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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Bush Administration Reacts to Reports From Logan Airport

Aired December 22, 2001 - 18:28   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.
CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: American Airlines Flight 63 was diverted on its way from Paris to Miami to Boston's Logan International Airport after a passenger on board that plane apparently tried to ignite explosives that were hidden in his shoes. That man was subdued and sedated. Fighter jets had to escort the plane to Boston. We're going to go now to CNN's Kelly Wallace who's standing by at the White House with the latest reaction from the Bush administration. Hello again, Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hello again to you, Catherine.

Some additional information to bring to you at this time. We do know that President Bush was notified about this situation earlier today and that he has already had a briefing on the situation. The president, as we have noted, is spending the holiday weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David. Also Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge is aware of the situation and we know the administration has been in touch with the Massachusetts governor's office as well.

The word from the White House, Catherine, is that the administration has been monitoring the situation since it became aware of it late morning according to one administration official. We also know the FBI, the lead investigative agency, at this time. A spokeswoman for the FBI field office in Boston saying that the FBI currently has one person in custody for -- quote -- "interference with a flight crew", not releasing any more information saying it is an ongoing investigation.

And we also know, Catherine, as Jeff Levine has been reporting at the Pentagon as well, U.S. military officials confirming that two F-15 fighter jets did escort that American Airlines plane into Boston's Logan International Airport, and I am told by one U.S. official that those planes intercepted the American Airlines flight as soon as it entered American airspace.

That is the latest from here. Obviously, U.S. officials here at the White House and throughout the government monitoring the situation closely. But right now, that's all we have for you. Catherine, back to you.

CALLAWAY: Are you hearing anything about this individual? Kelly, all we're hearing is that he was apparently carrying a British passport and was about 28 years old, traveling alone with no luggage. WALLACE: I know, very interesting. Really tight-lipped from the FBI, from the White House here, not saying much, not talking about the individual's name, not talking about his nationality, age, nothing at all. So, all the information has been coming from that news conference we saw from the aviation officials earlier this afternoon, Catherine.

CALLAWAY: Yeah, I know the passport said the name Richard Reid, but that's all the information we have. OK. CNN's Kelly Wallace from the White House, thank you for the latest from there, Kelly.

WALLACE: Sure.

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