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CNN BREAKING NEWS

New Evidence in Shoe Bomb Case

Aired January 25, 2002 - 11:00   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.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We need to share breaking news in the case of shoe bomber, the alleged shoe bomber. Sources saying there is forensic evidence suggesting that suspected bomber Richard Reid did not act alone.

Susan Candiotti is with us from Washington with details on this.

Susan, hello.

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Daryn.

CNN has learned investigators now have proof alleged shoe bomber Richard Reid did not make the explosives in his shoes by himself. U.S. government sources and intelligence sources overseas tell CNN palm prints and hair samples that do not match Reid's have been discovered in the bomb hidden inside Reid's sneakers.

Sources tell me and London-based correspondent Sheila MacVicar, the evidence was obtained through extensive laboratory analysis by the FBI. The terrorist suspect has claimed he built the homemade device himself, according to sources, but investigators were never convinced. Sources say Reid also claimed he paid $1,500 for the bombmaking materials to a Czechoslovakian man in Amsterdam.

The FBI said it was a very sophisticated device and a highly volatile mix, including PETN and TATP. TATP has been widely used by the Palestinian group Hamas in Mideast terrorist attacks. The chemicals used to make TATP are easily obtained, but a very dangerous combination. The FBI repeatedly has said it doubted Reid's claim that he put together the bomb himself. He has now charged with attempting to blow up American Airlines flight 63 last month from Paris to Miami.

Authorities say his plans were disrupted when a flight attendant caught Reid trying to light a wire sticking out of one of his sneakers. With help from other crew and passengers, Reid was wrestled to the floor. He's currently under suicide watch at a Massachusetts detention center, and he has pleaded not guilty to these charges -- Daryn.

KAGAN: Susan, when they're talk these prints that don't -- or prints and hair that don't match Richard Reid, they're not just talking about on the shoe; they're talking at the actual explosive part, by the bomb. CANDIOTTI: That's correct, and that's what makes it important, because clearly, other people could have touched the shoe when they were moving the sneakers.

KAGAN: One thing to know that it's somebody else's. It's another to trace exactly who belongs to those prints.

CANDIOTTI: That could prove much more difficult, but of course the investigation goes on to who else he might have been working with.

KAGAN: More questions ahead. Susan Candiotti in Washington, thank you very much.

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