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CNN NEWSROOM

Anti-Terror Rallies Draw Historic Crowds in France; New Video Showing Terrorist Made ISIS Pledge

Aired January 11, 2015 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Sciutto in Paris.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Brianna Keilar in New York. Welcome to our coverage of the events in Paris.

SCIUTTO: Tonight, the most famous emblem of France towering brightly over a city that filled today with historic numbers of people united against violence and terror. All across France, more than 3.5 million people rallied and marched and paid tribute for the 17 people who died last week in several violent acts committed by Islamic extremists. Their messages, terror will never win. We are all French. And, of course, the familiar, "Je Suis Charlie," "I am Charlie".

More than 40 world leaders, European, Middle Eastern, and from the Arab world appeared together locking arms today in Paris. The United States was represented by the U.S. ambassador to France, neither the president, the vice president or secretary of state was in Paris today.

KEILAR: That's right. And, certainly, Eric Holder, the attorney general was, although, Jim, it was noteworthy he did not appear to be at the rally. He was there for separate meetings. And you saw there in those pictures that you were talking about the leaders of Germany, Israel, the U.K. were there.

Let's take a look. This is London. Trafalgar Square to be exact, turned blue, white, and red, the colors of the French flag. London's tribute to the Paris victims was timed to happen at the same time as the marches in France. Washington, D.C., today, American flags and French flags flying over a silent march led by France's ambassador to the United States.

Also today, people rallied in Berlin, in Rio, and also in Geneva -- an outpouring that we saw, Jim, all over the world.

SCIUTTPO: No question. The terror group, ISIS, however, using this time of sadness and tribute and defiance to put out a new threat against people in the West. Police officials in New York City say they saw the threat online. It is a directive for ISIS followers to attack policemen, soldiers, and civilians in the U.S., Australia, France, and Canada. ISIS, of course, has made similar threats before. I want to get now to our global affairs analyst, Retired Lieutenant

Colonel James Reese, also terrorism expert Samuel Laurent, he's with me in Paris. And Shadi Hamid, he's a fellow at the Brookings Institution Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Jim Reese, former commander of the Delta Force, I want to ask you, the NYPD and the U.S. government looking at this new online threat, allegedly issued by ISIS, does it look like anything different from their prior threats? Should this be considered a significant step forward?

LT. COL. JAMES REESE (RET), CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Jim, good evening.

No, it shouldn't. And you know, really, this is -- I hate to say it, it's good business by is if you think about it. They're trying to exploit a wave of what has happened here and try to get some, you know, terror, try to get everyone scared and, again, the chatter that's out there, our intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies are just doing the right thing for duty of care to make sure everyone knows that this is out there and we've got to be -- you know, we have to be aware.

SCIUTTO: Well, I want to welcome our panel, Paul Cruickshank. He's CNN terrorism analyst joining us now because he has some new details about the "Charlie Hebdo" attackers, and ties to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Paul, what can you tell us?

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST (via telephone): Hey, Jim.

A U.S. official tells CNN's Barbara Starr the working assumption of the U.S. government is that al Qaeda in Yemen directed the Paris attack. It's also their assumption that at least one of the brothers, Said Kouachi, met with American terrorist cleric Anwar al Awlaki at some point in Yemen. It's believed Said Kouachi trained in 2011 during a trip that summer he made to.

We also understand from a French journalist who's been briefed by French officials that the Americans alerted the French to this in November of 2011 and that subsequently the French put both brothers under surveillance. We also understand that that surveillance stopped in June 2014 because the French did not judge the brothers dangerous anymore, Jim.

SCIUTTO: This is one of the amazing things, we've been talking about this a number of days, that these brothers were under surveillance three years. The surveillance stopped six months before the deadly attacks.

Paul, just to be clear, when U.S. officials believe that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula directed this attack, was that specific directions, in other words, attack this target on this date? Or was it training them and giving them a general direction to attack Jewish or Western targets at some point in the future? Is there a direct operational connection here?

CRUICKSHANK: The working assumption of the U.S. government is that they ordered the brothers to launch some kind of attack at some point. It's only a working assumption at the moment. The United States government does not have absolute proof of this, but it's their lead theory right now, Jim.

SCIUTTO: Well, this is alarming development, certainly. AQAP's principle threat to the west and U.S. interests has been sneaking explosive devices on to airplanes. This would be -- which is certainly threatening enough. But this would be a new M.O.

Samuel Laurent, let's talk about this for a moment in the French context here, direct tie to AQAP, a group with tremendous resources, tremendous desire to attack targets in the West. Now that there's a greater establishment of that connection, how much of a concern is that for France and the possibility of future attacks?

SAMUEL LAURENT, AUTHOR, "AL QAEDA EN FRANCE": Well, to be honest, the important cells from al Qaeda were on the decline for the last couple of years and more focusing on ISIS, and especially because the situation is different than the U.S., we have much more jihadi popping up every day, going to Syria, coming back. So, we're counting them in hundreds and probably in thousands.

So, it was actually more the threat of seeing one or two individuals acting on their own, coming back from Syria, decided to strike randomly. Actually, what we see now with those developments is basically a regain, a coming back in power of al Qaeda. Among the organization al Qaeda, we have to say that, yes, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is definitely the most organized and also the best I would say ideologically considered among all of them, ranging from Sahel to AfPak. They had great ideologues and they're also, unfortunately, very good explosive masters.

So, therefore, yes, this is now something that has to be considered with a lot of attention. And I repeat that nowadays we have the proof that France is not able to deal and to cope with its safety about terrorism, about the terrorism threat.

SCIUTTO: Certainly, there was a missed signal here, particularly taking those potential terrorist suspects off of surveillance.

One issue I've heard from U.S. officials for a number of months now is the concern that al Qaeda is changing to a more dispersed threat. That it's less about core al Qaeda, bin Laden certainly since his killing, and more about, for lack of a better word, al Qaeda franchisees, franchises around the world including AQAP.

I want to ask Paul Cruickshank, because I know we're going to lose you soon -- Paul, how important is that phenomenon? Also, how much more difficult does it make the terror threat to track? You have more smaller groups, but more of them.

CRUICKSHANK: Yes, you know, the terror threat, Jim, is coming from all sorts of different groups, all sorts of different countries. It's coming from Yemen, it's coming from Syria, it's coming from Iraq, it's coming potentially from North Africa, from Libya, from Afghanistan, Pakistan. It's also now coming from lone wolf attackers as well. That ISIS and al Qaeda are trying to launch attacks in the West.

So, this is a very, very complex threat for Western intelligence officials. That the numbers they have to monitor is staggering, you know, 5,000 surveillance in France. They've opened it because of Islamic extremist tendencies.

So, this is a huge challenge for Western intelligence right now. We see this attack in Paris, that a couple of brothers seem to be linked back to AQAP in Yemen, but then this other individual, Coulibaly who launched at attack in the grocery store, his sympathy seemed to be with is. There's a coalition on the ground in France in this case it seems with two sets of individuals with different sympathies, Jim.

SCIUTTO: We want to be careful about not drawing two sharp lines between the groups. There's a lot of overlap.

Jim, I want to ask you this. Intelligence officials have been telling me for some time that one great concern is just the proliferation of failed states, Somalia, Yemen, elsewhere, that make brilliant training grounds, lawless training grounds for terror groups, and we saw one result of that here, the Kouachi brothers, one, perhaps two of them going there to train.

How worrisome a phenomenon is that?

REESE: Well, you know, Jim, we talked about that. One of the things I think we can do in this fight against radicalism is find out where these safe havens are to train and take those away. I mean, that started out with us in Afghanistan. Afghanistan started out as a safe haven for al Qaeda.

And that's something, right now, you can pinpoint five or six locations around the globe that I think if we put intelligence on that, and every time we see these come up, we have to go in and try to take those away.

SCIUTTO: No question. I want to thank Jim Reese, Paul Cruickshank on the phone, Samuel Laurent, once again.

When we come back, Jewish people here in France still living in fear. We're going to discuss that fear right after this break.

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SCIUTTO: Welcome back. I'm Jim Sciutto in Paris.

There were 3.7 million people who turned out today across France to show their unity in the face of terrorism. And joining them were the leaders, the heads of state, of some 50 countries, European, Middle Eastern, African.

Missing, however, and I heard this from many French participants in the rally, French commentators, and others, was the American head of state or vice president or secretary of state. Attorney General Eric Holder is in Paris now for security meetings. He was not at the rally. The most senior American presence was the U.S. ambassador to France.

We're joined now by our panel to discuss this and the importance of this. CNN political commentator Buck Sexton, he's also a former counterterrorism analyst for the CIA. Shadi Hamid, he's fellow at the Brookings Institution Center for Middle East Policy. And joining me in Paris again, Boston College professor of political science, Jonathan Laurence.

Jonathan, perhaps I could begin with you. That was a visible and a noticeable presence. You know this country well. Was that a mistake for the Obama administration?

JONATHAN LAURENT: I think that it takes so much time to prepare a presidential visit that it would be unrealistic to expect the president to turn up after just a few days. He made a point to go to the French embassy in person which is really unprecedented. He wrote a long message in their condolences book.

Secretary of State Kerry gave a long speech. I know the French people appreciate it very much.

While you're right that it would have been nice to have a more visible American presence, I think that there's been no lack of messages of solidarity from us and frankly, we're on the battlefield with them as well. There can be no doubt about America and France standing together in the war.

SCIUTTO: Buck Sexton, can I ask you, your background at the CIA, the security difficulty. Do you think that was a factor, because it was noted, and we all noticed Benjamin Netanyahu was here, someone who certainly faces terror threats when he's abroad. Other, Francois Hollande in a country that has 5,000 known or suspected terrorists and many others.

Is security a reasonable explanation for not sending the president or the vice president?

BUCK SEXTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'm not sure it's reasonable in this instance. It's the only explanation, though, I can think of. So, I guess in that sense, we have to accept it. Maybe security and logistics as was mentioned before.

But given, I think, the gravity of the situation, the fact you have so many other world leaders, as we just saw there, who showed up, and the importance of this event, I think, I think the president quite honestly should have been there. I'm waiting for them to give a justification or some kind of rationale as to why they couldn't have the president or somebody of a senior level show up. I think that's the important distinction here.

OK. The president can't go. The secretary of state can't show up? The vice president can't show up? What would it take to get them there? I mean, this is, I think, an instance where the administration has

dropped the ball and when it comes to foreign relations, particularly foreign relations that deal with our allies, this administration has had problems. And I think this is another instance where that's come up and I think that they'll look back on this and recognize it was a mistake.

There are always security concerns when any senior U.S. official travels, but this is Paris. It's not Kabul. They should have been able to pull this one together given the time and given I think the seriousness of what just happened in France.

SCIUTTO: Shadi Hamid, this is a president who certainly values the opportunity to speak to the Muslim world in particular, and we remember his speech in Cairo shortly after he was inaugurated, other opportunities certainly. How would the Muslim world watch and read that lack of a very senior U.S. presence here? Does that have an impact?

SHADI HAMID, FELLOW, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION'S CENTER FOR MIDDLE EAST POLICY: Well, I don't want to read to future into it. I mean, obviously the optics aren't good, but I assume it will be quickly forgotten. I think it's more of an issue for the French than Muslim majority populations.

But I think the general point here is that it contributes to a widespread perception that this president isn't very interested in the Middle East. I mean, he's forced to deal with it as a kind of nuisance but that's not where he wanted his second-term agenda to be. And there's a sense he's being dragged in very reluctantly.

And that's the bigger problem here is that, is there a broader vision for U.S. policy toward the Middle East? Over the past few years, I think everyone's really been grasping at straws to figure out what is the organizing principle, what is the overarching vision?

And the president wanted the last couple years to be defined by extracting the U.S. from the Middle East, and obviously those plans have been undermined considerably.

But what I think we're still waiting to hear is with the threat of ISIS, with the collapse of the Middle East, state failure, is what is the president going to come up with in terms of creative original ideas for dealing with these fundamental problems?

SCIUTTO: No question.

Brianna, I wonder what the reaction has been back in the U.S. I know that many here in Paris and elsewhere in France noticed that absence. Have there been hard questions raised about this there?

KEILAR: I think some people who were observing this are making this observation for sure. They're wondering why President Obama didn't go. But the reaction coming from the administration is that, look, this

investigation, you have the U.S. cooperating with France even on a minute-by-minute basis on some cases, some elements of this. That's what we've heard from an administration official.

And the president has made many public statements. The president has gone to the French embassy. But I also think even while you may not be hearing -- I guess, like, a blanket of criticism coming from people in France who have participated in this rally, you -- this is happening for President Obama at a time when he is facing criticism over his foreign policy, at times even from within his own party. Some saying that he's having too soft of a touch here, and some feeling that he may have missed an opportunity here.

Remember, this is a president who spent years of his youth living in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world. So, certainly he brings, I think, an understanding and a perception that I think is welcomed by some people. As someone who can talk about this in a way that maybe some other American leaders can't.

SCIUTTO: Shadi Hamid, I wonder if I could ask you one more. On the broader U.S. involvement, as you mentioned earlier, this is a president who's -- well, former first policy objective had been ending the wars in the Middle East. Now, the U.S. very involved in Iraq, the presence growing there.

How much concern is there in the Muslim world that coalition military involvement there sparks a response with terrorism? That that becomes a recruiting tool for some of these groups?

HAMID: Yes, well, I think that our very kind of narrow security focus in places like Yemen hasn't worked out so well. I mean, our counterterrorism policy there has been utter failure. And we've actually seen al Qaeda in Yemen gaining ground in recent months.

And we also have to ask the question, are drone strikes that sometimes kill innocent civilians, is that always the best strategy?

But I think on the other hand, there is -- there does have to be a military component when we're dealing with state failure in Iraq and Syria, and there's actually a criticism that this administration hasn't been as militarily involved in Syria as it probably should have been, over the last two years really. That was one of the warnings in 2012, 2013, that if the U.S. didn't have a more proactive approach to Syria, there was going to be a political vacuum where extremist groups like al Qaeda and is could be able to fill that vacuum and gain more support and currency and we've seen precisely that over the last couple years.

SCIUTTO: No question. And that became a disagreement even within the administration. Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, soon to be possibly presidential candidate, had she said in her book, lobbied for greater involvement at that stage.

Brianna, I know she's a candidate you're going to be covering assuming she's in the race going forward. I wonder if this will be an issue going forward towards 2016.

KEILAR: Yes, certainly. That's actually, you've seen some of the splits, I think, between Hillary Clinton and President Obama and it will certainly be interesting to see, I think, also her response to this, Jim. There are a number of world leaders and also perspective world leaders that we'll be hoping to hear from in the coming days.

Ahead, we'll be talking about the Jewish community in France. There's been a rising tide of anti-Semitism there, and then this attack this past week on a kosher grocery that has left four dead. We will discuss what it means for the Jewish community there in France and also around the world, coming up.

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KEILAR: Well, a record number of French gathered today in a show of unity. The hostage standoff at a kosher Jewish market Friday shone a spotlight on a growing split between French citizens. Anti-Semitism which has been on the rise in Europe is especially felt in France which also has the largest Muslim population in Western Europe.

CNN's Jake Tapper explains.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We now know the names of the four hostages murdered by alleged terrorists Amedy Coulibaly during his attack on a kosher grocery store -- Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham, Francois-Michel Saada.

During the standoff, Coulibaly spoke to a French television journalist and said he went to the kosher market for a specific reason.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He then explains why he targeted the kosher market. He says it's because his target was Jewish people.

TAPPER: That kind of anti-Semitism has France's Jewish community on edge. This weekend, Paris' landmark Grand Synagogue closed its doors for the first time since World War II.

RABBI JONAS JACQUELIN: I was really afraid when I heard about the kosher shop in the east of Paris and I know a lot of people going there. And, of course, all the time when something is happening in the Jewish community, every Jewish person is feeling concerned as if it is a part of himself, a part of his family.

TAPPER: But last night, at least 1,000 people braved the cold and rain to show solidarity with France's Jewish community, gathering outside the market that was the scene of the ugly hostage standoff.

ROGER CUKIERMAN, PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL OF JEWISH INSTITUTIONS IN FRANCE: We're not going to stop going to kosher restaurants or to kosher groceries. We are going to maintain our Jewish lifestyle (ph) and freedom and we are not giving up to violence. Of course, some people may decide to leave France as some have already done, which is understandable.

TAPPER: Roger Cukierman is a leader of the Jewish community here in France and has spoken with some of the hostages who survived.

CUKIERMAN: Well, I've spoken to some of the survivors, yes. Of course, they are traumatized. It's very tense situation they have gone through. But it's even worse for the family of the four men who died.

TAPPER: Anti-Semitism has been on the rise across Europe and is keenly felt here in France. Last year, an unprecedented number of Jews left France and moved to Israel.

Those who remain mourn alongside all of France, trying to come together during this tragedy born from division.

Jake Tapper, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCIUTTO: Here to talk about this cultural divide in France, Shadi Hamid, fellow at Brookings Institution Center for Middle East Policy and an old friend. And joining me in Paris, Boston College professor of political science, Jonathan Laurence. He's also author of "The Emancipation of Europe's Muslim".

Jonathan, the Israeli prime minister, he came to France tonight. He made this comment, "Jewish people are welcome to Israel and you have the right to come to Jerusalem. Those will be welcome with open arms and a warm heart."

I wonder, one, how much French citizens are likely to answer that call, and do you think that's the right response to this kind of terrorism?

LAURENCE: Well, I don't think so because it is a bit of a concession to what the terrorists are seeking which is to cleanse ethnically France of its Jews. One of the reasons why France has such a hard time, I think, recognizing this problem, is because how much it's done historically for Jews. It was the first country to formally emancipate Jews in 1791. In 1870 when France was the governor of Algeria, it emancipated the Jews of Algeria and made them all French citizens.

And then, of course, after the Second World War, France was instrumental in getting Israel its nuclear capabilities.

France feels it has done a lot for the Jewish people and it continues to try and do so, but 7,000 Jews left France this year. Part of that is economic reasons. You know, it's about 1 percent of the French Jewish community. But if you compare that to Argentina during the times of its difficulties, 4 percent of the Argentinian Jewish population moved in those days.

So, we have to weigh the different factors --

SCIUTTO: You say 1 percent has left in the last year.

LAURENCE: Yes, approximately.

SCIUTTO: If you look on the good side, 99 percent have stayed.

LAURENCE: We also don't know how many have returned from previous.

SCIUTTO: OK. Shadi Hamid, there are cultural divisions in France that really span a spectrum. I mean, even in terms of violence, there have been a number of reprisal attacks against Muslims here. Partly in response to these terror attacks.

Tell me about that division as well. The treatment of Muslims here. Is there a feeling of internal exile to some degree among French- Muslims?

SHADI HAMID, FELLOW, BROOKING INSTITUTION'S CENTER FOR MIDDLE EAST POLICY: I mean, well, that's what's so troubling about the reactions that we're seeing to the Paris attacks. I mean, there have been a lot of calls for solidarity with French Muslims, but you've seen a lot of very disgusting rhetoric, quite frankly, from whether it's the far right and other groups who see Muslims as a threat to French identity.

And that's to be expected after a terrorist attack, but we have to keep in mind, that's what the terrorists want. They want life to be more difficult for French-Muslims because that is -- that can push them towards more radicalism. If they feel they don't have a stake as French citizens, that they don't have a place in their own country, that could have a very negative effect. So we have to be very careful to not fall in the trap that the terrorists are trying to put for us.

Whether it's France or in the U.S. or in Britain, they want to create as much of a gap between Muslims and non-Muslims and they want that gap to be insurmountable. They want to feed into this narrative of a clash of civilizations. So we have to be extra careful not to -- not to feed into that. And I worry that we're not doing a very good job of that so far.

SCIUTTO: Well, it's a great point, Shadi Hamid, Jonathan Laurence, great to be on.

And, Brianna, you know, that sense of who is a real Frenchman, who is a real American is not foreign to the U.S. You have and you have political parties in the U.S. as you have here. They profit from that. It's a challenge. It's an eternal cultural divide that really spans the globe today.

KEILAR: Yes. He is dividing people into categories and having them oppose each other.

Jim, we'll get right back to you in Paris in just a moment.

But we are going to be talking ahead about some new information in this investigation over the events in Paris over the last week. And also we'll be talking about women jihadists.

What is it that is alluring, that is so alluring that some women want to join ISIS or sympathize with groups like this?

We have that ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KEILAR: Millions of people jammed the streets of Paris today marching for peace and for unity, coming together to show strength after terrorists unleashed a string of bloody attacks killing 17 people this week. Dozens of world leaders flew to Paris just to attend today's rally. The leaders joined hands. They marched together.

President Obama did remain in Washington. It was the U.S. ambassador to France that represented the United States.

ISIS flags, explosives, automatic weapons. All of them stashed, reports say, in terrorist Amedy Coulibaly's hideout. Now we're learning Coulibaly set up -- set off, I should say, a car bomb before taking hostages at the kosher store.

Our Atika Shubert has the very latest on the Paris terror investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Police have now been able to piece together more of the puzzle of how these attacks were carried out. The main points, first, is a video that was posted online and it was apparently recorded by Amedy Coulibaly himself before he carried out the attacks at this kosher market.

Now, in that video, Coulibaly declares or swears allegiance to ISIS, but it's not clear from the video if ISIS provided any material support or if any other organization actually helped to provide the weapons used in these attacks. But police did on Sunday raid an apartment on the outskirts of Paris. An apartment that was rented briefly by Coulibaly. In that apartment, they found a number of weapons including several AK-47s and explosives.

Now the French prosecutor also has more details. The sequence of events leading up to the attacks. Apparently Coulibaly also shot a jogger, a random jogger, on Thursday. Wounding that jogger quite severely. But that victim managed to survive.

Coulibaly also detonated a car in a Jewish neighborhood. It did not hurt anyone at the time. And because the attack was going on, at the time, police did not connect that detonated car to the ongoing attacks. So all of these puzzles -- puzzle pieces are now starting to fall into place, but still, some big questions remain especially police are trying to understand just how much was coordinated between Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers.

And perhaps most importantly, who else may have helped them especially in supplying these arms and explosives to carry out such deadly attacks.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Paris. (END VIDEOTAPE)

KEILAR: Let's bring in our panel now to talk about the terrorist's girlfriend who's now the focus of a global manhunt. We have former CIA operative Bob Baer joining the panel, Samuel Laurent is in Paris, we have Buck Sexton here in New York. So when we know that Hayat Boumeddiene fled to Istanbul on January 2nd. Her last whereabouts appear to be the Syrian/Turkey border, but that's really all that anyone knows at this point.

The presumption is that she's looking for safe haven and that may be with ISIS or with some other terrorist group. Someone brought up Khorasan. If she does go and get that haven from one of these groups, what kind of role is she going to be serving?

BUCK SEXTON, NATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR, THEBLAZE.COM: Assuming that the reporting on this is accurate which we have to question.

KEILAR: Yes.

SEXTON: Because they initially thought --

KEILAR: Because at first she thought she was in the kosher market.

SEXTON: Exactly.

KEILAR: Yes.

SEXTON: But assuming this is accurate, there's to better safe haven for her purposes than being in what is now the Islamic State in that territory governed by Dash or ISIS. And I think that her value would very clearly be symbolic. It's propaganda value. But that's essential, actually. ISIS has been better at propaganda than any previous terrorist group we've seen, at least in recent years.

And so a successful attack like this from their perspective, and having someone escape from this, particularly having a female who may have had a hand escape in this, would be of high propaganda value I think for the Islamic State. And they'll use her probably in follow- on videos.

(CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: To recruit other women or?

SEXTON: The Islamic State has been recruiting women from the beginning of their offensive.

KEILAR: Yes.

SEXTON: And they definitely want more female support. They also want women to show up to marry the fighters and in some cases they have a tactical value on the battlefield because given Islamic dress codes in some areas it gives them a greater ability, for example, to have suicide vests on. That's a tactic that's been used in Iraq and it's been elsewhere as well so -- KEILAR: Yes. We've seen that places.

SEXTON: There are a number of reasons why she would be useful to the Islamic State. But propaganda is the biggest one.

KEILAR: OK. And, Bob, you have actually interviewed female jihadists who have chosen this extremist lifestyle. Why did -- when you talk to them, why did they tell you they wanted to do this?

ROBERT BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Brianna, their motivations varied. In one case, there was a young girl who had been scarred from a stove that had blown up and she couldn't marry and this was her only way out in that society. Palestinian.

In another case, it was a husband who had caught his wife having an affair and the husband and the boyfriend instructed the woman even though she had two children to go out and blow herself up, and she did.

But at the end of the day, they believe also in martyrdom and if they die fighting a jihad, they'll go directly to heaven.

KEILAR: And Samuel, what we know about Hayat is that she married Coulibaly or was a common-law wife to him for years. They were partners for years here. What happens now that he is dead? Does she remain a widow? Does she remarry?

SAMUEL LAURENT, CNN TERRORISM EXPERT: Does she remarry? Yes. Well, actually, she can remarry, yes. But for the moment, it's a very difficult question knowing that we don't know her whereabouts. We don't know whether she's in ISIS or she's in al Qaeda. We don't even know if she's in Syria. So I think the most important, aside from the personal whereabouts of this woman, is exactly as was mentioned by one of your -- one of your guests.

The fact that she's very high prized for whoever she's going to seek refuge to, would it be al Qaeda? Would it be ISIS? Definitely. And on top of that, it made a lot of sense to send her back into a place like Syria. Exactly like in the Cold War era where you could see basically an agent exiting to -- from hostile territory to a safe haven. We're basically in the -- in the present, in the same situation.

This lady was associated with logistic. She was associated with probably financing, therefore, at that stage, we can assume that the cell, itself, is not dead because obviously there were some people to bring money in. There were a channel to bring weapons in. Those weapons originating from eastern Europe.

(CROSSTALK)

KEILAR: But you say -- you say she's associated with logistics and financing. I wonder, we see the picture of her with the cross bow. Do you think that she would serve a violent role, that she would be a combatant? Or no? LAURENT: No. She wouldn't be -- she probably wouldn't be a

combatant. ISIS is seldomly using the female recruits who are coming to Syria for combat purpose for the moment, at least. Usually those girls are usually either married or even assigned to some fighters that they met over the Internet prior to leaving, or they're working a nursery or those kind of job assigned to women in the ISIS or the Salafi controlled region of Syria and Iraq.

But actually, yes, wherever she is, I would say that she is safe and the information she held about the rest of the cell, because that is, I think, among the most capital point to make here, is that with this lady gone, that means that all the rest of the cells and all the information that could trace back the money, trace back the weapons, and allow French authorities and intelligence to catch back the rest of the people involved, all this information has vanished.

KEILAR: Yes. Unless there are other associates of the Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly. Certainly those are going to be areas that the French authorities are looking into.

Samuel, thanks so much. Buck, thank you so much. And to Bob Baer as well for your expertise.

We're going to be talking next about new video and also audio from one of the attackers in France where he outlines who sent him and why. Why he's carrying out an attack. We'll have those details for you next.

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KEILAR: There's a video circulating online and on jihadist websites. It shows Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman in the kosher supermarket attack, pledging his allegiance to the leader of ISIS. And in the video, Coulibaly warns the West, quote, "You attack ISIS, we attack you. You can't attack and not get back anything in return."

It shows Coulibaly in three scenes. There are weapons behind him including a rifle. There are weapons and an ISIS flag prominently displayed in other portions of the video as well.

And I want to bring in now CNN military analyst, Colonel Rick Francona. He's a former U.S. military attache in Syria.

I want to talk about this video. You've seen it. What do you -- what's your reaction to this, Rick, and really what's the purpose of this video?

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, the video is to show ISIS' reach and his allegiance to it. ISIS is really good at this. They tell their people that you need to not only do the act, but you've got to publicize the act because publicity is a big portion of any terrorist campaign.

But ISIS, as I think Buck said earlier, these guys are masters at propaganda. They do it better than anybody else ever has. So he's out there. He knows he's going to die. He knows this is the end, but he has to make his statement, me has to make it known.

This is very similar to what we see with the Palestinian groups, Hamas, any of the people that are going to launch these suicide operations. They want to make their statement.

KEILAR: Now the audio is something different. This is a -- this is a journalist who called the kosher market at the time of the siege and when Coulibaly meant to hang up the phone, he didn't hang up. He ended up staying on the line and so this journalist was able to tape really everything. Almost everything that Coulibaly was saying and he's talking about his motive in this.

Let's listen to some of that and then talk about it.

And Rick, he appears to be saying that even the people there in that market are combatants. That by paying taxes, some of which goes to the defense of France, they are complicit in attacks on Muslims, is really what he seems to be saying and on ISIS, specifically, I should say. And he's also saying, it seems, this is just the beginning. More -- there will be more attacks, there will be more militants.

FRANCONA: Yes, that's the line. And ISIS has come out and said that this is the first in a series of many attacks. But that exchange with the hostages is very telling. It's almost counterintuitive of what you're supposed to do in one of these situations. Rather than antagonizing the guy that could kill you, they're engaging him in a conversation.

If you're going to engage him in a conversation, you want to try and calm him down. All they're doing is spinning this guy up. And, of course, he's probably mentally unbalanced, anyway. And to -- that's why we probably saw four hostages killed there was because there was no effort to reach him.

KEILAR: No effort to reach him. And also he seemed very bent on doing damage as well.

Rick Francona, thanks so much. Really appreciate your insight here.

There are some new eyewitness accounts from hostages in that kosher grocery. So many people who were able to escape, although four people did die. We will hear what some of those witnesses said.

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SCIUTTO: An outpouring of emotion today as French President Francois Hollande met with the "Charlie Hebdo" survivors. The president embraced one survivor. Rocked back and forth and touched the man's face as they both came to terms with the magnitude of the attack.

We're learning more about the horror inside the kosher market from another survivor. The 33-year-old -- 37-year-old man shared his harrowing story today with the "Liberacion" newspaper here in Paris. He says one of the hostages tried to take gunman Amedy Coulibaly's weapon. He says Coulibaly fired back and killed the man. The survivor says he tried to have a conversation with Coulibaly. At

one point, he says Coulibaly allowed the hostages to move around the market telling the captives it was, quote, "like home." But Russian newspaper, the newspaper that is currently hosting the "Charlie Hebdo" team interviews one of the kosher market's hostages in Paris.

Again, this 37-year-old man went to that market with his girlfriend and suddenly heard a strong detonation. He went downstairs to that room there and we learn more about him -- Brianna.

KEILAR: All right, Jim. Thank you.

And we're also learning more about some of the 17 people who lost their lives in the France terror attacks like Yohan Cohen, a student who had been working at the Hyper Cacher grocery store for two years. His family told Israeli media the terrorists threatened to kill a 3- year-old hostage. Cohen tried to intervene and was killed.

After the incident, his girlfriend took to Facebook saying, "I really cannot comprehend that I lost the love of my life. I can never recover. You were so healthy, pure, perfect. I do not want to come to terms with the fact I have lost you. I do not know how I'm going to continue living without you. I do not know how to stand. How to have the strength to survive without you by my side."

Yohan Cohen was just 22 years old.

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