British Terror Suspect Accused of Conspiring With 'Shoe Bomber'

By Mike Wendling | July 7, 2008 | 8:14 PM EDT

London ( - A British man was charged Thursday with conspiring with "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, the man who attempted to blow up a transatlantic airliner in December 2001.

Sajid Badat, 24, was arrested last week in the western England city of Gloucester. Police said a search of his house uncovered a "relatively small amount" of explosives. Badat had been held in a high-security jail in London under Britain's Terrorism Act until Thursday's hearing.

In addition to the conspiracy count, Badat was charged with possession of explosives and intent to use them.

The indictment specifically refers to Reid, a self-declared al Qaeda operative who was given multiple life sentences by a U.S. federal court in January.

Reid concealed explosives in his shoes in an attempt to bring down a Paris-to-Miami American Airlines flight carrying 197 people.

The indictment alleges that Badat and Reid conspired to cause an explosion "likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the United Kingdom or elsewhere" from Sept. 1, 2001.

In addition to Badat's home, police also searched a locker at the College of Islamic Knowledge and Guidance in Blackburn, northern England, where the suspect was once enrolled.

Badat spoke during the court hearing only to confirm his name. He faces another hearing in a week's time.

A series of anti-terror raids has been carried out across the country in the past two weeks, netting more than 20 suspects. Police have not said whether the raids are directly linked.

In addition to Badat, an Algerian man, Noureddinne Mouleff, has also been charged.

Mouleff has been accused of fraud and terrorism offenses under a section of the Terrorism Act that bans possession of "an article in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that its possession is for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism."

Police have not identified the item that Mouleff was allegedly caught with, but they have confirmed that it was not explosives.

British authorities have been on a heightened state of alert since before President Bush's visit to London last month.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.