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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  May 5, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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made youz to marry dave. and for if first time since her husband died on friday she's made her first public comment on facebook of course. the white house facebook page where the first family posted their condolences, he wrote, thank you president obama for this beautiful tribute. david goldberg admire you for your passion and your deep love of sposhts. >> your thoughts and prayers go out to sheryl sandberg and her family. hoping now, isis attack claim. the terror group says it carried out the assault on a tloefrl event in texas and warns of worse to come as the u.s. investigating connections between the gunman and terrorists abroad. one u.s. official says the isis role was quote more than just inspiration. drone over the war zone. zrood images of a devastating city freed from the grip of
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isis. residents paid a terrible price for their freedom. caught my surprise baltimore's police commissioner says there was no warning that six of his police officers would be charged and admits his department has been part of the problem in the city. and held in north korea, a u.s. student detained in the north is speaking out for the first time about his capture and his treatment. we'll have an exclusive report live from the communist capital of pyongyang. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." isis is claiming its first attack inside the united states. the terror group now says the gunman who attacked a prophet muhammad event in texas were its soldiers and brothers and warns that future attacks will be worse. both of the american gunmen were shot dead at the scene. one of them did have social media tie to isis. and right now the united states is investigating how much of a role isis may have played in the attack.
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that comes as if u.s. offers hugh rewards for information on four key leaders of isis. the bounties run from $3 million to $7 million for the men. each has been labeled especially designated global terrorist. i'll talk about all of that and more with our correspondents and analysts and guests. let's get the latest now from our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto. >> wolf tonight a u.s. official tells cnn that the garland, texas shooting was quote certainly more than just inspiration by the terror group isis. while that does not mean that the terror group gave the gunmen specific intersections, communication via social media between simpson and the terror group demonstrates its ability open reach to recruit all the way inside the u.s. today isis took responsibility for the garland, texas shooting. the first attack it has claimed on u.s. soil.
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u.s. officials are now probing connections between one of the texas gunmen elton simpson and isis to determine to what degree the attack was directed from abroad. though there is no evidence the terror group gave the gunmen specific intersections, one u.s. official tells cnn that the shooting was, quote, certainly more than just inspiration by isis. >> because of the quick and professional and brave work of local law enforcement officers an attempted terrorist attack was foiled. >> the attack fits a well-known pattern of isis recruitment and incitesment, encouraging sympathizers via a sophisticated social media campaign to join the fight in syria, or if they cannot carry out terror attacks closer to home. simpson apparently had public exchanges on twitter about the mu had ma'am cartoon event in gar rand.
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and another person tied to the somali based terror group. >> i don't know that you can say that isis said go to garland, texas and attack that location and that activity. but they're certainly part of the psychological approach of this that causes people to be radicalized. >> those who knew simpson and his fellow gunman tell cnn they never suspected they were terrorists. >> they didn't show any signs of radicalization or any signs of even thinking about those things in that manner. so when that happens, it just shocks you. >> today the head of counter terror at the fbi confirmed that the kwib opened a new investigation into simpson just in recent months adding that social media postings usually a part of neither roar investigation. what's clear here is there were connections, there was communication between the gunmen and isis overseas. doesn't mean that isis was telling them exactly what to do or when. but that communication is
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something they're looking at more closely here. and it looks like that was more there for than him just getting the idea online. that he had some direction from abroad. >> certainly looks like the first direct isis attack here in the united states. and i know officials are bracing for more. jim sciutto, thanks very much. palm la, whatpamela what are investigators learned from searching their home? >> reporter: what they've learned is that social media is a key part of this whole sore story as far as inspiring the gunmen to go to garland, texas from their home here in phoenix, arizona and attempt to launch a terrorist attack that we know was ultimately foiled. and we're learning more from officials who are on the front lines of this who have been analyzing the social media
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interactions between the gunmen particularly elton simpson and two known terrorists overseas that there was talk of the cartoon event weeks leading up to the actual event on sunday. as jim pointed out, there were interactions between simpson and at least two known terrorists one of them being a terrorist in somalia tied to al qaeda and another a british isis fighter who we're learning more about. officials believed he played a key role with inspiring simpson. he's known to be a significant figure in isis. he is considered a double threat. he's tech savvy. he's also known to be a leader within isis. and he has a lot of recruitment power according to sources we've been speaking with. so we know that simpson was in touch with him. and that a week before the cartoon event in texas, simpson was interacting with the terrorists in somalia. and this is what he said over
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twitter. he said when will they ever learn. they're planning on selecting the best picture drown in texas. indicating he was angry of the event. and this in response they said the brothers of "charlie hebdo" did their part. it's time for the brothers in the u.s. to do theirs. we learned that the fbi reopened an investigation into simpson in part at least because of his interactions online with these known terrorists. of course that raises questions as far as how they were able to get from their home here in phoenix to garland, texas. i can tell you from speaking to officials, wolf we've been talking about this concern of isis reaching into the u.s. through social media, identifying targets and recruiting. we're seeing that play out. this has certainly been a wakeup call. >> they got there with body armor, with vests, bullet proof
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vests and with assault rifles at the same time and could have obviously been a whole lot worse. joining us now is a key voice on national security senator angus king. he's the independent senator from maine, serves on the intelligence and armed services committees. would you agree this was the first, i guess it's successful. they actually managed to start firing their assault weapons. the first successful isis attack on u.s. soil senator? >> well i think that may be a slight overstatement because we don't have yet any data that connects them to this attack but it's pretty darn close. we know that isis and there are other supporter, al shabaab and others were tweeting about the conference in texas and urging people to take up arms. i don't know if they contacted this guy in phoenix directly and said you should go. but you know we're splitting hairs here. i think the reality is this is what happened. isis was urging an attack. these guys responded.
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and this is a real danger. now there is a bit of success here. the fbi and the homeland security department contacted local law enforcement people in texas in the area of this conference last thursday and said -- told them that they thought there was a significant risk of some kind of attack. and then of course the local people bravely and ably took these guys out. so you know there is a, there is a success here in terms of counter terrorism. but the problem is how much more of this are we going to face. and this was an easy target to identify by our fbi and homeland security. what about a random attack somewhere else in the country. that's going to be much more difficult. >> it certainly will be. senator we know that isis is claiming responsibility they're claiming credit from their perspective as far as this attack in texas is concerned. but do you have any more specific information on the isis involvement? other u.s. officials are telling
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cnn the attack in their words was quote certainly more than just inspiration. >> yeah. i think that's true. inspiration would be kind of a generalized term. but clearly they were sending out a kind of apb of here's this event taking place, the brothers in the u.s. should take care of it like the brothers did in france. so that was the language they were using. again we're splitting hairs. does that mean they ordered the guy in phoenix to go and do this or did he pick up on the social media and say i'm one of the broths i'm going to go and do it. the point is they are definitely definitely into the business of trying to inspire these kind of attacks. and direct them. and it's just something that we're going to have to continue to deal with given the state of the world that we live in. >> and they are now warning also of bigger attacks down the road. senator, stand by. we have more to discuss.
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we'll take a quick break. much more with senator angus king when we come back.
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we're back with senator angus king. she serves on the senator and intelligence committee. in taking responsibility isis warned in their words of bigger and more bitter terror attacks. do you have any information about active plots that may be in the works right now? >> no information on active plots. but i don't think there's any doubt that they would very much
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like to have those kind of effects here in the country. and you know the distinction we were talking about before did they order this attack. and i think they did in a general kind of way but not in a specific way of contacting this fellow in phoenix. but they're going to continue to try to do this and we've got to try to keep one step ahead of them with our intelligence assets with our law enforcement assets. but you know we can't have a circle of police around every public space in america. there are not that many police and that's not the country we want to live in. we've got to try to counter act this in all -- moving on all fronts. but a key element is intelligence. and interestingly, a key element is successful careful monitoring of social media. these guys advertise what they're going to do on twitter. that's something -- this is a whole new world where we've got to have the fbi and our intelligence agencies monitoring social media. >> that's a tough job, though because there's a lot of stuff
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going on out there on social media. you don't know what's real what's fake or what's serious, what's a real threat. some people are suggesting these two guys they were pretty inept. they show ud up with assault rifles but one traffic cop with a handgun killed both of them before they could do any damage. what does that say? >> i think what it says is we were lucky. we had good warning from the intelligence from the fbi but we also had good policing on the local level. what if they had been more competent, better armed and better prepared? this could have been a real tragedy, wolf. i think this time we were fortunate in the way it turned out. we're just going to have to do -- continue to do everything we can to deal with and prevent these kinds of things. but understand that living in a free country there are going to be risks. >> i know you believe in free speech, the first amendment like
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all of us but here's the question. should this event defikting the prophet mumuhammad should it have taken place in the first place? sfl if you can't tolerate offensive speech then the first amendment doesn't mean anything. there is never a justification for violence against somebody in this country who is expressing their opinion, no matter how obnoxious it is to me or someone else. now what the problem is though we have to understand that our reference for the first amendment doesn't extend across the globe and that there are people who -- there are laws against blasphemy and all of these other things in other countries. that's where it gets complicated. we have the right of free speech in this country and that goes for words we don't like. no justification for this no matter how provocative this event was. but i do think it's important, wolf that these were two, you
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know -- i don't know what their mental state was, but clearly they weren't well balanced. but not to say okay well all muslims in america, eve got to watch and surreal and everything else. to attribute these actions to millions of law abiding patriotic americans i think would be a tragic outcome from this event. we've really got to be careful about that. >> that's absolutely true. senator king thanks for joining us. coming up, stunning scenes of devastation captured by a drone flying over the city of kobani which endured an isis assault and coalition air strike zbloos a cnn exclusive as a u.s. student detained in the communist capital talks for the first time about his capture and his treatment. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." while others go in circles... and repeat themselves... we choose to carve our own path, in the pursuit of exhilaration.
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let's get back to our top story. isis says it was behind the attack on a controversial prophet muhammad event in texas. and u.s. investigators work to determine how big of a role the terror group actually played. joining us now our cnn security analyst, peter bergman, a and our military analyst, retired lieutenant general mark hurt ling. was this the first successful isis attack in the u.s.? >> i'm a skeptic on this. when we faced 99/11 and hads the attempted bombing over detroit, he was involved with the al qaeda affiliate in yemen.
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these guys may have had some communication, we're not sure yet. they're inspired by isis but this does not look like an isis ait can. it's like giving me a baseball bat and saying i'm a member of the new york yankees. >> i agree completely. we're talking about a force that's communicating and inspired by the ideology but has not been trainedary not part of a formation. this is very different and it's going to continue. >> you wrote a major piece on in which you say is shooting in texas was inevitable. what do you mean? >> if you look at the record of americans who have been convicted of trying to kill cartoonist we wef another three of them and we've got other americans who have been indicted for inciting sirens against people who have drawn cartoons of the prophet muhammad. this was an accident waiting to happen. we've got a cartoonist in hiding
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for four years now at the advice of the fbi because she was doing some of the drawings herself. i think most of the americans would be surprised this would happen here in this country. but the fact is this was less of a surprise than it should have been. >> was it a propaganda win for isis. now they can boast they even hit texas in the united states. >> i think that's true. we look at this as americans paz a blund are. they never made it anywhere. i think if you're an isis individual you step back and say, we're trying to lead people to believe that if they don't act they're cowards. people around -- who are affiliated with ie sies might look at that -- they've given me a message that i've got to go out and do the same thing. otherwise i have to step back and say don't have the courage in any convictions. people might say shoot, i better go out and do the same thing otherwise i'm not acting on my beliefs. >> but all over social media,
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they're going to be claiming credit for this. >> that's what i was going to say. it could be a recruiting win. we always have to watch that. there with no front lines to this battlefield. there are individuals acting like this. they want to recruit more and more. they will take advantage of the success they can get and this is one of them. >> if there were videos released by isis on social media in the coming days sthoug those two guys saying this is what we're doing, we're going to defend the prophet, we're going to texas, we're ready to die -- if they were able to release videos like that that would be a significant move a significant development, right sf. >> we've seen this before with coulibaly who was one of the paris attackers. he never went to jeer sere-- syria. that would be another sort of propaganda victory for isis. i agree with phil and general
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hurt ling. the fact that people are in contact on twitter, does that mean they're being directed by isis. in fact isis is putting out a lot of publications in english with twitter handles of people to reach out to. so in fact it would be surprising if they weren't in contact over twitter, have been a direct message kind of sense. >> i want to show the viewers some video. this is drone video over kobani a city in syria that isis had controlled. the u.s. and coalition partners launched air strikes. look at this video. this is the destruction. this whole city about 70% of it has been destroyed. syrian kurds are now in control. but isis forces they are only 20 25 miles outside of what used to be a city. look at this zroen video, general. this is the result largely we're told of the are strikes that went in there to punish and destroy isis in kobani.
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>> a combination of air strikes and counter artillery fire. this is the kind of thing, this kind of picture does not surprise me. i've seen it before. we've not only seen it recently especially in certain areas of the middle east where the construction is not that good it's not well support nd. but you could go back and sea pictures of world war ii. you could see pictures in england, germany and france and see these kind of pictures after major battles. it's unfoort nate but the good news is when you hear the citizens of the town saying we will rebuild, that's the important thing. it's a conflict of will. >> some people say they look at these pictures and they say, yeah isis is out but they're 25 miles or so from the city. people can't go back. there are no houses left over there. i guess a lot of people are asking was it worth it to basically destroy kobani in order to get isis out of there. >> look when we were talking last summer into the fall we
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were talking about the surprisingly effective isis offensive. now we're looking at kobani saying not only has isis been able to succeed, they've been pushed back. we're seeing the cost of war. you're going to see this in any war if we had said last fall we're be talking in may of 2015 about an isis pushback and there's going to be a big cost most people including the kurds would say that's the cost of war. i'll buy it. >> you can only imagine how many civilian casualties there were as a result of this aerial campaign campaign. >> it remines you about the great line in vietnam, we destroyed the village in order to solve it. this is often the cost of war. but this seems particularly in an age wh when have more discriminating fire power, this is incredible. >> it's really heartbreaking to see it. >> this is stunning. i think this is the 21st century
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war when you have groensdrones getting into american living rooms to understand that war is not a video game. >> the difference too, less than 1% of the american people serve in uniform. so many have not seen this. the these who have served in iraq and afghanistan have seen this before. the korean war veterans are going to say, yeah that's in some cases london in 1945 after the bomb attack. it is part of conflict and it's unfortunate that people have to go back to this and rebuild. >> now with the drones flying over we're going to see it the american public is going to see it. it's going to have an impact. coming up a cnn exclusive, baltimore police commissioner admits and i'm quoting him now, we are part of the problem. we are have an exclusive report from north korea city pyongyang where a captured student is now speaking out.
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baltimore police commissioner
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because of freddie gray's death. let's go to our justice recorder evan perez. he has exclusive information based on an exclusive interview you had with the baltimore police commissioner. evan tell our viewer what is you learned. >> reporter: we were all shocked on friday when the state attorney announced charges against these six officers. commissioner anthony batts of the baltimore police learned about it just minutes before we did. here's how he describes the phone call he got from marilyn, the state attorney in baltimore city. >> i found out that the state attorney was going on and what she was going to present probably ten minutes before she went on. she gave me a phone call and told me what she was about to do and that she was going on live. she told me what the charges were. >> what were you first words out of your mouth when you heard that? >> i don't want to get into that so much. i can say that i was probably
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surprised, you know by the information that i heard. i think that the state's attorney was very focused on being independent in this particular investigation. she didn't want to be seen connected to the police organization. so the communication was limited as compared to what i'm used to. >> evan this incident revealed apparently just how much distrust there is at least between the police department and so many of the citizens of baltimore. does the commissioner the police commissioner think broader changes need to be made? >> reporter: yes, he does wolf. he says that he knows he has a lot of work to do. he's been here about three years, almost three years now. and he clearly thinks that there's a long way to go. here's how we describes what he has to do. >> there is a lack of trust within this community period bottom line. that's going to take healing. that's going to take us acknowledging as a police department not just here in baltimore but law enforcement as a whole, that we've been part of
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the problem. out of trying to be part of the solution we have become part of the problem. when we acknowledge that and understand we can start to heal. the community needs to hear that. the community needs to hear from us that we see we haven't been part of the solution and that we have to now evolve. >> reporter: and wolf you know he's going to start announcing some changes that he's going to make in the department including improved training for his officers and better equipment so they can deal with whatever comes next in reaction to the freddie gray case. >> evan good work. thank you. let's dig deeper on the problems in baltimore right now. joining us criminal defense attorney hln legal analyst joey jackson along with the former assistant degreer of the fbi, joe fuentes. what's your reaction to what the police commissioner anthony batts just told our own evan perez. >> i'm not surprised at all for the following reasons that he wouldn't be given a bigger heads
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up in being notified about the charges. it's very important that the state's attorney be viewed as independent. and it's important that she allows the community to know that she works for them. she works for the state. she does not work for the commissioner. number two, it's important that she not be seen as incahoots in any way, as having consulted him in any way. and number three, in order to maintain the public trust and integrity of her office, she needed to move forward and she needed to really pursue this investigation in a way that didn't entangle the police department in it. in terms of the commissioner being surprised by the charges, that's a little surprising to me in that clearly, you know i believe he would have known something was forthcoming with regard to the events that occurred the actions of the officers and the death of freddie gray. someone needs to be held accountable. i'm not suggesting at this point that they're guilty. there needs to be a trial for that. but certainly in accountability
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there's due process, notice of charges and their opportunity to be heard which will come later at a trial provide ud they're indicted. >> what's your reaction to what the police commissioner just said. >> i agree with joey to an extent. but on the other hand i'm used to seeing these announcement of charges press conferences be a joint effort. you had close to 50 detectives from the police department work on it. they gathered much of the investigation investigation to be used in the charging documents. i question how independent just based on resources the prosecutor really was in working on the nf gags. i'm used to seeing the prosecutor, the head of the investigating agencies the local police police commissioners. we're just used to a large group at these announcements of we all work together to come up with these charges and get this far in the investigation. i was a little surprised for them to be excluded. >> wolf briefly, i would agree with that absolute lip. but remember these charges involve charging the police.
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generally when law enforcement convenes with the prosecutor regarding an investigation with civilians, it's joint show of cooperation and collaboration. but when they're dealing with their own, i think it was very important to set up these walls and to show that she meant business and she was going to do things on her terms and in her own way. >> by all accounts the commissioner has a moral problem on his police force. a lot of the police officers seem to be identifying with those six police officers who have been charged. >> that's true. the commissioner is in a difficult spot. he has to back up his officers and show he's supporting the police but not when the police are being charged. but on the other hand you know the police commissioner everybody in baltimore is unified in wanting to make things better with the police. so at least by showing up at a charging press conference like this you understood kate that yes, we want to clean up. we want to make changes too. i think at the end of the day the commissioner was probably
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happy he doesn't wasn't at the podium for these type of charges in this particular case. coming up a u.s. student being held in north korea talks exclusively to cnn about his capture and treatment. also the north korea leader kim young unback in the pilot seat. but is he really in control? so if you have a flat tire dead battery need a tow or lock your keys in the car, geico's emergency roadside assistance is there 24/7. oh dear, i got a flat tire. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think? geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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for the first time a u.s. student held by north korea speaking out about his capture and his treatment. will ripley is joining us live from north korean capital of
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pyongyang right now for this exclusive report. will tell us what you've learned and what you've seen. >> reporter: well we first learned about this young man's detainment wolf shortly after we got on the ground here in pyongyang. that was over the weak end and that's when we put in our official request to speak with him. that request was granted yesterday. we had just a few minutes to chat with him as he walked into the room. but when i started asking himg questions, i realized this story was quite bizarre, his account of taking a smes off from school and deciding to enter north korea without permission thinking something good would happen. >> hey, i'm will. i'm with cnn. nice to meet you. >> this is joo won moon's first contact with the world since his capture. >> my loved ones are worrying about me. but i would like to say i'm well and there's no need to worry.
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>> cnn given exclusive access to the 21-year-old. joo says he took a semester off traveling from new jersey to clerch and then china, crossing a river on the north korean border pep he made it past two bashed wire fences following a large river until north korean soldiers detained him. i thought that by my entrance illegally i acknowledge, but i thought some great event could happen and hopefully that event could have a good effect in the relations between the north and south. >> reporter: so what kind of great event did you think would happen? >> of course i am not completely sure yet. >> reporter: joo moved to the united states from south korea with his family in 2001. he's a permanent u.s. resident but a korean citizen. ♪ north korea doesn't take kindly to outsiders crossing their border without permission. south korea's government is
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demanding joo's immediate release and that of two other detained koreans who gave exclusive interviews to cnn. they're being detained south koreans. north and south korea are still technically at war. their border heavily armed, a potential flash point for violence. now the two enemies share a new serious problem. this college student from the u.s. hoping his bizarre journey won't end in a north korean prison. >> i hope you know that i will be able to tell the world how an ordinary college student entered the dprk illegally but however with the generous treatment of the dprk that i will be able to return home safely. >> reporter: there were no preconditions set for this interview. we didn't have a limit on the questions we could ask. we don't know if that was the case with this young man. didn't get any indication that he was coached ahead of time.
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you simply don't know. however, i will say this. he said he was being treated very humanely with his own private room a private bathroom. but what he didn't have was access to a phone. this interview really was his first opportunity not only to send the message to his friends, but also perhaps more importantly, the south korean government. even though he has lived in the u.s. since 2001 wolf is a permanent resident but he remains a south korean citizen. so now its that country's issue to try to figure out how to get this young man home. north and south korea have been at war for decades. they don't have diplomatic relations. while this young man thought he was accomplishing something great potentially, he faces the very real danger of ending up in a north korean prison if these two governments can't sort this out. >> i'm sure his family was happy to see him and hear him in your report. we'll check back with you tomorrow will ripley doing exclusive reporting from pyongyang in north korea. north korea's kim jong un
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appears in a video. indications of a brutal new crackdown. brian todd is looking into this part of the story. what are you finding out? >> reporter: new information that kim jong un is once again reasserting his power inside north korea. according to south korea intelligence he recently ordered the executions of several top officials. and in a new propaganda video, there are clear signs that a close relative is gaining influence in kim's inner circle. with breathless urgency, the north korean broadcaster gushes over her leader as kim jong un climbs into a small plane. if it takes off, it's not clear if he is piloting it. the announcer can't contain herself as she narrates scenes of a bombing exercise. as military march music plays in the background we see images of kim commanding his troops. but this recent propaganda video might have been released because kim feels threatened. he recently backed out of a planned trip to moscow this weekend. it's not clear if kim ever intended to go.
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>> no doubt, if he leaves the country, the territory of nork that is opening up the possibility of some kind of a power grab. >> reporter: there are new rumbles of a power grab inside north korea. in recent days south korean intelligence agents told lawmakers that kim is ruling with an iron first ordering the executions of 15 senior officials so far this year. cnn cannot independently confirm the executions. >> suggests yet again somebody who is uneasy he is questioning the loyalty of subordinates even subordinates who would not be people who would ordinarily report to him. >> reporter: kim reportedly executed his vice minister of forestries over a policy dispute, members of an orchestra and the vice-chairman of a planning commission because he objected to designing a science building in the shape of a flower according to a south korean lawmaker. >> it does suggest at a minimum that he is trying to make examples of others just to in
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effect raise the cost to anyone to do or think anything that does not have kim's direct approval. >> reporter: one person who seems safe, kim's younger sister. kim yo jong. she appears in the video a few times and is said to wield power and influence. >> i think it's a signal that he is grooming her, bringing her into the inner sanctum and potentially setting up a line of succession. you remember see very vulnerable. somebody could kill him at any moment. or if he truly has health problems, he could certainly just drop dead. >> reporter: now, in the meantime observers are left wondering when kim might finally meet with another world leader. moscow was a key opportunity for that. so far the most prominent foreigner kim has met with is dennis rodman. wolf? >> we all remember that visit by the former nba basketball player. thank you so much brian todd for that. coming up isis claims its first attack on american soil. and as the u.s. investigates links between the gunmen and
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terrorists abroad a u.s. official says the isis role was, quote, more than just inspiration. and secretary of state john kerry makes a very surprising visit to a country desperate struggle with a al qaeda ally. . and repeat themselves... we choose to carve our own path, in the pursuit of exhilaration. the 306 horsepower lexus gs. experience the next level of performance, and there's no going back.
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happening now, breaking news. isis claim. the group now says it was behind the attack in texas. and sources are revealing new details to cnn about the possible isis role. will a massive u.s. reward lead to the capture of key terror leaders? caught by surprise. baltimore's police commissioners
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talks exclusively to cnn about his shock at the charges against six of his police officers in connection with the death of freddie gray. so what is next in the investigation? and texas takeover. a pentagon exercise is spark wild speculation about a u.s. invasion of the lone star state. why are some top officials in texas spanning the conspiracy flames? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following breaking news disturbing developments in the investigation into that weekend terror attack in texas. by two gunmen targeting a gathering where cartoons of the muslim prophet muhammad were displayed. both gunmen were shot and killed. an official is now telling cnn that the attack was, quote, certainly more than just inspiration by isis which is now claiming responsibility. we're covering the story and much more this hour with our correspondents and guests
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including senate intelligence and foreign relations committee member james reich of idaho. pamela brown is in phoenix where the two gunmen lived. she has more on what is going on the isis claim of responsibility. what is the latest there, pam? >> well wolf, at this point officials are saying there is no evidence to back up this claim that isis directed the attack. but it does appear that isis did play a role to some degree. as one official told us today, it is clear that this was more than just aspirational. for the first time, isis claims responsibility for an attack on american soil and warns more are to come. the white house today calling the shootings at a controversial prophet muhammad cartoon event a terror attack. >> because of the quick and professional and brave work of local law enforcement officers
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an attempted terrorist attack was foiled. >> reporter: now law enforcement is scrambling to determine if either of the shooters were merely influenced by isis or actually directed to launch the terror attack or something in between. cnn has learned that in recent months, the fbi opened a new investigation into elton simpson. he had already been charged once for lying about trying join jihadists in somalia. less than two weeks before the texas attack simpson directed a message on twitter to this account, believed to belong to an american member of al qaeda in somalia, calling attention to the planned mohamud cartoon event in the dallas suburbs. this hours before the attack simpson urged his twitter followers to follow a known british attacker who one called a significant figure in isis. >> somebody known as a propagandist within isis, somebody known for his hacking skills who has targeted the u.s. military in previous hacks. >> reporter: investigators are exploring whether simpson was working with the isis operative to launch the attack or merely
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trying to gain his approval and attention. a top fbi official saying today the use of social media by terrorists is a daunting challenge. >> as technology evolves the bad guys are adapting. we too need to be willing and able to adapt. >> reporter: tonight we are learning more about the gunmen's past. elton simpson was captain of his high school basketball team. his former lawyer remembers noticing how religious he seemed. >> he was a very devout muslim. i did get the sense that he was trying to convert myself and my staff and the people that were working with me. >> reporter: the second gunmen nadir soofi born to a pakistan stan i father and american mother attended a prestigious school in pakistan. after his parents divorced he moved to the u.s. with his mother and brother where he was popular in school, even played the lead in his high school production of "bye-bye birdie." tonight his family is in disbelief. >> whoever he was with talked him into it. >> that's how you feel about it? >> yep.
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there is no other way it would have happened. >> reporter: and we have learned from a law enforcement official that there are two long guns and four handguns found inside the suspect's car, wolf. this could have been a lot worse. i can tell you there is this feeling in law enforcement that they're concerned that people would be radicalized online and then take action is actually coming true here in this case. >> it could have been a whole lot worse. thanks very much for that pamela brown. let's bring in jim sciutto. he is working the story for us. and jim, you're getting new information. what are you hearing from your sources? >> well clearly there was connectivity between one of the gunmen and isis overseas. and some communications specifically tweets back and forth, which indicates that he was on at least the radar screen of isis. now, as pamela said that does not mean that isis was calling the shots here picked the target told them how to trach out the target, et cetera. with any attacks like this you have a whole range of possibilities from just
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inspiration. say the gunmen read something online and carried out the attack on his own all the way up to isis calling the shots, orchestrating it. no evidence of that. but there is communication. there is back and forth there is an awareness here which is why one official said to me that in this case it's clear that it was more than just inspiration. it's early days in this investigation. and as they turn out more they're going to come to better answers to how much connectivity there was, how many connections between him and isis overseas. >> and jim the u.s. also announced today a multimillion-dollar reward for four isis terrorists. what do we know about these individuals, and why announce a reward today? >> well, this is -- look as we look at them now, really a rogue's gallery of isis suspects here. you have mustafa al kaduli. he goes way back to the days of al qaeda in iraq. abu muse sack al zarqawi more than ten years ago. the bounty on his head $7
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million. mohamud al adnani. it's often his voice among the calls for attacks on westerners. the bounty on his head $5 million. tarkan he is a man who is suspected of run foreign prisons that held foreign hostages. also $5 million like al adnani. and tariq al harzi. he is the chief of isis. bounty on his head, $3 million. really some of the most senior the most threatening figures here. why do they do it now? because they're very much in the news. and in the past these bounties have had some success occasionally in leading to their capture or their killing. if they could get any information, that's really what they're trying to do right now. part of the issue, wolf it's very difficult to get these men. they're in syria where the u.s. does not have very much presence on the ground. they're in the air but not on the ground. it's hard to find them. >> and as u.s. counterterrorism officials often say, money talks
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in this kind of world. thanks very much jim sciutto. john kerry caught the world offguard with his surprise visit to somalia today, where the weak u.s.-backed central government is locked in a deadly battle with the al qaeda ally al shabab. our global affairs correspondent e elise lavin is joining us. >> it is the first visit to somalia by an american secretary of state. really a first visit by a top u.s. official since president h.w. bush visited u.s. soldiers deployed there in 1992. and as you know since then somalia, mired in conflict and ethnic strike haven for pirates and terrorists like al shabab. u.s. drone strikes have killed groups' top leaders and african leaders the ground have weakened shabab there. i know the u.s. believes somalia is turning a corner. while the secretary was only on the ground for three hours and didn't leave the airport because of tight security his visit was
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really meant to show confidence in somalia's future. take a listen to secretary kerry. >> i visited somalia today because your country is turning around. three years have passed since a new provisional constitution was adapted and a parliament sworn in. with help somali forces have pushed al shabab out of major population centers. a determined international effort has put virtually all of somalia's pirates out of business. >> reporter: so a message america is ready to reengage the u.s. has nominated an ambassador to somalia. washington hopes within the next year or two to reopen the u.s. embassy which was cleesed in 1993 and really putting to close a painful chapter in our history when the two blackhawk helicopters were shot down. you have to give secretary kerry credit for visiting a country that is too dangerous to have any diplomatic presence.
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you will remember elise, a lot of our viewers will as well september of last year, president obama called both somalia and yemen a success. since then yemen has clearly deteriorated. the u.s. forced to shut down its embassy in yemen. he suggested it was a model for counterterrorism efforts right now. so what is going on? >> well ironically wolf some refugees are fleeing the humanitarian crisis in yemen for somalia now. now president obama has tried to keep a light footprint in these countries, primarily with drone strikes. and there may some success on the battlefield there. but the president has also been criticized for not investing enough in keeping the piece, money, with political support for the government. you saw it in yemen, and the hope is that the u.s. doesn't repeat its mistakes in somalia. and while shabab is being pushed out of a lot of areas in somalia, you seep them expanding their operations out of the country, particularly in kenya.
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you had the 2013 attack on the westgate mall and the massacre at kenya's university last month killed 148 people. so really root causes of the instability not just the soldiers on the ground wolf. >> kerry sought of somalia now. he safely got out, right? >> yes, back in kenya, wolf on his way to djibouti. a member of the intelligence and foreign relations committee, senator, thanks very much for joins u. secretary kerry said today somalia is turning around. that an accurate characterization? do you agree with him? >> things are better there than they were. that's not a very high bar. i don't know if i would go quite so far as to label it turning around. but certainly it is better there than what it's been. i guess i was surprised as everyone else was that john kerry went there. we've got so many other problems in the region to open up
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somalia, i'm not sure where we're going to go with that because it is broken. if it's possible it's broken worse than yemen is at least one of the provinces in somalia. a couple of them a little different ball game. but the one that is a real problem is badly broken. >> yeah, i'm sure you're right. but it did take guts for the secretary to even show up in mogadishu. you got to give him credit for that. >> we do have to give him credit for that. but not only that that is a reward for those people a very substantial reward to have an american secretary of state step off the airplane on to their soil and congratulate them for doing better. over there, that is a huge thing. and hopefully it will do some good. but as i say, that particular country on the list of the problems we got, there isn't much we can do right now other than what we have been doing. >> you don't think he'll be able to do that in yemen any time soon or libya for that matter where the nuss recent months have been forced to shut down
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its embassy there's as well. >> both broken states very similar to somalia. uncontrollable. difficult to get on the ground information out of if there. and all three of the countryious mentioned are really at the bottom of the list of where you can actually make progress. we've got other things going on that we really need to pay attention to that i think are a bit higher than that. >> closer to home let's talk than terror attack in texas over the weekend. isis now claiming responsibilities responsibility for it. i know you've been briefed. what can you tell us? >> well probably not much more than what your people have said already. and that is in a very general sense, there is no question that isis is responsible. now, was it from a direction telling these two people this is what you should do this is the event we want you to target, this is what time we want you to show up, this is what we want you to do. so far there has been no
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evidence really uncovered of that. and in a very general sense as far as being inspirational and giving general guidance we have all heard the general instructions that isis has given to the people here in the united states that they should pick up weapons and do just what these two people did. this ended very well for us. but wolf as you and i have discussed on a number of other occasions, this isn't a surprise to us. it's the first time here that we've really seen an isis-inspired attack. but are there going to be more of these? again, i'm not going to be surprised to see it simply because we have such an open culture, a free culture. and when they're giving instructions as they are, could we see that again? it is much more probable than unlikely. >> we know there have been al qaeda attacks inside the united states. 9/11 of course. but was this the first successful isis attack on u.s. soil? >> i'm sorry, i didn't catch the question. >> was this the first successful isis attack on u.s. soil?
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i know it wasn't all that successful because these two guys were shot and killed almost immediately, although they did manage to fire their weapons, their long guns or their assault rifles. >> it is. >> at the u.s., at the police who were there. >> well certainly it was the first attack like this. i wouldn't classify it as successful obviously. it ended very, very well for us. as we all know these things can go upside down very quickly, given the slightly different set of circumstances. had they done more homework had they done some different planning we could be looking at a very, very different situation today. now, in addition to that, this was anticipated. i believe it's out there in open source. in fact i'm sure it is. the homeland security and the fbi on april 30th put out a written warning that this particular event was a very high risk event. they did not specify any specific knowledge of this kind
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of an attack. but they certainly identified it as a very likely place for something to happen. and they were spot-on with their warning in that regard. >> and it could have been obviously a whole lot worse. senator, i'm going have you stand by. we have more to discuss, including the announcement today that four of these isis terrorists that the u.s. is seeking, that there will be millions of dollars in reward money for anyone who helps the united states find these guys. much more with senator risch right after this. kellogg's® frosted mini-wheats®... have 8 layers of nutritious wheat... and one of delicious sweet. to satisfy the adult.... and kid - in all of us. (supergrass' "alright") plays throughout ♪
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we're following the breaking news. a u.s. official now telling cnn the weekend terror attack in
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texas was, quote, certainly more than just inspiration by isis. two gunmen were shot and killed bay guard posted outside a gathering where cartoons of the muslim prophet muhammad were being displayed. at least one oof the gunmen was an isis sympathizer. we're back with republican senator james risch of idaho. he is a member of the intelligence and foreign relations committees. senator, you told me a couple of months ago that the isis threat to the u.s. homeland was moving in your words, beyond aspirational. with sunday's attack an example of that. >> well no question about it wolf. when i said that on your show here this is exactly what i had in mind. we've known all along that this is what they want to do. this is a dangerous group. and we've tried to communicate that as best we can to the american people. they have every intention of attacking the american homeland. and this is a clear way to attempt to do it as they did
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just this past weekend so this is what they want to do. and we're -- our intelligence communities and actually the fbi and homeland security are all very in tune with this. the words that they use is putting people on their radar screen. and i think it's already been reported that one of these individuals was very much on their radar screen had been a while ago, had been convicted of a rather minor offense of lying to the fbi about trying to travel to somalia, but was back on being a person of interest fairly recently. >> yeah you're talking about elton simpson. >> correct. >> who was well-known to the fbi. he had been placed on probation for three years for making false statements about discussing travel to somalia to engage in jihad. do you know yet how these two guys were able to secure assault rifles body armor, bulletproof vests?
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>> wolf i don't know exactly right now. i will here in very short order. but having said that weapons for people who don't have convictions are fairly easy to come by. as we all know depending on where you are and what state you're in. so we'll find that out. but i suspect we're going to find out that they got them through legal channels. i could be wrong on that. we'll know here fairly soon. >> fairly soon. and if an individual is convicted of lying and gets three years, three years' probation, not serving in jail like this guy simpson, elton simpson was, should the fbi or others have been watching him more closely? because apparently he was not under any significant surveillance as far as we know right now. >> well i don't want to take this too far, wolf. but as you and i have talked about before, we have a number of people who have traveled
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overseas to fight with isis or have even expressed a desire to do so. there are ways and means of taking precautions regarding those specific individuals and the group of those keeps getting larger and larger. and the larger the group gets the more difficult it is to keep a short string on each and every one of them. we have a number of people whose resume is much much more dangerous than what you just described about this individual. not saying that they shouldn't pay attention to them. certainly he was on the radar screen. but there are a lot of very dangerous people here that need to be watched. >> so when they threaten that the next attack will be bigger will be more bitter in their word as they posted on social media today, you take those threats seriously? >> wolf i take those threats very, very seriously. indeed they wish this one was
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bigger and more vicious. and whether they can get it done or not, we don't know. but i can tell you that the intelligence community that our domestic agencies who work very hard on these issues take this very seriously. and they're going to continue to monitor the things that they monitor to see that this doesn't happen. and that's always the problem. we've got to be right 100% of the time. they only got to be right once. >> very quickly, the state department, as you know announced new rewards. up to $7 million for four key isis leaders. we're showing their pictures on the screen right now, senator. how bad are these guys? >> they're very bad. the amount that you're talking about seems like a lot of money. but if the you launch a counterterrorism operation against one of them because you have specific information, the price tag goes up a lot higher than that. so you have to put these things
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into perspective. >> senator risch, thanks very much for joining us. >> well thank you. thank you for having me. up next exclusive interview with the baltimore police commissioner revealing a surprise that the charges against six of his officers involved in the fatal arrest of freddie gray. plus stop state officials fanning conspiracy theories. conspiracy theory flames about a supposed u.s. invasion of texas. what is going on in texas right now? we'll explain.
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the new attorney general loretta lynch is in baltimore tonight, still reeling from the police custody death of freddie gray and the rioting that followed. lynch met with city official including the mayor, members of congress, law enforcement officials, as well as police officers. >> you have picked a noble profession. you've picked a hard profession. but you have picked one of the best professions out there today. because you have picked the one that lets you go out every day and say i'm going to help somebody. and despite how people may want to choose to characterize you, hold on to that as you go out on patrol every day. >> our justice reporter evan perez is in baltimore for us once again today. evan you had a hans to speak exclusively with the baltimore police commissioner. tell us what he told you. >> well wolf, anthony batts,
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that's the police commissioner baltimore, was just as shocked to as we were to hear tra the prosecutor was bringing charge against six police officers. here is how he describes getting a phone call from marilyn mosby, the state attorney for baltimore city. >> i found out that the state attorney was going on in what she was going to present probably about ten minutes before she went on. she gave me a phone call and told me what she was about to do and that she was going on live. she told me what the charges were. >> what were your first words out of your mouth when you heard that? >> i don't want to get into that so much. i can say that i was probably surprised by the information that i heard. i think that the state's attorney was very focused on being independent in this particular investigation. she didn't want to be seen connected to the police organization. so the communication was limited as compared to what i'm used to. >> and evan you asked the police commissioner if he
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thought that freddie gray case set his department back. what did he tell you? >> well wolf he has been working at this for now a couple of years. disneyland is no doubt that that has happened. here is how he describes what he sees as the problem he is face right now. >> there is a lack of trust within this community, period bottom line. and that's going to take healing. that's going to take us acknowledging as a police department not just here in baltimore, but law enforcement as a whole that we've been part of the problem. out of trying to be part of the solution, we have become part of the problem. and when we acknowledge that and understand we can start to heal. the community needs to hear that. the community needs to hear from us that we see that we haven't been part of the solution, and we have to now evolve. >> and wolf, the police commissioner is going to be announcing in the next few days steps that he is taking to improve training for his officers provide more equipment so they can better handle situations like that which developed here in baltimore in the last week wolf.
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>> they got to learn from some of the mistakes that occurred obviously. thanks very much evan for that report. let's talk about this and more with a former fbi assistant director our cnn law enforcement analyst tom fuentes, our cnn legal analyst jeffrey toobin and our cnn legal analyst sunny hostin. sunny, the attorney general loretta lynch says she'll work to give baltimore all the resources they need from the federal government. how will the attorney general work her involvement at the local level different from what eric holder did as far as police relations are concerned? >> you know my sense is that attorney general lynch will probably follow the same path started by attorney general holder. we know that she as a u.s. attorney in the eastern district of new york was also very forward thinking i think, very involved with law enforcement and law enforcement reform. so i think she will carry on that work. >> as you know tom, there is a
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morale issue among the police force in baltimore right now. and we saw a little bit of that yesterday in that false alarm that occurred on the streets of baltimore. this is going to be a mayor problem right now protecting the city. >> i think it will be a problem. but i think by and large police officers are going to do their job and be professional no matter the adversity or the climate or how difficult. but i think what they're waiting for and hoping is somebody tell them what to do when they go out on patrol. if there are suspicious people that takeoff running, just wave goodbye, don't try to tackle them, don't try to be too aggressive back off a little bit more. so they're kind of in a little bit of a leadership vacuum at the moment. because no one has really said how to address the problem. you know you can admit that. many members of the community including freddie gray had difficulty from birth adds they were growing up, as they were going to ooh school. they were undereducate underhelped by the community. all that of is true. right now if you were addressing, if you were a shift
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commander you have role call and your officers are getting ready to go on the streets of baltimore, midnight to 8:00 shift, what do you tell your officers how to police on the street, what to do differently to try to change, this and will it affect crime. will crime go back up if they become much less aggressive. >> bothry jeffrey an sunny to weigh. in the baltimore attorney's office mistakenly charged two innocent people who happened to share names with two of the police officers. and it's pretty awkward, pretty embarrassing. if the city can't even get the court charging documents right and innocent people are being harassed with phone calls from reporters and others, how will they secure convictions? >> well you know, this is an embarrassment. we know that. but we know it is also one of two things. it is either simply an embarrassment that will yield significance because people wind of convicted, or it's an indicative of undue haste on the
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part of the prosecutors and the authorities who were involved in the arrest. you know what's so puzzling and interesting, frankly, about what is going on with the prosecution here is that everybody is criticizing, everybody is raising questions. but if she gets a conviction of these six officers, it all was right. but if she doesn't, it will lead to questions about every single thing she has done in the course of this investigation. >> sunny, i want you do weigh in as well. how awkward is it that two people who had nothing to do with this are now being -- they were being harassed because they mistakenly authorities in baltimore listed them as those who had been charged. it's pretty awkward, you got to admit. >> yeah not only i think it's awkward, i think it can be seen perhaps as a reckless disregard for their safety. i had some time today to speak to jeremy eldridge, who is the attorney representing one of the people wrongly named. and he said that she was harassed. he said that people showed up at
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her home. people showed up at the office of where her father has worked for 30 years and given sort of the volatile situation in baltimore, that is a public safety issue. and that is a problem. and i was also told that this person did reach out to marilyn mosby by facebook via facebook. we know marilyn mosby has been active on social media, and she hasn't heard back. nor has the attorney heard back. that gives me some concern, not only as sort of the personal safety for this person that was wrongly named, but also for the haste within which she brought these charges. we know she brought the charges within two weeks. that is very, very quick. i'm now hearing some people are saying that while having a knife, which freddie gray did, it may be legal under maryland state law apparently it could be a violation of the baltimore city code. now, if that is true, then some of the charges brought against two of the officers of false imprisonment could be incorrect.
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so i'm a little concerned now with looking at the case and some of the things i'm hearing that perhaps, you know if she doesn't get convictions here people will not only point fingers at marilyn mosby and her office but also they will lose i think even more faith in the system. they will question the system not just marilyn mosby. they'll question the process. and that's a problem. >> wolf. >> go ahead, jeffrey. >> can i follow up on something sunny said. one of the officers has already filed a motion in court asking for production of that knife to show his lawyer asserts that it was in fact illegal under baltimore. so these cops are not going to just plead guilty and roll over. >> no. >> they're going to fight this case. and that's just the beginning of what is likely to be a long and difficult legal struggle on both sides. >> the fact that two people,
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tom, who had the same names identified their addresses in this charge that's pretty sloppy. >> wolf, there is one thing that never gets mentioned in these cases where you have multiple charges, multiple defendants and it really, even bigger cases, the clerical part of this is very difficult. the individuals in the states attorneys office and the court that type the documents, the affidavits the warrants for arrest file the court papers, that is the production of that is a huge logistical nightmare for the commanders or the states terns running that. you never hear about that. we hear about the investigation, but not what goes on behind the scenes to make it happen. >> guy thanks very much. just ahead, wild rumors of a texas takeover by the u.s. government. why do some top officials seem to be taking these rumors seriously? the keys to this home belong to mark and alissa anderson. they bought the place four months ago on what was arguably the scariest day of their lives. neither has any idea what the future
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a planned military drill by special operations forces sparking wild speculation about a u.s. invasion of texas. and it's not just con spears theorists sounding the alarm. let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. she is working the story for us. very bizarre information, barbara. what is going on? >> well wolf, this all starts with the texas governor republican greg abbott. he says he respects the troops,
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but he still wants his people to monitor what they are doing. >> by directing the state guard to monitor the operations -- >> reporter: don't mess with texas is republican governor greg abbott's message to the pentagon. abbott called out his state guard to keep an eye on u.s. special operations forces. the governor says he wants to make sure texans' constitutional rights private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed during an upcoming military war game known as jade helm 15. the site info wars has led the internet buzz insisting it's all a plan for the army to wage war on americans. publishing a military power point slide showing texas as redden my territory. >> i've hardly ever heard something joint like this unless they're actually planning an invasion. >> reporter: 1200 personnel army green berets navy s.e.a.l.s and air force troops will train across seven states
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this summer. republican presidential candidate senator ted cruz says he understands texans' worries. >> i think part of the reason is we have seen for six years a federal government disrespecting the liberty of citizens. >> reporter: chuck norris one-time "walker texas ranger" tv actor says on the conservative website worldnet daily, what is under question are those who are pulling the springs at the top of jade helm 15 back in washington. governor abbott now says all he meant to do is have his state militia coordinate with the pentagon. >> we have been provided assurances by the special operations forces that there is nothing for the public to worry about. >> reporter: but now democrats are calling on abbott to apologize to the military. a former texas republican state lawmaker says the governor went too far. >> i just as a patriotic
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american do not believe that it is appropriate or necessary to use state resources to protect me from the american military. >> reporter: the white house trying to stay out of the governor's fray. >> i have no idea what he is thinking. i might have an idea what he was thinking but i'm not going to -- i appreciate the opportunity, though. >> reporter: so where are we on all of this? the army special operations command says look, it's got no problem if the texas state guard wants to help coordinate and disseminate information to citizens during the exercise. but as for taking over invading or anything else about texas, no it's ridiculous. the military is not doing that. wolf? >> and this special operation exercise jade helm 15 it happens all the time. it's not by any means unusual. barbara, thank you very much for that report. breaking news ahead. cnn learns that the two terrorists who attacked a mohamud art exhibit in texas were more than just inspired by isis.
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hillary clinton is out on the campaign trail. she's speaking out on immigration reform. let's go to brianna keilar. she's joining us now from las vegas where the former secretary is speaking out about immigration. what's her main point? >> well wolf her main point is that she's calling for a path to citizenship, a full and equal path to citizenship. this is hillary clinton here at rancho high school in las vegas, going farther than she has when it comes to calling for comprehensive immigration
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reform. she's doing a roundtable here surrounded by dreamers so young people brought to the u.s. born in other places but really raised here. they spent their whole lives here and even so they're undocumented immigrants. she called not just for supporting the executive action that would support them and allow them to move towards citizenship, but she also went beyond that, saying she supports the same path for their parents. this is after some questions over the last year about how far she would go. she's really trying to separate herself from republicans, some of whom have called for just a legalization not a full path to citizen citizenship, but legal status. so this is a key part wolf of her campaign. this is her fifth event, and the third state that she's been to. she's trying to hold together a voting bloc that worked for president obama, minorities women, the lgtb community, and
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young woman. >> thank you very much. let's dig deeper with our chief political analyst, gloria borger jeff zelleny, and dana bash. republicans are going to go after them at least some will and accuse her of supporting amnesty for these illegal immigrants. >> she hopes republicans will go after her, and that's why she's differentiating herself, even from jub bush who calls for legal status and marco rubio, eventually calls for that. so i think she is trying to say to hispanic voters, i'm different, i'm more supportive of the president. i don't know what she said particularly about the executive actions. i presume she supports those as she said at the time. she's putting a wall up and she's happy to do it and let them attack her now. >> she's saying she will support the executive order proposed by the president. even though it's now under review by the jurists. >> absolutely, and she's doing this in nevada.
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that is key point here. it's an early primary state but also a key general election battleground state. she's trying to set the message clear and to differentiate herself, but what she's also doing is getting away from all this controversy. this is her only campaign event of the whole week. she only had one all of last week. this is what some democrats are after, just come out here and say what you're for. that's what she's doing. >> you think this is a smart move on her part? >> yeah and to jeff's point, it's in the state of nevada which is important in the general and on this issue of the fact there are so many hispanic voters and this issue matters a lot to them and so many workers and undocumented immigrants who are exactly what she's talking about, the dreamers. i think what's fascinating from my perch in covering republicans, is that on that particular issue, there's less and less daylight between the democrats and republicans. more republicans are saying you know what? kids who didn't come here through any fault of their own should at least get legal
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status. that's something that was anathema to republicans just a few years ago. there was actually a vote they voted it down in the senate just a couple years ago. >> i would point out from hillary clinton's point of view she's not in a huge audience, in a library. intentionally small audience. i would argue at some point given all the controversy, as dana talks about, that has been swirling around her, she's going to have to talk ability these things directly and to voters because like it or not, she's in a general election campaign while everyone else in the republican side is in a primary. >> you saw the new wall street journal/nbc poll that has disturbing numbers for her, although there's a new "new york times"/cbs poll that has better numbers for her. >> infocus and what they're worried to the extend they're worried at this early stage is trust and credibility. has the criticism taking an effect. every republican jumping in as you know dana is taking
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advantage of hitting on her on trust and credibility. the thing to watch is that private e-mail server. she's going to have to testify before the benghazi committee. that is all her. that's not the foundation the next couple weeks. >> that may be the opportunity for her to actually talk about these controversies. why not do it before the congressional committee? >> republicans might want to -- >> let me get to mike huckabee the sixth republican now to jump into the 2016 presidential contest. i'll play a little clip. here he was earlier today in hope, arkansas. >> 93 million americans don't have jobs. and many of them who do have seen their full-time job with benefits they once had become two part-time jobs with no benefits at all. we were promised hope but it was just talk. and now we need the kind of change that really could get america from hope to higher ground.
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>> what do you think, dana? he's got some potential. he did well relatively speaking back in 2007-2008. >> he absolutely has potential. he's i think, about six not just in the number of people who have announced but in the national polls where he stands compared to other republicans. he does have a big advantage in that he actually not just ran but won several states back in 2008. but he did it in a very different time. in a time where there weren't a lot of republicans playing in his lane. there weren't a lot of conservatives reaching out to the evangelicals who were so successful in iowa r the home schoolers. i was out there in 2007 and 20008 on him and he was on a wing and a prayer quite literally, with no money, but really knocking on doors and doing it the old fashioned way. there will be a lot more people already are a lot -- >> he did win the iowa caucuses. >> and he was the second highest delegate getter on the race on the republican side. >> because he didn't quit. >> right, because he didn't
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quit. but he's going to have a more difficult time raising money this time around. and what he also did today was run against the clinton machine. there he was in hope arkansas saying you know what? i know how to beat that clinton machine. when i became governor it was all democrats, and they were part of that machine, and i triumphed over that and that's going to be part of his calling card. >> he spent the last six years as a host on a fox news program that's seen by a lot of republicans. >> which means one thing, he's been in the living room of so many republican iowa activists. i remember being there in 2008. he was as surprised as anyone that he won the iowa caucus. he had no money at all. this time he's starting in a better place, in an organized fashion, but he can't surprise this time. his expectations are so much higher. >> he's a great speaker, though. >> he's got a lot going for him. thanks very very much. that's it for me. remember you can always follow us on twitter. tweet me @wolfblitzer.
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you can tweet the show. please be sure to join us again tomorrow right here in the situation room. you can watch us live or dvr the show so you won't miss a moment. thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in the "the situation room." erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. >> "outfront" tonight, breaking news. baltimore's police commissioner blind sided by the prosecutor's charges against his officers. why was he told the news ten minutes before she announced it to the nation? >> plus more breaking news. the terror attack on a prophet muhammad cartoon contest. was this the first isis attack on american soil. >> and the death of dave goldberg how did a run on the treadmill turn fatal? let's go "outfront." good evening. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, we begin with breaking news. we have