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FBI Finds Anthrax-Laced Letter Addressed to Senator Leahy; U.S. Bomb Accidentally Hits Afghan Mosque

Aired November 16, 2001 - 19:42   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. We'll get back to -- back to CROSSFIRE in just a moment. But first we are following two breaking stories here in Washington tonight. First to Eileen O'Connor. She's following an anthrax-laced letter potentially sent to a senator. Eileen.

EILEEN O'CONNOR, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, investigative sources do confirm that preliminary tests indicate that anthrax was found on a letter very similar to the one sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

This letter, though, was addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy from Vermont, also a Democrat. The FBI issued a statement saying that the as-yet-unopened letter addressed to Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has an October 9th, 2001, Trenton, New Jersey postmark, and appears to be in every respect similar to the other anthrax-laced letters.

What aroused their suspicion was very similar block lettering. Also that does indicate that the Trenton, New Jersey, postmark is the same date, in fact, that the letter to Daschle was also mailed.

Investigators have been hoping that they would in fact find some other letters. If they are different in terms of the contents, it could give them some more clues, at least, as to who is behind sending the letters in terms of the characteristics. Wolf?

BLITZER: Eileen O'Connor, thank you very much. And let's quickly go over to the Pentagon, where Jamie McIntyre is standing by with word that another U.S. bomb has gone astray, but this one potentially very significantly -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, a Ramadan bombing mistake by the U.S. Air force. What happened was about 10 hours ago U.S. Air Force planes were bombing a suspected al Qaeda facility, a complex of buildings in Khost, Afghanistan.

Two of the three laser-guided bombs hit their targets. But one went astray. Apparently it had a malfunction. Did not hit the target, and the resulting explosion damaged a nearby mosque.

Now, the Pentagon says it's not aware of the extent of the damage. It doesn't believe there were any injuries. But nevertheless, obviously, the U.S. government regrets this bombing accident -- especially coming as it does on the first day of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. Wolf?

BLITZER: Jamie McIntyre, thank you very much. And we'll have much more on the top of the hour on "THE POINT WITH GRETA VAN SUSTEREN" on both of these breaking news stories.

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