Judge accuses aircraft mechanic of being sympathetic to terrorists

American Airlines worker Adbul Alani was arrested at Miami’s airport two weeks ago for allegedly disabling the navigational system of a 737 jet carrying 150 people.
2:24 | 09/18/19

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Transcript for Judge accuses aircraft mechanic of being sympathetic to terrorists
reporting here. The maintenance worker accused of trying to sabotage a passenger jet right before takeoff in Miami. And tonight, prosecutors now say that worker had videos of ISIS killings on his phone. The new evidence presented at a hearing just today involving the American airlines worker at the Miami airport. The man reportedly said he disabled a sensor on the plane because he wanted more overtime, that it was a labor dispute. But now prosecutors on those ISIS videos and some evidence, they say, indicating his brother might have worked with ISIS. Here's ABC's chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas, leading us off. Reporter: Tonight, that American airlines mechanic accused of sabotaging a passenger jet held without bond, after a judge told him, you may be sympathetic to terrorists. 60-year-old Abdul Alani, a long-time employee, was arrested at Miami international airport two weeks ago, accused of disabling a ctical part of the navigation system of a 737 jet carrying 150 people. His alleged sabotage caught just in time and the plane never took off. Authorities say Alani quickly confessed, but insisted he wasn't trying to hurt anyone. He claimed he was just trying to get overtime pay by creating a maintenance problem. But the FBI clearly did not buy it. They searched his phone and say they discovered ISIS videos depicting graphic murders. And they say an American airlines employee told them Alani's brother was in ISIS and the mechanic had visited him Even the accusation that somebody that the flying public trusts, they put their family on airplanes, the accusation he may have done something to put the airplane in jeopardy breaks that bond of trust. Reporter: Authorities say Alani had also received an article about airplane crashes involving the very sensor he had sought to disable. And he allegedly shared a message asking Allah to take action against the kafirs, or non-believers. So, let's get right to Pierre Thomas, live in Washington. And Pierre, this than had worked in the airline industry for decades, but tonight, he could soon be facing terrorism charges? Reporter: David, his attorneys emphasize that Alani had no intention of bringing down the plane. But the FBI is clearly investigating whether Alani was actually supporting ISIS. Regardless, he faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of tampering with that plane. David? Pierre Thomas leading us off tonight. Pierre, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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