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THE SITUATION ROOM
Boston Suspect Charged; Canadian Terror Plot Foiled; New Details of Suspect's Hospital Hearing; Bomb Suspect's Widow Says She Knew Nothing of Plot; Aunt, Parents Recognized Sons as Suspects; Moment of Silence Memorializes Bombing Victims
Aired April 22, 2013 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, charges filed, Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev facing a federal judge in his hospital room. This hour, vivid new details revealed in the complaint against him.
Plus, the dead suspect's wife, what, if anything, did she know about the bombings before they happened? Her lawyer is now speaking to CNN.
And as Boston marks one week since the bombings, authorities in Canada say they busted a separate terror plot with an al Qaeda connection.
I'm Wolf Blitzer in Boston. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
The first steps toward justice exactly one week after the Boston Marathon bombings, an emotional day in this city filled with dramatic developments, the 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev now standing a judge with federal crimes, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death.
He appeared before a judge in his hospital room, where he's in serious, but stable condition. If convicted, he could face the death penalty. One week after the attack, the city of Boston has regained control of Boylston Street, the site of the bombings. The FBI handed it over less than an hour ago.
Memorials are being held today for Krystle Campbell and Lingzi Lu, two of the four people who were killed in the bombings and in the aftermath.
We are now also learning exactly how the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly pulled off the marathon bombings. Federal authorities releasing vivid new details as they build their case against the surviving suspect.
Our crime and justice correspondent, Joe Johns, has been piecing it all together for us.
Joe, what are you learning?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, in clinical detail, the criminal complaint lays out a sequence of moves caught on surveillance cameras less than 15 minutes that played out over a few city blocks, which federal prosecutors allege ended in the worst terror attack since 9/11.
JOHNS (voice-over): According to the complaint, 2:38 p.m. on race day, about 11 minutes before the first explosion, two men are seen walking towards the finish line carrying "large knapsacks."
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, alleged bomber one, is walking in front. The alleged bomber two, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now the defendant, is a few feet behind. At 2:41, the two suspects are seen standing about a half block away from a restaurant camera. A minute later, bomber one, Tamerlan, walks out of the crowd headed towards the finish line, a knapsack "still on his back."
At 2:45, alleged bomber two Dzhokhar moves towards the finish line. He has the thumb of his right hand hooked under the strap of the knapsack and a cell phone in his left hand. The affidavit says he stops near a metal barrier, his back to the cameras facing the runners. He's apparently, their word, slipping his knapsack on to the ground. A photo from across the street shows it at his feet.
He stands there for four minutes looking at his cell phone, appearing to take a picture. Then the government alleges a deadly final 30 seconds. Just before the first explosion, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lifts the phone to his ear as if speaking on it. For 18 seconds, he keeps the phone to his ear. Then, just as he appears to finish his call, the crowd reacts to the first explosion -- quote -- "Virtually every head turns toward the blast except Tsarnaev, who virtually alone among the individuals appears calm."
According to the affidavit, he glances to the east and starts walking rapidly towards the west, away from the finish line without his knapsack, which he left where he was standing; 10 seconds later an explosion occurs in the place where he left the bag.
JOHNS: We also learned a little more today about the day the FBI released the video of the bombing suspects.
The affidavit by agent Daniel Genck described a carjacking the suspects allegedly committed, and it says one of them, not clear who, walked up to a car in Cambridge, Mass., pointed a loaded car at the driver, said, "Did you hear about the Boston explosion? I did that" -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Pretty chilling material, Joe. Thanks very much.
The White House says the decision to charge Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in criminal court, not as an enemy combatant, was the right way to go.
Let's talk a little bit more about the case with our senior analyst Jeffrey Toobin and our national security analyst Fran Townsend. Fran, they did that first appearance of the Tsarnaev at bedside today, gave him an attorney, a public defender. What does that tell you specifically?
FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first and foremost, Wolf, it tells us that the public safety exception that they were operating under in order to question him was finished.
Once they gave him Miranda, they understood he would get a lawyer and they understood that would be all part of his initial appearance. So they were done. Whatever questioning they had done in order to find out were there additional explosive, was there a continuing threat, were there other co-conspirators, whatever they managed to get out of him, the FBI investigators had completed that questioning.
Presumably once he was advised of his rights and was assigned a lawyer, the lawyer would have, first and foremost, told him to stop talking to the FBI.
BLITZER: Tsarnaev, Jeffrey, was read his rights by the judge at bedside today. Why was that so important, and how does that change things going forward?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, now his initial appearance, his arraignment is completed and now the case will be turned over to a grand jury. Probably within the next 30 days there will be at least an initial indictment and the case will then be assigned to a federal district court judge for trial.
The process at that point is going to slow down considerably. There is a lot more investigating to do. The defense is going to want to do some investigating, and I think if there's a trial in this case, a year from now is probably realistic to think of when it might take place.
BLITZER: In fact, we are, Fran, getting some extraordinary new details in that formal criminal complaint that was released by the federal authorities today. They seem to have a lot more evidence against this suspect than previously thought, including a lot of video evidence that was collected. What do you make of this?
TOWNSEND: Wolf, there's no doubt there's a tremendous amount of additional investigating that the FBI is doing, not only in the United States, but around the world.
But when you look at the complaint and the sort of overwhelming amount of evidence, you sort of have to conclude that Dzhokhar's defense lawyer will be focusing on a potential sort of penalty phase. That is trying to see what he can marshal to avoid the death penalty. This is a case that very well because of the overwhelming amount of evidence could lead to a plea bargain and a plea deal, but they will still have to contend with, because of the seriousness of the charges, the penalty phase, which although the federal government has not said it yet and there's an entire internal Justice Department process they have to go through, there's a good likelihood that he will be confronted with the death penalty. BLITZER: Jeffrey, what's interesting about the formal affidavit that was released today and the federal charges that were made public, not including the shooting of that MIT police officer, the Cambridge police commissioner told us about that, I take it that must be a separate homicide investigation, separate from the federal investigation? What's going on over here?
TOOBIN: Well, it's certainly a notable omission for those of us, which is basically everyone, who are now familiar with the story. A couple things could be involved.
First of all, a complaint doesn't have to lay out all of the government's case in every possible crime that could be charged. But the other possibility is that murder itself, just murder, is usually prosecuted at the state level. The shooting of Officer Collier may simply not be a federal crime and it may be that the Massachusetts authorities will prosecute him for that crime.
But those are the kind of decisions that are likely months down the road, but at this point, they are not -- the feds are not charging a violation of federal law in connection with the murder of officer Collier.
BLITZER: If there were state or local charges filed against this suspect, Fran, the federal charges take precedence. They would be adjudicated first, right?
TOWNSEND: That's right. And as Jeff says, look, you could include the murder of the police officer as an overt act in a conspiracy between the two brothers, for example, or you might -- you know, in the discussion between federal and state prosecutors, like in the Timothy McVeigh case, the state prosecutors may want to reserve one piece of this they can prosecute themselves sequentially.
After the federal prosecution is over, they may want to go back and independently and separately prosecute the murder charge as a state crime. And that will be a discussion, a tactical judgment, between the federal prosecutors and the state prosecutors.
TOOBIN: It's tactical, but it's also political.
BLITZER: Difference between the federal charges -- I just want to say, Jeffrey, the difference between federal charges, they include the death penalty potentially.
State -- here in Massachusetts, there is no capital punishment. So, that would be a significant difference between federal and state charges, if you will.
I want both of you to stand by, because there's some new information coming in. We're going to continue this analysis.
Also, we're watching another alleged terror plot, this one stopped. We're told al Qaeda-backed terrorists were targeting a train heading towards the United States. And the relationship between the two brothers, how it led to the Boston Marathon bombings and one brother's death.
BLITZER: There's growing evidence that the older Tsarnaev brother was the leader of the two, influenced by his increasingly radical embrace of Islam.
Brian Todd has been looking into this part of the story for us. He's here in Boston with me.
What are you finding out?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, friends and acquaintances telling us the younger brother, Dzhokhar, was definitely the follower of the two.
And we have new information tonight about incidents where the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, gave outbursts in his mosque in November and in January.
TODD (voice-over): New information on Tamerlan Tsarnaev's perspective on Islam. January 18, Friday prayers at the Islamic Society of Boston's mosque in Cambridge. A mosque leader is giving a service extolling the virtues of the Prophet Mohammed and Martin Luther King Jr.
According to mosque officials, it was too much for Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
ANWAR KAZMI, ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF BOSTON: Some people said that he said something to the effect you cannot, you know, compare or make a parallel between our prophet and a non-Muslim. Some people said that he referred to the person who was giving the sermon as a hypocrite. The Arabic words is (INAUDIBLE).
TODD: Anwar Kazmi says the disruption was a clear violation of mosque etiquette. He says mosque leaders explained that to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, calmed him down. They say it was the second time he had objected to something said at a sermon. The first time, they say, he'd merely taken a mosque leader aside after the service. We pressed mosque officials, were there any red flags that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been radicalized?
NICHOLE MOSSALAM, ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF BOSTON SPOKESWOMAN: Unfortunately, there were no indications, and if trained specialists from the FBI were not able to see anything, I'm -- you know, I'm sure you can understand how people who are merely acquainted with these individuals, seeing them sporadically at prayers, would not see anything of this nature as well.
TODD: Mosque officials say Dzhokhar Tsarnaev never came to the mosque without his older brother. Friends and acquaintances tell CNN Tamerlan Tsarnaev was the leader between the two brothers, one friend saying Dzhokhar was -- quote -- "definitely the follower in this situation.'
John Pinto co-owns a Brazilian restaurant in the Tsarnaevs' neighborhood. In recent months, he saw the brothers come in, sometimes sitting down, sometimes getting chicken and lamb for takeout. Pinto says Tamerlan Tsarnaev always walked in front of his younger brother, swaggering, looking serious and tough.
JOHN PINTO, CO-OWNER, MIDWESTERN GRILL RESTAURANT: I believe, I think the big brother is the one in command. Like, he's one, he says, OK, let's go. We do this, we do this, whatever. He is the one always in front, and the other one came behind him.
TODD: It may not have always been that way. Rose Schutzberg lifeguarded with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at Harvard in the spring and summer of 2011. She said this about the younger brother.
ROSE SCHUTZBERG, FRIEND OF DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV: There was an effort to create some distance between himself and his older brother just because they didn't see the world quite in the same way.
TODD: Neighbors gave us new information on the broader family dynamic.
(on camera): This is the top floor of the apartment here on Norfolk Street in Cambridge, where the Tsarnaev family lived. Neighbors say the entire family, parents, brothers, and sisters, lived here together at one point. One neighbor told us he observed tension in the family when they all lived together.
(voice-over): It was at this address where Tamerlan Tsarnaev was addressed in July of 2009 for assaulting his girlfriend. The complaint doesn't show her name, but quotes Tamerlan Tsarnaev as saying, "Yes, I slapped her."
TODD: It's not clear what came of that arrest. It's not clear of what came of that arrest. A neighbor tells us that the family dynamic changed, that the tensions dissipated after the parents and sisters moved out of the apartment maybe about three years ago.
BLITZER: I assume the FBI has been over at the mosque interviewing people there who knew these two brothers.
TODD: Mosque officials tell us that some of the leaders of the mosque have been interviewed by members of the FBI.
Interestingly enough, too, they tell us the night that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured, people at the mosque volunteered to go over to that Watertown location and try to talk him out of the boat peacefully. I doubt that anything was followed up. The police were there and talking to them at the time, but the people at the mosque volunteered to do that.
BLITZER: Brian Todd, thanks very much for that report.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: All right. We're just getting this in.
"The New York Times" has just released the transcript of the exchange that a federal magistrate had today at the bedside of this 19-year-old terror suspect over at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, including the reading of his Miranda rights, the reading of the formal charges, the presentation of the public defender, the attorney that will represent Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
This transcript is not very long. It's about eight pages, double spaced, but it does show the defendant, the suspect in this case, nodding affirmatively to several -- a series of questions, and at one point when he was specifically asked, do you need a public defender, do you have enough money to pay for an attorney, he said when he was asked about the money part, he said -- he uttered the word no, according to this affidavit.
You can see there, can you afford a lawyer, the defendant, no. This is a transcript according to "The New York Times" that has been released by the United States district court, district of Massachusetts, United States vs. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Let me read to you some of the exchanges that occurred, then. The court, this is the judge who's at the bedside.
"I will ask the doctor whether or not the patient is alert. You can rouse him."
Dr. Odom, who is the physician on call there, "How are you feeling?" he says. "Are you able to answer some questions?" The defendant nods affirmatively. That's what he had done in response to several questions, nodding affirmatively. That is the official court transcript that has just been released.
Jeffrey Toobin, our senior legal analyst is, here with us.
Let's go through this, point-by-point. First of all, the notion that he's alert enough to nod affirmatively to some questions about understanding the Miranda rights, that he has the right to an attorney, that he has a right to remain silent, as read by the magistrate who was there, that's pretty significant, right?
TOOBIN: Right. This is actually a very routine proceeding in very extraordinary circumstances.
First of all, of course, this is a enormously important case, and it's also unusual, though not unprecedented, to do a proceeding like this in a hospital room. But in terms of the substance, do you understand the charges, do you understand the penalties, do you need a lawyer, these sorts of things go on in federal court many times every day.
BLITZER: And we do have the introduction of the public defender.
Fran Townsend is with us as well. Let me bring her into this conversation. The public defender, he's a lawyer here, he's a graduate of Yale, he's a graduate of Yale law school. Obviously, they brought in someone who's a highly qualified to represent this suspect, Fran.
TOWNSEND: Absolutely, Wolf. And what we're learning is he will lead a team of public defenders in representing the defendant here.
You know, it's interesting, Wolf. We really learned for the first time -- we understood that the suspect had these injuries, Dzhokhar has these injuries, but what we're learning now is he actually has the ability to speak. It may be limited, it may be to a single word, but that tells you something about when investigators during the public safety exception were questioning him.
Clearly, he nods most times in this transcript, but he does say the word no, so we know he can speak. And at the end of the transcript, the judge makes the observation on the record that he is competent, he's lucid, and that he's alert, also very important in terms of understanding the defendant's condition.
TOOBIN: If I can just make another point...
BLITZER: Go ahead, Jeffrey.
TOOBIN: Well, it's just that William Fick is the defense lawyer and not only is he highly regarded, he spent six years working in Russia and he's fluent in Russian, which I think could come in very handy in the course of this investigation.
BLITZER: Since Russia plays a role in this, both of these suspects, including the one, the 19-year-old who has survived this whole ordeal, if you will, he was a young boy, only 8 or 9 years old when he came to the United States from Russia, but certainly Russia plays a role.
I think we have some more graphics, and I want Tom Fuentes to come in.
Now that he's been read his Miranda rights, now that he knows he has the right to remain silent, what does the FBI do now, Tom?
TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Wolf, we don't know is he could have been read the rights yesterday or at a previous time. We know for sure it was done here at the hearing, but also we don't know is at the time he's nodding, that he's getting his Miranda rights and appears to be lucid, however, is he still under narcotic drugs, for example, because that still could be an issue later.
Can he knowingly waive his rights if he's being treated with the sedation?
BLITZER: Let me read a little bit from the affidavit, from the transcript of these proceedings that occurred, extraordinary proceedings at the bedside of Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect.
At one point, the -- "Good morning, Your Honor." This is the prosecutor, the U.S. attorney. "Good Morning, Your honor, William Weinreb, for the United States."
Then Mr. Fick, who's the attorney that represents Tsarnaev. "Good morning, Your Honor, William Fick for Mr. Tsarnaev." The court, that's the judge magistrate, "And you have had an opportunity to speak with him. Mr. Fick says, "Very briefly, Your Honor." The judge, "So you have your lawyers here?" And then the defendant nods affirmatively, according to this transcript.
Then the judge says, "Mr. Tsarnaev, I am magistrate Judge Bowler. This hearing is your initial appearance before the court. We are here because you have been charged in a federal complaint. At this hearing, I will advise you of your constitutional and legal rights. I will tell you about the charges against you and the penalties that the court could impose if you are found guilty. You have been charged with, one, use of a weapon of mass destruction in violation of 18 United States Code Section 2332-A and malicious destruction of property resulting in death in violation of 18 United States Code Section 844-I.
"Mr. Weinreb, what are the maximum penalties?" Mr. Weinreb, the U.S. attorney. Mr. Weinreb, says, "Your Honor, the maximum penalty on each count is death or imprisonment for any term of years or life." Then the judge says, "Is there a fine?" Mr. Weinreb, "A fine of up to $250,000." The judge, "I will tell you about your right." Then she's addressing the lawyer and Tsarnaev. "I will tell you about your right to counsel. I will consider conditions of release pending court proceedings, that is whether or not you should be detained and what amount of bail should be set. This is not a trial," she says, "you will not be called upon to answer the charges at this time. If at any time I say something you do not understand, interrupt me and say so. Is that clear?"
The defendant nods affirmatively. Once again, no words spoken, just nodding with his head. The judge, "All right, I note that the defendant has nodded affirmatively. As the first step in this hearing, I'm going to tell you about your constitutional rights." Then the judge begins to read the constitutional rights under the Constitution. "You have the right to remain silent, any statement made by you may be used against you in court. You have the right not to have your own words used against you. You may consult with an attorney prior to any questioning, and you may have the attorney present during questioning.
"Counsel will be appointed without charge. If you cannot afford counsel, if you choose to make a statement or to answer questions without the assistance of counsel, you may stop answering at any time. This right means you do not have to answer any questions put to you by law enforcement agents or by the assistant United States attorney, Mr. Weinreb. I want to make clear you are not prohibited from making statements, but that if you do," she says, "they can be used against you. You are not required to make a statement at this initial appearance and any statement you do make may be used against you."
Finally, this judge magistrate says, "If I ask you any questions here in this hearing or at any future hearing which you think might incriminate you, you have the right not to answer." Then she says this to Tsarnaev, "Do you understand everything I have said about your right to remain silent?" The defendant, according to this transcript, nods affirmatively with his head.
The court, this is the judge once again, "Again I note that the defendant has nodded affirmatively. As I said earlier, you have the right to retain counsel, to be represented by counsel, and to have the assistance of counsel at every critical stage of these proceedings. You have the right to an attorney at this initial appearance, during any questioning, at any lineup, and in all proceedings in court. You also have the right to have this court assign counsel if you cannot afford counsel or if you cannot obtain counsel."
Then she says this, asks this question of Tsarnaev, 19 years old, the suspect lying in bed. She says, "Can you afford a lawyer?" The defendant, no. He utters the word no. He didn't just nod or shake his head, he said, no. The court, this is the judge, "Let the record reflect that I believe the defendant has said no." Then she says, "I have provisionally appointed the federal defender, Mr. Fick, to represent you in this matter. At some time, he will give you a financial affidavit to fill out. The information you put in the affidavit regarding your financial assets will assist me in determining whether or not you are eligible for the appointment of counsel. I remind you that the affidavit is filed under the pains and penalties of perjury, which means that if the information you put into the affidavit is false, you could be prosecuted for perjury and if convicted be subject to a fine of up to $250,000 and/or five years in jail."
"In addition," she says, "if there is any change in your financial status, you have an obligation to inform the court. Ordinarily, I would be asking the bail question." Then the special -- the attorney who is named to represent Tsarnaev, Mr. Fick, says this, "I am going to defer that question at this time, Your Honor, and agree to voluntary detention without prejudice," referring to the bail issue.
The judge says, "All right, for the record, what is the government moving for?"
Then Mr. Weinreb, the assistant U.S. attorney, says this, "Your Honor, the government moves for the defendant to be detained prior to trial pursuing to 3142 on the grounds that this is a crime of violence, on the grounds that this is a crime that carries the maximum sentence of life or death and under the grounds the defendant is a risk of flight, on the grounds that the defendant may intimidate witnesses if released."
The judge, "All right. I note the defendant is entered into a period of voluntary detention without prejudice. Do counsel want to be heard on any other matters?"
Mr. Weinreb, the assistant district attorney, "No, Your Honor."
Mr. Fick, the public defender who is representing Tsarnaev, "No, Your Honor."
"At this time, at the conclusion of this initial appearance," the judge says, "I find that the defendant is alert, mentally competent, and lucid. He is aware of the nature of the proceedings."
Let me read that one more time. This is the judge, the judge magistrate. "At this time, at the conclusion of this initial appearance, I find that the defendant is alert, mentally competent, and lucid. He is aware of the nature of the proceedings. All right. We stand in recess." And then they just go ahead and stand in recess. The hospital regulations, they talk a little about that, but that is the gist of this proceedings.
Jeffrey Toobin, let me bring you back into this. The judge rules that he is lucid, this suspect, and he was able to answer those questions. So, this is all routine as far as a proceeding is concerned, but in this kind of case, as you point out, at a bedside and, given the nature of the crime here, it's pretty extraordinary.
TOOBIN: Well, it's extraordinary for a couple of reasons, just because of the magnitude of the crime, but also we didn't know when he would be in condition to be arraigned. We had heard various things: that he was intubated, that he couldn't speak. We heard that he was coming in and out of consciousness.
And the judge, the only important finding that the judge made in this hearing was that he is, in fact, lucid. He is, in fact, able to understand the charges against him, so that the legal proceedings can begin. The legal proceedings are going to take a long time, but at least the beginning has now taken place, and the process can start in earnest.
BLITZER: Fran Townsend, at the end of this transcript it says that they have agreed that the probable cause hearing will take place 10 a.m. on May 30. "How about" -- the clerk says, "How about the 30th of May in the morning, 10 a.m."
Mr. Weinreb, the assistant U.S. attorney says, "That's fine."
Mr. Watkins, the clerk, says, "That's fine."
Mr. Thicke, who's the public defender for the suspect, "That's fine."
The judge says, "I note this delays occasion by the agreement of council. All right."
So May 30, assuming he's healthy enough to show up in a courtroom, I would assume, does he have to appear in court by May 30th? Does he have to be physically present for this hearing, this probable cause hearing, Fran?
TOWNSEND: Usually what happens, Wolf, is rather than there being a probable cause hearing, that can -- you can get around that, if you will, by presenting an indictment.
And so, right now what will happen is the government has the choice to do a probable cause hearing and be prepared to do that in front of the judge on May 30, or they may go in and do an initial indictment. That is go into the grand jury, even present what you just see in the complaint, get the return of an indictment. And oftentimes in such a big case with so much additional evidence, over time you do what's called superseding indictments and add more detail in time. But the return of the indictment would -- would forego the need for a probable cause hearing on the 30th.
TOOBIN: That's 100 percent correct. That hearing -- well, that hearing will never take place. There will be an indictment rather than that hearing.
BLITZER: Then the probable cause hearing.
I do note in the transcript -- Tom Fuentes, I want you to come in on this part. The judge says the defendant, Tsarnaev, is now remanded from the custody of the agents present to the United States Marshals Service. Tom, what does that mean?
FUENTES: Well, that means that the marshals take control of moving him around once he's ready to be transported out of the hospital. They would handle that. And they would be responsible for the day in, day out of security.
So, right now it's the equivalent that he's in jail. He's under confinement; he's in custody; he's remanded to their custody. So the U.S. Marshals will be responsible for maintaining physical control of him and when he's able, move him from there to a courtroom, to whatever facility they're going to house him in. Then whatever courtroom they're going to work the, you know, the next hearing in. So, that's just who takes charge of his custody. It doesn't transfer the investigation for them. It just transfers the custody of him as a person.
BLITZER: I understand. I want all of you to stand by. The New York City police commissioner, Ray Kelly, is joining us right now from New York.
Commissioner, thanks very much for coming in. Lots of dramatic developments here in Boston, separate developments unfolding in Canada, unrelated to Boston, but potentially linked to New York City, as well. I want to get to that in a moment.
But do you have any evidence, any reason to believe that these two terror suspects, one of whom is now dead, were actually planning on taking bombs from Boston, from this area, to New York, because those suspicions have now been circulated.
RAY KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Well, I see on your scroll that "The New York Times" has published a transcript of the hospital -- hospital proceedings. I haven't seen that.
I think the question was asked whether or not they are going to go to New York, and I believe there was an answer indicating that they had some thoughts about it, but it wasn't to do any damage.
Actually, I think the person who owned the car, the Mercedes, said that they were speaking a foreign language. He thought that they may have said Manhattan, but that's the only information that I have as far as New York is concerned. But I don't know what's in the transcript.
BLITZER: And the transcript is simply -- we just read it to our viewers. It's simply the judge reading the Miranda rights, making sure that the suspect in this case fully understands he has the right to remain silent and all of that. Also noting that a public defender has been appointed to represent him as attorney.
BLITZER: It was just standard stuff like that. No details about the alleged plot.
But you're right, that there was some suggestion that in that car these two suspects hijacked that car, they started speaking in a foreign language, and the driver, the person who was hijacked, carjacked, if you will, thought he heard the word "Manhattan."
But what I hear you saying is federal authorities, terrorism authorities, have not said to you anything along the lines that these two guys were ready to take a pressure cooker bomb into Manhattan or anything along those lines. That has not been conveyed to you by authorities.
KELLY: Absolutely not. Not the case.
BLITZER: What about this other -- what about this other plot that Canadian authorities disclosed today that there was an al Qaeda plot, al Qaeda elements in Iran, of all places, working to deal with a train that was going to be going from Canada into the United States, maybe to New York? What can you share with our viewers about that? Unrelated to Boston, but potentially very, very significant.
KELLY: Well -- I'm going to say this, that we have been following this case for a while, but I am not going to say anything that the Canadian officials have not said. I think it's up to them to put the information out on this case. So I'm going to leave that alone.
BLITZER: Fair enough.
You're an authority, you know a lot about terrorism. And even a few years ago you were warning of what has been widely described as these lone-wolf terrorists who are inspired by various jihadist Web sites or whatever. What's the major lesson that you are learning from what has happened a week ago here in Boston?
KELLY: Well, the threat continues as far as we're concerned. We haven't seen the diminishment of this threat, and that's the way we respond. That's how we deploy our resources. We have seen a series of these young disaffected men who become radicalized.
And there's a study that we did in 2007 by Mitch Silber and Arvin Bhaat that talks about this radicalization in the west. And it shows the process where unremarkable young men go and become radicalized and decide to kill people in their -- in their own country.
We see that as a constant threat, and that's sort of our operating assumption in New York City. And we haven't been proven wrong, quite frankly. It's fairly consistent. We've had 16 plots here against New York. You know, thank God none of them has succeeded. But all I have to do is succeed once, as other people have said, and we have to succeed every day.
So, I think the -- I'm not certain there's any new lessons here, at least for us. We know that the threat is constant and there are -- and people who are bent on killing Americans, in big numbers.
BLITZER: Good luck, Commissioner. Thanks very much for coming in. We know you're working full time on this terror threat in New York, and we appreciate everything you're doing.
Ray Kelly is the commissioner, police commissioner of New York.
Up next, the bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, leaves behind a wife and a small child. Did she know anything about this bomb plot? Her lawyer is now speaking to CNN.
And Boston falls silent in a moving tribute to the victims who were killed and injured one week ago.
BLITZER: Welcome back. I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting from Boston.
We're learning more about the widow of the bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Katherine Russell's lawyer spoke with CNN earlier today. He says she was in the dark about her husband's alleged role in the attack until she saw it on the television news.
Chris Lawrence spoke to the lawyer. Chris is joining us now from Rhode Island where Russell lives with her parents.
What's the latest on this very, very sensitive part of the story, Chris?
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Basically, Wolf, federal agents have been here at the house off and on for the past couple days. We have seen federal agents posted down the street at various times and also escorting her from the house earlier this morning to talk to her.
Basically, I -- they are looking to get an answer as to what she knew about what her husband was doing and if he was involved or affiliated with anyone else besides his younger brother.
I spoke with the attorney this morning, and he told me basically she had no idea what was going on. And as for cooperating with the authorities, he told me this, quote, "She understands the need for doing it. This is the way the government looks at it, and she understands this. It's a threat to national security, and she gets that. And she's a really good person, very sympathetic to that. Katy's just trying to bring up her daughter."
The daughter, of course, refers to the 2 1/2-year-old girl, the daughter of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Katherine Russell.
BLITZER: What about the reports, Chris, that she changed, she changed, after meeting Tsarnaev?
LAWRENCE: Well, the attorney basically said, Wolf, she goes by Katy. She's pretty young. She just graduated high school about six years ago, and the attorney basically said that she was raised Christian, that she converted to Islam after she met Tamerlan, and that she is fairly observant, that she does wear a head scarf. And we have seen pictures and videos of her wearing that head scarf.
Since all of this happened, she has moved from the apartment right here to her parents' home in Rhode Island, where she's staying and where her attorney says she's cooperating with the authorities.
BLITZER: Obviously, they have a child. They had a baby. What about the child? What's going on with this young, young child?
LAWRENCE: They don't want to give out too much personal information about the -- about the little girl other than to say that, basically, that Katherine would work 70, 80 hours a week sometimes as a home maid, and Tamerlan, the suspect who was killed, would actually take care of the little girl during the day. Now the little girl is staying with her mom and with her grandparents here in Rhode Island, Wolf.
BLITZER: Three-year-old little girl indeed. All right. Thanks very much.
Chris Lawrence in Rhode Island looking at this sensitive part of the story.
LAWRENCE: Meanwhile, an aunt sheds some new light on one of the bomb suspects' mysterious trips to Russia last year. Is that where Tamerlan Tsarnaev actually became a radical?
And one week after the attack, Boston reclaims one of its most famous streets.
BLITZER: The parents of the Boston bombings suspects recognize their sons immediately, as soon as the FBI released their pictures, that according to the Tsarnaev brothers' aunt. She spoke to CNN's Nick Paton Walsh from her home in the capital of the Russian republic of Dagestan. Nick's joining us now with more on this part of the story.
So what else did the suspect's aunt, Nick, tell you?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, interestingly, she did point out something we didn't know before, which is the family fled when Tamerlan, the elder brother, was just 11 at this formative part in his life. They ran away from the bombing in Chechnya that began in the second war there in 1999, a very formative time for young Tamerlan.
But she also recounts how he returned here last year from the United States and was a devout Muslim.
PATON WALSH (voice-over): She knew the alleged elder Boston bomber as a child and saw Tamerlan Tsarnaev grow up, then leave for America. But strangest to Aunt Patiemat Suliemana was his return come to here last year, a devout Muslim.
PATIEMAT SULIEMANA, AUNT OF BOMBING SUSPECTS (through translator): They haven't prayed before he went to America. Nobody taught him. He learned everything himself. At the same time, we were happy about it, because he didn't start doing drugs or alcohol. I mean, he doesn't speak to other women.
PATON WALSH: She saw him for four of the six months he was here, and he went to Chechnya twice.
SULIEMANA (through translator): Yes, he went to Chechnya for a couple of days. I don't know where those relatives lived. I mean, the relatives from his father's side.
PATON WALSH: As pictures of Boston played out around the world, she revealed the mother and aunt rang the boys to check that they were well. But later that week, they rang her again, allegedly when they were on the run, just the day before Tamerlan died.
The day before, Patiemat said, she spoke and it was like always. "Mommy, everything's fine with us. Mommy, we're totally fine. Mommy, that's what they call her."
SULIEMANA (through translator): "We miss your warmth and your caress." Tamerlan said, "Mommy, I love you." And Dzhokhar's voice came from a distance, "I love you, too, Mommy."
PATON WALSH: She saw the boys' father, filmed here earlier in the week, see them on the news for the first time.
SULIEMANA (through translator): And then for some reason he tells me, "Patiemat, this is Dzhokhar and Tamerlan," and points at the screen and says, "Here's Tamerlan in the blue jacket and Dzhokhar in the white jacket."
And I say, "Anzor, these are the guys with the backpacks. And these photos were shown. This can't be them."
"I don't know, Patiemat. These are my children." And then he grabbed the TV screen and started screaming, "It can't be. It can't be happening. I don't believe it. Children are dead. I would have shot him myself."
PATON WALSH: Now, Wolf, really you get a feeling of disbelief there. And these two interesting phone calls, the mother reaching out to her two sons in the wake of the Boston bombing and then telling her that they were far enough away from the blast and at work at the time. But then, strangely, calling her the day before the shootout that killed their Tamerlan, the older alleged Boston bomber and saying, "Mother, we love you." Talking about how they miss her tender embrace.
So really a distinct picture there of a family continuing almost in their conversation as though nothing had changed until that fateful Friday when Tamerlan was shot down -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Nick Paton Walsh continuing to investigate this part of the story in Dagestan in Russia. Thanks very much.
Boston falls silent, marking the moment of the attacks exactly one week later. We're going to show you the emotional tribute. That's next.
BLITZER: Here in Boston and, indeed, around the country, everyone stopped today at 2:50 p.m. Eastern to mark the moment when dozens of lives were shattered one week ago. Here's CNN's Lisa Sylvester.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sometimes grief has no words. Two-fifty p.m., exactly one week on the Massachusetts state house steps.
To the New York Stock Exchange.
To the Senate floor in Washington.
On ordinary streets.
To the marathon route, where instead of cheers and smiles of a runner crossing the finish line, there is silence.
To the flowers and flags, the signs of Boston strong.
To the spot where last week two bombs took three lives.
To a place where the quiet says more than words can ever say. For one long minute, the country is silent and remembers and begins to heal.
And when the moment is over, there is this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): God bless America, my home, sweet home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): God bless America, my home, sweet home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): God bless America, my home, sweet home.
SYLVESTER: And that singing, Wolf, was actually a spontaneous moment. One other thing in many parts of Boston, that was supposed to be just a minute of silence. But it actually stretched on for five or six or even seven minutes.
And here in Washington, President Obama observed the moment of silence, as well, behind closed doors away from the cameras, Wolf.
BLITZER: It was a powerful moment for all of us here in Boston, Lisa. And I'm sure around the country as well. Thank you.
For the first time since the Boston bombings, the city has control now over Boylston Street, not far away from where I am right now, the site of the attack. The FBI made the handover less than two hours ago, and there was a ceremony to mark the moment. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BAGPIPES PLAYING "AMAZING GRACE")
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Powerful moment indeed. So many powerful moments have occurred over this past week.
I'll be staying here in Boston. Much more coming up tomorrow. Stay with us throughout the night for continuing coverage. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.