Tags: Terrorism | trial | bin Laden

Shoe Bomb Plots Revealed at Bin Laden Son-in-Law's Terror Trial

Monday, 10 Mar 2014 06:37 PM

A U.K. man who admitted he plotted to bomb passenger jets with explosives hidden in his shoes told a Manhattan federal jury he “brainstormed” with Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Saajid Badat, 34, testified today via a closed-circuit television hookup from an undisclosed location in the U.K. in the terrorism case of bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghayth. The U.S. says Abu Ghayth, the most senior al-Qaida member to be tried in civilian court in the U.S., acted as a spokesman for the group and had advance knowledge of its plots to attack U.S. nationals by various methods, including shoe bombs on planes.

Badat’s testimony comes amid renewed scrutiny of potential terrorist threats against jetliners as authorities search for Malaysian Airline System Bhd.’s Flight 370, which vanished from radar screens on March 8 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people. Two passengers used passports that were reported stolen by Austrian and Italian nationals in Phuket, Thailand, the Royal Thai Police said.

Airlines were warned by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in mid-February of credible threats about shoe bombs.

Badat, who pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in the U.K. and is in protective custody, said he had discussions with al- Qaeda’s top leadership while in Afghanistan from October 2001 and December 2001, and worked with another man he met there, Richard Reid.

Life Term

Reid was convicted in the U.S. of trying to blow up a transatlantic flight with a bomb hidden in his shoes during a flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001 and is serving a life prison term.

Badat testified there were three plans; the first was to bomb a domestic U.S. aircraft in American airspace. The second was to set off explosives on a plane traveling from Europe to the U.S. and the third was to detonate a bomb on an aircraft as it traveled over Europe.

“There were discussions with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,” Badat testified. “It was more what I’d call it brainstorming of ideas.”

Badat said he was later released from prison after he agreed to cooperate with British and American authorities and testify in terrorism cases.

Abu Ghayth, 48, is charged with conspiring to provide material support to the terror group and aiding al-Qaida by bringing in recruits. Abu Ghayth, who has pleaded not guilty, faces as long as life in prison if convicted.

Hijacked Planes

Just before Badat testified, the jury was shown videos prosecutors said Abu Ghayth made on behalf of al-Qaida in October 2001, referring to the hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, and promising similar attacks.

“The storms shall not lessen,” Abu Ghayth said in an Oct. 13, 2001, video. “Especially the storm of airplanes. These storms will not calm down until you withdraw from Afghanistan in defeat.”

He also cautioned that “We strongly advise Muslims in America and Britain not to board airlines, not to live in high-rises and tall buildings.”

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A U.K. man who admitted he plotted to bomb passenger jets with explosives hidden in his shoes told a Manhattan federal jury he “brainstormed” with Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
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Monday, 10 Mar 2014 06:37 PM
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