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Reid, Richard (1973–)

aka Abdel Rahim, Abu Ibrahim

On December 22, 2001, Al Qaeda member Richard Colvin Reid became known as the “shoe bomber” after attempting to destroy an airplane carrying almost 200 people by setting fire to explosives hidden in his sneakers.

Reid was born in London in 1973, the only son of an English mother and Jamaican father who divorced in 1984. His father spent most of Reid's childhood in prison; Reid himself dropped out of school in 1989 and within a year was arrested for a mugging. Reid spent the next six years in and out of jail.

In 1995 Reid was released from prison and embraced Islam, changing his name to Abdel Rahim. Initially, his conversion seemed a positive step, and Reid stayed out of trouble with the law.

By late 1997, however, Reid had apparently fallen in with more radical Muslims, ...

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