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Bombing Suspect Moved to Prison; Boston Carjacking Victim Speaks Out

Aired April 26, 2013 - 18:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: a frightening account of being carjacked by the alleged Boston bombers, with new details from the victim. We will retrace his nightmare and his life-and-death escape.

Plus, we will take you inside the prison hospital where the surviving suspect now is being treated behind locked doors.

And a bombing survivor talks about the sheer panic of that day and her dangerous jump to safety. She's injured, she's shaken, and she's angry.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Let's get to breaking news right now. You're looking at live pictures. You see authorities are hauling away the bloodstained boat that was the final hideout of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. These are taped pictures, only moments ago. You can see the boat being moved away from the home in Watertown, going into the street. It's been one week since police captured the younger Tsarnaev brother in someone's backyard in Watertown. That's outside of Boston.

He was hiding under a tarp in that boat, and now that boat is being moved. Another breaking news detail we're following right now. Sources are telling CNN one of the explosive devices found at last week's gunfight between police and the Boston bombing suspects in Watertown was made with a metal elbow pipe.

That's similar to the design in the al Qaeda online magazine "Inspire." A separate source also said the pipe was wrapped in black tape. Investigators have been saying for some time that the instructions in that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula magazine, "Inspire," is they are available on time. In that magazine, they teach people how to build a bomb.

Now a new account of 90 terrifying minutes when a man named Danny says he was trapped in his car with the Boston bombing suspects fearing he would be killed literally at any moment. Danny now is telling his story of being carjacked at gun point and all the harrowing turns that followed, until his frantic escape at a gas station. His account fills in very critical gaps in the timeline of the manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers.

CNN's Brian Todd is in the Boston area to show us how it all played out -- Brian.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is the area where the carjacking began along this strip of Brighton Avenue just outside downtown Boston a week ago Thursday night, and it began with suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev banging on the window of the victim's car and demanding a ride. It played out for about 90 minutes and left the victim shaken.

(voice-over): Tamerlan Tsarnaev according to the victim wielded a silver handgun when he climbed into the black Mercedes SUV, the suspect's first words.

JAMES FOX, ADVISER TO VICTIM: He said, did you hear about the bombing, the marathon bombing? Danny said, I did. He said, well, that's me. I did that. And I just killed a Cambridge cop.

TODD: Professor James Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, has counseled the victim and knows every detail of the story. The victim, a Chinese national, did not want to go on camera, but only agreed to be referred to by his American nickname, Danny. He gave a description of the carjacking to "The Boston Globe" which professor Fox confirmed to CNN.

The victim said when he pulled off the curb with Tamerlan in the passenger seat, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was following in another vehicle. It was hard to drive at first.

FOX: Early on in the drive, Danny is obviously quite nervous, and driving somewhat erratically because of his nerves. And Tamerlan said, oh, relax, calm, drive slowly.

TODD: They drove from Brighton to Watertown, into Cambridge, about 90 minutes in all. We retraced the route. At one point, professor Fox says, the two vehicles pulled over. The brothers got out and unloaded objects from Dzhokhar's vehicle into the victim's trunk.

(on camera): What does he think it is?

FOX: He thinks it is luggage. Danny didn't want to look back.

TODD (voice-over): They ditched Dzhokhar's car. All three were now in Danny's vehicle.

FOX: At that point, he realized at that, boy, he may not live to see another day.

TODD: Tamerlan was then driving, the victim in the passenger seat. Dzhokhar in back. They stopped at an ATM in Watertown, withdrew money with Danny's card. Professor Fox says Danny heard them speaking in their native language, could only make out the word Manhattan in English. But that's not all.

(on camera): In the car, the three of them are talking like normal guys. Right?

FOX: Exactly. Exactly. And they had over 90 minutes to spend with each other, and they were talking about ordinary things, what kind of phone do you have, do you have a C.D. player in the car? There was this kind of a relationship forming, which in -- eventually aided Danny.

TODD (voice-over): But at one point Danny's phone buzzed with two texts, then rang twice.

FOX: Danny answers it. Tamerlan says, don't say a word in Chinese. If you do, I will kill you. So his friend is speaking Chinese over the phone, but Danny answers in English. I'm going to sleep elsewhere tonight. And when he finally hung up, Tamerlan said, good boy. You did it well.

TODD (on camera): Professor Fox said the victim's brief window for escape came here at this Shell station. It was cash only at the time so he says Dzhokhar Tsarnaev went in to pay cash for the gas. At that point, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was briefly fumbling around with his personal GPS system. He said Tamerlan then set the gun down temporarily inside the door pocket.

FOX: And in one motion, Danny undid his seat belt, opened the door and ran to the rear of the car, across the street to the Mobile station.

TODD (on camera): How did Tamerlan Tsarnaev react? What did he do?

FOX: Well, Tamerlan tried to grab him. Missed. Swore. That was it.

TODD: Didn't fire?

FOX: Didn't fire. It would have been difficult to fire, because Danny, by this time, was to the rear of the car. And it would have been difficult for him to sort of fire through the back window.

TODD (voice-over): At the Mobile station, the victim got an employee to call 911. The Tsarnaev brothers took off. The encounter with police in Watertown came soon after, when Tamerlan was killed.

Professor Fox says, given the information that the brothers planned an attack in New York...

FOX: Were it not for his actions, his behavior, his composure, his wits about him, who knows what would have happened.

TODD (on camera): But Professor Fox said the victim doesn't consider himself a hero and is still nervous because he knows he may well have to recount the entire episode in court if and when Dzhokhar Tsarnaev goes to trial -- Wolf.


BLITZER: Brian Todd with an excellent report. Thanks very much.

A week after his capture, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev now is locked up in a federal prison facility. Authorities say he was moved around 3:30 a.m. this morning from a hospital in Boston to a prison medical center about 40 miles away in Devens. It's on the grounds of a former U.S. military base. A law enforcement source telling CNN Tsarnaev has been able to sit up, and that he has now been actually writing. It's not clear what he's writing.

CNN's Tom Foreman is joining us to give us a virtual tour of this prison facility.

What's it like, Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. As you point out, geographically it's not really very far away, about 40 miles from Boston, the FMC Devens facility. That stands for federal medical center. It is run by the Bureau of Prisons.

But it's quite a different setting than what he's seen so far. It is about a half a dozen buildings, as many federal facilities are operated by the Bureau of Prisons. It's a fairly spartan affair. This is the perimeter all around it here. Not a huge amount of overwhelming security as you would expect in one of the supermax facilities. But nonetheless, this is the basics of the place.

There are about 1,000 patients here. We use the word patients in particular, because the point here is this offers care to inmates who have long-term or chronic medical conditions. That's a fundamental reason for it. It is an all-male facility. There have been some famous inmates there, for example, John Franzese, Frank Locascio. Both of these men were involved in mob crimes. Raj Rajaratnam was involved in a giant insider trading scheme that took tens of millions of dollars.

Just a bit more about the place where he will be. They have a library there. At most an inmate can have five guests at a time. They are closely monitored. They can come between 8:30 in the morning and 3:00 in the afternoon on weekdays. And they do have some recreational facilities, basketball, soccer, floor hockey, that sort of thing.

But again, the fundamental purpose of this place is to provide medical care for long-term or chronic conditions. We will have to see if Tsarnaev is there because he has that for a long time or this is merely a stopping point before he's moved on to some other place -- Wolf.

BLITZER: He's listed in fair condition right now. Tom, thank you.

Let's bring in our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Sanjay, what do you know about the prison's medical capabilities?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, bouncing off what Tom was saying a little bit, I think this is sort of more of a stop for him as opposed to treating some sort of chronic condition.

It's a medical facility that has 24-hour care. They have six doctors for those 1,000 patients Tom was just talking about, 60 nurses. They can do things like dialysis and X-rays. But they don't do big operations. They're not accredited for an ICU. It gives you the idea of the level of care, Wolf, not like where he was by any means at the Beth Israel Hospital, but a lot of care still available there.

He also went to an intake screening process when he gets there, where he gets a psychological evaluation, he gets a medical evaluation as well, he's fingerprinted, DNA samples are taken. That's already been done. But it's a pretty good medical care for somebody who's this far out probably from his injuries, and his operation, Wolf.

BLITZER: What does Tsarnaev's transfer suggest about his condition?

GUPTA: One of the things you think about, in someone who is in his state, fair condition they call it, could he still develop another medical problem, could he develop an infection, for example? That might require more advanced care.

What this transfer tells me is because they don't -- they're not accredited for an ICU, because they don't do major operations there, they don't really think those things are going to happen. Fair condition, it probably suggests he's continuing to improve. That would be the normal course, Wolf.

BLITZER: The suspect in this bombing case clearly spent almost a week in the same hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, same place that some of the victims are recovering right now as well. How common is that?

GUPTA: You know, it's common -- you know, this does happen at big urban trauma hospitals and in big cities. Obviously this particular situation, Wolf, very unique, given the natures of these crimes. But yes, you know, you do have suspects and victims in the same hospital.

The suspect is usually restrained, maybe even handcuffed. There are guards. Oftentimes the medical teams that are taking care of the different patients, they may not be communicating specifically. They may be on different floors. So it does happen. Again, the situation is very unique in some ways. But if you have a big trauma center in a city, oftentimes, it will take lots of patients, both suspects and victims, Wolf.

BLITZER: Sanjay Gupta, thanks very much, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta is our chief medical correspondent.

Up next, the Tsarnaev brothers' brutal beginning. CNN takes you to the war-ravaged home where they grew up. And the cameras that might have been a first line of defense if the suspects had targeted Times Square in New York. We're going inside New York's nerve center.


BLITZER: The roots of the Boston bombings could lie thousands of miles away in Chechnya.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh traveled to a town where the Tsarnaev family lived.

He went there to investigate and he's joining us now from neighboring Dagestan in Russia.

Nick, what did you see in Chechnya?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, one of the things that stood out in the week here, something that the aunt said, that the family went back to Chechnya, between the two Chechen wars, going from Kyrgyzstan trying to make a life there, but fled at the onset of the second Chechen war, the house where they lived having been bombed.

We tracked down that particular town.


WALSH (voice-over): Heading into Chechnya, you feel the weight of two brutal wars for an independence Moscow would never allow, its ruins rebuilt over, the only upside of the Kremlin's heavy hand. The Tsarnaev family's identity was forged here.

We found their hometown and what's left of the family home. In its ruins lie the brutalized past the brothers must have grown up with. Tamerlan fled this town when he was about 11 before the second war began and this street was bombed.

(on camera): Well, it's hard to be a Chechen without a tie to your homeland, and these ruins bombed out in the first Chechen war are what's left of the family home of the father to the alleged Boston bombers.

(voice-over): Their great uncle remembers a devoutly religious Tamerlan from last year, but also them as children.

ZAINALBEK TSARNAEV, UNCLE OF SUSPECTS (through translator): They were this big, but I didn't see them after that. And they weren't involved in that crazy stuff.

WALSH: I show him Tamerlan's picture from online.

TSARNAEV (through translator): That's him. That's Tamerlan probably. He didn't live here, so I can't say.

WALSH (on camera): The Americans say he's behind the Boston bombings. TSARNAEV (through translator): I saw them on TV. They said he was dead. I saw that. There, he looks good. But I saw him on TV like this. And that's it.

WALSH (voice-over): Since the war's intense repression inside Chechnya, it has pushed the violence across the region into Dagestan. Shoot-outs like this which killed Abu Dujan, a militant whose video Tamerlan posted a link to, are commonplace.

Police call them bandits, using jihad as a cover for criminality. Militants like Abu Dujan claim they wage jihad against corrupt Russian police. This video police say shows them cutting the throat of a policeman in his home, the West sometimes in their rhetorical sights as they train and recruit in the words. Chechnya's wars begat a cycle of violence that doesn't stop, just spreads.


WALSH: Wolf, we're getting here really a picture of a man, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who at very formative years, probably 11 or 12, fled the violence in Chechnya and then later in his youth, in his 20s, comes back to Dagestan and attends a mosque here that authorities say is linked to extremism, where that militant you just saw, Abu Dujan, was also known to frequent, Wolf.

BLITZER: Any word, Nick, on whether the parents are still planning on coming to the United States? I know there was talk that the father was going to come. But what's the latest you're getting?

WALSH: When I spoke to the mother this morning, she was quite clear that trip is on hold simply because the father is not well at the moment. His health has taken a substantial turn for the worse. They have left Dagestan, this republic, and gone somewhere else in Russia to get away, I think, from the glare of the media, to get less pressure from the investigators perhaps as well. And really, I think the health is a key issue at the moment.

She still wants to go. She talked about the need to get the burial happening, once the officials in the U.S. side release of the body. The main issue, when was Anzor going to go? That was supposed to be today, even yesterday. That's on hold until his health improves.

BLITZER: Nick Paton Walsh on right ground for us with excellent reporting, as he's been doing all week. Thanks very much. Nick is in Dagestan.

Coming up, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, speaking out about the Boston bombing investigation and of what he calls his "great regret."

Plus, new bomb-detecting technology, will it make bomb-sniffing dogs obsolete?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: Russia's state news agency is reporting 140 arrests at a crackdown on the Islamist extremist organizations. The arrest happened at a mosque south of Moscow which police say has drawn radicals including some from the North Caucasus.

There's no indication so far the arrests have any connection once again to the Boston bombings. But the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, spoke out about the attacks and the investigation today.

Our foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty who spent many years as our CNN bureau chief in Moscow, is fluent in Russian, is working this part of the story for us.

Jill, what did they say?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: You know, Wolf, I remember when I was a bureau chief in Moscow, we had a roundtable with Vladimir Putin, and you could really see how even the word Chechnya seemed to infuriate him.

After all, he is the president who launched the second Chechen war in 1999. And in his annual call-in program which he had just yesterday, fielding questions from Russians, you could see that his mantra really was, I told you so.

He said, Western partners in the media would hardly ever use the word terrorists when it came to Chechens, that they would use instead the word insurgents. He accused the West of providing them financial and political assistance, and also said that much of what the West said about wanting to cooperate on anti-terrorism was really just empty words.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We always told our partners, instead of general declarations, you should have closer cooperation between our security services, and now these two criminals confirmed that we were right.


DOUGHERTY: Right. And he said also that he does want to cooperate more closely with West, with the United States on fighting terrorism. And he had a specific comment about that information, the tip that the FSB gave to the FBI, and to the CIA about the Tsarnaevs.

He said, "The Russian special services, to my great regret, were not able to provide our American colleagues with information that would have operative significance."

Some interesting comments by Mr. Putin. You know, Wolf, one of the complicating factors here is that the West for years has accused Russia of carrying out that war against the Chechen terrorists with a lot of brutality and violating human rights. So although right now the FBI and the FSB cooperate on many levels about a lot of different things, some officials here say that might have colored a bit how they approached that information that did come from the FSB.

BLITZER: That's a good point indeed. Jill, thanks very much.

Still ahead, a bombing survivor talks about her frantic escape from the scene and the horrors she faced when she arrived at the hospital.

And what if the bombing suspects had been able to get to Times Square in New York? We will ask New York City police about the cameras they have set up across the city.


BLITZER: Happening now: a bombing survivor's escape from the scene of the attack. Her emotional account of seeing the blast, panicking and making a dangerous jump to safety.

Plus, on the lookout in New York -- would police cameras have spotted the Tsarnaev brothers if -- if they had made it to Times Square?

And are bomb-sniffing dogs becoming obsolete? We will show you the new technology that one day could replace them.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Boston bombing investigators have been searching for potentially crucial evidence in a landfill. That's one of the new developments in the case. A law enforcement source says they're looking for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's laptop and other clues. We're told Dzhokhar gave authorities information that helped lead them to the dump near the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where he attended classes.

Tsarnaev now is locked up in a federal prison hospital in a restricted section. He was moved from a Boston hospital overnight. A source says he now can sit up and that he actually has been writing.

And Tsarnaev's final hideout is being hauled away. We believe authorities are taking the boat where he was found one week ago to an FBI facility.

For many survivors of the Boston bombings, the fear and the anger still are very, very fresh, including for Ryan McMann, who was injured jumping to safety. And Ryan is joining us now.

Ryan, thanks very much. What can you remember from that day? I know you were in the grandstand watching the race. What happened?

RYAN MCMANN, INJURED IN BOMBING: We went up to kind of the, you know, the back of the grandstand area, and just were watching and enjoying everything. I took videos. I was taking photos. Just really -- I was incredibly inspired by, you know, all the runners, kind of grabbing their kids at the finish line, right before it, and running that last little bit with them. And just looking at each other, really enjoying the day. And then there was the blast. The first blast was directly across from us. And I just looked at one of my friends, and she was just like, "We've got to get out of here."

I know my initial reaction was that it was not a bomb. I just looked at it and it was like, that's really large for an electrical blast. But the second my friend said, "Let's get out of here," we just started kind of moving to the left, like straight across the bleachers.

And then the second blast went off. And at that moment, I totally panicked, and everyone around me was completely panicked. I remember looking kind of down between the bleachers and thinking I could -- I could make the jump. I could -- you know, I could climb down, and there was nobody, you know, below us, so we could kind of get around all the crowds and just get the heck out of there.

So I tried to do the jump. I was holding onto a bar, and one arm on the bleacher. And basically, because I was panicked, and with everyone kind of running around on the bleachers, I lost hold and I fell and landed on my back.

I looked up, and my friend was about to do the same jump. I, like, yelled up to her, told her not to do it. Because I knew I had hurt myself. But she did it anyways, and she was able to hold on for a little longer, so she was OK. But the second she landed, she just was like, "Ryan, you've got to get up. You've got to get up. We've got to go." And my other friend was able to get down and climb down another way.

And so we all just got -- I have no idea how I got up, because I knew I hurt my back, and my right hand was kind of crooked. And we just ran.

BLITZER: Did you understand how seriously injured you were?

MCMANN: No, I didn't. I just -- I thought I broke my arm. That, I knew. I knew I hurt my back, but I figured since I was able to walk and run, I -- you know, it couldn't have been that bad. I just knew I wanted to get out of there. I didn't know how many, you know, more bombs could go off in that area. We just wanted to get far away.

And when I got to Boston Medical, no one was there yet. I was one of the first people to come in. And they kind of -- they got me in there quick in the E.R. And then everybody came -- started coming in. And that was just -- that is kind of what I'm processing now, is like that scene, and seeing everyone coming in.

BLITZER: How difficult is that? How difficult are those memories?

MCMANN: Yes. Those are hard. So I'm still processing. But, you know, the team there, they took care of me. Everyone was so, so nice. And then I learned when I was in the E.R. that, you know, I had severely broken my right wrist. And then they came back and they're like, OK, your left wrist is broken, and then you fractured your back. So just a lot of information, but I was just so, so -- you know, I'm so fortunate. I just -- I'm so lucky.

BLITZER: I know you're staying with your -- you're staying with your grandmother now. What are they saying about your treatment? The recovery, and of course, all of us hope that there will be a complete and full recovery. How long is this going to take?

MCMANN: They say -- well, they say anywhere from six months to a year. But I'm just amazed by how fast my back -- my body is, you know, seems to be healing. I'm hoping it's much less. But I'm going to have a full recovery. And I'm so lucky.

BLITZER: You are going to have a full recovery. You have every right to be angry about what happened. How angry -- are you still very angry today?

MCMANN: I have mixed feelings. I am angry, but it changes every day. How I feel about all of this. I just don't understand it. And I don't think I'm ever going to understand it.

I know when they caught -- when they caught the bombers, I sent a lot of angry texts to all my friends. And there were a lot of -- I felt a lot of anger. And I know in the first few days I was just so angry. And I just didn't understand -- I still don't understand it. I know I'm not probably going to ever understand this.

BLITZER: We wish you, Ryan, only, only the best. A complete speedy recovery. You have a lot of friends; you have a lot of supporters. People are watching you. They're with you every step of the way. We wish you only the best. Thanks so much for sharing this powerful story with our viewers.

MCMANN: Thank you for having me on here. Thank you.

BLITZER: Wonderful, wonderful young woman.

Up next, was the surviving suspect read his Miranda rights too soon? What impact will it have on the investigation? We'll talk about that and more with our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin.

Plus, bomb-sniffing dogs, so will new technology soon put them out of a job?


BLITZER: New concerns are being raised about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's interrogation and whether it was handled the right way.

Federal agents questioned him for about 16 hours after his capture last Friday, without reading his Miranda rights. They took advantage of an exception to the Miranda warnings when public safety is threatened. But on Monday, the judge who conducted a hearing in Tsarnaev's hospital room did read him his rights. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, told me that created a huge problem.


REP. MIKE ROGERS (R-MI), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: That is highly unusual for a judge to intervene so hastily and make the decision not based on the facts of the interviews, and the public safety exception, but what they perceived was happening based on what they saw on television. It's dangerous. It's precedent setting that I think we need to change and correct right away, and we still need more answers on this particular question.

Once -- once they walked into the hospital room, and offered the lawyer and -- and mirandized, they hadn't -- as sure as I'm standing here right now, they had -- the subject has not continued to cooperate with the authorities. And that's a huge problem.


BLITZER: Let's bring in our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, for some analysis. So what's your reaction to what Mike Rogers is saying? He's saying they rushed to charge him, hastily read him those Miranda rights, when the questioning could have continued to help the public better appreciate the safety problems involved.

JEFF TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: This is really much more about Republican members of Congress attacking a Democratic president, than it is about any sort of the law.

Look, the public safety exception is about public safety. What it means is, the interrogators are allowed to ask a suspect questions, if there are immediate public safety risks. Are there more bombs out there? Are more people about to be killed? Is there a ticking time bomb? That's what the government is allowed to ask. They had 16 hours to ask those questions. That's plenty of time. They don't get an unlimited amount of time to interrogate someone who's in custody.

What happened here is completely ordinary. It's not going to damage the investigation. And this is how the legal system is supposed to work.

BLITZER: They argue, and I've heard this from some law enforcement sources, they argue that 16 hours was not enough time. He was sedated for part of the questioning. He was recovering from serious injuries. He wasn't necessarily lucid. He couldn't speak all that well. What would have been wrong with letting it continue for another day or two?

TOOBIN: Well, you know, certainly it's not enough time for the kind of full interrogation you want to do of someone who is accused of such a terrible, terrible crime, and is potentially involved in a broad-ranging conspiracy. But that's not the law in the United States. The law in the United States is, when you're in custody, you get your Miranda rights. It's the public safety exception that's unusual. It's that 16 hours. It's that period of time when you don't have to give the Miranda rights that's an unusual exception to how the law usually works. But I don't see any justification, frankly, for extending this further.

BLITZER: Some people have said, though, the public safety exception could go on for 48 hours, or even longer, that there's no hard and fast deadline for using this public safety exception before the Miranda rights are read.

TOOBIN: Well, that's certainly true. The Supreme Court has never said that there is a hard and fast deadline. And the Obama administration has indicated that they believe 48 hours is -- is about the limit.

But it's not clear whether that's 48 hours, is 48 hours of questioning, or 48 hours between arrest and Miranda warnings. That is about how long, in terms of actual, you know, time on the clock, that went by here, it appears, when -- when he got his actual Miranda warnings.

But this is not something that is going to hurt the case. Tsarnaev is not going to get away with something because of this. And it really strikes me at this point it's much more politics than law.

BLITZER: We do know, though, he's stopped cooperating. He stopped providing any information since those Miranda rights were read. So I guess that's that.

TOOBIN: And since he got a lawyer.

BLITZER: And since he got -- he's got two lawyers. I think he's got three or four lawyers that have been appointed to his case.

TOOBIN: Right.

BLITZER: So he's well lawyered up right now. All right, Jeffrey, thanks very much.

TOOBIN: Indeed.

BLITZER: Up next, 4,000 cameras monitoring New York City. We're going inside the command center, right at the heart of a massive anti- terrorism operation.


BLITZER: We're about to get a rare look inside one of the largest anti-terror operations in the world. Much of New York City's massive operation relies on thousands and thousands of cameras on constant lookout for terror threats. CNN's Mary Snow is joining us now from Times Square with a closer look.

I know you've been investigating. What are you finding out, Mary?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Wolf, New Yorkers were reminded just yesterday that the city remains a potential target. And after the Boston Marathon bombings, police presence was stepped up in places like Times Square where we are right now. But other than that, it's not much different than what's going on in any ordinary day.


SNOW (voice-over): A show of police force that's now a routine drill in New York City in the wake of September 11. All of it viewed back at police headquarters, part of an anti-terrorism initiative put in place by New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

(on camera): Are you aware of any other police department that has this extensive technology?

RAY KELLY, NYPD COMMISSIONER: No, no. You know, people understandably don't see themselves threatened as we do.

SNOW (voice-over): Some 4,000 cameras around the city stream into this command center. Some send out an alarm if a bag is left unattended for several minutes.

KELLY: If it looks -- continues to look suspicious, the bomb squad would come in. They'd try to X-Ray it, and if it was still -- no final determination, they may use a disruptor. That's a high- powered water that would disrupt a bomb.

SNOW (on camera): Times Square is a particular concern, because millions of people come here every year. And in 2010, it was the target of a failed car bomb attempt.

The NYPD has stressed video surveillance here. But it's also put counterterrorism resources into things you can't see.

(voice-over): A thousand officers working counterterrorism. The unit actively monitoring for potential terrorists.

MITCH SILBER, FORMER NEW YORK POLICE INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR: The lead may come in from another law enforcement or intelligence agency. So it might come from, you know, some other part of the country or somewhere around the world.

SNOW: Mitch Silber is the former head of the NYPD's counterintelligence unit. In 2007, he wrote a report about the threat of home-grown terrorists, citing the biggest threat coming from unremarkable citizens who became radicalized in the west, and he specifically warned about young Muslims. It generated controversy. The NYPD has come under criticism for monitoring Muslims. But the department insists everything done is within a legal framework.

Silber stresses that keeping tabs on potential dangerous behavior could potentially track down a lone wolf. He points out that, in the case of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, questions from Russia about his travel there, as well as being kicked out of a mosque would have put him on the radar of the NYPD.


SNOW: And Wolf, to date the police commissioner counts 16 plots against New York City -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Mary Snow's at Times Square. Good report. Thank you.

There's another major story we've been following. The chemical weapons reportedly used by the Syrian regime of President Bashar al- Assad.

Today the president of the United States spoke tough in his first public statement since the defense secretary, Chuck Hagel's, dire news that there is, in fact, according to U.S. intelligence, evidence that the chemical weapon sarin has been used by the Syrian military. Listen to this.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's obviously horrific, as it is, when mortars are being fired on civilians and people are being indiscriminately killed. To use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law. And that is going to be a game-changer.

We have to act prudently. We have to make these assessments deliberately. But I think all of us, not just in the United States but around the world, recognize how we cannot stand by and permit the systematic use of weapons like chemical weapons on the civilian population.


BLITZER: The president said last year the use of chemical weapons would be a, quote, "red line" when it comes to intervention in Syria. The Syrian government is completely denying it. They're blaming the rebels for any use of chemical weapons in the country.

Up next, will machines like this one make bomb-sniffing dogs obsolete? A closer look at the latest high-tech explosive detectors.


BLITZER: Could a bomb-sniffing dog have prevented the Boston Marathon attack, or could a machine have done so? New technology is pitting highly-trained canines against manmade bomb detectors. Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, takes a closer look.

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, some new advances are coming in bomb detection technology that experts hope will keep everyone safe.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) STARR (voice-over): From the Boston Marathon to U.S. troops on patrol in Afghanistan, in the life-and-death challenge to detect bombs. It's a debate over dog versus machine in the search for the best solutions.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is focusing on technology. This bunch of boxes and computer screens is actually a prototype for detecting explosives.

MARISSA MORALES, OAK RIDGE ENGINEER: So what the sensor does is that it combines infrared sources with optics and an infrared detector.

STARR: Simply put, lasers shoot out. The target here, a suitcase, reflects certain colors. Advanced computers analyze the colors. And within seconds, detect explosives.

This has two critical advantages. The laser finds small amounts of explosives nearly a football field away. And it can be put on a truck, moving, scanning the crowd like the marathon.

PANOS DATSKOS, OAK RIDGE SENIOR SCIENTIST: You need a device to look out over a large area and so on. So it's a difficult question to answer. I would say the technology could do it.

STARR: Scientists say a dog's nose is the best detector. But Pentagon officer sergeant Sarah Lagasse says even Aldo, her bomb- sniffing partner, has limits.

SERGEANT SARAH LAGASSE, PENTAGON OFFICER: Some dogs can search a really long time. Some dogs don't search as long. They get fatigued just like people do.

STARR: And dogs have to get close up to their target.

LAGASSE: If it's a very large event like the marathon, you'd have to have numerous teams and just do a grid. Get through it.

STARR: At Auburn University, dogs are trained to sniff for vapors. CNN's Randi Kaye asked if that could have helped in Boston.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You think that if you had a vapor wave dog in Boston, they might have detected the suspects before they were able to place those backpacks down?

PROFESSOR JIM FLOYD, AUBURN UNIVERSITY: Had one of our dogs been in place on that corner with those two guys walking there with those backpacks, I think they would have alerted on them.

STARR: The Oak Ridge team says its advantage -- in Boston it could have identified the precise explosives in seconds.

DWIGHT CLAYTON, OAK RIDGE ENGINEER: If I'm on a bomb squad, I want to know right now is this a dangerous package or not, not have to blow it up unnecessarily or put my life in risk.


STARR: The Oak Ridge prototype is just one of many ideas being worked on right now to detect bombs that contain small amounts of explosives. But experts will tell you right now, they will use dogs, machines, technology, anything they can in this deadly challenge -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Indeed some new technology to help out, to prevent these kinds of disasters. What a week these -- in fact, what these last two weeks have been.

If you want to help, here's some good advice. You can go to, "Impact Your World." You can find out how you can help some of those who have suffered so, so seriously in Boston and elsewhere:

You can also go to the Web site if you'd like to help out, as well.

Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.