Next Score View the next score

    Shoe bomber trainee testifies from UK at N.Y. trial

    NEW YORK — Jurors at the terrorism trial of Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law on Monday watched him threaten on videotapes made in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks that there would be no end to the ‘‘storm of airplanes.’’ Immediately after the tapes were shown, a British man testified by video from London that he trained to blow up a plane in late 2001 with a shoe bomb.

    Prosecutors showed the New York jury video clips of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith threatening Americans to set the stage for the testimony from Saajid Badat, a 34-year-old United Kingdom resident who refuses to testify in the United States because he faces terrorism charges that could send him to prison for life.

    Badat said he trained with attempted shoe-bomber Richard Reid to carry out separate attacks aimed at downing planes over America or in Europe after the Sept. 11 attacks were carried out with four hijacked airplanes.


    He pleaded guilty in England in 2005 to conspiring to harm an aircraft and has been freed from prison after his sentence was shortened through his cooperation in terrorism cases.

    Get Ground Game in your inbox:
    Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    His plea came in connection with a 2001 plot to down an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami with explosives hidden in his shoes.

    In videotaped testimony shown to a jury in Brooklyn at a 2012 terrorism trial, Badat said he refused a request to testify in person in the United States because he remains under indictment in Boston on charges he conspired with Reid, and he has been told he would be arrested if he set foot in the United States.

    Prosecutors in the current case are using Badat’s testimony to show that Abu Ghaith, as Al Qaeda’s spokesman, was in the thick of a conspiracy to create a second wave of airborne terrorism attacks while the debris left by the toppled twin towers of the World Trade Center was still burning.

    Abu Ghaith is charged with conspiring to kill Americans and providing material support to Al Qaeda. If convicted, the 48-year-old onetime imam at a Kuwaiti mosque could face life in prison. He has pleaded not guilty.


    Despite many months spent in Al Qaeda training camps and locations in Afghanistan from 1999 through 2001, Badat testified that he did not recognize a photograph of Abu Ghaith and did not recall having ever seen or heard him.