Return to Transcripts main page
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Three Terrorists Killed, One Female Suspect on the Run
Aired January 9, 2015 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. Dramatic new video tonight.
French police storming a grocery store to free terrified hostages. The hostage taker killed in a blaze of gunfire.
Plus, two separate assault killed three terrorists in France. Their suspected accomplice though still on the run tonight. And the manhunt for her is on. How did this woman escape? And it's all of this part of a bigger plot, intelligence officials warning terrorists are planning, quote, mass casualty attacks on the west. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. And welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news. Dramatic new video of the terrorist siege in France and its deadly end.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
Police storming a kosher grocery store in terrorist to free terrified hostages. The hostage-taker shot to death running directly into the gunfire. So, the hostages run to freedom. But inside of the store, four were killed. It was a day of high drama, from Paris to a small town 28 miles away and almost the same time the police took back that grocery store, as you were watching another police assault.
Explosions and gunfire at a print shop north of Paris. That is where the Kouachi brothers, the suspects in the attack of the Charlie Hebdo head offices were also killed, they also ran into a hail of bullets and died. And yet this hour, yet another desperate manhunt underway in France, police and soldiers searching for a 26-year-old woman, seen here posing with the gunman killed in the kosher grocery. We also have new information tonight about the massive arsenal the Kouachi brothers had with them when they were killed. We'll going to have much more on that in a moment, pretty stunning when we actually hear what they had on their persons.
Outfront is covering all angles of this story. Tonight Fred Pleitgen is in that small town north of Paris where French forces faced off against the Kouachi brothers. Arwa Damon and Jim Sciutto are in Paris. And we begin with Jim Sciutto tonight. Jim was on the scene as that hostage situation at the supermarket unfolded, he actually watched that happen. And Jim, I know you have new information on how armed these terrorists were.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That is right. We're learning tonight, Erin, that they had weapons more suited for a war zone than central Paris. The attackers northeast of Paris, they had a rocket propelled grenade primed and ready to go, machine guns and grenades. The hostage taker here in the east of Paris at the kosher market, he had a machine gun and automatic pistol as well as 15 sticks of dynamite. I'll tell you, the sights and sounds as these raids unfolded more suited for war zones and things I witnessed in warzones in Iraq and Afghanistan than here in France. All of this as three days of terror in France came to an end in just a few frightening minutes.
(voice-over): Two tense standoffs in two parts of the city. The first at a printing shop in the northeast. Another at a kosher grocery in the east. Parisians holding their breaths for hours but authorities were waiting for their moment. Several loud explosions, gunfire and in a flash, near simultaneous raids bring two hostage standoffs to a rapid and a violent end. The first standoff, near Charle De Gaulle airport, the assailant, the Kouachi brothers. Cherif Kouachi in the middle of it all answers a call from a French television station.
"We are just telling you that we are the defenders of Prophet Muhammad, I was sent me, Cherif Kouachi by al Qaeda in Yemen." The result there summed up in a tweet by the French ambassador to the U.S. Quote, "the two terrorists are dead, the hostage is alive." Those two terrorists the same brothers whose attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine on Wednesday left 12 dead and began a tense riveting three days of attacks, manhunts and hostage-taking. A witness described his nervous encounter this morning with one of the terrorists.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN (through a translator): We were standing in front of the door to the factory. I shook the hand of the owner Michelle and the terrorist. He introduced himself as a policeman.
SCIUTTO: Just minutes after the first raid in east Paris, we witnessed the second operation live on CNN's air.
(on camera): Now, I'm hearing gunfire. Multiple shots, automatic fire. I'm going to stop speaking there just so you can hear it as well as I am. It is continuing. Another explosion.
(voice-over): An untold number did not survive. The hostage taker Amedy Coulibaly dead. His companion Boumedienne Hayat in a confusion. Both were wanted in a fatal shooting of a police officer on Paris on Thursday. That attack just a few hundred feet from a Jewish school. And on Friday, with shoppers preparing with the Jewish Sabbath, the witnesses described a terrifying scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN (through translator): We heard someone scream in French, I think, then in Arabic. That was followed by the arrival of police officers and they started to get down. Hide behind cars and they started exchanging fire.
SCIUTTO: A western intelligence source Amedy was a close associate of Cherif Kouachi the younger brother as recently as 2010. But the association since is unclear. Just one of the mysteries from a violent three days here in the city of lights.
BURNETT: And Jim, police I know tonight the manhunt continues, this time looking for a woman, 26-year-old Hayat Boumedienne, you mentioned her. They referred to her as Coulibaly's girlfriend. The man who was at the kosher grocery store. She is suspected of killing a policewoman with him on Thursday. I know there are conflicting reports. Was she in the supermarket with him today? Obviously, she could be very, very important as they try to find out, are there more people? Are there more attacks planned? What do you know?
SCIUTTO: It is the police's best information that she was in that store today and they believe that she escaped in the confusion as many of those hostages fled right after that exchange of gunfire that killed the hostage-taker. But it is very interesting. As the prosecutor was speaking tonight, he made it very clear that Hayat Boumedienne was not just a peripheral player in this, that she was somehow involved. How do they know that? Because in 2014, over the course of just that year, there was some 500 phone calls between Hayat, the companion of the hostage taker here at the kosher market and the wife of Cherif Kouachi, one of the attackers who killed all those people at Charlie Hebdo. Five hundred phone calls over a single year. And we were talking here about why that might be the companions were in such close touch, it is possible that the terrorists knew that they might be under surveillance so they would asked their companions to communicate so that they would avoid that surveillance as it turns out, of course we found out tonight that police are now aware of those communications.
BURNETT: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you very much, live for us in Paris. And as you all know, right there next to that grocery store with the shootout happened today. Fred Pleitgen was on the scene at the siege at the print shop, that's in northern Paris, that's where the two brothers were killed. We've been watching this manhunt unfold for almost 72 hours. Fred, we saw some of the siege behind where you are right now. You saw all of that, you were there as it happened. What did you witness?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was about 400 yards away from our position. And it was a lot more clean than the siege that Jim witnessed there in downtown Paris. I would say that the actual raid on to the print shop where those two brothers were hidden out lasted I would say less than a single minute. But it was a lot more violent than we thought at the beginning. There is some new video that we have from the French national police that shows that there was actually a pretty large burst of gunfire that came apparently from these two brothers to begin that siege. The police then moved in very quickly. What we heard was we heard that initial burst of gunfire here from our position. Then what we heard was two sort of very damp detonations that seemed to be coming from the periphery of that building. It might have been the police firing something like stun grenades into the building. Certainly, if you look at the aftermath, you can see that the windows of the print shop were shattered.
And then we heard some single gunshots being fired and that seemed to be something like the police firing some very accurate shots at these two gunman and then more of this detonations, all of it as I said was over within one minute. And afterwards, you had a lot of police movement going on here at the scene. You had three or four helicopters landing almost immediately. At least one of them was a medical helicopter to take away any casualties. We learned later that apparently two police officers were lightly wounded in that raid. However, that was the entirety of all of the casualties that the police suffered so they were quite happy about this part of the operation. Also we learned that apparently there was a man who was holed up the entire time inside of the building with the gunman, we thought during the entire day that this might have been a hostage that they've taken, it turned out they never had any idea that he was there.
And so that is just one of the many bizarre twists to all of this. It was a very long day, not just for us, but certainly of course also for the people who live here in this village because it was on lockdown the entire day. People were not allowed to leave their houses and children were not allowed to leave the schools. And shortly after all of this was over, they began busing the kids out of the housing, so certainly out of the schools. And so certainly people here are very happy that this is now over -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Fred, thank you very much. And as Fred said, the person who was holed up with the possible hostage alive, those two brothers dead. It said they would die as martyrs but it doesn't look like they had turned the gun on themselves.
OUTFRONT now, our global affairs analyst Lieutenant Colonel James Reese, he has spent 25 years as army ranger and retired in the Delta Force. Thanks so much for being with us. I want to ask you first of all, we heard OUTFRONT spoke, the police union spokesman today and he told us that the woman on the run, and we've now shown her to people, both of her sort of head shot but also her in -- and shooting. Obviously, she had gone through some sort of training. Are you surprised they haven't found her yet? He said that she's very important?
LT. COL. JAMES REESE, GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, Erin, I am. Now, unfortunately, I think the southern target area today at the grocery store was not handled very well. There was a lot of -- it was a very difficult target to take down because of the proximity being closer in the city. But it was not managed very well and didn't have a lot of organization around it. So with her slipping out, which we call squirting. She squirted outside of the containment zone, that to me is a failure for the hostage rescue team and that is a major concern right now. And all she has to do is blend right in and continue to keep moving.
So I want to talk a little bit more about that. Because, you know, we haven't yet been able to confirm was she there, was she not there? But certainly if she was there to your point, she was able to escape very easily. I want to watch the video again of police ending the hostage scene at the grocery store and everyone has in place. There are three things I want to point out to you. First will be, as you could see, running into the barrage of bullets, you'll see the actual terrorist himself, the attacker there run into the barrage of bullets and is killed. There you see that. All right? And then that is frozen. So he literally runs into the hail of bullets. After that happens, they then storm into the kosher grocery store, so you see the S.W.A.T. team go in. And as that happens, you start to see the people there on the left, the hostages start running out. They start running out. They are not being attended to, they just start running out.
And then the last thing I want to point out, Colonel, is an injured policeman. And I know you have a strong view about what happened there but there is an injured policeman than they then drag out on to the street who they found injured. And you see him there. They are carrying him out of the grocery store. Right? So those are the three key points that we wanted to point out. So can you tell me, first of all, on the issue of the hostages running out, as you see the S.W.A.T. team runs in and the hostages starts coming out there on the far left side of the screen, when you see that, what did you think?
REESE: Well, it shows me, as the hostages knew exactly who the terrorist was and they also knew at that time there was only one terrorist in there because as soon as that terrorist rushed, he had his hands up, but if you see right at the end, he had his weapons slung around him. When he got hit by the bullets that weapon kind of swings up and around. But as soon as he dropped, the hostages come screaming out. So that tells me is that girl probably was not in that building at the time because they knew he was the only hostage left and now he was dead and so they knew it was safe to come out.
BURNETT: So you think she'd already escaped if she was there.
REESE: That is my assumption right now based on what I'm seeing.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you so much and we very much appreciate your time tonight. Our breaking news coverage continues OUTFRONT, next. The three terrorists killed today. Who were they? And how were they connected? Because as this week have gone by, you've seen those two brothers but Amedy Coulibaly is a newer face.
And the only woman killed by terrorist in the Charlie Hebdo offices. Who was Elsa Cayat? Why was she killed when other women were so carefully spared? Her cousin is OUTFRONT.
And more on the desperate manhunt for the female terror suspect tonight. Who is she?
BURNETT: Breaking news, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula now reportedly taking responsibility for the deadly terror on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. This claim according to the Associated Press coming as we are learning new information that links the brothers behind that attack to the man who unleashed a deadly assault inside a kosher grocery store in Paris. He and another woman are also suspected of killing a police officer in Paris yesterday. That woman is still on the run at this hour. They are although believed to be part of a terror group that was named after the Paris neighborhood where the men were from.
Arwa Damon was OUTFRONT live in Paris. And Arwa, what more can you tell us about this dangerous group that it appears at this point, authorities weren't aware of?
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Well, they were aware of it up until a certain degree, Erin. Perhaps not aware of how serious of a threat it posed today. They did seem to have believed that they had dismantled it. The group goes go by the name of the 19th district. That is where the two Kouachi brothers did grew up. The spent certain amount of time living there, however it seems that it was the younger brother that was more directly associated with the group. The group is headed out by Farid Benyettou. He himself was at some point detained as well but it seems that he was specifically trying to target young disenfranchised youth. Prior to meeting up with Benyettou, the younger of these two brothers, was a rapper. He did not seem to have any sort of inclination towards being a radical Muslim but that all changed when he met Benyettou at a mosque in 19th district. That mosque today under construction.
It was there that Benyettou was able to persuade him to begin on this journey to Jihad, showing him images of the abuses carried out by U.S. forces in Iraq back in 2004. Abu Ghraib, it's all happening around a decade ago. Cherif deciding he wanted to travel to Iraq, training in this park alongside others. There were some members of the group that made it to Iraq, some were killed, other were detained by U.S. forces. Cherif himself never actually making the journey, he was detained by the authorities, imprisoned for a few years. But upon his release he then moved to a northern suburb of Paris. And this is quite interesting, Erin, because when we were there earlier today, we spoke with one of the leaders of the mosque where he was praying. The leader said that he wasn't even amongst the more devout of Muslims. He'd only showing up for Friday prayers if there were significant holidays that were taking place and things like that.
He wasn't even really aware of how radical he was. He said that Cherif seemed to be trying to really blend in and taking great lengths not to stand out. At the apartment building where he lived, along with his wife, who was only seen in public in the full black Islamic dress, with only her eyes showing. People that live there did not want to appear on camera. People in the neighborhood did not want to appear on camera. But they all described Cherif as being a fairly polite individual. One man even said that he would help old ladies with their groceries. Everyone was shocked when they saw the images of these two brothers appearing on television. But this is perhaps what is the most worrisome for western intelligence. These are individuals who did not necessarily stand out, who did not fit the profile, the stereo type of what a radical Islamist terrorist would seem to be and yet they were able to effectively hide in plain sight all the while planning this horrific attack -- Erin. BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. And tonight we have
pictures emerging that link the men involved to another well-known terrorist. He is actually known as al Qaeda's premier European recruiter. Deborah Feyerick is OUTFRONT with this story. And Deborah, what have you learned about, you know, this individual who now appears to be sort of, one of the key links between these people?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he really is. And that is what is so fascinating with this entire case. That the two men who were killed today, two of the three men who were killed, they knew each other, they hung out together and they had a common mentor and now investigators are looking very closely to see who else may have been known to this man as well.
FEYERICK (voice-over): They were not only friends, they were associate and members of the same Jihadi terrorist cell as a western intelligence source. Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly, both 32- years-old, both connected to this man, Djamel Beghal. A known al Qaeda recruiter in Europe with connections in Belgium, the Netherlands and United Kingdom. Beghal who travelled to Afghanistan and Pakistan was convicted in 2005 of plotting to attack the U.S. Embassy in Paris. French authorities have 45,000 pages of wiretap transcripts and surveillance images of Beghal says the source. They include this 2010 meeting with Cherif Kouachi wearing the white sweatshirt. Beghal was in a tan pants. Cherif's friend Amedy Coulibaly and now fugitive Hayat Boumeddiene visited Beghal that same year at his home in Contou (ph), France according to the source. Like the Kouachi brothers, Beghal is French-Algerian. So too is the man convicted of the 1995 Paris metro bombing. Cherif and Amedy were arrested in 2010 in a failed plot to free that imprisoned bomber. Amedy was arrested with 240 rounds of Kalashnikov ammunition and was not convicted. The source says, there was not enough evidence to bring Cherif to trial. Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly now both dead in a police response to a terror attack that has authorities searching for a larger cell.
FEYERICK: And authorities are looking to see who else may be known to all of these individuals. Again, these were coordinated attacks. It now appears they initially seemed random, however they were acting together and now investigators are trying to make sure that this doesn't happen again. Erin.
BURNETT: Now, the big fear they have of course is now what they don't know and who they don't know and whether there are more attacks. Of course, we do have the head of the British national intelligence saying that they are worried about mass casualty attacks being planned on the west at this moment.
I want to bring in now our national security analyst Bob Baer, also a former CIA operative along with Myriam Benraad, she has been closely studying these group of young men, and he became radicalized in Paris. Joining us from Marsay tonight. And Marianne I want to start with you. Suspects in the attack on Charlie Hebdo and the suspects in the killing of the police officer, we have now learned all new each other. You have been looking into all of these people, what have you found out?
MYRIAM BENRAAD, MIDDLE EASTERN RESEARCH FELLOW: Well, originally they were from the same neighborhood, the Kouachi brothers and the first mentor of the group was actually a guy from the 19th as well called Farid Benyettou. They are more less linked by this neighborhood belonging -- the Kouachi brothers were known for being petty (ph) criminals. They were, you know, part of the lost youth very characteristic of these districts in Paris and Paris suburbs as well and they were looking for -- they were more or less in a state of school failure, neglected by their parents, in the chase of the Kouachi brothers, they were abandoned as children and so there is a pattern of very difficult childhoods in most cases, to which you can add the fact that they are of background of, you know, foreign origin. The Kouachi brothers are (INAUDIBLE) and also children of the immigration. And you know, that there is a very deep crisis -- which is now even linked only to the question of immigration. There's a very deep mode crisis among the French youth and we can also see that in the case of converts to go to Syria or Iraq. And in this case, they've known each other for a while. They always maintain more or less the perception of jihad. They had planned ongoing -- and Cherif failed in 2005 but he never really gave up on the idea of realizing the great coup. This is how they see it.
BURNETT: And so, they kept pushing and pushing. I mean, I guess the question is how there was, I know that there was, at least one of them being monitored but on a lower tier. I mean, Bob, and then you also have Mr. Coulibaly who was allegedly in the grocery store today who killed four hostages. At one point he was then safe enough to meet the president of France at the time, Nicolas Sarkozy a few years ago in 2009 to talk about youth unemployment. I mean, that is pretty incredible?
BOB BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Erin, you know, exactly. But the problem is the French need to catch him committing a crime, either abroad or locally. Otherwise what do you do? They have French passports. You can't expel them. And they don't have enough personnel to watch all of them. I mean, it is an enormous amount of effort just to watch a dozen people. So if you are dealing with tens of thousands of disaffected Muslims in France, the French simply don't have enough police to deal with it and these people slipped through. And some mistakes will have been made but we have the same problems. And mind you, the French police are very, very good. They very efficient. And when they recognize a problem, they know how to deal with it.
BURNETT: Right. And we've heard that again and again and how skilled at counterterrorism they are and eavesdropping and listening in. I mean, they have been lauded around the world for that. The question is though, how much deep does this go? The head of Britain security services has now warned that al-Qaeda is planning, quote- unquote, "mass casualty attacks against the west." There are reports the gunman at the supermarket phoned other people -- other people. Not the two men who were killed in Paris today. Other people, urging them to stage additional attacks. How concerned are you? BAER: I talked to a Frenchman who has been in the presidential
palace for about five years, he's no longer there, he said they are waiting for a series of attacks across Europe. Homeland security here, and this is going to sound alarmist and it is a bad, we're waiting for the same thing here. It's just the ease of this attacks which is the -- automatic weapons, a soft target. And so many of them are soft. And let's not forget, the police in Western Europe and the United States are able to defend places but they're not used to military assaults. And even something like the White House is not really prepared for military assault on its front gate.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thanks very much to you. And I know as you said, it is alarmist in some ways but certainly there is concern in Britain and also in the United States. Where senior intelligence officials have warned that there are mass attacks being planned from Syria against the west and the United States at this time.
OUTFRONT next, three terrorists killed today, a woman still on the run. We are learning new details about the relationship and how they became radicalized.
Plus, the shooters, they did something that is hard to understand and very important here. They spared all of the women in the Charlie Hebdo offices except for one. Why was Elsa Cayat murdered? Her cousin is my guest tonight.
BURNETT: Breaking news: three terrorists dead and another suspected terrorist is actually on the run tonight after an eruption of attacks in France throughout the day. Tonight, new chilling and details about the brothers behind the alleged attack on "Charlie Hebdo" and the arsenal they had on hand as they hunkered down in a final standoff with police today.
The siege entered when the gunman came out firing in a barrage of bullets. At the same time, another gunman opened fire at a store in Paris, killing four people and taking other hostages.
These images show the end of the siege as the accused terrorist ran toward police who had their weapons drawn. He ran into fire at the end in a dramatic moment, and there the hostages were able to run to safety. As I said, four of them lost their lives.
Tonight, there is an all-out manhunt under way for the fourth suspected terrorist, a female who may have escaped during the chaos.
Jim Sciutto is OUTFRONT live in Paris tonight. He was there during that shootout.
And, Jim, first, what can you tell us about the manhunt for this woman. I know she's 26 years old. They considered her armed and dangerous.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: That's right. They are taking this very seriously. They say that she escaped somehow during the confusion after the raid when the other hostages came out of that kosher supermarket.
Remember, one thing we learned in the last 48, 72 hours it is hard for the terror police here, really anywhere, to find one person. The killers at "Charlie Hebdo", they were chasing them around the country for two, three days. Remember, the hostage-taker in East Paris, he killed a female police officer and they were not able to stop him before he was able to kill again.
And remember this as well, Hayat Boumeddiene was not a peripheral player. Policing revealing tonight that she had some 500 calls between her and the wife of one of the Kouachi brothers' wives, an indication that these two groups of fighters were connected to each other, and that Hayat Boumeddiene, the partner of the hostage-taker here, was clearly not a peripheral player. She was somehow involved.
BURNETT: I think it's important, as you know, not peripheral at all. And I know you also have new information about what the attackers had with them when they were killed, which was a stunning arsenal. And they actually even had a GoPro, as if they were filming their activities?
SCIUTTO: They -- well, it shows the era we're in, right? That they would think of bringing in the case of the northeastern Paris attackers, an RPG, a rocket-propelled grenade, assault rifles grenades. In the case of the hostage taker here, not just an assault rifle and an automatic pistol, but also 15 sticks of explosives that showed both of these groups were prepared to dig in and die in a blaze of gunfire, which is exactly what we saw pan out in the very end here.
BURNETT: All right. Jim Sciutto, thank you so much, live in Paris for us -- as you can see, 1:30 a.m. in Paris.
And despite a massive police presence in and around capital of Paris, including roadblocks, door-to-door searches, helicopter hunts, as you saw unfold live over the past few days, the attackers were able to evade police as they staged their final assaults in the heart of the capital, and in an office near the main airport in Paris, Charles de Gaulle.
Tom Foreman is OUTFRONT.
And, Tom, when you think about that, it seems stunning when you had 80,000 people in trying to find them. How were they able to escape police for days?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is the key question. And really, Erin, if you look at the map of what has happened here, there are three key tactical questions that have to be answered. The first one is how did the Kouachi brothers get as far as they did. Remember, their crime was committed in Paris, they started the day up here in the woods, believed to be surrounded by the authorities, and yet, they slipped through, managed to hijack another car, and more importantly, not just head away, but head back toward Paris. Now something interrupted there, some kind of conflict with
police again, and they ended up holding up in that print shop. You can see an industrial area here, a neighborhood close by. They finally get nailed down in this print shop. But a big question, number one, how did they make it so far with so many people looking for them.
And second question: what about the other couple out here? They were implicated, believed to be responsible for shooting and killing a police woman in the southern part of Paris. And yet, according to all beliefs, they, today, managed to go into this supermarket, not terribly far from the offices of "Charlie Hebdo" and there they took hostages.
So, if you look at that situation over there, you can see how close that was to the office of "Charlie Hebdo" as well. "Charlie Hebdo" is shown as the red dot there. And that became an explosive situation with hostages as well.
So, second question, how were they able to elude police for all of that time and go into this explosive situation. And then, of course, it came down to the big finish there, all of this happening in a very short period of time as you have reported, Erin.
And that brings up the third question. Three of them are dead now. She's still out there somewhere. Where is she? And is there some network supporting her out there? Three key tactical questions that have arisen today that have to be answered to even begin to make sense of all of this -- Erin.
BURNETT: Certainly do, and to begin to know whether it really is indeed over.
Thank you so much to Tom Foreman.
Now, Seth Jones, associate director of International Security and Defense Policy Center at RAND.
Let me ask you, Seth, about this woman. You know, as we've been told, not peripheral, considered armed and dangerous, considered important, the spokesperson for the Paris police union told us this afternoon. So, how important do you think she is, the fact she is still on the run tonight?
SETH JONES, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE POLICY CENTER AT RAND: Well, I think if she was involved in any way, and it looks like she was, that she is extremely important, she's dangerous and that her either capture or killing will be a critical part of this. As long as she's on the loose, the impact of this is it causes tremendous fear in Paris and more broadly in France.
So, the fact she's on the loose I think is a very, very serious issue right now.
BURNETT: And to the question that Tom was raising, that I've had, and I know so many have had -- obviously, the French were able to, with the SWAT teams, killed these three, at least three of these people. But yet, how did they make it so far with so many people looking for them and not get caught for days?
JONES: Well, this is actually not that uncommon, Erin. We've seen it take several days for a range of terrorist attacks in Spain. This led to a major firefight in a Spanish house after the Madrid attacks. We've seen it happen in various terrorist plots and attacks in the U.K. We obviously saw it in the U.S. with the Times Square bomber, a two-three day hunt finding him and finally getting him at John F. Kennedy Airport on his way out of the country.
The issue here is all of the -- it takes time to identify individuals, what cell phones they're using and where they've been. And unless, you have that information handy, it can be very difficult and time intensive to actually get that, including credit card information. You'd want all of that, if they were actually using it.
BURNETT: Right. Right.
And now, what do you make the fact that these two groups are supposedly linked as part of some sort of a cell perhaps or at least group, but that there are codes of activity or conduct were very different? The brothers, they wanted to separate men from women, when they carjacked, they let the man out. They went to the gas station, they didn't kill people. They had a hostage, they didn't kill them. They came to kill specific people.
Then, you have the man in the grocery store who killed four innocent hostages. He and the woman allegedly killing a female police officer. Very different.
JONES: Yes. Well, what's also interesting is -- so, they've got different tactics that they're using. But what's also different is this is -- this is not the same kind of thing we've seen in some attacks where they are interested in mass killing. That is killing everybody. Putting bombs on a site and trying to kill everybody. This is very specific targeted attack.
This is not the kind of thing people are concerned about in the United States, which is the mass killing of individuals at movie theaters and we've seen that with active shooters or even the Nidal Hasan attack at Ft. Hood where he killed as many people as he actually could. This is a very specific, targeted attack. And that actually is interesting because we haven't seen a lot of that recently. It's more of the mass casualty stuff.
BURNETT: All right. Seth Jones, thank you very much.
And next, the only woman killed in the attack on the "Charlie Hebdo" offices. Why was Elsa Cayat targeted for death? Her cousin is OUTFRONT tonight.
And we'll have the very latest on the manhunt for the lone surviving suspect in the deadly attacks.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Breaking news, we have reports that the biggest
synagogue in Paris is closed tonight. That is a very incredible statement because it is the first time the synagogue was closed since World War II. The reason is far of another terror attack after a kosher supermarket was the scene of a hostage scene today with four hostages murdered inside. That brings the number of people killed in terror attacks in France this week to 17.
And the terror all began here, at "Charlie Hebdo" magazine when two terrorists attacked journalists, journalists, during their weekly editorial meeting. Among the victims, Elsa Cayat, the only one killed in that attack. She was a psychoanalyst. She wrote a column in the magazine, and she was there for that meeting this week.
Joining me now is Elsa's cousin, Sophie Bramly.
And, Sophie, I appreciate your taking the time being with us so late on this Friday night on such a horrific week for you and your family. I know you're trying to come to grips and understand what happened. As we all are trying to understand this horrific act. We know the killers came into "Charlie Hebdo", called out the names of some of the men they killed.
Do you think your cousin was among those specifically targeted?
SOPHIE BRAMLY, COUSIN WAS ONLY WOMAN KILLED IN CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACK: Yes, I do think so. Though, obviously, I can't know for sure. But that is the feeling I have. They spared all of the women, and she was the only one killed. And she was the only one Jewish.
And also when I talked to her brother last night, he was telling me she had been getting phone calls for a while, anonymous phone calls but the calls were saying, basically, dirty Jew. You should stop working for "Charlie Hebdo" otherwise we're going to kill you.
So, if you put two and two together, it seems like, yes, she was definitely killed because she was Jewish and that to me make it even worse, because, you know, it brings back ugly memories and because the press hasn't really talked about it that way here. It was only about freedom of speech that was attacked and my feeling was that religion was there, too.
And today, unfortunately, it seemed to prove that I wasn't totally wrong.
BURNETT: Well, yes, as you said because they targeted the kosher supermarket. And the prime minister of Israel, I know speaking to the president of France, they are trying to beef up security at Jewish targets, so it is a significant point you raised. And it is also tragic. She was the only woman killed.
As you know, according to "The New York Times", the female cartoonist who was downstairs, they forced her to open the doors to the building. They spared her. A freelance journalist with a gun pointed to her head and they said, no, we don't shoot women. But then one of the journalists in the meeting said the gunman
ambushed and said they wouldn't kill women at all. But, of course, your cousin -- your cousin was brutally murdered.
And I know you believe that it could have been because she was Jewish. Was she afraid? I mean, you talk about her getting these calls? Was she nervous or afraid at all to go to work, feeling she was a target?
BRAMLY: She was an incredible woman. She was a brilliant psychoanalyst and she was doing this only by passion, because she cared about the team doing "Charlie Hebdo" and because she cared about the ideas they had. And she was over the top for everything. I mean, nothing was never enough, and then she was a workaholic. As I said, she was an incredibly passionate woman. So, I think she did it because she thought her own freedom and her passion went above the best, basically.
BURNETT: Because she believed in her cause. And I know, Sophie, she was a columnist, as you say, workaholic and passionate about her job, but she was a mother too, and I know her daughter must be missing her so dearly and her whole family.
Thank you so much for being with us.
BURNETT: And talking about her a little bit and just sharing her with the world, as we try to remember each of the human beings who were so tragically murdered this week.
OUTFRONT next, dressed in a burqa, pointing a crossbow at the camera, who is the mystery women who was allegedly with the terrorists? And where is she tonight? We have a special report on everything we know.
BURNETT: Breaking news: a manhunt under way tonight for 26-year- old for Hayat Boumeddiene, a suspect in a France terror attack. Police say she may have been an accomplice in the standoff at a kosher grocery store, and the killing of a police officer in Paris suburb yesterday. They consider her to be armed, very dangerous, and very important to the center of this story.
Alexandra Field reports on what we know about this woman on the run tonight.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She may be the most wanted woman in France, Hayat Boumeddiene, the only suspect standing after three-day reign of terror in Paris. Her alleged accomplish, Amedy Coulibaly killed when police raided the kosher grocery store where he took more than a dozen hostages, killing four of them. New photos reveal more of their shared past, published by French
newspaper "Le Monde", the pictures appear to show the two in 2010 in the region of southern France, Boumeddiene in a burqa and wielding a crossbow.
The man in this photo next to Coulibaly identified as Djamel Beghal, once known as al Qaeda's premiere European recruiter. Authorities say Coulibaly had known links to jihadist groups and to the suspected "Charlie Hebdo" shooters, Cherif and Said Kouachi, both killed during a separate police raid.
According to prosecutors, Boumeddiene has had 500 calls with the Cherif Kouachi's companion.
WILLIAM BRANIFF, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, START: The question is, are there any other conspirators out there she may be trying to link back up with?
FIELD: "Le Monde" reports she was interviewed by counterterrorism police in 2010. The newspaper says she started a relationship with Coulibaly the same year and that last spring, she met him outside prison when he was released following a four-year sentence. The two reported live together and traveled to Malaysia.
French and U.S. authorities are now sharing intelligence, hoping to track her down.
BRANIFF: This woman does not have much to lose, so to speak, if her romantic partner had just been killed, if her life as a free civilian is likely over in France. If you can access the capability to conduct another attack, that's certainly well within the cards.
FIELD: There is a tremendous amount of manpower going into this search but as the intelligence work equally if not more important, because when we look at the fact that there were 500 phone calms made, just a whopping amount, you realize that this is a figure who is very central to this investigation, who's believed to be very connected here. And it's important to find those connections because it could leave them to somebody who will bring her or a group of people who could know more about what may have been planned here.
BURNETT: As you say, 500 calls indicate there was a lot of action going on and perhaps other names they're not aware of.
Alex, thank you so much. And next, the three words heard in tribute tonight around the world.
BURNETT: "Je Suis Charlie", three simply words that mean "I am Charlie", have become the rallying cry for people worldwide who refuse to be silenced by the terrorists who killed 12 victims in the "Charlie Hebdo" attack. The hashtag is one of the most popular on Twitter ever, peaked at nearly 80,000 tweets per minute with the #jesuischarlie.
And tonight, the words "Paris est Charlie" were lit up and projected across the Arc de Triomphe.
Thank you for joining us. We hope you will have a safe and peaceful weekend wherever you are around the world.
"AC360" begins now.