Tags: Shoe-Bomb | Suspect | Hit | With | New | Charges

Shoe-Bomb Suspect Hit With New Charges

Wednesday, 16 January 2002 12:00 AM

The nine-count indictment charges Reid with, among other things, attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction stemming from his alleged attempt to blow up an American Airlines jetliner over the Atlantic Ocean with explosives in his sneakers.

In a Washington news conference, Ashcroft praised the actions of the crew and passengers aboard Flight 63 for foiling the plot to set off the explosives, and of the alerts issued for Americans to be alert and vigilant to potential acts of terror.

"But for the vigilance of the flight crew and passengers, Richard Reid may have succeeded with the destruction of Flight 63," Ashcroft said. He said the nation's trust in its citizens to act with common sense in the face of terrorism "was vindicated" by the actions aboard the aircraft.

He said that a disaster was averted which showed that terrorists were "no match for an alert and vigilant people.

"We must be prepared. We must be alert. We must be vigilant," Ashcroft said.

The new indictment against Reid, whom Ashcroft described as a terrorist trained by al-Qaeda, included charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted homicide of U.S. nationals overseas, placing explosive devices on an aircraft, attempted destruction of an aircraft, attempted murder of 197 passengers and crew, interfering with a flight crew, attempting to set fire and destroy an aircraft, and a new anti-terrorism offense, attempted wrecking of a mass transportation vehicle.

Reid, 28, was being held without bail outside Boston on an initial charge of assault and interfering with the crew aboard American Airlines Flight 63. Crewmembers and other passengers on the Paris-to-Miami flight foiled Reid's alleged attempt to set off plastic explosives packed inside his sneakers on Dec. 22.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that a report found on a computer used by Osama bin Laden's lieutenants in Kabul detailed a target-scouting mission by an operative, identified as "brother Abdul Ra'uff," who flew from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv on El Al with a new British passport, and also went to Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan.

The Journal said those travels bear a striking similarity to those of Reid, who went to the same countries and in the same order and got a new passport in Amsterdam. The Journal said U.S. intelligence officials reviewed the computer files and believe that "Abdul Ra'uff's" true identity "may well be" Reid.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The nine-count indictment charges Reid with, among other things, attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction stemming from his alleged attempt to blow up an American Airlines jetliner over the Atlantic Ocean with explosives in his sneakers. In a...
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2002-00-16
Wednesday, 16 January 2002 12:00 AM
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