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Obama Slams Israel Leader's Iran Speech; House Passes Clean Homeland Security Funding Bill; Interview with Ed Royce; Iraq Gains Influence in Iraq as It Fights ISIS; Pelosi: Speech 'An Insult to the Intelligence'; Feds: Ferguson Police Targeted African-Americans

Aired March 3, 2015 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Happening now, firing back after Israel's prime minister makes a dramatic appearance before Congress, warning against a proposed Iran nuclear deal, President Obama immediately answers, calling it theater and accusing the Israeli leader of offering nothing new.

Racist cops, use of force, jail sentences, racial e-mails -- the Justice Department finds repeated discrimination against African- Americans by the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department and municipal court.

And terrorist voice -- a new audio recording emerges of Jihadi John years before he became an ISIS murderer.

Who drove him over the edge?

I'm Wolf Blitzer.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: We're following two breaking stories right now. A Justice Department civil rights investigation ordered after the police shooting of Michael Brown finds that the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department and municipal court engaged in, quote, "a pattern and practice of discrimination against African-Americans, targeting them for traffic stops, use of force and jail sentences." Investigators also found evidence of racist jokes circulated by police and court officials.

We're also following a bitter war of words between allies. President Obama firing back after Israel's prime minister delivers a blistering attack on a proposed nuclear deal with Iran. Benjamin Netanyahu warning Congress that the agreement pursued by the United States and world powers would pave Iran's path to getting nuclear weapons.

The president launched his own blistering attack, saying the Israeli leader is offering nothing new and no viable alternatives for preventing an Iranian bomb. The House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, Ed Royce, he's

standing by live, along with our correspondents, our analysts and our guests.

Let's go to the White House, first, though.

Our correspondent, Michelle Kosinski, has the very latest -- Michelle.


So in this impassioned speech that drew thunderous applause from the Congress, Benjamin Netanyahu first lay lays out that America is great, standing with Israel, that Iran is bad, calling it a dark and murderous regime. And then he rips to shreds this still being worked out nuclear deal with Iran.

The problem is, this administration says his logic just doesn't work, that he still has presented no viable alternative.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Thank you, America. Thank you for everything you've done for Israel.

KOSINSKI (voice-over): Before this very eager U.S. Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proceeded to absolutely blast the prospect of a nuclear deal with Iran that he called the enemy.

NETANYAHU: That deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them. That's why this deal is so bad. It doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb, it paves Iran's path to the bomb.

KOSINSKI: What he objects to in this deal being worked out by the U.S. and its allies with an end of this month deadline, it would not require Iran to demolish any nuclear facility, thousands of centrifuges. It would allow about a year of what's called breakout time, how long it would take Iran to make a nuclear bomb if it decided to, would possibly only have a 10 year time frame. And Netanyahu says more inspections of facilities would only be able to document Iran's potential progress toward a weapon, but wouldn't be able to stop it.

NETANYAHU: The world should demand that Iran do three things.

First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East.

Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.

And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.

KOSINSKI: While he got a huge reception here, the White House not impressed. President Obama didn't even watch the speech. But he did use nearly 15 minutes responding to it.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The prime minister didn't offer any viable alternatives. And the alternative that the prime minister offers is no deal, in which case Iran will immediately begin once again pursuing its nuclear program, accelerate its nuclear program, without us having any insight into what they're doing and without constraint.


KOSINSKI: In the last few days, we've seen administration officials pretty much preempt everything Netanyahu said today and make arguments again it, that if you add more demands onto Iran, trying to have it dismantle its whole capacity or adding more sanctions or making the time frame indefinite, would be tantamount to no deal and the U.S., in stark opposition to Israel, feels that no deal would be way worse than this deal.

That said, though, remember, the president has already said that it is likelier than not, at this point, that Iran will reject this deal as it stands -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes. No doubt they're furious at the prime minister over at the White House.

Michelle, thank you very much.

The Israeli prime minister received numerous standing ovations from members of Congress, but his speech was boycotted by dozens of Democrats.

For the impact and the fallout, let's go to our chief Congressional correspondent, Dana Bash -- Dana, how did it go p?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you saw in Michelle's piece the overwhelming ovations that the prime minister got to a lot of lines in his speech. Remember, this is a Republican majority on both sides, so most of those people giving the rousing applause were Republicans. Even Democrats who did go, many of them went to be polite and were not happy with what they heard.

Look at Nancy Pelosi. She was openly agitated and annoyed at what she heard. And afterwards, she said in a statement that she was nearly in tears because of the lecture that she believed that the prime minister gave to the US.

Listen to what she told reporters.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), CALIFORNIA: I was near tears because I love Israel very much. I value the importance of the relationship between the United States. The United States of America has, as one of its pillars of its national security and its foreign policy, to stop the proliferation of weapon mass destruction. And that's what we do. And that's what the president is doing in the negotiations. And if the deal isn't good enough, we won't accept it. I don't think we needed any lectures on that.


BASH: She was speaking for a lot of Democrats, basically saying who does the prime minister think he is, coming into our house and giving us a lecture about nuclear capabilities and dealing with Iran?

On the flip side, a lot of Republicans here were thanking their lucky stars that he gave that speech because they are very concerned. And they say very clearly that the White House is looking for a deal, for a legacy issue for the president, for politics. And they're worried that they are going to give in too much in a way that the prime minister laid out today that could hurt not just Israel, its neighbor, but also even as far as the United States -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, as you say, Nancy Pelosi called the speech "an insult to the intelligence of the United States."

Wow! Powerful words from her. Quickly, Dana, I understand after all the storm of last week, the

fury, Republicans today folded on their attempt to try to hold up funding for the Department of Homeland Security unless it was linked to the stopping of the president's unilateral action on immigration reform.

It finally passed. Tell us what happened.

BASH: It's only because Republicans ran out of cards to play. I mean it's just as simple as that. Republican leaders saw this coming last week, which is why they tried to end it. But they needed -- conservatives in their caucus blew that up on the floor. And it was very clear even to them that this is the end of the road, Democrats were not going to negotiate on giving it all to try to stop the president's immigration plan.

So they were able to get this through the House.

And in a sort of a symbolic move, even the House speaker, who isn't required to vote, really traditionally doesn't vote, went to the House floor and voted for this, to make it very clear that he believes this is the right thing to do, fund the Homeland Security Department and move on to the next fight, which is, of course, just around the corner -- Wolf.

BLITZER: So it's funded through the end of this fiscal year, the end of September, right?

BASH: Right. It's funded through the end of September, with a new spending bill, which means new priorities, new programs, the exact kind of things that the department's secretary has been asking Congress for for a very long time to help keep Americans safe.

BLITZER: And Boehner doesn't have to worry about any immediate rebellion from some of his more conservative Tea Party supporters?

BASH: Not immediate, but he certainly was embarrassed on Friday and there absolutely were discussions going on about how and whether this group of conservatives could hurt him more than just embarrassing him and actually try to take him down. But they don't have the votes to do that. So they're -- they pulled back. They decided to let this go. And they're going to see how things play out and wait to see if other, a more broad coalition of Republicans get as annoyed with the speaker and his leadership and then they feel that they might have a chance to get him out.

But right now, they just don't.

BLITZER: All right, in the meantime, funding has been approved for the rest of this fiscal year.

Dana, thanks very much.

I'm bringing in right now, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Congressman Ed Royce of California. Congressman, thanks very much for joining us.

Do you think speaker has to worry about his tenure as speaker of the House?

Because there are some of your colleagues, maybe 50 of them, Republicans, who are not very happy with this?

REP. ED ROYCE (R-CA), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: But in the meantime, the thing to look at is that in the courts, the Republican position is winning. In the courts, the president's executive order has been challenged. And a federal judge has sided with the position that he's overextended.

So I think from that standpoint, funding the Homeland Security Department and moving on, we fully understand why the speaker has taken that position.

BLITZER: All right, let's talk about the prime minister's speech. You were there. You applauded. You stood up. You liked what you heard, clearly, from the prime minister of Israel.

The White House says he said nothing new and offered no real alternative to what Secretary Kerry is trying to achieve in Geneva.

ROYCE: Look, from the standpoint of the prime minister of Israel, he views this a little differently, probably, than the president of the United States. For him, it's an issue of the survival of Israel, because Israel right now has 100,000 -- 100,000 missiles on its border that Iran had put there in the hands of Hezbollah.

BLITZER: A hundred thousand missiles?

ROYCE: A hundred thousand now.

BLITZER: You mean like Katusha rockets?

ROYCE: No. I mean -- I mean missiles and rockets. And they used to be (INAUDIBLE)...

BLITZER: You mean in Lebanon?

ROYCE: -- 20,000.

BLITZER: Are we talking about Gaza?

ROYCE: This is in Lebanon. This is in Lebanon. You have an additional inventory in Gaza. And so these missiles and rockets have flooded in there. These are the intelligence estimates.

And so in this kind of a situation, you can imagine, if you're an Israeli, looking at the duplicity that Iran has been involved in in the past. It's been in the DNA over there in terms of their violation of other agreements.

You're saying where's the verification in this agreement?

And the IAEA is backing this up and saying...

BLITZER: The International Atomic Energy Agency.

ROYCE: Exactly. They've asked 12 questions, you know. And only part of one of those have been answered, in terms of the thousands of -- the thousands of pages of documents they have about the development of a nuclear bomb.

BLITZER: But did you hear him offer an alternative to what the president is trying to achieve?

ROYCE: As I understand the alternative, it's what I and Eliot Engel, my ranking member on my committee, tried to do in the last session. We offered up a bill that would really lead but no -- to no other option except for Iran to either negotiate on this agreement or face an implosion of their economy. Because our sanctions bill, which passed 400-20, which was bipartisan, was held over in the Senate because the president of the United States said no, do not allow that to come up.

BLITZER: But White House officials say you wouldn't get the support of the Europeans, Republican Russians, the Chinese, to go ahead and enforce those kind of tougher sanctions.

ROYCE: The reality is that because they need access to the international financial system and because of the amount of influence the United States has in that, if we say to a country, as we did once to North Korea, you cannot be part of the international financial system, we will not participate in that, you can impose those type sanctions.

Now, it's uncomfortable on people. But when you're talking about a country that's developing a nuclear bomb, you know, there you have a case for where you have to use this.

BLITZER: In the case of North Korea, it didn't prevent North Korea from getting a bomb. ROYCE: Because the State Department stepped in and lifted the

sanctions. And that was what was so frustrating to the Treasury Department that put those sanctions in place. And it was Treasury that helped us develop -- Stuart Levy at Treasury helped develop this concept. This is what should have been done. This is the alternative. And the president blocked it. And it's very unfortunate.

BLITZER: All right, I want you to stand by.

We have a lot more to talk about, including Nancy Pelosi calling Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech "an insult to the United States," condescension toward U.S. knowledge of what's going on.

Much more with the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee when we come back.



BLITZER: While attention is focused on the proposed nuclear deal with Iran and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to stop it, Iran's influence is clearly growing in Iraq, where it, too, is battling ISIS.

The House Foreign Affairs committee chairman, Ed Royce, is standing by. But let's go to our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. She has more on this part of the story -- Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is now a case of an Iranian-backed Shia group working to try and take back a Sunni town from ISIS control and another move that the U.S. is watching of Iran indeed exerting its influence.


STARR (voice-over): A dramatic effort to stop a suicide bomber near Tikrit, part of what Iraqi forces here are battling in an effort to take back the city.

The U.S. is on the sidelines. Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi did not ask Americans for help, Pentagon officials say, but front and center, Iran.

JAMES CLAPPER, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: They have a big interest in the outcome of things in Iraq. They very much consistently wanted a Shia-friendly government that they can influence in Baghdad.

STARR: The Iranian Karst news agency reporting Qassam Soleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force, is in Iraq overseeing the Tikrit operation, Iran providing weapons to fight ISIS. Raising questions, if the U.S. is countering Tehran's growing influence, inside or out. GEN. LLOYD AUSTIN, COMMANDER, U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND: Absolute

knowledge of what their intent is, is not always there, but clearly, we have very good intelligence services. And we have good overhead imagery and those types of things. So the activity in Tikrit was no surprise.


STARR: But what does worry the U.S., Wolf, is, if those Iraqi forces backed by Iran, the Shia forces, go into Tikrit really heavy in a very violent manner and alienate the Sunnis in the town, it may be very difficult to break that Sunni link with ISIS, and that is going to cause huge problems in trying to defeat ISIS across Iraq. It is something that has seriously caught the Pentagon's attention -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Yes, deeply concerning development. Barbara, thank you.

We're back with the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Ed Royce of California. How involved is Iran in Iraq right now?

REP. ED ROYCE (R-CA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Well, obviously with the Quds Forces on the ground in Iraq and especially with General Soleimani, this is the general, by the way, in charge of Quds Forces who in the past was found to be involved in the effort to carry out an assassination attempt against the ambassador from Saudi Arabia to the United States.

BLITZER: Here in Washington.

ROYCE: Here in Washington. This is an individual...

BLITZER: You're sure that Soleimani directly ordered that assassination attempt?

ROYCE: I'm sure that he, as general of Quds Forces, would have some knowledge of the activities that Quds Forces have been involved in. And this is not one isolated case.

Look at the Quds Force's involvement, you know, in Syria. Look at their involvement in Yemen. Look at their involvement in Lebanon with Hezbollah. I mean, this is a very dangerous development to have Iran continue to spread its influence, especially with the recent overthrow of the government in Yemen, which was an ally of the United States and is now an ally...

BLITZER: Correct me if I'm wrong. This proposed authorization for the U.S. military -- use of military force, not only to be authorized to go against ISIS but also potentially against Iran?

ROYCE: No, I do not think that we would be able to, Wolf, get legislation through.

BLITZER: You don't think you have the support in Congress? ROYCE: We would not be able to do that, and I don't know if it's

beneficial to our end goal here in terms of trying to get a bipartisan initiative behind the effort to push back ISIS.

But there is no doubt that this problem of Iran's undermining governments around the region and continuing to take control of various territories is a very problematic thing. So you really have, you know, the Islamists running the caliphate in ISIS, and then you have this other group of Islamists with their Islamic revolution in Iran. And it's -- they are competing against each other. But, on the other hand, they both have very hostile designs, as they say, against the little Satan, Israel, and the great Satan, the United States.

BLITZER: Let me wrap up with Nancy Pelosi. She angrily reacted to the prime minister's speech, Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech. In a statement, she said it was an insult. She was saddened because it was an insult to the intelligence of the United States. She also called it condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran.

Your reaction to Nancy Pelosi. She's the leader of the Democrats, minority leader in the House. Your reaction to what she said about Netanyahu's speech.

ROYCE: My thought on all of this has been that, rather than to ruffle feathers here, we should be focused. We should be focused on the issue of Iran's attempt to obtain a nuclear weapon. And an honest discussion about that subject was, frankly, advanced by hearing from the prime minister of Israel.

Without his being here, I'm not sure the American public would understand all of the ramifications of Iran's efforts or the fact that this agreement will expire after ten years. And at that point, we are going to treat Iran as though it's the Netherlands, and it will be on the cusp of having the capability of breaking out with maybe 160,000 centrifuges? That is what the ayatollah has called for.

I mean, at that point he could take those ICBMs, which are not part of the agreement, which they are developing, and he would have the capability of putting atomic warheads on those ICBMs. And this is the very real question of why we want stronger leverage on Iran in this negotiation in order to get a verifiable agreement.

BLITZER: Chairman Royce, thanks very much for coming in.

Ed Royce is the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Up next, we're breaking news. A scathing new Justice Department report finds a practice of discrimination in Ferguson, Missouri's police and municipal courts. We have the racist jokes that cops were allegedly sending each other.

And the newly-released audio of the man who would become known as the terrorist Jihadi John.

A lot of breaking news we're following right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: Breaking today, a scathing new report from the U.S. Justice Department, citing the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department and the city's municipal court for a, quote, "pattern and practice of discrimination against African-Americans."

Let's bring in our justice reporter, Evan Perez. He's got the details.

Evan, you broke the story earlier. Tell us what happened.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, this is, as you said, a scathing report against the Ferguson Police Department and the city's municipal court system.

The Justice Department says it found some really striking statistics when it went into the books of the city of Ferguson. I'll give you a couple of them. Eighty-five percent of vehicles stopped were of African-Americans; 93 percent of arrests made by the police department were of African-Americans during the time that the Justice Department studied. And 88 percent of the times that the Ferguson Police Department used force to make an arrest, it was against African-Americans.

Wolf, this is a report that basically underscores what we heard from people on the streets in Ferguson, who were very upset, because they said that this is a department that did not respect them, did not protect them. And obviously, this all came about because of the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer from the Ferguson Police Department.

BLITZER: They also uncovered some racist e-mails. Tell us about that.

PEREZ: Well, yes. They found some e-mails being traded by officials at the police department and the court system. And I'll just read one of them to you, Wolf, in which someone sent an e-mail saying that President Obama wouldn't be president very likely for very long because, quote, "What black man holds a steady job for years?" This is, again, part of the pattern and practice that the Justice Department said it found when investigating the police department.

We expect they'll make a formal announcement tomorrow as well as a formal announcement that Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, will not be charged with federal civil rights charges.

BLITZER: All right. Evan, stand by. I want to get some more insight right now. Joining us our CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin; our law enforcement analyst, former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes; and the NAACP president and CEO, Cornell Brooks. Don Lemon is also joining. He's been on this story, of course, since last summer.

Cornell, your reaction to what the Justice Department has now concluded? Does it go, from your perspective, far enough?

CORNELL BROOKS, NAACP PRESIDENT/CEO: It goes quite far. I mean, what we have here is, we've had, as expected, is a wholescale indictment of the Ferguson Police Department. The Ferguson Police Department, according to this report, comes off as a full-service department of bias. In other words, from traffic citations to municipal fines to arrests, arrests without probable cause, the use of excessive force.

The question might be asked, in what manner did the Ferguson Police Department interact with the African-American citizens that did not demonstrate a practice of bias and bigotry?

BLITZER: Jeffrey, so what happens next from a legal perspective?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: The Justice Department will announce these findings officially tomorrow. And then the question becomes, do they file a lawsuit against the city of Ferguson to have a judge impose changes, or do they negotiate with Ferguson and reach what's known as a consent decree? That's what usually happens in these cases, where Ferguson agrees to clean up its act, where it changes its training, its practices, perhaps its leadership. And then the Justice Department monitors to see whether the changes actually stick.

BLITZER: How do you stop, Tom, this kind of alleged racist behavior in a police department and a municipal court?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, the first thing you do is you fire the people who are responsible, if not even prosecute them, but if you're talking about municipal court officials that were putting people in jail because they weren't paying traffic fines. That kind of an issue that just should not be tolerated.

But as far as the officers, the officers have to be defendable in a future action. If something happens, they're involved in a shooting or other violent action and someone brings a lawsuit, they can't have this kind of material come up that the city and the city's insurance company and law firms cannot defend against, which proves racist intent on their part. They just can't tolerate it. They have to take action against the people that did it.

BLITZER: Don, you spent a lot of time in Ferguson, as all of our viewers remember. What's going to be the impact of this on -- I assume they're trying to improve the relationship between local police department and the community.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: They are, but who knows if it's going to work. Listen, I know you guys are characterizing it as racist. It is racist. But beyond that, I think this is more serious. The people who were -- who took oaths to uphold the law have broken the law.

It says this review concludes that racial bias and a focus on generating revenue over public safety have a profound effect on Ferguson police and the court practices and routinely violate the Constitution and federal law. It's saying the police department broke the law.

So this is serious. In every instance in this report, you see 88 or 85 percent to 90-some percent of people who were most likely to have its force used against them: African-American. People who were in lockup for more than two days: African-American. People who were stopped for other summons or for other things: African-American.

The numbers -- as Bill Clinton said during the last convention, Democratic convention, do the math. This report does the math. Everything else is subjective that we've been hearing. You know, this person is discriminating against me; this person is doing that. This report shows numbers, and the numbers don't lie.

And I'm so glad that Jeffrey Toobin earlier brought up the fact that they were closing budget gaps off the backs of poor and minority people.

BLITZER: Cornell, what needs to be done, speaking more broadly, in order to make sure these fences can be mended, if you will, that there's a better relationship -- I think one of the problems was that there's only a tiny number of African-Americans in that police force in Ferguson. I think originally when the story just broke, there may have been 60 police officers. Maybe two of them were African- American, even though the majority of the community is African- American.

BROOKS: Wolf, enhanced community relations have to be predicated on reform. Relationships have to be built on reform. The Ferguson Police Department has to be rebuilt from the bottom up.

I mean, Don is absolutely right: we have evidence that the police department has broken federal laws. They've violated the Constitution in every conceivable manner in terms of their relationships with the African-American community.

But I believe, beyond that, we know in the state of Missouri that the Ferguson Police Department is not the only such police department, not the only such city government that depends on municipal funds. And so the governor, the legislature of the state of Missouri, has to go well beyond the Ferguson Police Department to look at this problem more broadly as a matter of state law and state reform.

BLITZER: What's going to happen, Evan, to the Ferguson police chief?

PEREZ: Well, Wolf, you know, he had an agreement with all the officials involved down there to resign. This is some months ago. And according to him, what he's told people down there, after we reported that agreement, he decided that he was going to change his mind and stick around, because he wanted to see the end of this process.

And now we have the end of this process. The Justice Department, Eric Holder, the attorney general, has called for regime change in that police department. This report by the Justice Department really portrays a department that's rotten to the core. So the question is, is this the time that he finally decides that he can go?

BLITZER: And Jeffrey, the concern is it's not just Ferguson. It's all over the place.

TOOBIN: And just to add to what Don said, I mean, one of the big civil rights issues of the next ten years is going to be this business of municipalities who need money, who don't want to raise taxes, who are arresting people for minor offenses, often minorities, and saying, "You've got to pay 100 bucks. You've got to pay 200 bucks, or we're going to lock you up."

This is a revenue-generating technique for cities across the country, not just in Missouri. And it falls heavily on African- Americans, and it's a major issue. And the Justice Department should be looking into it, not just in Ferguson but all over the country.

BLITZER: I know it's a huge, huge problem. Guys, thank you very much.

Cornell, thanks to you, especially. I know you're going to be in Selma this weekend for the historic events. We'll want to check back with you next week and get your report on how it all went down. Hard to believe that, after all these, years stuff like this is still going on in the United States.

Please be sure to join Don tonight, "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon, 10 p.m. Eastern. He's going to have a lot -- a lot more on this story.

Coming up, what newly-released tapes reveal about the radicalization of the man we now know as the terrorist, Jihadi John.

And as a prominent Russian dissenter is raised to rest, the model who was his girlfriend and witness to his killing, she's now left the country.


BLITZER: We're learning more details about a man who became the masked face of ISIS terrorism. Newly-revealed audiotapes give more clues about the radicalization of a man who became known as Jihadi John.

Let's bring in Brian Todd. He's working the story for us. What are you learning?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this audiotape is startling, because you hear this man who we believe to be Jihadi John in a different sounding voice; he's complaining about being threatened and harassed.

Tonight we have new insights into how the man who would later become ISIS's best-known killer, dealt with an interrogator. Analysts are telling us, given this new clue, they believe in those beheading videos, ISIS appears to have digitally manipulated Jihadi John's voice. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TODD (voice-over): In the ISIS beheading videos, the militant known as Jihadi John has a deep, menacing voice.

MOHAMMED "JIHADI JOHN" EMWAZI, SPOKESMAN FOR ISIS: Obama, you have started the aerial bombardment in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) which keeps on striking our people. It is only right we continue to strike the necks of your people.

TODD: But is this the same man?

EMWAZI (via phone): Then he's asking me, "What do you think of the Jews?" Just like (UNINTELLIGIBLE), I told him, "Look, they're a religion. Everyone has got his right to his own belief. I can't -- I don't force no one."

TODD: An audio recording of the man we now believe is 26-year- old Mohammed Emwazi was just released by CAGE, an activist group for suspected radicals, which claims it worked with Emwazi. CNN cannot independently verify the audio excerpts.

"The Guardian" newspaper believes Emwazi is this man. CAGE says they recorded Emwazi in 2009 talking about his claim to have been questioned by a member of MI-5, Britain's domestic intelligence service.

The man believed to be Emwazi says he was asked about the deadly July 7, 2005, terror attack in London where more than 50 people died.

EMWAZI: He goes, "What do you think of 7/7?"

I said, "Man, what -- innocent people have been -- have died, man, what do you think? This is extremism."

He said, "OK, what do you think of the war in Afghanistan?"

I said, "What do I think? You know, we see innocent people are getting killed."

And he starts telling me, "What did you think of 9/11?"

And I think I told him, "This is a wrong thing. What happened was wrong."

TODD (on camera): Do you think he really believed those attacks were wrong, or was he saying what he needed to say to the interrogators?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you're in an interrogation situation and you're a radical, you'd be the stupidest radical alive to cop to having extremist views with a law-enforcement official. So he just wanted to get out of that situation as fast as he can.

TODD (voice-over): Emwazi claims his interrogator thought he was trying to go to Somalia to train with a terror group. EMWAZI: And he started going on forcing -- trying to put words

into my mouth saying no, you're doing this, this, and this, and we're going to keep a close eye on you, Mohammed. We're already have been. We're going to keep a close eye on you, threatening me.

TODD: Cage says it was those interrogations that sent Emwazi on the path to jihad.

AKI PERITZ, FORMER CIA ANALYST: I think Cage is trying to make a point and attack the British government when it's really up to Mr. Emwazi who made his decisions to go to Syria.


TODD: On the allegations from Emwazi and Cage that British intelligence threatened Emwazi in that interrogation and harassed him, the British Home Office told us it would not comment. U.S. intelligence officials also are not commenting on this audiotape -- Wolf.

BLITZER: There are reports, Brian, how his parents are responding to all of this?

TODD: That's right. British media reports or citing sources from the Kuwaiti government as saying that his mother, Mohammed Emwazi's mother recognized her son's voice from the very first beheading video. And this is very strong. The newspaper, the "Daily Telegraph," is quoting his father, Jassem Emwazi is the father's name, denouncing his son as, quote, "a dog, an animal and a terrorist."

The father, according to that newspaper, says that his son begged his parent for forgiveness before he joined ISIS.

You know, all of us are talking about this guy. That family has been thrown into complete turmoil by his acts.

BLITZER: Sure does.

All right. Thanks very much, Brian, for that report.

Coming up, we're going to have much more on the extraordinary war of words here in Washington as President Obama fires back at the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But up next, we go to Moscow for the latest on the unsolved murder of a prominent critic of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.


BLITZER: In a show of defiance today in Moscow, hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of Boris Nemtsov, the murdered opponent of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. He was shot to death Friday night while walking with his girlfriend who now has left Russia.

Our senior international correspondent Matthew Chance is joining us now live from Moscow with the very latest. What are you learning, Matthew?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, thanks very much. Well, absolutely staggering scenes we've been seeing again in Moscow as thousands of people turn out for the funeral of Boris Nemtsov. There were a couple of events today. There's a memorial service, there's the actual burial as well.

Yet we haven't seen opposition protests or crowds who were sympathetic to the opposition in this country turn out in such large numbers for years. So truly astonishing scenes.


CHANCE (voice-over): Slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov carried past mourners to his final resting place. Earlier, family and friends gathered to pay their respects. At the funeral Mikhail Kasyanov, a former prime minister of the President Vladimir Putin but now an opposition figure who worked closely with Nemtsov, said he believes Nemtsov was killed out of revenge for his outspoken views.

After the funeral, former British prime minister, John Major, called for justice.

JOHN MAJOR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, it's clearly a very sad day for Russians. It's a very sad day for Boris' family. And I'm personally extremely saddened by what's happened. I knew him in the 1990s. I admired him, I admired what (INAUDIBLE). And I hope now an thorough investigation will determine who is responsible for this outrage.

CHANCE (on camera): Do you believe the killers will be brought to justice?

MAJOR: I very much hope so.

CHANCE (voice-over): And for Anna Duritskaya, the 23-year-old model-girlfriend of Nemtsov, who was crossing the Great Moskvoretsky Bridge with him when he was gunned down, she's fled Russia to her Ukrainian home.

The Kremlin denies any involvement in the killing. But the investigation proceeds with divers searching the waters beneath the bridge for the murder weapon. Investigators say all scenarios are being considered and that, quote, "eyewitnesses are being questioned." CCTV footage is already being analyzed. Evidence has been collected. A number of tests were carried out.

Meanwhile, at the scene of the crime, now lies a bounty of flowers and mementoes in honor of a life and the voice lost.


CHANCE: As that investigation continues, Wolf, the Kremlin is vowing to get to the bottom of this crime and to bring those responsible to justice. But I have to say Russia has a very patchy record of solving these kinds of political killings and there's widespread skepticism that the perpetrators of this assassination are going to be brought to justice here.

BLITZER: And the Russians have allowed, as you point, the girlfriend to leave? I take it she's now in Kiev, in Ukraine, is that right?

CHANCE: Yes. That's our understanding. She's in the Ukrainian capital. She was questioned extensively by the Russian investigators here in Moscow, even kept under close guard at a private apartment in Moscow while police here investigated and questioned her further.

She gave an interview to a local Russian television station via Skype within the past 24 hours basically saying she didn't see that much. She was walking with Boris Nemtsov, he was shot in the back. She didn't see the killer, she couldn't describe the car that was the getaway vehicle. And so it seems that the police here have decided to let her go. They handed her over to the Ukrainian embassy and she's gone back to her own country.

BLITZER: And she's back in Kiev.

All right, Matthew, thank you. Matthew Chance reporting from Moscow.

Coming up, after Israel's prime minister appears before the U.S. Congress warning against a proposed Iran nuclear deal, President Obama accuses him of offering nothing new and labeling it all theater.

And use of force, jail sentences, racist e-mails, the U.S. Justice Department finds repeated discriminations against African- Americans by the Ferguson, Missouri, Police Department and municipal court.


BLITZER: Happening now, angry allies. The president isn't even trying to hide his fury after the Israel prime minister stood before the U.S. Congress and blasted the Obama administration's attempt to strike a nuclear agreement with Iran.

A deal in danger? As Secretary of State John Kerry holds marathon nuclear talks, will the bitter dispute between the U.S. and Israeli leadership help or hurt the negotiations.