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AROUND THE WORLD

Boston Area on Lockdown for Manhunt; Heavy Police Activity in Watertown

Aired April 19, 2013 - 12:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: What are you picking up, Deb?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Wolf, right now we can tell you that it looks like a young man is being arrested. This does not -- it's not clear. This is definitely not the suspect.

This is definitely not the guy that they're looking for, but he's a young man. He's got a backpack, a red hat, red baseball cap. He's got his hands on his head right now, and a state police officer has his hand on the person's shoulder, the other hand on his arm. And there's another state trooper who's also sort of standing guard.

It could be just coincidental that this young guy was trying to walk towards an area right now is being investigated. There's no -- for example, he's wearing a backpack but no sort of bomb squad.

Looks like this person was trying to get some place he shouldn't have been trying to get to, so they've stopped him.

Right now he's got his hands on his head and standing there with two state police.

Wolf?

BLITZER: That's a pretty dramatic scene, Chris Cuomo, as we hear the words from Deb about this individual. We have no idea who this person is.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: No idea who he is, why they're taking him into custody. We do know they asked for a Russian translator earlier. We don't know if this is connected to that.

Again, 30 different government agencies, Boston's Finest, 10 different locations we're told they're looking at now, so there's going to be a lot of activity.

There's going to be an abundance of caution, especially as this picture of this suspect starts to emerge, all of his friends saying he's such a sweet kid and a great wrestler, is in stark contrast to pictures of him in jihadi situations and searches he did on Instagram and some things that they're finding from him online.

And then the other layer, Wolf, that we're learning now is this nonchalance in the aftermath of the bombings, the tweets that he was putting out that seemed indifferent to them, and tweeting about Claritin, which is an allergy medicine, things of that sort, very different looks at who this man could be.

BLITZER: And if you looked -- we haven't seen the video, but law enforcement authorities who have seen the video after the bombs went off at that Boston marathon, they describe the two suspects, we believe they are these two brothers, one of whom is now dead and one is still on the loose, as sort of nonchalantly, cavalierly simply walking away very confident, very cool as if nothing really had happened, even though two bombs within a matter of 12 or 14 seconds went off.

All right, let's go to this news conference and get an update on what's going on.

(BEGIN LIVE FEED)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Testing. Is that better? Thank you.

Governor first. Governor?

GOVERNOR DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETS: Are you done? Do you need to do something?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. When you're done.

PATRICK: OK.

Good afternoon, everyone. Just a couple of points we want to make, myself, the mayor, Colonel Alben and the chief of the Watertown police force, Chief Deveau.

We're not going to be able to take questions. I'm sorry. I know you have many.

First of all, I want to -- we all want to thank the members of the public who have respected our request to stay indoors. We know what an inconvenience it is in Watertown and in Cambridge, in particular, but really throughout the areas that we've asked for this.

But it's been enormously important and helpful to the many, many in law enforcement who are trying to do their jobs. And we thank all of you for helping to get that message out.

The stay-indoor request continues for the time being. That is unchanged.

There are continuing developments in the investigation, which we will be able to talk about. Not now, but later.

But it is important that folks remain indoors and not open the door -- keep the doors locked and not open the door unless there is a uniformed identified law enforcement officer on the other side of it requesting to come inside.

I think that's all I want to offer, Mr. Mayor.

MAYOR TOM MENINO (D), BOSTON: Thank you, Governor. Thank you all for being with us today and thank you for your patience.

We're so proud of the work that the public safety officials have done, state police, Boston police, national guard, proud of what they've done over the last several days, and also the citizens (inaudible).

The shelter-in-place is working. People are staying at home. Like the governor said, don't let anybody here in your apartment or home unless they're identified as public safety official and then go forward.

And for the next few days, hours. while we continue to gather information, that's the public safety job. Our job is to make sure that the public safety responds as best we can.

We'll keep the public informed as we get the information. So be patient, but as the mayor of the city of Boston, we are one city. We're a city and a community. We're a city that's not going to let the terrorists win over.

We're going to continue to work hard. We're going to get through this. We're going to be a stronger city as we move forward. Thank you very much.

COLONEL TIMOTHY ALBEN, MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE: Good afternoon, folks. My name is Timothy Alben. I'm the colonel superintendent of the Massachusetts state police.

I want to thank you for your patience. I know we said we'd be out here at 10:30 and we're obviously way behind. It's indicative of the leads that we continue to run down here. And things change, they change quickly, and sometimes we have to change direction.

I want to begin by saying we are progressing through this neighborhood, going door-to-door, street-to-street. We're well over 60 percent or 70 percent of what we want to cover up there.

We do not have any development to tell you in terms of that search up there. There has been no apprehension at this point.

The second thing I want to talk about just briefly is this afternoon there will be a controlled explosion, if you will, by some of the explosive ordnance folks over in Cambridge.

That's going to happen on Norfolk Street at a house that we have secured earlier today. It's done out of an abundance of caution. It's done for the safety of the law enforcement officials that are over there before they proceed with a search of that premises, so that will be happening this afternoon as well.

Our plan at this point is we are going to continue with the following up in that neighborhood. We've got several other new leads that just developed within the last few minutes and we're working on that.

And I will be back here, I hope, within an hour or slightly above that to give you the next briefing. Should we have any development between now and then, I'll be back even sooner. So I want to turn it over to Chief Deveau from Watertown.

CHIEF ED DEVEAU, WATERTOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT: Thank you, Colonel.

I want to thank the media for getting the word out. There's been a lot of heroic actions as you'll hear about in the next few days, what happened last night, early this morning and over the last couple of days as everybody knows.

But I want to also speak to the Watertown community. You've done great. We've done everything we've asked, but we need some more time.

You have to stay in your homes, stay in place. We have, as the colonel said, we still have some work to do. Even after we clear the area, there's a major crime scene down there that's going to take some time.

But I've been assured to all the gentlemen behind me that they're not going to leave until the town is safe.

So it may go today, tomorrow and over the weekend before we have the whole crime scene under control.

But the Watertown community has always stood strong and I've asked them to do that this morning and they've done terrific. I want to thank them. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, folks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

(END LIVE FEED)

BLITZER: All right. So we just heard from the governor of Massachusetts, the mayor of Boston, the Massachusetts state police, Watertown police.

One interesting note that I want to point out, Chris, is that they're going to have what they call a controlled explosion which suggests that they found some more remnants (ph).

CUOMO: Absolutely. That's been the been the concern from the beginning here is that, when they shot the first suspect and he had the vest on, because they'd used bombs before and were supposedly throwing them out the window of the car they stole during the hot pursuit, they were worried about explosives.

They must have found some. Controlled explosion, just to keep everybody calm when they hear it later on this afternoon. And the search continues.

BLITZER: That could be a powerful explosion.

Tom Fuentes, our CNN law enforcement analyst, is here, former assistant director of the FBI. When you heard what law enforcement, Massachusetts state police, Watertown police, what they had to say, of course the governor and mayor, what was your immediate bottom line on the state, Tom, of this effort to apprehend this suspect, this alleged killer?

TOM FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Wolf, I thought it's a good job on their part to come out and just let everybody know that they're methodically working through these issues.

When they say they're 60 percent, 70 percent through with what they're trying to accomplish, when they say what they're doing in the neighborhoods and a controlled explosion, I think it's basically telling everybody they're there, they're making everybody safe, they're going to resolve this, they're working through the public safety issues.

And I think that, again, it's an example of each agency of a task force brings to the table their expertise.

So, yes, you've got the federal investigators off trying to cover leads all over the world and resolve issues on the subjects of the case, but then you also have the police doing their responsibility of local public safety and making sure these neighborhoods are safe and they're going to get these apartments and other physical locations secured.

BLITZER: And if they do go ahead with that controlled explosion, if you will, they've got to be really careful.

And it's a good thing, Tom and Chris, that they notify everyone that they're going to be doing this to make sure people aren't overly alarmed when they hear a big boom.

CNN has now confirmed, and I want to relay this to our viewers, that this 19-year-old suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev was, in fact, a naturalized U.S. citizen. He received his U.S. citizenship September of last year.

His older brother, Tomar Tsarnaev, 26-years-old, now dead killed in a shootout with police, he was also a naturalized U.S. citizen.

Apparently both, Chris, had claimed asylum. As a result they got green cards and eventually became U.S. citizens.

CUOMO: Horrible irony that a place decided to protect them and give them a chance at a new life they decided to turn against.

Now, that does seem to be reading into motive, but the more we understand, even placing aside that investigators and authorities believe that they are the bombers, that they told a hostage that they had last night that they were the bombers, online, the activity of the suspect that they're pursuing right now does suggest an interest in extremism.

So the picture's becoming much more full of this man.

BLITZER: Yeah. There's some activity going on in Cambridge right now.

Brooke is on the scene for us. Brooke, that's where the suspects, these two brothers, lived. What are you seeing? What are you hearing?

BROOKE BALDWIN, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": Hey, Wolf, you're exactly right.

So we're on this live picture right now. We have zoomed in to see the firefighters -- there they go. Actually, I'm moving closer down Norfolk. So that is the street.

So just about, I would say, maybe a football field and a half from where you see those firefighters down Norfolk is where we believe is that apartment complex where these two guys have been living here in Cambridge.

I have been here for several hours this morning, and what we just learned in that news conference from police jives with this tremendous law enforcement presence.

You know, we have additional ambulances on standby, possibly in the case that there could be injuries with this controlled explosion, but we saw firefighters pulling out the hose.

We're sort of waiting for possibly signaling, cover your ears, waiting, waiting to see when the explosion happens because, you know, you never know what could be inside of that apartment before they can go in.

Before they know they have the all-clear to search, they need to make sure it's safe, Wolf.

BLITZER: Brooke, so just to repeat and I want to make sure that we were hearing this right, but there will be what they call this controlled explosion in the Cambridge area where you are right now?

Do we have any idea when that's going to occur?

BALDWIN: We don't know yet. You know as best as I do, given what we just heard in that news conference, but we have seen quite a presence, a lot of FBI agents. They've continuously through the course of the morning, Wolf, back this up farther and farther.

So, as we await that, I would like to provide a little color on this 19-year-old, Dzhokhar, because I was just speaking in the last 20 minutes or so with a couple of his friends.

They were buddies. They went to the same high school together here in Cambridge. It was the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. And I just want to play a piece of this interview because they talk about Dzhokhar as a leader.

He was the captain of the wrestling team their senior year here in Cambridge. He was a volunteer in the community, volunteered for a group called Best Buddies, helping out disabled kids here in Cambridge.

Take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Let's start with, when is the last time you saw Dzhokhar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw Dzhokhar maybe last year. Just around, hi and bye kind of thing.

BALDWIN: You both wrestled with Dzhokhar, what kind of kid was he?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: he was a fun kid. You know, he liked a lot of people. He had a lot of friends. Diverse type of friends. He was cheerful. Never really -- mellow. He was like never really mad at the world. He was just mellow and all that, you know.

BALDWIN: Can you tell me what -- you were his same weight class on the wrestling team. What was he like with you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I went to college with him. And the last time I saw him it was at U Mass Dartmouth. And he was a really nice kid. And it was the wrestling. He was a really nice kid, you know?

He was the kind of kid that would push me harder. Like, he knew all kind of -- he was a good fighter. He was an all-star wrestler, and I was new to wrestling, so he really helped me. He would push me all the time.

BALDWIN: He would push you? Was he like a leader?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was the captain his senior year, but before that he knew how to fight. And I wasn't so good at fighting and he would help me fight. He would show me moves. Help me run faster. He would just help me - help me do better, you know.

BALDWIN: Is he someone you respected?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, someone I would look up to, I guess. You know like -- I kind of thought, you know, this is the kind of kid that would go to like UFC or something like that. He was - he was someone I could trust my life over, I think.

BALDWIN: Tell me - tell me a story. Something that you recall with you and Dzhokhar. An anecdote.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the things I can remember is, one of the wrestling matches, we went to wrestling matches, and I lost my match and he won the match. And even though I lost the match, you know, he was like - I really felt bad because the coach was - he was pushing me really hard. He was like, you're got to pin this guy. You can pin this guy. I lost the match by a couple of points and the guy - Dzhokhar, he was like, it's cool, dude, you're going to win the next match. And he was someone that always motivated me.

BALDWIN: Did you guys ever, at any point in time, hear him talking about hating Americans, plotting anything?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was - he was -- at first when I saw him, I think he was white, like regular American.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes, like - like I said before, like he loved -- he had a wide variety of friends. He loved everybody. He partied. You know he likes - he never hated Americans. He tried to be a typical American boy, you know. He was - like I said, he's an excellent wrestler.

BALDWIN: Did - did he have -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An excellent boxer. He did lots of stuff. He volunteered, apparently, for the Best Buddies Club, which is like people who volunteer for Down Syndrome, help out the Down Syndrome. So he's loved people in general. He's cheerful. But he did boxing. I know like he's a small person, so I used to make fun of him. And he would just laugh it off and prove like, you know, that he's good at everything and he's very motivational like (INAUDIBLE).

BALDWIN: What about his relationship with his older brother? What kind of relationship did they have?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He never mentioned anything about his family or any - like he never mentioned his background at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

BALDWIN: Did you - did you guys even know where he was originally from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he told me he was from some part of Russia. Chechkl (ph) or something. I'm not sure exactly.

BALDWIN: Chechnya.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. That's all he told me.

BALDWIN: When he talked about where he was from, what did he say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just asked him, because I didn't know where he was from. He asked me where I was from. I told him I'm from Nepal. And then I asked him where he was from, because I thought he was American. He looked white to me. I think he was regular American. His English was really good. I think he was American. And then he told - its - like we're just talking about racism like we're friends from all different countries, but sometimes we just make fun of each other, we're all friends. All our other friend, he was saying he was from Moscow so -- not Moscow, Chechkl (ph), Russia. That's all I know about him, his background.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sorry. But the one example is, like me and him, we sat -- all sit in lunch together in high school. And everybody used to criticize us because we'd be -- I'm Hispanic, so it would be me, Dzhokhar, Sunjidon (ph), you know, this guy right here, you know, and we would all just hang out together. And it would all be like one big community, one big family. That's one of the motives in our Cambridge (INAUDIBLE), opportunity, diversity and respect. So we had respect for all type of people. We just joke around. Never really hated anybody.

BALDWIN: So if you're telling me that he - you're saying he had respect for all kinds of people, all walks of life. When you heard that he may be the one capable of doing what happened here in Boston on Monday, your reaction is?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm shocked. Like -- I feel like it's a dream, to tell you the truth. I feel like I haven't woke up today. I mean -- I'm not sure if it's possible or not. It could be. It could not be. But I'm really shocked. I mean, I would never expect this to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's -- when I first heard it, I thought it was a joke. I would never expect that - that thing to happen. It just - it sounded impossible to me. It's such a nice kid, I would never expect any of that. No.

BALDWIN: Final question. You said you were at U Mass Dartmouth and so you saw him. How recently did you see Dzhokhar?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been a year. About a year. I met him at Target, because I was staying off campus, so he was staying on the campus. I was -- and I met him at Target. I was buying something and I talk to him about school - school and stuff and he was telling me he had to take Calculus 2, because he didn't take Calculus 2 during the spring fall -- spring semester. So the registrar, they were making him take Calculus 2 and he was doing - he was doing summer. That was last year.

BALDWIN: So how come, if you guys were such buddies, how come you haven't seen him in a year? Did he stop reaching out to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we're buddies, we don't like - we don't call each other. If we meet, we just say, hey, what's up? How's it going? We didn't call -- in high school, it was the same thing, you know, we used to get our lunch, get to the table. If a friend shows up, he shows up. If he doesn't show up, he doesn't show up. It's the same thing in college. We go to college. If we see him, we just say, hey, what's up? How you doing? If we don't see him, it's just we don't.

BALDWIN: Not a big deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: So there you have it, two young voices, two youngsters here in Cambridge who knew and really respected this 19-year-old Dzhokhar, who they called him, just one other and they clearly - they didn't want their faces on camera. They were fearful and they were shocked.

One other note, Wolf and Chris. We talked to one other young person who also was on the wrestling team with him and he was absolutely convinced - and again this is just his opinion -- convinced that it was this older brother that would have talked him potentially into committing such a heinous act if, in fact, these two are the ones who did it. We will keep watching the scene here in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as we await a controlled explosion at this home, this apartment complex. Live pictures of the firefighters waiting to go, in in Cambridge. As soon as we see any more movement here, we'll come back out here.

Meantime, Chris, Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: Brooke, a quick question. I may have missed it in your interview with these two guys. When, like everybody else almost in the world, when they saw the video and the pictures that the FBI released yesterday, did it even enter their minds that they knew at least one of these suspects?

BALDWIN: Absolutely. When they saw -- and I talked to a couple other people out here in Cambridge who went to - all -- actually one young woman went all the way, elementary, middle and high school. And she said the second that she saw the picture that the FBI released yesterday, she said, you know, he looked familiar. But it was that surveillance video from the 7-Eleven that, you know, that was when her -- she had a lump in her throat and her heart sunk and she said, absolutely I knew that was Dzhokhar.

BLITZER: Yes, that's what happens.

All right, Brooke, once you get word of that controlled explosion in Cambridge, we'll, of course, get back to you. We'll see what's going on. Brooke Baldwin is on the scene in Cambridge, right next door to Boston, home of Harvard, home of MIT. No indication either one of these two brothers had anything directly - were ever involved in any of those universities.

CUOMO: No. And it's also important to keep in mind, Wolf, as we've been learning from experts and profiling and counterterrorism all day, just because people had positive experiences with them, it's not mutually exclusive with them being capable of doing terrible things. It's not as if we have an idea of people who do this as if they are all in one place and this is all they're about. People snap at different moments. They change quickly. We saw it with Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber, he was a good neighbor, everybody liked him. He was moving his way through American life. And yet, at a certain point, he changed and he had very different intentions and motives. And just because people had a good experience with one or both of these suspects doesn't mean that they weren't capable of this.

BLITZER: Yes, and they could have been inspired. There's a magazine online, "Inspire," which is put out by the late Anwar al-Awlaki's organization, an al Qaeda affiliate, to inspire individuals like. Major Nidal Hasan, at Ft. Hood, Texas, he was inspired to go out and start randomly shooting and killing some of his fellow troops.

CUOMO: It's also important to note, you know, we're seeing military helicopters and lots of different vehicles. That's to be expected when you have 30 different agencies involved. Everybody wants eyes and ears on the ground. So it doesn't mean that there's a need for certain capabilities, but that there's such a big operation here, you're going to see lots of military and different authorities and agencies involved.

BLITZER: As it should be. This is a huge operation. A lot of people are nervous here in the Boston area. They want this over with. They want it over with as quickly as possible. So does law enforcement. So does the military, the National Huard, they are on the scene.

Let's take a quick break. Our continuing coverage will resume in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: We're watching the breaking news. We're having continuing coverage here in the Boston bombing investigation and the manhunt for a suspected terrorist. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Boston.

CUOMO: I'm Chris Cuomo.

BLITZER: Chris Cuomo is here. We're watching this nonstop. It's a very, very tense moment right now.

CUOMO: And very fluid. Lots of agencies involved. We've been seeing police activity. I can't get too far ahead of ourselves. We just know that it is active and ongoing. The search for suspects certainly became -- suddenly became a police chase and manhunt Thursday evening. That's when there was a call that went out that an MIT security officer had been shot. His name is now Sean Collins, we know, 26 years old.

BLITZER: Sean Collier.

CUOMO: Sean Collier, 26 years old. We don't know whether or not he confronted these suspects after they had robbed a 7-Eleven or they simply came upon him, but either way shots fired. He was killed.

Once police were on the scene, they developed an understanding that these were their suspects. It became a very intense car chase. There were improvised explosive devices, grenades thrown out the window. Eventually one of the suspects exited the vehicle, was shot and killed, allegedly run over by his own brother while he was trying to escape.

BLITZER: The key word "allegedly" because a lot of this information is initial, it's murky. The FBI released the pictures of the two young men and they announced that the hunt was beginning. And as Chris just said, that hunt intensified overnight with these dramatic developments.

The older brother, as you say, his name Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother, is now dead. Twenty-six years old. The younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 years old, he remains at large right now, even though this manhunt continues nonstop.

CUOMO: And the investigators are trying to figure out what changed. Why they did something so brazen as to rob a convenience store and steal a car, other than just necessity. Maybe putting out the photos and videos --

BLITZER: Maybe they need money. They thought they could get - do - get away. They had no money or whatever.

CUOMO: And maybe in that rashness, it's somewhat of a window into whether or not there was a well-developed plan here or not. But the key is that they became very concerned about explosives. Since about 5:30 this morning, little has changed in terms of the disposition of this chase, this search. They've been in one main area here in Boston. They've been asking us not to give away tactical positions. They have a delay on our video in case something happens that we can't control in the moment. But they're worried about this suspect having explosives. We believe they have found some ordnance in the home where the two men lived. That they're going to have a controlled explosion later this afternoon. Not to scare people. But if you hear that and you're in the Boston area -

BLITZER: That's in Cambridge.

CUOMO: In Cambridge. That's where they were living. Don't panic. But they do believe he could be very dangerous because of the access to explosives.

BLITZER: And the older brother who was killed we believe to be wearing an explosive vest, a suicide bombing vest or whatever. And that raised all sorts of suspicions. And that's why virtually this whole city, this whole area, is on lockdown right now.

CUOMO: So we'll check in with Don Lemon. He's at one of the areas that's seen intense police activity.

Don, what's the latest?

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, intense police activity.

Listen, a lot of times the press conferences quite frankly it's the latest information they know, but it can also be like a newspaper, it can be the oldest thing that is out there, because when they're holding those press conferences, there's activity going on. And we saw that as they were holding the press conference, as they were saying, hey, listen, some areas have been cleared but we're still going to other areas.

Some of the other areas that they're going to, here where we are. We have seen tactical units that have been dispatched to our area. A couple of them. Some are turning off before they get to us. Other pass us and they turn into a neighborhood. Still seeing the helicopter overhead that was down at one point, back up and still doing that orbit around this particular neighborhood.

Just a short while ago, just before that press conference, I spoke with the city manager. He talked to me about what they were doing to keep people in place. And also he said he wouldn't go into specifics of the investigation, but said it was far from over in this particular neighborhood, in the Watertown community.