Return to Transcripts main page

Piers Morgan Live

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Brother Drove the Plot; Interview with Those Who Knew the Tsarnaev Brothers: A Boston Imam Reacts; Law Enforcement Officials Confident That Boston Bombers Can Be Interrogated Effectively Without Need For Torture

Aired April 22, 2013 - 21:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Tonight, the hunt for justice. One week after the bombings that shocked Boston and the world, one suspect is dead, one is under guard in a hospital charged with using a weapon of mass destruction.

In a dramatic bedside hearing today, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev learned he could face the death penalty. This on the day the City of Boston paid tribute to the victims with a moment of silence. The president also observed that moment today at the White House. One victim, Krystle Campbell, was laid to rest this morning.





MORGAN: Another, Lu Lingzi, was remembered at Boston University a little while ago.

Tonight, I'll talk to people who knew the Tsarnaev brothers and to the state senator who says Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be tortured to save more lives.

In other latest breaking news on the investigation, a government source tells CNN that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claims no foreign terrorist groups were involved in the incident. He says he and his brother Tamerlan -- he says brother Tamerlan was the mastermind (INAUDIBLE) as Tsarnaev's initial court appearance was today in his hospital room. He was able to speak one word, "No," when asked if he could afford an attorney. He now has a public defender the court found today. He's alert, mentally competent and lucid.

Joining me is CNN's Jake Tapper, who is live for us in Boston. Jake, some pretty dramatic developments late in the day here. From what we now believe, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may have told the investigators in written answers, is that right?

JAKE TAPPER, ANCHOR, "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER": That's right. A U.S. government official tells me that according to these preliminary interviews, preliminary interviews with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev -- and the U.S. government is going to have to double back and check all of this information -- but according to these preliminary interviews, what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is conveying to investigators is the following:

One, that there were not foreign terrorist groups involved in this terrorist plot, that it was just the two of them. Two, that there was a real online component to this radicalization done through videos, watching videos, not through communicating in e-mail with anyone abroad, but by watching those videos, that the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was the driving force.

Of course, you would expect Dzhokhar to say that, and we have also heard anecdotal accounts from relatives that that was their relationship, but that is what Dzhokhar is saying in these preliminary interviews.

These, according to this government official, these two seemed to be the kind of self-starter, self-radicalized jihadis. According to these interviews, Tamerlan seems to be motivated -- he seems to have been motivated by the traditional jihadist view of the relationship between Islam and the United States, the idea that they view Islam as under attack and that jihadis need to fight back. The religious and political motivation behind a traditional jihadi, "the standard motivation," as this government official put it. And that is so far in this preliminary series of interviews with Dzhokhar, what he is conveying to them in their communications, in his debilitated state.

MORGAN: And Jake, despite that debilitated state, he has been adjudged to be sound of mind and perfectly competent in terms of his ability to answer the questions, which is clearly not what we feared may be the case even yesterday, when he was supposed to have shot himself through the neck and throat and so on and then be unable to talk. Clearly he can communicate and in a lucid manner. That is highly significant.

TAPPER: It is significant. And if you read the transcript, he is quoted in the transcript, as you pointed out in the introduction, that he says, "No," at one point, although most of the communication is done by nodding his head. We have also been told that he's been writing some of his answers as well. His health obviously has been of serious concern; he's been in serious condition. But he is able to communicate, he is talking to investigators or has talked to investigators, and so far, according to this government official, there has been some serious information that he has been able to offer.

MORGAN: Jake Tapper, thank you very much indeed.

Now I want to bring in two men who knew the Tsarnaev brothers. Austin Hightower is a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and he knows Dzhokhar well, and Julian Pollard was Tamerlan's sparring partner in a boxing gym. Let me start with you, if I may, Austin Hightower. So many of Dzhokhar's friends have been saying in the last week they cannot understand what on earth happened to make him do this, that he was a good guy, a friendly guy, a normal guy. You've heard all this all week. But there must have been some sign to some of his friends, surely, that something wasn't quite right.

AUSTIN HIGHTOWER, FRIEND OF DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV: Mr. Morgan, the only thing I can think of is we had a conversation probably two months ago or something in the dining hall, and he looked a bit detached from when I had seen him before, probably a week and two before that. He looked a bit sadder. I can't really think of why that may be. Perhaps it's because of his friends, they didn't come back second semester and so I saw him a lot less, but I know that he was a bit more detached from reality when I saw him not too long ago.

MORGAN: Now, you lived in the dorm building next to his. You actually helped him move in in his freshman year. What was he like in those early days?

HIGHTOWER: He was nice, funny. I had seen him walking around campus a bunch of times with his friends. He played basketball. He played intramural soccer here. I can't imagine that someone like the guy I met last summer is being accused of these horrid things.

MORGAN: I mean, from all that you've read, the implication people are putting on this -- and apparently he himself is making this claim to investigators now -- is that it was his brother who put all the pressure on him and turned him. Did you know his brother? Did you ever meet him?

HIGHTOWER: No. I never knew that he had a brother. But it does seem to make the most sense, considering, knowing who he was and how he was for two years, yes.

MORGAN: When the FBI released the images of the suspects on Thursday, you actually went to Dzhokhar's Facebook page and it was deleted. You then went to his Twitter, saw his cryptic tweets, and at that point, did alarm bells ring for you?

HIGHTOWER: Yes. Once I found out that it wasn't actually the missing Brown student, I went back to the picture that I saw online and I promptly posted it on Facebook and said I think I might know this guy, I hope I don't. Surely enough, about 15 minutes later, there were about five UMass police officers outside my door asking me questions.

MORGAN: Had they been monitoring your Facebook?

HIGHTOWER: No. I had mentioned it to someone, I had mentioned it to my roommate, Sadi (ph), I said I think I might know him, I think he lived next to us last year, and he said, well, tell the FBI. I said well, you know, I know who he is so I don't think that it'd actually be him. And besides, they said it was the guy from Brown University. And so luckily after (ph) that, I'm assuming that someone had heard our conversation and perhaps mentioned it to the UMass police. MORGAN: Because soon after that, they of course shut down the school and we all know what happened next. Austin Hightower, thank you very much for joining me.

HIGHTOWER: Any time. Thank you.

MORGAN: We'll turn now to Julian Pollard. You were a fellow boxer, Mr. Pollard, who roomed actually with Tamerlan during a tournament. What was he like?

JULIAN POLLARD, TAMERLAN TSARNAEV'S SPARRING PARTNER: Well, during that trip, I noticed Tamerlan was a little bit of a flashy guy, really sharp dresser, really confident in his abilities as a boxer.

MORGAN: And he was a good boxer?

POLLARD: He was. He had some skills. He had some punching power, good hand speed. He won a couple fights in Lowell. He lost in the nationals but to make it to nationals is a good accomplishment.

MORGAN: He ended up quitting boxing and I believe that you are under the understanding is it's because he couldn't represent the United States. Is that right?

POLLARD: For some reason in the second tournament, the Golden Gloves, he couldn't travel with the team, so I thought it was because he wasn't allowed to represent the United States, but I can't say for sure.

MORGAN: Did he ever talk to you about religion or politics?

POLLARD: He was definitely big into -- the second year I met him, he was a lot -- talked a lot about his faith, just it seemed to really be more about what he was about, his character. He spoke to his faith to me many times, on the times I saw him, the second time around. He also talked about his wife or not his wife, his then-fiancee, him being in love with her. That's pretty much all we discussed, his faith and his family.

MORGAN: Did you notice his mood changing? Did he become more aggressive? Did he become more fearful of America or authority?

POLLARD: I just noticed that he seemed more humble. Like I said, in 2009, when I met him, he was a really flashy guy, very confident in his skills as a boxer. He wasn't afraid to share that. He even told me he was going to teach me how to box a little. But the next year, he just seemed humble. He talked only about his faith. He talked about marrying this woman, you know. I just got a sense that he was a calmer guy and really only about his faith.

MORGAN: What was your reaction when you discovered that he had been involved in this terrible atrocity?

POLLARD: I mean, I was saddened by the news like everyone else from this city. My heart went out to everyone that was involved and I was disappointed to know that someone from boxing, from the Golden Gloves, from the tournament, could be involved in something like that. It was a tragedy. The only reaction I could have was, you know, was a sad feeling for people that were hurt.

MORGAN: Julian Pollard, thank you for joining me.

POLLARD: Thanks.

MORGAN: The Tsarnaev brothers attended a mosque in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where in January, Tamerlan angrily disrupted a service.

Joining me is Imam Webb of the Islamic Society of the Boston Cultural Center. Welcome to you, Imam Webb. You're actually imam of a local mosque affiliated with the one that Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended. From all that you've now gleaned about what went on with him, were we seeing somebody who was being radicalized very quickly?

IMAM SUHAIB WEBB, ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF BOSTON CULTURAL CENTER: I'm not sure I can answer that question but definitely someone standing up in a Friday prayer and questioning a preacher who is talking about Martin Luther King Jr. might draw some flags but I don't think would necessitate calling law enforcement.

MORGAN: Now, he made two protests on two different incidents. He branded people a kafir, a non-believer. Clearly he was getting quite intense about his religion.

WEBB: Yes, I think that's where a qualified scholar or leader would need to step in and talk to him and see kind of what his mindset was, and from there, make a call on kind of what direction he was taking his religiosity.

MORGAN: What has been the reaction in the mosques, both yours and the one of course that Tamerlan Tsarnaev attended?

WEBB: With regards to what?

MORGAN: Well, to what's happened. Obviously he's been --

WEBB: Our reaction to what?

MORGAN: Your reaction to the discovery that somebody attending one of the mosques has been the perpetrator of this appalling bombing.

WEBB: Well, I think first and foremost as Bostonians, our hearts and prayers are with the community. And then there's a sense of anger and frustration that someone who would frequent one of our faith institutions would carry out such acts, so people seem to be very angry and upset with what he's done.

MORGAN: Is there any new system that you can put in place to raise more warning flags about characters like Tamerlan? Because it just seems to people that he's been plotting this in his head by being inspired by Islamic fundamentalists on videos that he;s found on the Internet, to commit an appalling act of terror, and yet he's been going to this mosque --

WEBB: Indeed.

MORGAN: -- hanging around with people. Somebody must have spotted that he was getting more intense, potentially dangerous, because we know the Russian authorities were wary enough about him to contact the FBI.

WEBB: Indeed, but I have to say, I don't think most mosques or churches or synagogues are law enforcement agencies. They don't have the same access that they would have.

But I think what's important is that the mosque here in Boston, the other mosque didn't appeal to his theology, so I think the way to address that -- there was an interesting Harvard study that said only 2 percent of the imams worldwide who called for global jihad had actually degrees from Islamic educational institutions that are considered respectable. So I think one of the best ways is through properly trained scholars who can mediate and talk to people and see where they're coming from and try to address some of those radical ideas that they have. He wasn't radicalized in Boston. It appears now that he was radicalized online.

MORGAN: Imam Webb, thank you for joining me.

WEBB: Thank you, sir.

MORGAN: Next, I will talk the a lawmaker who says Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should have tortured if it helps to save more lives. Plus inside today's dramatic bedside hearing for the accused bomber.


MORGAN: An extraordinary court session took place inside a Boston hospital today. In the room was accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, seriously wounded and under restraint in his bed, facing a federal magistrate, a prosecutor and a public defender. We have the transcript of that hearing tonight, and it tells us a lot about the accused bomber and indeed about the case.

CNN's Jason Carroll joins me with more. Jason.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, what we're being told, Piers, is that this whole proceeding lasted for about 10, 15 minutes. Began at about 11:30 this morning. It began with everyone entering that hospital room, each person introducing themselves. U.S. magistrate Judge Marion Bowler then beginning things by saying, and we will put up the comments here so you can read along in terms of what happened as a transcript. I will read to you, "The court, Mr. Tsarnaev, I am Magistrate Judge Bowler. This hearing is your initial appearance before the court. We are here because you have been charged in a federal complaint. At this hearing, I will advise you of your constitutional and legal rights. I will tell you about the charges against you and the penalties that the court could impose if you are found guilty.

"You have been charged with use of a weapon of mass destruction in violation of 18 United States code section 2322a and malicious destruction of property resulting in death in violation of 18 United States code section 844."

Then the judge goes on to say, "If at any time I say something that you do not understand, interrupt me and say so. Is that clear?" At that point, the defendant nods affirmatively. The court then goes on to say, "All right. I note that the defendant has nodded affirmatively. As a first step in this hearing, I'm going to tell you about your constitutional rights. You have the right under the Constitution of the United States to remain silent. Any statement made by you may be used against you in court. You also have the right not to have your own words used against you. You may consult with an attorney prior to any questioning, and you may have an attorney present during questioning."

Then we move on to the point where the judge says, "Do you understand everything I've said about your right to remain silent?" And at that point, once again, the defendant nods affirmatively.

Now, Piers, the only time actually during this entire proceeding that Tsarnaev actually spoke was when he was asked about an attorney. The judge says, "Can you afford a lawyer?" The defendant simply says "No." The judge then says, "Let the record reflect that I believe the defendant has said no."

Also, Piers, during this proceeding, it was made very clear to Tsarnaev that he could be facing the death penalty. The judge made a point to enter into the record that he also found Tsarnaev to be first alert, second mentally competent, and finally, lucid. Piers?

MORGAN: And Jason, do we know how long they are going to carry on talking to him for?

CARROLL: Well, you know, that is the big question here. You know, a trial like this before we actually get to trial, it could be a year or more out from where we are now. The very next step that people should know about is the -- is going to be basically the arraignment. That's where the defendant is formally charged. That should happen within ten days from today. Piers?

MORGAN: Jason Carroll, thank you very much.

This case raises a lot of questions about the law and about how the accused defendant should be treated. Alan Dershowitz is here to talk about that in a moment. But I want to begin with you, New York Republican state senator Greg Bell (sic), who's advocated torturing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev if it could save lives. Welcome to you, Senator.

GREG BALL (R), NEW YORK STATE SENATOR: Piers, how are you?

MORGAN: I'm sorry, Senator Ball. You tweeted this. You said, "So scumbag number two in custody; who wouldn't use torture on this punk to save more lives?" Do you still believe that?

BALLAbsolutely. At the end of the day - you know, I think you interview a lot of politicians. A lot of politicians are full of crap. They're scared of their own shadow and scared to say what they feel. I think that I share the feelings of a lot of red-blooded Americans who believe that if we can save even one innocent American life, including we've seen the killing of children, that they would use -- and this is just for me -- that they would use every tool at their disposal to do so.

MORGAN: But he's an American citizen, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He committed a domestic crime in Boston, and he'll be tried in a U.S. civilian criminal court system.

BALL: Right.

MORGAN: How you going to torture him?

BALL: I mean, dude, you're talking to a guy that supports death penalty for cop killers, terrorists.

MORGAN: Yes, but how would you torture him?

BALL: Piers, I would support -- I'm talking about me. If you want to talk to the president of the United States about his policies next time you golf or go play basketball with him, you can ask him. I'm telling you as Greg Ball, I'm telling you as Greg Ball personally --

MORGAN: I understand you're Greg Ball.

BALL: If you would put me in the room with anybody from the most current scumbags to Osama bin Laden, I'm telling you what I would do. As far as the policy of the United States, you got to take it up with Obama.

MORGAN: I understand. But if you start to torture an American citizen for committing a domestic crime in America, you are crossing a Rubicon.

BALL: Can I ask you a question? What would you do if you were given the opportunity?


BALL: Before Osama bin Laden was shot, if you had 30 minutes in the room, what would you do? Would you play cards with Osama bin Laden?

MORGAN: It's really a question -

BALL: What would you do?

MORGAN: Let me put this to you.

BALL: No. You answer this. If you met this scumbag --

MORGAN: I'm actually doing the interview, though.

BALL: If you met this scumbag -

MORGAN: No, I really am.

BALL: -- before he killed these people and turned people into amputees, what would you do, play cards? Maybe I should have said it in a British accent. This man killed innocent men, women and children.

MORGAN: Can you stop being such a jerk?

BALL: What would you do? You get paid for it. I figured I would give you a taste of your own medicine.

MORGAN: Seriously -


MORGAN: Because you tweeted this to the world. I'm curious what you think. Your behavior so far has been really offensive.

BALL: Because you don't like it when you don't have another bobblehead that you can beat up and treat like a coward? The reality is is these men killed innocent men, women and children. As a red-blooded American, I said who out there if it would save an innocent --

MORGAN: But you're not answering my questions.

BALL: -- would not use torture. I would.

MORGAN: I understand all the gung-ho language you're using. Here's the point I'm making to you. Do you realize that if you torture this man, what you're basically endorsing is the torture of American citizens for committing domestic crimes inside America? Would you as a politician want to bring that in as a standard matter of practice in your country, yes or no?

BALL: What I am saying is that as an individual --

MORGAN: Yes or no?

BALL: If given the opportunity --

MORGAN: Yes or no.

BALL: -- to be in a room with somebody like Osama bin Laden, it would be me, Osama bin Laden and a baseball bat. And yes, I would use torture.

MORGAN: It's very macho.

BALL: It's not about being macho. If I wanted to be macho, I would challenge you to an arm wrestling contest. I'm telling you how I feel. That's what I said on Twitter. And that's what I said today. You can ask it 100 times over. I will give you the same answer.

MORGAN: Alan Dershowitz -

BALL: You may have a different answer.

MORGAN: Alan, if we can keep this as civil as possible -- quite difficult currently -- this would change everything if you start to torture American citizens for committing domestic crimes inside America. Am I wrong?

ALAN DERSHOWITZ, ATTORNEY: You're not wrong. I'm as red-blooded an American as anybody, and I go back to Thomas Jefferson who actually wanted to change the Fifth Amendment which has very complicated language about self-incrimination and wanted to have simply an outright prohibition against all torture under all circumstances.

Torture is unconstitutional, illegal, in violation of every international treaty, should never under any circumstances be used. Where I agree with him is that it would be used if we actually had a ticking bomb terrorist case. If we actually had a situation where the choice was between letting a bomb go off and killing thousands of people or torturing somebody, every president would allow -- even this president, who said he wouldn't -- would not stop torture from occurring if that could save many, many lives.

MORGAN: We know President Obama would because he kept Guantanamo Bay open, having campaigned originally to say he would close it. So, we know he would be prepared to do that.

DERSHOWITZ: And we know the former prime minister of Australia said he would do it. Very many political figures, given that choice. Now, that choice almost never presents itself. And certainly in a case like this where we've captured two people, there's no evidence that it goes beyond this. The use of torture in a situation like this is absolutely absurd.

BALL: To clarify the point, because he did open up the show -- but look, theatrics is good and it is what it is. And I know you can take it, but you did open up the show saying Senator, you know, asked for torture. The tweet was very specific to Alan's point is that if it could save innocent Americans lives. That's why I turned it back on you. And I said punks and scumbags because that's exactly what they were. But if you could have met with them a month ago, two months ago, and stopped this. And torture would have worked to save those lives --

MORGAN: Well, you don't actually know what I think.

BALL: Could that have been effective? If it could have been effective, certainly I would have employed it.

MORGAN: OK. Let's take a break. Let's take a break. Do you mind staying for a bit? Stay for a bit.

BALL: I would love - OK.

MORGAN: You've had a lot to say. Let's say a bit more after the break. We'll be back with a bit more of this after the break.


MORGAN: Back now with Alan Dershowitz. I would have been back with Senator Greg Ball from New York. Unfortunately, he has left the building, rather surprising for a man who described himself as a great red-blooded American who was going to hand me my British ass. Anyway, he has shown cowardice in the face of the ongoing debate and has left. So there we have it.

Alan Dershowitz, the points I was trying to make to the senator in the middle of his extraordinary ranting was that you would fundamentally change the way that America behaves in these situations when you have an American citizen, as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is, and he commits a crime on American soil. If you start to regularly torture people in that circumstance, you're changing everything.

DERSHOWITZ: Absolutely. Even if you treat him as an enemy combatant and deny him his right to a trial by jury, his right to counsel, clearly you are changing everything, because then where does it stop? Where are the limits? He hasn't even been indicted for a terrorism crime. He's been indicted for a crime that anybody can be indicted for if they didn't like their mother-in-law and made an improvised bomb that could hurt a lot of people, and killed one person.

So we have to have limits. The rule of law requires limitations. And torture is something that should never been exceeded. As you know, I have famously or infamously called for torture warrants because I believe that torture would occur in extreme ticking bomb cases. And I want accountability and visibility, but I don't want torture.

MORGAN: Alan Dershowitz, thank you very much indeed.

DERSHOWITZ: My pleasure.

MORGAN: He's the top cop who oversaw the final moments of the week- long nightmare in and around Boston, the manhunt that pitted hundreds of police officers against the armed and extremely dangerous Tsarnaev brothers. Joining me now is Watertown police chief Edward Deveau. Chief, first of all, thank you so much for what you and your officers did in the last week because it really was heroic police work. I'm so glad for you that it ended finally with the capture of these two criminals.

In terms of the way it went on for you as the week went on, were there moments when you felt we're not going to catch this guy?

EDWARD DEVEAU, WATERTOWN POLICE CHIEF: Well, we were right at it right from the beginning with our officers there at 12:25 a.m. in the back street of Watertown. We didn't have much to think about except defending that neighborhood. And those seven officers that first responded just did an incredible job to even get to that point. The gun fight, the explosions that were going on over there, I couldn't be prouder of our police department, how they handled themselves in just horrific conditions.

MORGAN: The one issue that hasn't really been explored thoroughly yet, because there's been bigger stuff to talk about, I guess, but let's talk about the firearms that they had. The "New York Times" reported that between them, they had two hand guns, a BB gun, and an M-4 carbine assault rifle. Is this your understanding?

DEVEAU: I'm hearing all kinds of different things. They still are processing the evidence that they took out of there. There's just so much going on. We still have the crime scene down on Franklin Street where the boat is. So for our police department, 65 men and women, it's just overwhelming how much work we have to do. So I know there was firearms out there. I've heard all of those things. I've heard all the explosives.

You know, our officers were in a terrible gun fight and you know, everything that they can see and remember, we still need to put together.

MORGAN: The pursuit of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev ended with the extraordinary stand-off when he was hiding in the boat. We saw today the incredible thermal images taken of the boat. This is quite remarkable technology that you now have at your disposal, isn't it, in these situations?

DEVEAU: Yes. Those are assets that the Watertown Police Department doesn't normally have. But to sit in at the command post with the federal agencies and be able to watch it on the down link right there as it played out, it was incredible, what technology does for law enforcement now.

MORGAN: One of the reports that has been repeated quite often in the last 24 hours is that Dzhokhar actually ran over and killed his older brother, Tamerlan, when he got away on that night after the gun fight. Is that your understanding?

DEVEAU: Exactly. That's my understanding. What occurred is the older brother had charged at one of our officers, shooting at him. They ended up within ten feet of each other exchanging gunfire. He ran out of ammunition and our officer was able to tackle him, put him to the ground. Two other officers were on top of him and that's when the brother came roaring down the street with the carjacked SUV, with the full intent of killing my police officers. They were lucky enough to dive out of the way, but the brother was run over at that same time.

MORGAN: Your officers, I would imagine, most of them, have never been engaged in anything quite like this in their lives. How are they all bearing up now, now that it's over?

DEVEAU: You know, we've been together. We've given them some help, some comfort. It's going to take some time. They just did an incredible job. We're trained as a police department, but what they saw that early morning is nothing you can prepare for.

MORGAN: We didn't see any mention today of any criminal complaints surrounding the death of the MIT police officer. Do you know what the situation is with regard to that?

DEVEAU: No, I don't. We are just so overwhelmed with everything that's happening in Watertown. I'm not exactly sure what's happening in Cambridge.

MORGAN: There are also, on that night, various what looked like arrests going on, most notably of a naked man at one stage that people believed to be the bomb suspect but later turned out not to be. Can you shed any light on what was going on then, who these people were? DEVEAU: Sure. You can imagine what's going on. At that time, we had, you know, the one brother down, the other brother had escaped. We also had a transit police officer that was shot and was bleeding out. We were trying to -- my officers were completely tied up rendering him aid. They had -- one of our officers is a medic and trying to get him in the ambulance.

At the same time, the officers that were coming in from surrounding communities had confronted that gentleman and one thing led to another. They keyed in on him. The concern was that if he had a device, explosive device. He turned out to be not any individual that we were looking for. But the officers needed to be safe at the same time.

MORGAN: Right. Well, Chief Deveau, let me repeat again my great gratitude on behalf of everyone in Boston and America for what you did. It really was an extraordinary effort by you and your team, remarkable bravery shown throughout that week. And I'm just glad that you finally got these people where they should be. One obviously died, but the other one is in custody, and hopefully will be brought to justice. Thank you again.

DEVEAU: Thank you, sir.

MORGAN: When we come back, the big political argument in this country, should terror suspects be tried as enemy combatants. I'll ask the man who was attorney general for President George W. Bush.


MORGAN: The Boston bombings set off a heated political debate about trying terror suspects as enemy combatants. Joining me now is a man who knows a lot about that. He's Michael Mukasey. He's the former attorney general under President George W. Bush. It's been a big fiery debate, not least to which in the media in the last 24 hours, about whether he should be tried as an enemy combatant. What would you have recommended?

MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: It shouldn't really be much of a debate. The statute that sets up the military commissions that we have now makes it unlawful to try an American citizen before them. End of discussion.

MORGAN: When you heard the state senator on earlier demanding the right to torture this man, what was your reaction to that?

MUKASEY: Come on. We don't torture. Torture is illegal under U.S. statute. I know of no instance in which anybody has committed officially sanctioned torture.

MORGAN: We know President Bush sanctioned waterboarding, right?


MORGAN: On three occasions, I think.


MORGAN: That doesn't legally qualify as torture. Is that correct?

MUKASEY: Correct. In fact, there are OLC memos describing precisely what the torture statute says and what it's not. Torture statute says it's unlawful to act under color of law to impose severe physical or mental pain or suffering. And severe physical pain or suffering isn't defined. Severe mental pain or suffering is defined in durational terms. And waterboarding has been used and is used to train U.S. special forces and SEALS. It is not torture.

MORGAN: Vulgar, though, Senator Ball was throughout that extraordinary exchange, there will be people watching, and there will be many Americans who feel yeah, I've got no problem with taking this guy, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, out the back and roughing him up a bit, if it reveals information about potentially other terror attacks he may have knowledge of. What do you say to them, given that he is an American citizen who committed a crime on American soil?

MUKASEY: What I say to them is that, I mean, the rough stuff, let's put that aside for a minute. There is nothing to stop the president from sending in a group of people, be they FBI agents or defense intelligence agency people or military people, to interrogate him in any fashion short of something illegal, in order to get intelligence, provided that that's not used in connection with this criminal case. They can do that even after he was indicted.

MORGAN: So they can do that at any time, even after they have read him his Miranda rights?

MUKASEY: Yes, that's my view.

MORGAN: So the Miranda rights changes nothing in terms of their ability to interrogate?

MUKASEY: What it changes is their ability to question him and use any statement that he makes. That they're not allowed to do.

MORGAN: He is apparently claiming --

MUKASEY: They don't need that in this case. They got a mountain of evidence against this guy.

MORGAN: Right. They have the evidence, it seems, against him and his brother for the act they perpetrated.

MUKASEY: Correct.

MORGAN: What they will I'm sure be extremely curious to find out, if they can, is are they part of a wider group of either like-minded individuals who have been coordinating themselves, reading stuff on the Internet, videos and so on, which apparently is what he's claiming. Whether they're attached to anybody in Chechnya, for example, of an Islamic fundamentalist nature, et cetera, et cetera, how far can you go in terms of eliciting that information from somebody like him in his position once he's had his Miranda rights read to him, as he now has?

MUKASEY: My view is you can go as far as you think it's productive to go. However, I don't think it's terribly productive to question him beyond a few questions about -- unless he's freely talking, which I seriously doubt. I think it's far more productive to exploit things like electronic records, like their personal computers and so forth, bank records, telephone records. That sort of thing is going to disclose a lot more than he will, I think.

MORGAN: Does he have any kind of defense you could at the moment draw up?

MUKASEY: Well, he's going to -- obviously the mitigation strategy is my big brother made me do it.

MORGAN: Right. Is that remotely plausible as a defense strategy?

MUKASEY: As a defense? No. It can be used to keep him off the table where they give you the needle, I suppose.

MORGAN: Michael Mukasey, thank you very much indeed.

MUKASEY: Thanks.

MORGAN: When we come back, did the FBI drop the ball in this investigation? I'll ask the man who was second in command during the investigation of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.


MORGAN: Breaking news tonight, via CNN's Jake Tapper. A government source says that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claims no foreign terrorist groups were involved in the Boston bombing, says his older brother Tamerlan was the mastermind, says they learned from watching videos online. Now I want to bring in former FBI Assistant Director Bill Gavin. He's also vice president of Guards Mark, one of the world's top security services.

Bill Gavin, clearly the FBI having quite considerable success here in getting information out of Dzhokhar. Can we trust it? I mean, was is the gut feeling you're getting from the way this is playing out?

BILL GAVIN, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: The gut feeling I'm getting, of course, he is blaming it all on big brother. Bottom line is everything he says has to be vetted. There has to be some way that they can put tags on it, see where it goes, see if he is telling the truth or he's not telling the truth. And if he isn't, you don't do much more with it.

MORGAN: In terms of the hard evidence, they went to great lengths today to outline the case, which includes the fact that they have video evidence of both brothers apparently planting the two devices. And they have been able to link evidence from those devices to the cars, the later hijacking, et cetera. Is there enough there already, do you think, that this is an open and shut criminal case on their complicity in the bombing? GAVIN: I think if I were the prosecutor, I'd feel pretty comfortable at this particular point in time, no matter what he had to say once Mirandized or prior to being Mirandized. I think I would be pretty comfortable doing that. He has the individual from whom they hijacked the car. They told him that they were the people that laid down the bombs.

MORGAN: They actually said to him, did you hear about the Boston explosion. I did that. I'm serious.

GAVIN: That's pretty good evidence. It reminds me of the evidence that Ramzi Yousef told me in the helicopter coming down the Hudson River when he said -- I said look, the Trade Centers are still standing. He said they wouldn't be if I had enough explosive and enough money. There you go. That is a pretty powerful statement. And I think what this young man said is also powerful.

MORGAN: One of the unsettling aspects of the FBI's involvement of this -- they've mostly done a terrific job in the last week. But if you go back two years, they were warned by the Russian authorities about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. They asked the FBI to look in to him. Clearly something had triggered this warning, we suspect connected to Chechnya in some way, or certainly his trips home.

The FBI has been criticized because they just investigated, said there is nothing to worry about. And then obviously now we know there is a lot to worry about. Have there been any failings there that you can see?

GAVIN: I think it is a very difficult set of circumstances. First of all, the Russians are asking something about Chechnya. They're not doing it because they like Chechnians. They are doing it because the history they have had with the country. Secondly, when you ask those kinds of questions, there's only so far you can go. You can't force anybody to tell you. They did probably all the background stuff that they have to do with the electronic and looking at a few things, and then the interview.

I heard somebody say this morning -- won't say where he's from. Somebody said this morning that just ask him if he is a terrorist and him saying no, the FBI hung the whole thing up. That is absurd. Of course it didn't happen that way. But there is only so many things you can do once there is no red flags there. And there are no red flags in this one.

MORGAN: Another incident today in Canada, a plot foiled. Canadian authorities arrested two men accused planning, they said, to carry out an al Qaeda supported attack against a passenger plane from Canada in to America -- a train, I'm sorry, from Canada in to America. They think from Toronto perhaps into New York. What did you make of that? It shows, if true, that there is the al Qaeda link, that they are still active and dangerous.

GAVIN: They are still active and dangerous. There is no doubt that they haven't stopped just because they've been foiled a number of times. They keep on going. We have always said, it is not a matter of if. It's a matter of when. In this particular case in Canada, going Toronto back in to the United States, these two individuals are not Canadian citizens. Iran is saying no, they are not al Qaeda from Iran.

MORGAN: They were charged with receiving from al Qaeda elements in Iran.

GAVIN: Iran, of course, says no, that doesn't go on here; we're a wonderful world in Iran. But the problem is huge. And thank God they took them. They took them down very, very early, when they had enough evidence to probably convict him. By the same token, before they had a chance to do anything that was horrendous to anybody.

MORGAN: If you were running the FBI now, Bill, would you be very concerned about what has happened with these two brothers, in the sense that it just shows how easy it is for people who have been turned, as it appears they were, by some kind of religious fundamentalist beliefs they have seen on the Internet. They are able to create bombs through stuff they read about apparently online as well. Home-grown terrorism with no apparent red flags at all.

GAVIN: Home grown terrorism is the scariest part of terrorism in the United States today, particularly if you have somebody who is self radicalized. And in this particular case two brothers who never spoke to anybody about what they were going to do. That's where you lose -- that's where home grown terrorists are the worst, because they don't share it. If you have a cell, somebody is going to talk to somebody, and say something that they shouldn't be saying.

But in this particular case, there was no prewarning. There was nothing. And that is something that scares us all to death. And we just redouble our efforts to look at the communications, to keep that high beam antenna up, and to keep that spirit of cooperation between law enforcement and intelligence agencies. That is so important in these cases.

MORGAN: Do you believe they were acting on their own? Or do you think it is more likely that the older brother, when he went back to Russia, had some kind of contact, perhaps in Chechnya, with some pretty nasty people?

GAVIN: I still have a big question mark in my mind about that. It wasn't a sophisticated bomb, yet it wasn't simplistic either. You don't put a bomb together like reading out of a cookbook and making a cake. It doesn't work that way. It is a very difficult thing to do. I just think that if they were supported by somebody, they left them out to dry because their exit strategy was terrible and they just hung these two kids out to dry.

MORGAN: Bill Gavin, thank you very much indeed.

GAVIN: My pleasure.

MORGAN: That's it for us tonight. We will be back at midnight with a live special PIERS MORGAN LIVE, and a look at the Chechen connection in this case. That is at midnight. Our team coverage continues now with Anderson Cooper in Boston.