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Friday, 28 December, 2001, 03:35 GMT
'Shoe bomb' suspect's parents speak
An artist's impression of Federal Judge Judith Dein, left, presiding over a hearing of Richard C. Reid, right, on 24 December, in Boston.
Richard Reid is facing US charges
The parents of the British alleged "shoe bomber", Richard Reid, have described their shock at accusations that he tried to blow up a transatlantic flight to America.

Lesley Hughes, of Frome, Somerset, released a statement through an unnamed firm of Bristol-based solicitors.

"Other than what my client has heard or read in the media, she has no knowledge of this matter," the statement said.

"As any mother would be, she is deeply shocked and concerned about the allegations made against her son, but has no further comment to make."


My son is a determined boy and I can imagine him being determined enough to blow himself to bits

Robin Reid
Richard Reid's father

Ms Hughes' 28-year-old son is due to face a US court on Friday when a federal judge is expected to set his bail.

He is accused of trying to ignite explosives hidden in his black suede basketball sports shoes, during an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami earlier this month.

His father, Robin Reid, who is still believed to be living in London, told the Daily Mail his son must have been "coaxed" into the alleged bomb attack.

"My son is a determined boy and I can imagine him being determined enough to blow himself to bits," he said.

'Brainwashed'

But he said could not believe his son would want to hurt anyone else unless he had been "brainwashed".

He said he only found out about his son's involvement when he saw his picture printed in newspapers on Christmas Eve.

US officials are investigating claims that Richard Reid, formerly of Brixton, south London, may have visited the terror training camps of al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.

The claims came as it emerged that Mr Reid had attended a mosque in Brixton, where he had aroused suspicions because of his interest in jihad, or holy war, and his increasingly radical beliefs.

See also:

27 Dec 01 | Americas
New leads in shoe bomb case
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