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STARTING POINT WITH SOLEDAD O'BRIEN

Boston Marathon Bombing Investigation; Interview with Congressman Michael Capuano of Massachusetts; Brother Under International Influence? Boston Marathon Bombing Investigation

Aired April 22, 2013 - 08:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: They are back to school today. And then this message on the public busses, the T -- Boston strong. Such a nice message to be spending all over the country.

Meanwhile, new developments unfolding in the bombing investigation. The surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He could face criminal charges today. He's under heavy guard, hospitalized in serious but stable condition. That's the way to find out if he's cooperating with law enforcement officials. In three hours, the city will shed more tears.

The funeral service is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. marathon bombing Krystle Campbell as this town tries to find peace after a week of just pure terror.

Pamela Brown in Boston with the latest on the investigation. Good morning, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, John.

The city of Boston still in recovery mode after a week of chaos, terror and heartaches. The suspect is still here at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical. He's in the intensive care unit, handcuffed to his hospital bed with a round-a-clock surveillance from law enforcement officers. As this investigation continues, the big focus today, what charges will he face and when?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(EXPLOSION)

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 in 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.

ED 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 shootout 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 moment right before Tsarnaev's arrest. This aerial video shows infrared images of him hiding out in a boat in a 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 police officers surrounded the boat, other officers came and assisted. And we held that position until the FBI hostage rescue team could come into 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 explosions, will be laid to rest in Bedford, Massachusetts.

A memorial was planned for the third victim, Lingzi Lu on Boston University's campus tonight.

Meantime, critically injured transit officer, Richard Donohue, remains hospitalized.

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

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: At 2:50 p.m. today, the exact time in the first blast one 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 Brown with us on the investigation and the recovery here in Boston.

I'm joined now by CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. He has more on this legal situation. A very complicated one, facing Tsarnaev right now.

And, Jeffrey, Tsarnaev right now, he can actually speak. He may or may not be communicating with officials view writing. How does that complicate how and when he might be charged?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, it doesn't affect it that much because it is possible, if the government were so inclined, that they could arraign him at his bedside. They could bring a magistrate judge there, give him a lawyer, or they could wait until he's in somewhat better shape. Obviously, he's not going anywhere.

So, the legal process could begin today. It could begin at the end of the week. It could begin next week. But his physical condition doesn't prevent an arraignment from taking place.

BERMAN: Even a high level of sedation?

TOOBIN: If he's really unconscious, they can't arraign him. But if he understands what's going on, he can be arraigned. I don't see I mean, again, we don't know precisely what his condition is, but there really is no rush to get this process, to get this process started. It's important that he understand what's going on.

But an arraignment is a very minimal proceeding and he doesn't have to participate a great deal. He'd just have to understand what's happening and he has to be in good enough in shape to understand it.

BERMAN: Jeffrey, you write in "The New Yorker" that obviously, we know he could face both federal and state charges. How does facing both complicate matters?

TOOBIN: Well, you know, the crimes that he's -- that we know he's accused of could be both state and federal charges. The biggest complication here is the death penalty. The federal government has the death penalty. Terrorist acts of this kind certainly are eligible for the death penalty. Timothy McVeigh was executed for federal crimes in connection with the bombing somewhat like this.

What's unusual about this situation is that Massachusetts does not have the death penalty. And the Supreme Court has never said whether it's constitutional to execute someone on federal charges who committed his crime in a state that does not have the death penalty. That's a legal issue that has not yet been resolved and it will certainly be the backdrop to the legal proceedings that will be starting here shortly.

BERMAN: And, Jeffrey, finally, the question of mirandizing Dzhokhar. He has not, as far as we know, received his Miranda rights yet. Is there a time by which he must perceived them, how we past that time?

TOOBIN: You know, this is a really complicated and, again, unsettled area? The Obama administration has created this national security exemption to Miranda, that there is a certain period of time, say, 48 hours, where questioning can go on if public safety is at state. What complicates that is the fact of his medical condition. When would that 48 hour clocks start? When he was arrested, when he becomes able to answer questions?

And also, it's worth remember that this national security exemption was created by the government, not by the courts. And the courts have not -- never officially approved that.

So, again, we're in somewhat in a gray area about what use the government can make of statements he made if he makes any statements before he gets his Miranda warnings?

BERMAN: All right. Jeffrey Toobin, CNN legal analyst, thanks so much for being with us this morning. Really appreciate it.

Meantime, investigators are examining the activities of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, including a trip he took last year to Russia. He was on the FBI's radar for a short because of concerns about possible Islamic extremism. So, the question a lot of people are asking right now is, did the agency drop the ball? Did they miss a warning sign about him?

I want to bring in Congressman Michael Capuano. He is from Massachusetts. His district includes a lot of the towns so closely involved with the story.

Thank you so much for being with us today.

Let me first get to you, get a story that's in "The Boston Globe" this morning that caught a lot of our attention. There is a story that there was disturbance at a local mosque in January, that Tamerlan may have been involved in a disturbance at a local mosque in January. Do you have any information about that?

REP. MICHAEL CAPUANO (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I don't have any information about it. I'm familiar with the mosque. I've worked with them in several occasions. When there'd been difficulties in the greater Boston area, they'd helped bring people together.

So, I don't know anything about this particular disturbance, but they're a mosque that many people are familiar with.

BERMAN: Tell me about that mosque and tell me about the Muslim community in this area.

CAPUANO: The Muslim community is -- the ones I know, of very good people. They understand fully well that since 9/11, that their religion has been under attack by some people and they know fully well that they have been under more of an obligation to reach out to others, to become even more visible in the community and they've done that from what I've seen. Again, like everything else, every group has bad people in them. And the group shouldn't be judged in that line.

BERMAN: And, of course, we have this information that the FBI was in contact with him, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as far back as 2011. They did not find anything at that time to continue an investigation. Does that raise concerns to you?

CAPUANO: It raises questions. I think there's going to be an awful lot of questions about this, that's going to be looked at over the coming months and maybe longer than that. Like every situation, I have faith that the FBI and other agencies have done their job. Can they improve their job going forward? Absolutely.

My hope is that there are a lot of lessons learned from this particular incident, that we'll be able to tighten up security around the country, you know, without really infringing on civil liberties anymore than we already have.

But I have faith that if the FBI did make a mistake here or if they didn't make a mistake, that the procedures just weren't tight enough, that I have faith that they'll review the matter and come up with lessons that they can then implement.

BERMAN: It has been a remarkable week in this area, in some ways unprecedented. What are the things that happened on Friday was this lockdown of the entire area. I read an interesting article in the "Jerusalem Post" over the weekend, which said, in Israel, this would have never happened. We would have never shut down an entire city because of the actions of one man.

In retrospect, is that a bad precedent to set?

CAPUANO: No, I don't think so at all. I mean, they were looking for somebody who was clearly in the area. I think that what happened was great. It brought the entire community together. Again, if it happened in regular basis, maybe we have to review it. But I have no problem with it at all. I haven't heard anyone from the greater Boston area complain about it.

BERMAN: You know what? Neither have I. This community has really come together in amazing ways. How impressed have you been?

CAPUANO: Impressed, but pleasantly reassured. I've grown up here all my life. I know the people of Boston and we do come together during times of difficult. We've done it before. Hopefully, we will never have to do it again. But if we have to, we will.

BERMAN: All right. Boston strong.

Congressman Michael Capuano, thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate it.

CAPUANO: Thank you very much.

BERMAN: Hours before he was killed during a shootout with police, the suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev called his mother in the Russian republic of Dagestan. That is according to the report by "The Los Angeles Times." This aunt tells the newspaper -- the mother I should say, that her oldest son told her he'd been contacted by the FBI and they wanted to see him. She described his call as touching and tender and said Tamerlan sounded alarmed.

She went on to say, "When Tamerlan talked to me the last time, Dzhokhar was in his house, too. And then the next day, my daughter Bella called me and said, 'Mama, turn on the television.' Now, I live with the television turn on at all times."

Now, the FBI denies having any contact with Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the days before his death.

The search for answers in the Boston attacks stretches from behind me here in Boston, all the way to Russia's northern Caucuses. The suspects' aunt in Russia expressing complete shock, now saying she was surprised he adopted the Muslim faith in the U.S. A rebel group in the republic of Dagestan denying any connection. But the Tsarnaev brothers do have ties to that region. Tamerlan visited a year ago, their father still leaves there and a YouTube video uncovered exclusively by CNN may hold some clues as to a motive.

Nick Paton Walsh joins us now from Dagestan.

Good morning, Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, when we're speaking just hours ago to the aunt of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who saw him during that six-month period last year when he returned from the United States to Russia. Interesting thing she had to say. First, that she was surprised how, you say, how he had embraced so devoutly the Muslim faith in the United States. He does appear to have traveled twice to Chechnya from here to see relatives during that period of time. Importantly, while U.S. records say he left the U.S. in January, she didn't see him here until March. So, a hole there we're not quite sure about.

But most emotional she became when she described the moment when the father Anzor saw for the first time his two sons on television after the Boston bombings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PATEIMAT SULEIMANOVA, AUNT OF BOSTON BOMBING SUSPECTS (via telephone): Then, for some reason, he tells me, "Pateimat, this is Dzhokhar and Tamerlan," and pointed to 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 backpack and these photos were shown. It can't be done." "I don't know, Pateimat, these are children." And then (INAUDIBLE) grabs the TV screen and starts screaming, "I can't be. It can't be happening. I don't believe it. My children are dead." I would have shouted myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: And, John, this is how it's being piece together, a picture, the mindset of Tamerlan certainly. And one key thing that emerged yesterday. We found his YouTube channel. He'd linked to a video of an extremist here in Dagestan. He was killed by Russian special forces last December in a very violent firefight.

That link had been taken down. We found the original video and perhaps represent the first obvious kind of clue that at least Tamerlan had some sort of interest in the violence of this region.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

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 the deceased brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, suggests there might be. He put up a link to a video entitled Abu Dudzhan Amir Rabbanikaly. The video was removed but CNN has now found it and it shows this man.

Abu Dudzhan is the name used by an Islamist militant Gajimurat Gulgatov (ph). Russian special forces hit Gulgatov's hideout last December. An armored car brought in to kill as much as six militants inside including Gulgatov. The grisly 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 militancy across this region.

Neighbors told us the young men 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 the Tamerlan visited just last year?

(on camera): Where inside you can see how 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.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WALSH (on-camera): Now, John, this doesn't that Tamerlan Tsarnaev met that particular militant, but it does show interestingly that he was interested in his social media appearances and video, the man who possibly be in the same town as just as recently as last year. So, we are piecing together slowly, suggestions of a slightly more full connection to what's been happening in the caucuses (ph) for the past two decades -- John.

BERMAN: All right Nick Paton Walsh working a key part of this story on the ground for us this morning in Dagestan. Thanks so much.

This is where we stand right now in the Boston marathon bombing investigation. Right now, we're waiting to hear if formal charges will be filed today against the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Meanwhile, the marathon finish line on Boylston Street remains a crime scene. It is still close this morning, though, we did just hear from the police commissioner a short time ago, it should open in the next 24 to 48 hours.

A funeral scheduled today at 11:00 a.m. eastern time for Krystle Campbell. She is one of the three people who were killed in the attack last week here in the Boston marathon. And at 2:50 p.m. this afternoon, at the exact moment of the first bomb went off last week, bell (INAUDIBLE) across Boston for 30 seconds as the city pauses to remember the victims.

Ahead on STARTING POINT, the search for answers in these Boston marathon bombing attack. The surviving suspect could be formally charged as early as today, but one of the marathon victims is laid to rest.

And next, we will speak to the resident of West, Texas who just returned home after being evacuated when an explosion leveled the town's fertilizer plant. You're watching a special edition of STARTING POINT. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to STARTING POINT. I'm Christine Romans with today's other news.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS: New this morning, five people shot to death overnight at an apartment complex in Federal Way, Washington just south of Seattle. Police report that officers responded to a shooting. They discovered four bodies, three men and a woman. Police say a fifth person was shot to death by officers when he reached for gun as they approached him.

Rescue workers in China raising against time to find survivors from Saturday's powerful earthquake in Sichuan Province. That's in Southwestern China. Thousands of homes collapse. At least 188 people were killed. That number is expected to rise. More than 11,000 people were injured.

And a television reporter on her way to her own wedding decided to put off the ceremony and go to work, reporting the devastation in her wedding dress.

A man who was caught up in Midwest flooding this weekend died trying to save his dog. David Barker (ph) was swept away Saturday after driving his pick-up truck through high water of Indiana. His brother says David got out of the track to get his dog to higher ground. The dog made it, David didn't.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL BARKER, BROTHER: This dog is not a dog. This was his daughter. He (inaudible) his daughter. He treated her like that. So, he was very passionate for it. He loved his dog.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Family members now plan to care for the dog. At least three deaths in the Midwest are being blamed on the flooding.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS (on-camera): This was a test, only a test, and it was a success. A private company, Orbital Sciences Corporation, blasted this rocket over the weekend from the Virginia Coast into space. It was a test run for future trips to the international space station. The company is expected to start making cargo deliveries later this year.

Ahead on STARTING POINT, some trouble on the stock markets for Apple. What's behind the tumble and can it turn around? That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROMANS: Good morning. Welcome back to STARTING POINT. Stock futures are pointing to a higher right now open for stocks. The Dow up around 70 points. It's ahead of a full week of tech company earnings and economic reports. Last week was the worst week for stocks all year.

Hundreds of companies reporting earnings this week. Apple is the biggest name on the list. If you own Apple shares, you have probably seen and felt this stomach churning chart. Apple's share price has tumbled over the past year down 31 percent over that period now trading below $400 a share. Why?

Well, slumping demand for products like the iPhone 5. Its rivals like Samsung and Google attracts new customers. Apple was once the most valuable company in the world by market value, so the stock, well, some analysts say relatively cheap right now. We will know better tomorrow, John Berman, what the future of Apple will be. It has an awful lot to prove. Investors have been stung. Apple clearly one of the biggest business stories of the day and the week, no question -- John.

BERMAN: And no question, a lot of people will be watching that very, very closely. Thanks, Christine.

Meanwhile, ahead on STARTING POINT, the surviving suspect be hidden in plain sight after the marathon bombings going about college life as if nothing ever happened. We will hear from students who spoke to him on campus. You're watching a special edition of STARTING POINT live from Boston. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: It has been seven days since the Boston marathon bombing. And this morning, we're waiting to find out what, if anything, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev might be telling law enforcement officials. The 19- year-old suspect is being heavily guarded in a Boston hospital right now. He is in serious but stable condition this morning with a gunshot wound to the neck. He could be criminally charged as early as today.

We're also finding out more about the fire power and the technology used by law enforcement to take Tsarnaev into custody. Night vision cameras spotted him hiding in a boat and flashbang grenades were used to stun and disorient, and all this, while the city of Boston prepares to say goodbye to one of his alleged victims, Krystle Campbell (ph). She died in last Monday's marathon attack and her funeral begins just 2 1/2 hours from now.

Earlier this morning, Boston police commissioner, Ed Davis, appeared live on STARTING POINT and talked about the investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED DAVIS, COMMISSIONER, BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: I don't have any information that anyone contacted the Boston police department with the name of this individual. But he was not living in the city of Boston, first of all. And second of all, we're still looking through our files on that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: Surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, spent several days after the Boston marathon hiding in plain sight at the UMass Dartmouth campus. The 19-year-old sophomore was spotted in the dorms. He was spotted working out, even attending a party for his intramural soccer team. CNNs Chris Lawrence has been talking to classmates and needless to say have been stunned.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): A little more than 24 hours after video cameras captured him at the Boston marathon, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev jumped back into campus life, seemingly unfazed, classmates say, by the terror attacks he's accused of committing.

ZACH BETTENCOURT, UMASS DARTMOUTH STUDENT: I saw him Tuesday, the day after at the gym.

LAWRENCE: And Zach Bettencourt says Dzhokhar was acting like he didn't have a care in the world.

BETTENCOURT: He (INAUDIBLE). He didn't seem, like, I mean, like, nervous or anything.

LAWRENCE: Dzhokhar worked out for a while. It didn't shy away when Zach brought up the bombing.