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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
U.S. Helicopter Gunships Battle ISIS; New Video: Caged Men On Display in Iraq; Fire Destroys Islamic Center in Houston; Fathers of Slain Muslim Students Speak Out; Police: A Pistol Was Found Near the Crime Scene
Aired February 13, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight. Breaking news. U.S. helicopter gunships battling ISIS fighters in Iraq as the militant's close in on in an airbase with hundreds of American troops. Pentagon Spokesman Admiral John Kirby is my guest.
Plus, three Muslim students shot execution style. New information about the man charged with their murders and my exclusive interview with the fathers of the victims.
And the Aaron Hernandez murder trial. The NFL star caught on tape taking apart of his cell phone the day after the murder. So, was he covering up evidence? Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, U.S. helicopter gunships are battling ISIS fighters over the crucial Iraqi city of al-Baghdadi. The town taken over by ISIS today is just miles from an important air base which at this moment is home to more than 300 American troops. That base was attacked just after daybreak by suicide bombers. Most, if not all, wearing Iraqi military uniforms. Now, Iraqi soldiers killed the militants as they rushed the perimeter of the base. But the battle around this air base has been raging all day. Sleeper cells launched attack inside the town of al- Baghdadi. ISIS fighters hit Iraqi forces defending the town from three directions. The town gives the militants a strong footholds from which to launch further attacks on that air base. American officials though say there still no plans to evacuate the more than 300 Americans there tonight. We're going to speak to the Pentagon spokesman in just a moment.
But first, as we cover this breaking story from around the world, our chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto broke the news of the latest battle. He's in Washington tonight. Our Phil Black is in Northern Iraq. And Jim, let me just start with you with the latest that you have. What more have you learned about this U.S. operation with the gunships?
JIM SCIUTTO, CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Erin, we're learning tonight that U.S. Apache helicopters were deployed during an assault today on al-Asad airbase. That is the one you describe that was repealed on the ground by Iraqi forces. We're hearing now from eyewitnesses tonight in Baghdad of helicopter gunships in action and support of Iraqi forces on the ground. The only helicopter gunships that are flowing at night or U.S. missions, Iraqis don't fly that missions as a sign with that deployment of the Apaches here. The reports from the ground here of just how serious this ISIS assault has been the last 24 hours.
BURNETT: And so, the attack on this air base, again, same size, more than 300 U.S. troops are on that air base tonight. How close did the ISIS militants actually get to the troops?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, the attack is close to the banks to its external perimeter on one side, but not close to the troops. They were several miles way we are told in another section of the base. So, that is why the Pentagon insists that they were never under any direct threat and particular while the Iraqi Security Forces were dealing with it on the ground.
BURNETT: So, Phil, if you can put this into context, you know, just trying to understand. I mean, up in one base, not this one but one base in Anbar and it's sort of just desert and you come up to the base and it's almost don't even know you're getting to it and it's one entrance, another entrance, another entrance. They are very large. But this one in particular, my understanding is incredibly large.
BLACK: Yes, big, sprawling city like, Erin. Often compared to Boulder, Colorado in sky which helps explain how the attack could happen on one side. Those U.S. troops could be several miles away but still within the same facility. This big facility is within that big province of Anbar that you mentioned. It's increasingly under ISIS control. They already control most of it about 70 percent. And that control is expanding. And clearly they are getting closer to this facility as well.
BURNETT: Which is very frightening because Jim, again the 300 U.S. troops stationed at that al-Asad Base, you know, at this moment, obviously are in danger. They're at risk. I know are all in though more than 2,000 American troops on the ground in Iraq. So, where are they relative to these ISIS positions?
SCIUTTO: Well, that's right. Not just al-Asad. So, there are four places outside of Baghdad that you now have U.S. military forces deployed. One is at al-Asad Air Base where you have the assault today. Another in Irbil up here in the north. Another at Taji just to the north and west of Baghdad and another at Camp Balsamea (ph) just to the south. Now, let's look then at where ISIS positions are. The red areas are under ISIS control. The orange areas where ISIS is carried out attacks. And now you see how close ISIS strongholds and attacks are to each of these bases here particularly the ones to the north, the south generally under good control of forces loyal to the Iraqi government. But, listen, they're not combat troops, Erin, but as they move out further the field they're much closer to combat. And Admiral Kirby acknowledging that, other officials today. As they are closer to the combat, the closer the danger as well.
BURNETT: And Phil, you have been embedded. You have been with the forces fighting ISIS in the north of Iraq where of course these battles are being fought. What's your experience right now? What's the moral? What's the perception of whether ISIS is gaining ground or not? BLACK: Well, clearly it's two different stories depending on
which part of Iraq you're talking about, Erin. In the west where this attack took place at this airbase, this is an area where ISIS is still very much on the offensive. It's still moving forward claiming ground on the Iraqi army isn't able to deal with it. Here in the north, the Peshmerga thought it's been substantially more effective in their abilities to not just stop but contain and even roll back many of the gains that ISIS has made. But here on the ground they still control big towns, bit cities including Mosul that ISIS stronghold. So, the moral, the feeling among the Kurdish fighters in this region is that they are winning. But that does not mean that victory is imminent afar from it. They still got to drive them from these strongholds. And they are awaiting for the Iraqi army to be ready to lead the charge with that sort of offensive operation.
BURNETT: Waiting of course as Americans are trying to train the Iraqis. Thank you so much. Phil Black on the ground there, a great risk in Northern Iraq and Jim Sciutto breaking the news of this latest battle. Jim Sciutto, thanks and Phil Black, thank you both.
And OUTFRONT tonight, Pentagon Spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby. Admiral, let me just start with the news that you just heard Jim Sciutto reporting. That we understand there's a new operation, U.S. operation under way in which apache helicopters are engaging with ISIS near that town of Baghdadi. Can you tell us more about that whether they are in direct combat?
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: Well, I'm not at liberty to talk too much about ongoing operations but I can tell you that we assess that al-Baghdadi is still contested in environment, obviously. And as I said earlier today at the Pentagon, in my briefing, we continue to want to put pressure on ISIL in al-Anbar Province and a large part of that pressure is being applied by the Iraqi security forces. Yes, we have some apache helicopters which have combat capability in the region. But again, I'm a little bit tied to what I can talk about with respect to ongoing operation.
BURNETT: To that specific operation. Even as that's ongoing, I mean, you're talking about the Iraqi military. You've also said most, if not possibility all of the attackers were actually wearing Iraqi uniforms. So, ISIS soldiers wearing Iraqi uniforms. Do you have any indication of where they got those? That's obviously very troubling.
KIRBY: It is troubling, and no we don't. We don't have any firm answers on where they got those. But it was something that obviously the Iraqi security forces who defended that perimeter noticed very clearly that they were wearing those uniforms. At least most of them were.
BURNETT: And are you worried that this could be, they could have a lot more of this and this could something that could cause a bigger problem? Because certainly you could be able to infiltrate, you know, look as if you were friendly when you were not if they were able to do this on an even larger scale.
KIRBY: One of the things that we have learned over 13 years of war against groups like this is that they do try to be able to conduct these insider attacks. And a large part of being able to conduct insider attacks would be that kind of deceptive maneuver, that kind of deceptive capability. So, it's something that we're mindful of. We certainly noticed it in this case. And I think it's safe to say that everybody there at central command and at the joint task force in that part of the world is going to be watching this very, very closely.
BURNETT: And are you comfortable calling this an insider attack?
KIRBY: No I don't know that we call it an insider attack right now. I think this was a deceptive tactic that they use to try to gain access to the perimeter. It didn't work. And I think it's important, you know, as we get, we watch this and everybody is obviously interested in this attack and it's very dramatic to note that Iraqi security forces were right on top of it. And they responded quickly and bravely and effectively. And they absolutely did not achieve any of their ends, any of their goals.
BURNETT: Now, of course, they're still fighting at this time to try to achieve those. I mean, do you know how many at this point ISIS fighters were involved, at least in the initial attack?
KIRBY: What we think is, and I said this earlier about 20 to 25. We think about eight of them were suicide attackers that came in with suicide vest, with the intent of sort of shocking the system and helping gain access to the fighters that flowed in after them. The fighters that fought after them, we asses to be about 15 or so in number, that's why we're seeing 20 to 25 total involved in this attack.
BURNETT: Okay. All right. Now, in terms of why this is so significant. It's significant because there's more than 300 American military personnel on this base. Obviously it's a big base. Right? It's about 25 square miles, size of Boulder, Colorado as we've been talking about. You said though that American troops, you know, in your words were, quote-unquote, "a couple of miles away from the attack."
KIRBY: That's right.
BURNETT: That sounds obviously very close. Out of 25, that's pretty close. You have more than 300 Americans there. You know, we keep and told, look, the American troops are there to train, they're not there to be in combat. But it sure sounds like they might be.
KIRBY: Well, there's a difference between saying that troops are on the ground in a combat mission, which they're not, and United States troops could be involved in combat in Iraq. We already are involved in combat in Iraq. We conducted more than 2,000 air strikes in Iraq and Syria total. So, clearly U.S. troops are participating in combat operations but the difference is these guys on the ground, they are trainers. And they are advisers, and that's what they're doing there at al-Asad. Now, look, I've also said, they have the right, the responsibility, the obligation and I might add the capability of defending themselves should they come under threat. And they absolutely will do that. BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Admiral Kirby, we
appreciate your time tonight.
KIRBY: My pleasure. Thanks.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, disturbing new video from ISIS tonight showing men inside cages with dozens of people chanting and snapping Smart phone pictures. We'll going to look at the propaganda machine of ISIS.
And the murder of three Muslim students in North Carolina. President Obama today saying no one should be targeted for how they worship. But did he say this was a hate crime? My guests tonight are the fathers of the victims.
Also Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL star on trial for murder. New details on what investigators now say they found at the crime scene.
BURNETT: Tonight very disturbing video showing prisoners in cages held at the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq. The footage was released by ISIS. And it shows the militants driving vehicles as you see here, holding men wearing orange jump suits inside cages. You can see dozens of people watching. Some are pulling out their cellphones to take pictures or videos as you can see those hands there. Now, we cannot independently authenticate the video. ISIS claims it was filmed in Kirkuk Province of Iraq. The cage then are believed to be Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Now, ISIS propaganda, most of it you see is like that. It's beheadings. It's people in cages. It's someone burned alive. But ISIS is also trying to show that they can provide services that's key to getting people to join the fight.
Will Ripley is OUTFRONT.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A classroom full of children writing on the board, buying candy during recess. This could be any elementary school. Only that's an ISIS flag behind the teacher's desk. And this is Raqqa, Syria, the terror groups' de facto capital. ISIS is increasingly using kids as pawns in their propaganda war.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think it's exceptionally dangerous. And the reason is that they have a number of different platforms. They create content in different languages.
RIPLEY: Experts say no terror group has ever had a propaganda machine as sophisticated and dangerous as ISIS. Showing brutal murders to shock the west. False promise offense a moral society to destabilize the Mideast. Even blaming Jordanian airstrikes for the death of American hostage Kayla Jane Mueller. ISIS uses women and children to cater its message to different groups like those seeking a stable Islamic State and those lured by savage violence like this video showing an elementary school age executioner. The United Nations fears the terror group is raising a new generation of shockingly young Jihadists.
RENATE WINTER, UN COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD: Approximately eight years of age and younger.
RIPLEY: Kids smiling and cheering brought to watch the murder of the Jordanian pilot on large screens. Their innocence consumed by brutal propaganda. The reality of life for the children of ISIS.
The experts I'm talking too Erin say it's important to watch these propaganda videos, to study them and analyze them because they contain clues about how ISIS operates. And perhaps more importantly valuable intelligence for the coalition trying to stop them -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Will. Thank you very much. And joining me now, former CIA counterterrorism analyst Buck Sexton. And CNN military analyst Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona. Buck, let me just take a look at two of those videos again that Will just showed us. One reportedly ISIS fighters training children. And we saw children right there. It's fighting but you see one, was a toddler even another video holding a gun. And another one of the kids in school learning at an ISIS school. Who is ISIS targeting with these videos?
BUCK SEXTON, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: ISIS is trying to construct a narrative with these videos. And the narrative is that, this is a long term, multigenerational project. This is a caliphate that they're trying to build. This is not a short term thing. They want people to show up and fight or them and actually stay and create a life there. And what you see here is really the top down mobilization of an entire society for the purpose of jihad. This is not so much a state sponsor of terror. It's a terrorist state. And that's really I think what these videos are trying to make sure that their recruits will see all over the world. And they've had tremendous success. They've gotten tens of thousands of foreign fighters showing up there. Specifically because of these kinds of videos as was mentioned just before. It's a level of propaganda we've never seen before from terrorist groups like this. They are operating radio stations. They are operating television stations. They are really going with this message all over the world. And so far it's had some real effect.
BURNETT: Colonel Francona. You know, we keep hearing the group is so barbaric. And that the videos that they have been putting up has alienated even those who might otherwise be sympathetic. But now you have ISIS releasing, just I mean, one of the latest one. This is ISIS fighters. They are out paving a road. Some of the roads in some parts of Iraq as anyone who has been there and experience are horrible. Right? They are establishing a school for Islamic studies in Iraq. If they're able to do these kinds of things, are they going to win over more people? And the people who matter. Right? Because you can't just have a bunch of fighters on a territory. You have to have the people who live there accept them. LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), FORMER U.S. MILITARY ATTACHE IN
SYRIA: Right. And as Buck said, this is a multifaceted operation. They are showing all facets of their state. They have the trappings of a state. So, they're showing you that they have courts, they have schools. They have distribution centers. They've institute taxes. They are issuing license plates. They are setting up media. But they're going after different groups. Now, they have a separate set of videos that go after the demographic that they're trying to recruit. And that's mostly on social media. And it's very effective in reaching young people that they want to join the organizations as fighters. If you look at the numbers it's astounding. Even in the wake of the burning alive of that Jordanian pilot, we're seeing tens of thousands, tens of thousands of people wanting to join ISIS including from the west. So, it's been very effective. They're very good at targeting what they do.
FRANCONA: And I think it's very masterful that they're covering the entire spectrum of their activities.
BURNETT: And, you know, Buck, one thing I was talking to someone, a source that I met in Northern Iraq who has done business in the country very recently. He said that in Mosul, ISIS replaced the Iraqi telecom chief, they put their own guy in. And that guy focused like a laser on getting high speed internet. That's what he wanted. ISIS wanted that and they wanted people to have it. The Iraqi government completely and I failed to provide that over the past few years. So, if ISIS succeeds in doing this, they obviously look a lot better than the Iraqi government to the local population. It would seem that that would win a lot of people over who just want peace, quiet and the likes to work.
SEXTON: Well, that's exactly the purpose here Erin, there's a long and storied history of terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas for example. That do provide services and it provide services in a way that's better than whatever the national government has been able to provide. And so by trying to do these sorts of things they are playing upon one, the resentments that Sunni Arabs in Mosul have against the Shia government out of Baghdad and against the fears of an uprising from the Shia to come after them. Which is always in the minds of city Arabs in the area. And you're right. And this is the kind of thing that is effective. And people see services being provided. They see some degree of safety and order. And the prospect of an army coming up again from Baghdad. An army that they view as sectarian (ph), and taking that land back, it might be a much tougher fight than people realize. Because there are always has been some level of Sunni Arabs report for ISIS in this Sunni-Arab majority areas of Iraq. And I think they're trying to capitalize on that and actually grow it.
BURNETT: Colonel Francona, what about the barbaric video, the one of the militants putting we are told Peshmerga forces inside the cages that we were just showing. We can't confirm it with this video. What's it supposed to do, recruit or cause fear? FRANCONA: Well, this a psy-op. This is psychological operation.
This is aimed at the Kurds. This is aimed as the Peshmerga is trying to demoralize them. And it might be pretty effective. And we saw what happened the last time they put someone with an orange jumpsuit in a cage. And that's weighing on the minds of all of these fighters. It's pure psychological operations and it's effective.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much both of you.
And OUTFRONT is now global. Our global edition airs on CNN International Saturday and Sunday among our guest week. The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by ISIS. We're going to talk about whether the U.S. government could have mounted a rescue operation sooner. That's this weekend on CNN International.
And OUTFRONT next, new information about the man charged with murdering three Muslim students and our exclusive interview with the fathers of the victims. Why they are convinced this was a hate crime.
And breaking news at this hour. A fire at an Islamic Center in Houston tonight. Investigators say they are not ruling out arson. We'll going to have the latest, next.
BURNETT: Breaking news. Fire destroying a building at an Islamic center in Houston. According to the Houston Chronicle, its preliminary investigation has concluded that the fire was set intentionally. The Chronicle reports that a member of the mosque was told by arson investigators that an accelerant was found on the scene. No one was injured in the fire. It broke out just before morning prayers. It's obviously a frightening and incredibly troubling incident especially in light of the shooting in North Carolina this week. Tonight, President Obama breaking his silence over the deaths of three Muslim students in North Carolina in a statement today. The President called the murders of the young couple and the wife's sister brutal and outrageous adding no one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like or how they worship. In a moment we'll speak exclusively to the fathers of those three victims.
But first, Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT live in Chapel Hill tonight. And Jason, I know you have been talking to people there, people who know the victims, know the shooters. What are neighbors telling you about the suspect?
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're saying a number of things. They're saying that this man who quite clearly had an obsession, if you will, over parking in the area. Had a temper over that as well. The question that a lot of people are asking is, since he took his aggression out on so many people in that particular neighborhood, why then, did he target this one particular family.
CARROLL (voice-over): Loved ones showing up Friday afternoon at the apartment complex where the shooting took place. They examined a car belonging to one of the victims and picked up flowers left beside it. Loren Gailard Lanier was walking by the parking spot the night it happened. She heard the shots and called 911 and is still trying to come to terms with what happened.
LOREN GAILARD LANIER, NEIGHBOR: I just keep hearing their screams in my head. And it's weird for me because as I heard them alive and then I heard them struggling and then I heard them dead. And it's really emotional. Yes.
CARROLL (on camera): I'm so sorry.
LANIER: I just feel bad for the family.
CARROLL (voice-over): The victim's Honda Accord parked in the same spot since Tuesday's shooting. This parking lot and the cars assigned to it still at the center of the investigation into the motive for the shooting. Police say, Craig Hicks shot and killed Deah Barakat, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha and her sister, Razan. The victims' family believes it was a hate crime. But police say, so far their investigation has only shown the shooting was the result of an ongoing dispute over parking. Neighbors say, Hicks had a temper especially over who was parking where. Derek Xu remembers and encounter with Hicks after parking on the wrong spot.
CARROLL (on camera): I heard that Hicks has yelled at you at one point because of parking. Did he talked to you about it or?
DEREK XU, NEIGHBOR: Yes. I had parked over at that parking lot over there. And as I was leaving he just kind of came out to talk to me. He was a little bit agitated and said, hey, you shouldn't be parking here. I was kind of surprised anyone cared that much about parking. But, you know, at the time I thought nothing of it.
CARROLL (voice-over): Hicks not only had a reputation with his neighbors but also with the local tow truck company.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When they said it was parking dispute over there, not too surprised.
CARROLL: One tow truck operator said Hicks was a nuisance, calling them on a regular basis until enough was enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It actually got to the point where he was no longer to call car in. If he called, we wouldn't go out.
CARROLL: Parking at the apartment complex was an issue. Management handed out this memo reminding residents where their assigned spots were located. According to the memo from Finley Forest Condominiums, Hicks was assigned to this spot, 20C. The car belonging to the one of the victims, the one you see here, was assigned right next to it, 20B. Whatever the motive for the shooting, three young lives are now gone, their family and friends agonizing over the loss.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CARROLL: And, Erin, apparently at one point, one of the victims
telling her father saying, "Daddy, I think this man hates us because of who we are" -- Erin.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: Jason, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT now, the fathers of those victims. Namee Barakat is the father of Deah Barakat. And Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, he is the father of Deah's wife, Yusor, and her sister, 19-year-old Razan.
Thank you both for being with us tonight. I first want to say how sorry I am and no parent can imagine truly what you're both suffering right now. So, I'm sorry.
And I want to give you a chance to tell everyone what you believe happened here.
Namee, this is the first the time you've been speaking out. What do you know about what happened on Tuesday night?
NAMEE BARAKAT, FATHER OF MURDER VICTIM DEAH BARAKAT: Basically, that this individual coming and knocking on the door and going in and shooting three innocent, most loving children that you would ever want to meet right in the neck. Not just one, not two, but all three of them.
BURNETT: Dr. Abu-Salha, I know, your daughters told you about this man. They had told you, you just heard our reporter saying that you said your daughter said he hates us because of who we are, hates us because of our religion.
How afraid was she? What else did she tell you?
DR. MOHAMMAD ABU-SALHA, FATHER OF MURDER VICTIMS YUSOR AND RAZAN ABU-SALHA: And before I say that, allow me to say that we're not talking about hate crime because we want revenge or anything else. We're not after a punishment.
We are talking because if anything, our children lost their lives for, we want to protect other children who look unique and different all over the country. We want this country to stay united like my daughter, Yusor, the president as she said we're all one.
Yusor came to me two or three weeks before her murderer and shared with me that this neighbor picked on parking slots before but she felt the way he talked to her was very hateful and very condescending.
It doesn't take much to feel hate, Erin. You don't read hate. You don't understand hate. You feel hate.
She was concerned. She was so innocent and pure. She did not think he would go the whole way. And I did suggest he called the police and reported. I even got a restraining order. I left that up to her and her husband. I did not want to intrude on this newlywed couple. And I think -- somebody told me they did call the police. I'm
not sure about that. It was narrated in one newspaper. I don't remember which one. It's not a domestic news that they called, and they were told there was no reason for the police to intervene because he did not do anything wrong to flash his gun or brandish his gun in front of them. I'm not sure about that.
I'm sure my daughter felt hated and she said literally, daddy, I think it's because the way we look and the way we dress. Also remember that my son in law, Deah, lived there for year and a half before Yusor got married to him and moved in. He never complained about that man up to my knowledge.
He was engaged to Yusor for a year and a half a week. He never complained of this man. Yusor did feel when she moved in with her unique Muslim garb and her friends became visitors because, of course, she was still being congratulated for the wedding. I've only visited her once in the apartment since she got married. She felt he escalated.
BURNETT: She did.
And, Namee, what's your perception of how things changed? Do you think things changed when Yusor and Razan moved in? Obviously, they were clearly Muslim, as opposed to Deah who would not have been so obvious if you just look at him. Did things change when they moved in?
BARAKAT: Actually, I've never heard anything from Deah complaining about the neighbor or about parking before, and never really heard anything about it until unfortunately right after the incident. Actually, you know, Razan was just there visiting. She'd just come from Raleigh visiting her sister for a couple of hours. And for both of them -- to just be intimidated like that, it's just unreal. Unreal.
ABU-SALHA: My I add something to what Namee said?
ABU-SALHA: One thing I forgot to say. You've got to realize Deah looked very white. 6'3", tall, athletic, always wearing sports attire. So, Deah was probably mistaken by this guy for the average white kid. If this guy was picking on people for parking for years that's I heard, then definitely he picked up his victims based on who they were when my daughter moved in.
BURNETT: So, let me ask you and this is hard question to ask but I think it is important. The FBI is investigating whether this is hate crime. They have not yet made a decision. They're investigating. I know you feel in your heart that this was a hate crime. You said this something you feel in terms of how someone treats you. It's not something you know but it's something that you feel.
When you look through the shooters online posting, he was anti- religion at times, but there was nothing specifically against Islam. I want to read you one thing he posted just to see how this makes you feel, if this influences what you think. He challenged someone who was saying that Muslims were the ones who caused the 9/11 attacks.
And here is what he wrote to this person, quote, "You of all people are smart enough know those were extremists. They were not practicing Islam anymore than Jim Jones or David Koresh practiced Christianity."
When you hear that does it make you think it was just a horrible person obsessed with guns and parking spot and did something horrific here, but it was not based on religion?
ABU-SALHA: It's not really easy to understand these people with such mentality. But he might have argued with somebody and he might have been right one time and he's very intelligent, by the way. I hear he's in school at UNC. He's not a naive or uneducated person.
But why after all these years zone in on this family? That just had somebody joined who had the Muslim attire. Why execution style?
If you're angry with somebody and enraged about something, and you're full of anger, you shoot in the chest, face, neck, knee and you run away. Why execution style? Why Razan 19-year-old was executed in the back of her head when she just came to visit and was not involved in this to start with?
There is -- to do this, this way, you must have a lot of hate. This is again, something felt at the level of your guts. It's a visceral feeling.
BURNETT: Well, it's an important one. We all can hope for you that the right answer is reached here. Thank you again, both of you for coming on in this time of incredible pain.
ABU-SALHA: Thank you for the opportunity.
BARAKAT: Thank you very much.
BURNETT: And next, we have new details in the trial of former football star Aaron Hernandez, about the rental car he drove the night he allegedly murdered someone and a gun found at the crime scene.
Also, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a very candid moment on a Supreme Court dinner.
BURNETT: Damning new evidence tonight in the murder trial involving former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez. The judge ruling today the jurors will be allowed to see surveillance video that apparently shows Hernandez dismantling what would be a crucial piece of evidence, a cell phone. Police are also revealing what they encountered when they arrived at Hernandez's home, hours after Odin Lloyd was murdered.
Susan Candiotti is OUTFRONT in Fall River, Massachusetts.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The night Odin Lloyd's bullet-riddled body is found among dirt piles in an industrial park, police quickly find clues.
OFFICER JOHN GRIM, NORTH ATTLEBORO POLICE DEPARTMENT: Inside of that we located a Massachusetts driver's license which we were able to ID the man that was lying on the ground as a Mr. Odin Lloyd from Boston, Massachusetts.
CANDIOTTI: And keys to car rented by former Patriot tight end, Aaron Hernandez.
About four hours later, it leads investigators straight to the star football player's home about 10:00 that same night. This video from his own security cameras shows two investigators trying to find him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is trooper doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Knocking on the door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What you doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ringing the doorbell.
CANDIOTTI: Lights are on but no answer.
Jurors watch investigators on video using flashlights looking around the house. At one point, one cop uses his hands to boost his partner high enough to peek inside Hernandez's garage window looking for the rental car. The defense demands to know why Hernandez should have to answer his door at that hour.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know of any requirement that a private citizen at Attleboro has to answer his door at 10:30 at night, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he does not have to.
CANDIOTTI: Finally, Hernandez comes outside telling them he was watching them on the security system. Police ask him about Odin Lloyd and a rental car.
DETECTIVE DANIEL ARRIGHI, NORTH ATTLEBORO POLICE DEPARTMENT: He informed that his boy has it. He informed us that he was up his way yesterday.
CANDIOTTI: Police testify Hernandez gets aggravated.
ARRIGHI: He became upset and turned away from us.
CANDIOTTI: He goes to the police station voluntarily but is not arrested until nine days later. Prosecutors also show new crime scene photos. Two bullets, one with fibers. They say sifted from dirt below the victim shot six times. And a .22 caliber pistol found in a wooded area just outside the crime scene. It's not the murder weapon still missing.
On cross-examination, the defense repeatedly attacks investigators, accusing them of sloppy work in measuring the crime scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you wrote five to ten foot that was not accurate. Is that what you're telling us today, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was in approximation, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, when you said five to 10 in your report, would you agree that was a mistake?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I indicated it was in approximation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anybody measure it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we did not. We weren't instructed to take any measurements.
CANDIOTTI: The defense fights it, but the judge rules the jury can see a surveillance video that could hurt Aaron Hernandez. On this video, Hernandez is seen dismantling, taking apart his cell phone while sitting in his attorney's car in the police parking lot. And then he borrows his lawyer's car to call Earnest Wallace who was charged with Lloyd's murder. The defense says this is a violation of attorney-client privilege but the judge said no way. That Hernandez had no expectation of privacy sitting in that open police parking lot.
And, Erin, we could see that video tape as early as next week -- Erin.
CANDIOTTI: Al right. I cannot wait to see that. Susan, thank you.
Paul Callan is with me.
OK. You dismantle your cell phone and get into another car to call someone else who is allegedly there. Pretty damming.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know what, when I first heard this story, I thought it was very damming because the initial reports were that he had damaged his phone, or tried to destroy his phone. In fact, if he was just taking it apart. I think he was just taking the battery out of the phone, then he apparently puts the battery back in phone when he gets the lawyers phone to look up the number he's calling.
So, why would he do that? Why would he dissemble his phone like that? The only theory that I have is that people think that there's technology out there and I think you actually had a guest on the show once who said that you can turn a phone into a micro phone and ease drop on somebody. So, Hernandez thought the cops had his phone wiretapped and he was about to call an accomplice in the case. And so, he gets his lawyer's phone to make the call because he knows that one is not tapped.
I think that's what the prosecutor is going to argue that this means.
BURNETT: Well, this will be fascinating. All right. Paul Callan, thank you very much.
I also have to say 9:40 at night, you know, you should be able to answer your door. I will say that, 9:40 at night. It shouldn't take you 45 minutes to get to the door.
CALLAN: They weren't in uniform. You notice that. So --
BURNETT: All right. OUTFRONT next, Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the truth about why she slept during the State of the Union.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUTH BADER GINSBURG, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: When that, at least I wasn't 100 percent sober because before we went to the State of the Union --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: A Supreme Court justice admits to having a little booze and taking a snooze. Not during the weekend getaway? No. On the job, at the State of the Union.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed that and so much more with her buddy, yes, they are buddies, Justice Scalia, during a very candid discussion.
Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT.
ANTONIN SCALIA, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: Why don't you call us the odd couple?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Ginsburg, two polar opposite legal minds with the closest friendship on the bench.
SCALIA: You know, what's not to like, except refusal of the law of course.
(LAUGHTER) BROWN: Sharing a laugh about Ginsburg's sleeping habits at the
State of the Union.
GINSBURG: The audience for the most part is awake because they're bobbing up and down all the time and we sit there stone faced, sober judges. But we're not -- at least I wasn't 100 percent sober because before we went to the State of the Union, we had dinner together. And Justice Kennedy --
SCALIA: That's the first intelligent thing you've done.
GINSBURG: So I got a call and I came home from one of my granddaughters and she said, bubby, you were sleeping at the State of the Union.
BROWN: The sharp as a tack 81-year-old even admitted she's had occasional help staying awake from now retired Justice David Souter.
GINSBURG: He had an acute sense when I was about. So he would give me a pinch.
BROWN: Ginsburg, nicknamed Notorious RBG, and Scalia known as Nino have long vacationed together with her family. Scalia admiring his pint sized partner's taste for adventure.
SCALIA: And Ruth, honest to goodness, went up behind a motor boat in a sail --
GINSBURG: A parasail.
SCALIA: She's so light, you'd think she would never come down.
BROWN: Their political differences and elephant in the room they aren't afraid to confront or ride as they did in India.
GINSBURG: That was a rather bumpy ride.
SCALIA: And some of her feminist friends gave me a hard time, or her a hard time because she rode behind me on the elephant. Big deal. I'm not kidding.
GINSBURG: It was, the driver explained it was a matter of distribution of weight.
BROWN: A lot of laughs and the unlikely friendship will soon take center stage. A comic opera inspired by different opinions and unique relationship will be premiering in July in Virginia. So, looks like more to come -- Erin.
BURNETT: Thanks so much, Pamela. And I got to say, come on, if they can be buddies, why can't Congress get anything done? I mean, come on, right? BROWN: I think a lot of people are saying that today.
BURNETT: That's right.
All right, thanks to Pamela, and we'll be right back.
BURNETT: Thank you so much for joining us. Have a wonderful weekend. Happy Valentine's Day. Be sure to set your DVR to record OUTFRONT so you can watch us anytime.
"AC360" with John Berman starts right now.