Return to Transcripts main page


Anniversary of Terror Attack on "Charlie Hebdo"; Thirty-One Attackers in Cologne, Germany; U.S. Sends Warning To North Korea, Suspected Philadelphia Police Officer Shooter Pledged Allegiance to ISIS; Mexican Drug Lord Captured; Powerball Jackpot Rises Aired 6:30- 7a ET

Aired January 10, 2016 - 06:30   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Still so many questions about this man. Do not know definitely or definitively who this man was, if he was or was not a refugee.

Is that surprising that, at this point, they still don't have those answers?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: No, Victor. I think the problem here is that the fingerprints that were on file that they think they recovered from this individual come back to someone that the French arrested in 2013 who was reportedly born in Casablanca, Morocco, a 20-year-old. And now how did that person get back in the country and is this the same person?

So, I think, right now, the authorities are trying to verify the identity of the individual, if that is true, or if he was coming through refugee, you know, systems in Germany and on to France. So I think they still have a lot of questions about the identity.

BLACKWELL: And there are great concerns about the entrance of so many tens and hundreds of thousands of refugees coming into Germany specifically. Angela Merkel, the chancellor there, has recently proposed to make it easier to deport asylum seekers who break laws. We saw yesterday those protests in Cologne after the attacks on New Year's Eve.

Are we seeing the beginning of a crackdown on refugees?

FUENTES: I think possibly there is a political price that is being paid by the fact that a couple of refugees have turned out to commit terrorist acts out of the tens of thousands of refugees who are legitimately trying to, you know, come to other countries, whether it's in Europe or the U.S. for safety. So I think that that is the problem. But the rising sentiment against many of the refuges, the rise in even Muslim populations in general has started to have a backlash in Europe.

Now, going back a couple of years there is a lot of sentiment against letting anybody come into those countries and we have heard a little bit of that in our political process here in the U.S., so that is the problem, that you let in tens of thousands of legitimate refuges that are -- that are seeking safety, seeking asylum and then, you know, there are going to be a couple of slip through. And even if they weren't intended to be terrorists when they joined the refugee system or entered the system, in some cases, they radicalize later, as do our own homegrown -- home-born people radicalized later in life.

BLACKWELL: No question, especially after the attacks, those 120 reports of groping or sexual assaults on women on New Year's eve in Cologne, that the people there and the people around the world want those 31 suspects, 18 of them asylum seekers, reportedly, to be brought to justice.

But what consideration is given to this crackdown on refugees, if that is what we are seeing? That the consideration that that is playing into ISIS' narrative, that the West does not want you because you are Muslim?

FUENTES: Well, that is the speculation and there have been postings, I think al Shabaab (ph) put out a recent video basically saying that, you know, you're not going to be fit in -- you're not going to fit in, I mean, in the new country and you're not going to be wanted and you're going to come up under oppression because you're a Muslim -- and the way others have come under oppression in the past. And I think that there is some play into the narrative that is coming out, that, you know, is trying to make a divide between, you know, the non- Muslim and the Muslim populations of countries in the West.

BLACKWELL: All right. Tom Fuentes with us throughout the morning. Tom, thanks so much.

FUENTES: You're welcome.


Now let's take you to Paris and the Place de la Republique where we find Jim Bittermann as they get ready for the memorial where thousands are gathering to remember the historic day last year when millions marched together in solidarity against the attacks at "Charlie Hebdo."

What are you seeing this morning, Jim?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in fact that ceremony took place -- the official ceremony took place about an hour or so ago.

There were several thousand of people here at Place de la Republique including dignitaries, the President Hollande was here as well as the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo. They unveiled a plaque to the dead. Not only from "Charlie Hebdo," the 17 who died in the "Charlie Hebdo" attacks and subsequent attacks, but also the attacks on November 13th that killed 130 people. So this memorial today was planned as kind of a commemoration of both of those tragic events. I just would like to bring in here Christi Melissa Bell who is a foreign affairs editor for "France 24."

Melissa, you were here a year ago and there has been an awful lot of things happened in France since then. How do you think the French are reacting to all of this and how are they taking it on board?


MELISSA BELL, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS EDITOR, FRANCE 24: I think there is still a great deal of shock. I don't think France has gotten over or even begun to digest this year that started with this extraordinary blood bath and ended with one that almost dwarfed where it happened earlier on in the year. I think it will take some time for the French to come to terms with it.

Of course the Americans had an experience of a large-scale terrorist attacks many years ago. When it happens to you for the first time on your own soil and particularly the November 13th attacks when so many people are so randomly attacked and those attacks happening at the same time across different points in the city that was tremendously shocking to the French. And it will take the country a long time to come to terms with what went on and of course, even as the French come to terms with this psychologically, the investigations continue. And even now, one year on from "Charlie Hebdo" and two months on from the November 13th attack the people who ordered these attacks, the people who are them, who are possibly believe the French investigators in Syria, still haven't been named or found or caught. And I think this is another of the things that the French is starting to come to terms with.

BITTERMANN: It must be very disturbing, I would think, to know that there are some people out there that are possibly planning something else.

BELL: And always this fear that anything can happen any time.

We were reminded of it just a couple of days ago in Barbes when a man walked into a police station armed with a kitchen knife and a fake explosive belt it turned out. The sense that anything can happen any time and this is a city under attack.

For so many years we have been carrying out interventions as though they were carried out surgically far away. Now that these things are come in the sense I think it will take a long time for the country, first of all, to get over it, but also to come to terms with the idea that -- in a sense the risk is always there.

BITTERMANN: Thank you very much, Melissa Bell. Back to you, Christi.

PAUL: Jim Bittermann, we appreciate the update. Thank you so much.

Next on NEW DAY U.S. B-52 bomber bombers flying over South Korea. This is (ph) in (ph) a show of force against North Korea. We are taking you to live to North Korea for that story.

BLACKWELL: Plus, the man accused of ambushing a Philadelphia police officer in the name of ISIS. He goes to court.

We will analyze the charges he is facing and discuss the case.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) PAUL: Where the U.S. sent a warning to North Korea just days after Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test.

The U.S. Air force deployed a B-52 bomber to the Korean Peninsula.


Now, the bomber which can carry nuclear weapons, we should point out, was joined by a South Korean fighter jet as it swept through the skies near Pyongyang.

BLACKWELL: Admiral Harry Harris Jr. of U.S. Pacific Command called the rare show of force, and this is a quote -- "Demonstration of the ironclad U.S. commitment to our allies in South Korea, in Japan, and to the defense of the American homeland."

CNN's Will Ripley joins us now. He's the only reporter from the U.S. news organization reporting from inside North Korea.

Will, we know what the intention was. Do we know how this was received in Pyongyang?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We do not have an official response to the -- I'm actually going through my phone here because we just got a wire from North Korea's state media (INAUDIBLE). I don't know if we have it up on full screen yet but I'll just read a portion of what the North Korean state media put out a short time ago.

It doesn't specifically address this B-52 bomber flying over, but it does say -- quote -- "Gone are the days never to return when the U.S. can threaten the DPRK with nuclear weapons. A clear proof of this was the recent successful H-bomb test."

So, no direct response as of yet to this fly-by which is not the first time by the way that the United States has flown a nuclear capable aircraft very close to the border with North Korea. In fact back in 2013 about a month after the last nuclear test the U.S. flew bombing runs near the border twice. Once a B-52 and then again later in the month a B-2, a stealth bomber.

And in that case the B-2 actually dropped eight dummy bombs. They weighed about 2,000 pounds each in a zone right near the demilitarized zone, the border between North and South Korea. After that happened, the North issued a statement saying they were burning with hatred as a result of what had happened. They aimed missiles towards U.S. bases in the Pacific and in South Korea. And they even aimed long-range missiles. They put them on standby towards the United States as well.

Now, we haven't seen that happen yet and we don't know if that wire that was written, that was put out was written before or after the North Koreans got word of this bombing run. But keep in mind American bombers are infuriating to the North Koreans because it brings back memories of the Korean War where much of Pyongyang was flattened during bombings.

And so, we haven't seen a strong response yet but that doesn't mean it's not coming, Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: There were (INAUDIBLE) to those propaganda recordings and those messages that were broadcast last year we saw those not too long ago again. Do we expect that there will be more displays by the U.S. of the commitment to South Korea, Japan and to other countries in the region?

RIPLEY: Well, it certainly depends in part how North Korea responds.

If they ramp up the rhetoric or if they make another move strategically, perhaps amassing more troops towards the demilitarized zone -- another test of some kind because keep in mind there was the nuclear test on Wednesday. And then on Friday, North Korea put out images of a -- of a missile launched from a submarine. There was some question whether they were new images or reedited older images.

But clearly the North is trying to send a message, one, that they are testing and developing nuclear weapons. They say an H-bomb, maybe, maybe not. But also that they are -- they are continuing to fine-tune their missile technology because these missiles that could be launched from a submarine do pose a threat to areas far away from the Korean Peninsula, including the United States.

BLACKWELL: All right. Will Ripley in Pyongyang for us. Will, thank you so much.

PAUL: Well, CNN political analyst, Josh Rogin, joining us now to talk about all of this.

And I want to highlight part of an article that you co-authored about North Korea and the nuclear weapon test. You said -- quote -- "The Obama administration has no strategy with a chance of stopping this progress which undercuts the entire push for a nuclear weapon-free world."

So, let's get to this weekend's warning to North Korea. Do you have any belief that that will accomplish anything?

JOSH ROGIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the administration is really stuck in a terrible position.

They don't want to get caught in this trap of rewarding North Korea for bad behavior by going into negotiations. At the same time, by not going into negotiations, the problem only gets worse and worse. So what the administration has decided to do is sort of talk tough and do things like fly these bombers runs when something derogative happens but there's really no long term strategy for solving, one, the problem that is North Korea's increasing massive stockpile of nuclear material and nuclear weapons. But two, the threat that North Korea presents to the whole region with this conventional army.

And you know, I'm not saying it's an easy problem. There are a lot of difficult options. But for right now, the U.S. government's position is to basically wait it out and hope that nothing worse happens.

PAUL: But what are the options at the end of the day, Josh? I mean, it's almost as though North Korea is taunting us. They announced this supposed H-bomb test.

ROGIN: Right.

We have got exactly two options. One, which is being advocated by a lot of Republican on Capitol Hill and some people inside the administration, is to ramp up the pressure, increase the sanctions. It's already been a very heavily sanctioned country but put on more sanctions and pressure North Korea to come to the table and make a deal. Right?


If we are not willing to do that the only other option is to negotiate a deal that probably we are not going to like. So, we can either increase the pressure or we can change our position. What we have done is neither of those things. And that is why the problem just seems to be getting worse.

PAUL: But Josh, is there any sanction that would really effort a change?

ROGIN: Well, there is. It's just not a sanction that we can put forth. It's the sanction that the Chinese can put forth. And this is where you really get to the crux of the problem is that the only country that really has leverage over North Korea is China.

China has made a decision that they don't want the insecurity in North Korea. They prefer stability so they are not willing to use that leverage. But North Korea is dependent on China and its own complicated relationship. But in the end what we could do is we could pressure China to pressure North Korea. That's really the solution but that is not easy and that is not something we are prepared to do right now.

PAUL: All right. Josh Rogin, your insight is always appreciated. Thank you, sir.

ROGIN: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Next, the man accused of attacking a Philadelphia police officer has been to the Middle East twice as the attack was in support of ISIS. So, will he face terror charges?

Also later, Pope Francis celebrates the feast of Epiphany, officially ending the Christmas season. What he did to mark the occasion.


BLACKWELL: Edward Archer, the man who allegedly ambushed a Philadelphia police officer is being held without bail. He is facing a list of charges, attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault on a police officer and firearms offenses.

And as the officer he shot recovers in the hospital miraculously is expected to go through several surgeries. We are learning that Archer has a criminal record. He pulled a gun during a 2012 domestic dispute. He was on probation and about to be sentenced with forgery and driving without a license.

Defense attorney Page Pate is here with us all morning long.

So Page, help us understand this. He said after being arrested that he was doing this after pledging allegiance to ISIS, that he follows Allah (ph), and that's why he was called to do this. But no terror charges there. Why?


PAGE PATE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well legally you have to do more than say, I was inspired by ISIS or I'm a member of ISIS. Even if you are a member of ISIS you can commit a crime even a violent crime and it not be terrorism.

Under Pennsylvania law and is very similar under federal law the crime has to, number one, be a violent act, and clearly we have that here...


PATE: ... but it has to be done with the intent to either influence government policy or intimidate a large group of people. And I think at this point, we know that his motive was kind of inspired by ISIS. He didn't believe that the law enforcement officers were enforcing laws that were consistent with his religious beliefs. But I don't know that we know enough about the case to actually raise it to a terrorism charge.

BLACKWELL: So, let's talk about how they get to that threshold. We know investigators have seized items from his apartment. They are looking for any communications with ISIS, with ISIS leaders. But if this is someone who is self-radicalized, if this is someone who doesn't have a social media platform how do they ever reach that threshold?

PATE: Well, I don't know that they do. And I think we had the same situation with San Bernardino. I mean, we could not directly prove that they were guided by ISIS or being directed by ISIS.

So, I think the way we are looking at terrorism now in this day and age is a little bit different from the way we used to have to look at it under the law. It is no longer going to be an act that is motivated solely to change government policy. Not the old al Qaeda stuff, the things that we saw with 9/11. I think terrorism now to the extent we're going to investigate it and prosecute it we need to look at it in a broader sense.

Are these folks radicalized to the extent they pose a danger to the community above and beyond a regular violent criminal?

BLACKWELL: One of Archer's relatives said that he had been hearing voices recently. And this goes back to the question that we ask often after these types of events, the overlap of mental illness and this pledge to terror.

How does a defense attorney approach that? I think we have learned how the state approaches it. How would you reach that?

PATE: Well, the first step in any case where I'm concerned about my client's mental condition is I will have a competency evaluation done.

And that is easy to do, even if it's a public defender, you can get the state to pay to for it. A doctor will interview him. Try to determine, number one, does he even know the difference between right and wrong. If he doesn't then you can't take him to trial until he does.

The other issue is even if he is competent was he mentally insane at the time he committed this act? And I think from what we have heard that's certainly an argument I would make as a defense lawyer.

BLACKWELL: All (ph) right (ph). Obviously still waiting to get more answers in this case as the investigators look for information about potential communication with ISIS.

Page Pate, good to have you this morning.

PATE: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: All right. Ahead continued coverage on our big story, "El Chapo" and the bombshell interview Sean Penn conducted with him months before his capture. We got an update straight ahead.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): The U.S. government thinks that the Mexican government does not want to arrest you. What they want to do is to kill you. What do you think?

JOAQUIN "EL CHAPO" GUZMAN, MEXICAN DRUG LORD (via translator): No, I think that if they find me they'll arrest me of course.


BLACKWELL: You're seeing there part of a very rare interview with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

And we're following a new twist in the story this morning. Oscar winning actor Sean Penn met the Mexican drug lord for a secret interview. We are hearing reports the actor had dinner with drinks -- and drinks rather with Guzman where he revealed new information about his life and the drug trade.

We'll have more details for you throughout the show this morning.

PAUL: Also while "El Chapo's" number obviously is up, guess what? Not for you! The dream is still alive, people! For all of you Powerball players.

BLACKWELL: Look at that segue.

PAUL: I know.


There was no winner in last night's draw. I don't know how that happened. There's no winner.

It puts Wednesday's jackpot at $1.3 billion. (INAUDIBLE). Check your tickets though. Don't toss it because there were several smaller prizes. Smaller meaning maybe a hundred thousand dollars.

BLACKWELL: Or a million.

PAUL: Sure (ph). The winning numbers, 32, 16, 19, 57, 34, and the Powerball was 13.

BLACKWELL: I think I'm going to play mega millions because no one is looking that direction.


PAUL: Looking (ph) for something different.

BLACKWELL: I'm just going to, you know, try the odds there.

PAUL: Sure.

BLACKWELL: Other stories making headlines now. Coming up on the top of the hour, demonstrators pack the streets in Hong Kong, demanding answers to the whereabouts of at least five publishers and book sellers who mysteriously disappeared. Protesters alleged that they were abducted by officials after criticizing Chinese leadership.

PAUL: And (INAUDIBLE) kicks off tonight with the 73rd annual Golden Globes.

Yes, getting reading for four hours of red carpet highlights and speeches celebrating the best in movies and television. And the thing that is important here, too, is that some see the Globes, which is voted on by the 90 or so members of the Foreign Press Association as predictors of the upcoming Oscars.

BLACKWELL: And be sure to watch "STATE OF THE UNION" with Jake Tapper. Ted Cruz is his special guest today. Show starts later this morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern right here on CNN.


SAM ARLEN, POWERBALL HOST: Tonight's jackpot to a record breaking estimated $949.8 million. I hope you have your Powerball tickets. Good luck. Let's see how you did. First number down tonight, 32. And right after that we have, 16.


PAUL: Nobody won it. Now the new jackpot, as I just said, plays Wednesday, $1.3 billion. And it is the largest ever in U.S. history.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via translator): Is it true what they say, that drugs destroy humanity and bring harm?


BLACKWELL: And we've got those new developments in the arrest of the notorious drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. This bombshell interview with the drug lord conducted by Hollywood actor Sean Penn.

PAUL: And in California a damaged well spewing gas and making residents sick. Hundreds of outraged people are demanding action now. But what is it going to take?

We are just about right at 7:00 with five minutes bare. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you this morning. Thanks for being with us on a Sunday.

Will Powerball players keep the dream alive? All you need is a dream and $2.00.

PAUL: That's right.

BLACKWELL: Because the jackpot is still out there.

PAUL: Yes. Nobody won. I don't know how that happens. Nobody won. Which means the pot rolls over to Wednesday with an epic $1.3 billion. Yes, that is "b" for billions.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Get ready for more lines like this one. Maybe even longer as people test their luck, their lucky numbers as well in pursuit of a winning ticket. But don't toss out your ticket because there were many smaller prizes. By smaller meaning, you know, a hundred thousand million dollars maybe from last night's drawing.

Here are the winning numbers 32, 16, 19, 57, 34, and then Powerball 13.


All right. We'll talk more about that later. But new this morning we want to get to this bizarre twist in the story that's now saga of the Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.