tv Larry King Live CNN May 4, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EDT
nationwide. but the idea is catching on. particularly when doing one simple thing can get you something for nothing. cnn, hollywood, florida. >> "one simple thing." that does it for us. "larry king" starts right now. larry: why does law enforcement >> larry: was the time square terror plot? why does the law enforcement want to talk to this man? tom ridge, america's first secretary of homeland security tells us what he thinks. and new york governor david paterson reveals what insiders are telling him. then, environmental disaster, economic catastrophe, 2.5 million gallons spilled into the gulf, four states in its path. could currents carry it up the
entire east coast? jack hanna is here with the effects on wildlife, next, on "larry king live." >> larry: good evening, first, check in with deborah feyerick, our cnn correspondent in new york with the latest on the car bomb investigation. what's up to date, deborah? >> law enforcement sources telling us that, in fact, that nissan pathfinder that was loaded with propane tanks and fertilizer placed in times square that, in fact, that was purchased on craigslist about three weeks ago. the buyer, a man in his late 20s, early 30s, we ared to. the seller handed over the keys to the vehicle for $1800 in cash, no record of the
transaction, no formal registration, done virtually anonymously with no way to trace it. we are being told that investigators now looking into possible e-mails as well as phone calls that the buyer and seller had with one another to determine exactly who this guy was who bought the vehicle. we are told that blogs are really saying that it is are the easiest way to purchase a car, virtually without trace. now, the scrap yard that we are here in connecticut, you can see just here, about an hour and a half outside of times square, authorities bow live this is where the license plate on the car actually came from. so although the car was purchased elsewhere here in connecticut, not too far away, in fact, the license plate, a decoy license plate was apparently picked up here at this scrap yard in connecticut here, larry. >> larry: thanks, deborah, deborah feyerick on the scene in new york. speaking of new york two to the state capital, albany, check in with governor david paterson,
the democratic governor of the state of new york. what is the latest information you have on all of this, governor? >> well, larry, i have heard about this but i think that it is so important to bring those who tried to inflict pain on a lot of our citizens to justice, that i don't want to go beyond anything the investigators are saying publicly. >> larry: what has the conversations with mayor bloomberg taught you, if anything? >> well, we are just very happy that somebody saw something and somebody said something. it could be a whole different description that we would be discussing this evening and it could have been very tragic. but the t-shirt vendor told a mounted police officer and the new york city police department cleared times square in a matter of a half hour, which is stellar. and we have a very strong police force there and a strong police force in new york state. we have gone through this a lot. we have all kinds of threats assessments every couple of weeks. there are a lot of stories that
don't come out that turn out to be false alarms and we are happy to say that people are safe today as they were yesterday. the problem though, and this is what terrorism really is, is whether or not people feel as if they can conduct their normal business and that's something that we have to persuade the public that the situation, at least in this instance, is under control. >> the governor, the white house doesn't didn't characterize the car bomb scare as terrorism until today. you used the word this weekend. white house press secretary robert gibbs said, i would say that was intended to terrorize and whoever did that would becality -- be categorized as a terrorist. would you agree? >> i was coming from an asian pacific heritage night, 35th avenue. my and assistant and i drove right past that area right around 7:00 in the evening or 7:30, something like that don't think that even i as a governor of a state don't feel a little bit of anxiety about having been in the vicinity.
and so that's what i equate terrorism. it is the symbolic attempt to make masses of people feel frightened and to deny them of their freedoms that this country allows. so i think that it can come from timothy mcveigh's car bomb that killed 168 people in oklahoma city can come from the middle east. any time, violence the threat or violence is used to distract people from the every day lives, i would label it terrorism. >> larry: do you have knowledge that other acts that we may never have heard of were prevented? >> i mean, from time to time, that probably has been the case and there are -- believe me, we have a strong homeland security system and coordination between the agencies, i think, is the biggest advantage that we have from perhaps where we were ten years ago. and there are a lot of false alarms as well, but there's
certainly, i must say in my time as governor, every two weeks, you kind of hear about something that could be brewing and fortunately, to this point and -- in the period that i've been governor, we have not had major incident as yet. really, these car bombs are what we are specializing in in terms of trying to stop but because it is almost impossible unless you stop every answers car and search them. people with tinted windows, can't see who they are, they are the most difficult types of threats for law enforcement to address, but as i said before, the coordination of the federal, state and local officials in and law enforcement authorities in this case, it was a ban banner day for all of them and we should, as americans, congratulate all of them. >> larry: governor david patterson, governor of new york. when we come back, tom ridge, former homeland security secretary under president bush,
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>> larry: one more question for deborah feyerick in new york.any possibility, any word yet about an international connection to this? >> well, you know, larry, that is what some of our counterterrorism folks are telling us in washington. they are investigating now, the focus of the investigation shifting overseas to see whether, in fact this person or people involved in this attempted attack, whether they traveled overseas whether they communicated, did they have any sort of ties to any radical groups over there or were they influenced by radical jihadi websites. all of that under investigation. they are trying to determine whether this was the act of a lone wolf or possibly a domestic sleeper cell. and one of the things they are looking at is the bomb. the bomb simply not like any they have seen before. so, that raises a lot of question. but again, focus now while it is actively going on here in connecticut and elsewhere, also shifting overseas to see what the connections might be there, larry.
>> thank you, deborah feyerick on the scene in new york. go to harrisburg, pennsylvania. tom ridge, he served as secretary of homeland security under george w. bush, and former pennsylvania -- former governor of pennsylvania and decorated marine what is your reaction to this story, tom? all right. tom is not hearing me. one of those nights, folks, mother told me about this. we will get back with tom. let's check in right here in l.a. with harry humphries, counterterrorism expert and former navy s.e.a.l., president of global studies group and bob bayer, former cia officer and host of the channel 4 documentary "car bomb" and can a a columnist for time.com. harry, what is your take? >> well, one of two scenarios are possible. obviously it is extremely amateurish. it was not, in fact, a bomb. it was more of an incineration device. >> larry: not sophisticated?
>> not remotely sophisticated. the level so low, i isn't it possibly could have been a probe. if, in fact a -- >> larry: a probe? >> a probe of the response facilities that nypd would have in that region, that area and oh, by the way, they were excellent. so anybody watching if it was a probe, sees a very, very adept police force waiting for the real thing to happen. >> larry: bob, show you a video and then your comment. the car and truck bombs employed with devastating frequency for a decade in many of the world's hot spots. you explored this in "car bomb." here is a sample of what you did. >> a story how the century of the car became the century of the car bomb. and how our dreams turned into nightmares. >> larry: bob why -- car bombs are new to the united states,
respect they? >> they were invented here, 1920, wall street, first went off. it was a cart -- >> larry: during the depression? >> before the depression. it was a cart, parked in front of jpmorgan it had sash weights in it dynamite, killed 38 people. the man behind the group escaped. we don't -- absolutely sure, probably anarchists, italian anarchists. and of course, we had in 1970 was the university of wisconsin, where a -- >> larry: yeah. >> part-time student blew up a math building. >> larry: how do you protect
yourself from them? >> you can't. you can't. >> larry: somebody is going to set up a car bomb tomorrow, set it off. >> place like new york city what do you do inspect every car? it is absolutely impossible. there are sniffers wire, look for nitrates, you can profile car bombers but ultimately, you cannot stop them. >> larry: what did this guy do, harry? left a bomb and just ran from the car? in the middle of traffic? what did he do? >> it is a mystery. you have a car that wasn't even parked, simply vacated in the middle of broadway and -- >> larry: raise a little suspicion. >> with the flashers on, i might add. down the street he ran. i can't wait to find out end story on what really initiated that move. >> larry: what do you think it was intended to do had it gone off, bob? >> i think this is an amateur that got on the internet. an experienced bomb make wore have had some sort of initiator that would have worked that set this thing off. experts have told me if the propane tanks had gone off, the
kill radius would have been 30 to 50 feet. there would have been a lot of dead people at times square. >> if it is amateurish, does it belie, harry, any international conspiracy involvement, in your opinion? >> i suspect no. i isn't it is local. again, my crystal ball is as good as anyone else's. the one thing that was not done that should have been done, in fact if he knew what was doing, is turn the gas valve on on the propane. then if you had an m-80 or m-88, whatever firecracker he had to innish yates, we have had the initiation of a combustible, that would have as bob said hurricane a radius of about 50 feet. >> larry: so they are effective, when done right? >> effective but they have divided baghdad, essentially, car bombs it started a civil war in iraq it slided lebanon in the '80s.
they are the poor man's air force and very effective. what do we do about cars? can't get rid of them. >> larry: what does this society do, harry? you can live in fear or what? >> basically -- >> larry: ban making it able to see inside a car, right? you can ban tinting? >> that would be one thing. new york city is doing some great things technologically in detection. they have a system called ring of -- i have forgot the exact name, maybe i shouldn't even talk about it but basically it is a detection system that actually can detect license plates, run the license plates in real time and also sniff, sniff for radiological issues and for -- for explosives, for nitrates. and that's been in existence now down in the financial area for some time and i believe the city is now moving the same system up to times square. >> it would appear, bob, they are on the trail of this guy, wouldn't it? >> probably catch him, yeah. because of the fact that the bomb was so crudely made, i'm sure he has made mistakes along
the way, but i think the problem here is the cautionary tale is it's reminding people new york is vulnerable and if we are scared about a failed attempt what would a real explosion do? >> thank you both. call own again. harry humphries, bob bayer. tom ridge is next. don't go away. i want to be a volunteer firefighter. when i grow up, i want to write a novel. i want to go on a road trip. when i grow up, i'm going to go there. i'm going to work with kids. i want to fix up old houses. [ female announcer ] at aarp we believe you're never done growing. i want to fall in love again. [ female announcer ] together we can discover the best of what's next at aarp.org.
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i'm a risk-taker. [ female announcer ] only flood insurance covers floods. visit floodsmart.gov/risk to learn your risk. >> larry: we are back. by the way, cnn has learned that the joint terrorism task force is considering the possibility that the incident in times square was more than just a lone wolf with and that there's a connection to pakistan. that's according to a source familiar with the investigation. investigators believe this was an intended terrorist attack to set off explosives in times square with, that the individuals intended for the tanks to explode, but didn't have the expertise to detonate it. tom ridge was secretary of homeland security. he was our first marine hero, former governor. what's your reaction to this
story, tom? >> well, larry, it's a reminder of a couple of very important elements as we try to deal with this global scourge. the first reminder is it can happen any where any place, to anybody much the second reminder is that because of the vigilance of a couple of vendors, you see something, you're supposed to we are following breaking news. a major development in the failed car bomb ago tack in times square. word of an arrest. we have more with our reporter on the phone. what can you tell us? >> not much beyond that. this news is just coming in. in law enforcement, an official with direct knowledge of the case confirms to cnn that in fact an arrest has been made in that failed attempt to set up a car bomb in new york's times square on saturday. we had been reporting that the buyer of a sport utility vehicle
that was used in that failed attempt had been considered a potential suspect in the case. that buyer was described to cnn as a naturalized u.s. citizen from pakistan. however, investigators told cnn that they are looking at more than one person in connection with that unsuccessful bombing according to another source. we remember that bomb was made up of propane tanks, vert lieser and gasoline. it failed to go off because sources, said, it contained a bad grade of fertilizer and was constructed in such a way that it could not have gone off. or could not have gone off without much damage. it could have caused casualties if only the gasoline and propane had been exploded. but with not enough force to bring down an entire building. nevertheless, the case is moving along with a lot of intensity in the last 24 hours in particular pt and now we have this development. >> so at this point, no
indication that -- whether this is the pakistani national that they were looking for? >> we don't have confirmation of that as of yet. that's what we're working on. we do know that someone has been arrested. >> okay. thank you so much. again, as susan just reported, a law enforcement source has told her there has been an arrest in the failed car bombing attack over the weekend in times square. we don't know anything much more than that. but we do know that the person who purchased that suv that was packed with explosives and fertilizers purchased that car through a transaction on the web. and at this point really that's all we know about the arrest. let's bring in drew griffin who is also following the investigation. drew, can you add anything more to what susan had to tell us? >> just that there's been a lot of talk about a possible 5: accomplice or other people involved in this. we're getting word why this arrest perhaps took a little while to make even though the
crime has really just happened. it's our understanding that there may have been a lot of information about this person out there. and police didn't want to rush in to make an arrest quickly if, indeed, there were accomplices until they had a handle on the entire operation, if there is an operation to have. now with susan candiotti reporting that there has been an arrest, a single arrest, we might get a little more clearer focus on whether or not this was a bigger plot, a lone wolf, or perhaps a person who has some kind of help from overseas or guidance from overseas or even some kind of spiritual guidance from overseas. and there is no more arrests to be made herement we just will not know that. we understand there may be a news conference in the wee hours of the morning. cnn trying to confirm that. but, again, just to back up what susan candiotti has just broken
on cnn is that main suspect does appear to be the man who purchased that vehicle, that nissan pathfinder for $1800 cash three weeks ago at a parking lot in a shopping center in connecticut. what is still unclear, and this is from a law enforcement source that i have very close to this investigation, what's still unclear is whether or not this man who is now under arrest was the man who drove the car, the vehicle, into times square or put the explosive material into that vehicle. perhaps we'll get some of that detail later on in the wee hours of the morning here. but that's one thing that we'll be watching. >> and also still, drew, a lot of questions about the man we see on this surveillance tape that is seen walk ago way and at one point he changes his shirt. you know, a lot of questions about him and, you know,
certainly i don't want to make any assumptions. but who was this person? and could this be the person that was perhaps arrested? >> right. that, obviously, we do not know yet. you know, keep in mind that police when this tape was released, they were still hunting for somebody. they thought this person looked suspicious because of that activity there. he's chafrging his shirt. he's looking towards where the car was parked and then he walks away. this man may have nothing to do with it. happens to be kind of a hot night. he may have been peeling off a layer. or that may be your suspect right there. we just do not know the detail yet as the police have been quite frankly playing this close to the vest. and i might add a little context here. playing this close to the vest with good reason. you remember the last terrorist attempt -- attack we had in new york was azazzi who there has been a lot of speculation whether one police agency or another jumped the gun on that
investigation and allowed some of the potential suspects or some of the potential evidence to scatter in that case. i think police or the fbi and joint task force were being very cautious on this investigation and continue to be. so there are no repeat mistakes, no allowing this umbrella to expand beyond what they have the capability to keep their eyes on. >> all right. thanks so much, drew griffin there. again, let's recap what we know at this point. a law enforcement source tells our susan candiotti that an arrest has been made in the failed car bombing in times square over the weekend. we really don't know anything beyond that. we don't know if this is perhaps the pakistani national that was mentioned earlier today by law enforcement. really at this point not a whole lot more except an arrest has been made. and this case has really taken a whole new turn in the past 24 hours. initially when they found this car bomb, new york police
commissioner and mayor michael bloomberg really said there's no evidence to point to international terrorism. then we learned from the federal joint terrorism task force that it's perhaps considering the possibility that this incident was more than just a lone wolf and that there is a connection overseas, perhaps to pakistan. investigators believe that this was perhaps an intended terrorist attack to set off explosives in times square, that the individuals actually intended for the tanks to explode but didn't have the expertise to detonate it. and a federal source also tells cnn that authorities are looking for this person that drew and i have been talking about along with susan candiotti, looking for a naturalized u.s. citizen of pakistani origin as a potential suspect. and, again, as drew and i have been talking about at this point, we don't know much more than that. but i imagine there will be questioning the suspect, this
person they've arrested for a while before authorities come out and talk to reporters. so, drew, do you think this man will face some pretty intense questioning before officials come out and talk to reporters? >> oh, absolutely. i think that the questioning is going to be along the lines of confirming what police and what the fbi believes or doesn't believe about this man. and that is whether or not he is act ago lone or whether or not there are others out there to get. it's my understanding that a lot of work has been done on that very angle. without this fellow knowing anything about it. but once they have him in custody, which they apparently do, they'll do pretty extensive, you know, debriefing with him, trying to make sure that, number one, that there are no more people involved in this plot.
and, number two, that if there is any kind of dangerous material yet to be found somewhere that they will get that information and be able to make that material inert so that there can't be no harm once this whole thing is overwith. of course, you know, it goes without saying that the saturday, the failed explosion was the first big break that police had because it not only, you know, stopped a catastrophe down in times square, but it also gave them that piece of material there, that car. it's the car that led them to the car sale, the car sale that led them to the parking lot, the parking lot which led them to an id on this person through craigslist and apparently has now led to an arrest. >> amazing how it's all come willing together. we have another reporter on the story from day one when it happened.
she joins us on the phone with developments from shelton, connecticut. deb, what can you tell us? >> well, what we're now learning is that the man that authorities were look willing for was arrested around midnight at jfk airport. law enforcement source telling us that the person was trying to leave the country. he was preparing to board an airline. he was arrested at jfk airport. that is what we're learning right now. we're trying to figure out who this person was. they believe he is a man of pakistani dissent. perhaps a naturalized u.s. citizen and he was trying to leave the country at jfk airport when he was arrested. >> deb, was he trying to leave the country for pakistan? >> reporter: that right now is under investigation. we're trying to determine which airline he was trying to catch. the small information i have is that he was arrested at jfk
airport. he is the man they were looking for in connection with this times square bombing. >> let's bring the audience up to date on what we learned in the past few minutes. we're learning from a law enforcement source that an arrest has been made in the failed bombing attack in times square over the weekend. a t-shirt vendor noticed smoke coming out of this nissan pathfinder ashgs lerted authorities. authorities came and got the car, looked inside, found explosives and fertilizer. basically said this thing could have caused a lot of damage. then there was questions about whether this was, you know, had any links to international terrorism. initially they discounted saying there's no evidence of that. now we're learning that perhaps there is a link to international terrorism. we learned that they were looking at a naturalized citizen as a potential suspect.
the person who purchased that car. now in the past few minutes, we learned an arrest has been made. we don't have confirmation whether the man was arrested is the pakistani man. but we just spoke to deborah and she learned that around midnight a man was arrested at jfk trying to leave the country. and he was believed to be of pakistani dissent. so at this point, this is all we know. this is a story that has had lots of new information, lots of new developments just in the past few hours. and we're following all the developments here with susan candiotti, drew griffin. everybody is on the story. of course, we'll bring you the latest information as we get it here on cnn. a lot of talk has been made about also the surveillance video and, drew, do you just want to talk about the significance of this surveillance tapes? and also whether authorities ever got their hand on the tape
that that pennsylvania tourist had in his hands? >> reporter: actually, we do have some reports. they withheld that tourist video from pennsylvania. they were going to release that. they withheld that. it may not have been the suspect. that is something that we are trying to chase down. of greater value is the vehicle in all this and the videotape of that vehicle, and in particular, the license plate and the registration on that vehicle which led them to connecticut. it's unclear of the significance of that tape that was released showing a man looking back at the vehicle. we just do not know at this time to say if that is the suspect. what we do know is the suspect -- a suspect has been arrested. and that suspect is a man who purchased the vehicle, the
nissan pathfinder driven into times square on saturday. >> all right. drew griffin, again, thank you so much. we are following breaking news here at cnn. again, if you're just joining us, we want to recap what we know. an arrest has been made in the failed attempt to set off a car bomb in new york's times square. the arrest took place at new york's jfk airport. the suspect was trying to board a plane to go overseas. we don't know at this point where the suspect was going. we do know he was at jfk traveling somewhere, the destination not immediately known. according to a federal law enforcement official and, again, we don't know if this is the naturalized u.s. citizen of pakistani origin that has been mentioned as a potential suspect. drew, am i missing anything in telling our audience what's been going on? please, fill in the gaps for me. >> reporter: i wish i could fill in the gaps. we have other reporters working
on this. we have been getting dribs and drabs here and there. but i must tell you that from experience, the leaks have been few and seemingly calculated. i think that is because, number one, this was such a potentially dangerous event that took place. and, number two, the suspect missing, they had no idea whether or not they were more of them out there or perhaps even a second or third attack in the works. they wanted to make sure that they could get their hands around it and make sure they have all the suspects in hand before they -- before they, you know, made kind of announcement. what is interesting, i'm wondering here if this arrest is premature. again, we'll have to wait to see. but if this man was trying to leave the country and he was one of their suspects or somebody they were watching, they had no other option other than to nab him. i'm wondering if they had their
drudgers if that's what they would have wanted to do. the best case scenario, you'd want to watch this person, see who he's interacting with, see who he is calling on the phone. perhaps chatting with on computer screens while he doesn't it this police are watching him. and then they could make sure that they would have the entire group, if there is a group to be had. >> okay. well, let's go to fom fuentes. he is a terrorism analyst. he joins us from colombia. tom, i assume by now you've heard what we learned. an arrest has been made in the failed bombing in times square. tell us in these kinds of situations what is important when you're talking to a suspect and at what point do you make an arrest and at what point do you tell reporters and the media what has happened? >> reporter: in this case, the strategy is from the time they
identified the vehicle as having been purchased as has already been reported, they try to locate the person that made the purchase. that person may have put the explosive material in the vehicle. that person may have driven it to times square and parked it. or that person may not have. the person may have lent the car to another friend who actually did all of that. and he may have had an accomplish or he may not. so in these kind of investigations, it's very important for the investigators to keep a very open mind on all the different possibilities. but in this situation, they would have the purchaser under surveillance if they located him. and then they would be trying to continue the investigation to determine if there were other people involved. they would be normally getting his telephone records, e-mail records, talking to other people that may know him, co-workers, et cetera, to try to identify if, in fact, there were a number of people involved in this. and once that they were identifying the people, then, you know, the next thing is to
keep them from fleeing the country. if someone is trying to board an aircraft at jfk, that's the time when you have to decide to make the arrest whether you want to or not as of that moment. the next phase is going to be the forensic evidence recovered from that vehicle, recovered from the explosive materials, the gas tanks that were removed, the metal containers that were removed and this suspect now will be required to submit and provide dna samples, fingerprints, other material which will be examined against the forensic material collected from the vehicle to see if that matches and to see if other -- if it matches particularly on the explosive tanks which he's not going to be able to say he lent the car to someone else. there's a number of factors that are still going to be on going in this investigation very intensively, even with the subject in custody.
>> drew has a question. >> we heard that an arrest was imminent but they didn't want to arrest him as long as he didn't flee. they've been content to sit, watch and listen. so is it your understanding and based on your experience he was heading to the airport trying to flee? do you know anything about the actual arrest? was he actually boarding the plane? >> reporter: i don't know that at all. if they had identified the individual that bought the car and were treating him as -- you know, obviously they call a suspect of the crime, and if he was located, they would attempt to keep him from fleeing, losing his location while the other parts of the investigation was going on. and one of their concerns would be, as you reported earlier
tonight, that they might -- other accomplices may flee or if there is other evidence that may be disposed of. you have to be concerned with that. don't forget, they may have bought more than just the lp tank that's were in the car or the fireworks or batteries or other materials that were used. they could be in somebody's home more of the same. those are the things that the investigators will have to allow enough time to develop all the facts and locate and identify the other individuals who may be involved, at the same time, not let it go so long that material will be lost, stolen or otherwise flee the country. >> let's bring in deborah. you're on with tom fuentes. you're giving information and this is also an opportunity for us to get information. >> reporter: absolutely. we were out in connecticut. one of the strongest leads they
had was a car that was used in this particular attack. clearly somebody bought that car, loaded it with propane and fertilizer and gasoline. the original lead came because of a sticker on the back of the car that was in the direction of the dealership here in the stratford bridgeport, connecticut, area. law enforcement authorities questioned the deal and they go back into the records and track the original owner. and from there, they connected it to various owners. the car changed hands a number of times. we learned that, in fact, the car itself was purchased just three weeks ago on craigslist. as a matter of fact, drew, we want to tell that you we're trying to get to a location we believe may be the home of the person who's in custody. but the car was purchased about three weeks ago on craigslist.
authorities were looking over e-mails and telephone calls trying to figure out exactly who the seller may have been. obviously nobody knows if the name they're giving is the right name. burt they were able to get a person who they do believe is the person that they're looking for. we're told by law enforcement authorities that he was arrested at jfk airport trying to get out of the country. >> deb, i have a question to ask you. is the suspect's primary residents in the united states? >> reporter: it appears so. it appears this man is from shelton, connecticut. it's an hour and a half outside new york. so that is where we are now. we're actually trying to find a house where he may have lived. but, again, that's a big clue, a big lead for investigators because once they get inside his residence, they'll be able to know more.
>> did we lose deb? >> reporter: i'm here. >> continue, please. >> reporter: basically, they believe this man is from shelton, connecticut. it's 10, 15 minutes from where they believed he purchased the car. interestingly enough, that transaction is that for $1,800. he paid cash. there were no records, no papers. when you buy a car that way, really all do you is you give the money over and the owner of the car will give the registration. and then it's up to the buyer tsh it's up to the buyer to basically register the car. it appears also that after he bought that car and the transaction took place in the parking lot of a grocery store that the person then went to a local scrap yard where lints plates, a license plates
obtained from the vehicle was taken. a lot of things happening really within 15, 20-mile radius here in the area of connecticut. >> it's too early to tell if it is this pakistani man, whether he acted alone, if there were any kind of links to broader international terror plot. certainly we don't want to make any assumptions. but that is one of the things investigators were looking at. jeanne meserve is also on the phone and joins us from washington -- actually, she's live. my apology. jean, what can you add? >> well, it's our understanding from law enforcement sources that we spoke to earlier this evening that in fact this -- they were looking for more than one individual potentially. that they had keyed in on this one individual who was a u.s. citizen of pakistani origin.
they were potentially looking at other individuals as well. we were also told that they were looking at several locations of interest. not all of them from the east coast. we don't know if the evening progressed and if the other locations panned out. earlier in the day that's what they were telling us. in addition, we can tell you that -- excuse me, i'm trying to get some information here. no. sorry. just checking my blackberry to see if it was cleared. interesting he was arrested at jfk. the transportation security administration had beefed up security at airports on the east coast. specifically those in new york, philadelphia, and boston. those were within easy reach of times square after these events of saturday evening. they were concerned about the potential for another attack. they were taking protective measures to try to prevent that. in addition, we were told that the tsa was coordinating with
customs and border protection but to facilitate more secondary inspections and if necessary to id particular flights. so perhaps they had clues then that an airport may have been involved. we don't know the specifics yet. back to you. >> deb, i have a question for you. was this man arrested after passing through the security checkpoint? >> reporter: i'm trying to figure that out. we're trying to develop that lead. as soon as we know, we'll let you know. one thing they were looking into, this is something that jean reported earlier, the focus really began shifting late in the day on whether this person or people may have some sort of international connections. whether the person traveled overseas, had been in
communication with anyone overseas, whether they were influenced by jihady web sites. and, again, that sound was being pronounced very loudly later in the afternoon. that, in fact, the focusst investigation had begun to shift. >> tom, you found it interesting when they initially found this car, the new york police commissioner and mayor michael bloomberg told reporters that really there was no evidence to connect this attack to international terror. in fact, mayor bloomberg even said the stuff they had found was "amateurish" and not all that, perhaps, professional. and then we get this. he is linked to possibly a pakistani man. and then we had a claim of
responsibility from pakistani taliban. and, again, they sort of discounted that. so my question is, do you think, perhaps, they should not have discounted all that and perhaps said nothing until, you know, all the cards were on the table? >> first of all, the pakistanis have taken credit for many things they didn't have anything to do with. so they were correct in saying that -- not giving that a lot of credence. as far as saying at 2:00 a.m. on saturday morning that the car had been found when they were saying it at that time that there was no evidence. there would have been no evidence as of then. so they really what was required is to get the vehicle identification number off the vehicle. i think the mayor said it had been removed. but that's virtually impossible. it's etched into every piece of glass, every piece of metal, the engine block, rear axel. so at the point where the car
was rendered safe by the bomb technician, they were able to get the actual vehicle identification number and access the dmv throughout the country and determine exactly where that vehicle had been last registered, who was the last owner or was it signed to a dealer or belonged to a rental car company. that part of the investigation will begin. and, again, once they got inside of the vehicle and actually when they had a chance to analyze the method of the wiring, that also tells bomb experts what school of bomb making the people came from. oftentimes if it's from one particular country or one particular terrorist organization, it will have its own signature as to how the wiring was done. they were direct in saying amateurish only because a very professional bomb maker would know how to wire those propane tanks to go off. it's my understanding that they're not easy. they're designed to be hard so
you don't explode your barbecue in the backyard. that's one of the reasons why they did the wiring in this, all they got was fire and smoke rather than actual explosion of the tanks. there are many parts of the investigation that couldn't even really start until they had access to the vehicle, devices, begin doing the forensic investigation of all of the materials, see if there is dna material and the propane tank that's later can be matched to a potential suspect, piece of skin or hair or ping fingerprints or any other evidentiary material. at the time they were making the announcements, it was premature. >> drew? >> i want to ask you, he's heading to the airport. he's obviously potentially fleeing and fleeing somewhere. does that raise the specter that he had had help or support from
abroad? or is that a natural instinct for anybody in a criminal investigation to get out of the way? >> oftentimes they make trips back and forth for a number of reasons. family reasons, hometown, going home to a wedding and not necessarily going to the mothership to get instructions on how to do this. it appears and the bomb experts will concur, they must not have been thoroughly schooled in bomb making by the taliban or any other terrorist organization. they didn't wire it correctly and it didn't go off. the fact that the person is trying to flee, that may be the obvious thing. somebody from another country and they are wanted in this country and need to basically
get out of dodge. >> let's recap if you're just joining us. we're following a breaking news. an arrest has been made in a failed attempt to set off a car bomb in new york's times square over the weekend. that's according to an official. now the identity of the suspect we don't know. we know he was arrested at jfk airport while trying to leave new york. he was trying to board a plane for overseas. again, we don't know where he was headed. we do know that officials had been looking for naturalized and u.s. citizen of pakistani origin as a potential suspect. now another law enforcement official said the buyer of the sports utility vehicle using the car bomb was this pakistani man that they've been looking for. the buyer paid $1,800 in crash.
it was a very quick transaction. deb is joining us from shelton, connecticut, where this man is believed to have a home phone there. you are still on the phone with us? >> yes, i'm still here. >> i'm sorry, go ahead. >> no, i was going to say it's very quiet at this home where he is believed to live. so it's interesting. right now we have a sense of his name but we're not releasing it. it's very quiet and there is no police activity. this is the purchase of a vehicle, again, you know three weeks ago that was made. so whether they began to keep this bomb together inside the vehicle over three week's time, again, is very short window. whether they were storing xpoen
ents at home or passing a facility. all of these are leads that we're trying to track down. >> tom, are you surprised at how relatively quickly an arrest was made? i mean it's early morning tuesday, 12:54 eastern time and this attack happened saturday evening. so your thous ghts on that? >> there is no question that this was going to be an intensive investigation. the vin would give them a lead. but, again, the person that's been taken into custody if it's the person that made the purchase of that vehicle, there are still many other possibilities that can play out here. you could have someone buy the vehicle, lend it to a friend not realizing the friend was going to put explosives in it and park it in times square and then when you see the vehicle on saturday night on cnn going into hiding because you're scared. that is always a possibility.
so there were a number of facts that need to be determined and need to be checked out. and the other fact is that initially, you know, we're wondering what paperwork may have been had or provided at the time of the purchase. you know, you could have false information given as to identity or maybe person that sold the car didn't give the police the accurate information. so all of these questions just have to be meticulously run down by the investigators in this case. there are many possibilities that still exist in this thing. >> let's go back to our jeanne meserve in washington. jean? >> not a particular surprise that it is coming to some sort of resolution this quickly. according to the folks i've been talking to, a lot of them former officials who say there was so much evidence in this case.
they had the bomb because, of course, it had not not xploeted. they had the vehicle. they had the surveillance tapes. they had a multitude of witnesses in times square who they could interview. a case like this was so rich with information that it was inevitable they would be able to make progress of this very, very quickly indeed. >> and at what point do you bring in authorities from perhaps pakistan and federal he enforcement officials from there if, in fact, this guy is the man they were looking for, the u.s. -- the naturalized u.s. citizen of pakistani origin? >> i think that -- >> that would happen immediately. >> i'm sorry. i was going to say that -- >> this is for you. >> the fbi would send the leads immediately. and in this situation, they may
have already done that because that one person was developed as a suspect started to obtain telephone and e-mail records. they saw contacts going to not just pakistan but all over the united states. they would be sending leads to those countries for the fbi to request the host country to provide the information of who was the recipient of the e-mail or the recipient of the phone calls in those countries. and then also as they were identifying this person, what's his background in terms of the other country? is he still a citizen of the other country? what residence did he have? did he have affiliations with us is suspicious persons of the country. the investigation will be absolutely immediate once they have the identity of the suspect in this case. >> also wonder if this suspect was on any kind of list, no fly list or, you know, if his name was on any terror list. drew, your thoulghts on that.
>> i'm sorry. >> no worries. i was just telling orb asking tom, you know, you also wonder if whoever has been arrested and if he's a pakistani origin if his name, you know, if authorities are making calls to find out if his name was actually on some kind of -- i hate to use the word terror -- but terror list. >> this name exists all over the country. you know, we have to be careful here. there is a suspect that is in custody and happens to have a name that many other people share. so whether or not he was on a terror watch list or not, obviously we don't know. i can tell you if we do have the right person, i looked at his record. there is apparently no arrest record that we can find at this time. so, i mean, that's going to be one of the interes