Richard Reid, a 28-year-old English citizen who converted to Islam several years ago tried to explode an American Airlines plane over the Atlantic Ocean Saturday. He is said to be connected with an Islamic group in Britain. He has already been arrested several times for shoplifting.
At the same time, a connection with Al-Qaeda has not been confirmed by the FBI, which is investigating the incident. Mr.Reid’s actions are not considered to be those of a lonely criminal. He must have had accomplices. The explosives hidden in his shoes must have been made by experts.
The plane with 185 passengers and 12 crew members on board was heading to Miami on Saturday. It had to land in Boston when one of the passengers tried to set the Bickford fuse of the explosive on fire. An explosion was prevented only due to prompt reaction of the passengers. One of them who prevented an explosion was a professional basketball-player.
The motives of Reid’s actions are not clear. Richard Reid is reported to be a Plymouth jail (Massachusetts) and is being closely guarded to prevent a suicide. Until end of the week, Richard Reid will undergo psychiatric examination.
On Monday, Mr.Reid was charged with assault of the plane’s crew, which provides for a 20-year imprisonment. It is not ruled out that other charges will be also brought against Richard Reid.
Translated by Maria Gousseva
In the photo (by BBC): Richard Reid