Return to Transcripts main page


Bombing Suspect Charged With Attempted Murder; Bombing Suspect in Hospital Not Cooperating With Officials; Trump Suggests "Racial Profiling" Will Stop Terror; Trump Says "Racial Profiling" Will Stop Terror; NYC Mayor Slow to Call Bombing a "Terror" Attack; Police Identify 10th Victim in Mall Stabbing Rampage. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired September 19, 2016 - 19:00   ET


[19:00:11] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, the prime suspect in a series of terrorist bombings charged with attempted murder. Did he act alone?

Plus, new details tonight about the suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami. His multiple trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Was he ISIS?

And Donald Trump says the U.S. should start racial profiling. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. Charged. Ahmad Khan Rahami charged with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. This is just the beginning here. Bail set at $5.2 million. That suspect now wounded, under arrest in a New Jersey hospital tonight after a bloody shootout. Authorities believe Rahami is behind a series of bombings this weekend in New York City and in New Jersey. So far, Rahami is not cooperating with investigators and it is not clear whether he had accomplices or acted alone.


Police responding after a man resembling the bombing suspect was spotted sleeping in the doorway of a bar. You can hear the gunshots continuing here. According to New Jersey police, Rahami then pulled out an automatic gun. He shot one officer, striking him in his protective vest. A second officer then shot through his police cruiser's windshield. That shot nearly struck him directly in the head. Moments ago, CNN spoke with Jamie Reyes who was friendly with the family, the Rahami family, describing the suspected bomber as a friendly, easy-going, young father.


JAMIE REYES, FRIEND OF AHMAD RAHAMI'S FAMILY: I saw him, like, two weeks ago. I say hello to him, I spoke to him, how are you doing, how's your daughter, how's everything? And everything was fine. I mean, he looked a little stressed out, but nothing of a concern.


BURNETT: His last known residence was an apartment above the family- owned chicken restaurant that you see right there in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Investigators raided the apartment just hours before Rahami was captured today. Elizabeth, New Jersey, is also where multiple bombs were found in a trash can on Sunday night. Just 500 feet from a commuter train station.

Evan Perez begins our coverage OUTFRONT. And of course Evan, this is just the beginning of the charges here. You have New York, you have federal. But this is now starting. He's been charged.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. The five charges for attempted murder, that's for the gunfire exchange with the Linden police officers. These charges were filed tonight by the union county prosecutors there in New Jersey. We, as you mentioned, we do expect that the federal prosecutors will file their own charges. Now, it's not clear whether that will be brought in New Jersey or in Manhattan. The U.S. attorney for Manhattan mentioned this morning at a press conference that he fully expected that there would be terrorism charges, additional charges that would be brought against this suspect, and as you mentioned, there could be the possibility of state charges here in New York as well.

BURNETT: Evan, you are also learning a lot more about something so crucial to this. When you think about the fact that this person, perhaps with help, was able to place bombs in multiple cities over a two-day period. You're learning more about what was in the bombs. The bomb-making material.

PEREZ: That's right, Erin. The crucial part of this is what went into making these bombs. This is somebody who had enough expertise to make at least two different types of bomb, maybe three different types of bombs. The question is, how did he learn to do this? Now, the two pressure cooker bombs that were found in Chelsea, one of them was unexploded. They've analyzed it and they found an explosive known as HMTD. Now, it's not a very common use of these explosives in these jihadi attacks, in these terrorist attacks. We've seen it -- we've seen terrorists use TATP in multiple attacks in Paris and here in the United States, even, but this one, HMTD, we've last seen it in 2005 in the London bombings.

So the question that authorities have right now is where did he get the chemicals, the precursor chemicals that he used to make these bombs here? We know he included ball bearings and BBs in the pressure cookers that make them more lethal and so the question is, did he have training, perhaps from some of his travels in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Or was it something that he took off the internet? There's a lot of recipes for these bombs on the internet -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Evan.

Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where the suspected bomber was last known to have lived. And Jason, I know you're learning about Rahami's travel out of the United States for extended periods of time. Afghanistan and Pakistan. Even marrying a woman in Pakistan. All of this in the past few years.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But what we're doing is we're piecing together information that comes to us, Erin, not just from U.S. government officials, but from people out here who knew the family as well. And, yes, once again, this man visited Afghanistan and Pakistan several times for several years during the last several years. And I can just give you some of that information right now. He spent time in both countries in 2011. He married a woman in Pakistan also in 2011. Went back there in 2013.

[19:05:30] He actually filed paperwork at one time to bring that woman here to the United States, but apparently never followed through on it. We should also point out that according to some of the folks that we spoke to out here, Erin, he also had a relationship with a woman here in New Jersey, the two of them had a baby girl. As far as we can best tell, they never got married. There was a question in terms of why he initially went to Afghanistan, and I spoke to two who know the family. They say it's because actually that Ahmad Khan's father told him he wanted him to go back to Afghanistan because he needed, quote, "discipline."

And when I asked one of these people, I said, well, what was he like when he came back? Was he a different man? Was he a changed man? This young man told me that he felt as though that he was different and when I asked him to define how he was different, was he more reclusive, was he radicalize? He said, he couldn't put a finger on it, but he said culturally, he said he was, quote, "different." Also, we should tell you, since we've been out here, we noticed a lot of law enforcement officials coming in and out still serving that search warrant, we've seen them bring out several boxes. A bomb-sniffing dog was out here as well as investigators continue to try to put together a motive for what happened -- Erin.

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

And OUTFRONT now, Art Roderick, former assistant director for investigations for the U.S. Marshals. Bob Baer, former CIA operative. The former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis who of course was in- charged with the investigation into the Boston marathon bombings. And Tim Clemente, former FBI counterterror agent.

Art, OK. So, here's what we know. We have charges. We have a suspect who is not cooperating right now. And we have a lot of uncertainty over whether there are others who were intimately involved in this. They know -- we know two additional men were on surveillance camera taking one of these bombs out of a duffel bag. Right now, police are saying they're not sure these guys were involved. They're moving away from that idea. But what do you make of that?

ART RODERICK, FORMER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR INVESTIGATIONS, U.S. MARSHALS: My gut feeling is telling me that there's no way this guy could have done this by himself. I mean, he made -- if he was the one that made the bombs and planted all these bombs, I mean, there is evidence that he did have fingerprints on them.


RODERICK: I just can't imagine that this guy all by himself did this in three different cities and made the mistakes he made by planting them in the wrong location, planting them in places where there wasn't much traffic. If you looked at the bomb in Seaside, New Jersey, all it basically did was blow the bottom of a plastic trash can off.


RODERICK: So, I mean, when you look at these devices, only really two of them went off. The third one went off based on the robot cutting a wire. So, I mean, when you're talking about ten explosive devices, only two actually went off. One of them went off in an area that was pretty secluded. The other one just went off on its own and didn't really cause any damage. I mean, this guy made a lot of mistakes. He's pretty inept at being a terrorist.

BURNETT: And commissioner, let me ask you, though, because, you know what Evan is reporting. Look, yes, and it is miraculous that these bombs, you know, in the case of the one in New Jersey, was placed -- the race, the marine race started a few minutes late so nobody was running by at the moment. I mean, some of this was luck that something horrible didn't happen. But three different types of bombs, Evan is reporting, that he may well have made. Do you think he could have done that on his own?

ED DAVIS, FORMER BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER DURING MARATHON BOMBINGS: Well, Erin, I would tend to agree with Art. I think that the -- it does appear as though there was someone else involved. And you know, there's a big repetitive issue here about being able to make these bombs by looking at the internet. I've done work, this technical work before. Trying to find out where exactly to put the trigger inside a cell phone is a very dangerous thing to do. Especially if you're hooking that stuff up to explosives. A lot of these guys blow themselves up.

The fact that they didn't blow themselves up, the fact that they were using cell phones as detonators shows a level of sophistication that we didn't see in Boston. And I really believe that they don't do this by looking at the internet. They have to have someone show them how to do it. And it's strange to me that there are so many statements coming from the investigators that these are lone wolves, that there's nobody else involved in it. And it just doesn't seem possible.

BURNETT: What do you say, Tim?

TIM CLEMENTE, FORMER FBI COUNTERTERRORISM AGENT: I would agree. It looks like this individual with no experience that we know of probably was not capable of building these devices without losing three or four fingers, at least, in the experimental phase. Generally, bomb builders are known by the fact that they either have their hands in tact or they don't. The ones that do have their hands in tact are the experienced ones that learned from other experts. For somebody to be a newcomer to the game and be able to make eight or nine devices with a highly sensitive explosive, like HMTD, is -- it's not plausible to me.

[19:10:25] BURNETT: And what do you make, Bob Baer, of that explosive as Evan is reporting? HMTD used in the London bombings but not in some other recent bombings. What do you make of the use of that? Not as common as TATP, for example.

BAER: I find it highly disturbing. I agree. He probably wasn't alone in making these bombs, I've made HMTD. Very unstable. It's a great initiator. You'd have to know your explosives. It's not somebody that went out and bought black powder and played around with it. This guy knew what he was doing. He was either taught when he was in Afghanistan or Pakistan or there's an accomplice. All these bombs, and I totally agree, pipe bombs, you've got to know how to put the top on them or you do blow yourself up. So, the chances of this guy just waking up one day and getting on the internet by himself and putting this together are close to zero to none.

BURNETT: So, Commissioner Davis, I mean, from what all of you are saying, is when the time is of the essence here. As they are trying to find accomplices or anyone who may have helped. And right now we understand that he is not cooperating. So then, what next? How do they find others?

BAER: Well, they drill down into all of the social media connections that he had. They speak to all of his friends and all of the people around him to see what he was speaking about and what he was doing in his day-to-day life. And then they look very closely at his foreign travel. If he was in tribal areas of Pakistan or in Afghanistan and maybe at a -- or in some proximity to a training camp. The other guys on the panel are much better at answering those questions as to how that works, but all of those avenues are being pursued now by a whole raft of federal, state and local agencies. They will get the information. There's a lot going on right now, still. Make no mistake about that.

BURNETT: All right. We're going to talk about that foreign travel because it is so crucial. He went through secondary screening. No flags raised. The latest on the condition also of the bombing suspect. We now have that. That is him today after the shootout going to the hospital. And we are learning much more about him. Was he radicalized overseas and was he near a training camp? That report next.

Plus, should Rahami be held as an enemy combatant? That debate heating up tonight.

The attacker who stabbed nine people in Minnesota mall wearing a security guard uniform in the name of ISIS. ISIS is claiming them as one of their own. Was he?


[19:16:33] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight about the suspected New York/New Jersey bomber. A law enforcement official telling CNN that Ahmad Khan Rahami so far is not cooperating with authorities after being shot by police on the streets of a town called Linden, New Jersey.

Brynn Gingras is OUTFRONT live outside the hospital in New York, New Jersey, where Rahami is being treated. And Brynn obviously heavy police presence. What can you tell us about him tonight? BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin, actually there are cops

at every entry point of this hospital making sure vehicles that are going in are supposed to be in there. We know Rahami that has undergone surgery according to a local county prosecutor's office here. The hospital, though, will not comment on if he's out of that surgery or what condition he currently is in. They will only say that he is being treated here. We do know, though, from the video that he certainly sustained some sort of injuries to his arms and to his leg but he was alert when he was put into that ambulance.

And as you already mentioned at that point we know he had not been talking to authorities. We don't know yet if he has talked to authorities since he's been here at the hospital so we're still working to find that out. I also want to mention also being treated are those two officers, Linden police officers who encountered Rahami and got into that shootout. One an 18-year veteran. She was shot in the bulletproof vest. We're hearing it's possible she may be released from the hospital tonight.

And then the second officer, a 23-year veteran of the Linden Police Department. We're told by the Linden Police Department that he was actually hit by bullet fragments in his forehead. It's -- they say that Rahami is actually shot at his patrol vehicle and the bullets hit his windshield and lucky for him, it looks like those bullets ricocheted and look like how he got that grazing wound. We know, Erin, that President Obama did call both of those officers today to thank them for their bravery and service -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Brynn, thank you.

And tonight, disturbing new details are emerging about Ahmad Rahami's history, including numerous visits to Afghanistan and a Taliban stronghold in Pakistan. He then came back to the United States.

Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT with the breaking details tonight.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twenty eight-year-old bombing suspect Ahmad Rahami bloodied as he's carried away on a stretcher moments after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey, a few miles from an apartment where his family lives above this chicken restaurant they run. The sound of gunfire captured on this amateur video.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a very friendly guy. You'd never suspect this. I went there so much, he'd give me free chicken here and there.

BROWN: The family is from Afghanistan, according to law enforcement sources. Rahami was born in Afghanistan and came to the U.S. in 1995, several years after his father arrives seeking asylum. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2011. Rahami went to high school in New Jersey and attended Middlesex College there majoring in criminal justice, but he never graduated. Law enforcement officials say Rahami traveled to Afghanistan several times in recent years. A family friend tells CNN Rahami went there on vacation. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He left his country, Afghanistan like four years


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you know that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, that's what his little brother told me. He's on vacation to Afghanistan. I was like oh, all right.

BROWN: CNN has also learned Rahami spent a year in Pakistan from 2013 to 2014. Although Rahami underwent routine questioning upon his return to the U.S., that never raised any red flags for U.S. officials and he was not put on any terror watch list. CNN has learned Rahami's family filed a lawsuit against the city of Elizabeth in 2011 claiming discrimination based on their Muslim religion. The family said city officials harassed them, arbitrarily ticketing their 24-hour restaurant, first American fried chicken, and claimed community members taunted them saying things such as, quote, "Muslims don't belong here" and "Muslims make too much trouble in this country."

MAYOR CHRIS BOLLWAGE, ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY: The city council was getting complaints from the neighborhood at which time they voted to close it at 10:00 which led to some clashes with the Police Department because the police were enforcing the city council ordinance.

BROWN: The lawsuit was closed without a clear ruling.


BROWN: And in 2014, Rahami actually contacted a New Jersey congressman's office saying that he was having issues getting his wife to the United States. This congressman tells us that it turns out her passport was expired so she wasn't given an immigrant visa. Once her passport was renewed, it turned out that she was pregnant and the U.S. consulate over there said that they wouldn't give her an immigrant visa until she had the baby. This congressman says, it's unclear what happened after that. Unclear if she ever made it to the United States -- Erin.

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

I want to go straight back to our panel. And let me just start with you, Bob. You just heard Rahami traveled to Afghanistan multiple times including to a Taliban stronghold. So, this meant he got secondary screening when he returned to the United States. But he just said he was visiting family or whatever it was and nobody noticed anything or thought anything of it?

[19:21:34] BAER: Well, Erin, you got to look where he went. Quetta. You and I couldn't go there. We wouldn't make it out of the airport alive. Simply being an American, you're either support it by the Pakistani government, the ISI or the Taliban. A couple months ago, all the lawyers were killed in the town in one suicide bombing. It's about as dangerous as you can get. And you certainly don't go there on vacation nor do you go to Kandahar in Afghanistan on vacation. Too dangerous. All controlled by the Taliban. By other radicals. So that's

inherently suspicious and if I were immigrations, I would have done more than a secondary check. I would have asked him precisely what he was doing there and ask him for his phone and the rest of it because if you can't answer those questions, something is terribly wrong. And I think this guy slipped through the net here.

BURNETT: I mean, Tim, would you agree? And we also know at one point he was over there for almost a full year. It wasn't like it was a quick in and out visit. A full year in a place, of course, where there are terrorists and terror training camps.

CLEMENTE: That's exactly what's there, Erin. And I agree with Bob. There's literally no other reason to go there. Even if you have family there, it's much safer to have your family meet you in a third location that would not be considered a terrorist stronghold, but instead, he spends a year in these areas that are nothing but terrorist strongholds. Whether it's the Taliban or now ISIS in that area.

So, you know, obviously our screening processes aren't working. I think people cry foul and say that we're profiling when we look closely at somebody like this coming from that area, but, you know, as we saw in San Bernardino, the same influences and the same area caused the same problem here.

BURNETT: And Art, of course, the San Bernardino shooter was -- his wife came from Pakistan and of course was his accomplice. And we are learning about now that there was a woman, a wife in Pakistan.


BURNETT: And a baby, perhaps. He also had a child with another woman here. But that child. Now they're saying they're not sure if she ever came to the United States. This is something obviously that they are sure of and just not telling us, right? This is a check on the computer.

RODERICK: Right. I would think that they already have that information. The minute I heard this report, it took me right to San Bernardino because San Bernardino actually showed the issue with the fiance visa, that they really weren't checking into those as heavily as they should. And the minute I heard this, I thought oh my gosh, here we go, San Bernardino again. Where exactly is his wife at this point in time? So it sounds like they know where she is. They're just not telling us where she is.

Either he didn't follow through and she is still over in Pakistan with this child, but it just shows, and Bob is right, red flags should have been popping up all over the place, and they should have been a lot more than just a secondary screening done. When this individual came back from those locations. For an extended period of time, he was over there. After he was naturalized. So there are all kinds of red flags in this case also.

BURNETT: Commissioner, what would you say, would you agree with this, it appears he slipped through the net?

DAVIS: I think so, Erin. There's a profile developing here, and, you know, racial profiling is bad, but profiling is something that is necessary for us to do to protect ourselves. We have situations here, Tamerlan traveled to Dagestan, met with radical clerics.


DAVIS: Came back and was able to build a bomb. The same thing is happening here. We can't allow that to happen. There's got to be some sanctions against people that go into training camps. They shouldn't be allowed back even if they're American citizens. There has to be something that stops this.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you, all, very much.

And next, you're talking about profiling, and racial profiling. Specifically Donald Trump says, the United States has to do it. Is his message resonating and his reasoning?

And a bomb exploding on a busy New York street. Why was the city's mayor so slow to admit this was terror?


[19:29:20] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight. Donald Trump defending a call for racial profiling. He says it will keep the country safe from terror attacks. Trump also arguing moments ago that the United States' current immigration laws made the attacks in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota this weekend possible.

Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, the bombings in New York and New Jersey impacting the presidential race.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This is a fast-moving situation and a sobering reminder that we need steady leadership in a dangerous world.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Hillary Clinton talks tougher about my supporters than she does about Islamic terrorists. Right?

[19:30:00] ZELENY (voiceover): One week before their first debate, a new test for Trump and Clinton, already on a collision course over who's better equipped to be commander-in-chief and who has better judgment.

Trump quickly seizing on the Afghanistan-born suspect to make an immigration argument.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Let me state very, very clearly, immigration security is national security.

ZELENY: He also said police should be allowed to racially profile suspects.

TRUMP: They're afraid to do anything about it because they don't want to be accused of profiling. In Israel, they profile.

ZELENY: Clinton accusing her rival of fueling hate, blasting his call to ban Muslims from the U.S.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We know that a lot of the rhetoric we've heard from Donald Trump has been seized on by terrorists, in particular, ISIS, because they are looking to make this into war against Islam.

ZELENY: With the election in 50 days, voters sending mixed signals on the qualities of Trump and Clinton. Asked who's a strong and decisive leader, Trump leads by eight points. As for who has the temperament to serve as president, Clinton holds a wide 20 point advantage. Both candidates reacting in real-time to fast-moving developments in the bombing investigation on the streets of New York and New Jersey, and a multiple stabbing at a Minnesota mall -- all being investigated as acts of terror.

Trump taking to Twitter, "Under the leadership of Obama/Clinton, Americans have more experienced more attacks at home than victories abroad. Time to change the playbook."

At a rally today in Florida, Trump echoed the call.

TRUMP: That's all we need is four more years of Obama except worse.

ZELENY: And Clinton delivering a pointed response to Trump for linking her and the president to attacks on home front.

CLINTON: It's not grounded in fact. It's, you know, meant to make some kind of demagogic point, and the facts are pretty clear.


ZELENY: Now, it's an open question how the terror attacks will affect the presidential race, or if they will at all. But Clinton is trying to make the argument that she is the experienced candidate here in this time of crisis, but Donald Trump is saying it is time for change. Her experience is not what the country needs -- Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right. Jeff, thank you.

And OUTFRONT now, the former assistant homeland security secretary and CNN national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem, a Hillary Clinton supporter, and the former CIA director and ambassador, James Woolsey, a senior adviser to the Donald Trump campaign.

Let's start with racial profiling, Juliette. Donald Trump says the country is too politically correct, police are too afraid. These terror attacks could be stopped if they just have the courage to racially profile. What do you say?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I sort of go with every major police chief out there who says the worst thing we can do in our counterterrorism efforts today is to begin to be racially profiled. No one's ever accused me of being politically correct. So, there is a tactical reason why you don't want this as stated U.S. policy, besides the fact it's illegal, I'll give Trump that.

The reason why is, if you actually think that the threat is one in which we'll be better found because of reaching out to communities of interest and engaging our Arab allies abroad, the last thing you want to do is antagonize those very populations. But there is actually an even bigger reason why you don't want to racially profile, because the profile will then change, right? So this is all known, there's no police chief that's going to say this should be stated policy, and neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration, just to show you how outside the norm this is of national security policy, would say racial profile should be a stated or explicit policy.

BURNETT: So, Ambassador Woolsey, what do you say, when she says if you racially profile, they'll just change the profile, the policy will not work?

JAMES WOOLSEY: Well, you certainly don't want to just racially profile, but if somebody robs a bank who's a WASP and has -- is folically challenged as am I, and you put out a description, you don't want to have everybody chasing after African-Americans who have a full head of hair. I mean, you got to describe categories of people and I don't look on that as profiling.

I think it's important to be able to zero in on the category of people you are looking for, but you certainly should not just racially profile someone that -- I think that way lies craziness.

BURNETT: Juliette, Donald Trump is making the case Israel does it. You heard him say it. Let me give him a chance, what he said earlier when he on why the United States should do what Israel does. They do racial profile. Here he is.


TRUMP: But Israel has done an unbelievable job and they'll profile. They profile. They see somebody that is suspicious, they will profile. They will take that person in. They'll check out. Do we have a choice? Look what's going on, do we really have a choice? We're trying to be so politically correct in our country.


[19:35:03] BURNETT: Is Israel something the United States should look at, then, Juliette?

KAYYEM: I don't know what Israel he's talking about, but Israel certainly also has a much greater and, in fact, existential terrorism problem. That's why we support the nation of Israel.

The idea that if you profile, this solves the problem, let's just be clear here -- Trump does not know what he means by profiling, right? I mean, I think that that's clear. What Jim and I mean, and what we both seem to disagree with is you say

Arab-Americans or Muslim-Americans are inherently a suspect class, you go after their mosque, you survey them. That in a nation like ours is not just inconsistent with who we are, it actually won't work. And so, I just think Trump thinks Israel is an example -- I think Israelis might beg to differ.

BURNETT: Why wouldn't it work, Ambassador? I mean, you know, she's making that case, but, of course, in the recent cases we've had of Orlando and San Bernardino and here, these have all come out of that community.

WOOLSEY: You don't want to make an assumption that someone is going to do something bad because of his race or creed or -- that is what I would regard as racial profiling and we shouldn't do it. But I think that it's important to realize that if one is categorizing people in order to decide what to look at, as Rudy Giuliani puts it, he's Italian background. He said, you know, if I'm looking into the mafia, I don't really start with the Irish neighborhoods. And one needs to, I think --

BURNETT: Isn't that a distinction without a difference? I mean, so he's basically saying, oh, I'm not going to profile people because they're Muslim but he's saying, but I'm only going to look at the mosques?

WOOLSEY: Profiling I think has to do with making a judgment that someone is more likely to do something wrong. I think that is a bad idea. But in terms of -- during the Giuliani/Kelly era, when they were looking at the details of neighborhoods and so forth in New York, so-called broken windows approach, I think that was perfectly sound and I would not regard that as profiling. I'd regard it as sensible police work and it worked, it prevented a lot of deaths and if you look at statistics from New York during those periods.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.

And next, a bombing on the New York city streets. Why didn't the city's mayor call it terrorism? He waited and waited. Why?

And new details about the Minnesota mall attacker tonight. ISIS tonight saying he was a soldier of the Islamic State. We're learning a lot more about this man tonight. Was he?


[19:41:36] BURNETT: Tonight, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio facing criticism from even his own party for waiting more than 24 hours to call the bombing in New York City a terror attack. His resistance coming even as the governor of New York argued it was obviously terrorism. So what was the issue?

Phil Mattingly is OUTFRONT.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A seemingly simple statement.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: Based on the information we have now, we have every reason to believe this was an act of terror.

MATTINGLY: But it was a dramatic shift from multiple public appearances for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio took pains not to call the bombing in Manhattan terrorism. Here's the mayor in his first public statement just a few hours after the explosion.

DE BLASIO: I want to say more broadly, there is no specific and credible threat against New York city at this point in time from any terror organization. The early indications, initial indications, is this was an intentional act.

MATTINGLY: Even as his own governor had no such trouble labeling the event.

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: A bomb exploding in New York is, obviously, an act of terrorism.

MATTINGLY: Same with the Democratic senator from New Jersey.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: I think that anyone who takes a bomb and ultimately puts it in a public place was, from, I think it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand you are looking to do harm to others for whatever your purpose were. To me, that's an essence of terrorism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get off the street!

MATTINGLY: One bombing, two very different perspectives, and behind the scenes, questions of why. It was an approach at least on its face designed to ratchet back the kinds of concerns that would lead to panic and also urge caution about jumping to conclusions, the mayor said. And he was backed by the city's new police commissioner.

COMMISSIONER JAMES O'NEILL, NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT: If it is an act of terrorism, we're going to come out and say it.

MATTINGLY: But sources tell CNN the choice was a personal one for de Blasio, one tied to the legal definition of the word and one the mayor would not let go of. He stuck by the position even amid an internal debate with law enforcement officials over the reluctance to say the events were being investigated as a possible act of terror. It was a reluctance, law enforcement officials noted, not shown by officials in an unrelated attack in Minnesota this weekend.

In the end, a debate rendered moot by the end result -- an arrest and definitive answer that it was, indeed, an act of terror.

As to the perceived split leading up to that point --

CUOMO: Frankly, it's semantics. The mayor and I viewed the site together. We have the same information, the same observation and the same conclusions.


BURNETT: That sounds like someone trying to brush over it and make it nice. I mean --

MATTINGLY: A little bit.

BURNETT: Not semantics.

MATTINGLY: No, not at all.

Look, I think the issue here, when you look at it, this was a split, it was absolutely a split, and it was a very public split. But it was one that was based on as I stated in the piece, the mayor behind the scenes. There are legal connotations that come with the word, "terror". They did not want to trigger that, de Blasio's team until they had their hands around the investigation. This all happened very, very fast over the course of 24 hours. They weren't totally sure of the motivations. That's why they held off.

The reality was when you talk to law enforcement officials, other public officials, there's a way to hedge this answer and mention terrorism without kind of triggering everything. That would make this not an issue anymore. It became an issue. It became an issue that got a lot of attention.

[19:45:01] At least for a little bit, the concern with law enforcement officials is, this would become the issue, not the investigation. At least for a period, it was.

BURNETT: And, of course, the public, no question about what an act of terror is. Pretty clear. And this fit that definition.

Phil, thank you very much.

And next, a man dressed in a security guard uniform stabbing nine inside a Minnesota mall. Coming up, how an off-duty officer may have stopped a massacre in another terror attack this weekend.


BURNETT: Breaking news: police announcing a tenth victim in the Minnesota mall stabbing rampage -- an attack which ISIS claimed responsibility for. Police say 22-year-old Dahir Adan was wearing a security guard uniform, made reference to Allah and asked at least one person if he was Muslim before attacking.

Sara Sidner is OUTFRONT.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Terror in the mall. Dispatchers scramble to send help.

DISPATCH: We're taking reports of shots fired and people stabbed. We're sending people out the north side of Macy's. SIDNER: By then, nine people had been stabbed. They all survived.

The attacker did not, shot dead by off-duty officer Jason Falconer, who's being hailed a hero.

According to the mayor's surveillance video shows a customer running with children in tow and then the suspect comes into frame.

[19:50:05] MAYOR DAVID KLEIS, ST. CLOUD, MINNESOTA: You see him immediately forward lunge with a knife, and you've seen the officer fire. The suspect went down. He got back up. Officer fired again. He got back up. This was three times.

SIDNER: The man responsible, 22-year-old Dahir Adan. An ISIS-linked news agency tweeted he was one of their soldiers.

The FBI is calling the attack a potential act of terrorism while police are searching for more evidence of a link to ISIS.

CHIEF WILLIAM BLAIR ANDERSON, ST. CLOUD POLICE DEPARTMENT: As we talk today, I don't have anything to make that connection.

SIDNER: The attacker worked as a part-time security officer and was wearing his uniform during the stabbing. He lived in this modest apartment complex.

Somali community leader Abdul Kulane spoke with his family and said the young man has lived in the U.S. nearly his entire life.

(on camera): Was he living with his family?

ABDUL KULANE, SOMALI COMMUNITY LEADER: He was living with his parents, both parents. And members of the extended family was also around. Different apartment in the same building.

SIDNER: Did they give any indication that they saw change in him or that they noticed him watching videos or anything like that that give them an indication that he was becoming extreme?

KULANE: They hadn't told us anything about that. They were shocked as everybody else was. They're in disbelief that could happen.

SIDNER: From speaking with the family, would you say this young man had assimilated as an American?

KULANE: He was. He was, as an American as everybody else is.

SIDNER (voice-over): Something clearly changed him. He says their son left home saying he was going to the mall to buy an iPhone. About three hours later, his family was informed he was dead and many were wounded.

REV. JAMES ALBERTS, HIGHER GROUND CHURCH PASTOR: Terror has visited St. Cloud and it is our job as members of this community for it not to find a home.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SIDNER: Now, all the stabbing victims have been released from the hospital.

Now, community leaders, both Somali community leaders and the greater community trying to make sure that there is no backlash towards the Somali community. There have been tensions here, but this community has also worked extremely hard to make sure that those are quelled over the years -- Erin.

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

And just terrifying to imagine going to a mall on a Saturday night and someone coming and a security uniform, a trusted thing, and then stabbing as we know now the breaking news, ten people, that happening in this country, the United States of America.

OUTFRONT now, St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson joins me.

Chief, thank very much for taking the time.

ISIS is claiming responsible for this attack where you are. They say this is theirs. Of course, there are reports the man talked about Allah, that he asked at least one of his victims if they were Muslim before the attack. Do you think this was ISIS inspired?

CHIEF WILLIAM BLAIR ANDERSON, ST. CLOUD POLICE DEPARTMENT: I did read the news release that was sent out by ISIS, but at this time, we haven't uncovered anything to substantiate that.

BURNETT: What can you tell us about this man, the attacker? What do you know about him?

ANDERSON: I can tell you right now we're getting into the meaty part of our investigation and my directive this morning to my staff was that I wanted to know everything about him from the day he was born until last Saturday. And so, as we speak right now, our investigative team is busy trying to piece that puzzle together.

BURNETT: Have any red flags come up in your investigation? You know, as we're learning so much about the New York/New Jersey bomber, travel that now seems incredibly suspect in retrospect. Has anything come up so far in your investigation?

ANDERSON: Nothing so far in our investigation. Our in-house records show that we've had three minor contacts with the individual. We're working in conjunction with the FBI because they can better determine those things than we can.

BURNETT: And obviously this has been -- at least nine Somali Americans in Minnesota have been convicted or pleaded guilty to trying to join is in just the past two years. Obviously, that is significant. Are you concerned from what you know about this man that there could be others who know him or were involved, that this is anything more broad than one individual?

ANDERSON: That's why we're investigating, and if those things are, in fact, true, then we'll find that out. But, again, as of now, we don't have anything that would support that. And so, we're going to keep up with our investigation. We're going to go where the facts and the leads take us.

BURNETT: And, Chief Anderson, obviously there was a hero here. The off-duty police officer, his name is Jason Falconer, if I'm saying his last name correctly. He was there. He rushed to the scene and stopped this young man from possibly slaughtering more people, attacking more people.

What can you tell us about Jason Falconer?

[19:55:00] ANDERSON: I didn't know Jason Falconer prior to Saturday. I can tell you that I've had occasion to speak with him two times and we're glad that he was in the place that he was at the time that he was.

The mayor and I viewed the surveillance video from inside the store and it's -- it's more than unnerving. It's clear what the attacker's intent was with respect to the innocent people, you know, that were being attacked. And but for Officer Falconer's actions, this could have been exponentially worse.

And so, if there's any -- any good news from this horrible situation, is that no innocent people were killed. And as of today, all of them have been released from the hospital. So, our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families.

BURNETT: All right. Chief Anderson, thank you so much.

I appreciate your time tonight. We'll be right back.


BURNETT: And thank you so much for joining us.

"AC360" begins right now.