The jury heard from a convicted terrorist Monday as the trial continued in Manhattan for the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, who's facing terror-related charges. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Live from London to New York, Saajid Badat testified Monday for federal prosecutors in a video conference against Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. Badat was arrested in 2003 for plotting to blow up airplanes over the United States and England.
"I was suppose to fly to the United States of America," Badat said.
Appearing a bit nervous and drastically different from his pictures years ago, Badat said he met with numerous people to discuss the plan. The one person Badat said he didn't meet with was Abu Ghaith, who is on trial for conspiring to recruit Muslims to continue the fight against America after the September 11th attacks. The alleged terror recruiter appeared on video praising the attacks and urging the U.S. to leave Afghanistan.
Families of firefighters killed when the World Trade Center was destroyed sat in the courtroom for Monday's testimony.
"To sit there and see that man, even though we were just looking at the back of him, it was very emotional," said Rosemary Cain, whose son, George, was a firefighter killed in the September 11th attacks. "It was a physical emotion to see him sitting here alive and well, and all of our wonderful sons, heroes, have paid the ultimate price."
For the video conference with Badat, a prosecutor and a defense lawyer traveled all the way to London to question him so the judge and jury in New York can hear his story.
Badat plotted with Richard Reid to use shoe bombs to blow up planes. Even though Badat backed out, Reid tried to carry out the plot and detonate his shoes on a flight from Paris to Miami in December of 2003. Passengers subdued him.
Abu Ghaith's defense team says that so far, the prosecution's case is weak because he didn't plan or take part in the September 11th attacks or any bombings, but prosecutors say he played an instrumental role in keeping the U.S. a target for extremists like Badat and Reid.
The trial is expected to continue for at least another two weeks.