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Chilling Video of Some of September 11 Hijackers Released; Preview of 9/11 Commission's Final Report

Aired July 22, 2004 - 06:00   ET


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Chilling images on tape -- 9/11 hijackers pass through airport security just hours before they stage the deadliest attack on American soil.
It's Thursday, July 22, and this is DAYBREAK.

Good morning.

From the CNN Global Headquarters in Atlanta, I'm Carol Lin in for Carol Costello.

Now in the news, five and a half hours from now the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks officially unveils its 575-page report. It will detail how the plot unfolded, the missed opportunities to foil it and what can be done to prevent the next one.

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich is still in the Democratic presidential race despite John Kerry's apparent lock on the nomination. But today Kucinich is expected to endorse Kerry at a joint appearance in Detroit.

Firefighters north of Los Angeles hope for more good luck today. A wind shift helped turn the latest wildfire in to the Mojave Desert, or, actually, toward the Mojave Desert. And that allowed hundreds of residents to return home. The fire is one of three major blazes burning in the area.

And in Chicago, workers are trying to restore power to thousands after strong storms swept the area. A hundred and twelve thousand customers lost electricity overnight.

Keeping you informed, CNN, the most trusted name in news.

Hey there, Chad -- good morning, again.



LIN: A chilling video of some of the September 11 hijackers has been released. They're seen calmly passing through a security checkpoint at Dulles International Airport.

CNN's Sean Callebs joins us now by telephone from Washington with more on this surveillance tape -- Sean, it turns out the only reason why we haven't seen this tape before is it surfaced in a lawsuit. SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. Apparently some of the families who lost loved ones in 9/11 pursuing legal action. This information now coming to light.

If you look at this grainy videotape, family members call it just chilling. Carol, you touched on it just a moment ago. It just appears that the hijackers walked through the security checkpoint areas in very calm, very professional fashion. They are well dressed, wearing business shirts, dress slacks, as they go through.

It appears that they are Majed Moqed and Khalid al-Mihdar. Now, they entered at one of the security screening points at Dulles International, which this was the aircraft that slammed into the Pentagon, killing 125 people there and, of course, all the passengers aboard that flight.

Also, pilot Hani Hanjour. Now, he apparently is the only one of the five who passed through security without setting off alarms and being questioned. Nawaf and Salem al-Hazmi. Now, these are two brothers and apparently Nawaf was considered one of the ringleaders, perhaps second to Mohamed Atta in all this -- Carol.

LIN: Sean, were they actually armed with the box cutters that they used in the attack?

CALLEBS: Very difficult to tell because clearly they did have what are referred to now as small blades, less than four inches long, not considered "menacing." But they never show up in this surveillance tape and it doesn't appear that any of the security officers questioned any of these individuals. And that's significant because some of them were known to have already been on checklists. Al-Midar and Nawaf al-Hazmi have been known to be associated with al Qaeda since early '99 by the National Security Agency and they were put on a terrorism watch list, get this, Carol, on August 24, 2001.

LIN: Wow! Just days before the attack. Amazing.

CALLEBS: Exactly.

LIN: All right, thanks very much, Sean Callebs.

Obviously there were intelligence failures. A lot of information not being shared by the CIA or the FBI. Much of that is going to be coming out in the 9/11 committee's final report today. It's a 575- page document with 1,500 footnotes. We know more about what's going to be in it.

Skip Loescher has this preview.


SKIP LOESCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Neither the Clinton nor the Bush administrations are to blame for the failure to prevent the September 11 attacks, according to the 9/11 Commission's final report, even though some potential opportunities were missed. MATT LEVITT, FORMER FBI ANALYST: It's impossible to know how many pieces of the puzzle we would have needed to have to be able to have thwarted all or even part of the 9/11 operation.

LOESCHER: The report blames deep institutional failings within the government that terrorists exploited. For example, the FBI was not set up to collect domestic intelligence. The CIA, DIA and FBI and other agencies failed to share information they did have. And there was not an overall understanding of the seriousness of the threat posed by al Qaeda.

The report says President Bush did not know about the suicide hijack plot and the Saudi government did not finance the hijackers.

REP. JIM TURNER (D-TX), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: It was a bipartisan report. It was one that should be read carefully and listened to.

LOESCHER: Among other things, the Commission recommends the creation of a cabinet level intelligence czar to oversee the 15 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community and the establishment of a national counter-terrorism center.


LOESCHER: The White House calls the report good and thorough and promises to give it a close look.

Skip Loescher, CNN, Washington.

Carol -- back to you.

LIN: Thanks, Skip.

Of course, we're going to have live coverage of that report when it's released. Actually, the Commission is going to be giving an 11:30 Eastern news conference. And this afternoon, our Judy Woodruff and Wolf Blitzer are going to be interviewing members of that 9/11 Committee panel.

A firefight in Ramadi lasted all day. Listen to this. When the shooting stopped, 25 insurgents were dead, 17 were wounded and about 25 were held prisoner. More than a dozen U.S. troops were wounded in the action, but none suffered any life threatening wounds. The battle was joined when insurgents ambushed a U.S. Marine convoy in Ramadi 60 miles west of Baghdad.

Now, we now know seven more hostages are being held in Iraq. Three are from India, three from Kenya and one from Egypt. At least six of them worked for the same Kuwaiti trucking company. They were abducted by an insurgent group calling itself The Black Flags. The kidnappers are threatening to behead the hostages one by one unless the company withdraws from Iraq. We're going to have a live report from Baghdad at the half hour.

It's the other extreme for the family of a former American hostage. Saudi officials found the head of Paul Johnson, Jr. in a freezer during a raid on suspected Al Qaeda militants in Riyadh. Two suspected militants were killed in that raid. Paul Johnson was kidnapped last month in Saudi Arabia.

His brother tried to express the grief his family feels.


WAYNE JOHNSON, BROTHER OF PAUL JOHNSON: It's like it's unbelievable. It's like it's, it can't be, because, you know, nothing like this has ever happened and you never expect something like this to hit your home. And when it hits your home -- I mean you hear about other families that have been terrorized and killed or shot, but you never expect somebody that respected the Saudis.


LIN: Johnson had been working as an engineer for Lockheed Martin in Riyadh for more than a decade when he was kidnapped.

Now for more on those raids in Riyadh and for a profile of Johnson's work in Saudi Arabia, just go to our Web site,

Now I want to give you an update on that missing pregnant woman, Lori Hacking. The search is continuing for the 27-year-old. She is from Salt Lake City and she's been missing since Monday. Police investigators took items from the couple's apartment, but they haven't named her husband as a suspect.

Now, the couple told family members they were planning to move to North Carolina, where Mark Hacking was enrolled in medical school. The school now says he never even applied. His father says he doesn't understand why his son's story is changing.


DOUGLAS HACKING, MARK HACKING'S FATHER: The hard thing for us to understand is that he had gone back to North Carolina. He and Lori picked out an apartment, had packed all their belongings, had arranged for a moving truck to come to pick up their belongings. He and I were going to drive out there and tow their spare car behind his car.

So these were all arrangements that were made and I have no explanation for this new development. I just can't understand it.


LIN: Police are unsure if questions about Mark Hacking's education have any bearing on his wife's disappearance.

Now, here are some of the stories making news across America this Thursday.

Police believe a man who breached security at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport may be mentally unstable. He was arrested after driving a luggage cart across runways into lanes of air traffic. He also set off alarms at an airport exit door. The man was dressed in nothing more than pajama bottoms, but had a ticket for a Delta flight.

A fiery collision between a pair of military jets killed two Marine Reservists. But one other Reservist escaped without a scratch after bailing out. Debris from the crash rained down around local fishermen along the Columbia River. Now, the military is investigating how the two F-18s collided during a training mission.

And in Nashville, investigators are trying to determine why an SUV exploded in the parking lot of the Opryland Hotel. One person in the car was killed by the blast. Police suspect the explosion was caused by a homemade bomb, but they're not sure if the blast was intentional or accidental.

And still to come on DAYBREAK, will the 9/11 report change the way the CIA does business? My guest at 6:15 Eastern is going to tell us what the report recommends.

And the newest group of hostages taken in Iraq. At the bottom of the hour, we're going to have a live report from Baghdad on why their home countries are doing -- what their home countries are doing about the kidnappings.

Also, protect your accounts from online predators. At 40 past the hour, an expert on checking account fraud.

And, drink your favorite donut. The newest line of lattes in today's business buzz.

This is DAYBREAK for July 22.


LIN: Your news, money, weather and sports.

It's coming up on quarter past the hour.

And here's what's all new this morning.

The 9/11 Commission is expected to release its final report later today. Administration officials say the Commission found critical failures within the intelligence community. The report is not expected to blame either the Clinton or Bush administrations.

Boston is the latest Massachusetts city to allow municipal workers to buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. City officials say the plan will save about a million dollars for workers and retired people.

And in money, the "Washington Post" quotes a government report that says the military is running out of money for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The report says over $12 billion more will be needed to finance the wars through the end of the year.

In culture, Parrotheads have come out in force to push Jimmy Buffett to the number one spot on the charts. His latest release, "License To Chill," is the first ever number one album for the laid back legend.

In sports, sources say free agent forward Rasheed Wallace could resign with the world champion Detroit Pistons as early as today. The contract is reportedly worth $57 million over five years -- Chad.

MYERS: Yikes!

LIN: A lot of money.

MYERS: My goodness. That's a lot of hot dogs.

LIN: And a lot of basketball.

MYERS: That's a lot of $9 hot dogs for the fans, I'm afraid.


LIN: The much anticipated report from the 9/11 Commission is scheduled to be released this morning, with much of the report expected to focus on failures inside the intelligence community.

Will the findings really lead to concrete changes?

Joining us to talk about that question is UPI's national security editor, Shaun Waterman.

Sean, good morning.


LIN: All right, we already know some of the basic recommendations, for example, the reorganization of the FBI and the CIA. You say that is only the beginning of the recommendations.

What else do you know?

WATERMAN: Well, there's also a big overhaul of the way Congress oversees the nation's intelligence and counter-terrorism agencies.

LIN: How significant is that?

WATERMAN: Oh, that's enormously significant. One person who had been briefed on the contents of the report told me that the commissioners see the way Congress oversees these agencies as a major part of the problem.

LIN: In what sense?

WATERMAN: Well, oversight is divided -- oversight of the intelligence community -- don't forget that of the 15 agencies that make up the intelligence community, more than half of them are in the Department -- are inside the Department of Defense and more than three quarters of the intelligence -- nation's intelligence budget is spent by the Pentagon.

So those, in terms of oversight, those agencies come under the armed services committees. The FBI, which is the nation's domestic intelligence gathering service and will remain so after this report, quite significantly, they escape a recommendation -- any recommendation for a major shakeup. They come under judiciary.

So the intelligence committees are really left with just a kind of fraction of the oversight role.

LIN: I see.

WATERMAN: And that creates a problem because it means that agencies can get around them by going to committees with overlapping jurisdictions.

LIN: Right.

WATERMAN: And moreover, Carol, their term -- the membership on those two committees, Senate and House Intelligence Committees, is term limited. Tim Roemer, a Commission member who spent a long time on the House Intelligence Committee, told me that basically by the time you found your feet and your way around this alphabet soup of agencies, you're out.

LIN: Shaun, you know what, the word oversight keeps coming up. For example, this proposal for a national director of intelligence, now more oversight by Congress.

Does oversight really make a difference or does it just add another layer of bureaucracy? I mean, effectively, what really changes?

WATERMAN: Well, the -- let's separate two issues. There's management and oversight. The NDI, the national director of intelligence, is a proposal designed to fill a gap. There's no one individual, say critics, with the power, the authority to direct strategic -- to strategically direct these 15 intelligence agencies, especially as, as I said, half of them are inside the DOD under the very turf conscious gaze of the defense secretary.

LIN: It's like the wolf watching the chicken hutch, you know, sort of...


LIN: I mean, you know, their interests, they keep within their interests. There's nobody that says hey, wait a second, maybe that's not really a good idea.

WATERMAN: There is no one looking at the big picture. And the same is -- the problem is the same in Congress. You don't have a single committee who looks at the big picture, who sees what all of the agencies are doing.

One issue that's come up repeatedly during the Commission's hearings, Carol, is that in 1988, George Tenet, the director of Central Intelligence, the boss of the CIA and the man who nationally oversees the entire intelligence community, in 1998, I'm sorry, Tenet issued a memo saying that the United States was at war with al Qaeda.

Now, he didn't have the authority to enforce that, to make that policy for all the other intelligence agencies.

LIN: I see. All right.

WATERMAN: And that's the problem that this new intelligence czar is designed to fix.

LIN: All right, we'll see what happens. Five more hours that report comes out, all 575 pages.

Thanks, Shaun.

Shaun Waterman.

WATERMAN: Thank you, Carol.

LIN: CNN, of course, is going to have live coverage of that 11:30 Eastern news conference later this morning. And this afternoon, our Judy Woodruff and Wolf Blitzer will interview members of the panel. So DAYBREAK is going to continue with our coverage.

And we're going to be right back.


LIN: For our DAYBREAK "Eye Opener," the Germans have conquered Europe, at least the beer drinking parts of Europe. A British survey shows that Germans now outpace every other country in the amount of beer they drink. Britain had been number one. The survey also showed that nearly one out of every five Germans drinks to get drunk. That also tops in Europe.

A nice surprise for one National Guardsman just back from Iraq. John Morrissey won $4 million in a Massachusetts lottery instant scratch game. Morrissey says he'll use the money to get out of personal bankruptcy and to put his daughter through college. Now, he returned last month after a 13-month tour of duty in Iraq. What a nice surprise.

Stay tuned to CNN for more on the lucky soldier. John Morrissey is going to join the "AMERICAN MORNING" crew to talk about his new fortune. That comes your way in the 8:00 a.m. Eastern hour.

And here is what's all new in the next half hour.

A live report from Washington at the bottom of the hour on what the 9/11 report will and won't include.

Plus, live to Baghdad at 33 past the hour, where another group of hostages has appeared on television. And outsmarting fraud -- if you use your computer to pay the bills, you won't want to miss what our guest has to say, at 6:40 Eastern.


LIN: America's darkest day -- will anything actually change after the 9/11 report comes out today?

It's Thursday, July 22, and this is DAYBREAK.

Good morning.

From the CNN Global Headquarters in Atlanta, I'm Carol Lin.

Carol Costello has the day off.

Now in the news, the 9/11 Commission releases its report five hours from now. It does not place blame on the Clinton or Bush administrations. But it cites intelligence failures and missed opportunities to derail the suicide hijacking plot. The final report runs to 575-pages and has 1,500 footnotes.

The House convenes three hours from now to pick up the issue of gay marriage. House members vote today on legislation to bar federal courts from hearing challenges to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

And the judge has suspended the trial of three Americans charged with torturing prisoners at a private jail they created in Afghanistan. The judge says the men need more time to prepare their defense.

Angelo de la Cruz returned home to the Philippines five hours ago. De la Cruz was a hostage in Iraq for two weeks before his captors released him.

Keeping you informed, CNN, the most trusted name in news.

And the most trusted man in weather -- good morning, Chad.

MYERS: Good morning, Carol.



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