Friday, December 28, 2001
Last update - 12:47 27/12/2001
suspect visited Israel
By Sharon Sadeh,
Ha'aretz Correspondent and
RICHARD Reid, who is suspected of trying to blow
up a Paris-Miami flight over the Atlantic, visited
Israel seven months ago, according to a report
published Wednesday by the French daily Le
Monde. Israeli security officials and the FBI
are currently investigating the purpose of
Reid's visit and with
whom he met during his
Citing French investigators, the French daily Le
Parisien reported Thursday that Reid was given
his explosive sneakers by unknown accomplices in
Amsterdam. The paper
said Reid came to Amsterdam following a trip to
Israel and Egypt. On December 7, he traveled to
Brussels to apply for a new British passport.
Reid, in US prison orange jumpsuit
"He wanted to eradicate
evidence of his trips in order to be able to
pass more easily through customs controls," a
French investigator told the newspaper.
On December 14, he returned to Amsterdam, where
he was given the shoes, each one filled with about
120 grams of the granular explosive pentrite, and
two detonating cords, the paper reported.
The 28-year-old Briton was under 24-hour guard
in Boston awaiting a new court hearing on Friday
after he was overpowered by flight attendants and
fellow-passengers on American Airlines Flight 63
from Paris on Saturday.
Reid was tied up with belts and headphone cables
after flight attendants saw him apparently trying
to set fire to his shoes, which were later found to
be packed with explosives and a detonator cord.
U.S. officials in Boston said after Reid was
detained on Saturday that they thought his British
passport, issued in Belgium three weeks earlier,
was fake. New details of Reid emerged on Wednesday
when the chairman of a mosque in the Brixton
district of south London said the suspect had been
a worshipper there before being seduced by the
propaganda of Muslim extremists.
"The way he tried to commit this act shows his
gullibility," Abdul Haqq Baker said,
describing Reid as a guinea pig for other militants
bent on terror attacks.
"He was sent as a tester. We here at the center
honestly believe there are more serious things to
come and we have told the police that. I would say
he was very, very
impressionable," Baker told reporters.
In a later interview with CNN, Baker said Reid
had rung mental alarm bells when he became fixed on
the idea of jihad, or holy war.
"What was wrong for example with killing
innocent civilians, what was wrong with terrorism
and suicide bombings, what was wrong with the
understanding that we were living in the West and
this is a place of war. This was the sort of thing
that alerted us," Baker said.
The FBI also thinks Reid's "shoe bombs" were
sophisticated enough to suggest he had an
accomplice, The Boston Globe reported
Tuesday. Establishing whether the suspect acted
alone has been a main focus of the FBI
Baker told reporters in Brixton that Reid, who
was known to him as Abdel Rahim, was recruited by
militants in London's Muslim community. "If they
have got the likes of Rahim, there are a lot more
and we are very concerned about that," Baker
Earlier, he told BBC Radio that Reid had come to
the mosque for instruction having converted to
Islam in prison. "He was a very amiable,
cooperative individual in the early part
. . . Toward the end of his period with
us, we noticed a change."
Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Timothy Bane said Reid
was being held in isolation under constant
surveillance at the Plymouth County
Related item on this
account of mid-air Paris-Miami drama
Damage control by
Our attention was first drawn to this
by a British correspondent who wrote on
Thursday, December 27, 2001:
WE know that Richard Colvin
Reid, the alleged British Moslem
"shoebomber" had a valid British passport
that was issued in Belgium on December
7th. According to the French authorities
"his previous passport, which expired in
July, was attached, and contained a visa
for Israel issued in the spring."
[New York Times, 25th Dec.
] I'm not one for conspiracy theories
but this little fact has gone relatively
unnoticed! It fits in well with some other
stories that you post, I wonder if you
know anything more about this?