Program Note: Tune in tonight for a special AC360° report on the DC sniper case. 10 p.m. ET
CNN Homeland Security Correspondent
The hour I spent with John Allen Muhammad was, without a doubt, bizarre.
I had written to Muhammad in prison after his conviction. To my surprise he agreed to a meeting – but without cameras.
His attorney, alerted to the situation by the jail, appeared and tried to stop Muhammad from talking to me. Muhammad not only wouldn't take his advice, he asked the guards to remove the attorney, leaving Muhammad and me alone to talk face-to-face.
Muhammad was in shackles and handcuffs. I was nervous at the outset of our session, but never scared – though perhaps I should have been. At one point Muhammad rose from his chair and started to circle around behind me. The guards outside the room immediately entered and barked at him to sit back down.
Muhammad told me he was not going to die for crimes he did not commit, but beyond that would say nothing about the beltway sniper spree or his relationship with his accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo.
Tonight, we have breaking news on the suspected Fort Hood killer. Plus, Oprah talks with Anderson about her book club and her passion to educate children. And, we're taking your questions on health care reform. Text your questions to AC360 or 22360.
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Octavia Nasr | BIO
CNN Senior Editor, Mideast Affairs
On TV and among ordinary Arabs and Muslims, condemnation of the Fort Hood attack was front and center. But radical Islamist groups were quick to hail Nidal Hasan as a "hero." On several radical sites, they described the shooting rampage at Fort Hood as "the blessed jihadist attack."
A fundamentalist group even produced a video clip showing images from the shooting aftermath while they played jihadi songs glorifying the act. At the end of the video they displayed this chilling caption in English:
Photos of Major Nidal Hasan, the suspect in Thursday's shooting spree, were flashed on TV screens across the globe. That included Arab and Muslim regions.
We have new developments in the Fort Hood massacre. Tonight on 360° you'll get new insight on the alleged gunman, Maj. Nidal Hasan.
We've learned Hasan may have first heard radical anti-American views at a Washington suburban mosque.
It's the same mosque where a former imam, Anwar al-Awlaki, was the subject of several federal investigations going back to the late 1990s, but he was never charged.
al-Awlaki was also mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report for having close ties to two of the 9/11 hijackers. The report shows it's unclear if al-Awlaki knew the two were terrorists.
al-Awlaki now lives in Yemen, where he's praising the Fort Hood attacks on his web site. He writes of Hasan:
"He is a man of conscience who could not bear living the contradiction of being a Muslim and serving in an Army that is fighting against his own people."
Today the current imam at the mosque talked with CNN and denied any possible connections between al-Awlaki, the 9/11 hijackers and Maj. Nidal Hasan. The current imam is also shocked about the Fort Hood shootings.
"I couldn't believe he (Nidal Hasan) could have done this," Sheikh Shaker Elsayed of Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center said.
We're also tracking developments in the investigation in Texas. We've learned that's where authorities are trying to track down the six people Nidal Hasan had dinner with the night before the shootings.
Tonight we also take you back to the terror that gripped the Washington area in October 2002. You'll hear new interviews with the first responders in the DC-area sniper case. The convicted mastermind of the attacks, John Allen Muhammed, is scheduled to die by lethal injection tomorrow night in Virginia. Today the Supreme Court refused to block the execution. A little more than seven years ago, Muhammed and his teenage accomplice, John Lee Malvo, murdered ten random people and left millions living in fear that they would also be targeted.
And don't miss part two of Anderson's interview with Oprah Winfrey. Plus, we're taking your questions on health care reform. Text them to AC360 or 22360.
Join us for these stories and much more starting at 10 p.m. ET. See you then!
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 symbolized the end of communism across Eastern Europe.
David W. Fitzpatrick
CNN Special Investigations Unit
There’s a lot to read and a lot to see today about the events 20 years ago on Nov. 9, 1989 when East Germany (technically a splendid oxymoron called the German Democratic Republic) took no action and the infamous Berlin Wall was reduced to a footnote of history.
I was there for those tumultuous and joyous events as a producer for the CBS Evening News and above all else, the one thing that sticks in my mind is not the tremendous geo-political fallout, but rather the voices and faces of the people of both East and West Berlin.
When I arrived in Berlin after an overnight flight from New York and then on the only Western airline allowed into West Berlin (remember Pan American World Airways?), enormous crowds had already started to build near the Wall and the adjacent Brandenburg Gate.
One of the first people I recognized — and he, being a seasoned politician enjoyed the recognition — was the mayor of West Berlin, Willy Brandt. His long time symbol was a red rose that he always wore in lapel of his suit. He was beaming as we approached with our camera crew and in perfect English began to give us an interview drenched in politics and logic, but mostly void of emotion.
Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:
Sesame Street characters pose under a '123 Sesame Street' sign at the 'Sesame Street' 40th Anniversary temporary street renaming in Dante Park in New York City.
Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
UPDATE BEAT 360º WINNERS
"A sign of the times: The first ever unemployment line on Sesame Street."
"Unfortunately, Miss Piggy could not attend due to swine flu , so in her honor, today's event was brought to you by the letters H and N and by the number 1."