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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
Russian Fighter Jet Shot Down in Turkey; Downing of Russian Jet Makes Holland's Grand Coalition Dicey; New Details on Paris Attackers. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired November 24, 2015 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: According to NFL policy, a medical spotter should have kept Keenum from returning to the game.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I'm Carol Costello.
AT THIS HOUR with Berman and Bolduan starts now.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers around the United States and around the world. I'm Poppy Harlow, in for Kate and John.
President Obama and French President Francois Hollande will hold a joint news conference from the White House on the world's fight against ISIS just 11 days after the horrific attacks in Paris.
But first --
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
HARLOW: I do want to get to straight to breaking news this hour. We have learned a Russian fighter jet has been shot down in Turkey. Some stunning, stunning video just into us here at CNN allegedly showing the two Russian pilots being shot from the sky.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Allah Akbar.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Akbar! Akbar! (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Allah Akbar!
(END VIDEO CLIP) HARLOW: What you're hearing there, that yelling of "Allah Akbar," over and over, you're also hearing Turkmen rebels, who operate on the border between Turkey and Syria, shouting, "Don't shoot at them, let's capture them alive," talking about the pilots of that fighter jet. Also overheard saying, "Allah Akbar, God is great." It's unclear if the pilots were killed or if they were able to eject safely.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin warning of, quote, "significant consequences" after the jet was shot down right near that Turkey/Syria border.
This is the moment the plane went down in a ball of fire. Turkey says two of its F-16s fired on the jet after it repeatedly invaded Turkish air space and avoided several warnings. But Russia says it was flying over Syria, not over Turkey.
And a Turkish news agency put out this flight data map. They say this is proof that the plane did violate Turkish air space. You see the flight path in red. It's shown crossing a line that represents the border between Syria and Turkey.
Also, NATO just convening an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.
I want to bring in our senior international correspondents across the globe with all the angles, Nick Paton Walsh, in Istanbul, and Matthew Chance, in Moscow for us, Fred Pleitgen outside NATO headquarters in Brussels.
First to you, Nick.
This is a huge escalation in the most volatile region of the world right now. What do we know AT THIS HOUR after seeing that remarkable video of those rebels screaming?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It does appear likely that the two pilots who ejected from that Russian aircraft hit the ground dead. That's what we think we know at this stage. Those rebels you heard on the ground, well, they are part of a number of militant groups here that Russia says are terrorists but other people suggest might be more moderate, whose area having been hit intensely by air strikes in the past days or so. To the point the Turkish government has been deeply concerned about it.
When you see that video, have you to remember that those Russian airmen were flying above in combat jets, most likely bombing that area. Vladimir Putin hitting that area. They eject when their aircraft is hit by the Turkish F-16s. Turkey saying they crossed into their air space, and over a five-minute period, ignored 10 separate warnings. That's the Turkish point of view here. Taken out by F-16s. They then parachute down. You get a window of the brutality of this war. Under laws of war, when they parachute out and they should be allowed to parachute down to safety. But we've seen so many videos, helicopter pilots with the Syrian army, jet pilots from the Syrian military, so brutally treated when they hit the ground because, frankly, they're involved in the bombardment of civilians. Now, we don't know the Russian plane's target in this case but we know it will feed into the broader culture the Russians are assisting the Syrian Bashar al Assad regime.
When you hear the men on the ground say, "Take them alive, take them alive," they're probably hoping for prisoner swap or the leverage a Russian pilot alive might possibly give them.
But this is such a brutal conflict. When you see images like that, you simply have to understand, it's a window into the brutal level of the horror of it all rather than just one isolated incident -- Poppy?
HARLOW: It absolutely is. And what we know about the Turk rebels, we heard speaking in Turkish as that plane was coming down, they are anti-Assad, but also anti-Russian, the Putin government.
Matthew Chance, to you in Moscow.
Vladimir Putin coming out a few hours ago calling this "a stab in the back" which will have serious consequences for Russia's relationship with Turkey. So, what will those be? What do we expect to see?
[11:05:22] MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, it will have serious consequences, Vladimir Putin has already said that. Those images we just saw aren't going to do anything to convince the Russians that these so-called moderate rebels are other than what they say they are, which Russia regards as terrorists, that's why it's been bombing them equally as bad, the Russians say, as ISIS. Those stunning images of the machine gunning the Russian pilots as they parachute to the ground will do nothing to convince the Kremlin otherwise, I can tell you that.
In terms of what measures the Russians will be adopting, primarily diplomatic, the diplomatic broadsides have already started, at least in the first instance. Sergey Lavrov, Russian foreign minister, was to go to Turkey tomorrow to discuss Syria. That trip has been canceled. More than that, the Russian foreign minister advised Russian citizens to abandon their plans to go to Turkey on holiday. Turkey is a major vacation spot for Russian tourists. Millions of Russians go there every year. And the Association of Russian tourists has chimed in as well saying, look, we're not advising people to book from Russia package holidays to Turkey anymore either.
And so, you know, this is just the start of the -- of the response that we're expecting from Russia. We're not expecting them to declare war on Russia -- sorry -- on Turkey or anything like that. But there will be an asymmetrical response, the start of which we are now seeing.
HARLOW: But it makes it all the more complicated when you have the hope of many that we could see some sort of alliance form between United States, France, Russia and Turkey as needed in this fight against ISIS.
Fred Pleitgen, to you.
You are outside this emergency NATO meeting just called in the wake of this. Who is meeting inside? What's the goal?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's all NATO member states, Poppy. This meeting was called by the Turks. It's an emergency meeting they called immediately after they shot down this Russian warplane. The first thing they're going to do inside that meeting is get information from the Turks. The Turks are going to tell the other NATO member countries how they saw this incident unfold, the way they saw this Russian airplane allegedly go through their air space and why they felt it necessary for their F-16 aircraft to then respond.
Now, of course, one of the other things that is on everybody's mind here at NATO and, indeed, all the member countries as well, is not allowing the situation to escalate at this point in time. But it is, of course, something very, very sensitive to have a direct hostility between a NATO member country and Russia. There's been a lot of bad blood in the past couple of weeks, in the past couple of months. In fact, only about a month and a half ago, there was a statement issued by NATO condemning Russia for going into NATO air space, going into Turkish air space as it was conducting its operations in Syria. That was also an emergency meeting called by the Turks as well.
Now, of course, at this stage of the game, the stakes are so much higher with the Turks having shot down that airplane. The first thing they're going to do is they have to say everybody has to keep a clear head here. They'll get the information, see what happened, try to get behind how all of this unfolded. And then, in some way, shape or form, try to de-escalate the situation. Of course, it is something that could get out of hand if cooler heads don't prevail -- Poppy?
Fred Pleitgen, thank you very much.
Nick Paton Walsh, Matthew Chance, appreciate the reporting from all of you today.
Also, more breaking news I wanted to get to this hour. ISIS now claiming responsibility for a hotel bombing in Egypt. Four people killed, 12 others wounded. The hotel located in the town of al Arisha (ph), in the Sinai Peninsula, where the Russian airliner was brought down by ISIS a week ago. We know four judges, overseeing parliamentary elections, were staying at that hotel. One judge was killed. Two police officers and one civilian also lost their lives. All three of the attackers died in that bombing.
French President Francois Hollande meeting right now with President Obama at the White House. The two leaders will hold a joint news conference in just a few moments. We will, of course, bring that to you live from the White House when it begins.
Their meeting comes 11 days after the deadly terror attacks in Paris. The French president is on a mission to strengthen the coalition to defeat ISIS, and he even tried to include Russia as a partner. So this morning's downing of the Russian military jet makes the situation all the more dicey. Let's bring in Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, senior fellow at the Council on
Foreign Relations; and also Paris-based journalist, Stefan De Vries.
Thank you both for being here.
Gayle, your take on how, now with this plane being downed by Turkey, for over a year now, we've heard it is so strategically important to the fight against ISIS. If you want Russia to cooperate, what happens now?
[11:10:15] GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON, SENIOR FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I mean, this really exposes just how complicated this conflict has become. It was really difficult to manage from the start for the United States and has grown only more so because the United States has really tried to do incremental steps in terms of getting involved.
What happens now with the NATO meetings, what happens with the Russian plane being downed, I think, is you see an international coalition that was trying to unite in the fight against ISIS now really being drawn apart by the discussion of the future of Bashar al Assad, which has really been at the center of this entire conflict from the start, what happens to the Syrian leader. Is the international community prepared to live with him, staying in power, in hopes of defeating ISIS? And I think this just complicates the calculus even further.
HARLOW: No question.
Stefan, you are a Paris-based journalist. We spent the last couple of days in Paris, you were on my program a lot. We talked about the sentiment of the French people. As we see Hollande meeting with President Obama today. What does the average French person want from the United States in this war on is?
STEFAN DE VRIES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR & FRENCH JOURNALIST: Well, I think they want foremost to have -- to show their solidarity. The French know they can't ask the U.S. for troops on the ground, boots on the ground, because that's far too complicated in Syria, but I do -- I do think that the French really need the U.S. to show their solidarity, to also provide logistical support to Francois Hollande and the French army, and basically the aim of Francois Hollande with this visit today at D.C. is to create a global alliance.
That was his -- that was his idea when he took the airplane this night to D.C. Unfortunately, the events in Turkey and the shooting down of the Russian airplane have made things much more complicated. Francois Hollande will meet Angela Merkel, German chancellor, tomorrow night. The day after tomorrow, he will be in Moscow to discuss with Vladimir Putin. I think this discussion with Vladimir Putin will be very complicated after the events of this morning.
HARLOW: No question.
Gayle, we watched Francois Hollande come to the United States, really beating the drum of war, declaring immediately after the attacks, this is war on ISIS. That, as he stands side by side in moments with President Obama, who has been more hesitant, who has insisted the air campaign is working, this will work, we don't need thousands of American boots on the ground. And then we see Hollande going to Russia tomorrow. When you look at the two men side by side, as we await this press conference, do you expect the rhetoric to become more aligned from the two of them?
TZEMACH LEMMON: I think the rhetoric may, but the reality, I think, will remain different. I mean, you have Hollande really asking for, let's do more and Obama really answering with stay the course, this is working. And, you know, from 2013 you talk to administration officials who were pushing to do more. And the president has never felt comfortable, that America doing more would not lead to unintended consequences or further complications for the United States' national security interests.
And I think you see that tension that played out inside the administration, now spilling out into real international discussion where the French leader is really pushing the Americans to do more. And the fear among U.S. diplomats that I've talked to over the last couple of days is that they go to Russia if they don't get the help they're seeking from the United States. So I think we have a situation where we will see more rhetoric aligned, but I do not know if the reality will come closer to what the French president wants.
HARLOW: Stefan, as we saw after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Jacques Chirac reticent to go to war. Now a complete role reversal.
DE VRIES: Yeah, absolutely. That's a good comparison. Actually, France was the first country to help the U.S. by the mission in Afghanistan right after 9/11. So, I think France would like to see something similar from the U.S. right now, although the conditions are completely different, of course. It's very dangerous. It's very complicated because we've seen Russia and America were basically enemies on this particular file, fighting ISIS only two weeks ago. They seem to become, well, allies again in the last couple of days but the attack by the Turkish -- the shooting down of the Russian fighter jet has complicated things massively. But I still think that the goal of Francois Hollande is to have a global alliance by the end of this week to fight ISIS together, instead of having all these different countries doing their own missions.
HARLOW: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, thank you.
Stefan de Vries, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
As I said, just moments from now, President Obama, President Hollande will be standing side by side in that room speaking to reporters at a joint news conference at the White House. Will President Obama react to those reports that ISIS intelligence that he received from his own team was changed, perhaps, given to him too rosy?
[11:15:17] Also breaking news in the manhunt for the eighth attacker in Paris. That man on your screen, is he in Germany? Germany getting a tip he may be on their soil.
Also, a chilling discovery on the phone, a cell phone of one of the attackers that shows military-style training went into the massacre.
This is CNN's special live coverage. Stay with us.
HARLOW: We do want to bring you new breaking news just into us in CNN, in the case of the Chicago police officer who shot and killed an African-American teen back in October of 2014. You're looking at him there. The officer's name, Jason Van Dyke, charged with first-degree murder. He turned himself into authorities this morning. He is expected to appear in court in Chicago today at 1:00. Again, the officer charged with first-degree murder will be in court in just a little over an hour and a half. We will bring you much more from Chicago as we have it.
[11:20:24] An intense search this morning in Germany. Authorities believe they are near the city of Belufel in Germany, they got a tip that the eighth attacker, Salah Abdeslam may be there in Germany. We just learned the operation in the area is winding down. They have not made an arrest at this point in time. A French source says officials are afraid there is still a support network helping him get away and possibly plan another terror attack.
Intense interest this morning in a possible suicide vest that turned up in a garbage can near Paris. There are suspicions it could have been Abdeslam because it had the same explosive in it, TATP. His cell phone was tracked to same area.
We're learning new details about the Paris attackers. U.S. intelligence suggesting they had military-style training. They conducted surveillance on some of their targets before they hit those six targets.
CNN chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, has all the details.
Jim, this briefing coming from the FBI, incredibly disturbing just at how sophisticated it appears this was in terms of the planning.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: This is something U.S. law enforcement, U.S. counter-terror officials have been worried about for some time. That is what they tend to call a Mumbai-style attack. It's multiple gunmen attacking populated areas, crowded areas, killing many of them, taking hostages. That's what played out on the streets of Paris. You have the FBI now warning local field offices here in the states and other law enforcement to prepare for this kind of thing, saying they should re-do their training, for instance, for active shooter situations. They should look out for people surveilling targets, taking video footage of targets for a plan, those being warning signs. They don't have anything specific or credible, but they do know the way these terror groups operate. If they see something happen over here and it works, there are sympathizers here in the U.S. U.S. officials are aware of them. That's inspiration for them. They're saying, be prepared for it. They're not saying it's likely to be on the same scale as Paris but there's a risk and they're trying to prepare law enforcement to do everything they can to prevent that.
HARLOW: Absolutely, Tonight, Jim, while I have you, you have a fascinating special report coming up tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern, targeting eastern terror. You sat down with people who know the most about this, on the inside of intelligence. What can you tell us about it?
SCIUTTO: People may not know this, but there are 16 intelligent agencies out there. You know about the CIA, you know about the NSA, but there are many others that are part of this team, in effect. You have the NRO, National Reconnaissance Operation, that runs the spy satellite. You have the NGA that analyzes the spy satellite data. So many, and every day they're fighting these kinds of threats. There are many threats out there. This is one takeaway, they talk about specifically cyber threats. But, you know, things that we saw play out in the streets of Paris were important as well. And we're coming up, for the last several months, one big warning they always make is that these guys are going dark. They're using simple tools that make them virtually invisible to surveillance.
Here's a brief clip of the special. I think you get a real sense here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO (voice-over): Countless enemies launching a staggering number of attacks, tracked here in the NSA's Cyber Command Center.
(on camera): How many cyber attacks do you see a day here, if you had to quantify?
RICHARD LEDGETT, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NSA: If you had to quantify, hundreds of thousands.
SCIUTTO (voice-over): And it gets worse. Cyber attacks happening at lightning speed. So the NSA has to put up defenses just as fast.
LEDGETT: The fastest we've ever done that is 10 minutes, start to finish. Got the threat, put the defense up.
SCIUTTO (on camera): 10 minutes?
LEDGETT: 10 minutes.
(voice-over): The cyber intruders are getting faster, smarter. China, suspected in the largest theft of U.S. government personal information. Russia, believed to be behind the hacking of White House e-mails. And now terrorists, such as ISIS and al Qaeda, have learned how to disappear from U.S. electronic surveillance completely.
(on camera): Is it true that terrorists or adversaries are going completely dark?
LEDGETT: Absolutely. There is part of the world that's dark to us. In other words, we can't see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO (voice-over): He's speaking specifically there about groups such as ISIS, al Qaeda. But, again, when you talk about those cyber attacks, Poppy, you're talking about nation states, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran. That's a battle they're fighting every day. It's really a war already under way.
[11:25:05] HARLOW: We've seen how ISIS has utilized social media and this encrypted technology to communicate so effectively.
Jim Sciutto, look forward to seeing that tonight. Thank you so much.
SCIUTTO: Thanks, Poppy.
HARLOW: Again, CNN special report "Targeting Terror: Inside the Intelligence War." It airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern only right here on CNN.
Coming up next, presidential candidate, Donald Trump, not backing down. The Republican front-runner again defending a very controversial claim about 9/11. Why he says he is standing by what he said, that he saw thousands of people in New Jersey cheering as the worst terror attack on American soil.
Also a downed Russian jet, Europe on edge, new attacks in Egypt, just a few of the topics President Obama is expected to address right in that room at the White House when he takes the podium in just a few moments in his first joint press conference with his French counterpart since the deadly attacks in Paris. That is next. Stay with us.