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White House: No Photo Release of Osama bin Laden; Graphic Photos From Raid; Afghans Mourn Osama bin Laden
Aired May 5, 2011 - 08:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, HOST: Welcome to NEWS STREAM, where news and technology meet.
I'm Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong.
Now, the U.S. president prepares to visit Ground Zero. He's trying to help the country heal. But graphic photos of Osama bin Laden's body will stay under wraps. Find out why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX THOMSON, REPORTER, CHANNEL 4 NEWS: That was the salvo of 12 ground missiles. And because of that, quite understandably, it looks like the ship is cutting and running. They've delivered medical goods this morning. They're not waiting to pick people up from the hospital.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Dangerous journey. An aid ship in the crossfire in Misrata as it tries to help those in need.
And could this chip change the gadgets you love? Intel says it is the biggest breakthrough in 50 years.
Now, the word from the White House, gruesome pictures of Osama bin Laden's dead body will not be made public. U.S. President Barack Obama says the evidence is clear, the al Qaeda leader is dead. And he told "60 Minutes" there is no need to "spike the football" by releasing the images.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've done DNA sampling and testing, and so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden. It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now, President Obama's decision seemed to fly in the face of earlier comments from his CIA director. Leon Panetta has suggested the pictures would ultimately be released to silence doubters, though he did say the final decision would come from the White House.
Our Brianna Keilar is following the story from the White House. She joins us now.
Brianna, tell us more about why the president decided not to release these photos.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kristie, when you listen to what President Obama said on CBS News, "60 Minutes," he said that the U.S. government is absolutely certain that they have killed Osama bin Laden, they've done DNA sampling and testing, and the results are conclusive that this is Osama bin Laden. He said they've been monitoring worldwide reaction, and obviously the White House is satisfied that the general belief is that Osama bin Laden was killed in that.
And he expressed some concerns about releasing the photo and making a spectacle of the situation, but also perhaps putting Americans who are overseas in danger, putting American troops in danger and creating a propaganda tool that al Qaeda and other Muslim extremists could use against Americans and use against the government.
Listen to what the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said at the briefing yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: "It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool. That's not who we are. We don't trot out this stuff as trophies."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: Now, there are some within the administration, certainly, who differ on this. They thought that it was important that these photos, or at least a photo, be released for visual evidence. There are also, Kristie, some members of Congress -- and it's not necessarily falling on party lines -- who felt that this was important, that these photos the U.S. has somehow eventually are going to get out, and they should be put out on the terms of the U.S. But then there's also a lot of folks who support the president's decision -- Kristie.
STOUT: Now, the CIA director, Leon Panetta, had said that the photos would be released. So why the conflicting messages about the issue?
KEILAR: You know, listening to Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, he said it wasn't a roiling debate that was going among administration officials about whether to release the photos, but it was a discussion about how appropriate it was. And when we were talking -- the reporting that we were getting on Monday from government officials was that it seemed like consensus was growing that these pictures should be released.
I think it's fair to say that it is never a good idea to get out in front of the president. And in that regard, a lot of people have said that perhaps the CIA director made a mistake by making those comments that he thought they should be out there and that he thought eventually they would be out there. But at least the indication earlier in the week was that they were going to be put out. And obviously, as the president deliberated, that wasn't the decision that he went with -- Kristie.
STOUT: All right.
Brianna Keilar, joining us live from the White House.
Thank you, Brianna.
Now, they do not show Osama bin Laden's body, but some images have emerged of the aftermath of the raid at this compound. They show three men killed at the scene.
Now, Tim Lister has been looking through the photographs, but before we show you this report, a strong word of caution. Some of these images are extremely graphic and disturbing.
TIM LISTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The raid on the compound in Abbottabad by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs was swift and bloody.
OBAMA: After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.
LISTER: Within hours of the operation, U.S. officials disclosed three other men had been killed. Senior administration officials saying, "We believe two were couriers and the third was bin Laden's adult son." Late Wednesday, the first photographs from immediately after the assault were published by Reuters, and we should warn, they're graphic.
The photos were taken by a Pakistani security official about an hour after U.S. forces left. One man wearing a T-shirt bears a family resemblance to Osama bin Laden, but there's no confirmation of his identity. The other two were dressed in Pakistani clothing. Their identities are not known, but sources have named the courier who lived at the compound as al Qaeda veteran Sheikh Abu Ahmed, a Kuwaiti citizen of Pakistani descent.
Other photos taken at dawn on Monday show the wreckage of the helicopter the U.S. commandos abandoned. Experts say its design is different from known helicopter types. They say the tail assembly is unusual and could indicate some kind of previously unknown stealth capability to avoid radar. The tail rotor appears to have a cowling possibly designed to reduce rotor noise levels, what's known in military circles as acoustic stealth. Pakistan has already said that the helicopters took advantage of blind spots in Pakistani radar coverage.
Reuters says it's confident of the authenticity of all the purchased images.
Tim Lister, CNN, Atlanta.
STOUT: Now, the United States wants answers from Pakistan about how it failed to spot bin Laden's fortified compound. The world's most wanted man was living in a large house close to a military academy not far from the Pakistani capital. Now, Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. says that his government will hold an inquiry.
And speaking in Paris on Wednesday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani says that the fight against extremism is not he job of his country alone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOUSUF RAZA GILANI, PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER: We are in the middle of war, fighting against extremism and terrorism. And we have a resolve, we have an ability, and we really want to fight terrorism because it is in our own interest. But we lack capacity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Now, across Pakistan's border, in Afghanistan, the death of Osama bin Laden got a mixed reaction on the streets of Kabul.
Our Stan Grant talked with the people there and found many would like nothing more than for all outsiders to just leave them alone.
STAN GRANT, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the crowded streets of Kabul you won't find people cheering the death of Osama bin Laden. Many may not have liked him, but his killing has not won the United States too many friends either.
(on camera): How did you feel when you heard the news?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not happy.
GRANT: You're not happy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I'm not happy.
GRANT (voice-over): This man tells us the al Qaeda leader's death is a sad day for Islam. And after a decade of American and foreign troops in Afghanistan, there's little gratitude. In fact, just the opposite.
"Why should Americans come and run my country?" this woman says. "I don't go to other countries. I can run my country."
Don't think the Taliban are pariahs here either.
(on camera): Walking amongst these people here today and talking to them, you really don't get an overwhelmingly negative reaction when you mention the Taliban. Some here can even imagine a future where the Taliban returns as the government.
(voice-over): It all poses the question, why exactly should U.S. troops stay here? There's already a planned troop drawdown beginning in July this year, but bin Laden's death has prompted calls among Afghans and back in the U.S. that it's time to end a war that's cost billions of dollars and taken more than 1,500 American lives, as well as the deaths of thousands of Afghans.
ABDULLAH ABDULLAH, OPPOSITION LEADER: Yes, Osama bin Laden, our enemy, is dead while we're there.
GRANT: But Abdullah Abdullah, who ran against Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan's last presidential election, says a hasty American pullout would only encourage terrorists and raise the threat of another attack on the U.S. itself.
ABDULLAH: Don't desert us, because this will, first and foremost, look at it from your interests.
GRANT: There are some Afghans celebrating bin Laden's demise like Ahmed Zia Massoud. His brother was assassinated. It's widely accepted bin Laden gave the order.
Ahmed Shah Massoud's image still has pride of place in Kabul. The anniversary of his death is a national holiday, hailed as a freedom fighter who stood up to the Taliban.
AHMED ZIA MASSOUD, BROTHER WAS KILLED: That image of my brother has been taken by American soldiers.
GRANT: Ahmed Zia Massoud says it's up to the Afghan people to finish the job.
MASSOUD: And it is very important that we should crash down the structure and organization of al Qaeda.
GRANT: The people of Kabul can't escape the reminders of war -- a scarred landscape, shattered buildings, bullet-riddled walls, shelled halls. It is itself a living history, a history America is now so much a part of.
Stan Grant, CNN, Kabul.
STOUT: In a couple of hours, U.S. President Barack Obama is to depart from the White House for New York, where he will meet with families of 9/11 victims at Ground Zero.
Fionnuala Sweeney joins us now from the memorial site -- Fionnuala.
FIONNUALA SWEENEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello there, Kristie.
Yes, preparations under way for the president's arrival. He'll have a pretty packed schedule during the visit here. Here's a quick rundown.
President Obama, scheduled to arrive in New York at 10:40 in the morning local time. That's just about two-and-a-half hours from now.
He'll then attend a special ceremony at the 9/11 site where the World Trade Center towers were destroyed.
Then, about 30 minutes later, Mr. Obama is expected to meet with families of 9/11 victims.
Just to give you a sense now of just how difficult it is to over-exaggerate just what is happening here today, let's have a look at some of the newspapers.
This is "The New York Post," and you can see, "Bitter Sweet." This is how they're describing the visit of the U.S. president here. It's a bittersweet moment, because, of course, for New Yorkers, it's great that bin Laden was killed, but it's bittersweet because it reminds them of what happened here nearly 10 years ago.
And just a quick look here. In reference to the photographs not being released by the White House, you can see here "No Photo Finish." So you're not going to see any photographs there. And that's reported in "The Daily News," also a New York newspaper.
Well, the U.S. president's trip will also take him to Engine Company 54. Firefighters, of course, taking a huge role in the 9/11 aftermath. This particular firehouse losing 15 of its firefighters in the September 11th attacks.
Mary Snow is standing by outside Engine 54.
Now, Mary, what's the atmosphere like ahead of the U.S. president's visit?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fionnuala, certainly so much in activity here in anticipation of the president's visit. And a few of the firefighters we spoke with this morning say that they want to thank him, in their words, for "a job well done." One telling us that this visit will be a morale booster for Engine 54.
It has been a very emotional few days for the men who work here. As you mentioned, the huge losses they've suffered on the morning of September 11th. And they're very reflective.
We came here on Monday, after the news, and many of them said that they had really absorbed the news, they were excitedly initially. But they are constantly on guard.
They spent part of the day on Monday speaking with families of their lost colleagues. But there was some moments of celebration on Sunday night when the news hit, and there's a photograph that stands out. It's a "New York Times" photographs of members of Engine 54 in Times Square watching the news cross across the ticker, and just watching the crowds react to that news.
We spoke with one of the firefighters who described what it was like that night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPT. THOMAS VENDITTO, ENGINE 54: I have to tell you, I worked New Year's Eve this year, and it was more exciting than working New Year's Eve. New Year's Eve, people stand in the pens and they're kind of mellow. When the ticker tape went around and people started shouting, and reading it out loud and cheering, everyone -- people from other countries -- as you know, this is a tourist area -- there were people from England and Australia and Germany and Japan.
They came up, took photos with us. They were hugging us and kissing us. It was fantastic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: And Captain Thomas Venditto, who you just heard there, told us it brought a tear to his eye. And he said that he had felt that many people had forgotten the 343 firefighters who were lost on September 11th. And he said that he felt happy to see that those firefighters and so many members of the military were being remembered on Sunday night -- Fionnuala.
SWEENEY: You mentioned Times Square, Mary. This is a firehouse in the heart of Times Square, one of the busiest places in New York City. People are constantly stopping by, so it isn't really so surprising that the U.S. president would stop by there today.
SNOW: You're right. And so many tourists. This has become pretty famous here in this neighborhood, and so many tourists come by.
They know about the losses suffered here. Oftentimes, you know, handshaking with the firefighters, leaving flowers outside the firehouse. And as you said, so busy.
These firefighters say they are constantly on guard. And while they were happy about this news, they're always wondering, what's next? And they're fearful of a retaliation -- Fionnuala.
SWEENEY: Mary Snow, thanks very much indeed there at Times Square.
We leave you, Kristie, with "The New York Times," the veritable "New York Times." And it is focusing on the Pakistani army being under scrutiny after the U.S. raid on bin Laden. And then here, of course, Obama saying that there will be no death photo. That's the latest detail there coming from the White House.
So, New Yorkers really gearing up for this visit today, a bittersweet moment. That is the word at the moment. We'll be following it, of course, as events take place throughout the day.
In the meantime, back to you.
STOUT: All right.
Fionnuala Sweeney there.
Now, New York's Ground Zero is expansive. The names of the nearly 3,000 September 11th victims are etched around various parts of the memorial. It also includes the names of those who died in the World Trade Center bombing.
Now, this Web site, it shows an aerial map of the memorial. Well, links on the lower left-hand side help to locate loved ones' names.
And for easy browsing, they're divided up by flight numbers and location, including a link just for first responders. And if you click on that, that takes you to a list of names like Eric Allen.
Now, Eric's photo comes up, along with where he's from, Brooklyn, New York. It also says he was a firefighter in Squad 18. And Eric's profile is just one of many you can find at Names.911Memorial.org.
Now, still ahead on NEWS STREAM, getting out of Libya has become a desperate and often deadly struggle. And we'll show you the hazards rescuers face just getting to the besieged city of Misrata.
And a CNN exclusive. It took five months to dig. We'll go inside the tunnel that Taliban militants used to free hundreds of prisoners from jail.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now, state TV in Syria says that the military has begun pulling out of the southwestern town of Daraa, the scene of deadly protests over the past six weeks. Now, it says army units began leaving after completing their mission to "restore security and calm."
Now, human rights group Amnesty International says that more than 500 people were killed during the clashes, and it says that there are reports of torture.
Now, the reported pullout follows a renewed call from the U.N. secretary- general for the Syrian president to end the violence and the mass arrests.
Our Rima Maktabi is monitoring the situation in Syria from Beirut and joins me now live.
And Rima, as Syrian troops fled Daraa, there are raids by security forces elsewhere in the country. Tell us what's happening.
RIMA MAKTABI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kristie, first let's talk about Daraa.
We're hearing accounts of the Syrian army withdrawing from Daraa gradually. The opposition, cyber activists not based in Syria, are telling us that the withdrawal is not a major thing. Snipers are still looking in certain areas, and some army tanks are withdrawing. On the hand, I spoke to one journalist who is based in Syria, and close to the regime, and he said the withdrawal should be completed by Saturday. Elsewhere, Homs and Baniyas are two major cities in Syria, are witnessing more army presence -- Kristie.
STOUT: All right.
Rima Maktabi, on the story for us from Beirut.
Thank you, Rima.
Now, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Rome right now, along with representatives from more than 20 countries. Now, they're meeting to work out a political transition plan for Libya in the event of Moammar Gadhafi's departure, and to discuss possible financing for the opposition.
Now, deadly fighting between rebel and pro-government forces has been raging for months now. And the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court says that there are reasonable grounds to charge three Libyans with crimes against humanity. But the ICC did not specify whether Colonel Gadhafi is one of them.
Now, for days, the humanitarian ship Red Star 1 had been forced to wait off Misrata's coast, out of range of Gadhafi's artillery. Now, the ship was loaded with critical supplies, food and medicine, and represented a fleeting glimmer of hope for the thousand stranded migrant workers hoping to escape. But when the boat finally decided to dock, the missiles rained down.
Alex Thomas was there.
THOMAS (voice-over): By this morning, the ship's been waiting four days. We went to see the harbor master and found chaos. The ship, not even speaking to this harbor master's office.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a NATO ship (ph). Misrata Port Control tried to contact you internal (ph) 160.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
THOMSON: Finally, people starting talking and a ship began appearing, and steamed straight into port without contacting the harbor master.
THOMSON: Five and a half days, but they've made it here. The medicine is unloaded at top speed. This is an incoming zone for shells. But the jubilation is short lived.
Two hours after docking, the sound of incoming missiles, and people move to cover.
(on camera): That was the salvo of 12 ground missiles. And because of that, quite understandably, it looks like the ship is cutting and running. They've delivered medical goods this morning. They're not (ph) waiting to pick people up from the hospital.
(voice-over): The armed rebels sweep (ph) the captain not to go. And he seemed to listen.
And suddenly, the first ambulances with those ICU patients were at the dock side. The loading system is going well. The last thousand migrant workers trapped by the fighting, queuing up and (INAUDIBLE), until, that is, scores of well-connected Libyans from Misrata turn up, push in. It all falls apart.
THOMSON: A rebel gunman fires his Kalashnikov. At this point, hundreds more migrant workers arrive. They're the people this boat is sent for, and now they can't get on.
They've lost control. The captain fears the boat being overloaded and incoming shells. Without warning, they cast off.
A ship which came to pick up hundreds of migrant African workers leaves them (INAUDIBLE) on the key (ph) side in the shelling zone. And only now we learn that several were indeed killed in that salvo an hour or so before.
ANSEL MO, MIGRANT WORKER: It is three children, one older (ph) man, a husband. As I said, five. This one -- maybe one hour they go.
THOMSON: This woman, distraught. Her husband still on the key (ph) side. And down below, one of the patients is dying. They have to re-dock.
Five days to get into this port, five hours to get out of it. And still, the humanitarian mission in this town is not complete.
Alex Thomson, Channel 4 News, Misrata.
STOUT: A very desperate scene there from Misrata.
Up next here in NEWS STREAM, he was the last surviving World War I combat veteran -- 110-year-old Claude Choules died in western Australia on Thursday. We bid him farewell after the break.
STOUT: Now, the world's last surviving World War I combat veteran has died in the Australian city of Perth at age 110.
Now, Claude Choules, also known as "Chuckles" by his friends, served in both world wars. He was also Australia's oldest man.
Network Ten's Tamara Akers reports.
TAMARA AKERS, REPORTER, NETWORK TEN (voice-over): His navy mates called him "Chuckles." Renowned for enjoying a laugh, Claude Choules was in good form right until the end.
DAPHNE EDINGER, DAUGHTER: Extremely good spirits. He even sang to us and told some jokes to the kids.
AKERS: The world's last World War I combat veteran died in his sleep at a Perth nursing home overnight, age 110. Like many others, he lied about his age and joined the British Navy at 15.
CLAUDE CHOULES, LAST WORLD WAR I VETERAN: We all did, all us boys. They didn't have our birth certificates.
AKERS: Mr. Choules later transferred to the Australian Navy as a demolition officer. He was integral in diffusing German mines during World War II before retiring in Perth in 1956.
(on camera): Despite all his years of service, Mr. Choules' family saying he very rarely spoke about the war. And if he did, it was only ever about the good times.
MALCOLM EDINGER, GRANDSON: To him, war was just simply a waste of human resources, life, money and time. He had no time for it.
AKERS (voice-over): Instead, his daughter says he lived for his family, which includes three children and 36 grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren. Mr. Choules also believed they were the secret to a long life.
CHOULES: Just marry young and stay young, and have a lovely family. And keep your family around about you, and you're all right then.
AKERS: Tamara Akers, 10 News.
STOUT: I'm Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. You're watching News Stream. And these are your world headlines.
Now Syrian state TV says the military is starting to pull out of Daraa. It says the task of arresting terrorist elements and restoring security has been completed. Now separately eye witnesses in Damascus, they say that the army has set up what looks like a base in the center of the city with tanks and other military vehicles moving in.
A suicide bomber has killed at least 21 police officers in central Iraq. The Interior Ministry says the officers died when a car packed with explosives rammed into a police building this morning south of Baghdad. Officials say the attack bears the hallmarks of al Qaeda in Iraq. The security forces have been on high alert for possible revenge attacks after the death of Osama bin Laden.
The company that operates the crippled nuclear power plant in Japan says it has sent workers inside the number one reactor building. It is the first time anyone has entered the building since it was damaged in the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. TEPCO says the workers are installing air ducts for a ventilation system to reduce radiation levels.
U.S. President Barack Obama will attend a special remembrance ceremony in New York today at the site where the Twin Towers once stood. He will be joined by families of some of the people who died on 9/11. The visit comes four days after U.S. forces shot and killed Osama bin Laden, the man who inspired the attacks.
And we know about Osama bin Laden's fate, but what about his wife and daughter? Now we're told that they were in the house with him when U.S. commanders turned up. They are now said to be in Pakistani custody. Brian Todd reports.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Among the children left behind by U.S. SEALS who killed Osama bin Laden, a daughter of the terrorist leader, that's according to a senior Pakistani intelligence source who tells CNN the daughter could be 12 or 13-years-old. The source says she's told investigators she saw her father being shot.
I asked CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank about the daughter's identity.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: It's possible, but not certain, that this could be a daughter called Safia (ph) whose believed to be the daughter of Amir al Sadr (ph), bin Laden's Yemeni wife.
TODD: Information which seems to fit with CNN's sourcing on the raid. Our Pakistani source says among the two or three women left behind at the compound one, believed to be bin Laden's wife, is a 29-year-old Yemeni citizen. GEO TV has shown a passport of a Yemeni woman found in the compound, but it's not clear if that belongs to the wife named Aman al Sadah (ph) who bin Laden married in the year 2000 when she was a teenager.
CRUICKSHANK: She traveled from Yemen all the way to Afghanistan with bin Laden's chief bodyguard and married him in a ceremony in Kandahar Afghanistan.
TODD: Why wouldn't U.S. forces have taken bin Laden's wife and daughter with them to gather crucial information? CNN is told the mission was to get bin Laden, take any relevant materials, and get out.
Paul Cruickshank says this about the information the wife and daughter might have.
CRUICKSHANK: Bin Laden kept his family life very separate from his work life, his life as an international terrorist. He did not share details about his terrorist career with certainly the wives in his family, the daughters.
TODD: Bin Laden, experts say, married at least five times starting when he was about 17, and had at least 4 wives at the time of his death. The wife and daughter apparently left behind are now in Pakistani custody. Murad Khan, former Pakistani government spokesman says they'll likely be repatriated to the mother's country of origin.
Could the wife and daughter be put in any danger, any kind of vulnerability by being repatriated.
MURAD KHAN, FRM. PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: Depends which country are they from and that will exactly tell you how they deal with people who are wanted in terrorism. But I think they should be, you know, dealt with humanely and -- because they were dependent on bin Laden, they are not the terrorists.
TODD: That country of repatriation could be Yemen. Contacted by CNN, a Yemeni official said his government had not gotten any requests to repatriate anyone from the raid yet.
As for how they would be treated, the official said it's too early to say. He did acknowledge they would have to go through security procedures, but he said this is a unique case and his government may take some time to figure out how to handle them.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
STOUT: Now new images are also circulating of one of the choppers used by U.S. special forces in their raid on bin Laden's compound raising questions about how much U.S. military equipment now rests in Pakistani hands.
Now for more, our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr joins us now live from CNN Washington. Barbara, new details have emerged about the raid on bin Laden's compound. It was much more than one-sided than initially thought. Can you give us the details?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know Kristie, we're talking about 24 heavily armed U.S. Navy SEALS assaulting this compound. What we now know is that they encountered some initial heavy gunfire resistance from at least one man on a lower floor of a building when they first entered the compound. They killed him fairly quickly. That left them with two other men to kill before they got to bin Laden.
By all accounts they were able to deal with this very quickly. When you see the video of the inside of the compound, you see the level of destruction. When the SEALS go in, it's a shoot to kill operation. They're not really interested in a fair firefight. So it's becoming abundantly clear that they moved very quickly, which meant they were able to deal with these targets very quickly with minimal resistance, perhaps, along the way.
STOUT: And also, Barbara, that crashed during the assault. Now photos of this mystery craft are all over the internet. Can you shed any light on this 'copter?
STARR: Well, the light we can shed is that you're right, there isn't a lot of light to shed. That's what's so fascinating. Aviation buffs around the world are looking at this wreckage. This was one of the helicopters the SEALS used to come in, but nobody has ever seen a helicopter like this before.
The thinking is, is it has some stealth capability. It's got a different rotor blade, a different tail assembly, a lot of different characteristics than any typical U.S. military helicopter. The thinking is all of this is to lower the visual and radar, actually, signature of the plane and make it less available to detection by Pakistani radars as they came into this area.
But you know the fact is this is still a pretty big mystery.
STOUT: And also the Navy SEAL team who was assigned to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, can you give us any details about who they are?
STARR: They are not revealing their identities yet. The entire team, we're told by the Pentagon, is back in the United States. They are nicknamed SEAL Team 6. They have a more formal military name, but really known in the military community as SEAL Team 6. Very special group, way beyond other special forces and special operations forces. They are the ones that do these covert missions that are so secret. And what's most astounding is their identify was revealed in this operation and they were discussed in public. Normally that does not happen, Kristie.
STOUT: All right. Barbara Starr live from the Pentagon for us. Thank you very much indeed.
Now there has also been a great deal of interest in how U.S. officials were able to monitor events of the U.S. Navy SEALS mission to take down bin Laden. Now Mary Snow reports on the type of technology that could make it possible.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's become an iconic image -- the president and top officials in the White House situation room monitoring the mission to get Osama bin Laden. CIA director Leon Penetta doing the same at CIA headquarters. Until now, seeing a mission unfold in real-time from thousands of miles away was the stuff of Hollywood.
Remember Patriot Games when the CIA's Jack Ryan watched a raid on a terrorist camp on a satellite feed? Nearly two decades after that movie, retired army General Dennis Moran says most people are unaware of the kind of technology the military now uses.
GEN. DENNIS MORAN, (RET) U.S. ARMY: Sometimes they watch TV and, you know, shows like 24, they think that this kinds of capability is -- is just science fiction.
SNOW: General Moran works for a company supplying the military and special forces with equipment to transmit sound and images from battlefields. Moran says he does not know what kind of technology was used in the Osama bin Laden raid. And the CIA director told PBS he did not see Osama bin Laden get shot.
LEON PANETTA, CIA DIRECTOR: We had some observation of the approach there, but we did not have direct flow of information as to the actual conduct of the operation itself as they were going through the compound.
SNOW: General Moran showed us one way the military can monitor situations on the ground through these cameras worn on helmets.
This is the kind of equipment that allows a soldier to communicate both by video and audio. They wear this in their backpack. And it weighs about 11 pounds.
And with a tiny camera, you can transmit video and audio to local command centers several miles away.
A command center, says General Moran, could be in a Humvee and pulled up on a laptop, or it could be transmitted to a plane where the range is much greater. Then the images, even instant messages, can be sent by a secured satellite to a central commander center that could be anywhere.
Exciting technology, yes, says General Moran, but it also poses challenges.
MORAN: There was always the danger of having connectivity, or the fear of being connected from a fox hole to the White House and what would that really mean? Well, now we have technology that enables that. And so leaders and commanders at all level need to understand that they need to allow the commanders on the battlefield to execute the mission that they've been given, give them the resources that they need, and only react as appropriate.
SNOW: This is just one company providing this technology. And it says it's started being used about two years ago. And it says one crucial use beyond monitoring battles is to try and match biometric information instantly, things like fingerprints, facial recognition and iris scan, something that could have taken days to do in the past.
Mary Snow, CNN, Washington.
STOUT: Now Intel says this is one of the most significant breakthroughs in chip design, the 3D transistor. And the chip giant is hoping the new design will help them make faster chips, but also make an impact on the phone and telemarkets.
Now the transistor is the basic building block behind every electronic device, including computer processors like this Pentium 4. And chip makers, they keep trying to make transistors smaller and smaller, because the smaller they are the more you can pack into the chip. There are 125 million transistors in this chip that I'm holding.
So why not just make the chips bigger? That would mean more power consumption and more heat. Now smaller chips are more energy efficient and therefore more suitable for laptops as well as phones and tablets, two of the fastest growing sectors of electronics. But two areas where Intel has virtually no presence.
So, how does this new transistor work? Well, imagine this model is the original transistor design. Now the green part here can only interact with the blue gate on one side. What Intel did was make them vertical like this. And now it can interact with the blue gate in three different sides. Now that's one breakthrough.
And the other is how small the new transistors are. They measure 22 nanometers across. Now a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.
Now you remember the blue gate right here? Now Intel says that you can fit 4,000 of them across the width of a human hair.
Now the transistors are so small they can easily fit through the filter of this surgical mask, believe it or not.
Now Intel says chips using 3D transistors should appear by the end of this year.
Now just ahead on News Stream, an epic escape. Nick Paton Walsh takes us inside the Taliban tunnel used to break inmates out of afghan jail right under the noses of prison guards.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now it doesn't look like much, but this tunnel led almost 500 Taliban prisoners to freedom in Afghanistan. The Afghan government has described the audacious jail break at Kandahar prison last week as a security disaster. Now most of the escapees are still on the run after the embarrassing security lapse.
Nick Paton Walsh examines how the escape unfolded unnoticed in this CNN exclusive report.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: From outside these Kandahar prison walls look unbreachable until you see inside. There, Americans and Afghans have unearthed just how sophisticated the Taliban were when they broke 475 militants out of here.
The narrow tunnel doesn't travel straight, but has support beams, a tube to feed in oxygen, light fittings, and the dirt was wheeled out on trolleys. It must have been a mammoth operation.
Inside this tunnel you get an idea of really how cramped and difficult it must have been to move through, and really how long it would have taken for hundreds of people to crawl hundreds of feet out.
We go inside and enter where the Taliban were held, the political block, wondering exactly how did no one notice the months long operation. We're told not to film any of the Americans, Afghans, or Prisoners. The corridors once full of insurgents, the cells all empty.
The cell that led to freedom left, though, as it was. Life here had little luxuries and one big one, an escape route.
Well, the concrete on the floor of this cell is two or three inches thick. And it would have literally impossible for somebody digging upwards to have broken through it, so investigators believe that people inside the cell must have finished off the tunnel.
Nobody wants to talk. Nobody here was on shift that night, they say.
Was he here that night?
"If the general comes," he replies. "He'll punish me for letting you in here for a long time."
Suddenly, the guards decide we must leave.
We look for where the tunnel emerged. It is inside this house. The hole in the back of a front room now filled in.
Once the prisoners had emerged from the tunnel into the compound here, they faced two choices how they could leave. One is a door in the corner over there. And that leads out onto a canal. Not very useful for the mini buses they apparently escaped on.
The most obvious choice would have been this, the front door of the house. And this leads right out onto the main road opposite the prison.
Yes, the house had less than 100 feet from the prisons main gate. But still, the Taliban had to be stealthy. This mast is from a heavily armed American military base just down the road.
And in the end, even the Americans also didn't notice the huge tunnel below until it had found light at its end until it was too late.
Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kandahar.
STOUT: Incredible story.
Now around the Philippines a storm is brewing there. Mari Ramos is keeping an eye on it. She joins us now -- Mari.
MARI RAMOS, CNN WEATHER CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it's pretty late in the season already, Kristie, not to have had a tropical cyclone form in the waters of the western Pacific. We've had a couple of tropical depressions out here and there. As I was telling you yesterday, tropical cyclones can form any time of the year in this part of the world.
What are we talking about? Well, this little disturbance actually it's moved on a little bit more now. Moving here closer to the Philippines. It has a medium to high probability that it could intensify to a tropical cyclone.
Basically, the main concern with this weather system as we head through the next few days, whether or not it actually intensifies to a tropical storm or even a (inaudible), we don't think that's going to happen right now. But the main concern is going to be very heavy rain.
Yesterday the rain was sporadic, here and there, and in some areas you did get some locally heavy rain.
When we look at the forecast over the next couple of days you begin to see that telltale sign of that area of low pressure continuing to get better organized. And then it appears as the bulk of the rainfall will be across the central Philippines.
You can see right over here those areas that pop up in blue, well that would indicate anywhere between 5 to 8 centimeters of rain. The heaviest rain, the purples and the red still remaining offshore, that would be 15 to 25 centimeters. Fortunately, like I said, that remains over the water at least for now.
But as we head into the weekend all of this moisture will be heading inland. And that could again brings the threat for flooding and mudslides. So you guys know the routine, people that live in river basins, people that live near mountain slopes, anyone that lives in those vulnerable areas for flooding and mudslides really needs to monitor the situation carefully.
Here's a better view of what the storm actually looks like of this area of low pressure actually looks like as it moves into the southern and central Philippines. So we'll watch that closely.
Other areas of Asia will still have a little bit of moisture here for you across eastern China back over into the southern part of Japan. And another weather system coming along here for you. A little bit of a problem with some blowing sand and dust could be possible with that one, again, as we head through the overnight tonight and into tomorrow.
Let's go ahead and move and talk a little bit about the U.S. here. This is a picture of people evacuating their homes. Thousands on the move again overnight and this morning across portions of Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri because of the rising waters. The Mississippi River threatening again to bring us near flood -- record levels across many areas here. You can see the warnings across this entire region.
And this is a long-term production. This is not something that is going to come and go very quickly. As we've seen from river flooding before, remember we may be talking weeks, the crest farther south in Vicksburg (ph) for example, not expected to get there until toward the end of May. So a long way to go.
We will take a break right here. News Stream, don't go away, Kristie. We'll be back with more right after this.
STOUT: Welcome back.
Now the NBA champions are having a rough ride in the playoffs so far. Don Riddell is here with more bad news for Lakers fans -- Don.
DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey there Kristie. This has been one of the most unpredictable post-seasons in recent NBA history. And the results continue to surprise us. Who would have predicted that the Lakers, going for a third consecutive championship, would lose their opening two games at home in a series against the Mavericks.
Dirck Nowitzki and the Mavs are sitting pretty in the second round now. Kobe Bryant and his teammates have a mountain to climb. Bryant scored 23 points at Staples Center on Wednesday. This score gave the home side a one point lead in the second quarter, but it was Dallas that had the edge at halftime.
And in the third quarter Shawn Marion beat up Tyson (ph) (inaudible) for an emphatic finish and a three point lead.
Into the fourth, Dallas up by 6 and showing no sign of easing up. Jose Juan Barea drove forward and nailed the floater. The guard scoring 12 points from the bench. And as you'd expect on a big night like this, Nowitzki playing a big role. He scored 24 points. And that 3 point play effectively settled it for the match.
The Lakers were being booed by their own fans. And it ended on an even sourer note as Ron Artest was ejected for a clothes lining Barea. A suspension could soon follow.
For this race, the Lakers season could soon be over too. 93-81 the score. The Mavs are taking a 2-0 lead back to Dallas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KOBE BRYANT, LAKERS GUARD: Desperate, that's a strong word. I think when you play desperate you don't play your best basketball. What we need to do is relax. We need to focus on what we're doing wrong and the mistakes that we're making and you know we have plenty to review and lock in on that. And go in in game three minimizing those mistakes.
DIRK NOWITZKI, MAVERICKS FORWARD: If you were to tell me before that we're going to win both games, that would have been hard to believe. But I think we earned it. Dodged a couple of bullets out there in game one. They had a big lead, let us back in. Kobe had basically a great look at a game winner that he usually makes 8 out of 9 or 9 out of 10.
And today I thought we were -- we just went for it. Kept fighting, kept tugging there, and had a great second half defensively and that really set us up to get this win.
BRYANT: We were not very good here at home the last two games, so going to Dallas might do us some damn good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIDDELL: It just might.
And Kristie, just a quick note on the Champion's League. Manchester United are through to their third final in just four years. United held a commanding 2-nil lead after the first leg in German against Schalke. And they showed no remorse for their opponents in the second leg at Old Trafford last night. They crushed Schalke by 4 goals to 1. Valencia Gibson were on target. And there was a rare double from Anderson.
United now face Barcelona in what will be a dream final at Wembley at the end of the month. That is a ground where both teams have won the European cup before.
STOUT: Don Riddell, thank you very much indeed. Take care, Don.
Now do you remember this picture we showed you yesterday? It shows the situation room in the White House as President Obama and others watch for updates from the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
You'll notice Hillary Clinton, she's holding her mouth -- her hand over the mouth right there. And today she shed some light on what she was actually doing at that moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Those were the 38 of the most intense minutes. I have no idea what any of us were looking at that particular millisecond when the picture was taken. I'm somewhat sheepishly concerned that it was my preventing one of my early spring allergic coughs. So it may have no great meaning whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: So it was an allergy.
Now if only we could find out what the general was seeing on his laptop.
That is News Stream. But the news continues at CNN. "WORLD BUSINESS TODAY" is next.