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Colorado Police Hold Press Conference on School Shooting; HP Snared in Spying Scandal; Tension Among Allies; New al Qaeda Leader Releases Audiotape
Aired September 28, 2006 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
TONY HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. Watch events unfold on a Thursday, September 28th.
Good morning, everyone. I'm Tony Harris.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Heidi Collins.
The Colorado school shooting. Police looking for clues about the gunman and his motive. We may hear from authorities coming up this hour. We're watching that.
HARRIS: Does your neighborhood school have a crisis plan? We run down a safety checklist for your children.
COLLINS: And more execs taking the fall at Hewlett-Packard today. This hour, HP bosses in front of Congress. They've got some explaining to do about corporate snooping.
You are in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: Want to take a look at the markets again. We will -- as Andy Serwer said just a couple of minutes ago, probably following this all day, virtually minute by minute. The number we are looking for is 11,722. If we reach that number, by the close today, that will set a all-time record high for the Dow. The Dow up 5 points inside the first, oh, 35, 40 minutes of trading on this day. We'll follow it throughout the day for you.
COLLINS: Want to quickly get to this information just in to CNN now. CNN is confirming a new tape coming from al Qaeda. Here is basically what it says. This is al Qaeda's leader urging his followers to capture foreign hostages to try to free a Muslim cleric who was jailed in the United States. That's according to the Internet audiotape which was issued today.
This is one of the quotes. "I call on every holy fighter in Iraq to strive during this holy month of Ramadan," as you may remember, "to capture some dogs of the Christians so that we can liberate our imprisoned sheik." That is the speaker identified as Abu Hamza al- Muhajir. He was referring to an Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, who is jailed over charges linked to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. The first bombing, obviously.
The tape's authenticity not verified yet. We are working on that. We're going to get some more information in just as soon as it becomes possible and speak with likely Peter Bergen on that, who is very good and gives us some insight on what it may mean. So a new tape there. We will follow that story as well.
Meanwhile, major questions this morning one day after a deadly school standoff. We may hear from authorities at some point. One overriding question for everyone, who was the gunman? Police say he killed his last prisoner and then himself as a S.W.A.T. team closed in. Let's go ahead and get the very latest from reporter Jim Hooley of CNN Denver affiliate KMGH.
JIM HOOLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Still a lot of questions to be answered here in Bailey, Colorado, today. Still no identification of a gunman that entered this school just before noontime yesterday. And still police here are trying to figure out why he did what he did. They will hold a press conference later on today and we should have a little bit better idea.
But here's what happened according to the Park County Sheriffs Department. They say the gunman went into an English classroom yesterday on the second floor of this high school and took at least six female student hostages at about 11:40 in the morning. He told school officials that he had a bomb in his backpack. He also fired several shots inside the classroom at that time.
Deputies began talking to the suspect through a door within minutes of the shots being fired. And throughout the afternoon, the gunman released several of his hostages. He leased four of them and he was using them to tell negotiators of his demands. Negotiators knew they had to do something. The gunman put a deadline of about 4:00 on his demands.
And at that point in time, deputies and the S.W.A.T. team members here from Jefferson County, Colorado, stormed the classroom, classroom 206. The gunman opened fire. He hit a young girl, 16-year-old Emily Keyes, in the head. She died at a hospital a little bit later on. And then the gunman turned the gun on himself.
Today the school is closed. It is being treated as a crime scene and still many questions here in Bailey, Colorado.
COLLINS: And also want to remind you, we are waiting for that press conference to take place right there in Bailey, Colorado. Possibly about 10:30 or so. And we likely will be hearing from Jefferson County sheriff's authorities to find out what they know and what they are likely asking the public to help them with at this point.
So does your child's school have an emergency plan? You can't help but ask the questions on this very day. What you need to know and need to ask, find out just a little bit later today in the NEWSROOM. HARRIS: A corporate spy scandal playing out on Capitol Hill this hour and on the same day Hewlett-Packard execs get called before Congress, another top official resigns. Today, it was the company's general council. It all stems from corporate spying shenanigans. The HP chairman forced to step down. CNN's Ali Velshi has some background.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): Under every HP logo, you'll see the word invent. HP's latest invention, a scandal. Back in January, this news report surfaced on the Internet, loaded with confidential information leaked by someone on HP's board. The company's chairwoman, Patricia Dunn, authorized HP's lawyers to hire a security firm to spy on its own directors.
That security firm hired a private investigator who decided the best way to nab the source of the leak was to pretext, to impersonate the board members in order to obtain their personal phone records. Inventive, some might say. New York private investigator, Diana Moneta, says pre-texting is dirty business.
DIANA MONETA, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: The client will say, well, you got that information. By the way, how did you get it? We always are able to attribute how we get our information. And one thing we don't want to do is say we got it through acting like so and so.
VELSHI: HP's private investigators did find their leaker. It was HP's longest serving board member. But they didn't stop there. They impersonated nine journalists who cover HP, including reporters from "The New York Times" and "The Wall Street Journal," to obtain their telephone records, too.
In a written statement, HP's chair, Patricia Dunn, acknowledges it was wrong. "Unfortunately, the investigation, which was conducted with third parties, included certain inappropriate techniques. These went beyond what we understood them to be, and I apologize that they were employed."
HP's lawyers say that pre-texting is a common investigative technique. New York lawyer and private investigator Stanley Arkin says it's largely been the domain of debt collectors or suspicious partners and divorce lawyers.
STANLEY ARKIN, ATTORNEY & PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR: In matrimonial cases, it became very popular, for example, to find out who your spouse or your -- whoever it might be was calling.
VELSHI: Because there's no legal way to get someone's phone records without their knowledge or permission, unless you have a subpoena, pre-texting is an option that many turn to. One bright spot about pre-texting, this time the cell phone companies are on your side. In the past year, all of the major cell phone companies have gone to court against pre-texters.
And back at HP, while the company found its leakers, it cost Patricia Dunn her job. She'll be stepping down as chair in January. Maybe next time HP won't be so inventive.
Ali Velshi, CNN, New York
HARRIS: We are watching a hearing on The Hill involving Hewlett- Packard executives. Business news correspondent Cheryl Casone is watching how it plays out on Wall Street and she joins us now from the New York Stock Exchange.
Cheryl, good morning to you.
CHERYL CASONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Tony.
HARRIS: Just sort of curious. There was a lot, obviously, going on with Hewlett-Packard. No one wants to see their companies' heads pulled in front of Congress, a congressional committee. How is all of this talk of bad corporate governance playing out with the stock?
CASONE: You know, surprisingly, Tony, the stock has actually been trading higher than it was two months ago before this information became public. But it has had two significant drops on days when details of the leak investigation became public. And, most recently, last Friday, it was CEO Mark Hurd made his public apology in a press conference. So the stock really has not reacted, Tony, as you would think it would in a situation such as this. Investors seem to be still taking a wait and see approach.
HARRIS: Gotcha. So who are the leading players, the key players leading the company through all of this right now?
CASONE: Well, whether he wants to be or not, the company's CEO, Mark Hurd, has certainly taken the lead here. He has acknowledged very publicly, as he did last Friday, that he wishes he had paid more attention to the methods used to conduct HP's internal media leak investigation, namely the use of pre-texting, that word we've heard so much lately.
Hurd recently stepped up as HP's chairman of the board after Patricia Dunn resigned. Dunn has been the face of this scandal from the start. She is going to be testifying at that hearing at the House Energy and Commerce Committee today, which actually just started a few moments ago. Her prepared testimony was released yesterday. In it she claims that HP's chef financial officer, Bob Wayman, authorized the leak probe and that she never considered herself the investigation's "supervisor."
And in response, HP released the following statement. Here it is. "Bob Wayman had no involvement whatsoever in the leak investigation. Any assumption about Bob Wayman's involvement made by Ms. Dunn was nothing more than that, an assumption."
HARRIS: Interesting. So who is actually going to testify today? Is this Bob Wayman one of the people who may testify? CASONE: He is actually not going to be there. Ann Baskins is going to be testifying today. Now she is -- well, OK, she was, up until about two hours ago, HP's general counsel. The company announced this morning before 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time she had resigned. That's before 5:00 a.m. California time. Remember, HP's based out in California, in the Bay area.
HARRIS: Cheryl, appreciate it. Thank you.
CASONE: You bet.
HARRIS: Do we have time for a quick check of the numbers?
CASONE: Oh, I can do that for you. Absolutely, gang.
Yes, we actually did hit that number, that 11,723 earlier. Remember, though, it's all about the close today. But right now the Dow is at 11,703. We're up about 14 points or so.
HARRIS: Cheryl, appreciate it. Thank you. See you a little later.
CASONE: You bet.
COLLINS: Sixty bodies found in Baghdad in the past 24 hours. Police say most had been tied, tortured, and shot. The apparent victims of sectarian death squads. That brings the number of bodies found since Sunday to 122.
Plus, more bombings in the Iraqi capital today. Police say at least seven people were killed, dozens more wounded in eight explosions. The blasts apparently targeted Iraqi police and soldiers.
The emotional stories from the front lines.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think you could come here to a place like this and not forget it. You'd want to forget it, but you're not going to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: The Iraq War from the perspective of those in the fight. That's coming up in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: Two allies, one question, are they doing enough in the fight against terror? That story ahead. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.
COLLINS: We are also watching for a news conference coming out of Bailey, Colorado, regarding the school shooting there. Going to be hearing from Park County Sheriffs Department coming up 10:30 or 11:00. We are watching it for you and we'll bring it to you just as soon as it happens.
COLLINS: Bailey, Colorado. We are waiting for the authorities there, Park County Sheriff's Department, to come to those microphones and give a little bit more information, hopefully, on what they have learned overnight since yesterday's school shooting there in Bailey. A 16-year-old girl was killed. We learned that overnight. And also the gunman himself turned the gun on himself and killed himself. We are waiting to hear what they know now. We'll bring it to you as it happens.
HARRIS: And also today we're following the markets. The Dow in particular, up 15 points inside the first hour of the trading day. The magic number that we're looking for, Cheryl was correct to point out, is 11,723 at the close. If it closes at that number, or above, that will set an all-time high for the Dow. So, of course, we'll be following this throughout the course of the day. We'll check back in with Cheryl in just a couple of minutes.
COLLINS: And now to this. CNN confirming that a new tape has been put on the Internet, anyway, from the new al Qaeda leader, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. It's 20 minutes long. Two main points we're going to be looking at. One, he's offering amnesty to Sunni tribal leaders who may have collaborated with the government in exchange for going back and supporting the insurgency. Also the beginning of some sort of new campaign. We will get to the details on that as well.
And the war on terror and allies at odds. President Bush used a bit of dinner diplomacy to bridge the divide. Big topics on the table and big questions about what will happen going forward. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux explains.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): The body language said it all. Stiff and distant. President Bush standing between them like a referee. The presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan shook Mr. Bush's hand but not each other's. The two leaders have been bickering very publicly while visiting the United States. Pulled together at the White House by President Bush for dinner. Mr. Bush was frank about the need for cooperation.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've got a lot of challenges facing us. All of us must protect our countries. But at the same time, we all must work to make the world a more hopeful place.
MALVEAUX: At the very least, Mr. Bush hopes these two leaders will help him find Osama bin Laden, who is believed to be hiding along their border and that they continue to support his war on terror. Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf and Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai each visited the White House separately this past week. Each accusing the other in interviews with CNN's Wolf Blitzer of not doing enough to fight the terrorists thriving in their countries.
PRES. HAMID KARZAI, AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan is doing all it can. Together with the international community. We are losing people every day.
MALVEAUX: Afghanistan's Karzai accuses Musharraf of providing a safe haven for the Taliban, allowing them to cross the Pakistan border to conduct daily raids. But Musharraf says Karzai's at fault, refusing to take responsibility.
PRES. PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PAKISTAN: But he's purposely denying, turning a blind eye like an ostrich. He's finding it more convenient to throw the blame on Pakistan.
MALVEAUX: Musharraf says the problem is his neighbor is weak.
MUSHARRAF: Pakistan is a very, very stable country. We have a strong government. We have a strong military. We have a strong intelligence system. And everything in Afghanistan had broken down.
MALVEAUX: Karzai responded to Musharraf's comments, saying he was aware of his country's problems.
KARZAI: We are a state that was weakened by years of destruction and war and interference.
MALVEAUX: But he says Musharraf is making conditions worse by supporting breeding grounds in Pakistan for would-be terrorists and by cutting a cease-fire deal with tribal leaders who have close ties to the Taliban.
MUSHARRAF: This is the political strategy which is the right direction.
MALVEAUX: The White House says it was a very productive meeting, but no break-throughs. The two leaders did address each other directly, clearing the air, and they ended the evening with a handshake.
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, Washington.
HARRIS: Allies in the war on terror, but the leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan are divided on critical issues. Here to talk about what's at stake, former U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, now with the Rand Corporation, James Dobbins.
James, thanks for your time. We appreciate it. You can help us here a great deal.
First of all, you were on the ground when and working these issues? Was this 2001-2002?
JAMES DOBBINS, RAND CORPORATION: It was shortly after 9/11 through the installation of the Karzai government and a few months after that.
HARRIS: Great. So you can help us with this. It doesn't sound like much came out of the dinner meeting last night. Were you surprised there wasn't some kind of a statement from the president and the leaders?
DOBBINS: Well, if there had been, it would have been something they would have prepared in advance and I think they were looking for a more informal session. Not a negotiating session. So, no, I don't think that the token of failure, per say.
HARRIS: Great. OK, give us a sense of your take. Talk to us about your take on the back and forward that's going on here, that Suzanne Malveaux just mentioned in here piece, of both sides accusing the other of not doing enough in the global fight against terrorism.
DOBBINS: Well, I think that there's enough blame to go around. And some of it probably appropriately sticks to everybody. I think that both Karzai's regime and the United States didn't move quickly enough in the early period when the Taliban had been largely disbanded to build a robust Afghan capability to project public services into the countryside. In particular, security, the most important public service.
HARRIS: So the Karzai government didn't do enough initially.
DOBBINS: It didn't do enough. The Karzai government and, in particular, the United States moved too slowly to project security into the countryside. Now, nearly five years later, with a reanimated Taliban, which is reanimating out of Pakistan. It's organized in Pakistan. It's recruited in Pakistan. It's training in Pakistan. There are reports that it's receiving some support from the Pakistani intelligence services. So the negative responsibility lies with the U.S. and Afghanistan. But the positive responsibility lies in Pakistan.
HARRIS: Peter Bergen, who you know, does a lot of work for us here at CNN, wrote an editorial recently in "The Washington Post." Let me take a slice of it for you and read it to you. "The key to the resurgent Taliban can be summarized in one word, Pakistan." Let me just leave it there. Do you agree? Is Peter right?
DOBBINS: As I said, I think that there are deficiencies in Afghanistan which have made the response weaker than it needed to be. But the threat is emanating from Pakistan.
HARRIS: OK. Tell us about the good cop/bad cop scenario that you see here for moving -- well, getting us to a solution here.
DOBBINS: Well, I think over the last year or two, Afghanistan has taken -- the Afghan government has had the burden of putting public pressure on Pakistan and the U.S., while one assumes that they are pressing Pakistan in private, in public have been very supportive and very positive about Musharraf and his efforts. I think that that's probably better reversed. I think it would be good if the Afghan government were more positive about Musharraf and the U.S. government were a bit more negative and a bit more pressing because the U.S. government has more influence and it's less subject to the kind of retaliation that Pakistan can wreak on a weak Afghan government. HARRIS: Let's talk about what the problem appears to be from President Musharraf's point of view. He said, oh, a week or so ago that the central gravity of terrorism has shifted from al Qaeda to the Taliban. And he says that al Qaeda did not have roots in the people. That the Taliban, more organized, with roots in the people. Is he correct on that?
DOBBINS: Well, he is correct, that the Taliban has roots in the local society. The poshtun society, which is the dominant ethnic group on both sides of the border. The al Qaeda were Arabs. They didn't have roots in the society. They were fairly unpopular in Afghanistan and probably are somewhat unpopular in Pakistan as well.
On the other hand, the Taliban isn't organizing international terrorism. It's trying to seize power in Afghanistan.
HARRIS: So what's the best hope for this region now, in particular that border region, and maybe let's talk about Afghanistan. What's the best hope for Afghanistan now? What's the role of the U.S. government?
DOBBINS: Well, I don't think the problem of insurgency in Afghanistan is going to be resolved until there are significant changes in Pakistan. So I think that the best hope in the short term is that NATO and the U.S. can hold the line and prevent the Taliban from making significant incursions into Afghanistan while the international community looks for ways to help Pakistan reorder its house.
James Dobbins, we appreciate your time. Thanks.
COLLINS: And we want to remind you about a couple of things that we are watching. First of all we have -- been able to confirm here at CNN that there is a new tape coming in that has been put out over the Internet. And on that tape is this gentleman you are about to see a picture of. He is -- I shouldn't say gentleman, I guess. This is the new al Qaeda leader. And he is talking about several different things.
This is Abu Hamza al-Muhajir. It's about 20 minutes long. Two main points, offering amnesty to anyone, basically the Sunni tribal leaders, who may have cooperated with the government, as long as they come back to supporting the insurgency, they will be granted amnesty. Also launching a new campaign of some sort. So we'll be watching that and show it to you just as soon as we've got it and find out exactly what the point of all that is, if possible.
Also watching the situation in Bailey, Colorado, where, I'm sure you've heard by now, a school shooting there took the life of a 16- year-old girl and the gunman himself is also dead. Who is this man? We will hopefully learn more just as soon as that news conference happens. Looking at it for about 10:30 or 11:00. We've got our eyes on that.
And now to Gerri Willis.
Gerri, a perfect day to be talking about this very thing, school safety tips and school security.
GERRI WILLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This hostage tragedy story has all parents on edge all over the country. Coming up, what you need to know about school emergency plans. More CNN NEWSROOM coming up.
COLLINS: We are keeping a close eye on Bailey, Colorado. The sheriff's department there, Park County Sheriff's Department, expected to hold a news conference on that deadly hostage taking at a Denver area school. Bailey police say the gunman had lived in the small town until just recently. They have not released his name, however. Witnesses say the man walked into the school and took six girls hostage. Police say he shot and killed his last hostage, then himself as a S.W.A.T. team stormed the classroom. When the news conference gets underway, you'll see it right here in the NEWSROOM.
A Colorado school, but the lesson is universal. It is a stark reminder that every school needs an emergency plan. So here with a checklist, CNN's Gerri Willis in New York.
WILLIS: Hi, Heidi.
This is such a tragic story. And parents, of course, need to check their own school, right, and make sure the plan at your child's school is updated. Many states mandate that schools have a plan and update it every year, but experts say too many schools neglect those plans.
So call the principal and ask about crisis management. Make sure their plan includes a prevention component. Schools should also have a reverse evacuation plan in order to get all the kids inside in case the emergency is outside. They also need a lockdown strategy. Remember that as a parent it's important to be non-confrontational and supportive. You don't want your principal to be on the defensive.
COLLINS: No, you don't, but I think there's always that fine line of when you do feel comfortable enough to go in and ask questions. And that's always OK.
WILLIS: That's always OK. Absolutely right, Heidi. What kind of plan is it? You've got to ask that question. Does it include violent incidents? Health crisis. Remember, it's not just what we saw in Colorado. There are other kinds of problems as well. Natural disasters. Make sure contingency plans are coordinated with local authorities and emergency responders. Find out if they do coordination or training exercises. You'll also want to know that the school has a procedure for head counts and parent/student reunification. COLLINS: Yes, you should really familiarize yourself with that as a parent. I mean you should know what that chain of command is, as far as who's going to take over in a crisis like this.
WILLIS: You've got to know who's in charge. Bottom line, if something goes wrong, you need to know that chain of command. Make sure your child's school has procedures for communicating with parents, local and state government officials and the media.
One expert told us that cell phones can actually make the situation worse, because they accelerate the spread of rumors, causing parents to flock to the scene, and this can distract officials from the crisis. You don't want to do that if you're a parent.
There are great resources on the Web for parents and for kids. Start with the Department of Education's Web site. It's ed.gov/emergencyplan. And another great place to go is schoolsecurity.org -- Heidi.
COLLINS: Great information on this day, certainly. We remember all of everything that happened at Columbine back in 1999, a lot of these changes were supposed to have gone into effect. But it seems like you just can never watch it too closely.
WILLIS: And Heidi, just to add on to that thought, there were plans put in place, but now they've been sort of ignored. So it is a great time to contact your school and make sure it is being looked at again and again. That's what will keep your kids safe.
COLLINS: Yes, no question about it. Gerri Willis, thanks for that. Also want to remind everyone, we are looking to microphones. I've seen a couple of people go up and check audio there. That usually means we're getting a little bit closer to a news conference in Bailey, Colorado, likely to be hosted by the Park County Sheriff's Department. Get the very latest about what, if anything, they have learned about the gunman there that took a 16-year-old girl's life yesterday.
HARRIS: Well, and we've been working through -- Heidi's been telling you this morning, we've been working through this new audiotape from al Qaeda's new leader in Iraq.
Octavia Nasr is here, our senior editor for Arab affairs. Octavia, you had the opportunity to listen to most of this 20 minute audiotape. What's jumps out at yuo?
OCTAVIA NASR, CNN SR. EDITOR FOR ARAB AFFAIRS: I listened to the whole thing now. It's interesting. It's a production. Again, al Qaeda in Iraq has been doing this a lot, producing messages. It starts out with chanting, then moves on to a message. Basically it's calling people to the unified word. This is a very common topic in Islam, basically unifying people into one word.
He's trying -- again, very important to say CNN cannot authenticate this audiotape. We haven't heard much from this man yet to even have a pattern to follow, which we usually do with other terrorists and other al Qaeda leaders, for example. So CNN cannot authenticate that this is the man, Abu -- Abu what -- al-Muhajir? Thank you.
HARRIS: You just helped us with that a second ago.
COLLINS: But Octavia, since we haven't heard much from him yet -- he is the new leader, if you will -- does it seem fair, if we do authenticate this and decide that it is him, it is real -- isn't this sort of maybe his first call for the rest of al Qaeda to follow him and to realize that, yes, he is in charge and has a plan?
NASR: You are absolutely right. This is if first time that he comes across as a leader with a plan. Basically he's using the holy month of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, to call on people to act. He is calling for specific things. He says this is the beginning of a military campaign. So he's calling for an escalation of the violence. He's also calling on the kidnapping of Westerners. He -- this is basically the most chilling message in this whole tape, basically saying, go out and kidnap...
HARRIS: Well, let me read it. Let me read it.
NASR: Yes, go ahead.
HARRIS: Here's one of the quotes. "I call on every holy fighter in Iraq to strive during this holy month of Ramadan to capture some dogs of the Christian so that we can liberate our imprisoned sheik."
NASR: And he's talking about Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, who is in a U.S. jail, basically in connection with the first World Trade Center bombing. Very interesting, the terrorism experts I spoke with as soon as this tape surfaced, they're telling me that there has been a focus on this sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, and basically they're seeing this as a pattern.
Al Zawirhi, the number two man in al Qaeda now al-Muhajir, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, basically saying that, look, it seems they have a plan. So maybe this is the plan, to capture Westerners in Iraq, basically, and swap them, negotiate to swap them for Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman.
COLLINS: Interesting, too, that just the other day, our Barbara Starr reported from the Pentagon that they are changing tactics. We had seen so many IEDS, likely to see very many more of them. But starting to change their tactics in the way that the insurgency sort of develops itself. I wonder -- certainly don't want to speculate, as we are still working to authenticate the tape -- I wonder if this is part of that.
NASR: You know, that's very interesting. And you know we would usually say, well, we have no proof that perhaps the month of Ramadan is going to be a time to escalate violence. But a tape like this one really puts things in perspective. It tells you that, whether this is al-Muhajir or not, this is a very serious call for action, calling on everybody to use the month of Ramadan, which for Muslims around the world -- for most Muslims around the world, is a month of fasting, a month of spirituality, a month of finding yourself, reconnecting with God and your religion.
Unfortunately, for these people in Iraq, they're calling on the insurgency to step up its action and not just that, but take it one step further. It's a clear call to capture Westerners in Iraq.
HARRIS: Let me pick up on that. Why rally the forces around this man, the sheik in prison, Omar Abdel-Rahman? Why rally an effort, a movement, to capture Westerners to win his freedom? What's the significance of this sheik, this cleric, in this whole movement?
COLLINS: He is a spiritual leader for al Qaeda. Anyone who follows al Qaeda closely will find out that it is this sheik that basically gave al Qaeda the right, the authority, to go out and attack civilians. This is something that you've seen, if you've watched, for example, "In the Footsteps of Osama bin Laden," the documentary that CNN produced, anchored by Christiane Amanpour. This was mentioned in there.
So this is the significance. This is not just any cleric, not just any sheik. Of course, he was behind the first attack on the World Trade Center, so he's very connected to al Qaeda. He's one of their spiritual leaders. And basically now the dialogue is stepped -- it's stepped up to try and liberate him. This doesn't mean that they will be able to liberate him, you know. No one knows for sure. And the U.S. is...
HARRIS: But it's a rallying cry.
NASR: They try, yes. And, obviously this is a message -- basically, one further message. And interesting because in Iraq, the insurgency seems to be really spreading and getting larger and wider, you know, covering more territory. So, a call like this, you know, unfortunately for people like myself, you know, who monitor these Web sites and these groups, it is going to be heard and perhaps someone is going to act on it.
COLLINS: And they're savvy, they know that we are reporting, you know, more of this every day and the generals are talking about their military options. So great time to put out another tape. When will we see it, possibly?
NASR: The audio?
COLLINS: Hear it.
NASR: Well, we have it. We have it, but this is not something that, you know...
COLLINS: We're not going to hear it.
NASR: And there's nothing in it that is news worthy beyond what -- this discussion.
HARRIS: Very good.
COLLINS: All right, so, that's it. You have it. All right. We're going to take a quick break and we'll be back in just a moment right here on CNN NEWSROOM.
Waiting for this event to happen. Just want to remind you, it could be any minute now. We go back to Bailey, Colorado, for the very latest on the school shooting there and the young lady who lost her life, a 16-year-old girl. We'll find out what the police and authorities know about what took place inside Platte Canyon High School.
Back in a moment.
COLLINS: A lot of activity here in Bailey, Colorado, waiting for the news conference for authorities to come to those microphones and tell us what they have learned in their investigation of the school shooting at Platte Canyon High School yesterday. A 16-year-old girl lost her life in that shooting. The gunman turned the gun on himself, also dead.
Trying to learn first and foremost who was the gunman and what was the motivation. A lot of reports showing that not many, if any, of the high school students recognized this person. So, lots of questions there. Hoping to get some answers to it.
COLLINS: We here at the desk are keeping an eye on Bailey, Colorado, once again to remind you -- there it is, back. The sheriff's department expected to hold a news conference on the deadly hostage taking and shooting at a Denver area high school. It's about 40 miles south of Denver proper. Bailey Police say the gunman had lived in the small town until just recently. They have not, though, released his name yet.
So witnesses say the man walked into that school, took six girls hostage. We understand four were let go, pretty immediately. A lot of negotiation going on between the hostage-taker and the negotiators themselves. Later, police say, he shot and killed the last hostage, then himself as the SWAT team was storming into the classroom. So, when that news conference gets under way, you'll see it right here in the NEWSROOM.
HARRIS: We're talking about corporate intrigue, and it has led straight to Capitol Hill. Current and former executives from Hewlett- Packard -- live look at the conference right now, the committee hearing under way. They're testifying, those top executives from Hewlett-Packard, before a House committee about the spy scandal at that company.
Also today, another resignation. The company's general counsel, Ann Baskins, announced that she's stepping down, effective immediately. Hewlett-Packard chairwoman, Patricia Dunn, recently resigned over the scandal. The company admitted to obtaining phone records of board members and reporters through a technique called pretexting. That's when someone pretends to be someone else, impersonating someone else, to get their personal information. COLLINS: Once again, taking you back to the microphones. Bailey, Colorado, waiting for this news conference. Important because everyone, I believe, has the same question about what happened here at Platte Canyon High School. Who was it? Who was the gunman who shot 16-year-old Emily Keyes and then himself? Waiting to get that information just as soon as it happens. You're watching CNN, the most trusted name in news.
COLLINS: Want to take you to the microphones one quick time here, looking for authorities to get to those microphones just as soon as possible for the very latest that happened in Bailey, Colorado, at Platte Canyon High School. Sixteen-year-old Emily Keyes was one of six original hostages. There we see one of the policeman in the area, or sheriff's deputies -- can't quite see exactly -- making his way from his patrol car to the microphone. We'll kind of just hang with this and see if he has any announcements to make.
First and foremost, most people have to be wondering who the gunman was who shot himself after the incident, and maybe they will have that information for us now as they prepare to come to those microphones. Obviously, you remember, not the first incident in Colorado. Back in April of 1999, horrific incidents at Columbine High School near Denver, the Highlands Ranch area. This area 40 miles south of Denver.
Let's go ahead and listen in.
SHERIFF FRED WEGENER, PARK COUNTRY, COLORADO: It's been a tough night for the men and women of the Park County Sheriff's Office. I've gone from upset to angry. Angry that this man has done this to our community. Angry that this man has done this to our children.
This morning, the suspect has been identified tentatively as Duane Morrison. I have some handouts for you with his picture. Let's all hand this around to you. This is a photograph from July of 2006. It's a booking photo out of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, their jail. He was booked in there.
He's a 54-year-old male. Morrison was living out of his vehicle, although he did have a Denver address. There are no known connections in this area, but the investigation is still ongoing there. His vehicle was located and a search warrant was obtained and the vehicle has been searched. The motive at this time still remains a mystery.
Timeline: yesterday when we got that call at 11:40, and we pinned down the -- he was pinned down in the classroom, we then, once we got everybody else cleared, were able to get somebody from my office, subsequently somebody from Jefferson County, to start negotiations.
In the beginning, this individual would talk, although later on talked only through the girls. The six hostages were released one by one. Eventually, negotiations ceased. He then talked about 4:00, and that something would happen at 4:00. My decision was to either wait, the possibility of having two dead hostages, or act to try and save what I feared he would do to them.
As you have alluded to, we have confirmed he did traumatize and assault our children. This was the information that was being fed to me from the SWAT team. This is why I made the decision I did. We had to go try and save them. He's terrorized our community.
This is still an ongoing investigation. We'll leave no stone unturned. Like to thank Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office who have worked all night, trying to get us the information we have now.
I would like to ask the media to continue respecting the family and the victims and hostages and students and their right to privacy.
If anyone has information regarding this incident or the suspect, please contact the tip line at 303-816-5947. The Park County Sheriff's Office Victim's Services, Department of Human Services and the school district want students to know that the Platte Canyon Community Church has been designated as a gathering place for students and their families, as well as school district staff. Crisis response team members will be on hand throughout the day and ongoing as need. The elementary school still has classes, so please don't have anybody go over there.
As you can tell, we're a little more forceful this morning. And you know, looking at what has happened, and I know we talk about the Columbine connection, seven years ago. This is a -- this is something that has changed my school, changed my community. My small county's gone.
I'll now entertain a couple of questions.
QUESTION: Sheriff, you say the motive remains a mystery? Do we know anything else about the relationship between the gunman and the six hostages?
WEGENER: No, CBI is still working on that.
QUESTION: What do you know about him?
WEGENER: I do know now that when they did remove the body early this morning, he did have two weapons. He had a semi-auto pistol and he had a revolver.
QUESTION: Sir, how early did you know that the traumatization, to use your words, how soon did you know that that was happening?
WEGENER: That was during the negotiations and during the observations by SWAT team members we were being fed that information.
QUESTION: Sir, what was in the backpack?
WEGENER: I can't speak to the backpack at this time.
QUESTION: What sort of assault were you talking about? You said he traumatized and assaulted the hostages. WEGENER: I'll only say that it's sexual in nature.
QUESTION: Sheriff, any type of note, either on his person, in his bag or in his vehicle?
WEGENER: I can't speak to that at this time.
QUESTION: What was he booked for in Jefferson County?
WEGENER: It was a fugitive of justice warrant he was picked up on.
QUESTION: Did the SWAT team members get off any shots?
WEGENER: As I alluded to last night, there was a -- the SWAT team did fire on the suspect after he had fired at them as they entered the room. The sequence of that was awful fast, as you can imagine, but as they burst through the door, they had the shield. He literally shot right at the SWAT team as they entered, turned and shot the female hostage and then shot himself.
QUESTION: Do you know when the school will reopen again at this point?
WEGENER: Right now, the school district has not said. They have alluded to the fact that on Monday, but I don't know yet.
QUESTION: Sheriff, is there any type of (INAUDIBLE)?
WEGENER: None at all.
QUESTION: Has an autopsy been performed, sir?
WEGENER: Autopsies are going to be happening today.
QUESTION: Sheriff, any type of surveillance videos?
WEGENER: Yes, we will be looking at that.
QUESTION: Sheriff, what about his criminal history?
WEGENER: Not much of a criminal history, very minor.
QUESTION: The fugitive charge, what was that related to, could you say?
WEGENER: I'm not sure. I'm not sure. That will be something the investigators will look at it.
QUESTION: Sheriff, how long was he in the school before you got wind that he was in the school?
WEGENER: You know, it was pretty quick because I think the call came in at 11:40, and we were dispatched at 11:41, so the school found -- found out pretty quick. QUESTION: What did he ask the first teacher he approached?
WEGENER: What did he ask the first teacher?
WEGENER: There was, but I can only speculate. I don't know the exact wording there.
QUESTION: Where was the teacher of that English class?
WEGENER: Where was the teacher? She was in the classroom.
QUESTION: Do you know how long he was in the school before he went into the classroom?
WEGENER: No I don't, but again, that's those tapes that they will be reviewing to see if they can see.
QUESTION: Was he in the school for a substantial time?
QUESTION: You said you had earlier conversations with him. Was he making any demands? What was he saying he wanted?
WEGENER: No, he really wasn't making very many demands. Most of the demands were, leave me alone, get out of here. And that's when we backed off and started getting the negotiators up there.
QUESTION: No known connections but did he pick this classroom, did it appear that he had this classroom in mind or was the classroom random?
WEGENER: It looks like it's random. However, that's still something that the investigators are going to have to ascertain.
QUESTION: Sheriff, have you had a chance to talk to the family, the victim's family?
WEGENER: Have I? Not yet, but I want to. I know that they've been inundated. They did ask, when I was going to speak with them. I'm going to try and do that today.
QUESTION: Sheriff, how tough was it for you to make that decision to go in? Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
WEGENER: Well, being a sheriff in a small community, knowing all the parents, knowing the kids, my daughter graduated last year. My son's a junior here. It is very difficult. Because I'd want whoever was in my position to do the same thing. And that is to save lives. That's the only reason I became a sheriff, is to save lives. That's the only reason I entered law enforce, is to help the people.
One more question.
QUESTION: Sir, have you talked to the Denver Police? Have they shed any light on this individual?
WEGENER: No, not yet. But that's part of -- in interviewing the family members of Mr. Morrison, there are going to be trying to ascertain, the law enforcement agencies, those prior contacts. There's just a whole lot that still has to be going on in the investigation, but they are going to be working on that.
QUESTION: In Denver?
QUESTION: Tell me the spelling on Morrison, sir?
WEGENER: I believe it is. M-O-R-R-I-S-O-N. Dwayne, D-W-A-Y-N- E.
QUESTION: How about a DOB?
QUESTION: And what year was the booking photo from?
WEGENER: 2006, I believe. July 11th of 2006.
Thank you very much. We're going to try and have another briefing around 3:00.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do have more pictures. Detective Morgan (ph) has them, if you haven't a picture, please grab one.
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