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EgyptAir Crash Examined; Terrorism to Blame for Crash? U.S. Officials: Early Theory Is Bomb Downed Plane; Trumps Slams Clinton On Downed Plane; Clinton: Trump Not Qualified To Be President Aired. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired May 19, 2016 - 20:00   ET


JOHN BERMAN, CNN: Good evening John Berman in for Anderson tonight. The very latest on what brought down flight 804. The search for wreckage, victims, evidence and answers, all underway as we speak.

Early reports from Egyptian authorities that debris had been founded did not bear out. However, early suspicions that this was an act of terror and not a failure of technology or piloting, those have not gone away.

We will, with our team aviation, air safety and security professionals, explore all the possibilities tonight. Doing everything we can not to get ahead of the evidence. Here's how it unfolded.


BERMAN: 11:09P.M., Egypt Air flight 804 departs from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris as scheduled. The beginning of a four-hour flight to Cairo. Two hours after takeoff, the airbus 320 crosses into Greek airspace. The pilot check in with air traffic control.

24 minutes later another routine check just south of Athens. All is fine.

At 2:27 AM, less than an hour away from landing, the plane is cruising above the Mediterranean Sea at 37,000 feet, about to cross into Egyptian airspace.

It's time for another check in with air traffic control. But, there's no word from the flight. The plane abruptly swerves, then rapidly drops.

At 2:29, it disappears from radar. The Egyptian and Greek military immediately mount search and rescue operation but the plane is nowhere to be found. Egyptian authorities say there was no distress call. Though a distress signal was picked up nearly two hours after the plane dropped off the radar.

It is unclear if this is from the missing plane. Experts say this type of rapid plunge is usually caused by a catastrophic event.

Was this a deliberate act? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: The Egyptian aviation minister announcing he believes this was likely an act of terror, instead of a technical malfunction.


BERMAN: The investigation into the place as the plane made stops in Eritrea and Tunisia before picking up passengers in Paris. The plane and crew did undergo a security sweep before taking off for Cairo. Egypt Air officials confirmed plane passed all maintenance checks before the flight.

The weather in the area of flight path is clear and calm. US officials suspect the plane was taken down by a bomb, though they stress this theory is circumstantial.


JOHN EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We have seen a desire on the part of extremists around the world including some extremists in the Middle East to carry out attacks targeting the aviation system.

We obviously are mindful of that and here in the United States, we have experienced the pain of those aviation borne attacks firsthand on 9/11.


BERMAN: So far no claims of responsibility for any terrorist group for this downed plane.


BERMAN: Anguished family members arrived at the airport in Cairo and Paris to wait for word on their loved ones.

66 souls were on board, most French and Egyptian citizens. Among them three children. Two were just infants.



BERMAN: What happened to them is a deep interest beyond the country directly involved, US military assets are taking part in search efforts. US intelligence and criminal justice communities all part of the mix as well.

CNN justice reporter, Evan Perez joins us now with the very latest of who is doing what and what they hoping to learn. Evan, give us a sense of the latest on the investigation. US officials still believe the working theory this was a terrorist attack?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: That is still the working theory, John. Really what you're pointing out in your report just now, is how little hard evidence they have. Obviously the wreckage has not been recovered. Is nothing that's been found from the data boxes that would give them more of an indication. A couple of things you pointed out are on the minds of officials, and that is the fact that there wasn't a distress call.

This is a modern aircraft, apparently well-maintained aircraft that has a lot of redundant systems. If there was a problem, the belief is that the pilots would have time to radio for help, to say that something was wrong. Even if someone was attempting to do a hijacking, there were three security officials on board the aircraft.

Again, the officials believe they would have had time to say something. The fact that there wasn't is one reason why they're beginning with the theory that perhaps this was some kind of terrorist attack perhaps a bombing.

BERMAN: I know the U.S. Navy is providing aircraft to help the search for debris. Is the US offering intelligence support?

PEREZ: Absolutely. They're looking at every asset they have, that includes looking at satellite data sometimes takes a while.

At this hour, we know officials are combing through every piece of data, including the fight manifest.

Every single person on this aircraft is going to be scrutinized, they're going to make sure to see that they know everything. Dossiers are going to be compiled on every crew-member and every member of the flight manifest, as well as the people who had access to this aircraft in Charles de Gaulle airport and elsewhere where it might have landed before the fatal crash, John.

BERMAN: A lot of work going on in a lot whole lot of places right now, Perez, thank you so much.

Joining us to discuss, CNN aviation and analysis, and airline captain Les Abend. Underwater search specialist, David Gallon. Who spearheaded flight 477 recovery effort. CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest. CNN counter terrorist analyst Philip Mudd and Deborah Hurtzman, president of National Safety Council and former chair of the National Transportation Board.

Richard, I want to start with you here. U.S. officials told CNN the operating theory, you heard Evan talk about it. The initial belief is this plane was taken down as some sort of deliberate act, perhaps a bomb. The investigation is just starting.

One of the things you always tell us, Richard, is planes just don't fall out of the sky 37,000 feet.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. In the absence of a strong reason, mechanical followed by pilot error, then you really do always have to default to the question of nefarious activity. Some form of bomb. Some sort of hijacking.

I have been doing this for quite some time now. I can tell you that when you hear a plainly the sky at 37,000 feet, or in the cruise form of flight. That is inevitably where your mind goes first. Because, John, all the other scenarios are fiendishly complicated and extremely difficult to investigate.

Air Asia is a very good example of this. Here you have, we thought it was weather at first, then weather had nothing to do with it. It turns out to be circuit breakers hauled by the pilot, and then the plane becomes un-flyable.

That's why I say and that's why Evan is right to say and the U.S. is right to say that looking at the circumstances in this case, at this moment, you do tend towards the security-related scenario.

BERMAN: Fiendishly complicated, is how Quest described it, could there have been technical or pilot error in this case?

Is there a plausible scenario though, where that could have happened? As a pilot, what are those explanations?

LES ABEND, 777 CAPTAIN: We like to draw parallels other events. It is very easy for us to do. It is just human nature. If you're part of accident investigation you do that, but some of the events that might have occurred, and it may be out there, lets take hypoxia.

Captain was said to be cheerful. OK. That's very plausible that he was. What if during that period of time the last communication, they had and insidious slow leak of cabin pressure. As the cabin pressure is leaking you don't know the effect is having you.

At some point they're getting giddy, they can't perform math problems and they can't fly the aircraft appropriately. Maybe something distracted them. They disconnect the autopilot and this happened. Far- fetched perhaps, but that's still possible.

We could go into losing control of the aircraft by some other means as Richard brought up Air Asia.

BERMAN: Richard, I think I heard you suggesting that you doubt that is a plausible explanation. Am I accurate?

QUEST: I mean, only in the sense that we don't have any other radar data that would lend support to this.

Take on board fully what Les is saying completely, the realms of possibility in this case, and I'm the first person always says let's not jump to the security solution. Let's not say it was a bomb. Let's look to everything. Take Swiss air, take Air Asia, take British Airways. There's been numerous cases were the final solution has been completely unthinkable at this particular point. Which is why we don't speculate.

But in this case the level of detail that we are getting in the scenario that's painted means, I think you have to look far more to the security at the moment then you do to the mechanical.

BERMAN: Deborah Hersman, I want to bring in this conversation right now.

The vice president of Egypt Air says the material they thought was from the plane is not, in fact, debris from the plane.

You've been through a lot in accident investigations. First of all, how does a mistake like that happen and where would you be starting now? What steps would you be taking now to investigate?

DEBORAH HERSMAN, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL: You know, I think it is not unusual when you look at investigations in the first 24 hours, there are some fibs and starts, particularly when you're looking and investigations that involves multiple countries puts a lot of pressure to get information out.

It is disappointing to see that the information was put out that they found debris. But, not necessarily unexpected when there is some confusion.

Investigators are really focused right now on locating that debris field. Identifying where those records might be, but in the end of the day we have got to do a better job as an aviation community.

Making sure we know the effect location of the aircraft if they go down, and making sure we have enough information for flight data records to help us put pieces together without having to comb the bottom of the floor of the sea to find them.

BERMAN: Phil Mudd, no claim of responsibility, yet, for this attack, if it was an attack. And if indeed it was such an event, dome kind of terrorists activity, why no claim?

PHILLIP MUDD, FORMER SENIOR OFFICIAL FBI AND CIA: I think we should wait a couple days before coming to a final conclusion. When you first look at this you could assume maybe, that you would expect immediate claim. I don't think that's correct. The reason I suggest that we ought to give this a couple of days, couple of reasons. First is, Isis is not as centralized as Al Qaeda was in the 9/11

attacks. They may - - If this happens to be a Isis operation, they may not have known what happened here.

If it's an independent operator that had access, for example, because of clearance at an airport in Paris to an aircraft. They might not be able to determine within a day or two whether the individual was supportive of Isis.

The second, I think this is a far less significant reason, if they were indeed responsible. Remember the reaction to the Paris attacks. And how many bombings took place against Isis targets in Syria. They may be saying, look, when we get out there on the air and claim responsibility, we better have all our guys scattered. Everybody in NATO and elsewhere is going to come bombing targets. Even lesser targets than Syria so lets prepare.

I think we ought to get another day or two before we decide that no claim insignificant. Not yet.

BERMAN: David Galan, we keep saying if this was an attack. One of the things that will be key to determining what happened on the aircraft. Are the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice data recorder.

In addition to simply finding the debris from this aircraft, which obviously still hasn't been done. That is difficult in and of itself. What are the difficulties inherent in the Mediterranean to locating the black boxes? If in fact they get lucky enough to find the debris.

DAVID GALLO, CO-LED SEARCH FOR AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447: The debris will be floating at the surface inevitably, then the trick is to backtrack that to where 'X' marks the spot. Find the center of the haystack in which to look for that needle. The average that could be 2 miles in this part of the Mediterranean.

You have got to assemble ships, robots, the various kinds of robots. The team, the organization, it will take a while to get all of that up and running once the search area is described.

BERMAN: And just remind us how long do the pings, how long do they transmit their signals?

GALLO: I believe on the order of a month or more. That's very iffy, you've got to have conditions just about right, water depth and topography to be able to hear things.

BERMAN: These are things that are happening right now as we speak. Remember it's the dead of night now in the Mediterranean as the search is going on.

Everybody standby. There's more to cover, including focus on security at the airport in Paris were less than a year ago more than 50 workers were removed from their job because of suspected ties to terror.

Later, because this is happening during a presidential campaign, there is a political fall out. Reaction from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. And Trump's late reaction to her that's stirring things up.


[20:30:12] BERMAN: Tonight's breaking news, the search for EgyptAir flight 804 and for answers continues. This is not the first disaster for this airline, which is had nearly two dozen major incidents in about the last four decades.

Gary Tuchman reports.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Since the 1970s, EgyptAir, Egypt's state run airline has had 23 airplane crashes or airplane hijackings according to the Aviation Safety Network. Ten of the accidents involved fatalities.

The deadliest in October 31st, 1999, EgyptAir flight 990 crashes off the coast of Nantucket on it's way from Los Angeles to Cairo. All 217 people aboard the Boeing 767 died. Shocked relatives think about their last moments with their loved ones, like this man who lost his brother.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just hugging him, saying good-bye to him, and telling him take care of yourself.

TUCHMAN: The National Transportation Safety Board says a deliberate act by the co-pilot caused the crash. On the cockpit voice recorder that co-pilot is heard saying, I rely on God 11 times after the captain went to the lavatory. Frantic efforts by the crew to save the plane failed.

To this day, the government of Egypt has refuse to accept the findings by the U.S. government that the co-pilot was responsible for killing everyone on board the plane. The most recent incident in March of this year, EgypAir flight 181, a domestic flight from Alexandria, Egypt to Cairo is hijacked by an Egyptian man. The hijacker claims he has an explosive belt and the plane is flown to Cyprus, the hijacker surrenders several hours later, his belt did not contained explosives and al of the passenger were unhurt. The most recent deadly EgyptAir crash happened in 2002, flight 843 A Boeing 737 crash in bad weather in to a hill at the Tunis, Tunisia Airport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was an emergency landing due apparently to a landing gear dysfunction.

TUCHMAN: 14 people died, 48 others survived. The deadliest airline crash in Egyptian soil wasn't an EgyptAir flight, it was MetroJet flight 9268. A Russian charter flight which exploded over Egypt-Sinai peninsula in 2015 on it's way to St. Petersburg Russia from Sharm el- Sheikh, Egypt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two black boxes were retrieved.

TUCHMAN: ISIS took responsibility for blowing up the airbus 321. All 224 passengers and crew were killed. That MetroJet crash happened October 31st, the same date that EgyptAir flight 990 crashed near Nantucket 16 years earlier.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.


BERMAN: All right back now with Richard Quest and Phil Mudd also joining the conversation, CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem former U.S. assistant secretary for Homeland Security.

Phil, I want to start with you here again, we don't know for sure what happen here not even close at this point, but if someone did take down this plane as part of the deliberate act, if they were able to smuggle an explosive on at Charles de Gaulle airport or perhaps before, why target an EgyptAir flight with just 66 on board a flight from Paris to Cairo. Why not go after an American flight, why not go after a plane with more people on board. PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: That makes perfect sense John, but you got to be cautious about one thing in these circumstances. We tend to look back after an incident and try to impose some perfect logic. If they had access to the aircraft to an aircraft to the airfield, why didn't they pick as your suggesting a more prominent target. Before we apply some sort of perfect logic on the pass, couple reasons they might have picked an aircraft that has fewer people, lower profile airline.

Number one, access. Let say somebody out inside had access to EgyptAir didn't have access to other aircraft. Number two, let's not forget in the post Arab spring environment after 2011, there are few governments prominent and aggressive attacking ISIS. One of those is the Egyptian government. They have really been loaded for bear and hunting down ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula. Where that aircraft that Russian aircraft went down last year, so there's an easy rationale for ISIS to say we're going after them because of what they have done to us with the new military leadership in Egypt.

BERMAN: Juliette Kayyem not only Paris and Charles de Gaulle an airport right now being investigated not only the airport in Cairo, but also airports in Eritrea and Tunisia as well. Four different countries now perhaps involved in this investigation. That's going to make things very complicated.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It is very complicated. And the investigation is not just looking at terrorism or deliberate acts. So there's going to be three ways this investigation is going. Pilot error because that is still possible, you know, as something with the plane. A plane disruption. And then the third is the thing that we're talking about the most which is some sort of purposeful attack, you can call it terrorism, whatever, we don't know yet.

[20:34:59] And so the investigation has to follow all three potential theories because you don't want to go down the wrong path and exclude evidence that may suggest it is one or the other. Now the reason why people like me and Phil and others are talking about the potential for terrorism and looking at this investigation and the crew and the airports, is because a lot of the data is suggesting it's that third lane, right that is, you know, whether it's that there was no SOS call, there's no bad weather, the way that the plane swerved at the very end.

So there's a lot of data points suggesting it. I'm not there yet, but, you know, you can't deny where the data is starting to sort of weight towards that is -- was a deliberate attack.

BERMAN Richard Quest, I was struck by the vastly different response from Egypt than past incidents that involve that nation. You know, EgyptAir, 1999, they still don't officially say that that plane was brought down, even though investigations point decades. Now the MetroJet crash last year there, it took them a long, long time to say what the rest of the world was saying, that was likely an explosive that brought them down. Yet today within hours Richards, they came out and said more likely an act of terror than a technical glitch. That was striking. Can you think of any reason why that might be?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: I am actually I'm not so sure that there's of a much difference between the MetroJet and this. Yes, I know that after MetroJet they said a lot of -- they spent a lot of time saying, the aviation authorities, not the government spokesman, but the aviation authority saying -- keep saying after MetroJet, yet we recognized it could be an explosive, but we don't think -- but we can't say that yet.

Here what he is basically said that one bite, that one comment from the minister about an hour into the press conference, what he says is, yes, I'm looking at the same facts that you are and on those facts, it seems far more likely to be terrorism than not. If you go back to MetroJet, there wasn't the evidence on the ground until explosives

started to be found, a residue started to be found. So I'm not defending or prosecuting in either way, I'm saying they are in this case, stating what is clearly becoming obvious.

BERMAN: Fair enough. All right, Richard Quest, Philip Mudd, Juliette Kayyem, thanks so much.

Just ahead, very different responses today's breaking news from the two people who would be president. We're going to take -- look at the pretty big contrast between the candidate approaches, that's next.


[20:41:30] BERMAN: All right one tragedy, two very different responses from the frontrunners for president. Donald Trump tweeted about this crash early this morning before any official said it was likely a terrorist attack, he wrote, "Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness."

Then later today, Chris Cuomo asked Hillary Clinton for her thoughts after Egyptian authority said they believe that terrorism rather than technical failure is what brought down that flight. Here is what she said.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It does appear that it was an act of terrorism, exactly how of course the investigation will have to determine. But once again, it shines very bright light on the threats that we face from organized terror groups.

ISIS of course, but then there are other networks of terrorists that have to be hunted down and defeated. And I think it reinforces the need for American leadership for the kind of smart, steady leadership that only America can provide and working with our allies, our partners, our friends in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere because we have to have a concerted effort that brings to bear both domestic resources, sharing of intelligence, take a hard look at airport security one more time, whatever needs to be done must be done.


BERMAN: So Trump's campaign posted a press release after that interview. It reads in part, quote, "Look at the carnage all over the world including the World Trade Center, San Bernardino, Paris, the USS coal, Brussels and an unlimited number of other places. She and our totally ignorant president won't use the term radical Islamic terrorism. And by the way, ask Hillary Clinton who blew up the plane last night. Another terrible but preventable tragedy. She has bad judgment, and is unfit to serve as President at this delicate and difficult time in our country's history."

Joining me now CNN chief political analyst, Gloria Borger, and CNN political commentator Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany and from "The Atlantic" contributor Peter Beinart.

Gloria, you know, the -- two contrasts, you know, a very different response from two candidates to say the least.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right and, you know, earlier in the day Hillary Clinton had said that to Chris Cuomo that Donald Trump was not qualified. So then the part if the reason he said she was unfit, when he was kind of taking a shot back at her, but look, disasters are the prism through which leaders are tested, and generally speculating without information is a bad practice, particularly if you are President of the United States, or if you are one of two people that might be President of the United States.

And I think, however, you know, Hillary Clinton as we see, her experience points her to more of a silent route. So I think in the world at large what Trump did is not a good thing, but politically for him, politically it show that he is strong, that he is anti-terror, that he is willing to tell the truth, and for his supporters it is not going to hurt.

BERMAN: Kayleigh?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, we did see two different responses today and for me, Donald Trump's response emanated strength and in that interviewer with Chris Cuomo, we saw Hillary Clinton basically come out and say that Donald Trump's rhetoric, his policies are actually used for as recruitment tools for terrorism, that to me is the most irresponsible thing that has been said today, it is victim blaming. Let's step back, see what she's saying.

She's basically saying Donald Trump's policies his words are hateful, whatever you like to label them and they offend terrorists and they shouldn't be spoken because they offend terrorists.

[20:45:02] When you are essentially impart legitimacy to terrorist motives saying they have a right to be offended they not actually they do but they offended by the words, Donald Trump is saying that to me is incredibly irresponsible the victim blaming. We saw that shows strength one hand, we saw a show of essentially imparting legitimacy to a motive on the other hand, and I though it was a irresponsible. BERMAN: Peter?

PETER BEINART, THE ATLANTIC CONTRIBUTOR: It's interesting, because, you know, who said almost exactly the same words about Donald Trump's proposed temporary Muslim ban with David Petraeus. David Petraeus said that this plays directly into the hands of al-Qaeda and ISIS, not because we're concerned about the feelings of those people, but because it leads Muslims more genuinely to be more susceptible to their hateful propaganda which claims that United States is hostile to Muslims.

When he says this, we're not going to allow any Muslims in, that makes it pretty easy for people like ISIS and al-Qaeda to go and say, you know, what America is hostile and at war with Muslims, that what's David Petraeus was saying, I'm sure you wouldn't claim ...

BERMAN: Hang on one second.

BEINART: ... that he doesn't know something about terrorism.

BERMAN: Hang on one second, I want put little bit more what Donald Trump say, because I want to ask something specifically about that. So let's listen.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So Today we had a terrible tragedy. And she came up when she said that Donald Trump talked about radical Islamic terrorism, which she doesn't want to use, she used a different term. Because she doesn't want to use that term. She refuses to use that term. And I'm saying to myself and it's a terrible thing. And he essentially shouldn't be running for office. He doesn't have the right to run for office. And I'm saying to myself what just happened about 12 hours ago, a plane got blown out of the sky, and if anything, if anybody thinks it wasn't blown out of the sky, you're 100 percent wrong, folks.


BERMAN: Kayleigh, I just want to focus on that last part there, because it's interesting. He said if anyone thinks it wasn't blown out of the sky, you're 100 percent wrong. We don't know, I mean all of our best reporting right now, the U.S. government, intelligence suspicion all over the world say, likely -- it was likely an act of terror, but we just don't know.

When the Donald Trump who was running for president says 100 percent it was blown out of the sky. Is this the type of language, and I know his supporters love the fact that he uses blunt language and in decisive, but is this type of language that he's got to adjust in temper as he gets closer to the White House?

MCENANY: I don't think so, because you're right, we don't know officially yes, but -- every sign points in that direction. He's been pressing on many of these issues, be it pointing to Osama bin Laden as being a dangerous person before anyone else did, being against the Iraq war before Hillary Clinton was against the Iraq war.

I think likely he will be right on this and he is exactly right to say what he said about radical Islam. Hillary Clinton will not use that term that's what it is we can put our head in the sand and act like that's not what's happening around the world, but it is happening. And they hate the west, they hate modern Muslims, they hate Christians, they hate Jews.


MCENANY: ISIS, radical Islamic terrorist ...


MCENANY: ... they hate humanity and to act like they don't exist and there's not radical Islamic terrorism, saying those words is important, because there is a motive there, the interpretation of the crime that is out there that is killing people.

BEINART: Sure, the problem is -- if you talk about ISIS we know what that is. If you talk about radical Islam, I don't think with all due respect you have any idea what that is. Is the Saudi government a radical Islam? Yes ...

BORGER: They don't know exactly what it is.

BEINART: Yes, the Saudi government could buy -- is that this regime that is based on Sharia, the regime in Pakistan or elsewhere. The point it's a completely ill defined term. And that's what makes it dangerous.

BORGER: But your question is about the language.

BERMAN: Right.

BORGER: OK. And what you said is that signs likely point to terrorism. What would have been so bad about saying that, that all signs point to this. Rather than saying 100 percent a bomb blew up that plane listen -- we don't know. And when your President of United States or one of the top two, it can be catastrophic if you make that kind of mistake.

BERMAN: And Gloria, just last thought here, I think this is an argument or discussion where both sides, both Clinton supporters and Trump supporters like what the candidates did today.

MCENANY: Absolutely.

BERMAN: They like where they are on this.

BORGER: They do. And, you know, listen, Hillary Clinton was tough on Donald Trump today in her interview with Chris Cuomo, calling him offensive, dangerous, a loose cannon, and on and on. And Donald Trump gave it right back to her. And this is the race.

What we saw today, in discussing this whole airplane crash encapsulates the kind of race we're going to see and the differences between these two candidates.

BERMAN: Just one day and I get there well like a 150 more. All right ...

BORGER: You got all?

BERMAN: Thank you so much.

Hillary Clinton as Gloria was saying, he had a lot to say about Donald Trump today in that exclusive interview with Chris Cuomo. We're going to bring it to you in the next hour on this two hour edition of "360".

Also ahead, a powerful and easy to you can see explosive a terrorist have used in the past to try to bring down planes. Could this help solve the mystery of EgyptAir flight 804?


[20:53:43] BERMAN: So as we said, U.S. officials say their initial theory is that a bomb may have brought down EgyptAir flight 804. The airline are vanished from radar over the Mediterranean, it was bound for Cairo from Paris with 66 people on board. Investigators now face the daunting task of retracing the hours

leading up to takeoff will also trying to piece together what happened during the plane's final moments in the air.

The investigation will no doubt be informed by past attempts to bring down planes. Every previous plot, successful or not, contains a trove of information about the tactics bad guys used. Here is Randi Kaye.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: December 22nd, 2001 just three months after the 9/11 attacks, American airlines flight 63, with 197 passengers and crew, suddenly in trouble. Passenger Richard Reid was attempting to detonate a plastic explosive called PETN, he concealed in his shoes. Passengers pounced and the flight headed from Paris to Miami was safely escorted by fighter jets to Boston's Logan airport. Reid is a British citizen who converted to Islam, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Richard Reid is an al-Qaeda trained Islamic extremist, while on a mission engaged in acts of international terrorism, through motivated by his hate of the United States.

[20:55:07] KAYE: Nearly five years later in August 2006, 24 men were arrested by British authorities, charged with plotting to blow up as many as 10 flights over the Atlantic simultaneously. Their weapon of choice, explosive liquid smuggled aboard in soda bottles.

After that, liquids were limited to no more than three ounces on board the aircraft, by then, passengers were already facing tighter security from the 9/11 attacks. Shoes had to be removed, laptops taken out, box cutters, and lighters were forbidden. But the terrorists were getting more creative. Christmas day, 2009, another failed attempt, using the deadly explosive PETN. Northwest airlines flight 253 was on the way from Amsterdam to Detroit when a passenger tried to set off explosives sewn into his underwear. The so-called underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was sentenced to life in prison. Turns out he had been in contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior al-Qaeda recruiter later killed in a U.S. drone strike.

A year later in 2010 a suspect tries again to use PETN as a bomb. On two cargo planes, bound for Chicago. The devices were disguised as ink cartridges, discovered after a tip. This is a recreation of what could have happened. The prime suspect was a Saudi bomb maker named Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, believed to be a member al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Sidney Alford is a bomb expert.

SIDNEY ALFORD, BOMB EXPERT: There's no doubt about this, this is an ingenious way of doing it.

If that had been on the airplane fuselage, and heaven help the airplane.

KAYE: Whoever built the bomb likely thought it would pass through an X-ray machine with PETN disguised as printer, toner, powder.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


BERMAN: All right thanks to Randi, we're going to have much more in the next hour. We'll have the latest on the mystery of the missing Egyptian airliner, the early stages of the investigation, and why U.S. officials suspected it was a bomb that brought the plane down.

Plus, Hillary Clinton in her own words, covering lot of ground in an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo. New words, new statements on Donald Trump. Donald Trump was a big topic there, why she says her rival isn't ready to be commander in chief and also a surprising words about Bernie Sanders.