UK & World News
Would-Be Shoe-Bomber Talked Out Of It By Mum
A British terrorism informant has said he backed out of a shoe-bomb plot after his parents said they did not want a terrorist for a son.
Saajid Badat is a witness in the New York trial of Osama Bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, accused of conspiring to launch more attacks in the wake of 9/11.
Badat, 34, said he returned from a three-year stay in Afghanistan and his mother told him: "(I) wouldn't want my son to be one of those sleepers".
"It was then I decided to back out of the mission," Badat told the Manhattan court.
However, he admitted he wore a shoe bomb on December 2001 flights between Pakistan and the Netherlands, and from the Netherlands to the UK.
Badat said he did not detonate the device because he was waiting to attack a US aircraft.
He told the court he kept the explosives in a "safe" condition at his home until his 2003 arrest as he "hadn't really switched my views" and thought "maybe there would be a time I would need it again".
Badat also claimed he gave one of his shoe bombs to some Malaysian men in December 2001, who he said were planning a 9/11-style attack of their own.
There is no suggestion of a link to the Malaysia Airlines flight which went missing on Saturday.
The former Gloucestershire schoolboy previously told the court he had been instructed by al Qaeda to target US domestic flights, with a "plan B" to attack transatlantic flights.
Badat has been testifying by video link from London because he believes he will be arrested if he goes to America.
Despite ditching the plan, Badat was jailed in 2005, serving just six years after agreeing to co-operate with authorities.
His co-conspirator, Richard Reid, went ahead with the plan but failed to detonate his device on a December 2001 flight from Paris to Miami.
Badat has told the trial he met Osama bin Laden up to 50 times, and talked of how he "brainstormed" with the nephew of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
The 34-year-old said on Tuesday that Mohammed kept a list of the world's tallest buildings with the World Trade Center crossed out as "a joke to make us laugh".
"Three thousand plus Americans dead was humorous to you?" asked defence lawyer Stanley Cohen.
"Unfortunately, yes," replied Badat.
Prosecutors are using his evidence to try to show how defendant Abu Ghaith was part of a plan to bring down more airliners.
The US government says he 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.
In a video shown to the court on Monday, Abu Ghaith 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.
Abu Ghaith has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
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