Return to Transcripts main page


Witnesses Describe Horrific Scenes At Istanbul Airport; Terrorists Attacked Airport Despite Heavy Security; Canadian Prime Minister Hosts U.S., Mexican Counterparts; Officials Say Attacks Bear Hallmark Of ISIS; Terrorists Target Ataturk's International Terminal; Obama Speaks On Official Visit To Canada; Airport Attack Is Turkey's Eighth Suicide Blast In 2016; Referendum Leaves U.K.'s Political Future Uncertain. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired June 29, 2016 - 15:00   ET




RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL GUEST ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Richard Quest live from CNN London. Hala Gorani will be with us shortly. She's just

arrived in Istanbul and this is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW.

Hello. Good evening to you. We are keeping an eye on a big event that's happening this hour. It takes place in the Canadian capital. The Canadian

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hosting his American and Mexican counterparts.

They're in Ottawa for their regular summit meetings and all three leaders are expected to meet soon. When they do, we will go to Ottawa for what's

known as the Three Amigos Summit.

Our top story tonight, five hours after suicide bombers attack Istanbul's international airport and travelers return to the scene and flights

resumed. Some of those passengers stepping over glass shards and the smell of smoke still hung in the air.

Here's the latest on the terror attacks. Investigators are studying surveillance videos and witness accounts to try to work to identify the

attackers. There were three terrorists who first of all opened fire and then blew themselves up.

It's believed 41 people were killed. More than 230 others were wounded. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Turkish interior

minister says it has all the evidence that it points to ISIS.

Turkey observed a national day of mourning for the victims on Wednesday. The flags have been flying at half-staff. It was blinding flash of light.

Broken glass was on the floor and the casualties were everywhere.

The witnesses are now giving us horrific accounts of what happened in the airport massacre. CNN's Nima Elbagir is there and shows us how the terror

unfolded. I must warn you her report is disturbing.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A horrifying scene of carnage and destruction at Turkey's busiest airport.

Three suicide attackers carrying out a deadly siege on Tuesday night. The coordinated attack captured by airport surveillance cameras.

SUS SAVAGE, WITNESSED AFTERMATH OF EXPLOSION (via telephone): I just recognize the gunshots and then heard this huge explosion and I knew

immediately it was a bomb and I just bolted as fast as I can.

ELBAGIR: Two of the terrorists opening fire at the international terminal before blowing themselves up. This amateur video shows just some of the

injured lying outside on the ground before the first explosion. That sound from the first blast by the arrival hall on the first floor, travelers

seemingly unaware of the attack that is about to unfold.

Another surveillance video captures the chaos inside as one of the attacker runs into the airport. He's apparently shot by a police officer, his gun

sliding across the floor.

Seconds later, another massive explosion. Rooftops falling, panes of shattered glass along the floor and bullets perforating the windows and


THOMAS KEMPER, WITNESSED AIRPORT TERROR ATTACK (via telephone): You don't think it's real, but then people started running and running and running.

So we clash and then fell over each other. It was total chaos.

ELBAGIR: The third attacker detonating a third explosion at the parking lot at Ataturk Airport. Istanbul's airport is known for its heavily

fortified security inside and outside the terminals. Turkey's prime minister said the attackers arrived at the airport by taxi. He says all

indications point to ISIS bearing chilling similarities to the deadly bombings in March at Brussels airport and subway system.


[15:05:14]QUEST: Nima is with me live from Istanbul airport with more. I suppose the biggest surprise I have in some shape or form is that they

managed to open the airport again and within a matter of just a few hours.

ELBAGIR: And you can see the stream of people behind me. This doesn't just feel like an operational airport. This feels like a normal day in a

very busy airport. Of course, in some ways it isn't but in some ways unfortunately here in Turkey it is. This has become their new reality.

They've been reeling from terror attacks, throughout the beginning, for six months, and the ability to return to normality, the kind of patched

together, what's left of the ragged edges of daily life and make it work again.

It's something that sadly the Turks have gotten all too good at. When we arrived here this morning, Richard, they were still hosing down these

paving slabs that I'm standing on.

This is the doorway they went through before the first one detonated on the other side of security and yet standing here now, they're able to get

planes out, able to get people in. I suppose in and of itself that is a form of reassurance for people here.

QUEST: Except, the one thing, when I heard -- and I heard one of your excellent reports earlier in the day, and shouldn't they be doing forensic

searches or fingertip searches, or whatever it is they do after these kinds of explosions looking for any further evidence of what might be behind or

who might be behind it? It just seems like an indecent haste to get the whole thing up and running again?

ELBAGIR: That is a concern we've had repeatedly especially given that many of those we've been speaking to in the intelligence community described

this as a highly sophisticated attack. These were people who clearly had done their homework.

And if as Turkish officials have indicated to us, they believed that they were foreigners then you have to be thinking about that border support

network that possibly got into the country and is attempting to get back out.

So yes, the forensic evidence is always so key and given the bodies of the attackers were disintegrated to the extent that they are attempting to

identify from just dental and just from their lower halves, you would think that we'd be more that could be gleaned.

But the pragmatic approach, I suppose, is that Turkey has a multi-billion dollar tourist industry and this is the 11th busiest airport in the world.

And unfortunately, the Turkish economy has taken such a hit that the quicker they can get this airport up and running again, and, of course, it

is also political. The president needs to show the people of Turkey and around the world that he is in control of the situation and this is one way

of doing that, Richard.

QUEST: Most certainly is. Nima Elbagir who is in Istanbul watching events there. Thank you. Nima talked about the president and he's calling for a

unified global fight against terror when he spoke just a few moments ago.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): What's worse for turkey would not be these terror incidents but leaving aside, dropping

the ideas for the well-being of Turkey, and we are not going to compromise from these ideals. So on this occasion, I would like to seek forgiveness

and affection of Allah, for all those we lost.


QUEST: The president of Turkey. Now, Ataturk is one of the world's busiest, 11th to be precise. It's also extremely heavily guarded. The

security checkpoints before the terminal building again passport control.

Of course, in this particular case, it was the fact that the terrorists attacked first with machine guns and Kalashnikovs, thus were able to quite

literally blast their way or at least gunned their way into the airport, which raises the issue of security and what can be done to protect


CNN national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem is with me live from Newton, Massachusetts. This is different. I mean, the hallmarks to some extent of

ISIS may be there, but the ability -- the way they gunned down shows preparation to know what they were dealing with at that particular


[15:10:10]JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: That's exactly right. This was sophisticated in that sense, they clearly had staked out

airport security. They knew where the vulnerabilities were, how to avoid, you know, potentially the roving personnel, security personnel.

You know, any terrorist attack, unlike sort of Orlando, right, where some guy walks in and kills a lot of people. It might have been ISIS inspired.

Anyone that involves this much weaponry, three people simultaneously at a major entity like an airport, you have to assume, one, that it is directed

by ISIS, and, two, there are other people who knew about it. So that's where the investigation is going to lead right now.

QUEST: And within that context, Juliette, we've had these eight other suicide attacks, but many of them have been in tourist areas or in central

parts of the city, but the airport takes it into a different realm. It's an international airport. It's a major part of the economy, the

headquarters, if you like, of Turkish Airlines, which is in and of itself one of Turkey's gold stars if you like in the economy.

KAYYEM: That's exactly right. This was a statement against not just what Istanbul and Turkey represent, right, this attempt to merge or be a bridge

between the east and the west and the diversity. You and I have both been to that airport a lot. It's crazy in a sort of wonderful way.

Right. I mean, it's just diversity and the language, this is everything that ISIS wants to make a statement against. It's not right to call the

Ataturk Airport a Turkish airport. It is the world's airport. I mean, it alone has -- services 113 countries, and so in many ways everyone has ties

to this airport.

QUEST: Right. But what's interesting about that particular airport and we'll take about the national security in a second, is that most of the

passengers will not be coming in and out of the front door from Istanbul.

They will be the transfer passengers that Turkish Airlines has built an entire business, one of the so-called six freedom carriers, transferring

passengers through, and they're on the air side.

I'm wondering, how does that get affected? Do people avoid the airport even though they would be in a completely different part of it, do you


KAYYEM: I hope not. I mean, for one, you know, obviously supporting Turkish, what Turkey has done to be this lifeline is I think important to

the world community.

While this was a horrific attack, the fact that they reopened up the airport shows that they are going to move on. But I think it shows the

necessity of having these mass transit systems continue on.

I don't want to say as if nothing had happened, but they have to keep moving forward because the flow of people is so massive through an airport

like this. It's hard to avoid, you know, Istanbul, if you're trying to get from Point A to Point B in many instances.

So I also have to say I don't think that this attack will also stop people from going to airports to greet their friends and lovers and spouses and

whoever else to say goodbye to children or spouses or whoever else.

I think what we're going see is probably more security. But I don't think people's behavior will necessarily change.

QUEST: Juliette, thank you for joining us. We're awaiting the Three Amigos press conference, news conference, whatever you want to call it

between Canada, United States, and Mexico, and of course, we'll be listening very closely for any comments that they may make on Turkey. THE




QUEST: Now allow me to bring you some details. We've just got this information. Investigators have extracted information from the flight data

recorder from EgyptAir Flight 804 trying to work out. You remember the flight recorder was badly damaged. It was sent to France to be repaired or

to be -- and now it's gone back to Egypt and now Egyptian authorities have released some information, very early information.

They say recorded data on the data recorder shows consistency with messages of lavatory smoke and avionics smoke. Remember the ACAR's messages show

that there had been smoke warnings in the lavatory and at the front of the aircraft.

And it also says some recovered wreckage showed signs of high temperature damage and soot. Clearly there was obviously a fire of sorts. With regard

to the cockpit voice recorder, it's still being analyzed.

One other point, it says the recorder continued until it stopped at an altitude of 37,000 feet where the accident occurred. In other words,

whatever happened to 804, it happened way high up and it was immediate and catastrophic and that's why the recorders then stopped.

Hala Gorani has made it in Istanbul. Allow me to now take you to Ataturk Airport -- Hala.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Right. Well, Richard, I was on the plane literally 30 minutes ago. They kept us on the tarmac for quite a

while understandably. We were taken by buses to the terminal. Surprisingly only a few hours after such a devastating triple suicide

bombing, the airport itself is bustling.

It's really business as usual especially the arrivals hall. You have as you can expect and you've seen before, Richard, taxi drivers and tour

operators all sort of huddled behind those barriers where the arrivals halls automatic doors kind of open right after as you pass Duty Free here

at Ataturk International.

So it's really very unlike what we saw in Brussels, for instance, where it took weeks and weeks for the airport to reopen and you had staff there who

basically said unless you can really ensure our safety and make drastic changes, we're not going to get back to work.

Here, just a few hours later this morning, you had flights landing and it surprised some people. That said, a hub this size is much more important

in terms of international air travel than Brussels.

So clearly they wanted to get this airport back up and running. As you mentioned as well, you were discussing EgyptAir there before, but we're

here at Ataturk where planes have been landing with considerable delays.

Now the latest on the investigation, what we are hearing from officials is that 41 people are now confirmed killed in this devastating triple suicide

bombing, and it appears as though perhaps one of the suicide bombers blew himself up outside of the terminal in order to cause a distraction and

allow two others to go in.

We've seen some of that terrible CCTV footage of people running for their lives, of people injured, laying out not too far from our position here who

lost their lives. Many others are critically injured as well.

We are expecting, Richard, just to bring our viewers up to date a news conference with President Obama. You mentioned it. He's in Canada with

the prime minister there, Justin Trudeau and the Mexican president as well. We're going to see what he will say about this attack in Turkey.

[15:20:11]In fact, I'm told we can go now to Canada where President Obama is speaking. Let's listen in.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: -- this partnership will see our country stand side by side as we work toward the common goal of a North

America that is competitive, that encourages clean growth, and that protects our shared environment now and for generations to come.

It's a partnership that lays out some very clear deliverables and identifies realistic paths to achieving them. Together, we will advance

clean and secure energy with the goal of 50 percent clean power generation across the continent by 2025.

We will drive down short-live climate pollutants. Things like methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons. We will promote clean and efficient

transportation, creating clean jobs as we reduce energy consumption, air pollution, and greenhouse gases.

We will work together to protect nature and to advance our scientific understanding of the environmental challenges we share, and finally we will

respond directly and decisively to the challenge of climate change, working to make our own countries resilient as we encourage others to do the same.

This is what can happen when countries come together in pursuit of a common goal, when we have a big idea and a political will to make it happen.

Today's climate agreement stands as proof that cooperation pays off and that working together always beats going it alone. There were, of course,

other issues on the agenda as well.

(through translator): We also had the opportunity to talk about ways of advancing trade and competitiveness in North America. It's essential to

each of our economies and is vital for the creation of good jobs to the middle class.

Furthermore, we reasserted our common commitment to human rights and we discussed the aspects on which we could be better partners to ensure the

protection and defense of fundamental rights.

We also discussed regional and worldwide issues that are urgent and we talked about the way we will work together to meet these common challenges.

GORANI: All right. We're going to break away from this news conference. You see there the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressing climate

change issues. We will get to Canada if and when they address the situation in Turkey.

I'm joined by journalist. You were just remarking how incredible it is really that this airport is up and running as northern terminal. I was

just in the arrivals hall 25 minutes ago and it is -- as if nothing had happened.

MUSTAFA AKYOL, TURKISH JOURNALIST AND AUTHOR: Yes, I mean, I'm not sure it's a good thing or a bad thing, but Turkey I think has a little bit

immune to these attacks. It happens. It's normal. That's of course sad on the one hand. It's a way of coping with these attacks to which

sometimes come from ISIS or sometimes come from the extreme Kurdish militants.

GORANI: But it has to be a decision that came from the top to send the message --

AKYOL: Yes. I think this is a decision that, yes --

GORANI: Very unlike Brussels basically.

AKYOL: Yes. Very unlike Brussels in that sense. I'm not sure which approach is better but this one is working.

GORANI: All right, let's talk a little bit. No claim of responsibility by ISIS although they are absolutely the main suspects because of the ammo,

because of the three simultaneous coordinated suicide bombing. What is the likely government response here?

AKYOL: ISIS for some reason doesn't claim the attacks in Turkey, although, we sometimes know it is ISIS as in this case. Probably they want to hit

Turkey, but also not be blamed for hitting fellow Muslims.

GORANI: Why not?

AKYOL: Because it's a Muslim country and the victims are Muslims here like 41 people are dead and if I'm not wrong, 40 of them are Muslim supposedly

killed by an organization acting in the name of Islam. Now in their veered ideology, they can justify it, but they can't to a lot of people so maybe

that's why they don't claim that.

GORANI: Is this Turkey's let's say fair attitude with rebel siders pouring across this border in the very early days of the Syrian civil war that's

coming back and essentially, you know, wreaking havoc inside the borders?

AKYOL: There was a wrong fair attitude in the beginning. I think in the early stages of the Syrian civil war, Turkey thought everybody wants to go

there to fight against Assad. It's fine.

GORANI: It's a deal with the devil, though, is it not?

AKYOL: Yes. I mean, they thought that's the evil power so we should support everybody who suffice that. It belatedly dawned on Turkish leaders

that, yes, there is another problem here. I mean, it was belated recognition so there is a criticism there.

[15:25:05]But I would also say in the past year, Turkey has been actively fighting against ISIS with the U.S.

GORANI: This is why ISIS is retaliating.

AKYOL: This is why ISIS is retaliating.

GORANI: But there's also criticism directed at the Turkish government that they're too focused on Kurdish militants inside Syria and less focused on

ISIS fighters even in the early days of assisting in the air campaign.

AKYOL: Well, they are right to focus on both in the sense that PKK is doing terror attacks, suicide attacks like this inside Turkey as well.

Yet, still I think strategically Turkish government should think which is the lesser of two evils and is there a chance you can negotiate with one of

these groups.

I think the Kurdish groups are still the more negotiable ones as we have seen with Turkish government's peace process with them until a while ago.

So I mean, there's a chance for that and I would recommend the government to go --

GORANI: It's happened in the past basically so you can --

AKYOL: You can talk with them, but also it would be wrong to think why (inaudible) these Kurdish militants because they do commit big --

GORANI: I suppose my question was inside Syria because of these affected - -

AKYOL: Inside Syria and that circus conundrum, I mean, we say these are the terrorists we fighting against them, but on the other side, it's the

same border. They're fighting against each other. We should prefer a Kurdish element, but when you come inside Turkey, it gets complicated.

That's why Turkey (inaudible) and the U.S. I think maybe should help Turkey to deal with the Kurdish militants, but also maybe force those militants to

not attack Turkey so a peace process can be possible again.

GORANI: Well, speaking of the U.S., President Obama is right now in Canada. Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, is hosting him. What

is likely to be the response coming from these countries who have a real stake in the fight against ISIS as well?

AKYOL: Well, their support is important and I think the two leaders you mentioned, I think they are getting it right when it comes to Islam. It's

their understanding that it's a marginal strain in the Islamic world and you can't blame all Muslims for this and that would only help --

GORANI: There's a different strategies because Trudeau is pulling out of the active military involvement Obama --

AKYOL: Well, there is a difference there, but I think in terms of both the leaders, Obama and Trudeau. I think resisting this far right populist

trend that is powerful in Europe and as I see in the U.S. these days, which jumps from the real problem extremists and try to blame all Muslims for

that or put them into suspicion.

GORANI: But this very small percentage has wreaked havoc here and killed 41 people and many more severely injured here at Ataturk International.

This airport is functioning and appears as normal.

We are going to continue our live coverage here coming from Istanbul International Airport where as I mentioned dozens of people have been

killed as a result of this triple suicide bombing just really barely 24 hours ago.

We'll have a lot more on the investigation. A lot more on the government reaction as well. Do stay with us on CNN. We'll be right back with more

of our breaking news coverage.


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody. We are once again coming to you live from Istanbul's Ataturk Airport with the very

latest on this triple suicide bombing here, yet another attack in this country. It is the eighth such attack this year similar attack.

Let's bring you up to speed on what we know. Terrorists have killed 41 people, injured more than 230 others on Tuesday night here. Investigators

are suspecting ISIS. There's been no claim of responsibility, though.

That's because of the MO used in this particular case including these coordinated suicide blasts. Now authorities, we understand, have

questioned and they have since released the taxi driver who brought these attackers to Ataturk Airport.

Now, when you consider the carnage and disruption that took place behind me, it underscores the massive effort that officials have made to get the

airport functioning again almost as normal just a few hours after the attacks.

Our correspondent, Nima Elbagir, sent us this story from inside the airport just a few hours ago.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The first detonation was back there at the pickup and drop-off point. The force of the blast

ripped the tarmac. Authorities have now shielded that. They are barricading that from public view.

But the blast traveled you can see all the way back here. It ripped open the glass walls of the arrivals hall, ripping the ceiling tiles out. This

is what was raining down on the heads of those terrified passengers attempting to flee for their lives.

And on the ground around our feet are still shards of glass from that impact. Through the doors where you can see now passengers lining up to

catch their flights, this is where passengers yesterday ran out screaming, tracking bloody footprints as they attempted to save themselves and the

ones they love.

Turkey has been reeling for months now from a series of terror attacks and that is why they are working so hard to try and put this airport back

together to try and return to some semblance of normality and the Turkish president and prime minister said when they addressed their nation, not

allow those who would to seek to disrupt or terrify to. Nima Elbagir, CNN, Istanbul.


GORANI: Well, that's a view from inside the airport as I was mentioning. Just a few minutes ago, we landed with my crew and it was absolutely

bustling based on what we saw, couldn't tell at all that such a devastating terrorist attack had taken place less than 24 hours earlier.

More than 230 people were injured, 120 are still being treated. Our correspondent, Matt Rivers, is at one of the hospitals treating those who

were injured in this triple attack and joins me now with more on what doctors are telling you -- Matt.

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. This has been a very busy, busy place. It's one of the hospitals closest to where you are at Ataturk

Airport. It was about 24 hours ago that the wounded, the seriously wounded started coming into these doors.

Right now, 26 people at this point are still inside this hospital. Ten of whom are in the intensive care unit. Those are just some of the numbers

from across the city. There are 128 still receiving treatment across the area including 41 that remain in intensive care. Those people are in the


They were able, at least, so far, to survive what happened yesterday. The people that are waiting hoping that they are OK are these people here

behind me. Those -- a large majority of those people friends, family of those people that were injured in yesterday's blasts.

Those were very, very serious injuries, very critical injuries and so for many of these family members, they're sitting here waiting, we are nearing

midnight and so after 10:00 here, and they've been sitting here for hours and hours and hours. It's very intense scene here -- Hala.

GORANI: All right, Matt Rivers, we'll get back to you in a moment. Let's check to Canada where President Obama is addressing the attacks in Turkey.

Let's listen in for now.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: -- trying to divide us that we are stronger when we come together and work toward a

better world together. We're reminded of this basic fact at the summit. Combined our three nations are home to nearly 480 million people. We're

bound together by family including millions of immigrants who trace their roots to each other countries.

We're not only among each other's trade partner, we're a global hub of innovation with denigrated economies and supply chains and co-production

that span our borders.

[15:35:11]On every security and global challenge, we are partners and we're united by common values, democracy and pluralism and a commitment to human


Over the past eight years, I have worked to strengthen our relationship with our friends in the Americas and that begins with strengthening our

relationship with Canada and Mexico.

During my administration, for example, we boosted U.S. exports to Canada and Mexico by about 50 percent that supports about 2.8 million American

jobs and today --

GORANI: All right. President Obama there addressing the attacks in Turkey very briefly saying this is part of a broader fight and saying that the

American people stand side by side with the Turkish people that have suffered through more than just a few of these hysteria (ph).

There have been many devastating attacks in Istanbul here at the airport in Ankara and other parts of the country as well. Soner Cagaptay is one of

our Turkey analysts. He joins me now from Washington, D.C. with more.

What's your reaction here to the government clearly wanting business as usual, you know, to resume as quickly as possible here at the airport and

elsewhere. What to you make of how the government has handled this attack so far on a very important hub and that it supports its tourism industry in

a significant way as well?

SONER CAGAPTAY, DIRECTOR, TURKISH RESEARCH PROGRAM, THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE: That's correct. First of all, it's really nice to see you and

for a change, you're in Istanbul and I'm Washington. It's usually it's the other way around.

Of course, this is a horrific attack and I think the Turks have shown resilience in the face of it. Turkey has snapped back into action less

than a day after the attack. The airport is functioning again.

It took the Belgians weeks to get their airport functioning. This just shows that Turkey is not only resilient, but also kind of unfortunately

sort of used to these attacks, not in recent memory, but also in the past by Kurdish groups and others that the country really snaps back pretty


But of course, things won't be business as usual in terms of Turkey's policy against ISIL, the Islamic State, this group has now targeted not

only Turkey's economic heart, Istanbul, but the hub of that heart that helps it function, which is the Ataturk International Airport.

So expect the government to go down against ISIS with vengeance and President Obama has just stated that the United States is going to help

Turkey, of course, that's important. So I would say stronger Turkish-U.S. cooperation and the intelligence realm, first of all, to find those people

who carried out the attacks and those who assisted them.

And in that regard U.S. intelligence assistance will crucial as well as assistance from other western intelligence agencies. There will always be

a stronger border cooperation so that the Turkish-Syrian border can be sealed shot and this is also where U.S. assistance will be important.

Drones and other technology that's missing from Turkey's arsenal and finally, perhaps there will be air strikes, Turkey with the allies, and

maybe even Turkish action against the Islamic State in Syria.

This is really a major escalation. I would say the Islamic State was cruising for a bruising and it will get bruising from the Turkish side.

GORANI: I wonder if you can hear me, Soner.

CAGAPTAY: Yes, I can.

GORANI: All right, one of the important point that you bring up here is the economic impact and tourism here is a major industry. You're going to

have people who understandably see the coverage of these attacks at a main transport hub like Ataturk International and basically cancel their trips

to Turkey. And this is going to create a big problem for the government, for this country's economy, how do you counter that?

CAGAPTAY: That's correct. Istanbul Airport is the third busiest airport in Europe, 11th busiest in the world and it also has the distinction of

being the airport that offers the most connections to cities all over the world. In other words, this is an airport where you can fly from

(inaudible), Hanoi and Bogota all at the same time.

There is no airport in the world from where you can do that. It's not only a connecting hub for the whole. It's also of course an entry point for a

majority of more than 35 million people who come to Turkey.

Tourism is a big part of the Turkish and it also stands for Turkish image as a country that's safe for business and travelers so obviously attack on

the airport is going to hurt Turkey as I mentioned.

So that's why I think it's really important that Turkey was able to clean up the airport. Put it back into action in less than a day to tell the

business community and the international community that Turkey is back in business.

From now on, of course, it all depends on Turkey's ability to prevent future attacks that really goes through A, much stronger cooperation with

the U.S. and B --

GORANI: The issue here is this is a target that's virtually impossible to protect because you can get the security ring to go farther and farther out

from the sort of central nervous system of the airport, which is the departures and arrivals hall.

[15:40:09]But at some point, they'll still be able to strike if there's a crowd of people waiting to get in or queuing in order to get into the

inside perimeter of this airport. How do you come back in this asymmetrical sort of complex? How do you fight groups like ISIS that are

determined to strike Turkey right now?

CAGAPTAY: Of course, the solution goes through -- going to the source of the river. The source of river is in Iraq and Syria and Turkey had so far

prioritized fighting the Assad regime in Syria to fighting ISIS though it had been combatting both. I would say after this incident Turkey's

priorities will shift.

Fighting ISIS will become as big a priority as fighting Assad so to the extent that Turkey can seal that border to the point of perfection, the

Turkish-Syrian border for which it would need U.S. military and intelligence and technological assistance, it can definitely prevent that

flow of that river of Jihadists into the country, but also has to go to the source and that's really goes ultimately after defeating the Islamic State

in Syria.

So I would say despite the horrific incident, one positive takeaway is that this brings forward a closer alignment of Turkish and U.S. policies.

United States have prioritized fighting Assad, fighting ISIL to fighting Assad.

Now I think both will prioritize fighting ISIL first and of course, go after Assad next.

GORANI: Thank you, Soner Cagaptay in Washingotn. We're going have a lot more on the aftermath of these terrorist attacks at Ataturk International

Airport. After a quick break. My colleague, Richard Quest will bring you the latest post-Brexit referendum headlines making news today. We'll be

right back.


QUEST: It has been another tumultuous day in the United Kingdom as the country grapples from the fallout of last week's leave vote. David

Cameron, the outgoing prime minister, faced off against his opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who is facing more than mounting pressure, complete

pressure, a vote of confidence, a total collapse in support of his own MPs, the parliamentary Labour Party. And the prime minister had some choice

words for his embattled opposition.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: If he's looking for excuses about why the side he and I were on about the referendum, frankly, he should look

somewhere else. I have to say he talks about job insecurity and my two months to go. It might be in my party's interest for him to sit there.

It's not in the national address and I would say, for heaven's sake, man, go.


[15:45:05]QUEST: While David Cameron was in parliament, the E-27, the other European Union leaders were meeting in Brussels without him. One

British politician who was there was Scotland' first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, talking to leaders about potential avenues to Scotland to remain

in the E.U. since the country voted overwhelmingly to remain.


NICOLA STURGEON, SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER: We are at the early stage. Fairly early it's wants to take a side with them. I don't deny there will

be challenges ahead. This is very much an initial meeting, series of meeting in Brussels so that people understand that Scotland unlike other

parts of the United Kingdom doesn't want to leave the European Union.


QUEST: CNN's political contributor, Robin Oakley, is with me now. For heaven's sake, man, go. There was real passion as he said that.

ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, David Cameron was furious with his Labour opposite number for having put so little effort into

campaign for Britain to remain in Europe.

QUEST: How does Jeremy Corbyn politically survive? There has to be a leadership challenge now. He said he's going to stand. He does not enjoy

the support of his own MPs. So even if the party and the country were to return him, he would be in trouble.

OAKLEY: He would be in trouble and it's quite likely that the party and the country will return him because he got 60 percent of the activist vote

last September when he was chosen. One reason why Jeremy is still there, it's not just personal vanity that he's clinging like a limpet to a rock.

He is the last -- he's the biggest chance the left that ever had of exerting power in the Labour Party. They haven't had a leader from the

hard left before. They're not going to lose that prospect very easily and so the unions and the activists will possibly return him again.

QUEST: But so far has there been a leadership call? They've got (inaudible) conference, but have they agreed to have a leadership election?

OAKLEY: We are going to hear from Angela Eagle tomorrow afternoon and the likelihood, if she's making a statement, she is seen as the likely

frontrunner against Mr. Corbyn so she's got 51 MPs lined up for an official challenge.

QUEST: Now to Nicola Sturgeon, mischief making perhaps by turning up in Brussels. Tusk wouldn't see her as president of the council. Short as

head of the parliament did and so did Juncker, what business is the commission president seeing somebody when he should only be seeing David


OAKLEY: There's nothing Jean Claude Juncker like more than throwing a little more grit into the British oyster. He, remember, David Cameron, for

the campaign to stop Jean Claude Juncker becoming president of the commission. He said he wasn't a fit man to do so. That's never been


Most of the more aggressive noises that have come out of Brussels since Britain voted to leave have come from Mr. Juncker. So he was happy to see

Nicola Sturgeon. She is a particular politician who is advancing every day the cause of Scotland breaking away from the United Kingdom.

But it's going to end in tears for her because the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy made it quite clear today that Spain will exercise a veto

against any independent Scotch --

QUEST: Oi, Oi, I think I need a headache starting. Robin Oakley, thank you. As we continue tonight, we go back to my colleague, Hala, at Istanbul

airport where officials say the attack has all the hallmarks of ISIS. The co-author of "ISIS Inside The Army" is the guest next. You're watching THE




GORANI: Well, no specific group has claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks at Ataturk International Airport. Take a look at some of the video

that has come in to us over the last 24 hours. It gives you a sense of the modus operandi here and this is why so many people are suspecting ISIS.

The Turkish interior minister says that all evidence suggests that the terrorist group carried out these attacks. He was quoted by the state news

agency, (inaudible). Now a senior Turkish government source says investigators are still trying to identify the assailants.

They're dead, of course, but there's a strong suggestion they may have been foreign nationals. This is what's coming to us from the government here

and none of that has been confirmed.

Other groups have not necessarily been ruled out but it would really not fit the MO of a separatist group like the PKK at all. It tends to target

military security installations and certainly it would not fit into its strategy to go after a soft target like an airport where so many foreigners

passed through in this big transport hub.

I'm joined now from Washington by Hassan Hassan. He is the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Inside The Army of Terror." Hassan is also a

resident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East policy.

Thanks for being with us, Hassan. First of all, I want to ask you, what do you make of the response so far of the Turkish government to all of this?

HASSAN HASSAN, CO-AUTHOR, "ISIS INSIDE THE ARMY OF TERROR": We haven't seen yet a lot happening, but we're expecting that there would be a Turkish

escalation against this organization. We've sen that come in over the past year. There has been a steady escalation against ISIS and I think there's

more of an awareness, a sense of urgency that this organization is an internal threat.

GORANI: Right. There's more urgency, but that being said, you can hardly protect a place like this. I mean, how much further out are you going to

make this security perimeter? At some point, you have to address this all at the source, don't you?

HASSAN: Indeed. I think for Turkey in particular unlike the European countries and western countries, the threat is massive, the ISIS threat. I

remember two years ago in November 2014 as ISIS was just rising in Iraq and Syria, I interviewed ISIS members in Southern Syria, one of them was a

security official within ISIS.

This is like part of the intelligence part of ISIS. He was quite clear two years ago that the organization is working very hard to establish sleeper

cells and spy networks and terror networks inside Turkey because they anticipate that Turkey would be instrumental in the fight against ISIS

when the west decides to intervene in Syria and Iraq.

So at this moment, we should have seen these things coming. It's two years in the making. We're expecting more attacks by ISIS depending on how

Turkey will respond.

GORANI: So based on your -- I was going to say based on your research, this has been in the works for quite some time. So in other words, have

authorities really missed -- are there any missed opportunities? Were there any missed opportunities in terms of identifying this threat earlier?

Because early in the Syria civil war, many western government accused Turkey of turning a blind eye to all sorts of Jihadis and rebel fighters

streaming in from everywhere across this border to help swell rebel ranks against Assad because Assad was considered the bigger threat.

So is this coming back to bite them so to speak after turning a blind eye for so many years?

HASSAN: Absolutely. And the sad thing is this continues to be the priority -- the priorities for Turkey continue to be Assad. The problem

will continue to be that.

[15:55:00]The kind of the disparity or the -- like the different priorities between the United States, for example, Turkey over who is a priority to

fight in Northern Syria.

There is hope, though. I think today because Turkey is heavily involved, has become increasingly involved in the fight against ISIS, probably more

so in Iraq than Syria, there are now discussions behind the scenes between Turkey and Washington and Irbil for Turkey to play a pronounced, heavy role

in the fight against ISIS in Mosul.

The big question is whether Turkey and the United States will reach an understanding about the growing influence of the YPG in Northern Syria.

That is the big question I think for now.

GORANI: All right. So many questions and challenges for those countries facing this threat. Hassan Hassan, the co-author of "ISIS Inside The Army

of Terror," thanks so much for being with us on the program this evening.


GORANI: We are broadcasting live from very close to Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. We are just about 24 hours ago, a terrible series of suicide

bombings, killed 41 people and wounded 230 others, 120 of those still being treated in hospitals.

We'll continue our breaking news coverage of this as well as the aftermath of the Brexit referendum making headlines today as well.

A quick break on CNN. I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you very soon on the other side, though. Richard Quest picks up with "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."

Stay with us.