Well as expected the main story today is followup coverage of Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali. Google News has 156 articles on his location and deportation, including CNN and Fox News who had it as front page stories.
This morning the HOS focuses on the identity of Ali and how he managed to enter under his real name, albeit a variation of his normal one.
There’s also some pressure on the Minister to provide more information on the deportation rationale, but I don’t think this is needed. The simple connection that he lived with a 9/11 terrorist pilot, was known as an extremist, and was now pretending to be secular and training to be a pilot himself is more than enough evidence to put the Minister’s actions into the right call category.
The bigger issue is border security, and as I say I think there will be pressure on some sort of external inquiry. Thank goodness the story broke after he had been found and deported. It would be a bad look internationally if media had broken he was living and and doing pilot training unbeknown the the authorities.
There is some suggestion he was let in deliberately so he could be monitored. I am sceptical of that, but can accept he was under SIS surveliance for some time prior to his deportation.
The fact he was arrested in the US is beside the point. With immigration we do not operate on the basis of beyond reasonable doubt. We operate on the basis of good character and better safe than sorry.
What confirms for me that he planned bad things, is that he went from being overtly religiious, and a preacher himself, to not even attending the local mosque despite it being four doors down from him.
The only surprise so far is that Keith Locke hasn’t come out defending Ali’s right to learn how to be a pilot, and attacking the Government for its actions. I suspect the five other Green MPs and their media staff have him tied up somewhere away from a phone or computer.