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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Firestorm Erupts Over 9/11 Miniseries; Alleged Cop Killer Captured; Interview With Pakistani Ambassador to the United States Mahmud Ali Durrani
Aired September 8, 2006 - 22:00 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 again, everyone.
Today: murder in Kabul, as the Taliban tries for a comeback.
ANNOUNCER: The Taliban attacks. A powerful explosion in Afghanistan kills American service members. Tonight, Anderson is there, as violence escalates five years after 9/11.
Is "The Path to 9/11" a pack of lies? An upcoming docudrama...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just want people to tell the truth.
ANNOUNCER: ... under fire from the Clinton administration, and even its own star.
HARVEY KEITEL, ACTOR: And maybe too much poetic license was taken.
ANNOUNCER: Tonight, Harvey Keitel tells 360 what went wrong.
ANNOUNCER: And it's over. One of the FBI's most wanted, an alleged cop killer, is no longer on the run -- tonight, major developments in the hunt for Ralph "Buck" Phillips.
ANNOUNCER: Across the country and around the world, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan, here is Anderson Cooper.
COOPER: And good evening again. Thanks for joining us.
We have a deadly day here in Kabul, Afghanistan, a suicide attack killing two U.S. soldiers, also a new missive from none other than Saddam Hussein (sic), in which we see Adam Gadahn, the -- the American al Qaeda, talking on tape. We will have all of that in a moment from Kabul.
But, first, John Roberts is in Washington with some breaking news about an arrest in a manhunt for a fugitive who has been on the run -- John.
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Anderson. We will get back to you in just a second.
His run from the law is over. Ralph "Buck" Phillips, a man deemed so dangerous, he was on the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives list, is now in the custody of U.S. Marshals. He was captured just hours ago. You see him right there in the back of a police car. Phillips had been a fugitive for five months, and he allegedly shot three state troopers, killing one of them.
Officers stopped at nothing to find this guy. They launched a massive manhunt, with nearly 400 troopers practically everywhere. Early this morning, the hunt intensified. Phillips allegedly led police on two car chases, both involving stolen vehicles.
In the second chase, police say Phillips actually jumped out of the moving car and ducked into the woods between New York state and Pennsylvania. Police say he was spotted there hours later, wielding a gun. A trooper fired at him, and Phillips disappeared.
But, tonight, police found him again and surrounded him in a Pennsylvania cornfield. He surrendered without incident -- quite an adventure. And there is plenty more to tell about it. We are going to have that in just a moment.
But, first, let's go back to Anderson in Kabul.
COOPER: John, thanks very much.
As I said, it has been a deadly day here in Kabul. We will get to that in a moment.
But, first, this tape, a -- a new missive from Osama bin Laden.
Let's turn to CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen, who is with me here in Kabul.
What's significant about this tape?
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, Anderson, this is just coming in.
It's about -- it's about an hour. You remember the Al-Jazeera tape. We saw about four minutes of that. This is about an hour of material, we're still analyzing it. It's more videotape of bin Laden we have never seen, but it's dated material.
It's also some statements by this guy, Adam Gadahn, known as Azzam the American. You may remember him. He's the guy who appeared with Ayman Al-Zawahri in a tape recently, urging Americans to convert to Islam. He's -- he's a Californian. He's somebody who, you know, the FBI is very concerned about. He's recently been indicted. You know, we're still analyzing this material.
I -- it's...
COOPER: Well, what's interesting about Gadahn...
COOPER: I mean, his parents, long ago, had sort of denied that -- that, you know, he had gone over to al Qaeda. Clearly, on this tape, I mean, he's talk -- he's praising the -- the 9/11 hijackers.
BERGEN: Right. I mean, any -- any idea that he's not part -- he's obviously very embedded with al Qaeda at this point. You know, he comes from a rather sort of -- sort of a hippie background in California.
Obviously, he's made sort of a -- some kind of weird spiritual journey, sort of like John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, but even more serious, in a sense, because he really joined with al Qaeda.
COOPER: Do we know where he is now?
BERGEN: I mean, we're assuming he's in the Northwest Frontier Province, in the tribal areas. I think, because he's with Ayman Al- Zawahri in these videotapes, he's probably with him, maybe in Waziristan, the area we keep hearing about.
COOPER: Talking about in Pakistan.
I want to talk -- we are going to go back to Peter in just a moment.
But I just want to bring you up to date on what happened here on Friday in Kabul. Frankly, shortly after we flew in here, a massive car bomb, a car slamming into a three-vehicle U.S. military convoy, very close to the U.S. Embassy. It was a brazen daylight attack, happened around 10:20 a.m. in the morning here in Kabul.
The -- it was armored vehicles that the U.S. soldiers were driving in, but the -- the force of the blast killed two U.S. soldiers, wounded one other, and, as these attacks so often have here in Afghanistan, killed an awful lot of Afghan civilians. As many as 12 Afghans have been killed. Some 27 Afghans were wounded.
We saw pieces of -- of metal in a blast radius, in a -- in a wide blast radius around this suicide vehicle. Chunks of body parts also just littered the street. It was a gruesome and a grisly scene.
Peter, you were there as well. What is the significance of that attack?
BERGEN: Well, I mean, Anderson, it was 200 yards from the U.S. Embassy. That's highly significant. It -- it took place on a place called Massoud Circle, which is the monument to the Afghan national hero, Ahmed Shah Massoud.
COOPER: Killed just days before 9/11. And, in fact, this occurred just on the anniversary of that assassination.
BERGEN: Exact -- killed by al Qaeda, the Taliban's great enemy. So, it's a sort of twofer for them. It was outside the American Embassy, next to this monument for the national hero that they don't like. It was, you know -- as these anniversaries approach, 9/11, the anniversary of Massoud's death, I think it was quite significant.
For them, this was a -- kind of a -- a big win, I think, unfortunately, from -- from a propaganda point of view.
COOPER: How is it possible that the Taliban has -- has come back, to the extent that they have here? I mean, there -- there's fierce fighting going on in the south of the country. NATO is now saying they need more troops.
NATO bombers killed, I think, some 20 Taliban fighters in the last 24 hours. But, still, they're saying that -- that the battle is much tougher than -- than I think a lot of people previously thought.
BERGEN: Anderson, I think you have several factors.
One is, they have got safe haven in Pakistan. Two, they're benefiting from the drug trade. Three, there's a certain amount of dissatisfaction with the Karzai government. Four, you know, they're coming back from a pretty low level. I mean, let's not -- before, they were sort of a nuisance. Now they're developing into a strong tactical threat.
They're not a strategic threat yet to the Karzai government. That's a long way off. But they're certainly becoming, you know, much more than just a nuisance.
COOPER: Pakistan says, look, we're -- we're doing all we can to hunt down not only al Qaeda, but also to hunt down the Taliban. But they just signed this cease-fire agreement with Taliban militants in north Waziristan. They have already previously an agreement in south Waziristan.
These are provinces bordering Afghanistan. They say it is going to help the war on terror. A lot of people we have been talking to are -- are dismayed.
BERGEN: Very skeptical of that.
I mean, we were in a -- a briefing yesterday where an intelligence source suggested that Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, is living in Quetta, a city in southwest Pakistan, or somewhere in that neighborhood.
I think that's pretty big news, if it's in fact the case. Certainly, that's the view of this intelligence source.
COOPER: Because Pakistan, for -- for -- for a long time, has been saying, well, Mullah Omar is living in -- in -- in Afghanistan, near Kandahar somewhere.
BERGEN: And -- and will say that bin Laden is in Afghanistan, and will many things.
And it's not surprising they say these things. But I -- unfortunately, I don't think it's true. Taliban leadership in -- in Afghanistan, al Qaeda leadership in -- in Pakistan, I think that's the case.
COOPER: So, from the intelligence people you're talking to, what does this cease-fire mean? I mean, it -- from my reading of it, Pakistani troops now are -- have left checkpoints. They have handed over the checkpoints back to the militants. They -- they still have outposts along the border. But can they really stop militants from crossing over into Afghanistan?
BERGEN: While I think the U.S. military's concern is that al Qaeda will reform in larger groups in areas where these peace agreements have happened. That's their big concern.
COOPER: They say that, in south Waziristan, where this cease- fire has already been signed, they have already seen an uptick in cross-border operations.
BERGEN: Indeed. So, you know, every time another -- another cease-fire is signed, unfortunately, we may -- may see another uptick. And this may be another factor in this resurgence.
COOPER: All right. Peter Bergen, appreciate that.
Actually, CNN's Nic Robertson has been traveling in Pakistan, in these very dangerous border regions. He filed this report from north Waziristan.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Afghanistan is about half-a-kilometer, just a little less than half-a- mile in that direction.
We are Lwara Fort, a Pakistani military fort along the border with Afghanistan. We're right inside north Waziristan, where the Pakistani government has just struck a deal with tribal leaders here which will pull some of the Pakistani military back inside their bases, and give the tribes the authority and power to run the border areas, essentially allowing the tribes to do -- conduct business freely across the borders, but forbidding them to support the Taliban, who have been basing themselves inside Pakistan, striking across the border inside Afghanistan -- Pakistani government very keen to show that that deal can work.
They have taken us on a tour of the borders. They have shown us some of their 97 border posts along the borders. It's a helicopter tour. We're running out of time at this border post, but we're headed to the helicopter right now.
From up here, you can see just how mountainous it is, just how much the border weaves around, just how much vegetation there is for people to hide in.
Very nice to meet you.
ROBERTSON: Very nice to meet you. Thank you very much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a privilege to interact with you.
ROBERTSON: Well, it's very kind of you to take us to show us the border.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you're most welcome.
ROBERTSON: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most welcome.
ROBERTSON: We have been flying along the border. We are seeing some of the border posts along the border.
What we have come to now is a checkpoint, a border post that is right here up on the border. We're at here at about 8,000 feet up here. I'm going to climb up the steps to the border post here.
Todd (ph), if you want to get ahead of me as we go up the steps.
This is one of 97 posts, interlinking posts, that the Pakistani military have along the border, 50 posts behind that, 28,000 troops inside this area of north -- in north Waziristan. It's an area that the military here now feel that they dominate. And it's an area that they're very keen to show us how they dominate it.
So, everything we're seeing over there, that is all Afghanistan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's all Afghanistan. The high mountains are Afghanistan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This high ground, when it reaches its peak here, in the middle distance, this is the border.
ROBERTSON: So, you look down, and, from these posts, you can look across on the road.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
ROBERTSON: You have checkpoints on the road.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
ROBERTSON: You have posts up high in the hills looking down, providing security for those check posts...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.
ROBERTSON: ... looking out, and interlinking with the patrols.
These mobile patrols here, they're ready to go out at a moment's notice?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. These are part of the QRF, we call them, quick reaction force.
ROBERTSON: Do you think, if Osama bin Laden were here today, the people in -- around here would tell you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would hope so, certainly.
ROBERTSON: Do you think they would?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the support we are trying to gain, as I said, we have to isolate the supporters. We have to hit the hard- core. Having done that, obviously, more than 90 percent of the people will be able to support you.
ROBERTSON: We have learned of the terrain. We have learned of the military structures in place. And we have learned of the new deal with the tribes. Again, the Pakistani government very confident that this deal can work, that they can stop the Taliban getting from Pakistan into Afghanistan -- Anderson.
COOPER: Nic, thanks very much.
Despite the confidence on the part of the Pakistan government, many intelligence sources I have talked to here in Afghanistan are less confident about Pakistan's ability, now that they have signed the cease-fire to stop militants from crossing over.
I want to talk to the -- Pakistan's ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Mahmud Durrani, who joins me now from Washington.
Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much for being with us.
What -- what do you make of the skepticism that -- that I'm hearing, and that we're hearing from intelligence sources here in Afghanistan and elsewhere, who are saying that -- that this cease-fire has essentially ceded territory back over to Taliban militants, and that there's no way you're adequately going to be able to stop militants from crossing over into Afghanistan?
MAHMUD ALI DURRANI, PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO UNITED STATES: I think this skepticism has become a habit with people.
I just saw some footage on your program just now where the Pakistan military was showing off the border posts. They're taking people in helicopters. So, they are confident, and confident rightly, too.
And the people of the tribal areas, a large, overwhelming majority is with us. So, we don't see any problems. And most of the attacks that are coming into Afghanistan, if you see, they are not close to the border. They are not a day's flight away, unless they are doing, "Beam me up, Scotty." They can't do things in Kabul. They are people inside Afghanistan. And I think we need to improve the policing, the military operation, intelligence inside Afghanistan, and I think we will be better off then. Blame game doesn't help anybody...
COOPER: But your president, Pervez Musharraf -- your president, Pervez Musharraf, has admitted, while he was here, that, in fact, people are crossing over the border. And -- and while you say that the people in those regions are with you, those people who are Pashtun are also, in many cases, with the Taliban. There's a lot of support for Taliban militants there.
And, certainly, they have been living there for -- for the last several years. Why does signing a deal with them actually help the war on terror, in your opinion?
DURRANI: Absolutely, sir, I think it helps the war on terror, because we are doing a three-pronged strategy.
We are doing the military segment of it. We are doing the economic segment of it and the political segment. We are trying to win hearts and minds. And I think that is something other people need to learn, too. It's not just guns that will solve this problem. We want to get deeper down, why these people are doing that. And we are doing that today.
COOPER: Intelligence sources I have talked to say that no major Taliban leaders have been arrested in -- in -- in Pakistan, really since 2001. While -- while you have been very effective against al Qaeda leaders there, and al Qaeda militants there, that there hasn't been the same impetus behind Taliban.
In fact, one intelligence source I talked to today said that they are quite sure that Mullah Omar is living in Quetta or in the surrounding areas about it.
DURRANI: My comment is that whoever that intelligence source is, I think, talking through his hat, or he's guessing, or -- I don't know.
If Mullah Omar was, hypothetically, let's say, in Quetta, your intelligence, the American intelligence, would know. We would know. We would pounce upon him. I mean, there is no question that will be -- would leave Mullah Omar if you knew he is there.
The possibility can't be ruled out. I mean, I think there would be a 5, 10 percent possibility. But the greater possibility is, he is inside Afghanistan, conducting operations. You can't be hitting Kabul from Quetta.
COOPER: There -- there are many observers here who believe that Pakistan, while they want Afghanistan as a trading partner, do not necessarily want a strong, unified Afghanistan on their border, that, in fact, there are those who say you, in fact, support the Taliban, and want the Taliban as a trump card, in case the coalition eventually pulls out here in Afghanistan.
DURRANI: Most certainly not.
I mean, I have been hearing this for the last six, seven years. It's not something new. I have been hearing it a long time. It is totally incorrect. We must be totally stupid or out of our mind, when the Taliban and the terrorists are hitting our president, our prime minister.
We have got 80,000 troops on the border. Why are we doing that? I mean, that's one hell of a charade. I don't think that is correct at all.
COOPER: Ambassador Durrani, we appreciate your perspective. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk with us from Washington tonight.
DURRANI: Thank you, sir. Pleasure.
COOPER: We are going to -- we are going to be focusing on -- on events here in Afghanistan and what is undoubtedly a resurgence of the Taliban and their adoption of al Qaeda-style tactics over the next several days here on 360, particularly next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Also, this weekend, on Saturday, at 7:00 p.m., you can watch Christiane Amanpour's report, "In the Footsteps of bin Laden," a remarkable documentary, a major investigative effort, tracing the footsteps of bin Laden, his rise to power, from those who knew him best.
But we have a lot more from Afghanistan tonight.
But, first, let's go back to John Roberts in Washington for the latest -- John.
ROBERTS: Thanks, Anderson.
"Beam me up, Scotty," there's a phrase we haven't heard associated with the war on terror, up until now.
Coming up: an update on our breaking news. The manhunt ends for one of the FBI's most wanted -- after five months on the lam, how police caught the alleged cop killer.
There was also deadly violence across Iraq today. CNN's Michael Ware was embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq. He joins us with a look at the situation there.
And, later: Despite mounting criticism, ABC still plans to air its controversial miniseries on 9/11. Tonight, we're going to hear from one of the stars of the movie, Harvey Keitel -- when 360 continues. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROBERTS: And back to our breaking news.
A massive dragnet for one of the FBI's most wanted -- most wanted fugitives is over tonight. After an intense manhunt, Ralph "Buck" Phillips was caught just hours ago in a Pennsylvania cornfield, close to the New York border. The escaped prisoner, accused of killing one state trooper and wounding two others, stands accused of murder.
CNN's Allan Chernoff has the story.
ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hundreds of police officers descended on Carroll, New York, when they got word early this morning that Ralph "Buck" Phillips had been spotted there.
WAYNE BENNETT, SUPERINTENDENT, NEW YORK STATE POLICE: Obviously, we have a very dangerous and desperate individual on the loose here.
CHERNOFF: Dangerous, indeed. Phillips is wanted for allegedly shooting and wounding a New York state trooper this past June in Elmira, New York. Police say he shot two more troopers in August, one of whom died.
Just yesterday, he made his way on to the FBI's most wanted list. And the U.S. Marshals' fugitive task force has been on the case for less than a week.
LENNY DEPAUL, COMMANDER, U.S. MARSHALS FUGITIVE TASK FORCE: It's his backyard. He knows the woods. He's pretty good at what he's doing. And -- but we're a lot better.
CHERNOFF: Police in Pennsylvania say they spotted a stolen car just before 2:00 this morning, and chased it down, until it hit a tree. They say the driver escaped, stole a second car, leapt into the woods, and disappeared.
DEPAUL: He was positively I.D.ed by the Pennsylvania state troopers. The first vehicle that he left behind, there was a duffel bag. Within the duffel bag contained some food, some camouflage clothing, and also a -- a camouflage hat.
CHERNOFF: Police dogs tracked him into the woods, where a trooper opened fire on him, when, they say, he turned on them with a gun, but he didn't fire. Again, he disappeared, but some of his actions, police believed, showed that Phillips didn't have a plan.
BENNETT: What occurred here with the stolen cars was spontaneous. I don't think this was anticipated at all. And there wasn't time to really put any kind of plan into effect. That's an advantage to us.
CHERNOFF: Still, police say, Buck Phillips had proved elusive in the past. So, while they believed they had him contained, they were cautious.
BENNETT: We have had him before, where we have been close, and he's got out. Am I fairly confident that this is the best opportunity we had? Yes. Am I totally convinced that I can come back to you in a short time and say it's over? I'm not about to go there.
CHERNOFF: But, then, this evening came the moment police had been waiting for. The hunt for Buck Phillips had finally come to an end.
BENNETT: He knew he had, had the course. It's that simple. You got a helicopter hovering over your head. You got SWAT team members coming down the wood line. The game was up, and he knew it.
CHERNOFF: And what was Ralph "Buck" Phillips' life on the run really like? How did he escape from prison and elude police for so long? That is part of the story, coming up.
Plus, a day of deadly violence across Iraq -- we will check in with CNN's Michael Ware, who just returned from a mission with U.S. troops. He will update us on the situation there -- when 360 continues.
ROBERTS: Tonight, one of the FBI's most wanted is captured and back behind bars. A look at Ralph "Buck" Phillips' a life on the run -- 360 next.
ROBERTS: Tonight, as we reported before the break, the manhunt is over for one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives, Ralph "Buck" Phillips. He was caught just hours ago near Akeley, Pennsylvania, close to the border with New York.
Before he escaped from a New York jail, before he allegedly gunned down a state trooper, he was a source of amusement for many who knew him. Of course, no one is laughing now. How did what some call a local folk hero become a dangerous fugitive?
Here's CNN's Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Buck Phillips' run began at 5:00 in the morning on April 2 at the minimum-security Erie County Correctional Facility. He and 15 other inmates had just been brought to the kitchen for work, according to investigators, when Phillips climbed up on to a large cooler, and hid himself behind boxes.
There, they say, using an industrial can opener and the edges of old can lids, he completed a job started earlier, cutting and prying a two-foot hole through the roof. On top, and now wearing civilian clothes he had secretly obtained, investigators say Phillips set off a motion detector.
The guards either didn't notice or thought it was a malfunction. Phillips jumped to the ground, walked away. And, only after the corrections staff was convinced he was gone, an hour later, did the manhunt begin.
WAYNE BENNETT, SUPERINTENDENT, NEW YORK STATE POLICE: You can run, but you can't hide. Sooner or later -- I don't care how good you are -- we will find you.
FOREMAN: For five months, Phillips evaded tracking teams, roadblocks and helicopters. Although police believe he traveled all over western New York and Pennsylvania, they think he tried to stay near his old home, and they charged family members in connection with taking him in.
QUESTION: Did you help...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Leave me alone.
FOREMAN: Friends say the mounting pressure on Phillips' family only made him run and fight harder.
SHAWN HORTON, PHILLIPS FAMILY FRIEND: What did they expect the response would be, you know? Is he just going to walk out and surrender and say, well, here I am?
FOREMAN: For some in these rural communities, Phillips' run was a modern-day folktale, marked with "Bucky Burgers" and T-shirts. But, with a state police officer dead, two others injured, and Phillips suspected in all three shootings, everyone seemed to sense the end was near.
MITTY CORNELIUS, SISTER OF RALPH "BUCK" PHILLIPS: We have all been through a lot. And we're tired. And we want it to end. But I don't want it to end like this. I don't want him to die.
FOREMAN: Federal and state police say they didn't want that either, even as Buck's run was running out.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
ROBERTS: And we have got CNN's Allan Chernoff live from Carroll, New York. He's been following this story for weeks now, let alone just the past few hours.
But, Allan, you were there as police moved in. How did that part of the story go down?
CHERNOFF: John, it actually happened just over a hill, about two-and-a-half miles behind where I'm standing.
He was actually cornered in a cornfield. For much of the day, the police had set up a perimeter. They moved in closer and closer. And, finally, they had him totally surrounded, told him to put his hands up. He did, then had him lay down on the ground. And he came out of the cornfield, unarmed, which police were, of course, very relieved at that, particularly after the chase that he gave them over the past five months -- John.
ROBERTS: Allan Chernoff for us live from Carroll, New York -- Allan, thanks. Good day of work for you.
Another day of deadly violence in Iraq -- coming up, CNN's Michael Ware joins us from Baghdad. Just hours ago, he was embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq.
And ABC still planning to air that controversial miniseries on the events leading up to 9/11. What changes has the network made to silence its critics? Plus, you will hear from one of the actors, Harvey Keitel -- when 360 continues.
COOPER: And welcome back. We're live in Kabul, Afghanistan. We continue to follow this breaking news story this evening.
More tapes from Osama bin Laden have been released, on what is perhaps unique about this tape is that we hear Adam Gadahn, a man often referred to as the American Taliban, a young man from California who has joined al Qaeda, his whereabouts are unknown, believed to be perhaps in Pakistan or maybe even in Southern Afghanistan. But on this tape he is talking about the 9/11 hijackers and, in fact, he is praising them vigorously. Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM GADAHN, AMERICAN TALIBAN: All of these others who took part in the raids on America were dedicated, strong-willed, highly motivated individuals, with a burning concern for Islam and Muslims. And they had to be, to be chosen for such a difficult mission. They were definitely not failures, looking for a way out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's Adam Gadahn. Peter Bergen, CNN terrorism analyst joins me now.
What do you make of this tape, hearing Adam Gadahn?
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I mean, we've heard from him before. We've heard from him rather recently, along with Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda's No. 2, urging Americans to convert to Islam, sort of more of the same in my view.
You know, this, the new tape that we're seeing is -- is more material that, from the stuff that al Jazeera earlier aired. Al Jazeera did a good job of mining the real news: bin Laden meeting with the operational commanders of 9/11, people like Ramzi Binalshibh.
COOPER: There have been people in this region that used to believe that Osama bin Laden had nothing to do with 9/11. That clearly -- I mean, that argument is dead, yes?
BERGEN: You know, he's repeatedly said that "I was involved." He's talked about. Now we've got pictures of him meeting the lead hijackers. We've got pictures -- we've got him saying -- talking to Mohammed Atta, telling him what to do, the lead hijacker.
So I mean, you know, conspiracy theorists will continue to believe what they will. But I mean, the one group of people who really identified themselves very seriously as -- you know, the people behind 9/11 are al Qaeda themselves.
COOPER: Why no new message from Osama bin Laden? You would think with the anniversary coming up and perhaps in the next several days there will be one...
COOPER: They have such a strong sense of public relations.
BERGEN: You know, there may well be one in the pipeline. If we don't hear in the next week or so from bin Laden or Ayman al-Zawahiri, there's a problem with either one of them or both of them.
COOPER: Because it's such an obvious anniversary for them to have something to say.
BERGEN: They are just burning to say something about this. It would be very surprising if they don't.
COOPER: We've also seen, of course, an uptick -- Peter, thanks -- an uptick in violence in the last 24 hours, really, here in Kabul. A car bomb killed two Americans on Friday. It was a brazen daylight attack. There's also been increasing violence in Iraq.
CNN's Michael Ware is in Baghdad. He was recently -- he just came off an embed with the U.S. military. Michael joins me now from Baghdad.
Michael, what was the fighting like?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, it remains quite fierce. Obviously, it's continually evolving the fight here in Iraq. And where we've just come from, we just got off the choppers from Ramadi, in Iraq's western Al Anbar province. And we see that it's Al Anbar and Ramadi in particular that is the centerpiece in the war against al Qaeda in Iraq.
We heard President Bush earlier this week point to that, referring to the words of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri themselves. And we also hear al Qaeda itself talk about the importance of Ramadi. What -- to both sides, this is the front line. This is the front line with al Qaeda, and there, we see a fierce battle that continues to rage. Where in the past we saw mass assaults by al Qaeda with wave after wave attacking U.S. fixed positions. We've seen that evolve in the face of new American tactics, where very much it's a sniper war. It's a war going back to the roadside bombs, to indirect fire, to ambushes.
I mean, there's a constant drip feed of U.S. deaths there, Anderson. I mean, on average, every brigade that goes to Ramadi suffers roughly 100 U.S. deaths a year. And the brigade that's there now has been there about two and a half months says that, unfortunately, they're on track to meet that rate -- Anderson.
COOPER: It's also become clear, Michael, that the Taliban here in Afghanistan have learned from al Qaeda, have been watching what's going on in Iraq and are adopting increasingly al Qaeda-style tactics, suicide bombings. There have been more than 70 suicide attacks in Afghanistan this past year alone. There used to never be suicide attacks, really, in Afghanistan. The
Michael, the U.S. military has handed over official control of the Iraqi military to Iraq's prime minister. What kind of an impact is that going to have? Are they ready to control their own military?
COOPER: Well, technically, the Iraqi forces constitutionally have been under the control of -- of the Iraqi prime minister, but now we're seeing them come under the command of American generals, at least in word. They still cannot operate without U.S. forces, Anderson.
So you know, to some degree, this is still smoke and mirrors, but we do see Iraq trying to flex its own muscles. The signing of the deal, the formal ceremony of this handover was pushed back for several days as it was behind the scenes negotiations about the strict letter of the law of this agreement.
What it's going to mean on the ground, the effect isn't going to be that much different. This is still an American-led fight. As much as they try to put Iraqi forces to the fore, as much as they try to put an Iraqi face on it, without the U.S. military, without the increasing numbers of American soldiers, not decreasing numbers of American soldiers, this fight cannot continue. So in many ways it's still only in name -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Michael Ware, appreciate it, thanks. Stay safe in Baghdad.
Our coverage here from Kabul is going to continue Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday.
Monday night, though, at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, I hope you join us for a very special edition of 360. We are focusing not only on the five-year anniversary, of course, of 9/11, that terrible day, but what it means here in Afghanistan, and in fact, how it is possible that the Taliban have -- have grown again. The resurgence of the Taliban is what we are going to be focusing on in our coverage.
We've been getting briefings from intelligence officials over the last day or so, and I can tell you the message that they send is sobering in terms of the level of coordination, the level of ability of the Taliban to operate inside Pakistan right now, very alarming indeed.
In fact some real questions about who, if anyone, on the Pakistan side is actually searching for Osama bin Laden. We'll take a look at that Monday at 10 p.m. Eastern. I hope you join us.
Right now, back to John Roberts in Washington -- John.
ROBERTS: Thanks, Anderson.
And coming up, the uproar over ABC's miniseries on 9/11. Did that series change the facts? You'll hear from one of the actors, Harvey Keitel. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think they ought to tell the truth, particularly if they're going to claim it's based on the 9/11 Commission, they shouldn't contradict the fact and findings of the 9/11 Commission.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Former President Bill Clinton reacting about the ABC miniseries about the events leading up to September the 11th. Like Clinton, many Democrats are demanding the movie either be re-cut or not aired at all. They say that it distorts history by turning facts into a partisan work of fiction.
In a moment we're going to talk to one of the stars of the miniseries, Harvey Keitel. You'll hear from him. But first, more on the controversy. Here's CNN's Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Officials at ABC are not tipping their hand on any revisions being made in their controversial miniseries, "The Path to 9/11".
HARVEY KEITEL, ACTOR: We're not safe yet.
TODD: But ABC is certainly not safe from fallout as a former president and his top aides launch a multipronged attack.
CLINTON: I just want people to tell the truth, you know, and not pretend it's something it's not.
TODD: One proposed scene that's gotten Bill Clinton and his former aides upset is, at the very least, being reviewed, according to 9/11 Commission chair man Tom Kean, a consultant on the film, and CNN contributor Howard Kurtz, who spoke to his own sources.
HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, "RELIABLE SOURCES": I am told that ABC is going to change, for example, a very explosive scene involving the former national security advisor, Sandy Berger, supposedly putting a red light up when CIA people in Afghanistan were about to capture Osama bin Laden.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're ready to load the package. Repeat, do we have clearance to load the package?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand by.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Officers are in place, sir. They're in danger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand that, Patricia, but I don't have that authority.
TODD: An incident that never happened, according to Berger and the 9/11 Commission. Berger, former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright and Clinton's own office have written letters to Kean and Disney president Robert Iger, calling on them not to broadcast the film.
SANDY BERGER, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: My impression is, is this is a misleading film to the core, and it seems to be the only appropriate thing is for ABC to withdraw the series.
TODD: ABC has given no indications that it's considering canceling the $40 million movie, but the network is also dealing with fallout among the film's cast. Actor Harvey Keitel says the film should be fixed before it's released.
KEITEL: I had questions about certain events and material I was given in "The Path to 9/11" that I did raise questions about. Yes, I had some conflicts there. You can't put things together, compress them and then distort the reality.
TODD: Contacted by CNN, an ABC official had no immediate response to Keitel's comments, and the network is sticking to its previous statement that "the film is a dramatization. The editing process is not yet complete, and criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible."
On the political front, ABC is accused of a heavy slant against Democrats. Tom Kean, a Republican and only the 9/11 Commission member consulted for the film, was sent a letter from Clinton's office, saying, "Your defense of the outright lies in this film is destroying the bipartisan aura of the 9/11 Commission."
TOM KEAN, CHAIRMAN, 9/11 COMMISSION: A lot of people who are talking now haven't seen it. I haven't even seen the final cut. They're going to find something where they learn more about the hijackers, more about the plot. TODD (on camera): Media observers say all this criticism and buzz over the movie will very likely generate huge ratings for ABC on Sunday and Monday night, if the network can work around a scheduled address by President Bush in prime time on Monday.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
ROBERTS: And coming up, more feedback on the miniseries from actor Harvey Keitel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEITEL: Where error has been made, in terms of not portraying the events as they actually were, that they need to be changed. I mean, I think that's obvious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Keitel weighs in on the uproar, ahead on 360.
And later, a look at America's security, or lack of it, since September the 11th. We'll examine that ahead in our special, "Five Years Later: How Safe Are We?"
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEITEL: Despite all the red flags, no one is taking the terrorism seriously. Political corruptness rules the day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you sure about this?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: That's a scene from "The Path to 9/11", ABC's miniseries that begins this Sunday. Democrats say the movie twists the facts and rewrites history by suggesting that President Clinton failed to respond to the threat from Osama bin Laden.
Harvey Keitel, as you saw, stars in the miniseries. I spoke with him earlier.
ROBERTS: Harvey, I want to ask you your opinion about what you think should be done with this miniseries. Let me play you a piece from an interview CNN did with Sandy Berger, who's the former national security adviser. He was very worked up about this whole issue. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERGER: That program has been called into question by historians, by members of the 9/11 Commission. They can't fix this along the edges by tinkering in last-minute in some desperate effort to edit it. This thing is just rotten to the core.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: So he is saying that he is appealing to Tom Kean, who was the consultant and is listed as co-executive producer, who was also the 9/11 Commissioner on this project to pull it off of the air. He's appealing, as well as President Clinton and Madeleine Albright to ABC to pull it.
You worked long and hard on this. What do you think should happen to it?
KEITEL: Well, I think where error has been made in terms of not portraying the events as they actually were that they need to be changed. I mean, I think that's obvious. No one intends to misrepresent the greatest tragedy that ever befell our country, and I understand the situation.
That event does not lend itself perhaps to poetic license, and maybe too much poetic license was taken. Certainly, people should not be maligned or misrepresented.
But I do not agree with Mr. Berger that the project in its entirety should be shelled. There's a lot of good information in here, John, that I think the public deserves to see.
ROBERTS: Did you have any problems with the script, any problems with the production in terms of accuracy?
KEITEL: I had some, yes. I had some issues when I first came on board. And...
ROBERTS: So what were those issues?
KEITEL: ... I did question them.
ROBERTS: What were those issues?
KEITEL: It was about accuracy. It was about certain situations where obviously, when you're dramatizing them, no one is present but the parties involved. And I had questions about certain events to make sure they were factual and that the truth was being told.
ROBERTS: So you believe that editing could deal with all these problems?
KEITEL: No, I don't. I don't. Like I said a moment ago, where they cannot be dealt with, then they have to find a way to answer to them.
But that is not the entire picture here. This "Path to 9/11" represents the work of the FBI, to a great extent, in their effort to track down the terrorist threat in America and the fine work that these gentleman did, and the obstacles they came across that prevented them to do their job to prevent us from attack. Obviously, we were attacked.
And I think this is information that the public should be aware of, to understand how the event progressed. I think questions, a dialogue has to be opened.
The good side of this, John, the -- the upside of this is that if this is making people ask questions about what is fact and what is not, they should be seeking to get that information. There's too much of a distance, in my mind, between the public and the citizenry at large. It's time our citizens got more involved and asked questions that would help them to understand and separate fact from fiction here.
May I say one thing further, John?
ROBERTS: Go ahead.
KEITEL: There's an image I'm struck by concerning 9/11, and that was this fire engine crossing, I think it was, the Brooklyn Bridge heading toward the burning towers. It was a still shot taken from a distance by a photographer. And it showed that engine heading toward the burning towers and the citizens all running away from the burning towers.
I often thought that we need to get on board that fire engine and head toward that inferno, and on the way there, try to understand how to put out that fire. We need to ask questions, and "The Path to 9/11" will provide a lot of material for people to ask questions about.
ROBERTS: Harvey, these historical pieces are often fictionalized, dramatized. But when you're dealing with an event like 9/11, should such an event be held sacrosanct to the accurate record?
KEITEL: I think absolutely.
ROBERTS: Harvey Keitel, thanks very much for your time. I appreciate it, sir.
KEITEL: My pleasure.
ROBERTS: On Monday to mark the fifth anniversary of 9/11, CNN Pipeline will air CNN's original coverage of the attacks, uncut, unedited, just as they happened. It begins Monday morning at 8:30 Eastern and continues throughout the day. You can get to CNN Pipeline by logging on to CNN.com.
And of course, we're following some other stories for you tonight. Here's a "360 Bulletin".
A U.S. Air Force officer who disappeared earlier this week in Kyrgyzstan has been found alive. Major Jill Metzger disappeared on Tuesday at a shopping center. Tonight she is back at the American base in the central Asian country after police found her. An investigation is under way into her disappearance.
In Sudan, freedom for a U.S. journalist. Sudan's president has agreed to release "Chicago Tribune" foreign correspondent Paul Salopek, who was charged with being a spy after entering the African country without a visa. That's according to New Mexico's governor, Bill Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., who has known the Sudanese president for years.
To Bermuda, where residents are preparing for the wrath of Florence. The tropical storm is expected to reach Category 2 hurricane strength when it passes near Bermuda on Sunday night, with winds topping 96 miles an hour. The storm is not expected, though, to threaten the U.S. East Coast.
And today for the fourth time in two weeks, NASA scrubbed lift- off of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. NASA is still working to fix a faulty fuel sensor. They're going to try to launch Atlantis again tomorrow. But if that doesn't happen, the mission is going to be delayed until October.
That's it for now from stateside. Now let's go back to Kabul, Afghanistan, and Anderson Cooper -- Anderson.
COOPER: Hey, John, thanks very much.
When we come back on 360 at 11 p.m., we'll have the rise of the Taliban here in Afghanistan. A deadly car bombing rocks Kabul. We'll have the latest on that.
Plus five years after 9/11, are we any safer? Billions of dollars have been spent on airports, on security, on port security. But where has the money gone? Are we safer? We're keeping them honest, next on 360.
COOPER: And good evening tonight from Kabul, Afghanistan.
Nearly five years after 9/11, nearly five years after the Taliban were driven from power here in Afghanistan, they are back. They are again on the rise.
NATO today saying they need more troops to deal with the Taliban resurgence in the south of Afghanistan. And we've got evidence here in the capital of Kabul on Friday of the power of the Taliban and their increasing use of al Qaeda-style tactics. A car bomb destroying, hitting a U.S. military convoy, killing two U.S. soldiers, killing some dozens of Afghan civilians, wounding up to 27. It was a bloody scene. Blood on the streets, body parts and pieces of vehicles scattered in a wide radius around the bomb site.
This, on the same day where more information from Osama bin Laden, more information from a tape of Osama bin Laden was released. In particular, we hear in this new tape from Adam Gadahn, the so called American Taliban, the young California man who has joined al Qaeda. Now today, we hear him for the first time, praising the 9/11 hijackers. Listen.
(BEGIN BREAKING NEWS)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM GADAHN, AMERICAN AL QAEDA MEMBER: All the brothers who took part in the raids on America were dedicated, strong-willed, highly motivated individuals, with a burning concern for Islam and Muslims. And they had to be, to be chosen for such a difficult mission. They were definitely not failures looking for a way out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Adam Gadahn, the American Taliban, praising the mass murders, the 9/11 hijackers. We're going to have extensive coverage over the next several days from here in Kabul, Afghanistan.
How is it possible that the Taliban has come back? Why are they once again on the rise? Who is to blame for it? We'll be looking at all of that. Our special editions of 360 begin Monday at 10:00 p.m., Eastern. We hope you join us for that.
Tonight for the rest of 360 we are taking a look at what has happened in the last year since 9/11. Five years since 9/11, are we any safer? Billions of dollars, tens of billions of dollars have been spent on security. The question is, where has the money gone?
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