Shoebomber pleads guilty to sabotage attempt

A judge today accepted Richard Reid's decision to plead guilty to charges that he tried to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight last December using explosives stuffed in his shoes.

Reid took the stand in Boston and under questioning from Chief U.S. District Judge William Young, described himself as an "enemy" of the United States.

He went on to declare his allegiance to Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born militant blamed by the United States for the September 11 hijacked plane attacks on U.S. landmarks.

Young said he would probably deny Reid's request to withdraw accusations that he received training from bin Laden's al Qaeda network, but Reid, 29, went ahead and pleaded guilty anyway.

According to the U.S. government, Reid, a British citizen, faces a minimum sentence of 60 years and a maximum of life in prison.

Reid's lawyers surprised prosecutors on Wednesday by announcing he would change his plea to guilty from not guilty in connection with his attempt on December 22 to bring down American Airlines Flight 63 as it flew from Paris to Miami.

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