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THE SITUATION ROOM
Turkey owns Russian Warplane Near Syrian Border; New Warrant Issued for Another Paris Suspect; Obama, Hollande Talk ISIS Strategy; Interview with Leon Panetta; Sophisticated New ISIS Video; Officer Charged with Murder. Aired 5-5:30p ET
Aired November 24, 2015 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:01] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Turkey says it fired after the warplane violated its airspace. Russia's president Putin calls it a stab in the back. Is the crisis now escalating?
Thwarted plot. A warrant is issued for a new suspect in the Paris terror attacks triggering another urgent manhunt. An investigator revealed that the mastermind of those attacks have planned another round of slaughter.
Securing America. As word comes out of Europe about possible attacks against shopping malls, U.S. authorities are warning local law enforcement to be prepared for active shooters, and to keep a close eye on possible soft targets.
And propaganda war. A sophisticated new ISIS video taunts America. The violent images are aimed at scaring one audience and attracting another audience -- eager, new recruits from around the world.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. The shooting down of a Russian fighter jet marks a dangerous new turn in the Syrian conflict. Turkey now says the Russian warplane entered its airspace near the Syrian border and was shot down after ignoring repeated warnings.
The Russian pilots bailed out of their burning jet. They were reportedly fired upon by rebels who had been fighting the Syrian regime. Then we're getting word of a deadly, failed rescue mission.
President Obama vows to step up the war against ISIS after talks with the French president who's pushing for a stronger alliance against the terror group following the bloody attacks in Paris.
As the manhunt continues for one suspected terrorist, France and Belgium are now looking for another man seen driving a car used in the attacks. An investigators say the Paris mastermind had planned another wave of terror strikes. With the French and Belgium capitals on alert for new attacks, there are now growing concerns and security precautions in this country heading into the Thanksgiving holiday.
I'll speak with President Obama's former Defense secretary and former CIA director, Leon Panetta. And our correspondents, analysts and guests have full coverage of the day's top stories.
Let's begin with the downing of a Russian fighter jet by Turkey, a NATO ally. Let's go straight to our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr.
Barbara, this is truly a stunning development. First of all, what do we know about the Russian pilots?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Wolf. The Russian state news agency reporting tonight that one of the pilots was killed. Look at this video, this is as they were parachuting to the ground. They came under heavy fire from the ground. One pilot apparently killed. The fate of the other unknown at this hour.
And on this videotape you hear men on the ground calling for the capture of the two Russians. But again, the Russian state news agency saying one of them was killed as he parachuted to the ground, being shot at from ground fire.
This incident really still unfolding. The U.S. trying to figure out exactly what happened. The indications we are getting from military -- U.S. military sources, administration officials we're talking to, is the Russian aircraft may have only been inside Turkish airspace for under 30 seconds. It was a very quick incursion, a very narrow area of Turkish airspace. They were warned by the Turks several times.
How do -- how does the U.S. officials know this? They were monitoring the entire event. U.S. radars, U.S. radio traffic being monitored, and they heard all of this unfolding. But this was such a small area of Turkish airspace. They're still trying to determine in Washington if the Russians really were inside Turkey -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Barbara, we're also learning tonight that a Russian Marine was attacked and killed trying to rescue those other Russian pilots. What do we know about that?
STARR: Another piece of stunning video emerging apparently showing the Russian helicopter under attack, crashing to the ground, and a Russian Marine being killed in this attempted, failed rescue.
What this is really showing us, Wolf, at the end of the day is how violent and unpredictable all of this is becoming and that is the big concern. President Obama, the Pentagon making it clear today, as they watched these events, they want this to de-escalate. They want the Russians and the Turks to sit down, come to an agreement, talk about all of this. Nobody wants to see this escalate out of further control -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Barbara, thanks very much.
There's more breaking news out of the Paris massacre investigation. As the hunt continues for one fugitive, a new warrant has just been issued for another suspect. And the Paris prosecutor says the mastermind, killed in battle with police last week, had plotted another round of attacks.
Let's go to our justice correspondent Pamela Brown.
Pamela, what are you learning?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: A lot of new information coming now today, Wolf. The architect of the terrorist attacks had a plan to bring more carnage to one of Paris' busiest districts. And tonight authorities in France and Belgium say they are still rounding up terror suspects connected to the Paris attacks and the concern is that they are armed and dangerous.
[17:05:07] BROWN (voice-over): Tonight, a new manhunt under way across Europe for this man, Mohamed Abrini. Authorities issued an international arrest warrant for him after new intelligence revealed his role in the Paris attacks. Police say Abrini may have dropped off one of the bombers who attacked the soccer stadium. Two days before the attacks, Abrini was caught on camera in that same car with the alleged attacker Salah Abdeslam at a French gas station.
The search for Abdeslam has expanded to Germany, following a tip he was in the northwest part of the country. French investigators are trying to determine whether a possible suicide vest found in a garbage can belonged to Abdeslam or someone else.
Tonight French authorities revealing details of what could have been a second wave of terror. Investigators say they found two more explosive vests and an automatic pistol in that nearby apartment where a police raid took out the Paris attacks mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud. The French prosecutor says, in that apartment, Abaaoud's second terror cell was planning a new suicide bomb attack against Paris' financial district.
In a stunning admission, the prosecutor said today Abaaoud was not only in Paris during the attacks but his cell phone signal that night indicates he returned to the crime scenes at 10:28 p.m. even as the Bataclan concert hall was still under siege, swarming with police. Questions now about this purported cell phone video of the attacks posted by ISIS. Was it from Abaaoud's own phone?
In the days after the attacks, French officials have thought he was in Syria, raising concerns about intelligence gaps with tracking foreign fighters.
JOHN MILLER, NYPD COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT: The first thing you see from Paris is these are people who included foreign fighters who were hardened, trained and experienced.
BROWN: In the capital city of Belgium, the metro and schools remain closed under the highest terror alert. A French source say officials don't believe they've dismantled the full terror cell in Belgium linked to the Paris attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are trying to go out just in the mornings and after that, after the night, we just stay at home. BROWN: Back in the U.S., an intelligence bulletin is encouraging law
enforcement to review active shooter training because ISIS, quote, "may expand efforts to conduct attacks against soft targets based on the success of the Paris attacks. That extend targeting government, military, and law enforcement officials and facilities."
Amid the terror concerns, the NYPD is ratcheting up security and surveillance surrounding the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
JAMES O'NEILL, NYPD CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT: This will include extra uniformed police officers and traffic agents, plus additional mobile cameras, helicopters, canine, and mounted units.
BROWN: The new intelligence warning sent to law enforcement also says while there is no specific credible threat in the U.S., the top concern is still homegrown violent extremists and the assessment says Europe is more vulnerable to those complex, simultaneous multi-attacks like what we saw in Paris based on its proximity to Syria and Iraq.
But, Wolf, I can tell you, U.S. law enforcement on heightened alert as so many people are traveling for the holiday this week.
BLITZER: Yes. They certainly are. Pamela, thanks very much.
The French president Francois Hollande wants stronger action against ISIS. And he pressed that case at the White House today, even as the downing of that Russian jet underscored how complex this overall fight can be.
Let's go to our senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta.
Jim, are two leaders, the French leader, the American leader, on the same page?
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: They seem that way, Wolf. And criticized for being too soft in his rhetoric after Paris, President Obama described ISIS as a barbaric terror group that must be destroyed. He and French President Francois Hollande didn't offer many specifics but they seemed to be open to the goal of getting Russia on board in the war on ISIS, or at the very least, out of the way.
ACOSTA (voice-over): It was a show of solidarity as President Obama declared, we are all French, embraced French President Francois Hollande and then vowed to crush ISIS.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It cannot be tolerated. It must be destroyed and we must do it together.
ACOSTA: For his part, Hollande thanked Americans for their emotional response to the Paris attacks, but added that's not enough. "We must act," he said. But the mission just got more complicated
after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border, a danger the U.S. has warned Moscow about for weeks. The president said Turkey had a right to defend its airspace.
OBAMA: I do think that this points to an ongoing problem with the Russian operations in the sense that they are operating very close to a Turkish border. And they are going after moderate opposition that are supported by not only Turkey but a wide range of countries.
ACOSTA: Still, Mr. Obama said after his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20, Moscow is welcomed to join the U.S. coalition.
[17:10:06] OBAMA: So there is a potential convergence of interests between the various parties. It requires us working with them to make the kind of strategic shift that's necessary, and that, frankly, I've talked to Putin about for five years now.
ACOSTA: Hollande is on a mission to strengthen and unify a global alliance to destroy ISIS, holding meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron, President Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and finally Putin all this week.
That effort, Hollande said, won't involve French boots on the ground, but he made it clear he wants Russia's help. And while Vice President Joe Biden told reporters in the East Room Russia may be coming around to the White House position on rejecting Syrian leader Bashar al- Assad, President Obama argued the U.S. coalition can get the job done without Moscow.
OBAMA: We've got a coalition. Russia right now is a coalition of two, Iran and Russia, supporting Assad. Russia is the outlier.
ACOSTA: Both leaders call for greater intelligence sharing to prevent future terrorist attacks, but President Obama added candidly what happened in Paris is very hard to stop.
OBAMA: You have eight individuals with light weapons. That's hard -- that's a hard thing to track.
ACOSTA: Now there is no question which side the U.S. come down on -- in the shooting of that Russian fighter jet by Turkey. As one senior administration official noted earlier this afternoon, the longstanding U.S. support for "our ally Turkey," quote-unquote, still exists, still the White House is hopeful that this incident won't impact talks with Moscow to find a political transition in Syria.
Wolf, they feel like that is the key to everything in this battle against ISIS here at the White House -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Jim Acosta, reporting from the White House, thanks very much. Joining us now, Leon Panetta. He served as Defense secretary and CIA
director under President Obama. He was President Clinton's chief of staff, former U.S. congressman as well.
Mr. Secretary, thanks very much for joining us. The Russians say what happened today, this Turkish decision to knock out that Russian warplane is going to complicate the situation. You want more coordination, you want a unified command, if you will, in this war against ISIS.
How much does this incident that happened today jeopardize all of that?
LEON PANETTA, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: Well, Wolf, first of all, it's good to be with you. But I think -- I think this incident just proves what everybody has been concerned about. It's the fact that once Russia got involved and decided to do its own airstrikes that it was only a matter of time before we would see some kind of incident took -- take place. And we've seen that today with the Turkish government involved in shooting that plane down.
That's why more than ever it seems to me we need to have a unity of effort here. If countries are working together to confront ISIS, then they simply have to do better coordination in terms of airstrikes, airspace, and the strategy to try to deal with ISIS. So if anything, this incident points out how important it is now to try to better coordinate the effort to go after ISIS.
BLITZER: If that Russian warplane, that SU-24, was in Turkish airspace for less than 30 seconds, was the Turkish military justified in shooting it down?
PANETTA: Well, normally if somebody were aware that a plane was going in that direction and pierced airspace for 30 seconds, if you're all working together, then that kind of thing is not going to happen. But if the Turks feel that the Russians are invading their airspace, they clearly acted very quickly here in taking that plane down.
The problem is we've got a lot of countries now involved in this effort. And if we simply allow these countries to kind of do their own thing, Russia to drop its bombs where it wants, the French to attack whatever targets they want, the Saudis to be involved in Yemen on their own, if we allow everybody to kind of do their own thing, we are going to lose the opportunity to consolidate the effort against this enemy.
ISIS is our enemy. We ought to remember that. And we ought to go after them in a unified way.
BLITZER: The Turks probably knocked out that Russian warplane not because it was going to invade Turkish airspace or hit targets in Turkey, but was going to hit targets inside Syria, allies of the Turkish government, the Turkmen, who support -- who are supported by the Turkish government and opposed to Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Clearly the Russians were going after those targets and maybe that's why the Turks decided to knock out that plane. You buy that explanation?
[17:15:05] PANETTA: Well, we know for a fact that the Russians have been targeting moderate opposition forces. They say they're going after ISIS. But we know that they have been using their airstrikes to go after moderate forces opposing Assad. And if that was what they were intent on doing, if that's what they were targeting, then it could very well be possible that the Turks knew that they were attacking those forces. That's the problem. There are too many players all doing their own thing without coordinating the effort to go after ISIS.
BLITZER: You know the Russian President Putin, you know the Turkish President Erdogan, who is going to blink first? These are two tough guys.
PANETTA: Yes, they are. They're both tough guys. They both believe deeply in what they're doing. And you know, this is a situation where it seems to me the United States has to provide the leadership to try to bring these parties together in some way so that we are working together to confront the enemy that faces both of our countries, all of our countries.
I mean, the Russians, you know, their airliner was brought down by ISIS, for goodness sakes. That was an act of war. They should be much more involved in targeting ISIS rather trying to do their own thing and protecting Assad.
BLITZER: Well, they said they're doing both, they're going after ISIS in Raqqa, especially after that Russian airliner with 224 people aboard was downed, but at the same time, they're trying to support Bashar al-Assad, who they say is their ally.
PANETTA: Now I understand the argument that they're making. But the reality is, when we look at the targets that they're hitting, they've been going after moderate forces opposed to Assad. That's where most of the strikes have taken place. And that's what concerns us, because at the same time that we're trying to get the moderate opposition involved in trying to move against Assad at the same time that we're trying to confront ISIS, Russia has kind of determined what its own targets are going to be, and operating pretty much on its own will.
This is a moment in time where if we have the president of France coming to meet with the president of the United States, that president of France is going to be going to Moscow, going to Germany, going to Italy, going to other countries, we've got NATO countries now involved in this conflict. This is a moment in time where the United States has to provide the leadership to bring those parties together so that we are all operating on the same sheet in terms of dealing with ISIS.
BLITZER: We're going to pick up that thought in a moment, Mr. Secretary. Stay with us. We have a lot more to discuss, including this intriguing question, is the president of the United States getting bad intelligence on ISIS right now?
Stay with us. Much more with Leon Panetta.
[17:22:34] BLITZER: We're back with the former defense secretary, former CIA director, Leon Panetta.
Mr. Secretary, you've see seen "The New York Times" reporting other reports that the Pentagon has now expanded the inquiry into the U.S. military's Central Command, whether intelligence assessments were sort of sugarcoated to make it look more rosy, what was going on with the Iraqi army and ISIS. That this is not what the analysts really had in mind.
You uniquely answered -- uniquely qualified to answer this question. Did they sugarcoat those intelligence assessments?
PANETTA: Well, I really don't know whether they did that or not since I was not in my former position to really be able to determine whether that had happened. But I think it's a very serious matter when intelligence, you know, is altered in any way.
We need good intelligence. Policymakers, the war fighters need to have good intelligence, it needs to be accurate intelligence, and if it's being shaped one way or another in order to try to satisfy what they think somebody wants to hear, that, in my book, is probably the most serious matter that you can make in terms of being an intelligence officer.
BLITZER: The argument is that some of these analysts were told what the White House wanted to hear as opposed what the White House should hear. If they did do that, on a serious issue like this, what should the repercussions be?
PANETTA: Well, I think the president has asked for a full investigation of the matter, and I think it ought to be fully investigated, to determine exactly what happened and why it happened. But you know, the bottom line is that the president of the United States needs to know exactly what's happening in terms of intelligence. And if somebody in the White House or somebody thinks that they want to shade that intelligence in order to somehow tell the president what he would like to hear, that's probably the worst mistake you can make in terms of our national security.
BLITZER: You say the president needs to show leadership right now and forging a coalition to destroy ISIS. Has he not done so yet?
PANETTA: Well, you know, I think -- I think the president has made very clear what our mission is, and our mission is to dismantle, to degrade, and to destroy and defeat ISIS.
[17:25:05] He said that that's the mission. And I agree with that mission. He repeated it today. I think the important thing now is to apply the resources needed to accomplish that mission. We've been there for a year. We haven't, frankly, been effective at either constraining or defeating ISIS. So for that reason, it seems to me we really do have to increase our effort.
The right framework is in place. But we need to speed up the tempo on airstrikes. We need to provide that unity of command that I talked about too make sure that all countries are coordinated in this effort. And I do think that we need to have ground forces on the ground. Not our ground forces, but using ground forces by the Kurds and the Saudis and others, to try to regain the territory that was captured by ISIS.
And lastly, we've got to increase our special forces presence and our intelligence presence, working with the British, the French, other special forces units to try to make sure that we're not only training and advising but going with those units in order to ensure that they're effective.
All of those steps, it seems to me, need to be taken if we're going to be successful at going after ISIS.
BLITZER: That whole train and equip program, which the U.S. budgeted half a billion dollars, $500 million, was a total disaster. They trained and equipped four, five fighters to go out there and fight ISIS. These guys in Syria, the rebels, they don't want to fight ISIS. They want to fight Bashar al-Assad's regime, you know that.
PANETTA: Well, I think that unfortunately when the effort was made to train, conditions were placed on those individuals that we were training, that were impossible to really enforce. And the result was that we wasted a lot of money, and didn't get a lot in return for the money that was spent. That was the wrong way to go about it.
BLITZER: Mr. Secretary, very quickly --
PANETTA: I think that -- that's a lesson we need to learn.
BLITZER: And the other lesson is the Iraqi military. When a few thousand ISIS forces ragtag, if you will, went into Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, they made some noise, that Iraqi military, which the U.S. had trained, equipped to the tune of billions of dollars, simply ran away, the intelligence assessment said they ran away, was later revised to say they had redeployed to make it sound a little bit better.
But that whole Iraqi military turned out to be a total disaster. When you left the Pentagon, did you know how bad they were?
PANETTA: No, as a matter of fact, you know, we thought that those security forces, when we left, were actually capable of trying to provide security for that country. But what has -- what happened was that Malice, as he continued to be the leader in that country, became somebody who went after the Sunnis. He kicked the Sunnis out of the government. He kicked the Sunnis out of the military.
And those disenchanted Sunnis soon joined with ISIS, and they were demoralized, and I think the military units that were involved became demoralized as well. And so they fell apart. And you know, that was a tragedy but the fact is, if we are going to regain Mosul, if we're going to regain the territory that ISIS was able to go after and achieve control of, then we are going to have to have those forces trained and able and support them in a ground offensive to regain that territory. What the Kurds have shown us that they have the capability, they went
after Sin jar and did a good job up there. We've got do the same thing in the south, not only with Shea forces but with Sunni forces, trying to get them into the battle to try to protect their own country.
BLITZER: You and I have known each other for a long time, Mr. Secretary, going back to your days as a U.S. congressman from California, and I've seen you at OMB, later at the White House, later at the CIA, later as Defense secretary, you know a lot, you're one of the smartest guys out there in national security.
Do you ever get calls from the president of the United States since leaving office asking you, saying, Leon, what do you think I should do?
PANETTA: You know, I always am ready, if someone wants to call me for advice, I'm happy to provide it. I've made my views known through staff in the White House. Look, I -- I think the president has the aides that are in those positions now. Hopefully they are honestly telling him what needs to be done in order to be able to go after ISIS.
He is our commander-in-chief. You know, Wolf, one of the things that concerns me in terms of our national security is the political dysfunction in Washington and the fact that Republicans and Democrats are kind of at each other's throats, they can't agree on war authority, they can't agree on what kind of approach we ought to take with regards to ISIS,
[17:30:09] And I think all of that sends a terrible message to our enemies and, frankly, to our allies that we are divided in terms of the approach we need to take in confronting this enemy. That, it seems to me, requires the commander-in-chief, and we only have one commander-in-chief, to go to the American people, make clear what this threat is, make clear what our strategy is, and do everything necessary to unify this country.
BLITZER: Leon Panetta is the former Defense secretary. Mr. Secretary, thanks, as usual, for joining us.
PANETTA: Thank you, Wolf. Good to be with you.
BLITZER: And happy Thanksgiving to you and your entire family as well.
Coming up, did the mastermind of the Paris terrorist onslaught go to the scene of the slaughter after the attacks were actually carried out? What else was he planning to do before he died in the battle with police?
New information coming into THE SITUATION ROOM.
[17:35:36] BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. As the manhunt continues for one suspected terrorist, France and Belgium are now looking for another man linked to the Paris attacks. And investigators now say the Paris mastermind had planned another wave of terror.
Let's bring in our law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes, he's a former FBI assistant director, our CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank, and our CNN national security commentator Mike Rogers, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
As you know, Paul, the French prosecutor says that this mastermind, quote, "returned to the crime scene after the shootings." Based on everything you know, you were just there, in Paris, why would he do that?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: He went back to the 10th arrondissements, the 11th arrondissements. He went back to the Bataclan. One possible explanation for this is he wanted to film the aftermath for propaganda. Perhaps ISIS has been sending out that message out to operatives, you need to film attacks. It's almost as important as launching the attacks for themselves because it's so important for ISIS, for propaganda purposes.
And in fact if you look back at that plot which was thwarted in Belgium in January where Abaaoud was also the ringleader in that plot, they had GoPro cameras that they recovered from the safe house in eastern Belgium. They were planning to film that attack as well. This is how he does business. So it's possible he was trying to film the aftermath.
BLITZER: The film is for propaganda purposes for recruitment, if you will?
CRUICKSHANK: Exactly. To electrify that base and it's possible we could see these images come out unfortunately.
BLITZER: We'll have to wait and see if that does in fact happen.
As you know, Tom, the French also said Abaaoud, the mastermind, was planning what they called a suicide attack against the shopping district called La Defense and also the Belgium foreign minister now is telling CNN that shopping malls were specific targets as well.
You know that NYPD security and other cities and states around the United States, they're beefing up security, shopping malls. You hear that especially around Thanksgiving, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. People get nervous here in the United States. What should we do about that?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I don't know what you can do, Wolf. Shopping malls have so many entrances. The actual stores themselves, plus the main mall entrances, and they're open so many hours during the holiday season and it's wintertime. So people can strap on one of these suicide vests and then put an overcoat over it because it's cold outside and walk around. So unless they have, you know, 40 magnetometer stations around every one of these malls, they're not going to be able to stop every single person coming in. BLITZER: Mike Rogers, one of the most disturbing aspects of all of
these, one of the terrorists, Abdeslam, his cell phone was tracked into the Paris suburbs where a lot of this was going on hours after the attacks. Authorities say they actually stopped him near the Belgium border, questioned him, but actually let him go because they didn't have any evidence or whatever, enough evidence, to hold him. How disturbing is that?
MIKE ROGERS (R), FORMER HOUSE INTELLIGENCE CHAIRMAN: Well, the speed of that investigation, it's nearly impossible to get that perfectly right. So remember, he was heading in a different direction, he was heading up to Belgium. I don't think they knew exactly it was him that was directly involved. They had ancillary information. Pretty hard to push that out. And have an officer, who is not a counterterrorism specialist, who was just interviewing cars going by to absolutely get that right.
I would not chalk this up to anything other than speed of the moment, the fog of the investigation, and the aftermath of the terrorist attack.
BLITZER: He's still on the loose right now. Are they getting closer, Paul, to finding this guy?
CRUICKSHANK: I'll just amplify the point that Mike made. These are just hours later that they figured out that he was involved and of course they then alerted Belgian authorities, the rest of the tip, where they come pick him up in Paris, but by that time he had gone. But they are have now arrested the guy that picked him up when he got to Brussels. I think that means the net is now closing in on Salah Abdeslam. They're starting to get closer and closer to him in this investigation.
BLITZER: Guys, stand by. We're going to have more on the manhunt. The manhunt continues and the fears here in the United States obviously intense as well.
Coming up, counterterrorism officials worry that the brutal ISIS propaganda is playing a huge role in recruiting follower in the U.S., indeed around the world. And analysts now say the latest video from the terror group reaches a new level of sophistication.
Plus this, we're about to take you inside the command center where U.S. intelligence officials are now battling hundreds of thousands of cyber threats every single day.
BLITZER: A new video from ISIS has analysts deeply worried that the terror group's sophisticated production techniques and social media savvy will make it easier than ever for them to recruit a whole lot of new followers in the U.S., indeed around the world.
Brian Todd has been looking into ISIS propaganda methods. Brian, what are you seeing?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this new video has production values that we have never seen before from a terror group. Tonight a U.S. counterterrorism official tells us ISIS propaganda has surpassed that of its rivals, with the use of high-def cameras, sophisticated editing software, this official says the propaganda hides the grim reality of ISIS' operations but the indications we're getting tonight, Wolf, are that ISIS videos now have a reach and recruiting draw that are increasingly hard to combat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Islamic course, and there are thousands of --
TODD (voice-over): With its animations, slick edits, and high-def images the video, narrated in English with an American-sounding voice, glorifies ISIS and taunts America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring it on.
TODD: The video entitled "No Respite" is a fresh ISIS release, making reference to its new enemy, Russia. The production quality consistently reflecting what analysts say is a sophistication never seen before.
ALBERTO FERNANDEZ, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT COUNTERTERRORISM COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: They're the gold standard of terrorist groups when it comes to propaganda.
TODD: A U.S. counterterrorism official says with videos like these, ISIS has brought its brutality to the smartphone in your pocket. In another recent video, ISIS fighters wearing GoPro cameras, move around a compound in Yemen, shooting people including some trying to hide. The visual similarities to the American video game "Call of Duty" are striking.
JAVIER LESACA, VISITING SCHOLAR, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: They know perfectly their audience and they're talking to them in the same language.
TODD: Research Javier Lesaca, who has analyzed hundreds of ISIS videos, says one of the intended audiences, young hard line Islamist Muslim men yearning to be heroes. But experts say the West is another important target audience.
FERNANDEZ: One is us, it's click bait, you know? It's stuff that gets us upset and angry or scandalized.
TODD: "The Washington Post" recently interviewed ISIS defectors who made videos. They said some beheadings and battle scenes are staged to the point where jihadists performed multiple takes, like actors, and read from cue cards.
LESACA: It really looks that some battles are designed or even some suicide attacks are designed not only for military target or for operating target but to be -- especially to be recorded and to be distributed through social media.
TODD: Commanding ISIS' army of videographers and editors, Abu Mohamed al-Adnani, the group's spokesman, said to be so important to ISIS that he holds a position just under its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
FERNANDEZ: He's the guy that was chosen by ISIS to do battle with Zawahiri when they had the big, you know, dogfight in early 2014 about who was right, ISIS or al Qaeda.
TODD: Mohamed Abu al-Adnani has given several audio statements for ISIS but despite being a spokesman for the group he usually avoids appearing in any of these videos. Analyst Javier Lesaca says that's probably for his own security. Al-Adnani has got a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head. And Western forces have already taken out several top ISIS media operatives like Junaid Hussain and Jihadi John -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Brian, the State Department, which puts out, as you know, videos to try to counter ISIS, the criticism is they can't seem to keep up with ISIS. Is that right?
TODD: That's right. At least in terms of sheer volume. Alberto Fernandez, who once headed that State Department bureau which counters ISIS propaganda, told me in the course of a year ISIS put out 1700 videos. The State Department he said put out 250.
BLITZER: Wow. All right, Brian. Thanks very, very much. We're going to stay on top of this story. The breaking news, we're following it.
We're also following another breaking story out of Chicago right now, where a white police officer has been charged with first-degree murder after shooting a black teenager. The shooting was recorded on a police dash cam and officials are now under court order to make that video public.
The Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, he's about to meet with reporters to speak out of the matter and some of those images are about, we're told, about to be released of the actual shooting incident. Very disturbing images, we're told. The attorney representing the police officer says these are extremely disturbing images.
Our justice correspondent Pamela Brown is with us.
Pamela, for our viewers who haven't been following this disturbing case in Chicago, bring us up to speed.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, this video, apparently, Wolf, shows an officer in Chicago, Jason Van Dyke, shooting the 17-year-old teenager, Laquan McDonald 16 times, and McDonald, of course, died as a result.
The community has been asking for this video to be released. The judge recently ordered for it to be released by the deadline which is tomorrow. And as you point out, Wolf, any moment now we are expecting for this to come out. I'm told from those who have seen this video that it is very graphic, the community has really been bracing for this. Local law enforcement, federal law enforcement there in Chicago because the concern is that it will spark outrage and violent protests similar to what we saw in the wake of Ferguson.
Now this teenager was armed in the video, but many people are upset, and this -- the officer today was actually charged with murder -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Pam, stand by for a moment. We'll take a quick break, we'll await the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, the police superintendent Gerry McCarthy. We'll see if they release the video.
[17:50:04] Let's take a quick break. We'll go to Chicago when we come.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
BLITZER: All right. Let's go back to Chicago right now. There is the mayor, Rahm Emanuel, the police superintendent Gerry McCarthy. They're going to speak out on this very disturbing case involving the Chicago police officer now actually charged with first-degree murder in shooting a teenager.
Supt. GERRY MCCARTHY, CHICAGO POLICE: OK. Good evening, everybody. You would think that the number of people up here at the podium that we were here tonight to discuss good news because (INAUDIBLE). And in this case we're here to talk about some bad news, but also some opportunity.
As you all know, last year on October 28th, one of our police officers shot and killed the young man named Laquan McDonald, and since that time, the investigation into the circumstances of that even has been ongoing. The officer was stripped of his police powers immediately.
As we all know. today he was charged with first-degree murder by the state's attorney Anita Alvarez. And as a result, he's been put into what is known as a no pay status. So he's no longer being paid by the Chicago Police Department. That is part of our contractual obligation with the Fraternal Order of Police here in Chicago. And that's the process that we've undergone.
Every day in this city, you see thousands of officers performing admirably and making a difference every single day in the lives of individuals here in Chicago. The officer in this case took a young man's life and he's going to have to account for his actions. And that's what today is all about. Today is about accountability. We're all accountable for our actions. Since I've come to this police department, you've heard me talk about accountability over and over and over again.
And we all hold ourselves accountable. In this case, we have a tragic ending to unfortunately a tragic life of a young man who was betrayed on a number of different levels. And typically these cases end up in the police department's hands and in this case it ended up in his death.
We are not the least bit pleased about this and at the end of the day, we've got to respect the men and women who are out there doing this job every single day without incident and when there are incidents, they are usually positive.
As you know, last week we were ordered to turn over the dash cam video of the events surrounding this particular endeavor. And we're prepared to do that. What I expect is the same thing that we talk about frequently, which is the fact that people have a right to be angry, people have a right to protest, people have a right to free speech, but they do not have a right to commit criminal acts.
And at the end of the day the Chicago Police Department has trained for it and we're one of the world leaders in mass demonstrations. We're prepared to facilitate people's First Amendment right to free speech, but we will be intolerant of criminal behavior here in the city of Chicago. And quite frankly as I talked this morning about the capabilities of our men and women in this department, I stand here again tonight to reiterate that, that our officers will be professional in their conduct, and we expect that we're going to have community support to facilitate whatever protests come our way.
And I'm really confident in the community as far as being behind us. Unfortunately we have some work to do to obtain the trust as many police departments in this country are struggling in the same fate. So we're here tonight to release that video and obviously we're going to talk a little bit and then we'll take your questions. But for now, I'm going to turn it over to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL, CHICAGO: Thank you, Superintendent. First and foremost, I also want to thank both the religious leaders, community leaders, as well as other elected officials that are here today for the city of Chicago.
Like all public servants that are here, including officers, we hold our police officers to a high standard. And obviously in this case, Jason Van Dyke violated both the standards of professionals that comes with being a police officer, but also basic moral standards that bind our community together.
[17:55:14] Jason Van Dyke will be judged in a court of law. That's exactly how it should be. As of today, he's no longer being paid by the city of Chicago. As the superintendent just noted. And he was stripped of his police powers 10 months ago. Obviously anyone that sees this video will also make their own judgments of Jason Van Dyke and his actions.
The incident, the actions in the video will be debated and discussed in the days ahead. Appropriate. But we as the city of Chicago, all of us also have to make an important judgment about ourselves and our city as we go forward. Where we, in my view, rise to this moment that this incident demands of all of us in this city. And my view is this episode can be a moment of understanding and learning.
We will use it and the question before all of us, will we use this episode and this moment to build bridges that bring us together as a city or we allow it to become a way that erects barriers that tear us apart as a city. We need as a city to get to a point where young men in our community and in parts of our city see an officer and don't just see an officer with a uniform and a badge, but they see him as a partner in helping them reach their full potential.
And they see in that officer a mentor, a little league coach, a leader in their church and in their community, which they are. But we also have to get to a place as a city where officers who patrol communities in our city see a young man not as a potential problem and a risk, but they also see in that young man an individual who is worthy of their protection and their potential.
They see a student, they see an athlete, and they see an artist. The future of the city of Chicago lies within each of us. And I believe we as a city must rise to this moment, answer that call, not only to ourselves individually, but to our community and our city. This will no doubt be a challenge, but as somebody who believes that every challenge is an opportunity, I believe within the city, not just in the police department, not just in our places of worship, but throughout the city.
People of good faith love their city, love their neighborhood and community and the residents that make it up, but know that this moment doesn't speak to who we are and what we can become. And all of us in one way or another are leaders. And our responsibility is to challenge us and challenge not only ourselves, but the people we speak for and represent to look within ourselves and reach for the future of the city of Chicago we know we can be.
I believe this is a moment that can build bridges of understanding rather than become a barrier of misunderstanding. I understand that the people will be upset and will want to protest when they see this video.
But I would like to echo the comments of the McDonald family. They have asked for calm and for those who choose to speak out to do it peacefully. They said they do not want the violence to be resorted in the -- in Laquan's name, but let his legacy be better than that.
It is fine to be passionate, but it is essential that it remain peaceful. We have a collective responsibility in the city of Chicago, the city we love, to ensure that this opportunity for healing begins now.
My heart goes out to the McDonald family and their loss. I want to thank all our community leaders here in the city of Chicago for their leadership and their partnership, and more importantly for the responsibility they take every day.
It is now the time to come together as one city, show respect for one another. We'll work every day in building a culture of trust and respect for one another. Most of all, now is the time to build a lasting partnership for peace. We have a great deal of work ahead of us as a city. All of us will be judged by our actions and I call on all of us to look within inside ourselves, see this moment as a potential --