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Briton testifies he met bin Laden

NEW YORK - In a videotaped deposition made public for the first time Thursday, a British man convicted in an aborted shoe-bombing admitted meeting with Osama bin Laden after deciding to wage jihad against the West.

U.S. prosecutors and defense attorneys interviewed Saajid Badat outside London last month in preparation for the New York trial of Adis Medunjanin, accused in the 2009 plot to attack New York's subways with suicide bombs.

Badat said that he refused a request to testify in person because he remains under indictment in Boston on charges alleging he conspired with shoe-bomber Richard Reid. "If I go to the United States, I'll be arrested," Badat said on the tape played for a jury on Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn.

Badat, 33, pleaded guilty in Britain to plotting with Reid to bring down separate American transatlantic flights using bombs hidden in their shoes. Unlike Reid, he backed out at the last minute. He also testified that he had "direct interaction" with bin Laden "more than once" after traveling to Afghanistan in 1999. - AP

Boss says ammo hauler got lost

EL PASO, Texas - The boss of a truck driver caught with 268,000 rounds of ammunition in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, said Thursday that his employee took a wrong turn on his way to deliver what he insists was legal cargo bound for an Arizona dealer.

Dennis Mekenye, operations manager at Demco freight company in the Dallas suburb of Arlington, said Jabin Bogan, 27, made "a very honest mistake" when he took a wrong turn that led him to Mexico on Tuesday.

ATF spokesman Tom Crowley said that agents in Juarez "are looking into the specifics of what happened." The federal prosecutor's office in northern Chihuahua state said Bogan is being held pending investigation on illegal weapons charges. Spokesman Angel Torres said the driver claimed he had no goods to declare. - AP

Gunmen kill 3 at Texas cockfight

EDCOUCH, Texas - Masked gunmen opened fire during an illegal cockfight at a Texas ranch near Mexico early Thursday, killing three people and wounding eight others in what authorities described as a bloody massacre.

The attack at the ranch near Edcouch, a town about 15 miles northeast of McAllen, happened shortly after midnight and sent spectators fleeing from the makeshift bleachers surrounding the fighting ring into the brush. Authorities were searching for the attackers and for clues as to their possible motives, Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said.

The property is in an area crisscrossed by dirt roads where packs of dogs chase infrequent cars and tractors rumble between fields. A narrow dirt drive leads back through a fence posted with a no trespassing sign and past a low-slung home. - AP


The Senate will consider a bill to rescue the financially troubled U.S. Postal Service, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said. He announced Thursday on the Senate floor a bipartisan agreement to start deliberations Tuesday.