tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN September 19, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
progress in that area, not wanting people to be afraid of that. jake? >> michelle kozinski in new york for us. that's it for me. you can follow me @jaketapper at the lead cnn. breaking news, bombing suspect captured. the man believed behind explosives in new york and new jersey is arrested following a gun battle with police. the suspect is shot multiple times and officers are injured as well. was he acting alone or are others still on the run? the investigation. cnn is now learning new information about the suspect, including multiple trips he took to afghanistan, and now wii just learned to pakistan as well. he was questioned each time he returned to the united states but ont rate dar for possible radicalization. how did he slip through the cracks. improvised explosives.
new details about the homemade bombs the suspect is believed to have planted in new york and new jersey. crime labs are now success ofly carrying out injury. >> and politics of fear. both presidential candidates trying to look strong as they weigh in on the terrorist attacks and trade barbs with each other. hillary clinton slamz what she calls donald trump's irresponsible attack on terror. trump says her outlook will em bolden terrorists. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room. we're following breaking news. the capture of the suspect police believe planted multiple bombs in various places in new
york over the weekend. 24-year-old ahmad khan rahami was shot. police were shot multiple times. rahami was born in afghanistan and is a naturalized u.s. citizen. police told cnn he made multiple trips to afghanistan and pakistan as well, and even married a pakistani woman. he was questioned every time he reentered the united states as standard. he was not on the radar for possible terrorism. the question is did he make the bombs and did he act alone? to gauge the level of so fest indication just point out, clg governor armani.
and correspondent sdanding by. let's go straight to new york city. you're at the scene of the bombing in manhattan's chelsea neighborhood where 29 people were injured. what's the latest? >> that's exactly right, wolf. you can see a lot of progress has been made. in fact, much of the evidence has been collected and bagd. you sent us, we're talking about a man who stayed in the new york mel tan area but also traveled some distance over the course of the last few days, the speed of. something a lot of people were surprised, even him. >> law enforcement came to a arrest bombing suspect ahmad rahami. rahami was indiscriminately
firing a handgun as police approached. the suspect was shot several times. two officers were also wounded. >> they're on the corner and i hear people yelling, active shooter, and cops are running out onto the streets. and heard two shots. >> after the new jersey bar owner on therefore bar. a lot of good old-fashioned police we're at the gop. this is a. this happened 15 hours ago and we have our suspect in custody. >> earlier, police warned a fried chicken apartment owned by rahami's family and. >> posh parts in a marine 5k
race. no one was hurt. another bomb exploded in chelsea neighborhood, injuring 29 people. it was a pressure cooker bomb similar to the ones used in the boston bombings. bbs and ball bearings were among the pieces of metal packed inside. four blocks away, another device was discovered, a pressure cooker bomb which failed to detonate, providing crucial leads. a senior law enforcement leader tells cnn that a detonator provided important numbers. a fingerprint was also found. surveillance video from city cameras identified a man at both manhattan locations, stopping first at the dumpster on west 23rd street, then four blocks north leaving behind a duffel which allegedly contained the same device. in the early hours of the
morning, police were called where a backpack was found containing multiple bombs, exploded by the local bomb squad. and wolf, as you can see, he really did cover a significant amount of ground. what's interesting about this is he was caught in the town next to the one in which he lived. that's linden, new jersey, and authorities put out really an unprecedented move, put out publicly an all-points bulletin using facebook, using twitter and sending out that fbi alert identifying ahmad rahami was one they wanted to speak to in connection with that explosion. we were getting up this morning and our cell phones were going off because police were putting out that alert, that this was the man they wanted in connection with this bombing. wolf? >> debra fehric in new york outside where that bombing occurred. thank you. we're also learning new information about the suspect.
pamela braun is working this part of the story. ahmad rahami is in the hospital right now? >> he's in the hospital, and we're learning more about his overseas travel, that he went to pakistan and afghanistan back in 2011. he went to pakistan for a year in 2014, and investigators wanted to know if he could have been radicalized when he went overseas. >> 24-year-old ahmad rahami, bloodied and carried out on a stretcher miles from where his family lives above this chicken apartment. his actions caught on this amateur video. >> he's a very friendly guy. you would never expect this. i went there so much, he would give me free chicken here and there. >> reporter: the family is from afghanistan. rahami was born in afghanistan and became a naturalized u.s. citizen in 2011. he went to high school in new jersey and attended middlesex
college there majoring in criminal justice. but he never graduated. rahami traveled to afghanistan several times in recent years. a family friend told cnn rahami went there on vacation. >> he went to visit his country like four years ago. >> how do you know that? >> that's what his little brother told me. he's on vacation in afghanistan. all right. >> rahami went to pakistan in 2014 for almost a year. although he had questioning when he returned to the u.s., that didn't raise red flags and he wasn't put on any terrorist watch list. his family claimed discrimination based on their muslim religion. his family said city officials harassed them, ticketing their restaurant, first american fried chicken, and claiming they were taunted saying things like, muslims don't belong here, and
muslims cause too much trouble in this country. >> they were getting harassed at which time they decided to close at 10:00, which led to clashes with police because they weren't looking at forces. >> he went to pakistan in 2011 and was going to marry a woman. it's unclear where she currently resides. >> democratic congressman ari in indiana. thank you for joining us. i may have to interrupt during the course of this conversation. the president of the united states has been meeting with israel prime minister. he's speaking out on this terrorism in new york and new jersey. what's the latest, congressman, you're hearing about these terror attacks? >> this entire investigation,
wolf, has been led by law enforcement. they've done a phenomenal job at attaching clues. i think it's clear now more than ever that we need to push the administration's cve strategy. if you see something, say something. we need to work with rabbis, pastors and others, school class fires and ed indicators to making sure we're paying a holistic approach. >> apparently he was on a no terror watch list by the. is that a problem, given in hindsight what we now know? >> it's a problem given they were radicalized. the bomb in new york is similar. there were some deviations, of course, so what was inspired in the magazine. we're taking a deeper look, the
about who have mental health issues to make sure we -- >> i want you to stand by, congressman. he wrapped up a meeting with the iraqi. what's going on in iraq, the war against isis? we'll resume right after we hear the president. >> let me begin by just commenting on the events that have unfolded today. this morning i talked about the fact that there was a person of interest that the fbi and law enforcement had identified with respect to the bombs that had been planted in the new york and new jersey area. as everybody is now aware, that individual has been apprehended.
i just want to start by commenting on the extraordinary work and coordination that's taken place between the fbi and local law enforcement. for us to be able to apprehend a suspect in just a little over 24 hours after an event takes place like this, it is outstanding police work, outstanding law enforcement work. i, in particular, want to give a heartfelt thanks to the new jersey police officers who were able to apprehend this individual. i had a chance to talk to them briefly before i came down to my meetings here. they are going to be fine. they've sustained some modest injuries but ones that they'll rapidly recover from. they were in good spirits. and i communicated to them how appreciative the american people were, as well as people in the region. it's just one more reminder of
the kpraerd skill and sacrifice enkurnld and what they put on the line every single day to make sure we're safe. obviously information is still unfolding about what might motiva motivate. i will also comment on the fact that with respect to the minnesota stabbings that occurred, i had a chance to talk to the off-duty police officer there who undoubtedly saved a lot of lives and prevented further injury because of his quick and effective action. and i told him that once again the american people were appreciative of his work and his heroism. >> so there's the president of the united states making his
latest statement on these terror incidents in new york and new jersey, also speaking about the slashing that occurred at a mall in minnesota. we're going to have much more on all of this. representative andre carson a member of the select committee on intelligence is still with us. the source of a lot of concern right now, we're learning more about this individual, ahmad khan rahami, that he not only visited afghanistan, which is understandable, his family is from afghanistan, he was born in afghanistan, he's a naturalized new york citizen. but side trips he then made to pakistan, including one visit for almost a year in pakistan. he comes back to the united states, he has secondary interviews and no flags were raised. it's not a crime to go to south asia. what is a problem is that you have individuals who feel disillusioned and they need someone to blame. this is a tough time for law enforcement and i think the
bravery that was shown by the undercover officer the other day exemplifies the need for us to support our law enforcement community. they're working diligently along with the intelligence community in trying to make the connections necessary to rid ourselves of this growing terrorist threat. >> the problem is we now know he spent almost a year in pakistan, including spending time in areas that are heavily controlled by the taliban. that would raise a lot of red flags, at least to me, if i were talking to him upon his return. >> it should raise many flags, but we can't jump to conclusions. what is clear is that he is responsible for injuring numerous americans and he needs to be responsible for that. >> his friends said upon his return he seemed a different kind of person. grew a beard. seemed to be more radicalized. i guess nobody paid attention, or at least enough attention to
that. >> wolf, as you know, it's not a crime to have a beard. >> no. >> what does happen when we start to cast aspersions on people because of these incidences. i think as human beings we tend to place human beings in boxes. that's unfortunate. there are muslims in law enforcement communities. i was one of them, worked for the homeland security and wanted to make america a safer place. but what is clear is that muslim leaders are finding themselves wanting to speak up. unfortunately, you have a great distaste of the government. but now is the time to push the extremism category and say enough is enough. >> based on the information you're getting, did he work alone, or were there others, where are those investigations
as far as you know right now? >> i'm not at liberty to talk about anything, but it looks like when he was alone, he's probably inspired recalled. >> again, the bomb that was put together is almost identical to a man outlined. >> there is an article about how to build a bomb in the kitchen of your mom. we're getting more breaking news. we'll take a quick break and be right back. yeah. well, we gotta hand it thto fedex. glasses. they've helped make our e-commerce so easy,
breaking news this hour, the capture of a suspect in the weekend bombings in new jersey and new york. 28-year-old ahmad khan rahami was shot following a shootout in linden, new jersey where he was shot multiple times. the fbi says he's a naturalized u.s. citizen born in afghanistan. we're back with carson in indiana. he's a member of the intelligence committee. there was another disturbing incident over the weekend in st. cloud, minnesota, a shopping mall. a 22-year-old american born in kenya, dahir adan, was making a security guard uniform and he simply went on a rampage and started slashing people seriously with a knife, screaming out allah, asking people if they were muslim, and if they said no, he would go
ahead and cut them and slash them. he was later shot by an off-duty police officer. all these incidents, they raise so much concern and anxiety. what's your reaction when you hear that? >> well, i think it's very unfortunate. obviously he does not represent islam. muslims think mental health is a serious and ta boo issue in this country. i applaud the undercover officer at responding even when he is off duty. i'm a former police officer and i know what it's like to have to respond to an emergency when you're off duty so i commend him. i think it's clear that the growing muslim community in this country, most of us love this country. 99.99 love this country. we're lawyers, we're doctors, we're politicians, we're physicians and we're making contributions each and every day. >> members of congress, members of the intelligence committee. >> yes, sir. thank you. and so what is happening here is that we're seeing a shift taking
place. we're seeing those who hold radical views, a very small minority, and those who are speaking out and speaking up. but those folks who are speaking out and speaking up, wolf, don't get enough coverage. they don't get the attention they deserve so people can make the distinction between who is bad and who is doing the right thing. my concern is as we are moving forward, those muslims who are in the law enforcement community are being highlighted for their everyday contributions and those muslims speaking out against organizations are being held high in the media. >> how do we counteract this radicalizati radicalization? >> i think it's important to make sure islams don't have a monopoly on radicalization. you have white supremacist groups committing acts of violence regular until this country. and you have other organizations who use really just language, be it christianity or any other faith, and they support radical acts. so it's unfortunate to say that this represents islam because it
does not. i commend the administration for their cve efforts. i'll say it again and again, counter and violent extremism, those efforts are very important. bringing our thought leader, our community extremists together to push back against the growing epidemic of radicalization. >> as usual, thank you so much for being here. appreciate it very much. >> thank you. coming up, new information about the bombs and what they may reveal to investigators. there's more breaking news we're following. we'll be right back. go ahead, spoil yourself. the es and es hybrid. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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we're following the shootout and arrest of ahmad rahami. the fbi confirmed rahami is linked to the bombs but agents aren't saying if he built them. brian todd is following the investigation for us. what happened to the bombs, brian, that didn't go off? >> wolf, tonight we're told that experts at the lab in quantico, virginia, not far from here, will be examining those bombs that did not go off, some of the pipe bombs in elizabeth, new jersey and the pressure cooker bomb that did not detonate in manhattan. they'll also be looking at fragme fragments of the bombs that did explode. the pressure cooker bombs found in manhattan contained a very unstable homemade explosive called hmtd. it's easy to get and there are instructions on line how to use it. investigators tonight are scrambling to find out where the suspect purchased those ingredients for the bombs and if he had help. with the dramatic arrest of
suspect ahmad khan rahami, officers are struggling to figure out how the bombs were made and who made them. the police commissioner says right now authorities are not actively seeking anyone else in connection with the attacks, but officials still want to know if rahami had help in making and planting those bombs. >> we're going to talk to family, talk to friends and see what the connections are. >> reporter: tonight law enforcement officials tell cnn that on one level the device may not be very sophisticated, because some of them didn't detonate. and the pipe bombs found in new jersey, experts say, are considered crude. but on another level, officials say, there was enough know-how at work for these bombs to be lethal as evidenced by the bbs packed into both the pressure cooker bombs in manhattan. >> it was designed to maim and kill. if it has bbs, extra shrapnel, you really want to kill someone. you want maximum effect from your explosive bang. that's what you're looking for.
>> law officials say the pressure cooker in the race route in new jersey were detonated using raparts of alar clocks. that's a level of sophistication. >> you have to have some knowledge of a clock and the assembly of a clock, and you have to study how much power you're getting out of it to actually use it. >> reporter: but experts say making these bombs doesn't need a high level of training. an al qaeda branch once posted instructions how to manufacture and deploy a pressure cooker bomb. >> it tells you how to make the explosives, how to make the detonators. >> reporter: one miscalculation on the part of the bomber, placing the bomb in chelsea which did detonate inside a dumpster. >> it basically worked like a tamp to hold back the effects of the detonation. >> reporter: bomb experts tell
us the fbi's work in quantico, virginia is now going to be crucial. those experts there are going to look at the bombs that did not go off, especially looking at fingerprints, hair, dna on those bombs to try to determine if anyone else here was involved. wolf? >> brian todd, thanks so much. let's get some insight from our experts, terrorism official phil mudd, former expert tom fuentes and alan perez. let's talk about the suspect now in custody. the other fbi and law enforcement officers, what are they doing at this moment? what are they going through? >> i think america is breathing a sigh of relief. i would hold off on that. you have to look at this second major piece of investigation, whether you find the individual's dna in an apartment, whether you find other fingerprints on a device which may sound like a simple question but could take days or weeks to answer. did anyone else provide
assistance, help with the bomb, help with the detonation? is there anyone else involved, family or friend? >> they have the suspect in the hospital. presumably he'll be okay. how do they get the kind of information phil is talking about? >> the problem with that is if there are additional fingerprints or dna taken from the unexploded pressure cooker, that could be from a store clerk who sold it. that could be a number of people who had nothing to do with this. that pressure cooker is going to have skin particles, other dna, possibly fingerprints that had nothing to do with it. it's hard to eliminate them. >> how will we know if he had help making those bombs? >> i suspect the initial phase will be will he speak in the hospital, but when you're looking at cell phone activity, when kwur loyou're looking at e activity, you can figure out pretty quickly what his web of contact is. as soon as you find those and
investigate them, there will be enter viewe enter viewers out across new jersey and new york. we should know pretty quickly. >> what can we learn about this investigation into the way the bombs were built? >> quite a lot, wolf. one of the things that has really caught the attention of the investigators is the use of hmtd which is this explosive that we saw used in the 2005 london bombings. that is not easy to make and it's an explosive that's a lot like tatp which we've heard a lot more about and it's been commonly used by jihadists doing bombings. hmtd is something that you might have learned, if you got some training, for instance, in a jihadi camp in pakistan. that really is what is catching the attention of investigators simply because we now know that this suspect is, rahami, did travel back to afghanistan where his family is from. he also traveled to pakistan, he
traveled to kreda, as pamela brown reported this hour. all of this is coming together to really basically raise new questions in the minds of investigators as to whether or not there was something here, perhaps some training that he got during those trips back to pakistan that they need to now take a look at. again, that's the beginning of this investigation. we're only at the beginning of this and we're going to learn a lot more in weeks to come. >> peter bergen, you studied terrorism for a long time. not only did he go to afghanistan a number of times, his family was born there, but we also learned he spent most of a year in pakistan, including a hotbed of the taliban. he married a pakistani woman. we don't know her whereabouts. he came back to the united states following all these trips, had secondary interviews at the airport but was told, go home, all is cool. is there a problem here? >> well, we don't know, but this is reminiscent of an american
citizen who tried to blow up bombs in the manhattan subway in 2009. he was also from the new york area. luckily he was apprehended, but he did get training from al qaeda in pakistan, so it's certainly an area you would want to investigate rather thoroughly when you're talking to this guy. >> phil, a lot of us are smarter with hindsight, but apparently he was on no one's terror watch list. >> i think one of the questions you have to ask is not only was there a co-conspirator or was someone aware he was being radicalized. it's not whether or not you were researching bomb devices on the internet, it's whether someone in the community is afraid to call law enforcement, because they're afraid law enforcement has two choices, let him go or arrest him. >> if he's on a terror list, he could be arrested without being on the watch list, right? >> if you're talking about everybody who ever went to pakistan or whoever grew a beard or committed violence on their
spouse and all that. that's a problem trying to keep a database that's manageable and you can do something with that. just putting everybody's name on there isn't necessarily going to solve the problem. >> the location of these bombs in new york and new jersey, two in new york city on 23rd street, 27th street in chelsea. one in new jersey seaside park, another one in elizabeth, new jersey. seaside park there was a 5k run. it was delayed. fortunately no one was hurt. what are you learning about the decision, where these bombs were apparently placed at these various locations? >> that's very puzzling, wolf. at this point they really don't have much of an explanation as to why he chose this neighborhood. on 23rd street, there is an entrance to the path train which would allow you to be able to escape back to new jersey, which is where he lived. so perhaps that might be the explanation. we don't know why he chose 27th street which is not a major street down there in chelsea.
it's actually kind of a nondescript block. not a ritzy neighborhood. it's just by luck that he chose that, perhaps. the earlier location is possibly more symbolic because of the marine corps marathon that was going on that day. >> maybe he was trying to emulate, we don't know this, what happened in boston at the boston marathon. that's a copycat potential. everyone stay with us. we're going to take a quick break. much more on the breaking news. the bombings put terrorism front and center in the presidential campaign. up next, the very different reactions we're getting from donald trump and hillary clinton. you pay your car insurance premium like clockwork.
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we're seeing very different reactions of the bombings from our presidential candidates. we're joined from new york right now. what are hillary clinton and donald trump saying, jeff? >> strength and security are suddenly more essential pillars in this existential fight. it was a day-long exchange with hillary clinton trying to show a steady hand of leadership but calling donald trump a recruiting sergeant for the terrorists. for his part trump tried to show strength, saying clinton has the most open border policy for anyone seeking the presidency. another part to all of this? a potential volatile issue. tonight the bombings in new jersey impacting the presidential race. >> this is a fast-moving situation and a sober reminder
that we need steady leadership in a dangerous world. >> hillary clinton talks tougher about my supporters than she does about islamic terrorists, right? >> one week before the debate, trump and clinton already on a collision course about who is better to be commander in chief and who has better judgment. donald trump makes an immigration argument. >> let me state very, very clearly. immigration security is national security. >> reporter: clinton accusing her rival of fuelling hate, blasting his call to ban muslims from the u.s. >> we know that a lot of the rhetoric we've heard from donald trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular, isis. because they are looking to make this into a war against islam. >> reporter: with the election in 50 days, voters sending mixed signals on the qualities of trump and clinton.
asked who is a strong and decisive leader, trump leads by eight points. as for who has the temperament to serve as president, clinton holds a wide 20-point advantage. those candidates reacting in realtime to fast-moving developments in the bombing investigation on the streets of new york and new jersey and a multiple stabbing at a minnesota mall, all being investigated as acts of terror. trump taking to twitter. under the leadership of obama/clinton, americans have experienced more attacks at home than victories abroad. time to change the playbook. at a rally today in florida, trump echoed the call. >> that's all we need is four more years of obama, except worse. >> reporter: and clinton delivering a pointed response to trump for linking her and the president to attacks on the home front. >> it's not grounded in fact, it's meant to make some kind of demogogic point, and the facts are pretty clear. >> reporter: it's an open question how the attacks and
terror threats will influence the presidential race, or whether they will at all. clinton using the moment to remind voters of her experience. >> i'm the only candidate in this race who has been part of the hard decisions to take terrorists off the battlefield. >> trump bluntly making the case that his message of strength is need to do make the call for change. >> anyone who cannot name our enemy is not fit to lead this country. >> reporter: wolf, the candidates have already been jockeying over security, of course, but this adds a new sense of urgency. clinton stressing her experience, reminding voters she was in the room when that order was made to capture and kill osama bin laden. but trump is saying responsibility for this attack rests with president obama and hillary clinton. wolf? >> all right, jeff, thank you. jeff zelany reporting. coming up, new video in today's shootout and more coming out about what investigators are learning about new york and the new bombing suspect.
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we continue to follow the breaking news. we're getting new information. it's coming into "the situation room" after the arrest of a suspect in the new york and new jersey bombings. we're going to get more on that in just a few moments. we're also getting breaking news coming in from syria. dozens of new air attacks began after bashar al assad declared the ceasefire is over. strikes hit rebel neighborhoods in aleppo as well as trucks carrying aid. barbara starr is learning new
information. >> reporter: this is the big question tonight, wolf. the u.s. striking a site that killed over 60 syrian troops. the russians, the syrians, furious about all of it. the u.s. now believes it is possible -- and this is just a working theory that they have -- that what they struck were syrian troops who were some sort of detainees or prisoners of the regime who had been put out in this area in the field where the u.s. did not expect them. they were looking at the intelligence, and there were three things they saw that led them to believe it was isis, not syrian forces. these people were not in regular uniforms. that is one tick mark on the wall. they were not associated, they didn't have regular military weapons that the syrian regime might have. second tick mark on the wall. and the third, they were basically in a location where the u.s. had never seen syrian forces before. they had seen isis, however.
so they thought they were striking a large formation of isis troops. that is the working theory right now. it is all under investigation. but as you just pointed out, wolf, it comes at a terrible time. the syrian regime basically walking away from what was a tenuous ceasefire. >> what's the latest you're hearing on the isis leader, abu bakr al baghdadi. >> they've killed two top leaders with access to al baghdadi. this is leading to question questions inside the administration. is he still in charge. the people around him are disappearing. does he feel safe enough to still be in command and control. wolf. >> thank you. new information about the suspect in the new york and new jersey bombings, captured after a shootout with police. was he acting alone? >> he is unqualified to be
president. >> hillary clinton lacks the judgment -- >> the scams, the fraud. >> hillary clinton has evaded justice. >> he clearly has something to hide. >> her conduct is disqualifying. >> clinton/trump, head to head, for the first time on the same stage, the first presidential debate live monday, september 26th, all-day coverage on cnn. ur doctor about your medication... this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira helping me go further. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira has been clinically studied for over 18 years. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver and nervous system problems,
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captured in the shootout after a weekend blast in new jersey and new york. now thirst aauthorities are eag question ahmad khan rahami about any possible help. i'll ask andrew cuomo for the latest. international connection. were the bombings inspired or directed by isis or another terror group. tonight we're learning that rahami made multiple trips overseas before the attacks. stand by for new details. heightened alert. new york puts 1,000 additional police officers and national guard troops on the streets as president obama and other world leaders gather at the united nations. we'll examine the potential threat to new york tonight. and candidates respond. donald trump and hillary clinton facing a new commander in chief test after the latest bomb attacks on u.s. soil. how will terror fears shape the very close presidential race in their first debate? just one week from now. we want to welcome our viewers