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The Latest in the Boston Bombing Investigation; Feinstein to Request FBI Hearing; White House Briefing

Aired April 22, 2013 - 12:30   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to this special edition of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Anderson Cooper.

A week after twin bombs rocked this city, here's the latest.

A source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation tells CNN that the 19-year-old suspect is on a ventilator and heavily sedated.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was shot in the neck. He's unable to speak. He is communicating with authorities.

An interview team goes into the room to question him every few hour. We're told their question focus mainly on finding out if there are other bombs, weapons or accomplices and he responds by nodding or shaking his head.

A Justice Department official says federal authorities could soon file terrorism charges against the teenager.

Boston will fall silent at 2:50 this afternoon for the victims of the bombings. President Obama will also observe a moment of silence and bells will ring to mark the moment when the bombs went off one week ago.

As we remember the victims of this tragedy today, 50 people are still in the hospital recovering from their wounds.

One of them is Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a dance instructor who suffered a terrible injury in the marathon bombings. This is the cover of "The Boston Herald." It reads, "I'll dance again."

She lost part of her leg about four or five inches below the knee. but vows to keep fighting.

I spoke with Adrianne last hour on the phone from her hospital room and asked her what she remembers from the day of the bombing.


ADRIANNE HASLET-DAVIS, INJURED DANCE INSTRUCTOR (via telephone): I remember everything. I remember the first bomb going off, and holding onto Adam, my husband, and thinking, oh, my gosh, I know there's never just one. And I just knew that something was about to happen. And I started screaming, oh, no, oh, no, and then the second bomb went off and it went off directly in front of us.

So I remember everything. I remember falling backwards because of the impact, and falling into sort of a pretzel. And then up with Adam, and waking up and being (inaudible) I was going to be OK because I didn't feel any pain and then he held up my foot and we both thought it was over.

I completely lost, you know, I would say, 80 percent of my bone and muscle and just of my foot and ankle in general, and I was bleeding profusely. It was very scary.

I was conscious through the whole thing, and I immediately just knew that I needed to get to a clean spot because I needed to save my foot.

I was going to dance again and I was going to keep my foot, so I was determined to move to an area that was clean.

So I crawled on my elbows off the sidewalk and into a bar or restaurant. I haven't been back to it. I don't really recollect which one it was.

But -- and I went in there and started trying to open the door with my elbow and crawled in as the door was trying to close behind me and then crawled in to try and find people.

Adam was covered in shrapnel and I wasn't sure if he could move or not, but I knew my foot was bleeding so badly I needed to find help.

COOPER: So even in the midst of that horror, you were thinking about saving that foot, saving your foot so that you could dance again.

HASLET-DAVIS (via telephone): Yeah, I was. I was determined to save my foot.

I knew what it meant to not have it, and my version of an amputee -- unfortunately, I just didn't know much about it. I know a lot more now.

But my version of it was just sitting in a wheelchair and just sitting at home and not doing anything, and I wasn't going to be that person.

I now know, obviously, that's not the case and there's many things that people can do after losing a limb.

But I was headstrong and stubborn on not losing it and doing whatever I could.

I also knew I had two choices. I could either fight it or lay there on the sidewalk and bleed out.

And that sounded awful and painful and horrible, so I wasn't going to choose that way. CHAUNI HASLET, INJURED DANCER'S MOTHER: When she called us it was about 1:00 Seattle time. And her first words were get on the next plane. We've been hit. We were in a bomb.

She didn't think Adam was alive at that time. She said, my foot is gone, my foot is gone, I don't know what I'm going to do. Just get on the next plane, which is what we did.

When we arrived the next morning by her bedside at 8:00 a.m., she had already been in the emergency surgery and her foot had been removed at that time.

They didn't go in until Wednesday to make sure everything was clean and all the shrapnel was gone before they did the complete amputation.

COOPER: So her -- it's amputated below the knee?

HASLET: Just about four or five inches below the knee.

COOPER: Below the knee. Which from -- in terms of using a prosthetic, that's actually ...

HASLET: Wonderful.

COOPER: That's wonderful, having that four or five inches ...

HASLET: If you have to have one ...

COOPER: That's a huge advantage.

HASLET: That's right.

COOPER: I understood when she woke up -- did she realize that that much had been taken?

HASLET: When she first woke up on Tuesday, I know that she mentally knew that her foot wasn't there. Whether she was mentally willing to admit that, I think that took a few hours.

But by the time the surgeons, who are absolutely fabulous, came and spoke with her, she knew that an amputation was likely and was willing to face all the future challenges.


COOPER: Well, Adrianne's husband is an Air Force Captain, Adam Davis. He was also injured in the blast. He used his belt as a tourniquet to stop his wife's bleeding. He is doing OK.

A fund has been set up to help Adrianne and her husband with their recovery and the cost of Adrianne's prosthetics that she's going to need. You can go to,

To help those affected by the bombings, you can also visit our website, Impact Your World on

While the investigation continues, Boston is returning to business as usual in some respects.

Coming up, our special coverage continues with a look at Boston one week after the attack.


COOPER: Well, flags are flying at half-staff, but Boston is returning to the hustle and bustle of ever day life in a lot of respects.

The massive manhunt for the second bombing suspect put the city on lockdown Friday. Businesses, schools, the transit system, they were all shut down for a time.

Tory Dunnan joins us now live from Beth Israel hospital here in Boston. Give us a sense, Tory, of how things are returning to normal.

TORY DUNNAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, I can tell you it's finally nice to see Boston as it should be.

Some of the sights and sounds I'm seeing here, there are cars, there's traffic, you hear the honking you normally hear on a Monday morning.

People are out and about right now on their lunch hour. They're going to restaurants that perhaps haven't been opened over the past several days.

And then I hear construction workers in a nearby building.

So, Anderson, there's definitely the sense people are back at it, work, school, whatever they might normally be up to.

COOPER: And I know the teams are helping the city rally as well. What did the Red Sox do over the weekend?

DUNNAN: Well, Anderson, people said that the Red Sox didn't really have to do anything but show up, but they did much more for the city because everyone likes being back at Fenway. It was really a packed stadium. They held this pre-game special.

And one other thing that the Red Sox as well as other area professional teams are doing is they're auctioning off their jerseys to those who were affected by this tragedy.

So at this point, it's really these professional teams helping the city move forward.

COOPER: What is the police presence like where you are? Obviously, where we are, we're near the marathon finish. There's still a heavy police presence.

What's it like where you are?

DUNNAN: So, here at the hospital over the weekend, I can tell you there was a significant amount of police presence right outside the front doors here. They were checking bags as people walked in.

And today, there are police officers at the front, but they're not doing sort of that same level of checking.

Although if you walk inside, that's when, Anderson, you see the investigators as well as police officers really walking the hallways because everyone knows the suspect is inside here still recovering.

COOPER: All right. Well, thanks for the update.

Coming up, we're going to look at whether the FBI dropped the ball. Should they have done more? We know they did interview one of the suspects before his trip to Russia at the request of the Russian government, but should they have done more?

Senator Dianne Feinstein wants a review by the Senate intelligence committee.

We'll have an update about that, next.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, some people are wondering now if the FBI might have dropped the ball in its investigation. Senator Feinstein wants a review by the Intelligence Committee. Jim Acosta joins us now from Capitol Hill.

Jim, what did she say exactly?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, Senator Feinstein, who is the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, she did not say that the FBI dropped the ball. She didn't want to go that far. But she does want a review of what the FBI knows about all of this and to get at what Tamerlan Tsarnaev was up to when he went back to Russia back in 2012. He apparently made a trip there. And this was after he was apparently interviewed by the FBI back in 2011. The FBI said in a statement Friday night that it had been asked to investigate Tamerlan's ties to potential terror groups, to potential militant groups and that during that inquiry, the FBI interviewed Tamerlan.

And so Senator Feinstein and some other senators up here on Capitol Hill want to know, well how is it that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was able to travel to Russia last year for six months and how did he get back into the country given all of that information? And so Senator Feinstein says there will be a hearing on this, perhaps as early as tomorrow, to get to the bottom of that. And here's what she had to say.


SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: I asked the staff director of intelligence this morning to set a hearing, particularly with FBI intelligence, exactly when did Russia call to ask about this individual? What did he do when he went back for six months? Did he sit in his aunt and uncle's home for six months or was he doing something else? And when he came back to this country, why didn't it ring a bell with the FBI intelligence unit that he should be checked out and vetted again? DHS clearly denied him to be naturalized as a citizen for some reason. So I think, you know, not to criticize, because I'm a big fan of the FBI's, but to go back and to see that we plug loopholes is really critical.


COOPER: That was Senator Dianne Feinstein. Jay Carney is briefing at the White House. Let's listen.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: With that, I will take your questions.

Julie (ph).


It appears as though the suspect in the Boston bombing is having some level of communication with investigators. Can you give us any sense about how much information he's been able to provide to authorities? And are they getting any closer to being able to identify a motivation in the attacks?

CARNEY: Let me say a few things. First of all, at the request of the hospital, the FBI did put out a release this morning on the suspect's condition, and that is that he remains in serious condition. When it comes to the ongoing investigation and the prosecution of the suspect, I am not going to give a play-by-play, for obvious reasons. There is a comprehensive investigation underway. As you heard the president say on Friday, you know, we need to know everything we can about why this happened, what the motivation was, how it happened. And all of those issues are under investigation.

As for the process that the Department of Justice and the FBI are using to move forward in the investigation, they can comment on that. But I think it is entirely appropriate, when you have an investigation like this into a terrorist act, that that process be protected so that it is as effective as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the president, though, getting a play-by-play briefing on what authorities are able to get from this man at this point?

CARNEY: Well, as you saw on Saturday, President Obama convened the National Security Council here in the Situation Room to review the events in Boston. And he was updated on the apprehension of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the related investigation. He was also briefed by the leadership of the intelligence community about our ongoing efforts to combat terrorism and protect the American people.

He commended the work done. And it is extraordinary work and worth noting the work done by law enforcement officials at the state, local and federal level last week, the remarkable period from Monday to Friday night in the act of terrorism and the terrible bombings and the tragedy, the immediate coming together of all relevant authorities at the state, local and federal level to investigate these acts, the ability though remarkable work to provide to the public video and photographic images of the suspects, and then the successful apprehension of - and bringing to justice of the suspects on Friday night. That really is quite remarkable.

And so the president commended the work that was done and underscored the need to continue gathering intelligence to answer the remaining questions about this terrorist attack going forward. And the president has been and will continue to be updated regularly on the progress of the investigation and related matters. But, as I said, in answer to your first question, this is an ongoing investigation that is really still in its early stages.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are some questions being raised by lawmakers about whether the FBI was thorough enough as it looked into this older brother in 2011. Is the president comfortable with that review that the FBI did at that point? Has he asked for there to be any further review of what the FBI did at that point?

CARNEY: Well, let me say, first of all, as you heard the president comment on Friday, the FBI did extraordinary work in responding to this attack, identifying the suspects and working with state and local authorities to bring them to justice.

With respect to the events in 2011, that you mentioned, the FBI has spoken about this and put out a statement. It is clear from that, that the FBI followed up on the information that it received about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the elder brother. They investigated it thoroughly and did not find terrorist activity, domestic or foreign.

As for the president, I mean, you heard him say on Friday, and I think it merits repeating, that - I don't have it here, but it merits repeating in that he called for answers to a number of questions. As I said earlier, why this was done, what the motivations were, how it was done, any possible associations that the suspects may have had. And all of this is being investigated. And I think that you absolutely can expect that all the agencies involved as part of the broader investigation are examining these issues.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's some chatter now that the immigration reform effort could be derailed because of what happened in Boston. What's the White House view of this?

CARNEY: Well, I think we agree with what some of the co-authors of the bill, including, I believe, Senators McCain and Graham and Rubio have said, which is that one of the positive effects and one of the reasons why we need comprehensive immigration reform is because it will enhance, when implemented, our national security. And it is another reason why we need to move forward with this very important bipartisan legislation. That is certainly our view.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you worried that the effort may lose some momentum now because of this?

CARNEY: Well, I would simply say that it should not because of the reasons I just mentioned. And that Republican authors of the legislation, as well as Democratic authors of the legislation, I think, have said, which is that one of the reasons why we need comprehensive immigration reform is we need to bring out of the shadows the roughly 11 million residents of this country who are here illegally. The process of moving along the earned path to citizenship and the various hurdles that have to be cleared - cleared in that process allows for much more information to be known by the relevant authorities and agencies about these individuals. And that's very important.

It also enhances the entry and exit procedures that are part of the immigration process. So we will continue to press forward in a bipartisan way with Congress to move this legislation, because it's the right thing to do for the middle class, for our security and for our economy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some Senate Republicans, lastly, Jay, are saying that the Boston suspect should be treated like an enemy combatant. Is that something that you guys have looked at or made a determination on?

CARNEY: He will not be treated as an enemy combatant. We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice. Under U.S. law, United States citizens cannot be trialed - tried, rather, in military commissions.

And it is important to remember that since 9/11 we have used the federal court system to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists. The effective use of the criminal justice system has resulted in the interrogation, conviction and detention of both U.S. citizens and non-citizens for acts of terrorism committed inside the United States and around the world. The system has repeatedly proven that it can successfully handle the threat that we continue to face.

And there are a number of examples of this, high-profile. The Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear bottom -- bomber was sentenced to life in prison. Warsame, a Somali national, who was a member of al Shabab, and has close associations with al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, is now currently in this system. And we have acquired valuable intelligence from him through the process that is allowed in the system. So this is absolutely the right way to go and the appropriate way to go. And when it comes to United States citizens, it is against the law to try them in military commissions.



Does the president believe that the initial (ph) system -


COOPER: You're listening to the - Jay Carney, the White House briefing. What we missed off the top is the president will be attending a memorial service on Thursday in Waco, Texas, for those killed in the blast in West, Texas, last week. That's it for me. I'll be back on tonight at 8:00 and 10:00 Eastern tonight for "AC 360." I hope you watch us. Our special coverage of the Boston bombings continues in just a moment.


ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Ashleigh Banfield, live in Boston.

And next hour, this city is going to mark one week since the bombings in Copley Square, and still each hour is bringing new facts to light. And with them, some brand new questions as well.

This hour, we know investigators are questioning the lone surviving suspect, who, at this point, remains in serious condition with a gunshot wound to the neck and a breathing tube down his throat. Sources tell CNN that 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is responding to those questions, but doing so nonverbally.