U.S. authorities on Monday charged a British man they contend conspired with admitted al Qaeda member Richard C. Reid to use shoe bombs to blow up planes in flight.
A seven-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed in Boston charged Saajid Badat, 25, with attempted murder, trying to destroy an aircraft and other crimes related to the alleged conspiracy with Reid, who also is a British citizen and Muslim convert.
Reid's attempt to blow up an American Airlines Paris-to-Miami flight on Dec. 22, 2001, was thwarted by attendants and passengers after he tried to light a fuse leading to plastic explosives in his shoe.
The indictment says Badat "admitted that he was asked to conduct a shoe bombing like Reid" when he was arrested in Britain last November. Bomb components similar to Reid's -- including the explosive compound triacetone triperoxide (TATP) -- were found at his home, the indictment said.
"The alert passengers and crew of Flight 63 prevented Richard Reid from carrying out his deadly mission," Attorney General John D. Ashcroft said. "The resulting investigation led us and our British colleagues to Badat."
The indictment indicates Badat was assisting Reid while plotting his own separate attack. Like Reid on another date, he went to the British Embassy in Brussels on Sept. 11, 2001, falsely claiming his passport had been stolen and receiving a replacement.
Badat pleaded not guilty last month in Britain to similar charges and faces trial there beginning Feb. 28.