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Details of Two Terrorist Raids; U.S. Could Hit Debt Ceiling on October 17th

Aired October 8, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. In one African nation, U.S. forces captured an al Qaeda operative. In another, they raided a terrorist compound. We told you about both of these operations yesterday, but today we have more details.

First, Somalia. The target was a man named Ikrima. A suspected leader of the al Shabaab terrorist group. A U.S. official says the mission was to capture Ikrima. When it became clear that he couldn`t be taken alive, commanders made the decision for U.S. forces to get out.

In Libya, the target was al Qaeda agent Abu Anas al-Libi. He was captured and taken to a U.S. Navy ship. U.S. intelligence agencies interrogated al- Libi for information about al Qaeda. He could be sent to the U.S. to face charges connected to terrorist attacks on American embassies.

The wars that you study in history class often involve nations fighting against other nations. The war on terror is different. When one leader is killed or captured, another can emerge, and these new leaders use new tactics.


STARR: Abu Anas al-Libi is one of the last of the old guard of al Qaeda operatives to be caught. New networks and leaders are gaining strength, and U.S. commandos are on the front lines of going after them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Arab spring allowed a lot more travel, a lot more freedom of movement, and we`ve seen groups cooperating with each other to launch attacks, pooling resources, and pooling training, and that`s really concerning for American counterterrorism officials.

STARR: Al-Libi, a one-time associate of Osama bin Laden, was long wanted for his role 15 years ago in the attack on the U.S. embassies in Africa, but the 9/11 era of al Qaeda operatives are largely dead or captured. Key operatives like Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, an alleged 9/11 mastermind, he`s in detention at Guantanamo Bay. Topping the list of still-wanted, Ayman al- Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda. With a $25 million reward on his head, Zawahiri is believed to be hiding in Pakistan.

But some of the most hunted are part of the new al Qaeda affiliates, like al Shabaab in Somalia. Its leader, Ahmed Godane, leads the group said to be responsible for the attack on the Nairobi shopping mall two weeks ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By formally merging with al Qaeda, by doing an attack in which Americans were targeted, this group has put itself in the sights of the United States.

STARR: The U.S. is also hunting other emerging terrorist leaders. Nasir Al-Wahashi (ph), a one-time bin Laden aide and leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen-based group now considered the most lethal. New al Qaeda leaders are social media savvy, using secure chat rooms and websites to recruit new young operatives.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.



CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Coming on the 18th, you won`t be able to pay Social Security, you won`t be able to pay Medicare, you won`t be able to pay all of these things?

JACOB LEW, TREASURY SECRETARY: I`m telling you that on the 17th, we run out of our ability to borrow, and Congress is playing with fire. If they don`t extend the debt limit, we have a very, very short window of time before those scenarios start to be played out.

CROWLEY: Could you keep up on servicing the debt? That is paying the interest on the U.S. debt, therefore not defaulting, as you (inaudible)?

LEW: Candy, if the United States government for the first time in its history chooses not to pay its bills on time, we will be in default.


AZUZ: That was Jack Lew. He heads up the U.S. Treasury, whose job is to strengthen the U.S. economy and manage the government`s money. That`s why he was discussing the debt ceiling, one of two major issues being debated right now in Washington. The ceiling was created during World War I as a way to keep tabs on U.S. government spending, but every time the U.S. has gotten close to it, Congress and presidents chose to raise the ceiling. If they don`t agree to do that again by the time we hit it again, on October 17th, the government will only be able to spend what it takes in, and that will mean that a lot of programs get cut. Tom Foreman explained what in yesterday`s show. You can view that in the archive on our website,

The other issue, the partial government shutdown. Congress and the president still haven`t compromised on government spending for the next year. We`ve asked if you`ve noticed any effects of this. Matthew said, "Yeah, I`m 16, so this is the first one in my lifetime. The government is too big, so I like the partial shutdown."

Kathleen says, "People can`t get to Lake Mead for prime boating season, and that this impacts her entire community - park rangers, boat repair, tour guides, everything." These comments came from Twitter and from

There is another debate going on in Washington, D.C. It`s not about the shutdown, not about the debt ceiling. It`s over the name of Washington`s pro football team. The Redskins have been playing football for 80 years, but there`s some talk about changing that nickname. Several media outlets have decided to stop using it, and just refer to the team as Washington, or Washington`s pro football team.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it`s offending people, then it`s time to change it. And this is a great time to do it. Regardless of the history, regardless of its legacy, it`s offending - it`s offensive. It`s a dictionary defined offensive term.


AZUZ: President Obama weighed in on the debate, saying if he were the team`s owner, he would think about changing the name. Dan Snyder, who is the Redskins` owner, says that will never happen. The team`s attorney argues that the name honors a legacy and tradition.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hail to the Redskins. That`s our song. It`s a song of honor. It`s a song of tribute. It`s not a song of disrespect.


AZUZ: So Redskins, touchdown or turnover? If you`re already on FaceBook, go to, like our page, and tell us what you think about this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s time for the shoutout. The line "What`s in a name?" appears in what Shakespeare play? If you think you know it, then shout it out. Is it "Hamlet," "King Lear," "Macbeth" or "Romeo and Juliet?" You`ve got 3 seconds, go.

What`s in a name? A whole lot when those names are Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. That`s your answer and that`s your shoutout.

AZUZ: You don`t run into too many Montagues or Capulets or Azuzes, for that matter. Smiths are another story. One of them, a high school senior, set off with his dad to meet people all across the country who share his same name. The trip hit a snag in Seattle, and that`s where KOMO`s Kelly Koopmans caught up with the Smiths.


KELLY KOOPMANS, KOMO CORRESPONDENT: Pete Smith and Dave Smith both know a thing or two about generic names.

DAVE SMITH: Like I`m never in school and teachers can`t pronounce my name.

KOOPMANS: In fact, there are nearly 3 million other people with the last name Smith in the U.S., but this father/son duo is distinguishing itself through an adventure that`s anything but ordinary. 17-year-old Dave hasn`t always done well in the classroom, so with his school`s permission, Dave is earning history and English credits by criss-crossing the country with his dad. They visit historic landmarks, they camp in national parks, and Dave interviews complete strangers, with whom the only thing he has in common is a name.

PETE SMITH: It was my wife`s idea of, wouldn`t it be neat if you could network with all of these other David Smiths around the country.

KOOPMANS: And so, finding Dave Smiths was born. The goal - to interview Dave or David Smiths in each of the lower 48. Dave asks about their careers, their regrets, and advice. Since September 12, they`ve hit 20 states, met 20 Smiths, all while camping in national parks.

PETE SMITH: Then we hit a big snag.

KOOPMANS: Until last week.

PETE SMITH: We`re just out here trying to go to the national parks, a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and they are preventing us from doing that.

KOOPMANS: When the government shut down, so did the national parks, forcing Pete and Dave to improvise. So at least for now, they`ve decided to wait out the shutdown in Seattle, but it hasn`t stopped them from growing their network. And as they add Seattle`s Dave no. 21, the Smiths show they`re one-upping the Joneses, living the gift of an ordinary name.

DAVE SMITH: Getting a lot of experience out of it, and just kind of trying to figure out what I want to do after the trip is over.


AZUZ: We`re going to keep rolling with this name theme, and look at the origins of the names of the states of today`s roll call. Fairfield Center School in Fairfield, Vermont, a state whose name comes from the French words for green mountains. How about the Thomas Johnson Jaguars? They are from Maryland, which is named after the wife of England`s Queen Charles I. And the Sercie (ph) High Lions are roaring in Sercie (ph), Arkansas. Arkansas is a French interpretation of a Native American word.

Some of you may think there`s no such thing as too much candy. This could put that theory to the test. It`s not just a peanut butter cup, it`s the peanut butter cup. The largest one ever made. You got peanut butter in my chocolate, you got chocolate in my peanut butter. Who cares, I want to eat it. The ambitious baker combined 70 pounds of chocolate with nearly 160 pounds of peanut butter. When he started, some people might have wondered, candy do it? But now that he`s set a new record, I`m sure his cup`s running over from all the compliments that butter him up.

That sweet story is going to wrap things up for us today. I`m Carl Azuz. We`ll see you again tomorrow.