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Newly Released Video of Paris Terror Attack; 10,000 Troops to be Deployed Across France; Rubio Talks Obama's Cuba Deal, Immigration.
Aired January 13, 2015 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting from Washington.
We want to show you once again the new video just in from the terrorist attack in Paris. It shows the killers, the two terrorists who unleashed the attack that killed 12 people at the offices of the magazine "Charlie Hebdo." This is the raw, unedited video. Watch this.
BLITZER: All right, there's the raw video.
I want to bring in Hala Gorani. She's in Paris for us.
Hala, you speak French. Obviously, you've lived in France -- Paris for many years. You understood what they were saying. The first people speaking were the two terrorists, Said and Cherif Kouachi. We hear them making some sort of declaration. And then we hear people near the camera that's rolling on this video. Tell us what they're all saying.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL: The people rolling are saying, this is what France has become, something to that effect. I'd have to listen again carefully.
As far as the brothers, one of them raises his finger up in the air and says, "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad, we have avenged the Prophet Muhammad, several times." Then he makes some sort of reference to Yemen there. But unclear. It's from far away. But I think I can say with confidence the first three or four sentences are one of the Kouachi brothers masked there, full body armor, all dressed in black saying, "We've avenged the Prophet Muhammad."
What's striking to me is how calm and collected they are. They've just killed, murdered 11 people at the "Charlie Hebdo" offices. They get back in their car, come out, rearrange their weapons, reload. Driving down a side street they come face to face with a police car. We hear single shots coming presumably from the pistols of the police officers and then we hear a burst of automatic gunfire, presumably coming from the Kouachi brothers.
As far as the time line is concerned, as all this develops, the police officer who was then shot execution-style, murdered on the street, that happened later because that happened on the bigger boulevard. They only reached that point after having been confronted with the police vehicle you see in this new video. It gives us a clearer picture of their demeanor, of their behavior, of how calm they were. Frankly, it's very chilling, after the murder of 11 people at "Charlie Hebdo."
BLITZER: And they were not deterred at all by that police car. If anyone was deterred, it was the driver of the police vehicle who went in reverse, just started to back up because clearly that police officer was outgunned by these two terrorists.
GORANI: Yeah, absolutely. And we saw video of the windshield of that police car in the immediate aftermath of the attack on January 7th, last Wednesday. It was absolutely riddled with high-caliber bullets, and one can presume the police officers did not have the kind of weaponry they felt they needed to confront these guys. Now, the Ahmed Merabet, the police officer that was killed by the Kouachi brothers, he shot at the car they were riding in. And they took the time to get out of the car, calmly walk up to him. There was an exchange of words there, and pointed their high-powered rifle at his head and killed him then.
BLITZER: Brutally indeed.
Hala, we'll get back to you.
We have a panel of experts going through frame by frame by frame of this new video. Stay with us. More on the breaking news right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: This is the new video that has just come in. You hear these two terrorists, Said Kouachi, Cherif Kouachi, 34 and 32-year-olds, respectively, declaring, and I'll translate, "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad, we have avenged the Prophet Muhammad, we have avenged the Prophet Muhammad." Then there's something indistinct, we can't determine what exactly they're saying. But it concludes with the words, chilling words, "al Qaeda Yemen." We're watching this video.
Let's bring in our experts once again. Joining us, our global affairs analysts, retired Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Reese; our terrorism analyst, Paul Cruickshank; and our intelligence and security analyst, the former CIA operative, Bob Baer.
When he raises his hand, that was a deliberate signal in your mind, right, Paul? PAUL CRUICKSHANK: CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: I think that's clearly a
deliberate signal. We've seen that a lot from ISIS fighters in video. This is now a signal which is very popular amongst jihadists all around the world. It's their version of the victory signal, we're going to be number one, but also the oneness of God, and also that there's just one legitimate ideology, it's ours and every other world view needs to be fought -- Wolf?
BLITZER: What's your analysis, Bob Baer, of how powerful this video will be? You know that the terrorists are going to use it for propaganda purposes.
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, exactly, Wolf. They are making this attack in central Paris a military-style attack, they were almost doomed right from the beginning to be caught and shot down by the police. So the whole idea of martyrdom is going to be a big boon for this movement. The fact that the target was so precise and their ability to use weapons -- remember, in the past, Paris has been hit by terrorism over the years. In the '80s, Hezbollah hit them with common explosions, methyl nitrate. But this is much more of an aggressive, organized, deliberate attack, which has so badly shaken France who is used to terrorism, but nothing like this.
BLITZER: Colonel Reese, these two terrorists, Said and Cherif Kouachi, they don't look like they're just random inspired guys. They looked pretty sophisticated, pretty well-trained.
LT. COL. JAMES REESE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yeah, they do. They've got very good weapons skills, like I said before. One of them definitely has more training than the other. But they're very calm. They've got good weapons skills. They know how to aim and shoot and hit what they're aiming at. For me, what it shows, ISIS or AQAP or whoever claims this, it will show two Islamic jihadists are taking on the mighty French. In this part of the video, they won.
BLITZER: Yeah, the French are retreating, these guys moving full speed ahead.
Paul, the new issue of the magazine "Charlie Hebdo" hits the newsstands tomorrow a week after 12 of their people were brutally murdered. Give us your analyst, three million copied distributed, not the usual 60,000 or 40,000. Three million are going to be distributed. Give us your analysis of what's going on here.
CRUICKSHANK: From a security point of view, clearly the jihadis are going to react by making the argument that this is a provocation, that there need to be more attacks. So they'll use this to try to recruit people to launch more attacks in the future from that point of view. This is a grave insult against their prophet. There's a lot of anger in the Muslim world. For some time, they've been calculated that by launching attacks, they can tap into that anger and get more funding, more recruitment. So in a way, going after these cartoonists is quite opportunistic from these jihadi groups.
But if it is, indeed, al Qaeda in Yemen behind this, and these brothers are shouting that at a very critical moment that it's al Qaeda in Yemen, I think al Qaeda in Yemen's stature is going to grow further in the global jihadist community. That's very worrying because this group has one key priority and that's launching attacks against the United States. We've seen it try and attack U.S. aviation in the past. And I think the fear is they'll try to do that again in the future. They're building more and more sophisticated bomb devices to try and get on aircraft -- Wolf?
BLITZER: This new video, we hear them saying several times, "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad," and then they say at the end, something about al Qaeda in Yemen.
All of you, stand by.
Much more on the breaking news right after this.
BLITZER: Back with us, our CNN global affairs analyst, retired Lieutenant Colonel James Reese; and our intelligence and security analyst, the former CIA operative, Bob Baer.
Colonel Reese, France is deploying about 10,000 troops as a security measure, a lot of them going to various Jewish schools, other institutions, sensitive sites to protect them. This could be an effective deterrent. But at some point, these troops are probably going to be pulled back, right?
REESE: Absolutely, Wolf. They have to do this right now. The populace needs to see this to understand the French government is there to protect them. But sooner or later, some will make another threat assessment and started to stand down those troops.
BLITZER: What happens then?
REESE: Then we're back to, what is the new normal? They'll be looking at an assessment to see where they might need to plus-up some security, where they need to adjust some things. But it will not be the normal that was from last week. There will be a new normal. You'll probably see more -- the French people will see more security services on the street whether they like it or not.
BLITZER: French police, Bob, have been warned that sleeper cells have been activated in France. How real do you assess that threat is?
BAER: I think it's probably real, the fact that they arrested this Frenchman in Bulgaria. They clearly suspect he was part of a larger cell. Hayat Boumeddiene was clearly part of that cell. But how big is it? Right now, as they usually do, they're going through the metadata and may be able to identify once the crime was committed how big this cell was. But if there are cells they're probably separate from each other, they don't communicate, they're isolated.
The French, this has been a huge shock for them. I don't think in the -- they didn't know this was coming their way. The French don't like putting troops in Paris at all. Where do they go next? A second attack would have absolute disastrous consequences on the French body politic.
BLITZER: And it's easy to go from France to Turkey or Bulgaria and then wind up, let's say, in Syria or Iraq. It's not that complicated, is it?
REESE: No, it's not. You can drive, you can fly, you can catch the rail. It's -- that's the beauty of Europe. But at the same time, when you start getting close to places like Syria that are literally -- we'd call those safe havens, that's where I believe we need to tighten and close the borders to not allow people in and out.
BLITZER: James Reese, Bob Baer, guys, thanks very much. Don't go too far away.
Up next, a U.S. Senator, a son of Cuban immigrants, Marco Rubio, tells me what he thinks about President Obama's Cuba deal. My 101 sit-down with the Republican from Florida is next.
BLITZER: Welcome back. He's a potential presidential candidate for 2016, but Senator Marco Rubio's stance on immigration could be a potential sticking point among some conservatives and Republicans. In 2013, he sponsored, co-sponsored the failed Senate bill. But as he told me in an interview, he now sees a different way forward.
BLITZER: Let's talk about immigration. A sensitive issue. Do you regret having supported comprehensive immigration reform?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R), FLORIDA: No. I don't. I don't, because, first, I think immigration needs to be dealt with. And second of all, because we learned a tremendous amount. Primarily, we learned that you're in the going to reform immigration law in America with everything all in one big bill. I think that's true for multiple topics. That's especially true when it comes to immigration.
Let me give you an example. When we put our bill forward, it was based on ideas that I had heard from people on both sides of the aisle, including the conservative movement, many of whom understand that eventually we're going to have to realistically deal with the fact we have 10 to 12 million people who have lived in this country for a decade or longer, who are illegally here, and are going to be here for the rest of their lives. And they're open to dealing with that in a responsible way. But only if they believe that illegal immigration is under control. And the fundamental argument that was made against the bill was that they'll go ahead and do the legalization, but they'll never do the enforcement. We tried to do it all in one big bill. I advocated for it. The support isn't there, and there's less support for that approach today than there was even two years ago when we did it.
So what I want to do is get a result, and I believe, gone through the experience I went through, which I never would have learned about this had I not tried it, I believe the only way we're going to ultimately deal with immigration in this country is through a sequence of bills that build upon one another. Step one is put in place ways to enforce our immigration laws. Step two is modernize our legal immigration system towards a merit-based system. Step three is to realistically and reasonably deal with those who are here illegal.
BLITZER: With a pathway to citizenship at the end of the day?
RUBIO: I think it should. Now, some people disagree. But I --
BLITZER: They call it amnesty.
RUBIO: Well, you know, amnesty is a term that should be used to describe the forgiveness of something. I believe there are consequences for having violated our immigration laws. I mean, like there were in the Senate bill, like I outline in the book. You have to be on a non-immigrant status for a decade or longer. Thereafter, the only thing you have the right to do is apply for a green card like anybody else would apply. Once you have a green card, under existing law, in three to five years, depending on whether you got it through marriage or work, you would be able to apply for citizenship. Now, I don't think it's wise to have 12 million people who are forever in this country who feel American but are permanently barred from becoming citizens. Other people think that should be the price of having violated our laws in the first place. We can debate that. But we have to deal with that issue realistically, and we can't until illegal immigration is under control first.
BLITZER: You don't like what the president did with his executive order?
RUBIO: I don't, because, number one, I think it's unconstitutional. If the president tomorrow decided to cut corporate taxes in half, you know, or cut them to 15 percent by executive order, I would support the idea, but I would not support how he did it. I don't think he has the authority to do that. The same is true with this. I think what he did, he doesn't have the authority to do. I think it undermines our ability to achieve the sequential process I've outlined. I think it makes people even more reluctant to cooperate. Because now --
BLITZER: Because you know the Department of Homeland Security runs out of money by the end of February --
MARCO: Right. Sure.
BLITZER: -- because of this specific issue, what the president has done. That would be a disaster if --
RUBIO: Well, I would --
BLITZER: -- the Department of Homeland Security has no money.
RUBIO: I would be in favor of doing anything possible to stop that program from going into effect
BLITZER: Which program?
RUBIO: -- short of --
BLITZER: The executive order?
RUBIO: The executive order. Short of something that would be traumatic for the country or something that would put the nation in danger. So I think we should explore every option available to us to prevent the executive action from moving forward.
BLITZER: But fund the Department of Homeland Security?
RUBIO: But I would support everything short of doing anything disastrous for the country or that would place us at a national security risk. Those are the things that have to be weighed.
BLITZER: So I want to be precise, it's a bad idea to link the president's executive order with the funding of the Department of Homeland Security?
RUBIO: It's not that it's a bad idea. I could support that. But ultimately, if there's going to be a veto threat, as I'm sure there will be, and the consequence of that is we can't secure our nation, that would be a problem for a lot of people, and for me included. Now, if there's a way to do it that overcomes that obstacle, I would be all for it.
BLITZER: Senator Rubio, by the way, has a new book out today entitled "American Dreams." There you see the book jacket.
You can see more of the interview coming up later today on CNN's "The Situation Room." We'll talk about the global terror threat and a whole lot more.
Plus, tomorrow, here at this time, we'll have more of the interview. He has some strong words about President Obama's efforts to try to normalize relations with Cuba. He's not happy about that.
The faces are the same, but some of the titles are different. Just a little while ago, President Obama met with Republican and Democratic lawmakers. It's the first time he sat down with Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, in his new post as the Senate majority leader, and Democratic Senator Harry Reid, who was demoted to minority leader after the midterm elections. While both sides are at odds over issues like immigration, the Keystone Pipeline, among so many others, the president did say there was one thing they could all agree on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've got a State of the Union next week. One of the things we're going to be talking about is cyber security. With the Sony attacks that took place, with the Twitter account that was hacked by Islamist jihadist sympathizers yesterday, it goes to show how much more work we need to do both public and private sector to strength our cyber security, to make sure that family's bank accounts are safe, to make sure our public infrastructure is safe. I've talked to the speaker as well as Mitch McConnell about this. I think this is an area where we can work hard together, get some legislation done, and make sure that we are much more effective at protecting the American people from these kinds of cyber attacks.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. Let's see how that works out.
That's it for me. I'll be back 5:00 p.m. eastern in "The Situation Room."
For our international viewers, "Amanpour" is coming up after a quick break.
For our viewers in North America, "Newsroom" with Brooke Baldwin will start right after this quick break.