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NZ deports man for security reasons

NZ deports man for security reasons

Immigration Minister David Cunliffe says that a Yemeni national, Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali, has been deported from New Zealand for security reasons.

"Acting on advice, the government considered that the man's continued presence in New Zealand posed a threat to national security because:

he was directly associated with persons responsible for the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001,
of the nature of his activities in the United States prior to and at that time;
and because of the nature of his activities in New Zealand.

"Therefore, a deportation order was sought and obtained from the Governor-General under Section 72 of the Immigration Act 1987.

"With immigration officials, police arrested the man in Palmerston North on Monday, 29 May, and he was deported to Saudi Arabia the next day."

Mr Cunliffe said the man 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 11 September 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.

"For security reasons, I cannot comment further. 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.

Note: Section 72 provides that where the Immigration Minister certifies that the continued presence in New Zealand of a person constitutes a threat to national security, the Governor-General may, by order in council, order that person's deportation.
Excerpt from the Notes to Chapter Seven of the report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States


59. Rayed Abdullah, who lived and trained with Hanjour, was a leader at the Islamic Cultural Center in Phoenix and reportedly gave extremist speeches at the mosque. Ken Williams interview (Jan. 7, 2004); FBI electronic communication, Rayed Abdullah, Sept. 22, 2003. Another Hanjour associate, Faisal al Salmi, took flight training with Rayed Abdullah but wanted to keep his training secret. FBI letterhead memorandum, investigation of Rayed Abdullah, May 5, 2001; FBI report of investigation, interview of Malek Seif, Oct. 25, 2001.When polygraphed on whether he had taken flight training at the behest of an organization, al Salmi's negative response was deemed deceptive. FBI electronic communication, investigation of Zakaria Soubra, June 5, 2002, p. 8.
60. For al Qaeda activity in Arizona, see Ken Williams interview (Jan. 7, 2004). On al Qaeda directing individuals in the Phoenix area to enroll in flight training without telling them why, see FBI electronic communication, investigation of Rayed Abdullah, Sept. 22, 2003. Ghassan al Sharbi, who was captured in March 2002 in Pakistan along with Abu Zubaydah, studied at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott,Arizona. Greg Krikorian, "Detainee Facing Deportation Summoned to Probe," Los Angeles Times, Jan. 24, 2003; Ken Williams interview (Jan. 7, 2004). Although Sharbi has not been tied to the 9/11 attacks, he reportedly attended the training camps in Afghanistan and swore bayat to Bin Ladin during the summer of 2001. FBI memorandum, investigation of Hamed al Sulami, Aug. 1, 2002, p. 6.


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