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Official: More Than 50 Threats to Airlines in 11 Days; Massachusetts City Buried Under 34 Inches of Snow; ISIS Appears to Set New Deadline for Hostages; More Snow On The Way For The Northeast

Aired January 28, 2015 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. U.S. officials tell CNN that more than 50 threats, many of them bomb threats, have been made to passenger flights over the past ten days. The secretary of Homeland Security calling the threats dangerous. Who's behind it?

Plus, a new ISIS ultimatum and yet another deadline from the terror group. Is there any hope to save the hostages by the deadline, sunset tomorrow?

And a new storm carrying more snow and freezing temperatures on track for the crippled northeast. How much snow is on the way? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. We begin tonight with breaking news. More than 50 commercial flights, 50, have been threatened in less than two weeks. Many of them threats of a bomb on board. These threats are being delivered via social media. The FBI and Homeland Security tonight saying they are investigating. The Homeland Security secretary telling CNN the threats have taken off since January 17th. Multiple threats coming in every day, he tells us. Some of them allegedly from ISIS. He considers the threats dangerous. The FBI said an American airlines flight from Los Angeles to Chicago's O'Hare Airport received an online threat of a bomb on Tuesday afternoon. That flight did land safely. A united flight Newark to Miami threatened the same day.

Rene Marsh is OUTFRONT at New York's LaGuardia airport. Renee, this is a horrible thing that's happening and it is alarming.

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: The threats definitely are alarming. It used to be that bomb threats are called in, but now they're being sent via social media. So this is a relatively new type of way of delivering the threat here. It used to be also that this was something that happened once in a while, but now one U.S. official telling me it's happening every day.


MARSH (voice-over): Planes diverted, passengers evacuated, law enforcement and bomb-sniffing dogs close in. All because of fake bomb threats on social media.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We didn't know until we landed. MARSH: It's happening more and more. A U.S. official tells CNN

online threats increased after a bomb scare on a flight from Atlanta to Raleigh, January 17th. Fifty similar incidents followed. In New York, this flight swept for explosives. Military jets scrambled after a tweet said bombs were onboard two planes bound for Atlanta. Brian Bennett was onboard.

BRIAN BENNETT, PASSENGER ON DELTA FLIGHT 1156: They did have canine units out on the tarmac as well as a number of police from different agencies. I saw the Atlanta Police Department, TSA and some FBI agents out on the runway. And we were asked to place our items on the ground and have the canine units go through them and check those first.

MARSH: And the tweet claiming to be from the terrorist group ISIS targeted a flight from San Diego to Dallas.

JEH JOHNSON, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I want to see those who are responsible for those -- that kind of activity tracked down and prosecuted.

MARSH: The head of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson told CNN today, even false threats are dangerous to public safety.

JOHNSON: They cause certain reactions, certain overreactions. Very often fighter jets are scrambled to address the situation.

MARSH: The FBI is now investigating the social media threats, tracing computer IP addresses.

JEFF PRICE, AVIATION SECURITY EXPERT: It could be a small group of people. It could be just one person with a huge twitter accounts and really a dumb idea. No devices have been found. But we can see how much it disrupts the system.

MARSH: These threats tax law enforcement, airport and military resources. It's also costly for airlines and passengers.

PRICE: Every time a threat comes in, it has to be taken seriously. Aircraft have to be turned around or landed at the nearest location. Thousands of dollars are lost every minute that that plane is unexpectedly delayed.


BURNETT: And Rene, when you hear that in your reporting, you know, obviously they have to take every single one of these seriously because one of them could be real. But the ones that are not real, it seems that there is no punishment, you know, too severe for these people, they need to be punished. The FBI I know is on the hunt for who is doing this. What is the punishment for someone who does this, makes a fake threat?

MARSH: Well, it is a federal crime. There's no ifs, ands or buts about that. As far as what the punishment could be, it could be up to ten years, but oftentimes what you'll see is a plea deal so they may not do that much time behind bars. However, it also comes with hefty fines. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars -- Erin.

BURNETT: It would seem to me you have to put some of those people into jail if you want to stop it. Obviously people seem to think there's no repercussion for doing it. Thank you so much, Rene Marsh.

Mike Rogers joins me now, CNN national security commentator, former FBI agent as well as the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Also OUTFRONT Phil Mudd our counterterrorism analyst and a former CIA counterterrorism official. Mike, this sudden threat, we're talking about 50 threats in the past 11 days. How alarming is this and why do you think it's happening so suddenly? It's not as if social media here is new.

MIKE ROGERS (R), FORMER CHAIRMAN, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Some of it is copycat I think for sure. So the law enforcement challenge here is to isolate if there is a continued pattern of this activity designed to cause chaos in the economic activity of the airlines. That is the biggest concern I heard mentioned ISIS. I'm not sure everything should get said, you know, it's ISIS, it might not be. But there's clearly a pattern here. They're going to have to get to the bottom of it. I think you're seeing because the number is so large a mix of a serious effort and an effort of copycats who are getting in on the game.

BURNETT: So, Phil, as Mike is talking about, some of the threats are coming from people who say they're affiliated with ISIS. Maybe they're just inspired by ISIS, maybe not at all. What is the possibility ISIS is in some way actually behind any of the threats?

ROGERS: Well, we've seen there --


BURNETT: Go ahead, Phil.

ROGERS: I'm sorry.

MUDD: I think there's a decent possibility because regardless of whether they initiated the threats and I agree with Congressman Rogers, we could be seeing a mix here. But regardless of whether they initiated, in my experience watching the terrorist guys, whether it's Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, believe it or not, they watch the media, including European and American media very closely. So, if they see something is successful, even if it's just economic dislocation, they will pick up on it and act on it. So I'm sure they're watching, even if they didn't initiate this, and say hey, this is cheap, they're never going to catch us, we're on to a good thing, let's give it a try.

BURNETT: So, Mike, what about this never going to catch us? Are they going to make the effort, find some of these people and go ahead and punish them to the full extent of the law? Not just this finding business. I mean, put someone in jail so you get rid of the copycats?

ROGERS: Well, you certainly hopefully so. And I there is a good chance they'll catch some, probably not all. And I think and I completely agree with Phil, is that you'll see other copycats could in fact be other terrorist organizations who jump in on the game. And so, again, any time that they can shut down economic activity, cause a stir. I even heard that the secretary talk about scrambling airplanes. That is just music to their ears. So, I think they need to be aggressive. I know they're being aggressive. I know the FBI is being aggressive. They will get someone. The question is will that person be tied or will it be this one off copycat that decided to get in on the game.

BURNETT: And Phil, are they doing the right thing by tracking every one of these down? By scrambling the jets, by doing that?

MUDD: They have got to initially, but you've got to figure out over time a protocol to deal with these in a more normal fashion. This reminds me of sitting at the FBI watching anthrax threats come in. Remember the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001? It was years when we sat there with the threat matrix getting into 2003, 2004, people copycatted that for a long time. So you cannot sit here and take the same approach I think that we've seen in the first few weeks. I don't object to what we're doing but you've got to get protocols in place to determine what's a real threat and what's not so you're not grounding an aircraft every time some idiot in Syria decides he wants to get up on twitter.

BURNETT: Well, Phil, then there's the other problem of course, we've done these reporting which is that the U.S. is in the process of upgrading a lot of its bomb-screening technology when people board. That a lot of non-metallic base bombs which we know have been something terror groups putting al Qaeda has and has been working on for a long time, a lot of our screening doesn't even catch it.

MUDD: Yes. We've got a couple of technical problems here. You just mentioned one. Remember, going back to the fall we were talking about there's an al Qaeda element in Syria trying to figure out how to use devices like iPads to get more sophisticated weapons onto planes. So presumably TSA, Transportation Security, has already been ramping up to find new weapons, and I know they have. But there's another technological issue here that's even thornier. And that is, have you create a public-private partnership, that is a partnership between the U.S. government and places like twitter, so it's the social media sites that help the government not only pick up on this stuff but stop it. There's a lot of debate about how to do that, a lot of debate about privacy but that's going to reopen this debate.

BURNETT: Sure is. Privacy debate of course will change if anyone of these things happened to be real. All right. Thanks to both of you. And next, the desperate race against time. ISIS issuing just moments ago a new deadline for two hostages. They're saying sunset tomorrow. Should they, can they be saved?

Plus government analysts examining the most recent ISIS videos. Were they taken indoors? And what does that mean?

And it's the calm between the storms. More snow is on the way, even as the northeast just starts to dig out.


BURNETT: Breaking news. A new ultimatum from ISIS tonight. We have a new recording, purportedly from the terror group, that demands by sunset tomorrow the release of an Iraqi woman, the one you see here. She planned suicide bomb attacks, she's on death row in Jordan. And if she isn't released, ISIS says it will behead an Air Force pilot from Jordan. The fate of a Japanese hostage may also hang in the balance. You see him holding a picture of the Air Force pilot.

Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT in Washington tonight. And Jim, you just broke this news about yet another deadline from ISIS. This is an audio tape, what else do you know about it?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. Well, this was released on an ISIS linked twitter account where previous hostage videos and audio recordings have been released. It's in English. I listened to this audio recording. It purports to be the voice of that Japanese hostage we're showing there, Kenji Goto. In it he sets some odd conditions for the group or sounds like his voice.

One, that the hostage -- the Jordanian prisoner, this failed suicide bomber, be taken to the Turkish border with Syria, up in Jordanian border with Syria, and it says the deadline is sunset tomorrow. That's about 5:30 p.m. on the ground. It's only 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time. So not a lot of time to deal with here. And the key thing, Erin, is that there has been no proof of life given to the Jordanians yet that that Jordanian pilot is still alive. And they say without that proof of life they're not going to take part in any exchange.

BURNETT: I mean, it's pretty incredible because when you talk about this demand of sunset, first of all, the demand was supposedly today. And then before that, there had been another demand for the Japanese hostage, right?

SCIUTTO: That's right.

BURNETT: They killed, they beheaded the man that they took hostage with him but then they let him stay alive. Why the demands and date keep changing? Why?

SCIUTTO: This is what makes this a confusing negotiation and frankly a negotiation that's difficult for the Jordanians to trust. It's the third deadline. There was a previous deadline of 24 hours, as you mentioned. There was another one of 72 hours last week just for the two Japanese hostages. And remember this is the second demand. For the Japanese hostages there had been the $200 million demand. Now they connected the fate of this Jordanian pilot with no real word definitively on the fate of the second Japanese hostage or this first Japanese hostage, whether he would be released as well. It's not the kind of negotiation the Jordanians can have a great amount of confidence in, and that's a real problem, presents a real challenge to them here.

BURNETT: Right. And of course because they had indicated to ISIS they wouldn't negotiate with them at all and now all of a sudden it's back on the table so there's a lot of things here that are surprising. Well, certainly the United States. Thank you so much, Jim Sciutto.

SCIUTTO: Thank you.

BURNETT: So I guess the big question of that is how far Jordan and Japan are actually willing to go to get their citizens back because the bottom line is this. The United States says don't do it. Is the United States alone in saying it will not negotiate with terrorists? Deborah Feyerick is OUTFRONT.


DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She says she can see the fear in her son's face.

JUNKO ISHIDO, MOTHER OF JAPANESE HOSTAGE (through a translator): His eyes are telling the danger that is imminent.

FEYERICK: Normally secret hostage negotiations are being played out very publicly by ISIS. The terror group seeming to execute a Japanese citizen over the weekend after Japan failed to pay a $200 million ransom. Now Jordan has agreed to swap a failed hotel suicide bomber in exchange for a military pilot captured in Syria, pending evidence he's still alive.

NASSER JUDEH, JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: If it's ISIS that has tied the fate of those two captives together.

FEYERICK: Since the very public execution of American journalist James Foley, a total of four western hostages have been executed. Six other known hostages have been released. Four French journalists and two Italian aid workers, reportedly after millions in ransom were paid to either ISIS or the al Qaeda faction, al Nusra. Both countries deny making any ransom payments. The U.S. Treasury Department estimated in 2012 that al Qaeda and its affiliates took in $120 million from ransoms over the previous eight years. Foley's death put the United States in a difficult position and raised serious questions as to whether the United States should negotiator at the very least allow families to pay ransom money. Foley's mother says she was told at the time she would be prosecuted by U.S. officials if she negotiated or paid money to free her son.

DIANE FOLEY, MOTHER OF JAMES FOLEY, EXECUTED BY ISIS: We were told that our government would not exchange prisoners, would not do a military action. So we were just told to trust that he would be freed somehow miraculously.

FEYERICK: Ironically, Foley was executed three months after the United States swapped five Guantanamo detainees in exchange for U.S. army soldier Bowe Bergdahl. U.S. officials say there's a fundamental difference between a military prisoner exchange and paying ransom. However, Foley's former boss told OUTFRONT last week other countries have paid ransom to successfully bring their people back home.

PHILIP BALBONI, FORMER SUPERVISOR OF JAMES FOLEY: I think our policy for dealing with hostages is a failed policy.


FEYERICK: And James Foley's former supervisor says that now he's raising money to help free an American aid worker or female who's being held hostage by ISIS. And Erin, for ISIS and other terror groups, the business of kidnap and ransom is big business. Because not only does it provide necessary cash by holding an individual hostage, now it's also holding the psyche of a nation hostage. The problem, every time a ransom is paid, it increases the odds that somebody else is going to be taken captive. So now the government, seeming to ease their policy when families are attempting to free their loved ones -- Erin.

BURNETT: Right. Deborah Feyerick, thank you very much. And of course there's the other question as to whether ransom would ever work for an American hostage or not. Of course there is an American hostage, as we know, right now whose fate hangs in the balance.

OUTFRONT tonight, Michael Weiss, columnist for Foreign Policy and the co-author of ISIS inside the army of terror along with Mike Rogers, the former head of the House Intelligence Committee, he is back with us as well.

Mike Rogers, let me start with you. What about this new audio tape that we have, purportedly the voice of the Japanese hostage laying out the new terms. The new terms are well, guess what, they're not going to kill them today. They have until tomorrow night at sunset Jordanian time. That's 9:30 a.m. Eastern. This is another change in the deadline, another extension and another change in the terms. What's going on?

ROGERS: Well, this is not the negotiation in good faith clearly. And as we saw this early on in the negotiations where they were asking for $200 million, an unreasonable number. For folks who understand how to get ransoms out of countries that will pay, this does -- I fear for the health and safety both of the pilot and the Japanese. I don't think they're negotiating in good faith. I think they're playing a game to try to hold the psyche of both Japan, the United States and Jordan at bay. And unfortunately, it's working.

BURNETT: And that's the thing, Michael, it does seem to be working and part of the reason, some say, is because the United States says it doesn't negotiate with terrorists but it actually does. And then other countries say, well, the U.S. does it, so can we. The U.S. again, they say they don't but the United States did trade five Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for an American P.O.W. Bowe Bergdahl. This Jordanian pilot is the first military prisoner from the coalition fighting ISIS.


BURNETT: The United States of course is the leader of that coalition. So is the U.S. obligated to do what they did for Bowe Bergdahl? This is someone fighting for a cause, the United States is in this coalition?

WEISS: Well, so, the way that the U.S. couched the Bergdahl exchange, the Taliban is not considered a terrorist organization, it's considered an insurgency.

BURNETT: That's interesting.

WEISS: It's important to remember, ISIS pays very close attention to the western policy debates that is taking place, not just here but in London and Paris and all the western capitals and indeed in the middle eastern capitals about how to fight ISIS.


WEISS: What they're seeing now is a country -- a Sunni majority, Sunni-led country, Jordan, which is I would say on the spectrum of those most sympathetic to U.S. objectives extirpating ISIS, they are sympathetic.


WEISS: But still not 100 percent on board. You know, the strategy in Syria and Iraq is a bit iffy at best.


WEISS: And a lot of these countries think that unless we confront the Bashar al Assad regime, you're not going to address ISIS. So, ISIS is really exploiting that vulnerability within the coalition and now it's turning Japan against Jordan. Japan has committed or pledged $150 million for refugee aid to Jordan. The refugee crisis in Jordan is probably worse than everywhere else except maybe Turkey.


WEISS: So this is money that the Jordanians badly need and want. So ISIS is just sort of throwing a spanner in the works.

BURNETT: And it seems to be working. I mean, Mike Rogers, the U.S. says again and again it does not negotiate with terrorists. But back to this point, it seems different to many what it did with Bowe Bergdahl, an American P.O.W., they did exchange those Taliban commanders for Bowe Bergdahl. Here's what the State Department's spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday when she was asked about that.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Doesn't it strike you as a little bit hypocritical that for the U.S. government to say it's all right for us to make concessions in order to get one of our guys back but we discourage other governments from doing the same thing?

JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: I've just been conveying I think from the start of our exchange here, what our position is as the United States government. That's our position. Do we have any more on Japan?

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So you're not hypocritical?

PSAKI: Our position is that he was a prisoner of war and a member of the United States military.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The question, isn't it a bit hypocritical? You would say no, it's not hypocritical?

PSAKI: Correct, no, it is not.


BURNETT: Do you agree with her?

ROGERS: No, I don't. It's clearly hypocritical. So many voices were saying please don't do this. And what we found afterward is lots of intelligence chatter, meaning bad guys communicating with bad guys saying, hey, this worked. Let's find western hostages, preferably Americans. And by the way, if we know anybody that has one of those, maybe we can bargain for them and that was a direct result of that exchange. It wasn't a nation state. The Taliban is not a nation state. They are a terrorist organization operating in the tribal areas of Pakistan. So I completely disagree. And unfortunately, this is all feeding on itself and you see ISIS using all of their tactics and unfortunately they're being very successful. By the way, this helps their recruiting. And that's the other downside of all of this.

BURNETT: Right. It certainly does. And Mike, they also -- why is ISIS -- they're doing all this and changing all these demands all to get one woman back. Why is she so important?

WEISS: Yes. Well, for them it's a propaganda victory, obviously. This woman is I believe the widow of one of the lieutenants of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who was the founder of al-Qaeda in Iraq, who was the early synchronization of ISIS. By the way, it's worth point out. Al- Zarqawi was able to become the founder of al Qaeda in Iraq because in 1994 when King Abdullah the current king of Jordan ascended to the thrown after the death of his father, there was a general amnesty. Al-Zarqawi was a Jordanian prison.


Right. So, prisons -- are essentially kind of the incubator, the radicalization centers for these terrorist groups such as ISIS. But again, you know, the pilot that we're talking about here, he comes from a very influential tribe in Jordan. His father has been outspoken in his criticism of the Jordanian government. It's a crime in Jordan to denounce the king, or to criticize his policies. And yet, you already had footage showing masses in Amman of people turning out saying, bring our son home.

BURNETT: Bring him home.


BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much to both of you, I appreciate your time.

And next, the big dig of 2015. The snow has finally stopped falling, for now, in the northeast. But a second storm is under way. And "American Sniper" is the first big hit of the year. Ahead we're

going inside the mind of a real sniper. We're going to show you because we actually went and saw and did this how snipers are trained.


BURNETT: Tonight another storm, snow, wind and ice zeroing in on New England. The storm system, which is marching across the Midwest right now, has the potential to drop another half foot of snow in the northeast. We're going to have more on the forecast in a moment. It's bad timing for a region reeling. Today Boston, where we were last night, is just starting to dig out after a fierce blizzard brought record snowfall totals to the area. Some towns getting nearly 35 inches of snow. And tonight another major fear, no power for thousands of families as temperatures dip well below freezing. Look at that house, completely covered in ice.

Alexandra Field is OUTFRONT live in Boston. Alex, when I left earlier this morning, you know, the plows were so hard at work trying to clear the snow. No one could get around in the city. Are they ready for another storm?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ready or not, Erin, they have got to prepare for it. And they literally have just so much to deal with. We heard from the mayor earlier today. He says that he's confident that the roads are looking good, that school buses would be safe out on those roads tomorrow. But he has in fact now taken another step to cancel schools here in Boston tomorrow saying that the sidewalks aren't quite ready yet. The city still needs a little more time to do some of this cleanup.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You're sure there's a car under there?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We're sure there's a car.

FIELD (voice-over): Some storms break records.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I haven't seen snow like this since '78. Since the blizzard of '78.

FIELD: Some storms break hearts.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It's very surreal. The whole thing (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I am so grateful that we were here. I can't imagine waking up in the dark.

FIELD: Chris Carroll's beach front house in Scituate south of Boston trashed during violent winds and high tide.

(on camera): This is exactly the moment that people here in Scituate have been bracing for. Here it is. This water coming up right over the sea wall. (voice-over): A whole neighborhood suddenly under water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The water was moving so fast that we had waves from the backyard.

(on camera): Have you ever seen something like that, waves actually in the backyard?


FIELD (voice-over): The brutal storm buried Maine, Connecticut and Long Island. In Boston, snow totals missed the city's record mark: 24.6 inches made it the sixth snowiest storm in the city's history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one is pretty brutal. I mean, the cars behind you, you can't even see the tops of them.

FIELD: With more snow in the forecast, they're trying to clean up quickly. The city's iconic marathon finish line cleared off by a neighborhood bartender.

In Scituate, Chris Carroll is trying to keep things in perspective.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am so grateful that we weren't here.

FIELD: Because some storms break sea walls, but they rarely break spirits.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am breathing and going one minute at a time. It's -- I can't think about what is coming tomorrow.


FIELD: All right. If you live in Boston, you've got to have a good attitude toward snow. A lot of people do but those attitudes were certainly tested over the last couple of days. We're looking back over some of the math now.

The snow started in Boston at 10:00 a.m. on Monday. It didn't stop until 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday. People basically dealt with 42 hours of snow. There was just one hour, 3:00 on Monday, when there was no recorded snowfall, Erin.

BURNETT: That is pretty stunning, 42 hours. There is no place -- Boston is certainly not used to that.

All right. Thank you.

Just about an hour west of Boston, the city of Worcester, is digging out from a record. They got 34 inches of snow, just about three feet. That's where Brian Todd is OUTFRONT live tonight.

And, Brian, talk about a cleanup.

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Talk about a cleanup, Erin, and look at what I'm standing on. This is what they're going to have to clean up. Check this out -- this is a massive snow pile in downtown Worcester, Mass (AUDIO GAP) feet high. This kind of snow pile is seen throughout the city.

And, of course, you mentioned about the more than 30 inches. They got a record 34 plus inches of snow here in Worcester. That's the most they have ever gotten since they started keeping records of snowfall back in the early 1900s. And it's presenting a huge logistical and safety headache for the city of Worcester, mainly because, look at this, they're running out of places to put the snow.

They're going to start what they call snow farms pretty soon, these big dumps where they are going to put it, but they haven't started them out. In the meantime, you've got this mound here, mounds over here, this is right in front of city hall in Worcester and this is where they're putting it for the moment.

It's creating some dangers, though. On the streets, no place to park your car other than sidewalks like this. There are lots of sidewalks -- they are filled with snow and people are starting to walk in the street and that's a real danger.

Overnight, you're talking about more danger because the streets and roads around here will start to freeze over. The temperatures are dropping to below freezing -- well below freezing. They are right now already. That's one danger, Erin.

Another danger is the potential for collapsing roofs and we saw this in Buffalo when we were up there in November after that massive snowstorm there. Buffalonians just like here in Worcester, they can handle the snow. But the problem is, but when three feet of snow accumulates on your roof, it gets extremely heavy and they actually encourage people to go up and get the snow off to try to avoid roof collapses. That's what they'll be watching for in Worcester tonight. Just one of the headaches they're dealing with, as they come out of this storm, Erin.

BURNETT: The mount was pretty stunning. When you started the camera was very tight on you. And I did not know, it just look like you were standing on the ground. And then, all of a sudden, there you were, the king of the snow mount.

But you taught me a new word, snow farms. I didn't know such a thing existed. And I know before you came to Worcester, you were along the coast. Some people there really tragic, they lost everything. You look at those houses that were encased in ice. I mean, people's lives have been changed, people have lost everything.

What did they say to you?

TODD: Yes, we were in a town called Marshfield, Massachusetts, that's just adjacent to the town of Scituate, Massachusetts, where our colleague, Alexandra Field, was. In both of those towns, they had sea walls that were breached by these really powerful storm surges.

In Marshfield where we were, there was a breach of the sea wall in two different places. In one of those places, a guy named Tim Mannix has a house right here, his house got completely destroyed, completely flooded.

He got hit with flying glass and his house was so flooded that he had to be evacuated with rescue teams using a front-end loader to get into his house. He has 70 stitches when he came out of it. I asked him, you know, what's going on now, do you really want to come back here? Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, no. This is probably it. Sell the property and get out. I just have no answers to my future right now. I've got a pretty bleak future today, tomorrow and the next day. So, we'll see what happens. I'm trying to laugh it off, you know. Think about tomorrow and not yesterday, OK?


TODD: He got a little emotional there, but Tim is going to press on because he basically has to press on with his livelihood somewhere along the coastline of Massachusetts. He makes his living as a commercial fisherman -- Erin.

BURNETT: And, Brian, just one thing I have to ask you. When you talk about those snow farms and the mounds, I'm curious, you know, what do they do when they have temperatures like you're talking about, subzero wind-chill for days and days, another storm coming? It's not going to melt. So what do they do as the piles just get bigger and bigger?

TODD: Well, witnessing this in Buffalo, they try to find some kind of a depot, some kind of a parking lot. And in Buffalo, they used an abandoned train station, so they can use places that are abandoned that have just a huge wide open space. They bring in dump truck after dump truck after dump truck and they pick the stuff up and just carry it there and dump it there.

You're right. It won't melt any time soon. But even if it doesn't, if you've got a place like that that's not commonly used by a lot of people, like an abandoned space, you're OK, you can leave it there.

BURNETT: All right. Brian Todd, thank you so much. As you said, live from Worcester, where they had a record 34 inches. And as I mentioned, a new storm system is on the way. That could mean more snow, more frigid temperatures for the Northeast.

Meteorologist Jennifer Gray is OUTFRONT. She's in Boston.

And, Jennifer, what is this storm going to look like that's coming now, the double whammy?

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, nothing at all like what this past storm looked like. This one dumped about 24 inches of snow, over 30 inches in some areas. The next storm system you could get anywhere from an inch or two of snow, which is barely anything for Boston standards, to up to four or five inches. So, there is a possibility we could get another plowable snow but it's not going to be like the same snow event we just saw. Of course, the problem is, some of those secondary streets aren't

quite clear. A lot of people are still digging their cars out from under the snow. So, it's almost a race against time to get those cars cleared out before the next snow comes.

So, let's time this thing out. It is going to come up the mid- Atlantic and then impact Boston, say, Thursday night into Friday morning we could get a little bit of snow. But then Friday night into Saturday morning, we could get a couple of inches. Now, exact amounts is hard to say, the models still disagreeing a little bit. But like I said, anywhere from 1 to 2 inches to worst case scenario 4 or 5 inches.

Erin, it looks like we'll see another system possibly on Monday, still a lot of uncertainty in that one. Of course temperatures, like you said, are going to stay very, very cold.

BURNETT: So, two more storms coming on the heel of that.

All right, Jennifer Gray.

And to our viewers, welcome to the new world where you've got to hear about all the different models out there, because, you know, one might say no snow and one might say 30 inches. And everybody's got to be right.

OUTFRONT next, the ISIS video starkly different from any we've seen before. We're going to show why -- why it's so different and why it matters so much.

And with "American Sniper", the runaway leader at the box office, we have a report showing how real snipers are trained. We actually went to the range to show you how they train an American sniper and how those snipers feel about their job.


BURNETT: Breaking news tonight: an apparent new ultimatum from ISIS. ISIS wants an Iraqi woman, a failed suicide bomber, released from prison in Jordan. They have given a new deadline, they say sunset tomorrow in an audio tape released tonight. If not they will kill a Jordanian pilot that ISIS is holding hostage.

This is the latest demand from the terror group, made through a series of recordings. They keep using hostages as props and now, there are new questions about where and when one of these messages was taped.

Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Intelligence forces around the world are scrutinizing the three most recent horrifying videos from is, noting that the first is very much like earlier ones, with two Japanese captives kneeling in orange, a menacing figure in black and ransom demands issued at the point of a knife. The National Center for Media Forensics at the University of Colorado Denver, Jeff Smith has analyzed that video.

JEFF SMITH, NATIONAL CENTER FOR MEDIA FORENSICS, UNIV. OF COLORADO DENVER: It's a 700 million to 1 likelihood that it's the same speaker. There's a very high production value to all of these videos that involve a microphone, multi-man crew.

FOREMAN: But the next video is markedly different, showing only a still image of one Japanese hostage holding a photo of the other, apparently murdered. A voice claiming to be that of the living hostage recites a message in the background, suggesting a prisoner exchange instead of money.

And the third video is like that too, only this time the Japanese man holds a picture of a captured Jordanian pilot, and he says the pilot would also be killed if is' terms are not met. The production is simple. Certain edit is suggests the audio message was recorded in parts and spliced together, and the hostage appears to be indoors, spurring discussion that maybe ISIS is not as free as it once was to operate in the open.

SMITH: Certainly reasonable to surmise that there's a lot more mounting pressure that they're under.

FOREMAN: Iraqi and Kurdish forces have been retaking towns from the terror group and all of ISIS' threats and killings have yet to force any concession from a major government. So, why do they keep trying to bargain this way? Because it has worked for them on a lower level, according to Chris Voss, with Insight Security.

CHRIS VOSS, FORMER SENIOR FBI HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR: They have been in this market bartering for hostages for lots of different commodities for a while. This is just the first time it's been owe visible to the rest of the world. They're almost always getting a very high PR value out of what they do.


BURNETT: And, Tom, the first ISIS video of the Japanese hostages, when you have the two men there sitting between the guy that's in all these videos talking about he's going to kill them, it appears that it was filmed outside but it might not have been, right? It could have been filmed inside a studio?

FOREMAN: It could be. I mean, this could be done with green screen technology and some are speculating maybe it has been. It has a little bit of that cut-out appearance you sometimes get. But as you know, Erin, I do a lot of this work and I tend to think it's probably not. I think they just put some lights on these guys which made them stand out from the background a little bit more, but still, it's a theory that's out there, and it would be a big advantage if they could do that because then you could put in a false background which would lead all of your pursuers off in the wrong direction -- Erin.

BURNETT: It sure would, especially when they know they're being hunted and every video they put out that shows this guy hasn't been found helps them on their recruiting. Thank you very much, Tom.

And now, a story we've been following closely, Boko Haram. We have new images purported to be a military camp that shows child soldiers in training.

Now, the authenticity of these photos we simply cannot tell you for sure that these are true, but an organization that says it's the official mouthpiece for the terror group published them on Twitter.

Intelligence sources also tell us the images appear to be real. They say they're consistent with Boko Haram's strategy of forcibly recruiting children. These are all young boys, and they are young. When you look at them, they are children.

Boko Haram has also strapped young girls, 10 years old, with explosives, sent them into markets full of people and then detonated them from far away, killing the girl and many in the market -- as part of their horrible reign of terror and using children.

Well, next, "American Sniper" is on track to be one of the biggest grossing movies of the year. Ahead, we're going to talk to a former sniper about the job, and look, we'll show you exactly how these men are trained to kill. We went to see to show you and we're going to bring that report to you, next.

Jeanne Moos with a puppy that puts Tom Brady and those underinflated footballs off the sports page.


BURNETT: Tonight, the story of an "American Sniper". It's on track to become the top grossing war movie of all time. So far, trailing only "Saving Private Ryan" after taking in $210 million. The film tells the real life story of the late Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle, at least as he had narrated it, the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.

But despite the film's success, there are some who take issue with celebrating a lethal profession like this. Tonight, Kyung Lah sees firsthand what it takes to be an American sniper.




KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the battlefield, this is the long weapon that gets you closest to the enemy.

(on camera): This is familiar to you. What is this?

JOHN MCGUIRE, FORMER NAVY SEAL SNIPER: This is a .50 caliber bullet. This is when you want to reach a long distance.

LAH (voice-over): Once of tool of his trade, John McGuire, 10 years a Navy SEAL sniper, now retired.

MCGUIRE: Typically with a sniper, one shot, one kill. It's very efficient.


LAH: A critical battlefield job that he says is not about the gun or the man behind it but the fellow servicemen.

MCGUIRE: It's a big responsibility, because you -- if you don't move or act quick enough, one of your teammates doesn't go home to their family. So, it's a lot of mental pressure.

LAH (on camera): What kind of toll does that take on a human being?

MCGUIRE: I think -- if you don't have the proper rest and team behind you, it could be a lot.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm ready to come home!

LAH (voice-over): That toll captured in the film "American Sniper," the movie based on the life of Chris Kyle, considered the most lethal sniper in U.S. history. Open to critical acclaim and sparking fiery debate over the U.S. military, Iraq, and the role of a sniper -- especially with U.S. engagement in the Middle East.

MCGUIRE: What I will say is this generation of men and women are carrying a lot of weight. They do more in a year than I did in 10 years.

LAH: McGuire is no fan of the critics of the movie but says that's what snipers and the military do -- fight for the freedom of expression.

MCGUIRE: What I love about the movie is it shows that in war -- war is hell. But it doesn't just affect the soldier. It affects the families back home.

LAH: Love or hate the movie or the job it portrays, McGuire is glad to see the public embrace a truism many of his fellow SEALs believe, that this is much more about brotherhood than a war hero.


BURNETT: And, Kyung, you know, we know Chris Kyle is the most lethal sniper. You know, some say, well, that's sick to keep track of who you kill. But that's not something that they do just -- who knows? I'm sure morally I guess you'd want to keep track of who they kill. But this is something they're required to do, right?

LAH: Well, they have to keep track. It's not something they actually like it talk about because we asked that exact question to McGuire. He says it simplifies the job of a sniper and makes them look like they're simply trained killers when the real essence of the job a sniper is to protect lives. You take out one target, you save dozens of lives. But the number of lives saved, Erin, is not something we can track -- Erin.

BURNETT: An interesting way to look at it. So differently than, of course, how people are selling the movie simplistically.

Kyung, thank so much.

And next, how can a Super Bowl advertiser go wrong with a puppy commercial? I mean, how? Jeanne Moos with the story.


BURNETT: So, how do you go wrong with a puppy commercial?

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What sells better than sex?

Puppies! But when GoDaddy cut the cord with sexy commercials --


MOOS: -- and went with Buddy, the Golden Retriever, for its Super Bowl spot --

JENNIFER JACOBS, ANIMAL ACTIVIST: Instantly, my mouth was just gaping open as I watched.

MOOS: First, the pup bounces off a pickup.

Then makes a grueling but adorable effort to find his way home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Buddy, I'm so glad you made it home!

Because I just sold you on this Web site I built with GoDaddy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Me no liky. That's so mean.

JACOBS: I just was completely horrified.

MOOS: "Do you think puppy mills are funny?" tweeted the SPCA. "What kind of monster do they have running their marketing department?" raged another critic.

GoDaddy noted the ad spoofs the latest Budweiser Super Bowl tearjerker which celebrates puppy-horse love. When the pup is threatened -- the Clydesdales come to the rescue.

But with the wolves circling GoDaddy, the CEO retreated. "What should have been a fun and funny ad clearly missed the mark, and we will not air it." He added, "You'll still see us in the big game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh." (on camera): But there's a theory out there that we're not just falling for puppies, we're falling for a setup. Aww. Aww. Don't cry.

(voice-over): Even the pup smells a setup. Some think GoDaddy this thought to provoke a backlash.

BARRY CUNNINGHAM, DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, ZIMMERMAN ADVERTISING: You scrub a spot at the last minute, and then reproduce another one in three or four days kind of tells you there may have been something in the works.

MOOS: GoDaddy told CNN this is not a stunt and they're working on a new commercial. Barry Cunningham says, just you wait until Sunday's game, that the new spot will capitalize on the current flap.

CUNNINGHAM: I think we're going to see the puppy finding a good home.

MOOS: GoDaddy is a company that relies on the kiss of controversy. Now they're hoping a retriever will prove golden.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: Thanks for watching.

"AC360" starts right now.