Judge Eases Restrictions on Alleged Shoe Bomber

A federal judge on Monday eased communications restrictions placed on a man accused of trying to blow up a plane with explosives hidden in his shoes.

Over the objections of prosecutors, U.S. District Judge William Young ruled that Richard Reid's attorneys could share their conversations with Reid with others involved in his defense.

"He has — emphatically — the right to the most vigorous, skilled defense that our society can afford, and I mean to see he gets it," Young said.

Prosecutors had said they were concerned that Reid could try to send a message to terrorists.

In March, Young cited national security concerns when he ordered public defenders to keep any conversations with Reid confidential. The judge stopped short of more stringent restrictions that had been sought by prosecutors.

Prosecutor Jerry Leone cited e-mails Reid allegedly sent in which he described his mission on the plane, "which was to engage in a war on terrorism without regard to his own life and to cause death to Americans."

Leone said authorities are concerned that Reid's communications "could be used to facilitate terrorist acts" against the United States.

Reid, a British citizen, is charged with attempting to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami on Dec. 22. Passengers and crew members restrained him after he allegedly tried to light a fuse protruding from his shoes. The flight was diverted to Boston.