Return to Transcripts main page


U.K. Source: Arrests May Have Foiled Terror Plot; FBI Asks for Help Identifying Jihadist in Video; Turkish Border City 'About to Fall' to ISIS; Turkey: Border City 'About to Fall' to ISIS; North Korean Leader Missing for a Month; Specialist Joining Search for Missing UVA Student

Aired October 7, 2014 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, American jihadists. The FBI is asking the public to help identify an ISIS fighter speaking perfect North American English who apparently murdered prisoners in a recruiting video.

ISIS victory. Despite U.S.-led airstrikes, Turkey's president now says a key Syrian border town is about to fall to the terrorists.

And missing for a month. Where is North Korea's leader? He hasn't been seen in public, even as his deputies pay a surprise visit to South Korea. Are they now in charge?

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

ANNOUNCER: this is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Amid new fears that jihadists are bringing terrorism back to their home country, the FBI asked the public to help identify foreign fighters, including this man shown in this video speaking English with a North American accent.

We're also getting new information about a U.S. teenager charged with trying to join ISIS overseas. And police in London carry out a new wave of arrests, a source saying an Islamist terrorist plot may have been foiled in its early stages. That comes as ISIS is now on the move in the Middle East and may be -- repeat may be -- on the brink of a huge victory on the Syrian/Turkish border.

Our correspondents, our analysts, our guests are standing by for full coverage. Let's begin with our senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson. He's got the very latest from London -- Nic.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're hearing from the police chief in London, saying that the police have been acting in a more interventionist way in breaking up this -- or foiling what may have been a terror plot in Britain. The four men arrested, two of them 20 years old, two of them 21 years old.

Interestingly and significantly, armed police were involved in some of the arrest operations here in London, in the center of London and the west of London in the early hours of the morning. Police continue to investigate premises and vehicles that have been involved in those arrest operations. It is not normal for the British police to use armed officers when going for arrests, even of this particular nature.

One of the men was Tasered during the operation. One of the 21-year- old men was Tasered. Police say there were no casualties, but this does seem to indicate that this was a serious, serious operation. The -- the police chief of London was saying that this was a serious operation. He's also saying that it appears to have links going back to Iraq and Syria, an indication by reference, from what he's saying, that this has links to ISIS or the police not saying that directly yet, Wolf.

BLITZER: They haven't named these four individuals. Is that right?

ROBERTSON: They haven't. They've said only suspect A, B, C, and D. That is normal in these cases. The British are often very tight- lipped, but what we do know is that in recent weeks, the terror threat level in Britain has been raised. There has been serious concerns that young men would go from Britain, have gone from Britain, several hundred already are known to have gone from Britain to join ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The concern is that they will come back and perpetrate attacks here. And this appears to have been, from what we understand, the language that the police are using and we're hearing from other sources, that this may have thwarted an active plot, Wolf.

BLITZER: And they're on the highest state of alert in Britain right now. The prime minister, David Cameron, announcing only a few weeks ago they were going to, what -- it's called the severe level. Is that right?

ROBERTSON: Severe is, Wolf -- correct me if I'm wrong here, as well, but severe is just one below the highest threat level. But what it means is that a -- that an attack could be imminent.

So this is a very, very real concern here. If this is as it appears to be at the moment, links going back to Iraq and Syria, inferring ISIS, a terror plot thwarted. And that's the inference here. This could be -- and again, this is speculation, but this could be the first time that an active ISIS plot in Britain, mainland Britain, has been thwarted. Again, we're waiting to get clarification on all those details, Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes. Severe indeed. If it's imminent, that sounds pretty severe. But you're right. That's the second highest level in Britain.

All right. Thanks very much for that report, Nic Robertson.

Meanwhile, an extraordinary move here in the United States by the FBI, turning to the American public to help unmask an English-speaking ISIS fighter, shown apparently murdering Syrian prisoners in a jihadist recruiting video.

Our justice correspondent, Pamela Brown, she's here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

You've been looking into this story. What are you learning?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the FBI is turning to the public now after weeks of trying to figure out the identity of this ISIS terrorist, and a law enforcement source says he could be an American.

This reflects the concern in the intelligence community of not knowing Americans who are fighting or want to fight with ISIS.


BROWN (voice-over): Tonight the FBI is asking for the public's help identifying this jihadi speaking fluent English in an ISIS propaganda video. For weeks, the FBI has been using facial recognition and voice analysis, trying to trace his accent and comparing what they find to other Americans the intelligence community has been watching. FBI director James Comey told "60 Minutes" there are about a dozen Americans currently fighting in Syria.

But he's even more worried about the Americans not currently on his radar.

JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: I don't know what I don't know.

BROWN: The effort is part of a broader public appeal by the FBI to identify Americans seeking to join jihadist groups fighting overseas. It comes on the heels of a 19-year-old Chicago man arrested Saturday. CNN has learned that Mohammed Khan wasn't on the FBI's radar until very recently.

CULLY STIMSON, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Without this digital footprint, I don't think this young man would have come on our radar screen at all.

BROWN: The FBI says Khan was in contact with someone online who was allegedly trying to help him get into Syria to fight with ISIS. When police arrested Khan at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, FBI agents were simultaneously searching his house, where Khan's family members refused to talk to reporters..

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you know about this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, sir, please. We want privacy.

BROWN: Notebooks found inside Khan's home also indicated he paid $4,000 for a round-trip ticket, flying from Chicago to Vienna, Austria, then into Istanbul, Turkey.

STIMSON: It tells me, probably, that he was trying to evade being caught, by purchasing a round-trip ticket versus a single one-way ticket, by spending more than the el cheapo ticket you can get and also by not going direct, so that he is, more likely than not, not raising a red flag for intelligence services. And, of course, the other mistakes he made brought him right into the gambit of the intelligence services.


BROWN: And Khan is expected to be back in court for a detention hearing on Thursday. We did reach out to his attorney once again today, Wolf, but have not heard back.

BLITZER: All right. We'll keep checking with that attorney. We'll get more information. Pamela, thanks very much.

Let's go in depth now on these growing terror concerns. Joining us, a key member of the House Homeland Security Committee and the Intelligence Committee, Republican Congressman Peter King of New York.

Congressman, thanks very much for joining us. Let's get, first of all, to this FBI appealing to the American public for help and identifying this alleged jihadist with the so-called North American accent seen on those videos released last month, killing a whole bunch of Syrians. Is this a major priority now? And if it is, why? Why is it so important for the American public to help find this guy?

REP. PETER KING (R-NY), HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: Well, first of all, the fact is that he's involved in murder. And he's a murdering terrorist. And it's important if he's American for us to find out who he is.

But going beyond that, Wolf, that could also let us know who he's been in contact with, anyone else who may be involved with him, what their plans for the future could be. And it would help get to the center of those Americans who have gone to Syria to fight with ISIS, those who still may be there, those who may be coming back, those who he is in contact with. So, it's not just individuals we're looking for. It's really the whole web of conspirators who have left the United States to go to Syria.

And as Director Comey said the other night, what we really fear is what we don't know. Because we think there's some number -- I've heard upward of 130, that's been mentioned publicly. Director Comey was talking about 12 in particular. But the fact is, we don't know the exact number, because they could have gone to Syria by way of other countries. And so, any information we can get at all on any one of these individuals could help us find out who some of the others are.

BLITZER: Do they have a clue who this guy is?

KING: I really can't go into that. And that's really within the FBI, so anything I would say would be speculation. But the FBI is -- let me give Director Comey a lot of credit. They are really focused on this. They realize the threat this could have to the United States.

We see what's happening in Britain. I don't think our threat is as great as Britain, because they have larger numbers. But all you need is five -- even if it's 12 that Director Comey was talking about or if it's five or it's 20, the fact is that number of people can cause an extraordinary amount of harm back here in this country.

BLITZER: They've arrested four suspects in Britain, as you know. You heard that report from Nic Robertson. What can you share with you us, or what do you know about what's going on over there in Britain, because we've been pointing out they are under this severe level of alert.

KING: Right. Well, you know, there was 10 arrested just several weeks ago, and now we have four more arrested today. And Britain does have a much higher number of their citizens going to Syria to fight. So they -- they have more of a threat than we do. Ours, I think, is serious, but theirs is far more serious, and theirs seems more imminent. And the fact that they are moving the way they have, that they're making almost a round-up of arrests shows that they are fearing an ISIS attack right in England itself, right in Britain itself.

So, again, they are on it, but they share the same fears we do -- maybe even more so -- of not knowing what they don't know. And also, especially in the European Union where there's so much movement around, it could be their own citizens plus coming in from other countries since they can get in, you know, without having to worry about passport issues.

BLITZER: We're getting new information. I want to discuss it with you in a moment, Congressman, about this 19-year-old American arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. I want you to stick around. Stay with us. Much more right after this.

KING: Sure.


BLITZER: All right. Let's get some more on the breaking news now. Fresh concerns that jihadists are now trying to bring terrorism back to their home countries. The FBI asking for help identifying an ISIS fighter shown speaking North American English in a recruiting video. And London police have just announced they've arrested four men alleged to have been plotting an attack.

Once again, a key member of the House Homeland Security Committee and the Intelligence Committee, Republican Congressman Peter King of New York is still with us.

Congressman, listen to what the FBI director told CBS' "60 Minutes" the other night about the so-called Khorasan group that is plotting -- supposedly plotting terror against the United States. Listen to this.


COMEY: Khorasan was working -- and may still be working -- on an effort to attack the United States or our allies, and looking to do it very, very soon. I can't sit here and tell you whether it's -- their plan is tomorrow or three weeks or three months from now. Given our visibility, we know they're serious people bent on destruction.


BLITZER: All right. So tell us about this group. How imminent, potentially, could they be organizing some sort of strike against Americans?

KING: Wolf, I've been aware of the Khorasan group for at least four or five months now. These are individuals who come directly from al Qaeda. They are the worst of the worst of al Qaeda. And they are the ones who are very interested in overseas attacks, and we believe attacks against the United States.

Now that the president has spoken about the Khorasan group, we can discuss it publicly.

This is a vicious group. There's no doubt in anyone's mind in the intelligence community that they are focused on attacking the United States. And these are, again, the most hardened and the most sophisticated and skilled of al Qaeda. So, when the president talks about al Qaeda being decimated, or core al Qaeda, these really are core al Qaeda members who have now formed this operation called the Khorasan group.

But no, we have to be very concerned about an imminent attack. Now, I'm not saying there's a plot out there now. But we know they want to attack the United States as soon as they can and in as deadly a manner as they can. And that's why Director Comey is so concerned about them, and why we have to be constantly monitoring them. I know the president went after -- had our forces go after them on the opening night of the raids. I'm not aware of how successful we were, but I am very certain that there are still survivors from the Khorasan group, and they are still determined to attack us.

BLITZER: We had heard some Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched to go after their sites in Syria. There was some speculation that maybe one of its leaders or its leader was killed. Have you been briefed on that?

KING: I have not been briefed. I've seen the same speculation you have. I think that there was damage caused to the Khorasan group, but we have to assume that they are still a viable organization and they are coming after us.

And, again, they -- as your Director Comey said, he's not aware of a particular plot right now. That's what he said publicly, and I'm sure that's true. But the fact is, we do know that they want to attack us. And they -- so we have to always be on our guard, probably more against them than any of the others, even more than al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and more than ISIS as far as an imminent attack. Not that we have an imminent plan, but we know that - not that we're aware of an imminent plan, but we are aware that they want to attack us as quickly as they can.

BLITZER: Let's talk about the 19-year-old in the Chicago area, Mohammed Hamzah Khan, who was arrested over the weekend just before he boarded a flight that eventually was going to take him to Turkey at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

Here's the question. Do you know where he got the $4,000 for that round-trip ticket? KING: No. That is a major issue, which I'm sure the FBI is looking

into. Where a 19-year-old would get $4,000. He was sophisticated enough to know that a buying a round-trip ticket could deflect attention away from him. They will track where that came from, whether it was wired to him, who he got it from. Because it's unusual that a 19-year-old would have that much cash available to him to be able to spend on something like this. So, that is a -- I'm sure, a key component of this investigation.

BLITZER: I'm sure they're following the money trail in this particular case...

KING: Absolutely.

BLITZER: ... to try to get some leads. And I did some checking. They say he bought this ticket to fly from Chicago to Vienna, Austria, on Austrian Airlines and then connect from Vienna to Istanbul. Four thousand dollars, round trip. He had a round-trip date, although a lot of suspicion there that maybe he just did that...

KING: Right.

BLITZER: ... to pretend that he was going to be coming back to the United States.

He could have flown nonstop on Turkish Airlines from Chicago to Istanbul for about $1,000 round trip. So for some reason he wanted to spend $3,000 more. What is your suspicion?

KING: Oh, the suspicion is he was doing that to avoid detection. That a one-way ticket to Istanbul would certainly get the attention of the authorities a lot more than flying to Vienna. I mean, you have thousands of people flying to Vienna and other European capitals every day of the week. So you can't be monitoring all of them. If you took a -- if you bought a one-way ticket to Turkey, that would certainly generate attention.

So, obviously, the FBI was following him. I saw your report before that there was a digital footprint, that he had been online in communication with the jihadists, trying to find ways to get to Syria, who he should contact when he gets there. So obviously, he was on the FBI's radar screen. He was not aware of that, and he figured -- I believe that he thought he could detect -- he could evade detection or avoid detection by buying the round-trip ticket, just as if he was a regular tourist or a regular visitor to Europe with every intention of coming back.

But I agree with you. I'm sure he had no intention of coming back on that return ticket.

BLITZER: And do you have any idea how many other guys are out there like this?

KING: That's the question right now. That's what Director Comey said keeps him awake, I believe, being concerned about that. There's a -- there's any number that could be being looked at. We know that over 100 at least have gone to Syria at one time or another over the last year. And -- so how many more, that's -- that's what we're concerned about. That's what the Brits are concerned about, and what's what really the civilized world has to be concerned about.

This is a vicious organization, and they do want to come back to the homeland and they do want to kill people.

And again, it's not just us. It's not just the Brits. We saw it with the Australians. They locked up 15, I believe, several weeks ago. And there was actually talk of attempting a public beheading.

So this is -- this is serious business, Wolf. These are deadly people. We cannot let our guard down. Bottom line, we have to either capture them or kill them before they kill us.

BLITZER: We have to remember that Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19 years old. These are allegations, charges that have been leveled against him. He certainly hasn't been convicted of anything. He's being held without bail, at least for now.

Thanks very much, Congressman, for joining us.

KING: Wolf, thank you.

BLITZER: Up next, we're going to take you to the front lines of this war. Despite coalition airstrikes, ISIS fighters are tightening their noose around a key border town. Huge implications.

And later, new tensions, including an exchange of naval gunfire between North and South Korea. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: Let's continue with the breaking news. There's now growing concern that ISIS is on the verge of a huge victory. Turkey's leader says the city of Kobani -- that's just across the border from Turkey -- in Syria is about to fall to the ISIS terrorists.

With hundreds of lives, Kurdish fighters have been desperately trying to hang on against ISIS tanks and artillery. The U.S.-led air strikes in the area may not be enough to turn the tide, and Turkey's own powerful military has decided not to intervene at all.

Let's bring in our national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto. He's following this very disturbing story.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No question. In the last 24 hours, U.S. and coalition aircraft have struck ISIS positions in and around Kobani more aggressively than we or the rebels on the ground have seen.

Still, despite the desperate battle playing out, oftentimes on television, and the desperate calls for help from Kurdish fighters defending the town, administration officials are making it clear that saving Kobani from ISIS is not an American priority.


SCIUTTO (voice-over): With Kobani on the brink of falling into the hands of ISIS, a Kurdish rebel told CNN the U.S.-led coalition finally woke up.

The situation on the ground deteriorating, coalition warplanes unleashed several airstrikes overnight and into the day. Relieved Kurdish fighters welcomed it. However, U.S. officials are making clear that saving Kobani is not a priority inside Syria.

JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: Certainly no one wants to see Kobani fall, but our primary objective here is preventing ISIL from gaining a safe haven.

SCIUTTO: Airstrikes in Syria remain focused on ISIS command and control, critical infrastructure, and funding sources, principally, oil.

Still, as he visited the refugee camps across the border in Turkey where many of Kobani's residents have fled, the Turkish president said even the broader air campaign is doomed to fail.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): You cannot resolve this conflict with air bombardments. Months have gone, but nothing is achieved. Right now, Kobani is about to fall.

SCIUTTO: In his own country, however, demonstrators are demanding that Turkey do its part. Turkey's Kurdish minority taking to the streets in protests that turned violent. The Turkish parliament authorized military action in Syria last week, but President Erdogan has yet to take it.

Turkey's priority is less combatting ISIS than taking down the government of Bashar al-Assad.

REVA BHALLA, STRATFOR: The more ambitious goal is to topple the regime in Syria and to put in place a friendly regime that's going to look, first and foremost, to Ankara for guidance.


SCIUTTO: I spoke at length with a senior administration official who explains that it's not just Kobani but any number of towns and cities in Syria that are not, at this point, a priority for the U.S.-led coalition.

What they say the focus now is on degrading ISIS's capability inside Syria. That's going after command and control, going particularly after the funding sources, these oil facilities that we've talked about, if not so much a focus on taking back territory in Syria, because you don't have the ground forces there yet; still training up the rebels.

In Iraq, the administration says gaining territory back here is a priority, because you have that ground force, Iraqi security forces, Kurdish rebels, and they claim as victories now taking back the Haditha Dam, the Mosul Dam. Because you and I have talked about this many times, Wolf. ISIS still controlling a great deal of territory. It was 13 cities at the start of the campaign, and it's 14 cities now. So in terms of taking back big chunks of territory, that hasn't happened in Iraq either.

BLITZER: A really worrisome development all across the board, several weeks now into these U.S.-led airstrikes. Jim Sciutto, thanks very much.

Let's go in depth right now. Joining us, CNN military analyst, retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling and Oubai Shahbandar. He's a senior adviser to the Syrian opposition coalition.

Guys, thanks very much for joining us.

Oubai, what do you want Turkey to do as far as Kobani is concerned, and what about the U.S.? What do you want the U.S. to do?

OUBAI SHAHBANDAR, SENIOR ADVISOR, SYRIAN OPPOSITION COALITION: Well, you heard the Turkish president and the Turkish prime minister actually made a very good point, when they specifically pointed out that you need a comprehensive approach to defeat ISIS, that an air campaign is important but is not sufficient.

Because you cannot just bombard ISIS without establishing a ground force on the ground that not only pushes ISIS out but ensures that the Assad regime is not able to retake areas that ISIS once occupied.

Now, the United States is doing the right thing. It has intensified airstrikes against ISIS forces in and around Kobani, and absolutely has helped and slowed down their advance. But what the United States needs to do is now take the next step to ensure that the Free Syrian Army forces and the Syrian Kurdish self-defense forces on the ground are fighting now street by street, house by house, have the necessary ammunition and have the necessary tools to not only defend their homes but to push back ISIS.

BLITZER: Oubai Shahbandar is joining us, by the way, from Amman, Jordan. He's been meeting with top U.S. officials and others in that neighboring country of Syria.

General Hertling, why aren't the Turks doing more militarily on the ground? I know they're doing a lot of observing a lot of those Syrian and Iraqi refugees, more than a million, that have fled over these last three years into Turkey, but why aren't they doing more? They've got a huge military, hundreds of thousands of NATO-trained troops. Why aren't they doing more?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, truthfully, Wolf, there's a part of me that doesn't understand why they're not doing more. They certainly have the army that could do it. Even a partial attack, a limited attack to relieve Kobani would be -- would be helpful. But I think you just pointed it out. They're very concerned about

getting involved in this civil war. They want Bashar al-Assad to be defeated. And they see this as interfering with that. And it's sad, but I also believe that there are certainly some conclusions that, if they relieve the Kurds, that's -- that's something they don't want to do right now. They might want to see ISIS take over and then eventually have a fight with them in the future.

BLITZER: And Oubai, very quickly, why do you believe Turkey is not doing more militarily?

SHAHBANDAR: I think Turkey is looking for the United States and for the NATO alliance, specifically, to back Turkey up on this because this isn't going to be a one-off type of deal. This is going to be -- this needs to be a comprehensive campaign, not only against ISIS but against what the Turkish government believes to be the root cause for terrorism in Syria today, which is the Assad regime.

BLITZER: Looks like Kobani could be gone within hours unless something develops. It doesn't look like it's going to develop from any outside source. We'll watch it very closely. Oubai Shahbandar, General Hertling, guys thanks very much.

Let's turn to politics right now. President Obama is raising money in New York and Connecticut today. While many Democratic candidates don't want to be seen with him, the first lady, Michelle Obama, is in Wisconsin today campaigning for Mary Burke, the Democrat who's challenging Tea Party favorite, Republican Governor Scott Walker.

The first lady also is defending her husband's record.


MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: By almost every economic measure, we are better off today than when Barack Obama took office.


BLITZER: Today, by the way, marks four weeks until the midterm elections on November 4.

Just ahead, where is the North Korean leader? He hasn't been seen in public for a month even as his top deputies pay a surprise visit to South Korea. Are they now in charge?


BLITZER: So imagine a tightly controlled society where the leader is the focus of a personality cult, and that leader has not been visible in weeks. We're talking about North Korea's Kim Jong-un. He's basically missing right now, at least publicly, at a time of stunning new developments between North and South Korea.

Brian Todd has been looking into all of this. It's a huge mystery what's going on. What are you learning? BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, here's how strange things are

tonight inside a country that's already very strange. Average North Korean citizens don't know where their leader is and haven't seen him for a month. Three powerful men right under that leader have just traveled out of the country on a surprise visit, fueling speculation that they might be in charge. And whoever is calling the shots just presided over another military confrontation between North and South Korea.


TODD (voice-over): Gunfire exchanged between North and South Korean patrol boats, escalating tensions during an already unsettling time. Rumors are swirling over who's in charge in North Korea. The erratic young dictator, Kim Jong-un, hasn't been seen publicly in more than a month.

FRANK JANNUZI, THE MANSFIELD FOUNDATION: He may have early onset diabetes, gout, ankle problems. Strong health does not run in his family.

TODD: And as Kim has been out of public view, a diplomatic bombshell. Three top North Korean officials made an unprecedented trip to South Korea over the weekend. A South Korean official tells CNN it took them completely by surprise. Two of the officials are right under Kim Jong-un, including Hwang Pyong So, vice marshal of the North Korean Army. They discussed creating better ties between countries. But could their trip mean Kim's not in control?

MICHAEL GROEN, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: It could be that he's ill or incapacitated and that Hwang Pyong So and the rest of the delegation felt they needed to show that North Korea is an active, functioning state in control of its destiny. Or it could also be that Kim Jong-un sent him out. We just don't know.

TODD: A prominent North Korean defector recently told CNN Kim Jong-un is not in control, that a shadowy group called the Organization and Guidance Department is running the regime.

But tonight, a U.S. intelligence official tells CNN, despite the rumors, there are many indications that North Korea is functioning as it normally does.

Still, there are past U.S. intelligence reports of a possible family history of emotional and mental problems, specifically suffered by Kim Jong-un's father and grandfather.

GROEN: Paranoia, narcissism, and an abnormal attraction to violence. That was the assessment of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. They were logical in their own context. They understood what they had to do to stay in power, but they had these psychological disorders. And it is entirely possible that Kim Jong-un has inherited them or, because of his environment, is going through similar problems themselves.

(END VIDEOTAPE) TODD: One of those North Korean delegates reportedly told a South Korean official there is, quote, no problem with Kim Jong-un's health. An important indication may come this Friday when North Korea celebrates the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party. All eyes are going to be on those ceremonies for a sighting of Kim Jong-un, Wolf. Watch out for Friday. That's a big ceremony in Pyongyang.

BLITZER: He's always there. If he's not there...

TODD: He should be there.

BLITZER: ... that's a huge development. There's a lot of speculation, also, that the lifestyle of not only Kim Jong-un but the members of the Kim dynasty, if you will, have contributed to some serious health problems.

TODD: They are notorious for really, basically, a destructive lifestyle. Kim Jong-un and his father, Kim Jong-Il, have been known as very heavy smokers, very heavy drinkers, especially distilled spirits like cognac and whiskey. They're known for lavish parties and for not consuming the healthiest of diets.

Combine all of that with the stress that they must go through in that paranoid regime, you know, health problems, of course, will happen.

BLITZER: As someone who has visited North Korea, I'm going to watch to see if there are more military exchanges between North and South Korea.

TODD: Very interesting.

BLITZER: Or exchanges in terms of officials going to South Korea from North Korea or vice versa. That would be very significant.

TODD: Absolutely.

BLITZER: All right, Brian. Thanks very much.

Up next, we have new details in the search for Hannah Graham. She's the University of Virginia student who's now been missing now for more than three weeks.

And in the next hour, Jihadis on the move and even in America. The war with ISIS isn't just over there anymore.


BLITZER: We're getting some new details about the hunt for the missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. This afternoon, authorities said they've now covered about 75 percent to 85 percent of the main search area and will be bringing in more specialists to help.

Let's go to Charlottesville, Virginia. CNN's Athena Jones is on the scene for us.

What is the latest there, Athena?

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. Well, 55 law enforcement and search, rescue and recovery personnel were out searching today. 75 are expected tomorrow including two mounted units, so people on horseback.

Of course it's just started raining so if this kind of weather keeps up it could make things a little bit more difficult in this already long search. Also tomorrow, two imaging analysts will be analyzing the high definition photographs taken of the search area over the weekend by a specially equipped plane. Those pictures are still being processed.

And Wolf, as you know, there's a $100,000 reward for information leading to finding Hannah Graham and searchers have used all kinds of resources to try to locate her, including canine units, ATVs, helicopters, that especially equipped plane, even a drone, but after three weeks there's still no sign of her.

Charlottesville Police chief, Timothy Longo, said today that this is taking an emotional toll, this search, on everyone involved. He's -- he also talked about how long they are going to keep searching.

Let's play a little bit of what he said.


CHIEF TIMOTHY LONGO, CHARLOTTESVILLE POLICE: There are hundreds of people that have come out to help with this search that have been touch and there's every emotion that you can think of, from being anxious from just being hopeful, being angry, being sad. I mean, every emotion that you can think of, these people, including us, have experienced.

I don't see an end in sight until we find Hannah and maybe that's naive. Maybe that's not the most efficient way to use the resources we have but we're going to continue as long as it takes. And that's going to take a toll on people. We realize that. (END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: Now what's not yet clear from Chief Longo and others is what happens after they have finished this latest stage of the search. What if they don't find Hannah Graham, where will they search next?

And so one more thing I want to point out to keep in mind here, is remember we've been talking a lot about the murder case, the murder of Morgan Harrington. She's the 20-year-old Virginia Tech student who went missing in 2009. Law enforcement authorities -- law enforcement sources have told us that Jesse Matthew is linked to that Harrington murder case by DNA evidence.

Well, Harrington's body wasn't found for three months. Her body -- her remains were found 10 miles away from where she went missing on a farm and so that's why authorities continued today to urge people to search their private properties, urged property owners to search their property thoroughly to help them find Hannah Graham -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Thanks very much, Athena, for that.

Let's get some more now. Joining us, CNN law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes. He's a former assistant director of the FBI. Also joining us from Charlottesville, the investigative journalist, Coy Barefoot, he's on the scene for us.

Coy, very quickly, the police chief says it's important that the case is not rushed. You attended today's news conference. Has the tone of this investigation based on everything you're seeing change? And if it has, why?

COY BAREFOOT, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Yes. I think we've seen a real change in the tone of the investigation over the last 48 hours. Sources tell me something that developed over the weekend. And it's changed from investigators and police reaching out for anyone who might know something about what happened. Anything that might have happened the night Hannah Graham disappeared.

And now in a press conference yesterday and in a press conference this afternoon, they are asking for anyone with any information about Jesse Matthew to come forward and talk with investigators. You could have had contact with him 10 years ago and they still want to talk to you. You might have last seen Jesse Matthew during lunch in fourth grade and the police still want to talk to you.

That says something very different. The investigation is changing. And they are developing a profile now. An extensive developed, methodical profile on Mr. Matthew and they are expanding this investigation beyond just what happened the night of September 12th.

BLITZER: I guess, Tom, that sort of makes sense. It's almost a month now that Hannah Graham has been missing. They start rethinking a lot of their assumptions at this point as well, don't they?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I don't think they're rethinking it, Wolf. I think they're just intensifying what they've thought from the beginning. I mean, they've been looking at Matthew from a very early stage of this case. They haven't let up on that aspect at all.

And as far as the investigation of the other previous murders, such as Morgan Harrington in 2009, the linkage that they're working on to try to, you know, if possible, bring charges in that case is ongoing. And extensive and diligent on the part of the police. So this is -- it might be a shift in tone of what they say but it's certainly not a shift in the intensity of the investigation.

BLITZER: Coy, there's also news that county, University of Virginia officials, they formed an advisory committee to try to evaluate the safety in the Charlottesville area. What's the mood over there in town?

BAREFOOT: There is a real sense that the city and the county and the university need to get on the same page. And I have been calling for that on my radio program for weeks now. That they need to sit down in the same room and get on the same page and figure out moving forward how they can create the template, the model if you will for this nation, for how universities and their surrounding communities respond to these situations, and act very quickly, and efficiently, should these situations occur in the future.

BLITZER: Is it unusual at this stage to ask the public for more information about this suspect?

FUENTES: No. And I think as long as this goes, and the farther it goes, they'll be doing it more and more, and repeating it over and over again to try to encourage people to do it.

BLITZER: Let's hope something develops.

Tom Fuentes, Coy Barefoot, guys, thanks very much.

Coming up, the FBI asks the public to help identify an ISIS fighter, possibly an American shown, speaking perfect English in a brutal propaganda film.

And a routine traffic stop turns terrifying for a family. Now it has turned into a lawsuit. We're going to show you the video, we'll tell you what happened.