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CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports
Al Qaeda Number Two Releases Message; NYPD Release Details on London Bombings; NASA Nixes Fourth Space Walk; Defense Department Considers Small Nukes; Insurgents Using Bigger Bombs; Family of Killed Marine Speak Out About Iraq
Aired August 04, 2005 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Happening now, a shocking story in Israel. An AWOL Israeli soldier opens fire on a commercial bus in Israel. Civilians are dead and wounded. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is calling the soldier, and I'm quoting now, "a blood thirsty Jewish terrorist."
Stand by for hard news on WOLF BLITZER REPORTS.
BLITZER: Terror tape. New threats from al Qaeda's number two man. The U.S. and Britain are warned that past attacks are nothing compared to what will come next.
Bunker busters. It's been 60 years since a nuclear weapon was last used. Is the Pentagon now thinking the unthinkable?
Musician with a mission.
MATISYAHU MILLER, SINGER: Obviously, the two pictures don't mix like what you're hearing and seeing don't go together.
BLITZER: Why a Hassidic Jew mixes religion and reggae.
ANNOUNCER: This is WOLF BLITZER REPORTS for Thursday, August 4, 2005.
BLITZER: Thanks very much for joining us.
As London remains on alert for new terror attacks and Americans wonder when and where the next blow may come, al Qaeda's second in command has issued a chilling new warning, putting both allies on notice. CNN's Arab affairs senior editor Octavia Nasr has the story.
OCTAVIA NASR, CNN ARAB AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): A new al Qaeda tape airs on Al Jazeera. In it, Osama bin Laden's right-hand man sends new threats to both the U.S. and Britain. A well groomed and clean pressed Ayman al-Zawahiri gloats and threatens.
AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI, AL QAEDA SECOND IN COMMAND (through translator): To the British I'm telling you Blair brought you destruction in the middle of London and more will come, God willing.
NASR: Zawahiri's body language emphasizes the message. A gesturing and pointing Zawahiri reminds his audience of bin Laden's offer for truce.
AL-ZAWAHIRI (through translator): Sheikh Osama told you don't dream of peace before we live it as a reality in Palestine and until all infidel troops pull out of the land of Muhammad. Instead, you ran rivers of blood in our land and we blew volcano of anger in your land.
NASR: Zawahiri released a similar videotape less than two months ago. In both tapes, his demeanor is comfortable and unrushed.
The new video reveals a slightly different wardrobe. The black headdress replaces the white one, and the black vest is taken off. The new videotape is shot in the open air. The sun is seen through the brown background fabric, which moves with the breeze several times.
AL-ZAWAHIRI (through translator): Our message is clear. What you saw in New York and Washington and what you are seeing in Afghanistan and Iraq, all these are nothing comparing to what you will see next.
NASR: This tape could indicate a shift in al Qaeda's media strategy, which had been to claim credit for successful attacks. Four weeks to the day after the London bombings, Zawahiri appears on television, not to claim responsibility, but to claim victory.
Octavia Nasr, CNN, Atlanta.
BLITZER: From his ranch in Crawford, Texas, President Bush was quick to respond to the latest al Qaeda tape. He vowed the United States will defend itself and will not be driven out of the Middle East.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The comments by the No. 2 man of al Qaeda make it clear that Iraq is a part of this war on terror and we're at war. In other words, he's saying, you know, leave. As I have told the American people, one, the people like Zawahiri have an ideology that is dark, dim, backwards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The State Department is reminding Americans in the United Kingdom that the terror threat remains very real. A public announcement advises U.S. citizens, and I'm quoting now, to maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness, and exercise caution in public places or while using public transportation.
The announcement says stepped up security at official U.S. facilities abroad may lead terrorists to seek softer targets such as restaurants, hotels and apartments and shopping areas.
New details have been released concerning the July 7th London bombings, but the course of the information might surprise you. It's the New York City Police Department. That's raising eyebrows back in Britain.
CNN's Deborah Feyerick is joining us now live from New York with more -- Deborah.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, NYPD officials are saying that they actually got clearance from British authorities to reveal the details of the London investigation. And still, it's not going over too well with a lot of British police, some of whom are calling it reckless and unhelpful.
There's a reason for it, and New York police believe it is a very good reason.
FEYERICK (voice-over): Releasing details of the London investigation. To some authorities in Britain, it seems like a breach. But to the NYPD, details of what the bombers did and how they did it is a blueprint, one that could be used to stop a potential terror attack in New York City.
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY: We have a responsibility to make the city as safe as we can. That includes informing the people who manage and run the buildings in this city.
FEYERICK: Details of the London investigation were released by the NYPD Wednesday at a briefing of private security directors. Counter terror officials here analyzing the lessons learned and how they might apply to New York, lessons like the bombers' travel route from the suburbs of Leeds to Luton, where they boarded a commuter rail train before hopping on the London Underground, where the bombs exploded.
A New York police official saying cops are looking at that kind of scenario: would be terrorists potentially driving to pick up a commuter train before hopping on a subway and heading to someplace like Wall Street.
Details of the bomb components were also made public by New York officials. Household items like hydrogen peroxide from hair bleach, citric acid to keep food fresh, and heat tablets to warm food. An NYPD official says products like these were on their short list even before the London bombings.
As for the commercial grade refrigerators used to store the bomb materials, a police official says to release this kind of information might lead to a tip from a building superintendent, someone now wary of things that are out of the ordinary.
(END VIDEOTAPE) FEYERICK: The briefing where all this information came out was called "Lessons Learned." Scotland Yard says that it plans to continue working closely with the Americans -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Deborah Feyerick, reporting for us. Thank you very much, Deborah.
There's a developing story. NASA says that what was seen as a potential problem is no longer a problem. That means no extra space walk for the crew of the Shuttle Discovery.
CNN's John Zarrella has details. He's joining us from the Johnson Space Center near Houston. He has this report.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you see, we have good news. The MMT just got to the conclusion that the blanket underneath the CD arm window is safe for return. There is no issue.
JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mission management team, nixing talk of another space walk for the crew of the Discovery. NASA was considering what would have been the crew's fourth such venture, this one to repair a torn thermal blanket under one of the cockpit windows.
The concern was it might rip away completely on reentry, then slam back into the orbiter, possibly causing significant damage. But after extensive tests, officials concluded there's nothing to worry about.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had new analysis that showed that the retransport would be no issue, and we came to the same conclusion with the aims tunnel test. So basically, no EVA 4.
ZARRELLA: That gives the seven astronauts a day of partial rest, following yesterday's unprecedented in-flight repair of the shuttle. Astronaut Steve Robinson removed two sections of protruding tile gap filler from Discovery's belly in an operation that proved much easier than anticipated.
It's the memory of the Columbia disaster that has NASA so intensely focused on the shuttle's exterior and potential reentry problems. This morning, high above the Indian Ocean, each member of the crew paid tribute to their fallen comrades.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The seven of them (ph) were driven by the fire of the human spirit within. They believed in space exploration. They knew the risk, but they believed in what they were doing. They showed us that the fiber of the human spirit is insatiable.
ZARRELLA: The mission management team said that one of the reasons why they ruled out a fourth space walk was because even it they did it, they don't have a solution or a fix for the blanket that seemed reasonable -- Wolf.
BLITZER: John Zarrella reporting for us. Thanks, John, very much.
The Pentagon is releasing the names of some of the 14 U.S. Marines killed in a roadside bombing yesterday in western Iraq. Our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre, is joining us now live with more -- Jamie.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, yesterday we told you how the insurgents are using bigger bombs like the one in that roadside blast. Today we can show you some of the evidence of how big and powerful that bomb was.
MCINTYRE (voice-over): The Pentagon argues it may need to make some of its smaller nuclear weapons more usable now that North Korea, Iran and as many as 70 other potential adversaries are burying facilities in hardened bunkers.
DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: At the present time, we don't have a capability of dealing with that. We can't go in there and get at things in solid rock underground. The proposal is -- the only thing we have is very large, very dirty, big nuclear weapons.
MCINTYRE: This animation, posted by the Union of Concerned Scientists on its web site, illustrates the main criticism of the concept, that it may not work and could kill millions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nuclear bomb dropped by an airplane would only penetrate a few meters into the ground, too shallow to contain the nuclear blast or the large cloud of radioactive fallout.
MCINTYRE: The anti-nuclear scientists warn a one megaton bunker busting nuke dropped on Iran could spend a deadly plume of radiation 1,000 miles, over Pakistan, Afghanistan and India, potentially killing three million people and putting 35 million others at risk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not the answer. What they're trying to destroy are bunkers underground. Simple fact is, physics tells you that if you put a bunker 300 meters underground, it doesn't matter how big the bomb is. It still can't reach that bunker. It's just too deep; it's too far away from the explosion. It's safe. So it's an endless chase we can't win.
MCINTYRE: The Pentagon has dropped its original $27 billion plan to study a new generation of tiny nukes and is now asking for just $4 million to see if existing smaller weapons already in the arsenal can be put into a hardened shell to make them able to penetrate deep underground.
Otherwise, the Pentagon argues, the only choice may be a big dirty bomb or nothing.
(END VIDEOTAPE) MCINTYRE: The House has already killed funding for the nuclear bunker buster, but the money is still in the Senate version of the bill. When Congress comes back from a recess, we'll have to decide whether to adopt an amendment by Senator Ted Kennedy to shift that money to the D.C. National Guard for equipment and training for mass casualty event -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Jamie, I'm going to have you stand by, because I want your report also on the latest, the fallout of all those dead Marines in Iraq. Stand by for that. We'll get right back to you over at the Pentagon. Jamie McIntyre reporting.
There's a developing story we're also tracking here in Washington. The United States attorney's office in New York has announced the arrest of a Maryland man for allegedly providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
Mahmoud Faruk Brent (ph) was arrested today in New Jersey. He's accused of attending a terrorist training camp run by a group in Pakistan. The complaint also alleges Brent received martial arts training from Tarik Shah, who's under indictment in New York on similar charges. We're getting more information on this. We'll have it for you once it becomes available.
When we come back, what can and should the U.S. do to quell the insurgency in Iraq? Coming up, we'll speak with our military analyst, retired U.S. Army General Spider Marks.
Also, the cost of war hits home for members of one family. They share their emotions.
Plus, suspension could be just the beginning of the baseball problems facing one star. Why Congress is focusing in on Rafael Palmiero.
Also this, a musical melange. We'll meet this unusual artist.
BLITZER: It's a sad process, indeed. The Pentagon releasing the names of the U.S. Marines killed in a roadside bombing yesterday in western Iraq. Once again, let's bring in our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre -- Jamie.
MCINTYRE: Wolf, the U.S. military today announced the name -- announced four more U.S. troops died in Iraq this week. That makes this the deadliest period for U.S. forces since the war began back in 2003.
MCINTYRE (voice-over): These pictures taken by an Associated Press photographer a day after show why the 14 U.S. Marines and their civilian interpreter never stood a chance. The force of the powerful bomb buried in a dirt road flipped the lightly armored amphibious assault vehicle, setting it on fire and trapping inside anyone not killed by the initial blast.
The 26-ton AAV is really designed for storming beaches, the traditional Marine Corps mission. It's thin armor provides protection against small arms fire but not much else.
And insurgents are adapting, building bigger bombs with sophisticated shaped charges to increase their lethality. Military officials say the doomed troop transport did have extra added armor but, judging from the size of the crater, it's not clear even a heavily armored 60-ton M-1 tank could have survived the blast.
BRIG. GEN. DONALD ALSTON, U.S. AIR FORCE: It's not just about the armor that you carry. It's about your tactics and it's about how you evolve and develop those and try to defend yourself before those things detonate, as well.
MCINTYRE: The deaths, along with four more announced Thursday, puts the four-day toll at at least 25 Americans, and nearly 50 have died over the past 10 days. That's the highest rate of U.S. casualties since the first week of the war in March of 2003.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Rumsfeld, you can't hide. You are doing (ph) genocide.
MCINTYRE: In Los Angeles, as demonstrators protested his appearance at the World Affairs Council, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld opened his speech with a tribute to the Marines who died in Iraq.
RUMSFELD: Our nation needed them. Our nation called on them in battle. And we mourn them now in death. Our country will honor them by completing the mission which -- for which they fought so hard and so nobly.
MCINTYRE: In that speech, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld vowed that the U.S. will never surrender to terrorism nor apologize for spreading freedom. He said what is called for now in what he called the test of wills is to resolve, not retreat, encourage, not concession -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Jamie McIntyre doing double duty for us at the Pentagon today. Jamie, thank you very much.
The United Nations Security Council is condemning the recent spate of violence in Iraq that's killed hundreds of civilians and dozens of American military personnel in recent weeks alone. The resolution marked the first vote for the newly appointed United States ambassador, John Bolton, who added his own comments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: We call upon the governments of Syria and Iran to honor their commitments to assist Iraq under this resolution and other relevant resolutions, including U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546. And to implement the pledges they have made to support stability in Iraq at the conference of Iraq's neighbors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: For more on the deadly surge of violence in Iraq, we're joined by retired U.S. Army General James "Spider" Marks. He's the former chief of the U.S. Army intelligence school, a CNN military analyst. Brigadier General, retired. Thanks very much, General Marks.
I thought all major U.S. military vehicles, when they're outside the perimeter of bases in Iraq, were supposed to be fully armored so these kinds of tragedies would not happen. This amphibious transport vehicle these Marines were in had a very loose little light armor on it.
BRIG. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), U.S. ARMY: The Amtrak itself is intended, as described by Jamie in his piece, for ship-to- shore kinds of operations. But this Amtrak, if you'll recall what was said, was in fact up armored to a certain degree, apparently not sufficiently.
But when you look, when the forensics are done on this IED and the shaped charge that was used, you'll see, and they'll get into more details, how deadly and large this thing was. And as speculating, this is speculation, not even certain how a Bradley, an infantry fighting vehicle or an Abrams tank would have withstood this type of blast.
BLITZER: Well, if they had been in a fully up armored Bradley or Abrams, presumably maybe not all of these Marines but many of them would have survived.
MARKS: It's all speculation. You're right, Wolf. There will be a lot of work that's done to determine what's happened.
BLITZER: I guess here's the question -- here's the question the families are going to ask, a lot of Americans are going to ask: why is the U.S. military, whether the Army or the Marine Corps sending these men and women in harm's way, especially in the al-Anbar province of western Iraq with sort of second or third ranked vehicles?
MARKS: These aren't second or third ranked vehicles. Let me correct that.
BLITZER: This is a vehicle that's supposed to come ashore, and it's not supposed to be heavily armored, because it would sink in the water if it was going to come ashore. Why aren't they traveling in Bradleys? Bradleys are better, and so are Abrams battle tanks.
MARKS: Right. Correct. You're absolutely correct. That's a very true statement. The Marines in al Anbar have not had the feel or the smell of saltwater for the last two years. I mean, they are inland and away from the shore.
And it is a combination of how you employ those forces and the equipment and the kit that you have that's available. This Amtrak as described was up armor beyond what it would normally have. Clearly insufficient.
Now the enemy is adapting. This is the largest IED that's exploded so far. It's only a matter of physics, how much more explosive device, what type of shaped charges will they use.
BLITZER: Because it makes only sense, and I'm sure you will agree and General Abizaid, the overall theater commander, all of them will agree that the troops in most immediate harm's way need the best possible equipment to make sure they survive.
MARKS: Absolutely. There's no leader. In fact, this is the best leadership our military has had in its history, bar none. Talk to any current leader, talk to any retired leader, we are blessed with the types of leaders and the types of soldiers and Marines and the lower ranking non-commissioned officers across the service. So no one's asleep at the switch.
There is a lot of effort to make sure everything that is done absolutely correctly. What we have in this instance, and it's too early to judge, is an incredibly large monster IED that tragically caught these 14 Marines.
BLITZER: Well, I hoe, and I'm sure everyone hopes that they're going to get the best possible armored heavy equipment in these areas to try to at least reduce the chances of these kinds of enormous casualties.
We remember what Donald Rumsfeld said when he was in Kuwait last November. You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want. But that was November, and since then, supposedly, all these improvements have been made. And I was sort of disappointed, very disappointed to see the kind of equipment these Marines were using in the al Anbar province.
We'll leave that for another day. Sensitive subject. I was there at the end of March and in April, and I was assured by the U.S. military that the bad vehicles were gone. The good vehicles, the heavy armor, was in place.
MARKS: Wolf, if we've got a second. Even uparmored Humvees would have been flipped.
BLITZER: But they would have had a better shot. They would have had a better shot of survival.
MARKS: And again, speculation on all of our part. And it's too soon to judge. But that Amtrak was sent airborne by the blast that took place. Humvee would have done the same thing. There would have been internal injuries inside that Humvee. But I am absolutely confident in the leadership, and they'll get to the bottom of this. And they are protecting and working the Marines and soldiers the best they can.
BLITZER: Let's hope. General Marks, thanks very much for that.
MARKS: Thank you, Wolf. BLITZER: Well, many communities across the country have lost sons and daughters in Iraq. The state of Ohio has been particularly hard hit this week alone. Many of the 14 Marines killed in that roadside bombing yesterday were from Ohio.
CNN's Keith Oppenheim is in the Cleveland suburb of Brook Park with one family's story -- Keith.
KEITH OPPENHEIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. The Marine reserve center where I'm at has been a very busy place today, with folks coming by to lay wreaths and flowers and other items in honor of the fallen Marines.
I did speak to one family who talked to me about the loss of their 23-year-old Marine, a son in that family. And as they put it, they are now speaking out against the war and saying it is time for U.S. troops to get out of Iraq.
PAUL SCHROEDER, SON KILLED IN IRAQ: All the while he was growing up, he was just a delightful kid to be with. Never had any problem with him.
OPPENHEIM (voice-over): Paul Schroeder's eyes well up with tears as he talks about the young boy who grew up to be a Marine. Edward August Schroeder, nicknamed Augie, was 23 years old. On Wednesday he died near the Iraqi city of Haditha, one of at least nine Marines from an Ohio battalion killed by a roadside bomb.
ROSEMARY PALMER, SON KILLED IN IRAQ: We can't bring him back. But we can do whatever we can to stop all these needless deaths.
OPPENHEIM: Because of Augie's death, his parents and his sister Amanda are now speaking out against the war.
PALMER: You know, we have to stop. You know, like, we can't just continue throwing the kids away. And that's what we're doing. We're throwing bodies at them. And it's time to stop that. You know, and to start looking at what we're doing. And let's open our eyes.
OPPENHEIM: The family emphasizes they have no gripe against the Marines. In fact, a Marine flag hangs outside their Cleveland home. Their gripe is with the political decision to keep U.S. troops in Iraq.
P. SCHROEDER: Where do you cut your losses? If you know you've made a mistake, then you should cut your losses.
OPPENHEIM: The family's anger is mixed with sadness and reflection. They think back on the often quiet but funny kid who once had a magic act called the Bubbling Magician, and they think about the young man who believed in duty to his country. Most of all, when they think about Augie, they wonder how they'll live without him.
AMANDA SCHROEDER, BROTHER KILLED IN IRAQ: It's not real to me. To me, like he's still over there and he's going to call and this is all going to be a nightmare, you know. But it's going to be really bad and it's going to be really hard. And I mean, I think we'll get through it, but none of us are ever going to be the same.
OPPENHEIM: Wolf, I should point out that we have spoken to other families who are in support of continued U.S. presence in Iraq, but to be sure, people of different opinions about the war will be gathering together for a number of memorial events taking place in the region over the weekend. Tomorrow, there's going to be a memorial event in Cleveland, and on Monday, perhaps an even larger one right here in Brook Park.
Back to you.
BLITZER: What a heartbreaking story. Eighteen hundred plus heart breaking stories out of Iraq so far. Lots more, as well. Thanks very much, Keith Oppenheim, for that story.
When we come back, mob violence breaking out in Israel after an Israeli soldier opens up fire on a commercial bus with very deadly consequences. We'll tell you what happened.
And first suspension, now a major league slugger faces a perjury probe. Why the United States Congress is investigating Baltimore's Rafael Palmiero.
BLITZER: A 10-day suspension for Major League Baseball may be just the beginning of Rafael Palmiero's problems. Now the U.S. Congress is investigating possible perjury by the Baltimore Orioles slugger.
CNN's Brian Todd is here. He's got new developments in the story -- Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, staffers at the House committee taking on that probe say they should be getting some important documents soon. But already, some important people involved in the Palmiero affair are weighing in on the case.
TODD (voice-over): Staffers at the House Government Reform Committee tell CNN, they want to know what Rafael Palmeiro took, when, and how he took it, and when he tested positive for it. Documents with some or all of those answers are being sent to the committee from baseball's offices with Palmeiro's blessing.
Baseball officials tell CNN they knew about Palmeiro's positive test before he collected his 3,000 career hit on July 15, but could not take action until after an arbitrator heard the case.
The House committee is investigating whether Palmeiro committed perjury when he made this statement before the panel on March 17.
RAFAEL PALMEIRO, BALTIMORE ORIOLES: I have never used steroids. Period.
TODD: Contacted by CNN, Palmeiro's agent, Arn Tellem, flatly denies that his client committed perjury. Since his ten-day suspension for violating baseball's steroid policy was announced on Monday, Palmeiro has said he did not knowingly take any banned substance. But the Associated Press and "New York Times," citing sources with knowledge of the investigation report Palmeiro tested positive for the powerful steroid stanozolol, also known as winstrol, the same drug that got Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson strip of his gold medal at the 1988 Olympics.
A prominent member of the World Anti-Doping Agency tells CNN there's no way to ingest winstrol unknowingly.
DR. GARY WADLER, WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY: It's not like something that was caught up in a manufacturing process of dietary supplements. If somebody took winstrol by mouth, you would know it. I mean, it's a pill. And there's no question about it. And it's not something that got mixed up into a powder.
TODD: Dr. Gary Wadler says the only other way to take winstrol is by injection. Dr. Wadler criticizes Palmeiro and Major League Baseball for not being more transparent about the steroid tests. Baseball officials would not respond to Dr. Wadler's comments or our inquiries about Palmeiro's tests.
But baseball commissioner Bud Selig issued a statement turning up the heat on the Players Association. Quote, "We must increase the levels of discipline to 50 games for a first offense, 100 games for a second and a lifetime ban for a third. And, probably most important, we must turn over the administration of our program to an independent authority to, once and for all, end the debate about the transparency of our policy." The Players Association would not comment.
TODD: The Baltimore Orioles have scheduled a ceremony for August 14 commemorating Rafael Palmeiro's 3,000th career hit. Team initials tell us that ceremony is still on. There's no word from Palmeiro himself on whether he wants to go ahead with that ceremony, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. We'll wait and watch. Thanks very much, Brian Todd, for that report.
When we come back, more on our top story: the terror tape. Bin Laden's top lieutenant with a message for the United States.
And mob violence breaking out in Israel. The deadly consequences. We'll explain what's going on.
BLITZER: Welcome back. Back now to our top story. Al Qaeda's No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahiri appearing in a new videotape and threatening new attacks against the United States and Britain.
Let's get some analysis what's going on. For that, we turn to our national security adviser John McLaughlin, the former deputy director of the CIA.
John, you had a chance to look at this tape. And what's your immediate reaction?
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, it's an interesting tape, Wolf. Bin Laden and Zawahiri have issued about nine tapes, audio and video, since April of 2004. And this one is an interesting one in that it falls into the category of Zawahiri addressing the West.
In some of these tapes, he addresses mainly his own followers and uses all sorts of Islamic allusions to exhort them to greater action. But he's talking to the West here. And it's the kind of tape where he's trying to get a message out that in a way dignifies terrorism by portraying it as rational policy with clear objectives. But in the end, it's still just terrorism.
BLITZER: There are some people out there who think we shouldn't show these videotapes, whether it's Osama bin Laden or Ayman al Zawahiri, because it feeds into his propaganda. And perhaps more significantly, he could be sending coded secret messages to other terrorists or cells out there to do certain things.
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I don't think we've ever been able to discern a specific coded message in these tapes. It may be there.
What the tapes do, though, in this era where al Qaeda is operationally squeezed, where as I've said before, they're not in a room pressing buttons and manning a phone bank, it's their way and that's that's why there's been an increasing frequency of these tapes, it's their way of asserting ideological primacy in the movement. It's their way of reaching out and essentially telling extremists around world at a time when the movement is somewhat decentralized and when groups are operating with autonomy, it's OK to go. You should go. Attack.
So that's the effect these things are having.
BLITZER: So, it's sort of an in your face message to the West, to the United States, to Britain, hey, guys, after 9/11, I'm Ayman al Zawahiri and I'm still here.
MCLAUGHLIN: I'm still here. But it's also -- it shows a strength. And it shows a weakness.
Strength in the sense that he's able to do this. A weakness in the sense that I do think it substitutes for what in an earlier era when they had a sanctuary, was direct operational control and direct operational planning.
I think -- so he's putting inspiration here ahead of direct operational planning. And in some of the things he says, of course, that's absolute nonsense when he says that Tony Blair is responsible, that this is.
BLITZER: That's all propaganda.
MCLAUGHLIN: It's all propaganda. They've singled out Britain since 1998 as a target, long before the Iraq war.
BLITZER: Analysts at the CIA where you worked for decades and you ran before leaving the CIA, will be studying this tape very, very closely.
BLITZER: Do they ever get real substantive clues, important information, out of reviewing these -- whether it's Osama bin Laden or Ayman al Zawahiri -- these audio or videotapes?
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you get substantive clues in the sense that you look for the allusions they have in Islamic -- in Islamic tradition and so forth. You try and figure out what audience they're addressing. And you might then be able to focus on that audience. You look for their -- obviously their health and that sort of thing, although it's difficult to discern because clearly these tapes are elaborately staged.
BLITZER: And look for any minute detail that could suggest where they are.
MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. But they know this. As they've gone through this world and have made more and more tapes, they've, as you notice in this one, they are very careful to disguise the location, very careful to have themselves appear statesman like rather than as the terrorists that they are.
BLITZER: He's an Egyptian, Ayman al Zawahiri. Were you surprised there was no reference to what happened in Sharm el-Sheikh, the Egyptian resort town in Sinai?
MCLAUGHLIN: No. What that tells me is this tape was probably made somewhere between the first London bombing on July 7 and the Sharm el-Sheikh bombing on July 23. So, I suspect he didn't know about Egypt, because I'm absolutely confident that had he known, he would have crowed about that a little bit.
It's interesting too in that they don't take credit for the attacks, although that can be studied. They certainly associate themselves with the attacks and applaud the attacks.
BLITZER: John McLaughlin, thanks for your analysis.
An Israeli soldier AWOL from the Israeli army today opened fire inside a bus in the northern part of the country killing four Israeli Arabs before he himself was killed by a furious group of bystanders. The incident is raising tensions ahead of Israel's planned pullout from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.
Let's go live to Jerusalem. CNN's Paula Hancocks standing by with more information -- Paula.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Wolf.
Well, thousands of peace forces are currently on their way to Northern Israel just around that Arab town of Shfaram. This after alert to potential riots in the area after that attack earlier this Thursday by an Israeli gunman.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Israeli police are calling it a case of Jewish terror. An Israeli dressed in military uniform shot dead a bus driver and three of his passengers in the Israeli Arab town of Shframam. Five others were seriously wounded.
Local residents then stormed the bus, smashing the windows and beating the gunman to death, according to Israeli media.
He was identified as Eden Nathan Zada, thought to be 19-years- old. Recently moved to a settlement in the West Bank. He went AWOL from the Israeli army, refusing to take part in the pullout of settlers from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. The Army says it is investigating how an AWOL soldier with a problematic background was still in possession of an army weapon.
Strong condemnation from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He called the attack, quote, "a reprehensible act by a blood thirsty Jewish terrorist."
YIGAL PALMOR, ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTRY: We are united in condemning in the harshest of ways this totally unjustified and monstrous murder.
HANCOCKS: Mainstream settler leaders who have vowed peaceful resistance to the evacuation of settlers also condemned the attack as did Palestinian officials.
GHASSAN KHATIB, PALESTINIAN LABOR MINISTER: This barbaric incident in which an Israeli soldier opened fire at a crowd of people just because they are Arabs and Palestinians is a reflection of the racist education that is filling the Israeli society.
HANCOCKS: Israeli Arabs are Palestinians who live within the borders of Israel and hold Israeli citizenship. Police forces have been deployed in the northern region fearing riots in the Arab-Israeli communities.
HANCOCKS: Israeli Army officials have said in the not so distant past that they were worried about right wing opponents of the disengagement due to start in just under two weeks of attacking Palestinians as a way of inciting a violent response from those Palestinians. In this way, the extremists were hoping that Israeli forces would be tied up in quelling violence, and so they wouldn't be able to carry out the evacuation of settlers -- Wolf. BLITZER: All right. Paula Hancocks, a very disturbing story coming out of Israel, thank you very much.
HANCOCKS: Coming up at the top of the hour, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT." Kitty Pilgrim sitting in for Lou. She is standing by in New York with a preview -- Kitty.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Wolf. 6:00 pm Eastern tonight, President Bush is defiant after the deadly attacks against U.S. marines in Iraq. Our military analysts will talk about the enemy's changing tactics.
Plus, soaring temperatures in many regions of this country. New concerns about the rising stress on our power grid. We'll have a special report on that.
And we'll have the very latest on the Shuttle Discovery and whether it can return to Earth as scheduled on Monday.
All that and more at the top of the hour. But now back to Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Kitty. We'll be watching.
When we come back, a breach of national security. New details just being released right now. A new federal investigation ties involving the Pentagon and a pro-Israeli lobby organization here in Washington. We'll have those details.
Plus, you've probably never heard music like this before. We'll tell you what's going on: a Hassidic Jewish rap artist.
BLITZER: The Pentagon is now released additional pictures of what they used to not release at all, namely flag-draped coffins. Take a look at this. These are new images the Pentagon has just released in the response to a freedom of information lawsuit.
We're going to get some more of these pictures, show them here on CNN. But these are pictures, images the Pentagon had previously avoided releasing. Now, under lawsuit, they are releasing them.
There are also new developments today in a Pentagon security investigation centering in on a Defense Department analyst accused of passing classified information on to Israel. Our justice correspondent Kelli Arena is here. She's got more on this story. Kelli, what's going on.
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well Wolf, that analyst has been indicted along with two former employees of AIPAC, the pro Israel lobbying organization.
A new indictment was unsealed today in the case, charging the two men with conspiring to obtain and disclose classified U.S. defense information over a five-year period.
ARENA (voice-over): Larry Franklin has been under investigation for several years. He's a senior Pentagon analyst who worked primarily on issues having to do with Iran. And who held a top secret security clearance.
PAUL NCNULTY, U.S. ATTORNEY: Those entrusted with safeguarding our nation's secrets must remain faithful to that trust and adhere to the law.
ARENA: According to the government, Franklin failed in that mission. He was charged in May and pleaded not guilty to passing classified information to two then employees of AIPAC, the very influential pro-Israeli lobbying group. The information had to do in part with potential attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. A new indictment just unsealed offers more details.
MCNULTY: The facts alleged in this indictment tell a story of individuals who put their own interests and views of American foreign policy ahead of America's national security.
ARENA: The new indictment also charges Stephen Rosen, formerly AIPAC's policy director, and Keith Weissman, its former senior analyst, with illegally receiving classified information. AIPAC fired both men in April.
Rosen's attorney, Abbe Lowell put out a statement saying, "the charges are entirely unjustified." Weissman's attorney, John Nassikas said, "we are disappointed that the government has decided to pursue these charges, which Mr. Weissman strongly denies."
Asked to characterize the damage to national security, U.S. attorney Paul McNulty had this to say.
MCNULTY: It certainly creates difficulty in policy considerations and debates when information is released by individuals who are privy to it. And so obviously, it's a very significant concern.
ARENA: According to the indictment Rosen and Weissman disclosed information on terrorist activities in Central Asia, the Kobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia and al Qaeda to foreign government officials and reporters.
But political experts say it's doubtful the allegations will have any impact on AIPAC.
NOMAN ORNSTEIN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INST.: It's built up enough credibility over a long period of time and that underlying support for Israel, from left to right, is strong enough that it can withstand this problem.
ARENA: Franklin has also been charged with giving classified information to a foreign diplomat. Government sources have told CNN that person is an Israeli.
ARENA: Now, the investigation continues, but U.S. officials say that no arrests are eminent. Sources tell CNN investigators want to question several Israeli diplomats about their contacts with Franklin. Israeli officials say that they are cooperating. As for AIPAC, it released a statement saying that it does not seek, use or request anything but legally obtained, appropriate information, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Kelli Arena with that report. Thank you very much, Kelli, for that.
Coming up, a familiar sound from a very surprising source. We'll meet a rap artist like no other.
BLITZER: What happens if you combine orthodox Judaism and reggae? Let's find out from CNN's Mary Snow.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At first glance, it may sound out of place.
SNOW: Take a look closer in Crown Heights, Brooklyn though and it may not look so unusual. It is a community where Caribbean culture and Hasidic Jews mix, but what catches many off guard is the man who mixes reggae and religion.
MATISYAHU MILLER, SINGER: Obviously, the two pictures don't mix. Like what you're hearing and what you're seeing don't go together.
SNOW: Meet Matisyahu Miller. At 26, he makes his living as a reggae artist and lives the life of a devout Hasidic Jew.
MILLER: If people hear about it first -- so they expect it's like a spoof or a joke, because that would the only way you could imagine it, you know? Like two opposite things is like coming together, is like comedy.
SNOW: But Matisyahu is very serious. Every Friday at sundown, he observes the Sabbath and won't perform until it ends late Saturday. The seriousness he gives to religion...
SNOW: ... He also gives to reggae. Normally associated with Rastafarians. And Matisyahu finds more similarities than differences.
MILLER: In some ways it's similar. In the fact that both probably like Rastafarians and Hasid are like kind of going against the mainstream a little bit and both focused on spirituality; on an inner kind of life to the universe. SNOW: Going against the mainstream has always been in Matisyahu's nature. For most of his life, he was Matthew Miller and spent his teenage years growing up in a New York suburban and began his love affair with reggae music.
MILLER: From the time I was about 14, I started listening to Bob Marley.
SNOW: He Dropped out of high school, followed the Grateful Dead and lacked direction. He credits a trip to Israel with helping to change his life.
MILLER: By the time I was in my early 20s, so it made sense to me that, you know, there had to be -- like I had to take a certain step, that it was not just about listening to music and knowing that I'm Jewish.
SNOW: A boy who once rebelled against authority, became Hasidic and dropped the name Matthew for its Hebrew version, Matisyahu.
SNOW: With songs like "Father in the Forest" and "King Without a Crown," he blends spirituality with song.
SNOW: He says when he looks into the crowd when he sings and sees what he describes as hippies and Rastafarians, he sees a bit of himself.
MILLER: That's the world I came from. You know? And Judaism is much different. You have to reach people where they are and I'm trying to provide a service -- like a service for people and you know, I always wanted to make music and I always wanted to have people connect to that.
SNOW: Mary Snow, CNN, New York.
BLITZER: Good story, Mary. Thanks for bringing it to us. Let's take a quick look at "This Week in History."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: "This Week in History" in 1945, a U.S. Air Force B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb leveled the city and killed over time, nearly 150,000 people.
In 1990, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait and quickly gained control of the country.
And a Korean airliner slammed into the rocky hills of the Pacific island of Guam on August 5th, 1997, but there were at least 30 survivors. And that is "This Week in History."
BLITZER: Don't forget our new show the "Situation Room" starts Monday. It airs 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Until then, thanks very much for joining us. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" starting right now. Kitty Pilgrim is sitting in for Lou -- Kitty?
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