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Organized Group Smuggles in with Refugees; France Under State of Emergency. Aired 6:30-7a ET
Aired November 15, 2015 - 06:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[06:30:16] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He got under this new regime of emergency passport a new passport in which he obviously gave a false identity and a named which is Ahmad al-Mohammad, born 10th of September, 1990. And his fingerprints match the fingerprints of the guy who blew himself up at the Stade de France.
HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: These fingerprints he gave at the -- when he entered the --
AMANPOUR: The ones that were on this passport match the suicide bomber at Stade De France.
GORANI: OK, got it.
AMANPOUR: These fingerprints not known to the French authorities. Not in the French database unlike the others ones, the French national who was. That is because they believe that this is now showing what they feared that this is what they say a very professional new squad of terrorists, inserting themselves into some of these migrant voyages.
So that is what they tell us. And she's also told me and this has also been confirmed that the two others, there were three suicide bombers at the Stade de France, had false, false Turkish passports. False.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Now having false passports is not new. But, look, Christiane Amanpour, Hala Gorani, you could not have better people to have the discussion that needs to be had right now, so let's have it.
GORANI: But --
CUOMO: This news, Hala, I was going to want to walk through how much we know about how this person who came there and how to distinguish them from the ordinary refugee that people are worried about on a humanitarian level? What are your questions?
GORANI: I guess I'm just curious, how do they know he is Syrian if he gave a false identity and a false name?
AMANPOUR: Well, he said he is Syrian.
GORANI: All right, OK.
AMANPOUR: So he came over, but that's what they --
CUOMO: He self-reported in.
AMANPOUR: Correct. He is on a Syrian passport.
AMANPOUR: You're right. He may not be, but that's what he said.
Furthermore, they have the dates, 3rd of October, Leros. They got this new false Syrian passport.
GORANI: Where they are finger printed there?
AMANPOUR: Under a whole new international regime emergency care that these people who are having to be processed --
CUOMO: But here's --
AMANPOUR: Hold on a second!
CUOMO: Go ahead.
AMANPOUR: Then a very clear itinerary. He went, first, from Leros to Macedonia, then Serbia, then Croatia and they even have the name of the Croatian refugee camp at Opatovac (ph), where he was last seen on the 7th of October.
AMANPOUR: The significance is that he's doing the whole migrant routes --
GORANI: Right. Just follow the routes. The other two false Turkish passports, what's the thinking there?
AMANPOUR: Well, it's only early details and the thinking is that they also may be, I don't know, Syrian, somewhere else, whatever. But the ISIS band of brothers, who is coming over to wreak havoc here.
And, again, ISIS warned that this is what they were going to do. And all the politicians that you can talk to, you know, foreign offices here and there and everywhere around Europe, they have been very afraid of that. And it collides in a most dramatic way with the legal requirement to give asylum and refuge to refugees pleading war persecution. CUOMO: It is a qualified right subject to each country's vetting of who they want to take in and how they want to take them in. And as you both know, this is a huge issue in the United States presidential election, where people are saying how can you bring in -- now, of course, the U.S. has its discussion about bringing anybody in, but these types of people in who we know may be coming from places to create war and terror inside the United States or in Europe even if they are exceptions to the rule, the exception may become the rule. What is the pushback?
GORANI: But, politically, it's a big issue in Europe, not just in the United States. You have this far-leaning parties across Europe here, the national front led by, Marine Le Pen, who are going to look at this once it's confirmed officially and say we told you so.
These refuges are coming in with bad intentions and here what we feared most is happening. It might help them politically.
AMANPOUR: It is confirmed. It is confirmed, officially, that's why we are reporting it. But beyond that, you're right. Because Hollande today as part of all the consultations and everything else that he is doing has brought the main party leaders to the leaders.
He started with Nicolas Sarkozy who is on his conservative plan. Hollande, the socialist president. Before that was Nicolas Sarkozy, before he was president, he was minister of interior and has a very iron fist dealing with these kinds of things. And he said, he came out and made a statement to the press, we are at war. We need to understand that and we need to do many things, including, he said, adjust Europe's immigration policy. So all of that has started. And he may be trying to outflank and out conservatize Marine Le Pen, the leader of the national front.
CUOMO: It's not conservative at this point. It wants it becoming almost the mainstream.
AMANPOUR: Out extremizing --
CUOMO: Right? Because if you were to walked around here right now and talk to people and tell them the information you just reported, they'd say that's good enough for me. We have to change what we do.
AMANPOUR: They may do, but the European project is all about Schengen. It's all about the free movement of people and we have a few warriors who are using that. So you're right. Things need to happen. But you can imagine that if it causes a complete change in the policies, it's going to be very tough for Europe and also for these poor refuges who are coming in.
CUOMO: But where do they go?
[06:35:08] GORANI: It's one of the founding principles of the modern European Union. If you're going to have this economic union, you are going to have open borders. You are going to allow the free movement of people. If you start messing with that, you're messing with the entire project and it's not an overstatement. You have to put it in those terms.
CUOMO: But you have to think circumstances as they find it. Look, the gift from the French to the Americans that marked the main harbor of entrance into the United States, on the bottom says that we want to take exactly these kinds of people into the United States to give them a new opportunity.
AMANPOUR: It's an issue and it's going to be an election issue here just like we did in the United States, but different reasons, by the way, in the U.N. But, here, it is an issue and it's one that's really front and center, and as Hala was saying, all over Europe. There are extremist groups on the left and right who have taken this refugee crisis, this immigration crisis, whether it's Hungary, whether it's -- you know, even in Germany, there are extremist near -- even in Sweden, even in -- in other words, the countries that have been the most tolerant.
Let's face it, France has hardly taken any immigrants.
AMANPOUR: They just hadn't.
GORANI: Because there's Germany.
AMANPOUR: There's Britain.
AMANPOUR: Germany and Sweden
CUOMO: Are taking the many.
AMANPOUR: They are taking the bulk and this is going to put Angela Merkel on the defensive, because even throughout this whole, you know, overwhelming number of refuges who are coming in and her poll ratings are going down and the extremist parties are rising --
CUOMO: This isn't going to help.
AMANPOUR: This is very, very, very, very bad news.
CUOMO: All right, now --
AMANPOUR: But the biggest -- the biggest news is what are our leaders who are meeting in Antalya over this past weekend, what are they going to do? Do they believe that we are at war? The war is being declared on us. And then how are they Democratic leaders going to protect us against a war that has been declared and is now being waged in the streets of our capitals?
CUOMO: And a war that is fought in the hearts and minds as much as it is on the ground with boots. So these are all open questions. The information that you have given us now, Christiane, give some shake to this investigation that is trying to figure out exactly who was involved.
AMANPOUR: This is just at that location.
AMANPOUR: Here, we found the one that we know was a French national and had his -- they had his fingerprints. He was a petty criminal. They had been tracing him for a while, but never put him in, you know, jail and no idea of any terrorists leanings.
CUOMO: All right. So those are some of the conditions that they are dealing with here on the ground. They, obviously, believe there were more people involved here.
We have Nima Elbagir, who is in Brussels. They had gone into Belgium. They've done raids there. We are going to check in with Nima after the break and find out how big do they believe the web is at this point? We have new developments here on CNN's continuing coverage. Stay with us.
[19:41:09] CUOMO: Here we are as part of CNN's continuing coverage. Here we are as part of CNN's continuing coverage. Chris Cuomo and Hala Gorani.
And behind us there are people asking when will this happen again. Investigators are still trying to find out who else was involved in these horrible killings here in Paris.
Let's go to Nima Elbagir. She is in Brussels. There has been an expansion of raids. What do we know?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Hi, Chris. Well, we are on our way to Molenbeek, the neighborhood that has been at the heart of this investigation to try and catch those that are believed to be part of this broader support network.
Belgian judicial authorities are telling us that three arrests have been made. They also confirmed in a press conference yesterday that they believe that this is linked to that black Volkswagen polo that we've been hearing about. The eyewitnesses identified as having been part of those attacks.
The man driving that, the man who is believe who rented that, he is the focal point of this search. Police haven't confirmed yet whether he has been picked up amidst those arrests. Molenbeek, also, Chris, was part of the involvement in the "Charlie Hebdo" attacks in January in Paris.
So there is a long history of this terror network stretching between the two countries. And Belgium authorities say that they agree with their French counterparts that now needs to be the time that they should neutralized and isolate it because the threat they believe is only going to grow.
CUOMO: Nima, when you say that the threat is only going to grow, obviously, that is harsher light now with what Christiane Amanpour just reported that they do believe that at least one of the killers here who did come in on a temporary Syrian passport as a refugee, that is going to spur more fears here about what the threat is and how to contain it.
But to be very clear, investigators do believe more were involved, yes? And it's just about isolating where and who?
ELBAGIR: Absolutely, but it is also about the fact that Molenbeek has often been seen as a really crucial link in that terror pipeline between Europe and Syria. And judicial authorities here actually believe that the man they are looking for, that he is the brother of an ISIS fighter currently in Syria.
So this is part of the broader concerns and the fear that is threatening to engulf Europe about the ability of people to move not just in Syria to fight but to move back.
At the end of last year, Belgian authorities said that there are a few hundred Belgians who had gone to fight in Syria and almost a hundred they believe had come back and that they were trying. I mean, the crucial word there is trying to keep tabs on them, but not all of them have been on the authority's radar.
And just going back to Christiane's point that the other concern is that Molenbeek has the largest North African population in Europe. So it's going to play in to those far right possibilities, it's absolutely going to play into that (INAUDIBLE).
GORANI: OK. All right. Nima Elbagir is in Brussels. She's headed to Molenbeek. I don't know if I'm pronouncing it exactly right. But that is where the investigation is focusing now.