Return to Transcripts main page
Arrest Made in Times Square Attempted Bombing Case; Floods Hit Nashville
Aired May 4, 2010 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And we are beginning the second hour with Robert Gibbs at this White House briefing. Expect a lot of questions about what's going on with Faisal Shahzad and also the situation in the Gulf.
Let's dip in. Do it, Rog.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I will just say this. We're in the middle of an active and ongoing investigation.
We are -- part of that active and ongoing investigation is to examine the time that this individual spent in Pakistan. But I don't have anything more to discuss on that.
QUESTION: Have you been able to rule out the idea that he was acting alone?
GIBBS: Again, this is an ongoing investigation. And I don't have anything further on that.
QUESTION: And then one of the things that hasn't really been explained very clearly is how he actually managed to get on this flight. He was on the no-fly list earlier that day. His name was very well known in the law enforcement community. So, how did that happen? How did he make it...
GIBBS: Well, again, we're -- there's a process going back and looking at all that happened.
I think it's important to understand that the system is built with necessary and built-in redundancy, so that, if a name is added, and a carrier misses the added name, that Customs and Border Patrol, once a manifest is locked, runs those names through a center, and can identify anything -- anything that a carrier may have missed.
I think Secretary Napolitano and others said today -- again, talked about the fact that that was built-in redundancy. CBP caught and apprehended that individual before the plane left, and even -- even would have, I think she said, done so -- we had the authority to either have the plane land or turn around. So, again, there's a -- there's a series of built-in redundancies, this being one of them, where Customs and Border Patrol checks a locked manifest to ensure that, again, if there's a mistake by a carrier, it can be double-checked.
QUESTION: So, is this a case of a mistake by this carrier?
GIBBS: Well, that's part of the investigation we're looking at.
QUESTION: Has the president spoken to anyone at BP yet?
GIBBS: Spoken with anybody...
QUESTION: Anyone at BP yet?
GIBBS: Not that I know of.
QUESTION: And does -- do you feel that BP is now responding appropriately to the oil slick?
GIBBS: Well, I -- I -- Steve, I don't have a lot to add from yesterday in terms of this.
Obviously, there are -- there are many different things that -- that BP has expertise on and are working on, most notably capping the well. We are -- we are focused on responding to the leak and ensuring minimal amount of environmental or economic disruption. That's our focus.
QUESTION: What about this -- this federal law that may or may not require -- or BP would be capped at $75 million in -- in payout, that...
GIBBS: Understand this. There is -- they're -- they're -- they are fully liable for cleanup and recovery costs, per the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
The cap is not in place if somebody is found to be either grossly negligent, conducted willful -- involved in willful misconduct, or in violation of federal regulations. As you know there's an investigation ongoing as to the cause behind -- behind the spill.
In addition to that -- I checked on this at the conclusion of yesterday's briefing -- folks in the administration were working on legislation to lift -- lift that cap and extend it. Obviously, we have got a situation where 475 million could easily -- we could easily top $75 million in a short period of time.
We understand that. This law was passed and signed 20 years ago. So, there are -- there are fail-safes that are built into that law that remove the cap based on the conditions that caused the spill. And our administration will work with Congress, Democrats and Republicans, to change that cap and ensure, as I have said and as the president said, that BP is the responsible party, they're the cause of this spill, and they will pay for everything involved in this spill.
QUESTION: Is there another cap that you would support in this legislation?
GIBBS: Well, I think...
SANCHEZ: All right, let's -- let's do this. Let's -- let's monitor the White House briefing, because it -- it sounds like they're going to be jumping around on the stories.
If he answers any definitive questions or makes some news on what's going on with the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, the suspected New York Times Square bomber, we will immediately bring you that information.
But I -- I want to bring in somebody now who probably knows as much about this as anybody. He and I have talked about this situation. He is one of the most noted terrorist -- terrorism analysts. It's Paul Cruickshank, who is good enough to be here with us now.
Paul, how are you doing today?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, FELLOW, CENTER ON LAW AND SECURITY: Hi. Hi, Rick.
CRUICKSHANK: Good to see you.
SANCHEZ: Hey, Paul, listen, a couple of things. First of all, you know, I'm wondering -- and I think Americans are, too, did the system work? We had a guy we wanted to catch. We got him within 48 hours. He tried to get on a plane and leave the country. I mean, did the no- fly list, did the system work?
Should we be smiling today and saying -- and patting ourselves on the back?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, clearly, he managed to go to Times Square. He managed to almost carry out an attack over there.
There are various reports on how close he was to leaving the country, how close he was to getting on an aircraft which was about to take off. To the degree that there was this attempted attack, the system did not work.
I think, Rick, the most interesting piece of information that we're hearing just now is that this guy has admitted to receiving bomb- making training in Waziristan.
SANCHEZ: That's correct.
CRUICKSHANK: Now, that's al Qaeda's safe haven in Pakistan. That's where the Pakistani Taliban are operational. This brings al Qaeda into play. It brings the Pakistani Taliban into play, the Pakistani Taliban, a group that's already claimed responsibility for... (CROSSTALK)
SANCHEZ: Well, I just shared that...
SANCHEZ: I just -- I just...
SANCHEZ: Look, I just shared that with my viewers. I mean, look, this is where most of you experts have theorized that Osama bin Laden has been hiding now for many years.
So, obviously, when we think about Waziristan, when we think of that mountainous regions where, supposedly, he went from Tora Bora to, we think al Qaeda. And we don't just think, well, somebody tied to al Qaeda. We think, no, some of the bigs in al Qaeda, right? So, if he's saying that, it -- it certainly is very significant.
The question is, how do we know he's telling the truth?
CRUICKSHANK: We -- we absolutely don't know that he's telling the truth. This -- this doesn't seem to have been substantiated.
But what he's saying is that he -- he trained there in the tribal areas of Pakistan, an area which has emerged as al Qaeda's principal safe haven in the world. It's not Yemen. It's not Somalia. It's place like North Waziristan in the tribal areas of Pakistan where they're most likely to be able to plot attacks.
This doesn't mean that he was with al Qaeda or even with the Pakistani Taliban. From this complaint, we do not know the group that he trained with in this region. Increasingly, in recent years, Westerners have been training with groups that aren't al Qaeda. They have been training with the Pakistani Taliban or Asbat groups or Lashkar-e-Taiba. They all have operations in this region.
So, we're no closer to knowing which group was responsible, but we do know that this was a conspiracy to the degree that he received bomb- making training in this region, which it would appear...
CRUICKSHANK: ... he tried to put into effect in New York over the weekend.
CRUICKSHANK: But it was only rudimentary, this attack. It wasn't very sophisticated. Whatever training they gave him was not the training which was going to lead to a whole huge loss of life in Times Square...
SANCHEZ: Well, you know, it may -- it...
CRUICKSHANK: ... according to what officials are saying, Rick.
SANCHEZ: It may -- that -- that's fine. Be it may be rudimentary to some people who are looking at this. It's not rudimentary to the guy who happened to be standing 10 feet from that thing had it actually gone off, who would have been blown into smithereens, or the 10 people, or the 20 people, or the 30 people who would have died.
So, I mean, I hear a lot of journalists and I hear a lot of experts saying, well, this thing was really not very well put-together. You know, you put enough fertilizer, enough gas in a car, it's going to explode. It's going to do some damage.
I'm just wondering at this point, Paul, you know, as we look at this, whether we shouldn't take this guy at face value. And, if we do, and if he's telling the truth, and if he was really in Waziristan, and if he possibly was meeting with al Qaeda, what kind of jewel mine is he in terms of intelligence for U.S. and other foreign officials, who want to know more about what's going on there?
CRUICKSHANK: That's a great question, Rick.
You know, in recent cases, we have seen people who -- who -- who have been arrested in the United States give up remarkable information about al Qaeda structures there in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Some of that information has helped U.S. intelligence agencies target al Qaeda in that region.
So, this is something that -- that could be a great opportunity now to the United States if this individual starts cooperating, starts telling the truth, and starts telling U.S. authorities who he was dealing with in that region. And -- and that can help us map out their structures there and maybe go after some of these leaders who have said again and again that they want to attack the United States, Rick.
SANCHEZ: By the way, we have just received information -- we're attributing this to -- let me just check my facts to make sure, Paul, before I share this with you -- "Christian Science Monitor."
You got that? Thank you. Appreciate it, Andreas (ph).
"Christian Science Monitor" is reporting that they have now detained members of Faisal Shahzad's family in the wake of what they say was Shahzad's failed attempt to detonate the Times Square bomb. Intelligence officials in Pakistan say the suspect recently spent four months -- we had five months -- in Peshawar, a city on the Afghani border, close to the militant training camps.
So, now they're going and they're picking up his family as well. The significance of that, Paul?
CRUICKSHANK: We don't know what the significance of that is.
It may be just they want to go and question the family because they -- they -- they have some answers about what he was doing in Pakistan. They may have played no nefarious role here whatsoever. Or, as we have seen in some other cases, some family members can become involved in these sorts of conspiracies.
We just don't know right now why these people were arrested. It's too early to jump to conclusions.
SANCHEZ: One more thing. I'm going to let you go, but I'm curious about this. I was just reading my notes on him, where we learned what his own personal timeline has been as we have been going through this. And I have learned, Paul, that he only became a naturalized U.S. citizen like in 2009, which leads me to wonder whether or not this guy became a U.S. citizen with the intention of doing this, in other words, he lied all over his application form when he said he wanted to be loyal to the United States, that he's never been part of any kind of organization that could possibly be involved in terrorism, et cetera, et cetera, right?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, clearly, being a U.S. citizen does give you some advantages, but you don't have to be a U.S. citizen to carry out terrorist attacks in the United States.
Najibullah Zazi, who almost pulled off a very spectacular attack in the fall, was not a U.S. citizen. He was a U.S. resident. He wasn't naturalized yet. So, you don't actually have to become a U.S. citizen to pull off these sorts of strikes.
But this individual, from what we're hearing, lived in the United States. The suspect today lived in the United States for up to 10 years...
SANCHEZ: Had a family, had kids, yes.
CRUICKSHANK: ... which -- which -- which may mean that he was radicalized here in the United States.
And that's something that investigators will be looking very, very closely at, because we have been seeing grow radicalization, Rick, in the United States in recent months, in -- in the last year or so, and that's really concerning officials here.
SANCHEZ: Yes. I wonder if he speaks fluent English. I mean, I wonder if his English is like ours, or I wonder what -- what the deal is with that. I guess we will learn more.
Paul, thanks so much for putting this into perspective for us.
Paul Cruickshank, terrorism analyst, taking us through this story, my thanks to you.
Next on the LIST, a breaking story: the devastating floods in Nashville. Entire communities, we understand, are now under water, hundreds of homes without electricity. Folks, this is a nightmare if you're in Tennessee. Also, caught in the middle, some of the country music's biggest stars. So, who are we talking to? Keith Urban will join me here live. He's giving his own personal story of what's going on in Nashville today. You will hear it.
This is your list, your national conversation. This is RICK'S LIST. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SANCHEZ: As you might imagine, we have got reporters who are covering this story from all ends of the spectrum, all the way from Pakistan through Afghanistan, through Washington, New York City.
Allan Chernoff is in the courthouse, the federal courthouse, following this story for us.
You have been looking at the complaint, Allan. What are you gleaning from this thing?
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rick, you know, it may be poetic, in a way, because, as soon as the complaint came down, the rain came pouring over here.
This complaint is filled with some major allegations. We're talking about charges of attempted -- attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to kill and maim people in the U.S., using and carrying a destructive device, transporting an explosive device, attempting to damage building, vehicles and other property.
In this complaint also, Faisal Shahzad, according to the U.S. government, is saying that he admitted to trying to detonate a bomb in Times Square. And he also says, according to the complaint, that he did receive bomb training in Pakistan -- Rick.
SANCHEZ: What was his beef? I mean, have we got any sense yet, from what you have learned, about why this guy -- what -- what -- what was his M.O.? What was his motive? Why did he turn -- why did he turn either militant crazy or terroristic?
CHERNOFF: Rick, you know, that -- that is a great question, particularly because here's a guy who -- who got U.S. citizenship, received his education here in the U.S.
CHERNOFF: He got a bachelor of science at the University of Bridgeport and an MBA, well-educated here. So, it would seem that he had not a bad life here.
SANCHEZ: Yes, he got married. He had kids, right? He lived in the Northeast. I understand he also may have been married in Pakistan as well, but, I mean, this guy was living a life that didn't seem to indicate to any of his neighbors or anybody else that he was -- that he was a suspected terrorist, right?
CHERNOFF: Yes, you know, absolutely.
The -- the only thing that we know in terms of real trouble, OK, he was foreclosed on his house. He didn't meet -- meet payments on the house, had to move out. But, obviously, that's no -- no cause for any of this. There's something much deeper. We don't know yet what exactly was inside of his head.
SANCHEZ: Well, keep digging for us, Allan. We appreciate you being there. Let us know if anything else happens there in the courtroom.
Did he -- has he shown up, by the way? Did he show up already, or has that not yet happened?
CHERNOFF: It hasn't happened just yet. It will happen today. The U.S. attorney met the deadline. They got the documents in to the clerk of the court.
So, now we're going to have the presentment. I can't tell you if it's going to happen in the next hour or in the next five hours. But they will get it done today. That's the plan.
SANCHEZ: What a scene that's going to be.
Allan Chernoff is there following it for us.
My thanks to you, Allan.
Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The American people can be assured that the FBI and their partners in this process have all the tools and experience they need to learn everything we can. That includes what, if any, connection this individual has to terrorist groups.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: Well, Mr. President, it's starting to look like he had connections to terrorist groups. He seems to be admitting to having connections to terrorist groups. And there are a bevy of arrests that are taking place right now in Pakistan.
We, at CNN, have been reporting this for the better part of the last several hours. We're staying on top of this story, taking you to Pakistan and wherever else we need to, to get the very latest on this story. We will be right back.
SANCHEZ: The suspect's name is Faisal Shahzad. We are learning that he has told investigators that he was in Waziristan, where he was training with some suspected terrorist organizations -- specifically which ones, not able to nail down -- possibly on bomb-making.
We have also now learned that he wasn't actually on the plane when it was brought back. In other words, the plane, as we originally were told in this story, was about to taxi and then take off. They told the pilot, wait, turn around, we need you again. And the pilot was returned.
It turns out that Faisal Shahzad was taken off the plane prior to it taxiing. In other words, he boarded the plane, and then they took him off. But now there's this question. If he was on a no-fly list, as we understand that he was, why is it that he was able to get through TSA? Why was he able to even get to the point where he boarded the plane? Why did we let it get that close?
These are the questions that are being asked today. Robert Gibbs, spokesperson for the president of the United States, came out just moments ago and tried to answer that question. I want you to listen to how he did so.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: ... months later, someone is put on the no-fly list and is able to get on a plane anyway.
GIBBS: Well, let's -- let's not -- let's -- let's -- let's give the course of the facts here before we jump to any series of -- of whys and what-fors based on the fact that this is an individual that was put on the no-fly list.
And, as a course of how the no-fly list works, Customs and Border Patrol identified and apprehended that suspect. So, that person was on the no-fly list, and that -- that plane didn't fly and that individual didn't fly.
QUESTION: Is the Christmas Day bomber, who was not...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: And the questions will continue, as you can imagine.
I want to bring in Mary Snow now in. Mary is following the part of the story that relates to really what is by the most fascinating part of the story.
Who was this guy? Where was he living? How was he able to hide out and seem like he was just another guy? I was just reading, Mary, that a lot of his neighbors who have been interviewed -- I'm sure you've probably talked to some of them -- are saying that he was -- they thought he was just some Wall Street guy who just kind of came and went.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
And, you know, Rick, we just have some new information now that we can piece together about Faisal Shahzad. And we have confirmed that he was a junior financial analyst for the Affinion Group, and he worked in Norwalk, Connecticut, between the years 2006 and 2009.
And we are told that he left that job in 2009 voluntarily. We also know that he had gotten his MBA at the University of Bridgeport back in 2005.
So, we're starting to get pieces of this man's life, and also a look at his last known residence. And that residence had been blocked off until about an hour-and-a-half ago. It's right behind me on that mailbox, "F. Shahzad," and it is believed he lived on the second floor. But, you know, talking to neighbors here, a next-door neighbor who was a grandmother of seven children said she really never saw him. She saw a car coming in and out at night.
The family was awakened last night because investigators came. They evacuated them as they searched that home. And now -- we also know now from the complaint that was filed in federal court in New York that there was fertilizer and fireworks taken out of his residence.
SNOW: So, we're also getting, you know, Rick, kind of two different pictures here. In this neighborhood in Bridgeport, we're getting neighbors telling us that they -- they saw this man walking around, one describing him as looking sad most of the time.
Not far from here, though, was his home in Shelton, Connecticut, and that is where he had lived with his wife and two young children until late spring of last year. And we talked to one neighbor. She didn't want her face to be shown on camera, but her name is Brenda Thurbert (ph). Take a listen to what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was a very private person, kept to himself, liked to come out at night, wear all black, and go jogging. His family, his wife didn't speak much English. His daughter played with my daughter. His oldest daughter played with my daughter. No one suspected anything, you know, he would do something like this.
SNOW: Now, that neighbor also had told us, Rick, that she believed that Shahzad had a -- a job on Wall Street.
We were also able to track down an assistant dean at the University of Bridgeport in the school of business, where Shahzad got his MBA. He completed it in 2005. And this professor had some contact with him, because he was in a class of his. He said that had e-mailed him normal student issues, nothing remarkable.
And he said that, in his recollection, there was nothing that would have caused him to -- to suspect, five years later, that he would be having the conversations he's having today, with so many people trying to find out who this man is, what possibly could have been behind this.
SANCHEZ: Wow. Thirty-year-old Pakistani-American, became a U.S. citizen only in 2009, opened a mortgage in Shelton, defaulted on a $200,000 loan on that mortgage.
SANCHEZ: A family, wife, two sisters, moved out. He had a wife and two small children. I mean, what a story. As we get more information about who he was -- and now you're saying that most of the people who hung out with him, associated with him, none have come forward and said, well, there was something about this guy that made me kind of wonder whether he was on our side or their side.
I mean, he didn't seem to be the kind of guy who was showing up at parties and blasting U.S. policy in a way that would make people think that there was something suspicious about him, which is fascinating as well.
Mary, let me know if you get anything else. We will be coming back to you, as we will with all our correspondents.
You're watching a special edition of RICK'S LIST. We're going to continue to go back to our correspondents all the way from Pakistan to New York through Washington. And, as we get more details on exactly who this suspected terrorist is, you will hear it first right here on CNN.
We will be right back. I'm Rick Sanchez.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.
This is indeed a breaking news day, because there is seemingly information coming in every several minutes on exactly who this Faisal Shahzad, this suspected terrorist, actually is. I mean, over the top, just to read the general things that you probably would need to know about him, as you would anybody else who's suspected of trying to kill so many Americans, he's 30 years old. He was a Pakistani-American, but he was really an American.
I mean, he became a U.S. citizen just last year, in 2009. But while he was planning to become an American citizen, while he was filling out those forms, was he lying about what his true intentions were? Because we're also learning that he spent four to five months in Pakistan last year.
And apparently he's just told investigators that he was right there. You see that area right there, Waziristan? Waziristan is the mountainous region, as you may know, where Osama bin Laden is said to be hiding out.
So, did he go there to get information on how to come back to the United States and then either make a bomb or try and kill Americans? This is the part of the story that's interesting.
We can tell you that CNN has confirmed that there have been several arrests related to Faisal Shahzad in Pakistan. And we expect that there could be even more. It's part of the story that we're going to continue to follow for you in just a little bit.
By the way, we're all over the Nashville disaster, what's going on there, the downtown area. Have you seen the pictures? Swamped. Just about everyone has been affected who lives anywhere near Nashville, including some of the most famous and biggest names in the country when it comes to country music.
Keith Urban, for example. There he is with his wife, Nicole Kidman. He's going to join me in just a little bit. He's going to try and give us his perspective on what's going on in front of his favorite city and how he's been personally affected as well.
And watch this. That's a racecar spinning out of control. Not even the spectators are spared.
We're going to tell you what happens to the driver. What a scene.
We're coming back with that and a whole lot more. Stay right here.
This is RICK'S LIST.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back.
We are doing our thing here on RICK'S LIST on this day, which means staying consistent and true to what we promise to bring you every day, some of the lists that you find most interesting.
Certainly none better than some of the best videos of the day. It is what we call "Fotos del Dia."
All right. This is amazing.
Watch the video and tell me if you think it's possible that no one could be killed. Impossible, right? Wrong.
We kept watching the video and digging around for more information. But sure enough, not only was no one killed, all there were was minor injuries as a result of this thing.
It's a Mini Cooper -- maybe that explains it -- that was on its final lap in Ipswich, Australia, when it flipped over a barrier and then just careened into the crowd. Talk about slow-mo, huh?
Deer and beer. What?
This is the Stout Ale House in Wisconsin. Two bucks proved their stoutness by crashing through the front door. And get this -- it happened during a Bucks playoff game, as in Milwaukee Bucks.
The team lost, but the deer won. Good for Atlanta and the Hawks. The deer, good for them, too. Apparently they got away.
All right. Is someone stealing from your locker? There's an app for that now.
Students at a Florida school knew they were getting robbed, so they set up their own sting operation. It comes in a form of their cell phone, filming on the boys' room. Caught on cam, who? Their own gym teacher.
Their own teacher was stealing from their lockers. He admitted to it and now has resigned after being on the job for all those years.
You can see all our "Fotos," by the way, on my blog, CNN.com/RickSanchez.
Somewhere under all that water is a ton of music history. So how does Nashville plan to recover? We're going to get some answers from a superstar, a country superstar. It's Keith Urban. He's going to be joining me here in just a little bit to take us through Nashville's woes.
Also this --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: As months, even years, go by without a successful terrorist attack, the most dangerous lesson that we can draw is a false impression that this threat no longer exists. It does.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: This is part of our special coverage today. We're dedicating the majority of this show to the newest information that's coming in on the latest terror threat stretching from Times Square to Pakistani training camps. There have been a lot of fast-moving developments on this story.
And this -- he was a naturalized citizen. What about that part of the story? How was he able to fool the naturalization boards?
And, by the way, we've got a list for you. How many other immigrants become naturalized in the United States over the last 10, 20, 30 years? We've got it broken down. You'll see the numbers, only right here, on RICK'S LIST.
SANCHEZ: We were looking through some of the documents involving Faisal Shahzad, and we learned that he only became a citizen of the United States last year. It's called the naturalization process. He became a naturalized citizen.
Well, when you look at what he was doing, you start to question whether or not he became a U.S. citizen knowing that he hated the United States, that he wanted to kill Americans, that he had just returned from Pakistan, where maybe his true loyalties were. These are all legitimate questions, which made me -- which made us on my staff start wondering, well, what is the naturalization process?
And we have some of the paperwork on that and we've been looking through it today. And as you go through it, you find that most of the questions seem somewhat antiquated. They ask you more about communism and Nazism and your connections to that than they do about your connections to possible world terrorism. Somehow it doesn't seem to add up, and many of you agree.
But we also wanted to know this, since we are a show about lists, how many people are doing this? How many people are being naturalized in the United States?
Here we go.
We begin with 1970. There were just under 10 million. Oh, but it grew.
1980, 14.1 million immigrants in the United States.
1990, nearly 20 million. Then, watch this jump.
The year, 2000. Thirty-one million immigrants being naturalized in the United States.
And finally, in 2008, the last year for which the numbers were compiled, 37.9 million immigrants now living in the United States.
So, is Faisal Shahzad a lone wolf? Well, it doesn't sound that way. Authorities in Pakistan now have rounded up seven or eight of Shahzad's associates, and he told the FBI he trained in a terror camp in Waziristan.
Is he a member of al Qaeda? All right. I put that question to "The New York Times" foreign correspondent who is there right now in Pakistan. I spoke to her just a few moments ago.
Here is what Sabrina Tavernise had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SABRINA TAVERNISE, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, "NEW YORK TIMES": It's possible. We just don't know yet.
But the mosque in Karachi was known to have links to a militant Jaish- e-Mohammed, which ahs been very involved in a lot of very vicious attacks in Pakistan for a number of years now. So, you know, that's a possibility.
And then the area where he was born and raised and grew up was an area that had a number of Afghan refugee camps. And that is -- that has been -- they tended to be problem areas and areas that have had, you know, some militant connections because of the back and forth between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Wolf Blitzer is going to be joining me next. He's going to be following up on this story as well.
And as we head to the break, I want you to take a look at some of the tweets that we pulled from our country music list. Yes, we follow celebrities in country music. And so many of them today are talking about the situation in Nashville.
We'll let them read you as we go to break here on RICK'S LIST.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Rick Sanchez.
As the information comes in on this case of Faisal Shahzad, there are so many questions that are being brought to the forefront, especially when you consider where he lived, how he lived, how he was able to remain so quiet about what his intentions may have been. And there's a part of the story that I find perplexing.
I'll be honest with you, I am a naturalized U.S. citizen. I was not born in the United States. I was born in Cuba, and then later on in my life I became a naturalized U.S. citizen. And I've always been curious about how the naturalization process works.
Wolf Blitzer is joining me now.
Wolf, as I've been going through these documents -- I've got so many documents out here today. Where did I put these?
As I've been going through this documents -- let me see if I can show you what I'm talking about, Wolf. I'll put my glasses -- this is the application right here.
Can you guys see this? Do you want to use this camera?
This is the application -- well, fine, we'll do it this way. And it asks all these questions, right?
And look at the questions that these people are asked here who are about to become citizens. They ask you mostly if you were ever a member of the communist party. They ask about being a member of the Nazi party.
I mean, a lot of interesting questions about your drug use, et cetera, et cetera. But there's only one question about anything having to do with terrorists. And it says it right there, Question Number 9, Subsection C, "Have you ever been a member, in any way associated with, directly or indirectly, with a terrorist organization?"
It just doesn't seem to be a lot of emphasis on what you would think today would be a prominent concern. I'm wondering if these things are somewhat antiquated.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Those are great questions, and I don't have the answers. I don't know how often they update the requirement to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
I have no idea. I've not done any research on it. I really don't know, but I think you make a terrific point. It probably needs some updating. And Nazi party, communist party, those are great questions of the '50s and '60s, not necessarily all that relevant today.
SANCHEZ: What about the idea that this guy was on the no-fly list and, still, he was able to get through TSA, he was almost able to get on the plane itself? In fact, he got on the plane and then was pulled off.
How much heat do you think this is going to create politically for some of these agencies and possibly even for the Obama administration?
BLITZER: Well, I think a lot of this information is fluid right now and it's subject to change. Even over the course of the last few hours, stuff that we thought was true didn't necessarily turn out to be true. So I would pause and wait until we get all the specific -- the chronology on all this stuff. They're very, very hard and firm.
I read like you did that affidavit that was submitted in court today, and it's got some useful information, including the fact that he admitted that he was being trained in Waziristan, in Pakistan. But a lot of the other issues I think we should wait and make sure that we have the real information, because even some of the top law enforcement and political leaders over the past 48 hours, they've made statements that didn't necessarily turn out to be all that right.
SANCHEZ: Yes. You know, point well taken. In fact, we've seen this story kind of turn and change and wiggle a little bit, even since we've been on the air since 3:00.
Thanks so much, Wolf. Appreciate it. Look forward to seeing you.
SANCHEZ: Good job on "THE SITUATION ROOM" today, as I'm sure you will do.
BLITZER: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Up next, "Ad-lib a tease." That's what it says right here.
Now, I'm supposed to ad-lib about something that I should know about, right? And this is going to surprise you.
I called my wife and she told me all about Keith Urban. And I'm excited about the possibility that I'm going to be able to interview him in just a little bit. He's going to be telling us about what's going on right now in Nashville, Tennessee. This is near and dear to his heart.
Stand by, ladies. Keith Urban coming up next.
SANCHEZ: We have just learned about Faisal Shahzad that his father -- CNN confirming that his father was a senior officer -- listen to this -- his dad was a senior officer in the Pakistani Air Force. Faisal Shahzad's father was a senior officer in the Pakistani Air Force, and he had come to the United States and had since become a U.S. citizen before trying to kill Americans on Times Square last Saturday night.
Brand new information. We just nailed that down.
Like I said, it's a story that's going to continue to change hour to hour. And as we get more information, we are going to be bringing it to you.
I want to show you something else now. Look over my shoulder. Look what's going on in Nashville, Tennessee. I mean, that's serious.
Over the last couple of days, the folks in Nashville have been undergoing some of the worst flooding that that city has ever seen. I mean, there was a point where there was, like, 151 roads that were closed as a result of this. Streets turned into rivers, stadiums into lakes.
Several people have been killed, 18 across the state already, 10 in Nashville alone. This is a result of the Cumberland River just going over its banks.
I want to bring somebody else in now who is affected by this personally. You're probably going to recognize him. Like I said earlier, my wife was all excited that I was going to interview him today, so let me bring him in.
It's Keith Urban.
Keith, you're a superstar, but you, too, are affected by this situation that's going on in Nashville right now. Take us through your story.
KEITH URBAN, MUSICIAN: Hi, Rick.
Yes, I wish we could talk to each other under better circumstances. But we're -- I'm actually in the studio today recording. We started our album. We were supposed to start recording yesterday, but we couldn't get all the trucks in to get my equipment out of this big storage facility.
And so we thought we would leave it a day and hope the waters would subside. Instead, they just kept going up and up. So, at this stage, it's possible that as much as I haven't lost what everybody else has, that I've probably lost all my equipment, all my road equipment and all my guitars and amps and everything.
SANCHEZ: Everything. All the acoustic stuff, the amplifiers, the instruments. I mean, once that stuff gets wet, I can't imagine -- it gets messed up, right?
URBAN: Yes. There's a storage place here in Nashville called Sound Check that a lot of musicians from Vince Gill and Brad Paisley and myself and Little Big Town, everybody has all their equipment stored there. And, you know, none of us expected that that would flood like it did.
And we don't know to what extent the water's come up yet. We just know that it's not good. But, you know, this pales in comparison to what people have -- people have lost everything -- homes and everything.
SANCHEZ: Oh, I know. I know. You're not trying to say look at me. I mean, you're just saying I, too, have been affected by this. Certainly nothing compared to the 18 people who have lost -- or the 18 families who lost loved ones.
We've heard on this show over the last 24 hours from everything from you to Dolly Parton. It seems like every entertainer who has worked in Nashville, who loves Nashville -- and by the way, most of the music comes from Nashville whether it's country western or not, in many cases. They're all there.
What are you all saying to each other?
URBAN: Well, Nashville is such a great community, and that community spirit has never been more evident than it is right now. I know all the radio stations down here are playing virtually no music. There's all pledge drives happening right now.
URBAN: And I know the Red Cross and the other facilities are maxed out. But there's so many people offering their own support to take people in and clothe them and that sort of thing. So, everybody is doing their little bit. I'm quite sure there is going to be benefit concerts and whatnot to help people as well. We're certainly financially helping, my wife and I are.
SANCHEZ: Yes. By the way, let me get a weather report for you while I'm here. One final question. Has the weather -- has the flooding diminished at all? Have you seep it start to drop by the end of today?
URBAN: I believe since last night, it is starting to go down a little bit. I don't know to what extent.
And, unfortunately, for a lot of people, that just means revealing the disaster as it is. But fortunately, it stopped raining on Sunday night. So since yesterday and today, it's just been watching the river just get higher and higher. And then I think last night it hopefully looked like it might have peaked.
SANCHEZ: Hey, listen, I'm not too far from you. Would you let me know, let us know when you guys decide to do your benefit concert? And I would love to come up there and do whatever I can to help out as well.
URBAN: Absolutely. And just thanking everybody out there watching that's already sent financial contributions in and whatnot, because it's -- I mean, I went through this in Australia in 1974. You know, I was very young, but we had this kind of 100-year floods in my city, and it's just unfathomable. And as someone said this morning, when you see it in other places, like when we saw it in New Orleans and -- you feel for these people, but you don't get a sense of what it's like until it really happens to your own city.
SANCHEZ: Keith Urban. The guy's such a superstar and so good looking. He even looks fantastic on Skype.
My thanks to you, sir. And hello to your wife, as well, superstar in her own right.
Keep us honest. Stay connected to us and let us know what's going on, and we'll do everything we can to you and for the folks there in Nashville.
URBAN: I will. Thank you, brother. Keep us in your prayers, man. Bye-bye.
SANCHEZ: Thank you. Thank you, Keith.
We'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: We promised at the beginning of this newscast that we would deliver to you all the latest information that's coming in on this suspected terrorist. And the latest that we learned -- I don't know if you heard me just before I did my interview with Keith Urban there in Nashville -- is that his father was a senior member of the Pakistani Air Force. I mean, as more information comes in on this guy, he seems to be somewhat enigmatic.
We're going to follow the story for you. In fact, Wolf Blitzer is coming up now. "THE SITUATION ROOM" on tap. And here is Wolf to bring you through this story and all the others that we're following on this day.
I'm Rick Sanchez. I'll see you all tomorrow.