Tags: New | Details | Emerge | Shoe-Bomb | Suspect

New Details Emerge On Shoe-Bomb Suspect

Sunday, 20 January 2002 12:00 AM

Reid reportedly sent a volley of e-mail messages to contacts in Pakistan, including one Dec. 21, reporting that his first attempt to board an American Airlines flight had bee unsuccessful, Le Journal du Dimanche and La Provence newspaper reported.

Should Reid try to board another American flight? The answer from Pakistan, the newspapers reported, was "Yes.”

The following day, American Airlines passengers aboard the Paris-Miami flight tackled the 28-year-old Briton as he tried to ignite explosives packed in his sneakers. On Friday, Reid pleaded not guilty to terrorist charges in a Boston courtroom.

French and U.S. investigators have discovered a "martyr’s message” sent by Reid from a Paris Internet cafe, confessing his bombing plot and his allegiance to the Islamist cause, La Provence reported Saturday.

The message was reportedly sent to several mosques in Europe and to Reid’s mother in Britain -- whom he reportedly pleaded to join the Islamic faith, according to the Journal du Dimanche.

Reid’s last days in Paris before boarding the Dec. 22 flight were apparently spent in the gritty and colorful 18th arrondissement in northern Paris. It was there he frequented several Internet cafes, including "Happy Call,” where he sent his martyrdom e-mail.

It was in the 18th arrondissement, too, where Reid reportedly paid $1,780 in cash for his American Airlines ticket.

But French police have failed to track down Reid’s residence in Paris, according to media reports. His name has not been found in local hotel guest listings, leaving open charges he may have stayed with fellow terrorist plotters.

The new details on Reid coincide with a rash of arrests across Europe this week of suspected Islamists.

On Saturday, Spanish police swooped down on two suspected members of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network.

On Thursday, Bosnian police handed over six other suspects to American military.

British police also arrested 17 suspected Islamists last week, and French police detained two others linked to a related inquiry into the assassination of Afghan Northern Alliance commander Ahmed Shah Massoud.

"Outside of al-Qaeda, it’s radical Islam that’s permeating these files,” a French counter-terrorist official told Le Figaro newspaper Wednesday. "And it won’t disappear with bin Laden.”

Since last summer, French officials have launched almost a dozen separate investigations into terrorist plots, including one to bomb the U.S. embassy in Paris, and another to blow up the Strasbourg cathedral.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

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Reid reportedly sent a volley of e-mail messages to contacts in Pakistan, including one Dec. 21, reporting that his first attempt to board an American Airlines flight had bee unsuccessful, Le Journal du Dimanche and La Provence newspaper reported. Should Reid try to...
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Sunday, 20 January 2002 12:00 AM
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