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Ariel Castro Holed Up in 9x9 Cell; Michelle Knight is in "A Safe Place"; Russian Withheld Details on Tsarnaev; Spacewalk Under Way; E-Mails Raise New Questions on Benghazi; Texas Fertilizer Plant Blast Probe; Who is Ariel Castro?; Choosing the Drum Major

Aired May 11, 2013 - 11:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: SATURDAY MORNING, it is May 11th, good morning. I'm Brianna Keilar.

Cleveland kidnapping victim Michelle Knight is out of the hospital but her family doesn't know where she is and that's apparently the way she wants it.

And Russia did not tell the U.S. everything it knew about Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Hear about his sinister text to his mother, plus the controversy over his burial continues even after he's laid to rest.

Taking a walk in space, right now two NASA astronauts are outside the International Space Station making a crucial repair.

Here in Cleveland the man accused -- here in Cleveland, the man accused of imprisoning three women for about a decade is locked up himself right now in a 9 by 9 jail cell. One of his alleged captors (SIC) meantime is MIA choosing to have no contacts with her family.

And joining me to talk about the latest developments in a possible legal hiccup is CNN's Pamela Brown. First off, I should say, you just came from the DeJesus house. What was going on there? You said there was some activity.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes there's more activity than I've seen there. We don't know exactly what's going on there. We have been hearing reports that Michelle Knight went there after she was released from the hospital. We saw several of Gina's family members, we saw her mom, her aunt, her sister out there. We saw more guardian angels that have been out there monitoring the house outside of the house than I had seen there before.

And also police officers that the family was talking to -- we don't know what exactly is going on. But again, we have been hearing those reports. And I spoke to the stepbrother of Michelle Knight earlier. He said he had been hearing the same thing, but that the family is still in the dark, that no one, including the authorities, have told them where Michelle Knight is. He said that the mother is actively trying to find her, make contact with her. So far, she's -- we're hearing that she hasn't talked to her daughter at all, that she misses her, loves her, hopes to hear from her on Mother's Day, tomorrow, according to the stepbrother. But again, he says authorities know where she is, but they're not sharing that information. We don't know if Michelle told them not to, or what the deal is there.

KEILAR: It really does raise a lot of questions. And I think there's also something else that that might make you wonder as well. And that has to do with the missing persons list that the FBI maintains. Cleveland officials actually, when it comes to Michelle Knight, while the other women were on the list, after a pretty short time, about a year or so, right, Michelle Knight is taken off the list. Why was that?

BROWN: Yes 15 months after she disappeared, she was taken off that list. And we -- we reached out to Cleveland police to ask why. And they say that basically they were just following protocol that they were unable to reach a family member that was able to give a definitive answer that she was still missing.

So in that case, they removed her name. But the case remained open with Cleveland police. And it shows according to the missing persons report we obtained, that they tried 12 times over the years to reach out to family members and find her, even as recently as last November.

But what's interesting here, Brianna, is that last January, it says -- it says that it was validated that -- so it seems like perhaps a family member was reached and was able to validate she was still missing. We're still waiting to hear from Cleveland police on that, though.

KEILAR: All right, all interesting details. Pam Brown for us here in Cleveland, thank you so much.

Let's go to Washington for a little story there. This morning everyone in the West Wing of the White House was evacuated because officials ordered them to get out after smoke was seen coming out of a mechanical closet. Five fire trucks responded to the scene. It turns out it was an overheated piece of equipment that was the source of all that smoke. And people were allowed back in after a short time.

Meantime, SWAT teams are at the scene of a tense and lengthy I should say standoff at a home in Trenton, New Jersey. This is an ordeal that began yesterday afternoon. Authorities say a gunman barricaded himself and three kids inside of the house. We don't know the children's conditions. Local reports suggest the gunman is believed to have killed his wife.

And a task force in Newtown, Connecticut has taken a vote on the future of the Sandy Hook Elementary School building. The decision is unanimous one, all 28 members of the panel are recommending the building be torn down, and rebuilt at the same site. This recommendation must be approved by the Newtown School Board and then it would be put up for a popular vote. Ominous texts from Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev to his mother. Russia had them but did not tell the U.S. and Paula Newton joining us live from Boston. Paula, what did these texts say?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, apparently they said and definitively, that he, Tamerlan was interested in joining extremist groups in Russia. Brianna, if that's true, that goes completely against everything that the FBI said when they concluded their investigation in 2011 of Tamerlan saying, look he doesn't seem to pose a threat, even though the Russians had flagged him to us.

What's interesting here is that you have the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers, saying look this means somewhere somebody dropped the ball, that the Russians weren't giving us all the information. Some people are tampering that saying look, that kind of intelligence sharing is too detailed. The Russians flagged Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the United States twice.

So what was missed whether or not this information was there, but it could have been critical information, because it certainly shows that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was in search of that kind of radical thinking, of those kinds of militants in the area of Russia, months before the Boston bombings -- Brianna.

KEILAR: The other thing, Paula, is that Tamerlan Tsarnaev we now know was buried this week in a Muslim cemetery in Doswell, Virginia, this is a rural Virginia, very far from Boston. What has reaction been like in that town? And why was he buried there?

NEWTON: Well, he was buried there, can you believe it, Brianna, he was in limbo at a funeral home, with nowhere to go, literally no cemetery would take him for almost eight days. And then this interfaith coalition came together in rural Virginia, of all places to say look every human being deserves a burial plot.

The problem was no one gave any kind of warning to the officials there. I was on the phone with the Mayor yesterday talking to town officials and everyone was kind of stunned. I want you to listen now to one of those county officials talking about how they feel about Tamerlan Tsarnaev being buried in rural Virginia. Take a listen.


FLOYD THOMAS, CAROLINE COUNTY, VIRGINIA BOARD OF SUPERVISORS: This was a horrific act. This was a terrible crime. We don't want the county to be remembered as the resting place of the remains for someone who committed a terrible crime.


NEWTON: And you know, you can understand the feelings, many can understand their feelings on these other and some here even in Boston are saying look we need to just stop talking about this. His remains are laid to rest. It's time for us to get on with rebuilding and recovery -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Time to move on. A lot of people feel that way. Paula, thank you so much.

Now, in space, NASA astronauts are busy this morning at the International Space Station. We have live pictures to show you, coming to us from NASA. These are -- you can see from the helmet, almost like you're the astronaut, that these are astronauts who are conducting an emergency spacewalk to fix a leak at the station. It looks like a very light falling of snow that you may have seen at some point when they were actually detecting ammonia leaking.

John Zarrella is covering the space walk from Miami. How big of a deal is this, John? I mean most of the time I talk to you and we're all excited they're doing something kind of standard that that has been on the schedule but this one kind of feels like maybe of more concern.

JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes there's no question about it. It's a leak in the cooling system. Ammonia is used to cool the space station's components. It literally draws the heat out of the components and then that heat is transferred to radiators that radiate the heat out into space. They've got a lot of redundancies, Brianna, but you don't want to rely on those redundancies and all of those other cooling systems, you want all of them functioning.

So this was a priority item. And what you're looking at there is through the helmet cam of Astronaut Chris Cassidy. And what they're doing is they're actually removing the spare pump that they have up there. They've already removed the one that was in place, where they thought that they were going to find the leak, or might find the leak. They did not find it. They're saying this is a vexing problem now. They're not having any joy. They're not seeing the same flakes that they saw a couple of days ago.

So -- but they decided to go ahead and put the spare pump in and then they'll move forward with more troubleshooting. But it may well end up that at the end of the day, when they're finished with this six and a half hour spacewalk, that it's just going to require another spacewalk by another team down the road, before they actually can isolate the problem.

Real quickly, Brianna, what they were trying to do is get out there as quickly as they could, while that ammonia, the flakes of ammonia were still coming out of that suspect area. But they don't see them now. That may mean there's just no more ammonia in the system there. That's why they're not seeing them, which does make it all the more difficult for them to isolate where the leak is -- Brianna.

KEILAR: John Zarrella keeping an eye on this for us from Miami. Thank you.

Now, there is some startling new information on the Benghazi controversy, this time in the form of e-mails discussing the attacks. We'll be telling you what those e-mails said.

And who is Ariel Castro? We'll get an inside look at the man accused of unspeakable crimes, from people who lived alongside him for decades.


KEILAR: Let's take a look at an event happening right now at the White House. You see President Obama there. He is honoring some of the nation's top police officers. You can see that he's flanked by them right there. The 43 so-called top cops were selected by the National Association of Police Organizations. They represent departments from across the nation. And they're being honored there in the East Room of the White House. We will monitor that, of course.

Also, the deadly attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi has opened up the field for a host of attacks on the Obama administration. CNN sources say e-mails show the White House and the State Department were actually more involved than they first said they were, in that decision to remove an initial CIA assessment that said a group with ties to al Qaeda was involved.

Our Athena Jones is live for us at the White House. Athena, tell us a little bit more about these e-mails and what did they tell us that we didn't know before?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well as you mentioned, we know now that there were multiple discussions going on between the White House, the CIA, the FBI, the State Department and the Justice Department over just what should be revealed.

First, to Congress, this came from a request from Congress in terms of these talking points. But ultimately they were the talking points given to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice who went on five Sunday talk shows just days after the attacks and blamed them on violence that rose out of protest over a video that offended Islam.

Now Republican critics are alleging that this is political, that they were trying -- these talking points which left out this initial CIA assessment that a group linked to al Qaeda may have been involved and also left out the fact that the CIA given several warnings about the potential for a terrorist attack taking place in that region in Benghazi, Libya. Those two things were left out of the talking points that Susan Rice was given.

And Republican critics allege this was done politically to give the White House cover, because here you have a president who was just a few months away from an election, someone who had touted the killing of Osama bin Laden. An administration that had said that they had al Qaeda decimated and on the run.

And then you have this attack in Benghazi, Libya. And on September 11th, that looked as though it had some extremist ties to it, Brianna.

So this is the politics that are going on right now -- Republicans demanding more answers. And these e-mails emerging that the White House and the State Department may have had more to do with changing those talking points that Susan Rice was given and ultimately shared with the public on those Sunday talk shows. KEILAR: That's right, Athena. At the time some wondered, you'd heard of the October surprise, some wondered might this be the September surprise that would be obviously bad news for President Obama at the time.

We'll continue to follow this. I know the story isn't going away. Athena Jones for us there, live at the White House.

Let's move on now to that story we've been following out of Texas. Police there have arrested one of the emergency responders in last month's fertilizer plant explosion there. He's actually charged with having bomb-making materials. Investigators still haven't figured out what caused that deadly blast.

Let's go now to David Mattingly. He's following the story from Waco. This is the confusing part here, David. We've talked about this. There are all these kind of different dots, and it's hard to know if they are connected at all, or if we should think that maybe they should be connected. Does this man have anything to do potentially with this explosion, or is this just some kind of big coincidence?

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All obvious questions, exactly. And these dots you're referring to cannot be connected to right now, may not be connected when all is said and done.

Authorities right now, however, have brought Bryce Reed into federal court. They are accusing him of having bomb-making materials. These include what they described as a pipe -- metal pipe, fuses, materials, chemicals that could be made into a pipe bomb.

They were tipped off to this by a resident who claims that they received this inadvertently from -- or unsuspectingly from Bryce Reed himself. And in the court documents, they say that Reed admitted that he possessed these materials. Why, and what he was doing with them, however, were not answered in those court documents.

Federal officials, attorneys in this case are saying that there is even no speculation at this point of what this man, this first responder, might have to do with that explosion. Again, no connection, even no speculation on the part of federal prosecutors who are heading up this case.

KEILAR: And David, it's interesting because Bryce Reed is someone you might have seen following the explosion. He's someone who did television interviews. He was very visible, wasn't he?

MATTINGLY: That's right. He was very high-profile. In fact, the night after the explosion, he actually gave a live interview on CNN, talking about how difficult this was for everybody in the community, trying to respond to this disaster, how devastated everyone was by the loss of life.

And later on, he was also high-profile again, appearing very emotional at a public memorial service, actually delivering the eulogy for one of the fallen firefighters. So again, a very high-profile in this case.

Also yesterday, state and local officials announced that they were launching a criminal investigation, saying again, that they have no information to link him and this bomb device to the explosion that occurred at the plant, addressing this along the lines of public confidence, saying they were going to leave no stone unturned, and to make sure that the confidence that -- that the public has confidence that they know that they've asked all the questions and gotten all the answers in this case. At the same time, being very clear, Brianna, that they have no information linking this man to the explosion that night in West, Texas.

KEILAR: An unusual twist. David Mattingly, following that for us in Waco, Texas. Thanks, David.

Now, in jail, here in Cleveland, and under watch, friends and family of Ariel Castro, they tell us that the man they knew, they tell us about him and what they think now that he stands accused of these unspeakable crimes.


KEILAR: Welcome back to our special coverage here in Cleveland, Ohio.

People in this community are trying to wrap their minds around the just unspeakable acts that allegedly happened inside the barricaded house belonging to Ariel Castro here on this street. For any hope of understanding, we must first take a closer look at the man who police say led a secret, sinister life for more than a decade. CNN's Martin Savidge has that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you covering your face? What do you have to say to those women? How could you do that? What kind of monster does this?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is the question that haunts everyone -- victims, police, an entire city. How did 52-year- old Ariel Castro become the monster that's horrified America?

I found some of the answers on the back shelves of a corner grocery within sight of the so-called "House of Horrors". Here Ariel's uncle tells me the Castro family story.


SAVIDGE: Castro was born in a small rural town in Puerto Rico. His family came to Cleveland when he was six. He grew up on the city's near west side, a working class neighborhood where work was getting harder and harder to find.

Relatives say Ariel was raised by his mother and didn't get along with his father. He dropped out of school in the 10th grade. Ariel taught himself to play bass and he joined a band playing salsa and meringue in clubs around town. He was popular with band mates and their families. That's where Bianca Cruz met him when she was just a child.

BIANCA CRUZ, ACQUAINTANCE OF ARIEL CASTRO: Well, I actually, I remember a lot of things. I remember always going to the concerts, and spending time with the band backstage.

SAVIDGE: Friends say they saw two very different Ariel Castros -- The one who came alive on stage, and the other shy and caring offstage.

CRUZ: It was always him playing with my hair, him being super nice to me. You just wouldn't picture it. You wouldn't imagine he would do something like this.

SAVIDGE: But he could be incredibly violent say court documents. In 2005, Castro was accused of savagely beating his wife, breaking her ribs, her nose, dislocating her shoulders and triggering a blood clot on the brain, all the while threatening to kill her and her daughter.

And shocking to many now, Castro was also a school bus driver. But eventually lost that job after officials say he left a child on a bus, and another time used the bus to go grocery shopping.

But those problems gave no hint of the horrors going on behind closed doors to the kidnapping, rape, and ten years of torture Castro's accused of carrying out on Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight. Neighbors wonder how they missed it. And now, so does Ariel Castro's daughter, forever haunted by the missed clues hidden in the locked up house and her father's his bizarre behavior.

ANGIE GREGG, ARIEL CASTRO'S DAUGHTER: He would disappear for an hour or so, and then come back, and there would be no explanation where he went. Everything is making sense now. It's all adding up. And I'm disgusted, horrified.

SAVIDGE: Back in the grocery, Ariel's uncle says he has the answer to the question we started with. "Ariel", he says, "are two people in one body, the monster and our sweet nephew."


KEILAR: Thank you to Martin Savidge for that report. Three women were imprisoned here, one of them -- just one of them -- ran for freedom, the other two initially stayed behind. What was the likely state of mind of these women?

But first, at many historically black colleges, the marching band's drum major holds a position of great leadership and honor. Getting chosen for the job is part of the American dream.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The pressure that these students are feeling is tremendous. Some of them have been wanting to be drum major for years. JAMAL: Hey, my name is Jamal Bledstone (ph) from Harvey, Illinois, and I play the trumpet. Actually, the first time I saw the (inaudible) was up, I was about six or seven. I was like, wow. What is this? I was just in amazement. I don't know what this is, but I'm in love.

TYRIQUE CARSON: To be a part of that, that would be magic in a sense. My name is Tyrique Carson, I'm coming from Stockbridge, Georgia. I play the baritone horn and I'm training to become a (inaudible) J-5 drum major.

I'm the first person in my family to go this far into college. I came from -- I don't want to say nothing, but I came here, not knowing a lot about college, Mississippi, Jack State put (inaudible).

KAREN KNIGHT: My name is Karen Knight (ph) I'm from Jackson, Mississippi. And I play the clarinet. Some people try to discourage me but just because I was a girl. And I just said, well, there's been two other female drum majors, so I can be the third one.

My parents are both really excited about this, because my mom was a drum major in high school. So it's kind of expected.

TAYLOR: What we saw tonight was the very beginning of the making of a drum major at Jackson State University.



KEILAR: Welcome back to our special coverage of CNN SATURDAY MORNING live from Cleveland. FBI agents have been here this morning, boarding up, closing off an abandoned home next door to the house where three women were allegedly tortured and abused for more than a decade. As their search for clues continues, family members of one of the victims, Michelle Knight, are desperate to talk with her. Knight has been MIA since she was released from the hospital. A source close to the investigation, though, tells CNN Knight, quote, "is in a safe place and very comfortable."

Amanda Berry was the woman who finally broke free from that house on Monday after more than a decade in captivity. But the other two women, Knight and Gina Dejesus, initially stayed behind. Earlier, I asked criminologist Casey Jordan and clinical psychologist Jeff Gardere why they would have done that.


JEFF GARDERE, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: I think what may have been going on is Amanda Berry not only had to save herself, but also had to save her daughter. So there were two lives at stake as far as she was concerned.

Everyone has a different psychological makeup, a different personality. So she may have had that kind of personality, where she had reached her breaking point and was willing to take the chance and go out. The other two are heroes just like she is, and perhaps they may have been more intimidated, maybe a little bit more fearful. But it could have been coordinated where she was the one who was the catalyst, who got them out, knowing that eventually they would follow her.

KEILAR: Before I turn to Casey, Jeff, I want to ask you about Amanda Berry's daughter. Because the difference here is, we're talking about a child who's only known one reality, and that is living under these circumstances, unlike her mother and the other two women here. What kind of damage might she have experienced. And especially now we're learning that her father is indeed, according to DNA evidence, the alleged kidnapper, Ariel Castro?

GARDERE: Well, what we certainly can surmise is that this little girl saw a lot of the horrors that were taking place, never became part of society, had a very skewed, aberrated view as to what life would be, and certainly saw her mother and these other women being tortured. So, at this critical moment of her maturation, she got to see the most horrific things. So, it will take a very long time to get her into society, but also to try to get her to understand what normal relationships are all about.

KEILAR: Casey, can you talk to us a little bit about the suspect, Ariel Castro, and some of his behavior? It seems he treated these women differently. He threatened Michelle Knight allegedly to ensure the birth of Amanda's baby. There are reports that he beat her and caused multiple miscarriages. Also, that he handled this 6-year-old girl as a daughter. There were trips outdoors in the public. How unusual is it for kidnappers to bond with their victims, and is it unusual for them to treat multiple victims differently?

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Well, let's point out that we have almost no precedence for exactly this sort of situation. The bottom line is that we've seen sexually motivated captors take captives before. But not so many at once, and not for such a long duration.

So, we don't have a whole lot to compare this to. But it would appear Castro had favorites. So, why allow Michelle not allowed to be pregnant, if that is indeed true? And why was Amanda allowed to have a child? Perhaps Michelle, he had grown tired of her. We know he was replacing these girls almost once every three years, he got a new girl. And you have to wonder, since he admits he had no exit plan, if he actually developed favorites.

The Stockholm Syndrome that Jeff is talking about appears to be most heavily experienced by of course, Gina and Michelle who didn't flee. But my concern, of course, is for the six-year-old child. We know that when she fled the house with her mother, Amanda, Charles Ramsey said the little girl was asking for her father. So, it's her psychological development that is probably going to be extremely challenged, because she does think of her captor as her father.


KEILAR: Casey Jordan, Jeff Gardere, thank you for that. Now, this weekend, Jodi Arias is on suicide watch after telling a reporter she wants the death penalty and soon. Now some people say she's just doing it for attention. That's next.


KEILAR: Let's turn now to the latest twists and turns in the Jodi Arias murder case. This week, the jury convicted her of first-degree murder. The sentencing phase will start next week.

But most people are talking about the interview she granted to a local TV station immediately after her conviction. My colleague, Victor Blackwell, asked HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell how Arias was able to do it, and more importantly, why.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Well, she took proactive action, according to the sheriff's department. I was told, and we actually have a voice recording of this, that she called the reporter, Troy Hayden, on Sunday. Several days before the verdict -- remember, the verdict comes in on Wednesday -- and she says, Troy, hey, listen, if for some reason -- and that's a direct quote -- for some reason it comes back first-degree murder guilty, I want you to come over to the jail right away so I can give you the interview.

So she arranged this. She masterminded it, as it were. And that's one of the reasons why right now, she is in the psych ward, because when it comes down, she proceeds to say very blithely, oh, I want death. I don't want life in prison. Give me death. Bring it on. It will be the ultimate freedom. And with that, the sheriff's department, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, of course, controversially known as the toughest sheriff in America, is saying, you want death? That means you're a potential danger to yourself, I'm going to put you on suicide watch.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is this for her manipulating the system? Do you think she really believes that? Is it remorse? What do you think?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think it's a very passive/aggressive move. It's her trying to play the victim again, which she has done throughout this entire case. Remember, she's the one who viciously killed Travis Alexander. Now we can say murdered Travis Alexander, slit his throat ear to ear, three-and-a-half inches deep, stabbed him 29 times, shot him in the face.

But what did she do the entire time? She's saying, I'm the victim here. That's what she's doing again, pulling focus, getting attention and saying, look at me, I'm a martyr. Now I'm going to die.

BLACKWELL: The prosecutors will have a chance to present additional evidence, and jurors have to decide whether Arias was cruel when she killed Alexander. And if his death was caused in a cruel manner. Explain the next process here. VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this is what we all showed up to see, was the aggravation phase. And we were expecting prosecutor Juan Martinez, who has done a masterful job, to present his case that this killing was cruel. It seems like a slam-dunk. He was stabbed 29 times, and his throat was slit ear to ear, six inches across.

But we didn't get a chance to have that happen because of all the hullabaloo and the cancellation, this mystery cancellation, which was, I believe, probably about the interview she gave and the fact that she was put on suicide watch. There's got to be, I believe, some connection to that.

So essentially, the defense attorneys are now in a quandary. How do you defend somebody and try to save the life of Jodi Arias when she has said flat-out on television, I don't want anybody to save my life. I want the death penalty. What is the defense team going to do? They're between a rock and a hard place, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Jane, quickly, I want to ask you about the talk about the Alexander family, possibly filing this civil suit against Arias so she won't be able to make money off her story or her family won't be able to make money off the story. Good move here?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. In these mega cases, we always see civil action after the criminal case. And I think it's very appropriate, because she has been doing artwork and she has tried to sell the artwork, and indeed, I believe has sold some of the artwork online. So, they have the right to try to recoup every last cent. They lost a human being.

BLACKWELL: Jane Velez-Mitchell, covering this trial like no one else. And we will stay with you for the next phase. Thank you, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, Victor.


BLACKWELL: Sentencing in the Jodi Arias trial begins next week. And for everything Arias, you can watch Jane Velez-Mitchell weeknights at 7:00 Eastern on our sister network HLN. We'll be right back after a quick break.


KEILAR: Millions of dollars stolen in a matter of hours. The thieves, serious cyber criminals operating a massive operation targeting banks here in the U.S. and abroad. Mary Snow has the story.


MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A bank heist using key strokes instead of guns. Thieves stealing $45 million from banks and financial institutions. U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch calls it the largest known theft of its kind.

LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY: Moving literally at the speed of the Internet, the organization made its way from the computer systems of international corporations to the streets of New York, as well as major cities around the world.

SNOW: Lynch announced charges against eight men in New York, accused of being part of a ring that involved potentially hundreds of people in two attacks. They used pre-paid debit cards linked to accounts that had been hacked by cyber thieves thousands of miles away. The thieves had raised withdrawal limits.

LYNCH: So, a card that might have had $200 on it literally has $20,000 on it. Or $2 million on it.

SNOW: The prosecutor describes how it worked. Hackers first targeted a credit card processor in the United Arab Emirates in December. Then, a second and larger attack in February in Oman. PIN numbers were stolen and then sent to teams, including one in New York.

Those teams would then head to ATMs with plastic cards, even hotel key cards with the stolen information. Authorities say here in New York, eight men were able to withdraw $2.4 million within a 10- hour period.

Some 3,000 ATM withdrawals were said to be made that day as part of the heist with these gift cards. Prosecutors recovered cash and Rolex watches. Cashers are given about 20 percent of the money, and the rest is sent to the ringleaders. But what's unclear in this case is who those leaders are, specifically, the hackers.

Sean Henry, a former executive assistant director of the FBI, said they typically come from one area.

SEAN HENRY, FORMER EXECUTIVE ASST. DIRECTOR, FBI: My time in the FBI, many of these cases emanated out of Eastern Europe. Out of Russia, Ukraine, Romania, throughout Eastern Europe. Although now they're starting to spread into other areas like Asia and Latin America. But primarily historically they've been in Eastern Europe.

SNOW: And catching the hackers is a constant cat-and-mouse game law enforcement plays. Seven suspects in New York pled not guilty to the charges against them. An eighth suspect, considered the ringleader, was found murdered in the Dominican Republic in April.

Mary Snow, CNN, New York.


KEILAR: This week, Anthony Bourdain heads to Morocco and the city of Tangier. It's about the food, the music, and of course, the atmosphere.


ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST: I'm pretty much never getting out of this. I feel like Elton John at home. There are some countries you go to, as soon as you get off the plane, the place smells like some place you want to be, right away. That's true of Tangier, but for me, part of this part of the world that really does it for me should be happening any minute now. It's magic.

Oh, yeah. It's when the other ones start to come in that it gets really good. (INAUDIBLE) So beautiful. Get three of those going, you know you're not in Liam, New Jersey. You know you're someplace.


KEILAR: You can see Anthony's entire trip to Morocco tomorrow night right here on CNN at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. That's Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Sunday night.


KEILAR: The deadly attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, is still a major source of controversy in Washington more than eight months later. The latest debate is over how involved the Obama administration was in developing talking points right after the attack. But for the military, the focus is on how to stop this from happening again. That involves more troops and more training. Barbara Starr got an exclusive look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out! get out, get out, get out! Get back! Get back, get back, get back!

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: CNN is here for an exclusive inside look at Marines' training to guard U.S. embassies around the world. The mission? Protect diplomats against attack. A mission more crucial since those four Americans were killed on September 11 in Benghazi, Libya.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: Ready, strike. Ready, strike. You go ahead and do the three strikes.

STARR: Now, it's my turn on the mat.

You're putting -- I feel your whole body weight against me.

GUNNERY SGT. DANIEL HABER, INSTRUCTOR, MARINE CORPS EMBASSY SECURITY GROUP: Basically, I'm going into it. I'm going to go ahead and wrap up your arm because I want to control your arm. And I grab right above the elbow at the tricep because now I have your arm controlled. So, if you try to pull away, I've got your arm now.

STARR: Marines stand guard in 137 countries since Benghazi where the State Department did not have Marines assigned, there are changes. The current 1,200 strong Marine guard force will nearly double. There will be more Marines at embassies with higher threat levels, and 100 Marine guards are now in a special unit able to deploy on a moment's notice.

COL. MICHAEL D. ROBINSON, COMMANDER, MARINE CORPS EMBASSY SECURITY GROUP: What we're doing now is putting more Marines out there and also providing a force that can go in and reinforce embassy or consulate. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Deep breath in. Close your eyes. OC, OC, OC.

STARR: If rioting occurs, Marines train to keep going, even if hit with pepper spray.

You think you take down an intruder, you can take down an attacker?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma'am. We learn defensive tactics.

STARR: Making these Marines ready for the next Benghazi, if and when it happens.

But what if there is another Benghazi-type incident, an all-out attack? Well, there are now 500 combat-equipped Marines in southern Spain ready to move in and rescue Americans, if it comes to that. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


KEILAR: There's much more on CNN at the top of the hour. And Alison Kosik will be leading the charge when I go. Alison, what's on tap?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Brianna. We're going to be talking to John Walsh about the Cleveland kidnappings and the decade of captivity that followed. Among the questions we're going to ask him include how this brutal case compares with so many others he's seen. Walsh's own son was kidnapped and murdered.

And the White House is on the defense after new e-mails emerge about it responded to the deadly terrorist attack against the U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya. Some are alleging a cover-up. We've got the latest on this developing story.

And did a heavy metal Christian music star try to hire a hit man to kill his wife? It's all the buzz around the music industry and on the Internet. We'll have the latest on that case, as well. Brianna?

KEILAR: Alison, thank you for that. We'll be watching.

Look out below. There is an incredible hail storm that caused quite a bit of damage in the South. We have more on those unbelievable images.

Also your Mother's Day forecast, right ahead.


KEILAR: Can you believe that hail? Some of those hail stones the size of baseballs. This video taken from Tracey Inez (ph) from our affiliate KFAT in San Antonio. This is her backyard. The storm ripping through that area, also knocking down trees and causing power outages.

And more storms are brewing for this Mother's Day weekend. Meteorologist Karen Maginnis is in the CNN Weather Center with today's forecast. Karen, I will tell you, it has taken a little bit of dip here in the temperatures in Cleveland. We're expecting some colder air, too, I bet.

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and it may be record setting cold that we see across the Midwest into the Great Lakes. But the big storms rumbling along the coastal regions of Texas, also into Ohio -- into Louisiana. Ohio is picking up some showers all along the Eastern Seaboard. This is where we are watching a frontal system move through. As it moves through, that colder air is going to dip towards the south.

But along the Gulf Coast regions from Galveston into the hill country of Texas, they saw large-size hail, very heavy downpours, and in some instances as much as eight inches of rainfall. Now low ceilings of visibility are producing some delays at JFK, also Philadelphia and in Newark. Up to an hour-and-a-half delays being reported there. So, if you're watching us because of the reduced visibility, maybe sitting at another airport, but they're not going to JFK because visibility is so low.

Well, back-to-back frontal systems; this one a little bit sluggish. That chilly air moves in behind it. Not been chilly into the Northwest. And Yakima, they did see a record high temperature yesterday of 97. Briana?

KEILAR: I used to live in Yakima and it does get warm there. All right, Karen Maginnis, thank you for that.

CNN NEWSROOM continues with Alison Kosik in for Fredricka Whitfield. Alison, hope you have a wonderful day.

KOSIK: Thank you, Brianna.