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U.S. Releases Bin Laden Videos; Fuel Depots Burning in Libya; Seve Ballesteros Dies

Aired May 7, 2011 - 16:00   ET


JONATHAN MANN, CNN ANCHOR: From video showing his well groomed image to the one where Bin Laden looks like well a poor old man, it's a very different kind of peek at his world.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: CNN's Stan Grant joining us right now from Kabul. So Stan, give us an idea of what people are thinking and saying as a result of the videos these that are going out.

STAN GRANT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Fredricka, we haven't had a chance to actually put it to people directly yet, but one of the things they were saying to me over the past week was that Bin Laden has always presented himself as an invincible figure. You know, this is someone who would loomed so large over the lives of the people of Afghanistan. They saw him carry out the 9/11 attacks. Then to escape from Afghanistan, to evade capture for the past 10 years, and that is really increased his stature amongst these people.

In fact, many people here I spoke to initially after the news of Bin Laden's death simply refused to believe it. They said, we have heard these types of stories before. Why should it be true now. When the news did in fact sink in, there were mixed feelings. Some people were saying that they thought it was a sad day. They certainly weren't happy about it. I went to a mosque yesterday for Friday prayers, and one man there said that Bin Laden as a mujihid (ph), as a freedom fighter is now in paradise.

But another man I spoke to, a young man who had his leg blown off as a result of a landmine because of the constant conflict in Afghanistan, well, he blamed that directly on Osama Bin Laden. He said he had ruined the lives of many many people, thousands of lives just like him. In his words, he said, he hopes he is burning in hell.

So you certainly see how the veil of mystery, the enigma of Bin Laden has been removed and people are now seeing him for what he was. And that is starting to sink in I think as they come to grips with these images, as these images spread more widely, people wake up here in Afghanistan and see those images, it will puncture that myth of invincibility, that heroic status he had projected even more.

MANN: Stan, there was an enormous Taliban attack on government forces in Kandahar. The governor's own compound, various targets really, an impressive, spectacular assault. To what extent is the Taliban still fighting with the memory of Bin Laden or in the name of Bin Laden now that Al Qaeda is essentially gone from Afghanistan. GRANT: Well, we do know Jonathan that Bin Laden and Al Qaeda and the Taliban were so linked. In fact, it was the Taliban's refusal to give up Bin Laden that ultimately provoked the U.S.-led invasion here and the battles that we have seen for the past 10 years here with the Taliban. Now, Hamid Karzai, the Afghanistan president, is saying that he believes these attacks today were motivated by a revenge, to retaliate for the death of Osama Bin Laden.

But It also comes, Jonathan, at a time of the spring offensive. Now this is a regular offensive carried out by the Taliban. They announced the other day that they're about to begin these attacks, these waves of attacks. And certainly what we have seen in Kandahar would be in keeping with the type of attack we have seen, we have seen the Taliban capable of launching.

Now these attacks involve multiple explosions that were targeting many different government installations, particularly the police headquarters that were going after the provincial governor himself to either capture him or kill him. He evaded capture. At the same time, there was this ongoing battle the Taliban and foreign forces and also Afghanistan forces as well that ultimately drove the militants out of the area. This is the sort of attack that we have seen in the past and the sort of attach we are likely to see again, an indication of the on-going threat of the Taliban. Jonathan.

WHITFIELD: Stan Grant, thanks so much, in Kabul. Appreciate that.

MANN: It is safe to say the plans to bring down Osama Bin Laden were among the country's most closely guarded secrets.

WHITFIELD: That's right. The group assigned to the mission is an elite navy team. But outside of movies, we rarely hear much about the Navy S.E.A.L.S..

Chris Lawrence shows us how they train.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The team that killed Osama Bin Laden had gone through thousands of scenarios for assaulting a compound. Just like this group of Navy S.E.A.L.S. on U.S. soil. But the team that went after Bin Laden was special. Part of the naval special warfare development group or devgroup.

STEW SMITH, FORMER NAVY SEAL: This S.E.A.L. team is the all star of the S.E.A.L. teams.

LAWRENCE: Ste Smith is a former seal who says the men in that raid have at least five years as special operators.

SMITH: The S.E.A.L. team is based on combat experience and all these guys probably have 100, 200 missions.

LAWRENCE: The CIA provided detailed satellite pictures of Bin Laden's compound. Enough to build a replica where the S.E.A.L. team practiced. A senior defense officials says for a time, they trained without knowing who their actual target was. But by Sunday, they knew the location of every gate and window in that compound, the exact height of the walls.

JOHN BRENNAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: They operated according to that, and they didn't know when they got there exactly what some of the internal features of it would be.

LAWRENCE: The defense official said by the time the S.E.A.L.S. ran out of the house with Bin Laden's body, they could probably count the exact number of steps to the helicopter outside.

Special operator training is brutal.


LAWRENCE: At least six months of sheer hell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's go, Jonathan. (INAUDIBLE) just passed you up.

LAWRENCE: But the men who took down Bin Laden don't necessarily look like linebackers.

SMITH: They have a great deal of muscle. Just not everybody is massive. You don't have to be 6'5", 250 pounds to be a S.E.A.L..

LAWRENCE: Two teams were supposed to fast rope down from the blackhawks, but one helicopter had mechanical problems and had to land hard. But one team directly on the ground. There was a contingency plan, and the S.E.A.L.S. scrambled out to continue their mission.

SMITH: There's a reason why they brought two helicopters. Because in the S.E.A.L. teams, we say two is one, one is none. And you know, they knew what to do even in the event of a down helicopter.

LAWRENCE (on camera): An official told me that the White House left the actual selection of the team up to the military, and the question they asked themselves was, how much force do we need? He says the special S.E.A.L. team was selected because it best fit the mission, not because it's necessarily better than say Delta Force. He says a 12-man Green Beret Alpha Team may have been too small to assault a compound this size whereas he knew they didn't need an entire battalion of Army rangers. He said the special S.E.A.L. team was the best combination of size and capability.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, the Pentagon.


WHITFIELD: Other news that we continue to follow around the world. Government troops opened fire on civilian protesters in Syria. We're told people were killed. Many others wounded.

MANN: Details coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MANN: Let's run down some other international stories today starting in Syria where witnesses say troops stormed a village and open fire on civilian protesters.

WHITFIELD: CNN has no reporters or cameras in Syria and cannot confirm the report. Also, anti-government protesters burned tired near this mural of the president Bashir al Assad yesterday. That was in eastern Syria.

MANN: Libya burning oil depots, lighting up the night in Misrata. A rebel spokesman says the oil storage tanks were deliberately bombed by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

WHITFIELD: Also today, the opposition claims that the Italian government has agreed to provide weapons to the Libyan rebel movement. Italy denied that.

MANN: And in west Africa, a long and violent political standoff is now officially over. Alassane Ouattara was sworn in as president of Ivory Coast yesterday, ending a hotly disputed election that led to hundreds of deaths.

WHITFIELD: So a huge effort under way to save stranded whales in Florida. The rescue effort began Thursday after more than 20 pilot whales were found stranded in shallow water near the Florida keys.

MANN: At least 13 of them have died, but of that, seven - or of the seven who surveyed, forgive men, two may now be well enough to be released back into the wild.

Across the southeast, water is the story. Rising by the minute, so, too, is concern for people who live along the Mississippi.

WHITFIELD: Thousands across six states have evacuated the floodwaters. Several highways have also been shut down. And what's worse, there's a chance of more rain this afternoon.

MANN: We turn now to CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras. Jacqui, why is it so bad right now?

JACQUI JERAS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, because we have had so much rain. It takes a long time, guys, for all of the water and all of the tiny little rivers and streams to flow off and end up ultimately into the Mississippi River. We've had rainfall, as much as 20 inches in the month of April. And so that's about 400 percent to 500 percent of what they normally would see within that time frame, so just too much water.

The stage was set over the winter with the heavy snow pack and all that melting upstream, and so ultimately it has to go somewhere. That's what we're watching for. Now today, the risk of rain is pushing more into the Ohio River Valley, but of course, the Ohio and the Mississippi, the confluence of them, they come together in this area, so there could be a little bit of a consequence, and a few of these thunderstorms, by the way, we might want to mention, could be severe in central parts of Illinois and Indiana as well. Now, how much rain are we talking about on top of what we already have? Well, this is one computer model showing a forecast of one to two inches coming up in the next five days, and the ground is so saturated that every little drop of this ultimately will make its way downstream.

Now, many places still have not seen the crest of this wave of water. We're talking about many cities down the line. Memphis should be cresting may 11th. 14 feet above flood stage. Vicksburg, Mississippi, looking at May 20th. May 22nd for (INAUDIBLE) Red river landing on the 23rd. And Baton Rouge also on the 23rd. Now we don't have New Orleans on that map because there's a little bit of question of how high the water is going to get there. They're talking about opening some of the gates or these spillways once again which would allow some of that to move around the city. So we'll keep you up to date. It looks like one of those could be opening on Monday.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks so much. Jacqui Jeras from the weather center.

MANN: He doesn't want to say I told you so, but a UCLA professor nailed several aspects of where Osama Bin Laden was ultimately discovered.

WHITFIELD: We'll be hearing from him, next. That looks like a professor's office for sure.


MANN: Just found and just released, those videos of Osama Bin Laden show a sign of the terror leader never before seen.

WHITFIELD: Let's bring in our national security analyst, Peter Bergen. He conducted the 1997 CNN interview with Bin Laden which introduced most of us to the man who would later cause 9/11.

MANN: What did you think of the tapes?

PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, of course, the great shot of Bin Laden looking like an old man hunched over, you know, watching TV and watching himself is an image that is going to be pretty iconic. It reminds me a little bit, Jonathan, of remember the Defense Department released images of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq before he died, and it was pictures of him sort of having trouble shooting a machine gun, and essentially, you know, trying to, again, undercut the "heroic," that Abu Musab al- Zarqawi had.

And this image that we're seeing now, of course, is even less kind of warrior like. And I think this is what Bin Laden was doing much of the time that he was, you know, on the run. It was, you know, we know from his own statements, he was watching a lot of news. He was listening to a lot of radio. We have had about 30 videotapes and audiotapes since 9/11 from Bin Laden. Many of them commenting directly on news events, recent news events. One puzzle to me, Jonathan and Fredricka, is why we never heard anything from Bin Laden about the Arab spring. After all, this was the event that in a way that he hoped to happen, the overthrow of the authoritarian regime. Although, of course, it had nothing to do with him or his ideology, and he never commented on it. Just a speculation on my part given the fact that he commented on even the most minor news events in the last decade, did he have a sense that the news was tightening around him in the last several weeks? Was he more concerned about her his operational security than he had been?

Now here, this video that we're watching appears to be a rehearsal for - we saw two videotapes like this in the post 9/11 era. One in 2004, five days before the presidential election between John Kerry and George W. Bush, and one in 2007. Both of them were in the forms of sort of addresses to the American people essentially saying, you know, change your foreign policy and Al Qaeda will stop attacking you.

They were delivered, as you can see, in a gold robe. They were delivered very much slightly different from the previous Bin Laden aesthetic. He's not carrying a gun. He was trying to position himself as sort of the elder statesman of jihad, and these appear to be rehearsal tapes for those 2004 or 2007 addresses to the American people.

WHITFIELD: So Peter, when you look at these images that were selected by the Department of Defense in terms of selecting these images out of the cache of DVDs and videos that were captured at that compound, why do you suppose - what's the psychology that you see in terms of why these images are important to see? The kind of disheveled Bin Laden watching television and the more polished Bin Laden rehearsing?

BERGEN: Well, I think this could be in a sense a pre-emptive strike, Fredricka, against, you know, Bin Laden certainly planned to have some sort of, you know, posthumous videotape. It would be implausible, completely implausible that he didn't have that. Now, was that videotape among the videotapes seized in this house? Where there other copies of this videotape that will be released by Al Qaeda later? We will see, but either way, obviously, the intent is just to undercut his heroic image, and that, by the way, that heroic image has been dissipating in the Muslim world long before this.

If you look at polling data in Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, support for Bin Laden and Al Qaeda and suicide bombing has just been cratering in the last several years. So, you know, that image was not doing well already, and you know, these images here are designed to show this guy was an ordinary human being. And you know, sitting back, as Jonathan put it, you know, not quite on a Lazy-boy, but the Pakistani equivalent, and you know, looking like a very tired old man. Interesting, one other point -

MANN: Forgive me for interrupting but why do you think he kept what were essentially blooper tapes? We have seen what was released him making mistakes, him taking direction from others, the lighting having problems. And you think well, even if you were a home video enthusiast, you just erase that. Why did he keep that? Does it speak maybe with difficulty of knowing what to do with the images of Osama Bin Laden because essentially they could give him away as easily as any other clue about his whereabouts could?

BERGEN: They did a lot of behind the scenes. You know when we talked earlier when I was on the phone, when we did the CNN interview, you know, Al Qaeda was videotaping the whole thing behind the scenes for their own archive. I think that these images here are just behind the scenes stuff that they wouldn't have thought to get rid of because in their own mind, you know, it wasn't necessarily clear that Bin Laden - it took 10 years to find him.

You know, if we had this conversation a week ago, I would have said he might be found in 10 days, he might be found in 10 years. There was very little indication that the hunt was so close. And so I think, you know, we know there's something like 100 videotapes that were recovered from this location. We also know that Al Qaeda had a sort of obsessive policy of videotaping everything its own, everything it did. And so I don't think they would have thought to get rid of images that were unflattering unless, you know, this was for their own archive. So they had no expectation it would be made public.

WHITFIELD: Peter Bergen, thanks so much, from Los Angeles.

BERGEN: Thank you.

MANN: It took U.S. officials years of tracking, months of watching and super secret spy technology to finally get Bin Laden.

WHITFIELD: But one UCLA professor used a much simpler way to predict where the world's most wanted terrorist would ultimately be found. As CNN's Ted Rowlands reports, he came eerily close.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was two years ago, UCLA professor Tom Gillespie at his computer showing us where he thought Osama Bin Laden was hiding. He shared the results of a study he and some students put together using satellite imagery and information about Bin Laden. They then applied what's called a distance decay model used for endangered species.

TOM GILLESPIE, UCLA PROFESSOR: We basically treated him, you know, like any other endangered thing.

ROWLANDS: Gillespie's team predicted that Bin Laden would be found within 300 miles of Tora Bora, where he was last seen. Abbottabad, where Bin Laden was found, is 166 miles away. They also predicted he would be in a city, not a cave or a small town.

GILLESPIE: If he's in a small town that is isolated, he could be easily identified and someone could go in and capture him. But if he's in a larger city, surrounded by, you know, other people, it could be much more difficult. So what we did was we digitized all the cities in the region.

ROWLANDS: As for the type of structure they thought Bin Laden would hide in, check this out. This is what they submitted as an example. Compare that to where Bid Laden was indeed hiding. GILLESPIE: What we did was used his life history characteristics which are things like this height, 6'4", so we assumed all buildings had to be over 6'4". We assumed there is some protection, so we assumed a wall over three meters.

ROWLANDS: They didn't predict the correct city. The study zeroed in on Parachinar, just closer to Tora Bora, just across the Afghanistan- Pakistan border.

(on camera): I met with Professor Gillespie at his office this week, he declined another on-camera interview with CNN. In that conversation, it was clear he didn't want to brag about how close his study was to pinpointing Bin Laden's location.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.


WHITFIELD: Of course, we'll have more on that throughout the hour.

Meantime, they called her unsinkable, and you know what happens next.

MANN: A company that is part of the Titanic saga is also sinking. That story's coming up.


MANN: Checking the top stories now in Libya. Witnesses say government forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi bombed fuel depots in the rebel-held city of Misrata. The blast caused a massive fire.

WHITFIELD: Rebel forces are also accusing Gadhafi's troops of using Red Cross and Red Crescent helicopters to bomb the city.

MANN: In Syria now, where government forces continue their crack down on anti-government protesters. Have a look at the pictures posted on youtube, reported to show security forces burning cars in front of the government building and blaming it on the demonstrators.

WHITFIELD: CNN has not been granted access to Syria and is unable to independently verify witness' accounts.

MANN: The Giants fan brutally beaten last month outside of Dodgers Stadium remains in critical condition.

WHITFIELD: Doctors for Brian Stoke (ph) have begun weaning him from some medications, but his family worries he may never fully recover. The 42-year-old father of two was attacked by two men after leaving the Dodgers home opener March 31st.

MANN: The sports world is mourning the death of Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros. The five time major winner passed away earlier today after a long battle with brain cancer.

WHITFIELD: Ballesteros won the British Open three times, and the Master's twice. He was just 54 years old. MANN: And the company that insured the RMS Titanic has suffered a similar fate almost 100 years later.

WHITFIELD: Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company is going down; placed into liquidation after several years of scaling down and losing money. Atlantic Mutual paid a $100,000 hull coverage claim after Titanic sank back in 1912.

MANN: And a story we have been following closely and will be for weeks. The water is rising so fast along the Mississippi River, many casinos are closing shop. Have a look at Harrah's Casino in Tunica-I guess that is how you pronounce it? Mississippi.

WHITFIELD: Yes, after flood waters crept up to its doors, it closed earlier in the week. Other casinos have since followed suit. All nine have shut their doors. Tunica County said the casinos will remained closed for at least three weeks.

MANN: Thousands of people across six states have evacuated their homes ahead of all of that water. People in Tennessee bracing for the worst, doing what they can to stave off a disaster.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At Langston Companies the work has been nonstop.

BRAD SEXTON, LANGSTON COMPANIES, INC.: We're just staying busy, working seven days a week, late hours, and trying to keep everybody from flooding.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They have already provided over half a million bags for sand, and now they're starting to bag the sand themselves.

SEXTON: We really think this is a big service to the community.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Over at the Pyramid, Sand bagging has become a community effort.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're like digging some dirt to put in these bags.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eight-year-old Braxton Polk and his brother are the youngest volunteers, doing what they can to help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we can stop the flood.

I saw how Harbor Town, where we used to walk was covered. That is when I felt there was a need. This is serious. The water, the flood, its coming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The bags of sand are being placed in several spots across the city and county. Some were used in front of city hall after it rained for several days in a row. Around the Pyramid, the bags are lined up against flood gates.

If you're worried about flooding around your home, experts say now is the time to create a sandbag barrier. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My recommendation is to do it now. Don't wait. If you wait and it happens, the it's going to be too late. Once the water starts to come in, it's too late.


MANN: If you wait and it happens, it's too late. Reporter Danielle Baccus (ph) from our affiliate, WREG.

WHITFIELD: Now back to our other big story we continue to follow. Newly released private videos of Osama bin Laden; some of the videos showing a rather shabby image of the terror chief's life.

MANN: We have been slow to draw that conclusion, but everyone we talk to says the same thing, which is, my god, this looks dingy. Al Qaeda has vowed to seek revenge for bin Laden's death. CNN Reza Sayah joins us now live from Islamabad, Pakistan.

Reza, could these spark reprisals?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's tough to say. They haven't yet. We have been closely monitoring the reaction here in Pakistan and Afghanistan. There have been small pockets of protesters. They certainly haven't been violent, and there haven't been widespread attacks.

But certainly, there is a possibility, both Al Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban, and the Afghanistan Taliban have vowed revenge. It's about 1:30 in the morning here in Islamabad. Most people have gone to bed, but I think before calling it a night, a lot of people did see these images of bin Laden. And I think like much of the world, they're fascinating by seeing these pictures of a man who has had huge impact on Pakistan, and obviously the spread of extremism here in this region.

I think these pictures are going to convince some skeptics here in Pakistan that indeed bin Laden is dead. Remember, throughout the week, many people-not just here in Pakistan, but across the border in Afghanistan-have been skeptical about claims bin Laden is dead. They didn't believe the news. They wanted hard proof, they wanted evidence. Washington wrestled with the notion of releasing what some described as the gruesome picture of the remains of bin Laden. Ultimately, they decided not to release them.

They were concerned about a violent reprisal. These pictures, perhaps, are safer. Maybe not as effective way, but a safer way of convincing some skeptics that bin Laden is dead. But Jonathan, Fredricka, I have to tell you, even when I look at that new picture, that fresh picture of bin Laden with the gray beard, it's a partial profile. So I can't conclude definitively that that picture is indeed bin Laden, and I think some skeptics will point to that again.

WHITFIELD: Wow. That is fascinating. And it's interesting though, Reza, because you know, the Department of Defense, the intelligence officials releases these images in large part to try to quiet any of the skepticism worldwide that the only way in which these videotapes could be seized would be to be at Osama bin Laden's compound. And you don't see that people who may be skeptical in your area would see it that way?

SAYAH: Remember, there's a lot of mistrust in this region. The bottom line is, because of what people here believe is a history of failed policy, in what they view as lies and deceit by Western governments-in Washington. They simply don't believe everything that comes out of Washington. And I think people are still going to be as skeptical, but I think this is going to go some way in convincing some of those skeptics that something significant happened earlier this week, and perhaps the news is true, that bin Laden has been kill. Because these are images that haven't been broadcast before. It's going to convince some people, but it's an indication of the deep mistrust that exists here in the region, that some people aren't going to be convinced.

MANN: Reza Sayah, in Islamabad, thanks very much.

A different kind of story to tell you. Two Muslims kicked of a plane in the U.S. It's creating an uproar.


MANN: Atlantic Southeast Airlines is apologizing to two Muslim clerics removed from a flight last night on their way to a conference on prejudice against Muslims. The men say the pilot told them other passengers on the flight, out of Memphis, Tennessee, were uncomfortable with them on the plane dressed in traditional Muslim garb. The two were offered a different flight. The airline issue this statement, saying, "We take security and safety very seriously, and the event is currently under investigation."

WHITFIELD: Earlier today, CNN's T.J. Holmes spoke with the communications director for the Council on American Islamic Relations. He said both imams went through security twice.


IBRAHIM HOOPER, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, CAIR: I think they were, you know, obviously upset to the extent they were inconvenienced, but they understand what's going on in the world. And particularly in the heightened sensitivities after the death of Osama bin Laden.

T.J. HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR, CNN SATURDAY MORNING: You mention as well, these two were imams. Where are they based? They were flying out of Memphis, but is that home to both of them?

HOOPER: Yes, they are imams in Memphis.

HOLMES: And to ask as well, not that it, quite frankly, should make a difference if they're flying, but are these two Muslim Americans?

HOOPER: You know, I didn't ask them that. That's one question I'll ask them.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MANN: This has in fact happened before, five years ago. Several imams, in fact, headed to the same conference were taken off a U.S. Airways flight.

WHITFIELD: All right. Well, now that Osama bin Laden is gone, some Muslims are hoping his death will usher in a significant change in Americans'-many Americans' view of Islam.

MANN: And if you have any Muslim friends, you know what they're talking about. Today, one of the D.C. area's largest mosques held an open house, extending an olive branch of sorts to promote simple trust in the community.

WHITFIELD: President Obama stressed Sunday that the nation's war against terror isn't -- is not against Islam, but do Americans see it that way?

MANN: CNN's Mark Preston joins us from Washington.

Mark, you have spoken to the imam of the mosque. What did he have to say?

MARK PRESTON, CNN PRODUCER: Well, you know, Jonathan, given the fact that it is less than a week since Osama bin Laden was killed. And, of course, that story, just before where you had the imams kicked off the airplane. Muslim Americans are very, very frustrated and they want to take a step forward.

In fact, I was able to talk to the imam of the Dar el Hezra (ph) Islamic Center. Johari Abdul Malik had this to say about perhaps taking a step forward given Osama bin Laden's death.


IMAM JOHARI ABDUL MALIK: Maybe the people who are part of Al Qaeda still don't like us. And so although bin Laden is gone, we still have to come together as a community to fight this kind of hatred and bigotry.


PRESTON: And there you have it. Look, it's still very fresh on Americans' minds. 9/11 was only ten years ago. The imam there told me this could bring closure, but there is still a lot to do. I have to say this mosque has not been without some controversy. Two of the 9/11 hijackers passed through this mosque. We also know that the Fort Hood shooter had a connection to the mosque. And perhaps, most importantly, Anwar el Alikiki (ph)was an imam at the mosque before leaving. That mosque is distancing themselves and has distanced themselves from Alikiki, but still, they're trying to reach out and do the best they can.

WHITFIELD: All right. Mark Preston, thanks so much from Washington. Appreciate that.

MANN: Our extensive coverage of those startling new glimpses of Osama bin Laden will continue right after this.


WHITFIELD: Continuing with the top story, talking about the Department of Defense revealing some of the tapes that were seized from Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

MANN: Jim Woolsey was the director of the CIA under Bill Clinton and he joins us now on the line.

What do you make of them, sir?

JAMES WOOLSEY, FMR. DIR. CIA: It's pretty interesting. Clearly he is very interested in production values and his own appearance. There's this old looking man and his gray beard and his blanket around him, sitting and channel surfing, and watching himself looking younger because his beard is dyed, rehearsing speeches.

So this is a man who is really focused on the PR. I must say, I think, showing this sort of thing is for the government to do is harmless and kind of interesting. And a little bit enlightening.

But when they try to, for example, tell us, and the terrorists, that they know where the terrorists' safe houses are, it makes you wonder why don't they just watch the safe houses and catch the terrorists instead of scaring the terrorists away from the safe houses? So, I can't understand-

WHITFIELD: Perhaps-well, I wondered then perhaps could it be that this really, the revealing of this information in these videos, is really more for the general public, the world public, than it is to intimidate the lieutenants of Osama bin Laden, or in any way, shake up the Al Qaeda network?

WOOLSEY: I think it's probably an overall part of the PR battle and the administration is focused very much on the public relations, and they pulled off a remarkable thing. And bravo! And now they want to get, I think, as much credit for it as possible. That is fine with respect to something like a video of an old white-bearded man channel surfing and looking at himself looking younger.

But I don't think it's fine with respect to things like telling the public, and thus the terrorists, that we know where their safe houses are. They're talking about a lot of things that it seems to me they should not be talking about. This isn't one of them.

WHITFIELD: OK, you're saying there should be some emphasis on the government letting the public know, letting anyone in the terrorist organization know where the safe houses are?

WOOLSEY: No, that's exactly what they should not be doing. They should not let anybody know that we know where the safe houses are. They shouldn't disclose anything that would undercut our ability to catch our kill terrorists, or our ability to collect intelligence. I think they're disclosing too much. But one of the things they could perfectly reasonably disclose is what we're seeing here, pictures of an old man in a white beard with a blanket over him, watching himself look younger. That is fine. That doesn't do any harm.

WHITFIELD: And so you really think this should be the end of it. Any more information that would be gleamed from any DVDs or any photographs should not be revealed?

WOOLSEY: No, no, no, you can look at it case by case. There may be more things like this, that reveal what his life in hiding was like. I don't see problems with those. I think there are some things they have released in the last week that there was no point at all in releasing, and which could harm our ability to capture or kill terrorists. And our ability to protect our intelligence sources and methods.

WHITFIELD: For example, what would some of those items be?

WOOLSEY: Well, the best example I can think of is why in the world when you have found some documents or a computer drive or something that tells you where Al Qaeda's safe houses are, why in world would you say, hey, look what we found? We found the document that tells us where the safe houses are, because that tells the terrorists, too. And then they don't use those safe houses, or the old ones anymore. It would be a lot better to keep quiet about it and watch the safe houses to see who shows up.

WHITFIELD: Is it your feeling, or are you encouraged that the kind of information that was taken from the intelligence, taken from the compound, will ultimately lead intelligence officials to Osama bin Laden's lieutenants, Al Zawahiri, or anyone else?

WOOLSEY: It could help. We don't know what all is in it, but I think it will help more if they keep their mouths shut about a lot of it, and stop telling the terrorists and the public what they have.

WHITFIELD: Former CIA director, thanks so much, Jim Woolsey. Appreciate your time.

WOOLSEY: Glad to be with you.

WHITFIELD: So when President Obama met the SEALs this week, the SEALs are being credited with carrying out the killing of Osama bin Laden, they also met-or rather the president also met with the one four- legged member of the team.

MANN: The most famous secret dog in America. I'm intrigued by the story. Everyone I know is intrigued by the story, and we'll have more on it in two minutes.

WHITFIELD: Everybody loves the dog.


WHITFIELD: The White House now confirms that when President Obama met the Navy SEALs yesterday at Fort Campbell, he also met with the brave four-legged warrior, who helped take out Osama bin Laden.

MANN: Here is CNN's Tom Foreman with a look at the military's long legacy of war dogs.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Just as the Navy SEALs who led the daring raid have gone unidentified. Military officials also appear to be protecting the identity of the dog who helped them take bin Laden. No name, no pictures, the Pentagon won't even confirm it exists, leaving military analysts to just guess at what job he performed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would imagine he would be used to detect explosive devices.

FOREMAN: Dogs have been in the military for generations. In World War II, all sides used dogs, the U.S. Army had 10,000 for sentry duty, carrying messages, and other critical jobs.

Today, there are only 2,700 at work in the military, but that number is rapidly growing, and never before have they been in such specialized roles. In Afghanistan, they're so prized for their ability to work around the clock, General David Petraeus has said the capability they bring to the fight cannot be replicated by man or machine, especially for dangerous work like checking for car bombs.

CPL. ASHLEY ENTRIKIN, U.S. MARINE CORPS.: We can send a dog in there without anybody getting close to the vehicle, and you're not risking harm to anyone directly. The dogs can indicate to me whether there's anything in the vehicle or not.

FOREMAN: To purchase and train a single combat dog costs $50,000. And companies like Canine Storm have built a multimillion industry around outfitting them. Night vision cameras, microphones and radios are carried by dogs which infiltrate enemy positions. Taking commands from their soldiers who may be hundreds of yards away.

Flack jackets help them take down dangerous opponents without injury, and with specially made jump harnesses, dogs can parachute into any hot spot as well as a human. One dog and his soldier set a record by jumping, with oxygen, from more than 30,000 feet up.

(On camera): The military has started a breeding program to try to keep up the numbers of the combat dogs. But for now, the most advanced breeding and training facilities are overseas. That means that's right, most American military dogs were born in Europe. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: I love those dogs.

MANN: You know, it is an enormous story of great seriousness, lives are at stake, but the dogs, how can you not but be intrigued?

WHITFIELD: They are incredibly committed. What an incredible bond that is created between the trooper, the officer, and the dog.

MANN: Spoken like a dog person.


WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much for hanging out together today, Jon. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

MANN: I'm Jonathan Mann. Drew Griffin and Fionnuala Sweeney continue in two minutes with our breaking news, the bin Laden videos. Don't go away.