tv ABC World News With David Muir ABC May 7, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
>> tonight on "world news," the tapes revealed. osama bin laden as you have never seen him before. the home videos confiscated by the navy s.e.a.l.s, showing the mastermind watching himself on tv, coaching the cameraman, the beard he would dye brown. before taking the messages. tonight an extraordinary look into his life in hiding. an intelligence official calling it a treasure trove. where is it leading them already? it's coming. across much of the south, bracing for record flood waters. families refusing to leave tonight and the ominous forecast model showing how soon it could arrive. the whale watch, hundreds of volunteers literally holding the whales afloat, trying to save their lives. a mother's love, on this mother's day weekend, a drama almost never seen. with mom's help, the polar bear
cubs taking their first steps. >> good evening, we begin tonight with a never before seen window into osama bin laden's hidden world. tonight, the pentagon has released five videos confiscated from inside that compound in pakistan nearly one week ago. images of bin laden watching himself on television. you can see him holding the remote here. his beard is gray. that's key, because in this video message, taped a few months ago, never seen, his beard trimmed and dyed brown, cleaning himself up for the camera. all of this with one intelligence official telling us, the single largest collection of senior intelligence materials ever. martha raddatz leading the way all week starts off tonight. >> reporter: of the five videos confiscated by the bin laden compound, this one by far, the most compelling.
there he sits, the terrorist mastermind. his beard nearly all gray. huddled in a blanket, a wool cap on his head, watching news of himself on television. he switches his satellite tv from channel to channel, starting with al jazeera arabic. when an image pops up showing him with weapons, he motions to the camera operator to zoom in. what he is watching on the television matches a press conference we found in late january, 2010. the same period bin laden released a tape claiming credit for the failed christmas day bombing. the tape released today gives another window into bin laden's surrounding. there is a computer screen to his right, a calculator and a second tv. this, say officials, was the command and control center for al qaeda. >> what u.s. authorities are trying to do by releasing this
kind of video is make the point that we have a lot of stuff that we took possession of on sunday, and that makes the other bad guys, other people in the organization fearful, uncertain, wondering how much more stuff we got. >> reporter: the other tapes from which the audio has been removed by u.s. officials because they are deemed to be jihadist propaganda are mostly outtakes from threatening video, this one from the fall of last year. in all of them, bin laden has a black beard. he was covering the gray for his public image. >> this is someone who realized that the image that he conveyed was the main value he had to his movement. it was part of his brand. >> reporter: when he was shot last sunday, the dye had faded. his beard was all gray again. for any doubters out there who think bin laden is not dead, they released some dna analysis today. here is the statistics.
there is only one in 11.8 quadrillion chances that the dead man was not the al qaeda leader. >> that number would appear to say it all. is the u.s. hopeful the mother lode of information help quell the questions about whether or not bin laden is in fact dead? >> they certainly are. coupled with the tapes. that's why they released the tapes saying who else could have shot this video. >> martha, thank you. as we reported at the top, one official called these tapes a treasure trove. more than bin laden watching himself and dyeing his beard, there are so many other hidden clues. david kerley on where this could lead intelligence officials next. >> reporter: what osama bin laden has left behind has left golden nuggets shared across the country and with allies, according to a senior intelligence official, saying the material proves that bin laden was far from a figurehead. he was an active player who was plotting and planning terrorist attacks and who relied heavily on his courier network to issue his orders.
>> this is a guy who thought continuously about what kind of attacks would be most effective and most damaging. he was a big picture guy. >> reporter: what kind of attacks? bin laden had a continuing interest in attacking u.s. transportation systems. rail lines and planes and infrastructure. dams, possibly power grids. >> he's targeted infrastructure since the late 1990s because he's been focused on creating economic damage in the united states. >> reporter: when combing through the computers and notebooks, analysts will be looking for any planned attack, but they hope the bin laden files can help unravel the network of al qaeda cells. determine how they communicate, pinpoint financing and determine if the terror group was making progress obtaining weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. on that last point, officials say it's something they are focussed squarely on. the fact that a successor has not been named for bin laden suggests significant damage has been done to the terror network.
>> it may be an exaggeration that this data holds the material for a cleanup operation for al qaeda, but it holds the material to make a big dent. >> intelligence officials may not be giddy, but they call this the greatest intelligence success perhaps for a generation. called it classic and a historic success. >> they've been poring through it all week. even as all this evidence comes to light, stunning poll numbers out of pakistan. 66% of pakistanis do not believe osama bin laden was killed in that raid. this is our team on the ground has learned of a second bin laden hideout. this one too, right out in the open. jim sciutto is there. >> reporter: for a full eight years, the world's most wanted man hid in or near urban areas of pakistan. five years in abbottabad where he was killed and new details revealed today, nearly three more here, outside this city.
we went into the village a few hundred yards off the main highway. a quiet farming community, residents denied they had any idea. >> did you ever hear stories of a tall arab man, mysterious man with a big family? did people talk about that or suspect that? no, never he said. >> would it make you angry? >> of course he answered, he's brought so much death and destruction. >> reporter: this is a small community, a few dozen houses. the residents tell us everyone in this valley knows everyone else. the idea someone as recognizable as osama bin laden could live here for so long undetected is almost impossible to imagine. one of bin laden's three wives who told investigators that he hid here with his extended family. word that bin laden left the mountainous tribal areas for populated parts of pakistan is fueling doubts he could manage without someone in the government or intelligence knowing. >> they should have known.
they either covered up, looked the other way or were deeply involved in all of this. >> reporter: the u.s. is now pressuring pakistan for information. it explores whether any pakistani officials had contact with bin laden before the raid. what the u.s. find will help determine the future of a relationship both sides admit is already severely damaged. jim sciutto, abc news, pakistan. >> jim sciutto. with this confirmation of a second hideout comes growing heat on the pakistani government. christiane amanpour asked former secretary of state condoleezza rice about this. how could not pakistan know? >> pakistan has hard questions to answer. this isn't a time for bluster from pakistan. this is a time for serious analysis of why this happened. why he was hiding in plain sight for apparently as long as he was. >> so we're joined by christiane tonight.
harder and harder to imagine the pakistani government could not have known bin laden was hiding in plain sight, not only in one location, but now we learn of a second. don't we need pakistan here? this is delicate balance in asking them these questions. >> exactly. either the government or the military or elements of the intelligence service. people are beginning to say there needs to be investigations and potentially heads to roll and accountability. that's one thing the pakistanis are saying. the united states says the same. it wants an investigation, but it does need pakistan for its war in afghanistan. it depends on pakistan to bring supplies into afghanistan for its troops there. it will depend on pakistan for reconciliation talks between the taliban and the government and really a successful end to that war. a lot of questions to be asked but it's a strategic relationship according to the u.s. >> that it is. thanks so much. she will have much more tomorrow morning with secretary rice, also president obama's national security adviser and pakistan's ambassador to the u.s.
tough questions how did authorities in that country not know? we turn to the crisis in the middle of this nation with major rivers surging and now 4 million people at risk. take a look at this before and after. this satellite image shows the mississippi river north of memphis one year ago. look at it tonight. the swelling blue in the middle of the screen that's all water headed south. we wanted to show you a forecast model which shows this disaster in slow motion. over my shoulder, the waters are forecast to peak in memphis, tennessee at 48 feet come wednesday morning, a half foot short of the record. there in natchez, mississippi next, cresting at 64 feet. six feet above the record. in baton rouge, 47.5 feet, another record. finally in new orleans, 19.5 feet, inches from the top of the levees. steve osunsami is on that route. where more water is coming. he's on the famous but flooded beale street tonight in memphis.
>> reporter: this is arguably the most famous street in memphis. b.b. king has a club up the street. this street sings the blues. tonight it is under several feet of water. for long time residents here, this is all a bad sign. old man river keeps rolling and rising tonight. >> i had to come down and see this, because this is historic. >> reporter: today the river at memphis was at 47 feet, the second highest ever. major flood stage, putting the city's leaking levees to a test. >> the rivers aren't expected to crest until wednesday? wow! >> across arkansas, missouri, mississippi and tennessee, authorities are asking thousands of residents to evacuate and find higher ground. in south memphis, the grandmother who now lives inches from rising flood waters was refusing to leave. >> this is going to take her to the point that the water is actually coming in the house.
when she sees that, she'll leave. until then, you guys, us, it ain't going to happen. >> it looks like you're going to get water though. >> yeah. >> you're going to get some. >> reporter: 72-year-old rose anna hid behind her screen door and explained she's lived her all her life. don't you think you should leave now? not now. it was a story we heard over and over again. jerry burke has a broken leg and water at his back door but he will not go. >> we've been living all our life. we don't want to go nowhere. >> reporter: flood waters closed at least 100 more roads today. the national guard is here preparing for what happens if the levees fail. >> we will move in quickly and help people get out. >> reporter: those levees are the key, david. if they fail, this could become an even greater disaster. steve osunsami in memphis. we're going to turn now to a
mother's day gift of sorts one day early for a woman whose son, a navy s.e.a.l. was a true hero. michael murphy made two decisions on a mountain in afghanistan that would cost him his life but revealed unparalleled courage. it was june 2005, a team of four navy s.e.a.l.s was at 10,000 feet in the mountains of afghanistan. for the s.e.a.l. who led the group, navy lieutenant, michael murphy, the mission was personal. he grew up outside new york city and was after the people who planned and plotted 9/11, always wearing the new york fire department patch on his arm. the men had taken their positions on the steep mountainside when three herdsmen came upon them. for the s.e.a.l.s, this question, do we kill them or do we let them go and risk revealing their own whereabouts to the taliban. they let them go, and within an hour, the navy s.e.a.l.s were in an avalanche of gunfire. three were shot, including lieutenant michael murphy. what he did next revealed the depth of his bravery.
he crawled out, the only place he could get reception on his satellite phone to call for help for his team. he took two more rounds in the back and slumped to the grounds but put the phone back to his ear and kept talking. >> through all that danger and he had to go out and make that phone call. he's such a polite kid, one of his last things, one of the last words he said was thank you, sir. and i was like, that's my mike, when i heard that. >> reporter: her son died after that call, two years later was awarded the medal of honor. >> i could picture raising his eyes now, he's so humble. all right, mom and dad. that's enough. >> reporter: just today, he might have been thinking the same thing again today, because it was his mother who broke that bottle of champagne, christening the destroyer, "uss michael murphy" in maine. it comes nearly a week after osama bin laden was killed and on a day which would have been
michael murphy's 35th birthday. >> on mother's day weekend for maureen. still ahead, the dramatic rescue, the whales being held afloat by human volunteers. 40 years later, has the mystery on the moon finally been solved? on this mother's day weekend, the polar bear cubs seeing the world for the first time, led of course by their mother. what's all this? big news! we have another way to help you save. oh, really? how? by bundling. if you get your homeowners and auto insurance together, we give you even more savings. ooh! big bundle. [ chuckling ] home and auto together. it's like peanut butter and jelly. oh, or like burgers and fries. or pickles and ice cream. unicorns and glitter! no? bundling to save you more. now, that's progressive! call or click today.
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a high stakes rescue is playing out in the shallow water along the florida keys. hundreds of volunteers are working around the clock holding up stranded whales with their bare hands. they are desperate to save them. here's matt gutman. >> reporter: for two of these gentle creatures, this rescue effort saved their lives. two male pilot whales deemed to be healthy enough were hoisted on to these barges carried back out to the deep sea where they were tagged and freed. released miles off the florida coast to ensure that they don't return to this scene. on thursday, at least 20 pilot whales beached themselves triggering a massive rescue effort. exhausted and starving, at least 13 have died. five of the survivors remain in this manmade sea pit in key west, too ill to come to the surface to breathe, they are held afloat by an army of
veterinarians working around the clock in four hour shifts. >> they are very warm. >> they are pretty much tired, docile. >> reporter: you can hear the surviving whales fighting for life with each breath. scientists aren't sure why these animals tend to beach themselves in water inches deep. they do know it can be caused by disease, toxins or even loud noises in the water. why do these healthy whales follow the sick ones to an almost certain death? necropsies won't begin for a few days. lab results can take months. these whales will likely need months of rehabilitation. scientists are hopeful they too will be released back into the wild. matt gutman abc news miami. when we come back, more than four decades later, has the mystery on the moon finally been solved? y on the moon finally been solved? chug that coffee, bolt that burrito. no matter what life throws at you,
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remote corner of nevada, hoping to find a man missing since march 19th. his wife was found yesterday surviving by eating snow. her husband went for help on foot after their car got stuck. the couple had been last seen at a convenience store in oregon while driving to a trade show in las vegas. a space mystery tonight appears to be solved. it was 1969 when an astronaut walked on the moon to retrieve a camera that nasa had put there two years earlier. inside it, scientists made a shocking discovery, bacteria, stowaways from earth. they wondered how did they survive? a new analysis found that those germs never came from space. most likely came from the lab technicians who handled the camera once it got home from the moon. bummer! when we come back, tiny polar cubs like you have never seen, relying on mom. good nigh. good night.
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leaving its mother's den and poking its head out into the world. >> these baby polar bears, this is the first time they're seeing the sky. >> they're emerging from the den. she is introducing them to the world. >> reporter: we've come to one of the most remote places on earth to see polar bear mothers taking their newborns out from the snow cave they've dug to give birth to begin the long trek to canada's hudson bay and their first solid food. we are with a group of elite wildlife photographers outside churchill, manitoba. it's more than 40 below zero. many of them have frostbite. male polar bears are nowhere to be seen. they are looking for food. these mothers do it all on their own, giving birth and taking care of their young totally alone. world wildlife fund official says mothers with two cubs used to be the norm. but now they're generally found with one.
>> how are they doing? >> these are the best studied bears on the planet. the answer to that is accurate and they are in decline. >> reporter: in decline because sea ice is melting, making it harder to reach the only food on their menu, seals. as they make their journey back to the sea, including one no bigger than a poodle is reason for even the skeptics to have hope. neal karlinsky, abc news near churchill, manitoba. >> proof that everyone needs their mom. happy mother's day. we hope to see you back here tomorrow.