Skip to comments.Man with links to 9/11 pilot deported (Slice of Life DownUnder)
Posted on 06/09/2006 5:42:36 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter
A man the Government says had a direct link with a September 11 terrorist has been deported from New Zealand because he was a threat to national security.
Immigration Minister David Cunliffe confirmed today Yemeni national, Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali, was deported because his continued presence in New Zealand posed a threat.
"He was directly associated with persons responsible for the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001," Mr Cunliffe said in a statement.
He was deported under the rarely used Section 72 of the Immigration Act 1987, which required the approval of the Governor General.
Mr Cunliffe said immigration officials and police arrested the man in Palmerston North 13 days ago on May 29 and he was deported to Saudi Arabia the next day. He had arrived in New Zealand in February.
"The individual's identity became apparent only after he arrived in New Zealand. He used a variation of his name in applying for entry to New Zealand. Once his real identity became known, he was identified as having close connections to people involved with the September 11 2001 attacks in the United States, and had been named in the 9/11 Commission Report.
"Initially, he lived in Auckland where he undertook some English language training, the stated purpose of his visit. He then shifted to Palmerston North where he was building up his flying hours flying with an instructor. He'd previously trained as a pilot in the United States."
Mr Cunliffe refused to give further details citing security reasons.
"I am advised, however, that at no point was there any specific risk to New Zealanders during the man's time in this country."
Mr Cunliffe said the American report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States had said the man lived and trained with Saudi Arabian Hani Hanjour, who is believed to have piloted American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
Rayed Abdullah was a leader at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Phoenix and reportedly gave extremist speeches at the mosque, the report said.
It also said another associate of Hanjour, Faisal al Salmi, had flight training with Rayed Abdullah but wanted to keep his training secret.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said al Salmi was deceptive when he was asked if he had taken flight training at the behest of an organisation.
(Test-driving the "Ping" thing -- I'm still learning the ropes on FR, so if I got it wrong, let me know).
This is an issue that is growing arms-and-legs by the minute in New Zealand. I posted a couple updates, earlier in this thread (dunno if I did this right, appreciate feedback by FReepmail).
I shall watch our media sources with interest and post further germane updates as-and-when available.
I resent Terrorists using New Zealand as a safe-haven to learn flying lessons. What do they think we are? A soft-touch??? Our cops are pretty good: they can catch spies with ease: if in doubt, ask the French, ask the Israelis. And now, ask al Qaeda.
From today's NZ Herald here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10394658
Expelled Saudi knew two hijackers
Saturday August 5, 2006
By Geoff Cumming
The Saudi student expelled from New Zealand as a national security threat knew not one but two September 11 hijackers, according to Government papers.
An Immigration Service analysis mentions a "direct association" between the student, Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali, and Nawaf al-Hazmi, a hijacker on American Airlines Flight 77, which flew into the Pentagon...
Thanks for that update DieHard the Hunter.
More here from today's NZ Herald (excerpt): http://www.nzherald.co.nz/feature/story.cfm?c_id=574&ObjectID=10394559
Saudi student pilot in the wrong place at the wrong time
Saturday August 5, 2006
By Geoff Cumming
Arizona may seem as unlikely a magnet as New Zealand for Muslim students aiming to study overseas. Yet well before New Zealand climbed on the international education bandwagon in the late 1990s, Arizona had established a niche with students from the Middle East.
It would emerge only after September 11, 2001 that among the thousands drawn to the Grand Canyon state's desert climate, universities and many flying schools were members of an al Qaeda cell.
Two months before the attacks on New York and Washington, the FBI's Phoenix office alerted head office that "an inordinate number" of Middle Eastern students were training as pilots at Arizona flight schools. One was a Saudi Arabian who attracted little attention - Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali, the English language student thrown out of New Zealand in May as a threat to national security.
Ali's goal, then as now, was to become a commercial airline pilot. His burden in the post-September 11 climate is convincing authorities that he has no other intent...
Thanks for that update, toow DieHard the Hunter.