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CONNECT THE WORLD
ISIS beheads American Journalist; Israeli Ceasefire Collapses; Should GCC States Be Doing More About ISIS?; Investigation Into Michael Brown Shooting; Middle Eastern Reaction to Ferguson Unrest; Fighting ISIS; US Journalist Beheaded; Journalists Becoming Part of the Story; US Attorney General Arrives in Missouri; Iceland Volcanic Ash Threat
Aired August 20, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Another journalist dies in the course of doing his job. And with the apparent beheading of American James Foley, a stark
warning to the U.S. from ISIS: stand in the way of our state and your people will suffer.
Also ahead, we'll hear live from the Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari on the insurgency taking place in his country and the international
effort to stop ISIS in its tracks.
And from Iraq to Cairo to Ferguson, Missouri in the States, journalists are being detained in the line of duty.
We'll speak to a friend of James Foley about the threat not only to reporting and to freedom, but to lives.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very good evening. It is 7:00 in the UAE. Another shocking display of the brutality and ruthlessness of ISIS. A video posted
online shows ISIS fighters beheading this man, American freelance journalist James Foley. He disappeared while working in Syria in 2012. In
the video, ISIS warns Washington to end its intervention in Iraq.
Well, CNN is not airing the video, but in these still images you can see Foley kneeling next to a masked militant in black. That militant
speaks in what appears to be a British accent.
British foreign secretary Phillip Hammond says they are working to identify him.
Well, ISIS has threatened to kill another American journalist held by the group if the U.S. continues its operations, as I say, in Iraq. Our
Nick Paton Walsh joins me now live from Irbil in northern Iraq.
It's not clear where this execution took place, Nick, what is clear is the sheer brutality of those aligning themselves with Islamic State or ISIS
and beheading not an unfamiliar tactic to them.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. And it's part of their broad, I think it's fair to say, tactic of trying to terrify
everyone they possibly can. These videos, they've been in the inter-ethnic violence here in Syria and Iraq regularly posted, I mean, unbelievably
horrifying images that people who look at the Twitter feeds and other social media associated by ISIS have been exposed to.
So, when we saw this instance with a James Foley being beheaded by a man with a British accent dressed head-to-toe in black, it was fitting into
a broader pattern of a kind of horrific scenes that ISIS like to use to really terrify those they wish to subjugate, or those they feel they may
eventually come into combat with.
This particular video itself, has having (inaudible) many of those friends and colleagues of Foley who had hoped perhaps since his abduction
in November 2012 when there wasn't really such a group as ISIS active as it is now and the Syrian rebel movement was less extremist, though potentially
Foley may have found some way of being negotiated out or released and the fact that he's found his way into the hands of ISIS and being used really
is a political symbol by them to try and distract, it seems, or deter the White House from continuing their airstrike campaign against ISIS in
northern Iraq, troubles many, I think here, certainly particularly given there are other Americans held by ISIS at this time, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah. Nick Paton Walsh for you in Irbil, this evening.
Well, ISIS -- Foley's death, sorry, comes as the Iraqi government continues its fight against ISIS, of course. Joining me now from Baghdad
is the Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari.
And, sir, I know that you will want to react to the beheading of the kidnapped U.S. journalist James Foley by what appears to be a British
recruit to ISIS. Can you hear me, sir?
HOSHYAR ZEBARI, IRAQI FOREIGN MINISTER: That's fine (inaudible).
ANDERSON: Your reaction to the brutal images that we saw on our screens earlier today of the beheading of an American journalist.
OK, it sounds to me as if we haven't got the foreign minister as of yet.
You can hear me, sir, can you?
ZEBARI: Yes. Yes.
ANDERSON: All right, let's try again. I wanted to get your reaction firstly to the beheading of the kidnapped U.S. journalist James Foley.
All right, that's fine. OK, I'll wait for him to call. OK. OK.
ANDERSON: Yeah, it sounds to me as if we haven't got the foreign minister at the moment.
Let me move on and we'll see if we can get him back. He's on the line out of Baghdad and clearly things a little difficult there.
Keep in mind that the militant group has recently claimed new territory in Iraq and in Syria. Fighters for the radical Islamic group
have captured several small Iraqi towns, as you'll be well away near Kirkuk, but Kurdish and Iraqi forces were able to take back control of the
Mosul dam on Monday. ISIS also expanding its territory in Syria taking over several villages outside the northern city of Aleppo.
Well, we will of course have much more on the situation in Iraq and the extreme brutality of ISIS. We'll try and get the foreign minister back
for you. We'll go live to the U.S. for more on President Obama's next move. How will he react to the killing of James Foley?
Plus, the inherent dangers of covering news stories in war zones around the world.
And we'll take a look at the origins of extremist groups like al Qaeda and ISIS. And how the political and economic turmoil in the region may
have fueled their radical ideas. That and more still to come this hour on Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
And apologies for some of the technical difficulties that we are having this evening.
Now to the conflict in Gaza where the exchange of fire between Israelis and Palestinians has resumed what can only be described as a
Since the ceasefire crumbled on Tuesday, Israel says more than 137 rockets have been fired from Gaza, including 29 in just 20 minutes.
Well, Israel has retaliated with about 80 air strikes on suspected militant sites in Gaza. The health ministry there says at least 21 people
have been killed and more than 130 injured as a result.
Well, Frederik Pleitgen is in Gaza and joins us live with the latest.
And once gain, civilians getting caught in the crossfire, not least those in Gaza fired on where you are, Fred.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, absolutely, Becky. There's a lot of people who say that they're caught in the
crossfire at this point in time. And I can tell you that the situation right now -- in fact, a couple of minutes before we went to air is really
heating up here in Gaza. We counted at least five major airstrikes that appeared to have happened, I would say, about a kilometer-and-a-half, maybe
two kilometers away from our location down to the south in what appears to be the Zetoun (ph) area of Gaza City, but it really is something that has
been a recurrence for the better part of the past 24 hours, I would say.
It was late afternoon yesterday when the ceasefire apparently fell apart when several rockets were fired from here in Gaza towards Israel. It
didn't take very long for an Israeli response. I would say about 20 minutes before the first sorties were flown.
And then into the night, there really was another big escalation where you could hear a lot of rockets being fired, a lot of those rockets being
intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
But we also area getting reports that many of those rockets actually impacted in Israel, some in unpopulated areas, but some do seem to have
caused at least some damage there on the Israeli side.
There was one airstrike, Becky, that really stood out among all of them and that was one in central Gaza City where at least four very large
bombs hit one single house and what the Hamas is saying is that the leader of their military network, of the Qassam Brigade, was targeted by the
Israeli air force, a man named Mohammed Deif.
They say that he survived the attack, that he wasn't killed in that attack, but that his wife and his son were killed in the attack. And since
then, the barrages have really increased a great deal to what you were just saying just now, at least 137 rockets apparently fired from Gaza towards
It seems to us as though those numbers probably by now are dated, once again, because the fighting just seems to continue at such an unabated
ANDERSON: Fred, at this time yesterday it was unclear who had fired the first rockets from Gaza. Is it any clearer now who continues to fire
rockets from that side of the border and whether it's just Hamas or more groups who are certainly active in that area?
PLEITGEN: Well, it seems as though it's several groups. I mean, you'll recall that yesterday when all of this began, Hamas was initially
was saying that it wasn't the one who fired the rockets at Israeli territory. The Israelis, of course, for their part say that they blamed
Hamas, they hold Hamas responsible because this territory nominally is controlled by Hamas.
But now Hamas is not making any secret of the fact that its operatives and the Qassam Brigades are firing these rockets. They say that this is at
the behest of Mohammed Deif, the man I was just talking about who apparently was targeted in that air strike.
In fact, one Hamas official was saying that these strikes will not stop until Mohammed Deif says so.
So, they are ongoing. Hamas is now making no secret of the fact that they are engaged, again, militarily with the Israelis whereas the Israeli
military, the Israeli air force is saying that it's doing all it can to take out what they say is, quote, "terrorist infrastructure." A lot of
them seem to be positions that might have been rocket launching positions. And a lot of the air strikes that we're seeing seem to be in what many say
is farm land, which of course is areas where we have seen rocket launchers placed in the past, Becky.
ANDERSON: Frederik Pleitgen in Gaza for you.
Still to come this evening, the U.S. attorney general heads to Ferguson, Missouri to monitor the investigation into the death of Michael
Brown and to help ease tensions there, he hopes. We'll have the latest on the protests and the investigation in a live report from Missouri. That,
and your news from this region in the Middle East coming up after this.
ANDERSON: At 13 minutes past 7:00 in the UAE. You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
Now an ISIS video showing the gruesome murder of American journalist James Foley also shows another American believed to be journalist Steven
Sotloff. A fighter threatens to kill him, too, if the U.S. does not stop air strikes in Iraq.
Sotloff was kidnapped at the Syrian-Turkish border last year and is a contributor to TIME and Foreign Policy magazines. Foley was a freelance
journalist working for Global Post when he was kidnapped in Syria in 2012.
Well, the west has been very vocal in its condemnation of the group and its advances in Iraq. But many Gulf Arab countries have remained on
Leone Lakhani now looks at why oil rich Gulf nations are staying out of the fray.
LEONE LAKHANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As U.S. warplanes destroy ISIS targets in northern Iraq, the militant group's recent advances
draw international outrage.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ISIL poses a threat to all Iraqis and to the entire region.
LAKHANI: But even with fighting on their very doorstep, the leaders of the Gulf Arab states, known as the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC,
have largely remained silent.
THEODORE KARASIK, DIRECTOR, INEGMA: The GCC states are quiet on the ISIS issue, because they do not want to draw attention to any kind of
commentary they may make.
LAKHANI: Analysts say security was a core basis for the GCC since its creation in 1981. The alliance comprises of the six states of the Arabian
Peninsula, yet it's beset with internal divisions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are still talking about very traditional societies that value the loyalty of the tribe above all else.
LAKHANI: That's played out most recently with a riff between Qatar and the other GCC states, a country of nearly 2 million, Qatar has carved a
diplomatic niche for itself, even fostering ties with those not seen favorably by its neighbors.
KARASIK: This really started after the Arab Spring with Qatar's moves to implement the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the region.
LAKHANI: The Brotherhood is deemed a terrorist group by Saudi Arabia and banned by much of the region.
Tensions with its neighbors came to a head in March with an unprecedented move by the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain
who recalled their ambassadors from Doha saying Qatar's actions threatened regional stability.
The conflict in Gaza highlighted that relationship further with Qatar accused of financially backing Hamas and serving as home base for Hamas's
political leader Khalid Michel (ph).
KHALID AL ATTIYAH, QATARI FOREIGN MINISTER: Qatar does not support Hamas. Qatar supports the Palestinian. We consider them our family.
LAKHANI: In a region racked with turmoil and the increasing threat of extremism, the oil rich GCC has the economic might and military hardware at
its disposal to flex its political muscle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The GCC must also assert itself in different ways that it has to date. It must also assume part of the defense burden.
LAKHANI: And reduce internal friction if it wants to become a unified geopolitical force.
Leone Lakhani, CNN, Abu Dhbi.
ANDERSON: We're going to do more on this region, its reaction to what is going on in Iraq at the moment. But to understand the depths of the
barbaric ISIS of ISIS you've got to understand where their extremist views came from and where the region should go from here.
Chief columnist for the National Faisel al-Yafai wrote an opinion piece that addresses the issue very clearly. And he joins me now, a
regular guest on this show.
Faisel, thanks for coming in.
Something has been festering, you write, in the heart of the Middle East, the cancer, a disease gaining strength from the weakness of the body,
you say, like a malignant tumor militant jihadists are growing stronger even as the host grows weaker.
What do you mean by that and why?
FAISEL AL-YAFAI, NATIONAL: Well, I think the story of the last 100 years, of the weakest 100 years the Arabs have had since the coming of
Islam and I think you see that reflected in the complete chaos in the Middle East.
The cancer that I'm talking about, the cancer of militant jihadism, did not grow out of nothing, it grew out of a swamp of politics, a swamp of
a society, societies that have allowed these sort of ideas to fester. And that is why we are facing it.
And, whether we confront it today with the Islamic State, or we confront it tomorrow when another group emerges, we will have to find a
solution to it.
ANDERSON: I want our viewers to hear a quote of the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia slamming Islamic militant groups like ISIS saying
they were the enemy number one of Islam and not in any way part of the faith.
Let me just give you this quote from the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh (ph) issuing a statement that read, in part, "the ideas of
extremism, radical Islamic and terrorist have nothing to do with Islam." He warned, "in Islam, after heresy, dividing Muslims is the greatest crime."
The Mufti also urged, "tolerance, which was at the origin of Islam's growth and longevity."
His words unique, Faisel, in that they are almost the exception that proves the rule that very little is being said publicly here in the GCC,
and of course the UAE one of the six GCC countries, and Leone alluding to that in her report.
Can you explain why?
YAFAI: Well, as Leone says in the piece, there are divisions at the moment.
But I think what the Gulf really needs at the moment is to use smart power. This is the term that was coined by another analyst writing about
the region saying that it isn't hard power like military strength that the Gulf needs to exert, it is the strength of relationships, the strength of
And if you look particularly at Iraq, this is where the GCC needs to put its weight. Just this week, the new president of Iraq, Fuod Masum was
saying that he wants his country to have a better relationship with Saudi Arabia. We need that in the GCC more than anything else.
ANDERSON: That's interesting.
All right, I want you to stay with me, because on the line -- and we've been trying to get him for some minutes now, is the foreign minister
-- I believe at least he's still the foreign minister in Iraq, Hoshyar Zebari.
Stay with me, Faisel, for the time being, because I want to just get the sense from the foreign minister firstly of where things stand in the
country today as we speak.
I know you're back in Baghdad, sir, you had taken away your support from the former prime minister you blame for so much of what is going on
with ISIS in the country today.
What is your position. Can you clarify that. Where are you and what's happening on the ground?
Well, I'm back in Baghdad. I've rejoined the government, the caretaker government, and back at the foreign minister of the country And
we are conducting our political polls to form a new inclusive government in Baghdad to stand up and fight -- join collectively against ISIS and
against these crimes. This barbarically means we have all seen and (inaudible) but find the beheading of James Foley an evil act done by evil
men carrying an evil ideology.
So everybody should know what we are facing.
ANDERSON: Sir, Foley's captors have used U.S. airstrikes for their excuse for this horrendous act. They say other captured journalists are in
danger if President Obama continues his policy of airstrikes in Iraq.
You said that U.S. air support is absolutely critical, and indeed we've seen evidence of that over the Mosul dam in the past few days.
What is your message to the U.S. president today?
ZEBARI: Well, my message is to stand firm against those evil men, those terrorists of ISIS. And really nobody should lose his head
(inaudible) against those people who have disrespect, disregard and it's human values.
American intervention, the international report has been critical to change the ties to stop ISIS to push them back, to (inaudible) in a level
of confrontation and they are (inaudible).
We all remember, which (inaudible) Afghan war, these are part of intimidating tactics by ISIS who are trying to use the media to send their
messages to frightened people.
We care about every human being, actually. And journalists are civilian, they are neutral, they are noncombatant people. And this is a
ANDERSON: Sir, we've seen western involvement in the shape of U.S. airstrikes. Britain, France and Germany, I know, looking to help on a
humanitarian basis at present as well. What we haven't seen is a lot of involvement from the GCC nor indeed that being this region where this show
is broadcast from, nor indeed a lot of words on what is going on in Iraq today. Are you disappointed by the GCC and its leaders to date?
ZEBARI: Well, we call on all Islamic states, on all Arab states, on the GCC who are in the immediate danger, the vicinity -- if ISIS were to
win, they would be next in line of targets.
So I really call on all our friends and our leaders in the GCC to speak up. Also to take this threat very, very seriously, because Islamic
caliphate of ISIS includes them also.
ANDERSON: Let's talk about the formation of this new unity government. Clearly the new prime minister has a huge job on his hand to
reconcile Iraq's different political factions and forces.
How much influence does the U.S. have in the formation of this new government?
ZEBARI: Well, the U.S. has a great deal of influence. It's a friend, it's an ally to all Iraqi people (inaudible) and leaders. And they have
been supportive to expedite the formation of this government.
But this is an Iraqi decision, definitely. We are working against a timeline of one month to form a new government, otherwise the parliament
will choose another candidate. So that's why everybody is intent to get this new government up and running as soon as possible. We have a great
deal of international support, because of the seriousness of the threat. And what Iraq and the region is going through by the advances, or the
establishment of ISIS state of (inaudible) and terror.
ANDERSON: With that, sir, we're going to have to leave it there. I'm going to take a short break. We thank you very much indeed for joining us.
We apologize for the technical problems in establishing with you in Baghdad earlier on, but do appreciate your time in what is a very important time
for this region and the rest of the world.
Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. I'll be back in a few minutes with all your world news headlines. And
Faisel will join me once again to discuss this region's reactions to events not just here, but in Ferguson, Missouri in the States.
First, though, we are off to Zambia to find out how one woman is using the country's natural resources to accessorize her growing client list.
That, after this.
JANET FREDMAN, FOUNDER, JANET FREDMAN DESIGN: HI. My name is Janet. And welcome to Janet Fredman Design.
We can make handmade jewelry made from Zambian materials such as seeds, wood, leather, anything Zambian you can think of inspired, or comes
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fredman started her business in January 2014 in Wusaka, the capital of Zambia. To keep costs down, she began using
materials she found outdoors and turned them into works of art.
FEDMAN: This is a jacaranda. And the seed that falls off a jacaranda tree, which is outside my office. And this is what I use to make my
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Zambia is rich in copper, gold and gem stones, but Fredman's use of natural material means she does not need to source
FREDMAN: This is a finished product of a jacaranda seed made into earrings. And here's another seed called a cicasa seed (ph) made into a
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fredman had always wanted to work with her hands and considered attending medical school after college, but her love of
design led her down a different path.
I (inaudible) first like making jewelry as a hobby. And then went to study as a goldsmith. And then after studying, I came back and then what I
learned, the goldsmith, I incorporated it with Zambian materials to make contemporary Zambian jewelry.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As a young entrepreneur, Fredman has learned a lot in her short time in business.
FREDMAN: The challenges at first was like I said like trying to figure out, of course, exactly what I wanted to be making. I knew I had
that skill to be doing that, but exactly what I want to do. And then secondly, it was kind of something you were bringing to the country and
just really people trying to believe like in your products. And like here you are. Did you really make this? Maybe you bought and maybe you sell
it, you know.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She markets her jewelry on her website, but relies mostly on word of mouth.
FREDMAN: Business has been going OK. Sometimes it's slow, sometimes it's high. I'm still trying to find my way in what to do, the dos and the
don'ts, still trying to figure out.
The hopes for my business is to grow it so it becomes an empire, a jeweler empire.
I totally, absolutely enjoy making jewelry. It's me.
ANDERSON: Just after half past 7:00 in the UAE. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. The top stories here on CNN this hour.
In a gruesome online video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley, ISIS militants warned the US to end airstrikes in
Iraq. Foley disappeared in 2012 while working in Syria. Militants are threatening to kill another American journalist that they are holding if
the US continues to intervene in Iraq.
Humanitarian aid is arriving for some half a million displaced Iraqis. A United Nations plane carrying tents, plastic sheets, and other supplies
has landed in Erbil in the north of the country. The multi-day operation is one of the largest the UN refugee agency has ever undertaken.
Iran's conservative-dominated parliament has voted to sack the country's science minister. The motion was backed by 145 of the 270
lawmakers present. Now, his removal deals a blow to President Hassan Rouhani's attempts to push back against hardliners within the Iranian
Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri in the States have eased somewhat following days of violence over the death of an unarmed African-American
teenager. Protests were much calmer on Tuesday night, although police did arrest 47 of those protesting.
Well, we are also monitoring new developments in the state and federal inquiries into Michael Brown's death. CNN's George Howell joins me now
from Clayton, Missouri. What is the latest on the investigation, George?
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let's start with a little breaking news first, and then I'll show you the imagery and I'm sure what you hear,
the protest in the background. But we now understand from affiliate KMOV here in St. Louis, television station, that the prosecuting attorney is
targeting mid-October for a grand jury to examine the evidence in this case.
CROWD (chanting): Don't shoot! Don't shoot! Don't Shoot!
HOWELL: Very key, because people want to understand the timeline of what's next, what to expect in this case. We're here in front of the
prosecuting attorney's office, and I want to show you what's happening. You hear the protesters in the background. You've seen the imagery,
Jordan, if we can show it of people with their hands in their air.
And also, here on the ground, people are using chalk, chalk to lay out the message. You've been hearing this phrase, "No justice, no peace."
Maybe you thought that was N-O justice and N-O peace, but no, instead, it is to know justice and to know peace.
CROWD (chanting): Don't shoot! Don't shoot! Don't Shoot!
HOWELL: Let's go back here just a little bit to show you on the ground as well, Becky. You see this at a crime scene. But people have
laid down on the ground to put these body outlines of what they're saying are people who are shot and killed at the hands of police officers.
They're laying out pamphlets, a lot of things are happening here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (chanting): Know justice!
CROWD (chanting): Know peace!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (chanting): Know justice!
CROWD (chanting): Know peace!
HOWELL: People are concerned about a prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, taking this case. They believe that he wouldn't be able to handle it
fairly based on two things: that many of his family members, his uncle, his cousin, his brother, all police officers, even his mother a clerk at a
And then 1964, the second thing, we understand that Mr. McCulloch's father was shot and killed by an African-American suspect. So many people
here question whether Mr. McCulloch could handle a case like this fairly with an African-American victim.
So, you're hearing the chants back here. People are demanding that Mr. McCulloch recuse himself from this case, and they're also calling for
Darren Wilson to basically to be prosecuted, to be arrested.
But here's the thing: we have not heard from Mr. Wilson's side of the story, Becky. Behind the scenes in this building, we understand, here in
the next several weeks, a grand jury will start going through the evidence to understand his side of the case.
ANDERSON: George, thank you for that. The latest from Missouri for your viewers. Reaction go the events in Ferguson has been pretty strong
around the world. On Tuesday, Egypt asked US authorities to show restraint when dealing with demonstrations in Missouri, echoing language used by
Washington when it cautioned Cairo last year.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has also been very vocal, even attempting to link events in Missouri to Washington's support
of Israel. In a tweet, he said "Brutal treatment of black people isn't, indeed, the only anti-human rights act by the US government. Look at the
US's green light to Israel's crimes."
Syria's state news agency, SANA, didn't mince its words. In a news bulletin, it accused police in Ferguson of, quote, "racist and oppressive
practices." And Turkey also took a job. One columnist lashed out at the criticism of how the Gezi Park protests were handled, calling the US a
crook with double standards.
To discuss this further, I'm joined again by Faisal, who is chief columnist at "The National." What do you make of some of the reaction that
we're getting from this side of the world.
FAISAL AL YAFAI, CHIEF COLUMNIST, "THE NATIONAL": Well, first of all, I guess you have to ask yourself what on Earth SANA, the Syrian news
agency, thinks it's doing criticizing the crimes half a world away when it's perpetuating massacres, brutal, destructive massacres in the country
at this moment.
But wider than that, and without getting into the detail of what's happening in Ferguson, there often is a feeling around the world that the
US -- and actually, the UK as well -- lecture other countries. So I think when the US loses the moral high ground, however briefly, the other
countries take the opportunity to throw one back.
ANDERSON: So, to a certain extent, you'd take this fairly lightly, although clearly not the shooting of an unarmed African-American.
Fascinating to hear your views on that.
I want to take you back to a conversation we were having a little earlier on today. We were talking about what you call this cancer in this
-- this malignant cancer, this tumor in this part of the region, that being ISIS, or the Islamic State.
And we heard from Hoshyar Zebari, who is the acting foreign minister for Iraq, on this show just about ten minutes ago, criticizing how little
the GCC is doing, this region is doing, to help out when Western intervention is clearly helping on the ground, certainly in the north of
Iraq. Your response?
AL YAFAI: Well, I think you have to push back ever so slightly against what Mr. Zebari said, at least from the perspective of the GCC.
Bear in mind that, as he pointed out, there still is not a functioning government in Baghdad. It's going to take another month before the new
president decides -- sorry, the new prime minister decides who the cabinet is going to be.
So, I think what the GCC would say is, we're willing to talk, we're willing to help, but get your house in order. Half of that country is
unstable. It is -- I don't think Mr. Zebari is in a position to start saying that they're -- the GCC is not doing enough when there's no
government in Baghdad.
ANDERSON: One of the points that he made here on CNN was that if the GCC don't get their house in order and help out, they are next, so far as
this sort of -- this cancer that is this militant jihadism in this region. Again, your response?
AL YAFAI: Well, militant jihadism is a problem everywhere. And look, the GCC does not take this lightly. The Saudis have had an experience with
mortars being fired by what was then ISIS across into their territory.
So, they don't take it lightly at all. I think what the GCC feels is that at least under Nouri al-Maliki, there wasn't sufficient interaction
between the two. Nouri al-Maliki was a very sectarian leader, and the GCC, which is an overwhelming Sunni grouping, felt that they couldn't do
business with him.
ANDERSON: I want to just read our viewers an extract from your op-ed in today's "National" newspaper about what you think needs to change in the
"Jihadism," you wrote, "has mutated into a battle without borders. The only way to solve it is to make the Middle East whole, to build states
that function and respect the rule of law. To build economies that work for a majority and not merely for elites. To build a foreign policy that
cooperates, not competes, with neighboring countries."
Again, when I think about the grouping, the grouping of six countries that make up what is the GCC, there has been competition, hasn't there,
across foreign policy? There have been governments that haven't worked together, necessarily as closely as they might have done it in the past
recently. Were you alluding to the GCC, there, when you were writing that article?
AL YAFAI: Actually, I wasn't. I was thinking of the greater divisions around the region. But if you just want to take one example from
the GCC, look at the occupation of the three UAE islands by Iran. For three decades, the UAE has been saying to its neighbor across the water,
let's talk, let's fix this, let's find a political solution.
And nothing. It's these kinds of divisions that have exacerbated the cancer of militarism, the cancer of militant jihadism in the region. So --
AL YAFAI: Well, the solution is, as I said in the piece, you have to build states that function. You have to build good foreign policy. We
need to bring Iran back in to the fold of nations. We need them to end their nuclear program. We need Iraq to be whole, and not just be run on
the basis of one sect.
All across the region. We need to end the civil war in Syria. We need to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All of these
things are part of a cohesive whole. The Middle East, to continue to the medical analogy, has to be made whole for this cancer to be ended.
ANDERSON: Faisal, always a pleasure. Thank you. You make a lot of sense. Faisal al Yafai from "The National," a regular guest on this show.
You can head over to cnn.com/international to get the facts about militants in this region, ISIS specifically, who they are and what they hope to
You'll also find this concise explainer of what we expect to see in the next couple of days as the case against the officer who pulled the
trigger in the States heads to grand jury. And tune into CNN every day this week for a special in-depth look at the situation in Ferguson,
Anderson Cooper hosts are special report today, live on the ground, 6:00 PM local London time, 7:00 PM in Berlin, 9:00 here in Abu Dhabi, only
on CNN. Two roiling stories, of course.
Live from Abu Dhabi, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, as they mourn his death, friends and family of slain
journalist James Foley are also celebrating his life and his important work to expose the suffering, not least in Syria. We'll talk to a friend and
colleague, up next.
And when journalists become part of the story they are covering. From Ferguson, Missouri to other hot spots, including Ukraine and Egypt. All
that coming up.
ANDERSON: I want to recap our top story for you, now. A video posted online on Tuesday's show -- on Tuesday shows an ISIS militant beheading
American journalist James Foley. CNN has decided not to show you the full video as it is just too graphic.
And we've just learned the US National Security Council says US intelligence agencies have analyzed the video and have concluded that it is
Earlier, they said, and I quote, "If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist, and we express our
deepest condolences to his family and to his friends.
Well, let's talk to one of those friends, someone who knew and worked with James Foley, his friend, filmmaker Matthew VanDyke. He joins us now
from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania via Skype. And our condolences to you and to James's family today. When was the last time that you spoke to him?
MATTHEW VANDYKE, FRIEND OF JAMES FOLEY: I last saw James in Aleppo, Syria, about two or three weeks before he was kidnapped in another part of
ANDERSON: What do you understand to have been the circumstances of that kidnapping?
VANDYKE: He was in Idlib province, and there's not too much I should probably say publicly, but my Syrian sources told me that Jabhat al-Nusra
was responsible for the kidnapping. Now that he's in the custody of -- or was in the custody of ISIS, it appears that that may have been true, since
members of Jabhat al-Nusra joined ISIS.
ANDERSON: When you reflect on your -- his work and your friendship, what are your thoughts?
VANDYKE: On the one hand, deep sorrow. On the other hand, I try to console myself, and I think others should as well, that James died doing
something that he truly believed in, and something that he was good at, and something that he was willing to risk his life for.
Nobody goes into a conflict zone for any reason other than they truly believe in the work they're doing, and he was having an impact. And it's a
tragedy, but he was doing what he was meant to do and what he loved doing.
ANDERSON: And what he was extremely good at. Just how aware of the risks was he and were you and are others working in a conflict zone like
VANDYKE: James was very aware of the risks. He had been detained by the Gadhafi government during that conflict, and after that, he was more
cautious. But he did return to Libya during that war and continued reporting on the war. And then he went on to Syria.
He was very responsible, very professional. He took very calculated risks, smart risks. He wasn't somebody that was reckless. He was a true
professional. And the scary thing is that if could have happened to James Foley, it can happen to anybody.
ANDERSON: Yes. And there have been threats against, of course, other journalists who are still being held, we believe, by that group. Does it
put you off the work that you have done in the past and that you, I assume, want to continue to do in the future?
VANDYKE: No, it hasn't. I -- one of the things that James and I formed our friendship around is that we both believed in what we were
doing. And that's what drove us, and I won't stop my work, and James wouldn't have stopped his, either, if the situation was reversed.
ANDERSON: So, if you had a message to his former captors today, what would it be, Matthew?
VANDYKE: I -- I don't know if I can say that on television. But they -- what they've done is horrible, it's repulsive. They'll probably burn in
hell for it. And before that happens, there will be justice. Justice will come to them in one form or another. They won't get away with it.
ANDERSON: Stay with me, because I want to just get our viewers a sense of -- of the scale of the enormity of this problem around the world.
The beheading of James Foley seems to be part, of course, of a wider trend around the world. We as journalists have traditionally been impartial
storytellers, but now we are increasingly finding ourselves part of the stories that we're trying to cover.
Extremist groups -- have a look at this -- and governments alike want to limit what's being reported. The Committee to Protect Journalists say
there are approximately 20 journalists currently missing in Syria, for example, where we believe James was.
And it's not limited to Syria or, indeed, Iraq. AP journalist Simone Camilli was killed when an Israeli rocket exploded in Gaza last week.
Reporters covering that story are in constant danger. You can see our own correspondent, Martin Savidge, ducking for cover when an Israeli rocket hit
near his hotel recently.
In Ukraine, a CNN freelancer spent nearly a week in the hands of pro- Russian rebels in July. Three Al Jazeera journalists, you will be well aware, were sentenced to several years of prison in Egypt in June. They're
accused of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood. No evidence has been presented by the prosecution so far.
And even in Ferguson, Missouri, we've seen reporters arrested, hassled, and generally prevented from doing that job. And I wanted you to
stay with me, Matthew. Matthew VanDyke, a friend of James Foley's, who was so brutally murdered, executed by ISIS.
Because when you reflect, as we have done, on James's life, and then you consider the statistics that I've just been alluding to, there, for our
viewers, some people will probably wonder why any of us do this job. So, just remind our viewers again, if you will.
VANDYKE: Well, I'm not a journalist myself, I'm a filmmaker. But I know plenty of journalists, and they go to the same conflict zones as I go
to for the same reasons. It's because we're driven to tell the story of the people on the ground.
We want to show the world what's going on in a place when there's a tragedy, and hopefully make a difference. They convince people to care
around the world so that things like this stop happen.
And somebody has to do it, or else people will never know. There's been conflicts around the world that weren't reported on, such as when
there was a crackdown on an insurrection in Syria in the 1980s and nobody ever heard about it, because there were no press there. So, it's a very
important job, and people risk their lives to do it every day.
ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there. We do very much appreciate your time. I know this must be a very difficult day. Filmmaker
Matthew VanDyke, who was a friend of James Foley's. Thank you, Matthew.
Some news just coming into CNN. The US attorney general, Eric Holder, arrived moments ago in the US state of Missouri. Holder's visit comes, of
course, on the heels of what was a quieter night in the city of Ferguson that still saw scuffles between police and protesters, but not to the scale
that we've seen over the past few days.
Holder's been sent by a president troubled by the shooting and the resulting violence. He is expected to check in on the federal civil rights
investigation into Michael Brown's death on August the 9th. That is when a white police officer shot the unarmed African-American teenager after
stopping him as he walked on a Ferguson street.
Police have said that Brown tried to shove Officer Darren Wilson back into his car and struggled for his gun. Witnesses who have spoken to CNN
and other media say Brown was standing with his hands in the air when he was shot.
So, that news just coming into CNN. And clearly, as we get more on Eric Holder's visit to the US state of Missouri and to Ferguson itself, we
will bring that to you. But the attorney general being sent there by the US president. You see him on the ground, or certainly you see the aircraft
that he has arrived in on the ground there at the airport.
Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, the signs that another volcano in Iceland could cause chaos in
the skies. That after this.
ANDERSON: All right. Iceland evacuating people from the area surrounding the country's largest volcano after warnings of increased
seismic activity. Now, the Bardarbunga volcano lies dormant and last erupted in 1910, we're told. But scientists registered some 2500
earthquakes between Saturday and Monday.
Also on Monday, the aviation alert raised after the strongest earthquake since 1996 was recorded. Authorities are monitoring the
situation to make sure there won't be a repeat of the 2010 travel chaos, you'll remember, when ash from a volcano -- or volcanic eruption, at least,
in Iceland last filled the skies.
I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD with me out of the UAE. Thank you for watching. Your news on CNN, of course, follows this short
break. Stay with us.