Return to Transcripts main page
Boston Marathon Bombings; Nigeria Trying to Reign in Corruption
Aired April 16, 2013 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour.
Tonight, who did it and what was their motive? Yesterday's deadly terror attack on the Boston Marathon was the only such bombing in America since 9/11.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): And as of now, officials report close to 200 injuries with more than a dozen in critical condition and we know that three people were killed, including this 8-year-old boy, Martin Richard, who was watching at the finish line.
Martin's mother and sister were also gravely injured in the explosion.
Investigators now say there were just two bombs; rumors of other packaged and unexploded devices were just that -- rumors. The White House has lowered its flag to half-staff to honor the victims of the tragedy.
And President Obama reminded everyone to be cautious and not jump to conclusions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We do not know who did them. We do not know whether this is the act of an organization or an individual or individuals. We don't have a sense of motive yet.
So everything else at this point is speculation. But as we receive more information, as the FBI has more information, as our counterterrorism teams have more information, we will make sure to keep you and the American people posted.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now leaders around the world are expressing their sympathy and their support, from the United Kingdom to Afghanistan and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. The Pakistani Taliban took the unusual step of denying that it was involved.
Two young Saudis living here in the United States have been questioned by investigators and the home of one of them was searched last night. But U.S. officials now say neither is a suspect.
Homegrown or international terror? We don't know. But we'll dig deeper into the clues that we do have so far with a former senior official at the FBI and the British Labor Party's leading security official.
But first, here's a look at what's coming up later in the program.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): In a country where corruption is commonplace, she answers the critics and crunches the numbers.
NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA, NIGERIAN FINANCE MINISTER: We need to admit where there is a problem. There is a problem.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Then, among the fallen in Boston --
BILL IFFRIG, BOSTON MARATHON RUNNER: My legs just started jittering around. I knew I was going down.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): One runner rises to the occasion and inspires the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: We'll get to that in a bit. But first to the question of who is behind the Boston terror attack. The FBI is leading the investigation. And with me now is the former senior official with the FBI, Don Borelli.
Also with us from London is Jim Murphy, the Labor Party's top defense official.
And, of course, it was the Labor government back in 2005 that had to deal with the horrific 7/7 bombings in London. London has now stepped up its security because its marathon is this Sunday. And Mr. Murphy plans to run in it.
Gentlemen, thank you both for joining me.
First to you, Mr. Borelli; everybody wants to know who did this.
DON BORELLI, COO, THE SOUFAN GROUP; FORMER SENIOR FBI OFFICIAL: Of course.
AMANPOUR: Is there anything that you can tell us, from everything you've heard, whether you would lean towards domestic or international terror?
BORELLI: I think it's a bit too early to make that assessment. There are some -- there are some indications that might have us leaning a bit towards domestic. And I say that because of the devices found. These devices were not the typical type things that you see people that have been trained in Pakistan or Afghanistan that are made with TATP and other complicated explosives.
These were more crude, pipe bomb type explosives, possibly with black powder, with shrapnel; plans to make these are readily available on the Internet. You can get them from various, you know, websites and so forth.
So that's where I would lean if I had to. But I think it's too early to jump too far out on that limb (ph).
And, Mr. Murphy, everybody is telling us that, too; don't jump to conclusions. It's too early right now. We can't say one way or the other.
But does it bring to mind for you anything that you experienced in London with the Underground and the bus bombings?
JIM MURPHY, BRITISH SHADOW DEFENSE SECRETARY: Well, the U.K., of course, has had terrorism for decades, originating from The Troubles and the politics of Northern Ireland and then, of course, more recently the 7/7 bombings and the terrible murders on the public transport in London.
And whenever you see a mass casualty event in any of the big cities across the world, I think it brings back those sort of memories. There are no two attacks, however, exactly the same. It's clear that what happened in London was preplanned. It was determined.
It was of a vast scale and there were multiple explosions that coordinated, where now what seems to be happening in Boston, as Don has alluded to, it's too early to say. But there are some really rudimentary components in these explosions, which may point one way rather than the other as to the perpetrators.
By the way, here in London, there's a sense of shock. There's a sense of shock across the whole of the U.K.
There's also a sense of determination. The London Marathon, one of the biggest sporting events in the U.K., at any point in the year, is taking place just a couple of days from now. And there's a real determination to, yes, review security, but continue on as normal.
AMANPOUR: And you are going to run in it?
MURPHY: Yes, I've never run in a marathon before, but I met a group of British soldiers who'd been injured in Afghanistan. And I was approached by their charity, the soldiers' charity, to raise money for them. And I thought, you know what? The London Marathon is coming up. I'll try it. I'd always wanted to run a marathon.
So I've been out training in Scotland, where I live, for the last few months, getting ready for it. And I think the way I'd look at is that up until the last few hours, I've been worried about can I make the 26.2 miles running a marathon circuit in central London.
As soon as you hear news about Boston, you think, to hell with that. Why should I be worried? I'm more determined than ever to say to these people, whoever they are, that caused these terrible injuries and murder in Boston, you're not going to make me change my plans. I'm going to run this marathon. I'm more determined than ever before to do so.
AMANPOUR: On that note, there's been so much inspiring, precisely, people saying that they're going to continue; people have got up and walked to the finish. We have in New York people planning also, you know, to not let that shadow their marathon, of course, as in many, many months from now.
But as to who did it, I want to play a little bit of an interview that President Obama gave to CNN back in 2011 about the growing threat here in the United States.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The most likely scenario that we have to guard against right now ends up being more of a lone wolf operation than a large, well-coordinated terrorist attack. You know, when you've got one person who is deranged or driven by a hateful ideology, they can do a lot of damage. And it's a lot harder to trace those lone wolf operators.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The lone wolf theory has long been something that law enforcement, FBI have been turning to, homegrown terrorism, whether it's jihadi or extremist nutters.
BORELLI: Exactly. And with, you know, as -- with the advent of the Internet age, you know, when so much more information becoming online and a lot of this rhetoric that used to be only available in chat rooms overseas now is being translated into English. And so people here can become radicalized online. They can -- they can learn some tools of the trade.
And so, as the president said, it's -- this is an emerging issue. And these people can be under the radar for months if not years before they pop up and do something like this.
AMANPOUR: What do you make, Don Borelli, of the fact that law enforcement is telling us that they've picked up no chatter, that there's no signature that they can actually sort of grab onto from this bombing? What does that tell you?
BORELLI: Well, that whoever was behind this kept it very much to themselves, probably carried on some sort of a normal existence, at least to the public eye, didn't share the plans, didn't go on and blog on the Internet like a lot of people do that, you know, tips off law enforcement.
It was really kind of -- kept these plans with good operational security.
AMANPOUR: And to both of you, I don't know, Mr. Murphy, whether you're aware -- I'm sure you are because of all the reporting now -- that this happened in Boston on Patriots' Day, the start of the American Revolutionary War, that it was on tax filing day, that it's the same week as the cult, you know, Waco in Texas all those years ago, of also the Oklahoma bombing all those years ago.
Does that say anything to you?
First to you, Mr. Borelli.
BORELLI: Well, you always look at these events on the calendar to see if they're -- if you can read something into the motivation. And I'm sure there's a number of working theories about, you know, tied into tax day or Patriots' Day. I mean, right now, of course, there's a lot of discussion in our media about gun laws and things like that. So who knows if that plays in.
With regard to Oklahoma City and that was as a result of the anniversary of Waco. So this is -- this week in April has certainly not been the best in the history of our country as it regards -- with regard to terrorism.
AMANPOUR: And, Mr. Murphy, do you know whether the British government has picked up any quote-unquote "chatter," whether there are any threats, whether there was anything that might lead the United States law enforcement to know anything about what happened?
MURPHY: No, we have any, but if there had been, of course, I think our relationship with our intelligence services are so close that that would have been passed on immediately. So on the basis of the U.S. intelligence is saying that they didn't pick up any chatter, that would imply very strongly.
And that, in fact, that would make it clear that it would suggest that there wasn't U.K.-based intelligence to provide assistance to our partners in the U.S. But I think there's a realization here in the U.K. about the pattern of events, horrible events that are taking place in and around Patriots' Day in the U.S.
And it's something that, sadly now, is -- has become all too common, all too regular in and around this time of year. But I think President Obama is right when he talks about the lone wolf theory.
We saw events -- I think it was in Norway with Breivik and the way in which he just assassinated all of those young people on that island in Norway that -- working alone. And I think that's -- as Don has said, there are -- people had the intent in the past.
But the Internet and all they can pick up and the lessons and advice they can pick up on the Internet not only gives them and helps provide them with intent but also capability.
AMANPOUR: It's really worrying to think about all of this.
Now, you know, nobody wants to leap to conclusions and leaders from Pakistan to Afghanistan to the Muslim Brotherhood to Europe and everywhere have condemned this and have sent their condolences to the United States.
The law enforcement in Boston wants as much help from the public as possible. They want people to give them any videos -- anything -- particularly of those last hours. We understand that they did a complete sweep of the route just an hour before. That was their last sweep.
So what are they looking for now? What are they concentrating on right now?
BORELLI: Well, it's going to -- it's a lot of things.
First and foremost, they have to take care of the crime scene, because the crime scene is perishable. So they're working quickly to gather up all of that physical evidence that's going to be all over the street. I mean, thankfully the weather seems to have been nice there.
But you know, you have a rainstorm and, guess what, you lose a lot of evidence. So you want to work quickly to preserve that physical evidence.
Then the videos, the things that, you know, surveillance cameras that are affixed to buildings but also cameras that people have taken, you know, photos and video shots. They'll be looking at traffic from the cell phone towers to try to put together a timeline of activity.
The thing right now that's difficult for law enforcement -- and we've heard this word used in context of medical -- and that's in triage. When the medical people are -- have a lot of injured bodies on scene, they use the term triage to separate what's most important.
This is what's going on right now in the investigation, trying to figure out what are the most important things that we're getting; what do we need to do first? What are the highest priority leads? And address those in that order.
AMANPOUR: Gentlemen, thank you very much indeed for joining me.
BORELLI: Thank you.
MURPHY: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And because of the attack in Boston yesterday, we were unable to bring you our interview with Nigeria's finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. We will have her interview when we come back.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. Africa's most populous nation, Nigeria, is full of promise. But fulfilling that promise is sometimes a struggle. Plagued by corruption and mismanagement, the resource-rich country has a poverty rate of over 50 percent. Maternal mortality is shockingly high. And more than half of Nigerians don't have access to electricity.
Nigeria's president, Goodluck Jonathan, can't even escape the power problem himself. Here he is on Easter Sunday, delivering a speech to his people only to have it disrupted by a blackout. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says that she and her president want more for the country. She's Nigeria's finance minister and she's been lauded as just the kind of reformer that Nigeria needs. She was a runner-up to lead the World Bank and "Forbes" ranked her as one of the world's most powerful women.
But even she isn't immune from Nigeria's problems. Her own mother was kidnapped for a terrifying five days before being released.
I spoke to her and I asked her about her country's uphill struggle to transform Nigeria's resources into a better life for all the people. We talked when she was here in New York for the Women in the World Summit. And as you watch, we look forward to your tweets using #amanpour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, welcome to the program.
NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA, NIGERIAN FINANCE MINISTER: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: Great to have you.
OKONJO-IWEALA: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Nigeria is a huge and important country. We have many, many viewers from Nigeria, always very active and very interested. So it's great to have you here.
OKONJO-IWEALA: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: You have said and others have said, that 2013 is going to be a real game-changing year, a turning point year for Nigeria, particularly in your area of finance and economics.
OKONJO-IWEALA: Well, it's going to be a game-changer and a turning point, because this is the year we are going to produce results. And we're already producing results within the administration.
First, on the economic side, I just want to say that macroeconomic stability has been restored. Now, nobody should minimize that. Remember, there were two lost decades in Africa, in the '80s and '90s, where there was so much macro instability that people could not even focus on sectors that could create jobs.
Now things have gone right. We've got growth that is at 6.5 percent last year and we're projecting for 2013, also, around the same number compared to average 5 percent on the African continent.
Now, I just want to say that when you mention GDP growth, people immediately say we can -- in my country, they say we can't eat growth; because we have unemployment challenges, we need to create more jobs. We have a challenge of inclusion. We have problems of inequality.
All those are challenges we face.
AMANPOUR: You are obviously a passionate defender of your country. You are a person who calls for transparency and honesty and best practices.
There is a huge problem with corruption in your country. The president promised to address this stuff. And the latest is that an ally of his, a former governor who was convicted of stealing millions of dollars, has been pardoned, embezzling $55 million in public funds.
Now, the U.S. calls that a setback for the fight against corruption.
I mean how do you answer that?
OKONJO-IWEALA: How do I answer that question?
OK, listen to what I have to say on corruption. And I think I have quite a bit to say. I wrote a book recently where I also had a whole chapter on that issue called, "Reforming the Unreformable."
Nigeria does have a problem with corruption. And so do many other countries, including developed countries. I don't like the fact that when people mention the name Nigeria, the next thing they say is corruption.
This is a country of 170 million people; 99.9 percent of them are honest, hard-working citizens who just want to get on with their lives and they want a government that delivers for them.
What we've said is that in order to help block any leakages and help to, you know, stop any attempts at corruption or taking monies, we must build electronic platforms. We must distance people from the money.
These things were recommended by the World Bank and the IMF. I used to work at the World Bank. We are doing them.
And I strongly believe that we lack institutions. We lack processes.
Now, what President Goodluck Jonathan has done now is to call the judiciary, the legislature and the executive arm for the first time to meet together on this issue and say, this is not just about government, this is about all of us coming together, because even if you catch somebody, they go to the courts and they are let off lightly.
The president can't do anything about that. The judicial system also has to be strengthened.
Legislators also have to crack down. They themselves have to work at also being transparent and helping the executive.
But for me, also, in addition to doing that, we need to stop talking and identify the specifics, like you mentioned oil leakages. Let me mention two things quickly.
The first one is the oil theft that is 150,000 barrels a day --
AMANPOUR: Which is huge.
OKONJO-IWEALA: -- a month -- which is huge. Yes. I admit that. And we can't afford -- I'll tell you; my thesis on corruption is we are still a poor country. We cannot afford any leakage.
We also need the international community to weigh in. We have -- Mexico and Nigeria are suffering from this problem, you can check. Mexico has (inaudible) losing 25,000 barrels a day. And they found (inaudible).
In our case, we have international people who also buy that stolen oil. We need them to treat this stolen oil like stolen diamonds, the blood diamonds. Make it blood oil. Help us so that those people don't have a market to sell this stuff.
That's one. And we ourselves should commit to fighting -- and we are fighting that.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about that, because you also have challenges with electricity. You mentioned you're very rich in oil and people just simply don't understand why there still seem to be so many problems with electricity.
And it might seem, you know, weird to pick on that one thing, but it is very prevalent. I asked your president about this during an interview I did by satellite when he was at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Let's just see what he had to say to me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOODLUCK JONATHAN, PREISDENT OF NIGERIA: That is one area that Nigerians are quite pleased with the government, that's a commitment to improve power. It's working. So if you are saying something different, I'm really surprised. That is one area, one area that we will -- civil society members agree that government has kept faith with its promise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now, that interview caused a bit of a hullabaloo, as I think you know, in Nigeria. And yet, the World Bank has said that half -- more than half the Nigerian population doesn't have any access to the power grid.
OKONJO-IWEALA: As you know, Nigeria became a democracy again when President Obasanjo came into power in 1999. Two decades prior to that, there was hardly any investment in electricity.
If you've neglected a sector for that long, you've not invested, you've not even maintained your basic facilities, it's not going to happen that fast. It takes time.
That month, when you interviewed the president, the polls showed, independently, scientifically (inaudible) that they are in technical partnership with dialogue. That 54 percent of Nigerians felt there was some improvement. They do it monthly.
Now this month, they've surveyed and they've showed this going down, because 800 megawatts has been taken off the grid, which is while they are maintaining the grid.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you, because businesses apparently say that this problem with electricity is causing them to, you know, be reluctant to invest.
AMANPOUR: They need this investment...
OKONJO-IWEALA: Nigeria is not the only country. Almost every developing country has a problem with power, as you know. India has it. South Africa has it. South Africa is far better off because they've invested much more.
But many developing countries, even China, they are struggling with keeping up with infrastructure.
Now, what we are doing in Nigeria?
We have accepted that the government is not the best place to run the power sector, that if we want this country and this economy to do better, we just have to get out. And Nigeria is pursuing one of the most sweeping privatization programs in any country in the world.
We are selling off everything. The generation capacity, the distribution capacity in the country, government is only retaining one thing -- transmission.
AMANPOUR: Well, on that note, Madam Minister, thank you for joining me.
OKONJO-IWEALA: Thank you, Christiane, for having me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And after a break, imagine being only 15 feet from the finish line when all hell breaks loose. The fall and rise of the ancient runner when we come back.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, the images from Boston have been horrendous and heartbreaking. But imagine a world where the finish line is just the beginning. The words are inspiring.
"If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon." So wrote Katherine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon four decades ago. And throughout the world today, that indomitable spirit remains alive.
Here in New York, home to the world's largest marathon, Central Park was filled with runners honoring the heroes and victims of Boston. And as we've said, London's Marathon will go on this Sunday as planned.
But perhaps nothing demonstrates the resolve to persevere in the face of sheer terror more than the fight to the finish of this man.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Bill Iffrig, a 78-year-old veteran of many marathons, was just 15 feet from the finish line when the explosion knocked him to the ground. With help, he got back onto his feet and completed those final 15 feet of the face. And then he walked the half-mile back to his hotel.
In a hail of metal and mayhem, we saw humanity at its worst. But at the same finish line, we saw humanity at its finest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And that's it for tonight's program. Meantime, you can always contact us at our website, amanpour.com. Thanks for watching and goodbye from New York.