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Interview With Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger; FBI Hands Over Boylston Street to Boston

Aired April 22, 2013 - 16:59   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news we're following. Jake, don't leave. I'm going to need your help. We're taking a closer look. One week exactly after the bombings ripped through the Boston marathon, ripped into the heart of this city, the FBI is now returning control of Boylston Street back to the city of Boston.

Let's go straight to CNN's Ashleigh Banfield. She's over there on Boylston Street.

I know the mayor is going to be there and there is going to be some other local officials. This is a major moment right now because this street has been closed for a week. It was the scene of the investigation. This is where those two bombings took place exactly a week ago.

And there's no doubt that people here are anxious to try to get back together to some semblance of normality, normalcy, if you will. And people are anxious to make sure that Boston is coming back.

This will be a symbolic event right now and we're watching it very closely.

Jake Tapper is watching it together with us.

You know, we've been here now for a long time -- Jake.


BLITZER: The mayor of Boston, who is in a wheelchair -- he had some severe health-related issues -- he's going to be presiding over this symbolic moment. But it's going to be done in stages as they return Boylston Street, where these bombings occurred, back to the city of Boston. The FBI had determined it was a crime scene, they needed to investigate. Apparently now, they've completed the investigation. There you see Mayor Menino being wheeled over to this event right now. You know, he speaks softly right now. He's still recuperating. He was in the hospital, as you know...

TAPPER: Right.

BLITZER: -- when all of this occurred.

TAPPER: He's a one man metaphor for the town itself. I remember when he was speaking at that service at the cathedral, his struggle to stand up, get out of the wheelchair, talk to the city of Boston, was very moving in and of itself. But he almost symbolized the way that the city felt, knocked in -- knocked down and struggling to get back up.

BLITZER: He certainly did. And he's -- he, like the governor, Deval Patrick, the police chief, Ed Davis, a lot of these people have been so reassuring to the community here. And I think the symbolic ceremony that we're about to see here is going to further reassure the folks, yes, it was a terrible, terrible bombing -- two bombings actually, that occurred -- but it's time for this city to move on. And I think the FBI is ready to see that. Certainly, the authorities here in Boston -- here are some more officials coming in, including representatives from the police -- from the Boston police force, led by their Boston police chief, Ed Davis, who's become very, very visible in all of this, as well.

I believe we'll hear first from the mayor. He will preside. Then Ed Davis, I assume he'll be speaking. Representatives from the Boston Office of Emergency Management will be here. And federal authorities will be here, as well. The FBI taking the lead in this investigation, still is the lead in this investigation. But they've determined -- apparently determined they have enough evidence collected at Boylston Street, that they can move forward and give this part of the city back to the city.

TAPPER: And it's been a -- a very momentous day. You had, first of all, the charges against Bomber Number Two, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, filed against him. And then you also, of course, had -- roughly two hours, 10 minutes ago, you had a moment of silence honoring the victims of this horrible terrorist attack. Krystle Campbell and the others, Lingzi Lu, Martin Richard and then, of course, Officer Collier. You had a moment of silence for them here in Boston and throughout the country.

BLITZER: The mayor will receive an American flag that flew over the finish line at the Boston Marathon exactly one week ago. The FBI will present the mayor with this commemorative American flag that has flown at half staff over the Boston Marathon finish line in a ceremony that we are about to see live here on CNN.

And then, we are told, the city will commence what's being described as a five phase plan for reopening this street to business, to commerce, to traffic, to passengers, to people just walking along. The first phase will be decontamination and testing to make sure everything is safe and secure. The second phase is structural building assessments, utility coordination, making sure power has been restored.

The third phase, debris removal, getting rid of all the junk that's accumulated on the streets.

Phase four, internal building assessments, making sure the buildings are structurally sound.

Phase five, reentry communications and counseling -- and, Jake, on that last issue of counseling, four people are dead, nearly -- at least 200 people were injured. Many of them remaining in hospital in critical condition. There have been a lot of amputations. There's going to be a lot of counseling that's going to be needed to heal this city right now.

TAPPER: Oh, yes, I mean for, you know, for members of the media and some people in the country, they will turn their sights on other issues. But for a lot of people, this is going to be April 16th, the day after the bombing, for years and years to come. I mean the trauma, both physical and mental, that people in this city have gone through.

We were talking to the police chief in Watertown. He was talking about the counseling that his officers are going to have to go through. We were talking to a columnist from "The Boston Globe" earlier and he was talking about the counseling that some members of the media are going to need.

BLITZER: Hold on a second. I want to listen to this ceremony.


BLITZER: So they have the flag that was flying at half staff over this past week at the end of the Boston Marathon. And the FBI now presenting it back to the city of Boston. A commemorative moment, the mayor receiving this American flag that flew over the finish line, underscoring what is about to happen, this process of returning Boylston Street, where these bombings occurred, these terror bombings, exactly a week ago, bringing this part of Boston back to the city of Boston.

It had been part of the crime scene controlled by the FBI as part of this investigation.

Ashleigh Banfield is on is scene over there for us.

What's it like over there -- Ashleigh?

BANFIELD: Well, Wolf, it's one of the more unusual public ceremonies in that the public is being completely barred from getting anywhere near the ceremony. I'm a block away from Boylston, on the sort of same shopping area, Newbury Street.

So I'm watching as a lot of these dignitaries and officials have been driving through the barricades.

But the police have been keeping everyone, including the press, at bay, and allowing only those involved in this ceremonial transfer of the street from the Feds back to the Boston police.

But again, it is -- it is a very unusual circumstance in that we actually were approached by a deputy commander here about two blocks away and invited to come and take part in this about 45 minutes ago. And even she was unaware that the press was not going to be allowed.

And there's a very heavy police presence blocking not only press, but the public. And everyone is sort of peeking at the flashing police lights that are a block away and wondering if they can catch a glimpse.

But I can tell you, we heard the bagpipes warming up right in front of us. And we heard them just, you know, start their rendition just a few moments ago.

So it's just a very unusual circumstance in that no one is really allowed to be anywhere close to this ceremony.

BLITZER: Well, you can understand given the security concerns, given the fact that this has been such a -- such a horrible, horrible situation in Boston. Everyone wants to be extra cautious right now and so they're keeping media, they're keeping others, understandably, a block or two away. You see that that flag...

BANFIELD: And Wolf, I can tell you, also...

BLITZER: -- presented to the mayor of Boston.

BANFIELD: -- something else we noticed.

BLITZER: Yes, go ahead, Ashleigh.

Something else we've just have been noticing, all of these side streets going into Boylston Street are all blocked off. But occasionally, residents, who obviously have apartments in this area, they approach the barriers. They have to bring out ID. They show the to the attending officers. And then the officers actually cross- reference them with sheets that they're holding on their person. So they're not leaving anything to chance. And these residents I've seen with shopping bags and some of them coming home from work, just trying to get to where they live, which is right at the bombing site. But ID is not enough.

BLITZER: Ashleigh Banfield is on the scene for us.

Ashleigh, thanks very much.

A moving moment here in Boston.

The 19-year-old, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, lies in a hospital here in Boston. He's sedated. He's restrained. He's hooked up to a ventilator. Federal authorities brought a judge and a public defender, a lawyer, to his room so the surviving bombing suspect could hear the charges against him, those federal charges which could -- could lead to the death penalty, accuse Tsarnaev of fatally using a weapon of mass destruction. The affidavit gives a detailed time line of the bombings based on video and other photographic images.

CNN's Tom Foreman is joining us now with a closer look -- they really have provided, Tom, a lot of specific details in this affidavit that was released.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a lot of things, Wolf, that up until now, people were mainly just guessing at. But here's what we know at this point. Authorities say that at 2:41 on the day of the bombing, both of the brothers had assembled next to each other, right down here, a short distance from the bombings. So they were standing down in this area together.

They weren't there a very long time, because, precisely at 2:42 -- at 2:42, the older brother took off with his backpack headed up toward the start of the race.

This image is reversed because of the way the camera is. But, in fact, he's headed up toward the race, according to what the authorities say.

So what was the younger brother doing?

They say that he remains standing in this position until 2:45. And at 2:45, that's when they say the younger brother also started heading up the street. But he did not go nearly as far as his had brother went in this process.

In fact, what he did is he walked up to another position a little bit further up. I'm going to bring that up so you can take a better look at that. And he went up to this other position. He found that his brother -- his brother had gone on well ahead of him. And at that point, then he had to settle in himself to get ready for the action that they apparently had planned here.

So what happened at that point?

As he's standing here alongside the line, and his brother is further up the way, he talks on his phone, apparently. Takes a cell phone photograph, as best they can tell. And 30 seconds before the first blast, apparently is on the phone speaking to someone. It's not clear who.

At that point, then you see the first explosion take place further up the way, right up here. And this is a short distance to the second explosion. For 18 seconds, he's been on the phone. The first explosion occurs. He pauses. And, remember, there was a 12- second pause and 12 seconds after this, they say, he has now walked away, leaving his backpack behind.

And 10 seconds after he walks away, Wolf, that is when the second blast occurred right down here. So now we have this clear path that we did not have before of both gathering here, one walking on, the second one walking on and standing here for four minutes, waiting until this blast went off, according to authorities, then leaving his back and walking away -- his backpack behind. And 10 seconds after he walked away -- he would only be 20 or 30 feet away -- that blast went off, Wolf.

Extraordinary details that we really have not known up until now.

BLITZER: Yes. They have the videotape. They certainly will release that videotape in a court of law. They've described it in extensive detail. That's going to be powerful, powerful evidence in a potential trial.

Tom, thanks very much.

All right, so let's recap quickly. The surviving suspect, Dzokhar Tsarnaev, now facing federal charges, among them, using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death.

Let's bring in our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin -- all right, Jeffrey, what happens next?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What happens next is that the case will be presented to a grand jury. Prosecutors will begin presenting evidence leading to an indictment. I think the process is going to slow down a great deal.

Remember, this crime was only a week ago. The government is going to have to assemble a lot of scientific evidence trying to tie material that can be connected to site -- to the defendant, to the bomb itself. This is complicated stuff.

I think it's going to be months in the grand jury until a final indictment is ready to be presented, probably. And then at that point, the case will be presented to a trial judge and there will be motions and then a trial.

BLITZER: He now has a lawyer. A public defender was at the bedside when that federal magistrate read to him these charges. So presumably, he has the right -- was told he has the right to remain silent.

What do you expect is going to happen? What will this public defender recommend based on all of your experience, Jeff?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, this is a pretty easy call. Certainly, this defense lawyer is going to say, stop talking. I mean, there is nothing to be gained at this point, particularly, since his cooperation may be the only negotiating leverage he has to avoid a death penalty. So, certainly, there will be two thoughts on the mind of his defense attorney. One is silence from his client, and the second is delay.

Delay things as long as possible. The country, the commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, everybody is hugely exercised about this right now, but time has a way of making people somewhat less angry, increasing the chances perhaps for a plea bargain or some sort of other resolution to the case.

BLITZER: So, all of that talk of some sort of public safety exception before you give him his Miranda rights, all that talk of naming him as an enemy combatant, all of that is moot right now. They've gone forward with the official proceedings.

TOOBIN: Well, they may have used the public safety exception, and apparently, they were using it to question him, and he responded in some way given his medical condition. But certainly now that he has a lawyer, that period, however long it was, is over. And you're right, the enemy combatant thing, that was a nonstarter from the beginning. It was never going to happen. This is a criminal case in federal court in Massachusetts, and that's where it's going to stay until it's resolved one way or another.

BLITZER: Yes, it's going to take a while. All right. Jeffrey, thanks very much. Much more on what's going on in this Boston investigation coming up here in the SITUATION ROOM.

Also, another terror plot released today, new information. Canadian authorities announcing the arrest of two men believed to be part of a terror plot to attack a passenger train that may have been heading towards the United States. The plot said to have an alleged connection to al Qaeda elements in Iran. That according to the Canadians.

Also, more on what's going on in the Boston marathon bombings investigation. Could the two suspects here, could they have been linked to foreign terror groups? I'm going to speak with the senior Democrat of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Dutch Ruppersburger. He's standing by live.


BLITZER: One week after the Boston marathon bombings, the surviving suspect is charged by federal authorities in his hospital bed with fatal use of a weapon of mass destruction. Joining us now is congressman Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland. He's the senior Democrat of the House Intelligence Committee. Congressman, thanks very much for coming in. I know you've been well briefed on what's going on.

Is it your sense right now that these two brothers, one of whom is now dead, were in fact linked to some sort of terrorist group?

REP. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER, (D) INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: At this time, Wolf, we have no indication. Of course, that's one of the big issues. We have our intelligence committee right now, both internationally and internally, getting any information that we can to find out what the motive was for this terrible crime to occur.

BLITZER: The Boston police commissioner, Ed Davis, says that these two suspects may have been planning more attacks down the road. What can you tell us about that?

RUPPERSBERGER: I don't think we have any information to that effect other than they did have the type of ammunition that was needed and their second attack when they killed the police officer and they got into the gun battle. What we're really looking at right now is bomber number one, the older brother who's no longer with us anymore, when he went to Russia, did things change? Did he become radicalized?

When he came back, it looked like the pattern of life with respect to his brother changed. He wasn't getting good grades anymore. But we have to find this out, and we've got a lot of people working on getting that information, checking all of their acquaintances, checking more with Russia to find out exactly what happened when he went to Russia and came back.

But we want to see whether they were just the two of them, what caused this, or was this a conspiracy. And that's where our focus is right now.

BLITZER: I want to play for you what Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, said after the White House announced earlier in the day that the surviving suspect, the 19-year-old, would not be questioned as an enemy combatant. Listen to this.



SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I'm asking this administration to leave on the table the option, if the evidence warrants, to designate this individual as an enemy combatant. What do we know? We know that these two individuals embrace radical Islamic thought, that there's ample evidence this was an attack inspired by radical ideology. They were not trying to rob a bank in Boston.


BLITZER: All right. What do you think about that, congressman?

RUPPERSBERGER: Well, first thing, I respect the senator's point of view, but I disagree. Number one, you have to look at the legal aspect of this. When that provision that you don't have to give Miranda rights is used, that -- you have to show a connection to al Qaeda. In this situation, we, at this point, have no connection to al Qaeda whatsoever.

So the other issue is this is an American citizen. And when you have an American citizen, you have rights pursuant to our constitution. And, at this point, this event occurred in Boston, and they were indicted by the courts. And let's talk about the issue. And I think you have to take each case as it occurs. I think we've had about maybe a handful of cases tried in military court. I think one was thrown out, another one I think the person went back to Yemen.

We've had over a thousand terror arrests and terror convictions that were obtained in civil courts, and most of those people are in jail. The underwear bomber, the person who attempted the bombing in Times Square. So, the people in the federal courts, they know the system, they do well. The prosecutions are close to 100 percent if not 100%.

But each case, you have to look at differently because the whole purpose is to get information before Miranda rights, number one, and find out if there are any other terrorists out there that are trying to attack our country.

So, at this point, it's a moot issue anyhow because the charges have been made against the bomber number two, and they're moving ahead with a federal prosecution in Massachusetts.

BLITZER: One final question, congressman. Is Russia fully cooperating with the U.S. in this investigation?

RUPPERSBERGER: Well, my concern with Russia, there's still a lot of people in Russia that have issues with the cold war. But they did make a request for us to check out bomber number one, and that was done. And now, we're going to make sure that whatever was done in that investigation, I know that chairman rogers in the intelligence committee, we've set a hearing with this week with the FBI and I think the Senate Intelligence Committee has also done that.

So, we'll find out more. But bring it into perspective. There are over a thousand types of these requests from other countries every year. So, we looked at it. We're going to ask the questions, what happened, what was the information, did we need to go any further, because the most important thing, we want to make sure that we protect again. You know, we're very concerned about the lone wolf, not this lone wolf doesn't mean one.

It means a couple of people under the radar where we don't have the ability to get the intelligence because nobody's talking or nobody's giving us information. In that case, we need the public to be involved and to tell us anything suspicious. That's a big concern that we've had for years about the lone wolf situation.

BLITZER: Congressman Ruppersberger, thanks very much for coming in.


BLITZER: We appreciate your perspective.

RUPPERSBERGER: It's really great to see Americans coming together and the people of Boboston. They've got their city back, and it's fantastic.

BLITZER: Certainly agree with you on that. Thank you.

Arrest made in what they describe as a thwarted al Qaeda- supported terror plot. We're talking about new information coming in about a terror plot unveiled in Canada with potential ramifications here in the United States. We'll have details on that.

Plus, the latest on the Boston bombing investigation.


BLITZER: Happening now, we're following breaking news. An alleged al Qaeda-supported plot targeting a passenger plane thwarted. We'll details on the arrests that have just been answer announced.

Also, Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev's reported outburst at a Cambridge, Massachusetts, mosque. What set him off, and was it a sign that he was turning radical?

And is there a connection between one of the alleged bombers and militants in his native Russia? CNN is on the ground there. We're looking for answers. I'm Wolf Blitzer. This is a special edition of THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: And the breaking news coming in from Canada right now where authorities have just announced the arrest as of two men believed to be part of an al Qaeda-supported plot to attack a passenger train, a train potentially heading to the United States. They say the suspects were receiving support from al Qaeda elements in Iran.

We want to stress, though, the U.S. government sources saying this plot is in no way related to the terror attacks that occurred one week ago here in Boston at the Boston Marathon. Let's go straight to CNN international security correspondent Paula Newton. She's in Ottawa, Canada. She has the very latest. Tell our viewers what we know about this alleged plot involving al Qaeda elements in Iran.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (on the phone): Well, police here saying really that it was a real threat to kill people, to hurt people. But they do stress, Wolf, it was not an imminent threat but a real one. They had these men under surveillance for several months. Two young men, one 30, one 35. Neither are Canadian citizens, and they have been here for several months. They do say there was a certain amount of surveillance done at the train station to try and determine exactly what kind of character the plot would take.

What's key here, Wolf, is that they're executing search warrants right now. Those search warrants, we'll be able to see if they do indeed find the elements of any kind of equipment that would have helped in their derailment plan, or if they were still in what we call aspirational stages of a plot. And police were very clear with us, Wolf, that they still don't know that.

The other thing, Wolf, that's intriguing and interesting here. They're saying al Qaeda supported and guided from al Qaeda elements in Iran. They were at pains (ph) to say they didn't believe it was in any way, shape or form state sponsored.

But Wolf, you know, Iran and al Qaeda, not normally two things that go together. I can tell you from intelligence sources here that they have always been worried about Iran (INAUDIBLE) Hezbollah cells. Hezbollah cells that they believe do remain in Canada and the United States. But this al Qaeda and Iran is a completely different element, and we're still trying to gather more information about that.

BLITZER: Where are these two men from, Paula?

NEWTON: Well, we do not have confirmation. It seems that one is from Tunisia and one from the United Arab Emirates. I do have that from one source but couldn't confirm the exact location from police today. They did underscore the fact to me, Wolf, that they were not from Canada and had not been here a very long time. Underscoring the point, again, Wolf, that this was not homegrown radicalization. We have had examples of that in the recent past. In Canada, we had two people that were tied to the attacks in Algeria in January, but they were from Canada, born in Canada. This does not seem to be the case. They had come here for either work or for study, and at this point in time, police did receive a tip-off, they say, from a Muslim community -- that's all they would say -- that perhaps these two were engaged in some terror activities. And they decided to execute on that. What did that mean? That means bugging their mobile phones and perhaps keeping a tap on their computers and home phones as well, Wolf.

BLITZER: Paula Newton in Canada for us with the latest on the breaking news. Thanks very much. I want to underscore no connection between this alleged plot in Canada and what has occurred here in Boston.

Let's dig a little bit deeper though right now with our national security analyst Peter Bergen, who's watching what's going on. Al Qaeda elements in Iran. Paula makes a good point. We know al Qaeda has elements all over North Africa, all over the Middle East. In Iran, give us a little perspective when the Canadians say al Qaeda elements in Iran, what are they suggesting?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Wolf, for more than a decade now, a number of the top leaders of al Qaeda have been living in Iran under some form of house arrest. The idea I think was, if there was ever going to be a deal between the United States and Iran, right now very unlikely, the Iranian regime was sort of keeping these al Qaeda figures as perhaps some sort of bargaining chip of a grand bargain that never really came.

But to give you an idea of who these leaders are, one of them is a guy called (INAUDIBLE), who's been a longtime military commander of al Qaeda. Another was Saad bin Laden, one of bin Laden's sons who's played a leadership role in the group. And just recently, Wolf, you'll recall (INAUDIBLE), the spokesman of al Qaeda, was brought to New York City to face charges. And as it became clear that he had been living in Iran for about a decade and it was his decision to leave Iran and go to Turkey that eventually brought him to a Manhattan courtroom in the southern district just a few weeks ago.

So these links have been there for a long time. What we haven't seen, Wolf, is al Qaeda in Iran plotting attacks against the United States or against Canada or in the West, at least that we know of. We have seen al Qaeda in Iran authorize attacks in Saudi Arabia against Western targets and Saudi targets.

So this is a new development. But the idea that al Qaeda in Iran is a new development is not the case. al Qaeda has long had a presence there.

BLITZER: It's interesting that the Canadian authorities in making this announcement have been watching this alleged plot now for a year. They thanked the FBI for the FBI's assistance in this investigation. They also noted that this alleged plot involved blowing up a train that may have been coming towards the United States. There is obviously very close cooperation between the U.S. and Canada, Peter, when it comes to any of these kinds of alleged terror plots.

BERGEN: Sure. And, Wolf, we've seen in the past somebody from Canada trying to get in to attack the United States. A very major plot, it was a guy called (INAUDIBLE) who was arrested by U.S. authorities on the Canadian border. He was planning to blow up a bomb at LAX airport in the middle of the Christmas holiday season back in 2000.

So, I mean, there's very good reason for the United States to have good cooperation with the Canadians. It's one of the vectors that al Qaeda and associated groups have tried to use in the past to attack the United States. And of course there's a long alliance between the two countries anyway.

BLITZER: Peter Bergen, thanks very much for that.

And now -- up next, we're tracing the steps of the older bombing suspect in a troubled region of southern Russia. And we're taking a closer look into his online links to violent Islamic militants there.

Also coming up, growing evidence that the older Tsarnaev brother, who's now dead, held significant influence over his younger brother and was himself influenced by a radical embrace of Islam.


BLITZER: Welcome back. I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting from Boston.

The suspects in the Boston bombings were immigrants with ties to a very troubled region of southern Russia. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died last week after a gun battle with police, returned to Russia for a long visit last year. Some six months spending time in Dagestan. That's a republic of Russia. Later, his online activities raised serious questions about links to jihadists on the scene.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in southern Russia.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: 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 (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE). The video was removed, but CNN has now found it. And it shows this man.

Abudujan is the name used by an Islamist militant, Bulgodov (ph).

Russian special forces hit Bulgodov's hideout last December. An armored car brought in to kill as many as six militants inside, including doll caught Bulgodov. The grisly photos aftermath, showing their heavy weapons but also the heavy hand used to kill them.

Four months later, the marks remain of the tit for tat violence fueling militantancy 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 linked to the rants of the militant who died here? In a town where Tsarnaev's father lived and that Tamerlan visited just last year. Well, inside, you can see how just intense the violence must have been against this apartment. And here could be the clearest link yet between one of the alleged Boston bombers and the violence that's been gripping southern Russia.

A U.S. intelligence source told CNN the Tsarnaevs' brother social media accounts are being examined to possible links to extremists in the Caucasuses in case they reveal the darkest secrets of Boston. Why did the bombers do it?

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN.


BLITZER: The feds certainly questioned the surviving Boston bombing suspect today while he lies sedated and restrained in a hospital bed. Joining us now is our chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, and our national security analyst Tom Fuentes, himself a former assistant director of the FBI.

Gloria, we know that this 19-year-old has been undergoing some interrogation, some questioning. I know you have been talking to your sources. What are you hearing?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Wolf, what I'm hearing from law enforcement is that he has been questioned since yesterday. And what I am told is there has been what one source called some form of communication between law enforcement and the suspect. That could mean perhaps that they ask him questions in one form or another. Our Deb Feyerick has reported that he can and does nod his head in response, Wolf. So they were able to communicate with him even though, as you know, he's intubated, sedated, and possibly restrained.

So the extent of the communication you have and what you learn from it -- I mean, clearly they're asking questions about public safety, first and foremost about -- were there other bombs, is there any other issue that they need to be concerned with? So that would be the first part of their interrogation.

BLITZER: Tom, this is obviously, as Gloria points out, not a normal interrogation. Huge challenges. Take us behind the scenes. How would such a nonverbal interrogation likely be conducted?

TOM FUENTES, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Well, they would try as best they can, if he's able to nod and if he can hear them clearly, to formulate as many questions as possible if a yes or no fashion. Do you know, was somebody else involved in this? Yes or no. Do you have explosives hidden in some other location? And maybe they would name where they have recovered explosives and firearms and say, are there any other locations, yes or no? Was there anybody else involved in this, yes or no? Were there any other future attacks planned, yes or no?

So as much to the extent they could, they would form it that way. The difficult would be, and if he's capable of writing, to supply a name, if he actually has a name of another person that may have been involved or should be looked at by the FBI. That would be the way to do that. But for the most part, they would try to just get him to nod or shake his head.

BLITZER: Which potentially could be useful information.

Gloria, we're also learning more details about that carjacking that both of the brothers did Thursday night. What are you hearing from your sources?

BORGER: Well, they -- according to my sources as well as Tom's actually, they did carjack this Mercedes SUV, and the victim has told authorities that he heard these two speaking in a foreign language, he wasn't quite sure what the language was, thought it might have been Russian but was not sure, and then he told authorities that he thought that he heard a word which phonetically sounded like the word "Manhattan".

What authorities don't know is, A, what that means, B, if the victim of the carjacking actually heard the word "Manhattan" or heard something that's phonetically sounded like Manhattan. So again the details on this, Wolf, remain pretty vague.

BLITZER: That could be a huge question if in fact the two of them were planning on taking whatever explosives they may have had heading towards Manhattan or New York. That would have been --

BORGER: We don't know.

BLITZER: -- obviously a horrendous potential situation. We obviously don't know about that.

BORGER: Right.

BLITZER: If you had to answer one question, Tom, what's the biggest unanswered question you would like answered right now?

FUENTES: Is this the end of it? Are there any other plots to do, an additional attack that they know of that are still out there? Any other terrorists that may carry out an additional attack that we're not aware of? Or is this it? With bringing one of the two brothers to the hospital and the other one now deceased, is that the end of it? Were they all by themselves in this country doing this attack?

BLITZER: Better believe we all of us want the answer to that question. It's a critical question. Guys, thanks very much.

When we come back, a moment-by-moment account of that horrific police chase through Cambridge that left an MIT police officer dead. My interview with the police commissioner, that's coming up next.


BLITZER: Investigators are still trying to piece together the horrific events that occurred here early Friday morning, leaving one police officer dead and another police officer severely injured. I spoke about that with the Cambridge, Massachusetts, police commissioner, Robert Haas.


BLITZER: First of all, our condolences on the loss of one of your officers at MIT police officer, Sean Collier. I want to speak about him in a moment, but these two suspects lived in Cambridge, and you're the police commissioner there. Have you been over to their apartment? Have you seen what was inside?

COMM. ROBERT HAAS, CAMBRIDGE POLICE: I have not been to the actual address. I've been near there, but haven't been in at all.

BLITZER: I guess the FBI has been going in there, going through everything.

HAAS: Crime scene for the FBI standpoint. Yes.

BLITZER: What can you tell us about the weapons that they had? They didn't have a license to own a weapon, did they?

HAAS: No, neither one of them had a license. The younger brother, by virtue of his age, wouldn't be eligible of getting a license. And we have no record them ever applying for the older brother --

BLITZER: You have to be 21 to get a license --

HAAS: Twenty-one.

BLITZER: In Cambridge.

HAAS: In Cambridge.

BLITZER: So he was 19. The older one, there's no record.

HAAS: No record of applying.

BLITZER: What kind of weapons did they have?

HAAS: I have no idea, it's still part of the investigation.

BLITZER: But they -- they had no authority to buy weapons or have weapons, they had no licenses, so somehow they've got them. Who's investigating that part of the story?

HAAS: There's actually two investigations going on, as you can imagine what took place on April 15th is a federal investigation part of the task force. And then there's also a homicide investigation that's being conducted by the Middlesex District Attorney's Office. The state police assigned a (INAUDIBLE) unit and our detectives.

BLITZER: So what's your role in this?

HAAS: So we're very much focused on the homicide investigation that took place in Cambridge.

BLITZER: The killing of the MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.

HAAS: Correct.

BLITZER: Tell us how that happened.

HAAS: So we had gotten a report of a robbery at 7-Eleven in Central Square and then five minutes later get a report of an officer shot at MIT, at Mass and Vassar. Officers responded there initially thinking that the two incidents are connected. We later learned they are not connected to one another. And then we actually started to conduct our investigation. It was nearly an hour later that we then got a report of a carjacking.

Obtained some photographs from the people that went into the Shell station and were able to link it up back to what, we think, was the homicide. Still very much under investigation. At this point, they're still suspects in that case, as well.

BLITZER: Where was Sean Collier, the MIT police officer?

HAAS: He was situated beside an MIT building monitoring traffic at the time when this incident took place and was there when -- he was approached and attacked.

BLITZER: Was there any -- you know, anything that led to that attack? Did he do anything, was he just standing there?

HAAS: No. He was sitting in his police cruiser at the time. And it appears that the suspects approached from the rear of the cruiser and then fired four to five shots into the cruiser.

BLITZER: Do you know what kind of weapons they used?


BLITZER: Just randomly they decided they wanted to kill this police officer?

HAAS: We're not sure of the motivation at this point.

BLITZER: But they were suspicious that maybe he could be a threat to them, and that's why they assassinated him and killed him if you will?

HAAS: We don't know. We have no idea at this point in time. That's why we're hopeful that we'd get some answers.

BLITZER: And another police officer was injured in the course of that exchange, as well. Another transit authority --

HAAS: That was later on when there the -- when there was a pursuit up in Watertown and basically they were able to initially corner the suspects and then the MIT or the MBTA police officer received his wounds at that location. BLITZER: That's Officer Donohue, he remains in very serious condition, as well.

HAAS: Right.

BLITZER: Tell us a little bit about Sean Collier, the 26-year- old MIT police officer.

BLITZER: So he's been on the force for 14 to 15 months. He was planning to go to Summerville Police Department as of June 3rd. Young police officer, was very much involved in the community, very much involved with the MIT community, very much involved with the homeless shelter in Cambridge. So he was very committed to the community. Very well thought of. Very well respected. Really had -- for every intents and purpose, had a bright future in front of him.

BLITZER: What a tragedy.

HAAS: It was. Great tragedy.

BLITZER: Good men. I assume you've been in touch with his family?

HAAS: We have. We've actually visited the family. And we really -- you know, we are -- we really deeply feel the loss, both in Cambridge Police Department and MIT Police Department, we work so closely together. So he was part of our training program. We answered calls together, so it's a very tight community and really our feelings and our sympathies go to the family. The MIT community, and especially the MIT police that are really suffering at this point in time.

BLITZER: I'm sure they are. Commissioner, thanks very much for coming in. Give our best wishes to everyone over there. And our deepest, deepest condolences.

HAAS: Thank you very much.


BLITZER: In our next hour, we're learning more about the widow of the suspect number one, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Just ahead, her reaction to the bombings. Stay with us for that.

Also, an extraordinary moment marking the attacks that occurred one week ago today.