But don’t worry. He’s been sent to…Saudi Arabia!
New Zealand has deported a Yemeni man identified as having direct links with the terrorists involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States who was taking pilot training in the country this year, the government said Saturday.
Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali was deported to Saudi Arabia on May 30 because his presence in New Zealand posed a security threat, Immigration Minister David Cunliffe said in a statement.
“He was directly associated with persons responsible for the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001,” Cunliffe said.
The U.S. congressional investigation into the attacks said Rayed Abdullah had lived and trained with Saudi Arabian Hani Hanjour, who piloted the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11.
Rayed Abdullah was deported one day after he was arrested in the North Island city of Palmerston North where he was undertaking airplane pilot flight training, the minister said. “He was building up his flying hours flying with an instructor. He’d previously trained as a pilot in the United States,” Cunliffe said.
Rayed Abdullah had used “a variation of his name in applying for entry to New Zealand” and his real identity had only become known after he arrived in the country, Cunliffe said. He didn’t say when Rayed Abdullah had arrived. “Once his real identity became known, he was identified as having close connections to people involved with the Sept. 11 2001 attacks in the United States, and had been named in the 9/11 Commission Report,” Cunliffe said.
The report identified Rayed Abdullah as a leader at the Islamic Cultural Center in Phoenix, Arizona, who had given extremist speeches at the mosque.
Radio interview with the NZ immigration minister here.
Prediction: Some on the Left will condemn President Bush for letting Rayed Abdullah go in the first place…never mind their hyperventilating about profiling or their attacks on former John Ashcroft’s detention of Middle Eastern illegal aliens or their opposition to Gitmo.
Hindsight hypocrisy of the moonbats aside, President Bush certainly does deserve criticism. Maybe some of the leftists will join me in questioning Bush’s decision to throw open the doors of Arizona universities to Saudi students to appease the Kingdom.
Arizona is a favorite al Qaeda tourist site–not only did 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour and, yep, Rayed Abdullah live and train there, but also many, many other operatives. Flashback:
Southern Arizona became the home to numerous radical Islamists in the early 1980s when they moved here and began raising money for Afghan freedom fighters, some experts say.
Their anger and fund-raising efforts were redirected against the United States after America ended its financial and political efforts in Afghanistan as the Cold War with the Soviet Union began to thaw.
People such as Wadi el-Hage, a personal assistant to Osama bin Laden who raised money in Tucson for the Afghan effort, did not cease raising cash because the United States withdrew its support of the Afghan mujahedeen, or holy warriors, said Harry Ellen, a Phoenix businessman and an FBI informant in the 1990s.
“That helped radicalize them not only for their cause but against us, too,” said Ellen, who met el-Hage several times. “We became a host that slapped their guest.”
El-Hage is now in federal prison for life after his conviction for conspiring to bomb two U.S. embassies in Africa.
With the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. government took notice of the radical leanings held by some Arizona Muslims. A joint FBI-CIA analysis titled, “Arizona: Long Range Nexus for Islamic Extremists,” likely explores the history of Tucson’s rise to prominence among Muslim radicals but remains classified. Its existence was revealed in the bipartisan 9/11 commission’s final report..That leaves others to explore the reasons why Tucson and Arizona became a destination for Islamic fundamentalists.
FBI spokeswoman Susan Herskovits would not talk specifically about the analysis but said Arizona offers numerous attractions that make it a destination for many Arabs, including legitimate scholars and law-abiding residents. The University of Arizona recruited Middle Easterners for its science programs, and Arizona’s weather makes flight training schools popular. The desert climate reminds Middle Easterners of home. And Tucson’s popularity spread through word of mouth, she said. “Once people from another culture end up in a place like Tucson, other people hear about it and want to be there,” Herskovits said.
In addition to el-Hage, Tucson and the Phoenix area have been home to numerous al-Qaida operatives, including:
● Hani Hanjour, who attended the UA and a flight school in the Phoenix area before piloting American Airlines 77 into the Pentagon on Sept. 11.
● Mubarak al Duri, who lived in Tucson and, according to the 9/11 commission’s report, served as bin Laden’s principal procurement agent for weapons of mass destruction.
● Wa’el Jelaidan, who was president of the Tucson Islamic Center in 1984-’85 and helped found al-Qaida later that decade.
Most known or suspected terrorists seem to have been drawn to Tucson and Arizona by two lures – the availability of flight schools and student visas, said David D. Van Fleet, a professor and terrorism expert in the School of Management at Arizona State University. He said that may also explain why fund-raising organizations linked to bin Laden branched into certain U.S. cities with “little clusters” of Muslim extremists. The 9/11 commission reported that the al Khifa organization, which had branches in Tucson, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh and New York City, recruited American Muslims to fight in Afghanistan – including some who later took part in terrorist actions in the United States and against U.S. embassies in East Africa.
That doesn’t mean the UA or the state was “somehow fostering or festering these kinds of folks,” Van Fleet said. “It’s simply the convenience of where to get into a flight school or get into a country through a student visa.”
Here’s the relevant section of the 9/11 Commission report.
Robert Spencer zeroes in on how Rayed Abdullah blended in to New Zealand society. Via the New Zealand Herald:
The short, clean-cut Muslim told the club’s chief flying officer, Captain Ravindra Singh, he had obtained his private pilot’s licence in the US and spent several years there before returning to Saudi Arabia to work in his father’s textile business.
He wanted to pass the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam so he could return home to train for his commercial pilot’s licence.
He wore a baseball cap, smart shirts and baggy trousers and favoured burgers over halal food.
This is in accord with instructions in the Al-Qaeda manual to appear to be a secular, assimilated Muslim with no interest in religion. Speaking of ID documents, it says: “The photograph of the brother in these documents should be without a beard. It is preferable that the brother’s public photograph [on these documents ]be also without a beard. If he already has one [document ]showing a photograph with a beard, he should replace it.” And in renting an apartment, “It is preferable to rent these apartments using false names, appropriate cover, and non-Moslem appearance.” And in general: “Have a general appearance that does not indicate Islamic orientation (beard, toothpick, book,[long] shirt, small Koran)….Be careful not to mention the brothers’ common expressions or show their behaviors (special praying appearance, “may Allah reward you”, “peace be on you” while arriving and departing, etc.)…Avoid visiting famous Islamic places (mosques, libraries, Islamic fairs, etc.).”
Sounds as if Ali was following the playbook.
How many more?
And who needs enemies with friends like…
It’s the jihad, stupid