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AMERICAN MORNING

Pakistani Intelligence: Interrogation of Pakistani Computer Expert Had Led to at Least One of Arrests in Britain; 'Paging Dr. Gutpa'

Aired August 4, 2004 - 08:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Eight-thirty here in New York. Good morning everybody. Welcome back to AMERICAN MORNING.
The arrest in Pakistan of two al Qaeda members providing the U.S. with some good intelligence work. Now there is word of possibly more arrests coming.

The author of "Ghost Wars" -- Steve Coll, in a moment, great writer from "The Washington Post," knows a whole lot about this area. We'll talk to him in a moment about what they may know at this point.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: We will. And also we'll get a story about some American teachers who are being sued by a school in Kuwait because they decided to leave that country for their own safety. We'll talk about that in a moment.

HEMMER: Also, at lunchtime, eating a sandwich at your computer while working -- a lot of people do it, but are they doing themselves a disservice?

COLLINS: No.

HEMMER: What do you think?

COLLINS: I think no.

HEMMER: When you're hungry, you eat, right?

COLLINS: That's right.

HEMMER: Sanjay has that in a couple of minutes here.

COLLINS: All right, very good. Moving on to the news now.

Every day freedoms may be suffering from the effort to defend against terrorists. City officials in Washington, D.C. are complaining about new federal security measures. The Capitol Police have closed First Street, which runs in front of the Capitol Building and between congressional office buildings.

The mayor says it's a danger to Washington residents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY WILLIAMS, MAYOR, WASHINGTON, D.C.: If you're a responder responding to an emergency, you've got your siren on, if traffic's backed up on both sides of the street, you're not getting where you're going, even with the siren going.

So this is not -- it's a freedom issue that we're talking about, and an openness issue, but it can sometimes be a real safety issue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: Officials are thinking about restricting more traffic around the White House and the Treasury Department.

D.C. representative Eleanor Holmes Norton says federal authorities need to find ways to keep the city safe and open at the same time.

The thread of information that led to these latest security measures begins in Pakistan with the arrest of a suspected al Qaeda computer expert apparently triggered the capture of a bigger al Qaeda operative.

And it now seems to have led to England, where a series of raids were conducted yesterday. Steve Coll is the managing editor of "The Washington Post." He's joining us now from there this morning. Steve, hello to you. Thanks so much for being with us.

I want to begin with what we just learned from our correspondent, Jim Bolden out of London. He's telling us that Pakistani intelligence says that from the interrogation of that Pakistani computer expert by the name of Naeem Noor Khan led to at least one of the arrests -- there were 12 arrests -- in Britain. What do you know about this?

STEVE COLL, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, I don't know how direct that connection is, but it's certainly possible. What's clear is that this group of arrests in Pakistan is connected to a significant al Qaeda affiliated network.

And there's every reason to believe from the material that's been describe from the seizures that this is a network with international reach. So if it does lead to Britain, that wouldn't be surprising. Clearly, there's also operations going on right now to try to disrupt whatever part of this network they can identify from the materials they've seized in Pakistan.

COLLINS: All right, well, there are also reports to talk about on the files, specifically of Khan's computer now containing information about Citigroup and Prudential and Wall Street.

Anyway, to know whether or not those files had actually been updated? Because, as you know, there's been a lot of discussion about how old the information is.

COLL: Well, what's been described, of course, are fragments -- and without access to the full cache of classified information, it's impossible to be completely confident, but from what's been described, most of the files seem to have been accumulated, the ones in the computers have been accumulated before September 11. But as you know, when you use your own computer if you open up a file the computer marks that with a time stamp, and evidently at least some of these files have been opened more recently, perhaps as recently as earlier this year.

COLLINS: So, Steve, does that really give us any indication of whether or not this group was involved in planning current attacks?

COLL: That, per se, doesn't but this group includes very dangerous operatives who have been at large for six years, wanted for their role in the embassy bombings in Africa. According to reports we've received from Pakistan at least one of those detained was a nephew -- a blood relative of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

We know there are Mohammed-affiliated networks that include fugitives who are still at large who are thought to be planning attacks actively. To what extent these computer files are connected to those ongoing operations is just impossible to tell from the outside.

But, certainly, this group of people who posses the computers were currently al Qaeda affiliated operatives and so therefore dangerous in that respect.

COLLINS: Yes, you actually say that there are several spokes pointing mostly to the west and then also to that Afghanistan border -- Afghanistan-Pakistan border, I should say. From these arrests now. Who do you think that these guys are communicating with along that border?

COLL: Well, if it's true, I think the most intriguing aspect of what we've been able to see about this cell is its connections to the old al Qaeda headquarters operations of the pre-9/11 days. That is possible connections to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, possible connections to the plot that unfolded in Africa in 1998, and that suggests that there may be people in this group who are connected to the al Qaeda leadership around bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri, who are thought to be up in this border area.

And as with some other arrests in Pakistan it's at least conceivable that these threads can -- will lead back to the tribal areas where the search continues for bin Laden and his chief lieutenants.

COLLINS: Question would be -- quickly, Steve you know why have the Pakistanis made so many arrests? In fact, Pakistani information minister did tell CNN this very thing. "We may be in a position to get some good fish in the coming days." What does that say? Could there be more coming?

COLL: Well, there's been, you know, a pattern of these arrests now over three years where every so often -- often in urban areas like this one they break up a cell and that immediately leads down the spokes to new arrests.

But so far it hasn't lead them to bin Laden or his chief lieutenants perhaps the Pakistanis are optimistic that this time it will be different.

COLLINS: Steve Coll, managing editor of "The Washington Post." Steve, thanks so much this morning. Appreciate it.

COLL: Glad to be with you. Thanks.

HEMMER: All right, about 23 minutes now before the hour.

The woman at the center of the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal, Private First Class Lynndie England was in court yesterday for a hearing.

That hearing was cut short after she left to consult with her doctor. Lynndie England is seven months pregnant and CNN's Bob Franken is there for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was just fun, an investigator says she told him, but now Private First Class Lynndie England who is late in her pregnancy, faces 19 charges, a potential 38 years of prison, for her alleged role in the treatment of inmates held in the hell hole that was Abu Ghraib Prison.

Among the most notorious pictures that caused worldwide outrage is the one that shows England holding a detainee on a leash. She told investigators she did so at the behest of Corporal Charles Grainer, accused of being a leader of the prisoner mistreatment, and identified by her attorney as the father of England's baby.

After attending the morning session, England failed to show up in the afternoon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During the lunch break, Pfc. England called her doctor and her doctor requested that she come in to see him and so that is why she was not present during this afternoon's hearing.

FRANKEN: But before she left, an investigator described sexually explicit pictures, which became the basis for several of the indecency charges against her.

As he described them, she looked down at the table.

RICHARD HERNANDEZ, LYNNDIE ENGLAND'S ATTORNEY: She's as stressed as anyone else would be if you were a 20-year-old -- 21-year-old young lady who is facing 30 years for pictures -- intimate photographs that are -- you would see at Mardi Gras on spring break. But, not in this case. She's facing 30 years.

FRANKEN: But this controversy focuses on the pictures that show alleged mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners. Pictures that have become a major embarrassment to the United States.

Bob Franken, CNN, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HEMMER: About 22 minutes before the hour. To Daryn Kagan at the CNN Center watching the other headlines for us. Good morning, Daryn.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning Bill.

Let's begin here in the U.S. Mary Kay Letourneau has been ordered to stay away from her former child lover. Letourneau served 7 1/2 years for seducing a student who was 12 at the time. The relationship resulted in two children. Letourneau was released earlier today from prison in Washington State. She has to register as a sex offender and submit to state supervision.

And two brothers, conjoined twins, will undergo a fifth and final surgery to be separated today. Two year old Carl and Clarence Aguirre went into surgery this morning at New York's Montefiore Medical Center. The delicate surgery should take about five hours.

In Missouri, voters gave a big no to same-sex marriages. Missourians solidly endorsed a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. It's the first state vote since a Massachusetts court ruling allowed same-sex weddings last year. The decision was closely watched by national groups on both sides of the issue.

And this political note as well, the schedule for the vote for change tour will be announced today. This musical tour will headline in battleground states such as Ohio, Michigan and Florida. It's going to feature the likes of R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen, and The Dixie Chicks. The concert series is presented by moveon.org and America Coming Together. It begins October 1st in Pennsylvania.

Bill, you know I don't know about any political leanings but when Bruce Springsteen shows up...

HEMMER: Everybody is neutral.

KAGAN: You might -- well, you are, at least.

HEMMER: I want to tell you -- otherwise, anyway. Thank you Daryn.

(WEATHER REPORT)

COLLINS: Four American teachers who left Kuwait out of fear of terrorism are now being sued by their former school. Here now, Adrian Baschuk.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you leave? I loved art because it's fun with you.

ADRIAN BASCHUK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Laura Mace's art students still keep in touch despite her abrupt departure with no goodbye.

Now, the Universal American School in Kuwait is serving her and three fellow American teachers with legal papers for breach of a two- year contract. Michael Hayes, a guidance counselor, secretly left in June 2002 because he says anti-American hatred after 9/11 and a possible Iraqi war made him vulnerable.

MICHAEL HAYES, GUIDANCE COUNSELOR: There were numerous military personnel that told us this is going to happen, we're just waiting for the phone call -- why would you hang around if you don't have to.

BASCHUK: Laura Mace's breaking point came in an October 13, 2002 "New York Times" article reporting that al Qaeda's targets, quote, included the Universal American School, attended mostly by Kuwaiti children but staffed by Americans.

LAURA MACE, ART TEACHER: al Qaeda is here, somewhere hiding in my shadows and I don't know what to do with it. That's what I couldn't deal with.

BASCHUK: One month later, she bought this plane ticket and secretly fled.

RACHEL THOMAS ROWLEY, ATTY., UNIVERSAL AMER. SCHOOL: The Universal American School administration who are American, discovered that they were missing, they went to their apartments and they were empty and these teachers showed no concern at all for their students. They just left.

BASCHUK: A year and a half later, the Kuwaiti-owned school filed a lawsuit halfway around the world.

HAYES: It's hard to imagine people with this level of vindictiveness.

BASCHUK: Their contract did have an out clause. In circumstances, quote, "Including, but not limited to, war, riot, strikes and Acts of God."

But not specifically terrorism.

BETTY TSAMIS, TEACHER'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I believe that any reasonable person would have looked at those warnings and would have believed that their life was truly in danger.

BASCHUK: The school says the teachers never filed any formal complaints about threats and that this suit is being brought to recover costs incurred from finding replacement teachers. The case goes to trial here on January 24.

Adrian Baschuk, CNN, Denver, Colorado.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS: The school is seeking what its attorney has called modest damages in excess of $20,000 for costs incurred from finding replacement teachers.

HEMMER: In a moment here on AMERICAN MORNING one company finding out its just good plain business to hire a football coach who cannot sing.

Andy has that in "Minding Your Business" in a moment here.

COLLINS: Might be smart. Also ahead you might eat your lunch and save time at your desk as well but in the long run you're probably hurting yourself. We're paging Dr. Gupta on that.

Stay with us on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: Against the advice of nutritionists, a survey now suggests more and more American workers are eating while they work and doing it at their desks. Good thing or not?

Dr. Sanjay Gupta in Washington today at his own desk there.

Good morning, Sanjay.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, Bill. Yes, working hard at the desk this morning.

You know, eating at your desk may be a bad idea. Not so much because it's messy or dirty -- we've talked about that before -- you and I. But a lot of Americans like to eat at their desk. They say it saves time and makes them more productive, may save them -- make them more productive at their desks.

Actually as well they also think that they can get personal business done, things like that. In fact, it may not necessarily be true. The numbers are pretty startling. Sixty-seven percent of people say they eat lunch at their desks, 37 percent eat breakfast at their desk. Sixty-one percent are snaking all day.

Interestingly outside of the study they say that women more likely to eat at their desks than men. We asked them why that was and they really didn't have an answer.

There may be a lot of reasons not to do it, though. First of all, people think that they're sort of cheating a little bit when they eat at their desk, maybe not eating as much. When in fact if you go out to eat, oftentimes you eat less so going out reduces overeating.

They also say that the full benefits of eating a meal you also get the -- the -- you're not being as hungry because when you actually go out to eat, you feel less hungry during the day. Also gets you up and moving around.

The reality is, though, it's not going to make you sick or not going to kill you to eat at your desk for sure but it may make you gain less weight, it may make you more productive as well in the rest of your day, Bill.

HEMMER: Yes, may make you sharper too, huh, mentally? Get away, get out of the office. If you're eating at your desk, though, silly question here. Are some foods better than others? GUPTA: Actually yes it's not a silly question. There are some foods that are better than others. For example, a lot of people think carbohydrates are going to be a good source, give you lots of energy. In fact, it may give you sort of a calming sort of effect but it also may make you a little cloudier during the day so the vote is for proteins instead. More energy from proteins.

Also focus on those crunchy fruits and vegetables. And if you are going to eat sandwiches, get whole grain breads, not white breads and get sandwiches that are the thickness of a deck of cards, not a dictionary.

Also water: not sweetened drinks for the same reasons.

There's also -- pay attention again to portion size. You know a lot of people tend to eat very large portions when they're at their desk thinking that they're not really eating. Sort of cheating there. Picking is good; eat mini-meals throughout the day and also the vending machine is too close sometimes; it's very close here in the CNN newsroom. You've got to stay away from that as well, Bill.

HEMMER: Yes. What if you get the lull in the middle of the day? What causes that?

GUPTA: You know -- that 3:00 lull -- that happens to just about everybody. It's really from a lack of -- a lowering of your blood sugar. People tend to eat their lunch at noontime. They oftentimes get a little dip in blood sugar later on during the day.

Here is OK to have a little bit of carbs. Now a little bit of yogurt works, cheese and crackers, peanut butter and crackers, a glass of skim milk. Any of those sorts of things will give you a little bit of a boost in blood sugar. Also keep your appetite for dinner later on that night, Bill.

HEMMER: All right, you still hungry?

GUPTA: I am; I'm always hungry. I've got you know just always chowing down. Mini meals throughout the day.

COLLINS: We have great snacks here, Sanjay.

GUPTA: I'll be back.

HEMMER: Now our guests have nothing to eat.

COLLINS: Oh well.

HEMMER: Break here in a moment. Andy's back "Minding Your Business" tell you how to get the most bang for your buck with a football coach who cannot carry a tune. Yes, back in a moment.

COLLINS: Doesn't get any better than that.

Have a bagel.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COLLINS: Welcome back everybody.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Nothing like free advertising. A restaurant in Minnesota reaping huge rewards from a guy who couldn't carry a tune in a ten-gallon bucket.

Andy Serwer is "Minding Your Business."

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: I can relate to that. We'll get to that in a second.

Let's talk about what's happening on Wall Street this morning. Yesterday stocks beating up a little bit by higher oil prices, we keep singing this tune, Jack.

Dow down 58, Nasdaq really taking a beating there you can see down 32 points. Price roll at $44. Factory orders coming in at 10. Futures are lower this morning. I looked and checked -- stock markets across the globe down about 1 percent, only one market in the entire world up this morning -- Norway.

Oil -- remember the striking Norwegian oil workers? You can forget that because I talked about them a lot.

COLLINS: Forget the Norwegians.

SERWER: OK, well, speaking of that. We're going to go to Minnesota where a lot of people of Norwegian descent live, and this is this radio spot.

CAFFERTY: Oh, that was very lame to go from Norway to Minnesota by saying there's a lot of people from Norway...

SERWER: I didn't say further on up the coast -- I didn't say further on. OK. Yes. OK. Anyway, this is a radio spot playing in the Twin Cities.

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice, there he is -- he's a big man. Played football at the University of Maryland, Heidi

COLLINS: Yes, sir.

SERWER: Quarterback there. That's right. And you know kind of a meat and potatoes guy.

A steak house in the Twin Cities hired him to do a radio spot -- it's interesting. Let's listen. It's getting a lot of airplay up there for free.

(BEGIN AUDIOTAPE)

MIKE TICE, HEAD COACH, MINNESOTA VIKINGS: We've got your big and tender rolling...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again. TICE: We've got your big and tender.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cut.

TICE: Forget it, I ain't singing. Singing is not for tough guys anyway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't quit your day job.

TICE: OK, let's see. I'll just wing this. You've got to get down to Timber Lodge...

(END AUDIOTAPE)

SERWER: Anyway, a lot of people like this and from someone, again, who can't sing. You know, like, "I Love A Rainy Night." Do you want me to do that? I mean, I've been banned.

HEMMER: That's the Twin Cities, not the Quad Cities, right?

SERWER: That's the twin Cities. Can I ask you what the Twin Cities are? Or do we not even have to do that?

COLLINS: Oh, please, come on.

SERWER: OK, thank you.

What do they got there? I love this place because this restaurant, the Bear Paws or giant mushrooms stuffed with spinach and Parmesan cheese and garlic. Their blooming onion is called the Paul Bunyun onion. This is your hometown.

COLLINS: Hey, I take no...

SERWER: The superior sticks are the mozzarella sticks.

CAFFERTY: There you go.

SERWER: The potato canoes, etc., etc., etc. You're welcome.

CAFFERTY: Time for the scorecard. Serious stuff here. Number of days since the 9/11 Commission made recommendations for protecting this country against terrorism: 13.

Number of recommendations adopted by Congress: zero.

(LAUGHTER)

Wednesday, time things people say: "You got to think would you rather be sitting by the pool or going to some Elks Lodge and eating doughnuts and shaking hands?" This is Ben Affleck on the possibility of running for political office.

SERWER: Go Ben.

CAFFERTY: "We've discussed the numbers with the organizing committee and we think they are realistic. As we know from previous Olympics, the athletes do come into contact during the Games."

Condom manufacturer Durex in a statement on its plan to offer 130,000 free condoms to the athletes at the Olympics there in Greece.

"I love to write and I thought about an autobiography but everyone was doing that, plus I'd rather write fiction. So someone suggested a Roman a cleft (ph) and I was like, who is that?"

SERWER: Nice.

CAFFERTY: Pamela Anderson, sex symbol and now author of "Star," quoted in the "Boston Herald."

SERWER: What's his phone number?

CAFFERTY: "Even the clowns are were running after him. There was a guy with a clown nose and big shoes running after him. I don't know what he would have done he'd caught him."

Deborah Faulk, describing the pursuit in New York City in a park of a tiger that escaped from the circus and a guy in a clown suit chasing him.

We see things like that here in New York fairly regularly.

Once in a while they make the news.

"Once in summer camp, but I don't like to talk about it."

Kevin James on the question posed by "People" magazine have you ever goggled yourself.

(LAUGHTER)

COLLINS: OK, interesting.

CAFFERTY: A couple of those are pretty good. Pamela Anderson and Kevin James.

COLLINS: All right Jack, thanks a lot.

Still to come this morning some more serious news of course. It involves new details on the latest terror warnings including word that the threat may run much deeper than previously reported.

Stay with us on AMERICAN MORNING.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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