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CONNECT THE WORLD
ISIS Claims Hotel Attack in Libya; The Business of Kidnapping and Ransom; Digital State: Estonia; Bumper Quarter for Apple; Luis Figo Vies for FIFA President; Jordan Willing to Make ISIS Prisoner Swap
Aired January 28, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Well, the deadline is passed, but does the latest ISIS ultimatm still stand? Jordan and Japan now both waiting for
news after a reported prisoner transfer from Amman. We're live in the capital with the very latest developments.
Also ahead, fiery exchanges between Israel and Hezbollah. This hour, we're on the Israeli-Lebanese border for you with a full report.
And talking to terrorists, we explore the murky world of ransom negotiations.
Well, we start this show with two developing stories in the region, violence flaring up in the Israeli-Lebanese border area where at least two
soldiers were killed in a Hezbollah attack. And that terrible wait in Jordan and Japan for news about the fate of two ISIS hostages.
And that's where we begin in Jordan where a deal maybe in the works to try to free one of the hostages held by ISIS. Jordan's state-run
television says the government is ready to hand over a female terrorist if ISIS frees a Jordanian pilot.
A video posted Tuesday claims that the Japanese hostage Kenji Goto and pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh have less than 24 hours to live if Jordan doesn't
release that female prisoner. That deadline has since passed. And as of this hour, we are unsure of the fate of those two hostages.
Well, in the Jordanian capital, al-Kassaseh father joined demonstrators calling for his son's release.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh joins me live from Amman now.
Fact, Jomana, ISIS holds two hostages: a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian pilot. Fact number two, ISIS demands that a female would-be
suicide bomber is freed. What do we know at this point?
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we know, Becky, is very little. We don't really know what is going on behind
the scenes. What we know from the Jordanian government is the little bit they have been saying over the last several hours. This is after a
silence, really, from the government since the capture of Moaz al-Kassasbeh back in December and also over the past week when the demand for the
release of Shajida al-Rishawi, that convicted would-be suicide bomber came out.
Now a few hours ago the Jordanian government in a very brief statement said that it was willing, it made an offer saying that it was willing to
release Sajida al-Kassasbeh (sic) in exchange for Moaz al-Kassasbeh if he is released unharmed.
Now the issue with that, Becky, that was not the ISIS demand. What we know is that demand came more than 24 hours ago when the group said that
they wanted an exchange, a swap to happen with Sajida al-Rishawi released in exchange for the Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. The only thing there
was they really raised the stakes really putting Jordan in a very tough position saying that both Kenji Goto and Moaz al-Kassasbeh will be killed
if Sajida al-Rishawi is not released.
And also in the last couple of hours, Becky, we're seeing tweets from the Jordanian foreign minister saying that Sajida al-Rishawi has not been
released yet and not mentioning Kenji Goto saying that she will be released in exchange for Moaz al-Kassasbeh if he's released unharmed.
ANDERSON: Yeah. Well, let's just get our viewers a sense of what the Jordanian foreign minister has said in a tweet. "We have asked for proof
of life, the well-being and health of the hero Moaz for awhile. And we have received none." That is via his official Twitter account within the
Jomana, just how much pressure is the Jordanian government under at this point?
KARADSHEH: A tremendous amount of pressure, Becky, whether you look at it internationally -- Jordan, a key U.S. ally, a country that has been
fighting terrorism alongside the United States, really does not want to be seen as conceding to the demands of a terrorist organization by going ahead
with this prisoner swap. But it does not seem like they have much option here as we can see from this offer from the Jordan government. They are
under a lot of pressure here inside the country.
The family of Moaz al-Kassasbeh -- he comes from a prominent tribe in Jordan. And of course as you know the tribes in this country are the
backbone of the monarchy. Their support here is very significant. And yesterday as you mentioned members of that tribe, including the father of
Moaz al-Kassasbeh took to the streets of Amman protesting outside the foreign ministry late at night. And, really, a mood of anger. Here is
what the father of Moaz al-Kassasbeh told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAFI AL-KASSASBEH, FATHER OF JORDANIAN PILOT HELD BY ISIS (through translator): I firmly ask whomever has sent Moaz to fight outside the
borders of Jordan on a mission unrelated to us to make strong efforts to bring back Moaz and liberate him starting with his majesty the king and
going down to anyone or any official who has a role to play in this matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARADSHEH: And Becky, while this sentiment is really something we have heard from a lot of Jordanians. Not many in the country -- there's
actually a split in opinion. There are some who do not think that Jordan should have been part of this coalition and some believe that this is how
this country has ended up in this situation right now.
So, really, pressure really increasing here for the government to try and do something. But as we know there has been no public demands made by
ISIS for the release of Kassasbeh. This is a country right now with many on edge waiting to hear what happens to Kassasbeh and a lot of concern
about any sort of backlash if he is executed.
ANDERSON: Jomana is in Amman for you this evening. And we'll be staying with this story throughout the hour.
While the internet is full of claims and counterclaims about what's going on this hour. We will explore what's behind the huge pressure inside
Jordan to release the female prisoner that ISIS is demanding, including pressure from the Jordanian pilot's very own powerful tribe as you saw
And in around 30 minutes time we'll explore what is this murky world of ransom deals struck with terror groups reportedly by western states.
Moving on for you, though, for the time being. And things heating up along the Lebanese-Syrian border and the Golan Heights, the area has seen
various exchanges of fire in recent days between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters.
Now the latest happened just hours ago in what is the disputed Shebaa Farms area.
Now Hezbollah says its forces attacked an Israeli military convoy. The Israeli military says two of its soldiers were killed. Also, UN
peacekeeper from Spain die in one of those exchanges.
Well, CNN's Elise Labott is keeping a close eye on these developments. She's with us now from northern Israel.
What is the latest from there, Elise?
ELISE LABOTT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, it's been quiet for the last few hours after that anti-tank missile hit that Israeli
military convoy today from Hezbollah. The Israelis responded with airstrikes, with artillery fire, into the Shebaa Farms area. Obviously,
everyone here on high alert. Residents told to stay in their homes.
Prime Minister Netanyahu warning Iran, Becky, saying that Iran is responsible for everything that's happened over the last couple of days.
You'll remember yesterday Hezbollah started with that rocket fire into Israel, into the Golan Heights, basically saying that Iran cannot --
making reference to that, nuclear negotiations going on saying Iran cannot have a nuclear umbrella to continue its terrorism against Israel and in the
ANDERSON: Elise, let me read what we've got into CNN in the past few minutes. You may not have seen this.
Israel's ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor releasing a statement urging the UN security council to publicly condemn Hezbollah. He continued and I
quote Israel will not accept any attacks on its territory. And it will exercise its right to self-defense and take all necessary measures to
protect its population.
The warnings were there, Elise, of revenge attacks from both Hezbollah and indeed we see from Iran after the alleged Israeli helicopter attack
last week that killed a Hezbollah -- the start of a high ranking Hezbollah official and an Iranian general.
Are we looking at a war of ahead of what is an Israeli election mid- March?
LABOTT: Well, it's not really a surprise, as you say, Becky. The question is were the last couple of days a tit-for-tat? Hezbollah
responded with those retaliatory attacks as promised and Israel answered those attacks. And the Israelis are saying, listen, we're not going to let
Hezbollah open up a new front on the Golan Heights. It's been quiet there for 40 years. And they're just not going to allow that to happen.
Do they calm down now? Neither side really wants an escalation in this area, particularly if you look at Syria and what's going on there.
Israel very concerned of what's going on across its border. And certainly Hezbollah is very preoccupied helping the Syrian forces of Bashar al-Assad.
And so neither side really has an interest in escalating this. But as you mentioned, that Israeli election is coming up. And Israeli Prime
Minister Netanyahu has always campaigned on a very strong security stance telling Israelis that he is the one that can protect them. And as often
happens around Israeli elections, you know, a couple of these attacks happen very close to the election. That always boosts Prime Minister
Already you've had some criticism from the labor party saying that the Israelis do not really have a strategy towards Syria, towards Hezbollah,
but certainly it doesn't matter that every -- the politics of it, everyone here is on high alert and really hoping that the situation now calms down.
It's been quiet for a few hours. So we'll just have see what happens overnight, Becky.
ANDERSON: Elise is there reporting for you on what is a roiling story.
We are keeping an eye on what is going on in Amman so far as any purported negotiations are concerned for the release of hostages. Clearly
that story also resonating in Japan.
So, stay with us as we get the very latest for you throughout this hour.
Also ahead, an ISIS affiliate in Libya claims a deadly rampage and is effected in other attacks there as well. We'll examine the power vacuum
that's allowing them to flourish.
And some sweet news for Apple stockholders. Their company is the cream of the crop when it comes to corporate profits. More on that later
ANDERSON: This is CNN and Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. It is 13 minutes past 8:00 in the UAE. Welcome back.
We return to our lead story. State television in Jordan reporting that the government has agreed to a prisoner swap with ISIS. Citing the
information minister it says Amman would release failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi from prison to buy freedom for a Jordanian pilot held
captive. And as you will see, the fate of that pilot has rallied a nation.
ANDERSON: This was the moment 26-year-old air force pilot Moaz al- Kassasbeh came to public attention. Captured by ISIS in late-December after his F-16 crashed in northern Syria.
One month later, the Jordanian public in their hundreds plead with authorities to give the militants something that might buy his freedom: the
release of convicted Iraqi terrorist Sajida al-Rishawi now held for nine years by Jordan for terror attacks at hotels that killed at least 57
Among the crowds in Amman, al-Kassasbeh's father.
AL-KASSASBEH (through translator): I firmly ask whomever has sent Moaz to fight outside the borders of Jordan on a mission unrelated to us to
make strong efforts to bring back Moaz and liberate him starting with his majesty the king and going down to anyone or any official who has a role to
play in this matter.
ANDERSON: The plight of al-Kassasbeh is sure to resonate with Jordan's King Abdullah not just as a pillar of the fight after ISIS, but as
a former helicopter pilot himself.
Furthermore, the young captive hails from a high ranking tribe considered especially loyal to the monarchy.
Abdullah's wife, King Rania, posted this picture to her 400,000 Instagram followers shortly after meeting with the pilot's family.
"We are all Moaz."
From the start, Jordan has played a pivotal part in the U.S.-led coalition against the so-called Islamic State. It is not a popular war.
But for a country considered to share many values with its western allies, its arguably an essential one.
Late last year CNN reported from the desert town of Ma'an (ph) 200 kilometers south of the capital, which had been overrun by supporters of
the militant group. Two years ago, Jordan thwarted an al Qaeda plot to carry out one of the Middle East's biggest ever terror attacks. And
memories remain raw of the deadly 2005 bombing involving prisoner and now pawn Sajida al-Rishawi last seen in this 2005 televised confession.
But for those demanding the release of a young pilot captured in the defense of his country, al-Rishawi's freedom is a reasonable price to pay.
ANDERSON: Well, in short it seems Moaz's freedom means more to Jordan than Sajida al-Rishawi's captivity. But if the prisoner swap does go
ahead, and that is an if at this stage, it would set a precedent that won't sit well with some members of the coalition against ISIS. The UK, for
example, is a staunch critic of negotiating with terrorists. And the U.S. also refuses to do so.
Well, I'm joined now by someone who is very familiar with how the country operates. Former deputy prime minister Aymen al-Safadi.
What do you think Jordan's tactics are at this point, Aymen?
AYMEN AL-SAFADI, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF JORDAN: I'm sorry, Becky, I could not hear the question.
ANDERSON: What are Jordan's tactics as far as you understand them at this point at this hour?
AL-SAFADI: Well, basically the priority for Jordan from day number one has been to get the pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh back safely. Accordingly,
it has been keeping very, very tight lips on what sort of negotiations it has been conducting or contacts it has been making. But assurances are
there that it has been trying, knocking on every door, to ensure that he's back.
So the priority is to get him back safely. That would be the number one concern and I think from his majesty down to all other officials,
they've been saying that this is something that they've been working on 24 hours since Moaz was captured during an operation into northern Syria.
ANDERSON: So would you expect that to happen sometime soon, a swap at this point?
AL-SAFADI: Well, it depends on ISIS, really, not on Jordan. I mean, the Jordanian position has been that they would be willing to release
Sajida al-Rishawi in exchange for Moaz coming back safely to Jordan.
In the video yesterday ISIS did not really play fair (ph) with their (inaudible) with Sajida. It would send Moaz back.
Officially, the spokesperson for the government today heard that Jordan would be willing to do that, but I think ultimately it is up to
ISIS, not up to Jordan.
What Jordan is saying is that it will do whatever it takes to Moaz back while maintaining, of course, its interest, its integrity as a state.
ISIS said it wanted Sajida. Jordan is saying if you want Sajida, we'll give you Sajida, but under conditions that we give Moaz al-Kassasbeh back.
ANDERSON: I think I'm right in saying that this would be the first time that a country has officially agreed to a prisoner exchange sort of on
its grounds, as it were. We know that things have happened in the background -- Qatar has negotiated on behalf of others in the past.
It's clear that this is something that would sit not well with the U.S. and the UK, for example. Does that bother Jordan at this point?
AL-SAFADI: Well, I'm not sure about that. I think the priority for Jordan now is to get Moaz al-Kassasbeh back. I think it could count on the
understanding of its allies that it has to do what it has to do again while maintaining its commitment to its overall policy of fighting terrorism.
Jordan has a very, very strong in the global effort to counter terrorism. It's been at the forefront of that long before the ISIS even
game to exist. Jordan has been a staunch ally of the U.S. and of the west and of course of its Arab countries in terms of standing up to terrorism in
the form of al Qaeda or any other from that it has (inaudible).
So I think there will be a degree of understanding, but Jordan has to keep the life of its soldier as a priority. And at the end of the day we
are at war, war is going to (inaudible) casualties. And it's not an ideal situation, so exchange of prisoners that had happened in the past could
I do not really worry about a negative U.S. or any other ally reaction to that. But I think everybody understands that Jordan has the
responsibility towards it, (inaudible) has the responsibility towards its people to do whatever it can to ensure the safety of its fighter.
That said, however, I think you're not going to see any change in terms of Jordan's commitment to the fight against terrorism. Jordan sees
ISIS not just a threat to Iraq or Syria, it sees it as a threat to Jordan. ISIS, the predecessor Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had actually killed hundreds of
-- killed tens of Jordanians in attacks in Amman. so the iISIS threat is real. It's a threat to its interest, to it people, and also to religion.
So to Islam, which is the religion of the majority of Jordanians are.
So these threats are real. And Jordan is committed to protecting interests, protecting its people and protecting -- defense against what
ISIS is doing. And let's remember that ISIS is on the borders of Jordan whether from the north or from the east it is there. It is a real threat.
And Jordan will do whatever it has to do to protect its interests and people.
ANDERSON: I just want our viewers to get a sense of how this sort of fits into a wider picture. So stay with us while I do this, because if a
swap happens, it would be just the latest in what have bene high profile prisoner swaps in recent years.
U.S. army soldier Bowe Bergdahl was released by the Taliban last year after being held since 2009, now was an exchange there, which was through
the Qatar channels, the U.S. releasing five members of the Taliban-linked Haqqani Network from Guantanamo Bay.
In 2011, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released after being held for more than five years by Hamas. More than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners
were released by Israel in that deal. And this also a long history of prisoner exchanges in the world of espionage. In 2010, the U.S. and Russia
conducted the largest exchange of captured spies since the Cold War with 10 Russian and four American agents changing hands.
Back to Aymen al-Safadi, the former Jordanian prime minister.
Sir, you were talking about Jordan's investment in the coalition to fight ISIS. And you say whatever happens that will not change. There will
be no less enthusiasm for this fight against radical Islam. Is that a position supported by Jordanians across the board?
AL-SAFADI: Well, to start with, in this world it's not really a luxury. It's not a choice that Jordan made. I mean, that (inaudible) had
been forced on Jordan everybody else in the region and even beyond.
So in that sense, Jordan's willingness to commit to that war is a duty to its interests , its responsibility and security and safety.
Now, do we have people who are opposed to that? Absolutely. I mean, this is a diverse society. There are people who are with, there are people
who are against. But ultimately we have not seen any sort of overwhelming rejection for the war.
There are a lot of people within Jordan that do understand the need for Jordan to step up in defense of its security and its interests and
actually of Islam as well.
There are those who are opposed.
But I think at this point the country is negotiating, or is working on the release of Kassasdeh. I think everybody is putting that as a priority
now. And whatever differences that are there I think will continue to be there, but they will not be at the forefront of the discussion at this
point. I think the focus right now from everybody is how to get Moaz al- Kassasbeh safely to his family and to his country.
ANDERSON: Aymen, always a pleasure. Thank you.
When we come back we'll take a closer look at the business of kidnappings and ransoms and examine the inner workings of hostage
negotiations. That is in a bout 10 minutes time.
First up, though, African Start-up for you. We're going to introduce you to a woman in Malawi who is hoping to go global with her handbag line.
You're watching CNN.
MARIA TUNDU, SWEET LIFE ACCESSORIES: Hi. I'm Maria Tundu (ph). I'm the founder of Sweet Life Accessories based here in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Welcome to my world.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: In Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, Maria Tundu started a fashion accessories company in her
TUNDU: Sweet Life is a line of handbags. We focus on the handbags and like evening bags. I cater to, you know, trendy young ladies.
All of our bags are made here in the workshop. I'm usually involved in the process from design. I figure out what kind of bag we want it to
look like, and the cutting, sizes and so one and the sewing until the final product is done.
We mainly sell to individuals, but at the same time we also sell to certainly companies who have online chops.
DEFTERIOS: Her love for designing started at a young age while watching her mother sew. It would inspire her line of handbags.
TUNDU: Well, in 2012 as a bag lover myself, i was specific types of bags. I would go into town and try and look for, couldn't find them. So I
was like, you know what I'll do it myself.
So I went into town and said to look for materials with which I could make the bags. And then people would be like, oh, nice bag, where did you
get? Oh, I made it. You know.
And so out of the interest of people wanting the bags, can I get one? I'm like, yeah, sure. And then it sort of grew into that sort of business.
And I said I could sort of make something out of it more than just sewing from my bedroom.
This is my favorite piece from our beaded clutch collection. We work with a local women's group to do the beading and it usually takes up to a
month for them to complete one. And then we finalize everything here in the workshop.
I love working with the women group, because it gives them something to do and it helps them to earn an income as well and to provide us with
DEFTERIOS: Even though Tundu helps the community, she still has to overcome some difficulties of her own as she grows her business.
TUNDU: Definitely finding people to work with who understand about quality and understand about paying attention to details.
And then of course costing: buying materials here and buying -- being able to buy enough materials to produce bags in bulk. When people say, oh,
I need 200 clutch bags.
Finding the time and finding enough people to say, ok fine you three sit down and work on this. You'll do the cutting. You'll do the sewing.
It's that kind of thing.
So that's also some of the challenges.
DEFTERIOS: Tundu has great expectations for Sweet Life in the future.
TUNDU: Well, I would love to have more people working for me. At least two more tailors and a few more ladies who do beading. I would love
to have office see a bigger space, more machines and the ability to send our products outside of Malawi in a more cost effective and better way.
We would love to go global.
ANDERSON: This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, welcome back. You're watching CNN. The top stories for you this hour.
The government of Jordan says it is willing to make a prisoner swap with ISIS to secure the release of this man, a captured Jordanian military
pilot. A short time ago, Jordan's foreign minister tweeted that the government has been asking for proof of life of the pilot for a while but
has not received it. Officials say they will free a convicted would-be suicide bomber in exchange for his release.
Meantime, Japanese hostage Kenji Goto has not been mentioned as part of that potential deal. Goto was shown in a video released online on
Tuesday, claiming that he and the pilot have less than 24 hours to live if Jordan doesn't release a female prisoner. That deadline has since passed,
and we don't yet know the fate of these two hostages.
Hezbollah is claiming responsibility for an attack on an Israeli convoy that killed two Israeli soldiers and injured several other people
near the Golan Heights. The exchanges of fire also killed a UN peacekeeper from Spain.
Apple has just posted the largest quarterly profit in corporate history. It cleared $18 billion, thanks in large part to the 74.5 million
iPhones that it sold. Apple's CEO says that breaks down to 30,000 iPhones sold every hour during the fourth quarter.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack on Libya on a top hotel that killed at least ten people. The militant group also released pictures
of the two gunmen it says carried out the carnage. They were both killed in the attack. Nima Elbagir has more.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fires blazing at what was seen as one of the few remaining safe havens in
Tripoli. Many diplomats and expatriates have packed and left in recent months. Those who remained met here at the Corinthia Hotel. Or at least
An American contractor, a French citizen, and Libyan security guards among the ten civilians dead in this highly-coordinated and executed
attack. An ISIS affiliate has claimed responsibility, publishing pictures of the two now-dead gunmen online.
It's in retaliation, they say, for the 2013 US capture of this man, Abu Anas al-Libi, an alleged al Qaeda bomb maker. Al-Libi died this month
in a US hospital, and they're blaming the Americans for his death.
Elsewhere in the country, the violence continues. In spite of talks this week in Geneva between rival Libyan factions. Key figures, though,
are refusing to attend, casting doubts on the legitimacy, and progress of the agreement. The erstwhile first vice president of Libya's parliament
pleaded with the world to help.
MOHAMMAD SHOAIB, FIRST VICE PRESIDENT, LIBYAN PARLIAMENT: This is my wish for all is that we're ready to exert more pressure on all fanatic
people, whether in the East or the West.
ELBAGIR: This attack a reminder to the international community what's at stake and how far Libya has been allowed to fall.
Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: We are continuing to follow the possible hostage exchange between ISIS and the Jordanian government this hour. ISIS had initially
asked for $200 million to release two Japanese hostages. Kidnapping and ransom big business for ISIS and other terror groups.
Just last year, the militant group demanded more than $100 million for American journalist James Foley. The US and UK have a policy not to pay
ransoms, and Foley was later killed. But other governments are reported to have paid up.
Two Italian aid workers were freed earlier this month in Syria after their captors demanded $12 million. Italy has denied, though, that it paid
Let's bring in Ali Khedery, the chairman and CEO of Dragoman Partners. He's a regular contributor to our program and an advisor to a number of US
officials working here in the Middle East.
The Jordanian government and, indeed, the Japanese government in a very, very difficult position as we speak. Paying ransoms, doing deals,
sets terrible precedent, doesn't it? Very concerning precedent.
And yet, you see a Jordanian government under an awful lot of pressure, not just from the Jordanian people across the board, it seems,
but by the tribe that the pilot who is being held hostage by ISIS comes from.
ALI KHEDERY, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, DRAGOMAN PARTNERS: It's a tremendous amount of pressure for the Jordanian government and other regional allies
to be dealing with. And it's exactly what Daesh and ISIS wants to present our allies with. They want to build popular support against these
governments. They want to build popular unrest, which is indeed what's occurring.
Indeed, you've seen the pilot's parents participating in protests over the last 24 hours, publicly condemning his majesty King Abdullah, an
unprecedented move. And it again presents the situation in a very difficult light.
This, frankly, though, highlights why the White House's current strategy of dealing with ISIS is doomed to failure, because it's not
grounded in a political solution and a national unity government in Baghdad, nor in getting Assad out of the picture in Damascus.
It's grounded in counter-terrorism operations, and that is -- it's a whack-a-mole operation. You're going to continue to kill terrorists, and
thousands more will replace the ones you've eliminated.
ANDERSON: Before we talk about strategy against ISIS going forward, and alluding to what you've just suggested here, I just want to get our
viewers a little bit more information on negotiating with terrorists. There's more than one way, of course. And more often than not, it involves
money rather than exchanges.
According to the US Treasury, ISIS took in at least $20 million in ransoms between January and October and last year. An investigation by
"The New York Times" found that al Qaeda and its affiliates received no less than $125 million in ransom since 2008. That figure corresponds with
US Treasury estimates.
That last figure, we have from, as I say, or certainly corresponds with US Treasury estimates. What ISIS have taken in and potentially what
they could take in going forward could be a lot higher than that big figure.
This is money that holds this organization together, and also other streams of income. The caliphate economy needs funding, and hostages are
useful, aren't they?
KHEDERY: Indeed. In fact, frankly, it's remarkable to me what little institutional knowledge exists in the West, because we've seen exactly this
phenomenon over the past decade since 2003 in Iraq. Both the Sunni militant groups -- namely, al Qaeda in Iraq and some of the neo-Ba'athist
insurgents used extortion and hostage-taking to the tune of tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to finance their operations.
But frankly, so did some of the Shia Islamist militias. There were intra-Shia rivalries and a lot of kidnappings and extortion rackets to fuel
the southern insurgency. And frankly, I think after ISIS is eliminated, you will continue to see those intra-Shia rivalries as the different
Iranian-backed militias vie for power amongst themselves. Then, in fact, that's the next chapter in Iraq.
ANDERSON: Obama's administration is, and I quote, "well-intentioned but paralyzed and playing defense in its fight against Islamic militancy."
Not my words, but the words of the former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who went on to say just this week, "to liken the fight
against Islamic militants is to liken a scenario to the Cold War," and he called for an international chain of command akin to that of the Allies in
World War II. Does that resonate with you?
KHEDERY: Absolutely. Those were the words of General --
ANDERSON: How would it work?
KHEDERY: Those were the words of General Flynn, a retired three-star American army general who was the chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Also yesterday on the -- in the Senate, three four-star generals and an admiral testified the same thing before the Senate and said that the
current strategy for the United States and its allies simply is not working.
You'll recall back in August, I wrote a letter -- an open letter to President Obama pleading with him to revamp his strategy and to name a
regional czar to pull together regional allies and international allies to do exactly what General Flynn suggested yesterday.
ANDERSON: How likely is that?
KHEDERY: Unfortunately, it seems that with this White House, it's extremely unlikely. Rather than listening to regional experts or seasoned
officers like General Flynn, General Mattis, General Keane, and Admiral Fallon yesterday, they are doubling down on what is clearly a failed
They are doing the opposite of what President George W. Bush did after the surge, by firing his national security team, putting in new folks on
the ground and pivoting with a new strategy that fundamentally differs from what did not work.
ANDERSON: Ali, we thank you very much, indeed, for joining us this evening. Ali Khedery there.
So, we brought you the pleas from the families of those hostages who are currently this hour being held by ISIS, "Please do anything to free our
Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst. An opinion piece that he's written shines a bit of light on what is the dark world of
professionals who negotiate between murderous groups and terrified families. It may help you understand just what is going on beyond the
scenes. That is at cnn.com.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, live from Abu Dhabi. It is 8:41 in the UAE. New bragging rights for Apple. It just
posted the biggest quarterly profit any company has ever seen. We'll see how Middle Eastern markets are factoring into its big bottom line. And
boy, is it big. That's up next.
SUSANNA CAPELOUTO, CNN DIGITAL EDITOR (voice-over): Beneath this seemingly quaint and sleepy image lies what might be one of the most
sophisticated electronic societies in the world. For the past 15 years, the Estonian government has transformed this small Baltic state out of
Soviet occupation and into a digital nation run on tablets and smartphones.
Now, in a move that could give global citizenship a new meaning, this country of just over a million people is aiming to add ten million digital
citizens over the next decade.
TAAVI KOTKA, ESTONIAN CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER: If companies want to get more revenue or if countries want to get more revenue, they need more
customers. So, that's the main idea behind this project.
CAPELOUTO: Anyone anywhere can apply for e-residency and settle themselves digitally on virtual Estonian ground. You don't have to be a
citizen of Estonia to start a business, get a foothold in the EU marketplace, and access the country's online infrastructure.
KOTKA: Estonia provides the digital environment. So, basically, you still live where you want to live, like in the US, in Germany, in
Australia, in Japan. But for digital services, for the digital world, for digital life, why not to be in Estonia?
CAPELOUTO: To businesses, the lure is speed, efficiency, security, and mobility. German businessman Simon Cox says that what takes weeks to
do elsewhere can be done in minutes here. He calls it the Silicon Valley of Europe.
SIMON COX, GERMAN BUSINESSMAN: It's more easy for business people to deal with their business, everyday business lives from signing contracts
with your e-residential card, or filing tax returns. So everything is basically more efficient and you can access your business from everywhere
around the world.
CAPELOUTO: The project is in its beta phase, with final launch set for March 2015. Seventeen thousand people from over 140 countries have
preregistered, and so far, a few hundred e-residency cards have been issued.
Estonia is promoting their e-system worldwide and is already helping countries like Finland, Japan, Latvia, and others adapt their secure
digital system or parts of it.
TAAVI ROIVAS, PRIME MINISTER OF ESTONIA: The ultimate goal is not to provide all the citizens of the world with Estonian residency or this e-
residency or this e-card. But if you have other countries creating similar solutions, then we can really communicate with each other and open up the
digital world. That is happening eventually, I'm sure.
CAPELOUTO: Until then, Estonia is open for business.
Susanna Capelouto, CNN, Tallinn, Estonia.
ANDERSON: Could it get any better for Apple? The company made a staggering $18 billion in its last three-month earning period. That is
more than any corporation has ever made in a single quarter. And for Apple, it's a 37 percent increase in profit compared to the same quarter
Let's flesh out the numbers a bit more. CNN's Maggie Lake joins us now from New York. I'm just trying to get my head around the numbers. Can
ANDERSON: Can you help me out?
MAGGIE LAKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It is hard. And you know, Becky, there -- a lot of the people on Wall Street, a lot of
investors, are very jaded. They've seen it all. Mouths were hitting desks last night when this came out, I can tell you.
"Phenomenal, staggering, mind-melting." That's what they were saying, and this is not an easy bunch to get that kind of superlatives from. But
it was extraordinary what this company was able to do.
Here's another way to look at it. They sold 74 million phones. That's 34,000 every hour and 9 every second. And the thing that is
extraordinary about this is they didn't do it by cutting the price, by having specials. These phones are actually more expensive than the other
phones, which means Apple made a lot more money.
And you said it, the biggest corporate profit in history. They are sitting on a mountain of cash, very pleased with themselves today.
Investors very happy. We've seen the stock shoot up.
And what they really liked about this is they're killing it in China. They're really seeing massive sales, finally, in China. That was a market
that they had lagged in. And it is all because of this, the Plus. The larger screen size really appeals to Chinese consumers, it would seem, so
they are willing to shell out and pay much more than the competition for these phones.
They saw a huge increase, sales doubled there in China, and it looks like it continues. So, investors really liking the sound of that. Apple
finally getting into that market that was ever so elusive to them, Becky.
ANDERSON: How's it doing elsewhere? Clearly the Chinese market and the market for the bigger, newer phone is a big one for iPhone. What about
here in the Middle East, where I see large devices everywhere I go, and many of them seem to be Apple. And I know Apple are opening the biggest
Apple Store in the world in Dubai next month. What's the story in this part of the word?
LAKE: Well, this is where it gets interesting. And if I think if there's any Achilles heel -- and by the way, there's almost no bad news in
this earnings report, iPad sales down a little, but they know that the upgrade cycle there is a little bit longer, and some of the bigger phones
stealing market share.
The only weak spot they would have is in this emerging world. You're right, Middle East, Africa, second-largest market in the world for mobile
phones, smartphone growth there is rapidly increasing.
But the demographic is very young. The people who are buying smartphones, a lot of them are under 30, and they are price sensitive. So,
you see a lot of the Chinese vendors that we've seen come on so strong, Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, really getting in there aggressively.
A lot of the smartphones that are sold are under $150, and that's where those carriers, as well as handset makers, as well as local players
as well, have been able to get in and grab market share.
So, Apple is popular. IOS, the operating system, is the second- biggest there. But they don't have the kind of sales that they have elsewhere. They didn't even really break it down or talk about it in their
But -- the big "but" is, Becky, will that change? That's what people said about China, they said people wanted the cheaper phones, they had a
lot of homegrown names that they would buy. And yet, we see them moving to Apple and buying this phone.
So, do they have the ability to pull people away with these new offerings? And think about it, the watch is coming, they have Apple Pay.
Are they going to be able to pull people, even in emerging markets, into the ecosystem.
Some of it may come down to pricing. They just simply may not be able to afford it. But for those as they become more upwardly mobile, can Apple
get them onboard, too? That's going to be the big challenge for the company.
ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating stuff. All right, Maggie, always a pleasure, thank you. Maggie Lake's in New York for you, I'm in Abu Dhabi.
This is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.
Coming up, a FIFA battle brewing, but one that won't be on the football pitch. Up next, a star footballer reveals his plans to make a
play for FIFA's top job. That is a CNN exclusive, and it's next.
ANDERSON: This is CNN, CONNECT THE WORLD, you're with me in Abu Dhabi, it is 52 minutes past 8:00 here. Tonight, World Footballer of the
Year Luis Figo says he has his eye on a new job. That is president of FIFA.
He revealed his plans to challenge current FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, in an exclusive interview with CNN's Alex Thomas.
LUIS FIGO, FORMER REAL MADRID MIDFIELDER: I care about football, so what I'm seeing regarding the image of FIFA, not only now, but in the past
years, I don't like it. Last year was a World Cup year, and I was in Brazil and I saw the reaction of all the fans regarding the image of FIFA.
And I think something has to be changed. Changing leadership, changing governance in transparency and solidarity. So, I think it's the
moment for that.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: To get to the election, you need to be nominated by five national associations, and you need to show
that you've worked in football for two of the last five years. Have you got those criteria?
FIGO: In the past years, I've been working in several roles in Inter Milan, on the Portuguese national team, in UEFA. And I have the five
letters of support from different national teams, so I can say that I'm a real candidate.
THOMAS: Was there one moment that made you think, I have to run?
FIGO: It was the moments after, of course, public that FIFA ordered to investigate by doing some report about what was happening in bed of
Russia and Qatar. After that moment and after that report was not published, I think that was the moment to -- of change, and it was the
moment that I saw that something has to be done, no?
THOMAS: And if you were FIFA president, your first day on the job, what's the number one priority?
FIGO: Well, my first priority is know from the federations what they need. But I think one important thing that I make is increase the
solidarity payments for the federations.
THOMAS: How can you reassure people that you're in this for the right reasons?
FIGO: I had a fantastic career, I'm very proud of so many years playing a high level that I don't need to be known to this kind of campaign
or publicity to be running for the president of FIFA. So --
THOMAS: Are you getting paid?
FIGO: No, I'm not getting paid. I'm lucky that I can pay my travels and support that expense.
THOMAS: You married a Swedish model. You have three lovely daughters. You're World Footballer of the Year, Ballon d'Or winner, won
league titles in Spain with Barcelona and Real Madrid and in Italy with Inter Milan. You've won the Champions League. You reached the final of
Euro 2004. Why put yourself through this?
FIGO: Because I love football. I care about football. For me, it's like, give back to the football whatever so many things that the football
gives to me during my life.
THOMAS: Is Sepp Blatter beatable?
FIGO: Well, I think no one is untouchable in this life, and if you think like that, you're wrong. For me, it's a fantastic challenge to try
to convince the people to follow me and to support me.
ANDERSON: You can interact with the team here at CONNECT THE WORLD. You know that, facebook.com/CNNconnect. You can tweet me @BeckyCNN on any
of the stories that you've been watching on the show, or anything else that you want to interact with us on.
Before we go, just to remind you of our top story, we are waiting for news, I'm afraid, of two ISIS hostages this hour. Jordan says it is
willing to make a prisoner swap with ISIS to secure the release of a captures Jordanian military pilot.
We'll bring you an update on that story at the top of the hour. It's the "International Desk" with Robyn Curnow, and a live report from Amman on
that after this very short break. Do stay with CNN. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you for watching.