay planes as a ploy to gain additional leverage in negotiations. The union strongly disputes this allegation.
“From a union standpoint we wouldn’t condone even the thought of doing this,” said Gary Peterson, who works as a vice president for the Transport Workers Union.
Nevertheless, American claims that the Union’s behavior has caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled and many more to be delayed. It is unclear if Alani was caught contributing to this phenomenon or if more sinister motivations were at hand in his alleged sabotage of the plane.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, Alani is charged with “willfully damaging, destroying or disabling an aircraft,” and his first appearance in federal court is scheduled for today. His photograph and information about his country of origin have not been released to the public yet.
Hispanic UFC Fighter Jorge Masvidal to Join Donald Trump Jr. in “Fighters Against Socialism” Bus Tour
UFC Welterweight fighter Jorge Masvidal announced on September 29, 2020 that he would be joining Donald Trump Jr. for a day long “Fighters Against Socialism” that will take place in Florida on October 3.
ESPN MMA journalist Ariel Helwani provided more details on this development:
“Jorge Masvidal will join Donald Trump Jr. on a day long “Fighters Against Socialism” bus tour across Florida this Saturday. They will hold 3 rallies in Tampa, Orlando and Miami. Their final rally will be at the American Top Team gym where they expect numerous fighters to join.”
Jorge Masvidal will join Donald Trump Jr. on a day long "Fighters Against Socialism" bus tour across Florida this Saturday. They will hold 3 rallies in Tampa, Orlando and Miami. Their final rally will be at the American Top Team gym where they expect numerous fighters to join.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) September 29, 2020
The fighter himself commented on this news, declaring “The anti communism bus tour will be arriving at a city near you #supernecessary.”
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) September 29, 2020
Unlike other sports leagues, the UFC has uniquely positioned itself by not adopting the woke antics of leagues such as the NFL and NBA.
Masvidal is a veteran of MMA promotions such as Strikeforce, Bellator, and the UFC. He is currently fighting under the UFC banner and holds a record of 35-14. According to MMA website Sherdog, he is currently ranked in 4th place . Similarly, he is ranked in 4th place according to the UFC’s rankings.
The Welterweight fighter currently owns the record for the fastest knockout in UFC history, after he knocked out Ben Askren with a flying knee five seconds into the first round. Additionally, Masvidal won the “BMF” championship against Nate Diaz in 2019 after he battered Diaz and forced a technical knockout via doctor stoppage.
Masvidal fought current welterweight champion Kamaru Usman on less than a week’s notice for the UFC Welterweight Championship at UFC 251, after he replaced the original challenger Gilbert Burns, who tested positive for the Wuhan virus. Before the fight took place, Masvidal signed a multi-fight contract with the UFC. Masvidal ended up losing the fight via unanimous decision.
Nevertheless, the card reportedly netted 1.3 million pay-per-view buys in America.
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