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FBI Revisits a House in Delray Beach, Florida

Aired September 16, 2001 - 16:35   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 have a development in the investigation. CNN getting word that a raid has been conducted by the FBI on a house in Delray Beach, Florida. Our Susan Candiotti is in the scene there in Delray Beach. Susan, can you tell us why this house and what the FBI is looking to find?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are not certain why the FBI has returned to this particular location because they have been here before. They are back at the apartment of one of the 19 suspected hijackers identified by the FBI.

This is an apartment as you look up here. Sources say another hijacker may also have lived in this very same building. This one occupied by a Said al Ghandi (ph). Sources say again, someone else may also have lived here, one of the other suspected hijackers, Ahmed al Nami.

According to the Justice Department, al Ghandi is one of four hijackers believed to have commandeered United Airlines flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania that night have been heading also to the nation's capital. Federal agents, we have observed, have been taking in boxes and electrical cords, taking out garbage bags into this apartment building.

Some of the agents wearing protective suits. This is a scene that is being repeated nationwide. As the FBI continues to comb the country, crisscrossing it, trying to find out who is behind the terrorist attacks and who may have been helping the hijackers who were involved.

As you can imagine, as the scene is repeated everywhere. Residents who live in this apartment complex and in other neighborhoods around the country find this all very unnerving as this woman will tell you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to be more informed of what is going on because we are living so close to it. But it is all hearsay, really, everything you see on the news and read in the papers, so maybe just to be informed because of the fact that we do live here, but other than that, I guess they have to do what they have to do.

CANDIOTTI: As you can see, a small crowd gathered in this parking lot here as naturally, the activity has drawn the attention of people who live around here. Also a number of reporters and photographers, all of us waiting to learn more about what is going on.

One of the things that the FBI is looking at not only here in Florida, but nationwide, is how the suspected hijackers were able to blend into the community as they were able to do, the suspected hijacks. For example: Spending time in homes and apartments not raising any extra attention or drawing attention to themselves, attending flight schools, they are looking at restaurants that they have gone to for example.

And here in South Florida, it might have been easy for them to not draw any attention to themselves because it is a very transient community. So this is one they are looking at. Also the fact tha they brought their families with them. Women believed to be their wives and children, some of whom, were, reportedly, according to some of the residents here, left before these attacks began. These are one of the many things that investigators are looking at nationwide, and we will stand by here to see if we can learn anything more about what happened here this day -- Daryn, back to you.

KAGAN: Susan, I just want to understand, as the FBI looks into this apartment here, is it under the idea that the suspect left it occupied, their belongings are still inside, or are they looking at an apartment that has been emptied out?

CANDIOTTI: It is unclear to us exactly what transpired, because we have been unable to learn much information about why they have come back to this location. According to residents here, a search warrant was executed here earlier in the week, last Wednesday, we are told. And we don't know exactly why agents have returned this day, presumably to gather additional evidence.

KAGAN: Clearly something that has raised their suspicion and taken their interest. Susan Candiotti, thank you so much. I realize you just arrived there on the scene in Delray Beach, Florida. More from Susan just ahead. Now back to Bobbie Battista and TALKBACK LIVE.

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