The accused shoe bomber Richard Reid has entered a guilty plea to charges he tried to blow up a transatlantic flight last December. The British citizen entered the plea in federal court in Boston where he's facing charges that include an attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Richard Reid was overpowered by fellow passengers last December 22, when, during an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami, he allegedly tried to ignite explosives hidden in his shoes. The plane landed safely after being diverted to Boston where the 29-year-old Reid was charged with eight counts, including attempted murder.
In a Boston court Friday, he pleaded guilty to all eight of these charges. While declaring himself a follower of Osama bin Laden and an enemy of America, the judge asked him why he was changing his plea from innocent to guilty? Reid, laughing, said "I got on the plane with a bomb, basically I tried to ignite it. I know what I've done."
But in entering Reid's plea, the judge rejected the defendant's request to throw out charges that he received training in an al-Qaida terrorist camp in Afghanistan. The indictment against him charges he spent time at such camps and earlier this year, FBI Director Robert Mueller said he believed the explosives in Reid's shoes were made by an al-Qaida bomb maker.
Prosecutors are recommending 60 years to life in prison when Reid is sentenced in January.
Later Friday, 21-year-old American John Walker Lindh, who fought with the Taleban in Afghanistan, will be sentenced, after pleading guilty in July to charges of aiding a terrorist organization and carrying explosives. He's expected to receive a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. As part of the agreement sparing him a life sentence, he agreed to tell the government what he knows about al-Qaida cells in Afghanistan and to testify for the government against others charged in connection with the war on terrorism.