American: Bin Laden asked him in ’90s to use plane as weapon

    A New York terrorism trial has featured the first testimony by an American who says Osama bin Laden asked him to use his plane as a weapon in 1995.

    Ihab Mohammad Ali’s testimony came in the trial of Khaled al-Fawwaz. Prosecutors say al-Fawwaz is an early leader of al-Qaida who conspired in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. The attacks killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans.

    Ali testified that al-Qaida, and possibly bin Laden himself, gave him $9,000 in 1993 to become a pilot at U.S. flight schools.

    Ali says bin Laden told him he could use his private jet to fly into then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s plane. The 52-year-old, one-time Orlando, Florida, resident says he quit al-Qaida in 1996 and is cooperating. He’s served a 10-year sentence.

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