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Las Vegas Gun Battle; New Airport Security Measures

Aired January 4, 2010 - 20:00   ET



CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, here are the questions we want answered.

How did a killer go on a shooting spree at a heavily guarded federal building? Tonight, the deadly gun battle in Las Vegas caught on video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole firefight kind of opened up, and it was just blast after blast with a gun.

BROWN: Plus, body scanners coming to more airports after the Christmas Day plot to blow up a U.S.-bound jet, but can they really stop a terrorist?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When I pour water into a sealed sandwich bag, place it inside my belt line and in a sock, you can barely see it.

BROWN: And is this American man the next Osama bin Laden? A special investigation: the radical cleric born in the USA. Find out his connection to 9/11, the accused Fort Hood shooter, and other terror suspects.


ANNOUNCER: This is your only source for news. CNN prime time begins now. Here's Campbell Brown.

BROWN: Hey there, everybody.

We start tonight, as always, with the "Mash-Up." We're watching it all so you don't have to.

And our top story tonight: a new front in the war on terror. All eyes on Yemen, as France, Germany, Japan, Britain and the United States all shutter their embassies, citing terrorist threats.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. officials tell CNN eight al Qaeda suspects were planning to bomb the embassy. We're also told Yemeni forces killed three and captured one more wearing a suicide vest, but four other suspected terrorists remain at large.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We see global implications from the war in -- in Yemen and the ongoing efforts by al Qaeda in Yemen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're told that 200 to 300 al Qaeda are living in Yemen, but when we asked people today about how they feel about al Qaeda taking root:

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hate al Qaeda.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they had all heard that terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab studied Arabic here. He lived with other students in this building. The school's director now believes that Abdulmutallab used Arabic studies as a cover.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was the top in the class.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Officials complain that identifying would- be terrorists among students is nearly impossible here, because the government can't compete with al Qaeda.


BROWN: We're going to have a whole lot more tonight on the terrorist threat in Yemen. We will bring you a special investigation into the radical cleric hiding out in Yemen who could be the next Osama bin Laden. We will also explore what America's options are in that country.

President Obama returned today from the sunny shores of Hawaii to the gloom of Washington. No surprise: One of his first meetings was with his top counterterrorism aide, John Brennan. Brennan was inescapable on TV this weekend, defending the administration's approach to the war on terror and offering a bit of a mea culpa, too, very much on message.


JOHN BRENNAN, U.S. DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Clearly, the system didn't work. There were lapses. There were human errors. The system didn't work the way it should have. There was no single piece of intelligence, a smoking gun, if you will. There is no smoking gun piece of intelligence out there that said he was a terrorist, he was going to carry out this attack against that aircraft. We had bits and pieces of information, bits and pieces of information that didn't give us the clarity we needed.

What we need to do as an intelligence community, as a government is be able to bring those disparate bits and pieces of information together. The failure within the system was that we didn't take that information and connect it to the other bits and pieces of information that came through the intelligence collection system. The system works very, very well every day, but there are instances when for whatever reason something didn't happen.


BROWN: Brennan also blasted former Vice President Dick Cheney for accusing the administration of going soft on terror.

Turning now to a fascinating new report about the tension-filled days leading up to President Obama's inauguration. This is according to "The New York Times." The government had credible evidence that Somali terrorists were plotting to detonate explosives at the inauguration.

Top security officials for the White House and the transition even met to talk about the threat. President Obama himself was told about it. It ultimately did turn out to be a false alarm.

Former Deputy National Security Adviser Juan Zarate spoke about those meetings today on "THE SITUATION ROOM." Take a look.


BLITZER: We now know that there was enormous concern almost exactly a year ago, January 20, that there was a terrorist plot aimed at the Obama inauguration. You were still on the job. What was going on?

JUAN CARLOS ZARATE, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: This particular threat out of east Africa appeared over time to be more and more credible. So, it became a more dangerous threat that we had to look at carefully, and frankly became an important lesson as we transitioned power to the new administration to look at how to deal with the threat to the inauguration.

Well, initially, we thought it was not credible, but, as we started to do more due diligence, as the FBI, the intelligence community started to dig deeper, more and more of the story and the threat appeared to be credible.

And, so, as we approached the inauguration, it was considered to be a credible threat. Ultimately and thankfully, it wasn't real, and it turned out to be, as what we call in the industry, a poison pen incident, where people were trying to defame other individuals.


BROWN: But that didn't stop team Obama from gaming out possible scenarios. According to "The New York Times," Hillary Clinton asked what should happen if a bomb went off during the actual swearing-in, wondering whether the new president should run for cover or should stand his ground.

Moving on now to the tragedy in Las Vegas, where, this afternoon, a man opened fire in a federal courthouse.


BETTY NGUYEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A security officer was killed and a deputy U.S. marshal was wounded after a man opened fired in the lobby of a Las Vegas federal courthouse. The gunman was killed outside the building. A bystander captured the gunfire on his cell phone. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Eyewitnesses say it appeared as if downtown Las Vegas was under attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was probably 30 to 40 shots, I would imagine, just blast after blast.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, HOST, "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS": The shooter was chased from the building by officers who fired on him as he left. He died of multiple gunshot wounds. The gunman had been identified as a 66-year- old retiree reportedly angry over cuts to Social Security benefits.


BROWN: Authorities still trying to figure out why the shooter targeted the courthouse. More on this troubling story tonight, including an interview with an eyewitness.

From a shooting in Vegas to guns drawn in an NBA locker room. Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas today says he was only joking around when he pulled a weapon on his teammate Javaris Crittenton.


RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: When asked why they brandished the pistols or the guns on each other, according to reports, the reason they did it is because of some kind of gambling debt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to reports, it also stemmed from a card game on a December 19 team flight. Arenas wound up owing teammate Javaris Crittenton $60,000. Two days later, the players had a heated argument in the Wizards locker room. At one point, the men aimed guns at each other.

GILBERT ARENAS, NBA PLAYER: I'm a jokester. And nothing in my life is actually serious.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it's no joke. The D.C. police, U.S. attorney's office and National Basketball Association all say they're investigating. Team owners say Arenas kept unloaded weapons in his locker with no ammo, a practice they call dangerous and disappointing.

ARENAS: If you have known me, you have been here, I never did anything violent. Anything I do, it's funny. Well, it's funny to me.


BROWN: Yes, very funny guy. Arenas says he stashed four unloaded guns in his locker room to keep them away from his children.

And that brings us to the "Punchline" tonight. This is courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres, who is already giving up on her New Year's resolutions.


ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": So, it's already four days into January, which means it's been four days since you made your New Year's resolutions, which means it's three days since you broke them.


DEGENERES: If you're anything like me, you make the same resolutions every year, to exercise, eat better and drink more. Those are the same three I do, because that way there's always one you can keep.


DEGENERES: That's what I do.


DEGENERES: Every year, I say I'm going to keep all my resolutions, but it's easy. In January, everybody puts on sweat pants and heads to the gym. But, come February, people are putting on sweat pants and heading to the 7/Eleven for chocolate-covered pizza.



BROWN: Ellen DeGeneres, everybody. That is the "Mash-Up."

Still ahead tonight: a special investigation, the making of a terrorist. From September 11 to the plot to blow up Flight 253 on Christmas Day, one man is linked to a series of terrorist attacks, and we're going to tell you why he has such a huge following.

Also, new rules and extra screening for airline passengers, but is the Obama administration doing the right thing to try to protect us right now?


ZARATE: A lot of what they're currently doing, frankly, is just a continuation of what President Bush had been doing.



BROWN: New airport security rules have been announced, more full-body scanners coming to the word's airports, and yet we had another scare this weekend when a man slipped through security at New Jersey's Newark Liberty Airport. Tonight, that man still hasn't been found. It's been 10 days since the failed attempt to detonate an underwear bomb on board a Northwest flight headed for Detroit. Is it time to rethink safety in the sky?

And with me now to talk about is Rafi Ron, who is a security consultant who has worked with Boston's Logan Airport. He's also the former head of security for Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. And also here with is Tom Kean, who of course chaired the 9/11 Commission.

Welcome to you both.

Governor, let me start with you.

You have been on TV the last 24 hours. I know you have said that the president in your view hasn't been focused enough on terrorism. This in your view a bit of a wakeup call for us.

THOMAS KEAN, FORMER CO-CHAIRMAN, 9/11 COMMISSION: I think so. And this guy may have actually done us a favor. We're now focused on something we should have been focused on all along. The president is concentrating on it. He's going to do a full investigation and find out what went wrong.

We're going to concentrate on Yemen where these people are all coming from. All that is good and we're going to look -- relook at airport security. And it's time now to relook at things.

BROWN: But do you really think this wouldn't have happened if someone else had been president?

KEAN: No, no, no. When I said he wasn't focused, what I meant was that, look, he's been focused on health care, he's been focused on climate change, he's been focused on the economy, and he should have been. It's just, when you are so focused and your a brand-new president in your first year, you can't statement look at everything at once.

And this is a reminder that there's nothing more important than the safety of the American people. And I have full confidence. I like the people he's appointed in these positions and I think the president has taken the right response now. And so I have every hope that he's going to do a good job here.

BROWN: So, he sat down today with John Brennan, who we also heard a lot from this weekend, to talk about what the priorities should be. In your view, what should be number one on your list?

KEAN: Getting these agencies to share information. That was our primary problem, the top thing we found in our report after 9/11. Same thing, connect the dots with lines, the FBI talk to the CIA. There's 17 different intelligence agencies. We have now a group that's supposed to meet together and share information every day. We have got a director of intelligence now that's supposed to coordinate the sharing of information. It's a good system. We have just got to make it work. BROWN: So in an effort to make that work, Rafi, today, we learned the U.S. government is combing through all these databases of potential terrorists. They're moving the names onto terror watch lists, in some cases no-fly lists, trying to coordinate all these various lists and improve the communication that Governor Kean is talking about.

Is this working? I mean, keeping track of all the people the way we're doing it, is it effective?

RAFI RON, CEO, NEW AGE SECURITY SOLUTIONS: Well, it didn't work on Christmas Day. That is a fact.

And the problems that we have in the aviation security system, they are not limited to moving names from one list to another. I think that the president was correct in the calling for a review of the whole system, and not limiting the review only to technology or to a specific item, because I think we need to adopt a more comprehensive approach.

The event in Newark yesterday certainly indicates that we must adopt a much more comprehensive approach, and we must pay more attention to people, rather than just to identifying items.

BROWN: But do you disagree with that? You seem to be saying to me the systems are there that this was a case of human error or not having our eye quite enough on the ball? Or...

KEAN: Well, this was a question of -- in this particular case was a question of having enough pieces of information. But this person had that one. You had another one. I had a third. We didn't talk to each other.

BROWN: But isn't that the same thing that happened before?

KEAN: Yes. That's so frustrating, because it's exactly what we pointed out in our 9/11 report. That's exactly the problem there. And we set up all these mechanisms to try and cure it, and I think the mechanisms are making things much better. Honestly, we're safer than we used to be, but obviously not working perfectly. And this is not something that can't work perfectly. This is something that has got to work perfectly.


BROWN: It has to work perfectly.


KEAN: Human lives are involved. So, we have got to do it right.

BROWN: Rafi, Israel is often held up as a model in these cases, especially regarding airline security. But you look at the whole country of Israel, and you're basically talking about one big airport that you have to worry about in Tel Aviv.

Is it a fair comparison? Can you apply some of the things that Israel does here in the U.S.? Does it make sense?

RON: Well, obviously, you can't really apply the Israeli solution as it is in the United States, for some of the reasons that you mentioned and some others.

Volume has to do with it. But there are some other issues, legal, cultural, and political issues involved here. But there's no reason not to look at some of the essence or some of the ideas that have been explored and implemented, and try to develop around these ideas and this successful experience to develop an American solution.

We tried to do that with a substantial amount of success at Logan Airport and then later on in some other airports by deploying a program that we call behavioral pattern recognition, where we look for suspicious behavior and use that as a trigger for a full methodology that can help us.

BROWN: So, is that profiling? Obviously, we're having this renewed conversation about profiling in light of what's happened. Is that what you're talking about?

RON: No. Actually, the problem with the term profiling I think is the semantics behind it and the fact that most people would interpret profiling as racial or ethnic profiling.

This is obviously not what I'm aiming at. On the contrary, actually, I would like from my own experience to say that focusing on the ethnic and the racial criteria may lead us astray. Ben-Gurion Airport that was supposed to be attacked by Palestinian terrorists was never attacked by one. It was actually attacked by Japanese terrorists, surprisingly as it may sound, back in the '70s, with 24 people dead, and by German terrorists later.

BROWN: Right. So it can give you a false sense of security.

Do you agree with that?

KEAN: Yes, yes, absolutely.


KEAN: And, look, profiling, you can use as one factor in a whole group of factors. In other words, if you find out that there's suspicious activities, if you see people acting strangely in the airport, if there's a whole bunch of other things going on, and they happen to be maybe an Arab man between the age of 25 and 15, that's an added factor and you put it all together and then you decide whether you're going to take action or not.

But that's only one item here. To simply use profiling would be a terrible mistake. It wouldn't work.

BROWN: Governor Tom Kean, appreciate your time. And good to see you.

KEAN: Thank you. BROWN: Rafi Ron, also for joining us tonight, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

When we come back: a special investigation into an American-born cleric who is the new face of terrorism. You may have never heard of him, but he's inspired everyone, from the 9/11 hijackers to the Christmas Day bomber.

Also, President Obama under new pressure over his plans to close Gitmo and send some of the detainees right back to Yemen. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sending them to Yemen is insanity. They will be released. They will attack the United States and they will kill large numbers of Americans.



BROWN: The suspect in the botched Christmas bombing may have been motivated by the radical preaching of an American-born Muslim cleric.

Anwar al-Awlaki is known as a rock star of sorts among jihadists. And he could be the next bin Laden.

CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson has our special investigation.




ROBERTSON (voice-over): The radical Yemen-based preacher seen here online. His followers in Britain say he's like Osama bin Laden.

ABU MUWAZ, SALAFI YOUTH MOVEMENT: He reminds me of, for example, Sheik Osama bin Laden and also Ayman al-Zawahiri in terms of he's soft- spoken and at the same time, the knowledge that they have, the foundations they have.

AL-AWLAKI: ... and said, hand me over your scrolls.

ROBERTSON: This is the same Anwar al-Awlaki who exchanged e- mails with Major Nidal Hasan, accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood.

After the killings, Awlaki praised Hasan on his Web site, calling him a hero. Seven years ago, he moved from the U.S. to London, and was still here when the alleged Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, began university here.

Intelligence agencies are investigating the possibility they met.

(on camera): This is the mosque where Anwar al-Awlaki did most of his preaching in London. There's been no indication Abdulmutallab met al-Awlaki here, but during the young Nigerian's three years in London, he almost undoubtedly met some of al-Awlaki's admirers.

(voice-over): Abu Muwaz was one of the thousands who flocked to al-Awlaki's lectures.

ABU MUWAZ, SALAFI YOUTH MOVEMENT: He was well-revered. People loved him. People his classes. People loved the way he explained things.

ROBERTSON: For these radical Muslims in London, with whom Abdulmutallab shared a hatred of the United States and the war in Iraq, al-Awlaki was God's messenger, but not for everyone.

Usama Hassan was once a radical himself. He met al-Awlaki and heard him speak at a London mosque in 2002, telling the congregation police had mistreated a fellow Muslim.

USAMA HASSAN, FORMER RADICAL: And this is an insult to Islam, and we have to do something about it. It's actually dangerous to work people up and say let's do something about it. And, if they don't know how to channel that, they will take it out somewhere.

ROBERTSON: Hassan has since turned his back on extremism, but found out later, in private, Awlaki expressed even more extreme views.

HASSAN: Behind closed doors, I was told he conducted (INAUDIBLE) justifying suicide bombing, for example, including in the West.

ROBERTSON (on camera): Justifying suicide bombings?

HASSAN: Justifying suicide bombings against civilians, being regarded as a legitimate target.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Awlaki was eventually banned from visiting the U.K.

(on camera): Even though Anwar al-Awlaki can't come back into Britain, he's still getting his message out. Box sets of his DVDs are openly on sale, selling for about $100 each. And the storekeeper says they're among his hottest-selling items, because most people buying them believe Awlaki is mainstream.

(voice-over): Whether on DVDs, the Internet, or behind closed doors, Awlaki has inspired people to terrorism.

In London, court transcripts reveal that at least some of the group that conspired to blow up passenger jets en route to the U.S. in 2006 were Awlaki devotees, so too terrorists in Toronto convicted of planning to blow up targets in Canada and in the United States, the six men arrested in May 2007 and convicted of planning to kill soldiers at Fort Dix in New Jersey.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ever since I heard this lecture, brother, I want everyone to hear about it. You know why? Because he gives it to you raw and uncut.

ROBERTSON: What you are hearing are three of the Fort Dix plotters praising Awlaki. Awlaki is influential because of his background. He was born in the United States. His father was a minister in the Yemeni government. He is smart and privileged. He preached at Imam Johari Malik's mosque in Virginia.

IMAM JOHARI ABDUL-MALIK, DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH, DAR AL HIJRAH ISLAMIC CENTER: Young, handsome, Californian, has the benefit of English without an accent, and who also is proficient in the Arabic language. In fact, he is technically an Arab. What better mix?

ROBERTSON: The imam doesn't agree with Awlaki, but it was here at his mosque Awlaki met two of the 9/11 bombers, although there's no evidence he knew what they were planning.

What's on everyone's mind now is what influence Awlaki may have had on a young Nigerian, either here or in Yemen.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


BROWN: And Yemen clearly now front and center in the fight against al Qaeda. So, what can President Obama do about it, bomb their camps, send in special-ops, or actually put troops on the ground? Tonight, an in-depth look at what is fast becoming the new front on the war on terror when we come back.


BROWN: President Obama is pointing the finger squarely at al Qaeda in the Christmas Day terror plot, and he vows the attempted terror attack will not go unanswered.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have made it a priority to strengthen our partnership with the Yemeni government, training and equipping their security forces, sharing intelligence, and working with them to strike al Qaeda terrorists.


BROWN: This is obviously not the first time Yemeni-based terrorists have targeted Americans. The deadly attack on the USS Cole a prime example.

So, how do we fight back?

Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence is joining me now. And, Chris, there has been a lot of talk about this, about retaliation. Walk us through possible retaliation against al Qaeda in Yemen and what it would look like.

CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Campbell, we're told by senior officials that right now the U.S. and Yemen are looking at possible locations for a possible strike.

They want to have some options available if President Obama gives the go-ahead. Here's the capital. Here's the U.S. Embassy, which remains closed. We will tell you why that remains closed in just a second.

But as we take a look here, the U.S. won't admit this publicly, but back on December 17th, it coordinated and probably launched two missile strikes here and here against militants who are plotting to blow up the embassy. Now, three militants were killed. One was captured with a suicide vest still on. And under interrogation, he gave them enough information to launch another strike a week later on Christmas Eve. But despite all these attacks, four of those terrorists did escape, and they remain a threat to the U.S. embassy -- Campbell.

BROWN: In many ways, Chris, we are relying obviously on the Yemeni government to deal with this problem. Do they have the resources to confront Al Qaeda right now?

LAWRENCE: Well, last year, the U.S. gave them 70 million bucks to help beef up their security. Here's an idea where our some of our money went.

These are Yemen's counterterrorism forces in action last month. We're also told that some of those same forces are fighting right now in the eastern part of the country. In fact, the government says just today they killed two Al Qaeda terrorists who are plotting to blow up the embassy. But Yemen's got a lot of problems in addition to Al Qaeda.

Down south, they've got groups that are fighting to succeed from the country. They've got an ongoing religious civil war here in the north. But here's why they have to get a handle on Al Qaeda.

Just over the northern border, one of the world's largest oil- producing countries. All these black spots you see, those are the Saudi oil fields. And when you take a look at this area, this border with Saudi Arabia and Yemen, a thousand miles long and mostly mountains, valleys, caves, almost impossible to seal off. And the real danger is that Al Qaeda could use the instability here in the north to launch more attacks in Saudi Arabia -- Campbell.

BROWN: All right. Chris Lawrence for us tonight. Chris, thanks.

I want to bring in Gary Berntsen now, who's a former CIA officer. Also author of "Jawbreaker: The Attack on bin Laden and Al Qaeda." He was on the ground helping to lead the search for bin Laden, also involved in tracking down information used to prosecute attempted shoe bomber Richard Reid.

Good to have you here. Gary, nobody expects the administration to send a massive number of troops into Yemen, but they are expected to get more aggressive, especially looking at special ops presumably. Walk us through what some of the options could be.

GARY BERNTSEN, AUTHOR, "JAWBREAKER": What they'll probably use is CIA personnel, paramilitary forces. They'll use people from the special ops community. They're very unlikely to be in uniform. They'll work as advisers and they'll work through the Yemenis. They'll work with the Yemeni police, the special counterterrorism units, and the Yemeni military to sort of get coordinated efforts against Al Qaeda in Yemen.

BROWN: And is that the best approach, given your experience?

BERNTSEN: It is your best approach. You don't want to have a large U.S. footprint on the ground there in Yemen. The population will be hostile.

Yemen is a country that supported Saddam Hussein against us in the conflict, you know, with Iraq. You know, these are not individuals, you know, deep inside that government that have support or love for the West. This government will work with us only because they need us at the moment. They're threatened. They're willing to work with us because of that. They're not natural allies.

BROWN: OK. So the estimates are in -- you know, I don't know how reliable this number is. Three hundred or so Al Qaeda operatives working in Yemen. Is that a big number? It sounds like a big number. Is that something to deal with?

BERNTSEN: When you think about 300 individuals who are highly committed to conducting attacks, who are educated, know how to use technology, that's a lot of people. And the problem is, is that Al Qaeda sort of -- you know, the heart of Al Qaeda emanates from Yemen. You know, Osama bin Laden's father was a Yemeni, by the way, you know. And a lot of the brothers, the people that he most counted on were Yemenis.

Many of the people we captured in Afghanistan with bin Laden were Yemenis. A large bulk of the prisoners at Gitmo are Yemenis. These guys are deep inside of Al Qaeda and they're going to be hiding within the clans from which they come. There are 400 tribes among the Zaidi (ph) that are in Yemen, and they're going to conceal these people. They're going to support these people. This is not going to be easy.

BROWN: And is this a place, a problem that we have overlooked? Or it seems like, I guess, because of our challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan that we just haven't given enough attention to it up until now?

BERNTSEN: I don't think we've overlooked it. I think what's happened is Al Qaeda was driven out of Iraq. Al Qaeda is taking a beating in Afghanistan in the Afghan-Pakistani border.

BROWN: So they're setting up shop elsewhere.

BERNTSEN: They've been forced out. They've been forced to flee to a place that they know very, very well from where they come and where they believe they have the strongest amount of support.

BROWN: So we just heard Chris talk about the civil strife in the country right now, which makes it sound like the government there has got its hands full.


BROWN: I mean, despite the fact that we're pouring what sounds like a substantial amount of money.

BERNTSEN: It's not that much.


BERNTSEN: No. It's not much. We're just beginning.

BROWN: Hundreds of millions of dollars doesn't get you very far these days?

BERNTSEN: $70 million isn't going to get you that far. This is a country with about 28 million people. Probably 25 percent of the population lives on $1.50 a day. And this is a place with tremendous poverty, a lot of illiteracy. There's a lot of things to be done here.

I think a good amount of the aid is aid for development as well. We're going to work on development to support the government...

BROWN: Right.

BERNTSEN: ... so that that they build support among their population and support the counterterrorism forces that are fighting Al Qaeda.

BROWN: So is the government in your view a good partner in this?

BERNTSEN: It's the only partner we have. It's not a good partner, but it's the only -- you know, we're forced to work with them.

BROWN: All right.

BERNTSEN: It's not a perfect match.

BROWN: A rather bleak assessment there.

BERNTSEN: It's not a perfect match.

BROWN: No, no.

BERNTSEN: It's going to be tough. A heavy lift.

BROWN: Clearly a tough battle ahead. Appreciate it, Gary Berntsen. Thanks for being here, Gary.

Right now, there are plans under way to send, as Gary just mentioned, some of the Gitmo detainees from Yemen back to their homeland this year, but is that now a terrible idea given everything we have learned tonight? That, when we come back.


BROWN: President Obama is coming under fire tonight even from some members of his own party for his plans to send some Gitmo detainees back to Yemen where the plan to blow up an American plane on Christmas Day was allegedly hatched. What we do know for sure is that Yemen is increasingly a training ground for Al Qaeda, and the movement there is already being led by former Gitmo prisoners released by the Bush administration. So despite that, more Gitmo prisoners may be sent back in the coming months. President Obama's senior adviser on counterterrorism defended that plan right here on CNN.


JOHN BRENNAN, SENIOR ADVISER OF COUNTERTERRORISM: We are making sure that we don't do anything that's going to put American citizens, whether they'll be Yemen or here in the states at risk by our decisions about releasing --

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: So you have 90 prisoners remaining in Guantanamo that are from Yemen. Half of them were slated to be sent back home. There's word now not they're not going to be sent back home to Yemen. What are you going to do with them?

BRENNAN: Many of them are going to be prosecuted, some under the Article 3 courts and some under in military courts. Some of these individuals are going to be transferred back to Yemen at the right time at the right pace and in the right way.


BROWN: And with me now is our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, along with CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend who served as President George W. Bush's homeland Security adviser. Welcome to you both.

And, Fran, you just heard the president's top counterterrorism adviser there saying that they could still send some of the Guantanamo detainees back to Yemen. Is that what you would advise?

FRAN FRAGOS TOWNSEND, FMR. BUSH HOMELAND SEC. ADVISER: It's not, but I wouldn't advise it certainly at this time. And I think when you listen closely what John Brennan was saying, he says at the right time and the right circumstances. He's put about every qualifier on it, because right now what we know about President Salih in Yemen is when they take terrorism suspects into custody, there were two dozen who escaped from prison by digging a tunnel. Others were released during Ramadan pardon, and so right now would not be a good time to returning Gitmo detainees to Yemen. And I think the administration understands that.

BROWN: And a lot of Democrats have expressed the same concern. Senator Dianne Feinstein told "The Hill" newspaper today Yemen is just too unstable to send any of the detainees back right now.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It's a really difficult problem because some of these people, there's not enough evidence to hold them. There is just not evidence that they committed a crime that you could charge them in an American criminal court or in a military tribunal. But how can you release them to Yemen at this point where Yemen is in this state of chaos? So the administration is stuck, so they're basically just not doing anything and keeping the people in Guantanamo.

BROWN: Not doing anything for how long, though? I mean, walk us through legally, I guess, what their options are right now. Clearly, there are no good ones at the moment.

TOOBIN: Well, the option that they're taking now is delay. Originally, as we all know, the president had said he was going to close Guantanamo by his first anniversary in office. That isn't happening. But the problem is, some of these people you can prosecute.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, you can prosecute him in an American courtroom. That's what's happening. Some of these people they are in countries where you can return them. We've sent some people to Albania. We've tried to send the less dangerous people to all sorts of different countries. But the problem is what do you do with these people even if you don't know what's going to happen, sending them to a country where there's essentially no government to protect them.

BROWN: And the plan, Fran, that has been looked at and talked about is sending them to this prison in Illinois. It, obviously, hasn't been sorted out yet. Fairly politically unpopular, I think in many ways, but given the options that Jeff just laid out, what else do you do?

TOWNSEND: Well, Campbell the problem there as Jeffrey noted, if you can't -- if you don't have sufficient evidence to try them in a civilian court, sending them to Illinois isn't a good option either. In some ways, delay right now until you can sort through this and the situation in Yemen is calmer where you're going to have some assurances that you could rely on is the only option. I mean, I really think Jeff's right. I mean, the administration doesn't have a lot of good options at the moment.

BROWN: Because Illinois just becomes a Gitmo in Illinois essentially?

TOOBIN: Right. It's Gitmo with snow. I mean, that's really what this prison is looking like, because you're going to have the same problem of what to do with these people who've been held year after year without charges.

Yes, there is something symbolically important about closing Guantanamo, which has become such a toxic symbol around the world, but the whole issue of holding people without charges, that just moves onto American soil if you move them to Illinois. That's probably, I think, going to happen, but it doesn't deal ultimately with the problem of what to do with these people.

BROWN: Let me quickly raise another issue.

TOWNSEND: Well, Jeff --

BROWN: Go ahead, Fran.

TOWNSEND: Jeff, wouldn't you say -- I actually think it's a worse problem if you bring them to Illinois without charges, because now you have the constitutional right to habeas corpus, the ability for them to petition to be released if you don't charge them. And so I'm not sure that I don't think it's actually a worse option to move them to Illinois without charges.

TOOBIN: Well, I think that's where we disagree, because I think they should have the right to go to court. You just can't hold people.

Some of these people have been there for seven years. If we can't figure out what to do with them after seven years, then that's ultimately our problem. Not their problem. I mean, they deserve a day in court.

BROWN: All right. We have to end it there. Jeff Toobin, Fran Townsend, thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

When we come back, new details about a shooter who walked into a federal building and opened fire. We've got video of the deadly attack. Plus new information tonight about the motive when we come back.


BROWN: More messy news happening right now. HLN's Mike Galanos here with tonight's "Download."

Hey, Mike.

MIKE GALANOS, HLN PRIME NEWS: Hey, Campbell. First off, shocking discovery in the hometown of President Jimmy Carter.

An effigy of President Obama was found Saturday hanging from a noose on Main Street. This is in Plains, Georgia. The mayor says he acted immediately to remove the black doll.

Now, it was in front of an official sign that reads Plains, Georgia, home of Jimmy Carter, our 39th president. The Secret Service is now investigating.

Well, the world's newest and tallest skyscraper stands more than a half a mile high. Check it out. It's the Burj Dubai tower over the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The skyscraper has some 160 stories and boasts the highest occupied floor of any building on earth. It's mostly residential but also has office space and an exclusive hotel designed by Giorgio Armani.

In finally this, revealing photograph of Tiger Woods, one he probably wished he'd never posed for is for the cover of "Vanity Fair." There is he showing off the guns, the abs, glaring at the camera. It looks nothing like the one time good guy of the greens. This photo was taken pre-scandal by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. I believe it's entitled part of the article "Tiger in the Rough."

There you go, Campbell. More fodder --

BROWN: Yes, bad timing -- bad timing on that photo, I think.


BROWN: Oh, all right. Mike Galanos for us. Mike, thanks.

GALANOS: Thanks, Campbell.

BROWN: In just a minute, the chilling video of this bizarre shootout. A heavily-guarded federal courthouse erupted in gunfire today. I'm going to talk to an eyewitness who was just a few feet away from the shooter and lived to tell the tale. That when we come back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shooting outside of a Las Vegas courthouse.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shooting outside of a Las Vegas courthouse.


BROWN: And that is YouTube video. This is from outside a Las Vegas federal building, as you just heard. That was this morning. A lone gunman opened fire in the lobby of the Lloyd D. George federal courthouse killing a security officer and wounding a deputy U.S. marshal.


JOSEPH "JOE" DICKEY, FBI: He was wearing basically black pants, a black shirt and a black jacket and from what witness accounts have said, he walked in with a shotgun underneath his jacket and opened fire when he opened the doors. We have identified the shooter. At this point, we believe it was a lone gunman and a criminal act, not a terrorist act. We are conducting an investigation follow-up on this to determine exactly why this person did what he did today.


BROWN: The suspect was killed after being shot by U.S. marshals. Tonight, a law enforcement official tells CNN that the suspect, Johnny Wicks, burned down his home apparently before the shooting, and that he may have been angry at the government because of his social security benefits.

Joining us now on the phone is Troy Saccal who was in the area when the gunfire started. Troy, start at the beginning here. You're pulling into a parking garage near the courthouse heading to work. When did you first realize something terrible had happened?

TROY SACCAL, EYEWITNESS TO SHOOTING (via telephone): Well, actually, I had parked in the parking garage about four stories up, and when I got out of my he car, I heard a -- like a pop, which, you know, I didn't automatically think it was gunfire. And then I -- about three seconds later heard another pop, and it kind of sounded a little bit more like gunfire.

So I turned, and then I could see the federal building steps in the front of the federal building from where my vantage point and I could see a bunch of people running out of the building. It looked like mostly security and officers, and then I just heard a massive gunfire fight right after that. And I saw everyone shooting, and I couldn't see who they were shooting at, but I saw most of them shooting.

BROWN: And it sounds -- it sounds like a chaotic scene.

SACCAL: It was a -- it was very chaotic. There was probably -- there had been close to 40 gunshots if not more. And I started seeing officers coming down Las Vegas Boulevard actually shooting, and what looked to me as someone was hit up by the front of the building by gunfire. It looked like one of the security people and it looked like another security person actually went over and shielded that person from getting hit by further bullets I'd imagine.

BROWN: So that was possibly the marshal who was shot that you saw, I'm guessing.

SACCAL: That is very possible. That was right at the front corner of the building.

BROWN: Well, we're glad you're OK. Appreciate you telling the story. Troy Saccal joining us tonight. Troy, best to you.

SACCAL: Thanks. You, too.

BROWN: "LARRY KING LIVE" starts in just a few moments. First, though, exactly what will security workers see when you walk through a full body scanner at the airport? We're going to get up close and personal next.


BROWN: "LARRY KING" starts in just a few moments but first, tonight's "Guilty Pleasure." We've been talking about the full body scanners coming to more and more airports. Well, tonight, our Jeanne Moos has the naked truth about those high-tech see-through machines that could expose a lot more than we all bargained for in the name of security.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looked like an alien.

MOOS: Is it a man?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To me it looks like a group of four robots.

MOOS: It's sort of like superman, the first time young Clark Kent experienced x-ray vision and penetrated the girl's locker room.

(on camera): This is the airport scanning device now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, that is gross.

MOOS (voice-over): But he was pretty much the only one we talked to who objected. And even he changed his mind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not as though we're naked. It's just an x-ray.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The thing is we all go to doctors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm old. I don't care.

MOOS: Life has finally caught up to Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Total Recall."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get him. Hold it. He's over there.



MOOS: The technology has had reporters doing expose exposing themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the monitor displays my humble contours --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apart from my manly physique, you can actually see the porridge I had for breakfast. MOOS: Porridge is one thing, but hide those private parts --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I should put a metal plate in my pants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to do that right before I get screened.

MOOS: A metal plate in your pants is nothing compared to a bomb in your underpants. Suicide underwear, crotch bomber, fruit of the boom.

(on camera): He obviously wasn't listening if and when his mother told him to always wear clean underwear.

You know the guy that got caught with a bomb in his underwear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello. I didn't know that.

MOOS: You've been out of it over the holidays.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I just watched the Disney Channel more than anything.

MOOS (voice-over): Maybe he should watch this old Bud Light commercial.


NARRATOR: Superior drinkability. And now, x-ray vision.

X-ray vision is no longer available in Bud Light.


MOOS: Now available at airports. Last year need to get in shape for spring. This year need to get in shape for airport screenings. But most don't mind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, if it meant that I might not have my ass blown out of the sky.

MOOS: And speaking of that body part, an MSNBC anchor compared J. Lo's New Year's eve outfit to a scan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She looks like a TSA body scan.

MOOS: Hey, if we look like J. Lo, we'd be clawing and crawling our way towards the scanner.

Jeanne Moos, CNN...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They see your underwear.

MOOS: ... New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BROWN: And tomorrow night, we are going to begin a series from CNN's special investigations unit. It centers around accusations that a national chain of yoga and wellness centers called Dahn Yoga is in the words of 2,000 former employees a cult.

Liza Miller is one of those former employees. She says she and others were driven to the brink of exhaustion just to reinforce their dedication to the group. Well, how? By doing deep knee bends and bowing to the floor over and over again 3,000 times. Listen to what she tells Kyra Phillips here.


LIZA MILLER, FORMER EMPLOYEE OF DAHN YOGA: We actually had to do 3,000 at one point, which took about ten hours. And we didn't eat or drink during that time or rest.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ten hours of bowing, no eating or drinking. Did people pass out? Did they get sick? Did they --

MILLER: People were screaming, people were throwing up, people were running away. People were rolling around moaning, crying, wailing. There was a lot of emotional distress.


BROWN: Dahn Yoga's representatives say that depiction is untrue. Our series is going to start tomorrow night, 8:00 Eastern. That's it for us.

"LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now.