A man from Gloucester convicted of plotting to blow up an aircraft has told a court that Osama Bin Laden said his attack would bring down the US economy.
33-year-old Saajid Badat was convicted in London in 2001 for his plot to bring down an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami wth explosives in his shoes.
He said he had intended to kill hundreds of passengers on a flight by detonating a device hidden in his shoe but he pulled out at the last minute.
Badat recorded a video testimony which was played at the New York trial of Adis Medunjanin yesterday. He recounted his meeting with Osama bin laden.
– Saajid Badat
So he said the American economy is like a chain. If you break one link of the chain, the whole economy will be brought down. So after 9/11 attacks, this operation will ruin the aviation industry and in turn the whole economy will come down.
Badat said he was supposed to carry out a simultaneous bombing with failed shoe-bomber Richard Reid but he backed out because of his reluctance, fear and the effect it would have on his family. He said he informed his handler in Pakistan by email but never notified bin Laden.
Badat's evidence was recorded last month in the UK. He refused to travel to the trial because he feared he'd be arrested for in America for his role in the shoe-bombing campaign he planned after 9/11.
He testified that he began cooperating in part because he hoped to testify someday against Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who has claimed responsibility while in U.S. custody as the architect of the 9/11 attacks.
He said Mohammed gave final orders to himself and Reid, who is serving a life sentence.
– Saajid Badat
He just gave us advice on how to interact with each other, how to contact each other.
Badat said he believed Mohammed and others like him take advantage of vulnerable youths to carry out terrorism attacks. On cross-examination, he said he believed some of the 9/11 hijackers were victims like the others who died that day, "to lesser extent, to a much lesser extent."
Badat, who is a former grammar school student, was released two years early from his 13-year jail term in exchange for co-operating with prosecutors.