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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Manhunt Underway across Europe for Berlin Terror Suspect; Reports: Evacuation from Eastern Aleppo Restarts; Bana al-Abed Meets Turkey's President in Ankara; Behind the Scenes at the Ballet; Berlin Doctor Describes Horror Of Victims' Injuries; Trump: Berlin Rampage "An Attack On Humanity"; At Least 32 Killed In Mexico Fireworks Blast; Queen Elizabeth Delays Christmas Travel. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired December 21, 2016 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[15:00:02] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to a special edition of THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. We're live in Berlin once again this evening with
continuing coverage of the Christmas market terrorist attack.
And I want to get you right to our breaking news about the most wanted man in Europe this hour. Police across the continent are hunting for a 24-
year-old named Anis Amri, a Tunisian national. German authorities have identified him as the prime suspect in the Berlin attack.
You see a picture of him there and they're offering up to 100,000 euros for information on his whereabouts. Amri is no stranger to German law
enforcement. He was flagged as a possible threat and arrested back in August. He had some forged paperwork on him.
We believe a fake passport, but a judge ordered his release. German security officials tell CNN that they believe Amri has linked to an ISIS
recruitment network. And authorities are anxious to catch him fearing he may try to strike again. Take a look.
GORANI (voice-over): A massive manhunt under way across Germany. As a picture and the name of the man they are urgently looking for are
circulated among European police forces. He is a Tunisian national named Anis Amri, born in 1992. They say his identify papers were found inside
the truck used to carry out Monday's attack on a Berlin Christmas market.
And they say, he could still be armed and dangerous. Authorities say he had known links to radical Islamist groups, reviewing the suspect entered
Germany in July 2015 and claimed asylum.
RALF JAEGER, INTERIOR MINISTER OF NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA (through translator): In July 2016, his asylum application was rejected by the
Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. The man couldn't be deported as he didn't have valid identification papers. The process for issuing
replacement papers was started in August. At first, Tunisia denied that this person was their national.
GORANI: Also released today, a picture of the truck's Polish driver, who completed a planned run from Italy to Germany before losing contact with
his employer. Authorities believe that the truck was hijacked about four hours before the attack. The driver's body shot at close range was found
in the passenger's seat. As the cleanup operation in the now abandoned Christmas market continues, Mourners gather to share their shock and
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We would go here to have a good evening, to have -- they drink and eat something and stay here with friends or family and then
they're dead after 5 minutes. It's shocking.
GORANI: The German president visited a local hospital to pay his suspected to the injured. Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's reelection
bid has been complicated by the assault as she faces growing concerns over her government's generous acceptance of nearly 900,000 asylum seekers over
the past year.
Despite the fact that initial reports about the driver being a refugee were wrong, far right leaders in Europe are already casting blame on Merkel for
GORANI: Well, let's get more on the investigation, I'm joined by CNN's Erin McLaughlin. So we're learning a whole lot more about this individual.
In fact, this was a name that was released today that we hadn't even heard yesterday.
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And yet he had been on the German official's radar for quite some time. We know that he had been arrested in
August trying to cross illegally into Italy, a judge taking the decision to release him. We know that he had previously spent some time in Italy.
In fact, we also know that his asylum application had actually been declined and yet, German authorities were unable to deport him because he
had so many identification documents. They didn't know which document was the accurate one.
And because they couldn't identify his country of origin, they were unable to deport him which leads to all sorts of questions, especially for German
officials tonight as to how and why this could not have been prevented.
What needs to be done to change some of these procedures to make sure something like this does not happen again, because after all, you have now
a man armed and dangerous, believed to have links to Islamist organizations on the run in Germany and perhaps Europe.
GORANI: Sure. And let's talk a little bit about -- I was telling viewers earlier, with the market lights are back on. The anticipation is that this
market will open again tomorrow. I guess, people -- what are they going to do? Are they going to be the same security measures? Are people saying
there should be more? I don't know, security agents may be barriers around these markets?
MCLAUGHLIN: Speaking to people here in Berlin, you really do get a sense with profound determination to continue on with life as normal and defiance
with the horrors that we saw here, and yet, officials are taking an extra precautionary steps.
[15:05:10]They are increasing the number of police we've seen here around this area today in Berlin as well as other key points in Germany. They're
also exploring the idea of potentially introducing concrete barriers around public spaces such as train stations, such as Christmas markets.
So they're looking at a range of measures. Lawmakers also looking at introducing new laws, potentially increasing surveillance, electronic
surveillance as well as cameras, placing cameras in public spaces including public transportation.
So all of those things are looking at right now including in fact actually I should also mention putting body cameras on police officers in order to
be able to document what's happening because as we know, this is not the first time that there has been a terrorist attack in Germany.
GORANI: And there are surveillance cameras, but nothing like London, for instance. I mean, although we do know according to the federal police that
they have some sort of description of what this suspect was wearing after they say he was seen after the attack. So perhaps it was on a surveillance
camera, perhaps a witness, we don't know. But in fact, if the plan is to put a lot more that could also help in trying to figure out what happens
after a horrible act like this.
MCLAUGHLIN: And again, that is something that the German officials are certainly looking at right now. Surveillance cameras while very common as
you say in places such as London, less common here in Germany. Keep in mind too, a key factor leading to this current suspect were the
identification papers that were found in the cabin of that truck. They actually found his identification papers and that's what tracked them down.
That's what they then used to trace to Amri as well. So it wasn't just perhaps maybe they caught him on surveillance cameras or other factors --
GORANI: Certainly they have that, although, you know, the first night they arrested the wrong guy so perhaps that delayed things. I'm sure this is
such a fast moving story. I'm sure we'll get so much more and you'll continue to cover it for us as well in the coming hours. Thanks very much
to our Erin McLaughlin.
So we don't have really the names of the victims except for one, the man who was believed to be the driver of that truck registered in Poland. But
we do know that a doctor in one of the hospitals, who treated the victims has been sharing his story with our Max Foster. This is what he told him
about what happened in the immediate aftermath of the truck attack.
MICHAEL SCHUETZ, EMERGENCY DOCTOR: Many of the staff who were informed by social media already wait here. So in this hospital, just -- this is one
part of the (inaudible). We had about 250 staff members coming in from their own parties, their break-up parties, Christmas parties and they were
at home, and so then the system was (inaudible).
The injuries were really related to the mechanism of injury. On one side, to consider the scene, a truck drove into a crowd of people who had drinks
and Christmas place. So there was severe soft tissue injuries, broken bones, some of them were caught under the truck.
And some of the injuries that couldn't really survive if you can imagine a truck drives over your chest or abdomen, this is a significant injury.
And other patients were affected by those huts which collapsed. So there were wooding poles fell on them. So they had clavicle fractures and other
broken bones. And I think this is probably the spectrum. Other ones they were hit by minor things, only contusions. And this is just the physical
The ones which follows now, we're becoming much more aware about the psychological effect on them because they realize what actually happened in
what kind of environment it all occurred. It was blood over the scene. It was like a little war zone.
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So that how they're describing? It felt like a war zone?
SCHUETZ: Well, yes. They wanted to help, but they couldn't help anymore and so difficult. This is a very traumatic, very traumatic event. The
only part of the story. Not the full story yet. They need strong support to overcome it.
GORANI: All right. There you have it, an emergency doctor talking to Max Foster about what he saw, what he experienced after Monday's attack.
Let's talk more about how the attack could impact Chancellor Angela Merkel's political future, but also on the mood of the country, this isn't
just about politics, it's about the identity of a nation and how it's going through a very traumatic time.
Tanit Koch is the editor-in-chief for the print edition of "Bild" and she joins me now. Hello. Thanks for being with us. All right, so beyond the
investigation and we've learned so much more today. What's the mood of Germans do you think after this attack?
TANIT KOCH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "BILD": I think there's very mixed moods. Many feelings from, of course, sadness, anxiety, fury, rage, and fear too.
[15:10:03]GORANI: And this is the front page, I told you I was going to do this. "Angst" is the front page of the "Bild" print edition. I tweeted
out your front page. I don't know if you can see it there, and I got actually interesting responses. People were saying we're not afraid,
there's a sense of resolve, we're devastated, but we're strong, we're not going to let this change us. What do you make of the response?
KOCH: Impressed by the sort of calm that is I think all over Germany, but as a newspaper's journalist, we do have to address as you said the mood of
the country and only people because aren't running around in panic. It's not to say that they are not afraid.
And I've gotten a lot of responses from people who felt touched by that headline because it represents their feeling and not just since these are
there, lingering feeling of anxiety. Ever since the attacks on New Year's Eve, about a year ago, people have a feeling of unrest. There is some
discontentment and I think it's our job to represent what people are feeling.
GORANI: But what would they like to see change? Because, the Christmas market is the symbol of Germany around this time of year. So attacking
this symbolically attacking the heart of German culture. What needs to change in the opinion of the people you're talking to?
KOCH: First of all with a headline like this, we're putting pressure on the executive, on security forces, on politicians to finally get a grip on
certain things that have not been dealt with properly.
GORANI: Such as what?
KOCH: Such as for instance, you see the suspected terrorists, Anis Amri who has been on the run, wandering around Germany for a year. Being seen
and then being detained at a number of places, he's been under surveillance for four months. People have been tapping his phone. He's been hanging
out with suspected terrorists with known Jihadists.
GORANI: So is this a failure of the intelligence services?
KOCH: Failure of the intelligence services, but he should have been sent back to Tunisia that months ago and it didn't happen. So there has been
some failure which we have to look into in detail. There's many, many, many details already out in the open. You've been talked about
surveillance, for instance.
Germany is a very liberal country, which is good. We like our data protection. We like our personal freedoms, which is also very good. But
people need to have a feeling of security and this is what's been lurking lately.
GORANI: But that's the internal debate, isn't it? I mean, how much of personal freedoms are you willing to relinquish in order to feel more
secure? And in the end, does it work? I mean, or is it something else that needs to change?
KOCH: Look at what's happening now. There are other Christmas markets all over Germany who are now getting more protection. So obviously it could
have been done. I'm not saying this could have been prevented or not saying this at all and the suspects is still a suspect.
We don't know if he has something to do with it. But, of course, there is more that could have been done. This is why laws are being changed right
now or laws have been changed throughout last year that could have been changed years ago.
GORANI: Do you think, last question, and this by the way, individual if it's him, is not a refugee. He was seven years in Italy, spent time in
jail, he's a criminal. We don't know where he was radicalized. He was in jail, maybe there, maybe not.
But do you think that despite the fact there's no real connection there that people might start turning against some of the policy of Angela
Merkel, of allowing last year in the hundreds of thousands of refugees despite the fact there's no connection?
KOCH: You see, that had a lot of fear. There's also fear of more racist attacks. That's a totally different subject. I think the majority of the
people in Germany still feel the need, and this is what the feeling we get from our readers as well, still feel the need for humanitarian aid for
those people that need it.
The problem is that too many people in this country who actually are not as you said, are not refugees, who should be leaving hundreds and thousands of
people who did not get asylum, they're still in the country.
It's very, very difficult to send them back to their home countries. This is what's making people angry, and of course, it's a huge challenge to
Angela marcel and her policy. She said what happened last year, the loss of control which is something she won't fault.
She won't say that there has been a loss of control, but she's made very clear that what happened last year will not happen again. Question is, is
this enough? Is this sort of assurance enough for her to remain as popular as she actually still is?
GORANI: Well, it is a defining time for this country and certainly a difficult time for Berlin and for Germany. And we really thank you for
coming on. Tanit Koch is the editor-in-chief of the print edition of the newspaper "BILD." Thank you so much for being with us.
[15:15:05]Speaking of politics, the U.S. President-elect Donald Trump appeared briefly today outside his Florida resort and he had this to say
about the attack in Berlin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: It's attack on humanity. That's what it is. It's an attack on humanity and it's got to be stopped.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. Donald Trump there, excuse me, just adjusting my hat in a very chilly Berlin this evening. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump
there on the latest attack there to shock Europe.
Our CNN terrorism analyst, Paul Cruickshank, is tracking the investigation into this incident and he joins me now live from London. We've been
talking with our reporters about this suspect, Anis Amri, he spent several years in Italy, came here in July of 2015.
Then there was this situation where he applied for asylum, it was rejected. Lots of red flags surrounding this guy. Why was he able to, if it's him,
carry out this attack?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, lots of red flags, Hala, and seemingly lots of missed opportunities. And the biggest missed
opportunity of all was not to deport him from Germany and when that sort of fell through, that obviously led to him then being released back on to the
streets and able to stay in the country, and then carry out this attack.
But yes, they had all sorts of information on him. He was a known quantity, somebody who was part of an ISIS recruiting network operating on
Germans soil in the northern parts of the country. Funneling recruits into Syria and Iraq.
And back in November, German Security Service has moved to dismantle the leadership of that network making five arrests and charging those people
with terrorism offenses, but he wasn't arrested in that operation.
He was still allowed to continue to be on the streets in Germany and therefore able to launch this attack. So yes, I think lots of questions,
security services and also for the German government.
There is some blame game kind of going around the Germans saying it was partly the Tunisians fault because they weren't able to provide the
necessary documentation so they could prove this guy's identity.
Because after all, if they don't know for sure who he is, how can they deport him? That was a problem they were facing, but releasing him back on
the streets was not a great solution in retrospect.
GORANI: Well, I was going to say if that's the only trick you need not to get deported, say, well, you have no way of proving my identity, I mean,
it's an easy one -- it's kind of an easy one. It sounds like. I mean, I wonder if things would have to change if indeed a man who's under
surveillance and known to present a risk, even though he has no paperwork that proves his identity, how do you then find a way to control this
CRUICKSHANK: Well, that's exactly right, Hala. That's the big concern and with these large flows of asylum seekers, refugees, coming into Germany.
That's created lots of informational black holes when it comes to the German security services.
When these asylum seekers come in, they will claim to be this, that, or the other, but often German authorities don't have any way to absolutely check
that that is indeed the case.
And so, while the vast majority of refugees coming in have really no security concern, it does allow terrorist groups opportunities to
infiltrate operatives and it creates all sorts of headaches for services across Europe.
GORANI: All right, Paul Cruickshank, thanks very much. We'll stay in touch.
Still ahead this hour, we'll have much more from here in Berlin on the manhunt for this Tunisian suspect, Anis Amri.
Also my colleague, Hannah Vaughan Jones will take a look at the rest of the top stories including that horrible fireworks explosion in Mexico that left
dozens dead. Stay with us.
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back to THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. We will be returning to
Hala Gorani live in Berlin in just a few moments.
But first a look at the rest of today's top stories. We are keeping a very close eye on the markets today as Wall Street came just within a few dozen
points of a major milestone.
So here is where the Dow stands right now just 40 odd points away from that 20,000 mark. It's nearly hit it earlier on before backing off. We will
keep a very close watch on this in the last hour of the U.S. trading day and of course, bring you any major developments live here on THE WORLD
In the meantime, we turn our attention to Mexico, where investigators are picking through the charred remains of a fireworks market trying to work
out what set off a series of massive explosions.
JONES: Well, the force of the blast was so great that they shook the ground in neighboring towns. Authorities now say that at least 32 people
were killed. That death toll has been revised. Dozens of others were injured, some people suffering from extreme burns in these blasts.
Let's get more now live from the scene in Tultepec. Our Sara Sidner joins us live. Sara, this is once marketplace, now turned graveyard, and are
there any more clues as to how this disaster happened?
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm sure the forensic teams are finding more items we've been watching them go through the rubble area by area
looking for evidence. Certainly we have just seen some absolute horrific evidence of that.
A local official wanted to share with us saying that he believes there will be a higher body count because he himself believes he saw more than 32
people dead. We saw bodies lying side by side where they died covered in sort of dust and ash.
Some of them with their clothes burned off. It was horrific pictures that he took as he went around this market just after the explosions stopped. I
want to give you a look at the scene now, the picture of the explosion's incredible.
They just kept going, but that is because this is a fireworks market. That's what they sell. There are about 300 stalls here that sell fireworks
and not just average sprinklers. These are -- some of them quite large and professional type of fireworks.
And so when they started going off, there appeared to be some kind of chain reaction and they just kept going and going and going and blasting, and
they were so strong that you can see some chunks of those buildings sprayed out all the way almost to the road right up to the fence.
Where you see chunks of concrete that have been sprayed out from the buildings because of the explosions and how powerful they were. Families
here are still looking for loved ones. There are still charred remains that have not been identified because the bodies are simply too charred.
It is a devastating situation here in Tultepec which is about 25 miles north of Mexico City. This town's entire economy really rests on the
JONES: And Sara, this isn't the first time an incident like this, disaster like this has happened in Mexico. Presumably huge questions now for the
authorities over health and safety, particularly at this time of year when marketplaces like this would have been so crowded.
[15:25:06]SIDNER: Yes, I mean, this is Christmas time when families would go and pick up fireworks for Christmas, which is a tradition to here to
blow off fireworks, and also for the New Year. So there were mothers and fathers and uncles and aunts and children here. Some children definitely
sustained really bad injuries.
Enough so to have them medevaced out of here all the way to Galveston, Texas, three children in particular with severe burns. Authorities are
going to have a lot to answer to.
But some of them said look after the fire that we had here in 2005 where nobody died, but it was a bad fire and explosions, they tried to separate
these buildings further so that there would not be a reaction like we saw and obviously something went terribly wrong because there was a chain
reaction that has now killed at least 32 people, injuring dozens more.
JONES: Sara Sidner, we appreciate your reporting on this. Sara is live for us in Tultepec in Mexico, thank you.
Well, here in the U.K., Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Phillip are delaying their traditional Christmas plans due to both of them having heavy
colds. The queen and the royal family often spend the holidays at their estate. That's around 180 kilometers east of the capital of London.
Let's go straight now to Buckingham Palace, CNN's Ian Lee is there for us. Ian, how much should we read into this? Of course, having a cold this time
of year is nothing particularly strange, but of course, these two are both in their 90s.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hannah. The queen is 90 years old and her husband, Prince Phillip, is 95, and so that is really probably
the reason why people are watching this so closely although Buckingham Palace is down playing it. She is though postponing her trip where she
does spend a traditional Christmas with other members of the royal family.
Despite that though, the queen is still fairly active in public life, although recently, she is going to be handing over 25 of her 600 patrons to
other members of the royal family. So slowing down a bit, but still has several hundred charities that she is looking after. So still staying
quite active. And she is for the most part, fairly healthy.
JONES: It might this signal, though, the start a very different kind of monarchy with the queen stepping back much more over the course of the next
year, couple of years from public life.
LEE: That's right. We've been seeing this for some time, certain instances where she's for overseas trips, she'll send someone else instead
or certain events she'll have other members of the royal family take over.
So you are seeing her hand over certain responsibilities, but she has been known to say that seeing is believing in some respects that she needs to be
seen in the public doing work out there so people get an idea that she is still very much the queen and still very much able to take the role and is
JONES: Ian Lee, thanks for the update live from Buckingham Palace, we appreciate it.
Now still ahead on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, we will be taking you back to Berlin where my colleague, Hala Gorani, will have more on the Christmas
market attack investigation and of course, that ongoing manhunt for the suspect still at large. Do stay with us for more.
[15:31:05] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome once again to the German capital. I'm Hala Gorani and you're watching a special edition of
All right. Let's start with the latest on our breaking news. German police are now searching for a Tunisian national named Anis Amri in
connection with Monday's attack on one of Berlin's famous Christmas markets. In fact, it's behind me, this Christmas market. Erin McLaughlin
now reports the attack is reviving a debate over refugees, and the Chancellor Angela Merkel could become more politically vulnerable as a
ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Germany tonight and across Europe tonight, a desperate manhunt. This arrest warrant issued by
German authorities Wednesday for a 24-year-old Tunisian man, Anis Amri, now the only identified suspect of the Christmas market attack. His identity
papers were found at the scene inside the stolen truck's cabin. It turns out, Amri has been on the German authority's radar for some time.
According to German intelligence sources, he arrived in Germany mid-2015 and was involved in radical Islamist circles. He was linked to a leading
figure of an ISIS recruitment network and was arrested in August for trying to travel to Italy using forged documents but was let go by a judge. Amri
also raised alarms when German intelligence believed he was looking to get a gun. Now raids are being carried out in the Cologne area where police
believe he lived.
The German public is being warned that Amri could be violent and armed. The Polish man found shot dead inside the truck has been identified as its
original driver, and the gun used to kill him has not yet been recovered.
All these raising new questions as to how the deadliest terrorist attack to strike Berlin will impact German Chancellor Angela Merkel's political
future. In 2015, Chancellor Merkel announced Germany would admit nearly all Iraqi and Syrian asylum seekers triggering a human tidal wave through
Europe. Germany accepted more than 800,000 refugees. Now a senior member of her own party admitting, there is definitely a connection between
increased terror danger and refugees.
This year, German officials said they foiled multiple terror plots, but the country has seen at least two small-scaled ISIS inspired attacks carried
out by refugees. As a result, the far right have made gains on an anti- immigration platform.
After the horror in the Christmas market and with federal elections approaching in 2017, the woman many see as a lynchpin holding Europe
together could face the toughest battle of her career.
Erin McLaughlin, CNN, Berlin.
GORANI: Well, Sascha Lehnartz is the head of the foreign desk of the German newspaper, "Die Welt," and he joins me now. First, before we get
into this investigation and what we know about this particular suspect, the fact that he was on the radar of authorities, that he'd raised many red
flags, that they wanted to deport him but couldn't -- one thing after another -- what's the reaction in Germany to all of these?
SASCHA LEHNARTZ, HEAD OF FOREIGN DESK, DIE WELT: Well, I think it's probably too early to draw any conclusions at this point because there is a
lot of information that's still coming in now. But I think what we do know is there certainly have been a lot of problems in following this guy
because he's been known to the authorities for years.
I mean, he's been caught for the first time in 2011 in Italy. He's been in jail in Italy apparently, as far as we know. He's been released four years
later. He's been traveling, pretty much InterRailing everywhere, over Europe.
He's been sighted in various notorious mosques in western Germany and has been followed here for months without any proof that he's planning
anything, but he's been a suspect and he's been considered a threat. So if this guy has actually committed this crime, then, I mean, there are going
to be a lot of questions about how is it possible that someone who's been so closely followed is actually not arrested at a certain point.
[15:35:00] GORANI: I guess if it is him, people will and perhaps some might say legitimately ask, if you can't protect us from this guy, who can
you protect us from?
LEHNARTZ: Well, yes, that's exactly the question that is going to be asked. We're going to have a discussion on this kind of security breaches
on a national level, on a European level because, I mean, this guy has been registered. I mean, he's been fingerprinted, all the information, all the
data has been there and still, there's apparently not a successful way to catch them before he actually commits this crime.
GORANI: And one of the issues, perhaps, is that on the day of this horrible attack, the wrong person was detained.
LEHNARTZ: Yes. I mean, that's another thing. I mean, it took at least 24 hours until they realized or at least until they publicized the fact that
they were after the wrong guy, that they'd caught the wrong guy. And, I mean, his papers have been found in the truck and that is something --
GORANI: Which is, in itself, is a little strange, right? I mean --
LEHNART: Well, maybe not that strange because it's something that has happened in Paris as well. And it's something --
GORANI: Right, exactly. After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, do you think, that happened?
LEHNARTZ: Right. I mean, it's not the first time that one of the assassins actually has left an I.D. card or something similar in the car he
used. What is strange is that it took 24 hours to find it and to realize that this was apparently the guy who drove the truck.
GORANI: So many questions. It's only two days after, but we're seeing some political parties try to use this to their advantage.
GORANI: Certainly, there was a demonstration here just a few hours ago of the NDP, the far right party, anti-immigration party. They're saying this
is all because Angela Merkel has allowed so many asylum seekers and refugees. Do you think this will have any kind of impact on the people's
mood or feelings about this policy?
LEHNARTZ: Well, it will certainly have political repercussions. I mean, this guy has been around for five years. He definitely has nothing to do
GORANI: That's right, yes.
LEHNARTZ: -- the asylum situation we're having now. But, of course, I mean the fact that the borders have been opened for months without any
serious control, all that is going to play a part in the discussion that will follow. And, yes, I mean, this is going to have political
consequences for Angela Merkel. Her own partner in the coalition, the CSU, is already sort of bringing up those topics. And it's going to be a tough
time for her politically, no doubt.
GORANI: Because this isn't just in Germany, this is a Pan-European can kind of. I mean you have populist parties rising in popularity because,
perhaps, there is this sense that what's happening, the terrorist attacks we saw, is somehow connected to these open borders and the ease with which
some of these individuals are able to travel around.
LEHNARTZ: Well, that is certainly part of the problem. I mean, as we've seen with all those attacks, I mean, most of those people that were
involved in those attacks, some of them were people coming from Syria, but the majority of them --
LEHNARTZ: -- were people who have been living in Europe for years, who've been more or less French citizens, Belgian citizens, or Euro guy who's been
GORANI: In fact, fully French and Belgian born, in fact, in the case of France, yes.
LEHNARTZ: Right, yes. I mean, I think it's certainly too simplistic to blame this on the open border situation.
LEHNARTZ: But, of course, we're going to have a political debate exactly about that.
GORANI: Yes. No, it is simplistic but in the minds of people, that is what might be motivating them perhaps to, you know.
LEHNARTZ: Right. Yes.
GORANI: And fear might be motivating as well some of their positions.
LEHNARTZ: No, that's definitely true. And it is true that there have been a lot of problems in controlling those borders, and it's taken months until
some sort of system was established after the initial opening. There have been problems on the European level. I mean, all that is something that an
electorate certainly takes into account. And I mean, we are going to have elections next fall.
LEHNARTZ: And it's going to be a tough job for Angela Merkel to convince her voters that her policy is still on track.
GORANI: Let me ask you one last question. Sadly, we've spent the last two years just regularly covering these attacks, this time it happened in
Berlin. I notice, though, that the reaction was more subdued here than, say, Paris or Brussels. Why do you think that is?
LEHNARTZ: Yes, it's true. I mean, myself, I've been a correspondent in Paris and I've witnessed the attacks there or the aftermath of the attacks
there. And it is true that it's somehow almost -- it's a bit like, you know, the old British thing on keep calm and carry on, in a way.
LEHNARTZ: I don't know.
GORANI: Is there a German expression for that?
LEHNARTZ: Well, not really. (Speaking in foreign language) but --
GORANI: OK. Yes.
LEHNARTZ: No. But, I mean, what's sad and true is that people have gotten used to the threat.
LEHNARTZ: I think that's part of it. I mean, it is something that was more or less expected. I mean, there have been warnings all around. Even
Christmas markets were considered a potential target, so it's not a total surprise. And we've had two years, even more, of attacks that have, you
know, just slightly failed to create major death much.
LEHNARTZ: I mean, last summer, we've had two attacks where one person was killed, where people were injured in a train in southern Germany. So this
is kind of atmosphere has been around. People are not entirely surprised that it happened here.
LEHNARTZ: It's not --
GORANI: Not as shocked anymore?
LEHNARTZ: I mean, of course, it is a shock and it's a disaster for everybody who's personally concerned.
[15:40:01] GORANI: Yes, sure.
LEHNARTZ: But I think people were sort of mentally prepared that something like that could happen and unfortunately, it did happen.
GORANI: Unfortunately. Sascha Lehnartz, the head of the foreign desk at the German newspaper, "Die Welt." Thanks very much for being on the
program. We really appreciate your time.
LEHNARTZ: Thank you for having me.
GORANI: To Syria now. And state media say the evacuations from eastern Aleppo have restarted after a delay. The Red Cross says all those in need
of hospital attention are now out, but snow has been falling. People are struggling to keep warm. At the same time, 1,500 civilians are expected to
be evacuated from Kafraya and Fu'ah villages. Now, these are mainly in rebel-held Idlib provinces.
One of those evacuated over the weekend was a seven-year-old girl, Bana al- Abed, whose tweets from inside eastern Aleppo were shared around the world. She was a guest of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is very
eager to be pictured with this young child. Muhammad Lila has that story.
MUHAMMAD LILA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the latest footage of seven-year-old Bana al-Abed, not in war-torn Syria but in Turkey's
presidential palace in a carefully managed photo-op with President Erdogan. With the camera lens snapping away, Bana, wearing new clothes, smiles,
kissing Erdogan on the cheek. He in turn kisses her hand.
Later, as she and her brother sit on Erdogan's lap, she looks to Erdogan and says --
BANA AL-ABED, SYRIAN REFUGEE: I would like to thank you for supporting the children of Aleppo and help us to get out the war. I love you.
LILA (voice-over): The opulence of the presidential palace is a stark contrast to the dooms day scenario she and her mother had been warning
about on Twitter for weeks. Living in an area controlled by the armed opposition, an area bombarded almost daily by air strikes and artillery,
her family somehow managed to get an internet connection. Her mother tweeting several times that each tweet would be their last, but the tweets
weren't their last.
As the evacuations were under way, photos of young Bana surfaced smiling at a refugee camp run by a Turkish religious charity in Northern Syria. At
one point her mother tweeted directly to Turkey's President and Foreign Minister, saying, "Please, please, please, make the ceasefire work and get
us out now."
Turkey's Foreign Ministry told reporters they were making special arrangements specifically for Bana and her family to be whisked out of
Syria and straight to Turkey's capital, Ankara. Many praised Bana and her family for offering a daring glimpse into the harsh realities of living
through a devastating war.
AL-ABED: Stand with Aleppo.
LILA (voice-over): But critics accused armed rebels of exploiting her to further a conflict that's killed hundreds of thousands of people on both
sides. Today, Bana's only tweets were these, the official government photos of her smiling and safe.
Muhammad Lila from along the Turkish-Syrian border, CNN.
GORANI: This is THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. Next, migrants have been flocking to Europe and especially to Germany, many of them from Muslim countries. But
what is life really like for them when they get here especially those who've arrived recently? We'll find out. Coming up next.
[15:45:26] GORANI: Welcome back. It's an understatement to say that Europe is divided over how to handle the influx of migrants and refugees,
many desperate people coming from war zones like Syria and Iraq and many from Muslim nations. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel was already
facing backlash over her policy of taking so many of them in, almost 900,000. And Monday's truck attack could amplify that, even though there
is no connection, we understand, between this suspect and the recent migrant influx.
Germany has accepted more refugees than any other European country. As I mentioned there, more than one million in the past two years. Most of them
came from Syria, Iraq, also Afghanistan.
To give you some perspective, Germany is home to more than 80 million people and more than 12 million, almost 15 percent of the population, are
migrants. But what is life like for Muslim migrants in Germany, especially in light of what's been going on, all these attacks that have been blamed
on Muslims and many people who'll make this connection between the faith and perhaps more tension within society?
I want to get some perspective. Naghman Sarfraz is with me now. He's with Muslims for Pace, and he joins us at our live position here in Berlin.
Thanks for being with us. What is your organization about?
NAGHMAN SARFRAZ, MUSLIMS FOR PEACE: Well, we are the representatives of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, and we have the message of love for all, hatred
for none. In the same way, we have a message for Muslim for peace because we are trying to give the real interpretation of Islam. And our head of
the community, the spiritual head is His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Khalifa of Islam, he guided us to spread the message of peace
and humanity and harmony all over the world. And that is what Islam is all about.
GORANI: Right. Let me ask you about some of these people who are joining these radical networks and groups, very small minority but they're out
there, and they commit acts, atrocities, like this in the name of this religion. And when you hear this news and see things like that happen, you
SARFRAZ: Well, it is very painful, and we and the Muslim communities strongly condemn this terror attack and any sort of terror activities
happening on the name of religion or happening on the name of any other faiths. And what happened here on Monday evening was really very painful,
and our sympathies and loyalties are with Deutsch --
GORANI: The German people.
SARFRAZ: Yes, with the German people.
SARFRAZ: And we completely this sort of messages which are given by extremist Muslim communities, which is --
GORANI: But why do you think some are attracted to this? The small minority --
SARFRAZ: Well, there are misguided.
GORANI: They're misguided but why? What is it do you think that's behind it?
SARFRAZ: Well, the extremist, you could say, people of any community or of any belief or religion, in the same way, who are interpreting the Islam in
the wrong manner --
SARFRAZ: -- like the majority have the concept for what happened like the -- what I'm trying to say is that --
GORANI: That most people understand what the religion dictates but a small minority will misinterpret it.
GORANI: Do you ever feel like people, because you're a Muslim man --
GORANI: Do you ever feel sometimes that people kind of look at you in a kind of slightly different way when they learn you're a Muslim or not? Do
you ever feel like you get that type of reaction?
SARFRAZ: Well, it is possible. When, you know, there is an atmosphere overall, then it is possible. But the reaction of our community is always
that we explain ourselves with love and peace.
Like the members of our vibrant community all came in here, women and kids, kids under the age of 15, everybody was here, and men in the age of 60s and
70s, we all came in here to show our sympathy --
GORANI: From your community, you call came here to show your --
SARFRAZ: Yes. From every Muslim community --
SARFRAZ: -- to show that we are with the German people at this time of grief. And --
[15:50:09] GORANI: And what reaction did you get for --
SARFRAZ: Very positive reaction.
SARFRAZ: Because most of the people in there, even the majority are very good people and they are really --
GORANI: They're tolerant, yes?
SARFRAZ: Yes, and they are very tolerant and they are, you could say, making pictures with us and --
GORANI: They took pictures with you?
SARFRAZ: And they showed a very positive reaction.
SARFRAZ: But the --
GORANI: You didn't get any sort of glance from anyone that felt negative?
SARFRAZ: No. No, no violence at all. And it was, you know, a good message to deliver. And maybe, if someone is thinking wrong, their
perception becomes, you know, positive about Islam and about us as well.
GORANI: All right. I've got thank you, Nagman Sarfraz of Muslims for peace. Thank you so much for joining us.
GORANI: And thanks for your perspective on this important story. We're going to take a quick break. You're watching THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. We'll
be back with more after this.
HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES: Welcome back to THE WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. Now, with so much negative news around the world,
it's easy to forget that we are indeed coming up to Christmas. And if you can't get to the English National Ballet's traditional show here in London,
well, here's a little treat for you. We went behind the scenes of festive favorite, "The Nutcracker," with ballerina Lauretta Summerscales to see how
the magic is made.
LAURETTA SUMMERSCALES, ENGLISH NATIONAL BALLET: The feelings that go on backstage is quite a roller coaster. Definitely, before opening night,
it's like I can see the nerves. There's like a mist. As soon as that curtain goes up, it's like you can feel the air, like, coming into the
stage. It just has an atmosphere.
In the dressing room, there's always a good atmosphere because you can -- you know, with other people and immediately when you go in, there's not
much space. You immediately symbolize the quality in the dressing room with being your home. You kind of forget the time and you literally just
get into your routine like you do when you wake up in the morning. Every single day has still that warm home feeling.
I don't think people realize how much goes into what we do on stage. A lot of people see the end product, they don't realize how hard it is and that
is the art of classical ballet. You have to make something that's very hard look really easy. It just takes over everything. And you have to
love it so much to do it, it becomes you.
[15:55:11] You cannot put into words how you feel on stage. To me, ballet is a way of expressing yourself in a way that you can't and you don't
necessarily have to with words. It's something that I think is really important for people to communicate. Not through words, through just body
language and pure emotion. Ballet is something that is very pure and genuine. For me, it's a release for myself as well as giving to others,
and I couldn't be me without it.
VAUGHAN JONES: I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in London. We're going to end the program by taking you straight back to my colleague, Hala Gorani, live in
Berlin. Hala, over to you.
GORANI: Well, thanks, Hannah. It has been a day of fast moving developments in the investigation into the terror attack on the Christmas
market here in Berlin, but what has struck me is that today is Wednesday, 48 hours after that attack, and already the Christmas lights are back on in
the market where this horrific assault took place, killing 12 people.
In fact, the road here to the left of me, which you can't see in the frame, is also reopened. People here are determined, they say, to get back to
normal. They're devastated, they're sad, but they say they don't want to let this terrorist attack change the way they live.
All that being said, there are so many questions about why this suspect, Anis Amri, a Tunisian national who had raised so in many flags over several
years, was not prevented in some way or another from carrying out this attack that authorities believe he was behind. Also, questions about
whether or not he acted alone or there was a network behind him. Because he is still on the loose and considered armed and dangerous, there's also
here a mood of tension, and people are waiting to see how things will develop tomorrow.
For now, from Berlin, thanks to all of you for watching. And don't forget, check out our Facebook page, facebook.com/halagoranicnn. This has been a
special edition of the program. We'll have "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" after a short break. Stay with CNN.