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Anti-Islam Rally Set to Start in Phoenix; Former Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted; Aruba's Prosecutor Disbelieving New Evidence in Natalee Holloway's Disappearance; Anti-Muslim protest in Phoenix; Saving Pets in Texas Natural Disaster

Aired May 29, 2015 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:13] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. I'm sitting in for Anderson.

Tonight, an anti-Islam rally getting underway shortly outside a mosque in Phoenix, Arizona where evening prayers are going on. Some of the protesters expected of a mosque are right now but a mile-and-a-half away in a public park. They are taking park in draw Mohammed cartoon contest. You're looking at live pictures coming in right now. Some of them wearing t-shirts saying "F" Islam. They've been encouraged to bring firearms to both the drawing contest and the protest at the mosque. It is needless to say a very potentially combustible situation. And all of it happening less than a month after two ISIS sympathizers opened fire then were shot dead at a similar event in Texas.

More now from Sara Sidner.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Complete strangers, Christian and Muslim greet one another in prayer in the middle of the community on edge, expecting hundreds to gather for a controversial cartoon contest depicting the prophet Mohammed right outside of the Phoenix mosque.

I notice you are armed.

WARREN, ACTIVIST: Yes, ma'am. It is a 9mm Ruger and it is loaded and there is a round in the chamber. And I have another weapon in my pocket.

SIDNER: And why have you come out here armed like this and showing it off.

WARREN: I'm out here to show the United States has the first and second amendment rights and that these people are on notice. We are not afraid of them. They want to promote their terrorism, they can do it in another state and not in this country.

SIDNER: Warren who doesn't want to give his last name heard about the rally, like hundreds of others after this invitation went out on Facebook. The organizer Jon Ritzheimer said this event is in response to what happened in Garland, Texas three weeks ago when two men who prayed at this Phoenix mosque drove to Texas to shoot up a similar draw the prophet Mohammed contest. Police killed both men in a shootout.

Protesters at tonight's rally are encouraged to bring guns and exercise their second amendment rights. They say, that is just in case their first amendment rights come under attack. The FBI and police say they will be watching the event closely with officers on the ground and through newly installed surveillance cameras. Some members of the mosque are coming to pray regardless.

Do you feel like this group is trying to incite something, trying to create a violent setting?

TROY WADE, WORSHIPPER: Of course. Misery loves company, you know. It has been like this for ages. You know, there is always someone or something out there trying to stir up trouble. We're peaceful people. All they need to do is do a little more research, you know, before passing judgment.

SIDNER: At the center of the controversy, Jon Ritzheimer who wears a bulgur anti-Islam t-shirt now says he has put his family in hiding because he has become a target. His home address have been posted online and there have been threats of violence.


BLITZER: And Sara Sidner is joining us now live from Phoenix.

And Sara, what's the latest over there? Where are the protesters now?

SIDNER: So far, there is only about a handful of people. They are not here at this mosque. They said they are going to sort out at the park where they are going to have this drawing contest. Only a handful of people showing up. There are couple of people in the parking lot right now wearing camouflage, someone flying the American flag on their truck, a very small group of people. And do we know, though, you know, how social media is. On Facebook, there are about 1200 people have signed up saying that they were going to show up to this event. We'll have to wait and see, Wolf.

BLITZER: What is the security situation like over there, Sara?

SIDNER: We notice quite a large contingent of police officers in a staging area. They have blocked off at least two streets here. There is a third that is just about a few blocks away that they've blocked off. They are trying to make sure that people can go ahead and exercise their constitutional right, but they are also trying to make sure that nothing goes haywire They have got everything under control and that they are watching. We know that there are several cameras that have put up on the mosque and a couple on street lamps to try and see what is going on, both electronically and in person -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Sara, I'm going to check back with you a little bit later. We will see what is going on. These are ae live pictures we're showing viewers right now from the parking area and the public space where the protesters are gathering right now. You can see they are there with their trucks, their bikes. We are going to stay on top of this story.

Joining us now is Usama Shami. He is the president of the Islamic community center of Phoenix.

Usama, thanks very much for joining us. So, what has been the reaction of your congregation to all of this? Are people scared? What is the mood over there?

[20:05:04] Usama, I don't know if you can hear me, but I'm trying to get a sense of what is going on amongst the members of your mosque and your congregation there, what is the mood?

USAMA SHAMI, PRESIDENT, ISLAMIC COMMUNITY CENTER OF PHOENIX: Well actually, it is a good mood. We're not -- we're not -- we're concerned about what is going on but people are not intimidated. We had Friday prayer about three hours ago. People were there and in large numbers, similar to any other Friday. So a lot of people did not expect the media presence, a lot of media trucks. So some of the congregation so why the media trucks and the outlets.

BLITZER: The organizer of this event, this protest, says he is doing it to exercise his first amendment rights, the freedom of speech. What about that? Do you believe this is in fact about the first amendment?

SHAMI: Well, we respect him. If he is going to exercise his first amendment, but I think this is -- he is using the first amendment as a cover for bigotry and racism. And to use the first amendment as hate speech, cover for what he wants to deliver. The focus should not be on this group, it is -- we know it is a bigoted, it is a racist group. The focus should be on the outpour and support from the community that we have received.

BLITZER: I know beyond this event, Usama, that I'm told that you received an anonymous letter to your Islamic center about a week or so go its threaten the killing of imams and their families. Do you believe the letter and tonight's event, that they are related?

SHAMI: I don't have any evidence that it is related. We returned the letter over to the FBI so they can investigate that. But I have no evidence that the two are related. But bigotry and hatred can spawn things like that.

BLITZER: Usama, I want you to stay with us, if you can, because I want to broaden the conversation right now. Joining us Harvard University law school's Alan Dershowitz, the author of "taking the stand, my life in the law," as well as law enforcement analyst, the former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes.

Tom, what kind of security challenges does an event like this present for authorities over there in Phoenix, Arizona?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Wolf, I think the challenge is the similar events, not just held in Arizona, the one in Texas and then the ones overseas that we've seen last fall, get attacked. You know, somebody wants to put a silence to a cartoonist or anybody who even supports the cartoonist and there have been people show up with guns and attack the venues in the past. And up to and including garland, Texas. So I think that is the concern that the FBI and the state and local police have right now in Arizona.

BLITZER: It is obviously a very awkward situation.

Alan Dershowitz, what you say this is an important legal test, if you will, because the group claims they are exercising both their first and second is amendment rights, the gun rights, if you will. Explain what you mean by that.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Tell there is an enormous picture between drawing pictures and guns. They both may be protected under the first and the second amendments. But the first amendment is absolute except for incitement to kill. The second amendment has reasonable restrictions. And for example, I think the police would have the power to declare this to be a no-gun zone. We know when we go to athletic events with search, you can't bring in guns, you can't bring in guns to airports, you can't bring in guns to schools and many other places. And when there is a very, very provocative event like this, it probably would be a wise thing for the police to build a cordon around it and saying to events. That's really not been tested under the constitution. But I think this case will raise that issue and empower the police to create no gun zones.

Look, the imam is 100 percent right. This is outrageous. Imagine if somebody is wearing an "F" Christians or "F" Jews shirt in front of a synagogue or a mosque on a Saturday morning or a Sunday morning, we would be outraged. But the first amendment does protect outrages expressions. The second amendment, however, does not protect the rights to use guns provocatively and promiscuously in situations where there is a high level of risk as evidenced by what happened in Texas.

BLITZER: Tom Fuentes, you point out that Phoenix is one of the number of U.S. city where the joint terrorism task force. What impact, if any, does that have on the security situation there?

FUENTES: That means any threat information from any source worldwide would come into the task force, which includes the FBI, other federal agencies, all of the state and local city agencies, county, in that area. And all of that information in a basically badge-free environment would be shared. So any information about a threat would be disseminated through the task force to everybody at the scene of the accident.

[20:10:14] BLITZER: You make the point, Alan Dershowitz that the organizers have the right to do what they are doing but it is not the right thing to do. Explain that as well.

DERSHOWITZ: Well Nazis had a right to march through Skokie. People have a right to do terrible, terrible things under our first amendment. We have to protect the right to do outrageous and terrible things. We don't have to agree with them. I, myself, would never draw a cartoon of Mohammed if I felt that it would be offensive to my fellow Americans of the Islamic faith. On the other hand, I would defend somebody's right to draw the cartoon. That would probably get me, you know, enmity from some people. But we have to draw distinction between what we, ourselves, would do, what we think is right and what there is a right to do under the constitution, just because there is a right doesn't make it is right.

BLITZER: Usama, what's the message that you hope people out there who might be watching right now, people in your community and Phoenix and elsewhere that they get out of what's going on tonight.

SHAMI: Well, I can tell you, Wolf, that we have been getting a lot of support messages. And the message that I was saying is that people should focus not on the bigotry that these people are trying to spawn with the community, actually the community is standing against this. We have a group of Christian and Jewish friends that are coming tonight to the mosque to show their support and also they exercise their first amendment rights. So the story should be on how a community responds to bigotry.


SHAMI: I don't worry about the small group and I agree with Alan, that they have the right to draw and they have the right to do whatever they would like to do and demonstrate, but also we have the right to come to our mosques and feel safe and this is the message that we'd like to get to people, that people of consciousness should stand against bigotry and racism.

BLITZER: Usama Shami, thanks very much. Alan Dershowitz, thanks to you. Tom Fuentes as well. We are going to keep following this story through the hour and see what happens.

But up next, new reporting on why the former speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert allegedly paid all of that money, reportedly $1.7 million to keep someone quiet.

And later, the man who saw what happened to Natalee Holloway ten years ago in Aruba. He said he saw her buried, the question is what do authorities think of his account?


[20:16:13] BLITZER: More breaking news tonight. Late developments in the story that it is safe so say shocked a lot of people especially her in Washington. Yesterday when the former house speaker Dennis Hastert, the man who was once second in line to the president of the United States, was charged with lying to the FBI about paying $1.7 million in hush money, everyone seemed to have the same question. What could possibly be worth allegedly paying that much money and agreeing to pay even more, twice as much, to keep someone quiet.

Pamela Brown is working the story for us. She is joining us now.

So Pamela, what are your sources telling you tonight?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, sources tell me that Dennis Hastert was paying hush money to a male student at the Illinois high school where he once taught and where he was a wrestling coach more than a three decades ago. He allegedly paid more than a million dollars for this former student to keep allegations that he allegedly sexual abused him quiet. And sources say the student was underage at the time of the alleged misconduct. So the indictment does not discuss sexual abuse. Instead, it says that there was misconduct and focuses on how the 73-year-old former wrestling coach moved the money he was allegedly was paying his former student. And prosecutors said that he agreed to pay an unnamed individual quote "$3.5 million to cover up his misconduct." Hastert has not commented publicly and has not responded to our request for a comment -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And just to be clear, Pamela, the charges don't have to do with the actual misconduct but rather the covering up of large withdrawals he was making, is that right?

BROWN: That is right. And it is important to emphasize that the charges don't have anything to do with sexual misconduct. We don't know whether it occurred, only that he was paying this former student hush money to keep the misconduct allegations under wraps according to the FBI.

Officials thought it was important to include that to explain the cash transactions to show a motive here but didn't feel it is irrelevant to include anymore details about the misconduct in the indictment because these charges have to do with lying to the FBI invading the IRS, Wolf.

BLITZER: Do we expect extortion charges to be presume by federal officials against the individual A, as he is called.

BROWN: What we are being told, Wolf, that that was something the authorities were looking at first, whether this was an extortion case. And ultimately, they came to the conclusion that they did not wanted to go down that road of extortion. If you read the indictment, it says that they had met several times and reached an agreement. That is the new ways of that authorities aren't looking at this as an extortion case. And also the fact that what would have been the key witness here, Hastert allegedly lied to the FBI would make a very difficult to bring an extortion case here.

BLITZER: Pamela, stay with us. I want to bring in Tim Phelps of the "Los Angeles Times" who along with Richard Serrano broke the sexual misconduct aspect of the story. And joining us, our chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

Tim, I want to be very precise on the reporting that you and your colleagues have at the "L.A. Times" headline on your newspaper's website right now says a second person, a second person accused Hastert of sexual abuse, official says. What more can you tell us about who that second person is and the "L.A. Times" source for that?

TIMOTHY PHELPS, LOS ANGELES TIMES (via phone): Well, of course, we can't discuss our -- our sources. Because the only way they're going to talk to us, if we grant them anonymity. It's -- I can just tell you, it is a top government official and one that we consider very reliable.

BLITZER: So in other words, not just one individual who allegedly was sexual abused by Hastert, but two individuals, is that correct?

PHELPS: That's right. Although, there were no payments going on between Hastert and the second official, we're reporting.

[20:20:03] BLITZER: And this occurred when Hastert was a teacher and a wrestling coach at that high school?

PHELPS: Well, we believe that is the case. We don't have a lot of detail on the second victim. But in general, the charges made clear that it goes back before the time that Hastert was in office. Now whether any new information could come out alleges misconduct while in office, that would really blow the lid off of this case.

BLITZER: Do you know if these individuals, these two individuals who allegedly were abused were minors at the time?

PHELPS: I do not. That is implied by the fact that it apparently happened in a high school, but I do not know that for a fact.

BLITZER: Gloria, I know you've been talking to your sources here in Washington. What is the reaction to the truly stunning developments?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I've talked to current members, former members and people who served on the house Republican staff while Hastert was speaker and almost to a person, Wolf, they are completely stunned by this. You know, Hastert was a speaker, very popular with the rank and file. His nickname was the coach. And he was somebody who was kind of an accidental speaker who came into office because he was considered, and the irony of this, is that he was considered sort of above -- beyond reproach.

This is a man who came in after the combative Newt Gingrich resigned the speakership. The next person who was supposed to be speaker didn't make it because he admitted to an adulterous affair. So this is in the kind of Lewinsky era. So Republicans went to Dennis Hastert, the guy they figured they could trust, they liked. He was a conciliator, and warm to everybody and they just sort of thought -- they are scratching their heads right now, Wolf, about this.

BLITZER: Yes, they certainly are. That is what I'm hearing as well. Obviously, Gloria, what of the many questions is why the sexual abuse allegation didn't surface until now.

BORGER: Right. Sure.

BLITZER: I I'll be speaking shortly with a psychiatrist who can explain why some victims are often remain quiet for many years. But in terms of political scrutiny, in terms of media scrutiny, surely people looked as into Dennis Hastert's past when he was a rising member of Congress.

BORGER: You know, of course, they did. And particularly when he was speaker. But, let me also point out that while he was speaker, there were a bunch of scandals in the house. One of them was the Jack Abramoff scandal, of course, which involved legalized bribery as they call it from a lobbyist to members of Congress with a lot of contributions to them.

The second one involved Mark Foley, house Republican who texted underage pages in a very inappropriate way. At that time, I recall, that there was criticism of the house speaker because he was tentative in his response to it. People felt that he should have gotten Foley out of the house quicker than he did. But others now today that I spoke with, looking back on it, say you know, it is very easy to criticize Hastert now in hindsight, but at that point, we thought he was trying to be a fair guy and then when he came under a lot of criticism for it, he threw Foley out.

BLITZER: Pamela, a friend of Hastert tells CNN that the former speaker feels like he is the one who has been wronged. Do you have any sense of whether we are going to be hearing directly from Dennis Hastert about these allegations?

BROWN: It is unclear. We know that he is going to be facing a federal judge early next week. That is what we are told. So, of course, a lot of people are going to be wondering if he is going to say anything. Then when he makes his first court appearance, we can tell you, Wolf, we have been reaching out to him ever since this indictment came out yesterday and have not heard back. It appears that he is actually been laying low the past several months. I'm talking to people that know him and he has not made any public comment since the indictment. We know that he resigned from the law firm where he worked. But other than that, no comment from him. So it will be interesting to see if he says anything next week -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Pamela Brown, thanks very much. Gloria Borger, Tim Phelps. Guys, we will stay on top of the story. In fact, when we come back, we'll have more on the legal angle, an expert on sexual abuse also standing by to join us.

And later, taking a closer look at the account of a man who says he knows what happened to Natalee Holloway.


[20:28:38] BLITZER: It's quite a story. Dennis Hastert charges with concealing and lying about paying hush money to a man allegedly -- alleging sexual abuse back when the congressman was a high school wrestling coach. A lot to talk about.

Joining us, our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. He is joining us on the phone. Also, psychiatrist and columnist, best-selling author Dr. Gale Salts.

Jeff, the word is -- the word that there is alleged sexual abuse at the core of this, how could that impact the federal case against Dennis Hastert when centers on the huge sums of money that he withdrew.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST (via phone): Well technically this case is only about what Hastert did in terms of getting cash out of the bank. He is alleged to have structured, to have planned his transactions so that the bank wouldn't file these reports that they are required to do for these large cash transactions. This is called structuring. It is a well-established crime and he's also accused of lying to the FBI about why he did this.

Now, the reason he did this leads back to the claim of sexual abuse. He is alleged to have been paying this individual A, this person who has not been identified, $3.5 million.


And he was doing so in cash. If he pleads guilty, the government will never disclose the name of this person. But if he goes to trial, the whole messy story will certainly come out.

BLITZER: So, just to be clear, Jeffrey, under what legal circumstances, if any, could Dennis Hastert still be prosecuted for this alleged sexual abuse?

TOOBIN: Well, frankly, it is hard to imagine how he could be prosecuted. Because even though the indictment doesn't say specifically when the abuse took place, given the length of his public career as a congressman, given how long ago he was a wrestling coach and that is certainly -- it is implied in the indictment that is when the alleged abuse took place, almost certainly the statute of limitations would have run. So there really does seem to be no possibility that he could be prosecuted for any underlying child abuse if there was any.

BLITZER: Dr. Saltz, the possibility that Dennis Hastert's alleged victim in the "L.A. Times" says now that there is a second person who's come forward making similar allegation that this individual, individual A, and he's called, waited many years to come forward or confront Hastert in some way, you say that is not necessarily unusual, is that right?

DR. GAIL SALTZ, PSYCHIATRIST: Yes. Not unusual as all. Victims of sexual abuse are often feeling - struggling with feeling guilty, with feeling afraid of the stigma of coming out about such a thing. They may fear the person who abused them, that they won't be believed, that person has more power, it's going to go badly for them. Or they may even what is called disassociate. So that in the moment when this occurred, their defense mechanism for not being overwhelmed, they really remove themselves, essentially, from the situation in their mind and repress what happened and so some abuse victims don't even clearly remember what has happened to them until many years later. Often what turns the tide, is when either they are trying to have an intimate relationship themselves as an adult and they have the feelings come up or they have a child of their own and in that regard feelings come up. And that is when they may become increasingly angry, increasingly agitated or depressed and feel the need to do something about it.

BLITZER: Jeff, the question of whether Dennis Hastert was being blackmailed, authorities have not accused his alleged victim of that. And that is significant, right?

TOOBIN: In this case, the whole issue of blackmail, it is not necessarily blackmail to demand a settlement for a wrong that you claim was done to you long ago. And also, the FBI appears to believe that some actual abuse did take place here. And most prosecutors, and most FBI agents don't want to prosecute people who have been victims of child abuse. On the other hand, if Dennis Hastert decides to go to trial, it is certainly likely that he will claim that this was an extortion attempt and the only reason he paid this money, was to spare his family the embarrassment of this accusation coming forward. And so - so extortion -- even if it is not charged by the government, and it certainly doesn't appear that it is going to be charged, it could come up as a defense if this case goes to trial.

BLITZER: Dr. Saltz, the fact that Dennis Hastert put himself out there as a politician, a civic role model all the while knowing that if these allegations are true as far as his past is concerned what, does that tell you about his mindset?

SALTZ: Well, it tells us that it is likely he was using the defense called splitting. And that is that people who have intense urges to do something that they themselves know is reprehensible and unacceptable may defend against that by choosing to go into an arena that is quite the opposite. So for instance, you spoke earlier of Mark Foley. The idea, that, no, I'm not this person who wants to do these terrible things, I'm the protector of that. I'm against all of those things, and so that is what we see in these cases where we keep being shocked, frankly, that, you know, somebody of this kind of repute who believes these kinds of values could do that kind of thing. It's - we should stop being surprised. It is just not that unusual.

BLITZER: Dr. Gale Saltz, thanks very much. Jeffrey Toobin, thanks to you as well.

Just ahead, it sounds like a possible red hot lead in a decade old cold case. A man who says he saw what happened to Natalee Holloway the night she vanished, knows where she's buried so why aren't authorities taking any action?


BLITZER: Our own Martin Savidge goes to Aruba in search of answers.

Plus, we're monitoring that controversial Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest and rally in Phoenix right now. We are going to check in with CNN Sara Sidner. She's on the scene.


BLITZER: Tonight we're digging deeper into that possible new lead in the Natalee Holloway case. A mystery that is confounding investigators for a decade. The basic facts are by now familiar. A young American woman vanishes on a trip to Aruba. Her body is never found. The primary suspect, Joran Van der Sloot is arrested twice, but never charged. Eventually, And Holloway is declared dead and now a man who claims to be an eye witness says he knows where she is buried. So, why aren't authorities taking any action? Here's Martin Savidge.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aruba, a tropical island full of sun, surf and high-rise hotels. And if a new witness is to be believed, Natalee Holloway lies buried beneath one of them. That one.

It's called the Spyglass Tower, and it belongs to Marriott.

Jurrien de Jong says the night she vanished, he saw Joran Van Der Sloot bury Holloway at what was then just a construction site.


JURRIEN DE JONG: He made an opening in the cross - cross under the foundation, and he pulled the body ankles inside the crawlspace.

SAVIDGE: Eric Olthof is the new prosecutor on the island. And he has spent weeks investigating de Jong's information and determined it doesn't add up.

ERIC OLTHOF, ARUBA PROSECUTOR: I don't know if he's lying. I can only say that his statement can't be true.

SAVIDGE: According to Aruban investigators, the night Natalee disappeared construction of the Spyglass Tower hadn't started. The structures de Jong says he saw weren't there.

OLTHOF: The Marriott says, looking at the date, the 30th of May 2005, there was no construction at the specific spot that Mr. de Jong pointed out.

SAVIDGE: No building and then, no body, then no way is de Jong story true.

And then there is this. A satellite image from Google Earth taken in June, 2005, just a few weeks after Natalee disappeared. And there is a construction site. And what appear to be the blurry outlines of structures.

In a statement to CNN, Marriott says Mr. de Jong has contacted Marriott in the past and each time we have suggested to Mr. de Jong that he present his account of the matter to the authorities. As we have done all along, we cooperate fully with the authorities whenever they are conducting an official investigation. But the new investigation seems to rely almost entirely on Marriott's assertion there was no construction.

SAVIDGE (on camera): What if they are wrong?

OLTHOF: Well, I think they are not wrong. Because they can prove it with some photographs and other some other material.

SAVIDGE (voice over): Natalee Holloway's father led a number of ground searches in Aruba and remembers the site and believes it was never searched.

HOLLOWAY: I was there on June 1st and there was definitely construction in the area.

SAVIDGE: The prosecutors aren't the only one doubting de Jong - Joran Van Der Sloot doesn't think much of him either. Currently in a Peruvian jail convicted of murdering a young girl. He didn't call him a liar. Instead, speaking through his attorney, he called de Jong, "a crack head." He says de Jong was a drug dealer, and he's only out for money.

(on camera): Did he ever ask you for money?


SAVIDGE: Have you ever asked from the Holloway family, from the media, from anyone, money for the information you have?


SAVIDGE: De Jong laughs it off saying Van Der Sloot is angry because he's scared.

DE JONG: I think he is desperate. I mean - and the only reason why he does that is that he is afraid that people are going to believe me.

SAVIDGE: So, what happens now?

OLTHOF: When we have concrete leads, concrete tips about the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, we will investigate it. Of course.

SAVIDGE (on camera): But Mr. De Jong is not one of them?

OLTHOF: No. Not Mr. De Jong is not adding to solve the case.

SAVIDGE: Are there any other leads?

OLTHOF: Not at the moment.

SAVIDGE (voice over): Despite years of trying to convince someone he knows where Natalee is and who put her there, de Jong says once again, nothing will happen.

DE JONG: It would damage the image of Aruba as one happy island.

TOM FUENTES: We have a struggle with the Aruban authorities from the very beginning of this case.

SAVIDGE: Tom Fuentes oversaw the FBI's international operations in 2005. He says if Natalee's remains could be recovered, they might lead to determining a cause of death and a suspect.

FUENTES: Right now not having that ability to do that leaves it open- ended and it leaves it very difficult to be able to link Joran Van Der Sloot to foul play.

UM: Are you guilty?

SAVIDGE: Joran Van Der Sloot has never been charged in connection with Natalee's disappearance and has maintained his innocence. Meanwhile, David Holloway is not giving up.

HOLLOWAY: They relied on some misinformation from the Marriott people.

SAVIDGE: He spent the last decade looking for his daughter and he says de Jong's information is his best lead in years.

(on camera): It seems to fit.

HOLLOWAY: It seems to fit, yeah. A lot of it seems to fit. And it's causing me a lot of anxiety.


BLITZER: Martin, to do a thorough search of this Spyglass tower building, do we know what that would be - what would be required?

SAVIDGE: Dave Holloway who has been looking into this, of course, he says that it wouldn't require much at all, really. All that is needed is to find a cadaver dog, bring it on to the island and probably just drill a few holes into the foundation of this building. It would be quick, it would be simple and it wouldn't require any demolition at all.

BLITZER: So, why wouldn't authorities, Martin, just do that?

SAVIDGE: It seems like such a simple thing to do, but the prosecutor says the reason is because he doesn't want to give people false hope, he doesn't want to give the Holloway family false hope, doesn't want to give all the Americans and others who follow this story false hope because the prosecutor is adamant she is not there.



BLITZER: Martin, thanks very much.

And up next, the latest from Phoenix, where a controversial Draw Mohammed Event is under way in a rally outside. It looks to be starting right now. We are going to get a live update on what is going on.

Also ahead, after devastating floods in Texas, a new flood warnings in effect. A bit of good news. Taking to an animal shelter that is taking care of pets separated from their owners during the storm and arranging some very happy reunions.


BLITZER: Take a look at this mosque in Phoenix. Where a crowd is now gathering. We're told that many are counter protesters preparing to meet a group of anti-Islam protesters expected to rally there in just a few minutes. Let's check back with Sara Sidner. She's over the event. Sara, what is going on?


BLITZER: Sara, I don't know if you can you hear me, but just set the scene for us? What is going on?


BLITZER: I think we may have lost Sara Sidner. But you can see a small crowd there gathering.


BLITZER: You see law enforcement authorities there as well. These protesters, protesting just outside of this mosque in Phoenix. We're going to watch what is going on there. There is a draw Mohammed contest apparently underway as well. And these protesters are saying they have the First Amendment right behind them as well as the Second Amendment right and some of them supposedly bringing weapons to this event as well. Sara, I don't know if you can hear me, are you there?

SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I can hear you, Wolf. Can you hear me?

BLITZER: Yes, I hear you now. I wanted you to set the scene for us because we see a small crowd there right outside of the mosque. What is going on?

SIDNER: So, what you are seeing are about ten to 12 people who have come to protest Islam. They have - some bear arms. You can see the guns on their hips. We can also see a very large crowd that has gathered, who are here in support of religious freedom, who are here in support of the mosque, being here and being part of the community. The crowd actually that is here to support the mosque is to support some of those who have shown up standing in front of the mosque, is far larger than the group that tried to get a lot of folks out here and warned that they should be armed and ready in case there is some sort of violence.

There is a lot of provocation going on, there is language, cursing going back and forth. Much of that coming from those who set this whole thing up. But, you know, there are also folks that are just standing here holding the American flag and waving it that showed up with this group. But what is interesting is, you know, what we are also seeing is there is a group of people here who are wearing shirts and they are carrying signs saying "Love your neighbor." There is a whole line of people who have come out to show their support. Christian groups there, people that are wearing crosses, there are people here who are wearing hijabs, just to say that they are here in solidarity with the mosque.

BLITZER: All right, Sara, we're going to stay in close touch with you. Stand by. There is other breaking news we are following. The governor of Texas has asked the White House for a presidential disaster declaration after a harrowing week of massive flooding. Tonight, officials in Rosenberg, that's near Houston have called for mandatory evacuations. The river there is expected to crest at 50 feet, even without more rain. In Dallas today, a flash flooding shut down the interstate after the storms dumped as much as seven inches of rain. Scores of people had to be rescued. Severe weather this week has claimed at least 19 lives in Texas.

The governor has already declared a state of disaster in 70 counties. Hundreds of homes have been swept away by flood waters, seven people are still missing. So many families have lost so much. The heart break can't be measured. This next story doesn't lessen those losses by any means, but it is a welcome sight. Here is Gary Tuchman.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Six puppies, brothers and sisters, found with their mother near the floodwaters in Hays County, Texas. Six kittens found with their mother. They are all the latest residents of the San Marcos, Texas animal shelter, a facility that is doing its best to take care of a growing number of pets separated during the storm from their owners.

KARA MONTIEL, ANIMAL SERVICES MANAGER: It is hard with strays because you don't know where they came from, or if anyone is going to come back looking for them.

TUCHMAN: There's this mother and three of her kittens. There is this tiny kitten named Toby. Pets are often named when they are arrived here. This male cat named Sweetheart.

MONTIEL: He is a sweetheart. He rolls over and he asks for love.


TUCHMAN: There are dogs like Oreo, the terrier. This German shepherd, a Yorkshire terrier and a Spitz found walking out of the flood waters.

This Labrador retriever was estimated to be about three years old. He was found right near the floodwaters and the people here have absolutely no idea who his owner might be.

The people who work at the shelter have already sent dogs and cats separated during the storm to other facilities around the state of Texas because they just don't have enough room. It is all very challenging.

MONTIEL: We do it for the people, we do it for their pets.

Indeed people who have had houses destroys or damaged have brought their pets here while they get their lives in order. As for the felines.

TUCHMAN: Indeed, people who have had their houses destroyed or damaged, have brought their pets here for safe keeping while they get their lives in order. Coco, the shiatsu and Ben, the poodle, are two such dogs. So is this husky named Frozen? As for the felines ...

Let's tell you the story about this particular cat. This cat is named Lucky. And Lucky was brought in after being found on top of a car that had been flooded. And he's been named Lucky because the person who found Lucky said, if this cat is not adopted, I will take the cat and that is why he is lucky.

And also Lucky is this man -

Um: Oh, my god, I'm so happy. You have no idea.

Sean Fickle has just found his cat Bongo who ran away from home during the worst of the flooding.

(on camera): How do you feel?


UM: Amazing. I cannot believe that he is here.

TUCHMAN (voice over): A happy ending in a place that doesn't not always have them.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, San Marcos, Texas.


BLITZER: And we'll be right back with an update from the mosque in Phoenix.


BLITZER: We are going to quickly update you now on the situation outside of the mosque in Phoenix. Crowds as you can see there have gathered outside where anti-Muslim protesters are expected to start their rally in about 15 minutes. They've been told to bring firearms. And some have actually started arriving. Right now, though, our Sara Sidner tells that she is there. Most of the people you see here along with the police and the media, they are counter-protesters, members of many faiths, she says, showing their support for Phoenix Muslim community. We'll be following developments throughout the evening. We'll bring you any late updates.

That does it for me, thanks very much for watching.


BLITZER: Anthony Bourdain, parts unknown, starts right now.