Richard Colvin Reid (born August 12, 1973), also known as the shoe bomber, is a British citizen from South London and a Muslim allegedly working for Al Qaeda who was arrested on December 22, 2001 for attempting to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes. The FBI identified him as Tariq Raja, born in Sri Lanka. He also had the alias Abdel Rahim.
The flight was American Airlines Flight 63 going from Charles De Gaulle International Airport near Paris, France to Miami, Florida's Miami International Airport. He was caught when a flight attendant saw him attempting to light a match on the tongue of his sneaker. She tried grabbing his shoes, but he pushed to the floor, and she screamed for help. When another flight attendant tried to stop him, he fought her and bit her thumb. The 6 foot 4 inch Reid was eventually subdued by other passengers on the airliner, and two French doctors injected him with sedative drugs. Authorities later found plastic explosives hidden in the lining of his shoes. On January 30, 2003, he was found guilty on terrorism charges at a federal court in Boston, Massachusetts and sentenced to life in prison. During the sentencing hearing he blatantly stated that he was an Islamic fundamentalist and declared himself an enemy of the United States.