tv The Situation Room CNN November 17, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
shops. still no word whether the pope will address a joint session of congress. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to brianna keilar who is sitting in for wolf blitzer right next door in "the situation room." happening now, terror tape after an american is beheaded by the terror group, isis, the world's intelligence agencies are scrambling to decode the brutal video and to identify the foreign fighters who appear unmasked on the tape. i'll speak with congressman peter king about what they're learning. shocking shootdown video, new images emerge showing the wreckage of a malaysian airliner downed over ukraine. and inside north korea, new details on the u.s. spy chief's mission to free american prisoners and a dictator's bodyguard tells how he became a victim of that brutal regime. wolf blitzer is off. i'm brianna keilar. you're in "the situation room."
a brutal and barbaric display by isis. the terror group's latest video shows the gruesome beheadings of a number of captives and the severed head of an american. aid worker, peter occasion, a former army ranger, standing over it, the same black-armed killer who threatens to, quote, slaughter your soldiers. there are major differences in this new video and major new clues for the world's intelligence agencies, including a row of unmasked murderers. congressman peter king of the homeland security and intelligence committees is standing by, along with our correspondents, our analysts and newsmakers. we begin with cnn's senior international correspondent, nic robertson. >> reporter: this video is different because it's much longer. it's different because it doesn't have peter kassig in an orange jumpsuit. it's different because he is apparently -- he doesn't speak to the camera. it's only the brutal aftermath
of his beheading. and it's different as well because we're beginning to see more elements in this video. we're seeing the execution of a number of people that the isis say are members of the syrian army and air force. >> and those differences are key behind the scenes, no doubt the u.s. government is taking a very close look at them. the posture we're seeing the u.s. government take publicly is very strong. >> it's a robust posture. this is isis propaganda. it's 16 minutes. and it builds to the point of saying, okay, united states, if you want to come fight us, we're here, we're ready for it, you send your p troos. they predict more than the 1,500 additional troops will be sen. this is what secretary of state john kerry said. >> isil's leaders assume that the world would be too intimidated to oppose them. well, let us be clear. we are not intimidated. you are not intimidated. our friends and partners are not intimidated.
isil is very, very wrong. >> so what we're also hearing here is that the united states is not going to give in, it's going to take on isis despite these threats. but intelligence authorities, this is what we're learning, they're learning valuable information about who these jihadists are. a number of their identities aren't hidden. >> that's something the intelligence community is looking at. talk a little bit about peter kassig. this is someone who went to help people. he used to be in the army. then he started a non-profit and he was trying to help syrians. >> and his family are proud of him for it, proud of that when they came out to speak today, proud of the fact that he had put -- almost put his life on the line to help other people. they said their hearts were broken and they would be repaired, that they would get better. that he didn't see the darkness in the world. he saw the light.
this is a guy who was a ranger in iraq. he realized he wanted to help people still in the region. he'd gone to lebanon where syrian refugees were coming out, needed treatment. he had medical skills. he was helping them. and he realized, i can do more. he created a charity, he went to syria to help on the front lines. during his captivity, one of the al qaeda leaders from al nusra that aids isis said, this guy helped me while i was in hospital. this was a man who was putting his life in danger, ultimately paying the ultimate price, to help other people. >> it struck me that his parents not only are mourning for him but tried to draw attention to those who are also hurting in syria. nic robertson, thank you so much. this latest isis murder video is significantly different from earlier propaganda displays. the killers have given investigators new clues to work with. cnn's brian todd has been looking into that. what have you found? >> western intelligence officials are looking closely at the video, sharing some
information with us. there is a lot of to go over because of all the differences between this and the previous beheading videos. a u.s. intelligence official tells me one similarity, they believe this man in the latest release is the same person shown in previous execution videos. we have to warn you, some viewers might find some images in this story disturbing. the video, like the others before it, is grotesque and disturbing. the beheading by isis of american peter kassig is presided by a militant we've come to know, jihadi john. >> this is peter kassig, a u.s. citizen of your country. >> reporter: but there are strong differences between this video and those depicting the killings of james foley and steven sotloff, alan henning and david haines. >> they unfortunately show the head of the victim but he doesn't give a speech. they don't show his execution and they don't let you know that
there's another hostage to be murdered. >> reporter: but a u.s. intelligence official tells cnn they believe isis does have additional hostages. so why is this video different? one analyst says the depictions of kassig suggest this video might have been hastily put together. >> things, chances are, went wrong with this execution. maybe the victim couldn't give a good speech, therefore they couldn't use it. maybe they accidentally killed him and they didn't want to show it. the victim could have resisted and they might have murdered him then. >> reporter: the video has a horrific feature, isis shows the man intelligence sources believe is jihadi john and others in detail too graphic to show here beheading more than a dozen mean. the militants claim they're syrian pilots. it's the first time jihadi john is seen apparently killing someone. >> it was also a sign of desperation because isil really are suffering. they're a bit like an animal caged into a corner where
they've got no response to the air strikes. the air strikes and the coalition-led effort is really hurting them. >> reporter: after the beheadings, the faces of the killers are brazenly shown. analysts say there's a message there, too. >> they were trying to show that this was almost the united nation of jihadi. these were jihadis carrying out these beheadings from different places around the world. >> and in the portion of the video depicting peter kassig's death, another point of different. unlike in previous beheading videos, they don't seem to try to hide where they are. they show distinct buildings down here. they show roads, farmlands, fields. they label the place dabiq, it's a town in syria where the ottoman empire won a historic battle. they made no attempt to hide the location where they're doing this unlike in previous videos. >> what do we know about other
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congressman. and that's this potential merger between the al nusra front, which is the al qaeda offshoot in syria, and isis. and i'm wondering if you're looking at what's going on and seeing that u.s. action in iraq and syria, if that is sort of uniting in a way two groups that previously didn't really get along. >> i have to assume, all of us have to assume these groups are allied. the difference between isis and al nusra and core al qaeda was isis was in effect more violent or more barbaric. but in the end, they all share the same common goal. we can't allow ourselves to stop taking action against isis because al nusra is going to join up with them. i always assume in the end, these groups cooperate. there's been intelligence over the years, whether it's al shabaab or al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, these groups
intermingle, sometimes you even have a person fighting for one group one year and another group the next. in their overall goal, they agree. i don't think that should deter us from any action we're going to take. i think the obama administration has made a mistake in making these out to be two different theaters, iraq and syria. it's their caliphate, it's a mistake to focus on one part of the campaign and not the other. to me, it's a joint effort. >> one of the key parts of the administration's plan here to fight isis in syria is to take moderate syrian rebels and to train them so that they can combat isis in syria. you support this war. what are you doing to make sure there's a credible vetting process for these moderate rebels? >> that's going to be a long process. that's why i think that -- first of all, it should have been started a long time ago. but what's done is done. right now, it's -- the vetting is going on.
there is vetting. but i don't see how this is going to come to any real fruition until six months to a year from now. and the number's not going to be large. we're relying on that. that's why we can't take u.s. ground troops out of play. and we have to get more arab countries involved with us. >> so you're saying the vetting has started? what we heard from the pentagon spokesman was it had not started and when it did, it was going to take several months, really, a few months more and eight to nine months of training after that. you're saying that it is under way? >> well, i don't want to be going into detail. but there has been a process which has been ongoing. i'll leave it at that. but the fact is we're not talking about large numbers and we're talking about something that is going to take a considerable period of time. and i don't see any way there's going to be an effective indigenous fighting force at least well into next year. by then, it could be too late. that's why i believe there has to be more of u.s. involvement
and we have to be doing more to get troops from the region or soldiers from the region in the battle. and they're not going to do it unless they are convinced that president obama is determined to stay throughout. >> i want to see what you think about something that 9/11 plotter zacarias moussaoui has said. he said it's possible the saudis helped give these 9/11 pilots flight lessons. did that happen? >> i'm not aware of it. but there has been some saudi government involvement, what's been investigated ore the years. the 9/11 report didn't address pilots. but whether or not there are some elements the saudi government -- i really can't say. but the record of the saudi government leading up to 9/11 or certainly people within the government or within saudi society raises serious questions. >> something else that raised a lot of eyebrows recently was the state department e-mail.
it was down today. there are questions about whether perhaps it was hacked. did that happen? how concerning is this? we've seen several reports that it has happened. >> the question of hacking, this is really a new front -- every war we're going to be involved in, hacking and cybersecurity, these are major, major elements, these are weapons of war now. we have to realize that. it's important that we as a country take stronger measures to stop it. >> you can't tell us if this was a case of hacking at the state department -- >> i'm not going to go into that. >> thank you for joining us. coming up, dramatic new video of the downing of malaysia flight 17 over ukraine. why is it just now surfacing? inside north korea, the top american spy speaks about his former mission and a former prisoner reveals the horrors of the country's notorious camps.
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stunned villagers watched flames and thick black smoke in dramatic new video showing the wreckage of malaysia flight 17. debris is finally being collected from the crash scene as fighting rages between government forces and pro-russian rebels. cnn's phil black is on the ground in eastern ukraine. this is a very close-up video of the crash.
it shows a lot of detail that we haven't previously seen. >> reporter: yeah, it shows those crucial minutes just after mh-17 broke up in the skies over eastern ukraine and large pieces of debris struck the earth. what that video in particular shows was the largest of the sections, the fuselage, the center section, the wings, the engine, the rear undercarriage and black smoke and fire being fueled by the fuel the aircraft was carrying. it was a huge inferno. and having stood at the location just where those pictures were taken, you get every sense that that was an enormous fireball in those seconds and minutes after that impact. it's also crucial to the investigation, as you touched on, dutch investigators have been there collecting wreckage for the first time now, four months after the accident, finally they're being collected just before the winter snow comes.
they're going to be shipped back to the netherlands as those investigators piece together, literally recreate sections of the aircraft to try and determine exactly what brought it down. >> it's been month. why are we just now seeing this video? >> reporter: it's really not clear where it is coming from at this time. i think that perhaps because those investigators are on the ground, that crash site is now attracting media interest once again. the video's shown up on a russian tabloid online news service. it is possible that now because of this renewed attention that some journalists have met people at that village neighboring that crash site that hadn't been spoken to before. it's been placed online and now giving this really dramatic insight into what it was like on the ground there in the moments after the crash. >> give us a sense of how bad the fighting there is on the ground in ukraine and what vladimir putin's next move might be? >> reporter: just over the last few minutes, we've continued to
hear bombardment. we suspect artery and rocket fire near donetsk airport. there's been intense fighting despite a cease-fire. the fighting has been intense despite the cease-fire. there's a lot of concern now because of the assessments that there's been an influx of soldiers, weapons, armor, that sort of thing. the ukrainian government genuinely fears some sort of large assault or offensive move is being planned by the separatists and these russian forces. russia denies it. but if you assume for a moment that those russian forces are on the ground, there are two possibilities, that russia is looking to strengthen its hand at any coming peace negotiations or the second possibility, the one ukrainian government believes, that a military
offensive is imminent. the intent of which, the objective of which, no one knows just yet. >> phil black, thank you so much for that report. the malaysia airliner investigation is being carried out with the help of monitors from the organization for security and cooperation in europe. ambassador daniel bair joins me now. thank you for talking with us. >> thanks for having me. >> we just heard phil report the removal of the wreckage began on sunday. it's continuing as we speak. what can you tell us about this process and what are investigators hoping to figure out from getting the wreckage here? >> well, the ose was on the ground within 24 hours of the shootdown of the plane back in july. but as phil recounted, it's taken months to be able to get safe access for investigators to the site. there are two prongs of effort.
one sft recove one is the recovery of the remains of those who perished on the flight and the other is the active investigation. the ukrainian government has invited the dutch to lead on that. and the investigation requires to collect as much evidence as possible before the winter sets in. and that's what's been able to begin in the last couple of days is the collection of evidence. and that has to be carefully done and there have to be security arrangements made so that investigators can do their work as safely as possible. i know that over the last few days, they've been able to talk to some of the nearby villagers. they've been able to collect some more of the personal effects. and all of this, both prongs of effort, the collection of evidence for the ninvestigation is very important to bringing closure to the families of those 298 people who lost their lives in july. >> why have we not seen the
collection until now? obviously there are some very real limitations when it comes to this essentially being in a war zone. but why has it taken four months and also tell us about up until this point the status of the remains of those who were killed on the flight? >> you're right. obviously the major obstacle has been the ongoing conflict fueled by russia and its proxies in eastern ukraine. and when the ose observers, monitors got there 24 hours after the shootdown, they were chased away by a drunken horde of pro-russian separatists. they were able to negotiate access over the ensuing days to some of the crash site. but the ongoing fighting and the injection of weapons and fighters by russia has made getting safe access to that crash site incredibly difficulty and it's taken months to get there.
the injection of fighters and heavy weaponry -- >> are they safe as they do this now? >> the ose works tirelessly with the separatists who are in control of the territory. the crash site is in territory that is in the de facto control of these armed pro-russian separatists and the ose monitors who are on the ground were very carefully and diligently working to negotiate safe passage for the investigators. obviously it's still very near to ongoing fighting. the cease-fire is being violated. and so it's been very difficult for the investigators to get the access they need. >> now they have it, though, it appears right now. so russian state tv -- i want to ask you about this. they are saying that there are new photos of mh-17 and these
photos show it was shot down by a ukrainian fighter jet. give us your assessment of that. >> it's another case of russian lies being exposed. they put those photos up. within not much time the collective investigative efforts of those in the blogosphere and reacting to those photos exposed it was a sloppy photoshop job. it's been an embarrassment for russian's channel 1. i saw a parody where someone photoshopped on vladimir putin in the middle of the g-20 meeting. this has been an embarrassment for russian state controlled television. we know that the overwhelming evidence available in the public sphere shows that the plane was shot down by a buq missile shot from separatist-controlled territory on that fateful july afternoon.
nothing that russia does to doctor photos will change the reality that everyone can see from the overwhelming evidence that is available. >> we hear this tough rhetoric you're using against russia. we've heard it from president obama. he's been really talking tough when it comes to russia. but he says the u.s. isn't considering more sanctions. shouldn't there be consequences before this gets worse? isn't this just, then, words being lobbed at russia? >> well, i think there's much more than words. there have been a great deal of costs imposed already. those costs are having an effect. not only is the ruble taking the hit, economic growth is slowing but a brain drain is renewed where top talent is leaving russia. new investment isn't coming in. capital flight is continuing. there have been costs imposed. this goes back to the fact that president obama is making decisions that not only aren't in the interest of the ukrainian people in violating ukraine's territorial integrity and sending his forces and weapons
in, but he's also making decisions that aren't in the interest of the russian people and over the long run, we have -- in the last several months, we have continuously worked with european partners to offer president putin an off-ramp to offer the path of de-escalation. over the long run, it's in russia's best interest, not only in ukraine's interest but russia's best interest for president putin and the kremlin to take the off-ramp, to move towards de-escalation. in the long run, russia and the russian people need to be part of the international community. right now, they're extremely isolated. >> before i let you go, will the u.s. give the ukrainians lethal aid to help them if needed? >> there's been an ongoing discussion with the ukrainian government about how we can best support them on the ground. it includes not only making sure that we are offering support on
allowing them to strengthen their border security, et cetera, but also obviously the reform process that is under way and ukraine has had two sets of elections, presidential elections and parliamentary elections. the ukrainian people have been very clear with their votes, voting strongly for reform for the direction of their country and in the long term, the ukrainian strategy is hinged on that reform about casting off the corruption of years past, about embracing rule of law and human rights. and we are working very hard to help the new ukrainian government support that choice, that choice for reform, that choice for a better future for the american people. >> german chancellor angela merkel said this isn't just about the ukraine but about moldova, georgia, serbia. do you see that as vladimir putin's endgame? >> she's absolutely right that this isn't just about ukraine.
but this is a crisis with russia. this is a russian crisis, not a ukrainian crisis. we've seen it play out in georgia, in moldova in the past. and what needs to -- the case that needs to be made again is to the kremlin and to the russian leaders, to president putin, that in the long term, russia's strong future lies in being in partnership with europe and with the rest of the world, not an antagonistic relationship with them. this is a crisis that's much bigger than just ukraine. it's a crisis that implicates the long-term objective we've had since the fall of the berlin wall. to see europe at peace. and right now, russia's actions are extremely destructive and detriment detrimental. >> thank you, ambassador. >> thank you, brianna. america's top spy speaking about his mission to north korea to bring home two american
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a secret mission to north korea by the top u.s. spy. now national intelligence inspector james clapper is speaking out about his trip to the world's most isolated nation to bring home two american captives. tom foreman is here to tell us about it. now clapper is talking. >> this was a nerve-rattling
visit for the head of national u.s. intelligence. but there was no certainty that anything good would come out of it. on the ground in pyongyang, the situation was still so murky, even america's top spy told cbs's bob schieffer he was nervous. >> i was quite apprehensive. >> reporter: clapper's mission? bring back americans kenneth bae and matthew todd miller, both held for supposed crimes against the government. in return, it was clearly hoped for substantially better relations with the u.s. >> i think they were disappointed, frankly, that i didn't have some breakthrough. >> you did bring a letter from president obama -- >> it generally was a pretty short letter which basically identified me as the president's
envoy and characterizing their willingness to release our two citizens as a positive gesture. >> reporter: where was leader kim jong-un? nowhere to be seen. the country's state-run news agency has just released these pictures of kim visiting a food production plant, possibly in response to fresh accusations from united nations officials about massive malnutrition and starvation. many north korea watchers say there's a sore point with kim who thinks human rights issues are used by others as an excuse to pressure his regime. >> there's a certain institutional par know ya. institutional paranoia. criticizing us for our interventionist approach, our interventionist -- >> reporter: despite all that, final with only 20 minutes notice, they were pardoned and
on their way home. clapper's trip happened on november 7th. he suggested maybe with younger north koreans, it is possible, although he still says north korea, make no mistake about it remains a very dangerous place. >> it's interesting he said the north koreans expected some breakthrough or something to come from this. what were they expecting? >> one of the working theories with north korea is all these missile tests and nuclear tests is a way of saying to the world, pay attention to us. make some deals with us, invite us to make a deal that will give us a better economy, better income and maybe we'll knock this off. but it's never reached a negotiating stance and they've remained so warlike, it's a deal many governments feel they can't strike with them. >> tom, thank you. more on north korea next. an unlikely source revealing the horrors going on inside the country's notorious prison camps. and state of emergency in ferguson, missouri, the national
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skars from the prison camp. he said by the time he was released he barely had any teeth left. he's also mind in one eye. bodyguard for ten years, surrounded by opulence and money. then after trying to defect, he was imprisoned and tortured for six months. the one man who was truly seen both sides of north korea and lived to tell the tale. when i got there, he says, people looked like walking skeletons. they had severe malnutrition, as did i. my weight dropped from 94 to 58 kilos. watching footage from a labor camp, he says his heartbreaks when he thinks back. he talks of scarce food, weekly executions prisoners are forced to watch. and the flower garden, used to describe the mass graves.
he says they have tens of thousands in it, he says. i had to carry bodies with fluids still flowing out of them and bury them where the guards told us. lee says he met kim jong-un when he was a young boy. now he's in charge. he wants to see him hauled in front of the international criminal court, a recommendation from the united nations commission of inquiry, which rankled north korea and its leadership committed crimes against humanity. a copy of this report was sent to kim jong-un himself. >> he's not able to claim ignorance of these violations. and therefore, he is now technically already complicit in these things. >> reporter: pyongyang denies any human rights abuses, which infuriates lee. he says he only managed to survive the torture so he could
tell the truth about north korea. paula hancon, cnn, seoul. coming up, a brutal isis video gives intelligence agencies new clues and they're scrambling to identify an american and other hostages. the governor of missouri activates the national guard as a looming grand jury decision has ferguson bracing for violence. kid: hey dad, who was that man? dad: he's our broker. he helps looks after all our money.
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happening now, terrorists unmasked in the most brutal isis video yet. new clues about these killers, including the executioner known as jihadi john. plus, new details about the beheading of another american and his parents are now speaking out. state of emergency, as protesters in ferguson, missouri brace for a critical grand jury decision. the national guard is being reactivated in case there is new violence. and the nfl takes a new hit. what did federal agents find during surprise drug checks of several teams? and a cnn exclusive. how republicans used twitter to bend campaign finance laws and possibly break them. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm brianna keilar. you're in "the situation room."
officials are hoping to identify and punish cold blooded killers that show their faces to the world. another american was apparently beheaded by isis. the parents shared their heartbreak publicly a short while ago. we're standing by with all the new details on these isis beheadings. first, to nic robertson. this was heartbreaking. >> absolutely. an emotionally charged press conference. the parents talked about their love for their son and their grief at his loss. >> our hearts are battered. but they will mend. the world is broken, but it will be healed in the end. and good will prevail. >> reporter: peter kassig's parents are asking for prayers and privacy the day after a video was released showing the
aftermath of the beheading of their son, a u.s. aid worker. the 16-minute video depicts the slayings of several men described by the terror group as pilots for the syrian group, which is battling isis forces. isis says the video was filmed near the turkish border. significant for them as they say it's the site for a final christian-muslim battle. kassig told cnn he felt compelled to helm victims of this war. >> there's this belief that there is no hope. that's when it's more important ever that we come in against all odds and try to do something. >> reporter: the 26-year-old started his own nonprofit to deliver humanitarian aid and medical assistance to syrian refugees. >> in 26 years, he's witnessed and experienced firsthand more of the harsh realities of life than most of us can imagine.
but rather than letting the darkness overwhelm him, he has chosen to believe in the good, in himself and in others. >> reporter: kassig used his medical background to treat wounded syrians until he was captured a year ago. while in captivity, kassig converted to islam. the video released on sunday doesn't show the indiana native's death, nor does it show kassig speaking before his death. but it does show a masked man dressed in black speaking in what sounds like a british accept. a similar figure appears in earlier videos depicting the beheading of westerners. isis didn't name the terror group's next victim or mention their losses in u.s. air strikes. kassig is the third american to be killed by isis since u.s. and
allies began air strikes against isis in august. >> our hearts are heavy but are held up by the love and support that has poured into our lives. >> reporter: u.s. officials said there may be a need for u.s. ground forces in this fight. that's certainly what this video was all about, taunting president obama to do just that. but prime minister david cameron, staunch ally of the u.s., says he will not be cowed by these sick terrorisms. >> nic robertson, thank you. there was a familiar figure t t that -- in that video known as jihadi john. >> reporter: the opportunity has been going on for months now. once again, the isis executioner known as jihadi john surfaced in a beheading video. he was cloaked in black. he spoke in that british accent
and intelligence officials i've been speaking with today believe that this is the same man we've seen in previous beheading videos. u.s. intelligence officials believe that the isis executioner known as jihadi john, is responsible for the beheadings of americans james foley and steven sotloff and david hanes and allen henning. >> jihadi john is a marked man, the world's intelligence agencies would love to get to him. >> reporter: he's believed to have lived in london and had extremist ties there. >> you came to iraq four years ago. >> reporter: investigators used voice analysis and human sources to try and pin point his identity. >> he's believed to have been based around raqqa, the isis headquarters town in syria. >> reporter: isis has ratcheted up the brutality in its latest
video, showing multiple beheadings of syrian soldiers. but the video does not show peter kassig prior to his death. the video shoes isis may be wary of coalition air strikes. >> they're afraid of having multiple cameras out in the open could serve as a giveaway from people targeting them from the sky. >> reporter: u.s. officials and law enforcement say they want to bring this man to justice. one official said, whether that's on the battlefield or in a british or u.s. courtroom is to be determined. >> pamela brown, thank you. other isis killers appear in that grisly new video. this is what is different. they're unmasked. you can see their faces. it's a brazen move that has officials scrambling to put names with the faces. let's bring in jim sciutto. are they in wri on this, jim? >> there is a wealth of hints and there is interesting information.
i'm just going to go through a few of them that the military and intelligence officials are looking at. one, why was this video different from previous ones? why did they not have the victim kneeling on his knees in an orange uniform before and another statement from another -- the next victim at the end. were they rushed? is this a sign that they're under pressure? that's one thing. in the faces you see there, we know the french have identified positively one of them as a french jihadi, and there's reports in the uk that a british father has identified another one there. you see the influence of these foreign fighters that we've talked so much about, very much at the forefront of this video, showing their faces without liey jihadi john covering his face. and they're wearing padegonia winter gear. the knives they pick up are expensive knives, which gives a sense of the funding.
one commander told us they're better equipped, better dressed than many iraqi soldiers out in the field, which gets to how formidable they are. >> i want to bring in our panel now. lieutenant colonel james reese, phil mudd and peter bergen. peter, you've seen this video. you know what's in it. what does this -- what were your first thoughts about this and sort of analyzing this, a very different video from the others. >> i guess the fact that they're not disguising these people's identities, that they're growing about this frenchman in this video, probably a brit, and also other nationalities and they're willing to be public with these grotesque executions. >> colorado, what struck you the most? >> first off, i would like to
say to peter kes ig's family. he's a very brave man. but the youth and the strapness of these guys and the equipment that they have, they're really trying to show they're a squared away type organization that's not afraid of what's in front of them. >> you saw the faces, you can see that these were men of very different nationalities. that's not an accident. that's part of what isis is trying to communicate here. >> that's right. this isn't just a communication to the white house or to the french or the british, it's a communication to what they would call an uma, a community of people they want to absorb in this state they're creating. this is not terrorism, this is not an insurgency, this in their view is a cosmic fight that gives them the justification to use terror to pursue the fight. that's the chilling piece here. we think of these people as terrorists. they think of themselves as
justified by a religion. >> do you think it was rushed, peter, rushed putting this video together? >> it's hard to tell. why would it be rushed? >> i guess i think they thought the fact that some analysts have said you didn't see parts of the process that you might have seen before. >> oh, right. i mean, it's quite possible that peter fought back in some way. he knew what was coming and he's an army ranger. he's been taught how to deal with hostage situations. he knew the end was inevitable and he may have not cooperated. >> do you think, colorado, they're under pressure? does this video reveal that? >> well, again, it shows over the last week we had the attack on baghdadi. this allows them to get their propaganda back out. they're trying to get their followers charged up. again, it's a give and take. some people will turn off on
this, but these young folks, it's grand theft auto videos. they get fired up and want to come to the fight. but once they get there, it's a whole different reality. >> stick with me. we'll talk after the break about some vulnerabilities that may have been revealed here, if there are some clues to track down some of these jihadists. we'll be right back.
if there are vulnerabilities revealed here. when you see all of these jihadists and you see their faces, does this allow intelligence agencies to go back really to perhaps where they're being radicalized and sort of get really at the root of the problem? >> well, i think definitely. they're getting a little bit sloppy showing their faces. they didn't in the previous videos. we still have jihadi john, a man we've not identified so far. but showing faces, this almost a random act, because they didn't tie it to a current political message. i'm wondering if isis is not on the ropes. they lost in kobani. they've lost around baghdad. they haven't -- they've lost the refinery and the rest of it. it looks like they're lashing out to remind people they're there. >> jihadi john, peter, you mentioned him, the masked man in
black. how significant is jihadi john and what all do we know about him? >> well, we know that british officials identified him a long time ago. the fbi director said that his identity is known. he's part of a group known as the beatles, who are basically from london. they're the main captors of all these hostages. >> what i think is striking about this latest video is we know that there is another american, a woman, a 26-year-old. she's not in this video. what does that tell us? >> i think this is potentially good news. cnn is aware of her identity. we're not reporting it. but isis has also not mentioned her name or produced her in any of these videos. as terrible as this group is, it would be a bridge too far for them to execute a woman. i found that very, very -- that would be something that they would have to consider very
carefully. >> the backlash that they would get. certainly we expect that they are considering that. >> i want to get phil, your impression of a report that just came out, this just popped. the daily beast reporting that the president is ordering a hostage policy review. obviously the policy of the united states is not to negotiate with terrorists. yet we've seen other nations go ahead and negotiate, albeit quietly or refined proxies to negotiate for them, do you think that the administration should be reviewing the policy? >> sure, i would be in favor of review, as long as we know what the parameters are. there's a big difference between paying money, for people who need to pay their own troops and doing what they did with the taliban, when we traded prisoners for prisoners. we are on a battlefield engaged in a battle, and we're dealing with human life and souls. if that's a way to get them out, it's worth considering.
but i would like to see what the sidelines are on this battlefield. i would say no to money, but there might be other options that might keep them alive. >> what do you think about that, colonel reese? you're a retired delta force officer. many feel that their lives have currency if this policy is changed. >> sure, there's no time that we want to launch on a hostage rescue if there's a political way of getting these folks brought back. but like phil said, if we give them this money exchange aspect, that's a slippery slope to go down. there are other items, the prisoner exchange, some stability operation type aspects or medical relief to help people injured. but we've got to watch that. at the end of the day, no one wants to launch on it. we want to get these people back in a political negotiation. >> i think that there is a sort
of provision here that's worth thinking about. the family of james foley was raising money to get him released. should an american family be threatened with criminal action of trying to get a release going, i mean, of course we should have this blanket to negotiate. but when it's private funding, that shouldn't necessarily be a criminal activity prosecuted by the government. >> that was the thing, bob. the foleys said they were warned by doing something like that, they would be breaking the law. what do you think? >> well, i think technically they are. you cannot exchange money with terrorist groups. this has been designated a terrorist group and it's been america's policy for a long time. i won't address the morality of it. but it is illegal.
i don't think the justice department would prosecute it, but i can understand where the wording came from. the administration thinks it will encourage more terrorism. >> when you see isis trying to negotiate with americans, they have put the price so high. a lot of people view that to mean they're not really serious about negotiating. slgt >> they were asking for 150 million euros. it was not a serious offer for james foley. >> and in the case of this young woman, it's $6 million or something like that. >> americans have been released because money was exchanged. and the government looked the other way. that's happened in the past. so this review i think is a good one, because we've seen a lot of americans dying as a result of this policy and europeans being released. but i think a review is a good idea. >> thank you all for being here. and just ahead, breaking
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the missouri governor just declared a state of emergency as the city of ferguson braces for the possibility of new violence. a grand jury decision could come at any time whether to indict police officer darren wilson who shot and killed michael brown. we're joined now live from ferguson. this is a significant move by the governor, sarah. >> reporter: it is. the governor warned that he would activate the guard if he thought that it was necessary. but it took quite a few folks, especially the protesters by surprise, because it's been peaceful protests for the past 90 plus days. they're wondering why she's making that decision now. however, the decision was welcomed by the mayor of st. louis, who came out and said he supported the decision, because he said there needed to be preparations put in place in order for them to be able to help out, if needed. earlier, we saw some of the first video we've seen of
officer darren wilson from surveillance video obtained by the st. louis post dispatch and some of the police calls that went back and forth that day on august 9. the public can now hear ferguson police dispatch audio that gives insight into the timeline that head up to the death of michael brown. the audio and surveillance video was obtained. minutes before officer wilson and brown's worlds collide in violence, you hear the dispatcher giving a description of a suspect in a robbery. sources have said officer wilson encountered brown before the radio call, detailing this theft that brown is accused in. it confirms what police said, wilson did not know michael brown was a potential suspect in their first encounter. but the audio seems to confirm wilson realizes brown and his
friend, dorian johnson, fit the description. >> he's with another male, red cardinals hat and khaki shorts. >> reporter: soon after, the audio suggests officer wilson goes after brown and johnson and calls for backup. the confrontation ensues. what we do not hear is wilson calling in to say he has shot someone. but when backup arrives, another officer on the scene calls for more support. after killing brown, these images show wilson returning to the displept. they are some of the first images to surface of officer wilson from august 9. the surveillance video obtained by the st. louis post dispatch shows officer wilson entering and leaving the police station two hours later to head to the hospital for x-rays. there are no major injuries
visible, but police have said his face was slightly swollen. these new discoveries come as ferguson and the rest of the country await a grand jury decision on whether to indict officer darren wilson for fatally shooting michael brown. >> no justice, no peace! >> reporter: supporters of michael brown have taken to the streets, to protest what they say was the unnecessary death of an unarmed teenager. protesters have been at it for more than 100 days, protesting every single day. they protested again today outside the st. louis county prosecuting attorney's office, protesting the process and waiting to see what the grand jury decision is. >> sara, thanks. let's talk about this with antonio french, john gaskin, don lemon and tom fuentes. john, i want to ask you the first question here, this
activation of the missouri national guard, why do you think this is happening now? >> well, there definitely is a possibility that the governor and his staff are concerned about unrest. but i think it's preemptive and i think it's premature. because the last 90 days, the protests have been peaceful. many of the protesters have policed themselves, they've been organized. to be honest with you, i think that kind of action this early is very premature and it creates a lot of chaos. if you look at social media, many people are wondering why this kind of action is taking place already, especially since no announcement has been made. i understand the governor and his staff wants to make the necessary preparations in terms of a public safety stand point. however, i think we need to give people within that community that have been acting accordingly and have been peaceful a little more credit.
>> give us the law enforcement perspective, tom, does this make sense? >> two things. you hope for the best, but you plan for the worst. that's just common sense when a number of people have spoken out and said there will be violence if the officer is not indicted in this case. secondly, the fact that they've been peaceful, there's been no major problem for 90 days is true, but there's been no announcement for 90 days. so that's what the fear is here for law enforcement, for the community, for the business people that are boarding up their businesses with plywood on the front as if a hurricane might come. so everybody in that community is on edge waiting for the announcement. >> alerman, you said the national guard being called in will mark a historic failure. explain what you need. >> at a time when we need to be calming people down, we had 100
days to bring sides together, to give protesters and folks who agree with the protesters some degree of action to show that the government is listening to them. they have not received that. they have not gotten that. and so they rightfully, i think, would come out and protest. but we should not escalate the situation. in fact, we should be working to deescalate it. i worry a military presence here sends the wrong message. it says that it's them versus us. we're going to win. i don't think that's helped anybody. >> do you think that's the case, don, do you think this could escalate things? >> i think anything could escalate things a t this point. but i want to say everything tom fuentes said, tom is right. you have to plan for the worse and hope for the best. if a situation happened in ferguson that got out of control, people would be blaming the governor or whoever was in charge that they weren't prepared in the moment. yes, i think the protesters get
credit for the mostly peaceful protests, but we cannot forget what happened initially, and it did get out of control. so people do have to be prepared in case something happens. rightly so, there has been no announcement. and no one know what's going to happen when the announcement does come down. just because the national guard is activated does not mean the national guard will be standing there in front of people. they could be just at the outpost or what have you or the headquarters or the command post until they are activated to go out. >> i'm going to ask the alderman this question, this video of officer wilson, if we can show that. you see him leaving soon after the shooting, and it doesn't appear that there are really very visible injuries here. i just wonder, what is your reaction to seeing this and also to the timing here? >> well, it's interesting. obviously in the first few days
after august 9, there was some reports that there was a struggle and that officer wilson had suffered injuries to his face. it did not appear that way in the video at least. but i worry about the timing of this again. in many case we've had these videos released, and luckily there's been a lot of restraint. we haven't seen reaction from the public because of it. it also appears there may be some kind of preparing the community for a nonindictment. so, again, i give the protesters a lot of credit for showing a lot of restraint. i think that will continue. >> right. and can we just say, those reports about his eye socket and the damage to his face, we never reported that. >> cnn did not report that. >> we did not report that. my colleague jason carroll was the first person to knock it down with the police chief, tom jackson there. so there was no eye socket injury. and we have to remember, from
the zimmerman trial, everyone said look, there were no injuries and we finally saw the pictures and there were injuries. but from this, i don't think you can judge until we know what's coming out in the evidence. >> does it matter, tom, if there were severe injuries? >> it doesn't matter if they're not visible and you don't know that yet. i would like to see what his face looked like the next day. if he's in shock from the shooting incident and everything that's transpired, so he could be walking around in a daze, like an nfl quarterback with a concussion, having gone through something like that. we just don't know. you can't say he's not injured or that he is for sure. >> certainly, no. it would be very interesting to see the next day. do you think, john, that perhaps this could be some sort of preparation for a nonindictment of officer wilson? >> it could be, especially considering that it came out from the post dispatch and it's my understanding that it came out late in the wee hours of the
night. so it could very well be some trying to caution the community on what's coming down the pipe potentially. >> i wonder, john, do you think the decision has already been made and maybe -- >> you mean, john or don? >> well, you can both weigh in, but john first. do you think the decision may have already been made, yet it's being made so law enforcement can do their best to make sure everyone is safe? >> well, there's definitely that possibility. but i think with a case that is as high profile as this one, with that many individuals in a room, i think it would probably be very difficult to hold that kind of very urgent information for that long a period of time. i think that would be extremely reckless and difficult. >> hard to hold -- >> when there have been so many leaks. you can't even get two forensic
pathologists to agree on an autopsy, or three. so imagine what a grand jury is going through, someone who is a layperson. i don't think the decision would be made in holding it. i think everyone will get notice that a decision has been made and how long before the actual announcement. >> that will be tough to hold on to. >> i think the other fear is somebody that could leak something that's just not true and say there's been a decision or he's not going to be indicted. we just don't know. but i could be very cautious and tell everybody, be careful of the social media accounts and all that. because anybody can put anything out. >> time word to you, alderman, to people in the community there? >> you know, i think people just need to keep calm and keep a level head. regardless of which way this thing goes, the process is not over, there's still the justice department, and there are a lot of things going on right now. but violence will solve nothing.
and i don't think there's a military solution or violent solution to anything we're trying to resolve here. >> thank you so much. really appreciate that. certainly that sentiment is well said. john, tom, don, thanks to all of you, as well. just ahead, new problems for the nfl. we're learning more about surprise drug checks. plus, a west wing character at the center of a republican twitter scandal. what's that all about? we'll have some exclusive details for you. at panera bread, our hearty all-natural turkey chili is back in season. slow-cooked with turkey raised without antibiotics, tart tomatillos, chilies, carrots, edamame and more. the savory spice of the chili pairs perfectly with the black bean hummus and the fresh crunch of
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a new problem for the nfl after months of controversy and scandal. federal drug enforcement agents carried out surprise inspections of several teams after their sunday games. they're investigating allegations that the league illegally gave players powerful painkillers to keep them on the field. we're joined now by rachel nichols and evan perez. rachel, you have to imagine if the dea is doing this, there is a suspicion there. what are they looking for? >> yeah, the suspicion came after a lawsuit was filed, a class action suit this past spring by more than a thousand former nfl players. and what the suit alleges is that doctors and people like trainers who are not allowed to give out this level of
prescription medication were giving these out like candy, without the proper prescriptions, people being given prescriptions not in their names, the idea of mixing prescriptions. players given these pills without being told are they addictive or not, what are the side effects, all things required by law. and what the dea was looking into, and you can tell by the fact that every team they visited yesterday were visiting teams, not the home teams, is that physicians are only allowed to give out this level of prescription in the state where they're licensed to practice medicine. so if they travel with the team to another state, they're not supposed to believe prescribing medication to players in that other state. what they're supposed to do is they're supposed to go to the home team doctor and ask them to look at their player. as often in the nfl, because hey, you've got opposing teams, they don't like to help each
other out. so the dea wanted to make sure that was being followed. you have more than a thousand former players alleging all these rules are being broken. >> make sense of this for me, evan. you have the nfl saying these visits were administrative. so what does that mean and what kind of action might be taken if some wrong doing is found here by a traininger or some other staff member with drugs they shouldn't have? >> the investigation is not criminal, so if there's a violation, lit be a civil penalty. what rachel was talking about, basically this is not focused so much on the players but the staff, the trainers and the doctors. because they're not supposed to be traveling pharmacies. they eastern not supposed to be carrying all these drugs with them. that's what the dea wanted to see. they want told see whether these guys were traveling with all these drugs and whether they could catch them in the act. what's significant about this is this lawsuit was filed for
players who played from 1969 to 2008. what this tells us is that the dea thinks something more recent is going on. >> that's what they're hooking for. rachel, are we going to see more teams being checked in on with these administrative visits? >> i wouldn't be surprised. you have to think they don't launch as widespread of an investigation and have it be wrapped up in one day. i think the nfl and nfl players and nfl physicians have been put on notice that the dea is serious. previous to this, it was a civil claim, but i think nfl teams are being made aware of this is not something that happened in the past that people are trying to litigate. this is something the federal government is concerned about and you better take it seriously. >> we know they checked in with the 49ers, the bucs, the seahawks. can they legally check in with any teamsome >> they can go anywhere. this was like a signal to the nfl, make sure your teams are following the law.
they can go just about anywhere. this investigation is only at the beginning. we will see where this goes. we don't know what the dea found in these inspections and these random interviews that they did. and we don't know where else the investigation is going to go. >> aside from administrative, could it be legal? >> oh, yeah, it could be a criminal issue if they find any proof of that. right now it's just administrative. the dea, we're talking about the cadillac of american sport here, the nfl. so this was not done lightly. >> no, very big deal. thanks for talking about it with me, evan, rachel. just ahead, we'll ask this question, did republicans skirt campaign finance laws through twitter? we have a cnn exclusive with the answer. big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked.
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. now an exclusive cnn politics investigation revealing how republican used anonymous twitter accounts to reportedly get around finance laws. were the laws simply bent or were they broken? i'll talk to cnn digital correspondent chris moody in just a moment. first here's how it worked. come january, republicans will have their largest majority in the house of representatives since world war ii. the result of a dramatic gop sweep in the mid-term elections where we saw unprecedented spoeng ads such as address this. >> shawn patrick maloney.
looking out for himself. >> reporter: campaign ads funded by independent groups known as sapper packs. they can spend unlimited money on candidates and it is all legal as long as they don't coordinate in any way with the campaigns they're supporting but cnn has learned that's exactly how it may have happened, all publicly. >> when we got wind of this story, we found out there were twitter pkts very few people know about. they dump their internal polling data and share it. >> the cnn digital correspondent discovered this was going on for months before the election. the national republican congressional commit yeah, the official arm of house republicans, appears to have been swapping secret campaign data with super pacs lake american cross roads and the american action network. >> i knew i was on to something when minutes after i e-mailed the republican groups asking
about this story, all the accounts were deleted. >> the tweets were public, visible to anyone who followed the anonymous accounts. but to an outside observer, the tweets appeared to be jibberish. streams of seemingly random letters and numbers. >> if you were a pollster, you might find out what they may not. they would start with an abbreviation. let's say ca for california. then it would look like poll numbers showing had a is up, had a is down. possibly favorability ratings, followed by a date that the poll was taken. and then at the end, the district number. the twurt accounts were based on house races. >> do i respect that. >> one account was even named for a fictional campaign strategist on tv's the west wing. >> does it tray to influence the outcome of the election? you can't use soft money. period. >> all of this is because you have outside groups that have been able to use unlimited am of
money. very large sums. but they really want to be inside groups. >> what is not clear is who foeft informing or if any laws were broken. >> the gap again here is, the supreme court thought none of this was going to happen. they thought this would be an outside expenditure. totally independent. the reality is it is a web of connection taken with campaigns and these outside groups and their donors. >> joining us now to talk about the cnn digital correspondent, chris moody hark broke this story. it is a great story. what is the reaction? if you've gotten any from the nrcc or from american cross roads or american action network or any of the groups that appear to be communicating hear. >> since we started this story, it has been absolute radio silence from them. wave had response that's said we're not interested in coming. even after we broke the story today, no response. we had no response from any s.e.c. commissioners whale we
were working on the story. this morning one of the s.e.c. commissioners posted on twitter that said we might be looking into. this it will be difficult because campaign finance laws are murky. >> may know that this could have been bent, the ral, but maybe not broken? >> that's rate. the s.e.c. hasn't issued very much gadance. under the eyes of the law, there is a high law. and the s.e.c. would have to prove it. they could go after these groups them could subpoena them to decide how they got together where to find the twitter accounts and how to read the code, but the ability of them to actually successfully carry that outdoes not look good. a lot of the experts i talked to said don't expect that to happen other than exposure. >> this part is so fascinating to me. the timing of this. you get a tip and you figure out, this is going on. and you call up the nrcc. the official campaign arm of
house republicans. how long did it take taken with you calling the nrcc and you starting to see these accounts on twitter deleted? >> i sent an e-mail asking if they wanted to discuss the twitter pkts i knew they had access to or i knew they were reviewing. within maybe an hour they were all deleted. >> so make the cognitive leap for me. do you feel someone at the nrcc transmitted to whoever had that twitter handle and it was deleted? >> because we don't know which grams were behind those. we don't know who is behind it, we don't know if they deleted their own or if they just sent a message out to say hey, they're on to us. did i send messages to the others but they are all off the map now. >> so bruno, this is another fascinating tid bit. that is a west wing character. what do we read into that?
>> they obviously had a sense of humor. they were doing it before the election but also for four years before the election. they've been doing it a long time. bran over argued in the show west wing in favor of using soft money, his colleagues overruled him because they didn't think it was ethical. so you can read into that what you want. >> the question is, did they community? this official arm and maybe some of these other groups by saying, here's the twitter account that you need to check out for this. >> merely posting this is not legal. the question is how did they know where to look and how to read it? that's a question we don't have an answer for. there could be a question, if you provide polling date to a campaign, that is a donation so you have to report it. these were not reported. and they were privately transmitted to the nrcc. that should be, it doesn't look like they were reported.
>> great story. thank you so much for sharing it with us. and remember, you can follow us on twitter. tweet the show at cnn sit room. thank you so much for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts rate now. >> preparing for the worst. michael brown's family attorney. we asked "outfront" plus the beheading of a third american hostage. this time the isis video holds 92 clues. and another woman accuses america's favorite television dad of rape, bill cosby, under fire tonight. let's go "outfront." >> breaking news, a state of emergency in ferguson, missouri. the governor of the state of missouri activating the national