Bomber who studied in NZ 'was just a normal person'
Editor's note: Articles like this attempt to soften the threat, by saying that he was just a normal guy, so sho would have known? This actually makes the threat more serious, as there is no way of knowing who is going to 'radicalise'.
A man deemed to be one of the worst bomb makers in Saudi Arabia lived and studied in New Zealand for five years -- something that has shocked his unsuspecting former classmates.
Taye' Al-Say'ari and another man were killed in a shoot-out in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, on Sunday over a planned attack on one of Islam's holiest sites, the Medina mosque.
Immigration New Zealand said Al-Say'ari entered the country in July, 2008 on student visas before leaving in November, 2013.
Massey University in Auckland has confirmed someone with a very similar name studied a Bachelor of Engineering, majoring in mechatronics at their Albany campus from 2010 to 2013.
A university spokesperson said it was likely Al-Say'ari left because his Saudi Government scholarship had ended.
Massey University's Muslim Student Association president Sinan Al-Jawadi said he didn't know Al-Say'ari personally.
"But I have some friends from Saudi Arabia that studied the same Bachelor's degree, they know this guy and are actually shocked about the news they heard about him.
"They said that he was just a normal person and was very good in his studies, and he actually taught people who were studying in their second year while he was in his first."
Al-Say'ari disappeared at the end of 2013, leaving his classmates perplexed, he said.
Mr Al-Jawadi said it wouldn't hurt to add further restrictions on granting student visas for entry into New Zealand.
"The problem in defeating such ideology, of ISIS or whatever extremist group, is that their members were actually normal people one day.
"And I don't believe these guys were, or any guy like this one, had ideas or was a member already when he got to New Zealand or before granting him the visa."
He said he believed change was happening in people's minds in a matter of days or even hours.
"I believe that New Zealand and any other country are facing the same thing, the same issue. So I think that more careful... monitoring let's say, or interior security.. preserving techniques or approach will [work] better."
Mr Al-Jawadi said his New Zealand ties were unfortunate, given what had happened.