Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

London's Canary Wharf was targeted by Al-Qaeda after 9/11, US trial hears

Published on Apr 29, 2014 9:02 AM
Abu Hamza al-Masri, the radical Islamist cleric facing US terrorism charges, sits while a picture of shoe bomber Richard Reid is seen on a computer screen (left) and Saajid Badat is questioned via teleconference in Manhattan federal court in New York in this artist's sketch on April 28, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Al-Qaeda considered an attack on London's Canary Wharf just weeks after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, said Monday a British terror convict hugged by Osama bin Laden and dispatched to blow up a US jetliner.

Al-Qaeda recruit Saajid Badat, 35, made the revelation while testifying against British hate preacher Abu Hamza, on trial in New York on multiple terror charges. Badat expanded on his earlier testimony last month at the trial of Osama's son-in-law, when he said Al-Qaeda had an almanac of the world's tallest buildings.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-declared 9/11 mastermind, crossed out the two World Trade Centers as he leafed through the book looking for fresh targets in late 2001, Badat repeated.

But on Monday, Badat told the US federal court that Mohammed also asked about a target in Britain. "I believe Canary Wharf was mentioned," Badat said, referring to the business district with a high concentration of tall buildings in east London.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!