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CNN BREAKING NEWS

New Airplane Hijacking Threats Reported by U.S. Government

Aired July 29, 2003 - 16:14   ET

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

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Earlier our homeland security correspondent Jeanne Meserve told us of a possible threat to U.S. airlines. We have her back now, Jeanne, I understand, with some breaking news.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's tight, Candy. We now have taken a look at the advisory that went out to the aviation community and state and local law enforcement. And it provides more detail about this possible threat of hijackings in the U.S. or against U.S. targets saying that at least one of these attacks could take place before September of 2003.

It says attack venues could include not only the East Coast of the United States, but also the United Kingdom, Italy or Australia. All of those because of the relatively high concentration of government, military and economic targets. The extremists may plan to identify, the advisory says, flights that transit target countries so they would not need visas for those countries.

It says the hijackings could involve the use of five-man teams that would try to seize control of an aircraft either on takeoff or landing, meaning that the teams would not necessarily need to have any kind of flight training. As we have reported throughout the day, they may try to lead passengers to believe they are only in a hostage- taking sort of situation.

It and also says that the hijackings may attempt to use common items used by travelers such as cameras modified as weapons.

CROWLEY: Jeanne, thanks so much.

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