THE EXPLOSIVES: Who Built Reid's Shoes?


People who make a living taking bombs apart don't scare easily. But the FBI laboratory experts who dissected Richard Reid's black suede sneakers were horrified by what they found in the soles: bombs that were, as one agent says, "the first of their kind and extraordinarily well concealed."

Each shoe contained about 4 oz. of PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate), a powerful explosive produced by the ton for military and construction use. Some was mixed with a plasticizer to produce a substance that resembled putty. More was in short lengths of detonation cord, which looks like a clothes line and is used to...

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