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Saddam's Stepson A Pilot In NZ  
User currently offlineMCOtoATL From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 474 posts, RR: 4
Posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1402 times:

This was written by the Associated Press. It's not any sort of political comment on my part, although I guess even though the USA is an evil country in his dad's eyes, at least the US must have some decent flight schools. I always think it's interesting when someone of some notoriety is into aviation.

MIAMI -- Saddam Hussein's stepson was arrested Wednesday on immigration charges in Florida, where he had enrolled at a flight school, federal authorities said.

According to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Iraqi leader's stepson was traveling as a tourist and had not applied for a student visa that would have allowed him to take courses.

Mohammad Nour Al-Din Saffi, a citizen of New Zealand who has worked as a commercial airline pilot, planned to attend classes at Aeroservice Aviation Center, said James Goldman, an INS assistant director for investigations.

FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said one of the Sept. 11 hijackers trained at the flight school.

Goldman said Saffi was seeking recertification training at the flight school. The FBI said he is employed by an airline in New Zealand.

Saffi, 36, also failed to tell customs agents of his intent to take courses when he arrived Tuesday in Los Angeles on a flight from New Zealand, Goldman said.

Orihuela, the FBI spokeswoman, said Saffi was tracked Wednesday as he flew from Los Angeles to Miami International Airport. He was taken into custody at a motel shortly after he arrived.

Saffi was at Krome Detention Center in Miami-Dade County and is being processed for deportation to New Zealand, Goldman said.

The Weekend Herald, a newspaper in New Zealand, reported in December that Saffi was employed by Air New Zealand as an engineer and had lived in the country six years.

They said officials in New Zealand had investigated Saffi after Sept. 11 when they learned he was Saddam's stepson. No action was taken, the paper said.

Saffi had declined to discuss his relationship with the Iraqi leader when asked by the paper.

Saffi's home telephone in Auckland was repeatedly busy Friday.

Air New Zealand declined comment, citing privacy concerns.


30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJiml1126 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1339 times:

He's in ANZ's engineering department.

If he's the pilot already, why would he wants to learn flying in Florida?


User currently offlineOz777 From Australia, joined Jun 2000, 521 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1302 times:

Bloody typical.

I bet if he was NOT of Middle Eastern extraction, there would have not have been the attention. Pity that children cannot chose their parents, isn't it

And since when was re-certification, 'study'?. And from a legal perspective, had he in fact started the training, or was he still a tourist.

Raises a point now about travel agent famils. When you go to inspect a new cruise ship in Florida, are you working, are you retraining or are you taking a holiday (if it comes out of your vacation entitlement)?

Sorry USA - wake up to yourselves.

Oz777


User currently offlineRedAirForce From Ukraine, joined Aug 1999, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1297 times:

"Sorry USA - wake up to yourselves."

what the hell does that mean? we should let him study here how to fly ac, or re-certify? You have NO CLUE what 9/11 meant over here, how it changed the country. Maybe we are a little sensitive, but we earned that. Maybe if someone blewup half of Sydney you would understand.

Bloody smug on your part.


User currently offlineOz777 From Australia, joined Jun 2000, 521 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1258 times:

Well RedAirForce, I notice all you could do was start a 'defensive' stance. Try and answer some of the issues I raised.

And since when did you think the USA was the only one subject to terrorism. Yes I know you lost some 3000 people in 9/11 (and having spent a lot of time in the USA I do understand), but I do not see the USA railing about the 15000 killed in East Timor, or the thousands in Bosnia as examples.

So this NZ citizen now goes to another country to do his re-certification. Who really loses here?

Sorry, but we need to adopt a global perspective. And that means respect for other people's cultures. Listen you have a wonderful country, but you have some fundamental flaws. A world exists outside of the USA, people who have just as firm commitment to their own beliefs. Perhaps when the USA starts to respect that, you will not become the target.

Bombing the s..t out of a country that happens to harbour people (of a third country) who do not share your same outlook is a real good way of getting people's respect.

And before you go railing on sunshine, I have children who are serving in East Timor, Afghanistan and Bosnia. So I am involved.

But just answer the questions. Would the INS have been as diligent if the NZ citizen was not of middle Eastern extraction. I'm interested because of some Travel Agent friends who are doing a course (in FL) in their vacation time. One of them is Middle Eastern.

Oz777


User currently offlineB747ca From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 677 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1257 times:

Why did they let him in, in the first place knowing his releationship with SH?

If he was being tracked, why did no red flag go up in someone's mind?



ma va funk ulo
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1247 times:

And from a legal perspective, had he in fact started the training, or was he still a tourist.

From a legal perspective, he had registered for the course prior to arriving in the United States and hence was required to inform the INS inspector at the port of entry of his intention to pursue the course. If he had done so, he could have filed to change his status from B1/B2 to F1. He failed to do this, and was hence in technical violation of the law.

I've been involved with a very similar situation with the INS myself and have found them to be nothing short of thugs and liars when trying to dig up technical violations. Some of their practices, including physical abuse, are very questionable to say the least. Additionally, they regularly deny legal counsel to accused persons until they sign statements admitting guilt. It is one agency that I will not shed a tear to see disbanded or reorganized.


User currently offlineJiml1126 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1235 times:

I bet if he was NOT of Middle Eastern extraction, there would have not have been the attention.

Actually NZ Government has noticed his relationship with Saddam Hussain after September 11. NZ Government didn't make any further step about this.


User currently offlineTriley1057 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 1999, 462 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1209 times:

Very well said OZ. I couldn't agree with you more.

User currently offlineJiml1126 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1204 times:

So this NZ citizen now goes to another country to do his re-certification. Who really loses here?

The reports say he didn't have Student Visas....(Perhaps it's America's point-of-view report?)


User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16248 posts, RR: 56
Reply 10, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1196 times:

I bet if he was NOT of Middle Eastern extraction, there would have not have been the attention. Pity that children cannot chose their parents, isn't it


You must be joking Oz777 ?? Do you think Iraq is an equal opportunity employer? Being the stepson of Saddam afforded opportunitites & opened doors for this guy that 99% of Iraqi's could only dream about.

Moreover, as the stepson of one of the world's biggest tyrants, should he be considered a security risk? Damn right he should be.





Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineOz777 From Australia, joined Jun 2000, 521 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1140 times:

YYZ717. Think about this for a moment. If life was SO wonderful in Iraq, particularly with "daddy" one of the most powerful people in the region, and one of the richest, why would you have to move to New Zealand, and then work for a living?

By the way, Glenfield, where he was living, is a long way from the Airport, and is strictly middle class. Hardly the sort of place you would choose if you still had links to "daddy".

He is a step-son. IE his MOTHER chose to sleep with Saddam. Looks more and more like guilt by association. This from the land of the free. In NZ you are considered innocent until guilty, but obviously the USA thinks the opposite, even if the link is a tenuous one.

Give the guy a break. He has co-operated with the NZ Security Gurus, freely admitted his association and been cleared. The funny thing is that it appears ANZ may have sponsored his trip to FL.

Ah it has hit me!!!. This is pay back for ANZ buying European planes!!!

Or is it purely paranoia, and the fact he was middle Eastern, and an OBVIOUS target. I think the USA would be better looking for the not so obvious ones - after all they were the people who did the damage.

Oz777


User currently offlineHepkat From Austria, joined Aug 2000, 2341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1097 times:

I think this has been completely blown out of proportion. This guy didn't choose to be the stepson of Saddam, his mother did, and as she's an adult, we can only presume she did so of her own free will. If he had ties to Saddam's money and influence, I doubt he would be working for a living in New Zealand.

And I'm positive there're European citizens in the U.S. taking courses on tourist visas, just as Americans do here in Europe. It's not allowed, but no one really cares. The only reason he was singled out was because 1) he's of ME decent, and 2) he's the son of SH.

It's just such a pity he'll have to live with this stigma for the rest of his life.


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 13, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1093 times:

I doubt that reason number one was it. Did reason number 2 have something to do with it. Probably.

But the fact that has not been disputed is that he did not have the proper visa for taking classes. I don't know if this was an oversight or not but it is kind of nice to see the rules starting to be enforced.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineJesseycy From New Zealand, joined Aug 2001, 343 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1088 times:

"Maybe if someone blewup half of Sydney you would understand. "

RedAirForce, Sydney is not a city in NZ! Same as Toronto in the US! Haha!

Sereiously, lighten up!~ The stepson is probably innocent, and he was singled out because he was Saddam's stepson! Oversensitive, I would say! It certainly didn't deserve the press coverage!

But I agree that you guys over in US do have the right to a bit more vigilant! But just lighten up, geez!


User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1082 times:

You have to be more specific, which Toronto are you refering to?

Toronto,South Dakota
Toronto,Illinois
Toronto,Ohio
Toronto,Iowa
Toronto,Kansas

Does Canada have a Toronto too??? Big grin



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1071 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Yikes there are so many Toronto's in USA! Big grin

Anyway, what are they gonna do with him?

Arsenal@LHR



In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 17, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1071 times:

Well we tried to take that one in Ontario in 1812, just to complete the set  Big thumbs up


OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineArsenal@LHR From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 7792 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1069 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

There is a 'London' somewhere in Canada right?




In Arsene we trust!!
User currently offlineSAS23 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1062 times:

Why should the sins of the (step) father be visited on the children - unless of course (asi in the case of Saddams two natural sons) they have a well established record of being a psychopathic murdering thug (Uday)?

Looks like the US is still desperate to find an excuse - any excuse - to attack Iraq.


User currently offlineADG From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1061 times:

When I was a child my father was arrested for a very serious breach of the Australian Defence Force Act, he was court martialled. It was a huge issue that involved the press all over Australia.

However, when I joined the military it was not an issue for me as I am not responsible for the actions of my father.

This holds true for Saddam Husseins step son. It is incorrect to ASSume that because his step father is one of the worlds biggest loons that this bloke will be as well. He lives in NZ, he is a citizen of NZ .. he works in the airline industry, surely he has a RIGHT to seek to better himself in his chosen employment without having to answer for the actions of his stepfather?

The only issue here appears to be one of not coming into the US on the right Visa. But given the reaction of some here, would he have been given a fair go had he been honest?



VH-ADG


User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16248 posts, RR: 56
Reply 21, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1059 times:

For the stepson of a dictatorial tyrant to leave Iraq, it's very conceivable that he could be involved in pro-Iraqi-government activities in the West.

The US was correct to detain him.



Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineMbj-11 From Jamaica, joined Aug 2000, 386 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1048 times:

It seems sorta non sensical to keep Saffi locked up. If he came in on a visa violation then by all means he should be deported. Deportations are usually immediate or the following day, on what grounds are they detaining him? All checks have shown him to be clean, Saddam is actually responsible for breaking up his family. I mean c'mon, 9/11 was a major loss for many people not only the US, the only point of contention here is it happened in the US so everything is now taken as major. Let's place ourselves in this guy's position:
1) you are a working man who needs to be re-certified for your job requirements.
2) you have to go to the best place (according to your company) for your recertification (which happens to be the US)
3) your mom had a personal (unrelated to you) affair with a dictatorial madman.
4)your face is being scattered across the world because you are "alleged" to have ties with someone you've never met.
5) you are likely to lose your job when you return home, as well as being stigmatized for the rest of your life.

It's stuff like this to be honest that breeds hatred in people. The best thing for the US to do as far as I am concerned is to process this guy, then deport him. He has basically suffered enough for what is said to be an INS technicality.



Jesus is the Christ and he alone saves
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29795 posts, RR: 58
Reply 23, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1042 times:

Well he was only taken into custody on Wednesday night. Thursday was a national holiday.

What that probably means is that he is being moved through the system at the usually speed. INS Comments to this effect where that he would be deported, "within a couple days."

I still haven't seen anything from the feds claiming anything but the visa issue.




OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (12 years 1 month 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1035 times:

but I do not see the USA railing about the 15000 killed in East Timor, or the thousands in Bosnia as examples.

Maybe that's because the 3000 people who were killed here were killed by Arab terrorists flying aircraft, perhaps? I think we have a right to "rail" about our own people being killed, and preventing it from happening again.

Sorry, but we need to adopt a global perspective. And that means respect for other people's cultures.

What about them having respect for ours? I mean, if blowing up 3000 people isn't respecting a culture, I don't know what is!! Why is it that WE always have to respect THEIR culture, but it doesn't seem to work in reverse?

Bombing the s..t out of a country that happens to harbour people (of a third country) who do not share your same outlook is a real good way of getting people's respect.

Bombing the shit out of a country that harbored and protected the mastermind of this attack is called war. And they brought it on themselves, so I certainly have no sympathy for The Taliban.

It's just such a pity he'll have to live with this stigma for the rest of his life.

Which stigma? The one that he's the stepson of a meglomaniac? Or the one that he was arrested?

I do agree with Hepkat that it is being blown too far out of proportion, but I also have to shake my head a little at those who just say "well, he's just the stepson, and he's probably innocent, so what's the big deal." There is nothing wrong with vigilance. But if he's in violation, just deport him and never allow him in the U.S. again.


25 Pacificjourney : Alpha 1 you just never cease to amaze me. Bland concessions to so-called 'vigilance' ? Does it never occur to you that some day, some how it may be YO
26 Airlinelover : I agree with ADG on this one.. He seems to have no ties to anything terrorist relaterd, besides being SoDamn Insanes step-son.. I mean, he WORKS for A
27 Alpha 1 : Pacificjourney-get off my case, thank you. I made some observations, and I agreed that it's an over-reaction. But I disagree with those who would just
28 Delta-flyer : Many of you make this out as a case of persecution of Arabs in general and Saddam's stepson in particular. It's not. It's an immigration law issue. Pe
29 Hepkat : Pete, I think among friendly industrialized countries, visa issues are usually non-existent. For example, I know many American students here who didn'
30 ADG : Pete, There is a possibilty that they simply make a mistake, it happens all the time. It's hard to say ... negative speculation occurs all the time. N
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