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CONNECT THE WORLD
Man Shot After Attacking Police Outside Notre Dame; Qatar, GCC Rift Deepens; Qatar Denies Terrorism Funding Allegations. Aired 11a-12:00p ET
Aired June 6, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:13] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: I'm Becky Anderson in London. We are following breaking news out of Paris right now. Media reports say police
have shot an attacker outside Notre Dame Cathedral. Authorities have asked people to avoid the area, because a police operation is underway.
CNN's Jim Bittermann is our usual Paris correspondent live on the line for you. Jim, what more can you tell us at this point?
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Becky.
This happened about a half hour ago. An unknown assailant went after police with a hammer. And it was not clear whether he had (inaudible)
police officer or not. But in any case, they responded with gunfire. Our witness said there were two shots fired. The police have confirmed this
story. They're saying that they are - don't know the condition of the assailant, the attacker, whether or not he's alive or dead.
But he is apparently, according to witnesses, lying in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral. They've cordoned off the entire area. But he is in the
plaza area in front of Notre Dame - Becky.
ANDERSON: Jim, it's June 6. It is, you know, late afternoon in Paris. Just how busy would the area be?
BITTERMANN: Well, the weather is not very good this afternoon, so I would say it was not as busy as it might have been. But I think - I'm sure - I
can see from the still photos that we're seeing on some of the local media that there were several hundred people around the area. There's nothing so
far, at least, Becky, I should say, to connect this with any kind of a terrorist act, particularly since the method used was an attack with a
hammer, which I don't think we've seen before.
But in any case, not the kind of thing that would do a whole lot of damage even to a civilian, let alone a policeman with his armored vest on and
So, I don't know that this has anything to do with terror. We'll probably find out later on. But in any case, that's sort of the situation as it is
ANDERSON: And remind us, France still under a state of emergency, of course, given the attacks, the terror attacks, over the past couple of
BITTERMANN: Yes, exactly. The country is still under a state of emergency and the new government has pretty much said that they're going to continue
that for the short-term, in any case. So, I think that that's something that we'll probably see for some time going.
ANDERSON: Well, it seems that Notre Dame would have been one of those soft targets for any sort of attack, given the amount of people who would visit
that. Just talk to us about the sort of security that you might expect at an iconic visitor attraction like that.
BITTERMANN: Well, these days with the state of emergency, the security is very tight around all these iconic places like Notre Dame, like the Eiffel
Tower, like the Champs Elysees. There's police, regular police patrols. And I would say probably police within 200 or 300 feet of any area in front
of Notre Dame, around Notre Dame at all times, practically, except perhaps overnight.
But during the day when there are people around, there are armed police as well as military patrols around all important tourist operations in Paris.
And I think that the very fact that the police were attacked there indicates that, in fact, that was a patrol that was on duty there trying to
keep everyone safe.
ANDERSON: So, to just remind our viewers who may just be joining us, Jim, what do we know at this point?
BITTERMANN: Well, the police have confirmed that shortly, our - around 4:30 this afternoon local time, an attacker came at police, a police
patrol, with a hammer. And they immediately responded with gunfire. A witness said that there were two shots fired. The man is currently on the
ground in the plaza area in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, and police are warning people to stay away.
It's now known what his condition is. He's apparently still alive, because he's still being treated, according to eyewitnesses who are on the scene.
They've cordoned off the area. They're keeping tourists away for the moment. And like I said before, it's no (inaudible) terrorism rather that
has been proven yet. There's nothing to indicate that this was a terrorist event, but of course that's high on everyone's mind given all the things
that have happened in Europe recently.
ANDERSON: And emergency services, of course, would have been on the scene relatively quickly?
BITTERMANN: Well, they were attacked. I mean, it was the security services that were attacked. So, yes, I mean they were thre.
[11:05:03] ANDERSON: So, at this point not clear what the motive for this attack outside the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. We do know, though, that
an officer was attacked with a hammer. As we get more information, of course, we will bring that to you.
But, Jim, we were talking about just how central the cathedral is, how iconic a visitor spot it is. It isn't, as you say, a particularly good day
in Paris so far as the weather is concerned. Just how busy would it have been, though?
BITTERMANN: Oh, I think there probably would be thousands of people in and around the cathedral. I think, you know, on this kind of a day it's an
attractive place to visit, any kind of a day in the middle of the summer, that it would be the kind of place that tourists would come to town to
visit. It's one of probably a half dozen cites that's on every tourist's bucket list coming to Paris.
So, I think that it's one of those things that you probably have a lot of tourists around at any given moment.
But of course as I mentioned this attacker did not go after the tourists, he went after a police patrol. And according to police he tried to attack
them with a hammer, kind of an unusual thing to - kind of an unusual weapon to use.
And from that point onward, the police took charge and shot - according to an eyewitness - twice. The gunman - or rather, the attacker - is now on
the ground and is being treated by medical authorities. It's not clear what his condition is.
ANDERSON: What has the new president said about security and how he might change things in France going forward, if at all?
BITTERMANN: Well, he has assembled a team that we've yet to sort of see the exact composition of, but he has assembled a team of security experts
that he says are going to be his task force to deal with the terrorism problems in France. And included on the team, the top person on it, is
someone who supported him during the political campaign, that is the leader of one of the SWAT teams in France. And he's going to be on the team and
leading the team and assembling people to specialize in combating the terrorism problem here.
And of course they have had the same problem here that they've had in other places. The fact is the security agencies, some of the intelligence
agencies, don't always cooperate with each other and have not passed along information. It's gotten better, of course, since 2015 and the various
attacks of 2015.
But nonetheless, there is still this concern that things are going to slip through the cracks, so especially something like this is very low tech kind
of attack, almost impossible to prevent someone with a hammer from attacking a police officer.
And one of the things that's clear is that the police have orders to immediately respond. And in this case they did. They shot the attacker,
according to eyewitnesses, twice. So, it is - it seems like something that is increasing on the police minds as they combat terrorism.
Of course, we had the police officer who was brutally killed on the Champs Elysees a few weeks ago. And I think that sticks in the police minds. So
they're not going to hesitate to respond. And the attacker are I think have to know that they're going to probably end up lying on the pavement
either wounded or dead - wounded as one is today - but wounded or dead if they go on the rampage against the police, and especially in a very high
traffic area like the front of Notre Dame.
ANDERSON: These are the very latest images coming out of Paris for you. You're listening to the voice of Jim Bittermann, our senior international
correspondent. Breaking news here out of Paris right now.
Media reports saying that police have shot an attacker outside of Notre Dame cathedral. Authorities have asked people to avoid the area, because
as you can see there is a police operation underway.
It is not clear about the condition of that attacker who, it appears, has been shot by security forces outside of the Notre Dame cathedral.
All right, that is the breaking news this hour. As we get more on that, of course viewers, stick with us on CNN. We will bring that right to you.
Now, buckle up everyone. We are firing up with some extraordinary coverage of some other world shaping breaking news for you. It was unthinkable,
impossible, even, until it actually went down seemingly out of nowhere.
Tiny little Qatar, the world's richest place, was swamped into what looks like a suffocating siege. And in a dumbfounding shock, it came from those
meant to be its best friends.
You'll have heard all about this, but you won't know all about it, no one does, until right now. This show, this Connect the World, that is, we've
got two worldwide exclusive interviews for you. First, we hear from one of the blockade's chief architects, then. Qatari Royalty, the country's
foreign minister responds.
Well, right now first for that architect, Anwar Gargash, he's the UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs. He spoke to CNN's John Defterios
just now in Dubai.
John is with us. How did he lay out these charges against Qatar, John?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Becky, the charges are for financing terrorism, according to the UAE government, and on multiple
fronts. I should underscore here, they don't think it is new, but clearly the tipping point recently when Qatar was willing to pay a billion dollars
to Iraqi kidnappers, which UAE authorities tell me have an al Qaeda DNA. So, its financing more terrorism going forward.
And I think the best way to describe this, Becky, is in an accumulation of frustration with this current Emir, which goes back to 2014. He's now 37
years old. He said, let's not think of Qatar in the past, but in the present. I make these promises and this coalition feels very emboldened.
Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANWAR GARGASH, UAE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: I think it's an accumulation of Qatar's behavior in the region, and especially I would say
over the last period very, very huge logistical, financial support for extremist groups, to support also to some terrorist organizations such as
al Nusra and some organizations in Libya, and in other areas such as the Sinai and other areas.
And this is really at the crux of the issue.
DEFTERIOS: Do you have hard evidence? Because Doha is denying this. Sheikh Hameen (ph) said it doesn't exist, this evidence of financing
terrorism, nor even supporting Iran. What is the concrete evidence?
GARGASH: There's a lot of - there's a lot of evidence, and Doha has built over the years large network, and I mean just look at the small example of
the ransom that was being paid to various terrorist groups in Syria and in Iraq. And that ransom camouflages the sort of support that we are seeing.
DEFTERIOS: This is the closest thing I've seen to an economic blockade on many fronts. What are you hoping to accomplish from the young Emir of
GARGASH: Well, I think two things. I think the first thing is to make it clear that, you know, the various countries - Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the
UAE, Egypt and other countries - are, you know fed up with this sort of duplicity that we've seen that has been undermining the region. And to
send a strong message that this is, you know, time for cooler heads to restructure Qatar's approach on foreign policy.
DEFTERIOS: Well, it raises the question, the Emir of Kuwait is trying to broker a truce, if you will. Is that possible? Saudi Arabia is taking a
particularly tough line, closing Qatar Airways offices, suggesting from the central bank they don't want to trade in Qatari reals. Do they want a
GARGASH: Well, I think we start that we had an agreement in 2014 on paper signed by the Emir of Qatar pledging that he will abide by various
grievances that we are put in the agreement. And they have not held to that agreement.
So, clearly there is a lack of trust.
DEFTERIOS: This is a very important question. Many think that this coalition is emboldened after the visit, though, of President Trump. And
sources tell me inside that meeting, Qatar took a very hard line.
GARGASH: Well, I think the important thing, the Riyadh declaration and the Riyadh conference, was extremely successful in addressing the issue of
extremism and terrorism in black and white. And I think, you know, basically the Qatari position undermines the sort of consensus that is -
that was shaped in Riyadh is we need to make sure that there is a difference, and a clear difference between running an independent foreign
policy and running an undermining foreign policy. And I think this is something that we have to be very cognizant of.
DEFTERIOS: Let me be very candid, do you see Qatar remaining as a member of the six country Gulf Cooperation Council after this?
GARGASH: Well, I hope so. I mean the GCC is a very successful regional group.
[11:15:02] DEFTERIOS: Some don't agree with that. They think it's completely broken.
GARGASH: The numbers, you know, the numbers speak louder. It will all depend on how Qatar wants to address the issue. Does it want to deny that
there is a problem and to try and deal with it with its various media outlets and to try and divert the issue? Does it want to address the issue
head on and say that, you know, past policies have been a problem. And I have to remind you again and say that the Emir of Qatar in 2014 clearly
said that whatever happens before I became Emir I'm not responsible for. I am responsible for the record of Qatar after I have assumed the Emiratship
(ph) of Qatar.
DEFTERIOS: And you're suggesting it hasn't changed.
GARGASH: I'm suggesting that it hasn't. And we do need a change, because it is undermining regional security and it is undermining our attempts at
countering the extremist and terrorist narrative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEFTERIOS: The minister of state for foreign affairs here in the UAE Anwar Gargash, it sounds like he closed the door to be candid, Becky, but that
door is not bolted just yet. But it's very clear they don't want to repeat the mistakes of the past. The deal with the current Emir of Qatar goes
back to 2014. It was done on a handshake with Arab Gulf brothers. And they're suggesting now they want a roadmap. They want it inked. And they
want it verified going forward. It does not sound like a very quick process, to be candid.
ANDERSON: No, absolutely. John, thank you.
And that was one half of the story there. Later, in another worldwide exclusive, Qatar's foreign minister himself insists everything we just
heard is total nonsense. That is coming up for you.
But, back to an update on what is our breaking news from Paris. Police have shot and injured a man who reportedly attacked them with a hammer near
Notre Dame cathedral.
Witnesses say they heard two shots being fired. And they have seen the man on the ground receiving treatment. There is nothing, as yet, to indicate
this was linked to terror.
CNN's Jim Bittermann joining us back on the line now.
Jim, what are your sources telling you at this point?
BITTERMANN: Well, just update that, Becky. In fact, they have now opened the prosecutor's office here in Paris has now opened terrorism
investigation about this incident, which usually indicates that they believe that it is related to terror. What leads them to believe that, we
don't know at this point.
But in any case, they are investigating this as a terrorist incident, prosecutor's office is. So, it will be treated in a completely different
way, I think, rather than taken as some kind of a random act by someone maybe would have too much to drink, or something. This, in fact, now takes
on the - takes on a character of a terrorist event, you can see the pictures of people inside Notre Dame who, in fact, were blocked inside as a
precaution when things were happening. They've also blocked off the streets around Notre Dame and blocked off traffic around there while they,
in fact, are working on the assailant here. He was seen in what conditions unknown.
But as you mentioned, the police did shoot him twice, at least fired two shots in his direction. One report was that he got hit in the thorax, the
throat. So, it's possible that he's not in very good shape at this moment.
But in any case, they're treating them on the scene. And apparently he is still alive, because there are still medics around - Becky.
ANDERSON: Stand by, Jim. We've got CNN's Melissa Bell, other Paris correspondent, working, though, from London this week to cover the
aftermath of the attacks here. She's joining us now with more of what you can tell us, Melissa, on what you understand to have happened.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this - once again, and this is something really a pattern that we've seen emerge sadly over
the course of the last few months in Paris, someone attacking security services specifically. And as Jim was saying the fact that an anti-terror
investigation has been opened, this is how the French system works, suggests that the authorities have reason to believe that he was acting in
the name of Islamist extremism.
And we've seen every month for the last four, including this one, Becky, security services taken on by a single individual. We saw in February,
you'll remember, when a man armed with machetes took on military personnel at the Louvre museum. We saw it then in March when a man armed this time
with a gun took on military personnel at Orly Airport.
We saw it, of course, last month just before the first round of voting in France's presidential election, a man taking on security forces, policeman
specifically, a police van that had been parked on the Champs Elysees. And imagine, of course, because he was armed with a Kalashnikov, how much more
damage (inaudible) of course if he hadn't specifically targeted security forces.
Once again, it appears this time simply with a hammer that security forces have been specifically targeted again in what appears to have been another
terror attack, Becky.
ANDERSON: And we are looking at pictures that are just coming in to us as we speak, Melissa. The security services there looking to push away some
of the onlookers.
Clearly, we've been looking at a photograph as well, perhaps we can bring that one back up of people inside of Notre Dame, there we go, with their
hands up. According to the person who sent us this picture, police asked everybody to put their hands up. So that is inside the cathedral. This
incident happening just outside.
And Melissa, we know that Jim has been told by the prosecutor's office now that they have opened an anti-terror probe into this incident, which means
exactly what? How does that change things?
BELL: Well, it tells us, first of all, that they have reason to believe that this was a terror related attack. And I think that is significant.
And they've told us that remarkably quickly I think this time. So, perhaps there was something in his demeanor that allowed them to think that.
I can really think of no case where a terror investigation has been opened and it's turned out to be something else. They tend to do it once they're
What it also means is that we're likely to get details very quickly, because the way the Paris prosecutor's office worked and has worked over
the course of the last few years. And sadly this has become a well-oiled machine. We've become all too used to these sorts of attacks, whether
they've been bigger scale ones or smaller scale ones like the ones I just outlined even in the state of emergency.
Of course, people get through the net and manage to carry out these attacks.
And what we've seen is that we're going to hear, no doubt from Francois Molins, this is the man, the Paris prosecutor, who speaks in these sorts of
investigations, no doubt as early as this evening, with much more about they've managed to get together. It means that all - many resources will
be sort of thrown at figuring out precisely what's happened. And again the fact that these security services have been attacked, once again, these are
security forces that in France are incredibly stretched, Becky. I mean, they've been put in much greater numbers on the streets of Paris and other
French cities for so many months now. And it's been taking its toll.
And the fact that they've been so systematically targeted of late, of course, has been extremely worrying to authorities. So, I think we should
find out fairly quickly, and in quite a lot of detail, precisely what's known by this evening, about this man, about his links, potentially, to
other people, about whether he was acting alone, about whether he was on the radar. You know, this is question that comes yup sadly every time as
well, and even when they've been on the radar it can be the case, it has been the case remarkably frequently, not least here in London, that the
terror investigations can be lessened or the people can be taken off the radar or it can be determined that in fact they pose a threat, and then, of
course, they go on the attack. And I think that's something that we've seen with remarkable regularity over the last few weeks, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yeah, unfortunately, all too often we are seeing the sort of images that you see, viewers, on the left hand side of your screens, the
shot that you are looking at of the - those visitors inside Notre Dame with your hands up has been sent to us by somebody inside.
And let me just read you just what we've been hearing from eyewitnesses. There was, says one lady to CNN, a large crowd in line to go into the
cathedral and when the shots fired, they all started running. I'm down the road, the police sectioned off the immediate vicinity, they then extended
the line across the street and down a block. We took cover in a nearby store. They left us there for about 15 minutes before clearing the area.
She says she saw emergency services, military personnel and what appeared to be police, as she says, and this was an eyetwitness just reporting to
CNN, she said she saw police dressed in what appears to be bomb squad gear.
So, as these pictures come into us, and as Melissa Bell, who is here in London, normally deployed, of course, in Paris as the Paris correspondent,
but here sadly covering the attack from Saturday, not hear at London Bridge.
As we look at these images and we consider this, a country still under a state of emergency now, your thoughts, Melissa, going forward?
BELL: Well, again, the fact that this terror investigation has now been opened by the Paris prosecutor, which leads us to believe that Parisian
authorities who will have, of course, begun piecing together precisely what went on there outside Notre Dame within the last hour. This has all just
happened. They will be considering who this man was, what his motivations were, why he was acting as he was. And, again, we've seen, we've been
covering, of course, London, Becky, over the course of the last few days and these tragic events here not just on London Bridge, but of course
And one has to wonder whether this - the fact that we're seeing these - this multiplication of terrorist attacks over the course of the last few
days does coincide with that call for people to act in the holy month of Ramadan with whatever they could get their hands on, whether it was trucks
or knives or hammers in this case. And I think the fact that this attacker has survived being shot by police, which appears to be the case so far from
what we're hearing there from people on the ground is incredible news, because it will mean that police will be able to get to the bottom, no
doubt, much more clearly, of precisely what he was hoping to achieve and how or why he acted. Was he involved with other people. Was he acted in a
coordinated sense for people either in France as part of a wider cell or was he simply inspired by the call that I alluded to a moment ago.
But these sorts of incidents, again, with remarkable - with remarkable regularity and following this very clearly established pattern, at least
for when we talk about France, of people carrying out attacks, assailants carrying out attacks, that are specifically aimed at those police men and
women, those soldiers who are on the streets of Paris.
And more specifically, around those sorts of monuments. When you consider the last few attacks in Paris, we're talking about the Louvre, we're
talking about Orly Airport - Paris, France's second airport - we're talking about the Champs Elysees and now Notre Dame.
So, precisely those parts of Paris that see even greater numbers of security personnel, those are the ones that these people are carrying out
attacks on almost in these suicidal missions. You know that they simply won't survive for terribly long if they are going after these well-armed
military and police personnel and streets of Paris outside the monuments. And yet they carry them out. And I think this is something that we've seen
a great deal of over the course of the last few weeks in Paris. So, quite different from what we saw in London on Saturday night when civilians were
targeted. This appears to have been once again in France, those security services specifically targeted this man this time by a man wielding nothing
more than a hammer, Becky.
ANDERSON: So, let me, as you are speaking, we're looking at our images here. I'm looking down to see the very latest for you and for our viewers,
the police prefecture has said that the Paris Notre Dame - at Paris Notre Dame, controlled location, a wounded policeman. The perpetrator was
neutralized and referred to a hospital.
And the very latest as far as the police are concerned. The situation is under control with one police officer wounded and the attacker in a
hospital. That is what has been posted on Twitter by the police.
The general secretary of the police union has told our affiliate, a man with a backpack walked towards two policemen and pulled a hammer out of the
bag, and attacked one of the policemen. That policemen was hurt.
The second policemen pulled his gun and shot the attacker in the chest. So, just bringing you absolutely bang up to date on what we know to be
happening as we speak here. And look at these images coming out of France. This is Paris at 5:28 p.m. on June 6.
We are looking at images of what has been an incident outside the Notre Dame cathedral. The police say the situation is under control, but have
opened a terror - anti-terror investigation.
Melissa Bell is with us, Jim Bittermann is in Paris. He is working his sources. We will take a very short break. We'll be back after this.
[11:31:05] ANDERSON: Right, you're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with breaking news for you. And an update from Paris. Police say
the situation there is now under control after they shot and injured a man who attacked them with a hammer near Notre Dame cathedral. One police
officer is wounded and the attacker is in the hospital.
Witnesses say they heard two shots being fired. And they say they have seen the man on the ground receiving treatment. The Paris prosecutor has
opened an anti-terror probe.
Now, the more we get on that, of course, we will bring it to you here on CNN.
Right, I want to get you back to what is the other big story in town right now. And that is Qatar. Here are three three things that you should know
about it. One, it is tiny, just a fraction of the size of Britain, but it is wedged between two huge rivals: Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Two, what Qatar lacks in land, it makes up for in cold, hard cash, oodles of it. Its people are the richest in the world.
And, three, this is a real-time look at the planes, Qatar Airways, has in the skies right now. Look here. That is at Saudi Arabia. Not a single
one is actually jetting over it. You can see the yellow. Those are the flights. Nothing over Saudi, because they are banned. Instead, they are
going up and through Iran.
Well, who better to talk to about all of this than Qatar's foreign minister. Muhammad bin Abdulrahman al Thani. He joined me just before we
came on air. And I began by asking the foreign minister about this tweet from the American president, seeming to blame his country for radical
MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN AL THANI, QATARI FOREIGN MINISTER: President Trump say that he's talking about combating funding of Islamist ideology.
And to all of us, we are combating the funding of any terrorist groups. And actually during the conversation with the president of the United
States, between him and his highness, he has raised this issue that this is the funding of terrorism needs to be stopped by different countries. And
he told us that I had a lot of reports that mentioning Qatar and Saudi and other countries. And we told him that those reports based on media
information, which is not really based on evidence and we are willing to sit and talk.
ANDERSON: All right. Well, let me just reiterate, then, the accusations against Qatar. Saudi says that it has cut ties because, and I quote, of
your country's embrace of various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region. They say that includes the Muslim Brotherhood,
al Qaeda, Islamic State and groups supported by Iran in Saudi Arabia's restive eastern province of Qatif. Is that true or false?
THANI: With all the respect, but this statement is full of contradiction, because it's saying that we are supporting Iran and from the other hand we
are supporting the extremist groups in Syria, and we are supporting Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi or in Yemen and we are supporting the Houthis from the
other side. In all battlefields there are adversaries. And about our support to the Saudi opposition or the sectarian moves in al Qatif, this is
totally false information.
Actually, the cooperation between our security and intelligence agencies, between Qatar and Saudi, has been - has been serving the purpose of the
national security of Saudi...
[11:35:00] ANDERSON: Let me be a little bit more specific, then, because the UAE's state minister for foreign affairs has just spoken to CNN and
says Qatar's financial and logistical support for extremist organizations like the Nusra Front, formerly al Qaeda in Syria, and Islamist groups in
Libya and the Sinai, he says, has gone too far. Your response?
THANI: Well, there is no any support going to al Nusra or al Qaeda or others. The work we are doing together with our allies in Syria is
supporting the armed opposition, because our is firm there in Syria to support the Syrian people to for their rights for justice and for free
life. Whatever being thrown as an accusation is all based on misinformation, and we think that the entire crisis being based on
misinformation because it started based on fabricated news being waged in our - being inserted in our national news agencies, which was hacked and
proved by the FBI that was hacked days before the planned (inaudible) the news.
ANDERSON: So this is a flat out denial as Trump and the minister of state for foreign affairs in the UAE both suggesting that Qatar is involved in
the funding of Islamist extremism or radical ideology, correct?
THANI: Qatar is preventing the war from terrorists when we are promoting for peace, we are promoting for open diplomacy. We are promoting for
dialogue. Qatar is promoting for education. We are creating jobs for the people in the Middle East. We are giving them better hope. We are
replacing the weapons with pens when we are educating young children in the refugees camps. We are protecting the world from potential terrorists with
all the work we are doing.
ANDERSON: You do have well documented ties with groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Will you cut those ties?
THANI: Well, as I told you, Qatar is believing in diplomacy. And I want to clarify for you, first of all, that Hamas representation in Qatar was a
political office. And now the leadership of Hamas is being elected inside Palestine and they are there in Reza (ph). And the leaders of Hamas are
coming and going in and out in Qatar for also the engagement and the dialogue and the reconciliation between the Palestinian, which was in
coordination with the Americans with the international community that Qatar being an active player and mediating between the two Palestinian factions.
ANDERSON: So, foreign minister, let me get this straight on this point of Hamas, because there have been reports that Qatar has kicked out the Hamas
assets. There are still Hamas personnel in Qatar today, correct?
THANI: Yes, there are Hamas personnel in Qatar. And this is a decision based - coming from Hamas. We didn't ask them to leave. They have - they
decide where to stay. And they are moving in different capitals. They are not in Qatar only.
ANDERSON: The Muslim Brotherhood is an organization that is designated a terrorist organization by other countries, specifically Saudi and the UAE.
Will you continue to have ties with the Muslim brotherhood? This is clearly more than an irritate to your Gulf allies.
THANI: We don't have ties with Muslim Brotherhood. Normally, we deal with governments. We are a state and we deal with states. The Muslim
Brotherhood, when they ruled Egypt, we supported Egypt. We didn't support the Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood, they not not in government in
Tunis and we are still supporting the government of Tunisia.
So, the story of ties of Muslim Brotherhood we have stated for many times, for hundred times, that we have no ties with Muslim Brotherhood. Are we
going to list the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization? We didn't have any proof that Muslim Brotherhood has a groups which committed
an act of terror. And if we have this group, then they will be listed based on the act they have done.
ANDERSON: So, unless you were to designate them, you will continue to have problems with the UAE and Saudi, correct?
THANI: Well, actually, if the problem of - with Saudi and UAE is based on our foreign policy and they wanted to impose policies on Qatar, this is - I
think this is something out of the question, because each country has its own sovereignty.
We said - we have repeatedly said that anything which will effect the collective security of the Gulf countries and there is a proof from doing,
from Qatar, we have - we are courageous enough to sit and talk about it and to change the course. But, if there is any intervention in our affairs, or
intervention to change our policy, because it's contradicting with other policies in different countries, this is not going to happen, because Qatar
based on our policy, based on our principle. And as I told you, we always promote for dialogue and engagement doesn't mean endorsement.
ANDERSON: What do the Saudis and Emiratis want you to do with regards to Iran? And are you prepared to tow the GCC line on countering Iranian
THANI: Iran, we had a difference with them, yes, but we believe in dialogue, which was already decided by all the Gulf leaders based on
principles and we are stuck to the same principles which we are basing our dialogue on.
Everyone needs to have - want to have a positive relationship with Iran since Iran is a neighbor. No one can change geography. We have to live
together, and we have to coexist together. We cannot change the course by taking a hostile measure. We have to change the course around the dialogue
ANDERSON: I just want to finally ask you just how long can you hold out in Qatar? I mean, there are reports of food shortages, worries about people
being able to, or not being able, to leave your country. How long do you hold out if this sort of siege, as it were, continues?
THANI: I can assure you here, right now, the business as usual. We have no problem in food supply. Yes, we have our - some of our supplies, which
are coming from the land border, but we have another alternative, which we have been prepared for. We have the storages already been prepared for
here in Qatar since before his highness already has instructed since 2014 to build for the country a strategic reserve and strategic program. And we
don't see that the life will be affected and all the international navigation is opened in front of Qatar. We have the sea navigation. We
have also the air navigation suppliers from different countries can be identified. They are already identified.
We believe that the course of life in Qatar will not be affected by those measures.
ANDERSON: Well, as Qatar's foreign minister speaking to me just an hour or so ago in what is a worldwide exclusive. And we also spoke to the UAE's
top diplomat, and some say the architect of the - this diplomatic spat with these Gulf allies. You've seen two sides of the coin right here then on
CNN with those two worldwide exclusives. John Defterios, of course, talking to Anwar Gargash of the UAE earlier.
And we'll get back to John right now to just talk about what we've just heard. Business as usual says Qatar's foreign minister, but it's clearly
not, is it?
DEFTERIOS: It is not, Becky. And after listening to that interview very carefully you can see the gaps that exist between Qatar and the other
members of this coalition against Qatar right now.
He made reference to the fact that you cannot impose policies on Qatar, it's our sovereignty. The way Anwar Gargash and the UAE see it, this is
the first official from the UAE to speak, these destructive policies by Qatar, as they see it, is undermining the broader GCC and the effort to
stop terrorism financing.
They see Qatar in the opposite position of them right now. And they harken back to the meeting they had with Sheikh Thamim who is now 37-years-old
when he came in with the fresh start. He made pledges back in 2014, in their eyes at least. He's broken those pledges and they don't want to
repeat these mistakes of the past. They want to sit down, want to start again, but clearly on very different terms and not done, as I was
suggesting earlier in the program, Becky, with the handshake whatsoever. They're taking a very tough line.
And I think it's fair to say very emboldened after that meeting with Donald Trump that took place in Riyadh. There was a GCC summit. Sources tell me
within that meeting that the Qatari Emir took a very different position than Saudi Arabia and the UAE and some of the other members of this
coalition today, particularly Egypt and Bahrain.
So, they are not seeing eye-to-eye right now. And after listening to an interview, that gap sounds very wide, despite the efforts by the Emir of
Kuwait this evening in Saudi Arabai to bring the parties together eventually.
ANDERSON: And, John, to your point about the Trump trip to Riyadh, what was it now, feels like months ago, but it was only about three weeks ago,
of course, which was the first stop on what was this sort of eight day, five stop first presidential trip. And you talked about, you know, how
certainly Saudi, the UAE and others have felt emboldened in their efforts to counter Iranian influence, for example, with the outright support, it
seems, of the U.S.
To this end, Donald Trump has tweeted today about all of this. Let me just read our viewers this, and you and I can discuss, "during my recent trip to
the Middle East, I stated that there can no longer be funding of radical ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar." Then he says, "Look! So good to see
the Saudia Arabia visit with the king and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding going on extremism and all
reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism."
Now there will be many people around the world, many of our viewers, who may listen to those, or read those tweets and say, that sounds quite naive,
perhaps, coming from a U.S. president.
[11:46:12] DEFTERIOS: Indeed, Becky, but I think we should look at the narrative and how it's changed over the previous administration.
Because President Obama was engaging with Iran specifically, particularly over that nuclear program, Saudi Arabia and the other states like the UAE
felt isolated, very frustrated. So after that visit by President Trump, $110 billion worth of military contracts, scores of other contracts going
both ways between Saudi Arabia and the United States. I see that the narrative has changed quite dramatically right now. So, they see it as a
greenlight to finally take a hard line on Iran, a hard line on what they say is terrorism financing of Qatar.
And Minister Gargash said watch the vacuum right now, John, this is what we're watching ourselves. That is the vacuum filled, because the relations
are strained between this coalition and Qatar. Will Iran try to fill the vacuum? So far we haven't heard that narrative so far. We're watching
closely. We don't want a region that we live in, Becky, to be more divided going forward.
There's this Arab NATO that they're forming right now. That's to defend themselves. You don't want a clash going forward between Sunni and Shia
states going forward. And I'm speaking here of Saudi Arabia and Iran.
ANDERSON: John Defterios is in the Dubai studios for you today. We are normally in the UAE, Abu Dhabi, where we are based. We are in London. Of
course, we have been here covering the terror attacks over the weekend. The upcoming election here on Thursday.
But I've got to update you now on our breaking news from Paris. Police say the situation under control after they shot and injured a man who attacked
them with a hammer near Notre Dame Cathedral. One police officer is wounded. And the attacker is in the hospital. Witnesses say they heard
two shots being fired. And they say they saw the man on the ground receiving treatment. The Paris prosecutor has opened an anti-terror probe.
It is a busy day of breaking news today. We will bring you more after this short break. Stay with us.
[11:50:24] ANDERSON: Right. Back to our breaking news this hour. Police say the situation is under control in Paris after they shot an attacker who
tried to attack them with a hammer. One police officer is wounded, the attacker, we are told, is in hospital. The Paris prosecutor is opening an
anti-terror probe. This all happened outside Notre Dame cathedral. It is an extremely popular spot for tourists, now empty only full of police, or
empty but for the police.
Well, turning the investigation of the London terror attack over the weekend. And CNN has learned that the third attacker identified today was
on a police watch list in Italy. Italian authorities say Youssef Zaghba was stopped at the Bologna Airport last year. They believe he was trying
to get to Syria via Istanbul. And they found extremist material on his cellphone.
We are also learning more today about the two other attackers. Not only was one a familiar face to British authorities, he actually appeared in a
Well, hundreds of people gathered in the rain along the River Thames on Monday.
Political leaders, first responders, and transit workers were among those who paid tribute those killed in the London rampage. After the minute of
silence, Mayor Sadiq Khan addressed the crowd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: This is our city. These are our values. And this is our way of life. London will never be broken by terrorism. We
will step up the fight against extremism and we will defeat the terrorists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: We will defeat terror, we will stand up against it.
Fred Pleitgen has been covering the attack from the very beginning. And sadly as we juxtapose this conversation with the images that we've just
been seeing out of Paris where there has been an attack outside the Notre Dame Cathedral, French - the French police and the interior ministry have
said that that is an incident that is now over, but the interior ministry will be making an on camera statement shortly.
So, we consider where London is, what, two, three days after an awful attack on Saturday night.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATOINAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, an awful attack. And I would say, Becky, from having been on the ground from the beginning,
but especially on Monday, because that was obviously the first working day since this attack, and also today is that people are very defiant, but
there is a lot of grief, sorrow.
And I have to - I spoke to some people who say they are quite concerned about safety, you know, because you've had these three very high profile
attacks in Britain over the past 10 weeks, two of them, of course, coming in London. Some people said, yeah, you know, they did find it quite
surprising that something like this could happen again. Obviously, they understand with these low profile attacks that it's - or these low tech
attacks, I should say, it's very difficult to prevent them.
But at the same time, there was an uneasy feeling. Nevertheless, of course, people getting back to normal, people saying they are going to be
defiant, especially people who are Londoners, who have lived there their whole lives. They've gone through IRA terror. They've gone through
terror, Islamist terror in the past as well. They really say that this isn't going to derail them.
ANDERSON: Yeah, look, I mean, any of us who have been born and brought up in London know that this is a city that is sadly not unfamiliar to terror.
And as you rightly point out over the 80s it was something that we became all too familiar with.
However, as we talk about the kind of, you know, defiance and resilience and the stoicism of anybody who comes from a big urban center like this,
not least London is, I think you're right to point out, and I've spoken to people, friends of mine here, who say, look, it kind of unnerves you. This
is a Saturday night out, you know, in a really popular part of town. It could have been any of us at any point.
And I think people say, and it could have been their kids, as well, you know.
PLEITGEN: That, I think, is something that you (inaudible) is a very interesting point. That was - Manchester, I think, was really something
that - especially people with children. That hurt them a lot. It really made them think twice.
I know that I was recently in a theater here in London, and going out, you know, there were people who were telling their kids, look, we need to be a
little careful when we leave the theater here. And I think that's something that really worries, or at least concerns, a lot of people.
And the other thing is you're right. It's that question of, you know, could something happen again. Are we safe here?
ANDERSON: Yeah, and you were on London Bridge yesterday, for example, which is back open again. But we do know there is more security on the
streets. And there are more barriers around the streets. I've been trying to sort of avoid the kind of very soft targets we would be as a
pedestrian on a bridge.
[11:55:08] PLEITGEN: Yeah, and I think that the authorities are trying to do their best. But also people are asking, you know, how many pillars are
you going to put up? I mean, how is this going to affect your daily lives as well?
But I think at this point in time I do have to say, you know, the people here are extremely strong. And when you looked at the folks going to work
today in the driving rain, it was a horrible day to go anywhere, really. They're obviously not going to let this stop them. But there is a little
bit of an uneasy feeling. And I think it's something that the authorities are sensing as well when they come out now and say they're going to review
their anti-terror policies.
ANDERSON: It was a miserable day weather wise today.
But as you say, London is just getting on with it.
PLEITGEN: Keep calm, carry on.
ANDERSON: Keep calm, carry on.
Before we go, an update on the breaking new this hour. Police now say the situation in Paris is under control after they shot an attacker who tried
to attack them with a hammer. One police officer wounded and the attacker is in hospital. The Paris prosecutor opening an anti-terror probe. This
all happened outside Notre Dame cathedral now empty but for police.
I'm Becky Anderson in London. CNN continues after this.