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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi Appears in Video After Five Years; Center- Left Socialist Party Wins Hotly Contested Election in Spain; Boeing CEO Pledges to Re-Earn Trust After Fatal 737 MAX Accidents. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 29, 2019 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani.
ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has not been seen for five years until now. We are seeing footage appearing to show him. It's been released
today. Apparently quashing some reports of his serious injury and even death over the years. In the video, he's sitting cross legged on the floor
next to a machine gun. He calls for vengeance after the fall of the last town held by Syria.
He is also time referencing the Sri Lanka attacks. Clarissa Ward joins me now. What should we take away from this video that was released by the
ISIS media arm?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think clearly ISIS wanted to make a bold statement here. This comes on the heels of the
absolute defeat of their physical caliphate, of their territory in Syria and Iraq. They want to send a message that they are robust and they are
adaptable. That they are able to survive the collapse of the caliphate.
After the Sri Lanka attacks, we see this now, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, for the first time, as you said, in nearly five years appearing on camera and what
a difference those five years have made. You see a difference to his physical appearance. He has clearly gained a lot of weight. His beard is
very white. Although it has henna on the tips and he appears very calm as he talks throughout this video.
He seems to be projecting an aura of authority or at least trying to project an aura of authority. He's seen sitting on the ground talking to
several men. He's going through files of the different states where ISIS has supporters. They have folders for Libya, the Caucuses.
And so clearly the message is, you may think we were killed, many people have said I have been killed in the past, but we're still here and I'm
GORANI: You mentioned his appearance. We have a last appearance, today's appearance side by side. This was when he gave his sermon in the Muslim
mosque. This was the video that was released today referencing Sri Lanka. We believe it is the same individual, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, that it was
recorded in the last few days or last week or so.
WARD: It may have been recorded just looking at the video in its entirely, but it may have been recorded in several chunks. There are cuts in the
video where the audio quality changes. I think another thing interesting looking at those side by side images is the difference between Abu Bakr al-
Baghdadi on the pulpit trying to project the image of a religious leader and on right, he's trying to show himself as a militant leader, there's a
gun he's wearing, a camouflage vest, trying to show he's a military leader.
GORANI: And he's positioning himself as sort of the leader of this revenge insurgency all over the world. We are going to avenge our militants who
were killed or captured all over the world. You are safe nowhere. This is the message he's trying to send.
WARD: He's essentially outlining what the new philosophy is going forward. The caliphate is done.
GORANI: And he acknowledges that.
WARD: But the virtual caliphate exists. And he basically describes this as a war of attrition. He says the battle against the Crusaders is going
to last a long time. That may be an important message to hear, that may bolster the ranks. But in terms of what it actually means, does it make
any difference to ISIS's capability, I would say the Sri Lanka attacks are far more telling and far more foreboding as far as what they portend for
GORANI: We don't know there was some sort of injury on that robe, but there were accounts from militants serving in the vicinity of Abu Bakr al-
Baghdadi that he had been severely injured.
WARD: There have been several reports over the years, a couple of them which really seemed credible, one that he had been injured in an air
strike, at one stage I believe it was in 2017, so two years ago, the Russians claimed briefly that they had killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. And so
there is some powerful about seeing him there.
[14:05:02] Even if there is an injury underneath that robe, the reality is, he is alive, he is clearly in reasonably good health and that in itself is
something of a blow I think to the U.S. and coalition forces who have launched a blistering campaign to try to eliminate ISIS and obviously would
like to know once and for all that they have successfully killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
GORANI: They're going to be analyzing every frame of that video, the pillows, the assault rifle, the camo vest and the associates with him in
that location. Their faces are blurred, but there have to be clues there that they can pick up. Thank you so much.
Barbara Starr is at the Pentagon following this story. Any reaction there, early day, I realize, but any reaction to the release of this video?
BARBARA STARR, CHIEF PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Military officials say -- and intelligence, I have to say, the working assumption has long been that al
Baghdadi is alive. There's been no evidence that he's been killed or dead. No communication from ISIS on that point. They have assumed he's alive.
The second point is, they will tell you, they've been looking for him, but it does not make a difference to the fight to at least eliminate the
physical caliphate of ISIS and they feel they've achieved this. But it comes down to the bottom line.
They will also tell you that there has been plenty of warning from U.S. and military intelligence, ISIS itself is not dead. Still needs to be
considered a very significant adversary force and we saw it in Sri Lanka. They are able to inspire very significant attacks far from their
traditional centers of power in Syria and Iraq and this is something that U.S. officials will tell you for months has concerned them greatly, that
ISIS must be taken very seriously.
Baghdadi or no Baghdadi, that not going to go away, they're ability to inspire fighters and attacks overseas, their ability to finance, train,
organize, equip, very significant. That was the real lesson of the Sri Lanka attacks. That is where U.S. counter terrorism is focused.
GORANI: What is the concern there that obviously Baghdadi or no Baghdad, as you said, ISIS was going to continue to exist, online there are
recruiters who are going to continue to inspire more and more people to carry out attacks or at least embrace their ideology. What difference does
it make that the leader is alive as far as we can tell?
STARR: Well, I think they very much do want to get him. And Iraqi officials in particular have been looking at some very -- we know this,
some very remote areas in western Iraq near the Syria border. If Baghdadi has been in that last stronghold and fled across the border, he would have
been able to make it possibly into western Iraq. That's his western homeland there.
The Iraqis are quite concerned that ISIS elements still known to be inside their country can cause a lot of havoc, can launch attacks and destabilize
certain areas. They're very much on watch for him and are working with U.S. officials indeed to see if they can find him. Hala?
GORANI: And he's claiming, 92 operations in this video in eight countries as we were discussing, he's positioning himself as the supreme leader of
terrorist attacks all over the world. I imagine for intelligence services, for the U.S. military, for coalition forces, this is a big cause for
concern because he's I guess -- perhaps even injecting a bit of energy into a group that seemed on the back foot just a few weeks ago.
STARR: Well, I think against Sri Lanka, perhaps, that devastating attack, the amount of capability that was demonstrated in Sri Lanka and law
enforcement there, security services, still finding remnants of the backers and facilities used in that attack. That's a real hallmark of what the
worry is about ISIS to come. Would they like to get Baghdadi, you bet. They claim responsibility for everything. They investigate every single
But Sri Lanka come back to that and think about the capacity that ISIS inspired attackers whether they had traveled to Syria, whether they were
financed by ISIS, core leadership, just the capacity that these ISIS adherents were able to demonstrate in Sri Lanka, that's the kind of concern
about the future to come. Hala?
[14:10:00] GORANI: All right. Barbara Starr live at the Pentagon. Barbara was mentioning Sri Lanka. We heard it mentioned by the terrorist
leader in the video. Just after a week after those Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, the country is still on edge amid warnings of possible attacks to
come. The police chief has been replaced and a ban on face coverings is on effect as well. Come. The police chief has been come.
The police chief has been replaced and a ban on face coverings is on effect as well. The country's President spoke to CNN. He told us that the links
with ISIS are very clear. The terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks. The President is dishing out blame on the intelligence
warnings that went unheeded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOTABHAYA RAJAPAKSA, PRESIDENT OF SRI LANKA (through translator): I was not informed of information pertaining to this attack prior to the
incident. The state security services had informed the defense minister who informed the inspector general of police. Foreign intelligence
provided information to the Sri Lanka intelligence services on the 4th of April.
Between the 4th and 12th of April, letters were exchanged, but no one reported this to me. On 16th April I left the country on a personal
holiday. I departed the country 12 days after the information was received.
I was not informed of this information, so it is not me, but the police and the defense secretary who should be resigning. I have taken necessary
actions. So it was not me, the IG of police and the defense secretary who should be resigning. Therefore I have taken necessary action to review
them as they were negligent in their duties.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You seem to be suggesting that the intelligence agencies were deliberate in keeping you uninformed of this?
RAJAPAKSA: I do not think this was intentionally done. I feel they were being responsible and negligent in their duties. I asked them, why didn't
they inform me of the matter and their response was that even though they received information, they didn't think an incident of this nature was
occur, I think they were careless and negligent in their duties.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: There you have it, the President of Sri Lanka. We're going to have a lot more on the release of that Baghdadi video. The leader of the
terrorist group ISIS alive, apparently. There were reports that he has been injured. He looked fine in that video. Obviously, we don't know
whether or not he recovered from an injury that he sustained a few years ago. Vowing revenge attacks for the militants killed and captured in
He time referenced the Sri Lanka attacks, various other news stories as well, that in effect tells us that this video was recorded in the last few
days. A lot more to come. We'll be speaking with Bob Baer after the break and we'll be discussing an important European story. Spain's ruling
socialists have some big decisions to make in the weeks ahead. They did OK but so did the far right. We'll be right back.
[14:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: All right. Let's get more on the release of that ISIS propaganda video. Our intelligence and security analyst Bob Baer is with me. Bob,
what jumps out at you as you listen to what Baghdadi said in this video? Bob, what jumps out at you as you listen to what Baghdadi said in this
video? He referenced Sri Lanka, he vowed revenge attacks. He looks older. It was five years ago that we last saw him on tape.
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: I think, first of all, it appears to be authentic. It looks like him. They'll be able to see if the
video was manipulated in any ways. But it does appear to be him. Current events. He seems to be in a safe place, clearly not Syria, probably not
Iraq which opens the question, where is he?
GORANI: Probably not Iraq. But where would he be then? Where would be a safe place for a guy like Baghdadi, he's surrounded by associates in that
BAER: This is reminiscent of Osama Bin Laden. We didn't know what happened to this guy even though Syria has more or less been taken from the
caliphate. And most of Iraq and yet this guy got away with associates in this hiding in the open and is clearly telling us he's back and there's
going to be more operations like Sri Lanka.
GORANI: What we were discussing with our reporter, there were reports that he has been severely injured a few years ago and as well as the Russians
claiming they've killed him. Obviously, we're not medical professionals, he's sitting down, he's got all of his limbs from what I can tell. He's
heavier. He looks OK.
BAER: He looks fine. Those reports were nonsense. That's often happened with Bin Laden. It's happening with Baghdadi and this is an organization
we haven't gotten to the heart of. He's the most wanted man in the world and he escaped uninjured and the question is, I go back to who is
protecting him and where.
GORANI: What happens now with the video? Frame by frame, they're going to be looking at many things, including the pillows, the stitching on the
pillows, his colleagues, his terrorist associates are wearing, the wall, the lighting, everything, happens once this video falls into the hands of
experts and investigators.
BAER: They're run the forensics. You can tell the temperature and humidity from digital images, that might give us a good idea where he is.
If the temperature is 130 degrees, he's in someplace like Iraq. That's the kind of thing they'll be looking at. But at the end of the day all they
can really do is authenticate that that is truly him and I think that's what's happening right now. And we should get some sort of determination
very soon, whether that's legitimate and then the hunt begins.
GORANI: Quick last one. The quality also of the video is good. There's some jump cut editing, but overall, there's a logo. Somebody took the time
to put this together.
BAER: They took the time and it's symbolic of the Islamic state is not defeated. Remember, it runs franchises and as long as he's out there
giving orders, people will follow him around the world.
GORANI: Bob Baer, thanks so much nor joining us.
Back to our European story and why it's important. Spain's Prime Minister saying his party has sent a message to Europe and the world that we can win
over authoritarianism. The ruling socialists are celebrating a victory at the polls even though they fell short of winning an outright majority.
They'll have some big decisions to make in the weeks ahead and even though a far-right group also did very well. Isa Soares has our report.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Spanish left is breathing a sigh of relief.
PEDRO SANCHEZ, PRIME MINISTER OF SPAIN (through translator): The Socialist Party has won the general election and with that, the future has won and
the past has lost.
[14:20:00] SOARES: They've gained ground in the country that only a few years ago was a sea of conservative blue.
SANCHEZ: I want to thank from my heart the more than 7,300,000 Spanish men and women who have given us their vote and trusted in the Socialist Party
to governor the country for the next four years.
SOARES: But getting there with no majority means he will need a coalition and no doubt he'll be considering his options. He could go for a left-wing
alliance with the Basque party and smaller regional parties possibly the Catalans but he may want to avoid appearing to give more weight to the
Catalan independence cause which remains highly divisive in Spain.
ANTONIO BARROSO, POLITICAL RISK EXPERT: As you know, he has to basically gain the support of Podemos but also some smaller parties. Essentially by
negotiating with those smaller parties, some kind of good in exchange for their support. There's going to be a lot of negotiating going on
SOARES: An alternative and more centrist deal with Ciutadans, the citizens party under Albert Rivera. For many of Sanchez's supporters who have been
chanting not with Rivera, this may be an unacceptable compromise.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I hope he doesn't vote with the Ciutadans, that he was for Podemos, and he doesn't make pacts with a pro-
independence faction. It would be better. I feel full of hope and very happy.
SOARES: The Vice President for the socialist government believed they can go it alone as a minority government telling the world we have enough
support to be the captains of this ship. The fear is, they've failed to pass legislation, this could be a sinking ship. The campaign was infused
with fear that Spain might tip to the far right. And the relative newcomer who promised to reconquer and make Spain great again.
The anti-Catalan independence, anti-legal immigration, anti-feminist, and pro-European party has become the first party to enter the Spanish
Parliament since the death of the dictator in 1975.
SANTIAGO ABASCAL, VOX PARTY LEADER (through translator): This is just the beginning. We told you we were reinitiating a re-conquest. That is
exactly what we have done. A reconquest that put a voice in Parliament and that's why I can say clearly to all of Spain that Vox is here to stay.
SOARES: Their presence has splintered the right and triggered a tremor in Spanish politics. Not quite the decisive victory the ruling Prime Minister
has longed for.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's take a look at the big picture. Michael Reid is a columnist for "The Economist" as well as the magazine senior editor for Latin America
and Spain. Michael Reid, thanks for being with us. We're a few weeks away from the European Parliamentary elections. What did these results tell us
about one of Europe's most important countries?
MICHAEL REID, COLUMNIST, "THE ECONOMIST": I think it tells us that social democracy and the center are still very much alive here. The Prime
Minister came to office ten months ago as a result of a very rare motion in the Parliament. In the election he managed to boost his party's standing
by 2 million votes and 38 seats. And another important winner was the most moderate of the right-wing parties.
As you say, as your report said, there is a new entrant into this increasing fragmented political seen in Spain in the form of Vox, a hard-
right party. But its result was at the low end of expectations. Some people were saying we're getting more than 15 percent which is a concern
for Spanish democracy. But I think the real story is the socialist victory.
GORANI: So Vox will get 24 seats in a 350-seat Parliament. Why do you think Spanish voters did not vote at the high end of expectations for a
party like Vox?
[14:25:00] REID: Well, I think one has to understand that Vox is slightly different than some of the other right-wing parties in Europe. It's
essentially a response to separatism. It grew from total obscurity after the constitutional referendum on independence held by the separatist
administration in Catalonia in the autumn of 2017 followed by an illegal declaration of independence, and that spread alarm among the Spanish
population that the country faced a break up and that gave Vox its big lift up.
It also appeals to some of the same things that other right-wing nationalist parties do such as traditional values in a world with lots of
change. But I think Spaniards on the whole are not as angry as they were a few years ago when there was the economic crisis here. They're generally
GORANI: Still it's a country that has a very tough economic situation to contend with. After years of austerity, they have double digit
unemployment, their economy still isn't isn't progressing or growing as fast as it needs to absorb the newer
entrants into the work force. This is a country that's still suffering economically. What can the country do to try to alleviate some of that
REID: It's suffering a lot less than it was. It's had four years of growth of over 3 percent a year, the strongest recovery of any large
economy in western Europe. Unemployment, yes, has remained high at around 14 percent. That's a long way down from 25 percent, 36 percent at the
peak. The worry now is that the recovery is starting to run out of steam. But the big problem that they will face is how to deal with Catalonia.
Where around two million voters want out of Spain and the chance of some kind of reformist solution involving a change to the constitution is not
totally gone, but there's a trial at the moment of some of the leaders and that -- when the sentence comes, that will enflame passions again.
GORANI: Michael Reed of "The Economist," thanks so much for joining us live from Madrid.
Boeing's CEO has made a statement. He says the company is trying to re- earn trust. He faced the press and the company's shareholders, as I mentioned first the first time of the crashes that killed a total of 346
people, he pledged to repair Boeing's damaged reputation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENNIS A. MUILENBURG, CEO, BOEING: Our commitment to safety is unwavering and we do regret the impact that this has had to passengers. We know we
have work to do to earn and re-earn that trust and we will. I will say to the first part of your question as we've been part of both investigations,
we've been very diligent about respecting the process, we knew in both accidents there was a chain of events that occurred. One of the events was
the activation of the MCAS system. That was a common link in both of the accidents. We know we can break that link in the chain. That is a link
that we own. It's our responsibility to eliminate that risk and the software update does exactly that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: CNN's senior investigate correspondent Drew Griffin joins me now from Chicago. The CEO especially repeated again, we own this issue, the
MCAS activation issue and we're going to fix the software and train the pilots.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATE CORRESPONDENT: Quite remarkable, Hala, in what else the CEO said or didn't say. He's not admitting there
were any flaws in this plan. Remember, civil aviation authorities across the world have grounded the 737 MAX but in a stunning news conference
today, a very short news conference, where when the questioning got tough, the CEO left the room, he basically said that Boeing's processes, its
planes and its testing were all done correctly.
And as you listen to him, if you look at the nuanced way he speaks, he is seeming to blame pilot error in both of these crashes. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MUILENBURG: We've confirmed that the MCAS system as designed did meet our design and safety analysis criteria and our certification criteria. Those
are standards processes that have worked for decades and will continue to work. That said, when we design a system, understand that these airplanes
are flown in the hands of pilots and our system's safety analysis includes not only the engineering design but also the action that pilots would take
as part of a failure scenario.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: As to explain why if there is nothing wrong with the plane, why is Boeing fixing a problem, that is basically when he left the room after
just 15 minutes of questioning. But that is the position Boeing is taking. We are making this plane safer, but we believe it was safe to begin with,
and had the pilot followed the safety procedures involved in flying the plane.
GORANI: Is that why he said in some cases the procedures were not completely followed? Shifting the blame in some ways on the pilots?
GRIFFIN: That is how I have taken it. And talking to sources behind the scenes, that is apparently the view of Boeing that had these pilots
followed the proper procedures for what they call runaway trim, that they should have been able to handle this problem. And that there was nothing
wrong with the MCAS system that we hear about as designed.
Of course, the investigations that would conclude all that are still about a year away. Boeing needs to get these planes up in the air like now, so
they're trying to do everything they can including creating some sort of a fix, like I said, Hala, while not really admitting there needs to be a fix.
They're trying to do something to get these planes back up.
GORANI: Drew Griffin, thanks very much. Live in Chicago. He was also asked if he ever considered resigning, and he sidestepped that question.
Artfully, as to be said.
Still to come tonight, hate crimes in places of worship and another attack on a synagogue in the U.S. We'll here from the survivors, including one
very brave 8-year-old girl.
GORANI: I want to remind you of our top story tonight. ISIS has released a video purported to be of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
If authentic, it would be the first time he's been seen since July of 2014.
The latest footage appears to quash some reports that he was seriously injured or even at one point dead.
In the video, he sits cross legged on the floor, next to a machine gun. He praises the attacks in Sri Lanka. It's timestamped in that sense, and
calls for vengeance for the fall of the last town held by ISIS in Syria.
Now, take a look at these pictures. On the left is the last known photo we have of al-Baghdadi, his sermon in the Mosul Mosque in 2014, compared with
what we saw today on the right.
They're supposed to be sanctuaries where people feel safe to reflect and pray. Instead, a tragic number of places of worship across many religions
have become the target of hate-based violence.
Just this weekend in California, a synagogue was attacked when a gunman opened fire as people gathered to mark the end of Passover.
60-year-old Lori Kaye was shot and killed after stepping between the gunman and her rabbi during Saturday's attack.
Police say the teenage suspect fled the scene and later surrendered.
His first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday. Kaye will be laid to rest later today. Three others were also wounded including an 8-year-
old, Noya Dahan.
Ironically, Noya's family moved to the U.S. from Israel, a number of years ago, to find a safer place to live, they said.
[14:35:04] Our Sara Sidner spoke to Noya and her father about their horrifying experience.
NOYA DOHAN, ATTACK SURVIVOR: We go to pray and then we're supposed to like -- we're supposed to feel safe.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Eight-year-old Noya Dahan wasn't safe. It turned out, no one was.
A gunman entered their California synagogue on the last day of Passover and opened fire.
N. DAHAN: I don't even have any words for it. It was terrifying, scary.
ISRAEL DAHAN, SURVIVED POWAY, CALIFORNIA, SYNAGOGUE SHOOING, DAUGHTER INJURED: All over his body, he has full magazines.
SIDNER (on camera): So he's covered in bullets?
I. DAHAN: He came to kill us. He came to grind us. The amount of bullets that he got on them, he came to destroy this place.
SIDNER (voice over): Noya's father, Israel Dahan, was beyond worried. He was terrified for his children. He had no idea Noya had already been hit.
N. DAHAN: My uncle, he was holding my hand and he was like grabbing me and stuff. And the person who was shooting, he was aiming at him. So he -- it
hit him and the, like, it went like -- went like that. It hit me, too.
SIDNER (on camera): So you got hit with shrapnel?
N. DAHAN: Yes.
SIDNER: Little pieces?
N. DAHAN: No. Like knee one is pretty big, but these are little pieces. So, you know, so this was like a pretty big piece, and then it went back.
SIDNER: So the piece of shrapnel went in your leg and then came out the other side?
N. DAHAN: Yes.
SIDNER: What were you thinking then? Did it hurt?
N. DAHAN: In the first place, when it was like gushing blood, I didn't even feel it. And then after like they wiped it and then like the blood
was off and it was like -- it felt like I had like the giant bruise ever. It was just hurting bad.
SIDNER (voice over): Her uncle had been shot, too.
ALMONG PERETZ, RESCUED CHILDREN, SHOT DURING POWAY, CALIFORNIA, SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING: He's looking me in the face and he want to shoot me in the gun.
SIDNER: Yet Almong Peretz, managed to whisk more than a half dozen children to safety as the gunman blew off round after round.
I. DAHAN: And then I saw him shooting in our lady that she passed away -- terrible feeling. What can I say? It's scary that we need to live like
that. It's just unbelievable. Like there is no one really to protect us.
SIDNER: Dahan watched his friend, Lori Kaye, slumped. She died of her injuries.
I. DAHAN: We have a big loss in the community. A big loss for the community in Poway. She was an amazing woman.
SIDNER: The terror didn't end there. Their rabbi had also been hit.
N. DAHAN: I saw the rabbi. He like jumping from pain. His fingers were cut off. He was like shot.
SIDNER: Bullets had shredded the rabbi's hands. Noya's father tried to help him.
I. DAHAN: He doesn't want to go to the hospital. He started praying and he started praying for everybody. And he wants to keep the community
strong and tight.
SIDNER (on camera): So the rabbi was refusing to leave the synagogue?
I. DAHAN: Yes. Yes, and he's still praying.
SIDNER: Even though he'd been shot?
I. DAHAN: Even that he's been shoot and even that he's been bleeding. And I told him, rabbi, please, your life is threatened right now. You're
bleeding so much, you can die. "No, I will stay here. I build it. I'm going to die here."
SIDNER: Rabbi Goldstein survived, but his index finger had to be amputated.
The rabbi was one of the main reasons the Dahans had moved to Poway. The family left Sderot, Israel, because a rocket hit their home. They wanted a
safer place to raise their five children. They moved to Mira Mesa, California, but hate found them there, too. Swastikas were painted on the
family's garage and car.
SIDNER (on camera): Did you leave there out of fear for your family?
I. DAHAN: Yes, of course. We were sleeping inside a locked bedroom with knives and with baseball pole because that's the only way I can protect my
family. And then I met Rabbi Goldstein, and he told me, come to our community.
SIDNER (voice over): They loved it and moved to Poway.
N. DAHAN: The synagogue is always a safe place to be. We're not supposed to be worried about anything.
SIDNER: Three years later, terror would find them once again.
N. DAHAN: I'm feeling scared, unsafe. I just feel like I want to be with my family and in a safe place where the whole family is there and if
someone gets hurt, there's like someone always behind us and like watching out for us.
SIDNER (on camera): How do you make them feel safe?
I. DAHAN: They don't. I cannot.
SIDNER: You've basically had to run from one place to the next because of anti-Semitism.
I. DAHAN: Yes. This is the right word to use, yes. And I might need to run again. It will -- I don't think it will stop soon. I might need to
run again. And I need to prepare myself for the next run.
[14:40:09] SIDNER: That's a horrible way to live.
I. DAHAN: It is horrible. Yes. But that's where we live and it's happened.
SIDNER (voice over): Sara Sidner, CNN, Poway, California.
GORANI: This is the second killing in a synagogue in six months in the U.S. And in just the past six weeks, Churches, mosques and synagogues had
been targeted in a series of shootings and bombings spanning three countries.
The U.N. has announced today initiatives to tackle the kind of hate speech that could lead to such attacks.
In a statement, the U.N. secretary general said, "Houses of worship, instead of the safe havens, they should be have become targets as crime
feeds on crime. And as vial views move from the fringes to the mainstream, I am profoundly concerned that we are nearing a pivotal moment in battling
hatred and extremism."
Our religious commentator, Father Edward Beck, has also written about that horrifying spike in violence targeting religious venues. He joins me now
from Los Angeles.
One of your friends, and this is in your piece, that's on cnn.com, says -- texted you saying, "It feels like we're sitting ducks when we go to worship
and to pray, whether it's in a church, or a synagogue, or a mosque.
FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: Yes. What a terrible, terrible time, Hala, to know that you are entering a sanctuary, which is
supposed to be a place of safety and peace and respite and prayer, one place maybe where you can escape some of what we're looking at here and
this violence and, yet, those are the places that are being targeted. That is what is so insidious about it.
You know historically sanctuaries have been the safe places. Even certain criminals have run into sanctuaries to avoid being apprehended, because
there was some protection there. And yet, that doesn't seem to be happening now. Hate is dominating and violence is dominating and that's
what's so insidious about it. It's happening in places of player, places of worship, places of sanctuary.
GORANI: Yes. And so for those who were believers, those who are not believers, who don't necessarily practice a religion, what is the answer?
BECK: Well, I'm not sure there is an answer. But you see the escalation on this on social media, this whole white supremacy thing that we're
experiencing not only in the United States but elsewhere, and it's been fostered by social media and the threats that are being made.
I mean, even I as a clergy person, you know, and being a social person, you receive threats via social media, via Twitter. And you don't know walking
into a church if you're going to say homily that's going to disrupt somebody. It used to be -- you'd be there and I would never even give a
thought to who's in the congregation or what might happen.
Now, we have law enforcement outside of have the churches, outside of the synagogues, barricades. I mean, it's a disturbing, awful way to have to
GORANI: I'm struck by something you said. So you received threats on social media. Is there a spike? Are you seeing those threats increase?
BECK: Well, I think probably as one's presence on social media, perhaps increases there is defined spike. And if you say anything controversial or
anything that goes against gun laws, you know, in the United States or the NRA. You get all of those people on top of it. So it becomes very
political. There's usually a political agenda.
But I would say yes, I have seen a spike and I'm not sure if that's just me saying it or elsewhere. But certainly, you are seeing a rise in white
supremacy and you're seeing this kind of vitriol escalate in this country and certainly elsewhere in Europe.
GORANI: And do you think it has something to do as some have said with the rhetoric coming from the very top, the president finding some sort of
equivalence between white supremacists and those who protested against them in Charlottesville and doubling down on that position? Do you think it
comes from there partly?
BECK: Well, again, I'm not really sure where to attribute the blame. I did say in my piece, for cnn.com. I said, you know, the president speaks
to the NRA who is for unbridled use of weapons or at least ownership of weapons and he seems to encourage them, he seems to encourage some of this
dialogue, it's not even dialogue, it's one-sided.
And then he tweets after this synagogue God bless you, how horrible. Well, the two don't go together.
And so I think that from the top has to be messages of we're not going to stand for this. We're going to enact laws that are going to prevent it. I
think that's part of the solution.
So I think unless you take clear stances as the leader of a country on these kinds of issues, if you're saying things that are ambiguous or there
are some people even interpret as racist themselves, well, it's not going to be helpful.
So I think it's all part of the conversation and I think politics is certainly a big part of it.
GORANI: Father Beck, thanks very much. Appreciate your time.
[14:45:02] BECK: Thank you.
GORANI: Still to come, thousands of people in southeast Africa have lost their homes after another powerful cyclone devastated the area just weeks
after another major storm. We're live from the region, after a break.
GORANI: In southeast Africa, the strongest storm to ever hit the region has killed dozens of people. The death toll on Monday climbed to 42, most
of them in Mozambique. The cyclone brought heavy rain and flooding to a region that is already struggling. We've been covering this over the last
several weeks, because this is the second powerful storm to hit Mozambique in a little more than a month.
They haven't had one in 10 years. Now, they have two back to back in less than a month, which means the soil is completely saturated in some places,
the water has nowhere to go, many towns are either under water or destroyed, at least 18,000 people have lost their homes in the storm.
David McKenzie joins me now live with more.
Talk to us about the situation on the ground and people who were homeless a few weeks ago, others had been added to their numbers. It's just a real
disaster zone there.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a disaster zone and the country, as a whole, is reeling from these two cyclones back to
The bad news is that there are certain regions that were hit by this latest Cyclone Kenneth which they still haven't reached. They are waiting with
supplies, both ground and air supplies to get to the north of the provincial capital of Pemba.
The good news, if there is any, is that this latest cyclone didn't directly hit the hardest -- the strongest winds hit the provincial capital. So they
were more in the sparsely populated, far, far north of the country. But it is a country, as you say, that had been hit by these two cyclones in very
quick succession, Hala.
GORANI: And so, are they getting the help they need? Are they getting the kind of attention that they need to come to the aid of those people who are
homeless or who need the kind of medical help that maybe they're not able to get because they can't access hospitals?
MCKENZIE: Well, the difficulty is that these areas already extremely poor and some of them haven't got those resources even before these cyclones
hit. So it's kind of misery on top of misery in some of those communities, Hala. They have the sources on the ground for the immediate emergency
But the U.N. and the charities have said they're still underfunded when it comes to the previous cyclone that hit, Cyclone Idai, which you were
mentioning, that was some thousand kilometers to the south, also affecting Mozambique, of course.
Ten percent of the GDP, that's more than a billion dollars has been wiped off of Mozambique's economy. The economy was already struggling.
[14:50:55] And while climate scientists aren't yet sure if you can definitively say that these two cyclones, back to back, are because of
climate change, certainly as sea level rise, these coastal areas in the parts of Africa that are affected by cyclones every year, potentially, are
going to be worse hit. And these countries don't have the economies or the scale of resources to mitigate the concerns for people. So that's the
worry here. Hit now, hit tomorrow, and will these communities ever recover. Hala?
GORANI: All right. David McKenzie, thanks very much.
A lot more to come this hour including the biggest movie opening of all time, by far. The new "Avengers" film sets records, but can it save the
movie industry from the threat of streaming? That story, next.
GORANI: It is hard to put into words how huge the opening weekend of "Avengers" was at the box office. The Marvel juggernaut did not just set
records, it smashed them.
Worldwide, The film earned more than -- get ready for this figure, $1.2 billion in ticket sales, that's twice as big an opening weekend as any film
in history. Theaters around the world showed "Endgame" around the clock and there were reports of sellouts all day and night. Even at 3:00 or 4:00
in the morning.
Joining me now from New York to talk about this is CNN media writer, Frank Pallotta.
Frist question, Frank. Did you see it?
FRANK POALLOTTA, CNN MEDIA WRITER: I did. I saw -- I've seen it twice, so far. I saw it at a press screen and then I went to -- I need to get a
life. I went to the press screening and then I went to a Saturday night opening in Times Square where it was literally packed. There wasn't a seat
available in the house.
GORANI: And what did you think?
PALLOTTA: I loved it. I thought it was a really great, epic conclusion to this 10-year long that Marvel has been telling. One of the most successful
stories in film history with their films combining a total of nearly $20 billion worldwide. It kind of -- the word I keep hearing is satisfying.
Everyone has been like this is a really satisfying finale.
And that's exactly right. I feel like they've really hit the nail on the head and obviously the box office receipts say so as well.
GORANI: Why is it 1.2 billion? What did they -- did they do anything differently with this release that would explain that high number or was it
simply because of the popularity of the franchise?
PALLOTTA: I think it's a mixture of column A and column B. As you look there, $1 billion took five days, that's half the amount of time the record
is. $350 million domestically. That's nearly $100 million more than the last record. And a big, big numbers, 330.5 million in China. That's the
biggest opening there both of western or local film. It's a little bit of both. It's an incredibly popular franchise. As they said, $20 billion, 22
films, 22 number one openings.
But on top of that, I don't know if we're ever going to see something like this again. Because theaters kind of threw the rule book out the window.
They were like, you know what? We can only show a movie so many times a day. Well, guess what? We're just going to -- we're going to not turn any
dollar away. We are going to show it at 4:30 in the morning, 4:15 in the morning.
They were literally playing it in Times Square every 15 minutes and they were selling out. So there was a demand there, but theaters met that
GORANI: But I wonder -- I mean, first of all, if you make anything an event, build up a lot of excitement around something, people will show up,
usually, they're together. It's not the solitary streaming experience at home on your sofa.
[14:55:07] And by the way, the CEO of IMAX which, of course, broadcasts these movies on their huge screens had this to say about the threat of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD GELFOND, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, IMAX: If I think if there's one thing that the "Avengers" opening proves, is that people for the right
content crave a social experience and they crave being with people and especially because you're an international show. This is global. We set
records in 50 countries. We sold out virtually every show in the world. So there's this global sense of togetherness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And you can't really replicate that with streaming, right? Everyone is together having a good time enjoying it together.
PALLOTTA: Yes. And I would say that this is a really big win for the theater industry that's been kind of stagnated so far this year. In North
America, it's down around -- it was down around 17 percent, the "Avengers" knocked a few points off of that. So now, it's down around 13 percent.
But look at it this way, in the -- in North America, the weekend brought in around $400 million overall. So that's "Avengers" and all the other movies
which is the first time that's ever happened. The original record was "Infinity War" last year at 314.
But look at it this way, 350 million of that, give or take, was just "Avengers." The other 50 is every other movie that's out this weekend.
So it's kind of not -- it's kind of not feasible that we can have these types of events that can really rise the tide so much. The industry not
only needs "Avengers," it needs mid-range movies, it needs smaller movies to do really well. It's been doing that "Us" has been good. Captain
Marvel, other movies like that but it needs more than just this big, big type of movie every once in a while. The industry can't survive on that
GORANI: I mean, I know, personally, I've been to the movie theater a couple times, Blade Runner, I mean, those big event movies that you want to
see on a big screen. Otherwise, it's a more intimate experience with my streaming platforms. I'm afraid, like most people.
Thanks so much, Frank Pallotta. Frank, you might have seen this video. It's the London marathon and that is someone running it while wearing a
homemade costume of Big Ben.
Thirty-year-old, Lucas Bates ran as Big Ben to raise money for Alzheimer's research. But the 42 kilometers were not the worst part. This was the
worst part, Bates' costume wouldn't fit under the finish line arch. He needed a help to get across.
He finished the race in three hours and 54 minutes wearing that thing. 20 minutes short of the world record for that. And, yes, there really is a
world record for running a marathon while dressed as a landmark. Cue all the Brexit metaphors. We had a load of them online. And frankly, good on
I'm Hala Gorani, thanks for watching. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.