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Schmidt: ‘If Google had algorithm to detect terrorists, we’d use it’

May 1st, 2013
06:53 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

In the days after the Boston bombings, a YouTube account was found with the username Tamerlan Tsarnaev, which included a playlist labeled “terrorists.”

“If there were an algorithm to detect terrorists, trust me, we would use it,” Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday. Google owns YouTube.

He is the author of a new book, “The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations, and Business,” about the perils and promises of the Internet.

His co-author, Jared Cohen, is a former State Department adviser who now holds the nouveau title of Director of Google Ideas.

“Future terrorists are going to have to opt into technology if they want to be relevant,” Cohen told Amanpour. “In the future, there’s going to be no hidden people.”

The Tsarnaev brothers may have carried out the attacks in Boston despite their online profiles. But, as law enforcement, government, and business become more adept at tracking internet activity, terrorists too could be more easily rooted out.

Watch the video above to see the full interview with Schmidt and Cohen, and to find out why the internet may increase Iran’s population ten-fold.


Filed under:  Boston bombings • Latest Episode

Fears of a Muslim in Boston

April 25th, 2013
10:31 AM ET

By Claire Calzonetti & Samuel Burke, CNN

When the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon last Monday, Pakistani doctor Haider Javed Warraich was eating lunch at a restaurant nearby.

As a doctor, his first reaction was to help the injured.

But he second-guessed his own response, believing that he could be viewed as a potential suspect because of his ethnicity.

"As a 20-something Pakistani male with dark stubble, would I not fit the bill?” Warraich wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times last week, saying, “I remember feeling grateful that I wasn't wearing a backpack." FULL POST


Filed under:  Boston bombings • Latest Episode

Did al Qaeda magazine inspire Tsarnaev brothers?

April 23rd, 2013
04:44 PM ET

CNN Terrorism Analyst Paul Cruickshank and Christiane Amanpour examine al Qaeda's "Inspire" magazine.


Filed under:  Boston bombings • Latest Episode

Chechen opposition leader denies ties to Tsarnaev brothers

April 23rd, 2013
04:41 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

Chechen opposition leader in exile Akhmed Zakayev denied on Tuesday that the Tsarnaev brothers have any ties to militant groups in Chechnya in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

“Of course not,” Zakayev said about any suspicions of ties. “Our great regrets is that the suspects of this crime are ethnic Chechens – it’s true. But I can assure you, however, that the Chechen people do not have any motives or reasons to have some feelings [against] the United States.”

On behalf of his community, Zakayev expressed condolences to those were injured, as well to the families of the victims who were killed.

Chechnya, in southern Russia, has long been a troubled region, with its own history of terrorism.

United States authorities are investigating whether the Tsarnaev brothers, in allegedly planning the Boston bombings, had any Chechen funding or training.

So far, American authorities say that communications from the surviving brother, Dzhokhar, indicate that the two were not directed by any international terrorist group.

Instead, they appear to have been radicalized by Islamic extremist literature and videos on the internet.

The Washington Post reports that Dzhokhar told authorities that he and his brother were also motivated by America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There are Chechens who have joined anti-Americans in that region, but Zakayev doesn’t believe those connections played in role with the Tsarnaev brothers.

“I should admit in the Northern Caucuses we have really [radicalized] Islamic movements,” but Zakayev said it has to do with the political conflict in that area, not with problems with the West. “We are not Islamic international terrorists.”

READ MORE: Did al Qaeda magazine inspire Tsarnaev brothers?


Filed under:  Boston bombings • Latest Episode