Return to Transcripts main page
NEW DAY SUNDAY
U.S. Forces Capture al Qaeda Leader; Daughter of Nairobi Victims on Capture; New Moves on the Shutdown; 2 Bikers Charged in SUV Attack; Storm Downgraded to Tropical Depression
Aired October 6, 2013 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: New this morning, one of the top al Qaeda operatives believe to be responsible for the 1998 American embassy bombings is now in U.S. custody. We have global coverage of the mission.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Listen to that wind. A blizzard in South Dakota brings 30 inches of snow. Incredible pictures of some wicked weather and the damage it left in its wake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): It's our house, we can vote how we want to. It's our floor, we can say what we want to. It's our (INAUDIBLE) want to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Oh, Miley. That is the performance that is lighting up social media this morning. Miley Cyrus channels her inner Michele Bachmann on "Saturday Night Live," as she takes a swipe at the Republican Party and the government shutdown.
HARLOW: Good morning, everyone. I'm Poppy Harlow.
BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. This is NEW DAY SUNDAY. Of course it's good to have you with us this morning.
We're entering day six -
HARLOW: Day six.
BLACKWELL: Of the government shutdown and it's not certain if the sides are even talking to one another. The stalemate continues.
HARLOW: Yes, not a lot of progress at all. Absolutely, the stalemate continues in Washington.
We have a lot of news today. A big -
HARLOW: A big news day. A lot of new developments, of course, in the global war on terrorism. So we're certainly going to get to that. BLACKWELL: Yes, first up, the U.S. military has struck a huge blow at al Qaeda and the terror group that masterminded that horrific attack on the shopping mall in Kenya just two weeks ago.
HARLOW: American sources -- American forces, rather, have carried out raids in two African nations 3.000 miles apart. This happened and we found out about it late yesterday. They went after high value targets in Libya and Somalia. We'll start in Libya, one of the streets -- on the streets of Tripoli. That's where U.S. special operations forces captured suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Anas al Libi. You may not know that name, but he is one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists. You see his picture right there. There's even a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
BLACKWELL: He's suspected in the 1998 twin bombings in American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. More than 200 people were killed, thousands were injured in those attacks. Secretary of State John Kerry says the raids demonstrate the U.S. will never give up in its pursuit of terrorists.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: That the United States of America will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror and those members of al Qaeda and other terrorists organizations. Literally, they can run but they can't hide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson has been covering this since we found out about it late last night. He joins us now from London.
Nic, you have new developments literally coming in, in the last few minutes about al Libi and this capture. What can you tell us?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We know that his wife saw his capture. She says it look place in less than a minute. That he was leaving to go to prayers early on Saturday morning, about 6:30 a.m. in the morning. She reports that 10 masked men approached her husband. He apparently tried to get into his vehicle to get a handgun, was unable to do that. He was completely taken by surprise. A window of his vehicle was broken. We understand that no fires were shot at him during his capture. But it happened in broad daylight, early morning, Tripoli, and his wife witness to all of it.
BLACKWELL: Nic, it's important that al Libi was captured and not killed because -
BLACKWELL: He's a treasure trove of information. What kind of information could he offer up about al Qaeda? ROBERTSON: Well, he's believed to have moved back to Libya in 2011, possibly a little earlier. This was about the time of the Arab Spring uprising, when it began. Moved back to Libya. At that time we know that senior al Qaeda leaders were setting operatives back to Libya to set up training camps. Not just Libya, but trying to strengthen al Qaeda in the north of Africa.
He is, according to some sources, believed to have been retired - al Libi retired from active service, if you will, with al Qaeda. But it is also understood that he's very likely to have a good picture of al Qaeda's strength in the north of Africa, potential targets, plots, plannings and potentially knowledge of operatives and camps within Libya itself.
HARLOW: But, Nic, the question being now that he is in, you know, U.S. custody, will likely facing trial in New York, what is the likelihood that at this point and at this juncture he would actually give up any of that critical information?
ROBERTSON: It's not clear that he will. Certainly he has left - excuse me, left a trail in the past of information that's going to be useful one would expect for prosecutors in the 1998 bombing to prosecute him for that. He lived in Britain for a short time. There was a raid on a property that he lived in. In that raid in Manchester, England, a document several hundred pages known as the "Manchester manual," detailing how to attack embassies, how to blow them up, was discovered. But whether or not he will offer up or if he actually has that information, active and current information, hugely important in real terms right now for intelligence officials, rather than that historic prosecution.
HARLOW: And, quickly, Nic, we do have to go, but just give me a sense, and our viewers a sense of the scope, the importance, the magnitude of this capture.
ROBERTSON: Al Qaeda in North Africa represents a growing threat to Europe and to U.S. interests, not just in North Africa, but Europe and potentially the United States. To capture him with the information he may have will be valuable in unraveling some of that, not just the fact that he is highly responsible, a senior planner in those 1998 twin embassy bombings.
BLACKWELL: And we'll see how much information he gives up. CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson, thank you very much.
HARLOW: Well, 12 Americans were among the more than 200 people who died, who were murdered on August 7th, 1998, in the embassy bombings. Two of them were father and son, Julian Bartley and Julian Bartley, Jr. You see them pictured right there. Julian Bartley, the elder, was the council general in the U.S. embassy in Nairobi. His son, Julian, was a 20-year-old intern there.
BLACKWELL: Edith Bartley is the daughter of Julian Bartley and the brother of Julian Bartley Jr. and today she works with victims and families affected by that bombing in 1998.
BLACKWELL: We have her on the phone with us this morning.
Edith, it's good to have you with us.
EDITH BARTLEY, LOST FAMILY MEMBERS IN NAIROBI BOMBING (via telephone): Good morning.
BLACKWELL: And first question is, just generally, what was your reaction when you learned that one of the al Qaeda operatives believed to have been the mastermind of this '98 attack that killed your father, killed your brother, had been captured?
BARTLEY: Oh, just absolute excitement and relief that this person has been removed from the streets and that they're under U.S. custody. Our families want to thank the U.S. military and our intelligence community. You know, we know that this is a firm signal around the globe that as our government is still waiting through a standstill right now that we are still vigilant as a country and remain focused on international terrorists. And we're not going to step down at all.
It's extremely important. The embassy bombings happened just over 15 years ago, yet, you know, they're still connected to much of our activity around the globe today. And particularly in light of the recent incidents at -- in Nairobi just two weeks ago, and 9/11, and these are all connected in some way in terms of our presence around the globe, being a threat to others, and we have to remain vigilant as a country and our national security needs to remain vigilant.
HARLOW: Edith, I'm so sorry about your loss. You know, 15 years later, it is - it is no easier. But, in a sense you've said this is cathartic and helpful in that there's been another significant capture. But at the same time you say it's been a sobering reminder. Why is that?
BARTLEY: It's a sobering reminder on several fronts. One, as a nation, we have to do more to keep our Congress and our everyday American citizen aware of the important work that our diplomats do across the globe with military personnel and with our intelligence community. We have to insure that our embassies around the globe are secure. You know, funding issues are ongoing right now and Congress on a host of issues. But our presence around the globe has to be strong, it has to be secure. And many times we forget that until something happens, until we've made a move like this and been able to capture somebody, or, unfortunately, if we have body bags come home of Americans. And so we've got to stay vigilant. It's a sobering reminder that there are people who put their lives at stake across the globe every day for this country -
BLACKWELL: Osama bin -
BARTLEY: And when they're taken, we have to do all that we can to track down those who are responsible and we need to take care of our own Americans whose families have been impacted like ours when a loved one is gone. BLACKWELL: Osama bin Laden was indicted on more than 200 counts for this - for the twin bombings in '98. He was, as we know, killed two years ago. I wonder, Edith, if there's a different feeling that al Libi has been captured and will stand trial versus the killing of Osama bin Laden?
BARTLEY: You know, we were certainly happy that Osama bin Laden was eliminated. Certainly we are very pleased to know that we can have someone who is captured and for the wealth of information that may be available to our intelligence community and our military personnel. You can't put a price on that.
BARTLEY: And so it's certainly important that this person was captured and we'd like to see this person brought through - you know, brought to trial. That's important to our families. It's important to have that publicly take place or in whatever venue is the best venue that's decided.
HARLOW: I wonder, Edith, will you - will you go to the trial? Is that an important thing for you to be present for?
BARTLEY: It's extremely important. When we had the trial in 2001 -
BARTLEY: And then we had a second trial just a few years ago. Our families were present. And in '01 we were present every day, every week. It was a long trial. And we will do that again. It's important for people who are in this country and across the globe to understand that Americans and other people of other nationalities are impacted and they're people.
BARTLEY: These a human beings whose lives were impacted. And so, definitely, we will be private and we don't want our American government to forget the human side of their work and what's going on across the globe. Our diplomatic families deserve support.
HARLOW: One final question for you, Edith. You have been fighting for something for the past 13-plus years and that is compensation for the families of the victims of the '98 embassy bombings. Last I heard, that was held up in Congress. Can you tell us where that stands now?
BARTLEY: Well, our work is much broader. Actually, we've been focused to insure that there is compensation and benefits available to all diplomatic families who have a loved one kill in the line of duty, similar to our military personnel. Senator Barbara Mikulski from Maryland has been an leading - has been our lead on that effort, along with Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri. And this has been an ongoing effort. We've had three bills passed through the House and we certainly hope that this year, with all of the focus on al Qaeda publicly, because we know our military is constantly focused, whether or not we hear about it, and with the killing of bin Laden, with the recent incidents in Nairobi at the Westgate Mall, which I have a - which I've, you know, been to that mall many times, and with this great, great development recently in Libya, that we will be - yes, this issue will have a positive end. You know, our diplomatic families deserve support, just like our military, and we've got to insure that that takes place. And there are many who are sensitive to that and we're hopeful that we'll be successful on that front soon. Sooner than later.
BLACKWELL: Well, Edith Bartley, again, your father, brother, two of the Americans killed there at the attack in Nairobi at the Kenyan embassy - the U.S. embassy in Kenya, we thank you for speaking with us and, of course, our condolences for your loss.
BARTLEY: Thank you. And our condolences to everyone around the world who have been impacted by al Qaeda. And we certainly appreciate CNN and Poppy and Victor for covering this.
BLACKWELL: Thank you.
HARLOW: Our pleasure. Thank you, Edith.
BLACKWELL: You know, she talked about this bill that she's trying to get through Congress -
BLACKWELL: To get compensation for the families, so many years.
BLACKWELL: Speaking of stalemates, there is the stalemate, six - sixth day of the shutdown. We're going to talk about that coming up in a moment. And maybe there's some breakthrough on the horizon.
HARLOW: Yes, maybe some movement.
BLACKWELL: We'll take a break. We'll be right back.
BLACKWELL: Welcome back.
This morning there's a new proposal to end the government shutdown.
HARLOW: Senator Susan Collins, a moderate Republican, says that Congress should repeal the 2.3 percent excise tax that helps pay for Obamacare. Many Democrats already back that idea.
BLACKWELL: Now, as a revenue offset, Collins would lower pension payment by employments for the short term. Her plan gives House Republicans a face-saving change to Obamacare that both sides could agree on. We'll have to see how that goes. HARLOW: For other news on the shutdown, let's bring in Jill Dougherty. She's at the White House with us.
You know, Jill, three main developments to point out and I sort of like chuckle when we say that could bring us to an agreement because -
HARLOW: We've been waiting and waiting and haven't seen a lot of progress. So what about now?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've got the - Congress, yes, obviously still isn't ready for a full end to the shutdown, but they are doing it piece by piece. And we have some details that we'll be bringing you in just a couple of minutes.
HARLOW: And I know also we were --
BLACKWELL: Yes, Ted Cruz. We've been talking about this. He continues to urge the House to defund Obamacare.
DOUGHERTY: Yes, let me go back. I wanted to - I wanted to give you those -- at least three things that have happened most recently on Saturday. One is, in this piecemeal department, you've got more than 90 percent of the workers at DOD going back. That's approximately 300,000 people going back. They will be recalled. So that's one good development.
The other is, the House, as we know yesterday, voted to give back pay to the workers who had been furloughed. And that will happen once the shutdown ends.
And then the final one, kind of an interesting one, has to do with military chaplains who also are furloughed and they're trying to make it possible for them to do their jobs as well.
BLACKWELL: So maybe some small agreement here, but not so --
HARLOW: Baby steps.
BLACKWELL: Baby steps, yes, but -
HARLOW: Well, I guess, all those DOD workers going back, that's a significant number.
BLACKWELL: That's true. That's true.
HARLOW: That is very -
BLACKWELL: And the back pay.
HARLOW: That is very big, yes.
BLACKWELL: How about Ted Cruz?
DOUGHERTY: Well, we still don't have too much agreement from there. There's a lot of sniping coming still from Senator Cruz about Obamacare. Let's listen to what he said. This was at a meeting of conservatives in Richmond, Virginia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Right now the position of Harry Reid and the Democrats and the president is we're not going to talk, we're not going to negotiate, we're not going to find a middle ground, our terms are simple, complete and total surrender to everything we say. If you don't fund everything we want, nothing can be funded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOUGHERTY: OK. So the hope right now is that behind the scenes you do have now, and in front of the scenes at this point, Susan Collins coming up with this interesting tax approach that could be a solution. So let's stand by and hope that happens.
BLACKWELL: Yes, we'll have to see how that goes, as we say.
Jill Dougherty at the White House for us this morning, thank you very much.
And coming up on CNN's "State of the Union," the latest on the shutdown, of course, Candy Crowley will be talking with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. She'll also have an exclusive interview with Texas Senator Ted Cruz. "State of the Union," 9:00 a.m. Eastern, only on CNN.
BLACKWELL: Twenty-four minutes after the hour. We talked about this raid in Libya -
BLACKWELL: That netted al Libi. Let's talk about the other U.S. raid targeting another high-value target. This one happened in Somalia.
HARLOW: Yes, a Navy SEAL team stormed a seaside villa before dawn on Friday. That villa is in southern Somalia. It is believed to be a hideout for top militant commanders of the terrorists group al Shabaab. That is the group that carried out last month's bloody attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
BLACKWELL: CNN's Nima Elbagir joins us from Nairobi now.
Nima, al Shabaab says that one of its members was killed in the raid. Is that right? NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor, that's what we're hearing from al Shabaab. They claim one of their members was killed. They wouldn't give us any sense of how senior this member was. They just say that they exchanged heavy gunfire with the U.S. forces as they entered the villa that the al Shabaab officials were gathered in. and in that attack, one of them died.
The U.S. says that they acknowledge that they did sustain heavy gunfire. They said they have a sense that they did inflict casualties. But what they don't know is whether they were successful, whether they actually got the man that they say they went in after, Victor.
HARLOW: And what they're not saying, Nima, is who their target was because, of course, they don't know if they were successful in killing that target. Tell us why the secrecy, and also tell us about the details that we know, U.S. forecasts coming in before sunrise by speedboat. What else do we know?
ELBAGIR: Well, I think most people are taking a pretty good guess that the man they were after was Hamid Sodan (ph), also known as Abu Zubeyr, the supreme leader of al Shabaab. He was the man who was very much intrinsic, not just in al Shabaab's affiliation with al Qaeda, but also, you know, you spoke a little bit earlier about al Libi. Al Shabaab provided - played such a crucial role in all of these terror attacks, obviously, because they had a territorial footprint in Somalia, so they were able to provide a safe haven. So this man is the key.
So we believe, from eye witnesses that we spoke to, that he was in the house. We don't yet have a sense if he - if he escaped. But local fisherman told us that the attack was as follows. That in the early hours of the morning they say - early hours of Saturday morning, they saw a speedboat taking off from a - we're going to presume it was a naval ship, as they say it was a large ship that looked like a war ship, coming towards the shore and then climbing towards this villa. Really, really, really sustained gunfire after that. And then it becomes a little bit confused. But the U.S. officials that we've spoken to say, yes, it was some pretty heavy gunfire and that's why they retreated. One U.S. official said that they felt it was prudent at that point to withdraw.
HARLOW: Yes. And at a point where we are hearing from U.S. officials that none of the U.S. forces were injured or killed in that attack. OK, Nima, appreciate the reporting. Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Back in the U.S., crazy, crazy weather around the country this weekend.
HARLOW: Alexandra Steele is here.
Winter coming really early for some, right?
ALEXANDRA STEELE, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Oh, my goodness, that's right, historic snow for some. Severe weather continues to cross the country. I'll show you where it is. Also, a flash flood emergency, where is that? And tropics, Tropical Depression Karen, where will it go and what will it do? On NEW DAY, I've got that all coming up right after the break. See you in a minute.
HARLOW: Bottom of the hour. Welcome back, everyone. I am Poppy Harlow.
BLACKWELL: I am Victor Blackwell. Five things you need to know for your new day. Up first, the U.S. military is holding a terror leader, senior al Qaeda operative, Abu Anas al Libi was captured by U.S. Forces outside his home in Tripoli. Now, a source tell CNN, al Libi's wife says he was seized before he could even reach for his gun. Al Libi stands accused in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, more than 200 people were killed and more than 5,000 others were injured.
HARLOW: Number two, U.S. Forces also targeted al Qaeda linked terrorists in Somalia, a Navy SEAL team stormed a villa frequented by top militant commanders of the terror group al Shabaab. That's the group that attacked the shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya last month killing dozens of people. A firefight broke out and al Shabaab spokesman says that one of its members was killed.
BLACKWELL: Number three, two bakers accused of beating an SUV driver in New York have been charged. Police say Robert Simms stomped the driver's head and body. He's charged with attempted assault, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Another key suspect is Reginald Chance. Now, he is the one seen smashing the window with his helmet, you see him here, he is also facing assault charges.
HARLOW: Number four, just two weeks into fall, and South Dakota gets walloped by a blizzard. People are digging out after the storm dumped nearly two feet of snow on some parts of the state. Wind is topping out at almost 60 miles an hour. CNN spoke with one woman who was trapped in her car there for 20 hours. Many roads are still closed.
BLACKWELL: Five now, the cold front is heading east. It's expected to drop a lot of rain across the Great Lakes. Let's bring in Alexandra Steele. She's here in the CNN severe weather center.
Alexandra, where we're going to see most of this rain?
STEELE: All right, well, heavy rain, you guys, no question about it, Cincinnati, an inch of rain already. So, this is the cold front on the backside was all that snow. We saw those pictures of Rapid City downtown, 23 inches, or two feet of snow, top second, the number two greatest snowfall they have ever seen. So, just an incredible amount. But now the snow is a done deal with this, the front is moving through and along this front, especially today, it's kind of training over one another, so expect some flash flooding. Actually, Louisville, Kentucky, flash flood emergency. 82 people have been reported evacuated there. So here is the front as it moves eastward today. You can see kind of -- it doesn't get a lot of eastward progression. It's kind of moving east and northeast at the same time. So, by 10:00 tonight, there it is through the Ohio Valley. By tomorrow night, though, it commutes on Monday night certainly, not that pleasant along the northeast coast. Certainly delays at the airports and then, it continues to push eastward.
All right, so talk about kind of a bit of a dot. Now, here it is still tropical depression Karen, maximum sustained winds of 30, but more or less it will become a remnant low later today. Where are these cold cloud taps? Where are the thunderstorms? What has happened essentially and similar to other tropical storms we have seen this year, what we've seen, guys, Southwestern winds blow the tops of this thing and dry air get into it, ingest it, so it doesn't look like we are going to see much of it, it's going to just kind of cruise the coast here. Back to you.
BLACKWELL: All right, Alexandra, thank you very much.
HARLOW: Thanks, Alexandra.
BLACKWELL: We're learning new details this hour on the capture of Abu Anas al Libi, a senior al Qaeda operative. One of the man who knew him best is Noman Benotman. Benotman is the president of the Guilliam Foundations, the London-based counter-terrorism think tank.
HARLOW: But perhaps what is more relevant is that he is a former senior member of the Libyan Islamic fighting group, a group that Abu Anas al Libi, the man that was taken in last night by U.S. Forces, the group that joined in the mid '90s for a period of time before al Libi gravitated back towards al Qaeda. So, let's bring in Noman Benotman. He's in London joining us right now. I appreciate you sir, coming in. You have a lot of details about this that you can share with us just developing now. First tell us what you know about the capture that happened on Saturday.
NOMAN BENOTMAN, PRESIDENT GUILLIAM FOUNDATION: Well, we know it's -- he was a target, you know, I think for the last 15 years. He was hunted by the U.S. authorities. Let's put it this way. And I think it's from my perspective, I think it's a very crystal clear message, you know, from the U.S. authorities to the different terrorists groups all over the world, we are never going to forget any attacks against American assets either on the U.S. soil or even outside, you know. So, from this perspective, you know, talking about counter terrorism, people that think President Obama is a little soft in this business, I think it's the other way around. Now, if you take in account as well what happened in Somalia -- the same week.
And by the way, you know, from operation perspective, I think that both operations -- it's a masterpiece, it's an art of like Special Operations, (inaudible). So, it's I think from statistic prospective, regardless of the details, I think it's very important on the business, just sort of say- if the business of fighting against terrorists groups all over the world because it goes against the narrative of al Qaeda, because I am sure everybody thought of al Qaeda notes for the last, I think, maybe 12 month al Qaeda working very hard (inaudible) as part of their narrative like the U.S. has been defeated in its war against al Qaeda. I think what happened yesterday it's completely the opposite.
BLACKWELL: Noman, take us to that moment yesterday. If you can walk us through. Where did it happen, when did it happen? I mean you know this family well. Tell us how this went down.
BENOTMAN: Yeah, first of all, I think because of time, you know, he -- I think he lost maybe part of his skills from a security perspective, so when he -- yeah, after he has a special prayer in the morning, maybe, I think 6:00 -- 6:30 A.M. local time, (inaudible) time, in his way back to his home, I think a special unit there, I think about maybe ten people, masked people with three cars, I believe, you know, they were waiting for him and they just snatched him, I think, within like a few seconds, you know, even he failed to reach to his gun. So, that's what happened. And his wife, she saw, you know, I think part of the incident, and then they just disappeared and they left no like evidence as if nothing happened there. That's why I said this is like ten out of ten, it's a masterpiece in terms of like how someone can craft such an operation.
HARLOW: Let's clarify for our viewers how you know this? Did you personally know al Libi, and if so how well? And if not, where is this information coming to you from?
BENOTMAN: It's directly from his family, and I believe, you know, allow me to say I believe I am the first person on earth to break the news to the media.
HARLOW: You say it comes directly from his family. Can you tell -- was it wife who is it that gave you the details? Because frankly, there was only the witnesses and the U.S. Forces there. So, we don't have that perspective.
HARLOW: So share with our viewers exactly the detail you got from his family and from whom if you can.
BENOTMAN: Ma'am, I am sorry, I am afraid, you know, I can't just go further, you know, I can't disclose exactly which person I talked to, because it has like some legal consequences and for other, you know, issues, it has to do with their safety, you know. And I believe, I strongly believe his family should not pay any price of, you know, of what he did or his political choices, because his family suffered a lot, you know, his wife and the kids, they suffered a lot for the last maybe 20 years. So, I think -- I certainly believe we should just keep them away from -- we are very professionals in this field, you know and just we need to concentrate about him, but I was in direct contact with his family and they told me a lot of details about the issue, you know, and what happened and everything.
BLACKWELL: Understood. So, the last 15 years since the '98 bombing, what has he been doing and has there been a sense of inevitability that some day it's coming?
HARLOW: Yeah, because he returned to his home.
BLACKWELL: Yeah, he went back to his home. Did he think that one day they are coming back or did he think that I am off, I just got free, they are not going to find me? BENOTMAN: This is very interesting question. I think -- look, because a lot of people they don't know exactly when he was involved in this operation, you know, in East Africa. According to my info, you know, and I am not giving like legal evidence because I know exactly, by the way, I am dealing with other persons, part of this cell, you know, through their lawyers, OK. So I am aware of some details about the whole case. It's the al Qaeda started, you know, to prepare for the operation, 1993, OK? And they got the information, and they send like people there, especially in Kenya, and they established like -- they call it the pace, it doesn't mean the organization itself, but in Arabic terms it's called qaeda (ph), it means like safe house, you know, in urban areas, and they spent a few months there to just, you know, specify which target is best, and how to conduct the operation cells.
All these things happened in '93, and I think by the end of '93 they finalized everything, and they put the whole details including what is the best time to attack, during the day, which happened in 1998, they exactly attacked at the same time, so just as in 1993. And maybe it's just, you know, gives us some idea about how al Qaeda really operates in this, you know, special terrorist attacks when they really would like to carry on like spectacular attacks -- (inaudible) everything.
BLACKWELL: What has it been doing since 1998? The last 15 years.
BENOTMAN: Yeah, in '95, in Sudan, myself I was there in Sudan, you know, it's not a secret I was one of the leaders of the LIFG, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. We fought only against Gadhafi and regime, you know. We don't have any interest in bin Laden's business or what so called, the global jihad and all this nonsense, you know. It's -- so he defected -- he just decides to just to quit his career with al Qaeda in 1995 and Sudan, Khartoum, and he joined my group, you know the LIFG, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and since then he was just part of the LIFG struggle against Gadhafi, and maybe he thought, you know, it's like history what happened during the early '90s, but I believe that is the key person here, Mr. al Husain Khorshoto (ph), he is a Moroccan, al Qaeda member.
All the story I've just mentioned, you know, what's happened during the preparation in '93. It took place in his house, and I think he is in the U.S. now and he is going to be like the main witness, you know, specifically against Anas al Libi, because he saw him and he mentioned his name in his house. So, in '93, you know, he -- I think maybe -- I'm not sure, maybe '90, '96, he came to London as a refugee counsel, you know, as a refugee, a political refugee, and he spent like a few years here in 2000, he find out the U.S. authorities, especially the FBI, they linked him to the operation, then just he decided to leave U.K. and just he ended up in Afghanistan, at the time Taliban, you know, in control of 95 percent of the Afghan territory. And he spends two years there, but I'm not sure, honestly, you know, of his return to al Qaeda. I still have a lot of doubt about it.
I'm not sure he- because when he went back to Tripoli, just two years ago after the Libya revolution took place and falls Gadhafi regime, he is kind of isolated, and because I believe other people there including hard score extremists, they think of him as a liability. So, I am not sure, really, if he returned back to his old, like, you know, group, but it's like, you know, if I say it's an old nightmare hunted him down.
BLACKWELL: Noman Benotman, thank you so much. Benotman, I'm sorry. Thanks you so much for joining us. Someone who new al Libi and his family very well. We thank you for your insight.
HARLOW: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: We'll take a quick break, we'll continue our coverage in a moment on "NEW DAY SUNDAY."
BLACKWELL: The Olympic porch is embarking on its longest journey in the history of the winter games.
HARLOW: Yeah, it was passed yesterday from Greece to Russia, it's slated to travel for 123 days and cover more than 40,000 miles.
BLACKWELL: Before arriving in Sochi in February, now besides running, torch bearers will use dog sleds and air balloons. Get this: a spacecraft that will ferry the torch to the International Space Station, that's going to happen, too.
BLACKWELL: Miley takes over "Late Night"
BLACKWELL: And this time there is no twerking.
HARLOW: Twerk free.
BLACKWELL: No twerking.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILEY CYRUS (singing)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Does that look like Congress to you? Up next, Miley on "Saturday Night Live" mocking Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her Capitol Hill colleagues and the whole government shutdown. But first:
BLACKWELL: With so many troops returning home from war severely wounded, they are in great need of a lot of help. And that's where this week CNN hero steps in, rallying communities to embrace injured troops with the necessary tools for a new successful life. Meet Michael Conklin.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MICHAEL CONKLIN, COMMUNITY CRUSADER: The first trip to Walter Reed was one of my toughest trips when I saw the amount of wounded. It was shocking.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Both my legs are amputated above the knee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I lost my right eye. I have a titanium right in my leg.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was on my fifth deployment, when I got my traumatic brain injury.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I gave up the idea of having a wife and even a family.
CONKLIN: I wanted to take them all home.
I'm Mike Conklin, my organization helps our severely wounded members in the armed forces reach their full potential.
My own son was wounded in Tikrit, Iraq. His whole group was wounded. We have a very tight cohesive family. Not all of them do. Some of them don't have anybody to come home to. We just can't forget them.
When Ryan moved into this unit, we did some things that are very simple. We put in these poles to assist him. Each case is different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good job.
CONKLIN: Some will need service dogs. Housing assistance. Mentors, getting an education.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think those are World War II vets over there.
CONKLIN: It's a comprehensive package.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But do you know about the maintenance contract.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He talked to me every day, he put me back to work. He helped set up where I wanted to go. Today, I'm a husband, father, I have my own company now.
CONKLIN: We don't call this a charity. We really look at it as an investment. These were at one time children who grew up on our baseball fields, went to our grade schools and then left our community to serve us. And eventually, they come back. It's a full circle of service.
BLACKWELL: Welcome back. Just weeks after her provocative twerking routine -- I don't like the word, but we are going to use it.
HARLOW: There is no other word for it.
BLACKWELL: The MTV Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus took center stage last night on "Saturday Night Live."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Yeah, if you missed it, stay tuned, we're going to show you some of the highlights. She poked fun at the controversy over her VMA performance along with the host of other topic, but the question is, did that blunt humor give the 20-year-old pop sensation the last laugh?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILEY CYRUS: Live from New York, it's Saturday night.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BLACKWELL: Love her or hate her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, Miley Cyrus.
BLACKWELL: Miley Cyrus took the stage once again, this time taking aim at herself.
CYRUS: In case anyone is concerned, you should know there will be no twerking tonight. I used to think twerking was cool, but now that white people are doing it, it seems kind of lame.
BLACKWELL: And Cyrus fooled her "We Can't Stop Video" playing a sexy zinging Michele Bachmann and poking fun at the government shutdown.
BLACKWELL: This is the latest public appearance from Cyrus as the 20-year-old star continues to grab headlines wherever she goes. Few can forget Miley's controversial performance recently at the VMAs.
CYRUS: Every VMA performance, anyone that performs, you know, anyone that performs, that's what you're looking for, you are wanting to make history.
BLACKWELL: And most recently, her war of words with Irish song writer Sinead O'Connor. O'Connor, if you recall, sent Cyrus an open letter warning not to let herself "be prostituted by the music industry." Then, again, O'Connor made her own "SNL" headlines in 1992 when she did this.
SINEAD O''CONNOR: Fight the real enemy! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't want my daughter acting like that, but at the same time she is an adult, she's got to make her own choices.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, hopefully she will be to fix her image, but that's not up to her, so I think if she is going to strike while the iron is hot she might as well do it now since everyone is talking about her.
BLACKWELL: No matter the outcome, her fans who waited four hours to see Cyrus on SNL said they cannot wait to see what she is going to do next.
CYRUS: Thank you, guys, so much, thank you for everybody at "SNL" for having me this week. It has been awesome. Good night, everybody.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Whatever she is doing, it's working.
HARLOW: She is dropping an album on Tuesday, and people cannot stop talking about her, this is a business.
BLACKWELL: I liked the single. Racking ball? I liked it.
HARLOW: Have you seen the video?
BLACKWELL: Yeah, I don't know what -- again ...
HARLOW: I have not seen it yet.
BLACKWELL: I don't know why she is licking a sledge hammer. But that's ....
HARLOW: I wonder what would members of Congress thought?
BLACKWELL: We'll see. Quick break.
HARLOW: All right, we'll be right back.
BLACKWELL: Wow. I mean looks and listen to that. Tens of thousands of people in China are being moved out of their communities in advance of a powerful typhoon. Authorities have issued their highest weather warning along the country's East Cost. Landfall is expected Monday. Now, the storm already pummeled parts of Japan with wind gusts as strong as 74 miles an hour.
HARLOW: And this is a very said story they tell you about this morning after -- it looks like at least seven people have died after a monster truck plowed into a crowd in Mexico. Mexican state news reports that at least 46 others were hurt, we have new video of the event and as you see, you are going to see, we have to warn you, very difficult to watch. You can see the truck go up on a ramp and veer into the crowd. The chaos (inaudible) the mayor there has ordered an investigation.
BLACKWELL: Wow. Thank you for starting your morning with us.
HARLOW: We appreciate it. We've got much more ahead on the next hour of "NEW DAY," that starts right now.
Good morning, everyone. I am Poppy Harlow.
BLACKWELL: I am Victor Blackwell. 7:00 here on the East Coast, the very, very early 4:00 on the West Coast.
BLACKWELL: This is "NEW DAY SUNDAY."
HARLOW: New this morning: a big fish in the battle against al Qaeda. In U.S. custody this morning, American commandos snatched Abu Anas al Libi off the streets of Tripoli, Libya, apparently in broad daylight. CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr is here with us this morning. Barbara, you have been on this story since it broke, since the beginning. First, tell us about this operation and exactly how it happened. Obviously very, very strategically planned, but in the middle of broad daylight?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Apparently so, Poppy. Victor, good morning.
Went like clock work according to the sources we are talking to. In fact, al-Libi's wife is now saying she watched it from the window, and 10 men in cars snatched him right off the street, not a shot fired. So, and it went like clock work.
They wanted to get this guy for a long time, a key al Qaeda operative. A $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. It's alleged in the 1998 bombing to the U.S. embassies in East Africa.
But let's look at what's right in front of our face here. What we know is that it was U.S. Special Operations forces that snatched him. That meant they were in Libya, a place they are not -- they don't publicly acknowledge that they operate in. They clearly had him under surveillance.
They had intelligence about when and where he would be, and they had a plan, they had the method to get into Tripoli and get cars and have transportation and a method to get him out. So, this clearly was a very planned operation and it went like clockwork according to the early accounts.
BLACKWELL: Yes, personally, we just spoke with a few moments ago, who knows him well, said it was a 10 out of 10 for the U.S. military, that it happened so quickly. Barbara, we know he was taken to a location outside of Libya, and no real details as far that. But will al-Libi be brought back to New York for trial, be brought back to the U.S.?
STARR: Right. My colleague, Evan Perez, has been looking into this and from the Justice Department's points of view, I think that is the next step.
We should all expect to see that he will be returned to the United States, to the federal district in New York state which has been the prosecuting element for holding trials and prosecution for this type of terrorist cases, expect to see him turn up there at some point and for a federal prosecution to move forward.
HARLOW: I do want to talk, Barbara, about the important of the fact that you mentioned it that U.S. forces went into Libya, and the government -- how many details the Libyan government knew of or not. But this springs up this issue that you talk about a lot about the new face of al Qaeda, this ungoverned spaces, weak governments trying to get back on their feet that arguably don't really have a handle on this.
So, what does that tell us about the broader significance of this?
STARR: Well, I think that maybe it's what is next to come, you know. It's no secret that the Obama administration is looking to try and get to the suspected attacker still in Libya on that Benghazi attack, the U.S. diplomatic compound a year ago. The Libyan government because it's not very strong at this point has not been able or willing, perhaps, to go after those people, though many of them are known to still be in Libya.
So, this is a real case study in a country that, you know, is very weak in its central government, weak in its ability to enact it's own anti-terrorism operation and a lot of pressures on it from inside Libya. So, at some point, the U.S. decided it would act on its own.
BLACKWELL: It took about 15 years, but then when the capture was ordered, it was less than a minute.
Barbara Starr at the Pentagon this morning. Keep us posted. Thank you, Barbara.
Another big raid in Somalia this time, some 3,000 miles from Libya. We're learning now it happened on Friday, and we are just learning about it now, a Navy SEAL team zoomed in by speedboat on their mark. A seaside villa in southern Somalia, much more dramatic here. Top militant commanders of the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group al-Shabaab stay at that villa.
A fierce gunfire broke out, we're told, between the militants and the SEAL team. And al Shabaab says one of its members was killed. Now, the terror group has claimed responsibility for last month's shocking attack at the upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. This is new video showing the armed militants inside the mall. A U.S. official says that no Navy SEALs were injured in Friday's raid. A member of al Shabaab may be dead and a big player in al Qaeda is under lock and key.
I want you to listen to what Secretary of State John Kerry said a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: We hope that this makes clear that the United States of America will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror and those members of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations literally run and hide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: I want to bring in now, CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen in Washington.
Peter, it's good to have you, especially in this morning. Two big raids happening.
First, tell us more about Abu Anas al-Libi. Maybe there are people that don't know his name or role in al Qaeda, clear that up for us.
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Victor, good morning. I think, you know, he is somebody who joined al Qaeda very early on, and he is alleged to have done some of the surveillance early on, on the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, which was attacked in '98, and that surveillance may have been in the '94 and '95 time period, and he disappeared basically in 2000 before authorities raided his house, and at that time he was living in Manchester in northern England, he's been on the run since and his trail has gone to Afghanistan and other countries, and eventually he ended up, we believe, in 2010 in Libya where he's been living.
BLACKWELL: So, do we know if he had any active role in the inner workings of al Qaeda or any of the groups that are connected to them recently, since 2010, moving back to Libya, if he had from that post any involvement?
BERGEN: I am -- I don't think we know, Victor. I don't think, for instance, that there is any belief that he was involved in planning the Benghazi attack on the U.S. government facility there. Certainly he has been a long-time member of al Qaeda, but I don't think it's clear what exactly he has been doing in Tripoli for the last three years.
BLACKWELL: What can we gather from the timing of these two operations, the one in Somalia and the one in Libya? Any indication that they were connected? And if so, why now?
BERGEN: Victor, I don't think there is any indication that they were connected. I think it is simply a coincidence. It's obvious from the Libya operation that this has been planned for many, many weeks. They would have been surveying him and working out the operation that snatched him. The operation, obviously, in Somalia against Shabaab is very much in the context of the September 21st attack by Shabaab of the mall in Kenya, and that's something that would have been planned in a much more quick planning cycle.
So, I don't think -- I think it's just one of the coincidences.
BLACKWELL: There were reports also that al-Libi looked so much like bin Laden that he was actually used as a decoy. What do you know about that?
BERGEN: I had not heard that before, Victor. Certainly bin Laden, you know, has reasons to have people act as a decoy for him but I had not heard that before.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about al Shabaab and the connection to al Qaeda. Over the last 15 or 20 years or so, people know al Qaeda, they know the name and they can connect the actions and the terror acts, and they are just learning about al-Shabaab, most people since that attack at the mall in Kenya.
What is their relationship now? Over the years it has been tumultuous and turbulent at the very least.
BERGEN: I think now the relationship is closer than it ever has been. I mean, in February of 2012, al Qaeda and al Shabaab formerly announced their merger and it was something they had been discussing for a while. Osama bin Laden was urging al Shabaab, not to formerly align itself with al Qaeda forming it would be bad for raising money, that it would attract a lot of negative attention and, of course, he is right.
I mean, there is no better way to put your sights of the United States and to say, hey we were actually part of al Qaeda, which this group did last year, and then to go ahead and do an attack in Kenya which clearly was meant to attack Westerners, and so many westerners gathered in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, including Americans, number of whom were insured in the attacks.
So, by formally merging with al Qaeda and doing an attack in which Americans were targeted, this group has put itself in the sights of the United States, and, of course, that's the -- you know, we saw the result of that in the last 24 hours with the attack against the al-Shabaab leader in Somali. Quickly, one more thing, Peter, from an intelligence perspective, how big of a deal is this capture?
BERGEN: I think it's pretty big. You know, $5 million is an interesting figure, because bin Laden had a $25 million reward. Ayman Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda has a $25 million. So, you know, viewers kind of make their own assessment.
This guy was clearly, the United States government has wanted. But he wasn't in the top tier of al Qaeda, otherwise, the reward have been higher.
BLACKWELL: All right. Peter Bergen, joining us this morning. Thank you for your perspective and your insight. Thanks, Peter.
BERGEN: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Tropical storm Karen, there's been a lot of talk about that. Maybe it was going to be a hurricane. Well, now, it's been downgraded to a tropical depression. That happened overnight.
HARLOW: Yes, our Indra Petersons is live this morning.
Indra, looks like Pensacola dodged a bullet, huh?
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, we continue to see so many changes here with Karen. We're going to give you the latest here coming up after the break, guys.
BLACKWELL: And dark, new allegations emerge this morning against one of the men accused of chasing and beating a man in front of his family.
HARLOW: Well, two bikers accused of beating the driver of an SUV after a conflict in New York this week have been charged. Police say that Robert Simms stomped on the driver's head and body. He is charged with attempted assault, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
The other key suspect in this beating is Reginald Chance. He is seen smashing the windows of the SUV with his helmet multiple times. He also faces assault charges.
BLACKWELL: Heading south, some relief on the Gulf Coast. Storm warnings have been being lifted and people are going back to their homes as Karen gets downgraded to a tropical depression.
Indra Petersons is in Pensacola, Florida.
Indra, there were lots of people worried about the storm yesterday. What happened? Did it kind of just die out?
PETERSONS: Yes, I mean, definitely. We definitely saw this guy continue to break apart.
The biggest thing that we actually saw that happened is that it slowed down in the one area, and you can see there is so much dry air where it currently is sitting and it just ripped the system apart. The original thought was it was going to go faster through this region and kind of go to the northeast and be able to pick up strength. But it has now actually slowed down, only 2 miles per hour in this region.
There was a portion overnight where Karen was sitting there completely stationary, letting all this dry air move in, all this high winds kind of literally tear the center of it from the tops that are away from the center, and that's kind of what we were looking at.
Again, right now, we are talking about 30-mile-per-hour steady winds, all warnings and watches have been cancelled currently, so that's good news. I mean, they are really escaping here in the gulf. Of course, we're going to have a threat, yes, some minor flooding, but there's still going to be some heavy rain as it continues to make its way closer to the coastline.
One to two inches of rain. So, necessarily not large amounts that you can see large amounts in a short period of time, which also brings that threat of flooding. So, that's pretty much going to be the biggest concern moving forward.
Otherwise, I mean, as far as timing, we talk about this moving at two miles per hour, current thought is right now, it's not until later today that we are looking at it making its way through Louisiana, expected to continue to decrease in strength, likely a remnant low through tomorrow. Currently again, it's just a depression.
So, overall, it looks like it's pretty good here for the Gulf.
BLACKWELL: All right. So, better news than yesterday.
Indra Petersons in Pensacola, Florida, thank you.
HARLOW: Coming up on "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" today, two exclusive fascinating interviews. Fareed sits down with Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Zarif. And also, he talks with rock superstar and global activist Bono.
"FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" today, 10:00 a.m. Eastern, also again at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, only here on CNN.
BLACKWELL: Miley rips into Republicans on late-night TV.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
HARLOW: That was pop star Miley Cyrus posing as Michele Bachmann on "Saturday Night Live." If you missed it, stay with us. We're going to have more of Miley's buzz-worthy performance.
Was their twerking? Do you care? We're going to tell you after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MILEY CYRUS, POP STAR: Now, I know a lot of you saw me perform recently at the VMAs. And in case anybody missed it, here was one of the low-key moments.
I got a lot of letters from angry mothers, turned on fathers -- and this is true, I actually got a complaint from the inventor of the giant foam finger, but it's OK, I gave him tickets to tonight's show. So, we're all good, right, Jeff?
Now, I don't apologize for my VMA performance. If I owe anybody an apology, it's those people who make the bottom half shirts. But there are few subjects we're not going to get into tonight. I'm not going to do Hanna Montana, but I can give you an update on what she has been up to. She was murdered.
And also, we went back and forth on this, but guys, I just don't think we should be doing the wrecking ball sketch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What? Come on, my mom is here.
CYRUS: Sorry, Bobby.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: It's good when you laugh at yourself, right?
BLACKWELL: So, Miley Cyrus is up late last night on "Saturday Night Live" hosting, love her or hater, the pop star did not shy away from making fun of herself.
And she also spoofed headlines including the government shutdown.
OK. This is one sketched that she played Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, it's a parody video that poked fun at lawmakers and Obamacare.
HARLOW: And that mocked music video has people buzzing on social media, even Congressman John Boehner made a late-night appearance, sort of.
BLACKWELL: A little bit.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
BLACKWELL: OK. Was Miley's performance a hit or miss?
Let's ask Kim Serafin, joining us live from New York. She is the senior editor of "In Touch Weekly."
All right. So, what do you think, hit or miss?
KIM SERAFIN, IN TOUCH WEEKLY: You didn't play the best part of that song, ladadedade, Republican Party -- I can't stop singing that out of my head.
I mean, she was great. Miley was great job. Yes, I think people didn't know what to expect. They didn't know if she was going to come out there and twerk and stick her tongue out and be half naked, and all the sketches.
But she did a great job. She poked fun at herself. She was funny. And she showed she can act. She showed so much more than just taking her clothes off.
She showed that she is really in control of her career. That anyone that thought that she was a hot mess, she definitely is a strategic hot mess. She knows what she's doing. She knows how to market herself.
HARLOW: And talk about marketing herself. I mean, she has a big album coming out on Tuesday. Look at the timing here. Look at the social media buzz. Everyone is talking about her. They have been for the past month since the VMAs.
So, strategically, I think a lot of people argue it's a brilliant business move. But I want you to take a look back at one of the sketches from last night -- the young Miley Cyrus came out to talk to the current Miley Cyrus. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CYRUS: What is so scandalous about your performance?
Maybe it has to do with your outfit. When are you going to put your clothes on?
These are my clothes.
Shello? If you all got there like that, they're going to put you in prison, like that guy
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: What do you think, Kim? Do you think she tackled the controversy over the VMA performance in the right way?
SERAFIN: I think she did. I think she poked fun at herself. And then she also defended herself. You played that clip where she said, I'm not going to apologize for my VMA performance. But she also said in the sketch where she met the old Miley, I'm only 20 and I need to take time and make mistakes.
And she is only 20, but she's very savvy, and understands this business. So, yes, I think she definitely overcame a lot, and she did so well. She was almost in every sketch, and a lot of hosts do that. Not a lot of hosts even appear in that opening sketch. She's one of the few that actually did that.
So, she showed that she could actually host the show and then perform. And she did a great job performing, too. So, yes, I think if there was anyone out there that though, oh, this girl maybe is a little bit out of control, she doesn't know what she is doing, I think she showed those people she knows exactly what she is doing.
HARLOW: And I wondered, you know, she played really this beautiful song, this performance, this singing with acoustic guitar, very different than we've seen her perform on stage recently or in music video. Do you think that proves that she, you know, is just more outrageous, has these costumes and things like that, that she is totally in control of when she wants to be like that and when she wants to be like this, like she was on "SNL" last night. SEFARIN: Yes, exactly. She did two performances, wrecking ball, which she just did straight forward. She wasn't singing naked on a wrecking ball. That was Bobby Moynihan, only the "SNL" cast members were naked on the show, and then she did that acoustic performance of "We Can't Stop." She was great. She showed that she doesn't need the teddy bears -- the stuffed teddy bears or the naked attire or no clothes that she's wearing. She just did it straightforward. And she showed she can actually sing and she can actually.
And again, to perform and host the show at the same time, not a lot of people can do that. To get out there and do it so well, for a 20-year-old, who has been doing so much publicity and work leading up to her album dropping on Tuesday, I think if there is any naysayers out there, you may not agree with the raunchiness or her persona, but she definitely did a great job. People are going to buy this album.
BLACKWELL: Very broad range. And I think, I've been saying this for weeks. She can sing.
HARLOW: She can really sing.
BLACKWELL: She can really sing, yes.
HARLOW: We were listening, not just watching her performance last night.
Kim, thanks for joining us this morning. Appreciate it.
SERAFIN: Thanks so much.
HARLOW: All right. We're heading to a break. But, first, let's check in with Dr. Sanjay Gupta for a look at what's coming up on "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." at the bottom of the hour.
Good morning, Sanjay.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Poppy, we have been on the road all this week with the CNN Express, answering peoples' questions around the country about the new health care law. We also are going to dig deep to understand how the shutdown is affecting your health. The answer and lots of surprising ways.
We've got all of it on a special edition of "SGMD," 7:30 Eastern.
HARLOW: Very important development to tell you here this morning, coming from the Libyan interim government, this is about the capture of al-Libi, which we have been telling you about all morning, who U.S. forces took in a top wanted man, part of al Qaeda, U.S. special forces coming in. The government is saying that it wants an explanation from the United States government. The Libyan government emphasizing its citizens needs to be tried inside Libya, and Libyan officials are describing this as a kidnapping.
Again, the Libyan government, this is the first response we've had from them, calling this a kidnapping, saying they want an explanation from the United States. We'll have much more on this at 8:00 when you see you back here.
BLACKWELL: Stay tuned for "SANJAY GUPTA, M.D." We'll see you back here at the top of the hour. Thank you.