Return to Transcripts main page
WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
ISIS Claims It Inspired Berlin Truck Rampage; Merkel Pays Respects At Scene Of Berlin Attack; Russia And Turkey Pledge Investigation Cooperation; AP Photographer Recalls Ankara Shooting; German MPs: "Too Early" to Link Attack to Refugee Policy; Vehicles Being Used as Weapons in Terror Attacks. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired December 20, 2016 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:23] HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. Welcome to this special edition of THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Hala Gorani.
We are live from Berlin this hour with more of our breaking news on that terror attack in this capital city.
Let's get you right to what we're learning now. Just in the last few minutes, ISIS now said it inspired the Christmas market attack that killed
12 people and said it was carried out by a, quote, "soldier of the Islamic State."
Police had a suspect in custody yesterday evening, but they released him today meaning the perpetrator or perpetrators are still on the run. Police
are warning the public to be alert as they intensify their manhunt.
The city is on edge. It is quieter right now around the Christmas market. A day, 24 hours now after a truck plowed through that market crowded with
shoppers and revelers Monday evening. The death toll stands at 12 and it includes a man that was found in the truck who it is believed could be the
owner of that truck. Authorities believed that he was in fact the original driver.
Let's rig down the very latest information we have for you. With me now are Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief of "Bild" and Peter Neumann, who
directs the study of radicalization at Kings College London. Thanks to both of you for being with us.
So Julian, first, I want to start with you. We're getting a claim of responsibility, sort of a claim of inspiration. We don't see video of an
attack or anything like that, I wonder how will that be received in Germany?
JULIAN REICHELT, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "BILD DIGITAL": That is major news for Germany, especially with no one in custody which means that the original
perpetrator mostly likely is still on the run, and ISIS claiming this means that it really is a serious attack, which means there is a serious
terrorist possibly armed out there, and as you just mentioned, the city of Berlin is very quiet tonight.
You hardly see any cars. It really seems like people are very concerned about the situation, staying at home, and you could call it an
embarrassment for law enforcement here, arresting someone, keeping him for 30 hours and then releasing him tonight with someone who is claiming to be
ISIS still on the run here in Berlin or around the city.
GORANI: Peter, what do you make of this claim of responsibility? I mean, it's not like other attacks where we saw, for instance, the terrorist did
not film a video before the attack saying that he is going to martyr himself for the cause, whatever cause. Here it's like after the Nice
attack or after the Orlando club massacre where it seems like an opportunistic claim.
PETER NEUMANN, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON: It is becoming obvious that ISIS doesn't make the claims if there is not a basis to it. It doesn't
necessarily mean that he or whoever carried out the attack was a fully- pledged member of ISIS, but it certainly was someone who they considered to be a soldier of the caliphate.
GORANI: But how would they know because it seems authorities, at least publicly don't have anyone in custody or don't seem to know what the
NEUMANN: That means they have to have an indication of who carried out the attack. Otherwise, they would not have made that claim. It is a strong
indication, and I think if it comes as an ISIS claim of responsibility, I would go with saying it probably was at least inspired by ISIS.
GORANI: All right, so this one more piece of the puzzle that helps us understand what happened, but you're saying this potentially is kind of an
embarrassment for law enforcement because they don't have anyone in custody and it doesn't seem like they are publicly telling us what they think
REICHELT: Two hours after the attack, the mayor of Berlin called the all- clear saying people don't have to be concerned. They were very safe. That they had the right guy. There was a so-called witness who said -- who
claimed that he had seen that guy leaving the cabin of the truck, followed him and called the police, and directed the police to his location.
And that's from our impression and from our reporting here on the ground was the moment a more massive manhunt was basically called off. We didn't
see any cordoning. We didn't see any helicopters. We didn't see any massive search operation for a possible perpetrators and terrorists in the
city because they were so sure they had the right guy.
Then earlier today, we saw the federal prosecutor of Germany backtracking say, we are not that sure anymore and then a few hours ago, they released
the guy, and now they're calling on Twitter for any hints or leads, which basically means that they don't really have anything on that person, who as
we all know, is very determined to create damage.
GORANI: So it's possible that some opportunities were missed if they thought they had the right guy initially?
[15:05:01]NEUMANN: Absolutely. I think what is particularly concerning is that they called off the search after making the first arrest. They were
so convinced that they had the right guy that they gave up on any other opportunities that might have presented themselves immediately after the
GORANI: Where do that leaves us right now?
NEUMANN: That leaves us with a situation where we are or I am convinced and I think Julian is convinced that they have absolutely no idea. That's
why they are tweeting out messages saying if anyone is seeing anything suspicious, please call the police.
GORANI: Should Berliners then be concerned? Should they be concerned?
REICHELT: Well, I think, you know, that is up people here in Berlin and they have made their decision. If you look around the city, no one is on
the streets. Restaurants are empty. The squares are empty. The streets are quiet.
People have made their decision quite obviously that they are very concerned about a man who has possibly from everything we know right now
hijacked a truck, shot the driver so he is armed.
You know, he used a small caliber gun probably, still on the run with no real leads so the people here made the call, and made it very clear that
they are concerned.
GORANI: Julian, what would this area normally be like on a Tuesday night three days before Christmas?
REICHELT: Well, this area would possibly still be packed. You would see cars driving around. Obviously, this area now is cordoned off. But you
would see people in the streets, still people going to the Christmas market, going home from the Christmas market.
This is the week where people already on Christmas vacation. They spend time with friends. They come home to families. People who are from
Berlin, but don't leave here anymore come home. So the streets would be full. People would come back from their Christmas shopping.
GORANI: Very different to what we're seeing now basically because people are headed to that memorial over there. That's what they're doing.
They're lighting candles. I saw people wipe tears. I mean, it's difficult not to get emotional, by the way, when you go there.
Because you cover these stories over and over again and every single time it gets me personally because you think of the people that lost their
I've got to ask you, Peter, it seems to be the new normal in terms of attacks, right? Because how do you protect soft targets against lone wolf
potentially? I mean, we don't know if there was a network behind this person or these people, but a lone wolf attacker who is just inspired by
something he saw on the internet?
NEUMANN: I think it is really, really difficult if it really is a lone wolf attacker. In terms of this attack, I'm not entirely convinced. I
think it may turn out that this required more preparation than it seems, that perhaps other people are connected to it. What is true is --
GORANI: Why do you say that? Because it was more complex than just a spontaneous attack?
NEUMANN: I mean, it involved a carjacking. It involved the acquisition of a gun. It involved driving a truck to a target. It involves some degree
of preparation that typically involves more than one person. We will see.
However, it is also important to point out that this Christmas market was not particularly well protected. In U.K., in Israel, in other countries,
routinely the police is erecting barriers, erecting -- positioning police cars in a way that prevent this kind of situation.
GORANI: Why didn't they do that here?
NEUMANN: Because they're not systematically thinking about that because Germany has been so blessed. We have not really been exposed to massive
terrorist attacks. It isn't part of the DNA of police to think about terrorist attacks.
GORANI: But the last question, Julian, that has to change, right? Because, I mean, people have to be able to feel safe if they are going to
go out -- it's just a terrible dilemma. Either you barricade yourself and feel safe but then your life is abnormal or you allow free movement of
people and then you expose yourself.
REICHELT: I think there is something in between. This was a very soft target. This is a landmark in Berlin. They have had threats against
Christmas markets for years now. There is something between barricading yourself and don't -- putting up anything that would stop, for example, a
truck, especially after what we have seen. It could not give people the feeling of being barricaded in or you know, having --
GORANI: Those steel poles you have around --
NEUMANN: It is just like concrete blocks that no one even notices, necessarily but that stop a truck.
GORANI: You see those around embassies often times and they are quite low as well. But lastly, this church here is a church that was damaged during
World War II, and it was a reminder of people of the insanity of violence and conflict, and it's just so poignant that it happened right there, isn't
REICHELT: Well, it's tragic that it has happened right here, but I would also point out that this doesn't look like a coincidence. You know, there
are many Christmas markets in Berlin. If you want to strike one Christmas market where everyone in the world is watching this. They know it is
Berlin, the German capital, and that ISIS was able to commit such an attack here, you would choose this one. It would make it more reasonable to put
extra protection on this Christmas market. It's tragic but it's not entirely surprising.
GORANI: All right, Julian Reichelt of "Bild" and Peter Neumann of King's College London, thanks to both of you. Great having you on the program
[15:10:02]As we continue to cover this breaking news in the last few minutes that an ISIS affiliated media agency has claimed responsibility,
has said that it has inspired this Christmas market attack.
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her part says she is horrified and sad after this attack. Ms. Merkel and other German officials laid flowers
at the scene where a growing memorial is taking shape. Earlier, she addressed the country with a message of shock but also hope. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): There is much that we still do not know, insufficient certainty, but we must as things stand
now but still it was a terrorist attack. I know it will be especially hard for us all to bear if it were confirmed that the person who committed this
act is someone who sought protection, an asylum in Germany.
This would be especially despicable for the many, many Germans who day in and day out working are active working for refugees as well as for those
people who actually need our protection and would make an effort to integrate into our country.
We don't want to live with this fear of evil paralyzing us. Even if that is difficult right now, we will find the force to live the life we want to
live in Germany, free together and open. I thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Angela Merkel there. And we saw her at that memorial service. She is coming out and being quite vocal about it the day after the attack.
This is very traumatic, isn't it?
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And what we're seeing right now is an incredible show of solidarity as well. I was just outside
one of the main church not far from here, in fact, it's adjacent to the Christmas market, and people were laying flowers, lighting candles to
remember those lost.
And as well there was a memorial service there and we had a crew on the ground there, and they said it was incredible scene just outside of the
church in the market itself. It was incredibly emotional as they broadcast over loud speakers this service to the people outside here.
People were holding hands. They were hugging. They were really sharing this experience and remembering those lost. I mean, many people here say
they are absolutely shocked.
They're aware that terror was happening in Germany as well as throughout Europe, but never did they think it would happen here in Berlin. So really
it seems gathering together to remember the dead but also a show of solidarity that life will continue as usual.
GORANI: And people here having to deal with the probability that there is someone out there who committed this horrible act, who has not been
apprehended, and who is dangerous and possibly still armed.
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, absolutely. And the police are appealing to the public for more information, to the people who were there, that horrible night
when this happened, to be able to give them anything that they saw, any clues that would help to find this perpetrator.
Because after all this individual or potentially individuals is apparently still at large. The person that they had in custody originally they have
now released siting a lack of evidence. There is no DNA evidence tying him to the inside of that truck cabin.
There were no fingerprints. There was no DNA. Inside that truck cabin as well was a Polish man who was shot and killed, apparently, and they are
saying that that man was not driving the truck. So the question is who was?
So police very much right now on the lookout for the perpetrator, possibly perpetrators as well as any potential accomplices.
GORANI: And you spoke to just ordinary people, this Christmas market is closed, but we have memorials, people lighting candles, and putting flowers
down as well to honor the victims of the attack. They are saying we will not let this change our way of life, but there is nobody here and we were
speaking with Julian Reichelt of "Bild" saying the restaurants are empty and people are staying home mainly.
MCLAUGHLIN: Well, absolutely. They have completely shut this area down. The kiosks that were selling them old wine, originally they are all closed
and nearby restaurants closed as well. The mall as well and you do see an intense security presence on the ground.
Lots of police officers especially in that memorial church getting ready for the events. I was there and I saw that, but the key question remains
this area now, it seems, is of course secure. What about the other soft targets throughout the country and in fact Europe? Officials very
concerned about those as well. Now, especially with a possibility that this person is on the loose.
GORANI: Yes, and we will see other Christmas markets, will they reopen tomorrow? When they do, will people go to them, try to enjoy themselves,
continue on with their lives? We'll continue to follow that story. Erin McLaughlin, thanks very much, part of our team on the ground.
A lot more to come this evening. Another big story we're following, of course, Russians mourning as the body of their Turkish ambassador is flown
home. We'll be live in Moscow with the latest on that.
[15:15:12]Also CNN speaks to the "Associated Press" photographer whose images of the ambassador's murder were seen around the world. A man that
kept his cool in a very tense situation.
And of course, as I mentioned, much more from Berlin ahead as Germany mourns the victims of Monday's attack. We'll be right back.
GORANI: More heartbreaking news from Berlin and the ISIS affiliated media news website claiming responsibility for the Christmas market attack that
happened just about 25 hours ago in Berlin.
Paul Cruickshank is our terror expert. He is in London. Paul, what do you make of this? You were able to read the language. It is similar to
statements they made after the Nice attack, the Orlando nightclub massacre in Florida, what do you make of this particular announcement?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, Hala, what it is claiming is that it inspired the Berlin attack. It is claiming that the (inaudible)
responded to its cause for sympathizers in the west to launch attacks. It is not claiming that it directed this attack in this statement. Not
claiming it directed the attack.
That is very important distinction to make. So this is in a sense not really a claim of responsibility. More a claim that it inspired this
attack. But it is offering no evidence whatsoever that that is indeed the case.
In fact, as far as being publicly articulated by German investigators, they have no evidence to suggest any connection at this stage to Islamic
terrorist. Obviously, it may well end up being an Islamic terrorist attack.
There are some pointers in that direction including the MO of this attack, but at the moment ISIS really have nothing to back up the claim. It may be
completely opportunistic and they may turn out to look foolish, but at the same time, they may also have some reason for putting it out.
We've seen in previous cases, for example, in ax attack on a German train in July of this year, they put out a very, very similarly worded claim and
it turned out that not only was the attacker communicating with an ISIS operative, but they were uploading a video claim of responsibility.
So we may see something like that in the hours ahead, but at the moment, this is an absolutely unsubstantiated claim from ISIS that it inspired this
attack in Berlin.
[15:20:00]GORANI: Right. So it could be sort of one of these opportunistic claims, and still even more fear in the people here in
Berlin, but where does that leave the investigation? I mean, what should law enforcement officials do with this information?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, it is certainly an input for them. It certainly may increase fears that the terrorist or attacker may strike again if they are
indeed an Islamist terrorist state. They want to kill as many people as possible likely before they are killed.
But right now they're really scrambling, Hala. It's not clear they have any good leads. They're asking the public for video from the scene to try
to piece together who could possibly have been responsible.
They don't even know how many people were in the truck in terms of the perpetrators of this attack. The warriors, you have an armed attacker on
the loose somewhere in Berlin or Germany, with a gun that they've already used on that Polish driver inside the truck who may strike again.
This is a very alarming situation that the German security agencies are now facing. This is really a nightmare scenario for them and to have someone
like this on the loose, someone they really don't know anything about and it could be more than one person.
GORANI: Absolutely. And they did call off the manhunt yesterday after they thought they had the right guy. So this also could be something that
they could have continue to haunt them. We'll continue following the latest breaking news out of Berlin, of course, where we are broadcasting
from this everything. Paul Cruickshank, thanks very much.
To other news now, the body of Russia's ambassador to Turkey has now been flown back to Moscow, a day after he was murdered by a gunman in Ankara in
front of the cameras. An 18-member Russian investigative team is now inside Turkey to help Turkish investigators.
Russia says it will not make, quote, "concessions to terrorists" following the attack. Seven people now have been questioned over this killing
including members of the gunman's family.
Let's get more on the reaction to this assassination and turn to Clarissa Ward. She is in Moscow with more. What is this group of Russian
investigators hoping to achieve? I mean, clearly they know who the guy is, who his family members are, and they're talking to them right now.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They are, as you said they've detained seven people. I would say, Hala, that it is very
common after these types of attacks in Turkey for Turkish authorities to arrest or detain all family members, roommates, anyone who knew the
attacker, who might give a better picture as to what exactly inspired this young police officer to kill in cold blood the Russian ambassador in
Now of course we know the stated political motive which was his horror at the atrocities being perpetrated in Aleppo, his anger at Russian
involvement in those atrocities, but what Russian investigators will want to know is whether this is part of a larger network.
Whether this was potentially ordered by some Jihadist militant faction. Whether he was in communication with people in Syria or elsewhere. There
are a lot of questions that could be very relevant for them as they look to the security of their diplomatic personnel, and generally of Russian
citizens traveling around the world.
Russia has been aware for some time that its intervention into the conflict in Syria could bring about a heightened risk or state of alert against
terrorist attacks. So it is fair to say that Russian authorities have anticipated that something like this was a possibility.
But nonetheless, they really want to try to focus now on finding out whether this was a lone wolf attacker or whether this was something more
substantial. We do know according to Turkish state media that some type of al-Qaeda reading material was reportedly found in the attacker's house.
Again, Russian investigators will want to know if it was something he downloaded online that he was inspired by or was he sent by a group like al
Qaeda or ISIS and could there be more people in the cell and more targets in mind -- Hala.
GORANI: It doesn't seem, though, like this assassination has affected this new (inaudible) between Turkey, Russia, and Iran. Their foreign ministers
met as planned, right, in Moscow?
WARD: That's right. If anything it seems like both the Russian and Turkish leaders are really making an effort to have a sort of coordinated
response. Both President Erdogan and President Putin saying that this was a provocation that was intended simply to thwart or derail the warming
relationship between Russia and Turkey, to thwart the work that Russia and Turkey were doing together in Syria.
You, of course, know that the evacuations of civilians in Eastern Syria was largely a result of a temporary truce that was primarily brokered by Russia
[15:25:13]And we saw that summit taking place today. The state of purpose of that summit was to continue to try to find some road ahead politically
in Syria. I think it was interesting that while of course the assassinated ambassador was mentioned in the context of the talks, he was not the focus.
The focus was the work that remains to be done. The Turkish foreign minister in attendance, Russia's foreign minister and Iran's foreign
minister. Both countries came to de-escalate the situation -- Hala.
GORANI: All right, Clarissa Ward in Moscow, thanks very much.
Meanwhile, new video has emerged showing the attack in Ankara on Monday. You probably seen this video is chilling. Remarkable in its clarity. The
gunman identified as a police officer (inaudible) is seen milling around in the background behind Andrei Karlov as the ambassador spoke at a podium.
"Associated Press" photographer, Burhan Ozbilici, was also in that room and his pictures were shown around the world. Nic Robertson caught up with
him, but I have to warn you the following video shows the moment the ambassador was shot.
BURHAN OZBILICI, "ASSOCIATED PRESS" PHOTOGRAPHER: I heard the shot very loud, bam, bam, bam. I said -- this is horrible. People standing in
front, they disappeared. They throw them on the floor, and then the people -- they were trying to hide them, to take shelter.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Were you afraid?
OZBILICI: I was shocked, but I was afraid, but not panicked.
ROBERTSON: Were you not afraid, you have a camera and he has a gun --
OZBILICI: Well, I'm very sensitive in difficult situations, I'm calm. I have a responsibility to record it -- the ambassador was lying on the
ground, not moving, and the guy was making a political motivated speech, but I could not understand. I thought maybe he was speaking Russian. Some
people were screaming and crying, so I could not hear well. Then he turned around, and from very close range, he shot one more time.
ROBERTSON: On the ambassador?
ROBERTSON: Just to make sure he was dead?
OZBILICI: I think so. When I learned the guy was killed -- I was really shocked. Why they killed him, he did nothing. He did not take anyone
hostage. He was not alone. They had to capture him alive. I don't know the motive, but it is something resolving.
GORANI: All right, the photographer who kept his cool and kept taking pictures and rolling on that camera. Across the border in Syria, the
evacuation of Aleppo could be coming to a close soon. That is according to multiple officials as well as the rebel group on the ground.
Earlier, Turkey's foreign minister said more than 37,000 people had been evacuated so far, but the International Red Cross puts that number at
actually 25,000 according to them, and says the operation is not over, it is still ongoing.
You're seeing a bus there used to evacuate those people trapped in East Aleppo. It is in fact still not clear how many people are still inside.
Next on the program, we're live in Berlin. How the Christmas market attack could impact the chancellor's political future here. I'll speak to the
leader of the Alternative for Germany Party, next. We'll be right back.
[15:31:52] GORANI: Well, it should be a festive mood behind me in Berlin just a few days before Christmas. This is when people get together with
family, friends, loved ones to have a gluhwein, they buy Christmas decorations and presents, but instead it is a somber mood here tonight.
And let's get return to our top story, and that is Monday's attack on the Christmas market behind me in Berlin.
Here's what we know right now. Just in the last hour, ISIS says that it inspired the attack. In a statement, the terrorist group says one of its
soldiers -- that's what it called the individual who carried out the attack -- according to them, was behind the deadly truck rampage. But there's no
way right now to determine if that's true. They've provided no evidence of that.
Earlier, German police released the suspect that they arrested after the attack. So the perpetrator is now on the run, it's believed. Twelve
people were killed, dozens more were wounded.
The attack could lead to a political backlash against the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. I'm joined now by Frank Hansel of the Alternative for
Germany Party. It has an anti-immigrant platform, of course, far to the right of Angela Merkel.
Thank you, Mr. Hansel, for being with us. What do you make of the response of your Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to what happened here yesterday?
FRANK HANSEL, BERLIN PARLIAMENTARY PARTY LEADER, ALTERNATIVE FOR GERMANY: Well, I think the problem is that our population is losing confidence in
the government because they have been warning voices for the last year, even from the security forces, that there are terrorists coming in from
ISIS. I think our police is doing a good job, but political leadership is in trouble.
GORANI: But what do you think the problem is? I mean, we hear from some political parties, including some of your supporters, who say you've let
too many immigrants in, too many refugees. Do you agree with that?
HANSEL: The problem is not the people, the immigrants. The problem is the breaking of the law, the illegal mass immigration that was permitted by the
Merkel government, you know. I mean, put yourself in the situation, maybe you would've also fled. But the problem is, it's morality you cannot put
over the law. And this is the problem.
GORANI: But we don't know yet.
HANSEL: That's true.
HANSEL: That's true. But, of course, this was not a car accident, yes.
GORANI: So you're assumption is that it must be related somehow to some radical ISIS-inspired or something?
HANSEL: I mean, this is what the evidence is going to show probably.
GORANI: So this refugees and --
HANSEL: But today is not the moment to blame politicians, I think.
HANSEL: I think our focus first with the victims and the families.
GORANI: But let me ask you, though, it's still a day to try to think about solutions in the future, right?
HANSEL: Yes, of course.
GORANI: I mean the migrants are in Germany.
GORANI: They're here. What do you propose should happen? What do you think should be done in order to facilitate integration and to protect the
ordinary people from attacks like this?
HANSEL: Well, integration is a good word, you know, but you see in France where there are also attacks, the people speak French. They're French.
They have been living there for 20 years, and they also do these attacks.
The problem is the really radical Islam tendency within the ideology of Islam, of the Sharia. And this is the problem. The problem is not the
cultural Muslims who have been living here for the last 20, 30 years. That's not the problem. They are --
[15:35:10] GORANI: No, but it's such a tiny minority, though. I mean, isn't it one of the problems that people will amalgamate all of these --
Muslims, Arabs, Afghans, everything that is foreign, a new woman wearing a head scarf? I actually saw a woman wearing a head scarf and a man walked
past her and looked at her, basically, with such hate in his eyes. It's leading to a breakdown of society, isn't it?
HANSEL: Yes, but who's responsible for that? I mean, we are not against the refugees because we would've probably the same suggestion. The problem
is breaking the law and not giving the people the confidence that the future of this country is in the correct way.
Demographically, we need immigration, OK, of the skilled works. But what we are seeing here is the mass immigration of people who would not come
into other countries. I mean, Germany is the only country where people come. Of course, Sweden as well. But the eastern countries have another
response. And if we wouldn't have permitted everybody coming without control and evidence who they are because, as you know, there were about
600,000 people coming in without registrants.
GORANI: Right. But now, looking forward, you say the problem is the breaking of the law. So do you think the solution is more law enforcement?
HANSEL: Of course, we have --
GORANI: More surveillance, more what?
HANSEL: First, we have to also look into the future, who comes next. I think we have to give a sign to the world, here you can have asylum without
any problem, but not everybody can come here. And you have to ask, why do the people come to Germany and they do not go to other countries? You
know, there are the crossers of the secured country. You know, we have basic law saying that if you come from another secure, you cannot claim for
asylum in Germany.
GORANI: OK. But as it stands now, the situation is what it is.
GORANI: So how do you make it easier for everyone, do you think?
HANSEL: We have to make them understand that who comes here and wants to stay here has to come to our rules, yes, and our culture. And there are so
many Muslims for the last years who live here normally but who understood that we live in a free society, with self-determination, also sexual self-
determination, understand that there gays, that there are all types of relationships.
GORANI: So you think some Muslims have come to this country and have refused to assimilate?
HANSEL: Yes, of course. We don't have any problems with Muslims who want to live here free, with girls who have no problems with education, but with
the people where their brother say, no, you, my sister, may not go to school and you may not marry a German. This is the problem, yes.
GORANI: All right. And you think that's a problem that has been exacerbated by the flow of refugees?
HANSEL: The parallel society which exists not only in this country but also in Belgium and in France and in other countries.
GORANI: And the solution is what?
HANSEL: The solution is to first tell them you are welcome, but you have to stick on our rules.
GORANI: And if not, if you don't stick to our rules?
HANSEL: Well, I don't know what's happening in the United States if people not stick to the rules.
GORANI: Well, completely different situation, but I mean here in particular, in Germany, you would propose what?
HANSEL: I think that's a tough question. I think we have to give a sign not everybody can come here. And participate also in the social benefit
state because if everybody comes, the tax payer will not be amused in the long run and this is a problem, when people get really aggressive and
people get into their pocket. For the moment, it is yet possible to bear with it.
GORANI: And I'm hearing a similar message from many other parties in Europe, by the way. I mean, we're seeing the rise and a lot more success
and support --
HANSEL: I would call it political realism.
GORANI: Yes, but --
HANSEL: It has nothing to do with what's right or right-wing. It's just political realism.
GORANI: But do you think this is now a new era where what you call political realism, what others would call, perhaps, far-right anti-
immigration positions are going to gain ground, do you think?
HANSEL: I don't know. I do think that the people, and you, this is clearly saying it's the economies too, you know. We say it's the people
too. But you cannot govern against the majority of the people. And this is, I think, the problem.
GORANI: Frank Hansel, thanks very much, the Parliamentary leader of the AfG Party in the Berlin Parliament.
HANSEL: Thank you very much.
GORANI: We really appreciate your time in CNN and your reaction to, really, a terrible attack here in Berlin and people still coming to terms
with it. You heard the view of one of the opposition parties here in some of the issues that may have led to this attack.
Earlier, I asked German M.P. and CDU Party member, Stephan Meyer, who is of the Party of Angela Merkel whether her approach to Europe's refugee crisis
could have played a part. Here is some of that conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHAN MEYER, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION OF GERMANY (through phone): I would suggest first to let the prosecutors and the law
enforcement agencies do their work in order to generate a fundamental basis. And then on this basis, you can think about the necessary
[15:40:16] I'm convinced that if this horrible case which really shocked Germany and the German citizens very intensively shows that there are
deficits in our security policy or in our refugee policy, I'm the first to support all the efforts to amend the federal law and to give more personnel
to the security agencies. But I think the first step now must be to prosecute and to let the prosecutors do their work.
GORANI: Right. I mean, what needs to change? Clearly, soft targets are in the crosshairs of people who want to harm countries across Europe. We
saw it in Paris. We saw it in Brussels. It appears as though this has now happened in your country and in Berlin. What would you say, to your
citizens and even visitors watching this around the world, needs to be done so that it, you know, doesn't happen again in this fashion?
MEYER (through phone): It was always a clear fact that the so-called soft targets are very aggressive targets for Islamists, for radical terrorists.
And so, certainly, the Christmas markets that we have in Germany, those are about 2,500, are addressed as their targets. And it's not possible to
secure them by 100 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. And you heard there from a Member of Parliament of the Party of Angela Merkel. As far as the Chairwoman of Germany's Greens
Party, well, she's also reacting to the attacks saying it's wrong to link it to refugees.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RENATE KUNAST, CHAIRWOMAN, ALLIANCE '90/THE GREENS PARTY (through translator): Today, it's just grief. Today, it is just grief for those
people who died and hope for the ones who are severely injured to survive and to recover at least physically. I think this city has gone through so
much so that it is capable of staying calm.
These kinds of attacks not just occurred since the refugee movement, so I can only warn all of those who think it can be functionalized, which is
despicable on a day like this. Let us look at the situation calmly and see which security measures are needed and which makes sense. And we have to
repeat one thing constantly, we will always defend freedom, our style of life, and our mutual respect. Otherwise, others would have won.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. So you're hearing some different viewpoints here in reaction to the attack on the Christmas market, to the right of Angela
Merkel, you hear from The Greens Party, as well as a Member of Parliament of the CDU. So people are urging caution. Others are perhaps also saying
that the refugee policy of Angela Merkel has something to do with some of the tensions in this country.
Let's wrap all of this up and look back into the investigation. Just dial it back a little bit into what we know. Peter Neumann of King's College
London is, again, with us.
So we did get that claim of inspiration, whatever we want to call it, from ISIS. What do we know so far? Because we're telling our viewers, what do
we know for a fact right now?
NEUMANN: Well, we know for a fact that 12 people died, that it was an attack that very much fit within the pattern of ISIS attacks over the past
two years. It was basically copying the Nice attack that happened this summer, and we have a declaration of responsibility from ISIS saying it was
a soldier of the Islamic state, and it was someone who was inspired by I.S.
And that indicates it was probably not a fully-fledged member of ISIS, not someone who had traveled to Syria, come back, and signed up for the group,
but it was someone who had taken inspiration.
GORANI: And it's the same language --
NEUMANN: That's what we have.
GORANI: I was going to say it's the same language that this media agency associated with ISIS also used and it came in after Nice.
NEUMANN: About the Florida attack.
GORANI: And Florida.
NEUMANN: About Nice.
GORANI: I mean, when we looked more into, for instance, the Florida attack, I mean, it was such a more complex story than just a guy inspired
by an ISIS website.
NEUMANN: Absolutely, and that's the, I think, tricky thing about ISIS. We can all deal with terrorist organizations that have fully signed up members
who swear an oath, but what ISIS does is, it basically hands over the brand to whoever wants to use it.
It says to its supporters, if you want to be a soldier of the caliphate, you don't have to actually come to Syria. You don't have to train. You
don't have to sign up. Just do something and if we like it, we will claim it.
And we can debate endlessly about whether they are really members of ISIS, but certainly ISIS has been turned into members of ISIS, and the fear and
terror they cause is the same, if not more, than if it was an official member of ISIS.
[15:45:02] GORANI: But then maybe we shouldn't take it as fact. I mean, if ISIS' goal is to instill fear in everyone and every time an attack like
this happens, should we look at it differently essentially?
NEUMANN: I think it works.
NEUMANN: And I think it certainly causes a lot of fear in people precisely because they don't know where it comes from, precisely because they know
that security agencies have such a hard time figuring out who is responsible and preventing it precisely because these people are not fully
signed up members of ISIS because they're not linked to the organization because they don't communicate with ISIS H.Q. And that causes the fear in
an even degree.
GORANI: But, of course, the million dollar question is, how do you stop it, right? I mean, because people watching these stories, and we've
covered them time and time again, are always asking, how do you stop this from happening? How do you stop people from being inspired by ISIS
ideology as horrible and as repugnant as it is?
NEUMANN: I think, to a great extent in the past two years, people have been inspired by ISIS because it was a strong brand. It was a winning
brand. It symbolized victory and power. And I think what's happened over the past two years is that ISIS has started to be defeated. It's losing.
It is on the defensive. And the people that are acting on behalf of ISIS, it's almost like, you know, a last hooray.
I think ISIS has already lost a lot of support. You know, no one is traveling to Syria and Iraq any more. And I think you defeat it not
necessarily by countering every single theological statement but by defeating it on the field and by depriving it of the air of success.
GORANI: And you can even take it one step further and you have solve the sort of problems that lead to ISIS being able to occupy areas of Syria,
Iraq, which is this political vacuum there.
NEUMANN: For sure.
GORANI: And that's a much longer-term project.
NEUMANN: For sure. For sure.
NEUMANN: But it's more long-term. It's much more difficult to resolve. But if you ask yourself, what inspires a young European who has never been
to Syria, who doesn't know anything about Syria, it's not really what happens in those conflicts. It's the brand, it's the image, it's the idea
of strength and success and power. If you deprive ISIS of that idea of power and strength and success, you defeat ISIS.
GORANI: All right. Peter Neumann, thanks very much, of King's College London. As always, great having you on the program. We're going to take a
quick break. We'll have a lot more from a very cold and windy -- it had to be said -- Berlin this evening. Do stay with CNN.
GORANI: Welcome back. Berlin's Brandenburg Gate lit up with the colors of the German flag. Tonight, the capital city is paying tribute to the
victims of Monday's attack on the Christmas market behind me. Twelve people were killed, dozens more were injured.
[15:50:01] The attack on the Christmas market is especially alarming because the weapon was something almost anyone could use, a truck. It's a
tactic we're seeing more often as CNN's Tom Foreman reports.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eighty-six people dead, more than 400 injured. The attack in Nice, France five months ago proved how
deadly a big vehicle can be. In that case, it was a huge rented truck traveling close to 60 miles an hour plowing through holiday revelers.
GREG KRENTZMAN, NICE ATTACK SURVIVOR: I had a choice to either jump to my right or jump to my left because the truck was swerving, so I had to make a
decision which way to jump. I decided to jump to my left and thank God I did because if I didn't, I would have been dead.
FOREMAN (voice-over): Purposeful attacks using vehicles have happened plenty in recent years. At the University of North Carolina in 2006, a man
rams his SUV into a crowd. Luckily no one dies. But in the Netherlands in 2009, a car slams into a parade and eight people are left dead.
In Canada in 2014, a pair of soldiers are run down in a parking lot and one dies. That same year in Israel, a driver veers off of the road and steps
on the gas to hit people waiting for train. Two are killed. And in France, a pair of incidents, one right after the other, leaves 20 people
injured and one dead.
In each case, questions of terrorism were raised. And the prevalence of such attacks prompted Homeland Security to issue this warning during the
holiday season a half dozen years ago, "Vehicle ramming offers terrorists with limited access to explosives or weapons an opportunity to conduct an
attack with minimal prior training." Among the warning signs, vehicles reinforced with homemade metal plates on the front, and large trucks in
heavily trafficked pedestrian areas at unusual times, especially if they're driving erratically.
Still just last month, it happened again. At Ohio State, a young man ran into a crowd with his car before he was shot by a police officer and became
the only fatality that day.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There is plenty of available evidence to indicate that this individual may have been motivated by
extremism and may have been motivated by a desire to carry out an act of terrorism.
FOREMAN (on camera): The simplicity and effectiveness of these attacks are clearly why terrorist groups keep pushing them on the internet, knowing
that all it takes is one radical to get one started and yet it requires a whole lot more resources to detect such a plan or stop it.
GORANI: Tom Foreman reporting there. Nigel Farage, the former of the U.K. Independence Party sparked outrage on Twitter when he reacted to the Berlin
attack. He said, quote, "Terrible news from Berlin but no surprise. Events like these will be the Merkel legacy." Brendan Cox, the widower of
the murdered British MP Jo Cox, was quick to criticize the tweet suggesting that blaming politicians for extremist acts was a slippery slope.
Check out our Facebook page, by the way. We'll put some of my chat with our experts at the top of the program, facebook.com/halagoranicnn. And you
can always weigh in your thoughts and comments.
Coming up, shock, grief in Berlin on the day after the deadly attack at the market. We'll have more from the German capital. Stay with me. We'll be
[15:55:18] GORANI: It's one of those impromptu vigils that have popped up around the Christmas market. People still very much grieving, still very
much in shock after what happened here yesterday. Twelve people killed by a runaway truck in what was a deliberate attack on a Christmas market.
Are Erin McLaughlin surveyed the mood across the capital.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the scene of unimaginable horror, a 25-ton tool of terror is slowly driven away, leaving
behind unanswered questions and a country in shock. Nearby, a makeshift memorial grows by the hour. Young and old, people of all faiths gather to
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All over 2016, we heard of all of the terrible attacks that happened all over the world and yesterday, was a black day for human
history. It's just depressing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. And people go here to have a good evening. They drink wine and eat something and stay here with friends or family, and
then they're dead. After five minutes. It is shocking, yes, it is.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): What remains of the Christmas market is eerily quiet. Children's rides stand still and there's a heavy police presence.
Normally, this Christmas market would be full of shoppers, drinking spiced wine and looking for gifts, but as you can see, these kiosks are closed as
authorities look for answers and Berliners mourn their dead. In the capital, a show of solidarity. At the memorial church, people gather to
honor the dead as officials prepare the country for the worst.
ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY (through translator): I know that would be especially hard to bear for us if it was to be confirmed that a
person committed this act was given protection and asylum in Germany. This would be especially disgusting.
MCLAUGHLIN (voice-over): German officials set free the asylum seeker they first arrested, no longer suspecting he perpetrated the attack. Chancellor
Angela Merkel visited the church on Tuesday, visibly shocked. It's Christmas week and the country has been shaken, and with it, her political
Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Berlin.
GORANI: All right, we're going to take a quick break. When we come back, a lot more from Berlin. Stay with CNN.