A British man convicted of plotting to blow up a plane with a bomb in his shoe conjured up the words of Osama Bin Laden in testimony at the trial of another would-be terrorist in New York.
Saajid Badat’s evidence was recorded in Britain and played Monday on TV screens in the Brooklyn courtroom, where Adis Medunjanin is on trial for allegedly planning to bomb the New York City subway system in 2009. The 29-year-old Bosnian-born U.S. citizen denies involvement in a plot to bomb the New York subway.
Badat, 33, described how Bin Laden recruited him in 2001 for an attack on a trans-Atlantic plane, telling him that it would wreak havoc on the U.S. economy. In a one-on-one meeting with the al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan, Badat was told that ”the American economy is like a chain,” the BBC reported. ”If you break one link of the chain, the whole economy will be brought down. . . So after the 11 September attacks, this operation will ruin the aviation industry and in turn the whole economy will come down.”
Badat said he also met with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged “mastermind” of the 9/11 attacks currently detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The courtroom heard how Badat had accepted his suicide mission, but changed his mind once he got back to Britain. His fellow plotter, Richard Reid, proceeded with the plan, but failed in his attempt to blow up a plane with a shoe bomb.
As the BBC reports, Badat was released from British prison in 2010—two years before the end of his sentence—after providing evidence against Mohammed in 2008. In return, he was granted parole, housing, Internet access and unemployment benefits. He now works in the U.K. and is bound by an agreement to testify against other accused terrorists.