Published April 23, 2012
NEW YORK – A British man who trained to be a shoe bomber a decade ago says Usama bin Laden told him shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks that he believed a follow-up terrorism attack could doom the American economy.
Saajid Badat recounted his meeting with the Al Qaeda founder in videotaped testimony that was played Monday for a federal jury in Brooklyn.
"So he said the American economy is like a chain," Badat said. "If you break one -- one link of the chain, the whole economy will be brought down. So after Sept. 11 attacks, this operation will ruin the aviation industry and in turn the whole economy will come down."
Badat, 33, was convicted in London in a 2001 plot to down an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami with explosives hidden in his shoes. His testimony came in the federal trial of a man accused in a 2009 plot to attack New York's subways with suicide bombs.
Badat said he was supposed to carry out a simultaneous bombing with failed shoe-bomber Richard Reid. In testimony recorded last month, Badat said he refused a request to testify in person because he remains under indictment in Boston on charges alleging he conspired with Reid and he has been told he'd be arrested if he set foot in the United States.
The videotape of his testimony was played just before the prosecution called to the witness stand a Long Island man who went to Pakistan in 2007 and joined Al Qaeda forces in an attack against Amnd instructions on how to make portions of a suicide bomber's outfit, he said.
Vinas testified that he was arrested in Pakistan after leaving the tribal areas because the fighting season was over and he wanted to find a wife.
Although he was testifying at the trial of Adis Madunjanin, Vinas said he did not know the principal characters involved in the plot to attack Manhattan subways in 2009. Medunjanin has denied involvement in the plot.