NY PostHook-handed Muslim preacher wants terror turncoat to testify
By Antonio Antenucci and Bruce Golding
March 31, 2014 | 8:15pm
A hook-handed Islamic preacher accused of fomenting terrorism wants a turncoat al Qaeda shoe bomber to testify against him in person — to try and show how much the feds are paying for his cooperation.
But if terror rat Saajid Badat agrees to come to New York, he’ll have to be flown here on a government plane, the judge said Monday.
“I assume no commercial airline would have the shoe bomber on their flight,” Manhattan federal Judge Katherine Forrest quipped in court.
Lawyers for Abu Hamza al-Masri argued that Badat shouldn’t be allowed to testify via video from Great Britain, as he did during the recent Manhattan trial of Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law.
“If the witness is not here, I can’t ask, ‘Isn’t it true that the government paid for your airfare? Isn’t it true the government is giving you (a) per diem?’” defense lawyer Jeremy Schneider said.
Badat was supposed to join failed shoe bomber Richard Reid on an infamous 2001 Paris-to-Miami flight but chickened out at the last minute and later began cooperating with authorities.
Prosecutors say Badat refuses to enter the US because of a pending indictment that accuses him of conspiring with Reid, who was overpowered by flight attendants and passengers when he tried to light explosives hidden in the soles of his shoes.