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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Discussing of US-Iran Nuclear Deal; Western Women Joining ISIS; Surviving al-Shabaab Attack on University. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired April 3, 2015 - 20:00   ET

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


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST, OUTFRONT: Global edition on CNN international Saturday and Sunday. And this week, I'm going to speak to the chief of the international atomic energy agency, the IAEA, about the Iran deal.

Thanks so much for joining us. Be sure to set your DVR to record this show so you can watch it anytime.

AC360 with Jim Sciutto starts now.

[20:00:21] JIM SCIUTTO, CNN GUEST HOST: Jim Sciutto here sitting in tonight for Anderson.

And we begin tonight with breaking news that could make travel hard and life even tougher for millions of people this holiday weekend. Deadly weather in a big chunk of the south on top of heavy rainfall and in places, truly epic flooding. We'll have a report on the damage in a moment.

But first, I want to go to Karen Maginnis. She is in the CNN weather center with all of the watches and warnings you need to know about.

Karen, severe weather in a lot of states right now. Millions of people affected. What's the very latest?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We are watching this very powerful storm system very evident that it is springtime as it marches towards the east. We saw those thunderstorms really fire up in the last couple of hours, especially for Kentucky and Tennessee. We know lots of people are traveling. And about almost seven million people are at enhanced risk for severe weather. Could see the possibility of isolated tornadoes at worst. You might expect hail and also some very high winds. Some reports of wind gusts a high of 90 miles per hour.

Right now, where you see this red box area, that's where we have the tornado watch. And included in that area, about three million people stemming all the way from Charleston, West Virginia, towards Knoxville, Tennessee. But also some pretty big thunderstorms in Mississippi and Alabama expected to move into North Georgia.

We also were seeing some pretty heavy downpours in sections of eastern Tennessee and we'll show you some of those pictures out of Louisville, Kentucky. Very dramatic, but as we go into this Easter weekend, Jim, it has been exceptional and this big storm system fires up huge storms all the way across the Appalachian mountain region to the Ohio river valley down to the Tennessee River valley as well.

SCIUTTO: A big part of the country, right, in the middle of the country, some 30 million people are seeing in a slight risk area. Tell me about Louisville because the pictures out of there showing that they're hit particularly hard by this flooding.

MAGINNIS: They were. And since the beginning of March, now that go for a month ago, they have seen in excess of 15 inches of rainfall, just in one day. They saw a record amount of rainfall, just under six inches of rain. High water rescues, about 100 plus people rescued from their cars, from a bus, from their apartment. Two people are still reportedly missing in those flood waters - Jim.

SCIUTTO: Karen Maginnis, thank you very much. We are going to have more now from the city in question. In addition to the flooding there in Louisville, a massive fire. This video shows both from one man's backyard, at least 200 firefighters battled flames at general electric's appliance park. Look at that black smoke billowing up. One building partially collapsed. It's a total loss. Amazingly though, as you look at these pictures here tonight, no one was hurt there, thankfully.

And as you might imagine firefighters also had their hands full with water rescues. More on all it now from our Alexandra Field.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Torrential rain hit the Ohio valley overnight triggering flash floods across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. In Louisville alone, more than 175 water rescues according to mayor Greg Fischer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was asleep and I woke up and somebody was knocking on my door and said it's flooding.

FIELD: Fast-rising flood waters sent rescue workers in motion from the middle of the night, a mandatory evacuation order was issued for residents living on the first floor in a Louisville neighborhood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm in an apartment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's starting to build up with water now. I don't know. They just started bringing people out but there's only one boat. So we all got to take turns and stuff.

FIELD: Firefighters worked through the night hauling residents to safety as the water swept through the city, nearly submerging vehicles and making roads impossible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The water was at waist level about an hour ago.

FIELD: By morning, many residents still dealing with several feet of standing water and submerged cars and it's not over. The national weather service issued warnings for even more flooding.

Alexandra Field, CNN. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: Overseas, investigators today revealed the first information from flight 9525's newly discovered flight data recorder. They say it erases any doubt, if there was any doubt, that first officer Andreas Lubitz clearly intended to crash that plane into the alps.

Pamela Brown has been covering this from the beginning. She joins us again tonight from Dusseldorf with the very latest.

Pamela, it looks like investigators gleaned some very alarming information from the data recorder. What was it?

[20:04:59] PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. More incriminating evidence against co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, that apparently he accelerated the speed of the plane as he drove it into the French Alps.

Also, the flight data recorder shows that he used the auto pilot to engage the plane down to 100 feet as he sped up the plane into that mountain. Officials say this new information from that flight data recorder really only backs up what they've been saying, this was a deliberate act, voluntary, and premeditated, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Incredible. Accelerating that plane as the pilot was banging on that reinforced door trying to get in. Have authorities got any more details about a possible motive for this? We all heard about in previous bouts of depression, et cetera.

BROWN: It appears, you know, they're putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, but it appears that he was very distraught, that his health issues, his medical issues, would cause him to lose his pilot license. He had a relapse in late 2014, apparently. He was going from doctor to doctor, trying to find a solution. We know he wanted to be a pilot his whole life, really. This was a dream of his and he was very afraid.

We know investigators found personal memos in his apartment, this is according to a source I've been speaking with who knows firsthand what's going on with the investigation. Those memos have, you know, words on them like stress, pilot license, apparently he told some of his doctors he was afraid to lose his license. But I will say, Jim, no one is ready to reach a conclusion yet until they look at what else this flight data recorder has on it.

SCIUTTO: All this with 149 other passengers and crew on that plane.

Pamela Brown, thanks very much, from Germany.

Coming up next, obviously, most pilots don't have that co-pilot problems, but many now have just as little cockpit experience as he had. The question is, will safety suffer as a result? A global pilot shortage means we're all about to find out. We're going to get an airline captain's take on it.

And later, nuclear fallout from the deal with Iran. The White House calling it historically tough. Others reaching for the history books to describe just how bad they believe this deal is.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:10:50] SCIUTTO: Welcome back. I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington.

The crash of Germanwings flight 9525 appears to be first and foremost about a person who clearly had a lot of problems. What he did not have was very much airline flight deck experience though, just 600 hours. How that factored in, we don't fully know. It does throw a spotlight, however, on some larger questions of how to get safe and professionally solid aviators into the cockpit, especially in the face of today's global pilot shortage.

Lubitz was trained by Lufthansa in a program that takes either inexperienced pilots or even non-pilots and turns them into airline first officers. The very first job in that right seat. The co-pilot seat of an airline cockpit often with more than 150 people in the back. In this country, it is different. Most airline pilots start in the military and do a variety of pilot jobs winding up with thousands of hours before they get to where this co-pilot got. However, it could now be changing.

Alina Machado explains why.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GABRIELLE HOOUPSTRA, PILOT INSTRUCTOR: Probably the best part of my job is waking up very early, coming to work for a 6:00 a.m. flight block and taking off on that runway right there.

ALINA MACHADO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At 21, Gabrielle Hooupstra is teaching other prospective pilots how to fly.

What do you love about flying?

HOOUPSTRA: I love that flying bringing out the best of my character.

MACHADO: She graduated from Embry Riddle aeronautical university last May and just working as an instructor pilot. She had 255 flight hours at graduation and has already earned 600 more. But she still is not able to fly for a commercial airline.

HOOUPSTRA: At first, it's a lot of money that you have to pay. It's a lot of time you have to put forward, a lot of work on the front end, but as a career choice, it's a great path to choose.

MACHADO: It's a path fewer people are choosing. In 2007, the FAA issued close to 67,000 student certificates. Over the next six years, that number steadily dropped, reaching around 49,000 in 2013.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Generally, the pool is smaller, for sure.

MACHADO: Boeing has forecasted the need for 88,000 new commercial pilots over the next 20 years in North America. Regional carriers in the U.S. are already sounding the alarm. Being forced to reduce service in some smaller communities because they say they just don't have enough qualified pilots to fly their planes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not an industry that you can just say, hey, I want to be a pilot and do a little bit of training and you end up being a pilot. You have to work a significant amount of time. Build a significant amount of flight hours in order to qualify. I mean, it costs a significant amount of money.

MACHADO: There are several ways pilots can get the training they need to get to the cockpit. Some go to flight schools and others choose to get their education at university like Embry Riddle, where tuition about $45,000 a year.

On average, students graduate with some 250 hours in flight time. That used to be enough to go straight from Embry Riddle to a commercial airline. But after flight 3407 crashed in 2009, that transition became much harder.

Pilot error played a major role in that crash in Buffalo and many of the families of the 49 people onboard have pushed for some of the changes we're seeing today, including raising the minimum requirement of flight hours to 1500. But there are fears some of these requirements may be weakened in order to meet the demand for pilots.

MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER INSPECTOR GENERAL, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: There's tremendous pressure on the FAA to relax some of the rules and requirements so they can get more people in the pipeline, but then that will reduce safety. I think those were hard fought safety rules. They were, you know, people paid for them with their lives and they should not go back on it.

Embry Riddle CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo said instead the industry should focus on improving pilot pay.

SCHIAVO: The starting salary for teachers in the United States of America is about $35,000. Whereas the starting salary for pilots is $22,000 or $24,000. So if we accept the notion that teachers are underpaid, then pilots are way underpaid.

[20:15:07] MACHADO: Especially when you consider the average pilot spends tens of thousands of dollars in training before they start making any money.

HOOUPSTRA: I think that the industry will have to find a way to make the transition from starting to be a professional pilot to being that experienced pilot a little bit easier. You know, maybe increasing pay. Having some more incentives to continue with the program. Otherwise, people are going to lose motivation.

MACHADO: Alina Machado, Daytona Beach, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: Germany has looked on these pioneering doing it differently than most airlines here in this country by training pilots from scratch and filling its flight roster with intensely educated but inexperienced pilots which again may or may not factor into this tragedy but certainly has pluses and minuses worth talking about tonight.

So with us tonight, Les Abend who is a working Boeing 777 captain and also pilot and CNN aviation analyst, Miles O'Brien.

Miles, Les, great to have you both with us.

Miles, I know this is something you feel very strongly about as a pilot yourself. Minimum experience, low pay. Again, we're talking about the United States here. How big a safety issue is this?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, we have a lot of anecdotal proof that it is a true safety issue going back, the big example being the buffalo crash, the Cogan 3407 crash which led to the change by the way because of those courageous families who lost loved ones advocated for higher standards in the cockpit.

The thing about aviation is, you know, you can go to a really smart training academy, a cadet program run by Lufthansa. I'm sure it's great education. But I'm sure Les will agree on this. There is no shortcut to experience in aviation. A 630 hour pilot frankly would not be allowed to fly my single engine aircraft under the insurance rules. So why is that person sitting in the right seat of an airbus A320, a large complex aircraft with 150 passengers behind him? That just doesn't make sense.

SCIUTTO: Les, let me pipe in there. You've flown a 777, one of the most advance planes, does that make sense to you?

LES ABEND, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: No, I echo exactly what Miles has been saying and Gabrielle that you featured in that clip is a great example of someone very motivated. However, she's well aware of the issues that face her. The incentive really out there is compensation and it's not there. You're going to spend $200,000 almost at Embry Riddle by the time four years is over to get out and make food stamp wages, McDonald's manager makes more than that.

And the problem is we're dealing with a gap. She graduated, she's very typical, 250 hours of a great university and then she's got to go to the 1500 hours. However, goes to FAA accredited school, so actually that's 1,000 hours but still that is a lot of time in between that 250 and that 1,000 hours. What is she doing? She's flight instructing. Is that the motivation or the objective that we want after this horrible Cogan crash that indicated experience? Do we want just a flight instructor, and so many of these (INAUDIBLE) because they can't sit right seat in say a regional airline? I don't think this was the intent of the aviation safety act.

(CROSSTALK)

SCIUTTO: Well, Miles, because after this crash of Germanwings, Lufthansa's discount airliner, there was some commentary out there that this is the result of discount airline travel. And I read some of these pieces. And, you know, this idea that you're cutting costs, people want free tickets, that means you are paying less, and therefore you get inexperienced, less safe pilots when in fact, I think that the pilot salary is actually very small portion of the overall budget. But is that a pressure here, Miles? You know, cut rate airlines, does that reduce the quality of pilots as a result?

O'BRIEN: Well, you have to look at it from the perspective of an airline executive. What can you cut, you know? Fuel prices are pretty difficult to deal with. The cost of an aircraft, the airplane itself. That's can pretty locked in, landing fees, the rental of the terminal space, what you cut are your people. That's how - and they've been hammering pilots and flight attendants for decades now since deregulation.

You know, Les is fine with people that are paid on a different scale than he is because they got hired later. You can't keep going after what is after all, the most important safety item in an airplane, the pilots, making their work rules bad, giving them less rest, forcing them to fly with minimum fuel.

Let's not forget that the captain of this airbus that went down was so pressed to push back on that flight, he didn't have time to go to the bathroom there in Barcelona before he went to Dusseldorf. So the airline executives, you got to wake up to the fact that you cannot treat pilots this way and you've just got to pay them a decent wage and treat them well. And that's what makes things safe.

[20:20:08] SCIUTTO: Les, I've got to ask what you think about this, Les. Because it's incredible when you think of all that is invested in the safety of the engines and maintenance and the technology in the cockpits to prevent crashes, you would think you would equally or even, you know, place greater investment in the people who are seated in that cockpit, who I, as someone who flies all the time, I place an enormous amount of trust in those pilots. Do you agree with miles that they're being undervalued, and you, pilots like you, are being undervalued?

ABEND: Well yes, we have been. We've had our compensation, direct salary cut. We've had our pensions frozen. Various expectations that, you know, that we had dissipated with a lot of these bankruptcies.

So just sort of as a supplement to Miles what he said with reference to me being on a different pay scale, I was hired that way but they found that the system didn't work because it created such animosity and disharmony among us as pilots that eventually we merged into the same pay scale that took quite a while, but it got to that point. I'm fortunate I've been with a company about 31 years.

So yes, there's a lot of cost-cutting involved. Is there pilot- pushing? It depends upon the airline. The low-cost carriers, perhaps. They are working more hours, there is a regulation that keeps them from working so many hours. But it's definitely going to be an epidemic as far as we're concerned with reference to getting pilots competitive enough experience. I think these low-cost carriers are going to get lower experienced pilots because there's no real incentive to get on with lower compensation.

SCIUTTO: It's incredible to hear that. You would think that would be the number one priority.

Well, Les Abend, Miles O'Brien, both pilots. You know a lot about this. Great to have you on.

Coming up next, President Obama tries to sell the nuclear deal with Iran but he is facing a lot of pushback here and overseas as well. We'll have the rundown on all of it as well as what two leading experts on Iran think of the agreement.

And later, how do you survive 66 days at sea? I ask the father of the sailor who said he did. Our Gary Tuchman goes aboard a sailboat to see for himself.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:26:18] SCIUTTO: And more tonight on the landmark nuclear deal with Iran. For now, just a frame work, not a full agreement but already plenty of disagreement surrounding it. World leaders weighing in today including the president of Iran.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HASSAN ROUHANI, IRAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Some think that we either should fight the world or should surrender to other powers. However, we believe it's none of that. There is a third path. We can cooperate with the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: President Rouhani said his country would honor any final deal as long as it's negotiating partners do as well. Israel's prime minister, meantime, isn't having any of them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The deal would legitimize Iran's illegal nuclear program. It would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure, the deal would lift sanctions almost immediately. And this is the very time that Iran is stepping up aggression and term in the region and beyond the region. Such a deal does not block Iran's path to the bomb. Such a deal paves Iran's path to the bomb.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: President Obama spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday and spent this good Friday lobbying equally skeptical Arab leaders. Jim Acosta has more on that and some of the domestic reaction as well. He joins us now from the White House.

And Jim, I know you're getting more information on the call between Obama and Netanyahu. Exactly how tense was that exchange?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Jim, the White House was asked today whether this is one of those tense conversations between the president and prime minister Netanyahu. They've had plenty of them. And what they are saying over here is that essentially both been reinstated abuse that they have expressed publicly before. The president wants to give this deal a chance. The Israelis say

Netanyahu told the president disagreement. As you said earlier, paves the path to the bomb and threatens Israeli's survival. So once again, Jim, they were talking right pass each other. SCIUTTO: And the personal relationship (INAUDIBLE) after that. This

is the Washington's clinging before that, the House as well. The White House has its own battle on Capitol Hill here. Legislation being prepared. What's the administration doing right now to convince lawmakers to support this agreement?

ACOSTA: Yes, Jim. We have not seen a full-court press like this I think since the White House tried to get Obamacare passed through the Congress. The president, the vice president and national security advisor, Susan Rice, chief of staff, Denise McDonough, the U.N. ambassadors, the mere fact, they've all been crashing the phones for the last 24 hours, basically pleading with lawmakers not to pass any legislation that could get in the way of these talks. The White House wants members of Congress to essentially stay on the sidelines until the deadline for a final deal coming up on June 30th. They want diplomacy to have a chance here.

SCIUTTO: Well, know the Republicans and Democrats, they are already drawing up legislation that could thwart this deal. The president said he would veto anything that involves sanctions but is he feeling pressure to give in some sort of buy-in or some sort of say in this?

ACOSTA: You know, not at this point. And really, Jim, we have to keep our eyes on two bills in the Senate right now. One coming from the chair of the Senate foreign relations committee Bob Corker. That bill would give Congress vote on a nuclear deal. The second measure is from Senators Mark Kirk and Bob Menendez. Bob Menendez, by the way, facing federal corruption charges. So that bill is sort of, you know, unclear at this point as to where it goes from here. That measure would ratchet up sanctions on Iran if negotiation deal by June 30th.

Right now, congressional aides say that the Corker bill that's really in play on Capitol Hill, it already has the support of up to a dozen Democrats. Jim, that starts to puts that bill close to the votes needed to override a presidential veto. We haven't seen the president veto many pieces of the legislation. So a rare congressional override of a veto would pretty remarkable staff and would be a major defeat for this White House, Jim.

SCIUTTO: No question at all.

[20:30:00]

And on the principle foreign policy achievement at this point of the Obama administration. Jim Acosta at the White House tonight. Thanks very much. Two perspectives now. Joining us, Vali Nasr, he is the dean of the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Also, a former official in the Obama administration and Kareem Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

I want to start by playing a little of President Obama on Iran's nuclear program. This is from back in 2012 during a presidential debate. Listen to what he had to say then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Our goal is to get Iran to recognize it needs to give up its nuclear program. And abide by the U.N. resolutions that have been in place, the deal will accept as the end of the nuclear program. It's very straightforward.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: The fact is in the outlines of this agreement, they do not give up their nuclear program. Any elements remain, did the president break his word in your view?

VALI NASR, DEAN JOHNS HOPKINS SAIS: Well, I think the U.S. position clearly shifted at the beginning of these negotiations. That number one, we're not going to look for Iran dismantling its nuclear program, but rather moth balling it or putting it in the - And secondly, that we're not going to be looking for a permanent deal, but rather for a deal that has a term to it which now we know is about 10 to 15 years.

SCIUTTO: Karim, I want to ask you as well. When you look at how this deal is being interpreted at this point, you really have two different versions of reality. Because you hear what the Iranian officials are saying back home, for instance, on sanctions, immediate sanction relief. You hear what U.S. officials saying on that issue. It's going to be phased in over time and you have this on a number of details. Is that just politics playing to a domestic audience or do we have a real problem of two different interpretations of what they agreed to that we're going to run into at this June 30th deadline?

KARIM SADJADPOUR, CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT: It's too soon to say, Jim. There is a concern that we've signed two different deals. The deal that came out in Washington looks very favorable. The deal, which the Iranians believe they signed may be they have to make less commitments. And, you know, I don't think it's a forgone conclusion that we will get a deal signed by the end of June. But I do think given the tremendous popular euphoria amongst the Iranian people who are so eager to merge from isolation and to be reintegrated into the global economy, it's going to be difficult for the leadership in Iran to disappoint them.

SCIUTTO: Well, the June 30 deadline, it moves, it wouldn't be the first deadline that's moved in these negotiations. And Vali, I want to ask you, the president said in defending this deal that there were three options for Iran. Either this deal, more sanctions, or war. It was interesting, we're told that during these talks the Pentagon was under orders to keep updating its bunker buster bombs, which were designed, frankly, to get it underground Iranian nuclear facilities. In your view though, is war against Iran to end its nuclear program an actual option?

NASR: I don't think so. I don't think the threat of war is serious. The president has spent a number of years arguing that the American people don't want a war. They don't want to spend money on wars. We've come out of Afghanistan. We ended our presence in Iraq. The president went to great lengths to argue against any kind of involvement in Syria because it will end up being a slippery slope to a very long and large war. So it doesn't look credible to the Iranians that the U.S. would really seriously contemplate starting military action against a country of 80 million people.

SCIUTTO: Vali, we heard from the Israeli prime minister. I want to, if I can, play one more bit of his speech today on this deal. Have a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER: Israel demands that any final agreement with Iran will include a clear and unambiguous Iranian commitment of Israel's right to exist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCIUTTO: Is that a realistic outcome, a realistic demand from the U.S., from the West, from Israel?

NASR: Well, I mean, Israel can ask that, but the problem that it causes is that it is a way, in which to try to make getting to a deal in June for the United States more difficult. Because first of all, the Iranian answer very simply will be no and even if Iran was to entertain this request, it will have counter demands, which will then open a whole new set of issues for the two sides to negotiate.

SCIUTTO: Just very briefly, Karim, is it an actual goal of the Iranian leadership to wipe Israel off the map as we often heard in the rhetoric there?

SADJADPOUR: I don't think that Iran is going to - Iran is not pursuing the physical annihilation of Israel, but they are pursuing the political dissolution of Israel. They essentially want to see a referendum that renders one state. No longer, you know, Israel and Palestine, but one state with the implicitly being the Palestinians are now a demographic majority. And so Israel will become Palestine.

SCIUTTO: Karim, Sadjadpour, Vali Nasr, great to have you on, thanks for joining us.

[20:35:02]

NASR: Thank you.

SADJADPOUR: Thank you, Jim.

SCIUTTO: A lot more ahead tonight, including another American woman charged with trying to help ISIS. We look closer at why global jihad is no longer just for men.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCIUTTO: Welcome back. I'm Jim Sciutto in Washington. Just a day after two New York women were charged with a variety of terror related crimes, there is word of another arrest. Also, a woman also allegedly bent on joining global jihad. This time from Philadelphia. Kiona (ph) Thomas, age 30. The criminal complaint says she tried to travel overseas to join ISIS, contacted an ISIS fighter and when asked if she wanted to become a martyr, replied that would be amazing, a girl can only wish. Which is the larger question, what is the draw for hundreds of Western women to head overseas for ISIS? "360"'s Randi Kaye investigates.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Her name is Hayat Boumeddiene, one of the most wanted women in the world. Boumeddiene is the widow of the Paris kosher supermarket gunman. That's her clearing customs in Istanbul with a male companion January 2nd, the week before that Paris shooting.

[20:40:02]

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: For Western extremist women, she's become an iconic figure, somebody who's seen as supporting her husband in Jihad, somebody who's seen as having the courage of her convictions to go all the way to Syria, to join up with ISIS. And so ISIS are holding her up as a role model.

KAYE: And it may be working. Officials estimate more than 500 Western women have joined the jihadi ranks in Syria and Iraq. In fact, up to one fifth of all foreign recruits to jihadi groups are women. Like these three teenage girls from Britain suspected of traveling to Syria to join ISIS. Surveillance video caught them in Istanbul, nearly two weeks after they left London on February 17th.

COMMANDER RICHARD WALTON, METROPOLITAN POLICE: We don't know what has enticed them, what has encourage them to go out to Syria.

KAYE: What possibly could have enticed this British mother of two when she became an ISIS fighter in Syria, she was widely quoted online saying "My son and I love life with the beheaders." This jihadist is also from Britain. She is reportedly a 21-year-old medical student. On Twitter, she posted this disturbing image. A woman in a white doctor's coat and black burka holding a human head. The posting read, "Dream job: a terrorist doc."

Many of the Western women looking to join ISIS are young, so they're easy targets for ISIS' heavy social media presence. Some ISIS fighters actually communicate personally with these women asking for their hand in marriage or offering to find fighters for them to marry.

CRUICKSHANK: ISIS fighters on social media are projected as these courageous handsome dashing fighters, so and young girls attracted to the idea to get married and produce the next generation of jihadists.

KAYE: Western women looking to join the fight on the battlefield though may be deeply disappointed.

FRIDA GHITIS, WORLD AFFAIRS COLUMNIST, THE MIAMI HERALD: When women join ISIS, they are not warriors, for the most part. The vast majority of them are not going to be fulfilling these kinds of operational roles. The vast majority of them are going to be housewives, to use that term loosely, because after all, ISIS is an organization that follows very, very strict rules.

KAYE: Women looking to make a name for themselves in martyrdom. Abroad or perhaps here at home. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: Incredible to watch. Coming up next, he says he was stranded at sea for 66 days, but some say it just can't be so. Our Gary Tuchman has that story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCIUTTO: I feel blessed. Those words from the man everyone is talking about now. 37-year-old Louis Jordan. He was rescued after he says he spent 66 days stranded in the Atlantic on his crippled sailboat. The story seems like a Hollywood movie. An incredible story of survival at sea and he's not alone. There's U.S. Army captain Louis Zamperini. He was lost at sea for 47 days after his plane was shot down during World War II. The story told, of course, in the movie "Unbroken." Among the others, the three Mexican fishermen rescued after nine months at sea. But the record seems to go to another sailor from Mexico who vanished at sea in 2012. Till he washed ashore 13 months later, thousands of miles away on a remote Marshall Islands in the Pacific and now apparently there's Louis Jordan. Our Gary Tuchman has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fasten your seat belt.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Inside this basket, a man being lifted from the Atlantic Ocean. A man who had been missing for 66 days. Louis Jordan rescued after he says he spent most of the winter in the Atlantic. In a 35-foot sailboat. Jordan says the boat capsized and lost its mass during rough weather.

Now reunited with the father who thought he would never see his son again. The 37-year-old says he set out fishing from a marina in South Carolina in late January. He was reported missing on January 29th. Jordan who calls himself an inexperienced sailor says he survived by catching fish, by dragging laundry in the ocean. And drinking green water.

LOUIS JORDAN, RESCUED AFTER 60 DAYS AT SEA: The whole boat had turned around and I was flying through the air somersaulting and the ceiling was the floor, and the floor was a ceiling, and this side was the other side and everything was upside down and backwards.

TUCHMAN: Now back on land, Jordan brought to a hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was treated and released. Authorities say he's in remarkably good condition.

JORDAN: I was grateful and thankful to the people who rescued. And I was grateful to God that my parents were not going to be worried about me.

TUCHMAN: How did Jordan survive such an ordeal? In February, air temperatures went down to the single digits. This Norfolk marine has many similarly sized sailboats to the one Jordan was on.

It's very rare for a vessel like this to capsize, but when it does, you are in dire trouble, especially when you are by yourself.

On a day like this with wind gusts near 40 miles per hour, it's even risky to go sailing.

WAYNE DIVINEY, SAILOR AND CEO OF SAILTIME: How long have you been sailing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 40 years.

TUCHMAN: Even with the cabin similar to this one, Wayne Diviney, of Sailtime charters says the combinations would have been very rough.

(on camera): So, if you're out on the water for 66 days, on a vessel like this in winter weather, can you imagine how incredibly dangerous that is and how hard to survive that?

DIVINEY: I just - I can't fathom how it was even possible, quite frankly.

TUCHMAN (voice over): But Diviney and other sailors say a combination of skills and some good luck could indeed result in this unlikely, but very happy outcome. Jordan considers himself a man of faith. The name of his wrecked boat? Angel.

FRANK JORDAN, SON RESCUED AT SEA: I almost prayed that somebody would find me. And they did. Yeah, let's have a hug.

LOUIS JORDAN: Love this man. Love him with all my heart.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: Gary Tuchman joins us now live from Norfolk, Virginia. Gary, incredible story. Some say too incredible to be true. Do authorities doubt the details of this at all?

TUCHMAN: Well, firstly, Jim. Mr. Jordan was in great peril. He was rescued 200 miles off the U.S. coast. His boat was destroyed. Everyone is very happy he's at home. But the Coast Guard does have some questions about his time line when they rescued him.

[20:50:02] He thought he was gone for 100 days. So, they're going to further talk to him, debrief him. Find out where he was on day one, week one, month one. Find out if the boat was moving, if he had food, if he had water. It's all part of the Coast Guard's case studies which they do after situations like this, but let it be said at this point the Coast Guard says that he does not doubt at this point his truthfulness.

SCIUTTO: It's a happy ending for sure. Thanks very much to Gary Tuchman. Louis Jordan's family never gave up hope even after the Coast Guard stopped looking for him. Louis's father, Frank, joins us tonight.

Frank, I know you were able to see your son at the hospital last night. It must have been an incredible moment. Describe to us how the reunion was.

FRANK JORDAN: Well, I had spoken to him a couple of times on the phone, so it was, I had already had a little contact with him for the first time in a couple of months. But seeing him, of course, was wonderful and especially it was wonderful because he looked good. He hadn't lost too much weight. He wasn't badly sunburned like I thought he probably would be. He looked very good.

SCIUTTO: So how's he doing now? I know he was treated for dehydration. He had that broken collarbone. But his spirits seemed pretty good listening to him.

FRANK JORDAN: Well, yeah. He's actually the injuries that he sustained were in the first rollover, which occurred early in this nine-week period. So he, I said, Louis, why don't you stay at the hospital a little longer, let him check your collarbone and stuff, and he said, dad, that was a couple of months ago. It's all healed up. But he's in great spirits. He went through a lot, but he did have the boat to keep him, give him a little shelter, even though it rolled over a couple of times. It still kept him alive.

SCIUTTO: So, some members of the Coast Guard have said that typically when people have been out at sea for this length of time that you would see the effects of long-term sunburn, for instance. There would be other signs of just the kind of food that they were eating and symptoms that they did not see in his case. That has raised some questions among skeptics. I'm just curious what you say to skeptics of this story.

FRANK JORDAN: Well, like I said, he had this shelter of his boat. The Pierson 35, that's the kind of boat he had, is a very seaworthy boat. It stayed afloat. It had a cabin and he spent most of his time inside. And I think that is what protected him from the sunburn that I was expecting to see. And as far as any other debility affected by the long period of time, I don't know what to say about that. Now, I do know this. That when I spoke with him this morning, that he showed an emotional effects of this ordeal that I had never saw of this emotion in him. He was very emotional and he's normally a very private person. So I know he went through what he went through.

SCIUTTO: Watching you there, did look like a powerful reunion for sure. Frank Jordan, thanks very much for sharing details of what's a truly remarkable story. We appreciate your time.

FRANK JORDAN: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Just ahead, terrifying stories from students who narrowly escaped the Al Shabaab attack at their university. That's right after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCIUTTO: We have breaking news tonight on the campus massacre in Kenya. Police have now arrested five suspects in connection with Thursday's attack by al Shabaab militants from Somalia. They also found three survivors including a young woman who was hiding in a pile of dead bodies. She and others are now sharing their horrifying story. CNN's David McKenzie is in Kenya.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Entering the bad lands of northeast Kenya. The porous border of Somalia, just 90 miles away. It's a constant threat to Kenya's security. Kenyan Special Forces have little to do now except look over the grim task of loading the dead. Just discharged from hospital, Hellen Titus says she hid in a wardrobe when the shooting started, but the terrorists found her.

HELLEN TITUS, SURVIVOR: Shoot them. Shoot them. And then after that, they give us a lecture.

MCKENZIE: She says the gunman spoke Swahili and wore no shoes. They gave them a religious sermon. She says they shot them in the head one by one, 20 women and 20 men. She survived by smearing the blood of her friend over her face.

TITUS: Locked myself, swiped myself with that blood.

MCKENZIE: Hellen was rescued after ten hours. But most of her friends were not.

Many of the students say that they fled with just the clothes on their back. Escaping through a hail of gunfire and explosions. This was a thriving university with students from throughout Kenya. Now they're being scattered like refugees.

(on camera): There were bullets everywhere?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, there were bullets everywhere, and then students was (INAUDIBLE) running out.

MCKENZIE (voice over): Evin Mutandura (ph) fled with his four months old son, Marura. He says the gunman asked students to recite the Quran. If they couldn't, they were killed. The survivors still reliving the trauma. She lost her best friend.

They've been removing bodies all day from this university. They say that there were dozens of bodies in just one building that they have to pull out. Now the Red Cross is coming to do the final batch as they call it. No one else is allowed inside then. They say when the final bodies are removed, this whole place will close down.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCKENZIE: Well, certainly, Jim, there are still family members hoping, wondering where the students are. The family is. And al Shabaab was largely considered a spent force cornered in Somalia including by drone strikes by the U.S. and Special Operations forces getting on to the ground and killing top commanders, but it does appear that al Shabaab as Islamic terror force is still a force to be reckoned with and when cornered, it can strike out.

[21:00:00]

MCKENZIE: Jim?

SCIUTTO: In the most horrible way. Just a horrifying story. David McKenzie, thank you very much for being there.

Well, this latest attack eclipsed another one. A year and a half ago, the massacre at a Nairobi shopping center. Tonight, we'll have a remarkable look at how that unfolded. TERROR AT THE MALL starts right now.