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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
ISIS Beheads Hostage, American Could Be Next; Family Moved From Ebola-Infected Apartment; Ebola Patient's Family Speaks Out; Interview with Congressman Chris Smith
Aired October 3, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, one more horrifying beheading at the hands of ISIS. British aid worker, Alan Henning murdered and the message from ISIS tonight an American hostage is next.
And live from the Syria-Turkey border, is America's war on ISIS working?
Plus Thomas Eric Duncan, the man at the center of America's Ebola scare, his mother and nephew say he was never in contact with a pregnant woman dying with Ebola. There are my guests tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Jim Sciutto in tonight for Erin Burnett. Welcome to the viewers in the United States and around the world. OUTFRONT tonight, one more hostage beheaded by ISIS and two families, one British and one American, going through unspeakable suffering.
British aid worker, Alan Henning, was brutally murdered in an ISIS video, one that was released late today and in that same video a warning that an American hostage will be next.
Henning is the fourth westerner beheaded in an ISIS video. Like the others, the video showed an English speaking masked militant waiving a knife over a kneeling hostage. Henning joined an aid convoy just last December and was taken hostage very soon after crossing from Turkey to Syria.
His wife, Barbara Henning, had made a tearful plea to his captors for her husband's life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARBARA HENNING, WIFE OF ALAN HENNING: We have a loss, why those leading the Islamic State can open their hearts and minds to the truth about Alan's humanitarian motives for going to Syria. I ask Islamic State please release him. We need him back home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Prime Minister David Cameron calling Henning's executioners barbaric and repulsive. President Obama saying the U.S. and its allies will bring the perpetrators to justice. And now torment for the family of American hostage, Peter Kassig as the video ends with the chilling threat that Kassig will be next. CNN's Arwa Damon is OUTFRONT tonight. She is on the Turkey-Syrian border.
Arwa, it is great to have you here because we know that you met Kassig. You profiled him when he was helping wounded Syrians in Lebanon in 2012. The story behind so many of these aid workers who went into Syria. What else can you tell us about Peter Kassig?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, as you say, we met him in 2012 over the summer and he was such a dedicated and driven young man, truly believing in this need to try to help the Syrian population.
He was volunteering at a hospital in northern Lebanon, in Tripoli, and a few months afterwards, he'd actually set up his own non-profit, SERA, the Special Emergency Response and Assistance. And he was running various medical assistance missions into parts of Syria to include Aleppo.
According to a statement by his family, he was kidnapped October 1st, 2013 while he on his way to try to help the doctors and nurses, the volunteers in those make-shift field clinics that were really overwhelmed with the sheer scope of casualties that were coming in there to get better training.
And he was also delivering a lot of medical assistance. This is a young man who really thought that he had a purpose in life and that purpose was to help those who were in need in Syria and he kept telling us Syria was his calling. Listen to what he told us back in 2012.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER KASSIG: We each get one life and that is it. You get one shot at this. We don't get any do-overs. For me it was put up or shut up. The way I saw it, I didn't have a choice like this is what I was put here to do. I guess I'm just a hopeless romantic and idealist and I believe in hopeless causes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAMON: And, Jim, like so many others, like Alan Henning, Peter, too believed in what he was doing. The aid workers and the journalists that we have been seeing horrifyingly beheaded at the hands of those ISIS militants. All of them traveling to Syria and putting themselves and their lives on the front lines.
Because they believe that they either had to give a voice to the voiceless, highlight the plight of the Syrian population or they believed they had a humanitarian duty to try to help out whichever way they can -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: And Arwa, they went with the most peaceful intentions. You have a great perch there, you are right on the Syrian-Turkish border and you can even see the fighting right across the border from the Turkish side into the Syrian side.
You can see ISIS militants fighting Kurdish rebels there. What is the impression of the U.S.-led military campaign so far? Is the impression on the ground that it is making a positive difference?
DAMON: Not to the extent that people would want to see it make a difference. And on both sides of the border, Jim, whether it is people we're talking to who are inside Syria, the Kurdish fighters trying to desperately beat back ISIS as it closed in on the town of Kobani or whether the refugees will flee across the border or Turkish- Kurds that we are talking to.
People are stunned at the fact that this coalition is not doing more. They fail to understand how it is that so many countries could have banded together with this so-called cause of trying to defeat ISIS and yet on the ground we see them gaining more territory when it comes to the town of Kobani where we continue to see them every single day carrying out horrific atrocities -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: Well, thanks very much to Arwa Damon on the border. A very personal connection to one of the Americans now facing really just the horror of the possibility of a beheading.
We are joined now by our CNN counterterrorism analyst, Phil Mudd as well as our CNN military analyst, Col. Rick Francona and General Mark Hertling.
Rick, if I could start with you, 56 days into the U.S.-led bombing campaign over Iraq and 10 days into the campaign over Syria, no ground presence at this point, is it unrealistic to expect that that campaign should have made a difference.
One, with pushing back ISIS fighters right across the border inside of Turkey, surrounding that city of Kobani, but in the behavior here? You have ISIS still showing its power and brutality of continuing to behead western hostages. Is it too early to expect a difference?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: There are two things there. Looking at the whole air campaign, it is not just focused on this one town. They are arranging targets all the way from the south west of Baghdad all the way over to Aleppo. It's a wide area and they really aren't that many air craft participating.
It looks like a lot of the countries on paper. But when you look at how many aircraft are actually participating at any given moment, it is not that big of a campaign. So to expect that we could turn back ISIS in this one town and one battle is a little bit unrealistic.
Especially when there are no boots on the ground, no troops on the ground to positively control these airstrikes. You cannot drop bombs on troops that are fighting unless you have someone there to accurately do that.
And on the second point, has this not changed the behavior? I think that maybe the bombing may have accelerated some of this behavior because ISIS feels it needs to make the point that they are still fighting --
SCIUTTO: Show their power and punish Britain.
FRANCONA: Punish the west for what they are doing.
SCIUTTO: General Hertling, it raises a question, if there aren't many aircraft involved as Colonel Francona mentions, should there be more? Because I've been watching the phase of these strikes over the last several days.
It will be one a day and none in the last 24 hours, should there be more or a higher pace of activity so they can push the fighters back and have a greater effect on the ground?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: What I would say, Jim, is we're stretched pretty thin all around the world. This has been an effort, certainly a priority effort in Iraq and Syria. We've done some very good work in Iraq as Rick just mentioned, the strikes have been effective.
But I also think we need to talk to the American people about whenever you have one airstrike or whenever you have one bomb dropped, there are multiple aircraft supporting that one bomb drop.
There are jammers. There are fuelers. There are intelligence planes and I think you're gathering intelligence while you are striking the targets at the same time --
SCIUTTO: And if I can, the quality of the targets because I'm watching the list of things that are hit every day. A tank there, an armored vehicle here. It's a fuel depot there.
It doesn't seem like the quality of the targets is where you would expect here. I think we have to prepare the Americans and others watching this program for a long campaign without immediate effect.
HERTLING: We've been trying to say that for a long time. This is going to be a long campaign. And I would push back a little bit and saying that some strategic targets have actually been hit.
There are numerous reports, some have not reached the western media in terms of main headquarters, if you will, of meeting places, of Khorasan, Nusra and ISIS in Syria being struck. Some of those don't get out because we don't have the immediate assessment that's releasable to the press.
But I think some of those targets are actually being hit, as well as what Rick said a minute ago about the priority effort is going against the targets in Iraq itself and Syria is a secondary effort right now.
SCIUTTO: Well, Phil, let me ask you this. These videos appear to be shot out in the open desert. One asset that the U.S. and the coalition has now is that they are flying surveillance flights, both drones and man surveillance flights over Syria and Iraq where ISIS has the positions. Would the flights gather more intelligence as to where these hostages are being kept so that they can be stopped before they carry out these beheadings?
PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: I don't think. So I don't think you can use that kind of surveillance to find a target as small as a person in a field or a safe house in a town. You need human source and technical intelligence at the heart of ISIS.
We are not going to resolve the crisis by flying drones over an area. You have to have penetration on the ground to find this kind of stuff. And furthermore, the real problem with intelligence in this case is it is not good enough to know where they were yesterday.
You have to know where they are tomorrow and that kind of intelligence is really tough to get.
SCIUTTO: If I could end with you, Colonel Francona, this does get to the deficiencies, though, of what is principally an air campaign without a ground presence, does it not?
FRANCONA: Yes, it does. And I think we've been saying that for a long time. In Iraq, I think we have a solution down the road. That will be the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga.
SCIUTTO: If they perform.
FRANCONA: If they perform. And right now, it is very frustrating to watch what is happening with the Iraqi army. In Syria, our game plan is still years away. I don't think it is a viable game plan to rely on the Free Syrian Army to take on ISIS when their real goal is to overthrow Assad. So I think the Syria portion is in real trouble. I think the Iraqi portion may have a chance.
SCIUTTO: They even said it will take a year to train 5,000 soldiers in Syria which is not a lot --
FRANCONA: Against a group like ISIS.
SCIUTTO: Absolutely. Well, thanks very much, Rick Francona, General Hertling, as well as Phil Mudd.
OUTFRONT next, more than a week after Thomas Duncan developed symptoms of Ebola, the contaminated bedding and towels have only just been removed today from his apartment complex. Why was this cleanup operation so late?
Plus Duncan relatives said he never helped a pregnant Ebola victim in Liberia. We're going to talk to them live tonight.
And more on our top story, the brutal beheading of a British hostage. What will it take to prevent another murder by ISIS?
SCIUTTO: Welcome back, breaking news, at this hour, the Ebola infected apartment in Dallas, Texas is empty. We've just learned the four people who were quarantined inside that home have been moved to an undisclosed location.
We're also learning that hazmat workers at the apartment have now removed Thomas Eric Duncan's contaminated sheets and towels. This comes more than a week after Duncan first started to show symptoms for the deadly disease.
CNN's Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT in Dallas, Texas, where anxiety continues to grow.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is the epicenter of Ebola in America and for the first time it looked like it. As Dallas Fire Rescue hazmat trucks and personnel showed up along with members of a private cleaning company.
It is the apartment complex where Liberian national, Thomas Duncan, was staying when he became ill with Ebola. That was over a week ago. Since Wednesday, four people Duncan was living with have remained quarantined in a second floor unit under orders not to leave and under guard.
Speaking exclusively to Anderson Cooper, Duncan's partner stunned many people when she said towels and sheets even the mattress the infected man used were still in the apartment with them.
LOUISE (via telephone): -- the bed, the bed sheets, everything is on the bed.
SAVIDGE: Officials quickly said they were on that problem. This is the mayor of Dallas speaking to Erin Burnett last night.
MAYOR MIKE RAWLINGS, DALLAS: Within an hour, the company to remove that waste is going to be there.
SAVIDGE: But it was easier said than done. Some private contractors initially turned down the job. When one finally showed on Thursday night, they were turned away because they didn't have the proper permission to transport the waste.
DR. TOM FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: That situation, I'm confident, will be handled today.
SAVIDGE: It was one more fumble in the handling of America's first domestically diagnosed case of the deadly disease. It began with the mistake at a Dallas hospital that sent Duncan back into the public, even though a hospital nurse had been told he recently arrived from Liberia, an Ebola hot zone and was clearly showing symptoms of the illness.
MARK LESTER, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, TEXAS HEALTH RESOURCES: Regretfully that information was not fully communicated.
SAVIDGE: And many Dallas residents have wondered why officials have kept the four people who had been closest to Duncan quarantined in a crowded apartment complex rather than isolating them in a medical facility?
Another potential misstep, communicating important information to the community at the heart of concern. Authorities have been informing the public in English and Spanish while most in the apartment neighborhood speak neither, coming instead from Africa and Asia.
CHANDRA TANEL, DALLAS RESIDENT: They don't know English. They don't open the computers. If they don't know English, they don't want CNN, ABC and other news.
SAVIDGE: And recapping, Jim, as you pointed out, the four that were quarantined inside this apartment complex have been moved. A public information officer said that in fact they have been moved to a private residence somewhere in Dallas County.
They will not say where, but it was a residence that was donated by another family that felt moved by their plight and that is now where they will await the finish of their quarantine -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: The family moved and cleaning up the apartment, all of those steps seem to be taking so long. Thanks very much to Martin Savidge in Dallas.
Those close to Thomas Eric Duncan have been upset that it has taken eight days to get the family out of the apartment, but to remove the sheets and towels he used.
I'm joined now by Duncan's mother, Nowah Gartay, who has a message for her son. We're going to get to that message in a moment as well as Duncan's nephew, Josephus Weeks. Thanks to both of you for joining us tonight.
Josephus, I wonder if I could start with you. You said your family had been trying to get the apartment cleaned and to get out of that apartment for some time. What is your reaction to how long it took for health authorities to make that happen?
JOSEPHUS WEEKS, NEPHEW OF EBOLA PATIENT THOMAS ERIC DUNCAN: Well, it is very upsetting to me that it took that long to get the situation rectified. But we are glad they were able to come to the rescue of those people in that apartment complex.
SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this as well, because I know that you and your family were actually pro-active when Duncan had the first signs of this disease. You called the CDC to complain about the care your brother was receiving and tried to notify health authorities. Can you describe to our viewers the steps you took and your frustration when you didn't get an immediate reaction?
WEEKS: Well, it was upsetting to find out that he was possibly infected with that deadly disease and the hospital was not showing me any signs that they were equipped to handle that particular situation. So I called the CDC to ask for guidance and they pointed me in the right direction as to who to call and we took it from there.
SCIUTTO: But let me ask you this as well because there is a question about your uncle's responsibility in this as well. Because there has been conflicting accounts of whether he was treating a family member back in Liberia who had Ebola, who in fact died of Ebola.
We've heard from his brother that indeed he was caring for someone who had the disease back home, but I understand you're saying he didn't have any contact. What did he tell you about that?
WEEKS: When I spoke to Eric, he told me he wasn't even in the area. He wasn't in the vicinity of that whole situation. He had moved along a long time ago. And when he heard that when I asked him the question, he said, well, I wasn't even in that area and I had gone a long time ago.
I wasn't near that area when that happened. So he wasn't a part of that whole scenario that has been populating the news all of these many days. So that is inaccurate.
SCIUTTO: Well, let me, just for a moment, I'll play you a comment, a CNN interview that we did with a community leader in Liberia. This is what he's been told by people in the community in Liberia where your uncle came from. Have a listen, if you can.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUGBEH CHIEH TUGBEH, COMMUNITY LEADER: (Inaudible). It was discovered that Eric came down and Eric was one of the caretakers, Eric Duncan who used to live in the room there who was one of the caretakers of Mattaly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: So you hear him say that Eric was one of the caretakers of the woman who died of Ebola. Is it you're view that he's lying?
WEEKS: Unfortunately, for Liberia, there are so many ignorant government officials over there and they don't do any kind of legitimate background checks or a thorough investigation, and any time they see a camera, they just jump right in front of it and make a statement.
Unfortunately, most of them are ignorant and all lies. But I'll tell you this much, Eric, when I told me, I heard it from his mouth himself and even though he was struggling in pain, he told me he wasn't in the area and that is what I believe.
I don't know who that gentleman is, but the lies they are spreading, they need to stop. This man is fighting for his life and there is no reason to be slandering his name over something he didn't do.
SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this now, because also from the Liberian government, they say now that they want to charge your uncle with lying about his possibly being exposed to the disease. What is your reaction to that, to the possible criminal charges against him? WEEKS: Again, I'll tell you this much, again, there is a lot of ignorant Liberian government officials. The good citizens of Liberia do not deserve this kind of treatment and those people will be taken care of during the time of election.
The good people of Liberia will go to the election polls and vote all of these people out and we will have no problems with government officials trying to charge people, while they are trying to fight for their lives.
SCIUTTO: And Josephus, I know your family is grieving for your uncle while he is fighting for his life. And I want to give his mother a chance to say to her son. Can you tell us what you want to say to your son now?
NOWAH GARTAY, MOTHER OF EBOLA PATIENT, THOMAS ERIC DUNCAN: I want to say I lost my son. I want to speak to him. I want to tell him hello. I want to hug him. And I pray for him every day and the family members, every one love him.
If anything happens to him (inaudible), so I want to tell him that everybody, the doctor, the nurses, I tell them thank you to every one of them who looks after my son, Eric Duncan.
I thank you plenty. I tell every one of you in there, thank you for my son. I love him. All of the family members love him. We pray for him.
SCIUTTO: Well, if I can say that our hearts and our prayers go out to you. We know that Thomas Duncan is fighting for his life right now. Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us.
WEEKS: Thank you, sir.
GARTAY: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: On OUTFRONT next, White House officials say the world has stopped every Ebola outbreak and they will stop this one too. Why there is skepticism, however, tonight.
And government officials divided on restricting flights from West Africa. Should the U.S. shut down those flights?
SCIUTTO: And welcome again to our viewers in the United States and around the world. And we have breaking news. The White House held a news conference on the Ebola outbreak, trying to calm fears about the virus spreading to the U.S.
There were, however, no major announcements. Reporters asking tough questions on the government's handling of the only Ebola case so far in the United States?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every step of the way there were break downs. It broke down as the person back there was saying when he lied on the form. It broke down when the hospital turned him away. It broke down when the materials that were in his apartment haven't been thrown away.
It broke down -- I mean, it feels like to Americans like you guys are up here talking about we have this great and perfect system that will be able to, you know, contain this virus because we've done all of this preparation and yet it doesn't look like it's working.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is nobody concerned there were breakdowns in Dallas? And are you confident there will not be similar breakdowns elsewhere along the same lines?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Our senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta is at the White House.
Jim, I have to say, leading up to this press conference, I and other folks who were expecting the announcements of some new measures, perhaps, but those reporters have a good point because the health officials say, well, the U.S. system is impregnable, you know, it will stop all these cases because it's so much better equipped. But we've seen a lot of failures in the system with this case.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We have, Jim, that's right. And there was a lot of skepticism in that room, and rightly so. The White House has been trying all week to calm jitters about the Ebola virus to no avail.
So, with the president away in an Indiana town hall on the economy, his counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, led a news conference with other top administration officials to urge the public to remain. Monaco said Americans should be confident on the U.S. health system's ability to contain the spread of Ebola, and Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health said it was, quote, "extraordinarily unlikely" that there would be an outbreak of the virus in the U.S. but he didn't say there would not be more cases of Ebola.
Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: And you're convinced no significant outbreak in the U.S.?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The reason I said that. Let me just briefly reiterate it. The reason there is an outbreak now is because the health care infrastructure and system in those countries is inadequate and incapable of handling the kind of identification, isolation, rapid treatment, protection of the people who are coming into contact and contract tracing. That's something that we have very, very well established here.
So, we have a case now and it is entirely conceivable. There may be another case. But the reason that we feel confident is that our structure, our ability to do those things would preclude an outbreak.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA: Now, Dr. Fauci went on to say the NIH is in the first phase of testing an Ebola vaccine. Those results should come back by December, and if successful, a larger trial could take place in Africa early next year.
But one thing administration officials they are not considering at this point is a travel ban on countries in West Africa. The White House says that would actually be counter-productive, Jim.
SCIUTTO: Another point Dr. Fauci made repeatedly is that Ebola is actually not that contagious a disease. You need direct contact as opposed an airborne disease. An important message for our viewers.
Thanks very much to Jim Acosta at the White House.
I want to bring in now, Colonel Randall Larsen. He's the head of WMD Terrorism Research Center. And Mary Schiavo, she's a CNN aviation analyst.
Colonel Larsen, I wonder if I could begin with you, because I've talked to Dr. Fauci myself a number of times, and he always makes the point, the difference between us and them is our health care system is much better resourced, much more organized, et cetera, which is certainly true.
But in this case, we saw that it is only as true as, in effect, the health officials on the frontline and the ones on the frontline on this case, they missed signals here. How concerned should we be about that?
COL. RANDALL LARSEN, U.S. AIR FORCE (RET): Well, I agree, first of all, with Dr. Fauci and I agree with what you say, Jim. Remember, public health in America is the federal government, state and local government, must of it down at the local government level. I have complete confidence in CDC, Dr. Frieden and Dr. Fauci.
Obviously, the folks in Dallas fumbled the ball a bit the other day. I think this is going to be a good learning point for other city and county public health offices and all the E.R. rooms in America, because if you walk into an E.R. room tonight somewhere in America with those sorts of symptoms and you've been traveling outside of the United States, particularly Africa, you're going to get more attention.
So, I see this as a great weak-up call and I completely agree that Ebola is not the kind of threat we talked about at the WMD commission when we were worried about bio terrorism overwhelming our public health. Ebola will not overwhelm our public health system in America.
SCIUTTO: Well, we have to hope the mistake of one case getting through as opposed to it causing other infections. That's certainly a concern. Mary, I wonder if I can we ask you, because there has been a question raised about tightening travel restrictions from West Africa, possibly canceling flights or just something to make it less likely that someone could in effect lie their way through the system that exists now. Is that a disappointment in your view?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, no. It's not disappointment because it hasn't happened yet. I think it needs to help because everything Dr. Fauci said is why exactly it needs to happen. The criticisms that he labeled about the systems in West Africa were replayed here and remember, it's on the honor system. There are no federal regulation that govern what the airlines should do and the airlines and the border and the customs personnel and TSA are not equipped to handle and make those decisions.
So, until we get a reasonable system in place, and remember an aircraft is like a little city. If you take an aircraft to West Africa, it's not just the passengers you have to be concerned about, the pilots and flight attendants have to be eight hours behind the door, there are fuelers, rampers, caterers, people who clean the bathrooms, people who clean the planes, any one of them is a potential vector. And by putting the plane in that situation, you have increased the other zones and the passengers will go to the other countries and you will know who they are because now we've identified people entering the country after 9/11. But the aircraft presents another threat vector.
SCIUTTO: Well, Colonel, let me ask you a question because when we go to those countries over there, in effect, they are asking people, have you had contact with someone with Ebola? Have we been showing any symptoms? In other words, there is an honor system.
And I've traveled to a lot of those countries and I fill out the form and I look at the phone and I wonder, who answers yes to these questions? It's sort of like the terrorism questions, did you pack your own bags, et cetera? I mean, that sounds to me like a weakness that is hard to address because you have to rely on people, particularly with this disease, right, because you may have it but not show symptoms for a number of days. How do you correct that?
LARSEN: That is a serious problem, Jim, particularly with a long incubation period like this. It was a problem. I went to Toronto in 2003 when there was SARS and there was an honor system when you went to Toronto and you fill out a form that said if you are sick while you're here, please call this number. I guess that most people probably didn't keep that slip of paper of whatever.
So, that's a serious problem, but I also agree -- we have to continue getting transportation in to West Africa because that's where we're going to contain this. That's where most of the disease is. That's where we need to stop it.
So, I'm glad we're sending the military in their support role, logistics. They're not going to be dealing directly with patients, but they're going to provide communications and logistics and that's what we need. That's -- we got to stop it over there. SCIUTTO: That's right. We learned today that those troops will
number 4,000 and many of them even building treatment centers as well.
Thanks very much to Colonel Larsen and Mary Schiavo for joining us.
OUTFRONT next: much more on our top story tonight. The beheading of a British hostage and a warning an American hostage is next.
And another brutal video from ISIS. Are they winning the propaganda war?
SCIUTTO: Welcome back.
We have more of our breaking news in the apparent beheading of British hostage Alan Henning. A newly released video shows an English- speaking masked militant waving a knife over the kneeling Henning. It is the fourth time ISIS supposed to have killed a Westerner on video. The video also includes a threat to kill American aid worker Peter Kassig next.
Karl Penhaul is in London tonight with the latest.
Karl, you look at this Henning, he was an average Joe, a taxi driver who went to Syria to make a difference and to help people in need. I wonder what the reaction is in London tonight as another family suffering through just this horrible, very public tragedy?
KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've certainly already heard the government reaction, Jim, Prime Minister David Cameron saying this was a barbaric act by ISIS, also saying that it exhibited levels of depravity of ISIS, levels he hadn't seen before.
But, of course, there will be fury in Alan Henning's hometown in northern England. There, Alan Henning was known as the taxi driver with the heart of gold precisely because of the amount of time and effort he spent on raising funds and ferrying aid to Syria. A lot of his friends and neighbors were Muslims. It were they who invited him on these convoys in the first place. They felt they had to protect him into Syria and back out. They were unable to do this. They made multiple appeals to ISIS to rescue Alan Henning, to free him, to spare his life, and those pleas are fallen to deaf ears. This will cause them a huge amount of fury, Jim.
SCIUTTO: I was struck by some of the language used by the British government. The first statement calling it a further disgusting murder, I think capturing a lot of the anger a lot of us feel when we see these.
And I wonder the U.S.-Britain taking part in this coalition, carrying out a bombing campaign against ISIS. But part of this war is also an information war, propaganda war, of which terrifying videos are a part.
Is ISIS winning that propaganda war? PENHAUL: Very difficult to say who is winning the propaganda war,
just as it is to say who is winning the shooting war right now as well.
On one level, yes, we've heard from the experts that ISIS is using these kind of violent videos to recruit ever more jihadists, especially the foreign fighters to Syria. No sign that that flow of foreign fighters is slowing up or that ISIS has been significantly weakened on the ground militarily. It seems to have enough recruits.
But there is also a backlash against these kind of videos from ISIS. Not only from mainstream Muslims here in Britain, as well as non- Muslims but even just this last week I was talking to a fighter -- a British fighter with the al Qaeda linked al Nusra Front close to Aleppo, I was talking to him by Skype, and he also condemned these barbaric actions and barbaric videos of ISIS, saying that simply they are not Islamic, Jim.
SCIUTTO: Yes. It is a measure of just how brutal they are than an al Qaeda-tied group says that ISIS message are too brutal. That's the situation we're in now in Syria.
Thanks very much to Karl Penhaul. He's in London.
Coming up next on OUTFRONT: more on the brutal beheading of a British hostage by ISIS, and the threat that American will be a next victim.
And the Mormon Church overwhelmed with drug problem, spiraling out of control. CNN's Lisa Ling, she's also just ahead.
SCIUTTO: And welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world.
Breaking news: another apparent beheading at the hands of ISIS. In the video released by ISIS today, British aid worker Alan Henning appears to be killed. Kneeling nearby in the same video is American aid worker, Peter Kassig, with an ISIS militant standing by his side as well.
If ISIS continues with its now familiar brutal pattern, that American is likely to be the next victim.
Joining me now is Republican Congressman Chris Smith. He's a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Representative Smith, thanks very much for taking the time tonight.
REP. CHRIS SMITH (R-NJ), HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Thanks very much for having me on.
SCIUTTO: So, we have another American's life on the line tonight, this despite hundreds of airstrikes costing the U.S. nearly a billion dollars so far. You also have at the same time have ISIS fighters advancing, for instance, on the city of Kobani, right there across the Turkish border, despite again this U.S. air campaign.
Is it your view that the campaign is making a difference whatsoever at this point?
SMITH: Well, I do believe, and admiral Kirby does the updates, there is the degrading of ISIS going on. It has not been a silver bullet. Nobody ever thought it would be.
But the hope is that there will be a growing disgust over this horrific series of beheadings. And, of course, the widow now of the British individual made an impassioned plea as have others, and it's fallen on deaf ears.
As you said just a moment ago, we're talking about a group that even some al Qaeda affiliates repudiate because of the horror of these beheadings, which are so barbaric.
SCIUTTO: But don't the -- doesn't the effect so far so you the deficiency here, that without a ground presence, yes, you can hit ISIS fighters from the air, you can take out some armored vehicles et cetera, but you can't stop the ground advance without force. Hasn't it exposed just what is really the essential weakness of the strategy so far, despite all the justified disgust that you talked about, both here in the U.S. and the U.K. tonight?
SMITH: I agree. Well, again, let's not forget that when our forces were pulled out prematurely, which would have helped Iraq maintain the command and control and the proper training, they have dropped the ball largely because of that lack of presence, in my opinion. But that said, there are countries in the region, including Turkey, that need to stand up. You know, they have a vested interest, and they have ground troops. They're a very important member of NATO.
Our hope -- my hope would be that those ground forces would be derived from countries in proximity to this terrible bloodletting, including and especially the Iraqis.
CUOMO: But isn't it the trouble now where everybody wants to express outrage, and a number of countries are sending humanitarian aid and a great number are participating in airstrikes. But that's a different level of risks than going on the ground. No one whether in the region or outside the region is willing to take the step that everyone says is necessary to truly turn the tide of this fight.
SMITH: But, Jim, again, we have countries like Turkey, certainly Saudi Arabia that has a very capable military, as does Jordan, that could step up and could provide those ground troops.
I think the president's idea of training people that might be deployable in maybe eight months to a year, 5,000 strong was a flawed idea from the start. We don't know who these people are. We don't know how to vet them to the point where we know that they are not perhaps on the other side.
But I think these other countries that have standing armies and a clear capability need to step up. We are providing the air force as are a few other allies, and I think again, mistakes were made by the Obama administration earlier on. And that has led, in my opinion, to this loathsome situation we're facing now.
But that said, we need to get the other countries to step up.
SCIUTTO: Let me ask you another question, we have protests under way in Hong Kong against the Chinese government. You have great long experience covering China issues. Has the U.S. support for these protests been strong enough, in your view?
SMITH: Well, frankly, I'm very glad that the secretary of state made a very strong statement yesterday and today, calling for restraint on the part of Beijing.
The foreign minister, who was in town I thought made a very ominous and a very disturbing statement about internal affairs. We hear that all the time when human rights abuses are being committed. And unfortunately, the country of China has to stand down and allow these protesters to exhibit their disgust over this reneging on the promise to allow elections in 2013, not to hand pick people from Beijing.
SCIUTTO: Representative Chris Smith, thanks very much for joining us.
SMITH: Thank you very much.
SCIUTTO: OUTFRONT next, the Mormon Church frowns on alcohol, even caffeine. But now, the church is dealing with an exploding drug problem. CNN's Lisa Ling, just ahead.
SCIUTTO: Erin recently spoke to Lisa Ling about her journey into the dangerous world of addiction inside the Mormon Church.
Here's a clip from her new series on CNN, "THIS IS LIFE".
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LISA LING, "THIS IS LIFE": What kind of influence did the Mormon Church have on your life when you were younger?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, my dad is Catholic and my mom is Mormon. My mom has never drink, smoke, done drugs, you know? She just doesn't relate to me at all. We don't relate with each other.
LING: Why do you think addiction is so rampant amongst Mormons here?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Honestly, I think that they're depressed or they're hiding some type of issue in their life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, "OUTFRONT" HOST: Some Mormons are technical supposed to abstain from alcohol, coffee and Tea. LING: Yes.
BURNETT: But you found Mormons who are addicted to drugs.
LING: Yes. Well, Mormons uphold what's called the word of wisdom, which is a health law that tells them what they should and shouldn't consume. And they have been successful. They have some of the lowest rates of crime and illicit drug addiction in the country. But when it comes to prescription pills, because they're doctor-prescribed, it's kind of a gray area, and Mormons are as vulnerable to becoming addicted as anybody else, and so, they're really, really struggling with it right now.
BURNETT: Is it harder for them though to seek help, because they're not supposed to be doing what they're doing?
BURNETT: Because there's some sort of stigma? And if there's a stigma associated with having caffeine, I can't imagine what it would be to say I'm addicted to pain killers.
LING: Yes, a number of people I talked to, people were very candid and really wore their hearts on their sleeves. They said that, you know, as Mormons, it's important to uphold this image. And in many cases, it's self-imposed, but nevertheless, it's hard for them to come clean.
But, you know, when I went there, I was really surprised that even people in the church, even leadership was, and they recognize that it's an epidemic there now.
BURNETT: Well, Lisa Ling, thank you.
LING: Thank you.
SCIUTTO: And "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING" airs this Sunday night at 10:00 Eastern. Thanks for having me fill in for Erin tonight.
"AC360" starts right now with John Berman.