November 28th, 2008
02:02 PM ET

The FBI – ready for Mumbai

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/11/28/india.attacks/art.taj.1835.gi.jpg
caption="Security forces outside the Taj Mahal Hotel."]
Kelli Arena
CNN Washington Correspondent

The FBI has a team ready to fly to Mumbai and join the investigation. Officials are working with Indian diplomats to get them there. They need an invitation from the Indian government. And the State Department is still discussing Indian officials how the FBI would operate once it hits the ground.

That can be a delicate negotiation with any country. But U.S. ties to Pakistan, India's longtime enemy, make it more complicated.

Whenever Americans are injured or killed anywhere in the world by a terrorist attack, the FBI opens a case. But it can only operate in another country with that government's permission.

After the U.S. embassy Bombings in Nairobi, there was full and total cooperation. After the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, there were more guarded dealings with the host government.

In India's case, you have a strong, sovereign, and fairly well organized government that has investigators from Canada, Great Britain, Australia and other countries all asking for access because their citizens were victims here.

The Indian government will have to arrange whatever access they will grant for each country's agencies. For the FBI, the State Department will have to negotiate that carefully.

Filed under: India • India Attacked • Kelli Arena • Terrorism
July 15th, 2008
06:20 PM ET

Gitmo interrogation – not what many expected

A 16-year-old Canadian prisoner at Guantanamo Bay is shown being interrogated in a video released by his attorney.
A 16-year-old Canadian prisoner at Guantanamo Bay is shown being interrogated in a video released by his attorney.

Kelli Arena
Justice Correspondent

We had never seen a tape of an interrogation from Guantanamo Bay before. This video was only being released because a judge forced the Canadian government's hand. The detainee was just 16 at the time-now 21-the youngest being held at Gitmo. What would it show?? It turns out, it was more subdued than shocking.

The detainee, Omar Khadr is visibly distraught at times. "Oh Mommy," he cries in despair when he is alone in the room, watched only by hidden cameras.


Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Kelli Arena • War on Terror
June 6th, 2008
10:06 AM ET

The man in charge

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/06/art.ksm.jpg caption="Court sketch of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Waleed bin Attash, two of the September 11, 2001 attacks co-conspirator suspects."]
Kelli Arena
CNN Correspondent

He's been in custody for more than five years. He's been waterboarded. He's been held in isolation. But the man who appeared in a military courtroom was far from broken. Self confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was clearly the man in charge.

The five detainees, who hadn't been in the same room together in years, were allowed to talk before the military commission got started. Reporters were allowed to view their interaction but were behind a glass panel and could not hear them. Mohammed had an extremely calm demeanor, and held himself rather regally. He was clearly chastising some of his alleged co-conspirators, shaking his finger at them and frowning. He continued to talk to them even after the proceedings started.

At one point he held up four fingers then pointed at Mustafa Ahmad al Hawsawi who put his head down. It was clear al Hawsawi was a holdout for whatever strategy he was trying to maneuver. Later in the evening, al Hawsawi's lawyer told reporters, "I can tell you from my impression it was clear that Mr. Mohammed was attempting to intimidate Mr. al Hawsawi into not accepting me as counsel."

Filed under: Kelli Arena • Terrorism
April 16th, 2008
01:32 PM ET

Virginia Tech and NIU shootings: One common denominator

By Kelli Arena
CNN Correspondent

The shootings at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University had one thing in common - Eric Thompson. He is one of the biggest online gun dealers in the country. He sold a gun to one shooter and equipment to the other. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/CRIME/04/16/vt.one.year.later/art.vt.community.candles.gi.jpg caption="A year later, Virginia Tech students say they have learned about themselves and their community."]

You'd probably never know that, though, had Thompson himself not made those facts public. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) is specifically prohibited by law from releasing that kind of information.

Thompson has been unusually public about a lot of things since those tragic shootings, in particular his remedy for dealing with gun violence.

"My answer to this problem is let people protect themselves," says Thompson.

That's right, more guns, or at least the threat of more guns. Thompson is pushing for more states to allow its citizens to conceal and carry, and he supports allowing students to carry guns on college and university campuses.


Filed under: Campus Rage • Kelli Arena