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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Jakarta Attacks; Refugee Asylum Seekers May Have to Finance Their Stay in Denmark; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired January 14, 2016 - 14:00:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: ISIS strikes yet again. This time, Indonesia, home to the world's biggest Muslim


So is this now the new normal?

Absolutely not, says Britain's man to the U.N.


MATTHEW RYCROFT, U.K. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: We've got to end this war. We will carry on going until we do end this war; every single attack,

whether it is in Paris, in Jakarta, in Istanbul or anywhere else, redoubles the resolve of the international community.

We are seeing more countries joining that global coalition and we are seeing countries that are already in that global coalition doing more and

more to help fight daish.


AMANPOUR (voice-over): Plus: a controversial Danish bill to pry valuables from the hands of refugees?

Fair play or a worrying sign of Euro xenophobia rising?


AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

The terrorizing tentacles of ISIS are spreading and today's target was Indonesia. A brazen attack in the capital is just the latest global work

of ISIS this week, in which they also killed dozens in Istanbul, Baghdad and Kabul.

And of course this follows the major attacks in Paris, Beirut and California all before Christmas. Suicide bombers and gunmen launched an

coordinated attack at a Jakarta mall early this morning. An U.N. employee nearby described the scary scene.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A third bomb went off. And then we thought, this is really bad. We got up to our office and we then heard a fourth and a

fifth and a sixth bomb and we heard exchange of small arms fire in front of the building.

AMANPOUR (voice-over): At least two people were killed and 20 are injured. Five attackers are also dead. Indonesia's president, Joko

Widodo, urged calm as ISIS claimed responsibility, making today the first time the group has targeted the world's largest Muslim nation.


And I spoke to Britain's ambassador to the United Nations, Matthew Rycroft, about this surge in ISIS attacks and I asked him whether the

allied strategy to defeat ISIS is actually working.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Welcome to the program, Ambassador.

RYCROFT: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: Today, we've had yet another ISIS attack, this one in Jakarta. Just tell me what you all believe this all to be. I mean,

there's been so many.

RYCROFT: Well, first of all, my thoughts and condolences are with the families of the victims. What a terrible tragedy to happen, yet more

families literally blown apart by daish.

And all in the cause of a caliphate that has been violently imposed on a -- on unsuspecting countries all around the world.

AMANPOUR: And yet it is able to be violently imposed. I mean, that's the story, isn't it, that a dozen people here, six people there, 130 in

France are being killed on a regular basis. It is being able to wield its will.

RYCROFT: Well, there are these tragic events, as you say, and we keep on hearing more of them.

But at the international community's resolve is stronger. There is a global coalition. There are over 60 countries involved in tackling daish,

either militarily, politically, in terms of countering this poisonous narrative that daish has.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about that because I was interviewing the prime minister of Kurdistan. As you know, the Peshmerga are among the most

important ground forces against ISIS.

The prime minister told me on this program that actually he sees the Western strategy as one of trying to contain daish, not defeating it; as

your prime minister, the President of the United States and others say, they're determined to defeat it.

He doesn't see that as a strategy happening on the ground.

Do you need to put more into this war?

RYCROFT: Well, let me be clear. The strategy is to defeat daish. The means to do that are in place. Every week or month that goes by, the

resolve of the international community is only strengthened by the ferocity of the attacks that we're responding to.

Back in November, after the Paris attacks, the whole of the international community came together, under the British presidency of the

Security Council, to condemn unreservedly those attacks and the others that have happened and to call on every single country in the world with the

capacity to do so, to fight daish until it is defeated.

So the strategy is one of carrying on going until we defeat them --


AMANPOUR: Yes. And you talk --


AMANPOUR: -- about Paris and the will of the world coming together. But as we've just laid out, there have been, you know, nearly a dozen since

then and let me just read you this statistic.

There have been 60 terrorist attacks in 19 countries around the world since they declared their caliphate in 2014, killing at least 1,150 people

and injuring more than 1,700 others.

This is the premise that I put to Secretary of State John Kerry after the Paris attacks.


AMANPOUR: Is this the new normal?

Is this what we, as citizens, are expecting from our leadership, that this is now acceptable collateral damage?

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Absolutely not. No. This is not normal. It will not be normal. It will not become normal.


AMANPOUR: It is becoming the new normal. All analysts are talking about what happened in Jakarta today after what happened in Istanbul, after

what happened elsewhere as the new normal.

So how are you going to end this war?

Because, in the end, it is ending the war, is that not right?

RYCROFT: We've got to end this war. We will carry on going until we do end this war; every single attack, whether it is in Paris, in Jakarta,

in Istanbul or anywhere else, redoubles the resolve of the international community.

We are seeing more countries joining that global coalition and we are seeing countries that are already in that global coalition doing more and

more to help fight daish. And we will keep going until we win.

At its core, daish is taking advantage of chaos in Syria.

AMANPOUR: But it's still able to recruit more and more and more people.

RYCROFT: And many of them have been radicalized in Syria. So I think this needs to come back to a political agreement in Syria --

AMANPOUR: Where are we on that?

Where's the Vienna process?

You have a Syria conference, the British are hosting that soon here.

RYCROFT: First of all, on the Syria conference, this is the U.K. putting together the whole of the international community, with the U.N.,

with Germany, with Kuwait and with Norway and making sure that we all dig deeper into our pockets and tackle that humanitarian crisis as generously

as we can, that we help rebuild Syria so that, when peace comes -- and it will come eventually -- when peace comes, the Syrians are able to rebuild

their country.

And on the political track, the so-called Vienna process, continues to keep going. In December, the whole of the Security Council agreed a

resolution for the first time --


AMANPOUR: But what's happened since?

RYCROFT: Since then, the U.N., in the form of Stefan di Mistura, has been putting in place the conditions that will allow those peace talks

finally to start, we hope by the end of this month.

AMANPOUR: Are you concerned that just ahead of the next round of Vienna peace talks the Russians are stepping up their battle for Assad's


In other words, giving him potentially more chops to come to the negotiating table with?

Does that worry you?

RYCROFT: Yes. I mean, when Russia went in militarily to Syria in September, they said that they were going in to fight daish. And if they

had done that, then that would have been welcome. They could have joined this global coalition of over 60 countries.

Instead, they have -- they've gone in and the majority of their airstrikes have been against the opposition, some of whom have been named

as participants in these future peace talks.

So that is destabilizing the peace talks and it is strengthening the Assad regime --

AMANPOUR: Does that actually make it impossible to have a peace?

RYCROFT: It's not impossible. And I continue to be optimistic that 2016 will be the year when finally we turn this around and that finally the

international community gets our act together, finally the Security Council's division can be replaced by unity. And that is why we need to

reach out and include Russia.

They have a very important role to play and we've seen, in these Vienna talks, co-chaired by Kerry and Lavrov, that they have an important

role to play. I urge them to play it.

AMANPOUR: The Syria fallout is not just in the terrorist attacks but it's in the influx of refugees into Europe.

And what we're seeing right now is so many, you know, Western liberal democracies battening down the hatches, almost ditching their Western

liberal policies, you know, the xenophobia, the terrible rise of anti- foreigner sentiment.

And many, many people in Europe being very, very upset about terror and the influx of these refugees.

Why is it that Europe cannot get its act together and do what it said it was going to do, equitably spread them around, do something global

rather than putting it all on a few countries and then we're in a mess now?

RYCROFT: Well, actually, I think Europe is and can get its act together and so can the international community as a whole. It -- we don't

need every single country to do the same thing in response to this crisis. Some --

AMANPOUR: They need more --

RYCROFT: -- can be generous in terms of resettlement of refugees, absolutely. Other countries can take the lead in seeking a political

solution to Syria, which is the long-term, sustainable solution that we all need.

Others can be involved militarily, like the U.K. is. And others can redouble our efforts on the humanitarian side, again, like the U.K. is

through the London conference coming up on the 4th of February.

AMANPOUR: But when Angela Merkel, who's spearheaded the welcome into Europe, when she's having to retreat --


AMANPOUR: -- it doesn't look very hopeful.

RYCROFT: Well, as I say, different countries can tackle this in different ways.

So long as we are all doing more than we were before, whether that's in resettling more refugees; whether that's in doing more for aid, for

humanitarian; whether it's thinking about the long-term development needs of the future of Syria; whether it's the peace talks; whether it's the

military fight against daish, all of that is part of a single comprehensive, strategic plan to finally resolve the Syria crisis.

AMANPOUR: Ambassador Rycroft, thank you very much indeed for joining me.

RYCROFT: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: Now as the terror spreads, Europe continues to confront the ever deeper destabilization from the refugee influx. And after a break, we

look at how Denmark is trying to raise the money it takes to look after refugees by forcing them to hand over their last valuables.

Chilling echoes of a horrible past in Europe's liberal heart -- next.




AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

They've already given up their homes and their livelihoods and they barely escaped with their lives. But refugees arriving in Denmark could

soon be forced to give up their last remaining valuables.

The Danish government is getting ready to pass a bill that would allow seizing those valuables from asylum seekers in order to help pay for their

stay. Items worth around one and a half thousand dollars could be taken away.

This as the government shifts from center left to center right and the tide in Europe shifts against refugees, including in Germany and in Sweden,

which so far have been the most hospitable.

The Danish government spokesman, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, joins me live from Copenhagen to discuss this issue.


AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program and let me just say, say it ain't so.

How can this be happening in the heart of Denmark's welfare state?

You can't be ripping valuables off the most desperate people.

JAKOB ELLEMANN-JENSEN, DANISH GOVERNMENT: I'm very glad that's the way you view this because, as the prime minister said, this is probably the

most misunderstood piece of legislation in Danish history.

But let me just clarify a few things regarding the way we make things here in Denmark before answering your question because, first of all, the

Danish role in handling this crisis, Denmark is one of the most generous countries in the world regarding development aid.

Denmark has taken on a major role in helping in the areas affected by the war in Syria and Denmark is one of the countries in Europe receiving

most refugees.

If you compare by number of pro capita, it would -- last year Denmark received 20,000 refugees. That would be equivalent to the U.S. receiving 1

million refugees. So we are taking more than our fair share.

Second of all, Denmark has a universal welfare system. That means that all Danish citizens and refugees coming here receive universal health

care, you receive education from preschool to university and you receive elderly care, you receive language training and integration training, free

of charge, paid for by the government.

The only thing -- the only demand that we set to measure this is if you have the means to --


ELLEMANN-JENSEN: -- pay for your housing and for your food, regardless of whether you're a Dane or whether you're a refugee, then you

should. And if you can't do this, then the government will provide for you. This is the essence of this bill.

AMANPOUR: OK, well, that sounds really benign.

But then how do you answer the former chief rabbi of Denmark, who said that this has chilling echoes of what happened during the Holocaust with

Jews being forcibly removed and separated from their possessions before what happened next?

The UNHCR has basically said, about this legislation, "The signal Denmark's introduction of restrictions sends to other countries in the

world is worrisome message and could fuel fear, xenophobia and similar restrictions that would reduce rather than expand the asylum space globally

and put refugees in need at life-threatening risks."

How do you answer that?

ELLEMANN-JENSEN: I think that many people, also in Denmark, has had an interest in spreading the wrong history regarding this.

And, no, we are not going to take the jewelry away from people. I mean, this is outrageous. We would never do this.

We are generous people and we receive people who come here in need and in need of aid. And that's quite important for me to emphasize. And I

have -- I've also heard these accusations and I'm also outraged by it. But let me honestly tell you this is not true.

AMANPOUR: Well, I'm really glad I've given you this platform then because either the government has bungled this rollout of this legislation

or there is really something at risk -- or rather afoot.

And I think what is afoot is that the influx of refugees has caused a shift in sentiment, not just in Denmark but in many countries that have

been so generous to the refugees.

So how much of an issue, of a problem is this now for your government?

ELLEMANN-JENSEN: Well, we need to understand that, last year alone, 91,000 people crossed the Danish-German border in order to get to Denmark,

Sweden, Norway and Finland. We are a country with only 5.5 million people; 20,000 of these seeked asylum in Denmark and others left for other


And we need to be able to control what is going on with the people coming to Denmark. And, therefore, we are passing legislation that, yes,

tightens up a bit but we are still a very generous people, comparing to almost the rest of the world.

AMANPOUR: Do you worry that what you have to do and what you are planning to do competes with the welfare past, with the liberal heart of

your state and of Europe?

And do you think that this is eventually, inevitably going to lead to a much more robust toughening of borders and an end to Schengen as we know


ELLEMANN-JENSEN: Hopefully not, because the open borders need it -- it's very needed in a society as Denmark. We are very dependent on open

borders. We have been a trade nation since the Middle Ages and we are still very dependent on this.

So we are very aware that the open borders are important and that we need to limit the border controls as much as possible in any way.

Still, we need to control who comes into is the country. Sweden has effectively closed their borders towards Denmark. That means that we need

to control who gets in here.

It's still impossible for anybody who comes to the Danish border to seek asylum in Denmark. But we need to know also for the sake of our

security in the nation who comes into Denmark.

AMANPOUR: What would be a sort of a global solution to what's happening?

And obviously putting your country and many others under a lot of stress; is it -- law enforcement is not working.

Is it intelligence?

Is it the fact that all European countries are not divvying up the duties, so to speak, according to their ability?

What is at the heart of the main problem?

ELLEMANN-JENSEN: Well, the division of refugees to many of these countries is not the solution to the problem. The solution is to the

problem is effectively doing something about the conflict in Syria. That is something that we. in Denmark, cannot do alone.

We take part in this conflict as well. We also fight against daish and we contribute quite heavily, considering our size, to this. But the

world needs to step up. Europe needs to step up. We are not able to do this alone.

AMANPOUR: Do you have any hope that actually -- you just heard me speak to the British ambassador to the United Nations, talking about the

political process.

But even as we speak, we don't know where the political process is leading. We don't know whether Assad or the others are going to negotiate

in good faith. We don't know whether the backers of different sides are going to come together with a unified force.


AMANPOUR: And we really don't know what Russia is doing to prop up Assad.

So does the Danish government have any faith in the current political process?

ELLEMANN-JENSEN: I think that everybody should have faith in the political process. Otherwise, we're not going to get anywhere at any time.

There is no military solution alone for this. There needs to be a political solution and the entire world needs to take part in this


AMANPOUR: All right. On that note, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, government spokesman in Denmark, thank you for joining me from Copenhagen tonight.


AMANPOUR: Thank you.


AMANPOUR: So while this policy, as we've seen, has its critics, a new Danish film has critics of a different sort, the sort that gains it an

Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

It's called "A War," and it's a tension-packed drama, exploring the moral dilemmas facing soldiers in the heat of battle. I asked the director

and one of the stars, himself an actual Danish Afghan war vet, what made them pick this subject.


TOBIAS LINDHOLM, WRITER AND DIRECTOR: I wanted to try to make a film -- I didn't know the exact story.

But then one day, I read an interview with a Danish officer, going on his third tour to Afghanistan.

And he said, "I'm not afraid of getting killed down there. I'm afraid of getting prosecuted when I get back home."

And right then, I knew there was a story to tell. I started and I didn't understand. And I think that that statement was so complex and so

interesting that it made me reach out and try to find soldiers that I -- that could share their experiences with me. And luckily I found Martin and

the guys.

AMANPOUR: Martin, did you find that fear amongst your comrades in arms, that people were worried, what if they did something and they ended

up, you know, being prosecuted?

MARTIN ANDERSEN, SOLDIER AND ACTOR: Very much so, very much so. And part of -- a few of my colleagues have actually been in situations where

they were faced with charges of war crimes.

And I think it was an everyday concern on the battlefield in Afghanistan, especially later, as the campaign progressed. The rules of

engagement changed quite dramatically for the soldiers. And it turned out to be very, very difficult to maneuver and to actually to be able to fight

the war.


AMANPOUR: And the film, "A War," just nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. And you can watch the full interview about this film, which

uses, as I said, real Danish soldiers and actual Afghan refugees as actors. OK. See more of that next week.

And after a break, we pay tribute: another star of the silver screen goes to meet his Maker. Imagine a world without the British acting giant,

Alan Rickman. Remembering the man who played heroes, Snapes and villains and everything in between -- next.




AMANPOUR: And finally tonight all week --


AMANPOUR: -- we've been paying tribute to the global musical legend, Britain's David Bowie, who died of cancer at the age of 69.

Well, imagine a world where another British icon dies of the same cause at the same age in the same week.

Sadly, tonight, we deliver another eulogy, this time for the acclaimed British character actor and director, Alan Rickman. His talent and that

signature voice saw him tread the boards in London's West End and take Broadway by storm before his film career took off as the villain, Hans

Gruber, in "Die Hard."


ALAN RICKMAN, ACTOR, "HANS GRUBER": I wanted this to be professional, efficient, adult, cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did

not see it that way. So he won't be joining us for the rest of his life.


AMANPOUR: Now he was offered that part just two days after touching down in Los Angeles. And playing sinister, often twistedly humorous

baddies quickly became Rickman's forte. He entered the hearts of a new generation as Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.


RICKMAN, "SEVERUS SNAPE": If anyone here has any knowledge of Mr. Potter's movements this evening, I invite them to step forward now.


AMANPOUR: That sinister voice -- but he could also play the quintessential Jane Austen romantic hero.

Alan Rickman leaves behind his wife and his indelible versatility on screen.

And that is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can now always listen to our podcast, you can always see us online at and you

can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.