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-- another edition of special report on -- I'm Steve Hayes obviously in for Brett -- tonight thanks for joining us.
Now to our panel Juan Williams columnist with the hill and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer their first mono mono.
One another we should sell tickets has been set up -- first -- alliance that you said WWF that's how over the years how hot hot it's a -- led lights and I really want to -- to the news instead.
Let Saddam let's get back were working on the computer here soon will be able to read your comments hopefully.
But let's get back to the discussion that we were having.
At the end of the first panel and talk a little bit more about Boston.
In the rights and attacks and we were talking in the break Charles about.
Got connection between the two and the fact that the federal.
Government at this point the investigating agencies haven't made that connection or at least haven't made publicly.
Well that's what's surprising the bombing in Boston is the first successful.
Since nine elevenths.
The rice and is the first successful.
Or at least proved.
-- -- an attack or attempted attack through the medals.
And to say that they would be completely coincidence.
Events have happened have not happened in twelve years and happened all of a sudden.
And -- -- part is pretty improbable I mean it's possible of course.
I'm just surprised by the fact that they're being treated the assumption is that they are completely -- related.
Whereas it is today however coincidence.
If we did -- -- not.
Saying there has to be and I don't really see a connection.
But it is quite unusual for stuff not to happen for a decade to events and and happened within days of each.
He had the FBI today in a statement said that they were making this connection and Jay Carney was asked about -- at the white house press briefing he deflected most of the questions that came to him in the press briefing.
Back to the FBI but also seems -- to hint that that nobody was really looking at the possibility that there would be that connection.
One do you find it as much of a coincidences.
As Charles does or -- I was economic.
Right the problem is you know Charles and I are inside the investigation -- so we get the news like every other American and you can't help but think wait a minute this happened Monday in Boston and then you have the envelope that went to senator weicker of or wicker of Mississippi and now the envelope to President Obama and you think this is all within a matter 72 hours and well.
But according to -- Law enforcement officials it really was a matter of something that.
Took place along -- that the letter was sent.
Free prior and apparently they have somebody in their sites.
That they are pretty confident about -- we don't know this for certain but that's the attitude that law enforcement is giving to people like us.
Not a factor which is.
We never really got to the bottom of I mean -- it was a guy involved there was a guy accused there were lawsuits libel suits.
And I think everybody ended up with a feeling.
We're not really sure what happened that was a major event -- killed.
In the Postal Service.
It was became Leno in the months after nine elevenths -- people running around in -- panic trying to get super.
There was a run on Cipro.
And -- it just sort of faded away I suspect to win these items it sometimes really hard to find.
The -- but I just think it's a curious.
Event and obviously were at the beginning of all of this.
Where you know the guy that they thought.
-- -- -- -- -- Right and -- you commit suicide for authoritarian suspicions it was a very bizarre.
Episode and let everybody very unsatisfied.
-- -- the one of the questions that I had as I was looking at the -- The information as it was pouring out of the government on.
The rice -- attacks is when did dilemma when was the original letter sent and I believe the original letter.
Was sent on April 8 more than two letters to senator wicker and to President Obama so -- would.
Have required some kind of a forethought -- coordination before hand more than you know all all week exactly before.
The Boston -- do you do you expect one that that this is -- the federal government will explore further.
Some kind of a connection between these two potentially or.
I think they're not idiots but -- just missed the federal government that's fair tax cut sorry.
I'm city this year I can't you -- But I think I think it's pretty obvious for me you know Charles and I knew we -- sitting here saying boy that looks pretty odd doesn't it the same time -- The question then becomes -- with a letter sent from was -- sent from.
You know as the week before Boston so literally a Monday before -- -- that's April 8.
Was that stand out from a place.
We're we're gonna find that the suspects in the Boston case we're located at that time so there's going to be a clear opportunity to put two and two together.
Well -- -- read a comment here from Mike from so cal.
Who writes that it's interesting that Iran came out this morning and said how appalled they -- -- he's talking here about.
The bombing the supreme leader put out a statement saying it was a it was it statement.
Sort of saying he he rejected it Muslims reject violence and said he rejected it in in Boston just as they did in Syria and Baghdad.
You know one of -- the question is going back if you look at that the Obama administration's approach to terrorism is.
Sort of -- downplaying the potential of state involvement in these things.
-- does any of that and I raise questions for you Charles.
Well on 9/11 when I was I was Carter was -- state it was in the state protected by.
Afghanistan but it -- -- state fair but when you hear they Ayatollah denounce terrorism and say we never engage in that.
You know there's a word incursion that describes.
It's going to -- -- I mean this is to -- -- the State Department has said.
Under every administration year after year.
Iran is the biggest state state sponsor of terror on planet earth and -- generally works through Hezbollah.
And we know the Bulgarian government announced publicly.
And quite courageously because a lot of people would covered up that the attack on the bus about a year -- six months ago.
-- about Abbas and Israeli tourists was clearly Hezbollah operation Cyprus has arrested not one but several.
Hezbollah operatives are media has written by John.
And of course the worst of sort of in memory which is about a decade -- I didn't have to go in Argentina.
The mood going up not even when Israeli -- -- of the Jewish.
Community center that killed about over eighty people.
Clearly was found to be Hezbollah operation which means Hezbollah Iran.
Because Hezbollah sort of an arm of Iraq.
So these there is -- an incredible amount of state controlled state sponsored terrorism in the world but there is this sort of it's like him in the days of the Cold War you had China as one.
-- poll of communism.
Russia as a second.
Q you have Iran as one source.
Worldwide terrorism generally Shiite of course it works what Hezbollah -- -- Shiite.
And then you have the Sunni wing which is al-Qaeda.
And its affiliates and -- as if because you have warned you don't have the other and they do help each other.
Steve it's a written about this and talk about this.
How Iran -- as sheltered a lot of Qaeda to people even know the main thing is that they are residents who would never do that so there -- state sponsorship.
I doubt it would be in this attack and in Boston because I don't think Iran.
Does trash cans and I'm not sure I -- -- does he's.
You know back that's one of the theories from law enforcement is.
Al-Qaeda would do a much bigger event.
Is the way they speak about it then if you look at magnitude of what took place in Boston they see it as a mom and pop operation.
And you know what previously had been described as this lone wolf.
As you point out during the panel -- is now looks like two people but the suspicion is even if it was larger it's not so large as to be attached to.
The equivalent of al-Qaeda.
What we have joining us now someone who served.
Perfectly equipped to talk about these things in Iraq Catherine here actually knows you know who knows these things and I did I would never say that as long list was she setting her up perfectly you're thinking I was not I was not thinking that.
Captain McEnroe who want raises I think it really.
If you're staying an important point.
And you hear conflicting.
Reports about this.
And -- it did did federal investigators that you're talking to.
Say that this was the simplistic bomb a crude -- something that wasn't so optimal level what one might expect if it were an.
Al-Qaeda attack well I think when the misconceptions -- -- -- easier improvised explosive devices that it somehow sophisticated the whole point it is is that it's crude it's kind of throw together the trick with an IED though is whether you can perfect.
The detonation that's always the problem you remember with -- -- of 2009 the underwear bomber on flight 250 tree.
The failure there was the detonator.
That the real story is that the kid was sweating so badly from wearing that thing for so many hours.
That this the -- was -- which is why it did not detonate on the plane.
So perfecting the fuse is really -- -- the craft to being a bomb maker the rest of it.
Looks crude to the average person -- that's pretty much what you can expect.
Well wouldn't we think that I mean the evolving nature -- at a given the fact we've hardened so many targets here.
In the country would almost require them to do attacks that might be less spectacular certainly from the September 11.
I would credit this to general Michael Hayden who sits -- you imagine some research for a book.
That really what you're looking at now is sort of a lower threshold of attacks.
That if al-Qaeda is not capable of like the big spectacular.
Then you're gonna have lower threshold what I mean by that not to minimize the casualties -- the deaths in Boston because we don't know who was responsible.
But attacks that would.
Things of that nature -- -- with 3000 people but you could be talking about.
Several hundred people who are affected and the question is whether as a country we want to impose the kind of security.
Which is going to.
Really minimize that type of attack bit on the other hand.
Really force us to give up so many of the qualities that make America what America is.
Well you know I've always been puzzled about since nine elevenths and -- diocese of all the experts in the field.
After nine elevenths of course they were they were attacked.
And scattered and it was harder for for them to actually mountain operation and yes we hardened a lot of -- targets.
But it would've been -- very easy for al-Qaeda.
To blow up I don't know and one you know within minutes of each other shopping center in -- it.
And that would have caused all kinds of panic in the country.
Very certainly compared with the nine elevenths like when airplanes and all that.
That's pretty easy -- -- car bombs what I never understood and I anticipate that this is the most success it.
Why hasn't date why haven't they done.
What they clearly have the capacity to do is so low levels soft target that would cause the terror of the panic and what you want to do.
I've never had a good answer except that perhaps these people have a kind of perverse pride.
You know it's been the fifth obsession with transportation.
Or you know what to do something -- and -- Brian also shopping you know what I hear back on that Charles if they also have a longer timeframe than we do.
That that they -- what they've they think they have done a major.
-- incursion in terms of our sense of security and safety with 9/11 and they they await me there waiting that we we can respond now and Harden our targets now but they are more patient.
And I think this comes back.
What I was saying to you earlier is that when you came in about.
Why the general chatter around Washington is this is not al-Qaeda.
Which could be wrong as Frederick -- point out to me but is that.
What Charles suggested that if they want to do just IUDs.
As crude as they are they could've done it in the -- and they could have done it in a movie theater where people have.
Exiting and had a much -- -- -- Well you -- to.
I think when the things you have to see is that for the largest spectacular attack they've relied on operatives from outside the United States come into this.
Country know whether it's that these individuals because they've been in training with them -- have been on their home turf.
Are more bought in to a suicide bombings like the underwear.
Bomber for example Faisal Shahzad who trained with the -- and was responsible for the attempted bombing in Times Square.
In 2010 he also went overseas so in order to.
Get an individual who was already inside the United States to buy into that ideology.
Are you -- to get them to -- sort of hook line and sinker for the big spectacular or.
Is it going to be more a small group -- an individual who is inspired to act and you know again we don't know who is responsible so I don't want people to miss contribute construe the conversation is as leading -- that.
But when you talk to people in Washington about whether it's al-Qaeda or not it really depends on their definition now.
When people say al-Qaeda sort of writ large I believe they're talking about a big organization.
That is directing its operatives to do something.
But that is just a misinformed view of what al-Qaeda is today al-Qaeda is simply an ideology and the set of ideas.
And the group in Yemen has been.
Effective in trying to capitalize on that on the web so for example.
There's chatter on these jihadist forums now.
Talking about Boston they almost always do that it's kind of celebratory.
And there's one comment that says.
Even yes this is not cost.
It's a victory for us because look there you seen the recipe from inspire magazine about how to build a bond.
I was stuffing your kitchen that's a victory for us because we -- reaching reaching these people so.
You know again al-Qaeda is not what it was a decade -- -- is it.
-- just just to go back to that to that point it is that your impression from the conversations you've had with officials today.
That their thinking is the -- is that this is still more likely to abandon.
A domestic terrorist or I mean that was certainly what I was picking up talking to people after some briefings yesterday.
And it struck me as sort of odd because on the one hand you had people saying well -- we're leaning toward this period incident of domestic terrorists may be a lone wolf.
And at the same time we really don't have much information and they seem to be drawing.
I think there's a lot of that I think there's a lot of conflict and when people use the term domestic terrorist.
What is the domestic -- to domestic terrorist can simply be someone who has no direct contact with.
A major terrorist organization overseas -- -- state sponsor terrorism.
But who is inspired to act on their behalf that is it domestic terrorism.
So you say well that's not al-Qaeda that's not Hezbollah that's a crazy guy who bought into it in acted on their behalf yeah.
You know this is -- -- -- dealing -- three fingers -- your -- that you just offered about the difference.
In al-Qaeda ten years ago you know -- today as almost.
A viral infection in the money.
-- -- of the world.
It has metastasized exactly so -- it but in the mind and misses him with a puzzle to me is in the mind of America.
We will react much more sharply.
If it turns out that it wasn't -- the old al-Qaeda in other words if there with a hierarchical.
If there was bomb making training that was done specifically and this person and -- on we will react much more.
Then if it turns out that it was the person you described much like those in.
And because Africa as as inspired -- let -- -- -- -- isn't here.
Because it's much more analogous.
To our traditional understanding war.
It was hard enough for us to make the shift from imagining -- only which states which is how it was whose status from world war.
And then it guerrilla armies which is -- you know slightly changed and journalism sub state actors like al-Qaeda.
Who could exist anywhere awards states and now -- we're -- go to the last step which is it is -- even -- -- Even entity.
It's just incidents like the virus that -- you -- in the air somebody absorbs the message.
In the United States and becomes a terrorist that's even harder for us to understand in terms of the war.
Analogy which is how I think as you say would -- us more if it seems like an act of war rather than an act of a lunatic.
Well -- -- should let me shift just a little bit -- you're getting several questions about.
Whether Boston will be treated like other.
Terrorist acts in in the United States and overseas against American interest and we've gotten several comments one from Val.
Who wonders will the Boston bombings be forgotten just like Ben Ghazi.
Was forgotten does it matter -- in Cincinnati actually asked a similar question.
Does does it matter that it happened here and it was so close it got so much video of it in terms of how will be treated by the administration how the public will see it captain what do you think.
Mean this whatever it turns into being this is the most successful terrorist attack in the United States since 9/11.
I'd be he YouTube can not -- if I could just -- Give story is an explanation.
When I worked overseas I went I covered a lot of NORTHERN IRELAND and went to Oman which is in.
NORTHERN IRELAND small village and there was.
And -- -- attack simmering similar to this in the sense that there was an initial explosion.
It drove people down the main market street to where the larger car bomb -- On four I think it was forty -- people were killed but 300 people were -- And we went to the elementary school there and they have counseling sessions for these kids to talk about what they saw.
And one child describes how.
Her father went down to the scene with.
The family station wagon.
And took someone who had lost to -- to the hospital then they went back to the scene.
And they started picking up limbs and based on the clothing to try and match it to the people who were at the hospital.
This case in Boston the ripple effect of this case so many people losing limbs.
People who have shrapnel wounds people who were blind -- I mean this is not just a hundred and some odd people the ripple effect of this.
Is over a thousand people these families are gonna live with terrorism now.
Everything will be different sounded.
Huge difference between an attack on the homeland attack overseas and then guys he attacked as a kind of distractions.
We don't actually see the -- of the Americans who have terrorism on -- we we we see a building on fire but it looks like it could be Afghanistan could be Iraq it's over there.
And it's the people who know they would risk and they go over there and they except there is still way that we -- the casualties in the way.
In Afghanistan and you know these are people who know they're going -- -- -- it.
Somebody's running in the marathon.
I mean this is -- you think that could be me.
That could be me I'm not an ambassador.
In Libya I'm just a runner I'm just sitting in -- coffee.
And that's why terror works that's how woodwork condemning the Israelis have suffered this kind of thing.
On buses and coffee shops for years and years.
And the ripple effect is unbelievable because -- -- family friend and of course we count the dead and we discount in some ways the wounded because.
But its remaining in the permanent.
Probably didn't -- -- and yes one of the things that struck me as I was was watching this whole over the past.
48 hours is how -- life continued life throughout the country continues both in Washington.
And in the country at large and you had people like Mike Rogers today who was tweeting about his cyber security legislation had Marco Rubio pushing.
Immigration legislation -- the president doing gun control events I mean.
It's not as if the countries were frozen stopped in the way that that we did after the 9/11 attacks one.
You know you know and I think it's its interest into me again I I took that as a that's a silent signal that in fact they didn't look the politicians on Capitol Hill people we intelligence committee.
Did not think that this was part of a larger state sponsor or al-Qaeda sponsored effort.
And the second thing to say is that you know if it's.
Either the single or lone individual or someone inspired by al-Qaeda.
That has a different tenor I think then Oklahoma City and you know things.
Worked stupid -- slowed down but after Oklahoma City not so much after Atlanta.
And again I'm interested in the psychology of it which is now seems to me to the forefront -- it.
You hear a lot of talk about well this could be possibly -- -- could be white supremacist these are the prime actors in terms of domestic terrorism in the United States.
But for some reason.
We don't have the same sense of alarm.
That we do about.
That the potential for foreign to.
Errors because Oklahoma.
-- -- not have any.
I mean it wasn't as if he was part of an organization they planned Oklahoma and then planned XYZ.
It was a few guys and one was executed the others in jail forever.
It wasn't an organization that's what makes al-Qaeda is scary even -- Qaeda affiliate.
They have you know did they they have schools they have training they have disciples they have an ideology was the ideology.
Another guy who did Oklahoma City I mean it's it's that's why I think it's not irrational that where -- where we would be worried.
If it's al-Qaeda and less worried about Oklahoma.
The problem in comparing the Boston thing was -- revenues -- 9/11 did.
The life of the country.
We -- planes were shot that you couldn't travel.
Everybody's life was stuck in place there was no stock exchange and New York City could function for a week so.
The revival of the Boston.
Area of course is.
There is remarkable but if there was no reason sure.
It was a -- physical reason why -- couldn't in New York.
Couldn't let me were were about to wrap up your true and I wanted to go to -- with one more question are we from Florida road -- -- and -- what if they don't catch the terrorists is that I mean there's an assumption I think I'm on the part of all of us that that they'll catch these terrorists and probably do it.
Reasonably soon do you think they will number one and number two.
Are the federal officials and others that you talk you now are they frustrated that they haven't gotten more already.
-- to make it real quick passes this sense that I have for my reporting is that the forensic track.
So the analysis of the bombs which really will tell us a lot about where the components -- from.
May be time -- -- when they were purchased that seems to be moving -- extremely quickly I believe they've identified the manufacturer.
Of at least one of these pressure cookers.
Already the FBI's so good that.
On the other track remember the Times Square attempted bombing 2010.
One of the reasons that we caught that.
The plotter Faisal Shahzad so quickly is that the bomb did not explode.
So there was so much drastic -- -- evidence to work with because we took the car.
We he'd recently purchased it from a woman who remember -- this kind of skittish skies very nervous paid for it in an odd way.
And then economist at the airport.
We're trying to get out so you know if you're a terrorist of any stripe you need your device to go off.
Because -- -- too much evidence that's -- left so in this case it's harder the bomb went off right.
But the components are relatively intact and I can get -- made a lot.
-- progress and tonight the circulating of these pictures.
That's not being done lately either because the nap sacks when the things that was left.
Was -- because the knapsack they can like that identify where -- from.
If we do get those pictures and they identified this this person or these people I think we will probably -- in -- here -- -- pictures are going to be carrying loaded because people will see them and and it's human nature will make judgments.
As to what type of people they are whether they're affiliated with a certain set of -- right exactly well.
With that we will bring to a close another edition of staff report online thank you all for joining us here tonight thanks to Charles lawn and -- for coming in.
And control a little wave -- have back.
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