Richard Colvin Reid, aka Abdul Raheem and often referred to in the media as the shoe bomber (born August 12, 1973), is an individual convicted on charges of terrorism and currently serving a life sentence in the United States for attempting to detonate a commercial aircraft in-flight using plastic explosives contained in his shoes. According to al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Mansour Jabarah (who was captured and interrogated in Oman in 2003), Reid was a member of al-Qaeda and had been sent on the bombing mission by Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, a senior member of the organization.
Reid, according to the FBI using the aliases Tariq Raja (طارق راجا) and Abdel Rahim (عبدالرحیم), was arrested on December 22, 2001 for attempting to destroy American Airlines Flight 63, a Boeing 767, from Paris, Charles De Gaulle International Airport to Miami International Airport, USA by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes.
Passengers on flight 63 complained of a smoke smell in the cabin shortly after a meal service. One flight attendant, Hermis Moutardier, walked the aisles of the plane, trying to assess the source. She found Reid, who was sitting alone near a window and attempting to light a match. Moutardier warned him that smoking was not allowed on the airplane; Reid promised to stop. A few minutes later, Moutardier found Reid leaned over in his seat; her attempts to get his attention failed. After asking "What are you doing?" Reid grabbed at her, revealing one shoe in his lap, a fuse which led into the shoe, and a lit match. She tried grabbing Reid twice, but he pushed her to the floor each time, and she screamed for help. When another flight attendant, Cristina Jones, arrived to try to subdue him, he fought her and bit her thumb. The 6 foot 4 inch (193 cm) Reid was eventually subdued by other passengers on the airliner, using plastic handcuffs, seatbelt extensions, and headphone cords. One doctor administered Valium found in the flight kit of the aircraft. The Flight was diverted to Boston's Logan International Airport. Authorities later found PETN plastic explosives with a triacetone triperoxide (TATP) detonator hidden in the lining of his shoes.
Bombing Attempt on American Airlines 63
On January 30, 2003, he was found guilty on terrorism charges at a federal court in Boston, Massachusetts. During the sentencing hearing he openly stated that he was an Islamic fundamentalist and declared himself an enemy of the United States and in league with Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment on each of the three charges, 20 years imprisonment on four other charges, and 30 years on four other counts, to be served consecutively, followed by five years of supervised release. Eight fines of $250,000, restitution of $298.17, and $5,784,800 special assessment were imposed. He is serving his sentences in the ADX Florence, a Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.
Further Federal Authority Investigation
American Airlines Flight 63
List of notable converts to Islam