KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A Malaysian recruit pulled out of an Al Qaeda plan that envisioned him and two others piloting planes in a second wave of Sept. 11-style attacks on the United States, Asian security officials said.
The recruit, Zaini Zakaria, went to a flight school in Malaysia and obtained a license to fly a small plane, but the plan for a suicide attack never was carried out, the officials said.
In a speech Thursday, President Bush outlined some details of the alleged plot, which was to hijack an airliner and fly it into a skyscraper on the West Coast.
Zaini was never told what his mission would be, said a Malaysian security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the news media.
When Zaini saw media coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks, he severed his ties with the militants.
Zaini told Malaysian interrogators that he "didn't want that kind of jihad," the official said.
Another senior police officer involved in the interrogation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Zaini told his Malaysian interrogators that "he was not prepared to die as a martyr."
Zaini surrendered in December 2002, amid scores of arrests in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.