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Boston Bombing Investigation Continues; Revealing Dzhokhar's Social Media History; Tsarnaev's Instagram Account Found; Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Trial; One Fund Boston Tops $26 Million

Aired April 29, 2013 - 09:30   ET


CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I'll read just a few messages for you so I can emphasize my point. "Boston strong, prayers and love from Kingston, Mass. Be strong, we love you." Here's another one, "To the marathon victim, Boston strong" with a big heart, Caitlin.

Just so many touching -- let's walk over here. You can see this poster board. There's a magic marker there left behind so you can write a message. "Stay strong, Boston, love from tom from Tom and Magda." They're from Norway.

These poster boards are changed out by volunteers as they get filled up. Over the weekend, there were so many messages on the poster board, you almost couldn't read them.

Come on over here, too, here are candles lit for the victims who died in the bombings. And also for those left behind.

Another they think I wanted to tell you about is the Boston mayor, Mayor Menino, over the weekend he urged people to come downtown. He wanted them to shop on Boylston street. He wanted commerce to return to normal. So on Saturday, there was no fee for parking. No parking tickets handed out. All the mayor asked for was that people spend 25 bucks in restaurants and businesses in this area so that commerce could be revived. And I must say, it worked because -- I want to come over here and talk to Sean, too. I left my new friend over here. Sean, you're from Boston. You're a life long Boston resident. When you look at this memorial, what does it mean to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shouldn't have happened. This stuff right here is pretty amazing. I like seeing all this stuff. People remembering what's going on here.

COSTELLO: I know you went to church yesterday and you prayed. What did you pray for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prayed for everybody, the victims, the cop, little baby, the two runners. Just shouldn't have never happened.

COSTELLO: Thank you so much, Sean. I really appreciate it. So Chris as you can see, the memorial means so much to those who live in Boston. And if you're visiting, come on down. Leave a message. Leave a flower. It means a lot.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely right, Carol. It is a very strong place and when they opened the street there, people immediately flooded right in wanting to return to normal, wanting to remember the victims and hopefully that sentiment carries forward as Boston becomes the focus of just all American intentions right now. And that's why there is so much intensity on the investigative side of this. There is a lot of focus right now on this expanding level of urgency and what may have happened here. The cooperation between the U.S. and Russia. This weekend Congressman Michael McCall of Texas spoke about conflicting reports from the government over a foreign connection to the bombings. Listen to this.


REP. MICHAEL MCCALL, (R ) TEXAS: What I find astounding is that right out of the box, U.S. officials are saying there is no foreign connection to this case when in fact the FBI just began its investigation into this case. They just got his computer, they September a U.S. team over to the Chechen region and to Dagestan to interview witnesses and yet the narrative being played out by some in the administration is that, no, there is no foreign connection. Just these two guys.


CUOMO: And again, we keep saying the balance here is that politics of accountability with figuring out what happened here so we can do better going forward. Let's bring in CNN's law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes, former assistant director of the FBI. Tom, always good to have you.

We've been talking about this from the beginning. Where are we in our understanding of what Russia knew, what they told us, and what we did about it? What's the current balance of understanding?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: First of all, the U.S. government is not saying or the FBI is not saying that there was absolutely no connection. They're saying there is none that's been established as of now. There is no connection known. And if there is going to be a connection made in Russia of what Tamerlan did during his visit there, that's going to have to come from the Russians.

Now, so far this week they revealed that they were intercepting conversations of the mother, they said one conversation where the word jihad was used. They don't give more detail or context than that with the son Tamerlan. So the next question is what were they looking at in terms of the mother.

We know they have been looking at the group the Abu Dujan cell of terrorists. They killed him in December and his successor just this week over the weekend. So the question is how long did they have electronic surveillance on the mother and who else was she contacting? We have calls between her, at least one call between her and her son, but who else? Was she in touch with other terrorists there in the region? Was she somehow involved in supporting them? That we need to know, as well.

More is coming out as far as what the Russians were looking at when they notified the FBI in 2011 to go look at Tamerlan. It seems as though the focus on their part is Tamerlan going to come to Russia, join up with Abu Dujan's group or somewhere related to his group and attack Russia. That's their focus. When they hear from the FBI that there is no connection to others in the U.S. that appear to be terrorists, is not funds raising in the U.S. to support the Dagestani terrorist cell, then they have had enough.

The FBI says give us more if you want us to keep looking at him. They appear to be at that time satisfied, okay, that was their interests. Is he coming to attack us. If they're already monitoring the mother, they should obviously be aware if he's planning to come because he's going to tell his mother and father and come to visit for six months. So do you still need to hear more from them of what kind of coverage they had as it relates to the mother and Tamerlan himself.

CUOMO: And that's what I want to follow up on. As this has evolved, it keeps turning out that the Russians actually told us more than we think they did. Do you know for a fact that the Russians did not say we know he was talking to his mother, we have wiretapped conversations, this is why we're concerned? Do we know that they didn't pass along information?

FUENTES: No, we do know that. They didn't give us that fact that they were intercepting the mother until this week. This past week.

CUOMO: So that's fresh information. So what do we know about this attack that we've been showing pictures of overnight. Do we know who they were targeting, if it had anything to do with this? What do we know?

CUOMO: We don't know that interest specifically had to do with Tamerlan, but what it has to deal with is the Abu Dujan cell and this is more members of the same cell including his successor, but they have been monitoring that cell for a while. So in 2012, you know, they're monitoring and tracking of that group leads them to find their safe house that they're hiding in and in 2012 they attack it and kill Abu Dujan and a number of his key people.

The person killed over this weekend basically is his successor which indicates that they didn't stop there, they have kept the group under watch all along. Going backwards, when did they start watching that particular cell, were they already looking at them in 2011 or maybe when Tamerlan came over there, if they had him meeting with anybody in that group, we would think that they have already been monitoring that group, that they would be aware of it, number one, either arrest him there or notify us, hey, he has been with this terrorist organization. And that adds a whole new dimension to reopen the case when he returns from Russia.

CUOMO: Absolutely. It's a great point, Tom. Let me ask you this: because of all the Cold War hysteria that precedes the relationship, are we getting the right kind of dynamic between the U.S. and Russia right now moving forward? What are you hearing?

FUENTES: I think so. And in the past they have been very cooperative. I ran the FBI's organized crime program for five years, from the late 90's to the early 2000's, the international program from 2004 till 2008. And we worked closely with the MVD, which is their police basically and the FSB which handles serious crimes, organized crime, terrorists, complex financial crimes. They have been very cooperative in the past. We have had successful joint investigations with both services over there. So it's not a question that they have not cooperated with the FBI. The FBI opened the office in Moscow in 1994 and there have been many, many dozens if not hundreds of cases where the Russians and the Americans worked closely together.

CUOMO: All right. - Tom, thank you. Which also obviously just raises the question we're trying to figure out going forward, why wasn't there better coordination here. Appreciate the perspective as always, Be back to you soon.

All right, we're going to take a quick break. Please stay with us for an exclusive look into the past of the younger Boston bombing suspect. CNN was actually able to resurrect parts of his deleted social media activity. We'll show you how we did that, and what it could mean for the investigation.


CUOMO: As we all know too painfully today, just about everything we do online leaves a digital fingerprint, meaning stuff we did years ago can be traced today. And in the search to learn more about the Boston bombing suspects, our Laurie Segall resurrected part of the young brother's now-deleted Instagram account. Laura joins us now for this CNN EXCLUSIVE. So, how come we haven't heard about this Instagram account before, Laurie?

LAURIE SEGALL, CNNMONEY TECH REPORTER: Chris, it's a good question. Everybody's talking about Dzhokhar's Twitter account. He now has something like 100,000 followers because it was very public. But not many people knew about his Instragram account.

We talked with several friends and a lot of people said we had no idea this existed. We were able to get confirmation from some of his closest friends who said Dzhokhar had this account, but he had deleted it.

And like you mentioned, when you delete something, sometimes all of your online activity doesn't completely disappear. Check out what we found, Chris.


SEGALL: A deleted Instagram account that sources say belonged to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Unlike the rest of his digital life, it hasn't gotten much attention since his arrest. Close friends say Dzhokhar used the name Jmeister, but it was removed before the April 15 bombing.

But, a digital trail shows images he liked in the past. Several include references to Chechnya that are marked with dozens of hash tags, one showed a Chechen warlord who masterminded terrorist attacks against Russia, but was killed in 1006. Several show Dzhokhar interacting with other users. An expert on Chechnya says they show an understanding of Chechnya and its struggle for independence from Russia. Close friends tell CNNMoney, from what they saw, he used Instragram for social purposes.

So, how were we able to resurrect them? Here's how it works.

SAM ALTMAN, PROGRAMMER/TECH ENTREPRENEUR: We're looking at a photo from Instagram called Statogram (ph) and this is the copy as it exists on the web today. And we can see that these 19 users have liked it and we can see there are six comments on the photo, and here are the hash tags.

However we can also go back in time thanks to the Google web cache. Here's some other data around that back from April 10 of this same photo. We can see that there is the same six comments that there are today and here is a list of users that liked the photo. Most of which are already on there and there have been new ones. But there is one that liked it in the April 10th version of the page, Jmeister1 that is not you can see on the current version.

SEGALL: Law enforcement experts like Juliette Kayyem say the deleted account is likely to get a close look from investigators.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: If I were an investigator right now, obviously the platform he deleted matters the most. Were there clues embedded in the combination of images that can tell us something about what Dzhokhar was thinking? Because some of those pictures are very benign, some of them standing alone don't mean anything.

SEGALL: Digital footprints continue to get bigger as people become more and more willing to put their lives online.


SEGALL: Yes and Chris I should mention that many of these pictures you can't even find online because Google only archives them for a certain amount of time and some of those have disappeared even now. And now it's going to be up to law enforcement to go to Instagram, get cooperation and say we need more than just these digital traces, we need to see who Dzhokhar was following and see that information.

And that's going to require -- that's going to have Instagram has got to actually say, yes, you can do that. But as you can imagine this is a high profile investigation. You would think that they would cooperate -- Chris.

CUOMO: Right Laurie. Great reporting by you and every reason to believe investigators have been all over this since we first heard about it. And as Juliette said, the important point is not to develop some curiosity in who this guy is as a person, but what motivations and what people may have helped shape the actions that ultimately took place at the marathon bombing.

Thank you very much for the reporting Laurie, appreciate it.


CUOMO: We're going to take a break now. When we come back, the jury is seated, the trial about to begin as lawyers for Michael Jackson's family and the promoter of his ill-fated concert get ready to battle it out in court. And what's at stake we'll take you to live reports from Los Angeles.


CUOMO: For all our viewers especially those waking up on the West Coast just about now, just about three hours from now, jurors in an L.A. courtroom will hear opening statements in the Michael Jackson wrongful death lawsuit. Jackson's mother and children are seeking billions with a "b" from the promoter of his ill-fated comeback tour.

At issue, whether AEG Live hired or supervised the doctor who is convicted of killing the pop icon. CNN's Casey Wian is in Los Angeles with the latest. Good morning Casey.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning Chris. That's right, three hours from now in this courtroom, courthouse behind me, attorneys for Michael Jackson's family and attorneys for AEG Live will begin to lay out their different versions of who is to blame for Michael Jackson's death.

The key question in the entire case who actually employed Dr. Conrad Murray who is of course convicted of manslaughter in Jackson's death.


WIAN (voice over): Michael Jackson was in the last weeks of rehearsal for what was to be his grand comeback.

The exhausted 50 year-old insomniac died in 2009 from an overdose of sedatives and the surgical anaesthetic Propofol. Dr. Conrad Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for giving Jackson the fatal dose in an effort to help him sleep. He's in prison. Now the company that promoted the comeback tour, AEG Live, is fighting legal claims by Jackson's mother and children that it shares responsibility for the singer's death because it hired and supervised Murray.

PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR: What do you think as his mother caused his death?

KATHERINE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON'S MOTHER: I don't know. All I know is they used Propofol and they shouldn't have used it and they use it in the wrong setting. That's all I know and that's what caused his death.

PROF. JODY ARMOUR, USC LAW SCHOOL: The gist of the playing a claim against AEG is that you controlled Dr. Murray and you used your control over Dr. Murray to pressure him into taking unnecessary and excessive risks with his patient Michael Jackson leading to Michael Jackson's death.

WIAN: AEG Lives attorney says there was never a signed contract with Murray. And the Jackson was the only one who controlled him.

MARVIN PUTNAM, AEG COMPANY: He was chosen by Michael Jackson, he'd be there at Michael Jackson's behalf. He would be Michael Jackson's doctor alone. But this was only being done because Michael Jackson asked for it. Michael Jackson was the only person who could get rid of him as well.

WIAN: Potential witnesses include Jackson's teenage children, Prince, Michael and Paris. Producer Quincy Jones could testify about the billions of dollars Michael Jackson would have earned if he had lived. Money his heirs now want from AEG a multi-billion dollar sports entertainment and a real estate conglomerate.


WIAN: Now attorneys for Michael Jackson's family would like to call Dr. Conrad Murray to the stand. But his attorney says, if they do he will take the fifth. That's because his manslaughter conviction is currently going through the appeals process and he doesn't want to jeopardize that appeal -- Chris.

CUOMO: That's right Casey. Not an unusual move there by that defendant. Thank you very much for the reporting.

We've got to take a break still to come, many people touched by the tragedy in Boston. What do we do? We're going to try and help. We're reaching into our wallets and giving money to those affected but there is important information you need to know before you donate.

Please come back after the break. We have important details for you.


CUOMO: The One Fund set up by Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has already raised more than $26 million in donations to help those most affected by the Boston bombings. But there are also funds to help individual victims. So how do we decide what we need to do? How do we be careful? CNN's Christine Romans joins me now -- always great to see you.

I gave at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.


CUOMO: They have the One Fund set up really easy right on an iPad.


CUOMO: I just slip my card, was I giving to the right place? What else should I have done?

ROMANS: Yes and they're up to $27 million right now as a matter of fact. But that was the right -- that was a charity, a legitimate charity set up by the Mayor of Boston and by the Governor.

But there is this other thing that's crowd funding you know you need to know exactly what you're donating to. Is it crowd funding or is it a charity? Tens of thousands of people have donated almost $4 million through crowd funding. It's basically where if somebody goes out and sets up a fund for you to give money to -- to give money directly to victims.

There's help for Patrick and Jess. There's the Selles and Sydney Recovery Fund, there's Bucks for Bauman (ph) -- a whole bunch of them, even one out there to buy, you know, the guy a new boat, whose boat where they captured the suspect.

CUOMO: I think it's complicated right? Because for instance, the boat. The insurance company and the government is going to figure out who pays for the boat, right?

ROMANS: Right.

CUOMO: So he doesn't that money -- this man we believe has taken that (inaudible) I'll make sure it gets to victims. It can get complicated. Who is they, setting this up?

ROMANS: And he has said -- the boat guy, he has said just give it to One Fund, please, because you know, I've done my part. Look, the idea is to get the money to victims as fast as possible, help with medical costs. But you have to be careful. says that for every legitimate page on its site, two had to be shutdown because of fraud.

Since they're so new, the sites haven't been evaluated by watchdog groups like Charity Navigator.


KEN BERGER, PRESIDENT, CHARITY NAVIGATOR: They have no track record. They have no financial reports that we can look at. There's no real data to show whether or not they're going to be legitimate and effective.


ROMANS: So this is what you do. When you donate to individual people through crowd funding -- there are fees, eight percent of your donation -- eight percent depending on the site. You won't qualify for a tax deduction because it's not an organized or recognized charity.

Find out if there are safe guards. Make sure the victims go to the funds on GoFundMe. Organizers, Chris, look to raise. They have to link to a legitimate Facebook page. And on Give Forward, checks can only be written to the victim, not the organizer.

CUOMO: It's complicated.

ROMANS: It is. That's why they set up the One Fund so it would be a very simple place because the governor and the mayor knew that people wanted to give something and they wanted it in one spot. $27 million so far. CUOMO: So if you give to the one fund, it's going to go to individuals.


CUOMO: It's administered by the government.


CUOMO: Other than that, you have to be very careful about it because it could not be what it seems like.

ROMANS: It could not be but go to those places that I mentioned and you'll be able to direct specifically to someone -- like the Bucks for Bauman, that was getting a lot of attention right now, too because people, you know -- and they don't care about the tax deduction. They just want to help this guy.

CUOMO: Right. And all interesting. Thank you very much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

CUOMO: Everybody remember, the need is going to continue. It's going to go forward. There are immediate needs right now especially for those trying who are still fighting to get their lives back, healthwise and otherwise.

But there will be needs going forward so please stay tuned and we'll help you understand what the need is as we move farther and farther from the date of the attacks.

We're going to take a break now. In the next hour, we're going to talk to the reporter who tracked down the mysterious Misha, blamed for radicalizing the brothers.

When we come back.