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tv   The Cycle  MSNBC  April 17, 2013 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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surveillance cameras and people who were there at the time these blasts went off. they have identified a person that they see in the video setting down a back tack or duffle bag at one of the scenes where one of the bomb went off. they consider that a very promising lead. they are trying to now to identify that person so this they can question that person an find out what happened. and so they've got a couple of other pictures this they are trying to develop as well. so that's a very promising on the photo front. on the forensic front, the pieces of the bomb sent here to the fbi's lab in virginia where they are being reassembled and the pieces, as we've seen from these pictures, that have leaked out, i'm sure this is not anything the fbi wanted to see happen, but the large number of pictures astonishing for a bombing investigation at this stage leaked out. you can see the pieces were not -- this could be, with don't know precisely what this is, could be one of the back packs that held them, but the pieces
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of the pressure cooker, you can see these batteries, wires, potential circuit boards in the bombs. all these things are being analyzed and because they are relatively in tact, this gives investigators a great deal of information to pursue on where the pieces may have come from. so they have two very promising tracks and this investigation is moving along, as you say, very rapidly, less than 48 hours after it happened. so they are optimistic that they are going to solve it. >> and pete, do you have a sense from your reporting on what type of video and documentary evidence has been useful. they are sifting through public surveillance, government surveillance and overwhelming amount of materials that have been submitted. >> one of the key things is a surveillance camera from a store outside where one of the bombs was placed. that been very helpful as well and it may be, if you this i about this for a second, the store camera is going to have a higher view.
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so it can maybe see over the heads of people where as people on the ground are going to be shooting cameras at eye level. so perhaps that gives more after bird's-eye view. >> pete williams, we know you are busy working phones so we will let you bet back to it. let's get to former nypd, tom, what do you make of the latest information that's coming out? >> well, it's exactly what's been said all along the law enforcement will put the pieces of the puzzle together. they will slowly and meticulously go through not only forensic evidence, the bomb, the remnants of the bomb in a crime scene type of way and give it to atf to put together. because that's what those guys do and those what those guys do well. then what they are going to do is look at surveillance cameras. we know from lord & taylor that is right there on boyleston
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street, they will go through the film and they may have the person of interest that may have placed the bombs. the video is probably newer quality and a newer brand and give law enforce amount good eye's view on who put the bomb's down and mabybe even a facial shot of who did it. >> is this where the see video e evidence used to identify person and then more definitive information to see how they were involved. is that how it typically works? >> it works many different ways. if you bring the person in and start questioning them, they may confess and tell you why they did it. detectives are very, very good and fbi agents are excellent at putting someone in a room and starting to talk to them. and they talk to them the way we are talking right now. we understand did you it, there must be a reason why you did it, and the person starts to talk.
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>> okay, tom ruskin, stay with us. i want to talk to wnbc new york, what's the latest on your end, jonathan. >> there is no arrest is. multiple officials on the record, saying there is no arrest in the boston marathon case. second, there is video from outside that store that showes a man putting down a bag and that they are working to identify that person and there are teams of agent and police officers running out, following leads and then bringing information back as this investigation unfolds bit by bit. so that's what is taking place on the ground in boston at the same time as you've heard they are piecing together the bomb parts and tracking where they were purchased, seeing if they can find a store receipt for some of those parts and then track back to the suspect that way. so there are many, many moving parts of this investigation that are ongoing. some of it we know about. much of it we don't know about. fbi putting out a statement
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saying there's been no arrest and calling for a restraint by the press to make sure what they are putting out there is accurate. because this is such a sensitive investigation, given the deaths and injuries taken place and what is the biggest criminal investigation in boston history. so the investigation is ongoing. there are significant developments today. there is some hope that that video image will lead them to a suspect at least for someone who they could rule in or rule out or whether they weconnected to this case. but as of now, there is no arrest in this case. >> all route, jonathan, thank you for that. michael isikoff, nbc news's national investigative correspondent. michael, you're on the ground, what are you hearing? >> pretty much what we just outlined here. there is a lot of excitement within the last few hours with all of these report. but first a break through, then
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a suspect and then a suspect in custody and that last part that is certainly not true. but the key question in my mind at this point and it is still open, is, yes, we know now from multiple sources that there is a -- that there is video of an individual dropping off a black bag, bag at the site of where the bomb exploded. and that makes him certainly a witness in this case. it is unclear to me whether they know who that is. and even if they could identify the face, whether they could find that person. and i think that raises all sorts of questions. if they found him and they are going to question him and they will be able to piece together and see whether he's got an account of where he was and why he was there that holds up or not. but if they cannot identify who the person is, they've got a face but don't have a name.
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think of the larger implications of that, particularly in this sort of ongoing debate we've had for years with facial recognition technology and how much of that we aught to be having in this country which raises all sorts of civil liberty questions and big brother questions. i think this episode that we've witnessed just this afternoon could become a very big factor in that debate about facial recognition technology in this country. >> i think you're absolutely right. i think as we see things up fold, it'll spark a number of larger debates but i was wondering, michael, do have you a sense of a time line when this information came to law enforcement, when they figured thought was a significant lead, where we are in that time line now? >> it was a eureka moment when they found the video of from we lef that lord & taylor store a couple lhundred yards from here showing the individual dropping
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off the bag. that was not something they had yesterday. from all our sourcing, through last night, through this morning. there were no breakthroughs. so my guess is they got that at some point early today. and it filtered up and they matched it up with the video from the nbc affiliate that was enhanced. so you know, that is the time line. but again, it leaves a whole host of questions that we've still got about what exactly when that -- when the bag was dropped off. whether there might have been others there at the similar site. which is key. think of the defense lawyer who could raise questions saying a bag was dropped off. how do you prove? what's the chain of custody proving that was the bag that led to the explosion. >> michael, thank you for your reporting from boston. >> thank you.
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nbc's katie is outside the courthouse where people are gathering. katie, there is some movement, what are you seeing? >> we are seeing most of the spectators are moving out -- sorry, i have mixed mics in my hear. the media looks like it is allowed it stay right now. we did see two department of homeland security trucks with lights flashing. we did hear reports they were trying to evacuate the area. my gut is saying, since there was not a media move, there were too many reports. there was a report that a suspect wad arrested. reports that msnbc said not true. fbi says not true. and boston police department said, is not true. people a lot of people heard that so you have people coming down to the courthouse to see what is going on. when you see 50 or so news trucks gathered around a courthouse, you get curious and want to know what it happening. is a crowd of about 500 people gathered. it looks like they are making
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spectators leave. but the media is not moving pch you are seeing cameras, reportsers, everybody is still there. the courthouse is where we expect somebody would be taken if they do have somebody they want to question or somebody in custody. right now, we don't have any reports, as you've been hearing from pete williams. if they want it question somebody or know who that exact person is. but if they do get somebody, suspicion is they will be brought to the courthouse. >> nbc news expert michael leiter also been reporting on this. why all of the conflicting information? >> frankly, we have a lot of reporters running stories that aren't perfectly sourced. everyone is trying to beat someone to the gun rather than necessarily getting things right. and there is inherent confusion
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in government especially when have you multiple agencies working this. people get called and they aren't really involved in what is going on but they feel like they have to prove their worth and they are saying things that they don't know. so people are trying it make a names for themselves on the inside. people are trying to make a name for themselves on the outside. unfortunately you end up taking time away from investigators trying to do the work. >> let's get back to the investigation. we know there will be an fbi press conference at 5:00. what kind of information, what do you expect to come out of that? >> i think this will be a general update. but i think they have probably delayed it a little bit because there is so much going on right now. so undoubtedly they will give a sense of how the video efd is being used, how it is being applied. but they will be extremely compareful because any information they leak which is sensitive now can tip off people they are interested in. they don't want people know what they know right now because that
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can lead folks to try to move away, destroy efd evidence and the like. so they will be pretty cautious at 5:00. >> we are in a world, talking about terrorism, where a small group of people can infiltrate almost anything. and defeat, in a momentary sense, any group. where it is impossible to provide 100% security at any large event going forward for the foreseeable future. >> it is. and i think professionals have been saying that for some time, that we can defend against some things by disrupting groups overseas or domestically. use intelligence to disrupt plots going forward. use security at places like marathons to detect things but we're not going to stop them all. that's why you need an incredibly well coordinated response, officials, by standers to say as many people as possible and do what thus far has been an outstanding
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investigation and it is still moving forward. >> all right, michael leitner, please stay with us. we also have lester holt following the day's development. lester, what do you have? >> it is interesting to watch the bad reporting ripple through the town and reaction of all of us and folks here. think about the reaction of whoever wanted the bombs with what they may be going through right now. and i say "they." any individual they saw place that bag, that's one person that could be part of one or more people involve involved. but this would provoke a reaction among those involved. we have been -- behind us is where they stage a lot of the tedious investigative work of picking up fragments. that kind of work goes on. the fbi notably in a statement saying they can have unintended consequences. that get back to the notion of what would the suspects do when they hear an arrest is imminent and how would it alter their plans. so you can understand their worry about all of this.
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>> lester, you talk about the fbi on their public statements and atf and bpd. and what do you see in a complex and fast-moving investigation. >> what we see are initials. as you noted, a lot of vehicles going by with logos on them. there is a joint terrorism task force in place before all of this. so there is this coordination. but there are a lot of agencies at work here. when you watch the news conference at 5:00 you will see it in action as each thanks the other. there are sensitivities where you have these kind of organizations working together. all on the same team. working toward the same goal. but you've got a lot of big fish, a lot of important foengs w folks part of this investigation. in some pieces, law enforcement, if you look through a sewsoda s and areas of expertise and obviously someone has a bigger picture. that's how these kind of things
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can happen. but you know, it is clear to say they have an important piece of evidence. how will that match up with someone else? this may not be the only person who placed a bag on the ground during day in which thousands of people were along the route. it is one piece that got to add up pieces of the puzzle and see what kind of image it ultimately makes. >> nbc's lester holt, thank you. turning now to nbc's katy tur, you are outside the courthouse in boston. hundredes have gathered. when we spoke to you earlier you mention bedded about 5 /* /-ed - you meng bed 500 people. is that spontaneous. >> a ton of people did show up, there was a crowd control issue. we are about a hundred yards aby. nbc producer john bailey is right over there. he said two homeland security suvs hurried down the street by
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the courthouse with white flashing lights and sirens. people are streaming out of the courthouse. suvs went around back. there is a u.s. marshall standing beside the courthouse with bulletproof vest, machine guns and helmets. he are not getting confirmed reports there is anything going on inside the courthouse right now. we can tell you there was quite a large crowd. they asked most of the spectators to leave. most of them tried file away. the media is still here. they were pushed back across the street but are very much style here. it is not clear whether or not they will be pushed back even further. we see government suvs in front of the courthouse. but right now, no confirmation anything is going on inside. it could be a crowd control measure. this place got very hot very fast. >> okay, back to normer nypd defective tom ruskin. tom, now that we know a little bit about the device itself and we have videos of potential
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people who might be persons of interest, as a detective, what kind of person would be looking for. i'm not asking you to speculate on motive, i'm asking you to profi profile. is this a well-educated person, a college kid, someone with military training. what kind of signifiers would you main use to link the device to a kind of person. >> it is very difficult to say that, because you are asking for a hypothesis in who may have done it. we don't know yet if it was a group or an individual or two individuals. that yet to be determined. but from what they are seeing on surveillance video, if reports are correct, it seems to be one person who is putting it down. now, i'm not giving away trade secrets by saying this information, the thing with the cooker and the way that this was put together, is readily available by on the internet are
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in books. so it is not something -- now it has been used overseas in afghanistan, pakistan, as an ied. improvised explosive device. so we can't yet determine until law enforcement makes an arrest, until they determine who did it, the reason or cause or were they doing it as part of a group and were they trained overseas. it is too early to take a guess as to who were why they may have done it. >> tom, in your professional life, you've seen the world change. we once had a world where there were not cam cameras everywhere, now there are cameras everywhere. as pete reported, a surveillance camera from a store in boston could be crucial. where cities are wired on a personal and professional level, that makes life a lot easier for law enforcement after something happens, doesn't it? >> it does. everyone is filming everything
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going on. especially in a marathon. i bet that you somewhere on smpsmp someone's camera there is eevid that could be helpful to police. let's go back it michael's report relative to the cam rat at store in question. from that store, if that person lays down the duffle bag with the object inside, and you can see the direction the person traveled in and then pull video from other cameras and instead of spending hundreds of hours looking at surveillance video on newber newberry street and determine which way the person went, they may be able to track the person through the subway system, almost to his house. >> that's amazing. as you are saying, tom, lots of benefits from the public photographs and video taken the technology we have access to.
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are there draw backs to having so much public imagery out there already on social media? are there challenges for law enforcement in that as well? >> i think in a case like this, it works in law enforcement's you know, benefit. and benefit's law enforcement in solving this more quickly than we could have maybe ten or 15 years ago. you know, civil libertarians will always say you have no right to do this or this or this. in this case, the cameras being there and the fact the people were shooting videos, that may be helpful to law enforcement, will probably help them solve it in a more expedient way. >> thank you. >> thank you for having me. >>. asional have constipation,
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we're in break news on the boston marathon case. despite earlier reports from some news outlets, still no arrests.
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nbc news terrorism expert michael leiter is with us. michael, are you surprised the investigation is moving as quickly as it is? >> not really. it was funny, when i was asked questions about this four hours ago, we didn't have a lead, and people said, why isn't it moving faster. these pieces come into play. there is a lot going on behind the scenes and each small piece can lead to a big opening. identifying that these bombs were potentially in black backpacks or bags, it is a huge lead. you know what you are looking for. with so many people working on this and so much on since 9/11, i'm not particularly surprised. >> the counterterrorism chief said there is two basic ways these investigations go down. they get solved within the first few days or or months later or never.
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is that your experience. >> it does vary. there is often an early break. someone will take responsibility or you will have that video shot and it is easy to go. certainly if the case goes cold for only a couple of days, couple of weeks, it might be hard to pick that back up. but you never know at the begin willing of an investigation what is important. you don't know if it is phone or piece of forensic evidence or random tip. what investigators have to do is keep options open early and collect information and slowly but methodically figure out how the dots connect. >> i'm curious about the pressure that's on the people who were working this investigation. the feeling that's been sent -- being sent to them about how quickly we have to move and you know, just sort of the institutional need to keep the institution focused, right? we saw on "zero dark thirty," the institution lost interest in it in one dogged person as they
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portrayed kept it alive. obviously it is a movie. but just the way institutions can go off stray, then people keep it going. what is the feeling of the people who are involved in this investigation? >> without commenting on the accuracy of "zero dark thirty," i will say that the people who are covering counterterrorism already, feel enormous pressure. they feel personally responsible for something like this getting through. they don't need anyone to say, go faster or go of harder np is what they do everyday. and the other piece i would highlight is having served under president bush and president obama, not once, not once in all the plots we saw, the ones we disrupted and ones we missed, did i ever have anyone from the political side, whether karl rove or david axelrod, come up to me and say, hey, you better get this done. we need this. everybody knows what they have to do, and they are focused on it. and i will also tell you that
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both presidents, president bush and obama make it very clear on how focused on it they are. >> right. michael, stay with us. we will turn back to katy tur in boston in front of the courthouse. what can you tell us sh. >> pete williams just concurred there was a become threat within the building. so the spectators, the looky-loos are asked to leave. they are asking all of us to evacuate now. that's why you are seeing some of this movement and everyone will start moving in a few minutes. my producer, alex, spoke to someone inside the building. they were asked to leave, it was pretty calm. what we do know is that the boston fire department is on scene right now. there are two fire trucks and you do see a lot of fire department official is going around and trying to move people. so what we do know is there was a threat unconfirmed if it was -- if anything is inside or just someone calling in a threat when they saw everybody here on the news. that of course is still left to be known.
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but we are getting moved, and i think we have to break away right now. >> katy, is it common to see these kinds of threats in fluid rapidly developing situations like this in. >> you know, unfortunately, it does seem like this does happen a lot. you see these crowds gathering around this area and there are people out there who call these sorts of things in. there are people who get a kick out of it. there also could be a very credible threat. we dent want to diminish it in any way but there are crowds, major news events and airports get these threats all the time. so unfortunately, this is not out of the ordinary. >> okay, nbc news terrorism expert michael leiter has been following this, based on this latest development. potential bomb threat at the courthouse. what do you think? any connection or as krystal and katy were suggesting, maybe just a copy cat guy looking to get attention.
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>> you never know, but these are not two dots i would connect. as soon as people say look for suspicious packages, every package is suspicious. i would not connect these in the least. >> not to engage in too much of a semantic debate, but do we call this terrorism, do we know enough to call this an act of terror. what do you make in that conversation? is it an important decision to make? >> i don't think it is that important. the u.s. government will pursue it whether you call it terrorism or a banana. what you have here is innocent individuals being targeted through an improvised explosive device. everyone will be focused on that. for the political discussion, that might be relevant. but from an operational perfective, it doesn't matter p. might affect which part of an organization ensues it. is it domestic or international
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terrorism. but even that, that is one for after you find the person or people who did this to the people of boston. >> all right. stay there. we will be right back on the ricin scare at the white house right after this. rs if [ female announcer ] girls don't talk about pads... but they do talk about always infinity. [ marcy ] it's like memory foam. [ female announcer ] the only pad made from a revolutionary material. [ erina ] it totally fits to your body. [ female announcer ] it's incredible protection, you'll barely feel it. always infinity. tell us what you think. [ french accent ] antacid! sorry, i have gas. but you relieve gas, no?
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and all of them offer low cost investments. why? because we're not your typical wall street firm that's why. so you keep more of your money. e-trade. less for us. more for you. from breaking news in boston to breaking news in washington. we are awaiting test results on on suspicious letter sent to president obama suspected of carrying ricin, a potentially fatal toxin. it tested positive in preliminary test in a separate an ex mail building. nothing goes to the president or congress without being tested at this maryland facility first. similar letter was sent to roger wicker of mississippi. the feds say they believe they know who sent the letters. so far we are told there is no link between these letters and the boston bombing. nbc's kristin welker is outside the wlous. what's the latest you've got there? >> well, krystal, just a couple
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of key points worth emphasizing. this letter sent to president obama was intercepted at an of a site facility as you just mentioned. it was identified yesterday. it went through preliminary tests. it went through a number of test to identify what that suspicious substance was. ever since september 11th, this has been the protocol that letters are sent to off site facilities before they come anywhere close to the white house, as you mentioned. there were also letters sent to capitol hill to senators there that contained a suspicious substance as well. senator wicker as well as senators levin and flake. the white house has been on heightened alert ever since the bombing on monday. i can tell you pennsylvania avenue has been closed off to pedestrians. the secret service working in concert with the fbi and capitol police as they investigate the suspicious letters. it is also important to point
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out that at this point in time investigators do not believe there is a link between the letters an bombing on monday. so that is where the investigation stands right now. i just got off the phone with one of the investigators who says they are still awaiting the test results. they expect to have them within 24 to 48 hours. now president obama continuing with his daily schedule. he has been briefed on this situation throughout the day. but he still has his schedule in place for today. but of course as we have been reporti reporting, he is traveling to boston tomorrow with the first lady to attend a memorial service for the victims' families. again, the white house, secret service on a bit of heightened alert bas they look into the suspicious letter sent to the president. thomas ruskin handled situations like this before. he is back with us. thomas, i'm curious, how easy or hard is it to get your hands on
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some ricin. when we talk about a ricin-laced envelope, what do you imagine you would see if you were opening that up. is it just sort of lying in an envelope or just pasted on to there or what are we talking about there? >> it could be delivered in many different ways on envelope or outside of the envelope. ricin is a very dangerous chemical. it goes back to world war i we our government considered putting it on bullets, but it would have violated certain treaties and conventions we had already agreed to. in recent cases, it could be made with a chemistry degree. it is not that easy to make. it is very dangerous. the person making it would have to have experience or knowledge of how to handle it and how to possibly put it in something to be able to deliver it. >> well within tom, i think it is fair it say that everyone is in a heightened state of security right now.
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of emergency security. so we are obviously paying more attention to these things. but in your experience, do politician is and people of national importance get suspicious packages and letters with these sort of things on a fairly regular basis? >> yes. and that's why the government has these off site facility to take this in, to make sure that ricin, anthrax, remember the anthrax scares, even in this building, years ago. and our company was hired to have screening facilities and alternate facilities for certain companies in new york city. so it is a very, very serious thing. but you know, companies as well as government facilities have gotten on top of this to make sure that it doesn't come through. i don't really believe that it has any correlation or you have to convince me it does have correlation with what happened in boston. i think it is just, you know, coincidence that it is happening at the same time or maybe
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someone who wanted the publicity, based on the fact that boston is taking publicity away. >> tom, as the secret service is quick to put out information on the investigation, what is the objective in doing that? >> i think it is one to say he got caught and secondly not to have the press reported before the secret service does. so they got on top of it. discovered it yesterday from what we know and they put it out immediately saying that someone did try it and that they've caught it and there is no danger here. same thing in the capitol. you know, when the republican senator from mississippi received a suspicious letter yesterday. but as s.e. said, these packages and letters are received quite often. they are tested. the test for ricin is sometimes you can get a false positive, which means testing positive for ricin and the further tests they are now putting the letters through may turn out that it is not ricin or it is a -- or you
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know, one of the chemical derivatives. >> thomas ruskin, thank you so much for all of your insights on the breaking news today. we appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> up next, we will be back with more breaking news from boston with michael isikoff on the ground, michael leiter, mike miller and his own perspectives on the days events. i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. (screams) i'm really glad that girl stayed at home. vo: expedia helps 30 million travelers a month find what they're looking for. one traveler at a time. expedia. find yours. oh, hey. using night-vision goggles to keep an eye on my spicy buffalo wheat thins to make sure nobody touches them. who's gonna take your wheat thins? um, i don't know. an intruder, the dog, bigfoot, ted from next door.
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. we turn back to the breaking news in boston. michael isikoff is there on the ground following the latest in the investigation. michael, what have you learned? >> well, what we know is things, people are pretty jumpy here in boston. a few moments ago, the federal courthouse was evacuated. some sort of threat that caused that. we don't know why yet. but it is an indication of just at least on just the heightened state of alert around here and whether it is a real threat or not, we till don't know. but ironically, it comes just an hour or so or couple hours after the initial reports which have now turned out to be wrong, that a suspect in the boston marathon bombing had been arrested and taken to the courthouse. that caused a whole lot of news media and others to congregate at federal courthouse for no apparent reason, because as the fbi soon made clear, there were no arrest. there was nobody in custody. and then shortly after that, we
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learned of some sort of let it that caused the evacuation of the courthouse. now taking a step back, there does appear to have been some progress in this investigation. i emphasize some progress. and an individual has been identified from this video camera outside at the lord & taylor store right by the second bomb site, dropping off a black bag at the site where the bomb exploded. it is not clear that authorities know who that individual is. we're told that the video was good enough to have some sort of -- have a facial image of the person, but it is not clear that they know the identity of the person. and even if they did, whether they have been able to find the person yet. we should learn a whole lot more very soon. there's a 5:00 press conference.
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obviously, everybody's got a lot of questions that point. due to all these conflicting reports we've had all afternoon, but at this point, it is probably best to be cautious about what we know and emphasize what we don't know. >> michael isikoff within thanks for that. i want to bring back nbc news expert michael leiter. michael, we have a face potentially, but no id. string it all together, very have a face, then we need to id, then we need to apprehend someone. these terror experts go up known for quite sometime. i'm thinking of the unibomber or the atlanta olympics bomber, who were able to pull off multiple event like that. and smiemometimes these crimes get solved within right? >> they don't. i don't think that's the mostly outcome here. in large part because we have a society where there is a lot of video and lot of photographs and this was a highly photographed
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and surveilled area p. that being said, now that we've gotten false reports about arrests, i think people are still expecting them to occur at any moment. we've been saying this all day, people have to be patient. you want this investigation to be done thoroughly and well, and you want to make sure when you actually do identify the person, that you've got the evidence so you can ultimately bring them to trial and have them incarcerated. >> we started to touch on this before, but i want to go deeper. security people say we need to focus on resilience rather than 100% security, because 100% security is impossible. and perhaps you need to begin talk together american people about focussing on resilience. as soon as something happens, we will work to get you back on your feet as soon as possible and prepare you for the event l eventuality that we can mitt get as soon as possible but never promise you that nothing. ever happen. >> that's absolutely right. i think this case actually shows
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how inherently resilient the american people are. and we've heard so many great things about boston. i lived in boston for four years. it is a fantastic place. but honestly, i truly believe that any city that experiences anywhere in america, would have been just as resilient. people would have gotten up. absolutely grieved and grieved for a long period but gone back to work. they weren't allow this to change their lives. what we have to make sure now is that in our political process is equally resilient. we hope they are incarcerated for a long time. but we can't get into the finger-pointing of why this happened. we have to get better everyday but not put on public trial the terrorism professionals trying to keep us as safe as possible. >> an important point, thank you michael leiter. >> thank you. >> we bring in matt miller from los angeles. you wrote about the bombings
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today and one of the issues that often comes up and we have been discussing this hour is how we, as society and government, assess risk. your column talks a little bit some of the roads not taken. and out in california and around the country people are seeing images but not as close to the fear. what do you make of all this? >> well, everybody is anxious. even in l.a. because we have one small media village. i guess as i've been thinking about this, one of the amazing things is how few incidents like this we've actually had since september 11th. you know, back then, folks like rudy giuliani, who has been saying that again, this week, there is an expectation there could have been more follow-on terrorist attacks and richard clark, former counterterrorism fibl for both the bush and clinton white houses wrote this chilling piece that i talked about in the column today. outlining just how vulnerable we are as a free society.
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not to very sophisticated attacks like 9/11, but very low tech ways that we can be disrupted. at shopping mools, at trains and subways and so, when you think about how scary the potential is, in a real sense, in a big picture we have been very lucky these last 10 or 12 years it hasn't been worse. and obviously that's due to the great dedication of a lot of our military. a lot of our intelligence. and police professionals, and probably a little bit of luck. >> matt, you make that point and the counterterrorism backs that up. we've had fewer incidents in the decade after 9/11 compared to the decade before. why don't people know that? >> i think there probably is in some general sense an awareness of that. but boy, when something like this hits, and it is such a, you know, such a wonderful event, the kind of thing that is so chilling when everybody becomes aware of it.
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it strikes fear into everyone's heart. and that is clearly the intent of a heinous action like this. and we are always going to have this tension between, you know, going around our normal lives and certain a certain come play that sets in even though you know we've got this intense vigilance that the people responsible for protecting us are trying to do. really that vigilance extends to all of us. that's why it's so important and moving when you see the fbi in boston saying everybody who has video, everybody who has information, somebody knows who did this. and that person has acquaintances. and we need your help. and it's really the whole community that has to come together to make sure in the end we're all safe. >> matt, usually after a tragedy like this we have at least a little bit of a break from politics where the whole country seems to come together. you lose the d and the r label. politico had an article today questioning whether we're going to have much of that in the wake of this attack.
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they say battle weary democrats and republicans fear that whatever turn the investigation in boston takes, whether the killer or killers was foreign terrorists or home grown murderer, the long term result is likely to foster a new cycle of finger pointing, recrimination and political positioning. what do you think? >> we're in the era where the honeymoon is over very quickly. and it's sad, whether it's a new administration, whether it's in the sense of common cause after an incident like this, we've got closely divided power. and, unfortunately, we've got, you know, parties that want to go at each other. i think it's sad that it's like that. i think that alienates a big chunk of the american people. sadly, that's where we are. >> are we in a permanent state of war? >> i don't know if we're in a permanent state of war, but as a free society that has enemies and that, you know, in the face of rat cal islamic philosophy that is still, even if -- even if al qaeda has been beheaded in
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a number of ways, thanks to the efforts of the last ten years, there are still folks out there who -- who hate us. and there are still folks in the u.s. who presumably for some bent reason feel some sense of affiliation with them, who may even in a rogue way try and take actions that -- that are against us. so we have to be in a permanent state of vigilance because this is what modern life is like. >> matt, quickly, do you think that we've become complacent at all in the years since 9/11 when terrorism really was at the forefront? >> sure. i mean, i think the longer -- it's just human nature. the longer time passes without major incidents, it's natural for people to get lulled into a sense that everything's okay and maybe this can't happen. i think one of the things this proves, once again, is how fragile freedom is and how fragile our sense of security is and why we can't let down our
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guard and why we depend so much on people whose job it is full time to be looking out for these threats, trying to defuse so many of them. we never hear about a lot of the things that don't happen and to support them and then come together to try and solve these things when they happen. >> right. the vast bulk of this work goes on when the cameras off. matt miller, thanks for being with us today. >> sure. >> i will be back with a final thought on the day's events, up next. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ]
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monday's attack on the boston marathon drew many heroic reactions. after the blast people rushed toward the carnage to help the victims. and police risked their lives to secure the scene. there's no hierarchy of heroism
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here. just the human impulse to help however you can. that's happening in some unusual ways. this is a lawyer who serves as chief of public information for the boston police department. about an hour and a half after the bombing, fiandoca announced that bpb was calling on spectators to share their videos from the race. federal investigators are also asking people to submit photos and videos for forensic review. and the atf agent leading in investigation made this appeal in boston yesterday. >> we are looking for the public's cooperation. we're looking if there's any video, any photographic evidence, if you can please contact the fbi hotline or the city's hotline we'd like to review any kind of media that you have out there. >> that was an unusual law enforcement request. because the marathon's so highly documented it's ripe if crowd sourced surveillance. people have a remarkable flood of pictures, photos and other information.
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investigators now have 3 trillion bytes of data to sift through. this raises civil liberties questions which we're going to tackle another time. fast company magazine is now heralding this cooperation as a new era of, quote, bystander-generated evidence. this is a significant development, and not only because it could help lead us to finding the murderer or murderers hiding out after attacking innocent civilians and children. it also matters because i think this kind of cooperation disrupts a key goal of terrorism itself. as researchers like bruce hoffman and paul berman have documented, terrorism is designed to achieve through fear what it can't achieve through a conventional military campaign. it's designed to make all of us feel victimized, afraid and ultimately less committed to our open society. now, i think we defeat that goal every time we reach out and help each other and work together in response to an attack like this or other incidents. and when we look at that, the physical heroism at the scene, or the communal contributions
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made from afar, it all counts. every person who submitted a photo now has made a contribution. now, alone, each item might be fairly useless. together, though, the hundreds of thousands of items might inform a larger picture, a moization of intelligence that could break open a lead in this case. i wouldn't call it bystander-generated evidence. we're not bystanders after we take action and we work together. we're not defined by what happened. we start being defined by what we're doing. we become part of the investigation. part of the rebuilding. and part of an american tradition that doesn't seek vengeance, only justice. that does it for us at "the cycle." karen tinny is in for martin. >> i'm karen finny in for martin bashir. it's wednesday, april 17th. while the investigation into monday's bombing in boston intensifying, new jitters in washington and the moment of truth on guns.