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Mass Shootings in Libya; Americans Seized by Pirates in Somali; Violence on the Border

Aired February 21, 2011 - 16:00:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Pictures that don't tell the story -- this is a pro-government rally in Libya shown on state TV. It's the only official video coming out of there. But reports say the country is a war zone.

Libyan military planes on the tarmac in Malta -- we're told the pilots fled after refusing to bomb their own people.

It's midnight in Yemen -- the start of a 12th day of protests there.

And match murder in Acapulco, as the world's top tennis players gather in the Mexican resort.

These stories and more tonight as we connect the world here on CNN.

Well, we begin this hour in Libya. The last time this show was on air, we began with a live phone report from a protester in Benghazi. Well, that is no longer possible. It seems phone networks and most Internet connections have been shut down.

But just a short time ago, I managed to connect with one eyewitness in Tripoli via Skype.

Her Internet service had just restored and she got in touch with us.

You will see some images in this interview. Our eyewitness took those pictures. She says they are of men who were building barricades to keep out cars that were driving around and shooting people.

You will not get to hear this anywhere else.

We're not going to identify her location and, of course, her name.

Listen in.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In an area called Gargaresh, there is some shooting happening at the moment. It was calm and suddenly it just fired up about 10 minutes ago. There is some sense of fear. There is some sense of courage. People are -- are no longer fearing the system. People are coming out and fearing -- saying what they feel right in the open. But at the same time, children are afraid that they will lose their families and mothers.

They have been reported breaking in homes. So people are anticipating that what's happened in Benghazi will happen in Tripoli. So everybody is taking extra measurements that that doesn't happen.

I've seen myself red Hyundai cars with tinted windows that had armed people inside it shooting random people.

Last night, some of the children -- there were a 17-year-old and a 15- year-old missing. They were kidnapped from -- one car was revolving every 15 minutes and they capture any youth in the street. One of them had managed to flee away, but the other one is still missing and people are fearing that their children get kidnapped.

But I want to assure you one thing, there were rumors that's been happening in different channels and different media that if something happens to Libya, the country will be divided. I will assure you, the street in Tripoli, the street in Benghazi, the street from Libya from north to south, nobody wants that to happen.


ANDERSON: That was an eyewitness in Tripoli.

We are keeping her name and location secret.

She got in touch with us on Skype about an hour ago. The phones there in Tripoli don't seem to be working.

Well, verifying accounts like these is difficult, if not impossible, as CNN and other foreign media are blocked from entering the country.

But other witnesses in Libya are also reporting indiscriminate shooting of civilians. One called it "a massacre."

Well, let's bring in Ivan Watson, who's following the story from Cairo.

What do we know from there at this point?

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's very disturbing, Becky. We're facing what seems like a near complete telecommunications blackout to Tripoli, where we've been unable to get a single phone call through for hours now. It's -- it's long after dark there.

We were getting some reports we cannot confirm on the ground of helicopter gunships opening fire on demonstrators. That coming from an opposition political party.

And then we have the case of two Libyan Air Force fighter jets that, before sunset, landed unexpectedly in the nearby island nation of Malta. And we have since learned from a government source, Becky, that the pilots of those jets were deflecting after they had been ordered to opening fire on Libyan civilians. And they evidently refused. Their jets, according to Maltese government sources, say -- were loaded with bombs and their machine gun cases were full of bullets, as well.

So very difficult to know what exactly is going on on the ground.

One indicator of how tense the situation is and how much the 42-year- old regime of Moammar Gadhafi is in trouble are the defections of a number of high ranking diplomats -- Libyan diplomats from around the world, as well as the justice minister of Libya, his defection announced on a pro- government news Web sites earlier today.

These people complaining that the Libyan government is using force against its own citizens -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, and we've just been looking at those fighter jets that have landed in Malta, as you explained, with pilots who've said that they have deflected.

We've also got into CNN, just in the last couple of hours, Ivan, some YouTube video which appears to show burning bodies.

What do we know of that?

WATSON: This is -- we have to warn viewers if we're going to show this -- this is very graphic footage of what appeared to be the burned bodies of at least five people. According to YouTube, it suggests that this was filmed as recently as Friday, in the eastern city of Benghazi, which has been out of the control of the central government since at least yesterday, since rebel demonstrators were able to -- had been able to take control of Libya's second largest city.

And the bystanders there, you can hear men weeping -- grown men weeping and some of them yelling, "Dog! Dog!" they are cursing the name of their leader, Moammar Gadhafi, who has ruled this country since 1969 and is now facing the biggest challenge to his regime in those years.

ANDERSON: Yes. It remains unclear exactly where he is at this point.

Ivan Watson reporting for you from Egypt this hour.

Ivan, thank you for that.

And stay with CNN.

Later this hour, we're going to speak to Noman Benotman.

He's just gotten off a plane from Libya and he's coming in to speak with us.

Has been on CONNECT THE WORLD before.

He's best known as the man who's formerly been a terrorist, but he's also Libyan and once attempted to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi in 1994 and establish an Islamic state.

His take on what's happening in Libya coming up.

And we've also got a storied diplomat from London, Sir Richard Dalton.

He was Britain's ambassador to Libya for three years, from 1999.

For now, though, we want to take a closer look at the target of this uprising. Moammar Gadhafi is the longest serving leader in the Arab world. He was once an international pariah.

Zane Verjee explains how he worked himself back into good graces with the West after years of sponsoring terror.

Take a listen to this.


ZANE VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (voice-over): Mad dog of the Middle East -- that's what his enemies once called him. Colonel Moammar Gadhafi has ruled Libya for 42 years with an iron grip.

BARAK SEENER, MIDDLE EAST ANALYST: His megalomania eccentric and believes -- and has advanced successfully the cult of personality in that he's almost God-like.

VERJEE: He seized power in a military coup in 1969 and has ruled since as a dictator.

In the 1970s and '80s, Gadhafi's relationship with the West turned violent in Central London.

(on camera): At this very spot during a 1984 demonstration just outside the Libyan embassy, Policewoman Yvonne Fletcher was shot and killed from gunfire coming from the embassy.

(voice-over): Relations went from bad to worse when Gadhafi began sponsoring there is some when PanAm Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people. An investigation showed Libya was behind the attack.

The country became a pariah. Hit with sanctions, Colonel Gadhafi was isolated. The turning point, the 2003 Iraq War. Worried that he would become the next target of U.S. military action, Gadhafi agreed to give up his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and he paid compensation to the families of Lockerbie bombing victims.

HEBA MORAYEF, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: His reintegration in the international community has been despite a very abusive human rights record and because of the obvious interests on the part of the West in Libya's oil wells.

VERJEE: Wherever Gadhafi went, his famous female bodyguards went with him. The Libyan stage wasn't enough for Gadhafi. He loved the international limelight at the United Nations, refusing to give up the mike for 94 minutes. He ripped the U.N. charter.

The UK's dealings with Libya came under harsh scrutiny when it was alleged convicted Lockerbie bomber, Abdel al-Megrahi, supposedly dying of cancer, was released in what critics said was an exchange for a lucrative oil deal.

Gadhafi's regime has fought to keep control for more than 40 years. Until now, most of the threats have been external. This time, there's evidence his own people may have had enough.

Zane Verjee, CNN, London.


ANDERSON: Well, cracks are now starting to appear at the highest levels of Gadhafi's own regime. As Ivan noted, the Libyan justice minister has left his post, saying he can no longer tolerate the, quote, "bloody situation" and use of excessive force against unarmed protesters.

Well, Libya's ambassador to the Arab League also resigned, citing the killing of innocent people in remarkably blunt terms. He also says Moammar Gadhafi is, quote, "over, finished."

Libya's ambassador to India has also stepped down to protest the crackdown against demonstrators.

And today, a high profile defection in the halls of the United Nations. Libya's deputy U.N. ambassador says Gadhafi has declared war on his own people and is guilty of genocide.


IBRAHIM DABBASHI, LIBYAN DEPUTY AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: He has to leave as soon as possible. He has to stop killing the Libyan people. The Libyan people have been patient enough for the -- the last 42 years. And I think he has -- he has to give up and he has to leave the country as soon as possible.


ANDERSON: All right, well, our next guest says this is the most significant homegrown challenge ever to Gadhafi's leadership and the government's extreme use of force could only add fuel to the fire.

Sir Richard Dalton lived in Libya for years as Britain's ambassador.

He helped the countries restore relations in 1999 after a 17 year break.

Sir, we welcome you to the show.

Given your experience with Libya, are we witnessing a watershed moment?

SIR RICHARD DALTON, FORMER BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO LIBYA: Yes, we are. I think the Libyan regime is on the brink. They may well go over the edge.

On the other hand, they declared yesterday they were going to mount a counter-attack and they've made a start to that. It could be that they would be able to pull back the situation. But if they do, then I don't think we're going to see stability.

ANDERSON: Do reports that war planes have fired on protesters surprise you?

DALTON: Yes. I think this is an appalling crime if it is -- if it is confirmed. And my heart goes out to the brave Libyan diplomats and to others, the minister of justice, who have disassociated themselves from this kind of action.

ANDERSON: Who are the protesters in Libya?

DALTON: Well, we don't know. It looks from some of the -- the -- the pictures as though it's a cross section of society, ordinary people, middle class people. But because journalists aren't able to operate and to report, we don't know whether there is a program emerging, whether there might be leadership, whether people are shouting particular slogans which point in any particular direction.

But it -- it seems to me that what's fueling this is long-term discontent and disgust at aspects of the way Libya has been ruled.

ANDERSON: The justice minister, we are told, has resigned in protest of -- and I quote -- "the excessive use of violence against protesters." And others have also voiced their discontent.

Will Moammar Gadhafi care?

DALTON: There is a point where anybody cares. He -- he has declared he's going to try and fight back. It doesn't look as though it started very well. But if his military commanders are saying that there are units who will defend the status quo in Libya, I can see him continuing to exercise what I always expected to be his instinct, which is not to give up in a hurry.

But we must hope that he has second thoughts and that he -- that he considers stepping down to spare his people this kind of violence.

ANDERSON: We don't know where he is. President Alair Kercher (ph) reports that he has fled to Venezuela. They're not reports that we can confirm here at CNN.

This is what his son, Saif Gadhafi, said to me last year in about April, when we -- when we spoke.

Have a look at this.


We need more freedom, more democracy, more that people can participate more in the particular game in Libya. But if you talk to me about political parties, about a free election today, of course, I will -- I will say not, not because I cannot invent parties and I cannot invent the political environment in Libya overnight. You need time.


ANDERSON: Saif Gadhafi speaking to me in April of 2010.

Last night, he went on state TV and said this.

Have a look at this.


SAIF EL-ISLAM GADHAFI (through translator): We're not Egypt. We're not Tunisia. We'll all have weapons. Everyone has access to weapons. Instead of crying over 84 people, we'll be crying over thousands. Blood will flow, rivers of blood, in all the cities of Libya.


ANDERSON: How seriously will the leadership and its sons, as it were, with Saif there, how seriously will be -- will they be taking the calls for change.

And, perhaps importantly, what is the role for people like Saif at this point?

DALTON: We don't know. But it seems that he was authorized by the leadership to offer to the Libyan people once more the constitutional changes, which, over a number of years, he, Saif Islam, has been working on but which got nowhere because his father and those around him didn't agree that the modest evolution with Saif was calling for and which he -- he alluded to in his interview with you, should take place.

So it looks to me as though the -- the offers that he made last night were just part of the -- the blandishments to try and get people to accept that their best future is with the existing leadership and that many people in Libya, if not most, will regard it as too little too late.

ANDERSON: I want to take you from Libya to Iran, where you also spent many years representing the British government.

George Soros, speaking to CNN about Iran on Sunday.

Have a look at what he said.


GEORGE SOROS, BILLIONAIRE: I would like to bet that the Iranian regime will not be there in a year's time.



ANDERSON: George Soros talking about Iran within the context of what is going on in the region at the moment.

What do you expect to see happen in Iran next?

DALTON: Well, I'd love to debate that question with him, because he didn't actually give reasons or you didn't allow the opportunity to give reasons in that clip.

At the moment, the regime in Iran looks, to me, to be secure. Of course, you don't know how fragile a regime is until it starts to crumble. But the sounds are that the leadership is intact in Tehran. There is no shortage of will to use repression and to attack people who might be willing to organize something once again.

On the other hand, we did see, a few days ago, a re-launch of the protest movement and instead of being a mixture of people wanting reform of the system, it has become a group of people who really want fundamental change. And it -- it could be that that will pick up and attract more people.

But I would expect any revolution in Iran to be a long time coming.

ANDERSON: Sir Richard Dalton, we appreciate your experience and your thoughts this evening and we thank you very much for being on CNN International.

Let's take a quick look now at other protests in the region.

Crowds are swelling once again in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, ahead of a massive demonstration planned for Tuesday. Here you see a tent in Pearl Roundabout. The protesters a version of Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Well, Monday marks the eleventh day of protests in Yemen, as -- even as anti-government demonstrators there spread across the country. President Ali Abdullah Saleh says he will not cave in to pressure.

Demonstrations in Morocco have been mostly peaceful, with a government spokesman saying the rallies aren't unusual. But five bodies were found on Monday, a day after protests across the country.

And in Iran, security forces cracked down over the weekend. Opposition Web sites say they shot and killed one demonstrator in Tehran. A security official there says the Web sites are reporting lies.

Drawing in the dots on the day's biggest stories for you, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

I'm Becky Anderson in London.

More on the Middle East coming up.

First, though, hijacked by Somali pirates -- a woman and a man from Seattle were among those on board a yacht seized on Friday. Up next, what the U.S. Navy is doing in response.

Plus, on night patrols in Mexico -- the realities facing immigration agents as they try to secure the US-Mexican border.

That's coming up, after this.


ANDERSON: Well, cars riddled with bullets in the Mexican city of Acapulco -- Mexico is reeling from a deadly spate of violence. On the US- Mexican border, immigration agents say they are facing a new enemy. Just ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD, we'll show what it's like to go out with a group of border agents on night patrol there.

I'm Becky Anderson in London.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Here is a look at the other stories that we are following for you this hour.

The British prime minister has become the first foreign leader to visit Cairo since Hosni Mubarak stepped down. David Cameron was greeted by the prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, who heads up a caretaker government there. Mr. Cameron also plans to meet with members of the opposition movement. But it is unclear whether that includes the Muslim Brotherhood group. He's offered to help Egypt in its transition from military to civilian rule.

Well, the continued unrest in Bahrain has forced the country to pull out of hosting the opening race of the Formula One season. The Bahrain Grand Prix was scheduled to took place on March the 13th. The 2011 season will now begin two weeks later in Melbourne in Australia. Bahrain's crown prince says -- and I quote -- "We felt it was important for the country to focus on immediate issues of national interest."

Well, an official in Sudan's ruling party says President Omar al- Bashir will not run for reelection in four years time. The official told "Agence France-Presse" that the announcement was not motivated by the anti- government protests rocking the Arab world. Al-Bashir has been indicated by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide in Darfur.

A hostage drama unfolding off the coast of Somali. Four Americans had their yacht overtaken by pirates on Friday.

CNN's David McKenzie has the latest.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A senior military source tells CNN that they are shadowing the S/V Quest, that pleasure boat that was hijacked by pirates on Friday off the coast of Oman. Essentially, they say that they are monitoring that vessel from the air and from the sea. Now, they will have to make the difficult decision whether they should intervene and try to free those four Americans or let them get taken toward the Somali coastline.

On Friday, the four Americans, including two experienced sailors, were taken in the Arabian Sea. Those sailors have been part of a group sailing from India toward the Mediterranean. In fact, they were sailing as part of a rally by the Blue Water Rally Group. That group says that they decided to leave the relative safety of sailing in a group and go their own way. They might be ruing that decision now.

The option to the military, as I said, was -- is to intervene or let them get taken toward the Somali coastline. But at the coastline, certainly more hazards could befall them. One has to remember Paul and Rachel Chandler, who spent 388 days in captivity because they were taken to the shoreline. Eventually, they were released for about $750,000 U.S.

There are about 700 sailors currently under hijack off the coast of Somalia. Most of them are, in fact, on merchant marine vessels. But in the case of these four Americans, certainly, we'll be waiting to see whether they will stay under hijack or whether the navy will intervene.

David McKenzie, CNN, Nairobi, Kenya.


ANDERSON: Well, a film about the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Italy will be shown tonight on American television. The movie attempts to retell the events leading up to the conviction of Amanda Knox, Kercher's American flat mate. Knox and her former boyfriend were jailed for murder in December, 2009. Both are appealing the convictions.

Well, later this hour here on CONNECT THE WORLD, we're going to speak to a Libyan man who once tried to overthrow the regime of Libya's Gadhafi, who failed. But he's just returned hours ago from the country. And we'll have some insight on the situation there next.

Stay tuned, though, for this.


AGENT DAVID JIMENEZ, U.S. BORDER PATROL AGENT: We've got to search every little crevice and every crack because, you know, they can hide anywhere.


ANDERSON: Searching for illegal immigrants on the US-Mexican border. We're going on night patrol with border agents.

Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Welcome back.

The funeral of the U.S. immigration agent who was killed in Mexico last week will take place on Tuesday. Jaime Zapata was killed and another agent injured on a highway after their car was run off the road by two alleged drug cartel members. Now, the 32-year-old will be buried in his hometown of Brownsville in Texas.

Mexico is reeling from a period of deadly violence. Attacks on the resort city of Acapulco have killed 12 taxi drivers or passengers. The organizers of the Mexican Open Tennis Tournament, taking place in the city, are monitoring the situation closely. But ATP says they've been reassured by Mexican officials. Well, quote Kercher) "following an independent security assessment and a discussion with tournament organizers, we are satisfied that responsible measures are being taken and that the event has the full support of the authorities of Acapulco and the Mexican federal government."

Well, the border is one of the most violent key battle lines in the fight against drug smugglers. For the border agents working there, it is a dangerous job.

CNN's Rafael Romo joined a group on patrol.

Have a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we've got two approaching the ravine again. Make that three.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The call comes in and we rush to the scene. It's dark and the agents know they only have minutes to find the suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He jumped the fence and, you know, he didn't stop. He just kept running.

ROMO: Agent Rudy Garcia finds the men hiding underneath a platform in a backyard.

GARCIA: You have to search every little crevice and every crack because, you know, they can hide anywhere.

ROMO: The migrant says he comes from Southern Mexico.


ROMO: Not far from there, seven more would-be immigrants have been arrested, including this 32-year-old man.

LEONZO LOPEZ, MEXICAN MIGRANT (through translator): My family and poverty in Mexico -- I want better. I just want a job to support my family.

CAIN MEZA AGUIRRE, MEXICAN MIGRANT (through translator): Back to Mexico with my family and never come back, that's what I want.

ROMO: Before the night is over, agents say they will detain more than 300 people. This is Nogales, Arizona, a battlefront in the fight against smuggling organizations.

JIMENEZ: They like to try and operate under the cover of darkness because they think that they're not going to be seen.

ROMO: From a nearby control room, infrared technology gives agents eyes in the dark. Daylight reveals other resources, like surveillance towers, vehicles and an agent force that has more than doubled in the last 10 years, to more than 3,400 for just over 250 miles along the Arizona border.

Agents say they're fighting a new enemy.

JIMENEZ: The whole smuggling organization has changed. It's not your mom and pop shop anymore. Now, everything is organized crime.

ROMO (on camera): One of the things that you notice when you come near the fence here at the border is that you find rocks everywhere. Agents say that they are victims of attacks everyday and some rocks, like this one, can cause some real harm.

(voice-over): SUVs show the signs of damage and agents riding bicycles are especially at risk.

AGENT ARIEL MIDELES, U.S. BORDER PATROL: You can see, you know, those medium sized rocks, too, brick -- brick sized rocks, they're pretty big. They're not your average sized rocks.

ROMO: Many times, rock throwing is a diversion. Agents recently confiscated 1,100 rounds of ammunition going south into Mexico, presumably to be used by a drug cartel. This manhole had to be welded shut because it was being used to smuggle marijuana.

AGENT MICHAEL DAMRON, U.S. BORDER PATROL: And for a long time, they couldn't see them with the cameras because this -- we're in a low ravine here. So it took a long time to figure out what they were doing.

ROMO: As night falls again in Nogales, there is a new arrest. She's an 18-year-old girl from the Mexican state of Vera Cruz. For her, it's the end of a 1,200 mile trip in search of a dream. For the agents, one of the more than 300 arrests that they will make before the night is over.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Nogales, Arizona.


ANDERSON: On patrol on the US-Mexican border.


I'm Becky Anderson.

Now, years ago, he tried to lead an uprising against Moammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya. Now, we're going to get Noman Benotman's thoughts on this one. He joins us ahead to discuss the situation in Libya and what happens next.

That's here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) * ANDERSON: On patrol on the US/Mexican border. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson.

Now, years ago, the -- he tried to lead an uprising against Muammar Gadhafi's regime in Libya. Now, we're going to get Noman Benotman's thoughts on this one. He joins us ahead to discuss the situation in Libya and what happens next. That, here on CONNECT THE WORLD. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: You're watching CNN, I'm Becky Anderson in London updating you, now, on the crisis in Libya, where witnesses say armed men are firing indiscriminately at crowds in the capital of Tripoli.

State TV puts it a different way, saying security forces are raiding, quote, "nests of destruction and horror." Protesters set fire to a government building as the revolt against leader Muammar Gadhafi intensifies in Tripoli.

But a very different scene in Libya's second-largest city, Benghazi, where protesters are now said to be in control. In another sign that Gadhafi's grip on power may be loosening, some members of his government are now defecting, one even accusing him of genocide against the Libyan people.

Well, our next guest is not your typical analyst. Noman Benotman is a former terrorist. He's met Osama bin Laden, he's been on this show before, he's a respected commentator and activist who tries to make sure other susceptible youth don't share his fate.

Now, in 1994, Noman set up the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, and the try to overthrow Muammar Gadhafi failed. He knows a thing or two about the people of Libya and what they are going through. You've just -- Noman, welcome to the show. You got back about an hour ago from Libya. What did you see there?

NOMAN BENOTMAN, FORMER LEADER, LYBYAN ISLAMIC FIGHTING GROUP: First of all, please don't interrupt me, just -- I'd like to say something here. It's myself, personally, as you mentioned, ex-terrorist or whatever, you kind of labeled me. But just, at the end of the day, am a Libyan and I'm Muslim.

I'm always standing for freedom, liberty, and I'm always against killing of civilians. Even when I participated in jihad, I was against that, more than 20 years ago.

I've been seeing a lot of -- during the period of Afghanistan, I see a lot of people that get killed, I guess, with the enemy in the front line. I'm very proud of that because I participated in liberating Afghanistan from the enemy. I'm still proud of that.

I'm working with the Quilliam Foundation out of London and, everybody knows, Quilliam, it stands for freedom, democracy, protecting civilians, civil society, free media, all of these issues. I am part of it.

So, what I'm trying to say here is, the last couple of days, there's a lot of people making a lot of media stuff, I'm talking to the media. So, myself, I'm just, as you mentioned, just an hour I arrived at Heathrow Airport from Tripoli. I've been there since -- two weeks ago. But before that, from general, I've been --

ANDERSON: What's going on?

BENOTMAN: Coming and going from Tripoli. I know a lot of things a lot of people didn't know. I know the situation exactly. When I said to Reuters maybe ten days ago, the leader, Commandant Muammar Gadhafi, he will fight until the last day. Other people, they thought it was just propaganda for the regime.

OK. Now, I'm here, because, as I've said, it's from Libya, I'm going to say it here again. So, I am here to prevent a civil war, to just start. I can see it, because I've been every day outside with the people, with the --

ANDERSON: What did you see? What did you see?

BENOTMAN: I've seen everything you talked about. I've seen it, I've seen the people burning police stations, people protesting against public government facilities. Especially at night, there's shooting from time to time. People try to go to Green Square, then they've been converted by --

ANDERSON: No, but who are they -- ?


BENOTMAN: Excuse me, just a second.

ANDERSON: Yes. No, no. Go on, go on.

BENOTMAN: So, what I'm trying to say is, I have a lot of things, but just -- I'm not going to talk, because a lot of people, they're doing the media work, you know? A lot of Libyans and non-Libyans, and everybody talk to the Arab or English media.

So, for me, myself, I'm not a journalist. I'm not a media man. Myself, I'm a warrior and I'm an analyst. I'm supporting, as I told you, democracy and freedom everywhere in the world. I'm against the killing of civilians.

ANDERSON: All right.

BENOTMAN: So, now, what I'm trying to say is, my duty is to talk to the people in the West. The people in the West. I mean the decision- makers. I'm not going to talk to the media until now. At least for the time being.

Because, as I told you, a lot of people, they're doing the media work. A lot of people, they've misunderstood the circumstances. It's been, now, just about to go to a civil war.

Until last night, I was with the people. Until last night in Tripoli in high landros (ph), I was with the people until 3:00 AM in the morning. I'm not just a witness, I am with the people.

ANDERSON: Noman --

BENOTMAN: So, I'm trying to say here, please, because -- I'm saying that, yes. I see a lot of people, they get tired of even -- so. I would like to talk to decision-makers --


ANDERSON: What's your message --

BENOTMAN: Policy-makers --

ANDERSON: What's your message?

BENOTMAN: No, I'm not -- yes. My message is for peace. I always stand -- I did everything possible. I did everything possible. Beyond anyone's imagination to bring peace to Libya. And reform. Because I believe in that. Until now, I still believe in reform. I still believe in that peacefully. Gradually. But at the end of the day, we'll get there.

Now, we start to see the civil war. A lot of people, they will get killed. What's going to happen in Tripoli, it's completely different. Tripoli is my city. Myself, I am from Tripoli. My family is from Tripoli. I was there a couple of hours ago, I was there, in Tripoli.

So -- and the Tripoli -- people, the -- people from Tripoli, they are very, very brave people, and they are proud of themselves. So, because I have told you, a lot of people, they're doing the media work, and I'm not here to undermine their work. I appreciate their work, honestly.

My duty is -- there's a lot of issues that need to be discussed behind closed doors. A lot of issues. To bring peace to Libya and to prevent a lot of bad things that are going to happen. When I said that a couple of weeks ago, a lot of people thought I was joking. I know a lot of things a lot of people don't know exactly. I know myself, I'm a militant.

So, first of all, I need to go to Washington. I was there 2009 on the 19th of October, but before that, I was classified as a terrorist, so I was prevented. Now, I can go. Since last year --


BENOTMAN: Since last year, so here from the CNN, I would like to go to Washington to talk with decision-makers --

ANDERSON: Let me ask you a few questions.

BENOTMAN: Thank you very much.

ANDERSON: Let me ask you two questions --

BENOTMAN: Thank you.

ANDERSON: Noman, stay with me, stay with me for the time being --

BENOTMAN: Thank you, thank you. I appreciate it. Thank you.

ANDERSON: Noman -- just stay with me, OK? Noman Benotman, who has just come back from Libya, says he hasn't slept for some time, obviously feeling extremely emotional about what he's seen on the streets of Tripoli. You heard him, here, on CNN, as I say, just off the plane. He's said his bit, and you heard it here.

All right, let's move on. Crowds gathering in Bahrain's capital ahead of a planned demonstration tomorrow to demand reform. Pro-government rallies have also taken place with thousands of loyalists voicing their support for the king in Manama.

While today's scenes were peaceful, they were yet another reminder of last week's violence as a 20-year-old protester died from his injuries. Arwa Damon has returned to the scene of the shooting. And a warning, her report contains pictures of the moment that the crackdown began.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This is the exact spot where the standoff between the security forces and the demonstrators took place on Friday. The military and the police lined up right there, trying to prevent access into Pearl Roundabout.

The demonstrators were coming down this road, their hands in the air, chanting "Peaceful, peaceful." And it was at that point that the military and police opened fire.



DAMON: The scene was devastating. Here, we have a shrine that has been set up in the exact spot where a young man, 20 years old, took a bullet to the head.

But the situation today could not be any more different. Three days after the horrific shooting, the demonstrators are firmly in control of Pearl Square. And there really is something of a permanent feel to it. Tents have been set up, some even have furniture in front of them. Entire families are camped out.

And one thing that you won't see here is the military or the police. They appear to have vanished.

The demands range from those who would be satisfied seeing certain political reforms, constitutional amendments, to others who firmly believe that it is time for the Khalifa ruling family to just get out. They have been in control of Bahrain for as long as America has been independent, around 200 years.

Bahrain is a predominantly Shia country. The Khalifa family, Sunni. But everyone we've been talking to, here, has been saying that this is not about Sunni or Shia. This is about equality.

And here, they demonstrators have brought together everything that they say the government has been firing at them. It just shows you the level of distrust. You have teargas canisters, rubber bullets.

And so, while political dialogue is taking place right now, everyone is telling us that they have very little confidence in any promise the government is going to make. Arwa Damon, CNN, Manama, Bahrain.


ANDERSON: Well, Yemen's president has compared the uprisings to a virus spreading across the region. Speaking on the 11th consecutive day of protests in the capital Sanaa, Ali Abdullah Saleh said that the demonstrations were not part of his country's culture. Mohammed Jamjoom is in Sanaa tonight.

MOHAMMED JAMJOOM, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Becky, just as the president was having his press conference today, saying that the protests here weren't part of the culture and was really just part of a contagion that was going through the region.

In fact, there were -- it was the 11th day of demonstrations in Sanaa. It turned peaceful in Sanaa, no clashes today. It's a sit-in outside of Sanaa University, about 3,000 people, mostly students.

But you also had clashes happen in the south, in Aden, where there's also a separatist movement. You had thousands of people out on the streets there. According to eyewitnesses, there were clashes with security forces. Security forces tried to disperse the crowds, shot into the crowds, one person dead, at least four injured.

Also, in the southern city of Taiz, you had thousands of people out in Freedom Square demanding regime change. In the city of Ibb, hundreds of people in the streets.

And what's most worrying of all, today, to Yemeni authorities, in the north, in Saada province, where there has been an intermittent rebellion going on, with the Houthi rebellions against the government for the past few years. The Houthi rebels, who were in a cease-fire with the government, have come out in force today, 12,000 of them marching through the streets of Saada, demanding regime change.

And why this is so worrying? Because this has been a flashpoint. This has been an area that's been quite violent the past few years. And the worry is that if this is spreading up to the north, now, on the border with Saudi Arabia, and it's spreading throughout the country, that this could become more tribal in nature and it could, possibly, descend into other chaos throughout the country. Becky?

ANDERSON: Mohammed Jamjoom, there, for you live.

Coming up next, we continue CNN's i-List series, with a look at a country famous for its beer and its weapons. Stay with us.


ANDERSON: All right. Well, each month in our i-List series, CNN takes you to a country that is influencing and changing the world, and our first stop this year was Ukraine. And this week, we are looking at the culture and industries of Germany.

Known for its technological prowess, Germany is said to be the third- largest exporter of defense goods in the world, and next to tanks and rifles, the hottest item on the market is the U-212-A or, U 2 1 2 A. Well, it's the world's most advanced non-nuclear submarine. Fred Pleitgen gets a firsthand glimpse for you at the power behind this watercraft.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Germany Navy sub U31 off to a mission in the Baltic Sea.

Corvette captain Bernd Arjes commands this 212 A-class vessel known around the world as the most advanced breed of non-nuclear submarines.


BERND ARJES, CAPTAIN, GERMAN NAVY: So, in this area, we have the engineering command with three consoles. From here, all the technical systems are monitored and controlled.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): The 212 A-class is a small and very agile tactical sub designed to hunt surface vessels and other submarines.

ARJES: We operate in coastal waters around Europe, and this submarine, this new one, is especially built for finding or for hunting submarines. So, it's -- if you want to hear other submarines, you have to be -- of course, you also have to be quiet.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Silence keeps submariners alive, the men on board tell us. A revolutionary hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system makes the 212 A even quieter than other conventional subs.

PLEITGEN (on camera): This box may look like a giant refrigerator but, actually, it's one of the things that makes the submarine so unique and so innovative. This is a fuel cell, and by powering the submarine with a fuel cell, the boat becomes very, very silent and virtually undetectable.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): And because a fuel cell doesn't need fresh air to operate, the boat can remain submerge much longer than other conventional submarines, though how long, exactly, remains a military secret.

The technology was developed by German navy shipyard Howaldtswerke- Deutsche Werft, and the company has already sold the export version of the hybrid sub, the 214 class, to the navies of Greece, Portugal, and South Korea.

The 212 A is armed with 12 heavyweight, wire-guided torpedoes, each capable of destroying a warship or disabling an aircraft carrier.

MICHAEL RUDAT, LIEUTENANT, GERMAN NAVY: An aircraft carrier might not break with one torpedo, but probably it gets hit at the rudder or something like this so it won't be able to maneuver, and so he probably can't go into the wind to use his aircraft, or something like this.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Even with all the state-of-the-art technology, like other subs, this one offers little space for its crew of up to 27. A submariner's life remains one of confined living quarters and shared bunks.

TIMO KAPFER, LIEUTENANT, GERMAN NAVY: Your person stuff, you can keep it here.

PLEITGEN (on camera): That's not very much space, is it?

KAPFER: No, no. But that's not all. You can also keep it here -- in these boxes.

PLEITGEN: OK. So, that's all your stuff?


PLEITGEN (voice-over): And so, even on one of the most modern submarines in the world, the best thing for the crew is getting back on shore after a successful mission and a safe journey home. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Eckernforde, Germany.


ANDERSON: And tomorrow on i-List Germany, we'll introduce you to a 13-year-old boy who has made saving trees his mission in life. Known as Felix the Forest King, his inspiring initiative has grown into a worldwide campaign. That is tomorrow, here on CNN.

And for more on our i-List series, including an inside glimpse at one of the world's most coveted cars, head to our Facebook page at

Next up on the show, one of the world's sought-after fashion designers. Think color, think Bohemian glamour, and there is one name that stands out. We're going to connect you with this British fashionista right after this.


ANDERSON: We are glamming it up all this week on CONNECT THE WORLD, as Fashion Week hits London. We're going to be bringing you big interviews of some of the icons of the industry, from the trendsetters to the hot steppers.

First up, Matthew Williamson. The British designer branching out with a new, more affordable range and a very timely bridal collection. So, does he have a royal engagement? Max Foster asks that very question. Let's get you connected.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you want Bohemian glamor, look no further than Matthew Williamson, the UK-born designer who brought a kaleidoscope of color to the runway.

Williamson was initially known for his print skills. He got his first break in the industry working with British fashion company Monsoon and Accessorize. But it was in 1997 that he stepped into the spotlight with his very own debut collection.

His exotic shades wowed the fashion world and wooed an entourage of celebrities, drawn to what's become his trademark style.

MATTHEW WILLIAMSON, FASHION DESIGNER: Print is a particular sort of signature of my work. I do it every season. It's -- it is what gives the collection its unique sort of identifiable signature.

FOSTER (voice-over): So, in an industry where it's all about setting trends, I asked Matthew how he keeps his now 14-year-old signature new season after season.

WILLIAMSON: I think, as a designer, it's really key to build, first and foremost, an identifiable signature that your consumer and customer can relate to. So, I was very fortunate in my first show in 97 kind of immediately identifying what were the things that really fascinated me.

I am, on the one hand, a creative designer. But I also love to keep consistency and keep the collections building and have it build a DNA to the line.

So, it's a kind of difficult line to tread, that sort of creativity versus commercial, but it's definitely a challenge that I love working with.

FOSTER (on camera): It's incredibly hard, isn't it, for a designer to create something new, which is immediately identifiable to that designer, isn't it?

WILLIAMSON: You've never kind of got the perfect collection. It's always an evolving, moving entity. And it's one of the few industries that's like that. Every six months, you're expected to, a degree, reinvent the wheel and move things on.

But on the same token, it does tend to run slower than people, perhaps, think, because you have to consider consistency and keeping the customers that you've got the season before. So, it's definitely a fine balance act.

FOSTER: You've been hugely popular amongst some of the biggest names in the world. You're a sort of -- your designs are seen on the most glamorous women in the world. But you're also trying to become more accessible, aren't you? But how on earth do you do that while staying exclusive?

WILLIAMSON: The 99 percent of other fashion brands, they all have their product endorsed by high-profile clients, and it's a great way to get your brand known at its peak, at its most glamorous. But at the end of the day, you're intentions are to sell and to -- it's a business, like any other business.

We've just launched this month the Diffusion line, which is really a cheaper price point. It'll be much more widely distributed than the main line. And it's really sort of, creatively speaking, it's almost like the younger sister of the main collection. It's somewhat more urban and edgier. So, that's a kind of way to balance the two aspects, to keep your main line very precious and luxury.

FOSTER: You talked a bit about your colors and your patterns, and Tim from Philadelphia asks, "Where do you look for inspiration for those color ideas, which are so famous now?"

WILLIAMSON: Overall, the way I like to work with color is this -- to me, it's about color combinations within an outfit, and I always like to mix colors from nature, for example, like earthy tones of moss and beige and caramel and so on.

But then, juxtapose those with what I call synthetic colors, so there you have much more sort of acid, bright pops of color. And it's those contrasts that I really love to work with.

FOSTER: Louise asks, "Fashion seems to be gearing more towards computer-generated designs. Do you think this is a good thing?" You've talked about how you like to use natural colors, so where do computers come in?

WILLIAMSON: They're definitely within the structure of my business, and they're used in various stages of the process of creating a collection. More often than not, our prints start life on a computer, now.

I'm of an old-school thought process, though, where I'm much more about pen and paper, and I like to draw and I like to see physical images. I like to read magazines as opposed to -- So, I'm a little old-fashioned and -- there's definitely a mix of the two.

FOSTER: Thomas asks, "Who is your ultimate fashion idol?"

WILLIAMSON: There are a few girls and women that I've admired their sense of style over the years, ranging from Bianca Jagger and Anita Pallenberg up to Sienna Miller and innumerable other great, stylish girls. But I don't necessarily have one that I -- the Holy Grail.

FOSTER: John asks if there is any chance that you are going to design Kate Middleton's wedding dress. What do you think it should look like?

WILLIAMSON: "No" to the first part of the question.

FOSTER: A definite "no"?

WILLIAMSON: A definite "no."

FOSTER: Do you know who is?

WILLIAMSON: No, definitely not. I feel for her. I just think she has an enormous amount of pressure with all the speculation, and I just wish her well and hope that she chooses something that is appropriate for the occasion, which I'm sure it will be. But no, I'm as clueless as anyone else.

FOSTER: What would you dress her as?

WILLIAMSON: Well, if she came to me to be dressed by me, I would make sure she embodied the kind of collections that I'm known for so they would represent my brand.


ANDERSON: And watch this space. As soon as we know, you'll know. Max Foster, there, with British designer Matthew Williamson, one of the biggest names here in London for Fashion Week.

And tomorrow night, we're going to connect you with a designer who's been given a royal honor for her services to fashion. Setting the trend for three decades, Betty Jackson, MBE, steps into the spotlight as your next Connector of the Day as we spotlight the fashion industry this week.

If there is something that you would like to ask this icon of the industry, send us your questions, And do not forget to tell us where you you are writing in from. It's your part of the show.

I'm Becky Anderson, that is your world connected. Thank you for watching. The world headlines and "BackStory" will follow this short break.