tv The Situation Room CNN January 28, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
unmanned aircraft at his job but a source familiar with the case said he is likely to face disciplinary action. we should point out the man has not been charged. the investigation is continuing. jake? >> jim acosta thanks. that's it for "the lead." i am jake tapper in new york. i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, isis hostage deal tense negotiations as jordan offers to free a female bomber if if the terror group releases one of its pilots captured in syria. border war brewing. israel hits back at hezbollah after a missile attack kills two of its soldiers and it issues a thinly veiled warning to iran as it beefs up its own defenses. airline threats. a growing number of flights delayed or canceled because of bomb threats made on social media. who is behind it all and can it be stopped? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
breaking now, a deal may be in the works for a prisoner swap with isis. the terror group has demanded that jordan release a jailed female bomber and jordan says it's willing to do so if if isis frees a jordanian fighter pilot captured in syria. the demand came in a video message from a japanese isis hostage whose comrade has already been beheaded. his own fate is unknown. at the same time hair trigger tensions along israel's northern border area. two israeli soldiers are dead in a hezbollah missile attack. prime minister benjamin netanyahu warns those behind it will pay a price. israel has retaliated with heavy shelling and a u.n. peace keeper died in the cross-border violence. we have full coverage of both breaking stories and a whole lot more. our correspondents and analysts are standing by along with jordan's foreign minister and state department spokeswoman, jen psaki. let's begin with our chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto. he has the very latest. >> this would be the complicated and difficult deal a convicted
terrorist for -- in exchange for jordanian, possibly as well as japanese journalist. a government source tells me today the exchange is not imminent. the key obstacle is that isis has not presented proof of life evidence that that jordanian pilot is still alive. without that jordanian officials say there will be no prisoner exchange. at the turkey/syria border today, an anxious wait for a prisoner exchange that so far hasn't happened. today, jordan made a bold public offer to release this woman, sajida al rishawi, a failed suicide bomber from a devastating attack on oman hotels in 2005 that killed dozens. her release, in exchange for the jordanian pilot, lieutenant mu'adh sak yusuf al kasasibah captured when he went down in syria last month and it is hoped captured japanese journalist kenji goto. on tuesday, isis released a
video of mr. goto handcuffed holding a picture of what seems to be lieutenant al kasasibah, warning that without al rishawi's freedom, they would both be killed within 24 hours, a deadline that has passed. the deputy foreign minister is in jordan now on what he says is a nonstop effort to save his fellow citizen. >> we will never give up until our japanese hostage, mr. goto is safely coming back to our nation. >> reporter: the proposed exchange remains uncertain. jordan says isis has yet to show evidence the pilot is still alive, placing already difficult negotiations in an agonizing limbo. >> not sure that jordan can go ahead without an assurance that they are going to get their pilot back. the war effort is controversial in jordan. this puts the king of jordan in a very difficult position. >> reporter: tense talks come as isis demonstrated its growing reach far beyond syria and iraq. isis has now claimed responsibility for the deadly
siege on the corinthia hotel in libya that killed ten, including american security contractor david berry. showcasing images of men isis claims to be the attackers. >> we've got people in libya, they like watching what isis is doing, they are extremis jihadists themselves and they want to carry the banner of isis. >> reporter: expanding in libya but pushed back in syria. kurdish forces are celebrating the re-taking of the town of kobani though only after a relentless air campaign of u.s.-led strikes, some 700 over four months. the latest strikes coming just last night. isis' 24 hour deadline included in its latest hostage video expired this morning but you will remember a previous 72 hour deadline for killing the two japanese hostages passed last friday with evidence since then that at least one of them kenji goto is still alive. of course one of the difficulties in any exchange
like this any negotiation with terrorists is deep deep uncertainty, lack of trust and that's a real obstacle. >> they do need that proof of life to show that jet fighter pilot, the f-16 pilot is still alive. >> no question. that's a basic thing. jordanian officials, the foreign minister echoed there will be no exchange until they have that proof. >> jim sciutto, thanks very much. let's go to the pentagon right now. our correspondent barbara starr is standing by. barbara, you have been speaking to sources about all of this. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well look wolf king abdullah of jordan now in one of the most sensitive situations potentially of his reign over that country. the u.s. well aware of what jordan is going through right now. big question are they even talking to the right people who can possibly deliver them the pilot and the japanese hostage. the u.s. is aware that jordan right now is sensitive to any notion it is negotiating with isis terrorists. what the jordanians are saying is they are engaging in a prisoner exchange.
they are going to point out, i think you will see that the u.s. did this with bergdahl the army sergeant that the u.s. got back after exchanging him for five taliban prisoners, also pointing out israel often exchanges palestinian prisoners to get its military personnel back. the jordanians making the case in their view that this is standard procedure in war zones for prisoners to be exchanged. right now, with no proof of life as everyone is saying nothing is going to happen. but the key question why would the jordanians be willing to give up this woman who was convicted in this devastating hotel attack that still resonates through oman to this day since 2005. officials are telling me she was not directly responsible for any of the killing, devastating as the attack was, her suicide vest malfunctioned so they think they can agree to release her. that is what the jordanian government is saying.
but as the hours tick by make no mistake, concern growing about how all of this will be resolved. wolf? >> it's a sensitive, sensitive, very delicate moment right now. barbara, thanks very much. the united states government obviously watching all of these developments very closely and its own swap of taliban prisoners, five of them at guantanamo bay for the captured u.s. army sergeant bo bergdahl may give jordan cover to go forward with its own swap. let's talk about all of this and more with a state department spokeswoman, jen psaki. thanks very much for joining us. >> great to be here. >> if the jordanians go ahead and release this female terrorist, convicted terrorist, in exchange for their pilot, captured by isis and maybe throw in the japanese journalist who hopefully is still alive, that would be okay with the u.s. government right? >> well let me first say, wolf that jordan is a partner country. they are a friend an ally. we work with them on a range of issues around the world. they are going through an incredibly difficult situation
that unfortunately, we can relate to given our own history with isil hostages here. this hasn't happened yet. as you mentioned in your reporting and through your reporters, there are a lot of different scenarios and details. we are in touch with a range of parties but we are going to wait to see what happens and how this plays out before we make a judgment. >> but on principle, a swap like this similar to what the u.s. did in exchange for bo bergdahl releasing five prisoners at guantanamo bay, taliban prisoners, that was all done through the negotiations intermediaries of qatar, you would understand and presumably support a jordanian decision to free this convicted terrorist? >> well wolf obviously let's see what happens. we certainly support, jordan is a sovereign country. they are again, a country we work very very closely with. the situation with bergdahl as you know he was a prisoner. he was in combat he was taken and we don't leave men and women who have served our country behind. that was the situation where
there has been ample precedent in the past and we decided to make a swap. there are many different scenarios at play here but again, we are in touch with a range of countries. we are watching this closely and we share the heartache and anguish of the jordanian and frankly, the japanese people. >> what's your message to the government of jordan and the government of japan? >> well one both the government of jordan and the government of japan and their people are friends, they are our partners. we work with them on a range of issues and their heartache is our heartache. we unfortunately relate to what they are going through. we have a range of our own policies as you know as a united states government and we don't make concessions to terrorists terrorists. that includes ransoms, that includes swaps, and we have those policies in place to keep american citizens as safe as they can. but we understand the need and the desire to protect and do what is necessary to bring citizens home. we take steps on our own to do that with our american citizens.
>> is it your understanding, i know this is sensitive, delicate diplomatic negotiations that are under way, but is it your understanding that jordan's demand is their fighter pilot, that f-16 fighter pilot, be freed in exchange for this convicted female terrorist, or are they also demanding that the japanese journalist be part of this deal? >> well, wolf, there are a lot of different reports out there. that's exactly why you're asking that question. i know the government of jordan has spoken a bit to this. the government of japan has a bit. we have had conversations. but given how sensitive it is and just in the interest of being as supportive as possible i'm just not going to outline those more publicly at this point in time. >> let's talk a little about this most recent video that isis released. it's a video that shows the japanese, the two japanese hostages and it was apparently shot indoors. they had some fake background or whatever instead of outdoors. you understand why they would do this? >> i don't have any analysis for
you. obviously there are experts in the intel community who look at that. they pose no question to the authenticity of the video. i know the government of japan has also spoken to that as well. our focus is really at this point on being as supportive as we can of the government of japan and their people at this point in time. >> so as far as you know and we hope that jordanian f-16 fighter pilot and that japanese journalist they are still alive. >> well we don't have any more details or information on that wolf. obviously the jordanians have also spoken to that. but there are a lot of unanswered questions and obviously this is an incredibly sensitive and fluid situation. >> speaking of sensitive and fluid situations, it's pretty sensitive and fluid right now, potentially deadly along the israeli northern border with syria and with lebanon. i want you to stand by. we will have a full report on what's going on. it's a delicate moment a deadly moment already. much more after this.
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jen psaki is still standing by at the state department. we will get to her momentarily. this is just coming in. i want to go to cnn's will ripley in tokyo for more on what's going on as far as a possible hostage exchange. the mother of the japanese hostage, kenji goto is begging her government in tokyo to save his life. the government says it won't give up that fight. will is joining us live from tokyo. will ripley what is the latest you are getting? >> reporter: well there's a lot
of tension here right now because it's been more than seven hours since we have gotten an official word from the japanese government an official update and that last update was that they had no news to report. so what tokyo needs to know right now is confirmation of one of two things. that a successful prisoner swap has occurred which we do not believe to be the case because had that happened once all parties were safe we would have known about it. so the second thing that we need to find out in tokyo is has isis agreed to delay this execution deadline and are negotiations still ongoing. we are getting word that perhaps there may be some indirect talks but until we hear directly from isis that in fact and isis is willing to show proof that these two prisoners, kenji goto and mu'adh sak yusuf al kasasibah are still alive, there will be sad prospects for japan. >> let's say hypothetically that
jordan gets its pilot back from isis they release this convicted woman who is convicted of terrorism but the japanese journalist remains captive. i assume the japanese government would be severely disappointed that they couldn't get a three-person swap. >> reporter: absolutely. that would be a horrible outcome for the government here in tokyo. they do have some leverage in the fact that they have pledged a significant amount $200 million of humanitarian aid to help a lot of the syrian and iraqi refugees in that region including in jordan. so japan also through oil diplomacy has good relationships with a lot of middle eastern countries and they are certainly trying to cash in on that political capital to see what kind of a deal can be worked out. but yes, it would be very disappointed and then it really comes down to this, wolf. does kenji goto has he been able to develop some sort of rapport with his captors. they clearly kept him alive for a reason. they have now used him in two
different propaganda videos. does he have some sort of connection that can help him stay alive until isis decides to either release him or the other scenario which people don't want to talk about but is on everyone's minds here. >> thanks very much for that, will ripley in tokyo. we are following all the information that's breaking tonight. jordan's willingness or unwillingness to swap if you will it's clear they are ready to exchange this convicted woman terrorist for their pilot. let's go back to the state department spokeswoman, jen psaki. what's it like jen, i know you are familiar with all of this this dialogue that apparently is under way between the jordanian and japanese government, is the u.s. involved in helping to coordinate those talks? >> well again, i really refer you to the government of japan and the government of jordan. these are their hostages. certainly we support and we can relate to what they're going through and these challenges that they're going through, but this isn't a u.s. effort. >> let's leave that for a moment
and go to what's going on in northern israel along the border with lebanon and syria right now. as you know there was another incident today, a deadly incident two israeli soldiers were killed about seven or eight were injured, some of them severely. the prime minister of israel benjamin netanyahu, warning there will be israeli reaction. has the secretary of state been in touch with secretary netanyahu? >> he does speak with him regularly every couple days. the secretary just got back this morning and had a range of meetings on his schedule. i know he hopes to talk with him in the next 24 hours about this situation as well as a range of issues we discuss with israel. >> how concerned are you of a possible escalation? i suspect that neither hezbollah nor the israelis want an escalation but you know that part of the world, one miscalculation could trigger all-out war. >> certainly we don't want an escalation either. i think we need to remember here this was hezbollah attacking israel attacking an idf and israel has the right to
defend itself. certainly they do broadly but this is a case where they were attacked. now, as you noted, there has long been a un. security council resolution that kind of monitors peace along the line the blue line there. that's certainly something, reducing the tension, reducing the back and forth, having peace in that area is certainly something we would support and we hope for. >> as you know iran is a major supporter of hezbollah. what's its role in all of this? >> i don't have more details on that at this point. you're right, there's a long history there, they have been supporters of hezbollah but in terms of this specific attack i don't have any details on that. >> jen psaki, thanks very much for joining us. coming up there is new deaths rising tensions. we will have much more on these growing fears of war along one of israel's most dangerous boundaries. we are going live to israel's northern border with lebanon and syria. then the spokesman for israel's military is standing by live. he is in jerusalem. we've got a bunch of questions
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. tensions are very high along israel's northern border area. israel has answered a deadly hezbollah missile attack by pounding targets in lebanon and it's issued a not so veiled threat to the shiite group and its iranian patrons. lieutenant colonel peter lerner is standing by. there he is. first let's go to elise labott for the very latest.
>> reporter: well tonight israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu convened a meeting of his top national security aides after hezbollah launched the most deadly attack against israeli forces since the war with hezbollah in 2006. netanyahu says iran is the culprit and israel will respond aggressively to any attempts to open up a new front. the hezbollah assaults started with anti-tank missiles striking an israeli military convoy killing two soldiers and wounding seven more. smoke rose from the border as israel answered with air strikes and shelling into lebanon. hezbollah came back with more mortar fire against israeli army positions. a u.n. peace keeper in lebanon was killed in the fighting. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu took to twitter to promise who was ever behind the attack would pay the price but it pointed the finger at iran
for using hezbollah to open up a new front on its northern frontier with syria and lebanon. a day earlier, two rockets launched from a syrian army position into the israeli controlled golan heights were met with israeli air strikes back into syria. a stern warning to hezbollah a new front will not be tolerated. >> if you can shell israel from the golan, if you can kind of condition the israelis to the fact that this is now the new normal you have achieved something quite significant. the israelis on the other hand are not prepared to concede that. >> reporter: hezbollah called it payback for last week's strike against syria targeting and killing an iranian general and six hezbollah members. while it hasn't acknowledged the attack israel's army is on high alert, deploying the iron dome anti-missile system after iran vowed to hit back with quote, ruinous thunder bolts. israel has deployed several iron dome batteries in the area like the one behind me. the system has a very
sophisticated radar which can track an incoming rocket, lock on to it and shoot it down within 15 seconds. but it's never been tested against a very large salvo of rockets and the fear is that if hezbollah starts shooting hundreds of rockets into israel the system may not be as successful. wednesday's attack hezbollah's most deadly against israeli forces since the 2006 lebanon war. tonight, military sources say neither side has an interest in escalation but warn violence could spiral out of control. a fear echoed in washington. >> we certainly encourage all parties to respect the blue line between israel and lebanon. we urge all parties to refrain from any action that could escalate the situation. >> reporter: wolf a tense calm over the area. it's been quiet for about the last ten hours or so. the question now is has each side made their point, are they ready to de-escalate or will the fighting continue and as you know well from covering the
region any wrong move on either side and this could really spiral out of control. >> it certainly could. one miscalculation could escalate this even into an all-out war. thanks very much elise. be careful up in the northern part of israel where you are right now. we will check back with you tomorrow. let's go to jerusalem right now. spokesman lieutenant colonel peter lerner is joining us. what is the latest information you are getting about the situation along israel's northern border? >> well as elise pointed out, it's tense but calm. it has been for about ten hours now. we are maintaining military presence on the border substantially enough to defend israeli civilians. that is our goal. that is what we are doing. >> how concerned are you that the situation, though could escalate if there were some miscalculation? >> well we are doing everything possible in order to prevent that. of course there are concerns.
hezbollah, a terrorist organization with a huge weapons capability larger than most european countries, actually has the ability to strike all of israel. so this is of great concern and we need to be poised and prepared for a negative development although we are hoping and taking necessary steps to be prepared for otherwise. i would say that we need to be prepared with the tools, with the intelligence with the military forces capable on the ground to address any threat that could possibly develop. today, these five lethal antitank missiles that were fired at the troops killing two soldiers and wounding another seven, is a severe situation and this is something we really need to look ahead and try and foresee if these type of attacks can happen again. >> because you know hezbollah says this was retaliation for what israel did last week when
it launched an air strike against a convoy carrying hezbollah militants and an iranian revolutionary guard general. you killed them, they say you started all of this. >> well we need to be responsible, rational and level-headed in what we are doing and how we are defending the people of israel from hezbollah and its iranian patron. they are attempting to establish another front in the golan heights. we need to be able to defend ourselves. that is what we are doing. >> we know -- >> just yesterday, if i might add, just yesterday, they launched two rockets. we had to evacuate 1,000 people off of a skiing resort. >> so what are you saying now, when the prime minister of israel says hezbollah and iran in his words, he said it very specifically he said they will pay a price for today's deadly attack that killed two israeli soldiers, what does he mean by
that? >> well as the military we need to be prepared for any development. we need to take the necessary steps to safeguard the state of israel. that is what we are doing. people cannot be allowed to shoot rockets at us at people. the vehicles that the soldiers were traveling in were unmarked military vehicles on a road where civilians were traveling. they could have shot anybody. people need to be able to travel their roads. i would say it needs to be responsible, rational and level-headed. >> so you see an escalation this tension escalating. is it simply because of hezbollah or do you see iran behind it? we know hezbollah has the full support of the syrian regime of president bashar al assad. give us your analysis of what's going on here because since 2006 that northern israeli border was very very quiet. all of a sudden the last week or so, things have really escalated. >> well the reality is that
iran is using hezbollah as its proxy. it is its forearm on our northern border. they have been supplying them with rockets and missiles. they have been training them. hezbollah have been operating on their behalf in syria to prop up the regime there. they have gained huge field experience inside syria that probably made them successful in their attack against our forces today. so they are deeply involved. they are all serving one goal and this is the prime concern. iran together with hezbollah and syria operating, using these areas as springboards to launch attacks against israel is something we can't put up with. >> we saw elise in her report standing not far away from that u.s.-built iron dome anti-missile system. i assume you are moving those iron dome systems up to the north but do you think they could get the job done in the
face of what could be hundreds if not thousands of rockets, mortars, missiles launched at targets in northern israel? >> well the iron dome is just one component of our multi-tiered capabilities, defensive capabilities. so we have to depend on the people that will act responsibly, we are giving orders and advising people how to act in such a circumstance and we have other mechanisms as well as the iron dome in order to protect the people of israel. that is precisely what we are doing. that is the israel defense force. >> have you mobilized reservists yet? >> no. we have not, wolf. we have sufficient forces on the border. the air force is poised and prepared. we are prepared to defend israel if required. we have enough forces to do so. >> peter lerner lieutenant colonel peter lerner spokesman for the israel defense forces, thanks very much for joining us. >> good evening. up next what's behind an
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providence rhode island. boston set a record for its biggest january snowstorm and worcester is buryied under 34 inches of snow. cnn's brian todd is there for us now. what's it like up there? >> reporter: it is cold and this is kind of an illustration of what it's like here. i'm on top of a 12 1/2 foot high snow pile. these scenes are repeated throughout the city of worcester and it's presenting real logistical and safety headaches for city officials. as i make my way down i will explain why. as you mentioned, this snowfall dumped more than 34 inches of snow on this city a record since they started keeping records back in the early 1900s, and frankly, with mountains like this and this one over here i'm going to point out to they just don't know where to put all this. the snow came down faster than a lot of the plows could actually plow it out of the way but now they've got to try to get rid of it and what the issues are are
that it's just difficult to park your car on the street it's difficult to walk anywhere. this is a rare example of a plowed sidewalk but a lot of the sidewalks are filled so they just can't -- a lot of people can't walk. that presents a real safety problem because a lot of people are walking on the street, it gets very dangerous. this just represents some of the many challenges people throughout this region are facing as they come out of this storm. >> this is brutal. brutal. >> reporter: tonight, new england is struggling to dig out after the epic blizzard that pounded the region breaking records. one snowbound resident in berlin massachusetts filming this 24-hour time lapse of snow piling up on a porch. this house in scituate massachusetts covered in a thick layer of ice while new york city was largely spared. parts of suburban long island are buried. the town of orient new york is reporting 30 inches. in hartford connecticut, a relatively modest ten inches. in boston just over 24 inches.
boston suffering the sixth biggest snowstorm since 1935, the most ever in january. in the coastal massachusetts town of marshfield, we witnessed a violent storm surge pounding the seawall. during high tide the seawall was breached in two places. several houses were quickly flooded, some destroyed. residents scrambled to get out. this is one of the worst damaged houses here in marshfield. the man who lives here we are told got hurt by flying glass, had to have 70 stitches in his face but he's okay. it took a front end loader with crews in the front end loader to get him out. here was another problem. lobster traps blowing in from the ocean during the height of the storm surge. when we caught up to that injured resident tim mannix he spoke of fearful moments when he tried to escape in his truck but had to be rescued from his house. >> after i got whacked, i was scared because i was bleeding so much. once i got a towel on it i
calmed down then. >> reporter: do you want to come back and live here after this? >> well, no. this is probably it. sell the property and get out. just have no answers to my future right now. i've got a pretty bleak future today, tomorrow the next day. we'll see what happens. i'm trying to laugh it off. you know, think about tomorrow, not yesterday. okay? >> reporter: tim is going to have to find a way to press on somewhere along that coastline. he makes his living as a commercial fisherman. meanwhile, the blizzard warnings and the travel bans have been lifted but that doesn't mean people here are out of the woods. what's going to really wreak havoc now are below freezing temperatures overnight. these streets here in worcester, you can start to feel the icy sheen, they are starting to freeze over now, that's going to be a big problem. >> 30 inches of snow in worcester, that is a record. thanks very much brian todd. up next, an alarming new
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in a while to happening every day. we're talking about social media bomb threats. not just happening every day but mults multiple times a day. a u.s. official tells me the uptick started this month. planes diverted passengers evacuated. law enforcement and bomb sniffing dogs because of fake bomb threats. >> we didn't know until we landed. >> reporter: it's happening more and more. a u.s. official tells cnn, online threats increased affidavit a bomb scare from a flight from atlanta to raleigh january 17. 50 similar incidents followed. in new york this flight swept for explosives. military jets scrambled after a tweet said bombs were on board two planes bound for atlanta. a tweet claiming to be from the terrorist group isis targeted a flight from san diego to dallas. >> i want to see those who are responsible for those -- that kind of activity tracked down
and prosecuted. >> reporter: the head of homeland security told cnn today, even false threats are dangerous to public safety. >> they cause reactions, certain overreactions. very often fighter jets are scrambled to address the situation. >> reporter: the fbi is investigating the social media threats, tracing computer ip addresses. >> it could be a small group of people. it could be one person with a few twitter accounts and a really dumb idea. no devices have been found. we can see how much it disrupts the system. >> reporter: the threats tax law enforcement, airport and military resources. it's costly for airlines and passengers. >> every time a threat comes in it has to be taken seriously. aircraft have to be turned around or landed at the nearest location. thousands of dollars are lost every minute that that plane sun expectedly delayed. >> reporter: at this point, the way this process usually works is when an airline receives this
sort of threat they automatically report it to law enforcement. at that point the pilot, the airline and law enforcement work together to figure out how credible is this threat will they divert this flight? those are things they come together to make that decision. i will say in speaking with both the airlines and -- as well as law enforcement officials, they believe that these are mostly copycat incidents fuelled by the publicity that they are getting. very important to highlight, it's not fun and games. this is a federal crime. the fbi again investigating. when they track that person or persons down they could be facing time behind bars wolf. >> they could. thanks very much for that. as the world commemorates 07 years since the liberation of auschwitz, cnn is bringing you the voices of auschwitz
survivors. a special report airing later tonight includes my own personal journey, my conversations with those who managed to get out alive. here is a clip from my conversation with eva who was ten when she was brought to auschwitz and submitted to medical experiments, so-called, at that camp. >> we are looking at ruins of these gas chambers the cream. what do you remember? >> we knew from the smell, it smelled like burning flesh and burning hair. the smoke was rising high above the structure. we actually knew that most of our families probably ended up here. the other kids who were in the barrack, that first night we arrived, they said look. see the smoke and the flames?
your families must be burning right now there. i said, that's not possible. burning people, that is crazy. >> this was a barrack that you lived in, something like this? >> yes. it was my home for almost nine months. i entered the place,latreen. i made a pledge that i will do anything and everything to not end up on the floor. >> tell us what was going on in this building. >> we used to be brought here three times a week. they would tie both of my arms to restrict blood flow and give me five injections into my right arm. the content of those injections we didn't know then nor do i
know today. but after one of those injections i became very ill. next morning, the doctor came in. he turned to the other doctor and said, laughing sarcastically sarcastically, he said too bad, she's so young. she has only two weeks to live. it was late in the afternoon, a woman ran yelling at the top of her voice, we are free we are free we are free! and then in the distance i could see lots of people. they were all smiling. they gave us chocolate cookies and hugs. this was my first day of freedom. my name is evo.a. i am a survivor of auschwitz. >> please join us later tonight. our special report "voices of auschwitz" at 9:00 p.m. eastern,
only here on cnn. jordan offers to free a woman if they release a pilot captured in syria. , a mortgage shouldn't be a problem your credit is in pretty good shape. >>pretty good? i know i have a 798 fico score thanks to the tools and help on experian.com. kaboom... well, i just have a few other questions. >>chuck, the only other question you need to ask is, "what else can you do for me?" i'll just take a water... get your credit swagger on. become a member of experian credit tracker and find out your fico score powered by experian. fico scores are used in 90% of credit decisions.
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you can save up to $423. for a free quote today,call liberty mutual insurance at see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. dead or alive. tracking urgent efforts to save two isis hostages. new information about negotiations under way with a terrorist group. new war fears, the israeli prime minister promised pay back for what he calls a heinous act of terror. will a deadly conflict explode? the drone crasher. cnn talks to the spy agency
worker responsible for a disturbing security breach over at the white house. welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." breaking now, the lives of two isis hostages are on the line hours after a deadline set by the terror group passed. jordan's foreign minister tells cnn that messages have been going back and forth between his country and isis about a possible deal to free the captives in exchange for the release of a convicted terrorist. israel holds emergency talks on a miss being attack by hezbollah terror i haves thatarrrorists that killed two of its soldiers. it could involve iran and syria and pour fuel on a region on fire. the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee is standing by live along with our correspondents and analysts. they are getting new information on the stories breaking tonight. let's go to barbara starr for
more on the very latest. >> reporter: the jordanians will do what they must to get their man back. around the clock efforts to secure the release of the jordanian fighter pilot and the japanese journalist from the grip of isis. a voice believed to be kenji goto saying he and the pilot will be killed if jordan does not release sajida al rishawi held since being convicted of a series of hotel bombings in jordan in 20505. jordan said it would release the woman on one condition. the king adamant, it all depends on getting the pilot back. >> i'm not sure jordan can go ahead without an assurance they will get the pilot back. this puts the king in a very difficult position. >> reporter: the pilot's father made a desperate plea for his son.
>> translator: his blood is precious precious. it's precious and represents the blood of all jordanians. >> reporter: the jordanians contend the u.s. made a similar move trading five taliban detainees for bow bergdahl. israel engaged in exchanges. negotiating with isis? >> every country has at built and the right to make decisions. >> reporter: whatever happens, there are concerns isis will use it as propaganda in its social media campaign and claim victory. >> it puts them on a new tier. instead of being a criminal organization a terrorist group, they are making arrangements with a sovereign government. that shows them or shows their followers that they have power. >> reporter: some of that power may be waning. intelligence officials have noticed the latest isis video was shot indoors and are wondering if that change may be
a result of coalition successfully targeting places seen in prior isis videos. a source close to all of this tells cnn that one of the reasons the jordanian government decided it could release the woman is that she was not directly involved in killing anyone during the 2005 hotel attacks back in ahmann jordan. her suicide vest failed to detonate. the government there came to the conclusion they could agree to let her go. but they want the pilot back. tonight, so far, no proof of life on that jordanian pilot. >> in 2005 60 people were killed in the hotel in ahmann jordan. hundreds of others were injured. she would have killed more if her suicide vest had gone off. it malfunctioned. she's serving a long jail term life in prison right now in jordan. let's see if she's freed. barbara, thanks. isis is spreading terror into a
volatile middle east. they are claiming an attack in tripoli. let's talk more about isis and its power with jim sciutto. what are you learning? >> reporter: what you see in libya is concrete evidence of isis expanding not just its appeal but its operational capability beyond iraq and syria. there has been knowledge of an isis presence there, isis loyalists for some time. you see in this attack their ability to carry out -- there are places isis clapims to have support. support. here is one where you saw that attack acting on the capability. >> libya is a totally failed state. >> reporter: it is. a failed state that the u.s. and west had a hand in creating with the removal of gaddafi. one of the classic examples of unintended consequences.
the u.s. and west struggling with how they respond. >> the u.s. embassy evacuated. we saw pictures of terrorists swimming in the pool that the ambassador used to have. >> reporter: exactly. it creates this other issue now. you have a judgment about what u.s. presence do you leave on the ground and what you lose by not having the u.s. presence the same issue you have going on in yemen. certainly a great threat to americans there, but you also have value having eyes and ears on the ground in terms of intelligence gathering. that's a challenge. >> isis has suffered a setback in syria. >> reporter: that's right. it was a long time coming. four months 705 or more air strikes and a few in the last 24 hours. this was a real effort. it took time. it did remove isis from a town that they clearly considered important. although as you remember u.s. officials were telling us this is not important, they made a change in judgment if isis
considers it important, they want to take it away from them. >> we saw pictures of what's left. so much of the opportunity has been shelled and destroyed. it's an awful situation. thanks very much. let's go to the tensions right now near israel. serious concerns about a war. israel says hezbollah terrorists will pay the full price. this conflict involves some of the most dangerous adversaryies. we are talking about iran and syria. what's the latest up there? >> reporter: well there's a tense calm over the area. it has been relatively quiet since this afternoon, the last 11 hours or so. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu held an emergency meeting of his security aids to decide how to move forward. the hope is that both sides have
made their point that we have seen over the last couple of days and now there could be a deescalation. as you know one wrong move on either side of the border a miscalculation and things could spiral out of control. >> it's a serious situation. we did hear the israelis have tried to calm things down. i suspect hezbollah is trying to calm things down. i don't think either side would like to see a war. >> reporter: i don't think either side would like to see an all-out war. but this has been brewing. i was here a couple of years ago, and i had briefings by military officials who said they thought that hezbollah was looking for "real estate on the golan heights." they think they want to keep their hopgss open. obviously, they are preoccupied in syria. israel is sending a message to hezbollah right now. don't think about changing the rules of the game. there's a lot of tension in the region. the golan has been an area that has been relatively quiet for
some time. that's why there was an immediate response yesterday and today from israel to hezbollah to say, listen don't think about opening this new front. there will be a punishing response. today israeli prime minister netanyahu said if you are thinking about attacking us remember what happened to hamas in gaza this past summer with operation protective edge. israelis feel they lived to regret that. that was a punishing campaign. >> the israelis have moved the iron dome anti-missile system up towards the golan heights. you were not very far away from it today, were you? >> reporter: we were a couple of hundred yards. we got as close as the israelis would let us. they tried to push us back. they deployed several batteries around the area. it's a very sophisticated radar system. they can shoot down a rocket lock on and shoot within 15 seconds. that allows israelis to have relative normality in a very volatile time. the problem is it's never been
tested against a large barrage of rockets. certainly, gaza -- had a massezbollah is known to have 100,000 rockets. if they start shooting hundreds at a time that iron dome doesn't have enough interceptor missiles to catch all of the missiles. the fear it won't be as successful. >> thanks very much. joining us in "the situation room," the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee. mr. chairman thanks for coming in. i assume you are watching this very tense situation along israel's northern border. one miscalculation could trigger war. >> if we recall in 2006 it was triggered by an anti-tank missile being fired into a vehicle and killing several idf soldiers who were taken captive at the time. this recently happened again.
the one difference is then there was maybe 20,000 rockets and missiles. now there's 100,000. increasingly the rockets ands my -- the missiles are along the border. they are along the syrian border working with hezbollah there. i'm sure it's a very tense situation. >> what's the game plan right now? what do they want? as you know since 2006 that northern israeli border has been relatively quiet. >> i suspect -- two weeks ago, the leader for hezbollah said they were looking at invading israel, the northern part. i expect that's an exaggeration. certainly, the provocations and the attacks indicate that they feel they have got a weaponry with a lot more delivery capability. these things can take out a city block, some of the big missiles. they have so many of them that
maybe they want to test and see, you know can the iron dome stop the salvos if they come through 100 at a time? this is a big question. >> the hezbollah says the israelis started this most recent incident by going after a convoy of hezbollah fighters and iranian revolutionary guard killed by israel with an air strike. >> there's a red line that israel attempts to impose. that red line is not allowing iran to bring in larger missiles over that border for the very reason that they are worried the iranians will urge hezbollah again to inunleash those on israel. every time you see officers in this case iranian general at the border and they have this transfer of weaponry israel comes in and tries to take out these convoys. a convey was hit. you are right, this is an
escalation. >> is the iranians who backed the syrian president as hezbollah does as well they have their hands full in syria. why do they need to start up something with israel? >> you know you would think that. i actually think hezbollah is not as cavalier in all of this as iran. iran just helped overthrow a government in yemen with the forces active there. they continue with this provocation up on the border with israel. at the same time, they continue obviously their operations in -- that are destabilizing other regimes in the whole area across the middle east. i don't have a good answer for why iran continues to transfer the heavy weapons into the hands of hezbollah. i assume at some point they intend to use them. >> stand by, mr. chairman. we have more to discuss, including the latest efforts to free two isis hostages.
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insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. we're back with the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee. there's a story that's breaking now. negotiations to try to save two captives held by isis. mr. chairman you are familiar with what's going on. we don't know precisely what's going on but the jordanian government the regime there, the monarchy in jordan says they would be willing to give up this woman who say convicted terrorist, suicide bomber whose
vest didn't blow up, in exchange for the pilot and presumably that japanese journalist who is being held by isis. what are you hearing? >> we know that isis is asking for cash on the barrel head. part of the problem every time isis gets its hand on $20 million, that buys thousands of these man pads or other equipment that they are trying to use in terms of offensive weapons. it's long been the position of the united states and u.k. not to deal with terrorists. it encourages taking of additional hostages and encourages transfer of wealth into the hands of terrorist organizations. >> the u.s. did release five taliban prisoners in exchange for bow bergdahl. this was done through negotiations of the government of qatar.
there is that precedent where the u.s. did make a swap. >> unfortunate precedent. i argued against that. it does violate the principal of not negotiating with terrorists. i think it was a mistake. in retrospect now jordanians are saying if you are willing to do it then why can't we negotiate with terrorists as well? it's a slippery slope. >> the israelis have made those swaps as well over the years to get their soldiers back from hamas in gaza. they have released hundreds of palestinians. >> they will release a thousand terrorists for one soldier. i would just argue, i'm not sure this strategy is working in terms of negotiating with terrorists except for terror i haves. >> if you are the government of japan right now, you have spoken to japanese officials if you are the government of japan and there's pain there, they believe one of their hostages has been beheaded. there's another one there they would like to get out.
the government of jordan they would like to get their fighter pilot out of there as well. what do you do? >> it's a tough choice for jordan in particular here. they have a brave pilot. on the other hand they have someone who killed who was part of a team that killed 60 people and injured 115. the bottom line is that if you give in and do the negotiations it's basically sending the message that the next time you take a hostage, you know you can gain ground with western governments. i stand with the u.k. and our u.s. position. i do not think you should negotiate with terrorists. i would hope that other countries around the world would -- boko haram is in this line of work. the terrorist organizations in north africa are taking host anlsanl s left and right. it's a road to a cul-de-sac in which you are actually having
the terrorist organizations strengthened in their ability to get their hands on currency. >> the president promised to degrade and ultimately destroy isis. how is that going? >> it's mixed results. the recruitments into isis still manage to find their way at such a pace that they are recruiting at a faster rate than the casualties on the battlefield. certainly other al qaeda franchises such as boko haram are gaining traction at the same time. it's a close run battle right now with the al qaeda affiliates. >> ed thank you for coming in. cnn talks to the man whose drone crashed at the white house. what is he saying about that incident that has sparked major security concerns?
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retired james reese, mike rogers rogers, bob baer and our terrorism analyst, paul. thanks for joining us. jordanian officials are trying to get this deal done. they are demanding proof of life that this pilot is still alive. are you hopeful that these negotiations the release of the pilot and the japanese journalist that will happen? >> wolf i am. i think the jordanians are very savvy. they will work this negotiation hard all the way to the last moment. one thing we have to keep in mind here. we keep talking about not negotiating with terrorists. the bottom line is, isis is like an army. we are seeing them in syria, in areas of iraq. we can call them terrorists. they do prisoner exchanges and
it's difficult sometimes for us to sit here and go it's easy do this but these are different policies. we have to take a look at this and quit calling everyone a terrorist when we're at war with these people. >> a fair point. the u.s. did negotiate through qatar with the taliban to get sergeant bergdahl out of captivity. he was being held by the taliban in exchange for five taliban prisoners. >> i opposed that. one of the things we saw immediately after that was intel chatter about using western hostages for leverage. we knew that they took that example and decided they were going to be more aggressive at more hostage taking. here is the problem. we need to be disrupting isis advance in syria. they are advancing in syria. they are gaining logistics, money. when you start putting your effort on hostage negotiations it puts things on hold that
probably shouldn't be put on hold. that's my concern. if that becomes the precedent and the most important precedent, i think we're headed for trouble here. now they know they have us. they have engaged japan and jordan. it is sucking in the united states. this is where they want to be and we don't want to be. >> bob baer as you know let's say this deal goes through. the woman who is being held as a terrorist is being held and is released in exchange. does that encourage isis or other terror groups to go ahead and find other westerners to go ahead and kidnap take hostage knowing that that's a good opportunity for them to maybe get some of their people released? >> let me go back to colonel reese's comments. we have to stop calling everybody terrorists. he's right. islamic state is a state right now. it is -- in taking a hostage and exchanging him for a prisoner
it's acting like a state. how far this will go i don't know. i think the real question here as we were talking about earlier, is the jordanians their decision their rush to get the pilot back tells a huge story. that is the tribes in jordan a tribal society, are not fully supporting this war against the islamic state. a lot of them have relatives in iraq. they don't like this. they say that the jordanian army is to defend the country and not join in an offensive alliance. how much trouble the king is in i don't know. the tribes generally do not like this war and they want that pilot back. we have to support the king in this. he understands his country better than we do. >> it's hard, bob baer and colonel reese not to call someone a terrorist who beheads innocent people. isn't that an act of terror? >> yeah it's an act of terror. but there's something -- they
are a hybrid. this is something different. hezbollah is a terrorist group as well. it acts as a state. at certain times we have to make the rules flexible. i'm not a lawyer but this isn't a simple deal like against bin laden who was a terrorist without a state and was killing civilians and didn't own any territory. this conflict is evolving so quickly that it's time for us to catch up with these changes. >> you think, mr. chairman there will be a deal that the hostages will be release in exchange for the jordanian prisoner? >> i think negotiations are happening. we haven't seen proof of life. i know the jordanians haven't seen proof of life. if you recall the first -- >> the pilot? >> the pilot. the first ask wasn't with the pilot. it was about the japanese hostage which tells folks like me who look at these cases, they may have -- he may not be alive. that's troublesome for them.
if they can do it -- >> it's an interesting point. that picture that we saw of the surviving japanese hostage holding a picture not only of the executed -- the beheaded japanese hostage but also of the jordanian fighter pilot, that's a still photograph. it was taken in a studio maybe inside. a lot of suspicion they're doing these videos the propaganda videos inside because they were giving clues about where they were when they did it outside. is that your understanding? >> that's right. they're worried about the coalition warplanes overhead. also when the first beheading videos came out with foley, there were mapping companies that did terrain analysis and were able to try and pinpoint where this took place. in the videos that took place after that, the terrain got increaseingly featureless. there have been some allegations from some experts that some of
the most recent videos took place inside in front of a green screen. isis does appear to have moved some of the production of this indoors for security reasons. >> colonel, they are really good in social media, the isis propaganda propagandas, aren't they? >> they are. you can go on twitter right now and see several of their twitter feeds, what they are putting out, pictures of what they are doing. they are good at this. young folks like it. it's how they communicate. they will continue. it helps their propaganda and recruiting. >> mr. chairman, what's your analysis of what's going on along israel's northern border? >> we have seen in the past that there has been skirmishes on that northern border. we have seen al qaeda elements lobbing shells into the golan heights. it didn't get a lot of attention six to eight months ago. you now you see hezbollah, this is concerning.
they have elements. hezbollah is a more regulated almost militia type. there probably was command and control of the particular act. that's where i find it concerning. i think israel will make a very measured response. they can't afford to widen their troubles. i think hezbollah can't afford to widen their troubles either. it's going to be interesting to see. i think you will see a measured response. >> what do you think, colonel? >> i agree. with hez baabollah on the brink, all the way into syria, into iraq i will tell you, we could be at the sign of almost a world war iii with everything in the middle east as hot as it is. >> iran involved support the syrian regime. this is a region right now from north after are okay throughrica on fire. more on the breaking news that we're following as we await
to learn the fate of those two isis hostages. plus cnn talks to the man who crashed the drone on the white house grounds. we will have details on what he is saying about the incident and the security fears it sparked. sir, we're going to need you on the runway later. don't let a severe cold hold you back. get theraflu... ...with the power of three medicines to take on your worst pain and fever, cough and nasal congestion. it breaks you free from your toughest cold and flu symptoms. theraflu. serious power. there's nothing more romantic than a spontaneous moment. so why pause to take a pill? and why stop what you're doing to find a bathroom? with cialis for daily use, you don't have to plan around either. it's the only daily tablet approved to treat erectile dysfunction so you can be ready anytime the moment is right. plus cialis treats the frustrating urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain as it may cause an unsafe drop in
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the demands for some sort of a swap. prisoner swap between isis japan and jordan. jim sciutto has new information. what are you learning? >> reporter: a new audio recording purporting to be the voice of kenji goto. no confer rags of that. purporting to be him speaking in english. he says that if sajida al rishawi is not ready for exchange at the border by thursday sunset tomorrow 5:30 p.m. local time about 9:30 our time -- 9:30 a.m. eastern time the pilot will be killed immediately. another recording making an ultimatum demanding the exchange that we have been talking about for most of this day be completed at the border by sunset tomorrow local time. >> the border between syria and
turkey? >> that's right. >> bring this woman up to the turkish border? >> from the jordanian side to the turkish side of the border. this is -- this presents the difficulties we have been talking about all day. the first one being, there has been no proof of life submitted, the jordanians say the pilot is alive. they have said they will not present this failed suicide bomber miss al rishawi until they have proof of life. officials in a very difficult position negotiating with isis terror organization under difficult circumstances without the proof of life. now they have a new ultimatum for 9:30 a.m. eastern time. >> this sounds very complicated and dangerous. what do you think? >> i have seen this movie before. they really weren't interested in negotiating for the american journalist foley. they put the price tag too high. they had no direct lines of communication. issued threats.
then did the execution. when they first did this with the japanese i believed at the time they weren't serious about negotiations. apparently they were not. if you are in negotiations today, do you really all of a sudden say, here is the ultimatum ultimatum? they are not in good faith negotiations. >> what do you think, colonel? >> i agree with the chairman. one thing is good here. the jordans can move this lady very quickly. put her in a helicopter. there has to be coordination to make this happen. however, if isis doesn't come through on this and they do kill that jordanian pilot, then you've got the jordanian tribes going, our country tried to coordinate and negotiate in good faith. you failed us and that ticks them off. >> bob baer what's your reaction? >> i don't understand why you would deliver this woman to turkey. it doesn't make any sense when you could drive up to the syrian border and turn her over to the islamic state at some point along the border.
even directly with iraq. this is very odd. these negotiations the islamic state hostage takers are psychotic. they are not predictable. there's no way for the jordanians or for us to predict which way this is going to go. a degree with the colonel, if they annoy the jordanian tribes this is another nail in their coffin. >> paul what do you think? >> wolf one crucial thing is that the new demand they are maybe nothing mention of the fact that they are willing to swap the juror daneordanian pilot, which is crucial. they say they won't kill him immediately. that's a very important point. this deal may fall apart. >> stand by. we will follow the breaking news. appreciate it very much. other news we're following tonight. cnn has spoken to the man who crashed a drone on the white
house grounds sending the u.s. secret service scrambling raising concerns about presidential security. let's go straight to our white house correspondent jim acosta. >> reporter: we were able to reach the drone operator over the phone today. he isn't saying much. his crash landing at the white house is a wake-up call to washington. cnn learned the man who crashed a small drone at the white house earlier this week lives blocks away from 1600 pennsylvania avenue. that means the tiny copperter had to fly less than ten blocks. one possible explanation experts say is that the drone's signal lost contact with the operator and ran into trees while trying to return home. the operator identified as a man who works for the top secret national geo-spatial intelligence agency declined to comment on reports that he was intoxicated. in a phone call with cnn he said i can't speak right now. i hope you understand.
u.s. secret service officials say it appears he was using it for recreational purposes and that there was never any threat to the president or first lady who were traveling overseas at the time. asked about the incident, aides insisted the white house is safe. >> this technology is not new. this is something they have been working through for some time. >> the drone that landed in the white house -- >> in an interview, president obama argued the expansion of civilian drone use warrants new regulations. >> i have asked the faa and a number of agencies to examine how are we managing this new technology because the drone that landed at the white house you buy at radio shack. >> reporter: the builder says it is requiring customers to update their drone software to prevent the aircraft from flying over washington. >> we're more than willing to collaborate with government agencies and regulators to work
on technology that will assure that quad-copters and our products don't make it into restricted areas. >> reporter: it's against the law to fly drones in the district. charges could lead to fines and up to a year in jail. the question in prosecuting rests on whether the operator willfully violated the restriction restrictions. the rules were clear on capitol hill where law make her to give authorities a heads up before flying one at a congressional hearing. it also crashed. >> that's the worst case scenario. drone crash. >> reporter: as for man under investigation, the national geo-spatial intelligence agency says he does not work on unmanned aircraft. a source familiar with the case said he is likely to face disciplinary action. we should point out the man has not been charged in this case. the investigation is continuing wolf. >> jim acosta thanks. it's likely that m.i.t.itt romney
will make a play for the white house. let's discuss with our chief political analyst gloria and da na bash na bash he is buying houses. >> john mccain couldn't remember how much houses -- mitt romney in his own family is known as personally cheap. somebody who put together his own treadmill to save money. okay? he loves real estate. he has a lot of money. he bought that house in la jolla. he might sell that house. he bought a couple new houses in park city utah. it's clear that they understand that this could cause him some problems. they have had a good response to it. you can't look at me and say, i own too many homes. look at hillary, she has a mansion in georgetown. they kind of feel like that neutralizes -- >> real estate is a good
investment for rich people. >> exactly. >> they can make more money. it's good to have that kind of asset. >> he loves it. if we know anything about mitt romney is that his job was knowing how to make a good investment. that's what he did. i guess you can't fault him for that. you made the point about hillary clinton which is interesting in that romney is giving a speech that was planned before he got serious about potentially running again in mississippi. he is giving it as we speak. he is taking direct shots at hillary clinton, talking about the fact that she was clueless on relations with russia and on your point, more broadly, saying that she doesn't know where jobs come from in the united states. another indication not just that maybe he feels that he is on level playing field with her on that issue but bigger picture, that they potential rivals. >> in >> you know it's interesting because in the last campaign he had a very difficult time
talking about his personal wealth. whereas kennedy used to make a joke about his wealth, romney had a hard time with it then he got in trouble just on the 47%, of course which was a huge disaster for him. now if he runs and we think he is going to he's going to start talking about poverty, his personal faith and all the rest of it so he can sort of get away from that huge hangover the 47% leaves. >> all of these potential republican presidential candidates they are all talking about hillary clinton. >> oh of course. who else are they going to talk about? sorry, i apologize to jim webb the former senator from virginia who is the only other potential candidate out there. yes, they're all talking about hillary clinton. and the more that hillary clinton's people engage with that candidate, like you saw sort of in the press today with mitt romney, the happier those republicans are. >> dana gloria thanks very very much.
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the world this week is marking 70 years since the liberation of the auschwitz nazi death camp where more than one million jews were slaughtered. cnn is capturing the voices of survivors in a special report that will air later tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern, and it includes my personal journey to the death camp and my special interview with the director steven spielberg, who's recording the testimonials of holocaust survivors. >> i didn't know it was my
calling until schindler's list came into my life. i even shot outside of the gates of auschwitz. it is a place that will stay with you. literally all you have to do is visit it once and it will stay on you for the rest of your life. it's unimaginable so therefore, i don't try to imagine it. i have quite a vivid imagination, but i won't take my imagination to auschwitz. it was one of the most efficient killing machines that anyone has ever experienced throughout history. work begs free. i smelled the hopelessness. when i went into the barracks and i imagined -- and i watched the scribbling and i saw the carving and i saw some of the artwork, i felt the hopelessness. and then i'd suddenly see a flower that someone painted on a wall and i realized that through
all these years of hopelessness there was in fact hope. there were little -- there was evidence of maybe there is going to be a future for me and my family maybe. and in most cases that wasn't to happen. the first time i visited, we were absolutely appalled at one thing. the tour guide who took us through auschwitz was organized. never mentioned the word "jew." and never mentioned the numbers. just said many innocent people were killed here and did not mention that the jews had been murdered at auschwitz. that kind of upstaged -- i was angry about that for a long time. but when i walked down the rail line to the end, where the tracks end, and i went over to where the creamatory was, i just felt the ghosts. i just felt the ghosts.
i didn't feel that i was destined to tell the story until i visited poland for the first time. and went to auschwitz and spent time on the actual locations. it suddenly occurred to me that this was something more than a movie. that the movie was going to be a foot in the door but the door that i needed to open was these testimonies. >> people were taken away. >> reporter: and disseminate them all over the world, founding the survivors of the show of visual history foundation in 1994. this was my second bar mitzvah. i had been adopted by thousands of survivors. i feel like their grandson. my wife and i wanted to go back to auschwitz and pay our respects. a rabbi took us and we said a prayer. he asked me to come over where the remains laid and put your
hand in that water, in this sort of like mud hole. i did. it was very soggy, it had been raining. i put my hand in there and i brought my hand out and there was white sort of bonemeal all over my hands, because the remains of everyone over those years of mass murder rained back down onto the earth and they're still there. and the remains of everyone murdered at auschwitz, they're still there in the ground. and that's something i'll take to my grave. >> our voices of auschwitz special report the one-hour documentary, will air later tonight. 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. we're really proud of this documentary. we hope hope you will watch it. thanks very much for watching. remember you can always follow us on twitter. go ahead, tweet me @wolfblitzer.
tweet the show. please be sure to join us again tomorrow right here in the situation room and always watch us live or dvr the show so you won't miss a moment. i'm wolf blitzer in the situation room. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. outfront next breaking news. u.s. officials tell cnn that more than 50 threats, many of them bomb threats, have been made to passenger flights over the past ten days. the secretary of homeland security calling the threats dangerous. who's behind it? plus a new isis ultimatum and a new deadline from the terror group. there is any hope to save the hostages by the deadline sunset tomorrow. and a new storm carrying more snow and freezing temperatures on track for the crippled northeast. how much snow is on the way? let's go outfront. good evening, i'm erin burnett. we begin tonight with breaking