tv CNN Newsroom CNN April 23, 2013 10:00am-11:00am PDT
call now to request your free decision guide. this easy-to-understand guide will answer some of your questions, and help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that's right for you. everyone, i'm chris cuomo live in boston part of cnn's continuing coverage of the boston marathon terrorism that happened up here. now, big breaking news for you on the condition of the boston marathon pomibombing suspect, t younger brother listed as fair, his condition. we get that from the official twitter account for the u.s. attorney's office of the massachusetts district. that information, again, suspect right now in custody, is fair. major issue for prosecutors because his ability to communicate, to understand the charges against him critical in
moving any prosecutions forward. to understand this from the medical perspective on the phone, dr. sanjay gupta. >> talking about conditions, and we've talked about this quite a bit lately, chris, critical is the most concerning, then serious, we hear he is fair, which from a medical perspective means in many ways that the most concerning part of his medical condition are not as concerning anymore. the vital signs have stabilized at the point where usually patients can be taken out of an intensive care unit, for example. so it's obviously going in the direction that you want from a medical perspective. we know, chris, i'll tell you that in the operation, to put this tube into his trachea, in the neck, was done over the weekend. and now we're, you know, post operative day two or three, and
this is sort of exactly what you expect. it's a typical course for him to be listed in fair condition now, chris. >> okay. now, sanjay, help me, put on your legal hat for one second here. the concern is whether or not he's able to understand what we would say in the law what's going on, whether he can speak or not. being in fair condition in the kinds of details you've heard about what's gone on in the initial hearings with law enforcement, with magistrate, does it seem as though he's moving in a direct of being able to assist in his own defense? >> yeah, you know, look, when we talk about speech, and this is putting on a medical legal hat, chris, speech is a general term in the medical sense, meaning that it refers obviously to the spoken word. but also the written word, even gestures, even being able to respond to questions, yes or no. but it also refers to the ability to process and
understand any kind of speech. so, it appears that he's able to do both, you know. he's able to understand from, again, i'm hearing the same things that you are, but also able to execute some sort of communication as well. and you know, we heard some of the things that he was able to convey yesterday. so what we want, you know, from a medical standpoint, know that someone's who's hearing, yb understanding and execute something. in a primitive way you ask them to do something initially, hold up two fingers, when someone is able to do, sounds simple, it shows they've heard you understood you and let me point out something else that is very important. the tube that we're talking about that goes into the trachea, which is the windpipe in the neck, ultimately what can happen that can be covered and then you cover that, someone can
basically talk. in fact it's called a talking trache at that point. so at that point, you can actually get spoken language as well, chris. >> all right. sanjay, thank you very much. appreciate it. we'll be back with you later on. this is, of course, critical because we're going to discuss today these issues of what type of interrogation was right to be done in this situation, the controversy that's going on in the nation's capital over this. a lot is dependent on whether or not the suspect can speak, can participate in interrogation, that's why monitoring the medical condition is so important. of course the events of the past eight days consume the city where i'm standing. but we're going to start this hour in a city some distance away, again, washington, d.c., because the ideas of looking backward to see whether we knew everything we could about these suspects and looking forward in terms of how we can stay safe are critically important and under discussion right now. in the nation's capital, senators discussing today
whether or not this immigrant, who allegedly led his younger brother into a bombing here at the boston marathon, whether that plot, that ultimately claimed four lives and life of one of the bomber, could have been avoided. members of congress want to know what the u.s. government knew or did not know about this now deceased suspect's trip back home in 2012. tracking that for us, in some really heated testimony today, cnn's jim acosta. jim? lay out the information for us. what's being said? what is the controversy? >> reporter: well, chris, you're absolutely right, lawmakers on capitol hill are trying to get to the bottom of what was known about the older suspect who is now dead, tamerlan tsarnaev, and this trip ta hat he took to rusa last year. law makes want to know why is it that tamerlan tsarnaev was able to make this trip in the first place. should he have been stopped before he went overseas? when overseas what did he do?
what was he up to when he was over there? some of this is stemming from some of the conflicting stories, quite frankly, chris, from federal officials over tamerlan tsarnaev's status. senator lindsey graham, republican from south carolina, told reporters yesterday that tamerlan was on a no-fly list, that he was on some sort of terror watch list a federal law enforcement official has told cnn that is not the case. and senator charles grassley, graham's republican colleague in the senate, asked secretary janet napolitano from the department of homeland security about the discrepancy earlier this morning. here's bit of that exchange. >> was your department aware of his travels to russia, and if you weren't, the reason? >> the travel in 2012 that you're referring to? yes, the system pinged when he
was leaving the united states. by the time he returned, all investigators -- the matter had been closed. >> is it true that his identity document did not match his airline ticket, and if so, why did tsa miss the discrepancy? >> there was a police match there. by the way, the bill will help with this because it requires that passports be electronically readable, as opposed to have being been manually input. it really does a good job of getting human error. >> so there you hear secretary napolitano answering that question from senator grassley. all of this is also important because senator graham said yesterday that tamerlan's trip to russia last year was undetected by the fbi. he say his was told that by a senior fbi official. obviously it sounds as if secretary napolitano is saying his travel was known inside the
department of homeland security, which is leading senator grassley and other senators of capitol hill to ask the question, did the right hand know what the left hand was doing if department of homeland security system pinged when he went overseas to russia, why is it that the fbi was not paid aware of this? why is it that the fbi system did not ping when he made that trip over to russia. a lot of questions. there's a senate intelligence committee hearing coming up at 2:30 and then the full house of representatives is expected to get a briefing from fbi officials on all of this later on this afternoon. we'll be covering all of it for you, chris. >> all right, jim, thank you very much. we'll be back to you as you develop more on that. a ping, means an alert to the system. spelling error in some ways would have been the best explanation of this. it could get much more troubling than that. let's bring in law enforcement analyst former fbi assistant director tom fuentes. what isn't important.
what when hear this, this is not left about versus right, this is about safely, a legitimate issue. >> i would ask them that question, chris. >> say it again. >> i said -- no, i would ask the senators and the members of the house of representatives what the -- what's the purpose and what they're trying to do. obviously it appears that they're trying to find out if the fbi missed something or if the department of homeland security missed something. >> right. >> how that could have happened or should there have been some kind of stops in place, the term ping that the system was pinged, i don't know of that or how that worked. that would be something within the passport control under dhs. but i note the russian sent a message to the fbi to investigate him in 2011. now and nothing comes of that, there's nothing derogatory found near as we can tell. everything was done that could have been done and the
information was sent back to russia. now, now after that investigation, after they've alerted the buss that, he goes to russia. you would think that the point the russian authorities would be keeping an eye on him there, not necessarily notifying anybody in the fbi or intelligence community of the u.s., but they were aware that he traveled to russia and that he's in the area that they're concerned. so in that sense, you would think that they would also note when he departs that he's en route back to the united states. now he's met with people that are suspicious over there, now keep an elevated eye on him. none of that owe consider. there's no further communication as far as i've heard that the trip to russia was noted by the russians or monitors by the russians or relayed back to the u.s. after he came back. >> all right. but, tom, some fair points here, obviously the united states can't be dependent upon russia for its own safety, right?
you have do your own leg work. russia did give them the heads up two years ago. >> wait a second. no, sir, there's no u.s. leg work by the fbi on the ground in russia, none. >> right. but you understood from russia that this was someone to look at, you took it seriously, you did it, you find out whether it's a clerical error or whatever but you have a suspect that go back to russia, he's there for an extended period, when he comes back he puts a video online from a known terrorist radical irz and it happens after his trip. smoke equals fire or no? is that not of interest to you? >> i didn't say it's not of interest. i'm saying by the time he comes back, the fbi case is closed and, again, no additional information comes back from the russians to keep an eye on him or he's on his way back to your country. once the fbi case is closed,
there is no further monitoring by the fbi of his activity or whether he's going to these jihady websites or becomes increasingly radicalized. he has to come back up on the radar at that point. so i'm just saying, though that the six month his spends in russia obviously were very concerned about that and the u.s. would love to know if he was here, we would try to reconstruct every day that he was, you know, what the activity was. but that can only come from the russians. we don't even know at this point if they were monitoring him during this time. you would ask them if not, why not? you're the ones that raises suspicion in the first place, he's back on your soil, where you're responsible to monitor him, where the u.s. has no authority to conduct investigation, no authority to be in chechnya, it would take their permission to do it. so at that point, this is a matter for the russians to explain what was he doing there and were you aware of it.
>> so, i just -- you understand where i'm coming from, tom, right? it's concerning when you hear this, that he's living in your country, you've been alerted to him, it's somewhat confusing whether or not you knew when he left, what pinged, what didn't ping, he comes back, the word that is coming out of the investigation early on is we don't think he was connected to anybody else, we don't know, now it's taken some people in washington to start asking these questioned. it seems like there was a lacking of urgency or something's not working on the system. you're saying it's on russia, is what i'm hearing. >> i'm not saying it's all on russia. i'm saying while he's in the u.s. in 2011, yes it's on the fbi. and if they exhaust all investigative techniques and come up negative, at that time he's not yet radicalized that they know of, no one's making derogatory remarks none of the electronic communications come back suspicious, he's tried to a
group ear or oversea. at that point there's so far he can go with it realistically, they do it that, send a message back to rush sla saying give us more, which the russians don't do. the six months in question in russia, there's nothing that the u.s. can do to know what occurred there unless the russians tell us. >> okay. tom, appreciate the perspective. thank you very much. this is your field. always appreciate the understanding. obviously the coin on the other side, when he came back from the trip, posted a video with a known radicalizer, that was in the same region where he was vacationing, very concerning to people. one of the pieces of what we don't understand in the situation we need to know better so things in the future go better in terms of safety and security. that's the obvious interest for everyone involved. new information just this afternoon where the suspects may have learned how to make the pressure cooker bombs. that is going to be what we want to take a look into when we come back after the break. the kyocera torque lets you hear and be heard
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about what went into the planning of the attack here at boston marathon. now, the suspect in custody says it was just him and his brother. but we are learning and now suspecting that may not be altogether true. cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr joins us now. bar ra, what have you learned about possible links to al qaeda or others? >> reporter: well, chris, what we are hearing from u.s. officials we have spoken to is they are taking the claims that dzhokhar tsarnaev has made and taking a look at whether the two brothers may have learned their expertise online. one of the things they are looking at is an online publication called inspire. this is a publication essentially, online site, sponsored by al qaeda in the arabian peninsula essentially al qaeda in yemen. amongst the extremist jihady move. well known, in existence for many years. they published some time back a
recipe for making a pressure cooker bomb in an article that they basically entitled "how to make a bomb in your mother's kitchen" the belief is there may be similarities between this online recipe and what was used in boston. investigators are looking at this very closely. chris? >> barbara, thank you very much. another piece in the puzzle. as people understand this information, and you hear it, it's important to tell everybody it's not about building this up or dramatizing, it's about understanding exactly how this could have happened and why. barbara, thank you very much. we'll be back to you. not far from here in the boston suburb of massachusetts, a private funeral took place for the m.i.t. police officer gunned down in his own squad car allegedly by the suspects of the bombing here. that happened last thursday night more than three days after the bombings and before the shoot-out that killed the older suspect and apparently wounded his younger brother. a public service is set for
tomorrow in honor of the 26-year-old sean collier. and vice president biden is due to attend that to show respect. cnn has learned some new and chilling detail of collier's ambush. cnn's deb feyerick will join plea now with those. what have we learned? zbl >> one of the big questions, why did they kill the police officer? did they spot him? but now we're being told that the m.i.t. officer allegedly shot to death by the two brothers never alerted dispatch, that he -- that he had seen them, he never had time to trigger his emergency system which is what they have on radios in event they can't actually get to their radio. what we're being told is that one of the brothers allegedly one of the brothers walked up to the car and simply executed this man as he sat alone in his patrol car on the m.i.t. campus. police responded not because
they had gotten a call from the police officer, they responded because there were multiple 911 calls that came in saying that shots had been fired on the campus. one thing investigators are look at is why did they do this, because it didn't appear that he had spotted them first. but this is what really triggered an entire time line of events that ultimately led to the death of one and the capture of another. so all of that right now is under the investigation. chris, i can tell you investigators are trying to piece together the time line because it's so important. there are and many open questions, things that simply do not make sense about the brothers' movements, where they were, how they got to certain points. we do know the police officer was shot, that was the trigger that got all police out and surrounding a particular area. we know that the car was hijacked, the car jack, a driver car jacked. they went to the gas station, the carjacking victim escapes
and they went to the atm and the shoot-out with police occurred. that's a little context in terms of this poor officer and his death, which really was the key in that focused everybody in on the area where the two men were located. chris? >> all right. thank you very much. the only certainty of the time line of the portion to so far is the young officer lost his life for absolutely no reason and our heart goes out to his family. thank you very much. big step in the recovery that's going on right now as we speak. calling boston strong. the latest step is that authorities are letting business owners, residents back on to boylston street on a staggered basis. they're taking it slowly here. joined by my colleague and friend john berman. you've been watching this. this is your home. it's coming back strong, like predicted. >> it's that area right back there that is boylston street, that was the area where the boston marathon finish line was and it's been a crime scene for the last week.
some 400 businesses, not to mention all of the people who live in that area, six blocks, have not been allowed back until today. today they're going block by block, letting business owners as well as people who live there get back into their homes, get back to their businesses to check them out. i just saw a note from one building manager, and what they're doing is walking through these buildings with city inspectors. first thing they want to make sure of is that all of the buildings are safe. once they get the sense it's safe, that's when they will let the general public back in. some 400 business owns, and i've talked to a number, not one complained about the fact they weren't allowed in. there is concern because they did lose a great deal of business. >> that's a good step in the right direction. >> that is a good step. also getting news today of a solemn step. this from the parents of young martin richard, the 8-year-old who died that the finish line right behind us. there was a private funeral for martin richard today and the parents, they put out this statement. let me read it in full. it's outpouring of love and
support over the last week has been tremendous. this has been the most difficult week of our lives and we appreciate that our friends and family have given us space to grieve and heal. a private funeral mass was celebrated this morning with immediate family. we laid our son martin to rest, and he is now at peace. we plan to have a public memorial service in the coming weeks to allow friends and loves ones from our community to join us for a celebration of martin's life. >> going to be so tough for that familiarly. that kid's face means so much to so many. >> a chance for everyone to come together who wants to share their feelings with this family and celebrate that young boy's life. >> you've been seeing it here on the most serious and lighter ones. sport is a part of the recovery. tough for j.b. and i. i'm a life long knicks fan. celtics playing knicks. >> game two. game one, celtics and knicks came together, support special patches and uniforms.
they came together in support of the celtics. only thing they did not do is let the celtics win game one. we would not have one. game two, i'm told, will be entirely different. that's what i'm hearing from my sources on the celtics. >> i respect you wearing knicks blue underneath your signature suede coat. >> all i want is warm. >> i will put on something green. we're brothers though this time we've got problems with each other. >> thanks. >> thank you very much. we'll take a quick break. when we come back, more on the investigation from here and what may be the next steps going forward.
thanks for joining us. trying to keep you up to date with the latest going on with the boston marathon investigation. the latest that we have here, suspect's condition has been upgraded. okay, it was serious, now fair. that's probably good news for investigators because they've been going into the suspect's hospital room every few hours to ask questions. obviously his ability to communicate key. here, take a look, in the white cap with his brother right now, a picture of him, besides
investigators he's had at least one visit at his bedside from a judge yesterday. he had his first court appearance. you can say the u.s. magistrate, that's what it would have been, the first appearance was with judge marianne boulder and she was there to review his miranda rights with him, among other things. you've been hearing a lot about miranda rights. there's issue at play here that need to be clarified. we're going to read a couple of the things said from the hearing. we have the transcript. the judge said, quoting here, you have been charged with one use of a weapon often mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. the case is being prosecuted in part by william weinreb. the maximum penalty on each count is death or imprisonment for any terms of years, or life. and there was this finding from the judge, and this one is important. quote, i find that the defendant
is alert, mentally competent, and lucid. he is aware of the nature of the proceedings. okay? so that is the basis for the discussion. joined by retired superior court judge isaac borenstein in boston. he's done hospital visits over his 22 years as a judge. let us begin with the idea, confusion and frustration about miranda rights. give them right away, if you don't give them, then this prosecution is astray. what is the basic understanding of leeway with mirandizing a suspect? >> any suspect, including the suspect in this case, is entitled to miranda rights under the 5th amendment of the united states constitution, the right against self-imcrimination, everybody is who in is custody and entear gated by law enforcement. the legal process, contrary to what newspapers said today the legal process began yesterday, the legal process began when he
was take noon custody. because there is a constitutional right against self-incrimination and miranda is a part of that if being interrogated by law enforcement. the failure to use miranda, assuming it was not used, and it should have been, means statements are subject to being excluded from use in court. >> right. >> there are exceptions to miranda, you've heard the famous one, the public safety exception that might apply. >> a window of 48 hours. obviously -- >> there's no time. >> doesn't have to be? >> no case from the supreme court of the united states that has set a time period for that. there's one case, new york versus quarrels where the statement made by the defendant without miranda was almost immediately after his arrest about a gun that he had just discarded. >> okay. >> that's the only case the supreme court has decided on. >> there's leeway. there is obviously in this situation, there were -- they don't know everything they could know about who went into the planning, was it coordinated,
why did it happen? the idea that, they didn't give him miranda, none of this is worth anything is naive, right? >> i don't know if it's naive. it's a good question to ask. but it's not the whole story. there are very important things going on, including even if you're not going to use statements against him in court -- >> you don't have to use it in court to be important. >> no, mr. there may be bombs out there not detonated that place the public in danger. it may be weapons out there. there may be co-conspirators out there, who knows? >> when you hear he had not been mirandized that doesn't mean it's gone afoul, this prosecution is astray. this is not unusual given the circumstances. >> it's one very important piece of a number of other important pieces. don't forget the other issue, involuntariness of statements under the 14 thr amendment as opposed to miranda under the 5th. whatever statements this man made when he made them, sunday, let's say, was he in a condition to make them, voluntary, freely given, or coerced either because
his physical or mental condition was such? that's another thing that's not getting a lot of play in the press, there's a separate set of rights that he has, which is that no one is subject to involuntary statements being made by them. >> so, what you understand from what you've read, your experience, nothing's been done wrong here. this is not an unusual type of questioning of somebody that before miranda you're asking him about things that surrounded a bombing? >> part and parcel of an important process of law enforcement to question suspects. >> now, what is your gut on he's a u.s. citizen or combatant, right? you could go either way. he's going to be charged as a citizen. how meaningful a distinction is this? >> it could be meaningful but that's moot because the administration said we're into the going to treat him as enemy combatant. he's going to be treated like any other u.s. citizen. >> how does that change the game? >> well, now the process that anybody would be subject to the criminal justice process, he has lawyers that are very good
lawyers, they're very good prosecutors, you've got a fair judge who went to the hospital room yesterday and dealt with issues of detention, first appearance. he gets hopefully the best that the criminal justice system can offer to somebody fairly and impartially. >> a reflection of things being done the best for him? in his best interest as opposed to the alternative? >> i don't know enough but it appears every effort is being made, and was yesterday, to be as fair aand imparti anand impo. judge bowlor's a very good judge. >> thank you very much for being with us. we'll take a break. when we come back, three people killed, more than 260 others wounded. and all that's left of the bombs melted, shrunken piece of a pressure cooker, we'll look at one little bomb can do and how experts are using it to educate and protect innocent people.
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welcome back. building of pressure cooker bomb like ones used in boston is easy and cheap. literally all it takes internet access and less than 100 bucks. this is just a matter of fact. the bigger fact is the explosion they can cause are very serious, just like the one you just saw. learning how isn't the point of the next story. that's something you have to understand. cnn commissioned bomb experts at a testing facility in new mexico to bill and detonate a pressure cook, bomb. the point, to learn more about what these bombs do. perhaps how to prevent them from doing so much harm. here is cnn's david mattingly. >> reporter: at this remote desert testing ground, experts from new mexico tech replicate and explode bombs used by
terrorists. on this day a sense of urgency. >> after boston, what are you worried about? could this be the future of domestic terrorism? >> well, you always worried about copycats, more and more people going to be using this? >> reporter: this is a pressure cooker bomb, similar to the bombs in boston and we're about to set it off. going to do a countdown. in the wrong hands we already know how deadly the bomb can be. and we're not taking any chances. for safety reasons we've had to retreat to this mountaintop here. we are now over a quarter of a mile away from where we left that pressure cooker. but that's still not far enough to avoid flying shrapnel. so we're watching from inside a bunker. >> five, four, three, two, one. >> reporter: wow. that white smoke looks like what we saw in boston. i could feel it all the way up here. >> the shockwave will travel all the way. >> reporter: down below, is the
real shock. >> at this point we're looking for fragments. one bomb -- >> reporter: turned into thousands of weapons, scattered more than 100 yards. this was part of the pressure cooker. now mangled and razor-sharp. no wonder so many people got hurt. instead of nails, we filled the pot with nuts from a hardware store, shot out like bullets, they pierced plywood, some melted from the heat. look at the back of it. how fast were these things moving when they went out of there? >> they can travel 1,000, 2,000 feet a second. >> reporter: a second. faster than sound. >> right. they'll move faster than the speed of sound. these will get in front of the shockwave hit you where the pressure wave. >> reporter: you're hit before you hear it? >> right. >> reporter: here's what the blast looks like using a high-speed camera. an intense ball of fire less than 20 feet across. but watch the white rings in the desert floor. that's the shockwave. engineers studying this blast say there's a lesson in here for first responders.
let's say i'm a first responder. what do i need to be aware of when i come up on a scene like this? >> a lot of shrapnel around, she hot, sharp. you could easily cut yourself. there could be unexploded ordinance, parts of the bomb left over that didn't explode when it was supposed to explode. that could go off at any time. >> reporter: for potential bystanders out of the demonstration there were only words of caution. by the time you hear the boom, you could already be hit. awareness of your surroundings could be the only defense. david mattingly, cnn, new mexico. >> perspective on this. as we're learning every day, stopping someone before they can commit an act like this is very difficult. more difficult than we even imagined sometimes. however, what made the difference at the marathon was how people responded after the bombs went off. tremendous energy, tremendous know-how and triage, and the more they understand about these bombs and what they can do, the better first responders can
limit the impact and that's part of the equation how we stay safer. we're going to take a break. emotions of anger, disbelief, heartbreak from the mother of the boston bombing suspects. she speaks out to cnn. what she says, when we come back. this day calls you. to fight chronic osteoarthritis pain. to fight chronic low back pain. to take action. to take the next step. today, you will know you did something for your pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is a pain reliever
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it's easy to follow the progress you're making toward all your financial goals. a quick glance, and you can see if you're on track. when the conversation turns to knowing where you stand, turn to us. wells fargo advisors. welcome back to boston. among the many new developments here, in what happened at the
boston marathon bombings, the mother of two suspects says there's no doubt in her mind that her sons have been framed. she spoke to reporters including our nick paton walsh in the russi russian republic of dagestan. nick, help us understand this. what exactly is her point? what's her -- what's the mom saying? >> reporter: complicated night for her in many ways. i spoke to her in late evening. she was pretty much sure this was a case of mistaken identity and it was not tamerlan tsarnaev, her eldest son, who the fbi shot dead. as evening draw on she saw pictures online, social media and recognizes the dead body, deeply traumatic for her, of course, struggling to absorb the enormity of the charges levelled against both of her sons. but at the end of the day she does not believe they were guilty of this. she believes some conspiracy is at play here, part of that she says is dzhokhar's inability to speak in hospital, they dekneed
him right to speak to make it impossible for him to put truth out there about what really happened. she is speaking to russian authorities today at some point and was also very angry at any suggestion of extremist links between her sons and particularly here in dagestan. >> especially a bit of a remote issue here, but is there anything that the mother can offer up to substantiate her feelings about her sons, when she last spoke to them what disposition she had? something she heard about what was going on in their lives contradictory to the understanding of investigators is? anything other than emotion as a mom? >> reporter: very little, as she said to me would suggest she had had any factual basis to support american charges. she has said in other media
reports there was contact between the fbi and her son at an earlier stage looking in to him after a russian can. she described one phone call the day before the manhunt caught up with her son tamerlan in which they spoke. the sons rang her, they said mummy i love you, they talked about the cat, very normal conversation. she described and of course ended with they miss her, how much they loved each other. that was the second phone call that week. in fact we know from the aunt that she rang both sons after the boston blast, collect they were okay. they both said they were far away from it, they were at work. she was incredibly close to tamerlan, the elder son. and of course distraught by learning and convinced of his death last night. >> thank you very much for the reporting on this. really baffling how someone could take an extreme term and behavior and those closest to
him seem completely oblivious to it. another part of the mystery of this situation. again, thanks for that, thick. back here in boston, the big question is, which way the investigation will go? there's still so much unanswered, so much information, that authorities are hoping are inside the mind of the suspect they have in the hospital, the more he can speak, the more they can learn. we'll take a look at what possible charges are and directions and choices that have to be made by federal prosecutors to make their case when we come back. ♪ (train horn) vo: wherever our trains go, the economy comes to life. norfolk southern. one line, infinite possibilities. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550
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welcome back. the man charged with sending ricin tainted letters to president obama and others has been released from federal custody on bond, according to reuters. paul kevin curtis was released today after a hearing was canceled. curtis from mississippi also is accused of sending the deadly toxin to these state offices that were being investigated. the question is, what does this release mean, why did it happen? joe johns is live with us now with the latest. joe, how do we make sense of this? >> i tell you what, it is quite hard to make sense of it right now, chris. as you said, paul kevin curtis, charged with sending ricin-laced letters to president obama and other officials released suddenly from custody on tuesday. this information comes to us from the united states marshal
service in mississippi. the marshal service did not know and could not provide information on the circumstances of the release. only that curtis was no longer in federal custody and this comes just hours after curtis' detention and the preliminary hearing into his case was canceled. this was in the third day of testimony and now there is a press conference involving federal prosecutors and the defendants, defense lawyers. that's scheduled for later today. curtis, you'll remember, had originally been charged with threats against the president, and other threatening communications allegedly even sending a ricin-laced letter to a mississippi senator. very serious charge, could have gotten 15 years, $500,000 in fines. we're trying to find out what is happening with this case. and certainly don't want to speculate until we know more. again, paul kevin curtis is the colorful elvis impersonator who was arrested for allegedly sending ricin-laced letters to
the president. a mississippi senator, a mississippi judge, released from federal custody. and so far the justice department is declining to comment, but we are expecting a news conference later today. back to you. >> joe, not to get ahead of it, but the speculation is going to be, is this some type of indication of how strong the case is, released on bond, wasn't released on his own recognizance, that's the curiosity and i look forward to hearing what you get on it. thanks, joe. appreciate it. now i want to bring you up to date on something else we were talking about earlier. we were talking about what was known or not known by hour government when the suspect who is now deceased went over to russia. did they know? there is conversations between senator grassley and homeland security head janet napolitano about whether there was a ping on their system, whether they knew, was it a spelling check, what did they know, how did they follow up. very serious questions, not just to look back, would have, could have, should have, it is could this have been prevented, how do
we do better going forward so we can be safe. very fundamental conversation. jim acosta was reporting earlier, has new information. just wrapped up an interview with senator graham. he says the fbi called him to correct some information they gave him after the secretary testified. okay. about the ping on their database. jim acosta reports, the fbi says obviously his trip was not undetected as they told the senator. he is now asking, the senator is, why homeland security didn't alert the fbi, calling that an oversight of a pre- 9/11 mind set. he also says, and jim acosta reports, the russians did contact u.s. officials about the suspect after the initial exchange of information with the fbi. so this is a situation in flux, we're trying to understand more. let's bring back in tom fuentes. tom, new information, i know you just heard it, let's take a half a step back. the supposition that, well, we
needed to hear more from russia, first of all, the fbi does have people on the ground in russia, who can do the united states' work, correct? >> that's correct. my last five years the fbi, that office worked for me. i ran the international operations of the fbi, and was responsible for the 76 offices around the world that the fbi has including the one in moscow, russia. >> now, this is obviously not about just simple blame. everybody wants this to get better and understanding what we can, to plug holes going forward. when you're hearing this, in the context of this discussion that is going on down there in washington, is there a suggestion here that is worth pursuing that we weren't doing something the right way here, that has to change. >> well, you're right, chris, that is, you know, something to be asked and looked at and examined. but i think at this point, the senators are going to be briefed in about 30 minutes by the head of the fbi and other intelligence and law enforcement
agencies and continuing a brief with department of homeland security, so i think the exact details of this, you know, i would wait to hear that. we don't know exactly who is telling who what in the hallway on the hill. i would like to hear the results, of course, going to be a closed briefing, but i think jim acosta will hear afterward a little more detail of what the information was based on. so you're right, they have to -- they have to look at what information occurred, or was received in 2011, what happened in the response to the russians, what happened since then what was the status of tamerlan, to whether the systems were pinged or triggered or maintained to monitor him. so those are questions that i think we need a detailed examination and a detailed explanation after that. i just -- i don't know where we're at with that, to be able to verify one thing or another at the moment. >> absolutely. tom, no question to get ahead of it, that's why we have you.
once we get the facts in, you can get them into context. appreciate it. the whole concern here was were we going to ask those questions, were we going to look, you know, because initially it just seemed like, well, there was nothing that could have been known. now it seems to be a little different. right questions will be asked and that's how we learn and move forward and get better. thank you very much. when we get more information, we'll give it to you. first, we're going to take a quick break. when we come back, we have breaking news for you about wall street, a tremendous plunge in the stock market. but then a phenomenal recovery after a tweet. we'll give you the story after the break. [ beeping ] ♪ [ male announcer ] we don't just certify our pre-owned vehicles. we inspect, analyze and recondition each one, until it's nothing short of a genuine certified pre-owned... mercedes-benz for the next new owner. ♪ hurry in to your authorized mercedes-benz dealer for 1.99% financing during our certified pre-owned sales event through april 30th.
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