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ISIS Launching Major New Assault in Iraq; Attack on "Charlie Hebdo" Nearly Called Off At Least Minutes; Jewish Journalist in Paris Felt Like A Walking Target; Road Rage Shooting Victim Followed Suspect

Aired February 17, 2015 - 19:00   ET


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. ISIS fighters launching a major new assault in Northern Iraq, we're live there, next.

And the mother of four shot to death over what appears to be an extreme case of road rage. Tonight, the police releasing new information on what led to this deadly encounter.

And the murder trial of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, crucial video shown to the jury today. Hernandez taking apart his cell phone. The why? Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett and OUTFRONT tonight the breaking news. ISIS fighters launching a major attack in Northern Iraq just miles from the oil rich city of Erbil. That's home to many Americans who work in the oil industry. And sources are telling CNN tonight that ISIS fighters have attacked two towns near Erbil from multiple directions. A local commander describing a fierce battle with fighting at close quarters targeting the towns of -- just outside Erbil. A source also tells CNN the coalition aircraft are in the area. So far though they have failed to stop the ISIS defensive. And this comes as we have a new picture. CBS News has obtained this photo. This is the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Now, this picture is from 2004. That's when al-Baghdadi was in American custody being, quote-unquote, "processed at a U.S. prison in Iraq" called Camp Bucca. It's one of the few images we have actually seen of al- Baghdadi.

We begin our coverage tonight with Tim Lister OUTFRONT in Erbil. And Tim, this assault from ISIS is alarming.

TIM LISTER, CNN JOURNALIST: It's very alarming because the Kurdish positions in that area, we visited it just last week, are very, very rudimentary in deed. They don't have the weapons. They are strong out along a very long run as the Kurdish fighters down there told us we are facing almost every night this sort of attack, but not at this scale. This is much larger than we have seen recently. Because it's coming in from several different directions. If they're able to cross the river then there's only open farm land between ISIS and Erbil. Now, the Kurds would definitely try to reinforce that area. That's ISIS intention. They want to draw Kurdish forces in all different directions to relieve the pressure on the -- which is Mosul. And that's why they launch these attacks particularly at night. We're hearing that this is still going on, this fighting. Casualties on both sides and the last we heard the fighting was such at such close borders. Air power was not used because of the danger of hitting Kurdish forces. So, it's a very serious development for the Kurds, they just simply unequipped to deal with a much better armored ISIS forces that are attacking them -- Erin.

BURNETT: Very serious stuff for the coalition as well with of course Erbil as the headquarters for so many multinationals and international people including Americans.

Now, Tim, Barbara Starr has confirmed a photo that I just showed everyone, obtained by CBS News is the photo of ISIS leader al- Baghdadi. He was in an American prison in Iraq of course. This picture is from 2004. There's so few pictures of him. So, we want everyone to be able to see this one. What do you know Tim about al- Baghdadi's time in American custody?

LISTER: I was actually there Erin at that time early 2004. And the insurgency was just getting under way. And the U.S. forces were really rounding up an awful lot of people. But we weren't particularly aware of who made it and who didn't. The trouble with Camp Bucca is they're very quickly became a University of Jihad. So, this mile mannered PHD student, he'd actually just completed a doctorate in Islamic studies. It's admitted on with this other battle hard prisoners. And it's quite possible that he met while he was there a very few months he was there, former base officers and stayed in touch with some of them. And they are now the military brains behind ISIS. So, it really was a place where he picked up an incredibly useful network. He came out of Camp Bucca went straight back into the insurgency around Samara and thereafter joined Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and al-Qaeda in Iraq. So, it really wasn't apprenticeship for him during his time in Camp Bucca and I don't think at the time that Americans had define his idea of his pedigree or his intentions in the future -- Erin.

BURNETT: It certainly sounds like they did not have any idea. All right. Tim Lister, thank you very much reporting from Erbil as we said. The headquarters for many multinationals who do business in Northern Iraq and now under assault tonight from ISIS. Now, the key to ISIS success is the terror groups ability to recruit fighters. Frankly from all over the world, 20,000 from 90 countries, and they are recruiting tool of choice is social media. And it has been working. They send 90,000 online messages to supporters every single day.

Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The boy appears only ten years old. He stands before hostages holding a handgun. Next to him, a bearded ISIS fighter reciting religious verses. CNN cannot verify the authenticity of the video but the boy fires the gun. The hostages slump to the ground. Just one video in the arsenal of the online war waged by ISIS. The group is known for boldly flaunting its presence. Recent images show dozens of armed vehicles driving through Libya including police vehicles in Benghazi waving the ISIS flag.

Another recent video believed to be from ISIS showing hostages paraded to Iraq in cages. Just weeks after ISIS burned a Jordanian pilot alive in cage trying to top the hoar of the beheadings and murders of this innocent hostages. And then there's this, ISIS' last known Western hostage appearing to predict his own death.

JOHN CANTLIE, ISIS HOSTAGE: Hello, I'm John Cantlie, in the last film in this series, we're in the city that has been at the heart of the fighting since summer 2012.

LAH: We know ISIS' propaganda via twitter, Facebook and YouTube is notorious for shock and horror. But Muslim activists say is also disturbingly effective.

SALAM AL-MARAYATI, MUSLIM PUBLIC AFFAIRS COUNCIL: The problem is, you have violent extremist recruiters who use online mechanisms to lure people into thinking that committing acts of violence is somehow glorious or somehow godly.

LAH: It's admittedly an uphill climb of catch up. ISIS for months has been using fighters speaking English.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I originally come from Canada.

LAH: To connect with westerners, especially teenagers, on those same social media sites this 50-page guide book for perspective ISIS recruits looking to travel to Syria. How to get there, who to call and what to pack. It's a world that oddly tries to portray normalcy, the softer side of ISIS educating future fighters among this group of children, a Caucasian boy with red hair. Terrorists seeking to redefine civilization one propaganda video at a time.


So, why does this work? Why does this resonate among certain westerners? Well, the community activists we have spoken say that they believe it's the very same reason that people may join gang, that is to marginalize, people who are looking for something. So, what we're seeing at the grassroots level is a change inside the mosque, inside the Islamic centers, instead of ejecting these kids Erin, they're trying to intervene early -- Erin.

BURNETT: Kyung Lah, thank you so much.

And OUTFRONT now is Richard Stengel, he is the man leading the American effort to fight ISIS' most powerful public weapon, social media, he's the State Department's Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Under Secretary Stengel, thank you so much for being with us tonight. These ISIS videos are hard for people to comprehend, videos of burning people alive, of beheading people. And what's most disturbing about it is that it's inspiring more people than most of us could even imagine. Just last week, the director of the National Counter Terrorism Center said that an unprecedented 20,000 fighters from 90 countries were traveling to the ISIS battlefield. People who were inspired in part by those videos. Thirty five hundred of them nearly from western countries, 150 from right here in the United States. What are you doing to fight this right now?

RICHARD STENGEL UNDER SECRETARY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Well, we're doing a lot of different things, Erin. In fact, I would point out one thing about the videos that you were talking about and how barbaric and awful they are. Part of the focus of those videos are we in the West because they want us to be scared, they want us to be repulsed by this. And so, for example, the more violent videos, the more violent messaging, the more violence social media is actually pitched towards us in the west and of course to these foreign fighters, to the potential foreign fighters that you're talking about. Part of the problem there is that's a very, very tiny audience. And they are attracted to some of this because they're disaffected, they're unemployed, they are unhappy, they have grievances. And so, the ISIL videos in social media is pointed towards those people who they want to come to Syria.

BURNETT: Now, ISIS has put out, according to the latest numbers I saw, 90,000 social media messages a day. You have three digital Arabic outreach teams. I know together, the numbers we have 60,000 tweets in five years. I mean, it's a tough battle. You're fighting them. They're doing this. This is what they do. I mean, do you feel like you're fighting in a sense with your hands tied behind your back?

STENGEL: Well, we're trying to untie our hands. And yes, you know, we estimate they do about 90,000 pieces of social media. And part of what I'm doing in the digital outreach team that we have is, aggregating the content that we do as a government, across government. Aggregating the content of our partners trying to amplify the messaging of third party groups to combat that disjunction between what they're doing and what we're doing. But I would also point out Erin that there are about three million retweets of Justin Bieber every day. So, that's the other end of the scale.

BURNETT: When you talk about true influence. Fair point. Now, a lot of this what this comes down especially with the meetings in Washington this week, is what the United States is going to do about this. What the United States is fighting. The President says, he rejects the notion that America is at war with, quote-unquote, "radical Islam." And he says that's because ISIS is not truly Islamic. Here's how he phrase it to Fareed Zakaria.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: It is absolutely true that I reject a notion that somehow that creates a religious war because the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject that interpretation of Islam.


BURNETT: Now, Graham Wood who is a contributing editor for The Atlantic wrote something that I thought was sort of important in terms of countering the President. Here's what he said, "the reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic, very Islamic." I'm not adding the emphasis. That's his. "Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers that the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam." Why won't the United States government say that this is an Islamic movement? I understand you don't want to imply all Muslims support ISIS because obviously the majority don't but is the United States in denial?

STENGEL: Well, you knew what I would say about this, Erin, because I actually don't think it's that hard to understand. And part of it is a semantic idea.


STENGEL: Which is that the actions of ISIS, the actions of these people are by definition not religious. There is no religion on face of the earth or in human history that condones the kind of reprehensible criminal actions that ISIL comments. I think that in a large way is the President's point. Do these men say they are doing it in the name of Islam? Yes. Is it a completely distorted and narrow and ancient view of Islam? Yes. But I would not say it isn't Islamic. I think that's his point.

BURNETT: And Eric Holder spoke this afternoon about the administration's refusal to use this term, Islamic extremism. Let me just play what he said.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Radical Islam, Islamic extremist, you know, I'm not sure an awful lot is gained by saying that. It doesn't have an impact on our military posture. Doesn't have any impact on what we call it on the policies that we put in place.


BURNETT: And that may be very true. But some might say doesn't calling something by what it is matter. Why would we avoid using the name for something? Is there a fear of being too politically correct?

STENGEL: You know, I find, and I'm a former journalist as you know Erin, I find the focus on this, it's like trying to get somebody to actually say this and point it out that we're being hypocritical. I don't think we are. I think the point is, I've been having meetings all day long today and the next couple of days, with our coalition partners. Our coalition partners see this as a criminal activity that's occurring in their country and that we need to go after it. These are criminals who are doing it in the name of Islam. And I think it gives Islam a terrible name which is part of the reason why, you know, we're talking about it as criminal barbaric terrorist activity in the name of Islam.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. Under Secretary Stengel, I appreciate your time tonight.

STENGEL: Thank you, Erin. BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, new information about the deadly

attacks in Paris. How the "Charlie Hebdo" massacre was actually almost completely called off.

And Jews in Europe targeted, murdered. One journalist walks to the streets of Paris wearing a yamaka and you'll see for yourself what happened to him.

And breaking news, a mother of four gunned down after apparent road rage incident. Tonight though, police are telling a very different side of the story.


BURNETT: A major development tonight in the investigation into the Paris attacks last month. The massacre at "Charlie Hebdo" magazine was nearly called off at the last minute. It almost didn't happen. Le Monde is reporting the brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi almost cancelled the rampage because one of them got the flu. We're also learning more from the French newspaper about how Cherif communicated with Amedy Coulibaly. That's the man who carried out the attack two days later at the kosher supermarket killing four Jews.

National security correspondent Jim Sciutto joins me from Washington with the latest. And Jim, I guess, there's also a big development in terms of how coordinated these attacks were. I mean, first of all, I'm stunned. You know, when think about something as horrific as this that something like the stomach flu might have stopped the whole thing.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: No question. You know, terrorists are people, right? And even small things can get in the way. In terms of coordination, we knew that they were friends. We knew that they have been suspected in a previous plot and we also knew that their wives had been in touch. Some 500 phone calls between the partner Hayat Boumeddiene of Amedy Coulibaly and one of the Kouachi brothers' wives just in the previous year alone. Now Le Monde, the French newspaper Le Monde reporting that the attackers texted each other just about an hour before that Paris attack on "Charlie Hebdo" and they might have met face-to-face several hours before and that Amedy Coulibaly of the 13 cellphones he had if you can believe it, one of them was specifically for communicating with one of those Kouachi brothers who were the gunmen of course in the "Charlie Hebdo" attack.

BURNETT: So, now that there's this text proof as you're talking about that they were coordinating, is there a sense of who ultimately this trace is back to when you look at who actually were pulling the strings or who inspired these attacks?

SCIUTTO: Well, this is the thing. It appears to be a mishmash. Because you had Coulibaly pledging some sort of allegiance to ISIS. We have direct ties between the Kouachi brothers and AQAP Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula including possible a training, possible contact with Anwar al-Awlaki the American preacher. But not necessarily direct coordination like you had for instance with the 9/11 attacks where you know, you have home based calling the shots, setting the plans, perhaps picking the target, et cetera. It's more of a mishmash. And I spoke to a counterterror official today who said that, you know, even the term lone wolves may be a misnomer. Because some of them have competing allegiances, a little bit of training perhaps, or maybe no training at all. And that kind of thing means that they can act very much on their own, if not totally on their own which the bottom line Erin is that makes it very difficult to prevent these kinds of attacks. Because there won't necessarily be that final call saying go ahead and carry out this attack in this way. It means they can operate much more independently and that's frankly easier to hide when you're doing it.

BURNETT: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you very much. The attack on the kosher supermarket in Paris is just one, sadly of many, assaults on Jews in Europe recently. Just this weekend a shooter in Copenhagen targeted a Synagogue and hundreds of gravestones were desecrated as cemetery in France. To make a point about the treatment of Jews in Europe, to find out, you know, because BB Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel said, hey, European Jews, come, you're all welcome. Come here. So, one Israeli journalist wanted to see what was really happening in Europe. And he filmed himself walking in Paris. His experience frankly incredibly eye opening.

Max Foster is OUTFRONT.


MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One man follows him calling Jew. He appears to be Spartans. Israeli journalist Zvika Klein secretly filmed himself walking the streets of Paris wearing kippah, a Jewish skullcap and prayer tassels. At times he's verbally abused by people he passed by.

ZVIKA KLEIN, ISRAELI JOURNALIST: I kind of felt like a walking target. I had a body guard with me. And at certain point, he also told us to leave certain areas because he saw a commotion. You know, things going on because of the fact that I was there.

FOSTER: Out of the ten hours of footage, they posted 90 seconds. CNN hasn't seen the rest of the footage. Klein copied the format that went viral back in October when a woman spent ten hours walking around New York being subjected to sexist abuse. That video has now been viewed nearly 40 million times. Klein says, he wants to raise awareness of every day anti-Semitism in Europe in the wake of terror attacks in France. In the January Paris attacks, four Jews were murdered at a kosher supermarkets. The video begins with Klein at the Eiffel Tower. But he admits that most of the abuse was out in the poor, predominantly Muslim suburbs of Paris.

(on camera): So, while you filmed across the city, actually the message and some of the abuse you received really came from a specific part of the city. So, it's not necessarily a story of the whole city?

KLEIN: I'm not claiming to say that it's the story of the whole city. But then again, you know, I mean, France is in Europe and France is a democracy. And I don't think it should be a problem for any person that believes in any religion to walk on any street in these cities.

FOSTER (voice-over): Klein says, he was extremely scared at times, he was actually expecting worse.

KLEIN: I could have been beaten up which is something I thought was going to happen. And it didn't happen. And most of the people that walked next to me and saw the way I was dressed, you know, treated me with respect.


FOSTER: So, not a scientific study but it certainly hit a nerve in the wake of attacks in Jewish communities here in Europe -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Max, thank very much. It's fascinating interview.

And joining me now Bob Baer, our intelligence and security analyst, also a former CIA operative. Bob, when you hear about what's happening in Europe, you see what's happening in Europe, you just see this journalist experience in the predominantly Muslim areas of Paris, does this surprise you?

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: It does, Erin. I served in Europe for many years. I still own a house in Europe. This is a new Europe. It's described as a clash of civilizations. It didn't used to matter whether you wear the hijab or a yamaka, you could walk around Paris and no one would say a word. It's changing very quickly. And you just need to look at Copenhagen, the attacks in Paris. And I would like to add, you know, there's a lot of weapons missing in Europe. So, this is a very volatile situation and it's not the Europe I used to live in.

BURNETT: And you talked about the kosher supermarket, I mean, the soft targets that you're attacked, right, a supermarket. A graveyard, a synagogue. These are places that people go every day. Jews all across Europe. I was talking to the head of Europe poll yesterday and asked him the question of whether they could guarantee their safety. He said no, but he didn't want it to blow out of proportion. But I guess my question to you is, wouldn't you be afraid? I mean, are Jews safe in Europe? Or are you now looking at a time like we saw frankly half a century ago?

BAER: I think it's pretty that bad. I mean, I'm not Jewish but I wouldn't go to a synagogue. I mean, you're planting a target on your back. Like I said this is something new. You know? And again, this is clash of civilization. Also Erin, don't also forget that Israel and Jews are not part of this conflict, this sectarian conflict in the Middle East between Shia and Sunni. They are not killing people in Iraq, they are not responsible for the Shia government in Yemen but they are taking the brunt of this violence which is a real turn, you know, in this story.

BURNETT: I think a pretty sobering thing to say. Bob Baer, thank you very much. As he said he served many years in Europe and so he has a home there. The bottom-line he would not be going to synagogue in Europe right now.

OUTFRONT next, we have new details on the road rage incident in which a mother of four was killed. Police tonight releasing a very different side of the story as the manhunt continues for the shooter.

And our exclusive report tonight. One man who escaped ISIS. He could have been one of these 21 who were beheaded. Fighters entered his apartment, they threatened to kill him because he was Christian. How did he get away? That's OUTFRONT exclusively.


BURNETT: Breaking news, a case of road rage turned deadly. New details tonight about the encounter that left a mother of four dead. Police say that after the incident the victim Tammy Meyers went home to get her son who was armed. They then went back out to find the driver. It ended with her death. And tonight, the manhunt is on for her killer.

Sara Sidner is OUTFRONT. And Sara, I know this case is now much more complicated that police originally indicated, right?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That's absolutely true, Erin. And really what has changed is the sequence of events. The added information that you just mentioned that Tammy Meyers, the person who was killed in this case actually may have escalated the situation turning what wasn't argument over a traffic incident into a homicide.


SIDNER (voice-over): An autopsy revealing the terrible truth about how this Las Vegas mother of four was killed in apparent road rage incident. Tammy Meyers died of a gunshot wound to the head. Police say the suspect followed her home and shot her after the two argued over a traffic incident. Police are searching for this man who they believe killed her. Her case an extreme example of the potential dangers on the road.

(on camera): In a 2013 "Washington Post" poll, the number of drivers reported having uncontrollable anger towards other drivers on the road has doubled since 2005. Now with the proliferation of cell phones, some of that rage is being caught on camera. In February in Austin, Texas, a driver loses his temper and is spitting mad when a woman photographs his license plate after he allegedly drove recklessly.


SIDNER: He was charged with reckless driving and he later apologized for his actions.

In January in North Carolina, a mother begins videotaping an aggressive driver.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This person in front of me is being a real character right now.

SIDNER: A minute later an attack.



SIDNER: Who can forget this? New York City, a confrontation between the driver of a SUV and motorcyclists. Police say it begun when bikers intentionally harassed drivers and slowed down in front of SUV. One bike got hit. The motorcyclist then attacked the vehicle and the SUV driver afraid for his family, hits the gas, running over three of the bikers. It ends when the bikers pull the SUV driver from his car and beat him. Several of the bikers have been charged.

And then there's this in 2013: a doctor sworn to do no harm rages against another driver when the driver pulls out the cell phone to capture the doctor's aggressive driving.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He doesn't like that and slams on his brake.

SIDNER: Eventually, the doctor pulls a gun. No one was hurt.

Despite our national instinct these days to pull out a phone and videotape everything, consider this -- experts say it might actually escalate the situation.

JEFFREY SPRING, AAA OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: You're taking the chance of shooting footage of someone who is enraged. And could that further enrage them? It's hard to say. But you're taking a risk. And we'd say the most important thing from AAA's perspective is to get out of the situation. You don't want to escalated to that point where someone is so enraged they aren't thinking about what they are doing.


SIDNER: And when we heard from police in those sequence of events, it appears the situation was escalate, but there's absolutely, of course, no reason at all why this mother of four should have been shot and killed -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Sara, thank you very much.

And, OUTFRONT now, host of HLN's "Dr. Drew On Call", Dr. Drew Pinsky.

All right. You just saw Sarah's piece. I mean, what is it about driving that leads to road rage, because at this point, this is something everybody has experienced, either you felt the rage or you'd been on the receiving end of someone else's?

DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN: Right, especially here in Los Angeles. It's something we can contend with on a daily basis. I had someone act out road rage on me just three days ago because I gently passed around him to get to an off-ramp, and he T-boned my car and right out of his car screaming. And here in Los Angeles, we know not to escalate things, because

you never know when it's that wrong person who might be an methamphetamine, who might be altered in some way, being manic or have mental illness, where this is go from rage to an outlandish behavior that could result in a death like that situation in Las Vegas.

The fact we're in a vehicle makes people very impersonal. They vehicle is being attacked less so the individual. You don't have the usual feedback of a human being you're faced with while the rage is building. By the time, they are deeply enraged, they don't care who's in the car at that point.

BURNETT: Right. And it sounds like they don't care if someone is videoing it. And we just heard, in fact, that actually might escalate it and make someone more likely, you just heard a doctor who whipped out a gun.

I mean, road rage obviously is common. Everyone has experienced something that's pretty terrifying to them at some point.

But why is it that some people escalate it to violence and others don't? I know you mentioned drugs in some cases but aside from that.

PINSKY: Right, there are two categories in my mind. There are people that are chronic road ragers, and there are people who have mental illness and are raging because of their condition. The people that are chronic road ragers, I've actually done some anecdotal surveys on these people. It turns out, you know, the common sort of conception is that somehow these people, blood pressure going up. I heard people say they are going to have a stroke if they're not careful.

Well, the fact is the chronic road rager has a decrease in their pulse and blood pressure. They become hyper inhibit and get high from the raging. Those aren't typically be people that will strike out in an overt way, but they are ones driving erratically, doing dangerous things and may inadvertently put themselves or other people in danger.

BURNETT: So, as to the situation we're talking about now, the manhunt, they still have not found the person who shot Tammy Meyers. And again, the escalation could have come from both sides. But there's no question this woman was a victim and should not have lost her life in this.

PINSKY: Right.

BURNETT: Do you think the suspect will strike again or if possible that this is a --

PINSKY: No, the way you're hearing it now, this woman went back out with her son and a gun. I mean, they even thought they were protecting themselves. Who knows what the more we're going to learn about this situation.

BURNETT: Right. PINSKY: This is absolutely not the typical road rage thing. But

it does remind us that when road rage really become dangerous, it's when there's a tit-for-tat escalation --


PINSKY: -- that things can really spiral out of control.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Dr. Drew.

And OUTFRONT next: 21 Egyptian Christians beheaded by ISIS. We have an exclusive story, went to the town where these men were from and found one man who escaped. His story exclusively OUTFRONT, next.

And the murder trial of the former NFL star Aaron Hernandez. He's caught on video dismantling his cell phone. This is that video. We'll show it to you.


BURNETT: Tonight, CNN has the story of one man who narrowly escaped the grisly death at the hands of ISIS. This young man went to Libya to try to get a job. He went with a dozen other men from his town. Those men were kidnapped by ISIS. They were part of the group of 21 Christians who are beheaded by ISIS in that video. But this man survived. And his story is harrowing.

Ian Lee is OUTFRONT tonight in Minya, Egypt.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A grieving mother and son turned martyr.

Twenty-four-year-old Mina Aziz (ph) didn't have much. A strong back but no real education. With marriage on his mind and empty pockets he left for Libya.

"He was a worker. He used to carry sand and rocks. What else could he do?" asked his mother Afaf. "He didn't have a trade. He would have taken any job offered to him."

Families like Aziz may be poor but they are rich in faith.

The small close-knit village of el-Aour mourns 13 sons were part of a group of 21 who apparently lost their lives at the hands of ISIS, in gruesome beheadings. The streets void of joy filled with a painful procession of crying eyes.

Omm Beshir lost two of her sons. They were about to return home to celebrate Christmas.

"They said mom cook all the holiday food," she tells me. "But the bastards kidnapped them like they deprived me of my sons. I hope God deprives them." The attacks sparked national outrage. Islam and Christianity in

Egypt forming one hand. Men in this village understand what it means to work in Libya.

(on camera): The thing about el-Aour and villages like this is people are poor. Work is scarce. Libya was seen as the only opportunity and some say, once things calm down, they'll risk their lives going back.

(voice-over): Hana isn't returning. He's lucky to be alive, narrowly avoiding being kidnapped by ISIS himself. He's the last person to see Omm Beshir and Afaf's sons alive.

He tells me, "There was a crack in the wall next to the AC." Mass men seized his cousin and nephew in the adjacent room. He heard ISIS militants say they had orders from the emir to arrest all Christians and Sirte. Hana escaped into the desert with 15 others.

Back home he avoids his family.

"I feel guilty", Hana tells me. "First of all, the situation was difficult, more than you can imagine. How your nephew be taken from your hand. How can you face your brother or your uncle? What would you tell them?"

Heroics would mean one more son of el-Aour didn't come home. Despite the gruesome video, Hana takes solace in what he saw.

"To the last moment, the name of Jesus was on their lips", he tells me. "As they were being martyred, they were calling God's name saying, 'God have mercy on us'."

The entire village is proud.

Afaf doesn't hold a grudge against Hana. She knows her son is in a better place.


LEE: As the drums of war grow louder with Egypt, potentially increasing airstrikes against Libya, we need to remember that the country has thousands if not hundreds of thousands of residents still in that country trying to get out. We know ISIS is not afraid of killing anyone they see as a threat, as an enemy. That means not only Christians but Egyptian Muslims are at risk as well -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Ian Lee, thank you very much. Such a powerful and moving report.

And next, newly released video shows the former football star Aaron Hernandez dismantling his cell phone. Why was he doing it? Was he trying to cover up evidence? We'll show you exactly how he pulled that phone apart.

And Jeanne Moos goes behind the scenes with canine social event of the season, oh rat dogs and all. We'll be right back.


BURNETT: A key piece of evidence is now public in the murder trial involving former NFL star Aaron Hernandez. Today, the jury was able to see surveillance video showing the former New England Patriots receiver taking apart his phone. You see him there in the pink pants and then getting into his attorney's car to use his attorney's phone. It was just one day after police say that Hernandez murdered his friend Odin Lloyd.

So, was he hiding something?

Susan Candiotti is OUTFRONT in Fall River, Massachusetts.


SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's 2:00 a.m. and New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez is in police station parking lot, after voluntarily meeting with detectives. He gets into his lawyer's car.

Several hours after Odin Lloyd's body is found shot dead in an industrial park, keys to car rented by Hernandez found on Lloyd's body lead police to question him. An out door police department security camera shows Hernandez and his lawyer who walks away. With the cars interior light on, Hernandez dismantles his BlackBerry, removing battery and cover.

MICHAEL ELLIOTT, DETECTIVE, NORTH ATTLEBORO POLICE: Inside the vehicle it appeared that he took his phone and took it apart.

CANDIOTTI: Jurors watch him pick up another phone, but first he quickly puts his own phone back together and makes a call on the borrowed phone.

ELLIOTT: So, he's using one phone either texting or calling and the other is on his lap, apart.

JAMIE SULTAN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: OK. And how long did you watch him on the camera?

ELLIOTT: Around 20 minutes.

CANDIOTTI: Without the jury present, the judge says Hernandez calls Earnest Wallace later charged with murdering Lloyd. Wallace seen on video coming home with Hernandez minutes after Lloyd is shot. Jurors are not told that second phone belongs to his lawyer nor that Hernandez was calling Wallace.

The defense plays down the phone swap.

SULTAN: You saw him slid off the back cover and pop out the battery.


SULTAN: Is that what you saw?


SULTAN: All right. You didn't see him smashing his phone, did you?


SULTAN: And you're aware, are you not, that that phone was later turned over to the state police?

ELLIOTT: I believe so, yes.

CANDIOTTI: Jurors also learned about another surveillance camera in Hernandez's basement. His man cave equipped with bar, big screen TV and pool table. When the cameras put in, he asked the installer how to disable it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He asked if it was possible to shut off the camera in the basement because he didn't want his fiance seeing him hang out with the friends. I said, well, we could label the cameras and you could just unplug it. He said, "That sounds like a good idea. Why don't we do that?"

CANDIOTTI: That camera cable is labeled "man cave". Significant because that's the only camera in the house prosecutors say is turned off when Hernandez comes home and goes to his basement minutes after Lloyd is shot, a gun allegedly in his hand.


CANDIOTTI: And of all things jurors are also shown, a wad of blue bubblicious bubble gum and a .45 caliber shell casing both found in a rental car that was driven by Hernandez. Significant because prosecutors are trying to offer further proof that Hernandez was behind the wheel when Odin Lloyd was driven to that industrial park before he was shot to death -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Susan, thank you very much.

Our legal analyst Paul Callan is OUTFRONT.

Let me just start with that point Susan just made. A bubbilicious gum wrapper, to be specific, wrapped around a bullet casing, found in a rental car driven by Hernandez. How significant is that? They do say the gum had Hernandez's DNA on it and the shell casing matched the casing of the murder scene.

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The bubble gum bullet I think is going to do him in. This is a big piece of evidence because, remember, the car that he's turning back in to the rental agency is the car where police say the murder took place and he was driving the car. So, what is the coincidence that they would find in a trash

barrel, a .45 caliber piece of ammunition, which, by the way, .45 caliber bullet was used to kill Lloyd, wrapped in bubble gum with his DNA on it. He obviously threw it away when he was turning the rental car in.

So, it directly proves and links him back to the murder weapon which hasn't been recovered --

BURNETT: This is the most significant piece of evidence you've heard yet?

CALLAN: I think it is because, you know, they put together this meticulous circumstantial case. But it always leaves you a little unsatisfied, circumstantial cases, and they throw the bubble gum and the jury I think will be satisfied this ties it all together.

BURNETT: So, you think that's the clincher. What about the cell phone? Because what's interesting is the jury, it's very important he called, that he called the accomplice, alleged accomplice, right, in the killing in the car. The jury is not being told that. So, if they don't know who he called, do they know the significance of this incident?

CALLAN: Yes, I think the cell phone is going to pull by the wayside, not important at all. First of all, taking a battery out of a phone, I mean, what does that mean? Maybe he was changing the battery, but also, his lawyer maybe told him to do it. The jury is not going to know that.

BURNETT: And they're not telling jury it's the lawyer's phone. The whole idea he took the battery out because he thought it was a microphone doesn't hold if they think that he just has a couple of phones.

CALLAN: And it doesn't prove anything in the yet. It was destroyed and the state police looked at the phone. So, no foul here. So that's going no place.

BURNETT: But you think it comes down to the bubble gum bullet?

CALLAN: It's all going to be the bubble gum bullet. That's what I'd say.

BURNETT: All right. Paul Callan, thank you very much.

And OUTFRONT next, Jeanne Moos at the Westminster dog show. She will introduce you -- look at how sweet this guy is. And him, too, I guess. Schmitty The Weather Dog.


BURNETT: At the Westminster Kennel Club where the dog -- where the show is a dog eat dog world. An out of competition Yorkie gives a performance of a totally different kind.

Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When you're a show dog, the last place your handler wants your paws is in some salty, grimy New York City snow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We carried him in. I brought him in on my shoulders.

MOOS: This is a crowd where you stumble on a dog in a baby carriage wearing a $400 motorcycle jacket.

SHARON PRASSEL, CHLOE COUTUR: I design coats for women and for dogs. So you can see I have a complimentary jacket.

MOOS: Ooh.

PRASSEL: So, she did a charity event --

MOOS: I'm pitying you.

PRASSEL: I know.

MOOS: So where can a show dog owner turn for up to the minute weather?

RON TROTTA: Schmitty The Weather Dog! Hey, everybody, it's meteorologist Ron Trotta here with Schmitty The Weather Dog!

MOOS: Now, Schmitty may not be a certified meteorologist, but Ron Trotta is.

TROTTA: What's that, Schmitty? Schmitty said I got to tell you about the weather.

OK. We have some snow this morning. The sun is shining, high in the 20s.

MOOS: His weather forecasts appear --

TROTTA: Schmitty!

MOOS: -- on the Westminster Kennel Club Web site is Schmitty chiming in via corny thought bubbles.

TROTTA: That's the latest from snowy New York City.

MOOS: Ron also takes her to elementary schools to talk about weather and science.

TROTTA: She weighs four pounds.

MOOS: A four-pound Yorkie meets a 240 pound mastiff.

Can you imagine the puppies? (LAUGHTER)

TROTTA: I can't even imagine the process.

MOOS: Folks were posing and taking photos of Schmitty even though most weren't quite sure why.

Do you know who this dog is?


CROWD: Schmitty the Weather Dog!

TROTTA: She has a nose for the weather.

MOOS: Actually, Ron has a nose for turning Schmitty into a brand. Children's book, and New Yorkie clothing line. But this is the dog to turn to if you think the weather is turning Schmitty.

Jeanne Moos, CNN --

TROTTA: Schmitty.


CROWD: Schmitty the Weather Dog.

MOOS: -- New York.


BURNETT: Schmitty was pretty cute, although that other dog, $400 jacket for a dog. What is this world coming to?

Thanks for joining us. Be sure to DVR the show so you can watch it any time.

"AC360" starts now.