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ISIS Militant Targeted in U.S. Air Strike; Deadly Bombing in Lebanon. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 13, 2015 - 03:00   ET


[03:00:00] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN NEWSROOM CORRESPONDENT: Breaking news. The ISIS militant known as Jihadi John targeted in a U.S. air strike. But, it's still unclear whether he is dead or alive.

Deadly bombings in Lebanon. More than 40 people killed. A suspect says he was sent by ISIS.

And Kurdish soldiers say they have entered the Iraqi town of Sinjar as they fight to retake control from ISIS.


From CNN World headquarters in Atlanta. Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell. CNN Newsroom starts right now.

Good day to you. We are following that breaking news out of the pentagon this day claiming that U.S. forces targeted the infamous ISIS killer known as Jihadi John. This after a drone strike in Raqqa, Syria. His real name is Mohammed Emwazi. He terrified the world as part of his murderous media show appearing on ISIS videos allegedly beheading his hostages. Emwazi is a British citizen believed to have been born in Kuwait. The Pentagon has not yet confirmed his death. Our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has more.

BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Pentagon said in a very brief late-night announcement that it conducted an airstrike against Jihadi John, the notorious killer of so many hostages seen in those terrible beheading videos. Now we know that the families of the American hostages have been notified. The British government was notified. The Japanese families, obviously, are getting word as well of what has happened. U.S. officials are being very clear. They believe they got him with a drone strike against a vehicle he was in in Raqqa, Syria, ISIS's capital. Its self-declared capital.

But, they are not 100 percent sure. They are looking for confirmation. With no U.S. troops or intelligence personnel on the ground in Syria, they will have to look at social media postings, intercepted communications, any indicators out there in the public arena, any announcements that he may have died. They still believe, however, that there is a very good chance that they got him. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon. HOWELL: Our Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman is

standing by live for us in Cairo, Egypt, to talk about the story. Ben, good to have you with us this day. Let's talk about the significance if, in fact, Emwazi is dead. What does this mean to the broader fight against ISIS?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly. It's important for the families of those he allegedly beheaded. But, in the big picture really, he was somebody who played a large media role very much galvanizing the United States and its allies into launching this more than year old air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. But, you have to look at the hierarchy of ISIS, and that is largely composed not of people like him who was born in Kuwait, grew up in the U.K. The hierarchy, the leadership of ISIS is largely made up of Iraqis. Many of them, with a background in Saddam Hussein's security services.

So, he was a very useful tool, so to speak, for ISIS in terms of putting out these videos in a language that was familiar to many in the west. But, in terms of the leadership, in terms of the people who make the real decisions within ISIS, he really didn't play a large role. And in terms of ISIS, you have to look at beyond him at the larger military campaign that's being conducted against ISIS.

We've seen that ISIS has not since may when they took the city of Ramadi west of Baghdad, has not been able to gain major areas under its control and slowly has been pushed back. They've lost Tikrit. They are now under pressure in Sinjar from Kurdish fighters supported by U.S. air power in Syria. There are also Kurdish forces and Arab Syrians who are pushing them back. So, at this point this comes as just another blow to ISIS now that in a sense it's lost its momentum. George.

HOWELL: But, for people who looked at Emwazi when all of these videos were coming out, and the videos are a very important part of their recruiting techniques. For people who are just learning this news, you know, what does this do to those who might have been interested in joining ISIS?

[03:05:11] WEDEMAN: It may cause them to think twice about perhaps traveling to Syria or Iraq to join ISIS. You know, these individuals like Jihadi John or Mohammed Emwazi certainly bore symbols of the kind of perverse power that ISIS gave to people who otherwise in their home countries didn't have that attraction, maybe losing a bit of its shine, losing a bit of its shine because of this strike if, perhaps, he is dead. But, also looking again at the prodder picture, ISIS is on the defensive, is being pushed back in Iraq, pushed back in Syria. So the temptation of some sort of Jihadist glory in the battle in Syria and Iraq may not be quite what it used to be these days. George.

HOWELL: Ben Wedeman live for us in Cairo, Egypt. Ben, thank you so much for your reporting and the context there. So, who is Jihadi John and where did he come from? A former teacher calls him quiet and reserved. Atika Shubert went to London to find out more about the man who hid behind a mask. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an ordinary scene in a West London high school. Teenage boys goofing around with a basketball. One wearing a backpack shows off some fancy foot work. Then, someone calls out the name to match the now famous face. Mohammed Emwazi.

Confirmed by U.S. officials to be Jihadi John, the mass murderer featured in ISIS videos. In this video you can see him throw a playful punch when a bottle is chucked at him. But, in front of the camera he covers his face. Emwazi was shy but not a problem student says his former head teacher, who identified him in this video. She describes the moment she heard her former student was the man behind the mask for ISIS.

JO SHUTER, FORMER HEAD TEACHER: He was reserved. He didn't have a huge circle of friends, but he had a few good friends. He was bullied a little bit because he was quiet and he was reserved. But, generally, he was fine.

MOHAMMED EMWAZI, ISIS TERRORIST: Our knives will continue to strike the necks of your people.

SHUBERT: It was his distinctive British voice that led to Emwazi being identified. Since then, a fuller picture is emerging. He's described as being a polite, young man from a middle class family. Photographs as a student at London's Westminster University and more recently in Kuwait. A recorded audio recording from 2009 released by British Muslim advocacy group, K2K.

EMWAZI: I told him this was the wrong thing. What happened was wrong.

SHUBERT: But, for the people who knew him, it is difficult to fathom that the football-loving teenager they knew as Mohammed Emwazi has emerged as the man behind the mask. Atika Shubert, CNN, London.


HOWELL: Kurdish forces say Peshmerga fighters are in Sinjar, Iraq. On its official Twitter page just moments ago, the Kurdish region security council said its forces entered the Northern City from all sides. The Kurds, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, are on day two of operation free Sinjar to reclaim the key city from ISIS militants.

They estimate there are about 600 ISIS fighters inside Sinjar. The Kurds earlier seized a key road used to bring in supplies from an ISIS strong hold. Reclaiming Sinjar is a big step to breaking the caliphate ISIS that it says that it is trying to create. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh is in that area and will bring us more, more reporting from the ground with those fighters later this day.


We have some new details after a deadly attack in Beirut. A would-be suicide bomber, who was held after the attack, claims he was sent there by ISIS along with three other attackers. The pair of suicide blasts killed more than 40 people and wounded at least 200 people on Thursday. This new video appears to show the surviving bomber, but CNN cannot confirm its authenticity. We must warn you that some of the footage that you're seeing is graphic. CNN's Jim Sciutto reports.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The explosion struck during the height of rush hour, on an open market just south of Beirut. Coordinated, powerful, and deadly. First, one suicide blast draws a crowd of onlookers. But, a second blast strikes that crowd maximizing casualties. A third bomber killed by the blast before he could detonate his own explosives. But, a fourth, Lebanese government sources tell CNN, was allegedly captured. Seen here taken away as security forces fire into the air to clear the crowd. This man said he was praying when the blast blew a door right over his head. The victims carried by bystanders over rubble from damaged buildings and rushed to nearby hospitals.

[03:10:15] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The suicide bombing went off. The area is mostly empty. It's been cordoned off by the army. Otherwise, there's a lot of shattered glass on the street, a lot of blood, and it's really just a scene of chaos and carnage.

SCIUTTO: Within hours, ISIS claimed responsibility. This neighborhood is a strong hold of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia fighting alongside Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria. ISIS' sworn enemy there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ISOL doesn't think of itself having borders. Let's remember while you say ISIS, I say ISOL, they say I.S. The Islamic state. And they see themselves as trying to establish a caliphate which means an Islamic government covering all of the areas where Muslims live today in the world. And so, Lebanon is going to be seen as another battlefield.


SCIUTTO: The footage of the capture of the alleged fourth suicide bomber was shown on Lebanese television. CNN could not confirm its authenticity, although sources have told CNN of that arrest and this additional detail of the captured alleged fourth bomber said that they were dispatched from Syria by ISIS to carry out this attack. Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.

HOWELL: For more on this story let's bring in our own Ian Lee live from Cairo. Ian, good to have you with us this day. So, this happened in a predominantly Shia neighborhood, and there are claims that ISIS had a hand in it. What's the latest reaction from what happened?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, today in Lebanon is a day of mourning, and we are seeing all the political parties, the factions in Lebanon come out strongly in condemning this attack. Right now the investigation is looking at how these men were able to come from Syria, how they got their explosives. A lot of that is going to come from that man that they captured. They will interrogate him. They will try to find out where his cell operated, how they were able to do that, try to trace back everything so that they can shut down this cell. But, we have seen violence by ISIS predominantly along the border region.

But, this is one of their strikes in the heart of Lebanon in Beirut. And it is retaliation for the operations that Hezbollah has been carrying out in neighboring Syria backing the forces of President Bashar al-Assad and they have been on the offensive against ISIS. They have been making ground and so this deadly attack coming back to hit Hezbollah on its home base.

HOWELL: Ian Lee live for us in Cairo, Egypt. Ian, thank you for your reporting there.

We want to go to our own Arwa Damon. She is live from Lesbos, Greece, the island off the coast where many migrants have been arriving. Arwa, what are you seeing? What can you tell us?


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yet another boat has just landed. Its passengers mostly from Afghanistan. You see a woman being treated right there by these medical teams. A lot of those who are arriving are finding themselves because of the emotion, because of various other illnesses, very weak and frazzled and frail. This was also a boat that was packed with children very similar to the one that we saw earlier up along the coast line.

As I was saying, most of these people have fled from Afghanistan. One Afghan family who we talked to earlier, told us about how they had walked almost the entire way to try to get to Turkey. But, you can just see the scenes spelled out on this one small portion of coast line. There have been about three boats that have arrived just right here in the last hour or so. Many more arriving at various different landing points and volunteer teams have stationed themselves throughout.

And as these boats are coming in, they try to call them to land on certain specific areas that are easier to navigate because those who are so called captaining or driving the boat are often -- in fact, all the time, the refugees themselves. And once they're here they will be getting that additional assistance, medical if they do need it. The children we constantly see the ones being lifted off the boats first are going to try to make sure that they're warm.

[03:14:52] These boats get so packed by the smugglers that by the time they do reach Greece's shores, they very often have taken in quite a fair amount of water. And then, of course, there are emotional scenes as people hug each other. One man kneeled down to kiss the ground. So grateful, he was. You saw two men who were just hugging right there. Many have died trying to cross these waters as well. In fact, just in the last 48 hours, 18 people lost their lives here. The reality of the danger that they're facing as they do try to come across does weigh very heavily on everyone who makes this journey, but as every single parent continuously tells us, no father or mother would do this if they thought they had any other choice. No parent would put their child through this kind of danger if they thought they had any other choice. And the vast majority of these people are refugees of the wars in Syria, Iraq and like most of this boat load, Afghanistan.

These are people who cannot go home. Earlier, about an hour ago, we saw a boat load arriving filled mostly with the Yazidis from Sinjar. That is the area where that massive offensive is currently underway with the Peshmerga coalition aircraft overhead. A father of four who we were speaking to there said, look, if I thought I could go back home, I would, but Sinjar is very close to Mosul. And I don't believe that ISIS is going to get cleared out of there in the next decade. And I need to go somewhere where I can raise my child like a human being. And that is what most of these parents, most of these people are looking for, that very basic, simple realities of a life of dignity and potential for their children.


HOWELL: You know, Arwa, it is a complicated situation on the Syrian side of things. Very complicated war. It was a complex situation as these countries in Europe try to figure out the best plan to handle the influx of people. But the story you're showing us there is the human aspect in the middle here and people who are just trying to get out of the way of harm. And as you mentioned, parents. I'm a father myself, so parents, people trying do the best to make sure their families are safe. Making a very dangerous journey. Arwa Damon giving us these stories live on the coast of Lesbos, Greece. Arwa, thank you so much for your reporting there. You're watching CNN Newsroom. We'll be right back after the break.


[03:19:53] KATE RILEY, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kate Riley with your CNN World Sport headlines. Norway took on Hungary in the 3rd Euro 2016 Playoff match. Norway has lost every home game played in November for the last 20 years. As for Hungary, they haven't been to the euros since 1972. And despite that fact, Hungary took the lead just before the half hour mark thanks to Laszlo Kleinheisler. The host had the golden opportunity for the equalizer at the dying minute. But, it wasn't to be. Hungary win, 1-0.

Friday is the day we'll find out what punishment, if any, the Russian athletics federation will receive. The Russian athletics federation chief says it has sent a report on doping allegations to the IAFF. The acting president of the Russian athletic federation said there was wrongdoing among the country's athletes. Here is what he said. We admit some things, we argue with some things, some are already fixed. It's a variety.

The suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been discharged from hospital in Switzerland. Blatter was admitted on Friday suffering from what was described as his advisers as a body breakdown. He's set to continue his recovery at home. Released on Friday after he had a body breakdown. He's set to continue his recovery at home. And that's a look at all your sports headlines. I'm Kate Riley. HOWELL: Russia is trying to authenticate an alleged ISIS video that

threatens attacks inside that country, quote, very soon. The five- minute video was released on Thursday. It shows Russian cities with chance in Russian promising that, quote, blood will spill like an ocean. CNN has not been able to independently verify the video. It comes two weeks after an ISIS affiliate claims to have brought down a Russian jet liner in Sinai. The video does not mention the plane.

The U.S. says it is paying very close attention to the growing global influence of is. General John Allen spearheaded the U.S. battle against the terror group until his last day in office on Thursday. In an exclusive CNN interview, the general said that ISIS can't be fought without addressing the underlying issues that help it thrive. Listen.


GENERAL JOHN ALLEN, FORMER DEPUTY COMMANDER: These underlying social, economic and political sub currents that the underlying causes which take hope from large segments of the population that give large elements within countries. No access to the institutions of government. No hope for a decent job. No way to bring their children up. No hope for education. If we don't get to the left of those symptoms and try to solve these underlying circumstances working collaboratively with those who are in the region who best understand the region, then we're going to be condemned to fight forever.


HOWELL: Now, we move on to doping allegations in Russia. Russian athletes and coaches could learn their fate on Friday. The world governing body for track and field will actually give that information, will consider whether to ban them from the 2016 Olympics. On Monday, the world anti-doping agency released a report alleging state sponsored cheating and cover-ups in Russia. From football to cycling and now track and field, we've heard a number of cheating scandals and corruption allegations in sports. Two of the biggest international sports federations are embroiled in crises right now. Don Riddell breaks it down for us.


DON RIDDELL, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: The Olympics and World Cup are the pinnacle of global sports events. They're glamorous, aspirational and they're worth billions of dollars. But, the headlines aren't being made at the track or on the field anymore. The players are in business suits and the action is out of view, in the shadows, in the gutter.

Cheating athletes and corrupt administrators are nothing new, but it has never been this big and this bad before. Sepp Blatter is the suspended head of world football. And although he insists he's clean, he is under investigation. Lamine Diack is the head of world athletics is also under criminal investigation. Football and athletics are the two biggest international sports federations and they're in decay. Rumored for years that world cup events were corrupt, now the chickens

are coming home to roost. Previous tournaments in Germany and South Africa are now also under the microscope. Some of the sport's most influential power brokers are in jail or awaiting extradition. It's not just the occasional errant track star, its athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors, a state-sponsored doping program in Russia according to the independent commission.

[03:24:49] Russia is a global sport super power bank rolled by the government. It's said to have spent $50 billion hosting the last winter Olympics in Sochi and it's staging the next world cup in 2018. But, now Russian athletes could be banned from the summer games in Rio. World sport is on the road tomorrow ruined. Athletes are cheating, administrators are crooked and the fans don't know what to believe and there's too much at stake for the sponsors and broadcasters to clean it up. Who's going to clean it up? Everywhere you look there's potential conflicts of interests.

The international center for sports security which bills itself as a Bastian of integrity is funded by Qatar, whose successful world cup bid is under criminal investigation. The IAFF's new president Seth Co is a brand ambassador for Nike, a major sports sponsor. The world anti-doping agency receive 50 percent of their funding from national governments so the regulator is dependent on the regulated. And all of this is only what we know now. Which other sports are involved? How many other countries? As the world anti-doping agency so chillingly put it, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg.


HOWELL: Don Riddell reporting for us.


Now, to the historic results of Myanmar's landmark election. Aung San Suu Kyi national league for democracy, it has won an absolute majority in the country's parliament giving the party enough seats to now choose the next president. A new president. Sunday's vote was hailed as the country's freest election in decades. It's seen as the test of the military's acceptance of democracy.


You're watching CNN Newsroom. And with the Iowa caucuses less than 100 days away, presidential candidate Donald Trump takes another round of shots at opponent Ben Carson. More on that as this broadcast continues around the world this hour on CNN International and CNN U.S.A.


[03:30:12] HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. You're watching CNN Newsroom. Very good to have you with us. I'm George Howell. The headlines we're following this day for you. The Pentagon says U.S. forces targeted the notorious Jihadi John during a drone strike in Raqqa, Syria. Mohammed Emwazi as he's known, showed the murder of hostages. He's a British citizen believed to have been born in Kuwait. The Pentagon has not publicly confirmed Emwazi's death.

New video appears to show the surviving suicide bomber from Thursday's attack in Beirut. Two suicide blasts killed more than 40 people and left more than 200 people wounded. A Lebanese national apparently shown here was taken into custody. CNN cannot independently confirm the video's authenticity.

Kurdish officials say Peshmerga forces have entered Sinjar on their second day campaign in their attempt to retake the city from ISIS. Commanders estimate about 600 ISIS fighters are inside the city. The terror group seized Sinjar in August of last year.

Now, back to the breaking news we've been covering. People who knew Jihadi John when he was younger were shocked to hear that he was the man in the ISIS videos. His path to terrorism appears to have started more than five years ago. With a trip to Africa, authorities had him in their grip twice since then. Jim Sciutto reports.


EMWAZI: You now have 72 hours --

SCIUTTO: He's been the voice of some of ISIS' most brutal terror videos. Calm, ruthless, and with a distinct and surprising British accent.

EMWAZI: My knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.

SCIUTTO: Now, U.S. authorities have identified the terrorist known as Jihadi John as Mohammed Emwazi, a 26-year-old British national born Kuwait but raised in London. Though U.S. officials would not publicly discuss his suspected identity, the White House says Jihadi Kohn is a top terrorist target.

JOHN EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: In the mind of the President, he ranks highly on be the list because that individual is responsible for the murder of innocent Americans, who the president wants to bring to justice.

SCIUTTO: Emwazi illustrates ISIS' alarming broad appeal. From a well off family, earning a college degree in technology from the University of Westminster. And until his travel to Syria in 2012, enjoying a life of privilege.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was a diligent, hard-working, lovely young man responsible for life. He was everything you would want a student to be.

SCIUTTO: His friends said they never saw signs of his future as a terrorist.

ASIM QURESHI, CAGE RESEARCH DIRECTOR: He was such a beautiful young man, really. It's hard to imagine the trajectory, but it's not a trajectory that's unfamiliar for us. SCIUTTO: Emwazi's friends say his path to radicalization may have

begun in 2009 when he traveled to Tanzania to go on a safari, a graduation present from his parents. But, he was detained on arrival, held overnight and then deported to the U.K. Authorities thinking his true intention was trying to travel to Somalia. In 2010, he was detained again by counter terror officials in Britain. He was believed to have traveled to Syria where he joined ISIS. His friends claimed mistreatment by British authorities sent him on a path to terrorism.

QURESHI: Our entire national security strategy for the last 13 years has only increased alienation, has only increased people feeling like they don't belong.


HOWELL: Kurdish forces say Peshmerga fighters are now in Sinjar, Iraq. On its official twitter page moments ago the Kurdish region security council said its forces entered the northern city from all sides. Our Senior International Correspondent Nick Paton Walsh joins us live by phone from inside Sinjar. Nick, where you are on the front lines with those fighters, tell us what you're seeing and what you're hearing.

WALSH: About two hours ago, George, we saw columns of Peshmerga moving inside the city. I can't give away the exact locations, but there are large numbers of them and they were heading in multiple different directions towards the center. To this stage there's been heavy gunfire and in the most recent half hour, some of it seems mostly celebratory and heavy gunfire certainly as they move into the remaining pockets of ISIS as most people will call them. This town, what's left of it, has been half-flattened by the intensity of the clashes and the airstrikes, of course, normally brought upon Daesh. There's very little left of it to celebrate the spoils of victory.

[03:35:04] We don't know how many ISIS are still left here, and we do know it is littered with explosive devices. We pointed out a number on our way through here and, in fact, a fighter -- the background fire you're hearing there is what we've been hearing for the past two hours. In fact, we spoke to a Canadian here and Swedish person fighting alongside the Peshmerga through their own choice, volunteers, and they talk about a dozen I.D.s they found here.

A very dangerous town for local residents to come back. We don't know how many ISIS are left in. They seem to be more towards the center of the town. There's a somber sound of gunfire that we're hearing. This operation may have moved faster than they thought. Day two they're already inside the city themselves. Most people put that down to one thing, that's coalition air power that has moved in and flattened anything which resembled an ISIS firing position or vehicle.

Intense fight though has been had here this morning, may still be underway. The question is are ISIS waiting in the town along with their explosive devices for Peshmerga to advance further in? Or are they, instead, actually taking flight in this town and it will move more quickly in the hands of Peshmerga. That's what we'll know in the hours ahead. George.

HOWELL: Nick, I'll ask you another question. We do hear the gunfire in the background so you tell us, you know, when you need to move on. But, this other question to you if you can just explain the significance of these fighters to retake Sinjar to our viewers around the world.

WALSH: This is a city which was so much in the global spotlight when ISIS moved in last year. The atrocities they inflicted on it for the population which have been held in captivity, enslaved, some used as sex slaves by ISIS since they moved in. Capturing by the Peshmerga and shared with some other Kurdish and Yazidi fighters. It's symbolic because of ISIS being able to move as it pleases but also because of a strategic point here.

We are about 500 meters, maybe less, away from the main route from Raqqa where the ISIS and the caliphate which moves all the way down to Mosul in Iraq, another key ISIS town. It's now held by the Peshmerga. They've driven it up with berms and trenches. There's a huge loss for ISIS and this town, too, it seems, although there may be heavy fighting ahead for small bodies, this time it's increasingly in the hands of Peshmerga.

HOWELL: Nick Paton Walsh, we wish you safety and appreciate your reporting live on the phone with what's happening on the ground with those fighters as they retake Sinjar. Nick, again, thank you for your report.

You're watching CNN Newsroom. Still ahead, our CNN freedom project looks at human trafficking in Mexico. And the woman who confronted the man who dragged her into prostitution.


HOWELL: Rough and tumble and unpredictable world of U.S. politics. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump jumped at the chance to ridicule rival Ben Carson over events from his past during a campaign rally in Iowa. On Thursday, Mr. Trump dramatically stepped away from the podium and flipped his belt buckle, right there, mocking Carson's description of the time he says he once tried and failed to stab someone. Carson says the knife was broken by a belt buckle.


DONALD TRUMP, 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE-REPUBLICAN: Let me tell you I'm pretty good at this so -- I have a belt. Somebody's going in, the belt moves this way, it moves this way. It moves that way! He hit the belt buckle. Anybody have a knife, want to try it on me? Anybody? It ain't gonna work. It ain't gonna be successful. When he took the knife, he went like this, and he plunged it into the belt. And amazingly the belt stayed totally flat and the knife broke. How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?

HOWELL: A show and tell there by Donald Trump. Ben Carson's campaign responded sharply to Trump's attacks saying the real estate mogul was lashing out and, quote, rambling because of Carson's surge in the polls.


All this week our CNN freedom project series is focused on human trafficking in a small Mexican town called Tenancingo. Authorities say it is a major source of forced prostitution in the United States. Rafael Romo introduces us to one woman who was finally able to confront the man who recruited her.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An apocalyptic scene, hundreds of young men dressed as pimps whipping each other in a show of strength and dominance. But for 23-year-old Patricia Rosales, it's a reminder of her time in hell. What does Tenancingo mean to you?

PATRICIA ROSALES, VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Evil. Evil. I think of people without heart, I think.

ROMO: In 2008, Gonzalez was forced into prostitution by a network of human traffickers based in Tenancingo.

ROSALES: I was there for a month and a half.

ROMO: Patricia says many of those involved in celebration come from powerful families who enrich themselves by exploiting women and girls in Mexico and the United States. Usually it starts with pimps in training trolling shopping districts and local fairs looking for shy or vulnerable girls.

Patricia's trafficker approached her in a park near her home. Once seduced, the young men will propose and take her to Tenancingo to live with his family. Girls like Patricia will think they found love but instead it's prostitution. Many are taken to the filthy alleys of Mexico City's marketplace, often the proving ground before being moved to the U.S.

[03:45:05] ROSALES: When the first customer, the first man approached me to ask how much I charged I remember all I could do was look at him and cry.

ROMO: The first day Patricia says she had more than 40 customers. Her trafficker took all the money.

ROSALES: I remember they said, fresh meat has arrived.

ROMO: How many girls did you manage to have working for you at the same time?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About eight or ten.

ROMO: This was the man that trafficked Patricia.

When you were doing this, what did the girls mean to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They mean income. They mean merchandise. ROMO: Gustavo, who agreed to be interviewed, provided we don't use

his real name, agreed to speak if we didn't use his name, is serving a 10 year-sentence for the trafficking of minors and force prostitution in Mexico. He was sentenced to ten years. He wanted to meet with Patricia because he said his time in prison has made him realize that what he did caused her pain.

ROSALES: Why did you do it?

GUSTAVO: I was blinded by my ambition because I wanted to have power, no matter the means or how, no matter the harm I was causing you or other people. I'm aware of all the harm that I caused you, but I know that I can remedy that or try to remedy that somehow, not erase it. But I can prevent that many other girls don't fall into the same trap or fall into the hands of a trafficker that will exploit them like it happened to you with me.

ROSALES: I forgive you but that doesn't mean I have forgotten everything you did. It allows me to be at peace with myself. I think that this is a very important part of the process to say that I have overcome the harm caused. I don't see myself as a victim anymore. I have overcome that.

ROMO: Despite the obvious divide that remains, both Gustavo and Patricia agree what has taken place for generations in Tenancingo and elsewhere cannot be allowed to continue. Rafael Romo, CNN, Mexico.



DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Good day, I'm CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam with quick look at your weather watch. Temperatures have become more seasonable across the central and eastern U.S. lately thanks to the passage of a significant fall cold front. Chicago in the single digits. Even New York getting in on some of that colder weather with 12 degrees for the start of your early weekend, and you can see we also have wind in the forecast for both of those locations. Twelve degrees for Denver.

[03:49:28] Along the west coast, Los Angeles stays sunny and dry with temperatures in the middle 20s. The Pacific Northwest from Seattle to Portland. Oregon, that's where we have another storm system entering. That will bring a significant amount of rainfall through the weekend for that part of the United States. Traveling a little further south into central America. We have thunderstorms expected to cross Guatemala, Nicaragua, as well as the eastern sections of Mexico.

Thunderstorms popping up throughout Jamaica and the extreme northern sections of South America. Look at San Juan though, 39, comfortable. Great to get out and get to some of the beaches. Let's travel farther south to Brazil where we're anticipating throughout Jamaica and the extreme northern sections of South America. Let's travel farther south to Brazil where we're anticipating dry conditions near Rio. Twenty-eight degrees for the afternoon. Colombia and your Friday forecast, heading south pretty quiet weather pattern. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: The United Kingdom has rolled out the red carpet for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is set to have lunch with Queen Elizabeth in a few hours. And activists are promising to protest for a second day. They say Modi has not done enough to protect minorities in India, but Modi and his British counterpart want the visit to be an economic success. On Thursday, they announced trade deals worth around $13 billion.


NARENDRA MODI, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER: Mr. Speaker, we must set higher ambitions. We are two democracies, two strong economies and two innovative societies.

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I do not believe that we're realizing the true potential of this relationship, and that is what Prime Minister Modi and I want to change. We want to forge a more ambitious partnership harnessing our strengths and working together for the long term to help shape our fortunes at home and abroad in the 21st century.


HOWELL: Very important meeting there. CNN's New Delhi Bureau Chief Ravi Agrawal joins us now live. Ravi, good to have you with us. So, this is a big visit for both sides. Mr. Modi is going to have lunch with the queen and then he's going to make a speech at London's Wembley Stadium. Talk to us about the significance of all of this.

RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's a very significant visit for both sides, and one of the hallmarks of Mr. Modi's visit when he travels abroad. He travels a lot abroad. This is the 28th country he's visited in his 18 months. A trade deal is being announced which you've already talked about, $13 billion, and the other one is a big ticket speech at an arena or a sports stadium or Madison Square Gardens in New York and at events like that he tends to attract Indian audiences in droves, tens of thousands.

Today we're expecting about 60,000 people to attend his speech at Wembley and typically at these speeches Modi appeals to Indian audiences and tells them that things back home are booming, the economy is booming and there are many reasons to be proud of India under his leadership. So, you can expect a lot of that today when he speaks to the Indian audiences in London.

HOWELL: Ravi, there will also be protests. Talk to us about why the protests will be happening.

AGRAWAL: Yes, exactly. So, on the one hand Modi projects himself as a bit of a rock star at these events, but on the other hand today outside of Wembley we're expecting thousands of protesters who are going to say that Mr. Modi has encouraged or at least not done enough to discourage intolerance at home. By intolerance, what we mean is that in recent weeks there have been a

number of Muslims who have been killed on suspicion of eating beef or transporting beef. India, of course, has a long history of Hindu and Muslim sectarian violence. A lot in India and the U.K. saying that Mr. Modi could be doing and should be doing a lot more to discourage that kind of activity in India. I should add yesterday when he was speaking with Mr. Cameron, his counterpart in the U.K. at a press conference, he did strongly denounce any form of tolerance. At least that's one sign that things might be moving in the right direction.

[03:55:03] HOWELL: Ravi live in New Delhi. Thank you so much for your reporting there.

HOWELL: Google and its self-driving cars. They have one of the best records on the road. No tickets. Over 1.2 million miles, but one feature keeps the prototype safe almost at the end of the street. The car's speed tops at 25 miles per hour. After a long line of traffic formed behind one, California police officer pulled google over. You see it here. Luckily, for the record it was just a warning. The speed cap is intended for safety. Google says that it adds a friendly and approachable feel, that is, as long as you're not driving behind one.


The rescue of an orphan animal is in itself awe inspiring. Wait until you see Imogen. This is the cuddly koala at Australia's Symbio zoo and has been cared for by two zoo keepers since her mother died. Celebrations are in order this weekend as the little joey turns one. These adorable images are from her first photo shoot at ten months old. Looks like Imogen could have a long modeling career ahead. Just beautiful there.


We end with that. Thank you for watching. I'm George Howell at the CNN center in Atlanta. Early Start is coming up for viewers in the U.S. and for viewers around the world, stay tuned. Newsroom continues.