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Shoe bomb suspect to remain in custody

BOSTON, Massachusetts (CNN) -- A man accused of walking aboard an American Airlines flight over the weekend with explosives in his shoes and trying to light them calmly entered a U.S. District courtroom Monday morning to face charges related to the incident.

Richard C. Reid, 28, has been charged with interfering with the performance of the duties of flight crew members by assault or intimidation, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Boston.

Flight attendants and passengers wrestled and subdued Reid aboard American Airlines Fight 63 from Paris, France, to Miami, Florida, after he lit a match in an attempt to ignite his shoes, according to court documents. The plane was diverted to Boston's Logan International Airport, where it landed safely.

If convicted, Reid faces up to 20 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. He is being held at a correctional facility in Plymouth, south of Boston.

At Monday's brief hearing, Reid was read his rights but did not enter a plea because he does not have an attorney yet.

U.S. Magistrate Judith Dein approved a request by U.S. attorneys for Reid to remain in custody until the pending trial because of the dangerousness of the situation and his risk of flight. Dein scheduled an evidentiary hearing Friday.

Read the charges U.S. vs. Reid (FindLaw) (PDF)
Authorities in France are looking into how Richard Reid was able to board a plane with explosives in his shoes. CNN's Jim Bittermann reports (December 25)

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Some passengers of American Airlines Flight 63 recall their ordeal after their trans-Atlantic flight turned into front-page news (December 24)

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Nearly 10 ounces of explosives were found in the shoes of airline passenger Richard Reid. CNN's Susan Candiotti reports (December 24)

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CNN's Kathleen Koch reports that the latest airline scare has prompted rigorous airport security checks (December 24)

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Passenger Thierry Dugeon describes the melee on the flight
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Sporting long, bushy hair, Reid walked quietly into the courtroom in an orange prison jumpsuit, constrained by handcuffs and leg irons. He shrugged in response to whether he would tell the truth, then clarified the shrug with a "yeah." He then responded "yes" to questions, all concerning whether he understood his rights and the charges against him.

The FBI's preliminary analysis of Reid's shoes showed they contained "two functional improvised explosive devices," federal authorities said Sunday.

A government official said that the shoes contained about 10 ounces of an explosive substance. Analysts were trying to determine if the material is Semtex, PETN or RDX -- all explosive versions of C-4, a plastic explosive.

The Boeing 767 carrying 183 passengers and a crew of about 14 landed safely at 12:50 p.m. EST, escorted by U.S. fighter jets.

Random shoe checks

As a result of Saturday's events, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a security directive Sunday ordering airlines to add random shoe inspections to the random baggage checks already carried out.

Sources in France said that Reid attempted Friday to board an American Airlines Paris-to-Miami flight, but authorities at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris would not let him aboard when he did not answer all their questions.

He raised further suspicions because he checked no luggage on the overseas flight, though he did have a carry-on bag, sources said.

The man was turned over to French National Police, who concluded his British passport was genuine and allowed American Airlines to reissue the man's ticket for Flight 63 the next day, sources said.

According to an affidavit filed Sunday with the complaint, a flight attendant smelled what she thought was a burnt match at about 11 a.m., 90 minutes into the flight.

A passenger directed the flight attendant, Hermis Moutardier, to Reid, who was seated in row 29 in the coach section. After she confronted him, he put a match into his mouth, according to a criminal complaint the FBI filed.

Moutardier then alerted the captain over the intercom. Upon returning to Reid, she saw him light another match, and he appeared to be trying to set fire to the inner tongue of his sneaker, the complaint said.

Moutardier then noticed a wire protruding from the sneaker and attempted to grab the shoe. But Reid, about 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighing more than 200 pounds, pushed her into the bulkhead, the affidavit said.

A second attempt to grab Reid's shoe failed when he pushed her to the floor, at which point Moutardier yelled for help and ran for water, the affidavit added.

When a second flight attendant, Cristina Jones, joined the fracas, Reid bit her on the thumb, the affidavit said. Moutardier then threw the water into the passenger's face.

At that point, several other passengers joined in. During the struggle, Reid "said he was 'wired,'" said Tom Kinton, aviation director at Logan.

Once Reid had been confined to his seat with belts, two doctors among the passengers obtained sedatives from a medical kit on the plane and injected them into Reid -- repeating the process twice more before the plane landed in Boston, Kinton said.

One passenger said that when Reid was being restrained he said: "You'll see. You'll all see." When the plane landed with law enforcement authorities boarding, Reid added: "It will happen the way it's supposed to happen. The way it was written to happen."

Reid was traveling alone.

Government sources said that Reid, who identified himself as a convert to Islam, has a British mother and a Jamaican father. New Scotland Yard and French authorities said he is a British citizen.

U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan speaks to reporters Monday after Reid's hearing.  

U.S. law enforcement authorities have found no connection between the man and any terrorist groups, sources said.

A French Ministry of Interior spokesman said Reid had adopted the name of Abdel Raheem after converting to Islam.

Though the man's passport identified him as Richard Colvin Reid, a French Border Police spokesman said the FBI identified him as Tariq Raja, born August 12, 1973, in Sri Lanka.

Srli Lanka's foreign ministry issued a statement Monday saying the suspect is not a Sri Lankan national, according to U.S. and French law enforcement officials.




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