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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  May 4, 2010 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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vehicle, police found a loaded nine millimeter happened gun. this in addition to the device that was in that suv that was parked in times square with the propane tanks and fireworks and other materials. that according to investigators. and now, we're hearing in connecticut as the searches are underway there, that devices like fireworks and other materia materialst÷ similar to what was found in the vehicle, found in the apartment. we're waiting for official word of the many, many pieces in thim investigation. you have the lab analysis of what was in the vehicle. you have arrest and capture last night. you now have these raids going on overseas. "the washington post" just ran a
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bulletin saying one of those overseas in pakistan may have actually traveled here in recent months to visit him to perhaps assist him in this planning. so, a lot of questions as to whether in fact he acted alone or had some sort of help. again, the device he allegedly built, very crude. not sophisticated and a lot of experts say they doubt it would have worked. but a lot of experts say that if it had worked in times square at i hn a lot of death, a lot of casualties. >> savannah guthrie assistanting by at the white house. i've been talking to officials today who are telling me they cannot rule out involved with a group such as ttp and that they are analyzing the electronic communicati communications.
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they go back and look at any kind of communications with shahzad and overseas calls in the last days and weeks. >> no question there, retracing the footsteps of this suspect who did travel to pakistan last summer. they want to know who he talked with and met with. five people already picked up in pakistan. experts will tell you knowing this, knowing that about his background, they can now involve the pakistani authorities, which will be a huge source of intelligence and you're right. officials here just refuse to rule out. what they won't say is whether they think this is somebody acting at the direction of al-qaeda or another major terrorist organization. the other thing they note though, this was quite a crude device, so that is why a lot of officials initially didn't think that was what they were dealing with because one would think al-qaeda would provide better training.
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even so though, there have been occasions in the 7b7bypast, ma who wasn't particularly effective here. the other thing to note, senior intelligence officials will tell you they feel they have been able to downgrade al-qaeda's ability to launch major operations, so maybe this is the kind of plot they're left with. >> well, let's break that down a with me here is roger cressey, an nbc news terror analyst. in talking to these officials, first of all, you've got never done anything overseas. they operated against the cia in afghanistan. they've never tried anything against the united states. but it is true that the ñrcia a the dod have increased the pace extremely rapid pace of attacks, predator drone attacks in th>as
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recent months and year against pakistani terror suspects and with that, with that downgra downgrading, does this mean they are playing more defense and perhaps launching someone with less experience? >> i think this is a key point because if faisal can be traced back to a known terrorist organization, then we can step back and say with all that went wrong here, with them allowing to get this bomb into times square, even it was crude, was this the best they can do. you would expect a higher level of trade craft. if it is pakistan, the taliban pakistan, this would be the first time they have projected a threat against the u.s. homeland and again, the capability of the threat was not that good. there is good news as well as disturbing news if this was an organized terrorist group. äli3'íñ let me bring michael sh
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back into the conversation. on "meet the press" on sunday, with very little notice as this was all%x/b3k]sn4 evolving, offe almost uniformly saying janet napolitano and all the other officials were saying lone wolf because the lack of sophistication of the device. now, it could be there are connections. they're not ruling it out. all the officials we've spoken to say they can't rule this out. we see "the washington post" reporting that there are suspects in pakistan who may have in fact traveled here. one suspect in particular, to meet with him. what is that telling you? >> my experience in these investigatio investigations, where there's smoke, there's normally fire. you're talking about a trip this guy made to pakistan, he comes back here and builds a bomb. without a doubt in my mind, he had connectivity to people there, trying to give him some sort of training.
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as been noted, a stunning degree of incompetence on the part of this guy. this was beyond crude. really dysfunctional bomb in the whole concept was silly in many ways. obviously, he put a vehicle with gasoline can be dangerous, but this was not a serious bomb and it indicates a serious problem in their capability of projecting bomb making cape tblty in that part of the world. >> while we stand by and wait for eric holder and other u.s. official offici officials, i want to bring in carol grisanti. you've been reported on shahzad's connections to travel to peshawar, which is a hot bed and right on the border of the territories there where the militants have been free to operate. what can you tell us now?
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>> well, we know that five suspects,w>jó?ñ four men and wo woman, are in custody tonight and pakistani officials believe these five are friends and perhaps facilitators of faisal8 shahzad. they believe they may have helped him get to a training camp in a village in the northwest of the country. now, another twist just moments ago, we sent a local journalist to the village this evening to have a look around and talk to the local people and villagers there say that shahzad and his family are from this village, so that puts a whole sort of different twist on this sketchy and changing all the time story. >> which tells us again how these kinds of stories evolve. they always end up being different than the initial assumptio
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assumptions. when you talk about the people there being picked up, are they connected to ttp as best you can tell? what do people there think? >> yeah, right now, they do believe that it's the pakistani taliban, but as you know, these groups now, they've all come together. it's just one alphabet soup of militants and pakistan. they're all working with one another and even if al-qaeda has done something or if faisal shahzad has affiliated himself with al-qaeda. al-qaeda can turn around and just order the pakistani taliban to take credit for it. that's the way it seems to be going here these days. >> exactly what u.s. officials are saying, that there is so much overlapping operations among these groups. there's a lot of multiple factors as they interchange and move back and forth. i wanted to go to peter
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alexander now in connecticut. peter, you've been out there at the house which is still being searched by federal and local officials. what do they know about his family? >> reporter: it's a good question, andrea. we've been here since before the sun rose this morning. investigators were here in the early morning. the local police, the fbi. they went into a house about nine houses down on the left side of this block back here in bridgeport. we were going to get our first chance to walk up to the home in a matter of minutes. that's when agents say they will clear the scene. we have seen them remove evidence. they describe it as possible evidence that has been taken away to a vehicle with six fbi agents. now, there is a second home where faisal shahzad had been living in the past. before that, for three or four years.
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he was living with his wife and two young children in a home about 20 minutes away in the town ofiéa&n shelton. according to one neighbor who lives next door, she has said that he was odd, to use her words. that he was strange. that he often wore black and would go jogging at night. he told her husband heñlktr worn wall street. we can't confirm that9eúcw-,l n. but that's information we're working to try to confirm. the sense would be he has some familiarity with manhattan in that is the case. again, the fbi wrapping up its efforts here right now. they have described them as very, very fruitful, saying they found evidence here, items here inside that home that show some connection to the bomb-making materials found inside the vehicleycu@ñ in times square. direct link according to one law enforcement source speaking to
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nissan pathfinder found late saturday night. >> thanks, peter. and roger cressey, from everything you're hearing about this man and the fact that suspects as carol is reporting, have been picked up there who may have traveled here, may have supported him. we're talking about something looking more and more likely in contrast to what was originally assumed, that this guy had connections to an organization. >> to mike's point, because this is such a crude, amateurish device new york city one thought this guy could be-í associated with others because he would have done a better job. if the pakistan taliban were behind this, either inspired or directed it, it's a fascinating evolution because for months now, the u.s. and pakistan have been pulmoabling elements of al-qaeda and pakistani taliban through predator strikes as well as pakistani ground operations.ñ
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if they had decided to strike back at us and found an individual who could get into the united states, this is the first example where the pakistani taliban have projected a threat into the homeland. here is an example of the blowback we have not seen before. >> "the wall street journal," bear with me here, just reported background on faisal shahzad. said in december 1998, he was granted an f1 student visa. officials had no derogatory information on him. i am not familiar with southeastern university, but that is what "the wall street journal" is reporting. then transferred in 2000 to the university of bridgeport of connecticut and received a ba in computer science and engineering. in 2002, granted a -- for skilled workers. gained an mba.
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not clear what company sponsored the visa, but had to attract workers with specialty technology. then in 2008, he reported his marriage to a woman he identified as -- an american citizen. became a naturalized citizen in april 2009. law enforcement officials don't have extensive details on his travel, but he did travel in stayed overseas for as long as eight months, returning in february of 2010. michael sheehan, was there a failure, here was a guy who had been followed by the fbi. he goes to jfk. he's the prime suspect and how does he get past security? >> we don't know for sure, but we hope that's not the case, that the fbi had a name for the certain amount of hours and that
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name wasn't sent to all airports to around the country or other ports of exit. all bulletins out there for not only airports. we don't know that yet. hopefully over the hours and days ahead, we're going to find that was not the case, that they dropped the ball and let this guy on the plane. perhaps they let him on to see who he might be meeting with. you would hope that after the christmas bombing, we have individuals that would keep him off our airlines. >> after that christmas bombing, they had really upgraded their terror watch list and that people who might be in any way suspected were not going to get past the initial security. obviously, other groups, the border patrol, other groups in homeland did come through and stop him, but one has to wonder how he got on that plane'1r savannah guthrie at the white
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house, what are white house and nfc officials saying about whether they have to expand once again the whole terror networking and upgrade the operation? >> i think it's early to be talking about what systemic changes might need to be made, but there's no question, i think they're more pleased withétñ ho this was handled as opposed to the case in december. that was a case where you had somebody what was an american citizen, who was nabbed within hours and immediately sent into federal court. there should be systemic changes, i think that is not the conversation happening at this moment. senator mcconnell, the republican of kentucky, talking administration will be doing what they can to get the intelligence out of this suspect. that is a thinly vailed reference to the criticism the
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administration got in december with the arrest of the would be detroit bomber. lot of people complained because we did hear from from the republican senator this afternoon. >> we want to bring you the statement byehukambassador -- well-known to u.s. officials and to a lot of us who covered this issue. he said pakistan remains committed to rooting out terrorism. we will cooperate fully. an overwhelming majority of should be seen asleys against the individuals who undertake terror. carol grisanti, let's talk about
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that. there were high-level visits, a whole;ry
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at that time, they made it clear and the attorney general made it clear this was a long road ahead in this investigation and that you know, events are moving very quickly that this one arrest has happened. you're quoting the pakistani embassy in washington, a claim out of there it's a lone, disturbed individual right now and that seems to go against some of the reporting coming out of that very country, that these arrests may be linked. take a step back, a deep breath and see -- >> and we are now going to pause for a moment to join an nbc news special report with brian williams.rg%x good day, at this point, we are going to go to the justice
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department in washington for our viewers on the nbc television network and on msnbc across the nation and around the world as we await a news conference with the attorney general, the secretary of homeland security and many other senior officials having to do with the arrest late last night of faisal shahzad, the suspect in the attempted car bombing in new york's times square. we can show you the briefing room at the justice department in washington where we were just warned officials would be coming to that podium. details have been slowly coming out. late yesterday evening, this started to break and then last night came word officially of the arrest. during the question period, if one is allowed, it is theorized that a lot of people are going to have a lot of questions about how this got all the way to a
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commercial airliner that was apparently, if not in motion, close to that point, with this man on board an emirates airlines flight overseas at john f. kennedy airport in queens, new york. so, we will try to find out answers to that. again, we are waiting, there is a photo of the police rushed in as part of a raid on several locations to a house occupied by him in connecticut. so here now, the officials coming to the stage in washington. we're told lead by eric holder. >> good afternoon. as many of you know, faisal shahzad, who was arrested late last night in connection with his alleged role in the attempted car bombing in times shahzad is in federal custody
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today. he has been and continues to be questioned by federal agents. as a result of those communications, shahzad has provided useful information to authorities. we anticipate charging him with an act of terrorism transcending national borders, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, use of a destructive device during the commission of another crime as well as assorted explosives charges. now, i want to emphasize that this investigation is ongoing and we continue to pursue a number of leads as we gather useful intelligence related to the terrorist attack. based on what we know so far, it is clear that this was a terrorist plot aimed at murdering americans in one of the busiest places in our country. we believe that this suspected terrorist fashioned a bomb and
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placed in an suv and drove into times square with intent to kill as many as possible. make no mistake, although this car bomb failed to properly detonate, this plot was a very serious attempt. if successful, it could have resulted in añ[j>eñ lethal att causing death and destruction in the heart of new york city. it is a stark reminder in the reality that we face today in this ñóoçañcountry, that there wish to do us harm because of our way of life. there are terrorist networks targeting us. there are lone terrorists at home targeting us. as years go by without a successful terrorist attack, the most dangerous lesson we can draw is that a threat no longer
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exists. it does. and our partners have no higher priority than disrupting those attempts and bringing those who plot them to justice. in this case, that is what the dedicated agents and prosecutors from the various law enforcement agencies have achieved. over the last two days, men and women from the fbi, the departments of national security division and u.s. attorney's offices worked with nwpd, dhs and state and local partners to track the evidence in this case. the quick action from fbi agents was critical to alerting customs and border patrol agents who arrested him last night as he was attempting to flee the country. fbi agents have been able to gain additional evidence from searching shahzad's car and home and are working with others to gather intelligence related to
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the this case. we are also coordinating with the president's national security team to ensure we use every resource available to bring every one responsible to justice. these agents and prosecutors are the backbone of our national security efforts. many of them doing their jobs outside the spotlight of the media. i want to commend them for their results in this case and8ñ unwaivering commitment to their jobs. we owe them our gratitude and 7$ i want to take this opportunity to remind all americans on how vigilant. the suv was first noted by a bystand bystander. thwarted a potentially devastating attack. as always, anyone who notices suspicious activity should report it. i'd like to turn it over to secretary napolitano.
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>> well, thank you, attorney general holder. as you know, late last night, u.s. customs and border patrol agents at new ]ñyork's jfk airpt detained faisal shahzad in failed bombing attempt in times square. due to the vigilance of the officers and relying on enhanced security measures, cvp was able to quickly identify apprehend the suspect. i want to express my gratitude to all of the federal, state, local law enforcement personnel who's cooperation and hard work on this case led to the swift identification and apprehension of shahzad this was a great team effort. in particular, i'd like to thank
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the dedicated men and women at the department of homeland security, whose work was instrumental in detaining this suspect. border patrol apprehended the suspect after agents had been tracking outbound flights for the past three days. immigration and customs enforcement agents served an important role in new york as the lead law enforcement agency on the international aspects of the investigation interviewing ru leads. the transportation security targeted operations at regional and international airports designed to identify and apprehend a potential suspect. i'd also like to give special thanks to the alert citizens in new york city whose crucial tips helped authorities prevent what could have been a deadly explosion. what happened on saturday shows
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the critical role that the american people play in the security of our country. if anybody ever has any doubt about it, this failed bombing attempt clearly shows the value of the saying, if you see something, say something. thank you and now i'd like to turn it over to john pistol. >> thank you, secretary. good afternoon. i want to also commend the men and woman who have worked around the clock since saturday to find those responsible for what could have been a deadly attack. a host of agencies, departments and individuals working together towardmbt single goal, our collective successo; comes downo using traditional law enforcement techniques such as federal, court, authorized search warrants to maximize our evidence and intelligence gathering. using these techniques, we were
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able to identify mr. shahzad as the person who purchased the back of the room. cvp identified his overseas travel, enabling us to fully identify then locate and eventually arrest shahzad. a key step in this process occurred yesterday when shahzad was placed on the no-fly list and cvp did an outstanding job of identifying him on the flight last night. joint terrorism task force and officers from the nypd interviewed mr. shahzad last night and this morning@gx undere exception to the rule. he was cooperative and provided valuable intelligence and evidence. he was eventually transferred to another location and continued talking. so we in the fbi, with our law enforcement and intelligence partners here at home and around
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the world, continue to investigate this matter. we are conducting a forensic examination of all evidence collecting at the scene. much of this evidence has been transferred to the fbi test the individual chemical composition and material in the5q explosive device. we also want to test the potential impact of the device so see what would have happened as intended. we are working with law enforcement to obtain all possible ties this individual may have had to terrorist organizations both at home and lead in that regard. as always, we are seeking out those who would orchestrate these kind of attacks. prevention will continue to be our main game, so i, too, would like to thank our citizens, like
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the vendors who first noticed the vehicle. this investigation like others we've handled, once again reminds us our work is not finished and we continue to work with our partners and citizens across the country to find and stop those who do us $/t7dmhar. i'll turn it over to commissioner kelly. >> i think new yorkers can rest a little easier today and that's due in no small measure to the investigative muscle of fbi agents in new york city, police detectives, not to mention the  eagle-.w="ñ work of the customs officials on duty last evening at jfk. also want to commend the u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york and his very able assistants. we work very closely with the u.s. attorney every day to make certain that criminals in the southern district are brought to justice. now, this nissan pathfinder in
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times square had a license plate from another vehicle. the vin number on the dashboard had been removed. the break in this case took place when the new york city detective was able to go under the vehicle and get the hidden vin number. um identified record who in turn as we know sold it to the suspect who drove it right into heart of times square. now, this is deja vu because the world trade center attack in 1993 had similar set of facts where a detective was able to get the vin number÷o off the rr truck that had exploded there and recall, the bombers were arrested when they returned to get their deposit. but they would have been no engine block to examine if it wasn't for the heroic work of the new york city bomb squad
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detectives. it was a very hot evening. they suited up in very oppressive gear, which i'm sure everyone #ñ3]1ñ and.p,i+o5÷ the ti tirelessly that evening through the next day. the timer, the gasoline cans, the propane tank, the gun box, put all of that together, that lethal assembly really made a very big hurt locker. it wasn't until all of the part of the bomb were taken down that we were able to tow that vehicle  a forensic garage. by my calculation, from the time shahzad drove into and across 3>=)pá y and parked vehicle, to when he was apprehended last evening at jfk airport, it was 53 hours and 20
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minutes. we know that jack bower can do it in 24 minutes. in the real world, 53 is a pretty good number. so i want to congratulate everyone who had a role in this very important investigation. and really the fact it was done in record time and true, we can breathe easier, but we always the eyes of a terrorist, new york is america and they want to come back to kill us. thank you. >> you said the suspects providing useful information. can you tell us whether he's providing clarity as to whether others? want to t[0#"cl any information, other than he has been providing us with
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information. >> has he admitted involvement? >> he has. >> there are reports there have been arrests in pakistan related to this incident. is that correct? if so, how many and do you anticipate further arrests in this country? >> the investigation is ongoing and we -- our aim is to determine who is exactly involved in this matter, to bring all those involved this justice. i'm not aware of what the exact situation is with regard to the fact you talk about in pakistan. >> you're not aware of any arrests in pakistan at this point? >> i've heard reports. i'm not in a position to confirm. >> the theory still on the table or is that going -- >> the investigation is ongoing. i wouldn't want to talk about what we have regarded at this point. >> how was he able to still get on the plane and-cby have the depart from the gate when he was on the no-fly list?
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>> i don't want to get into e was 't want to get into apprehended, since christmas, cvp has been instituting a number of rules that would allow us to check against new information provides against passenger manifests on planes. they have been working as you might imagine around the clock on this one. and so, as new data was supplied, they were able to match it once the plane manifest was complete. go on the plane and arrest him. >> are you saying that if this had happened before christmas, the plane would have taken off? >> i'm saying that in this case,
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some of the new rules were player allowing us to arrest him before the plane took off. >> might be some connection and  extensive travel overseas. are you guys looking into whether he may have had military training or contact with known terrorists? >> we're examining a whole variety of things with the questions being put to him and questions he's answering. we want to know as much about him, what he's done. no comment on that, i don't have any base to believe there's a connection.2!÷ >> do you believe the suspect came to the u.s. with the intent of doing this? >> i wouldn't want to comment on that. as i said, the investigation is ongoing and we'll need to
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continue our interaction with him. >> was the suspect under surveillance and did there become a point where he dropped off the radar yesterday? >> the number of individuals have come up with this investigation and he was one we identified as one we would like to find out more about. during the course of the investigation, we identified him as a person we would like to talk to. we were able to locate him away from his house, which you saw on the news, bridgeport, connecticut there. then we were able to provide proper handling and other agencies in case he was stopped in another context. the bottom line was we were able to identify, locate and then detain mr. shahzad. >> in terms of thev&; travel of people to pakistan and to other
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areas where known terrorists are known to go, can someone talk about how those types of people are tracked and what more can be done in that regard when they return to the united states? >> i can comment from the fbi's perspective. there are a number of steps taken to identify potential terrorists. whether that's the country from which they originate in terms of terrorist training camps or the individuals they associate with and obviously, to go into detail, which might get into source of the methods of how those individuals might be identified would not be appropriate. >> when he returned from pakistan, he underwent some type of secondary screening and that contributed to his arrest. why was he screened when he came back and what was learned? >> without getting into a lot of detail, he was screened when he came back because of targeting
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rules applied. he was subjected to secondary screening. he was a naturalized u.s. citizen and i'm going to leave it at that. >> can you give us a diagram of the bomb itself? looking at this, what is your professional assessment? is this an example of somebody who's had bomb-making training or somebody who's winging it? >> there are a number of opinions on that. you've heard most of them.+yhpì% does not appear to be the most sophisticated device. there are a number of opportunities for the device to fail. there are actually three different components that could have been operational, but certain portions ignited, but mott the main charges, the gasoline or propane tanks. >> operational -- as someone once said.
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>> he clearly had the intent to do harm. it's a question of whether his training and knowledge and the material that he had to the point of the fertilizer, the assessment is that it was proeshl not a sufficient grade to cause the type of explosion we saw in oklahoma city. so not that contents. >> how long was he under the public safety exception to miranda and the decision to terminate that and made that decision and why. >> from the fbi perspective, we won't go into detail in terms of how long. suffice to say that he provided valuable information and intelligence and evidence during that time and then as attorney general noted, he continued to cooperate and provide information. >> how close were you to losing -- >> well, i think high confidence
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in cvp and their ability to do the job. they went beyond what most people would expect -- is that what you were asking? >> i think we mentioned earlier that you had identified him by saturday night. is that correct? >> no. no. >> attorney general holder -- >> could you answer the question about how close you were? >> i'm not sure to what you're referring. >> how close were you to losing him when he was on that flight? >> once he was -- they pulled him off, they pulled the flight back, as you know, to the gate. they also had the authority, the flight taken off to order the plane to turn around and come back. >> yesterday through much of last night and was aware of the tracking going on and i was never in any fear we were in any
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danger of losing him. >> can you tell us whether or not new york the still under consideration for holding ksm and other terror trials and if so, does this incident give you pause in that respect? would do this nation harm and regardless of where a particular trial is, where a particular event is going to occur, i think that is going to remain true and that is why we have to be vigilant in new york and washington. we are considering a number of options. >> new york is still among those you're considering? >> commissioner kelly, could you address whether this incident highlights any additional vulnerableties in midtown? should there be more cameras, additional resources? >> we had a lot of police officers than today certainly on patrol in times square.
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this individual drove his vehicle up very quickly and left very quickly, but police )ñ immediately on the scene there, so you know, to that extent, we were present. would we like more cameras there, yes. as a matter of fact, we have a program that you know, we hope to have funded, where we will take our security initiative which contists of about 3,000 cameras and migrate that program up to midtown manhattan from 30th street to 60th street. that's our goal. we have plans to do that. but sure, we'd like more cameras. >> are you giving any more credibility to the claims of responsibility by the taliban? >> i would refer that to other people in the panel here. >> attorney general -- are we in any heightened state now.
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we have the underwear bomber case, targeting the subway system. for eight years, it didn't seem we terrorist attempts sort of in the final stages. your sense. >> new york city, we have had 11 plots directed at the city since september 11. to a certain extent, nothing has changed in that regard. people coming to new york or planning to come to new york and trying to kill new yorkers. >> kelly, can you talk about the cooperation between the fbi and new york department. >> seamless. people ask that question a lot and the answer is the same and it's true. we're working extremely well together. >> attorney general, you referred to this as a terrorist plot. can you give us any idea whether
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we're talking about three people or four, for example, an internationally known terrorist group being part of this? >> at this point, i think i'm going to say no more than what i have said in that regard. okay, thank you all very much. >> an interesting news conference there at the justixto department. there are still lingering questions, but some of the blanks have been filled back in about this suspect. ray kelly, the commissioner of new york city police department might have stolen the show there briefly from all these senior federal officials when he noted it was 53 hours, 20 minutes from the discovery of the vehicle to the arrest of the suspect as he (ç bower of 24 fame, but ray kelly thinks that 53-20 number is quite
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impressive. we're joined in the studio by mike sheehan, who's been at the federal, state department, u.n. and nypd level. first of all, let's go to the basis of this charge. this attempted bombing. this device. it's been reported a million different ways since this weekend. your quote is that this showed a stunning degree of incompetence. how bad really would this have been? you and i had a discussion earlier, where more of a py pyrotechnic event than a bomb. >> two, five-gallon cans and some canisters, maybe a big fire, maybe a big explosion, couple of people might have died if they were right next to it. the fertilizer wasn't prepared at all to explode. >> were you at all amazed to
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learn that this emirates airlines flight had left the gate at jfk? that's taking it almost to the runway. >> well, brian, that was the weakest part of the press conference here, there's going to be a lot of the follow-up on what happened here. ready to take off. it clearly indicates that he was o able to get on the plane and get through most of the wickets. there's a will the of questions left hanging out there. >> roger cressey's watching along with us. you and mike have been in the swirl of things in washington. what really was your take away from this news conference as you watched? >> i think there's two things. the speed with which the fbi and new york police department brought this to closure is stunning and speaks to the level of cooperation you see right now in new york. that's why they are the best of
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the best in this business. second thing is, we've been i t would agree, we've been talking about how crude and amateurish this bomb was. that's true. it still does not take away from how serious an attempt it was. the intent here was clearly very, very high. the capability was lacking. we should all be thankful for that. but this does speak, once we go through the after action of it all, as to how groups and individuals are still looking for opportunities through our security to identify the potential to conduct an attack. i think nypd, the fbi, department of homeland security areá!t all going to look at th and say, what else can we do to ensure if this is attempted again, it fails? >> mike, you and i also were talking earlier about the word "aspirational." the general public has heard this term lone wolves who aren't really truly globally affiliated. we don't know yet all the tangents in this case.
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who want to be seen as terror t terrorists in good standing. and so they do what they can to create a spectacular an event as they can. how much of this case do you think is going to fall in that slot. >> i think this guy shows a lot of those characteristics of the aspirational terrorists. here's a guy bho who had actually a decent life in new york city. not the richest guy. had financial problems. he was motivated to get on a plan, go to pakistan where he was further energized, come back to the u.s. to try to put together a plot. unfortunately as roger said, his intent was there. we've seen dozens of these guys over the past two years or so that have been identified in the united states and really the key, brian, to keep them at the low end of the operational spectrum is to keep them from connecting to a serious operational capability. so far we've been successful. but it's a troubling trend. >> andrea mitchell, our chief foreign affairs correspondent, and of course the woman whose shift we are interfering with here on msnbc today, andrea,
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subplot in this event we just saw to say, in effect, we've got this. plane left the gate at jfk airport, and yet in the end, the system worked. >> the system worked in the end. but there will be questions. we are asking questions appropriately about the fact that post-christmas bomber, as janet napolitano said they upgraded the watch list and communication. the manifests from these airlwx s are communicated more rapidly. but the fact is he got past tsa. he got on the plane. his name was on the watch list. we believe as eric holder said that there was no chance he was going to get away because they could have turned the plane back. there is some indication that he had been followed. that he, perhaps, eluded his tail and got on that plane. it was only when the emirates airline gave them the watch list -- gave them, rather, the manifest and they matched it
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with the watch list that they stopped the plane after it already left the gate. another thing-post christmas bomber they made it very clear he was questioned under the terror exclusion for miranda. he was not given his miranda immediately. this clearly was an intensive investigation and an interrogation of this man before he wasj=fpz mirandized. and that he is cooperating. i think what we are now hearing more and more from the intelligence officials i've spoken to and other officials today is that they are looking very seriously at whether he may have been aspirational, but not a lone wolf. that there was some support. he spent months, apparently, including visits to peshawar, which is terrorist central. this is a guy who may very well have had support from ttp,íwq>h taliban in pakistan and other groups. if that's the case, this would be the first time that that organization has tried to hit the american homeland. >> again, thankfully as you point out, where the rubber
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meets the road, the execution part of it is where the incompetence came out. you also mentioned, andrea, something that's already gaining a lot of talk on the web today. and this issue about mirandizing the suspect. let's run over to the white house to white house correspondent savannah guthrie. san van na, here we are again. the obama administration is going to be under a microscope not only for handling of the case so far, but then the kind of new chapter of close inspection. justice system handling of the suspects after the cuffs are put on. >> reporter: no question about it. i think it's impossible to look at this case without looking at it through the prism of thes,+e we just experienced umar farouk abdulmutallab in december. he was a foreign-born person who flew into this country and was criticized wsh the administration was, because he was mirandized so soon.
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there are key differences here. even former senior intelligence officials from the bush administration i spoke to this morning said this may be a different case where the mirandizing may be appropriate because this was, after all, an american citizen. i thought it was very striking, and and dree ya highlighted it, this this news conference the undercurrent was from both the fbi and homeland security department saying we have learned something. this is a different case. we did mirandize under this emergency exception and even after we'd -- excuse me -- we questioned under the emergency exception. even after we mirandized he continued to cooperate. so in many ways i think the fbi and homeland security feel this is a vindication of their competence. and that already some rules that are now in place post the abdulmutallab case have already paid dividends, according to the homeland security secretary because they were able to check that manifest and just not a moment too soon, pull that guy off the plane. >> savannah guthrie, our white
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house correspondent, also happens to be an attorney. we heard ray kelly allude to this. hope for funding for a program of cameras. the argument in new york city is post-9/11 funding went to all kinds of places where let's just say al qaeda attacks were unlikely. there are towns in illinois that got funding and new fire trucks that ray kelly's position is we should spend the money and try to follow the odds. and do you think that he will now get his way? he has created his own internal anti-terrorism division. >> that's right. but do i think the u.s. senate is all of a sudden going to get enlightened and ship sources to new york city away from other states? i'm a bit dubious. we've been fighting this battle in new york city for eight or nine years now with little success. the money is spread around politically really with very little relation to the threat.
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i think this is a time let's try again, and try toçãget the resources shifted to where the targets are. hopefully we'll get a little more success. i'm a little doubtful. >> roger, 30 seconds. what do you look for next in this case? >> i think, brian, the question is did shahzad work with a terrorist organization in pakistan or is it just a group of like minded individuals? if it was a terrorist organization this becomes a counterterrorism policy issue for the obama white house, not just a law enforcement and intelligence issue that the fbi is going to deal with. i think that's the next shoe to drop. >> all right. roger cressy, mike, savannah and andrea mitchell who we're about to hear more from, thank you all. just to recap, we've heard from the top of the management structure in justice and homeland security, if you will, in this country, about an investigation that took 53 hours, 20 minutes from the discovery of a vehicle in times square, not far from where we're speaking right now, until the arrest of this suspect.
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for those of you joining us on our nbc stations, please join us this evening for nbc nightly news for the sum total of our reporting on this. msnbc live coverage continues right after this with andrea mitchell. continuing here on msnbc, i'm andrea mitchell with roger cressy. let's review the charges briefly as we wrap up here. he is going to be charged according to eric holder, the attorney general, with an act of terrorism, transcending national borders, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. so we can talk about how this bomb didn't work and it was just -- it is referred to as a weapon of mass destruction. use of a destructive device during the commission of another crime and explosive charges. those are the charges. he is cooperating. he was interrogated under the
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exclusion to the miranda rules as we've just been discussing. and there is intensive look at the eight months -- estimated eight months he spent in pakistan. recent trips to and from pakistan and the fact that pakistani suspects may, indeed, have visited him here. >> i think the case against him in a federal court is going to be very, very strong. the potential of prosecution and conviction is going to be extremely high. particularly if he has admitted to all these actions himself. the real question becomes if he was not a lone wolf, who else was he working with? >> who kind of organization. >> what kind of organization, a broader conspiracy. there's a difference between a group of like minded individuals deciding to conduct a terrorist attack and not having a capability and him working with a known terrorist organization that had the capability but maybe failed to train him properly or he wasn't a good student. so i think that's going to become an important part of the next step. >> and we're talking about someone who was a naturalized u.s. citizen, married to an
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american, also someone with an mba, with two degrees, someone with a life and roots in the united states. thanks so much, roger cressy. we continue now with tamron hall in new york. tamron? >> thank you very much, andrea. breaking developments in the arrest of the times square car bombing suspect. investigators say he is gives or providing produceful information. attorney general eric holder led a news conference in the last hour indicating the investigation is absolutely ongoing. >> although this car bomb failed to properly detonate, this plot was a very serious attempt. if successful, it could have resulted in a lethal terrorist attack, causing death and destruction in the heart of new york city. >> right now the investigation stretches from the united states to pakistan. authorities on the ground tracking leads in new york and connecticut. and raids are happening in pakistan. several people have been rounded up in that country. we have every angle of this story covered. it is changing minute by minute.
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right now we're waiting for 30-year-old suspect faisal shahzad to be arraigned here in new york. he's expected to appear in federal court. a news conference that ended about 15 minutes ago, attorney general eric holder say shahzad will face terrorism and weapons of mass destruction charges. the attorney general said shahzad has provided useful information and claims he acted alone. he's a naturalized u.s. citizen. he was actually born in pakistan. he still has family in that country. recently according to reports returned from a five-month visit. we also learned this afternoon that five suspects have been arrested in pakistan, four men and one woman who are possibly friends or facilitators of shahzad. he was arrested at new york's kennedy airport just before midnight last night. at that news conference officials say shahzad was placed on a no fly list yesterday just hours before he was arrested. they says