Shoe Explosive Device
Suggests Accomplice - Report

(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 on."

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 lower fuselage.
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
Brunswick, Oz.
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.


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