September 18th, 2009
10:00 PM ET

Suspect in terror probe admits ties to al Qaeda, official says

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/18/terror.raid/art.zazi.gi.jpg caption="A lawyer for Najibullah Zazi disputed claims that bomb-making plans were found on his client's computer. "]


Najibullah Zazi, the man at the center of a probe into a suspected terror plot against a target in the New York area, has admitted ties to al Qaeda, an administration official familiar with the matter told CNN Friday.

Either a plea deal or charges are possible, the official said.

The terror plot that came to light this week following raids in New York may have been targeting a major transportation center, sources close to the investigation told CNN on Thursday.

There was planning and preparation for an attack, presumably in the New York area, where there would be a large number of people and where security screening is lax such as a large railroad or subway station, essentially where there is no airport-style screening, the sources said.

Filed under: al Qaeda • Terrorism
September 18th, 2009
09:55 PM ET

Michelle Obama could be secret weapon in health care reform

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/18/michelle.obama.health.reform/art.michelleobama.gi.jpg caption="First lady Michelle Obama listens to remarks during a health care forum at the White House on Friday."]

Ed Hornick

She stood by her husband throughout the contentious 2008 presidential campaign and during heated health care reform debates during his presidency.

Now, as the reform debate is reaching a fever pitch, first lady Michelle Obama is weighing in on the issue by focusing on how health care can affect families.

"What she's doing is putting a personal and human face on the issue ... there's nothing more crucial," said Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn. "Everybody gets sick, and everybody has someone in the family that gets sick."

"I think if you can humanize it and personalize it, it suddenly brings it home to people - especially those who are screaming and yelling about the government taking over," Quinn said.

On Friday, the first lady, a former hospital administrator, spoke about the issue to a crowd at the White House, highlighting her own family's experience with health care.

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September 18th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 09/18/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

We have breaking news. An Afghan national living in the U.S. has admitted ties to al Qaeda. Does he have ties to a possible terror plot on U.S. soil? We'll have the latest on the investigation.

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: 360° Radar • Live Blog
September 18th, 2009
09:27 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Al Qaeda ties in America?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/18/terror.raid/art.zazi.gi.jpg caption= "A lawyer for Najibullah Zazi disputed claims that bomb-making plans were found on his client's computer."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

We've got new developments on those terror raids in New York City and Denver earlier this week. A 24-year-old Colorado resident and Afghan national has admitted ties to al Qaeda, an official close to the matter told CNN today.

His name is Najibullah Zazi. He's suspected of plotting a terrorist attack here in the U.S. We're told he's been meeting with FBI investigators today for the third consecutive day. Homeland Security correspondent Jeanne Meserve is working her sources tonight and will have a live update on the case.

We also have new details on the Yale murder case. Randi Kaye shows us how investigators tracked the suspect Raymond Clark.

And, First Lady Michelle Obama is taking a bigger role in the health care battle. We'll tell you what that's all about.

Plus, meet the James Carville impersonator who is sure to make you laugh this Friday night. Carville is a Democratic Strategist and CNN political analyst. We have him on the show from time to time to talk politics. Well, his "twin" had lot of us chuckling here in the newsroom.

Join us for these stories and more starting at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
September 18th, 2009
08:31 PM ET
September 18th, 2009
06:45 PM ET
September 18th, 2009
06:41 PM ET

Raymond Clark 'not at all' violent, pal since first grade says

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/17/raymond.clark.profile/art.clark.booking.jpg caption="Raymond Clark III was arrested Thursday and charged with murder in the death of Annie Le."]


Raymond J. Clark III, charged with murder in the death of Yale graduate student Annie Le, was smart, amiable and loved his dog, say those who knew him.

One researcher said he often went by the lab in the Yale School of Medicine building where Le was found strangled and stuffed in a wall. Lufeng Zhang worked with Clark, he said, and thinks the police may have the wrong man.

"He's a nice man, always," he said.

Clark, 24, the same age as Le, was a technician in the school of medicine's Animal Resources Center. While Le, who was pursuing a doctorate in pharmacology, conducted experiments on mice, Clark took care of the rodents and cleaned their cages.

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September 18th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Yale Murder Suspect: Facebook photos

Yale murder suspect Raymond Clark and and girlfriend Jennifer Hromadka in various Facebook photos:

September 18th, 2009
05:58 PM ET

Race and politics in the age of Obama

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Candy Crowley and Ed Hornick

Race and politics are a combustible combo that explodes into headlines when an ex-president lights the fuse, as Jimmy Carter did recently.

"When a radical fringe element of demonstrators and others begin to attack the president of the United States as an animal or as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler or when they wave signs in the air that said we should have buried Obama with Kennedy, those kinds of things are beyond the bounds," the Democrat told students at Emory University on Wednesday.

"I think people who are guilty of that kind of personal attack against Obama have been influenced to a major degree by a belief that he should not be president because he happens to be African-American," he added.

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