Shoe bomber Reid to face new charge

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Associated Press WriterWASHINGTON (AP) -- The government will announce an indictment against alleged shoe bomber Richard Reid with an additional charge, law enforcement sources said Wednesday.

The London-born man accused of trying to light explosives hidden in his sneakers on a flight from Paris in December is being held in Boston on charges of interfering with a flight crew.

One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the new charge would make clear that Reid was attempting to blow up the American Airlines jetliner on the flight scheduled to end in Miami. This official declined to be more specific.

Law enforcement sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said an indictment against Reid would be filed in Boston on Wednesday.

The indictment would come the day after the government filed a criminal complaint charging American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh with conspiring to kill Americans. Lindh fought alongside the Taliban and admitted in interviews with the FBI that he met Osama bin Laden and trained at terrorism camps in Afghanistan.

FBI agent Margaret G. Cronin testified in late December that Reid was carrying "functioning improvised explosives, or, in layman's terms, a homemade bomb."

She said an explosives expert concluded that if the sneakers had been placed against an outside wall and detonated, they "would have blown a hole in the fuselage." Reid was in a window seat.

Cronin said preliminary tests on Reid's sneakers showed the presence of triacetone triperoxide, TATP, a highly volatile plastic explosive. She said she did not know if the explosive devices in Reid's sneakers could have been detonated with a match, as Reid allegedly tried to do. The sneakers are undergoing further tests.

Reid is being held without bail in Boston because he's considered a risk to the public and likely to flee if released. If convicted of intimidation or assault of a flight crew, Reid could be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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