UK & World News

  • 11 March 2014, 6:22

Bin Laden Son-In-Law: Informant Testifies

A British terrorist informant has given evidence at the New York trial of Osama Bin Laden's son-in-law.

Saajid Badat is a witness in the prosecution's case against Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, who married Bin Laden's eldest daughter Fatima five years ago.

Speaking by video link from the UK, Badat told a Manhattan federal court how he went to Afghanistan and plotted with senior members of Al Qaeda to blow up planes using bombs concealed in shoes.

The former Gloucestershire schoolboy claimed to have met Osama bin Laden up to 50 times, and talked of how he "brainstormed" with the nephew of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Badat revealed that he and his co-conspirator Richard Reid were instructed to target US domestic flights.

He told the court that "plan B" was to target transatlantic flights, and that "plan c" was to target flights within Europe.

Badat decided not to go through with the plan, but Richard Reid tried and failed to detonate a shoe bomb on a flight from Paris to Miami in December 2001.

Both men were sent to prison for their roles in the plot, but Badat negotiated an early release in exchange for co-operation with US and UK authorities.

He has already appeared as a witness against a group of men tried for plotting to attack the New York subway system.

He may also appear as a witness against self-confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and extradited cleric Abu Hamza.

Badat refuses to give evidence in person because he believes he will be arrested if he sets foot in America.

The US government says Abu Ghaith was Al Qaeda's senior spokesperson in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

He is charged with conspiracy to kill Americans and providing help to terrorists.

During the trial the jury has been shown videos of Abu Ghaith recorded in the weeks after 9/11.

In the videos he warns that "the storm of airplanes will not abate", and advises Muslims in America and the UK to stay away from planes and high rise buildings.

Last year he was captured in Turkey and brought to America to face trial.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

If convicted he faces life in jail.

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