tv The Situation Room CNN October 7, 2014 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT
united states is so robust and healthy and so protective of what publishers do, i don't think there's going to be any change here. but what's happening in europe is an interesting indication about how not everybody believes our freedom of expression laws are perfect. >> jeffrey toobin, thank you so much. that's it for "the lead". i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer. he's in "the situation room." >> happening now, american jihadists. the fbi is asking to identify an isis fighter speaking perfect north american english who apparently murdered prisoners in a video. turkey's president says the key syrian border town is about to fall to the terrorists. and missing for a month. where is north korea's leader? he hasn't been seen in public even as his deputies pay a surprise visit to south korea. are they now in charge? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
>> amid new fears that jihadists are bringing troops back to their own country, fbi is asking that you help identify this man who is speaking english with a north american accent. we're getting news about a u.s. teenager charged with trying to join isis overseas. a source saying an islamist terrorist plot may have been foiled in its earliest stages. that's as isis is on the move in the middle east and may be on the brink of a huge victory on the syrian/turkish border. our analysts and guests are standing by for full coverage. let's go to nic robertson. nic? >> they are acting in a more
intereventionist way. they are interestingly and significantly armed police were involved in some of the arrest operations here in london and the center of london and west of london in the early hours of the morning. police continue to investigate premise and vehicles involved in those arrest operations. it is not normal for the british police to use armed officers when going for arrests, even of this particular nature. one of the men was tasered during the operation. one of the 21-year-old men was tasered. police say there was no casualties but it seems to indicate that this was a serious, serious operation. the police chief of london was saying that this was a serious operation and also says it appears to have links going back to iraq and syria, another indication from reference that this has links to isis.
the police are not saying that directly yet, wolf. >> they haven't named these four individuals. is that right? >> they haven't. they've said only suspect a, b, c, and d. that is normal in these cases. the british are often very tight lipped but what we do know is that in recent weeks the terror threat rate has been raised. there was fear that several hundred have gone from britain to join isis in iraq and syria. the concern is that they will come back and perpetrate attacks here. what we're hearing from other sources, this may have thwarted an active plot, wolf. >> and they are on the highest state of alert in britain. the prime minister david cameron only announcing that they were going to the severe level. is that right? >> severe, wolf, correct me if i'm wrong, is just one below the highest threat level. what that means is that an
attack could be imminent. so this is a very, very real concern here. if this is as it appears to be at the moment, links going back to iraq and syria, inferring isis, a terror plot thwarted. that's the inference here. this could be -- and again, this is speculation, but this could be the first time that an active isis plot in britain, mainland britain has been thwarted. we're waiting to get indications on that, wolf. >> if it's imminent, that sounds pretty severe but you're right, that's the second highest level in britain. nic robertson, thank you for that report. an extraordinary move by the fbi, turning to the american public to help unmask an english-speaking isis fighter murdering prisoners in a recruiting isis video. our pamela brown is here. what are you learning? >> wolf, the fbi is turning to
public now after weeks of trying to figure out the identity of this terrorist and he could be an american. this reflects the concern of the intelligence community of americans wanting to fight with isis. tonight the fbi is asking for the public's help identifying this jihadi speaking clear english in a propaganda video. for weeks, the fbi has been using facial initi using voice and facial recognition. james comey said that there are americans fighting in syria. >> i don't know what i don't know. >> reporter: the effort is part of a broader public appeal to identify americans fighting with the jihadist groups overseas
after the arrest of a 19-year-old arrested in o'hare on saturday. mode hamzah kahn was only identified recently. kahn was in contact with someone online who was allegedly trying to help him get into syria to fight with isis. when he was arrested at the o'hare airport, fbi agents were simultaneously searching his house. >> what do you know about this? >> notebooks found inside kahn's home indicate that he paid $4,000 for a round trip ticket from chicago to vienna, austria, to istanbul, turkey. >> this tells me that he was trying to evade being caught, by purchasing a round trip ticket versus a one-way ticket and also by not going direct so that he
is more likely than not not raising a red flag for intelligent services and, of course, the other mistakes he made brought him right into the intelligence services. >> and kahn is expected to be back in court for a detention hearing on thursday. we reached out to his attorney once again today, wolf, but have not heard back. >> we'll keep checking and get more information. pamela, thanks very much. let's go in depth on the growing republican congressman peter king of new york. congressman, thanks very much for joining us. let's get, first of all, to this fbi appealing to the american public for help and identifying the alleged jihadist with this north american accent seen on the videos last month killing a bunch of syrians. is this a major priority now? and if it is, why? why is it so important for the
american public to help find this guy? >> first of all, he's a murdering terrorist and if he's american, it's important to find out who he is. going beyond that, wolf, that could let us know who he's been in contact with, anyone else involved with him, what their plans for the future will be and it could help get to the center of those americans who have gone to syria to fight with isis. those who still may be there, those who may be coming back, those who he is in contact with. it's not just individuals we're looking for. it's really the whole web of conspirators that have left the united states to go to syria. and as director comey said the other night, it's the numbers we don't know about. 130 has been talked about. we don't know the exact number because they could have gone to syria by way of other countries. and so any information we can get at all on any one of these
individuals could help us find out who the others are. >> do they have a clue who this guy is? >> i can't go into that. anything i say would be speculation. let me give director comey a lot of credit. we see what is happening in britain. i don't think our threat is as big as britain but all you need is five -- even if it's 12 that the director comey was talking about, that amount of people can cause harm in this country. >> they've arrested four suspects in britain, as you know, you've heard that report from nic robertson. what can you share with you us, what do you know about what is going on over there because they are under a severe level of alert. >> right. there were ten arrested just a few weeks ago and four more arrested today and britain does have a much higher number of their citizens going to syria to fight. so they -- they have more of a threat than we do.
ours is serious but theirs is far more serious and the tact that they are moving the way they have, making almost a round-up of arrests shows that they are fearing an isis attack right in britain itself. so, again, they are on it but they share the same fears we do, maybe even more so, of not knowing what they don't know. and also especially the european union where there's so much movement around. it could be their own citizens coming in from other countries since they can get in without passport issues. >> we're getting new information. i want to discuss it with you in a moment, congressman, about this 19-year-old american arrested at chicago's o'hare international airport. stick around. stay with us. much more right after this. . >> sure. when folks think about what they get from alaska,
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all right. let's get more on the breaking news now. fresh concerns that jihadists are trying to bring terrorism back to their own countries. fbi is asking for the public's help in identifying an isis fighter. london just announced that they arrested four men plotting an attack. once again, republican congressman peter king of new york is still with us. congressman, listen to what the fbi director told cbs' "60 minutes" about the so-called khorasan group plotting against the united states.
listen to this. >> khorasan was working and may still be working to attack the united states or our allies. given our visibility, we know that they are serious people bent on destruction. >> so tell us about this group. how imminent, potentially, could they be organizing some sort of strike against americans? >> wolf, i've been aware of the khorasan group for four or five months now. they are the worse of the worse of al qaeda. now that the president has spoken about the khorasan group, we can discuss it publicly. this is a vicious group. there's no doubt in anyone's mind in the intelligence community that they are focused on attacking the united states. and these are, again, the most hardened and the most sophisticated and skilled of al
qaeda. when the president talks about al qaeda being decimated, this is the core al qaeda member who is have now formed this operation called the khorasan group. we have to be very concerned about an imminent attack. i'm not saying there's a plot out there but they want to attack the united states as soon as they can and in a deadliest manner as they can and that's why we have to constantly monitor them. i'm not aware of how successful we were on the raids but i am very certain that there are survivors of the khorasan group. >> we heard tomahawk missiles went after that group in syria. some speculation that one of its leaders or leader was killed. have you been briefed on that? >> i have not been briefed. i think there was damage caused
to the khorasan group but we have to assume that they are still a viable organization and they are coming after us and, again, as your director comey said, we do know that they want to attack us. we have to be on our guard, more against them than al qaeda and more than isis as far as an imminent attack. not that we have an imminent plan, not that we're aware of an imminent plan but we are aware they want to attack us as quickly as they can. >> let's talk about the 19-year-old in the chicago area, mohammed hamzah kahn who was trying to board a flight that would eventually take him to turkey at o'hare's international airport. here's the question. do you know where he got that $4,000 for the round trip ticket? >> no. that's a major issue, which i'm
sure the fbi is being looking into. where he would get the $4,000 and he was sophisticated to know that a round trip ticket could deflect attention from him. they will find out how he got it, whether it was wired to him. it's unusual that a 19-year-old would have access to that kind of money. it's a key component of this investigation, i'm sure. >> i'm sure they are following the money trail in this case. >> absolutely. >> to try to get some leads. i did some checking. he bought this ticket to fly from chicago to vienna, austria, and then connect to istanbul. $4,000 round trip. had he a round trip date, although a lot of suspicion there that he did that to pretend that he was going to be coming back to the united states. he could have flown nonstop on turkish airlines from chicago to istanbul for about $1,000 round trip. so for some reason he wanted to spend $3,000 more.
what is your suspicion? >> my suspicion is he was doing that to avoid detection, that a one-way ticket to istanbul would certainly get the attention of the authorities a lot more than flying to vienna. you have thousands of people flying there every day of the week. you can't be monitoring all of them. if you bought a one-way ticket to turkey, that would certainly generate attention. obviously the fbi was following him. he saw your report before that there was a digital foot prepri that he had been online and trying to communicate with the jihadists, who he should contact when he got there. he was not aware that he was on the fbi's screening and he tried to buy a ticket as a regular tourist. but he had no intention of coming back on that return
ticket. >> and do you have any idea how many other guys are out there like this? >> that's the question right now. that's what director comey said keeps him awake. we know that over at least 100 have gone to syria at one time or another over the last year. so how many more, that's -- that's what we're concerned about. that's what the brits are concerned about and the civilized world has to be concerned about. this is a vicious organization and they want to come back to the homeland and they want to kill people. again, it's not just us. it's the brits. we saw it with the australians. they were locked up several weeks ago and there was actual talk of attempting a public beheading. so this is serious business, wolf. these are deadly people. we cannot let our guard down. bottom line, we have to either capture or kill them before they kill us. >> we have to remember that mohammed hamzah kahn, he's 19
years old, these are allegations that have been leveled against him. he's certainly not been convicted of anything. he's being held without bail, at least for now. thank you for joining us. >> wolf, thank you. we're going to take you to the front lines of this war. isis fighters are tightening their noose around a keyboarder town. and then exchange of naval gunfire between north and south korea. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." big day? ah, the usual. moved some new cars. hauled a bunch of steel. kept the supermarket shelves stocked. made sure everyone got their latest gadgets. what's up for the next shift? ah, nothing much. just keeping the lights on. (laugh) nice. doing the big things that move an economy. see you tomorrow, mac. see you tomorrow, sam. just another day at norfolk southern.
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let's continue with breaking news. there's now growing concern that isis is on the verge of a huge victory. turkey's leader says the city of kobani, that's just across the border from turkey, is about to fall to the isis terrorists. kurdish fighters have been desperately trying to hang on. the u.s.-led air strikes in the area may not be enough to turn the tide and turkey's own powerful military has decided not to intervene at all. let's bring in our national security correspondent jim sciutto. he's following this very disturbing story. >> in the last 24 hours, u.s. and coalition aircraft have struck in and around kobani than seen before. still, the battle often playing out on television and the desperate calls for help from kurdish fighters defending the town. administration officials are making it clear that saving
kobani from isis is not an american priority. with kobani on the brink of falling into the hands of isis, a kurdish fighter said the u.s. coalition finally woke up. the situation on the ground deteriorating, coalition air strikes unleashed several other night and into the day. relieved kurdish fighters welcomed it. however, u.s. officials are making clear that saving kobani is not a priority inside syria. >> certainly no one wants to see kobani fall but our primary objective here is preventing m isil from gaining a safe haven. >> reporter: critical infrastructure and funding sources, for example, oil and the refugee camps where many of
the kobani residents have fled. the turkish president said even the broader air campaign is due to fail. >> translator: you cannot resolve this conflict with air bombardments. months have gone but nothing is achieved. right now, kobani is about to fall. >> reporter: in his own country, however, demonstrators are demanding that turkey do its part. the turkish minority taking to the street in protests that turned violent. president erdogan has yet to take action. >> the more ambitious goal is to topple the regime in syria and to put in place a friendly regime that is going to look for guidance. >> i spoke with length at a senior official who explains it's not just kobani but any number of towns and cities in
syria that are not, at this point, a priority for the u.s.-led coalition. what they say the focus now is on degrading isis' capability inside syria. that's going after command and control, going after particularly the funding sources, these oil facilities that we talked about is not so much about taking back territory in syria because you don't have the ground forces there. in iraq, the administration says gaining territory back here is a priority because you have that ground force, iraqi security forces, kurdish rebels and they claim as victory taking back the haditha dam. it was 13 cities at the start of the campaign and 14 cities now. in terms of taking back big chunks of territory, it hasn't happened in iraq either. >> really disturbing development across the board. jim sciutto, thanks very much. let's go in depth right now, joining us military analyst mark
hertling and a senior adviser to the senior opposition coalition. guys, thanks very much for joining us. what do you want turkey to do as far as turkey is concerned and what do you want the u.s. to do? >> well, you heard the turkish president and prime minister made an actual very good point when they specifically pointed out that you need a comprehensive approach to defeat isis, that an air defense is important but not sufficient. you cannot just bombard isis without establishing a ground force on the ground that not only pushes isis out. the united states is doing the right thing. it has intensified air strikes against forces and has helped and slowed down their advance but what the united states needs to do now is take the next step to ensure that the free syrian army forces and the syrian
kurdish self-defense forces on the ground fighting street by street, house by house, have the necessary ammunition and have the necessary tools to not only defend their homes but push back isis. >> oubai is joining us from jordan. he's been meeting with officials in that neighboring country of syria. general hertling, why aren't the turks doing more militarily? i know they are doing a lot of observing of the syrian refugees that have fled the last three years in turkey but why aren't they doing more? they have hundreds and thousands of nato-trained troops. why aren't they doing more? >> truthfully, wolf, there's a part of me that doesn't understand why they are not doing more. they certainly have an army that could do it. even a partial attack, a limited attack to relieve kobani would be helpful. but i think you just pointed it out. they are very concerned about getting involved in this civil
war. they want bashar al assad to be defeated and they see this interfering with that but there are certainly some conclusions that if they relieve the kurds, that's something they don't want to do right now. they might want to see isis take over and then eventually have a fight with them in the future. >> and oubai, very quickly, why do you believe turkey is not doing more militarily? >> i think turkey is looking for the united states and for the nato alliance, specifically, to back turkey up on this because this isn't going to be a one-off type of deal. this is going -- this needs to be a comprehensive campaign, not only against isis but against what the turkish government believes to be the root cause which is the assad regime. >> looks like kobani could be
gone within hours unless something develops. we'll watch it very closely. oubai, general hertling, guys thanks very much. president obama is raising money in new york and connecticut today while many democratic candidates don't want to be seen with him. the first lady michelle obama is in wisconsin today campaigning for mary burke who is campaigning against governor scott. >> we are better off today than when barack obama took office. >> today, by the way, marks four weeks until the midterm elections on november 4th. just ahead, where is the north korean leader? he hasn't been seen in public for a month even as his top deputies pay a visit to south korea. are they now in charge? [ female announcer ] we help make secure financial tomorrows a reality
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brian todd is looking into this. it's a huge mystery what is going on. what are you learning? >> here's how strange things are inside a country that is already very strange. average north korean citizens don't know where their leader are and have not seen him in a month. three powerful leaders have traveled out of the country on a powerful visit fueling speculation they might be in charge and whoever is calling the shots just presided over another military confrontation between north and south korea. gunfire exchanged between north and south korean patrol boats. rumors are swirling over who's in charge in north korea. kim jong-un hasn't been seen publicly in more than a month. >> he may have early onset diabetes, gout, ankle problems, strong health does not run in his family. >> reporter: and as kim has been out of view, a diplomatic bombshell. three top leaders make a trip to
south korea over the weekend. it took them completely by surprise. two of the officials are right under kim jong-un, including vice marshal. >> it could be that the rest of the delegation felt they needed to show that north korea is an active, functioning state in control of its destiny or it could also be that kim jong-un sent him out. >> reporter: a recent perfector said that kim jong-un is not in control. but despite the rumors, there are many indications that north korea is functioning as it normally does. still, there are past u.s. intelligence reports of a possible family history of emotional and mental problems.
specifically suffered by kim jong-un's father and grandfather. >> paranoia, narcassism, anned a normal attraction to violence. that was the assessment of kim jong-il. they were logical in their own context. they understood what they had to do to stay in power but they had these psychological disorders and it's entirely possible that kim jong-un has inherited them or is going through similar problems themselves. >> there is quote no problem with kim jong-un's health, an important indication may come this friday when north korea celebrates the founding of the ruling worker's party, all eyes on those ceremonies for a sighting of kim jong-un, wolf. watch out for friday. it's a big ceremony in pyongyang. >> if he's not there, that's huge a huge development. there's also speculation that
the lifestyle of not only kim jong-un but the kim dynasty contributes to health problems. >> they are notorious for basically a destructive lifestyle. kim jong-un and his father kim jong-il are known to be very heavy smokers and drinkers and known for lavish parties. combine all of that with the stress they must go through in that paranoid regime, health problems would definitely of course flow. >> as someone who has visited north korea, i'm going to watch to see if there are any more exchanges between north and south korea. >> very interesting. >> and if there are any other officials going from north korea to south korea, that would be very significant. >> absolutely. new details in the search for hannah graham. she's the university of virginia student that's been missing now for more than three weeks. and in the next hour, jihadis on the move and even in america.
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were out searching. 75 are expected tomorrow including two mounted units, so people on horseback. it's been raining so that could make things more difficult in this already long search. also tomorrow, two imaging analysts will be looking at the photographs by the search area by a specially equipped plane. those photos are still being processed. there's a $100,000 reward for information relating to finding hannah graham and searchers have used all kinds of resources to try to locate her, including canine units, even a drone and after three weeks there's still no sign of her. charlottesville police chief said that this is taking an emotional toll, this search, for everyone involved and he talked about how long they are going to keep searching. >> there are hundreds of people that have come out to help with this search that have been touch
and there's every emotion that you can think of, from being anxious from being hopeful, being angry, being sad. every emotion that you can think of, these people, including us, have experienced. i don't see an end in sight until we find hannah and maybe that's naive. maybe that's not the most efficient way to use the resources that we have but we're going to continue as long as it takes. and that's going to take a toll on people. we realize that. >> reporter: now, what's not yet clear from chief lon what's not clear is how they search next. we've been talking about the murder case, the murder of morgan harrington. the 20-year-old virginia tech student who went missing in 2009. law enforcement authorities, law
enforcement sources have told us that jesse matthew is linked to that case by dna evidence. well, harrington's body wasn't found for three months. her remains were found 10 miles from where she went missing on a farm so that's why authorities continued to urge people to search their private properties, urged them to search their property thoroughly to help them find hannah graham. >> thank you very much for that. let's get to more now. joining us, cnn law enforcement analyst, the form he assistant director of the fbi. also joining us from charlottesville, the investigative journalist on the scene for us. very quickly, the police chief said it is important that the case is not rushed. you attended the news conference. has the tone of this investigation based on everything you're seeing change? and if it has, why? >> reporter: i think we've seen a real change in the tone of the investigation over the last 48 hours. sources tell me something that
developed over the weekend. and it has changed from investigators and police reaching out for anyone who might know something about what happened. anything that might have ham the night hannah graham disappeared. and now in a press conference yesterday and in a press conference this afternoon, they are asking for anyone with any information about jesse matthew to come forward and talk with investigators. you could have had contact with him ten years ago and they still want to talk to you. you might have last seen jesse matthew during lunch in fourth grade and the police still want to talk to you. that says something very different. the investigation is changing. and they are developing a profile now. an extensive developed, method i can al profile and they are expanding this investigation beyond what happened the night of september 12th. >> i guess that makes sense. it is almost a month that hannah graham has been missing. they start rethinking a lot of
the assumptions as well. >> i don't think they're rethinking. i think they're just intensifying what they've thought from the beginning. they've been looking at matthews from a very early stage of this case. as far as the investigation of the other previous murders, such as morgan harrington in 2009, the linkage that they're working on to try to, if possible, bring charges in that case is ongoing. this might be a shift in tone what they say but not in the intensity of the investigation. >> there is also news that county, university of virginia officials, they form an advisory committee to try to evaluate the safety in the charlottesville area. what's the mood over there? >> reporter: there is a real sense that the city and the county and the university need to get on the same page. and i have been calling for that on my radio program for weeks now. that they need to sit down in
the same room and get on the same page and figure out moving forward how they can create the template, the model if you will for this nation, for how universities and their surrounding communities respond to these situations, and act very quickly and efficiently, should these situations occur in the future. >> is it unusual at this stage to ask the public for more information about this suspect? >> no. i think as long as this goes, the farther it goes, they'll be doing it more and more, repeating it to try to encourage peel to do it. >> let's hope something develops. thanks very much. coming up, the fbi asks the public to help identify an isis fighter, possibly an american shown, speaking perfect english in a brutal propaganda film. and a routine traffic stop turns terrifying for a family. now it has turned into a lawsuit. we'll tell you what happened.
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tell your doctor about all medicines you take and all of your medical conditions. check your blood sugar levels. your insulin dose should not be changed without asking your doctor. get medical help right away if you have trouble breathing, swelling of your face, tongue or throat, sweating, extreme drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion. (male announcer) today's the day to ask your doctor about levemir® flextouch. covered by nearly all health insurance and medicare plans. happening now, breaking news. search for a killer. the fbi asks the public's help in identifying an isis executioner who may be an american. does someone watching right now know who this man is? laying blame, the former top obama full slamming the president's action and inaction in iraq and syria, leon panetta
telling cnn yes thinks the president is partially responsible for the onslaught. >> oh! violent confrontation. police smash a car window, use a taser on the man inside in front of his terrifying family. all during a routine traffic stop. the family is suing. what prompted the officers to use such extreme measures? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the situation room. >> right to the breaking news. urgent concern about jihadis plotting and fighting with isis, underscoring the seriousness of the threat. a new and unusual step by the fbi in the search for an isis executioner who may be an american. we're covering the breaking news with our correspondents, our guest this is hour.
using cnn's global resources. brian todd begins our coverage. he is here in the situation room. what are you finding out in. >> it is rare for the fbi to ask for the public's help in identifying someone they're after. but only the, the bureau wants the public's help in finding the identity of a fighter with isis who appears to have a north american action single in a recent video. they have been combing that video for clues. what's so chilling is that the man speaks perfect english and appears to commit a horrifying act on camera. in a recent 55-minute film from isis, he appears only at the end. but his voice resonates all the way to washington where tonight the fbi is looking for the public's help in finding out who this man is. >> we're here with the soldiers of bashar. you can see them digging their own graves in the very place they were stationed. >> this masked mill tanlt gloats as he pre sides over the syrians. >> they said that he abandoned
the front and stop fighting to turn our guns toward the muslims. they lied! we are the harshest warriors. and the flame of war only beginning to intensify. >> he speaks perfect english. >> this is the end of everyone we get ahold of. >> he could be arab and educated in the west. he could be american or canadian. >> clearly isis had a calculated step to be able to put this guy on camera. why? because he seems american. the message is aimed at a western audience. and his intent is to a, project fear to the united states, and b, to instill and give this sense of projection of power. >> the entire video is pure isis propaganda. style he shally edited battle saenz, featuring the heavy armor getting blown apart. but a crucial moment come in the final minutes when they ready
their guns and appear to execute the syrians who dug their own graves. this could be the first time a fighter has committed a war crime on camera. the fbi says it homes someone will recognize him and give the bureau key pieces of information. they say no tip is too small. the fbi and other agencies are looking at every conceivable clue in the video. >> it will be voice analysis. they're going to be looking at any particular accents they may have. anything that could tip off law enforcement where they can then pull the thread even further in terms of state and local to meet with some of the communities. >> did isis possibly slip up by exposing this man? by having him say and do too much on camera? the analyst says in the eyes of isis, probably not. the value he says is in the propaganda and recruiting.
if he gets killed, they have mental more. >> all these videos, they clearly seem to have an effect on isis' following in the united states. >> we've reported, there is a growing following of isis inside the u.s., in social media especially. more and more people in america are expressing support for isis in their online. it doesn't mean they'll attack but law enforcement says this is a huge challenge because they have to run all of those things down as leads. >> somebody just even were to write on a twitter or something nice about isis, they're going to be suspected. >> they'll be suspected, investigated and for law enforcement, imagine how much volume that is. they have on check all of it out. it is almost a nightmare for them. >> thanks very much. we're following breaking news in london right now. four young men are under arrest, suspected in a terror plot that police described as quite serious. our senior international correspondent is in london. what are you hearing? what's the latest?
>> reporter: wolf, the metropolitan police chief, the police chief of london has said this is an operation that has ties and connections going all the way back to syria and iraq. the inference being this has connections to isis. the police aren't spelling that out. the arrests began in the early hours today. searchers tonight continue after early morning raids rounded up four young men who were in the early stages of a terror plot. armed counter terrorism police made the arrests. one suspect was subdued with a taser. the names have not been released and few other details are known. this just a week and a half after at least ten other london area terror-related arrests. last month, australian police arrested 15 men with alleged isis ties who were that to be planning public executions in
sydney. following great britain's air strikes against isis and a heightened threat level, authority say they are taking a more interventionist approach to suspected terror plots, and islamist related terrorism. >> as a country, we must do with our allies, everything we can to defeat this organization in the region. but also to defeat it at home. >> reporter: it is believed that hundreds of british citizensing to iraq and syria to join isis and other islamist militant groups. a british group is best known in the eyes of the militant with a british accent who is seen in the beheading videos of two americans and two british hostages. and the concern is that there could be replications of this type of act. we've seen it in australia. the concerns are here. that people will go to syria, will get training, will come back, will inspire others to
act. so those are all the concerns that are evolving at the moment and being sort of weighed as police decide when to go in and make arrests like this. again, i think there are still a lot more details to come on this. it is in the early days. >> all right. nic robertson, nic is in london. let's get more on the news with our terrorism analyst, paula crookshank. you have some details that you're learning about what these four individuals now arrested may have been plotting. what can you tell us? >> reporter: hi, wolf. what we're hearing over here, the briefing from british intelligence is that the, there was a genuine concern that the group of men arrested today in london were planning to carry out beheadings on the streets of london. and that one of them has recently returned from syria.
the big concern of british intelligence is that we've got about 500 british citizens fighting in syria and iraq at the moment. and the concern is that one day, they will return home and carry out atrocities, beheadings on the streets of britain. and the plot today that has been uncovered is said to relate to that. the early days, of course, the arrests only took place this morning in london. the investigations are continuing. but as in, the intelligence briefings here in london, that this was a plot to carry out beheadings in london similar to the australian plot that was uncovered a couple weeks ago. >> have you heard anything about which terrorist organization these four may have been linked to? >> as i said, the early indications are that one of the group has recently been in syria
with isis or isil, whatever you want to call it. certainly the intelligence briefings are that this is britain's first isil-related plot. and again, as in, the intelligence community has been warning that this kind of thing would happen. as nic robertson said in his report, the fact that british war planes have recently started bombing islamic militants in iraq, not in syria, may have persuaded these people that now is the time to act. they need to retaliate and they wanted to retaliate on the streets of britain. >> when they decide to round up these kinds of suspects. the temptation is to go along and let them get a wider net. more suspects in the process. take us behind the scenes on
this decision to go ahead and make the arrests of the four suspected terrorists. >> one has to presume that this has been an ongoing intelligence operation. that there has been information shared among a number of foreign intelligence services. the british would have been receiving information from the americans, from jordanians, from other arab services in the region. presumably they've been following them and using wiretaps and every available means of intelligence gathering against the group. and typically, you know, you get to a point where you say, i can't risk losing them and i can't risk missing the opportunity when the plot, the plan actually goes live. and so they have, the british intelligence service is very capable. so they must have had some indication, that this group, although in the early stages, they might lose them or in some way not know when they would begin to commit the atrocity. so they decided to take it down. there comes a point where it is just too risky to let it go any
further. >> these men in london arrested, they were 21 years old. yesterday, a 19-year-old american was arrested trying to supposedly leave chicago's o'hare international airport. this individual mohammed hamza khan now unarrest. how vulnerable are these young men to these kinds of terror recruitment, if you will? >> well, they're very vulnerable indeed. isis is recruising on social media. they're using english speakers, french speakers, german speakers, to reach out to their friends in the west saying it is your religious duty to come and fight. join the group in syria and iraq. and isis is thought to have up to a thousand western recruits in its ranks right now. many european. also a dozen americans, wolf. >> and tell us what's going on, in britain right now. the effort to stop this kind of
recruitment. these young men? >> well, there are a lot of efforts come from the muslim community. the community is stepping up. they're pulling up twitter hash tags, not in my name. so there is a lot of unity against this. >> i want you to weigh in as well. >> what i was going to say is that british prime david cameron and other senior ministers are very much aware of this threat and a lot of thought is now going into how do we stop these people? a lot of british citizens coming back. if they want to go to syria and wage jihad, does that mean the british government has the right to withdraw their british passports? these are big issues. a lot of thought is going into this. and of course, the intelligence and security services here in london are trying their best to
monitor people. and we've had some arrested people who have been to syria, they come back. they claim they've been working for charities. the intelligence says they've been doing something a lot more sinister, so this is a very complex area. a lot of thought is going into it. and i think you will see the british authorities in the months to come. passing legislation, passing laws to try to prevent these people coming back. and importing this rather warped form of islamic fanatacism on to the streets of britain. >> as you know, the fbi in the united states asking the public to identify the jihadi with the north american accent who was shown in the videos released last month. why do you think they're making this a priority? how important is it for someone who may recognize his eyes or his voice to reach out and talk to the fbi? >> well, blitz, remember. the first real public instance
of the filibuster coming out and asking for help was the boston marathon bombing. and it was very successful. i think the, the whole idea of crowd sourcing the intelligence effort for lead information is really what you need. it is a force multiplier. you're able to leverage the american people who really wabl to help them ask what they can do. so the fbi puts out what information they can without revealing sources and methods to try to gather, garner that help. remember, law enforcement are working with the united states military. this is an all instruments and national power effort. the fbi is able to share their information with the u.s. military coalition and arab allies to help develop targeting. >> thanks to you as well. still ahead, isis forces now on the verge of taking a key city. only a few mile from the turkish border despite repeated coalition air strikes. we're getting new details of the deadly battle underway right
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fighting. following all the latest breaking developments, the reporter is on the border. what are you seeing? what are you hearing? >> reporter: wolf, as dusk fell over kobani, we saw the b-1 bomber. we had hear the aircraft in the sky for much of the day and saw repeatedly loud explosions around the perimeter. that city just across the border in syria. the kurdish fighters that are in kobani resisting us. they were thrilled by those air strikes today. they say they really made a difference but not enough to necessarily shift the prevailing reality on the ground which suggests and all the facts point to it. the kobani is set to fall to isis. the future is being decided on the streets within the built-up area of the city. that's where isis and the occurish fighters resisting them are battling from building to building. it is bloody urban warfare. both sides are suffering heavy casualties but the kurdish
fighters are outnumbered, outgunl. isis is able to be resupplied. the kurdish fighters believe they have the advantage because it is their town. they have the number. they know the territory. but they don't think they can hold out forever. theon thing they believe that can ultimately make a difference would be a lot more air strikes like those that we witnessed around the city today. >> doesn't necessarily seem to be the top u.s. priority. at least not now. be careful over there. thanks very much. let's get to more now from james jeffries, the former u.s. ambassador to turkey. and now in washington, d.c., thanks very much for coming in. >> why are not the turks doing more to hem save this city right on their border? turkey being a nato ally. they have a huge military. if they wanted to send in a division of ground forces, they could take care of isis relatively quickly. >> they could but they would take losses and they're nervous
about that. secondly, they have their own problems with the yearsian kurds who are fighting in kobani who are allied in turkey. they have fought for over 30 years. >> the pkk -- it's a group that i believe even the u.s. regards. >> they're on the terrorist list. that's right. >> so what you're saying is, turkey is not going to come, about to go to the defense of these syrian kurds. >> it might. the turks are saying we should go to their defense. turkey is very concerned about them falling. but they are concern about the syrian kurds and their links to the pkk. they're concerned about isis. they are also concerned most about the assad government and they want both the kurds in syria and the united states to take a stronger position against assad as well as against isis. so it is a rubik's cube. the problem is if kobani fails, we have a very serious defeat for us almost analogous to mosul in june. >> mosul, the second largest city in iraq. a city of nearly 2 million
people is now controlled by isis and several other major cities controlled by isis and iraq. they have a huge swath of hand if they take kobani, it goes almost from the turkish border, we're showing our viewers. they have the amount of area about the size of in. >> absolutely. this is a very, very dramatic development. additional attacks in that area. it may not be enough. these people are now in the city. that will be harder without observers on the ground to find the targets. and the turks, one thing they could do was open the border to additional fighters and women's. the turks have just begun doing that with medical supplies today. we need to see the turks do more too. they voted to allow some military actions. unclear what they're planning on doing if anything after the 49 turkish diplomats were being held hostage by isis. do you know how they got them
out? >> we know that there were negotiations. we think that there were probably, from what i've heard, some kind of agreements on people that the turks are holding. they may be possibly some facilitation. the turks have 80 turkish soldiers deep inside syria at a tune of the grandfather of the first sultan. that's a concern for the turks. they have to be careful because those turks were potentially hostages as well. >> you were the u.s. ambassador to turkey and iraq as well. why has the iraqi military failed to show up? >> wolf, why did the french military collapse in 1940 in six weeks after fighting off the germans fortune six years? war and the military is primarily a psychological struggle on whether you believe in your leaders whether you believe in your cause, and these guys ran. in other areas, they have held and they fought back. but the performance in june was terrible. and we're seeing some of this again.
while kobani is risking being fallen, isis is taking down a series of iraqi positions west of baghdad. putting pressure on baghdad. >> could isis take baghdad? >> no. it is too large. there are too many people in there and most of them are shia arab who's will fight to the death against them. what we can do, we almost saw this in 2004 even with 100,000 u.s. troops. they can cut off baghdad. they can blow the bridges. they can stop the supplies of water, fuel, of food in there. and they can turn that into a kriss too. >> and they can kill a lot of americans in that green zone where the u.s. embassy is. if they start launching mortars and missiles in that area. a very worrisome development. >> if there's one thing i'm confident about, we will protect our american civilians and military. >> just ahead, as isis advances in the face of the air strikes, one former member of the administration is blaming his old boss for at least part of
words from an even more surprising source. the former director of the cia, leon panetta. sharply critical of his former boss saying the actions and inactions are at least partially responsible for iraq and syria. gloria, pretty stunning words. i must say. >> pretty honest words. leon panetta is a practiced washington hand and that also call for mincing your words. in our interview, he did no such thing. he offered blunt critiques on the president on iraq, syria and his leadership style. as for the war against isis, panetta made it very clear, the president should not have ruled out ground forces. >> you don't just send planes in. you have to have targets. you have to know what you're going after. to do that you need people on the ground. >> panetta argues president obama is up for lost time going
after isis now because of the complete withdrawal of u.s. forces from iraq in 2011. >> would isis be as much of a threat today had we left some force behind? >> i do think that if we had had a presence there, it might not have created the kind of vacuum that we saw develop in iraq. >> he blame the former prime minister nuri al maliki and a passive white house. >> describe a white house that, this is your word, that frustrated you. that didn't use the leverage and that is your word, too. leverage that we had in the united states to try and keep a force in iraq. >> what i'm saying is that al maliki was the kind of leader that you had to constantly put pressure on to direct him in the right direction. i mean, you need to threaten guys like that who won't come along. and everybody knew that. >> but you wrote the president's
active advocacy was missing. are you saying he didn't give it the push? >> i think the kind of push and direct involvement that i think would have had an impact simply never developed because the sense was, if they don't want it, why should we want it? >> panetta describes a similar scenario on the question of arming the rebels in 2012. as defense secretary, he made the case to do it. as did most of the national security team. >> there was honest disagreement but then no decision. >> to a large extent, it wasn't that the president kind of said no. we shouldn't do it. the president never really came to a decision as to whether or not it would happen. >> what do you mean never came to a decision? >> i think it sat there for a while and then got to the point where everybody kind of assumed it was not going to happen. >> is that the right way to do things? >> i think it would have been far better had he just made a
decision, we're not going to do it. so that everybody kind of knew where we stood. we all waited to see whether or not he would ultimately come around. >> and? >> it didn't happen. >> if his new book worthy fights, panetta tries to reconcile the decisive obama who gave the bin laden raid a green light with the same president who vacillated over syria. >> a president that made the decision to go after bin laden and made a very gutsy decision to do that, and i really respected that decision, i just could not have imagined him not making the same decision when it came to the credibility of the united states on drawing that red line in syria. the president should have very clearly said you have crossed that red line and we won't allow that to happen. and i think initially, my sense was they were going to do exactly that. but somehow they backed away from it. >> panetta isn't new to decision
making at the highest levels. >> you work for bill clinton. you were his chief of staff. >> yeah. >> very opposite personalities. >> the difference was bill clinton really loved politics. he loved the combat of politics. he loved cutting a deal. he loved working with people. he loved trying to make sure you could convince somebody as to what they should do for the country. >> compare that to president obama. >> in many ways an art form. i think what president obama needs to do is to always go to the american people. but then you have to roll up your sleeves and basically, go to war. in dealing with the congress. you cannot give up on the process. you have to keep going back at it. >> gloria, what is the message that leon panetta is sending president obama? >> i think at the very edge you heard it. he said you have to reengage. i think there is a sense that i
got from leon panetta that there is a kind of inertia that sort of took over at the white house. particularly on foreign policy issues. he seem to think it flowed into the budget. that the president needed to do more to stop these across the board budget cuts. he is very passionate about that. and he believes it is a leadership issue. that the president is somehow not energized. he doesn't engage enough with the people who disagree with him because it is not his style of it is clear that's panetta's style. so there is a difference between them that way. his message is get engaged. don't let decisions get out of your hands. and knock people over the head sometimes if you have to to get something done. >> one of his messages being he is no bill clinton. >> good work. thanks very much. let's get a little more from president obama's former press secretary, our senior political
commentator. jay carney, panetta made good points. >> well, wolf, i would say a couple things. one, everyone who serves at a senior level of either party decides for himself or herself how and when to talk about that experience and the decision making process. how to cast their views in hindsight in a certain light. and secretary panetta made that decision as others have made. i would say a couple things. on the energy, you know, i strongly believe that you will see president obama be very energized in the last two plus years of his administration. he is keenly aware of the fact that there is very little time left. and there are things that he believes we need to get done. i think that on the foreign policy stuff, on the issues that secretary panetta raised, you should go back and look at his testimony unoath before congress in november of 2011 where he was explaining the decisions to withdraw completely from iraq
because the iraqi government refused, the sovereign iraqi government refused to allow a residual forceful and he was very passionate in that testimony under oath. he was very passionate in his exchanges with john mccain on those issues. so in retrospect i think you can say, a a residual force may have created a better situation with isis than we see today. but i also think, it is simply not accurate to suggest that 10,000 u.s. troops in iraq would prevent what 160,000 troops, when they were there, could not prevent when there was a civil war. isis is the successor organization that allows al qaeda in iraq which led the civil war five and six years ago. >> so is panetta distorting the record? >> i'm not going to say that about leon. i think that these decisions were not easy. we had been at war in iraq for a
decade. we had spent an enormous. a treasure and blood. the sole purpose being to establish, to help establish in iraq a sovereign government and a help, train and equip iraqi security forces that could defend their country. at some point you have to say they won't stay there forever with ten of thousands of troops to do the job iraq has to do. and they certainly won't do it if iraq won't provide the ill immunity that's every u.s. leader insists they must have. >> this is the third senior official who has written a book. bob gates wrote a book, the former defense secretary, hillary clinton, now leon panetta. very serious criticisms of the president's foreign policy actions and inactions. what does that tell but these leaders who have come out and done these kinds of books?
>> i would not lump secretary clinton's book in that characterization of what she said about the president. look, i think that we are in a period of a lot of turmoil around the world. and a lot of questions about where the situation in iraq will lead. what the situation in syria will evolve into. that creates uncertainty. and there are obviously threats and dangers to the united states and our allies posed. and i think that until we know whether or not the current operation will be effective that we've built, until we know whether or not the strikes in syria will have an effect and the building up of rebel forces will have a positive effect. it is an open question. i think that causes a lot of people to go back and look at decisions and decide whether or not they were the right decisions. in the edge, none of these decisions are easy. i think the president has been focused on what he believes is in the best interests of the u.s. and our allies. >> are you going to write a book while the president is still in
office or wait until he leaves in. >> as you know, i was at "time" magazine for a long time of i wrote for a living and that's hard work. i'm not sure i want to go back and do that again. >> at some point maybe you'll do that again. thanks very much for joining us. just ahead, a shocking use of force. police using a stun gun during a routine traffic stop. we'll have the details of what happened. (receptionist) gunderman group. gunderman group is growing. getting in a groove. growth is gratifying. goal is to grow. gotta get greater growth. i just talked to ups. they got expert advise, special discounts, new technologies. like smart pick ups. they'll only show up when you print a label and it's automatic. we save time and money. time? money? time and money. awesome. awesome! awesome! awesome! awesome! (all) awesome! i love logistics. ♪ who's going to do it? who's going to make it happen? discover a new energy source. turn ocean waves into power.
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keep the virus out of this country. rene marsh is joining us. >> tonight the largest flight attendant union representing nearly 60,000 flight attendants and 19 airlines is joining the call for stricker screening for people flying from ebola impact zones. hours ago we got word from health officials, ramped up measures are days away. only the federal agents are on alert for ebola at u.s. airports. u.s. custom and border protection officers already reviewed passengers for signs of illness as they enter the u.s. but new tougher screening measures are expected to be announced any day. >> it is under discussion but likely retaking the temperature and asking additional questions so you have screening both at the exit and the entry. >> passenger are already screen before getting on a plane in west africa. but additional temperature
checks in the u.s. could help detect someone who becomes contagious during long trims. >> that 12, 13, 18 hours, however much it is to go through that trip. you start to develop a fever, you would be pick up. >> the new screening procedures are a work in progress. u.s. government sources tell cnn, no changes have happen yet. right now custom officers are supposed to ask about potential exposure. 4,000 u.s. troop have been dispaxd to the region to help. today the penlt said they will take precautions to stay safe. >> you're going to wash your hands and feet multiple times. you will get your temperature taken in and out. then there is a check list to ask each personnel based on the virus or any other sick know that could be coming up. >> reporter: at 20 international airports there are quarantine stations already in operation. you can see they will right there on that map. we know that cdc staff works
24/7 at these stations examining sick passengers. cdc says at those 20 stations, that's where the majority of international travelers arrive. so they are there ready to pluck these people out of line and take a closer look at them. >> we'll see a what changes ham. we'll watch that very closely. just ahead, a tense night of protests in st. louis as ferguson fans clash. when folks think about what they get from alaska, they think salmon and energy. but the energy bp produces up here creates something else as well: jobs all over america. engineering and innovation jobs. advanced safety systems & technology. shipping and manufacturing. across the united states, bp supports more than a quarter million jobs. when we set up operation in one part of the country, people in other parts go to work. that's not a coincidence. it's one more part of our commitment to america.
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>> a fresh round of protests has st. louis on edge. the group of ferguson protesters demonstrated outside of the st. louis cardinals playoff games and they were confronted who fired back. and they tried to drown out the chants with let's go cardinals. and the officer who shot michael brown now two months ago and now let's discuss what is going on with john gas pin and don lemon and john fuentes. what is your reaction, don, to when we hear this kind of protest and chanting at a baseball game. >> well, listen, that is your right to do it. you can protest. whether or not people agree with you, that is up to them. but some are saying to the black teenagers out there, we gave you your freedoms here in the united states, to go back to africa and those sorts of things, that is
beyond the pail. but as an american you can protest whatever you want and if they are on the side of the officer, that is their business. more power to them. >> they were protesting at the st. louis symphony and now at the baseball game. john, how tense is the situation there in missouri? >> very tense. and you have protesters that are already downtown at busch stadium there protesting, voicing their opinions. the images that i say of last night and some of the remarks that came from some of the fans was quite embarrassing for my city and quite -- it was just very embarrassing to hear those type of offensive remarks yelled at those young people. i certainly hope that our city can move forward beyond those types of remarks and towards those type of feelings. but don is right, you have the right to protest and voice your opinion in a safe way. so i hope things remain calm
tonight and hope that tensions will calm down. >> we all hope that things remain calm indeed. i want everybody to stand by for a moment because we're also getting shocking new video into the situation room that viewers should probably see. it begins as a routine traffic stop, in indiana, officers pull over two adults or children and said neither of the adults were wearing seat belts. they asked for identification and the male driver doesn't have identification and they ask him to get out of the car and he refuses and it escalated. >> if you can pull out a gun with two kids in a backseat. >> [ inaudible ]. do you understand? >> no, they are about to mess my -- no. that is my window. >> if you do that -- i'm not the operation of this deal. >> why do you say someone not hurt -- someone will not hurt
you. people are being shot by the police. [ crying ] >> police defended the officer's actions, saying police officer who make legal traffic stops are allowed to ask passengers in a stopped vehicle for identification and to request that they exit a stopped vehicle for the officers' safety without a requirement of reasonable suspicion. don, what is your reaction to what we just saw? >> well you are a -- allowed to do a lot of things but that doesn't necessarily mean you should do it. you should probably at this point, seeing what is going on around the country, if a police officer asks you to get out of a car, then you should probably do it. but i think it was clearly in my estimation, it was more force than what was necessary for a stop for a seat belt violation, where the officer was standing outside. it appeared to be on the side of the road there.
they were saying that the officer felt in danger for his life of oncoming traffic and i don't see any traffic there. it looks like a grassy area. so i think they went beyond what they had to do. at this point, as a person of color, considering what is going on in america. if an officer asks me to do something, whether it is his right to do it in the moment or not, i will probably do it to avoid being killed and that is the truth. >> tom, you worked at the fbi for a long time and these people are suing the police for what they call excessive force. what is your assessment of what happened? >> i think in this case i agree with don. just because the police could do it, doesn't necessarily mean they should. so i think my question here would be, the judgment that they used in smashing that window with the kid in the car and four passengers in that car, if there could have been a different way to get around that. on the other hand, we're getting to a point where because society
right now is so racially charged that any time a police officer gives a lawful command to someone or say they are under arrest or step out of the car, it is turning into a noncomplaint situation which can also escalate. i'm not saying the officers were justified in smashing the window with passengers in the car like that, but i'm saying from a legal standpoint that he should have gotten out of the car. >> the situation clearly escalated. john, what is your reaction? >> that incident further magnifies what took place in furguson, the use of excess force that seems to be happening across the breath and width of this nation. and as don mentioned, as a man of color, if i'm pulled over, i will be leery of the officer and obey whatever commands they are giving me because at this point you are fearful of your life.
and to do what that officer did, to taze a man in front of his kids in a car and it wasn't a threat to either one of the officers, it further points out what the naacp has been saying for years, the use of excessive force especially against not just people of color but american citizens is out of control. >> don, give me a final thought. how did we get to this moment? >> this has been building up and the last two months with the michael brown situation, people, it starts in ferguson, and this was a calling for understanding around the country as to what people of color, especially men of color, go through when they have interactions with police officers. so i think this is what you are seeing happening around the country. and it will only get worse unless we pay attention to it. and by the way, tomorrow night on cnn tonight i'll speak with the couple and get their side of the story personal, wolf.
>> we'll be looking for it. but tonight at 11:00 don will be anchoring cnn. thank you for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> "outfront" tonight, breaking news. the fbi issuing and all-out alert for someone belonging to isis. and on the border of syria and turkey, a city could fall to isis within hours. but sparking fears of a massacre tonight. and he was a beloved tv man and now aaron collins receiving accusations of child molestation. let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett and "outfront" tonight, the breaking news,