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White House Regrets Not Sending Higher Official to Attend Unity March; CENTCOM's Twitter and Facebook Pages Attacked; Interview with Senator John McCain; Are Arab Nations Doing Enough to Slow Terror?
Aired January 13, 2015 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: France on its highest alert this morning amid new terror threats.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As many as six of the suspects maybe on the run.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The bodies of the four victims of the attack on the kosher grocery store are now in Israel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leaders from 40 countries marched with the frenche1 president, Francois Hollande.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We asked them to stand with us, and now they're threatened, we have to stand with them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three little girls in just two days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody remotely detonated the depravity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to your NEW DAY. It's Tuesday, January 13th. It's 8:00 in the east. Alysin Camerota and Michaela Pereira, and Chris Cuomo, all here for you. And here's the headline, a new report says as many as six possible accomplices to the Paris attacks are still on the loose and at large. All of them could be members of the sleeper cell that carried out those attacks. And now an Al Qaeda off shoot in North Africa is warning France will pay the cost of its violence on Muslim countries.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And the voice that the attackers tried to suppress is about to roar again. Three million copies of "Charlie Hebdo" magazine hitting newsstands tomorrow. The surviving staff members putting the finishing touches on this historic, highly anticipated edition. CNN has every angle of this fast developing story covered beginning with John Berman live for us from Paris. What's the latest, John?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Alisyn. You mentioned that Associated Press report that there are fears there could be up to six accomplices, six members of the cell still on the loose here in France. The number is not one that we have confirmed, but that's not what is important, truly. French officials made clear they do believe that the Kouachi brothers, that Amedy Coulibaly, that they each may have had accomplices involved in financing, involved in the operational level.
A source close to security officials here tell me that that is one of the reasons that they have upped their security here so much with 10,000 troops and 8,000 police force, because they just can't be sure if there is some other attack in the works.
BERMAN (voice-over): France on its highest alert this morning amid new terror threats. Al Qaeda North Africa branch, AQIM, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, released a statement on a jihadist website overnight, reading in part, "As long as its lame media continues to undermine our Prophet Muhammad, France will expose itself to the worst and more."
On the ground, a continuous show of force -- 10,000 French soldiers and 8,000 police on patrol across the country. This, while the Associated Press reports up to six terror suspects involved in last week's terror rampage may still be at large. Spokesmen for both the Paris prosecutor's office and the French national police expressed surprise at this report that cites unnamed French police.
FABRICE MAGNIER, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Al of our security forces and intelligence agencies are now focused to track this guy and now it's a race against the clock.
BERMAN: The search continues for the one confirmed suspect, the friend of kosher grocery store attacker Amedy Coulibaly. Coulibaly was on a U.S. terrorist database. New surveillance captures Hayat Boumediene with an unknown man at Turkish passport control after arriving at Istanbul's airport from Madrid five days before the Paris attacks. Unconfirmed tweets from jihadist groups say Boumediene is now in ISIS controlled territories in Syria.
Meanwhile, as survivors heal, tales of heroism emerge from the three days of terror that left 17 people dead. This man, a store clerk, hid hostages, including a two-year-old child, in the freezer during the siege on the kosher market, possibly saving their lives. And the magazine "Charlie Hebdo" with surviving cartoonists undeterred will publish at least 1 million copies of a brand-new issue hitting stands a week after their editorial meeting was so viciously attacked.
BERMAN (on camera): So much has been made of who did not attend the big unity rally here on Sunday, the fact the United States did not send a high level delegate. Of course the White House now says it regrets that decision. A couple hours ago I had a chance to speak to the U.S. ambassador to France, Ambassador Jane Hartley. She came here just behind to lay a wreath at this ongoing memorial to people who were killed at "Charlie Hebdo." I asked her if she had been directed to issue a new message of regret to the French government that the United States did not send a higher level official and she said, no. As far as she's concerned, this situation at this point is over. Alisyn?
CAMEROTA: Yes. We've heard it called tempest in a teapot, though others say just wildly tone deaf. So the debate continues, John. Thanks so much for that update.
Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating a cyber-breach apparently by ISIS supporters who hijacked the U.S.'s military social media accounts. The hackers posted messages threatening U.S. military personnel and ISIS propaganda videos on the Twitter and YouTube sites. CNN's Barbara Starr is live at the Pentagon with more. How did this happen, Barbara?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Alisyn. Of course those social media accounts are hosted on commercial servers, not on the Pentagon's own classified, very secure network system. Nonetheless the Pentagon obviously concerned that ISIS or at least ISIS supporters could again be trying to target the U.S. on social media.
STARR: "ISIS is already here. We are in your PCs, in each military base," the hijacked Central Command account reads. "The Cyber Caliphate continues its cyber jihad." The posts continue. But is this group, the Cyber Caliphate, really ISIS?
MARK RASCH, CYBER AND PRIVACY EXPERT: The goal here is to cause fear and overreaction. We need to react appropriately to it, not overreact to it.
STARR: The tweets threaten U.S. troops and their families, including posting a document with names and addresses of U.S. military officials and documents related to North Korea and China. "American soldiers, we are coming. Watch your back. We know everything about you, your wives, your children," the hackers warn. The cyber-attack comes as ISIS has re-released a video calling for attacks on U.S. targets, including the military.
The Pentagon says so far it does not appear anything classified was posted, and one U.S. military official said some of the information has already appeared online elsewhere.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I can tell you this is something that we're obviously looking into and something that we take seriously. However, I just -- a note of caution to folks as they're covering this story. There's a pretty significant difference between what is a large data breach and the hacking of a Twitter account.
STARR: The FBI is assisting the military with the investigation of the hacking of both its Twitter and YouTube accounts. And all of this comes as ISIS in the wake of the Paris attack is also funding itself targeted online. The hacker group Anonymous says it's targeting ISIS.
RASCH: What's more concerning is not what they stole and posted, it's what they might have stolen and what they might be able to steal in the future. (END VIDEOTAPE)
STARR: Now, this comes at a very awkward time for the White House because yesterday as this was happening the White House was pushing for more cyber security. In fact on the president's own Twitter account a message was posted, "If we're going to stay connected, we need to be protected." The Pentagon obviously very concerned, for now, however, still calling it cyber vandalism. Chris?
CUOMO: Barbara Starr, it rhymes, but they haven't put it in place yet, that's for sure. Thank you for the reporting.
Let's bring in Republican Senator John McCain, chairman of the armed services committee and member of the Homeland Security Committee. Senator, thank you for joining us. Congratulations on the new post that you are holding in the U.S. government. Let's address some of the issues that now fall squarely in your purview. What we just saw with the CENTCOM, not CENTCOM being hacked, not its most sensitive data, but anything along the lines of getting to the social media accounts, something that should be concerned. Do you believe the U.S. is prepared to handle this cyber threat?
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: We're not, Chris. By the way, yes they were not hacking into our most sensitive and secret channels of communication, but you've got to admit it's embarrassing. It's embarrassing when the official armed services source of information is hacked into. So it's kind of a propaganda coup for the ISIS people. So let's call it what it is. It's an embarrassment.
We have to have legislation. Chris, I have been in more meetings with less production on the issue of cyber security than any other issue I've been engaged in. I'm glad to see that the administration is finally going to come forward with their outline and proposal for legislative action. I will be having and am having active meetings with people like Richard Burr, the chairman of the intelligence committee, senator corker, the foreign relations committee, and our Democrat friends, and I am guardedly optimistic we can come up with legislation that we can work with the administration on.
But there's a tension though between the right of privacy and the need for national security. That and also the liability issue. Both of those issues, frankly, have not been resolved but we have to. And I'm glad the administration is coming forward with a proposal.
CUOMO: Another issue on the agenda that involved the administration not going to the Paris march. The White House now says it was a mistake. How do you perceive it?
MCCAIN: Of course it was a mistake, but it's also symptomatic of this president's lack of connection with other world leaders, with his understanding of the importance of this issue worldwide. Look, we are in serious shape. Three major mistakes that have been made, one is that we abandoned Iraq for all intents and purposes by not leaving a residual force behind, failure to help the Free Syrian Army, and now we see Libya descending into chaos because once they got rid of Gadhafi we washed our hands of it. The moral of the story is leading from behind doesn't work.
CUOMO: Two things as a response to what you just said, senator. First, were you approached or did you give any thoughts to going to the Paris march?
MCCAIN: I was not approached and I would have been glad to have gone if I had been invited, but I think I had to be invited.
MCCAIN: As much as I -- Chris, as much as I want to be president, I don't think I can act like it.
CUOMO: Senator, you know what they say, fake it until you make it. Show up there, who knows where it will lead. Senator, I'll take you on that point.
Now, let's talk about this other one. You point out Libya, Iraq, Syria, but isn't it a fair pushback on that that you can pick 20 different countries now, there's so many totalitarian states that are oppressing their people and, therefore, becoming susceptible to the kind of extremism and Islamism that we're seeing result in terrorism. Is that fair to say that just because of Iraq, just because of Libya, just because of Syria we're seeing what we just saw in Paris?
MCCAIN: Well, I think take a look at the map. Where's the geography? Syria and Iraq is the caliphate, the area larger than the state of Indiana which is the basis for these acts of terror and the training. The director of British intelligence has said that they are planning attacks on the west and the United States of America. So the geography indicates the absolute importance of Iraq and Syria.
And, by the way, we have no strategy with which to degrade and defeat is. The president may say it but there is no one in the entire administration who may articulate anything approaching it. We've been bombing Kobani for months now and we haven't been able to drive ISIS out of that town. Think of the challenge that means under this president's non-strategy, ability to take Mosul, a city of a million people. There's no strategy, and we're going to pay a heavy price for it. We already are. And we're going to lose Afghanistan as well, by the way, if we stick with a condition with a calendar-based withdrawal and not conditions-based, you will see the same movie in Afghanistan I'm sorry to say.
CUOMO: But is that avoidable? Is there a strategy that would have had us in a different place in a meaningful way than we are today? Do you really believe that?
MCCAIN: Not only do I believe it, but Bob Gates, the former secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, former secretary of defense, Ryan Crocker, our best ambassador, all of them also believe that it was huge if we had left a stabilizing force behind. After the sacrifice of some 4,000 brave young Americans, we let all that go to hell in a hand basket. CUOMO: So what do you do now that you think would make a marked
difference in the ability to combat like what we just saw in Paris? These guys were on the U.S. no fly list. The French knew about them. It's just a couple of guys still have the ability to do so much damage. Can you really stop that with a strategy?
MCCAIN: Well, I am sure that you can, and not only can but must. By the way, these guys were trained in Yemen. That's the same place that the president called an American success story. We have to have a no fly zone in Syria. We have to treat Syria and Iraq as the same. We have to train the Free Syrian Army. We have to have a robust training capabilities for the Iraqis. Their morale is shattered, the Iraqi military. And most of all, we have to commit to really defeating ISIS and having a strategy to do so. That means more Americans on the ground, not large combat troops, but a lot more Americans on the ground to provide the capabilities that frankly the Iraqis don't have and there is a total absence of them in Syria.
CUOMO: The last part of that, Senator McCain, will probably prove the most challenging, how you can fight these fights without the best fighters in the world on the ground. We know the Americans' resolve isn't there right now in terms of seeing more people at risk, but it's going to be hard to see any strategy that gets into place that's effective without it. Again, congratulations on your new post. I look forward to speaking with you on the show about these issues. They're only more. They're certainly not getting fewer as time goes on. Thank you, Senator McCain.
MCCAIN: Thank you. And condolences on the passage of a truly great American, your dad.
CUOMO: Thank you very much, Senator McCain. My father was a fan of yours, you know that. Me, not so much.
MCCAIN: Thank you.
CUOMO: Thank you very much. Michaela, over to you.
MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: Luckily we love you here, Chris.
All right, let's take a look at more of of your headlines. It's 14 minutes past the hour. Four Jewish men killed at the hands of an Islamic terrorist in Paris were laid to rest today. Thousands attended the joint funerals in Jerusalem. The state ceremony included speeches from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel's president, meanwhile, called on European leaders to take steps to wipe out anti- Semitism, which has been on the rise.
Breaking overnight, reports suggest the fuselage, the main body of AirAsia Flight 8501 has been found. That's where most of the victims are believed to be. The second black box has now been pulled from the Java Sea. It is expected to help investigators work out what exactly led to that crash. The New York City clinic where comedian Joan Rivers suffered a fatal
complication during a procedure, it is losing its federal accreditation at the end of this month. The Centers for Medicare Services says Yorkville Endoscopy, quote, "no longer meets the condition to operate in its current capacity." The clinic says it continues to work with all regulatory bodies and suggested it may appeal.
Got to show you this pretty frightening video posted on YouTube. A 9- year-old boy holding on for dear life at a Pennsylvania ski resort. You see him trying to hang on. Several people gathering underneath, trying to catch him. He lost his grip, he fell 20 feet to the ground. What's unremarkable is this kiddo apparently injured one of his legs but otherwise, he is expected to be just fine.
Now, it's unclear if he slid out of the chair, if it malfunctioned. Some reports say he lifted the safety bar. But you know what, right now the focus is on him being OK and getting a speedy recovery.
CAMEROTA: So scary.
CUOMO: Thank God there was snow underneath them.
But let's be honest, that's one of the big nightmares when you're skiing.
CUOMO: Especially with kids. Such a source of paranoia.
PEREIRA: Yes, it is.
CAMEROTA: You always fear that's going to happen but I've never seen that happen.
OK. Michaela, thanks so much for that.
While many Arab governments and groups denouncing the terrorist attacks, but are they doing enough? Aaron David Miller says no. He's a former adviser to six secretaries of state and he will be here to explain.
CUOMO: Terrorists shouted that "Charlie Hebdo" was dead. Well, as it turns out the terrorists are dead and "Charlie Hebdo" lives on. The first issue since the attack is about to come out and the cover is bound to make headlines. We'll tell you about it.
CAMEROTA: Following the Paris attacks, there's been sympathy for moderate Muslims and anger towards them for not taking a firmer stand against terror. Many Muslim leaders are speaking out, but some say that does not go far enough.
Let's bring in Aaron David Miller. He's the vice president of new initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, and a former advisor to six secretaries of state on the Arab-Israeli peace process.
Mr. Miller, great to have you with us.
You wrote a fascinating piece for CNN.com and you write, we are letting moderate Muslims off the hook right now. What does that mean?
AARON DAVID MILLER, FORMER ADVISER, ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE NEGOTIATIONS: Well, it's a broader point. I'm arguing that jihadi radicalism is basically a response to a broken, angry dysfunctional part of the world.
And while the statements are really important and we need to encourage the Arab League, Sheikh Al-Ashar (ph) in Cairo, Arab governments continue to condemn this sort of radicalism and promote freedom of expression. It's really not going to answer the mail.
I mean, you've got a perfect storm emerging here. You've got ungoverned spaces in Iraq, and Syria, and Libya and Yemen where radical jihadi groups can thrive and recruit. You have bad and dysfunctional governance, authoritarian governance in places like Saudi Arabia and even Egypt where Islamist offenders are oppressed even in the violent nature, which is understandable but also co-opted inside Arabia.
You've got the fundamentalist Wahhabi ideology which underlines the Saudi family and has been expressed through madrassas around the world. So, the Saudis are co-opting even while they're trying to oppress this sort of jihadi radicals. You have a growing Sunni/Shia proxy in the war between Sunnis and Shias.
So, all of these factors are creating the kind of challenge that simply is not going to be addressed over by anything short of, I would argue, a fundamental reformation within Islam and within Arab politics, and that's a long movie that no guarantee it's even -- that the trend lines are even moving in that direction.
CAMEROTA: Well, and yet, Mr. Miller, doesn't it seem as though the responses to this Paris attack sound different than previous attacks? I mean, all sorts of people, voices you don't normally hear from, have come out after this. We've heard the leader of Hezbollah condemning this attack, the Ayatollah Khamenei in Iran, the prayer leader, says Islam does not approve of killing innocent people in Paris. Mahmoud Abbas locked arms with Angela Merkel and marched through the streets in Paris. The president of Egypt has called this repugnant.
Do you want them to do more or is this the start of that trend line you're talking about?
MILLER: I mean, you would hope this is the beginning of a trend line but, look, 9/11 and the world stood with America in 9/11. The world's standing with France now. I'm not sure this is going to be a transformative moment.
I think nothing in America and in the international community seems to last more than 15 minutes. I think you really have a major dysfunctional part of the world that right now is beyond remedy and yet it's important that Muslim clerics and leaders condemn these events. And even while they do, their own systems, and lack of free press condone anti-Semitic attacks, demonize the United States and I think in many respects, again, to be modern literally means to have the capacity to be offended.
To be modern means to allow the forces of creativity and ingenuity to flourish. To be modern means allowing freedom of expression, freedom of conscience. Of the 24 countries in the world today, the most restrictive countries within respect to religious freedom, the expression of religious freedom, 19 of them have Muslim majorities.
And again, I'm not arguing that 1.6 billion Muslims in this world are somehow jihadi radicals, they're not. Or that Islam is somehow by nature a violent religion. It's not. But we have a major problem here.
And while these statements are extremely important and they're to be welcomed and you can hope that this will provide a transformative moment, I'm not at all sure of it.
CAMEROTA: So, where do we begin?
MILLER: You know, as an American, I begin with looking for a smart and effective policy. First, protecting the continental security of the United States and try to contain jihadi radical threats. Second, working with our partners and our allies, in Europe and in the Middle East.
But we've seen the limitations of an American transformative strategy in Iraq. You've seen the restrictions and limitations of trying to literally reform and try to modernize an entire country. You cannot do it. This is not something to be done by westerners. It is not something that can be done by Americans.
After all, we are attacked routinely by jihadis because our two closest allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, figure so prominently in the jihadi narrative.
No, this is a Muslim responsibility. You know, Michael Jackson argued in "Man of the Mirror", that if you want to make a change, the place to start is by looking in the mirror.
MILLER: That's what needs to happen. It's a long movie and it -- the trend lines now may be better as a consequence of world unity, what happened in France, but I think we've got a long, long way to go.
CAMEROTA: Aaron David Miller, thanks so much for being on NEW DAY.
CAMEROTA: Let's go over to Chris.
CAMEROTA: All right, Alisyn. France is proving it will not bow in the face of fear. "Charlie Hebdo" is ready to release its new edition and it's not backing off one bit. We'll tell you why and what they have planned.