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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  April 25, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT

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before we go, we want to show you the cover of "boston" magazine just out there. take a look at this. there you see it, a heart made with running shoes. in the middle it says we will finish the race. after being here for nearly two weeks now, having the privilege of seeing the strength of the people here, the determination
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to not be defined by this attack, they are exactly right. they will finish the race. there's no doubt about it. that does it for us. thanks very much for watching. we'll be back about two hours from now. erin barnett starts now. >> out front next, erin burnett in times square. plus, we have the very latest on the investigation tonight. friends of dzhokhar tsarnaev now being held tonight in federal custody. let's go "outfront." ♪ >> good evening.
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out front tonight, this was the next target on the boston bomber's hit list. the surviving suspect has told investigators that he and his brother were headed right here to times square in new york city to detonate more explosives before they were stopped. i'll have a lot more on this story from right here in times square. and we have all the other angles of the investigation covered tonight. in boston, drew griffin, david mattingly and brian todd. in rhode island, erin pike. nick robertson with new in fact on the suspect's parents. here's what we know. obviously you get a sense of how loud and busy it is here in times square. sit an incredibly busy place. hundreds of thousands come here today. here's what we know about the alleged plot to bomb times
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square. the younger son, dzhokhar, told investigators he and his brother tamerlan were driving to new york the night they ended up in but even if it was a last-minute decision, new york city mayor michael bloomberg and police commissioner ray kelly said the attack could have been horrific. >> the two brothers had at their disposal six improvised explosive devices. one was a pressure cooker bomb similar to the two that exploded at the marathon. the other two were pipe bombs. >> mary snow is here with me tonight. when you see all the people here, you realize this is the center of this city, if not beyond. what do you know about the details of the plan? >> there aren't many details, and the way the police commissioner and mayor described this, they were briefed by the fbi wednesday night. they said this was talk of targeting times square. and the police commissioner said
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that the way he described this plan was that it was spontaneous. but he was told that the brothers had talked about this after they had, you know, carjacked a car that mercedes suv, and that is when this discussion came up. let's take a listen to what he had to say. >> that plan, however, fell apart when they realized that the vehicle that they hijacked was low on gas and ordered the driver to stop at a nearby gas station. the driver used the opportunity to escape and call the police. that eventually led to the shootout in watertown, where the older brother was killed in an exchange of gunfire with the police. >> and, you know, the police commissioner and mayor say there are no specific threats to the
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city and knew of no specific targets, only that it was times square. >> but they're looking into it. >> and what about times square? well, we're saying tonight, i know hundreds of thousands of people come through here today. today, the mayor said look, this place is incredibly secure. there's a lot of cameras here that helped identify someone after a bombing that didn't prevent it, but someone else did. how secure is it? >> you know, you talk about close to 400,000 people, apparently, coming through the heart of times square. the police said had they made it to new york, the police would have stepped up that security.
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but can you prevent something like this when somebody is acting on their own? can you really secure everything? and security cameras can tell you after the fact but they can't, obviously, you know, prevent an attack. and in 2010, just a couple of blocks from where we are, was caught in that foiled bomb attack by a street vendor who alerted police that something was suspicious. >> right. the video cob rated. corroborated, but it was him being alert. >> well, with me here in times square tonight, i want to go back to boston and drew griffin. today, you learned that two friends of the younger brother, dzhokhar tsarnaev have been detained by federal agents obviously, now under questioning for quite some time. do you know why they're being held? >> these are the two that were arrested last friday on a student department at the university of massachusetts,
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dartmouth. it turns out, e rin, there was very, very good reason for that heavy presence, fbi raid, if you will, and the handcuffing of these two men down at the school. one of thooz two students actually shared the same cell phone. and as the fbi was tracking the cell phone, tracking the social media, they believed they had him in that apartment. and they thought they were about to capture him. those two students now are being held on immigration visa issues with immigration enforcement control. as far as we can tell, there is no evidence they have anything to do with this plot. but they are being held and continue to be held on those immigration violations in the abundance of caution. basically, they're asking them questions. they're tracing all their electronic trails to make sure they know everything that dzhokhar and his brother tamerlan were doing before and
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after that bombing at the boston marathon. erin? >> it certainly seems to be sorts of saying one thing and doing another, perhaps. i know, drew, tonight, you're learning as the fbi is investigating the older brother, his phone number was linked to two other terror suspects, what have you learned on that? >> that's right. and i'm looking down because i'm referring to my notes to make sure we have this absolutely accurate. our information is m coing from a u.s. senator who will be nameless who was briefed by a u.s. government official who said that the connection between tamerlan and the suspects, these terror suspects, was twice removed. what does that mean? it means that tamerlan was in contact with people who had been in contact with those terrorist suspects. both those terror suspect cases had been closed at the time of this communication. so it appears, again, that lead
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went nowhere. we tried to contact the fbi about it. there was no contact from the federal bureau of investigation. erin? >> drew, thank you very much. >> i want to go to where the suspect's parents live. nick robertson is is there today. the suspect's father said that he's going to be headed to the state. what's going on? >> reporter: yeah, the husband has health issues. he was at the press conference today or yesterday, thursday as it was. and he said no, i'm going to go to the united states today. i talked to him as he left that press conference, he said he was going to go and try to talk to his son in the hospital. but later on in the evening, we found out from his wife he had become too ill to travel. there was a thought he might travel on friday. that now seems unlikely. so it's all up in the air.
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but that's kind of the narrative we've had from these parents in the situation so far, erin. >> i know the suspect's father said he's going to cooperate with investigators, but at the least i think i'm underselling this. the parents seem to be shooting down negative comments about their sons, the mother saying their sons were framed. are other parents really cooperating? >> it's hard to tell. they wouldn't answer specific questions about that and certainly the mother was saying some of those images you've seen with the backpack, you know, one of the sons leaving the backpack, she said that could have been changed by computers. so in denial, in confusion about the situation. they can't accept it. but we've heard about this character that so influenced tamerlan. when she described meeting him,
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she said, i was ashamed. he came in, washed his hands, he prayed twice. she said after he left, not only was tamerlan influenced, but the mother also. she said she, after that meeting, that first meeting, was so impressed by this man, that she began regular and routine prayers as she said as a devout muslim. >> all right. thank you very much. and nick referencing the mother. we have late breaking news on the fact that the russians may have thought she was also a problem. we have that, and her denial of what happened last week in boston in her own words. because nothing can really capture it. i want to play it for you. that's coming up. and the distrust between the u.s. and russians, did it prevent americans from following up on tips from russia? and the mosque where some say tamerlan tsarnaev prayed. they say they don't add him up. and why his wife has gone silent. ♪
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we are live tonight in times square. this is where authorities say that the suspected boston marathon bombers wanted to attack next. a place where you can see those behind me, up to 400,000 people a day come through this square. tonight, the justice department is under fire for how it handled its interrogation of the younger brother, dzhokhar tsarnaev. this would be crucial. mike rogers told cnn that tsarnaev was read his miranda rights too soon. >> once they walked into the hospital room and offered if lawyer and mirandized, the subject has not continued to
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cooperate with authorities. that's a huge problem. >> that's a huge problem. deb, i know there are so many questions about this. what do you know about the reading of dzhokhar tsarnaev's miranda rights? >> erin, it's the law. they have to read him his mir ran da rights. the question that was being done was in the interest of public safety. investigatorings wanted to know whether there was anymore bombs. this questioning was done over the course of several hours. doctors were present and they allowed the defendant to speak, not to speak, but they allowed the defendant to answer these questions. he was heavily sedated. the justice department is really pushing back on this one. the suggestion that the judge interrupted him prematurely, simply incorrect. the u.s. attorneys are the ones
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prosecuting this case. they're the ones who are in charge. but as soon as a criminal complaint is filed, there's a certain amount of time in which the department has to show for initial appearance. the judge was here at the hospital. so she was here and this was done well in advance. the prosecutors office knew about it. court report, u.s. marshal. even the staff here at the hospital. so this was done the way it was supposed to be done. this is what's done. you have to do this so the defendant knows he's got the right to remain silent and he has the right to counsel. that's just what the law says. that's what the judge did. so this was all done according to legal protocol.
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tonight. major questions also remain about what our intelligence and law enforcement agencies knew about the tsarnaev brothers before the bombings last week. i spoke to congressman today and started asking him about the brothers plans in times square, new york of a the boston bombings. >> they made a comment that they were going to go to new york. one comment i heard in the beginning might have been they were going to celebrate. the next thing you heard, they might go to attack. i think the police commissioner in new york was right, they had the capacity to drive 3 1/2 hours to do some kind of attack. >> people have also asked about this is a family that had been granted citizenship to this country because they were fleeing persecution. then the mother and father went back.
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people have asked if you were fleeing persecution, why would you go back? russia had asked the united states to check up on tamerlan tsarnaev and also on his mother. this is a woman who told cnn last night, the blood was paint, that this entire thing was a hoax and her son was framed. so very deranged things. >> when russia contacted the fbi we investigated them for four months. we didn't find any information or any type of evidence that would show he was radicalized. after four months, we stopped the investigation. there was no more evidence there. during that period of time, we asked russia three times to give us more information and they never got back. as far as the mother is concerned, she's relevant. again, what happened when she went -- when tamerlan went back to russia? things changed when he came back. it seemed he was different. his personality was different.
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he had became a lot more orthodox in his religion. so this is another avenue hopefully russia will work with us. >> you're talking about the fbi and the cia and the question whether the ball was dropped anywhere. we do know now for a fact that tsarnaev was on three counterterrorism databases. senator lindsey graham said it was a failure. i want to play for you what the senator said. >> boston is becoming to me a case study in system failure. between benghazi and boston, our systems are failing and we're going backwards. >> it's amazing, he was on all these lists and yet the fbi and the cia didn't know he spent six months in russia. he was on all these lists and when they had video of him, they didn't seem to notice this matched the guy in boston that was on the list and they had to go to the public.
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something seems to not add up. >> as far as lists are concerned, once the fbi stopped their investigate shun, they got no more information in four months. he was put on a list. that worked. why it worked is when he bought a plane ticket to go to russia, that kicked out and right away kicked out to the fbi and the fbi gave it to border patrol. so we knew as soon as he -- because he was just investigated, that when he bought a plane ticket, his name came up. >> he was there for six months in an area known for radicalism. wouldn't they at least check in to what he did? >> you raise a good question. the fbi is trained to follow the law. the justice department works with the fbi. the fbi is part of the justice department. so we need to relook at our standards. but we also want to protect our constitutional rights for americans, too. that was congressman dutch rupersburg.
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i want to get to our other story tonight. is syria crossing obama's redline. chuck hagel has a major development that syria has used serin gas on its citizens. syria's use of chemical weapons is crossing a red line. but, today, when they said they're using the chemical weapons, did the administration back off taking action? jim acosta is in washington tonight with the latest. >> setting the stage for what could be a military showdown, defense secretary chuck hagel said u.s. intelligence decided in the last 24 hours to warn the world that they suspect syria may have used chemical weapons in that country's civil war. >> the u.s. intelligence community assesses with some degree of varying confidence that is syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in syria.
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>> the assessment is based on physiological samples. a senior white house official told reporters if proven true ultimately assad is accountable. it's a message president obama clif delivered during his visit to israel just last month. >> once we establish the facts, i have made clear that the use of chemical weapons is a game changer. >> reporter: earlier this week, israeli intelligence officials found evidence that sarin gas has been used in two attacks in aleppo and near damascus. >> victims suffered from foaming from the mouth and other symptoms which indicate the use of chemical weapons. >> reporter: an account backed by syria's rebel leader. >> it was very clear that the regime used the chemical weapons. >> reporter: still, the obama administration is called on the united nations to investigate, saying there's a need for clear and credible evidence.
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white house officials are warning what happened the last time the u.s. rushed to war over weapons of mass destruction. a note of caution on the same day president obama attended the opening of president george bush's presidential library. >> i think it's pretty obvious that red line has been crossed. >> reporter: john mccain saying it's time to consider military intervention. >> to provide a safe area for the opposition to operate. to establish a no-fly zone and provide weapons to the people in the resistance who we trust. >> reporter: white house officials aren't saying what evidence they're looking for. one thing that is clear here at the white house and on capitol hill, the calls are for an international effort to rid syria of chemical weapons.
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no one is saying the u.s. should go it alone. erin? >> thanks to you, jim. "outfront" next, brian todd has new details about the mystery man who may have convinced tamerlan tsarnaev to embrace a radical form of islam. plus, the mother of the two bombing suspects. she says the attacks were staged with red paint. with the bing it on challenge to show google users what they've been missing on bing.
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i'm erin burnett live in times square tonight. we have new details about the mysterious man who may have convinced tamerlan tsarnaev who embrace a radical form of islam. his parents spoke to cnn openly about the man identified at this point only as misha. and the influence that this man may have had on both their family and in particular, their oldest son. brian todd is "outfront" tonight in cambridge. >> reporter: the parents of bombing suspects tamerlan and dzhokhar tsarnaev give new details about a man named misha, who the mother says brought more religion into their home. >> when misha visited us, he just opened our eyes, you know, really wide about islam. he was really -- he is devoted
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and is very good, very nice man. >> reporter: but a man whose full name they say they don't know. the mother believes the first name might be mikhail. other relatives say they don't know the full name either. they describe misha as armenian, a convert to islam. they say he has a brother who is a history professor and a father who is an athletic instructor. cnn cannot verify that information. there's no evidence that misha steered either of the brothers towards terrorism, but two other relatives say it was misha who made tamerlan tsarnaev turn toward a more radical form of islam. the mother describes the moment she and tamerlan became truly inspired by misha. >> i was ashamed when the one who converted was praying in our house, you know. we who the ones were born weren't praying. so after he left, we decided it was embarrassing for us to not be praying at least, you know? so that's what happened. that's the moment. >> reporter: but there were reportedly other moments involving misha that created tension in the family. relatives say misha lived near the tsarnaev family apartment
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here in cambridge and came to visit at least twice. an uncle and former brother-in-law of the suspects >> reporter: but there were reportedly other moments involving misha that created tension in the family. relatives say misha lived near the tsarnaev family apartment here in cambridge and came to visit at least twice. an uncle and former brother-in-law of the suspects
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have said that on one occasion, the father came home late at night and saw misha preaching to tamerlan tsarnaev. the father became angry and tried to get him to leave. that led to tension with the mother. one law enforcement official says he doesn't think misha has been located yet. >> a guy that's been identified by family members as the one who turned him radical would be a key figure, because how far did that radicalization go, and how much involved was this misha? did he do more than just get tamerlan to change his philosophy about his religion? >> misha was crucial and when you hear about the family and the relationship, the family dynamic, who was more into islam with the parents and the son, who really called the shots here?
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>> reporter: through interviews that families have given to cnn, we are getting a sense of that. and we're getting a sense that the mother, zubeidat was much more into islam than the father was. she was calling the shots. they turned to her for guidance. we did report just then that there was tension between the mother and father over misha being at the apartment. and just the mother being much more focused and much more devout than just about anyone else in the family except for tamerlan. tamerlan, of course, getting that from misha. you do get this mosaic kind of being pieced together tonight on the mother and tamerlan really being into islam much more than anybody else in the family than misha being a catalyst to that and that the father and others may be having problems with.
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>> brian todd, thank you very much. we are just learning that the russians also asked the united states to check up on the brother's mother. her name was actually added to a data base called t.i.d.e. the terrorist identities data mart environment. her name was added at the same time her son tamerlan's name was also added to that database. obviously, this opens up the investigation even further. i want to go back to nick payton walsh is standing by. you had a chance to speak with the mother. let's go back to nick peyton walsh. nick, you have actually had a chance to meet this woman, speak to this woman. any idea why she made authorities suspicious? >> reporter: it is, in some ways, strange. it's clear from talking to her that tamerlan was influenced by tamerlan. and she says tamerlan put pressure on her telling her to cover up her hair and they both
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chose this route together. it's a shame that misha seemed more competent obviously, the confusion is going to be precisely who was the contact that she and her son, tamerlan had. what were they both mutualctual i think. it appears tamerlan was here last year in russia than a different period of time. she came in the middle of the year in summer and kind of switched out with tamerlan, taking over the job of looking after the father here. so many questions here, certainly. let's bear in mind how she talked about how the fbi came to talk to tm and her about her eldest son's fbi said radicalization. >> they said that they think tamerlan is kind of a little in the radical side of islam and
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that they just don't want -- like they are keeping their eye on, you know, the boys, the young boys, like tamerlan. so any bombing, any, like, explosions wouldn't happen in america. >> so they said -- >> on the streets, like, on the streets. >> so they're going to be watching you. they said that? >> they said that we watch boys like tamerlan. >> reporter: now, they do seem on three occasions, perhaps, to be suspicions about members of the tsarnaev family suggesting that investigation be done. and they did add the mother to the particular list. so, certainly, allegations about a lack of cooperation the russians will be strongly denied by moscow, of course, because historically, they always claimed the fight is against the same kind of terrorism that the u.s. has been facing for the last ten years.
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but, of course, that cold war between the two powers still endures on this kind of topic, erin? >> and, nick, you know, we've also heard the mother. when you spoke to her. vehemently denied her sons could have been involved. said the whole thing was a hoax and that the blood in boston was red paint. bizarre and horrible things to say. any -- i mean, do you have any sense that she knew what was going on? or why would she speak to you that way? >> i think if you're looking in the pure human way, let's just put away any ak suizations against her and imagine what she's dealing with. the enormous trauma of not just one of your sons dying, but being heavily injured and then facing the death penalty, bear in mind how hard that is to absorb. she does not want to believe that is true. the u.s. authorities have to prove it, but perhaps she's then choosing to believe anything she
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can lay her hands on that perhaps allows her to believe her sons were innocent, including conspiracy theories. that's where she gets the comment about the paint from. but a conspiracy theory she read on the internet provided that to her. >> nick peyton walsh, thank you very much. as we try to learn more about the mother, the other woman close to tamerlan tsarnaev, was his wife. and, in fact, she could be invaive investigator's best source. after all, she was living with him during that time in a very small apartment. catherine russel, known as katie, has been in seclusion since her husband was killed. there was some activity where she has been ever since her husband was killed. erin, what happened there? >> hey, there, erin. today, there is a stepped up security presence. we saw about half a dozen security vehicles by midday. every time one of kati russel's
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family members left the house, one of those security vehicles would trail them as they were coming and going. the other thing that i can tell you, as far as we know, the past three days, katie russel and her young daughter have not left this house holt, erin. . >> all right, erin mcpike. thank you very much. we know that she'll be very helpful to investigators. if tamerlan tsarnaev was practicing a radical form of islam, why didn't anyone recognize that he was planning deadly violence. his family says they began to notice a change in his behavior back in the 2009. our david mattingingly is investigating that part of the story. >> worshipping under the roof of this neighborhood mosque, the tsarnaev brothers arouse no suspicions they were planning deadly violence. defend itself against claims it is a haven for radicals.
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>> a lot of the claims made are simply false.>> crles jacobs isf the islamic society of boston. >> they're aiming to transform the youth, particularly the youth, into more and more radical islamist beliefs. >> reporter: he claims the group has had numerous affiliations with extremists. >> there have been several instances of people connected with terror and hate speech at that mosque. >> reporter: one figure is abdul aham al-amudy. once consulted by presidents clinton and george w. bush, he was sentenced in 2004 to 23 years in prison for terrorist fund-raising and conspiring to murder the saudi prince. the isb says during his time there, he followed all rules and regulations. a defense similar when it comes to the tsarnaev brothers. they never expressed any
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sentiments of violent behavior. >> if we could have done more, we would have. >> the people who knew the brothers were immediately instructed to call the fbi. the younger brother rarely attended services here, and the older brother only occasionally. it was his own actions that seemed to dispute the idea of a radical mosque. three months ago, he shouted at a preacher. charles jacob stopped short of accusing the mosque of having a hand in radicalization. is there any evidence that any of these teachers were used in radicalizing the bombers? >> we don't know that. >> i know that there are is many questions.
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what happens to the members of the mosque find they have a radical in their midst, what do they do? >> reporter: the litmus test seems to be violence. when you have someone like tamerlan tsarnaev standing up in a sermon, interrupting the sermon and then getting mad and angry and calling the minister names because he objected to how he was portraying dr. martin luther king, that didn't raise enough red flags. >> they talked to him after that. the results of that he didn't come quite as often. when he did, he would come to pray. but he didn't necessarily come to listen anymore, not to those sermons. >> thank you very much, david, reporting for us from boston.
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tonight, we go to bangladesh where rescuers are searching for survivors of a building collapse. local reports say 254 people have died. others may be at risk. here's the latest on the investigation. >> erin, bang ladesh officials say the building was not in compliance with safety rules and regulations. the country's high court has ordered the building owners and the owner's of the factories to appear in court. some of the workers who survived said that they actually saw massive cracks on the 7th floor on tuesday and had expressed their concern. the factory owners told them there was nothing to worry about and ordered them to report to work. now, more that be 36 hours since that building collapsed, seens of complete desperation, as rescue workers are still crambling to pull out as many survivors as they can.
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eyewitnesss tell us they can still hear people yelling from underneath that rubble asking crying for help. so far, 2,000 people have been rescued. but many more are still trapped. erin? >> and, of course, people here in the u.s. need to pay close attention to that. that factory in there made a lot of clothes that we buy right here in the united states. 14 boston victims have had at least one leg amputated. that number may still rise. heather abbot was hit by the second blast. incredibly hit by first responders, doctors saved her leg. but surgeons saw a lot of damage. and they said amputation may have been the best option. >> it's certainly not something i would wish upon anybody else,
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but it's certainly not as bad as i thought it could have been. i'm going to be able to live my life in a normal way. >> dr. sanjay gupta joins me now. why did heather have to make this decision. i know it was her decision, not necessarily the doctor. >> typically, it is the patient's decision. there's going to be some situations where it's just a clear cut decision. it's going to be clear that the leg cannot be saved. or on the other side of things, it's clear that the operations are going to save the leg. what typically happens is you do all the things to restore the bone, stabilize the bone, repair the arteries and nerves. and then you sort of see how is the patient doing? and sometimes the leg just does not regain that function. sometimes it becomes a source of pain. but it is the patient's decision, ultimately.
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erin, this is how her doctor put it. >> it's very, very rare that the doctor makes the decision. we do everything to let the patient come to their own decision. because values for every separate patient are different. and keeping a limb may be very important to one while, for someone else, i think like heather, function is paramount. >> it's a tough decision, as you might imagine. but the patient usually makes that decision with a lot of guidance from the doctor. >> sanjay, i know that heather was in the hospital for a week before she had to mablg this choice, this choice that would terrify fin. are there other victims out there who may have to make this decision down the line? >> that is quite possible. the si r scenario is this.
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everything has been done in terms of infections and stabilizing the bone. and then it's a little bit of a wait and see. there's no hardened, fast rule in terms of how long you wait. the doctor has said for all sorts of different reasons, are going to error much more on the side of trying to save the limb. but at some point, if the leg is just not regaining function, if it becomes a source of pain that cannot be controlled, then, the patient can make a decision. and it can be several days or weeks from now. all right, sanjay gupta, thank you very much. just incredible to watch heather abbot. sweet carrolline. ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day
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thousands of people around the country have been showing their support for boston by singing and by buying neil diamonds sweet caroline. around the country, we've heard it over the past week. diamond has embraced the tradition leading the crowd and singing it at last saturday's
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>> this is piers morgan live. police say the bombing suspects plan to attack next. a chilling thought. they targeted the heart of the city. probably could have killed and maimed many more people. >> the two brothers had at their disposal six imp row vised explosive kwiess. >> also, breaking tonight, sourszs tell cnn that the russians alerted the u.s. about the suspect's mother. and added her name to a