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tv   Larry King Live  CNN  December 27, 2009 9:00pm-10:00pm EST

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essence. pash barbara starr, cnn. i'll be back with one hour with the latest news. right now a special edition of "larry king live" begins now. >> larry: tonight another scare in the air. same flight number from amsterdam to detroit. disrupted by a nigerian passenger, two days after an attempted terror attack on christmas day. what sparked the security alert this time? then, controversial remarks from the homeland security secretary about a man charged with trying to bring down a commercial jet. >> the system worked. everybody played an important role. >> larry: we'll get reaction, plus, we'll show you what it's like to be traveling today, if you get past security. next on a special edition of
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"larry king live." >> larry: good evening. hard to believe, but the same detroit-bound northwest airlines flight that was the target of a terrorist attack on christmas day faced another security scare today. let's go to martin savage at detroit metropolitan airport for the latest. what happened? >> reporter: it was just dramatic deja vu, almost jaw-dropping. it began like it did on christmas day. shortly after noon there's word of an inbound international flight coming to detroit where on board the pilots have declared there's some sort of problem. maybe a developing emergency. they requested emergency vehicles meet the plane. it lands safely on the ground, and you can imagine the shock
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when it was revealed it was flight 253. this is the same flight number, same northwest airlines coming from the same city of origin, amsterdam, coming to detroit that had a problem in the final stages of the flight. then you have the disturbing video. the plane lands, it gets taken to a remote part of the airfield, it's surrounded by emergency vehicles, and then the questions begin. what happened on board? what was taking place? eventually federal authorities revealed that it was a passenger that had had some sort of problem on the aircraft. that it had been suspicious or seemed to be suspicious to the crew pacing up and down, long periods of time in the bathroom. similar sorts of behavior to that which was seen with the christmas day attack. but the outcome was dramatically different. it was not deemed to be a security threat. after several hours the passengers were free to go on their way, and the whole issue was called off. but it shows you, larry, that two days after the attack, the nerves are high and the security is high not just here in detroit
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but across the united states and in many places around the world. larry, it turns out that paengs w passenger was simply sick. >> larry: simply sick? >> reporter: right. in other words, not feeling well, and that was the explanation for why so much time in the bathroom, why going back and forth. relatively innocent, but in today's modern world in a lot of what happened on friday, very suspicious to some. >> larry: stay there, martin. nic robertson is in london where the suspect in the christmas day attempt, and that was a real attempt, attended school. what's the latest on the he investigation in the united kingdom? >> reporter: we're learning about when he was at high school from a teacher there that he was a very, very devout muslim. an interesting point this teacher told us about. there was a debate in the classroom the teacher initiated about the taliban. all the students in the
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classroom talked against the taliban apart from abdulmutallab. he talked for the taliban. that raised eyebrows for the teacher. the student came here to london. after three years studying here, his parents very concerned he's getting radicalized. they worried about meet pooem he was meeting here who were bad people they believe. from information today we're learning here media reports that we talked down with the british home office here, reporting that say abdulmutallab applied for another student visa to come ba to britain in the past year and was turned down. the british home office won't confirm or deny this report. they won't knock it dunown. his teachers had concerns about his, his family had concerns about him, and now british officials had concerns about him. while police are still investigating the apartment that he lived in here for three years, we understand that
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security services in britain are making sure he doesn't have any colleagues or former friends who might be about to perpetrate similar terror attacks. the search of this apartment goes on, but the picture of a man getting moorad callized is emerging here, larry. >> larry: i understand the government wants a dna sample the suspect. why? >> we're not clear on that, larry. the government wants to go forward. in fact, they'll be in court tomorrow making that specific request asking to get a dna sample from the 23-year-old. why they want it, we don't know. we anticipate in the court documents we'll get an answer to that tomorrow. >> larry: what's the situation at the airport now in london, nic? have precautions doubled? >> precautions certainly if you're taking an international flight to the united states, you go through the additional checks. you can expect longer delays.
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passengers traveling inside europe, and i gave you my daughter that traveled inside europe today, they didn't experience any extensive delays. if you're traveling to the united states, you can certainly expect that longer screening process, larry. of course, the security at these airport security, officials very, very concerned and now have another set of possibilities that they have to deal with. perhaps the possibility of people wearing some kind of garment that may have an explosive hidden, concealed within that garment. that's something new. a new concern for them, larry. >> larry: it's a different world, folks. can we assume that now detroit is considered edgy, so if you get sick on a plane or go to the bathroom for ten minutes and you're going into detroit, they're going to have problems with you? >> reporter: it's not just detroit anymore, larry. it's any destination within the united states, especially from aircraft coming from overseas.
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there are new restrictions putting on by the tsa and airlines that are requesting -- actually demanding that passengers have to remain in her seats. for the people on 253 today, they said they weren't allowed goat up for the last half-hour of the flight. the new rules sfip that the paejs can't get up for the last hour of flight. that includes going to the bathroom, unless in an emergency where a person could be escorted to the lavatory by a crew member. otherwise, stay in your seats and don't touch anything and don't have anything in your lap, larry. it's a whole new world of flying these days. >> thank you. as we stay atop of the story. a program note. tom ridge, former governor of pennsylvania, was our first director of homeland security. he's our special guest tomorrow night. we're learning much more about the suspect in the christmas day incident as nic robertson indicated. how people in the suspect's home country, nigeria, are reacting. that's next. boss:hey, glad i caught you. i was on my way to present ideas
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reaction in nigeria to that attempted terror attack that took place christmas day. it's interesting. christian joined us from nigeria, and we have a woman on the phone from ottawa. she's a journalist and former radio nigeria reporter who spoke with the suspect's family.
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what is the reaction in nigeria to all of this? >> reporter: well, larry, their reaction is shame, really. nigerians are ashamed of what this man has done to the image of the country, which is battered anyway about the corruption bantered about by nigeria internally. the focal poibt is between the son and father. the father did report his son to the american embassy in nigeria saying feared he was becoming radicalized. he was getting on board a plane to try and kill over 200 passengers. nigerians are focused between the despair of the son who went out to do this terrible deed, and then the father who really in some ways is quite a hero because this sort of thing should go dealt with traditionally in northern nigerian families in the family. they're really looking towards the father as some sort of hope, really, that there is a way
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forward, larry. >> larry: speaking of the father, you're familiar with the suspect's family. you compared them to the kennedys. you know them. what can you tell us about them? >> reporter: the father was the chairman of first bank of nigeria, which is the oldest bank. many of you bank there back home. the banking industry in nigeria collapsed in the '90s, and this was one bank that was saved. this father was very, very instrumental, dr. abdulmutallab was very instrumental to save the bank. he cares about the community and his family. you see him everywhere, award shows and different honors. the doctor they call him is a honoree degree. he's a very good man and cares about everything and i consider him a hero because he warned the embassy of the united states. he went to the united states embas embassy, and i don't know if my kid had a radical idea if i
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would go to the principal at the school. he was a really good man and was concerned like he is for the community in knnigeria. >> larry: is he heroic in your country? >> he's well-known in the country. the head of a major bank who is, you know -- you don't find a lolot of people like that in our country anywhere. we're known for internet fraud and drug trafficking and so many bad things. this is one good guy. >> larry: christian, how was the suspect screened, do we know, at the nigerian airport before going to amsterdam? >> reporter: well, the investigation is continuing. from what the authorities are saying, he bought the -- somebody bought the fikt in
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ghana, and then he boarded the plane on the 24th to go on a flight via amsterdam to detroit. he sneaked back in is the words of the information minister on the 24th to take that flight. so we don't know if he met anyone while here, but he certainly didn't want to get caught by authorities or getting contact with his family, which shows the rift. even though his father by all accounts is a very, very religious man, and as kimmy was saying, the real disparity -- the thing about this is nigeria is a country with 70% of people living under $1 a day, and yet this guy had everything. his father is a very wealthy man. so what is the motive behind this? it's not poverty, larry. >> larry: is the family or the father saying anything now? >> reporter: the first thing i spoke to on a condition of am knit at the and the person is
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very very close to the family. they told me that they're really concerned about his welfare and concerned about all the charges that might be coming because there is a charge of trying to blow up an airline. if anything is coming, they're very, very anxious and they will speak. i mean, when i say they will speak, you know, the father is not in seclusion of any sort. he made a statement to the associated press the other day, and they just are worried. he disowns the family according to this family member and move moved around the word to london to egypt to dubai and yemen. no one heard from thim. many nigerians are very divided on facebook about there for the administration minister says he neeks back in. how do you sneak back into your own country? >> larry: we'll call on you again.
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what's the white house say about the scare today? we'll find out in 60 seks.
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>> larry: as you might imagine is president is keeping up with all of this while in vacation on hawaii. ed henry, what a tough job you have, but somebody has to do it. >> reporter: that's what a always say, larry. it's a tough job on the beach. they're saying today -- obviously, you know, they were very concerned initially, and what was happening behind the scenes is quite fascinating because initially reporters were calling the white house has the scene played out in detroit. some saying we hear there's a northwest flight that is having some trouble, could be a terror incident. others call reporters say we hear there's a delta flight having a terror scare. initially the white house thought there were two planes having a problem. it turned out that delta and
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northwestern in the process of merging there was only one flight. it was apparently a sick passenger. so all they did was get the president once they established the facts, they gave the president a secure briefing. he understood that it really wasn't a major scare, and they moved on. we hear the president in the next couple of days may for the first time address publicly the terror incident on christmas day. he's not said anything. he's been under pressure from republicans to address the public and reassure them the public is safety. they put the homeland security secretary out there, but now they say the president early part of this week might have something to say about it to reassure the public as well, larry. >> larry: ed, is he enjoying this vacation? >>. >> reporter: we hear from his aitds he's getting a lot of family time despite the briefings as well. it's part of the job. it's 24/7. today he got a chance to go to a
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private beach area with his wife, his kids, some family and friends. so he's mixing a little bit of work with pleasure. this is a very serious story and they're treating it seriously, but he's had a long year and trying to give him family time as well, larry. >> larry: was he asked to comment about the statements made today about janet napolitano, the homeland security secretary saying that the response worked in connection with the incident? >> reporter: he hasn't been asked because we haven't got close to them yet. yesterday he was playing golf. they didn't let the division cameras near that. credit atics say they don't want pictures of the president golfing while this is playing out. today on the beach we couldn't get tv cameras near him as well. he wants some privacy. if he makes the statement in the next couple of days, we'll be shouting questions to get a reaction. janet napolitano raised questions when she said on cnn today that everything worked well. she was he referring in fairness
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to the fact everything worked well with the crew and passengers aboard that flight once this played out, certainly a lot of people wonder before that played out, krfs this man allowed on on the flight let alone with the explosives. the administration is facing a lot of tough questions, laurie. >> larry: that's ed henry. the passenger whose sickness triggered today's alert and police response at the detroit airport has been released from the custody of the customs border patrol and joint terrorism task force. he was making a connection through detroit and was allowed to continue to an unspecified destination. his name is not released. what's the latest travel guidance from the tsa with heightened security measures in place. we'll give you tips on our blog and we'll show you what's happening at airports around the country. we'll do that next. 'm wearing my older sister's jeans that she ruined with bbq sauce...
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>> larry: let's discuss airport security. we'll check in with detroit. let's go to the l.a. international airport at the tom bradley international terminal at lax. cara finnstrom is there reporting for cnn. what's the security measures like at lax? >> reporter: well, larry, as you can see, huge crowds. this big crowd behind me, the line stretches out the door and down to the next terminal. these folks are having an extra wait today. this is normal during the holidays. when you pair it with all the extra screenings, these people have to wait a little longer. look behind me here, larry. you see these huge boxes.
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international travelers toting big pieces of luggage and big boxes of gifts to take home. i spoke with one woman going home to the philippines tonight, and she brought six large boxes. she says she just got her two hours earlier than she had planned because she wanted to make sure she got it all through screening. a couple other notes, larry. the international travelers see their luggage and carry-ons go through x-ray machines a couple of times, and also go through more of the personal hand checks. so additional screenings of the luggage, and they tell us through the security checkpoints they'ring seeing more of the pat-downs of passengers. >> larry: thanks, cara. robert is chief executive officer for wayne county, michigan. what did we learn from the events of christmas day, robert? >> at this point there's definitely a heightened awareness. you saw from the flight today, larry, that people are taking
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and the airlines are taking all sorts of precautions. the individual in the bathroom was not responding to directions or commands from the flight staff. as soon as the plane landed it was segregated and they checked all the passengers and luggage, and the individual was taken into custody. >> larry: martin, how are peach reacting to this long delay? are they bracing in or a little ticked? >> reporter: i think a lot of people are willing to put up with delay if it means they gain extra security and be safer in the air. as much as people might not like standing in line or the prospect of not making a flight, the alternative is there could be an attack or threat to their safety. as we found in many, many cases previous, passengers are willing to put up with a lot when you're talking about the issue of security. also, we should point out that the person involved with the scare that took place this afternoon has now been released
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by authorities. that would be a clear indication there was no crime. but as we say here, people are really putting up with a lot. they aren't complaining and know what's at stake. >> larry: robert, the airport is under your jurisdiction, is it not? if so, how are you involved in these increased measures? >> well, the airport police work with -- we work well with federal officials and the fbi and customs and all the rest of the federal agencies here. it's a coordinated effort. with something like an incident that just happened, many times or police are the first ones that arrive the on the scene, especially a plane and board it. we try to coordinate with the federal officials and work together very, very well. >> larry: what are you saying, robert, to passengers arriving at the airport? >> well, at this point there might be a little bit of a delay in terms of there's going to be obviously especially
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international flights you have customs inspections and they make sure that the inspections are going to happen and might be a little bit delayed. people are willing to go through that, and i think that we don't really hear a lot of complaining or anything like that. the old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. people are willing to go through the delays and are willing to let that happen right now. >> larry: are they willing at lax, too? are they acting well in view of this? >> reporter: yeah. you know, larry, there are huge crowds here, but it's been very calm and orderly. you can take a look at these crowds. once in a while we've heard someone shouting across the room to maybe a family member, and that's been it. it's been very calm. we haven't heard any frustration, and as we talked with travelers, that was the sentiment echoed. it is a little inconvenient and we had to plan to get here a little bit earlier, about the we're glad to know that all these extra security measures are taken and we feel safer because of that. >> larry: thanks to all of you.
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by the way, with the latest travel guidance from tsa now, you can get details at our blog what exactly did the homeland security secretary say that caused such a bit of a dust-up? you'll hear for yourself. is it nothing, or is it more important than that? it's all next. the chevy malibu and toyota camry received 5 star crash safety ratings. but only malibu has onstar. big deal. i'll just use my phone. let's say we crashed. whoops, your phone's gone.
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irchltsz. >> larry: our subject for the next half hour is terror. tom fuentes was assistant director of the fbi he's office of international operations from 2004 through 2008. he's a contributor for cnn. back with us here in l.a. is
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harry humphries, counterterrorism expert and founder of the global studies group and former navy s.e.a.l. in new york harvey custom ner. finally in washington jack rice. now is a practicing toernl and journalist as well. janet napolitano was interviewed earlier on cnn's "state of the union." this was her bottom line. watch. >> one thing i'd like to point out is that the system worked. everybody played an important role here. the passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action. within literally an hour to 90 minutes of the incident occurring, all 128 flights in the air had been notified to take some special measures in a lot of what had occurred on the northwest airlines flight. we instituted new measures on the ground and at screening
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areas both here in the united states and in europe where this flight originated. so the whole process of making sure that we respond properly, correctly and effectually went very smoothly. >> larry: tom, has she been taken out of context a little here? >> well, i think possibly, larry. you know, she's referring to what happened after the individual started the fire, and the response that was made on the aircraft by flight crew, by the paengssengers, by the authorities once the plane touched down. in fairness, yes, that's true in the aftermath or during and after the situation, everyone acted very well and helped solve the problem. the other issue of how that material got on the airplane in the first plane is a separate issue. >> larry: would that have been her responsibility, since it didn't occur here, harry? >> no. i think that this is an
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international obligation. all countries that are involved in international transport have their own specific obligations within their own borders. the secretary was definitely taken out of context. she definitely was referring to the same thing i always referred to, an aware-flying public taking charge. this is the greatest defense working for us right now. >> larry: if that had gone off, what would have happened? >> if it was initiated high water, the aircraft would have been destroyed instantly. >> larry: and everybody killed? >> absolutely. >> larry: what's your read on this whole thing, harvey? >> i agree with what partially was said before. i think she was referring in part to what happened on a plane, larry, and then what happened after. quite frankly to say that the system worked when everybody was watching that it didn't work because this guy got on the plane, there was a breakdown in
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communications in terms of intelligence that we had on him. after all, his father made a call. what happened to that information, larry? why wasn't that used? he paid cash for a ticket. he had no checked-in luggage. he had all the signs there something should have been done, and quite frankly we're responsible for what happens here but what happens over there when they come into the united states. those are the agreements we have to have with foreign nations na fly into this country. we live in a dangerous neighborhood, and our people are at risk. so i don't think the system really worked in its entirety. certainly the passengers did. larry, do we really want that homeland security is going to be in the hands of passengers on the plane or public citizens? it's it incumbent for our government to take matters into our own hands? >> larry: jack rice, what do you think when the action is happening on the plane? what's supposed to happen?
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>> she would like to rephrase this without question. you think about the problems that we have as harvey just described. i mean, when you find out that a father makes a suggestion. when you have somebody on a watch list, when you have somebody who pays cash in a third country in ghana and then goes through nigeria up through amsterdam, all of these are questions that should have at least raised some flags. the problem is when she turns around and says it all worked well, people jump to conclusions and say you can't shine this up. there were fundamentalal mistakes made, and they have addressed. at least big picture we shouldn't lose sight and our minds and assume the world is coming to an end. there are very few incidents like this, and thankfully it ended positively. at least it wasn't as negative >> larry: we'll be right back this panel will be with us the rest of the way. don't go away. at the hartford, we help you pursue them with confidence.
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>> larry: we're back with this outstanding panel. tom fuentes would you say with this incident there was luck involved as we look at airport as cross the country and monitoring them as they handle security on this busy night in america? luck involved, tom? >> i think -- of course. the device didn't explode and the plane didn't crash and the people didn't die. that's a lucky break, because the materials to do it were on board and it could have happened. >> larry: harry, you agree it could have happened? >> absolutely. because of the positioning of
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the detonator relative to the base explosive, we were very fortunate in that it did not detonate high order. >> larry: harvey, are things getting worse? >> layer rry, i can't say they' getting better but i don't think they're getting better. we're facing a new kind of terror threat than we did prior to 2001. al qaeda has morphed into a very loose, configured group of individuals. we don't know yet how this is going to play out, whether or not we had a he direct link to al qaeda, whether he was trained by al qaeda. that needs to be seen. but larry, it's much more difficult when you have people all over the world carrying passports from 50, 60 different nations that want to do us harm. this is a monumental task for law enforcement both on the state, local, and federal level. it speaks to the issue when his father made the call. when a worked for a federal
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agency gathering intelligence, we had 22 people we were watching and we were able to sit on 22 people 24/7. when you have 500,000 names on a list, larry, and you get tens of thousands of tips, pieces of information, how duo officially check out each one? that's the problem that will bite us in the butt. >> larry: jack rice, that seems insurmountable. >> part of the problem is we don't have exclusive authority and oversight of everything we're going through. let me give you within example. i flew out of kabul, afghanistan a week and a half ago. from there i was in delhi and dubai to washington, d.c. how much oversight do you think homeland security has or the president has when it comes to these issues? we're dependent on a lot of different people. we still shouldn't lose sight of exactly how many flights are going out. over the last ten years the
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burrbu bureau of transportation estimates about 99 million flights that have touched the united states, sort of coming and going over the last tennessee years. only six are tied to terrorism-related issues, four from 9/11, richard reid was one of them and this one. if you think about it statistically the chances are to say unlikely doesn't do it best. the sky is not falling. we need to be careful about that. >> larry: is there a dangerous we're overreacting based on the statistic jack just gave us? >> i think it's lessons learned, and we need to examine at all times if there was a failure. we don't want to say that because the statistics are in our favor that we can't look at the incident and see if anything else can be learned. there's a very good point made there. you have all of these aircraft traveling all over the world like a giant rubik's cube. at some point it touches the united states. what we need is for the relationship in those countries that they do abide by these
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stringent security that we would try to employ here in the united states. that means tsa working in all of those countries around the world to ensure that as much as possible the other countries follow the same security measures that we would like to be -- have in place. >> larry: harry, don't you think we're all in the same boat? >> we certainly are. it's an international issue. each nation must take responsibility for the security of the passengers leaving or coming into their nation. >> larry: one bad link can hurt the whole thing. >> as we saw in nigeria. >> larry: if you have one country that is lax -- >> in this particular case i would say lagos was the weak link in this system. >> larry: there's a hearing in michigan. the federal government will seek a dna sample from the government. for what reason do you think? >> larry, the dna can tell them -- trace where he habben
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possibly. does he have any other connections. forensic evidence would be gathered every place this guy was. does he have a cell phone? check all locations he's talking to. science is a big help for us in the 21st century, and certainly it's going to overcome or these myriad of different links that we have to look at. so, you know, where has he been? who has he met? his apartment, what we gathered there on any computer evidence that we could get, any other kind of leads that this guy has come in contact through over the last month or two. >> jack, what do you make of the yemen connection? >> obviously, it's a big concern. when we think about al qaeda, one of our other guests mentioned this the real problem al qaeda has there's not one ability to say i take out that leader everything changes. these are organizations that sort of work together, and they work together out of convenience
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sometimes. sometimes they may be somebody who uses the name because it gives them power, the ability to say we're bigger than we really are. the really problem we have with yemen is in yemen it's getting worse and worse. this is based upon sources i have here. this has been happening over several years now. you look at the recent attack in saudi arabia. that started in some ways out of yemen, our ability to deal with that country has got more and more difficult. let's face it. it's not just yemen. we can take a look at nigeria, somalia, afghanistan, pakistan. and other places around the world. that is one of the real problems that we have dealing with al qaeda and al qaedaesque organizations. >> larry: those terror watch lists, what do they really mean? we'll discuss that later. we'll be back in 60 seconds.
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>> larry: as we mentioned earlier, homeland security secretary janet napolitano was interviewed today on cnn's
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"state of the union." candy pressed the secretary on the efficiency of the databases for screening out potential terrorists. watch. >> here's someone who's father came to the u.s. embassy and said i'm worried about his ties and i'm worried he's becoming increasingly militant. he's on a list, but no one looks at him more closely apparently than any other passenger. it seems to me there's all these computer lists and this one has suspected ties and this is the no-fly list. is there a way to merge this information so that he could have popped up some place? >> there's no suggestion that -- he was on what's called a tie heed list, can has half a million plus names on it. there's no suggestion that that was not shared information. the issue was was there enough information to move him to the more specific lists, which would require additional example or indeed being on no-fly status it. to date it does not appear that
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there was any such information to move him from that tied list which was shared to a more specific list that would require different types of screening at the airport. >> not even a father coming in knowing what his son has been up to and reporting this to the u.s. embassy is enough? what puts you on the watch list, if that isn't enough? >> well, indeed, you can -- let's not get into that, because for one thing, we need to ascertain exactly who said what to whom and when. but also you have to understand that you need information that is specific and credible if you're going to actually bar someone from air travel. he was on a general list with over half a mill people and everybody had access to it. there was not the kind of credible information in the sense of derogatory information to move him up that list. one of the things we will be doing over the next weeks is
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really looking at those watch lists procedures in a lot of this occurring and saying, okay, do those need to be changed? they've been in place for a number of of years. do they need to be adjusted in a lot of this event? >> larry: another program reminder, america's first director of homeland security, tom ridge, is our special guest tomorrow night. your calls are next. stick around. i don't know. you know, volkswagen takes care of the scheduled maintenance at no cost. and during the sign then drive event, you can get a cc, jetta, or top safety-rated tiguan
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>> larry: before we get back with our panel, let's go to richard quest, our cnn international anchor and correspondent. lots of questions, richard, being asked about the screening process and how this suspect got through security. do we have any good answer yet?
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>> no, not really. it seems that in accordance with the existing regulations everything was done that should be done. he was screened in lagos. he was screened in amsterdam. and if the united states authorities had not sent information from their watch list back down the line to the airports in those various places, why would they have thought to do a second research on him? there has to be a reason. unless of course, as we've now moved to the new situation, larry, where everyone is being patted down and everyone's hand baggage is being opened up. but that is creating delays. i can tell you flights today from britain to the u.s., some of them left three or four hours late. >> larry: you're familiar with watch lists. can you break down how they work or how they don't work? >> larry, with watch lists we are entering the twilight zone. the fact is 500,000 people on one list, tens of thousands on another, and a few thousand on
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the famous no-fly list. the crucial part is not how you get on them but how you get off them because remember, there are many americans who are on one or other of these lists who are desperate to try and get off them. this is all about a balancing act. and the real problem is the sheer size and scale of the problem. your guests were talking about it a few moments ago. with half a million people on the list it is just about impossible for it to work efficiently and effectively every time. there's going to be a crack in the system. and that's what we saw in this case. >> larry: thank you, richard quest, as always, right on top of things. harry, you were telling me that in 14 airports in america they have full-body scan where they can -- they see the nude body underneath the clothing, right? >> yeah. the most recent technology that's out there today, which is in several airports throughout the united states in a voluntary basis, uses what we call a millimeter wave system, which
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actually looks under the clothing of an individual. so you're looking at a nude body. >> larry: can i turn it down if i don't want it? >> you can turn it down presently. as i said, it's voluntary. you know, in the airports that have the system. >> larry: what do they do if you don't do it? >> well, in a situation where our level is at today, you'll probably get patted down, which is a much slower line. so the full-body scanner, image scanner, would be the quickest way to get through. >> larry: tom, what are we coming to? >> well, we're coming to the age-old question of balancing the privacy of one individual against the general security of the public. and as mentioned with that particular machine, the technology exists to screen passengers to the greatest extent. they get close examination of whether they have some item strapped to their body under their clothing. will the public tolerate it? will the u.s. government implement such a system? does it have the resources to buy enough machines, to train enough people and hire them to operate those machines?
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and in this case if you're going tone sure the safety then you're going to have to demand that every passenger goes through it, whether they like it or not, and that it not be just a voluntary system. so are we prepared for that? >> larry: are we? our remaining moments right after this. don't go away. boss: y'know, geico opened its doors back in 1936 and now we're insuring over 18 million drivers. gecko: quite impressive, yeah. boss: come a long way, that's for sure. and so have you since you started working here way back when.
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gecko: ah, i still have nightmares. anncr: geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. last year, when you bought a new subaru during the share the love event, you helped us donate almost $5 million dollars to charity. i chose the boys & girls clubs. it's an investment for the future. i chose the national wildlife federation. our pets are our kids. we chose the aspca.
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we're sharing the love again this year. because giving back feels good. on the subaru outback, motor trend's 2010 and two hundred fifty dollars gets donated to your choice of five charities. >> larry: you're looking at l.a.x., the los angeles international airport, one of the largest in the united states and one of the busiest. that's a live shot on this sunday night. and you're watching a special sunday night edition of "larry king live." let's take a call. atlanta, hello. atlanta, hello. >> caller: yes.
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mr. king? >> larry: what? >> caller: since his father is a prominent nigerian, reported him to the american authorities, why was he not placed on the no-fly list? >> larry: harvey, why wasn't he immediately placed on the no-fly list as soon as the father reported animal. >> well, as said before by some of our guests, you know, it depends on the information that we receive. and with 500,000 people and tens of thousands of tips coming in, it's difficult to weed out which one is the most important. however, i do think this particular one was quite important given the nature of who the father was, had stature within the nigerian government in the banking system. i think his word should have been looked at much more carefully than other tips that do come in. >> larry: jack, harry was just telling me that our agents sometimes go through practice runs, try to break security. are they often successful? >> it has happened multiple
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times where they are successful. look, i got grabbed when i was on my way in to delhi from afghanistan because i fit the profile of a drug runner. yeah. nice, huh? but the thing they put me off and i sat in a glass cubicle for about 3 1/2 hours. so we need to think about the prospective end of this. think about what happened. we had specific intelligence regarding what the father said, regarding how this was paid for, one-way tickets, all sorts of things. but the problem is our reaction here is we take all of that intelligence and we decide what we're going to do is check the underwear from a woman who's flying out of kiokuk, iowa or out of akron, ohio. we need to remember if we have intelligence we apply it and then we approach it logically instead of sort of this broad scattershot look. and i think we just have to be really careful on how we handle this. >> larry: harry, isn't that a logical fear? >> yeah. look, the list system is so immense that statistically we couldn't possibly manage it. to be proactive in collecting
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intelligence on individuals is a better way to go. >> larry: but tom, he paid with cash, right? you pay cash, no contact information where he was going. wasn't that suspicious? >> well, certainly it should be. also, it's hard to check whether the person is actually who he says he is since a credit card is not involved and you don't know how to verify the address. he bought the ticket in ghana, then crossed back into nigeria to board the flight. so that would be suspicious. along with no check-in luggage. so you know, that point is true about those flags being added to the mix. >> larry: would i be questioned if i went to an airport right now tonight no luggage, cash, i'm going on a one-way ticket, i'm going to sioux city? >> the only way you'd be questioned is if you weren't wearing suspenders. >> larry: that's a compliment of sorts, i gather. thank you all very much for outstanding work. tom fuentes, harry humphries, rv


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