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CNN NEWSROOM

Second Suspect in Boston Marathon Bombing Captured Alive; Possible Motives for Boston Marathon Bombing Explored; Fertilizer Plant Explodes in Texas; Red Sox Play in Fenway Park

Aired April 20, 2013 - 14:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: It is the top of the hour. I am Jake Tapper in Boston. This is a special edition of CNN NEWSROOM, covering the capture of the suspect in the Boston terrorist attack and the investigation into it. Boston celebrates the capture of the last suspect in the marathon bombings, and the town is trying to recover. They're playing at Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox, after postponing Friday's game.

But the investigation continues, now that the surviving suspect is in custody at a Boston area hospital. However, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev did not give up without a fight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(GUNFIRE)

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TAPPER: He and police exchanged gunfire as Tsarnaev held police at bay in a Watertown, Massachusetts backyard. Here is a CBS News photograph. He used a boat to shield himself in the final standoff. Police say he was wounded and covered with blood. They rushed him to the hospital where he is now under guard.

Earlier we got the inside story on how the capture went down. Wolf Blitzer talked with the police chief of Watertown in a revealing conversation. Let's take a brief listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHIEF EDWARD DEVEAU, WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS POLICE: We had a couple thousand police officers on scene. The turnout was incredible, the support from the state and the region. We had the tactical people to close that seam down and secure it. We did take our time to make sure that everybody was safe in the neighborhood. And eventually we had to use some flash bangs to render the subject --

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": What is that?

DEVEAU: It is a loud compression that would stun somebody for a short period of time. And then we began negotiations in a 15, 20 minute period. We were able to get him to stand up and show us that he didn't have a device on him.

BLITZER: So he's lying in the boat, been there several hours, he's wounded clearly, right, he's bleeding.

DEVEAU: Right.

BLITZER: He's obviously weak. You come over there, what do you say to him? You have a bull horn, you say "Come out with your hands up"?

DEVEAU: We have a negotiator actually on the second floor of the house looking down at the boat.

BLITZER: You could see him?

DEVEAU: No, we couldn't see him. There was a plastic top over them. We had the state police helicopter say when there was movement in the boat from the heat sensor. We could tell he was alive and moving. We began negotiations that way. And over a long period of time, we were able to finally get him to surrender.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TAPPER: Right now, there's heavy police presence in the Boston Beth Israel medical center. That is the hospital where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect, is recovering after being seriously injured. Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is outside that hospital. Elizabeth, federal prosecutors are inside. Of course, the question, could the suspect be charged today?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, that's a definite possibility, Jake. Our colleague, Pamela Brown, spoke to an official at the justice department and this person told her that they thought it was highly possible he could be charged before he leaves the hospital. Of course, we don't know when that's going to be. We don't know how seriously he is wounded or hurt. He's in serious condition, but that doesn't really necessarily tell you a whole lot.

We are expecting an update on his condition, but I don't think we're going to get many details, just a one word, "serious" or "stable." Probably won't learn much about what actually is going on inside. Jake?

TAPPER: Elizabeth, there's a photograph of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after he was apprehended, it was from I think the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, a picture of him down, and he was being intubated, a tube being put in his mouth to help with his breathing. That would suggest that he was in bad condition there. Explain to people when people say he's in serious condition but not critical condition, what exactly is the difference?

COHEN: Critical condition often means someone's life is on the line, they're not really sure if he is going to survive. So it sounds like they feel that he is going to survive. Certainly the fact he was intubated tells us something, tells us that this is not just, you know, a small thing. But the fact that it is serious enough, critical, means he is likely to survive.

TAPPER: All right, Elizabeth, thank you so much. With the hunt over for the suspects, one dead, one in custody, investigators are focusing on the full puzzle. They want to find out what motivated these two brothers, described by many that knew them years before as normal, but they're certainly not normal. CNN analyst and "Boston Globe" columnist Juliette Kayyem is here. Juliette, we heard from the Watertown police chief, told us it looks as though the suspects acted alone. How can they be so sure?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, "BOSTON GLOBE" COLUMNIST: I'm not sure we know exactly now what happened in the process clearly between 2008 and now, especially with the older brother. And what we're starting to hear is that something changed with the older brother over the course of the years. So people have to be really patient about this investigation because it will lead clearly to foreign travel abroad --

TAPPER: The older brother, Tamerlan was in Russia in 2012.

KAYYEM: 2012.

TAPPER: Six months.

KAYYEM: Yes, so relatively recently. Who did he meet with? What did he learn? What happened when they came back here? The investigation will take place here, was there anyone else here or any other aspects of the case that will help figure out the whys and hows that are important to us, and of course abroad. So there's a huge focus on both those parts, and it actually began Wednesday when they were able to identify who the brothers were.

TAPPER: It is impossible to think the older brother spent six months in Russia and that had nothing to do with this.

KAYYEM: Right. Right now if you're looking at it from the facts that are known right now. Maybe those six months really did radicalize him and he learned techniques to come here. But I have been through enough cases, know enough about these cases that I am very cautious about sort of looking at what we know now and saying that was the moment. We learned so much about other terrorists or even sociopaths, weeks or months later -- we spoke about Columbine, everything we thought about the Columbine killers, not to say that the brothers are similar, ended up being not true years later.

So it's going to take some patience. We all want to know the why. We want to determine if we can stop it again, that's the primary focus, stop future copy cats or other terrorists from doing this. But the why may take a little longer than stopping them and the capture.

TAPPER: And very briefly, there was a national public radio report last night about an interview with the three roommates of the older brother's soon to be wife, girlfriend at the time. And the three roommates said between 2008, 2009, that's when he seemed to become radicalized, talking about how Islam was under attack, criticizing his wife, demanding she wear modest dress, a hijab. And so if he went to Russia 2012, it would suggest that 2012 wasn't necessarily when everything went wrong.

KAYYEM: Right. And that's going to be -- there have been home grown terrorists, radicalization internally. I know this is scary for Americans to think there are people here from all over the world who can be disruptive, but one way to look at this is some of the successes of counter terrorism efforts have -- means there will be people who do bad things, but they're not going to do sort of horrific crisis things like 9/11.

So in some ways we talk about resiliency, the city, baseball games being played, people are complaining about the weather, so I feel like we are back to normal. When you talk about resiliency, it is also anticipating this could happen again, and learning from the investigation and response.

TAPPER: Thank you, Juliette. Speaking about complaining of the weather, it is freezing. What is going on? It is April. All right, a lot more to go on this. Thank you so much. We will talk to you later today.

It's one of the most visible signs of Boston, beginning to heal right now. Fenway Park, as Juliette mentioned, is alive with Red Sox fans cheering on the hometown and home team. John Berman joins me live at the ballpark. J.B., you there?

BERMAN: I am here, Jake, indeed. It is warming all our hearts to be here at Fenway today with 35,000 of our Bostonian brothers and sisters right now. It has been an unbelievable day. It began with a very special ceremony before the game when we saw victims of the attacks in the Boston Marathon. We saw first responders, and saw a remarkable thing, we heard it, too, when the entire crowd sang the National Anthem again in unison. That has become a new Boston tradition, one I think that will truly stick.

I spoke to a number of fans here who came to this game. They said it was very, very special for them to be here. I think none more so than this woman I met who was actually from the town of Watertown. Yesterday she was locked down, sheltering in place, and today she's at Fenway. Let's listen to what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a surreal experience. It was like this morning I woke up and I was like I am so grateful that I don't have to wake up feeling like I did yesterday every day. I just felt totally lucky to be a resident of Watertown and a citizen of this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: A lot of people have these signs here that say "Boston Strong." I think in one of the moments that will resonate for a long, long time here, David Ortiz, the Red Sox designated hitter took the field before the game, and in front of the live crowd and live television audience watching, he said "This is our bleeping city." And as you can imagine, Jake, the place went nuts. TAPPER: Berman, I am wearing that Red Sox hat on again, I want you to know. One quick question -- have you seen an increase in security? Pat downs, metal detectors?

BERMAN: Absolutely. There was a long line. I am outside Gate B, these are the cheap seats, but some of the best seats, you come to the bleachers, sit in back, watch the game. There was a long line well after the game began. They were giving extra pat downs. I saw much greater security presence than I've ever seen here.

TAPPER: John Berman, thank you so much.

A big break in the bombing investigation came from the use of digital forensics. And coming up we'll show you how something as simple as a cellphone is making a big difference in catching suspects and solving big cases. Our live coverage continues from Boston. Stay right here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage of the terrorist attacks in Boston. Investigators got a big break on this case thanks to volumes of videotape and photographs from that deadly day in Boston. Surveillance cameras and images on cellphones and other mobile devices have proven that digital forensics is the way of the future. Professor or Gary Kessler is a digital forensics expert. Don Clark is a former special agent for the FBI that worked the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. Gary, how much are investigations using cell phone images and calls.

GARY KESSLER, DIGITAL FORENSIC EXAMINER: An incredible number of investigations, particularly criminal investigations, rely on cellphones and computers. Digital devices certainly in the last 10 and 20 years have become increasingly either the target or the instrument and/or the record keeper of criminal activity and other nefarious activities. So being able to look at what's on the digital devices becomes incredibly important.

Mobile phones in particular, I don't have one with me now, but mobile phones in particular as we more and more of us are using android devices and iPhones and other smart phones, is essentially a portable Internet terminal. And so not only do I have traditional call history and contact list and text messages, but I have e-mail messages, browser history, GPS and other information and other information we thought of on a desktop or camera is now with us all the time.

TAPPER: Don, I want to ask you about digital technology, but before I do, there's something about the FBI that I want to pick your brain about. We found out yesterday that the FBI had already one time before interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev because in 2011, Russia, we know that to be the foreign government the FBI is discussing, Russia asked the FBI, I'm going to read from the FBI's press release for information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The request stated it was based on information he was a follower of radical Islam, a strong believer, and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country's region to join unspecified underground groups. They checked to look for things like derogatory telephone communications, online sites associated with promotion of radical activity, association with other persons of interest, travel and education plans and history. They interviewed Tsarnaev family members. The FBI didn't find any terrorism activity domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to Russia in summer of 2011.

I think a lot of people are curious in learning that he was on the FBI's radar and then apparently just dropped off the FBI's radar. The FBI right now I'm sure is gathering information on this to find out more. But put this in context for us.

DON CLARK, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, I wouldn't say that they just dropped off his radar, but I would think that during the course of this that someone had to -- the FBI had to obtain some information from someplace or another that caused them to look into this individual, no matter who that individual may have been. And I would suspect that they did a very detailed investigation on what they knew and were able to gather based on the requests that might have been made to them about this particular individual. And in doing so they did not come up with any information that they thought was harmful in some way, and therefore, apparently, the case was closed and moved on.

TAPPER: All right, Don and Gary, stick around, we're going to come back to you. But right now we have to take a break. CNN's continuing coverage of the terrorist attacks at Boston continues. Lots more to cover on this. We'll keep the discussion going with both of you. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage of the terrorist attacks in Boston. We want to pick up where we left off on how something as simple as this, a mobile phone, can make the difference catching criminals and solving big cases like the Boston terrorist attacks. Back with me now Professor Gary Kessler and former FBI special agent Don Clark is in Houston. Don, many people complain about the cameras on city blocks, Boston is something of a surveillance city, Big Brother watching. But does living in the digital age make it easier to catch criminals?

CLARK: Well, I think it certainly assists, you know, because you have the cameras and things out there. And let's face it, we're in an era now where we're going to live with these cameras and they're there, and they do serve a good purpose. And I know there are people that say I don't want everybody watching me and this. We all don't. But the bottom line is that they're there, and they're there to stay.

And we also know that they are used as protection devices as well. And there have been a number of people that's been saved and there's been a number of buildings saved and so forth simply because there was an opportunity for cameras there and to be able to see something that someone could be able to stop something before it happened.

So I'm not opposed to the cameras. I'm certainly not suggesting that cameras ought to be looking into private citizens as to what they're doing directly without a warrant. However, in terms of protections of buildings and facilities and that type of thing, I think it is a great idea.

TAPPER: Gary, we hear about photos being enhanced, the quality being enhanced, either in photo stills or video. What kinds of techniques are used to enhance a photograph?

KESSLER: Certainly there are a number of mathematical algorithm rhythms that can be used to take the information that's already in the image and filter out, if you will, they're filtering out the noise and they're enhancing what sharpness we can find and trying to build on stuff we know is there and good information.

I think, though, interestingly, of course, the quality of the photos that we're able to get from digital cameras is, of course, incredibly better than it has been in years past. The quality of photos we can get from our cellphones -- actually the cellphone that I have takes better pictures than my digital camera, probably because the digital camera is three years old.

But I think to Don's point, people do appropriately express concern if a municipality wants to put up a new camera at, say, a traffic intersection, and they want to be sure that the government is not intruding on our privacy and those kind of things. And increasingly what we're missing, again as Don alluded to, everybody is walking around in addition to everything else with a camera and we are taking pictures.

And in the case of Boston with the idea of what they call crowd sourcing, law enforcement was able to ask people to voluntarily give up information to help them in an investigation that law enforcement could have never compelled the population to have given up.

TAPPER: All right, gentlemen, thank you so much. Professor Gary Kessler in Florida and former special agent Don Clark in Houston, thank you so much for joining us.

We are waiting for the surviving suspect to be charged, but then the real work begins. We will hear from the man that prosecuted the "Shoe Bomber: on how he thinks they will build a case against the alleged Boston Marathon terrorist.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage of the terrorist attacks in Boston. I'm Jake tapper. The surviving suspect in the Boston marathon attack has not yet been charged with anything, but that could happen any time. The work then will be to build a case against him. Mike Sullivan joins me, former U.S. attorney and former acting director of the ATF.

Mike, you were the one that prosecuted Richard Reed, the "Shoe Bomber." Looking at the case they have to build against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, have they made the right decision invoking the public safety exception for and not reading him his Miranda rights?

MIKE SULLIVAN, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: I think absolutely, considering the events on Patriot's Day in terms of explosive devices, the fact that they uncovered other explosive material and devices, certainly public safety has got to be law enforcement's greatest concern. And Miranda allows a public safety exception, so you try to get as much information in order to protect the public from potential devices being out there and or whether or not there's other members of the cell out there planning similar events.

TAPPER: We know police are saying they found handguns, a rifle, and six bombs at the shootout scene. What does that tell you about what they were planning?

SULLIVAN: It tells you they weren't done, certainly, which obviously is fortunate. They were able to prevent them from the next event. Obviously if they can uncover any other devices that might be out there that poses public safety risk, that's important as well.

TAPPER: You tried Richard Reed in criminal court and you were able to secure a conviction. There are those who say, Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia perhaps the most prominent among them, saying that Tsarnaev should be tried perhaps as an enemy combatant, not even in U.S. criminal court. What do you think about that?

SULLIVAN: I think the department in the military has to at least make that assessment. Does it make more sense to determine he is an enemy combatant and hold him as an enemy combatant in order to protect national security and national interests. They have to make a judgment about this. Hopefully they're going through the process.

TAPPER: He is a U.S. citizen, a naturalized U.S. citizen. If you were successful in trying the shoe bomber, why is our criminal court system not good enough for a U.S. citizen? Richard Reed wasn't a U.S. citizen. I believe he was a British citizen.

SULLIVAN: Yes. First off, Reed came in shortly after 9/11, so the infrastructure with regard to identifying somebody, designating someone as enemy combatant.

TAPPER: The legal structure wasn't there.

SULLIVAN: The process wasn't there to do that. Here it is a little different. And our government has held somebody as a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil as an enemy combatant. Now, the United States Supreme Court hasn't fully made a decision regarding a U.S. citizen being held as enemy combatant. They haven't determined that you can't, but --

TAPPER: What was the Padilla decision? He was an American citizen. SULLIVAN: He was actually held.

TAPPER: But the Supreme Court ruled --

SULLIVAN: Never addressed the issue. The issue got resolved a different way. When you talk about this particular case, why consider holding him as enemy combatant? It has to be about national security and national interest. Can we learn something from this person by holding as enemy combatant that enhances national security, national interests, that we can't learn through a federal prosecution. We don't know that sitting here. But that's something at least the folks within the military and department of justice should go through in terms of the thought process, what is in the best interest of the American public and national security and national interest.

TAPPER: To close this point, part of what's in the interest of the American public one could argue would be preserving rights in the constitution and what exists already.

SULLIVAN: Right.

TAPPER: One could make that argument.

SULLIVAN: Yes, but this doesn't take any of those rights away. If the determination is that con current jurisdiction presently between the military in civilian courts, so no rights have been violated or lost, because the United States Supreme Court already said the government has those two options.

The point is this. Certainly we can successfully prosecute this person in the federal system. We can pursue a death penalty against him. Are we enhancing our national security, national interests by doing that? Can we learn something by holding him as an enemy combatant? If you decide to hold him as that, it doesn't forfeit the opportunity to turn him back to civilian courts at some point in time. I am just suggesting the government should go through the process of making a fully informed decision about whether or not one jurisdiction is better for us than the other.

TAPPER: I appreciate it. Mike Sullivan, thanks so much for joining us.

Boston is beginning to return to normal. We can really get a sense of that at Fenway Park where the Red Sox are back in action now. But before the first pitch, there was a solemn moment of silence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we think of our 176 adults and children who were injured, including MBTA officer Richard Donahue, won't you join us as we observe a moment of silence, contemplation, and player, and in particular for the 58 who are still hospitalized.

Thank you. We wish each of you a speedy recovery.

(END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: I got my Red Sox hat back on, and I'm going back to John Berman at the ballpark. John, how many times do I have to put on this Red Sox hat today?

BERMAN: All day, it warms my heart. That voiceover before the game gave me chills. There were so many moments that gave so many of us chills. There was a moment of silence, there was the entire crowd singing the National Anthem in unison. There were victims of the marathon bombings on the field. There were first responders on the field. They showed images on the scoreboard of the marathon itself, and people simply applauded and there were tears in the crowd. It was very moving.

The team themselves are wearing special shirts. Instead of home whites that say "Red Sox" on them, today they say "Boston" on the front. Players are going to sign the shirts and they will be auctioned off after the game, and the money will be given to the One Fund, the fund for victims and families. The team has rallied around the city in so many ways.

And the city and state, the Red Sox nation is responding. Fans flooded to the ballpark today, really wanted to be part of this moment, part of something special, especially after what they have been through in the last week. I met with a group of young students from Boston College. Yesterday these students were shut in. They were part of the lockdown, told to shelter in place in their dorms. You could see they were going stir crazy. Today, they were giddy to be at the game. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So much better at the baseball game. We're from all over the country, all came to Boston and we all fell in love. And now people are attacking it, and now we fixed it. Let's go.

BERMAN: Now we fixed it.

(LAUGHTER)

BERMAN: How much do you like the Red Sox?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love the Red Sox.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Go Red Sox. There is a bit more of a security presence here, Jake. It took a long time for people to get into the stadium, there were extra sweeps. But I talked to a lot of people. No one said they were concerned about their safety. They were glad to be out.

I will tell you, there is one concern right now. It is the middle of the fourth inning and there's no score in this game. The Red Sox have to put runs on the board, Jake.

(LAUGHTER) TAPPER: Well, that should be the least of our problems today. John, who else is at the game other than some of the survivors and some of the victims, some of the luminaries. Is Bill Buckner, Wade Boggs, Larry Bird, any of Boston royalty?

BERMAN: I'm not going to let you get under my skin, Jake. There is an interesting rumor around Fenway, which is that Neil Diamond is at the game now. Why is that significant? Neil diamond sings "Sweet Caroline," which is the song that they play here at the bottom of the eighth for years. If he is in the stand, like people are saying right now, if he comes out and sings that line, man, oh, man, it will shake this place down.

TAPPER: That would be pretty incredible. John Berman, keep it up, keep having fun. Great day for Boston.

Coming up, a CNN exclusive, we track down the father of the bombing suspects and hear what he has to say. We go live to Dagestan when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage of the terrorist attacks in Boston. The father of the bombing suspects tells CNN he is coming to the United States. He says his sons were framed and were not responsible for the terrorist attack. Nick Paton Walsh is live from Dagestan. In a CNN exclusive Nick was able to track down the father for the first time since the younger son was captured. Nick, tell us about that encounter.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, his apartment where he lived for some time, been there a month or so. Anzor, the father, passed by the apartment in his car a couple of time, seeing people waiting for him outside, but did stop eventually, went into the apartment from his car to collect something. While he was waiting outside, we got a chance to ask him some questions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: I'm with CNN. I'm so sorry, sir. I wanted to hear your story as well. I know this is a difficult time for you. We want to give you the chance to tell people how you feel about this. We feel we haven't had a chance to hear what you have to say about the terrible circumstances you're in.

ANZOR TSARNAEV, BOMBING SUSPECTS' FATHER: My kids never did anything, that's it.

WALSH: Sir, your sons didn't do this? Are you going to America?

Forgive me, sir, I know it has been difficult for you. I'm just trying to do my job. I understand. When was the last time you spoke to them?

TSARNAEV: Sunday morning. That's it.

WALSH: Have you been in touch with special services here? What have they had to say to you?

OK, I understand.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: Really impossible questions for any parent to answer about their child. I can't imagine what must be going through his head. Here in Dagestan, people are really trying to work out the why at the moment, what any possible motivation could have been, if it is linked to this area. I went to the school where the four Tsarnaev siblings studied briefly. Records there show they began in September, 2001, left in March, 2002, and all went to America. That's important because we know that part of the case because it doesn't seem to be the case that Tamerlan, the older, deceased brother, he didn't get to be in the United States until 2006. U.S. officials say he had a green card. So it is possible there are five years we're not sure where he was, was he in Russia still, if he was in this area, there was a lot of extremism, radicalism, and that time off for the second Chechen war could have had influence on him. People are trying to pin that down at the moment, Jake.

TAPPER: Nick, the father says he was questioned by Russian security forces yesterday, and of course he was released. Have we learned anything more about that?

WALSH: I spoke to a Russian security spokesperson today, the second day in a row. He was very tight lipped, saying we probably do know some things but we're not going to tell you about them, no comment, to that effect. It is clear in this part of the world Russian security services have a tight grip. Russians appear to have contacted the FBI about Tamerlan a couple years ago, suggesting he should be questioned. They of course will have their own inquiries to make and may even eventually use this as another example of the war they say they have been fighting against Al Qaeda militants in this region for years. Jake?

WALSH: All right, Nick Paton Walsh, let's explore that aspect of the story. The suspects came from a volatile region of Russia, they have ethnic routes in Chechnya in southern Russia. That's in the Caucasus region. Chechnya's history is marked by its violent struggle for independence since the fall of the Soviet Union. And as Russia clamped down with sometimes brutal force, what began as a separatist movement morphed into a radical movement. One experience is the horrific attack on a Russian school in 2004 that left more than 300 people, many of them children, dead.

Joining me from Washington, D.C., is Christopher Swift from Georgetown University, an expert on Chechnya, and constitutional lawyer. Christopher, the brothers came from a volatile region. But did ethnic ties necessarily influence their alleged actions?

CHRISTOPHER SWIFT, CHECHNYA EXPERT, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: You know, it is too early to say, Jake. These young men would have been in the region, you know, at a very early point in their lives. I think it is much more likely based on the facts that are developing right now that we're seeing a radicalization process that began in the United States when they were in their late teens and early to mid-20s. That's usually the profile for people who self-radicalize, especially through online forums.

TAPPER: And what we've learned in recent reporting is that according to national public radio which spoke to the roommates of the older brother's then girlfriend, then wife, he in 2008, 2009 is when he became more radical and started saying that Islam was under attack.

SWIFT: That's right.

TAPPER: He started demanding his wife wear a hijab. So that would suggest he was radicalized at home. This trip to Russia in 2012 that we now know about, six months in Russia, what interests you about that? What would you be looking for if you were sent to Russia to follow up on this, what would you be trying to explore?

SWIFT: Right. There are three ways the self-radicalization process works. The first when people do it completely on their own, the second when they do it with a mentor, or a facilitator, or a spiritual guide. We saw that with the Fort Hood shooter in Texas and Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. And the third is the Faisal Shahzad example, the New York Times Square experience, where someone radicalizes here in the United States, goes overseas for training from a militant group, and then comes back.

If it is either of these two latter scenarios and there's connection to the Caucasus, that's something we need to know, because that would be the first time one of the groups in that region have done something outside of Russia itself.

TAPPER: Tell us more about Chechnya's ties to Muslim extremist groups. I know from covering -- go ahead.

SWIFT: Yes, let me dispel a couple things that you'll see reported that maybe don't have a good basis in fact. The Chechens have adopted and any other Islamic militant groups have adopted the same ideology, rhetoric, propaganda as the broader global jihadi movement. But their organizational structure has always been profoundly local, always focused on their region, to the extent they operated outside their region. It has been against Russia itself, never in the global space. So the connections between Al Qaeda and this local group are primarily ideological, not organizational, and not operational.

TAPPER: All right, Constitutional lawyer and Chechnya expert, Christopher Swift from Georgetown University. Thank you for your expertise. We will be talking to you in the hours and days to come.

SWIFT: My pleasure.

TAPPER: Looking for answers in a small town in Texas, that's next. We take you to west to see how folks are getting along after a fertilizer plant exploded, reducing the town to rubble. That's coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) TAPPER: A warzone, that's how one rescue worker describes the town of West, Texas, after a fertilizer plant exploded on Wednesday. And 14 bodies have been recovered. To see how people are getting along, let's go to Miguel Marquez in West. Miguel, what are we learning about possible causes of this explosion?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's still very much under investigation. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is finally getting into the area where the explosion occurred, trying to determine exactly where it started. They know the fire started in a building they say, but it is not clear exactly what set that off. They know there was anhydrous ammonia present, which is dangerous in concentrated, pressurized form. They also know there was ammonium nitrate present, which set off the bomb in Oklahoma City. It is not dangerous itself, it can be dangerous if you put water on it. Ammonium nitrate, if it is smoldering, water is the thing to put on it. It is not exactly clear where the fire started and what turn of events happened to set off this massive explosion. Jake?

TAPPER: Miguel, is there a definitive count on casualties or are they still searching and trying to figure it out?

MARQUEZ: I spoke to the mayor a moment ago. He believes 14 is as high as the death toll will go. Remember nine were first responders who were on the scene. It sounds like another three or so were in the factory or in the plant, probably workers there. They found two more in an apartment building. Yesterday, there were reports of 60 people unaccounted for. The mayor says all 60 of those have been accounted for. Jake?

TAPPER: Thank goodness for that. Are there funerals planned for those killed or is that still up in the air as the town tries to pick itself up?

MARQUEZ: Yes, this is the tough part. You know, look, individuals that were killed were very close to the blast, their bodies and remains have been sent to the medical examiner in Dallas. They're trying to make identifications still. I think the hope is in the days ahead they will be able to figure out whether they have individual funerals or one mass funeral for some of the individuals there.

The other thing going on here is that parts of the town are still closed off. People want to get back in their homes, survey the damage, figure out how to start their lives again. So funerals, investigation, getting back into homes, those are the big priorities here in West, Texas, Jake.

TAPPER: And Miguel lastly, before I let you go, how is the tone coping?

MARQUEZ: Look, they're tough people. They are seemingly coping well. There's a lot of attention and love and help and water and food coming in from around the world for the people here, and they appreciate it enormously. There's a huge center set up for people that don't have a place to sleep now, but there's growing frustration because authorities can't tell when they can get back home. It is not clear that they will be. Jake?

TAPPER: Thanks, Miguel Marquez in West, Texas.

We talked about the suspects in the Boston terrorist attacks. What I want to do now is take a moment to talk about the victims. Coming up, Dr. Drew will be here to tell us what we can do to heal and how we can help our family, our friends, our children with their feelings about what happened this week in Boston. Our special live coverage continues in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN. I am Jake Tapper in Boston. Our special coverage of the Boston terrorist attacks continues for another full hour. I am here of course with Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is very windy out here.

TAPPER: I warned you, it is like a wind tunnel.

LEMON: Is that what the hat is for?

TAPPER: The hat is for that and also to show I am Boston strong, even though I am actually Philadelphia strong. But in loyalty, you'll be going to John Berman, who somehow finagled a way to get paid to go to a Fenway baseball game.

LEMON: It is nice to have a lighter moment after all we've been through this week. Jake, let's show people how Boston is sort of getting back to normal, take you to the streets. This is Fenway Park. People are obviously going to the ballgame today as you mention, people are starting to get back to normal here.

Let's take you out to not far from where we are, near Copley Square, not far from Boylston Street, where people are getting out, starting to shop and check out the sights. So Boston is getting back to normal here. It is a bit overcast, but this is a sunnier disposition I have seen them have the entire week.

I am Don Lemon. The next hour of the CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.