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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Al Qaeda: Reloaded; Shaky Alliance; Setting the Record Straight; Taking Hostages; FBI's Most Wanted

Aired April 2, 2007 - 23:00   ET

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


PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: ... number three in al Qaeda. An article in "The New York Times," seems to confirm at least that he's an important leader today.
His name's also cropped up in a terrorism trial in London which is ongoing right now. A group of Brits training in the tribal territories in Pakistan, meeting this guy (UNINTELLIGIBLE), saying that he's an important leader.

So you've got a new leader of al Qaeda, orchestrating alleged terrorist events in London and others of similar kind of age. Again, people we only really know often just which country they're from because they call themselves either al-Iraqi (ph), which means I'm from Iraq; or al-Libbi (ph), they're from Libya; al-Masri, which means they're from Egypt.

So this is a new generation certainly, but not one that a huge amount is known about, compared to bin Laden or even al-Zawahiri -- John.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Another person that you pointed to in the past, Peter, is Abu Ubedi al-Masri (ph), an Egyptian. You believe that he was involved in the plot to bomb the London trains and also perhaps may have had some plotting in this recent plot that was uncovered to bomb a number of airliners with these liquid bombs that would be carried onboard in sports drinks, which is why we all now have to take our liquids and put them in these plastic bags.

BERGEN: Well, yes, again, this man Abu Ubedi al-Masri (ph), Abu Ubedi (ph), of course, is simply a sort of a pseudonym, a name de jihad as it were. Al-Masri indicates he's Egyptian.

"The New York Times" reporting today that he may have been the mastermind of the plot that you mentioned to bring down 10 American airliners with liquid explosives.

We have heard in the past, from senior U.S. intelligence officials; for instance, General Maples, who's the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He testified in January that al Qaeda directed that plot from Pakistan. This is further confirmation of that analysis -- John.

ROBERTS: Where do bin Laden and Zawahiri fit into all of this? As you said, they're up in their 50s now. Some of us are close to that age as well. But certainly, you said these younger folks are taking over. Did they still oversee everything or are they just figure heads now, what is it?

BERGEN: Well, John, I mean, you know, in the U.S. military there's something called commanders intent, which means that you basically know -- I mean, Ayman al-Zawahiri and bin Laden don't have to tell people what to do. The idea of attacking the United States, trying to bring down American airliners, attacking in Western allies like Britain. I mean, that's out there.

So they don't need to pick up the phone and call people to instruct them to do these things. They just need to put out the general strategy and these guys are the operational guys who are now trying to make that strategy actually work.

And unfortunately they're having some success. Whether it was the attack in London that killed 56 people in July of 2005, the kind of violence we're seeing in Afghanistan now where suicide attacks have quintupled in the last year -- and unfortunately we may see in the spring even more of this kind of stuff, both in Afghanistan and also in Pakistan because we're seeing suicide attacks suddenly take off in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.

ROBERTS: And Peter, as all of this is going on in Pakistan and across the border, as you mentioned, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf appears to be in some political trouble. How shaky is the ground that he stands on right now?

BERGEN: Well, you know, I think the fact that he's tried to sideline the chief justice in the Pakistani supreme court has turned out to be a rather expensive mistake for him because around that issue a lot of people have coalesced who you don't normally have a common interest, whether it's the political opposition in Pakistan, liberals, the press, lawyers, a lot of people have used -- seen this issue as kind of a moment where Musharraf has overstepped. He's trying to remain in uniform, to be the leader of the military and also remain the top political leader. And it's quite possible the supreme court, if it ruled on this, would rule against him, which is why Musharraf removed this head justice, it look likes -- and in fact this may have been Musharraf pushing too far. And I think this may have really rejuvenated the political opposition in Pakistan which really wants a return to true civilian rule.

ROBERTS: And people, of course wondering what might happen if Musharraf were to fall.

Peter, thanks very much as always.

As Peter mentioned, having Pakistan as an ally is neither simple nor easy. And lately it's only gotten tougher.

More on that aspect now from CNN's Nic Robertson. He is in Islamabad.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): On the steps of Pakistan's Supreme Court, pictures of some of the hundreds of Pakistanis gone missing over the past few years. Their families blame the government of President Pervez Musharraf, saying it has been quietly imprisoning or killing off its enemies or some claim even handing them over to the U.S., as accused terrorists.

The disappeared of this country have been a smoldering issue for the past few years. Now, set ablaze as the country's top judge, who made it his mission to find out where they had gone, has been suspended by Musharraf.

IMRAN KHAN, PAKISTANI POLITICIAN: This is nothing but an attempt to subjugate the judiciary and send a message to all the other judges that if they do not draw the line, that this is what's going to happen to them.

ROBERTSON: Anger with Musharraf has never been higher. His critics say charging the chief justice on allegations of misuse of power was itself a misuse of power and could bring Musharraf down. And that would pose big risks for the U.S. because Musharraf has been a crucial ally in the war on terror, while many in the region are hostile to the U.S. presence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are all here to just assure solidarity with the just cause of standing by the judiciary which is under siege by the dictator Musharraf.

ROBERTSON: This demonstration, a small prelude to what police predict will be a massive turnout on Tuesday, when the chief justice faces Musharraf's charges in court, charges that among other things, he used his position to help his son get a job.

(On camera): Police sources say, they are under orders to head off angry demonstrations by rounding up troublemakers. In cities throughout the country, thousands of people have been arrested. Many claim to be nothing more than political opponents of President Musharraf.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We cover live with our zoom cameras. The police came from there and they started firing tear gas shells.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): GEO TV Bureau Chief Hamid Mir saw the violence firsthand the day Musharraf ousted the chief justice. But then they became the story. Mir says police illegally stormed GEO TV, trying to take their coverage of the story off the air.

MIR: Most of our staff, they gathered here. In this corridor, more than 30, 40 people gathered here, and stood up here like an iron wall.

ROBERTSON: To stop the police getting in?

MIR: Yes, to stop the police.

ROBERTSON: Mir says government intimidation has been growing. Journalists kidnapped and killed as Musharraf faces growing pressure at home and abroad and narrowly survived two assassination attempts.

Some say the justice's case is just part of a larger effort by Musharraf to hold onto power.

MIR: It is just a small part of a big problem. And the big problem is the lawlessness. And the chief justice was trying to establish the writ of law in Pakistan.

ROBERTSON: The chief justice's top defense lawyer says the charges are a joke, that the President General Musharraf wants a judge willing to rig presidential elections this year, not one who openly investigates government wrongdoing.

AITZAZ AHSAN, LAWYER: The general wanted to get rid of a judge -- and particularly a chief justice -- who he thought was an independent-minded chief justice.

ROBERTSON: The chief justice recently knocked down the privatization of the country's huge steel industry, making the prime minister look bad. It's not the first time he's made enemies of the country's elite.

Now his lawyer says he's paying the price for speaking out. His hearing will be closed to the public.

AHSAN: We want an open, public trial of the chief justice of Pakistan.

ROBERTSON: And that's not going to happen right now.

AHNSAN: So far, it hasn't happened.

ROBERTSON: If these crowds do swell, Musharraf will know this will be one of his hardest of his many battles for survival.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Islamabad, Pakistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Well, this being day one of baseball season, a question for you. What do Iraq and Yogi Berra have in common? Well, Yogi Berra once said, you can see a lot just by looking.

And over the weekend, Senator John McCain took Yogi's advice. He went through a walk through a market in Baghdad to prove his point that parts of Baghdad were safe for Americans. But not everyone agrees.

So look a little closer, as CNN's Michael Ware did, and see for yourself.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For presidential candidate Senator John McCain, walking Baghdad's market is a sure sign of change.

He and the Congressional delegation he led spent an hour Sunday talking to Iraqis and buying carpets. But theirs was anything but an everyday experience. Around them, more than 100 U.S. soldiers locking down the area, keeping out traffic and pedestrians. Overhead, two apache gun ships. Hidden around the market, U.S. sniper teams.

With thousands of U.S. troop reinforcements moving into Baghdad as part of a surge to quell the capital, McCain's real message was for Americans back home.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The American people are not getting the full picture of what's happening here. They're not getting the full picture of the drop in murders, the establishment of security outposts throughout the city, the situation in Anbar Province, the deployment of additional Iraqi brigades who are performing well and other progress -- signs of progress that are having been made.

WARE: Progress, but still far from victory, said the senator, with a long, difficult struggle and much more violence ahead.

Indeed, on the day his Congressional delegation made its P.R. visit to the Baghdad market, across the country, six American troops and a British soldier were killed; 15 Iraqi soldiers died in a truck bombing in Mosul. A police officer in Diyala Province was killed by a hidden bomb and three civilians blown part in another market.

And back in Baghdad, the same morning of the Congressional visit, Iraqi police found 17 bullet-riddled bodies on the city streets.

With Baghdad morgues still overflowing with grieving relatives, the senator's point is that the daily sectarian death toll is down from just months ago. Yet outside the capital sectarian violence is unabated -- 19 tortured bodies found in Diyala Province Monday morning.

And in the border town of Talafar (ph), praised by President Bush as a model of U.S. success reclaimed from al Qaeda, Iraqi officials say suicide bombings one day last week slaughtered 152 mainly Shia Muslims, prompting some officers in the Shia-dominated police to execute up to 70 Sunni Muslims later that night.

It's this violence Senator McCain hopes more U.S. soldiers can stop, even though more Iraqis died in March than in February.

Just last week, the senator claimed the reinforcements had already made parts of Baghdad so safe an American could now walk them. Something even an Iraqi journalist had to question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have just read on the Internet that you said there are areas in Baghdad that you can walk around freely.

MCCAIN: Yes, I just came from one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pardon me?

MCCAIN: I just came from one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And -- which areas would that be? MCCAIN: Sir, what I said was -- what I said was that there is encouraging signs and that things are better.

WARE: Just seven weeks ago, this was the market where McCain went shopping. Three separate bombs, minutes apart, 79 lives lost. The market's fifth attack since last summer.

And while there hasn't been a bombing here since, it may be just as well. Senator McCain's delegation had heavy protection. According to the Reuter's news agency, the market was hit just 24 hours later with sniper fire, a regular event, locals say, with about one person cut down each day.

The senator's visit, perhaps highlighting more than he intended. That in war, as in politics, perception so often is reality.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Michael, in the past 48 hours after that press conference there's been some buzz on conservative blogs that you were a bit of a yaba (ph) at that press conference, you were heckling Senator McCain, you were asking impertinent questions. What really went on?

WARE (on camera): Well, I can tell you straightaway, John, the answer's rather dull and boring. Nothing went on. Indeed, I didn't heckle. I didn't even ask a question. And I think the videotape of the press conference from the moment the senator walked in until the moment the senator walked out, bears that out.

Essentially, I arrived at the press conference, sat where I usually sit thereabouts and waited for it to begin. The senators were late and it was over almost before it began.

ROBERTS: Now, Michael, there's no question that if we look back to last week, you had an interesting explanation for the -- or response to the senator's words when he said that you could walk around freely in some areas of Baghdad.

Do you think that somehow what you said last week and what's being said about you now are tied together?

WARE: Well, I don't think it's too much of a long bow to draw to link the two. I think that as a result of what the senator said last week -- now, let's bear in mind, his Iraq policies, more than most, reflect the realities on the ground. But in one gaff last week, he put his whole Iraq credibility on the line. And when he was called to question on that, his arrival here in Baghdad became such a political investment, his visit to that Baghdad market just had to work and he had to herald it as a great success. So there's a lot of pressure on him.

And other people at that press conference, in the print media the next day, called him sometimes testy and defensive. So obviously, the senator was feeling the pressure.

ROBERTS: Did McCain's people say anything to you during that press conference or after, Michael?

WARE: No, not before, during or after. Indeed, after the original blowup the week before, we attempted several times through a multitude of channels to reach out to the senator's people and to say that we'd be very happy to discuss any issues with him, yet we were rebuffed and ignored at every turn.

ROBERTS: Now, let's take a look at a couple of the issues here, Michael. You said in your report that the senator didn't do anything at the market that hadn't been done before, and that is to go out in the streets with heavy protection, snipers on the rooftops, lots of armed men surrounding you, and really didn't do anything to highlight the progress that has been made as a result of the surge. If he wanted to highlight that progress, what should he have done in your estimation?

WARE: Well, I think there's a couple of relatively simple things, yet very poignant things that could be done. For example, he doesn't even have to come to Iraq. He could visit exiles from Iraq who are sheltering in Jordan, for example, and ask them, are you going home? Has the surge made you feel more confident? Or indeed, here in Baghdad, if he wants to venture out of the comfort of the green zone, go somewhere real. Go to one of these camps where the displaced are sheltering, these people who have been driven from their homes by racial ethnic cleansing or sectarian cleansing. Ask them, are you ready to go home? Or even still, visit a Baghdad morgue. See if there is a decline. Talk to the people there where their emotions are stripped bare and they're not confronted by a politician surrounded by soldiers with guns in a marketplace.

ROBERTS: Well, maybe we'll see him do some of that, but perhaps not this time.

Michael Ware, in Baghdad. Good to see you, mate. Thanks very much.

Up next, we'll have the latest on the 15 British sailors and Marines seized by Iran.

Also tonight, these stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS (voice-over): One of the FBI's Most Wanted and one of the most feared women in America, captured.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm innocent, man. I'm innocent. I'm innocent.

ROBERTS: But police say, no way. Her bloody rap sheet, coming up.

Plus, creative art or bad taste? An exhibit of a chocolate and naked Jesus is canceled after the outcry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're lucky I'm not like the Taliban because you would lose more than your head.

ROBERTS: So where is the sweet Jesus now?

Tonight, the 360 exclusive.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS (on camera): The latest now on those 15 British sailors and marines held captive by Iran.

A top Iranian security official saying today that his country sees no need to put them on trial. And he says the bitter dispute between Iran and Britain over their captivity can still be resolved diplomatically.

The impasse is now in its 11th day, with no clear signs of resolution.

Over the weekend, President Bush stepped into the matter by calling the captives, quote, "hostages." In the minds of some people, that conjured up images of the crisis involving American captives in Iran that dragged on for well over a year.

CNN's David Mattingly takes a look back at how that drama was ultimately resolved.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Iranian revolution had ended. Anti-American sentiment was growing. The shah was forced to flee to Egypt in January 1979.

It was against this backdrop that a group of angry academics, who called themselves the Muslim student followers of the Imam's line, concocted a plan.

In October, the shah, suffering from cancer, was flown to the U.S. for medical treatment. Iran's leading cleric, the Ayatollah Khomeini, back in the country after 14 years in exile, unleashed his anger at America, calling it the great Satan and an enemy of is Islam.

Just a few days later, the academics, heavily armed, used metal cuts to break into the U.S. embassy compound, entered the building and took 66 Americans hostage.

BARRY ROSEN, FORMER HOSTAGE: Within a matter of minutes, I was taken by -- I would say 20 or 30 students who had automatic weapons in their hands.

MATTINGLY: Thirteen of the hostages were freed within weeks. But for the rest, the weeks turned into months. They were regularly paraded, blindfolded before television cameras. And mistreated by their captors.

ROSEN: We were treated terribly. We were handcuffed and tied to our beds. We were not permitted to speak to each other. And for the 444 days we hardly saw the outside.

MATTINGLY: U.S. President Jimmy Carter, at first, tried a diplomatic approach, applying pressure on Iran, ending oil imports to the U.S., freezing $8 billion in Iranian assets.

But in April of 1980, five months into the crisis, the approved plans for a rescue mission called "Operation Eagle Claw." It was a tragic failure. Two military helicopters were caught in a sandstorm and broke down. A third crashed. The eight U.S. servicemen on board died.

On the 11th of July, another hostage was released. But the crisis carried on.

In September, Iran was invaded by Iraq.

In November, Carter lost his re-election bid to Ronald Reagan, but he kept working for the hostages' release.

Finally, in January 1981, an agreement in the form of the Algiers Accords. The U.S. promised, not intervene directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs. And to unfreeze Iranian assets. In return, the hostages would be freed. It was a deal brokered by Jimmy Carter.

JIMMY CARTER, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I had received word officially for the first time that the aircraft carrying the 52 American hostages had cleared Iranian airspace on the first leg of a journey home and that every one of the 52 hostages was alive, was well, and free.

MATTINGLY: And agreed to by incoming President Ronald Reagan.

On January 20, 1981, 444 dies after they were captured, and just moments after Reagan was sworn in as president, a plane carrying the hostages left Iran, free. And all of them hailed as American heroes.

David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: The State Department is investigating a report that an American citizen has gone missing in Iran tonight. U.S. officials believe the man disappeared several weeks ago from the island of Kish, which is a popular tourist stop off the southern coast of Iran.

So far he's identified only as a retired FBI agent who may have been in Iran working for an independent author or producer.

A U.S. State Department spokesman says that there is no link between this case and the captive British military personnel.

Back here in the United States, one of the FBI's most wanted is behind bars tonight. A woman, investigators say, has a cold heart and a chilling record.

Plus a wild police chase. An inmate on the run and a hostage standoff all caught on tape, when 360 continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Television cameras captured the end of a dramatic crime spree in Ohio today. Police say 34-year-old inmate Billy Jack Fitzmaurice (ph) went on an armed rampage after escaping a from a hospital in Youngstown and stealing a gun. They alleged that he then robbed two banks and threw in a couple of carjackings before ending up in Hilliard (ph), about 150 miles away. He then kicked down the door of a house. Moments later, a woman jumped from the second floor window -- you just saw that there.

Police negotiated with Fitzmaurice (ph), and shortly afterwards he surrendered. It all came to a peaceful end.

In Missouri, not even 25, Shauntay Henderson has already made a dent in her chosen career, beating out lots of competition, mostly male, for a place at the very top. Recently, she's become even more well-known. Unfortunately thought, it's for all the wrong reasons.

CNN's David Mattingly reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHAUNTAY HENDERSON: I'm innocent, man. I'm innocent.

MATTINGLY: Handcuffed and guarded by five men, a smiling Shauntay Henderson emerged from a Kansas City courthouse, known to law enforcement everywhere as one of most dangerous people in America.

TONY SANDERS, KANSAS CITY POLICE: We want her off the streets and thankfully now she is.

MATTINGLY: Only 24 years old, Henderson's alleged role as a violent gang leader had just recently landed her on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. Described as armed and dangerous, her face was posted alongside the likes of Osama bin Laden. Only the eighth woman to make the list in 57 years.

AGENT MONTE STRAIT, FBI: She was involved in a gangs -- part of a gang war in Kansas City. This was violence between gangs over apparently turf battles, but also testimony against each other.

MATTINGLY: Shauntay Henderson had been on the run for six months before police were tipped off and arrested her at a Kansas City apartment.

She was wanted in the killing of a man last September. A woman matching Henderson's description approached a pickup truck and shot the driver in the chest. But agents say, that's just the beginning of an investigation into a bloody war over Kansas City streets.

(on camera): Henderson had become a notorious figure in a violent Kansas City gang, known for its drug dealing and its use of high-powered weapons. The FBI says, Henderson could be connected to as many as 50 gang-related shootings and five additional homicides. AGENT MONTE STRAIT, FBI: She is viewed as a leader. She's protected by the group. She's also very active in terms of pushing forward violence.

MATTINGLY: Henderson was named to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list on Saturday and was arrested the same day. She appeared in court Monday morning and a judge entered a plea of not guilty. And seemingly aware of her national notoriety, Shauntay Henderson paused just for a moment to show off handcuffs before disappearing into a place van.

David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: As David touched on, Shauntay Henderson spent less than 24 hours on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted. And here's the raw data on the list itself.

It was established back in March of 1950. Since then, at least 455 fugitives on it have been caught, 148 of them as a result of tips from citizens. Henderson was the 486th person on the list.

Up next, the faithful take on science. Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden? That's the story told at a new museum, and many scientists don't like it one bit.

Also this...

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS (voice over): Creative art or bad taste? An exhibit of a chocolate and naked Jesus is canceled after the outcry.

WILLIAM DONOHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: You're lucky I'm not like the Taliban, because you would lose more than your head.

ROBERTS: So, where is the sweet Jesus now? Tonight, the 360 exclusive coming up.

Plus, dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden. A new museum claims that's what really happened. Its founder says it's all in the bible.

KEN HAM, FOUNDER, CREATION MUSEUM: Genesis is written as literal history. Why are we sinners? Because there was an original sin because a real man, in a real garden, with a real tree and a real fruit, a real event, really happened.

ROBERTS: Is it blind faith?

You decide when 360 continues.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Back now to our examination of "What is a Christian?"

We begin at the very beginning, with the Book of Genesis, taken literally by so-called creationists. Their Religious believe is at the core of an intense debate over the science of evolution.

But here's a question: If you believe God created the universe in six short days, what did creation and the Garden of Eden look like?

CNN's Tom Foreman reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the beginning, an explosion rocked the cosmos and the universe was born. Primitive life crawled from an ooze, mutating, changing. Dinosaurs lived, died, left nothing but bones. And evolution rolled on until millions of years later.

Science tells us that's what happened. But what if it's wrong? What if another story, a very old one, is right?

(on camera): So, this is the Garden of Eden, and you have dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden?

HAM: That's true, because God made the land animals on day six. He made...

FOREMAN (voice over): Ken Hamm is the founder of a $27 million Creation Museum set to open on Memorial Day in rural Kentucky. The message: God made the Earth, the heavens, and everything in them in just six days, just 6,000 years ago.

(on camera): This just didn't look like what I've always thought of as the Garden of Eden. Does it you?

HAM: Well, that's true. And it's meant to challenge people, because most people today would not think of that. That's true.

FOREMAN (voice over): Polls show roughly half the country believes human beings were created in our present form by God.

HAM: Genesis is written as literal history. Why are we sinners? There was an original sin because a real man, in a real garden, with a real tree and a real fruit, a real event, really happened.

FOREMAN: So, it stands to reason, people and dinosaurs roamed the planet peacefully, together, face no death or disease before Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out of Eden. Some people might call that blind faith, but the Creation Museum calls it hard science and, they say, they have proof.

HAM: We are also finding dinosaur bones that are not mineralized. They're not fossilized yet. How in the world can a bone sit out there for 65 million years and not be completely mineralized?

FOREMAN: That argument doesn't wash in this museum, the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

MIKE NOVACEK, PROVOST, AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY: There's no question in my mind that dinosaurs went extinct 65 million years ago, long before humans. There's absolutely no scientific evidence aligned with the notion that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

HAM: If the history in the bible is not true, then neither is the rest.

FOREMAN: There is a ready market for this version of history. Ken Ham is preaching to the choir, a convention of Christian homeschoolers in nearby Cincinnati.

HAM: They haven't thrown religion out of the classroom, by the way. They've thrown Christianity out and replaced it with a different religion. It's a religion of atheism, or the religion of naturalism.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You could always take one of these lessons and stretch it over a full week.

FOREMAN: Here, parents browse creation science textbooks with lessons you'll never find in a public school.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe it's the truth. I mean -- and why would we teach our children something that's not true?

You know, we don't sit down and talk to them about Santa Claus and an Easter bunny and try and instill in them that that's the way it happens. No, we tell them the truth. Evolution doesn't fall into that category of being good science.

FOREMAN: Pam Amlong and her daughter Kayla say believing all creation came to be without God requires an even greater leap of faith.

PAM AMLUNG, CHRISTIAN HOMESCHOOLER: How could all of this, what we see, possibly have come from nothing? I just can't figure out how atheists can have that much faith to believe. I mean, it takes a whole lot of faith.

KAYLA AMLUNG, STUDENT: Like, they have nothing to start with. We have something, but they have nothing. And they're believing this whole thing, where the bible makes more sense.

FOREMAN: They admit faith is full of mystery.

P. AMLUNG: I think when we get to heaven that we'll be really surprised, that God will reveal at that point in time, "This is how I did it." And it may not look exactly like what any individual here on Earth ever could imagine.

FOREMAN: But until then, they will believe that creation looked like this glimpse of Eden in the heartland.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Petersburg, Kentucky. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: And we'll have more on the subject in a series of 360 special reports -- "What is a Christian?" coming up Wednesday and Thursday night at 10:00 Eastern here on AC 360.

Just ahead, billions love Jesus. Billions love chocolate. But Jesus and chocolate? Well, that's a whole other story.

The controversy erupted last week, and we'll bring you the fireworks.

We'll also bring you the latest on the fate of the statue known as "Sweet Jesus," next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: On Friday we told you about the meltdown over a giant chocolate sculpture of a crucified Jesus. It was supposed to go on exhibit here in New York, this week before Easter. Over the weekend, the artist hid the sculpture in his refrigerated truck and now it's in hiding in an undisclosed location. Meanwhile, the artist is deciding what to do with the controversial confection.

CNN's Gary Tuchman explains why the sculpture is on the lam.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Because of threats they say they have received, an artist and his wife do not want to meet at their home. So, instead, we get together at a New York City diner to talk about:

COSIMO CAVALLARO, ARTIST: "Sweet Jesus".

TUCHMAN: This is "Sweet Jesus," a life-size anatomically correct sculpture of Jesus made out of 200 pounds of chocolate, created by New York artist Cosimo Cavallaro.

An art gallery in this New York City hotel scheduled its debut for this Monday.

CAVALLARO: The purpose of "Sweet Jesus" is for me to portray that iconic image with a taste.

TUCHMAN: But many, including the New York Archdiocese and the Catholic League, say it's scandalous.

KIERA MCCAFFREY, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: They are saying: We are taking a devout Christian image of the crucified Christ, and we are making him into chocolate, with genitals exposed. They're digging the knife at Christians on this. And to try to pretend otherwise is absurd. And they're doing it at our holiest time.

CAVALLARO: Here, we have chocolate, which is nothing negative -- no negative connotation to chocolate, and the body of Christ, you know, the figure of Christ. So, how two wrongs make one -- two rights make one wrong, that, I could never imagine.

TUCHMAN: But the Catholic league asked for a boycott of the hotel and says the sculpture, also known as "Chocolate Jesus," is hate speech.

MCCAFFREY: They surely wouldn't do something similar to Muslims. you want to bet that they would never put up a naked chocolate statue of Mohammed, with his genitals exposed, during Ramadan?

TUCHMAN: There have been many similar controversies.

The former mayor of New York and current presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani threatened to withdraw funding from a Brooklyn museum, after it featured the Virgin Mary with elephant dung.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Of course it's Catholic bashing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUCHMAN: Rap singer Kanye West raised hackles by appearing on "Rolling Stone" magazine in this fashion, in support of his song "Jesus Walks."

And then there's Madonna. A few months ago, NBC removed footage of Madonna suspended from a giant cross, which was to be included on a prime-time special.

So, would this artist create a sculpture called "Sweet Mohammed"?

CAVALLARO: No.

TUCHMAN (on camera): Why?

CAVALLARO: It's not my religion. And I didn't -- I have no need to get close to that. This is what I had do, is to get closer to my religion.

TUCHMAN: You're a Christian?

CAVALLARO: Yes. I'm a Christian, a Catholic.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): And now the controversy has taken a new twist. The gallery and hotel have backed down.

On Friday, the hotel released a statement saying, "We have caused the cancellation of the exhibition and wish to affirm the dignity and responsibility of the hotel in all its affairs."

The Cavallaros are upset, but not at the gallery.

SARAH CAVALLARO, WIFE OF COSIMO CAVALLARO: I feel that they were really scared and they were protecting themselves.

TUCHMAN: And, as for his sculpture...

(on camera): Where is "Chocolate Jesus" right now?

C. CAVALLARO: In a refrigerator truck, looking for a home.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): ... don't be surprised to see "Sweet Jesus" in a different gallery some time soon.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: And Gary's correct, because Cavallaro said that offers are pouring in from around the world to help him save and exhibit the work.

On Friday, Anderson Cooper spoke with him and a chief critic of the work, William Donohue. He's the president of the Catholic League.

Here's a bit of that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Cosimo, I want to start by asking you what your intention was with -- with this -- this piece of art.

C. CAVALLARO: My intention was to celebrate this body of Christ, and in a sweet, delicious, tasteful way.

COOPER: Why -- why use chocolate?

C. CAVALLARO: Because it's a substance that I like. And it's sweet. And I felt that the body of Christ, the -- the meaning of Christ, is about the sweetness.

COOPER: Were you trying to shock, I mean, to -- to cause attention?

Often -- usually, when Christ is shown, he's wearing some form of clothing. This is a naked Christ, which has also caused some concern.

C. CAVALLARO: No more than the religion, the way they use it. I was just using it as an iconic figure.

I mean, that my intentions was to shock people, no. I was -- my intention was to have them taste the -- and feel what they're looking at in their mouth.

COOPER: Bill, you call this exhibit hate speech. You said it's -- quote -- "one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever."

What specifically offends you about it? DONOHUE: Well, of course, asking the public to come in and eat Jesus, with his genitals exposed, during Holy Week I think would be self-explanatory.

If we took an image of this artist's mother, and made her out in chocolate, with her genitals exposed, of course, to be equal, and then asked the public to eat her on Mother's Day, yes, he might have a problem. Maybe he wouldn't.

But you know what bothers me? It's not even the artist. I mean, we have a lot of these loser artists down in SoHo and around the country. What bothers me is that this guy Knowles, who is an artist in residence, the owner, the president and CEO of an establishmentarian site, the Roger Smith Hotel, 47th and Lexington, in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, that is what bothers me, because now we have the establishment kicking in.

And to put this out during Holy Week, on street level, when kids can walk in off the street, these people are morally bankrupt. And my goal is to make them financially bankrupt.

COOPER: Cosimo, do you understand the outrage this has caused? I mean, do you think it's overreaction? Do you get it?

C. CAVALLARO: Yes, I get it. I think it's an overreaction.

You just heard the gentleman calling artists losers, or me a loser. I think what he's -- his assault is on the public at large, artists, and freedom of speech, and every Catholic. I'm a Catholic, and I'm a Christian.

And I think this gentleman doesn't even represent the people that are in his faith.

DONOHUE: That's funny. You said I put out a fatwa, right? Or the -- or the -- that was the -- the guy who ran the lab, says I put out a fatwa. I put out a news release.

So, you're accusing me of being like the Taliban; is that right?

C. CAVALLARO: Who, me? You're not that intelligent.

(LAUGHTER)

DONOHUE: Oh, no, let me tell you something. You're -- you're lucky I'm not as mean, because you might lose more than your head.

COOPER: Cosimo, did you want people to eat this? Was that part of this?

C. CAVALLARO: No.

Did you hear what this gentleman is saying, that I would lose my head?

DONOHUE: No, I -- you heard what I said. I said you're -- you're lucky I'm not like the Taliban, because you would lose more than your head, which is why...

C. CAVALLARO: Right. So, therefore...

(CROSSTALK)

DONOHUE: ... guys like you wouldn't do this against Mohammed during Ramadan.

(CROSSTALK)

C. CAVALLARO: No, because I'm a Christian. And I'm not trying to...

DONOHUE: Oh, you're a Christian. Please. Don't lie about it, all right? Don't lie about it.

C. CAVALLARO: I'm not lying. No, I'm not lying about it.

DONOHUE: Yes, you are.

(CROSSTALK)

C. CAVALLARO: I want to ask you a question, Mr. DONOHUE.

DONOHUE: Yes.

C. CAVALLARO: Where do you think I should exhibit this? Because you -- you have bamboozled an art gallery.

DONOHUE: Right.

C. CAVALLARO: And you have bamboozled an establishment. You have put fear in people to listen to your rhetoric and to believe -- just because a man has got his arms extended and he's made in chocolate -- it's your Christ -- and it's offensive.

DONOHUE: That's right.

(CROSSTALK)

C. CAVALLARO: And, by the way -- excuse me. I'm going to talk to you for a minute. You keep quiet.

DONOHUE: And you want the public to eat him.

(CROSSTALK)

C. CAVALLARO: Now, you go to the Catholic Church...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Let Cosimo finish his point.

C. CAVALLARO: You go to the Catholic Church, and you're going to see statues from Michelangelo that are nude. Are you going to clothe them for the Holy Week? DONOHUE: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

C. CAVALLARO: And are you telling me that, apart from the Holy Week, we could do anything we want to do with the genitalia? What are you talking about?

DONOHUE: The...

COOPER: OK. Let Bill answer.

DONOHUE: All right. All right, first of all, Leonardo, you're not.

But, quite frankly, where should you have this displayed? In New Jersey is where New Yorkers put their garbage. There's a big sanitation dump. That's where you should put it.

COOPER: Bill, let me read you something that David Kuo, the former presidential assistant to President Bush, who worked in the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, said in reference to your protest.

He said -- quote -- "Instead of getting all amped up over this art, Christians should be spending time facing the real and very challenging Jesus found in the Gospels, and encouraging others to do the same."

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Are you making a bigger deal out of this than it deserves?

DONOHUE: No, no, no, no.

COOPER: And doesn't this, in fact, give this more attention than it ever would have received otherwise?

DONOHUE: If, in fact, it was at some dump in SoHo, I probably wouldn't pay too much attention. But the fact that the Roger Smith Hotel...

(CROSSTALK)

C. CAVALLARO: ... dump in SoHo.

DONOHUE: ... right here in New York City is doing this thing, no. If I don't pay attention to it, then I -- my people should ask for me to be fired.

By the way, I am delighted with the response from Jews, Muslims, and others, not just Catholics and Protestants, with this. People are basically saying, enough is enough. This is absolutely revolting.

And what you're saying, sir, is totally disingenuous. No one believes it. I don't even think you believe it.

COOPER: But, Bill, doesn't -- doesn't -- I mean, don't people have a right to express themselves? And isn't that what art is about? Aren't artists supposed to provoke thought?

DONOHUE: That's right. And, if we -- and if we put a swastika out on a stamp in the United States, we could call that art. It was an art exhibition. I don't think Jews would go for that.

Just because art is art doesn't mean that it is a right that is absolute. Art can be insulting and it can be offensive. And when these people are whining, claiming victim status, as this guy is doing, because of my exercise of my First Amendment right of freedom of speech -- I didn't call the cops to come in and censor this.

I'm simply saying I called up about 500 of my friends and -- running different Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and non- sectarian organizations to boycott the Roger Smith Hotel. They're morally bankrupt. I want to see them financially bankrupt.

COOPER: Cosimo, I want to give you the final thought. Do you plan to -- to display this elsewhere?

C. CAVALLARO: Yes, I do, hopefully.

And I would like to add to the gentleman who referred to the swastika, he's actually acting like a Nazi.

(LAUGHTER)

C. CAVALLARO: And I -- I would like to ask one question.

Where do you suggest that I exhibit this? Because you basically pulled it out of a gallery for me. So, where do you think...

DONOHUE: No. I -- I told you...

(CROSSTALK)

C. CAVALLARO: Where -- no, excuse me.

Where do you suggest that an artist should exhibit his work that you don't infringe on?

DONOHUE: Well, you know, go to some dump down in SoHo, where...

C. CAVALLARO: A dump?

DONOHUE: ... nobody will pay attention.

C. CAVALLARO: Is there a church in SoHo that's a dump, too, because...

DONOHUE: Oh, you would like to...

(CROSSTALK) C. CAVALLARO: No, let me tell you something.

DONOHUE: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

C. CAVALLARO: There's two priests that have wanted to exhibit this in their church.

DONOHUE: Is that right?

C. CAVALLARO: Yes, absolutely.

DONOHUE: Give me their names.

C. CAVALLARO: I will not, because you're a bully.

(LAUGHTER)

C. CAVALLARO: And you know what? I believe that there's people in your organization that would like you to resign.

DONOHUE: Is that right?

C. CAVALLARO: Absolutely. And you're...

DONOHUE: Well, how come -- I haven't heard from them.

C. CAVALLARO: I got to tell you something, there's more filth that comes out of your mouth...

DONOHUE: Is that right?

C. CAVALLARO: Yes -- than I have seen...

(CROSSTALK)

DONOHUE: Look, you lost. You know what? You put your middle finger at the Catholic Church, and we just broke it, didn't we, pal?

C. CAVALLARO: No. You're wrong. You're wrong.

DONOHUE: Yes, we did. You lost.

C. CAVALLARO: I have a lot of believers.

DONOHUE: We -- we won. You're out of a job.

C. CAVALLARO: And I'm a Christian. And there's a lot of people like me, who are opposed to what you're doing, because you made a big...

DONOHUE: Yes? But I got a job, and you don't.

C. CAVALLARO: You made a -- "I got a job, and you don't"?

DONOHUE: Yes.

C. CAVALLARO: You're acting like a 5-year-old.

DONOHUE: I got a job, and you don't.

C. CAVALLARO: You're talking -- you're acting like a 5-year-old. And I feel sorry for you.

COOPER: All right. We're going to -- we're...

DONOHUE: Well, I won on this, and you lost, didn't you?

COOPER: Well, let's -- let's leave it there.

You both expressed your opinions.

Bill DONOHUE, appreciate you being with -- and, Cosimo Cavallaro, appreciate it as well. Thank you, sir.

C. CAVALLARO: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTS: Well, up next, the fallout from a brutal bar beating by a Chicago cop. IT was all caught on tape. The victim goes down, but wait until you see who else just did, next on 360.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Erica Hill joins us now with a "360 Bulletin".

(NEWSBREAK)

ROBERTS: More 360 in just a moment. And at the top of the hour, for our domestic viewers, "LARRY KING LIVE," Beyonce on her music, her movies, and more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROBERTS: Tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING," inside the last days of Christ.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesus had been forced to think about his death as something imminent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: The truth about Jesus, live from the Holy Land tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING". That's beginning at 6:00 a.m. Eastern.

And, as always, a reminder. We want you to help us keep them honest. If there's a wrong that needs to be made right in your community, tell us about it at CNN.com/360.

For Anderson Cooper, I'm John Roberts.

Thanks for joining us tonight.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is next.

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