tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 17, 2015 7:00am-11:01am PST
. thanks so much for joining me. i will see you tuesday night as part of cnn's state of the union coverage and back next saturday. don't forget you can follow me on twitter if you can spell smerconish. see you next week. the threat of terror has people around the world on em this morning. troops standing guard alongside police in france and belgium today and counterterrorism officials worried about possible sleeper cells. >> new details in the connection to yemen. is that where the idea for the "charlie hebdo" attacks began. new details about frenchmen in yemen months earlier. we're live in yemen next. >> look at the protesters clashing with police there. thousands upset over the latest "charlie hebdo" magazine with the prophet mohammed on the cover. all of this straight ahead.
this is cnn breaking news. >> good saturday morning to you. have breaking news we want to share with you this morning. i'm christi paul. >> i'm victor blackwell. the news happening in the terrorist hotbed of yemen. we're learning details about two frenchmen who have been detained for suspected links to al qaeda. yemen is the same place where cherif and said kouachi the two brothers in the paris attack received orders to launch their deadly rampage on the offices of "charlie hebdo." cnn's nick paton walsh is in live in yemen. what are you hearing about these two frenchmen? >> well let's be clear, they were [ inaudible ] some time ago according to a yemeni official briefed on security matters. this is not something that's happened as a re aion to the paris attacks but doesn't rule out the fact that these two frenchmen may have known something or had some kind of links. they were detained as they tried to leave the country. i understand a few months ago. and are accused of noncombatant
attempts to offer lows gistcle support to al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. that could be all sorts of things finance, being a doctor i.t. support, but it's not suggested they necessarily came here to fight. what's key is the yemenis have them in their custody, bloombly passing information from that to the french or other interested western allies and working out quite what to do with them next. yemeni officials today anxious to show they have been on their feet in the past few months picking up suspicious foreigners leaving the country and they are angry at the suggestions in many ways it was cherif and said's trips here to yemen that led them to be capable of what they did in paris. >> their detention not happening this morning, we're just learning of it this morning as details come out. another story that we're hearing about in the last hour or so the chief of staff of the yemeni president was reportedly kidnapped by gunmen. tells us more about this what we've learned in the last hour.
>> just think about what you said victor gives you a real insight into how destabilized this country is, how much of a failing state yemen is. the chief of staff of the yemeni president in the city center where i'm standing here sanaa about 10:00 was stopped by armed men taken out of his car and kidnapped. now this is all part of a long-raging conflict here inside yemen and in the last few months it's come to a head really and the two sides resemble much of the sectarian violence across the middle east. on one side, the more or less shia group known as the houthis a tribe that has swept into sanaa in the past few months and have checkpoints on many roads here. on the other side sunni groups that include al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. now many are worried that's turning into sectarian bit of violence here. today's abduction has been something that the houthi political group has claimed as theirs. they've said they abducted this chief of staff or detained him
in their words because they were concerned that the president would usher in a new constitution which they consider to be not approved by them or legal. they refer to the presidential administration as corrupt. of course there has been condemnation by the u.k. and british embassies who appeal for the chief of staff's release, but it shows you how al qaeda could have got such a strong grip in this country. the chief of the staff of the president isn't safe in the capital of the city frankly, of course in the past decade al qaeda have been able to find a vacuum here to slip into and build their bombmaking skills as it's known. victor? >> and nick you've clearly explained the destabilization and the strength the stronghold of aqap there in yemen. why is it so difficult to cool this hotbed for terrorists there? >> because os stensbly this is a fight over a limited number of resources. yemen is a poor country and
there's little infrastructure here really for an institution to rely upon like a government. the economy here is on the verge of collapse. i'm being told that there's months weeks left until the government has trouble paying salaries. that's the major problem, when you have competing groups like this fighting over a limited part you have al qaeda in the mix as well you have very limited options for the west in terms of intervention. they can provide aid here but it won't change things fast enough at all. that's the real issue here. this is a state which has struggled for a long time to be coherent and provide the services that people need. when they don't get that they turn to tribes then you get factionisms and the civil conflict and at that point people are concerned there's little you can really do to slow things down and it appears as though the last few hours or so things have escalated significantly. victor? >> nick paton walsh, live for us in yemen this morning, thank you. our key u.s. allies are taking no chances against potential terror attacks. >> drag net is expanding across europe for isis inspired terror
suspects on the run. heavily armed troops are standing guard outside potential targets in brussels. belgium days after a sweeping anti-terror raid in belgium, france and germany. >> belgium's defense ministry laid out what's being done in the city there in brussels. home to the nato headquarters. >> translator: we have moved to stage three of the terror alert threat. we are offering extra protection to ambassadors, jewish institutions and other organizations, embassies and so on that could be a threat. we need extra vigilance. it's also important to mention the -- we need a police reinforcement under the command of the federal police. >> let's bring in cnn's phil black, he is in brussels.
thank you for being with us. so we just heard there, stage three terror alert what they have risen to. do you see anything that strikes you to signify there are different security measures being taken there? >> no doubt, christi, indeed. we're not talking huge numbers of soldiers but just to see soldiers on the streets of a city like belgium it's striking. guarding key government buildings related to the european union and key jewish institutions and such. not huge numbers. 150 in total. almost all of them here in the capital brussels. 30 or so in the city just north of here. 150 so far. talking about boosting those numbers in the next few days could go as high as 300. but it is a very different security posture. certainly very visual. you can't help but see it as i say, very striking. it will be this way for at least
the next week or so and then they will examine it to determine whether or not these sorts of measures are still required. it will be under constant review during this time. what it does show despite the raids this country has seep the belief that they have knocked out or prevented an imminent terror threat here the belief that there is still a substantial threat it does remain. >> well you mentioned 13 suspected militants were detained in belgium. do we have any sense of what was -- what was garnered in those raids? what was seized? what they were looking for specifically? >> yeah. it appears from what the prosecutor has said the authorities say, they believe they knocked out what was a pretty clear, what they say, concrete plans to target police officers in this country. they believe that this particular network, with people stationed at various places across the country, some involved in logistics, they believe, some set to carry out the attacks themselves they were going to be killing police
officers either on the streets or in the police stations where they were working. we saw that dramatic raid in the town of verviers south of brussels that was where the dramatic fire fight took place where two terror suspects were killed two detained during a fire fight with police in that town police say found explosives, other weapons, but also importantly, police uniforms and communications equipment. all of that physical evidence they believe supports their theory that this threat was imminent and the goal of this particular organization was to kill police officers. in all, they arrested 13 people in this country. two others were killed. but we're told now all but three of those detained have been released. in addition to that four others have been arrested as part of this operation, four other belgium nationals in france. the authorities here seeking their extradition to belgium. >> we'll see what happens with that. phil black, appreciate the
update thank you. cnn national security analyst peter bergen joins us now. he's the author of four books on terrorism including "manhunt the ten-year search for bin laden from 9/11 to abbottbad." good to have you with us. first question do you think that -- what do you make of the breaking news that two frenchmen are being detaped in yemen with the suspected links to al qaeda? >> well as nick paton walsh pointed out and you pointed out, the arrests were sort of announced today but seem to have taken place some time ago. we've seen all sorts of westerners go to yemen for often they go there for supposedly religious or arabic language and then they kind of -- and they're looking for aqap. we saw that with the underwear bomber who was a nigerian basically studying in london saw that with samir khan from charlotte, north carolina joined aqap and became the editor of its magazine we've seen that
with the kouachi brothers now from paris, and it's part of a flow of westerners going to aqap. nothing on the scale, victor of what we're seeing in syria or in terms of the numbers, but it's been not insignificant over the past several years. >> so there have been 17 suspected terrorists or terror arrests, 13 in belgium, four at two places in france and, of course the estimate there, about 20 sleeper cells potential potentially across europe do you think the priority for these cells is attack now or is it self-preservation, go underground and regroup? >> i have no idea victor. i mean if they're sleeper cells they're clearly very asleep haven't done anything except with the case of the belgium cell that was about to do an imminent attack. so i think it's hard for me to sort of pass that. the 20 sleeper cells, as i think an estimate from one source
certainly, you know, we've seen a lot of returnees from syria, you know is this the time to strike when you get a lot of global media attention because of the context or the time to lay low? it's hard to tell. a it's also hard to assess the numbers of people who really make up these sleeper cells. >> well in the discussion of assessment former secretary of defense leon panetta assessed the environment we're in now. you can watch the full interview tomorrow on "fareed zakaria gps." but let's listen to part of it and we'll talk on the other side. >> you've got terrorists coming at us from a lot of different directions from isis from boko haram, al shabaab, aqap other elements of al qaeda, they are recruiting like crazy from these various wars in syria and iraq and yemen, and they seem to be involved in more planning and
more weapons in terms of the types of attacks that they're working on. so i think it's pretty clear from what we're seeing that we are entering a more threatening and dangerous period in this war on terrorism. >> so what are the greatest elements of this more dangerous period? is it their access to these weapons? is it allies' inability to destabilize them? what do you see as making this a more dangerous period specifically? >> i think the single largest factor victor is the volume of westerners who have gone to syria. former director of the cia leon panetta mentioned boko haram and al shabaab, they're not really a threat to the west. boko haram a nigerian group has only ever attacked one western target in the united nations in nigeria. they're focused on nigeria. with al shabaab they're a group in somalia, they try to attack
cartoonists in the west didn't succeed, but they're also focused on somalia, they're not doing very well. it's really aqap in yemen and aq in syria, and isis in syria and iraq that are the problem, and that's going to be true going forward for quite some time. >> all right. peter bergen thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. president obama is vowing to stand by france and do more to stop terror groups. hes says the way to do that is on-line. that's next. >> also you know it got easier for americans to go to cuba. what you need to know coming up.
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is. 17 minutes past the hour right now. secretary of state john kerry is back in the u.s. this morning after visiting paris. during that visit, he laid wreaths at the sites of last week's terror attacks and he also met with the french president francois hollande and conveyed the, quote full and heartfelt condolences of americans. kerry did also say that he was unable to attend sunday's massive unity march because he was in india at the time. a poisonous death cult what british prime minister david cameron is calling the threat from groups like isis and al qaeda. cameron stood alongside president obama at the white house on friday vowing to disrupt terror groups and stop
sleeper cells from communicating with each other. erin mcpike has the story. >> in the wake of the vicious attacks in paris, as well as the news surfacing out of belgium today, we continue to stand unequivocally not only with our french friends and allies but with also all of our partners who are dealing with this scourge. >> reporter: president obama and british prime minister david cameron vowing to do more to disrupt terrorist communications. >> we should try to avoid the safe havens that could otherwise be created for terrorists to talk to each other. there is a very real connection between that and the capabilities that our intelligence services within the law use to defend our people. >> reporter: one of the major priorities for the u.s. and its allies is to identify the more than 19,000 foreign fighters who have traveled to syria, who may be planning attacks in their home countries. >> social media and the internet
is the primary way in which these terrorist organizations are communicating. that's no different than anybody else but they're good at it and when we have the ability to track that in a way that is legal, conforms with due process rule of law, and presents oversight, then that's the capability that we have to preserve. >> reporter: the british prime minister has pushed for changes to how some internet companies are encrypting their communications something mr. obama said he's also worried about. >> if we find evidence of a terrorist plot somewhere in the middle east that traces directly back to london or new york and we are confident that this individual or this network is about to activate a plot and despite having a phone number or
despite having social media address, we can't penetrate that? that's a problem. >> reporter: but the big challenge here is privacy, victor and president obama raised the concerns that edward snowden brought up back in 2013 as the big driver of that problem. >> erin the president on another topic talked about sanctions against iran. what's the message there? >> victor congress is working on new sanctions and legislation for those new sanctions, but president obama's message to lawmakers yesterday was, quote hold your fire and he is saying that because there are new negotiations with iran under way and he says legislation could threaten those negotiations so he is telling congress to the to act. he, in fact, would veto that legislation. >> all right. erin mcpike at the white house, thank you. christi? victor americans can travel to cuba this weekend without
special approval from the government and some important people are getting ready to make that trip. we are live for you in cuba with those details, next. hi, i'm jay farner, president of quicken loans. and we're here in detroit with our amazing team members. the best part about working with quicken loans is that you have a mortgage expert on the other line that's always gonna find out the best possible solution. we just don't treat you as a loan number. we wanna make sure that we help you out. we're people just like them. ya know, and we know that they have jobs, they have kids, they have soccer. their home is where their heart is. so we wanna make sure that we take care of them. call quicken loans today for a mortgage experience that's engineered to amaze!
now, which makes it a bit easier for americans who want to visit the island nation. carl pen hal is there live in havana cuba. good to see you. what do the new rules mean for cubans and americans? >> well essentially for cuba what it means is according to both the cuban government and also some tourist industry specialists up to a million americans could arrive in cuba each year obviously bringing with them tourist dollars. there are 12 categories of so-called self-license that means basically jump on a plane for coming for things like religious activities humanitarian activities family visits sports and a number of other categories. let's be clear, these measures haven't been relaxed and eased to help americans with their vacation plans. what the obama administration is trying to do both with this ease on travel restrictions but also with the four fold increase in remittances of cube
ban-americans to their relatives on the island is to inject some cash into the cuban economy. critics will say that will put hand cash into the hands of the communist government, but what they're aiming to do is put more cash in the hands of ordinary cubans whether in tourism or in private businesses. what is that going to affect? it could increase their standard of living but what it is also going to do over time is create economic class divisions and that surely will also exacerbate political class divisions as well. over the long term it could create some kind of unrest here creating classes of haves and have nots because more american money is coming into the economy here christi. >> good point. we know an official from the state department is planning to make a trip to cuba. do we know what's on his agenda for that visit? >> yeah. we're getting more clarity on that. first of all over this weekend we have a congressional
delegation led by democratic senator patrick leahy but that is not the headline act. the headline act comes midweek next week and that is the assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs roberta jakobsson, the highest level delegation to cuba in decades. remember diplomatic relations between the united states and cuba were broken off in 1962 in the middle of the cold war and what jakobsson is coming to town for is to talk about how to normalize relations, how the first step could be to open a full-blown embassy here. right now there's only an intersection. they're going to be talking about possibly increasing staff numbers at the soon-to-be embassy, and also ways that u.s. diplomats would be able to travel around the whole island. because right now, under restrictions in place on u.s. diplomats here in cuba they can only travel in a 25-mile radius
around the u.s. interest sections. roberta jakobsson coming into town on wednesday talking about normalizing relations with cuba after almost half a century of a deep freeze christi. >> very good point. boy, it's interesting to look at this and realize we're probably witnessing a new era here. carl pen hal, appreciate it thank you. the effects of the latest "charlie hebdo" cover still rippling around the world. outrage in the streets and people overpowering police. look at this. we'll talk more next. [ female announcer ] take skincare to the next level with roc® multi correxion® 5 in 1. proven to hydrate dryness illuminate dullness lift sagging diminish the look of dark spots and smooth the appearance of wrinkles. high performance skincare™ only from roc®. music: melodic, calm music. hi, this is jennifer... ... i will be out of the office until monday... ... and won't be checking voicemail during this time.
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cover. they clashed with police yesterday. >> the controversial cover shows a picture of a tearful prophet mohammeding a sign that says je suis charlie. above the headline reading all is forgiven. this has sparked controversy around the world including places like algeria. they normally publish 60,000 issues. >> this week 5 million copies were distributed because of the worldwide demand. >> and, of course across europe scrambling to find terror suspects they say are on the run. in paris about a dozen people have been arrested in connection to the "charlie hebdo" attack. they're accused of helping amedy coulibaly, he gunned people at a kosher market before he was killed. let's bring in international correspondent jim bittermann he is live this morning from paris. what are we learning about coulibaly, jim? >> well, victor i think one of the things we're learning it's pretty easy thing to slip into
terrorism and, in fact when we went down to visit the suburb where he grew up one of the things you realize is that he wasn't really a committed terrorist as such he was more of a criminal who became a terrorist. here's what we found. >> reporter: in paris, amedy coulibaly may go down in history as the religious extremist who died shooting it out with the anti-terror squad, but in the gritty paris suburb where he grew up coulibaly is remembered more as a local thug who spent much of his adult life behind bars. in his early school photos obtained by france 2 television he looked likable enough but teachers said coulibaly, the only boy in an immigrant family with ten children was an ongoing discipline problem. it was in his high school years here that coulibaly first got into trouble. in the end he would be arrested five times for armed robbery and once for dealing in drugs. a lawyer who defended one of his accomplices believes coulibaly
changed from small crimes to hardened criminal when a motorcycle theft turned deadly and police shot one of his best friends. >> translator: this was a traumatic event when he lost his friendp. he, too, could have died because a bullet could have easily hit him. >> reporter: coulibaly, who spent most of his adult life behind bars was in and out of the sprawling and overcrowded national prison located coincidentally in his hometown. according to a journalist he himself made this video of life inside the prison. he seemed like a leader, she said behind bars. >> translator: he was an intelligent boy. one of the tough ones. he was actually very at ease in prisp. he was dominant and very much in charge. it was his second home really. >> reporter: it's not clear when he got religion but in 2010 when he was jailed here he came in contact with an islamic extremist, jamaal begal. by this time he was estranged from his family. the local mayor who grew up in the same public housing as the
terrorist did, said the coulibalys, like many here were just trying to better themselves. >> translator: yes, this area is violent, yes, there is delinquency, yes, there is poverty, yes, there is suffering, but there's also success. >> reporter: but if coulibaly's family was muslim it was hardly fundmentist. one of his nine sisters, for example, teaches a dance class she calls therapy. back in the family's hometown some remember coulibaly's attempts to fit in and in 2009 he was even invited to the french presidential palace as part of a panel meeting with president sarkozy to discuss youth unemployment. he worked for a time as the local coca-cola plant where he met the girlfriend who later became his wife and accomplice. people may have known about coulibaly's criminal record but were nonetheless surprised at his terrorist connections. >> translator: we were shocked. it's hard to believe. it's unreal. >> reporter: one person who was less surprised was a social worker who worked with coulibaly as a young man, among other
things taking him to disney land paris. said that after not seeing coulibaly for 15 years, he suddenly showed up in his office last spring after getting out of prison. >> he's lost. lost. he needs people every time to remind him that can be done that can't be done and when someone like him is involved they can lose him for anything. >> reporter: the mayor told cnn it's wrong to imply suburbs of paris like his are nothing but breeding grounds for terrorists. many people work their way into mainstream society from here he says like the mayor himself. but he adds that the large families the unemployment the lack of police the decaying infrastructure provide a fer tile environment for all sorts of criminality, including in the case of amedy coulibaly, terrorism. as you mentioned, victor
they've picked up a dozen -- police picked up a dozen of coulibaly's associates in that suburb. they were held for the last 24 hours, what they can do under french law without being charged. the judge has ordered it be extended another 24 hours and can be done in terrorism cases. looks like the police are questioning them about the terrorist aspects of coulibaly's life. victor some. >> and similar searches continue across france and europe. jim bittermann in paris for us thank you. speaking of europe the euro tunnel between france and england has been shut down we're learning this morning. according to a report a truck caught fire and now service has been canceled for the rest of the day. now on its website eurostar only confirmed smoke in its north tunnel and posted, quote, if you are planning to travel today we advise you to postpone your journey and not to come to the station. all right. back here at home mitt romney took the stage last night at a huge republican event. he knew there was an elephant in
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let's talk politics shall we? mitt romney told members of the republican national committee he's thinking about running for president again. >> i'm giving some serious consideration to the future. but this i know we can win in 2016 as a party in the house, in the senate and in the white house, if we communicate a clear vision where we're taking this country, what he believe in those principles i described are among those we're going to be
fighting for and win and i can tell you this as well regardless of what happens in the primaries and the political process that goes on ann romney and i are going to be fighting for our nominee and make sure we win back the white house, because the american people deserve it. >> if he does end up running he could be up against the likes of jeb bush christie ti marco rubio, let's talk about this with cnn politics executive editor mark preston. i think a lot of people are reading into this if he's run twice before unsuccessfully what would encourage you to go for a third time? >> i think in many ways he thinks that he's been vindicated certainly on the foreign policy front where he thinks the country has succumbed to terrorism, the terrorist threat
overseas that the economy could be doing better quite frankly being encouraged by his inner circle to try to give it another run. mitt romney who once said many times, many times that he would never run again, appears that he's thinking about doing so. >> you know there's so many names as i just mentioned that are being thrown into the hat, so to speak, of possible contenders how has the atmosphere changed for 2016 do you think? the political atmosphere? who do you think might be best to run that race? >> you know certainly the difference between the 2012 race and the 2016 race is that you have a much bigger field, you have candidates that many people think are more qualified. we have as many as a dozen republicans right now who are thinking of running and they're all across the political spectrum of the republican party. you have tea party candidates and you have establishment candidates. as you know if mitt romney were to get in he would be put into
a pod of candidates such as jeb bush marco rubio, chris christie in the more establishment point of candidates, you know, that are running. so the interesting thing is that if he does get in what would happen to the money and would he get the support? i have to tell you right now, christi, while there's a lot of intrigue for a romney candidacy, i think there's a lot of concern and people want it see some fresh faces, at least some people want to see some fresh faces out there including scott walker marco rubio, maybe chris christie and everybody wants to see what jeb bush's message is going to be over the next couple months. >> i know you just got back from the gop retreat. what's the buzz? what are republicans saying about this. >> you know again, i think a lot of people were surprised by mitt romney's sudden interest in the race. it was just a week ago where we heard that he was actually thinking about getting in and his first public comments last night, he actually acknowledged
it. i think that a lot of them want to hear what mitt romney has to say, but i think there is a lot of skepticism about whether he should run again and what kind of campaign he would run again. but if he were to run again, he certainly has a different message. he talked about poverty last night, he talked about, you know lifting people up and trying to help the middle class. this is not something you heard mitt romney talk about, christi, back in 2012 and last night he previewed if he were to run, that would be one of the main things of his campaign. >> mark preston, thank you so much. we appreciate your insight as always. victor? >> with mitt romney potentially running for the white house for a third time you know will are two women we have to hear from. cnn political commentator and democratic strategist maria car cardona and republican strategist lisa booth. we'll talk with them coming up. she inspires you. no question about that. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood
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comtater and strategist maria cardona and republican strategist lisa booth. >> hi victor. >> good morning. >> i want to start with "the wall street journal" piece that was pretty unflattering of governor romney. they started it this way, put it on the screen if mitt romney is the answer what's the question? let's start with you, maria, what is the question? >> well i think the question is what are republicans going to offer the american people that has been different in the last two elections? i think the issue with mitt romney is that a lot of republicans are afraid that he will run the same kind of campaign that he ran in 2012 which was clearly disastrous because he couldn't figure out what kind of message to relay to the american people on why republicans and he himself should be running the white house. but look i've talked to many republicans, many of whom say it's a bad decision but also a lot of them say look you know, he really believes that he can
do this job, that he is the best in the republican field to do this job, so i say as a democrat and as a cnn commentator, i have three words for him, do it mitt. >> do it mitt. lisa how about it? he even has a 2012 co-chair who's behind another run. >> i like mitt romney and i think he's a formidable candidate and i think he would be a -- definitely has a quality to be president but here are my concerns with him and i think they're the concerns of a lot of republicans share. he has a perception problem to overcome and there is a postmortem by "the boston globe" that hit the nail on the head and showed exit polling that said the majority of american's liked mitt romney's vision and leadership and values but according to the question which candidate cares about me obama won by an 81 to 18% margin. here's the thing, i think hillary clinton has the same problem and even worse. you look at someone who's supposed to be a seasoned politician who's repeatedly
stepped in with out of touch comments like we're dead broke, not truly well off and telling people she hasn't driven a car in 18 years. she's supposed to driving this income and inequality message people say she's going to i think she's going to have a problem. >> what about that maria? romney couldn't get it done against obama, but maybe a better shot against hillary clinton? >> oh, absolutely not. i think that republicans who think that hillary clinton is going to have a problem figuring out how she is going to relay the message that she will put forward will help the middle class, they're deluting themselves. as a democrat i would love mitt romney to run. the 47%, the "i don't care about poor people" comment, his "five car two story garage" his "i like to fire people" solidifies the narrative not just of himself as somebody who does not understand middle-class and working-class families but as a republican party as a whole, who
does not understand and doesn't get the struggle of what this america is going through right now an when you have the economy on a resurgence it also takes away a key talking point that republicans have -- like to have for many years now, be now not existent. >> i think it's ironic -- >> go ahead. what i'm hearing from both of you, there are obvious flaws in another run from romney for the white house, and we're hearing it from the op-eds and hearing it from the opinion leaders, then why is mitt romney leading the latest poll of potential 2016 candidates for the nomination? lisa? >> i think a large part of that is because people know mitt romney right. he's a high name recognition and people are aware of him. if you look at recent polling i think 18% are undecided. there's still a long time between now and the election and i'm not saying that mitt romney is not the guy, i'm just saying he has some real problems. it's ironic because a lot of things that maria highlighted that are problems that mitt romney will face are the exact
problems that hillary clinton will face. she's repeatedly stepped in it as i said before with comments like the "we're dead broke" not like the truly well off, everyone knows that bill and hillary clinton are millionaires and making, you know $300,000 plus for each speaking engagement that hillary clinton is going to. >> but, you know, the big difference? the big difference -- >> how is she supposed to make -- >> i'll tell you -- >> make the argument. >> i will tell you how. >> middle class when she is not like everyday americans. >> i will tell you how, because her whole life she actually has fought for the policies that help middle-class workers as opposed to republicans and mitt romney who has only fought for the 1%. who they represent each and every day. >> that's unlaw. >> that is absolutely true. >> look at what the minimum wage is going to cost 500,000 to a million dollars and if you look at things like -- >> paid leave for -- >> all right. >> on the hook for $60 billion. >> let's hear from lisa. >> lisa finish up the thought. >> well those are policies helping the middle class.
>> absolutely they are. >> no they make good talking points. they make good talking points but at the end of the day the rest of americans are paying for those policies. if you look at obama care it's only helping about 5% of the population it's going to cost the country over $2 trillion over the next decade. these are policies taking taxpayers with over $500 billion in tax. it's the biggest tax increase in raw dollars in history. maria? >> keep telling yourself that lisa because obama care -- >> it's reality -- >> spectacularly successful in its goal which is to reduce the number of [ inaudible ] americans and reduce the rate at which health care is rising in this country. if that's the only talking point republicans have going into 2016 mitt romney is not their only problem. >> we have to call it there, lisa maria, i told you this was going to be good. thank you both. >> thank you, victor. >> have a great day. >> christi? >> we're following breaking news out of florida right now.
a mall in melbourne has been evacuated and reports of a shooting. we're examining everything. we'll give you the latest in just a moment. stay close. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee financial noise financial noise financial noise financial noise just about anywhere you use sugar, you can use splenda®... ...no calorie sweetener. splenda® lets you experience...
all right. want to tell you about this breaking news right now, police in florida are responding to a shooting at a mall that happened earlier today in the city of melbourne. here's a police tweet a couple minutes ago. it said shooter is contained. officers are clearing the mall store by store. there are a lot of questions here. we don't know how many people were shot we don't know how many shooters there might have been if there was anybody along with this person that they have contained, but authorities say the mall has been evacuated. we're going to bring you more details as soon as we have them. >> and we've got other stories making news this morning. obviously pope francis, one of the big stories, he is forced unfortunately to cut a visit in the philippines short because of an approaching typhoon. >> while on the trip the pope made controversial remarks about the terror attacks in france saying, quote, one cannot make fun of faith. however, the pope did stress there was no justification for the killing of 17 people.
the supreme court will weigh in on the gay marriage debate. the high court will decide whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry or if the issue should be left up to the states. right now, 36 states and the district of columbia allow same-sex marriages. the justices will hear arguments in april and should issue a ruling by june. >> safety inspectors no longer able to bipass airport security. a program was in place that allowed them to do so but it has been suspended after several incidents involving firearms. one inspector was busted with a gun in his carreon and in atlanta two were arrested after they were caught smuggling more than 100 gunsen to planes by skipping security check points. penn state's former football coach joe paterno will have his record restored. the ncaa and university reached an agreement that will bring back 112 wins. those wins were wiped out after the jerrien is daasy sandusky scandal.
police say two teens in kentucky are increasingly brazen and dangerous and they're on the run this morning. police are searching for 18-year-old dalton hayes and his 13-year-old girlfriend cheyenne phillips. authorities say the couple stole three cars two with guns inside. the teens were spotted in south carolina and believed to be heading to florida. and these mug shots are causing outrage in north miami beach, florida because police sniper used them to target practice. here's the thing, a local woman noticed one of the photos was her brother and several other african-american men and filed a complaint. police say it's not a case of racism because they also use photos of other races as well as osama bin laden. most of the mug shots are of people who were arrested ten to 15 years ago. the police chief says officers did nothing wrong, but because of the current climate, the
practice will be stopped. they have a good wrap up. we are grateful for your company. make great memories today. >> there's much more ahead. we turn to our colleague fredricka witfield. >> hello. >> few steps away. >> do you like our new digs here? >> snazzy that's the word i've been using all morning. >> new home here. >> was it twitter or instagram said you have some va-voom. >> that's a good word. i think that's going to be the word to drive the day. >> yes. >> how about that. >> you take it. >> you all have a great day. thanks so much. >> you too. >> hello. it is the 11:00 a.m. eastern hour. i'm fredricka whitfield. "the newsroom" starts right now. happening right now in the "newsroom" countries across europe are on high alert for potential terror attacks. a western intelligence source tells cnn dozens of terrorists may be poised to strike in france germany and belgium as
part of the so-called sleeper cells. in belgium, troops are out in force guarding potential targets including the jewish museum in central brussels. earlier this week more than a dozen suspected militants were detained in belgium, france and germany, in sweeping anti-terror raids. and there may be a possible isis connection to the terror plots in europe. a counterterrorism official says isis has ordered recruits to return to europe from syria's battlegrounds to launch attacks. we're learning that one of the gunman who attacked "charlie hebdo" magazine has been buried. said kouachi's body placed in an unmarked grave oversight in his hometown about 80 miles from paris. all right. we turn now to our focus on terrorists breeding -- on rather the terrorist breeding ground of yemen. in a brazen move hours ago the yemeni president's chief of staff was kidnapped by gunmen. snatched off the street in
central sanaa. just a few weeks ago, two frenchmen were detained for suspected links to al qaeda. yemen, of course is where the orders for last week's deadly attack on the offices of "charlie hebdo" originated. and at least one of the brothers who launched the attack had traveled there more than once. cnn's nick paton walsh is in sanaa getting a rare inside look into the country. nick what is the latest? >> >> well at 10:00 this morning the president's chief of staff, this gives you all you need to know about how much of a failing state, how much chaos there is in yemen, the chief of staff was in central sanaa here in his convoy and stopped by armed men who abducted him. now, of course that was immediately condemned by the british and u.s. embassies here. and then hours later, a movement here a tribal armed series of
militia here known as the houthis who in the last few months have swept into the capital city here set up checkpoints and some residents actually said instilled a sense of order to some degree. they came out and said they were behind the chief of staff's, quote, detention saying it was a move made to prevent some sort of in their mind illegal introduction of a new constitution here in yemen. the presidential administration keen to put a new constitution in place as part of a peace and transition plan to vee solve the violence that has racked this country for years. advisable to understand if the president's own number two can't travel safely in the capital, then clearly this country's institutions are beyond fragile. that's the real reason many say al qaeda have had such a foothold here they're still here, they claim what they refer to sickly as the blessed attacks in paris against the "charlie hebdo" magazine. people concerned with this abduction things are escalating. >> i wonder for the yemeni government since this kind of underscores the holes in their security and sort of
lawlessness, is there any i guess clue as to whether the yemeni government will be asking for outside government help? do they have that option? >> i think in many ways it's tough at this late stage for any outsiders to really effectively intervene in a civilian fashion. military intervention into an extraordinarily messy conflict like this is out of the question for most western countries upon the yemeni government here. >> all right. we lost that signal with nick paton walsh in yemen. we'll get back to him later on in the afternoon when we can. all right. now, let's talk more about the terror threat across europe. cnn's phil black is in brussels. what security measures are you seeing around town right now as a result of all that's taking place in the last few days? >> fredricka, what we are seeing are soldiers deployed on the streets of a major european city. the numbers are not huge but
this is really quite an extraordinary event and it makes for some pretty striking images. here in the belgium capital, around 120 soldiers have been deployed to sites that there are fears could be targeted in the event of a terror strike. jewish sites an institutions government sites, sites relating to the european union. as i say, 120 here around another 30 soldiers patrolling and guarding jewish areas in the city of anin brussels. the authorities are talking about boosting that number in the coming days. it could go as high as 300. this is all part of an increase in this country's security posture. it's going to be this way for at least a week or so. it's going to be under constant review. what it does show is that despite the raids that have taken place here in recent days, despite the fact that they believe they have disrupted a significant imminent terror threat they do not believe the
threat has entirely passed. fredricka? >> and so is there a feeling that these terrorists were, indeed going to try to infiltrate police stations since uniforms were located? any more about that? >> well that is the threat they believe they have disrupted. we saw raids across the country, notably in the city of verviers that was where there was a dramatic shoot-out with police and two terror suspects were killed it is in that town that the authorities say they found a lot of weaponry ak-47s, other handguns and explosives but also police uniforms and communications equipment. that physical evidence they believe, supports their theory that the plot they interrupted was set to attack police officers either on the streets or in police stations. in all, some 13 people were arrested here in belgium, most of them have now been released but three people remain in custody. they believe they have dented that significant plot which they
described as imminent hours away they thought, perhaps a couple days at the most. but certainly imminent, they say. but they're still being very tight lipped on a lot of other details like who they're holding, who the men were that were killed by officers during those operations. all for investigative reasons, they say, which suggests this operation, this investigation, is still very much ongoing. >> phil black in brussels thanks so much. a western intelligence source is telling cnn that as many as 20 sleeper cells between 120 and 180 people could be ready to strike in france germany, belgium, and the netherlands. i want to talk more about this threat with cnn military analyst major general james spidermarks and cnn national security analyst juliette cayam. when we talk about the sleeper cells and they could be ready to carry out their plans at any given time help explain how this works in that they may have
all received the same kind of training collectively but will it be up to these individuals to pick the timing in which to carry out their plans? >> exactly. look the notion of a sleeper cell is probably not the best way to describe terrorism now. sleeper cell was a way to describe organizations of terrorists that had gotten training and were waiting for word from their leaders, say bin laden, to deploy. that represents a time when there was a hierarchical structure and a leader on top. now what is happening is obviously they're getting trained, money, ammunition abroad going back to their countries and sort of deciding on their own when they are going to attack. so they're not really sleeper. they're always planning. they get to pick the timing on their own. look first reports sometimes can be also not erroneous, but, you know whether there's 20
sleeper cells or 40 or maybe just 2, we can't know because we're really in it right now, we're in the situation right now and so what law enforcement intelligence agencies can do is begin to connect the dots very quickly to disrupt whatever might be planned in the next, you know 24 48 or next couple of weeks. >> general, it's the evolution of terrorism which underscores how much more difficult it is for intel to work for countries to protect themselves so how do you see the strategy of trying to thwart these attacks evolving as well taking a turn? >> fredricka, you know, juliette laid it out quite well. i mean really the notion of a sleeper cell is inappropriate. there is constant effort on these organizations' part to improve what they understand their readiness, and their ability to assess the local conditions and upon their own desire they'll execute a
mission. the real thing in my mind is that the investigation -- the notion of an investigation against these cells might have a horizon is completely wrong. this is really, as we've been discussing over the course of the last few months really is this is really a new normal. the notion of islamic terrorism, radicalized islam, ready to strike at any moment is the new normal. we have to accept that as almost bar bares you as we might think it is infringement upon liberties people have tried to achieve, over the last 30 years in europe where freedom of movement consolidation, creation of the european union, similar commerce currency all of those are going to have to be relooked because you have completely porous borders and the ability of folks to move very, very easily. >> does this kind of underscore the need to have more sort of
undercover terrorists those who can inl till freight these groups? >> sure. >> pretend to be who they are? does it seem it's going to be the only way since they're getting smart about not using cell phone activity as much very smart in which to carry out the plans? >> yeah. absolutely. juliette you don't mind let me jump in initially, absolutely. what that means is we have to be able to embrace what it we see, unlike what happened in france where there was complete isolation of the muslim community from the greater french population those doors have to be broken wide open. we have to be able to penetrate both overtly and covertly so you can understand what normative behavior is so you can identify what's abhorrent. there has to be penetration, cooperation and trust. >> juliette? >> i mean i would agree with that on two -- excuse me in two aspects. first is the long-term effort, obviously, is integration of communities, what is called counter and violent extremism, a
challenge for european countries, but i mean if you're looking at the long horizon now, it is really going to be communities that feel invested in the safety and security of their own nations and a majority of muslims in these countries do so. so part of that is reaching out to those communityies. just picking up on what spider said in terms of he comes from the military background i come from the homeland security background we are going to have to accept a certain level of insecurity and risk. the notion that we will always be safe is just -- it's just not true and so what countries like ours and in europe also need to brace for, is our response capacity. how do we respond if something happens to protect the most lives possible? so you're not going to just see this focus on intelligence. you're also going to see a movement towards, you know, response recovery and, of course resiliency because, you know this is the new normal. i mean it is and we just have to also brace ourselves, however discomforting that may seem. >> all right.
juliette general "spider" marks, we will resume our conversation momentarily as we talk about this terror dragnet sweep across europe. the u.s. just released five more detainees from guantanamo. i'm going to ask them if they think now is the time to release any of the gitmo detainees. also later, mitt romney a little cagey still about whether he's considering another presidential bid. >> most frequently asked question i get is what does ann think about all this? and she believes that people get better with experience. >> more of what he told members of the rnc last night. we'll be right back.
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security has been stepped up across europe in the wake of the paris attacks and now a sweeping counterterror operation is under way in belgium. we're back with military major general "spider" marks and cnn national security analyst juliette kayaam. leon panetta said here on cnn that we are entering a more dangerous period in terrorism. what exactly does he mean
beyond the obvious, juliette? >> well i think he means that capacity to disrupt is more difficult, just given the sort of dispersed, you know, syndicate franchise nature of terrorism as well and that what we've seen in the last ten days is that it's more organized, more lethal more capable of killing a lot of people and terrifying large communities. look the solo lone wolf sort of, you know crazy teenager in ohio or -- who thinks that they're part of isis is disturbing but it's not a huge threat to most of us because the capable of someone doing something like that is pretty minimal. what we're facing now is detection is harder and capability is stronger. it doesn't mean we throw up our hands and put our heads in the sand. it means let's be aware of what the world looks like now so we can adapt. >> general, detection harder so a greater use of drones,
perhaps, once suspects or leadership is identified? i mean, what do you see changing if detection becomes that much more difficult? >> fredricka, all of this begins with good intelligence and how far upstream can you get before activities start to materialize and before they reach what i would call kind of a tipple point and -- tipping point now into execution. all means of intelligence collection are available, but what that really means is a greater degree of intrusion that has to be accepted in terms of what we view our daily lives to be. whether we're in the united states or we're in europe southeast asia it really doesn't matter we're all connected and all of those really start with an ability to share transparently among intelligence communities so that we can get ahead of this stuff. look what happened with hayat boumeddine when she travels from france to turkey. two members of nato and different degrees, european union, interpol access to that
intelligence and here's this known terrorist walks through the airport and turkey and ends up in syria. i mean that's unfortunate, that's what we're talking about in terms of the difficulty that juliette described. >> it's interesting, because she was noticed, you know, she was questioned, but i guess, you know authorities feel like their hands are a little bit tied if you're not doing anything wrong, just merely existing you're merely in transit, you cannot be stopped. >> yeah. in my view of all of this is that the intelligence had a good picture, but to your point, fred exactly, is that there were some policy issues or some restrictions in terms of what could be done with ha intelligence. i'm not talking about legal actions and probable cause. it's not -- but the causality was there in terms of there could have been actions taken for whatever reasons they were not. we got to address that. >> let's talk about gitmo and what's taking place there. listen to what a former nato supreme allied commander told
jake tapper when asked about president obama transferring detainees out of guantanamo. >> i have great concern about it jake and let's just kind of do the numbers. at one time we had 800 detainees. that was reduced and we got rid of all of the even marginal cases. we're down in the hundred or so range. these are seriously bad actors. i think releasing any of them given a recidivism rate of probably 20 to 30%, is a real risk. this is not the moment to be doing that. >> juliette i want to talk to you first, even though i know general, this is one of your colleagues given your nato history, but juliette given very few of these detainees have -- there have been any real solid markings that they were related to terror activity is it really dangerous that these would be released? >> well look each of them has gone in individual assessment. just going back to the obama administration inheriting gitmo, it is dammed if you do, dammed
if you don't in this situation. you keep gitmo open it is a lightning rod for a lot of the world. you keep -- you close it or remove people where to and are they going to go back and do bad things. so this is a world in which there were essentially no good options. each of them has gotten an individual assessment and determined either there's a host country willing to take them or that they no longer pose a threat. so i'm not convinced edd that we should second guess this decision because in the long run gitmo has to be closed. >> general, where are you on that argument? >> gitmo needs to be closed. the concern is we have to be able to transport these folks back to some place in the -- frankly in the united states yet we have a congress that's going to say not in my district do i want these bad actors. the challenge is we give them up to other countries. we've realized the challenges with that. i would challenge the notion that the recidivism rate of these folks is around 20 to 30%.
what they do is what they did. they're going back. we will see them again. so that's the challenge. we have to be able to embrace that. that's like when you see a thistle grasp it firmly. we have to be able to grab on to the very nasty hard task and we will have to do something with it and juliette is right, you to close gitmo. >> thanks so much general spider marks and juliette kayam, appreciate. politics straight ahead. what is mitt romney telling republican leaders about his plans or lack thereof while in san diego this weekend? cnn's mark preston, he's there. >> well fred you know is the third time a charm for republican presidential nominee in 2012 mitt romney? he gave some tantalizing details about his political future. i'll have more after the break.
. all right. mitt romney he's run twice for president and now why not third time is a charm? he has rocked the gop announcing that yep, he just might jump in the race again. last night at the republican national committee's winter meeting in san diego, he addressed party leaders, sounding like a man on a mission. >> i'm giving some serious consideration to the future but this i know we can win in 2016
as a party in the house, the senate, and the white house, if we communicate a clear vision of where we're taking this country, what we believe in those principles i've described are among those that we're going to be fighting for and we're going to win. and i can tell you this as well regardless of what happens in the primaries and the political process that goes on ann romney and i are going to be fighting for our nominee and make sure we win back the white house because the american people deserve it and we're going to make it happen. >> covering the winter meeting in san diego a very picturesque san diego always our politics executive editor mark preston. good to see you. interesting he used a comchoice words there. he said fighting for the nominee, but we'll take it back. i'm not sure if he's including himself in that run for the nomination or if he's really just talking about the gop as a whole? >> look fredricka, he's talking about the gop as a whole, but there's no question that he
envisions himself potentially as that nominee. this is something new, it's only been really bubbled up in the past week or so mitt romney has said over and over and over again that he would never run for the white house again, but apparently he still has the bug. he's being encouraged by some close advisors by family members, and he thinks this time potentially, he could win the white house. >> and now what are his fellow republicans saying at this meeting, whether in private or out loud to everybody? >> well you know, it depends on who you talk to. it's a mixed reaction. i think there's a lot of intrigue about another romney candidacy. a lot of people are wondering why he's thinking about doing it, but he does have some loyalists. having said that, i think we're hearing from the critics. they tend to be a little louder right now. they think that mitt romney's ship has sailed and it's time for a new face for the republican party. last night mitt romney tried to put a new spin on his message. he talked about poverty, he talked about opportunity for all, and he was very critical of
president obama's foreign policy. mitt romney certainly testing the waters but he hasn't told us when he's going to make a decision yet, fred. >> interesting, and then, you know mitt romney he's bashing the economy about the economy. might that resonate with the unemployment rate down stock markets up, the economy overall, say many analysts is in far better shape than it was just four years ago? >> right. some people would say that romney's argument on foreign policy and how the u.s. has addressed the whole issue of terrorism is actually a stronger argument for him to make and the economic argument isn't as strong. but romney last night really tried to hammer home the idea that his conservative principles could actually make the economy stronger put even more people back to work and get america going again, to a place where it was perhaps ten years ago. but last night, mixed reaction to his talk about potentially running. i can say people weren't totally
discounting him, but he has to weigh, fredricka, what the critics would say and would he get the same support he had in 2012 that he would now in a very crowded field for the republicans presidential no nomination. >> it is going to be an interesting race, indeed. mark preston, thanks so much, in beautiful san diego. you have the joggers behind you. do you have your jogging shoes on today, too? >> i'm going to follow them right after this. >> all right. thanks a the lot, mark. appreciate it. and put this on your calendar. tuesday night, president obama will deliver his state of the union speech. cnn's coverage starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern. be sure to joins us for complete coverage of the president's speech.
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attack. plus chilling new information about how isis and al qaeda may be competing. and the pope hoping to visit areas of the philippines devastated by a super typhoon had to cut his visit short and quickly leave the area. we'll tell you why. "the newsroom" continues right now. good morning again, everyone. thanks so much for joining me. i'm fredricka witfield. anti-terror operations in europe are in full swing two days after a raid by belgium police foiled an imminent plot soldiers are providing extra security for embassies and jewish sites and official are on high alert on reports that as many as 20 sleeper cells could be planning strikes in several european countries. more than two dozen terror related arrests in france germany, belgium and the uk. at least two of the suspects are believed to have links to isis. meanwhile we're also learning of arrests in yemen,
possibly linked to the terror killings in paris last week. a yemeni official broefds on security matters tells cnn two frenchmen had been detained a few months ago as they tried to leave the country. they were suspected of offering logistical support to al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. yemen has been home base to many american-born jihadists, including anwar al awlaki. it's pleends believed he planned and funded the "charlie hebdo" attack. he died in 2011. his following and ability to inspire attacks on the west are as strong as ever. here's cnn's deborah feyerick. >> reporter: he is an american inspiring a generation of young men to take up arms and attack the west. >> i could not reconcile between living in the u.s. and being a muslim. >> reporter: an american of yemeni descent whose ideology is arguably more powerful in death than it was in life. >> he still remains the most important english speaker in al
qaeda's broader associated movement. his ideas outlive him. >> reporter: killed in a drone strike three years ago, anwar al awlaki appears to not have only planned and inspired the attack but financed it as well. >> i was sent me cherif kouachi, by al qaeda in yemen. i went there and sheik anwar al awlaki financed my trip. >> reporter: in the last decade al awlaki has been cited in connection with nearly two dozen terror plots, including inspiring the boston marathon bombers and ft. hood shooter, instigating the underwear bomber and plotting operationally to take down a u.s.-bound british airliner. born in new mexico he spent his teen years in yemen and studied engineering at colorado state university on a $20,000 u.s. taxpayer grant. in the mid-90s al awlaki moved to san diego and began preaching at a mosque. >> started making sermons and he
was an american citizen and his sermons were actually, you know nothing wrong with them. >> reporter: a year before the 9/11 attacks, two of the hijackers showed up at awlaki's mosque. he fled to yemen in 2002 never to return. but his words stayed behind. his deceptive polarizing message is that the west is trying to destroy islam. >> brothers that's what they're doing today. they're plotting to kill this religion. >> reporter: preaching that it's incumbent on american and english speaking followers to wage war at home or away in yemen or syria. terror expert william brannegative calls al awlaki a salesman with modern appeal. >> he translated that material but infused it with a lot more emotion and really made it speak to people in a much more sort of personalized and emotional way. finally he encouraged do it
yourself jihadist, and do its yourself propaganda. >> reporter: propaganda that violent jihad will pay off. deborah feyerick cnn, new york. so what group is the biggest threat after the paris attacks? isis or al qaeda? we'll look at their growing rivalry next. ♪♪♪ [ female announcer ] if you don't think "i've still got it" when you think aarp then you don't know "aarp." life reimagined gives you tools and support to get the career you'll love. find more real possibilities
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>> translator: one cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people's faith. one cannot make fun of faith. >> cnn contributor and daily beast rome bureau chief joining me by phone. while the pope was trying to make this point about limits on free speech he even made, you know kind of a fake punch to show what he would do if someone were to insult his mother has this put him in any further into the debate? >> well i really think it has. i think, you know, we've become so used to this pope saying what he's thinking speaking offs the cuff but i don't think yet so far he's ever said anything that he doesn't mean. i think that he really meant what he said he didn't think it's right to mock other people's faith. you have to remember that the pope is a frequent target by "charlie hebdo." he was, you know, he's often depicted in ways that i suspect he doesn't like and this is one of the examples i think that he's saying. you shouldn't be making fun of
catholicism or islam and what he said i think really rings true to a lot of catholics as well as muslims in this particular case. he has caused a little bit of controversy in italy, much more for his comment about how he would punch someone if they insulted his mother because as most staunch catholics know you're supposed to turn the other cheek, you're not supposed to actually retaliate. that's been sort of the headlines here in rome as well. >> and then let's talk about the pope and his comments about same-sex marriage and what kind of reaction there's been? >> well that's another, you know obviously a big topic here in rome and around the vatican and what we saw during the senate on the family a couple months ago, seemed to be a softening on the stance in terms of same-sex marriage and in terms of contraception within heterosexual marriage and he said to the filipino people he was speaking to that, you know that he really thought marriage
is between a man and a woman. that is, of course, a catholic teaching something the church is not going to back down on but we haven't heard the pope so vocal on it to such a large audience. i think a lot of people were disappointed whatever progress they thought was being made in that highly controversial senate we saw in october, he seemed to be backtracking on that. of course he's speaking in a very catholic country, to catholics, so he's speaking to people who share his views. >> all right. thanks so much for joining us. appreciate it. >> thank you. meantime we're also getting chilling new information from counterterrorism officials about how al qaeda and isis are competing and what the consequences could be. brian todd reports on the dangerous and deadly competition that is emerging. >> reporter: a chest thumping from one of al qaeda's most dangerous branches over the "charlie hebdo" killings paying tribute to the kouachi brothers al qaeda in the arabian
peninsula says its leadership chose the target planned and paid for the attack. >> translator: when the heros were assigned they accepted. they promised and fulfilled. >> reporter: it's not clear how much of that is bluster, how much of a hand aqap really had in the slaughter in paris. what is clear to experts, this group has regained its momentum. >> aqap status is reaffirmed at the top if not on top of the global jihadist movement. >> reporter: now other top story groups are lining up to praise the terror attack. isis and boko haram among them >> translator: we truly rejoiced at what happened in france. >> reporter: now cnn has learned of a chilling new concern among u.s. counterterror officials, that there's fresh, intensified competition among the most dangerous terror groups to one up each other, to take back the spotlight. >> who can hit hardest, who can show they're fighting the hardest, and who can prove their strategy is successful?
>> reporter: a competition between between aqap and isis. for the better part of two years isis seemed to dominate capturing huge swaths of territory in syria and iraq beheading five westerners on tv. but counterterrorism officials and analysts tell cnn it's aqap's ability to strike outside its neighborhood that concern them. >> aqap is certainly oriented on attacking the united states and much more so than we've seen come out of isis. >> reporter: evidenced by the 2009 underwear bomb attempt on a u.s.-bound airliner and aqap's plot to place bombs in printer cartridges being flown tos u.s. all the work of its master bomb maker ebra haem al asiri, who's sill at large, isis isn't letting up releasing a video that appears to show a boy executing two men. the paris attack ratchets up the pressure. >> not only on the ground in syria and iraq but for opinion and funding and recruits within the jihadi community and attacks
abroad. >> reporter: who's winning that competition for recruits? the life blood of these groups? a u.s. counterterrorism official tells us isis is still drawing more foreign fighters than aqap. the official says syria is still their destination of choice. and we know that hayat boumeddine the girlfriend of one of the paris gunmen likely just arrived in syria, drawing concern over what she may do next. brian todd cnn, washington. and now nigeria, too is suffering from terrorism by islamist group boko haram displacing close to 10 million people. next some of the most desperate victims, children. in the internet of things, every device can be connected, to your
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boko haram's youngest victims are fending for themselves. lydia lost her parents a month ago, when boko haram attacked her village. >> we are going to mountain they followed us. and they are killing us. they got my mother and my father. someone is saying they killed my mother and my father. >> reporter: 180 children crowd into this compound. for now, sank tear from boko haram's daily attacks. like lydia, many are orphans, witness to what no child should ever see. >> killing people slaughtering people. >> reporter: you could see all of this. >> yes. they killed one person in our house. >> reporter: her new friend esther from another village, has a similar story. she continues in her own language. they showed up after church
service one sunday last july opened fire killing people. everyone ran. i don't know what happened to my parents. esther is 18 and lydia 16. they're some of the oldest here have responsibilities. like cooking for the other children. they don't get government handouts and there is no international aid agency helping them. both are struggling to understand their changed lives. lydia tells me of nightmares crying not being able to eat. what is all too clear to them now is they won't be going home any time soon. >> because boko haram is killing us we don't have food to eat. they are slaughtering people. >> reporter: only god, they say, can help them now. nic robertson, cnn, joss nigeria. a look at our top stories
now. the entire national criminal court has opened an inquiry into the attack on the palestinian territories, including attacks that happened during last year's gaza war between israel and hamas militants. the move opens the way for an investigation against israel. israel calls the inquiry an outrage, and the u.s. says it strongly disagrees with the court's decision. and this major announcement from the u.s. supreme court. the justices have decided they will hear arguments on whether states have the rights to ban same-sex couples from marrying. right now, 36 states allow same-sex marriage including the district of columbia. the justices will hear arguments in april, and issue a ruling possibly by june. and there has been a big development for football fans in the -- penn state football fans jerry sandusky. that case. joe paterno will soon be the winningest coach in the history of college football again. it's a decision that has so many
fans celebrating, and it has quite a few critics furious. you only know in a fire to get out, to escape and now ok you are outside and you are safe but what do you do now and that's where the red cross came in... . we ran out of the house just wearing our pajamas. at that point just to even have a toothbrush that i could call my own was so important... . ...you know it just makes you feel like a person again. every 8 minutes the american red cross responds to
all right. a stunning 180-degree turn for pep state. the college could now be able to claim its 111 victories won by the late joe paterno. it was vacated following the jerry sandusky abuse scandal. good to see you. >> good to see you too, fed reeka. penn state's board of trustees unanimously approved a proposed sentiment filed by jay coreman. students at penn state rallied outside the administration building to celebrate the decision. as part of the deal penn state agrees to pay $60 million to help victims of sexual abuse. in the 112 wins at the ncaa took away from the school will be restored. 111 of those belonged to paterno. that means he'll return to the top of the list with 409 victories. >> and so people have been very outspoken about this case no matter which way you look at it.
but particularly online folks have said a lot. >> absolutely. some people are loving it. some people are absolutely hating it. penn state nation though did not hold back their elation. those fans and former players of penn state took to twitter. matt mcgloin posted it was only a matter of time #409. now this needs to be placed back where it belongs. and he's talking about the paterno statue that was removed from outside the stadium after the scandal broke. state senator jake coreman tweeted, today is a victory for due process. today is a victory for the people of pennsylvania. today is a victory for penn state nation. now, not all social media reaction was positive. les e. said it would have been nice if penn state worked as diligently to restore the lives of victims as it did to restore paterno's wins. jerry sandusky was convicted for abusing victims and is serving a 30 to 60-year sentence.
the money will be set aside to filed child abuse in pennsylvania. let's go from college ball to the nfl and ray rice. there is a settlement now. do we know how much? we know he was asking for over what, $3 million. >> that's right. >> what's resulted? >> some developments there. the ravens say they finally settled their grievance with ray rice over back pay. the terms were not disclosed and they probably will not be. but the pro bowl running back wanted more than $3.5 million for wrongful termination from the team. the ravens released ray rice video of him knocking out his then fiancee in an elevator. it was released publicly in september. and team president dick cass said in a statement friday it's time to turn the page and move forward. rice is a free agent and he can sign with any team now, fredricka. we also want to do something real fun. we want to also give a shoutout to muhammad ali. happy 73rd birthday, released from the hospital after a
urinary tract infection. happy birthday to you, champ. >> the greatest of all time. happy birthday to him. good to see you. we have so much more straight ahead from the news room which all begins right now. . happening right now in the "newsroom," the world on edge police in france and belgium today, guarding potential targets of terrorist attacks. and a terror suspect nabbed in yemen. why they may be connected to al qaeda. and clashes over the latest "charlie hebdo" magazine depicting the prophet muhammad. french flags torched, as police try to get control of protesters. the "newsroom"starts right now.
hello again. thanks so much for joining me. it's the noon eastern hour. i'm fredricka whitfield. new developments from the terrorist hot bed of yemen. hours ago, the yemeni president's chief of staff was kidnapped by gunmen in central senna in broad daylight. and weeks before the paris attacks, yemeni officials detained two frenchmen for suspected links to al qaeda. the orders on the offices of "charlie hebdo" came from al qaeda in yemen. and at least one of the kouachi brothers had traveled there multiple times. cnn's nick paton walsh is on the ground in yemen. what is the latest? >> reporter: well as you mentioned, 10:00 this morning, the presidential chief of staff was in the very center behind me and kidnapped by armed men. now there was immediate condemnation from the american and british embassies here and hours later we discovered that
in fact one key movement here a collection of tribes militia who have in the past few months put the upper hand in the civil conflict racking yemen for years. they have actually taken the capital city in the past few months and said in the last few hours that in fact they had detained the president's chief of staff, because they were concerned the president was about to usher in a new constitution they have not approved. and they wanted him to be careful of the sensitivities, quote, of the situation. the real sense of tension here between the group predominantly from the shia sector of islam and the presidential administration here who are often on the same side of the fence as many sunni tribes and other groups here as well which does often include al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. and it's extraordinarily messy, escalating significantly. and goes to show really how
close to being a failed state yemen is. the second-most powerful man in the presidential administration can be carjacked and kidnapped at gunpoint in the very center of the capital. >> and nick what if anything is being demanded in exchange for his release? >> reporter: simply that they say the current constitution which is supposed to be put in place as part of a deal for transition here part of a national reconciliation by log put in place many months ago, that that be stopped for now. now, it's all part really of the broader, in the words of one official close to administration flexing of muscles by the movement here. they have check points across the capital. some say they have introduced a sense of calm and order that hasn't been seen for a while. others say the use of force has done that. a very tense night here in yemen falling in and obviously none of this assists through the general idea of combatting al qaeda or the arabian peninsula. this kind of chaos gave a
foothold here. i should point out too, we are hearing in the last few hours from a yemeni official briefed on the security situation here that in the last few months two frenchmen were in fact arrested for apparently offering support to al qaeda here. arrested as they left the country in custody. not clear if there are links to the paris attacks. >> all right. nick payton walsh, thank you so much. countries across europe are on edge. authorities are guarding against potential terror attacks there. one intelligence source tells cnn, dozens of terrorists may be poised to strike across europe as part of the so-called sleeper cells in belgium, troops are out in force, guarding targets, including embassies and the country's jewish museum. phil black is in brussels for us. how obvious is this security presence around the city and particularly in those most vulnerable locations? >> reporter: yeah, in some areas, you can't see it. you really can't miss it, i
should say, fredricka. what we're seeing and what we have been seeing is extraordinary. these are armed belgian soldiers deployed on to the streets of this major european city. that is an extraordinary sight, really. they are standing guard. you see them moving around in troop vehicles as well. they've been assigned to protect, to watch over buildings and institutions and sights that the authorities fear could be a target for some sort of terror strike. we're talking about government buildings. buildings associated with european union institutions. this is really the capital of the european union in brussels. and of course jewish sites and institutions as well. today here in brussels some 120 soldiers have been deployed to these various sites. another 30 are on the streets on the city of antwerp north of here guarding key jewish sites, as well. so it's really a dramatic significant step up in the security.
certainly here in the capital. it's likely these numbers will increase in the coming days. the situation is being reviewed. it is all part of an increase to the security posture of this country. but it is also very much clearly assigned that despite the raids against suspected terror groups that have taken place here over recent days the authorities are very much of the belief that there remains a substantial security threat here in belgium, fredricka. >> and so phil what about ordinary citizens? here it is nightfall, dinnertime there for a lot of people. are they heading out, still carrying on about their business going to restaurants, markets, et cetera or are they changing their ways? >> yeah i think people still are very much living their life here as they normally would on a saturday night. most of the security this additional security particularly these armed soldiers they're being deployed to government buildings and european union buildings. they're largely shut up for the weekend so not a lot of civilian life around that. when it comes to the jewish
sites shall i guess these are some of the places that members of belgium's jewish community have been most nervous about. schools and so forth have been closed here in recent days. there is now talk that because of this additional security some of them will reopen come monday. that they do feel significantly more comfortable because of this additional security which is now so visible on the streets of the capital here and also the city antwerp. >> phil black, thank you so much, from brussels. in the wake of the paris attacks, u.s. attorney general eric holder warned of similar potential attacks in the u.s. to discuss this potential threat further, we're joined now by france 24's washington correspondent, phillipe crouther and cnn global affairs analyst, lieutenant colonel james reese. >> thank you. >> phillip, let me begin with you. is there a wire discussion taking place about whether we
could potentially see a repeat of the paris attack into the u.s.? >> well it's entirely possible isn't it? it's relatively close to the so-called lone wolf attack that a lot of people in the obama administration have been warning about, and, indeed all the way up to the u.s. president have been warning about. but when you look at what happened in paris, it wasn't exactly that lone wolf attack that had been so many warnings about. it wasn't just that one person. it was a group of people who were heavily armed, and seemingly well-trained and had a lot of training with al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. so there is a lot more organization behind that. but the worry more than anything i think, is these many different potential motives and motivations for these attacks in paris. there was, of course the caricatures of the prophet muhammad done in 2006. so this goes a long way back. and then there's, of course the presence of al qaeda and the arabian peninsula, that threat coming from yemen.
but there is also remember amedy coulibaly who said he was doing this for isis the islamic state group, another possible motive. in other words, it's a bit of a deadly cocktail this one potential motives and motivations. and that means that the terror threat around europe and potentially, of course also here in the united states is a very complex one. it could come from anywhere basically. >> and lieutenant colonel reese, what do you suppose the discussions are now in the intelligence community, in law enforcement? what are they extrapolating from what took place in paris at "charlie hebdo," as well as the kosher market? what has taken place in belgium in terms of thwarting the efforts of terrorists there? what kind of notes are taken from those various incidents and put together to try to get a better framework about how to stop the next planned attack or how to go about arresting or apprehending those who are
planning the next attack? >> well fred everyone in the -- you know in the intel ops fusion community right now, one of the things we know -- we have known for years, but these attacks have really brought it to the forefront. it's we have people both in europe and the u.s. going to syria, going to yemen. we know those are safe havens for terrorist training. they can go there. when they come back they are not sleeper cells. they become really people without a country. because we have a good idea who they are when they go over. they go on a watch list so when they come back they either have to try to assimilate back in and say, oh i made a mistake, or when they do come back they have to be operational. so the intell community now i believe is probably saying to themselves you know we have to increase the surveillance on these people. we probably have to go even overt surveillance on these people to let them know we are watching them because they're in an operational mode. they are definitely not
sleeping. >> all right. phillip crouther and lieutenant colonel james reese, stay with me. we'll talk more as we talk about jury selection soon to get under way involving the lone surviving boston bomber. we'll talk about that form of terrorism, and what kind of parallels are being drawn. at ancestry, we call it a hint.. our little leaf that helps guide you through the past. simply type in a name and you're taken on a journey. a journey that crosses generations. and continents. all to tell the most amazing story. yours. discover your story. start searching for free now at ancestry.com if you're taking multiple medications does your mouth often feel dry? a dry mouth can be a side effect of many medications. but it can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath. that's why there's biotene
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washington correspondent, phillip crouther and cnn global affairs lieutenant colonel james reese. in the wake of what has played out in europe do you see, lieutenant colonel, any parallels between the plan carried out by the kouachi brothers in paris and the tsarnaev brothers in the united states and what they carried out in boston? >> well are there parallels? absolutely there are parallels. what you really have though is this -- the ones who went to yemen, they got guidance there. you've got the other ones with the dagestan and they got guidance there. that's what everyone really needs to understand about these terrorist cells, these operational cells. when they go get their training then the leadership of these terrorist organizations sit down with them and they become intent-based organizations. it says, we want you to go attack the journalists at "charlie hebdo." when you do it how you do it is up to you. here's the money to execute.
go do it. when they leave, then there are other folks training there, they bring them in they give the same exact guidance. so what you start to get is several balls up in the air at the same time and hopefully one of those comes down on what the leadership of the terrorist cell wants to do. >> this is what a former cia director leon panetta, said during an exclusive interview here on cnn. >> you've got terrorists coming at us from a lot of different directions from isis from boko haram, from al shabaab, from aqap from other elements of al qaeda. they are recruiting like crazy from these various wars in syria and iraq and yes, ma'ammen. and they seem to be involved in more planning, and more weapons in terms of the types of attacks that they're working on. so i think it's pretty clear from what we're seeing that we are entering a more threatening
and more dangerous period in this war on terrorism. >> and more of this conversation with leon panetta on gps with fareed zakaria team morning. lieutenant i wonder if you can weigh in on that. the former director saying there are more groups it appears, and it seems like there's more training there is more financing. what ask does this mean in the ongoing global war against terror. >> first off, i'm a bit disappointed the former director of the cia is putting in former organizations that don't have any threat to us. al shabaab and boko haram. boko haram, they're entirely focused on nigeria, and they have done one attack. >> isn't there a similar ideology? is that the point that's made the similar ideology that provokes any number of these men and women, mostly men, to carry out these deeds of terror to
assault communities, to steal people can kidnap to kill? >> sure. but, i mean this is throughout history, both on the christian side and the muslim side. what we have to do now is focus. focus is the key here on what is the -- you know what could be attacking the home land for the u.s. how do we help europe protect their aspects so we have to focus. so if we start throwing out all these different names and taking our focus away this is when we're going to get hurt. >> all right. lieutenant colonel james reese, phillip crouther thanks to both of you. i appreciate your time today. >> thanks fred. all right. and he allegedly planned to bomb and open fire on the u.s. capitol. but 20-year-old christopher cornell will never see that plan play out. instead, he'll be facing charges for the alleged terror plot and remain behind bars until trial. when the flu hits, it's a really big deal. the aches.
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the prosecution that cornell could be a flight risk and he poses a significant threat to public safety based on allegations he was plotting to bomb the capitol. christopher cornell was a high school wrestling star. his parents say they once had high hopes for a bright future. but he didn't seem to find his path after high school. >> breaks my heart. he had so much potential. he had a scholarship. >> reporter: recently there was reason to be hopeful again. >> he just became a happier person. >> his attitude changed. he became a lot happier. he said that he felt calm and at peace with himself and with god. he became just happy go lucky. >> reporter: he grew out his beard and adopted islam after reading a lot about it and parents saw signs his beliefs had really taken hold. >> he would come in at prayer time say his prayers. >> reporter: at the same time the fbi says he was planning a
deadly attack. on wednesday, agents raided the family's cincinnati home seizing a book cornell had written in and a computer. online authorities say he told an fbi informant he wanted to commit violent jihad over several months investigators monitored the plot as it was taking shape. authorities say pipe bombs will be placed in the capitol and people would be shot as they fled the scene. >> no no no. i don't think chris ever wanted to hurt anyone. and -- >> reporter: then why say it? and why walk into the gun shop? >> i believe he was coerced. >> reporter: fbi agents arrested cornell wednesday after he bought two semi automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition at the point blank gun shop and range in cincinnati. >> we had the forewarning he was going to come in but then also they had greased the skids a little bit so that things would go smoothly as a part of the sale. >> reporter: asked to help authorities in the sting, john
dean sold cornell exactly what he asked for. >> i'm getting a lot of thumbs up today. >> reporter: how did he strike you? did he know what he was talking about? >> he did. he struck me as someone who had done some research. but hadn't actually had a lot of hands-on experience with a gun. >> reporter: cornell had never fired a gun, according to his parents. they say he never talked to them about isis and he showed no signs of anger or violence. they say he spent much of his time alone. did he have friends? >> he had friends up until about a year ago. and i think when he grew his hair out and grew his beard. >> reporter: on the day of his arrest cornell left a note for his parents saying he was working with a friend. their son now behind bars but his parents believe he'll come home one day. >> i feel that it wasn't him. >> reporter: the defendant saw his parents for the first time since his arrest when he walked into the courtroom for his detention hearing. his mother said "i love you." his father said "don't trust anyone." his attorney also made several requests to the judge.
she asked her client be referred to by his muslim name. she also asked he be given a prayer mat and clock in the butler county jail so he could pray five times daily and she asked he be taken off suicide watch. fred? >> alexandra field, thank you so much. with more attacks expected the u.s. and britain are teaming up to fight terror. of the erin mcpike is at the white house. >> reporter: fred the leaders of both countries met here yesterday to announce new efforts to crack down on terrorist and hacker groups. more on that after the break. sir, we're loaded and getting ready to go... ...we're going to need you on the runway. (vo) don't let a severe cold hold you back. sir? (vo) theraflu starts to get to work in your body in just 5 minutes. (vo) theraflu breaks you free from your worst cold and flu symptoms. (vo) theraflu. serious power.
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jewish sites and officials on high alert amid reports that as many as 20 sleeper cells could be planning strikes in several european countries. more than two dozen terror related arrests have been made in france germany, belgium and the u.k. at least two of the suspects are believed to have links to isis. the paris attacks and the growing presence of al qaeda and isis have world leaders teaming up to fight terror. british prime minister david cameron was at the white house for talks with president obama yesterday. on their agenda security measures and what to do about islamic terror cells inside europe. cnn's erin mcpike is at the white house for us. erin what has come out of those talks? >> reporter: fred, these two leaders announced they are joining together to create these cyber cells so they can crack down on terrorist and vulnerabilities in some of their online networks. president obama also pointed out that both he and david cameron are dealing with threat streams every day, and, of course that
attention is heightened now after the paris attacks. but that what they need to do is come up with a more consistent approach for how to deal with them. >> in the wake of the vicious attacks in paris, as well as the news surfacing out of belgium today, we continue to stand unequivocally, not only with our french friends and allies but with also all of our partners who are dealing with this scourge. >> reporter: president obama and british prime minister david cameron vowing to do more to did he say rupture terrorist communications. >> we should try to avoid the safe havens that could otherwise be created for terrorists to talk to each other. there is a very real connection between that and the capabilities that our intelligence services within the law use to defend our people. >> reporter: one of the major priorities for the u.s. and its allies is to identify the more than 19,000 foreign fighters who have traveled to syria, who may be planning attacks in their home countries.
>> social media and the internet is the primary way in which these terrorist organizations are communicating. now, that's no different than anybody else but they're good at it and when we have the ability to track that in a way that is legal, conforms with due process, rule of law and presents oversight, then that's the capability we have to preserve. >> >> reporter: the british prime minister has pushed for changes for how some companies are working. >> if we find evidence of a terrorist plot somewhere in the middle east that traces directly back to london or new york we are confident that this individual or this network is about to activate a plot and
despite having a phone number or despite having a social media address, we can't penetrate that. that's a problem. >> reporter: now, there were some occasions yesterday where obama and cameron were at odds and david cameron talked about stepping up police forces throughout europe to deal with islamist extremists but president obama warned europe against reresponding with a hammer and more law enforcement. and he said europe needs to create a better culture for some of its immigrants and stronger ties to the community there, fred. >> all right. erin mcpike, thank you so much from the white house. one of the issues with cyber attacks is the technology. it's moving so fast it's hard for investigators to even keep up. something obama also addressed. >> the technologies are evolving in ways that potentially make this trickier. if we get into a situation in
which the technologies do not allow us at all to track somebody that we're competent is a terrorist. >> joining me now is cnn's samuel burke, technology guru. sort of sounds like a losing battle. is that the case? is it possible to stay ahead of this change of technology and the change in which people are using it terrorists using it? >> fredricka, in the days leading up to his meeting with obama, cameron said if obama doesn't put more pressure on u.s. technology companies, that he might actually consider banning apps like snap chat and what's up in the united kingdom, because the encryption technology has gotten to be so good. when obama came out, i heard him take a line that was a little less hard-lined let's say. obama signaled he feels the united states government has made progress with the technology companies, balancing
privacy with the ability to monitor. but as you just heard in that sound bite basically what obama is saying is that the technology has gotten so good it's become so secure that sometimes, let's just draw an analogy, the government is going to the door the authorities are going to the door of your home and the lock is so strong that they can't even get in. but that flies in the face of a lot of what i've heard when i am reporting on cyber security and hacks in sony. you hear the experts say we need stronger. so we as society have to grapple with that. we can't have it both ways. we don't want to get hacked but on the other hand we want the government to be able to get in. so we're going to have to figure that out as a society at large. >> oh gosh. all right. so you're also talking about this hacking. we're hearing that 19,000 french websites have been hacked this week. any idea who or what group might be behind it? is it a sole entity or is it just know several different entities? >> the head of cyber security in france said these websites
19,000 -- like you said businesses universities religious groups city governments in france. these websites have been filled with pro islamic and pro -- pro islamic images and pro islamic messages. so it looks like these are coming from islamic groups according to french authorities, carrying out these attacks. but it's interesting, because that's happened just off the back of anonymous. that hacking group saying that in -- they're going to carry out reprisal attacks for what happened to "charlie hebdo." take a listen to what they posted on their youtube account. >> attacking freedom of speech is attacking anonymous. we will not permit it. any organizations and enterprises linked to those terrorist attacks should expect the massive reaction from anonymous. we are tracking you down. >> so fredricka, i bet a lot of people think that's great unanimous is going after what they deem to be jihadist groups but experts tell me that's actually not good. what that does is create an
environment where more islamic groups will go after the french websites, like we're seeing. so you have these cyber vigilantes and people like you and i are caught in the middle as these groups go at each other. >> wow. what a complicated web. thanks so much samuel burke, always good to see you. a star nascar driver accusing his ex girlfriend of being a trained assassin. she claims he has abused her. so who needs the restraining order? our legal guys will sort it all out, next.
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gunshots in the melbourne square mall food court. a woman who saw it describes the frightening scene. >> it was a frightening experience. something you don't ever want anybody to experience. it was crazy. it was -- we had just gotten our food to sit down by starbucks and chick-fil-a. and all of a sudden you just hear the pop, pop, pop, pop pop pop. and you just drop everything and you just -- your body makes you run. >> reporter: two people were injured in the shooting. meanwhile, police say the mall is closed and being cleared store by store. overseas a typhoon forced pope francis to cut short a huge outdoor mass today. despite high winds and drenching rains thousands showed up for the service in tack la ban, state area devastated by a typhoon in 2013. after the service, the pope headed to manila where he'll
deliver to a mass tomorrow. and in politics mitt romney says he is considering another presidential run. he spokes to the gop's winter meeting in san diego last night. >> most frequently asked question i get is what does ann think about all of this? and she believes that people get better with experience. and -- heaven knows, i have experience running for president. >> romney had said after the 2012 race he would never run again. well apparently now he is rethinking those words. nascar driver kurt busch and his ex-girlfriend are making headlines in a rather bizarre legal case. busch's ex, driscoll is not only known for trying to get her
own reality show with this demo video, but she claims busch attacked her, and she wants a restraining order. he says she is a trained assassin and that he is scared for his life. so who to believe? here is cnn's andy shoal. >> reporter: the assassin angelina jolie plays in "mr. and mrs. smith" is a fictional character, but according to kurt busch, his ex girlfriend is the real life version. while testifying in court, busch said driscoll is a trained assassin who would go on covert missions around the world. the family court battle stems from a november incident where discontrol claims busch assaulted her. busch says it's a made-up lie after the relationship ended. >> i'm just glad the truth got told and we'll wait on the commissioner's decision. >> reporter: busch says driscoll claimed jessica's character in the movie zero dark thirty was partly based on her and other
women working in counter intelligence. >> bin laden is there. and you're going to kill him for me. >> reporter: during court testimony busch told a story when they were in el paso texas. busch said driscoll once went out in camouflaged gear only to return later wearing an evening gown covered with blood with a trench coat over it. far-fetched? maybe? but busch is standing by his story on the stand saying quote, everybody on the outside can tell me i'm crazy, but i lived on the inside and saw it first-hand. driscoll is a senior executive of a company called front line defense systems, a security and intelligence consulting firm and is described on the company website as having spent the majority of her career in the narcotics and intelligence world. driscoll nor her attorney refuted the testimony during the hearing but in a phone interview with the associated press, driscoll said these statements are ludicrous and without basis and an attempt to destroy my credibility. i find it interesting that some
of the out lannish claims come from a movie script i've been working on for eight years and she says busch has proof read. >> such a wild story. she said wednesday busch needs professional help to deal with alcoholism and depression. busch has not responded to those remarks. >> okay andy schultz, thanks so much. let's bring in our legal guys. maybe they can sort this out. i love that music. freeman, civil rights attorney. and richard herman new york criminal defense attorney and law professor, joining us from las vegas today. okay. so richard, you first. what's the evidence likely that, you know ms. driscoll says she needs a restraining order, and that she is the one being harassed? >> the whole thing is absurd fred. it's ridiculous. these people are nuts and i don't know -- it looks like a publicity stunt to me. because it's absurd. a four-day hearing in family court for an alleged assault.
this is what happens. he's in his trailer at a raceway. she is -- he says she is scorned. she comes to his trailer, he asks her to leave. she got her 10-year-old son with her, by the way. she will not leave. there is some sort of altercation, where she says he takes her and puts her head into the side of the wall there, and she finally leaves there. is no medical evidence there is no criminal charges brought. she then goes to family court and seeks a restraining order against him. he doesn't want her around him. yet she is seeking a no-contact order. and the absurdity of this whole thing is is that there is no evidence of it this whole thing about an assassin and the assassin defense, this is ridiculous. this has nothing to do with the facts and circumstances of the case. it's got to be a publicity stunt, fred. it has to be. it's absurd. >> do you think so too, avery? >> well i -- from a legal perspective, i appreciate the characterization of absurdity and ridiculous. but to me look i think, you know if you work -- you know
like curt busch and, you're -- all you do is drive around in circles, maybe that got to him. but i do agree -- >> get ready for e-mails and calls. >> i do agree -- i do agree that the idea of bringing a no contact claim or pursuit, and it's a civil matter. it's not criminal. the lawyers could have agreed to something like that. but they're now -- we have a four-day show. i agree with that part of it. what's so odd about this is the complaint was actually filed in september. the incident allegedly occurred in september. the complaint was filed in november. the hearing started in december and we're now in january, and it's still not over. so it is very odd in that respect. bottom line is that if the burden is on the victim then it seems to me that ms. driscoll has a real problem in meeting that burden of proof. we actually agree, but for different reasons. >> i know.
i'm hearing that. you're in agreement. >> the further absurdity, if this order gets granted, this no contact order gets granted -- it's quasi criminal avery. if she gets upset down the road and decides to call the police and say he's bothering me he came by my house, they could go arrest him. so -- because of that no contact. >> it's not going to happen. let me tell you why it's not going to happen. >> but it's in family court and the quality of judges in family court are like this. most of them. so -- >> oh my -- gosh! i cannot -- believe you said that. >> the entire judiciary -- >> family court. family court judges. >> that's not fair. inappropriate. >> you're going to get a barrage. >> some of them. >> etch e-mails. >> not all, some of them. >> i'm glad i'm an innocent bystander. did i say happy new year you guys? >> happy new year to you, fredricka. 14 years. >> i know. i was thinking about that this morning. we have been together a very long time. >> that's right.
>> ain't love grand? >> way too long. >> thanks guys. appreciate it. bye-bye. >> see you later. all right. for more than 50 years, americans have had to get special permission to set foot on cuban soil. guess what? now visiting cuba is a whole lot easier. karl penhaul takes us to havana. >> reporter: fredricka, this still is not a general license to come and hit cuba's beaches or knock back the mojitos. but these changes have sweeping consequences for americans, for the cubans and for these two former cold war foes. i'll tell you more on the other side of the break. [ female announcer ] we help make secure financial tomorrows a reality for over 19 million people. [ mom ] with life insurance, we're not just insuring our lives... we're helping protect his. [ female announcer ] everyone has a moment when tomorrow becomes real. transamerica. transform tomorrow. if you're taking multiple medications
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u.s. visitors a year and a whole lot of tourism dollars. with us live now from havana cuba karl penhaul. so karl are cubans excited about this potential influx of tourists? >> reporter: well certainly cubans are excited about the changes, fredricka. because what they believe is it will bring in more money, more u.s. dollars into their economy, they can get their hands on. why they are excited about that of course because if you try to get by in cuba on a state wage of less than 20 bucks a month, that is just impossible. so you've got to hustle even on the sidelines of your regular job to get your hands on some hard currency. and simply make it through the month. and if you look at what the changes president obama has put through, that is really what a lot of these changes are destined to do. this is not simply about helping americans with their vacation plans, although that is one of the side effects. a lot more americans can come to
cuba under self licensing agreements. that basically means you get on the plane and then when you get back if anybody asks you say, well i came for religious purposes for humanitarian purposes or what have you. but the key thing here is that also the increase in remittences remittences, as well. obama has said that cuban-american families can send four times more remittances. as that happens, there's likely to be greater economic divisions, which could lead to greater political divisions. let's take a look at this and see how the situation could be affected. an economic shakeup is already under way. and now relations with the u.s. may be thawing. cube j's emerging class of private businessmen looks set to boom.
[ speaking in spanish ] >> reporter: rodriguez has been running his own restaurant called wow for just over two years. the key to success is preserving the taste of cuba whether that's the taste of the drinks and food or a taste for daily life he says. finding the right ingredients can sometimes be tough. despite that rodriguez favors an orderly move to liberalization not a free-for-all. the rules for doing private business are in place. it's not worth trying to save a few pesos and earning yourself a huge problem, he says. president obama has proposed a four-fold increase in remittances is sent by cuban-americans to family here. that's partly intended to bank roll small businesses. a dollar influx and a growth in private enterprise will almost certainly sharpen cube j's economic class gap.
rodriguez believes economic reforms and better u.s. relations will not undermine cuba's socialist political system. as salaries start to rise and more remittances come in great. if a family gets a better standard of living, that's great too, he says. across on the other side of havana i'll bring you to a different kind of private business. this one is a nail salon. she says she has scrimped and saved for years to buy 500 shades of polish. she charges around $5 for high gloss acrylic manicure. that's an entire week's wage for a state worker. [ speaking in spanish ]. >> i'm one of the capitalist generation i believe the capitalist generation is better than the others, she says. >> reporter: above her, the sign cuba's social dream may be
fading. no cash no nail do. [ speaking in spanish ] all that business of fidel and the revolution is a very pretty story but it has nothing to do with now. young people want to go to good places a disco, all-expenses paid hotels. and with a state salary you just can't do that, she says. neither she or her clients know what to expect from a warming u.s.-cuba ties. [ speaking in spanish ] >> ever since i was born they have been normalizing one thing or another, but everything stays the same this woman says. raoul and obama might have talked about a lot of things but for ordinary people everything is just the same. one day good one day bad, she says. but with every day that passes she is waging a private battle against the system one nail at a time.
so on the one hand you can look at these changes introduced by president obama as a sign that relations between two former cold war foes could start to be getting on to a new path where both sides put old antagonisms aside. on the other hand though you can also look at this as possibly a back door attempt by the united states to spread more cash at lower levels of the cuban economy. and in that way, start in motion its own grass roots political process to try and get ordinary cubans to push the cuban government for change here on the island. fredricka. >> karl penhaul, thanks so much for bringing us into the lives of the cuban people there and to this new change. thanks so much. we'll have much more on the "newsroom"right after this. sir, we're loaded and getting ready to go... ...we're going to need you on the runway. (vo) don't let a severe cold hold you back. sir? (vo) theraflu starts to get to work in your body in just 5 minutes. (vo)
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manhunt. boumeddiene is hiding behind a veil aiming a cross bow. these images suggest a radical transformation into extremism. >> if you look at it it is erasing previous identity. >> reporter: boumeddiene is wanted for her mysterious role in the paris terror attacks. the can connection to her romantic partner, amedy cool balancy, has made her front-page news. >> she will most definitely be seen as a rock star. it's almost like she is a trophy militant wife. >> reporter: and she is far from the only woman to take a radical turn as western women join militant islamic groups their presence, according to experts, often help members fly under the radar, one reason why perhaps boumeddiene is seen in this video traveling with a man who may be connected to another jihadi cell. >> women are generally not looked at as a potential terrorist. when a woman and a man are paired up they won't be seen as
an operational unit an operational entity. >> reporter: samantha grew up as a normal kid outside london and later turned radical. her husband, one of the suicide bombers responsible for the deadly london subway attacks in 2005. she is now known as the white widow widow, linked to the terror group, al shabaab. and then there is objectiona mahmud who listened to cold play and read harry potter books. in 2013 she left her family for syria. >> it was a big shock for us. >> reporter: her goal? to join the movement become an isis bride and martyr herself. her whereabouts unknown, much like boumeddiene. two western women transforming themselves into the first women of terror. alina machado, cnn, new york.
much more ahead in the "newsroom," and it all starts right now. hello again, everyone. and welcome. i'm fredricka whitfield. now in the "newsroom," the threat of a terror attack keeping countries on edge. the fear is that terrorists from so-called sleeper cells may be poised to strike in france germany and belgium. in bellup troops are out in force. they're guarding potential targets, including the jewish museum in central brussels. earlier this week more than a dozen suspected militants detained in belgium, france and germany. in sweeping anti terror raids. and there may be a possible isis connection to the terror plots in europe. a counterterrorism official says isis has ordered recruits to return to europe from syria's battle grounds to launch attacks. we're also learning that one of the gunmen who attacked the "charlie hebdo" magazine has
been buried. said kouachi's body was placed in an unmarked grave in his hometown 80 miles outside paris. and now to another terror hot bed. yemen and new information on a kidnapping there. shiite rebels have claimed responsibility for kidnapping the president's chief of staff. it happened earlier today in broad daylight. cnn's nick paton walsh is on the ground in yemen. so nic, any new information about this chief of staff? >> reporter: we know that at 10:00 this morning, he was in the very center of the capital city behind me. dr. ahmed mubarak taken from his car by armed men. there was a quick condemnation and demand for his release by the british and american embassies and soon after that as you mentioned, the movement a collection of tribes and militia moving quite successfully in the past three months across yemen and into the
capital city in the past months where you now see the check points on main roads here. they said they had taken the president's chief of staff. and they were detaining him, in their words, because they were concerned the president was going to rush in in their mind a new constitution which they have not approved. really the matter here escalating out of many people's immediate fears. but the conflict we have seen here in the past few months has swept across the nation. it's increasingly sectarian. the presidential administration and a lot of sunny groups and tribes. and the fact the chief of staff can be taken from the capital in broad daylight tells how close to a collapsed state yemen is. fredricka? >> and so nic, it's been common knowledge al qaeda has used yemen as a training ground and now we're talking about shiites claiming responsibility. how much more difficult is it
for yemeni officials to try to tackle? how many groups may be operating there and planning terror? >> reporter: well the key one of concern is al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, as you mentioned. but the real fact here is that nobody can be entirely sure who is operating in kind of the badlands of yemen, so to speak. as we talked earlier, the presidential chief of staff isn't safe in the capital city. there is so much of a power vacuum here that years ago al qaeda could move in they are said to be benefitting from this strive here because many frightened sunnis frightened of the advance of dominant shia are taking up arms to assist al qaeda and allowing them to focus on external operations. really yemen is such a -- enormous trouble spot now that many are concerned we'll see more attacks in western europe because, simply of how close to collapse yemen is. fredricka? >> nick paton walsh, thank you
so much from yemen. we are also learning more about the role u.s. intelligence played in the raid on that belgian terror cell. here now is cnn's barbara starr. >> reporter: the u.s. intelligence community had been aware of the terrorist plot in belgium for weeks. and was sharing critical information with belgian authorities. the plot was disrupted in a spectacular fashion, with shootouts and the arrest of 17 people across western europe. >> this operation was meant to dismantle a terrorist cell. not only the terrorist cell but also the logistic network behind it. >> reporter: a u.s. official tells cnn, the entire developing plot was being monitored and watched as part of an ongoing relationship between the u.s. and european intelligence services. >> we've got active and ongoing law enforcement and
information-sharing arrangements with our allies in europe and naturally, those contacts continue. >> reporter: u.s. officials will not say precisely what they knew how much they knew and when they knew it. there is concern those details could signal other militants planning attacks. but one official says we were aware, we were tracking this. adding there is a high probability other attacks were being planned. a european security source tells c cnn that when belgian authorities arrested two men returning from syria over the weekend, they squeezed them for information, and then decided to act quickly. the u.s. was also aware of the timing of the moves by belgian law enforcement. u.s. officials say. >> many of these individuals that they are targeting now are on u.s. watch lists. of course the concern is once these guys go fight, go back to europe they're able to fly to the united states without visas,
and it's a five or six-hour plane ride. >> reporter: the u.s. intelligence community estimates more than 1,900 foreign fighters have traveled to syria. hundreds of them may be with isis which has vowed to send loyalists to the west to attack. the nato military alliance which is headquartered in belgium, is also looking at stepping up their security measures. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon much. cnn's phil black is in brussels. so phil they are taking steps to protect some of the embassies there, and very prominent other locations such as the jewish museum which has been a target of attacks in the past. tell me more about the security measures. at least now we're seeing some cars that are moving, and there is some activity behind you whereas for a moment it was looking like people were staying inside. give us an idea how security beefed-up security measures are impacting people's lives. >> reporter: well the security
it's pretty visual here now, particularly in the city. and it's really a rare sight in recent history to see soldiers heavily armed soldiers deployed on the streets of a major european city. they are very visible at key locations. you mentioned the jewish museum other key jewish sites. institutions. schools. these sorts of things. and governments and embassy buildings, and buildings related to the european union. it's all these potentially obvious sites, i guess, that the authorities fear could be targeted in some way if there are still groups or individuals out there planning terror attacks. and that's really what this shows. they're deploying at least 150 troops so far. more in the coming days. it does show that despite the raids we have seen here recently they do believe there is an ongoing terror threat. but as you can see behind me life in the city does very much continue. people are still going about their regular lives on this saturday evening. it is i think, comforting to a
significant agree, particularly in the jewish communities, to see these armed soldiers on the street fred. >> phil black, thank you so much in brussels. appreciate it. coming up next is u.s. intervention making europe's terror problem worse? i'll ask someone who wrote the book on the middle east. and later, those long waits at the airport security lines, guess what they might be getting even longer. we'll hear why from the head of homeland security. when it comes to good nutrition...i'm no expert. that would be my daughter -- hi dad. she's a dietitian. and back when i wasn't eating right, she got me drinking boost. it's got a great taste and it helps give me the nutrition i was missing. helping me stay more like me. [ female announcer ] boost complete nutritional drink has 26 essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin d to support strong bones and 10 grams of protein to help maintain muscle. all with a delicious taste. grandpa! [ female announcer ] stay strong,
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. as we have been reporting, security has been heightened across europe. there are growing concerns that terror attacks could come from so-called sleeper cells. they have already been more than a dozen arrests in three countries as police try to break up potential attacks. joining me now from london is the author "the new middle east." good to see you. >> thank you. >> let me ask you about there is a philosophy shared by many who say whenever the u.s. intervenes case point iraq afghanistan, even libya that it worsens matters, it may inspire a lot more people particularly young people to become jihadis. do you share that view? >> i do fredricka. i think on the whole,
historically speaking american military intervention in the greater middle east has done more damage than good. iraq has been a catastrophe. both in human terms and political terms. i know fredricka, myself an american i have been engaged in the debate on america's foreign policy in the middle east that was all humility. the debate in the middle east simplifies a complex reality. it's black and white. it really has little understanding of the complex social and political struggles that are raging in the middle east. these struggles, as you know in syria and yemen, as you were talking to your correspondent, in libya, iraq, lebanon, have been decades in the making. and the u.s. -- your american foreign policy our foreign policy is partially responsible for some of the problems as a result of american foreign policy prioritizing gas and oil
at the expense of human rights and liberal ideas. but liberal militant intervention is not the answer to most of the middle east complex social and political struggles. >> so then how does the u.s. play a role in global -- in the fight against, you know global terrorism, without further inspiring radicalism or without military engagement that may be blamed for inspiring radicalism. how would the u.s. play a role collectively with other countries? >> you know fredricka, i am not defending barack obama. i have written a book on barack obama, i am critical of president barack obama. but one point for the american public those who criticize barack obama don't realize that when he basically came to the white house, he inherited multiple wars on multiple fronts in iraq in afghanistan, in
yemen and what have you. barack obama did not create the problems that are raging in iraq today. we know what happened after the american military intervention in iraq. isis fredricka. how many commentators you have interviewed on your show have mentioned the fact that isis is a product, al qaeda and iraq -- isis is part of al qaeda family is a product of the american military intervention occupation of iraq. there had been no al qaeda in iraq. so how does barack obama -- how has barack obama dealt with the middle east? as light as possible of an american military footprint. worked with local communities. multilateral diplomacies, as opposed to unilateral interaction. i know there is an addiction with the military prowess that the united states has.
but most of the problems in the middle east need american social political and economic support. you need to empower civil societies. and that's why it's a complex strategy that is difficult long had been term as opposed to sending american boots on the ground. because military intervention -- and the reason barack obama is not deepening in iraq and syria, he would play into the hands of the extremists. in fact the best thing that would happen to isis now if it the united states would basically -- were to send an army to iraq because they would transform the struggle from a struggle within to a struggle against the great satan, which in their eyes is the united states and its european allies. >> so professor, what does that look like? what does social and political support by way of the u.s. look like when you talk about these localities that need some assistance need intervention but not the military intervention that many propose? but instead what you speak of
this you know social support? what does that look like? >> simply one word -- two words. institution building. i mean when we talk about the so-called arab spring uprisings, the united states and its european allies have done very little as you know. the u.s. was preoccupied with the economy at home. europe is inward-looking. what you need is that institution -- basically the middle east an institutional wasteland as a result of 60, 70 years of authoritarianism. you need to build institutions. what do i mean by that? i mean you build in terms of universities in terms of schools, in terms of productive base in terms of empowering women, in terms of civil society, in terms of employment in terms of basically relations between the civilian leadership and the military. these are -- they need to be 30 40 50 years of hard work because they need to be built block by block from the bottom up. that's what the middle east -- >> doesn't it also seem that
part of the concern then becomes whether it's u.s. money or you know another european nation's money that goes into a place like say, for example, yemen or maybe even iraq there will be many people who will be concerned about whether that money will end up in the hands of terrorists and won't go towards building infrastructure or helping to create jobs. what do you say or what do you do about that potential problem? >> you know fredricka, no one is suggesting -- i'm not suggesting that american and european money should be given to middle eastern states. in fact the biggest cash flow in the world today is not in china. it's in the middle east. the biggest cash flow. what you need is american leadership. european leadership. in terms of working with middle eastern societies to invest the money through multilateral institutions as opposed to giving the money to states. you need to invest in civil societies, local communities, whether you're talking about iraq and yemen and libya, you need leadership to help
basically these societies -- glue their societies together and build their institutions. what i'm talking about -- i know it's not easy because this is a very complex strategy it's a complex, long-term strategy that takes into account the need to empower local societies, not by unilateral actions between the united states and middle eastern states. through multilateral organizations, particularly international institutions and the united nations. >> fantastic conversation. thank you so much from london. always making us smarter. appreciate it. >> thank you. thanks. still ahead, all right, well is it a washington spectacle? what could be coming next? something everyone is anticipating. we're talking about the president's state of the union address on tuesday. what is on his agenda? [container door opening] ♪ what makes it an suv is what you can get into it.
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taking our top stories. a gunman is dead after a shooting at a florida mall this morning. our affiliate, wesh says the suspect shot himself after firing off five or six gunshots in the melbourne square mall food court. a woman who saw it all describes the frightening scene. >> it was a frightening experience. it's something you don't ever want anybody to experience. it was crazy. it was -- we had just gotten our food to sit down by starbucks
and chick-fil-a, and all of a sudden you just hear the pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. and you just drop everything and you just -- your body makes you run. >> two people were injured in the shooting. police say the mall is closed and being cleared, store by store. overseas a typhoon in the philippines forced pope francis to cut short a huge outdoor mass today. despite high winds and drenching rain thousands of worshippers showed up for the service in the same area devastated by a super typhoon in 2013. after the service, the pope headed to manila where he will deliver a mass to a million people tomorrow. and a major announcement from the u.s. supreme court. the justices have decided they will hear arguments on whether states have the right to ban same-sex couples from marrying. right now, 36 states allow same-sex marriage including the district of columbia. the justices will hear arguments
in april and issue a ruling by june. and the state of the union speech is tuesday, and for the first time president barack obama will address a congress controlled by the opposing party. so what can be expected? cnn's chief political analyst, gloria borger has a preview. gloria. >> reporter: fred any president of the united states knows that the evening of the state of the union is a huge audience. and so they try and take advantage of it. president obama has decided to do it a little bit differently this time. for the past two weeks, he's been involved in a rollout of the state of the union that is going to include a bunch of domestic policy initiatives, including community college free-for-all in this country. expanding paid sick leave. universal broadband internet access and on and on. also what we don't know is what the president is going to say on foreign policy. he's got a controversy with his own party right now about
whether to pass more sanctions for iran. some democrats want to do that. he says no wait. we don't know what he's going to say about the terror events of europe that have occurred over the past week. as he stands before the congress he's going to be standing before a republican party that is quite divided, fred. you've got the republican leadership wanting to prove that they can govern from capitol hill because they do control the congress. you've got a handful of presidential candidates in the senate on the republican side who want to promote their own ideological agendas, and so they're going to be at odds with the leadership. on the democratic side you've got democrats who believe this president has not been progressive enough that he's not done enough to combat the evils of wall street. and they're going to want to see him show that side of himself in the state of the union. so the president is speaking to a divided congress, a divided
country, and he's a lame duck. fred? >> gloria thank you so much. television's best political team will have complete coverage of president obama's state of the union speech tuesday night. cnn's coverage starts 7:00 p.m. eastern time. still ahead, we have been taking off our shoes for years now at the airports. but with new terror threats on the horizon, we may soon see additional security measures at the check-in line. eeeeeeeee financial noise financial noise financial noise financial noise ♪ ♪
hello again, everyone. thanks for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. the shootout that ended terrorist amedy coulibaly's life wasn't his first run in with the police. he was on the wrong side of the law jeers years before as a small-time criminal. cnn's jim bitterman joining me now from paris. more being learned of him, and
the others as well. was there anything in coulibaly's past that could have predicted his dissent into islamic radicalism? >> reporter: well fredricka, as you pointed out, he was definitely on police radar. he had been convicted five times for arm robbery and once for drug dealing. and as a consequence, he was known, he had been in prison several times. most of his adult life he spent in prison. so he was known. but it was not known that he had developed these terrorist connections, these fundamentalist islamic connections that later would lead him to attack the kosher grocery store. here's a look at his past that we assembled yesterday about his past and the gritty suburb where he grew up. in paris, amedy coulibaly may go down in history as the religious extremist who died shooting it out with the anti terror squad. but in the gritty paris suburb
where he grew up coulibaly is remembered more of as a local thug who spent much of his adult life behind bars. in his early school photos obtained by france 2 division he looked likeable enough. but teachers said coulibaly, the only boy in an immigrant family with ten children was an ungoing discipline problem. it was in his high school years here that coulibaly first got into trouble. in the end, he would be arrested five times for armed robbery, and once for dealing in drugs. a lawyer who defended one of his accomplices believes coulibaly changed from small crimes to hardened criminal when a motorcycle theft turned deadly and police shot one of his best friends. >> translator: this was a traumatic event when he lost his friend. he too could have died because a bullet could have easily hit him. >> reporter: coulibaly, who spent most of his adult life behind bars was in and out of the sprawling national prison located, coincidentally in his hometown.
according to a journalist he himself made this video of life inside the prison. he seemed like a leader she said behind bars. >> translator: he was an intelligent boy, one of the tough ones. he was actually very at ease in prison. he was dominant and very much in charge. it was a second home really. >> reporter: it's not clear when he got religion but in 2010 when he was jailed here he came in contact with an islamic extremist. by this time he was estranged from his family. the local mayor, who grew up in the same public housing estate the terrorist did, says the coulibalies, like many here were just trying to better themselves. >> translator: yes this area is violent. yes, there is delinquency, yes there is poverty. yes, there is suffering, but there is also success. >> reporter: but if coulibaly's family was muslim it was hardly fundamentalist. one of his nine sisters, for example, teaches a dance class she called therapy. back in the family's hometown some remember coulibaly's
attempts to fit in. in 2009 he was even invited to the french presidential palace as part of a panel, meeting with president sarkozy to discuss youth unemployment. he worked for a time at the local coca-cola plant, where he met the girlfriend who later became his wife. and accomplice. people may have known about coulibaly's criminal record but were nonetheless surprised at his terrorist connections. >> translator: we were shocked. it's hard to believe. it's unreal. >> reporter: one person who was less surprised was a social worker who worked with coulibaly as a young man, among other things taking him to disneyland disneyland paris. he said that after not seeing coulibaly for 15 years, he suddenly showed up in his office last spring after getting out of prison. >> he's lost. lost. he needs people every time to remind him that that can't be done, that can't be done. and when someone like him is
involved with manipulating people you can use him for anything. >> reporter: the mayor told cnn that it's wrong to imply that suburbs of paris like his are nothing but breeding grounds for terrorists. many people work their way into mainstream society from here he says like the mayor himself. but he adds that the large families the unemployment the lack of police the decaying infrastructure, provide a fertile environment for all sorts of criminality, including in the case of amedy coulibaly, terrorism. and fredricka, in that suburb that suburb south of paris, police have rounded up a dozen people in the last 36 hours, and are holding them for questioning, believing they may have been part of those attacks in some way, perhaps providing logistics to coulibaly to commit that attack on the kosher supermarket, where he killed four people and then died in a hail of police gunfire. >> what a sad spiral just looking at your piece from being that little kid can you know
the future was bright for him and everyone else but then the paths were very different. all right. thank you so much jim bitterman. appreciate it. as terrorists potentially ramp up their efforts to strike several european countries, homeland officials here in the u.s. are beefing up security. and that means new security measures when you travel. here is cnn's rene marsh. >> we have evolved to a new phase in the global terrorist threat. >> reporter: the head of homeland security revealing today, even more airport security measures are on the way. >> we're looking at doing more in the short term in reaction to some of the threat streams we're seeing now. >> reporter: this after dhs announced earlier this week ramped up searches at u.s. airports over fears terrorists are creating nonmetallic explosives. capable of passing through some airport scanners undetected. >> so when you talk about more
measures as far as aviation goes what would that look like what's the time line for that and what is this new intelligence? >> we're looking at it right now, and i told my folks i wanted an assessment in the very short-term. and so i expect to get that in the next couple days. >> reporter: so it's unclear what those extra measures would be. >> we're looking at it right now. >> reporter: additional random passenger and luggage checks are now happening at the gate. once travelers have cleared tsa check points. after al qaeda in the arabian peninsula published a step by step guide to building hard to detect bombs. following september 11th transportation systems continue to be a target for terrorists. in 2005 four suicide bombs detonated within seconds of each other on a bus, and three different trains traveling through london underground stations. in 2010, imaginy buhl zazi pleaded guilty for plot to go blow up new york city subways.
>> we need to focus more on homeland based threats. >> reporter: just this week an electrical malfunction caused smoke to fill a d.c. metro station, killing one and injuring more. passengers were left waiting for more than 40 minutes before emergency responders helped them evacuate raising serious questions about how prepared the u.s. is to respond to emergencies on the nation's transportation system. >> one does have to wonder what would have happened had that fire been set by terrorists? and clearly, the response was inadequate. >> my goodness. incredible pictures. that's cnn's rene marsh reporting. divers have found the fuselage of airasia flight 8501 but they're having problems retrieving it. we'll tell you why, next.
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shooting that took place at a melbourne square mall right in the food court. and earlier the reports were the alleged shooter killed himself, and that was the only death. now we have an update. among those injured, one has died from the injuries sustained during that shooting. witnesses said they heard four or five shots. now we know there are two that have died in that shooting including that of the alleged gunman, and now of another innocent bystander. the mall remains closed however, and we do understand police will have a press conference at 3:00 eastern hour to update us on the investigation. now, overseas right now, searchers are preparing to bring the fuselage of flight 8501 to the surface of the java sea. divers have been scouring the fuselage for bodies since it was located on thursday. but bad weather and strong currents have been making the recovery efforts very difficult. the next possible option might
be raising the fuselage from the ocean floor. joining me right now is former ntsb medical officer, mitch gasher also the senior managing consultant for engineering systems, incorporated. good to see you again. so we've got a sample of one of the flight data recorders. we understand now, because all planes have two, two have been retrieved from this plane, but we don't know the information. not because that information can't be retrieved right away but because there is a process of filing a report and then publicizing what's on it? >> again, what's going to happen right now, they've got the flight data recorder the cockpit voice recorder. they'll have similar functions to the one we've got right here. although these are smaller, more compact, newer models that are used, solid state memory. they have downloaded that memory already, that's my understanding from the information released. that memory that information, is now sitting in computers and is ready to be analyzed. in fact they have probably already started some of the analysis of that material. they're going to be very careful
about what they release. the cockpit voice recorder tapes are going to have a lot of information that may be personal or private and not relevant to the investigation. so they're not going to release that information, at least not immediately. and with regard to the flight data recorder they want to make sure those data are accurate. the recorder in fact was functioning properly and the information being received from the systems that were providing that information was actually what was going on with the aircraft before they release any of that information. they want to make sure it's accurate. >> there is always great hope these recording devices really will be able to convey what happened prior to an accident during the accident and maybe even beyond that. is too much hope being put into these boxes? >> well you can't always get everything you want. as an investigator we always want to get as much information as possible. some of the information is going to have to come from other analyses being done or even have been done. the investigators have already likely gotten information from the maintenance of the aircraft from service of the aircraft from the training of the
individuals who are operating the aircraft. all of that information is going to be now sort of analyzed in the context of what was going on here with the airplane. does it help to explain why a particular reaction was made or why a particular signal was responded to in a certain way. all of that information is going to come from these black boxes, these orange black boxes, and they're going to tell us what kinds of things were going on in the cockpit. how were they responding to information that was coming to them. and was that response appropriate? were they attentive? were they distracted? a lot of that information, hopefully, will come from these. >> and weather has gotten in the way of retrieving the fuselage and these large pieces. how important is it that it be pulled up intact not broken as it's being pulled up or dismantled intentionally to make the weight lighter because of the currents because of you know the bad weather. >> this is going to be a very difficult procedure. it's very -- even though it's in
relatively shallow waters it's still pretty deep. we're down around 100 feet. it's murky, it's difficult for the divers. it's potentially very dangerous for the divers. and one of the things i think is probably going on right now is weighing this need to get this information in this -- the materials and, of course, the bodies of the passengers up versus the safety of the people who are actually doing that work. and so i think that as that goes along, they're going to have an idea what are we going to do with this how are we going to get it up and the recorders are going to tell you, are there things we really want preserved, are there things that are going to be more important to us than other things. the cockpit area may be critically important, and so that may require a different set of evaluations to be done as that's -- >> what would happen they would intentionally try to break up or you know tear off pieces to lighten the load because they're dealing with you know the circumstances of moving currents? >> well and not just the currents obviously, but the weight the hydro dynamics the fluid, how that's going to work against you, and perhaps with
you as you're trying to raise it. >> and pulling it up and all that. >> so there are folks -- this is all they do. their specialty is retrieval of things from the ocean floor. those are folks consulted now. they're going to be having those exact conversations to determine what is going to be most effective, safest and still preserve the critical information for the investigation. >> thank you very much. good to see you. appreciate it. >> good to see you. we'll be right back with more. e financial noise financial noise financial noise financial noise
an american cartoonist is still in hiding after she drew an image of the prophet mohammed four years ago. you can see mali norris' name on the bottom of this inspire list. it's the same poster that called for the death of "charlie hebdo" editor stephanie. alina recently spoke to a former coworker of morris who defends her drawing. >> i've been grieving for four years. >> reporter: it's been that long since tim has seen or heard from his colleague and friend molly norris.
a seattle cartoonist who. went into hiding in 2010 after receiving death threats from radical islamists. >> she is the unlikely person to be at the center of an international incident involving hate. >> reporter: radical cleric anwar al awlaki said norris was the prime target of execution for creating cartoons for prophet mohammed. her illustrations depict the likeness of the prophet as several items including a teacup and a domino. >> she didn't mean to secure or offend. she just thought people should lighten up. she was just standing up for free speech. >> reporter: norris created the cartoon part in response to censor an episode showing mohammed. appleo says norris follow up the cartoon with this unencouraging religious tolerance. >> her first impulse was not to strike back but to reach out and embrace. >> reporter: the fbi told norris her life was in danger and she
decided to disappear. appleo said she compared the threats to cancer. >> you don't know if you're going to be fine the rest of your life or erupt. >> reporter: three years after she vanished norris' name popped up again, this time on al qaeda's most wanted list. the list also included "charlie hebdo's" editor gunned down last week in paris. >> it was horrible. i thought, oh, now it's raising its head again but i think really it's been -- it's really been shadowing her ever since. >> reporter: former fbi agent tom fuentes says assuming a new identity is not easy. >> to stay hidden like that is the equivalent of being dead. >> reporter: it often means leaving everything behind including family and friends. >> there's no indication these terrorists are going to say, well, it's been a long time. we forgive and forget. >> a friend told cnn that he believes she is still drawing,
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republican national committee's winter meeting in san diego. >> i'm giving some serious consideration to the future but this i know. we can win in 2016 as a party, in the house, in the senate and in the white house if we communicate a clear vision of where we're taking this country. >> romney had said after the 2012 race that he would not run again. apparently he may not have a change of heart. so san diego is not the first big meeting of the gop this year. house and senate members got together in pennsylvania for a nice little retreat in of all place, hershey, pennsylvania. and as we find out from cnn's chris moody, you could say it was a pretty sweet retreat. >> stay in school kids because you might become a journalist and eat chocolate all day. with the republicans. we're at the hershey lodge in
hershey, pennsylvania where the republican senate and house are meeting together for the first joint retreat they've had in ten years. >> i'm a hopeful person. glass half full. >> even though we're here as the press rn it doesn't mean we actually get to see what happens behind closed doors. republicans are holding this meeting in total privacy. republicans took over the senate and they bolstered their majority in the house but there's a long road ahead. a lot of things that they're talking about here particularly immigration. >> there are 535 of us on capitol hill. and to try to get all of us to agree is not an easy job. >> i can't believe -- is this your goal to eat that by the end of the day? >> i'm going to eat it before you guys pass on immigration. >> reporter: living over all of this is talk of the presidential election and already members of congress are talking about who they might choose who they will back who they won't back. we saw congressman jason from utah really a full throated defense of romney. >> he's well -- we know exactly what we're to get.
>> reporter: he's saying, you know maybe romney's had his day. >> do you think mitt romney's decision to possibly look at another run is a wise choice for him? >> i think he will have a difficult time. governor romney failed to motivate republicans in 2012. i'm not sure if he tries to reinvent himself. >> reporter: of course, a lot of talk about chocolate. >> chocolate shampoo, pock chocolate conditioner, chocolate body lotion. >> i just dreamed a day where i would spend a week with a couple of hundred republicans freezing in pennsylvania while eating a five-pound bar of chocolate. >> sweet deal. so chris, did you ever finish that five-pound bar? this is going to take me a little time? >> i had a little bit of help. i shared it with the bureau who consumed the entire thing just yesterday. >> okay. now i can't talk with my mouthful. okay. let's talk about maybe the sweet field of potential candidates for the primary battle. no, i really cannot talk now.
you're going to have to take it away. >> the goal of the retreat was to find a way forward for congress the house and the senate met together. and they didn't necessarily do that in these retreats in the past they've come forward with bold proclamations of what they want to do and what they plan to do they don't always follow through on it but this year it was more of just a get together and a meet and greet. now, overshadowing that possibly was all the talk about 2016 and as we saw in san diego at the rnc meeting, republicans are really divided about 2016 which is understandable. there's a huge primary coming up over the next couple -- over the next year and a half or so. so they're going to be able to get to see a lot of candidates. no, these people the republicans are not necessarily sold on mitt romney. he's going to have to earn it just like he earned it last time. >> interesting. and it's going to be interesting to see if he kind of changes his strategy and his vision. you know we already saw a taste of it rr so to speak, a taste, he can appeal to the everyday you know person and the
everyday or not necessarily appeal to their struggles but that he had a greater awareness because that was the great criticism during his run is that he was out of touch. >> he was criticized for not being concerned about the very poor and that's because he said on a tv interview that he's not concerned about the very poor. so he is trying to overcome that and put a different foot forward for 2016. >> all right. chris moody, thanks so much. thanks for bringing chocolate to the hour. that was fun. >> you're welcome. thank you. >> all right. we have much more straight ahead in the "newsroom." it all starts right now. all right. happening right now in the "newsroom," the world on edge. troops deployed alongside police in france and belgium today guarding potential targets of terrorist attacks. plus terror suspects nabbed in yemen. why investigators believe they may be connected to al qaeda.
and clashes over the latest "charlie hebdo" magazine depicting the prophet mohammed. french flags torched, churches burned as police try to get control of protesters. the "newsroom" starts right now. thanks again so much for joining me. i'm fredericka whitfield. new developments of terrorist hotbed in yemen. the president's chief of staff taken at gun point. shiite rebels have just claimed responsibility and we're learning that just weeks before the paris attacks yemeni