Return to Transcripts main page


Russia Committed To Selling Missiles To Syria; Newborn Rescued From Sewage Pipe In China; Part of Stadium Roof Collapses In Brazil Ahead of Confederation's Cup Matches; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Steps Abroad Solo For First Time

Aired May 28, 2013 - 16:00   ET


ATIKA SHUBERT, HOST: Tonight, as Russia prepares to send more arms to al-Assad, a Syrian tells me why arming the rebels is not the answer.

Also this hour, I'll speak to the woman who stood up to the London terror suspects saved from destruction, why Mali's manuscripts are now under threat from the weather.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is Connect the World.

SHUBERT: More violence, more deaths, more destruction, that's what critics say could happen in Syria if outside countries fuel the war with even greater firepower. Governments around the world are reacting today to the European Union's decision to let an arm's embargo on Syria expire. Now that paves the way for member states to arm Syrian rebels if they so choose. The United States is praising the move, but Russia is among the fierce critics, even as it readies its own shipment of weapons to the Syrian regime.

Now, Moscow acknowledges that its sending surface to air missiles to the Syrian government. It says arming the rebels would hurt peace efforts, but maintains that it's own weapons will actually help to contain the conflict.


SERGEI RYABKOV, RUSSIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): We believe that these deliveries are a stabilizing factor and we think that such steps very much restrain some hotheads from an opportunity to transform this conflict into an international conflict with outside forces taking part.


SHUBERT: Now we're covering this story from all angles tonight. Our Phil Black is in Moscow while Nick Paton Walsh is following developments from Beirut.

Phil, let's start with you. We heard from that Russia saying that this will help to stabilize the conflict, but others, like Israel, are saying it will have the opposite effect and that these missiles could even be used to target as far as Tel Aviv. What is Russia saying to that?

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Atika, so as you heard, you've got Russia saying that these missiles we deter hothead nations who are still keen to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war. But what those missiles are doing is inspiring brand new military threats from Israel, a country that has largely stayed out of the civil conflict, but has shown a great willingness to strike Syria when it believes its own security is threatened.

Israel said today that it does not believe those missiles are yet within Syria, but when they get there it knows what to do, which is a pretty clear threat.

The Israeli concern, as you say, is they could be used offensively. Their range is so great, they could target Israeli aircraft in Israeli airspace.

Now this is no doubt the argument that Israel's prime minister made to the Russian president when he visited here only a few weeks ago and it didn't work.

So in Russia's determination to deliver these weapons, it is showing a willingness to risk its growing friendship with Israel, something it's been working on recently, but also to risk greater Israeli military involvement in Syria itself -- Atika.

SHUBERT: Now in the meantime, the EU arms embargo has effectively been lifted. So what is Russia's reaction to that? Is it going to pressure them into bringing Assad to the negotiating table?

BLACK: Well, Russia insists there is no double standard here. While it is preparing to deliver its own weapons to the Syrian regime, it is also strongly criticizing the EU for opening the way for its member states to arm members of the Syrian opposition.

Now Russia says that's a bad idea and it's a double standard because it says on one hand the EU is trying to persuade all sides to sit down and talk, but in the other it is also preparing to arm just one side of this civil conflict. It believes that any sort of greater weaponization in this civil war is a bad idea. And it also believes that lifting this embargo will not help the Syrian people.

Take a listen to Russia's UN ambassador speaking to Christiane Amanpour.


VITALY CHURKIN, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Europeans seemed to be a little bit confused about what needs to be done in the case of the Syrian crisis. The recent decision to lift arms embargo is an example of that. And a decision which was taken at exactly the wrong time, the wrong kind of sanctions were lifted. Instead of lifting the economic sanctions, which increase the hardships for the Syrian people, which they've had in place for those two years, they lifted arms embargo.


BLACK: So the Russian position is that providing material or moral support to the Syrian opposition, that won't persuade them to sit down and talk, instead it will motivate them to fight for an outright military victory. It says the weapons its supplying to the Syrian regime don't count, because those weapons, it says, cannot be used in the civil conflict itself -- Atika.

SHUBERT: Thank you very much. That's Phil Black for us in Moscow.

Now a warning from a top rebel commander is adding to fears that Syria's civil war could get much worse before it gets better. Salam Idris is giving Hezbollah fighters 24 hours to exit the Syrian conflict. If they don't, he says rebels will hunt them down, quote, "even in hell."

The Hezbollah militants from Lebanon had been fighting alongside the Syrian army in the town of Qusayr and other areas. Rebel commander Idris spoke to CNN's Christiane Amanpour a short time ago.


SALAM IDRIS, FREE SYRIAN ARMY COMMANDER: We will fight until the end. We will fight until the end. And I promise, Hasan Nasrallah, he will not have a victory in Syria. I repeatedly, I appeal to the international community, to the president in the USA, to the (inaudible) parliament, to the leader in (inaudible), please, we need your help. Don't wait more time.


SHUBERT: Fighting words. You can watch Christiane's entire interview with General Salam Idris about an hour from now, that's 10:00 pm in London, 11:00 in Berlin.

Now let's bring in Nick Paton Walsh. He is now in Beirut. So we've been hearing these threats from Salam Idris saying that Hezbollah is deeply entrenched and must exit the conflict. How much is this spreading fears that it could spill over into Lebanon?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRSEPONDENT: Well, certainly for the last 72 hours, we have had I think a wave of panic that kind of ebbs and flows here in Lebanon ever since Hasan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader said openly and clearly for the first time in a speech on Saturday that Hezbollah was going to fight with the Assad regime pretty much until the end, admitting very candidly they are fighting in Qusayr at the moment.

Now the fear of that, of course, is that we'll see Sunni rebels -- Syrian rebels, many of whom also use Lebanon as a base, seeking reprisals against Hezbollah inside Lebanon itself.

We've already seen rockets into (inaudible) hitting the Lebanese city of Hermel where Hezbollah have a stronghold twice today causing injuries. And we also saw on Sunday morning very early a couple of rockets slam into a suburb here where Hezbollah have a strong presence, too.

So far, though, these haven't caused the all out conflict many have been concerned about. Lebanon has had this policy of disassociation where it's tried to be detached from the war raging across its border for quite some time despite the fact that one in five people living here is now a Syrian. The refugee crisis is quite so acute.

But the fear, really, is now with Hezbollah so openly involved, eventually the FSA may seek reprisals here potentially in the next 24 hours, if General Idris is able to realize the threat that he's made -- Atika.

SHUBERT: Thank you very much. That's Nick Paton Walsh for us in Beirut.

Now as fears mount of the Syrian conflict sparking a regional war, let's take a closer look at how the region is divided. Now here, you can see the countries in yellow who support the opposition SNC, notably Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan bearing the bulk of Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict.

Now the countries in orange, Iraq and Iran in particular, support the Assad regime. Lebanon has tried to remain neutral, but members of Hezbollah, as we now know, openly support Assad.

Now look at this on a global scale. Broadly speaking, these countries in yellow support the SNC either as the official government or as partners in dialogue.

However, they remain divided over whether to arm the rebels. For example, only Britain and France have overtly pushed for this as a possible solution. Russia, of course, has a long history with Syria. It has a naval base in the country. And supplies weapons to the regime.

Russia and China have repeatedly blocked UN resolutions calling for stronger sanctions against Bashar al-Assad and his government.

Now, for some perspective on the conflict, we're joined by Halla Diyab, a Syrian writer and filmmaker based here in London. And you're also a spokeswoman, I understand, for the Organization for Democracy and Freedom in Syria.

Now let me ask you first about the EU arms embargo, that has effectively been lifted, but you say that arming the rebels will not be good -- why?

HALLA DIYAB, ORGANIZATION FOR DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM IN SYRIA: Because what is happening now with lifting the embargo, that will be a disaster for the conflict in Syria, because lifting the arms embargo will not stop the conflict in Syria. It will increase the conflict in Syria and the cycle of violence.

What will oblige the opposition to go to the negotiating table with Assad if they know they have now the support of the west in order to give them arms and to win on the ground. And also at the same time, the international community should have impressed other countries like the Gulf, like Qatar and Saudi, which is actually sending jihadis to Syria to fight, and also which is fueling the conflict in Syria and which is already sending arms to Syria.

I mean, the main...

SHUBERT: Can I just interrupt you for a second. You mentioned, you know, bringing the opposition to the table, but on the other hand they're also still trying to bring Assad to the table. But how do you do that?

DIYAB: But lifting the embargo on the arms will not bring Assad to the negotiating table, because that will not threaten the Syrian government, because they are supported by the Russians and by the Hezbollah and by the Iranian. So the only way to bring this to the opposition and the regime to the table is actually to stop arming both sides. And also to impressing both parties to, you know, try to seek political transition instead of violence. Like militarizing the conflict in Syria will not stop the bloodshed on the ground.

SHUBERT: So you're saying a political solution, diplomacy is the way to go. But I have to say, it's been two years now, diplomacy doesn't seem to have worked. 80,000 people have died. What do you say to those people who say it's not just about arming the rebels, but there should be even more military intervention?

DIYAB: But it is not only the regime which is committing war crimes in Syria, it's also the opposition, it's also the rebels, it's also the al Nusra front which is fighting hand by hand with the Syrian army.

We are actually handing arms to the extremists, to the jihadis in Syria. We are not, as Syrian people, I have not really voted for the Syrian opposition, not for the Syrian Council, because they don't represent the Syrian people. Who are actually fighting on the ground is not actually a battle between the government and the Syrian people, it's a battle between Shia and Sunni, it's a battle between Hezbollah and Iran and Russia, China and at the same time the international community, or the west, and the Gulf government.

I've never seen during this two years as a Syrian anything which has been done for the Syrian people. Syrian people now are actually paying the price for the conflict in Syria, we have refugees, we have people who are dying from both sides.

SHUBERT: So what do you say to those people who go -- who say that the chaos has enveloped Syria and the only thing that can change the game now is fully fledged western military intervention, no-fly zone, the whole bit. What do you say to that?

DIYAB: I say that look at Iraq and look at Afghanistan and look at Libya. Tell me one example in Middle East where we have really succeeded in solving our problem and our political problems through arms. We need dialogue. And we need political transition.

SHUBERT: Well, hopefully both sides will sit down and talk some time in the very near future. Thank you very much, Halla Diyab speaking to us there.

Now still to come tonight, retracing the steps of one of the two main suspects in last week's murder of a British soldier, an exclusive report from the Kenyan coastline coming up.

Then, a dramatic baby rescue you have to see to believe. We will bring you the latest on how the new born is doing.

And the Duchess of Cornwall impresses the French with her manner. We'll take you on Camilla's solo trip to Paris. All that, and much more, when Connect the World continues.


SHUBERT: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World with me, Atika Shubert, welcome back.

The UN is condemning the latest carnage to shake Iraq. Police say bombings and a shooting killed at least 10 people on Tuesday in attacks in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul. This follows Monday's bloodshed when at least 57 people were killed and almost 200 were wounded in a wave of attacks in the Iraqi capital and other cities. Now over the past several weeks, violence has been escalating across Iraq fueled by Sunni sectarian discord.

Now in other news, the Australian government is trying to shoot holes in a report that the nation's top spy agency and other government organizations were victims of Chinese hackers. Public broadcaster ABC says plans for the Australian organization's new headquarters were illegally accessed through a contractor's computer. Now the building is still under construction in Canberra. ABC says the hackers were traced back to service in China, but did not offer a source for its information. And that's why Prime Minister Julia Gillard called the report inaccurate.

Australia's foreign minister framed it this way.


BOB CARR, AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: It's got absolutely no implications for a particular partnership. We have enormous areas of cooperation with China. I won't comment on whether the Chinese have done what is being alleged or not.


SHUBERT: Now the Chinese government dismissed the accusations as baseless.


HONG LEI, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN (through translator): Because the source of the hacking is untraceable, it is difficult to identify the source of the cyberattack. And it is also difficult to identify the hacker. So I don't know where the evidence comes from that the relevant reports say is so reliable.


SHUBERT: Returning to Europe, France confirms its first death from a SARS-like virus. French officials say an infected man died of organ failure on Tuesday at this hospital in Lilles. He was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, which is in the same family as SARS. Now officials say he caught it while visiting the Arabian peninsula. One of the patients who shared a room with the infected man has also contracted the virus. Doctors say he is in a very serious condition.

And another incident at sea involving a cruise ship, this time off the coast of the Bahamas. Passengers or Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas are being flown back to the U.S. today. This is what a fire did to the vessel in the early hours of Monday. The ship was able to limp into a port in the Bahamas, its 2,200 passengers originally left Baltimore, Maryland on Friday.

Now also in Maryland, a freight train has derailed. Rescue and hazardous material crews are at the scene. One person is reported trapped. Police say the train collided with a truck. Video from CNN affiliate WBAL shows white and black smoke rising from the wreckage.

And U.S. President Barack Obama is visiting New Jersey to see for himself how the Jersey Shore is recovering after Hurricane Sandy. The president and New Jersey's governor Chris Christie are touring the coastline together. Mr. Obama was there -- last there seven months ago right after the storm that devastated the northeastern United States. The president and the governor both spoke a short time ago.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You are stronger than the storm. After all you've dealt with, after all you've been through, the Jersey Shore is back and it is open for business.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: I am not going to let anything or anyone get in between me and the completion of the mission to restore and recover our great state.


SHUBERT: Now, this next story is just incredible. Police in eastern China say they've tracked down the mother of an abandoned newborn who was found trapped in a sewage pipe. Local police say the mother regrets what she did. The baby had to be cut out of the pipe. Hala Gorani shows us the dramatic rescue.


HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The dramatic rescue began after cries from a fourth floor apartment toilet. Alarmed neighbors saw a tiny foot and called the fire department. Unable to pull the baby out, rescuers went to the floor below and sawed away the entire section of sewer pipe.

But still, the baby remained wedged inside. So sewer section and the baby were taken to the local hospital where firefighters and surgeons working together carefully began removing the pipe piece by piece. An hour later, success, a newborn baby rescued, the after birth still attached.

Chinese media said he's a baby boy, now in stable condition. Police say they're looking for the parents, they say no one has yet come forward to claim the child.

Hala Gorani, CNN.


SHUBERT: Just incredible. Well, local police confirmed the baby is alive and in hospital. One of his rescuers has been bringing the newborn clothes and milk.

Now we turn to Paris in the rain looking chic. Camilla Duchess of Cornwall is taking her first solo steps to define herself as a queen in waiting. Well, CNN's royal correspondent Max Foster reports on her historic trip.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Duchess at Dior. An iconic French brand, also coveted by her husband's first wife. There are obvious parallels between Diana, Princess of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, but also stark differences. These are Camilla's first steps tentative steps towards defining herself outside the UK. And luckily there are horses at hand, Camilla's big passion. This is the Duchess in her element.

She also showed her down-to-earth approachable side at a Parisian market. Traders getting a glimpse into Camilla's legendary sense of humor.

(On camera): So this is the piece of meat that she actually tried.


FOSTER (voice-over): "I thought she was very nice," he tells me, very agreeable. Very in line to her status.

(On camera): So the Duchess came here and bought some dresses for her grandchildren. What did you think of her?

(Voice-over): "She was very nice, polite. She loved everything I sold. She was very respectful."

And before she heads home, a must-do for all visitors to Paris. She went to see the Mona Lisa. All this part of a long, slow emergence for a queen-in-waiting.

Max Foster, CNN, Paris.


SHUBERT: Live from London this is Connect the World. Coming up, the latest step back for Brazil as the country prepares to host the World Cup in 2014. And they survived extremists bent on their destruction, but will Timbuktu's ancient Islamic manuscripts fall prey to Mali's rainy season?


SHUBERT: You're watching Connect the World live from London. Welcome back. I'm Atika Shubert.

We're just over a year away from the World Cup, but it looks like things aren't exactly on track down there in Brazil. Let's bring in Patrick Snell from CNN Center to tell us about the latest hiccup, Patrick.


Yeah, these concerns surrounding a stadium San Salvador, which is basically at the center of preparations right now for the Confederation's Cup tournament, that is a huge global tournament, the precursor, if you like, for the FIFA World Cup which takes place next year.

But what happened? Let's show you the video of what happened. And I can tell you it's human error and heavy rain basically being blamed for the roof of Salvador's host stadium which partially collapsed.

I just need to tell you that the stadium is called -- its full name if the Arena Fonte Nova. And it is due to host three matches in the tournament. And the first of which is actually due to be played pretty soon on June 20.

Now the good news is that organizers are already saying that the stadium should indeed -- repairs already underway, Atika, and should be ready for its first Confederation's Cup match, that's the Group B tie between Nigeria and Uruguay.

But you can see from the video, these are strong images. These are not the kind of pictures that people want to be seeing globally ahead of the FIFA World Cup next year.

Brazil, of course, has already been running into problems in terms of behind schedule in terms of certain venues. And that has been a concern to FIFA and their famed inspection committees that go around the various cities assessing everything.

But organizers stressing in terms of this particular tournament, the Confederation's Cup, all should be well as far as that particular stadium is concerned.

But if you're a fan and you're thinking, well, you already have tickets going to that particular venue, you may just be feeling a little bit concerned having seen that, Atika.

SHUBERT: Thank you very much. Patrick Snell for us at the CNN Center.

The latest world news headlines just ahead.

Plus, one of the bravest women in Britain joins me after the break. She's the Cub Scout leader who stood up to last week's London attackers and told them to stand down.

Then, changing 45 million lives one person at a time. The head of a leading children's charity on how you can be a life changer in this week's Leading Women.

And, are rare Islamic manuscripts in danger of being lost forever? The rescue is on in Timbuktu. And we will take you there ahead.


SHUBERT: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories this hour. Russia is defending its upcoming shipment of surface-to-air missiles to the Syrian regime. It says they will be a deterrent against foreign intervention in the war. At the same time, Moscow is criticizing the European Union's decision to allow member states to arm Syrian rebels, saying it could harm peace efforts.

And a 22-year-old suspect in the attack and murder of a British soldier last Wednesday has been released from hospital and is now in police custody. He's been named as Michael Adebowale. The other main suspect, Michael Adebolajo, is still in hospital under police guard. A total of ten arrests have been made so far in relation to the incident. Two people remain in police custody and one is in hospital.

Also, violence in Iraq killed at least ten people on Tuesday. In the deadliest incident, seven people died in a car bombing near a busy intersection in eastern Baghdad. Elsewhere, a local intelligence official was shot in Mosul.

US stocks surged on Tuesday as hot housing and confidence numbers put investors in a buying mood. The Dow closed at a new record level. New reports show US consumer confidence hit a five-year high.

And we understand now that we are getting live pictures of a new launch -- I understand this is coming in. Basically, we have several astronauts preparing to launch onto the Soyuz Space Station. So, they are headed into the International Space Station, and what you're watching there is the launch to get them to that space station.

LAUNCH ANNOUNCER: -- from its four boosters and single engine. The first stage --

SHUBERT: Well, last Wednesday's brutal attack in south London shocked the world, but one eyewitness at the scene refused to give into fear and instead confronted the suspects. A Cub Scout leader and mother of two, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, approached both men at the scene and demanded they hand over their weapons.

Here you can see a picture of her speaking to one of them and warning them they would lose the battle. Now, that extremely brave woman joins me now on the set. Thank you very much, Ingrid, for joining us.


SHUBERT: Now, in the days since the attack, we've seen a lot of the footage, we've seen these photos. Looking at those images now, what do you think?

LOYAU-KENNETT: Nothing specific, really. I just -- I'm just surprised by the whole attention on me, really.

SHUBERT: The scene in those images seem so surreal. It's oddly quiet and calm, and there you are, having what appears to be a reasonable conversation with the men who have bloodied hands and a knife. I mean, what -- at the time, did you think of the situation that you were in?

LOYAU-KENNETT: Well, from the moment I approached a body thinking it was a road accident in order to do first aid, I couldn't really go back and run away. I thought it was better to talk to him. He seemed a bit agitated. I thought maybe he wants attention, he wants to talk. So, I thought, OK, let's talk with him until help arrives.

SHUBERT: And you didn't have any sense of danger to yourself?

LOYAU-KENNETT: Not really. He didn't seem cross towards me or everyone. Really it was mostly towards British soldiers because their bombs were killing civilians.

SHUBERT: This is what he told you, essentially.

LOYAU-KENNETT: That's right, yes.

SHUBERT: At the -- when you were having this discussion with him, did it seem like a reasonable discussion? Did he seem to be responding to you in any way?

LOYAU-KENNETT: Yes, he was very much responding. We talked for over ten minutes. He could have gone away at any time. He didn't. So, yes, we talked about what he did, why he did it, and then I asked him, OK, what's next now? What would you like to do now? Jack a car? Or would you like something?

Because I really want to -- not him to get exasperated or whatever, but if he wanted something, OK, good. Keep him busy --

SHUBERT: Why? Why do you think you were able to step down from the bus and confront them? There were so many horrified onlookers, and I would imagine many people who were frightened to do this. Why did you decided to do it?

LOYAU-KENNETT: Well, I really didn't decide to confront a killer. Again, I thought it was a road accident, so as nobody was attending the victim, I thought if I could do anything to help while an ambulance arrived. Yes, of course, the situation then changed dramatically.

SHUBERT: Yes, yes, exactly. Since then, knowing what you do know -- as you say, at first you thought it was a road accident. But now that you've seen the videos, you've seen the pictures, you've heard what's happened, do you think you would have done it again?


SHUBERT: Without a doubt?

LOYAU-KENNETT: Without a doubt. Because I thought it was important to do something. And also if we don't show these people fear, well, maybe they'll go somewhere else. They'll see that there is no point killing us or frightening us because it doesn't work. At least it doesn't work with me.

SHUBERT: What do think of -- there's been comments from Prime Minister David Cameron hailing you as a hero, you've had all this attention. How do you respond to all this?

LOYAU-KENNETT: Oh, wow, it's -- well, it's -- I'm very humble with all that, and everybody's been so kind and -- yes. I'm not sure I deserve all that, but --

SHUBERT: And you're a mother. What do your kids think?

LOYAU-KENNETT: Oh, my son was in shock, really, to say.

SHUBERT: He was scared?

LOYAU-KENNETT: Yes. But now they're over the moon, their mum's famous.


SHUBERT: That's still pretty incredible. And have you been down to the scene at all since?


SHUBERT: No. No, I -- it's a lot to go through --


SHUBERT: -- and I think for many people, you seem to speak for what they were feeling when you were able to confront them so calmly. So, thank you so much for talking to us. I really do appreciate you taking the time.

LOYAU-KENNETT: That's all right. My pleasure. Thank you.

SHUBERT: That's Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, the woman who stood up to two of the attackers. Now, the family of Michael Adebolajo, that's the suspect who still remains in hospital, have released a statement today. They condemn the killing of Lee Rigby, calling it "senseless" and saying the act brought on profound shame and distress.

Adebolajo is a British national of Nigerian descent. He was caught on camera in the aftermath of the attack brandishing a meat cleaver and making pro-jihadist statements.

It later emerged he was known to British security services and that he had been previously arrested in Kenya back in 2010 as he tried to make his way from the island of Kitsingini to Somalia. In an interview with Britain's ITV news tonight, Adebolajo's brother-in-law, James Thompson, said he had been questioned by British authorities numerous times in relation to Adebolajo.


JAMES THOMPSON, MICHAEL ADEBOLAJO'S BROTHER-IN-LAW: -- he pestered. And then, there's obviously Michael, who was pestered more so than the rest of us.

And the kind of interesting thing is that they would ask us about him rather than ourselves, we could see they had a keen interest in him, even though we couldn't put the pieces together because he was just a family man. He had kids. He worked and didn't do anything that we considered extreme.


SHUBERT: Now, as more details continue to emerge about Adebolajo's terror-tainted past, our Nima Elbagir traveled to Kenya's Lamu coastline to retrace the suspects steps, and she sent us this exclusive report.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The winding waterways of the Lamu coastline on the eastern shores of Kenya, lying just south of Somalia. For years, the al Qaeda-linked militant al- Shabaab cast a long shadow here, kidnapping tourists, smuggling goods and people.

And it's along these waterways that we trace the route taken in late 2010 by Michael Adebolajo, the man accused of hacking to death British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street.

ELBAGIR (on camera): This is Kitsingini Island. We are only about 20 kilometers from the Somali mainland here, and back when the Somali port of Kismayo was in the al Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabaab's hands, Kenyan authorities say that this was a major way point for young men seeking to join up with al-Shabaab, and it was right here on this beach that Kenyan police tell us they picked up Michael Adebolajo and three other young men waiting to catch a boat.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): The four men, we're told, had arrived at neighboring Funzi Island by boat under cover of dark. Before walking to the island's hotel run by Ahmed Hassan's sister, Nyalali, and her husband.

AHMED HASSAN, HOTEL OWNER'S BROTHER: These people came at night. They wanted lodging. We saw it was just normal lodging. So my sister accommodated them. Late the next day, around 6:00 PM, a police came here and he took the husband and the wife, alleging they had hosted four people who were said to be al-Shabaab. They were going to Somalia.

ELBAGIR: For Nyalali and her husband, it was the beginning of a terrifying ordeal. After their arrest, she tells us they were transferred to prison in Mombasa, appearing twice in court before charges were eventually dropped.

She tells me Adebolajo disappeared on the third day of their joint detention, Kenyan authorities later telling her he'd been deported, sent back home to England.

ELBAGIR (on camera): What did you think when you first saw Michael Adebolajo? What were your impressions of him?

ELBAGIR (voice-over): "They were all about the same age," she says. "And so young. They looked like school boys."

Nyalali is nervous telling us even this, worried the events of that night late in 2010 have come back to haunt her. Hassan says his sister knows Adebolajo is suspected of some sort of crime, but he's trying to shield her from the horrific details.

A. HASSAN: But what is happening in London, she doesn't know at all.

ELBAGIR (on camera): You haven't told her?

A. HASSAN: I haven't.

ELBAGIR: You don't want to tell her?

A. HASSAN: I don't want to tell her, actually.

ELBAGIR (voice-over): The route into Somalia Adebolajo is believed to have attempted is now tightly monitored, but security sources say as long as militant groups still exist further along this coastline, other young men will try and find new ways to succeed where Adebolajo failed.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, Lamu, Kenya.


SHUBERT: You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, Save the Children's CEO Jasmine Whitbread talks to Becky Anderson and explains the importance of both mentoring and female education play in today's society. Leading Women is after the break.


SHUBERT: International charity Save the Children worked with 45 million children around the world last year. At the helm of the organization is CEO Jasmine Whitbread. In this week's Leading Women, she tells Becky Anderson why she is motivated to mentor others.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jasmine Whitbread is on a field visit in an impoverished community in Freetown, Sierra Leone. All part of her job as CEO of Save the Children, a well- established international aid organization founded in 1919.

She's been in the top job since 2010. Her interest, though, in international development began long before that.

JASMINE WHITBREAD, CEO, SAVE THE CHILDRE INTERNATIONAL: I volunteered in Uganda in my 20s, and I just thought, look here, I really want to do this, and I know it will be a great experience.

ANDERSON: Over the years, she's also held positions in the corporate sector and, she says, successfully.

WHITBREAD: I have been very fortunate, I have to say. I don't feel that I have encountered a glass ceiling. I've been able to pursue whatever job and whatever promotion that I was going for. I am sympathetic to other women saying there's a glass ceiling, but also people from less-advantaged backgrounds saying that they need some help.

My background was pretty ordinary, and I didn't come into business with a great big network or my parents' network, and I -- but I did ask people for help, or people offered help along the way.

ANDERSON (on camera): How important do you think a mentor is or the role of mentoring?

WHITBREAD: I take great pleasure in saying yes when people ask me for help. Sometimes it's just a 15-minute meeting and putting people in touch with somebody else or giving a little bit of positive affirmation. That's helped me a lot along the way, and I think that's easy to give away.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Save the Children says it reached 45 million children in 2012 through its various services. Whitbread's big international platform has taken her far from Twickenham, where she grew up, outside of London. She was the first member of her family to go to university. She's married, has two children, and is an avid rower.

WHITBREAD: It's so relaxing to have something else to focus on outside of work that is at the same time fun, there's a bit of teamwork there. I enjoy the discipline of it. But also, it's just beautiful to be out on the water.

ANDERSON (on camera): You've been around the world, you've seen kids on the ground. How important is it for a young girl to get an education?

WHITBREAD: It's perhaps the most important thing, for a girl to get an education. Not only will it impact what her life is all about, but it will also have a positive impact for her community, for her children. And I do believe that in the next decade, we should be able to reach the point where all children -- and that includes all girls -- are getting a basic education.


SHUBERT: Next week on Leading Women, we'll profile Tina Brown, the editor-in-chief of "Newsweek" global and "The Daily Beast," and Chanda Kochhar, managing director and CEO of India's ICICI Bank. In the meantime, you can find out more about the extraordinary women of our time and Leading Women series online. Just long onto

Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD, the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu survived a militant attack only to face a new and imminent threat. The race to save them up next.


SHUBERT: For the second time this year, Timbuktu's famous manuscripts are facing destruction. After being saved from a raid by Islamist insurgents in January, the ancient documents are now threatened by a different force: the weather. I spoke to the American book preservation expert who is trying to raise the estimated $7 million needed to save the irreplaceable trove.


SHUBERT (voice-over): Dating back to the 13th century, thousands upon thousands of manuscripts in Timbuktu, once a hub of trade and Islamic scholarship in West Africa.

But when the Northern Mali conflict entered the city earlier this year, Islamic fundamentalist targeted Timbuktu's rich heritage, built on a Muslim ideology that they consider blasphemous. The manuscripts were thought to be lost.

LAZARE ELOUNDOU, UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE CENTRE: At this stage, we know that many manuscripts have been deliberately destroyed and burned completely.

SHUBERT: But as it turns out, the vast majority of the precious documents were actually saved, smuggled out of the city by local families who had anticipated the threat six months ahead of the raid by extremists. They enlisted the help of American book preservation expert Stephanie Diakite.

STEPHANIE DIAKITE, TIMBUKTU LIBRARIES IN EXILE: To get the manuscripts out, we packed them very tightly in footlockers, which are -- metal boxes much like what you'd see in the army.

And as people began to understand what they were carrying, they said, "We want to help. What can we do for you? Do you need some food? Do you need some time off? Can we create a diversion so you can get through a checkpoint?"

The would notify our people that combat was occurring in X area, don't go there, stay away from there. They would offer all kinds of help just because they felt very strongly that this was their heritage as well.

SHUBERT: Couriers were held hostage, manuscripts nearly sunk in river crossings. Despite the dangers, the manuscripts survived. But they now face a new threat -- water -- housed in a secret location in Southern Mali where the climate is more humid.

DIAKITE: We've started to see manifestation in the corpus of damage by humidity, be it mold, be it mildew, be it otherwise. So, we're very, very frightened and it was kind of be the ultimate irony if all of these manuscripts survived the evacuation to be destroyed because we don't have the resources necessary to archivally box them and to insert humidity traps for the period that they're in exile.

SHUBERT: It is a threat compounded by the rainy season next month, prompting Diakite and her team to launch an urgent fundraising campaign known as Timbuktu Libraries in Exile. She says removing the manuscripts from the country is out of the question.

DIAKITE: Patrimony that leaves the country seems to have a very, very hard time getting back. And that's something that we would not want to see happen at all. Our ultimate goal is to return them to their home in Timbuktu.

SHUBERT: But until the Mali conflict is resolved, the manuscripts will remain in hiding.


SHUBERT: So to get an idea of just how urgent this campaign is, let's bring in Tom Sater from the CNN Weather Center. Tom, now I understand that the majority of these manuscripts are actually kept in a safe house in Bamako. What can you tell us about the climate there --


SHUBERT: -- and how it differs from Timbuktu at about around this time of the year.

SATER: Well, they're only 700 kilometers apart, and Atika, when I first found out and realized today we were going to do a weather segment on this, finding the climate data is one thing and quite easy for us here.

But knowing what they need to do is something quite extravagant, I called upon my father, who is actually a -- he was a museum curator for years. He's a historical restoration and preservation specialist and taught me a lot. I'll share it with you.

This is Africa, of course, and you notice the zone here of all the activity. The inter-tropical convergence zone. And notice to the north, quite arid, the deserts, of course. And in Mali, it's just a very small area of concern between the two, but the climate is completely different.

So, as we get in -- we'll get a little bit closer, we'll be able to talk about this. Here it is, the inter-tropical convergence zone. And as it slides northward this time of year, it brings the rainy season, June through September. Much less rain farther to the north. But the extremes are quite significant.

Now, keep in mind, this ancient parchment paper from the 13th century typically is an organic base, it's made of various grasses, vegetables, or even fruit that's indigenous to the area. So, it's very susceptible to molds and mildew and fungi.

But also, when we look at this area, there's two concerns: sunlight, which is easier to take care of. I mean, it's the ultraviolet rays, they can be encased. But not just direct sunlight. Any diffused light, and that's easy to take care of, as they're kind of wrapped away.

But notice the air in the subtropical areas. When you look at the difference of the rainfall, and this is the key here, Timbuktu 183 millimeters for the year, as opposed to 991. And they're only 700 kilometers apart, 25 rainy days as opposed to 74.

Ink is another issue that we talk about, but it's the glue on these parchment papers, it's typically what's called a hide glue made from an animal hide, and that is the most susceptible to deterioration and breaking down. But they're getting into the wet season here as well.

But what -- just like those connoisseurs who like to smoke cigars, they need to keep the cigars in a humidor. So these -- thousands of these manuscripts must be kept at a certain level of humidity.

And this is what I found quite interesting talking to my father, it must be 50 percent humidity. It can be now higher, because all it takes is a little bit of a bacteria or a fungus to start to grow to destroy the parchment. But if it's too dry, it'll deteriorate as well.

So, to have a housing with a hydrometer that will actually measure the humidity is quite significant for the amount of parchment paper that they're going to have to really take care of. But we're going to find the rainy season start to lift in this area, Atika, and of course, now I understand why they need $7 million. Thousands of these, really.

But it's nice that they have them. It is so wonderful that they have them. Hopefully, they can preserve them.

SHUBERT: Thank you so much. I have learned an incredible amount --


SATER: Me, too.

SHUBERT: -- and not just about the weather. That's Tom Sater there for us at the International Weather Center. Now, to find out more about the campaign to save the Timbuktu manuscripts, head to

And in tonight's Parting Shots, when you think of world-class skiing, the Swiss Alps or maybe the US state of Colorado might come to mind. But how about North Korea?

That's right. Kim Jong-un is now building a ski resort. It will have a range of ski runs and a hotel. And we're told it will be open to foreign tourists. Skiers looking to make future travel plans should now the area's heaviest snowfall comes between November and March.

I'm Atika Shubert, and that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks for watching.