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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Video Released of Second American Beheaded by ISIS; Interview with Jen Psaki; ISIS Recruitment; Interview with Congressman Chris Van Hollen; Third American Infected with Ebola
Aired September 2, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, video appears to show another American beheaded by ISIS. The masked terrorist wielding that knife threatening President Obama directly, will the United States do something about it? Plus ,we'll go frame by frame small by crucial clues in the video. Will President Obama find the killer?
And are your darkest secrets at risk? Hackers release nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities. Is this just the beginning? Let's go OUTFRONT.
BURNETT: Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. And we begin OUTFRONT tonight with the breaking news -- a second American beheaded by terrorists. ISIS releasing video today of what appears to be the gruesome execution of 31-year-old Steven Sotloff. This is just 13 days after another American, James Foley, was beheaded by the same terrorists. Again, today, we saw a masked executioner speaking in a British accent making a direct threat against the United States.
Jim Sciutto begins our coverage tonight.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The image is haunting and familiar, an American in an orange jumpsuit on his knees, his killer all in black standing above him brandishing a knife; 13 days after American James Foley was killed, a new video appears to show journalist Steven Sotloff brutally beheaded by ISIS as well.
The masked ISIS executioner who appears to be speaking with the same voice and British accent as Foley's killer made clear the murder was aimed directly at the U.S.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.
SCIUTTO: Sotloff, 31 years old, grew up in South Florida. He was freelancing for several publications, including "TIME" and "The Christian Science Monitor," when he disappeared while reporting from Syria in August 2013. Staring straight ahead, his head shaven, Sotloff himself speaks to the camera before he was apparently killed, likely under duress, saying he has to pay the price for U.S. intervention. Next to him is another hostage identified by ISIS as David Haines, a British citizen who ISIS says may be its next victim.
SHIRLEY SOTLOFF, MOTHER OF STEVEN SOTLOFF: My son Steven is in your hands.
SCIUTTO: Only last week, Sotloff's mother released a video pleading for her son's life.
SOTLOFF: I ask you to please release my child.
SCIUTTO: Today, the president's point person on Iraq, Brett McGurk, vowed a firm American response.
BRETT MCGURK, U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: It's just a reminder of the barbarism of this organization, and I think President Obama has shown that when organizations do these types of things to American citizens, they do not go unanswered.
SCIUTTO (on camera): Earlier today, the Sotloff family released a statement in reaction to the video. It's a very short, it's a very sad statement. It says simply the family knows of the video and is grieving privately. Erin?
BURNETT: There have been two horrific beheading videos now in 13 days. Do we know how many more Americans are in the hands of ISIS who could be at risk of this?
SCIUTTO: Well, senior U.S. officials say that they know of a number of Americans who are being held. They don't go any more specific than that in public, and the reason, frankly, is their safety, the sensitivity. They're not identifying them. They're not speaking to numbers, really because any public statement could put them in more danger than they are, Erin. Hard to imagine that, but it could.
Their concern, of course, that they say something that might cause the terrorists to act or act sooner than they might otherwise. It's really dangerous, sensitive territory and that's why they tend to be very tight-lipped in public.
BURNETT: All right, Jim Sciutto, thank you.
SCIUTTO: Thank you.
BURNETT: Joining me now is State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. And thank you for being with us tonight, Jen.
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN: Hi Erin. My pleasure.
BURNETT: So did the United States know about Sotloff's murder before the news became public today? PSAKI: Well, Erin, I think let me first say that our intel community
is working as quickly as possible to authenticate the video. As we know, we unfortunately had to take similar steps a couple of weeks ago, but I don't want to get ahead of that process. Obviously, if this is authenticated, this brutality, this horrific act, is something that certainly not only do our hearts go out to the Sotloff family but it really raises again the specter for the American people about the brutality of ISIL.
Beyond that, I'm just not in a position to get into additional details from here.
BURNETT: A senior administration official tells CNN that it's believed ISIS is still holding -- and the words were, to be exact, a quote, unquote, "small number of American hostages". Did the administration have a firm count on how many Americans are there?
PSAKI: We do. But for the safety and security of the individuals being held, we don't get more specific than saying a few. Obviously we're turning any individual who is being held by ISIL or by any organization around the world is a top priority for the United States and something that we've been working on, unfortunately, long before the events of the last few weeks.
BURNETT: So in terms of what might happen to those Americans that you're talking about, people wonder exactly what happened with Steven Sotloff and James Foley, of course, who was horrifically murdered 13 days ago. We knew there was an attempt to rescue him and presumably Sotloff in July.
Were more attempts made since we saw that video 13 days ago where James Foley was beheaded and Steven Sotloff was standing nearby? Was there another attempt made to rescue them?
PSAKI: Well, you're right that of course there was the attempt earlier this summer. I think it's important to note that that wasn't our preference to have that be made public given that our focus is on helping these individuals return home. There aren't additional details. Of course there are efforts under way on a daily basis to do everything we can to bring Americans home. We don't discuss those publicly because that could put the security and the safety of the individuals at risk, and our efforts at risk.
BURNETT: And, of course, the president being overseas right now, he just got some criticism from Jane Harman talking about his first remarks about this video being in Estonia. She says I think perhaps, quote, unquote, "that was not the best decision". Dianne Feinstein, of course chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has called the president too cautious on ISIS, and Adam Schiff, a senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, today said ISIS must be confronted and destroyed.
Is the president willing to go to war in the traditional sense, with boots on the ground, American lives at risk, to truly destroy ISIS?
PSAKI: Well, Erin, I think, one, the Americans and the United States is not going to go it alone. I think no one in the American public wants us to do that. But there are a range of steps we've already started taking. The president has authorized more than 120 strikes in Iraq. Of course those have a range of purposes including providing humanitarian assistance and addressing those needs, and protecting the American people who are there. But part of that impact has been on impacting ISIL and their growth there.
But one of the main topics of discussion that the president will have, the secretary will have, Secretary Hagel will have, will -- is going to be about how the international community can address this threat. A military approach is certainly part of that discussion, but so is financial efforts or diplomatic efforts or political efforts. And we know this is an issue that can't be solved overnight and also can't be solved with just one component of a comprehensive strategy.
BURNETT: I mean, you talk about the 120 strikes in Iraq, then will the administration, will this president go ahead and strike in Syria as he's done in Iraq, without the congressional approval he sought last summer?
PSAKI: Well, I think, one, a decision hasn't been made in that regard, but I think the president has been clear that he's not going to be limited by geography. And of course taking a look at what is most effective here, what is appropriate, what our options are, is part of what he's doing right now.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Jen Psaki, for your time tonight.
PSAKI: Thanks, Erin. My pleasure.
BURNETT: Rita Katz is the person who first obtained the gruesome beheading video today. She's the cofounder of the Search for International Terrorist Entities Intelligence Group. Bob Bayer is a former CNN (sic) operative. And thanks to you both for joining us now.
And Rita, let me start with you. How did your organization obtain the video?
RITA KATZ, CO-FOUNDER, SEARCH FOR INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST ENTITITES INTEL GROUP: Hi, we have been -- we have been researching the jihadist threat online for over a decade, follow their steps, monitor their activities, and study their activities online. Any time Al Qaeda or ISIS become more and more sophisticated and adopt new technology, we follow that technology and we study their techniques.
By doing that, we can predict where they might be uploading the videos online. After all, these videos are being disseminated online, they're published online, and so they have to go somewhere online for the dissemination. We looked and found.
BURNETT: So you looked and you found it. Obviously you just heard the State Department spokeswoman tell me that they haven't yet authenticated the video. Are you certain it is what it claims to be? KATZ: The video shows the beheading of Steven Sotloff. The location
where the video was obtained from is the location that ISIS usually uploads their original videos to. The video shows a clear message from ISIS that follows the same message that it had before. And, in fact, within a short time after our release, ISIS's account on social media indicated that within short time they will be releasing the video, only we actually had that video beforehand and were able to beat them with the release.
BURNETT: And, Bob, when you see this video, are you surprised at all? Did you think there was any possibility that this might have ended differently? I mean, obviously, we don't know when the video was shot, whether -- obviously, 13 days ago there was another video -- we don't know the time difference between each of these horrible beheadings. But do you thing the U.S. tried to rescue Steven Sotloff between that video and this one and failed? Didn't try? What do you think happened?
ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: I think they would have rescued him if they could have, but it's a question of intelligence. He's probably being held in Syria. It's very difficult for the United States to focus on that country, to get good intelligence sources. I mean, to get actionable intelligence, you really have to know where they are, because otherwise you risk all their lives.
So they just didn't have the intelligence to go after them. And I think it was almost inevitable after Foley that he would be next, especially since we went on and attacked more targets inside Iraq. And I think these people, we have to understand, is they are without pity. I talked to somebody, a friend of mine who has negotiated with them. He said they're all Europeans, the captors, in Syria. They are, frankly, psychotics, and they probably take joy in murdering people and this is a tough group. And I think it's a lot tougher than al Qaeda ever was.
BURNETT: A lot tougher than al Qaeda ever was. And what is the threat, Bob, then, they keep in these videos -- and we're going to be going through it kind of in the frame by frame our reporters have in a moment -- but what kind of risks -- or do you take them seriously when they make these direct threats to the President of the United States, to the United States, that they want to take this to the U.S. homeland? Do you take that seriously in intent and what about in terms of capability?
BAER: I think the intent is almost certain; they would like to take the war to the United States. This group claims to be a state. It claims to be a caliphate. It claims to be at war with the United States, and like any war they take it where they can. And I think they are certainly sympathizers and there may be active cells. The question is capability.
But what disturbs me is the longer American citizens are fighting in Syria and Iraq, the better they are at killing. And when they come back, that's probably what they'll do. Specifics on this, I don't have them but people that use tactical intelligence and deal with it every day said it's a very, very real threat. BURNETT: A very, very real threat. And, Rita, in terms of these
sites that you're looking at, where you say they post these sorts of videos of things that they're doing, do you have any sense of what they are doing next? Or whether they have these other Americans that we hear about, what their plans are for those Americans, from those sites that you're monitoring?
KATZ: There's no information about other Americans that they have currently. We know now they have the next British guy that they're threatening to execute. However, monitoring the sites and seeing the celebration behind the release of these videos, the joy that they have when they see the beheadings of Americans, and how we terrorize the Americans and other countries, there is absolutely no doubt that the recruitment aspect of these videos is something that we cannot ignore.
There is a very important element to the recruitment in these videos, maybe as equally as for the execution of attacks, because we're talking about jihadi groups that don't -- that need the support. They need the general support. And the fact that they released the videos, both videos in English, by an executor who speaks English, most likely with a British accent, gives the double message of the strong element for recruitment from ISIS.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much to both of you, both Rita and Bob, using that horrible word "joy" when talking about the terrorists' feelings about these beheadings.
Next, we're going to go frame by frame at the video from the terrain to the appearance of the executioner. What the message to America tells us.
Plus, friends and family of Steven Sotloff had kept secret for a year that he was being held captive in Syria, holding out hope for his release. Tonight, they remember him.
And a top health official says the Ebola outbreak is quote, "spiraling out of control". Another American doctor testing positive for the virus.
BURNETT: The breaking news tonight, a second American appears to have been executed by ISIS terrorists in a horrific video titled, a second message to America. 31-year-old Steven Sotloff is seen kneeling before a man dressed in black who speaks what appears to be an English accent. Sotloff was last seen in the grossly video of American's James Foley's murder 13 days ago. The killers warning Sotloff would be next if the United States did not stop its attacks on the terrorist group.
Our Karl Penhaul is OUTFRONT live in London tonight as we go through this video so carefully to see what clues could be in it.
So Karl, Sotloff looks different in the two videos, the one that we saw today and the one 13 day ago, enough so that it seems they weren't done the same day, right? KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Two or
three indicators there that suggest these two videos were not filmed at the same time. Take a look at Sotloff in first video 13 days ago. He appeared with a virtual shaved head. And also he didn't appear to have any growth or facial growth. In this video we've seen today he clearly has more hair and he also has evidence of stubble and a small beard. Also in the video that we've seen today, there seems to be a lot of noise from the wind. In the video we saw two weeks ago very little wind noise.
There's also another indicator and that the fact that the executioner refers to the U.S. air strikes on the town of Amirli in northeast Iraq. Those airstrikes took place late Saturday into Sunday. That could put the time of Steven Sotloff's execution some time after Sunday into Monday or Tuesday -- Erin.
BURNETT: So it literally could have been done and then that video posted, which, if possible, makes it even more horrific and more chilling.
Karl, stay with us. I want to take a closer look at the two videos related by ISIS and see some of the other clues that they could hold with when and where they were filmed and Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT with that.
And Tom, what have you been able to learn from your analysis of the side by side here?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, these are tough, tough videos to watch. But here's a frame from the new video of the apparent murder of Steven Sotloff and here is the killing of James Foley over here. The terrain, the time of day, the general appearances are all similar and many details are too. And each case, of the victims are dressed in orange which intelligence analysts say ISIS uses to mirror the jumpsuits worn by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
In each video, the executioner wears black keeping his face almost entirely cover. He has a gun and he holds medium sized knife in his left hand, really on the same pasture. He has the same general body build, gestures and demeanor in each one. So the question is, is this the same man? And that is important to analysts out there, Erin.
BURNETT: It certainly is. I know that analysts say one of the clearest identifying characteristics on the tapes is the voice, you know, a Karl was talking about, the audio here. How does that sound side by side?
FOREMAN: Listen to yourself, Erin. If we listen to what's said by this man. Listen in this video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You, Obama, have yet again, for your actions, another American citizen. Just as your missiles continue to strike our people; our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people. (END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Now, compare that to the voice and the murder of James Foley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any 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)
FOREMAN: Intelligence say, analysts say, that it is not the same voice. At very least, the action in both cases sounds as if it comes from the London area. That suggests a possible link to dozens of radicals believed to have traveled from there to join the fight against the Syrian government. People who are thought to be handling foreigners captured by ISIS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL GINSBERG, FORENSIC AUDIO/VIDEO EXPERT: The intelligence community will go through every inch of this, every second analyzing the electronic impulses, the audio, the video, the speech, voice identification, the geography for whatever information it can provide as well as the production techniques and any embedded information that may be there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOREMAN: Bottom line, Erin, if they can go through all of that and somehow figure out who this person is, if it is the same person, that does give them clues into the power structure of ISIS and who's calling the shots from maneuvers like this one -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Tom, thank you.
And I want to bring Karl Penhaul back along with our counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd.
And Phil, let me start with you. I mean, independent investigators, at least at this point, say they think they know where James Foley's execution took place. That, of course, is the horrible video we saw 13 days ago in which Steven Sotloff appeared when they threaten would be next. They say it's outside the town of Raqqa, I could be saying it wrong, but that outside the northern city of Syria. Do we think that the video we saw today was filmed in the same place?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I suspect it was because my guess is the organization is trying to limit the footprint they show to anybody studying the video. They know western security services look at this. They know there might be identifying characteristics they can't fully understand but they believe we can exploit. So my guess is they're trying to find as nondescript a place as we can. Let's limit our exposure by hooding the person who is doing this, by creating a backdrop that's difficult to identify. I'm sure that they decided let's do it in the same place so we don't give them too much to look at.
BURNETT: If it's in the same place, what does that say about fact that no one in the United States or otherwise was able to, in 13 days, find that place and kill them?
MUDD: I don't think the place is particularly significant. Let me tell you what I'd be asking if I were watching this at CIA or the bureau. There is two basic questions. The first question is, coupled with the decision the president has to make now pressured by the congress, about whether to strike in Syria, do we have a good enough understanding of the intelligence architecture of ISIS to start destroying the element that's involved in bringing foreign fighters in, like this British kid who evidently did the murder of this journalist? It's not just can we strike ISIS locations. It's can we strike that sliver that's responsible for stuff like this.
The second and final question, Erin, if you're sitting in London is, forget about who this guy is. When we get his name, what is the network that might have been involved in funding him, providing him documents, getting him in communication with ISIS? Is there a residual network in London that's still recruiting kids like this? They got to be pulling out their hair in saying we got to identify the people in the network by getting his name because otherwise they might be recruiting other people today.
BURNETT: Ones who motivated inspired and made this happen.
And Karl, you've been running the videos passed independent forensic analyst, passed in an acoustics analyst, and have you been able to figure out?
PENHAUL: Well, that person's conclusion was that pretty much this does seem to be the same apparent executioner, the accent that he has is what our analyst describes as a British multicultural accent from the London area. What does multicultural accent mean? Well, it means, yes, a London area accent but that quite probably this man grew up in one of the multicultural quarters of London where English was not always the first language, where there were other languages going around and other people would have grown up speaking other languages, hence the differentiation in tones the and accents as well, Erin.
BURNETT: Phil, what does this say about what they're going to do next or try to do next? We know there are few other Americans being held. Everything is being done that could possibly be done to try to make sure they don't face this same fate but there are only, apparently, from what we've told by the U.S. government, a small number of Americans there. So, they're doing these videos to get attention, to scare people, to be vile, but what then, when they run out of people, what do they do?
MUDD: Erin, I don't think they're doing these videos to scare people. What they're doing by speaking to the president directly is to say, look, we're not just a terror group, we're a group that can have a dialogue with the United States, with the president of the United States. It will get global play. They're raising their game in a sense sort of like Al Qaeda did 13 years ago.
You remember Zawahiri, now the leader of al-Qaeda didn't just talk about terrorism, they talked at one point about global warming, trying to position themselves, believe it or not, as statesmen across this Islamic world where they're trying to recruit people and raise money. So they're trying to raise a profile to be viewed as people bigger than terrorists.
One final quick comment, I suspect one reason there's a gap between the two killings, is that they wanted to get on TV when they kill this guy to say, look, it wasn't our fault. We gave the Americans a chance. They continued bombing, and we had no choice. That time gap gave them in their eyes justification for the second killing.
BURNETT: All right, well, thank you both very much. And a pretty crucial point that Phil raises there about is' desire to have a conversation with the United States. The question is whether the president has been too lax, too soft when it comes to dealing with is. Democratic Congressman Chris van Holland is next.
Plus, hackers break into accounts belonging to celebrities. If the rich and famous are being exposed quite literally, what about everyone else?
BURNETT: Breaking news: another American apparently beheaded by ISIS. ISIS releasing a new video today showing the brutal execution of Steven Sotloff, who disappeared in Syria last year. This comes just two weeks after another video showing the murder of American James Foley. This time, though, ISIS has a direct warning to President Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You, Obama, have yet again through your actions killed yet another American citizen. So, just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Before his apparent beheading, Sotloff speaks to the camera saying he is, quote, "paying the price for American military intervention."
President Obama is now aboard Air Force One. He's on his way to Europe for meetings.
Jim Acosta is OUTFRONT from the first stop of the president's trip, which is the capital of Estonia, Tallinn -- Jim.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the president did not answer any questions about this video that apparently shows the killing of Steven Sotloff, as he left the White House, but a White House official says he was briefed on this video before he departed for this trip to Estonia. A senior administration official tells reporters that the intelligence community does not have any reason to doubt the authenticity of this video.
But they do want to go through the process of analyzing for answering key question, when was it shot, where was its recorded? Is the person who carries out the apparent execution of Steven Sotloff the same person who killed American journalist James Foley?
At the same time, this senior administration official said that the intelligence community still believes that a small number of Americans are being held by ISIS so they're still in grave danger. And all this comes as the president's policy on ISIS is coming under heavy criticism. As you know last week, he said he doesn't have a strategy for dealing with ISIS in Syria. That prompted an avalanche of criticism coming from Capitol Hill. The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, a fellow Democrat, wondered whether the president was being too cautious. So, he'll have an opportunity to answer that question when he has a press conference here in Estonia tomorrow.
This trip, by the way, Erin, was supposed to take place so the president could reassure countries like Estonia that are part of NATO that the United States and the rest of NATO will come to their defense if they're attacked. People here in Eastern Europe are obviously very nervous about what's taking place in Ukraine and they wonder if they're next, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Jim, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT tonight, Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
Good to talk to you, Congressman.
So, you know, today we have, after 13 days ago, a horrific beheading video, another one today -- an American beheaded in Syria, a noncombatant, a journalist. Administration officials have said ISIS poses -- I'll quote him -- a very serious threat to the United States homeland, yet last week the president said, and I want to quote him, "We don't have a strategy yet to deal with ISIS in Syria."
The question is, Congressman, why in the world not?
REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: Well, first, Erin, I think our prayers should all go out to the Sotloff family tonight. Second, the president has kept up the attack on ISIS positions in Iraq. In fact, as you heard, some of the justification for this beheading was the fact that the president continued to provide airstrikes in support of Iraqi and Kurdish troops in Iraq against ISIS positions.
With respect to Syria, the president is absolutely right, that in order to accomplish the goal of eliminating ISIS, you need to have a concerted effort not just the United States being involved. It's very important that countries like Saudi Arabia, like Turkey, Sunni-led governments, are part of this effort. Otherwise, you feed the ISIS narrative that somehow they're the rightful carriers of the banner of Sunni Islam. That would fuel their narrative. We need to put together a coalition that involves the Sunni-led
governments, who, by the way, as you know, helped create this Frankenstein by looking the other way for many years.
BURNETT: That's a fair point.
Now, the executioner in the video has a message directly to the president of the United States. He said I'm back, Obama. I just want to play a small portion of that so you could actually hear his voice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of your insistence in continuing your bombings in Amerli, Samarra and the Mosul dam, despite our serious warnings, you, Obama, have yet again through your actions killed yet another American citizen. So, just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Now, Congressman, you supported air strikes. There have been at least 120 in Iraq so far, but why have there been none in Syria where this beheading and the one two weeks ago is believed to have happened? Not a single airstrike in Syria yet?
VAN HOLLEN: Because the president and a broad array of national security experts have indicated, airstrikes alone in Syria are not going to do the job.
So, the first thing you want to do is actually stop the ISIS advance on the ground in Iraq. We have done that, again supporting Iraqi and Kurdish forces.
Number two, you want a sustained effort against ISIS in Syria. So, we should be doing things like arming the Kurds in Syria. So, for example, we provided arms to Kurds in Iraq. The Kurds in Syria were fighting ISIS there before we in the West were even talking about ISIS. We can be helping them.
But in order to be effective in the long run, in order to actually accomplish the objective of getting rid of ISIS, you have to have these other Sunni-led governments involved in the action --
BURNETT: All right.
VAN HOLLEN: -- because they've got to step up and say, ISIS does not speak for Sunni Islam. And if they're not part of it, you do feed the ISIS narrative that they're fighting the West. That actually draws more recruits, not less.
BURNETT: So, what you're saying makes complete sense except for -- except for this. When you say airstrikes aren't enough to do the job, as you just said, but then you talk about arming other people on the ground. I mean, isn't there perhaps a reality that it may take boots on the ground, American boots on the ground, American weapons with Americans holding them as opposed to just arming other people, to stop a threat like this? Is that a reality that we have to face?
VAN HOLLEN: No, that would be a huge mistake. So, in Iraq, we've got the right strategy. You've got Iraqi and Kurdish forces on the ground supported by American airstrikes to prevent the ISIS advance.
Again, American boots on the ground in Syria would simply fan the flames of the sectarian banner that ISIS wants to claim it's carrying right now. This is why it is absolutely so important, Erin, that the Turks, who have been letting ISIS cross their border with impunity for a long time and the Saudis who have been looking the other way while many people have been financing ISIS from Saudi territories --
BURNETT: All right.
VAN HOLLEN: -- as well as other Gulf states, they need to get into this fight. And if they're not in the fight, then ISIS is able to claim somehow that they're the twisted carriers of the Sunni Islam torch. That would simply feed their narrative, not defeat it. That's why it's so important to build a coalition for action.
BURNETT: All right. Chris Van Hollen, thank you very much. We appreciate your time tonight, Congressman.
VAN HOLLEN: Thank you.
BURNETT: OUTFRONT next, Steven Sotloff, only 31 years old. He accomplished so much. It's incredible, when I was looking at the video of him 13 days ago, I thought he was older than he was when you looked a his background and everything he'd accomplished. We'll take a look at the man, next.
Plus, the CDC director's dire warning about the Ebola outbreak. Another American, the third, tested positive today for the virus.
BURNETT: The breaking news tonight: video released by ISIS appears to show the beheading of a second American, a journalist, 31-year-old Steven Sotloff.
So, who was he? Why was he there?
CNN's Alina Machado joins us to talk about the Sotloff family's ordeal.
ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Few people knew Steven Sotloff was being held captive by ISIS for the past year until two weeks ago when this video surfaced. Even when ISIS threatened to execute Sotloff after James Foley, his family and closest friends held out hope they would see him again.
His mother issued an emotional plea for his release last week.
SHIRLEY SOTLOFF, MOTHER OF STEVEN SOTLOFF: As a mother, I ask your justice to be merciful.
MACHADO: The family's hope has now turned into grief after a video released by ISIS today appears to show the 31-year-old's gruesome killing. Sotloff grew up in South Florida but went to high school in New Hampshire where he played on the varsity football and rugby teams and appeared in the musical "Cabaret." The school issued a statement saying in part, "His courageous actions have and will always inspire our students and our community."
Emerson Lotzie, Sotloff's college roommate at the University of Central Florida, was too distraught to talk on camera, but tweeted, "Devastated and crushed. Steve was an amazing friend. Heart is heavy for his family."
While at UCF, Sotloff talked about wanting to go to the Middle East, he eventually did freelance work for several publications including "TIME" magazine, :"Foreign Policy", and the "Christian Science Monitor". Sotloff was on assignment in Syria last August when he was kidnapped.
(on camera): The family remains tight lipped despite the growing media presence outside their home here in Pine Crest, Florida. They did release a statement, though, saying in part, they are aware of the video and they are grieving privately -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Alina, thank you very much.
And as Alina said, we understand the family has said they are grieving privately. They also said they're awaiting confirmation that this is indeed the video of their son. As we have reported, the United States government has not yet formally confirmed that this was Steven Sotloff in the video.
Next, OUTFRONT, another American doctor infected with Ebola. Health officials warning the outbreak is going to get much worse.
Plus, the Feds now investigating how nude photos of famous female celebrities were leaked. Did hackers actually catch Apple, which you probably, you know, store your stuff in the Cloud with Apple, right? Could it be you next?
BURNETT: Another American with Ebola, an American missionary doctor working in Liberia, has tested positive for Ebola. We don't yet know the doctors name.
But today, the director of the CDC told CNN the Ebola outbreak is, quote, "spiraling out of control." He briefed President Obama on the crisis today as tests began of an experimental vaccine.
And joining me now is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci. He's overseeing the first human trials of the vaccine. Dr. Fauci, thank you for being with us.
First human trial, how significant is this?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: Well, it's the first in a multi-step process to get a vaccine out as quickly as possible to prevent infection. This is a vaccine that did very well in animal studies and non-human primate, monkey studies, in which it protected animals that were challenged with lethal doses of Ebola.
So, having gotten that out of the way where it looks good in the animal, the next step is to see first, is it safe in humans? Do you not get any unexpected type of adverse events? And does it induce the response that you would hope it would induce into human, comparable to the animal?
And we started that in the first patient today here at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. We did the first injection of a normal volunteer with this vaccine, first time it's been in a human.
BURNETT: And so, what can you tell us so far in terms of how that worked? And again, the human, that person obviously doesn't have Ebola, right? So, this is -- how are you going to be able to tell if it works and what are you able to tell even just in the past few hours since you gave that injection?
FAUCI: Well, the development of a vaccine is a multi-step process. Before you think about whether it works since you're going to be giving it to normal people, you have to determine right from the beginning: (a), is it safe and what is the right dose of its safety?
So, the significance of this right now, we'll have about 20 normal volunteers, and you always pick normal people because you don't want to confound the question of do they get an adverse event with some under lying disease that they have?
BURNETT: Right, right.
FAUCI: You do that for -- yes, so what you do is you do that for a period of a few months to observe them and then if it looks safe and it looks like it's inducing the right response, you go into a broader study to determine whether it actually works.
BURNETT: Right. Now, two former Bush administration health officials wrote today and I'm sure you saw it. But their point is that the longer this outbreak lasts, the more chance that the virus can develop random mutations, right? So, all of a sudden, you have a vaccine that's targeted at a virus, the virus mutates just a little bit, you're vaccine is no longer any good. Is that a big risk?
FAUCI: That's not a big risk, Erin. That's a theoretical risk, but it's unlikely to see that happen except if this goes on for a very, very long period of time.
And so, the mutations you see, which are considerable, most of them are irrelevant. Most of the mutations that occur -- every once in awhile you get one that's biologically insignificant. I don't anticipate that the mutations are going to negate the vaccine work.
I think the important thing that people need to remember is that in order to shut this down now, it's not going to be a vaccine that's not going to be ready for awhile. It's not going to be a drug. It's going to be the good health practices of isolation, identification and contact tracing, which we need to intensify right now.
BURNETT: All right. Dr. Fauci, thank you so much for your time tonight.
FAUCI: Good to be with you.
And next, hackers leak nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities. Could you be next?
BURNETT: The FBI is investigating how nude photos of actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst ended up online for the world to stare at. Many of the pictures appeared to have been stored on Apple's iCloud storage system, which you probably use. How did it happen and could it happen to you?
Here's Dan Simon.
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kristen Dunst, and a host of other celebrities' explicit and private photos splashed on the Internet. The hackers claimed to have targeted more than 100 celebrities. The photos apparently lifted from the Cloud-based storage service. Apple's iCloud emerged as a likely target.
Kirsten Dunst tweeting simply, "Thank you, iCloud."
Today, Apple acknowledging, quote, "We have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. But the statement also says that the company's actual systems were not breached.
All of this, though, raising concerns about the security of the Cloud. Most of us rely on it, whether we most photos to Facebook, use a service like Dropbox to back up our files, or simply have contacts or e-mails stored with Google, Apple or any number of Internet-based services.
KEVIN MAHAFFEY, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, LOOKOUT MOBILE SECURITY: The Cloud like any other piece of technology has positives and negatives.
SIMON: Kevin Mahaffey is the chief technology officer for Lookout Mobile Security, one of the biggest players in protecting cell phone data.
MAHAFFEY: The positives are if you store your data in the Cloud, it's less likely to get lost. If you lose your phone or your phone breaks or drop it in the lake, you usually lose your data. And so, the Cloud protects you from that, however, it also exposes the data to breach if you use a bad password or if the Cloud service gets hacked.
SIMON: And sometimes, if you delete a photo from a device, it may still live on the Cloud. Still, experts say the two main ways to better protect your data are first, by creating strong and unique passwords and second, enabling two-step authentication, where you have to enter a four or five-digit code usually sent to your phone by a text.
(on camera): Do you have a sense if this was professional job or an amateur job?
MAHAFFEY: You know, my speculation is this probably skews more towards the amateur side. Professional hackers tend to go after critical infrastructures such as oil and gas, nuclear power plants or other espionage oriented activities, whereas amateur hackers might do it for fun, just to cause chaos on the Internet.
SIMON: As for the stolen photos, the FBI says it is actively investigating the breach. Some victims like Jennifer Lawrence said the photos were real. Others like actress and singer Ariana Grande said they were fake -- Erin.
BURNETT: Wonder who to believe?
All right. Thanks very much.
"AC360" starts now.