DEC 8, 2005 - Federal law enforcement sources told ABC News they had been on the alert for a possible shoe bomber when a federal air marshal opened fire at the Miami International Airport yesterday. FBI officials confirmed that the man's story was true and that he was not a threat Link to article.Authorities apparently did not offer any explainations on why the man's shoes tested positive five times for the explosive substance triacetone triperoxide (TATP).
TATP is the same type of explosive that was used "Shoe Bomber" Richard Reid four years ago, when Reid tried to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 going from Paris' Charles De Gaulle International Airport to Miami International Airport. Some thought Reid was drunk, others thought that he was protesting at an in-flight smoking ban. No one knew what was going on except that Richard Colvin Reid was dishevelled, acting weird, and trying to light his shoes on fire. The point is that no one knew exactly what was going on, even as Flight 63 made an emergency landing at Boston International. Later, after the plane had touched down and Reid was in custody, authorities realized that Reid was a human bomb with TATP in his shoes.
Additional links for convicted shoe bomber, Richard Colvin Reid: The transcript of Reid's conviction, Timeline of Reid's actions, Milwaukee Journal Sentinal article with details of the scuffle, Online India Tribune analysis.
In regards to yesterdays incident: ABC News indicated Federal law enforcement authorities had been on the alert for a possible shoe bomber when a federal air marshal opened fire on Rigoberto Alpizar. In some ways the two incidents were eerily similar. The airport of origin for Alpizar was Miami and destination for Reid, the suspects were both acting in a bizarre and irrational manner, there was confusion on the airplane, and in the case of Alpizar an alert for a possible shoe bomber had been issued. It appears that this incident was courting disaster from the start. Lets rehash some of the events.
It was reported that Alpizar was agitated before boarding the plane. A passenger reported that Alpizar was singing “Go Down Moses” and his wife tried to calm him. That passenger thought that Alpizar was afraid of flying. After Alpizar boarded the plane, he bolted up the aisle and onto the jetway, where two air marshals confronted him. According to Brian Doyle, spokesman for Dept of Homland Security, Alpizar “was belligerent. He threatened that he had a bomb in his backpack” Alpizar was subsequently shot and killed. And, Officials have indicated thar the air marshals acted appropriately when they shot man to death. For more details of what went on please go to MSNBC news article: Passengers recall tense moments before gunfire
Technorati tags: Air Marshal, Alpizar, Richard Colvin Reid, Miami International Airport, TATP, triacetone triperoxide, human bomb, shoe bomber, journalists, Opinion
Cross-posted: Knickerbocker News, The Bos'un at MSN