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THE SITUATION ROOM
New Terror Attack in Nigeria; Details of Sterling NBA Contract Revealed; FBI Agent Arrested in Pakistani Airport; Surveillance Video of Teen Stowaway
Aired May 7, 2014 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Jake, thanks very much.
Happening now, terror attack -- new details of a horrific and deadly assault that lasted 12 hours.
Will U.S. commandos be deployed to take on an increasingly depraved wronged group of militants?
Sterling strategy -- the Clippers' owner may have sealed his fate in document he signed decades ago.
Will the NBA use them to force him to sell the team?
And caught on camera -- shocking new video of the teenager who seemingly survived the impossible, a five hour flight from California to Hawaii, apparently in the wheel well of a jumbo jet.
Will he now face charges?
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: Let's get right to the breaking news.
Stunning new video -- grim details of a new terror attack by the same group that's kidnapped hundreds of school girls. At least 150 people have been killed by Boko Haram, the militants who carried out a 12- hour assault on a village in Northeastern Nigeria. They fired rocket- propelled grenades into a crowded outdoor market, set fire to buildings where terrified residents fled for shelter, blew the roof off of a police station, killing many of the officers inside. All of this is increasing calls for a U.S. commando strike.
Our reporters and analysts are covering this story this hour.
They're also covering the Donald Sterling NBA scandal, the crisis in Ukraine and more.
Let's begin with our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr.
She has more on the terror threat -- Barbara, what can the U.S. do to help fight these militants?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, at this hour, the Pentagon is still insisting this will not -- not become a U.S. military operation.
But make no mistake, the U.S. military is sending some very specialized help.
STARR (voice-over): Mounting worldwide outrage at Boko Haram's vicious kidnapping of 200 school girls now leading the U.S. to widespread intelligence and military assistance to Nigeria.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They've accepted our help, a combination of military, law enforcement and other agencies who are going in.
STARR: Nigeria agreed to accept U.S. help somewhat grudgingly and still has to agree to the specifics. A team of U.S. military experts, along with the FBI and others, are offering help with intelligence, communications and planning for a possible rescue.
There is already talk of U.S. commando raids.
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: I think that the people on the ground are going to have to determine if Special Forces are necessary.
STARR: But the Pentagon says don't expect to see U.S. troops in action. More likely, detective work.
CEDRIC LEIGHTON, FORMER AIR FORCE COLONEL: Every single thing is based on having iron clad intelligence on the target and on exactly where the girls are and how the girls are being treated.
Now, what they'll also look at is how the guards operate, you know, what the routine is.
STARR: And that's the kind of intelligence the U.S. simply doesn't have at this point.
And what if the girls have already been moved?
LEIGHTON: Each one is going to be in an individual house, probably in different buildings, maybe even in different cities. And that makes it really difficult to do a coordinated raid to go after them at exactly the same time.
STARR: Without all the raids at exactly the same time, Boko Haram would have advanced warning the U.S. is coming after them.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
STARR: So, Wolf, you see all of the challenges there of conducting some type of U.S. commando raid. One other option may be the use of U.S. drones. They could fly overhead and monitor Boko Haram's movements and communications, which would be a crucial first step to helping the Nigerians track them down -- Wolf.
BLITZER: You're absolutely right on that.
Barbara, thank you.
We're also tracking new developments out of Yemen right now, where what's been described as an unprecedented offensive on al Qaeda affiliate has killed at least two more militants, including a high value target.
CNN's Mohammed Jamjoom is joining us now.
He's got information on this stunning raid.
What are you learning -- Mohammed?
MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, first, we have some breaking news to report out of Yemen.
The U.S. Embassy there, according to a U.S. official and two Yemeni government officials I've just spoken with, has been temporarily closed to the public there due to security threats there in Saa'na, in the capital of Yemen.
In the past 48 hours, Wolf, we've seen several Western and foreign targets in the capital attacked by AQAP, according to the Yemeni government. That's Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. That's the strongest wing of the al Qaeda network. They are based there in Yemen. In the last two days, a French national was killed there that worked for the European Union inside Sana'a. We've also seen journalists there kidnapped.
The Yemeni government insists they are continuing with their crackdown against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Today, they say they have -- they have killed a major terrorist ringleader in Yemen, somebody named Wael al-Waeli, who they claim actually killed the French diplomat who was murdered in Saa'na just two days ago. They say he was also behind the kidnap of a Dutch journalist and the targeted attempted assassination of a German diplomat just in the past few months.
This really showcases just how tense the situation continues to be in Yemen. The fact of the matter is, even though there are ground forces from Yemen counterterror units in the south, in Abyan and Shabwa, trying to encircle al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, trying to degrade their capabilities, to go after their hideouts and their training grounds, the threat is still very real in the capital, in Saa'na, as well. We've heard in the past couple of weeks there have been several raids against AQAP targets just outside the capital. Those continue even at this hour.
And even though the Yemeni government is saying now that they have killed a major terrorist ringleader just outside the capital, they're still very fearful that more Western, more diplomatic targets and more Yemeni government installations will be targeted in the days to come -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Mohammed.
Mohammed Jamjoom reporting.
Let's get some more now on these terrorist threats, the terrorist organizations emerging right now from Nigeria to Yemen and beyond.
Let's bring in our national security analysts, Peter Bergen and Bob Baer. Bob a former CIA operative.
Our Elise Labott, our State Department reporter, saying the U.S. is citing what they call "credible threats to Western interests in Yemen," among other reasons why, at least temporarily, they shut down the U.S. Embassy and the Yemeni capital of Saa'na.
What does that say to you -- Peter?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I mean the U.S. Embassy is Saa'na has been the target of frequent attacks by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. It's not a new situation. That embassy is a -- it looks like, you know, like a fortress. It's a pretty hard target.
But I did hear from a senior U.S. intelligence official just now there is no evidence that Asiri, who is the skillful bomb maker who got a bomb onto the Northwest Flight 253, an underwear bomb, designed that bomb, there's no evidence that he's among the dead that we've seen with these very serious operations the Yemeni government and the U.S. are mounting against al Qaeda in Yemen right now.
BLITZER: We know these groups like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Bob, they would love to go after a U.S. Embassy and strike a very, very dramatic attack. And protecting these embassies is a lot more difficult than it appears.
BOB BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It is, Wolf. But Peter is absolutely right, it's a fortress. The diplomats stay inside. When they go out, they go with armored cars, with convoys, with local protection. And that's what keeps them alive.
But the problem is, that isolates us from the local population and it makes it difficult for our diplomats to figure out what's going on in a country, that they really can't go out, and especially to the mountainous area of Yemen, where al Qaeda is.
BLITZER: Let me bring Mohammed back into this conversation -- Mohammed, based on everything you're hearing -- and you've reported from Yemen, you've reported extensively throughout the Middle East -- is this latest so-called credible threat in Yemen, is it part of a broader series of threats we're seeing from al Qaeda-affiliated groups throughout the region?
JAMJOOM: Well, Wolf, that's what my sources tell me. Look, there's a lot of concern, especially in Yemen, because of the strength that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula continues to display, despite repeated drone attacks these past few years, despite this most recent counterterror raid against them. The fact of the matter is, that group still is quite strong. They are resurgent. They have proven time and again that even when their leadership is vanquished, or certain leaders are taken out, they still manage to recruit more and they still pose a very viable threat.
And when you're talking about the capital of Yemen, where the government is the strongest, you have places like the U.S. Embassy, which is like a fortress. You have places like the defense ministry, which is also like a fortress. I've been there. This is some place you would think they would not be able to penetrate.
And yet, in the past several months, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was able to carry out a devastating attack. They were able to breach the perimeter of the defense ministry. They were able to shoot up a hospital there, kill 52 people. That's something that was shocking to Yemeni officials even well versed in the counterterrorism game in Yemen. They never thought AQAP would than strong.
So time and again, AQAP shows how resilient they are, how strong they are, how they can attack vital installations that are very well protected installations. And that's one of the reasons why Saudi Arabia, which we were talking about yesterday, Yemen's neighbor to the north, is so concerned, because AQAP has time and again tried to carry out attacks against the Saudi royal family and vital Saudi installations from their hub in Yemen to the north, in Saudi Arabia, and, at times, have been very close to being successful -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Bob Baer, on Nigeria, a Special Operations U.S.-led commando strike, assuming they had good intelligence, knowing where these 200 school girls are being kept, how difficult of a mission would that be?
BAER: Well, as Barbara said, first comes the drones, locate this group from the air, send in intercept teams to pick up low powered communications and then you might consider, at that point, the Special Forces, what they call fix, find and finish missions, which would be to run down the leadership. I would expect by now that the hostages have been dispersed and, you know, multiple rescue operations, military -- our military is not capable. We don't have enough troops in the area. The Nigerians would have to do it. But we do have to remove that leadership to stop further attacks.
BLITZER: Bob Baer, Peter Bergen, Mohammed Jamjoom, guys, thanks very much.
Up next, an NBA strategy meeting -- how will the league force Donald Sterling to sell the Clippers?
It turns out he may have sealed his own fate decades ago.
Ukrainian forces stepping up their offensive against pro-Russian militants with deadly consequences.
And take a look at this -- chilling video of a tornado as it tears through a southern town. We're going to show you more. That's coming up.
BLITZER: CNN has learned new Information about Donald Sterling's contracts with the NBA over the years. All of this comes as the league Weighs how to force the L.A. Clippers owner to sell the team because of those racist remarks he made. Our national correspondent, Suzanne Malveaux, has been working the story for us. What are you finding out?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we know is that the league has been moving swiftly to determine what they can do to terminate Donald Sterling's ownership of the team.
Now today the NBA's advisory and finance committee, they met once again. They are now calling for new CEO of the L.A. Clippers. They're going reconvene again next week. In the meantime, we are learning more about the strategy in the days to come.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a racist, Mr. Sterling?
MALVEAUX: While the NBA is building its case against L.A. Clippers' owner Donald Sterling to force him to sell his team, in the court of public opinion Sterling is being slammed. Baseball legend Tommy Lasorda, a friend of Sterling's for 30 years, had this to say about Sterling's racist ran.
TOMMY LASORDA, BASEBALL LEGEND: He just hurt himself by -- by talking too much and doing Things that he shouldn't be Doing.
MALVEAUX: And not much sympathy for Sterling's girlfriend, V. Stiviano.
LASORDA: I don't wish that girl any bad luck, but I hope she gets hit with a car.
MALVEAUX: The hit that is about to come is a legal punch to Sterling. According to a source familiar with his commitments the NBA strategy hinges on a document Sterling signed when he first bought the Clippers in 1981, a document that lays out reasons to terminate ownership.
On several other occasions since then, he also signed separate agreements with the NBA that included moral clauses, including within the past decade. His racist comments, the source says, put him in violation of article 13-D of the NBA constitution, which states that an owner can lose the team if he fails or refuses fulfill contractual obligations to the NBA.
If it's true that he signed what appears to be similar in language to a morals clause, certainly the NBA is on better footing. But any language in a morals clause is open to interpretation.
As for Stiviano, as the mask comes off a host of new revelations. Could more recordings surface? Stiviano certainly alluded to plenty more tape.
V. STIVIANO, GIRLFRIEND OF DONALD STERLING: Part of the audio which the world heard was only 15 minutes. There's a number of other hours that the world doesn't know.
MALVEAUX: News also surfaced that Stiviano is reportedly trying to adopt two teenage boys. According to "The L.A. Times," her attorney said she was granted temporary custody of the teens last week after a social worker deemed her $1.8 million home was suitable for children.
MALVEAUX: And from L.A. now to Washington, the Sterling controversy has now hit Capitol Hill. Legislation is now being introduced to block Sterling from having taxpayers potentially foot this bill for $2.5 million fine. This is a loophole that allows corporate fines to be written off just like business expenses. And now you've got politicians involved in this, as well, Wolf.
BLITZER: Certainly do. I'm not surprised.
All right. Thanks very much, Suzanne, for that report.
Let's dig a little bit deeper right now. Joining us, our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, CNN'S Rachel Nichols. She's the host of "UNGUARDED WITH RACHEL NICHOLS" here on CNN, and our anchor, Don Lemon, who is joining us.
Rachel, first to you. I know you're well plugged in. Explain The NBA's mood today. Yet another meeting as Suzanne just reported, trying to get a new CEO there. How confident are they that Sterling is out?
RACHEL NICHOLS, HOST, "UNGUARDED": Well, they remain confident because you heard those moral clauses in contracts that Suzanne referred to. It gives them more firm legal footing.
But it's interesting, too, to see how complex this is. Everyone just assumes this is a slam dunk type of procedure. But the fact that the advisory committee, and that's a group of ten owners, about a third of the league's ownership met for a second time. And it doesn't seem that they have still notified Sterling to start this process, tells you that there's other issues that they're dealing with.
We don't know if back room they're trying to work out some sort of compromise with Sterling so that he doesn't sue, so that he goes quietly. But we know that they haven't announced that they've given him any kind of formal notice which would kick off that process of a five-day period for him to respond and then a ten-day period before they decide to vote him out.
And the longer this drags on, the more questions are raised around the league. I've got players asking me, texting, calling, saying, "Is this happening yet? We were told this was going to happen right away."
So there's this mounting concern around the NBA about why this is taking as long as it has, even though it's only been about a week.
The other subtext here, Wolf, is Shelly Sterling, Donald Sterling's wife. Remember, she's a co-owner of the team. And even though the league would love her to distance herself a little bit along with her husband, she hasn't done that.
In fact, when the NBA announced that they were going to appoint a CEO to run the day-to-day operations of the team in this interim period, Shelly Sterling individually from her lawyer's office released a statement, celebrating the NBA's decision but talking about how we, the Clippers, think this is a great decision. The Clippers organization, the rest of the people, didn't even know she was going to do this, and they're a little concerned within the team that she's suddenly issuing statements.
ESPN had a report that she has contacted the NBA about trying to remain in the ownership group in some way.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Not going to happen.
NICHOLS: A lot of people uncomfortable with that.
BLITZER: Don, why do you think it's not going to happen?
LEMON: It's just not going to happen. There's too much -- listen, I'm not going to even soften the blow here -- too much hatred for the Sterlings among the league and among the players. Nobody likes them. Everyone wants them to go away.
And I tell you why this is taking so long. It's all in the planning. It's all in the planning. They know that Donald Sterling is a very rich guy. He's an attorney, and he's a litigious guy. So they're going to plan, plan, plan and then they're going to strike.
And because we're in the business where we have contracts, Wolf. You know this. Jeffrey knows this. Rachel knows this. I've said this from the very beginning. I'm not an attorney. We all have contracts, and we all have morality clauses. I've said this from the very first day. Whether or not you want to believe this, he has a contract with the NBA which Suzanne reported on in her report there. And it says if you bring any detrimental reports or anything on the company you work for, then you can be fired for any reason.
But he did it through a person he was associated with. So that can stand in court. I believe that. It think that's what they're going to do.
BLITZER: Jeffrey Toobin, he's our senior legal analyst. This is what I was told today by very good sources, that when he bought the team back in '81, there was moral clauses there. Over the years, over these past 30-plus years, he signed other agreements with the NBA, including within the past decade, morals clauses there: no racist talk, for example. That's the termination, that's the definition of what they want.
They say Article 13, Clause D, Termination of Ownership and Membership -- this is the constitution of the NBA, which was released publicly for the first time last week -- you can lose your team if you fail or refuse to fulfill its contractual obligations to the association, meaning the NBA, to members, players or any third party such a way as to affect the association or its members adversely. That's the clause that they're going to use to force him to give up the team.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: And there are two arguments here. It's not just the morals clause that he did a bad thing. All the sponsors would quit if Sterling stayed with the team. All the players wouldn't play. Those are financial detriments to the league.
The league can cite not just bad behavior, but they can cite the fact that he has made the league in jeopardy, if he maintains ownership of the team. So that's -- those are two independent reasons why they're going to get rid of him.
BLITZER: Go ahead, Rachel.
NICHOLS: And that's why this concern among the players is really a part of this whole process. They need to keep that pressure on, too, because that pressure actually gives the league more grounds to say that this is a problem if they are threatening a boycott or if that boycott is sort of hanging over as a cloud.
As a side note to all of this, I would not want Tommy Lasorda as my character reference if he says, "I don't wish this girl any harm, but I do hope she gets hit by a truck." I don't know if we're going to discuss that at all, but that was a little harsh, guys.
BLITZER: Very harsh. Let me play a clip. This is a beautiful clip, indeed. As you know, the Clippers were playing Oklahoma City. The MVP of the NBA, Kevin Durant, he accepted the award last night. And he gave a powerful, emotional, moving address. And I want to play a clip for you right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN DURANT, NBA'S MVP: The odds were stacked against us. A single parent with two boys. By the time we were 21 years old, we weren't supposed to be here.
You made us believe. You kept us off the street, put clothes on our backs, food on the table. When you didn't eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You sacrificed for us. You're the real MVP.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Don Lemon, let me get your reaction to that, because if Donald Sterling represents the worst of the NBA, Kevin Durant and his mom, they represent the best of the NBA.
LEMON: I can't watch that without tearing up. I am a product of a single mom, and it was not easy. Listen that mom -- I just can't imagine sitting there, what she was going through. She waited all of her life, I'm sure, to hear words like that. And if she never accomplished anything, never lived another day, never heard another word, that was all she needed to hear in that moment, was for her son to acknowledge her that way.
And so that is -- that is the best of the league. That's what the league needs. And they don't need Donald Sterlings. They don't need V. Stivianos. They don't need all of that. They need Kevin Durant and more moms like that.
So I congratulate him.
BLITZER: Yes, it was very, very moving. Someone who's spoken to your Mom, Don, I know she's -- she's an MVP, as well. And I give her a lot of credit for your success, just like I give Kevin Durant a lot of credit for his success. She should be very, very proud.
NICHOLS: And she had to deal with Don. She gets credit for that, too.
BLITZER: And we're coming up to Mother's Day, so this is a great time to celebrate mothers. Guys, thanks very, very much.
Don, we'll see you later tonight. Ten p.m. Eastern, Don's got a "SPECIAL REPORT" coming up. We will be watching.
Coming up here in THE SITUATION ROOM, a very different story. New clashes in Ukraine as the country descends deeper and deeper into violence. We're going live to the front lines to get the latest.
An American is under arrest in Pakistan. Why is he being held in solitary confinement? We have details. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Just getting these pictures in, very disturbing out of Middlesex County, New Jersey, or Woodbridge, New Jersey, more specifically.
A large brushfire has erupted. You see cars there. We're just getting preliminary information, this courtesy of our affiliate WABC. But you can see this brushfire clearly expanding right now.
We're told one of the problems they have is, they're looking for a source for some water to try to contain this brushfire, but, so far, clearly, they have not succeeded. We will stay on top of the story for you and update you as we get more information.
The violence in Ukraine is spreading west, as government security forces push harder and harder into cities held by pro-Russian militants. Five militants were killed overnight, 15 more detained. But uncertainty reigns now as the two sides are battling for control.
Our senior international correspondent, Arwa Damon, is on the ground. She is watching these battles unfold.
Arwa, what are you seeing?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, it's been quite hard to try to figure out exactly what the Ukrainian military strategy is, because they do tend to push into these areas and hold very little ground.
Surprisingly, though, we didn't hear about an initial victory in Mariupol, but it too proved to be short-lived.
DAMON (voice-over): The nation's flag once again flying above Mariupol's city hall, to the rage of some and the relief of others.
"You can't blame the pro-Russians. It's our government that brought it to this state," Natalia (ph) tells us. "But it's the military that freed our city."
But she had hardly finished expressing her support for tough action when her words were drowned out, the crowd cheering as Ukrainian forces left the premises. Why? Orders from above, we were told -- within seconds, the Ukrainian flag replaced.
(on camera): Overnight, Ukrainian forces moved in on to the city, clashing with the pro-Russian side on the outskirts. This building was evacuated by the pro-Russian protesters. But now, less than 12 hours later, they are celebrating, because it is once again firmly back in their control.
(voice-over): More hardened and enraged at the central government, fueled even further when the crowd marched to the police station to free their detainees, driven back by police gunfire.
"I hit the ground," this man holding a bullet says. "Everyone was trying to run away."
A block away from city hall, life on the streets creates an aura of normalcy, something so many here crave. Lena Anosova (ph), a new mother is terrified.
"We are worried every day," she says. "We are worried when we are here and when we leave."
The repercussions of recent events are evident. After this branch of the country's largest bank was looted and torched a few days ago, the bank decided to close all of its locations in Eastern Ukraine, reopening some facilities, those here saying they would withdraw all they can.
Angry crowds also swarmed the checkpoint leaving from the city to the border with Russia, more fortified than when we were here two week ago, and backed up by the military.
"Why are you here?" this woman demands to know. "What are your orders?"
Pleas to back away ignored. "This is military from Western Ukraine. We don't trust them," Eskani (ph) explains.
(on camera): The crowd is now moving towards the tanks, trying to form something of a human barricade to prevent them from moving. We have been seeing the tempers here flaring just in the short time that we have been witnessing these events.
(voice-over): This confrontation avoided, but the country's crisis won't be navigated so easily.
DAMON: And, Wolf, in something of a surprising statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin urging the pro-Russian camp to perhaps postpone the referendum.
There is going to be a vote on that tomorrow at noon local, where we are here in Donetsk. But whether that will actually serve to ease those tensions, not a lot of confidence that it will here, Wolf.
BLITZER: I'm sure there's not. All right, Arwa, thanks for that excellent report.
Among the -- amid all the ongoing violence, Putin also says he's going to withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border. About 40,000 or 50,000 have been positioned there. The White House is saying that's not necessarily true yet. They haven't seen any evidence of that.
Let's get some more now with our two experts on the region.
Julia Ioffe is joining us from "The New Republic" and our chief national correspondent, Jim Sciutto.
If in fact he's asking the pro-Russian Ukrainians to postpone a vote on separating parts of Ukraine from Ukraine, becoming part of Russia, if you will, and if he's moving those troops away from the border, can we conclude, Julia, that Putin has blinked?
JULIA IOFFE, SENIOR EDITOR, "THE NEW REPUBLIC": No, we cannot. We can conclude that Putin is feinting, so he's doing things that seem like they're de-escalating the conflict and thereby postponing another round of sanctions from the White House.
In the meantime, everybody seems to, all Western officials seem to conclude that no troops have been moved off the Ukrainian border, which also, by the way, him saying that he's going to move troops is in some ways an admission that they weren't there just for exercises, which Putin had been maintaining for a long time.
The other thing is postponing the referendum, he doesn't call it off. It's not clear that anybody on the ground will listen to him. Furthermore, it's not clear that if they do hold a referendum, that Putin's position will win. Polls have support for being annexed by Russia at only 30 percent.
BLITZER: Putin himself said it's very easy to determine if he's telling truth about moving, withdrawing troops. He says, the U.S., others they can watch to see if those troops withdraw. And he says, go ahead and watch.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Indeed, they are watching, and they haven't seen any indication that the troops are moving back.
I spoke to a senior Pentagon official this morning. He said there was nothing new this morning. I spoke again this afternoon, so no indication yet that they're moving back. And the point you will hear from U.S. officials is that they have been burned before. Right? These statements from Russia, these promises have turned out to be false.
You remember the Russian president denied that there were Russian forces inside Ukraine. Later, he said there were Russian forces inside Ukraine. And, also, I was recalling a couple weeks ago, the Russians said that they had withdrawn one company of troops from the border of these 40,000, 50,000. It was like a couple hundred guys, of course, insignificant when you're talking 40,000 to 50,000.
So, I know that U.S. officials, they are watching closely. But they want to see something real and concrete.
BLITZER: So, what's his next move, Putin?
IOFFE: We don't know. I think he hasn't decided. He's trying to leave himself room to maneuver.
The problem is what is happening inside Russian. The Russian machine that Putin has created is very, very unwieldy and very hard to stop or turn around or to even slow down. So, while he's trying to maintain room to maneuver, the Russian propaganda machine has been constantly sounding a drumbeat for war, for going all out, for annexing Eastern Ukraine for weeks now.
And so how do they calm down the population now, if he's really actually taking a step back?
BLITZER: All right, we're going to have a lot more on this story coming up.
Guys, thanks very much -- Julia Ioffe.
Jim Sciutto's going to be back.
Up next: an FBI agent under arrest in Pakistan. We're learning new details of what went wrong on what was supposed to be a routine flight. Stand by.
And take a look at this. It's the only the beginning of a tornado nightmare unleashed on one town -- the terrible destruction all caught on camera. And now there's a serious new threat in the forecast.
BLITZER: All right.
We have just received some of the most dramatic tornado video from that series of storms that tore across the South last week.
Let's bring in our severe weather expert, our meteorologist Chad Myers.
Chad, this video really shows how powerful this tornado was. Tell us about it.
CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Notice the trees in the top right corner. They're standing right there.
This is Tupelo, about 100 yards from where I was standing the next morning, with all of that damage that we showed from Tupelo. This is St. Luke Methodist Church there, United Methodist Church, and the trees are now gone. They're just stumps, the tops of the trees completely wiped away.
This was about 120 to 140 miles per hour when it rolled through here. But look how well-made the playground is. With all of this is all gone, the playground is still standing. Now, the trees are gone, but how dark it got right under that tornado, the debris was in the air. The debris was everywhere the day after we saw it, but still flying around, winds at about 130 to 140 on that camera right there, Wolf.
BLITZER: What about the forecast over the next day or so? I understand we could have some problems.
MYERS: We could. There's another chance tomorrow.
There's a slight chance tonight. This is Denver and points northward into Nebraska and Kansas, also somewhere down here in southwestern Oklahoma, but likely more hail and wind than anything else. Tomorrow, we're talking about another area that hasn't seen any yet, so Minnesota, Iowa, back toward Nebraska, into northern Missouri, that's one area, and then another one back into Oklahoma, all the way, Arkansas and Missouri here, two separate areas tomorrow.
Now, we're not talking about the same type of tornadoes that we had last week. But, still, you have to be on guard. Even if there's only a half-a-dozen tornadoes, it doesn't matter if one is near you, Wolf.
BLITZER: And it does. You're absolutely right. We will check back with you, obviously, throughout the day. Thanks, Chad.
We're also following the case of an FBI agent in jail right now in Pakistan, possibly facing very serious legal trouble over what many believe was simply an honest mistake.
Our justice correspondent, Pamela Brown, is here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Tell us about this case, Pamela.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, U.S. government sources that we're talking with say the FBI agent was in Pakistan with permission from the government there to work on a task force combating public corruption. And they tell us that the agent did not have a gun on him when he boarded a domestic flight in Pakistan but he did forget about some ammunition he had in his bag and that's what got him in hot water.
BROWN (voice-over): Locked away in a Pakistani jail cell on anti- terrorism charges, this FBI agent from Miami now finds himself at the center of an international incident. U.S. government officials tell CNN the agent Joel Cox Eugene was in Karachi boarding a flight back to Islamabad with other FBI agents when airport authorities searched his bag and found 15 .9 millimeter bullets, three small knives and a wrench. He did not have a gun on him.
Pakistani law prohibits weapons and ammunition on commercial flights. The agent was arrested, taken away in handcuffs, his cell phone and laptop also confiscated. The next day in court a Pakistani judge ordered him to be held in custody until his next court appearance in a few days.
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: If the government of Pakistan is worried about armed FBI agents in their country, then they are a long way from solving their real problem.
BROWN: U.S. sources tell CNN the Pakistani government gave Agent Eugene permission to be there, working with an international task force, to actually help Pakistan battle public corruption. They say the agent did turn in his gun before boarding the plane but simply forgot to hand in the ammunition.
FUENTES: These are FBI agents, they know who they are, they know what they're doing, they know what they're trying to accomplish. If anything more is made out of it, then shame on them.
BROWN: It really was an honest mistake, said a U.S. government official.
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: We are coordinating with Pakistani authorities to resolve this matter and we are hopeful in that regard.
BROWN: And FBI agents are actually required to carry their weapons on them on domestic flights inside the U.S. and again U.S. officials are working through diplomatic channels right now to free that agent. They say they are hopeful it will be resolved soon -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Hope it will be resolved soon as well.
All right, Pamela, thanks very much.
Just ahead, new surveillance video of the teen stowaway who flew from California to Hawaii allegedly in the wheel of a jumbo jet. So what does this reveal about airport security?
Plus, Monica Lewinsky's new tell-all essay about the scandal that nearly toppled the president. We have her story. We have new pictures that have just been released of Monica Lewinsky pictures just taken. She's now 40 years old.
BLITZER: There's new video of the California teenager who allegedly stowed away in the wheel well of a plane on a five-hour flight from California to Hawaii. And we're now learning new information about whether he'll be facing criminal charges.
CNN's Brian Todd is working the story for us.
Brian, what are you finding out?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, police in San Jose tell us they are looking to interview this young man and will soon determine whether to file criminal charges against him.
There is continuing fallout from the incident as new details on security at the San Jose Airport and that new video that Wolf just mentioned are made public.
TODD (voice-over): The surveillance video shows the young man dropping from a rear area of the plane, then he's walking erratically on the tarmac. This is at the Maui Airport on April 20th just after this 15-year-old Somali immigrant claims to have stowed away on a Hawaiian Airlines flight for 5 1/2 hours inside the plane's wheel well.
CHAD WOLF, FORMER TSA ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR: I think it's really quite remarkable that, A, he survived such an incident and then he's able to get off and really walk away.
TODD: Wheel well stowaways normally don't make it. Out of 105 people who've tried it, 80 have died, according to the FAA. The cold and lack of oxygen at cruising altitude can be a deadly combination. Now police in San Jose, California, where the plane took off, tell CNN they want to interview the teenager and may charge him with criminal trespassing. And serious questions continue to be raised about security at San Jose International Airport.
JOHN PISTOL, TSA ADMINISTRATOR: It is an egregious violation of the airport's perimeter.
TODD: How egregious? The young man's believed to have hopped a fence at that airport shortly after 1:00 a.m. and stayed on the airport grounds for more than six hours without getting caught. (On camera): At airports like that, what is the security layering supposed to be?
WOLF: Your first layer is a physical fence. Your second layer is video surveillance. And then you go into vehicle patrols, roving patrols. You go into airline personnel, airport personnel that are on the tarmac, themselves. They've all been trained in security, all trained for looking for suspicious personnel.
TODD: But according to the TSA, there's no surveillance video at the San Jose airport showing where the teenager went over the fence. Former TSA official Chad Wolf says this is a complete failure on all levels of security and he says terrorists study these gaps. Experts say anyone accessing a passenger jet with even a small amount of explosives could rupture the fuselage. As this demonstration in the UK shows.
TODD: We contacted the San Jose airport to respond to the criticism of their security. A spokeswoman there said since the stowaway incident, they've changed their operational and staff procedures for perimeter fence inspections. She said they're also waiting for some recommendations from the TSA -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And we also were told there could be some very serious long- term, short-term medical ramifications for this young 15-year-old.
TODD: There really could be. And this is what we have to watch out for. Two security experts told us that this teenager could have brain damage because of the lack of oxygen that he had to have had endured at cruising altitude. We asked the San Jose Police about that. They said they are not allowed to discuss his health condition right now.
We do know he's in the custody of Child Protective Services in Santa Clara, California. Hopefully we'll know more about his condition soon.
BLITZER: And you say the family originally came to the United States from Somalia?
TODD: That is correct.
BLITZER: And he was apparently thinking if he became a stowaway, he could get back to Somalia? Was that his thinking?
TODD: He has told authorities that he wanted to go see his mother in Somalia. But what's interesting is, he also said that when he got on the tarmac in San Jose, he didn't know which plane was going where. He just went to a plane hoping it somehow could eventually take him to Somalia. He was a pretty confused kid.
BLITZER: Yes, obviously. Let's hope he's OK.
BLITZER: Brian, thanks very much.
Coming up, the battle for control of eastern Ukraine getting even more deadly as new evidence emerges that Russia is orchestrating the crisis.
Plus Monica Lewinsky opening up about the scandal that rocked the White House and her own life as well. We have new pictures accompanying her new tell-all. Stay with us.
Details and analysis of a new terror attack by Boko Haram which killed at least 150 people in Nigeria. Details of Donald Sterling's contract with the NBA are revealed. FBI agent arrested for bringing ammo on plane. U.S. officials said it was an honest mistake and he did not have a gun on him. Surveillance video taken at Hawaii airport showed teenager getting off from a plane's wheel well.>