Shoe bombs on Dutch flights: Bin Laden relative on trial
A British terrorism informant claims that his parents convinced him to back out of a shoe-bomb plot he was instructed to do by Al-Qaeda, Sky News reports. Saajid Badat (34) admitted in court that he wore a shoe bomb on December 2001 flights between Pakistand and the Netherlands, and from the Netherlands to the UK. Badat is a witness in a trial against Osama Bin Laden's son-in-law Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, accused of planning more attacks after the 9/11 bombing. The trial is being held in New York.
Badat (34) said in the trial that he "decided to back out of the mission" to carry out the shoe bomb attacks when, after a three-year stay in Afghanistan, his mother approached him and said "(I) wouldn't want my son to be one of those sleepers." The informant said that he was never planning on detonating the shoe bombs he wore on flights to and from the Netherlands, because he was waiting to attack an aircraft from the United States. Badat told the court he kept the explosives in a "safe" condition in his home until he was arrested in 2003. Although he didn't detonate the bomb, he "hadn't really switched my views" and kept the explosive because "maybe there would be a time I would need it again." He also claimed he gave one of his shoe bombs to some Malaysian men in December 2001. He claims they were planning an attack similar to the 9/11 one. This is not being linked to the Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared on Saturday. According to the would-be shoe bomber, who was raised in Gloucestershire, England, Al-Quaeda sent him out to target American domestic flights. There was, however, also a "plan B" to attack transatlantic flights. The trial against Bin Laden's son-in-law is being held in New York, but Badat's testimony is being sent from London via video. He believes he will be arrested if he goes to America. Badat never did carry out the bombing, but he did get arrested in 2005. He served a mere six years after complying with a co-operation agreement with authorities. Richard Reid, who plotted the shoe bombing together with Badat, did not turn his back on the plan, but failed to detonate his device on a December 2001 flight from Paris to Miami.
Badat tells that he has met Osama Bin Laden almost 50 times, and that he helped "brainstorm" the 9/11 attacks with the nephew of the mastermind behind the bombing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Badat said that Mohammed kept a list of the world's tallest buildings. The World Trade Center had been crossed out. The 34-year old said this was a "joke to make us laugh." When asked by the defense lawyer if "three thousand plus Americans dead was humorous to you?" he replied "unfortunately, yes." In a video shown to the court on Monday, Abu Gaith, the defendant in the court case, warns "the storm of airplanes will not abate", and advises Muslims in America and the UK to stay away from planes and high rise buildings, Sky News reports. Prosecutors are using Badat's testimonial evidence to show how defendant Abu Gaith was part of a plan to bomb more planes. He is charged with conspiracy to kill Americans, and providing help to terrorists. Abu Gaith is pleading not guilty to all charges against him.