PARIS – The alleged shoe bomber spent hours sending e-mails at a cybercafe in northern Paris just two days before boarding a Paris-Miami flight.
Richard C. Reid, 28, is accused of trying to blow up an American Airlines plane Dec. 22 with bombs hidden in his sneakers.
Reid visited the Happy Call cybercafe twice on Dec. 20, according to the manager, who identified himself only as Mr. Ravi.
Days later, police confiscated the hard drives from eight computers at the cafe, Ravi said.
"He was very tall and he was very dirty," the manager said, adding that Reid spent a total of four hours on the Internet at the cybercafe on two different occasions.
Reid, a British citizen, allegedly used e-mails to contact numerous people, including his mother and people at mosques in Europe. He sent out a final message in which he said he was a "martyr for the Islamic cause," according to reports in the French press. Police would not confirm the reports.
Reid unsuccessfully tried to board a flight the following day, but was stopped.
He then took the flight on Dec. 22 and was overpowered by flight attendants and passengers after allegedly trying to light a fuse attached to a sophisticated explosive lodged in his sneaker.
Reid was indicted Friday in federal court in Boston on eight charges, including the attempted murder of 197 passengers and crew members aboard American Airlines Flight 63.
Reid pleaded innocent. He converted to Islam while serving an earlier prison term for petty crimes. He later worshipped at the same London mosque as Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent charged with conspiracy in the Sept. 11 terror attacks in the United States.
Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper said that Reid, after failing to get on the Dec. 21 flight, e-mailed a contact in Pakistan. The contact urged him to try again. The paper did not cite sources for its information.
Reid also sent e-mails from a hotel near Charles de Gaulle airport, where he spent the night The hotel, contacted by the AP, refused to confirm that Reid spent the night there or whether computers were confiscated by police for their probe.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.