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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Iran Deal Framework Reached; Missed Opportunities for Preventing Germanwings Flight 9525 Tragedy; Alleged Terror Plot Uncovered in New York; Kenyan University Attacked by Islamists; Survival after 66 Day at Sea. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired April 2, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:14] WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Wolf Blitzer sitting in for Anderson.
Every single story tonight could lead to program. It's been a very big day. But we begin with the framework for the agreement to keep Iran from turning nuclear program into a nuclear arsenal. The deal hammered out by American, Iranian, European, Russian and Chinese negotiators is being called everything from tougher and more specific than expected to dangerous and delusional.
President Obama who has been facing resistance from certain Democrats, rejection from many Republicans and total opposition from Israel's prime minister defended the deal in no uncertain terms and he laid out three alternatives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First, we can reach a robust and verifiable deal like this one and peacefully prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Second option is we can bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, thereby starting another war in the Middle East. Third, we could pull out of negotiations, try to get other countries to go along and continue sanctions currently in place or hope for the best.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: More in a moment on what a tough political sell this could be.
But first, Jim Sciutto is joining us now with details on what negotiates agreed to.
Jim, break this deal down for our viewers. What exactly does it look?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, see, you take all the elements of Iran's nuclear program that has caused consternation here in Washington and western capital for years. It doesn't dismantle them or destroy them but either modifies them, puts them under restrictions or greater monitoring. So for instance, take the Fordo facility, this is an underground reinforced facility designed frankly to withstand American or Israeli bombs. Doesn't shut it down. Keeps centrifuges there but said they can't spin uranium. So that's the new normal there. It takes, for instance, Iran's arsenal of 19,000 centrifuges. Doesn't get rid of all of them. Leaves 5,000 of them. So about 75 percent reduction.
And another path to a bomb potentially was the Iraq heavy water facility. Again, doesn't tear it down. Modifies it, changes its reactor so it can't produce material for a bomb. All these things to create that one yearlong breakout period that the Obama administration has said is the goal in these negotiations. In exchange for that, the west promises to lift all the economic sanctions that has built up against Iran for years. This remarkable international coalition, but retains the right to put them back on if Iran at any point in this agreement or after this agreement fails to come ply comply. So that's the trade-off there. You know, the skeptics are going to say you haven't torn down enough of the program. The supporters are going to say, listen, this is better than the options which is going forward when Iran might expand its program even more.
BLITZER: Jim, the president spoke out today. He said he thinks this is, quote, "a good deal.' What's the reaction so far from Iran? I understand that they're pretty happy over there.
SCIUTTO: No question. Celebrations. I mean, you're seeing pictures in the street of people driving around honking their horns and waving flags. There is a new twitter phenomenon today of people taking quote-unquote "selfies with President Obama" because his speech in the rose garden that we just there was actually broadcast live on Iranian state television. That's a first. It's truly remarkable.
And you have to understand that for the people of Iran, I've been there more than ten times, they've been looking forward to this moment really for decades. It's not just about a nuclear agreement, a diplomatic accord. For them it's about taking Iran out of prison in effect, out of this pariah status.
You know, today in Iran, you have to pay two or three times what you would normally pay for a car. They have to be smuggled in. It's hard to go to the universities that you want to go to. It is hard to get chemotherapy drugs that you want. Of course, it's hard for the government to get the oil revenue it wants as well. So for the Iranian people, this is a chance for them to be a normal country. That's what they've been looking forward to for some time. Really, you know, remarkable amount of celebration there because for them, this is a life changing moment.
BLITZER: Yes. Of course, it is. If the sanctions are eased and then eventually lifted, billions of dollars will flow into that Iranian economy for those Iranian people.
Jim Sciutto, thanks very much.
As we mentioned, reaction is from the gamut. Cautious optimism from the Senate minority leader Harry Reid, the House speaker John Boehner calling the framework an alarming departure from initial White House goals. Israeli officials say any final agreement that comes from this deal would make the world a more dangerous place.
Joining us now with more on the political fallout from all sides, Jim Acosta is joining us from the White House.
Jim, I know Congress is in recess but there have been a lot of reaction. What's the latest?
[20:04:57] JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. And the White House is concerned about this, Wolf. Because obviously, at this point, the senior administration officials are saying they don't want Congress to move forward with any kind of new sanctions legislation on Iran while this diplomatic process continues. Keep in mind today, was just a tentative agreement. There's still another one that has to be reached by June 30th.
And so, at this point, you can say the Democrats are standing by and sort of waiting for more of these details here. But Republicans are laying into this deal, Wolf. Senator Marco Rubio, potentially running for president, likely to run for president in 2016. He has a comment. We'll put it up on screen.
He says our message to Iran should be clear until the regime chooses a different path. The United States will continue to isolate Iran and impose pressure. Today's announcement takes us in the opposite direction and I fear we'll have devastating consequences for nuclear non-proliferation, the security of our allies and partners and for the U.S. interests in the region.
And Wolf, he is not the only potential 2016'ner who has weighed in. Jeb Bush put out a tweet earlier this evening saying I cannot stand behind the reported details of this flawed Iran agreement.
But perhaps, the one person that we're all waiting to hear here from on all of this was Hillary Clinton. She put out a statement earlier this evening saying that diplomacy should be given a chance. A lot of people are probably looking to see whether or not she would distance herself from the president and said she did not.
BLITZER: She certainly did not. She said this is an important step towards a comprehensive agreement that would prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and strengthen the security of United States, Israel, and the region.
Speaking of Israel, the president made a phone call, Jim, to the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to discuss this unprecedented deal. Tell us about that conversation. What do we know?
ACOSTA: That's right. That's one of the many phone calls the president is making or will make. He also talked to the king of Saudi Arabia. He will be talking with congressional leaders. But this call with Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Wolf, we know this, they don't have a good relationship. It has been strained in recent weeks and perhaps it will be more so in the coming weeks.
According to various readouts from this phone call, one from the White House, the president, of course, told the Israelis that their security will not be at stake with this Iran deal. But that is not the readout that we got from the Israeli government. A spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is tweeting earlier this evening that Netanyahu told the president during this phone call the deal as it stands right now will threaten Israel's survival.
And so, Wolf, I imagine we are going to be hearing more from the Israelis, including the prime minister, in the coming days.
BLITZER: Yes. The statement I saw from the prime minister's office, the deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel. Such a deal would not block Iran's the path to the bomb, it would pave it. Very negative reaction coming in from Israelis.
Jim Acosta, thank you very much.
More now on what this all means. Here to put things in perspective and dig deeper on the deal itself, our chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, also David Kay, the former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq. He currently serves on the state department's international security advisory board and former George W. Bush national security council, senior director, Michael Doran.
Christiane, after looking at all the specifics of this framework agreement, is it a good deal for the United States? What do you make of this?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the president himself said today that this was a historic opportunity and if it's implemented, it is a very, very good deal and of course it's not perfect. Nothing is perfect. But it is the best that could be achieved at this time. And he said that if you look at all the specifics, the draconian inspections, the fact that they'll only have a certain amount of enrichment and some of their facilities will be dismantled, et cetera, that, this is the most strictly governed nuclear accord of any nuclear program ever in history.
So that, I think, is pretty convincing from the president of the United States. Just from the side of Iran, it is really being taken with great excitement there by the people. The people of Iran who have desperately wanted this. For the first time, I think ever, the speech from the president of the United States is broadcast live on national Iranian television and that's significant because President Obama laid out this fact sheet which then the foreign minister, the negotiator (INAUDIBLE) tweeted, you know, there's no need to lay out the fact sheets so soon because that contains the details. And Iran has made a lot of confessions.
BLITZER: Yes, we saw them pictures of them celebrating in the streets in Tehran, Christiane.
Mike, you think this is a bad deal. You believe it actually might make a nuclear breakout for Iran more likely, is that your opinion?
MICHAEL DORAN, SENIOR FELLOW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTE: Yes, it is, but before I say it's a bad deal, I say it's not really a deal yet. The president and John Kerry are pretending that here's more there than there actually is. They had to head off the Senate and so they are presenting, this is kind of a done deal when there's a lot of room yet for negotiation. Christiane mentioned that Jabba Sarif was tweeting about the fact
sheet. One of the things he tweeted was that the administration is claiming that the sanctions are going to be rolled back gradually where as he saying that they are going to be rolled back immediately. So there's a huge difference on major issues.
[20:10:07] BLITZER: We'll see how quickly those sanctions are rolled back assuming this deal has implemented.
David, you say the framework that you've seen so far is good but the key issue is how the framework will actually be implemented. How challenging is that going to be?
DAVID KAY, FORMER CHIEF U.S. WEAPONS INSPECTOR IN IRAQ: Well, there are two key issues. One is it's a framework. You have to negotiate a very complex arrangement. That's the first. And the second is how do you actually implement this and particularly, how do you implement over 10, 15, 25 years? Choose your number because they're scattered applying to different things in this. That's very difficult and in the history of arms control, almost unprecedented.
BLITZER: Israelis, they are not very happy with this deal, David, as you well know. But let me get your reaction, Christiane. Israeli intelligence minister was quick to condemn it. I know the president had a phone conversation with the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We don't know what was said, but the Israelis statements I have seen, they don't like this deal.
AMANPOUR: Well, they don't and we knew that. I mean, look, they had been trying to make sure this deal doesn't happen for a long time. I mean, the mantra from Prime Minister Netanyahu has been, you know, no deal is better than a bad deal. So they have never liked it and they believed it just sort of kicks the ball down the road. And of course, the Sunni Arab partners and allies of the United States were on the same page as Israel in this regard. They don't like it at all.
Prince Turkey, the former intelligence minister from Saudi Arabia told me that he thought it would kick off an arms, a nuclear arms race in the region. I do however think can agree with what both gentlemen just said. We do - we know that it has yet to be implemented and yet to be fully signed off, there are a lot of technical issues and details to be fully negotiated by the real deadline which is June 30th.
And then we really don't know because it isn't clear exactly the parameters of when the sanctions will be lifted. Iran wants them all lifted, sort of, you know, immediately. If they implement it, as Jebel Sarif said.
But what is that mean? How do you measure that? For Iran, lifting them is huge. And the notion of phase, really, certainly the Iranians don't talk about it as phase relief.
BLITZER: You know, Mike, under the framework agreement, the U.S. sanctions involving the nuclear program, they eventually would be eased but the sanctions dealing with Iran support for terrorism, human rights abuses, they will remain in place. Is that OK?
DORAN: Well, I don't think we should kid ourselves. Once we start removing these sanctions up front, there's going to be a huge economic boon to Iran. And its status in the international community is going to be changed overnight. And that should worry us greatly. I mean, they're going to have, you know, just to an economic boon. They are not going to have commercial partners, a new status in the international system, and they will be in a much strengthened position from which to break out.
BLITZER: David, the inspections, you were U.N. weapons inspector. Do you think that they are going to be allowed to go wherever they need to go? That the Iranians really open their military facilities any place that there's a suspicion the Iranians might be up to something?
KAY: Well, that's the easy part of figuring out whether you're allowed to go where you want to go. The hard thing in this deal is understanding where you really want to go. That depends on, first of all, the Iranians have to make a complete, accurate and full disclosure of what they had, which their history is they've never done that before.
Secondly, over the course of time, and this is a dynamic economy. It's a dynamic scientific program. You're going to depend on intelligence. You're going to be flooded with exile and reports from the Israelis and Saudis, and others, a place you should go, you're going to have to set out what is really possible and where you should go. This is a monumental task for the IEA. And quite frankly, one they're not equipped to do unless U.S. and other powers are prepared to increase the resources beyond what they have now.
BLITZER: David Kay, thank you very much. Christiane Amanpour, Mike Doran, thanks to all of you.
As always a quick reminder, set your DVR so you can watch "360" whenever you like.
Up next, uncovering flight 9525's second black box and get more troubling details uncovered today about what the homicidal co-pilot was thinking just prior to the crash.
And this is just incredible breaking news we're watching, a sailor who everyone thought was lost at sea rescued. After more than two months in a broken sailboat, all alone on the stormy Atlantic ocean, his father joins us.
[20:18:38] BLITZER: We said at the top any story tonight could be the lead including this one. A string of major new developments in the Germanwings 9525 tragedy. One could shed a lot of light on precisely what first officer Andreas Lubitz did to bring the plane down. The others reveal just how premeditated his actions were, how mentally ill he may have been and how far he went to either treat it or conceal it.
More in all of that tonight from Pamela Brown in Germany. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, new evidence reveals Andreas Lubitz prepared to crash the plane in the Alps, allegedly searching the internet in the days leading up to the crash for ways to commit suicide and the security of cockpit doors.
Today, German prosecutors said investigators found a tablet in Lubitz's apartment including browsing history from the week right before the crash. A European official tells CNN the new evidence shows Lubitz's actions were premeditated.
A French prosecutor today said Lubitz voluntarily brought the plane down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): To prevent the over speed alarm, he would have acted twice in the final minutes of the flight, not only the loss of altitude but also adjusting the speed of the plane. So he was alive and conscious up until the moment of the impact, we are almost certain.
[20:19:54] BROWN: Investigators today finally recovered the charred flight data recorder. It was found buried in the ground. The data will include information about whether the plane was on auto pilot or whether Lubitz command the controls all the way down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The speed of the plane, the altitude, the power of the engine. These elements are absolutely vital in order to ascertain the truth.
BROWN: A law enforcement source said after a severe depressive episode in 2009, Lubitz relapsed in late 2014. Just before the crash, Lubitz was shopping around for doctors, seeing at least five including a sleep specialist, an eye doctor and neuropsychologist. Lubitz apparently told some doctors he was fearful of losing his pilot license because of medical issues. Investigators say that remains a leading motive for the deadly crash.
BLITZER: And Pamela Brown is joining us now from Dusseldorf.
Pamela, we know he made these disturbing internet searches in the week before the crash. Do prosecutors know anything else about his behavior in the final days?
BROWN: Well, investigators know that he was still flying. He was still a pilot in that window, Wolf, and he was searching the Internet for methods on how to commit suicide and cockpit doors and security measures. In fact, investigators interviewed a pilot he flew with the day before the plane crash and that pilot told investigators that he was acting very normal. That they had just regular conversation, that there was nothing out of the ordinary.
Sources I've been speaking with believe that Lubitz sees the opportunity when the crash happened as soon as the captain left the cockpit. In order to fly that plane into the mountain, Wolf, you have to wonder what that pilot who he flew with the day before is thinking.
BLITZER: Pamela Brown, thanks very much.
From doctor shopping to the drugs he was taking, all of this raising lots of questions.
Here is with some answers, our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Sanjay, the co-pilot was prescribed what has been called and I quote "heavy depression medicine' that had been quote "very heavy on the body." What types of effect would these kinds of medicines have?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, when you talk about medications that are treating depression, sometimes they can make someone sleepy. They can be sedating but they can also have nearly the opposite effect, Wolf. Somebody who's very depressed, that they are given a powerful antidepressant. Sometimes, if they are bipolar, for example, it can sort of make them become more the sort of manic side of things.
There are so many details about this whole story that are still unclear. And frankly, the pieces coming in still don't make sense in aggregate. I still feel there's pieces missing but a heavy antidepressant would have one of those effects, Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. How he said that, is it possible he could have been under the influence of this medication when he actually crashed the plane?
GUPTA: It's possible, but again, you know, when you hear some of the interactions, it doesn't sound like anyone noticed anything abnormal. So it is possible. But the less likely, if someone had been quite sedated, for example, may be noticeable. But even more likely to be noticed if he had become manic in some way, starting to have flight of ideas, speaking very rapidly, doing things that were irrational. Those sorts of things might be more noticeable to the co-pilot or other people on the staff.
BLITZER: In the days leading up to the crash we're now told he actually searched on his computer for both suicide methods and for security measures related to cockpit doors, Sanjay. You say these searches point too vastly different things, explain.
GUPTA: Well, look. I think this is the inflection point. And I think this is where people have been sort of tiptoeing around or frankly not quite sure what to make of it. It's again, one of the situations you don't feel you have enough information.
If you were doing searches online and looking at suicide, the idea of flying a plane full of people into a mountain would not be one of the things that would come up in one of those searches. You know, that there are things that come up when you search for suicide. If you wanted to just commit suicide, you could have done it on a practice flight. He could have done it in other ways if he was intent on doing it with an airplane. So the idea that at some point this flipped from being a question of
suicide to a question of I'm also going to kill many other people with me when I commit suicide is sort of that inflection point that just doesn't make much sense.
BLITZER: Yes, obviously. We also know the pilot was essentially doctor-shopping in the period before the crash. Officials have found that the doctors were not negligent in how they handled his case. But regarding these not fit to work notes, what is the doctor's duty in a case like this?
GUPTA: Well, you know, I've had a lot of conversations with colleagues about this and, you know, I even looked through some of our own training again just to sort of get a better idea. Typically what happens, if I were in this situation, I'm not a psychiatrist, but let's say I were in this situation, I was worried about someone hurting themselves or hurting others, first, I'd call a psychiatrist and, you know, question whether a person should be admitted to the hospital right away for their own safety.
But also before I would let the person's employer or other people know, I would tell that person. I would go there, sometimes in the hospitals, you do that with other staff present, even security present. And you go to the patient, you say hey look, I'm worried enough. I've made this decision that I'm worried enough I'm going to tell your employer of these concerns and I'm going to relay some information to them.
As you point out, the doctors in Europe were not found to have been negligent in any way. There is no compulsory action that they must do that. It's sort of more an ad hoc basis.
[20:25:40] BLITZER: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks as usual.
GUPTA: You got it Wolf. Thank you.
BLITZER: We'll continue the conversation after the break. We will be joined by a leading neuropsychologist who designed a screening test for pilots or would-be pilots as well as a top crash detective and a leading aviation attorney.
Later, a new terror tragedy. This time a college campus, 147 people dead, fresh questions tonight about how to protect places that have now become attractive targets for would-be killers.
[20:30:03] BLITZER: Today's revelations about what flight 9525's co- pilot had on his tablet, about suicide, the cockpit doors, and the medical news, the black box, all add up to a lot to talk about.
So, let's get right to it. Joining us, clinical neuropsychologist Gary Kay who developed a cognitive test for pilots in the United States to use by the FAA and airlines, in fact, around the world. Also, joining us the aviation attorney and pilot Justin Green and CNN safety analyst David Soucie. He is a former FAA crash investigator, author of "Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, why it disappeared and Why It's Only a Matter of Time before This Happens Again." Gary, the Internet searches show that this co-pilot had something that was going on. He thought about it and it looked like a premeditated act, but he had to wait to take advantage of the opportunity, the captain, for example, to leave the cockpit on this fairly short flight in order for him to carry it out. What do you make of all of this?
GARY KAY, CLINICAL NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST: Obviously, we see a lot of intact brain function, right? We are seeing somebody who's organized, determined, focused, deliberate. I mean we see, seriously, emotional problems and moral problems but we are seeing somebody who didn't even create suspicion in the captain who was flying with him. That's why the captain would have left the cockpit.
BLITZER: He had to go to the bathroom, and he went and came back, and the door, obviously, was locked. The cockpit door. David, the searchers finally have that second black box, the - recorder that the cockpit voice recorder earlier, but we actually know what happened, right? The co-pilot brought down that plane. So, what's the flight data recorder, David, going to tell us?
DAVID SOUCIE: Well, I'm hopeful that the flight data recorder is recording the movement of that door lock, I know it would record the opening or the closing of the door, but whether it records that pushing of the door lock, what that would tell us is whether the pilot attempted to get into the cockpit through the key pad, if he did not close that locked door, there should have been a buzzer that went off but this would tell us with definition that he actually held it down and intentionally kept him out of the cockpit just to confirm what our suspicions are now.
BLITZER: Justin, you think there's still something very important to search for at the crash site, possibly even more important than that flight data recorder. Tell us what it is.
JUSTIN GREEN, AVIATION ATTORNEY: Well, I think the pilot's body. There has not been a report that the pilot's body has been found and as the doctor just mentioned, he was getting some treatment. So it's going to be interesting to see whether he had drugs in his system and if so, whether that may have played a factor.
BLITZER: Gary, the co-pilot had, in fact, been prescribed some very heavy drugs just before the crash, but investigators don't think he was taking them. He had seen several doctors, some of them knew he was a pilot. By all accounts, the doctors acted as though they were presumably as they were expected to act and required but it still seems like there were so many missed opportunities to stop this. Do you agree with that?
KAY: Well, I mean I think that if your suspicion level gets to a point where you have an opportunity to protect others, then in fact, that's where confidentiality has to end. OK? So we actually have a responsibility if we feel that we can protect others or warn other if a threat has been made.
BLITZER: David, the more we learn about what the co-pilot's doctors knew, it just makes new reporting and screening requirements seem that much more necessary. Do you actually think we're going to see changes to medical screening, particularly, the mental health portion because of this?
SOUCIE: I think that it will at first go more towards environmental screening. For example, being able to report, again, whether you've had a break-up or whether you've had a divorce or a move. But again, that still relies a lot on the pilot's self-reporting. So that has to be examined really closely. I don't know what the answer is. I don't think anybody does. But we certainly all agree that there has to be something done in the industry right now.
BLITZER: I think you're right. Justin, part of the investigation will be interviewing everyone that co-pilot had interacted with the law enforcement source. Saying one person reported, he seemed normal on that flight - on the flight the day before the crash. What will they be asking, what could they find out by talking, let's say, to more of his colleagues?
GREEN: Well, you just said something about missed opportunities and I think the first missed opportunity was before he was hired, and I think that there's going to have to be a much more robust prescreening of pilots coming into the industry. Pilots who don't have a history that can be relied on, but also in the coming days, they're going to be interviewing many, many people. Obviously, he saw doctors. He knew he had a problem. His doctors knew he had a problem. From the stories, his girlfriend knew he had a problem. And we're going to see whether his fellow employees, his - the pilots and the air crew that he dealt with on a daily basis saw anything that caused concern.
KAY: I would say ...
BLITZER: Go ahead.
KAY: We know from what we've heard about his flight training, that he interrupted his flight training for treatment of depression and that was in the U.S. He would have had a U.S. medical certificate, and he didn't report in which he would have been required to do by law that he had been treated for this depression in the U.S.
KAY: If that would have come under review, his records of his treatment, his medications and all would have been known. So if he concealed that, he was already committing a major criminal act by failing to report after this treatment.
BLITZER: Do you believe, Justin that the most important thing now is increased screening for new pilots, pilots with no track record, is that what you think?
GREEN: Well, you know, I'm not a doctor, but as a lawyer, I can tell you right now, the company is going to come in, the airline is going to come in, and say look, we relied on doctors and the doctors are relying on self-reporting and in this case, the doctors are relying on the self-reporting of someone who, you know, in hindsight, is somebody with very serious problems and an evil intent and that's a problem for me.
BLITZER: It certainly is. David, French investigators said today the co-pilot acted to prevent alarms from going off. Why would he do that?
SOUCIE: The only thing I can speculate on that is that he was trying to prevent an emergency signal or warning, because it goes back to the carrier which if you see the speed of the aircraft, the velocity not exceed the VNE of the aircraft, it will send a signal out and warn them that there's something going on on the aircraft. So, it apparently to me it appears as though he was trying to make this look like that was just a normal descent or that there was some kind of thing that he was fighting in the aircraft. He didn't want people to know that he had committed suicide is what I derived from that, that he had done that.
BLITZER: Yeah, good point. David Soucie, Justin Green, Gary Kay. Guys, thanks very much.
Just ahead, inside the brazen terrors attack in the university in Kenya. We are now learning disturbing new details about how the massacre played out, plus an alleged terror plot uncovered right here in the United States. Two women arrested in New York City. The FBI says they wanted to quote "make history and pull off a major attack."
BLITZER: Tonight, authorities in Kenya are looking for this man in connection with a brazen attack at a university. 147 people were killed. Dozens were wounded. The Islamist militant group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility. That's the same group that attacked the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi two years ago. Gunman burst into the university before dawn. Many of the students were still asleep. There are witness reports that the gunman targeted non-Muslims, mostly Christians. ENCA reporter Robyn Kriel is joining us now with the latest. Robin, can you walk us through what happened?
ROBYN KRIEL, ENCA REPORTER: Well, Wolf, at about 5:30 this morning, students, some of whom were walking to morning prayers, others who were asleep were woken up by gunshots and explosions, we understand. What was immediately reported as a number of gunmen but we now understand from Kenya's government to be only four gunmen essentially took control of the entire university for a few moments, killing security guards, shooting their way through the throngs of people before eventually going dormitory to dormitory. Eventually holing themselves up at about 11 a.m. in one dormitory with a number of students. Estimated to be anywhere between 200 to 500 students in that females dormitory. From then on, the siege lasted with the odd gunshots, explosions going off. A large crowd gathering outside. And that's when the witness testimonies started to tell us exactly what have happened in those hours. How they said that Christians were targeted, that Muslims were allowed to leave by the gunmen and that Christians were shot. A siege inside the female dormitory lasted a few hours until eventually special unit of the Kenyan police forced their way in and killing the gunman and we are not sure exactly how many others were killed in that process. It all ended at around 10 o'clock this evening.
BLITZER: Robyn, in response to this horrible massacre, today the Kenyan president said that Kenya is suffering from what he described as a police shortage. What is the country doing to alleviate that problem?
KRIEL: Well, 10,000 police recruits, we assume are hitting the streets sooner than expected. However, the problem is that it is Easter weekend. In fact, what is quite tragic, Wolf, that it's supposed to be that tonight was when most of those students who died in this attack who were supposed to be going on their Easter break, which would have lasted until Monday. Essentially, it's very, very sad and then the Kenyan government has extended their condolences as has the White House.
BLITZER: Robyn Kriel, thank you very much for that report.
Here at home, two women, self-described citizens of the Islamic State were arrested in New York City accused of plotting to build a bomb for a terrorist attack the United States. The women, former roommates, were the focus of a lengthy undercover federal investigation. One allegedly called Osama bin Laden a hero and had a photo of him on her cell phone. The other recording to the criminal complaint made contact with terrorists overseas. CNN's Jason Carroll has more now on the alleged terror plot.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're U.S. citizens who live in Queens, New York. The two women identified in a federal criminal complaint as 28-year-old Noelle Velentzas and 31-year old Asia Siddique. Authorities say they are home grown would be terrorists planning to detonate a bomb in the United States. In the 29 page complaint, the U.S. attorney details how the women allegedly express their support for, quote, "violent jihad." Prosecutors say the women researched and acquired materials needed to make various types of bombs including fertilizer, a pressure-cooker device and multiple propane tanks, which authorities say Siddique kept in her apartment building.
THOMAS DUNN, ATTORNEY FOR ASIA SIDDIQUI: My client will enter a plea of not guilty, even when there is an indictment and she and I will address everything in the courtroom where it belongs.
CARROLL: Authorities say the suspects were not after civilians, but instead, the police and military. Even taking inspiration from the funeral of slain police officer Rafael Ramos believing a crowded police funeral would be an easy target. They say Noelle Velentzas considered Osama bin Laden her mentor and praised the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and she was obsessed with pressure cookers, since the Boston Marathon attack according to an undercover officer. Prosecutors say Siddiqui's ambitions were just as strong. That she had repeated contact with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and that she even wrote a poem, which appeared in a Jihadi magazine. In it, line such as "No excuse to sit back and wait for the skies, rain martyrdom and taste the truth through fists and slit throats."
The pair had been on the radar of investigators since at least May 2013, and according to a law enforcement official close to the case, the women came to the attention of investigators through another terrorism investigation. People in Velentzas' neighborhood tell us she's married with a young daughter. They say she sometimes argued with her husband, but there was nothing to indicate she had jihadist leanings.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's a very friendly woman and I would never even expect that at all. They are very lovely people. I know I saw the FBI this morning, but I didn't know exactly what that was in regards to. But that is so crazy.
BLITZER: Jason is joining us now from outside of the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. Jason, the complaint mentions that the women were talking about suicide attacks getting them into heaven, giving their lives to Allah, was martyrdom their end goal?
CARROLL: I wouldn't say necessarily. You know, there's one point in the complaint according to the complaint in June of 2014, Velentzas had a conversation with the undercover operative where they talked about possibly being killed by police. And she said "we will be martyrs automatically and receive Allah's blessing," but also, Wolf, in the complaint, it was clear that the two suspects were trying to build a bomb that they could detonate from afar and not be suicide bombers. So I do not believe that martyrdom was their ultimate goal. Their ultimate goal was to create history. Wolf?
BLITZER: What a story, Jason Carroll, thanks very much.
Up next, another incredible story. A sailor missing for 66 days found at sea and rescued. His grateful father joins us when "360" continues.
BLITZER: Breaking news. A sailor reported missing by his family 66 days ago found at sea. The U.S. Coast Guard saying a passing ship located 37-year old Louis Jordan on a disabled sailboat about 200 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and took them on board. A Coast Guard helicopter then medevaced Mr. Jordan to a hospital in Norfolk, Virginia where he is tonight. The Coast Guard says Jordan said he lived off of raw fish and rain water for more than two months. After his rescue this afternoon, he got a chance to talk to his father on the phone. Listen to this.
FRANK JORDAN: Hey. Louis. You are fine. So, I'm so glad that you're alive. We prayed and prayed and we hoped that you were still alive. So that's all that matters.
FRANK JORDAN: That's the only thing that matters. Your mother's, huh, what?
LOUIS JORDAN: I was just afraid - because I was afraid that you guys were crying and sad, that, you know, I was dead. And I wasn't dead. I wanted you guys --
FRANK JORDAN: Yeah, we were. I thought I lost you.
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BLITZER: I spoke with that grateful dad, Frank Jordan just a few moments ago.
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BLITZER: Mr. Jordan, this is just an incredible news. I can't even imagine what you're going through. Tell us about what you know on everything that's unfolded in the past few hours and how your son is doing.
FRANK JORDAN, SON RESCUED AT SEA: Well, we've got the Coast Guard call from the Miami station and we were told that a ship picked up Louis and that they would take him to Norfolk to the hospital and he was OK, walking around and clear headed. That he had been adrift at sea for (INAUDIBLE). We knew he had been out for a long time but didn't know that he was at drift for a long time because they had a nice boat, but apparently, the boat went down.
BLITZER: And he survived. We heard a bit of what you said to your son, Louis, earlier today by the Coast Guard. What more did he tell you, what was that conversation like?
FRANK JORDAN: Well, it sounded just like Louis. To me, that was kind of surprising. I don't know why I expected him to sound like anything else, but just the same old Louis and he said that he has fasted before, so it wasn't the first time he went without food. Which I thought that was interesting.
BLITZER: 66 days at sea, about 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Had you held on to hope that he would be found because it's our understanding the Coast Guard effectively had stopped searching back in February, is that correct?
FRANK JORDAN: Yeah. And, but I knew that he had a good seaworthy boat. 35 foot sailboat. And well designed. And I felt that the boat was going to keep him alive, so I had all sorts of worries because he's not an experienced sailor, but he basically wanted to go out and catch some fish. That's why he left the marina.
BLITZER: What more do you know about where he was actually heading when he disappeared? Now, the condition of the boat, the weather, anything that could have contributed to his disappearance?
FRANK JORDAN: I don't really know. I can't answer that question. I know that I called him at one point a few days after he left land and I spoke with him, that was the last time I ever talked to him and he was a few miles offshore. And as far as how he got off track, I don't know. That, Wolf, I can't answer that. I'm going to have to get the details from him.
BLITZER: You certainly will. You also mentioned your son is not necessarily a very experienced sailor, but obviously, he would have to be extremely resourceful or strong to survive for this long, right?
FRANK JORDAN: Oh, he is very strong. He's got very strong constitution and not only physically, but spiritually. And he told me on the phone that he was praying the whole time, so I believe that sustained him a great deal.
BLITZER: And Louis, your son, the Coast Guard, the doctors, they say he's OK. Is that right?
JORDAN: Yes. And he sounded fine when I talked to him. He said he had a hurt shoulder.
BLITZER: If that's it, he's in great shape.
JORDAN: Yeah. Yeah.
BLITZER: Mr. Jordan, thank you so much for your time. We wish you and your family only the best.
JORDAN: Thank you, Wolf.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Up next, fixing that hotly debated religious freedom law in Indiana.
BLITZER: A lot more happening tonight. Amara Walker has a "360" bulletin. Amara?
AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf. Lawmakers in Indiana and Arkansas today approved changes to their religious freedom laws that have sparked widespread criticism and boycott. The amendments aim to address concerns that the law discriminate against gay people. The governors of both states have signed a revised legislation. CNN will dig deeper on the controversy coming up in just a few minutes at 9:00 Eastern when Chris Cuomo hosts a special report, America's religious rights showdown.
Democratic U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey pleaded not guilty today in federal court. He is charged with accepting lavish gifts worth as much as $1 million in exchange for political favors.
And Christian televangelist, Robert Shuler has died.
WALKER: Reverend Shuler hosted "The Hour of Power" telecast for decades. He also founded the Crystal Cathedral megachurch in California. He was 88. Wolf?
BLITZER: Amara, thanks. The CNN "SPECIAL REPORT: AMERICA'S RELIGIOUS RIGHTS SHOWDOWN" starts right now.