EXCLUSIVE: Shoe Bomber Alert Preceded Airport Shooting

ByABC News
December 7, 2005, 8:54 PM

Dec. 8, 2005 — -- FBI officials report that they have located the Egyptian man whose documents showed discrepancies after he was held at JFK airport last week. The man was in Iowa and is not considered a threat.

Federal law enforcement sources told ABC News they had been on the alert for a possible shoe bomber when a federal air marshal opened fire at the Miami International Airport yesterday.

Yesterday, an agitated passenger claiming to have a bomb in his backpack was shot and killed by a federal air marshal, officials said. No bomb was found.

Officials said a 50-year-old Egyptian man was stopped a week ago at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport. Sources said he had a suspicious pair of shoes that tested positive five times for the explosive substance TATP on the interior of his shoes between the heel and sole.

Federal officials said the man's shoes were remarkably similar to those used by shoe bomber Richard Reid, who attempted to blow up an American Airlines jet over the Atlantic four years ago.

The Egyptian man's destination was Des Moines, Iowa, sources said, and he claimed he was a student at Iowa State University in Ames.

After holding him overnight, airport security in New York released him. The FBI was notified after he was released and put out a nationwide alert. FBI officials confirmed that the man's story was true and that he was not a threat.