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Convicted Terrorist Continues Testimony in Trial of Alleged bin Laden Spokesman

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TWC News: Convicted Terrorist Continues Testimony in Trial of Alleged bin Laden Spokesman
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A London man who served prison time for plotting shoe bomb attacks on planes continued his testimony in the federal trial of Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, but with the current news of a missing Malaysian Airlines flight, his testimony definitely raised a lot of eyebrows.

The frightening prospect of a Malaysian terrorist plot to blow up a plane came up Tuesday during the trial of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith.

It came from convicted shoe bomb plotter Saajid Badat, a government witness against the man that prosecutors call al-Qaida's chief spokesman.

Badat testified that he gave a shoe bomb to a Malaysian group that included a pilot back in late 2001. It was during the time after September 11, 2001, when federal prosecutors say that Abu Ghaith was threatening that attacks by planes would continue.

The U.S. attorney's office had no comment about the mention of Malaysian terrorists.

Abu Ghaith's defense said that the loss of a Malaysia Airlines plane appears to be a coincidence.

"I seriously doubt there's any connection," said Geoffrey Stewart, an attorney for Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. "I would be very surprised."

During his testimony, Badat repeatedly said that he had no recollection of anyone named Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, but while looking at Abu Ghaith's picture, he said he remembers briefly seeing him in Afghanistan. Badat went on to say that the person he knew as al-Qaida's spokesperson was Osama bin Laden.

Abu Ghaith's lawyers say that Badat proved nothing about their client.

"This witness has provided various testimony in this case about his role and his activities in Afghanistan, and essentially, that's the extent of it," said Zoe Dolan, a lawyer for Sulaiman Abu Ghaith.

Badat said that he initially thanked God for the September 11th attacks and envied the hijackers. He said that he was young, vulnerable and brainwashed, but now knows that the actions were wrong.

Abu Ghaith's defense attorneys said that they're working on trying to get approval so that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11th attacks, can testify in the case.

"If we want to call a witness, we're going to ask the judge to bring the witness to New York," Stewart said. "I honestly doubt that that will happen, given that the Department of Defense has him in a foreign land, Guantanamo Bay. I don't think they're going to bring him to New York."

The defense may have to try for a written summary of his testimony being read in court.

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