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AP: Explosives Were Inside Flight 63 Suspect's Shoes

Aired December 23, 2001 - 10:48   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.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Miles O'Brien at the CNN center in Atlanta, continuing our coverage of American Airlines Flight 63. That flight, a 767, left Paris on its way to Miami, was diverted to Boston after an altercation involving one passenger who claimed he had explosives inside his shoes. Apparently he was trying to light his shoes.

The Associated Press just reporting that preliminary tests indicate there were, in fact, some sort of explosives inside the shoes of that passenger who is now in custody.

CNN's Major Garrett is at the White House with some more details for us -- Major.

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Miles, there is no independent confirmation of that AP report from senior officials CNN has spoken with. As a matter of fact, a senior Department of Transportation official told me just a few moments ago that they had not been notified yet officially from the FBI, which is the lead investigatory agency in this case, what exactly was in the shoes of that person now in custody, and who caused that melee aboard that American Airlines flight.

One thing the Department of Transportation official did tell us, however, is that based on a thorough investigation the department has done overnight, there is no evidence whatsoever, this official says, that this incident is related to any sort of larger systematic assault on the United States air travel system itself. It's an isolated incident, the Department of Transportation official tells CNN. And for that, the official said the Transportation Department is sure that they've isolated this person, and the investigation continues.

But no sense at all that there is a larger threat to the system generally -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: CNN's Major Garrett at the White House, thank you very much. Our coverage of American Airlines Flight 63 will continue all throughout the day, as well as the rest of the events in the world.

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