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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
President Francois Hollande Declared Before Parliament Today that France is At War with ISIS. Aired 3:30-4p ET
Aired November 16, 2015 - 15:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:30:00] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: that attacks are coming and they are coming for the United States, specifically Washington. The director of the CIA makes a very big revelation on that front about what could be in the pipeline.
Stay with us for the answers on CNN's special live coverage.
[15:34:34] CUOMO: Welcome back to Paris and CNN's special live coverage of the Paris attacks. I'm Chris Cuomo.
You will hear behind us some clapping, you will hear some chanting. We want to show you what's been going on here. We keep talking about next, next militarily, politically. It is not about next hear in Paris. It is about what just happened on Friday, the lives lost, those injured, the way of life attacked, those air paper balloons that are being sent up into the air by people here to remember the human cause, to remember what was done to them and to reaffirm to one another that they are together hopefully more than ever.
But that is the big question, right. What happens next here? Paris is at a big crossroads politically and militarily. They started their attacks. President Francois Hollande just asked the parliament in an historic joint session of parliament. He called them back. It's only the third time that's happened since 1848. He did it to ask for a state of emergency to be extended from 12 days to three months he wants that hear. What does that mean? What does that mean for France? What does that mean for the U.S. that is watching this situation very closely?
To discuss, let's bring Janine di Giovanni. She is the Middle East editor for "Newsweek" and author of "the morning they came for us, dispatches from Syria."
You live here in Paris, but you, you know, have just recently been in Syria. You understand the situation very well. When the president says, President Hollande, we are at war. That is political language but it is also operative language that allowed him to request the state of emergency and then he went to the parliament asking to extend it. There is an expectation that will be granted. What is the plus and minus on that for people here?
[15:36:14] JANINE DI GIOVANNI, MIDDLE EAST EDITOR, NEWSWEEK: I think, first of all, his speech was extraordinary because as you said it's one of the few times in recent and certainly in our hundred years that he has addressed the joint sessions of parliament. But also I counted the number of times that said we are at war. It was very strong language.
And you have to remember a few things. First of all, Hollande is not popular right now at the moment. But with this crisis, as is with last January, Charlie Hebdo, the killings of journalists, he is gaining popularity because he is taking back control and he also giving France a kind of boost at a time when this national tragedy were very wounded. So I think the confidence he's giving came first with the strikes last night on Raqqa. And then following the house arrest last night and the searches.
The down sides to this are several. One is that it plays into the narrative of the extreme right, which we have seen throughout Europe actually with the refugee crisis beginning last summer. Politicians such as Hungary, Britain, France in particular (INAUDIBLE) is leading a movement on the national front which gains momentum, especially with a crisis like this because it plays into people's vulnerabilities.
You have to remember as you know that we don't have borders as you do in America or America going to Mexico, America going to Canada. I could go to Germany, I could go to Switzerland, I could go to Greece without ever showing my passport.
CUOMO: Right now with the state of emergency that will be different, but that's not the norm.
DI GIOVANNI: That is not the norm. Usually you could get in the car and you could drive from Greece to Paris. So this has brought in all kinds of issues about national security.
The second issue is people are questioning what happened to the DGSI, the French secret service. Where were the flaws? Where were the gaps? How did we let this happen? All of us who work in this intelligence community, working on terrorism and the Syrian conflict knew this was coming. It was not a matter of if, it was when. When was it going to strike? How did they let it go to such an extreme?
And the difference, of course, with "Charlie Hebdo" was that was a targeted assassination against a group of journalists who were provocative, did not deserve to die in that way. This was a pure attack on soft targets on innocent mainly, Hollande said today in his speech, most of the victims were under 30. And he reiterated over and over again, this was an attack not just on France but on what we believe in. The pillars of the French constitution and French society are liberty, paternity, legality. Also, civil liberties.
And this leading to my point of another thing that we're concerned about which is that if surveillance is heightened, which it will have to be for national interest to protect against other --
CUOMO: Part of the state of emergency as well.
DI GIOVANNI: Part of the state of emergency. It means that the state can then intercept email, telephone calls with impunity. So in its sense, the house arrest last night and the detentions and they were done without judicial authority. This is a worry. It's not that we are about to turn into a police state, but it is something a country such as France which values so much its liberty and its freedom of expression is going to have to keep a careful eye on.
CUOMO: Something like this often changes at least for a little while what people are willing to accept. And here we hear the clapping. People re together. But they are also afraid and they want this to never happen again. How do you do that? Those are the answers that need to come. Because the questions are obvious. The solutions, not so much.
Janine Di Giovanni, thank you very for your perspective. Appreciate it very much.
DI GIOVANNI: Thank you. Thank you very much.
CUOMO: All right, Brooke, let me bring it back to you in New York.
[15:40:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: All right. From the how to the who, of course, we are on this investigation, the manhunt, the suspect here. What we're learning about their backgrounds and the hunt for possible accomplices. Stay with us.
Chris Cuomo live in Paris. I'm Brooke Baldwin here in New York. Special live coverage continues after this.
[15:44:36] BALDWIN: You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin.
Continuing our special coverage here of the Paris terror attacks. France is striking back. President Francois Hollande just declared before parliament today that France is at war with ISIS. Words with immediate impact abroad and at home. The military launched its second day of bombing missions against ISIS targets in Raqqa, Syria. And there is now a state of emergency in France allowing special police powers potentially if for months to come.
All of it in response to this coordinated assault Friday that left 129 people dead in Paris and another 352 wounded. Investigators say eight suspects are the focus of this investigation and only one is still alive.
Joining me now is CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank there in Paris.
And Paul, let me just begin with the latest bit from this ISIS video that, in fact, they would like to target here in the United States, specifically our nation's capital of Washington, D.C. You know, you having studied ISIS as much as you have. What is their ultimate desire and what is reality?
[15:45:42] PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, they certainly have a desire to attack the United States. That's a top target for them. United Stated is launching rounds against in Syria and Iraq. And so if they can get operatives to the United States, they will definitely try and take the shot.
But there are many fewer Americans who joined ISIS than Europeans. To give you some idea about 250 Americans believed to have traveled to Syria and Iraq. But more than 6,000 Europeans. So the scale of terror threat here in Europe is much, much higher. And a lot easier to come back into Europe through the borders here than it is to enter the United States.
We have seen people coming through Greece and Albania and up through Italy and so on and so forth. It's not difficult to get back into the European Union. So the scale of the threat is much bigger here than in the United States.
But ISIS is starting to get into the international terrorism business now in a big way. They have some capable operational masterminds. We are learning that one of the master minds potentially of this attack was a guy called (INAUDIBLE), a Belgium (INAUDIBLE) who went to Syria around 2013, 2014 and ascended up the hierarchy of ISIS. Somebody very skilled in recruiting operatives, getting them trained and giving them marching orders to come back and launch attacks. So he was the mastermind of that plot in Belgium, Brooke, in January that made to fought with the Belgian commandos tortured in that raid.
It is figures like this, these operational master minds by (INAUDIBLE) for Al-Qaeda back in the old days that really make the difference when it comes to international terrorism. So the threat in the United States definitely growing from ISIS.
BALDWIN: But you mentioned I think what is also key here. You mentioned getting marching orders having gone to Syria. The marching orders according to our reporting coming directly from the chief of ISIS himself from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. If that is the case, what are the implications there that it came from the top?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, I think the implications are that the top leadership of ISIS have decided to unleash that very considerable capabilities against the west. I think on the question of France, France started launching airstrikes against ISIS in Syria in September. I think for ISIS, that was probably a red line. It may be at that point that they decided to put this operation into the planning phase and sending some people back and getting this thing going.
But Brooke, think about ISIS. This is the richest terrorist group in history. Tens of millions if not more of dollars in the bank. They have thousands of western recruits. Thousands of other recruits. They have training camps, which rival anything that Al-Qaeda had in Afghanistan before 9/11. They controlled big chunks of Syria and Iraq, chunks of Libya, they have a deep presence in the Sinai. They have a big presence in Yemen and the Pakistan region in Nigeria and east Africa. I could carry on and carry on.
But the basic idea here, Brooke, is this is an unprecedented threat. The west is now facing. There needs to be urgency in the international community to deal with this threat to eradicate this threat before we have a lot more days like this. So this could just be the beginning.
BALDWIN: None of us want it to be the end.
Paul Cruickshank, thank you.
But even here now hearing from the Pope, the Pope calling this the third world war. And of course, we remember the people who lost their lives in the terror attacks in Paris.
[15:53:51] BALDWIN: In Paris each victim unique. Each one out Friday evening enjoying a nice night, and now each one mourned.
Here is CNN's George Howell.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They were students and teachers, concert goers and football fans, hundreds of people from all walks of life injured, and tragically more than 100 killed. There are still families waiting for word as to whether their loved ones will be coming home. Others though already know theirs won't.
Here are some of the victims. From France, (INAUDIBLE), one of the first victims to be named a Parisian lawyer and graduate of the London school of economics, described as a talented lawyer and extremely well liked.
(INAUDIBLE), an employee of the news agency France 24, a young father and lover of rock music killed at the Bataclan.
From the United States Cal State Long Beach student Nehomi Gonzalez. Her mother says she hopes she is remembered. She was in Paris as a foreign exchange student.
Nick Alexander from Britain. He was working with the Eagles of Death Metal band when the attack happened.
An Italian citizen (INAUDIBLE) was also killed at the Bataclan according to Italy's foreign minister. The 28-year-old Venice native was studying in Paris.
From Chile, (INAUDIBLE), a musician who had lived in Paris for eight years.
And Patricia San Martin Nunez and her daughter (INAUDIBLE), they were niece and grandniece respectively of the Chilean ambassador to Mexico, Ricardo Nunez.
[15:55:31] BALDWIN: Those are some of the faces, but I want share this with you. One man doing his part there to help Paris heal bringing a grand piano to the Bataclan concert hall.
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