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France Arrests 5 Suspects Linked to 'Shoe Bomber' - 2002-06-12


French police Wednesday arrested five suspects they say are connected to Richard Reid, the man known as the "shoe bomber." Mr. Reid was overpowered on a flight to the United States from Paris last December when he attempted to ignite his shoes, which were later found to contain explosives. U.S. authorities have maintained that Mr. Reid must have had accomplices to help in the preparation of the explosive shoes.

French police, acting on orders of an investigative magistrate, arrested five people in two suburbs of Paris in connection with the shoe bomb case. Two of the suspects are said to be Pakistani and the other three are described as North African. Police said they also confiscated several weapons.

The connection of those arrested to the Reid case was not immediately known. French authorities had already arrested five Pakistanis who are said to have given Richard Reid food and shelter while he was in France attempting to board a flight to the United States.

Security guards turned him away once before he successfully managed to get on an American Airlines flight to Miami. The flight was diverted to Boston after flight attendants and passengers overpowered Mr. Reid as he attempted to put a match to his shoes. He now faces U.S. federal charges, including attempted murder. The indictment also alleges that Mr. Reid received training from the al-Qaida terrorist network. The FBI says there is forensic evidence that Mr. Reid did not act alone in preparing the bombs.

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