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American Airlines says alleged sabotage involved one person

Henry Fernandez

An American Airlines mechanic is facing a federal charge after the navigation system on a jet with 150 people on board, bound from Miami to the Bahamas, was found to have been tampered with.

Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, 60, admitted during an interview Thursday that he tampered with a navigation system on a plane before a July 17 flight, according to a criminal complaint affidavit filed in federal court in Miami, The Associated Press reported.

Alani, whom American Airlines said apparently acted alone, was charged with willfully damaging or disabling an aircraft. He had worked for American since 1988 but was suspended after his arrest.

The airline said the incident was “extremely serious.”

Alani was reportedly frustrated with stalled union contract negotiations.

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