Andrew Ibrahim allegedly listened to radical preachers on the internet
A student accused of making a "suicide vest" using home-made explosives told fellow inmates he was a terrorist to gain respect, a court has heard.
Andrew Ibrahim, also known as Isa, was "excited" about being held in Belmarsh Prison because of its reputation.
He told Winchester Crown Court that he had simply been "role playing".
Mr Ibrahim, 20, from Bristol, denies making explosives with intent and preparing terrorist acts in April 2008, but admits making an explosive.
He told the court: "I was excited about it yeah. I knew people like Abu Hamza were in the unit - famous people were there.
"I thought that would give me status to go there."
Mr Ibrahim made statements such as "I am a terrorist, Allah will prevail" and "the English should be killed" to get fellow Muslims, in the south-east London prison's high-security unit, on his side, the jury heard.
However, he said suicide bombing "was completely wrong morally" and added that he "never considered" killing anyone.
Mr Ibrahim added: "I never said I wanted to kill people and the other things were said to be purely controversial."
He described the move to Belmarsh as being "a badge of honour" and said he was role-playing because he thought it was the only way to show his faith was strong.