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Boston Marathon Bombing Investigation; Hints That Suspect Was Turning Radical; Boston Terror: Search For Answers; Searching the Blast Crater for Clues; U.K. at Risk of a Triple Dip Recession

Aired April 22, 2013 - 06:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: -- the surviving suspect in a hospital bed, may be charged as early as today as investigators try to learn more about how it all unfolded and whether there are more threats out there.

The FBI accused of dropping the ball. Why did agents question one of the suspects two years ago and then just let him go?

The Russian connection, how this gunfight four months ago could be linked to the Boston bombing case.

Good morning. Welcome to EARLY START, everyone. I'm John Berman live in Boston this morning. It is Monday, April 22nd. It is 6:00 a.m. in the east, in the city of Boston right now. The city is in full recovery mode. We just saw buses going by with "Boston Strong" on the front of theme.

Here are the latest developments in the Marathon bombing investigation one week after the attack. The 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect, could be criminally charged as early as today.

We still don't know what, if anything, he might be communicating to law enforcement officials from his hospital bed. There are also new questions this morning about whether the FBI may have fumbled the case after being warned by the Russians about Tsarnaev's older brother, Tamerlan, two years ago.

And in six hours, a farewell to Krystle Campbell. Funeral services for the marathon bombing victim are scheduled for 11:00 a.m. this morning as the city of Boston reopens and begins to recover.

CNN covering every angle of this developing story really like no other network can. Nick Paton Walsh is in Dagestan where we are learning more about the Russian connection to this case. Joe Johns is in Washington with the scrutiny now facing the FBI.

But we are going to begin here in Boston with Pamela Brown on the latest on the investigation here. Good morning, Pamela. What are you hearing?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, John. After a week of terror, chaos and heartache, the city of Boston still recovering and healing. There are signs that life is starting to return back to normal here. There is a sense relief after the arrest of 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Now the big focus, what charges will he face and when?


BROWN (voice-over): One week after two deadly bombings exploded in downtown Boston killing three and injuring 183 people, the only surviving suspect remains in serious condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

As federal prosecutors prepare to bring charges against him, law enforcement sources say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is unable to talk after a gunshot wound to the neck. Exactly when he suffered this injury is still unknown.

EDWARD DAVIS, BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: This is a very complex investigation, and it's hard to say exactly how he received that injury. There was certainly a shoot-out in Watertown. There were explosives thrown. So that's being looked into right now. It's hard to say exactly how it occurred.

BROWN: We're learning more about the tense moments right before Tsarnaev's arrest. This aerial video shows infrared images of him hiding out on a boat in the backyard of a home in Watertown. According to a law enforcement source close to the investigation, after 25 minutes of negotiations with FBI agents, Tsarnaev was apprehended as he was leaving the boat.

DAVIS: There were three Boston police officers that initially surrounded the boat. Other officers came and assisted, and we held that position until the FBI hostage rescue team could come in to place.

BROWN: In Boston's Copley Square, crews are cleaning up the crime scene. Police announced a five-phase plan to have the area open soon. Despite signs the city is slowly returning to business as usual, heartache remains for many.

Later this morning, 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, who was killed in the explosion, will be laid to rest in Bedford, Massachusetts. A memorial was planned for the third victim, Lingzi Lu on Boston University's campus tonight.

Her parents who traveled here from China will be in attendance. Meantime, critically injured transit officer, Richard Donahue, remains hospitalized.

DR. RUSSELL NAUTA, CHAIRMAN, DEPT. OF SURGERY: This was a truly exsanguinating injury meaning that the officer's blood volume was almost entirely lost to the point of heart stopping.

BROWN: Now doctors are saying they are cautiously optimistic about his recovery.


BROWN: And today at 2:50 p.m., the exact time the first bomb went off a week ago, there will be a moment of silence throughout the state of Massachusetts. That will be followed by a ringing of the bells here in Boston and elsewhere -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Pamela, again, 2:50 p.m. that special moment of silence here in Boston. Thanks so much to you.

Investigators are examining the activities right now of Tamerlan Tsarnaev including taking a look at that trip he took last year to Russia. Tsarnaev was on the FBI's radar for a short time because of concerns about possible Islamic extremism.

So the question a lot of people asking right now, did the agency drop the ball and miss some warning signs about him? Joe Johns is in the Washington Bureau right now with that part of the story. Good morning, Joe.

JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. Investigators still have a lot to learn about this case, but there's already enough information for policymakers to start asking very basic questions. The question being asked here in Washington is whether the FBI dropped the ball at the very start.


JOHNS (voice-over): In the search for how suspected marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev turned radical, a big part of the investigation is focused on what role a six-month trip to Russia played. And any contact he may have had with extremists in Chechnya where his family originally hails from.

REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL MCCAUL (R), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I think it's very probable that when he was in the region, it's very dangerous region that are known for their tactics. That he could have been trained at that point.

JOHNS: When he got back from Russia, Tsarnaev started posting radical videos on a new YouTube page with an address that bore the names of prominent militant leaders among Islamist groups.

And CNN has learned at one point the page included this video since deleted from YouTube of a jihadist killed this year by Russian forces in the same town where Tsarnaev went to visit his father in 2012. The group denies any connection to him.

(on camera): What does that say to you, if anything?

DAVIS: Well, it's certainly a major point in the investigation.

JOHNS: In hindsight, many are asking whether the FBI missed a rising radical, having investigated Tsarnaev in 2011, after the Russians raised concerns about possible ties to extremists.

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: This man was pointed out by a foreign government to be dangerous. He was interviewed by the FBI once. What did they find out? What did they miss?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I want to know how the FBI or the system dropped the ball when he was identified as a potential terrorist.

JOHNS: The FBI says it interviewed him, his family, and looked for concerning phone and internet activities and found no threats. After asking Russia for more information, Moscow did not respond. The FBI closed the case and moved on.

TOM FUENTES, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Thousands of these requests come in worldwide. You don't have the resources to follow every person from then on for the rest of their life because they might be a bad guy.


JOHNS: But one of the things that is still not clear right now is why Tsarnaev would target his adopted city. One possibility, "The New York Times" reporting, his citizenship was delayed perhaps because of the FBI investigation -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Joe Johns for us in Washington this morning. Of course, the investigation stretches from Washington where Joe is to Boston where I am, the crime scene is right behind me, still closed off the public and then the investigation going all the way to the Russian republic of Dagestan right now, that region still very much in the spotlight.

A group there denying any involvement in the Boston bombings, but the brothers have intriguing connections to the region. Their father still lives there. And as we mentioned older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev visited the region in 2011 -- story, 2012, and a YouTube video uncovered exclusively by CNN may hold some clues to a motive.

Nick Paton Walsh is in Dagestan's capital this morning with the latest. Good morning, Nick. What have you learned?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As you say, John, the link from Tamerlan Tsarnaev's YouTube Channel goes to a militant shot dead by Russian Special Forces not far from where I'm standing now.


WALSH (voice-over): Is there a connection between this gun fight involving militants and police in Dagestan and one of the Boston bombers? The YouTube page of deceased brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev suggests there might be.

He put up a link to a video titled Abu Dijan -- the video was removed, but CNN has now found it, and it shows this man. Abu Dijan is the name used by an Islamist militant. Russian Special Forces hit the hideout last December.

An armored car brought in to kill as many as six militants inside including him. The grisly aftermath showing their heavy weapons, but also the heavy hand used to kill them. Four months later, the marks remain of the violence fueling militancy across this region. Neighbors told us the young man who once lived here seemed peaceful, ordinary. But in the dust lies a question, why did Tsarnaev's YouTube page link to the rants of the militant who died here? In the town where Tsarnaev's father lives and Tamerlan visited just last year.

(on camera): You can see just how intense the violence must again. Here could be the clearest link yet between one of the alleged Boston bombers and the violence that's been gripping southern Russia.

(voice-over): A U.S. intelligence source told CNN that Tsarnaev brothers' social media accounts are being examined for possible links to extremists in the Caucasus, in case they reveal the darkest secrets of Boston. Why did the bombers do it?


WALSH: Now we're not saying that Tamerlan Tsarnaev ever met Abu Dijan. It is just very interesting that he linked to a video of this man shortly after he, in fact, himself had been in the same city of that now deceased militant -- John.

BERMAN: Nick, you're doing terrific reporting from the region. Really help putting the pieces of this puzzle together. Just a short while ago, you spoke to the suspect's aunt. What did she have to say?

WALSH: Well, his aunt had a couple of interesting things to say. I think the thing that stood out the most was that she herself was surprised to see Tamerlan return to Dagestan last year, very much a devout Muslim. She almost joked she was worried he would go to America and take up drink or drugs.

But, in fact, he adopted the Muslim faith there, came back devout, wouldn't look women he wasn't related to in the eye, and talked a lot about the central role of religion in life.

Another interesting fact, too, she came out with, the family, in fact, came back from Kurdistan to Chechnya, just near from where I'm standing, before the second Chechen war. That would be before about 1999, 2000.

They lived there for a little bit but fled before the war. That would have been in a formative time for Tamerlan, he'd have been about 11 or 12 and fled as refugees to Dagestan and only later did they go to the United States -- John.

BERMAN: All right, Nick Paton Walsh for us, as we said putting the pieces together in Dagestan this morning, our thanks to you.

In our next half hour, did the FBI miss some major signs in this investigation? We're going to get perspective from terrorism analyst Peter Brookes.

Also Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was spotted all over his college campus in the days after the bombings. CNN's Chris Lawrence will join us with what his classmates at U-Mass Dartmouth have to say right now -- Zoraida. ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: Meantime into the crater, we are live next in the town of West, Texas, where investigators hope a search inside the site of that explosion at a fertilizer plant will provide some clues as to what happened there. EARLY START right after the break.


BERMAN: Quarter past the hour now. I'm John Berman live in Boston this morning. Let's bring you up to date.

Krystle Campbell will be laid to rest later this morning. She's one of the three people killed in last week's Boston marathon bombing.

The surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in the hospital right now in serious but stable condition, with a gunshot wound to the neck. He could be criminally charged as early as today, and we are waiting to find out what, if anything, he might be communicating to law enforcement officials -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: Let's get you up-to-date on some other stories.

A developing story while you were sleeping, five people shot to death at an apartment complex. It's located in Federal Way, Washington. That's south of Seattle. Police report that officers responded to a shooting that was in progress. They discovered four bodies, three men and a woman. Police say that a fifth person was shot to death by the officers when he reached for a gun as they approached him.

And today in West, Texas, investigators are headed into the blast crater. They are hoping that that hole has clues about what started a fire and set off an explosion last week at that fertilizer plant, a massive explosion. At least 14 people, mostly first responders, were killed. 200 people were injured, and about 50 homes nearby were destroyed.

And also there are questions this morning about what kinds of chemicals were stored at that 10-acre site.

CNN's Martin Savidge joins us now from West, Texas, with the very latest.

Good morning to you, Martin.


Getting the answers to those questions like how much material was there in that plant is going to be difficult, because all the records, everything, obliterated with that incredible blast. Behind us here is the primary checkpoint to get into the affected neighborhood. It's actually the road that would have led to the fertilizer plant. But most of those people who were affected by this terrible tragedy still can't go home.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SAVIDGE (voice-over): At checkpoints that divide the town, residents lined up to go home over the within. But only a few of the most undamaged areas were allowed in, facing strict curfews and little or no water or electricity.

New video shot by CNN in the explosion zone continues to demonstrate the power of last Wednesday's blast.

Like this apartment building where two people died. The outside walls have vanished. Trees blown over, town out by their roots, and boulders of reinforced concrete lie everywhere, left over from the deadly hail that came from the plant.

CALLER: My ambulance station just completely exploded.

SAVIDGE: 911 calls paint their own pictures of horror.

CALLER: All the windows on the north side of the house are blown in. The walls, part of it is blown off.

SAVIDGE: Investigators say they have found where the blast originated at the fertilizer plant.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do have a large crater. You guys have seen photos of some of that, I'm sure. But we do have a crater there.

SAVIDGE: But they still don't know what caused the fire that first brought emergency crews to the scene and ignited the cataclysm that wiped out a third of this small town's fire and EMS force instantly.

Meanwhile, volunteers struggle to keep up with the donated aid pouring in.

Cybil Monahan (ph) is grateful. At 83, she is starting over. The blast threw her against a wall and destroyed her home.

CYBIL MONAHAN (ph), RESIDENT: This is a typical West or should I say Texas, because if it happened somewhere else, we would have been there to help them also.

SAVIDGE: A mile from the plant, St. Mary's was untouched by the blast, but not its congregation. Most of the first responders who were killed used to worship here. Some were married here. And one is the son of the church secretary.

At Sunday mass, townspeople leaned on their faith and each other, as shock gave way to grief.


SAVIDGE: There is a real urgency, Zoraida, to try to figure out what happened at that plant. And the reason is this: it's not the only plant there is in this country. There are about 6,000 of them, most of them located in small, rural towns just like this one.

And the question is, was this one here in west just a one-time incident? Or could there be a flaw in the system of how fertilizer is handled? Meaning that all of those other fertilizer plants could be a danger to their own community. Zoraida?

SAMBOLIN: There is a sense of urgency there. We were talking earlier and you said some utilities have been restored. I know the high school and middle school were heavily damaged. What's the contingency plan for the kids? And where are they going to go to school?

MARTIN: Well, today is the first day back to school for many of the students here. But as you point out, this community had four schools. Three of them are damaged. That means that for the most part many of these students will be going back to class today, it just won't be in the schools that they used to go to. They're going to take some major repair work -- Zoraida.

SAMBOLIN: That's a tough situation for that community. Martin Savidge reporting live for us, really appreciate you there.

And still ahead, the financial cost of the city on complete lockdown. Who pays in a situation like what happened in Boston?

Christine Romans is running a tab for us.

You're watching EARLY START.


SAMBOLIN: It is 23 minutes past the hour.

We're minding your business this morning.

The stock market is set to rebound following big losses last week.

Christine, the market is still up for the year, right? Let's put everything in perspective for folks, right?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: I know. It's up big for the year. You keep hearing us say that, look, last week was the worst week of the year and that's true. But look at the three major averages since the start of 2013. The Dow is up 11 percent, the NASDAQ up 6 percent, and the S&P up 9 percent.

SAMBOLIN: We'll take it.

ROMANS: Right.

With those big gains, investors are always looking for reasons to sell some stocks and take some profits. Remember, I was telling you about this little trick of the calendar called "sell in May and go away"?


ROMANS: It's something that has worked the past few years. It's one of these historical trends. Sometimes you see selling in the spring and people come back at the end of the summer. Some people are talking about that with the big gains we've seen so far this year. And, you know, the attack in Boston brought some fear back into the market. But corporate earnings are also coming in, coming in mixed, investors paying close attention to that. We're going to get Apple, AT&T, Amazon, Netflix, just some of the big names reporting this week. So, you know, buckle up. It's going to be a real earnings driven kind of story.

Meanwhile, $333 million, that's one estimate of how much it cost to shut down Boston and some of those surrounding suburbs for a day. That's according to "Bloomberg Businessweek." The Boston metropolitan area produces about $325 billion worth of goods and services every year. It's a little his than a billion dollars a day. It's a big economy, the ninth largest in the economy.

On Friday, everything stopped. Businesses closed. Public transit shut down. Sixteen of the areas 35 colleges canceled classes. Most taxis were off the road. Shopping centers were shut.

And, and people, you know, may have worked from home. Maybe they took the day off. But others could have been busier. Thousands of law enforcement officials, hospital workers, hotel employees, they've worked overtime. Some Dunkin' Donuts franchises stayed open reportedly at the request of first responders.

There are insurance claims businesses can file for terrorism related losses if it's covered under the policy. But it's going to be difficult for a lot of small businesses to get back all that revenue and meet payroll.

So, for some businesses, they are really feeling the pain of last week. For others, though, it was a very, very busy, busy week. It just depends on where you are in the spectrum of business in Boston.

SAMBOLIN: Terrorism-related losses.

ROMANS: That's right.

SAMBOLIN: That's remarkable, isn't it?

All right. What's the one thing we need to know about our money.

ROMANS: A little perspective. The U.K., the U.K. may be slipping into a third recession since the financial crisis. We're going to get official word about that this week. Some analysts say it is likely the U.S. is growing -- the U.S. is growing, the economy is growing. The U.K. is not.

Reminder that there's two stories here. A global recovery, a U.S. recovery, but Europe is -- is really in trouble. So, watching that still.

SAMBOLIN: All right. Thanks, Christine.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

SAMBOLIN: Twenty-six minutes past the hour. Coming up on EARLY START, Boston buries one of the marathon bombing victims. And we'll also have an update on the law enforcement effort to find the motive for the murders.