|Birth Day:||August 12, 1973|
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English criminal commonly known as the "Shoe Bomber" who was arrested for attempting to detonate a bomb on a flight from Paris to Miami in 2001. Richard Reid was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences and 110 years without parole.
Richard Reid dropped out of school at sixteen and began a life of petty crime.
The next time Reid was imprisoned, in 1992 for three years, for various street robberies, he converted to Islam.
Upon his release from prison in 1995, he joined the Brixton Mosque. He later began attending the Finsbury Park Mosque in North London, headed at that time by the anti-American cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was described as "the heart of the extremist Islamic culture" in Britain. By 1998 Reid was voicing extremist views. At the Finsbury Park Mosque he fell under the sway of "terrorist talent spotters and handlers" allied with al-Qaeda, including Djamal Beghal, one of the leaders of the foiled plan for a 2001 suicide bombing of the American Embassy in Paris.
He spent 1999 and 2000 in Pakistan and trained at a terrorist camp in Afghanistan, according to several informants. He may also have attended an anti-American religious training centre in Lahore as a follower of Mubarak Ali Gilani.
After his return to Britain, Reid worked to obtain duplicate passports from British government consulates abroad. He lived and travelled in several places in Europe, communicating using an address in Peshawar, Pakistan. In July 2001, Reid flew to Israel.
Reid and Saajid Badat, another British man preparing as a terrorist, returned to Pakistan in November 2001, and reportedly travelled overland to Afghanistan. They were given "shoe bombs," casual footwear adapted to be covertly smuggled onto aircraft before being used to destroy them. Later forensic analysis of both bombs showed that they contained the same plastic explosive and that the respective lengths of detonator cord had come from the same batch: the cut mark on Badat's cord exactly matched that on Reid's. The pair returned separately to the United Kingdom in early December 2001. Reid went to Belgium for 10 days before catching a train to Paris on 16 December.
On 21 December 2001, Reid attempted to board a flight from Paris to Miami, Florida. His boarding was delayed because his dishevelled physical appearance aroused the suspicions of the airline passenger screeners. In addition, Reid did not answer all of their questions, and had not checked any luggage for the transatlantic flight. Additional screening by the French National Police resulted in Reid's being re-issued a ticket for a flight on the following day. He returned to the Paris airport on 22 December 2001, and boarded American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami, wearing his special shoes packed with plastic explosives in their hollowed-out bottoms.
On 22 December 2001, a passenger on Flight 63 from Paris to Miami complained of a smoke smell in the cabin shortly after a meal service. One flight attendant, Hermis Moutardier, thinking she smelled a burnt match, walked along the aisles of the plane, trying to assess the source. A passenger pointed to Reid, who was sitting alone near a window and attempting to light a match. Moutardier warned him that smoking was not allowed on the airplane. Reid promised to stop.
During a preliminary hearing on 28 December, an FBI agent testified that forensic analysis had identified the chemicals as PETN, the primary explosive, and TATP (triacetone triperoxide), a chemical needed to detonate the bomb with a fuse and match. The prosecutor obtained a grand jury indictment and on 16 January 2002, Reid was charged with nine criminal counts related to terrorism, namely:
The ninth charge, attempted wrecking of a mass transportation vehicle, was dismissed on 11 June 2002, because the Congressional definition of 'vehicle' did not include aircraft.
Reid pleaded guilty to the remaining eight counts on 4 October 2002. On 31 January 2003, he was sentenced by Judge William Young to the maximum of three consecutive life sentences and 110 years with no possibility of parole. Reid was also fined the maximum of $250,000 on each count, a total of $2 million.
Although Reid had insisted that he had acted alone and had built the bombs himself, forensic evidence included material from another person. In 2005, a British man, Saajid Badat from Gloucester, admitted that he had conspired with Richard Reid and a Tunisian man (Nizar Trabelsi, who is in prison in Belgium), in a plot to blow up two airliners bound for the United States, using their shoe bombs. Badat has said that he had been instructed to board a flight from Amsterdam to the United States. Badat never boarded and withdrew from his part of the conspiracy. Badat did not warn criminal or aviation authorities about Reid.
As a result of these events, some airlines encouraged passengers departing from an airport in the United States to pass through airport security in socks or bare feet while their shoes are scanned for bombs. In 2006, the TSA started requiring all passengers to remove their shoes for screening. Scanners do not find PETN in shoes or strapped to a person. A chemical test is needed. However, even if the X-ray scanners cannot detect all explosives, it is an effective way to see if the shoe has been altered to hold a bomb.
Captured al-Qaeda terrorist conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui stated at his sentencing hearing in 2006 that Reid was a co-conspirator in the September 11 attacks on the United States, and that Moussaoui and Reid had intended to hijack a fifth aircraft and crash it into the White House in Washington, D.C., as part of the attacks that took place that day. Department of Justice investigators and the federal prosecutors were skeptical of Moussaoui's claim that Reid was involved in the plot.
Reid filed a lawsuit against the restrictions placed on him in prison which controlled his communications with lawyers and other non-prisoners, limited his access to Muslim clerics, and prevented him from joining in group prayer at the prison. In 2009, Reid went on a hunger strike and was force-fed and hydrated for several weeks. It was unknown whether Reid's hunger strike was related to his lawsuit. The Department of Justice, after consulting with its counterterrorism section, the prosecuting US attorney's office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, allowed Reid's prison restrictions to expire in 2009, rather than renewing them, making his lawsuit moot.
In 2011, the rules were relaxed to allow children 12 and younger and adults 75 and older to keep their shoes on during security screenings.
Richard Reid's father was also a criminal who spent time in jail for vehicular theft.
Currently, Richard Reid is 49 years, 5 months and 26 days old. Richard Reid will celebrate 50th birthday on a Saturday 12th of August 2023. Below we countdown to Richard Reid upcoming birthday.