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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT

Terrorists: "We Have Avenged The Prophet Muhammad"; Radical Cleric: Charlie Hebdo's Cover is an "Act of War"; Airport Security Stepped Up After Al Qaeda Threat; Police: Bartender Plotted to Poison John Boehner

Aired January 13, 2015 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, chilling new videos tonight of the shooters in the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Just moments after the deadly attack calling so calmly reloading and then trading heavy gunfire with police. We'll going to hear from the shooters in their own words for the first time coming up.

Plus, a radical Muslim cleric calls the new Charlie Hebdo cover an act of war. Could tomorrow's release of that magazine spark another attack?

And the breaking news, we are just learning about an alleged plot to poison the Speaker of the House John Boehner. This story is incredible. It's hard to believe, but it is true. And we have the details, let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, we begin with the breaking news. Dramatic new video of the Paris attackers just moments after the shooting inside the Charlie Hebdo office last week. Both the shooters, the Kouachi brothers and the men filming this scene can be heard on video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad. We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad. We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: The gunmen seen here raising his fingers, shouts "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad" three times. It's reported then made a reference to al-Qaeda in Yemen. That part of the audio though is difficult at least as we've replayed it and replayed it, to actually hear clearly and confirm for you. But we can tell you this, then with remarkable calm the shooters reload their weapons as the man filming says to his friend, he had nerve. It's pretty shocking to imagine actually someone sitting here and just filming this as opposed to making calls. I mean, that's part of their incredible nature of this video. But the two then start to drive down a narrow road. They are then confronted almost immediately by a police car. They exchanged gunfire, the police then appear to be heavily outgunned. We'll play that part.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MAN (off camera): They're blank bullets! They're blank bullets!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: Whatever the man filming this may have thought no one was shooting blanks. The police car quickly backs away. The policemen are uninjured. The gunmen then drive away.

Jim Sciutto is outfront tonight in Paris. And Jim, you know, this new video does fill in some really important blanks.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It's right between the moment when they storm through the Charlie Hebdo offices and massacred the journalists there. And before that first encounter with police, that video that we saw last week when they murdered the policeman on the ground, couple of things stand out. One is their comfort level. The patience they have as they reload their weapons. Even have in a moment appears that one of their Kalashnikov rifles jams and one brother helps the other brother unjam his rifle. And then they continue on their way. Second thing, as they drive away down the street, you see one in the passenger seat, leaning out the window, firing his weapons against that police car as he goes.

Again just highlighting the skill and the comfort they had with their weapons there. But then finally I think just the ease with which they escaped here. This was murder in broad daylight on the streets of Paris. They have those multiple encounters with the police. And they get away. And as you remember, they were on the run for two more days before they were killed by police. Really show the level of surprise and shock, and you know, a real question is to whether the city was prepared for it.

BURNETT: And Jim, you know, the other thing of course as we watched this is just trying to understand what someone was thinking filming it. You know, that you're filming as these people are reloading automatic weapons and murdering people. And your comment is, he has nerve. They then seem to say they think it's blanks. So, it seems possible that they actually didn't think this was real and maybe that would explain why they are filming it instead of calling for help.

SCIUTTO: It's possible. And there are some who early on, when you saw them in those blackout which would frankly aren't that dissimilar from what the counterterror police were here in France, and I saw them on Friday as they were raiding the kosher shop. So, you know, people have, when you see eyewitnesses, they have difficulty expecting the unexpected. So, there are some can make very well of them of either this is a mock up or this is a police operation, so they film it, calling the equivalent of 911, but yes, it's hard to hear. It's difficult to hear on that tape.

BURNETT: It is now that we know exactly what was happening. But of course, you point out something very important in which they may have thought it was counterterror or operation or something. And you know, not been so callous at it might seem to some watching. Jim Sciutto, thank you so much.

SCIUTTO: Thank you, Erin.

BURNETT: And now Bob McFadden, he oversaw all strategic and operational level counter intelligence activities for the department of the navy. He's also a court certified expert on al Qaeda. Phil Mudd also joins me, former CIA counterterrorism official.

All right, Phil, let me just play again the first part of this new video of the shooters. At this point where I'm going to show is they are actually walking towards the car. So, you see them. One of them raising his finger in the air yelling. The thing that stood out to me is, I mean, they are taking their sweet time. It's almost like they are on display. These guys are hardly on the run.

PHIL MUDD, FORMER CIA COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Yes. I think there's a really important message here, Erin. It's gotten confused in some of the conversation with the past few days. And that is, most of what I saw at the agency and especially at the FBI were not what I would call terror cells. That word is used way too loosely. There were clusters of people usually young people who were angry thinking about operation, a little bit chaotic, not well organized.

That is in contrast clearly to what you see here. I would not call this a cluster. I would use a word I don't use very often from the business and that is, this is a cell, training, financing, the cool, calm collected behavior not only in selecting the target but after you go through that emotional experience of shooting up Charlie Hebdo, walking out engaging the police in a way that was very effective, this is a terror cell. And that is not that common in my world.

BURNETT: Not that common but obviously significant because I mean, as many more people could be involved. Bob, when you look at that video, and you see that calm, in control. I mean, they even put, looks like ammunition on top of the car and switch it. I mean, what do you see?

ROBERT MCFADDEN, FORMER NCIS DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR COUNTERINTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS: Yes. Really quite extraordinary in some ways. In looking at this tape and comparing it to what we saw last week and the absence of more information, some of the assessment was, you know, when they did their casing, they seem to have timed it out to know when they would have a response from the police. But when you see this part of the film, they look like they have no care whatsoever for responders coming. So, other parts of the film to, you know, I think in the degree of training they had some of the assessment was highly trained, highly skilled, precise.

Other end, you know, quickly put together, I think it's somewhere in between, obviously they are showing some degree of manual dexterity and comfort in handling the weapons. So, it doesn't take a while, a lot of training or the training Yemen still to determine how important that is.

BURNETT: Right.

MCFADDEN But some level of familiarity with the weapons.

BURNETT: I mean, there's no question at least you can say that there was a very high level of confidence that they know what was happening and that they were unconcerned with the outcome or with the thought that something might go wrong. I mean, because Phil, the other thing we see to the point Jim Sciutto was making is to why the person filming this may have thought this was some sort of a police exercise. They were both wearing blackout fits. Their faces were obscured. This is very different from when you look at to your point, the Boston bombers, I mean, the more lone wolves, I mean, those guys, you know, look, they are just wearing their hats. It's absolutely clear who they are.

MUDD: Yes. I can't figure out. The people have been comparing this to Boston. Because as a foreign practitioner, this looks completely different. Let's go through three or four characteristics. Target selection, Boston marathon doesn't have a lot of residence across the Middle East and Asia. Charlie Hebdo, anti-Muhammad cartoons, clear, immediate resonance. These guys had a getaway plan. They had these guys on. Remember Boston these folks walking around with hoodies but the hoodie is down. The baseball cap is backwards, very easy to identify. So, time and again, at every step of the way here, I see home growns or sort of informal people like what we saw in Boston or something closer to. I agree with the other commentator, not professional but at least more sophisticated in a lot of what we see.

BURNETT: And Bob, the second part of the new video when you see the actual, the fire exchanged with the police when they are shooting at police down the street here. You can see this now with the police car which then backs off. What do you make of that?

MCFADDEN: Well, as we said before, you know, some degree of training. But let me make clear, nothing equivalent to well-trained law enforcement and military units.

BURNETT: Right. But the police just back up and back away.

MCFADDEN: Which, you know, from the police perspective with their training. They are seeing they are being assaulted by an automatic weapon, maybe two with the car coming towards them. So, their training would be to egress and find cover so they can engage. That's their reaction. But it looks like they were pinned in at the end of the street.

BURNETT: Right. Now, Phil, the point you make about when we look at them and how their completely covered up, their faces are covered up. They were obscured, they were calm, they were confident. They had some sort of a getaway plan. I guess it brings me to the bottom-line question which is, they made a mistake it seems. Right? Because why would you cover yourself up and your identity if you meant for people to know who you are. They left their ID. If they had not made that mistake, which again I'm saying it appears it's a mistake at this point. Would they even know who did it at this point, do you think?

MUDD: Sure. I think we would have figured out at this point. Look, one of the things you think about that's changed in the past just five or ten years is video cameras. There would have been video cameras throughout the city that might have identified the vehicle for example. You will going to get a claim of responsibility afterwards. You might get people trying to flee the country quickly. I think it would have taken longer. I look at the weapons cache they had and of course in the back of my head and whether they planned a follow on operation. There might have been an additional incident. I think I can't see why you would have that quantity of weapons without planning that. But it would have been harder but they would have been identified eventually.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks so much to both you have as we go through that new video. Chilling on so many levels both from the person filming it. And also from that careful considered confident attitude of those shooters. Also tonight, the investigation continues as to who else may have been involved in this plot. As you heard Phil just say, he doesn't use the word loosely but he's saying cell. Implying there were a bunch of people involved.

Deborah Feyerick is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The week before the deadly attacks in Paris, at least two people linked to the gunman left France heading to Turkey. Fugitive Hayat Boumeddiene tied to the kosher market killer. And French Citizen Fritz-Joly Joachin who was in contact with Cherif Kouachi several times, the week before the attacks. Both of them slipped away as the New Year began, destination, Syria.

Joachin 29-years-old was arrested in Bulgaria January 1st. Prosecutors had since charged him with being part of an organized crime group intending terrorists' acts. Meantime, Boumeddiene seen here arriving in Istanbul for Madrid January 2nd lived with Amedy Coulibaly on arrival at the Istanbul Airport. She was flagged by Turkey's Risk Assessment Center, she was followed to the Syrian border but disappeared. Little is known about the man she is traveling with. He's been identified as Mefty Belhosein (ph) according to the newspaper Le Mond.

French authorities believed he's part of a Pakistani Afghan terror cell. With the threat of slipper cells activated in France, and detonators found in Coulibaly's apartment. Thousands of French police and soldiers have mobilized patrolling the streets of Paris. Investigators are working furiously to uncover the money trail. And how among other things the Kouachi brothers were able to finance multiple trips to both Syria and Yemen where Cherif allegedly met al Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki. After the massacre he spoke to French media telling them he was financed by Awlaki.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

And Awlaki was known as the YouTube Bin Laden. There is a direct connection to al-Qaeda, the key recruiter Jamal Begal (ph) had sat in Bin Laden's home meeting with a senior figure, senior al Qaeda figure back in 2001. A western intelligence source saying that Jamal Begal could be the key to all of this.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to Deb Feyerick. And I believe we do have an update. I just want to make sure that we update, appears there's been a request to delay the Tsarnaev trial. As a result of a report, Deb Feyerick aired here on OUTFRONT where she thought about the similarity between the Tsarnaev shooting and the Paris shooting. It appears the defense is trying to say that because of that report maybe the jurors would be tainted if they saw similarity between the cases and mainly an unfair trial for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who is of course on trial for working with his brother to murder people at the Boston marathon.

Outfront next, a radical Muslim cleric calls Charlie Hebdo's new cover showing the Prophet Muhammad, quote, "an act of war." Those magazines are going to be going on shelves in the next few hours. What's at risk?

An airport security in America stepped up tonight as al Qaeda's magazine publishes instructions from making bombs that could allude detection at current American scanners.

And a Seattle artist on a jihadi hit list for cartoon she drew that depict the likeness of the Prophet Muhammad. Now she's in hiding in fear of her life. Radical cleric tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREA)

BURNETT: The dire warning from a radical cleric tonight. British cleric Anjem Choudary calling Charlie Hebdo's new cover which features an image of the Prophet Muhammad as a quote, "act of war." That threat comes as the French satirical magazine is about to start distributing three million copies of its first issue since last week's attack. Those issues are going to hit newsstands in just a few hours. A highly secure location outside of Paris. They're starting a lot of distribution.

Brian Stelter is there OUTFRONT. And Brian, how concerned is, are they, about publishing an image that obviously is the reason that two terrorists came in, stormed their news room and murdered so many people last week?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: There are some fierce Erin but they are being very well disguised. That staff put on an extraordinary brave face today, setting aside their grief in order to prepare for the next issue to come out.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STELTER (voice-over): If the terrorist who attacked Charlie Hebdo wanted to eliminate the magazine, they have failed three million times over. The first issue since the attacks rolled out the printing presses and into delivery trucks on Tuesday ready for sale on Wednesday as scheduled. The issue finished. The editors and cartoonists met the press. Fellow journalists, usually rivals gave them a round of applause.

(APPLAUSE)

The magazine's latest cover is again controversial and sparking outrage. It shows the Prophet Muhammad holding a sign reading I am Charlie under the headline, all is forgiven. The magazine's publication of cartoon depictions of the prophet may have led to last week's attack living 12 dead including five of the magazine's cartoonists. The gunmen shouting out we have avenged the Prophet Muhammad despite the concern about new violence. The magazine sole surviving cartoonists says, he had no fear drawing the cover.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It wasn't the cover page the terrorists wanted us to produce. There was no terrorists. There is just man who is crying and that's Muhammad. I'm sorry, we have drawn him again. But the Muhammad that we've drawn is a bubble of a man that cries.

STELTER: At times emotions overwhelmed him. But above all, he displayed a strength.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The people who committed this crime are just simply people who lacked humor and to take things faces very literally.

STELTER: A once lonely magazine now with millions of fans. Even the French president embracing the journalist at Sunday's unity rally. The same journalists who pointed their pens at him periodically. So, will it continue? The editor of Liberation, a French daily said he will help Charlie indefinitely with office space and whatever else they need.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STELTER: In fact, that newspaper Liberation has reprinted the Charlie magazine cover on its front page tomorrow morning. Erin, I'm going to be watching in a couple of hours when this newspaper, when this magazine go on sale to see if any of these newsstands are a little nervous about actually sharing it. But as you know, three million copies going on sale. Many people I think will be lining up to buy a copy.

BURNETT: That's right. We certainly hope and thank that there will be. Brian, thank you. Again, of course, those fears coming in part from a very well-known British cleric who has called the new cover, quote, "an act of war."

OUTFRONT now, Noah Shachtman, the executive editor of The Daily Beast which has posted a number of covers from Charlie Hebdo that feature the Prophet Muhammad. And Mohammad Shafiq, the chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation in the United Kingdom. I will note just for our viewers because you probably noticed that I did not show the cover, that we're not showing it here on CNN. And I'm going to talk more about that in a moment.

But Noah, let me start with you. Because you're showing the image that's going to be printed in a few hours and you've shown many of the other ones are the cause offense. One of the images I saw in your side is someone from ISIS holding a knife to what they depict as the Prophet Muhammad. So many image of Muhammad is offensive in the Muslim religion. It's considered a form of idol worship to simplify it. But, so why did you choose to do it when it's offensive to so many around the world?

NOAH SHACHTMAN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE DAILY BEAST: Right. Well, for us it was an easy call. Right? I mean, we stand for the freedom of expression and we especially stood for it at a time when that freedom was under assault. And so, at a time when Charlie Hebdo was being, you know, attacked by a bunch of murderers for expressing themselves, for us, it was a kind of no brainer.

BURNETT: It was a no brainer. All right. So, Mohammad, how do you respond to that? I know in a release today, you condemned the republication of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. And as I pointed out the image of the Prophet Muhammad is pretty much never shown in the Arabic world because many clerics do see at its eye of worship. Can you explain why you think people like Noah shouldn't have published these? Why is it so offensive to depict the prophet when someone is trying to use it as free speech to make a point?

MUHAMMAD SHAFIQ, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, RAMADHAN FOUNDATION: Well, first of all, let me pick up the point about you refer to this so-called cleric Anjem Choudary. It's not a cleric. He's a fool. He doesn't represent British Muslims, he doesn't represent Islam. We are not at war with western societies. We condemn without any reservation the killing of innocent people in Paris. We condemn the killing of the journalists in the Charlie Hebdo magazine. But in a free society, they are free to publish those cartoons, the Kalig Nola (ph) from The Daily Beast is free to do that.

And equally we as Muslims are free to challenge that through the democratic process, to honest and open debate through your TV channel here on CNN and for anybody who engages in violence, anybody who threatens anybody, anybody who gives any death threats to anybody we oppose that. You know as Muslims, we're feeling the backlash from these attacks as well as having to deal with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. We have to pick up the pieces of by the attacks against our mosque and our community until we need to stand united --

BURNETT: So, Mohammad, okay but let me ask --

SHAFIQ: Let me just make one final point. Let me just make one final point which I think is really important.

BURNETT: Okay.

SHAFIQ: The terrorists want to divide communities. The Jewish community was deliberately targeted. They were deliberately targeted by these terrorists and that's why I'm -- from within the Muslim Community here in Europe, stand with the Jewish community. The terrorists want to divide us.

BURNETT: Okay. But let me ask you, let me ask you though because I understand your point that you think what they did was horrific. You don't agree with the Imam in London. I understand your point. But again, in your publication, in your release you say, you condemn the republication of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Why? Why do you think that it shouldn't have happened? I understand you acknowledge the right to free speech but why do you think it's the wrong decision?

SHAFIQ: Well, look, as I've said we live in a democracy here in Europe and people are free to publish those cartoons. So, if those people are free to publish cartoon, then we are free to challenged or be offended by them. From a Muslim point of view, depictions of the holy Prophet Mohammad are totally forbidden and, you know, there is a double standard here when it comes to freedom of speech. A few years ago in 2008 a cartoonist named Sayn (ph) who worked for the Charlie Hebdo magazine was accused of anti-Semitism when he drew a cartoon about the President Sarkozy's son. He was dismissed. He was dismissed from that magazine for drawing that. And here, we have the depictions of Prophet Muhammad and we're being told freedom of speech. Well, if freedom of speech is so important then why is there a double standard applied when it comes on this issue. I defend the right of those newspaper editors like Noah who decided to published this cartoon --

BURNETT: All right. Let me ask Noah --

SHAFIQ: -- I defend the right to do that. Equally, I hope they defend my right to stand up and speak out against it.

BURNETT: Which I'm sure Noah would. But Noah, what about this point that he makes about a double standard that when they had a cover that was perceived as anti-sematic the person who did it. And I don't know for sure. But he's saying he got fired and when you criticized the Prophet Mohammad or show him naked, bending down, that's okay.

SHACHTMAN: Well, from my point of view, there's no double standard. And in fact, we printed some cartoons that were pretty offensive to Jews and to Catholics and also to Michael Jackson fans as well where we showed a dead Michael Jackson.

BURNETT: Right.

SHACHTMAN: So, look, you know, we're being sort of equal opportunity offenders here.

BURNETT: Yes.

SHACHTMAN: And we're trying to defend their right to piss off everyone.

BURNETT: Right. All right, I did promise I will talk a little bit about CNN here, said to our viewers, we're not showing the image of Muhammad. Our network President Jeff Zucker has given a reason, he said, "Journalistically every bone says we want to use and should use the cartoons. As managers protecting and taking care of the safety of our employees around the world is more important right now." I know as someone like you might see that and say, oh, well, you know, guys you should have the courage to stand up for that. But you know, I would point out, look, CNN broadcast hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world. It's a mainstream publication as oppose to Charlie Hebdo which is purposely French, purposely trying to be provocative. Do you understand why some news organizations haven't done what you've chosen to do? And you're mainstream blog, I mean, website. You're broadcasting to a lot of people.

SHACHTMAN: Yes. I mean, millions of people a day.

BURNETT: Yes.

SHACHTMAN: Look, I understand it. I understand the rationale. I especially understand Zucker's rationale about wanting to protect its citizens. I mean, its employees. But I just really disagree. And I think that there are times when the freedom of speech is under assault. When we as news organizations have to stand up together as journalist and protect that.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you. And there's some interesting, you can look at in the web. It's been very split in terms of which news organizations have chosen to show these and not. It's pretty incredible as far from uniformed.

Outfront next, airport security across America ramped up in response to a new threat from al Qaeda. Magazine instructions on how to make almost undetectable bombs from household products that US machines cannot screen force. A special report on that and the breaking news we're following tonight. An alleged plot to poison the Speaker of the House John Boehner.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: The Department of Homeland Security is ramping up security at American airports tonight after a renewed threat that al Qaeda is trying to smuggle non-metallic bombs onto planes. These are bombs that would not be spotted by most airport body scanners in the country today. Al Qaeda's "Inspire" magazine describes in its latest how to make the homemade bombs using household products. The U.S. is now expanding random security checks of passengers once they get through airport security.

It's a pretty frightening thing, though, when you think about it.

Our justice Pamela Brown joins me OUTFRONT from Washington.

I mean, Pamela, on a lot of levels, I mean, let's start with this -- the fact that not all airports are equipped to detect these non- metallic homemade bombs. What will they be able to do about this quickly to change that?

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. I mean, full body scanners are not in some of the smaller airports here in the U.S. Although we're told by TSA, they wouldn't give us a number. But they said that the airports that are deemed higher risk that have more day-to-day passenger traffic that there are those full body scanners at those airports.

So, we're going to see more expanded checks, secondary checks at the gate that could include an additional bag search, passenger pat-downs and hand swabs for traces of explosives, Erin. This is in response to a new "Inspire" magazine, which is by al Qaeda from the Arabian Peninsula, where they publish a new recipe urging westerners to concoct one of these non-metallic, hard-to-detect bombs from simple household items that are readily available -- Erin.

BURNETT: I mean, it's pretty amazing. And also, when you think about those high traffic airports, you go through them. I go through them. You know, a lot of times the scanners are full, or, you know, they're running the old one next to it. I mean, the system is far from perfect.

But also, what about the point, Pamela, you know, non-metallic bombs have been around for a long time? Plastic bombs are non-metallic. They've been around for many years. How is it that U.S. airport security isn't 100 percent prepared for this sort of alternative kinds of bombs?

BROWN: Well, TSA, they say, look, we're as prepared as we can be. No security is 100 percent full proof.

When it comes to these full body scanners, there's the cost. They're pretty expensive. And, of course, the risk assessment. They look at the airports across the country. And they say what airports do we want to focus on here that has the highest risk.

TSA isn't going to tell us, you know, what vulnerabilities there are, pointing out which airports have the full body scanners, which ones don't. But they do say they have multiple security layers in place, some we know about, some they don't, that these measures change depending on what the threat is. They constantly have intelligence coming in to help inform their decisions and they do have tools readily available even if an airport doesn't have a full body scanner to defect if there's a non-metallic bomb.

You might know, Erin, you've seen those tools the TSA handlers use to search the bags. If someone makes a non-metallic bomb, I'm told, with household products, some of those products are explosive precursors and that would be detected by TSA equipment. So, they say we have the tools available to combat this -- Erin.

BURNETT: Pamela, thank you very much.

And, one American journalist fearing for her life is forced into hiding after she depicted the Prophet Muhammad in a cartoon in 2010. Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was calling for her death. The threat was so real the FBI advised she change her identity.

CNN'S Alina Machado is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TIM APPELO, FRIEND: I've been grieving for four years.

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's been that long since Tim Appelo has seen or heard from his colleague and friend Molly Norris, a Seattle cartoonist who went into hiding in 2010 after receiving death threats from radical Islamists.

APPELO: She is the unlikeliest person to be at the center of an international incident involving hate. MACHADO: Radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki said Norris was a prime

target for execution, for creating cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, proposing an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day". Her illustrations depict the likeness of the prophet as several items, including a teacup and a domino.

APPELO: She didn't mean to skewer or offend. She just thought people should lighten up. She was just standing up for free speech.

MACHADO: Norris created the cartoon partly in response to Comedy Central's decision to censor an episode showing Muhammad.

Appelo says Norris followed up the controversial cartoon with this one encouraging religious tolerance.

APPELO: Her first impulse was not to strike back but reach out and embrace.

MACHADO: The FBI told Norris her life was in danger and she decided to disappear.

Appelo says she compared the threats to cancer.

APPELO: You never know if it's going to be fine for the rest of your life or erupt at some point and end your life.

MACHADO: Three years after she vanished, Norris' name popped up again, this time on al Qaeda's most wanted list, in the jihadist magazine "Inspire". The list also included "Charlie Hebdo's" editor gunned down last week in Paris.

APPELO: It was horrible. I thought now it's raising its head again. But I think really, it's been shadowing her ever since.

MACHADO: Former FBI agent says assuming a new identity is not easy.

TOM FUENTES, FORMER FBI AGENT: To stay hidden like that would be the equivalent of being dead.

MACHADO: And it often means leaving everything behind including family and friends.

FUENTES: There's no indication these terrorists will say it's been a long time, we forgive and forget.

MACHADO: Alina Machado, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BURNETT: Unbelievable story. I want to bring in Arsalan Bukhari. He's Muslim. He's a friend of Molly's who has supported her since her illustrations of the Prophet Muhammad. Based in the Washington state, he's the executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, which is the largest civil rights and advocacy group for Muslims in the U.S.

All right. Thanks for being with me, Arsalan. I appreciate it.

Let me start by giving more information to our viewers about what Molly did. Her illustrations included faces on a teacup and a symbol with the headline, "Will the real likeness of the Prophet Muhammad, please stand up", obviously referenced at the time of the Eminem song.

The depictions were not as vulgar as the cartoons that later showed up on a Facebook page. And she didn't have a role on those.

But I guess the question to you is did she have idea what she drew was offensive to Muslims at the time?

ARSALAN BUKHARI, COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS: Well, let me tell you a bit about the Molly Norris person I know. She's the most sincere person I've met. She's the most well-meaning person you'll ever meet.

When she learned about Facebook page with the vulgar cartoons you can imagine, she distanced herself immediately. She realized this is the wrong thing to do to deliberately insult a minority group. She distanced herself from it. And, in fact, she went onto meet local Muslims here in Seattle including my friend.

And then, Molly Norris made this great short film about the experiences of American Muslim women who wear the head scarf, in an effort, Molly said, to destroy stereotypes, about American Muslim women, she found those stereotypes to be so hurtful. So, she's the most well-meaning person. She stands up for what she believes is right and standing up for what she believes was right. She drew those cartoons not to insult but just to stand up for free speech.

BURNETT: So, let me ask you, though, her life has obviously changed. She had to leave everything she knew. She had to change her name. She had to change who she was, perhaps even how she looks.

You know, anyone thought those lists of, you're on the kill list don't matter now know they were very wrong, as we know, one of the editors of "Charlie Hebdo" was on that list and he's now dead.

What has it been like for Molly to disappear, to change her identity and become a different person?

BUKHARI: Well, as you can imagine, it's everyone's right to live happily, to live freely. And that's been taken away from her. No one deserves to have that happen to him. I feel for my friend Molly, you know, everyone has that right and that's been taken away from her.

I can only imagine what it's like to be her at this point. I was hoping and she was hoping over time, things would fade away. This controversy would fade away, but unfortunately, this has resurfaced again. We're hoping it would fade away and she can live a normal life like you and I, and everyone deserves to live.

BURNETT: Thank you very much, Arsalan.

BUKHARI: Thanks for having me. BURNETT: Next the breaking news, a plot to poison the speaker of the

house, John Boehner. We have the details. It sounds strange. It's right here in the court papers that we're receiving tonight.

Plus, breaking news, the black boxes in the air Asia crash. They have been recovered and we have learned the cockpit's voice recorder is in good condition. When will we know what happened to the plane?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Breaking news out of Ohio. The House Speaker John Boehner's former bartender -- former bartender, just listen carefully here -- has just been indicted on charges of threaten to poison John Boehner. Michael Hoyt, also known as, quote-unquote, "Bartender Mike", used to serve drinks to Boehner for years at his country club. After being fired last October, he called police blaming Boehner for his problems detailing an elaborate plot to kill the House speaker, because according to police, he thought Boehner was the devil who was responsible for Ebola.

Joe Johns is OUTFRONT live in Washington.

Joe, obviously, this person is insane but he was nonetheless, a bartender, very close to the House speaker for years. What are you learning about the plot?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly sounds like the authorities are taking it seriously in part because there was a weapon involved. Michael Hoyt is charged with issuing a murder threat against a U.S. government official. He's being held pending a psychiatric evaluation to according to court documents filed in the case.

This all started, according to a criminal complaint field in court with a call to 911 that Hoyt made on October 29th. He allegedly told authorities he had been fired from his job as a bartender at a country club in Westchester, Ohio, before he had time to put something in John Boehner's drink. Boehner, according to the documents, is apparently a member of the country club.

According to the complaint, Hoyt suggested he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him and because he allegedly said Boehner was responsible for the Ebola virus. Hoyt allegedly said he had a Beretta 380 automatic handgun. Authorities did find his gun and confiscated for safekeeping.

The document also says, quoting here, "Hoyt has imagined and believes John Boehner is the devil and he, meaning Hoyt believes he's Jesus Christ." Apparently, after being questioned about some of the stuff, Hoyt later said he had no intention of doing harm to the speaker and while he often poured drinks for Boehner, it would have been easy to slip something into his drink. The complaint also said Hoyt recently e-mailed Boehner's wife at his work email, and told her he could have hurt the speaker but has not.

According to the country club management, Hoyt was fired because he had a bad attitude and several members had complained about him. The document says Hoyt was previously treated for a psychotic episode two years ago and was prescribed medication for it. According to Boehner's office, they've known about Hoyt since November, had a level of awareness about this guy because the club is near their home -- Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Joe Johns.

Our CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes is now OUTFRONT, also former FBI assistant director.

Tom, let me just tell you -- there's been a response from John Boehner's office, which I want to share, so everyone understands. He did come out and say Speaker Boehner is aware of the situation and thanks the FBI, capitol police and local authorities in Ohio for their efforts.

Tom, according to the court documents, Michael Hoyt was, as you just heard Joe say, treated for a psychotic episode. He was given medication and stopped taking it. But they are taking this threat seriously.

Is that fair?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: Sure, it's fair. You know, in the past year, three different people have been arrested for threats to Congressman Boehner. One was in Newcastle, Indiana, who sent threats to the congressman. Another was by Twitter from Arizona.

But in this case, this is somebody who knows the congressman personally, has poured him drinks, served him drinks at the country club. And being in his district, obviously, the congressman would go back and make public appearances all the time and be very vulnerable.

And we know what can happen when you have a mentally ill person with a gun going to a political rally as we saw in the case of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords being shot in the head at a public rally in Tucson, Arizona, just a few short years ago.

So, you know, FBI and the police took this very seriously in this case because this person would be in a much closer proximity to be able to carry out the attack. And they did what they should do.

BURNETT: I think it's a really important point. Just because someone might be in insane doesn't mean it's a serious real and present danger. As you say, three threats to John Boehner in the past year, according to police, it was Hoyt who called police and told them about his plan to kill the speaker.

I guess, the question is, Tom, if he had not made that call, would there have been any kind of clue? Because again, I go back to the fact of, this is a guy who was sitting there pouring the guy drinks. I mean, someone you wouldn't even think twice about wanted to take your life.

FUENTES: Yes. He had been fired from that job for which he blamed Boehner for his firing.

BURNETT: Right, in November, yes.

FUENTES: But you would think he would tell other people or brag about it. That's the hope is that some other way this would come to the attention of the authorities without, quote, "ratting" himself out on the phone call.

It's just sounds ridiculous and almost funny in its absurdity, except mentally ill people with guns in this country, how many times have we seen that movie?

BURNETT: Right. That's fair point. I think you maybe it. Sobering anyone up who did take it with humor.

Thanks so much to you, Tom.

And OUTFRONT next, breaking news on AirAsia Flight 8501. Data is at this moment being downloaded from one of the black boxes that's been recovered from the search site. We'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: Breaking news tonight: a crucial turning point in the search for AirAsia Flight 8501. Information from the flight data recorder has been downloaded. A senior investigator with the NTSC telling CNN that the cockpit voice recorder which has also been recovered is in good condition. That was a big question as to whether they'd be able to retrieve the data, and we're hearing now that's obviously very possible.

An Indonesian official says the fuselage, the main body of the plane, may have been found at the bottom of the Java Sea not far from where the tail section was discovered. Families are now closer to learning what brought down that plane with 162 people on board.

Rene Marsh is OUTFRONT.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This mangled twisted metal is wreckage from AirAsia Flight 8501, key for investigators, along with the two flight recorders pulled from the Java Sea.

PETER GOELZ, FORMER NTSB MANAGING DIRECTOR: The recorders are key to understanding what happened in this tragedy.

MARSH: Indonesian investigator will analyze the black boxes to find out why the Airbus A320 crashed.

The flight data recorder will tell investigators what was happening with the plane, how fast it was flying, at which altitude and if any systems failed. The cockpit voice recorder will reveal what the pilots were saying and which warning alarms were going off in the cockpit. GOELZ: Were they responding appropriately? What was their decision-

making, their state of mind when they were making decisions? That's why the voice recorder is so critical.

MARSH: The Airbus A320's recorders are located in this section of the plane, where they are less likely to be damaged. But when Flight 8501's tail was hoisted out of the sea, the black boxes were not inside. They were found about a mile and a half away.

Divers may have also located the plane's fuselage. Many of the passengers bodies could still be inside, 48 have been recovered. They were originally seated throughout the cabin. More than 100 passengers are still missing.

JONAN IGNASIUS, INDONESIAN TRANSPORT MINISTER: We expect that our people continue to search the passengers, which is quite important.

MARSH: And with thousands of A320s in the sky, the CEO of Airbus says finding out what went wrong is critical.

FABRICE BREGIER, CEO, AIRBUS: We will do whatever we can to support these investigations and make sure that all the lessons are drawn for the future.

MARSH: Well, the voice recorder has enough space on it to record everything that was said, every sound in the cockpit from the time the plane took off to the time that it crashed. The same goes for the flight data recorder.

Now, downloading all of the data, that is the easy part. It takes about an hour or so. But analyzing it is what takes time. Investigators say we could get a preliminary report by the end of this month but, Erin, we would not get a final report that quickly. That would take much longer.

BURNETT: All right, Rene. Thank you very much.

We'll be right back with the emotional farewells to the Paris dead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BURNETT: A day of remembrance, thousands gathering in Jerusalem today for the funerals of four Jewish men killed in a terror attack at a kosher grocery store in Paris. The bodies laid wrapped in prayer shawls as rabbis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke.

At a memorial in Paris, French President Francois Hollande paid respects to the three officers murdered. The three were awarded France's Legion Honor.

And thank you for joining us. Be sure to DVR OUTFRONT so you can watch us anytime.

Anderson begins now.