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Governor Orders National Guard to Leave Ferguson; New Video of Second Police Shooting; ISIS Threat Worse than Al Qaeda?; Growing Fears of ISIS Sleeper Cells in America

Aired August 21, 2014 - 17:00   ET


BRIANNAL KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, a SITUATION ROOM special report.

The National Guard pulling out troops -- are ordered to withdraw from Ferguson as a new witness and Michael Brown's parents speak out to CNN about the shooting and its aftermath.


KEILAR: New video of the deadly police shooting a few miles from Ferguson, in which officers killed a man who advanced on them, allegedly waving a knife.

And ISIS sleeper cells -- as we learn more about the brutal murder of an American and the failed raid to free him, there are new concerns about the terror group's ability to strike on U.S. soil.

Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Brianna Keilar. You are in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KEILAR: The parents of slain teen, Michael Brown, speak out to CNN. And a stunning new look at a police officer threatening protesters.

Here are the latest developments.

Missouri's governor orders the National Guard to start withdrawing from Ferguson, saying troops have successfully carried out their mission.

That follows a fence mending visit by Attorney General Eric Holder, who met with Brown's parents. Holder today is vowing a fair and thorough federal investigation and Brown's parents tell CNN's Anderson Cooper that Holder's visit made a difference.

You'll hear that just ahead.



KEILAR: And a new view of a police officer caught on video pointing his weapon at at peaceful protesters. Plus, our other big story, as ISIS steps up its threats after the murder of an American. There are new concerns about possible attacks inside the United States.

All of that ahead.

Our correspondents and guests are standing by with full coverage.

And we begin with CNN national correspondent, Jason Carroll. He's on the ground in Ferguson.

What are you learning -- Jason?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, you look out on the streets, you see few police, even fewer protesters, a big change from what we've seen out here for the past several days.

But, Brianna, one thing that has not changed and remains in this community, and that's how many people here feel about the police.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police going to pull up...

CARROLL (voice-over): New video of a deadly face-off between police and a young African-American man in Missouri, just four miles away from Ferguson. The officers say he had a knife and their lives were in danger.


CARROLL: The video raising questions about the police response and whether deadly force was necessary. The St. Louis police chief defended the officers in an interview with CNN.

He was asked why they didn't use a Taser or stun gun instead.

CHIEF SAM DOTSON, ST. LOUIS POLICE DEPARTMENT: You've got an individual armed with a knife who's moving toward you, not listening to any verbal commands. Continues, says, "Shoot me now, kill me now."

Tasers aren't 100 percent. If that Taser misses, that subject continues on and hurts an officer.

CARROLL: Police tactics under enormous scrutiny after the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer, Darren Wilson.

As a grand jury begins sorting through conflicting accounts, a new witness has come forward, casting doubt on claims by Wilson's supporters that Brown rushed at the officer and struggled to get his gun.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Did you see him running toward the officer in any way? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, not after when he was running away, no, not at all.

DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL BROWN'S FAMILY: On his testimony alone this officer should be arrested. I mean it was very clear what he saw, that this kid was trying to give up, yet this officer continued to shoot him.

CARROLL: On the streets of Ferguson overnight, a show of support for Officer Wilson. But some of the demonstrators were whisked away by police after they were shouted down by Brown's supporters.


CARROLL: In all, it was a calmer night in Ferguson, with only a handful of arrests just hours after a visit by Attorney General Eric Holder. He gave reassurance to the community and to Michael Brown's parents.

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: Our investigation will be fair, it will be thorough and it will be independent.

LESLEY MCSPADDEN, MOTHER OF MICHAEL BROWN: Just having the words come directly from his mouth, face-to-face, he made me feel like one day I will -- and I'm not saying today or yesterday -- but one day they'll regain my trust.


CARROLL: So again, Brianna, overall fewer arrests last night. The true test is going to be how things turn out tonight, how things turn out again this weekend -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Jason Carroll in Ferguson, thank you.

And Missouri's governor is ordering the National Guard to start pulling out of Ferguson, saying that its mission has been accomplished.

But can residents there afford to breathe a sigh of relief?

Let's turn now to CNN's Jake Tapper. He's also in Ferguson -- do you get the sense, Jake, if this is the right time or is this too soon?

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST, "THE LEAD": It's very difficult to ascertain. I was on the ground last Thursday, which was a nonviolent night. That was the night that Captain Ron Johnson of the Highway Patrol took over. And it was a boisterous night, but it was not a violent night.

Then, of course, that was followed by Friday, Saturday, Sunday, looting and violence. It's true that the couple of nights here with the National Guard on the ground have been relatively peaceful, especially last night.

I don't know what difference the National Guard makes in that. What seems to me to have been most effective is the police to have been spread out throughout the area of Ferguson and not consolidated in one area in a manner that many protesters complained seemed threatening in their big consolidated show of force.

So I don't know what role the National Guard per se played in those decisions, so it's difficult to make that judgment.

But I certainly hope that the peacefulness continues, as it has for two nights in a row now.

KEILAR: Can you gauge, Jake, if there's a change in the mood on the ground, if maybe protesters feel like because they had the attorney general there, they feel like they're being heard?

TAPPER: Well, it's certainly true that the Brown family, their legal representatives, local clergy, some individuals with whom I spoke at the Canfield Green Apartments, where Michael Brown was shot, they do feel reassured that the federal government, that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are keeping an eye on what's going on, because they have a lot of distrust for local authorities, the local prosecutor, even state authorities.

But, you know, a lot of the problems with these protests have been by individuals not necessarily out because they care about Michael Brown. A lot of them have been individuals who have been trying to provoke police for their own reasons. Obviously, there's been a professionally criminal element when it comes to some of the looting we've seen. I don't know that they care Attorney General Eric Holder one way or the other -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes, even if the Brown family does, maybe they do not.

All right, Jake Tapper in Ferguson, thank you so much.

We want to talk now, after this night of relative calm, we want to talk about what is next for the troubled city.

Let's get now to NAACP board member John Gaskin, joining us from Ferguson.

One of the things that is being called for, many people there in the area, John, they think that the local DA should not be in charge of this case.

The NAACP is calling for a special prosecutor. There is a petition that has been signed, 70,000 signatures on it, calling for the governor to replace Bob McCulloch, the DA there, with a different prosecutor.

It hasn't happened.

Why do you think that is and what's your expectation?

JOHN GASKIN, NAACP BOARD MEMBER: Well, what we don't want to happen is for people to play politics with someone that has unfortunately been killed. We have put some pressure on the governor. We've reached out. And like many other people, we haven't gotten a response.

During the state of an emergency, the governor has the authority to appoint a special prosecuting attorney.

Bob McCulloch, he's already stated that he would be more than willing to cooperate if the governor asked for that. And several people here on the ground in his office have also said they would be willing to cooperate.

For him not to use that kind of power and simply satisfy many people that have called for it and put this community at ease and put many people that are concerned about this investigation at ease, I think it would be the right decision for him not to do it. Certainly, the voters certainly need to re-evaluate his leadership.

KEILAR: But if he decides to stay put, as it appears he is, then what's next for you?

GASKIN: Well, what's next here for us is to make sure that there is a transparent and expeditious investigation, to continue to keep putting pressure on the Justice Department to stay on this job. As I mentioned yesterday on your show, Eric Holder's conversation was very encouraging. And at the NAACP, we are 100 percent that Eric Holder is on the job.

But you asked what's next?

On Saturday, at 1:00, at the Buzz Westfall Shopping Center, right near that neighborhood, the NAACP youth are leading a march. We've got youth coming in from across the country that are going to be here to make a stand, that we're tired of police brutality, and we're tired of the way that law enforcement is treating African-American men on the streets of our neighborhoods.

KEILAR: John, police are saying that there was a struggle between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson.

If that is the case, does that weaken the case against the officer?

GASKIN: I don't think so. For someone to have been shot nine times, let's not lose sight of that. There are several things that an officer, at least what we've been told, can do from their training to restrain a person that they are fearful of.

KEILAR: But what would u...

GASKIN: But to shoot someone...

KEILAR: -- what -- what...

GASKIN: -- nine times...

KEILAR: -- what would you expect -- what would you expect the officer to do?

GASKIN: He could have easily have shot the young man in his leg, in his arm.

But to shoot someone nine times?

You know, that's -- that brings many questions. And that's why America is outraged over this.

KEILAR: Can I -- you said nine.

The autopsy says six, right?

Is that right?

GASKIN: Excuse me. Six times. I apologize.

KEILAR: OK. I just wanted to be careful of that.

And then real quick before I let you go, there's some relative calm, we saw last night.

Do you think the attorney general's visit made a difference or do you think that a lot of protesters just decided they would keep their activities to the day and that really didn't give kind of the criminal elements a chance to come to the gatherings in the evening?

GASKIN: I think there's a combination of both, because that call has been put out by Captain Johnson and local authorities here to protest during the day.

But I think the other thing here, as you all have mentioned during your reporting, is that a lot of people here on the ground are very confident in Eric Holder. A lot of people were very welcoming of his message and what he had to say. And we're very confident that he's going to do his job and that he's going to make sure that no stone doesn't go unturned.

The other thing that we're looking at here is he's focused in on this. And it's a top priority for the Justice Department.

KEILAR: Yes. When you -- I want to ask you before I let you go -- this new video that we have seen -- and we actually have new video of this. It's a police officer from the St. Ann Police Department who confronted protesters. I mean there was a lot of cursing, but he pointed his semi-automatic weapon at them and really -- didn't really end his sort of provocative behavior until another officer kind of got him under control.

You're looking at that video. Some people have said no, this is a one off thing.

But do you think that this is, I guess, evidence of a bigger issue, of a cultural issue with police in the area?

GASKIN: Absolutely. As I've said on your show so many times, the Ferguson Police Department is not the only municipal police department within St. Louis County that has an issue in terms of police brutality and how they're dealing with people on the ground here. That's no surprise to me. I heard a little bit of that and saw a little bit of that, not quite that severe, when I was on the ground just a few nights ago. I was spoken to in an irrational way when I was there by an officer.

So I'm not surprised by that video at all.

KEILAR: All right, John, Gaskin with the NAACP, thanks so much for being with us.

We appreciate it.

GASKIN: Thank you.

KEILAR: Next, Michael Brown's parents speak out to CNN. You'll be hearing what they have to say.

And I'll also talk with a lawyer for the Brown family.

Plus, stunning new video of a fatal police shooting very close to Ferguson. We will break it down with CNN law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes.







KEILAR: We're following the breaking news in Ferguson, Missouri, where newly released video of a second police shooting is stirring anger and mistrust. Watch as a 23-year-old African-American man who had allegedly just shoplifted from a convenience store paces on sidewalk. Apparently, he is holding a knife. St. Louis police arriving there at the scene, and within 20 seconds, they open fire and kill him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the knife.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got their guns out. How can they just kill this man?


KEILAR: Now CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes is here to walk us through it all. We paused the video, obviously. We are not going to show the conclusion of the video. But there are these about 20 seconds before he dies. Or before he is shot fatally.

And I want to start off, Tom, as you're looking at this, this is the first frame of the police car pulling up, and this is the man seeing the police for the first time. From your perspective, tell us how this plays out.

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: OK. First of all, he's waiting for the police, clearly. He has stolen these two soda cans, set them on the sidewalk. He's pacing. "I can't take this anymore," he's shouting. And he's waiting for the response. And then here it comes.

Police car moves up onto the sidewalk here a little bit off the street. He backs off from the position here back to this spot. So he backs up. He's assessing what's going on. His right hand is in the pocket of his hoodie. And after that, now you see he's going forward.

From this point back here on, he never retreats. He never drops the knife. You can't see, when the hand came out of the pocket, there's a knife in that hand that the officers see but you -- we can't see from our angle.

KEILAR: Can't see in the video.

FUENTES: He goes forward. He jumps up on the retaining wall, jumps over the wall. He's flanking to the left of the officers. They're still looking as him.

Now from here, he's a pretty long distance from the first officer. When he makes the turn, he begins walking toward them and never stops. As he gets closer and closer, they finally open fire. And when he finally, which we're not going to see, but when he's finally down on the sidewalk shot, he is actually at about where this officer's feet are. His body straddles that line in the sidewalk. So this officer...

KEILAR: He's very close.

FUENTES; This officer has backed up. And when his body is on the ground, I would estimate knowing the measurements now of this...

KEILAR: Draw -- you can actually draw where you think -- where the body was.

FUENTES: OK. The body is from here to here.

KEILAR: OK. And the distance from the officer's feet gets to be about here. The distance from here to here, I believe, is 4 1/2 feet.

FUENTES: So when he -- when he's down here, he's less than half of that. He's approximately two feet from the foot of the officer, and he's never -- his forward motion, even when he's shot is forward of them.

KEILAR: He falls forward.

FUENTES: He falls forward.

KEILAR: And that -- so the question is, was the level of force appropriate?

FUENTES: I believe so. Police officers are taught that when a person with a knife gets to about 21 feet, which is probably about this distance here, any closer you're in mortal danger, because if that person just lunges full speed, you're barely going to have enough time to stop him. You know, much has been made of the number of shots of these officers.

I'd like to add, when you're a police officer, and you're in that situation and you're focused on the subject, you don't hear anything else that's going on.

KEILAR: But can I challenge you on that just a little bit? Because obviously, he is moving towards them. But I watched the unedited video. And he does fall forward. There is this continued motion forward, as you say. But by my count, there are at least four shots that were fired, and it's hard to tell from exactly which officer, both.


KEILAR: Four shots fired after he is well on -- either on the ground or well on the way.

FUENTES: What you also see in that video is that he's not dead. He's still moving around.

KEILAR: His arms are moving.

FUENTES: He still has the ability to stick his hands in one of the pockets, the other pocket or in his waistband, and come up with a gun or another knife or something else.

So the mere fact that he's shot, while he's laying here, he's moving around. And they're still yelling at him to stop, you know, basically to give up. And they're trying to handcuff him, because those hands pose a danger if they pull some other weapon out.

Now what I was trying to say is each of these officers separately shooting, you wouldn't know that your partner is shooting right next to you. That would be zoned out. You would just be concentrating on your shots and not realize. If you had five officers shooting six shots each, you'd have 30 bullets in him. And they wouldn't be aware that the other five shots are going on simultaneously. That would be very difficult for any one officer to know under those terms.

KEILAR: They're acting as if they are in this alone. Is that what you're saying? Is it...

FUENTES: Their mind would be so focused at that moment, that as long as he's coming forward and he never stops coming forward, as long as he's moving even on the ground, he's still a threat to the individual -- the two officers who are doing the shooting. KEILAR: Some -- some have said why not use pepper spray or a Taser,

some form of non -- some nonlethal weapon. What do you say to that?

FUENTES: Well, the amount of time the police officers have to react to this and get out, they don't have, you know, the array of equipment and can pull it out and look. It's not really, you know, 100 percent reliable. It's difficult to aim a Taser. You shoot the barbs. Maybe you miss. Maybe you hit him.

And again, within 21 feet, a subject with a knife, what we ought to be doing out here is setting out a floor chart and reenact it. And I'll show you...

KEILAR: Up close.

FUENTES: ... with a knife how quickly I can plunge that knife into you and how quickly you better be shooting, center mass, if you're a police officer and not be thinking about "I could use a Taser. I could use a rope. I could use -- you know, an animal catcher." You have very little time.

Now, the whole encounter you said is about 20 seconds. From this point when he starts going towards those officers and from the time they see that knife, it's a shorter time span.

KEILAR: I want to ask you, because this makes me think of the Michael Brown shooting and just -- not that you can compare them in a way, but the fact that the Michael Brown shooting, there is no video. There are so many different accounts. But even here in this instance, there is video. We can see what happens. And yet, there still is no convergence of opinion on whether the officers acted correctly.

So what does that say about whether there ever will be when it comes to the killing of Michael Brown?

FUENTES: Well, in terms of Michael Brown, there will never be a consensus. I mean, even when the police release the still shots of Michael Brown in the convenience store committing the violent act against the store clerk, immediately individuals interviewed on the sidewalk said the police Photoshopped it.

So no matter what is shown, no matter what evidence, there will be a group of people who never believe it. No matter what happened. And that will happen in a situation like this. There will be people that doubt it.

You know, and I could only say, having been a uniformed police officer, having been out there, having made felony arrests and people with weapons like that...


FUENTES: ... it's a whole different thing when you have that person coming at you with a knife, and it's a very dangerous situation.

KEILAR: Thank you so much for your input. It really helps to understand what happened here. Tom Fuentes.

Now, coming up, Michael Brown's parents speak out to CNN. And you will hear what they have to say.

And could ISIS have sleeper cells in the U.S.? As we learn more about the brutal murder of an American, there are new concerns about the terror group's ability to strike in this country.



KEILAR: We'll bring you the latest from Ferguson, Missouri, in just a moment. But first this breaking news. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the threat from ISIS is now greater than al Qaeda.

The new warning comes just days after ISIS beheaded an American in a horrific video.

CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr was in the room with Hagel as well as General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Barbara, tell us about this.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brianna. Well, both men were asked about what is exactly the threat that ISIS poses to us? What is the threat they pose to Americans Thousands of miles away from Iraq or Syria where there are strongholds currently are?

Alarming words from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. Have a listen to what he had to say.


CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: This is beyond anything that we've seen. So we must prepare for everything. And the only way you do that is you take a cold steely hard look at it and get ready.


STARR: And get ready. Get ready for what? You know, he was asked, could they stage a 9/11 type attack. The concern that U.S. officials have, of course, is that Americans who have gone to Syria or Iraq to fight with ISIS have passports they can possibly get back into this country. We know U.S. law enforcement already keeping their eye on several Americans. There have been some arrests that they believe have ISIS affiliations or ISIS type loyalties.

The question, of course, is could they really carry off this type of attack. Right now, the question perhaps for the Pentagon more centrally is what are they going to do about ISIS in Iraq and Syria before they grab more territory, more power across the Middle East. U.S. airstrikes in Iraq certainly going to continue.

The door remains open to the possibility of presenting an option to President Obama for expanded airstrikes inside Syria. Officials say it's just an idea but now, of course, we have had that failed hostage rescue raid inside Syria. So now that door is open to U.S. military action inside Syria if it came to that.

And let me just tell you, we asked both men, both leaders why they decided that it was OK to publicize that very classified hostage rescue raid. This is not the kind of thing that either of them ever talks about. They say the White House decided to do it and they approved to the idea because the news media -- several news media outlets were about to write stories about it. So they decided to go ahead and make that very secret mission public -- Brianna.

KEILAR: And Barbara, I want to keep you up with us here as I bring in someone with some firsthand experience of really what it takes to plan and carry out a mission like that that we saw in the end. This is -- pardon me, former Navy SEAL John McGuire.

And John, in the end, this was not successful but in a way I know that it was successful because the Special Forces were able to get out without their being really any casualties aside from I think one injury. Right?

JOHN MCGUIRE, FORMER NAVY SEAL: That's correct. Yes, it's hard for many Americans to understand. So maybe oversimplify am I to compare it to football. You know, we make a play and sometimes that doesn't work. So we get a second down. So I think it is a win that everybody came back and everybody is OK.

KEILAR: So explain what goes into a rescue operation involving ISIS. This is a brutal group. We have seen that play out horrifically just yesterday. Explain how long it takes really to kind of plan this and carry this out.

MCGUIRE: Well, if there are people still on earth that think evil doesn't exist. ISIS is doing a good job proving them wrong. They definitely, definitely exist and the only thing for evil to prevail is for good men to -- sit around and do nothing. But it takes a whole lot. And, you know, it's men and women in the military and in other services all over the world coming together, teamwork, leadership, communication, everyone connected.

KEILAR: And Barbara, I know you must have many questions for our guest John.

STARR: Yes, I wanted to jump in here and ask about the danger involved in a mission like this. Look, we know that Navy SEALs, Army Delta Force, Air Force people very well trained and very capable and have extraordinary bravery walking into these missions. But, you know, let's get down to what it's really all about. These guys certainly walked right into it, not entirely sure what they were going to face and got into a firefight and from what we're hearing it was a pretty nasty one.

The kind of training that they -- you get to do this sort of thing, you're prepared for everything. But really reality, are you really are ever prepared for a full-on firefight? MCGUIRE: Well, I think that's why we're so stringent on the training.

I think about our Army brothers, our Air Force brothers and everyone else that serves in our military. You know, we realize some things are more important than fear. And I tell you what, if we don't have the men and women to step up and serve like we've had in our country's history, we're going to be in trouble.

It's going to take men and women who can be step up, realize some things are more important than fear to get rid of this evil. Otherwise this evil is going to continue to grow.


STARR: One of the things I -- I'm sorry, Brianna.

KEILAR: No, no, please, Barbara. Go ahead.

STARR: I wanted to ask, you know, one of the things we're hearing is four U.S. commandoes, ISIS fighters are something quite different. In other words, they are so ideologically driven. They know they may be overmatched by the U.S. military but they don't actually care. They don't scatter. They don't make a run for it. They stand and fight and are quite willing to die for what they allege to believe in. This becomes a bit of a different enemy for you to fight. You can't scare them off apparently.

MCGUIRE: Well, that's the reason our training is so important. And it's not for everyone. But the cool thing is or the good thing is that our teams seemed trained. They're the best in the world. So it is certainly dangerous. But that's the risk you've got to take to protect Americans and our interests.

KEILAR: When you're looking at operating inside of Syria, does that pose unique risks compared to other places where operations are being carried out in the region?

MCGUIRE: Well, to be honest, I think I speak for anyone who serves in our military. I see no positive reason why Americans know we were in Syria. You know, I think every American, I think everyone on earth wants to know what we do and exactly how we do it, especially our enemy. And I think that if we let them know those things, it puts people on harm's way. So --

KEILAR: Does it upset you it was disclosed?

MCGUIRE: I think it does. It does. It upsets me. Number one, we just need to know that we have the best people out there looking for Americans. Whether you make a little bit of money or make millions, every American is important. We've proven that with Osama bin Laden. And we're going to protect Americans as best we can. Americans just need to know that we have amazing men and women who are willing to risk their lives for freedom.

And we do not need to know that we went to Syria or how we did it or what we did because I think it puts people's lives in harm's way. KEILAR: You really do. You think that it could lead to someone

dying. A special -- a member of the Special Forces dying because of -- certainly ISIS knew about this but you think other enemies knowing this, that it puts their lives at risk?

MCGUIRE: I think so. It's almost like -- you know, oversimplified again. In a basketball game or a football game you do not want the opponent having your playbook. Because they can counter them so the less they know the better.

KEILAR: That they'll be -- is it that they'll be ready, they'll be ready to respond?

MCGUIRE: That's right. I mean, one of the --


KEILAR: You operate on surprise?

MCGUIRE: Well, the military, in general, all warfare is based on deception, whether it be -- even in sports. I keep going back to sports to make it simple for all Americans. Like football and basketball and everything, if people know what you're going to do, they can plan for it.

KEILAR: All right, John McGuire, great insight. Thank you so much.

Barbara, thanks for joining us, as well.

Now we have got much more breaking news coverage on threat from ISIS. Could this notorious terror group be planting sleeper cells in the U.S.?

And we're going back to Ferguson for the latest developments as police begin to pull back on the streets and the National Guard withdraws.


KEILAR: We'll have more coverage from Ferguson in just minutes. But first our breaking news. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is warning that the threat from ISIS is, quote, "beyond anything we've seen."

Amid the new warnings, there's also a growing fear that ISIS may be infiltrating the U.S. and Western Europe using Western passports.

CNN's Brian Todd has been investigating that side of the story for us.

This is downright scary -- Brian.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is. Brianna, tonight the threat information is chilling from U.S. intelligence officials. They are telling us they have indications that ISIS has cells in Europe that could attack U.S. interests. Analysts say it's possible the group could develop cells inside the U.S. One analyst says they already have. It's in line with the threat made by that one ISIS militant who killed James Foley. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): Moments before beheading James Foley, his executioner, an ISIS terrorist warns of more attacks on Americans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their rights of living in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people.

TODD: Tonight, new indications that ISIS could harm more Americans and others in the West. A U.S. intelligence official tells CNN they have indications of ISIS cells in Europe which could attack U.S. embassies and other American interests. The official says it's not clear if those terrorists were ordered by ISIS or if they went on their own.

An ISIS fighter threatened the West telling Reuters, quote, "We have also penetrated them with those who look like them."

Does ISIS have cells in America? Former CIA officer Bob Baer believes they do.

ROBERT BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I have been told with no uncertainty there are ISIS sleeper cells in this country.

TODD: But two U.S. officials tell CNN they have no indications of ISIS cells inside America right now. Still they are very concerned that ISIS fighters with Western passports could travel to the U.S. and launch attacks. Officials believe a handful of Americans have fought with ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and CNN's Peter Bergen says others have tried to help the group.

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Here, you've got three Americans who've been indicted for joining ISIS within the last year including, by the way, a woman which is quite unusual. Luckily they were arrested before they could leave the country. But clearly ISIS is sort of -- if you're interested in this ideology, that's the most exciting thing to go and join right now.

TODD: Tracking Americans in ISIS is getting more difficult especially on the ground in Syria and Iraq. A senior U.S. intelligence official tells us the footprint for American human intelligence in that area is not extensive.

Analysts say the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has extra motivation to send his fighters to the U.S.

HARAS RAFIQ, QUILLIAM FOUNDATION: Baghdadi who is the head of ISIS is a narcissistic psychopath. He wants to be bigger than Osama bin Laden. And one of the ways he will measure that is how effective and how big the terrorist activities he can carry out in the West are compared to what bin Laden was able to do.


TODD: Analysts say al-Baghdadi is also taking a page from bin Laden's propaganda book. They say he gets shock value. He knows how chilling it is for Westerners to hear someone with a Western accent speaking to the camera and carrying out a horrifying barbaric act like the killing of James Foley.

Brianna, that video was right out of Osama bin Laden's playbook.

KEILAR: It was horrible. The big concern -- there's this concern about a number of ISIS fighters who have American passports. But isn't the bigger concern the number of ISIS fighters who have European passports?

TODD: Absolutely it is. I mean, we're told a handful of Americans are in ISIS right now. The number of Europeans dwarfs them. Hundreds of British, French, German citizens are in ISIS now. Intelligence officials and analysts now coming together with this information. There are more than 400 British citizens alone in ISIS now. That sends a chill through everybody in Europe right now. And now that we know that they have cells, you know, this is -- this is something that is now ratcheted up.

KEILAR: I want to have a bigger conversation about this, and stay with us, Brian, as we bring in again former Navy SEAL John McGuire as well as CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd, formerly of the CIA and the FBI.

To you, Phil. How realistic is this that ISIS has sleeper cells in the U.S.? We heard from Governor Rick Perry in Texas that, you know, he actually said it's a real possibility -- that's a quote -- that ISIS has crossed into the U.S. over the southern border.

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I think we -- after 13, 14 years of war, and my 25 years of following these guy, we have to take a deep breath. And the reason is this. I doubt there's a formal cell here. Maybe. I don't know. What I witnessed in years of watching these guys is clusters of youth who were not formally organized who might watch a beheading video who might be inspiring each other and who would come together over the course of time, maybe over going to paintball, for example, and say hey, we've seen what al-Baghdadi did. We're inspired by it. Maybe we should build a backpack bomb.

I think it's likely there are kids like that here in formal clusters. Formal cells like the kind you see in Hollywood, I'd be less convinced to that.

KEILAR: More some that would be inspired by it.

OK. A question to you, John. As the Navy -- the perspective of a Navy SEAL, do you see and do your fellow SEALs and former SEALs see ISIS as worse than other enemies that you've dealt with? Is there something that just makes these bad guys the badder guys?

MCGUIRE: Well, I think they're not trained to the level that we are but they're certainly a threat. And at -- in following the news, I think at one point they said they were 5,000 strong, then 10,000, I think I heard somewhere 80,000 strong. So I would take them seriously either way. KEILAR: All right.

TODD: And John, how do you prepare, when you're going into a raid against a group like ISIS, how do you guys prepare for it? What are you telling each other about how they're preparing? I mean, that was a long firefight. Two hours on the ground in Syria. How do you guys go in and what mentality do you have when you're going right up against those guys and you know what they're about?

MCGUIRE: Yes, we can't talk so much about the mission obviously or what we did. But I'll tell you, it's a team, it's a brotherhood. And I've got -- I care more about the guy next to me, to my right, and -- you know, letting them down than my own life. And I think that's the way they think. And because we think that way, we get through some crazy situations.

TODD: And you know, the ISIS guys think that way, too. They don't really have much regard for their own lives, right, in these situations?

MCGUIRE: And that's one of the reasons why it's very important that we have the best people and the best training and the best equipment. Worst thing in the world is to hear about our men and women not being supplied properly.

KEILAR: All right. John McGuire, thank you so much. Phil, really appreciate you being with us as well.

Now coming up, Michael Brown's parents speak out to CNN. And you will hear what they have to say. Also talk with a lawyer for the Brown family.

And later an officer points his semi-automatic rifle in the face of protesters. We have new details on his suspension.


KEILAR: Our breaking news this hour, the parents of Michael Brown are speaking out to CNN, telling Anderson Cooper that Attorney General Eric Holder's visit was helpful.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "AC360": Did it make a difference that he came here, that he looked you in the eye, that he met with you privately?



COOPER: In what way?

MCSPADDEN: Because you can read a person. And when you're looking at them and they're looking at you in your eyes, I think it puts some trust back there that you lost. And he did. And surely it will be a fair and thorough investigation.

COOPER: Do you believe -- do you have confidence in the investigations? Because there's the -- you know, there's the state investigation, county, the federal investigation. Do you have confidence that --

MCSPADDEN: Up until yesterday I didn't.

COOPER: You didn't?

MCSPADDEN: But just hearing the words come directly from his mouth face to face, he made me feel like one day I will and I'm not saying today or yesterday, but one day I -- they'll regain my trust.


KEILAR: You can see Anderson Cooper's full interview with Michael Brown's parents tonight on "AC 360." That's tonight at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

And coming up, we are going back to Ferguson live.


KEILAR: Happening now, a SITUATION ROOM special report. Deadly fire, new video raises more questions about police tactics in Missouri. Will this shooting cause an outcry like we've seen in Ferguson?

Also this hour, police pull back after nearly two weeks of tension and violence in Ferguson, the governor giving new marching orders to the National Guard.