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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
Drug Lord "El Chapo" Guzman Captured in Mexico; ISIS-Inspired Gunman Ambushes, Shoots Philly Cop. Aired 4-4:30p ET
Aired January 8, 2016 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm John Berman, in for Jake Tapper.
We are following two big breaking stories, new video just in of one of the world's most wanted men captured today in Mexico, drug kingpin El Chapo, Joaquin Guzman, now in police custody. You will see him being transferred to an airplane here. He walks out of that car, moving into an airplane. There he is.
That is our first sight of him since he was captured in a dramatic raid. We are waiting for a news conference from the Mexican president. That is expected to begin any minute.
But, first, breaking news in our national lead, an urgent warning going out to law enforcement after a gunman tried to execute a police officer at practically point-blank range in Philadelphia. Police say the gunman later confessed to doing it in the name of the Islamic State, ISIS.
Surveillance cameras captured the attack and show the gunman, you can see it right there, with his weapon inside the officer's patrol car.
CNN's Miguel Marquez joins us now from Philadelphia at the police headquarters.
Miguel, this creates so many new questions about terrorism, police safety, the possibility of copycats. What's the very latest?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And this is exactly what police are now digging into, trying to find any shred of evidence that links this gunman to terrorism.
But strip all that away, the actions of that Philadelphia police officer, Jesse Hartnett, were nothing short of heroic.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): These photos show a man firing his gun directly into a Philadelphia police officer's car. And police say he claims to have done it in the name of radical Islam.
JESSE HARTNETT, PHILADELPHIA POLICE DEPARTMENT: Shots fired. I'm shot. I'm bleeding heavily.
MARQUEZ: The suspect, 30-year-old Philadelphia resident Edward Archer, allegedly ambushed officer Jesse Hartnett at close range, firing at least 11 shots from his .9-millimeter pistol, striking the officer three times in the arm.
CAPT. JAMES CLARK, PHILADELPHIA POLICE DEPARTMENT: He pledges his allegiance to Islamic State. He follows Allah and that is the reason he was called upon to do this.
MARQUEZ: Hartnett managed to get out of the car and return fire, hitting the gunman in the buttocks. Police arrested him and recovered the gun.
RICHARD ROSS, PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER: The bravery he demonstrated was absolutely remarkable. His will to live undoubtedly saved his life.
MARQUEZ: But it was revealed by the police commissioner that the weapon used was a stolen police gun.
ROSS: It was stolen back in October of 2013. It was reported. And that is one of the things that you absolutely regret the most, when an officer's gun is stolen, that it is used against one of your own.
MARQUEZ: The FBI confirms its involvement, releasing a statement: "We are working side by side with the Philadelphia Police Department," but made it clear Philadelphia police are the lead agency in the case.
In response to this shooting and another attack on police in Paris, the New York Police Department issued an internal memo urging officers to exercise heightened vigilance and implement proactive measures at all times, reminding them that ISIS has called for supporters to carry out attacks on law enforcement.
JIM KENNEY (D), MAYOR OF PHILADELPHIA: Our main concern at the moment, today, is the well-being and the health and the recovery and rehabilitation of officer Hartnett.
ROSS: It's both confounding and astonishing that he was able to escape it like this. And I can't say enough for his bravery and how he conducted himself.
MARQUEZ: Now, authorities are now digging into the life and the past of Mr. Archer, trying to figure out if there is any link to terrorism. They are serving search warrants on several properties around the Philadelphia area to try to come up with anything there.
As for the officer himself, while he survived, he did lose a lot of blood. He was shot almost point-blank in the arm, breaking the bone in one place, a lot of nerve damage. It's going to be a long way to go before he is back on the force and working, but just an unbelievable job he did, John.
BERMAN: Indeed. Obviously, our thoughts go out to him. Such bravery, such presence of mind. Miguel Marquez, thank you so much.
So what does this attack mean for law enforcement agencies across the country?
CNN national correspondent Deb Feyerick has been working her law enforcement sources, joins me right now.
Deb, we heard Miguel say the New York Police Department sent out a warning saying be on alert right now. Enormous concern, I have to believe, across the country.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There really is. And that's the whole thing.
ISIS has made very clear that law enforcement, with the military, that any relation to government could be a potential target, and so therefore everybody right now on high alert. The police commissioner was asked why the officer was alone in his vehicle, and he responded that that's the way they do it in Philadelphia.
It's unclear whether they're planning on pairing people up in the short-term, but this is under investigation nationwide. The FBI is standing by. They are there to provide assistance. So, for example, if the police department needs any sort of forensic analysis, whether it be computers or cell phones or -- they're looking also at databases that may exist where he could potentially appear.
They have issued search warrants to at least two homes. Others are also being looked at, anywhere that he may have laid his head, according to the police commissioner.
So they're going over this to see whether there was any sort of nexus to terrorism. That's what they really want to know. It was very interesting to listen to the police commissioner, John, who was really talking about the fact that, you know, he immediately when he was shot and questioned by homicide detectives -- he basically said, look, I did this in the name of religion, I did this in the name of ISIS, but he stopped short of implicating anybody else in the conspiracy.
That's according to police. So that's what they have to look at, because they do say he was just a little too clever. He didn't give anybody up. He didn't say more than he had to. He kept repeating the same phrase over and over again, that he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and that he was following Allah and he was called upon to do this because of his following of Allah, John.
BERMAN: That statement in and of itself alarming. Deb Feyerick, stick around. We are going to come back to you in just a moment.
First, though, bringing in now CNN intelligence security analyst Bob Baer, former CIA operative. Also with me, Tim Clemente, he's a former FBI counterterrorism agent.
Bob, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Mike McCaul, believes the ambush could be connected to ISIS headquarters in Raqqa, in Syria. Listen to his comments today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: When you look at the Internet activity coming out of Raqqa, Syria, into the United States every day, 200,000 tweets per day, the message is clear. Kill military, attack military installations and kill police officers.
It's my -- in my judgment that this individual's carrying out these directives, these orders, if you will, coming out of Raqqa, Syria, from ISIS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: Bob, carrying out the directives, carrying out the orders of Raqqa in Syria, does that seem likely to you? And does it even matter here whether it's inspired or directed by ISIS? What's the significance of the difference?
BOB BAER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think the fact there was a uniformed officer attacked tells a big story, that some people here are responding to the call from Raqqa to attack people in uniform, whether it's military or the police.
This really has taken a turn for the worse that people are responding and apparently this man was a convert, and somebody that is very difficult to find out. I mean, to become a Muslim, to become a convert to the Islamic State, all you have to do is say the shahada, go get a stolen gun and you can carry out this war here. And the police should be concerned, because I know they suspect there's a lot more of them out there ready to go after them.
BERMAN: Answering the call, Tim.
And isn't that the concern? I have spoken to officials today within law enforcement and they say, look, there are two things going on right now that frankly cause alarm. Number one, you have more planned, coordinated attacks like you saw in Paris and perhaps San Bernardino, and maybe this, in Philadelphia, the lone wolf, one-off, that can't be predicted. How can law enforcement simultaneously plan for both?
TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERRORISM AGENT: John, it's nearly impossible, but it's a task that they're going to face no matter how daunting it is, I mean, not only the FBI but local law enforcement.
And, you know, my thoughts and prayers go out to not only this officer, but his family and all those affected by this, a very heroic act on his part. Vigilance is very important for officers at all times because there have been other cases where officers have been ambushed in their cars. We saw in New York last year the two officers that were attacked.
So, you know, an officer is always in danger. That's why they wear body armor. That's why they carry guns. It's just one more thing that we throw at them when you have a situation like this where you have individuals that are radicalized, could be in a cave somewhere, could be in their basement in Brooklyn, could be anywhere, and become radicalized.
And the orders -- as Bob just said, the orders coming from ISIS are orders that go out broadly. Anyone that's willing to answer that call becomes a member of ISIS once they pledge their fealty to Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi and the organization ISIS.
It's not something that takes a long, drawn-out process like al Qaeda may have required in the past. This is something that is done instantaneously by their actions.
BERMAN: Bob, the significance of attacking someone in uniform, what is it to ISIS?
BAER: They want to portray this as a conflict between one state and another, the Islamic State against the United States. We are cast as the crusaders, if you like.
And if they attack us on a military level, it justifies the violence, as opposed to something like San Bernardino, which there was no call to attack that target. But the uniformed target is something different. The Islamic State is in a lot of trouble right now, but it would truly like to portray itself as the defenders of Sunni against in particular the United States.
And if they have to do it inside this country, so be it. They would like to cast this as a war.
BERMAN: Jim, we heard from Deb Feyerick a short time ago, who said they got this confession of sorts from the alleged gunman who essentially said, I'm doing this in the name of ISIS. He did this for ISIS.
How do you connect that statement? Look, he admits it -- to finding out what conversations he might have had, what level of coordination he might have had, whether he's just saying this to mess with investigators right now.
CLEMENTE: Well, John, I don't have any reason to disbelieve what he's saying. The fact he says he's doing it for ISIS is clear by -- again, by his actions.
And all you need to do is commit that act and say you're doing it for ISIS for ISIS to then welcome you with open arms. Now, the benefit here is that this individual's alive, unlike in the few cases like Garland, Texas, and in San Bernardino, where we did not have the individual to interrogate after the fact. We have this guy.
His statements are out there because he made them plainly. He's bragging. He's bragging that he is a terrorist. He's a member of ISIS by saying he did this for ISIS. So now we're going to see over the period of weeks and months that come down the road how the FBI and the Philadelphia police will hopefully get a lot more information from this individual, how exactly he was radicalized, who exactly he communicated with if he did have any direct communication, and/or what sites he visited and what literature he was reading that gave him this mind-set to go out and do this heinous act.
BERMAN: Crucial questions already being asked. And we have seen some pictures of the FBI bringing things out of his home already, no doubt looking for some of the answers here.
Bob Baer, Tim Clemente, thank you both so much.
The other breaking story in our world lead, the drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, he has been caught, this after he walked out of a Mexican prison, tunnelling out. Now, how authorities say they got him, that's next.
BERMAN: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm John Berman, in for Jake.
We do have breaking news in our world lead, the world's most wanted drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, captured. Look at this. We just got this in, this new photo taken of Guzman today showing the drug kingpin in custody in handcuffs, this guy, you know, one of the wealthiest drug kingpins in the world, in that dirty, filthy shirt.
Mexican authorities say they got him after a deadly firefight this morning.
[16:15:03] He's been on the run since July when he tunneled out of a maximum security Mexican prison right from under the nose of so many guards and officials there. He is wanted here in the United States on drug trafficking and money laundering charges as well.
Let's get right to CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown.
Pamela, what do we know about how this went down?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, now, the Justice Department is responding. And essentially everyone here is elated about this development that "El Chapo" has been captured.
And this is what Loretta Lynch, the attorney general said. She says, today's capture of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman by Mexican authorities is a blow to the international drug trafficking syndicate he's alleged to have led, a victory for the citizens of both Mexico and the United States and a vindication of the rule of law in our countries."
U.S. law enforcement official I've been speaking with says U.S. officials were actually aware of this operation to capture "El Chapo." The U.S. official says that the U.S. did provide some support, some assistance in the search for "El Chapo," but his capture was the Mexican government's operation.
Mexican authorities have been closing in on "El Chapo" since at least yesterday, I'm told by officials. And I'm also told this isn't a surprise that he was captured in Sinaloa. This is his home turf. And there was a belief he was there all along. In fact, one official I spoke to said it would be a surprise if he had not been captured there.
I will say, John, there has been some skepticism among officials ever since "El Chapo" escaped from prison for a second time this past summer that he would ever be captured again let alone alive. So, this is welcome news to U.S. law enforcement officials. As we know, John, the U.S. has sought his extradition before in the past from Mexico when he was arrested.
And so, it is likely that will happen again. He is a wanted man in many U.S. cities, John.
BERMAN: Yes, I think there is understandable skepticism, Pamela, given that he's escaped twice if not with the assistance of authorities at least with some level of complicity. It's hard to imagine there wasn't someone on the inside involved. So, how can it be guaranteed over the coming days and weeks there won't be an escape again?
BROWN: Well, that's a good question. I think the big concern among U.S. officials and the concern that was there even before this when he was being held in Mexico is that he will pay off his guards, or somehow figure out a way to escape. We saw that elaborate tunnel that was created for him to escape through where he got on a motorcycle and then was able to roam free for several months before being captured today.
So, the big concern is that there could be another inside job. And you're going to see a big push, I think, John, by U.S. officials from the DOJ to extradite him to the U.S. so that he will be held here.
BERMAN: Understandable why they want the extradition too. Pamela Brown, thank you so much.
I'm joined by David Aguilar, who's the former deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
But first, I want to go to Lenny DePaul who joins us on the phone. He's an expert involved in this huge manhunt for "El Chapo". He's also former chief inspector and commander at the U.S. marshal service.
Lenny, what do you know about this manhunt, the capture, how it all came to an end?
LENNY DEPAUL, RET. CHIEF INSPECTOR/COMMANDER U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE (via telephone): Hi, John. Good afternoon.
I mean, with respect to the capture itself, and I'm pretty confident the U.S. Marshal, DEA, along with the Mexican authorities, it was a joint effort. This raid went down this morning as an intense shootout that went on. Several people are dead. Several in custody. Most importantly, he's in custody.
So, it will be interesting to see how this thing plays out with respect to extradition to the United States. I mean, now you have several more people dead, other pending charges in Mexico. So, it will be an intense negotiation I'm sure between the U.S. and the Mexican authorities.
BERMAN: You know, Lenny, you can understand the skepticism now given how he escaped twice and in the most recent escape tunneling out from under the noses there. You can understand the concerns now about what measures are being taken to keep him in custody. But let's talk about how he was found this time. How did they do it?
DEPAUL: Well, I mean, without getting into the trade secrets and the magic especially with a target like "El Chapo." I mean, he was the most wanted guy in the world pretty much by a lot of authorities, the 11 indictments that are ongoing here in the United States. Everybody's looking for him.
I mean, the Altiplano prison in Mexico was supposed to be a maximum security prison. No one has ever escaped from there, John. They assured the United States that he would be, you know, in custody there and secured. But that didn't happen.
So bringing him back here to the United States would be the best bet for everybody. Get him in a federal penitentiary in a secured maximum secured facility here in the U.S. and then move on. He's going to be spending the rest of his life in prison no matter where he's at.
BERMAN: Well, let's hope that's the case. Lenny, standby.
David Aguilar, let me bring you into this conversation. Let's just go big picture here, the significance that he is now in custody after all these months on the run.
[16:20:03] DAVID AGUILAR, FORMER DEPUTY COMM. U.S. CUSTOMS & BORDER PROTECTION: Oh, it's a tremendous accomplishment. It's a victory for Mexico, for the United States, for North America as a whole. And the law enforcement community absolutely came together in making this happen.
This accomplishment can only be done by the collective effort in the case of somebody like this, collective effort of binational relations, a tremendous liaison that's occurred and effort from multiple law enforcement agencies.
BERMAN: You know, we see that photo of him just a moment ago. We saw him, you know, in that dirty undershirt right there. Here's a guy a multimillionaire, drug kingpin. How has he hidden for so long?
What do we know at this point how he managed to evade authorities? And ultimately, what it was that brought his run to an end?
AGUILAR: Well, it's a tremendous amount of resources that this individual has at-hand. Therefore, the capabilities he can bring to bear in everything from hiding from the authorities, eluding them, being able to hide out in his own backyard as was said previously, in his home state of Sinaloa. He owns literally municipalities, he owns police organizations in Mexico, unfortunately, through corruptness and things of this nature. So, it is a capability due to the resources he owns. Look, at one
time, he was gauged as the tenth richest man in Mexico. He is responsible for over 35 percent of all the smuggling of cocaine out of Colombia. He is responsible for over 80 percent of all meth cocaine and marijuana smuggled into Chicago. We know what's happening in Chicago today.
BERMAN: And he is now in custody after months on the run. And he is now very much desired by U.S. officials to be extradited here to the United States to serve time here, hopefully where he will never be able to escape.
David Aguilar, Lenny DePaul, thank you so much.
AGUILAR: Thank you.
BERMAN: Our other big breaking story today, the attempted assassination of a Philadelphia police officer. The suspect later confessed that he attacked the officer in the name of Islam, for ISIS, but was this shooting directed by ISIS? New information next.
[16:25:35] BERMAN: Welcome back to THE LEAD. I'm John Berman in for Jake Tapper.
Turning back to our top story, a Philadelphia police officer ambushed in his patrol car by a man pledging allegiance to ISIS. Officer Jesse Hartnett, 33, he survived. But this attack really is in so many ways a nightmare scenario for law enforcement not just in Philadelphia but around the country.
I want to get right to CNN national correspondent Deborah Feyerick.
Deb, you've been talking to law enforcement sources. What are they saying right now?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What they're saying is this was an ambush. This came out of nowhere. This man had one intent and one intent only, and that was to assassinate this police officer. He walked up to the marked squad car, fired 11 shots from a stolen .9 millimeter gun and hit this man at close range.
It's remarkable everyone is saying that this officer even survived. He did -- the officer was able to get out of the car, shoot the suspect. The suspect was brought to headquarters and questioned by homicide detectives. And that's when he confessed saying he had done this on -- he had pledged allegiance to ISIS and was doing this in the name of Allah.
He did not implicate anyone else. Did not release any kind of information suggesting there was a conspiracy. But right now, the feds are looking very, very closely to see whether in fact there is some sort of nexus to terrorism. They're looking at databases and there are search warrants being executed right now, confiscating computers, cell phones, looking for any kind of evidence that might suggest that this was a direct contact with ISIS or whether this was ISIS inspired, something that they're looking at right now, John, very closely.
BERMAN: And they're going to the home right now to find what they can. Deborah Feyerick, thank you so much.
I want to bring in Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina who serves in the Armed Services Committee.
Senator Graham, thanks so much for being here.
Just a short time ago the chairman at a House Homeland Security Committee, Mike McCaul, he said he believed this man was carrying out orders from Raqqa, from ISIS headquarters. Does that seem likely to you?
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Yes. I would be surprised quite frankly. He might know more about it than I do.
To me, it's probably a guy, you know, just nuts and wanted to do this in the name of ISIS and not directed by people in Syria. But having said that, I really don't know.
You're going to have more of this as long as they're perceived as winning. People don't pledge allegiance to losers. So, we'll see what happens.
BERMAN: And that's just the thing. In a way being inspired by ISIS even if you're not following direct orders there, it's just as dangerous here in the United States, isn't it?
GRAHAM: Sure. It is to the cop. Hats off to the cop. He did a great thing. I'm glad he's alive. And I'm glad he fought back.
But there are really two threats from ISIS. The organization itself that can recruit people and plan sophisticated attacks like Paris. And something like this, somebody inspired.
It's no accident that there's been an uptick in these kind of attacks as ISIL has seen to have done well against the west and beginning to accumulate power. Again, the day that you take the caliphate down and destroy it, a lot of this goes away.
BERMAN: We talked to Bob Baer, former CIA operative, he said uniformed officers in the country, cops, military personnel, obvious targets for ISIS. What's your message to these men and women on the streets here in the United States trying to keep people safe?
GRAHAM: We're in a war and you're a target. And God bless you for being willing to risk your life in everyday criminal events, but you're now part of a greater war. The fact that we attack them and they attack us should be no surprise.
What surprises me is how the West is not showing the resolve we need to end this conflict with ISIL. They're not ten feet tall. They're not the jayvee team. If you don't destroy the caliphate at its roots, at its source in Raqqa, Syria, there are going to be more inspired attacks, but I fear a planned attack more than an inspired attack.
So, Mr. President, your strategy to destroy ISIL is not working. We need to change strategy, or more of this is coming our way.
BERMAN: Senator Lindsey Graham, standby for a moment.
I want to go to Mexico right now where the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is holding a press conference on the dramatic capture of the world's most wanted drug kingpin "El Chapo" captured this morning. Let's listen.
ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, MEXICAN PRESIDENT (through translator): And the federal police, and the attorney general office of the republic, and the security investigation center of the nation, this action against impunity is the result of permanent work of --