How does Iraqi shoe-thrower rank among footwear misusers?
The shoe-thrower comes in at No. 5 on our list of men known for doing something other than wearing their kicks. Read on for the top four.
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2. Nikita Sergeyevich KhrushchevSkip to next paragraph
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Stalin's successor as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union didn't mess around. As a young party operative he aided in Stalin's purges, and set the tone for his dealings with the West when he told a delegation of ambassadors in Poland in the late 50s that "we will bury you." A few years later, at a 1960 meeting of the UN, he showed that his fires hadn't dimmed with age. Furious that a Filipino delegate at the podium was calling for freedom for the Eastern European states under Soviet control, Khrushchev took off his shoe and repeatedly banged it on the table in front of him, demanding that "this toady of American imperialism" be silenced. Here's the iconic shot of Nikita in action.
1. Richard Reid
Mr. Reid, aka Abdul Raheem, aka the "shoe bomber" would at first glance appear to be a terrorist version of Maxwell Smart, with one big distinction: He's real, and his intent was to murder hundreds. The Englishman converted to Islam while in English prison for a string of juvenile muggings, and made his way into Pakistan, where he met with operatives close to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks. In December of 2001, Reid was dispatched to blow up an American Airlines flight traveling from Paris to Miami with explosives concealed in his shoe. After his homemade detonator failed, he desperately lit match after match to create the explosion he hoped would kill himself and everyone else aboard, not realizing you can't light plastic explosives with a match. His fellow passengers noticed and overpowered him. The fallout from this terror attack was a life sentence in a US federal prison. He's left a lasting footprint: the mild inconvenience of taking off our shoes to go through airport security screening. (Here's a picture of the terrorist mastermind.)