tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC December 11, 2015 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
developing tonight, the missing hours in san bernardino. a mystery gap in the terror timeline. and breaking now, flames erupt at a california mosque. witnesses say it was a firebomb. predator cop. a shocking abuse of power. a police officer found guilty of attacking women, threatening to arrest them if they didn't submit. tonight the woman who brought him down. nightmare scenario. richard angle investigates how easy it is to get a fake american passport overseas. concerns isis fighters could slip into the country country.
must have items. fighting back. thieves swiping packages off front porches. how law enforcement is setting the bait and catching them in the act. "nightly news" begins right now. trying to understand the full intentions of a san bernardino terrorist the fbi is focused on those anxious four and half hours between the office park massacre and the blazing shoot-out with police that ended the killers' lives. were they in contact with someone? did they ditch critical evidence during those missing hours? questions for a second day have divers searching a small lake a few miles from the scene of the crime. now amid the tense climate surrounding the attacks comes word of a possible fire bomb attack on a mosque less than 90 minutes away. nbc news national
almaguer has late details. >> reporter: late today a possible hate crime. investigators at a mosque outside san bernardino lit on fire during friday prayer. >> someone tried to blow up the mosque. why? for what reason? we're peaceful people. >> reporter: with the fire out, prayers in the parking lot. this is fbi dive teams scouring the showy lake, law enforcement say looking for a hard drive and other electronics that may hold critical information dumped by terrorist syed farook and tashfeen may reek. >> this investigation as i've mentioned many times is massive. >> reporter: investigators are looking at traffic and surveillance cameras from nearby businesses next to the crime scene. >> to get in that suv, he started screaming that's them, that's them -- >> reporter: the fbi building the timeline. 10:59 a.m., shots fired inside the inland regional center. the gunmen then on the move. 3:30 p.m., the shooters killed by at least.
for four and a half hours? the lake searched by fbi, 2.6 miles from the crime scene. their red lands home in the neighboring community. from the gunmens' home the fbi retrieved a damaged iphone. investigators say they can't get past the security code to open the device. we now know pipe bombs found at the crime scene didn't explode because officials say the shooters left behind a critical component at the home. meantime, enrique marquez, the long-time friend of farook who bought the assault rifles used in the being questioned. marquez is not a suspect in the shooting. today, nine days after the bloodshed, more fune ras. damian meins and isaac aman today. the fbi say their search for electronics could take several days but also could
less than an hour and a half away from here, atf and fbi are both mosque fire. >> miguel, thank you. he went from protector to predator. an oklahoma city police officer facing up to the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of rape while on duty, a horrible abuse of power that went on especially vulnerable women until one of them refused to be silent. story from david's gutierrez. >> defendant is guilty of the crime -- >> reporter: as the verdict was read former police officer daniel holtzclaw sobbed. >> guilty and punishment set at 30 years -- >> reporter: the jury finding him guilty on 18 of 36 counts including rape and sexual battery. >> he was going to shoot me, he was going to kill me. >> reporter: jeannie was one of the 13 women who testified against him. she says holdsclaw pulled her over one night in june of 2014, sexually assaulted her. she reported it to police, triggering the
to his arrest. >> he just picked the wrong lady to stop that night. >> reporter: prosecutors said holdsclaw had been using the power of the badge to prey on vulnerable, low-income black women, most with criminal records. sexually assaulting them during traffic stops and threatening to arrest them if they didn't submit. in an area known for high crime. detectives later used the gps from his patrol car to corroborate the women's stories. when holts claw was fired, the police chief wrote, it was the greatest abuse of police authority i have witnessed. >> he chose these victims because he knew through experience that they were less likely to report it. >> reporter: holdsclaw never took the stand. the accusers ranged in age from 17 to 57. the defense questioned their credibility, arguing he was an honest cop trying to help drug addicts and prostitutes. the prosecutor hopes the verdict now sends a message to every citizen. >> i don't care what
they go to church, what god they worship or how much money they make. we stand up for people in this community. >> reporter: holdsclaw could face the rest of his life in prison. the verdict came down on his 29th birthday. the jury recommended a sentence of more than 260 years. a judge will decide that next month. lester? >> thank you very much. a new fight is emerge ing at the top of the republican race for president. after months of attacking his rivals but steering clear of one in particular, donald trump is now taking aim at senator ted cruz after cruz was heard on tape questioning trump's judgment. and that's not the only fight that erupted today as nbc's katy tur shows us. >> reporter: protesters clashing with security in new york at a private trump event. anger spilling into violence. >> what is wrong with you? >> reporter: as trump continues to take heat for his muslim ban, senator ted cruz is joining the trump critics. >> the american people are looking with greater seriousness
commander in chief. >> reporter: at a private fund-raiser, cruz was even more pointed. >> i like and respect both donald and ben. who am i comfortable having their finger on the button? that's a question of strength but it's also a question of judgment. and i think that is a question that is a challenging question for both of them. >> reporter: in the past months cruz's poll numbers have shot up. >> he clearly has the ability to organize the grassroots activists, he has the ability to raise money, and i think he has the ability to convey a message. >> reporter: now trump is itching for a fight with a texas senator, tweeting, ted cruz should not make statements behind closed doors to his bosses, he should bring them out into the open. more fun that way. the two have held fire since day one. >> i like donald trump. >> i'm a big fan of trump. >> i think he's been very beneficial for our campaign. >> reporter: but with that unofficial alliance on the line, attack back. at least not publicly.
is terrific. #dealwithit. other gop candidates aren't holding back. the lizard brain tends to make snap judgments, ben carson wrote in a british newspaper, questioning trump and his proposed ban. donald trump will be taking the stage here in des moines in jurs a few minutes. we are 52 days until this state''s caucuses. with the gop up in the air insiders tell us they are preparing for a battle on the convention floor. should there be no clear nominee. >> katy tur, thank you. there are new developments about the the dangers of those wildly popular so-called hoverboards amid a growing number of fires linked to the boards and their lithium batteries. the nation's big airlines are banning them. nbc's tom costello shows us why. >> reporter: those popular hoverboards now a top safety concern. >> the hoverboard, it exploded under my feet. >> reporter: at least ten fires linked to the volatile lithium
some fires actually burned down entire homes. just as passengers start carrying holiday gifts on board, airlines are banning the boards in both checked luggage and carry-ons. >> we're seeing regular events worldwide where lithium batteries are overheating, causing onboard fires, that causes me concern. >> reporter: lithium batteries are in almost every cell phone, laptop, and tablet. airlines limit them as cargo after tests showed them self-igniting, posing a lethal threat to a plane. in this test an airline cargo container packed with batteries catches fire, then a thunderous explosion. just such a fire was blamed for the 2010 crash of a u.p.s. cargo plane carrying 80,000 batteries. two pilots were killed. in 2006 another u.p.s. cargo plane barely made to it philadelphia with a fire on board, both pilots managed to escape. u.p.s., jet blue, and
oxygen systems to their planes so pilots can see through a smoke in fire. there are billions of these lithium ion batteries being carried and they all have the potential to catch fire. pressure is building on the faa to come down harder on what many believe is a throwing threat to aviation. tom costello, nbc news, washington. fbi director james comey has raised a new concern about isis saying they may now have the ability to print authentic-looking counterfeit syrian passports. but what if isis were able to get their hands on actual u.s. passports? doctored to allow militants to travel freely, perhaps even to the united states? our chief foreign correspondent riched a angle has investigated that very possibility with some chilling findings. >> reporter: the streets of athens, migrants from the middle east can buy whatever they need. including a new identity. in july, greek police arrested haisim kubash, a syrian part of a document forging
they released this picture where genuine stolen passports were doctored. a nbc news investigation reveals kubash supplied forged american passports to a man he believed was working for isis. it was a sting. the buyer was a u.s. federal agent. these pictures are from the surveillance video of their meetings. the agent said he wanted to buy four american passports and provided four photographs, explaining they were of isis members. the transaction took place here. and for little more than $11,000, the forger agreed. that was may 29th. five days later, kubash handed the agent the forged passports. but before the u.s. could have him arrested, he was picked up by greek police on other charges. from his lawyer's office, ikubash about his meeting with that american undercover act. >> did he tell you he wanted the passports
>> yes. he says that. >> you don't care who you sell the passports to or for what reason? >> yeah, my work -- i don't ask anybody for who you want or what you want to do by passport. okay? >> reporter: kubash was indicted by a washington, d.c. grand jury in august on charges of conspiracy to commit passport forgery, identity theft, and fraud. but because the u.s. missed its chance to arrest him first, it could be years before he's extradited. his lawyer says he doesn't understand all the fuss about kubash. >> how many other kubashes are out there? has he already been replaced? >> of course. of course. there are hundreds of people doing these things. >> reporter: getting a fake passport on the streets of athens is just a matter of price. even for those who say they're shopping for isis. u.s. passports in the
is a nightmare scenario. these forgery ies were probably not good enough to get anyone through an american airport but the concern is they could be good enough to be used in many other places where controls are weaker. >> richard angle, thank you. back in this country, gasps heard inside the supreme court over something said by justice antonin scalia. he made a remark about african-americans and academic performance concerning a case challenging affirmative action. tonight nbc news justice correspondent pete williams has the audio recording of it to allow you to hear this comment for yourself. >> reporter: the austin says to achieve a level of campus diversity that improves learning, race must be a factor in admissions. but could it be just as antonin scalia asked, that affirmative action >> there are those who contend that it does not benefit african-americans to get them into the university of the
as opposed to having them go to a less slower track school, where they do well. >> reporter: he said most black scientists do not come from elite universities. >> they come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they're being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them. >> reporter: that produced a few gasps in the courtroom. some called the comments racist. others said he was just plain wrong. >> i think it was the language of the lesser, slower schools that stung. all of the evidence shows that black students, like most students, fare best best school that they they are challenged in that environment. >> reporter: some opponents of using race in admissions say scalia had a point, it. >> to bring people into universities where they're not nearly as well prepared academically -- grades, test scores, anything else -- as
they're likely to struggle academically. >> reporter: it's hard to predict how the court will rule but there's no mystery about justice scalia. he has voted against affirmative action in the past and will almost certainly do it again. pete williams, nbc news, at the supreme court. still ahead here tonight, they call them porch pirates. caught on camera doing their best grinch impressions. taking gifts right in front of homes. what police are doing and what you can do to stop them from stealing your holiday cheer. also it's definitely not beginning to look a lot like christmas. why this weekend's warm i use what' s already inside me to reach my goals. so i liked when my doctor told me i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals by activating what' s within me. with once-weekly trulicity. trulicity is not insulin. it helps activate my body to do what it' s supposed to do release its own insulin. trulicity responds when my blood sugar rises.
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to get your multivitamins. as more and more consumers make the switch to buying online this holiday season, that is triggering a record number of packages being delivered. and presenting increased opportunities for thieves lying in wait. stealing those boxes from right outside homes. tonight nbc's joe friar with a warning on how law enforcement is fighting back. you're a mean one mr. grinch >> reporter: the grinch isn't the only heartless soul trying to steal christmas. security cameras at homes across the country have captured real-life grinches plucking packages from porches. >> i felt really scared, actually. because that means somebody actually approached my house and took something. >> and he's going to steal my two packages. >> reporter: rick deckman's cameras caught a crook who was tailing a delivery driver and didn't seem to notice the warning sign on the garage. >> i was blown away.
that something like this was really happening. >> reporter: an estimated 23 million people have had packages stolen from their homes. this year u.p.s. expects to deliver 630 million packages between black friday and new year's, up 10% from last year. that means more targets for thieves. in rancho cordova, california, police officers dressed in street clothes are dropping off decoy packages. they're filled with fake electronics and gps tracking devices to hunt down anyone who steals them. people know we're doing this, the less likely they are to do it. >> reporter: a few tips to keep thieves away. set your own delivery time. and if you're not going to be home, use the shipping company's app to have the package reduring the coursed. redirected. called access point. sign up to have packages left at a business in your neighborhood, then you there. truck -- >> reporter: as for rick deckman, his arrest. guess what was in those stolen boxes?
metal ruler. >> reporter: not even the grinch could do much with that. joe friar, nbc news, los angeles. we're back in a moment with a long-time member of the nbc news family ready to say good-bye after 65 years. woman: it's been a journey to get where i am. and i didn't get here alone. there were people who listened along the way. people who gave me options. kept me on track. and through it all, my retirement never got left behind. for anything we may want tomorrow to be. every someday needs a plan. let's talk about your old 401(k) today. take zzzquil and sleep like... the kids went to nana's house... for the whole weekend. zzzquil. the non-habit forming sleep aid
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to destroy them. and keep america safe. jeb bush: the united states should not delay in leading a global coalition to take out isis with overwhelming force. announcer: tested and proven leadership matters. jeb bush. right to rise usa for the content of this message. this season of weather extremes takes another turn this weekend as much of the country will feel record warmth. temperatures in the high for december, only a couple of weeks from winter. and in the pacific
state of emergency in oregon as torrential rains continue to pound cities and towns overwhelmed by storms are in the forecast. it's the end of an era at 30 rock and for a lot of viewers with the announcement from our friend and colleague willard scott. he's retiring after an astonishing 65 years
the last 35 delivering the weather. and smuckers birthday on the "today" show, we'll catch a legendary career. we wish him the
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every year an anonymous private donor becomes the ultimate secret santa, handing out tens of thousands in cash to total strangers. this year he hopes his generosity can help a town that made so many negative headlines find its harmony. amy holly from affiliate kshb has the mission of kindness story. >> our mission is to go into ferguson and commit random acts of kindness. >> reporter: armed with crisp 100 dollar bills, santas heading out to spread holiday cheer in ferguson, missouri. his elves, the fbi, ferguson police, and missouri highway patrol. >> my job is to make tough cops cry. i've never missed. >> reporter: the officers pull over two young men not far from where 18-year-old michael brown was
and surprise them with >> it was unexpected for real. >> over a year ago we would have pulled up and the young man would have ran away. is still healing from the riots and violence of last fall. >> we're going to give each of you guys $100. >> reporter: small steps, officers say, sometimes make the biggest progress. you need kindness deborah harris. lost her house, her car, and her son. >> oh my god. oh my god. >> reporter: this ferguson class needed the smiles too. >> you get $20 and it's got "secret >> reporter: their classmate was killed by gunfire. money. kindness is the bridge >> reporter: a priceless gift anyone can give for free. amy holly for nbc