Saturday, 30 January 2010

Looking Back - Shoe Bomber Jailed For Life

On this day in 2003, a US judge sentenced British-born "shoe bomber" Richard Reid to life in prison after he tried to blow up a transatlantic flight from Paris to Miami.
Reid was unrepentant throughout the 90-minute hearing in which he received the maximum sentence on each of the eight counts faced by Judge William Young.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment on three of the charges - attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and two counts of interfering with a flight crew.
Reid was also given an additional 20 years each for attempted homicide, attempted murder, planting an explosive device on an aircraft, and attempted destruction of an aircraft - plus 30 years for using a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence.
The total of 110 years of imprisonment in addition to the life sentences was more than the prosecution had requested.
Before hearing his fate he made a brief statement, lashing out at the American Government.
"Your government has sponsored the torture of Muslims in Iraq and Turkey, and Jordan and Syria with their money and weapons," he said.
He then told the judge: "It's in your hands."
Reid tried to bring down American Airlines Flight 63 through the use of explosives stuffed in his shoes on 22 December, 2001, just over 3 months after the 9/11 attacks.
But he was eventually overpowered by flight attendants and passengers as he tried to ignite a fuse protruding from his shoe.
Reid was tied up with belts and headphone cords, and the plane landed in Boston under escort from fighter jets.
Authorities later said that the shoes contained powerful plastic explosives which could have blown a hole in the plane's fuselage and killed all 197 people aboard.
In pleading guilty last October, Reid, 29, said he had been driven to blow up the aircraft by a love for Islam.
"Basically I got on the plane with a bomb," Reid told the court at the time.
"Basically I tried to ignite it. Basically, yeah, I intended to damage the plane . I'm a follower of Osama bin Laden. I'm an enemy of your country and I don't care."
Last week Reid's lawyers asked Judge Young to sentence him on one of the counts to which he pleaded guilty, and which carries 30 years in prison.
They asked the judge to delay sentencing on the other seven counts, citing classified government files that could clear their client.
But the motion was rejected by the judge after the prosecution argued that delaying the sentencing would be unfair to the 14 crew members and 183 passengers who could have died on the flight.
Reid is likely to serve his sentence at the Federal Correction Center in Florence, Colorado.

Several other suspects were arrested over the attempted bombing incident but only one other man, Sajid Badat, 24, from Gloucester was convicted with conspiring with Reid.
Badat was given 13 years' jail in March 2005.
He had pleaded guilty to conspiring to place a device on an aircraft in service.
Badat was arrested at his home after surveillance operations by the police and MI5.
More than 100 homes in Gloucester were evacuated during a police search of Badat's house in November 2003,

Today's Smile

Better than a Flu

Miss Beatrice,
The church organist,
Was in her eighties
And had never been married. She was
admired for her sweetness
And kindness to all.
One afternoon the pastor
Came to call on her and she showed him
into her quaint sitting room.
She invited him to have a seat while
she prepared tea......

As he sat facing her old Hammond
The young minister
Noticed a cut glass
bowl Sitting on top of it.
The bowl was filled
With water, and in the
Floated, of all things, a
When she returned
With tea and
They began to chat.
The pastor tried to stifle his
About the bowl of water and its
strange floater,

but soon it got the better of him
and he could no longer
'Miss Beatrice', he said,
'I wonder if you would tell me about
Pointing to the bowl.
'Oh, yes,' she replied, 'Isn't it
I was walking through
The Park a few months ago
And I found this little package on the
The directions said
To place it on the organ,
Keep it wet and that it would prevent
the spread of disease..

Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter.

Why Do We Say That?

Ships that had sailed past the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn were said to have 'turned the corner'.

The pole was a mast of a ship. Climbing it was dangerous and, not surprisingly, you has to be a bit crazy to go up there willingly. So if you were a bit mad you were said to be up the pole.

A Spinster is an unmarried woman. Originally a spinster was simply a woman who made her living by spinning wool on a spinning wheel. However it was so common for single women to support themselves that way that by the 18th century 'spinster' was a synonym for a middle-aged unmarried woman.

This old saying comes from the Bible, from Proverbs 16:18 'Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall'.

According to legend a man named Leofric taxed the people of Coventry heavily. His wife, Lady Godiva, begged him not to. Leofric said he would end the tax if she would ride through the streets of Coventry naked. So she did. Peeping Tom is a much later addition to the story. Everybody in Coventry was supposed to stay in doors with his or her shutters closed. However Peeping Tom had a sneaky look at Godiva and was struck blind.

In an emergency rather than haul up an anchor the sailors would cut the anchor cable then run with wind.

Why Boys Need Parents

Like the last instruction!

Who Am I?

Test your showbiz celebrity knowledge with our latest Who Am I? puzzle. Study the 10 clues listed below and they should lead you to a well known celebrity. Can you work out who it is?

01 I was born on 6 August 1937.
02 My place of birth was Shoreditch, London.
03 I was the only child of John and Rose Deeks.
04 My father was a costermonger and my mother a dressmaker.
05 I passed the 11+ exam with the highest marks in North London.
06 I gained a place at Our Lady's Convent in Stamford Hill.
07 My mother paid for me to have elocution lessons.
08 I became an actress, making my stage debut at the age of 13 and my West End debut in 1952 in the chorus of the musical 'I Love Judy'.
09 My first film role was in 'The Belles of St Trinian's'.
10 I was awarded the MBE in the Millennium honours list and now appear regularly on television.

Who do you think this is? Answer in tomorrow's Journal.