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Mourning St. Louis Family Speaks Out; How Terror Groups Recruit Young Men; Police Apologize for Pulling Over Mom, Kids
Aired August 27, 2014 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
A confrontation with police in broad daylight, gunshots, and a young African-American man is dead. No, this is not Ferguson. This is less than four miles away in St. Louis, where Kajieme Powell was shot to death by police just days after the death of Michael Brown. Authorities say Powell was brandishing a knife. His mother is here tonight. She calls her son's death murder. And she joins us exclusively on this program.
Also, the shocking ways ISIS is recruiting young people around the world and what it will take to stop them. We're going to talk with a former jihadist who says ISIS uses social media to recruit kids living a gangster life.
We're going to get into all of that tonight. But I want to begin with the death of Kajieme Powell shot by St. Louis police in broad daylight. That was back on August 19, all the more disturbing because the whole incident was caught on tape.
Joining me now exclusively is his mother, Karen Powell, his grandmother, Mildred Powell, and Jermaine Wooten, attorney for the Powell family.
Thank you guys for joining us.
JERMAINE WOOTEN, ATTORNEY FOR POWELL FAMILY: Thank you, Don.
KAREN POWELL, MOTHER OF KAJIEME POWELL: You're welcome.
LEMON: Karen, I want to start with you. You had to bury your son Kajieme yesterday. I'm so sorry for your loss.
How are you holding up?
K. POWELL: I'm holding up pretty well, thank you.
LEMON: I want to ask you what happened the day your son was killed. Police say he threatened two officers with a steak knife after stealing from a convenience store. Do you believe that?
K. POWELL: No, I do not.
LEMON: What do you believe? K. POWELL: I believe the video footage that I have seen. And I
didn't see a knife. I didn't see him wielding a knife.
LEMON: It appears, though, in the video that he may be cupping something with his hand, because his hands are sort of in a cupping position. But you don't believe you see anything, right?
K. POWELL: No, he doesn't have anything.
Mildred, when did you last see your grandson?
MILDRED POWELL, GRANDMOTHER OF KAJIEME POWELL: It was about 11:30 or quarter to 12:00, when was, that Tuesday, or Monday. That was Tuesday.
M. POWELL: Tuesday morning. Yes. And he usually leave the house and he go to the library.
LEMON: And so nothing out of the ordinary; it was routine?
M. POWELL: No. I was expecting him to come home around 3:00 or 4:00. And instead I got a knock at the door and the police was there.
And they was trying to pronounce his name. They asked me did if I know a Kajieme. I said, well, I think you're talking about my grandson, and his name is Kajieme. So they said, can we come in? And I told them yes. And they asked me -- they told me they was sorry to bring bad news. That's what it was.
And they wanted to know who that was on the windowsill. I had a picture of my niece up there. She had on a police uniform. And I told them. And they asked me if I could go downtown with them to identify the body. And I told them yes, but give me a few minutes, because I had to change clothes.
LEMON: They asked because your niece is a police officer, correct?
M. POWELL: Beg your pardon?
LEMON: Your niece is a police officer. That's why they were asking who that was, correct?
M. POWELL: Yes.
LEMON: So you had to go down. I'm sure your heart sank. And that must have been one of the -- probably the most awful day of your life. One can only imagine.
M. POWELL: It was.
Karen, you know, the St. Louis police chief says that officers followed protocol, that your son was moving towards the officers and telling them to shoot him. What do you say to that?
K. POWELL: I don't think that he caused -- he did not cause a threat to those police officers, according to the police footage the footage that I have seen. He didn't pose a threat. He didn't even look like he was close enough for them to feel any -- feel threatened.
LEMON: So I asked -- I spoke with your attorney before to -- because I don't want to be insensitive about showing the video or playing the video. And he said that you're OK with it. Are you OK with us playing it? And then I can ask some questions?
K. POWELL: Yes, sir.
LEMON: OK. We're going to play it, and then we will talk to you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
They have got a gun out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot me. Shoot me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
They got their guns out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I -- that's the first time I have watched the video in its entirety. We obviously froze it so that you wouldn't see it actually happening. You have looked at the video, right, the unfrozen video?
K. POWELL: Yes, I have.
LEMON: Do you think that lethal force could have been afforded?
K. POWELL: Definitely.
LEMON: Why so?
K. POWELL: I'm sorry?
LEMON: Why do you believe that, because do you think he was close enough where they could have Tased him or...
K. POWELL: Yes. I think they could have talked him down.
M. POWELL: They didn't try.
LEMON: Go ahead, grandmom. M. POWELL: They didn't try to talk him down. They come out of the
car with their guns.
K. POWELL: Drawn.
M. POWELL: Yes.
LEMON: So let's talk about the 911 calls, OK, referring to your son here. The first was a store clerk reporting the stolen items. And the second one was made by a St. Louis alderwoman. And I want to play that second call for you, and then we will talk about it. Here it is.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is in front of my barbershop. And he just seems very upset. I don't know what he is getting ready to do. But I don't know if the person in the store called, but I'm calling because I done locked my door. I don't want this guy to come in here. But he is upset. He's got a knife in his hand.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
LEMON: So she describes your son as upset, very upset. What was the mental state of your son? Was he suffering from some mental illness or mental issues perhaps?
K. POWELL: No, sir.
LEMON: So why has it been said that in the community it was known that he had problems, mental problems?
K. POWELL: I don't know.
LEMON: Go ahead, grandmother. What were you saying?
M. POWELL: I said, who said that?
LEMON: It had been discussed that -- and even according to police and according to members of the community, that he was known in the community for that. But if you say it's wrong...
M. POWELL: I don't think so. I don't think anybody told him that.
LEMON: Jermaine, this all happened in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting. Unlike the Ferguson police, the St. Louis police, they were very quick to release information about this. Do you think that they have been transparent?
WOOTEN: No, they appeared to be transparent on the day of the incident, Don. But since that day, I have been unable to reach Chief Dotson by phone. I have called him a number of times, the latest time being today. He still has not returned my phone call.
And on the day of this incident, he gave an erroneous account of what happened. We had the tape. Everyone had seen the tape. He said that he described the incident as Kajieme attacking the police officers with a gun up in the air. Anyone who sees the tape knows Kajieme's hands remained at his waist side the entire time.
LEMON: You mean a knife?
WOOTEN: Excuse me?
LEMON: You said a gun. You mean a knife?
WOOTEN: Yes, I do mean a knife, if he had a knife.
After viewing the tape, and I viewed this tape at least about 50 times, Don, I don't see a knife. However, I do hear the police officers telling him to put a knife down. So even if he had a knife, and it was cuffed and they could barely see this knife, I hardly believe these police officers could have felt threatened by Kajieme.
LEMON: And so a lack of transparency, you believe. Have they found a knife? Have they told you anything about having a knife in evidence?
WOOTEN: They haven't told me anything about having a knife in evidence.
Since that time, Don, however, I have requested the incident report, which would give me a bunch of facts that happened that particular day. I await that. I anticipate having it over the next couple days. And I do want the family and the chief and all of us to sit down and perhaps talk and find out exactly what happened that day.
And we can perhaps sit down with these officers and find out exactly what was going on in their minds and try to find out how they were trained, what post-training they had, because it appears that these officers got out of their car with just one thing on their mind. They were going to put this guy down.
They could have done -- they had many, many options. And per their training, what they should have done, one officer, which would have been the closer officer who was driving the car, he should have gotten out of the car, not with his gun out. He should have gotten out and attempted to speak with Kajieme.
LEMON: And, as you said, try to talk him down.
LEMON: You are planning legal action, correct?
WOOTEN: Absolutely, Don.
LEMON: So, Karen and Mildred, can I ask you, what do you want to happen here? And what do you want people to know about your son, your grandson?
K. POWELL: I want them to know that my son was a very -- he loved people. He loved life. He loved children. He especially loved family. He wouldn't harm anyone. He especially loved family.
(CROSSTALK) LEMON: What do you want from this?
K. POWELL: I need -- we need to get the police officers to follow their protocol, if they have any. And this injustice has to stop on our young men.
LEMON: Karen, Karen Powell, Mildred Powell, thank you. I appreciate you joining us. It took a lot of strength for you to do this. If you ever need anything, let us know. OK?
M. POWELL: OK.
K. POWELL: Thank you.
WOOTEN: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: And thank you very much as well, Jermaine Wooten, the attorney for the family.
I want to bring in Judge Greg Mathis to react to all of this now. He is the host of TV's "Judge Mathis."
So, Judge Mathis, you have just heard from the family there. What is your reaction?
JUDGE GREG MATHIS, HOST, "JUDGE MATHIS": Well, let me share my sorrow with the family, first of all.
But my reaction, Don, is much of what we have heard. And that is that the police could have used less -- they could have restrained themselves, more so than the restraint of the victim. In this case, the victim was some 16 to 20 feet away from them when they began shooting.
And we were told something different early on, until the videotape came out. So, I think there needs to be a thorough investigation first in terms of what the police chief said, what the police officers told their chief, and what we saw on videotape.
And, secondly, I think there could have been less force used. We hear that it is difficult to come before -- it's difficult to fight off a person that is coming before you with a knife and you should not use a Taser. Well, you had two guns. One could have been a Taser and the other gun, if the police chief says that Tasers don't always work, and that's kind of ludicrous.
What about guns? Guns don't always work. I'm really concerned about the use of excessive force in this case and in so many others.
LEMON: You were in Ferguson. And when you see young unarmed black men like Michael Brown killed by law enforcement, what is the root cause? Why does this happen?
Well, I was able to sit on the White House task force for My Brother's Keeper that help men of color in their dealings with the institutions of criminal justice and otherwise. And what we discovered is some of the root causes involved, the stereotypes of black men that project them as angry, violent and drug-dealing or drug-using.
And those type of stereotypes, of course, kind of give a free hand to those who might otherwise want to do harm or be more callous in doing harm. And the root cause I believe, and we studied as to the problems that black men endure with the stereotypes, some of which are derived from the poverty they experience in the inner cities, the failed education system, the saturation of guns and drugs, et cetera.
LEMON: And here is what I want to talk to you about, because when you look at the -- we're talking about the Michael Brown shooting, and we don't know. The investigation has to play out.
But when you look at the Kajieme Powell story, this is clearly not a young man who is surrendering to police. He is going towards the police, and they're asking him to stand down. So you can -- we can argue about the use of force, but it wasn't as if someone -- he was just sitting there and someone shot him.
And that's why I say excessive use of force and were there any alternatives to shooting him some dozen times or nine to 10 times, as I'm told? I think it was, based on my viewing. He did not have the knife over his head, as we were told originally. And so the dishonesty that we have already heard from the police officer -- from the police department is doing nothing but reinforcing some of the distrust that the police endure already from the citizens there in St. Louis and Ferguson.
LEMON: OK. We're talking about excessive force. And if you listen to this alleged audio, this audio of -- allegedly of the gunshots fired that killed Michael Brown, it appears to be a number of gunshots.
There have been people who say, well, this shows that there was excessive force. And others say, well, it shows that perhaps Michael Brown was in a confrontation with the officer and he was protecting himself. Let's listen to it and then we will talk about it.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are pretty. You are so fine. I'm just going over some of your videos. How could I forget?
(END AUDIO CLIP)
LEMON: What do you make of this, Judge, if you were in a courtroom and you heard this? MATHIS: Well, what I do hear is a pause within the shooting. Three
to five seconds it sounds as if there was no gunshots, and then you heard the gunshots resume.
Well, what was happening between those three to five seconds? Was that the point at which they felt that they should have put their guns down, or was there a reason? What was the reason for the pause? And so that would be one of the particular parts of the evidence that I would be interested in knowing.
And if it is authenticated, and the FBI is working on that now, then this will definitely be a very big factor in the investigation and in the court case, if there is one.
Thank you very much. I appreciate it, Judge. Thank you.
MATHIS: Thank you.
LEMON: When we come right back, a mother pleads with ISIS to release her journalist son. Can she save him? Nick Kristof has reported from war zones around the world. I'm going to ask him about the dangers journalists face.
Also, a former jihadist talks about how ISIS is recruiting young Westerners.
LEMON: Welcome back, everyone.
The gruesome murder of James Foley is a reminder of how dangerous the journalism profession can be, especially for reporters covering stories in war zones.
I'm joined now by Nicholas Kristof. He's a columnist for "The New York Times."
You just heard from the family. Let's talk about these shootings by police officers. We just heard from the family of the young man who was shot and killed in St. Louis, Missouri. Talking about Kajieme Powell. The city is still reeling from the Michael Brown case. Sparked a national conversation. You just wrote a column about it. It is entitled, "Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?"
What do you talk about in that? Why do you ask that question?
NICHOLAS KRISTOF, COLUMNIST, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": We don't know exactly what happened in the Kajieme case or in the Michael Brown case.
And I don't want to presume to judge in that case. But what we do know is that there is a broad national problem with race, and especially affecting young black men. And we see this -- in the last 20 years, there has been an extraordinary amount of research, using -- brain research and psychology research.
And it underscores this. And, for example, I took a video game that is prepared by a University of Colorado professor where you are in the role of a police officer. And you are confronted by a bunch of men, white men and black men, variously carrying guns or carrying wallets or cell phones.
And you have the shoot those with the guns and obviously not shoot. And, you know, I believe as much as anybody in racial equality, yet I am more quick to shoot the black men than the white men. And across the country, that is very true, including blacks.
LEMON: Including African-Americans.
KRISTOF: Including African-Americans.
But the thing is, is that when you don't -- I think it's a great question you ask. Is everyone a little bit racist? Because if you don't examine that and you just say, oh, I'm not racist, then chances are, you might be a little bit racist.
KRISTOF: I think we have the misperception that the basic problem here is a certain number of a kind of twisted racists, whether they be police officers or whomever else.
And the problem is so much broader than that. Doctors are less likely to prescribe pain medication to African-Americans with broken legs than whites with broken legs. Principals are more than three times as likely to suspend black kids as white kids. Police are...
LEMON: For the same issues?
LEMON: For the same, yes, transgressions, right.
KRISTOF: That's right.
And at the end of the day, I think these are probably well-meaning, decent people who believe in racial equality, yet at some subconscious level, they are making decisions that perpetuate inequality and are particularly harmful to young black men.
LEMON: It's in "The New York Times" tomorrow. You should read the article. It's fascinating.
Switching gears now, you just saw journalist Peter Theo Curtis back in the USA today after being captured for 22 months in Syria. Take a look and then we will talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PETER THEO CURTIS, FREED JOURNALIST: When I was in prison, I had no idea that so much effort was being expended on my behalf. And now having found out, I am just overwhelmed with emotion. I'm also overwhelmed by one other thing, and that is that total strangers have been coming up to me and saying, hey, we're just glad you're home. Welcome home. Glad you're back. Glad you're safe. Great to see you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: You have traveled the globe, extensively covering conflicts. You have been shot at, right, held at gunpoint. You have been detained. What is your immediate reaction to the release?
KRISTOF: Oh, well, thank God peter is back safely. And I hope that others can come home as well.
But, boy, one of the biggest changes in my career as a journalist is that it is a lot more dangerous and deadly to be reporting in these danger zones today, because it used to be that reporters were kind of killed by accident. These days, we're targeted. We're targeted ideologically by groups who hate Westerners, and we're targeted because we have become a business model, that jihadi groups can kidnap a foreigner and monetize that person.
LEMON: I have read something, and I don't know if it's a note from a producer or something that you wrote, that you were -- said -- with someone. I don't know if it was a minder or someone that said they will hold onto -- they will kill me and hold onto you.
KRISTOF: One time I was in Darfur in a village that was about to be massacred. I was trying desperately to do -- to interview every last person I could before the warlords showed up.
And my interpreter finally said, look, we have got to get out of here, because, if they catch us, you know, they can ransom you. You're worth it to them. They're just going to kill me.
And he was absolutely right. And I left immediately.
LEMON: Not anymore. They will kill journalists now, instead of...
KRISTOF: Yes, but, usually, they will try to ransom us. We have a financial value to them.
LEMON: To ransom, OK.
But before, people didn't go after journalists, right? It was sort of like hands off, right?
KRISTOF: Exactly. The journalists were respected. Humanitarian workers were respected.
LEMON: We're seeing a string of freelance journalists being captured. Right? We have Peter Theo Curtis. We have James Foley and then there's Steven Sotloff. His -- I think it's his mother today appealed to his captors, ISIS militants, to spare is life.
Here she is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHIRLEY SOTLOFF, MOTHER OF STEVEN SOTLOFF: Since Steven's capture, I have learned a lot about Islam. I have learned that Islam teaches that no individual should be held responsible for the sins of others.
Steven has no control over the actions of the U.S. government. He's an innocent journalist. I have always learned that you, the caliph, can grant amnesty. I ask you to please release my child.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The family had kept quiet. It seems like they're changing their strategy now. Do you think her plea will have any effect?
KRISTOF: I don't know. But I think it's worth trying.
I admire Mrs. Sotloff for trying that. I think she was shrewd to address it, particularly to al-Baghdadi, to call him the caliph, to kind of flatter him in that respect, and also to cite the Koran and to make the comparison with the Prophet Mohammed providing amnesty. So, I think it was a shrewd move. And I hope it works.
I think that people who are in your profession, and many people who are in intelligence, have been paying attention to ISIS, right? Most people know about al Qaeda. But there are people now that have been talking about ISIS and al Qaeda and a possible connection. What do you actually know about that?
KRISTOF: One of the remarkable things is how little we know about ISIS.
Al Qaeda people, we have been following for many, many years. And we really have a deep understanding of it. The intelligence community knows much more. Neither the intel community nor foreign intel agencies nor journalists really have much of a feel for ISIS. We don't have much of a sense of how many people are in it.
We don't have a good sense of how many foreigners are in it, although there seem to be a frightening number, both of -- from Muslim countries and from Western countries. We don't know to what extent they would like to target the United States or European countries.
But what is shocking is how capable they have been militarily, how quickly they manage to rise up, seize territory, control territory, gain income. And, in Syria, you talk to commanders who -- people who went into -- originally to fight President Assad. And they just wanted to fight Syria. But -- and maybe they started with a moderate commander. But because ISIS had weapons, had money, could pay them a stipend, could pay their family a stipend, so they were more likely to drift -- to grow a beard, and then to move on to ISIS or other jihadi groups.
LEMON: It's always fascinating to have you. And you put it in such plainspoken terms. I can listen to you talk about this all night. Not everyone does that. That's a gift.
Thank you. We appreciate it.
KRISTOF: Thank you. I appreciate it.
LEMON: Thank you. Please come back, Nicholas Kristof.
So why are some young men vulnerable to recruitment by terrorist groups such as ISIS? Up next, we are going to get answers from experts, including a former jihadist.
LEMON: How do terror groups such as ISIS go about recruiting young men, especially from western countries?
We're joined now by Mubin Shaikh. He is a former jihadist. Also Mia Bloom, the professor of security studies at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and the author of "Bombshells." Paul Cruickshank is a CNN terrorism analyst. And Richard Schoeberl is a counterterrorism expert and former unit chief in the FBI's counterterrorism division, international terrorism operations section.
Good to have all of you. And I'm looking forward to this conversation.
Mubin, I'm really looking forward to hearing your story. You were a former jihadist. How were you recruited?
MUBIN SHAIKH, FORMER JIHADIST: I went through a period of self- radicalization. Remember, there is no single pathway. Everyone has a different profile.
My particular one led me from a, you know, not isolated, very integrated experience in high school, whatnot. But then by the age of 19, I became very religious. And I had a chance encounter with the Taliban in 1995 in Qwenza (ph), Pakistan. That sent me down the road of jihadi thinking until the 9/11 attacks, which made me reconsider my views.
LEMON: How did you have a chance encounter with the Taliban?
SHAIKH: So it's -- I was with an apolitical group that proselytizes to Muslims and tells them that, in order to bring about change in the world, you have to be more ritually observant. So with this group, I was just going, walking around a local area, and came upon about seven or eight of them sitting on -- sitting in an area with their AK-47s.
And so I went over to them, altruistic. I didn't know who they were. And then I said to them the same thing. "Look, this is how you bring about change." And they said to me, "Well, thanks, but the way to bring about change
is with this." And he held aloft his AK-47. So that kind of made me think, "Hmm." And then when I got back in 1995, they had taken over the country. And I took that as a validation of their world view.
LEMON: I'm just trying to figure out what makes you prone to do that. Because, you know, that could happen to a number of people, and they would run the other way, and they'd say, "Are you kidding me? You must be crazy." What made you and what makes other people prone to becoming radicalized?
SHAIKH: If I kind of self-analyze myself, I think for me, it was a sense of adventure. And that's what sucked me into it. And the sense of adventure sucks other people into it, as well.
But it depends on what your background is. If you come from an abusive home, if you have a criminal background, that predisposes you to kind of go down that path.
For me, I also had an identity conflict that was going on at the time. What kind of a Muslim am I supposed to be? If I'm western, does that mean I'm not Muslim?
So these kinds of conflicts within the self emerge. And then once it's -- once somebody offers you a radical ideology that kind of gives you a second chance, that's the kind of stuff that really plays into this.
LEMON: We're going to dig deeper into that in just a little bit. Mia, I see you shaking your head in agreement. Why so?
MIA BLOOM, PROFESSOR OF SECURITY STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS- LOWELL: I think what Mubin is saying really resonates, because one of the things that people describe, whether they're talking about Nasr Musana, who left Cardiff to go fight with ISIS, and he's recently been killed -- or he was featured in a video, and he might be killed, sorry -- as well as others, I think it's the desire to be needed and to be important and to be part of something greater than themselves.
And so I think that that's one of the key variables. If we're going to link -- we don't have a profile. We don't have the same pathway. But I think this desire to be part of something larger may be the common denominator when we're looking at why westerners are going to ISIS and going to try and create this new caliphate.
LEMON: So Paul -- Paul, what's the lure, though, for westerners?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, Don, fundamentally, these people feel that it's their religious duty to go and join the Islamic State, to go and fight in Syria. That's obviously a distorted version of the religion.
But ISIS are also putting out this idyllic projection of a jihadist community, heroic fighters in the video has been greeted by children after conquering vast tracts of territory in Syria and Iraq. And this is pretty irresistible for these extremists who may be in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) cities in Europe or even in the United States, as a vision, Don.
LEMON: You know, Richard, do you think that these young men really understand what ISIS is about, not to mention the Koran or Islam? Do they really understand?
RICHARD SCHOEBERL, COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT: Well, I think what you're seeing here is the individuals that are going over there from the United States are individuals who have been lured over there by the slick, you know, propaganda that ISIS is putting out. They're looking for the action. They're looking for excitement. And in fact, some of them they've even uncovered had books that was "Islam for Dummies."
So do they fully understand what it's really about, or are they really looking for glamour and the excitement and the part of being something much larger than what they were before?
Maybe they were a loner. Maybe they were isolated. And like was mentioned earlier, if is there's a common denominator in the factor, the common denominator is something looking for a path to prove themselves, making themselves larger than what they once were.
LEMON: Mia, I want to read this to you quickly if I can get a reaction. So much recruitment now is coming via social media. I want you to take a look at these tweets. It's from Douglas McCain. He just did this this past June.
And he says, "Asam awlakam akai (ph), I am with the brothers now." And that was in June 14. And then he says, "Ashar awilakai (ph). Now we are all waiting for you guys in Shah Allah. We will see you soon." That was June 14.
And then -- then he retweeted, "It takes a warrior to understand a warrior. Pray for ISIS."
Is there almost a romanticism in becoming warrior in a brotherhood?
BLOOM: There is a romanticism. And I think Mubin can probably explain it to you better.
But what has been very effective is the fact that a lot of these western kids, either they grew up in a not particularly religious Household or they're converts. And they're very susceptible to some of the manipulations of Koranic verses.
But I think that the social media is very powerful. Because even McCain was posting as early as April. And his father still didn't know that he was in ISIS.
And they're posting on Twitter now to 15-year-old boys in Britain, saying, "Not too young to die." And they're posting things like beheadings. They're posting pictures of children holding up severed heads.
The idea is that the social media is the way in which these individuals are going to achieve their fame and their notoriety. But at the same time, it's a way that they're almost able to almost compete with one another and show what a great experience they're having. They even show Houses that they're taking over. They show, you know, "Look at my House now."
LEMON: I'm glad that you bring that up. You bring up the social media aspect, because I wonder if it's giving the recruits a sense that they belong. And that's to Mubin. Because many of these recruits are young men in their 20s, 30s. And it appears that that is a more susceptible time for them to be recruited. And social media is helping out.
SHAIKH: Yes. If I can kind of borrow from another individual who put this, TNT. So testosterone, narrative, and theater. And you're dealing with kids, some of them who -- I mean, they don't sleep. They're online all the time. So if you think of it as a business model -- location, location, location -- it's the perfect place to pick these guys up.
LEMON: All right. Everyone, stay with me. When we come right back, a crucial question. How do we track American jihadists? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Welcome back. Who is ISIS targeting as recruits? And can we stop young Americans from becoming radicalized? Back with me now is Mubin Shaikh, Mia Bloom, Paul Cruickshank and Peter [SIC] Schoeberl.
So Richard, to you first. You work for counterterrorism for the FBI. How do we find and track these American recruits, because it turns out that we do know who some of them are?
SCHOEBERL: Certainly, we know who some of them are. And the key for us, for the intelligence community is determining who these individuals are before they leave. Because our greatest concern is for them so go overseas, learn this trade craft and the skill set and bring it back to the United States.
So for us to identify them here, prior to, through good community policing efforts, is what we must do, working with the Arab communities and identifying these individuals, placing them on a watch list.
And basically, it comes down to terrorism 101. If an individual is flying overseas and paying cash for it, there's obviously a reason of concern.
Now people traveling to Afghanistan and Pakistan, a little bit easier for us to track. Traveling to Syria, a little bit more difficult. Because they can fly into Europe, and then from there go to Turkey and go through the porous borders that are currently there right now.
So the key for us is identifying these individuals who have been radicalized here in the United States prior to them leaving. And then, once they leave, track them, work with the foreign governments to follow their movements and track their movements overseas.
LEMON: OK. So Paul, CNN's Atika Shubert interviewed two British jihadists via Skype after the execution of Jim Foley. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope God gives me the chance to do such a thing as the brother did with James Foley, whether it be on somebody like James Foley or a soldier of Bashar or a soldier of America. My hands are ready to do this blessed act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Is this kind of brutality, Paul, actually helping to recruit more jihadists?
CRUICKSHANK: Simple answer, yes. This kind of thing energizes these extreme radicals around the world. Also, in the west on -- that's the unfortunate reality here, that they feel that ISIS is fighting back against the so-called crusaders. So this really does help them with recruitment amongst this very hardline demographic.
LEMON: Mubin, when you recruited others, what did you look for? Was there something in someone else that you looked for when you were recruiting?
SHAIKH: Yes, of course. We would look for those who were not so knowledgeable in the religion. So of course, when we came and rattled off verses and a hadith from the prophet, they looked on us as "Wow, these guys are so knowledgeable." And we exploited that.
Other things we would look for is did this person come from a broken home background? That would mean that, of course, you know, not hanging around with their parents or not at home as often. They're kind of out there for us -- you know, to save.
And of course, their pre-criminal background. So if you're more likely, if you have experience, you know, breaking into places, robbing people, beating people up, very easy. We could -- we could kind of recruit you to be muscle in our group.
LEMON: So what happened then? How did you get out of -- how did you change your life?
SHAIKH: For me personally, the 9/11 attacks really made me rethink my allegiance to this mentality and this ideology. I still wasn't quite out of it, so I decided to go to Syria. I actually lived in Syria for two years and studied Arabic and Islamic studies. And it was there that I spent dedicated time with an Islamic scholar who went through and itemized every verse that I had misapplied and misinterpreted and corrected my interpretation.
LEMON: Mia, I wonder what -- how people like Mubin can help out. I mean, because I think he would be a good person for counterterrorism folks to listen to, to interview. Am I wrong in that?
BLOOM: No. I think -- I personally think Mubin is amazing. And I think that he does a great service, because when he is talking about his experiences, that's going to resonate to somebody who might be on the fence, considering a life joining a jihadi group or going to Syria. And he is able to show, you know, chapter and verse, what was distorted. What is meant by Atalba (ph) chapter 9, verse 5? When they say they're trying to kill everybody, no they don't want to kill Christians and Jews. What it really means. And I think when it comes from him. It has more credibility than if I'm talking about it.
LEMON: I should ask Richard that. Richard, you're counterterrorism. Do you actually use former jihadis to -- in your work?
SCHOEBERL: Certainly. Some of the best information we get is human intelligence. You can have the best signal intelligence and wiretaps in the world, but the best intelligence comes from humans in interviewing, actually, former and current jihadists.
LEMON: OK. We appreciate. Thank you for joining us. Mubin, Mia, Richard, and also Paul Cruickshank. Appreciate it.
When we come right back, Texas police pull over an innocent woman with four kids in the car, handcuffing her and terrifying the children before they realize their mistake. That story is next.
LEMON: Texas police are apologizing tonight for a shocking incident that left a mother and four young children terrified.
Police mistakenly pulled her over at gunpoint. The woman's 6-year-old son, seen on this dash cam video getting out of the car with his hands up. Police say they were looking for a beige- or tan-colored Toyota with four black males inside. So how do they end up stopping a woman's burgundy Maxima?
David Schechter with our affiliate WFAA has this story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Driver, let me see your hands! Everybody, see their hands out the window.
DAVID SCHECHTER, REPORTER, WFAA (voice-over): This is the moment that shook Kametra Barber's belief that bad things do not happen to good people. Her car loaded up with small children, her hands above her head, then shackled in cuffs. Moments later her 6-year-old son Ryan comes out, too, with his hands in the air.
KAMETRA BARBER, MISTAKEN FOR CRIMINAL: It makes me angry all over again.
SCHECHTER: How did this happen? Well, it started with this 911 call. And a very clear description of a vehicle speeding down the highway, the driver possibly waving a gun out the window.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is going to be a beige or tan colored Toyota, occupied by four black males.
BARBER: I drive a Nissan Maxima that is burgundy red. SCHECHTER: No match. But after the suspect car sped far down the
road, the 911 caller was now far back and thought the suspect was exiting the highway. And that's the very exit where police spotted Kametra Barber's car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The complainant that called in said that that vehicle took that exit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Put your hands behind your head.
BARBER: Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on back.
BARBER: What is wrong?
My kids! They're 6 and 8 and 10, 9, what are we doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on a second, OK?
BARBER: What is going on? Oh my God, you're terrifying my children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a complaint a vehicle matching your description and your license plate with a gun out the window.
SCHECHTER: In less than a minute, the officers knew they had the wrong car. You can hear them de-escalate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do they look young to you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They do to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gun down, gun down. Come on back here, son. Come on back here. You're all right.
SCHECHTER: Within moments, the officers are trying to calm the children's nerves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm scared.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no one is going to jail.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, stop crying. It's OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm scared.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's OK. Everything is fine now.
SCHECHTER (on camera): Were they treated properly? Was this a proper stop that they needed to be subjected to that kind of...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a call that a weapon was involved, yes.
SCHECHTER (voice-over): Barber understands the officers were making quick decisions that night. Nonetheless, she is still deeply troubled.
BARBER: I need you to make sure that you have all the facts, because it doesn't -- you can't just say, "OK, I'm sorry," and then I'm over it. I can't.
I mean, every time I listen to or hear or think about it, it bothers you. It's not -- you know, I can't just say, "OK, I'm fine. It's OK. It's not a big deal." It is.
SCHECHTER: Especially when you're 6 years old.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
LEMON: Well, these days a woman's place is in the House, and in the Senate. Go with me here. But that doesn't mean what you think it means, and it doesn't mean that things are always easy.
Senator Kristen Gillibrand says she has experienced sexism from some male colleagues. One came up to her in the House gym, she says. And he said -- I'm quoting here -- "Good thing that you're working out, because we wouldn't want to get porky."
And a senator commenting on her weight loss after having a baby squeezed her stomach and said, "Don't lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby."
We'll have more on that story in our next hour.