Suspect May Have Used Yemen School as Ruse
He got visa to improve his Arabic but was already fluent
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2009 4:46 PM CST
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in an undated photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The director of the Arabic school that arranged for alleged Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to enter Yemen legally has a creeping suspicion that the Nigerian attended only so that he could liaise with al-Qaeda in the country. By the time Abdulmutallab arrived in August, with the stated goal of improving his Arabic, he was already fluent. He attended class sporadically over 6 weeks.

“After that we never saw him again, and apparently he did not leave Yemen,” Muhammed al-Anisi tells the New York Times. “I do wonder if the school was an excuse.” Instead of heading home, authorities think Abdulmutallab traveled to meet with al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen. Anisi says he was polite, if distant and pious to the exclusion of much else. “You would never imagine he would do this horrible thing.”