CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

CONNECT THE WORLD

Abu Anas al Libi Seized In Libya; Sebastian Vettle One Win Away From Fourth Straight Driver's Championship; Italian Coast Guard Faces Criticism Over Handling Of Capsized Boat

Aired October 7, 2013 - 15:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


ATIKA SHUBERT, HOST: Tonight, mission achieved, so says the U.S. Secretary of State as he defends the capture of a top al Qaeda leader calling him a legal and appropriate target. Tonight, we'll hear from the suspect's wife and ask what will happen to him next?

Also ahead, survivors of the Lampedusa shipwreck accuse Italian authorities of a slow rescue operation. We have a special report.

Plus, from Moscow to Vladivostok to Sochi: the Olympic torch is now on its way, but not without a hitch.

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

SHUBERT: Two secret mission, two high value targets, but two very different results. U.S. forces launched dual raids in Africa over the weekend. In Libya, an early morning strike by the army's elite Delta force led to the capture of an al Qaeda operative. But in Somalia, the Navy SEALs left empty handed.

CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: An extraordinary show of force by U.S. commandos in highly risky secret operations in Somalia and Libya. Friday, October 4th, predawn, on Somalia's southern coast, U.S. Navy SEALs slip off a commercial ship and raid a terrorist stronghold. But within moments, they are forced to abort under heavy gunfire from militants.

Just a day later 6:30 a.m. 3,000 miles away on the streets of Tripoli, Libya, Abu al Libi, a senior Al Qaeda operative, is returning home from morning prayers. He will be grabbed by U.S. army Delta Force commandos. On the streets of Italy, al Libi is confronted with cars by 10 masked men. The U.S. team grabs him before he can reach his gun. They are gone in seconds, not a shot fired.

His wife tells CNN the men she saw were Libyans. Al Libi is taken to a U.S. Navy warship. He is wanted by the U.S. for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Africa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president clearly had to approve both of these operations. This is to send U.S. military personnel into foreign countries, and that's a presidential decision.

STARR: In Somalia, it's SEAL Team 6 that is sent, the same unit that killed Usama bin Laden. In an eerie coincidence, it's 20 years to the day of the Blackhawk down disaster in Somalia that killed 18 U.S. troops. This time the SEALs are hunting an al Shabaab leader. Al Shabaab is the Al Qaeda-linked terror group that claimed responsibility for the shopping mall attack in Kenya two weeks ago. Local Somalis say the seniors in the house come under fire the SEALs retreat, not sure if their target is dead. But the al Libi mission was a clear success.

Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: Now Abu Anas al Libi was on the run for 15 years, but it took only seconds to capture him. In an exclusive interview with CNN, his wife Umm Abdul Rahman said that he is innocent and is no longer part of al Qaeda.

She spoke to CNN's Jomana Karadsheh who joins us now live from Tripoli.

Jomana, what did she tell you about how this arrest unfolded?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Atika, just hours after that daring raid by U.S. forces, we visited the home of Abu Anas al Libi and met with his family and spoke to his wife, as you mentioned. And she really gave us an insight into that raid and the recent years in the life of Abu Anas al Libi.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KARADSHEH: It may not look like much, but for Tripoli this is an upscale neighborhood. And for more than two years, Abu Anas al Libi and his family have lived here in this house.

His family says al Libi, one of the most wanted men in the world, wasn't even hiding. So they were shocked when U.S. special forces showed up.

Al Libi was in his car, his escape blocked by four vehicles. His son shows me the car he was driving, shattered glass from its smashed in windows, the only evidence of the raid that they say lasted only moments and not a single shot was fired.

Over the past hour since we got here, there's been an constant stream of visitors, of women and children coming in to see the wife of Abu Anas al Libi they say to offer support to the wife.

Umm Abdul Rahman says her children were asleep when her husband left before dawn for prayers at a nearby mosque. He came back as the sun was rising.

UMM ABDUL RAHMAN, WIFE OF ABU ANAS AL LIBI (through translator): It was before 7:00 am. I was waiting for him as he was on his way back from the mosque. I rushed to the window after hearing the sound. I saw a Mercedes type minivan outside the house with a number of masked men and unmasked men around it. They were carrying pistols with silencers.

KARADSHEH: She claims those who nabbed her husband appeared and sounded Libyan.

Umm Abdul Rahman says her husband is an innocent man and denies he was involved in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania claiming he had left al Qaeda two years before that.

RAHMAN (through translator): I'm sure of what I'm saying. He did not take part in any bombing anywhere in the world. He participated in the jihad in Afghanistan. He was a member of al Qaeda. And he was personal security for Osama bin Laden. That's true. But he did not take part in any operation.

KARADSHEH: The family says they felt they were under surveillance for years, but the timing of this operation shocked them.

RAHMAN (through translator): We expected them to do anything, but they took us by surprise. This thing came all of a sudden. There was no longer any talk about him in the media. So I felt somewhat reassured. He even stopped taking his weapon or his sons with him or hiring private security. He was living his life normally.

KARADSHEH: Western intelligence agencies were concerned al Libi was back in his home country to establish al Qaeda's network here. Islamist extremist groups with ties to al Qaeda are active, especially in the eastern part of the country.

But his wife says al Libi had no contact with any al Qaeda members for years and had just applied for a job in Libya's new oil ministry.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KARADSHEH: And Umm Abdul Rahman also told us that her husband in recent months had been working to try and approach the Libyan government hoping that they would work with him to try and clear his name, he says, with the United States to try and close this case once and forever.

SHUBERT: Thank you very much. Jomana Karadsheh for us live in Tripoli, keeping an eye on that very interesting developing story there.

So what's next for al Libi? Well, the Pentagon says he's being held on a U.S. warship in the Mediterranean where he will be questioned by intelligence officials before being taken to New York to face federal charges. The Libyan government has called this a kidnapping, but U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry insists al Libi is a legal and appropriate target.

Well, for more on that, CNN's crime and justice correspondent Joe Johns joins us live from Washington. Joe, tell us a little bit more about this. In previous years, we've seen people who have been captured being processed through Guantanamo, but that's not the case this time. So what is the legal process ahead?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's going to be questioned, certainly. He is being held aboard that U.S. Navy vessel. He's expected to be interrogated anywhere from several days to several weeks by something called the high value detainee interrogation group. It's made up of FBI agents, intelligence community officials led by the National Security Council.

This is a situation where the target doesn't get read his rights. He's not treated with the protections of a civilian in the United States, basically pressed for information about any plans for future attacks, names, whereabouts of known associates, details on any past plots of attacks, basically anything he knows, Atika.

They're not supposed to use physical force, they're supposed to use established guidelines of interrogation. And when they're done with him, when the group is done with him, he goes on to face trial. So that could be a long process or a short process and nobody really knows right now.

SHUBERT: So he will see trial in New York. And he'll go through the criminal -- regular criminal court system there which seems sort of a different tactic than what we've seen in the past.

JOHNS: That is true. A lot of these defendants have gone to Guantanamo Bay where they've had to face a military commission. But the president and the attorney general here in the United States have stated that it is their preference, when possible, to try defendants like this in the civilian courts, because there is a view that if they are tried in the civilian courts, you won't be able to question their conviction or whatever happens in court in a place that you might be able to question in the event the military did it.

SHUBERT: Yeah, it'll be interesting to see what kind of information comes out and how quickly this moves along.

Thank you very much. Joe Johns for us in Washington, D.C.

Well, that's the raid that went according to plan. But we heard how another raid had a very different outcome. Coming up, the attempt to grab an al Shabaab leader in Somalia that U.S. forces had to abort. We're live in Nairobi with the details.

We'll look at what made this particular figure such a high value target. And what it says about the strength of al Shabaab that could repel a U.S. Navy SEAL team.

But just ahead, heartbreaking accounts of hardship and loss. CNN speaks exclusively to survivors of that deadly shipwreck off the Italian coast. Their stories straight ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHUBERT: You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Atika Shubert. Welcome back.

A partial government shutdown is bad enough, but a much bigger crisis awaits the United States unless congress raises the debt ceiling within 10 days. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is warning of unthinkable consequences if the U.S. is no longer able to pay its bills. Any default would create a global shockwave that could devastate markets triggering a new financial crisis.

President Barack Obama says congress could at least end the shutdown right now with a simple vote in the House of Representatives.

So for more on that, let's bring in senior White House corespondent Jim Acosta to explain.

Some tough words being said, but are we any closer to averting a disaster here?

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're going to have to see, Atika.

I think what you heard the president say might be encouraging to some extent if you want to look at just how everything has been locked in on both sides, the White House and congressional Republicans over the last couple of weeks. The president saying at the headquarters for the Federal Emergency Management Agency here in the United States that he's willing to talk about some of these issues, willing to talk about health care. He's willing to talk about the budget. But he's not going to do it under the threat of a shutdown. He's not going to do it under the threat of a debt default.

But one thing that we did hear that might be somewhat encouraging earlier this morning here on the East Coast in the U.S., Atika, we heard White House officials saying that the president is willing to accept a short-term increase to the nation's debt ceiling. That is what is coming up on October 17. That is the deadline that is really overshadowing everything right now.

And what they're basically willing to accept is anything that is shorter than a year. They'd like to get a year, but they'll take less than a year. And if they could perhaps accept -- and this is something that's been talked about here in Washington something in the neighborhood of six weeks to two months, three months, maybe get us to the end of the year, that might give both sides some breathing room to hammer out some sort of larger compromise on the budget.

But the president was very firm on this that he's not going to negotiate these items with everything shut down right now. We also heard that from the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

But when we went at him, posed this to Jay Carney about this whole notion of perhaps a short-term debt ceiling increase, he did not knock it down. So that is a very clear sign that that proposal is in play right now, Atika.

SHUBERT: Yeah -- well, we -- I would imagine around the world people will be watching that very carefully, hoping for some sort of resolution within the next 10 days. Thank you very much. That's Jim Acosta for us in Washington, D.C.

Well, the government shutdown did keep President Obama from attending this year's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, also known as APEC. That's given other leaders an opportunity to grab the spotlight at the meeting in Bali, Indonesia, especially Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He's adopting a leadership role, touting China's status and influence in the region. Still, the fiscal crisis in Washington is very much on everyone's minds, as Russian President Vladimir Putin made clear.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The United States dollar remains the most important reserve currency for all of us, very important to great extent. Therefore, we have the hope that all political forces in the United States will manage to overcome this crisis as quickly as possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHUBERT: Now in Italy, divers are recovering more bodies from a devastating shipwreck. One fisherman describes the waters off the island of Lampedusa as a giant cemetery. At least 211 African migrants died when their boat caught fire and capsized on Thursday, but the death toll will certainly rise as divers have spotted more victims in the wreckage on the sea floor.

The migrants were just within sight of land when their boat sank. And many of them could not swim.

Now 155 migrants did survive the disaster and they are now living in cramped conditions in a detention center on Lampedusa.

Senior international correspondent Matthew Chance got exclusive access and spoke to them about their harrowing ordeal.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They're the only survivors of Italy's worst migrant shipwreck, 155 African refugees, mainly from Eritrea, now in this overcrowded immigrant detention center. There were some 500 people believed to be on board.

According to aid workers, they're too distraught, too shocked to talk.

But we found three survivors willing to recount their harrowing ordeal.

30-year-old Germani Nagassi tells me he'll never forget what he saw.

"For five hours we were floating, using the dead bodies of our companions. There is nothing worse than this. There were many children. There was a mother with her four children, a mother with an infant, all lost at sea. My mind is scared and in a terrible condition."

The traumatic firsthand accounts are helping build a picture of why this boat ended up on the seabed with most of its passengers entombed below deck. There's been criticism more was not done to help, criticism repeated by the survivors.

Hamid Mohammad, in the middle, is just 18. He swears to me an Italian vessel spotted them in trouble off the coast, but did nothing.

HAMID MOHAMMAD, SURVIVOR (through translator): The Italian's boat started circling around us. They circled our boat twice and just went away. That's when people started to panic. The captain said we need to start a fire. He gathered some clothes and bedsheet and lit them, but his container of benzene exploded. People were screaming as the boat capsized.

CHANCE: The lucky few were eventually rescued by Italian fisherman and the Coast Guard. The authorities have been criticized for filming this instead of saving more.

23-year-old survivor Abrahalli Amare told me his dreams of a better life in Europe have been shattered.

ABRAHALLI AMARE, SURVIVOR (through translator): We left our country because of hardship so that we could live in peace and help our families, but we have found this bitter sadness. It was so unexpected and so disturbing. And now we can't think of anything else.

CHANCE: At the port, recovery teams are filling trucks with the bodies they're still pulling from the sea, the human cost of this ill-fated voyage is literally still being counted.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Lampedusa.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: Now one of Israel's most influential and controversial religious leaders has died. More than half a million mourners turned out in Jerusalem today for Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's funeral procession. He was once the chief rabbi of Sephardic Jews. He was also the spiritual leader and founder of the ultra orthodox Shas Party. And was considered the leading authority on Jewish law. Josef died of complications from stroke. He was 93 years old.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHUBERT: Well, Sebastian Vettel may be the biggest thing in Formula One, but that's not necessarily a good thing according to some. Alex Thomas joins us with more.

Alex, we were just saying I don't know that much Vettel. What are other people saying about him?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: You may not know much about Vettel, but you probably remember another very famous German Formula One driver Michael Schumacher who was arguably the best the sport has ever seen. And Vettel's achievements are starting to get close to his.

He won the Korean Grand Prix at the weekend, his fourth race win in a row. That's puts him on course for a fourth world title in a row.

Louis Hamilton, who switched from McClaren to Mercedes and has won the world title himself in the past, wasn't very complimentary. He actually said it reminds him of the Schumacher days when as a kid he used to -- "I remember waking up in the morning," Louis Hamilton said, "to watch the start of the race and then going to sleep and then waking up when it ended, because I already knew who was going to win. I'm pretty sure a lot of people were doing that today."

So a lot of question marks over whether it's boring for F1 that Vettel has been so dominant. And my World Sport colleague Amanda Davies put that question to Motorsport magazine's Ed Foster. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ED FOSTER, MOTORSPORT MAGAZINE: He's got a point when he's talking about Michael Schumacher. I remember that era very well. And our editor- in-chief used to always say you knew who was going to win before you left for the Grand Prix on the Wednesday. So there is an element of that. But if Louis Hamilton was winning, would he be complaining? I don't -- I doubt he would.

You know, you asked whether Vettel is too good? He is at the moment. You know, if you ask every other driver on the grid, him and Adrian Newey are doing a brilliant job. No one can touch him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS: Adrian Newey, the guy who designs the car. And that's what people forget in F1 it's been about the car historically every bit as much as the driver. We're in an era of the cult of celebrity and Vettel probably isn't that, but he is very, very good.

SHUBERT: Clearly.

I've also been keeping what little sports news I've been hearing we're getting every day a little bit closer to Sochi, the Winter Olympics. What's happening there?

THOMAS: Yeah. And obviously we were here, weren't we, for London 2012 when the Summer Olympics. And part of the fun and part of the excitement building up was the torch relay around the country, which is really well attended here in the UK. And hopefully the same will happen in Russia where the torch relay has just started.

President Vladimir Putin part of a ceremony that launched that in Russia. I think it's like 156 days or something off the top of my head where they're going to go around and there's going to be a leg in space and everything.

Now I think today they had a slight problem with the flame when one of the torches went out briefly, but that tend to happen in these torch relays. It's more about letting certain worthy people in the community get their turn running with the torch and getting the Olympic spirit and just building up the excitement around the country, because it always attract us about Olympic games, every bit as much a support as is it too much money to be spending?

But Russia's pipe building has started now. And of course the games are early next year.

SHUBERT: With a leg in space, I hope it doesn't go out there. I mean, I don't know how you light it there.

Also this time of the year, of course, is the time for tennis. What's been happening there. I hear we're hearing some headlines with two of the men players and one with a woman player because of her absence?

THOMAS: Exactly. And that's Maria Sharapova. More on her in a second. Let's deal with the men first.

We're heading towards the end of the season. All the four grand slam events each year are out of the way. So heading towards those season ending tournaments where the top eight in the world ranking will play off against each other.

For the men, we don't know if the world number one will be Rafa Nadal or Novak Djokovic. Remember Nadal injured at the start of the year, an amazing comeback. And he actually left the China Open as a loser in the final to Novak Djokovic, Nadal's first hardcourt defeat of the year, but a winner in that he's top of the world rankings released this morning replacing Djokovic as world number one just showing how all those people writing Nadal off were a little bit premature, really.

David Ferrer, by the way, the latest to seal his place in that season ending ATP world tour finals here in London.

Let's move on to Maria Sharapova, though, because she won't be at the women's equivalent of the season ending Championship. She's had to pull out. Remember she had a shoulder problem. She's had a lot of them during her career. And it meant she couldn't compete at the U.S. Open. And now we're just getting confirmation that it's going to keep her out of that season ending championship as well.

We know the full lineup, except for Sharapova's replacement. And that will be announced in due course.

SHUBERT: Yeah, sounds like we have another epic tennis match to look forward to.

THOMAS: Oh yeah.

SHUBERT: Well, thank you very much. Alex Thomas for us keeping an eye on the sports.

Well, the latest world news headlines just ahead. Plus, new exclusive information on the target of the failed U.S. raid in Somalia. What went wrong?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHUBERT: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, the top stories this hour. One of the world's most-wanted terrorists has finally been captured. Abu Anas al-Libi was picked up by US commandos in an early dawn raid Saturday in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. He is the suspected mastermind behind the 1998 twin US embassy bombings in Africa.

Reports say attacks in and around the Iraqi capital of Baghdad have killed at least 28 people today. Two of those fatalities happened when two bombs went off near a Shiite mosque in eastern Baghdad. The violence in Iraq continues to increase, with more than 190 people killed so far just this month.

And Kenyan authorities have identified several suspects in last month's mall attack in Nairobi. Five of them, including a woman, were killed when the mall partially collapsed. Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for that siege, in which scores were killed.

In Pakistan, a bomb targeting polio vaccination workers killed two people on the outskirts of the violence-plagued city of Peshawar. It is the latest in a string of attacks on health care workers. News reports say a faction of the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility.

Now, we have some more details about that failed US raid in Somalia over the weekend. They are slowly coming to light. But one major question still remains: did the target make it out alive?

On Saturday, an elite team of US Navy SEALs had to retreat after coming under heavy fire. It all happened in the coastal rebel stronghold of Baraawe. They were attempting to capture a commander from the rebel group al-Shabaab. Now, he's known as Ikrima, and he's been linked to al Qaeda.

So, let's get the latest on this from CNN's Nima Elbagir, who is in Nairobi. Nima, tell us a little bit more about how this arrest unfolded, and also the reaction by Somali authorities there.

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Atika, the Somali foreign minister -- sorry, we're getting a little bit of delay here, but I hope you can hear me. The Somali foreign minister has exclusively told CNN that this raid had her government's blessing. Take a listen, Atika.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAWZIA YUSUF ADAM, SOMALI FOREIGN MINISTER: We accepted it. We welcomed it. We are welcoming more, if this will help us rid -- get rid of al Qaeda, al-Shabaab. We have cooperation, and they don't have to ask us because we are fighting a common enemy. This is what we feel, and we are grateful for their support. Otherwise, the whole region will be in turmoil.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ELBAGIR: So, they had the Somali government's blessing. They'd certainly had the element of surprise on their side. So, what went wrong? Perhaps it was because SEAL Team 6 were under strict orders, we've learned, to bring Ikrima in alive.

Ikrima is not only implicated as being part of the al Qaeda ring behind the 1998 US embassy attacks, but we've learned today that he is also suspected of involvement with the cell that was part -- behind the Nairobi Westgate shopping center attacks.

So, we understand that intelligence authorities were hoping to interrogate him and learn more about the broader network. And especially given that there is a sense that al-Shabaab and al Qaeda in the Horn of Africa are enjoying a little bit of a resurgence at the moment, Atika.

SHUBERT: Sounds like this is a key player, then, somebody who had a link between not just al-Shabaab, but al Qaeda, possibly other groups as well.

ELBAGIR: Absolutely. And he also links back to this growing sense amongst the intelligence community that as much as Somalia should be a focal point, there is also a lot of concern about the radicalization here in Kenya, and specifically a lot of concern about Mombasa.

Mombasa is a name that we've heard again and again in terms of terror activities, not just in the Horn of Africa, but across Africa. It was the site of the 2002 bombings, it's where a lot of the US embassy attacks were planned.

And there's a direct link between this man, Ikrima, and Saleh Nabhan, who was the al Qaeda bomb-maker who was the last man the US went in to get in -- about five years ago in Somalia. That attack was much more successful. They killed Nabhan.

But a relative of his, part of that same Mombasa cell, he, we are now being told by Kenyan authorities, was one of the Westgate Mall attackers who died when that building collapsed, Atika.

SHUBERT: A very complex terrorist network, there, it seems. Thank you very much, Nima Elbagir for us, live in Nairobi, Kenya.

So, what more do we know about the man they were trying to capture. Well, he's thought to be one of the most dangerous commanders in al- Shabaab, and that is just the beginning. So, for more on this, we go to CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank. Tell us a little bit more about this man Ikrima and why he was so important to capture alive.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, Atika, we've been learning a lot more about Ikrima from a leaked Kenyan intelligence report, and also a Western agent -- a former Western agent, who penetrated al- Shabaab and got to know and actually communicate with this terrorist Ikrima.

He's a Kenyan-Somalian, he spent some time in Norway when he was younger, and he's emerged as a key operational figure for al-Shabaab in their plotting against Kenyan targets in the last couple of years.

He's also a key handler of foreigners who come in and are recruited by Shabaab, including westerners. And we've learned today that he's determined for the group to actually also launch an attack in the West.

SHUBERT: This is one of those things that I think really frightened people about the Nairobi attack, that international element where we saw people possibly from Britain, from the US being named as suspects. And this sounds like a man who was very key in recruiting that global element of their attacks.

CRUICKSHANK: That's absolutely right. We understand that he spent four years in Norway between 2004 and 2008. He understands the West, he has a network of contacts in the West. He was recruiting for al-Shabaab then.

Now, he's sort of been based more recently in Kenya and in Somalia and actually handling these recruits and getting them involved in terrorist operations.

SHUBERT: For more on this, we're going to get a little bit more perspective from another guest. While the White House is claiming success in Libya over the weekend, we've obviously heard the Somalia raid didn't go so well. So, we want to find out what went wrong, and for that, let's asked retired major general, Mark -- James "Spider" Marks, who's joining us live via Skype.

Thank you very much for joining us, General. If you could, tell us a little bit more about why we're seeing this particular type of operation. Why was it important to actually try and capture him alive? And where did it apparently go wrong?

JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, MAJOR GENERAL, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, to answer your first question, I think it's extremely important, when you have an opportunity to try and glean some additional intelligence, and you have an opportunity based on intelligence to go after and capture vice kill a known suspect, then you want to do that.

Now, clearly, there's a risk-to-reward type of calculation that has to take place, and the US military, our entire inter-agency process -- that's the CIA, FBI, a number of other national intelligence agencies as well as our Joint Chiefs of Staff and those combatant commanders got together and said look, we can do this. The opportunity is now and it's very fleeting, and there are risks associated with it.

So, you want to go in, you want to grab the guy and try to interrogate him. Now, although the military did not walk away with the suspect, they certainly were able to gather some intelligence about what type of surroundings he has, what type of associates he probably has.

So, not all is lost. But we missed the opportunity, or at least the military missed the opportunity to bring this guy back in.

SHUBERT: So, what do you think is the fact -- what do you make of the timing of these raids? Is it a change in tactic? We haven't seen this for a little while, and the fact that it's happening specifically to African targets.

MARKS: I don't -- it's certainly not a change in tactics. Look, the military has had this capability, along with their partners in the FBI and the CIA, for years. This is a capability that has been extant, that has been rehearsed, and has been used, most recently over the past decade quite a number of times. So, it's not a change in tactics.

Nor is it a change in terms of strategy. I think in a particular case of Somali and Libya and those two very specific targets, there was a desire to get their hands on those guys and bring them back in for further interrogation and an interview process to figure out where they can go with this.

So, the US has this experience. The decisions that could be made politically to extend the amount of time in country, to have a greater presence, those are political determinations. So, the military -- let's be frank -- the military has this capability, and they've been exercising it. They're quite good at it, and it includes all the inter-agency organizations to bring it all together.

SHUBERT: Well, these are two countries, Libya and Somalia, where it can be quite tough to get those suspects. I mean, it seems like in these cases, they really wanted to get some intelligence from both of these men.

CRUICKSHANK: Well, in the case of Abu Anas al-Libi, the Libyan suspect who's been apprehended, we understand at CNN that there was actually over a period of two years, Western intelligence agents actually tailing him in Libya, so they may have been ready to go on that operation for quite some time.

The operation in Somalia seems to be much more quickly planned. With the Libyan al Qaeda suspect, we believe he's somebody who's sort of been out of the game for the last several years, so there may not actually be that much actionable intelligence with that guy.

Clearly, it was a completely different story in Somalia with this key terrorist operative that they were trying to capture. That would've got a lot of key new information. Unfortunately, he's got away, and for al- Shabaab, they're now going to try and obviously make propaganda out of this. His credentials within the jihadist movement will be actually burnished, unfortunately.

SHUBERT: Yes, General, I have to ask you this. How much of a setback is it that they were not able to get their hands on him, that we know of? And how important is that in the African front on the war on terror?

MARKS: Very good question. The issue is is that once you've had an operation like this and it hasn't achieved its desired outcome, you're not going to go back and execute something like this again in the very near term. You've disrupted it. You've turned what has been normal into a very abnormal -- a very difficult environment for somebody else to try to penetrate.

So, you have to reassess. That's going to take time, as Paul has indicated. It's going to take an extended amount of time to try to establish what the new normal looks like, and then you can try to work your way in.

So, there was intelligence that was gathered, there was an opportunity that was missed. It's going to take an -- it's going to take some time to recreate the circumstances for another opportunity. Not all is lost.

And unfortunately, in that part of the world, it's very difficult for the United States and its allies to maintain what I would call an "over the horizon" kind of a ghost-like presence.

They stand out, and it's going to -- so you're going to have to have some very good relationships, you're going to have to run your sources, you're going to have to vet them, in order to reach the position where we were just two days ago where there was enough confidence and comfort in the intelligence that this operation could be undertaken.

SHUBERT: Sure. Well, thank you very much, General James "Spider" Marks speaking to us there and Paul Cruickshank, our terrorism analyst. Thank you very much, both of you.

Well the US has killed or captured dozens of al Qaeda leaders in recent years. Some of the top leaders are Said al-Shehri, killed in July by a drone strike in Yemen. He was second in command of al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula.

And then there was, of course, Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior al Qaeda recruiter killed by a US drone strike in Yemen in September 2011. The biggest name, of course, was Osama bin Laden, killed by Navy SEALs in May 2011.

Now, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is one of the biggest al Qaeda leaders to have been captured. He is the confessed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and is awaiting trial at Guantanamo Bay. One of the accused 9/11 planners, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, is also set for trial at Guantanamo.

Live from London, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Next up, they make it look so easy, but as we find out, there is a lot of pain behind the scenes at the Cirque du Soleil.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHUBERT: For centuries, we have marveled at the daring feats of circus performers, and today, that fascination with what would seem impossible, even improbable, is piqued by Cirque du Soleil. Nick Glass went to Las Vegas to find out what it takes to be part of this world- renowned troupe.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In an intentionally sensual Cirque du Soleil show, a pair of contortionists perform in water. The act is called "The Water Bowl," and since it was premiered here almost a decade ago in Zumanity, it has been much imitated elsewhere.

There are about 20 contortionists working in Las Vegas, and almost all of them from Mongolia. What's intriguing in Zumanity is the partnership. One girl is Mongolian, the other a former Russian acrobat.

GLASS (on camera): I don't know how old you were when you became a contortionist.

GYULNARA KARAEVA, CONTORTIONIST, "ZUMANITY": Seventeen. At thirteen, I finished acro-sport. The professional sport was done for me. And then I went to circus school. And I looked around, and I go, oh, this girl is so flexible, I think I need to improve my flexibility. And I just started to stretch more and more and more every single day from 9:00 AM until 10:00 PM.

GLASS: What could you do before, and what additionally could you do afterwards?

KARAEVA: For example, imagine this is my legs, could go that much, and now they can go that much. And all I had to do is in that time, I would sit in a splits for ten minutes on each leg. One chair here, one chair there, and I would just sit for ten minutes. Struggle, sweat, and cry, but I knew what the result was going to be. Long, beautiful legs.

GLASS: You're becoming a Russian contortionist.

KARAEVA: Yes. Russian-style. But I was always looking up to Mongolians. I was like, oh, they're so flexible!

GLASS: Why Mongolia?

ODMAA BAYARTSOGT, CONTORTIONIST, "O": It's more -- I would say why Mongolian? We are the best.

(LAUGHTER)

BAYARTSOGT: It's true. Our technique, our perfection, it's different than Russian contortion and Chinese contortionists.

GLASS (voice-over): Before every show, they warm up for half an hour or more. The back must be warm and kept warm to bend.

GLASS (on camera): Oh, my God!

ANGELIQUE JANOV, CONTORTION COACH, "O": Head on knees. Smile. Yes.

GLASS (voice-over): It seemed somehow irresistible. Down on my knees, chin up, we quickly formed a pyramid, Mr. Inflexible at the bottom, the Incredible Flexibles on top and around.

JANOV: Five minutes, you have to go on stage contortion act. We need to work, we train five years. Only for a five-minute act.

GLASS (on camera): Five years?

JANOV: Yes. A lot of training, a lot of work.

GLASS (voice-over): We watched them from the wings. They all made it look so effortless.

GLASS (on camera): What do your parents think of you now?

ENKHJARGAL DASHBALJIR, CONTORTIONIST: They always tell me that they are very proud.

GLASS: Have they come here to see you?

DASHBALJIR: Yes.

GLASS: And what do they say after the show?

DASHBALJIR: They have tears in their eyes, and it's such a joy to see.

GLASS (voice-over): Mongolian contortion is much admired, especially within the circus community. The Russians and the Chinese have their own contortionists, but there is a sense in which no one does it better than the Mongolians, with such grace, such fluidity, modest and forever smiling, they beguile us all.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: "Beguiling" is the word. How incredible is that? Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(GUNSHOT)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told you, let's go!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHUBERT: An American hit TV series gets a remake in India. Stay with us for Bollywood's Jack Bauer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHUBERT: Much to the delight of fans of American TV series "24," Jack Bauer will be back for season nine of the Emmy Award-winning franchise in 2014. But the action does not stop there. CNN's Malika Kapur takes us to a set in India, where Bollywood is making its own version of the hit series.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MALIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The clock is ticking. A hostage situation turned nasty.

(SCREAMS)

KAPUR: There's no Jack Bauer here to save the day. Don't worry, this man will.

ANIL KAPOOR, BOLLYWOOD ACTOR: My whole family is always there.

KAPUR: Bollywood star Anil Kapoor is producing and playing the lead in the Indian version of the popular American TV series "24," in which Kapoor played the role of a Middle Eastern president. This is "24's" first foreign adaptation.

KAPOOR: When I was in America, I felt that this "24" is much more relevant for India because we hear there have been so many terrorist attacks, so many bomb blasts, and there have been attacks in nations also. There has been an ATS over here, anti-terror squad, which is there, but it came into prominence after 26 --

KAPUR (on camera): The deaths.

KAPOOR: Yes, the 26/11.

KAPUR: The Mumbai attack.

KAPOOR: The Mumbai attack.

KAPUR (voice-over): Kapoor says he's been careful to keep the essence of the action-packed series intact, while giving it a local touch.

KAPUR (on camera): You say you've had to adapt it a little bit for the Indian audience.

KAPOOR: Quite a bit.

KAPUR: Quite a bit.

(LAUGHTER)

KAPUR: What have you done? How have you localized it?

KAPOOR: Like -- life was very simple. Like, in America, you have the presidential --

KAPUR: Right.

KAPOOR: -- elections, and here we don't. We have a process where the panchayat is chosen --

KAPUR: Right.

KAPOOR: -- and then a prime minister is chosen from them.

KAPUR: Parliamentary democracy.

KAPOOR: Yes, absolutely. We are slightly much more emotional people. We just slightly pitched it a bit. Just slightly. But still, it's very real. According to Indian styling, they might find it very subtle.

(LAUGHTER)

KAPOOR: That's my worry.

KAPUR (voice-over): It could be a turning point for Indian television, which so far has been dominated by soaps revolving around strange relationships between mothers and daughters-in-law.

KAPOOR: I feel India is ready for this change. Yes. Because I can get that -- you know sometimes you get that gut?

KAPUR (on camera): Yes.

KAPOOR: The dirt -- the way the films are changing, the kind of films which are doing well now?

KAPUR: Yes.

KAPOOR: So, I think films, actually, the audience is the same, so why not television?

KAPUR (voice-over): Kapoor won't give away any details of the plot, but his costume and accessories promise it will be full of action.

KAPUR (on camera): Have you spent more time holding a gun than you ever imagined you would?

KAPOOR: Yes. Yes, I've lost one year I've been holding this gun.

KAPUR (voice-over): The high-powered Bollywood cast and big screen budget are set to blow up India's conservative small screen.

Malika Kapur, CNN, Mumbai.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SHUBERT: Well, so far, the Indian version of "24" has been well- received by fans and TV critics alike, but not all remakes translate so well. Let's take a look at some of the hits and misses.

Remember Manuel, the world's worst waiter? He was part of one of the UK's most-loved comedies "Faulty Towers." The US tried to remake the series three times, but not one survived the first season.

More successful, British mockumentary "The Office." The American adaptation, seen here starring Steve Carrel, has been a huge hit. So, too, have versions in Germany and France.

Another comedy that didn't translate was this American version of the Australian sitcom "Kath & Kim." The original version won awards. Well, the US version was canceled after just 17 episodes.

European crime dramas have also had their copycats. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is just one example. This is the Hollywood version, starring Daniel Craig. It made more than $100 million at the box office. The original Swedish film made just over $10 million, though it is favored by many critics.

Reality TV series also seem to work very well. Simon Cowell's "Idol" franchise has been adapted in dozens of countries, from Australia and Brazil to Nigeria and India. This version is "Arab Idol," which recently catapulted Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf to worldwide fame.

So, let's find out why some remakes work and others just don't. I'm joined now by "USA Today" TV critic Robert Bianco. Robert, we were talking a little about this earlier. What is it that makes a show a success overseas, while in some places it just falls flat?

ROBERT BIANCO, TV CRITIC, "USA TODAY": Well, it's easy to say and difficult to do, but the key is finding something in the show that signifies the universal appeal while dropping the things that are distinctly national and replacing it with something that works for your own country.

SHUBERT: I'm thinking --

BIANCO: There are a few -- if you look at -- go.

SHUBERT: Go ahead. Go ahead with your point.

BIANCO: Well, I was saying, if you think of the American "Office," first there's "Faulty Towers," which you brought up. For American television, they had to make the character warmer, and because we like things to run longer, you had to increase the personalities of the supporting characters.

SHUBERT: And of course, it's -- there's actually been a lot of cross- cultural pollination between shows. "Homeland," for example, is one of those shows that I know was originally an Israeli show --

BIANCO: Yes.

SHUBERT: -- and sort of has been adapted for US audiences. Is there, in fact, a lot more of these crossovers than we realize?

BIANCO: Oh, yes, they happen all the time. I think a lot of Americans don't realize going back to "All in the Family," which was a British show. Now, we have "The Killing" and "Low Winter Sun," and we're getting "Broadchurch" from England coming next year. It's kind of constant back-and-forth.

And as you mentioned, even more in reality, with "Big Brother" and "Survivor" being the first two of that wave.

SHUBERT: It's amazing that you mention "All in the Family," because to me, that is such an iconic American show, and yet, as you point out, it wasn't conceived that way at all. So, shows can change and evolve once they've been -- they've come over.

BIANCO: Yes, exactly. Well, "Big Brother," in the first season of "Big Brother," people voted on who got ousted from the house, and what they discovered in America is we were voting out all the mean people who are all the interesting people, and you were left with a house full of very nice, very boring people.

(LAUGHTER)

BIANCO: So, they had to change that aspect of the show.

SHUBERT: Just as a final question, is there any particular show you would like to see either internationally brought to the US or from the US and see how it does internationally?

BIANCO: Well, I -- from the US, I -- I think I'd like to send you all "Scandal." That way, you can see what happens when politics meet in every country.

(LAUGHTER)

BIANCO: I think that would be very popular no matter what country that was in. Thank you very much, Robert Bianco for us, "USA Today" TV critic.

Well, the team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you, facebook.com/CNNconnect. Have your say.

In tonight's Parting Shots, it was Britain's Prince William who was proving the hit today with a football. The Duke of Cambridge donned a track suit and showed off his fancy footwork ahead of an historic football match he hosted in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

It is the first time the London landmark has ever had its grounds turned into a pitch for a competitive football match, but for good reason. The FA is celebrating 150 years, and as president of English football's governing body, the prince wanted to pay tribute to 150 grass roots volunteers. His only warning, any players breaking windows would have to answer to the queen.

I'm Atika Shubert and that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you very much for watching.

END