- (AFP) - The explosives devices packed in the shoes of
a man accused of trying to blow up a US airliner were sophisticated enough
to suggest he did not act alone, The Boston Globe reported.
The man tentatively identified as 28-year-old British national Richard
C. Reid, appeared Monday in US federal court in Boston, after passengers
and crew members aboard the plane en route from Paris to Miami prevented
him from lighting the shoes with a match.
A preliminary examination of his black suede basketball sneakers found
small amounts of explosive material packed in each one, as well as rope-like
material known as detonator cord, the newspaper reported citing an unnamed
Massachusetts state official.
Th report said the sneakers were hollowed out slightly on the inside to
accommodate the explosive, with each one marked by drill holes from which
a detonator cord emerged.
To explode such a device under normal circumstances, a bomber must use
a battery or blasting cap, according to The Boston Globe.
But the FBI has found that there was a substance blended with the explosive
that would have caused it to detonate if it were exposed long enough to
a sustained flame, the report said.
"The belief is now that if he had a lighter and not a match, the thing
would have detonated," the daily quotes the official as saying. "The
gravity of the situation is becoming more and more serious as time goes
Copyright © 2001 AFP. All rights reserved.
- From Michael Mazur
- Jeff, i've seen no smart comment about whether Robert
Reid had his shoes on or off when he was trying to light the fuses. He
would have been really, really thick to leave them on while trying to light
the fuses, as it would have "knocked his socks off" - as well
as his feet, and punched a hole in the flat floor only, as underneath the
flat floor there is a way to go before the fuselage of the aircraft is
reached, and so the blast would not only have to penetrate the floor, its
residual energy would now also be too far away from the intended target
- the actual fuselage. An additional impediment absorbing this residual
blast energy would be passenger luggage in the hold between the floor and
- The alternative for him would have been to place the
shoes against the windows, or between the windows, holding them there,
in anticipation, with his hands - how else ? - and then lose them. Perhaps
someone familiar with aircraft layout would like to correct any misimpressions
i reveal, since i write this because i don't at all believe that those
who set this simpleton up expected the plane to be brought down. Just in
passing, did he have a window seat ?
- Michael Mazur
- From Joseph C.
- Dear Jeff,
- Why has no one asked this question? If Reid really intended
to blow a hole in the plane, why didn't he do it in the bathroom, instead
of in front of one hundred people??????? Makes no sense!
- Someone with the sophistication to create a bomb should
have mapped out a much better strategy. It's important to make note of
this, as this whole 'bomb scare' issue is just part of a larger operation
to take away our civil rights, and to keep the bombing going in Afghanistan.