Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Copenhagen Investigation: Two Arrests Made; Winter Storm Brings Life Threatening Wind Chills; Shelling Reported But Ukraine Ceasefire Holding; U.S. Condemns Terror Attacks In Copenhagen; Plan To Commit Mass Shooting In Nova Scotia Foiled, Police Say; A Few Hours Away From The NBA All-Star Weekend

Aired February 15, 2015 - 16:00   ET


FREDERICKA WHITFIELD, BLOOMBERG NEWS: Happening right now in the NEWSROOM, brand-new details on the terror attacks in Denmark, the FBI now helping to trace the gunman's whereabouts leading up to the attack and why the FBI compares it to the Paris terrorist attacks.

And a CNN exclusive, I talked to Swedish artist, Lars Vilks, who survived the Copenhagen attack. He describes what he saw and experienced when the gunman opened fire.

And right here in the U.S., a reporter is holding there, the wind and snow, and now another part of the country, that's again hit hard with another winter blast. Millions of people in Mother Nature's path.

Hello again and thanks so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Let's get right to our developing news, residents in Copenhagen, Denmark holding a candlelight vigil today outside the synagogue where one of two shootings took place yesterday.

Now the FBI is joining in the investigation. A U.S. official is telling CNN that's because the attacks are very similar to the Paris killings.

Earlier today Danish police made two arrests and killed the suspected gunman in yesterday's terror attacks. They tracked him down with surveillance video. The alleged gunman later died in a shootout with police.

Hours later, police arrested two suspects at an internet cafe not far from that shootout. We are waiting to find out their connection, their possible connection with this case.

All told, two people died, five police officers were shots at two separate locations and injured. The first was at a free speech forum and the second shooting taking place ten hours later at a synagogue.

We now know that one of the victims was a 55-year-old film director by the name of Finn Noergaard. Denmark's prime minister spoke with CNN about the shootings in an exclusive interview.


HELLE THORNING-SCHMIDT, DANISH PRIME MINISTER: As soon as the first attack happened, we heightened our presence by the synagogue, this is a standard procedure. That's one of the reasons it didn't turn into something much worse than we saw.

It doesn't change the fact that we have had two civilians that were just doing what they do. One was volunteering in a Jewish community and the other one was going to a debating seminar.

Completely normal activities that we normally appreciate in a democracy, and that is why we are so saddened that they were no longer here today.


WHITFIELD: Let's go to Copenhagen. Our senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, is there tracking developments. So Nic, what more are police saying about whether the alleged gunman, who was killed is in any way connected to the two people arrested today?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The police aren't making that direct connection, although, the raid and the operation at the internet cafe took place about half a mile from where I am, which is where that suspect gunman was killed by the police in the early hours of the morning.

So certainly a lot of proximity there, but police are not saying what the connection is. They are however giving us some details about the young suspect gunman. They say that he was 22 years old. That he was born in Denmark.

That he had a criminal record, some of it for illegally holding weapons that he was violent, and that he also had been in criminal gangs in the past.

They also say on top of that, though, that he may have been inspired by the attacks in Paris, the cartoonist, and the kosher supermarket, and they say may have been inspired by radical Islamist groups like ISIS.

So the picture they are painting is a young violent man with connections to gangs in the past, armed, but also it appears to some degree radicalized as well -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: But not believed to be connected to any kind of network or you know, radical group?

ROBERTSON: You know, that's what the police are looking at right now and that's really one of their biggest concerns and their top priorities. There is still heightened security in Copenhagen. The police are worried that he may have associates through groups like ISIS or other jihadist groups.

They're concerned as well there may be sort of copycat type of attacks. So at the moment, it does appear as if the police are trying to gather as much information as they can about him, cell phones, computers, certainly they found a weapon and some of the clothing as well. So all of that is going to paint that detailed picture that the police needed to give themselves a level of comfort that there is not -- a follow-on attack is likely to come -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, Nic Robertson, thank you so much in Copenhagen there.

Let's bring in former CIA military analyst, Tara Maller, and CNN terrorism analyst, Paul Cruickshank. Good to see both of you.

Tara, you first, as the FBI is now involved in this investigation, already some officials saying they see real parallels between the attack taking place there in Denmark and the attacks that took place in Paris. What kind of similarities are you seeing?

TARA MALLER, FORMER CIA MILITARY ANALYST: On the surface there are a lot of similarities, but there are also some differences. I mean, the type of the attack, the fact that at first glance it seems like this individual may not be operating with real strong leadership or direction for the particular attack.

However, there are also some key differences. There haven't been any claims from groups about their involvement. There hasn't been any evidence at least in the press in terms of the ties to this individual, in terms of travel overseas to either Syria or Iraq or ties to groups like ISIS.

So in the Paris case, a lot of that information did trickle out pretty fast in terms of the individuals involved and their links back to visit overseas and individuals they had connected with.

So I think there are some similarities on the surface in terms of the type of attack, who is being targeted, but there are also some differences. I think it will become clearer how similar these are as more information trickles out from the investigation.

WHITFIELD: So Paul, ISIS and groups like al Qaeda, they kind of get what they want even if there's no direct association because we've already heard from officials that they believe this alleged gunman was inspired by radicalists, and maybe even inspired by the attack in Paris.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, that's right, inspired by that attack on "Charlie Hebdo" in Paris and also that attack on the Jewish supermarket in Paris. We saw in Copenhagen both cartoonists, but also a Jewish center again being targeted, so very strong similarities to Paris.

This may well by a copycat attack. My understanding is that investigators are looking at the lone wolf angle right now. For the moment they don't think that he actually traveled to somewhere like Syria and Iraq to get training.

They think he's more of the lone wolf variety at this point. Obviously, the investigation is in its early stages, but they'll be looking to see what kind of contacts he had in the extremist scene in Copenhagen and Denmark -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: So I imagine, Tara, this makes it a lot more challenging for counterterrorism, law enforcement, to try to prevent if you have the case of lone wolfs. They're not necessarily corresponding with anybody, coordinating, but perhaps their behavior is strange leading up to the event like, you know, accumulating arms to the degree this alleged gunman may have done.

I mean, help us kind of understand what law enforcement or counterterrorism experts are up against when they don't necessarily have a trail in which to follow, like you do if someone is associated with a terror group or network?

MALLER: Sure. Obviously a lone wolf doesn't have the capacity to carry out or inflict as much damage as a highly orchestrated, highly advanced attack technological, you know, attack that employs lots of money and resources.

Having said that, the more resources, the more individuals involve, the more ties back to an organization, and the more nodes of interception through intelligence, through law enforcement to be caught because they're being monitored in various ways.

When you have a lone wolf or in this case if it was an individual inspired and acting alone based on rhetoric coming from overseas or simply just seeing the Paris attacks on their TV screen at home, it's a lot more difficult for law enforcement to see red flags.

Obviously, he had a criminal history in terms of violence and I believe it recently came out today that he had been, I think, recently released from prison for other aggravated assaults and violence, but there are many individuals who have silent criminal histories and don't end up engaging or being inspired by ISIS terrorism attacks of these sorts.

So it is a lot more different in these lone wolf situations for the signals intelligence and the human intelligence to be collected to thwart these types of attacks. It's horrific that one individual can do this, but it's also very, very difficult to thwart.

WHITFIELD: So Paul, how do you see law enforcement counterterrorism, you know, specialists navigating this kind of landscape?

CRUICKSHANK: Well, it's going to be very, very hard for the reasons that Tara has been outlining so detect these kinds of lone wolf attacks. So you can monitor social media, web sites, see if extremists are kind of there.

If there's warning signs that they're moving toward belief towards action, but it's very, very hard in these lone wolf types of situations. Often you can try intelligence from family members or friends that can be tip-offs.

But they found it very hard to detect these kinds of plots, even when individuals have been on the radar screen. I mean, we saw in Canada and other plots in Europe even when they're on the radar screen, they're able to move forward and launched attacks.

The reason is you just can't monitor all these people 24/7. There are thousands and thousands of extremists right throughout the European Union. There is really an unprecedented threat both from this lone wolf style threat, but also people who have gone to Syria and Iraq to link up with jihadi groups, about 750 believed to be back in Europe right now -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Yes, pretty extraordinary. All right, Paul Cruickshank, thank you so much, and Tara Maller, I appreciate it.

MALLER: Thanks a lot.

WHITFIELD: And this breaking story very difficult to report. This about a new wave of terror committed by ISIS, a new video has been released by the group, and in it, they're claiming to have beheaded a large group of Christian men in Libya.

CNN's Ian Lee is joining us now from Cairo. We understand this involves Coptic Christians there in Egypt, but this assault -- this beheading taking place in Libya?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Fredricka. Coptic Christians -- Egyptians here tend to go to Libya to find work there. These 21 men were kidnapped by ISIS in Libya. This new video, 5- minute video shows what we can count at least 13 men being beheaded there.

They were lined up on the beach there, a lone militant speaking in English the message at the beginning of that video reads a message signed with blood to the nation of the cross. The militants speaking in English, referencing the Egyptian Coptic Christians, ISIS militants that are in Sinai and also referencing Rome as well.

This is a message that isn't just for the Egyptians. This is a message for Europe, which is right on Libya's doorstep. It's also a message for the ISIS militants in Sinai.

Egypt is sandwiched between what you have in the east and what you have in the west by ISIS. These militants, really this message, are showing that ISIS has a firm presence now in Libya. We had the attack at the hotel in Tripoli, at the Corinthian Hotel recently, and now this.

A very similar attack to what we -- similar video of what we've seen coming out of Iraq and Syria, and it seems like there has been at least some coordination. The video is very similar -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Horribly sad. All right, Ian Lee, thank you so much from Cairo. We'll be right back.


WHITFIELD: A massive winter storm is once again slamming the northeast. Millions of people are still under a blizzard warning and the storm has resulted in Boston's snowiest month ever. The storm is moving out of the region, but fierce winds and dangerously low temperatures remain. The blizzard is making travel a real nightmare.

More than 1,800 flights have been canceled today according to and that included 274 at Boston's Logan Airport, 164 at Newark, and 150 at New York's LaGuardia, and 141 at JFK in New York.

So travel on roads and highways is also pretty dicey as CNN's Will Ripley discovered when he braved the icy streets from Massachusetts to New Hampshire.

And he's joining me now from the town of Seabrook. All right, so they have been removing snow from the rooftops there. What else is going on?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, you know, you talked about the roads they are treacherous. In fact, we're getting reports of a major pileup on I-95 possibly involving a dozen or more vehicles.

We hope that nobody was seriously hurt, but it just goes to show that the roads were uneven. We were on them earlier, but as people are now seeing the sun coming out, thinking that it's safe to go out, they are getting back on the roads and that's proving to be a bad idea.

Other dangerous factors here, of course, the huge snow piles, which mean that there is blowing snow, that's reducing visibility. And all of that heavily packed snow also leading to this happening.

Roof collapses. This one here in New Hampshire, this is just one of at least two in this state. We know an apartment building roof also partially collapsed.

Other reports of roof collapses in Massachusetts and, Fred, one more dangerous factor, the winds, this is what we are calling the gust o- meter, you can see it's really picking up here.

More than 20 miles an hour and we are talking with low temperatures already, these windchills, subzero, very dangerous to expose skin tonight -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: My goodness, get your hat on then, young man, Will Ripley. All right, thanks so much.

RIPLEY: I know, I left it in the truck. I'm going to go get it.

WHITFIELD: Yes, extremities, cover up before you get frostbite. All right, thanks so much.

All right, this winter weather maybe easing up in the north east, but the south too? Major temperature drop about to be experienced. Meteorologist Tom Sater is with us now. Boy, bundle up like foot to toe all over.

TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and windchills are going to go down to minus 35. Yesterday, the high temperature in Atlanta was 60 and this morning as you know, Fred, in the single-digit windchills. Advisories are in effect that really contains the dangerous windchills in the northeast, but three different air masses have been sliding south from the Arctic Circle.

With each one this week we've been able to say the coldest air of the season and the next one trumps it. This one all the way down to the Central Florida could play fits for some of the citrus.

But along with this cold air, the last thing we need is another storm and here it comes, rain for the Deep South. Advisories really even in effect for metro Atlanta, but then you get into the warning zone, where significant icing and accumulation of snow that would be significant.

Here are the warnings that you see here from parts of Oklahoma, into Kansas across Central Missouri, most of Arkansas is going to be in the ice, but these warnings will extend.

So again, quickly, just to give you an idea, maybe a half inch of ice across Little Rock, Memphis, and Nashville. You're looking at snow maybe 6 inches to 8 inches. St. Louis could see 4 to 6. The state of Kentucky could see more than a foot.

This storm, Fredricka, may be heading not only to the mid-Atlantic for significant snows in D.C., Philadelphia, New York, but maybe again Boston as well.

WHITFIELD: Gosh, it's incredible. All right, thanks so much, Tom. Appreciate it.

All right, almost 24 hours later and the ceasefire in Ukraine continuous to hold, but in one Ukrainian town, it doesn't look or sounds like the fighting as stopped. Nick Paton Walsh takes a look, next.

And still ahead, I talk exclusively to one of the artist who survived the Copenhagen terror attack, my interview with Lars Vilks next.


WHITFIELD: All right, it's now been 24 hours since the ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine went into effect. So far it appears to be holding in most areas. There have been reports of shelling and gunfire in some areas, but observers say things are relatively calm.

Fighting between rebels and Ukrainian forces had intensified in the days leading to this ceasefire. Nick Paton Walsh is in Eastern Ukraine and has more on the very fragile truce.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The cease-fire didn't stop the fighting or even freeze it much. We went as far down the road as the Ukrainian seemed to hold, others by separatists indeed encircled into bouts of a few kilometers further. Here they say the bridge is targeted, shelling rings out for hours.

(on camera): The Ukrainian troops trapped inside fell down this room, if not thousands of in the not using the supposed pause to escape. Instead the deathly silence is broken by the sound of shelling and at times civilians still fleeing now for their lives.

(voice-over): The shelling, she says, not as bad as it was, but there are still people there. Ceasefire monitors said they were blocked from traveling down this road earlier, about that the ceasefire was just about holding.

It's dusk, the pause is just a time to take stock of how much you have lost. It is the separatists pushing forward here, but in the crossfire of heavy weapons, when even nursery schools have been hit. Many locals feel anger at their government in Kiev, for the most.

Natalia's home is here, and she fears her Russian roots are under attack. Who does this? She says Ukraine, Poroshenko, Kiev, don't film me, they'll kill me. There's no rest, no calm.

What are Ukrainian soldiers doing here with automatic weapons, Tamana asked? What are they doing here? We only have the elderly here. They knock on the door, Anton says, take a guy just in his shorts and sandals, take him away, the Ukrainian National Guard, that is. Where, I don't know.

The snow has settled along with new anger and hatred, but still the sound of a war not yet resolved with peace.


WHITFIELD: That's Nick Paton Walsh reporting, thanks so much.

All right, still ahead, the FBI is now helping to trace the gunman's whereabouts leading up to the attack in Denmark. Erin McPike is live for us in D.C. with more -- Erin.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, we have a new statement from the State Department. More on that right after the break.


WHITFIELD: Hello again. Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. We're learning more about a deadly terror attack in Copenhagen, Denmark, as that city takes a moment to honor those victims. Residents held a candlelight vigil to remember those killed by a gunman in two separate shootings.

Police says the shootings happened within 10 hours of each other. One shooting was at a free speech forum attended by a controversial artist, the other at a synagogue. In all, two people were killed and five police officers injured.

We have also learned the suspected gunman killed in a shootout this morning was 22 years old, a Danish citizen, and police say he had a history of criminal activity. A U.S. official tells CNN the FBI is now assisting with the investigation. Our Erin McPike is joining us from our Washington Bureau. So Erin, what more are we hearing from the administration?

MCPIKE: Well, Fred, we now have a brand new statement from State Department Spokesman Jen Psaki. I'm going to read that to you now. She says the United States condemns the terrorist attacks that took place over the weekend in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The first attack on Saturday was against a meeting to discuss art, religion, and free speech. The second early Sunday morning was against synagogue. Our deepest condolences go out to the family of the victims who are killed and our thoughts are with security officials injured in these terror attacks.

And then he went on to say the U.S. is staying in touch with Danish authorities, and that of course, the U.S. stands with Denmark on both freedom of speech and also in standing up to anti-Semitism and bigotry. As you and I have discussed last hour, we were waiting to see if the administration would lay out this characterization in light of President Obama's comments last week that the attack on the kosher deli in Paris was random following the Charlie Hebdo murders. Well, he got some criticism for that, but now we're getting a clearer, stronger statement from the state department, and on top of that, we know of course that the FBI is assisting in this investigation. Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Erin McPike in Washington, thanks so much.

MCPIKE: Of course.

WHITFIELD: For more information on how you can help people impacted by the terror attacks in Denmark, go to

And he is on al-Qaeda's most wanted list and he also survived the Copenhagen attack. Ahead, a CNN exclusive interview with the controversial artist Lars Vilks, what he saw when the gunman opened fired.


WHITFIELD: Controversial Swedish artist, Lars Vilks is happy to be alive today. He survived Saturday's deadly shooting at a Denmark forum on freedom of expression. Vilks is no stranger to threats. He has survived two previous attempts on his life after his controversial sketch depicting the prophet Mohammad with the body of a dog in 2007. Al-Qaeda placed him on their most wanted poster, and since then, Vilks has had to travel with bodyguards and check his car for bombs. I spoke to him exclusively about the attacks in Denmark.


WHITFIELD: Do you feel you were the targets perhaps for your depiction of the prophet Muhammad back in 2007?

LARS VILKS, SWEDISH ARTIST/CARTOONIST: Yeah, that's the best candidate we have, I would say, because there is hardly anyone else who has kind of the level of threats there. But, of course, we cannot be really sure. It's just the best shot we have at least at the moment.

WHITFIELD: Others died. The first person to die in the attacks that began on Saturday was a 40-year-old man. Did you know him?

VILKS: No, I didn't.

WHITFIELD: When you were in...

VILKS: It seems that he was a person who passed by. I mean, those who were in the lecture room, they were protected there by the police, so this was a passersby who unluckily happened to be in the wrong place.

WHITFIELD: So take me back to this freedom of speech forum that you were sponsoring. What was the objective, what were you hoping would take place, and was security a big concern as well?

VILKS: Yes, it's a selection or series concerning we have had concerning freedom of speech and arts, and certain issues like feminism, things like that. So the seminar was made by the committee there, and they give me a place for lecturing, which is much more difficult in Sweden. I think we had a good program this day, and everything started well. We took up the Charlie Hebdo case, and then to discussion, but it was an introduction by the ambassador of France in Copenhagen, who actually talked about the situation there, and I think it was interesting. When he finished, we went on to the program.

And there was a woman from a feminist organization, and she started to talk. When she had started, we suddenly heard a lot of -- a lot of noise. It was a bang, bang, bang. And very quickly we could understand that something was going on. The bodyguards immediately became active, and the rest of the scene, and they took me and threw me into a storage room, together with the chairman, and we were put under a table and guarded by police men with drawn guns, and I understood that we actually came into a safe hiding there.

WHITFIELD: And at that point, did you think that you were the target? You were reason why that shooting was taking place?

VILKS: Well, I was -- yeah, as I said before, it's difficult to see, what could you aim for, really? What could you be against? I don't know. I'm on some kind of al-Qaeda list, and it's very well known, and it has been published now after the Charlie Hebdo case. I mean, there are 11,000 on the list, now they said Red Cross and Charlie Hebdo reps, and that, and I'm standing in the middle there. This thing was announced yeah, maybe. It seems not unreasonable to believe that.

WHITFIELD: And once the shooting stopped or you felt it was safe for you to emerge to come out, what were you thinking, feeling, what did you see?

VILKS: I didn't see anything. The gunman, he attacked from the front. I mean, he was probably trying to shoot himself in, and for doing that, he had to -- he had to pass the police. And there was -- I mean, the most controversial thing going on in the whole drama, he was very well equipped and the policemen were not. He had an advantage. He was shooting through the glass doors there. That was very successful with his gun, while when the police were shooting back, they had not good guns for this kind of fight. There were several policemen wounded, but still they tried to fire back.

Probably, the gunman understood if he went through the glass, then he would be lost from the policemen's fire, and so they were able to force him back, but not without really efforts. The poor people in the lecture room -- I mean, that was not taken away. They were hiding in corners, under tables, and everything. They were just waiting for who was going to open the door here, and who would come in. Luckily it was one of the wounded policemen who actually came in there.

WHITFIELD: And I realize as an artist, your drawing of the prophet Muhammad was many years ago in 2007, and there are other artists who have rendered pictures of the prophet Muhammad and angered many in the Muslim community. There are authors, Salman Rushdie among them, and then of course, the most recent with Charlie Hebdo being targeted as a result of the same sentiment. Do you feel responsible or do you feel that you have contributed to the sentiment that have inspired some people to resort to violence, to express their anger about how the prophet Muhammad has been depicted?

VILKS: Well, when you post a question on the political responsibility, I mean, religious symbols they are carrying list at least in this case, they're carrying political decisions that follow certain dogmas, so if you question the basic symbols of this, it's part of a political conversation, and if you have people who want to go out with guns and start murdering people, the thing you do is to put these people in prison, because we cannot accept people murdering and trying in that way to stop the discussion you have concerning our questions, which you do with the freedom of speech in a democracy.

So, I mean, there are responsibilities, of course not the one who is following the rules, and keeping a reasonable discussion going is those people who try to stop it with violence and murder.

WHITFIELD: Do you rethink in any way the motivation behind your 2007 drawing?

VILKS: Yeah, I mean, that was a kind of minor thing because this was more about the question about, again, in the art world. In every art exhibition, you can see you have a political statement against Bush and against Israel, but you never have any sort of question about the Islam thing, which actually then were very interesting subjects after the Danish caricatures.

And so I wanted to at something to that discussion. Why do you have such one-sided again in the art world? I didn't expect this really to be something more from outside that area of exhibition, and basically a misunderstanding which very often comes forward that when you make such a drawing, you immediately end up in a disaster, an enormous interest and lots of violence. That is not the case. It's very rare that something actually becomes so interesting. If you follow the story of this, you will see that it has to pass many, many levels of interest before it actually starts living its own life and become enough known to become a symbol for hatred. WHITFIELD: At one time you were on an assassination list by al-Qaeda

and other similar groups. To your knowledge, are you still on anyone's assassination list? And if so, is that why you continue to travel with bodyguards?

VILKS: Yeah, I mean, I'm now such a well-known target. That's half the value, because these guys, they work very much, concerned with the media interest. So if they want to kill someone, it should be someone who is well known, so everyone can actually have a reference to these things. That means when I go somewhere, I always have bodyguards. I can't go anywhere on my own.


WHITFIELD: So now what? You narrowly escaped death in Denmark, how does this influence your next forum that you might arrange, your next public outing?

VILKS: Yeah, that's a very interesting question. To me, there are two things here. One thing is those arranging the next meeting. The second is how will -- how will it be protected? And if there is something which cannot be protected, that is not my questions to answer. That's the questions at the higher level, but one has to understand they will take it seriously.


WHITFIELD: Still ahead, an American woman is behind bars in Canada. Police say she plotted with a Canadian man to murder as many people as possible on Valentine's Day. Details on who she is and how they were caught, next.


WHITFIELD: Here's a look at this week's Ones to Watch, be sure to check out the full show at


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the roof of an abandoned brewery, Lil Buck performs his urban ballet. Undulating his body like a human wave machine, scattering his steps with staccato footwork, his home city of Memphis has already produced the rock and roll of Elvis and the blues of BB King, and now, it has given birth to a street dance called jerkin (ph), which Lil Buck has transformed and taken around the world.

LIL BUCK: If I was going to describe it, it's like Michael Jackson times 10, a lot of glides and slides, a lot of toe spins. I think it's one of the greatest dance styles of all time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pick Lil Buck as one of my one toss watch, because he is a star. He is an innovator. He is magical. His movement is so original. People have been waving, being fluid forever, you know, but he has made it be something else. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first time I actually saw Memphis Jerkin (ph)

was when I was like 12 years old. I was in a skating rink in Memphis. When I walked in, I saw this guy gliding across carpet like it was water. It is like nothing like I had ever seen before. Like I hadn't even see Michael move this way. That changed my whole world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a beautiful dance to me. That's what I really wanted people to see.


WHITFIELD: A check of our top stories right now. Police say a plan to commit a mass shooting has been foiled in Nova Scotia. Authorities in Halifax say an American woman and a Canadian man were arrested at the airport. The two apparently wanted to go on a shooting spree at a shopping mall. A third suspect took his own life as police arrive to question him. Canada's justice minister called the two suspects "murderous misfits" who weren't driven by any particular ideology.

And Chicago was no match for the winter storm today. A 38-car pileup happened on Interstate-90. Only minor injuries, thankfully reported. One driver described the weather as just a nasty burst of snow that went on for 15 minutes.

And the FAA is proposing the commercial use of drones, but with stipulations. The drones must weigh less than 55 pounds, cannot fly above 500 feet, and fly no faster than 100 miles per hour. Operators must get a drone license and avoid flying near people, other aircraft, and other airport. The final decision on the proposed rule could take years.

Still ahead, the slam dunk, Andy Scholes joins us live next to talk about the all-star weekend.


WHITFIELD: All right, it's the NBA All-Star Weekend, and we're just a just a few hours away from the big game. What an All-Star Weekend it has been already, from the Rising Star Challenge on Friday to last night's slam dunk contest, lots of fun stuff. CNN Sports Andy Scholes is in New York with all the latest. Did you show them how it's done, Andy?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS: Well, no. You know what? Zach Lavine showed us how it's done last night at the slam dunk contest. You know, Fredricka, the slam dunk contest, you know, it had really become kind of stale. People are kind of bored with it over the last few years. Zach Lavine brought it back to life. Check out his dunk. That one through the legs on his first dunk, just brought the house down. Everyone went nuts. He was wearing a space jam jersey, because that was his inspiration as a kid, Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny.

In his second dunk, behind the back, everyone was just like go ahead and end this competition right now. One of the great performances we have ever seen in this competition. Some people are even comparing it to Vince Carter's legendary performance back in 2000, which is considered the best performance ever by a dunker. Zach Lavine though, this one will be remembered for a very long time.

The three-point competition, it was being called the best three-point competition field we've ever seen. It definitely lived up to the hype as well. You have Steph Curry going against his teammate, Klay Thompson, in the finals. And Steph Curry, man, he really showed that he has -- he at one point hit 13 three's in a row, as he brought home the championship. He was 0 for 3 in this competition coming into last night, so I guess the fourth time is definitely the charm for him. He's happy to get his monkey off his back. Really proving he's the best three-point shooter in the NBA right now and one of the greatest of all time.

And of course, the marquee event of the weekend of course will be tonight's All-Star game at Madison Square Garden. We've got some very cool story lines coming into this game. The best one, Fredricka, though has got to be the Gasol brothers starting in the All-Star. First time, we've ever had two brothers starting in one All-Star game. Pau Gasol plays for the Chicago Bulls, he will be starting in the East. You got Marc Gasol who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, he'll be starting for the West. These guys of course grew up playing against each other in every single sport they can imagine together, and they are very excited tonight, Fredricka, to go against each other in the All-Star game.

WHITFIELD: Wow, so very supportive, but clearly very competitive still. That's cute.

SCHOLES: During the interviews throughout the week at All-Star weekend, usually everyone is trying to talk to LeBron, everyone is talking trying to talk Kevin Durant, the biggest scrum in all the media session were for the Gasol brothers. Guess what, Fredricka? I dived into a couple of them and asked them what it will be like tonight. Take a listen.



PAU GASOL: It's a once in a lifetime experience. I mean, it's very rare that two brothers. This has never happened before, but for this to be the first time is extremely meaningful. We're just thrilled as a family, overwhelmed. It's a huge honor. So we just cannot wait to enjoy the experience.

MARC GASOL: We played any sport. Me and Pau, we go from tennis to ping-pong or bocce bald. We do anything together.


SCHOLES: So, Fredricka, it's going to be interesting to see if these two guys go at it against each other early tonight when they're both on the floor.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Your slam dunk was with the microphone. Andy Scholes, All right, thanks so much. Don't forget, all the action gets started tonight on TNT with the NBA

tip-off pre-game show 7 p.m. Eastern Time then the main event, 64th All-Star Game at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

All right. We got so much straight ahead. Thanks for hangs out with me today. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Poppy Harlow, back in New York, with much more.