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Terror Fears; Investigating New York Prison Escape; Plane Crash Investigation; Unemployment At Lowest Rate Since April 2008; Report: Pilot Mistakenly Turned Off Working Engine. Aired 4-4:30p ET

Aired July 2, 2015 - 16:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Terror fears cancel a Fourth of July celebration.

I'm Jake Tapper. This is THE LEAD.

The national lead, law enforcement across the nation on alert after a 911 call and Washington, D.C., makes everyone expect the worst. Now a British air base used by U.S. cancels Independence Day fireworks over the fear of terrorists unleashing their own fireworks this Fourth of July.

Are the nation and U.S. installations ready for a possible attack?

Also in national, Richard Matt and David Sweat survived on the run for three weeks. Now new details about just how close one of them came to gunning down a Border Patrol agent.

Plus, police say he brutalized a family before killing them for money. Prosecutors were even ready to present evidence against the alleged D.C. mansion murderer this afternoon, but then court came to a sudden stop. We will explain why.

Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

We're going to begin today with our national lead, a security scare at a military installation in the nation's capital bringing an intense response from law enforcement officers already on edge amid growing fears of a terrorist attack this holiday weekend.

At 7:29 this morning, a report of shots fired at the Navy Yard here in Washington put the entire city in virtual lockdown. Police and FBI agents went room to room searching for any sign of a gunman before giving the all-clear. It's yet another indication of just how concerned national security officials are about an ISIS-launched or ISIS-inspired terror strike on the homeland.

It comes as a British air base used by American troops cancels its July 4 celebration.

Let's get right to CNN's chief security national correspondent, Jim Sciutto.

Jim, why the last-minute change in plans for this air base?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: I'm told this order came from the U.S. Air Force in Europe to this base, specific to this billed, RAF Feltwell. It's in Norfolk, England, the North of England.

You have a U.S. fighter wing of F-15s based there. But we're told also by people at the base that they have regular threat working group, and this working group concluded that based on the current threat assessment that it was wise to cancel the July 4 celebrations there. And they say they want to put public safety first and foremost.

I think you look at this as a combination of threat not just to U.S. forces, But the current threat picture in Europe is arguably even worse than it is here. You have a much bigger pipeline of ISIS enthusiasts direct from Syria, and the Middle East, and even going back years to Pakistan. They're very concerned in the U.K. today.

And then there's a subgroup of that, concern about U.S. targets in the U.K. and serious enough that the U.S. Air Force in Europe ordered these celebrations closed there.

TAPPER: It's very upsetting, because you would think a military base of all places could take care of itself, could defend itself.

Jim Sciutto, thank you so much.

Now to CNN's justice correspondent Pamela Brown.

Pamela, the morning started with a report of a gunman at the Navy Yard facility here in D.C., and the Navy Yard facility was in lockdown, and the city was in a kind of rhetorical lockdown. What do we know about the initial call to police?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: We have learned, Jake, the initial call came from a woman inside the Navy Yard. Police don't think it was a hoax, but I think this outpouring of law enforcement at the Navy Yard today reflects the sensitivity heading into the holiday weekend, with the heightened terror threat, combined with the fact that there had been a shooting there in the past.


BROWN (voice-over): Within minutes of the first report of shots fired inside Washington's Naval Yard, parts of the nation's capital were thrown into panic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Car three respond on the active shooting.

BROWN: The entire complex locked down, as hundreds of police, SWAT teams and federal investigators swarm the scene, blocking streets as helicopters hovered overhead, inside the same building where a gunman killed 12 two years ago, chaos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone came up on the floor yelling to get out of the building, stay away from the cafeteria.

BROWN: For nearly three hours, police moved floor by floor, through Building 197, searching for a gunman, clearing floors, then leading stranded workers out with their hands up.

Across town, the White House blocked streets and canceled tours, at the Capitol, enhanced security. By 10:15, police gave the all-clear, later saying there was a lone 911 call reporting the sounds of gunshots.

CATHY LANIER, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA POLICE CHIEF: We take every event here in Washington very serious, and our posture remains extremely high.

BROWN: While today's overwhelming response came in part because of the eerie similarity to the Naval Yard shooting rampage two years ago, sources say it was also a result of fears throughout law enforcement of the possibility of a July 4 terror attack coming after increased chatter by ISIS supporters online and calls by the terror group to strike in the West.


Police in Washington, New York and other major cities say they are already increasing security around holiday events.

ASHTON CARTER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: A phenomenon like ISIL, unlike al Qaeda of the old days, there doesn't have to be and won't necessarily be a command-and-control relationship between somebody who instigates an incident and ISIL as an organization.


BROWN: And adding to today's fears, at the same time that the Navy Yard was on lockdown, police in New Jersey were investigating a bomb threat at a mosque. And that turned out to be a hoax, but at this time with the terror concerns, law enforcement certainty don't want to take any chances.

TAPPER: All right, Pamela Brown, thank you so much.

Joining me to talk about the ongoing terror threat this July 4 weekend and beyond is CNN national security commentator and former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers. Also with us is former CIA Director Jim Woolsey.

Gentlemen, thanks to both of you so much for being here. Appreciate it.

Congressman, let me start with you.

Why are the warnings coming from law enforcement and the national security apparatus so much louder than we usually hear before a holiday weekend?

MIKE ROGERS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Again, there's a whole series of things that they will check off in trying to make this assessment.

They don't have anything clear and concrete. So, caution good, hysteria bad. What they were doing I think is err on the side of caution. They know there's a lot of bad guys that they know they watch are talking to each other in a way that is concerning, but, again, they don't have anything specific.

But when you take that, you take the call during Ramadan by a significant player in ISIS that they will get extra bonus points, if you will, if you do a terrorist act during you Ramadan, add that to your layer, and then you just keep down and all the places and all the hot spots they check, and somebody in those meetings decided, hey, we just need to be extra cautious to get people to pay attention, but, again, cautious good, hysteria is not good.

TAPPER: Jim, let me ask you. We're going to see a load of evidence of a more muscular, visible law enforcement presence, dogs, law enforcement officers, radiation detectors, that sort of a thing. As a former director of the CIA, what sort of thing are we not going to see, but that also will be increased this weekend?

JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: The thing that is really important, I think, is that ISIS is sending out 90,000 tweets a day.

And back in the '80s, Albert Wohlstetter wrote a piece was written about solidarity called "The Fax Will Make You Free," fax, telling solidarity, that if they could communicate outside what the Soviets could see, they could really make some changes.

And social media changed -- when it changes and a lot more people come into it, it tends to affect what people do. And I think one of the main things that is happening here is that ISIS is so much into the social media that, instead of -- they don't need to get together, they don't need to talk on the phone with one another.

They do sometimes, but what they are doing is using the social media to instruct people in terrorism, to radicalize them, and it is as big a difference from what went before as the fax machine was for mailed newspapers.

TAPPER: Congressman, I want you to take a listen to this. It's John Miller, deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism for the NYPD. This is what he had to say this morning.


JOHN MILLER, NYPD DEPUTY COMMISSIONER: Well, you're looking for a needle in a haystack, but the ISIS factor with the use of social media just makes that haystack that much bigger.


TAPPER: And by CNN's count, in June, there were eight suspected ISIS- inspired jihadists arrested, just in June, nearly 50 this year alone.

At the end of the day, the public should probably be preparing itself, don't you think, for the fact that somebody is going to slip through the cracks? It's just inevitable. They can't stop everything.

ROGERS: And that's right.

We have always said that, listen, there is always the odd chance that they don't catch something or somebody becomes self-radicalized and does their lone wolf act or they operationalize one person, which limits the opportunity to intercede an event like that, like you saw overseas, especially Tunisia

So, yes, the probability is, given that ISIS has said that they want to conduct a terrorist attack or have someone on their behalf conduct a terrorist act in the United States, that's sometimes going to happen.

Now, remember, if they're operational the day before Fourth of July, they will take that opportunity. If it's on that day, they would do it, or if it's two months from now. Whenever they get to where they can get an operation up and off the ground, they will take it.

They like to center around anniversaries, but they will do it by the tempo and the preparedness of that particular operation. So that's why you have to be cautious about every holiday being a target. Yes, we know that, but that doesn't mean they're operationally ready for those dates to actually pull off an attack.

TAPPER: Are you more concerned as somebody who used to be in charge of the security of this country, as director of the CIA, are you personally more concerned by -- about ISIS-inspired lone wolves in this country or an actual operational plan from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or one of those groups?


WOOLSEY: The lone wolves are not very lonely. This is all a mass undertaking from ISIS.

The key thing about ISIS is that it has a caliphate, a small one, but they want it to be bigger. They have a country, and they can get people to come to it. They can get young women to come to marry the young men who are going to be terrorists and so forth.

It's a very different thing than just a terrorist group. It's much more dangerous, and I think we are not going to succeed in dealing with terrorism here until we take on, hopefully with the Kurds and some others, we take on ISIS in that part of the world and knock out the caliphate.

TAPPER: So you think that we should have a more aggressive response to ISIS in the caliphate of Syria and Iraq? Do you think we should have U.S. boots on the ground fighting the war?

WOOLSEY: I think we all to have local Kurdish and other boots on the ground. We ought to send them weapons instead of sending them through Baghdad and having them all stolen from the Kurds.

I think mainly what we ought to do is have forward air traffic controllers, the way we have had in other times. We were flying sometimes hundreds and sometimes thousands of sorties a day in some of our earlier operation, such as in Kosovo, and at the beginning of the first Gulf War.

We're flying now sorties 10, 12, 16 and two-thirds of them they won't drop their ordnance. It's ridiculous. So I think you really need to use airpower massively against the caliphate, together with local troops, and we ought to have some advisers in there helping the local troops and helping guide them and teach them and so forth. But we're not doing anything very effective in that part of the world at all.

TAPPER: Congressman, that's the response from Jim Woolsey about what he thinks we should be doing abroad.

What about here at home? Is there anything that law enforcement, intelligence should be doing that they're not doing?

ROGERS: No, they're doing exactly what they're supposed to do, because, remember, the points of concern have gone up.

That means that there are more people active, engaged with ISIS in some way because of social media primarily across the United States. That's why there's an open case in all 56 FBI field offices, meaning somebody in every one of those regions of support has either contacted ISIS, expressed an interest in ISIS, or ISIS has expressed an interest in them.

The problem with what we have is just, can we keep up? Do we have the right amount of resources that allows us to keep up with this threat? That's why Director Woolsey is so right. If we don't start doing some disruptive behavior where they plan, finance, recruit and launch their propaganda campaigns, this is going to be a very long war indeed, and we're going to come out on the losing end of it.

TAPPER: All right, Congressman Mike Rogers, Jim Woolsey, thank you so much. Appreciate both of you being here. I hope you have a safe and happy Fourth of July.

In our world lead, a horrific plane crash caught on video that left 43 dead, now we finally know what caused the crash. And there is more to it than just a stalled engine -- that story next.


[16:17:25] TAPPER: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

Time now for our money lead, and what President Obama says is just the latest sign that America's economy has recovered from the depths of 2008 because of the measures taken in 2009 when he took office. Unemployment is down again, now at a seven-year low, 223,000 more people cashing paychecks in June.

I want to get right to CNN's Michelle Kosinski over at the White House -- Michelle.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Jake. Right, this is like a President Obama victory lap part two in his speech today. But, you know, on the one hand, you always have the White House touting numbers, and some analysts say, well, wait a minute, what about wage stagnation? Some of those people who may have stopped looking for a job out of frustrations?

So, you're always left with this question, well, is the American economy doing well or not?

The answer is -- it is doing well. Sure, it could be better in some ways, but doing well, especially when you compare it to our countries overseas, still grappling to recover.



KOSINSKI (voice-over): President Obama today in Wisconsin fired up over jobs, another 223,000 added in June, unemployment at its lowest in seven years.

Add to that, another sharp dig at Republicans.

OBAMA: I've lost count how many Republicans are running for this job. They'll have enough for an actual "Hunger Games". They keep on coming up with the same old trickle-down/you're on your own economics that helped bring back the crisis in 2007, 2008 in the first place.

KOSINSKI: Here in D.C.

RYAN JACKSON, RECENTLY HIRED: I got hired! (INAUDIBLE) Congratulations.

KOSINSKI: Twenty-six-year-old Ryan Jackson from Michigan just moved here to find better job prospects, found two in one day, at a restaurant and in retail. He accepted both. Not his dream jobs, but it's changed his life.

JACKSON: It was about me, my personality, what these people thought I could bring to their companies. So, it was an ego booster, a financial booster.

KOSINSKI: The latest report on jobs show some healthy hiring, including a welcome uptick in demand in white collar field, and yet another drop in unemployment to 5.3 percent now. This is the longest stretch of priority sector job growth in U.S. history, 5.6 million jobs total added in just the last two years.

One lingering question, though, how much of that lower unemployment rate just comes from people giving up on a job entirely or simply baby-boomers retiring.

Participation in the workforce right now is at the lowest rate in almost 40 years. And while wages remain largely stagnant, for those being hired -- things are at least looking up. [16:20:08] JACKSON: That's two jobs on one day.


KOSINSKI: You know, another good number to look at is underemployment. How many people outer there have jobs but they can't find enough hours that they want to work, or they're vastly overqualified for the jobs they've been able to find. That number is down and that's a good sign.

The White House acknowledges there is more work to be done, and what they want to do is continue to convince more states and cities to raise minimum wage.

And, you know, just this week, the White House expanded overtime pay for some 5 million Americans -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Michelle Kosinski, thank you so much.

The world lead. News today on what caused that passengers plane to turn sideways and crashed into a river. It's been almost five months since a car's dash cam captured this Trans Asia flight falling from the sky, the plane's wing first clips a taxi and then it hits the edge of the bridge. Forty-three people died after the plane slammed into the water.

Today, we learned the cockpit voice recorder revealed what likely went wrong.

CNN aviation correspondent Rene Marsh is following this story.

Rene, what is the pilot heard saying into the cockpit voice recorder?

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, first off, this captain made a fatal mistake. Seconds after this plane took off, one engine failed in an effort to try to restart that engine, he actually turned off the good engine for 46 seconds, causing the plane to lose power, and eventually stall.

It took two minutes before the pilots noticed the mistakes. The words of the captain, quote, "Wow, pulled back the wrong side throttle." By then, Jake, it was just way too late.

I mean, for a commercial pilot responsible for several lives of your passengers on board, it really is troubling to know this is the sort of mistake that was made in the cockpit. When you talk about losing an engine, that's the sort of thing they train for, you know, to become a pilot at least here in the United States, they train in scenarios of losing one engine and being able to successfully recuperate. But we see in this case, lost an engine and did not know how to successfully recuperate.

TAPPER: Right. And you talk about training, the report issued today revealed that this captain may not have been skilled on how to handle that specific problem. MARSH: Right, equally as troubling here. This captain apparently

failed a simulator testing less than a year earlier, partly because he didn't master how to respond to an engine flameout at takeoff. He repeated the training session. He eventually passed, however the instructors made some very interesting notes, critical comments about his abilities.

One instructor saying, quote, "that the captain was prone to hesitation when facing situation that requires making a decision. Another comment, quote, "prone to nervous and -- to being nervous and may make oral errors during the engine start procedure."

So, again, you know, talking about engine restarts, when it comes to training, many pilots will tell us they are the basics they learn here. So the fact he didn't know how to recover, troubling doesn't even sum up.

TAPPER: The fact that they knew he had this problem --


TAPPER: -- and they still let him get on this plane. Awful.

Rene Marsh, thank you so much.

Coming up, the final minutes of prison fugitive Richard Matt. We're now learning new details about how he was found by a border agent and what he did when he was caught.

Plus, Senator Bernie Sanders eating after at Hillary Clinton's lead in the polls while bringing in big campaign cash. Can he keep this momentum going?


TAPPER: Welcome back. I'm Jake Tapper.

Now in our other national lead today -- the manhunt may be over, but the details keep on coming. David Sweat, the fugitive prison inmate who was shot and wounded by police on Sunday, continues to talk and talk to authorities about the breakout and his life on the run.

Jason Carroll is in Dannemora, New York, outside of Clinton correctional facility where Sweat and Richard Matt escaped last month. Matt was shot and killed last Friday, as you know.

Jason, you have new information how the showdown with Richard matt could have been, even bloodier?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Jake. According to federal authorities, that Border Patrol agent that came across David Sweat, as you know, ended up striking him twice. Actually, it was David Sweat who raised his 20-gauge shotgun at that agent and pointed it at him. At that point, the agent returned fire, striking David Sweat twice as you know, in the torso. David Sweat picking up that shotgun among other items when he was out

on the run. But it's very clear the final moments of David Sweat's capture could have been far worse, much more violent if not for the quick thinking of that agent -- Jake.

TAPPER: Sweat says that he had a few close calls with authorities when they were on the run. That's what you're referring to?

CARROLL: Absolutely. There were actually few close calls that I think a lot of people aren't aware of. And that certainly searchers probably aren't aware of until now.

At one point, when the two men were together, David Sweat and Richard Matt, they were hiding in some kind of hunting cabin. Some people came by to check on the cabin. They were so close they could actually hear voices outside. They stayed hidden until they were gone, and then after the two men had split up, at one point, David Sweat was hiding in some sort of tree stand. He saw an officer walk right by him, he stayed silent until the officer walked by.

You know, throughout this whole thing, we heard several times that searchers at times felt they were very close to these inmates, and now, they're realizing just how close they were.

TAPPER: All right. Jason Carroll, thank you so much.

A tragic scene playing out in the world lead today. Right now, search crews are looking for dozens of people missing after a ferry capsized. It happened earlier today off the coast of the Philippines. Three Americans on board are among the survivors, but nearly 40 people were killed. The coast guard in the Philippines says the boat left the port too quickly and people stood up, which threw the ferry off- balance. High winds only added to the recipe for disaster.