Return to Transcripts main page


Britain Marks 10th Anniversary of Deadly Bombings; Terror Threats and Tackling Extremism; Greece's Ongoing Tragedy; Imagine a World. Aired 2- 2:30p ET

Aired July 7, 2015 - 14:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): This date, as Europe ministers decide whether Greece gets to stay in the club, I talk to Malta's finance

minister at those critical talks in Brussels.

Also critical hearings on Capitol Hill as the United States says the West needs to step up its game against ISIS while here in the U.K. we remember

the worst terrorist attack ever in ceremonies here in London and we ask, what have we learned since 7/7, 10 years ago?


DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER, GREAT BRITAIN: It's a day when we recall the incredible resolve and resolution of Londoners in the United Kingdom, a

day when we remember the threat that we still face.



AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour.

7/7, a day that lives on in infamy here in Britain, the day 10 years ago when four British Muslims carried their suicide bomb backpacks onto three

London tubes and one double-decker bus. They left 52 people dead and more than 700 wounded as well as a virulent and highly resistant strain of

radicalization that is more from Al Qaeda into ISIS today.

Prince William joined survivors and families in Hyde Park at the special 7/7 Memorial to remember the bolt that struck this nation 10 years ago. It

was meant to be a day of celebration back then in the capital after London had won its 2012 Olympic bid. Instead, it turned into this.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Ralitsa Vassileva at the CNN Center with this breaking news story. We're watching live pictures from King Cross

Station on the subway line in London.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's recently clear that there have been a series of terrorist attacks in London.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All of a sudden, just the hugest explosion. The bus just lifted up and everyone was screaming.

AMANPOUR: They will check every single train before it is allowed to go out of the station.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Four years after the attack, this memorial was built in London's Hyde Park, these pillars a stark reminder of the 52 lives

that were taken that day by men infused with pure hatred.

And yet, 10 years later, that ideology lives even stronger. ISIS, an army arrayed against the region and the West, another 30 British people

slaughtered on the beaches of Tunisia.

Last week, the whole country stood still for a moment to remember those victims. Today, Londoners did the same to remember those who never made it

out of these tube stations or off that bus a decade ago.


AMANPOUR: And so why is this still happening 10 years later?

What has been learned and what will end it?

Joining me now from the memorial site in London's Hyde Park is Gill Hicks. She survived the 7/7 blast. She was the last person to be pulled alive

from the wreckage of the bombings that day. But she'd lost both her legs.

And in Leeds is Imam Qari Asim from the city's largest mosque. Leeds is where three of the four -- three of the four 7/7 suicide bombers grew up.

Welcome to you both on this day 10 years later

Gill, I want to ask you first what you remember from that day. You must have thought that you weren't going to survive.

GILL HICKS, 7/7 BOMBING SURVIVOR: I think very interestingly for me it was a real choice that I wanted to live and that will carried me through, which

all of my rescuers and the doctors and the surgeons and nurses still marvel that I'm here, given that I'd had multiple cardiac arrests. I'd lost 75

percent of my blood and for all intents and purposes was dead upon arrival at hospital. So it is nothing short of a miracle that I'm -- I stand here

today 10 years on.

AMANPOUR: And you tourniqueted your own leg. Somehow you figured out in that state of shock to do that. And you've had just yesterday this

emotional reunion with the police man who saved you and pulled you out.


HICKS: Again, this presence of mind and the human ability to react and respond, I'm in awe of. And quite often, if I'm speaking about this, I

will speak about myself in the third person because I still can't quite believe that that was me, that was able to be so calm and so mindful and so

thoughtful to be able to tourniquet up the tops of my legs and in doing so give myself possibly about 10 minutes extra time for rescue to arrive.

And of course as we've now seen this wonderful man, Andy Maxwell, that -- the police man, who's very representative of so many that day, who were

responsible for saving my life, and I think what's remarkable for my journey and story with them is that when I was admitted to hospital, I had

a very chilling arm bracelet that just said, "One unknown."


HICKS: And in those words, what I'd been shown is that these rescuers, people like PC Andy Maxwell risked their own lives to enter that tunnel, to

enter that carriage to save one unknown. And to them it didn't matter, the color of my skin, how much money I had, whether I was of faith or no faith

at all. And that, to me, really is the core of humanity and what I think has shielded me from hatred or bitterness all of these years on. And

indeed, shown me how to conduct very much my second life.

AMANPOUR: Well, let's explore that in a second because first I want to ask Imam Qari Asim, the best of humanity was shown in people like Gill and all

the rescuers and all the families who insist on going forward without hate in their hearts. And the worst of humanity was shown by those four boys,

who decided to take these lives, forget about their own lives, take all these other lives.

What do you think 10 years on, Imam, have you come to terms with who these people were and the fact that they were in your mosque and in your


IMAM QARI ASIM, MAKKAH MASJID MOSQUE: Firstly, this is a reality of the world that we live in, Gill Hicks, one of the survivors, has shown so much

resilience and her courage and determination still continues to inspire us. And on the other hand, there were these young individuals that came from my

city and also from the Muslim community.

And I was devastated when I heard that news, that they were from my community and from my city. Never in a million years we thought that a

young individual born and bred in this country will commit terror against his fellow citizens and actually commit terror on our soil.

You know, we tend to think of bombs going off in -- further afield. And we are still in a sense of shock and disbelief. But also I'm really proud of

the fact that the community in London, the Londoners and also the people of Leeds didn't let hatred and bitterness overpower them.

You know, suicide bombers came from our city. They had links to Leeds but they don't reflect people of Leeds.

AMANPOUR: OK. The head of MI-5 has said, yes, this is only a tiny fraction of the people and the British Muslim community. But these heinous

acts make and present a serious societal and security challenge.

So, Imam, you are in a very bad place, you and your fellow Muslims, particularly the learned, the religious, the scholars, the imams like

yourself, because it is still happening, 3,000 at least British Muslims are going over to -- or on lists, hundreds have gone over to fight for ISIS.

You know, families, not just boys who want to fight and blow themselves up, but families with kids, girls. This is bad for you, isn't it?

ASIM: Extremism is a real threat and extremists exist in all communities. And really it is only a factor in radicalizing an individual or turning

someone an extremist. There are so many other factors, the psychological, socioeconomical and also disenfranchisement, multiple factors. And I think

if we just focus on religion -- because I don't think the people, all of the people who've gone, they were all really religious --

AMANPOUR: But you do have to focus on it, Imam, because they're using Islam to channel their political hatred.

So what has to be done to stop this?

Is it possible still?

ASIM: That is the key challenge, that -- because Muslims have suffered due to terrorism. There are more casualties in the Muslim community than any

other community throughout the globe. So in a way that shows that terrorists don't represent Islam. They have nothing to do with Islam.

Our challenge is that unfortunately they're --


ASIM: -- recruiting individuals, young, impressionable individuals, or those who are going through perhaps midlife crises. They're recruiting

them from our community and majority of the radicalization is taking place online.

I am part of an initiative of imams online. We're trying to reclaim some of the space that the terrorists and extremists have occupied.

AMANPOUR: Well, let's ask --


ASIM: -- all the stakeholders have to work together in collaboration to ensure that not even one more young person is recruited by those who

recruit them for their own political aims and gains.

AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask Gill again, if she's still with us -- and we have the names of all these people who were killed that day on 7/7, we're

just trying to get the line back with Gill.

But you know her well. She knows you. You've tried to do things together to counter this virus. She says she's just -- gets angrier and angrier

now. You know, she spent 10 years since that devastating attack, trying to do something to make a difference, trying to separate people from this evil


What is it going to take?

You say they're being radicalized online. It used to be in the mosques.

How difficult is it for you --


AMANPOUR: -- well, in some mosques it was, Imam. In some mosques, it was.

ASIM: Islam is a religion of peace, just all of the other religions. None of the religions will ever condone violence.

AMANPOUR: Fine. But people met each other in the mosques.

So how do you -- how do you figure it out?

ASIM: Yes. This is the trial that we all have because they're not -- the extremists are not acceptable in any community, be it Muslim or be it any

other community. And as a result, you know, as you say, there will be hate preachers. There will always be. And whether they are in the mosques or

elsewhere and we've gone a long way in terms of eliminating and rooting out extremism from mainstream institutions.

Now they're working underground and online and the challenge is how do we reach out to those young people who are effectively being groomed online?

And this is the challenge that imams have taken on. We are the forefront of fighting extremism because it's just not acceptable for a number of


Firstly, they're abusing our faith. They have hijacked our faith.

And secondly, they are recruiting individuals from our community.

AMANPOUR: Well, I started by asking whether we have learnt anything and whether anything was changing because 10 years later, we're commemorating

the death of another 30 British people who were slaughtered by these people's next generation, the ISIS fighters, in Tunisia.

Do you think that we're going to see another of these kinds of attacks? I mean, how -- what are you hearing in terms of radicalization in your


How discontent is the population or not?

What do you feel is the mood, the pulse in your neighborhood today, 10 years later?

ASIM: Well, no one will accept extremists and that's why they never disclosed, even to their own families, their intentions. It's like --

perhaps like pedophiles that are being groomed online or being groomed underground. And it's a very secretive relationship. The challenge that

we -- when we say "we," we all -- you know, citizens of Leeds and citizens of London and citizens the globe have is that we want to save these young

individuals. And we need to eliminate some of their concerns --

AMANPOUR: OK. Imam, let me just quickly go back to Gill; she's just reappeared. We lost the line briefly.

Gill, I was saying to the imam how do you separate and end this radicalization?

You have said that 10 years on, after all your work, you seem to get angrier and angrier about the reality.

HICKS: Absolutely. But I -- but unlike those who are extremists or violent extremists, my anger is fueling a positive action. And I think

that that's really important, that of course I'm angry. I'm the mother of a 2.5-year-old toddler and I can't run around after her. That's not OK.

And it's not OK for a single life to ever be lost or destroyed or maimed based on an absolutely senseless act and following of an ideology. And I

exactly agree with Imam Qari, that this has to be separated from religion. These people are not pious religious people. They are nothing but thugs

and terrorists and criminals and murderers.

And we need to start really thinking of them in that light.

AMANPOUR: And that is the challenge.

Gill Hicks, Imam Qari Asim, thank you both very much for joining us on this day. Thank you so much.

And from remembering the legacy of that tragedy 10 years past, we turn again to Greece and to the ongoing tragedy for the Greek people.

Are they better or worse off after their referendum?

Will they be in or out of euro?

We'll ask a key minister making those decisions --


AMANPOUR: -- next.




AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

So is this the end of Europe as we know it?

The answer to that question depends on what is happening right now in Brussels. Ministers are meeting in a desperate last-ditch attempt to save

Greece's economy from collapse and to try to keep it inside the Eurozone.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says there are now only days left to strike a deal, the deal they failed to strike over five months of hard bargaining.

The Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, buoyed by Sunday's "no" vote in the referendum, arrived in Brussels just a few hours ago and met with

Merkel and also the French President Francois Hollande. But the gap between the two sides is still so wide that some analysts say a Greek exit

from Europe is the only way this could end.

As time ticks by, the Greek people continue to suffer. They're swarming cash machines, knowing that in just a few days their banks will likely

completely run out of cash.

So joining me now on the phone from those crucial meetings in Brussels is Malta's finance minister, Edward Scicluna.

Thank you for joining us, Minister. Tell me what is happening inside the meeting right now.

Where are you? Is there a deal to be had?

EDWARD SCICLUNA, MINISTER OF FINANCE, MALTA: We have council building, yes, the prime ministers are meeting together, all the prime ministers from

the Eurozone. But we have also just finished our own finance ministers' meeting, which is called the Eurogroup.

And that's where we now -- we have met the new finance minister and the Greece finance minister, who we're expecting to bring the new proposals as

a result of the referendum.

AMANPOUR: But has he?

Has he brought any new proposals?

Isn't this the crux of the issue?

SCICLUNA: That's the setback. And a big, big disappointment. And it's not the first time this has happened. So while the (INAUDIBLE) by the

minister was very positive, the language which we can emphasize with, at least personally I enjoyed listening to him, where he admitted the

weaknesses, where he said the problems in Greece are not just financial but institutional and so on, and that they -- they're also thinking of certain

reforms, which they would require independent of the negotiations.

So all this very, very positive and likable character and was like a breath of fresh air in a way.

However, at the very end of the speech, he announced that the proposal, which we're all eager to see on the table, was going to be sent tomorrow.

And having heard that story more than once, a little bit of (INAUDIBLE) which was left was lost completely. And that is the big problem. The

question, there's no trust anymore between the finance ministers in the Eurogroup and the Greek government.

AMANPOUR: Well, that is a really dramatic thing for you to say. I understand why you're saying it. Your own prime minister has been tweeting

today, saying that an absence of concrete proposals is very, very difficult and others have said -- you have also said -- that --


AMANPOUR: -- we should now look at the option of whether Greece is to remain in the Eurozone.

We've been talking about this for five months.

Are we now at any serious tipping point? Or is this just going to go on?

SCICLUNA: At least one could say that no one really wants a Greek exit for various reasons. There are those who are in the program countries who

don't want to see the instability in their own country. There are -- so many reasons why they would want -- nobody wants to be held responsible in

the history books that they were the cause of a Greek exit.

So at least that's what's holding. But what's happening is that you're seeing the whole thing sliding, sliding down so whether (INAUDIBLE) or not,

we don't know. But (INAUDIBLE) what everybody's dreading.

AMANPOUR: So let me ask you this because you said -- and it was very clear what you said and I think maybe a lot of your ministers feel the same, that

the new finance minister, Mr. Tsakalotos, who was the chief negotiator and who has replaced Yanis Varoufakis, was a breath of fresh air.

But let me put to you what he told us just before the referendum about what they're still asking and let me see your reaction to this.


EUCLID TSAKALOTOS, CHIEF GREEK NEGOTIATOR: If Europe decides that they cannot live with a government that has slightly different priorities,

social priorities, has slightly different economic priorities from the mainstream, then that closes the door on democracy and it opens the door

for very nasty right-wing politics because if nothing is on the table after a mandate from the people of Greece, not only Greek people but many other

people in Europe will make -- draw the conclusion that this Europe is a Europe that you can vote for whatever you want but you always get the same

policies. That cannot be good for democracy anywhere in Europe.


AMANPOUR: So he is still saying we need the kind of debt relief, the kind of bailout that we need, given our particular circumstances.

You've just said the lack of trust is -- there's a big problem right now.

Are the euro ministers united in how to go forward on this next issue?

SCICLUNA: Well, they are really not because they were expecting the ball to be in the Greek court and they will come back with (INAUDIBLE). The

whole issue is that it's not a question of Germany anymore; it's all the Eurogroup. It's their money that they want to lend and which they are

hesitating about throwing good money after bad.

That's the whole issue. So they would really be glad to see some assurance or reassurance from the other side. But it won't be turned out

(INAUDIBLE). That's all they need to know and understand.

But it's missing.

AMANPOUR: What do you -- ?

SCICLUNA: You know, to get all the ministers and prime ministers from their own country for a meeting and then disappoint them in telling them,

look, I haven't prepared my homework but this will come tomorrow. But again, I mean, it's pushing them and losing that credibility.

AMANPOUR: So what do you expect the homework will be when it's delivered tomorrow? You said that's what Mr. Tsakalotos promised you, that it will

be delivered tomorrow.

What do you expect?

SCICLUNA: Well, we expect (INAUDIBLE) and the expansion and the letters of the past is a closed chapter. That's been agreed and understood. Whatever

new requests has to be for a new bailout from the -- a new mechanism called the ESM, the European Stability Mechanism, which is entrenched in the

treaty and it's got its own rules and obligations.

And then if there should be a medium-term program -- it's not a one-month or to the end of the year, but a solid, medium-term program of a convincing

program and that -- given that and (INAUDIBLE) it makes the Eurogroup (INAUDIBLE) some assurance, then one has to (INAUDIBLE). The -- whether

the ECB will increase the ELAs, whether there will be debts removing certain (INAUDIBLE), you know, whatever it is, the Brits financing, we --

all are secondary and they will come only once you see convincing plan and a Greek plan. And hopefully that now the Greek government has got the

support (INAUDIBLE) the questions of 60 percent or over 60 percent on the electorate, together with the -- all the other -- most of the other

political parties, not a lot of political capital, but it can use very positively.

So there is a --


SCICLUNA: -- a slight optimism there. But if the government uses now this political clout and capital and to a good end, then we can move forward.

So --

AMANPOUR: All right.

SCICLUNA: -- it's not the end yet. But --


SCICLUNA: -- incidents like today do not help at all. Didn't help that this doesn't need to be thrown back. And the situation's getting worse and

worse while in Greece nobody want -- every hour counts.

AMANPOUR: Edward Scicluna, Malta's finance minister, thank you very much for joining us with the very latest from those crisis meetings there in


Thank you very much indeed.

Now the crisis there is, as you've heard, causing divisions within its European counterparts. But when we come back, we go back again to the

legacy of 7/7 and we imagine a world where an everyday fact of life -- for instance might feed along with so many other feeds on London subway

platforms means much more than just commuting.

Imagine solidarity in a hashtag, walking together, next.




AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, 10 years ago, a terrible terrorist attack tore lives apart and ripped the fabric of London, this city that has seen

and resisted so much.

But imagine a world where the horror of that day also brought people, many of them strangers, together and is doing so again a decade later because

today, amidst the stillness and the moment of silence there was also a hashtag, #walktogether, bringing people onto the streets as Londoners

remembered what happened on those tube trains and on that bus on 7/7 by getting off today, one stop before their destination, and taking the last

leg of their journey on foot.

It's a campaign that's got long legs after the Sydney hostage crisis and the shootings there last year. The hashtag #I'llRideWithYou went viral

with Australians walking and riding alongside their Muslim countryfolk to face down the division the terrorist was trying to sow.

And even before hashtags and social media, New Yorkers escorted members of their local Muslim community to schools and to work after the horror of


Imagine a world where people who have lost so much keep trying to counter this hatred with courage and compassion. It is the world that we live in.

And that's it for our program tonight. Remember you can always see the whole show online at, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.