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Terror Threat Came From Leader Of Al Qaeda; Castro Relatives Visit "House Of Horrors"; Horror On Venice Beach Boardwalk; Major Hasan's Trial To Start Soon; The Most Dangerous Terrorist in the World?

Aired August 5, 2013 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, America's embassies still closed. We now know the threat that prompted the closures came from the leader of al Qaeda himself.

We have new details on that tonight, plus dramatic new images of the Asiana plane crash shot moments after the plane went down. These were stunning to see today.

And a motorist plows into a crowd on Venice Beach. What we are just now learning about the driver tonight. Let's go "OUTFRONT."

And good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the developing story of the night, a terror threat directly from the leader of al Qaeda. CNN is learning that an intercepted message from Ayman Zawahiri to senior al Qaeda operatives led to the unprecedented shutdown of 21 American embassies and consulates on Sunday.

Now that warning has been extended for one week for 14 of those diplomatic posts, as you can see, concentrated in the Middle East and Africa, five additional locations have been added. Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon. Barbara, can you tell us what exactly was in that message that got officials to go ahead with this unprecedented shutdown?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, good evening. The message was from Ayman Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda in Pakistan, and it was to a man named Nasser Al-Wahishi, who is the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen and now Zawahiri is number two. So first of all, you have this unprecedented link between the core al Qaeda group back in Pakistan and this growing al Qaeda presence in Yemen.

The message by all accounts was very specific in terms of Zawahiri saying to the guys in Yemen do something, do something big, do something now essentially, and that set off alarm bells across Washington. This is some of the most sensitive intelligence that the U.S. has. In fact we want to be very clear. CNN had this information over the weekend.

We did made a decision not to broadcast a lot of specific detail because the government had some concerns about the security risk potentially, potentially involved. But then other news agencies, including "The New York Times" and the McClatchy news service published it. It became in the public arena very widely and we wanted to let our viewers know everything that we know about it -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right, Barbara Starr, thank you very much, reporting from the Pentagon. As we said, a tough decision to be made. And you can see exactly how we here at CNN made that decision. I want to bring in Congressman Adam Schiff now, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, and talk about exactly what it is that we do know. Congressman Schiff, thank you so much for taking the time.


BURNETT: What more can you tell us about this message from Zawahiri.

SCHIFF: Well, unfortunately, I wish I could discuss it but I can't. I can certainly tell you that all of our agencies are taking the threat very seriously and obviously we've taken broad reaction to the intelligence we've received. That doesn't happen for a garden variety intelligence, garden variety chatter. It has to be pretty high level. It have to be corroborated. We have to have confidence in our sources. While I can't go into any of the specifics, obviously this is quite different from the routine kind of chatter we hear and something we felt we needed to take broad action on.

BURNETT: All right, so when you say quite different from the garden variety chatter and broad action, I mean, broad action, let's just be honest here, it's unprecedented action that's been taken. So I guess what I'm curious about is obviously you're not going to be able to answer the question as to where or when, but let me ask you this. Do you know the specifics as to where or when or is it true that the U.S. government has this unprecedented fear of an attack, but actually has no idea if it's going to be in one of 21 countries?

SCHIFF: Well, I think we knew a lot more about the when, that is that the threat was fairly immediate, centered around the end of Ramadan, than we knew about the where, which is why the closures have been as broad as they are, and included travel advisories and concern about the homeland as well. So we don't have specifics, I think, on the where. But again, what I mean by this is not your average garden variety chatter is you hear a lot of, for example, you were mentioning Zawahiri at the top of the broadcast.

You hear a lot of messages over time from him. A lot of them are expressing frustration that different leaders of al Qaeda or affiliates aren't doing what he wants sometimes. He found like a voice in the wilderness. Sometimes he has generalized threats or wants people to take action. And in order to justify, I think, the broad action that's been taken here, without reference to him or anyone else, you need more than what we've seen in the past. I think that's about all I can say on that subject.

BURNETT: So one law enforcement source today told us the only reason he could see for closing diplomatic posts would be that the United States was afraid of something very specific and very unusual, chemical weapons, a type of weapon that the embassy could not detect. Not some sort of a bomb that might go through a metal detector or some sort of a suicide vest. Is there any indication that you're looking at something like that, something unconventional? SCHIFF: You know, I wouldn't -- I wouldn't leap to that same conclusion. I mean, if we knew, for example, there was going to be a Benghazi-like attack, which was very conventional weapons --


SCHIFF: We would close down an embassy or consulate. If we knew there was going to be a truck bomb, like we see all too often in places like Kabul, we would close down the facility. So I don't think you have to leap to that conclusion and I think that the response would still be justified.

BURNETT: All right, which is an interesting point. People can read into your answer what they will. But what about the point that you made that you didn't know the where but were very confident on the when. So if you're confident on the when, right, Ramadan ends in the middle of this week, and then it's over and then the question is, is this just going to be open-ended? Or is the alert going to go away or are they going to be able to adjust to something else? You kind of once you do this, you end up in a situation of when do you open things back up again? Are they going to seize that moment then to go ahead with their plans?

SCHIFF: Well, that is a risk and certainly there are downsides to the disclosure that we've had. As more information seeps into the public awareness in terms of what sources of intelligence may have been that poses risks in terms of what we can gather in the future. We've also tipped our hand and maybe less prepared the less time. But all of those costs, I think, are worth it because we are deferring this plot hopefully indefinitely.

We are protecting our people and we're buying time to do further intelligence. Every day we're getting further intelligence in and some of that intelligence may tell us about who some of the players are with greater specificity about where the location is. That may help us further thwart the plot or go after some of shows involved.

BURNETT: You know, one of the things that we've heard again and again this is centered on the threat coming from perhaps al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, right, which is the most powerful branch many described it as at this point of al Qaeda, and that it would be somewhere in that region. You get that impression from the embassies that the U.S. has chosen to close.

But two major U.S. cities, San Francisco and New York, have increased security. City officials from both locations are telling us they're beefing up police presence and mass transit, but they don't really know what to expect either. Are we adequately prepared for the possibility that this could happen here at home?

SCHIFF: Well, I think we are adequately prepared. Certainly law enforcement and the intelligence community are working together to do everything possible. You can understand why a city like New York, which has so often been the target of terrorism, would want to step up their status and their alert based on what they have been able to glean and what we've been able to glean about the threat. There's only so much you can do. And, Erin, we've already seen we're getting into the debate about are we doing not only enough but are we doing too much.


SCHIFF: I think that trade off and the whole NSA arena has been playing out over the last month. So, yes, I think we're prepared. Are there other steps that we can take, certainly? Are we willing to take them in terms of what it might mean to the invasion of our privacy? That's a very tough question.


SCHIFF: Which we're debating right now in Congress. But yes, I think we're prepared.

BURNETT: Debating across the country as well. Thank you very much, Congressman Schiff. It's always a pleasure to have him with us.

Still to come, the world's most dangerous man, al Qaeda's bomb maker and there is one man credited with not just the technical ability to build a bomb, but with the innovative creativeness to create a bomb that can't be detected. We'll tell you about him.

Plus A-Rod's suspension, does the punishment fit the crime?

And then returning to Cleveland's house of horrors, what made Ariel Castro's family go back and what they did there today.

And a driver plows into a crowd on Venice Beach, what we have just learned about the motorist.


BURNETT: Our second story OUTFRONT, a house of horrors slated for demolition. Today, relatives of Ariel Castrol collected belongings from his former home in Cleveland. That's, of course, where he held three women captive more than a decade. The house is now scheduled to be destroyed and that could happen as early as Wednesday of this week. Castro of course was sentenced last week to life in prison plus 1,000 years. He will not get parole in any situation.

Martin Savidge, as you know, has been covering this story and he is OUTFRONT tonight. Martin, I know you had the opportunity to speak with some of the family members today. What items were they collecting? I know you reported last week when they were getting ready for this demolition they wanted to make sure nobody got anything. But obviously the family is a different group.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. They knew this day was coming. I mean, they basically collected everything from the practical to the sentimental and they had anticipated they were going to get one last look inside of that house and today was the day. They were notified very early in the morning. It was like if there's anything here you want, you better come and get it now. That came from the authorities. So they went over there. There were some tools in the garage, apparently, that they thought could have some value. They went inside the house. There wasn't much there they said had any value. They said it was, quote/unquote, "trash." However, two of the children of Ariel Castro also showed up and they went inside the home to their own rooms and there they did find things they wanted. Here's the attorney talking about that.


CRAIG WEINTRAUB, ARIEL CASTRO DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, they found a lot of pictures and they found things that they had in their bedrooms when they were little children. And so it was really -- it was very emotional for them and I'm glad that they found some finality here today.


SAVIDGE: And of course, it was their bedrooms that have been turned into prison rooms that have been used to contain those three women that have been held there for over a decade. Erin, the demolition, as you point out, now scheduled for Wednesday and it is expected to be quite an event there on the city streets.

BURNETT: Martin, I know obviously Michelle Knight spoke last week and she went back to the house, wanted to go inside. Obviously, we saw Amanda Berry at a rap concert the weekend before, but the women seem to be appearing more and more. This weekend I know we have some new pictures of at least two of them. Who was where?

SAVIDGE: Yes, Michelle Knight was out and about again. She has been very much in the public eye. She seems to be very comfortable about moving about. She was meeting with Andrew Zimmerman. He is a chef that's known from the Travel Channel. He happened to be in Cleveland. He was taping and she's a fan, a fan of him, a fan of food. So they got together and he described her as a hero, of course, and maybe they even traded some recipes.

And then it was Gina Dejesus. On Sunday in Cleveland they had a Latino festival and she was part of the parade. She could be seen smiling and waving in the crowd. She was also holding a flag, a Puerto Rican flag, that's part of her heritage. And again, for the people of Cleveland just to see these young women. See them out and about is really very, very powerful. They welcomed them back to life. They welcomed them back to the city. They love to continue to see them. They can't get enough -- Erin.

BURNETT: It's just so wonderful to know that Gina Dejesus was one of them because I know she's been the one that's been the most quiet. We haven't heard from as much. She wanted that extra security fence and it's wonderful to see, just to see those pictures of her.

All right, Martin Savidge reporting, of course.

We have new details now on the motorist who killed a woman and injured 15 when he tore through a crowded California boardwalk this weekend. The incident was actually caught on security video, which I want to warn you is graphic. You do see it all happen.

The driver escaped on foot. So first ran away. So you can see literally that person go through and all those people, injured people immediately, as you see with that little -- we've put a spotlight on it. But then after fleeing, the driver actually turned himself in. It took a few hours, and he's now being held on a million-dollar bond. He has been charged with murder.

Casey Wian is OUTFRONT from Venice Beach. Now Casey, obviously this is the heat of summer and you have so many tourists, you have this horrific story that happened. This woman on her honeymoon. What more have you learned?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've learned a lot more, Erin, about the suspect in this case. His name is Nathan Campbell, he's 38 years old.

And we now know he's had a very troubled past. Back in 1995-1996, he spent time on and off in a youth shelter in the Hollywood area called The Covenant House. They say he came and go, was allowed to come and go over a one-year period. They wouldn't say why he was there other than the fact that he needed many of the services that that youth shelter offered.

Also, we've just confirmed that in Colorado in 2009 and in 2008, he had three different arrests. One of them was for disturbing the peace and trespassing. Another arrest was for shoplifting. He served five days in jail for that, and another 10 days in jail for another trespassing charge. So, clearly this is someone who has had a difficult and troubled past.

The district attorney here in Los Angeles saying no charges will be filed against him today. We're expecting that could happen as soon as tomorrow. Erin.

BURNETT: And Casey, when you talk about his story, obviously the story of the victims, many people injured. What do you know about that now? And of course, what about the story about the woman who was killed? That just -- it's a horrible story.

WIAN: It's really a tragic story. Fifteen people total injured, including one woman who was killed. Her name is Alice Giuponni. She was a tourist from Italy. She was here on her honeymoon. You can see this memorial that has been put together for her. In about an hour- and-a-half, there's going to be a moment of silence, a vigil for her.

Her husband, they were married on July 20th. He survived. Police say he actually tried to pull his wife out of the way unsuccessfully. They were expected to head to Tahiti after their trip to Venice Beach; obviously never made that. His family has apparently come from Italy to be with him. Obviously a very difficult and tragic time for that family and for the families of all of the victims who were injured in this catastrophe, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Casey Wian. And Power and Money tonight, adding it up for A-Rod. We couldn't resist. 211 games, $31 million in salary, and a full year on the Bud Selig bench. Major League Baseball has suspended Alex Rodriguez for violating rules on using performance-enhancing drugs. A-Roid I guess.

Anyway, 211 games encompasses the remainder of this season and all of next, and it comes after they failed to reach a deal. Now, the New York Yankee third baseman will appeal, and he can play until the process is completed, so you'll still be able to see him out there. If the suspension is upheld, though, the highest paid player in baseball, which is what he is, is going to lose a lot of money. A representative for the players union says the appeal process will be completed after this season ,so A-Rod is at risk of losing his 2014 salary of $25 million for one year and part of his 2015 salary, up to $6 million.

Meanwhile prices on A-Rod memorabilia are falling. And yet 12 other players accepted 50-game suspensions without pay for violating performance-enhancing drug policy, so they're all going to take a hit. Now, I told you A-Rod reportedly refused a deal. But after all, he's still loaded, and he really doesn't have to work again. So, frankly, other than his reputation this doesn't matter. A-Rod is worth $300 million according to So really, who cares about the $25 million?

Still to come, an accused terrorist finally goes to trial. Why did it take four years to get this guy into a courtroom? Why?

Plus, dramatic new images of the moments after the Asiana plane crash. The camera that you're going to see this time for the first time tonight was actually mounted on a firefighter's helmet.

And disturbing footage of a child being beaten on a school bus has many people asking why the driver chose to not intervene.


BURNETT: Our third story OUTFRONT, an accused terrorist finally goes to trial. His excuse, he was protecting the Taliban.

Major Nidal Hasan's court-martial is expected to begin tomorrow, four years after a shooting rampage left 13 dead and dozens more injured. The reasons for the delay are shocking, and Chris Lawrence is OUTFRONT.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The survivors of the Fort Hood shooting have waited nearly four years to tell their stories to a jury.

SPECIALIST MICK ENGNEHL, FT. HOOD SHOOTING VICTIM: I was in that building. I was getting ready for my first deployment to Afghanistan.

LAWRENCE: Retired specialist Mic Engnehl was standing in line to get medically cleared. ENGNEHL: All of a sudden you'd just hear "Allah Akbar" somewhere and just pow, pow, shooting everywhere.

LAWRENCE: Prosecutors say a fellow soldier, Major Nidal Hasan, had opened fire in this processing center. Engnehl says he dropped to the floor.

ENGNEHL: All of a sudden I saw a laser come across my eyes. I looked over and I saw him pointing a gun at me. By that time, I tried shifting over, and it just felt like a baseball bat hit me right in the side of my neck. And then just blood went everywhere.

LAWRENCE: He had been shot. Seven days later, Hasan was charged with 13 counts of murder.

It took two years for a pretrial hearing and arraignment, and then everything ground to a halt over an argument about Hasan's beard. His lawyer said he grew it out because Hasan believes it's a sin to die clean shaven. Prosecutors argued it was an attempt to keep witnesses from him. The court later removed the trial judge who had ordered Hasan be forcibly shaved. And just when the case was back on track, Hasan asked to release his lawyers and represent himself.

ENGNEHL: It is very frustrating.

LAWRENCE: For survivors like Engnehl, it's about to get worse. Because Hasan, acting as his own attorney, can cross-examine them in court.

NEAL SHER, VICTIMS' ATTORNEY: It can be very difficult, it will be painful.

LAWRENCE: But necessary. According to Hasan's former attorney, he says nothing, not even survivors' feelings, can stop Hasan from defending himself.

JOHN GALLIGAN, HASAN'S FORMER ATTORNEY: Their sensitivities on the issue, I think, are subordinate to his constitutional right to act as his own attorney.


LAWRENCE: Now, just because you can defend yourself doesn't give you the right to be unruly in court. There will be a lot of pressure on that military judge to make sure that Hasan doesn't harass some of the witnesses.

Now, Hasan, during all of this time, has earned about $300,000. He's still getting paid by the Army. During sentencing if he is convicted, a military judge could decide to fine him, so some of the money could go towards that. He may be required to repay some of the defense experts who have testified against him. And of course, there's always the possibility of a civil suit from some of the victims, although with so many people involved, when you really split that up so many ways, it's not a lot of money, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to Chris Lawrence. So many are amazed he's been paid all this time.

Still to come, some call him the most dangerous man in the world, and now al Qaeda's bomb maker has developed a device that cannot be detected. We have a special report.

Plus, the most controversial burger ever. Why it costs more than $300,000. Yes, we'll explain. And - you see it. We'll tell you why it tastes the way it does.

And the shocking video of a school bus beating. Why did the driver not step in?


BURNETT: Welcome back to the second half of OUTFRONT, where we start with our reporting from the front lines.

I want to begin tonight with new images shedding light on what happened in the minutes after Asiana flight 214 crashed in San Francisco last month. These photos obtained by the "San Francisco Chronicle" were taken from a camera that was actually mounted on a firefighter's helmet. And what they reveal is how a 16-year-old crash survivor, who ultimately lost her life after being run over by a fire truck, may not have been seen under the fire retardant foam. You see all that foam there. You can see a firefighter covering her body there with the foam and according to the paper, fire department supervisors were not alerted by firefighters that the young woman had even been found near the plane.

We learned this afternoon that the "Washington Post" is being sold to the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, for $250 million. The newspaper has not been owned by the same family since 1933, but it was no longer sustainable. Independent media analyst Craig Huber (ph) tells us the paper is losing nearly twice as much money this year as last. So why would Bezos, king of e-readers, want "The Post"? Huber believes it's more of a trophy, but thinks Bezos will become frustrated with all of the losses.

Still, I would hope this. Maybe it's because Bezos, like a whole lot of us, still loves newspapers and wants them to thrive.

Well, a prosecutor called Whitey Bulger one of the most vicious, violent and calculating criminals to ever walk the streets of Boston. This was during closing arguments in Bulger's trial today. The prosecutor was incredibly methodical, guiding jurors through a list of crimes, including those 19 alleged counts of murder. According to law professor Margaret McClain (ph) who was in the room, she says the jury likely will convict Bulger based on the evidence, while the defense is hoping for a holdout who could cause a mistrial with this whole thing.

And today, a panel of foodies tasted. They took their lives in their hands and tasted a stem cell burger. We told you about this burger last week. Well, today was the formal test.

One said it was a familiar texture to real meat but the flavor is different and it misses fat. It kind of makes my stomach turn. That's because there's little fat involved, if any at all.

Now, it took $330,000 to develop this imitation. It was made from 20,000 small strands of meat grown from a cow's muscle cells. They added in then egg powder, beat juice, saffron and bread crumbs to do a fancy kind of burger, I guess.

A rep for the burger, yes, because there is a public relations rep for this burger, tells us cultured beef is not genetically modified and spoils like normal beef.

I got to say luckily the new normal won't be going to market for another 10 years, time to work out the kinks. Plus, we told you some said it looked like a gray squid and tasted like a squid-like material so they have some work to do.

It has been 730 days since the U.S. lost its top credit rating. What are we doing to get it back? Well, popping the cork on some bubbly tonight maybe. Not so much. Instead, Nancy Pelosi used the two-year anniversary because that is what today is of America's only credit rating downgrade in history, to remind people that we have no budget bill and that the threat of a government shutdown still looms.

She blames an aimless, chaotic, make-matters-worse Congress that cannot get its act together. We agree.

And now our fourth story OUTFRONT: Perhaps the most dangerous man in the world, al Qaeda's bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri. He's believed to be the mastermind behind some of the terror group's most sophisticated devices. And when we talk about devices, this is a whole new world. These are devices that modern methods right now, the best technology out there, actually has no way of detecting.

Brian Todd is OUTFFRONT.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): U.S. intelligence officials have said he could be the most dangerous terrorist America faces. Ibrahim al-Asiri, only 31 years old, master bomb maker for the group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He could be involved in the current threat stream.

A U.S. intelligence official tells CNN al-Asiri is the, quote, golden goose of that al Qaeda affiliate. They're guarded about his communications, determined to protect him.

CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen says that's for good reason.

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: The ability to smuggle a potentially undetectable bomb onto a plane or some other location -- I mean, that's golden for al Qaeda.

TODD: Western intelligence officials say al-Asiri is behind the foiled 2009 underwear bomb plot to bring down an airliner approaching Detroit on Christmas Day and a 2010 plot to send bombs in printer cartridges in cargo planes bound for the U.S. Both plots were foiled at the last minute.

In 2009, al-Asiri even planted a bomb on his own brother in his underwear or a body cavity. The brother got close to Saudi Arabia's counter terror chief and set it off, killing himself but not the Saudi minister.

(on camera): What does it say that he does this with his own brother?

BRIAN CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM EXPERT: It says that he's absolutely ruthless. Not only is Ibrahim al-Asiri absolutely ruthless, he is, according to leading explosive experts in the West, really good at what he does. He's produced the most sophisticated devices ever seen from al Qaeda.

TODD (voice-over): Last year, U.S. officials say al-Asiri was behind another foiled plot to send another bomb in the underwear of a terrorist on a commercial plane bound for the U.S. The head of the TSA called that a next gen device.

JOHN PISTOLE, TSA ADMINISTRATOR: It was a new type of explosive that we had never seen and either attempted in the U.S. or around the world by terrorists. So, all of our explosive detection equipment which screens over a million checked bags every day just in the U.S. wasn't calibrated to detect that.

TODD (on camera): John Pistole said that device had what he called a double initiation system. Two syringes of chemical detonators instead of one. And, he says, al-Asiri encased that bomb in household caulk, so the explosive vapors couldn't be detected by machines or dogs.

(voice-over): Has this young mastermind trained others?

BERGEN: I think the understanding is that he has instructed other people in his techniques. Now, he's obviously a pretty skilled bomb maker. You know, to what extent has he replicated himself I don't think is clear.

TODD: Could al-Asiri's newest bombs, the ones he's made since last year evade detection by those TSA body scanners? That's not clear. The TSA would only tell us it has a multi-layered strategy to detect explosives, including what it calls the best imaging technology.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


BURNETT: OUTFRONT tonight, Tim Clemente, former FBI counterterrorism agent along with Geoff Porter, adviser or political and security risks in North Africa.

Good to see both of you together tonight.

Geoff, let me start with you. You just heard Brian Todd reporting that perhaps al-Asiri has trained others. So he's the most wanted guy. The U.S. hasn't been able to get him.


BURNETT: But if they do, there would have been others that have been trained in these sorts of devices of implanting in household caulk, something dogs and machines would not be able to pick. Once he's gone, would the threat go away?

PORTER: No, it would just -- it would change. One of the things that al-Asiri would be able to do is transfer the current bomb making techniques to trainees or to his disciples but you would lose that innovative component. What makes al-Asiri so dangerous is that he's been innovative, he's been creative.

Some people use their creative juices --

BURNETT: The guy is incredibly bright.

PORTER: Right. I mean, some people use creative juices for good and in this instance, he's using his creative, innovative techniques for evil.

So, you'll have a transfer of the current technology but you will lose that innovative drive which should mitigate some of the risk in the future.

BURNETT: So, Tim, how hard is it to catch him? You know, we hear always so much about drone attacks and frankly about a lot of successful drone attacks. But it kind of amazes me someone this important the U.S. doesn't know where he is?

TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERRORISM AGENT: Well, it's hard to keep track of people like this. But as far as catching him, the only way that's going to happen isn't going to be with satellites or electronic technology. It's going to be done with human intelligence.

That's what's foiled most of these plots that we've seen in the past. There was somebody on the inside or somebody posing as a collaborator that ended up giving up the plot. We're going to need that in this case.

So, we need situational awareness. We need people on the ground. Unfortunately, Yemen is a very, very hostile place to try and put someone or to have assets be directed.

BURNETT: And, Geoff, when you look at names of who's important in al Qaeda, and obviously al Qaeda has changed, right, it's morphed, but yet there are individuals in different places that become incredibly powerful and incredibly important. How many of those individuals are there right now?

PORTER: We don't know. A dozen, two dozen.


PORTER: This is something that's constantly evolving.

BURNETT: Right. So what does it say to you? I mean, obviously, al- Asiri is not the only one the U.S. is worried about right now. In Yemen, the man in charge of al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula, Nasser al- Wuhayshi -- sorry if I'm saying that name incorrectly -- but is named number two by Ayman al-Zawahiri.

PORTER: That's right.

BURNETT: What does that mean?

PORTER: Well, the fact that AQAP or a member of AQAP has been named number two of al Qaeda is I think an indication of the success of Zawahiri's attempts to create AQ affiliates, or al Qaeda affiliates, al Qaeda franchises throughout the world.


PORTER: So we're no longer dealing with just al Qaeda central. We're dealing with al Qaeda central plus all of the al Qaeda affiliates.

BURNETT: In the Arabian Peninsula, in Mali, in Libya, you name it. All these different options.

PORTER: That's right. Al-Nusra in Syria.

BURNETT: Right, which many say, of course, could be among the most powerful right now.

Tim, you know, Congressman Peter King, who's always famously very open about what he thinks about these things, to the angst of some and the relief of others, but he said over the weekend that, quote, "al Qaeda is in many ways stronger than it was before 9/11."

Would you agree with that assessment in any way?

CLEMENTE: The way I would agree with it is they have gone underground more. They used to be far more open, their communications were open. They would use techniques and e-mails and other things but would communicate that way.

Now we've seen with the capture of bin Laden, going after his personal courier was the way we got to him and some of these other people -- you know, it's hard to find out their communication network.

So again, it's hard to find out their specifics as far as where they're operating and where they're communicating. Guys like this that are being protected, al-Asiri within Yemen in the mountains of Yemen, you've got to get people inside there.

The agency is doing that and other aspects of the national security apparatus are at work, but it's a tough fight to find a needle like this in a haystack.

BURNETT: And, of course, it's a race against time.

Thanks so much to both of you.

But, Tim and Geoff, of course, are a big part of what we're going to be showing tomorrow night.

As you know, we've devoted a lot of time over the past year to the Benghazi attack and its aftermath. We hope that you'll join us tomorrow night at 10:00 Eastern for a special OUTFRONT investigation, the truth about Benghazi. We'll take you back to that fateful night nearly a year ago. We'll talk to a suspect even the FBI hasn't gotten ahold of, and most important we're going to speak to the families of those who lost their lives.

That is tomorrow night, Tuesday, at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific. We hope you'll join us.

And still to come, the Obama administration only wants to discuss one thing, and it may surprise you what that thing is, but we have unveiled it.

And the shocking video of a school bus beating. Did the driver do anything to stop it?


BURNETT: All right. Welcome back. I want to check in with Anderson with a look at what's coming up on "A.C. 360."

Hey, Anderson.


The biggest drug scandal to hit professional sports in years takes down one of baseball's biggest stars, Alex Rodriguez, of course, suspended for 211 games and yet still playing. We'll tell you how it went down and when it finally might end.

My guest is ESPN's T.J. Quinn, who's been breaking news on this story from the beginning.

Also, someone who knows firsthand just how easy it is for athletes to circumvent drug testing. Kirk Radomski (ph) estimates he was supplying 300 ballplayers before he was finally busted in 2005.

Also tonight, a chilling "360" exclusive. Teenagers here in the United States recruited to kill for Mexican drug cartels. You're going to hear the troubling details from two teens themselves now serving life sentences. They sat down with CNN's Ed Lavandera for their first interviews. Those stories and tonight's "RidicuList" and a lot more at the top of the hour, Erin.

BURNETT: Anderson, we look forward to that and see you in just a few minutes.

And now our fifth story OUTFRONT: the brutal school bus beating caught on tape. It is shocking video. A 13-year-old victim left with a broken arm, two black eyes after getting completely beaten up. I mean, you just watch this. This is horrible to watch. Three 15-year- olds beat up this 13-year-old child.

There was only one adult on this bus and it was the driver. And he did call for help.


JOHN MOODY, SCHOOL BUS DRIVER: No you got to get somebody here quick, quick, quick, quick. They about to beat this boy to death. Please get somebody here quick. And they're still doing it. There's nothing I can do.


BURNETT: Should the driver have done more?

OUTFRONT tonight, Dean Obeidallah, Stephanie Miller and Hogan Gidley.

All right. Great to have all of you.

Dean, let me just say. So you hear this man call and some people say, why wouldn't he step in and try to save this child? Well, he's 64 years old.


BURNETT: He decided not to get physically involved even though he was the only adult. He did make that call. Was that enough or should he have tried to step in, if he really though, as he says to that call to 911, they're going to beat this boy to death.

OBEIDALLAH: I think it's painful to watch the video. But honestly legally he had no obligation to do it. I don't think morally either. He's 64. He's not a superhero. He's not Mr. Miyagi from the "Karate Kid" who could jump up and save Daniel from the cobra guy. This is a situation where he could have been beaten up or killed.

These three kids who beat the victim, the victim had reported those three kids for stealing drugs in the school. Now, allegedly, that's the allegation. And that's why they were beating this kid up. He could have been killed and break up the fight. If he would have hurt any of the students, I think he could have been charged with a crime himself or civilly sued.

So he did what he had to do. And there was no obligation legally or morally to do anything more even though it hurts us to watch that video.

BURNETT: Stephanie, what do you think? Legally and morally, no obligation?

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO HOST: Yes, you know, Erin, I think this is a tough one. You know, but if you watched him, you sort of saw his remorse that he wished he could have done something.

But, look, maybe because I'm a girl, I wouldn't have walked into the middle of that. I wouldn't have had the courage. I bet there are some heroes that would have, but a 64-year-old man, a woman -- I mean, those guys when you say kids, they're pretty big, they're pretty big. So I can understand him, you know, and he did call the authorities. I mean, look, if we were all following the NRA, he would have been armed and there probably would have been dead kids. So, you know, I think that this ended as well as it could have for a horrible situation.

BURNETT: Why are you smiling? You're saying dead drug dealer kids?

OBEIDALLAH: It's not that.

BURNETT: Are you going there?

OBEIDALLAH: The next step is actually the NRA saying armed -- you know what the next step is? Hire security guards. You want to use money from the school budget, hire security guards on every single bus. The bus driver's job is to get them home safely and get them to school safely.


Now, Hogan, of course, the situation could have turned out differently. I mean, you know, I think as Dean and Stephanie point out, this man was obviously conflicted, he was horribly afraid, he was trying to help this child. But he thought they could boat him to death.

What if the child had been beaten to death? Then what would you say?

HOGAN GIDLEY, FORMER SANTORUM COMMUNICATIJONS DIRECTOR: Oh, gosh, I don't know that I would have changed my opinion one way or the other.

Listen, the police officer agrees with me. I think he should have stepped in. The police officer said the man should have done more. Even the bus driver himself afterwards alluded to earlier, in subsequent interviews said -- listen, I wish I would have done something. I wish I would have done something.

He broke no letter of the law, as Dean pointed out. He obviously did what he was told to do, which is called dispatch. But moral laws he broke all over the place.

Listen, you see these children beating up another child. Three to one odds you can't step in for a second and say back off, back off, and try to step between these two people fighting? I don't know what the deal is.

Look, I know he's an older man, but it wasn't like these kids, and they were big kids, it looks like they're pretty big and pretty strong. But they're not 6'5" football players, they're teenagers, step in there and try to break up the fight.

If this poor kid had been beaten to death, we would have a different conversation right now.


MILLER: Hogan, I have to ask you. Right. I don't mean to make this personal, would you have? I mean, you know, I get a little annoyed at all these arm chair heroes in Aurora and other places. I would have done this if I had a gun, and done that. It's like no, you wouldn't have. You would have pooped your pants.

Like, you know, we can all say what we would have done. Would you have done it? It's hard to judge him, isn't it?

GIDLEY: I'm not judging him. I'm saying I think he should have done something about it. Why wouldn't you step in and protect -- look, we're talking about protecting all the innocent people in the world, right? Liberals love to rail on protecting, no bullying, don't hurt anybody who's weaker than you.

And here, three to one odds, and you're telling me you would -- you think it's OK for him to step back and watch this poor kid get pummeled?

BURNETT: To Hogan's point, two to one here, let me take Hogan's side. He didn't look like he even tried. He didn't say --

OBEIDALLAH: He didn't yell at them to stop. Hogan is like Jason Bourne. Go in there and stop the fight. I'm kidding with you for a second.

Let's be honest. He's a 64-year-old man against three kids who are enraged. They stomped this kid. They broke his arm and they were fighting him because the allegations that they were drug dealers in a school.

BURNETT: Do you think Hogan's point is correct, that if this kid were dead it would have been different.

OBEIDALLAH: It would be different, if different if he would enter the fight and breaking up, hurt or killed one of the three 15-year-old kids. Then we're talking about a bus driver who killed a 15-year-old student. So, that's the other side of the conversation.

BURNETT: That's possible.

OBEIDALLAH: He would have been sued -- civilly and criminally prosecuted if he had done more.


BURNETT: Final quick word, Hogan.

GIDLEY: If he had broken this up, we know he would have pushed these kids apart, and the kid would have fallen and scraped his ankle, he'd have been sued, and you know it.

BURNETT: All right. Well, let's leave there. Thank you.

And please everyone, let us know what you think. They disagreed fiercely. So, hopefully will you.

And a programming note, the bus driver John Moody will be on Piers tonight 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

Well, every night we take a look at the day's top stories, what we call the OUTFRONT "Outtake."

Earlier today, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, had lunch with Secretary of State John Kerry. The media was obviously incredibly interested in what was discussed at the lunch given the massive alert from al Qaeda threatening the United States around the world.

So, you think that would be what he might talk about? But on the way out, no. All General Dempsey would say is this.




BURNETT: Healthy.

Yes, he described his meal. It seemed an unusual response to reporter's questions until we checked into it, like we like to do. We realize one of the only things this administration ever discusses is food.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: They also released the menu of what they were eating. Give us the substance.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. Turkey chilly was apparently on the menu, perhaps some Thanksgiving leftovers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Real chicken, pasta jambalaya.



MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Chicken. Chicken salad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chesapeake Bay crab cakes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Halibut came from Alaska.

M. OBAMA: Secret Service super salad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: San Francisco Cioppino stew.


M. OBAMA: Power pesto pasta.



BURNETT: The classic deflection, confusing us with talk of pie. Very clever, Mr. President.

Still not quite as impressive as the deflection your press secretary is capable of.


REPOTER: Can you describe a little bit about the damage he's caused?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think I would refer you to statements by the director of national intelligence.

I'd have to refer to the Department of Health and Human Services.

I would refer you to the ODNI.

I would refer you to the Treasury Department.

I'd refer you to Justice.

I would refer you to Justice. I would refer you to Justice. I would refer you to the Justice Department. I would refer you to the Department of Justice. I would refer you to the Department of Justice. I would refer you to the Department of Justice and the FBI.

I would refer you to the FBI. I would refer to the FBI. I would refer you to the FBI. I would refer to the FBI, the Secret Service and the Capitol police.

I'd refer you to the E.U. Well, I'd refer you to the Chinese.


BURNETT: To be fair to Jay Carney, to build that montage, and we know he has a sense of humor, so that's why we play it. We looked at a number of briefings, it's not like he does this every single day.

For example, here's how the press secretary answered reporter's questions this afternoon.


CARNEY: The Department of Justice is looking into the story. For more, I would refer you to the Department of Justice.


BURNETT: Now, there's some real food for though.

Still to come, a very important anniversary today, and we're going to tell you why it matters so much for all of us, next.


BURNETT: An important anniversary -- a year ago today, a gunman walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and opened fire. In the rampage, six people were killed, four others were wounded. It was a horrible hate crime.

The night after the attack, we were there. We broadcast this program from the site where we spoke to members of the temple. It was a devastating attack fuelled by hate. But what I remember the most from talking to these people, family members, members of the temple, members of the community, people who had lost their grandfather, their father, was that they would not allow themselves to be defined by it, even the day after.

In the Sikh faith, there is a principle called (INAUDIBLE), optimism even in the face of adversity, is what it means. The members of the temple have embraced that principle over the past year, as they have tried to get recognition and have people learn from this and this week, when they organized a series of religious rituals and other events to celebrate the lives of the friends and family that they lost that day.

Tonight, they're holding a candlelight vigil in the parking lot of that temple. The rampage was just one in a series of high profile shootings last year. And as a result, didn't receive the attention we might otherwise have, which is why we wanted to take this opportunity to let the members of the temple and the Sikh community in America know that our thoughts are with them tonight.

"A.C. 360" starts right now.

COOPER: Erin, thanks very much.