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CONNECT THE WORLD
U.S. Rethinks Syria Strategy; FIFA Report In 2018, 2022 World Cups Called Whitewashing By Critics; First Images From Philae Reach Earth; Sierra Leone Sees Sharp Rise in Ebola Cases; Children Orphaned By Ebola; Falling Oil Prices Raise Concern for Some; #Influencer2014; "Al-Baghdadi" Audio Message Released; Terror Financing; Common Agenda; DIFC Turns 10
Aired November 13, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEPP BLATTER, FIFA PRESIDENT (through translator): The World Cup is in Qatar. I don't know why it is being questioned. The World Cup is
taking place in Qatar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, the problem for FIFA boss Sepp Blatter is that people are questioning Qatar's right to host football's biggest
tournament. And a new report apparently clearing the Gulf state and Russia of misconduct isn't making those questions go away.
We'll explain all for you.
Plus, ISIS dominates the agenda on Capitol Hill this hour. And U.S. officials spearheading the mission against the militants face another fight
from their critics on congress.
And (inaudible) has landed, but we'll tell you why this historic space mission didn't go without a hitch.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: A very good evening. It is 8:00 here in the UAE. It appears the U.S. may be looking to change its Syria strategy. Senior
diplomats tell CNN President Barack Obama wants a complete review of U.S. policy towards Syria.
Apparently under discussion, the new plan that could include the removal of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Well, not long ago a senior U.S. official said that U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed concern over the overall strategy in a
memo. And now he's on Capitol Hill testifying before an armed services committee with the head of the joint chiefs of staff.
Watching that, our global affairs correspondent Elise Labott joining me from Washington with the very latest..
What did Hagel have to say?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, Defense Secretary Hagel didn't make a very close linkage between getting President Assad out of
Syria and the defeat of ISIS, but he did say that there's not a military strategy in Syria and ultimately what the U.S. hopes to do is train and
equip moderate Syrian rebels, first to fight ISIS and then to fight President Assad forces.
But the problem is, and this is what officials are telling me is listen there has been this Iraq first strategy. The U.S. had hoped to go
after ISIS in Iraq and then, you know, kind of move on to Syria, but the opposition with developments on the ground really doesn't have that kind of
time, because they're fighting a two front battle against Assad's forces and against ISIS and if you wait until you're completely done in Iraq and
then hope by then you can turn and have a fully fighting Syrian rebel force be fighting Assad's forces, they could be, you know, completely destroyed
Elise, we only got the strategy at the back end of September from the U.S. President. He had been promising a Syria strategy for some time, or
an ISIS strategy.
So what we're now what six, seven weeks and already he's looking at something new. Do you think a new congress will present you challenges for
this Obama administration in operations against ISIS?
LABOTT: Well, to be fair the White House is saying there's not a formal review. They are always constantly calibrating the strategy. One
official called it to me a vigorous reassessment.
I think that there is realization that the Syria policy and the strategy in Syrian and the political situation doesn't really fit in with
the overall strategy. And when Secretary Kerry and General John Allen, the coalition envoy, go out and talk to allies they're looking for a more
coherent strategy and certainly on the Hill Republican lawmakers have been looking for a more coherent strategy and how that fits into the overall
strategy to combat ISIS and for the region.
So, I think that they would be looking for the administration to do something like this. And I think it would be welcomed.
ANDERSON: Yep. All eyes from this region on what is going on Capitol Hill this evening.
Elise, thank you.
Qatar's 2022 World Cup has been surrounded by controversy. Today there is even more. A decision by FIFA's ethics committee clearing Qatar
and Russia of corruption surrounding upcoming tournament bids is being challenged by the very person who carried out that investigation.
And in another twist, the FBI is now investigating alleged corruption at FIFA, which could result in charges against senior officials.
Alex Thompson -- sorry, Alex Thomas joining me now from London.
So many twists and turns in this story. I can't even remember your name today, Alex.
Where to begin? A chaotic day in the world of football. And guess what, FIFA is right at the center of that, Alex.
ALEX THOMAS, WORLD SPORT CORRESPONENT: Yeah, and we've had the two bosses of FIFA's two ethics chambers as they're known, the two departments
of the chambers, Michael Garcia investigate and Joachim Eckert judges.
We've seen them basically break out in civil war. And this was supposed to be FIFA's brave new world of transparent, independent
governance. And they wanted to draw a line under all the murky goings on and controversy dogging it since that 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process
when the votes were made back at the end of 2010 four years ago now.
Garcia and Eckert both been in the job since last year when this ethics chamber was set up. But essentially you've got Garcia after a
yearlong investigation delivering more than 400 pages of a report to Eckert. And then he today's published a 42 page summary of that report.
When Garcia wanted his full thing published, but it was up to Eckert to decide that. He decided not to go ahead with that. And instead, as you
say, he's exonerated Russia and Qatar really, the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will go ahead as planned as these things stand, although Garcia has
appealed Eckert's rooting, Becky.
ANDERSON: At this point, well certainly around lunchtime, London time, we thought that that was sort of it. Now, we hear that the FBI is
conducting, or will be conducting investigations into corruption within FIFA.
So where does that take us?
THOMAS: Yeah, the FBI investigation has got a different remit. Part of the problem with the Garcia investigation was that they had such narrow
boundaries, it was only looking at that bidding process leading up to that vote in 2010, whereas the FBI has a broader look at possible corruption
within FIFA. They've got a whistleblower who is Chuck Blazer, the American who used to sit on the FIFA executive committee actually when it was the
executive committee's decision alone to decide a World Cup host. That's now changed, by the way, it's the whole of FIFA's congress, all 200 plus
national football associations. Although still the executive committee that gives them a short list of three, by the way.
But the point about the Eckert report, Becky, is that it's allowed all FIFA's critics to come out of the woodwork again and through bric-a-brac at
the organization. This is world football. It's the biggest sport on the planet. And yet, you know, they're not showing themselves to be as
transparent as they could.
I spoke to Michael Hershman (ph) a bit earlier who had been on FIFA's independent governance committee. And he's called for Sepp Blatter to
stand down. He said he's persona non grata then, because of all the reforms they suggested that weren't taken on board.
Simon Johnson (ph) was head of that England 2018 bid that failed. And he's called the report politically motivated whitewash.
So you can see the sort of reaction that it stirred up.
ANDERSON: Fascinating. Alex, thank you. And do stay with us here on Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson.
Later in the show, we're going to take a closer look at that decision from FIFA's ethics committee.
After the report's author Michael Garcia, as Alex pointed out, criticized FIFA's interpretation of his work, plus an examination of the
issues that still remain with Qatar's bid.
Several things need to be resolved before the tournament there goes ahead if indeed it does. Although, both Sepp Blatter and the report today
say it will.
Well, the Israeli government says it will not cooperate with a UN team trying to investigate Israel's military operation in Gaza earlier this
year. That team has been stuck in Jordan awaiting Israel's permission to enter the territory.
The Israeli foreign ministry says the decision not to cooperate stems from the UN's, quote, obsessive hostility towards Israel.
Operation Protective Edge, as it was known, left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, more than 70 Israelis were also killed, most of them
soldiers, in what the government says was a necessary action because of rocket attacks from Gaza.
Well, separately there are new developments and an incident involving the Israeli Defense Forces. An IDF soldier has been arrested in the fatal
shooting of a West Bank protester, an incident that was caught on camera.
Well, our senior international correspondent Nic Robertson has been looking into what happened. He joins us now from CNN in Jerusalem -- Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Becky.
This arrest is being described to us by human rights organizations here is quite rare. This sort of thing doesn't happen very often. A CNN
producer, Karim Hader (ph) was at this disturbance in May in the middle of May and his video footage and Ivan Watson, our correspondent subsequent
reporting of this, may have contributed some additional information for the investigators. This is what happened.
ROBERTSON: May 15, Palestinian schoolboy Nadim Nowarah is shot and falls to the ground. These images caught on two security cameras at the
scene show him being quickly carried away. He died soon after. The circumstances of his death and another Palestinian youth killed at the same
place that day are still disputed.
CNN producer Karim Hader (ph) shot this video earlier that day, showing Nowarah throwing rocks towards Israeli border police. Then later
at the time of his killing, Hader's (ph) video also appears to show Israeli border policemen firing in the direction of Nowarah at the time he is shot.
As the camera pans around, the crowd can be seeing rushing towards Nowarah's aid, taking him to a nearby ambulance.
A few days later, CNN's Ivan Watson interviewed Nowarah's father. He showed Watson the backpack Nowarah was wearing with a bullet hole in it and
bloodied school books inside. And this, a bullet.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You think this is the bullet that killed your son?
SIAM MOWARAH, VICTIM'S FATHER: Yeah, of course. Yeah, of course. Inside the bag. I found it inside the bag.
WATSON: At the time, Israeli military officials said no live ammunition was used, only rubber-coated bullets and tear gas. They did say
there would be an investigation.
ROBERTSON: Two weeks after his death Nowarah's family agreed to an autopsy organized by an Israeli human rights organization. There were five
pathologists: one Palestinian, two Israeli, one Danish and one American.
They found three bullet fragments in his body. According to a spokesperson for the human rights organization, the bullet fragments and
the bullet were given to Israeli investigators. On Tuesday, an Israeli border guard was arrested in connection with the killing.
No rubber-coated bullets were found inside the boy's body. And the soldier has not been named.
A lawyer representing the arrested soldier told Israel's Channel 2 TV all along there is denial of the shooting, not to mention denial of the
shooting causing death.
The same national TV station also interviewed the soldier's parents, their identity hidden.
The mother is in tears, says she can't believe this is happening, that after all her son has done for the country, he is treated this way like a
knife in the back.
Israeli officials say the investigation, which is being conducted in secrecy to prevent tampering with the investigation, is till under way and
the arrested border policeman has so far not been charged. He's innocent until proven guilty.
Nowarah's father tells CNN Israel has a chance to prove to the world it is not above the law. There can't be two laws for two people.
Withholding judgment, he says, until he sees the outcome.
ROBERTSON: Well, the judge investigating this case still has another five days with this border police officer to decide what to do next. So
this investigation, it's still ongoing, Becky.
ANDERSON: Nic Robertson in Jerusalem. Thank you, Nic.
Still to come tonight on Connect the World this hour here on CNN. Treatment options on the horizon as hopes rise for a possible breakthrough
in the fight against Ebola.
And after a bumpy landing, the space probe Philae sends back some remarkable photographs of its new home. All that coming up.
ANDERSON: This is CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson.
Now, in the past hour we have heard news that the FBI is investigating corruption at football's governing body FIFA. Now this is on the day that
FIFA's own internal investigation cleared Qatar and Russia of those very allegations surrounding their own World Cup bid.
And in another bizarre twists, the man who investigated the bidding process for FIFA's ethics committee into the 2018 and 2022 bids is
appealing the ruling. Michael Garcia says it was erroneous.
Well, whitewash is what my next guest has called the report that was released earlier today by FIFA. Damian Collins is a British lawmaker who
has campaigned for FIFA reform. He joins me now from our London studio.
You are clearly no fan of Sepp Blatter and his committee, Mr. Collins. In 2011, you used parliamentary privilege to make allegations that bribes
help secure Qatar the 2022 tournament. It comes as no surprise, then, you think today's report is flawed.
What's your evidence?
DAMIAN COLLINS, FIFA REGORM CAMPAIGNER: Well, the allegations that I set out three years ago and other very serious allegations of wrongdoing,
of bribery and corruption around the World Cup bidding process remain unanswered. And what I take issue with is FIFA to pretend that this
investigation they've funded and published, which is flawed, has given a definitive answer on these questions when it has done nothing of the sort.
And I note that it -- as you said in your introduction, even Michael Garcia is very unhappy with the way in which the summary of his report has
been published by FIFA.
ANDERSON: News of the past hour that the FBI are moving towards corruption charges against FIFA itself. I know that you suggested the
investigation into the organization be handed over to either the fraud office or the FBI in the past.
You accept that those involved in the England bid may also be exposed if this is widened?
COLLINS: Well, the FBI have been investigating the World Cup bidding process for I think probably over two years now. So we look forward to
seeing what their findings are.
It just underlines the fact that these allegations are a matter of criminality and allegations of bribery and corruption not just a private
matter for football. FIFA sometimes pretend that this is just a sort of family dispute that they can resolve, but it's much more serious than that.
I think with regards to the England bid, the FA obviously dispute what FIFA have said in their report, but these are minor, minor issues really,
you know. We're talking about hospitality for members of the Caribbean football federation and Jack Warner. The FA always pretty open about their
concerns about Jack Warner. And indeed...
ANDERSON: There are allegations of bribes, sir. There are allegations of bribes nevertheless, aren't they?
COLLINS: I don't you can put it in the same league. I think this is a big distraction. We're talking about bribery allegations around the
Qatar and Russia bids worth millions of dollars. And we're talking about entertainment in London worth, you know, at most tens of thousands of
pounds that was the FA say they were pretty open about at the time.
You know, Lord Treasman (ph) the former head of the football association, he made allegations three years ago about Jack Warner, saying
he thought he was soliciting bribes during the bidding process. FIFA were pretty dismissive of those allegations at the time and have the opportunity
to look into that in more detail much sooner.
ANDERSON: When this internal investigation was first announced, I was in Doha. And I spoke to the chairman of FIFA's independent governance
committee, Mark Pieth. He told me he wanted a quick process, but a comprehensive one. And he said if due process was carried out he'd like to
see the 2022 bid procedure carried out all over again. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK PIETH, FIFA INDEPENDENT GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: As a lawyer, you realize that there are huge problems because you first have to
have the evidence and you have to have the case ready run. If you don't do that you are liable and so there is -- there are big issues, big legal
issues behind it.
I personally think, yes, this needs to be rerun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Can you see this being rerun? I mean, Blatter said a couple of days ago Qatar gets the World Cup in 2022 and that is the way it
COLLINS: Well, if the FBI, for example, were to say they have evidence of corrupt payments made to officials linked to how they voted in
the World Cup bidding process that would have to undermine the right to host and would surely lead to a rerun regardless of what Sepp Blatter
I think that is the bottom line that this process FIFA have run has always been limited. They've only been able to talk to football officials.
In the case of the Qatar bid, they highlight the role of two consultants to the bid they concerns about, but they had no power to gather evidence from
In the case of Russia, the Russians have said that they -- that all of the email documents and computer records of their bid have been lost.
They've been destroyed. So they can't investigate that.
What's wrong was FIFA to pretend that this in some way was a definitive rigorous process that would lead to the truth. And it hasn't.
And they're pretending that it has. And that's why I called it a whitewash.
ANDERSON: Damian Collins, we thank you for joining us.
Well, the corruption claims against Qatar are just part of a much bigger story, and one that is controversial. The ongoing dispute about
when to play the matches rumbles on with April and May suggested to avoid high temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius in the summer or more.
Another contentious issue, Qatar's human rights record. An Amnesty International report out on Wednesday said that migrant workers are still
being exploited just months after the government there announced a series of reforms.
But according to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, the controversy surrounding Qatar is all down to racism.
Live from Abu Dhabi in the UAE, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, countries that count on lofty oil prices to
balance their books are biting their nails these days, some that could have diversified their economies haven't. We're going to take a look at what
they could mean.
And amazing closeup images of a comet captured by a small space probe sitting on its surface. The details on that are just ahead.
ANDERSON: Well, it wasn't picture perfect, but it was good enough for the European Space Agency, the group behind the first ever landing of a
spacecraft on a comet.
Have a look at this. These are new images from Philae after the landing craft settled on the comet's surface. Frederik Pleitgen has the
latest from Darmstadt in Germany.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Some truly remarkable images that the Philae lander from the European Space Agency is beaming
back to Earth. For the first time, humans are able to see up close the surface of a comet.
And what we're hearing from the scientists here at the European Space Agency is that they, themselves, are very much surprised at the images they
are getting. The expected the surface of a comet to be very dusty. They even feared that the lander as it was coming in to land might sink in the
dust to a point where it wouldn't be able to send signals back to the Earth.
Instead, what we're seeing on these images is what appears to be a very rocky surface, a very rough surface, one that seems to have some very
sharp edges to it as well. It's unclear, however, what exactly those materials that we're seeing there are made of. Are those really rocks?
Are those potentially ice crystals with some sort of dust inside them? All of these are things that they Philae lander is set to find out.
Now, the landing itself was a little bit problematic. There was a harpoon system that was supposed to deploy when the lander touched the
surface of the comet, it didn't deploy and so therefore the lander bounced off the comet and it bounced in outer space with very little gravity around
it, takes a very long time. So it was in the air. It hovered for about two hours, then came down again. Went up again and was back up for about
seven minutes and then came to a rest.
Now they believe that they have two feet on the ground and one foot in the air. So it's not standing completely on the ground, but it does have
two feet on the ground. And they say for the point in time, that that appears to be enough.
Now, it seems to be fully functional. It's sending signals back to Earth.
One of the problems that they have, though, is they're very close to a cliff and there's very little sunlight that reaches that area. and the
lander is on battery power right now. It can go for about two days, a little bit under two days, and then it needs to recharge the batteries
through the sunlight. And if it can't do that, then this mission could come to an end very quickly.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Darmstadt, Germay.
ANDERSON: The latest world news headlines are just ahead. Plus..
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And 50 percent of our GDP is oil based, which is very dangerous and scary. It's not correct to have diversify very fast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, that Saudi prince isn't the only one fearful of falling oil prices could do to his country's economy. We'll look at the
perils governments face by being too reliant on petrol.
ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. You're watching CNN. The top stories this hour.
New developments on the World Cup bid investigation. US law enforcement officials say that the FBI is moving forward with its
corruption probe of senior leaders at FIFA. As we told you earlier, FIFA said its own investigation cleared Qatar and Russia of alleged corruption
in the 2018 and 2022 bidding processes.
International pressure mounting on Moscow, and a UN official has warned of a return to full-scale fighting. This comes after NATO reported
that Russian tanks, troops, air defense systems, and artillery units are moving into Ukraine. Russia denies it's crossed into disputed territory.
Move violence in the Libyan capital Tripoli this Thursday. Bombs have exploded near the UAE and Egyptian embassies in the city, both of which
have been unmanned for some time on account of unrest between armed factions battling for control. As yet, there are no reports of any
Fresh hope in the fight against Ebola. Clinical trials of experimental treatments will get underway next month in West Africa. The
aid group Doctors Without Borders were conduct the trials at three treatment centers in Guinea and in Liberia.
The rate of new infections seems to be slowing in hard-hit countries. Liberia has opted not to extend its state of emergency, but Sierra Leone is
a different story, I'm afraid. The World Health Organization is reporting a steep rise in new Ebola cases there.
Across West Africa, the death toll now tops 5,000. ITN's Alex Thomson has been covering the devastating impact on Sierra Leone. In his latest
report, he meets several children who have lost their parents to Ebola. And I want to warn you, his report does contain some disturbing images.
ALEX THOMSON, ITN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This area around Lumpa outside Freetown was a notorious Ebola hot spot. Even as we arrived, the
chief is lecturing villagers on no touching, the etiquette of life or death.
UNICEF are here to deliver aid packages to a new phenomenon: the Ebola orphans. It breaks your heart, but the four Kamara brothers had made
signs to help us identify them.
THOMSON (on camera): OK. And Mohamed, how old are you? Fifteen, all right.
THOMSON (voice-over): Right size or not, it is, well, a start. But the boys are plainly stunned by losing Mum and Dad, suddenly, terribly,
from nowhere just two months ago.
"Dad got ill, and Mum cared for him for a while until he died. After that, they quarantined our house, but after a week, Mum died, too. I tell
you, these are really hard times for us right now." How does three-year- old Alhaji comprehend that his mum, Kadiari, will never hold him again?
THOMSON: A short walk away and another four brothers without a mum, without a dad, living with foster parents. Courtesy of UNICEF, some
unpacking for them, too. Sovaris Fofana (ph) is eight, Umara (ph) five, Mohamed four, and little Alucine (ph) is three. They cannot begin to find
the words for what's happened, if words exist.
It's left to the older brother, Osmond (ph), to list who they missed.
OSMOND, LOST PARENTS TO EBOLA: You miss your mama. You miss your daddy. You miss your sister Azem (ph). You miss Unis (ph), one of your
brothers. We are the same family for our family.
THOMSON: And he says, "People shunned us. They wouldn't let us buy anything from anybody. They all said we had Ebola. Then suddenly, Osmond
says he wants to send out a message.
OSMOND: This Ebola is real. It kills.
THOMSON: "Ebola's real, Ebola kills. People must stop shaking hands, they've got to stop body contact."
We needed to move on because news had reached us late last night. We'd filmed Mohamed Kamara on Monday morning feeling sick, he said. No
ambulance had come. We had talked again yesterday. He was iller now, in great pain. Still no hospital bed available, therefore, no ambulance would
Today, when we went to the village, we knew there would be no talking. He had succumbed to Ebola at 5:00 PM, a long, agonizing, public death
because the world still cannot provide the beds for people here.
His wife, they said, has fled, another serious hazard. And all around his body in the dirt, the stains of the bodily fluid through which Ebola is
spread on contact. The lack of beds makes this hazard public. There's no cordon, there's no protection. There are no safety protocols out here.
And for Mohamed Kamara, there was no hope.
ANDERSON: Not long ago, oil economies in this region were riding high on soaring petrol prices that topped $125 a barrel just a few years back.
Today, Brent Crude dipped below the $80 mark for the first time since 2010. As John Defterios shows us, the trend could spell trouble for governments
that need high oil prices to pay their bills.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR (voice-over): From roads to housing, governments in the Gulf have gone on a massive spending spree
over the past few years. In fact, Gulf states are expected to spend more than $86 billion on infrastructure projects this year alone in what many
believe is a bid to stem political discontent.
ED MORSE, GLOBAL COMMODITIES, CITIGROUP: After the so-called Arab Spring, all oil and gas producing countries, whether they're in the Middle
East or whether they're in Europe, have had to provide more and more in the way of delivering goods and services to the citizens of those countries.
And therefore, their fiscal break-even costs, costs of running the government, have gone up.
DEFTERIOS: The Middle East currently spends around $240 billion in energy subsidies. But spending like this is not a problem for the petrol
states of the Middle East.
DEFTERIOS (on camera): Gulf producing countries have amassed savings of over $1 trillion, most of that coming over the last four years alone.
But if crude prices fall below $80 a barrel and hold there, the days of big-time spending may be numbered.
MORSE: These are countries that really can suffer tremendously. They're countries that have not taken advantage of the opportunity to
diversify the economy, and therefore has a disproportionately large amount of government revenue and trade flow revenue in the oil and gas sector.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): In its latest outlook, the IMF has issued a stark warning to the region's oil exporters that now is the time to rejig
the balance sheets and cut energy subsidies. Iran needs a staggering $140 oil price to break even. Saudi Arabia needs a price just over $90 to
balance its budget. Qatar over $77. And the UAE around $70.
With all eyes on prices, economists say the decision by the Gulf oil producers, led by Saudi Arabia, not to cut supplies, is creating divisions
amongst the 12 countries of OPEC, with Gulf producers on one side and Iran, Iraq, and Nigeria on the other.
But if oil remains at $80 a barrel, all OPEC countries stand to lose billions of dollars. So, diversification and reducing the reliance on
crude is fast becoming a necessity, according to Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
PRINCE ALWALEED BIN TALAL, CHAIRMAN, KINGDOM HOLDINGS: As it stands today, 90 percent of our budget -- annual budget is dependent on oil. And
60 percent of our GDP is oil-based, which is very dangerous and scary. It's not correct. We have to diversify very fast.
And hopefully, this is an early warning for the government to really get the ship in order and begin proposing to the king some serious
alternatives for Saudi Arabia and to be less dependent on this commodity, which is oil.
DEFTERIOS: As Saudi Arabia looks to expand its non-oil economy by about 5.5 percent starting this year, it seems that many other oil
producers in the Gulf may also be looking to diversify.
John Defterios, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
ANDERSON: Well, the leader of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, is one of the ten contenders in our campaign to find the most influential person in
the Middle East this year. Here's a quick reminder of why he makes that short list.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Change is afoot in this ultra-conservative kingdom, driven from the very top by the ruler, King Abdullah, who's given
women new opportunities in public life.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are joined in this action by our friends and partners, Saudi Arabia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: To make your selection, visit cnnarabic.com/influencer2014. You're going to find summaries of the candidates there, and you can select
three to take forward for what will be a big debate in our town hall special next month. Also remember to use the hash tag #Influencer2014 if
you are joining the conversation on Twitter. Thousands of you are already onboard.
And for breaking news of one of the other candidates on our list, ISIS leader and self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, an audio message
has been released featuring a man purporting to be him, whose health was in doubt after an attack on an ISIS convoy last Friday.
In it, the voice claims that the militants are still gaining ground and calls on people in Saudi to pick up their swords against King Abdullah,
who we just mentioned, and the rest of the Saudi royal family. More on that message when we get it into CNN.
And to find out more about what we're up to on CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, by using our social media channels,
facebook.com/CNNconnect for all the latest news and program highlights. You can join any conversation there that you wish to. You can tweet me
@BeckyCNN, always read that, @BeckyCNN.
That was CONNECT THE WORLD. From the team here in the UAE, it's a very good evening. Thank you for watching. More from John with a special
focus on funding terrorism in MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. That is next.
DEFTERIOS: Robbery, smuggling, extortion, and even oil revenues. The financial dealings of a terror organization. This week, MARKETPLACE MIDDLE
EAST takes an in-depth look at the tangled web of funding lining the pockets of ISIS and global plans to stop it.
Welcome to this special edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this week from Manama in Bahrain. This tiny Gulf state played host to
representatives from over 30 countries to tackle a very big and pressing issue, and that is the financing of ISIS. From fundraising to oil
production and a lot more, they're facing a very different and difficult foe.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): As airstrikes continue to rain down on ISIS strongholds, 30 countries, representing half the coalition in the fight
against the group, explored better ways to choke off terror financing.
The struggle to date, officials admit, has been keeping pace with the organization's multi-pronged financial strategy.
SHEIKH KHALID BIN AHMED AL KHALIFA: It is a much different challenge than what we've been seeing before in the region. It's not a different
enemy. It's the same enemy that we've seen everywhere, but they have gained more experience.
DEFTERIOS: ISIS quickly built out its base in eastern Syria and western Iraq by initially tapping wealthy regional Sunni sympathizers.
AL KHALIFA: They have managed to get into new areas and new fields of taking control of territories, taking control of oil fields, establishing
rockets, ransoms everywhere.
DEFTERIOS: Intense airstrikes have curbed the group's oil output. US officials say it is less than a third of the level back in June, when it
was earning nearly $3 million a day.
DEFTERIOS (on camera): This is not a new effort. In fact, legislation dates back since the 9/11 attacks. Experts within the round
table suggest it was pressure from the United States and the international organizations to get the Middle Eastern states to push ahead with laws.
Now they suggest there's a gap between what's been put on the books and what's actually being enforced.
DEFTERIOS (voice-over): UN Security Council resolutions have been expanded to force member states to step up international cooperation.
CHADY EL KHOURY, IMF SENIOR COUNSEL: Once you have that political commitments, the (inaudible), and more important is that these
institutions, for lack of capability and for lack of capacity experience, expertise, cannot put forward and use these tools efficiently.
DEFTERIOS: By the region's own measurement, two Middle East countries remain on the black list for non-cooperation: Iran and Algeria. On the
gray list, meaning improvements are still needed: Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Kuwait. Turkey came off the list in October, and Qatar back in 2010.
Washington has not been shy naming countries. The US head of the financial terrorism effort, David Cohen, recently singled out Qatar and
Kuwait for not stepping up international cooperation.
A sense of urgency emerged in the language of this meeting's final declaration, but it leaves many wondering if the effort is too little, too
DEFTERIOS: Bahrain's been wanting to take the lead on the fight against terror financing. And in fact, it is the regional headquarters for
the task force. But it's had its own set of problems over the last few years with dissident protests. I had a chance to tackle both those issues
with the central bank governor, Rasheed Al Maraj.
RASHEED AL MARAJ, GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF BAHRAIN: I haven't seen any kind of evidence about the magnitude of money that is allegedly going
out of this region. There is a lot of talk, but there is no evidence as such.
And Bahrain, and I believe in the rest of the Gulf, there has been very strict rules and regulations when it comes to the transfer of funds
outside of this region.
DEFTERIOS: So, the numbers that people have talked about of $200 million over the last 18 months coming from Gulf families, you don't buy
this number? Is that what you're suggesting?
AL MARAJ: I would dispute this because we have no evidence. People allegedly saying there is money going from this region, but for us in
Bahrain, we have not seen any money going out to any organization outside Bahrain that is not legitimate.
And Bahrain has been on the forefront of introducing laws and measures and regulations in order to ensure that our financial system is clean from
this tainted money.
DEFTERIOS: Any arrests? Anybody take to trial for money laundering, for financial terrorism in Bahrain themselves? Can you actually point and
say we did this?
AL MARAJ: We did recently. We have indicted a company that is involved in money laundering. The company went to trial, and there was a
verdict. And we monitor this continuously.
DEFTERIOS: How do you clean up the charitable organizations that perhaps have the right intention initially, but the money gets funneled
into a terrorist organization in the end. There are some that are still sympathetic to the Sunni cause, as you know.
AL MARAJ: Look, there is a very comprehensive rules and regulation and processes in Bahrain on how to collect and distribute funds locally and
outside Bahrain. So, it is not that things will just flow freely out without any kind of inspection and oversight from --
DEFTERIOS: You're suggesting that the tracing, all the way to the ground, all the way to the very end recipient --
AL MARAJ: We don't -- through the financial organization, there is absolutely no way that any fund -- any illegitimate funds can go out of
DEFTERIOS: Governor, what do you say to the critics that suggest not enough crackdown on those supporting the Sunni cause in Bahrain, but plenty
of crackdown on the dissidents that we've seen over the last three or four years. That's a very constant legal procedure. And less so when it comes
to those supporting the Sunni cause.
AL MARAJ: No, I don't agree to this kind of analogy. We apply the laws universally, with no prejudice against anyone. Anybody who violates
the law of the land will have to face the court.
DEFTERIOS: Does this surprise you now, almost two years into the ISIS campaign, how sophisticated the financial network really is? And it almost
caught the global community flat-footed if you will, off guard, not ready for the oil trading, the extortion, the ability to trade antiquities.
They're funded quite well.
AL MARAJ: It's still early to judge how they have been very successful in their efforts, because as the international community comes
together to fight them militarily and put all the restriction on dealing with them, that will be an effective way. And it's yet to be seen what the
DEFTERIOS: Central banker Rasheed Al Maraj on some of the real challenges facing Bahrain today and the effort to cut off ISIS funding.
Up next on MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, we go to Dubai and the marking of the 10th anniversary of the Dubai International Financial Center. We'll
take a look at some of the ups and downs when we come back.
DEFTERIOS: Welcome back to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this week from Manama. Bahrain for decades was a leader in financial services, tarnished
in part because of the unrest we've seen over the last three years.
But it's had another formidable competitor in Dubai, through the Dubai International Financial Center. That center, too, has had its ups and
downs over the last five years, as Amir Daftari reports.
AMIR DAFTARI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the economic heart of the UAE. A business hub for an entire region. Now,
Dubai's International Financial Center, the DIFC, is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
MAZEN BARBIR, HEAD OF FX TRADING, MENAP STANDARD CHARTERED: Maybe 55 percent of trade that goes throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, passes
DAFTARI: Mazen Barbir is the head of foreign exchange trading at Standard Chartered. He's been working at the DIFC from the get-go and
knows every corner of it.
DAFTARI (on camera): When the global downturn hit, it must have had a huge impact.
BARBIR: Economies go through different stages of transition. They have a growth phase, adjustment/correction, and then, depends on what
happens and how that is tackled, you might have the growth phase continue. That's what we saw in Dubai.
DAFTARI: But for a financial center that's just trying to establish itself, it must have been quite traumatic.
BARBIR: In terms of traumatic, I wouldn't put it that way. Challenging, yes.
DAFTARI (voice-over): In fact, it was very challenging. Property prices plummeted. Leading banks cut staff and tightened their belts. But
the center managed to weather the economic storm, and now, it makes up 12 percent of Dubai's total GDP.
BARBIR: We have upwards of 16,000 people work in this place, and more than 1,000 companies, maybe 1100 companies. And it's not only finance.
It's financial services, retailers, insurance companies. It's just a fantastic growth story in 10 years.
DAFTARI: Parts of that growth can be seen in the retailers and restaurants that have sprouted up within the center.
DAFTARI (on camera): Do places like this offer an opportunity for networking? Do you see it as a positive, or does it detract from the
financial aspect of DIFC?
BARBIR: No, baking can advance as much as it wants to advance. In the end, it's a face-to-face business. You need to be in front of the
client, you need to be in front of the regulators. So, places like this, it creates proximity. With proximity, things move faster, things get done
better, things become much more transparent.
DAFTARI (voice-over): But it isn't just about food and finance. An unexpected outcome of the crisis was the birth of a cultural hub. Hisham
Samawi is the co-founder of Ayyam Gallery here in the center.
DAFTARI (on camera): So, Hisham, was art ever part of this 10-year plan for DIFC?
HISHAM SAMAWI, CO-FOUNDER, AYYAM GALLERY: I think in the beginning, the plan was to have a few galleries with some boutique retail concepts.
But then, when the actual economic downturn happened, all the retailers went out of business. And we saw an opportunity to kind of bring more
And all of a sudden, out of the ashes of the economic downturn, DIFC just became the new hot spot.
DAFTARI (voice-over): At 10 years old, the DIFC has managed to mature out of its infancy, but its future will rest on its ability to learn from
the challenges of the past.
Amir Daftari, CNN, Dubai.
DEFTERIOS: Amir Daftari on the marking of the 10th anniversary of the DIFC. And that's all for this edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, this
week from Manama. I'm John Defterios, thanks for watching. We'll see you next week.