A British man, who spoke directly to Osama Bin Laden and admitted boarding airlines in possession of a shoe bomb, has been giving evidence against the former Iraqi leader’s son.
34-year-old Saajid Badat, from Gloucester, has been giving evidence over the past week against Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who is currently being charged with conspiracy to kill Americans and providing material to support terror organisations.
During the trial at New York’s Federal Court, Badat has appeared via satellite from an unknown location in the UK, where he has also admitted to boarding a plane with a deadly shoe bomb after the 9/11 attacks.
He told the jury that he flew on planes over the Middle East and Europe on a number of occasions with the explosives yet never detonated because he was ‘saving it for over American airspace’.
Badat admitted to wearing the shoe bomb on at least one flight, from Karachi, Pakistan to Holland, and then from Holland to the UK in December 2011, just months after the New York tragedy.
He had initially been in possession of two bombs, yet told the court he only boarded with one after giving the other to a pair of Malaysian men who wished to carry out a 9/11-esque hijacking of their own.
“I was wearing the shoe,” he said, referring to the bomb.
At one point he was questioned by Abu Ghaith’s defence attorney, Stanley Cohen, about laughing at the deaths of those killed on 9/11.“Three thousand plus Americans dead was humorous to you?” Mr Cohen asked.
“Unfortunately, yes,” Badat replied.
The Brit, who spent three years training in Afghanistan, says he only pulled out of the operation after his mother condemned the terrorists actions, saying she ‘wouldn't want my son to be one of those sleepers’.
“It was then I decided to back out of the mission,” he added. Badat was imprisoned for 13 years for his role in the shoe bomb plot in 2001 but has since been released and is helping authorities.
US Prosecutors are currently using the evidence supplied by Badat against Kuwaiti-born, 48-year-old Abu Ghaith, as they try to prove he played a vital role with Al-Qaeda when he warned ‘the storm of aircrafts will not stop’ moments after the Twin Towers fell.
If Abu Ghaith is found guilty and convicted of his actions, he could face a life prison sentence.