Specifically, it had some canisters of hydrazine used for propulsion that would cause ‘harm’. Something had to be done!
If I’m reading this right, a spy satellite that would burn up on reentry was shot down so that it could burn up on reentry.
Interestingly, they used a projectile with no warhead. Good ol’ kinetic energy from something moving very fast smacking into something else moving very fast.
And in the “Bad American News Story” file, this CNN feature has (among paranoid New Yorkers expecting a satellite to fall on their heads) a picture of the Hubble Space Telescope as “the satellite”.