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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Cop Suspended Over Hate-Filled Rant; U.S. Weighs Military Strikes In Syria; U.S., British Police Hunt For Foley's Killer; Police Applaud Use Of Body Cams; Different Discourse of Public Unrest in Ferguson Communities; Tracing ISIS Terrorists; Lawlessness in Rebel- Held Ukrainian Terrorists; More Dangerous Weather in Some Parts of U.S.
Aired August 23, 2014 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All righty. Let's look at another good step here. Local schools as you know have been closed in the wake of unrest in and around Ferguson, Missouri. Well, the St. Louis Rams excited three high school teams to work out in their indoor practice facility.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COURTLAND GRIFFIN, MCCLUER NORTH COACH: Just the parent in me, the coach in me, the big brother, what are you doing? Coach, at I'm home. OK. Well, I'm just checking in you. Well, you can stop calling me every 2 minutes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not saying like we're troublemakers, like when we don't have nothing to do like there's stuff out there that you can possibly get in trouble. Football is keeping us out of trouble.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: According to ESPN, all schools have an open door invitation for as long as they need a place to practice. If you're not a fan of them before, I'm betting there's a soft spot in your heart for them now, right? Nice job, guys.
Thank you so much for starting your morning with us. I'm Christi Paul. Our NEW DAY special coverage continues right now.
All right. It's a Saturday. Hope that you are not waking up to an alarm clock. It's just on your own alarm clock, so to speak. I'm Christi Paul at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Victor Blackwell in Ferguson, Missouri. It's 6:00 there on the east coast, 5:00 a.m. out here. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.
And here in Ferguson, it was a quiet night, but tensions over the killing of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, they remain high. The tear gas, the military-style response, those have now been replaced by smaller protest, also a sense of calm in the community.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CAPTAIN RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: There were no Molotov cocktails tonight. No fires, no shootings, and we did not see a single handgun. Again, tonight, we deployed no smoke devices, no tear gas and no mace. And again tonight, no police officer fired a single bullet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Well, today in a sign of solidarity with the people of Ferguson, multiple rallies are expected to take place including one in Washington, D.C. And supporters of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot brown, they're not staying silent either. They're expected to gather in St. Louis later today.
Remember, at the center of all of this, there is Brown's family. His funeral they're planning for right now. It's scheduled for Monday, the same day that Ferguson students are scheduled to return to school.
Meanwhile, we're learning more about the investigation into Brown's death. Sources tell CNN, the FBI who is here, has its own federal investigation. They've questioned more than 200 people in the community, have knocked on more than 400 doors.
Officials are also investigating a recent cyberattack against local law enforcement. We also know more about the makeup of the grand jury weighing the case. According to a St. Louis court administrator, out of the 12 person panel, there are three African-Americans, one male, two females, nine white members of the jury as well.
According to the prosecuting attorney, it could take another two months before the grand jury decides whether the case should be brought to trial. A St. Louis Country police officer who was helping to maintain security in Ferguson, this is another angle of what's happening here.
He is now on administrative leave after a video surfaced in which he rails against President Obama, and women, and gays, and Muslims. Officer Dan Page, you'll see him in this video. He pushed CNN's Don Lemon and other protesters here while the show was on live this week.
But the comments that he made back in April, those have prompted his bosses to relieve him of his duties and call his rant downright bizarre and offensive. CNN's Nick Valencia has more for us.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Front and center, a St. Louis County police officer on camera making controversial comments about women, gays and among others, President Barack Obama.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now this here is Kenya. I had my own airplane. I had my airplane. I said I'm going to go find where that illegal alien, my undocumented president lives at. I flew to African and right to the undocumented president's home born in Kenya.
VALENCIA: Seemingly nothing out of bounds for Officer Dan Page during a speech at an Oath Keepers' meeting believed to be recorded earlier this year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anybody read the "USA Today," there are more sodomites on the Supreme Court. Has anybody read this? Wanting to change the constitution and he lists six things in here that have to go.
Number one, the second amendment. Why would he pick that one out? Because he's an idiot and the military right now you have open sodomy, people holding hands, swapping spit together. Sick. It's pitiful. You got women -- I deeply resent this. We have the first female Green Beret.
First they had to redo the qualifications. We have the first infantryman, first they have to redo the qualifications. What's wrong here? We have our first female ranger. What happened here, something's wrong.
This here is the foundation for this. You can't separate them. I don't know what those black perverts don't understand down there, but they need me to talk to them. I'll square them away. It will take me about a minute.
VALENCIA: Page, a 35-year veteran of the force has been put on administrative leave for his wide-ranging and inflammatory comments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know how the Muslims take care of you? They cut your head off. Obama is allowing hundreds of thousands that every week.
VALENCIA: Oath Keepers calls itself a nonpartisan group of police, military and first responders. Founded by a Yale law grad in 2009, they say they're defenders of the constitution.
In a statement the group said, "Dan Page is not a member of the Oath Keepers of St. Louis, St. Charles. He was our guest speaker on one occasion."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don't want me to kill, don't show up in front of me.
VALENCIA: Police say the views of one officer don't reflect the majority of St. Louis County law enforcement, but could potentially tarnish the image of other officers.
CHIEF JON BELMAR, ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE: The bottom line is we expect our police officers to hold themselves to a higher standard. He didn't do that here. His topics were wide ranging. They were offensive.
Patently offensive to everybody. In fact, they were bizarre. At the end of the day, what disturbed me more than anything else when he talked about the killing that is out of bounds in my world.
VALENCIA: Nick Valencia, CNN, Ferguson, Missouri.
(END VIDEOTAPE) BLACKWELL: CNN has placed several phone calls to what's believed to Page's home number, of course, looking for the video, the disciplinary action against him, but we have not received a response.
My colleague correspondent, Alina Machado, is also in Ferguson. Alina, let's talk more about this grand jury. We've also been, you know, told that and we know this from covering federal investigations that it could take several months until the grand jury decides if this should go to trial. But we're learning more about the makeup of the grand jury.
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor, the prosecuting attorney has said that it could be mid-October before this grand jury reaches a decision on whether to file charges against Officer Wilson.
We do know, however, we've learned that this jury is comprised of three African-Americans, and nine white. Most of its members are men and we also know that this jury was selected at random from an approved sample, an approved pool from this county, from St. Louis County, Missouri.
They've also been seated since May, which means this group has been listening to cases since May. This was not selected just specifically for this case. We did go out into the community to get reaction to find out what people thought about the composition of the jury.
And most people, Victor, told us, that they were more concerned by the secretive nature of a grand jury proceeding than they were by the composition of this jury.
BLACKWELL: And that secrecy is inherent to federal procedures especially the grand jury procedure. Alina Machado, thank you so much. We'll talk later in the hour. Christi, back to you. We'll continue to follow everything happening here. Again, now two weeks since the shooting death of Michael Brown.
PAUL: Right. And just a couple days before his funeral, too, on a Monday. Thank you, Victor, so much.
PAUL: The U.S. meanwhile says that it's going to do whatever it takes to protect Americans under threat by ISIS that could involve air strikes in Syria after the beheading of journalist, James Foley. The Obama administration weighing its options. We're going live to Iraq for you.
Plus, new technology some police departments are using that may have helped the community in Ferguson, body cameras. They allow you to see everything the officer sees. We'll show you how it works.
PAUL: It's 12 minutes past the hour right now. So glad that you're with us. CNN sources are confirming that the U.S. is considering possible air strikes inside Syria to target ISIS.
This after Jihadist brutally beheaded American freelance journalist, James Foley. And now they are threatening to kill another American hostage. See those areas in red. That's where Syria and neighboring Iraq has been seized by ISIS.
I want to go to CNN's Anna Coren. She is in Erbil in Northern Iraq. So Anna, we know the Obama administration is weighing its options in Syria regarding airstrikes on ISIS. What have you heard?
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look certainly, everything that's coming out of the White House would indicate that they are definitely seriously considering airstrikes in Syria. And, Christi, I think it's fair to say that it was after the brutal beheading of freelance American journalist, James Foley, that see it really turn around.
Of course, this would be a striking turnaround for President Obama who has done everything possible to get involved in Syria. He's been extremely reluctant to get involved in the Syrian civil war, which the U.N. pointed out yesterday has claimed the lives of more than 190,000 people.
This is not about the Syrian civil war anymore. This is about an American journalist killed and the threat that ISIS poses. A quote from General Dempsey who has said that the only way to defeat ISIS is to go into Syria.
We've heard from Chuck Hagel who said that ISIS poses a serious threat and from Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, who indicated that the attack on James Foley was in fact a terrorist attack on America.
So, I think it's fair to say that definitely, for America, for the international community, to defeat ISIS, they can't just target them here in Iraq. They also have to target them in Syria because, of course, that is where they have their sanctuary and they're safe haven -- Christi.
PAUL: All right, Anna Coren, we appreciate the update. Thank you so much.
We know that an international manhunt is under way right now to try and find the masked militant who did kill American James Foley. One of the biggest clues, the executioner's distinct British accent. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An attempt by you Obama to deny the Muslims their rights of living in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: That voice is what could be key to tracking down Foley's killer. Voice experts say his accent indicates that he's probably from southeast England or London, not a surprise to many intelligence experts actually, who say the rise of British citizens being recruited by ISIS is certainly escalating.
In fact there's an estimated 400 to 500 British recruits believed to be in Syria and Iraq already. Professor Peter Neumann is with us right now to talk about this.
So Peter, I think the first question is, why are there so many Britons joining ISIS. What is it about the U.K. that makes it such a target for recruiting?
PROFESSOR PETER NEUMANN, KING'S COLLEGE: It's certainly true that a lot of Brits have gone to Syria, but it's also true that a lot of French have gone. There is even more Belgians, Netherlands, Scandinavian countries that are represented.
The case of Britain in particular, there's a long history of extremism in Britain and this particular instance in Syria seems to be particularly exciting and has reenergized the Jihadist movement in Britain.
And of course, it's very easy to go via Turkey into Syria, which has facilitated a lot of the travel that we've seen of the past few years.
PAUL: Let me read you something that was written by the co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation. It's anti-extremist think tank based in London and it says, "British Muslims giving abroad to fight is not new. It happened in Afghanistan. The only difference is that the ideology has been allowed to take root in the U.K. since then. And we're not doing anything about it."
How long do you think this has really been going on in the U.K. and the U.S., where did we miss the boat on this?
NEUMANN: Well, it started in the 1990s. There were a number of figures, very prominent radical preachers in London which were planting the seeds that are still materializing. Of course, Quilliam is right in saying that a lot of people have gone in the past.
What's really new is the Shia scale of people. I mean, if you're talking about Somalia or Afghanistan, you're talking about maybe 50, 60, 70 people, now we've seen 400 to 500 people going from Britain and equal numbers from other European countries. So the scale is something that is really different from incidents like this in the past.
PAUL: Well, I know that the intelligence believes there's sleeper cells in Europe already. Do you believe there are sleeper cells in the U.S.? And if so, how strong?
NEUMANN: The interesting thing about America is that not many foreign fighters have gone from America yet to Syria. We estimate less than 100. And this may have a number of reasons on the one hand, because it's more difficult to travel to Syria from the United States.
And the other hand, a lot of people are arguing, and I agree, that by and large, American-Muslims are better integrated into American society. By and large, they're embracing the American dream, which is not the case in a lot of European countries.
So I don't think there are sleeper cells right now, even though you'll have to wait and see how this phenomenon continues to develop.
PAUL: All right, Peter Neumann, we so appreciate your insight into all of this and your perspective. Thanks for being with us.
NEUMANN: Thank you, Christi.
PAUL: Sure. New police body cams could make a huge difference, obviously, in what the public sees after a controversial police shooting like the one in Ferguson. We're going to show you how this works.
BLACKWELL: Well, there are plenty of people who say they saw what happened when Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teenager, Michael Brown. You know, dash cam video could have made all the difference. Trouble is Ferguson cruisers do not have them.
But some departments are using something even better. It's a camera that allows you to see everything the officer sees. That's because he's wearing it. Here's CNN's Alina Machado.
MACHADO (voice-over): This is video taken from two body cameras last September when Daytona Beach police officers knocked down a door and saw a man armed with a knife threatening a woman. Moments later --
Officers fired several shots, an action they say saved the woman's life. But that's not the end of the story.
CHIEF MIKE CHITWOOD, DAYTONA BEACH POLICE: I arrived on the scene 15 minutes later. There's at least 100 residents screaming at me as I get out of my car that my officers gunned down a guy laying in bed.
MACHADO: The video Chief Mike Chitwood says helped ease tensions because it showed what really happened.
CHITWOOD: And what could have been a really bad thing in the community, people start to look and say, I understand what happened now. That's not what I was told.
MACHADO: That's not the case in Ferguson, Missouri, where the police chief says no video exists of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
CHITWOOD: It would make a huge difference.
MACHADO: Chitwood's department is one of more than 1,200 law enforcement agencies in the country using body cameras.
CHITWOOD: The positive so much outweighs the negative. MACHADO: Daytona Beach police have 75 cameras right now with plans to add 50 more by the end of the year. Each camera costs $950 and the department is paying $23,000 a year to store the video. It's a lot of money, but Chief Chitwood says it is money well spent.
CHITWOOD: I can tell you just from the few incidents we had here how it has been just a godsend for us.
MACHADO (on camera): Why is there so much resistance? Why doesn't every police department in the country have these body cams?
CHITWOOD: Change is number one. Cops don't like change. Cost is number two.
MACHADO: And another reason according to critics --
BERNARD KERIK, FORMER NYPD COMMISSIONER: Every single thing you say is going to be recorded, scrutinized and so forth. And I think that would put a hindrance on cops. It would create a problem with them in dealing with the everyday public.
CHITWOOD: I feel that I can do my job a lot better now.
MACHADO (voice-over): Officer Dale Kelly uses a body camera every day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This camera will protect me.
MACHADO: We were with him as he responded to a call. His body camera engaged, capturing his drive to the scene and what he did once we arrived.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your name?
MACHADO (on camera): When would you say the camera is most useful?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would say anytime that you come in contact with the public.
MACHADO (on camera): Is this future?
CHITWOOD: In my heart, this is the future. It's here. We might as well embrace it.
MACHADO: Alina Machado, CNN, Daytona Beach, Florida.
BLACKWELL: All right, our thanks to Alina.
Still to come, did President Obama make the right decision in sending Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson and not coming himself? We'll talk about that.
Also, it's a terrorizing menace across Iraq and Syria. But what's the U.S. doing to make sure that ISIS militants don't slip into the United States?
PAUL: It's 29 minutes past the hour. Doesn't it feel good to wake up without needing an alarm? I'm Christi Paul. And we're so glad that you're waking up with us. We'll have more on Ferguson, what's happening there. As well as ISIS in Iraq in just a moment.
But we have some other stories making headlines we want to get to. Number one, Russian state-run news agency saying several dozen aid trucks left Ukraine this morning after rolling into the country against the government's wishes, the Ukraine government, of course. Russia says the trucks were an essential humanitarian mission, but President Obama and --
country against the government's wishes, the Ukraine government, of course. Russia says the trucks were an essential humanitarian mission, but President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel among others call the convoy "a provocation." Now, there's also growing international concern over the massing of Russian troops at Ukraine's border. There were up to 18,000 combat-ready troops there last night.
Number two, a Hamas official now admits Hamas militants are in fact responsible for kidnapping and killing three Israeli teens back in June. Their deaths are what helped spark the current war that's raging in Israel and Gaza. The official, however, says the militants acted on their own that neither Hamas leadership nor its military wing approved that operation. It is believed that more than 2,000 people have been killed since the fighting began now.
Number three, the White House says a Chinese fighter jet had a dangerous encounter with a U.S. Navy plane this week. Apparently, the Chinese plane repeatedly roared over, under and besides the U.S. patrol plane at one point passing within 20 feet. That's happened in international air space over the South China Sea. The Pentagon voiced its objection to the incident directly to the Chinese government.
Number four, Chicago has been hit so hard by heavy rainfall. Look at this video. Yeah, that's a kayak, not a car going down a flooded Chicago street. We understand things are getting better as the water is receding, albeit slowly. And the city is getting ready then to clean up after that wet weather. It was just no easy task.
Number five, a SpaceX rocket blew up during a test flight in Texas. Apparently, a problem was detected in the test vehicle and it auto- terminated during the mission. And fortunately, no one was injured in the blast, but SpaceX says it will provide another update on the reason for the explosion when the flight data has been fully analyzed there. And we are learning more now about the investigation into the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown. I want to get you right out to Victor Blackwell. He's on the ground this morning in Ferguson. I miss you here in the studio, but good morning, Victor.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Christi. Miss you there, too as well. We are learning more about this federal investigation into what happened here, two weeks ago to the day. CNN has learned the FBI has interviewed more than 200 people in the community, knocked on more than 400 doors. Officials are also investigating recent cyber-attacks against local law enforcement here. We heard several times from the Ferguson police chief that their website was down. And we're learning more about the makeup of the federal grand jury weighing in on this case. According to a St. Louis administrator of the 12 people paneled, nine are white, three are African-Americans, one African-American male, two females there as well.
And overnight, it was a peaceful night here in the community. Protesters still took to the streets but, there were no arrests, which is a first here. And a sign of solidarity with the people of Ferguson, though. Multiple rallies are scheduled across the country today, including one in the nation's capital. Also, supporters of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, they're speaking out as well. They're expected to gather in St. Louis later today. But we have to remember, all that's going on, there is a family here that is grieving. And his funeral, Michael Brown's funeral, is scheduled for Monday. The same day that Ferguson students are scheduled to return to school. That start date has been pushed back many times, hopefully they get back in a class on Monday.
Here's a question, have leaders made the right moves in Ferguson? President Obama sent Attorney General Eric Holder here. He did not come himself. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon appointed highway patrol captain Ron Johnson to take over security. Later called in the National Guard. Of course, they're subsequently, they've systematically, that's what I'm looking for, withdrawing from this area. We've got HLN contributor Jason Johnson, professor of political science at Hiram College with us as well. I want to give you the new respect.
BLACKWELL: Good to have you here with us. First, let's talk about the decision for Eric Holder to come in for the president not to come himself, what do you think?
JASON JOHNSON, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: I think that was fine. And I've been highly critical of what President Obama has said. But this is ultimately a law enforcement issue. And the top cop of the nation Eric Holder, it was very good for him to send here. It's a massive outlook community kind of trickled down that the president is actively engaged. I don't think he needed to be on the ground. There's really nothing he can do right now.
BLACKWELL: So, let's talk about some meetings you've attended. Because you went to two meetings yesterday. JOHNSON: Yes. Yes.
BLACKWELL: Tell me about that.
JOHNSON: Well, so one was at First Baptist Church, and that was a group of people who have started a group called "I love Ferguson." And now, it was supposed to bring unity to community, and it was a church of about 300 people and there were only three black people there. But I went to another meeting at the town hall in Normandy, which is a small surrounding city. And that was all sort of local black leaders and the Department of Justice liaison was giving information. So the community isn't really working together when it comes to addressing some of the issues in town, but people are actively talking.
BLACKWELL: But let's talk about the perspective how they view what is happening here, very different I imagine?
JOHNSON: Yes, yes, so at First Baptist Church, where it was mostly the white residents of town, they're more concerned about how the town is perceived than what actually happened. You heard people getting up there saying I realize I was part of the problem in Ferguson because I only go to that part of town to buy wings. Or when the ex-mayor got on stage and said I understand the black experience because I grew up poor and by a single mother. So, that's the kind of thing you're hearing in a white community. It's a real disconnect from what they are saying there. And what many of the black leaders are saying in the other meetings.
BLACKWELL: Any effort to bring these conversations together?
JOHNSON: I think there's a lot of talk of bringing the conversation together. But whether or not that happens, this is the problem. You already have people saying we need to heal and move forward. You can't heal if you can't agree on the diagnosis about what made you sick.
JOHNSON: And the problem is right now, you have many in the African- American community here saying look, the problem has to do with the police department. It has to do with the mayor, it has to do with voting, it has to do with turnout. And many in the white community think the problem has to do with how the media is showing the town. And they see the death of Mike Brown as an isolated and strange tragedy.
BLACKWELL: OK, so let's talk about this, the process as it relates to the investigation, possible charges against Darren Wilson. Let's start with the prosecuting attorney here Bob McCulloch and calls for him to recuse himself from this process. Do you think he should?
JOHNSON: I think he should. And I don't think it's going to happen because the governor doesn't want to get involved. Look, the governor could ask him to recuse himself. The governor could try and have him replaced. But I don't think Jay Nixon wants any part of what's happened in Ferguson. He's not done a particularly good job. He hasn't been very engaged. And I think he feels like as long as I put this on McCulloch, whether we win or lose, I don't get in trouble for it one way or another. But no one here seems to have faith that Bob McCulloch can - he might be able to get an indictment, but a conviction, no one believes it.
BLACKWELL: Let's talk about the grand jury as well. I realized I spoke earlier and calling it a federal grand jury. It is not.
BLACKWELL: But St. Louis County here. The makeup, nine whites, three African-Americans, what are you hearing about the confidence in the system and the makeup of the grand jury.
JOHNSON: Well, the reality is demographics or destiny, OK? If you look at Renisha McBride versus what happened with George Zimmerman, the makeup of jury there, sociology to prove this political science, the law enforcement research, the makeup of the jury has to do with whether or not someone is going to get convicted. Now the threshold to get indicted is really low. So, I think there's a good chance there could be an indictment against Officer Wilson, but the likelihood that you will be convicted with a majority white jury, since he's a white police officer is next to nil.
BLACKWELL: OK, all right. Dr. Johnson, good to have you here in Ferguson.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: We'll talk more later at the boarding. Christi, back to you.
PAUL: Already. Thank you, Victor, so much.
Coming up here next, it's one thing to fight ISIS on their own turf, right? What happens if they do get inside the U.S., and are they here?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At 34 years old, Victor Estrella is the most unlikely of U.S. open first-timers. Yet the journeyman from the Dominican Republic is set to make this debut at flushing meadows.
VICTOR ESTRELLA: Playing U.S. Open is a very special opportunity for me. There's a lot of Dominican people in New York, being - I'm going to jump in the court like crazy to get every ball.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Growing up in an impoverished country where baseball rules supreme, few can afford to join the exclusive tennis clubs and Victor was no exception. Estrella turned pro at 22, grinding it out for over a decade in the low levels of tennis before eventually becoming the first player from the Dominican Republic to crack the top 100. His recent success is generating a lot of interest back home. ESTRELLA: Last time when I was in Dominican, I remember, I was at gas
station, and they - the one guy put gas in my car, he say, hey, Victor, how you do the last two months? I say hey, thank you, you know me? He say yes, I read the paper and everything.
PAUL: Well, the U.S. bombs ISIS targets in Iraq, and ponders moving the battle to Syria. There is another major concern, and it is could militants find their way to the United States? The assassin who killed a U.S. journalist is believed to be British, so what if ISIS operatives have Western passports and visas? CNN's Alison Kosik looked into that.
BEN RHODES, DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: They pose a greater threat today than they did six months ago and we're taking it very seriously.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As the U.S. continues to carry out airstrikes against ISIS, they're also monitoring the possibility that the next generation of Islamic militants could come from within the United States border.
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: It's a problem in many countries. And we face that problem here in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic state.
KOSIK: Authorities are already investigating the possibility that the man heard in the Foley video might be from America's strongest ally.
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: From what we're seeing it looks increasingly likely that it is a British citizen.
KOSIK: The problem authorities are facing is how to track down citizens with potential ties to these terrorist groups.
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: The FBI is looking at data analytics, they are looking at mosques, they are looking at databases. No fly lists. Travel in particular. Young people just don't disappear into the Middle East for months or years at a time.
KOSIK: ISIS is already recruiting the next generation of militants in the U.S. through propaganda video. But new technology leads to new challenges.
BAER: We don't have a political police in this country, so the FBI, you know, cannot go after people on Facebook and just simply knock on their doors, the ones that are suspicious.
KOSIK: ISIS recruiting efforts have already attracted American members.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R) ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: We're tracking 100 Americans who are over there now fighting for ISIS.
BAER: Having an American citizen, you know, fighting for them in Syria or Iraq is a legitimatizing factor. They want to show that ISIS is a universal movement.
KOSIK: The FBI issued a bulletin on Friday warning law enforcement agencies to be aware of threats from ISIS and their efforts to garner support through social media.
BAER: They know how to make homemade devices, you know, from materials they could obtain here. Including the detonators. So they certainly have the capacity to launch an attack here.
KOSIK: American citizens have already been investigated for possible ties to Islamic militant groups. A North Carolina man was stopped in August at JFK airport on a gun charge, but was questioned at length for tweets he sends supporting ISIS.
And a Colorado woman was arrested by the FBI in April for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.
Looking for suspicious activity, tweets and travel information might lead investigators to the next potential threat to the homeland.
RHODES: As we look ahead, and look forward, we are going to do what is necessary to protect Americans. And so if we see plotting against Americans, we see a threat to the United States emanating from anywhere, we stand ready to take action.
PAUL: Alison is joining us live from New York now. Good morning, madam. So, authorities see this, I know, as a severe threat, but have they figured out how to prevent it or decipher it, you know? Is it a guessing game? How do you stop an ISIS militant from entering the U.S.?
KOSIK: Well, the good news, Christi, is that if you listened to who you heard in the piece there, CIA operative, former CIA operative Bob Baer, the U.S. is actually in a better position than just making it a guessing game. He says at this point the U.S. is looking inside this country collecting tactical intel, right here, you know, asking questions, who's making calls overseas? Who are they calling overseas? What are those social connections like? You are also hearing about U.S. officials looking at mosques in this country. Databases like there's no-fly lists. You know, why is somebody coming back to the U.S. from the Mideast after being overseas for months or even years, so when they get to this country, the hope is that that immigration officials are asking the right questions and noticing those right flags, Christi.
PAUL: Already. Hey, Alison, good to see you this morning, thank you so much for the report.
KOSIK: Take care. Sure. PAUL: Eyewitnesses, as you know, describe this wildly different versions, of how Michael Brown was shot to death. So, what about the physical evidence? We're going to really take a good look here at what the bullets tell us about this shooting.
PAUL: Well, Russia says several dozen of its aid trucks are now out of Ukrainian territory, but the withdrawal is unlikely to soften an international condemnation of Moscow's initial move. Remember, that that convoy of 227 Russian trucks that entered eastern Ukraine yesterday and Kiev leaders are calling it an invasion. CNN's Diana Magnay is following developments from Slavyansk, Ukraine. We want to get that, but I do want to ask you about this announcement yesterday, about a Lithuanian diplomat who was kidnapped and killed, Diana, what do you know about that?
DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly, this was the honorary consul from Lithuania in the city of Luhansk, Mycola Zelenec who, the Lithuanian say, was kidnapped a few days ago by armed terrorists and brutally murdered. He was taken and shot. It gives you a sense of the lawlessness in these rebel-held territories, in the city of Luhansk, which is the center of the Ukrainian army onslaught to try and push the rebels out of Luhansk and the other rebel stronghold Donetsk where they still are. And that is presumably why it was Lithuania who called for the U.N. Security Council to meet the last night to discuss this aid convoy and the ongoing problems in this area.
Now, the National Security Council, the Ukrainian National Security Council was just given its daily briefing. And it said something very interesting, Christi about the aid convoy. It says that it believes from its preliminary information that defense components were loaded on to those trucks. And have been brought out of Ukraine by the convoy. In fact, into Russia. And this is just preliminary information. I think we can -- you know we need to wait to see if there's more corroboration of this. But I think it's important to mention because Russia does rely very heavily on the arms industry in this part of eastern Ukraine for components for its own defense industry.
And that has been cited on various occasions as part of the reason, amongst many, why President Putin may have such an ongoing interests in this part of Russia. So, interestingly developments there, I'm in the city of Slavyansk to see - just a short time ago, Valerie Amos, the U.N. under-secretary general for - under-secretary for humanitarian affairs was here, came out, gave a short statement talking about the desperate need for humanitarian aid in this area's cities and how she was making an assessment to see how much money will be required from the U.N. and international organizations to rebuild these areas and to get money to the people who need them. Christi.
PAUL: Diana Magnay, thank you walking us through the developments there this morning. Everything just keeps seeming to change, and we appreciate being apprised of what it is. Thank you. Meanwhile, let's talk about the heat in California. I know that it's
brutal. And we feel for you. We're going to tell you more about the problems that it's causing here, too. In just a couple of minutes.
PAUL: Well, if you're waking up in California this morning, we feel for you with this drought that's really taking its toll we know on the lakes in the regions. Particularly Lake Oroville, we've heard and that heat that just is not letting up, it seems. CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray is live at the weather center. Hey, Jen.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Christi. Yeah, it is a dire situation. And, of course, just getting worse by the minute. Of course, 97 percent of the state severe drought or worse. 58 percent an exceptional drought. And if this image doesn't do it for you, let me show you some pictures. These are before and after pictures of the lake you were just mentioning. Before, right there, look at those after pictures, bone dry. Incredible images.
Let me show you one more picture, if I can. Let me just click on it right there. It's not going to come up. I don't think. Here's one more, if I can show you. Look at the dam right there. And then the water just goes away. Just incredible images of California.
And if they don't get any rain soon, of course, it's going to be very, very scary across the entire state. The other story that we're following, Christi, of course, the rain. It is feast or famine across the country. We don't have enough rain in California. We're getting too much rain across other portions of the country. It is all because of that jet stream. We have very unsettled weather across the jet stream. And it is going to be the same situation as we go through the day today. Of course, we're going to see some of that weather firing up across the northern plains. Sioux Falls, Fargo, you're in the bull's-eye today. Slight risk of severe weather, so you do watch out for some very heavy rainfall. Cloud to ground lightning, small hail. Slight possibility of an isolated tornado which remains right there being some very heavy rain. And some cloud to ground lightning, some dangerous situation there. Your rainfall forecast, we could see anywhere from two to four inches of rain across Rapid City. Three to five inches of rain across the Northern Plains.
And the other story, the heat. There is a dome of high pressure across the south. And we are talking about heat indices over 100 degrees. Some areas in the south are going to be the hottest this weekend that they have seen in two years. And that includes places in Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, all across the Deep South. Temperatures are going to be in the mid-80s. Feeling like the triple digits by 5:00 p.m. Memphis will feel like 107, Christi, by 5:00 this afternoon.
PAUL: I'm glad that's my bedtime on the weekends. (LAUGHTER)
GRAY: Me, too.
PAUL: Thank you, Jen. And thank you for starting your morning with us. The next hour of your "NEW DAY" starts right now.
All righty. I hope that you're a little rested and relaxed this morning. We're glad to have you with us. I'm Christi Paul at CNN headquarters in Atlanta missing my cohort Victor Blackwell.
BLACKWELL: And I miss you too, of course, Christi. I'm Victor Blackwell here in Ferguson, Missouri. 7:00 there on the East Coast, 6:00 a.m. here. This is "NEW DAY Saturday."