tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN September 9, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
volunteers are not from new york. people are all the small towns we've helped, they keep showing up to help the next community. they're from louisiana, california, indiana, illinois. every year you keep seeing more t-shirts for more locations. after katrina we just jumped on his bandwagon. this whole paying it forward thing is contagious. >> it's a big dysfunctional family reunion of all the disaster survivors who get together and do a barn raising. >> those relationships help you heal. >> it's about using the 9/11 anniversary to celebrate that volunteer spirit. >> we'll see you all next year. >> people say thank you for doing this. i say you want to thank me? show up on the next one. >> for more information go to cnnheroes.com. that's all for us tonight. "ac 360" starts right now. piers, thanks. good evening, everyone. it is 10:00 p.m. here on the east coast. we're coming to you from ground zero. we begin tonight with breaking
news on an if you terror plot down at one of the busiest construction sites on earth. if that's all it were a construction site it would still be remarkable. we all know it is much more than that. along with a new transportation hub and two enormous skyscrapers going up behind me there's also a memorial to the 2,206 people killed here almost ten years ago. ten years later all over manhattan, washington, d.c., there are echoes of that terrible day. police and troops with assault riefls in the train stations, same as it was. checkpoints and road blocks pulling over trucks and vans looking for explosives and other dangerous material. same as it was. people on edge, same as it was. and not just because of the anniversary. the breaking news tonight, new developments in the potential plot targeting new york and washington. two of the three people thought to be connected to it are american citizens. susan candiotti has been working her sources. she joins us now so does fran townsend former homeland security advisor for george w.
bush. on the phone, analyst peter berg again. last night we thought at least one person was a u.s. citizen of the three. now we're hearing two, fran. >> that's right. which adds to the amount of information we have on that. but the question is, how much more do we know? not that much. what we are hearing and continue to hear is that there is not very much specific information about these people. for example, their names said to be very common ones as we have learned, making it much more difficult to try to track them down. and as well, trying to find out more about what the plan was, where they intended to go, whether they came to the united states and then went overseas for training, possibly, only to come back here after getting some directions from whoever was telling them what to do. >> fran townsend, i understand you're also learning some new information. what are you hearing? >> >> anderson, the three people that they're looking for that
susan candiotti was just speaking about, they now have lead information that one of those people is already inside the united states. that of course increases the urgency of getting the confirmation, getting the corroboration. i also am talking to senior law enforcement officials learned that they are very much just as your pictures suggested focus on a car or a truck bomb based on the threat intelligence. fbi and new york city police department are completely embedded working the threat together at the new york jttf. and while we've heard often times in my career tensions between the two, both sides report there's complete transparency. they're working the threat together and holding back no details from one another. >> jttf, the joint terrorism task force. we're heared more confirmed information about the possible method of an attack as well, correct? >> that's right. we saw the pictures today all over new york of trucks and -- large trucks being searched as they come over the bridges.
and now we understand there's good reason for that. clearly the intelligence has pointed them in the direction of focusing on a vehicle-born improvised explosive device or car or truck bomb. >> any sense of the size of the truck? >> no. i didn't get that. and you know, as you talk to people who have actually seen this intelligence, we of course can't see it. but there are gaps. one official said look there's some weird things about this which is why they're so focused on trying to get confirmation. the senior law enforcement official at new york had said to me, look, even though there are inconsistencies you generally see that, this has the ring of credibility to it. it is sufficiently detailed and coming from a source and the timing is right that we believe that this has got real credibility. we just don't know enough yet. >> and we're just showing those pictures. it was interesting in new york
today on a number of choke points the police set up checkpoints where vehicles basically blocked several lanes of traffic so that traffic slow to a crawl and basically cars had to or trucks all track had to move through basically one lane and then police would pull over trucks or advance that they wanted to search. peter bergen, what do you make of the developments in the last few hours, 24 hours? does it sound more credible to you or less credible than when we spoke last night? >> well, i mean, susan and fran have added to the story considerably over the last 24 hours. the story sounds similar to two pretty serious plots that we've seen in the past. one is the cult which involved an american citizen trying to blow up a bomb in the manhattan subway around the eighth anniversary of 9/11 you may recall. that produced quite a reaction from the fbi and new york police department.
he of course was an american citizen living in the country, living in denver. and also seems similar to the attempt to blow up an suv in times square on may 1, 2010 by phase el shazad, also an american citizen. in the case of -- that was an al qaeda directed plot. in the case of faisel sha dodd it was a taliban type of plot. we suspect the suspects may have traveled to the afghan-pakistan border region. and so it has a ring of credibility because it seems similar the more we know about it to other plots which are getting fairly serious and have been broken up in the past, anderson. >> fran, vice-president biden talked today about how the main concern has been over lone wolf type attack. does this sound like -- this sound like somebody more than that. >> that's right. >> if they're traveling to the pakistan border.
>> that's right. this is -- the threat emanates out of the pakistan region. we've heard that from multiple sources. and this is -- when i go back and think about the east africa embassy bombing, if you look how al qaeda deploys a truck bomb, there's typically two people in the car. the third person is there to cause a distraction so the car or truck can get to it point where they want to explode it. it was also true when they exploded a bomb in afghanistan outside the hotel there. this is kind of how al qaeda does it. and so the number of operatives, the notion that it could be a truck bomb, it all makes sense to people who have looked at this intelligence and worked on these cases over the last decade. >> peter, i seem to recall i think a bombing in iraq i mean years ago in one of the locations where we often stayed that wasn't just one truck bomb, it was two. and one would come in, explode, and then another one would come in. i mean, do you recall that? >> yeah. i mean, that was i think the -- i'm spacing on the name of the
hotel. but it was quite a -- >> palestine hotel, i believe. >> and killed quite a number of people. i mean, i think that that kind of attack to pull that off in the united states, i mean, it's twice as hard to do i think in iraq it's a lot easier to do that kind of thing than it would be here. >> right. you know, peter, that 9/11 was permanent perpetrated by 19 hijackers and an unknown number of planners. if this involves three operatives in the united states what does that say about the size and score of al qaeda right now? >> the size and scope of al qaeda is of course much more than it was on 9/11. but clearly this plot, if everything is confirmed, would probably have a control on the afghan-pakistan border. suggestions it might be named at al za waw here re. i guess from al qaeda's point of view if they can't get one
through on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, they have to sort of show the flag at some point. as we know from the documents recovered from the bin laden's compound the tenth anniversary was a complete obsession for him. here we have something that appears to be the fruit of that obsession. >> peter bergen, appreciate you joining us tonight. fran townsend as well, susan candiotti, thank you. let us know what you think on facebook, follow me on twitter @ anderson cooper up next, the communication that caused first responders lives here on that terrible day. the 9/11 commission recommended changes. you probably remember that. all these years later, ten years later, new york and other cities have had to go it alone because congress cannot agree on how to fix the problem. tonight we're keeping them honest. also a decade later, the manhunt for a man who gave al qaeda free reign in his country. we'll take youed in the search for the taliban's muaomar.
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footprints of one of the towers. if you have not been down here in awhile you should come because it is truly remarkable, particularly at night. breaking news tonight, new york and washington on alert and on edge as authorities work to unravel a possible terror plot that really sets the stage for our next story. it was a life-threatening problem down here ten years ago. keeping them honest, ten years later it is still a problem today. something that is pretty simple to fix. while not exactly cheap, the solution would cost only a tiny sliver of the $600 billion already spent on domestic security since the 9/11 attacks. yet ten years and all that money later, this problem, a communications problem, is only partly solved and looifts are potentially still in jeopardy because of it. take a look. hundreds of firefighters and police officers were inside the north tower of the world trade center that terrible morning when nypd chopper crews advised commanders on the ground to evacuate the building. those radio transmissions reached police inside but not firefighters.
>> the reason they didn't come down is because they didn't get the message. the only other acceptable reason why they didn't come down immediately is because in my mind they were helping civilians get to the stairway and down the stairway. other than that, i'm very sure that if they heard the command to evacuate they would have evacuated. >> they didn't hear the warning because they couldn't. their radios didn't receive police chanlts. didn't receive police channels. we'll all remember the solemn processions as bodies were recovered from the pile. 23 police officers lost their lives. the death toll among firefighters, 343. some of whom couldn't communicate with commanders on the ground. all of them couldn't listen in on police frequent says. many of whom were actually heading up the stairs, not down and out to safety as the towers collapsed. in 2004 you may remember the 9/11 commission identified communications as a serious problem that contributed to the loss of life. but no federal action was taken. new york and other big cities made changes on their own.
for example local police and firefighters can now communicate with one another, but still not with any other responders who might rush in from outside the new york area. even with the improvements, the systems are, well, they're still primitive. >> today, a 16-year-old with a smart phone has a more advanced communications capability than a police officer or deputy carrying a radio. even in a technology that is available and the complexity of the threat that we face, this is unacceptable. >> that was new york police commissioner ray kelly testifying back in february before the senate commerce committee. earlier this year the committee passed with bipartisan support a measure to set aside a block of radio frequencies for a modern national first responder system. sponsored by the republican kay bailey hutchison and democrat jay rockefeller. >> the fact that we have waited this long is stunning enough. but we started this sometime ago. there isn't a single first
responders organization in the country, not a single governor, not a single mayor, not a single magistrate, not a single -- everybody supports it. everybody supports it. >> on capitol hill though some republicans are blocking similar legislation on the house side, believing the new spectrum should be auctioned off the money to private carriers instead of given to first responders free of charge. they say giving it away is a missed opportunity to help reduce the deficit. bottom line, ten years after the towers fell, no unified modern system. things are better for first responders in new york and wherever the next disaster may strike but they are nowhere near as good as there could be nor as their surviving comrades tell us what america deserves. with me chief from the new york police department who recently testified to congress about the communications problem. thanks very much for being with us. what is the holdup? what's the push back here? what's the problem? >> the problem seems to be as you said that there are some
members of congress on the house side that don't feel that we need that much spectrum. so there is a piece set aside for us already. but there have been no less than six independent studies that have shown that we need more than that. so we need the extra piece of spectrum. >> explain what this part of the spectrum would do for first responders. >> what it would do is because it's available throughout the country, and we could use the new contingency. smart phone technology. as you mentioned, the police commissioner talked about a 16-year-old had more capabilities than we do today. it would give give us an ability to do data, voice, all types of capabilities we don't have today. right now we're essentially only on two-way. >> so if firefighters go into a building they could pull up scheme mat ticks of the building on a hand-held device. >> this network would be public safety built and built to our requirements and specifications and dedicated to us. we can't use commercial networks. during the earthquake last week, those systems get inundated,
flooded with calls and they're just no good for public safety use. you were talking with ems workers this could benefit them. >> absolutely. so an example telemeds you could send people's information to a hospital in real time of so doctor us could triage. if you had multiple patients they could triage and decide which patients needed to be treated and transported first. >> the new york city, the police department, what do you now have? you have some level of the spectrum. >> well, what we're using right now is spectrum that was assigned to us decades ago. and we have a very reliable, very robust two-way voice communication system. but from a data perspective, we're nowhere. we need this new system and this spectrum to build it on so that we will be not only capable of doing it here but any place that any first responder goes in the country their device would be recognized and function. right now if i go to washington or boston, our communications equipment will not work.
>> it's also not as if that doesn't happen. we've seen on big disasters folks come from all around. in hurricane katrina you had search and rescue crews coming from virginia and other states. >> the city of new york had nypd and fdny down there. and people came here on 9/11 from as far away as south carolina and maine. >> how long would it take if this was passed in congress to get up and running, to be functional? >> the technology is out there now. so it's a matter of building it. i would say probably within two years we could have this functioning in a lot of areas in the country. >> so you're hoping to basically just get folks in congress to act. >> that's what we need. we need the public to understand they need to talk to their members of congress and tell them this spectrum should not be auctioned, it should be assigned to public safety to save lives. >> i just have to ask just being here, seeing, this what's it like for you? >> you know, we did a site inspection here about a month ago. and it brings back a lot of memories. it's tough to be here at times.
and being the tenth anniversary to have not fixed this problem to the point where we know we can fix it is disturbing. >> i appreciate you being with us. thanks so much. good luck to you. deputy chief dowd. upnext we're going to update our breaking news. new details about the possible new terror plot on the united states during the tenth anniversary of 9/11. they have a possible identity of one of the three people involved. they believe that person is in the united states right now. former assistant director of the fbi joins us a disturbing report out of syria that could signal a new level of brutality. we know they kill children, women, shoot unarmed protesters. witnesses say security forces barged into a hospital, took 18 wounded patients, some of whom were in the operating room, on oxygen, on life support. a doctor who witnessed the attack speaks out coming up. [ male announcer ] members of the american postal workers union
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welcome back to gz gz ground zero on this beautiful night. you're looking at the north reflecting pool. one of two pools. the design is called reflecting absence. if you're just joining us we're forming breaking news tonight. new information about the terror threat. authorities are working to try to unravel at this moment authorities telling cnn tonight they have a partial identity of one of the three people believed involved, and they believe that person is currently in the united states tonight. all over new york and washington there is heightened security. checkpoints and road blocks. we've seen that all day long. police pulling over trucks and advance looking for explosives and other dangerous material. the plot is thought to involve a car or truck bomb though officials say they cannot rule out other means, which is why tonight police were asaufl rifles are in the train stations and many people in both cities are perhaps a little bit more on edge, or at least asking more questions. cnn contributor and former fbi
assistant director tom fuentes joins me now along with our own susan candiotti. >> authorities believe there is one suspect is already in the united states. officials have announced a name. but this is basically a manhunt going on right now. >> exactly, anderson. but the reporting is that it's a very common name and very difficult for the authorities to actually find this person. specifically identify him and track him down. >> the sourcing on this is that it's only a partial identity. what does that mean? >> well, obviously either a first name or last name and a very common name in the u.s. so that again makes it very difficult. my understanding is that the sourcing of the information coming from pakistan through interceptions also has been commonly intercepted in the past. and that's why they think it's credible information. but again, they're putting the fact that this information
coming in while it's been similar to information that's come in many times, because it's this weekend has heightened the alert even more. >> susan, is there any censor have you heard anything about authorities possibly thinking about trying to release a name or a partial name? or would that maybe cause more problems given that it's apparently a common name? >> reporter: they're very worried about that, anderson. they're worried about too much information getting out that they think might possibly impair them from being able to track these people down. so they are concerned about too much information, too many leaks. but certainly they are shaking the bushes, they are going to people that they've talked to before that they were talking to even before this threat became known. they're hearing the same chatter that we're hearing about now that possibly overseas who might be responsible for this. but possibly al qaeda's number two man. so many leads to track down. but i'm also hearing this, that
it's entirely possible with this very credible information that they're looking into that if it weren't for being this close to 9/11 it's entirely possible that no one in the public might have even heard about it until they were able to nail it down. but because of the proximity to the 9/11 anniversary, they just had to get the word out and make sure that people were on their guard. >> tom, it was interesting in new york today to just walk around or bike around as i was and to see the gridlock across manhattan today as a result of these vehicle checkpoints. we haven't really seen that level of overt security in quite awhile. obviously a lot of activity that we're not seeing as well. how effective are checkpoints like this? is it actually effective or is it more for sort of peace of mind? >> well, it's interesting. because we may never know. if the attack doesn't happen, you won't know that somebody saw all of that activity on the part of the police and just decided they couldn't do it. but the entire city became too
hard of a target. but on the other hand, some of the earlier attack plans that have occurred, for instance the times square bomber, shahzad in new york city, he went to pakistan, received training on how to use propane tanks that are more commonly available that then alert the authorities. either he flunked the class or the training was defective because he didn't properly set up the tanks. and they just sat there and smouldered until they attracted public attention and alerted 9 police. so that's the problem you don't know here. the fewer the people that are involved in the attack plan, the more primitive the methodology is that they're going to use. in other words, the more commonly available the ingredients are, it's only that much more difficult to do it. and especially you have what they refer to as the trip lines. now we've had the plot in the last year where the individual is going to obtain chemicals, make a bomb and blow up george bush's home in dallas, texas. the chemical company called the police and the fbi. we've had a plot this past week
in germany where a palestinian and lebanese individual tried to obtain chemicals to make a bomb, and that chemical company called the german police. so you have the more interest, the more public awareness that's been raised, the more difficulty going to have in being able to wage the kind of attack that would do the most damage. so as i said, it becomes more primitive, it involves fewer people, but also then they become easier to conduct. >> all right. tom fuentes, appreciate your expertise. susan candiotti thanks. let's get caught up on some other stories tonight. susan hendricks syrian security forces stormed a hospital in the western city of hams and took away 18 wounded patients. just took them out. five of the patients were reportedly removed from an operating room, including two who were described as unconscious. that is according to human rights watch. earlier we spoke with a doctor who says he just cannot reveal his name. it is simply too dangerous.
>> the most terrible second or moment when you can't -- when you are a doctor and your mission is to protect people, a soldier, he has no mercy, preventing you from giving help to patients. i don't know what happened to them. but i'm sure that they are suffering now. >> in libya today, there has been fighting on the streets with the deadline coming and going for gadhafi loyalists to peacefully surrender with no deal. clashes also took place in benny walid. also following this, stocks took a beating on wall street today due to fierce over europe's financial woes. fuelling the selloff resignation of an executive board member of the central european bank. the dow sank 404 points today, nasdaq dropped 31, s & p dropped. here's piers morgan with a look at what's coming up on
"piers morgan tonight." >> new york under a new terror alert. we've got two extraordinary stories of 9/11 survival tonight. cantor fitzgerald lost 658 employees on that terrible day. no one in the front offices of that north tower made it back out alive. in the ten years since, ceo howard lutnick has rebuilt the firm and his life. he tells his emotional story in just a few moments. also lauren manning was on her way into her office when the first plane hit. she was so badly burned she had no chance of surviving. she beat those odds and tonight she remembers what it took to fight her way back. that and more at the top of the hour. coming up, everyone, searching for taliban leader moamar. $10 million bounty on his head. nic walsh goes to pakistan where he is believed to be in 450iding. the children of 9/11. stories of young people whose lives changed forever when they lost a parent in the attack.
you're looking at one world trade center, about 70 stories of steel now up. soon-to-be the tallest building in america. 1776 feet. used to be called freedom tower. we are reporting from down here at ground zero. u.s. officials say al qaeda may be plotting an attack in new york and washington. some of the information came from communications from an al qaeda operative in pakistan according to one u.s. official. vice-president joe biden said today that some of the information about the threat, the latest threat, was gleaned from a raid against bin laden bin laden's compound in pakistan back in may. cnn's nic walsh went back to the compound to see how the scene there has changed over the past four months. >> reporter: it's eerily quiet, though. we catch a gims of the house, bushes growing thick around it,
almost like they're trying to swallow the secretive den. but out of nowhere we're stopped by a soldier. >> we have been pretty quickly stopped by the police here, asked for our passports and told to leave. in fact we've been asked to stay with them for a little while. all quite surprising, really, given only a few month ago this place was teaming with journalist and quite open. things have obviously definitely changed. >> a search for bin laden of course was long almost ten years long, finally ending in his death at the hand of u.s. navy s.e.a.l.s. but the hunt goes on in pakistan for a man named muaomar. but it's only a partial hunt, because u.s. intelligence officials say they know where he is. they actually say they've known for years. nic walsh has more. >> reporter: you don't have to look hard in south pakistan's militant hot bed to find signs that afghan insurgent leader muoomar might be here.
this is a nato field convoy ambushed and set aflame by the taliban days ago. further into town, the signs get more ex mess it. this one says "there's only one cure for america, jihad". kreta is on pakistani military lockdown but still it's where a u.s. official told cnn moumar is thought to be hiding and has been for years. only once photographed, he's long been america's most wanted after bin laden, a $10 million bounty still on his head. years ago the taliban's black turbans were everywhere. today it's more discreet. even so, our local cameraman found it hard to film here while local leaders give support to the taliban while still denying they're here. >> translator: there is no taliban here. this is false propaganda used to justify drone attacks in the tribal areas. the americans created the whole
drama of 9/11, just for an excuse to attack afghanistan. if the afghans are fighting for their freedom, then we definitely consider this jihad legitimate. >> violence burst into the open this week when two suicide bombers left field a local police chief's home. police saying it may have been avenging three senior al qaeda arrests ten days earlier and that one bomber was this one 21-year-old afghan refugee. his actions probably found support here. eulogies scrolled outside. >> translator: we follow and support the life and teachings of the support. the supporters of jihad anywhere in the world where this is an obligation of is islam. he recruits young men and trains them. >> a troubling thought as terror
fears gripped the u.s. again. and even if they knew where omar was in the city it's too packed for bombs to bomb and too hostile for the cold raid that got bin laden. leaving omar's fate like so much in pakistan's hands. >> and nic payton walsh joins us live from islamabad, pakistan. what role do we know does mulaomar actually have in the taliban currently? >> reporter: good question. he's a very symbolic leader. key figure, the icon so to speak. but there is questions as to whether or the not he has full operation and control on a day-to-day basis. nato having spent a huge amount of time take out his deputies and arresting or working on the subcommanders below that. the insurgency very fractured after decade's worth of war. if nato do want to talk peace which they say they do it has to be with him to be effective in some way. you're going to have to ask
yourself the question then, what happens to all those fighters out there, younger afghan men who have been fighting for years who may not necessarily think it's the right time to agree a peace with enemy who says they're leaving. >> there were several al qaeda members recently arrested in pakistan. what does that mean for the organization? also what does it say about cooperation between pakistan intelligence and u.s. intelligence? >> reporter: obviously al qaeda is sort of more to some people an idea than a real organization in some ways. but the man arrested in kreta is called judas morat,ani. he's expected to be the external operations man for al qaeda. a senior pakistan officer telling us from his interrogation by pakistani agents has already been passed to the u.s. he wouldn't specify if that related to the threats we've been discussing early on this evening. but it's clear he's already talking. this man on route to africa we understand apparently had personal connections with bin laden when he was arrive and has
been involved with plots against europe and the u.s. interesting that you mentioned the cooperation before this raid frankly cia and pakistani intelligence were at each other's throats half the time since the bin laden raid. after this operation, suddenly they're speaking very glowingly about each other again, anderson. >> interesting. nic payton walsh appreciate it. joining me now is one of my favorite writers, lawrence wright of the new yorker. he's the author of the pulitzer prize winning book "al qaeda the road to 9/11". i first just have to ask on a personal level, what is it like being here at ground zero, seeing this on almost the tenth anniversary? >> well, it's great to see something other than a hole in the ground, you know? it's inspiring to see the cranes out there, to see the buildings rising again. and even though i guess i had some mixed feelings about the nar saysism of building another one of these immense towers.
>> you're going to be working out here, though. the new yorker is going to have a base here. >> we're the first big tenants. so i guess i'd better get used to is. >> you write so much about this and you travel so much throughout the region really for much of your life. what do you think ten years after 9/11, i mean, did al qaeda succeed in that al qaeda is far weakened from what it was. but if one of bin laden's goals was to weaken the financial structures of the united states by attacking the symbol of the financial structures, did he succeed in that? >> well, the real financial damage of the 9/11 attack was not that great. it's the subsequent things that we did. the war in afghanistan, and then what bin laden could never have anticipated, the extra war in iraq. two unfunded wars that have severely undermined this economy, which is exactly what bin laden has said he wanted to do, to open a gaping wound in
the american economy. he couldn't have done that without our assistance. >> do you think the fear or the shock in the wake of 9/11, do you think america overreacted? or has that changed who we are, do you think? i mean, the fear that so many of us understandably felt the shock of the attack, do you think it changed something fundamental about the united states? >> i definitely do, anderson. i think we're a different people now. i've been thinking a lot about -- this sounds a little weird, but i had a date in high school. i didn't have any money. i took my girlfriend to the airport. >> to the airport. >> to love field in dallas. >> you know how to have a date. >> i know, right? what are you going to do? and we went out on the tarmac. a pan am flight had just come in from some distant port. and we walked onto the plane and sat in the first class cabin while the stewardesses cleaned it up. then we went up to the faa tower. they said come on in, kids. have a seat. we watched these jets taking off
in the hot dallas night. but that america is lost. but it shouldn't be forgotten. that we had that kind of country where the fabric, social fabric full of trust and safety. and long after al qaeda is gone, the security apparatus that we built up to deal with it is still going to be intact. and we need to remember it's not just terrorism that we need to fight, but the kind of fear that we put around ourselves like a hard shell. >> when you hear about a new threat, this thing, it's interesting because i've been getting e-mails throughout the day from friends who were going to come here. one was going to run in a race this weekend here. they're asking me, do you think i should take this seriously? should i cancel? i keep saying no. not that you shouldn't take it seriously but don't cancel what you're doing. it seems -- i don't know. i feel it's very important not to give in to fear. >> i completely agree. because that's what changes us. if you're actually reacting out of fear and paranoia, then
you're not the kind of american -- that's not the country we want to be. we have to think not only about protecting our country but holding onto our sense of who we are. and i don't think that we are the kind of people that cower and change our lives because we're afraid of this kind of low-level terrorist attack. that's not an existential threat to america. al qaeda cannot destroy america. we can do that to ourselves. >> in terms of al qaeda, i mean, we know they are severely weakened. when you look at the potential threats out there, is it al qaeda central that you look to or is it more the al qaeda peninsula, the u.s. born cleric and groups in yemen or elsewhere? >> there are two threats that i see that are real. amwaralaki i think is a very dangerous individual. he was involved in al qaeda, i'm convinced, early on. the first two al qaeda hijackers
who came to america in january of 2000 went to san diego where he was an iman. they followed him all across america when he went to virginia. so i think that he was closely tied into al qaeda then. he's the natural real successor to bin laden. and he has advantages bin laden didn't have. he's a fluent english speaker. he's an american citizen. and he has the religious authority that bin laden never had. but there's another threat that i see as something of concern. and that's -- >> the group that we saw that was involved in the attacks in mumbai. >> that's correct. that really is a state-sponsored terror group that was created by the pakistani intelligence organization. and the boundaries between lashkar and al qaeda are very fluid. people are members of both organizations. they go back and forth. and lashkar gave safe houses to
al qaeda members when they were leaving bore ra bore ra. >> what i find about their attacks especially the mumbai attack was with a relatively small number of lightly-armed fighters, machine guns, grenades, they were able to basically paralyze the city by taking over and attacking just a few -- a hotel, a few other locations. i think that's a worrying kind of attack. because it's not a big attack, but with a few people lightly armed to be able to paralyze a major city like mumbai, that's stunning. >> in the chicago trial of david etly, this pakistani american who was involved in the planning the mumbai attacks, a lot of very unsettling information came out. one was that there were sites planned, possibly terrorist strikes, more than 300 of them. only a few of them actually in india. many of them in the west. and according to hedley, he was directed by an isi major who said specifically to attack
americans and brits in their attack. that i find a very concerning element. >> appreciate you being with us. lawrence wright, thank you so much still ahead, the children left behind on 9/11. they lost parents and aunts and uncles. some were too young to remember the terrible day. others of course will never forget the awful news they received. we'll hear from them ahead. ♪ guess that means you can do it all. it's the chevy season of doing. now combine the all-star edition discount with other offers for a total value of $6,000. or qualified buyers can get 0% apr for 60 months plus $1,000 cash allowance on all silverado models. get to your chevy dealer and get that truck today. but not in my neighborhood. ♪ [ female announcer ] we're throwing away misperceptions about natural gas vehicles. more of the vehicles that fuel our lives use clean american natural gas today.
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of their incredible voices echoing across what you see right now is really extraordinary. they spent the last decade working to put their looifrs back together, so many of the families have. as many as 2,000 kids lost parents on that day. many others lost uncles and aunts. at least 100 september 11th widows were pregnant when their young husbands died. their babies are now third and fourth graders, and boys and girls who were toddlers on 9/11 have grown into teenagers. we talked to some of them recently. ? on 9/11 i lost my father, john robinson. >> benjamin keith clark. he's an executive chef. my dad was alvin romero. >> sergeant john coglin. >> i was in my fifth grade class. and my teacher said everyone look outside the window. and my teacher said it was just a little accident. but then i realized that it was much bigger than that. >> my first thought was my father okay. >> we were all in her bedroom watching this tv show. >> i remember asking her mom
what are you watching? >> >> she said that they were all gone. >> i guess it didn't just click to me what i was watching wasn't a movie. >> i remember looking out the window just thinking the whole thing was a dream. >> nobody else has lost a parent on national television object news. nobody else has seen it happen over and over again. and that's something that we all have to live with. >> my mother sat us down. and had every cop's kids's worst nightmare talk that daddy wasn't coming home. my little sister at the time just screamed out loud. all of a sudden i was the oldest in the family. i had to step up right at that exact minute. >> i was very, very angry. i know i punched the wall. >> and i saw the world as like a gross, vulgar place full of hatred. >> i do not remember a good two years of my life. because i like just emotionally have blocked it all out. >> i don't really remember anything about it. sometimes i think it's a better
thing that i didn't know him and that he was like taken away from me. but -- >> and my friends complain oh, my dad's so annoying or he won't let me go out or do this. it's like -- then you get mad because you would do anything to have that. and they complain and they don't really appreciate what they have. >> every time in that 9/11 class. >> everybody would like turn around and stare at me. >> letting us know that i was affected by it directly. >> sometimes you get agitated. it's not like i would want to be known as oh, his dad died. his dad was killed. i don't want to be known as that. i just want everybody to know me as me, like for who i am. >> you always get people who are trying to help say like i know
how now you're feel. everything's going to be okay. >> but i'm sorry that this happened to you. or brittany, is there anything we can do? it makes me feel kind of cornered when everyone is around me like oh, yeah, brittany, you lost your father. are you okay? >> i really think people expect us to fail sometimes. >> every night i need to talk to my mom and my brother before i go to sleep, because i'm always afraid something's going to happen to them too. >> because i'm afraid if i lost one parent i'm afraid of losing the other. >> life is short. >> it can be taken away. in an instant. just like it did on that tuesday morning. >> i cry more. i grieve more. because now i recognize what i've lost. >> my mother will stand in the middle of the kitchen and be like, can you please stop acting just like your father? >> but my mom always tells my sister and i that we have his smile or his sense of humor. >> it took me a very long time to like not move on from the
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