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New Zealand Mosque Attacks Suspect Appears in Court; Suspected Shooter Purportedly Posted Anti-Muslim Manifesto; Interview with Paul Spoonley, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Massey University, on Rise of White Nationalism; Work on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Black Boxes Begins; Facebook Alerted to Suspected Shooter's Live Stream by Police. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired March 16, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): You're watching CNN's breaking news coverage of the terror attack in New Zealand. I'm Cyril Vanier.
The man suspected of carrying out the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch appeared in court on Saturday; 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant remained silent. In fact, he smirked as he was charged with one count of murder. There will be more charges later. He is blurred here due to the New Zealand court restrictions; 49 people were killed in the attack. Some of them are still battling for their lives among those who are wounded. Dozens were injured in those two attacks.
Tarrant will remain in custody until his next court appearance in April. We now have information on one of the victims.
And we've now got information on one of the victims. Haji Daoud Nabi was born in Afghanistan and moved to Christchurch in 1977 as an asylum seeker. He was apparently running about 10 minutes late for the service and the attack was going on when he arrived at the mosque.
He leaves behind four sons and one daughter. Three of his children were born in New Zealand.
People across the country are trying to come to grips with what happened. Vigils are being held, like this one in Christchurch, songs, prayers and tears. Strangers are leaving flowers and messages of support and love for the victims and their families.
One heart-shaped card left near one of the mosques reads, "We are all one. We are all with you."
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern had a message for her fellow New Zealanders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: Many of you will have been there and know that the discussion firstly acknowledged that this is not the New Zealand that any of us know. Questions turn to issues of security.
The commissioner has advised that security from the police will continue at mosques throughout New Zealand until it is deemed that there is no longer a threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Investigators say the gunman livestreamed his massacre on social media and left behind a so-called manifesto, spewing white supremacist hate. CNN's Clarissa Ward has more on that.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bloodied and shaken, these are among the survivors of terror attacks at two mosques that appear to have been planned for years; 49 people lay dead as New Zealand's prime minister addressed the gunman directly.
ARDERN: You may have chosen us but we utterly reject and condemn you.
WARD (voice-over): According to authorities, the suspected terrorist is a 28-year-old white Australian man, now in custody and charged with murder. He allegedly entered the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch around 1:40 pm Friday, just as prayers began.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was hearing that shooting after shooting after shooting. It went on about six minute or more.
WARD (voice-over): The killer used a body camera to livestream video to Facebook, as he fired and reloaded, those in his sights trying to escape and protect each other.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First time, I went, but one guy was sitting out just beside a wall. And what he did was, he told me, no, no. And then I went back again where I was. And next thing, the guy came and shoot this guy who told me not to get out.
WARD: Forty-one victims are now confirmed dead at the first mosque. At a second mosque, seven more people were gunned down during services and one other died at the hospital.
The dual atrocities have shocked New Zealand, which prides itself on acceptance.
YASMIN ALI, RESIDENT OF CHRISTCHURCH: We're such a small community. We're so kind and loving, so I just don't understand why someone would hurt us like this, in such a way just like an animal.
WARD: The gunman is now in custody and charged with murder, while two others have been arrested on suspicion of possessing firearms. None were previously known to authorities.
ARDERN: These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and, in fact, have no place in the world. WARD: In addition to live-streaming his massacre on social media, the accused killer left behind an 87-page manifesto online. In it, he says he chose Christchurch to show that nowhere in the world is safe --
WARD: -- adding many anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and pro-white supremacist sentiments.
He also made clear the attacks were designed well in advance.
ARDERN: It does appear to have been well-planned. Two explosive devices attached to suspects' vehicles have now been found. And they have been disarmed.
(END VIDEOTAPE) VANIER: Paul Spoonley joins us; he is pro vice-chancellor at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. He's also the author of " Politics of Nostalgia: Racism and the Extreme Right in New Zealand."
Thank you for joining us.
One question that has been asked, including by prime minister Jacinda Ardern, is have the intelligence services in New Zealand and beyond underestimated the threat of far-right terrorism?
PAUL SPOONLEY, MASSEY UNIVERSITY, AUCKLAND: Short answer, yes. I think there's a tendency to regard, in the last 10 years, at least, the significance of extremist and Muslim terrorism as the more important priority.
So we rather dropped the ball when it comes to extreme right-wing terrorists, particularly in a country like New Zealand, which does not really want to acknowledge that it exists here at all.
But the other thing is they're very obvious online. And to monitor their activities and work out how much of a risk they are online requires a lot of resources. And I think a government like New Zealand and then internationally, we're going to have to decide this is important and devote a lot more resource than we do at present to monitoring and making sure that we know exactly what is going on with these right-wing terrorists.
VANIER: So realistically then, can that be done?
You described it takes a lot of resources to know what people are writing and describing online about themselves.
SPOONLEY: At the moment, what we tend to do is leave it to the platforms themselves. So Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and monitor their continent, they have managers and algorithms to try to identify what is happening.
But in this case, the shooter uploaded what he was doing to Facebook and it was real time. So Facebook tries to bring -- to remove material within the first hour. But, of course, within the first hour, in terms of what was happening in these mosques, was too late.
So do we leave it to the platforms or do we then work out what individual governments and the international community might do?
Should they intervene, should there be protocol, should be additional resourcing to try to monitor what is happening online?
I think that's a questions that this instance raises.
VANIER: Yes. I'll be talking to one of our technology and social media experts later on in the show to ask those questions as well, because, as you say, taking down a post within the space an hour -- for most posts is a probably decent reaction time, at least it's sufficient.
But here, there were 36 minutes between the time the police got the first call and the time that main suspect was actually apprehended. So an hour just wasn't the right timeframe.
SPOONLEY: No, no, and can I note that he uploaded his manifesto prior to that. So it does mean that the security and intelligence services in New Zealand were not monitoring what was happening here and so they could not react in time.
And the 36 minutes that you have identified as being the start and finish time, add to that. So there are a couple of places where possibly we could have acted and prevented a lot of what happened but we did not.
VANIER: About that so-called manifesto, it's not like he was trying to hide it. He put it on as many platforms as possible because he wanted that word to get out so he wanted people to see it. And he said I'm going to stream something live and I'm going to act now.
Investigators are trying to get a full picture of the suspect, of course, and here is one line of the investigation. Listen to the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARDERN: This individual has traveled around the world, with sporadic periods of time spent in New Zealand and were not a resident of Christchurch. In fact, they were currently based in Dunedin at the time of this event.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: So investigators are focusing on his travel pattern.
What do you think that might reveal?
SPOONLEY: What he did was he went to Europe and then through the Middle East.
[01:10:00] SPOONLEY: So this guy has actually planned this very carefully but he spent a couple of years between 2017 and the current 2019 actually working out what the issues were, visiting people and there are some suspicions that he visited white supremacist groups and individuals in Europe.
And if you look at the manifesto, he does reference particular people, such as Anders Breivik and his manifesto. In fact, the shooter's manifesto tends to echo many of the Breivik manifesto agonates (ph) about the threat posed by Muslims into Western society.
It's like he spent two years investigating and developing a case that he then implemented in the last 24 hours. It is very, very disturbing. And what disturbs me is that none of our security agencies picked up any of this behavior.
None of them worked out what was happening with regard to this individual. So it does raise questions about both the Australian and New Zealand authorities but also what's happening internationally.
Are we not monitoring these groups adequately?
VANIER: The prime minister did say that he had no criminal record until now, which each time we hear that, that raises the question, is he a lone Wolf?
If so, could he have been stopped?
Has anything been missed?
That's also a question that Jacinda Ardern has asked repeatedly.
Thank you so much for joining us, this conversation is not over. And for 10 years we've been talking about forms of extremism and terrorism that were mostly Islamic extremism and now, all of a sudden, we have to get our bearings on this, because this is clearly becoming a trend, unfortunately. Thank you for joining us.
SPOONLEY: Indeed, thank you very much.
VANIER: Now Andrew Lund of Nine News is joining us now from Christchurch.
Andrew, the suspect did not say a word in court. I want to talk about that. He didn't say a word but his demeanor spoke volumes.
ANDREW LUND, NINE NEWS: Yes, Cyril, you could read a lot into his demeanor. He did not say anything during his very brief court appearance. But he didn't need to, either.
There is a lot you can read from his body language. He made eye contact with a number of people in the public gallery, all members of the media, and was looking around, seeming to take in the scene around him, almost having his moment, if you like.
He seemed to be observing the heavy security presence; there were around 11 police and security guards in the dock. He did acknowledge the judge but he also tapped his fingers on the dock.
So he certainly seemed to be very aware of what was going on, whilst maybe not enjoying it, perhaps reveling in it a little.
VANIER: When can we expect a comprehensive update on the investigation?
LUND: Well, look, the authorities have been pretty good at giving updates as they go. The prime minister has held numerous media conferences today. She has been pretty open and forthcoming about what investigators have found and where the investigation is at, also talking about the victims' recovery and just updating the situation there.
So authorities have been fairly open, pretty good at communicating the information but it's obviously still early days are there a lot of questions that will need answering. The prime minister has made it clear that she does expect answers eventually.
But at the moment her focus is on making sure that the families of the deceased are taken care of and that the injured are being looked after. But obviously there are plenty questions to answer, particularly how it was that authorities did not have Brenton Tarrant on their radar, despite the fact that he appears to have been planning this for up to two years.
VANIER: Is there explanation yet on the two people that are still in custody?
LUND: Look, we have not heard much about them. Police have charged another person with a crime along the lines of inciting racial hatred. But otherwise we have not heard much information today. The focus has been on Brenton Tarrant, who is seen as being the key player, if you like.
There was a fourth person arrested yesterday; they were released without charge. The prime minister revealed this afternoon, they were a member of the public who was arrested because they were in possession of a firearm. It turns out they had taken their gun along to help police --
LUND: -- to attempt to bring an end to the situation. So there still are two other people in custody but most of the focus today has been on the main suspect.
VANIER: Can you tell us about the community of worshippers at Al Noor mosque, where 41 people were killed, and how they related with the community around them?
LUND: They were part of the community, I think is the best way to say it. The mosque has been there for decades. These were good people with good jobs, a lot of them were employers, they raised their families in the neighborhood. They really were a part of the community. And I think that the community is feeling a real sense of loss. Most of the victims were male; there were a few children but predominantly male victims aged between 20 and 60. The prime minister made the point today in a lot of cases they will have been the primary breadwinners for their families. So there will be a lot of families feeling this crime very heavily.
The government said that it is looking at ways to support those families but I think the best way to describe how the mosque related to the communities is that it was part of the community.
VANIER: I want to read you a statement by an Australian senator, Fraser Anning I don't know if you're aware of what he said and put out there.
He said, "Whilst this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is a growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing Muslim presence.
"The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program, which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place."
So in other words, he is saying it's because there are migrants and because there is immigration that they were attacked.
Do you think New Zealanders feel this way?
LUND: I'm not sure that many people are taking Fraser Anning overly seriously. I think the prime minister has made it pretty clear that he doesn't endorse those comments. I think the opposition leader of Australia has made it pretty clear he doesn't endorse those comments and they're looking to censure him.
I think most Australians are pretty appalled by those statements, so I'm not sure that I would read too much into Fraser and his comments. I certainly don't think many people in New Zealand are paying too much attention to them.
VANIER: Andrew Lund, thank you so much for joining us, thanks.
Donald Trump is taking heat for comments that he made after the mosque attacks. We will tell you what he said when asked about the global threat of white nationalism -- next.
VANIER: U.S. President Donald Trump is downplaying the global threat of white nationalists, saying the group is too small to be dangerous. This after it was revealed that the suspected gunman in the New Zealand attacks apparently white nationalist views. As Jim Acosta reports, the president is again facing criticism for his rhetoric on the group.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Surrounded by supporters, the president turned of veto into the day's main event, officially rejecting a bipartisan measure in Congress that rebuked Mr. Trump for trying to use a national emergency declaration to go around lawmakers to build his border wall.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it.
ACOSTA: The president also sounded off on the mosque terror attack in New Zealand.
TRUMP: It's a horrible, horrible thing. I told the prime minister that the United States is with them all the way.
ACOSTA: Earlier in the day, the president offered his condolences, tweeting: "My warmest sympathy and best wishes go out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the mosques."
But the president's critics question whether that response should have been more forceful in condemning the attack allegedly carried out by a right-wing extremist. Mr. Trump was asked by reporters whether he thinks white nationalism is a rising threat.
TRUMP: I don't really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. I guess, if you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case. I don't know enough about it yet. They're just learning about the person and the people involved. But it's certainly a terrible thing.
ACOSTA: As a candidate, Mr. Trump once called for a ban on Muslims coming into the U.S., a campaign promise the administration later tried to turn into policy.
TRUMP: Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.
ACOSTA: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke said thoughts and prayers are not enough, adding that attacks like the one in New Zealand are now all too common.
BETO O'ROURKE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They are on the rise around the Western world. They're on the rise right here in this country. They're part of a larger disease of intolerance that has taken hold in what was thought to be the most tolerant, most open, most welcoming country the world had ever known.
ACOSTA: Before the mosque attack, authorities say the killer in New Zealand wrote a long manifesto expressing his anti-Muslim and anti- immigration views, even describing the president as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.
Top White House officials are blasting the notion that the president's rhetoric had anything to do with the violence in New Zealand.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, TRUMP SENIOR ADVISER: He says, I'm not a conservative, I'm not a Nazi. Sounds like he's an eco-terrorist. And he certainly absolutely is ruthless killer. And he's to blame.
ACOSTA: But just this week, questions are being raised about whether the president's rhetoric simply crosses the line.
In an interview with the conservative Breitbart Web site, Mr. Trump bragged about his support coming from -- quote -- "tough people," saying: "I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump. I have the tough people, but they don't play it tough until they go to a certain point. And then it would be very bad, very bad."
Democrats say the president is playing with fire.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CONN.), MEMBER, SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I interpret that kind of comment as a danger to peaceful transition of power in our democracy.
That's one of the fundamental principles of our Constitution, that we have that kind of peaceful transition of power and respect for the rule of law, which that kind of comment utterly betrays it.
ACOSTA: The president said he hadn't read the manifesto so he declined to weigh on that.
But as for the president's claim that white nationalism is not a rising threat, he may want to consider recent FBI figures and other studies showing right-wing extremism is a growing concern, with the neo-Nazi violence on the streets of Charlottesville to the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh last year and now the mosque attack in New Zealand. It is a threat that cannot be denied -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
VANIER: Let's talk more about all of this with Edina Lekovic. She's a spokesperson for the Islamic Center of Southern California.
Edina, first of all, I'd like your reaction on the president. The president was asked, is white nationalism rising threat; he says no.
EDINA LEKOVIC, ISLAMIC CENTER OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Well, the facts say otherwise once again. But that's another trend with this president.
All of the incidents of domestic terrorism that took place last year were perpetrated by white nationalists. Again, so the facts speak for themselves. The horrific tragedy that we have seen now in New Zealand should reflect back to us the horrors of the white supremacy that has taken root here for centuries, the horrors of this being exported worldwide.
Our country deserves better and the world deserves better and I'm proud that -- I'm excited and proud that I --
LEKOVIC: -- live in a place like Los Angeles, that is diverse and that embraces its Muslim neighbors in such a positive way, especially on a day like this.
VANIER: Sadly, if you look at some of the rhetoric exposed in the propaganda documents that the main suspect wrote -- he qualifies immigrants and migrants as "invaders" -- that's very close to the rhetoric that we've heard from the White House. The president actually campaigned against what he called -- his word -- an "invasion" from migrants coming from the south across the southern border.
LEKOVIC: That's absolutely right. We are in another situation here, where it's shocking but not surprising and this should be yet another wakeup call for all people of conscience to take notice and to not just send thoughts and prayers but to take action, to demand our public officials speak out and demand something different from the GOP.
My family is European, I'm a white European Muslim. My family is from the former Yugoslavia. And white nationalism, I have sees what this can do to countries. And my country, America, deserves better than this. And I know we are with a global audience. The world deserves better from the America that they see as well.
VANIER: Against, that, just to wrap up this topic of how this ties in with U.S. politics, if at all, you could also argue that there were hate crimes under President Obama. Think of Dylann Roof and the racially motivated shooting in Charleston.
LEKOVIC: There certainly were. But we're seeing an escalation and the rhetoric coming out of this White House and from the president as well as from cabinet officials, is horrifying. If the president can muster the language -- he often calls -- uses the language of "invaders" or calling migrants "animals."
But when it comes a white supremacist terrorists, like the one in New Zealand, he can't mention that person by name, let alone any identifying way. And says he needs to restrain our judgment. So that's a terrifying position to be in.
And the GOP needs to speak out. There are people on the ground everywhere across this country speaking out and that needs to be reflected in the leadership of our country, just like it was from the prime minister of New Zealand, who spoke so beautifully, calling the Muslims of New Zealand, New Zealanders --
LEKOVIC: -- of course. And that's true here, too, in the United States. Donald Trump sells his lies and continues to repeat his lies but the truth is that American Muslims are Americans, like everyone else. And this is just more hate and the violence that follows Charlottesville, follows Oak Creek, that follows so many terrible disasters that are perpetrated by the same types of perpetrators but that are getting ignored.
LEKOVIC: -- to say that white nationalism is not on the rise is another piece of false news coming out of this White House.
VANIER: If you take a big step back, I wonder how you stop this because if you go back to 9/11, since that time -- and it's been 18- year period -- the Muslim community, I would say in the West at large, has all too often been the target of either fear and, in instances, hate.
How do you stop that?
LEKOVIC: We stop it by being out in front and simply talking to or neighbors. Still here in America, 62 percent of Americans report not knowing a Muslim firsthand. And we can see that as bad news or we can see that as an opportunity because while only 38 percent of Americans say that they know a Muslim, the public approval of Muslims is higher than it has ever been.
So this White House is out of sync with the American population and American sentiment, which is hugely supportive of its Muslim population. We've seen that over and over again these last couple of years.
VANIER: Do you think it's the government's responsibility, weather in New Zealand or elsewhere, to put protection in front of mosques and places of worship?
LEKOVIC: I think it's always a responsibility of government and law enforcement to keep it citizens safe. And whether the perpetrators are -- regardless of what their motivation is --
VANIER: I ask you because there are many mosques, so you see the logistical challenge here.
LEKOVIC: Certainly. And I know that after Charlottesville --
VANIER: So the same could be said of synagogues, by the way --
VANIER: -- synagogues as well.
LEKOVIC: Yes. And these are local level responsibilities and I think the beautiful part of what's going on in America today is that everywhere I have talked to community leaders around the country -- and I'm active in the national scene --
LEKOVIC: -- as well as here in Los Angeles, people have been reached out to directly by law enforcement, reaching out proactively and I think that's also a symbol of progress that we've made in terms of the 15 years-plus since 9/11, is being able to have more open communication, especially in times like this.
So there's still a long way to go but it is not an obligation but it is a responsibility and this is part of treating communities with respect and allowing people to feel safe, when they are worshipping.
VANIER: Edina Lekovic, thank you so much for speaking to us.
LEKOVIC: Thank you for having me.
VANIER: Social media was part of the Christchurch attack, before and even during the mass shooting. After the break, we'll ask what can and cannot be done to keep hate offline.
VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's look at the headlines this hour.
VANIER: And welcome back.
The man accused of the mass shootings in New Zealand made his first appearance in court earlier. While he said nothing in court, the so- called manifesto, a propaganda document that he reportedly left behind, said plenty. It is filled with hateful white nationalist rhetoric, much of it aimed at immigrants and Muslims. CNN's Drew Griffin takes a look.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: It's titled "The Great Replacement;" 87 pages, more than 16,000 words, not rambling but a spell-checked reference dissertation on a hate-filled view of immigrants, immigration and Muslims --
GRIFFIN (voice-over): -- unsigned. It is the killer's explanation for why he did this.
ARDERN: These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world. GRIFFIN: There is no doubt that the 28-year old under arrest is a white supremacist who believes his own white European race is being wiped out by immigration, labeling it white genocide. It is also the universal rallying cry of hate-filled white supremacists across the world. In Charlottesville, Virginia, the neo-Nazi cry was --
UNIDENTIFIED MALES: Jews will not replace us.
GRIFFIN: In Warsaw, Poland, in 2017, some marchers in an Independence Day demonstration carried banners that read "White Europe" and "Clean Blood."
In 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina, a white teenager named Dylann Roof murdered nine African Americans in a church.
The white supremacist reportedly said, "You all are raping our white women. You all are taking over the world," as he gunned down unarmed parishioners.
The rhetoric is old but new technology has allowed these messages of hate to be spread in real time across the globe. The New Zealand killer streamed parts of his attack live on Facebook. The video spread to YouTube, Twitter, news sites before police pleaded for it to stop.
MIKE BUSH, COMMISSIONER, NEW ZEALAND POLICE: I have seen social media footage. It's very disturbing. It shouldn't be in the public domain and we're doing everything we can to remove it.
GRIFFIN: But hours after the attack, copies of the gruesome video still continued to appear shared by social media users. While police will not discuss a motive, the suspect refers to Dylann Roof and writes he was inspired by white supremacist Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway eight years ago.
He does try to explain his own breaking point came in 2017, the French presidential election of what he describes as an anti-white ex-banker and the terror related death of an 11-year-old Swedish girl, run down by a Muslim terrorist in a stolen truck in Stockholm, a crime, he writes, he could no longer ignore.
And in 87 pages, the suspect does make one reference to Donald Trump.
He writes, "Are you a supporter," asking himself, "as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose?"
He answers, "Sure. As a policymaker, dear God, no." -- Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
VANIER: Internet security analyst Hemu Nigam joins me now.
And we've been wanting to talk to you because social media and the Internet are at the center of how this suspect planned this whole thing and how he wanted to disseminate his ideas and how he wanted people to learn about them.
Do you think, first off, that social media platforms -- and let's start with Facebook -- did enough and did it fast enough?
HEMU NIGAM, INTERNET SECURITY ANALYST: Well, there is no question that every one of these companies can do more because -- and I think the fundamental flaw that exists, that leads to these kinds of things being out there so many times, so long in so many places, is that every one of these companies likes to follow what they call a notice and takedown process.
If you, the user, take the time to figure out how to report something and actually go through the process of reporting it and telling me about it, then I will put it in the queue and, at some point, somebody will review it. And yet, at the same time, they show up about the AI that they're going to implement and AI is going to do this. And yet the AI does more about promoting and in fact --
VANIER: Meaning what?
VANIER: -- supposed to look at the videos and determine whether they are appropriate content or not?
NIGAM: There is a lot of things that robots can do but they are not being implemented to do it. So this -- part of it is a conscious decision to say let's do notice and takedown and proactively looking at things and proactively putting in triggers.
The other is creating AI that promotes things rather than restricts them because that goes against a business model.
VANIER: But how can you proactively look at videos that are streamed live?
You have no warning that it's coming and, all of a sudden, it's streamed live and, in this particular instance, it was just pure evil and it was a live video of killings. But you don't know it's coming.
How can you stop it from being aired?
And how can you react very quickly?
In this case the video was up for 17 minutes.
NIGAM: Cyril, that's a great question and let me put this way. I'm a firm believer that, if you can look in the real world you will find many answers to many of the challenges that are happening in the online world. So in a situation --
NIGAM: -- like this in the real world, a lot of people would be going to a crime scene or some horrific thing happening, many would start calling 9-1-1 immediately. But in the online community, when you stream something that is unusual, crazy, horrific, tragic, what happens, the usage of it goes up, the velocity goes up, the views go up in a relatively short amount of time.
So this is not about how many people are looking but how quickly -- what I call a velocity trigger. Companies can install anomalous behavior triggers that look for things that are normal. It's not a normal for velocity of usage to go up, reactions to go up, even if people are trying to flag a video.
And when something like that happens, that's when that video or livestreams should go to the top of the list and an immediate review. And even if you can't handle that, as your earlier guest said, they try to do it in an hour and, frankly, it could be two to three days before they will actually look at it.
But if you can't do it, then institute what -- it's called maybe a ceiling (ph) but what I call the bozo button. The person doesn't know that nobody else is watching but it goes down; everybody else doesn't see it anymore until the review happens. There is other ways that can be added to this and if you don't mind, I'll tell you those other ways.
VANIER: Hold on; let me make sure I understand, because I don't understand all the technology of it. It's not my field. But what I understand clearly from what you're saying is you're saying, yes, the companies can and should do better. It is not out of their reach. Because my argument would have been what the Internet is very good at doing is connecting and amplifying.
What it connects and what it amplifies, it often doesn't choose, right?
And that's sometimes the problem. And in this case, it has connected and amplified evil.
NIGAM: But that is the greatest point here, which is it connects and amplifies but it does it because there is some human being -- and I'm actually frankly thinking, why are we even using the word "algorithm" anymore?
It is not an algorithm. It is a human being. When somebody writes something with a pencil, we don't say the pencil did it. We say the person did it. It's an engineer who is making a conscious decision to install an algorithm that's going to amplify it.
In fact, if you look at Facebook's own promotions on livestream, what they tell you is that the more you livestream, the more we will push it so livestream often, it affects six times the number of interactions take place on a livestream versus a video.
So another exam you can look at is, well, OK. When a tragic event happens, there are babies crying, there are children crying, there are people screaming, there are gunshots happening.
Install AI on the sound. When you hear sounds like that in a livestream, you can't say, oh, it's a movie playing so I'm not going to look at it. It's actually live. You ought to say in the real world, that would trigger everyone's eyes to say, what's going on right there?
That should happen in an online stream.
VANIER: So if you're saying that it can be done and should be done, does that just mean that there is only one thing missing, is somebody needs to enforce companies to do it and that would be government regulation?
NIGAM: Well, I think what needs to change is two things: one, a moral compass has to shift toward, yes, I will take the responsibility to train the engineers to implement these kinds of things and do it.
And the second is the pressure from the government side, because at some point, you have to look at it as this: if a building is being put up everywhere and everyone is saying, hey, that's great, that's great, well, we have codes and regulations to make sure that building doesn't fall when you put 100 pounds on it.
We have regulations on airplanes flying. We have all sorts of regulations and I think we're entering in a world where, right now, if we look in the European Union, the commission, parliaments around the world in South Asia and America, all over the place, regulators are saying, wait a minute. We let you do it. You chose not to. They're not saying you couldn't; they're saying you chose not of the.
And that is the critical point that you're seeing, shifting in the government and political society.
VANIER: Hemu Nigam, great to hear your voice and expertise and analysis on this, thank you.
NIGAM: Thanks for having me.
VANIER: All right. We will be back right after this.
VANIER: Members of the Bangladesh cricket team say they are lucky that they escaped the terror attack with their lives. The team is on tour in New Zealand and they had just arrived at a mosque for Friday prayers when gunshots rang out. CNN's Alex Thomas has more.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bangladesh's cricketers arrived at the Deans Avenue Mosque minutes after the shooting began. Gunshots were still going off and blood-soaked victims were staggering out onto the streets.
They felt trapped on their team bus and escaped by fleeing across South Hagley Park on foot to the Oval, where they were due to play the third match of their test cricket series against New Zealand this weekend.
Understandably, that game has been called off. Opening batsman Tamin Iqbal tweeted, "Entire team got saved from active shooters, frightening experience and please keep us in your prayers."
New Zealand is most famous for its love of rugby and the All Blacks sent out their sympathies on Twitter, using the Maori phrase, "Kia Kaha" or "Be strong." One of their biggest stars, Sonny Bill Williams, converted to Islam a decade ago and posted this tearful social media message.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONNY BILL WILLIAMS, ALL BLACKS RUGBY STAR: Just sending out my duas, Inshallah. Everyone that's been killed today in Christchurch, your families, you can take -- just -- yes just sending my duas to your loved ones.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS: A minute of silence was held at the super rugby game between the Chiefs and the Hurricanes as the sports world join the rest of the planet in mourning this tragedy -- Alex Thomas, CNN.
VANIER: Also other news that we are following, work is underway on the data recorders from Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. French aviation investigators are inspecting the so-called black boxes. Questions about the crash could be answered as soon as this weekend but only if the recorders are not too heavily damaged.
CNN's Oren Liebermann is there.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Work here has begun to inspect the so-called black boxes, the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, and to begin to download the data from those recorders that will give investigators a far better insight into what happened with the pilots on board Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 as well as what was happening with the plane itself and all of its systems.
If all goes well, this process could be concluded as early as Saturday night or sometime on Sunday. But a source here close to the investigation cautioned us that if there's any damage to the flight data recorder or the cockpit voice recorder, it could take longer.
And this is a slow and painstaking process. It begins with the visual inspection of the boxes themselves, then opening them up, removing the electrical components that record all of the data and the voices, then inspecting those components one at a time.
Finally you can begin to download the data. When that has concluded and all that data has been downloaded, it's up to the Ethiopian authorities what they want to do next and who they want to turn to for an analysis of what happened --
LIEBERMANN: -- on board that plane. Meanwhile, countries around the world have grounded the 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9, waiting to see what happens with the investigation. The FAA has now joined that, as has Boeing, who has said they will continue to construct the airplane but they will pause deliveries as they monitor the situation.
Meanwhile we have learned that, shortly after takeoff of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, the pilot radioed in that he was experiencing problems and was returning for a landing. "The New York Times" has reported a bit more detail, saying that the pilot radioed in, "Break, break, request back to home and requests a vector for landing."
Air traffic controllers diverted two flights to try to give that pilot as much leeway as possible to try to make it back to the airport. But just a couple minutes later, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed, killing all on board.
The investigation now focusing here on the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data reporter to try to pull the information to help investigators to understand exactly what happened on board that led to such a terrible ending -- Oren Liebermann, CNN, Paris.
VANIER: People around the world are in mourning after the tragic attacks in New Zealand. From London to New York, tributes to the victims worldwide -- when we come back.
VANIER: Paris is joining New Zealand and the rest of the world in grief, the mayor of the City of Light says she ordered the Eiffel Tower to go dark on Friday to honor of the victims of the Christchurch attack, their families and the people of New Zealand.
Also look at One World Trade Center in New York and its 124-meter spire, lit up in red and blue. According to New York governor Andrew Cuomo, it is in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and the Muslim community. The governor also ordered two bridges to be lit up to honor the attack victims.
Here's a look at some of the other tributes around the world for the victims of the mosque attacks. They include heartfelt messages from world leaders who are offering condolences to a nation in grief. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: As family members with our New Zealand cousins today. We grieve. We are shocked, we are appalled, we are outraged. But I particularly want to express my sincere prayers and thoughts for those New Zealanders and indeed Australians of Islamic faith today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE). We are here to deliver a very simple message: it was an act of extremism and boundless horror and violence. All of us decry that unacceptable and unspeakable act.
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, U.K. LABOUR PARTY: Communities come together, communities support each other and we are happy with our diversity in our society.
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER, BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS: Colleagues, I propose a minute of silence, starting now.
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: As far as we are concerned, our diversity is a strength, not a weakness, we don't simply tolerate it; we celebrate it, we embrace it and we respect it.
ANNE GUEGUEN, FRENCH DEPUTY AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N. (from captions): The members of the Security Council express their deepest condolences to the families and loved one of those killed and they express their solidarity to the people and the government of New Zealand.
I ask those present to now rise for a minute of silence as tribute for the victims.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: You're watching CNN's breaking news coverage of the terror attack in New Zealand. I am Cyril Vanier and I will be back in just a few minutes for more coverage and my colleague, Ivan Watson, will be live, joining us from Christchurch.