January 16, 2002

U.S. Indicts Shoebomb Suspect on Nine Counts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Richard Reid, the British citizen accused of allegedly trying to blow up an aircraft with explosives in his shoes, was indicted on Wednesday on nine counts, including attempted murder.

The indictment brought by a federal grand jury in Massachusetts said that Reid had received training from al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

It charged him on nine counts: attempted murder, attempted homicide, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, placing an explosive device on an aircraft, two counts of interference with flight crew members and flight attendants, attempted destruction of aircraft, using a destructive device during and in relation to a violent crime and attempted wrecking of a mass transportation


Reid was aboard American Airlines Flight 63 bound from Paris to Miami on Dec. 22 when he was overpowered. The plane then landed in Boston, where he was taken into custody and initially charged in a criminal complaint.

Investigators have been trying to determine whether Reid was trying to follow-up on the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that killed more than 3,000 people.

A criminal complaint filed in December in Boston charged the 28-year-old Reid with interfering with a flight crew, a crime that carries a penalty of 20 years in prison.

The FBI said last month that preliminary tests showed Reid's black athletic shoes contained enough of a powerful plastic explosive to blow a hole in the side of the plane.

Reid has been ordered by a federal magistrate judge in Boston to be held without bail.

Reid worshiped at the same London mosque as Zacarias Moussaoui, a Frenchman of Moroccan descent who is the only person charged in the United States with being part of the Sept. 11 attacks. Moussaoui is awaiting trial in Virginia.

Copyright 2002. Reuters. All rights reserved.

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