updated 6/9/2006 11:39:34 PM ET 2006-06-10T03:39:34

A Yemeni who U.S. officials said once lived and trained with a terrorist pilot in the Sept. 11 attacks was deported from New Zealand, the government said Saturday.

Rayed Mohammed Abdullah Ali was detained May 29 in the city of Palmerston North, where he was attending flight school, Immigration Minister David Cunliffe said in a statement.

He said Rayed Abdullah was deported to Saudi Arabia the following day because he posed a security threat, but he declined to give details.

“What I will say is that we don’t have any evidence of a specific terrorist threat by the gentleman,” Cunliffe told National Radio.

The U.S. congressional investigation into the U.S. terror 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.

“He was directly associated with persons responsible for the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001,” Cunliffe 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.

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