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Brussels Remains Under Highest Terror Alert; Mother of Bataclan Victim Speaks Out; Survivor of Mali Hotel Attack Shares Story; Mauricio Macri Wins Argentine Presidency; Authorities Searching for Terror Suspect; French Town of Sens Subject to Curfew; Islamic Leaders Try to De-Link Religion with Terror; Iran Sentences "Washington Post" Reporter Jason Rezaian; Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast" A Tribute to Paris. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired November 23, 2015 - 04:00   ET


MAX FOSTER, CNN HOST: Brussels remains under the highest terror alert as authorities in Belgium launch multiple raids.

French authorities released a photo of a third stadium attacker, but his identity remains a mystery.


And as the death toll rises in Mali after an attack on a hotel, we hear an emotional account from one survivor.

Thanks for joining us. I'm Max Foster in Paris this is CNN NEWSROOM.


FOSTER: It is mid-morning in France and the country remains on high alert. The focus now moving to prevent another terror attack. Here, children's bags are being searched as they arrive for school. In the Belgium capital, Brussels, schools are closed. In Paris, French president Francois Hollande has been meeting with the British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss the attacks ten days ago and the fight against ISIS. Earlier, the leaders visited the Bataclan, where 89 people died, Mr. Cameron tweeting a picture of them in front of a makeshift memorial.

Mr. Hollande spoke just a few moments ago.


FRANCOIS HOLLAND, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (via Translator): We want to act in the name of France concerning protections, also concerning external territory, that is to Syria. As far as our territory and populations are concerned, again, we exchanged information about how to further strengthen to make more efficient, effective, our systems of information, but also on a European level, decisions need to be made. That's why it's very important that the interior ministers met on Friday concerning the questions of the control of borders and the fight against arms trafficking, decisions to act as quickly as possible. (END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Well, French police have released a photo of a man who blew himself up in the attack on the Stade de France. They are asking for the public to give information about him that they can. Police haven't identified the man but say he was the third suicide bomber at the stadium.

For more on the campaign against ISIS, I'm joined by the deputy (INAUDIBLE) chief of "Paris Match" Magazine, Regis Le Sommier. He was in Syria a few weeks ago. First of all, what do you make of the press conference we just had with Cameron?

REGIS LE SOMMIER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, PARIS MATCH: Well, I think it's good especially for the French people to see our old ally, one of the oldest ally, England, embodied by Cameron, coming here and show support. Of course, the president has said they were going to exchange, increase cooperation and decide together how -- the best way to fight ISIS. It is important because also ,you know, the French and British, when it comes to the war on terror, have had some disagreements in the past, because -- especially with the war in Iraq. There was this feeling in England of a war fatigue, which actually made -- the British parliament was reluctant to vote, and voted against strikes in Syria at first. That was a time where the question was striking Assad forces and not ISIS.

This time around, things are getting different. The British, of course, know what terror can be with 2005 bombings in London. So they're going to show support and it's good, but it's only the first stage. I think Francois Hollandeis going to move, we know, tomorrow to Washington and then to Moscow. Is he going to be able to build his grand coalition of forces to actually be the most successful and the most equipped to fight ISIS? That is to be seen. Because obviously there is still some reluctance and there's still some sharp disagreement between Putin and Obama. Are they going to be able to come together? I think now France has -- with France, what has happened, has the strongest voice ever to bring everybody on board.

FOSTER: Maybe the compromise is carving up ISIS territory and saying you look after that bit, we'll look after that bit so there isn't the discussion about the political future. They could just do it on a purely logistical basis.

LE SOMMIER: That's right. But you can already see that on the ground. You know, military people are much more practical than politicians. And already on the ground, we can see that. It's not clear cut, but the Russian and the French are going to take care of Syria whereas the Americans are going to care of Iraq with the Kurds. So that's probably the map and that's what probably.

Now when it comes to coordination, the U.S. and the Russian makes a very precise point of telling they are not really -- they're not strictly cooperating, they are just avoiding air incidents. But on the fact, what is happening on the ground, they're not -- they're actually cooperating. But they could push it a step further. This is what I think a lot of people are expecting. A lot of people are expecting that we are going to go and uproot this evil that was born in the Middle East.

FOSTER: And President Hollande seems to have public support, but he's come from a very low approval rating. But it's actually, it's gone up something like 12 -- 10 percent, it's in the 30s now, since the Paris attacks because he's shown to be a strong leader.


The French are coming together on this one, aren't they?

LE SOMMIER: They are, but not to -- his rebound has not been as big as it was after Charlie. That's remember that back then, he was able to bring all of the leaders and demonstrate their support of France in Paris. That went from (INAUDIBLE) Sharon, I'm sorry, Benjamin Netanyahu to Mahmoud Abbas, you know, all people walking along in Paris to show their support. So a lot of French people thought we have a true leader. Now that thing is -- that popularity has been eroding sharply and we have one of the lowest popular presidents in history when he -- so the rebound has not been as high as it was before.

FOSTER: We stand here before this memorial, which is where a lot of people are coming to sort of pay their respects and they just stand, looking at the flowers, don't they? It's an extraordinary scene. But we are looking ahead to Friday now as well, aren't we, where we have the national memorial service effectively. That's going to be a big moment for French people, isn't it? And their personal relationship with what happened.

LE SOMMIER: Yes, I think everybody feels, especially in Paris, we know people that were there, or we know people that were injured. Some people knew some people that got killed. It is all in our community.

FOSTER: You know the places, as well.

LE SOMMIER: Yes, of course. The Bataclan is a place where I go sometimes for gigs, to attend gigs. And of course, I would be at the back. When you hear what happened, actually, you know where the bar is. You know it's a place where you can get a beer while listening to music.

FOSTER: So that's your connection --

LE SOMMIER: It's very weird. It's very weird. And all those cafes also are very popular. You know, Le (INAUDIBLE) and (INAUDIBLE), all of these places are known for Parisians. They're places where a lot of young people would gather. And not so young. It's a mixed place. You know, they targeted this area because they knew they would target the most people, you know, people from every background. Doesn't matter who they are, they were going to target French -- French people. Today, what this has triggered is the French coming together as united as ever.

FOSTER: Regis, thank you very much indeed for joining us today again. Now meanwhile, another suspect in the Paris attacks, 26-year-old Salah

Abdeslam, is still on the run after apparently fleeing to neighboring Belgium. That's despite a series of raids and arrests in Brussels and the city of (INAUDIBLE). Belgian authorities say they carried out 20 searches and arrested 16 people, but no firearms or explosives were found. Brussels remains under the highest terror alert with the subway closed and residents urged to avoid crowded places.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in the Belgium capital, joins me now. The public aren't getting much information. They're just told they're under threat.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. And it really is unclear how much the authorities actually know about what that threat actually is. I mean, they say they fear that there could be something like Paris-style attacks being carried out. And they say obviously with the threat level at the level four, the highest level that they have here, for Brussels, that that threat could very well be imminent. And so therefore of course the city is under this high alert.

And of course, Max, one of the places that normally would be very crowded and would have many people on it is where I'm standing right here, is Grand Place. And as you can see behind me, there's a military vehicle and soldiers here on the Grand Place here. There really are very few people going around.

It isn't a city in lockdown, but it certainly is a city that is basically on hold, Max. What we have seen this morning is very few people on the street. A lot of soldiers on the street. A lot of police officers on the street patrolling the street. As you said, the subway system isn't working. The schools are closed. People that we've been speaking to say, look, first of all, we are absolutely concerned about the situation. We fear that there could be an attacks here, but of course this is also a logistical nightmare for may people. Many people say they aren't going to work because they don't know what to do with their kids who are at home because all the schools are closed. So many of them are sort cycling to work, getting their stuff, trying to work from home. But it really has put this city almost on hold.

And of course there are these concerns that something very bad could happen, especially in light of the fact the authorities here seem to be very concerned as well. We were around this area last night here in the center of Brussels, and there was this sort of a cordon operation that was going on here. There was a lot of police officers that cordoned off a certain area. And they were quite nervous themselves. We spoke to them for a while; they say they were concerned that something could happen in this area. So for the people here, it is obviously a very unsettling thing as they try to go about their ways, but it is very, very difficult on this Monday morning, which normally of course is one of the busiest times in this city.


FOSTER: What about Abdeslam? We don't think he's linked to the terror alert level, but is in the city, they think. And possibly with a suicide vest?

PLEITGEN: Well, they believe that he could very well be in the city, but at this point in time, it is absolutely unclear where he is. Keep in mind, the last time he was actually seen, the last time that anybody knows where he actually was was in the town of Cambre (ph), which is in France, but right at the border with Belgium. It was there that he was apprehended along with two other associates, questioned by police, shortly after the Paris attacks, and then let go. After that, it's unclear where he is.

Now, the authorities here are saying they believe that he could very well be in Brussels. Might be hiding somewhere out here because of course he does have contacts here. It's a place he's associated with, especially in the district of Molenbeek. But he could also be somewhere else. There were searches carried out, as you said, for instance, in the town of Challujauh (ph). But unclear whether or not he might have made it there.

And, quite frankly, Max, we were traveling yesterday from Paris to Brussels here, and even in the light of what's going on, it still is fairly easy to move around. There relay aren't that many checks, there aren't that many controls by the police even at the border. So at this point in time, it's not clear how much intelligence the services here have as to where he exactly might be. And that might be one of the reasons why you're seeing so many raids in so many places.

FOSTER: Fred, thank you.

The mother of one of the Paris attack victims searched for her son for three days before learning he had been killed at the Bataclan theater. She spoke in her first U.S. interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nelly Leclaire (ph) weeped as she recalls her son, Geo (ph), as a touching, caring, sensitive man, always ready to help his family.

"He was magnificent," she tells me. "He and the love of his life, Marianne, went out for an evening of fun that Friday night."

Taking this selfie inside the theater, waiting for the band to play. It would be their last picture together. Geo (ph) threw his body over Marianne, saving her life. But word of Geo's (ph) condition eluded the family for three days.

(voice-over): You looked for your son for three days?

NELLY LECLAIRE (ph), (through translation): We always had hope, until the very last minute, even until we went to go see him, and then it was over. It was very hard.

HARLOW: You can't believe it's over?

LECLAIRE (ph) (through translation): We always hoped during the last three days. HARLOW: You always had hope in those three days?

(voice-over): The 32-year-old florist and adventurer died that night in the attack on the Bataclan.

(on camera): Tell me about the love between Geo (ph) and Marianne.

LECLAIRE (ph) (through translation): They were very, very -- they were two beings that were very compatible.

HARLOW (voice-over): Nelly says her son and Marianne were soul mates, two loves who had found each other and never shared a harsh word.

(on camera): If you were to look the person in the eye who killed your son, what would you say to them?

LECLAIRE (ph) (through translation): I would tell him he doesn't even deserve that we consider him a human being. It's not a human being. It's not possible. He isn't part of humanity. It's not possible people like this. Even animals don't do this between themselves. It's not possible. It's a monster.

HARLOW (voice-over): But in the face of evil, there is also pure beauty.

(on camera): Tell me about those flowers.

LECLAIRE (ph) (through translation): It was something that he was planning on doing for her before this all happened.

HARLOW (voice-over): His sister, Alexandra, tells us about the 200 roses her brother ordered for his girlfriend on their anniversary. They were delivered just days after he died.

ALEXANDRA LECLAIRE (ph) (through translation): It was to show his love for her. Unfortunately he didn't have the time to give it to her himself. We were the messengers for him in his last gift. Marianne said, even when he's not there, he still manages to surprise me.

HARLOW: What do you want the world to know about your brother?

ALEXANDRA LECLAIRE (ph): My brother was a very special boy.

(through translation): He did things, but not out of self-interests. He did it naturally because he liked to and because it made him happy to help people. He was always there for everyone.

HARLOW (voice-over): She tells me she will write a letter for him, to tell him everything that she didn't have a chance to say.

(on camera): What is in your heart?

ALEXANDRA LECLAIRE (ph) (through translation): At the bottom of my heart, that I'll never be able to touch him again.

HARLOW (voice-over): Nelly still can't believe she won't hold her son again.

(on camera): He was your baby?

LECLAIRE (ph) (through translation): Yes.

HARLOW: It's not just. It's not just.


It's unbelievable.


HARLOW (voice-over): Poppy Harlow, CNN, Paris.


FOSTER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Coming up, one survivor's chilling account of the hotel attack in Mali. Hear what she did as militants stormed the building.

And the ballots are being tallied in Argentina's first ever presidential run-off vote. We will have the latest on the new leadership after the break.


FOSTER: People gathering here at the makeshift memorial that really started building up after the Paris attacks. And now it's full of flowers and people standing, looking, thinking, trying to come to terms with what happened here in Paris.

Meanwhile, in Mali, it's a state of emergency still as it's reeling from last week's deadly hotel attack in the capital there.


The U.N. says the death toll has now risen to 22. The al Akbar news agency reports that two Islamist militant groups have claimed responsibility. A U.N. official says he believes the attackers wanted to disrupt peace talks that were taking place inside the hotel.

Meanwhile, we're hearing some harrowing accounts from survivors. Let's bring in David McKenzie on that. He joins us now from the Malian capital. David.

DAVD MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Max. This hotel was well known as frequented by westerners, ex-pats here and also to diplomats coming into the country, to help those peace talks that you described. And they talk about the horrible moments when the gunmen came into the hotel, started shooting wildly.

I spoke to one specialist from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. She was here to set up a new health system for disease prevention here in the country, has deep connections to West Africa, and then this shooting started at 7:00 a.m. as she was about to leave.


KATHIE FAZEKAS, CDC SPECIALIST: I e-mailed my husband and I just -- I said, "Something like, there is something going on, and I want you to know that I love you." And then when -- a few hours later when the fire down the hallway, I wrote another e-mail and said, "I do believe there are shooters here. And if I don't make it, I want you to know I love you, and my family, and my CDC. But I am coming home."

I do this because I love doing this work. And where we are in the world, that we need to continue on.


MCKENZIE: Well, she describes how her training helped save her life. She said if she had panicked and ran out or tried to escape, she probably would have been killed. Tragically, it seemed a lot of people, Max, were killed as they escaped the fire of the gunmen and tried to get out of a service elevator area of the hotel and then got stuck and were shot down. Max.

FOSTER: What do we know about who these claims of responsibility? Who was responsible?

MCKENZIE: Well, two groups have joined the claim of responsibility. One a connected group to the al Qaeda in the Maghreb. Now that's a jihadist splinter group of al Qaeda central that is based in the Sahel region of Africa. There's large parts of the strip of Africa in the northwest that has been taken over or at least poses -- is posed a threat by these jihadi groups.

Now this terror came to the capital of Mali. There's been terror attacks and insurgencies in the northern part of the country, much like in Nigeria and in parts of Cameroon and Chad for some years. Speaking to U.N. officials, they say they always believed the threat could come to the capital, but because of the western interests here and the statement it would make -- we were on a joint patrol last night with Malian and U.N. forces. That's a new thing. They're trying to show force here in the capital. This is an attractive situation, though it's come in the limelight with this attack, that is affecting large portions of Africa and really has put into sharper focus after the Paris attacks. Max.

FOSTER: OK, David there in Bamako, thank you.

The Nigerian army says eight people were killed and eight others injured in a suicide bombing on Sunday. It happened in the northeastern city of Maiduguri. A group of people were going through security screening at a military checkpoint when a bomb exploded and the victims were said to be mostly women and children fleeing violence from the Islamist group Boko Haram.

At least 104 people have been killed in a landslide in northern Myanmar and more are missing now. It happened when a huge mound of rocks and debris from a jade mine collapsed onto the huts of sleeping workers. That's according to state media. 70 huts were buried in the slide at about 3:00 a.m. local time on Saturday. The military is helping with the rescue and recovery efforts there.

Now, it's the end of a political dynasty in Argentina. Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri has won a majority in the country's presidential election. The vote marks a conservative shift for Argentina. His opponent, Daniel Scioli, conceded defeat on Sunday. He was handpicked by the Argentine president Cristina Fernandez Kirchner to be her successor. Shortly after, a triumphant Mauricio Macri thanked a crowd of supporters at his campaign headquarters.


MAURICIO MACRI, ARGENTINE PRESIDENT-ELECT (via Translator): I want to tell you today is an historic day. It's a change of the eras, a change of the era that I told you and you believed. It will be marvelous. It's a change that will have to take us to the future. It needs to take us to opportunities that we need in order to grow, to move ahead.


FOSTER: Well, it was a very tight race. It was apparently the first ever presidential runoff there in Argentina.


Brazilian state media are reporting that barriers have failed to prevent mud and waste from that Mariana mine disaster from reaching the Atlantic Ocean. It's been nearly three weeks since the dam burst, an ore mine, flooding the small town of Bento Rodriquez with water and mud. Samarco, the owner of the mine, installed nine kilometers of barriers traditionally used to contain oil spills, but they were told that -- since then, the mud has traveled almost 500 kilometers. Extraordinary.

Now, Brussels remains under extremely heavy security at this hour. After the break, we'll speak to a member of the capital's regional parliament for the latest on how the government is responding to the terror threat in Brussels.

And we'll take you to one French town just outside Paris singled out for an added layer of security after the attacks on the capital here.


FOSTER: Welcome to our viewers from the United States and around the world. We're Plaza de la Republique here in Paris. And here, a check of the headlines for you this hour.

The French president Francois Hollande has been meeting with the British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss the attacks in Paris ten days ago now and the fight against ISIS. Mr. Cameron said Paris had shown resilience and courage in the wake of the attacks. He says both countries agreed on greater border control efforts, a more effective way of screening people, and greater data sharing. [04:30:00]

FOSTER: Earlier, leaders visited the Bataclan, where 89 people died. Mr. Cameron tweeted a picture of himself and Mr. Hollande in front of the makeshift memorial.

French police have released a photo of a man who blew himself up in the attack on the Stade de France. They're asking the public information about him. Police haven't identified the man but say he was the suicide bomber at the stadium.

Buenos Aires Mauricio Macri has won a majority in the country's first ever presidential runoff. The vote marks a conservative shift for Argentina. His opponent Daniel Scioli conceded defeat late on Sunday.

Belgium's capital reamins under the country's highest terror alert this morning. At the beginning of the working week, the subway's closed to commuters and people have been warned against venturing into crowds. Authorities are still hunting for one of the main suspects in the Paris attacks there. He's 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam, who is on the run despite a series of raids late on Sunday.


ERIC VAN DER SYPT, BELGIAN FEDERAL PROSECTURO: The prosecution's office and the Brussels investigating judge specialized in terrorist cases order a total of 19 house searches in the Brussels region. These searches took place in central Molenbeek, Undelecht (ph), Jette, (INAUDIBLE), and Vurst (ph). There were three house searches carried out in Charorois (ph). In total, 16 persons were arrested.


FOSTER: For more on the threat to the Belgium capital, in the city there this hour, we are joined by Alan Destexhe. He's a member of the Brussels region parliament. He joins us via Skype. A lot of people very concerned I think in Belgium right now that all the raids that have been carried out. We understand no more raids taking place, no more arms discovered, and yet the city still on the very highest level of alert. Can you help explain why that is?

ALAN DESTEXHE, BRUSSELS REIGONAL PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Yes, we are now for three days under maximum alert and the atmosphere is very heavy in Brussels. And the shopping malls are closed, the cinema are closed. The traffic jams are very limited. There are police and military people all over the city. So this is an exceptional situation that I have never seen in my life. Because, yes, we are still searching for Abdeslam who is really public enemy No. 1 now.

FOSTER: It is frightening, isn't it, for your constituents there? They don't know what to make of it. They have to avoid public places where crowds may gather. Avoid going out at all if possible, and the schools are shut. So what is your message to them today?

DESTEXHE: Well, you know, my message that the government is doing its best to try to find the terrorist. As you said earlier, there were 16 people detained this night. But unfortunately, suspect No. 1 still escaped. And, yes, we have to acknowledge people are frightened, in particular the teenagers, the children, you know, they don't understand very well what is going on. They are not used to this situation and Belgium is under exceptional circumstances right now.

But if I may, I would like to talk about the passenger name record and the fact that we should really speed up European cooperation in order to target this problem of terrorism.

FOSTER: Well, one of the accusations against Belgium, from the French side at least, was Belgium didn't share intelligence quickly enough in the aftermath of the attack. The issue being that in this part of Europe, of course, people and terrorists can travel freely through countries. But the intelligence sharing isn't keeping up with that properly.

DESTEXHE: Well, you know, the French government didn't really blame the Belgium government. This was more the press who did that. Obviously, there was some problem of sharing information between not only between Belgium and France, but throughout Europe in general. And I think we see now that this is pan-European problem rather than a specific problem of Belgium.

After Charlie Hebdo everybody says that we are going to improve security within Europe. And it really didn't happen. In particular, I really blame the European Parliament for not passing legislation on the passenger name record. We have a passenger name record between the U.S. and Europe, but we don't have one within Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world. This was supposed to be done right after Charlie Hebdo, and it's still not done. And I really launch an appeal to the European Parliament to pass this legislation before the end of the year in order to protect the European citizens.


FOSTER: In terms of Salah Abdeslam, he was one of the Paris attackers. He's on the run. We believe he's in Brussels there. Is that the information you're hearing as well, that he's still there, possibly armed with a suicide vest?

DESTEXHE: Well, the last thing we heard, yes, that he may be wearing an explosive belt which is of course extremely frightening. And that's why the government took this very exceptional decision to select and shut down the city for three days. In particular now that's Monday morning, which is supposed to be one of the busiest days of the week.

But now the last information I have is that he might not be anymore in Brussels, but rather between Leiage (ph), Verviers, another town next to Leiage (ph), and Germany. But of course, this is not confirmed. What I can confirm is that all of the police of the Belgium kingdom (ph0 are really tracking him down now and trying to find him and trying to put an end to this extreme situation in Brussels and all over the country.

FOSTER: Yes, sympathy with everyone living in Brussels right now. Alan, thank you very much indeed for that.

Now, after the attacks here in Paris, a nighttime curfew was put in place in one town outside Paris here in France. The curfew in Sens is now over, but as Nic Robertson reports, some residents don't understand why their town was singled out in the first place.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Southeast of Paris, the Sunday market in Sens is busy. A few hours earlier, it would have been illegal to be here. There was a curfew -- and that upset some residents.

"They are making this all too dramatic," this trader tells me. "There are no problems here."

The curfew between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. is the first of its kind in France since emergency powers were imposed last week and applies only to this, the Pleasant Fields neighborhood fields of Sens. An area that includes low cost housing, has a reputation -- unfairly, locals say -- for low-end crime and very occasional confrontation with police.

The new powers are prompting debate.

UNIDENTIFIED FMEALE: It is strict compared to the rest of the town.

ROBERTSON (on camera): And that's not good?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I find it's not good. That's exactly the contrary of what we should do.

ROBERTSON: The curfew was imposed here after police raids turned up some weapons and some forged documents. Several people were taken into custody, but most of those have been released now.

(voice-over): At the city center, Catholics celebrate in one of the oldest Gothic cathedrals. Although several hours from Paris, all in this tiny tourist city fear another ISIS attack.

The curfew was intended to make police raids easier. When I meet the mayor, however, she seems unsure if the curfew that ends Monday is worth the division it's causing.

"I want to guarantee the tranquillity of the entire population, even if it means limiting the liberties of some. But the curfew was not my decision. It was a decision of the state."

Back in Pleasant Fields, Ahmed Zina who runs a cafe and helps underprivileged kids was shocked how fast the curfew was imposed, but worked to support it.

"We respect the curfew," he says. "It was necessary for the police to do their work safely."

Most here feel the same, but worry in the rush to follow terror leads, jobs may be lost, more problems created.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People don't have to be afraid to come here. It's a tourist city. We have nice place in this country.

ROBERTSON: So far, no terrorists have been found and few here expect they will.

Nic Robertson, Sens, France.


FOSTER: Now Muslims in France have denounced the attacks and Islamic leaders are fighting hard to stop others from linking their religion to terrorism. We've seen many Islamic leaders actually coming down here and paying their respects to show their official form of that.

Jim Bittermann has more on the tension and the fears within the Muslim community.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At a mosque in the Paris suburbs, those who gathered for Friday prayer were filled with indignation at how their religion to which they are devoted has been hijacked by murderers.

"The terrorists have nothing to do with Islam," the imam told his faithful.


UNIDENTIFIED IMAM (through translation): We firmly condemn cowardly outrageous acts that plunged France into mourning. These attacks directly struck our values but our entire humanity. We are war with an invisible enemy. Terrorism has no religion, no borders, no nationality.

BITTERMANN: It was a message delivered to the faithful across the nation. Islamic leaders like these, who met in another Paris suburb to coordinate their sermons, know that they have a fight on their hand not only against radicals who are trying to draw young people to a merciless interpretation of religion but against those who can't or won't make a distinction between terrorists and true believers.

(on camera): In the week since the terrorist carnage in Paris, a 12- fold increase in attacks against Muslims, according to an institute that majors in what the French call Islamophobia. Mosques have been vandalized and people beaten up. A further measure of the tension, police canceled a rally by Muslims against terrorism because they did not feel they could assure the safety of the participants.

(voice-over): Local Islamic associations worry that the attacks will widen the gap between the Muslim community and others in France.

UNIDENTIFIED IMAM (via translation): Our souls were struck. And the feeling of fear is understandable, the fear that we will be stigmatized as well as the fear for the nation in which we fully wrong.

BITTERMANN: Furious about what the radicals have done to the image of Islam, religious leaders pressed hard to express their sympathy for the victims and outrage for perpetrators of attacks, visiting memorials, laying wreaths, and speaking out as the rector of the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris did to Christiane Amanpour.

DALIL BOUBAKEUR, RECTOR, GRAND MOSQUE OF PARIS: What part of Koran says that we shall kill innocent people, young people?

BITTERMANN: Muslims know none of these things can be found in their holy book but are increasingly upset non-Muslims think they can, and increasingly aggravated that some here are quick to link their religion with vicious crimes.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.


FOSTER: We continue to follow all developments here in France and in Belgium for you. Also, we're following developments else in the world. And new developments in the controversial case of Jason Rezaian. Now Iran says the jailed "Washington Post" journalist has been sentenced. We've got some details for you on that after the break.



FOSTER: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. Now police in the U.S. city of New Orleans say 16 people have been wounded in a shootout. It happened in a park on Sunday during an impromptu music video filming. Several hundred people were there when two groups began firing on each other. Detectives are looking for surveillance video of that incident.

There's word from Iran that a journalist of the "Washington Post" has been sentenced on espionage charges. Jason Rezaian has been detained in Iran since July 2014, and the newspaper has insisted that Rezaian is innocent and should be released immediately. Ian Lee has that story.


IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "Washington Post" bureau chief Jason Rezaian has been sentenced to prison according to Iran's judicial spokesman. Rezaian was tried on espionage charges. The Iranian- American has been detained in a prison for almost 500 days.

What we don't know are the details of the charges or verdict against Rezaian, or the length of his sentence. This comes amid ongoing domestic tensions between moderates around Iranian President Rouhani and hardliners in the government.

There was also hope that following the Iran nuclear deal, that tensions would thaw between Washington and Tehran, leading to Rezaian's release. Iranian leaders have also suggested a possible prisoner swap in the past. And "The Washington Post" says they're aware of this development and added, "Every day that Jason is in prison is an injustice. He has done nothing wrong. Even after keeping Jason in prison 487 days, so far, Iran produced no evidence of wrong doing. His trial and sentence are a sham and he should be released immediately."

Rezaian's sentencing comes amid a crackdown on other journalists in Iran. United Nations human rights investigators have called on Iran to cease arresting, harassing, and prosecuting journalists. They've also urged Iran to release all journalists, including Jason.

Ian Lee, CNN, Cairo.


FOSTER: You are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

And bookstores here in Paris are quickly selling out of Ernest Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast". The writer's love letter to the City of Light, and its popularity right now next.


FOSTER: Now almost immediately after the terror attacks here in Paris, France launched air strikes on ISIS's self-declared capital of Raqqa, and that's in Syria of course. Now in a CNN exclusive, senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh gets extremely close to the ISIS headquarters.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONALN CORRESPONDENT: Air stirkes can repeatedly pound Raqqa, but it's here that any ground offensive by the Kurds towards the capital of ISIS's self-declared caliphate would have to begin. And still a sense of stalemate. Their ultimate goal of Raqqa visible on a good day in the far distance. And this space, at times in the past few days, hit by ISIS mortars.


FOSTER: Well, don't miss Nick's full exclusive report from Syria in the next hour on "NEW DAY" starting at 6:00 a.m. Eastern; that's 11:00 a.m. in London.

Now since the terror attacks here in Paris, one particular novel has been flying off the shelves in bookstores across the French capital. "A Moveable Feast" by Ernest Hemingway, the writer's ode to Paris. Our Ivan Watson has more on the book's recent resurgence.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): "All of the sadness of the city came suddenly, with the first cold rains of winter." That's a line from "A Movable Feast," a memoir about life in Paris in the 1920s, written by Ernest Hemingway. The book is his love letter to the City of Light, celebrating its cafes and cobblestone streets, immortalizing an English-language book shop, where you can find a first-edition copy of the American writer's iconic book.

(on camera): Hemingway's book is pretty much required reading for most visitors to Paris. What's unexpected is that it has also become a source of comfort for many of the French in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks.

(voice-over): At book shops across Paris, owners have seen a sudden spike in sales of French versions of Hemingway's 51-year-old novel.

(on camera): What is your number-one selling novel right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "A Movable Feast" from Ernest Hemingway.

WATSON: Do you have anymore copies?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's sold out now.

WATSON: Sold out?


WATSON (voice-over): Part of the appeal is clearly symbolic. The French title of "A Movable Feast" translates back into English as "Paris is a party."

This man says he's buying the book to remind himself that the city of light is also a city that loves to party.

"We have to live, we have to go out," he says, "and we have to stick out our tongues at the terrorists."

Shop owners say they've also seen a surge of interest in books about Islamist radicalism, but those sales don't compare to the rediscovery of Hemingway's book, no doubt boosted by the fact that #parisestunefete has also become a hash tag slogan of defiance on French social media.


WATSON: As many honor the dead, others are determined to live up to Hemingway's immortal words. "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris," he writes, "then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast."



WATSON: Ivan Watson, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEOTAPE) FOSTER: I'm Max Foster in Paris. Thank you for joining us. It's interesting. You see copies of that book lying here by the memorial. People leaving it. It's just one of the things they've done in response to those horrific attacks ten days ago.

"EARLY START" is next.