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Charlie Hebdo Puts Mohammed on New Cover; Hebdo Staff Speak on New Edition; Al Qaeda Recruiter Linked to 2 Terrorists
Aired January 13, 2015 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: NEWSROOM starts now.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (Through Translator): These are not only the enemies of Israel, they are the enemies of the whole of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: And good morning. I'm Carol Costello. Thank you so much for joining me.
You just heard Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the world needs to unite against the common threat of terrorism, that indeed from Paris to Jerusalem erasing the borders of religion.
Mourners remember the victims of last week's terror attacks. Four French Jews killed in the siege at that kosher grocery store are laid to rest in Israel. While in France a weary nation and its president honor the three police officers killed in that shocking explosion of violence.
The brother of one victim, a Muslim, condemned the killer's warped views of Islam.
Also across France, security ramps up more as al Qaeda loyalists issue a new threat. Terrorists based in North Africa warn of even worse violence.
And defiance and determination. Colleagues set aside their grief at "Charlie Hebdo" and ramped up a blockbuster printing of the magazine.
These are new pictures of the paper's journalists working on the new issue. Three million copies, that's 50 times more copies than normal, and the same taunting irreverence that made it a target in the first place.
CNN will not show you the new cover which depicts the Prophet Mohammed because it is our policy not to show potentially offensive images of the prophet.
Jim Sciutto is with me again this morning. He's at "Charlie Hebdo's" offices in Paris. They remained closed but as I said the magazine lives on. Three million copies will be up for sale tomorrow.
On the magazine's cover the Prophet Mohammed holding up a sign with a now famous slogan "Je Suis Charlie." The cover illustration also includes the words, "Everything is Forgiven."
Jim, I imagine people are waiting in line to buy this magazine.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Carol, you know, we talked a lot about that enormous show of public support on Sunday. The march through Paris and around the country. More than three million people. All those world leaders showing courage and defiance, speaking with one voice, "Je Suis Charlie."
I think today with the publication of this latest edition of the magazine, yet again with more satire on the cover, we're seeing the second powerful chapter in this story here. Typical print run is 60,000 copies. Today three million copies. Fifty times. So on Sunday, you have more than three million people in the street showing that courage and that defiance. Today and tomorrow you're going to have three million copies of this magazine with a similar message there.
And I think this is something that the French hold very dear, not just freedom of expression, but perhaps the ability to offend at times or to protect the rights of their journalists, their comedians, their art, to offend, to not draw hard lines like that. And I think that in this publication and, again, in what is expected here to be tremendous demand to purchase this publication, you're seeing that message delivered very clearly, Carol.
And it's not just defiance, though I will say as we stand once again in front of the memorial here by the "Charlie Hebdo" offices, you see every moment people coming by just to spend a couple of minutes of quiet reflection to show their support for the 12 victims -- the 12 victims here, of course 17 in total, in those attacks last week. It is still a somber mood in this country -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes. And I want to toll our viewers what they're looking at right now. "Charlie Hebdo", the magazine, its employees, the people who head it right now are going to hold a press conference very soon. When they begin speaking of course we'll take it live for you.
But will this be the first time that magazine employees have talked since that tragedy, Jim?
SCIUTTO: The first time as a team that they've spoken. There have others, survivors who have spoken to the media before. In fact, Anderson Cooper interviewed one of them who just through good luck and fortune was not there on the day of the attack, but as a team it will be -- it will be the first time that they addressed this newest edition of the magazine and frankly what their plans are going forward.
COSTELLO: Yes. They're getting assembled right now. They have vowed, though, that the magazine will continue. SCIUTTO: They have, and I think you're seeing that today. Doubling
down in effect on the rights -- well, the freedom of expression but frankly as well the freedom -- the freedom to offend. This is part of the French sense of humor, a satirical, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor that you see in their publications, in their cartoons.
And when you speak with French people this is part of the personality here and it's a valued part of the way they express themselves here. And this magazine has long been a demonstration of that going back decades. And we're seeing that, you know, even in the face of the worst kind of violence, we're seeing that continue today.
COSTELLO: And previous to this tragedy the magazine had been struggling financially. I think it's probably going to experience a rebound at the moment.
SCIUTTO: I think that's a fair assumption. You know, it's interesting. Well, these pressures are not unusual across the media industry as we know. It a bit of an old school magazine. You can almost put it in the category of "MAD" magazine, which was funny but it also took aim at political figures and so on. And of course, with the Internet and a different generation, perhaps less demand for that, but certainly this latest copy is going to have enormous demand, whether that continues is an open question really.
COSTELLO: All right. We're just going to pause for just a second because they're about to begin this press conference. These are magazine employees. And hopefully they'll be talking in English. And if they're not, hopefully we'll have translation. But let's listen.
GERARD BRIARD, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, CHARLIE HEBDO (Through Translator): Thank you for -- thank you coming today. I will not say thank you for this moment because it's already dealt with. I will try to speak to you about this edition, the edition that's just come out with joy because we are happy to have managed it and to have done it. It's been hard.
The cover page, my colleague will talk about it later, was complicated to find because it had to -- it had say something about us and it had to say something about the offense with which we were confronted. So this edition, as I've said, everyone is there, everyone is there, everyone is in it. It will be on sale. With regards to practical problems, it will remain on sale for two weeks in news agents.
There are three million copies for the time being, I hope. It has been translated numerically in three languages, in English, in Spanish and in Arabic. And there are two paper versions translated, one into Italian that will be sold tomorrow with "Il Fatto Quotidiano," and one -- had to be only one newspaper with whom we had to work it is that one.
The following, "Hurriyet" in Turkey because today Turkey is going through a difficult time and secularism is attacked. And in the events that we're going through at the moment, it is secularism that is under attack. So you are asking what -- what is going to happen now. There is a future but we don't know yet what it will resemble. There will be a newspaper. There will be no interruption. That is to
say that in two weeks' time in news agents and kiosks there will be another edition of "Charlie Hebdo." We'll see which one. For the time being we can't say -- tell you anymore because we don't know ourselves. There were two bosses for this newspaper. The first was Charb. The second was Reese who was injured in the shoulder who will be leaving the hospital on Monday and we await him impatiently.
Then I would also like to quite naturally thank all the institutions, all the anonymous parties and personalities who have thanked us, who are Charlie. I hope that it will remain for all institutions because it's important. It is also the institutions that have been attacked. The freedom of the press and a democracy is an institution. We thank the hundreds and hundreds of -- or thousands, I should say, of people who have sent us messages of support, donations, which we're not able to quantify for the time being.
We thank all those who have subscribed, in particular Arnold Schwarzenegger, who on his own represents 10 subscribers. And we also thank Clooney, George Clooney, who -- so that everyone will have his address.
We will now hear from Luz, who will talk to us about this incredible edition. I just wanted to say when he showed us the cartoon we all burst up laughing and we jumped with joy. OK.
RENALD LUZIER, CARTOONIST, CHARLIE HEBDO: The problem -- the problem of the cartoon is if it produces a cartoon he can't really speak very well. We have a complicated work and we have small cartoons to try and explain this complicated world when we are children. And for a very long time we thought that the fact of trying to explain this complicated world when we were children was to protect us from human stupidity. But as a cover page -- no, I'll tell you -- it'll be easier. I'll just tell you what happened. In short, we -- we had a very complicated first day. Second day very complicated but we had to start to ask ourselves questions, you know, how things were going to go. And we had to produce a paper.
And to produce a paper with cartoons and intelligent cartoons, the same for any paper is to try and show emotion, something that makes sense, that really means something for us. And so we had to start, but we didn't know how we were going to start. I didn't know if I -- if it was going to be possible for me to draw, quite honestly.
The first evening I -- I drew a cartoon which is not in "Charlie," which is the drawing of catharsis to get some release and for us to get some release. I said to myself, well, the first cartoon is done, but we need to continue. We need to continue as long as possible, so we continued to produce cartoons with what -- with the people remaining, "Charlie Hebdo", with Catherine (ph) and with Coco and also with Fuls (ph) and with Bess and also the former people, such as Jules (ph) and I think you need me, yes, and that's how we progressed. We went forward very slowly.
COSTELLO: All right. We're going to step away from this news conference. You're listening to the cartoonist. He drew the latest cover of the "Charlie Hebdo", the magazine. And you can hear, it was an agonizing process for him and the rest of the remaining staff to try to come up with an idea that was both emotional and actually meant something.
Let's head back out to Paris. Jim Sciutto is there and also our media correspondent, Brian Stelter.
You could hear the emotion in their voices, Brian, and how difficult this was for them to produce this magazine cover.
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: You're right. And there was a loud round of applause from the journalists at the press conference when these editors and cartoonists entered the room, according to our producer who is there right now. You could hear some of the loud sighs and deep breaths coming from some of the editors as they were speaking. Clearly, still emotional about it.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, tears as well. Two of them were having trouble choking back those tears even as they were waiting to speak there. Really clearly a powerful expression.
The line that stuck with me is freedom of a press in a democracy is an institution.
STELTER: It's an institution. Yes.
SCIUTTO: They look at this as going beyond this edition of the magazine or the future of the magazine but as demonstration of France of freedom of expression, freedom of the press, even in the face of violence.
STELTER: I think many people here feel the same way. You posted a picture last night of this wall, messages from the U.S. and the U.K. and elsewhere, people saying some of the same things we're hearing at the press conference.
SCIUTTO: It's true. No question. I mean, that message really resonates.
It's certainly one, Carol, as we know that Americans value, freedom of the press, freedom of expression. But here you have what is in effect the price of it in today's world in the face of terrorism. People die for freedom of the press.
COSTELLO: Absolutely. There was a certain -- there was a certain --
COSTELLO: Yes, I was going to say that, Brian Stelter, that struck me, too. It's going to be published in three or four languages and one of them is Arabic.
And the way the editor in chief said that, it was sort of an in your face kind of thing, wasn't it? STELTER: In the same way that the cover is. You know, you saw him flipping through the cover of the magazine there. It has an image, a depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, which is a highly controversial thing for the magazine to do. The office was firebombed in 2011 when they were preparing to publish a similar cartoon.
It's an idea, an image so controversial that we hear at CNN and other networks and news organizations are not showing it, because it is highly offensive to some Muslims and there are safety concerns for those organizations that do publish it. Clearly, a show of defiance by this magazine choosing to print that cartoon.
SCIUTTO: No question. You know, we get at this question of terrorism. What is terrorism by definition? It's designed to scare, right?
And if the intention of this attack was to scare not just this magazine but the French people away from something they hold very dear, not just freedom of expression but a part of that freedom of expression which is a freedom to make jokes and sometimes offensive, very aggressive jokes.
STELTER: Sometimes bad jokes, sometimes vile jokes, sometimes pornographic cartoons.
Make no mistake, you know, this is a magazine that was very much alone, you know? It wasn't as if it had millions of supporters rushing out to buy copies. In some ways it was on the fringe and yet you see so many people defending it.
SCIUTTO: To be fair as well, it's a magazine that is taking aim at every religion, every culture, every political leader. There's a lot of groups that would find offensive there. But you hear the defiance from editors even as they choke back tears, and they won't be intimidated.
COSTELLO: Well, the irony, too. I can't imagine the security around that press conference. There had to be massive security there. Also, when the magazines were dropped off at the distribution center, no one knew where that was. Very tight security there as well.
STELTER: That's right. There was actually about an hour outside Paris. And there was heavy security, according to our photojournalist who was there. You know, I think that's something we may see again tomorrow as this reaches newsstands.
CUOMO: It's odd, though, with the security calls, because it's very difficult. You can't shut down the country. I felt as we've been standing here outside this memorial. It's still quite public. I mean, there are police barriers at the end of the street, but it's not like there is a cordon of police checking everybody as they come in.
You know, people around are here living their lives. They're still showing their support here where they can at the memorial. This is not a country, although they are certainly taking security measures to protect the "Charlie Hebdo" staff, this is not a country that is on lockdown in anyway, as a response to this. There's a huge police presence, but it's not on like lockdown, people are living their lives.
COSTELLO: All right. We're going to have to leave there. Thanks so much. You stick around, because I'm going to bring you both back after a break. Got to take one right now. We'll be right back.
COSTELLO: As French authorities look ahead with a focus on preventing new attacks, investigators want to know how the terrorists became cold blooded killers. A common link between two of the three slain terrorists, a mentor who was once known as al Qaeda's top recruiter in Europe.
CNN's Deb Feyerick is chasing down the details. She joins me now with more.
DEB FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And, Carol, this is the man who is connected to gunmen at both Paris attacks, both at "Charlie Hebdo" magazine, but also at the kosher markets. The man is Djamel Beghal. He's an al Qaeda recruiter, the man in the middle with the white jacket, black hat, tan pants.
He was a recruiter who not only recruited young European men, he himself was involved in two plots. The most recent was in 2010, a failed plot to free an imprisoned Paris subway bomber. Another plot more than 10 years ago in 2001 was a plot to bomb the U.S. embassy in Paris.
That U.S. embassy plot goes back to Osama bin Laden days. It was hatched while Beghal was in Afghanistan, two years after al Qaeda's deadly attacks on U.S. embassies in East Africa, and just months before the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Now, two Paris gunmen, Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly, were photographed with Beghal in 2010, when Beghal was under house arrest for the plot to bomb the U.S. embassy. All three men were subsequently implicated that same year, 2010, in that prison break plot to free the Paris subway bomber from prison.
So, this is a man committed to gunmen at both the Paris attacks and this is a man who not only has been in Paris but is linked directly to Afghanistan as well as to Pakistan. He was caught when he told officials in Dubai that he was going to be attacking the U.S. embassy.
So, it's really interesting but it goes back to not only al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is Anwar al-Awlaki, but it goes back to his spiritual mentor, Osama bin Laden. So, you can see the continuum. You can see just how long and how patient these terrorists are when it comes to planning these attacks.
COSTELLO: So, how did he recruit?
FEYERICK: And that's what's so interesting. His key recruiting took place it appears when he was in prison for serving time for the plot to attack the U.S. embassy in Paris. That's when he met Cherif Kouachi. It's also believed that's where he met Amedy Coulibaly.
So, the prison system in Paris really served as almost a hot bed for these men who were in for terrorism charges to become more hard core, to think and to plot and to plan and the interesting thing is when you see the pictures of Beghal. That's Kouachi there, that's Cherif Kouachi there. In the same park you see the three men including Beghal in the center. That's a surveillance photograph. French authorities have 45,000 pages on this one individual.
Now, whether they let him out of prison and put him under house arrest to see who he might attract, it's the exact same year that they had the plan to break this guy out of prison.
COSTELLO: Wow. Interesting stuff.
Deborah Feyerick, thanks so much. I appreciate it.
We're back. That was the first message from U.S. Central Command on Twitter after being hacked by ISIS sympathizers. The military's command center for the Middle East had its social media account suspended when ISIS sympathizers trashed its page. That page said, "I love you, ISIS". It had a message for American soldiers, "We are coming. Watch your back."
The hack is most likely not really the work of ISIS because they actually don't ever refer to themselves by that name, ISIS. The hacked account was reportedly following Phoenix but in the end the White House says this is nothing more than a prank.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can tell you this is something that we're obviously looking into and something we take seriously. However, just a note of caution to folks as they're covering this story, pretty significant difference between what is a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Despite claims otherwise, the Pentagon insists hackers did not get any classified information so let's talk about this.
With me now is CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant homeland security secretary, and Christine Fair, an associate professor of security studies at Georgetown University.
Good morning to you both.
CHRISTINE FAIR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Good morning.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Good morning. COSTELLO: So, Juliette, I'll start with you. Is this more like a
case of someone spraying "jerk" on someone's garage door? Is that what this is or more serious than that?
KAYYEM: Anything involving CentCom and the disruption of their social media is serious, but it is not a breach like the disclosure of where troop movement is.
It was stupid or negligent to let the Twitter feed be exposed or the Twitter account be exposed, but this is not a huge deal given the dynamics that we're in right now. The first 30 minutes of the show in terms of the rising terrorist threat and CentCom has it back under control.
But I wouldn't make too big of a deal of this except it just shows that last Wednesday with the attacks in France sort of unleashed a -- sort of an all clear sign to every person who wants to do anything at this stage. This was clearly -- the Twitter attack was clearly not ISIS. It was probably, you know, a teenager or someone trying to get into CentCom.
But everyone is now activated and that's why you're seeing all of the concern throughout the world. It was sorts of a go sign last Wednesday and that's why everyone is on edge.
COSTELLO: So, Christine, "The Daily Beast" actually pointed out that it's clear that is ISIS not the culprit basically because ISIS doesn't really call itself ISIS, and also because the hacker group follows a group called Andrew Jackson jihad. Seriously?
FAIR: Honestly, I don't know why this Twitter story is actually worthy of CNN's time. I think there are much bigger issues pertaining to ISIS.
I'd like to draw the attention to the fact that, you know, we have a visa waiver program in the United States and this actually allows a number of citizens from mostly European countries to come here without any sort of scrutiny.