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Friday, 4 October, 2002, 17:59 GMT 18:59 UK
Father stands by 'brainwashed bomber'
Robin Reid, father of Richard
Robin Reid: I will always love my son
The disabled father of self-confessed shoe-bomber Richard Reid has said he will stand by his terrorist son.

Richard Reid had brought no shame on his family - despite pleading guilty in a US court on Friday to attempting to blow up an airliner with explosives hidden in his shoes - his father Robin told the BBC.

Holding back tears, Mr Reid said he loved his son and he would support him "any way I can".

Richard Reid
Reid faces life in prison.
The 29-year-old had laughed at the judge in the Boston courtroom and declared himself both a follower of Osama bin Laden and an enemy of America as he pleaded guilty to all eight charges against him.

Mr Reid said his son had been brainwashed by Muslim extremists and had been motivated "by religious beliefs, not by our family beliefs".

"They are two very different things. If he had done it through family beliefs I would have found it very hard to understand," he said.

And Mr Reid, who walks with the aid of crutches, said he did not blame Richard for the crime.

"I blame myself for not being there when he was growing up. I was in prison when I should have been there."

Robin Reid breaks down
Robin Reid - 'I blame myself'
American prosecutors produced a document which they said could prove Richard Reid received training at al-Qaeda camps that was vital to his attempt to bring down the trans-Atlantic flight on 22 December 2001.

The airliner, which was carrying 197 people, was diverted to Boston after he was overpowered by passengers and staff as he tried to ignite explosives in his shoes.

Mr Reid says his son met extremists at Brixton Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre in south London - something the centre denies.

He described Richard as a "gentle and caring" person and said he had reacted with "sheer horror" to the news he had been arrested for the crime.

'I love him'

"I reacted in the way any father would. I am just grateful that he did not succeed. There were 196 other souls on that plane other than my son."

Breaking down with the strain, Mr Reid added: "I think now that my son will die in prison.

"I will try and visit him, but with my record I may not get a visa and with my disability it will be hard.

" I will have to just write to him and hope that he knows I support him and I love him - I always will."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Helen Callaghan
"He admitted trying to blow up an American Airlines flight"
The BBC's Emma Simpson in Boston
"There was an overwhelming amount of physical evidence against Richard Reid"

Key stories

European probe

Background

IN DEPTH
See also:

04 Oct 02 | Americas
28 Dec 01 | UK
20 Jun 02 | Europe
23 May 02 | Americas
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