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THE SITUATION ROOM
Body of Missing Student Identified; Ebola Panic?; Mandatory Ebola Quarantines for Some Travelers; Ebola-Free Nurse Meets President; North Korea May Have Long-Range Nuclear Missile
Aired October 24, 2014 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Remains found. Police identify the body of the missing University of Virginia college student Hannah Graham. Will the discovery reveal new clues in the case?
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: We're following multiple breaking news stories this hour, including the discovery of the remains of Hannah Graham, the Virginia college student who disappeared almost six weeks ago.
Also, three people quarantined in New York City's Ebola scare, as officials search for anyone who came into contact with the victim, Dr. Craig Spencer, over last few days.
Plus, the deadly school shooting just north of Seattle, Washington. One student and the gunman are dead, three victims are in critical condition. One more in serious condition.
We're covering all the breaking news this hour with our correspondents and our guests.
Let's begin with CNN's Tom Foreman. He's here in THE SITUATION ROOM, and he's following the school shooting in Marysville in Washington State.
What is the latest there, Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, as is always the case in these shooting, we may never know the why. We are getting more information about the who and the what.
We're piecing together the events and here's what we're being told about the alleged gunman. Jaylen Fryberg was a freshman, a football player, a member of the homecoming court. He was Native American.
Classmates say he was into hunting and he was friendly, popular and well liked. And we're beginning to put together a timeline of what exactly happened in the horrible moments at this school.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FOREMAN (voice-over): At 10:39 a.m., as students gathered in the
cafeteria for lunch, witnesses say a young man rose from a table, pulled a small pistol from his pocket and began firing.
AUSTIN TAYLOR, WITNESS: I saw three kids just fall from the table like they were falling to the ground dead. I jumped under the table as fast as I could. When it stopped, I looked back up and I saw he was trying to reload his gun. And when that happened, I just ran in the opposite direction and I was out of there as fast as I could.
FOREMAN: That witness said he knew the young man and he looked calm with a blank stare throughout.
FRANKIE PINA, STUDENT: I heard his girlfriend broke up with him, and the tweets that everyone has been retweeting throughout the past couple of days of their conversations has been pretty brutal, honestly.
FOREMAN: Students scattered. Many in the rest of the building say they thought a fire drill was under way and many ran outside. In the hallways, teachers started herding others into classrooms and ordering a lockdown.
At some point, someone inside placed a 911 call and by 10:40 police were swarming the building, going room to room, placing tape over the doors of those they had secured, so they would know they had already been checked. And in that process, they discovered the alleged gunman, by noon, officially saying he was dead, apparently having shot himself.
FOREMAN: Police believe that one of the calls for help inside actually came from a school resource officer who was working there at the time.
But, Wolf, I cannot overstate how difficult it is to deal with a huge environment like this. We first really learned about that at Columbine because when something like this happens, people go into hiding absolutely everywhere, and it's an incredibly difficult task for officers to completely clear that building, to get the evidence, to make sure no one else is hurt and to make sure everyone is accounted for. They're still doing that now and they will be doing that for many hours.
BLITZER: Make sure no one is still hiding in a classroom or in a closet.
FOREMAN: Which has happened many times before.
BLITZER: Yes. Tom Foreman, thanks very much.
Let's get some more now.
Our justice reporter, Evan Perez, is joining us.
Evan, what are you hearing from your sources?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, at this hour we know the parents of the shooter are being interviewed by police, and they're trying to figure out if there's anything more that they could learn the could have perhaps explained this, whatever triggered this.
They're also doing a trace of the .40-caliber Beretta handgun that was recovered at the scene and which is believed to be the weapon that he used to gun down his friends, his classmates in that school today. Obviously, for federal law enforcement that are now there, one of the things they're trying to do is what they can learn about this incident that could perhaps prevent this from happening at other schools.
BLITZER: So the FBI is obviously getting directly involved, other law enforcement agencies as well. ATF, I assume?
PEREZ: Right. That's right. The ATF and FBI are both at the scene and they're helping the local authorities do the investigation. There's tons of interviews to be done with these kids and to see what they witnessed.
Obviously one of the things they want to always cross off the list is anybody who might have helped him, anybody who helped him get the weapon and the ammunition and so on and also to do some behavior analysis. The FBI has been studying these types of shooting, Wolf, for many years.
What they're trying to do is trying to understand what makes people do this, what triggers this, and if there's any way that maybe we can teach law enforcement and schools to try to prevent these things. Often as in the case here today, these kids shoot themselves or people shoot themselves before the cops even get there, Wolf.
BLITZER: It's a form of suicide, if you will. We're trying to learn from this experience and other experiences to try to prevent more down the road.
Evan, thanks very much.
We're just getting this video in. It shows the school gunman, Jaylen Fryberg, at his high school homecoming celebration earlier this year. He was the homecoming prince. Very popular football player. There he is. You can see him getting that homecoming prince award right there. Jaylen Fryberg, very popular student at that high school.
Let's bring in our law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes, a former FBI assistant director.
Tom, a Beretta .40-caliber gun. Tell us what kind of damage potentially that can do in terms of ammunition. TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's a little bit of a larger
caliber handgun. It's not as large as a .44 magnum, or even a .45 military pistol.
But .40-caliber is pretty much the caliber used by most police officers on the street, throughout the country, most federal agents. It's not a small caliber gun like a .22 or a .38. It's a pretty damaging weapon, if you get shot especially point blank in the back of the head as apparently some of these students were.
BLITZER: How does a high school students get access to a .40- caliber handgun like this?
FUENTES: We don't know that it's not his parents' weapons.
We see this picture of him receiving a birthday present three months ago, a large hunting rifle with a scope. Apparently, you know, they spent time outdoors. They spent time hunting. That's not uncommon for a 14-year-old to have that kind of experience if they live out in a rural area where there is hunting and outdoor activity.
BLITZER: He doesn't fit the profile, though, of someone who goes into a school, starts shooting fellow students and then shoots himself, does he?
FUENTES: No. The problem is that people suffering from really bad cases of depression often on the outside don't show it.
We look at him say -- I look back when I was 14 thinking I wish I could have been as good looking as him and popular and homecoming prince and star athlete and all of those things. Yet in his own mind it's not good enough. And if somebody says something to him that he thinks is disrespectful or putting him down or whatever it might be, he's not coping with it the way a normal person would.
BLITZER: There are signs though out there, but people sometimes are not sensitive enough to the signals that perhaps he was sending in recent weeks or months or maybe even years.
FUENTES: That's true. But ,again, 14-year-olds with hormonal development or lack of development and lack of maturity, you know, they may act out and say crazy things and really it's just a lack of maturity. And a lot of parents might just say, you know, that's a typical teenager.
I have got a teenager on my hands, what am I going to do? And not realize that, is he going to cross the line? Again, it's hard for people to read minds and know what he's going to do.
BLITZER: I want you to look at the photo you just referenced when he did receive that birthday present. There he is right there. He's got that gun. I don't know if you can tell what kind of gun it is, but he's obviously very, very proud of that and he thinks it's the best gift ever.
FUENTES: It looks similar to the type of hunting rifle that was used to kill the Pennsylvania State Trooper recently.
If you're skilled with that gun, and I see it has a scope on it, you can kill at 1,000 yards with that gun.
BLITZER: That's a birthday present from his parents, right?
FUENTES: Yes, nice present for a 14-year-old.
BLITZER: Yes. But apparently guns are pretty available in Washington State, right?
FUENTES: I think they're pretty available in the entire United States. We have 300 million guns for 319 million people.
BLITZER: Yes. They're pretty available and I guess people will start debating the access, the availability of guns.
We spoke to the congressman from Washington State, Jim McDermott. He didn't think there were metal detectors at this high school. It's a large high school, about 2,000 kids. But there are an increasing number of high schools here in the United States that have metal detectors because they're worried about precisely this kind of incident.
FUENTES: There are some, and they have mainly in the inner cities where they have a lot of shootings out on the streets, gang activity and drive-by shootings.
But the expense you would be talking about at a high school like that, you have three buildings a complex or a campus, as they refer to it, would have multiple entrances, you would have back doors leading out to practice fields, side doors, front door. To be able to put magnetometers with multiple police officers at every entry, it would just be an astronomical expense to do it.
At a school like that, there's activities almost seven days a week. You have the band people and football players and baseball players coming in early in the morning and stay until 6:00, 7:00 at night, evening concerts. So you're talking about having that kind of equipment there for the public, for the students and for the staff from 6:00, 7:00 in the morning until 10:00, 11:00 at night almost every day of the week.
It's just really not going to be feasible for most school districts to afford that.
BLITZER: Tom, I want you to stand by, because joining us right now from "The Seattle Times," the criminal justice reporter Jennifer Sullivan.
Jennifer, thanks very much for joining us. I don't know if I got your title right, but I know you're with "The Seattle Times."
Tell us what you're seeing and what you're hearing about this horrible shooting incident.
JENNIFER SULLIVAN, "THE SEATTLE TIMES": Wolf, what we heard today was complete pandemonium.
We heard students being rushed out of every single building. This was initially told to all of here at "The Seattle Times" it was an assault. The police wouldn't specify what was happening. But we heard there was lights, sirens, officers coming from each direction to that school.
The next thing we heard, there was gunfire. We heard quickly about all of these victims. We didn't know conditions for a while, but we had heard pretty early on that there was a gunman and then there was somebody down. And that girl who we have learned is a student. She's likely 14 years old.
What we're reporting right now is that it sounds like she rejected a date. Simply, Mr. Fryberg asked her out and she said no and something transpired and that gun was pulled in the cafeteria this afternoon.
BLITZER: And we're not naming this individual, because we don't want to do that yet. But what you're saying is that he went into the cafeteria and shot this young girl?
SULLIVAN: That's what we're hearing. We of course would not name her yet either. We don't know where families are, notification processes.
The victims, two are in Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, which is a trauma center. The rest are still in very, very dire condition up at Providence Medical Center in Everett. The names, who they're connected, everything is very, very muddy right now.
BLITZER: And the girl is dead, right?
BLITZER: And this was his girlfriend; is that what you're hearing?
SULLIVAN: What we're hearing is she's someone he asked out on a date, someone a lot of the students had known her for a long time. We're hearing she just said no, and she was shot for that reason.
BLITZER: And what about the others who were with her, why would they be shot?
SULLIVAN: We're not really sure. We don't know how they're connected. They were at the table. Mr. Fryberg walked into the cafeteria, pulled out a gun and opened fire.
Like I said, after that, you had students running in each and every direction. Students said they saw Mr. Fryberg yesterday at football practice. He was in a great mood. He was dancing, listening to music. The next thing we know, according to social media, something transpired that made him pretty upset.
BLITZER: And then he actually shot and killed himself, right? SULLIVAN: Exactly.
BLITZER: He's the homecoming prince, football player, very popular, doesn't fit that pattern we have seen in other school shootings, by any means, right, Jennifer?
SULLIVAN: Very, very popular kid. It's the least -- as we have been saying in the newsroom today, something you just would not expect. He was someone who was well known in the school. He had friends.
This is a very -- this is a pretty small community. His family is very well known on the Tulalip Reservation up there. His mother was active in the school district at some point. A very wonderful family, good friends and just nothing we were expecting.
BLITZER: A Native American. The Beretta .40-caliber handgun, do you know how he got it?
SULLIVAN: We don't know. But if you look at his social media sites, there's references to weapons. As you have seen the photo of him with the hunting rifle. We're all very curious as to where he got his weapons.
BLITZER: And there's no idea yet. But you have confirmed, I assume as we have, it was a .40-caliber handgun?
BLITZER: I'm showing our viewers right now, Jennifer, a picture, birthday present. He got a rifle there with a scope and he put on his social media this was the best gift ever. So clearly he was into guns. But I assume a lot of young kids in Washington State are into guns, right?
SULLIVAN: I wouldn't say in Washington State. Marysville, it is a smaller community just north about 45 minutes outside of Seattle, so I don't even know if you would consider it a suburb of Seattle.
The reservation, as well as Marysville, there's plenty of folks that like to hunt. There's lots and lots and lots of wooded areas. You're not far from the mountains for hunting. I don't think it would be out of the ordinary for any kid up there to be into hunting.
BLITZER: How is the community dealing with this? Give us a little sense of what is going on right now.
SULLIVAN: Very, very traumatized. We have heard from the mayor and we heard from the county executive. This is the same county that endured the slides in Oso. The terrible mudslides months ago.
This community is very, very wrecked over all of this. I think they're just reeling. It's a big high school, 2,000 students. You have a lot of students coming in from the Tulalip Tribes Reservation. You have students coming in from all over to attend this great school. They just -- the last thing they were expecting was this. BLITZER: It certainly is -- it's an awful situation, Jennifer.
So the search in the school is still going on as we speak right now?
SULLIVAN: We're hearing that it's slowing down a lot. It took a long time. It's a big campus.
We heard stories of police officers and FBI agents, federal agents all going into different rooms. Rooms being tied up with ribbons to show that police officers had searched that. The police department is still on campus but everything is slowing down.
BLITZER: It's a horrible situation. Jennifer Sullivan is a reporter with "The Seattle Times." Jennifer, thanks for joining us. We will stay in close touch with you.
Tom Fuentes, you're still with us.
What is your reaction when you hear her, she's right there on the scene, what do you think?
FUENTES: It's just -- it's a terrible tragedy we can't understand because if he asked a girl on the date and she said no, that's it.
For most of us, rejection is something we had to cope with your whole life. Maybe he's so good looking and popular nobody ever says no to him when he asks them for a date. Maybe he doesn't have the coping mechanisms the rest of us would have developed over time, because again, that age, freshman in high school is a pretty sensitive age and he may have felt she rejected him and humiliated him and maybe put him down with her friends.
Here she's in the cafeteria with other friends and he may have just drummed up in his mind that the whole world was making fun of him and disrespecting him.
BLITZER: We had heard from another 14-year-old who was in cafeteria earlier. We spoke with her earlier. She said there were pretty nasty tweets going on, social media exchanges that a lot of kids were reading over the past few days. And maybe you're right, maybe he did feel humiliated, embarrassed and decided to do this.
All conjecture, all speculation. But whatever it is, it's a terrible, terrible situation. Tom, don't go too far away.
There's more breaking news we're following here in THE SITUATION ROOM. Dramatic action under way right now to stop the spread of Ebola. Officials announcing new mandatory quarantines for some travelers.
Other breaking news. Investigators discover the remains of a Virginia college student missing for almost six weeks. We're now learning new details of this grim twist in the case of Hannah Graham.
BLITZER: We're following breaking news.
New York and New Jersey officials they have just announced mandatory quarantines for some travelers coming back to the United States from the Ebola hot zone as it's called in West Africa. The move comes as a New York City doctor is now in isolation at a Manhattan hospital after testing positive for Ebola. His fiancee and two friends, they are quarantined.
Let's go live to CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.
Elizabeth, what is the latest, what do we know?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, I will tell you, not even 24 hours ago, I said on CNN I wonder if they will make new rules for health care workers returning from West Africa to the U.S. and, boy, less than 24 hours, did they ever, Governors Christie and Cuomo saying in New Jersey, asymptomatic, healthy returning care workers will be quarantined for 21 days, even though they're asymptomatic and couldn't possibly spread Ebola.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL DE BLASIO (D), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: There is no cause for alarm.
COHEN (voice-over): Tonight, New York City health officials are urging calm as they look for anyone who had contact with Dr. Craig Spencer, the city's first Ebola patient.
DR. MARY TRAVIS BASSETT, NEW YORK CITY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: The patient continues to be stable at Bellevue Hospital, where he remains hospitalized on the isolation unit.
COHEN: The 33-year-old doctor returned to the U.S. last week after treating Ebola patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders. Three people who had contact with Dr. Spencer have been quarantined, including his fiancee, who will be monitored for symptoms over the next 21 days.
As hazmat crews work to decontaminate his apartment, city officials are alerting Dr. Spencer's steps and alerting all who may have come in contact with him.
BASSETT: We want to find every person with whom he may have been in contact and we want to account for all of his time from the time he developed symptoms.
COHEN: On Wednesday, just one day before his diagnosis with Ebola, he was out and about in New York, visiting a Brooklyn bowling alley, going for a jog and riding the subway. The Metropolitan Transit Authority released a statement, listing their procedures about isolating and disinfecting railcars to help calm New York commuters, adding that it's safe to travel.
This amid good news from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dallas nurse Nina Pham is Ebola-free.
NINA PHAM, EBOLA SURVIVOR: This illness and this whole experience has been very stressful and challenging for me and for my family. Although I know longer have Ebola, I know that it may be a while before I have my strength back.
COHEN: The NIH director said no experimental drugs were given to Pham while under their care. Exactly when or why she turned the corner is hard to pinpoint, but that the blood transfusion from cured Dr. Kent Brantly could have been a factor.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Certainly, that could be the case, but remember when you have so many factors at the same time going into the care of a patient, and the N is for this patient, it's virtually impossible to say that this is the thing that did it, and this is the thing that didn't do it.
COHEN: Pham was invited to the White House, where she received a hug from President Obama in the Oval Office. And Atlanta's Emory Hospital reports that the other Dallas caregiver to contract Ebola, Amber Vinson, tests no longer test the virus in her blood. She remains under close watch.
COHEN: Now, getting back to that mandatory quarantine here for health care workers returning to New York or New Jersey, Governors Chris Christie and Cuomo didn't really explain why somebody who can't spread Ebola would need to be quarantined.
But, Wolf, one thing is clear. I have been talking to health care workers who have been to Africa. They said they wouldn't go back if they knew that upon their return they would have to be alone for 21 days, couldn't see their family, couldn't work.
So single-handedly, Governors Christie and Cuomo may very well have made the situation in Africa even worse, because now fewer doctors and nurses will want to help -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Elizabeth Cohen, thanks very much.
Let's get some more on the breaking news.
Joining us, our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the tropical medical medicine specialist and CNN medical analyst Dr. Xand van Tulleken, and Dr. Seema Yasmin. She's a former CDC disease detective who now writes for "The Dallas Morning News."
I want to show you guys the video. These are live pictures. This is the video of Nina Pham. She's now leaving Washington, D.C., heading back to Dallas. All of us are very, very happy for her. She's no longer an Ebola patient. Not only is she out. She met with the president of the United States in the Oval Office and he gave her a big hug.
I want to thank our affiliate here in Washington WUSA for that video.
But, Seema, let me ask you about this health care worker in New Jersey now who has just come back. The new rules just announced by the governors of New York and New Jersey, there will be mandatory quarantines of any of these health care workers who dealt with Ebola patients in Guinea, Sierra Leone, in Liberia. They're now going to have to be quarantined upon return to the United States for 21 days. I take it you know this health care worker?
DR. SEEMA YASMIN, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, DALLAS: I do, Wolf.
She's a very dedicated, very hardworking nurse. We have worked together before and she's actually worked for Doctors Without Borders for many years. She's spent what she describes as a grueling, very intense month in Sierra Leone caring for Ebola patients, doing what very few people are doing, being brave, going to the hot zone and trying to protect us here by stopping the epidemic there.
She left Sierra Leone about two days ago. It's taken her that long to travel to the U.S. and she told me earlier today that her welcome back to America was being quarantined in Newark Airport, not being told how long she was being kept for, having her luggage put into biohazard bags and being given a granola bar. So she's exhausted, she's stressed and she's very confused.
BLITZER: Does it make sense, Sanjay, for the governors of New York and New Jersey to do this in the aftermath of what saw happen with Dr. Craig Spencer, who treated Ebola patients in Guinea, came back to the United States, was out and about, went bowling in Brooklyn, was out on the subway, and all of a sudden came down with Ebola? Now there will be these mandatory quarantine for health care workers returning from West Africa.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: A lot of people will hear this, Wolf, and say of course it makes sense, but they need to remember -- and we have talked about this for a long time now -- that from a scientific perspective, it really probably doesn't make sense, because you're not spreading the virus until you are sick.
And this is just an important point. You can understand the fear. You don't want to be dismissive of the fear. I have gotten lots of e-mails and things on social media from people who said, how could this doctor have been out and about and then diagnosed with Ebola?
Even Doctors Without Borders in their guidance they say a quarantine is neither recommended nor warranted because really you're not a threat to the public's health. This is really addressing fear more than it is addressing science, Wolf.
This is sometimes how decisions get made. There was a travel ban for people who had HIV-AIDS up until just a few years ago. A lot of people don't realize that. It made no sense when it was instituted and it made no sense when it ultimately was overturned. But this is sometimes how decisions get made, Wolf.
BLITZER: Because people want to err on the side of caution.
Dr. van Tulleken, I want you to weigh in. what do you think?
DR. ALEXANDER VAN TULLEKEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I just think my colleagues have summarized the position exactly.
MSF have had 700 volunteers return from working in the hot zone, and if you take 21 days quarantine for those people, it adds up to something like 40 years of lost manpower. It's a huge disincentive. And we're seeing lots of NGOs who would like to go and work in the hot zone not being able to go, not because a shortage of money, not because a shortage of resources, but because of shortage of people.
This would be massive disincentive. So legislation that looks like it is making us safer is actually making us less safe. I went through all the Doctors Without Borders protocols with them today, and the protocols are very clear. This is the most expert organization in the world for dealing with Ebola in many ways. They have treated more workers.
They have repatriated more health care workers who have been exposed to it. They have not just thrown together some casual guidelines. These are really detailed guidelines, four hours from a hospital, no movement outside of that range. The hospital is predetermined with the CDC so people can seek care rapidly. And I think Dr. Spencer did not expose anyone to a risk beyond those three people, which the guidelines would probably not have prevented it.
BLITZER: Who are under quarantine right now.
VAN TULLEKEN: Yes.
BLITZER: Seema, let's talk about the president of the United States. He very visibly wanted to give Nina Pham, the nurse from Dallas, just released from NIH, from the hospital, wanted to give her a big hug. There you see the picture right now. He wanted to send a message. These people are now Ebola free. Don't worry about them.
But let me ask you about the 21-day period, that if you don't get symptoms within 21 days, you're not going to get Ebola. Is that hard and fast, sacrosanct, if you will?
YASMIN: There are always outliers in medicine and science, but it's important to recognize that we have an overwhelming amount of science that does justify the 21-day incubation period. Doctors without Borders, for example, have been using this for almost four decades and saying let's monitor people who've had some contact with Ebola for 21 days. If they don't develop symptoms, it's OK for them to go.
And it's really important that we reiterate this so that people that do come out of that isolation period do complete that 21-day period, that they're not shunned by their community; they're not feared, that they're welcomed and embraced. We cannot let fear at this point come in the way of empathy, compassion and science. BLITZER: Sanjay, if Dr. Craig Spencer, who is now at Bellevue
Hospital in New York, were your patient, would you recommend he be moved to NIH where Nina Pham has just been released from, where they have some presumably more sophisticated treatment capabilities than they do at Bellevue?
GUPTA: I don't think so, Wolf. I think that everything that needs to be done, probably, for him can be done at Bellevue Hospital.
Look, you know, a lot of people will say, well, that didn't go so well in Dallas. And point taken. That's a good point. But I don't think we should immediately assume all hospitals across the country are going to have these same problems. In fact, I hope some lessons were learned from Dallas.
There is no specific treatment, Wolf, for Ebola, as we talked about. There are experimental medications, which can be given at Bellevue. There are blood transfusions that can be given at Bellevue. But there's no magic wand or magic potion at any of these other four centers.
And in terms of isolation, that can be done at a place like Bellevue, as well. Remember, as Seema was just talking about, most of the patients up until this year, most of the patients in the world were taken care of in really tough situations in remote forested areas in Central and West Africa. They can do it there, they should be able to do it at any hospital here in the United States.
BLITZER: And very quickly, Dr. van Tulleken, I assume the treatment that he will get, Dr. Craig Spencer, at Bellevue will be excellent. What about the healthcare professionals, the doctors and the nurses at Bellevue? Will they be as protected as the doctors and nurses would be at NIH?
VAN TULLEKEN: We've seen a lot of what Bellevue are doing. They just seem massively better prepared than we saw in Texas. And as Sanjay has pointed out on many occasions, this is not that complicated stuff. It's about protocols, drill and practice. We know they've been doing that at Bellevue, and we know that we can do it in rural Africa. So they've really upgraded the kinds of protocols they're using, the world practice. I would not have any concerns for the team -- for the team working there.
I mean, clearly, we're concerned about them. We worry about them, but I think the risk is very, very low, and they're managing it as effectively as could be done anywhere else.
BLITZER: Dr. Xand van Tulleken, Dr. Seema Yasmin, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, three of the best in the business. Guys, thank you very much. Let me thank you, not only on our behalf but on behalf of all of our viewers for the excellent work you guys are doing.
Just ahead, we're going to go live to Charlottesville, Virginia. There's more breaking news there. Authorities now identified the remains found in the Hannah Graham search. And new moves by North Korea. Do they represent a new threat to
the United States? The State Department deputy spokeswoman, Marie Harf, is walking into THE SITUATION ROOM. Marie, thanks very much for joining us. We'll discuss in a moment.
BLITZER: We're seeing new images of North Korea's always reclusive, increasingly mysterious leader Kim Jong-un. And now some troubling new moves by his country have U.S. officials trying to figure out what North Korea is up to right now.
Our global affairs correspondent, Elise Labott, is working this for us over at the State Department. What are you finding out, Elise?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Kim Jong-un is reappearing just as North Korea is undertaking a pretty dramatic worldwide diplomatic charm offensive. But it's unclear if Kim is offering an olive branch or he's just trying to shield his regime from international action.
LABOTT (voice-over): In new photos, North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, inspects military drills. It's a more commanding image than the one he conveyed ten days ago, emerging after a five-week absence and walking with a cane, fueling speculation about his health and his grip on power.
The mystery deepened this week when Pyongyang suddenly called for a U.S. government plane to take home American Jeffrey Fowle, arrested in May for leaving a Bible at a club. North Korea suggested an apology from the U.S. could free remaining Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Our hope is that they will recognize the good will that could be built and the gesture that it would offer to the world of their willingness to try to open up a different diplomatic track.
LABOTT: A diplomatic track with rare diplomatic moves by the North, holding talks this month with South Korea, negotiating with Japan about the fate of its citizens kidnapped decades ago, and fanning diplomats out across the globe to soften its image. This week a senior North Korean diplomat in New York even gave a public address calling for dialogue with the world.
Victor Cha, a former White House adviser on North Korea, believes the diplomatic charm offensive is less about a new opening and more a tactical move to avoid condemnation of the regime and its leaders at the United Nations over North Korea's human rights record.
VICTOR CHA, FORMER WHITE HOUSE ADVISER ON NORTH KOREA: They see a steady drumbeat of anger in the international community of North Korea's human rights abuses, and they're worried that it may actually come to fruition in terms of something quite substantial. KERRY: And the top U.S. commander of forces in Korea warned,
beneath the friendly gestures, the North is making some worrisome nuclear advances.
GEN. CURTIS SCAPARROTTI, COMMANDER OF U.S. FORCES IN NORTH KOREA: They've reached out to other countries. I think that is probably a bit of a change. Right underneath of that, at the very same time, they've continued to pace their development of missile systems, their nuclear systems, other asymmetric means, working very hard at that.
LABOTT: And Wolf, the Obama administration is debating whether to seize on these gestures by the North to restart nuclear talks. However, the U.N. judge responsible for that investigation into North Korea's human rights record says this is a moment of truth for North Korea, which can't be traded away by a bit of charm -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Elise. Thanks very much. Elise Labott over at the State Department.
Let's get some more now. Joining us, the State Department deputy spokeswoman, Marie Harf. Marie, thanks very much for joining us.
MARIE HARF, STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SPOKESWOMAN: Happy to be here.
BLITZER: All right. So what do you make of the release of Jeffrey Fowle without any apparent conditions? The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, saying it followed what he called repeated requests of the U.S. president, President Obama?
HARF: Well, it's always hard to judge why the North Korean regime takes certain actions. They've released Americans in the past when they've been detained without usually any rhyme or reason. So obviously, we think this is a good step. We remind everyone that there are two Americans, Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae that remain detained in North Korea, and they should be released immediately. We are working for that every single day.
BLITZER: Some analysts see the North Koreans undertaking what they call a charm offensive right now. Is there any thaw in the U.S.- North Korean relationship?
HARF: Well, there really isn't. Let me make two points. The first is even these Americans shouldn't have been detained in the first place. So, while it's a positive development, you don't get a lot of credit for releasing someone that never should have been in prison in the first place.
But more than that, we are going to judge North Korea by their actions, not by their words. And they have to take steps to denuclearize. We are very committed to that. They have not taken those steps. That's what we judge them by.
BLITZER: What do you make of this new potential capability that these reports now suggest they might be able to put a nuclear warhead on a missile?
HARF: Those are things we look at every single day. Our intelligence community, our counterparts at the Pentagon look at that very closely. And that's why, despite the words, despite the diplomatic exchanges, we are going to judge them by whether they're willing to take steps to denuclearize. Many steps they've already committed to in the six-party talks. They haven't lived up to those. That's what they need to do.
BLITZER: Your best analysts at the State Department still believe Kim Jong-un is in power?
BLITZER; And that he's the guy in charge?
HARF: They do.
BLITZER: All right. Stand by, we have a lot more to discuss. We're going to talk about what's going on in Iraq and Syria. ISIS making new moves right now that are very, very disturbing. New information coming in right after this.
BLITZER: We're following disturbing reports about the possible use of chemical weapons by ISIS forces near the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
We're back with the State Department deputy spokeswoman, Marie Harf.
You've heard these reports that they've got chlorine, chemical weapons that they've been using against Iraqi military personnel. What can you tell us?
MARIE HARF, STATE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SPOKESWOMAN: We're looking into them. We can't confirm them yet. We've certainly seen them and trying to get more information.
Obviously, any use of chemical weapons or chlorine like this would be a gross violation of any sort of international norm. It would be very concerning. We know ISIS is willing to do anything to kill people that get in its way, and this would not be surprising. But we can't confirm it.
BLITZER: But we know the Syrian regime of Bashar al Assad, his forces have been using similar kind of chlorine weapons, right?
HARF: We've seen those reports, too. There are indications they have used chlorine in the past. Obviously, we would be very concerned if this fell into the hands of a terrorist group.
BLITZER: You haven't confirmed it yet?
HARF: We have not. BLITZER: What do you make of these terror incidents, two in
Canada this week, now you yesterday in New York City, a guy with a hatchet goes over and tries to kill four police officers, injures two of them pretty seriously. The police commissioner in New York, Bill Bratton, now calls this as an act of terror, someone who was radicalized, inspired, if you will, by Islamists jihadists.
What do you make of what's going on?
HARF: Well, we know the homegrown terrorist threat is a very serious one. We've talked about this in the past, we've seen this in the past. But certainly, we know there's a threat that people around the world could look at ISIL propaganda, could look at what they're doing and be inspired by it. And that often this lone wolf, which is what we're seeing in many of these cases, even as we gather the facts here, we don't have all of them yet, but the lone wolf is a very serious threat and that's a hard threat to guard against quite frankly, because if it's one person and there aren't a lot of warning signs, that's a tough challenge.
But we're very committed to fighting it. That's why one of our lines of effort is to delegitimize this propaganda, is to take them on in the states and social media, really push back on their message here.
BLITZER: Because we did have all these statements on social media, these ISIS videos, pretty sophisticated, one of the ISIS leaders, Mohammed al-Adnani urging Muslims around the world to retaliate, go out and kill the infidels. He said especially the spiteful and filthy French, the Australians, the Canadians, and others who are cooperating with the United States.
There was one incident last Monday in Canada where a guy uses a car, kills a Canadian soldier, injures another one. Then, at the parliament we saw what happened at the Canadian War Memorial, and then, yesterday in New York, a guy with a hatchet in who apparently been radicalized, according to New York City police.
Three incidents in a row, that sounds suspicious to me.
HARF: Well, of course, these are all tragic incidents. We know that people in uniform are a target, that these terrorists looking to attack. We know that, because we're taking the fight to them, we're pushing them back where they're trying to gain more territory in Iraq and Syria, and we know they're trying to inspire people around the world to join their cause.
That's why we're so focused on depriving them of resources where they're located and where they're fighting, but also encouraging moderate Muslim leaders, moderate Arab leaders, to go into their space online, on social media, speak out saying these men do not represent Islam, the cause does not represent Islam, and you are not joining in an Islamic cause if you are fighting with them. We need them to do that.
BLITZER: I assume, Marie, the U.S. is taking more precautions for U.S. diplomats serving around the world, especially some dangerous places right now.
HARF: Absolutely. We always look at the threat picture. We always look at the security environment, and we have taken additional steps if we think they are necessary.
BLITZER: Marie Harf, thanks very much for coming in.
HARF: Thank you.
BLITZER: Just ahead, there's breaking news out of Virginia as authorities there identify the remains found in the Hannah Graham search. We'll go live to Charlottesville right after this.
BLITZER: So, there's more breaking news, this time in Virginia. Forensic tests have identified the remains found last weekend as those of missing student Hannah Graham.
Brian Todd is in Charlottesville for us. Our law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes is here in Washington with me.
Brian, first of all, tell us what you've learned.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, just a short time ago, we got the news that the Graham family, the University of Virginia community has been dreading all along. The Albemarle County police department confirming that the remains found behind the just behind me, in a creek bed are those of 18-year-old Hannah Graham. Forty-one days had past between her disappearance and today. Those remains were discovered six days ago along that creek bed.
We've got some video of the creek bed. We were finally allowed to get near it this afternoon. Then the word came that the remains are those of 18-year-old Hannah Graham. The Albemarle County Police Department telling us that upon the positive identification, Colonel Steve Sellers, the Albemarle County police chief, and Detective Sergeant Terry Walls, notified Hannah Graham's parents of this discovery and of the confirmation of it a short time ago.
Graham's parents issued a statement saying, quote, "We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter Hannah."
This was a long ordeal stretching out over a month. The investigation led to the largest manhunt in Virginia state history, that largest missing person search I should say in Virginia state history. That ended today with the discovery and the confirmation that the remains are indeed those of 18-year-old Hannah Graham.
BLITZER: What a sad story. This is a -- all right, Brian, thanks very, very much.
Tom Fuentes, so where does this leave investigators, prosecutors, law enforcement authorities now that they have confirmed after six days that the remains are in fact those of Hannah Graham? TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It means they're going
to have to try to find enough forensic evidence at that crime scene to show that she was murdered, how she was murdered and try to link Jesse Matthew to actually being the one that murdered her.
Just finding his hair samples or skin particles or any of that on her clothing or anywhere near there is not going to be enough, because they already knew they were together. They already knew he had his arm around her and would have had hair fall on her shoulders and all that. So, they've got to show here, if they can, how she was murdered and link the murderer to the victim.
BLITZER: What does it say to you that it took six days to make this final confirmation?
FUENTES: It just means that they were being very meticulous in not removing the remains, just in case. They're looking for every microscopic bit of evidence that they can find, moving one part of her at a time, not to be too gruesome. But it takes a long time to be that meticulous.
And for that, they didn't have her remains sent to the medical examiner until they completed all that work at the scene.
BLITZER: Jesse Matthew, he's being held now in Charlottesville. But not only in connection with her disappearance, and now we know her murder, and he hasn't been convicted of anything yet, really charged with any kind of murder, simply abduction right now. But there are a whole bunch of other investigations involving missing -- other missing young women.
FUENTES: Right. He hasn't been specifically charged in the murder of Morgan Harrington, who was the Virginia Tech student killed in 2009 after leaving a concert in Charlottesville.
So, that one, you know, they do have a speedy trial. If they bring formal charges, they've got to be ready to prosecute.
However, in the Fairfax case, the authorities there, the investigation by Fairfax county sheriffs and in that case working with their prosecutors, they're ready to go in the attempted murder and rape of the young lady in Fairfax in 2005. In that case, she survived the attack because a bystander came by and caused Matthew to flee.
His DNA has been linked to her to that attack. And she can talk about it. He grabbed her in a parking lot coming out of a giant grocery store. She can identify him. She can testify against him and the physical evidence links him to it.
So, that case -- they will be ready to go sooner than later.
BLITZER: Yes, horrendous, horrendous scene in Charlottesville, Virginia. And our deepest, deepest condolences to Hannah Graham's parents, family and all of her friends.
That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. Remember, you can always follow us on Twitter. Go ahead tweet
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