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Homeland Security Announced New Airport Security Measures; Tropical Storm Arthur Threatens Carolina Coasts; Was Palestinian Teen Killed in Revenge for 3 Israeli Teens; Western Jihadists Joining ISIS in Iraq; Goalie Tim Howard Talks Team USA Loss, Future Plans.
Aired July 2, 2014 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm Jim Sciutto, reporting from Washington. Wolf Blitzer is off today.
We have breaking news out of the Department of Homeland Security concerning passenger screening at airports. We've just learned the Department of Homeland Security could announce new airport security measures as soon as today due to increased concern that terrorists are developing explosives designed to avoid detection by current security screening. We're told these would apply to airports in Europe, in the Middle East, elsewhere around the world, that are not up to this current threat.
I'm going to bring in our justice reporter, Evan Perez, to talk more about this.
This is a story you and I have been looking into for some time. How severe do we think this threat is, one? And two, how much of a change will it be for screening measures?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're talking about additional screenings at these airports in the Middle East, and especially the Middle East and Europe. The concern is really AQAP, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as you know, Jim.
SCIUTTO: And their famous bomb maker.
PEREZ: And their famous bomb maker. And they basically been working on new bomb designs, the U.S. believes, and according to intelligence. They believe these bomb designs are possibly able to evade detection. So out of an abundance of caution, they're going to increase screenings at these airports.
Now, this is not going to effect what passengers are able to bring on board their flights. But this is just something they want to do. Jim, talking to your sources, I'm sure, this is a big security threat, you know, and they know that these guys are working to -- changing their bomb designs to be able to defeat the procedures that are already in place. So they're trying to make sure they can counteract that.
SCIUTTO: The concerns are direct flights to the U.S. The security in the U.S. only as good as the security at those airports. Mideast, Europe even, as well.
PEREZ: That's right. These are airports that I think, you know, raise particular concerns because they believe these are the likely places where these threats could come from.
SCIUTTO: I know you and I have talked about this. They know they're constantly trying to get past security measures. They know what the measures are. I'm sure they tested them out.
PEREZ: Right. Right.
SCIUTTO: How confident do you think DHS, the other counter-terror agencies are that the changes they make can counter the changes that we know the terrorists always make. This is a running battle they have to fight.
PEREZ: This is a running battle. The thing is, you want to make these security measures strong enough to be able to deter, obviously, the terrorists. At the same time, you want to bring comfort and you don't want to cause too much disruption, prevent people from taking flight. It's a balancing act. They're really -- they're trying to strike here.
SCIUTTO: No question. They always say it's measures you can see, measures you can't see.
PEREZ: That's right. Right.
SCIUTTO: All right, thanks very much, Evan Perez, our justice reporter. New changes, security measures to come.
As we head into the busiest travel weekend of the summer, a major storm is threatening to make a mess the July 4th holiday for millions of people along the east coast. Tropical Storm Arthur, the first named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, is churning off the coast of Florida now, and it's expected to bring heavy and fierce wind to the Carolina coast tomorrow. It could grow that a category 1 hurricane. That will likely happen, we're told, tomorrow. Wilmington, North Carolina to Nags Head will likely see the worst of the storm, including damaging wave, and dangerous riptides for swimmers. Officials in North Carolina are busy preparing for this storm and warning residents of the potential dangers.
Joining us live from Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks, right in the cross hairs, we have Warren Judge, the chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners.
Now, as you see it coming your way what are the biggest concerns about this storm?
WARREN JUDGE, CHAIRMAN, DARE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS: Our biggest concerns, Jim, are the road conditions on Hatteras Island.
SCIUTTO: Now, so what do you tell people to prepare? I imagine, you're telling them, as the storm gets worse, stay off those roads.
JUDGE: Well, we ask everybody, visitors and residents alike, to stay tuned to all of our news outlets here in the county, the county website. We have direct e-mail responses to any your inquiries. Telephone bank, newspapers. The local newspapers cover us, the radio stations. We ask everybody to get themselves -- to make themselves aware of what's going on, to listen to reports, and to stand by for instructions from us. Right now, residents and people's businesses -- we ask people to put up loose items and begin to prepare for the high winds that will reach us along around midnight thursday night.
But today, we want everybody to enjoy themselves, have a good time, but keep an eye and an ear open as things develop. We have great means of getting information out, but we also need the folks to pay attention and to follow the advice of the emergency operations center.
SCIUTTO: I always know it's a tough balancing act for you, because, on the one hand, you want people to be prepared. You want to prevent damage and injury. On the other hand, you want people to enjoy the weekend as best they can. How do you manage that now? Is it really just about giving the latest best information up to the minute? Is that how you get the word out?
JUDGE: Absolutely. Our county manager and his team are well trained, experienced people that are taking care of all the mechanics behind the scenes. We have a dedicated top-notch public information officer who takes all of that information and gets it out to the public.
We ask the people to do two things. One, to enjoy themselves, but more importantly, to be safe. And to listen to the warnings and to follow all of the instructions that will come over the next couple of days.
SCIUTTO: All right, well, good luck to you. I know you've got a tough job in the next couple of days.
Thanks very much to Warren Judge, Dare County Board of Commissioners.
JUDGE: Thanks very much, Jim.
SCIUTTO: Coming up next, Israeli police investigate the killing of a Palestinian teenager. Was it revenge for the deaths of three Israelis? We'll discuss what this all means for an already tense region.
Later, the new "secretary of defense," Goalie Tim Howard, comes out on top, even if the U.S. team didn't.
SCIUTTO: Israeli authorities are investigating whether the death of a Palestinian teenager was a revenge killing. Was it in retaliation for the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens?
Just moments ago, White House press secretary, Josh Ernest, said this about the death of the Palestinian teen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH ERNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the heinous murder of Palestinian teenager, Muhammad Hussein Abu Khadar (ph). We send our condolences to his family and to the Palestinian people.
We note that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has called upon Palestinian authorities to identify to work as quickly as possible to identify the perpetrator's motives behind this heinous act. Ad we hope to see the guilty parties brought to justice.
We call on the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take all necessary steps to prevent an atmosphere of revenge and retribution. People who undertake acts of vengeance will destabilize an already volatile and emotional situation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Already the Palestinian teen's death has triggered skirmishes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians.
Joining me now via Skype is Ambassador Nicholas Burns -- with great experience over there -- professor of international relations at Harvard University, also former U.S. undersecretary for political affairs.
Listening to Josh Ernest, you can hear, Ambassador Burns, the deep concern in his voice. It's a concern I've heard from others in the region I've been talking to. You know this region well. How quickly could a tit-for-tat situation like this escalate?
AMB. NICHOLAS BURNS, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY & FORMER U.S. UNDERSECRETARY FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Well, Jim, it's a very dangerous moment. The United States, of course, recognizes this. Israeli anger over the murder of the three Israeli teenagers is understandable. And when Prime Minister Netanyahu asks for justice to be done, of course, everyone would -- in the U.S. government -- would agree the killers need to be brought to justice but peacefully and through civil means. The last thing of course that anyone wants to see between the Palestinians and the Israelis is escalation of violence.
SCIUTTO: John Kerry tweeted earlier today -- I'm going to share that with our viewers -- this quote, in his words, "The world has too often learned the hard way that violence only leads to more violence.
This applies to another debate going on in Israel, which is, how hard to hit back against Hamas, which the Israeli government blames for killings of these teens. Where do you think that's going to go? How hard do you think Israel will push back? Do you see another conflict in Gaza over this?
BURNS: We've already seen the pushback. We've seen Israeli air strikes. This is a pattern between Israel and Hamas for many years. Obviously, Hamas is at the root of problem for the Middle East because it won't accept these peace negotiations and it won't refrain from violence. This Israelis have a right to defend themselves, but it's the U.S. wish, and it's the right thing to get these parties back to the negotiating table and not to see another rocket war or the type we saw a couple of years ago develop between Hamas and Israel. You remember the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, had to negotiate an end to that rocket war when so many civilians were killed on both sides.
SCIUTTO: What can the U.S. do here? You mentioned getting them back to the table. It was only a few weeks ago that John Kerry's herculean efforts for getting into the negotiation table ended those talks. Can the U.S. get involved here with any effect?
BURNS: I don't think it's realistic to assume that somehow the formal negotiations can take place, but convincing them to refrain from violence, to deal with each other, and I mean, here the Palestinian authority in Ramallah with prime minister Netanyahu, to rebuild that relationship is very important at this point. The Middle East, Jim, is at a very, very unstable and violent phase. You have just north of Israel and Syria, ISIS has established a caliphate in northern Syria and western Iraq. Prime Minister Netanyahu gave a very important speech where he warned that radical Islam is on the doorsteps of Israel, in Jordan, in Syria. So I think the Israelis here have larger strategic interests than just the situation with the Palestinians. And I think the prime minister is focused on that.
SCIUTTO: The new reality is just incredible. A caliphate, it's territory controlled by ISIS, right on the doorstep of Israel, and so many U.S. allies, Jordan, Saudi Arabia.
Thanks, Ambassador Nicholas Burns, joining us live via Skype.
Just ahead, the extremist militant group, still seizing territory in northern Iraq, is now seeking recruits. Ahead, Western jihadists speak out about why they want to join the fight.
SCIUTTO: On "This Day in History," July 2nd, 1964, exactly 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. And incredible day.
ISIS is known for extreme violence, executions, beheadings, and massacres. Now as the group sweeps across Iraq, it's extending its reach to followers outside of the Middle East.
CNN's Atika Shubert has a rare interview with militants considering joining its brutal ranks. Right now, the first showing of Atika's exclusive report.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the call to jihad as militants establish a territorial foothold stretching from Syria to Iraq. As this propaganda video shows, ISIS hopes it is the beginning of an Islamic caliphate to sweep the region.
It is a message reaching extremists in other parts of the world. These three young men have travelled to Syria for jihad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). I have a brother here, Abu Anwar. There's another brother here.
SHUBERT: They agreed to speak to us over Skype if we don't show their faces.
Abu Anwar is British.
ABU ANWAR, JIHADI: I'm from the south of England. I grew up in a middle class family. Life was easy. But you cannot practice Islam back home. We see it all around us, and we can't do anything about it because we are living by the laws.
SHUBERT: We met Abu Anwar and his friends, as so many of these young men do, online. They posted Instagram photos that make guns and holy war seem cool. But what they don't show you, the brutality. ISIS has boasted about executing Iraqi soldiers in cold blood and has committed massacres and acts of terror so extreme that even al-Qaeda disavowed them.
I asked Abu Anwar if his family knows what he is doing in Syria.
ANWAR: They're not happy with me being here, as you can expect, but I give them Islamic propagation, and gradually they see the reality of here, they hear the reality from me what they don't hear from the BBC.
SHUBERT (on camera): So how many like him are out there? Thousands, and from all across Europe. They are estimated at 700 from France, and in Russia, about 800. Here in the U.K., almost 400. Not to mention those in Germany and Belgium.
These numbers are quite high, but these are only the movements they can track. The actual numbers may be higher.
(voice-over): Like Mona Mohammed Abu Selha (ph), a 22-year-old American, know as Abu Ida (ph). Authorities say last month he packed a truck full of explosives, drove it to a Syrian army position, and detonated it, killing himself.
Abu Anwar says he was a friend of Abu Ida's (ph).
ANWAR: He was the best person I have met in my life. He had the best character. And I knew this operation would give him a chance to go into the enemy and kill much of them and be killed in the process. He told me, if I go, don't go back to England.
SHUBERT: He says he, too, wants to carry out a suicide attack inspired by his friend, what he calls a martyrdom mission. But when I ask if he would return to Britain and carry out an attack back home, he says no. ANWAR: If I go home, it will be when I go to Europe and the blood of
Islam is flowing down Downing Street. I don't expect to come home.
SHUBERT: I ask if he will now join ISIS in Iraq, he says he is considering it.
ANWAR: We have an Islamic State now.
SHUBERT: For Abu Anwar and others like him, the call to jihad is too strong to resist for him and others like him.
Atika Shubert, CNN, London.
SCIUTTO: The ISIS threat at home. Alarming story.
Coming up next, the U.S. may have lost to Belgium, but goalie, Tim Howard, is still a winner. His story coming up.
SCIUTTO: They're calling him the new Captain American. I'm talking about the U.S. national soccer team goalie, Tim Howard. He set a record for saves in a loss to Belgium yesterday. This morning, Howard talked about the heartbreaking loss and what he plans to do next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM HOWARD, TEAM USA GOALKEEPER: You play your best and you still get beat. At the end of the game, we created two incredible opportunities and we could be right there, right in it, it could have been a definite scenario this morning, but it's not meant to be.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR, NEWS DAY: You, my man, are popular. What are you going to do with all of this? How are you going to handle it?
HOWARD: Take it in stride. I'm going to go home, relax, hide away, get more tattoos, just be me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: A tough loss. I was watching like you, I bet.
While the U.S. did lose, Howard was still an inspiration to many. And as our Carol Costello reports, being an inspiration is Tim Howard's true passion.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He is the anchor of Team USA. At age 35, Tim Howard is still at the top of his game. And at his New Jersey high school, no one is surprised.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember his goals. He could anticipate where the ball would be next. (CROSSTALK)
EDDIE BERNEREY, NORTH BRUNSWICK HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL COACH: Nothing he does surprises me. When you see Tim Howard doing things right, you as a teammate or coach, want to up your game. I'm going to try to match what he's doing.
COSTELLO: Howard played basketball and soccer at North Brunswick High School. He went on to Major League Soccer. And at 23, he was recruited by one of the best-known sports teams of the world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he got the call from Manchester United, it was a win for all of us. It was like, all right, our guy made it. It was really cool to see.
COSTELLO: For Howard, fate also meant responsibility. He lent his body to PETA for this anti-fur campaign.
COSTELLO: And turned a very personal struggle into action.
Faith Rice is the executive director of the New Jersey Center for Tourette syndrome.
FAITH RICE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NEW JERSEY CENTER FOR TOURETTE SYNDROME: Tim called us one day and said he wanted to volunteer with the organization.
COSTELLO: Howard had been diagnosed with Tourette as a child. When he joined Manchester United, British tabloids ridiculed the goalie for the disorder. But he told CNN, in 2011, it was an obstacle he never let stand in his way.
HOWARD: I may not make it as a professional footballer, but I don't want the reason to be this syndrome. So it is something that I live with every day and for me, now, in my life it is like breathing to me. If I woke up one day and didn't have it, it would feel weird.
COSTELLO: He has done work with children and their families for the New Jersey center. And is lending his name to the new Tim Howard Leadership Academy.
RICE: It's really important for these kids to have a hero, someone who has dealt with all the things they're dealing with and has survived.
COSTELLO: And to the kids at North Brunswick High, Howard is a role model, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That hallway is the same that Tim walked, that locker could be the same locker. They can see what hard work can do. And it's right there on TV every other day.
COSTELLO: Carol Costello, CNN, Atlanta.
SCIUTTO: Tim Howard for president.
That's it for me.
NEWSROOM with Brooke Baldwin starts right now.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Jim Sciutto, thank you so much.