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Missile 'evidence' for flight TWA800 crash

Investigators into the crash last July of flight TWA800 have seized a videotape that could support claims that the aircraft was downed off Long Island by a missile in either a terrorist attack or in a friendly- fire mishap.

The FBI was granted a subpoena for the seizure late last Monday by a District Court in New York. The tape, which is likely to be viewed by a federal grand jury today, belonged to a former United Airlines pilot, Richard Russell. It is believed to show radar images of some object hurtling towards the aircraft just before it exploded, killing all 230 aboard. Officials insist that they have found no evidence that a missile struck it. They have dismissed a report published earlier this week in a California newspaper, the Press-Enterprise, detailing what it said was new evidence that a missile penetrated the fuselage. Mr Russell, who assisted the newspaper's reporting, yesterday denounced the confiscation of his tape. "They took my property away, but that's the way they operate ... It's a cover-up," he said. David Usborne - New York