Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali, who lived in Phoenix with Hani Hanjour, who piloted American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, went to New Zealand and was…takingflight training. He has been expelled from the country and is back in Saudi Arabia, which of course, as everyone knows, is our Friend and Ally and will
not allow him to get into any mischief.
A Saudi Arabian linked to one of the September 11 hijackers spent four
months in New Zealand before being expelled as a national security risk.
The United States-qualified pilot, Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali, was admitted
to New Zealand in February on a student visa, saying his dream was to become
a commercial airline pilot and that he needed an English language
qualification to assist.
Today the Weekend Herald can reveal that on May 29 police and immigration
officials raided Ali’s Palmerston North home and deported him.
The 28-year-old had recently moved there from Auckland, partly to fly at the
Manawatu Aero Club.
A Government statement to be released this morning will confirm that Ali was
deported because he “posed a threat to national security”.
The Government claimed last night that Ali had lived and trained in Phoenix,
Arizona, with fellow Saudi Hani Hanjour in the months before Hanjour is
believed to have piloted American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon….
The case raises questions about New Zealand’s security intelligence and
border control mechanisms.
Mr Cunliffe said Ali’s true identity became apparent only after he arrived
in New Zealand – “he used a variation of his name in applying for entry”.
But the Weekend Herald has been told the only variation on his passport was
the use of the initial A for Abdullah, and that was corrected in a note
inside the passport.
The minister referred the Weekend Herald to excerpts from the US
Government’s 9-11 Commission Report on the attacks regarding “Rayed
Abdullah”. The report says Abdullah lived and trained in Phoenix with Hani
Hanjour, the Saudi Arabian believed to have piloted Flight 77 into the
Pentagon. Abdullah was a leader at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Phoenix
where, the FBI says, he “reportedly gave extremist speeches at the mosque”.
A website sourced to the 9-11 report says Abdullah attended the same Phoenix
flight school as Hanjour and the pair used a flight simulator together on
June 23, 2001.
A 2004 report in the Arizona Daily Star names him as Rayed Mohammed
Abdullah. But the Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali who wandered into the Manawatu
Aero Club in March gave no suggestion of fundamentalism.
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
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.