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Hijacker Attempts to Take Over Commercial Airliner; Man Shot, Killed Inside Movie Theater
Aired February 7, 2014 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR, Thanks, Wolf. Here we go. Breaking news. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
We begin with a rapidly developing story, hear about a possible terror plot for the Sochi games involving this plan right here. A hijacker has attempted to take over a commercial airliner which left Ukraine. His goal, reportedly, take the plane with all 110 passengers on board to Sochi. The plane was eventually able to land in turkey. All of this happening, just think about the context here as this is going on, the opening ceremonies getting under way in Sochi this afternoon.
Joining me now on this attempted hijacking are Ivan Watson, our senior international correspondent who is there in Sochi, Jim Sciutto, CNN's chief national security correspondent and Tom Fuentes, CNN law enforcement analyst.
So Ivan Watson, to you there on the ground in Sochi, this in terms of what we know now, what are you learning about this man's plans on board the plane and what did he say to passengers?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a Ukrainian passport holder. The flight was going to Ukraine to Istanbul. And at some point, according to Turkish officials, the man stood up and claimed that he had some kind of explosive device in the cargo bay of the plane. This is a Pegasus air Turkish budget airlines flight. And also demanded, according to Turkish officials, that the plane be rerouted here to Sochi where as you can see the fireworks display is under way and the Olympic flame moments ago has been lit.
Now, we are now hearing from Turkey's semi official (INAUDIBLE) agency that the Turkish pilots aboard the plane at 18:20, at 6:20 p.m. Istanbul time, they put out an alert, a warning about a suspected hijacking attempt. And within 20 minutes, (INAUDIBLE) agency is reporting the Turkish airport scrambled f-16 war planes out to the black sea to escort that plane to its original destination in Istanbul, Sabiha Gokcen airport. And that is where now our sister agency CNN Turk has been reporting that Turkish special forces have taken this man in to custody.
The Ukrainian foreign ministry has issued a statement saying that Ukrainian diplomats are on the ground at that airport now, trying to determine the nationality of this suspected hijacker. We got to some media reports coming out of Ukraine that the man actually may have been very drunk at the time. They haven't been able to confirm it yet. Meanwhile, as the plane has been on the tarmac in Istanbul, the pilots -- the passengers and pilots were kept in the plan as Turkish officials said, it was searched for the suspected explosive device. No injuries and no casualties reported at this time -- Brooke.
So Jim Sciutto to you, because we have been talking so much about fears reports surrounding the winter Olympic Games, fears of extremists, and I understand you are making the point that this is very different from some sort of extremist group in the sense that this individual according to reporting, you know, announced he had a bomb where as a different group wouldn't have done any talking. They would have just taken action.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It's an important point. The MO immediately very different here. The kinds of groups that have been threatening to target the games, Islamist extremist groups, they tend to detonate their explosives and ask questions later, you know, for lack of a better phrase. And in fact in 2004, it is suspected the two of those famous black widow brought bombers, they brought down two planes in Russia, lighting off explosives mid-flight. So, the idea of diverting and talking to the pilot and saying I have an explosive, you know, take me somewhere else is not the MO of the kinds of attackers we have been familiar with and focused on in relation to the attacks.
That said, a serious enough threat to scramble jets and remember, of the many threats that U.S. and international authorities and Russian authorities are tracking here, one they are most concerned about is the threat to airliners. Transportation in like this toothpaste bomb plot we were talking about so much in the last couple of days.
BALDWIN: Right. And Tom Fuentes, I just want you to react to what you are hearing from both of my colleagues here. And also, what is standard operating procedure in an event like this?
THOMAS FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think I completely agree with them that, you know, from the beginning, it looked like an unusual situation. Not your typical terrorist event. From the beginning, I thought this sounds like a mentally disturbed person or possibly drug or alcohol induced hijacking. But, you know, either you are going to blow up the plane, as Jim mentioned, or you are not. And I mean, in this case, the guy said take me to Sochi. What does he expect? They are going to have a limo waiting for him to take him to the opening ceremonies of the Olympics? I mean, you know, it was crazy in the concept from the beginning.
Now, the procedures to deal with are exactly what you are seeing. The plane lands and goes to the secure of the airport area away from the terminals, away from other aircraft just in case there is something bad might happen, may something explodes on the aircraft that doesn't do any other damage. They evacuate the passengers as quickly as they can. And of course, we all see the evacuation video before the flight starts with how to slide down the chutes and get away from the aircraft and then get the authorities on there to take this guy into custody. Now, of course, they have so search every piece of luggage, every nook and cranny of that aircraft to just to be absolutely sure that there is no explosive or other bad material on that aircraft. So, this is typically how that would happen and the Turks are well trained and appeared to be executing this according to protocol.
BALDWIN: My next question can go to any of you all. Guys, let's put the map back up because it think, I am just visual and I need to see exactly the geography. Because you see the Ukraine where the plane began intended for Turkey and this person delusional, you know, or not wanted this plane ultimately to land in Sochi and that didn't happen. But to any of you, we talked so much about security, of course, within that so-called ring of steel in and around Sochi, but what about, you know, neighboring countries, neighboring airports? Is security stepped up there as well?
SCIUTTO: Well, Brooke, I would just make the point that this is the advantage of the terrorist groups targeting the games. That they don't have to attack inside the ring of steel to have a massive spectacular effect and that's always the goal with these attacks. It really anything in the areas around it or countries around it or flights in fact going to the area, that's one reason why we have U.S. authorities focusing on the flights from the U.S. to Russia. You know, that area of interest extends so far and that's really their advantage because they don't have to get at the area that is the hardest to strike where the Russians have focused their attention. They can get anywhere and have that dramatic effect these groups are seeking.
BALDWIN: OK. Ivan Watson and Jim Sciutto and Tom Fuentes, thank you all very, very much.
Coming up, President Obama speaking live any moment as the administration responds to a weak jobs report out this morning. Both sides are spinning the numbers. We have the truth.
Plus, just in, video from inside that movie theater where a former police officer was accused of shooting a man over a text message. It's chilling to watch and provides a clear picture of exactly what happened. We will share it with you next.
BALDWIN: It is a fuzzy video. It is a video none the less, images from the surveillance camera capturing a horrific scene playing out inside of a movie theater. And you are about to see the video. It was played just within this past hour at a bond hearing for a retired police officer charged with shooting and killing a man who is texting his daughter's baby-sitter as previews of coming attractions played on the screen.
CNN's Martin Savidge is here with me following all this and we also have Ashleigh Banfield sitting by, host of "Legal View" on the legalities of this.
But first to you, this video is just played. Walk me through it.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let me just tell you the dates first. It's January 13th. It is a matinee and it is a crowded people that are in movie theater. It is a called Grove 16. And we are inside what is theater number ten.
BALDWIN: Here it is.
SAVIDGE: Already the shot has been fired because that is actually dust particles that are coming off, they say, from the camera that was located on the side. You have to understand that this is kind of a night vision camera, infrared really. That's what it believed to be the man standing up then sitting down.
BALDWIN: In the white t-shirt?
SAVIDGE: Yes. It is believed that, and again, we are trying to look at this. That is Curtis Reeves. That is the man who fired the shots. Again, it's very quick. You will see Chris Reeves what looks like his right hand jet out. You don't see a muscle flash and of course there is no sound. That is believed the moment he reached and fired. And then you see another officer playing close coming over and taking control of the weapon. That's when the emotion there. What you don't see is Chad Oulson, except for one very brief second and that is where you see a hand coming forward with what looks like a cup, maybe like a cup of popcorn. And it's immediately thereafter that you see Curtis Reeves withdraw his hand from the pocket and point. And that's when the prosecution was saying that this is, he fire that fatal shot.
BALDWIN: I want to come back to you in a second.
Ashleigh Banfield, let me bring you in. You are looking at this with us. And just with your legal eye, can people inside this room truly appreciate what is going on?
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD, CNN HOST, LEGAL VIEW: It's certainly not the witness that I thought it was going to be, sadly. Look. There are some forensic to it, yes. I think there are some corroboration that you can probably attach to it. I think both sides may be able to get something out of that view. But I think really honestly what is so much more powerful in all of this is there were people there. People overheard this. People have told their versions of what happened. And ultimately, let's not forget that the guy who is going to be on trial here, this is just bail hearing. Kind a feel we are in a trial. The guy who is going to face the music here is 71. So, we have to figure out what's in his head.
And he said something very telling earlier today. This stuck out to me. He said if I were 20 years younger, I might have tasseled with the man, but I didn't know what was going to happen. And to me, that tells you a little bit something more about what was in this state of mind. I'm not saying the jury would find that reasonable, but it is something to think about.
BALDWIN: So, we know that Curtis Reeves, the suspect here, and his wife, they were in the theater, Martin Savidge. We also know that Chad Oulson, the victim and his wife Nicole, obviously, they were there. Nicole Oulson, we have seen quite emotional, I don't know that was yesterday and the day before inside this hearing. She was supposed to testify, in to Ashleigh's point. Just remind everyone, this is a bond hearing. This is not, you know, obviously not trial. This happened a couple of weeks ago. She is no longer testifying today. How has she been?
SAVIDGE: Well, you know, you see her at various times where she has been crying of the certain case in Wednesday. Today, you saw she has, you know, she is wounded as well. She was shot in the hand of wedding ring on it and you the bandage. You see that plenty of times in court. There were times that when she is listening to the play back of testimony that is made by the shooter, she is wincing, clearly, this brings back horrible memories.
She did testify in a way. Because what they did was they played -- the police played the tape of when they questioned her probably about two hours after the shooting. She is still at the theater when they are questioning all the witnesses. So, you do hear her account and it's different. Because what she said is that the shooter, Curtis Reeves confronts her husband multiple times. That's the point she stressed.
BALDWIN: And Ashleigh, do we expect as this bond hearing is under way, do we expect a decision this afternoon, will he be out of jail? Do we know?
BANFIELD: You know, that's hard. It is really hard to tell because I have never really seen a bond hearing this detailed.
BALDWIN: Why are they doing this?
BANFIELD: I am not thinking of it.
Well, here is a thing. Whenever it comes to bailing someone out, it's not about guilt, it is not about innocence. It's about flight risk and danger to the community. So, I think at this point what the judge is trying to figure out is what kind of a person is Curtis reeves, 71 years old who packs heat? I can guarantee this. He will get out on bond. He is not going to be able to carry a weapon. I'm pretty sure about that. But as far as the decision and the timing, I don't know. I am just not a logistics expert when it comes to that.
BALDWIN: OK. Ashleigh Banfield, thanks you. Martin Savidge, thank you, both of you. We will keep watching that hearing. And if we have any news, obviously, we will bring it you her.
Coming up here, President Obama speaking any moment now as the administration responds to a weak jobs report out this morning. Both sides spinning the numbers. We will have the truth for you.
You are watching CNN. Stay here.
BALDWIN: And now the president of the United States there, he is speaking in East Lansing, Michigan right now. He flew there today to sign a 10-year, $1 trillion farm bill that Congress took four years to pass. Take a listen. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He told me if there was thing he wants everybody to know, is that Detroit is open for business and I have great confidence that he is going to provide the leadership he needs. I'm really proud of him.
The point is we all had to buckle down. We all have to work hard. We got to fight our way back these past five years. And in a lot of ways we are now better positioned for the 21st century than any other country on earth.
This morning we learned that our businesses and the private sector created more than 140,000 jobs last month, adding up to about 8.5 million new jobs over the past four years.
OBAMA: Our unemployment rate is now the lowest it has been since before I was first elected. Companies across the country are saying they intend to hire more folks in the months ahead. And that's why I believe this can be a breakthrough year for America. And I have come here today to sign a bill that hopefully means folks in Washington feel the same way. Instead of wasting time creating crisis that impede the economy, we will have a Congress that is ready to spend time creating new jobs and new opportunities and positioning us for the future and making sure our young people can take advantage of that future.
And that's important because even though our economy has been growing for four years now, even though we have been adding jobs for four years now, what is still true, something that was true before the financial crisis and is still true today is that those at the top of the economic pyramid are doing better than ever. But the average American wages, salaries, incomes haven't risen in a very long time. A lot of Americans are working harder and harder just to get by, much less get ahead. And that has been true since lone before the financial crisis and the great recession.
So, we have to reverse those trends. We have to build an economy that works for everybody, not just a few. We have to restore the idea of opportunity for all people. The idea that no matter who we are, what you look like, where you came from, how you started up, what your last name is, you can make it if you want to work hard and take responsibility. That's the idea of the heart of this country and what's at stake right now. That's what we have to work on.
OBAMA: Now, the opportunity agenda I laid out in my state of the union address is going to help us do that. It is an agenda built around four parts. Number one, more new jobs, an American manufacturing, American energy, American innovation, American technology. A lot of what you are doing here in Michigan state helps this spread (ph) that innovation. In all sorts of area, they can commercialize into new industries and create new jobs.
Number two, training folks with the skills to fill those jobs, something this intuition does very well. Number three, guaranteeing access to a world class education for every child and not just some. That has been the priority.
OBAMA: That means before they even start school, we are working on pre-k. That's high quality and gets our young people prepared and then takes them all the way through to college so they can afford it and beyond.
Number four, making sure our economy rewards honest work with wages you can live on and savings you can retire on. And yes, health insurance that is there for you when you need it.
OBAMA: Now, some of this opportunity agenda that I put forward will require congressional action. It's true. But as I said at the state of the union, America does not stand still and neither will I. That's why over the past two weeks, I have taken steps without legislation, without congressional action to expand opportunity for more families. We created new way for workers to start their own retirement savings. We helped to make sure all of our students have high speed broadband and high tech learning tools that they need for this new economy.
And I also said I am eager to work with Congress wherever I can. And the truth of the matter is that America works better when we are working together. Congress controls this first --
BALDWIN: Talking about Congress and the president, all working together. Obviously, that's a good thing, chief political analyst Gloria Borger. Let me bring you in because just remind everyone, after these remarks, the president, you know, will be signing the agriculture of 2014 bill, aka the farm bill. But I thought it was interesting just listening to the bit we did, you know, again mentioning income and equality instead of farm bill. Did he mention it again?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. Well, this is, you know, this all part of this push to sort of own helping the middle class and even the farm bill is part of an initiative. He is going to be talking about called made in rural America.
And what the president is also going to talk about, you know, this farm bill, Brooke, took four years to do. But it was completely bipartisan. There were cuts in food stamps that the Democrats didn't like, but you ended paying farmers not to farm, those direct subsidies to farmers. And instead it was replaced by an insurance program. So the Congress, it took a long time, but they actually managed to work something through that overall will be good for the country. And both Republicans and Democrats actually agree on that.
BALDWIN: Again, the 10-year $1 trillion farm bill will be signing here in just a minute.
The other big news today, not great news, the job report. I'm going to get to that with other guests in just a moment. But we have to talk about this exclusive interview that happened between my colleague Kate Bolduan and the vice president. That you know, here he was, vice president Biden touching on whether he might run again for president. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Should not run.
KATE BOLDUAN, CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Can I have a time table some?
BIDEN: Realistically, a year this summer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: When he might decide, Gloria Borger. What, are we seeing a Joe Biden versus Hillary Clinton rivalry?
BORGER: You know, the way I parse it and by the way, of course, you have to parse his words here. The way I parse it is that he is effectively saying look, it depends on what Hillary Clinton does do. The way I read it is that if Hillary Clinton decides to run, I think Joe Biden won't run. But if she decides not to run, I think he's in.
So, and I think that's why his time table seems to be a bit delayed to me. Because I think he is kind of waiting to see what she decides to do.
BALDWIN: He waits and so we wait. Gloria Borger, have a wonderful weekend. Thank you for joining me.
BORGER: You too. Thanks, Brooke.
BALDWIN: And I mentioned that jobs report out today, it got weaker than expected job report out this morning, 113,000 jobs were created in the month of January. That to put it in perspective is far fewer than the economists predicted. Unemployment rate fell just a hair to 6.6 percent. It is the lowest level in five years.
Republicans were quick to latch on to that report. This is from House Speaker John Boehner. This is what he said. I'm quoting him. "The American people continue to ask, where are the jobs? And the president clearly has no answers. Republicans do." He went on to accuse the president and top Democrats of failing to lead and standing in the way of measures to spur growth.
Over on the White House log, one of the president's top advisers quote "he stark reminder that despite the progress that has been made, the after effects linger and creating hardship for many families."
Mark Zandi is chief economist of Moody's Analytics.
Mark, welcome back to the show. Nice to have you on.
MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIC, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: Thank you. BALDWIN: This job report, in a word, is weak. Does that mean that we are just downhill from here or what?
ZANDI: No. It was disappointing, no doubt. It is two months in a row. But, I think it is largely due to the very bad winter weather. It has been very cold, very stormy across the country. And I think that is weighing on hiring and we get this kind of job number. When we get more typical weather, it will be better.
BALDWIN: How so exactly? Spell it out for me.
ZANDI: Sure. So, when it's really cold out or when it is stormy, people just can't get to work. Now in December, the big impact was on construction activity so that there are some big jobs in construction real estate. In January, it's in the retailing, it's in transportation. Schools were not opening. So, we saw declines in jobs in education and nursing care facilities. So, it's very disruptive. And people can't get to work. They are not going to be employed. They lose hours and, you know, it's been a bad winter.
BALDWIN: On the other hand, does Speaker Boehner have a point? I mean, here, we were just talking about the farm bill, at least, the these are working together. But you know, it is gridlock when it comes to jobs because when it comes to job, it is gridlock holding the economy back, do you think?
ZANDI: No. I really don't think so. I mean, I think it has been up until the deal we got in Washington to reopen government -- we got the deal to fund the government for the next couple of years.