tv The Situation Room CNN May 1, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
way back from court as their sheriff's vehicle drives on the highway in boston. that is it for "the lead" today. i'm jake tapper. thanks for watching. i'll now leave you in the able hands of mr. wolf blitzer in "the situation room." wolf? jake, thanks very much. happening now, we're following the breaking news. three new arrests tied to the boston bombings investigation. friends of the alleged bomber, dzhokhar tsarnaev, have just appeared in court. they are charged with a coverup. two of them are said to have disposed of tsarnaev's lap top and a backpack containing fireworks. and we've learned of text messages dzhokhar tsarnaev allegedly sent to his buddies while on the run. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin this hour with a stunning new twist in the boston bombings case. federal authorities have charged
two friends with conspiring to destroy, conceal, and cover up tangible objects belonging to the suspected bomber, dzhokhar tsarnaev, namely, in their words, a lap top and back tack containing fireworks. a third friend is charged with willfully making materially false statements to investigators. the first two are kazakh nationals and the third an american citizen. all three have just appeared in court. let's go to the courthouse in boston, cnn's pamela brown is right outside and was inside during the proceeding. how did it go, pam? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. the initial appearances ended about an hour ago. all three of the suspects waived bail and will remain in voluntary detention until their next hearings. we did learn from the u.s. attorney's office that the three suspects were arrested on the federal charges early this afternoon. two of the suspects, dias kadyrbayev and azamat tazhayakov
from kazakhstan here on student visas are facing charges of obstruction of justice carrying five years and a $250,000 fine. the second -- the third suspect in the second hearing, 19-year-old phillipos, faces up to eight years in prison for allegedly making false statements to investigators. now, each of the three suspects walked in today with their heads down. they were wearing chains around their feet and handcuffs which were taken off by the way during the appearance. they looked nervous, upset. not making eye contact. in fact, at one point during the second hearing the judge told phillipos i suggest you pay attention rather than look down. when they spoke to the judge they were very soft spoken. according to their attorneys the three 19-year-olds are nervous, scared, and said they were actually helping the government and had no idea they were intentionally destroying evidence. let's take a listen to what
defense attorney robert staal had to say. >> dias kadyrbayev absolutely denies the charges as we've said from the very beginning. he assisted the fbi in this investigation. he is just as shocked and horrified by the violence in boston that took place as the rest of the community is. he did not know this individual was involved in the bombing. his first inkling came much later. the government allegations as far as that he saw the photograph and recognized them immediately we dispute and look forward to proving our case in court. he and his family are very sorry for what happened in boston and he did not have anything to do with it. >> reporter: so all of the defense attorneys for the three suspects are categorically denying the allegations and this very detailed criminal complaint from federal authorities that we just saw earlier this afternoon, i'm just going to talk about a couple parts of this criminal complaint, wolf. one of them, one of the excerpts
says, two days after the marathon bombings, dias kadyrbayev drove to tsarnaev's dormitory and texted him to come down and meet them. when tsarnaev came down he appeared tsarnaev appeared to have given himself a short haircut. they chatted while dias kadyrbayev smoked a cigarette and then tsarnaev returned to his dorm room. according to this criminal complaint, wolf, after that the two kazakhstan students are charged with going into tsarnaev's dormitory room and taking a backpack with fireworks and a lap top and disposing of the evidence. another part of this criminal complaint, dias kadyrbayev says he knew when he saw the empty fireworks i just talked about in tsarnaev's dormitory room that tsarnaev was indeed involved in the marathon bombing. so, wolf, we asked the attorneys here today, we said, if they suspected their friend was indeed involved in the bombing why didn't they alert authorities right then and
there? the attorney told me that that explanation will come out in court. we know a probable cause hearing for the two kazakhstan students is may 14th at 11:00 a.m. there is another hearing for the other student that will be this coming monday at 2:00 p.m. you have to remember, wolf, this is just a criminal complaint. we haven't even seen the indictment, which means there could possibly be more charges down the pipe here. >> wouldn't be surprised at all. did the lawyers explain if on that thursday night after the fbi released the photographs of the two suspects and they clearly recognized their roommate, their friend as being one of their suspects, did the lawyers explain why they never picked up the phone, called 911, or went to the fbi website and said, we know who that guy is, at least one of them. we probably know both of them. here's the information. we can identify those individuals suspected of killing those people and injuring those people at the boston marathon? did either of these two lawyers ever explain why they never
called the police? >> reporter: that question was asked when they first walked out of the courthouse, wolf, and they said no comment. i ran up to them after that and asked that question again and he looked at me and said, there will be an explanation about that that will come out in court. then he reiterated that he denies all of these allegations. but you have to wonder if this criminal complaint is true, if they suspected once they saw the empty fireworks in the room, that tsarnaev was indeed responsible for the bombings. and then seeing his picture on news outlets including cnn why they didn't pick up that phone. so many questions here, wolf. we hope to get some answers soon. >> and the criminal complaint says they did recognize as a result of what they saw, they saw the pictures on cnn, they did recognize their friends were the suspects in the boston marathon bombings. pam, stand by. i want to show our viewers a picture of the third suspect, the u.s. citizen. there he is.
robel phillipos, the third person arrested in connection with this alleged coverup of the boston bombing investigation. there you see all three of them there right now. ashleigh banfield is joining us. she is in boston and is watching what's going on. you're getting some information about this alleged coverup as well, ashleigh. what are you picking up? >> reporter: well, wolf, what i think is so fascinating is so many people have wondered if the suspect made connections with the two new suspects from kazakhstan because of their heritage and their ethnic background, what about the connection to this third suspect who made the court appearance today, roebl phillipos? i have just spoken with one of dzhokhar tsarnaev's high school classmates who can now confirm to us that the relationship between dzhokhar tsarnaev and robel phillipos may have in fact gone back to their high school. both of them were in the graduating class in 2011 of cambridge high school.
it is not clear whether dzhokhar spent all of 9, 10, 11, and 12 at that school but certainly robel phillipos did. the classmate with whom i spoke not only played basketball with robel phillipos, but also had gym class with dzhokhar tsarnaev. this classmate was not able to confirm a friendship between these two but he could confirm they did have mutual friends. in fact, one of them was just communicated with on the telephone and none too pleased to be talking at this point. i can also tell you there is very little description i can give you about robel phillipos as at least a high school senior other than he played on the basketball court with the source i was speaking with, the classmate, that he liked to talk a lot of smack on the basketball court but when i asked what kind of person he was, was he a nice guy, a tough guy? it seemed as though the description was that he was just a good guy, a bit mouthy but a good guy. again, we're talking about a 17-year-old in the graduating class of 2011. they were once again both
attending cambridge latin high school. that's robel phillipos, the third suspect, making that court appearance today. and he is the suspect, wolf, who is charged with making those false statements to the investigators the allegation being that he knew full well where dzhokhar tsarnaev was when he was on the lam and yet made false statements to the fbi investigators asking questions, despite knowing the severity of the incident that he might be accused of and despite having seen his picture on cnn and making the connection that, my god, he might actually be one of these bombers they're seeking. so extremely serious and it does tell you this could have been a far longer relationship he had with this third american suspect dating back to school. >> ashleigh, good information. thanks very much. and there it is. we finally got a picture of this third person arrested today, robel phillipos, arrested together with the two students from kazakhstan, dias kadyrbayev
and azamat tazhayakov. there they are all three of them, two of them appearing in court, robel phillipos appearing on monday. we'll continue to follow the breaking news, the dramatic news out of boston. up next the criminal complaint laying out step by step by step what these young men are accused of doing. we're breaking down all the details for you. then what the suspects in the alleged coverup are saying. we'll hear from their lawyers. ♪ [ male announcer ] the first look is only the beginning.
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kazakhstan, dias kadyrbayev and azamat tazhayakov. they appeared together and then separately robel phillipos, the american citizen, appeared. they are accused of serious allegations of covering up and potentially destroying evidence, all serious charges that they could face many years in prison if convicted. the federal criminal complaint spells out the detailed allegations against these three friends of the suspected terrorist dzhokhar tsarnaev. let's bring in our crime and justice correspondent joe johns with more details. it's a powerful, dramatic day today. what's going on? >> absolutely. and there are a lot of details, wolf. the fbi accounted this case filed in court today alleges these three individuals took measures to get rid of evidence for their friend dzhokhar tsarnaev even though they had serious reason to believe he had been involved in the boston bombings. now they're charged with conspiracy to construct justice, false statement. if obstructing an investigation is what they were trying to do
they didn't do it very well. an fbi affidavit says the two men from kazakhstan got the first hint of what was coming in a conversation with dzhokhar tsarnaev about a month before the marathon when dzhokhar explained he knew how to make a bomb. two days after the bombing before the photos were released dias kadyrbayev meets up with tsarnaev and noticed he, quote, appears to have given himself a short hair cut. according to the third suspect they started to freak out because it became clear from a cnn report we were watching that dzhokhar was one of the boston bombers. this was the evening of april 18th. they reached out in text messages to dzhokhar and told him he looked like the suspect on television. tsarnaev's return text contained lol and other things dias kadyrbayev interpreted as jokes such as you better not text me. also, come to my room and take whatever you want.
between 6:00 and 7:00 that night they went to tsarnaev's dormitory room on the u-mass dartmouth campus, the affidavit says. dias kadyrbayev located a backpack that contained an emptied out cardboard tube described as fireworks and a jar of vaseline believed to have been used to make bombs. dias kadyrbayev decided to remove the backpack from the room to help his friend tsarnaev avoid trouble and took the lap top and vaseline as well. about 10:00 p.m. dias kadyrbayev said they collectively decided to throw the backpack and fireworks into the trash. april 19th the next day azamat tazhayakov saw a garbage truck come to the apartment to empty the dumpster where dias kadyrbayev had discarded the backpack. when authorities interviewed robel phillipos on april 20th the affidavit says he initially said he did not remember going to the dormitory room then changed his story, saying he did not remember going there with the other two men, denying they had entered the room at all. it apparently wasn't until a
fourth interview on april 26th when robel phillipos eventually confessed that he had lied to agents during his previous interviews. this afternoon their lawyers are essentially saying they didn't know what they were doing and there are hints of support for that in the court papers. for example, one of the men said they took the lap top because it didn't want tsarnaev's roommate to think they were acting suspiciously by just taking the backpack. so there's stuff there for the lawyers to hash out. >> apparently it is unclear based on the complaint, the affidavit that was released today if they ever did recover that lap top, right? >> absolutely. unclear. >> we don't know if they found it in the landfill like they found some of the other stuff? >> right. >> it is unclear what happened, the fate of that lap top right now. >> there are a number of gaps if here and obviously this is the first court filing, so you have to expect the justice department will fill in their gaps of the case in time and so will the defense attorney. >> thanks very much, joe johns reporting for us.
the suspects in this alleged cover up could face very stiff penalties, many years in prison. let's bring in our senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin. you know, what jumped out at me, jeff, is that the m.i.t. police officer sean collier was killed after apparently these allegations if they're true the three students recognized the picture and apparently failed to call the fbi or local police and say we know who at least one of the suspects is. i wonder if they potentially could be charged with some sort of involvement in negligent homicide if you will in the death of that m.i.t. police officer? >> i think that's unlikely. it's very difficult to prosecute people for failing to act. that's been a traditional dilemma in american law about how you can hold people responsible for moral faults like that, but that is no really a criminal offense. they're in a world of trouble for what they did do.
i think it's going to be difficult to prosecute them for what they didn't do. >> if they would have immediately called the campus police or the local police or the fbi and said, you know what? i think i know who this suspect is, that could have changed that whole situation and maybe the older brother tamerlan tsarnaev would still be alive right now. >> well, the what ifs are very significant in this case, and the individual crime, itself, the core crime is lying to the fbi. the judges view that very differently depending on the context. martha stewart had -- was in prison for six months for violating, you know, lying to an fbi agent. but no one died as a result. it was just a financial matter. think about the magnitude of lying to the fbi in this situation. no one is going to be looking to cut these three any break. >> how serious would you say these charges are and obviously the door is wide open to more charges being leveled down the
road. >> well, i think the most important thing to say about these charges is what isn't there. there is no allegation that any of these three participated in the conspiracy to do the bombing in the first place and that would certainly put this in a completely different magnitude. that would make them liable for many, many years in prison if not the death penalty. there is no allegation they were involved. however, the fact that they could be -- have now been charged in a coverup, makes them eligible i would say for three, four, five years in prison, which is certainly very bad news, but it's not like what it would be if they were accused of being involved in the conspiracy itself. >> it's interesting that you say that. if you were one of the people who didn't recognize one or both of the suspects and failed to make a phone call, failed to get in touch with local law enforcement or the fbi, that's not necessarily a crime although morally knowing what happened in
the aftermath you probably feel awful about not doing that. >> as well you should. >> all right. thanks very much, jeffrey toobin, our senior legal analyst. coming up, you're going to hear from the lawyers for the suspects in this alleged cover up. they just spoke to reporters moments ago. we'll share with you what they have to say. we'll also hear from someone who met the two kazakh nationals accused of helping to cover up the bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev. the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem, a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left. i don't think so. [ male announcer ] for years, bob took warfarin, and made a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but not anymore. bob's doctor recommended a different option: once-a-day xarelto®. xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib
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bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev appeared in court a little while ago charged with coverup. two of them are nationals of kazakhstan. cnn assignment editor lawrence crook met them right after they were first questioned by authorities in the boston area back on april 20th. lawrence is joining us now from new york. what happened on that day, lawrence, when you tracked them down and i know we have some video? >> we decided to go down on april 20th, which was a saturday morning, after receiving a tip from jason defendantlkestler th people had been taken into custody and released overnight and sent back to the apartment on carriage drive where we showed up saturday morning. it wasn't a lot of activity going on when we showed up so i decided to go around and talk to neighbors. i was in watertown when they took tsarnaev into custody and it looked a lot like that according to the neighbors with the police presence that was there. there was a lot of bomb squad trucks, fbi vehicles, armored vehicles in the area at the
time. that's why we decided to go because we figured there must have been some kind of connection. the first thing i did was i went and knocked on the door and tried to get one of the two suspects to come to the door and try to tell me what was going on. i saw what i believed to be dias open the door. a photographer started snapping photos. he xur idiosyncrawent back into didn't want to say anything. we stayed for a few hours. a couple people came in and out to say hi. one of the overwhelming things i noticed while i was there was the kids seemed to actually enjoy us being there. they were laughing and taking videos and photos like they were getting a kick out of it. about six hours later we saw vehicles pull up which as you can see in the video were dss, homeland security, and consulate van. they ended up taking out dias kadyrbayev and azamat tazhayakov in custody in handcuffs in separate vehicles and they were taken to an unknown location. so it was a very interesting scene to say the least. at the time we didn't know what
was going on. we heard they had some kind of issue with their visa and weren't a hundred percent certain if it was involved with the bonnett bombings but as you can now see they are taken into custody for the boston bombings. >> and the two students from kazakhstan, they were picked up, detained, questioned, let go, and then they were picked up again. they've been detained ever since. obviously now they appeared in a courtroom today in a federal courthouse today with chains on so they're not going anywhere at least for the time being. how surprised were you, lawrence, when you saw this latest twist today unfold remembering what you saw on april 20th when you were there on the scene? >> you know, it was kind of surreal. like i said, we didn't realize this had anything to do with it initially. i had almost been, almost forgotten about my experience in new bedford and when i saw us breaking this today that three people were in custody my mind went to new bedford and i started making calls. we were able to confirm two of the suspects were in new bedford
and were taken into custody on that day and eventually charged with the happenings on the boston marathon monday. >> good point. doing an excellent job. one of our cnn assignment editors in new york. had been in the boston area, new bedford on that day, april 20th, when law enforcement showed up and started to question these two students from kazakhstan. thank you. coming up our national security analyst getting ready to break down the alleged coverup case against the friends of the boston bombing suspect, dzhokhar tsarnaev. also coming up, what two of those friends are saying about the allegations against them. we're going to hear from their lawyers.
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ready to plan for your family's future? we'll help you get there. the breaking news this hour three friends of the bomb suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev appeared in court today. they are charged with hindering the investigation by covering up for him. two are nationals of kazakhstan. their lawyers spoke right after the court appearance in boston.
watch this. >> dias kadyrbayev absolutely denies the charges as we've said from the very beginning. he assisted the fbi in this investigation. he is just as shocked and horrified by the violence in boston that took place as the rest of the community is. he did not know that this individual is involved in the bombing. his first inkling came much later. the government allegations as far as that he saw a photo and recognized him immediately we dispute and look forward to proving our case in court. he and his family are very sorry for what happened in bonnett st he did not have anything to do with it. >> did he take a knapsack to the dump and dump the fireworks out of the knapsack? >> we are not saying that. mr. dias kadyrbayev told the fbi about that. he did not know that those items were involved in a bombing or of any interest in a bombing or any evidentiary value.
so that's all we have to say on that. but we are the ones, mr. dias kadyrbayev, cooperated with all law enforcement when they came to him without the benefit of counsel to assist them in their investigation of this horrible tragedy. >> did he know tsarnaev knew how to make bombs and also did he know the powder and the fireworks and vaseline could be used for bomb making? >> no. >> why did the fbi come to your client? if they hadn't would they have at any time told the authorities what they knew? >> i can only stick with what happened. i won't speculate. wlanchts abo >> what about the text to dzhokhar tsarnaev saying go into my room and take whatever you want. was that some kind of signal to your client? >> it was no signal. i think it means the plain english meaning. >> are you concerned these guys won't get a fair trial considering all that's going on in the country? >> no. i believe the citizens of boston
can fairly and accurately listen to the rules of law and give someone a fair trial. at least at this moment in time. that's all i have to say. >> why did your client re-enter the country he no longer had a valid visa? >> our contention -- he was a student. he is a sophomore engineering major at the university of massachusetts. he did not attend classes regularly as the allegation later in this semester. he has been in this country legally for the technical violation of a student visa for not regularly attending classes. [ question inaudible ] >> no. no. >> i have a very brief statement for you. my name is harlan protass. my client azamat tazhayakov feels horrible and was shocked
to hear that someone he knew at the university of massachusetts dartmouth was involved with the boston marathon bombing just like many other individuals who were interviewed on campus. he has cooperated fully with the authorities and looks forward to the truth coming out in this case. i'd like to say also that he considers it an honor to be able to study in the united states and that he feels for the people of boston who have suffered as a result of the marathon bombing. thank you. >> the two lawyers for the two suspects that were arrested today charged with covering up, clearly, the serious, very, very serious charges. the third suspect, by the way, the third person arrested today in this alleged cover up, robel phillipos, had a separate hearing. those two lawyers do not represent him. we'll hear more about robel phillipos the american citizen who was arrested as well. there you see all three of them who were arrested today involved
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plays basketball. a quiet kid. that's about it. >> when you say quiet, given what we're talking about that seems weird to hear. we have to look at each other and say, quiet, huh? >> not really outgoing. stayed in the house a lot. did homework. got good grades. >> reporter: and he was taking online courses at u-mass dartmouth from his house here? >> yeah. >> reporter: you say he helped his mom. what do you mean? >> she was sick so he was taking care of her, helping her clean up the house, driving her around, normal stuff. >> reporter: tall, athletic? what? >> robel? he's sort of my height now. good at basketball. >> reporter: i knew everybody knew the younger tsarnaev brother here and he did too as well, right? what was their relationship. >> friends, roommates. >> down there they were roommates? >> i think one year. not sure rnch wh.
>> reporter: when you hear about this, your initial reaction when you hear robel is arrested? >> it doesn't make sense. robel doesn't have anything to do with this so i don't see why he has been arrested. >> reporter: do you think he would lie to cover for the tsarnaev brother? >> no. i don't think so. >> reporter: don't think he would. no. >> reporter: not that kind. what about you? any political agenda that you ever -- this was all about -- we hear, right, muslim and u.s. things, so what -- >> robel is a christian. doesn't have any anti-american thing about him. neither did dzhokhar. >> reporter: never heard anything from dzhokhar along those lines. >> never. >> reporter: stunning new twist in the boston case, coverup charges against three friends of the surviving bombing suspect including hiding or destroying evidence, making false statements to investigators. joining us now our cnn national security analyst. the former fbi assistant dr. tom fuentes and the former homeland security assistant secretary
juliet kayyem. tom fuentes, you know something about these kinds of charges, coverup charges, conspiracy, lying. these are very serious charges. these guys could go to jail for a long time. >> well, they're looking at the -- dias kadyrbayev and azamat tazhayakov are looking at five years and robel phillipos look agate eight years for lying to federal investigators. yes, it is serious because it obstructs the case. it causes the investigators to not have key evidence that they need that might be a link to other people, so the issue of taking things out and throwing them in the dumpster is a pretty critical issue for the investigators. >> you know, juliette, i want to read to you from the criminal complaint filed today in the court. this is the criminal complaint, usa vs. robel phillipos. he is the u.s. citizen. during these interviews, and i'll be precise, it's up on the screen, azamat tazhayakov also informed the fbi agents that while eating a meal with
dzhokhar and dias kadyrbayev approximately one month prior to the marathon bombing, dzhokhar had explained to kadyrbayev and to tazhayakov that he knew how to make a bomb. when a sentence like that is included in a criminal complaint, that raises all sorts of suspicion. how to make a bomb. what does that say to you? >> reporter: well, it says to me that the three of them were well aware of what they were doing when they got rid of the backpack and the computer. that's all it says to us right now. that's all that's in the complaint. so this notion that they were just helping out a friend and oh, poor him is probably belied by that comment that they had some knowledge that this was a kid who -- that the younger brother was someone who was playing around with bombs. there is another incident explained in the indictment regarding fireworks and him working with fireworks.
so right now, you know, this piece of paper, these complaints right now are really just the baseline to keep them in jail. there is going to be no bail. there's going to be no more immigration proceedings because the criminal justice system has taken over it. so more might be added is true and just picking up on what tom said, you know, this is also a statement to the world. one is they lied to us. it is also if anyone knows anything about either the brothers' travels or who they met with or what they did in that five-day period between the 15th and friday night, come forward. don't hide. don't lie. because this is serious stuff. and i think that's an important message to send out to whatever peer group they were hanging out with. >> tom, does it take it to a new level, this reference to how to make a bomb, a month before the boston marathon in this criminal complaint? >> possibly, wolf. we don't know the full context.
they're just giving you little excerpts. as juliette said they're only putting in the complaint the bare minimum to bring the charges and hold them in custody. there will be much more coming out later as to why they feel that they tampered with evidence. again, some of the indications in the charging document, if you tell a friend, you know, go clean out my apartment, i'm not going to be there for a while, you think of that as washing dishes and vacuuming the rugs, you wouldn't think of it as taking personal property and throwing it in the dumpster. >> juliette, we saw in the photograph, the criminal complaint included a picture of what they found at that landfill, including some of the left over from the fireworks. there you see it right now, some homework, some other stuff. that picture was included in the criminal complaint. was it included with any reference to whether or not they actually found the lap top that apparently had been taken from that room from dzhokhar tsarnaev's room? there is no reference in this criminal complaint to the whereabouts of the lap top and then they found it, didn't find
it. what does that say to you? >> well, either they do have it, because right now just tom and i are building off each other here, so they might have it and are not disclosing it and i think we'll probably know that in the next hour or two. >> why wouldn't they disclose that, tom, if they have it? >> they may not want to alert other people who may know they've been exchanging e-mails or texts that would be found on the laptop or facebook or other social media entries that could be found on the laptop so that laptop is still one of the most critical pieces of information and evidence they're ever going to have in this case. >> the other interesting thing -- >> i think that's right. >> i was going to point out there is apparently at least one of these guys arrested today, one of the students from kazakhstan started deleting pictures after he saw on cnn the picture of the two boston bombing suspects deleting pictures from the social website. what do you make of that,
juliette? i think it goes to did they have an intent to lie to or misinform a federal investigation of a terrorist attack? and so all of those pieces of information go into making a strong case, a statement to other peers, or even people outside the country who may be involved with this and so there are two parts to this complaint. one is these guys, the three of them, and then the other is sort of a message. i found in the complaint one of the more interesting things, at least alleged in it, is of course that they met here. we've been having this discussion for a couple weeks now about the ties abroad and what might be going on, whether there is a connection to the boston marathon abroad. it appears that they met here at u-mass, were not roommates but in school together, and then in fact the roommate of the younger brother tsarnaev is not -- has not been charged with anything. so this was a different peer group that was just, you know, either helping out a friend and
being really stupid, or part of a plan. that doesn't matter right now. right now they're not going to go anywhere because they didn't get bail. >> juliette and tom, guys, thanks very much. when we come back some changes in how americans are feeling about terrorism since the boston attacks. we have new numbers coming in from a brand new cnn/"time"/orc poll. you should try our coverage checker. it helps you see if you have too much coverage or not enough, making it easier to get what you need. [ beeping ] these are great! [ beeping ] how are you, um, how are you doing? i'm going to keep looking over here. probably a good idea. ken: what's a good idea? nothing. with coverage checker, it's easy to find your perfect policy. visit progressive.com today. bob will retire when he's 153, which would be fine if bob were a vampire. but he's not.
"time" magazine, homeland insecurity, do we need to sacrifice privacy to be safer. some of these poll questions are fascinating. are you worried that a family member will be a victim of terrorism? 40% say yes. 4 out of 10. but if you take a look back, that's going up in 2011, 34%, 2010, 37%, 200902000 -- 2009. >> less than it was after 9/11 when it was up close to 50%. >> on that specific question. >> on that specific question. it does go up and down over the last 25 years. >> i was also fascinated by this question. are you willing to give up some civil liberties to curb terrorism? 40% said yes. 49% said no. same question was asked in 1995, right after the oklahoma city
bombing. 40% now say yes, they're willing to give up some. it was 57% right after the oklahoma city bombing. >> yeah. really interesting. the civil libertarian, sort of chorus, very strong in this country. and it's gotten stronger in the last ten years. americans are by almost a 2-to-1 margin concerned about losing civil liberties even in this time of watching out for terrorism, and breaking up terror plots than they are about the government not doing enough to stop terrorism. >> even in the aftermath of a terror attack like occurred in boston. can terrorists always find a way to launch an attack no matter what the government does? 62% said yes. >> we thought this was perhaps one more less of occur occasionally back on 9/11. when we ask americans in the
time/cnn poll, they're nuanced about it. if you're in public, you have no presumption of privacy. the government can surveil you, we can listen to you. but if you're in the privacy of your own home, they're much more reluctant to grant the government any kind of access. >> a fabulous cover story. the article really goes in-depth in explaining what went right, what went wrong. a lot of stuff to digest. >> and what needs to be fixed. >> michael, thank you for coming. the washington bureau chief of "time" magazine. when we come back, new mo attention clues coming out of these arrests today. right at the top of the hour, how vaseline might have been used by the bombing suspects. a dramatic in you development in the fbi probe into the deadly benghazi attack. we have details on the three men now the u.s. authorities say they need to speak with. ♪
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that killed a u.s. ambassador and three other americans. our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr, is joining us with the latest. what are we learning, barbara? >> wolf, in this terrorist attack back in september, the fbi today putting out these photos of three men they say were at the compound when the attack happened. they want them identified. they want to talk to them. they are not yet calling them suspects, but they believe they were there. this comes from video taken at the scene. they believe they were there. they want to know who they are and what they know about the attack. not yet calling them suspects, but somebody the fbi wants to get ahold of. wolf? >> and so what are they -- are they expecting people in libya or elsewhere in north africa to help find these individuals? is that what they're saying? >> yeah, great question, exactly. the fbi putting out a notice saying that it would like help from anyone in libya, and anyone anywhere, if they look at these pictures, can they identify these men, can they tell the fbi
and libyan authorities who they are and where they are. this terrorist investigation still very much open after all these months, wolf. >> is the libyan government being of any assistance in this investigation? >> the official word is, of course, that they are cooperating, and doing what they can. a lot of frustration, as you know, building in congress that this is not a resolved situation yet, that somebody somewhere in libya must know who was behind the attack, and why can't they get to them. >> it's not a huge, huge country. and the population not huge as well. all right. thanks very much, barbara starr. happening now, we're following breaking news. three of dzhokhar tsarnaev's friends are charged with trying to cover up for the boston bombing suspect. this hour, we're getting new details of the messages they sent while tsarnaev was on the run. we're also tracing two of the new suspects' routes back to
kazakhstan, where one young man's father spoke about his son's connection to the bombing investigation. now stand by to see the rare and dramatic video of a fiery 747 crash. i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. the world. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com federal authorities say three of dzhokhar tsarnaev's friends agreed to cover up his tracks after they recognized him in photos released by boston bombing investigators. this breaking news happening right now. the three 19-year-old suspects appeared in a federal court this afternoon in boston, to face allegations of blatant lies, clumsy attempt to try to destroy evidence. now, defense lawyers are responding publicly to the charges. let's begin our coverage this hour with brian todd. he's over at the federal courthouse in boston.
brian? >> reporter: wolf, these suspects looked nervous as they appeared in the courthouse behind me this afternoon. the judge admonished one of them saying, quote, i suggest you look at me rather than looking down. but today that was the least of their problems. three college classmates of dzhokhar tsarnaev's now accused of trying to help their friend by getting rid of evidence related to the boston marathon bombings and lying to investigators about it. students from kazakhstan and an american robel phillipos named in a complaint. >> they've denied the charges, from the very beginning, he assisted the fbi in this investigation. he is just as shocked and horrified by the violence in boston that took place as the rest of the community is. he did not know that this individual was involved in a bombing. his first inkling came much
later. the government allegations, as far as that he saw a photo and recognized them immediately, we dispute and we'll be looking forward to proving our case in court. mr. kadrybayev and his family are very upset by what happened in boston and he had nothing to do with it. >> on april 18th, the night before dzhokhar tsarnaev was captured. after a two-day search of a nearby landfall, prosecutors say they found a backpack. here's a photo. they say it contained fireworks, vaseline and school papers. >> he did not know that those items were involved in a bombing or of any interest in a bombing or any evidence shal value. >> the complaint says the three friends also destroyed or concealed other objects, including a laptop. the two kazakhs also face
deportation. the night before dzhokhar tsarnaev was captured, the three friends saw the photos on cnn. prosecutors say one of them was texting with dzhokhar tsarnaev saying he looked like the suspect on tv. the complaint says tsarnaev responded with texts like, lol, things interpreted as jokes like, you better not text me. and this, quote, come to my room and take whatever you want. i asked attorney robert stall about that last text. >> it was no signal. i think it's plain english meaning. >> but there are other very curious details in this complaint, like a footnote, saying that about a month before the boston marathon bombings, when the two kazakh students were eating a meal with dzhokhar tsarnaev that, quote, he knew how to make a bomb. but their attorneys say they have no knowledge that dzhokhar
tsarnaev was involved in the bombings. >> this is a little intriguing, shall we say. they were, what, shooting off fireworks together as well? that's about a month or so before the boston marathon bombing? >> that's right. i have that item in the complaint right here. it says that one of them, azamat, saw dzhokhar tsarnaev on the bank of the river, back probably around february, and that tsarnaev, and others set off the fireworks along the banks of the charles river. no implication they were involved in anything regarding the bombing. but according to this complaint, at least one of them set off fireworks with dzhokhar tsarnaev a couple of months beforehand. >> i'm sure there are other leads that the investigating team is going down right now. brian, thank you. we're learning more about these three young men, all 19 years old, in custody today and their relationship with dzhokhar tsarnaev. let's bring in susan candiotti,
she's in new bedford. what's the latest that you're hearing, susan? >> hi, wolf. not surprising, people in this neighborhood can't believe this would happen right here where they live. the building you see over my shoulder, that is the apartment where these suspects were now charged were living at the time. that same night, that friday night on april 19th, when police released the photographs of the two bomb suspects, that's when things started to shake around here. before you knew it, there was a s.w.a.t. team that wound up in this very neighborhood rolling down this very street. neighbors looked out their windows to see what was going on. i talked with one of them about that night. tell me about the night the fbi came here and swarmed over this neighborhood. >> i mean, it was just like the sun was going down, it was pretty gray. and it was actually -- a storm was rolling in right when they were coming in. they lined up a dozen cars down the street in that direction.
they had a armored car over here. they had the new bedford pd blocking the street over here. nobody could get in and out of their house. they told everybody -- there was one person coming out of there, they told them to stay inside. you weren't supposed to be outside. they put the loud speaker, you know, to tell the people to come out of the apartment. and when they did that, all the guns were trained on the house. they were there, and they had the dogs and all that stuff. it was pretty insane. >> did you see anyone come out? >> yeah, all the people in the apartment complex came out. it was thes two asian kids and one asian female. young kids. i had seen them here and there, said hi to them. they were usually cordial, say hi back. nothing spectacular. i never really talked to them or anything. they seemed like nice kids, i guess. >> what happened when the fbi appeared on the scene that night, and other police? when they came out of the apartment, then what happened? >> they made them strip, you
know. down to their skivvies. and they ordered them to walk backwards to the cars and get on their knees. once they saw they didn't have anything on them, they took them away in an suv that was waiting, detained them in different cars. the new bedford pd came in and took them away, i believe. i saw one of them in the back of a new bedford police car. >> did you ever hear them say anything? >> i heard them say, we know he dropped you off yesterday at 4:00. come out of the building. nobody's going to get hurt. we just want to, you know, talk to you, this and that. and i don't know how much talking they were expecting to do with about 15 assault rifles pointing at them. >> now you hear the three students are arrested for allegedly, among other things, throwing out alleged evidence in this case. in a dumpster right here on this complex. >> yeah. there's a really big one over there. everybody throws everything away. i guess they probably thought
they could sneak it in and nobody would notice. >> at a time when everyone was looking for who was responsible for the bombing, to hear that some people are now accused of disposing of possible evidence that belonged to one of the alleged suspects, what do you think of that? >> i mean, realistically, you've got to think that they might be involved, because, i mean, why would you risk in this kind of climate that we live in, you know, knowing that people can do stuff like this, even if it's your friend, why would you do something so serious like that, disposing of evidence for somebody that could potentially have done a terrorist attack on american soil. i mean, it's just -- it's insane. you've got to look at it from a regular person's perspective, not as a friendship perspective. a regular person would see that, myself, and think, they might be part of something bigger. because these guys, they got scholarships, they were in the community. he went to school. he was a regular college student and then he put a bomb somewhere and did this horrible thing.
>> now, as we've been reporting, wolf, remember when the fbi finally got information, leads not only from the suspect that they interviewed at bedside, but also investigative leads which our sources say came in part from their interviews with these suspects, that's what led them to go from the dumpster here to the landfall to start searching for evidence. and in fact, we now know according to the criminal complaint, that they found that backpack filled with fireworks, several tubes, with a fire power with the powder inside removed, they were also searching for a laptop computer. we know that it was removed from dzhokhar's dorm room. it's unclear at this time what happened to that laptop. my sources have previously told me they did not find it at the landfall. >> we'll see what happens. that laptop could be critically important in terms of trying to determine if this was a broader conspira conspiracy, a limited
conspiracy. that laptop would be very, very significant, and the criminal complaint filed today was thunderously silent on the fate of that laptop, whether they found it, they didn't find it. we simply don't know. you're absolutely right. thanks very much, susan candiotti, in new bedford on the scene with us. let's dig deeper with julia, the former homeland security adviser for the massachusetts governor, and a columnist for the "boston globe." the picture we've been seei inif the two students when they went to times square last year, and we'll put it up on the screen, we'll show our viewers that picture once again. you know, a lot of people are going to wonder, juliet, if in fact the two brothers were planning on driving to new york and going to times square as the mayor of new york, the police commissioner in new york, later suggested, what was going on? is this just a coincidence that these three guys were photographed at times square?
>> yeah, wolf, i do think it's a coincidence, because even mayor bloomberg said that the decision to go to new york was clearly sort of concocted at the last moments, when they realized that they had been identified by boston police and federal officials, and were trying to head out of town. so all of that was spontaneous, the exit strategy, so to speak, and that is probably a coincidence that they were there with these guys, because they are -- let's also remember, they're 19-year-old boys. they're visiting america. no one should be worried that there's some sort of larger narrative here about going after these big targets, the times square, the new york city link was really -- came up at the last moments by the brothers as they were trying to escape boston. >> you think it was also just a coincidence that a month before the boston bombings they were shooting off fireworks together, they were talking about how to build a bomb together as alleged in this criminal complaint
today? was that all a coincidence as well? >> i think that's not a coincidence. in this instance i actually think the complaint alleges that there were fireworks and bombing -- sort of discussions about bombings. the reason they lay that out in the legal document is to essentially say, the three of them that were arrested today knew exactly what they were doing. that this was not, oh, we're helping a friend, and that there was enough evidence leading up to the moment, and then when they get contacted by the younger brother who says, you know, go into my apartment and do what you need to do, that they had enough knowledge that any rational person would have known that the picture looks like him, they can't find him, he's recently cut his hair, and he tells them to go into his room and do what they need to do, putting the pieces together they were either willfully ignorant, very ignorant or were part of trying to cover it up. >> juliete, our law enforcement
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some changes you liked. and some you didn't. come back to see us. we listened to you. now we'd love to see you. ♪ one part of the criminal complaint against the three friends of the suspect, dzhokhar tsarnaev, jumped out, and i'll read it, dias kadyrbayev also found a jar of vaseline in the room and told azamat tazhayakov that tsarnaev had used the vaseline to make bombs. at that point kadyrbayev believed he was responsible for planting the bombs at the boston marathon. we have more on this part of the story. drew, what are bomb experts telling you about the use of vaseline in making a bomb?
>> reporter: well, it has a very specific use, wolf. and that is, to separate metal from powder. in this case, it would be the powder from fireworks from any kind of metal that was part of that bomb. perhaps the rim of the pressure cooker. and the reason you would do that is to prevent any kind of friction that would take place, and prematurely detonate the bomb. it shows a certain level of expertise, apparently, on the part of dzhokhar tsarnaev, but also seems to suggest that his friends had specific knowledge of this. because when i woke up today, i had no idea that vaseline was a component in bomb making. >> so if the friends who are now charged with a cover-up, and lying to federal authorities, trying to destroy evidence, if you will, if they knew that vaseline was a sensitive issue, an ingredient potentially in making a bomb and they decided
that was one of the things they were going to throw away in that dumpster, that would suggest that there may be more to this plot than at least federal authorities are laying out in the criminal complaint, as far as we know right now. >> reporter: it certainly begs the question. and i believe one of them has said that, at some point over a dinner, that dzhokhar tsarnaev had explained that he knew how to make a bomb. if at that moment he also explained how, and what the vaseline was for, certainly that could explain the knowledge that was passed on. but it is a very -- it's very interesting to me that -- we went online and looked for various manuals to find out whether or not this was common knowledge. it is common knowledge among bombmakers, but we didn't find it to be common knowledge in the kind of online, even inside magazines that are cited in some of this expertise that is passed on. so it's a very specific purpose, a very specific need. and obviously there's very
specific knowledge about what that vaseline was used for. and i just want to add, we've also seen this in the past,ing in testimony of one of the co-conspirators, vaseline was mentioned as one of the materials identified at an al qaeda camp in pakistan. so it has been used in the past. it's just very specifically used. >> drew, thanks very much. good points indeed. lots of intriguing questions to explore. when we come back, the father of one of these new suspects, speaking to cnn about his son's links to the boston bombing investigation. plus, a 747 falls from the sky. we have stunning video of the fiery crash, and what may have caused it. [squeals] ♪ [ewh!] [baby crying] the great thing about a subaru is
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let's get back to the breaking news right now. three friends of the boston bombing suspect, dzhokhar tsarnaev, are charged with a cover-up. two are from kazakhstan, neighboring russia, and the dagestan area where the tsarnaevs live. we're joined once again from moscow. what are we hearing now from the father of one of these students from kazakhstan who was arrested today, the father of dias kadyrbayev. he's speaking out, i take it? >> reporter: well, this is an interview that happened in kazakhstan a week ago, wolf, before these charges became clear. the father of dias kadyrbayev, talking about why his sons have been questioned by police, after
the bombings initially, and going on to explain why they were held on immigration charges. he said quite simply, they were on a student visa and they've been skipping class, like prosecutors said today in the complaint. and that violates the terms of the student visa. the first questioning had simply happened because, like everybody else in that university, those two boys were being talked to by the police to see what they may have actually seen. interestingly, though, he does address this issue of the rather outlandish number plate on the bmw that azamat tazhayakov shared, saying that was a gift from spanish friends. i quote him from saying, a gift from spanish friends it turns out. it was a joke, which can at the moment be turned into something dramatic. but an understatement there. of course, that said way before these charges emerged, wolf. >> have we gotten any reaction whatsoever from the former capital where the students are from? anyone saying anything about the arrest of the two kazakh
students? >> reporter: wolf, at this point there has been no comment. it is a public holiday there. it was late in the evening when news of this broke there. the father previously said his son, you can imagine a father speaking about his own child, outstanding character, good at math, writing his own songs, liking snowboarding in the winter, tennis in the summer, i should point out here, kazakhstan doesn't really have a problem with extremism. it has an occasional issues, but according to the other central asian countries it's less bothered by it. i think in kazakhstan here, it's simply where these guys hailed from rather than necessarily at this point seeming to be part of the broader picture, wolf. >> nick, thanks very much. nick paton walsh reporting for us from moscow. the mistakes made by dzhokhar tsarnaev's friends, beginning with a sudden change online. and the arrest record that may
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[ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. happening now, breaking news. we're following new cover-up charges in the boston bombing investigation. what's next for three friends of dzhokhar tsarnaev. will they be squeezed for information? plus, how social media led authorities to question these three new suspects. stand by for more mind-boggling details from the criminal complaint. the photos tell only part of the story. we now have rare video showing a 747 crash into the ground and explode in a fireball. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." three of dzhokhar tsarnaev's friends are in jail right now, accused of trying to throw investigators off the boston bombing suspect's trail.
the breaking news we're following this hour. the three 19-year-old men appeared in court this afternoon on charges of obstructing justice, and lying to federal investigators. according to a detailed criminal complaint, they agreed to throw out tsarnaev's laptop and a backpack filled with fireworks. lawyers for the three suspects suggest the complaint is filled with lies. they say their clients are cooperating. >> my client, azamat tazhayakov, feels horrible, and was shocked to hear that someone that he knew at the university of massachusetts dartmouth was involved with the boston marathon bombing. just like many other individuals who were interviewed on campus. he has cooperated fully with the authorities. and looks forward to the truth coming out in this case. >> mr. kadyrbayev and his family are very sorry for what happened here in boston, and he did not have anything to do with it. he did not know that this
individual was involved in a bombing. >> let's dig deeper and get more information on today's dramatic new developments in the boston bombing investigation. our national correspondent, deborah feyerick, has been talking to her sources. >> one of the students charged today, dias kadyrbayev, he was handcuffed and taken into questioning hours before dzhokhar tsarnaev was found by federal agents and police. the young man was found, of course, hiding and bleeding in a boat. kadyrbayev removed a photo from his facebook page. the photo showed him and tsarnaev together at a kitchen table. that's the photo he took off his facebook page. just before dawn, with tsarnaev still on the run, the two friends apparently changed their facebook profile picture, within 15 minutes of each other, 4:50 and 5:04 respectively. that's curious to investigators. could tsarnaev have replaced him wearing an iron mask?
they're looking into the possibility that perhaps the two friends were communicating with one another while dzhokhar tsarnaev was on the run. what we know from reading the criminal complaint, that tsarnaev left his dorm room right after the fbi released photos. he and dias texted one another, dias saying that dzhokhar looked like one of the suspects. dzhokhar responds with a text, lol, which is shorthand for laugh out loud. don't text me, come to my room and take whatever you want. dias shows up at dzhokhar's dorm room, along with the two others, azamat tazhayakov and robel phillipos. his roommate lets the three men in. they allegedly watch a movie. according to the criminal complaint, dias noses a backpack containing empty fireworks and realizes that his friend dzhokhar was involved in the marathon bombing.
what dias does is take the backpack and dzhokhar's computer, back to his own apartment, the one that he shares with azamat, and they throw those two things away. he tells investigators, wolf, that the reason they did that is because they did not want tsarnaev to get into trouble. wolf? >> did you say, i just want to clarify this, that when he replaced his photo of the one with the iron mask, he was trying to send a signal to someone by doing that? is that what you're suggesting? >> what's so interesting, investigators look at things that simply don't make sense. when they don't make sense, there may be a reason to it. the fact that both he and dzhokhar tsarnaev changed their facebook profile pictures within 15 minutes of each other, that's baffling to them. why did they do that. and it's such an odd time. 4:50 and 5:05 in the morning while dzhokhar tsarnaev is still on the run. they want to understand why that was. for example, you know, whether in fact they were communicating with one another.
>> deborah feyerick, thanks very much. intriguing stuff. let's get more now with our national security analyst, tom fuentes, and jeffrey toobin, our legal analyst. jeffrey, what do you think about the last point, the iron mask? is it possible he put it on in the middle of the night in order to communicate some sort of signal to someone. >> i'm not sure if it indicates a signal, if tsarnaev doesn't have access to his facebook page or e-mail or any other computer at that point. it may not be a signal that way. it may just be that if they think they change the entries on the pages, it will be gone and no one will ever find it. the common investigative techniques is get phone records, internet records, financial records, and many times people are missing the fact that all of these exchanges of photos and information on facebook, or other social media pages, are there for way longer than they want. that's for sure. >> you think you're deleting,
but not necessarily. >> right. >> listen to this. i'm going to play a little clip. this is from the attorneys representing two of the suspects. listen to this. >> did they take the knapsack to the dump and -- >> we're not saying that. mr. kadyrbayev told the fbi about that. he did not know that those items were involved in a bombing, or of any interest in a bombing or any evidence shal value. that's all we have to say about that. but we are the ones, mr. dias kadyrbayev, cooperated with, law enforcement without the benefit of counsel, to assist them in their investigation of this horrible tragedy. >> did they know tsarnaev also know how to make bombs, or that the powder that was in the fireworks, and the vaseline could also be used for bomb making? >> no. >> in the criminal complaint, on
the other hand, says this. i'll put it up on the screen. kadyrbayev located a backpack that contained an emptied-out cardboard tube that tazhayakov described as fireworks. this discovery frightened tazhayakov because the powder had been emptied from the tube. kadyrbayev also found a jar of vaseline in the room and told tazhayakov that he believeded tsarnaev had used the vaseline to make bombs. jeffrey, it sounds very different stories, and very different conclusions there. >> well, i think the conclusions are different. the stories aren't really all that different. mr. stahl, the lawyer, is acknowledging that this new defendant removed the backpack and got rid of it. what he's disputing is what his intent was in doing that. the fbi, in its allegations, says he was doing it to hide evidence, to help out tsarnaev. what mr. stahl is saying is there's some other innocent explanation. so he's trying to set up an
intent defense, that, yes, he did do this, but his intent was innoce innocent. obviously we have to see how the evidence plays out to see if the defense have any merit. >> but they said tsarnaev found a jar of vaseline in the room and told kadyrbayev that he believed tsarnaev had used vaseline to make bombs. now, that's a pretty specific detail. only bomb makers supposedly know that vaseline is an important ingredient. >> a specific detail, but they're not saying how he knows that vaseline is a component of bomb making. it just says he cites that i see vaseline, it's used in making a bomb. how does he know that. i would think that the authorities know more about how he knows that, and that will come later. but they're just using the bare minimum in the complaint now, just to hold them and bring the charge. we'll hear more about it later. >> we certainly will. there's more coming up. we're getting new details just coming into "the situation room" about what tamerlan tsarnaev's
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this is cnn breaking news. an important development, cnn's gloria borger has been working this story. she's digging into the fbi's investigation of tamerlan tsarnaev's widow. and gloria's joining us now. what are you learning about katherine russell tsarnaev? >> my colleague, deborah feyerick, and i learned that she
spoke on the phone to her husband, tamerlan tsarnaev, following the fbi release of his photographs that went, of course, worldwide after the bombing. the nature of that conversation, wolf, is a matter of investigation by federal law enforcement authorities. there's also some concern, according to our sources, that she spoke with her husband. but she didn't contact them. she very much remains a woman of mystery in all of this. a question of, what, if anything, did she know. they're clearly speaking with her quite extensively, or trying to. and i was told she could be a trove of information, really, about his affiliations, and his activities, if nothing else. >> is she cooperating? is she talking to the fbi? sharing these kinds of details? >> there are some reports that she was cooperating, and is no longer, but we know that authorities have been seen leaving her home, with dna kits, et cetera. so i assume that there has been
a lot of communication. and i know for a fact that federal law enforcement wants more, because they want to know what conversations, or encounters she had with the suspects after the attack. >> let's go out to the scene. erin is out there, outside the home. what have you seen today? what have you seen over there, erin? >> well, wolf, it's not the same kind of activity that we saw last weekend at the beginning of this week. we're seeing far fewer federal vehicles. but wolf, i would point out that katy russell's team of attorneys and everyone surrounding her have gotten a bit savvier as far as the media is concerned. just today we learned there is a press representative who's now representing katy russell, and her attorney, now dealing with the crush of media requests that they're getting. and the other thing i would add, wolf, is that i spoke to the police chief of the north kingtown police department just yesterday, and he said that local police have been coming by
quite a bit, because this has been such a disruption in this community, that they are concerned for the safety of the russell family. just because they don't want anybody from the community taking out any sort of action on the russell family, wolf. so it's a different operation today than we've seen in the past days, wolf. >> stand by. everybody stand by. i want to bring back jeffrey toobin and tom fuentes. jeff, first to you. if she saw the picture on television of her husband and her brother-in-law, and then she spoke with her husband, tamerlan tsarnaev, on the phone afterwards, but didn't call the fbi or law enforcement, is she in trouble? >> probably not. that's not a crime to fail to report someone who is wanted by the police. again, we talked about this earlier, there is a moral component to that obviously, but i'm not aware of any crime that that would constitute. it certainly is something that the investigators would want to talk to her about.
but that alone, the fact that they had this conversation, and she did not report him, is not a prosecutable event, as far as i can tell. >> even though within a matter of a few hours, there was a killing of an m.i.t. police officer and the allegation is that tamerlan tsarnaev, her husband, went out and killed sean collier, this m.i.t. police officer, supposedly to steal his weapon? >> unless the authorities could prove that she was a co-conspirator, that she knew they were going to attack a police officer, that she knew they were building bombs, and firing guns, i don't see any way that that could be something she could be prosecuted for. obviously, the great unknown here is, what did she say? did she further the conspiracy or just call her husband and say, your face is in the news, what the heck is going on? that certainly wouldn't be a crime. if she was saying, how can i
help you commit more crimes, that would be. he's dead. she's not talking. so we don't know what was said between them. >> let me add to what jeffrey is saying, that's right, we don't know the nature of the conversation. we don't know, you know, what she said to her husband. it's, of course, a concern to authorities that she didn't call them. but can they prosecute her for bad behavior? no. >> you were a former fbi assistant director, tom. i guess it's a fact she calls her husband, speaks with her husband, but she doesn't tell law enforcement, hey, i know who this guy is that you're looking for, he happens to be my husband. how does that fit into this investigation? >> it tells you that even in a high-ranking position in the fbi, we can't read minds. we don't know what she's thinking, and what the nature of that call was. we don't know what tamerlan is talking about with his mother. so when you look at these records, you see family members talking to each other, you just don't know. is it a criminal conversation? conspiring together as jeffrey
toobin just mentioned? or is it, hey, honey, bring home some milk tonight? are you done with the bombing? >> i'll wrap it up by pointing out she's probably saying to herself, i wish i would have called the fbi. maybe tamerlan tsarnaev would have been alive, maybe sean collier, the police officer, would have been alive if she would have just dialed 911 and said, you know what, i know who these two guys are. she apparently didn't do that. and she's going to have to live with that the rest of her life. >> but she does have an interesting story to tell, no matter what. and federal authorities are clearly -- >> i'm sure she's pretty upset she didn't do the right thing at that moment. guys, thanks very much. we'll continue to follow the breaking news here. we're also following some other important news, including some chilling video of a 747 plunging to earth only seconds after takeoff. up next, we're going to look at possible causes for this fiery and deadly crash.
the stunning and deadly crash of a 747 cargo plane all caught on tape falling from the sky seconds after taking off from a usair base in afghanistan. our pentagon correspondent chris law republicans has chilling video to share with us. chris, what do we know about this crash? >> we're now learning that plane likely never got above 1500 feet. now that said, this video is extremely graphic. in fact, even officials who have been investigated crime scenes say they've never seen anything like it. the video is traumatic and disturbing. a 747 just stalls and falls back
to earth. >> while cnn can't fully confirm how authentic the plane, is it does appear to show a cargo plane that crashed monday in afghanistan. that crash killed seven american crewmen including brad hassler. >> if i could trade places with him so he could be with his family, i would in a heartbeat. >> that is hassler's brother who says brad's wife is pregnant. >> this is his daughter and his youngest two. who we don't see in here is the baby on the way who we expect to see in october. >> the 747 was bound for dubai, carrying equipment as part of the u.s. military's drawdown from afghanistan. the civilian cargo plane was loaded with five emrats, each weighing about 27,000 pounds. >> securing them is absolutely critical to safety. >> stephen wallace is the former director of the faa's accident investigation unit. he says there's no forgiveness in a plane's center of gravity. >> basically, there can only be
so much weight at each part of the plane. so it's critical the total weight be within the limit and the plane be balanced. >> the 747 can take off a couple different ways. but it is carrying passengers, it will take four to five minutes to reach 15,000 feet. but in afghanistan, there's always the danger of being shot out of the sky. so the pilots need to gain as much altitude as possible while they're still over bagram. the 747 carrying cargo can reach altitude almost two minutes faster. >> the typical concern with a cargo aircraft is that when the airplane is rotated with the nose up, the cargo moves aft if not properly secured. >> reporter: cargo is chained down. but if an attachment point fails, it could shift. >> we don't know that that happened here. that happened in prior accidents. then the airplane becomes uncontrollable. >> reporter: it's much harder to have a massive shift of weight
on a commercial 747 because the passengers and the weight are evenly distributed in chairs. now the voice recorder and the flight data recorder are in the back of the plane. and they are designed to withstand extreme impact as well as survive very high temperatures like that fireball that we just saw. that will be the key for investigators from the ntsb, wolf, who have gone to afghanistan to try to figure out exactly what caused this crash. >> it will be a very important investigation. we want to learn from whatever happened there, chris. thanks very much. a quick note on an another aviation story we're watching here in washington. the faa furloughs are officially suspended after president obama signed a bill giving the faa permission to move money from other accounts to keep air traffic controllers on duty. the furloughs were blamed for widespread flight delays. congress approved the bill on friday. we'll be right back. i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home
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he used to be you could actually hear his belly dragging. good boy. but on tuesday, obie dragged himself to oregon expert vet and went under the knife after months of weight loss. >> it is a modified tummy tuck, yeah. we removed redundant skin and had to reconstruct. >> the idea wasn't to make obie lose weight, he had already done that. at his worst, he weighed 77 pounds. screen right, he dropped 40. obie's previous owners were elderly and ill. they overfed him. eventually obie was adopted by a veterinary technician. and she had to fight for custody of obie. he got praised just for managing to waddle down the ramp nora set up. frankly, obie's belly made him look like something that washed up on the beach.
in a dish that slows the dog down as he eats, he started to appreciate weight. he didn't appreciate veggies. >> eat your carrots. >> and he was too fat for the treadmill. just like nora's other dog, but over eight months, look at his weight go down. here he is at 41 pounds. by the time of the surgery, he weighed 37 1/2. but there was no way this extra skin and flab would ever disappear on its own. plus, it was black from inflammation and infection. so in a two-hour operation -- how much did you take off him? >> ended up being 2 1/2 pounds of tissue removed. >> the doctor says the 7-year-old is recovering faster than expected. the goal now is to get obie to lose another five pounds so he'd be the perfect weight for a standard dog. finally, obie can see and even
lick his own paws. he's become what he is, a weiner dog and not a stuffed sausage. jeannie moos, cnn, new york. >> that's it for me. aaron burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> the wife of tamerlan tsarnaev spoke with her husband on the phone after his pictures and video appeared around the country as the prime suspect. plus, the fbi releases photos of three men wanted in questioning for the bombing in benghazi. why did it take eight months for this to happen? and a number of people in washington have doubts about president obama's ability to lead. but to night, some of them are his biggest supporters.