PoliticsNation, Friday, April 19th, 2013
Read the transcript from the Friday show
April 19, 2013
Guests: Don Clark; James Cavanaugh; Clint Van Zandt; Evan Kohlmann; Roger
Cressey; Rebecca Mazur
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris.
Breaking news, we are waiting on a press briefing from officials on a
manhunt for the suspect in the marathon bombings. As night falls in
Boston, much of the city is in lockdown. Nearly one million residents are
in their homes after the governor urged residents to stay indoors with
their doors locked.
This comes as a massive door to door search is under way for the
survival suspect in the Boston marathon bombings. The 19-year-old who wore
a white baseball cap at the marathon, police, FBI agents, and SWAT team
officers are combing the suburb of Watertown where the surviving suspect is
believed to be hiding. That`s where he and his older brother ended up
earlier this morning after they killed an MIT campus policeman.
The older brother, the one in the dark hat, was killed in an intense
shootout there that left a Boston transit officer seriously injured.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
SHARPTON: Authorities say the surviving suspect may be armed with
explosives or even a suicide vest. He may also be injured. Some reports
say police tracked him during the manhunt by his blood trail. His uncle
spoke out today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSLAN TSANI, UNCLE OF BOMBING SUSPECT: I say Dzhokhar, if you are
alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness from the victims, from the
injured, and from those who left. Ask forgiveness from these people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Police found today at least seven homemade bombs in
Watertown and Cambridge. Authorities are now trying to figure out if the
older brother had terror training during a trip overseas last year.
Meanwhile, President Obama has summoned his entire national security
team to the White House and is tracking developments from the situation
As we wait for this press conference, let`s go live to NBC`s Michael
Isikoff reporting from the scene in Watertown where he`s been all day.
Michael, what`s the status of the manhunt now and what can you tell us
about these homemade bombs that have been recovered?
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, NBC NEWS NATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well
first of all, we expect to get the briefing on the status any moment now
and there are indications that at least some of the information that was
given out by police earlier today about the timeline events is going to be
revised. And we are going to be learning that there may have been some
inaccurate information, at least about the origins of this.
But we`re waiting to hear that and we will get -- we should get
confirmation shortly. But what we have been told is--
SHARPTON: We`re seeing some people getting out of the cars now,
Michael. So we may be near the press conference time. But go ahead.
ISIKOFF: Right. Right. Right. But in addition to those seven IEDs
that have been recovered, we understand that there have been additional
bombs, pressure cookers, pipe bombs that were recovered in Watertown and we
are about to learn hopefully a bit more.
SHARPTON: I just saw governor Deval Patrick. He was one of those got
out of the vehicle. There are vehicles that pulled up and I see we`re
seeing it there approaching. So let me ask you this, Michael, as we await
the press conference to line up. Is there a concern about nightfall is
upon us and does that, in anyway, make the manhunt more difficult for law
enforcement and more dangerous for them and citizens?
ISIKOFF: Sure, absolutely. And add on top of that, if they don`t
capture him tonight, what happens tomorrow? What happens this weekend?
How long can they expect Bostonians to remain in their homes? And you
know, that`s a very difficult question.
On the other hand, if they can account for all IEDs that might be out
there, they are not going to be able to --
SHARPTON: All right, I`m going to have to hold you right there,
Michael, the governor is approaching to microphones. Mayor Menino is there
and I believe we are going to start the press conference.
Let`s listen in.
GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Good evening, everybody. And
thank you, all of you, for your patience and to all of the viewers and
listeners in the area who have also been very patient.
I`m going to have colonel Alben give a quick update on what we can say
about the ongoing investigation. I will have a couple of comments then
about the stay indoors request and the "t" and then we will turn it over to
the mayor and then to chief Deveau from Watertown here.
So, first to colonel Alben.
COLONEL TIMOTHY ALBEN, MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE: Thank you,
governor. Good afternoon.
I certainly want to thank all of you for your patience. I know you
are all tired. We certainly are as well. But we remain committed to this.
We do not have an apprehension of our suspect this afternoon. Bu we will
have one. We`re committed to that.
I want the neighborhood here in Watertown to know that we went through
about 20 streets here, door to door with our tactical teams. We knocked on
doors to ensure that everyone was safe in their homes and that they saw the
police on their streets. We did limited searches of those homes to render
We have also followed a number of leads this afternoon that have taken
us in various places in eastern Massachusetts and none of those leads have
been fruitful to this point. There`s much left to be done, including
ballistics and forensic work that will be concluding in Boston in the next
We also have a scene up here, forensic scene where we had some
exploded and unexploded ordinance there that were made safe and removed by
during the course of the afternoon. That is still ongoing but should be
We are going to drawback our tactical teams but the state police will
be providing additional patrols to the town of Watertown over the next two
to three days. For the neighbors and the citizens in this community, we are
going to have for the chief an additional ten state police patrols
augmenting the Watertown police in those neighborhoods, three shifts a day,
probably through Monday.
So again, I want to emphasize, this is a complicated investigation
that`s being led by the FBI. Our presence here today was about the safety
of the people in the community. We are confident we did that to the best
of our ability. Unfortunately, we don`t have a positive result at this
But for the sake of everyone that were hurt or killed during the
marathon or those police officers that lost their life or were seriously
injured, we are committed to seeing a conclusion to this case. Thank you.
PATRICK: Thank you, colonel.
In light of the status of the investigation here in Watertown and the
developments in the course of the day, the stay indoors request is lifted.
The "T" is opened effectively immediately, the NBTA effective immediately.
We are asking the public to remain vigilant. If you were out,
continue to be alert to suspicious activity on a company or unattended
packages and backpacks and someone. Remember, there is still a very, very
dangerous individual at large. But we feel confident, based on what we
know about the status of the investigation right now, that to that extent
we can return to living our lives. We begin in the areas where the stay
indoors request has been in effect. That request is lifted but remain
vigilant. Mr. Mayor?
MAYOR THOMAS MENINO (D), BOSTON: Let me just say to the public out
there, thank you for your cooperation. In the last several hours. Stand
by. It was very helpful to us as they went to work on this investigation.
Yes, we do not have an individual arrested yet and brought to justice but
we have a lot of leads out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Again, my message is to the community
of Watertown. It`s a little different what queer going to do here. And
you are going to see saturated patrols. As the colonel said, state police
will be out. Local communities are going to support us. (INAUDIBLE) will
So, we are going see a big presence. We have already searched,
(INAUDIBLE) search of the 20-block interior and unfortunately as you know
we didn`t have any results. But we`re going to continue to move forward as
I can`t thank the Watertown community for what you have done and be,
be at strength. But we need it to continue. As you heard, the crime scene
is not done yet. That`s not going to be collapsed for another few hours at
least. So, we need your support there and please go about your business.
I know there`s a lot of events in Watertown tomorrow and we`re going to
have them but you`re going to see a big police presence as we do that.
Thank you and please say a prayer for those police officers. Thank
ALBEN: One more point. I just want to add, there`s a photograph of
our subject that`s been widely distributed. I want to remind the public
that it`s there. If you see this individual, please, I want to emphasis
this. Do not take action on your own. We want to you dial 911 to your
local police department and anything that you might know about this
individual, please send that to the FBI tip line. This is very, very
important. I appealed the other to the community for your cooperation and
you have come through. We need your continuing cooperation to solve this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE QUESTION)
ALBEN: Well, I think that goes to the investigation and I don`t want
to discuss the investigation. I`ll talk about anything that happened here
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Any second thoughts or decisions that
have been made since the bombing?
ALBEN: No. We have -- we`re committed to this since 11:30 or 11:00
last night. We have worked through since that time and we have had people
tirelessly walking those streets going door to door up there.
Unfortunately, we did not have enough people when those shootings took
place in order to deal with the first aid issues that were prominent and
establish a perimeter at that point in time. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Do you know where the suspect is or do
believe you know where the suspect is tonight and how can you reconcile an
armed and dangerous, might bombed floating individual?
PATRICK: Well, I don`t think, first of all, that the instruction
lends itself to, you know, simple phrases. Right? We are where we were
effectively on -- as of Monday night or Tuesday morning. With a couple of
exceptions. One of the suspects is dead. There was a fire fight out here
last night. Some 200 rounds and explosives. So, we were very justified, I
believe, based on what understood about the investigation, in taking what
we knew was a big step and asking people to stay indoors while we went
house to house here and in other communities close by to which we believed
the suspect or law enforcement believe the suspect could have fled.
The investigation has continued to develop. We can`t give you all the
reasons for those developments right now. We will, in the fullness of
time, we can right now. But based on those developments we feel it is
prudent to be able to say to people you can get back out as long as you are
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What departments are helping you? The
state police or additional municipality?
ALBEN: This has been an ongoing effort of the joint terrorism task
force. It was from the onset and will continue to be that. So you have
the FBI, state police and all of the local police departments, including
the Boston police department.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you believe the suspect is still in
the Boston area or has he fled?
ALBEN: I think I would be -- no, I don`t have any direct knowledge
that he`s here in the Boston area but we don`t think he would get much
further. His ties seem to be here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How and when did you know that they were
the bombing suspects?
ALBEN: Well, I think this developed rather quickly last night and I
would wager that most of the activity that was printed in the media
yesterday forced them to make decisions or take actions that ultimately
revealed who they were.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The armed robbery that happened?
ALBEN: Yes, I want to be clear about the armed robbery. These folks
do not appear to be the individuals who are involved in the armed robbery.
They were at the 7-eleven in Cambridge at a time that was somewhat
coincidental to that and we retrieved a surveillance video out of the 7-
eleven. But they were not involved in an armed robbery of that convenience
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you believe the suspects are still
in Massachusetts and can you comment a little bit about your interaction
ALBEN: No. I don`t want to comment on that because that`s a homicide
investigation but all of this individual`s ties were here in Massachusetts.
So, we believe that`s the only person that we are looking for at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you believe he`s still in
ALBEN: Yes, I believe he`s still in Massachusetts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: And bringing extra troopers into
Watertown for the weekend --
ALBEN: No. The whole point in providing that extra coverage to
Watertown is for the benefit of this community. We have had this whole
community, in fact, the greater Boston area, as you know, shut down today.
But in particular, these folks had a shooting in their neighborhood last
night. There was a loss of life. It was a very violent activity. And so,
to provide that level of comfort to those folks up in there in that
neighborhood, we are providing or supplementing the Watertown police
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you think someone is helping him?
ALBEN: That would be a supposition on my part and I`m not going to do
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Is there a Mercedes that the public
should be looking for?
ALBEN: I`m not aware of a Mercedes the public should be looking for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What you removed from the crime scene
today, what the suspect`s intention might have been regarding additional
attacks ? Is there any indication that (INAUDIBLE).
ALBEN: Well, it`s clear to us that there were explosives that they
had with them last night. They threw those at the police officers that
were pursing them. Beyond that, what their intentions were would be a
matter of supposition and I`m not going to do that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: What can you tell us about the car that
ALBEN: Which car?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The one with the blown-out window in
it, the one that you had been looking for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was the vehicle prior to the carjack.
ALBEN: You`re talking about the Honda? That car is being processed
at this point but it`s relevance is still not known.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Are you fearful of vigilantes?
ALBEN: It`s not something that I`ve considered. I`m worried about
apprehending this particular subject. He`s a very violent and dangerous
person. That`s our primary concern.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Are you operating under the assumption of
a vehicle that he has?
ALBEN: We don`t know of a vehicle that he has.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Colonel, you said that the entire city on
lockdown. The search for the suspect, which changed in the last eight
hours to where the public -- you think the public should feel safe to go
out with the suspect still on the loose and what is your message to that
ALBEN: My message to the suspect is to give himself up, to stop any
further violence towards anyone. In terms of where he is at this point, we
cannot continue to lock down an entire city or an entire state. We are
confident that we`ve done what we can do here in this particular
neighborhood in terms of our search. And unfortunately that was not
fruitful but we are redoubling our efforts and committed as this morning
towards apprehend him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: But, if anything stands in the last eight
hours, have you found out anything new?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Are you concerned about giving Watertown
an all clear?
ALBEN: I would never give an all clear on anything. Again, I want to
reemphasize the point that people have got to be vigilant. This is a
dangerous person who we believe has killed people. They need to be
extremely careful and contact their local police department if they even
suspect they identified him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Have you secured the suspect`s arsenal,
ALBEN: We have done a number of searches this afternoon but that
again, it`s going to go to the investigation and I don`t want to comment on
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: There`s a lot of questions about why.
ALBEN: Well, I think that would always be law enforcement`s
preference. But sometimes those are decisions that they take away from us
and we hope that`s not the case here and that`s why I`m appealing to him to
give himself up and do it now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you think that they were together at
some point and then separated?
ALBEN: They were together last night. One of them was killed and one
of them fled the scene.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: How did he do that exactly?
ALBEN: On foot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE).
ALBEN: I`m not going get into that. Again, this is a homicide case
that we`re talking about and I don`t want to discuss the evidence in the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Colonel, can you tell us about we heard
ALBEN: Well, I think again, that`s going to go to the investigation
and I don`t want to comment on that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Should I feel safe to let my kids out
of the house?
ALBEN: I think you should be reassured by the enhanced presence of
the state police in the Watertown police department being here in your
neighborhood. And we are convinced that we did absolutely everything that
we could in this neighborhood to ensure that this individual is
is not where he left last night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Last question, colonel.
ALBEN: Last question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How did he get away?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How did he get away? And do you have a
sense of where he is?
ALBEN: He abandoned a car that he used that was involved in a pursuit
from Cambridge here to Watertown last night. In terms of how he got away,
he did it on foot. He fled on foot. I don`t know where he went
specifically after that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: So he abandoned the car and ran?
ALBEN: I think that`s it. Thank you very much.
SHARPTON: That was Massachusetts police superintendent Timothy Alben.
He says he thinks the suspect is still in Massachusetts and he says the
suspect is quote, "violent and dangerous.` A violent and dangerous person
and he appealed to the suspect to give himself up.
To talk about it with us now is our James Cavanaugh, former ATF
special agent, Don Clark, former agent in charge of the FBI field office in
Houston and former FBI profiler, Clint Van Zandt.
James, what stood out to you on the press conference just now?
JAMES CAVANAUGH, FORMER ATF SPECIAL AGENT-IN-CHARGE: Reverend Al, we
got a lot of information from the superintendent there. We know that he
fled on foot. And so, that tells us a lot of things. We know he was in a
shootout just prior to that and from an eyewitness that MSNBC had on today,
he was shooting a handgun at the police. So, we know he had a handgun.
There was no report of a rifle. At least, there was no reported rifle that
we saw. What we have is information by the way, only a pistol.
So he drives through the police cordoned and he abandoned his car and
he leaves. Now, he has handgun, we believe he does. But he`s not carrying
arm loads of bombs. He could have a suicide vest on. That could be the
worst case scenario.
The bad part is, he knows how to carjack a car. And I`ve had people
in this situation before, fugitives running from us when we`re in hot
pursuit. They have a gun and that`s exactly what they do because they have
done it before. So a guy that carjacked a car before, one thing is he
carjacks another car.
So, you know, if people turn up missing and haven`t come home or
something; that would be, you know, something to pay attention to. Also,
he`s 19-years-old. No matter how great of a terrorist he thinks he is,
he`s on the run and Clint will tell you, Don Clark will tell you, they try
to get to a relative`s house. This guy is maybe not watching the news if
he`s running through the yards. He may not see his uncle on television.
He may be trying to make his way down to Washington, D.C. where his uncle
is or to relative in New Jersey, maybe not. He might leave because he
could be wounded under a garage or in the drainage sleeping in the back
seat of a car at the junkyard because he`s familiar with the area. So,
there`s a lot of possibilities.
SHARPTON: Don, it is getting dark. This has been since the very
early morning hours. Obviously people have got to be concerned as they
come into the night hours. Does this get more dangerous for police and
citizens and what happens now as they continue their search in the dark and
they haven`t been able to find anything with daylight?
DON CLARK, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, you know, that`s a good
point. And I`m glad you brought that up because this is a 24-hour
operation from now on until the government, we find this person and take
him to justice as they should be. And so, what we`ve got to do is figure
out and come to plans as to how we are going to address this during the
You know, we know what type of weapons that this individual may have,
if he has any, or what he has gotten. But nonetheless, we have to figure
out the way that he may be able to get out of the area of Boston and try to
put stops to those areas. You know, but in reality, we have to watch
close. I don`t think that the law enforcement people are going to say,
well, he may be moving out of this area to some place.
Most and oftentimes when you find people in this type of situation,
they usually try to get to a place that they feel very comfortable in and
my guess would be is that I would not be surprised if that this individual
may not have a particular location that he feels may be the most secure for
SHARPTON: Now, Clint, the problem is that they are in Watertown, the
police, because that is where they ended up driving. There was no plan if
we were to believe the scenario as it`s been given to us. So we would
assume that he would not have a safe place in Watertown.
So therefore, he would either have to by foot go a long way to
Cambridge or somewhere else that we would feel he was more familiar or as
stated by James, carjack somebody.
CLINT VAN ZANDT, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Well, you know, as we talked
yesterday and today, now, his brother took a lot of hits, took a lot of
rounds when he went down. Of course, he had a bomb vest on and he charged
law enforcement and they stopped him in his tracks. But you know, it`s
logical to think that this 19-year-old may have been hit, too.
So, you know, I agree with Jim, that he could have crawled under some
place and laying there bleeding out. He could be one of these houses
holding a gun to someone`s head and just not answer the door or he could
have hijack a car and significant other of the person hijacked has not
reported at the authorities.
So, there is a lot of scenarios. The best case scenario is that we
would have found him holed up someplace in that 20-block area and realize,
Al, not only did they have SWAT agents, FBI, ATF, everybody else, but then,
you have bomb dogs out there, they had search dogs out there, they had a
lot of resources. And this guy, 19-years-old, on the run and in an
environment he doesn`t know with just the shoes on his feet maybe has been
able to elude.
Now, that`s probably very lucky on his part. But, law enforcement
sitting there right now with their fingers crossed hoping he is still in
the area because they may not know where to look next, Al.
SHARPTON: Well, that`s my point, James. Lucky for him maybe.
Hopefully he doesn`t have that luck. But scary for others. I mean, I`m an
early riser. I wake up early this morning, 5:00 a.m., in the middle of the
night both of them have been caught, one`s dead, the other`s at large,
there`s no way I would believe that at nightfall the next day he would
still be at large.
What could be the possible scenarios? I hear when Clint or Don say
that he is maybe somewhere and came home from work but they were on
lockdown. People didn`t go to work. So what could be a scenario to
comfort me if I`m a citizen in Watertown?
CAVANAUGH: No. That`s right, reverend Al. I don`t think we can
necessarily give you total comfort here. I think the superintendent laid
out the reason it happened. He was clear. They had a tremendous shootout,
200 rounds exchanged, bombs being pinched out, pressure cooker bombs thrown
at the officer, one officer dead, one was wounded.
I mean, this is an unbelievable situation. The police response is
taken up mostly by responding to that event. He slips to cordon, drive
right through him, gets out on foot and they just don`t enough troopers,
agents and police to be able to secure it. So, he told us straight up and
that`s what we want. He told us straight up what happened now.
But, when life goes back -- it`s not going to be normal but it`s going
to be a lot more normal. There are going to be people on the streets.
They are going to be driving their cars and you know, there`s probably some
neighborhood of Boston that get beat up himself and throw him in the police
So, you know, he -- what capabilities does he have with him? He may
be wounded, like Clint discussed, and he may have a handgun, he may not
have a suicide vest on like his brother. His brother might have been, you
know, more determined.
So, he may be a guy with a handgun. A 19-year-old guy with a handgun
on the street and every city in America got 19-year-old guys with handguns
that will shoot people and he`s been reduced from worldwide terrorist if he
does have a suicide vest, to just that scenario and he`s going to get
caught because he`s going to trip up. Somebody is going to see him or he`s
going to carjack somebody or he`s going to bleed out.
I`m still not convinced. I`m like Clint. I`m still not convinced
that that he did take a leg or arm wound and he`s been pleading all day.
And you will get weak and you pass out and you crawl in the Bushes and you
know what, like you said reverend Al, I didn`t go to work. I stayed in the
house. I didn`t walk by my Bushes. But now, when I walk out and I walk
by, I say, hey, there is a guy laying there and call 911. So, just by
letting the population out, a semblance of normally, he may be discovered
by that, too.
SHARPTON: Don, what does the FBI and other do at nightfall that is
the difference from daytime? How does the strategy for searching change,
if at all?
CLARK: Well, obviously the huge difference of day and night. But,
I`m not sure that night time necessarily puts the law enforcement at a
significant disadvantage. Yes, there are all kinds of tools and things
that help you aid in that direction.
SHARPTON: Let`s go to you, Clint. I think I lost Don for a minute.
Clint, can you pick up there? What changes now in terms of the law
enforcement strategy for searching in the night hours?
VAN ZANDT: Well, we have got something that the fugitive doesn`t
have, which is a night vision capability, Al. So, we`re still going to
have law enforcement on a heavy patrol. But he can use to cover his
nightfall. He can slip and slide and move from house to house but we`re
going to have tactical teams out there with night vision ability.
But, you know, we don`t want to confront this guy in the night. We
don`t want him to have the advantage whatsoever. So law enforcement will
keep a very night perimeter around the area where they think he is. They
will still be looking at cars that go in and out and then tomorrow come
daylight they are probably going to pick it up and do additional patrols in
there. But Al --
SHARPTON: You know, Clint Van Zandt and James Clark and -- Don Clark
and James Cavanaugh, stand by. We will bring you back later in the show.
Just who are the suspects? We`re learning much more about them on
this extraordinary night. Keep it right here on MSNBC.
SHARPTON: Who are these suspects and what could have happened to them
that made their lives take such drastic turn? The two arrive with their
family here around 2002 to seek refuge from the war in Chechnya.
The older brother was an accomplished Boxer. He studied for three
years at a community college before dropping out and drawn to religious
matters. His aunt said that he had a wife and a 3-year-old daughter.
The younger brother was a student at the university of Massachusetts,
Dartmouth. He was an all-star wrestler in high school. And by all
accounts of people who knew him, the last person you would expect to carry
out such a horrific attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So -- I woke up and looked at the news and the
first thought that came to my mind when I saw the picture was, that`s
Dzhokhar. And then, you know, I thought, OK, maybe this is just you being
crazy. Dzhokhar is just really innocent guy. He went to your high school.
He`s not capable of this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dzhokhar was full of potential and never showed
any signs of doing this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was passionate. He was a sweetheart of a kid.
You know, he always was friendly.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dzhokhar and I were very good friends. He was
hilarious. He was very kind. He often had a smile on his face.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As I think now, I`m still in shock. I can`t
accept it. But I`m going to have to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So what happened?
Joining me now is Rebecca Mazur. She attended the high school with
the suspect in the white hat, Dzhokhar.
Rebecca, thank you for coming on the show tonight.
REBECCA MAZUR, FORMER CLASSMATE OF DZHOKHAR: No problem.
SHARPTON: You know this young man, Dzhokhar. What can you tell us
MAZUR: I did. I didn`t know him very well. I had one class with him
my senior year. I wish I could really tell you something informative. But
I can really only echo the sentiments expressed by my classmates just now
that he was very friendly, very lighthearted, maybe a little shy, but I
didn`t know him well but maybe if I had gotten to know him better and had
more classes with him, I wouldn`t think that.
SHARPTON: The class that you had with him, was there anything
unusual, anything that struck you as something that was discomforting about
MAZUR: There really wasn`t. Not at all. He seemed very much at ease
and open to other people and I think that whatever happened that made him
do this, it either happened after high school or it was not something that
was going on in the classroom or that was affecting his behavior there,
because he was a very, very nice person. Even to somebody who didn`t know
him very well, he is, you know.
SHARPTON: Nice person. Didn`t seem to be removed, unfriendly or lone
or anything like that?
MAZUR: Not at all. He, you know, went to, you know, to high school
social gathering. You know, were at the same pre-prom sort of gathering
and he went to prom with the whole bunch of us. We went to the charity.
He was very much the part of the community and very much a friendly --
friendly guy. So, it is just --
SHARPTON: All right, Rebecca, thank you so much for your time
Let`s bring back James Cavanaugh, our former ATF special agent, Don
Clark, former special agent in-charge of the FBI field office Houston.
Don, you just heard Rebecca, a classmate. She says he was friendly.
He fit in. He became a citizen last September 11th. What would make
someone go through all of the pain of being a citizen causes a process you
have to go through and then turn on to this. Would that be something that
the FBI would be looking into?
CLARK: Well, I think they are going to be looking into all aspects at
where this person came from, what his motives might be. Because -- just
because someone was going to class every day and doing all the right
things, you never know what the connection may be. I mean, there could be
some connection outside of the United States that may have some connection
to an individual that`s going to -- that ends up doing something such as
So, just because that an individual comes and seems to fit in and
seems to be a nice person as what we are prone to say, that person was such
a nice person and so on and so forth, that may be good in that particular
situation but we don`t know what the ulterior motive was and what the
mission was of that individual was trying to perform in. And what`s that
they have really got to do.
And I suspect, what I`m hearing and suspecting right now from the
government and all of the entities that are involved in that is that they
really are trying to search and see, is this an individual who was doing
something on behalf of some other system out there, some other entity as
part of it. So, that is all -- we have got to do all of those kinds of
things to really put it together to see why did this guy go through with
this type of activity?
SHARPTON: Now, James, one of the trains of thoughts that we`re
hearing today, and of course, all of this is brand new and we are doing it
as we go along. But, one of the theories is that he was under the
influence of his brother who seemed to be a little different in terms of
his profile who just made this trip no one know what is it was about to
If he was under the influence of his brother, if he did follow his
brother as one described him, you know, the fact that his brother`s no
longer there, does that help law enforcement? Because now he`s on his own
if in fact he was taking all of his influence and orders from his brother.
CAVANAUGH: Yes, Reverend Al, I agree. I do think that helps the law
enforcement because if he can be encountered and talked to, he might be
able to negotiate through a peaceful settlement resolutions and surrender.
But brother, the older brother might have been -- we already know he had a
suicide vest on and he charged the police.
So look, this is not a common occurrence in America. A guy with a
suicide bomb on charged the police. It`s extremely unusual. So I mean,
that`s very different. So we know that he`s alone now. We also know that
when he came to the United States he was 8-years-old. His family was
seeking asylum. So, he didn`t come here as some kind of radical person and
murder. He was 8-years-old. With the high school here. I mean, that was
SHARPTON: He was on the wrestling team.
CAVANAUGH: Wrestling team. Right. And you just interviewed his
classmates. It was a great interview. I mean, this guy was later
radicalized and his brother probably played a key role in doing it and some
on the Internet and maybe some other influences, both here and abroad. And
I think that the terrorism analysts, the experts on that, like Roger
Cressey, those kind of guys, they will be digging in that so deep. They
will know everything this guy did since he was, you know, 12-years-old.
And they will figure out what happened and that is really a big important
piece of the puzzle going forward, how are these guys get in that
radicalized that quick.
SHARPTON: All right, James Cavanaugh and Don Clark, standby for us.
We will be right back.
SHARPTON: At this hour, a manhunt continues in the Boston area. This
suspect`s still at large and a big question is how does he and his brother
who are living in America since around 2002 become radicalized in the first
place? How does home-grown terror happen?
Joining me now is Evan Kohlmann and Roger Cressey, NBC News terrorism
Roger, they lived in the United States for ten years. We`ve seen
similar stories of radicalization. How does it happen?
ROGER CRESSEY, NBC NEWS TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, Reverend, they
didn`t come here already radicalized. It happened at point. We don`t know
if it was external sources. We don`t know if these results of their
personal struggles. We don`t know if it is an amalgamation of internal
family issues, But, they are perceived as religious or ethnic duty.
These are all possibilities right now. But we`ve seen in the past, be
it with the Faisal Shahzads of the world, who was the Times Square bomber.
Boy, he was a naturalized U.S. citizen. He came from Pakistan. He was
radicalized because of the U.S. war against Al-Qaeda and effects on that
and the tribal region where some of his family was from. He was trained by
Pakistani Taliban and then he came to the United States to try and attack
the Times Square. That`s a classic example of someone who we thought was,
situation where we thought someone who was folded into the fabric of
American society. But ultimately became radicalized for political reasons.
We don`t know if that`s the case for the Tsarnaev brothers just yet.
SHARPTON: That was going to be the question I raised, Roger. We
don`t -- are, really don`t know if they were radicalized because there`s no
statement. There is no manifesto here.
SHARPTON: But what we do know is that in January 2012, the older
brother flew from New York to Moscow. Six months later he returned to the
U.S. from Russia. That was in July 2012. Then, a month later in August,
it appears he set up a you tube account that had videos related to Islamic
fundamentalism and a playlist labeled "terrorists." The videos have been
removed from that playlist. So that appears to have a meaning.
Again, there`s no manifesto, there`s no statement here. But the You
Tube and the trip on the things that are making law enforcement question
whether there was radicalization here.
CRESSEY: That`s right, Reverend. And you know, the government right
now, the counterterrorism community is connecting the dots. You have
identified several dots here that are going to be connected. We don`t know
if this is a linear process and leads to an obvious conclusion based on
what we have seen so far or if there are external or internal factors that
force or push for these individuals to become mass murders. Because what
they did was try to kill and maim innocence and at the same time put in
place an arsenal of weapons and IEDs where they were going to do follow on
attacks. So, there`s so many questions involved right now and u
unfortunately we have very few answers.
SHARPTON: Evan, you have been tracking people for years. What does any of
this tell you, even though -- can certainly not dropping to have you
started to build a profile in your mind?
EVAN KOHLMANN, NBC NEWS TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, look, you have his
former classmates say that he was a normal kid, he was a happy kid. And
that`s not unusual at all. I mean, there`s an American right now being
sought by the FBI in Somalia. He was one of the America`s most prominent
home-grown extremists. And this kid was, you know, the prom king. He
dated the prettiest girl in high school. He was popular. He was popular
with the jocks. He was popular with the nerds. All of a sudden he needed
to find something in his life. He was missing something. And he found it
in radical Islam or radicalism in general.
And I think that`s what unites a lot of these guys, is that they are
missing something. They are searching for meaning in their lives and they
find it in these radical causes and you have to be careful about
attributing, you know, poverty or hopelessness.
Some of these guys just find this incredibly interesting. They find
it incredibly attractive and we see very unusual people being drawn in to
this. I mean, we see people like Emerson (INAUDIBLE) in Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania, a former neo-Nazi who converted on the Internet from being a
neo-Nazi to being a jihadist and eventually was chatting with people online
who were getting missiles fired at them in Pakistan. You have people like
G.I. Jane, a lady from again, from Pennsylvania. It is another interesting
coincidence, who, you know, who shows up and wants to go and kill the
Swedish cartoonist behind the Mohammad cartoons.
SHARPTON: But how could this guy -- how could the younger brother,
wrestler, wanted to be an American citizen made that? How could he turn in
to this -- if in fact he did, we don`t know -- but how does this happen?
KOHLMANN: You would be surprised how easily it happens. When someone
feels a sense of social alienation or social isolation, they start to reach
out and they look for group identity. And you see that in gangs and you
also see that in terrorist organizations. And some of these people find
And it`s not entirely unusual to see members of the family sometimes
participating in these organizations, brothers, an you know, it`s not too
hard to figure out there that brothers have an influence on each other.
You know, the older brother, obviously had an influence on the younger
And you know, it`s very sad. This is stories are very sad because
these kids often show a lot of promise. They are not stupid. They are
university students. They have promising, you know, lives ahead of them
and yet they sacrifice all of this for these crazy avatars that are usually
built mostly online and that eventually this avatar that they build is
being in a radical or being extremist, all of a sudden that becomes more
attractive to them than their real life and they adopt this as being their
real life existence when really they are diluted kids.
The problem is that there are actual organizations out there looking
for people like this and are looking to manipulate these people and recruit
them and turn them into human bombs. That`s the saddest part, that there
are people cynical enough to do that.
SHARPTON: Roger, could it be his brother operating alone and using
his influence on his younger brother and they are not connected to any
organization or any movement, just a brother who is just crazed or was
crazed and influences younger brother?
CRESSEY: It`s entirely possible, based on what little we know right
now. And the other thing that is worth keeping in mind, as we see all the
interviews from friends, from classmates, we see that these two individuals
were relatively well assimilated into U.S. society, growing into it and
being successful in different ways.
But there is something that was missing and to Evan`s point, clearly
the type of thing where people can be preyed upon and then radicalized if
in fact that was the case. But, there was disenfranchisement here. There
could been personal professional struggles, religious familial struggles
that all have combine together because the type of the attack that they did
was just so heinous that you have to believe there was something bigger at
SHARPTON: All right. We will see. Evan Kohlmann and Roger Cressey,
thank you both for your time tonight.
KOHLMANN: Thank you, reverend.
SHARPTON: We will be right back.
SHARPTON: Let`s go to NBC`s Erica Hill who is now live in Watertown,
Erica, we understand there is some commotion going on?
ERICA HILL, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, definitely a little bit of
commotion. What we saw -- you can hear it behind me, they are getting
people to clear the roads so that more vehicles can come through. We saw
what appear to be three SWAT vehicles. What you have been in this road is
just off to my right shoulder.
For some period of time right after we finished that press conference
(INAUDIBLE). They just pealed out of here. The number of officers went
down, and their increased traffic as you can see now. And as a number of
cars and some police officers made their way down this street.
You also hear people cheering because as we heard in this press
conference, they had lifted that order to stay indoors. A number of
people, very quickly here in Watertown came outside, some of them probably
just to walk their dogs. We saw a couple of dogs but there groups of
people on the street. And again, as these police officers and these
vehicles made their way very quickly, sirens and lights going, people
started are cheering, saying yes, go get them.
We do have confirmation as to where they are going or what they are
going. But we are going to monitor the scene and let you know as soon as
we hear (INAUDIBLE).
SHARPTON: We want you t stay safe but we saw armored vehicles,
military vehicles moving and we understand again shots were heard?
HILL: As I understand it, we did not hear them at our location but
possibly at another location in Watertown those shots were heard. Again,
we couldn`t hear them right where we are.
SHARPTON: And we don`t know yet what that might have been and all
whether it was connected to the pursuit of the missing bomber?
HILL: We don`t. And obviously, very dangerous to go down that road
of speculation so we want to avoid doing that and wait until any and all
information is confirmed. But again, what we can confirm here, as you
refer to it, the commotion that was happening behind us, I can hear a car
alarm going off right now. And again, a number of vehicles coming in and
out very swiftly, lights on, sirens on, police officers moving down and
they were coming this time with purpose. And we had seen a large police
presence here all day as house-to-house searches were happening. And even
just in the area, coming in and out, (inaudible) and police officers,
basically every type of law enforcement vehicle that you can imagine. But
never have I seen them more so quickly and with that purposefully than they
did in the last two minutes.
SHARPTON: Well, we certainly are going to be monitoring that. You
stay safe. This is live shots of the scene. And you stay safe, Erica, as
we watch this live of what is going in Massachusetts.
All right, I`m Al Sharpton for "Politics Nation." "Hardball" is next.
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