Chattanooga shooting witness: He was unloading bullets

Erica Wright tells her story on 'Hannity'


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 16, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: This is a Fox News Alert. The man identified as 24-year-old Mohammod Youssef Abdulazeez allegedly opened fire at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee, earlier today.

Now, just moments ago, the governor -- he addressed the situation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has obviously been a horrible day for Chattanooga and a tragic day for all of Tennessee, and I wanted to be here to express my sorrow and sympathy for the families and everyone else involved.

Tennessee and Chattanooga reacted just the way that I thought they would, with an outpouring of love and support. And the law enforcement officials are saying, I don't know we've been anywhere where we've seen a community just rally so quickly to -- to -- to the tragedy that we've had.


HANNITY: Now, the gunman reportedly killed four Marines and injured three others before being killed by local authorities at a Navy reserve center. Now, authorities tonight are still investigating with (ph) potential connections to radical Islam. Now, officials say the suspect was not on the FBI's radar before today's rampage.

But breaking tonight, according to The New York Times, the alleged shooter's father was, in fact, investigated several years ago for possible terror ties.

Joining us now live on the ground tonight in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is our own John Roberts. John, what do you know about that?

JOHN ROBERTS, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good evening to you, Sean.  Hey, a pickup truck, at least a tow truck, has just pulled up out in front of that reserve center just a moment ago. Looks like they may be going inside to pick up the suspect's vehicle. That's what you could assume by that.

It's going to be a long night, by the way, for FBI investigators.  They are inside the compound there. They will be going through all of the forensics of what happened during the day. We're told that the FBI command center in Knoxville is still up and running and will be likely all night.

Here's the latest, seven people in total shot, four of them dead.  Those are Marines. There was a police officer who was wounded in the ankle, a Marine who was slightly injured in the leg, and then a female sailor who we're told was pretty seriously injured. She's been undergoing surgery. She was also shot here at the center.

Take a look at these aerial pictures from earlier today. This is Abdulazeez's car. It's in the front parking lot of that reserve center.  To get there, he had to snake his way through concrete jersey barriers and an S-turn to get up enough speed to smash through the gate in the front of that facility and carried it with him 30 to 40 yards. You can see it bent and twisted there in front of his car.

That's where he allegedly opened fire, according to officials. He shot from the parking lot at that recruiting center earlier in the day, at Lee Highway (ph), as well.

Now, in that recruiting center at Lee Highway,, take a look at the bullet holes through the window and those bullet holes surrounding a sign that says no firearms inside. That's because, Sean, a 1992 directive from February of 1992 that was enacted in 1993, when President Clinton took office, severely limits the presence of firearms in military facilities, including recruiting centers.

However, there are some provisions in that directive that allow weapons to be held on military facilities. One is for law enforcement purposes. The other is, quote, "when there is a reasonable expectation that life or DOD assets will be jeopardized if firearms are not carried."  Think a lot of people will be taking a look at that clause in light of what happened today.

And here's one little moment that we saw earlier today. A Marine in dress blues came up to the area where police had it cordoned off, delivered to one of the police officers there a folded-up flag, paying tribute to the four Marines who were so brutally murdered here earlier today -- Sean.

HANNITY: All right, John Roberts, thanks so much for being with us.

And joining us now live from Washington with much more on any connection this attack has to homegrown terror, or perhaps radical Islamic terror, Catherine Herridge -- Catherine.

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Sean, we are working at this hour to confirm that report from The New York Times that the suspect's father had been the subject of a terrorism investigation an unspecified number of years ago. But it was eventually abandoned, and nothing was turned up on the son.

In the 14 years I've covered this beat, it is significant that within the hours of the attack, the FBI director, James Comey, was in the Oval Office briefing the president. The FBI was in the lead. And the starting point for the investigation is domestic terrorism until the evidence shows otherwise.


QUESTION: Domestic terrorism -- does that rule out any link possible (ph) ISIS maybe?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. We are looking at every possible avenue, whether it was terrorism, whether it was domestic, international, or whether it was a simple criminal act.


HERRIDGE: Tonight, the Homeland Security secretary said in a statement that security is being ramped up at federal facilities out of an abundance of caution, adding there is no credible threat at this time. But again, there was no warning the Chattanooga attack was imminent.


QUESTION: Was there any prior indication that there might be -- might be an attack today?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. We had no intelligence indicating there would be any type of attack today.


HERRIDGE: The big takeaway tonight based on our reporting is that the 24-year-old suspect was not on the FBI's radar. This is the kind of case the FBI director has been specifically warning about, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Catherine, I know we have not been able to confirm this yet, but there's reports out there about a blog that this suspect, I guess we have to call him at this point in this case, had, and he had two specific postings. Both of them talked about Islam, back on July 13th, the two postings coming on the very same day. What do we know about that? What are we looking into as it relates to that?

HERRIDGE: It appears from our reporting the first group to identify the blog was the Cite (ph) Institute. This is a group that tracks jihadist traffic and communications on line.

If, in fact, it is the suspect in the case, investigators will be taking a hard look at his statements to try and understand his frame of mind, also in light of what they find on their forensic review, which will be the phones, as well as the computers.

But I wouldn't want to get too far ahead except to say that we have a suspect identified, and it's certainly someone of interest to the FBI, but not someone who was on their radar before this terrible attack took place.

HANNITY: All right, Catherine Herridge in Washington tonight, thank you.

And joining us now also from Washington with much more information is our own Jennifer Griffin -- Jennifer.

JENNIFER GRIFFIN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Sean, here's what we know about Mohammod Youssef Abdulazeez. He was 24 years old, born in Kuwait in 1990, ironically, the same year the U.S. came to the defense of Kuwait after Saddam Hussein invaded.

He lived with his parents and attend Red Bank High School in Chattanooga. He was on the wrestling team and his coach has described him as a nice, observant Muslim.

In his senior yearbook, there's some clue about his state of mind. He wrote, "My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?" He signed it "Hajib (ph) man."

Also of note, he was arrested for a DUI in April, somewhat surprising for a devout Muslim. According to law enforcement, he does not have a military background. He worked as an intern at the Tennessee Valley Authority five years ago and attended college at Chattanooga State. He studied electrical engineering.

We're also learning more about the Marines who were killed. One of them was a, quote, "decorated war hero" with two Purple Hearts. The youngest was a lance corporal artillery cannoneer, just 19 years old. All were reservists in an artillery unit, part of the 3rd Battalion, 14th Regiment of the Marine reserves. In addition, three people were injured, one Marine and one police officer, and one female sailor was injured at the second shooting location. She is still in surgery, we're told.

The shooting started at 10:50 this morning. Twenty-five to thirty shots were fired at a recruiting center. The victims crawled on the floor and escaped out the back door. The police say that they chased the shooter to a second location seven miles away, a naval support operations center and Marine reserve center. The car rammed the gate, but there were no armed guards at the facility, as John Roberts reported. The four Marines were outside and unarmed, Sean.

HANNITY: Jennifer, we know that he was a wrestler in high school, later tried his hand at MMA fighting. A fellow wrestler, Ryan Smith (ph), is quoted as saying that he was very religious, would argue back and forth with the high school wrestling coach during fasting rituals.

Do we glean anything from that? Do we glean anything from The New York Times report that his father perhaps was being looked into, having radical views?

GRIFFIN: Well, I think there are two separate issues. One, I think we certainly have to notice that tomorrow night is the end of Ramadan and it is significant for Muslims to carry out so-called jihad during Ramadan.  There's a belief that they'll go straight to heaven and certain things follow.

I believe that all of the reports from his friends and coaches is that, yes, he was an observant Muslim. But that didn't necessarily indicate any sort of violent behavior. The post in his yearbook was sort of a tongue-in-cheek question. It wasn't necessarily an angry question.

So I think right now, the FBI will be looking at all of this. Who was he in contact on line? I'm sure there's an incredible forensic trail on line in terms of chat room activity and other signs. And certainly, they will -- this report by The New York Times that his father was on a watch list at one point and then was taken off of it -- all of that has to be investigated, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Jennifer Griffin in Washington, thank you so much.

Joining us now on the ground in Tennessee, a reporter for The Chattanooga Times Free Press -- Joy Smith is with us. Joy, I see that your newspaper has put out pretty much everything you've been able to find out about this young man. What can you tell us?

JOY LUKACHICK SMITH, CHATTANOOGA TIMES FREE PRESS: Well, we have been able to determine that he went to one of our local high schools, Red Bank High, and that he went -- graduated from UTC -- that's the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga -- with an engineering degree in 2012. We've had that confirmed. And a lot of his classmates said that he was a really likable, a popular guy. And nobody suspected anything like this.

HANNITY: Yes. Do you know anything, Joy, about the blog that had been reported?

SMITH: No, I do not.

HANNITY: Yes. What else can you tell us...

SMITH: I'm sorry.

HANNITY: I know that you guys also chronicled a little bit of his time in high school, and you spoke to the coach. You spoke to some of the fellow wrestlers. What did you learn from that?

SMITH: We learned that he was a very -- he was very serious about his work. He was very serious about wrestling. He -- I had talked to several people that said that they loved him, that they really enjoyed him, that he was a popular person, that he always -- people just really enjoyed him and they just -- I've had several people call me just in shock. They just don't understand how he could have done this.

HANNITY: Yes. I understand -- and we just had our own Catherine Herridge report that he was born in Kuwait. Do we know if he was an American citizen?

SMITH: We have not been able to confirm that yet. We know that his family lived -- owned a home. They were middle class -- a nice middle class family, and they owned a home here. But we have not been able to confirm that.

HANNITY: What do we know about the DUI arrest in, what was it, April of this year?

SMITH: Yes, we've been able to confirm that he was arrested for that, but that is -- that's all we know about that.

HANNITY: Do we know anything about how he reacted while being arrested? Any law enforcement tips on that?

SMITH: We know that he was -- he was shot (ph), but we don't know -- we don't know exactly the circumstances surrounding how he was shot. No.

HANNITY: Abdulazeez's father, Youssef, was appointed a special policeman in the Chattanooga Department of Public Works, correct?

SMITH: Yes. The Public Works Department...

HANNITY: Go ahead.

SMITH: They have a certain number of officers that are unarmed. They (ph) deputized. And so he was likely at one of our -- at the local sanitary plant. That's where they normally station unarmed officers. And he also worked for the Public Works Department. We've been able to confirm that here locally.

HANNITY: Tell us about Abdulazeez himself and the work that he did for the city.

SMITH: Well, the people that I've spoken to said that he was a really hard worker and that he was really proud of his work. And nobody...

HANNITY: And the specific area.

SMITH: ... had anything negative to say about him.

HANNITY: Yes, and the specific work that he was doing.

SMITH: We know that -- all we know is that he worked for the Public Works Department...


SMITH: ... and that he was able to -- yes, that's...

HANNITY: This may sound like...


HANNITY: Would he in that department have access to the public water of the city?

SMITH: I don't know.

HANNITY: OK. Just a thought.

SMITH: He could have.

HANNITY: OK, a question we might want to ask in the future. Thank you so much, Joy. Appreciate your time.

SMITH: Thank you.

HANNITY: Joining us now on the phone is someone who witnessed today's deadly shooting, Erica Wright. Thank you so much for being with us. Our thoughts and prayers do go out to the people of Chattanooga and all of Tennessee tonight.

Tell us what you saw.

ERICA WRIGHT, WITNESS (via telephone): Yes, we were in the salon working, which is two doors down from the Army/Navy recruiting center. And we heard one loud pop, and it sounded like a car backfiring or something like that. So we went to the door and the front windows to see what it was.

And when we got to the window, we looked down the walkway and saw that he was right beside the naval recruiting place, just shooting, in a silver convertible Mustang, just unloading a large black gun.

HANNITY: Was this the first shooting or the second shooting? And did he -- is this where he lost his life?

WRIGHT: As far as I know, this was the first shooting. He went to Amnicola (ph) after he left the location beside my job.

HANNITY: OK, so you see him and you see that he was firing all these bullets. You came out. I assume you probably ducked for cover, right?  Immediately after you saw that he left, what did you do?

WRIGHT: Well, we didn't come outside. We just looked out the window.  And immediately, when we saw that someone was shooting, we headed toward the back of the salon, grabbing our cell phones so that we could call 911.

And about the time we got to the very back of the salon, the shooting stopped. And he was leaving the parking lot, headed down 153, assuming toward Amnicola.

HANNITY: Yes. Well, we really appreciate you sharing that story with us, very sad day for everybody there. Our thoughts and prayers with the families of these four brave Marines and those that were injured, as well.

All right, when we come back, new information on the shooting in Tennessee. Was the gunman inspired by radical Islam?

And later tonight, Geraldo Rivera -- he is on the ground in Mexico as the hunt for El Chapo continues today. Now, earlier today, he went inside the actual tunnel that this notorious drug lord escaped from. He's here later tonight. We'll show you that footage as we continue.

Stay with us.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We saw the silver convertible Mustang, and he was just unloading some type of large rifle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a regular day. I mean, he just pulled up. And I didn't think anything of it. He had his drop top, and he looked to the side. And next thing you know, he lifted up his arms like this, with a big black gun and just -- it was one shot, and then it was just endless shorts, one after another, just unloading into the Army...


HANNITY: Chattanooga, Tennessee, reeling tonight after today's deadly shootings.

Joining us now on the ground with the very latest developments is WZTV reporter -- Jen French is with us. All right, Jen, walk us through the day. Walk us through the new developments that we have at this hour.

JEN FRENCH, WZTV: Well, here in Chattanooga, we are working to get more details about 24-year-old Mohammod Youssef Abdulazeez. Now, police and federal investigators tell us for something to qualify as an act of terrorism -- that's what they're investigating -- they first to have prove that some sort of political organization is associated with him or he had political motives, as in looking at his Google search, looking at anything he might have typed in his e-mail.

Now, we are standing outside right now of the naval reserve center.  This is where it all ended. This is where someone shot Abdulazeez. Now, we are getting reports that law enforcement may have shot him. However, police have not been clear about the circumstances surrounding his death.

This all started, actually, across town at the Marine reserve center, 10:45 this morning. He continued his rampage here, killing four Marines, injuring three people and injuring an officer.

Now, we do understand the officer and those three civilians will be OK. And we also know Abdulazeez lived in Hixson (ph), Tennessee. That's just across the river of Chattanooga, so just a few minutes from here.

We know he was born in Kuwait. And also, we did a criminal background check on him in the state of Tennessee in Hamilton County. Only thing on his record is a DUI from April. And in Tennessee, that's a misdemeanor.  That's not a felony. So the FBI -- he hasn't even been on their radar up until now. Sean, back to you.

HANNITY: Yes, I want to ask you, though, Jen, real quickly here, what do you know about The New York Times report about the father and he could have been on a watch list a number of years ago? Everything that we read, every person that came into contact with Abdulazeez says he was very religious and would fast and argue with his wrestling coach, et cetera.  Then there's unconfirmed reports about the blog that might have indicated that he has some radical Islamic at least thoughts or belief systems.

So what do we know about the father?

FRENCH: No, that's certainly a valid point you have. We are still looking into his father. And there's a lot of circumstances. You know, it's not clear if he was motivated himself or his father had somewhat of an influence on him.

We do have another crew that is in the Hixson area right now. We're trying to reach out to neighbors, family members, and we are working to get your more details to confirm maybe that family association, if there is any other motivation behind the shooting.

HANNITY: All right, Jen. Thanks so much for being with us, as we continue tonight.

Earlier, about a week ago, we know that the FBI director, James Comey, actually said he cannot stop ISIS-inspired attacks against our military indefinitely. Watch this.


JAMES COMEY, FBI DIRECTOR: ISIL says, Go kill. Go kill. Here's a list of military members you can go kill. Go do it.

We are stopping these things so far through tremendous hard work, the use of sources, the use of on-line undercovers. But it is incredibly difficult. I cannot see me stopping these indefinitely.


HANNITY: So how safe are you, the American people? Joining us now with analysis, former FBI assistant director Ron Hosko, former NYPD detective Bo Dietl. And retired FBI special agent Manny Gomez is with us.

Manny, I'm listening to James Comey say, I can't stop this indefinitely. That was a week ago.

MANUEL GOMEZ, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Well, he's being honest.  Statistically, ISIS is recruiting an average of 50 people a day. And their message is pretty simple. Come join us overseas and fight with us. But if you can't do that, simply go out, kill cops, kill military by any means necessary, improvised explosive devices, firearms, a hatchet. And their message is obviously resonating with the youth of our country.

HANNITY: Before I get to Bo -- Ron Hosko, you're -- you're, you know, a former, what, special assistant director of the FBI. I would like to think and I think the American people would like to think that the FBI has a handle on this. And a week ago, they're saying they do not have a handle on this in any way, shape, matter or form!

What can you tell the American people tonight about their specific safety?

RON HOSKO, FMR. FBI ASST. DIRECTOR: Well, I think, Sean, the American people need to be concerned and need to be alert. The FBI director has been warning of this sort of thing for weeks now, if not months.

This threat is far different than the threat of al Qaeda 10 or 12 years ago. If you use the hockey analogy, al Qaeda was working with a very big puck, and they would pass it back and forth to each other before they tried to score. The big puck was the grandiose, the big strike on America, an airliner strike or a bridge or a tunnel.

Here, you have people who are going to just put shots on goal. ISIS is looking for anyone who will listen to their message and move to action to fire, to take action against the military, against law enforcement.

And the other thing that the director is warning about is this notion of going dark. Because of technology advances today, the FBI is hearing and seeing less and less and less because of encryption technology.

HANNITY: All right, Bo, it's unconfirmed at this point. There is a possibility that he may have telegraphed this in terms of his radicalism going back to July 13th in two posts. We haven't confirmed it yet.

If that turns out to be the case, that would follow a pattern that we often have, which is that you have radical sympathizers telegraphing their radical views. And we don't catch it!

BO DIETL, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: No, and it's -- it's -- you know, if you remember back before 4th of July, we were on your show. We talked about the threat, about the Ramadan and they were talking about attacking. And then all of a sudden, it came and it went and everybody forgot about it.

I think this should be a wake-up call in America because if people believed that the FBI is monitoring any portion of this -- (INAUDIBLE) the tip of the iceberg. There are so many others that are in this country that the FBI -- it cannot monitor!

These people here that you see like what happened today, this is a guy who was sitting back. He wanted to do something for Ramadan to get to the 72 virgins, luxury like he'd never seen before. I mean, this is what they believe. They're psychopathic with this.

Right now, we have to wake up America because we have to give up some of our freedom, eavesdropping (INAUDIBLE) oh, you can't listen to my phones. You got to give up some of your freedom to have safety! And this is now a wake-up call for America! This is the beginning, Sean! And...

HANNITY: Let me tell you how bad this is because I have numbers. For the last seven years, leading up to February 1st, 2015. domestic terror attacks or foiled attacks occurred on average, get this, every 34 days.  That's a lot of...

DIETL: Sean, this is -- I don't want to be the monger (ph) here because I get e-mails when I do your show saying, You're trying to scare everybody. Yes, I'm trying to scare everybody into preparing themselves.

Put armament around our military bases. Give the military (INAUDIBLE) fine enough to fight in a war, so let them carry their firearms! Let them have M-16s! We have them in Penn Station with our National Guard! We have to realize we're at war with ISIS! And this president should wake up there! We have to...


HANNITY: ... get to that in a second. But this is an important point that you're bringing up, in that this is our military!

DIETL: Right!

HANNITY: Military...

DIETL: And you say they can't carry guns?

HANNITY: These are gun-free zones. Now, we're going to send these guys off to war, we're going to train them in the use of firearms, but we don't have the confidence to give them or allow them to have weapons...

DIETL: It's ridiculous!

HANNITY: ... on their own bases or recruiting areas? That makes zero sense!


HANNITY: Because it might have saved Marines' lives today!

DIETL: Maybe -- - and it was a video on one of the FOX stations like this afternoon. They showed an aerial view from the helicopter with two Marines laying there dead. And I tell you, when I saw that, and they were unarmed -- and my heart went out. They had their khakis on and they were unarmed!

HANNITY: At the very least, give them, you know, Manny, a fighting chance!

GOMEZ: 100 percent. Having been served in the United States Marine Corps myself and the infantry, I totally agree. These men need to have some protection at this juncture. They're being targeted. ISIS is saying, Go out and kill U.S. servicemen wherever they are.

This law of 1992 was there for a reason. It's outdated. The new norm now is that people are being radicalized daily, weekly, monthly. The FBI, as good as they have been -- and they have been exceptional in identifying, investigating, neutralizing and arresting numerous attackers -- it's like emptying the ocean onto the beach. At some point...

HANNITY: Well, let me...

GOMEZ: ... you're overwhelmed.

HANNITY: There's another problem here, Ron. Look, you're in the business of law enforcement. And you're an assistant director for the FBI.  Every law enforcement person that I know, Ron -- they're involved in some level of profiling.

We have a president that to this day, our government's official take on what happened with Major Hasan was workplace violence as he was screaming "Allah-u akhbar" as he was killing people on a military base.

Aren't we making a critical mistake that we have this unnatural, mysterious reluctance, resistance, almost petrified fear of identifying the enemy? He won't say "radical Islam." Isn't that a mistake?

HOSKO: I think it -- that maybe -- it's tricky ground, Sean, and I know the FBI...

HANNITY: Why is that tricky?

HOSKO: Well...

HANNITY: Major Hasan screaming "Allah-uh akhbar" -- that was not workplace violence, was it.

HOSKO: No, that part is not tricky at all.

HANNITY: But that's what the government's official position to this day is!

HOSKO: Absolutely.

HANNITY: There's a level of dishonesty here that the president is afraid to identify our enemies that are sworn on killing military men in recruiting stations, military men that are not allowed to even defend themselves!

HOSKO: I don't disagree with that notion. I think there is certainly a piece of dishonesty that permeates this conversation. But I know this, having come from the FBI. The FBI is very cautious in how they approach their introduction to religion, religious institutions and other institutions because of the criticisms of overreach in the past.

HANNITY: Wait a minute! Knowing what ISIS has called for, lone wolf attacks against American military -- and then you find out the guy's name is Mohammod Youssef Abdulazeez -- is it not natural to say, Wait a minute.  Was this guy inspired by ISIS? Or is that profiling in a negative way? Is that somehow Islamic-phobic?

HOSKO: Well, I think we have to ask those questions, certainly, in this case. But let's say he hadn't committed this act and he's just a person...

HANNITY: Fair enough, but it certainly...

HOSKO: ... walking on the street.

HANNITY: But it would be a good starting point. Bo, yes or no!

DIETL: You know -- you know...

HANNITY: Am I right? Yes or no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely, totally.

DIETL: Years -- years ago, when you would stop a car, you'd get a feeling -- as a detective or a cop, you'd stop a car. You reach under the front seat. You come out with a Mach-10 (ph). All right, the search was a little iffitacious (ph), right, because you're -- Oh, I saw the handle out there. But the point is...


HANNITY: What is "iffitacious"? What does "iffitacious" mean?

DIETL: That means -- that means that under the law, that would not be a legal search.

HANNITY: All right, we got to take a break.

DIETL: It would get thrown out.

HANNITY: We got to take a break.

DIETL: My point is, we're at war. The cops have to go...

HANNITY: Identify it!

DIETL: Look what this guy looks like! He looks like the guy that worked in a 7-Eleven. He looks like the guy who would bomb someplace, so you got to toss the guy!


HANNITY: You're not allowed to say that, Bo.


HANNITY: What you just said is politically incorrect

All right, coming up...

DIETL: I'm sorry.

HANNITY: ... we are following new information about the possible motive of the gunman who killed four brave Marines in Tennessee.

Also tonight, Geraldo Rivera -- he's live on the ground in Mexico, and he got into the tunnel where drug kingpin El Chapo escaped from. We'll show you that exclusively right here.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is a nightmare for the city of Chattanooga.  At around 11:00 this morning, we had someone viciously attack at two different locations people who proudly serve our country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a sad day for the United States. These service members served their country with pride, and they have been the victims of these shootings. We are conducting this as an act of domestic terrorism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are looking at every possible avenue whether it was terrorism, whether it was domestic, international, or whether it was a simple criminal act.


HANNITY: That was a press conference from earlier today where local and federal officials announced that the shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee, are currently being investigated as an act of terror. We continue now with Ron Hosko, former NYPD detective Bo Dietl, retired FBI special agent Manny Gomez.

Manny, the president won't acknowledge Nidal Hasan, "Allahu Akbar."  He calls it workplace violence, won't say it's radical Islamic terrorism.  Many times this issue has come up, he regularly fails to do this. My question is, have we gone overboard in this political correctness impeding law enforcement?

MANUEL GOMEZ, RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: It is, and I'll tell you why it is. Because until we call it what it is --

HANNITY: We can't fight it.

GOMEZ: Absolutely. We're at war with them. We need a media campaign to counter their media campaign. We need to motivate and get our people to act as force multipliers to be the eyes and ears of law enforcement so when they see something unusual like this guy running around, call the FBI.  Call the local cops.

DIETL: In 2007 they did a great report about homegrown Muslim terrorists. And it was a report under Ray Kelly's watch. And they fought it, the Muslim community fought that report because that talked about getting these people online, turning them into these terrorists here in America. The fact of the matter is it was the truth, and it's coming to fruition right now. And I'm going to say it again. The audience, I don't want to scare the, but this is the beginning of it. And I'm telling you, it's going to start and it's going to continue.

HANNITY: Ron, let me go to you. Do you agree with Bo Dietl? Is this just the beginning? Are we going to see more and more of this? And are we making a mistake by being too politically correct as it relates to law enforcement standard practices or what used to be standards in terms of profiling?

RON HOSKO, FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: I think we need to call this what it is. And I think we need to move past the labels and get to the fight. I agree with your other guests. We were at war with ISIS.  They have declared war on us as a free people. But at the same time, we need to be cautious, we the FBI and government need to be cautious not to alienate good religious Muslims around our country who are trying to integrate into our society, who are part of our society. We need them on our team. So we need to be smart about how we do it.

HANNITY: All right, I want to thank you all for being with us. Thank you so much.

DIETL: We stopped the undercovers in New York. We stopped the undercovers and this is going on happen more and more. We've got to crank it up.

HANNITY: All right, coming up, we're going to have President Obama's so-called reaction to today's shooting. Plus, does the Mexican government really want to find the drug kingpin El Chapo? Geraldo is live on the ground in Mexico. He actually got inside the tunnel where El Chapo escaped.  



OBAMA: We don't know yet all the details. We know that what appears to be a lone gunman carried out these attacks. We've identified a name. And at this point a full investigation is taking place.         We take all shootings very seriously. Obviously when you have an attack on a U.S. military facility, then we have to make sure that we have all the information necessary to make an assessment in terms of how this attack took place and what further precautions we go take in the future.


   HANNITY: That was the president from the White House earlier today responding to the deadly attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Joining me now is the director of Jihad Watch Robert Spencer and investigative journalist and CEO of American Media Institute Richard Miniter is back with us.         Robert, let me ask you about a report that you put out earlier today. And I think you were quoting the Associated Press, if I'm not mistaken, about a potential Islamic State tweet warning about the attack and that it was posted at 10:34. That turned out not to be true?

ROBERT SPENCER, DIRECTOR, JIHAD WATCH: Well, it was a genuine tweet, but it seems that it came from the Pacific time zone. And so it was almost certainly posted after the attack and not during or before. And so the initial reports were inaccurate about that.

   But the larger question in this, Sean, remains. And that is the fact that last September, the Islamic State put out an explicit call for attacks on military personnel in western countries and that that call was heeded in the Canada, in France just this past week, and elsewhere around the world.         And so the investigators I think would be seriously remiss if they didn't look for some Islamic State connection. Whether the shooter here was inspired by the Islamic State or explicitly directed, at this point it is a distinction without a difference. The Islamic State wants military men to be attacked in western countries. This was an attack on military men in western countries.

HANNITY: Richard, I think in many ways Robert is right. We live in a very politically correct world. You look at the circumstances here, the call by ISIS to attack military installations. It seems to be at least the number one thing I would be looking at. Your thoughts?

RICHARD MINITER, CEO, AMERICAN MEDIA INSTITUTE: Absolutely. Against those who warn against the dangers of profiling, there certainly are real dangers to profiling, you have to ask the question, why is it that so few of these killers seem to be named after Roman Catholic saints? There is a connection here.

   We know from the Ft. Hood shooting and similar shootings that often there is direction either Out of Al Qaeda in Yemen or out of ISIS or out of other Islamic radical groups. Certainly I think investigators will be looking at his e-mails and his other electronic communications. It is also instructive that the two blog posts that he's ever posted according to "The Daily Beast" both refer to Islam from a very radical perspective.        

The other thing investigators should be looking at too are the videos of these facilities over the past week. Often these kinds of attacks are rehearsed days in advance. And it is also possible that there's video of him rehearsing this attack. There may be a passenger in the car, and that would point investigators in the direction of other accomplices.

HANNITY: All right, Robert, Richard, thank you both for being with us. When we come back, a HANNITY exclusive. El Chapo, he is still on the run after his brazen prison escape last weekend. Our own Geraldo Rivera is live on the ground in Mexico. He got inside that tunnel earlier today where that notorious drug kingpin, what he used for his escape. He'll take in that tunnel when we come back straight ahead.


HANNITY: This is a Fox News alert. And we are awaiting a press conference from law enforcement at the top of the hour about today's shootings in Tennessee. We're going to bring that to you live right here on the Fox News Channel.

But also only tonight, the manhunt for the Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman continues. Mexican authorities have now ramped up their efforts to try and capture the drug kingpin, but there are reports that the government is in fact not accepting assistance from the U.S. Joining us now live from Mexico, FOX News senior correspondent, our own Geraldo Rivera. Geraldo?

GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Sean, good evening from the sprawling capital of Mexico, a city and a country that has been destabilized by this brazen, this extraordinary escape.

   Before I get to it, though, if you would permit me, I must send my deepest condolences to the families of those four slain marines. To think they made it through combat only to die at the hands of a Sunni Muslim extremist wannabe in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is almost more than the nation can bear. So again, my deepest condolences.         

This nation, Mexico, is reeling from this brazen and extraordinary escape by El Chapo. There is a feeling that ranges between humiliation over the obviously incompetence, or outrage over the strong possibility, the stink of conspiracy and complicity by high ranking officials in the escape by the billionaire drug lord wanted in California, in Arizona, in Texas, in Florida, in Illinois, and in New York by federal district court for charges ranging from murder to drug trafficking to money laundering.         This man spent the money. The investment that he made in clear to anyone to see, but it is more apparent than anything in the world when you go inside his tunnel. This extraordinary creation, this construction, is almost beyond words. Pictures tell the story much better than words do, Sean.         

Not only did his co-conspirator buy a property and build a house that they used as the entrance for the tunneling, then they dug a shaft down about 15 feet to an intermediary level at the exit point there where they installed a gigantic generator, a generator that provided both ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting for that massive, mile-long tunnel.         

From that intermediate level you go down to the main tunnel level about three stories underground. There you find a railed system that is in its own way an engineering marvel. They have these little rail cars, two of them attached to a third rail car propelled by an old motorcycle. The motorcycle was used to transport the dirt as the workmen would fill bucket after bucket, wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of the dirt inside of that tunnel.         

The motorcycle would be driven back to the exit point. A power winch was used to lift the buckets, bucket by bucket to the surface. They were carried to an intermediate area where they were then loaded onto massive trucks, big construction trucks to be driven out of the neighborhood and the sand gotten rid of.         

The theory is that they used a huge infrastructure project in the area where they were providing fresh water for the town up there as cover for their surreptitious dumping of this dirt, tons and tons of dirt.  Remember, one cubic yard of dirt weighs 3,000 pounds of this dirt, 3,000 pounds per cubic yard. There are 1,760 yards in a mile. Do the math.  This was at least 2,000 tons worth of dirt excavated scoop by scoop, bucket by bucket, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow in a ventilated and lighted tunnel --

HANNITY: And air conditioned.  

RIVERA: -- that stretched a mile from that exit point on that hilltop hill, and air conditioned. Not only does it go under the wall of the prison, but it goes precisely to his toilet area, the one area where there is no surveillance video. Sean, it has to be seen to believe.

HANNITY: Geraldo, you think about this, air conditioned, you think about over a mile long. You think about, again, the railways in there, the sophistication. It reminds me of the terror tunnels in Israel. But here is what is interesting about all of this. There is no way this could have happened without the knowledge and support of high-ranking official in the prison, in law enforcement in Mexico. True or false?

RIVERA: I believe that the evidence strongly suggests complicity of people at high levels going beyond the prison. Let's just say that they were higher ups in the prison involved. You know they fired three of them.  Fired -- they should be in custody. The people in custody ironically, are the prison guards, the lowest level. I'm not saying that they are totally innocent. I have no way of knowing. But they have been held incommunicado since Saturday night with no access to their families or attorneys. I think the stink of corruption comes right back here to Mexico City, Sean.

HANNITY: All right, Geraldo will join us tomorrow night, a full hour on El Chapo, how this could possibly happen and the drugs that are being brought into America because we don't protect our border.

All right, we've got to take a break here. That is all the time we have left this evening. Now, stay with the Fox News Channel, continuing coverage of the shootings in Chattanooga. There is a presser at the top of the hour.

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