The weirdest thing
we've learned so far about 'Richard Reid' is that his name actually seems to be Richard Reid. According to the Wednesday London Times
, fingerprints from the FBI have positively identified
the shoe-exploding suspect as a small-time British criminal named Richard C. Reid. A British national with an English mother and a Jamaican father, Reid had a "string of convictions for street crime such as muggings" and converted to Islam while in prison.
Articles in various other papers also provide a host of details which give a pretty clear sense of where this story is going. The AP says Reid had belonged to an Islamist organization called "Tabliq" but quit because they were "not radical enough." The London Times said Reid's mom went looking for him at the local mosque a few months ago after he went to Pakistan and stopped communicating with this family.
Perhaps most disturbing is the report that Reid attended the same Mosque that was home to Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, who has just gone on trial in Virgina. AbdulHaqq Baker, chairman of the Brixton Mosque, says he's sure Reid couldn't have been acting alone basically because Reid was too much of a doofus to have cooked up the whole plan by himself - a charge which seems amply supported by the just-released mug-shot, above.