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Poison Letters; Tornado Warnings in Oklahoma

Aired May 30, 2013 - 18:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, new tornado fears gripping Oklahoma only days after that monster twister barreled through. We're watching the skies and the forecast right now.

President Obama right now also appears to be a target in the latest poison letter scare. We have new details on the ricin-tainted threat sent to New York's mayor. Stand by for that.

And an American woman jailed on drug charges in Mexico tells CNN she's not a criminal. She's making her case in court and in a new interview.

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

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Let's get to the breaking news right now, more severe weather in Oklahoma. A dire warning went out today to residents to take cover, as an ominous storm and possible twisters moved through the Plains.

It's been a day of tornado watches and warnings in parts of the state, including the area devastated by a killer storm less than two weeks ago.

CNN severe weather expert Chad Myers is on the ground for us in Oklahoma. He's joining us on the phone right now.

These pictures, Chad, they are so ominous.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, it has been a day that I haven't seen the awe of Mother Nature in a long time, Wolf. It's been a while since I have chased in Oklahoma, and to see Mother Nature at its best or worst, depending on your point of view.

The storm has left a few people with damage, but really, as bad as it looks, when this storm was in Chickasha about 2:30 this afternoon, and it looked like it could put down a tornado and maybe even move toward the same areas that had tornadoes already this month, it really -- we dodged a bullet as it turned to the right and didn't really put anything significant on the ground. It just didn't have the organization.

But now we're chasing a new cell that has new rotation down toward near Duncan and Marlow in Oklahoma. We will be there probably in about 15 to 20 minutes, as it gets closer to Pauls Valley. We will keep you advised if this tornado, at least warning, does produce a tornado on the ground.

Remember, warnings can mean on the ground, but that usually means if it's coming to your town, that means tornado emergency. That's the next step up. Now, that's a new step up. That's only a couple of years old. Tornado emergency is even worse than tornado warning, and warning is obviously worse than watch. So, now we have three steps.

But this warning could put down a tornado down south of Oklahoma City, but not in the metro area itself, down around Pauls Valley, Ardmore, somewhere in that area. We will keep you advised as this storm continues to develop. It is now the biggest storm in Oklahoma, although Tulsa is about to get some very big hail into the town. If you're in Tulsa, it would be a good idea to bring all the pets inside, get yourself inside, maybe even the cars. You have a few minutes, but now is the time to take precautions for that kind of a cell.

BLITZER: I know you're chasing these storms, Chad. What kind of a vehicle are you in?

MYERS: We're just in a regular vehicle. That's why we have stayed so far away.

We're just in a Ford Expedition. And a storm yesterday that hit us with hail, it was at least penny-sized, maybe nickel-sized hail. It hit us so hard, though, at times, Wolf, I'm surprised all the glass stayed in the car. It was quite amazing to see how much hail was on the ground. At times, it looked like we were driving on a marble game. It's just like there were ball bearings all across the roadway.

And it came down very hard for at least 20 minutes. But there was very little damage. It was in a farm area south of Woodward. But now we're worried about this Pauls Valley area, where obviously it's quite a bit more populated than where we were yesterday, which was western Oklahoma, the Oklahoma panhandle, the Texas panhandle and western Kansas.

BLITZER: And you say, Chad, you will be there, what, in about 15 minutes?

MYERS: I would say we will arrive on the cell in about 25 minutes, sir, yes.

BLITZER: All right, we will check back with you. Update us and let us know what's going on. Chad is on the scene for us in Oklahoma, a state he knows well. He used to work there.

People in Oklahoma are not the only ones experiencing severe weather this afternoon. A line of bad-looking storms is stretching from Arkansas and Missouri into Illinois and Wisconsin.


BLITZER: We will, of course, stay in close touch with Chad as well, update our viewers on any new information coming in. Stand by for that.

Meanwhile, there's another breaking story we're following right now here in THE SITUATION ROOM, an American woman reportedly killed by pro-government forces in Syria.

Brian Todd is here.

What are you learning, Brian?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, right now, according to some Syrian news reports, they're saying this woman was killed in the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib, which is hotly contested between regime forces and Syrian rebels.

This woman is American, we're told. And she was killed alongside at least one other woman who is a British national. Now, we have the name of the American, and have spoken to one family member, but we are not identifying her until all family has been notified.

Syrian TV has shown a passport photo and a Michigan's driver's license of the woman who is believed to be the American. The U.S. State Department has issued a statement saying -- quote -- "We are aware of the case. As we do in all such cases, we are working through our Czech protecting power in Syria to obtain more information. And we appreciate the efforts of the Czech mission on behalf of our citizens. Because of privacy considerations, we're unable to comment further."

And we can also say that CNN has contacted British officials in London, and so far we have not been able to verify through them the British woman's identity, Wolf. Obviously, this is kind of a different breed of story as far as we're concerned now, but with an American woman apparently being killed in Syria, alongside a British national, we're told.

BLITZER: All right, you will update us once you get more information.

Brian, thank you for that report.

Up next, the feds, they are investigating a suspicious letter to the president in a widening poison letter scare.

And an American woman's fight to get out of a Mexican jail, could be a turning point right now. She's telling CNN how she thinks she was framed -- an emotional interview coming up.


BLITZER: We're following the latest bad, really bad weather in Oklahoma, other states in the Plains area. You're looking at these live pictures coming in. Our own Chad Myers is heading toward one of the areas right now that potentially could see a tornado. Look at these ominous, ominous clouds hovering over this area. We're going to update you shortly. Stand by, the situation obviously not good. Other news we're following, including a new poison letter scare now reaching the White House. Federal authorities say they have seized a suspicious and potentially very dangerous letter to the president of the United States today. They seized it at an off-site facility.

We are told it was similar to ricin-laced letters to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and head of the gun control group he funded right here in Washington. The story broke yesterday at this time in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We're getting new details as well about the letter to the president and the threatening message to Mayor Bloomberg.

Our national correspondent, Deborah Feyerick, is digging up the latest information for us. She's joining us from New York.

What is the latest, Deb?

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we can tell you that the FBI's joint terrorism task force has fanned out looking for the individual or individuals who sent these letters.

And the letters are frightening not only because of what they contain inside, but also because of the threat they make.


FEYERICK (voice-over): The anonymous ricin-tainted letters contained an ominous warning. "What's in this letter is nothing compared to what I have got planned for you."

Three letters sent to three men at the forefront of the gun control debate, President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the head of his gun control group -- the sender threatened to shoot anyone who tried to confiscate his or her guns. Quote: "You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional, God-given right, and I will exercise that right until the day I die."

RAYMOND KELLY, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: In the text of the letters themselves, in the greeting in the letter, it just says "you." So, we're assuming that the letters are the same, from the same machine or computer.

FEYERICK: Police say at least two of the letters contained an orange/pink oily material, within which were traces of ricin, which is derived from castor beans. All were sent to the National Bioforensic Analysis Center, investigators scrubbing every last detail contained in the envelopes trying to figure out who sent them.

Letters to the president and mayor were intercepted at off-site sorting facilities, with mail workers trained to spot and handle suspicious levels. However, the head of the gun control group personally opened the letter addressed to him, according to a police report. Mark Glaze sent a message to friends saying he's fine and can't comment.

The mayor's letter was opened Friday. On-site tests proved negative. It was not sent to the national lab until Wednesday, when ricin tests came back positive.

KELLY: The first person who transported the material to the police lab, he -- he said that he had some symptoms with his eyes watering.


FEYERICK: Now, the mayor's office says that the envelope found in New York was put in a special biochemical containment box. It was then removed by special hazmat units.

We're told that the mail facility is now being cleaned. It's being scrubbed down, but clearly very frightening as investigators trying to sort out who sent these letters -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Very frightening indeed. All right, Deb, thank you.

Authorities, they are clearly scrambling to figure out who sent those ricin-tainted letters.

Brian Todd is once again here. He has got more on this part of the story.

What have we learned?

TODD: Wolf, there's no return address, no name on these letters. But according to law enforcement officials and experts, there are some clues to start with that authorities can use to start tracking who sent these letters.


TODD (voice-over): With three letters and postmarks from Shreveport, Louisiana, how will law enforcement set out to catch the ricin mailer? We asked CNN contributor Tom Fuentes.

TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, they will be trying to determine if they can identify someone actually putting the letters in the mail system, if that's possible, through either surveillance cameras at postal facilities or some other method.

As far as the paper, the letters, the envelopes, obviously, they will be looking for any kind of DNA, fingerprinting, body fluid, you name it.

TODD: Profilers will be on the case, Fuentes says, and they will have another clue, the wording of the letters.

According to a source with knowledge of them, the letters to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to Mark Glaze, director of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, say in part, "You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. What's in this letter is nothing compared to what I have got planned for you."

FUENTES: From the nature of the wording, the actual expressions used, the grammar used, they will be trying to identify by age, by maybe a region where that person may have grown up and obtained their language skills.

TODD (on camera): As for their intended targets, Mark Glaze opened his letter right here next to his office in Washington on Sunday. Now, a police report says he opened it, saw the threatening message, then dropped the letter onto a bench and called police. Glaze didn't want to go on camera with us, but he said so far he does not feel the effects of ricin poisoning.

Amy Smithson, a chemical and biological weapons expert from the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, is with me now.

Amy, if he handled this stuff, only externally, is he in danger?

DR. AMY SMITHSON, CENTER FOR NONPROLIFERATION STUDIES: Well, the problem he would have is if he ended up rubbing his eyes, or touching some food and then eating the food, chances are that would be the way that he would ingest some of whatever was on the letter.

TODD (voice-over): How easy is it for a layperson to make ricin?

SMITHSON: A layperson can grow a castor plant in their backyard. They can pick the castor beans. And they can certainly grind them up to create castor mash. And from that, what you can get is about 5 percent strength.


TODD: Smithson says that's enough to harm an adult.

Now, from -- for some perspective, excuse me, she says if ingested or inhaled, a pin-point-size stronger dose of ricin could severely harm or kill an adult.

Now, if you don't ingest or inhale, the risks are much lower. And it's not as dangerous, we have to point out, as anthrax, which can harm you with simple exposure to the skin, Wolf.

BLITZER: What are the symptoms of ricin poisoning?

TODD: Experts say you tend to feel nauseated, you feel faint. They say ricin blocks the metabolic processes in the body. So, some of your systems could shut down as a result of this kind of poisoning.

What you have got to do if you suspect you might have handled a ricin-laced letter or something, wash every part of your body that might have come in contact with it, wash your clothes, just get completely cleansed of this, because you don't want to take chances.

BLITZER: No chances indeed. All right, Brian, thanks very much.

CNN has now spoken exclusively with a U.S. woman accused of trying to smuggle marijuana out of Mexico. Coming up, you're going to hear what she says happened at a checkpoint and why tomorrow may be the day she's been praying for.

Also, I will ask Mexico's former president about his new business venture. Believe it or not, it's focused on selling legalized marijuana.


BLITZER: There's a terrible traffic accident in New York state.


BLITZER: Up next, an American woman jailed in Mexico tells CNN how she thinks she was framed. Stand by for her exclusive interview about the drug charges and her ordeal, and her husband also is speaking out right now as well.

And a disturbing new edition of al Qaeda's online magazine focusing on the Boston Marathon bombings.


BLITZER: Happening now: A mother jailed in Mexico breaks down in tears talking to CNN exclusively about her nightmare. We're now hearing from her husband, and we have new video that may be crucial to her case.

Plus, a high-powered new business adventure to market marijuana like cars or soup. Well, wait until you hear who's behind it.

And al Qaeda rubs salt in Boston's wounds with a cruel look at the marathon bombings in its online magazine.

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

There are new developments in the case of the American woman jailed in Mexico and accused of smuggling drugs during a bus trip. CNN now has seen video of the woman getting onto the bus. We're also hearing from her husband.

Our senior Latin American affairs editor, Rafael Romo, is joining us now from the U.S. side of the border in Nogales, Arizona.

What is the latest, Rafael?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Well, Wolf, this was probably the most dramatic day at the trial against Yanira Maldonado.

I just returned from the courthouse, and I was one of a handful of journalists who had an opportunity to watch a video that the defense attorney says is going to be crucial in the case. The video that I watched shows both Yanira Maldonado and her husband, Gary, boarding a bus in Los Mochis, the city of Los Mochis in the state of Sinaloa in Mexico, carrying only a purse, two blankets and two bottles of water.

Why is this important? Because if what the prosecution says is true, namely that they boarded the bus somehow carrying packages of marijuana weighing six kilos, that video demonstrates that that was not the case. We did not see any packages that would in any shape or form be big enough for that amount of marijuana.

Now, I had an opportunity to get reaction from the husband, Gary Maldonado, right after that evidence was introduced in the proceedings. And this is what he had to say.


GARY MALDONADO, HUSBAND OF YANIRA MALDONADO: I just regret the decision coming here and going back. But it was to visit family and go to a funeral, so I was going to go and support our family on this side.

That's why I decided to go. But I didn't want to take the vehicle because we found out about the funeral late at night. And I was like, we're too tired to drive our own vehicle. And I had already done a bus trip once. And I felt comfortable that the bus company would get us there safe and back, because they radio each other and let each other know the path to go. We never thought that this would ever happen.


ROMO: And, Wolf, Gary Maldonado essentially saying that in previous times, they had driven to Mexico to visit his wife's relatives. This time around, they decided to take the bus because they thought it would be safer, only to find out later that that would get us in trouble -- would get them in trouble, because they were stopped on the way back and charged with trafficking marijuana -- Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: You know, you also had a chance, Rafael, I know, to go ahead and speak with this woman inside that jail in Mexico. Tell us how that came about and what happened.

ROMO: Wolf, it was a very emotional interview.

We were the first cameras allowed at the prison, the state prison in Nogales, Mexico. And we were able to sit down with Yanira Maldonado. And she repeatedly said that she's innocent and can't wait to get out.


ROMO (voice-over): Yanira Maldonado was emotional from the moment she saw us, escorted into the prison administrator's office to be interviewed.

YANIRA MALDONADO, DETAINED IN MEXICO: I'm not a criminal. I didn't do all those things (ph). Because people are not doing their work. This is not right. I need to be with my family. I need to be out of here. I need help.

ROMO: Maldonado and her husband were returning by bus from the funeral of her aunt when Mexican soldiers stopped the vehicle at this checkpoint. Passengers were taken off and the bus searched. The soldiers said they found several packages of marijuana under her seat, 5.7 kilos, more than 12 pounds. And, she says, asked her to pay $5,000.

MALDONADO: It's a lie what they're saying. And they say they found something under my seat. But I never saw anything. They didn't show me anything. It was -- it's just amazing all what they did.

ROMO: Maldonado says authorities did not make it clear at first that she was a suspect, but she knew she was in trouble when federal agents started questioning her husband and her.

MALDONADO: I was in shock when they said that it was me they wanted. Because first, they said that it was -- that it was -- it was my husband.

ROMO: Taken into Mexican federal custody, she was transferred to this state prison last Friday, where she's being held in a temporary cell, away from other inmates. Family members have been allowed brief visits.

(on camera): Now, your husband, Gary, and your children are going to be listening to this and watching you. What do you want to tell them?

MALDONADO: That I love them very much. That I'm going to be (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and I'm innocent.

ROMO (voice-over): And that belief is also held by a Mexican state official with extensive knowledge of the case, who told CNN it would have been almost impossible for her to carry that much marijuana onto the bus without someone noticing.

MALDONADO: They have cameras in the terminal in the bus. And they haven't checked that. Why they don't check for fingerprints, I don't have -- my fingerprints are not on those package -- or on the package, or whatever they're saying that they found.

ROMO: Maldonado says she has not been mistreated, but she's rethinking the advice she used to give friends about traveling to Mexico on vacation.

MALDONADO: I used to tell people, come to Mexico. It's not true what they're saying. I go every year to visit my family. And look what's happening to me now.

ROMO: All this devout Mormon can do now, she says, is pray.


BLITZER: ... news conference with him. ROMO: Now, this is what's going to happen next in the case against Yanira Maldonado. Mexican law only gives the federal judge in charge of the case two options. One is to formally charge Yanira Maldonado with drug trafficking charges. The other one is to let her free. Now, she must decide this before 6 p.m. tomorrow. That's the deadline. So Wolf, the family right now says they're feeling cautiously optimistic that freedom is near.

BLITZER: Rafael Romo, let's see what happens. You'll stay on top of this story for us. It's a heartbreaking story. There's no doubt about that. Thanks very, very much.

There's a high-powered new business venture in the works to create a national brand to sell -- want to be precise -- to sell marijuana. It's the brain child of a former Microsoft high executive and the former Mexican president, Vicente Fox. I'll speak with both of them in just a moment.

Let's get some background, though, first from Mary Snow. She explains what they're trying to do. Mary, give us some perspective.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, simply put, the goal is to corporatize cannabis and build a first national name brand of retail marijuana. Mexico's former president, Vicente Fox, who supports legalizing marijuana, joined Jamen Shively, an ex-Microsoft manager at a news conference this afternoon in Seattle.

Now Shively says his company has acquired a chain of medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington state and is close to acquiring another one in Colorado. Both states have legalized recreational use of marijuana, along with its use for medical purposes. And Shively sees this as a turning point.


JAMEN SHIVELY, HOPES TO FOUND NATIONAL MARIJUANA COMPANY: This is a unique moment in history. The Berlin Wall of the prohibition of cannabis is weak. And it is crumbling as we speak.


SNOW: But there are still federal laws that make all of this illegal. One critic, Mark Kleiman, whose company consulted with Washington state on their marijuana laws, thinks the company has put a target on themselves. And he told us he's concerned it will set back what he calls "the good work" being done in Washington state -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Mary, thank you.

So let's go to Seattle right now, the former Microsoft manager, Jamen Shively, is joining us, together with the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox.

And Jamen, I'll start with you. These are big plans, but as you know, marijuana still isn't legal in the United States on a federal level. Does that set you back? What's going on?

JAMEN SHIVELY, FORMER MICROSOFT MANAGER: Yes, it's definitely a constraint that holds us back, but only to a degree. Because here's the thing. The prohibition of cannabis should have gone out with the prohibition of alcohol back in the 1930s.

If you simply look at the facts, cannabis is neither physically addictive, nor is it physically harmful in any concentration. You can consume any quantity of cannabis and you're not going to kill a single cell in your brain, your liver or any other part of your body.

Compare that to alcohol, compare that to tobacco. It is absolutely ludicrous that this naturally occurring plant is illegal according to federal law. That's what I refer to as the Berlin wall. And the Berlin wall is crumbling and we're in the process of dismantling it.

So yes, it's one of those old obsolete lies which the federal government has the policy of not cracking down on those who are responsibly and legally engaged in the business of cannabis.

And the proof is in the pudding, look what the federal government's policy has been for responsible legal medical cannabis dispensaries and grow operations.

The ones who the federal government are going after are the true criminals, the ones who are either laundering money, evading taxes or selling cannabis too close to schools. So for us and the businesses we're forming partnerships with and the ones that we're acquiring, there is very little risk.

BLITZER: You know there's a huge potential business opportunity out there, if marijuana were to become legal.

But President Fox, in Mexico, it's not legal either. Where does Mexico fit into this?

VICENTE FOX, FORMER PRESIDENT OF MEXICO: Well, first of all, Wolf, let me make very clear that I'm not partnering on this business venture. I'm not associated with the plan at all in business terms.

The reason for me to be here is precisely for what we are seeing happening in Mexico. Just the case you are trailing today, this lady, I don't know if she's to blame or not. But those cases would be totally avoided if we proceed to legalize the use of marijuana.

So I came here to a historic day, to witness, to evaluate and support the process of moving towards legalization and, at the same time, bringing back the peace and harmony that we badly need in Mexico.

BLITZER: Well, Mr. President, let me ask you about that. We know what the status of marijuana is in the United States. Some states have now gone ahead and legalized it.

But what about Mexico? Is there any serious effort to legalize marijuana in Mexico?

FOX: Well, in Mexico, consumption is not penalized, only distribution, production, selling. But consumption is not penalized in Mexico.

The consumption in Mexico is extremely low. The problem of Mexico is being in between the mammoth consumer market of the United States and the drug-producing nations of the south, like Colombia, Venezuela and others.

So my position has been totally in favor of moving to legalization. With this, we will avoid the violence. We will control the criminals and reduce their income. And at the same time it will become a transparent, accountable business in the hands of businessmen like Jamie, sitting here by my side.

How can I really make graphic the politic change is by me sitting here on the side of a businessman that now is going to participate in the process, distribution, selling of marijuana or cannabis when instead of having (inaudible) by decide which is a criminal and which has done out of drug the most terrible situation for Mexico.

BLITZER: Very quickly, Jamen, what's your next step?

SHIVELY: So, our next steps, we're going to continue forming strategic alliances and making strategic acquisitions across those states where medical cannabis is currently legal.

There is a giant opportunity for us to consolidate our number one national brand leadership position in this industry and, at the same time, promote the responsible, legal leadership in the cannabis industry in the United States. So we've got a tremendous amount of work to do in the next several months.

BLITZER: All right. Let me go back to the president, the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox.

Get your quick thought on this Arizona mother who's now in jail in Mexico, charged with drug smuggling. Apparently they accuse her of having, what, about 10 or 12 pounds of marijuana on this bus. She totally denies it.

People are afraid, as you know, Mr. President, to go to Mexico right now. They're afraid they could be set up by authorities, as this woman alleges she was. That could severely undermine tourism to Mexico right now.

FOX: That's one good example why drugs, and specifically cannabis and marijuana, should be legalized. The problem in Mexico is something that is not ours. We're just in between the huge consumer markets here and the production nations in the south.

So what we need to do is, this nation to be coherent, this nation, the United States, to take decisions like the one that has been taken in Washington State, in Colorado State and in Maryland. That's the way to go. And federal government, the government of President Obama should pay attention to what public opinion is thinking, to what citizens are thinking and what citizens are voting for. And in the case of the United States, they voted for legalization.

Now federal government, central government has to recognize what is going on and move faster towards legalization. This will change the whole situation in Mexico, as well as in the United States.

BLITZER: Vicente Fox, clearly is very passionate on this issue. So is Jamen Shively. Guys, thanks so much for coming in. I'm sure this conversation will continue.

A jihad magazine celebrates the Boston Marathon bombings. Yes, celebrates those bombings.

Also coming up, we're going to show you how al Qaeda is using the attack to inspire other would-be terrorists.


BLITZER: The Boston bombing in the headlines again, but there's a very disturbing twist. Al Qaeda apparently using the tragedy to encourage new attacks. Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, has more.


BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the latest version of "Inspire," the magazine published by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. And much of it, including this article, titled "The Inevitable," is cruelly devoted to the Boston Marathon bombing.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: What it tells you is that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is opportunistically trying to take advantage of this attack.

STARR: The magazine calls the Tsarnaev brothers, quote, "brilliant" in carrying out the attacks, which al Qaeda says were, quote, "an absolute success." The magazine mentions Copley Square, Fenway Park, and Boston University.

It says, "These heroic bombings have exposed many hidden shortcomings of the American security and intelligence system."

The Tsarnaev brothers are believed to have read a 2010 "Inspire" article entitled, "Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom," which detailed how to make the type of pressure-cooker bombs used to carry out the attack in Boston.

And now Boston may be leading al Qaeda in Yemen to offer new guidance to its followers.

CRUICKSHANK: The message they're putting out to their followers in the west is, "Don't come and join us here in Yemen. Stay home, launch attacks there, and we'll give you the how-to advice in magazines like 'Inspire,' bomb-making recipes so that you can do that."


STARR: Now, because the magazine is published online, there's very little that can be done to make it go away, to make it disappear. And that's a big concern to intelligence services around the world. Some of these articles, the bomb recipes, if you will, have already been linked to attacks in many places -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Barbara, thank you.

Coming up, we're going to be hearing exclusively from the father of a man who knew the bombing suspects and was killed last week by an FBI agent.


BLITZER: Today we're hearing exclusively from the distraught father of a man shot and killed by the FBI. The victim knew the Boston Marathon bombing suspect and was killed while being questioned.

CNN's Phil Black spoke with the man's father. Phil is joining us now from Moscow.

What did he say?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the father of Ibragim Todashev is angry, upset, very emotional. Not just about his son's death but about the circumstances surrounding him. He believes he was killed unjustly.

The allegation is that his son was shot and killed after attacking an FBI agent during an interview. His father says that's no way that is possible. He has photos of his son's body, which he says show seven individual gunshot wounds, including one to the head. He says there's no way his son could have done anything to warrant such a violent response. Take a look.


ABDULBAKI TODASHEV, IBRAGIM TODASHEV'S FATHER (through translator): I think if five men questioned my son, and they were all armed and trained police officers, and my son was definitely unarmed because he never had a gun, he couldn't attack them or fight them, he couldn't do anything because even two men could easily handle him. There were four or five of them, all armed. He didn't pose any threat with them.

But even if he threatened them with his fists, couldn't they shoot his leg? My son couldn't attack them. He's not crazy. I don't know how they could shoot him like that.


BLACK: Todashev was being interviewed by the FBI because he knew the Boston bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. His father says, yes, he did know him, but only vaguely, not very well. They both trained together, or used to, at the same Boston gym. He says they were not close.

But following Todashev's death, some U.S. officials have said that before he was shot and killed, he admitted that both he and Tsarnaev played a role in a previously unsolved triple murder.

Again, his father says there's no way that could be true, that the son he knew and considered a friend could not be capable of such a crime -- Wolf.

BLITZER: I know the FBI is taking a close look at what happened, and they're investigating. Phil, thanks so much for that. Phil Black reporting from Moscow.

Much more coming up, including Jeanne Moos.


BLITZER: Jeanne Moos has discovered a strange-looking way to get your exercise.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wild horses couldn't keep us from reporting on this new exercise routine. Why exercise when you can Prancercise? Is it a workout or a spoof? It is definitely something to behold. Let's pick up the pace.

JOANNA ROHRBACK, INVENTOR OF PRANCERCISE: With the Prancercise trot, it's really hot.

MOOS: The outfit, the jewelry, the '80s style, is this real?

(on camera): When you Prancercise, what does it make you feel like?

ROHRBACK: It makes me feel liberated.

MOOS (voice-over): Sixty-year-old Joanna Rohrback of Florida invented Prancercising 25 years ago.

ROHRBACK: It didn't really start catching on until this week, I think.

MOOS: When blogs started featuring the video she put online last year, she'd already written a book and created a Web site. She describes Prancercise as...

ROHRBACK: Springy, rhythmic movement forward, similar to a horse's gait, ideally induced by elation.

MOOS: She's elated by the Web's sudden discovery of Prancercise, even if much of the commentary is mocking. On Huffington Post, her fitness routine was put on the comedy page.

(on camera): The Web, though, can be kind of harsh.

ROHRBACK: I know it can. But, you know what? I'll take all of it. The harsh, the goof, everything because, hey, that's what getting famous is about, right?

MOOS (voice-over): The lady's got horse sense.

Now, there are four modes of Prancercise, most of them done wearing ankle weights.

ROHRBACK: We're going to really cut the noose and let it loose with the Prancercise gallop.

MOOS: Joanna says Prancercise is great aerobic exercise, low impact on the body and lots of fun. Reminded us of an episode of "Friends" in which Rachel discovers that running un-self-consciously like a goofball can feel great.

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTRESS: I feel so free and so graceful!

MOOS: See, even Jennifer Aniston Prancercises.

ROHRBACK: Now it's your turn.

MOOS (on camera): I'm channeling my inner horse. It's exhausting.

(voice-over): As for all that mockery, Joanna takes it in stride.

ROHRBACK: Maybe my presence, because I'm not a youngster and I'm not wearing, you know, the usual pair of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and the punk hairdo.

MOOS: She's a horse of a different color, all right.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BLITZER: That's very nice.

In addition to Prancercising, by the way, Joanna's Web site also recommends a pure vegetarian diet for what she calls optimal health.

Remember, you can always follow what's going on here in THE SITUATION ROOM on Twitter. You can tweet me, @WolfBlitzer; tweet the show, @CNNSitRoom.

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