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At This Hour

Frank James Named as Subway Shooting Suspect; Video Appears to Show Cluster Munitions Used in Ukraine; Finland and Sweden Considering NATO Membership. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired April 13, 2022 - 11:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm Kate Bolduan. We are following breaking news on the manhunt for the subway shooter. New York police have now named 62-year-old Frank R. James as the suspect in the Brooklyn attack.

The manhunt all the more urgent now more than 24 hours later. Frank James is still on the run. Now we know police believe he is the man who shot 10 people and injured many more, more than a dozen others, on a subway train during morning rush hour yesterday.

Investigators say he filled a crowded subway car with smoke before firing 33 shots at commuters. James had rented this U-Haul van found near the attack. They do not have a motive. They have found James' repeated postings online about race, Mayor Eric Adams, homelessness and gun violence.


MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D-NEW YORK CITY, NY): Part of the job is receiving threats. I get threats from time to time not only as a mayor, as a state senator, even as a police officer.

You look at how we use social media right now to put out threats, carry out dangerous actions and there are clear correlations between what's being posted and carried out in our streets, in this case and many other cases.


BOLDUAN: Let's start off with Jason Carroll. He's live at the scene in Brooklyn.

Jason, where is the investigation right now?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, as you can imagine, the investigation is very much focused on following up on all those leads to try to find out exactly where Frank James might be hiding out. What they're going to do, they're going to reach out to anyone that

they find, who may have known him, who may know his whereabouts. They'll go to his former addresses. We know he has an address in Philadelphia, the same place where he rented that U-Haul van to bring him here to New York.

We know he has an address in Wisconsin so investigators will be following up on those locations as well. They'll also be checking deeply into his social media, a lot of disturbing posts there. He talked about mass shootings on social media.

He uploaded a video on Monday, a day before the shooting, where he talked about thinking about killing people. He posted a video where he showed an NYC ID card and posted videos about having post-traumatic stress.

There is this additional point I wanted to bring up, too. He also, during one video post, criticized New York City's mayor, Eric Adams, when Eric Adams was talking about putting together some sort of plan to address safety and homelessness in the New York City subway system.

So they'll be following up on all of those issues as well. All of this may, at the end of the day, help police put together some sort of a motive for the shooting. But in the interim, the focus is about finding Frank James.

In addition to that, we know that the U.S. Marshals have joined the search, along with the NYPD, the FDNY and along with the ATF. Kate.

BOLDUAN: Jason, thank you.

Officials said thankfully none of the victims suffered life- threatening injuries but many are still in the hospital. Alexandra Field is still outside one of those hospitals, where the victims are being treated.

What's the latest on how the victims are doing?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The majority were taken here to NYU Langone and many of them have been released. There are several that are here and at other local area hospitals.

What's remarkable is all are expected to recover. It's even more remarkable when, according to police, the shooting lasted two minutes, 33 shots fired in a subway car people were trapped in. They had no way out.

Among those injured, five children as young as 12 years old. These were all kids, taking the train to school in the middle of a busy morning commute. We heard from one man on board that train. He said he was seated next to the shooter. A bullet went through his knee and then he raced to help others.


HOURARI BENKADA, WOUNDED WITNESS: I still feel the pain. They gave me a bunch of pain meds but it's still bad. I can still see the hole. I had my headphones on. I just thought it was a regular smoke bomb.

And then the smoke had gone out. This pregnant lady was yelling, I'm pregnant, help. Everybody was pushing. I'm thinking it's just a smoke bomb.


BENKADA: I grabbed her from the back so she didn't get shot in the back. She was pregnant. And a lot of people kept rushing. And that's when I got shot in the leg, when the shots were going off.


FIELD: Other passengers on the train say, the smoke was so thick, it was disorienting. They couldn't see what was going on at first. They started to hear cries for help. Many thought it was fireworks.

When they saw the bloodstains on the ground, Kate, that's when they realized they were under attack.

BOLDUAN: Alex, thank you.

Joining me now, on the scene in Brooklyn, Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent and also national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.

Jonathan, he is now a suspect.

What additional information, what is the range of possibility, what came in to get the NYPD from there to here?

JONATHAN WACKROW, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Once we have a person of interest, NYPD detectives, along with other federal law enforcement partners, were working very quickly to try to identify.

Was this the person that perpetrated the crime?

There was something that we don't know if they were executing any potential search warrants. We don't know what type of items and evidentiary value came from the rental truck. But something did. Something moved this individual into the category as being a suspect and is now one of the most wanted people in New York City today.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

Juliette, the U.S. Marshal Service has joined the search, as Jason Carroll was just pointing out.

Do you think Frank James is still in New York or is it likely he left the city?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: He more than likely left the city. He will be found. I have so much confidence in this for a variety of reasons.

One, he is not a young man. He's not a survivalist. He's lived in cities his entire life. Compare that to the Unabomber, for example.

He's leaving a trail of mistakes, from credit cards on the floor to keys to the U-Haul that are getting law enforcement ahead of him in some ways.

So likely he fled. We don't know how he fled. But he probably did not stay in New York City.

But this is one of those things where, you know, 24 hours from now, 48 hours from now, I would be quite surprised if he were still on the run. This is now a national investigation. Picking up on what Jonathan said, that, because he is a suspect, that allows for a whole array of resources to be thrown at his capture, including other federal agencies.

So that's my -- based on history, this is -- we're talking days -- this is not he goes missing.

BOLDUAN: Jonathan, what do you think of kind of that trail of clues, if you will, that was left behind, from the handgun to the bag of fireworks, everything we've been talking about -- the hatchet, the van key, the credit card, sloppy or deliberate?

WACKROW: Well, I think he was caught up in the moment. Think about how chaotic. We've seen these videos, the smoke, the firearms, the victims. This was a scene of chaos, once that train pulled into the station.

Even though he was the perpetrator, he was caught up in that chaos. So it's understandable that items of evidentiary value were left behind.

I do want to give credit, though, to the NYPD detectives and crime scene unit that actually had to process this crime scene. They did remarkable work in a short amount of time to identify that key, make attribution and locate that vehicle.

The detective work that has been ongoing by the NYPD and federal law enforcement officials, working in collaboration, has just been remarkable. I'm here at the scene right now. This is a large crime scene. And they did a remarkable job processing it very quickly.

BOLDUAN: Juliette, NYPD said they are not focused on this as an act of terror.

Does that have less to do with motivation, more to do with jurisdiction and who takes the lead of this investigation?

Terrorism comes in many forms, not just inspired by ISIS.

KAYYEM: Absolutely. We know now, January 6th, there are a lot of domestic terrorists, people who -- this is the majority of the threat.

But I am a strong proponent of reserving the word terrorism for a political motivation, because it is different. So I know this was terrifying, I know it was terrible for the people who encountered it.


KAYYEM: But if we use the word terror for every incident like this, it's going to lose its meaning and what it means to prosecute someone for using violence to change our politics, to change our democracy.

Look, we have that problem. We have the domestic terrorism problem. We don't need to create it for every person who may have a mental disorder, who may be, for a variety of reasons, unrelated to politics, that's done something terrible. And so that's where I stand.

But I recognize that the word -- what happened was terrifying.

BOLDUAN: And he terrorized a group of people, even if you don't get that designation we're talking about here.

Stay close, guys. A lot could be happening today. Thank you both so much.

Coming up for us, Vladimir Putin vows to continue his bloody war until Russia succeeds. President Biden now calls the atrocities genocide. We're live next.





BOLDUAN: There are a lot of developments on the war in Ukraine. Let's get straight to my colleague, Brianna Keilar, who is live in Kyiv.

Hey, Brianna.


Russian forces intensifying their offensive in Eastern Ukraine. Vladimir Putin says he will continue until its, quote, "full completion." This video from the Kharkiv region showing what we're seeing for the first time, a cluster munition used in a civilian area.

The U.N. says such attacks may be war crimes. These are munitions that were banned by over 100 countries across the world. I want to go to CNN's Fred Pleitgen, live for us in Kyiv.

Fred, what's the latest?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That video from Kharkiv has a lot of people concerned about the use of those cluster munitions. It seems very clear those are little bomblets being left behind.

That vehicle then moves back and you see on the street several small explosions. Cluster munitions are a big problem. An explosion crew found a little bomblet that was left behind and it's a real dangerous thing.

And why these weapons could constitute war crimes if they're used in civilian areas is the fact that some of those little bomblets don't explode and become extremely dangerous for civilians.

All of this happening in Kharkiv, as Ukrainians say the Russians really gearing up for that mass offensive south of the Kharkiv area, trying to win back some territory there, moving in more of their forces, moving in large armored columns.

At the same time what we have going on here in the Kyiv area, is Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian president, is getting some support from European countries. You have the presidents of Poland and the Baltics also here as well. They went out earlier today and they surveyed some of the massive damage here around the Kyiv area, as the Ukrainians, of course, have launched a massive investigation into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity and even genocide by the troops of the Russian Federation as they moved in here.

So there is a lot going on and certainly a lot going on in the battlefields in the east of the country as well, Brianna.

KEILAR: Fred, thank you so much for that.

There is new evidence today that Putin's goal of disrupting NATO is backfiring badly seven weeks into the war of Ukraine. Finland now says it will decide on joining the alliance within weeks. I want to get to CNN's Nic Robertson.

Nic, what can you tell us?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: These two nations are very close with NATO, they do training missions with them. And I was speaking with a Finnish ambassador early in the year, before Russia's invasion.

And he said, look, what we're seeing right now, is if you're a country like us, Finland, who is not in NATO, and Ukraine was in this situation that isn't a member of NATO and another country like Russia attacks you, then you don't have that big protective shield of NATO, that Article 5, when one nation is attacked the others will come to support it.

For that reason, there is a growing concern in Finland that Russia will increase -- that Putin's increased desire to take more territory, that has Finland concerned. Subsequent to that invasion, the invasion has changed everything. This is what the Finnish prime minister said today.


SANNA MARIN, FINNISH PRIME MINISTER: The European security architecture have changed fundamentally after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. To changing the security landscape make it necessary to analyze how we best secure peace for Finland and in our region in the future. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: Finland is expected, and probably Sweden as well, to go ahead and ask NATO for membership this summer in June. That will double the length of NATO's border with Russia, exactly the opposite of what President Putin wanted.

And we already heard from some officials, saying NATO getting bigger is no guarantee for European security. You can tell they're not taking it well in Moscow.

KEILAR: No, they're not. It seems to be backfiring, his strategy here. Nic Robertson, thank you so much for that.


KEILAR: Right now I want to be speaking with CNN military analyst, retired General Wesley Clark. He was the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander.

And also with us, global affairs analyst Susan Glasser. She is a staff writer for "The New Yorker."

First I want to listen to what President Biden said today, calling Russia's atrocities in Ukraine "genocide."


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, I called it genocide, because it's become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being able to be a Ukrainian.

We can only learn more and more about the devastation and we'll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies. But it sure seems that way to me.


KEILAR: Notably General, France is not going this far. Emmanuel Macron will not call it genocide.

How significant is it that Biden is?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: It's a logical conclusion to draw from Putin's plans and efforts. He said Ukraine is not an independent country, wants to get rid of the Ukrainian language, wants to change its political system.

And the evidence from places like Bucha, they interrogate people. If they find they're associated with the West, they eliminate them. This is the evidence of intent. It's not necessary to have killed 10 million people, although that might happen if Russia succeeds.

But what's clear is it is about eliminating the concept of Ukraine, the people of Ukraine, who believe in it, and erasing the culture. That is genocide. That's exactly what it is. Now it has to be legally proved but the fact that President Biden said

it is an honest expression of what he sees.

KEILAR: Yes, 10 million perhaps not. The military governor of Donetsk told us yesterday he thinks the death toll there may be 20,000 to 22,000. The numbers here of deaths potentially huge, Susan.

What do you make of this, allies not being on the same page here?

SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think you're right, that there is so little we know, the fog of war is such that we actually don't yet know the full scale of the tragedy that's already unfolded, never mind the one to come, as Russia restarts an offensive in the east.

Second of all, I do think one thing you hear from President Biden in using the term genocide is a statement from the U.S. government that there is no possibility of diplomacy at the moment.

For whatever reason, Emmanuel Macron in France, facing his own political challenge, has continued, without much evidence, to believe there is a path forward that includes negotiating with Moscow. I think that is a reason for the (INAUDIBLE).

KEILAR: General, we're seeing this video of cluster munitions being used in Kharkiv. We've known for some time these were being used, according to Amnesty International. But I do wonder what it means to have proof of it.

CLARK: This is a violation of international law. Russians are using these because they don't pay any attention to these international rules and legal niceties. They're using them because they have them, because they think they're effective.

I don't know why they think it would be effective in this area. This is a civilian area. There are no military targets in it. So it is designed, basically, to destroy cars, people, unarmored vehicles, houses and that sort of thing. It's absolutely no military utility from what we can see from that imagery.

KEILAR: You can see how terrorizing it is, watching it. It is a horrific weapon we're seeing there.

General, Susan, thank you so much to you both.

Coming up, much more on the intensifying manhunt to find the gunman in the New York City subway attack. Kate is going to be speaking to a commuter, who was shot at by the gunman, next.




(MUSIC PLAYING) BOLDUAN: Breaking news on the pandemic. A source telling CNN that the

CDC plans to extend the federal mask mandate for public transportation. CNN's Pete Muntean is live with the details.

Pete, tell us more.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Multiple sources are telling us there will be a 15-day extension of the transportation mask mandate. That will take us to May 3rd. This means masks will still be required on planes, trains, buses, boats and also in terminals.

A bit of history here: the Biden administration almost immediately put this into place after the Biden took office. There have been multiple renditions of the mask mandate since then.