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Florida Teen Beaten In Jerusalem Released; Video of ISIS Leader Goes Viral; Immigration Debate; More Search Warrens Released in Toddler Death
Aired July 7, 2014 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: The prime minister calling the killing a despicable murder. Several suspects are now in custody. All of this as troubling amateur video surfaces showing the teen's cousin of the Palestinian American being allegedly beaten by Israeli police forces. The surge in violence started allegedly beaten by Israeli police forces. The surge in violence started a week ago with the grim discoveries of these three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Diana Magnay is in Jerusalem with the very latest. Diana, what more are we learning?
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Kate. Well, the killers of those three Israeli teens have not been found despite huge sweeps across the West Bank by Israeli defense forces over the last month and the arrest of 400 suspects, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says it's up to the Palestinian Authority now to find the killers of those three. There has been progress made in the case of the murdered Palestinian teenager. Let's take a look.
MAGNAY (voice-over): On Sunday Israeli police brought six Jewish suspects before a judge in connection with the brutal killing of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir, here in Jerusalem. This developments unfolding on the same day that Mohammed's 15-year-old cousin, Tariq Abu Khdeir was released on bail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel now that you're out?
UNIDENTIFIED TEEN: I feel way better.
MAGNAY: Tariq is an American citizen from Florida whose summer vacation turned to horror when his 16-year-old cousin, Mohammed, was abducted from his home and burned alive in the woods last Wednesday. Now out on house arrest, Tariq shows us his bruises, angry markings of the hatred in its head in East Jerusalem once again.
Last Tariq was beaten and arrested by Israeli police at a protest following his cousin's death. This cell phone video shows Israeli police striking and kicking the boy's limp body. Now under investigation, whether Tariq physically bated the officers before the beating or if their attack was unprompted. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why did they attack you?
UNIDENTIFIED TEEN: I don't know. That's why I ran.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They said you were throwing stones.
UNIDENTIFIED TEEN: No. I jumped the fence and I tried to run away because I saw somebody running at me. I tried to run away.
MAGNAY: His release and the arrest of suspects in his cousin's death small comfort for Mohammed's grieving parents. His father says those arrests won't bring his son back. His son's murder widely believed to be the revenge attack for the killing of three Israeli teenagers in the west bank last month prompting the worst clashes the city has seen in a decade. Both Palestinian and Israeli officials have condemned the killing and called for maximum restraint. The blood of the murdered teenagers could lead to the spilling of more.
MAGNAY: There have been a series of rocket attacks from the Gaza strip into Israel over the last few days, and the Israeli defense forces have responded with air strikes. Hamas now says nine of its militants have been killed as a result of those air strikes and there will be funerals down in the Gaza strip today. The Hamas spokesman has called this a grave escalation, that Israel has crossed a red line and says it will pay the price. That's exactly the rhetoric that people fear, fearing clearly this could escalate further. John, back to you.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, thanks so much. Joining us now is Tariq Khdeir's family lawyer, Hassan Shibly. He is also the executive director on Florida Council on American Islamic Relations. Hassan, thanks so much for joining us. I really appreciate it. You know the Khdeir family, you know Tariq's family. You've seen him grow up. You've talked to them since he's been released. How is he doing this morning?
HASSAN SHIBLY, TARIQ KHDEIR'S FAMILY LAWYER: He's doing a lot better. I'm a little concerned. I called the family before coming into the interview and there's reports they went to Israeli police for further questioning. We're extremely concerned that he's under house arrest right now without facing legitimate charges. Those who beat him apparently are walking free.
BERMAN: Let's talk about that in a second. I want to focus on Tariq for a moment here. He is a 15-year-old American kid from Florida. Tell me about him. What kind of guy is he?
SHIBLY: Just your average regular high school freshman kid. He is my neighbor, lives down the street from me. You know, he loves playing basketball, going fishing, and taking selfies. He's just your regular average kid. You know, I could never imagine he would go through such a terrible and traumatic experience, especially so early in his life. I have no doubt this is going to forever shape him.
BERMAN: He was in Jerusalem for summer vacation, to spend some time with his Palestinian family, correct?
SHIBLY: Absolutely. He hadn't been there in over a decade. He wanted to go and meet his old cousins, his friends and really just enjoy a beautiful time in a beautiful land.
BERMAN: Now we've all seen the video right now of the Israeli defense forces beating apparently Tariq there. It's hard to imagine any action justifying that kind of reaction. However, I do think it is important to know what happened before. Has Tariq's family or Tariq given you any indication what he was doing before that attack took place. We hear from Israelis he had a slingshot on him, that maybe he was involved in throwing Molotov cocktails. What do you know?
SHIBLY: I mean, really, a slingshot? I don't think there's anything at all that can justify police officers in uniform basically restraining the hands of a child and then repeatedly kicking him over six times, almost a dozen times punching him to the head, to the gut, while his body is lifeless and frankly he's unconscious. There's nothing that can justify that terrible, disgusting inhumane behavior.
We need those officers brought to justice and Israel to revise its policies to ensure that kind of behavior never happens again. He was arrested on his family's land. Where you see the beating taking place is his own family's yard. He had every right to be there. The Israeli officers had no right to be there and no right to beat a 15- year-old American child whose hands are being restrained and who is being kicked while he is on the ground in the head. That's arguably lethal force.
BERMAN: Understood. But, sir, was he involved at throwing rocks at the defense forces?
SHIBLY: No, no he was not.
BERMAN: We now have a situation where kids are being hurt, kids are being killed there. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Mohammed Khdeir's father overnight to express his condolences over his murder. If the prime minister could call Tariq's family, what would you want him to say?
SHIBLY: What I would want him to say is to apologize for the disgusting behavior of those officers and to promise and provide concrete steps to ensure that the Israeli officers and the army will never again brutally attack any Palestinian civilian and any child, especially those that are already restrained. That's the first and most necessary step. We need really all sides right now to stop this disgusting cycle of violence where innocent children both on the Israeli and Palestinian side are being killed and injured almost daily. This has to stop.
BERMAN: I think that's something we can all agree on. On that front, if Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas, if he would call the parents of the three Israeli young men who were killed, what do you think he should say to those parents?
SHIBLY: I think he should say that we're all in mourning for those children. It was very, very tragic to hear about the killing of the three teenagers, and the two Palestinians before them. You cannot retaliate against children. It really shows a loss of humanity when children on either side are being targeted. We need to stop the cycle of violence before further children are hurt.
BERMAN: If our kids are being hurt and killed, it shows how unsafe the situation is. Tariq presumably hopefully will be able to come home soon to the United States. He's an American kid. He'll be able to come back to America, hopefully recover nicely. What do you think he will take with him from this summer in Jerusalem?
SHIBLY: You know, I think he'll really have a greater appreciation for the civil rights we as Americans enjoy at home and due process of law and government accountability, which apparently appears lacking in Israel. I think this will shape him as to come up as an advocate for interfaith relationships.
Unfortunately right now his cousins who have broken bones are still in prison. The family is extremely grateful for the world that stood up and the public attention this received because they believe he still would be in prison right now if the world did not speak out against his wrongful arrest and beating.
BERMAN: We hope he's doing well. We saw pictures of him after the attack. We hope he recovers nicely, just a 15-year-old kid. Good to see him back in America soon. Hassan Shibly, thanks for being with us. Really appreciate it.
SHIBLY: Thank you. Looking forward to seeing him back here. Thank you so much.
BOLDUAN: Let's turn to Iraq now. Officials are looking into a video, which has surfaced that purportedly shows the alleged leader of ISIS, the militant group there. The video surfaced on various social media sites tied to the militant group and shows a man conducting a sermon at the great mosque in Mosul. It would be one of the first known appearances of the extremist militant leader. CNN's Arwa Damon is live in Baghdad this morning with much more. What are we learning about this video, Arwa?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That video is also branded, Kate, with the ISIS logo. The video identifies him as being known to his followers following the establishment of the so- called Islamic State. This most certainly a very bold and brazen move, especially given the amount of aerial surveillance that the U.S. and other countries have over Iraq. In his sermon he was preaching about the need for Jihad, especially given since we are in the holy month of Ramadan.
Worshippers at this mosque had absolutely no idea he was going to be appearing. They were shocked. Many of them terrified. One eyewitness we spoke to, a woman was describing how she was crying, incredibly fearful, not just because she realized that she may be face-to-face with one of the world's most wanted terrorists, but also because of the number of armed gunmen that he had brought along with him. Worshippers at the mosque were banned from leaving for about an hour after he and his entourage departed -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: This video is released as authorities in Baghdad at the same time appear to be building up security forces. What's the latest on the ground with that regard?
DAMON: Well, we are really seeing these defenses being built up. We just went to a critical location just outside of Baghdad's International Airport, an area that the U.S. has said it is concerned about ISIS advances. There we were with the butter brigade, the militia formally trained in Iran to fight Saddam Hussein's regime. They have numerous dug-in fighting positions.
Theirs is the closest concentric ring to Baghdad's airport. They were describing how they have seven similar lines of defense leading to the front line that is still holding at about 20 minutes away from the Baghdad airport, from the capital's western front. Within the capital itself, we're seeing increased fortified positions, fighting positions along various key arteries.
Most certainly everyone here bracing themselves for what they believe some assault from ISIS, whether that comes from a spectacular bombing, an attempt to actually penetrate the capital's defenses. No one at this stage entirely clear about that. But people very anxious at this stage.
BOLDUAN: As you point out, you call it a brazen move by Al-Baghdadi, absolutely the case especially when you see the situation on the ground. Arwa, thanks so much. We'll get back to you soon.
BERMAN: The Obama administration facing criticism from both sides of the aisle this morning for its handling of the immigration crisis. The president is heading to Texas this week, but still has no plans to visit the border. The state has been dealing with an influx of undocumented immigrants, mostly women and children from Central America.
Now Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, and Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar are both blaming the president for failing to act in time. Jim Acosta at the White House with more -- Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. Senior administration officials will be meeting later this morning here at the White House to talk about the crisis at the border. Secretary of Homeland Security Jay Johnson said yesterday on NBC's "Meet The Press" yesterday that the administration will stem the tide at this huge influx of undocumented immigrants heading to the U.S. border mainly from Central America.
As you mentioned, John, Republicans have been blasting the White House, blaming President Obama saying his lax immigration policies have created this border crisis. But the White House, they have been pointing the finger right back at House Republicans saying they failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform. As you mentioned, one border district congressional Democrat, Henry Cuellar, he was on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" yesterday saying that the Obama administration has been, quote, "One step behind in dealing with this crisis." As you said, President Obama is heading to Texas later this week. At this point administration officials say he has no plans to head to the border. They're not talking about that at this point yet -- John.
BERMAN: Interestingly time trip for fundraising and other purposes. Jim Acosta at the White House for us. Thanks so much.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, 13 minutes past the hour. Let's take a look at your headlines. Good morning, everyone. New revelations from Edward Snowden show just how often the NSA intercepts regular American's private conversations. Nine out of ten messages in one carb (ph) of intercepted communications are from people who were not targeted for surveillance. Documents show they contain baby photos, medical records and other personal messages. But the White House is downplaying the disclosure only saying valid targets are focused on.
We have a better idea of what security measures will be added for travelers headed to the U.S. from overseas. The TSA says some overseas passengers will have to power on their electronic devices to prove they work and are not explosives. If devices don't power up, they won't be allowed on planes. Those travelers may have to undergo further screening. More on this coming up on NEW DAY.
Breaking overnight, 63 women and girls kidnapped by Boko Haram last month in Nigeria have escaped their captors and they have returned to their village according to a security source fighting the militant group. More than 200 girls abducted in April are still being held captive. Boko Haram is demanding the release of its fighters and relatives in exchange for the girls. The government has rejected those demands.
Happening today, Pope Francis is set to meet for the first time with victims of the church sex abuse scandal. Six victims will attend the private mass in the Vatican residence and then meet with him afterwards. The issue has led to rare criticism of our pope, saying -- some say this meeting should have happened a long time ago.
A new trend raising a lot of concern this morning. Check this out. You might have seen this. This is video from Nashville on July 4th. But what's interesting, it's the view of fireworks from inside the display. Somebody set up a drone with a camera attached to capture these really stunning images of the fireworks exploding.
Amazing, but some say the drones pose a danger to people below especially if they catch on fire.
BERMAN: You do know what they say. You know, it's all fun and games until you get hit by a flaming, burning drone that drops in your head.
BOLDUAN: I had the same conversation with somebody else this weekend.
PEREIRA: But isn't that a cool perspective.
BERMAN: I can understand the concern. On my list of concerns, it's not among the top five, being hit by a flaming drone.
PEREIRA: Not in the top five.
BOLDUAN: Sometimes when you see some folks captured videos like if they're on a flight and they're flying kind of near it. You get a kind of several view. But it is neat to be right in it.
BOLDUAN: Let's check out the skies this morning. Let's get over meteorologist Indra Petersons. She's taking a look at the forecast.
Good morning, Indra.
INDRA PETERSONS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning. We're going to show you a little video from yesterday towards Waterloo in Iowa. Notice these nice clouds swirling around. There were reports of a funnel coming out of it. And it wasn't the only one.
Take a look at towards Iowa yesterday, 15 reports of damage from tornadoes. Today, it looks likes we're still going to be talking about a threat into the Midwest. So, the big picture this week, primarily warm ridge of high pressure in the Southeast. So, temperatures there are going to be above normal. They're right along the jet stream that's when we start to see these storms firing up, each day progressing a little farther into the east.
Easy to see here, here's the cold front, couple of system. So, today into the Midwest, tomorrow into the Ohio Valley and spreading into the Northeast, we'll start to see some of the showers. With that, yes, the severe weather threat is still out there, the Midwest spreading into the Northeast. A little bit more concentrated into tomorrow, but generally still speaking, a lot of people under the gun for that threat of severe weather, still kind of going closer to the Northeast as we get in through Wednesday. So, that's where we're going to be watching.
As far as how much rain, very scattered showers are out there. Yes, major thunderstorms, but generally speaking, not too heavy, the amounts are expected out there. The big thing you kind of notice, maybe a change in temperatures. Hot right now. Ridge of high pressure in the Southeast, right, bringing those temperatures above normal.
But as the cold front swings through, notice what happens to the temperatures behind it. That's when we start to see the milder air each day getting cooler and eventually by the middle of the week, we'll start to see things will feel a lot better out there. Hopefully, we stay kind of calm over the next several days. We'll be watching the severe weather.
BOLDUAN: All right. Thanks so much, Indra.
BOLDUAN: All right. Coming up next on NEW DAY, new developments in the death of a toddler in Georgia. The boy's father sits behind bars facing a murder charge. Well, now, the focus of the investigation seems to be shifting to the toddler's mother. We have all the details for you.
BERMAN: Plus, just crazy pileup in Daytona. Look at that. So many cars involved in a huge wreck during the NASCAR sprint cup. We will show you more from that just terrifying scene, ahead.
BOLDUAN: Welcome back.
New this morning, more search warrants have just been released in the investigation into the death of a toddler who was left in his father's hot car for hours. The boy's father, Justin Ross Harris, remains in a Georgia jail cell on murder charges. And now, the investigation may be shifting to the toddler's mother who police say, along with her husband, searched child deaths on the Internet.
CNN's Nick Valencia is live at the CNN center with much more.
Nick, I know you've been following this case and you've been looking through these search warrants that were just released. What are we learning?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we've got them right here, Kate. Good morning.
No bombshells in the search warrants, but they seemingly lay out the same narrative that prosecutors did at the probable cause and bond hearing last week. The search warrants having to do with the search and seizure of Cooper's medical records among other things.
The father of the little boy, Justin Ross Harris, waking up in a Georgia jail this morning.
VALENCIA (voice-over): Over the weekend, Georgia homicide detectives continue their work. Leanna Harris, the baby's mother, also part of the investigation according to police. It was just Thursday, the public learned bizarre details about the case, like the Internet searches on the father's work computer that included a visit to a web page devoted to exploring a child-free lifestyle, as well as a search for how to survive in prison.
DETECTIVE PHIL STODDARD, COBB COUNTY POLICE: Evidence is showing us right now that he's got this whole second life that he's living with alternate personalities and alternate personas. VALENCIA: Police say Harris sent lewd text messages while his son sat
strapped in a car seat in the broiling Atlanta heat.
STODDARD: He's having up to six different conversations with different women, the most common term would be sexting.
VALENCIA: Police also testifying the couple had done money problems and they had both done searches on child deaths in hot cars. The defense objecting to much of Thursday's testimony, and painting Ross as a loving father who made a mistake.
STODDARD: It's not criminal negligence. It's a horrible tragedy and an accident.
VALENCIA: In court, the mother's face mostly stoic. Cobb County police detective Phil Stoddard detailed her reaction on the day her only child was found dead.
STODDARD: In front of several witnesses, all of a sudden she states, Ross must have left him in the car. They were like, what? There's no other explanation. Ross must have -- no other explanation, excuse me, Ross must have left him in the car.
And they tried to console her. They're like, no, there's a thousand reasons. You know, he could have taken him to lunch or something. We don't know yet. And she's like, no.
VALENCIA: Investigators say their work is far from over. Family and friends of the couple say judgment should be reserved until all of the facts surface.
VALENCIA: And on Friday, search warrants released by Cobb County to the public showed that after little Cooper's death, Justin Ross Harris, his father, talked to family members about how to collect on two life insurance policies totaling $27,000 -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: I mean, it was really, really stunning the details that came out during that hearing. I mean, just more than we normally would hear at this stage in any investigation, in think trial. It was really startling and raised a lot of eyebrows.
What are you also hearing now about potential arrest of the boy's mother? Is that coming?
VALENCIA: Well, we called the Cobb County magistrate this morning, and they were unwilling to say whether or not there was a warrant for the arrest of Leanna Harris. The facts are there's nothing out there officials just yet, and we haven't heard her speak publicly other than the funeral I was at in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, two weekends ago. She hasn't said much other than to say she's not angry at her husband and that she believes somewhere in this it's part of God's plan -- Kate.
BOLDUAN: Unfortunately, the way the investigation is going, it seems it may be necessary she's going to have to speak sometime very soon. Nick, thank you very much. We'll get back to you.
BERMAN: You're right, we heard so much more than we normally hear at this stage of the investigation. Nevertheless, so many questions in this case and we've been talking a lot more this morning.
BOLDUAN: Yes, and again, you have to be careful because you just can't judge it until the full investigation goes through, but it is pretty -- there was damning evidence they put through.
BERMAN: Very true. Startling, that's for sure.
All right. Next up for us on NEW DAY, a close call at a Barcelona airport. Look at this, two planes seconds away from a collision. So, is there a rise at this point in these near disasters in the sky?
BOLDUAN: Plus, a massive wreck -- look at this -- during NASCAR's Sprint Cup, some of NASCAR's biggest names involved in this pileup. We're going to show you the dramatic scene, what happened.