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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Ravens Coach: Ray Rice Video "Changed Things"; New Witness in Brown Shooting; Sotloff Family Says White House Didn't Do Enough; Sotloff Family Believes He was Sold at Syrian Border; At Least 8 Extremists Visited Cambridge Mosque; Obama Vows Fight Against ISIS; Royal Baby No. 2 On The Way
Aired September 8, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. Thanks for joining us for the special extended edition of 360.
Tonight, a fallout from shocking images just now emerging of NFL's star Ray Rice beating his fiancee senseless, punching her so she's unconscious. There's no other way to put it, it is exactly as that and the original images were shocking enough. Rice, a top running back dragging the unconscious body of his then fiancee from an elevator in Atlantic City casino.
The second blow to a lot of people who care deeply about domestic violence or frankly anyone with a pair of eyes and a sense of decency. No jail time and just a two-game suspension from the league. Then came to leak on the website TMZ of the prelude to what you just saw. We can now see the entire scene inside the elevator. The moment that Ray Rice battered the woman who'd later become his wife.
Tonight, Rice's suspension is indefinite from the NFL. His employment with the Ravens has been terminated.
Late this evening though, Raven's Head Coach John Harbaugh spoke to reporters about the newly public images
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HARBAUGH, BALTIMORE RAVEN COACH: It's something we saw for the first time today in all of us and it changed things of course, you know, it made things a little bit different.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now John, did he mislead you -- were you misled in anyway because you stood up here and defended the guy and now you see the video and make this decision.
HARBAUGH: You know, I don't want to get involved there. I don't think of it that way, you know. Everything I said in terms of what I believe. I stand by it. I believe that still and I'll always believe those things. I will always stand in support of them as a couple and that's not going to change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: As for why the team only saw those images today. Coach Harbaugh had no answers and in fact, that's just one question.
The complete discussion shortly, first, Rachel Nichols brings us to in a minute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN ANCHOR: The controversy had stretched for months but in the end, the resolution came quickly.
First, this afternoon, Ray Rice was cut from the Baltimore Ravens then just minutes later, suspended indefinitely by the NFL, the catalyst for this sudden change, this video acquired by TMZ showing Rice punching his then fiancee, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City casino elevator then dragging her limb body halfway out the door, dropping her on her face with her skirt hiked-up.
Rice had already been disciplined by the NFL for this incident in July, receiving just a two-game suspension. At the time, he said he was sorry for what he'd done.
RAY RICE, BALTIMORE RAVEN'S PLAYER: My action is inexcusable and, you know, it's something I have to live for the rest -- I have to live with the rest of my life.
NICHOLS: Still, the length penalty sparked heated debate. The NFL was eventually forced to create a more stringent domestic violence policy with Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledging quote, "I didn't get it right." Simply put, "We have to do better." But it wasn't until this morning when the public was able to see the incident unfold in real time that the debate transformed to outrage even from fellow NFL players.
Denver Broncos' Co-Captain Terrance Knighton tweeted, "That man should be thrown out of the NFL and thrown into jail. Shame on those deciding his punishment." And Former Veteran Quarterback Sage Rosenfels, "I wonder how many games the suspension would've been if that was Roger Goodell's daughter lying there?"
The NFL quickly released a statement noting quote, "That video was not made available to us and no one in our office had seen it until today." But that only sparked more questions. If TMZ had obtained the video, why hadn't the NFL? What other flows had there been in the league's investigation?
Finally, just after 2:00 p.m., the double-barreled discipline to Rice came down. But with other players currently active in the NFL despite having been arrested on domestic violence charges, Hall Of Famers Steve Young is one of the many still wondering, how much further the NFL has to go?
STEVE YOUNG, PROF. FOOTBALL PLAYER: Fundamentally, if the league is going to have a no tolerance policy for domestic abuse, we got to back it up. We can't be backed into it. It was a video. Any company in this country, any big company, if that happens they send you home. They might pay you but you don't play, you don't come to work until we figure this out. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: We got a statement from the White House Spokesman Josh Earnest who spoke with the president this evening. The statement says -- president of United States, "The president is the father of two daughters. And like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society," "Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that's true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye or far too often behind closed doors. Stopping domestic violence is something that's bigger than football and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it."
Rachel Nichols is with us now. Is this matter resolved? I mean, the NFL has suspended him indefinitely but yet he's not banned for life or anything. It's very well he could play again and there maybe more to come out tomorrow.
NICHOLS: Yeah, absolutely.
Look, today was about the shock of this video. Will Ray Rice remain in the NFL? Will he get cut? But going forward, you're going to see a lot more questions about why the NFL didn't take this information and this video into account sooner?
NICHOLS: I'm one of the many people wondering why the NFL with a team of investigators couldn't do what TMZ managed. And by the way, TMZ has already started dropping hints that tomorrow, they're going to have yet another report with some indications that the NFL may have known more than its saying today. So wait for that. It's just the beginning.
COOPER: Right. Because now the coach has come out and said, "Nobody around here saw this...
COOPER: ... video tape." and the NFL is saying, "We didn't see this video tape," but if it turns out people in the NFL...
NICHOLS: Somebody did...
COOPER: ... did see the video tape then they're caught not telling the truth.
NICHOLS: Exactly. Now you have a bigger problem.
COOPER: Rachel, thank you.
I want to bring in Former Ray Rice teammate and all-time leading Raven Receiver Derrick Mason, also we also had today is Christine Brennan, CNN Legal Analyst Sunny Hostin and Mark Geragos.
Derrick, you spoke to Ray Rice, your former teammate after the incident back in February. I know you say you found him reflective and remorseful but you also thought he needed more than a two-game punishment. What's your reaction to the NFL actions today?
DERRICK MASON, FORMER RAVENS PLAYER: I think what happened today, what the NFL chose to do was warranted. Ray and I right after it happened, he and I kind of went back and forth via text message and, you know, like I said before, he seem remorseful and, you know, I believe him, I didn't have a lot of choice but to. But seeing what I saw today, it was very disturbing and angered me to know what actually happened inside that elevator.
COOPER: Did it change the way you thought about this incident? Because I mean, previously, video, you know, there was video of him dragging his unconscious wife out of the elevator, dropping her face first on the ground. You're saying, seeing the video inside the elevator, it changed even your perception of the incident?
MASON: It didn't change my perception as far as he should've been suspended for more games but if you don't know exactly what happened then you can speculate but to actually see it like I said, it angered me. I'm a father of a beautiful daughter, a 15 year old daughter, I have two sisters and to see something like that, like I said it angers you and you wonder why the NFL didn't do something a little bit more harsh at the beginning.
COOPE: Christine, you wrote that the NFL needed to act based on this latest video. Why based on this video though? Why not the earlier video showing him dragging his fiancee out of the elevator? Was that not enough?
CHRISTINE BRENNAN, AMERICAN SPORT COLUMNIST: No. They certainly should have, Anderson, they should have done it then but because we're here now that of course they had to act today and I think the point I was trying to make is that if we had any doubt about the power of seeing it or hearing it, we should have no more doubts. Donald Sterling, of course hearing the audio four months ago with him and now of course seeing this and -- but to your point and what your conversation with Derrick is what did people think domestic violence looked like?
So I'm kind of shocked that there is that shocked today because that's of course exactly what it looks like. I guess this could be a watershed moment, Anderson, if in fact the NFL moves forward now with other abusers. But yes, the only reason I wrote that it was good that they did it...
COOPER: Got it.
BRENNAN: ... is because they were at this point.
COOPER: Sunny, I mean, it brings up the point of at which Christine, you know, intimated which is all those women who don't cameras rolling when they're being beaten by their husbands or fiancees or boyfriends or whomever, you know, do people take it as seriously as they should? And I was stunned in our last hour Sunny, you told me that in New Jersey where this actually happened, you can't get a divergent program or you don't have to go to jail but you got a diversion program from prosecutors if you are convicted of animal cruelty but he was able to get a diversion program from beating up his wife.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: That's right and it just goes to show you, Anderson, where we are today in our treatment of domestic violence. We just don't understand it. It doesn't seem that we care enough about it and it's remarkable to me that now that we've seen this video all of the sudden there's this outrage. I was outraged from the very beginning because having prosecuted these cases I know what they look like. I know what domestic violence looks likes. And now I suppose the world knows if this is a window into what women go through each in everyday across our country. And I think what is really shameful that the narrative now has changed because remember, first, it was she somehow provoke this attack on herself. She hit him first and that was seen as a mitigating circumstance for so many people.
COOPER: In fact, the team -- Sunny, the team itself tweeted out early on that she's apologetic for her role in this.
HOSTIN: That's right and, you know, I'm here to say that again, domestic violence happens each and everyday around our country. There are people that you're going to sitting next to at work, on the train, on the bus that are going through this privately and the suggestion somehow that women are at fault, the blame, the victim thing just really has to end.
COOPER: Mark, do you have any doubt that -- I mean, he didn't get prosecuted for this that you got him to this diversion program and if he wasn't the famous football player that he is, would he have been treated so leniently?
MARK GERAGOS, AMERICAN CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER: Well, I don't think -- you have to remember. If I understand correctly, didn't they get married after this incident?
GERAGOS: Aren't they back together?
COOPER: Right. And then she wouldn't come forward and file charges.
GERAGOS: Right. And so, what do you expect somebody to do? What's the prosecutor suppose to do?
GERAGOS: The hardest part of this -- well, hold on Sunny, settle down for a sec...
HOSTIN: There's a video, Mark...
GERAGOS: The hardest part of these cases from a -- Well, there's a video now. You know, did the prosecutor know there was a video?
HOSTIN: Of course they had that. COOPER: But there was a video before of him dragging an unconscious woman out of the...
HOSTIN: And what prosecutors, you know...
COOPER: Let Mark finish.
GERAGOS: And she was -- I'd like to just finish it if you could because if you are a prosecutor and you're trying to put this case together and you've got a woman who has changed her story or is giving you a story, you don't have access to the video inside of the elevator. You've got to make a real time decision as to how you're going to proceed in this case. And I will tell you having tried hundreds of these cases or handled hundreds of these cases or handled hundreds the recanting spouse happens in maybe 60 to 75 percent of these cases where the spouse comes back and says, "I don't want a prosecute. I provoked it blah, blah, blah." which by the way it's part of the battered woman syndrome as well...
COOPER: So let me ask you Sunny. You were a prosecutor, isn't that a big problem?
GERAGOS: There's a lot more...
HOSTIN: It is a big problem. However Mark, you know, that in the case like this where you have a video documenting the attack this is an easy case for prosecutor. I can't begin to tell you how many of these cases I did try where...
GERAGOS: Sunny, don't confuse people.
HOSTIN: ... there was a 911 call -- wait a minute where there was a 911 call that you have -- wait Mark...
GERAGOS: Don't confuse the people...
COOPER: Wait a minute.
HOSTIN: Wait, Mark.
COOPER: Wait a minute. One second. Hold it. You're telling me some prosecutor who allegedly graduated from law school sees an outside camera video of a man dragging an unconscious out of the elevator and doesn't call up the hotel and say, "Wait, do you have a surveillance camera in the freaking elevator?"
HOSTIN: Of course they had this. And the bottom line is the prosecutors go to court...
COOPER: Are you kidding Mark? Come on.
HOSTIN: ... every single day and tried these cases without the victim. They put video evidence on. They put 911 calls on and they put pictures of...
COOPER: Every elevator on the Atlantic now has a video... HOSTIN: ... in the case like this...
GERAGOS: Sunny, the problem with this is...
HOSTIN: ... because this prosecution dropped the ball and this is celebrity justice. Those types of clients that you represent each and everyday...
COOPER: One at a time. Mark, go ahead and then I want to...
GERAGOS: Sunny, the problem with this case is, he never would've been eligible for diversion if they had properly charged this in the first place because you have somebody whose lost consciousness. You've got them dragging them out of the elevator. That's a felony all day long. It never...
HOSTIN: That's right.
GERAGOS: ... should've been charged as anything less.
COOPER: OK. So Derrick....
GEARAGOS: And, if it was it wouldn't have been diverted.
COOPER: And Derrick, do you think there needs to be a no tolerance policy in the NFL? Because I mean, just yesterday, there were players, you know, playing who have domestic abuse, you know, cases going on.
MASON: Yeah. There has to be. If you want to show those that are paying hundreds of dollars each in every week to go to your games that you are not to going to tolerate a lot of this that's going on, it has to be a no none sense tolerance with the NFL. If you continue to let guys, you know, whether it'd be in this situation or any other situation, you know, do something outside of the football field and not suspend them or take a long time to suspend them and I understand you got to let the judicial system take its course but if, you know, me as a fan, I'm perceiving it in a different way.
And as you know, Anderson, perception is reality especially in NFL. If they perceive you to be one way, that's the way it is.
COOPER: Christine, you know, the coach came out and spoke just a short time ago and I think a lot of people were surprised just by some of the things he even said. Because he said he didn't feel there was lied to by Ray Rice. So the things that Ray Rice told him or the wife told him or told the NFL in the team, he didn't feel that they were in anyway misled but that somehow the video does change things a little bit but he still supports him and still wishes the best for both of them.
BRENNAN: I think this shows how difficult this is going to be moving forward for the National Football League. As you know, Raven fans were cheering him when it would have appear on the video board at summer practice and Harbaugh was praising him and talking all about what a great guy he is throughout this whole process. So the notion was he's our guy and we'll defend him. Well, that has been smashed to smithereens as of today. That's the positive take away here that whatever culture there was to, Anderson, to, you know, protect up these guys and keep them within the cocoon of the team. That is no more. Thanks again to the video tape. It should've happened earlier. It did happen today.
And to your point, there are players playing now who have actually been convicted. Greg Hardy with the Carolina Panthers defensive and actually found guilty of domestic violence, he is still playing. How in the world is that possible in the National Football League after this Ray Rice story?
COOPER: Right, and if somebody was smoking pot or found with, you know, marijuana in his system got a what/ a year of suspension automatically as oppose to just-two games.
Christine, I appreciate you being on, Christine Brennan, Derrick Mason, great to have you as well. Sunny and Mark are going to come back shortly on another big story we're following.
Joining us right now is Tanya Brown who has made domestic violence education and prevention, her life work since the murder of her sister Nicole Brown Simpson. She's author of the book, "Finding Peace Amid the Chaos: My Escape from Depression and Suicide". Tanya, thank you for being with us.
I guess, first of all, your reaction when you saw the video that was posted today and also the previous video which apparently for a lot of people wasn't enough to really kind of form an opinion.
TANYA BROWN, AUTHOR: You know what, Anderson, I was having problems with my hearing thing. Can you repeat it? I'm sorry. Yeah.
COOPER: OK. Can you hear me now? Yeah. I'm saying, what was your reaction when you first saw the video today of the attack inside the elevator and also the video previously which a lot of people saw her being dragged out the elevator which apparently didn't really raise enough people's, you know, attention.
BROWN: You know what? Prior to today, I was disgraced. I was like, when is the National Football League and Goodell going to put their hands down and saying, "No more, zero tolerance, termination" not this two-game suspensions, six-game suspension or even in a definite suspension. Zero tolerance period.
But I'll tell you, when I saw that video today, Anderson, I was -- it caused a real visceral reaction with me because now I know what my sister look like when she was beaten. And if something isn't done, Janay is going to end up like Nicole and something needs to stop. These guys have to be terminated otherwise, our voices don't matter.
COOPER: Does it surprise you that it takes video proof in order to finally get an appropriate reaction? Because I keep coming back to a tweet the Raven sent out months ago saying that she regrets her role in this as if she was sort of an equal player in this. BROWN: Yeah. You know what? That is so common with victims of domestic violence, you know, and we hear Rice saying also how apologetic he is, you know, you wish that this incident didn't happen but thank God, the video was there. You know what? If the camera wasn't in that elevator, if the cameras weren't in our court room nobody would have believe.
The American people probably would not have believed that O.J. Simpson battered my sister since 1978 and she still ended up marrying him. And so even with -- even with the camera in the elevator, thank God that camera was in the elevator because nobody would have believed that Ray Rice and I'm a Baltimore fan, that Ray Rice would have committed domestic violence and such brutality. I mean my God, no respect. No respect. He didn't even put her dress down. Nothing.
COOPER: Do you believe this was a one-time thing?
BROWN: No. You know what, domestic violence doesn't start with the knocked out with the fist. It starts with the knocked out with words, defamation of character, the constant put downs. So it didn't start with what we all saw. What we saw is the end result of where it all began. And I'll tell you, once if somebody has hit you once, they will do it again and it will get worst. It will happen again hands down and it didn't start here.
Can guys get rehabilitated? Can women get rehabilitated? Absolutely. There are battered treatment programs and that's what my sister Denise and I are out here encouraging people to take responsibility for your actions, get help. This is so sad. O.J. didn't need to get to the point where he killed my sister, Rice didn't need to get to the point where he battered his wife, it did not need to get to this point. I want people to know that there is help for both the victim and the batterer. This did not need to happen.
COOPER: Tanya Brown, I appreciate you being on tonight. Tanya, thank you very much.
BROWN: Thank you. Thank you.
COOPER: Just ahead in this hour, a new perspective in the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Two witnesses that we didn't know about until now have spoken to the police and the FBI. They are speaking to the press. What they say, next.
COOPER: Several eye witnesses have spoken out, some on this program about what they saw when Police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown at Ferguson, Missouri but there were two witnesses we didn't know about until now.
People were not from Ferguson who didn't know Brown and don't live in the community but who are working at the area when the shooting happened, they've come forward and told different media outlets what they saw. Joe Johns joins me now live with details.
So, what is the latest on this? What have we learned?
JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the stories tend to corroborate other versions we've heard from some others at the scene. One of those witnesses first talked about it in a television interview on August 12 which was broadcasted on local station, KTVI.
The other man until recently had not spoken to reporters but did give a statement to investigators according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and also talked to the newspaper on condition of anonymity.
Pasting together those accounts, both of the men have said the police officer who fired the fatal shots, Darren Wilson chased Michael Brown on foot and then fired a shot at the teenager while he was running away that Brown stopped turned around, put his hands up and that the officer killed Brown in a barrage of gunfire.
CNN has been able to determine through our own investigation that these are two different people and that they tell stories that are very similar.
COOPER: What do they say about how it all started?
JOHNS: Well, the witnesses haven't described the beginning of the encounter. Apparently, they didn't see it. Not the beginning of the encounter or an initial struggle that was said to have begun when the shot was fired from Officer Wilson's gun, the initial shot.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says its still -- it doesn't conclusively answer whether the shooting of Michael Brown was legally justifiable.
COOPER: All right. Joe, I appreciate the update.
Joining me now live is Neil Bruntrager, General Counsel for the St. Louis Police Officers' Association and back with us our CNN Legal Analyst and Former Federal Prosecutor Sunny Hostin and Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Geragos.
So, the fact that -- what do you make of these two witnesses Sunny?
HOSTIN: You know, I think certainly it corroborates a lot of the other witness testimony quite frankly that we've heard about. From the very beginning, many people were discrediting the other witnesses that also said that Michael Brown had his hands up that the officer was chasing Michael Brown and shooting while chasing.
Many people said -- well, those people sort of, you know, either knew Michael Brown or lived in the community perhaps were tainted by hearing things on television. Now, we hear two other people, two other witnesses that don't have a connection to the community. They were just working in the area corroborating those other witnesses. I think this is a game changer. I think it's significant. And again, we still though haven't heard from Officer Wilson and that's really the next step, isn't it? COOPER: Neil, do you see this as a game changer?
NEIL BRUNTRAGER, ST. LOUIS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: No, I don't see this as a game changer. I think -- as a former prosecutor, I will tell you I think that these statements complicate some of the previous statements. There are certainly some corroboration and you can't ignore that. But again these men were, I am assuming they're men, were known to the police from the very beginning.
So, them coming out now and making this statement publicly, in my opinion -- again would complicate things because they're going to compare what said now to certainly what was said to investigators in the very beginning.
Again, none of these, none of these in and of itself means very much at all until we're able to overlay the statements of the witnesses with the forensic information. We need to know the information about where the physical evidence was. I need to know where the shell casings were. I want the forensics from the car. I want information on the bullets. I want to know what's in the car. I want to know what's on the gun. All of those things are things that we simply don't know yet. I want toxicology reports.
Again, without knowing those things, it's very hard to understand exactly where this fits in the mix and until we know those things we have to be very careful not rush to a judgment.
COOPER: Mark, these witnesses like other witnesses we've heard from said they saw Michael Brown with his hands raised. Does that matter?
GERAGOS: Yeah, it does matter. I don't know that I would call this -- I tend to agree with Neil. I don't think it's a game changer. I do think, however, it really puts a lot of pressure on the way that all of this stuff is coming out.
It really puts a lot of pressure on both the grand jury and the Department of Justice to bring charges in this case because at a certain point if you have this narrative that is now being develop to quote Sunny, people inside the community and people outside of the community and now they're successively going public in kind of a drip drip now with the outsiders -- you really -- I think they're going to have a hard time not bringing charges because of the public pressure.
I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing but I think at this point, the fact that it has kind of expanded the scope of this really makes it more likely than not the charges will be brought...
COOPER: Well, Sunny, the fact that witnesses did not see how this began, how the whole thing started, the altercation of the police car, how it played out, how difficult will this case be if no one witnessed what actually happened at the car?
HOSTIN: Yeah. I don't see as very difficult. And again, this is the first time actually in a very long time that I've seen a case where you don't have one eye witness but two but three but four by my count is already seven eye witnesses that are saying pretty much the same thing. Overlapping eye witness testimony and we have people like Mark and Neil saying, "Well, I got to hear more of the story." We don't really know what happened.
I mean, if it looks like a dog and it walks like a dog and it quacks like a duck, it's a duck, right? And so the suggestion somehow that we don't know all the pieces and that all of these people must have seen...
HOSTIN: ... something incorrectly is ludicrous.
GERAGOS: You're saying...
BRUNTRAGER: And let me throw in to the prosecutor.
COOPER: Mark, go ahead.
GERAGOS: Yeah, I was going to say Sunny, you don't want to hear what the officer's statement is because we don't have the officer's statement other than what the police chief kind of summarized coming out of the gate. So, the idea that you're going to say, "Well, it walks like a duck, quacks like duck and you have not seen the officer's report," that's your irresponsible.
HOSTIN: Well, I certainly -- It's not irresponsible. I certainly want to see the officer's report. I've said that from the very beginning. That's the one piece of the story that I think we don't have but we suddenly at this point do have so many eye witnesses that are saying the same thing.
COOPER: OK. One a time. Neil, your comments?
BRUNTRAGER: Yes. And listen, we still have to look at these statements. And again, Sunny's statements or idea that these are all lockstep with each other, they're not.
As defense lawyers, what we do is we dissect these statements. We take them apart. And we basically break them down as best we can and we let juries make these decisions.
Now, what Mark said was right. The grand jury has a lot more difficult problem because it's not a reasonable doubt. It's a probable cause question for a grand jury. But again, without everything, without everything we can sit here and talk about this until tomorrow but it's not going to answer any questions.
COOPER: And Neil...
BRUNTRAGER: We do need...
COOPER: ... are you still thinking October for -- I mean, October was the date...
COOPER: ... we had weeks ago. Do you still think that's accurate?
BRUNTRAGER: Yes, I do. And I think that the information that's being given to police in the area is that they should be anticipating an October decision.
COOPER: All right. Neil Bruntrager, I appreciate it, Mark Geragos and Sunny Hostin as well.
As always you can find more on the story and others at cnn.com
Just ahead tonight breaking news, a close friend of murdered journalist Steven Sotloff, a striking new details about how he was captured by ISIS. Who basically betrayed him and some sharp allegations about how the White House have been dealing with the Sotloff family.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: We got more breaking news tonight.
Law enforcement officials telling us they may have identified the man behind the mask during the murders of Americans Jim Foley and possibly Steven Sotloff. The official stated they believe he's a British citizen who's tied to extremists in London. Now this time though they are declining to name him.
In a speech on Wednesday, President Obama is going to outline his plans to defeat ISIS, outraged over the beheadings of Foley and Sotloff is fueling calls for a strong response from the White House. Many people feel President Obama has not done enough including Barak Barfi who was a close friend of Steven Sotloff and he's currently the spokesman for the Sotloff family.
I spoke to him earlier. I want to bring you the interview again because for the first time, he's giving new details about the abduction of Steven Sotloff and the Sotloff's efforts to free their son.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Barak, thank you for being with us. I'm sorry for your lost and the lost of everybody in the Sotloff family.
Just first of all, I mean, what do you want people to know about Steven? Because I mean, just looking at his career, the amount of time he spend in very dangerous areas, you know, dedicating and risking his life to tell the stories of peoples who's voices often weren't heard. That's what really struck me.
BARAK BARFI, SOTLOFF FAMILY SPOKESMAN: Anderson, Steve loved the Arabian Islamic world and he wanted to bring their suffering to the world stage. He believed that everybody was created equal. And the people in the Arabian Islamic world weren't terrorist, they were just people like you and me who wanted to live, who want to give their kids a good education and possibly traveled to Europe when they had their time and money.
COOPER: And I understand you spoke to him just shortly before he was taken.
BARFI: I was with Steve the morning he was kidnapped. I saw him off at about 7:30 and then minutes before he was kidnapped he called me from inside Syria to tell me that he was in and then minutes later he was kidnapped by ISIS.
COOPER: He knew the risk and yet he did -- he repeatedly went out to tell people stories.
BARFI: Well, Anderson, for the first time, we can say Steven was sold at the border. Steven's name was on a list that he had been responsible for the bombing of a hospital. This was false activist who spread his name around...
COPPER: He was sold at the border?
BARFI: Yes. We believe that these so-called moderate rebels that the -- that people want us in our administration to support. One of them sold him probably for something between $25,000 and $50,000 to ISIS and that was the reason that he was captured.
COOPER: How do you know this?
BARFI: We know this from our sources on the ground that it happens so quickly that when he was kidnapped they didn't have the time to mobilize those resources. Somebody at the border crossing made a phone call to ISIS and they set up a fake checkpoint with many people and Steve and his people that he went in with could not escape.
COOPER: When you've heard the administrations response to all of these, what do you make of it from your vantage point?
BARFI: The administration has made a number of inaccurate statements to say -- they have said that their families have been consistently and regularly informed, that is not true. I speak now only from the Sotloff family. I can't speak for the other families.
They said that these hostages were moved frequently. We know that for most of the beginning of this part of this they were stationary. We know that the intelligence community and the White House are in mesh in the larger game of bureaucratic in fighting and Jim and Steve are pawns in that game and that's not fair and if there's continuous to be leaks, the Sotloff family will have to speak out to set the record straight.
COOPER: What do you mean that they were pawns? Can you say more?
BARFI: Well, I'll just give you one example. People now are talking about the torture that some of these hostages suffered. People talked about specifically some of the tortures that Jim suffered and that's just not fair to his family. They need time to heal.
And there was an article last week in the Wall Street Journal basically revealing some of the details that the raid, the Pentagon and the intelligence community were pushing back against the White House and saying it was their fault that they didn't provide the surveillance necessarily to find the hostages.
COOPER: The -- Do you feel -- But at some -- You're saying that if the administration continues to say things which you believe are not true and the Sotloff family says are not true that what the Sotloff family will reveal -- will have more information to say?
BARFI: Anderson, the relationship within the administration and the Sotloff family was very strange...
COOPER: It's true.
BARFI: Yes, we do not believe that they gave us a cooperation we need. And the Sotloff -- Once Steve appeared in that video, the Sotloff family made one simple request of the administration and they rebuffed on that.
COOPER: Can you say what the request was?
BARFI: I can't say that because I have to think about the -- protecting the other hostages inside.
COOPER: The White House has just put out a statement. I just want to read that to you. They say, "We understand the very real pain the Sotloff family is feeling at this time. Our thoughts and our prayers are with them as they grieve Steven's loss." They go on to say, "We condemn the murders of Steven and Jim Foley and we are remain committed to bringing the perpetrators of these crimes to justice."
Do you have any response for that or?
BARFI: Anderson, when your view into the largest and most powerful government in the world is two FBI agents, that's simply not enough for 80 or 90 percent of the interaction you have with the government, that's not enough.
The administration could have done more. They could have helped us. They could have seen them through. These are people of modest means. They are not cosmopolitan. They don't have college educations. They don't understand the larger ramifications in foreign policy and we just cannot believe that they were afforded the opportunities and the respect that they should have by this administration.
COOPER: I appreciate you being on Barak Barfi and I appreciate -- again, given the sensitivity of this. There are other hostages being held. I know that something that weighs very heavy in you and the entire Sotloff family and again, my condolences to you and the Sotloff family. Thank you.
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COOPER: Well, just ahead in this hour, former Boston man who's wanted by the FBI and his possible ties to ISIS went to a Cambridge mosque that's also tracked at least seven other extremists including the alleged Boston Marathon bombers. We'll take you there, next.
COOPER: Well new CNN ORC poll shows that 71 percent of people believe there are ISIS terrorists currently in the United States. Right now, the FBI is looking for a former resident of Boston who may have been involved with the social media wing of ISIS. He and a handful of other extremists all have ties to the same place in Cambridge.
Deborah Feyerick reports.
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DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The mosque on Prospect Street is not only Cambridge, Massachusetts' largest mosque. It is also the city's only mosque. As many as 1,000 people a week, including immigrants, students, families and residents from surrounding neighborhoods stop by to pray up to five times a day as Islam requires. It is open to everyone and attracts all kinds including at least eight extremists and recently convicted terrorists, one now under investigation for ties to ISIS.
Mosque's spokeswoman Nicole Mossalam confirms they attended saying none "ever exhibited any hint of criminal or violent behavior." Adding, "The Islamic Society of Boston unequivocally condemns ISIS." Yet over two decades, the numbers are too big for law enforcement to ignore says former DHS official and now CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem.
JULIETTE KAYYAM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: At some stage, we have to accept reality which is a number of people who have taken up arms against Americans either here in Boston or abroad with ISIS have an affiliation with that mosque.
FEYERICK: They include the alleged marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, "Lady Al-Qaeda" an imprisoned MIT trained neuroscientist who ISIS suggested swapping for American James Foley. And now, a University of Massachusetts' computer graduate wanted for possible ties to ISIS' social media wing.
Run by the Islamic society of Boston, the mosque doesn't check IDs and rather than a poor membership, attendance is much more fluid. That makes identifying the outliers a lot more difficult.
Spokeswoman Nicole Mossalam says, "If we ever observed any criminal or violent behavior, we would immediately intervene and notify the authorities." The mosque says it preaches mainstream Islam. There's no evidence to suggest otherwise, however, the degree of extremism in the handful of people is alarming.
KAYYAM: The mosque is and ought to be subject of scrutiny because there's just too many factors involved now.
FEYERICK: Aafia Siddiqui was found in 2008 carrying bomb making documents for a mass casualty chemical and biological weapons attack against targets like the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge. Boston Pharmaceutical student Tarek Mehanna was found guilty of plotting an attack on a local shopping mall. And Boston high school wrestler Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will stand trial for his alleged role in the marathon attack. He prayed at the Cambridge mosque as did brother Tamerlan and two friends, one accused of murder, the other obstruction of justice.
The mosque says it works closely with local state and federal officials and that those engaged in terrorism have little to do with the Cambridge community.
Deborah Feyerick, CNN, New York.
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COOPER: Joining me now, our CNN National Security Alice Fran Townsend, a member of the DHS and CIA External Advisory Board and Former FBI and CIA Senior Official Philip Mudd.
It's interesting, it does, the piece, I mean, a lot of these people seemed to be kind of self motivated or lone wolves, you know, there's been so much focus in the last couple weeks of the idea of ISIS sending people over into the United States. But it seems like the bigger danger at least in the short term is just people who are ideologically motivated who maybe want to say their part of ISIS but they're already here.
FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No question, Anderson. Both are issues, right? And that you're right, I think in the near term that's part of the purpose of these horrible beheading videos that could put out that someone who's an English speaker that is part of it. Part of it is the recruitment and the inspiration that these provide. We saw the same thing, Anwar Al-Aslaki, the preacher who...
TOWNSEND: ... the American preacher in Yemen who is now dead. His sermons were widely distributed and often used, they were cited including by the Fort Hood shooter.
COOPER: Right, Nidal Hasan...
TOWNSEND: That's right.
COOPER: ... reported shooter, you know, watched the videos try to make even contact with them.
TOWNSEND: That's exactly right.
COOPER: Phil, I mean, you and I have talked about this before. The State Department officials were telling CNN the Obama Administration is less concerned right now at least about a potential attack by ISIS in the U.S. and it is about the unknown unaffiliated actor who decides to just -- to do something.
PHILIP MUDD, FORMER SENIOR OFFICIAL, FBI AND CIA: I think I'd be worried about both. Look, you can't have a hundred plus Americans go over who are affiliated with ISIS now. You can't have -- I think the Canadians are talking about 100 plus Canadians, 500 plus Brits going over, we're talking about thousands of foreign fighters. I'd be worried about clusters of people who are unaffiliated with ISIS but the numbers of people who are and who already have good documents to get back in the United States. In my life of following this is unprecedented so yeah, I'd worry about the unaffiliated people like Nidal Hasan. But the folks who are out in the country who already have a passport, that's a real concern.
COOPER: Do you believe, Fran, that those people are, I mean, is there any evidence that those people are actually being trained for international terror attacks whether it's on Western targets or American targets in Western Europe or back home in the United States because it seems like a number of them have been actually killed in battle which seems to indicate they're actually being used in battle in Syria and else where.
TOWNSEND: That's right. And some of them will be killed in the battlefield but even, to Phil's point, even if you take half of them off the field because they're killed or wounded in battle, you still have large numbers. You mentioned the 500 Brits there, 700 French, all these people come in without Visas, they are able to travel into the United States and the idea is that they have battlefield experience.
They've been hardened by battle, they have battlefield training and so they bring that with them to be able to put together an attack inside the United States and it's very difficult to track them if they're traveling on false documents, you may not actually know. Even if you can identify some and most officials will tell you if they ask them out of 100 Americans going over is probably a conservative estimate. It's very difficult to track them if they're on false documents and know that -- when they're trying to get back in.
COOPER: And, Philip, in your career you've followed people like this. How much street cred does somebody get for having fought with ISIS who then comes back and, you know, recruits their friends or reaches out to a couple of friends and says, you know, "Look, I experience this in ISIS let's bring this here to our -- to the home front."
MUDD: A terrific amount. That person is going to come back with photographs of them in a battlefield, they might come back with videos, they have instant credibility not within a larger environment, typically in my experience not within a mosque but it's the people who break off from the general community you got to worry about. Three or four kinds who say, "Hey, everybody's talking about atrocities against women and children in a place like Iraq, nobody's doing anything, we're going to go off on a separate room and plant something."
One more thing though Anderson, the think I worry about most of these circumstances is not the street cred. It's the operational capability they might bring back. Not just to build an explosive device but for example, how do you practice good communication security techniques so the FBI can't hear you? When those guys came back and we tried to watch them, that's a real problem because they're touching people overseas who could provide training on things like operational security that you can't get off the internet. COOPER: And they're actually learning -- I mean, somebody who goes to Syria is actually learning, you know, trade craft?
MUDD: A few of them will. I think Fran is right. If you understand the psychology of these folks, most of them aren't thinking about beheadings. They're very simple. They want to go out and join a broader movement, some of them aren't involved in the local communities, you know, going to persuade them to engage in a suicide bombing in the United States is a bridge too far. A lot of them are simply going over to fight in Syria and they're going to die on the battlefield. I'd say far more than 50 percent but there's a sliver and this is why the president is speaking on Wednesday.
There's a sliver over the course of time when ISIS get safe haven who will be trained to do the same thing for example, Al-Qaeda trained a few guys to do in London in 2005 that is to come home and attack here.
COOPER: Right. Philip Mudd, I appreciate it, Fran Townsend as well.
Just ahead, a welcome piece of some good news today from Britain's Royal family. Another heir to the thrown on the way, William and Kate are expecting again, details ahead.
COOPER: Tonight, Britain's royal family has good reason to celebrate. Prince William and his wife Katherine are expecting their second child. William and Kate shared the news a little later than they planed.
CNN's Max Foster has more on that.
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MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There were no signs of a bump that Kate's most recent appearance is. But I'm told that she only found out about the pregnancy herself very recently.
PRINCE WILLIAM, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: She's feeling OK, though. It's been a tricky few days -- week or so. But obviously we're immensely thrilled, it's great news, early days but I'm hoping we just -- things settle down and she feels all better.
FOSTER: The Duchess suffered acute morning sickness with Prince George and it struck again with baby number two. She's canceled her engagements and doctors are by her side at Kensington Palace. She wanted to be open about what was happening which is why they made the announcement early. She's not yet 12 weeks pregnant.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your family continues to grow, and of course with that growing family, your prospects of becoming king reduced, isn't it?
PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE: Great.
FOSTER: The queen is said to be delighted with the news and my best guess is that the baby is due in April. And only then will we find out if Prince George is going to have a little brother or a little sister.
Max Foster, CNN, London.
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COOPER: We wish them the best. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Hey, that's it for us. Thank for watching.
CNN Tonight hosted by Don Lemon and Alisyn Camerota starts now.