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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Aired June 18, 2004 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, I'm Anderson Cooper.
An American hostage murdered and the terrorist believed responsible killed by Saudi security forces, 360 starts now.
COOPER (voice-over): A family's worst fears confirmed, American Paul Johnson is dead, beheaded by al Qaeda's killers. The man behind the mask, Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, the terrorist believed responsible for Paul Johnson's beheading is killed. We'll have the latest.
Why are men more likely to get a checkup for their car than a checkup for themselves? Watch out men. Acting tough can shorten your life.
And they took a leap of faith and religion nearly tore them apart. Our special series concludes with a look at the struggle of an interfaith family.
ANNOUNCER: Live from the CNN Broadcast Center in New York this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
COOPER: Good evening again.
For more than half a century, Americans have worked in Saudi Arabia as part of that country's oil and defense industries and, for most of that time, the living was good. Pay was high. Perks were excellent. If you had to work overseas, they said, Saudi Arabia was a good place to do it.
Today, the pay may still be high and the perks still good but the danger is now impossible to ignore. Paul Johnson, the American held hostage since this weekend is dead, photos of his beheaded corpse placed on the Internet.
Hours later, the men believed to be behind the killing -- the man believed to be behind the killing was himself killed by Saudi security forces but, of course, it is too late for Paul Johnson.
Tonight, Deb Feyerick is in New Jersey where his family learned the news of Johnson's death.
Nic Robertson is in London with information on the terror ringleader. And, in Washington, David Ensor with a reaction from the Saudis and the State Department.
We begin in New Jersey with Deb Feyerick -- Deb.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, a few moments ago, Johnson's daughter-in-law left the home here. We do not know if she took her son with her. That is the 3-year-old grandson that Paul Johnson, Jr. never had a chance to meet, this as the scope of the tragedy sinks in.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Minutes after word came that Paul Johnson, Jr. was dead, friends flocked to the New Jersey home where his family has been in seclusion since Monday. A Johnson relative telling CNN, "The family has been devastated by the ordeal." Now they grieve, his sisters pleas unanswered.
DONNA MAYEUX, SISTER OF PAUL JOHNSON, JR.: Killing him is not going to solve anything.
FEYERICK: Shortly after his kidnappers posted three photos of Johnson's beheaded body, the body was found in eastern Riyadh. Saudi security forces tell CNN hours later they killed one of his captors, Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin. He appeared in the video showing Johnson hostage, identifying himself as the militant leader of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. State Department called on all Americans to leave the country, a Saudi adviser saying they were even more committed to cracking down on terrorists.
Johnson was an Apache helicopter specialist working for a defense contractor in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He lived with his wife outside the protected western compound. He was kidnapped from his car Saturday. A State Department source tells CNN Johnson was "a sitting duck."
FEYERICK: A hostage negotiator tells CNN that the demands of the kidnappers in his opinion unrealistic both in scale and time. The negotiator saying the kidnappers never had any intention of releasing Paul Johnson alive -- Anderson.
COOPER: It is very sad indeed. Deb Feyerick thank you.
As Deb mentioned, the man believed responsible for murdering Paul Johnson is dead, killed this evening in a firefight in Riyadh along with several of his associates. Details are still sketchy. He was al Qaeda's leader in Saudi Arabia, they say, and he had blood on his hands for a very long time.
Here's Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Disguised and posing for the camera, Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, the man behind Paul Johnson's murder. Behind him a life apparently destined to reach this point. A high school dropout, seen here in a rare photo, was in his mid 30s.
NAWAF OBEID, SAUDI SECURITY ANALYST: All his life, especially since the age of 17, he's been in this jihad world. I mean he's gone from training to civil war to another civil war.
ROBERTSON: According to sources close to Saudi intelligence, al- Muqrin received most of his military training at al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan before going on to fight for radical Islamic groups in Algeria, Somalia and Bosnia. At one time, al-Muqrin spent two years in a Saudi jail after being arrested in Ethiopia but was released for good behavior.
OBEID: It's not hard for someone like him to make believe that he's actually a changed man and this is what he did and he did it, more importantly, not towards the government he did it towards his family and his family were under the belief that he was a changed man.
ROBERTSON: He became a key player in Saudi terror attacks with this bombing last November in Riyadh that killed 17 people, many of them Arabs from Lebanon and Egypt. By the next major attack, just last month, his followers had refined their tactics going door to door in a western workers' compound killing only the non-Muslims.
On websites like this one, al-Muqrin and his Fallujah brigades trumpeted their successes and provided instructions on how to kidnap and kill saying that in Saudi Arabia, Americans were the best targets.
But within hours of the announcement of Johnson's killing, confirmation that al-Muqrin and three key associates had been killed by Saudi authorities. The question now will Johnson's be the last violent death of a westerner in Saudi Arabia?
ROBERTSON: Well, Saudi intelligence sources we're talking to now say nobody can guarantee that at this time. They are hopeful and they do feel, the authorities do feel that in killing al-Muqrin and at least three of his top aides that they have in that part at least of their aim a job well done -- Anderson.
COOPER: Is there any sense of how large al-Muqrin's operation was? I mean there must be others out there I assume.
ROBERTSON: Well, Saudi sources say and were saying, the Saudi officials were saying that al-Muqrin's was the last cell, difficult for us to know how many people might have supported him.
The indications were, we're being told by the sources that we talk to that the cell wasn't that big that he didn't have broad support. But really the next weeks and perhaps months before another group can emerge, if they will, those are going to be the telling months ahead -- Anderson.
COOPER: Nic Robertson live in London. Thanks, Nic.
Well, top U.S. officials reacted with anger, disgust and resolve. State Department officials were expressing their deep concern for the safety of every American citizen in Saudi Arabia right now. The message to them simple, leave, get out.
More now from National Security Correspondent David Ensor.
DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Colin Powell joined other U.S. officials saying the brutal killing will only strengthen the fight against al Qaeda.
COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: It was an action of barbarism, an action that shows once again what the world is dealing with, with these kind of individuals who behead somebody or murder somebody in cold blood, an innocent individual who's just trying to help people and trying to do his job.
ENSOR: The State Department is urging Americans to leave Saudi Arabia, one official saying of the execution-style killing that, "It is going to happen again." A more urgent travel warning for the region was issued late Friday. Saudi officials, expressing deep sorrow about Paul Johnson's death, disagree with the U.S. advice to Americans in the kingdom.
ADEL AL-JUBEIR, ADVISER TO SAUDI CROWN PRINCE: We believe that calls for withdrawing people from Saudi Arabia could inadvertently play into the hands of the terrorists, so we don't support moves like this but it's not our decision. This is a decision by the State Department.
ENSOR: Saudi officials say a massive security effort is underway against al Qaeda involving 15,000 security personnel. 1,200 locations have been searched, officials say, and there have been public pleas for help from Saudi clerics and religious scholars.
AL-JUBEIR: The American people must know that the Saudi people are with them just like the Saudi people know that the American people are with them. It is the two of us who are being murdered and slaughtered by these evil terrorists and it is the two of us working together who can crush them.
ENSOR: U.S. officials were cheered by confirmation that al- Muqrin, the al Qaeda leader in Saudi Arabia has been killed and they do say they now believe the Saudis are doing everything they can.
At the same time, some officials saying they wish this all out effort had come sooner and there's a remaining concern among officials, Anderson, they're just not sure what breadth there is to the al Qaeda support in Saudi Arabia, how much more trouble there's going to be in this fight.
COOPER: And I suppose we'll learn the answer to that in the coming weeks and months. David Ensor, thanks very much.
Reaction from the White House, quick, direct. "God bless Paul Johnson," President Bush said today. He also issued a warning to the killers that America will not be intimidated.
White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux is live at the White House, good evening Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Anderson.
Well, U.S. as well as Saudi officials have been in constant communication throughout the day on Johnson's case. President Bush was in Fort Lewis, Washington earlier today. That is where he was rallying the U.S. troops when he received the news.
The president of course hoping to highlight the U.S. successes in the war on terror, instead getting confronted with this terrible news. The president, of course, expressing earlier today his condolences but also his resolve.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The murder of Paul shows the evil nature of the enemy we face. These are barbaric people. There's no justification whatsoever for his murder.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Vice President Dick Cheney also out of Englewood, Colorado saying that he was making the case that this beheading simply shows that the American people, as well as the international community, have to be even more resolved in the war on terror.
Also, a senior administration official I spoke with today say that they are completely satisfied with the Saudi officials' efforts in trying to rescue Johnson -- Anderson.
COOPER: Suzanne Malveaux, thanks from the White House.
A "Fast Fact" for you now. An estimated six million foreigners now work in Saudi Arabia, including roughly 35,000 Americans and 30,000 Britons.
Today's "Buzz" question is this. What do you think? Should all Americans leave Saudi Arabia? Log onto cnn.com/360, cast your vote. Results at the end of the program tonight.
More bloodshed in Baghdad. That tops our look at global stories right now in the "Up Link."
There were plumes of smoke after an attack on a truck convoy in the Iraqi capital. It left one person dead. Also in Baghdad an insurgent attack kills one American soldier and injures a civilian contractor in a crowded commercial area. Insurgents detonated an improvised explosive device killing three Iraqis and injuring three U.S. soldiers.
Kazakhstan, Russian President Vladimir Putin says that Russia had intelligence that Saddam Hussein was preparing attacks against the United States after 9/11. Putin also says that Russia warned the Bush administration. Putin's comments could support claims from President Bush that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the U.S.
In Brussels a deadlock unlocked. After two years, the 25 nations of the European Union finally have reached an agreement on a constitution. The European lawmakers are still deadlocked on who will be president of the European commission.
Global alliance protect a wreck now. The U.S. and Britain sign an international treaty to preserve the wreck site of the Titanic. You're looking at the ship right there. France and Canada are also part of the agreement but have yet to officially sign. The alliance could halt illegal dives to the wreck or the plundering of the Titanic's treasures.
That's a quick look at what's going on around the world in the "Up Link."
360 next, more on the top story. An American hostage killed in Iraq. The al Qaeda ringleader killed but the hunt for his cohorts continues. How big was his cell really? Find out what the FBI is doing to track down these terrorists.
Plus, the Saudi mind, how is news of Johnson's death playing in the oil-rich kingdom? Are they repulsed or on some level pleased? We'll take a closer look.
And "Keeping the Faith," a difference of religion threatens to tear a marriage apart, part of our special series, all that ahead.
First let's take a look at your picks of the most popular stories right now on CNN.com.
COOPER: Well, while there is a long history of cooperation between the U.S. and the Saudis on a whole host of issues, law enforcement has not been the best example. With today's killing of Paul Johnson and his apparent kidnappers, another investigation will be conducted that will involve a very delicate dance between the two countries.
Here's Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena.
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Since Paul Johnson's kidnapping last weekend, FBI agents have been working with Saudi officials. According to the kingdom, the FBI sent in a team of 20 specialists with expertise in hostage and rescue negotiations. That's in addition to agents already there as part of a U.S.-Saudi terrorism task force.
DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America will hunt down these killers, find them one by one, and destroy them.
ARENA: The FBI is usually tight-lipped about its manpower in Saudi Arabia and remains so. There is great concern about the safety of agents who could be prime targets for terrorists, just like the 35,000 Americans working there. Johnson is the third American killed in Saudi Arabia in just a week and a half.
JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: We will do everything we can to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to help solve these crimes.
AL-JUBEIR: There are American security personnel in Saudi Arabia who are working with their Saudi counterparts and have been for the past year, so I would imagine that it is as extensive as you can find anywhere. We're working this as one team.
ARENA: The Saudis have a mixed record of working with U.S. law enforcement. U.S. officials criticized a lack of cooperation in the 1996 investigation into the Khobar Tower bombings. But since the terrorist attacks in Riyadh in May of last year, U.S. officials say they have seen an improvement. It's not enough for some.
Senator Frank Lautenberg, who is from the same state as Paul Johnson, criticized the Saudis for being too lax, saying in a statement: "The United States will no longer tolerate Saudi neglect of the extremists and terrorists who live and thrive in the kingdom."
ARENA: The killing of al Qaeda terrorist Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin could temper the criticism. Still, judging from the recent state of attacks, terrorists do seem to have easy access to the kingdom -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Kelli Arena thanks very much.
A quick check now on some stories making news "Cross Country" tonight.
In Washington, request denied, Olympic runner Marion Jones had asked Senator John McCain to hold a public congressional hearing on a doping scandal that involves her. Now today the Senator said he decided against it. He says Jones should pursue her case with the agency mounting the inquiry. Jones has not been charged with any doping violations.
In Atlanta scenes from inside, a best-selling rapper shoots an unauthorized rap video while still in prison. Clifford Harris, also known as TI, shot the video last night. He's been in jail since April on a probation violation charge. In Florida a star is born, astronaut Nick Fink heard about his daughter's birth while traveling in outer space. NASA arranged for Fink to phone his wife from orbit as she delivered the girl in a Houston area hospital. NASA says it could be the first time an astronaut was in space during the birth of his child.
And, Los Angeles, tears and cheers. Over 1,500 people attend the funeral of Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson performed and civil rights leader Jesse Jackson was quoted as saying, "Heaven wanted some music and God sent for Ray Charles." The legendary singer died of liver disease last Thursday at age 73.
That's a quick look at stories right now "Cross Country."
360 next, religious divide, an interfaith couple worked through their differences for the sake of their marriage. "Keeping the Faith," part of our special series continues.
And a little later tonight, our top story, American hostage killed in Saudi Arabia and his alleged killer now killed. Is beheading the new tactic of terrorists? And, is Saudi Arabia safe for the thousands of Americans who still live there, 360 continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Soup and a tenderloin of pork. What's with the face?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't make a face.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said pork, you went.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just I'm confused. I mean you can order pork but you can't get serious about a future with me because I'm not Jewish.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, it is fiction of course but the message from that scene in "Sex in the City" is very real for people in interfaith marriages. They have their fair share of problems, no doubt about it, and with an estimate 40,000 Americans marrying outside their religion this year, finding middle ground is not always easy and that's just inside the home. Outside, things can be even tougher.
Tonight, in the conclusion of our "Keeping the Faith" series, one family's battle to overcome those faith challenges.
Here's CNN's Jonathan Freed.
JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Daniel Koch (ph) admits his wife Kamla is the better cook. DANIEL KOCH, JEWISH: You going to mix the mayo with the onions?
KAMLA DEVI KOCH, SIKH: Yes, quick, quick, quick I need them.
FREED: But he takes pride in the cross-cultural spice they've added to their marriage.
(on camera): So, we have the kosher salt.
K. KOCH: The kosher salt.
FREED: Next to the curry.
K. KOCH: Next to the curry.
FREED: Next to the pickles.
K. KOCH: Right.
FREED: Do you ever get confused?
(voice-over): He's Jewish. She's a Sikh, together for 25 years.
K. KOCH: But we knew that we trusted each other and that would take us a long way.
FREED: The couple found love in Hawaii and then settled in Daniel's native Chicago but...
K. KOCH: We were sort of naive about what was to come.
FREED: They soon faced the toughest issue of their interfaith relationship.
D. KOCH: Having children is a watershed for any marriage but when -- in our sort of marriage it was even more of a hurdle, obstacle.
FREED: So, Adam and Andy Koch are being brought up Jewish.
D. KOCH: I really honor and respect her for having made what was a very difficult choice. I probably would not have had the courage that she had to make the kind of choice she did. I can't...
K. KOCH: Well, I felt had I made the other choice to raise them as Sikhs, I wouldn't -- I had no support here.
FREED: That decision though alienated Kamla's Indian family overseas, especially her father.
K. KOCH: They sort of made me feel like I had, you know...
D. KOCH: Become a traitor.
K. KOCH: Yes, almost like a traitor and that really hurt. That hurt a lot. FREED: It added stress to the usual strains of marriage and to deal with it they drew on something they say their cultures have in common.
K. KOCH: In our background from his family and my family, you stick to it.
D. KOCH: You just stick to it, yes.
K. KOCH: You just make it work.
FREED: Two cooks determined not to spoil the bond.
Jonathan Freed, CNN, Skokie, Illinois.
COOPER (voice-over): A family's worst fears confirmed. American Paul Johnson is dead, beheaded by al Qaeda's killers.
The man behind the mask, Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, the terrorist believed responsible for Paul Johnson's beheading is killed. We'll have the latest.
Why are men more likely to get a checkup for their car than a checkup for themselves? Watch out men. Acting tough can shorten your life, 360 continues.
COOPER: Time to check on our top story in tonight's "Reset."
American Paul Johnson is dead, murdered. The Lockheed Martin worker was kidnapped in Saudi Arabia last Saturday. The video of him still alive was released earlier this week. President Bush condemned the killing saying, "It shows the evil nature of the enemy we face."
Hours after Johnson's killing was confirmed, Saudi security forces killed this man, Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin and three associates all wanted terror suspects in the capital of Riyadh. They were believed to be responsible for Johnson's murder.
The impact of Johnson's death and the killings of his suspected murderers just beginning to be felt in Saudi Arabia. Earlier, I spoke with Sajjan Gohel, director of international security at the Asia Pacific Foundation in London and Richard Murphy, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
COOPER: Sajjan, how do you think word that this man, this terrorist al-Muqrin has been killed is going to resonate inside Saudi Arabia?
SAJJAN GOHEL, TERRORISM EXPERT: Well, I think if it does prove to be true that al-Muqrin has been killed and it is, of course, a significant step in fighting terror cells inside the kingdom; however, he is just one individual. There are other people that can replace him and I think we have to be careful on that, that just because al- Muqrin may have been killed that doesn't mean that Saudi Arabia is any safer.
COOPER: How big of a name was he there though? I mean was he a household name? Was he known for a great length of time?
GOHEL: Well, Muqrin was developing quite an enviable reputation with terrorists that he was quite active inside the country. He was able to coordinate terror cells and activities. He had fought in various terrorist campaigns inside Afghanistan and in Algeria and he would also write regularly on the Internet for terrorist military training. He has a very big reputation inside the country.
COOPER: Ambassador Murphy is this a sign that the Saudi security forces are doing enough or haven't done enough until now?
AMB. RICHARD MURPHY, FMR. U.S. AMB. TO SAUDI ARABIA: Well, it's been an upward curve in what they've been doing. They swung into high gear or higher gear last May, a year ago, when the three compounds were hit in Riyadh.
Before that the cooperation that had been there that had been developing on tracking the money, exchanging intelligence information, training programs but there were elements in the leadership even who were not sure about too close of cooperation with the United States. That changed in May of '03.
COOPER: Sajjan, it was interesting at this press conference today. The foreign adviser, Al-Jubeir said that when someone said is the Saudi government doing enough, he said well look, we'll -- if you have some suggestions we'll take them. We think we're doing as much as we can. In your opinion, are they doing enough?
GOHEL: Well, there's not, in fact, enough cooperation developing with the Saudi security forces in other countries. We know in the past, where there have been terrorist attacks in compounds, they refused to let the FBI in. And it's only through immense pressure recently that they have been considering more options and cooperation.
But we need to remember the fact that some of the Saudi security forces have sympathies with the terrorists. Let's not forget 9/11 hijackers, 15 out of the 19 were Saudi, some of whom used to work with Saudi security forces. I don't believe that nearly enough is actually being done. A lot more could be done. And of course, it's come too late for Mr. Paul Johnson's family.
COOPER: Ambassador Murphy, what do you think. Do they hate us? I mean, you keep hearing from the government spokespeople that look, we have a great affinity for the American people, and yet you see these polls which say that a lot of them think Osama bin Laden's a good guy.
AMB. RICHARD MURPHY, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS SENIOR FELLOW: That's true. They don't like American policy, vis-a-vis Israel and the Palestinians. They don't really like -- I'm talking about the public, the fact that we've got an army sitting inside an Arab country. But they've got a public that I've known them for 40 years, this is not a violent public. And my reports are telling me that this real revulsion at these cold blooded killings of innocent people.
COOPER: Interesting discussion. Ambassador Richard Murphy, thank you very much. Mr. Sajjan Gohel as well, thank you very much.
Well, news of Johnson's murder was closely covered, in fact it was broken in the Arab media. CNN's Octavia Nasser has been watching what they and said what they showed.
OCTAVIA NASSER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Al Arabiya was the Arab network that broke the news, but its correspondent found himself at a loss for words.
I have seen the pictures, he says. They are very disturbing, very graphic, very inhumane.
A look back at the week's events from the capture, to the claim of responsibility, the deadline and a very emotional plea from Paul Johnson's wife in Saudi Arabia and family members in the United States.
THANOM JOHNSON, WIFE OF PAUL JOHNSON: I want him to come back, because I no have nobody in here.
NASSER: On the Arabic networks, there were commentaries and interviews with prominent people, even the most conservative of them made a point of saying they were sorry.
This cleric says, I want to apologize to the Johnson family, to President Bush and the American people.
Over pictures of Johnson, the narrative was often emotional and opinionated. Who's to blame? Could this have been prevented? Where are those satellites that can track people down, this anchor asked. Where is the intelligence? How could this happen?
An emotional news day on Arab stations, journalists trying to make sense of a senseless act. Octavia Nasser, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Well, for many Muslims these are difficult times. They're at the center of whirlwind of conflicting, suspicion and concern. With me now from Washington is a man who knows only too well what all that means. Samer Shehata teaches at Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Thanks for being with us, Samer. How do you think these images, this story is playing in the Arab world. I mean, you just watched part of the coverage, is there revulsion or is there a mixed messages, mixed emotions?
SAMER SHEHATA, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Of course, you're going to find people on both sides of any particular event, but I think Octavia Nasser's previous piece was right on and that is the majority of Arabs and Muslims all over the world feel very bad about this and are disgusted by what has happened, feel sad and their hearts, I'm sure, bleed for the family of this gentlemen. And they're probably outraged, also, that a group of fanatics are trying to use Islam, somehow, to justify their violence against innocent civilians. There will be conflicting emotions, that's all.
COOPER: It's hard for Americans to get a read of what is going to in Saudi Arabia, both politically and also just in the hearts and the minds of people there. On the one hand, you have the Saudi government, saying look, we have a great affinity for the American people. On the other hand, you have a survey that was done last year, 15,000 Saudis surveyed, almost 50 percent of them said they kind of liked or agreed with some of the teachings of Osama bin Laden. Where -- is there a conflict going within Saudi society about what direction they want to go?
SHEHATA: I think that's completely correct, Anderson. After 9/11 we saw opinion polls that suggested people admired Osama bin Laden in Saudi Arabia and they kind of agreed with September 11. But I think Ambassador Murphy is correct, from last May when they experienced the bombings in the compounds in Riyadh, to most recently at the end of May, the Khobar tragedy in which over 20 people were killed and then today's most disgusting events there's going to be, I think, a shift in popular opinion inside of Saudi Arabia.
It's one thing to see of it terrorism on the television screens (AUDIO GAP) New York City and Washington D.C. thousands of miles away, it's another thing to have blood spilled in your country...
COOPER: But you know, Samer -- Samer there are some who say, look, the Saudi government is kind of reaping what they have sown. That on the one had, they've had a foreign policy allying with the U.S. On the other hand, they've been funding wahabist clerics who have been spouting hate against the U.S. and of course against Israel. Are they now kind of reaping what they sewed?
SHEHATA: I think there's some truth to that, certainly. Clearly, what's been going to with the education system, but most importantly, really, the socioeconomic problems and the political problems that exist in Saudi Arabia have to be addressed. There's a serious unemployment problem among the youth. There are serious political reforms that have to be addressed. There's not accountability, there's not political participation. Women are excluded.
So until those things, those problems are dealt with head-on we're going to continue to see the manifestations of them, the ugly manifestations of them, the ugly manifestations of them in terms of these extremist groups, unfortunately.
COOPER: Samer Shehata, it's a fascinating topic, we'd love to have you back on to talk about it.
SHEHATA: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Thank you very much.
SHEHATA: Paul Johnson is not the first American, of course, beheaded by terrorist, there Nick Berg, Daniel Pearl and the images of them staring out into a kidnapper's camera are haunting. As is the barbaric manner in which they were killed.
Frightening as it is, beheading is an action that has some roots in the Muslim culture and history. With a quick look back, here's CNN's Drew Griffin.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Friday prayers at Chicago's downtown Islamic center had just ended when news broke: another American beheaded in the name of Allah.
SYED KHAN, CHMN. DOWNTOWN ISLAMIC CENTER: I am shocked. It is always the Muslim community in the Chicago area.
GRIFFIN: Another perversion, says the center's chairman Syed Khan, of the faith he loves, the faith he says seeks peace.
KHAN: My feeling, it is an act of rage, rather than religion.
GRIFFIN: The council on American Islamic Relations immediately condemned what it called this act of senseless violence and repudiate all those who believe such murderous behavior benefits the faith of Islam or the Muslim people.
But barbaric as they may seem, beheadings are an accepted punishment under Islamic law in some countries. It is the terrorist culture that has used them as a form of aggression where terrorists may not be able to fight western helicopters. They can slit the throats of the western mechanics who work on them.
GOHEL: The terrorists know that this an immensely powerful psychological tool to behead individuals. They will try and do it again.
GRIFFIN: And they have done it before. Years before journalist Daniel Pearl was beheaded, 4 westerners were decapitated in Chechnya. And after photos from Abu Ghraib prison showed humiliating photos of Iraqi men, terrorists slit the throat of Nick Berg: revenge, they claim, in the name of all Muslims. Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Today's "Buzz" is this. What do you think? Should all Americans leave Saudi Arabia? Some say it's giving in to terrorists if they do, others say it's just sensible. Log on to CNN.com/360, cast your vote. We want to hear what you have to say. Results at the end of program tonight.
Is there jury trouble at the Scott Peterson trial. Just ahead, juror problems just the latest surprise in what has been a week of surprises in the court.
Also tonight, attitude toward health -- is attitude toward health contributing to the deaths of young men? Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us for a sobering report.
And lions in the backyard: why some suburbs are finding out that the roar of the wild is often just a few feet away. 360 continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARON ROCHA, LACI PETERSON'S MOTHER: I think that Mr. Geragos needs to stop joking so much. This is not funny. There's nothing numerous about the fact that my daughter was murdered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's really not. Jokes in the courtroom, Laci Peterson's mother, as you saw there, Sharon Rocha getting upset, just one of the developments in the third week of Scott Peterson's murder trial. Covering the case for us tonight, the dream team: 360 legal analyst, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom and Court TV anchor, Lisa Bloom. Thanks for being with us.
KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE NEWSOM, 360 LEGAL ANALYST: Hi, Anderson.
LISA BLOOM, COURT TV: Hi, Anderson.
COOPER: Kimberly, let me start off with you. A lot of testimony yesterday about Laci Peterson's jewelry. Apparently it was worth some 100,000 dollars. Why are they talking about that? Is the defense trying to come up with yet another motive?
NEWSOM: Well, the defense is also trying to suggest that someone else is responsible for this, all along. And interestingly enough, Mark Geragos held out, mysteriously, this slip from a pawn shop suggesting that someone had kidnapped Laci, taken her jewelry and then sold it. And this was a possible means, and it was dated on December 31. Big objection, objection sustained and now it's like a soap opera moment hanging out there with the jurors thinking, hmm, maybe he's got something to it.
I think it's not going to amount to anything. And I don't think there was a financial motive in this case. I don't think that quite gets it.
COOPER: Well, Lisa, is there a danger, really, almost for Geragos to come up with too many possible people who could have done this. BLOOM: Well, I think so. But there's more of a danger for the prosecution who, after all, is the one who has the burden of proof of putting out too many motives. Geragos only has to get one juror on one of his theories and he's got a hung jury which would be a victory for him.
I think the prosecution should stick with Amber Frey, the other woman, the fact that Scott Peterson indicated to a number of people he didn't want to be a father. That's probably the best motive.
COOPER: Interesting. Now, there was a poll camera which caught a juror actually talking to Laci Peterson's brother, I think it was, and I guess they're look at this tape now and decide on Monday whether or not it's serious. Could this guy be kicked off the jury?
NEWSOM: Yes, but I've gone through pretty detailed analysis of all the jurors, it's juror number 5, and he's actually someone whose probably one of the most favorable prosecution witnesses, except for his throwing peace signs. I mean, it's like a Tyco juror No. 4 all over again.
COOPER: Wait. He's throwing peace sings?
NEWSOM: Yes. To the defendant. That's not a good sign. So this guy needs to be reigned in. I tell you what, the judge needs to take control, the prosecutors need object, the judge is taking a look at this videotape and what he's going to do, I think on Monday morning and bring that juror in, speak to him. I don't think he'll be removed. You can't afford to start losing jurors this early in the game, especially since this is one that both sides probably feel they can lure to their side.
COOPER: Well, I don't have a legal mind here, but a juror giving peace signs? I don't understand that.
BLOOM: I think this is the media making much ado about nothing. Technically jurors aren't supposed to speak to anyone. In reality, when you're trying a case, a juror might say hello to you in the ladies room, might ask you about your sports team which may have been on here with Brent Rocha (ph). You know, throwing peace signs, making hand gestures, they're not supposed to do it, but the judge will probably admonish all of the jury to stick to themselves, not communicate at all and that will probably be the end of this.
COOPER: Is there a mood in the courtroom that's inappropriate? I mean, Sharon Rocha was talking about these jokes Geragos has made.
NEWSOM: Yes, we feel pretty strongly about this. I think it's unfortunate, because what you have here is a woman who was brutally, viciously murder, her unborn son. And, of course, you want to build a bond and rapport with the jury. He's already done that with jury selection. It's time to get serious, it sets the wrong tone and attitude, too much levity. This is a serious case.
And you know what happens? Jurors start misbehaving, like juror No. 5 and that's why this case has started to get off on the wrong foot.
COOPER: I wonder if it's part of the strategy of Geragos...
BLOOM: I'll tell you something. I think it effects his credibility, because he can dish it out, he likes to make jokes in the courtroom, he likes to get the laugh, but when they laugh at him, he can't take it, he asks for the courtroom to be killed.
NEWSOM: Only in Hollywood, right?
COOPER; All right, Lisa Bloom, thanks very much. Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, also, thanks very much.
BLOOM: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: So this Sunday, many families will come together to honor dear old dad, but as Father's Day approaches suggestions that dear old dad, or your older brother may not be doing enough to honor himself. A new study alerts alarming trends for men. CNN's medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on the dangers of being male.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At an early age, I knew that my chance of dying were much higher than the women in my life.
DANIEL KRUGER, PH.D, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: In late adolescence and early adulthood, men die at three times the rate of women in the United States.
GUPTA: Mostly from accidents, homicides and suicides, according to a new study out of the University of Michigan. Kind of sobering information, in fact, men die sooner than women when it comes to the leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, stroke. The list goes on. But why? One reason may be their attitude towards health.
DR. JEAN BONHOMME, EMORY UNIVERSITY: 82 percent of men have their car looked at, but only somewhere in the 50 percent of men saw their doctor.
GUPTA: And they're more prone to risky behaviors, like smoking, drinking and reckless driving early in life. Study authors say those behaviors are tied to something more complicated, sexual selection.
KRUGER: They have to compete for status and resources in order to attract partners.
GUPTA: And then, there's just plain old social mores.
BONHOMME: Boys are taught when they skin their knee, they get told, brave boys don't cry, so when they're 50 and having chest pain, they say it's indigestion.
What age did that start happening? GUPTA: Dr. Bonhomme says that men shouldn't ignore those early cues.
BONHOMME: The long processes that have taking place decades before, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, obesity. If you can arrest those things early, they wouldn't have gone on to the fatal consequence.
GUPTA: The good news, new treatments for chronic disease. And smoking and drinking among men are dipping, so we could see the tide of male mortality turn in my life time. And that's good news for Father's Day. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Just a quick news note for you, on a program a few weeks ago, we attributed a quote to Bill Cosby which in fact was made by former NBA star Charles Barkley. At a National Association of Black Journalists Convention last year, Barkley said on a quote, "We as black folks have to do a better job. Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us, we need to hold each other for a higher standard." We apologize for Mr. Cosby for the erroneous attribution of statement to him.
The call of the wild is closer than you may think. Just ahead, how mountain lions are making their way to California suburbs or actually is it the other way around?
Also tonight superstar stranded? Say it ain't so. Tom Hanks on the light side, goes for laughs in Steven Spielberg's "The Terminal." We'll check thought that out ahead in "The Weekender."
COOPER: One in 300 million, I'll take the odds on the sharks, thank you very much. The population in the western United States has doubled in the last 30 years and with that growth, what was once ranch land and wilderness has become, well, the burbs. And as you might expect the wilderness is where the wild animals live. You see where this is going? So what happens when people move to the mountains and find mountain lions? Miguel Marquez has that story.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mountain lions in our backyards, even our garages. This cat in Gonzales, California was returned to the wild. This lion was shot out of a tree in an upscale suburb just out of San Francisco. In the L.A. suburbs this cat got stuck in a backyard fence and was shot and killed. All recent incidents and experts say more are likely.
JOAN EMBERY, CONSERVATIONIST: We're sharing resources with wildlife and with nature and it's going to be a balancing act.
MARQUEZ: Embery knows the balance. She's cared for this 150- pound cougar for nearly nine years. EMBERY: Most of the incidents of cats moving into more urban environments tend to be younger cats as they're forced out of ranges that are defended by mature males.
MARQUEZ: Embery is on the board of University California's Wildlife Health Center and is three years into a ten-year study of mountain lions.
One thing the study found, when a mountain lion kills its prey it will often hide it near a trail or a road so when humans come along, the cat may see us as competition. Something else the study found, mountain lions and humans keep different hours.
EMBERY: There is an overlap, a window there of when we're still active and they're just beginning to set out.
MARQUEZ: Attacks on humans are rare. One study says in California, since 1890 six people have died out of 13 attacks. The last one came in January when mountain biker Mark Reynolds was killed. The same cat attacked Anne Hjelle, before it was shot and killed. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.
COOPER: Time to check on some lighter stuff. Some pop news in tonight's "Current." "The Bachelor's" Jesse Palmer and Jessica Bowlin are going their separate ways. That's right, the two split soon after the final rose ceremony. Seems Jessica dumped Jesse which is no surprise, considering the third-string quarterback is no stranger to getting sacked, slammed, and, well, cut down to size.
Success in China. A panda is pregnant after watching hours of videos showing other pandas mating. Chinese officials say the panda appeared to really enjoy the porn although it did fast forward through most of the dialogue.
And Madonna is reflecting on Michael Moore's controversial new film "Fahrenheit 9/11." It seems the Material Girl or is that Esther said, quote, "I've never cried so much in a movie in my life." Clearly she did not sit through "Swept Away."
And the last time Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg teamed up on film they gave us "Catch Me If You Can," a pretty light-hearted caper about identity theft. Well, the two Hollywood heavyweights are teaming up again, this time at the airport so let's pack up and check out "The Weekender."
COOPER (voice-over): In "The Terminal," Hanks is stuck in perpetual limbo in New York's JFK airport. He's literally a man without a country trapped inside the building and forced to adapt to his new home which involves plenty of diversions without involving a trip to the lounge.
And with time for a little romance with Catherine Zeta-Jones, maybe being stuck at the airport isn't so bad after all.
The nerds unite in "Dodgeball, A True Underdog Story." Ben Stiller leads a group of socially inept misfits hoping to win the dodgeball championship in Las Vegas. Here he tries to intimidate his rival.
BEN STILLER, ACTOR: Nobody makes me bleed my own blood. Nobody!
COOPER: And for the family audience, there's "Around the World in 80 Days." Jackie Chan gets his own little spin on the Jules Vern classic. He even gets a chance to show off some nifty moves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The unholy spirit.
COOPER: On TV, Rob Lowe stars Sunday night in TNT's adaptation of "Salem's Lot," Stephen King's spooky story about life and the afterlife in a small New England town. There's a surprise.
On DVD, "50 First Dates." Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore star in this short-term memory comedy about a guy and an art teacher suffering from temporal lobe damage. Maybe it's funnier than it sounds.
In concert, Phish, the Farewell Summer Tour makes its way to Coney Island tonight. Thousands of Phishheads will take in the music while the cyclone rumbles nearby. And if you're near Harrisonburg, Virginia, this weekend, be sure to check out the Shenandoah Valley barbecue cookoff. The prizes will be awarded to the top backyard basters and saucemakers.
COOPER: Well, coming up we're going to take a very dangerous world to the Nth Degree. That is just ahead. And also we have time still for our "Buzz" question. You can still weigh in on it. "Should all Americans leave Saudi Arabia?" Log on to CNN.com/360. Cast your vote and we'll have result when we come back in just a few moments.
COOPER: Time now for the "Buzz." Earlier we asked you, "should all Americans leave Saudi Arabia?" More than 30,000 of you voted. 76 percent of you said yes. 24 percent of you say no. Not a scientific poll but it is your "Buzz" and we appreciate you voting.
Tonight, taking perceptions to the "Nth Degree." The news out of the Middle East appears bleak. Paul Johnson, the American taken hostage in Saudi Arabia was killed, beheaded. One can only hope for him death came quickly, though, pictures it appears otherwise.
In Iraq, there have been an estimated 20-car bombings so far this month and a recent poll by the Coalition Provisional Authority found that more than half of Iraqis believe they will be safer after Americans leave. Now critics of the media say reporters have been too negative, that we only show a small slice, the worst of what's happening, the bombings, the bullets, the blood and you know, that may be so. I don't know if things are better or worse in Iraq than they appear on TV. I'm not sure anyone knows for sure. We're all so divided by politics and partisanship these days that what we see seems to depend on which side of the aisle we're standing. That doesn't seem right. I'm heading to Iraq tonight to cover the handover of power to the new interim Iraqi government. I'm not sure how much I'll actually be able to see over there but I hope to keep my eyes open and my mind wide open. That's 360 for this week. Coming up next, "PAULA ZAHN NOW."
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