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Hala Gorani Tonight
Microsoft: SolarWinds Hackers Target More Agencies; Lukashenko Meets with Putin Amid Forced-Plane Landing Fallout; Germany Formally Recognizes Colonial Genocide in Namibia; Terror Group Thriving In Afghanistan; Hundreds Detained In Tigray Released After CNN Report; 400,000 Flee Homes Over Threat Of Second Volcano Eruption. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 28, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. Russian hackers ramp up their cyber warfare, alleging
targeting more than 150 government agencies. Russia also getting involved in Europe's passenger plane crisis with a public demonstration of support
for the embattled Belarusian president. Also, this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEIKO MAAS, FOREIGN MINISTER, GERMANY (through translator): He's not somebody who will now also officially call these events what they were from
today's perspective, a genocide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Germany admits to perpetrating genocide in Namibia more than a century ago, and plans to pay more than a billion pounds in an effort to
make amends atrocities. The Russian cyber spies behind a major U.S. government data breach appear to have struck again, this time by targeting
dozens of other agencies and think-tanks, primarily from the U.S. Microsoft says they did this by gaining access to an e-mail marketing account used by
the U.S. agency for international development, U.S. Aid. From there, they sent phishing e-mails to thousands of other accounts tied to humanitarian
groups. Microsoft says these attacks appear to be part of intelligence gathering efforts that target agencies involved in foreign policy.
Let's get more now from our correspondent, CNN's Matthew Chance is in Moscow where it's denial again, and Alex Marquardt joins us from Washington
with more on how this hack took place. And this was, I mean, I read the word phishing and correct me if I'm wrong, I assumed it was kind of an old-
fashioned hacking operation.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT: It is very much an old- fashioned hacking operation, Hala, you know, when you compare it to the last major Russian hacking operation SolarWinds, which was very stealthy,
very sophisticated, cyber security experts are saying this one is much louder, it's much more brazen. Microsoft has said however, the same group
is behind both of these attacks. And as you know well, the U.S. Intelligence community has attributed SolarWinds at least to the Russian
SVR, the U.S. has not said anything yet officially about Russia being behind this, but Microsoft certainly is.
And what they did, Hala, they took control or rather they got into an e- mail platform used by the American aid agency USAID. From there, they were able to send out more than 3,000 e-mails to various organizations, many of
them here in the United States, international humanitarian groups, human rights groups. The kinds of groups you don't necessarily like, Vladimir
Putin. And they sent out e-mails, not necessarily the most intelligent sounding e-mails, the one example that Microsoft shared with us was one
that had a link to Trump's publishing of new documents on election fraud.
And this is well of course, after the election, this was earlier this week, you can see it right there, and if you clicked on that link, it would
install a malicious file that allow hackers to get in through a back door and then spread to other computers. Now, I also spoke with cyber security
expert from FireEye, the leading cyber security firm who said that it wasn't just the USAID platform that was used, he said, the diplomatic notes
and invitations from embassies were also used outside the United States to get people to click on these links. This is of course, Hala, a significant
escalation in the tension between the U.S. and Russia.
Just last month, we saw the Biden administration put sanctions and other punishment on Russia, and here we have -- we have Russia continuing
regardless to carry out these types of malicious cyberattacks less than three weeks before the summit between Biden and Putin in Geneva. Hala.
GORANI: Right, and Biden and Putin meet in Geneva as you mentioned in three weeks' time. Matthew Chance, what's the reaction from the Kremlin?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, whenever the Kremlin are confronted with allegations like this, they fall
back on their stock response. They reject it categorically, they deny it, that's exactly what happened. On this occasion, we spoke to Dmitry Peskov
who is the Kremlin spokesperson here in Moscow and put these allegations to him earlier this morning, and he said, look, you know, where did Microsoft
even get this information from that Russia's got anything to do with it. He gave a whole load of questions he wanted answered before he said the
Russian government would give any kind of response.
And he said that he didn't think that these latest revelations would affect in any way the summit that's been planned as you were just discussing
between Vladimir Putin and President Biden of the United States in Geneva, Switzerland, which is taking place on the 16th of next month. But --
GORANI: Yes --
CHANCE: We're absolutely right to point out the significance of the timing, not just because of that summit coming up in a few weeks where there's
already a list as long as your arm when it comes to fraught issues between Russia and the United States, have to be discussed, this just adds that.
But also because it was just in April, just last month, that Joe Biden issued those very stringent sanctions against Russia for exactly the same
kind of activity essentially, against the same people essentially that are blamed by Microsoft are being behind this. There were 10 diplomats
expelled, there were individual --
GORANI: Yes --
CHANCE: Sanctioned, they were, you know, quite serious economic sanctions imposed on the country as well. It doesn't seem to have done anything to
change Russia's behavior, Hala.
GORANI: Alex, just briefly, what is it that the hackers are after. What information, what Intelligence? What are we talking about here?
MARQUARDT: Well, according to Microsoft, it's espionage. They want to get inside and have a sense of what these different groups are working on. What
could be interesting, and again, I was speaking to an expert from FireEye, and he was saying that it could be in fact preparation for the summit. That
any good Intelligence outfit ahead of a big summit like this might be laying the ground work for something like that. But Russia should have had
every expectation of getting caught. Again, this was a loud, brazen series of attacks. This was not stealthy at all. So, they would have known that
they would have gotten caught. And so essentially, what they're saying is, we don't really care.
GORANI: Yes --
MARQUARDT: And we don't really care going into this incredibly important summit.
GORANI: Alex Marquardt, thanks very much, live in D.C., Matthew Chance is in Moscow. Well, let's stay on the topic of Russia. Almost one week after
Belarus brazenly forced a commercial jet in its airspace to land, President Lukashenko has been meeting today with Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
It's a public show of solidarity against scathing international criticism. Also Lukashenko has gone to pay his respects clearly there to Vladimir
Putin in Sochi. The plane you'll remember, a commercial Ryanair flight was headed from Athens to Lithuania's capital Vilnius on Sunday.
But Belarus forced it to land in Minsk where police then detained opposition activist Roman Protasevich and his Russian companion. Both are
still in jail. Belarus' claim that an e-mailed bomb threat provoked the force landing is not standing up to scrutiny. CNN received an image of the
e-mail that shows that it was sent 27 minutes after the flight crew was warned that there might be a bomb on board, perhaps not taking into account
some time zone differences. There's CNN senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen is in Berlin with more. All right, talk us through.
Lukashenko obviously paying a visit to Putin, wanting his public display of support for his regime, his government.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and getting a public display of support. Two men could be seen, say in about hour and a
half ago sitting together at the Black Sea Resort of Sochi, and it was quite interesting because Alexander Lukashenko had a brief case with him,
and he said that he had some documents as he put it, that would clarify certain things, certain situations. It wasn't clear whether or not he was
specifically referring to the incident with the Ryanair plane and the Belarusian authorities as he forced that plane to land.
However, he did say that he believed outside powers were trying to stoke the situation like in August of last year. Of course, in August of last
year, after that election which large part of the international community said was -- had massive issues and where Alexander Lukashenko allegedly won
the presidency, again, that sparked those gigantic protests that happened in Belarus. So, clearly, Alexander Lukashenko looking for that public
support from Vladimir Putin, getting it to a certain extent, Vladimir Putin then saying, look, in 2013, Evo Morales back then, the leader obviously of
Bolivia, his plane was forced to land, thinking that Edward Snowden was down by the French authorities at the behest of the U.S., Russian president
likes to point out.
Those kinds of things were exchanged, and I think one of the things that we do see is that, Moscow is very staunchly in the corner of Alexander
Lukashenko, not necessarily that because Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin are great friends, and clearly, there are some differences between them, but
simply because the Russians want to bring Belarus closer and further into their orbit, and that's clearly something that is happening. Russian
politicians also coming out, Hala, and saying they believe that the things that the Belarusians are saying are plausible. That with that threat coming
in obviously as you just pointed out. We have been told, we have clear information that, that e-mail was actually sent after the plane had already
been diverted, further punching holes in, a means to stir --
GORANI: It was that oddly-worded -- that oddly-worded Hamas threat which --
PLEITGEN: Yes --
GORANI: Really didn't seem plausible even before we figured out it was done after --
PLEITGEN: Yes --
GORANI: The plane was told about a bomb that didn't exist. Thanks very much, Fred Pleitgen. Germany is acknowledging that its troops carried out a
genocide more than a century ago.
And it is promising Namibia more than a billion dollars in aid as part of an apology for these colonial era atrocities. As many as 80,000 Herero
Namaqua people were killed between 1904 and 1908 after an uprising. Germany's foreign minister asked for forgiveness as he announced the move.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAAS (through translator): Our goal is to find a common path to genuine reconciliation in memory of the victims. This includes naming the events in
the German colonial period and what is now Namibia, and in particular the atrocities in the period from 1904 to 1908, without sparing or glossing
over them. We will now also officially call these events what they were from today's perspective, a genocide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, the Namibian government is welcoming the move, but victims groups are rejecting it, saying they were not consulted. Let's talk about
this more and also broaden the topic out. I'm joined by historian and broadcaster David Olusoga. Thanks very much for being with us. First, your
reaction to this development that Germany is essentially saying, look, we're calling it what it was, a genocide and here is a billion euros, you
know, spread over a certain number of years to Namibia. What do you make of it?
DAVID OLUSOGA, HISTORIAN & BROADCASTER: Well, I think there's two issues. There's the acknowledgement and the apology and the naming of the genocide,
and then there's the financial issue. To take the apology and the recognition first, this was always a genocide. And I think it's very
worrying that the language used, this is -- this will be called a genocide in today's language. This is a genocide under the definition from the 1940s
produced by Raphael Lemkin. This was always a genocide. And historians have been saying it was a genocide for decades.
In the 1980s, the Whitaker report to the U.N. acknowledged that it was a genocide, it falls under almost every possible criteria you can imagine
under Lemkin's definition. The most striking thing about what happened in West Africa, in other than the fact that it did pre-date and predict what's
going to happen in Europe, is that not only do we know that this was a genocide, but there was a written order for this genocide. There's a
document called the Extermination Order, written and signed by a German General. I've held a copy in my hand in an archive in Botswana. The German
authorities wrote down the order for the extermination of an entire people. We knew this decades ago. This was obvious under Lemkin's definition of the
And what's more, the whole world knew this a century ago --
GORANI: Yes --
OLUSOGA: Because in 1918, the British published a report cataloguing these crimes in enormous detail, and they used them to strip Germany of their
colonies. This should never have taken --
GORANI: Yes --
OLUSOGA: A 116 years.
GORANI: So, why now?
OLUSOGA: I think there has been concerted pressure for decades from the Herero Namaqua people of Namibia. And they're the reason why this is --
this is come about. They have been -- they have been remorseless and they've been incredibly energetic and brave and resilient in their
campaigning for this. They've launched legal campaigns in the United States and elsewhere. They've kept up --
GORANI: Yes --
OLUSOGA: The pressure. This happened because of them, not because of some sort of soul-searching in Germany, Germany has been forced down this avenue
by the tenacity over the Herero Namaqua people.
GORANI: Yes, and in fact, there have been experts on our air today, saying Germany essentially was dragged, kicking and screaming into this. But some
of the descendants of victims are not happy, they say Germany didn't go far enough. That this has to go -- this is the front page of the "Namibian
Times" today, I'm going to put it up for our viewers there to see. "German genocide offer quote, 'an insult.'" I mean, if we broaden this out to other
African countries that were either colonized with the victims of western- European colonial violence. What does this tell us about where we might be headed?
OLUSOGA: I think it shows that Africans demanding recognition of the colonial period. And a new generation, particularly young people across the
world in the west as well as in former colonial countries are pushing for change. I think change is coming, but it's coming incredibly slowly and
reluctantly, and with a certain amount of available grace. What Germany has done today is, it has avoided calling these reparations and it's avoiding
tying them directly to the events of 1904 to 1908. And that's because Germany doesn't want to set a precedent.
It doesn't want to allow the people of Poland or the Soviet Union to use a precedent to campaign for reparations for the damage done to them in the
second World War. Now --
GORANI: Yes --
OLUSOGA: This is a -- Germany has been incredibly slow about this. And I think we need to recognize something really important here. Germany is a
country when it comes to the third like the 12 years of the Nazi regime, that has engaged in a process of historical acknowledgement and reckoning
an apology I think unlike any other in history. But Germany cannot, it seems, do the same when it comes to its other genocide, this genocide in
GORANI: I want to talk about the broader issue of reparations. And this is a conversation that's very much a topic in the United States and other
parts of the world as well. I mean, every time I see Africans kind of landing on European shores and being sent back, you think that this is the
product of decades if not centuries of colonial rule of western countries empires plundering the resources of that continent, the forced slave trade,
and then you have the circular sort of historical cycle where now those who were disenfranchised, who were robbed of their resources and of their
freedom are coming to the descendants of the slave traders and saying let me in, and they're not being let in. Where do we go from here? Because
reparations that has to fit in to the conversation about reparations.
OLUSOGA: Well, I think another issue for the migration or the illegal migration to Europe is that the Sahel region of Africa is becoming
uninhabitable because of --
GORANI: Yes --
OLUSOGA: Climate change --
GORANI: Climate --
OLUSOGA: Climate change, which of course, the west has been the engine, the engine of. I think the thing -- when it comes -- particularly when it comes
to Germany, we have to acknowledge that reparations are historically normal. Germany paid reparations after the first World War to France, with
the damage done to the so-called Zone Rouge. Germany paid reparations to Israel after that, after the Second World War, for Germany's two great
conflicts, the first and second World Wars, Germany paid reparations. Suddenly, when it comes to Germany's forgotten colonial history in Africa,
suddenly, that's not acceptable. Suddenly, that's inappropriate. Suddenly reparations is something that's nay, that must not be acknowledged, must
not -- must not happen.
This is double standards. This is something which I think is, we need to see this in a historical round. Reparations are historically normal. But
GORANI: Yes --
OLUSOGA: Will not acknowledge that this is the appropriate action when it comes to black Africans.
GORANI: And not just Germany. I mean, in the United States, how do you compensate the descendants of slaves whose net worth today is a tenth of
the net worth of white Americans for instance who have suffered for centuries from not just slavery, but the effects of slavery, generation to
generation. Logistically, how does even -- let's assume we're in some fantasy world where everyone agrees on the fact that reparations are needed
and on a certain number, for instance. Where do you even begin logistically?
OLUSOGA: Well, I think we begin by some of views you just acknowledged there, which is, this is just about historical crimes, this is about the
legacy of historical crimes. This is not just about slavery in America, but it's about the system of racism that is structural within societies that
were formally slave societies, just like the issue in Namibia, is not just the deaths in the concentration camps created by the Germans, but it's the
fact that black Namibians, Herero Namaqua have no land, because their land was given to white settlers. This is about the structure of racism that was
The practical thing we need to do is all of us acknowledge that this is a collective problem. That we are all responsible, that we all have a duty to
look at these history and acknowledge that we either pretend they never happened or we accept that the injustices that they created are still with
us and still shape our societies.
GORANI: A quick word, I just wanted your reaction on this, I mean, it's not -- this story we're discussing about Marcus Rashford who won the heart of
the U.K. when he campaigned against child food poverty in this country, and Barack Obama had a chat, the Manchester United player sat down with Obama
virtually, and I just want our viewers to hear this and then get your reaction on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCUS RASHFORD, MANCHESTER UNITED PLAYER: For me being in sports, I just knew that my life could change very quickly. And If I wasn't like matured
enough or, you know, a certain level in my own head, and it makes stuff like fame and bits like that even more difficult, so it's call with free
books. You can -- you can grow yourself from whichever way you want rather than somebody keep telling me to do this and do that, books allowed me to
just do it my own way.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Entire worlds are possible in books. You can grow and discover and make connections that you
might not otherwise have made just by the simple act of picking up and opening a book. When you look at the history of big social movements and
big social change, it's usually young people who initiate this. Marcus, I think is way ahead of where I was at 23. I was still trying to figure it
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: And the reason I'm running this sound-bite and getting you to react to it, because Obama said this fits into big social movements. It's BLM.
It's an awareness of social injustices, of inequality. First of all, where were you at 23? Were you doing amazing -- I bet you were doing some amazing
OLUSOGA: Right, I can say I was being --
GORANI: I was sitting in cafes doing nothing.
OLUSOGA: I can't say I was doing anything comparable to Marcus Rashford, but I was reading --
GORANI: Yes --
OLUSOGA: I'm very pleased about that --
GORANI: Oh, that's -- yes --
OLUSOGA: I think -- I think what came out of that conversation is critical. You know, I think we need to understand what's happened today in Germany,
this oppression of Africans. But there's also an element that comes from a generational shift. There is a young generation who wants to address these
issues, who doesn't want to brush them under the carpet, who wants to confront the histories of empire and slavery, but wants to confront this
social injustices and the racial injustices they left behind. And they don't feel squeamish about this history the way their parents do. And
GORANI: Yes --
OLUSOGA: Is one of the figures that makes me very proud to be British. Though I would be -- I would feel more comfortable if we weren't relying on
feeding our children with the charity and the generosity and the genius of a young footballer. This -- it's the government's job, not a Manchester
United football player. I'm very glad he's there, but he shouldn't --
GORANI: Yes --
OLUSOGA: Have to be.
GORANI: Yes, David Olusoga, thanks very much. I'm glad you were reading -- I was actually reading too, but certainly not on the level of this really
remarkable young man. Thank you very much David for joining us, appreciate it. Still to come tonight, one and done. The U.K. approves the single jab
Johnson & Johnson vaccine. What does it mean for the COVID vaccination drive? What does it mean for people living in other parts of the world?
We'll be right back.
GORANI: The U.K. has just given the green light to the single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine. Regulators say it meets safety standards, 20
million doses have been ordered. In the EU, kids aged 12 to 15 will soon be able to get the Pfizer vaccine. Let's get more on all of this, Scott McLean
joins me, he's here in London. Scott.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Hala, yes, this Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a big deal because it is only one shot. It doesn't have the
requirements for extra cold storage, it can be put in normal refrigerators. The government as you said has ordered 20 million doses. That's enough for
more than a quarter of the population, though, those doses won't start to be rolled out until later on this year. This shot though has faced some
scrutiny in both the U.S. and in Europe similar to what we saw with the AstraZeneca shot over concerns about these very rare blood clots.
In fact, the roll out of the vaccine was even paused in the U.S. and the EU while authorities, health authorities investigated. The other down side is
that it doesn't quite have the same level of efficacy that some of the other shots have. It is though quite good against severe disease and
hospitalization, more than 85 percent there.
The bottom line though in the U.K., Hala, as you well know is that they really need to ramp up the pace of the vaccinations because of the threat
of the Indian variant which is tearing through the population at a remarkable pace much faster than the previously dominant strain of the
virus. The U.K. variant first found in Kent. And so despite the fact that the U.K. has done remarkably well in rolling out vaccines quickly, they're
trying to go even faster to really head off the threat of that variant. In fact, they're not even sure that they'll be able to lift the final phase of
their restrictions later on in June just yet.
As you also mentioned, Europe has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech shot for children as young as 12 years old. The European's medicine -- European
medicine's agency gave the shot its blessing, finding that it was as or more effective as it was in older teenagers and young adults as well. They
did though concede the sample size of this clinical trial, was not big enough to detect any kind of very rare adverse reactions. Those are
actually only going to be found out once the full roll out of the vaccine is done in the general population. The size of this clinical trial was only
about 2,000 kids, there were zero positive COVID cases reported in the half of the trial that actually got the vaccines.
So, at least, on paper, the efficacy is 100 percent, though the European medicine agency concedes that the actual efficacy is probably closer to 75
GORANI: All right, Scott McLean --
MCLEAN: Or could be as low as 75 percent, I should say, Hala, excuse me.
GORANI: All right, thanks for that clarification, Scott McLean. Lebanon has endured crisis after crisis after crisis. And while many people there are
fed up, others are simply giving up, choosing to leave the country they love, and that includes unfortunately for Lebanon, doctors and nurses.
Salma Abdelaziz reports.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One of Beirut's premiere hospitals is in crisis mode.
(on camera): How many of these are leaving?
RAMI RAAD, UROLOGIST: I can tell you that at least -- I would say at least, not less than 25 percent of these doctors have gone.
ABDELAZIZ: Lebanon is losing one of its most precious resources, its doctors and nurses.
RAAD: We're highly disappointed. I mean, this disappointment is huge. We're disappointed in our country, in our politicians.
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): For Dr. Rami Raad, this is the moment it all changed. On August 4th, 2020, a powerful explosion at Beirut's port ripped
through this building and much of the capital. Medical teams scrambled to treat the walking wounded at their gates. The blast shattered what little
hope was left in Lebanon, Dr. Raad has given up and booked a one-way ticket to Canada.
RAAD: Nothing is left for us here in this country after everything that happened between the economic crisis, the August 4th explosion, the
security issues, everything around us is a mess.
ABDELAZIZ: Chief medical officer, Dr. George Ghanem says 20 percent of physicians resigned, leaving the stroke unit's cutting-edge machine to
GEORGE GHANEM, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, LAU-RIZK HOSPITAL: Now unfortunately, our physicians, the team of physicians who are doing this are leaving the
ABDELAZIZ (on camera): And that means more people will die of a stroke in Lebanon?
GHANEM: More people will die and we'll have a huge problem.
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Quality of care here could be reversed by a decade, he says. Before the crisis, nurses told us they earned about $75 a day.
Now, due to inflation, that's worth just $5. The chief nurse Lina Aoun soldiers on.
LINA AOUN, CHIEF NURSING OFFICER, LAU-RIZK HOSPITAL: I belong to this country and we need to motivate all people to stay.
ABDELAZIZ (on camera): Do you feel you have an obligation? .
AOUN: It's not on obligation. It's a conviction that I have to stay. Maybe for the time being. Later on, we never know.
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): She says almost half her team, 80 nurses, quit in the last year.
AOUN: It's very bad because we are losing our assets. We are losing our competent nurses. They are not friends. They are not colleagues. They are
family. We are family here. We are working here for many years, and I think they have better future, that's why we let our children go.
ABDELAZIZ: Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, Beirut.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, al Qaeda has created fear across the world for decades. In a CNN exclusive, we reveal that the terror group lives on.
We'll be right back.
GORANI: Now to an exclusive CNN report about the regrouping of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, we've learned that not only is the terror group thriving in
some parts of the country, it's also continuing its global reach and could soon be capable of launching attacks in the region and perhaps beyond. Nick
Paton Walsh reports from Kabul.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Al-Qaeda, the reason the US went to Afghanistan are greatly diminished. The Biden administration
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's time to end America's longest war.
WALSH: But a CNN investigation has discovered al-Qaeda very much alive and thriving in Afghanistan, linked to global cells, the U.S. is hunting.
Senior Afghan intelligence officials tells CNN al-Qaeda are communicating with their selves worldwide from Afghanistan, getting shelter and support
from the Taliban in exchange for expertise and could be able to attack the west from there by the end of next year.
The U.S. Treasury in January said al-Qaeda was "growing in strength" here. But Afghan intelligence officials I spoke to go further saying it's more
substantial than that, that al-Qaeda provide expertise like bomb making, but also in finance, in moving cash around.
Core al-Qaeda members number in their hundreds most assessments conclude, but it's not how many but who, which is most telling. Key is senior al-
Qaeda who Hassan Abdullah al-Raf, known as Abu Musab al-Masri. Here on an FBI wanted poster issued in 2019, an al-Qaeda veteran, he was in on 9/11
before it happens said Afghan officials.
Mystery crossed into Afghanistan from Pakistan in 2014. And over six years, I was told moved around different provinces in Afghanistan, something that
senior Afghan intelligence officials say would only have been possible if he had the assistance of top Taliban officials.
But he was in October tracked down to here, a tiny Taliban controlled village in Ghazni that we can only see on satellite images. Afghan Special
Forces lost a soldier raiding this compound so fierce with the Taliban resistance and al-Masri died of injuries here.
When they went through our mysteries possessions his computer, they found messages, communicating with other al-Qaeda cells around the world talking
about operational matters, not necessarily attacks, but also about how soon Afghanistan could be a much freer, easier space for them to operate in.
Then something curious happened, revealing a lot about al-Qaeda and Afghanistan's Global Connections, particularly in this case to Syria. There
were two rare U.S. strikes and al-Qaeda cells in Syria immediately afterwards, this one on the 15th of October, and another a week later, both
A spokeswoman for the US military said they were "not aware of any connection to the Afghan raid," but a senior Afghan official told me they
were most likely connected, because the Americans asked the Afghans to delay announcing their raid for over 10 days. And during that delay, before
the Afghans broke the news, both serious strikes happened.
Strikes on al-Qaeda figures are often announced by Afghan intelligence who present the threat as why the U.S. must stay. A Taliban spokesman rang CNN
to say the claims were false and designed to keep American money coming to Afghanistan. He also said the Taliban had agreed to kick out terrorists as
part of their peace deal with the United States.
I was told there isn't evidence at this stage that al Qaeda is plotting attacks on the west from Afghanistan, but still, as they grow in freedom of
movement, I was told it is considered simply a matter of time until that may happen raising the question is the reason why the U.S. came to
Afghanistan in the first place going to end up the reason that has to come back. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Aid workers say that hundreds of men have been released from military custody in Ethiopia's Tigray Region. Sources say the troops have
released all but a handful of the men who were detained earlier this week. And this comes after CNN's exclusive reporting revealed details of
Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers beating and harassing people in a town there as they rounded up hundreds of men from displacement camps.
Now, Nima Elbagir has been reporting extensively on the conflict, their integrity and joins me now live. Talk to us about this release and what led
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we were able to track down through our investigation. We can show you the satellite imagery here,
the actual detention facility on the outskirts of town. And we corroborated that through the testimony not only of detainees, but witnesses who've been
able to get in to see the detainees. And what we understand the scene inside was just one of absolute abject terror, Hala. People say being
tortured, people being beaten threatened. So, we took our reporting to Senator Chris Coons, who was President Biden's emissary to Ethiopia.
And Senator Coons raised this and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the U.N. also released several statements on this detention and they were
released. But there is still a handful of men we understand who are still being held. And the men who have been released, Hala, tell us they are
completely traumatized, and living in absolute fear. Because given the situation integrate at the moment, there is no guarantee that in spite of
this huge international outcry that they won't be rounded up again, Hala.
GORANI: And it took so much pressure to get to this point. I guess the natural follow up is what does it say about how to end the wider conflict?
ELBAGIR: Absolutely. And that this was happening even as president, President Biden was releasing an incredibly stern statement from the White
House, it really speaks to how difficult it is going to be for the international community to turn this situation around seven months into it
and that has always been the concern of Tigray and advocates that the international community spent so long talking about how concerned they
were, but really it has allowed this conflict to, to accelerate away from it. And there is real fear that by the time this has continued again that
we could actually see our men on the ground and today so a lot of worries even as the White House were told continues to meet to talk about more
targetted sanctions more ways to pressure Ethiopia, Hala.
GORANI: All right, Nima Elbagir beggar, thanks very much. Still to come tonight, a crisis on top of a crisis and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The threat of a volcanic eruption, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. We have a report from the ground coming up
GORANI: Police in El Salvador make a gruesome discovery in a former officer's backyard the remains of at least 18 people buried in a mass
grave. The former officer, Hugo Osorio Chavez, is one of 11 people charged with murder in connection with this horrific discovery. Official say, more
bodies may still be buried in the yard. So far, at least 14 have been identified. And police say many were women who they believe were the
victims of sexual abuse. Just awful.
Around 400,000 people are having to flee their homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, over fears of a nearby volcano erupting again
potentially, dozens of people died when it erupted for the first time on Saturday. CNN's Larry Madowe is in Goma with the latest Larry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY MADOWE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, this post-apocalyptic scene is the reality if you live in the direct path of an active volcano,
especially one of the most dangerous in the entire world. So, you see back there, there's this smoke billowing out of Mount Nyiragongo. The local
government tells us here that the crater appears to be expanding. They're not ruling out the possibility of an eruption on water or land with little
or no warning. But this is it. The lava stopped just short of city limits here in Goma it is still smoldering over there. People have been told not
to approach it.
To understand how serious this is for people who have had to evacuate now, 400,000 people in total, look at that. This one demolish entirely the wall
of this home, but the house itself was spared. They've not evacuated because the next time there's an eruption they might not get so lucky. But
that is why the government told everybody they had to leave, 10 neighborhoods here out of an abundance of caution because the next eruption
would still come again with no warning and it will be too late. I have been speaking with those who are leaving.
A state of chaos and panic as people flee the city of Goma falling what scientists call an unprecedented situation. Residents attend neighborhoods
evacuate their homes with only what they can carry mattresses, essential items, and little else. Hundreds of thousands hit the road and Thursday
according to aid agencies.
MAPENDO RACHEL, EVACUEE (through translation): They said our houses could collapse because of the earthquakes. So we're leaving because we're afraid
a crack already appeared under my bed.
MADOWE: What sounds like a description of an apocalypse is a reality facing this part of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The eruption from Mount
Nyiragongo on Saturday puts them in the high risk path of lava flow or a catastrophic implosion from magma underground. An increase in earthquakes
has led to fear of a second eruption. This is the scramble to leave the danger zone of Goma. Thousands of people using every mode of transport
available to them to try to get to the safety zone in Sake. Where about eight miles out and traffic is backed up all the way.
MADOWO (voice-over): More people trying to cross the border into the safety of neighboring Rwanda. UNICEF projects that up to 280,000 children could be
displaced in the aftermath of the volcanic eruption.
This mother of six tells me she's left everything behind except her kids. It's all the hands of God, she says.
The Congolese government in Kinshasa says the priority is the preservation of human life. But the crowded evacuation routes leaves to small towns like
Sake they are hardly prepared for the influx of internally displaced people.
Alina Mugisha prepares a small dinner for her three children outside the church. But worries about where their next meal will come from.
ALINA MUGISHA, EVACUEE (through translator): We don't have the means to take care of ourselves. There is limited food, we are sleeping on the
floor, and we are suffering too much.
MADOWO: The latest eruption that kills dozens and displaced tens of thousands puts indescribable stress on an already worn down population.
The Norwegian Refugee Council, a leading humanitarian organization says the DRC is the world's most neglected displacement crisis in 2020.
JEAN EGELAND, SECRETARY GENERAL, NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: It has the richest mineral based on earth, this country, but the people living on top
of this mineral reservoir are among the poorest people in the world and the most neglected.
MADOWO: The city of Goma emptied into the night as panic spread. Many who have yet to reach their final destination slept rough on the streets,
anxious about a potential disaster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO (on camera): Hala, local authorities can't tell people when it will be safe for them to go back home. But this is a danger for them, which is
this shows what happened.
There were homes here now been flattened, 40 people are still missing. There's a city back there, and then there is this. This is what happens
when the mountain could erupt again and wipe out everything in its path, and the local authorities just do not want to take that chance. Hala?
GORANI: All right, Larry Madowo, thanks very much. On the ground there, reporting there on fears that the volcano will erupt again.
Still to come tonight, frank conversations and more personal admissions from Prince Harry. He is continuing to open up about his own mental health
struggles. We'll bring you that story, coming up.
GORANI: Japan is extending its state of emergency through June 20th as the country battles its fourth COVID-19 wave.
It applies to nine pre-fixtures including Tokyo where the Olympic Games are due distort on July 23rd. Organizers are pushing ahead with the plan. CNN
Selina Wang reports.
SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Over the next two months, some 90,000 Olympic participants from more than 200 countries will
be flying into Tokyo. Suddenly, opening the floodgates for country that's had its borders closed for most of the pandemic.
COVID-19 cases are surging in Japan. Tokyo and large part of the country are under a state of emergency.
KENJI SHIBUYA, PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERT: The Olympics will add another burden of the health system which is already overstretched. As oppose to the
symbol of unity and the peace and hope at the Olympics, it become the nightmare with a super-spreading event in Tokyo.
WANG (voice-over): Just around two percent of Japan's 126 million people have been fully vaccinated. The roll out slowed down by bureaucracy and a
lack of medical staff to administer them.
At the current rate, the rest of the adult population won't even be eligible for the vaccine by the time the Olympics begin.
WANG (on camera): Organizers claim the games will be held in a safe bubble. At this Olympic village, athletes will be tested daily and monitor with the
contact tracing app.
Vaccines are not required, but officials say more than 80 percent of the Olympic village will be. They're asked to practice social distancing, wear
masks, except for when training and competing, and only use public transport when necessary.
Now, experts say though that it's impossible to keep the massive games completely safe. Plus, they say there are plenty of ways for this bubble to
be punctured as the Olympic participants come into contact with tens of thousands of unvaccinated volunteers who lived outside the bubble.
Olympic venues are all over Tokyo with a marathon and some soccer matches held 500 miles north in Sapporo. So, whose responsibility is it to keep all
these Olympic participants safe? The Olympic playbook puts the ultimate responsibility on the athletes, rather than organizers or the Japanese
Japan is spending more than $15 billion on these games, the most expensive Summer Olympics on record, including $900 million in COVID countermeasures.
But poll after poll shows that the majority in Japan do not want these games held.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I definitely don't think Japan should go ahead with the Olympics.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Everyone thinks we shouldn't hold the Olympics, but the government isn't in a position to say that.
WANG: Ultimately, it's largely not up to Japan. Olympic contracts are written to favor the IOC. So, public opposition, and medical system headed
for collapse cost overruns are all burdens Tokyo will have to bear.
The IOC has the legal power to cancel the Olympics, but they plan to plow ahead.
Selina Wand, CNN, Tokkyo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Those empty streets in Tokyo that normally would be completely bustling. It's just remarkable to see that.
Prince Harry and Oprah are reunited once again as part of their ongoing conversation about mental health. The two have collaborated on a five part
docuseries called, "The Me You Can't See.
In Friday's townhall-style special, they touch on topics like grief and suicide. Prince Harry repeated that just how important he thinks this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: But all this time later, I believe even more that climate change and mental health are two of the most pressing issues
that we're facing, and in many ways, they are linked. The connecting line is about our collective well-being. And when our collective well-being
erodes, that affects our ability to be caretakers of ourselves, of our communities, and of our planet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, royal correspondent Max Foster is following all of this, and he joins me now from Hampshire, England. So, this is part of a series. Did
we learn anything new from this conversation, Max?
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you remember a few of the stories that came out from the series when it was dropped last weekend
about the duchess, a bit of a vendetta effectively gains duchesses Harry (INAUDIBLE) on the part of the media.
But also the moment here, a lot of that came out last week. But what was interesting is that they dropped these five episodes at the weekend and
they did incredibly well.
Across the platform, the Apple streaming service, viewership was up something like 25 percent. And in the U.K. it was up 40 percent where is
the more divisive figure. So, no doubt this is seen as a big success for Prince Harry when, you know, actually, the royal element of this was quite
a small part of it. It was much more about mental health, about climate.
And so, off the back of the success of that five-parter, they decided to have an add-on special which was this town hall delving into the issues
that were raised with lot of the very high profile people involving (INAUDIBLE) Glenn Close and Lady Gaga.
FOSTER: And Prince Harry, for example speaking again about suicide, something he didn't really know much about before learning from his wife's
experience, which she famously spoke about in that first Oprah interview. So, this is Harry talking about what he's learned about suicide.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRINCE HARRY: I think it's so interesting because so many people are afraid of being on the receiving end of that conversation because they don't feel
as though they have the right tools to be able to give the right advice. But what you're saying is you're there, listen, because listening and being
part of that conversation is, without doubt, the best first step that you can take.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: There is some regret there. You'll remember Oprah -- Hala, from Oprah's first interview where he said he didn't respond particularly well
to Meghan's talk of suicide. He's trying to spread the word really about what you can do, even if you can't relate to it, just listen.
GORANI: Yes, absolutely. I wonder how this fits into the post-royal family Harry. I mean, is this what we see more of this from him, more specials,
more discussions about very intimate issues like his own mental health? What is the Harry and Meghan, I guess "brand" of the team now? What do they
have planned for the future?
FOSTER: Well, they signed these massive multimillion dollar deals with streaming services, all the big ones, effectively. And the test is whether
or not they can deliver in terms of ratings. And this did deliver in terms of viewership. So, that was seen as a great success.
But there were references to the royal family in there. I think the biggest test is whether he can go on and talk purely about climate, for example,
purely about mental health without bringing in his own experience.
And I think that, that will be a test also for the monarchy on this side of the pond because they want to see whether or not he can really make
something of this media career without trading on the royal brand. So, that's their next big test. But, certainly, so far, the strategy is
GORANI: All right, thanks very much. Max Foster joining us live from Hampshire for this latest chat between Prince Harry and Oprah, highlighting
his own personal mental health and his support for climate initiatives. Thanks very much for that.
And thanks to all of you for watching. I'm Hala Gorani. If it is your weekend coming up, I hope you have a great one. If not, well, then, I hope
you have a few very good and positive days ahead.
"QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Isa Soares is up next.