Today I went swimming with my Dad

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Doing Time With Richard The Shoebomber


PC is alive and well in US Super Max Prison


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“…the Muslims have a religious issue that we need to respect,”

“I don’t know Richard Reid, but I’ll tell you one thing. You put a dog in a cage and keep poking it with a big stick, don’t expect it to stay nice.”

* But remember that Richard Reid was in prison in England even before he became the Shoe Bomber. He’s a convict through and through, and that makes him an extra special danger. He understands the system and how to manipulate it if he wants to.”

His docile demeanour as inmate number 24079-038 is a far cry from the behaviour that landed him here at the US Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility — also known as ADX, Super Max, Bombers’ Row, and the Alcatraz of the Rockies — just outside the town of Florence, Colorado. Five years ago, on December 22, 2001, Reid, of Bromley, Kent, boarded American Airlines flight 63 from Paris to Miami, intending to blow it up by detonating plastic explosives hidden in one of his shoes. As he tried to light the fuse he was spotted by a flight attendant and, following a violent struggle, was overpowered.

Just over a year later the young fanatic who had attended Finsbury Park mosque in London where Abu Hamza preached was sentenced to life in prison.

The first British al-Qaeda convict was dragged from the federal courtroom in Boston still shouting his allegiance to Osama bin Laden. “I’m at war with your country,” he yelled at the judge.

The al-Qaeda inmates are kept in a separate area from other prisoners “partly because they have common needs particular to their faith, partly to ensure they cannot try to recruit others to their cause,” explained one guard.

Another said: “There are sociopaths and borderline psychopaths among the other prisoners here. They know that they could make a name for themselves if they took the life of a high-profile inmate — a 9/11 terrorist, the World Trade Centre guys, the Shoe Bomber.”