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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI

More on the Russian Airliner Crash; Egyptian President in London; Ben Carson Profiled; US, Malaysian Defense Chiefs Meet on USS Roosevelt. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired November 5, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET

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


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HALA GORANI, HOST: This hour on The world Right Now, conflicting narratives over what caused the deadly plane crash.

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GORANI: The U.K. says it's more likely than not that a Metro Jet plane was brought down by a bomb. Egypt and Russia say not so fast.

Also, thousands of tourists are stranded in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, I will speak to one of them.

Plus we look at past attempts to smuggle explosive devices on to planes. That may give us some clues as to what happened in this case.

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GORANI: Hello everyone, I'm Hala Gorani, we're live at CNN London. Thanks for being with us for this second hour of The World Right Now.

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GORANI: What happened to Metro Jet flight 9268? Still a question with no definitive answer this evening and speculation creating a diplomatic

standoff. Egypt Civil Aviation Minister tells CNN there is no indication that a bomb caused the plane to crash. Russia agrees. The Air Transport

Chief there says it could be months before we can draw conclusions.

On the other hand, the British Prime Minister says a bomb "more likely than not" caused the crash. That coincides with U.S. intelligence pointing to

ISIS and a unnamed source in the Middle East tell CNN that it appears likely a bomb was placed onboard.

CNN is following the investigation from all angles. Ian Lee is in Sharm El- Sheikh, Egypt; Matthew Chance is live from Moscow and here in London Fred Pleitgen is outside 10 Downing Street. We will speak to all three of you in

just a moment.

First David Cameron hosted his Egyptian counterpart, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in London today. A meeting that highlighted once again how

differently both countries are approaching this investigation. Here's Max Foster.

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MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The gloomy weather matched the diplomatic atmosphere in London as the President El-Sisi met Prime Minister

Cameron. The Egyptian Foreign Minister had accused the U.K. of acting prematurely by suspending all flights to Sharm el-Sheikh before an

investigation had been completed into what caused the Russian plane to crash.

Inside, 10 Downing Street Cameron insisted his intelligence suggested the plane may have been brought down by an explosive device and that he had to

put the safety of British people first.

DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: My experts cannot be sure that it was a terrorist bomb that brought down that Russian plane. But if the

intelligence is and the judgment is that that is a more likely than not outcome then i think it's right to act in the way that I did.

FOSTER: Despite the news the Egyptians say they shared the U.K. 's concern for safety.

ABDEL FATTAH EL-SISI, EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT: (As translated) We appreciate all our friends concerns when they send their citizens to Egypt. They have to

make sure these locations and airports and tourist sites are safe and stable. Over the past 10 months we have received our British friends so

they can ensure for themselves the implemented measures at all our airports, not only Sharm el-Sheikh.

FOSTER: Thousands of British tourists are stranded in Sharm el-Sheikh. It may take some time to fly them all home.

The British government says it hopes to clear flights to return from Sharm el-Sheikh to the U.K. on Friday. But that's only going to happen if it's

confident that everything going on to those flights is being screened properly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know what more they can do to be more secure. But it just didn't have the same feeling of safety as London and

Gatwick.

FOSTER: A team of British officials now at Sharm el-Sheikh airport is pushing for security improvements.

Max Foster, CNN London.

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GORANI: Let's get more now from Russia, Egypt and the U.K. I'm going to start with Ian Lee who is in Sharm el-Sheikh, the situation there this

evening Ian?

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, tonight actually Hala we've seen hundreds of people come here. This is still very much an active

operating airport. A lot of people traveling who we talked to to the Ukraine and I asked them about security. If they felt afraid and none of

them said that they had security concerns.

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LEE: Now that despite the fact that all these jets flying to other European countries have been grounded so far. We are hearing that Easy Jet is going

to be resuming flights tomorrow, although the way that they're going to be handling passengers is a bit different.

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LEE: They're going to not allow them to be checking in baggage. That baggage that they want to check in will be on a separate flight that will

fly out sometime later. Most likely going to go for a little bit of extra screening. They're only going to be allowed to carry on a small bag.

Now, U.K. officials have been here. They've been working with Egyptians trying to come to some sort of an agreement that satisfies everyone that

security measures will be in place.

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LEE: And I can tell you I've traveled outside of this - in and out of this airport quite a bit and there is a noticeable increase in security. Before

you even get into the complex they're going through your luggage, there's dogs that are sniffing the cars. And then once you get inside the airport,

there's different levels and layers of security that you have to go through and also, an increased police presence.

So it seems like with this extra security and also you have the flights resuming tomorrow that the British officials are somewhat satisfied with

the security measures here at Sharm el-Sheikh airport.

GORANI: All right. Ian Lee, is in Sharm el-Sheikh, stand by and let me go to Fred Pleitgen just to clarify with our viewers. Flights resuming out

Sharm el-Sheikh flights to Sharm el-Sheikh are still suspended at this hour.

What is the -- what more can you tell us about this intelligence that the U.K. says it is basing these statements on including from the Prime

Minister that a bomb more likely than not was the cause of the crash?

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well there certainly isn't very much detail Hala as to what exactly that intelligence

is.

The Brits say that they - I wouldn't they're confident but they say that no one at this point can be certain whether or not it was actually a bomb that

brought that plane down. But they say that they have these sources that they believe points to the fact that it most likely was a bomb.

And I think a lot of it you can also see by the security measures that are in place now at Sharm el-Sheikh. The fact that these flights are coming

back to Britain from there however that people are not going to be able to check in luggage.

One of the things that we've heard for instance from American sources is that they believe that perhaps it was someone from the ground staff who

might have placed a bomb on to the plane and that - then that blew up from there.

Really not very much information that we're getting from the British side and also of course we've heard criticism for instance from the Egyptians

saying listen, that information, if you do have it, is not something that you're actually sharing with us.

However, as Ian said, it appears as though at this point in time the Brits seem to be somewhat confident that they can actually bring these people

back, at least let planes take off from there. The interesting thing is there's about eight empty flights from Easy Jet for instance that are going

to be going to Sharm el-Sheikh to then ferry people back from there because of course many people have been stranded for a while there, Hala.

GORANI: Sure. Fred, just one moment stand by at least at 10 Downing Street. Now, Matthew Chance, you're in Moscow, we were discussing this earlier with

you. And these just absolutely heartbreaking funeral scenes that are unfolding all across the country.

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MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: Yes, and there's going to be you know another couple of hundred of them it seems, because --

particularly if the families elects to have individual funerals like this.

I mean there was - there was some suggestion early on that there would be a sort of single mass funeral with a national monument placed to commemorate

the victims of this flight, but it seems that the families are going their own way, at least at first.

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CHANCE: The first of the funerals taking place just today. It was of Nina Lushenka. Who was a 60-year-old dinner lady from a school in a town outside

of St. Petersburg. And very interesting because there have been lots of -- ordinary working woman, the kind of person, the kind of tourist that was on

that aircraft when it went down, they'd just been having some winter sun in Egypt as so many Russians do at this time of the year.

And you know it gives an indication of why this has struck a chord with so many people in this country. I mean the tourists, the children, the

families that were onboard. Russians can imagine this could have happened to them. And so I think that's why it's so resonant.

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GORANI: And Ian Lee, if I can get back to you at Sharm el-Sheikh there in front of the airport. When you ask travelers and tourists, would they come

back to Sharm el-Sheikh, do they believe this was a - some sort of terrorist attack, what do they say?

LEE: A lot of them, you know, it was interesting talking to them as they were coming in would they come back. A lot of them said they regretted

leaving. They loved being here and they said of course they were going to come back. They didn't see this as a real threat. One person even said, you

know, how many flights are there in a day? How many flights in a year? And this is one incident.

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LEE: He says I feel that my odds are fairly good. So a lot of them really no one really here concerned about security. Yes, it has been brought up

from time to time but talking to people, they didn't really feel like their lives were in much danger. And the Egyptians have been trying to do -

somewhat trying to reassure these people that they are safe. And I think really with this extra security we've been seeing here tonight they kind of

show a force that they are here, that they are in control of security and that they won't allow something to happen.

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LEE: Now, what did happen we'll have to wait and see until this investigation concludes. The Egyptians are still very much in the mind-set

that this is some sort of mechanical failure and that that's what brought down this jet. And so while this bomb theory is something that we're seeing

right now, it really is a pendulum Hala, where you see it swing from the mechanical failure to a bomb theory. Right now it is on more looking like a

bomb theory. But you cannot discount this mechanical failure.

GORANI: All right. Ian Lee is in Sharm el-Sheikh at the airport there. Matthew Chance in Moscow and Fred Pleitgen at 10 Downing Street, thanks to

all three of you as we continue to cover this story from all angles.

We were talking about what the U.K. is saying. CNN is learning more about what led the U.S. to suspect that a bomb brought down the Metro Jet flight.

An American officials says it was the specific nature of the intelligence chatter as it's called that drew attention. These are conversations online

and there may be conversations over the telephone.

Now Egypt's Aviation Minister Hossam Kamal tells CNN that the U.S. has essentially not shared any of that intelligence with his government. Russia

is saying the same. But here's what this minister said about the official investigation.

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HOSSAM KAMAL, EGYPTIAN CIVIL AVIATION MINISTER: At this moment there is no any indication or this committee does not announce any reports that

something like a bomb or explosion happened to this airplane. What these two sides have announced this is all something that we don't know from

where did they bring this information.

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GORANI: Well, there you have it. A lot more to come tonight.

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GORANI: Thousands of tourists as we mentioned are stranded in Sharm el- Sheikh after airlines delayed their flight to and from the resort. I'll be speaking to one of those tourists who's just kind of staying put at the

airport for now before he could head home. That'll happen in just a few minutes, stay with us.

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GORANI: Well Britain as we were reporting is now saying that flights from Sharm el-Sheikh to here in Britain will resume on Friday. Flights going in

will not resume.

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GORANI: The government says additional security measures have been put in place at the resort's airport. However, flights as we mentioned from the

U.K. to Sharm el-Sheikh remain suspended. As a result, around 20,000 British tourists are in the area. I'm joined now by (Paul Modley), he's one

of those Brits stranded in Sharm el-Sheikh.

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All right, first of all Paul, can you hear me?

PAUL MODLEY, BRITISH TOURIST: Yes, I can.

GORANI: All right, what's going on where you are right now? You're at your hotel and you're waiting. And do you have a scheduled flight out at this

stage?

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MODLEY: That's correct. Yes. So we are scheduled to leave on Saturday evening from Sharm el-Sheikh to London Gatwick.

GORANI: OK, have you been in touch with the airline? What airline are you on?

MODLEY: So we are - we're flying with Monarch. We haven't been in touch. We have not received any communication from them and to be honest, we thought

we'd leave them today because they probably had a lot more pressing matters to deal with today. So we are planning to be in touch tomorrow.

GORANI: And you -- this was always your scheduled flight out on Saturday correct?

MODLEY: Correct, yes.

GORANI: And Easy Jet is saying they will fly people out but they will have to leave their hold luggage behind. If this is something that happens for

you - and are you alone by the way or are you with family?

MODLEY: No. With a partner.

GORANI: OK, so if that happens with you is this something you'd be OK with for security reasons?

MODLEY: Yes, completely. You know I understand why they would do that so not a problem at all.

GORANI: Are you concerned at all for your safety after the crash and the possibility that it might have been a bomb?

MODLEY: Not concerned about safety on the resort. We've been to Egypt - it's our ninth trip in the last 10 years, so currently not concerned about

our safety on resort. I'd be foolish to say that I wasn't concerned about safety coming out of Sharm el-Sheikh given all of the discussions going on

right now. So -- but I guess you know what's happened in the last 24 hours the British government sending over advisors you know I feel pretty

confident now that there will have to be the right procedures in place.

GORANI: And I mean are you in touch with other travelers - others perhaps in your hotel or around town who are in a similar situation? What have the

discussions been like?

MODLEY: I think it's - I think it's changed in the last 24 hours. So when the news was breaking last night there was visibly panic and people were

very anxious around the resort last night. That definitely settled down over the last 24 hours. However, you know there's certain people around

that I have spoken to today who were due to fly out with Easy Jet who have you know very little information coming through and still didn't know what

they were doing this evening. So -- but overall, I think you know that there's been a calmness that's settled down over the last 24 hours.

GORANI: Have they - have you or they been in touch with British consulate officials or anything like that, any government representatives?

MODLEY: No. Not as far as I'm concerned. We've had no contact from anyone at the British Consul.

GORANI: I've got to ask you about the Egyptians though. I mean this must be also very frightening for them if it does indeed turn out to be an attack,

that they're going to lose their livelihood here, the tourism money that's so important for Sharm.

MODLEY: Yes, it's devastating and I think they've seen this happen before you know when there were problems and the tourism markets fell through the

floor. So I think they know what the impact could be and I feel deadly sorry for them because I don't think they fully realize what's going to

happen over the next couple of months. And they rely so much on you know British tourists, Russian tourists coming through that you know if we stop

flights coming in for at least, you know even if it's for three months, that will have a devastating impact on their economy.

GORANI: Would you go back?

MODLEY: Completely, yes. Without a doubt.

GORANI: All right. Well thanks for joining us. Paul Modley is one of those British tourists, one of 20,000 stranded right now in Sharm el-Sheikh

although his flight was scheduled for Saturday.

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GORANI: So it seems as though he will be leaving as scheduled. But he's in the midst of it - of this - of all these questions surrounding the crash of

that Metro Jet plane. Thanks very much to Paul.

Coming up, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter takers a swipe at China.

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GORANI: He's just toured a U.S. aircraft carrier in the South China Sea. Find out who he says is to blame for rising tensions in the region. We'll

be back.

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Also, the tactics of terrorist bombs -

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GORANI: Myanmar Democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi says that if her party wins an upcoming election her position will be "above the President."

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GORANI: She made the comment in a news conference on Thursday. Under the country's constitution Suu Kyi is currently barred from that role. Sunday's

election is being touted as the freest in decades and Suu Kyi's party is expected to do well at the polls. We'll see how it develops for her party

and for her.

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GORANI: Nearly two weeks after a Chinese submarine closely tracked a U.S. aircraft carrier off Japan's coast, the America Defense Secretary, Ash

Carter, is taking a symbolic swipe at Beijing.

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GORANI: Carter and his Malaysian counterpart visited the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the South China Sea on Thursday. Carter said the vessel

"signifies the stabilizing presence the U.S. has had in the region."

He blamed China for escalating tensions. Brian Todd has more now on just how close a Chinese sub came to another U.S. carrier last month.

BRIAN TODD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A nuclear powered U.S. super carrier stalked by a Chinese submarine.

CNN has learned a Chinese attack sub recently tracked the USS Ronald Reagan, a massive carrier with 5,000 American servicemen and 90 aircraft

onboard off the southern coast of Japan.

A U.S. Defense official says the sub followed the Reagan closely for at least half a day. A former carrier group commander has seen this first

hand.

VICE ADMIRAL PETER DALY, FORMER CARRIER COMMANDER: What could happen when ships operate close together is there's the potential for misunderstanding

or the potential for a strategic mi miscalculation. Some person cuts off the other one. Ships can collide. We've had cases where people didn't

understand intent where gun mounts were trained.

TODD: The U.S. official did not say how close the Chinese sub came to the carrier. But says it was submerged the entire way. There's no indication

the sub made threatening maneuvers toward the Reagan. According to the official the U.S. and Chinese commanders did not communicate with each

other. The Chinese vessel was a kilo class fast-attack sub.

DALY: It has torpedoes and it has the ability to operate quietly.

TODD: The U.S. official says anti anti-submarine aircraft were used to track the sub. Those would likely have been attack helicopters.

DALY: They would make sure that the submarine knew that we've got eyes on you.

TODD: The U.S. and China have been engaged in a dangerous could war style standoff over China's construction of man-made islands in the South China

Sea. The U.S. which views the area as international waters fears the islands could be used as a military outpost. China says the islands and

those waters are theirs.

Just a couple of days after the submarine incident a U.S. war ship sailed just 12 miles from the construction of the islands. Later a top Chinese

Admiral warned his U.S. counterpart of the dangers of a miscalculation. Analysts say its all part of China's new strategy of aggression in that

region.

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DALY: They're expanding their sub-marine fleet at a very fast rate. They're building a new sub-marine base off of (inaudible) island. They would like

to be a primary strategic actor and a shaper of their own security environment in the region.

TODD: Admiral Daly says we may see more incidents like this in the near future. He says both Navy's may start to build up forces in the region to

project strength. The Chinese have not commented on the sub-marine incident.

Brian Todd, CNN, Annapolis, Maryland.

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GORANI: Now to another part of the world, Mexico's fire volcano is living up to its name it's been spewing ash and smoke 2200 meters into the air.

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GORANI: There have been multiple eruptions in recent days. No evacuations yet but officials are warning them to cover their faces over the past few

months. Thick ash from the volcano has blanketed nearby villages. Very dramatic photos and images.

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GORANI: A lot more to come. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Metro Jet crash but some experts believe they lack sophisticated bomb-making

capabilities.

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GORANI: We'll see how it took years for another terrorist group to learn some of those advanced techniques. Also coming up, as investigators in

Egypt continue to sift through the evidence to find out why Flight 9268 crashed, I will be taking a look at the complicated security situation in

the Sinai. Stay with us.

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GORANI: A look at our top stories. Britain says flights from Sharm el- Sheikh to the U.K. will resume on Friday.

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GORANI: The government says additional security measures have been put in place at the resort's airport. However, flights from the U.K. to Sharm el

Sheikh remain suspended.

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GORANI: Also, the first funerals for those killed in the crash have taken place in Russia.

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GORANI: Friends and family are mourning the 224 people onboard Metro Jet flight 9268 when it crashed in the Sinai peninsula. Russian state media

says the remains of 58 victims have now been identified. A lot more grim work ahead though.

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GORANI: And also rescue workers have pulled more than 100 survivors from the rubble of a collapsed factory in Pakistan.

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GORANI: The disaster killed at least 23 people on Wednesday and injured many more and the death toll may rise as more bodies are found. The fourth

floor of the building in Lahore was under construction when it collapsed.

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GORANI: Also among our top stories, three million migrants - three million are expected to arrive in Europe by 2017 according to the European

Commission.

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GORANI: A record number of asylum seekers have been pouring into Europe many fleeing wars in Syria and Iraq, even the onset of colder wintery

weather is not stopping them.

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GORANI: If ISIS indeed did bring down Metro Jet flight 9268, it would truly mark a significant leap forward in the terrorist group's capabilities. The

idea of a bomb causing the disaster has drawn comparisons to tactics previously attempted by a group like Al Qaeda. Nic Robertson has that

story.

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NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In 2009 I asked explosives expert, Sidney Alford to show me what Al Qaeda's top bomb maker

was capable of.

This is what six grams of PETN does to something that's twice as thick as a fuselage.

It mastered the powerful white powder explosive, PETN. The Al Qaeda bomb maker made this the underpants bomb targeting a U.S. passenger jet

Christmas 2009.

Here in Russia the rising question is likely to become who made the bomb that brought down Metro Jet 9268? Was it ISIS, an ISIS affiliate, another

radical Islamist group or Al Qaeda? What we do know is that after the underpants bomb, Al Qaeda's bombs became even more sophisticated.

2010 printer bombs hidden in cargo on two planes. Fortunately they were intercepted.

SIDNEY ALFORD, EXPLOSIVES EXPERT: He is at the clever end of the scale. There's no doubt about this. This is an ingenious way of doing it.

ROBERTSON: Alford deconstructed, remade the bombs, and explained Al Qaeda's deadly cunning.

ALFORD: Three, two, one!

ROBERTSON: In 2014 a few years later I came to see Alford again.

So that is a t-shirt dipped in explosives that is just dried, blown up and that would bring down a plane.

American sources fearing the next terrorist bomb could be a clothing bomb. He shows me how easily it can be done. Leaving out some key details.

This is where the t-shirt bomb was sitting on the steel plate, thick steel plate. Imagine if that was the skin of an aircraft, thin aluminum. It would

have blown a hole right through it.

The underpants bomb, the printer bomb were made by Al Qaeda's top bomb maker in Yemen. His expertise has been taught to others. The question now,

does ISIS have these skills or could they use more rudimentary bombs with conventional explosives stolen from military stores?

Nic Robertson, CNN, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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GORANI: Let's get more now on the investigation into that crash. Our aviation correspondent Richard Quest is live in New York. Anthony May joins

us from Phoenix, Arizona. He was an explosives expert with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the ATF. Thanks very much.

I'm going to start with you, Anthony May. How difficult would it be - I mean how much expertise basically do you need to build a bomb capable of

bringing a plane down essentially? Do you really have to be an expert?

ANTHONY MAY FORMER ATF ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATOR: Well, the issue of expertise is quite problematic in the fact that it's not that difficult to

build a device.

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MAY: And certainly the groups in the Middle East, Al Qaeda and ISIS have been at it for over a decade building bombs. In fact we go back to the

first PAN AM 103 bombing where they attacked the cargo hold. We went to operation Bojinka where (inaudible) decided to smuggle components, -- a

device in separate components through security and actually assembled the device on an aircraft, in which he did for a Philippines air flight. And

now we've gone through the shoe bombing, the printer bombings and we could possibly be back to a cargo hold bomb with this recent Russian aircraft.

GORANI: We could be. Richard, let me ask you about the black boxes. Once they're thoroughly analyzed will they give us the answer as to whether or

not this was indeed a bomb?

RICHARD QUEST, HOST QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Yes and no. In the sense that if it was a bomb, there will have been -- it will have had such an effect on

the aircraft systems - that well, you won't know whether it was an explosive device but you'll know that there was an explosion.

It might be because there was a millisecond of noise, it be because you suddenly see all the parameters and all the needles going all over the

place and that just shows you there was an intense moment of energy which the machines registered before power was cut.

But also, you know, depending if there was a bomb on whether or not it was instant destruction of the aircraft or did the plane just keep flying for

another 10 or 15 seconds, you would have more evidence on both the cockpit voice and the flight data. To come to your point that you were talking

about, the difficulty is not necessarily building the bomb, the difficulty is getting it on the plane. And that -- because obviously modern scanners

are designed so as it goes through the scanner the scanner has such sophisticated software it recognizes the components. But if they have

managed to do it, and it's still an if Hala, if they've managed to do it then we have to ask is this something unique to Sharm el Sheikh or have

they discovered a new loophole in airport security?

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GORANI: Anthony May, let me -- of course, you're an expert at this, you've analyzed the aftermath of bombings of how bombing evidence has been

collected. At some point on the ground you must have the remnants of explosives on the fuselage, on the luggage, et cetera. This can't remain a

mystery for too long, can it?

MAY: Well, the investigation itself is going to take weeks, possibly even months before actual determination like that is made.

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MAY: And TW flight 800, we worked it for six, seven months following all investigative leads from missile strikes to a bomb being planted. But

certainly, yes, the investigation itself is actually a two-prong investigation that should be ongoing.

The interview process, the gathering of information, the intelligence, the single flash point, the chatter, the black boxes as Richard spoke about.

Even the airport security itself is all one part of the investigation. Then you've got the ground investigation looking at the physical evidence, the

luggage, looking at the luggage, is there any unusual aspects to the luggage. Is one damaged more than the other? Is all the luggage accounted

for? To the aircraft parts itself. Are there any damages there to even include the bodies of the victims. Where were they sitting in the aircraft?

What damage is exhibited to their bodies? Are there any foreign objects implanted? And in all of this, is there any explosive residue.

It is -- it's going to take some time for all of this to come together and then the intelligence information collection to include the ground portion

of it will eventually come together and will tell us what happened to this aircraft.

GORANI: Richard, I've got to ask you you know often times you're sitting in your seat, you see baggage handlers, you see catering, et cetera.

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GORANI: How much checking goes into -- I mean how much -- does the plane get checked essentially after everything has been loaded on to the plane or

is that then done and the plane takes off?

QUEST: Well, checked in the sense of are the right pieces in the right place at the right time, yes. But all those people who you see handling

various bits of the (inaudible) that help a plane you know for a flight, they are all supposed to have been security cleared.

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QUEST: But as we've seen in the United States in one particular case they managed to smuggle guns between the south and the north, dozens of guns

because somebody was doing -- was being bribed. We've seen numerous cases of drug smuggling where somebody has been bribed. And so yes, you're always

looking for the weakest link. And if you take a plane such as this A-321 with 200 odd people onboard, all their luggage, all the food, all the

catering, the fuel, the cargo, if there was any, it's a mammoth task to ensure the integrity and that's the word, the integrity of everything

that's onboard.

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GORANI: I want to ask one last question to Anthony May. What does your gut tell you here about the possibility that this was - that this was a bomb?

Do you think this is a real possibility based on what you're hearing?

MAY: Well of course it's a possibility. Being the region of the world we're talking about and the current political events that Russia has engaged with

Syria. And I'm going to have to agree with Richard that the security is the key aspects of this whole thing.

But let's be realistic. This has been a big cat and mouse game for the last decade with our security aspect. And our security is not perfect - is not

perfect. It is possible, it is most likely that someone on the ground there at that airport assisted in getting something inserted into this aircraft

if it in fact turns out to be a device planted. So -- but time is going to tell.

GORANI: All right. Anthony May, thanks very much, and Richard Quest as well we'll see you at the top of the hour on "Quest Means Business." Thank

you to you both, this is the World Right Now, a lot more coming up.

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GORANI: I will be taking a look at the complicated security situation in the Sinai peninsula as authorities continue to figure out why this plane

crashed.

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GORANI: Let's return now to our top story, the investigation into the crash of Metro Jet flight 9268.

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GORANI: The British Prime Minister, David Cameron and the Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi met earlier in London, you see the two men

there shaking hands. Their handshake was friendly but their opinions about what may have happened onboard the plane differ quite radically.

Mr. Cameron said it is "more likely than not that a bomb brought down the plane." However Egypt, along with Russia, are warning the world not to jump

to conclusions, it is a complicated political situation and the plane crashed in an area of Egypt with a very complicated security situation.

Let's dissect this with Fawaz Gerges, a professor of international relations at the London School of Economics. Fawaz, thanks for being with

us once again.

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GORANI: You know we say ISIS but that's a catch-all a bit in the case of this particular group in the Sinai. This is a local insurgency with very

deep roots.

[15:45:04]

FAWAZ GERGES, PROFESSOR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: Absolutely. I mean ISIS we keep talking about the ISIS

affiliate. The have now taken a new name, the Islamic state is so called (inaudible) or the Islamic State in Sinai.

Those are part of the fighters, the combatants (inaudible) tribal people in northeast Sinai. There is low intensity insurgency Hala, it's been going on

for almost a decade. Grievance against the Egyptian state, they feel discriminated against, they economically and politically disfranchised, and

the Egyptian government in the last two years or so waging all-out war having had the tactics, demolition of houses, many civilians have been

killed.

GORANI: The bombing campaign.

GERGES: Absolutely.

GORANI: It's possible though that more hard line elements of ISIS have joined the ranks or have provided money or training and then maybe brought

that group to another level.

GERGES: Absolutely. What has happened in the last two years since the emergence of the so called Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, now you have a

marriage between a local insurgency, an angry -- a social movement with a (inaudible) certain ideology. And this (inaudible) ideology Hala as you

well know as the capacity, the bombing capacity, the means, the incitement, the resources, the money, but it is not -- first of all we have to wait and

see what the investigation says. I mean the British government preempted the investigation. The Egyptians are angry even though President Sisi says

that he understands the rationale behind it. But talk to Egyptian officials they are furious.

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GORANI: Well they don't - they don't want people to be concerned their commercial jetliner is being brought down by a terrorist.

GERGES: Absolutely.

GORANI: Over Sharm el-Sheikh.

GERGES: Absolutely. But the reality is Hala, it's not difficult for this local -- the question is the point is local insurgency to infiltrate the

Sharm el Sheikh airport or even hotels and with the very services that serve the airport.

GORANI: Because they have relationships on the ground.

GERGES: They have human resources, many of their members are employed.

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GERGES: It's very -- when you talk about the local insurgency you're talking about basically a very difficult movement to monitor, to - and yes-

and yes, probably I mean the security at Sharm el Sheikh airport is excellent. Everyone says so. The Egyptian government has increased security

in the last year in particular.

GORANI: Yes, but Fawaz, there's a big difference between targeting a police officer or a police station or army in Sinai and murdering innocent -- 224

innocence. I mean would you - I mean knowing this group in the Sinai peninsula, this would be very much -- a very different modus operandi than

what they've done in the past.

GERGES: Absolutely, but first of all Hala ---

[CROSS-TALK]

GERGES: For your - if this for your viewers, the so called, the Sinai, (inaudible) has carried out I mean major massive bombing. Killed hundreds

of Egyptian police officers, killed the top prosecutors. Targeted foreign targets in Egypt, in the heart of Cairo, and Alexandria. So we really have

--

GORANI: And beheaded by the way a poor Croatian civilian.

GERGES: Absolutely. So it's not difficult I mean what we've seen is this a different level (inaudible).

GORANI: I want to by the way because of part of the reason Egypt would be concerned is because they don't want people to be afraid of traveling

there. But look at this map.

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GORANI: No travel at all. This is advice from the U.K. So we have the northern part of Sinai. Essential travel only. We have all that section

highlighted in orange. See our advisories for the section in green. Talk to us about the difference between north and south Sinai here.

GERGES: I don't buy the map. This is really -- it's one thing to say we have to be cautious, it's one thing to say we have to really find out about

the security in Sharm el Sheikh because obviously if ISIS or the so called Egyptian affiliate had done this particular bombing it's very serious. But

it's not - I mean we're talking about - I mean this particular part, it's northeast Sinai. This is where the local insurgency is really located with

deep roots. But Cairo is fine, Alexandria is fine, Sharm el Sheikh is fine, Luxor is fine. This is really going too much far beyond what the situation

wants.

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GERGES: Obviously even the Americans as you know, the Americans - the American embassy in Cairo has basically advised American citizens not to

travel to Sharm el Sheikh.

GORANI: But it's all about optics isn't it? I mean eventually if you're planning a trip to Sharm el-Sheikh and you watch this coverage and you see

or you hear the British Prime Minister saying it was most likely a bomb and then we mentioned briefly the Croatian civilian contractor who was abducted

and then later beheaded in that part of Egypt we believe. It's kind of understandable that people will be a little nervous.

GERGES: Absolutely. And what's really tragic Hala, is that the tourist industry is the lifeline of Egypt. I mean it has been devastated. And if

ISIS, if the so called I mean Sinai affiliate has taken over - I mean has done this thing, this would be a hard blow to the tourist industry because

Egypt, I mean this is already burdened by four years of social and political (inaudible). Imagine the consequences for the Egyptian economy.

GORANI: Well this group wants to kill people and the country.

GERGES: Waging economic warfare against the Egyptian economy.

[15:50:07]

GORANI: All right, Fawaz Gerges, thank you very much, we always appreciate your expertise.

Coming up, he's soft spoken and calm projecting his dignified demeanor.

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GORANI: Yet Ben Carson says he had a very violent past and a "pathological temper." However not everyone from his childhood remembers some of the

stories he's told. We'll be right back.

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GORANI: It may seem hard to believe given his demeanor on the campaign trail but the soft spoken Ben Carson, the current Republican frontrunner

says he used to have a pathological temper that led to numerous acts of violence. CNN's Joe Johns has that story.

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BEN CARSON, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of the wonderful things -

JOE JOHNS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ben Carson's quiet dignified approach is a big part of his appeal but he says his calm demeanor was

carved out of a violent past.

CARSON: As a teenager I would go after people with rocks and bricks and baseball bats and hammers.

JOHNS: Carson wrote in his book about striking a school mate in the face with a combination lock, nearly punching his mother, smashing a kid's face

with a rock. Carson said he also tried to kill a friend identified as Bob in a disagreement over the radio. He describes his temper as pathological.

A disease that made him totally irrational.

CARSON: I had a large camping knife and I tried to stab him in the abdomen and fortunately under his clothing he had on a large metal belt buckle. And

the knife blade struck with such force that it broke.

JOHNS: It was he says a pivotal point in Carson's life depicted in a T.V movie. Benny what did you do!

But then an epiphany. Carson says he quelled his anger with prayer.

CARSON: I locked myself in the bathroom and started contemplating my life and realizing that I would never realize my dream of becoming a physician

with a temper like that.

JOHNS: From that day forward Carson says he was a changed man, now on a course from poverty in Detroit, to world famous Neurosurgeon.

CARSON: I've never had another angry outburst since that day.

JOHNS: But that early picture of violence is not recognizable to some who grew up with Carson.

(MAREE CHOICE, FORMER NEIGHBOUR OF CARSON): I was shocked, I was surprised `cause he was just you know he was quiet and calm.

JOHNS: CNN reporters (inaudible) and Scott Glover tracked down ten school mates and neighbors. None challenged Carson's story directly. Only one said

they'd heard vague rumors about one of the incidents but all said this was not the boy they knew.

[15:55:03]

(STEVE, FORMER NEIGHBOUR OF CARSON): I was really surprised when I read he tried to stab someone. Like what?

JOHNS: Does it fit with the guy you knew? I mean that kind of activity?

(STEVE): No.

JOHNS: The campaign has refused repeated requests from CNN to help find witnesses or the victims Carson mentions only by first name telling CNN it

was a "witch hunt."

CNN has been unable to locate witnesses or victims.

TIMOTHY MCDANIEL, CHILDHOOD FRIEND OF CARSON: I associate him with a lot of things but never stooped to the level of a common street thug. So I was a

little surprised by it.

JOHNS: Timothy McDaniel says he was one of Carson's closest childhood friends. He says he raised it with Carson after the book came out.

MCDANIEL: I said man you hid it from us all those years and he said he was too embarrassed to even talk about it. I was surprised at some of the

things he said. But you know, he said them honestly and I believed everything he told me.

JOHNS: Joe Johns, CNN, Washington.

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GORANI: CNN followed up with Carson today asking why we have not been able to find anyone who can corroborate his story. Here's what he said.

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CARSON: I don't want to expose people without their knowledge. But remember, when I was 14 when the knifing episode occurred, that's when I

changed. That's when most of those people you talked to begin to know who I was. They didn't know me before that.

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GORANI: Well there you have it. This has been "The World Right Now," I'm Hala Gorani, thank you for watching "Quest Means Business" is next.

END