LONDON -- A British man accused of conspiring with ''shoe bomber" Richard Reid pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge of conspiracy stemming from a failed attempt to blow up a US-bound aircraft in 2001.
Sajid Badat, 25, from Gloucester, England, was charged with conspiring with Reid, who was convicted in the United States, and a Belgian to make the explosive device. He was the first person convicted of a terrorist offense in Britain since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
''It is clear the plan was that Reid and Badat would bring down a passenger aircraft at similar times in late December that year," prosecutor Richard Horwell said.
Badat pleaded guilty to conspiring between Jan. 1, 1999, and Nov. 28, 2003, to place a device on an aircraft in service. Prosecutors said there was evidence that Badat had lost his nerve and withdrew from the plot.
Reid was arrested after trying and failing to detonate the device aboard an American Airlines Paris-to-Miami flight on Dec. 22, 2001.
Badat had received training both in Afghanistan and Pakistan and while in Afghanistan was given an explosive device designed to evade airport security and destroy an aircraft in flight, prosecutors said. Badat returned to Britain on Dec. 10, 2001, with the device in his possession. The detonating cords on Reid's device matched the cord on Badat's bomb, prosecutors said.
In October, a US grand jury in Boston charged Badat with attempted murder, trying to destroy an aircraft, and other counts related to the alleged conspiracy with Reid, who also is a British citizen and Muslim convert.
Reid was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to charges in the United States.