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tv   Crossfire  CNN  October 13, 2014 3:30pm-4:01pm PDT

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news in the war on isis. a series of huge explosions sent plums of smoke and dust soaring over the embattled syrian town of kobani. isis fighters perilously close to iraq's capital of baghdad. let's bring in jim sciutto with the very latest. jim? >> reporter: i've just been told by a military official that kobani has not fallen to isis. and that qualifies as good news in recent days there. but the fact is, isis has been advancing on that city near the turkish border, a very visible fight, if not particularly important, kobani not strategically important, but near anbar, a less visible fight. no reporters able to watch that one under way. but a very critical part of the country and isis advancing there, as well. in both places, showing the limits of the u.s.-led air campaign. this is american firepower.
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and this is the isis response. the terrorist group is still advancing. in syria, isis is closing in on capturing kobani say the kurdish fighters defending the city. in iraq, isis controls 80% of anbar province just to the west of baghdad. today, isis overrunning one of the last iraqi military bases still standing. the u.s.-trained and u.s.-armed iraqi soldiers posted there overwhelmed by isis fighters and running. tribal leaders in anbar are now leading for u.s. ground troops to join the fight. asked if he might end u.s. forces to the rescue, general dempsey left the door open in an interview with abc. >> there will be circumstances when the answer to that question will likely be question.
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but i haven't encountered one right now. >> reporter: isis gains in anbar, with a small number of fighters now within eight to ten miles of the baghdad airport, the capital's lifeline to the outside world. still, u.s. commanders expressed confidence in iraqi security forces defending the city. >> i believe the capability is there to defend baghdad. i think we're somewhat confident. >> reporter: though not confident enough to leave the fight to iraqi forces. u.s. military deployed apache helicopters to help iraqi troops to defend baghdad airport, placing u.s. pilots much closer to the combat on the ground. i'm told by senior military officials that the u.s. will again deploy apache helicopters to the fight if they think that's necessary. and wolf, those apache helicopters, though they have many capabilities, they fly much slower than the jets flying high in the air.
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and that's another risk to those u.s. pilots and u.s. forces, even though they're not physically on the ground. >> those apache helicopters are vulnerable if they're flying low to those anti-aircraft missiles that the isis forces have. >> reporter: that's right. they do have capabilities where they can fire from a distance or behind obstructions. it puts them much closer to the action. >> if they fire those missiles from heavily populated areas and the apache retaliates, a lot of innocent civilians could be get killed. more breaking news in the fight against terrorism. getting word now of arrests in an ongoing terror investigation in london. at the same time, we're learning of a new warning from the fbi and the department of homeland security. our justice correspondent pamela brown has all the details. >> reporter: tonight, we're
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learning that british police arrested three more men as part of an investigation believed to be tied to extremist groups in iraq and syria. intelligence officials in the u.s. are concerned government officials could be the main target. that's why the fbi sent this out to law enforcement agent she ci across the country. isis may be targeting law enforcement officials for terrorist attack. the joint fbi and department of homeland security bulletin says isis is ramping up chatter, calling for acts of violence against police officers, u.s. troops, and in at least one threat, members of the media. intelligence sources say the calls are aimed to motivate extremists to attack these targets on u.s. soil. >> the likelihood that we see
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something here in the united states are from kids affiliated with the isis idea than affiliated with the isis group. >> reporter: a similar alert was issued in september. >> translator: rig the road with explosives, attack their bases, raid their homes, cut off their heads. do not let them feel secure. >> reporter: just last week, twitter's ceo confirmed that he and his employees received death threats after deleting accounts associated with isis. since the bombing campaign started, officials say several plots around the globe have been foiled. >> you can't look at the u.s. in isolation. you have to look at us in the context of what's happening in australia where we've seen isis linked arrests, in europe where we have seen isis activity. this is tough for law enforcement to follow. >> and one incident that raised
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alarm bells here was a recent case in australia where a terrorist suspect stabbed two police officers. wolf, this latest bulletin was sent out as a precaution. u.s. intelligence officials say there's no indication that there's any credible plan here in the united states. but over the weekend, officials said they didn't want to wait until after the long weekend. that gives you a sense of how urgent this the. >> pamela, thank you very much. let's get more now on what's going on. joining us, our cnn military analyst, retired army lieutenant general mart hurtling, and paul crookshank. this fbi warning to law enforcement personnel, members of the news media, they could be targeted by isis, how real is this threat? >> wolf, i think it's very real indeed. three weeks ago, the spokesman of isis issued a fatwah, it's
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your duty to kill in the united states. the spokesman also calling for attacks in europe, as well. >> and the fighting that's going on in iraq and syria, general, we were told isis fighters are about eight or ten miles away from the baghdad international airport. they're apparently trying to encircle the capital baghdad, a city of 7 million people. how worried should the folks in baghdad be that isis can take over the largest city in iraq? they already have control of mosul, a city of 2 million people, the second largest city there. >> looking at it, wolf, i would suggest that isis is trying to consolidate their gains from anbar province and they have the potential attacking into the
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airport from an area right there in what used to be called the sunni triangle. that's very dangerous. at the same time, they're continuing to attack in the north against the kurdish forces. i think we'll see the kurds holding them back a little longer, but may be going to the northeast to the syrian-turnish line. then they'll continue to threaten baghdad. i don't think they'll get into the city because there are a lot of shia security forces there. but they are going to threaten the city with continued car bombs and continued insurgency attacks. that will cause the baghdad government to continue to look inward. >> they now control 80% of the anbar province, which is not very far away from baghdad. and the iraqi military is m.i.a., they're not even
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defending their own territory. >> there has been some strong reports of some of the sunni units, especially the regiments, the new national guard regiments forming and fighting back. as jim sciutto said, we don't get to see much of that. we're hearing reports and i'm getting feeds from people i know there, that they are fighting hard. but they are certainly -- isis is certainly consolidating their gains in the anbar province. it is troubling, there will be this continued attacks inside the city of baghdad by car bombs and other means. >> paul, what are you hearing about the americans, supposedly an american isis fighter who has been killed in kobani? >> these are unconfirmed reports at this stage, wolf, but put out over social media by isis that an american fighter, somebody who spent ten years in the united states, was killed in the fighting in kobani. this is somebody apparently who
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used to be part of the al qaeda affiliate in syria. but then changed sides, joining isis earlier this year. still unconfirmed whether he was killed. >> we'll continue to watch what's going on with both of you. thank you. just ahead, as ebola spreads for the first time in the united states, a political fight is growing over the obama administration's response to the deadly disease. protesters square off with police in ferguson, missouri. a number of activists hauled away in handcuffs. taking a closer look what's behind the latest protests. body. it hugs you. [jeffery] i don't have to think about how to get comfortable anymore. [evie] this zips off so i can wash it-yes, please. [robert]dude,tempur-pedic is killing it.
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we're getting word of a possible ebola patient at the university of kansas hospital in kansas city. the hospital says because of the patient had recently worked on a medical boat off the west coast of africa, the patient was immediately isolated, undergoing tests right now. we're standing by for a live news conference by the hospital. we'll bring it to you live once it happens. stand by for that. another worrisome development. other news we're following. protesters and police have been squaring off once again today in ferguson, missouri. the princeton, university cornell west was arrested during what protesters billed as a so-called moral monday march. joining us now to discuss, cnn's don lemon. missouri state senator marie ladal and tom fuentes. do you know why these individuals were arrested? what were they exactly doing?
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>> as you know, wolf, today is moral monday. i have to tell you that for the most part, things have gone very well. but i do know that there are some people who were arrested this afternoon, including cornell west as you stated, and a couple of other people from st. louis. i will tell you that today has been absolutely incredible. there have been so many experiences and opportunities to see really the hearts of some of the police officers, as well as the clergy from all different types of faiths. in one circumstance, we saw an officer cry when he was approached by a priest. he knew what he was feeling on the inside. all of the protesters were very glad to see those tears from that officer's face today. >> tom fuentes, law enforcement makes 19 arrests, include progress fess s professor cornell west. they have to balance law and
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order. >> the accounts i read were some of the arrests were made when people would not stop blocking the street, but i don't know each case or in the case of cornell west what happened there. >> it sounds, don, and you spent a lot of time there, the tensions are these days, even though the demonstrations have been largely peaceful, it sounds like it could get worse. >> there's always the potential to get worse. i think at this point, everyone has to be very, very careful about their positions. i think that police, for the most part, have realized the optics of it. when they look heavy handed or over-militarized. that's why in the last video, people were taking an approach where they didn't look so aggressive. but i also think the protesters must be just as vigilant about optics, because you don't want your message to get lost.
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you don't want outside people coming in and trying to increase their platforms or become famous or with their own agendas. this is about michael brown, this is about the relationship between police in the community, especially among african-american men. don't let someone else come in and steal your platform and turn it into something violent or something about them. >> maria, sam watts, the st. louis police chief, told our jake tapper on "the lead" today that the city's current situation didn't happen overnight, that the problems can't magically disappear. i want you to listen to what he said. >> the situation that we're in didn't manifest overnight. it's years and decades in the making. and now it's not going to be fixed by the wave of a magic wand. but those conversations are happening. this narrative that is being written around ferguson is not done yet.
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>> maria, you agree? >> well, i have to tell you that the chief is right, but i think it's been decades long where people have been harassed and intimidated. i've got to tell you, the few cops that are my friends and are still my friends in st. louis city police department, they're having a tough time right now, because they said it's taken years to build a relationship with the community. and while many officers do really well in their jobs, there's just a few who cast a dark shadow. so i have to tell you that none of these investigations, whether it's in ferguson or st. louis city, are done. in fact, one of the reports from st. louis city is totally inconclusive, which means that we have to get more testimony from people who were on the ground. so i think some of what your audiences or some of what your panelists have said today is we have to ensure we maintain peace
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and ensure we have the right to speak and speak our mind very freely about what we feel is going on and what direction we need to take in the future. that's what really is serious and what people care about right now is just going on in peace. but being heard at the same time and not being tear of a dialog police and the protesters. >> i'm not there. i think that the effort on both parts, it is important on both parts. i think at some point, you have to sit down with the person, with the other side even if you don't have the complete trust. you have to at some point start to have a dialogue and start to build trust among each other. and it appears to me and for most people looking, they're just screaming at even other. we're upset. they're screaming at even other. at some point you have to sit down and trust and bull a relationship and see where it goes from there.
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you can't stick to one mode. we have to move forward and involved and advance the situation. >> we'll see you tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern. don will be anchoring that hour. thank you. so who is in charge of the ebola response in the united states? president obama's critics want him to name a special czar. when i had my first migraine, i was lucky. that sounds crazy, i know. but my mom got migraines, so she knew this would help. excedrin migraine starts to relieve my pain in 30 minutes. plus, sensitivity to light and sound, even nausea. excedrin migraine works.
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of west africa. we'll have a lot more on that as we get more information. but stand by. in the meantime, let's get more of what's going on. joining us, the usa washington bureau chief and from new yorker magazine corps. a the love buzz about the administration needs someone in charge to reassure the american people, an ebola czar is what john mccain called it. >> i think the administration doesn't think they need an ebola czar. and it is not entirely clear what a czar would do that officials aren't doing. people do need reinsurance. this is a very frightening disease and concern has gotten way beyond what the actual threat from the disease is here in the united states. and overshadowing it is really a crisis in west africa. >> it certainly is. no surgeon general right now. the nation's doctor. an acting surgeon general, a surgeon general nominee for almost a year.
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hasn't been confirm yet by the united states senate because of his position on guns. the nra doesn't like this individual. what do you make of that? at this time when there it's a huge medical issue, facing the krirg there is no surgeon general. >> his main job is public communications. they're supposed to be a public face of a health crisis. now whether that's the most important thing with the ebola crisis, i'm not sure. i'm not sure thing would be getting better because there is a surgeon general but it does point to the fact there has been an effort to make sure many of obama's nominees are not confirm. and you can't hold up all the presidential nominees and then criticize the white house or the administration for not acting appropriately in the current crisis. i'm that sure the surgeon general is the most important health official. >> but the czar is typically known as the nation's doctor. >> you need someone with
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credibility who can say, you can't get this by walking down the streets. there are only certain ways you can get it. we need to take these cases seriously but we have them under control. the problem for the administration is they don't have a lot of people with credit bill talking. we've had problems with the cdc on the handling of the pathog s pathogens. you have the guy with great credibility. he is out there a lot talking to people. so that's what you need. >> there is an ebola czar. we have a homeland security adviser in the white house, lisa monaco. she is a pretty busy person. >> she is not a physician. >> but this is a homeland security threat. right? her job is to advise the president on these things. >> so she is coordinating in the white house. there is a sect of health and human services. >> and she has other things to do. there is this thing called the
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affordable care act coming up. these are people who maybe don't have the laser like focus on ebola that an ebola czar would have. yet, still, what exactly what this ebola czar be doing? >> could this be a mid-term election issue? >> absolutely. the president is the one who should be the face of this in the united states. it is a serious enough issue that you need reinsurance from the president. he is not a doctor but that's who the czar should be. will it be an issue in the election? i think so. it probably runs boo this narrative that the republican that things are not going in the right direction. >> i think it goes to this general sense that the world is a little out of control. and you look at ebola or isis or the secret service, who do you blame? >> three weeks from tomorrow, the mid-term elections. you can follow us on twitter. tweet the show at cnn sit room.
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please be sure to join us tomorrow. you can always watch us live or dvr the show so you won't miss a moment. that's it for me. thank you for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in situation room. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> next, officials name the first person to contract ebola in the united states. what went wrong? did the hospital provide enough protection for a 26-year-old nurse? and a live demonstration of how easy it is for health care workers to expose themselves to ebola. shockingly easy. and breaking news, kim jong-un has resurfaced after being missing for 40 days. is there proof?

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