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.