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Surviving Boston Bombing Suspect Charged; Guantanamo Bay Detainees Situation
Aired April 22, 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.
The Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was officially charged today in his hospital room with, among other things, using a weapon of mass destruction that resulted in death. And that can carry the death penalty. Even as the criminal complaint was filed there was a moment of silence in Boston and at the White House, exactly one week to the minute after the bombing attack.
Much remains unknown about the suspects, what drove them to the murder and who, if anyone, may have influenced or assisted them along the way.
Meanwhile, their victims are being buried. A funeral mass was held for Krystle Campbell outside Boston this morning. And a memorial service will be held tonight at Boston University for Chinese graduate student Lingzi Lu.
Eight-year-old Martin Richard was remembered in Dorchester on Sunday as his mother and sister continue to recover from their own grievous wounds.
Suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remains in serious condition with a gunshot wound to the throat. He's unable to speak, but CNN has learned that he has been responding in writing to questions about whether other attacks were planned, whether other associates are out there.
Much of the investigation centers on Tamerlan, the elder brother, particularly on his stay in the Russia republic of Dagestan in 2012. The aunt he stayed with there told CNN's Nick Paton Walsh that she was surprised by how strictly Tamerlan was now observing his Muslim faith.
The main Islamist rebel group in Dagestan has denied any link to Tamerlan or the Boston bombings, but in the United States, questions are being raised now about how the FBI dropped the Tsarnaev trail, having been asked by the Russian government to investigate Tamerlan. We'll dig into all of these many questions about the case in just a moment.
But first, here's what's coming up later in the program.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): All hell is breaking loose at Guantanamo. Those accused of attacking the United States on hunger strike.
And Boston's hero in a cowboy hat, how saving one life may have saved many more.
AMANPOUR: We'll get to that in a moment. But first, CNN correspondent Deborah Feyerick has been reading through the criminal complaint against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for more details about the bombing.
So you were in Boston; you've got this multi-page charge and criminal complaint.
What are you learning about the details of the crime?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the details of the crime itself, there's one very, very interesting passage about how the two brothers were coordinating during the marathon and during the explosion.
And from this criminal complaint, it basically says that the -- Dzhokhar, with the white hat, he was the one who was at the site of the second explosion. Well, he was there for about four minutes and during that time, about 30 seconds before the first blast happened, he got a phone call. He was on his cell phone and for about 30 seconds.
Then he closed his cell phone and the blast happened, the first blast happened. He then leaves the backpack, walks away and that's when the second blast occurs. So it does appear that they were definitely communicating with one another during time. And an interesting this is where he's standing, investigators believe he was leaning on a tree.
And what they've done is they've actually cut the tree down in the area where he was standing, because they believe there may be some -- a fingerprint or DNA or other shrapnel that will make a definitive link between him and clearly where he was at that moment.
AMANPOUR: Now a lot of people have focused just on Tamerlan. But you're saying Dzhokhar was most definitely instrumental in this, maybe even detonating something.
FEYERICK: A hundred percent. And given the time lapse between when the first bomb was detonated, they may have been on the phone to make sure that Tamerlan had walked away, that he was clear from the original device, because then, as soon as they got the all clear and the first blast hit, that's when you got a pause; Dzhokhar walks away; the second blast happens.
AMANPOUR: And then what happens later? What else detailed there tells us more about how it unfolded, particularly that Thursday night?
FEYERICK: Absolutely. Well, the carjacking -- this is what's so interesting -- this complaint does not deal with the shooting death of the MIT officer, and that's what triggered sort of the massive police response that evening. But what it does tell us is that at one point the two brothers carjack -- they carjack an individual.
It was -- it seems that they were on foot for a part of this. They carjack the individual and then they go to a gas station. And it's interesting, because one of the brothers -- it's believed to be the older brother -- knocks on the window and then when the man unrolls his window down, the brother gets in the car and he says, "Did you hear about the Boston explosion? I did that."
And that is a direct quote from the carjacking victim.
They go to a gas station and what's so unclear is why the younger brother, the 19-year old, would actually walk into a gas station long enough for his photo to be captured on a surveillance camera, which it was. And then the carjacking victim escapes and that's what he reports to police.
AMANPOUR: Does he say how he escaped? And which brother it was who said do you know that I'm the one who did that?
FEYERICK: It does not make clear how he escaped. And it does -- it appears, from people that I've been speaking to, that it was the older brother. And then they went to pick up the younger brother.
But as I can talk about evidence for a minute, because they're finding -- they did list some evidence in this criminal complaint.
They found in the room of the 19-year old -- he was a college student -- and in his college dorm room, they found a black jacket, a white hat resembling what he wearing the day of the bombing; they also found a large pyrotechnic -- like a firework -- along with BBs as well.
In another location, a car -- one of the cars that they used to escape and got into the gunfight -- there they recovered two unexploded IEDs believed to be in the pressure cookers, along with remnants of an exploded IED. So those are two -- a room and a car both connected to the brothers, both with significant evidence.
AMANPOUR: Is there any reason given at this time why they would have approached the MIT officer just out of the blue, shot him to death?
FEYERICK: No. And that's what's remarkable about this entire thing. I've been speaking to a number of people. And the one thing is it does not appear that the police officer, the MIT officer, had even spotted these two individuals. He was completely ambushed. This was an execution. He was shot multiple times in the head. He was wearing a flak jacket, a bulletproof vest.
But no. There's no indication that he radioed into the police department, to the dispatch, to let them know that he had spotted them, nor was there an indication that he had called for backup.
AMANPOUR: That remains a real mystery, because it seems like it triggered the whole search.
FEYERICK: Exactly, exactly. So it's quite fascinating.
AMANPOUR: Deborah Feyerick, thank you very much.
FEYERICK: Of course.
AMANPOUR: And now I want to turn to Nick Paton Walsh in the Russian republic of Dagestan, who's investigating Tamerlan's visit to the region last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Nick, you had the opportunity to talk to Tamerlan's aunt.
What did she say to you about how he was with her when he was visiting last year?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She thought very fond of him. Clearly seeing a man who she hadn't really seen for about 5-6 years, when he was a child before, returning for those six months in March, in fact, of last year is when she said he first turned up.
And the first thing, of course, that she noticed was that he had become a devout Muslim. And she almost joked when she said, you know, he went to America we were worried he might get into drink or drugs. But there it was that he converted to Islam.
AMANPOUR: Did she say that he seemed on the verge of violence or what?
WALSH: Far from it, totally peaceful and calm and certainly, I think, everything that she's seen on television has been met with complete disbelief by her and, of course, the father, who we spoke to the day before as well.
So a real shock here amongst the family, this sort of jump between the peaceful man -- in fact, she said that religion seemed to make him glow inside, to make him even better than the almost angelic person she recalled before he left for the United States about six years earlier. So total disbelief from the family, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Now you can imagine all the investigators, everybody are combing through whatever postings or any kind of evidence they can find of whether he had any extremist radical jihadi links.
Have you found anything?
WALSH: Well, we don't know there's any actual specific meeting between Tamerlan Tsarnaev and a militant here. What we do know is that that -- the Tsarnaev elder brother, on his YouTube channel, posted a link to a video of an extremist here in Dagestan. That link was broken and subsequently removed.
We've found the video and it shows a man known as Abu Dujana here, a reasonably well-known militant figure, who met a very violent end in December in a shootout with Russian Special Forces. They had to use an armored personnel carrier in the clashes, destroying pretty much an apartment in a block not very far from where I'm standing at the moment.
Now, of course, we don't know that these two men met at any particular point.
But it is interesting to note that after Tamerlan Tsarnaev came back from Russia, he appears to have created this YouTube channel, posted this particular video of a militant who was in the same town as his father lived and where he'd been not only recently, no proof of a connection there, but certainly something that shows why the alleged Boston bomber had an interest in alleged extremists working in Dagestan, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: Nick, thank you so much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And now turning again to the investigation in this country, we just heard from Deb Feyerick about the criminal charges that have been filed so far.
Now Phillip Mudd was the deputy director of the CIA's counterterrorist center, and he has decades of experience analyzing the psychology behind attacks like the Boston bombings at both the CIA and the FBI. I spoke to him earlier from Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Phillip Mudd, thank you for joining me.
Is this, to your mind, now a domestic guy with a grievance? Or is it foreign connected terrorism? What clues are you looking for?
PHILLIP MUDD, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, CIA COUNTERTERRORISM CENTER: I'm looking for two clues. The first is the nature of the people we see conducting the operation, and that is two brothers who have lived and traveled overseas, but who do not appear to have, at least at the moment, a foreign operational linkage that might include things like financing, training.
Now if I were back in the business, I'd be saying there's a lot of boxes we've got to check here. In particular, what they were doing when they went home. But the characteristics of this so far are not that sophisticated, despite the horror of what happened.
The real turning for me in looking at this was when the video was released, the initial one, you see that the younger kid has a hoodie and baseball cap. The hoodie's off and the cap is turned backwards. So again, if somebody's going to claim this is a huge international conspiracy, turn your cap around, dude, and put the hoodie on.
AMANPOUR: So let me ask you, though, the Russians, this seems now to be a fact, contacted the FBI and said, look into this guy; this is the older one, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. And the FBI did and then they said they found nothing and they dropped it.
What should the FBI do when a foreign government, particularly one that has very much experience fighting Islamic terrorism, what should the FBI have done?
MUDD: I think the FBI should do the same thing with the lead from the Russian services that it would get from a tipster in the United States, and that is you cannot assume that the person has broken a federal law.
You have to go in and say what's the least intrusive method to look at this person who is sitting on U.S. soil? And that method is I'm going to go talk to him; I'm going to look at other information, for example, I might look at information they have on their emails.
If it's appropriate, if it's legal, and I ask the simple question not are they radicals but are they going to consider committing an act of violence? That's a very different question than a foreign service saying this is someone who's radical.
So I don't know the details of what the Russians said. But my first question was not are they radical but is there an indication that they are considering violating federal law?
AMANPOUR: And then we found the day of the bombing, all we had to do was go online and find Facebook pages, YouTube postings, which clearly had worrying content from the older one, a playlist that was labeled "terrorists," Islamic, you know, videos and the like. You know very well that his application for citizenship was denied last September -- that's 2012.
Should not all of these things been red flags for the FBI to go back and talk to this guy?
MUDD: I don't think they should be red flags. They ought to be yellow flags. And the reason is quite simple: --
AMANPOUR: Well, still --
AMANPOUR: -- shouldn't they have gone back and talked to him, yellow flag or red?
MUDD: Look, I'd have to see the case. You can't do an after-action within 48 hours of the takedown of the suspect.
AMANPOUR: No, but Phil, we went online and we saw these postings, honestly, I'm trying to get to the bottom of this. We now know that he was denied his American citizenship precisely because of the FBI investigation.
Should they not have gone back and seen him and talked to him?
MUDD: I'm not certain. As I said, I'd have to see the details of the case. What you're missing is critical. The American people see episodic events of terror plots or successful terror attacks in this country.
This is not an episodic experience when you live in government. This is a volume, a sea of information that has -- that has incoming information, incoming suspects every day. There is a lot of extremism in this country. And you can't simply look at every case in isolation. There's thousands of cases.
AMANPOUR: OK. Well, let me ask you this, FBI have said, for years now, or certainly in the last couple of years, that their biggest fear is not so much Al Qaeda terrorism in the United States, but homegrown terrorism. Again, is enough being done to try to nab the homegrown?
MUDD: I don't really differentiate -- from a threat perspective, you might differentiate homegrown from foreign. But from an investigative perspective, I wouldn't.
The bottom line is who in this country is contemplating an act of violence, whether or not they're self-radicalizing in a basement or whether they went through a training camp in Pakistan, the challenge of the homegrown is not simply their ideological background, it's the fact that from an intelligence perspective, operationally, they have very few vulnerabilities.
Two brothers might be talking to each other. They don't have an expanded circle. They don't build an explosive device that includes materials that are difficult to find. They don't pick a target that's difficult to case. In a country of 330 million people, finding a vulnerability between two brothers who don't bring in an outside conspiracy is pretty tough.
AMANPOUR: So then what -- that begs the question about the future, then. How does one try to arrest this kind of thing before it happens?
MUDD: I think the future will have two components: the first is to do after-actions -- and we've had a lot of cases like this that we've broken. So there's a lot of experience here -- to do after-actions and say was there an opportunity for intervention? Should we have seen something through the lens of violence as opposed to just radicalism or extremism?
And the second, which people aren't talking about, is if you're going to go down that road of more aggressively pursuing people like this, for every one you find, as you open up the aperture, you're going to have 500 false positives.
And you -- if that's the price you want to pay, not only in terms of resources, but in terms of doing things that Americans are going to be uncomfortable with, I'd say stand back, put your seat belts on. That's not a world you want to live in.
AMANPOUR: So interesting. Phillip Mudd, thank you so much for joining me.
MUDD: My pleasure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And after a break, despite a lot of clamor, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was, in the end, not charged as an enemy combatant. But the United States detention center at Guantanamo Bay is filled with prisoners who are designated that way, and they're held without trial for years. In protest, they're staging a hunger strike. We'll look behind the barbed wire when we come back.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program. Amid a conservative clamor for the suspected Boston bomber to be labeled an enemy combatant, the White House today said that 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an American citizen, will be tried in civilian court.
As we said earlier, he was today charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to cause death, a crime which can -- could -- carry the death penalty.
But the term enemy combatant is a familiar one, because after 9/11, it was used for detainees who were sent to Guantanamo Bay, where right now, as we said, all hell is breaking loose as prisoners, who are protesting their conditions, are now in their 10th week of a hunger strike -- and it's growing.
Carlos Warner is a public defender, representing 11 of the detainees. He's unable to contact them and he's afraid many of them will die.
Carlos Warner, thank you very much for joining me.
CARLOS WARNER, PUBLIC DEFENDER: Thank you for having me, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: I want to ask you first about this notion of enemy combatant. If Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who's been federally charged now, had been labeled as an enemy combatant, what would that have said for successful prosecution or even information that the public might get to know?
WARNER: Well, what we're talking about here is an American citizen creating a crime, a heinous, horrible crime on American soil.
So the idea that you would have Senator Graham and Senator McCain -- Senator Graham, who's a lawyer, I believe, in the Air Force, come out and say we should strip this individual of all of his rights, we should send him to Guantanamo or someplace else, is horrifying to me, and it should be horrifying to the American public.
Look, he did not make this call when there was a ricin mailing last week, when Chris Dorner was rampaging. I think it's xenophobic at best, and it's Islamophobia at worst.
AMANPOUR: Well, let's get to the -- let's get to the issue. The ricin, of course, is when somebody sent letters laced, both to the president and to members of Congress.
Let's ask you about what is actually happening in Guantanamo right now.
They're saying, the authorities there, that half the prisoners are on hunger strike. They say about 84. Does that jive with what you know?
WARNER: No, we've been saying for over a month that it's 130 men are on strike, and we've got that from multiple sources. That's 130 out of 166. And let's remember, 86 of these men have been cleared for release.
And I think you said, at some point, that these men were accused. They've been accused of nothing. They are not only innocent, but the government has agreed they're not dangerous to release.
So while President Obama got it right with the bombing suspect in Boston, he's got it totally wrong in Guantanamo. And things have gotten worse.
AMANPOUR: So what is the condition of your clients?
WARNER: Well, we know the entire camp, at this point, is only basically 24/7 lockdown. The -- about 130 of the men, six months ago, were in a communal setting. Now we know the men are in basically 24-hour lockdown. They're being allowed to go on individual recreation for two hours a day, but none of them are taking it.
The number of hunger strikers from the military's account has grown exponentially. They play games with the numbers; I'm not here to argue about the numbers. I'm here to call on the president to end the strike. And he can do that if he would just pay some attention to what has happened in Guantanamo.
AMANPOUR: Let me just -- let me just run this by you. There are reports that there have been at least two suicide attempts, many injuries.
And, as you said, the prison on lockdown. Now a Yemeni prisoner, Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, wrote an op-ed in "The New York Times," which many people read. He's been there for 11 years. He says he's done nothing wrong and he wrote something entitled, "Gitmo Is Killing Me." And he's describing being force-fed when on hunger strike.
"There was agony in my chest, in my throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone."
He basically says they're forcing intravenous -- you know, IVs into their arms. What is happening to your clients -- or down their throats --
WARNER: Yes, down their nose. So that they're shoving a tube down their nose and force-feeding them with Ensure. And the military claims today 16. But we don't know what 16. I mean, I would tell you, I believe, that it's the majority of the camp is being fed this way because my understanding is nobody's eating.
The military is -- has unified the men in their -- in their strike. So this -- and this young man -- and I encourage all of the watchers to find that op-ed. These are the people we're talking about. We're talking about people that are not a danger, that President Bush and then President Obama said should be released, but nothing has happened.
Why? I think it's the same xenophobia that I spoke about earlier with the senators, you have that in the United States.
AMANPOUR: What about this raid that is causing so much controversy, a raid of the prison?
WARNER: Now, look, the military could, again, end this; it's not their fault. This is President Obama's fault. However, the military's doing all the wrong things.
So instead of calling us in and negotiating and deescalating -- which I've offered, which my colleagues have offered to do time and time again, they instead came in -- and from what I understand from the latest reports from the camp, they didn't use tear gas; they used rubber bullets at a short range.
There was -- from the press reports -- a 5-hour fight, riot between the guards and the men. And the men are in solitary confinement. If the military that's going to end a hunger strike, it's not. It's going to do exactly the opposite.
So I'm imploring the military to use us, the people that know these men, to come down and negotiate a solution. We can do it. And we need the president's support, frankly. The president needs to intervene here and end this strike for the good of humanity.
AMANPOUR: Carlos Warner, thank you very much indeed.
WARNER: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And we will be back with more after a break. Stay with us.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world where even in the chaos of a terrorist attack we are all connected.
Maybe you've seen this photograph. It was taken moments after the blast as a bystander in a cowboy hat tried to keep one of the bombing victims from bleeding to death. But there's more to the story.
Carlos Arredondo was the man in the hat. And as soon as the bombs went off, he ran towards the danger. If you look closely, you can see him helping to pull away the rubble. But he didn't just happen to be there.
A dedicated peace activist, Carlos was waving an American flag and cheering for a group of runners honoring fallen war veterans, one of them his own son, who was killed in battle in Iraq. And so when he saw a man with shattered legs lying on the ground, Carlos rushed in to do what couldn't be done for his son.
But the connections don't stop there. While doctors couldn't save the victim's legs, they did save his life. Incredibly, it was this man, Jeff Bauman. And as we all now know, he's the one who woke up in hospital, asked for paper and pen and wrote, "Bag. Saw the guy. Looked right at me." It was that lead that helped the FBI narrow its search, a search that eventually led to the two suspects.
And that's it for tonight's program. Meantime, you can always contact us on our website, amanpour.com. Thanks for watching and goodbye from New York.