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Was New York City Next?; Clues Missed in Boston Bombings?

Aired April 25, 2013 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone, 10:00 here in Boston, and there is breaking news tonight, in fact, a lot of news to tell you about in this hour ahead.

"The Boston Globe" reporting that Massachusetts anti-terror intelligence units were not told back in 2011 that the FBI had looked into the older subject, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. A state police spokesman saying because of that, neither they nor other state agencies were ever in a position to help evaluate, for example, the relevance of his trip to Russia last year.

The FBI, however, says Massachusetts authorities had full access to the terror database the older suspect was on. We're going to have more on this tonight trying to sort it all out.

Also tonight, was New York City next? Or was another bombing planned for here in the Boston area instead? Top officials weighing in now on both sides. There seem to be kind of competing narratives on this starting this afternoon with this press conference.


MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Last night we were informed by the FBI that the surviving attacker revealed that New York City was next on their list of targets. He told the FBI apparently that he and his brother had intended to drive to New York and detonate additional explosives in Times Square.


COOPER: Now, the younger suspect reportedly said that in a second round of questioning by interrogators, not to party as he first reportedly said, but to use their remaining explosives where they'd do the most carnage. Now, that is one view, shared also by New York Commissioner Ray Kelly in that same press conference.

But that said, the other view comes from someone also in a position who you would assume would know things, House Intelligence Committee chairman Republican Mike Rogers. Listen.


REP. MIKE ROGERS (R), MICHIGAN: What we know happened is that we do believe they had a plan for another attack. They had actually built the devices, and not used them. But from the investigators I've been talking to, they believe it was going to be probably more likely in the Boston area. They needed to generate some cash, the hijacking, the theft of the credit cards -- or ATM cards and that kind of thing, the robbery. All of that was designed to get them ready, we believe at this point, to go to New York.

It's not clear to me that they were actually going to set those devices off, even though they had them with them. So it certainly would make it a plausible thing to have happen, but it's more plausible to me they were going to do another event in the Boston area, and they were hiding out in New York City was their plan.


COOPER: Chairman Rogers also said there are -- quote -- "persons of interest that we are very concerned about." That's using the present tense.

Whether that means here or in Russia, where the suspects have roots, he would not definitively say. He suggested though that some of the focus would be here in the Boston area, where the two suspects lived. However, when asked point-blank whether these persons of interest, these alleged persons of interest are either here or in Russia, he turned the conversation toward the need for cooperation from Russia.

Also tonight in Russia, late word that the suspect's father has been taken to the hospital. He was supposed to travel here today or tomorrow, but again, that came from the family and then frankly their statements have been all over the place. There's been a lot of contradictory statements from those family members.

The mother, meantime, called a press conference, called it all a setup, says her sons did not do it. We should point out, factually, though, she actually hasn't seen her sons in about at least a year. She hasn't lived here. We're going to dig deeper on the Russian angle tonight, on the Boston or the New York question as well, whether the surviving suspect was read his Miranda rights prematurely. Jeff Toobin and Mark Geragos weigh in on that and they have some very strong opinions on that. And later, Sanjay Gupta looks at what life is like for all the people who have lost limb ins this bombing. The fresh steps that they will have take as they try to learn to walk again, in the case of one dance instructor who we have been profiling over the last several days, dance again.

Another very full night.

With us, Nick Paton Walsh, who is in the Russian region of Dagestan tonight, former Massachusetts homeland security adviser Juliette Kayyem, and she is currently a "Boston Globe" columnist. She joins me here. And on the phone, former homeland security adviser Fran Townsend, who currently sits on the Homeland Security and CIA external advisory panels.

Juliette, what do you make of this "Boston Globe" report that local, that Boston anti-terror squads were not informed about what the FBI knew about Tamerlan Tsarnaev?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So, what you're hearing is they were informed in the sense that they had access to the database. But they were not specifically told there is someone on your streets that we have particular concern with.

This is troubling because it is consistent with the feeling that the FBI never thought much of this guy, right? That the original investigation did not show much. And also there's a lot of history in this city about the relationship between the FBI and the Boston police and state and local officials.

We saw a lot of harmony during the last week. What we're starting to hear now is, wait, why weren't we told? This is our city. This is what state and local sharing is supposed to clue.

COOPER: And that's where these leaks, it seems like, are coming from.

KAYYEM: Right.

COOPER: People are annoyed locally at the state level or the federal level and that's why they're kind of sending out this information. But it seems like, at the very least, a phone call to local terror officials would be not only a courtesy, but a sensible...


KAYYEM: Right. So what we don't know is how many of these did the FBI get in Boston.

The JTTF, it's co-located. It's about 20 agencies that all sort of sit together. There's lots of communications that aren't documented. People will come out and say, no, we did talk about it, but the truth is, if they weren't specifically told, hey, there's a guy here living down the street in Cambridge and we did this investigation and didn't find anything, but we thought you should know, that cuts again what was learned after 9/11 that state and locals who we saw are the first-responders -- it's the police here, the state police, were sort of maybe the last to know.

COOPER: That is certainly troubling.

Fran, the FBI told "The Boston Globe" that state and local governments have their own representatives who have access to federal terrorism databases. Juliette was just talking about the JTTF, the joint terrorism task force. Do they have a point there?

FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it is true, Anderson, they do. But as we have talked about before, there are hundreds of thousands of names in that database you're talking about.

There are new names added. There is stale information in there that has been in there for some period of time. So that's why you talk about cutting a lead, directing local officials in joint terrorism task force that you're sitting with to look a particular name or a particular case when it's been added or because there's been a particular inquiry from a foreign government, even if you have closed the case.

So it really isn't enough to say, well, you were sitting in front of this computer and you had access to a list with, you know, hundreds of thousands of names on it. You could have found it yourself. That's not really what the whole regional intelligence sharing and fusion centers were meant to be about.

The whole point of the joint terrorism task force is to work cooperatively against joint targets in your geographic location. So access to the database really isn't enough.

COOPER: Right.

Juliette, why wouldn't an FBI official, if they're on this joint terrorism task force, walk down the hall to the local state representative and say by the way, we interviewed this person who lives in Boston, just a heads up?

KAYYEM: Right. That was what should happen. That was the creation, as Fran was describing, of these fusion centers and the joint terrorism task force. There's a whole apparatus and architecture that was created after 9/11 because of the lessons learned.

And in particular state and locals were really outside of the intelligence loop. So depending on how this particular story that "The Globe" is reporting unfolds, it is dismaying for this city to learn, wait, there was an entity that knew that he was on some list.

COOPER: It's also troubling this kind of drip and drab of information that seems to be leaking out from various state, federal and local. Why doesn't somebody with the information just put it all out there?

KAYYEM: It would be helpful. I think each agency is trying to figure out what they did. So before that becomes a sort of one against the other, which is both unbecoming and unhelpful to learn any lessons from this, whether the director of national intelligence or some entity that can say everyone, let's figure out what the story line is, the accurate story line, so that we can, you know, as I have often been saying, we can learn from it. We can't go back. But we can at least learn from it what were the errors.

COOPER: Let's talk, also, about this question of were more actions planned here in the Boston area, as Mike Rogers has indicated from people he's talked to law enforcement, or was New York the target.

You pointed out, in our 8:00 hour, that they're not mutually exclusive, that perhaps previously, they had devices that they had planned to utilize to set off in the Boston area, if, in fact, these two suspects are guilty. But in sort of the last minute, in the chaos of it all, they needed to get out of the town, they were like, well, we will go to New York.

KAYYEM: Right. Exactly. So that's consistent with what the Boston police clearly felt, which was, why are they still here? That's the question that I was asked and justifies the shutdown. That was very scary for them.

They might have planning something else. The fact that they carjacked the car, asked for his ATM, wanted to get the money and seemed not to have an exit strategy suggests that they were going to do more here and who knows what their long-term plan was. They, then, panicked because they're identified. They go on this spree and the fact that they wanted to get down to New York might be just some, you know, wild escape plan that they thought could work.

They clearly had more weaponry. And that's what, you know, the fact that they were trying to get on a road to New York must be scary to New York.

COOPER: Nick, you're in Dagestan. We're also learning new details about the mother being placed on a CIA watch list. What do you know about that?

And, also, are the Russians cooperating with U.S. officials?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, to the first point you make, we don't know much details about why that happened.

You would think there would have to be because of connected link, some common contact that both Zubeidat and her son Tamerlan had potentially here, potentially in the United States. That's unclear.

We do know from speaking to the mother that she headed towards the devout Muslim path at roughly the same time as the son Tamerlan did when this family friend, Misha, an Armenian who converted later in life to Islam, came into their lives, made them feel ashamed to not have been devout in their Muslim lives too.

On the topic of Russian cooperation, I should point out it's unfashionable to defend the Kremlin in many times. But there do appear to have been two to three occasions where the Russians went to the Americans with warnings and with concerns about the Tsarnaev family.

Interviews happened. And then there seems to be a bit of a standoff here, a diplomatic spat brewing where, effectively, we have always seen the Russians say we're dealing with global terrorism here in this part of the world. That's always been considered to be exaggerated by many U.S. officials, who consider there be a legitimate separate Chechen movement for some time.

Now I think it's fair to accept ebbing into extremism. And then you have that Cold War standoff where both of these sides still mistrust from about 20, 30 years ago and that often feeds into the conversation. But at this point, there's no reason I think to suggest that the Russians are hiding something. But of course both sides now run the risk of giving the other side information which gives their opponent, potentially, the ability to blame the other for holding something back -- Anderson.

COOPER: That was the other comment made by Chairman Mike Rogers, that the Russians are not cooperating as much as the U.S. would like. Fran, Nick, appreciate it. Juliette is going to stick around because we want to talk about other potential influences on the suspects.

And later tonight, I really hope you stick around with us. You're going to meet a first-responder, a firefighter, a paramedic from the Lynn Fire Department which is near here in Boston, received medical training just in time on the day of the bombing to save a young girl's life.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know if it was just tunnel vision or fate or whatever it was. But I just looked and focused and I just saw this one child in the middle of the street just sitting there with this dazed, shocked look.



COOPER: There's a lot of breaking news tonight, a lot of new information coming in to us. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee casting doubt on the notion that Times Square was the alleged marathon bombers' next target.

He also suggested there are more persons of interest in the case. Now, we don't have an answer to that. I just want to be clear on that. We do know that authorities arrested two people in the area last Friday, and they questioned a 20-year-old who tweeted with the younger suspect. CNN has learned that at least five FBI agents talked with him over the weekend.

Drew Griffin has more now about him and two others who were arrested last Friday and actually remain in custody.

Drew, what do we know?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: And this really speaks to the nature of the exhaustive search that's going on by the FBI to find out if there is anybody else involved.

There was a high school classmate of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who tweeted him about fireworks back in March. We found those tweets. We looked at them. I think you can see some of them on the screen right now specifically talking about blowing off some fireworks.

Well, it was last Sunday that five FBI agents came to a neighborhood in Chelsea, tracked down this high school friend of Dzhokhar, according to his father, and questioned him all about these tweets. We talked to the father. He said the FBI agents were very thorough, trying to find out everything they could about these specific tweets.

We know his college friends have been questioned, high school friends have been questioned, anybody who had any contact with him.

COOPER: And in all of this, they have these two other people, I believe they were originally from Kazakstan, they are still in custody.

GRIFFIN: Russian-speaking foreign students who were at UMass...

COOPER: Amherst -- or Dartmouth. excuse me


GRIFFIN: Yes. It's been a long week.

But they were arrested and actually taken into custody last Friday in what looked to be a very heavy-handed FBI raid. Remember, this before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured. Now we know why this was such a heavy-handed of an apartment building down there. The FBI really believed Dzhokhar was in that apartment.

The reason is, is because he shared an actual cell phone with Dzhokhar. They shared the same telephone. And they were following that phone. So they believed the signal was coming from there. It must have been there.

COOPER: I remember Chris Lawrence was actually on the campus on that Friday and reported on seeing the Black Hawk helicopter landing and the tactical units getting out. That is what that was about?

GRIFFIN: That's what it was all about. Local police had no idea the FBI was even coming.

COOPER: Interesting.

GRIFFIN: It was a surprise raid, very heavy-handed. Those two students are now being held by immigration service on a visa violation.

It's odd that they would be held this long. We are told that that's out of an abundance of caution, that so far there's nothing connecting these two fellows to what happened here on marathon day. But they're still being held and their backgrounds and all their communications still being gone over.

COOPER: Fascinating.

Drew, appreciate it.

I want to dig deeper now into the influences on the older and the younger suspect, how they may have become radicalized, particularly the older brother, who, if anyone, might have helped along the way here or back in Russia.

Our other breaking news, by the way, their mother has now been added apparently to a federal terror database.

Juliette Kayyem is back with me here in Boston and former CIA officer Bob Baer also joins me.

Bob, you said earlier that the more you hear about this case, the more you do not think the suspects acted alone. You say authorities are clearly looking for accomplices both here and overseas, right?

BOB BAER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think absolutely, Anderson.

You know, I'm still on this kick about the explosives and the devices and I have called everybody I know who makes these things, who put them together. And everybody says to an expert that somebody showed them how to do it. You have an Xboxer and basically dopehead, the young kid, you know, young, they don't go out and teach themselves this.

You know, if you work in a radio store, yes, you could. If you -- that sort of geek, yes, you can put it all together using cell phones or toys or the rest of it. But I don't see these two kids, what I know about them, doing it.

I think the trip, of course, like everybody else, he went there and the chances of him making contact with a Salafi is pretty good. I spent about four or five years investigating the London bombers, the Madrid train bombers and the rest of it. And they all seem to come back to, as we have been using the word, a charismatic guide, who will sit down in the mosque with them and explain them the real Islam.

I know you can get it on the Internet. You can read this stuff and you can take orders from the Internet all you want. But young men like this are looking for guidance, this jihad mentality, globalist mentality. And I think this is the best explanation. I also think it's the reason the FBI is seriously looking for accomplices.

You know, they have been sending back to Dagestan, they have been making raids.


BAER: Go ahead.

COOPER: In your opinion, though, it doesn't necessarily mean that somebody kind of directed them to do this particular bombing. It could be, in your opinion, just somebody who gave the older brother instruction in how to make the devices and then they came up with their own plan? Is that your thinking?

BAER: Yes, I think that's the most logical hypothesis.

Go back to the United States, kill as many people as you can. The two brothers think Boston Marathon, Times Square, it doesn't really matter. You know, what they don't want is be connected by cell phone to foreign cell groups. They don't want money transfers. And they don't want orders coming from overseas because it's all intercepted. So, they say just go and kill as many people as you can.

This is why this discussion about hitting New York or other targets in Boston seem very fluid to us. It doesn't sound very military. But in that world of trying to hide what they're doing, it makes sense.

COOPER: Juliette, unless there's cooperation from Russian authorities and unless Russian authorities were actively monitoring Tamerlan Tsarnaev when he was over there for six months, it's very possible we may never be able to actually piece together that full six-month timeline of what he was doing.

KAYYEM: Right, there might be a lot of unanswered questions or they might be unanswered for a while. These investigations take a long, long time.

So here's where I think we are now, that everyone, like Bob, everyone knows that those six months were relevant. What we don't know is was it, you know, just a time period in which he became a radical, more disenfranchised, more disaffected and then came back here and planned an attack, or was he working with others who helped him figure out how to do the attack, some jihadist group, some international group, and then came here and did it on his own?

Both are scary. There's no question both are scary. But they have different solutions. If there's an international flavor to it, if there's a foreign terrorist organization, it's going to require working with the Russians, and the CIA will be involved, diplomatic efforts. If it's domestic, right, if it's two guys who essentially grew up here, they grew up in my town, in Cambridge, that's a very different feel for the citizens here and the citizens of America.

How did they become so disaffected? How did they learn to do this? Were there moments in their life where authorities, others could have stepped in?


COOPER: It also has different national security implications if it was something that...


KAYYEM: That's right. That's why you're hearing -- the story is unfolding in real time. So I'm, you know, I think waiting it out between those two story lines. But that's exactly right, because if you find out it's a foreign terrorist organization, all sorts of other issues come into play in terms of what tools we can use to stop it.

COOPER: And, Bob, I just find it interesting and just in the reading I have started to do on this on sort of the radicalization of others who have gone to try to commit terrorist activity, is sort of how family dynamics do play a role in this, whether it's some sort of precipitating event that starts somebody on a path toward rejecting their parents and kind of moving -- even rejecting the mosque that they go into and kind of go to a more extreme form of whatever the religion is that they're pursuing.

BAER: Anderson, I interviewed a young kid that went to his mother to seek permission to blow himself up in London. And she took fright and went to the police and it stopped it. But that's the kind of dynamic we're dealing with is parental approval or influence. Yes, you're right.

COOPER: Interesting.

Bob Baer, appreciate it. Juliette Kayyem, thank you very much.

Coming up, the chairman, as I mentioned, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee says that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stopped answering questions once he was read his Miranda rights. We're going to get into what that may mean with Jeff Toobin, our senior legal analyst, also defense attorney Mark Geragos. They have got some very strong opinions on this.

Also ahead, I will speak with one of heroes, an off-duty firefighter and paramedic who helped save a 7-year-old girl's life on that terrible day in the Boston bombings.


COOPER: Well, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for more information about the timing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's first court appearance, which happened Monday at his hospital bedside.

Now, before the judge came to the hospital, federal agents had been questioning him without reading him his Miranda rights, as you probably know, under an exception to the rule that kicks in when authorities think there is an imminent public safety threat.

On "THE SITUATION ROOM WITH WOLF BLITZER" today, Representative Mike Rogers said he's concerned about why that process was stopped and he wants more information. Listen.


ROGERS: He's arrested Friday night. The magistrate, the judge intervenes into what is a legal activity, the interview, that was deemed so by a U.S. court decision. And that is the public safety exception to Mirandizing.

So you have to think about it. He's going through. He's obviously seriously wounded. He's losing a lot of blood. He has to get the medical attention. Early on in that weekend the judge calls to -- calls out and says, I'm going to show up for this particular event.

That is highly unusual.


COOPER: So the question is what could this mean for the case against the suspect?

Joining me now is CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and also criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos.

Jeffrey, what do you make of Congressman Rogers suggesting that Tsarnaev, that he received his Miranda rights too soon? Should Mirandizing him have been held off for more questioning?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know, Anderson, we have one legal system in this country.

And it was a good enough legal system to convict Timothy McVeigh and Charles Manson and Zacarias Moussaoui. He thinks you have to create this whole new exception just for him is absurd. He was treated the appropriate way. He was questioned to see if there was any imminent threat to anyone out there in the world right now and then he was given his Miranda rights. That's normal. That's appropriate.

There's no reason to think it should have been done any other way.

COOPER: But, Jeff, the congressman is suggesting that since he was Mirandized, he has not cooperated with authorities. Now, that is in fact the case. The most important information he gave was before he was Mirandized. None of that is admissible in court, correct?

TOOBIN: Well, not necessarily.

Under the public safety exception, the court will weigh whether that statement was voluntary. And that's a complex inquiry and I don't know how it will turn out. But, yes, it may be true that he stopped cooperating after he got his Miranda rights. But you know what? This is the United States of America. We don't force people to talk if they don't want to talk.

They have certain constitutional rights. He's an American citizen. He was arrested within the United States, and if he doesn't want to talk, we're not going to water-board him, we're not going to torture him. We're just going to prove our case some other way. And there certainly seems to be an abundance of evidence to prove the case that this guy is guilty, so I don't see what the problem is here.

COOPER: Mark, as a defense attorney, what do you make of -- I mean, it's got to be an uphill battle for these public defenders who are assigned to Tsarnaev's case. How would you even go about defending someone like this with all the apparent physical evidence, the photographic evidence and the like?

MARK GERAGOS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Look, I've got to echo first what Jeff just said. This is -- the idea that this congressman is on the intelligence committee and displaying such a lack of intelligence is mind-boggling.

This is an American citizen on American soil committing crimes, allegedly, against other Americans. You know, take a look at the results in Guantanamo. They haven't exactly been spectacular for the prosecution in the results that they've had. And take a look at the district court and the results they get, where people go away forever or get the death penalty and it's very quick.

You get appointed a public defender, and as you just said, Anderson, this seems like an uphill battle, yes, because they have a mountain of evidence.

Now, what is the Miranda rights and what does reading the Miranda rights really mean? It means that, if you don't do it, then what is said may or may not be admissible. Well, they don't need that. They don't need that to convict him.

And I will tell you something else. The lawyer who represents him -- and mind you, it's going to be a public defender. The public defender is going to try and save his life. This is going to be a mitigation style case. This isn't going to be somebody, unless this is Richard Jewell redux who is say, "I'm the wrong guy." The way they're going to do that is they're going to try and trade information so that they take death penalty off of the table. That's what's going to happen.

This kid is 19. There are some mitigating factors. Was he under the influence of his brother?

And by the way, as an Armenian, I do want to comment that all of this speculation about some recent convert named Misha, which by the way is not an Armenian name, is insulting to Armenians everywhere, who by the way, is the first Christian nation. So rather than have some uncle on who passes for somebody who knows what he's talking about, who hasn't seen this guy in three years, I think we should be a little bit more critical of some of the information that's being passed around as gospel at this point.

COOPER: Right. And Wolf, actually in the interview with the uncle, it did come out that that uncle has not seen these kids -- kids, these adults, these young men, as you said, in two to three years.

GERAGOS: In two to three years.

COOPER: How he knows...

GERAGOS: Right. And all of a sudden, he's all of a sudden insulting Armenians everywhere as if there's some Armenian convert to Muslim. I mean, remember, the Armenians and this week, the Armenians celebrated the 19 -- 98th commemoration of the genocide where 1.5 million Christian Armenians were wiped out by Muslim Ottoman Turks.

So the idea that there's some convert from Christianity to Muslim who's doing this who doesn't even have an Armenian name is ludicrous to begin with. Somebody needs to give this uncle a field sobriety test, because I think this guy was under the influence of something.

COOPER: Misha is a nickname for Mikhail, which is Russian for Michael.

Jeffrey, the prosecution, they don't even need a confession in this case. Do they need -- they don't need to prove intent, do they?

TOOBIN: Well, there are so many -- so many ways that they can prove guilt here that we've spent so much time, understandably, talking about Miranda and whether his statements can be used against him, but it may be simply irrelevant. The prosecution may simply decide "We don't need to litigate whether this statement was admissible..."

GERAGOS: Exactly.

TOOBIN: Look at the evidence in this case. There -- look at the photographs from the scene. Look at how he behaved afterward. Look at his apparent confession to the car, the driver of the car they hijacked.

GERAGOS: The guy was carjacked.

TOOBIN: They have all this evidence that is completely admissible without any question. So you know, yes, it was understandable that, given that this was a terrorist act, they wanted to find out immediately if there was something more, but once they found out there was nothing more, there was no reason to continue the interrogation.

COOPER: OK. I got to -- I got to go. We're way over time. Mark Geragos, appreciate you being on. Jeff Toobin, as well.

Just ahead, you're going to meet a firefighter paramedic from the Lynn Fire Department who's just a remarkable guy. He -- he saved the life of a 7-year-old girl who was badly injured. Could have easily died in the wake of the bombing. Matt Patterson is his name. He only recently got his paramedic certification. He was in the right place at a bad time, and he knew exactly what to do.


MATT PATTERSON, PARAMEDIC, LYNN FIRE DEPARTMENT: I get up, I run back to the sidewalk. There happens to be a gentleman standing there. Just couldn't tell you who he was, a spectator. I need your belt, I need your belt. Without hesitation, this man just ripped off his belt, gave it to me. Took the belt, ran back over, applied a tourniquet.



COOPER: If you've been watching our coverage, you obviously know we haven't been focusing a lot on the two suspects in all of this, because there's national security implications. There's still so much we don't know. So it's understandable we've been focusing on them.

But we never want to lose sight of the most important people in what happened here. The victims who are now trying to rebuild their lives, the families who have lost loved ones, and those who ran to help them on that awful day, the first responders that -- the runners who took off their shirts to make tourniquets.

Today, I talked to another one of those heroes, a firefighter paramedic. His name is Matt Patterson. He was off duty the day of the attack. He didn't have to do anything. He was out with his girlfriend, having a drink. But when the bombs went off, he knew exactly what to do.

He was in a bar. He ran into the street. He saw a child. He would later learn that it was this little girl in the picture, 7-year- old Jane Richard. At the time, he didn't know who she was. Her brother, 8-year-old Martin, standing in front of his father there, died from his injuries.

But when Matt reached Jane, he saw that most of her left leg was gone, gone above the knee. He knew he had to act quickly to save her life.


COOPER: So it's really the second blast when you realized...

PATTERSON: Second blast, yes. That took -- that took all doubts out of my mind. I immediately -- I immediately started running towards the front, yelling for people to get back, get to the kitchen, get away from the windows, you know, not pushing people back but at the same time, I was making it known that I was going forward and they were going the other way.

I get out to the patio, and I don't know if it was just tunnel vision or fate or whatever it was, but I just looked and focused. And I just saw this one child in the middle of the street just sitting there with this dazed, shocked look. Even from where I was, I could tell this child was hurt.

COOPER: You could see her face?

PATTERSON: Yes. I could just tell. Like I said, that's why -- I don't know if it was tunnel vision or what, I zoomed in. Call it training or intuition or whatever. Something was horribly wrong.

COOPER: Because it's pandemonium, and people are on the ground.

PATTERSON: It is. It's hard to explain, but it is pandemonium. But you know, once you get something in your mind and once you focus on it, like that's the task at hand. I don't know if it's training or if it's just the fact that I was distracted by just this one child, but it had my full attention.

COOPER: So you ran over to this little girl.

PATTERSON: I ran over to this little girl. Who initially I thought was a boy. I knelt down. I expressed you know, "Hi, I'm Matt. I'm here to help you." Dad was there. "I'm a paramedic." It's like, you know, "We're going to be all right. We're going to be OK."

COOPER: So she was with her father?

PATTERSON: She was with her father and her older brother. Neither one of them looked injured. I asked her her name. The reply I thought I got back was Shane. Turned out it was Jane. Like I said, the answer was irrelevant. The fact that she could speak told me that she had an airway, it was patent and that she was conscious and alert to at least what was going on.

She just -- she just looked in a state of shock. She just had this emotionless look and just -- I only remember her saying that once or twice that, you know, her leg hurt.

COOPER: So was she crying?

PATTERSON: No. Nope. No crying. She looked me straight in the face and answered the question. What's your name? Turned out to be Jane. But Shane. And you can imagine with the chaos and the noise, you know, Shane, Jane.

COOPER: Right.

PATTERSON: It was just -- it was...

COOPER: So what did you do first?

PATTERSON: Well, so once she spoke, I realized her air was good, I looked down, I realized that she had a full left leg amputation. So I get up. I run back to the sidewalk. There happens to be a gentleman standing there, couldn't tell you who he was, a spectator. I need your belt, I need your belt. No hesitation, this man just ripped off his belt, gave it to me.

Took the belt, ran back over, applied a tourniquet. Started looking left, started looking right, and I know that we need to get this child moving. She was in serious condition. And nothing was going to save her life at this point besides surgery.

COOPER: It was critical to get the tourniquet on to stop bleeding.

PATTERSON: Yes. The tourniquet was crucial. Without the tourniquet, she would have bled out.

COOPER: How quickly can someone bleed out?

PATTERSON: A child that size, I mean, it varies on the injuries. And, you know, if the wound cauterizes or it's an artery, but 30 seconds to a minute.

COOPER: You got the belt, you ran back.

PATTERSON: After the tourniquet was applied, another gentleman who I later found out Michael Chase, great guy, ran up to me, asked me what he could do. I said, "Listen." I said, "We have to move this kid." I said, "This child needs transportation and you know, medical help, like real medical help, like a doctor."

I heard the familiar sound of sirens, which is good. Looked up and down Boylston Street, and I saw two fire engines and a medic truck coming towards us. Immediately scooped up the child, told Michael, "No matter what, don't let go of the tourniquet." And then we ran in unison down the street, I guess, with the father and the son following. Didn't notice. Michael ended up staying and talking to them afterwards to calm them down.

COOPER: So you're running holding Jane, and Michael...

PATTERSON: Is running with me holding the tourniquet on. Yes. Just to keep it cinched down because, you know, it's a belt. It's not made for -- it's not designed for that kind of pressure and that kind of tension. So yes, he had to run with me. His job was to hold the tourniquet, and I was just supporting her weight while he held that on. It was crucial. Like without him or I, it wouldn't have worked. It wasn't -- it couldn't have been done with one person. You just -- you can't. You need -- both of us had to be there at that time and able to do what we did.

I ran back to the scene. I get upon another child, who I noticed that CPR's in progress. I don't know who was doing it, but I did notice that CPR was being done. Got up to the child. I notice that it's a boy. Could have been between 8 and 10 years old, small little child, severe injuries, as well, lower extremities and abdominal. So I moved my way to the head.

At this time, there was some medical personnel on the scene, so there's a first in bag, which is an EMT or basic bag, and I administered two breaths to the child, let the CPR go, two more breaths to the child, checked for a pulse. There was no pulse. I knew at that point that -- it's never a lost cause with a child or anything like that, but the situation depending and especially that situation with the amount of injured we have and the severity of the injuries, that there was nothing that -- there was nothing more that we could do for this boy.

COOPER: That was Martin Richard.

PATTERSON: That was Martin Richard. I was like that's the boy we tried to save and ended up having to just, you know, triage and move on to someone else that could be saved.

COOPER: That was Jane's brother.

PATTERSON: That was Jane's brother. Yes.

COOPER: What's that like, to -- I mean, you're with these people in the most horrible moment, in this intimate moment, and to not even know who they are, and then to see on television the picture of this little boy when he was still alive?

PATTERSON: During -- during the event and the tragedy, you know, you don't really have a connection, and it's not personal. I don't make it to sound like we don't care, because we do. But it's a very...

COOPER: You've got to be focused.

PATTERSON: It's a very methodical, this is what we have to do. This is what can be done; this is who can we save. And you have to assess each injury and each victim separately and, you know, without bias and it's just -- it's purely based on what can I do to save this person's life or help, and can it be saved?

COOPER: Have you been able to talk to the Richard family? Is that something ultimately you'd like to do?

PATTERSON: I -- ultimately, I would -- I mean, it's up to the family. I mean, that family has suffered more in a day than anybody should in a lifetime. But I'd like an update. I'd like to know that we did make a difference, and it's one less person that they didn't get, one less life that wasn't robbed.

COOPER: You saved a life.

PATTERSON: Yes. And that's -- that's ultimately what it's about. You just happen to be in a really bad situation but you were there. You were put there for a reason, and you had the knowledge and, you know, the guts or whatever you want to call it to run in there and make a difference.

COOPER: You just became a medic.


COOPER: I'm very glad you became a medic.

PATTERSON: Thank you. Me, too.

COOPER: Thank you.

PATTERSON: Hey, thank you very much. Appreciate it.


COOPER: Such an honor to meet him. Really, just a remarkable guy, and so many first responders just incredible. God bless them all.

At least 14 bombing survivors have had amputations, including that little girl, Jane Richard. They'll all have to learn to walk with prosthetic limbs. Tonight, chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on what that journey is like. He spent time with the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey. Here's his report.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It takes time, about six weeks post-surgery, for a new amputee to take this first step.

(on camera): So one of the most important things is that this wound around the -- around the amputation has to heal up completely, this incision line that you see over here. And after that is done, they actually have to shape the remaining area of the leg and then actually put something onto sort of shrink those tissues so that the prosthetic can go on. (voice-over): Every patient that suffers an amputation goes through tailored therapy to learn how to use their new limb. Peter Culic (ph), who lost his leg due to complications from diabetes, has had his prosthetic leg less than two weeks.

(on camera): The signs of progress can be small sometimes. But, look, no hands, there. He was using one hand earlier, two hands before that.

Let me show you something else. Come around and take a look. When you actually look specifically at what's happening at his feet over here, he's stepping out with his good leg over here. And look what's happening with the prosthetic. You get the sort of expect that you want, the heel to toe sort of rock. That doesn't come naturally. That's something Pete really has to practice.

(voice-over): Surprisingly, everyday tasks, like making coffee, it's part of therapy, as well.

(on camera): He's not holding onto anything right now. He's able to actually balance all on his own. He's trusting his leg. He's distracted, not thinking about that. And he's got a lot of balance that he's testing and successfully testing by actually moving around the kitchen here.

So he's never done this before. Take a look. It's an uneven surface. He's got to, essentially, bend his knees. It's a lot harder than it looks for someone who just has a brand-new prosthetic device.

Pretty good, Pete.

(voice-over): The first month of therapy is all about the basics for lower-limb amputees: taking those first steps to learn to live independently.

(on camera): Some people say, "Look, this is going to be sort of a new normal for these patients." But you say it's actually more just normal.

DR. BRUCE POMERANZ, KESSLER INSTITUTE FOR REHABILITATION: Once they look back on this situation, you know, a year from now, two years from now, you know, yes, this will be a nightmare. And, yes, there is a loss that is permanent. But they have every reason to expect that they're going to be able to go on and live the same happy, satisfied lives.

SANJAY (voice-over): In fact, thanks to advanced prosthetic technology, most amputees go on to not only live a normal life, but to push themselves, even beyond previous expectations.

POMERANZ: The future is really much brighter than they could probably imagine at this point in time. But I think for the people in Boston, they'll have that experience.

GUPTA: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


COOPER: We wish them all well.

I also just want to take a few moments just to thank all the folks, the good folks who work at the Westin Copley Hotel where it's sort of been our home base since these bombings. They -- it's a terrific hotel, and they've done a really nice job in just making our jobs that much easier. So we really are deeply appreciative for all their efforts.

Coming up tonight, stopping the next attack by building a better bomb-sniffing dog.


COOPER: Well, before the first runners crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon, bomb-sniffing dogs swept the area twice, according to the "Boston Globe." Now the type of bombs used in Boston, though, could have been hard to detect, but at Alabama's Auburn University, researchers are training what are being called the ultimate bomb-sniffing dogs. Randi Kaye went there to report.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Imagine if the Boston bombing suspects had left a trail, a trail of vapors in the air that smelled like a bomb. Vapors that only a specially-trained dog could detect.


KAYE: A dog like these, now being trained at Auburn University. Researchers here call them vapor wake dogs.

(on camera): The point of a vapor wake dog is to detect the vapor of the bomb, if you will, before it's actually placed somewhere where it might explode, to catch it before that?

DR. JAMES FLOYD, AUBURN UNIVERSITY: That is exactly correct. Your standard bomb dog, your explosive detector dog, is primed on looking at an object, a backpack, that's placed somewhere.

A vapor wake dog's ability is to detect the odor coming off of that backpack on the back of someone as they carry it.

KAYE: Amazing.

FLOYD: And to follow that plume of vapor.

KAYE (voice-over): Auburn University professor Jim Floyd says vapor wake dogs are the ultimate bomb-sniffing dog. They can follow a plume or bomb vapor stretching several football fields. A skill so unique, the university hopes to patent it.

This video from the university shows a vapor wake dog in action. Once he catches the odor in the air, he never lets up. We did our own experiment at this Alabama mall with the help of Auburn's canine handlers. They give the man in the red shirt a knapsack loaded with explosives inside a pressure cooker, just like the bombers in Boston. Watch as the dog catches a whiff.

And just like he's trained to do, when the suspect stops, the dog stops, too. Then sits down, alerting his handler to the bad guy. In a crowded mall or on a city street, this technique is crucial. These dogs can potentially stop a would-be bomber before it's too late.

(on camera): You think that if you had a vapor wake dog in Boston, they might have detected the suspects before they were able to place those backpacks down?

FLOYD: Had one of our dogs been in place on that corner with those two guys walking there with those backpacks, I think they would have alerted on them.

KAYE: Their training starts early, even as early as these puppies, which are just about three weeks old. At this time, they're held a lot and socialized, and then by the time their formal training starts, when they're about a year old, they're used to people and loud noises, and they don't get spooked so easily.

(voice-over): Auburn has its own breeding program for bomb- sniffing dogs. They rarely use shepherds and traditional breeds, but lean more on Labradors and spaniels. Paul Hammond, whose company IK9 is working with Auburn to train and deploy vapor wake dogs explains why.

PAUL HAMMOND, IK9: We need a dog that fits into the public profile, the public is just going to walk past and ignore as if it was a domestic pet.

KAYE: The dogs are being used in airports, on Amtrak trains and by police departments, too.

(on camera): What is it about a dog's nose, as compared to ours, that they are able to pick up something like that?

HAMMOND: Well, the dogs' olfactory system is 220 million scent cells compared to a human's five million scent cells. So that sort of gives you a real comparison. You know, so where we might be able to smell a woman's perfume walking by, you know, the dog will not only smell the perfume but, you know, the clothes, the material she's wearing, the shower gel that she washed with that morning.

KAYE (voice-over): In addition to vapor wake training, these dogs are also able to detect explosives in the traditional way. Paul shows us by hiding explosives in the tire well of this car.

HAMMOND: Good job! Thatta buddy.

It is a game to the dog. If the dog, you know, thought he was looking for explosives, he probably wouldn't do it.

KAYE: What may be a game to these dogs could mean the difference between life and death to the rest of us.

HAMMOND: Good job!

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Aniston, Alabama.


COOPER: Yet another reason why dogs are awesome. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Well, before we go tonight, we want to show you the cover of "Boston" magazine, which is just out today. Take a look. There you see it: a heart made with running shoes. In the middle there it says, "We will finish the race."

After being here for nearly two weeks now, having the privilege of seeing the strength of the people here, the determination to not be defined by this attack, they are exactly right. They will finish the race. There's no doubt about it.

That does it for us. Thanks for watching. We'll be back about two hours from now. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.