Richard Reid, the notorious Islamic "Shoe Bomber" terrorist convicted of trying to blow up a US trans-Atlantic airliner by detonating a bomb secreted in his shoes, is serving his federal sentence at the "Supermax" prison outside Denver, Colorado. In August 2007, Reid filed a motion in US District Court in Denver to remove Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) imposed on him by the US Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Reid claimed the SAMs denied him "various aspects" of his Constitutional rights.
SAMs are imposed on high-risk Federal prisoners because the BOP, and other government agencies like the FBI, believes that allowing those prisoners ready communication access to other prisoners or the outside world could lead to threats of or actual violence against innocent people or the nation. In the case of radical homicidal terrorists convicted of trying to, or actually committing, mass murder, such SAMs are a no-brainer.
As former Federal counter-terrorism prosecutor Andrew McCarthy outlines in The Corner for National Review, it appears the current decision makers at the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has decided terrorist Reid should have those SAMs removed. While DOJ under the Bush Administration opposed Reid's attempted legal efforts, the Obama DOJ, on June 9, filed a brief, two-sentence notice with the court that it would allow Reid's SAMs to expire on June 17. As a result, the federal court has stayed the remaining proceedings brought by Reid until no later than November, when the Government must file a report with the court identifying Reid's new "placement" status. It is likely that new placement status will be significantly less restrictive than his Supermax/SAM detention.
As Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of the hijacked American Airlines plane which crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11 writes in the Wall Street Journal:
"Reid's own SAMs on correspondence had been tightened in 2006 after the shocking discovery that three of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers at [Supermax] ADX, not subject to security directives, had sent 90 letters to overseas terrorist networks, including those associated with the Madrid train bombing. The letters, exhorting jihad and praising Osama bin Laden as "my hero of this generation," were printed in Arabic newspapers and brandished like trophies to recruit new members."
Will Reid be moved to a BOP facility that has lower security thresholds? And to what end? So Reid can pray with fellow Muslim prisoners, many of whom are also convicted terrorists? So Reid may communicate with family, "friends" and acquaintances on the outside...some of whom are quite possibly terrorists? Among those watching this unfold may be some of the passengers on that flight who Reid try to kill.