In a letter from the supermax prison in Colorado where he is serving a life sentence, Reid told a researcher he believes the bungled 2001 attempt to kill 197 passengers on American Airlines Flight 63 was permitted by Islamic law.

“I admit many people would dispute that and disagree with me on that point,” the British-born Reid, 41, wrote.

“However, at the same time I also believe that it wasn’t supposed to happen, not because it was displeasing to God … rather because it was not either my time to die nor that of those on the plane with me, and he had other plans for me which include my staying in prison and other matters which I may not be aware of as of yet.”