tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC January 15, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PST
dangerous rivalry is emerging one upmanship between the two groups. al qaeda is launching a come back. faith and free speech. speaking out about "charlie hebdo's" provocative cartoons on the prophet muhammad the pope says when it comes to free expression, don't throw a punch and not expect one back. hugging it out, john kerry now in paris where tomorrow he'll give all of france a virtual embrace. >> my visit to france is basically to share a big hug for paris and express the affection for the american people for france. credit cards in cuba washington announces huge changes starting tomorrow. credit cards, flights, the internet all will be legal between the u.s. and cuba. details to come. on top of the world, a
celebration at the top of el capitan, as two climbers wrap one up for the record books, nearly three weeks, living climbing and sleeping at heights that would make most of us freeze in our tracks. the men who did the impossible had this hope for everyone else. >> tom and i have been thinking about what is it about this climb that is capturing everyone's attention and i think with the opportunity for everyone to find their own wall if you will. we had our project we saw through to the end. what's yours? ♪ good day, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. investigators are searching for my links between the two brothers who carried out the deadly terror attack on "charlie
hebdo" and al qaeda in yemen. they say the plot was hatched by their leaders years ago. chief foreign correspondent richard engel, you've been tracking this all down at its roots. is it a claim of responsibility propaganda attempt by aqap al qaeda in the arabian peninsula based in yemen? >> i think it's a propaganda attempt and claim of responsibility. how commanded it was on a day to day basis from yemen. it's unclear. they are saying this went back years but the way sort of modern terrorist attacks have been operating is the home base gives the operators a great deal of autonomy, they tell them do an attack but don't necessarily stay in daily phone call communications with their operatives. they give them a lot of initiative. so what i was saying earlier and you played that clip earlier,
the biggest takeaway from this al qaeda is going out of its way to make sure the world knows that it hasn't gone away and it is still capable of carrying out spectacular attacks and it is not a forgotten organization that has been surpassed by isis. for the last year isis has been dominating headlines. isis controls a state, something that al qaeda since the days in afghanistan hasn't managed to do. isis controls a large part of syria and large part of iraq. it is lodged in. people from around the globe are flocking to join isis or staying home and carrying out attacks in the name of ice is. in this attack al qaeda decided or at least with the timing of it decided to say, we're back we're still out there. the concern is you'll see the game of one up manship as they
fight for the post of world's worst actor. >> let's take that timeline for a moment. as you laid out, they are claiming a time line that goes back to awlaki. >> reporter: two brothers one of the brothers went to yemen in 2011. it was originally reported it was said and that was surprising to terror experts we spoke to in france because cherif two years younger was always the much more care isharismatic and engaged of the two siblings. so it does seem unusual that it was said his brother who went to yemen. and now, according to u.s. officials it was really cherif who went to yemen in 2011 but he was using his brother's passport which is why people thought initially it was said. he went to yemen and enrolled in
a university there however, yemeni officials say after 40 days not showing up at the university, he was taken off the books. while he was in yemen, yemeni officials tell me he went to the lawless province that is dangerous and still lawless. it was lawless then. and while he was there, he met with awlaki. and according to cherif himself, he said that it went back to awlaki, that he got money and carrying out this operation out for the under the auspices of al qaeda in yemen. it seems to be more than a propaganda claim even the people carrying out believed it went back to al qaeda in yemen. >> is it clear they were armed by the terrorist who attacked the kosher supermarket? >> reporter: that's the reporting that is coming out of
belgium. there was an arms dealer in belgium of all places. this seems to have many different connections, a connection to spain, a connection to belgium. there's a connection to turkey certainly connections to syria and to yemen, which is also quite typical of an al qaeda plot. international organization that sees this global jihad. so according to the belgium accounts, there was an arms dealer in belgium who sold weapons -- assault rifles and rocket launcher to coulibaly and he used them for his own attacks and provided them to the brothers, which further links the two. >> richard engel, obviously a tangled web still on the hunt. thank you very much from istanbul istanbul. the french rallied the world for free speech after the massacre at quts"charlie hebdo" but france started its own crackdown on a famous muslim comedian for
identifying with the terrorists and france's muslim community is calling the new publishation of "charlie hebdo"", 3 million copy copies yesterday, with the prophet muhammad on front cover, a provokation and today pope francis weighed in. it was on the flight to manila. a remarkable exchange with the press traveling with him.
i'm joined by tina brown and jeffrey goldberg national correspondent for "the atlantic." this is pretty extraordinary. tina the pope saying you can't be that provocative, that's an insult. >> he's so extraordinary, this pope, he is an amazing combination of the spiritual and visceral which is really what makes him a powerful new presence on the global scene. i think what he said was correct, you cannot expect not to have a reaction if you insult somebody's faith there will be a reaction. what i'm surprised about is he didn't talk about the degree of the reaction. it's one thing to perhaps demonstrate or protest or express your disfavor it's another thing to take a -- and gun down everybody who said it.
i think a second round from the pope where he makes it clear he presumably doesn't endorse the notion of the quality of this reaction and how it took place. >> and there is already backlash from the muslim community in paris. you just returned from there. bill neely spoke to several in the muslim community. let's watch what they had to say. >> more provocation, why are you talking about my prophet? >> i think it will bring a civil war. >> reporter: you think a civil war is possible? >> for this comment, yes. >> there was even criticism from the founder of "charlie hebdo," 80 years old and translated one way and retranslated. but charbonnier, for being as provocative as he was. >> it's like asking the impossible, it's what they do.
obviously what you saw on interviews on the street the clash of cultures and understanding of the role of free speech and satire and pro vocation. those responses are exactly what "charlie hebdo" wants. millions want this issue and the joke is that the kouachi brothers exposed their prophet to widespread ridicule in a way he hadn't been exposed before in france. it keeps going, just keeps going. >> i want to ask you both first to you because you're so deeply reporting on all of this the anti-semitism, that has been on the rise the increasing number of french jews going to israel. the numbers are dramatically increased in the past year alone and now this. >> this attack on the kosher supermarket was no surprise at all to the jews of france they've been having periodic
attacks for years. when that attack occurred i was happening to come out of a jewish school a couple of miles away talking to students and teachers and they said they were expecting an attack -- another attack within weeks or months and hour later you have this. yes, you very seldom meet someone who isn't at least thinking of getting out, if not to israel than canada. i didn't meet anyone who thought the situation would get better. putting troops in front of schools while obviously the necessary step doesn't really signal that there's a great future for a normal lifestyle when you have to have soldiers protecting your children just to go to school. >> tina, you're one of the great magazine editors and understand this area better than anyone. how do you balance the equities between free speech and being provocative, whether you're a comedian, a satirist straight journalist, if you will the
fact you have increasing clashes between jewish and muslim communities and muslim communities and the french national cultural spirit and a right wing the faction on the rise. what do you do as a publisher? >> i think it's become much much more. at the new yorker we did provocative covers and easter offered a provocative cover he did an easter bunny crucified at christmas. i published it. but i have to say after doing so, i felt bad about myself if you know what i mean. i felt -- it was a cheap shot against something people cared a tremendous amount about. from the mailbag i got, i thought i had needlessly done something provocative because i could. i think what is problematic now
is this extra life that everything gets from viral continuance, you publish something in a context and then suddenly you have thousands of twitter impressions and instagram and facebook impressions all without its context which makes it much more rabid. i think magazines exist and publications exist to -- biting the hand of the reader you want to provoke and make them think about things. i know as an editor now i would find it a problematic issue now thinking about the third and fourth and fifth life of an image. what happens to that image. when it gets into this marketplace of very very scary free booting viral ideas. >> and you also have fundamentalists on all sides. in israel an orthodox jewish newspaper photoshopped all of the women, angela merkel -- and the e.u. representative, all of the women were taken out of the
front line of that march because they have their own fundamentalist -- >> let's be clear about something, that's ridiculous. they also say they didn't kill the editor of magazines who publish that. fundamentalism is a profound issue across cultures and this is the divide. the divide is you have to be able to defend the right to blasphemy, didn't mean you have to insult other religions. >> john kerry will try to make good in paris. he had an excuse. he was keynoting a climate conference in india and on the way to pakistan to talk about counterterrorism measures. what about the fact that nobody in the white house said to the president or vice president you should be there, this is going to be a big deal on sunday? >> i think it was a huge imagery gaffe. it's amazing anybody would have to make that suggestion.
it seemed like a no brainer that someone major with a public profile should be there. i gather kerry was in india, a hard thing to get there. i do think the vice president should have been there or somebody should have been there. eric holder was in paris and should have been there. we also like to see mass demonstrations of muslims, all of the muslims come out and demonstrate. it will be fantastic because it will make the point we're not all like these radical crazy murdering people bringing islam in such -- >> thanks for being here. jeff goldberg just back from paris, thank you as always. right now, an ohio man is in federal custody arrested for an alleged plot to attack the u.s. capitol. christopher cornell was taken down after purchasing two assault-type rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition. investigators say he was inspired by isis and shared his plan and views with another
person who was an fbi informer. the government first tracked him after he posted pro-isis posts on twitter. the subject's father was shocked by the arrest and in disbelief that his son had plans with bombs and gun down civilians as they attack the capitol. >> i know chris and know he's a good guy. i don't think -- like i said i was completely blindsided by this. this came as a complete surprise. chris -- he never leaves the house. he's a mommy's boy. he never showed any -- any signs of any kind of violence or anything. i mean quiet, shy. good kid. >> remarkable. starting tomorrow sweeping changes on how americans are going to trade and travel to cuba in many ways shattering congress's embargo.
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of the world and had his commitments. the question is why no one in the white house how important the solidarity march would be on friday when it was first announced, on saturday in time for someone including eric holder in paris to march with the other leaders? >> andrea to be fair i'm not sure that's the question people in france are asking. the coverage there in no way looked like the coverage here. the white house has been clear. we should have sent someone more senior but also said no one day or no matter how important represents our relationship with the french. john kerry would have been there if he could. he just landed today and what we're focused on how to work to together meetings tomorrow showing solidarity and moving past that one specific event. >> and tomorrow is he going to meet, do you think, and have eat meeting with the iranian foreign minister zarif or was the
meeting yet? >> they had three meetings totalling over five hours. they'll be in paris tomorrow. we're looking at schedules to see if they may have a chance to meet but we don't know yet. he's focused on meeting with president hollande and showing solidarity with the french people giving them a big hug after a pretty tough few days. that's our focus. we'll see about the rest of the schedule. >> has there been progress on the nuclear talks? >> well certainly we have continued talking about all of the very technical issues that you are very aware of that have to go into a nuclear agreement. we're making incremental progress. it's a tough set of conversations to be sure but we are moving forward. our negotiating teams are still in geneva meeting with iranians for a few more days. we'll so if the experts can move the ball forward. >> now we've got this other situation where the "washington post" reporter who has been in jail for months in iran is now going to be -- he's been indicted and going to have to
stand trial when we've been told -- i personally was told by iran's president rowhani back in september at the united nations that they were looking for ways and that the courts would likely have resolution of this. but now this is not the case. what did secretary kerry hear about that? >> he did raise it yesterday with the iranian foreign minister, with their delegation. as i think the post own editors have said we hope this is an opportunity for the iranian judicial system to move forward and eventually for jason to get to come home to be with his family. we also of course hope the iranians will release the other americans that are detained in iran. we raise it every time we meet with them. it's the only issue we talk about besides the nuclear issue with these talks and hopefully jason can return home soon. >> an enormous opening has been announced by treasury and state and commerce the regulations are being issued as of tomorrow
travel will be possible under those 12 categories and not tourism per se but you won't need a specific license if you're a cultural group or journalists. flights will be available, not just commercial flights. it's an opening that has been 50, 60 years in the making with credit banking and the rest the internet if the cubans allow it. when do you think secretary kerry might be going and upgrading the intersection to an embassy? >> this was the next big milestone in publishing these regulations in moving towards diplomatic normalization. roberta jacobson will be traveling to cuba very soon to start that process. we don't know when secretary kerry will go yet. he's looking forward to going, our whole team is. but we have to put the process in place and he'll go when it makes sense. we're looking forward to meeting next week to see if we can keep moving this forward. it has been decades of policy that's really changed in the
past few weeks and months and we're looking forward to that. >> what do you say to marco rubio and others on the other side criticizing this and say that what was announced today violates existing law, the trade embargo? >> we don't announce any regulations that violate law. i'm pretty confident of that. what we've said that we all want democratic openings on the island. we want the cuban people to be able to choose their own future. the decades of policies they supported didn't work. it didn't get the result we wanted. we believe if we have more diplomatic representation on the ground and have more educators and more religious leaders and more folks going to the island under these new regulations, that only helps open up the space and get more towards the goal we ultimately all want to see achieved. >> thanks so much. marie harf great to see you. >> great to see you too. there's a big shake-up the other shoe has dropped at the secret service, they are going to force out demoating four senior officials, a fifth is
retiring joseph clancy announced big change were to come after that scathing review and several security lapses including the knife wielding fence jumper who made it well inside the executive mansion, the door was unlocked. if the four executives don't resign or retire they'll be reassigned. up next al qaeda says it was behind the quts"charlie hebdo" massacre is that real or propaganda? you're watching msnbc. ! it's hump day! >>yeah! >>hey mike! mike mike mike mike mike! >>mike mike mike mike mike. hey! he knows! hey! guess what day it is! hey! camel! guess what day it is! >>it's not even wednesday. let it go, phil. if you're a camel, you put up with this all the time. it's what you do. (sigh) if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. ok...
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security correspondent mark ma zetty and julie pace. mark, from your reporting, "the new york times" is reporting that al qaeda in the arabian peninsula yemen and al awlaki influenced group is suggesting it was not the older said the older kouachi brother but the younger -- the younger kouachi broed cherif who traveled and could have been influenced by al awlaki. how inspirational do you think they were in all of this? >> that's a great question and the u.s. still doesn't know. they think there's a pretty good body of evidence suggesting as you said cherif traveled to yemen in 2011 and met with some members of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, possibly anwar al awlaki and got a someone of money and returned to
france. in terms of the direct role that the group played as it claimed yesterday having actively planned the attack it's still a bit unclear. i think it's one thing for them to claim credit for the attack. it's another to after some period of time really prove they directed it. it may not ultimately matter but it is important i think to then determine whether this group is still able to have that kind of command and control so far along. i think one thing we need to point out, in 2011 when cherif went to yemen, anwar al awlaki was the most wanted man in the world and certainly after osama bin laden was killed. you would think the group might treat with skepticism, someone coming there that it might be a western plot to take down the organization. >> that was one thought i had, mark in looking through these claims and counterclaims. why would al alawky trust this
brother. this is not the usual way that al qaeda central or al qaeda in arabian peninsula would treat recruits but they would be looking for those who could travel, with western passports understandably. but those are questions that really have to be answered. julie pace we see also this very separate incident the coulibaly, the terrorist who attacked the supermarket. we had recent pictures and video and still photography of him inside that supermarket. he knew the brothers through the prison experience but the suggestion from mark and others reporting, richard engel's reporting as well is that there was no direct operational link between isis and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. >> right, which adds another layer of questions to this how did he then end up carrying out this attack was he inspired by
what he said? was there any planning in the works? when we talk about what led to this, i think one of the scary things in -- if it ends up being that these men were inspired by an al qaeda affiliated group but weren't operating under their direction, is that we're looking at home grown terror and lone wolf attacks. this is the kind of thing that really worried the white house, intelligence community for some time. in some ways that is harder to identify if you have people that are operating perhaps in isolation. you don't have as much links to try to stop an attack. again, it's important to figure out where this all started. but it's no less scary and concerning if these were people justin spired by al qaeda and not directly going on their orders. >> and tomorrow -- tonight actually, president obama is going to be having dinner with david cameron, the prime minister from the u.k. there's a lot of trade on their agenda as well as mutual security concerns.
they had a joint op-ed in the times of london outlining their plans and said today we recommit ourselves to enduring mission protecting our peoples and safeguarding economies and britain and america stand together and need strong and determined leadership to meet the challenges of our time and this comes as the british prime minister is facing election in a couple of months. this is going to be a much -- as it has been in recent cycles a closely fought election in the u.k. >> right, i mean in times like these it's natural that leaders the united states and britain will cling together. it's the most natural relationship the u.s. and britain have this intelligence sharing relationship that's really unprecedented. so it's obvious that in the op-ed that they pledge support for each other. there's a lot of other interesting things in the back drop. you have statements by mr. cameron suggesting he wanted to free up intelligence agencies to
go after militant groups to ease restrictions on surveillance, that type of thing. we've had our own debate after edward snowden about surveillance. these are things they are going to come to the floor after attacks like this and both people will be discussing. >> and julie, briefly, this breaking news i just received a statement from jeh johnson written to congress very strongly arguing against the amendments on the homeland security appropriations that of course came down yesterday from congress and saying that this -- at the time of the paris attacks, restrict's homeland's ability to fund ongoing operations. >> you've seen the white house both yesterday and today really pushing back strongly against the republican legislation that would fund dhs but then stop the president's executive orders that he announced last year and the white house has said they would veto that legislation which would raise a question.
poej sides are in their opening positions on that. they don't want to see dhs defunded but it's a matter of appeasing the members of the republican party that are strongly opposed to the president's immigration executive actions. how do you fund the department and then give them a say? >> thank you both appreciate it. and up next a celebration that 7500 feet above sea level. two men who did the impossible talk about what it took to get there. this is msnbc. ♪ the nissan rogue, with safety shield technologies. the only thing left to fear is your imagination.
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it could've been brenda. two climbers have successfully tackled what many said was impossible. climbing to the top of el capitan using only their hands and feet a free climb. yesterday they became the first. they made it to the summit of what is considered to be the toughest rock climb in the world. >> it was intense through and through. i mean, it's rooted in a desire to do what you know you're capable of and it's really frustrating when you don't match up to that standard. and you get the full -- the full
roller coaster of devastation. i used that word when i didn't do it and felt the project was slipping out of my fingers. then ekz then ectasy when you finish it. >> it's been extraordinary, i can't get enough. tell me you were with the families at the foot and then now you've met and interviewed the climbers. this was such a lifelong dream for them. i can't even imagine how it's possible they did it. >> reporter: and it's unbelievable the feeling here andrea everyone rooting for these guys cheering them out not just for 19 days climbing but seven years tommy caldwell has been planning this adventure and six years or so kevin jorgeson has been joining him. one of the amazing things you think they would be exhausted.
they are. they were happy to have showers and steak dinner last night, first thing kevin did when he got down after hugging his girlfriend and family members. they are thrilled to be here but both of them said this was a little surreal. they've been up on the side of a mountain for the last two and a half weeks while the world is watching this journey. they knew about the attention and the fact the nation was rooting for them and cheering them on. i think until they got down and began seeing how much of an impact their journey has had, they didn't really begin to grasp this. kevin said earlier today, he's still on cloud nine. none of this has sunk in. he doesn't know when it will. >> physically they are okay? >> reporter: physically they are good. their fingertip, obviously that is what is shredded and ripped up because that's how they grasped tiny holes, talking about a smooth granite wall with razor blade crevices think of gluing dimes or credit cards on
a concrete wall. that is how they are pulling themselves up of el capitan. they are using their own body strength to do it. they have ropes to catch them if they fall but they are just there for safety. their fingertips shredded. they look okay. they are fizz he canphysically fine. kevin said he was sore from hiking down. 19 days to get up and three hours to get down hiking. hasn't used his legs like that in a while. >> thank you, such great work. really appreciate it. >> the first official changes between the u.s. and cuba are less than a day away after a break. what those changes will mean. the first interview since the big announcements from penny pritzger. ow what my business philosophy is, reynolds? >>no. not exactly. to attain success, one must project success. that's why we use fedex one rate®. >>their flat rate shipping. exactly. it makes us look top-notch but we know it's affordable. (garage door opening) (sighs)
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joining me now is commerce secretary penny pritzker. this is a sweeping change just about everything the president and you and the secretary could do except opening the flood gates for tourism. >> this is the most exciting policy change in my lifetime as it relates to cuba. the president really recognized that isolation was not working as a policy and instead we've worked together the commerce department and treasury department to fulfill the president's directive, which is what can we do given there is still an embargo to allow more engagement with cuba and couple of things we're doing besides obviously opening diplomatic relations. in the area of telecommunications. now goods can be sold for infrastructure, telecommunications infrastructure to private enterprise in cuba. now personal consumer goods for
telecommunications can be sold. think of a pc a cell phone, think of software. i mean for example, only 5% of cubans today have access to the internet. only 2 million of 11.5 million cubans today have cell phones. so this is about being able to do more business and do it easier. another example is u.s. banks are now going to be able to have corresponding bank relations with other cuban banks. this is another way it will be easier to do business. you're going to be able to send $8,000 of remittances a year to another cuban individual. all of this are ways within the context of the fact that we have an embargo in place for us to engage more with cuban people. and for them to be more aware and more informed about what's going on. it's really really exciting. travel is one where we only gain 12 categories are able to do
more religious groups u.s. government educational groups. broad travel and tourism is not yet allowed. but airlines are going to be able to do more at least they won't need a license from the department of commerce anymore in order to do trips to cuba. obviously they have to go through the faa and through cuban regulations, but this is a beginning and really exciting beginning. >> one of the things that was pointed out to us when we were being briefed on this was there was $3 billion of agricultural shipments licenses to u.s. agriculture but only 10% of that even ever got going because the cubans needed to pay cash for everything and now they'll be able to use credit. that is a very big deal. how quickly the regulations go into effect tomorrow. how quickly can actual commercial flights go to cuba? what do you think? >> i think that that's a
process. so it's hard to estimate exactly when you'll see more general cuban flights. but, look american businesses are very creative. and we're making sure that they are aware of all of these changes so they can take advantage of them. we want -- the goal the president has set out is more engagement. that's the way that the president and administration believes that we can effect change with cuba. and it's really exciting for us at the department of commerce to play a significant role. in fact coming up later this year the president really believes in the idea of commercial diplomacy, the idea that we can work with our businesses to effectuate change with other countries -- >> do you think cuba will let the internet in let people have access to all of this? >> my impression is they are encouraging the infrastructure investment by the
telecommunications companies and so that i'm optimistic about that. and i believe that the more that -- more awareness the cuban people have the more information that they have the greater connectivity that they have. not just with the united states but with the rest of the world. that's good for the cuban people. that's good for the united states. and we at the department of commerce are doing what we can to support that. >> how soon do you think you might be able to go in a word? >> my hope is sometime by the middle of the year but we'll see. >> thank you very much secretary pritzker. >> the oscar nominations but the list is getting the buzz for the wrong reasons. it was trending nationwide on twitter because this lineup for nominees of acting is the least racially diverse in 17 years, the year titanic scored the top prize. 20 nominations in total, all performers are white. this was a surprising snub to
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president obama's recent executive orders regarding immigration. the house passed a bill that went so far as repealing daca that allows children to stay here in the united states. i asked john thune, he said, look in the senate the magic number is 60. we have to figure out a way forward. he would not confirm to me that it would go on the senate floor. that would make sense because there are 2016 republicans up in blue state, senators who don't want to take a vote on that as it would be potentially difficult vote amongst independence and latino voters in the blue states andrea. >> we're surely going to have reaction because already from marco rubio and others about the cuba engagement change in rules. thanks luke. that does it for us for a busy edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow the show online and on
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10:00 a.m. on the west. here's what you need to know right now. we are learning more details on the isis inspired terror plot to attack right here at home. 20-year-old christopher lee cornell of suburban, cincinnati ohio is in custody being being arrested yesterday facing charges in connection with a plot to detonate pipe bombs at the u.s. capitol and shoot employees with assault rifles. his family says that the fbi pushed him to do something he couldn't have done on his own. >> they are painting him as a terrible terrorist now, you know. and you know i don't know -- he was -- i think chris was kind of lost and trying to find direction. he's a mommy's boy, you know. he hangs around with his mommy,
his best friend is his kitty cat. >> joining us now with more nbc justice correspondent pete williams. thanks for being with us and federal officials claim they were on to cornell early and didn't pose real danger. how did he come to attention to federal investigators in the first place? >> he started posting twitter messages calling himself rahil and expressed support for the isis terror group. he said there were people overseas that wanted to commit attacks here but couldn't do it and he said maybe people here should do those attacks instead. so shortly after that he ended up meeting somebody in cincinnati that he thought was like minded but who was