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Barack Obama Addresses Nation on Subjects of ISIS, Terrorism. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired December 7, 2015 - 15:00:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, HOST: Welcome to The World Right Now. I'm Lynda Kinkade in for Hala Gorani.


KINKADE: U.S. President, Barack Obama says it's clear the San Bernardino shooters embraced a perverted interpretation of Islam. He addressed the

nation last night from the White House vowing to destroy ISIS. But he also warned Americans not to let fear divide them and destroy their fundamental

values. Joe Johns has more.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The threat from terrorism is real. But we will overcome it.

JOE JOHNS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Obama speaking passionately to millions in a rare oval office address late Sunday strongly

condemning ISIS and calling Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernardino a terrorist attack.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: It is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization. So this was an act of terrorism.

JOHNS: Obama, doubling down on his four point strategy to defeat the terrorist group.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The strategy we're using now; air strikes, special forces and working with local forces who are fighting to regain control of their

own country and it won't require us sending a new generation of Americans to fight and die for another decade on foreign soil.

JOHNS: At home Obama putting stronger screenings on people arriving in the U.S. without a visa and insisting on more gun control.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Congress should act to make sure no one on a no fly list is able to buy a gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you do as President to prevent the mass shooting.

JOHNS: The policy GOP Presidential hopefuls are calling insufficient to tackle the evolving threat. Donald Trump tweeting is that all there is and

re-tweeting, he needs to stop all visas not look at them. Jeb Bush proposing his own more aggressive strategy and calling the fight against

ISIS the war of our time.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: There's a real problem, that Muslims must confront without excuse.


JOHNS: President Obama ending his 13 minute speech with an appeal to Muslims to root out extremists ideology while also calling on Americans to

reject discrimination.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Muslim Americans are our friends and our neighbors. Our co-workers. Our sports heroes. And yes, they are our men and women in

uniform who are willing to die in defense of our country.

JOHNS: Senator Marco Rubio pushing back.

MARCO RUBIO, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Where is the widespread evidence that we have a problem in America with discrimination against

Muslims and the refusal to call this for what it is, a war on radical Islams. Not only did the President not things better tonight, I fear he may

have made things worse.


KINKADE: Now it did not take long for Republican candidates to slam the speech. Let's bring in Stephen Collinson for more on this. He's a senior

political reporter for CNN politics. Steven, President Obama spoke about a strategy to defeat ISIS. A strategy that doesn't include ground troops. He

really seemed to make a case for sticking with his current policy. How is this all being perceived in Washington?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, SENIOR POLITICAL REPOTER: That's Lynda, this speech clearly didn't change the political controversy in Washington over the

President's anti-ISIS strategy.


COLLINSON: As you say it was more a doubling down on the current strategy and the defense of that strategy rather than unveiling any major new

initiatives and intensifications of the strategy and for Republicans that's just not enough. They're saying that this strategy has clearly not stopped

the spread, the march of ISIS across the Middle East into new terror havens there and in South Asia. And it has not stopped turning its sights on the

west as we saw in the Paris attack. And it's not stopped it from radicalizing Muslims in other parts of the world, notably in California

following last week's attack.


KINKADE: And Stephen for the first time there is a new poll out. A CNN ORC poll that found that a majority of Americans, 53% say the U.S. should send

ground troops to Iraq or Syria to fight ISIS. Will that play into the hands of critics of Obama?

COLLINSON: Yes, I think so. I think what that poll confirms is the gradual shifting of the politics of deploying American troops abroad over the

period since the Iraq war. We have seen slight shifts in that before. This is the first time we have seen a majority in favor of deploying troops


But that is also an abstract question. If an American President were to come before the American people and say I need to deploy 200,000 say troops

abroad for a prolonged period, a new long term Middle East war I think you'd see that figure would be different. And that's reflected in the fact

that although some Republican Presidential candidates have said they would be willing to deploy troops to Syria for example on the ground to fight

ISIS, there's no Presidential candidate who is proposing to the American people that we should get into a new engagement in the Middle East, a long-

term war similar to the one we saw in Iraq.

KINKADE: OK, I would love to discuss this more but we have to leave it there for now. Steven Collinson, senior political reporter, thank you very


COLLINSON: Thanks, Lynda.

KINKADE: Well still to come this hour, a man appears in court over a stabbing at an underground station in London. We'll bring you all the

details of that just ahead.






KINKADE: Welcome back. A married couple who carried out a shooting in San Bernardino, California were both radicalized that's according to the FBI.


KINKADE: Investigators say Sayed Farook and Tashfeen Malik (inaudible) for quite some time. 14 people were killed on Wednesday's attack on a holiday



KINKADE: U.S. President Barack Obama is promising to wipe out ISIS with what we calls a smart and relentless campaign.


KINKADE: He delivered the message in a rare oval office address on Sunday night. Mr. Obama also said last week's massacre in Southern California was

a terrorist act.


KINKADE: A man has appeared in court in London charged with attempted murder over a stabbing at an underground station on Saturday. Two people

were wounded. One of them seriously. Prosecutors say the attack constituted an act of terrorism.

Fredrick Pleitgen has the latest.

FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The prosecution has released quite a bit of information about the alleged attacker as well

as his possible motives. Now his name is Muhaydin Mire. He's 29 years old and is from London and now he has been charged with attempted murder.


PLEITGEN: Now according to the prosecution all of this happened on Saturday night at around 7:00 pm. When he attacked a 56-year-old man from behind

inside a subway station, beat the man, forced him to the ground and then started cutting his neck with a knife in what some witnesses describe as an

apparent sawing motion.

Now at some point he let off his victim, however, by that time he had already inflicted a wound to the man's neck of about 5 inches that later

required about 5 hours of surgery. Subsequently, he threatened several other people inside the subway station before finally being confronted by

the police who tazered him and then finally managed to subdue him.

Now apparently, as he was being led away, he screamed this is for Syria.


PLEITGEN: Later interrogations then showed that on his phone according to the prosecution he had images of ISIS material as well as images of both

the Paris and the San Bernardino attacks.

Now, Londoners reacted to all of this in their typical fairly calm way. As the man was being led away video could be seen and a man could be heard

screaming "you ain't no Muslim brov." Now that's subsequently been turned into a hashtag which has gone viral. It's even been used by Britain's Prime

Minister David Cameron to show London's defiance in the face of terrorism and also London being against Islamophobia.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, London.


KINKADE: Returning to our top story now. The FBI says it's working at break-neck speed investigating the San Bernardino massacre.

During a news conference at the top of the hour, the bureau's deputy director said it appears both suspects were radicalized though it's not

clear by whom, if anyone, he said. The FBI official also said police found 19 pipes in the suspect's home that could have been made into pipe bombs.


KINKADE: Now a new image of the shooters has surfaced. It shows Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik entering the U.S. in 2014. Our Chris Cuomo

spoke earlier with two people who knew Farook.

NAZAAM ALI, ACQUAINTANCE SYDE FAROOK: We had no idea. We didn't see any change and stuff like that. But now thinking about it. I mean - I see that

there, you know how the Muslim community was unaware of this. I mean it makes obvious -- it makes perfect sense to me.

We Muslims don't - we don't know what a person does behind closed doors, we don't know what he does in his private life. We don't have access to his IP

address to see his web history. We don't know what type of people he was listening to, if he was being indoctrinated by someone in foreign country

teaching him some type of radicalism or something along those lines.

Had we ourselves known of such a thing, we would have been the first people to reach out to the officials and warn them that this person here is

threatening to do something. I mean until today and I am sure that Dr. Mustafa agrees with me that if we see someone in our communities that is

threat - that is a potential threat we will take matters very seriously and not lightly and we will report it to the officials.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I am absolutely not trying to put you on the defensive. This is just about understanding how this went so


ALI: Right.

CUOMO: We here -- I'm wondering was there any discussion about politics that you saw change over time? Because his father now says reportedly that

this guy was embracing of Al-Baghdadi. The reporting is that the wife pledged allegiance to Al-Baghdad, obviously the ISIS head. Anything like

that come up in terms of politics, anger?


ALI: No, absolutely not. I mean we would see him frequently yes, you know two to four times a week. However our visits and talks with him and our

conversations were very limited. Maybe five minutes or so because against he was on lunch break. So you know it was just hi and bye, how's family,

how's everything and there were no signs of him ever expressing some type of situation in which you know he was emotionally - you know having some

breakthrough or something like that or feeling that you know there's some policy as far as American foreign policy or something like that that was in

question. I don't remember him ever making such comments.


KINKADE: Now the lawyer for the gunman's family also says it's hard to believe for him that Farook, a suburban Californian husband could act like

a Jihadi. But CNN has been talking to a man who has seen ISIS members and sympathizes up close.

He is a former teacher who fled Raqqa, the self (inaudible) ISIS capital in Syria. He says some members came just for the sake of being killed.

In this exclusive report he tells CNN's Ian Lee what he thinks it will take to defeat the terror group.


IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is the biggest target in the war against ISIS. The Syrian city of Raqqa, the capital of the so called

Islamic state despite constant bombardment ISIS lures followers by painting its land as a paradise.

(Sauleman), not his real name, fled Raqqa in recent days with his young family.

[speaking foreign language ]

(SAULEMAN), As translated: If it was paradise we wouldn't try to leave. Life is very difficult. Most of the doctors left. You can count the number

of doctors on one hand and they only service ISIS. Every day hundreds gather for free food handouts. It's not a lot. You stand there being

humiliated trying to get something to eat.

LEE: How would you describe the Islamic state.

(SAULEMAN), (As translated): Scary. It's a scary state by the literal meaning of the word. They came with their laws pretending to teach us

honesty but they taught us how to lie.

LEE: Have your kids gone to school in Raqqa?

(SAULEMAN), (As translated): They went for a week but then refused to go. There's no education, five to 11 year old kids are in the same class.

Teachers don't show up and older kids harass them.

LEE: Following French air strikes ISIS cracked down on internet usage fearing their targets might be revealed. Now paranoia grips Raqqa.

How has ISIS controlled the internet?

(SAULEMAN), (As translated): They're afraid that their members will try to communicate with foreign intelligence. We have seen a lot of people who

have been beheaded and killed accused of being spies.

LEE: Are the air strikes in Raqqa effective?

(SAULEMAN), (As translated): Realistically no. There's a little impact because most areas are being emptied by ISIS or evacuated before the air


LEE: The U.S. led coalition hopes Kurdish fighters and their allies staging around Raqqa will take the city. But (Sauleman) would not use the word


Would the locals in Raqqa choose ISIS or the Kurds?

(SAULEMAN), (As translated): I don't have an answer. It's difficult because the Kurds forced the Arabs to flee. That's a difficult question, I don't

have an answer.

LEE: Do you see ISIS as being strong?

(SAULEMAN), (As translated): In reality, yes. They are strong. They have trained shoulders and aspired suicide bombers. They have members who came

just for the sake of being killed. They are strong.

LEE: ISIS' reign of terror is over for (Sauleman). But he's not out of danger. He'll now join the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees trying

to make the dangerous journey to Europe's shores.

Ian Lee, CNN, Gaziantep, Turkey.


KINKADE: We're also learning more about how ISIS pays for its war machine.


KINKADE: The terror group buys bombs and pays fighters with the billions of dollars it makes from the oil fields, its mines and banks under its

control. It raked in $2 billion in 2014 alone.

Now for more on how ISIS gets its money let's speak to CNN's - CNN Money's Jose Pagliery, in New York.

Jose, ISIS is no undoubted the richest terrorist network ever, you reviewed dozens of reports, interviewed military scholars, and financial

investigators. Just explain what you found.

JOSE PAGLIERY, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: So what we found is that ISIS is very much different from Al Qaeda. This notion of a terrorist network that

relies on rich donors to send them money with missions to spread the Islamist message, that's not what ISIS is.

ISIS is really an Islamic state. They're a powerhouse. They have land now, they have assets. That means several things.



PAGLIERY: On the front of oil. They control oil assets which means that they could pull it out of the ground, refine it and sell it on the black

market. That brings them in anywhere between $500 million plus. Right?


PAGLIERY: And then, they actually own the land and they have 8 million people who live on this land like this teacher you had on the program just

now. And they tax these people. There's an income tax for them. They pay a business tax when they go to stores. They pay a 2% sales tax as well.


PAGLIERY: There's a special tax on Christians called Jizya. There are many ways that this mafia like organization acts like a government and then

imposes these rules on the people and then squeezes money out of them.


PAGLIERY: And this is what people tend to forget. There are still businesses that are actively working in the Islamic state in Syria and

Iraq. And so people tend to fields, they tend to crops, they sell them. That gets taxed in Iraq for instance .


PAGLIERY: A third of their wheat and barley is now in ISIS controlled territory. What that means is that the people there are paying taxes to

ISIS. Millions of dollars a year. In 2014 apparently that was about $360 million. New estimates say that they could be as much as $800 million this

year. That's a huge flow of money and that's where they're finding - that's where they're finding the money to pay for bombs, equipment, paying for

fighters and paying for that expansion. Because let's remember what their goal is here, it's spreading that message across the world. This is a long

war for them.

KINKADE: Yes, incredible amounts of money. Now we know that the U.S. led coalition is destroying some of the oil fields, oil tankers.


KINKADE: Is that enough to hurt their money stream?

PAGLIERY: That's an interesting question. Because the damage that the U.S. led coalition is doing is significant. I mean what they have done is they

have targeted oil tankers, oil refineries and they have really crippled ISIS' ability to make a lot of money off of the oil. ISIS can still pull

the oil out of the ground, it's harder for them to refine it which means that they're making oil that's less quality and so they have a harder time

selling that on the black market. Oil prices too have dropped and so it's even harder for them to make money that way.

But again, this only cuts off one avenue of funding. ISIS still has land and so they're able to really squeeze and ex-tort cash out of all the

people there. And on top of that they're looting banks in Mosul, Iraq. They stole $500 million to $1 billion out of that bank alone, the Central Bank



PAGLIERY: They have kidnap for ransom schemes as well. They're selling antiquities on the black market that they steal from temples that they're


And so they've got lots of avenues of revenue here. The trick is going to be taking that land away from them so they cannot squeeze the money out of

that asset.

KINKADE: OK. Jose Pagliery some great research. Thanks so much for joining us today.

PAGLIERY: My pleasure.

KINKADE: Now as western countries try to find a way to combat ISIS and its ideology there are questions as to why Arab neighbors are not doing more.

CNN's Becky Anderson takes a look at that.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The gruesome killing of Jordanian pilot lieutenant Colonel Moaz Kasasbeh seen by many as a turning

point in the Arab world's fight against the barbarity of ISIS. Regional countries led by Jordan talked about owning the war against the group

AL MOMANI, JORDANIAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: This is our war and we need to stand and fight terrorism because it's done in our region.

ANDERSON: Saudi Arabiam, Jordan, Bahrain, and the UAE carried out strikes in Syria. And Egypt went after ISIS in Libya after militants there beheaded

21 Christian Egyptians.

But nearly one year on it's not clear how active Arab states are in the fight against ISIS either in the air or in support.

According to a New York Times article from last month the Saudi Air Force hasn't flown a mission against ISIS targets in Syria or Iraq since

September. The UAE stopped in March and Jordan in August. CNN has reached out to all of these countries to get their side of it but we haven't yet

gotten a response.


ANDERSON: Now many observers say the apparent absence of key Arab nations is baffling. ISIS' so called caliphate is much closer to countries in this

region than the west. And extremists have done harm to the image of Islam and Muslims. But to understand the reasons you have got to look at the

conflicting interests of regional countries specifically a bloody competition for power and influence between Iran and Saudi Arabia.


ANDERSON: Take Yemen. Analysts say the war there is currently the most pressing concern for Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia. Their aim is to

defeat Iranian backed Houthi rebels who ousted the government and took the capital (inaudible) last year. Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies are

also less inclined to carry out strikes against ISIS targets if doing so helps the Iran backed governments in Baghdad or Damascus, according to

regional experts.

ABDULKHALEQ ABDULA, CHAIRMAN, ARAB COUNCIL FOR SOCIAL SCIENCE: Maybe there is a need for these two countries, Iran, Saudia Arabia, to agree on the end

game and I don't think that is coming any time soon by the way. So what are we in? We're left with nothing. We have to - we're left with no direction

on the regional level, no direction on the international level and then you come and you ask the Arabs to join in. Do what?

ANDERSON: So if regional powers like Iran and Saudi Arabia are distracted by an all-consuming rivalry many in the west who wish to see ISIS

eliminated may continue to ask where are the Arabs.


KINKADE: This is The World Right Now. Still ahead -


KINKADE: The opposition calls it a historic victory after coming out on top in Venezuela's legislative election. We'll have the details and a live

report just ahead. Stay with us.





KINKADE: Welcome back. A major power shift in Venezuela's legislative branch. The first since 1999.


KINKADE: That came after Sunday's election when the country's opposition party claimed the majority of seats in the national assembly. The

Democratic Unity round table took 99 seats to just 46 for the United Social Party of Venezuela. The results viewed as a majority setback to the ruling


Now joining us for more on all of this is senior Latin American Affairs editor, Rafael Romo, great to have you on the set here Rafael.


KINKADE: Now, the outgoing President described this defeat as a slap in the face. This is the first time the socialist party has been ousted in 17


RAFAEL ROMO, SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Yes, that's right. If you think about it in those terms in this century Venezuelans have not seen

anything else other than what (inaudible) used to call 21st century socialism.

It was an incredible victory. Not only because of the number of legislative seats that the opposition now controls.


ROMO: But also because of the potential that this victory has for the opposition. Let me give you a few examples of what can happen. If the they

win a super majority of 2/3 which is 112 seats, remember, currently they have 99, then they can dismiss members of the supreme court - supreme court

justices which is now in a very tight grip by the government, by Maduro.

They can call for a meeting to rewrite the constitution, this is the constitution that Chavez wrote in 1999.


ROMO: But the trick here is that the government is still in power. The socialists are still in power and they have about a month to do whatever

they want to do. They control not only the legislative power but also the judicial branch and as you know already Maduro is also a socialist.


ROMO: So right now they can do whatever they want. January 5th is when the new assembly takes power and that's when everything begins to change.


KINKADE: And the big issues facing them, when they do come to power, poverty, high inflation those sort of issues are going to have to be


ROMO: To undo the damage the socialism has done to Venezuela is going to be incredibly difficult in the best of circumstances. Let's remember Venezuela

is an oil-based economy. As things stand they do not produce anything. They have to import a lot of things. And even if the government changes to the

other side, even if they all of a sudden become friendly to capital markets, they still have to generate the domestic production that they used

to have before and we're talking about 17 years of socialist policy. So it's not going to be a one day kind of affair. It's going to take many

years for Venezuela to go back to a position where they can produce the minimal the country requires to survive.


KINKADE: Certainly some massive challenges ahead. Rafael Romo, great to have you on the set, thanks for joining us.

ROMO: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, still to come, you are watching The World Right Now.


KINKADE: A red alert for Beijing. The Chinese capital raised its smog level warning to new heights. We'll be discussing that after the break. Stay with







KINKADE: The north of England has been hit by heavy rainfall and flooding. Record levels of rain fell over the weekend leaving thousands of homes

without power. The army were called in to rescue some people trapped if their homes. And earlier on Monday, Britain's Prime Minister visited the

area describing the devastation as "absolutely horrific."


KINKADE: Well, it's now crunch time at the global climate summit in Paris. Negotiators have just a few more days to come up with a final agreement.


KINKADE: U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry joined the talks on Monday. 195 nations are taking part aiming to reach a landmark deal on reducing carbon

emissions and combatting the impact of global warning.


KINKADE: Chinese President Xi Jing Ping has promised action on greenhouse gas emissions. The skies over Beijing right now are evident of the tough

challenges ahead as the city issues its first ever red alert for pollution.

CNN digital columnist, John Sutter, is at the climate conference in Paris. You have your eye on the smog in Beijing. Now this is the first time they

have issued this red alert but they have had pollution levels higher than this in the past?

JOHN SUTTER, CNN DIGITAL COLUMNIST: Yes, I think there's mounting political pressure for China to deal with this pollution problem and protect the

health of people in China. I mean there's growing evidence that millions of people die every year from health issues related to air pollution.


SUTTER: I think this is something that China is taking increasingly seriously. Now I think you see that coupled with their you know serious

talk here at the climate change discussions in Paris. They're very much at the table in these negotiations in a way that they haven't been in the

past. So the biggest polluter in the world as far as climate change emission goes and you know this is also a very localized issue for them in

terms of the smog that is you know really affecting the public health and livability of some of its biggest cities.


KINKADE: Now we know China is making significant moves towards green energy but clearly not fast enough.

SUTTER: Yes, I mean, I think that you see they're the biggest investors in renewable energy. Right now they're also the biggest polluters. So they've

made a lot of promises here in Paris to change their ways going forward. Those aren't enough to take immediate affect and shift things right now.

You know reportedly China has pulled cars off the road this week. They're shutting down schools. They're doing things like in the immediate term to

protect public health. But I think in the longer term what they're discussing here in Paris is how they can transition their economy and hope

to reduce greenhouse gas emissions starting around the year 2030. Which is seen by many observes that I've talked to her as a fairly ambitious goal

and a sign that they are participating in this global discussion about climate in the way they haven't in the past.


KINKADE: Now there was a blueprint agreement in Paris over the weekend. Just explain for us what that includes.

SUTTER: So this blueprint agreement is a 48 page text and it's hugely significant that it came in on time over the weekend. Often these

(inaudible) negotiations have fallen apart, it's hard to get 195 countries to agree on anything much less something controversial like climate change.

So this text basically is outlining a framework for all these countries to collaborate to reduce their emissions over time. Each country I've heard it

described as like a potluck dinner, brought sort of their dish to the table. Their plan for reducing climate change pollution. And they're

basically agreeing to a framework that would have them do that and then sort of ratchet up their ambition over time moving forward.


SUTTER: So there are lots of like sort of contentious wording things going on in this document that get pretty wonky and in the weeds but the overall

goal is to either limit warming to 2 degree Celsius measured since the industrial revolution, or there's actually a discussion about 1.5 degrees

Celsius and more countries coming out and saying that 2 degrees is actually is too much warming and it shouldn't be tolerated.

So we'll see these negotiations going forward and Friday is the deadline that these negotiators have given themselves.


KINKADE: And we will be watching that closely in the final days. John Sutter, thank you very much for staying across it all for us.

Well finally tonight, there could be bad blood at this year's Grammy awards. As two chart toppers from the worlds of pop and hip pop face off.


KINKADE: Kendrick Lamar is nominated for 11 Grammies for his album "To Pimp a Butterfly." He has beaten Eminem's record for hip hop artist with the

most nominations in a single year.


KINKADE: Well this has been the World Right Now. I'm Lynda Kinkade, thanks for watching. Up next we go to "The Lead" in Washington for a brand new

poll about to be released in the race for the U.S. Presidency.