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Saboteur of American Airline jet carrying 150 passengers may be sentenced to less than 4 years for his criminal act minus terror charges by a judge who has a history of going light on terrorists.


The email for this article was deactivated after Judge Cooke sentenced Ahmed Alani to 3 years in prison.


Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani confessed to sabotaging an American Airline jet that planned to carry 150 passengers on July 17, 2019.  The airline mechanic claimed that he did it so that he could get overtime to repair it.  Apparently, US Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan found credibility in Ahmed Alani’s claim by declining to charge him with terror even though news reports indicated otherwise.   US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Ariana Fajardo Orshan was “divorce court judge with zero federal law enforcement experience” that concerned many people during her nomination according to the Miami Herald.  The office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida is the same law enforcement agency that mishandled the Jeffrey Epstein sexual abuse case. 

News reports regarding terror links.

•    Fox News reports in part:  Sympathies with ISIS as well as claims that his brother was part of the terrorist organization raised enough concerns that he was denied bond earlier this week.

•    The Washington Times reports in part:   Prosecutors say he has a brother in Iraq who may be involved with the Islamic State extremist group and that he had made statements wishing Allah would use “divine powers” to harm non-Muslims.  Investigators said Alani also had Islamic State videos on his phone depicting mass murders and that he traveled to Iraq in March but did not disclose that to the FBI after his arrest.  Despite that evidence, Alani was never charged with any terrorism-related crime. He pleaded guilty to attempted destruction of an aircraft, which carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence. Alani will likely get less prison time when he is sentenced March 4. 

It is most concerning that grounds were not made to establish intent to cause terror given the news reports.  Terror charges could have been made.

Perhaps US Attorney Orshan was reluctant to charge Ahmed Alani with terror in addition to tampering with the jet because of the presiding judge’s lenient sentence for Jose Padilla.  The New York Times reports that Judge Marcia G. Cooke gave Jose Padilla a light sentence because she found no evidence linking him to specific acts of terrorism.  Judge Cooke’s sentencing of Jose Padilla was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.  The New York Times reports in part:

Judge Marcia G. Cooke of Federal District Court, who presided over the trial, said at the sentencing in January 2008 that while she understood the gravity of the crimes, no evidence linked Mr. Padilla and his co-defendants to specific acts of terrorism. She also took into account his age, the sentences of other people convicted on terrorism-related charges and his time in the naval brig in South Carolina.

But the federal appeals court said Judge Cooke made several errors in calculating Mr. Padilla’s sentence. For one, she “unreasonably discounted” his troubled past, which included 17 prior arrests and participation as a juvenile in an armed robbery that ended in the victim’s death. Mr. Padilla served four years in juvenile detention.


Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani signed a plea agreement that will be heard by Judge Cooke on March 4, 2020 1:30 PM in the Miami Division.  Based upon the plea agreement and sentencing guidelines Ahmed Alani could be sentenced to less than 4 years for endangering the lives of 150 passengers.  And perhaps with good behavior Ahmed Alani could be out of prison in 2 years.

But Judge Cooke is not bound by this plea agreement.  She could sentence Ahmed Alani to up to 20 years.  The agreement states in part “the Court is required to consider the advisory guideline range determined under the Sentencing Guidelines, but is not bound to impose a sentence within that advisory range; the Court is permitted to tailor the ultimate sentence in light of other statutory concerns, and such sentence may be either more severe or less severe than the Sentencing Guidelines' advisory range.”

What kind of message would a lenient sentence send to people who want to commit destructive acts of terror against hundreds of innocent people if all they have to do to get a light sentence if caught is have plausible deniability as to the intent of terror?  

Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to urge Judge Marcia G. Cooke to sentence Ahmed Alani to a prison term that takes into account the horrific damage that he could have caused so many people as well as send a message to wannabe terrorists who may consider attempting to disguise their motives.

The email for this article was deactivated after Judge Cooke sentenced Ahmed Alani to 3 years in prison.

Contact information:

Judge Marcia G. Cooke
Magistrate Judge Chris M. McAliley
United States District Court, Southern District of Florida
Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Courthouse
400 North Miami Avenue, Room 11-2
Miami, Florida 33128
cooke@flsd.uscourts.gov


Author: ffa   20200205   Category: Terror  FFA: on
Tags: Ahmed Alani
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