Homeland Security

Was the Muslim Migrant Airplane Mechanic Who Sabotaged a Plane Really Just a Disgruntled Union Man?

Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, a Muslim migrant from Iraq who up until recently was a plane mechanic for American Airlines at Miami International Airport (MIA), was, he said, so proud to be a Union Man that he tried to murder 150 people because of a union dispute. That was his initial story, anyway, and everyone bought it – after all, who ever heard of a Muslim being involved in trying to sabotage aircraft for any other reason?

Alani was arrested “on a sabotage charge accusing him of disabling a navigation system on a flight with 150 people aboard before it was scheduled to take off from Miami International Airport earlier this summer.” He explained that he did this because he was “upset” over the ongoing impasse between his mechanics’ union and American Airlines, which has “affected him financially.”

As always, there was absolutely nothing, nothing whatsoever, for members of the public to be concerned about here. Alani stated “that his intention was not to cause harm to the aircraft or its passengers.” Oh good. All he wanted to do was “cause a delay or have the flight canceled in anticipation of obtaining overtime work.”

Well, that’s reasonable. Let’s not rush to judgment here. After all, who among us hasn’t exposed hundreds of people to the risk of a terrifying, fiery death in order to get some overtime hours?

But then disturbing details began to emerge that cast Alani in a very different light. U.S. Magistrate Judge Chris McAliley imposed pretrial detention on Alani after prosecutors showed that Alani’s brother back home in Iraq may be involved with the Islamic State (ISIS), and may even be a member, as well as the fact that Alani himself may have a soft spot for that gang of beheaders, rapists, and murderers: according to Local 10 ABC News, “Islamic State group propaganda video showing graphic murders was discovered on Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani’s cellphone.”

Even worse, according to the Associated Press, Alani made statements about wishing that Allah would use his “divine powers” to harm non-Muslims. This is ominous because in the Qur’an, the Muslims are the executors of Allah’s wrath: “Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people, and remove the fury in the believers’ hearts” (Qur’an 9:14-15).

Not only that, but Alani “also recently sent a $700 wire transfer to someone in Iraq — where he has extended family,” and “traveled to Iraq in March but did not disclose that to authorities after his arrest.”

McAliley, with admirable understatement, told Alani: “You may be very sympathetic to terrorists. That’s very disconcerting.” Yeah, that’s one word for it.

Alani himself, meanwhile, said: “Out of my evil side, I wanted to do something.” Does that mean that Alani thinks that the god of the Qur’an and Sunnah is evil?

In any case, Alani has not been charged with terrorism. Apparently the authorities are still going with the Disgruntled Union Man story. That may change, but the fact that it hasn’t already may reflect their wariness of charges of “Islamophobia.” For Alani has some experience with playing the victimhood card that is so beloved of Islamic supremacists in the United States: AP reported that he “was born in Iraq and became a U.S. citizen in 1992, sued Alaska Airlines for discrimination based on national origin. A judge dismissed the lawsuit for lack of evidence.” Also, in court Alani “spoke to Magistrate Judge John O’Sullivan through an Arabic interpreter.” Yet “according to American, Alani is proficient in English.”

All this suggests that if there is anything Alani has learned since he migrated from Iraq, it is that victimhood pays. Alani seems to be well aware that Muslims are among the Left’s pet victim groups, and that consequently, if he can convince the jury that he is a poor pawn caught between his union and American Airlines, struggling mightily to make a living in the cold, Islamophobic Amerikkka of Donald Trump, he may get off easy for his attempted sabotage, however many deaths may have resulted from his actions, and however many gruesome Islamic State videos he has on his phone.

He may be right.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The History of Jihad From Muhammad to ISIS. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.