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Authorities Believe Second Man Involved in Metro Bombing; Justice for the Victims of Bosnia's War; Imagine a World. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired March 24, 2016 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST (voice-over): Tonight: Belgium's interior minister offers to quit over the extensive intelligence failures
that led to the Brussels attacks.
What went so wrong?
The former head of counterterrorism of MI-6, Richard Barrett, joins me live.
Also ahead: guilty of genocide and jailed for 40 years. The former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.
AMANPOUR: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
European intelligence agencies are facing tough questions today after terrorists have now managed to launch two major attacks in two major
capitals in just four months with disturbing links between them.
As we reported last night, Turkey's president confirmed today that Ankara alerted Brussels last summer about Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the
airport suicide bombers.
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRESIDENT OF TURKEY (through translator): One of Brussels' attackers was caught in Gaziantep in June 2015 and deported.
We reported the deportation to Belgian authorities on July 14th, 2015, with a deportation notice.
Yet, despite our warning that this person was a foreign terrorist fighter, Belgian authorities could not find a link to terrorism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Now Belgium's interior minister admitted the failure and offered to resign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BELGIUM'S INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): Given the facts, I think it is justified that people ask questions and people ask how is it
possible that someone was released early and we missed a chance when he was in Turkey to detain him. I offered my resignation to the prime minister.
He this morning asked me to stay explicitly given the situation and the conditions we're in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So a massive manhunt continues for a second man the authorities believe took part in the metro bombing along with Ibrahim's
brother, Khalid El Bakraoui, who is now dead. And officials are also trying to track down this man in white, who dropped a bomb off at the
airport and then fled.
Meantime, French authorities confirmed to this program last night that a third airport bomber was, they believe, Najim Laachraoui, who also spent
time in Syria and crucially was the suspected Paris bombmaker, thus linking the two cells.
And today, ISIS released a video urging its fighters in the West to carry out more attacks.
So joining me now is Richard Barrett, the security expert and former head of global counterterrorism at MI-6.
Mr. Barrett, welcome back with to the program.
RICHARD BARRETT, COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: They're talking now about a super cell, about numbers and coordination that they had not even imagined possible before this attack.
Are you surprised that are surprised?
BARRETT: Well, this is new. I don't think there's ever been a cell which has managed to conduct two attacks in nearby capitals in Europe
before this. And I think after the Paris attacks and the amount of arrests and deaths of the attackers during that attack, I think most people
thought, well, OK, one or two people got away. But they're probably on their own and in due course they will find out.
But of course there were several other people, who are very capable of mounting operations. So clearly there had been a plan by this group,
whether informed or instructed by the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq to conduct further attacks in Europe.
And I think that is quite worrying and is probably a little bit surprising that they were so well coordinated and so good operation, if you
like, to avoid detection.
AMANPOUR: And what about these facts?
Abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks, was eventually gunned down in that hideout he had in Paris. Abdeslam, who'd been on the
run, was shot in the leg and captured in Brussels. And it didn't stop the attacks. Instead, first of all, the Brussels one happened very rapidly
thereafter and after Abaaoud was killed, it just seems to have caused the group to regroup rapidly and almost enlarge and embolden them.
BARRETT: Well, yes, indeed. I think actually the capture of Abdeslam by the Belgian authorities probably did accelerate the Brussels attacks. I
think there they thought, OK, now they have got somebody who's bound to talk in due course and so we'd better get on and do what --
BARRETT: -- we can while we can. And I think maybe they may have had a plan originally to mount some attack, whether at the airport, in the
subway station as well. I'm not sure. But I think it was probably brought forward because of that arrest.
AMANPOUR: So there's obviously always a blame game. It seems pretty acute here after the Brussels attacks. I didn't notice so much anger and
so much finger-pointing and intelligence failure after the Paris attacks.
It looks like people are getting fed up. And let me just ask you this, Paris immediately criticized the E.U. from failing to fast-track
security measures that it highlighted as lacking after the "Charlie Hebdo," measures apparently held up for months in the E.U. parliament.
As a counterterror official, what do you say to that?
How does one unblock this system?
BARRETT: Well, it's enormously frustrating, I think, for people looking at it because they assume that there's this key piece of
intelligence that if only it had been provided at the time would have solved everything and prevented the attacks. That's very, very rarely the
And it's inevitable that with the clarity of hindsight we see the deficiencies in foresight. Of course, that always happens, too. But I
think that the reaction always to blame the services may, in some cases, be well placed and may -- and I'm sure there were things that could have been
But it's not really the answer to the terrorist problem, having more security people, bigger budgets and stuff like that isn't necessarily going
to solve this problem. I think it's something much more fundamental in our society that needs to happen.
AMANPOUR: Like what?
I mean, look, you say it's always tempting to suggest that it could have been predicted. But look, let's face it. Apparently -- well, you
heard the Turkish president saying, we identified Ibrahim El Bakraoui. Both Bakraouis were known to the security forces well before the attack.
There were red flags and they were missed, otherwise the interior minister wouldn't have offered to resign. So just talk to me about that
part of it.
Why is it that MI-6 and MI-5, the other intelligence agency, are always held up as really knowing how to get this right?
What do other agencies need to learn, if anything, from the British security?
BARRETT: Well, let me take the Bakraoui thing first. The Turks have deported probably around 3,000 people now and they've stopped at their
borders perhaps another 3,000 people appear to be wanting to join the fight in Syria.
Not all of Western Europe, of course, but now you've got 6,000 people who were sent back somewhere, who are possibly suspicious and need
monitoring. That's -- you think of the resources that you'd need to do all that.
So already you're going to have to be selective even among that high- risk group. So Bakraoui, sure, the Belgians should have been more aware of that. He was sent back to the Netherlands. Maybe he should have gone back
to Brussels, the Belgians were slow on the uptake there perhaps.
But that was last June, so already you've got, what, nine months or so gone by?
What would they have during that time?
Could they have arrested him?
Would their law allow them to arrest him, to arrest somebody on the basis that they went to Turkey and looked likely to be joining the Islamic
But without sort of evidence. So it's really difficult to cross this barrier between the intelligence collection stuff and sort of law
enforcement stuff, stuff that would satisfy a judge.
So on the MI-5, MI-6 thing, if I may on that, I think one of the advantages that we have in Britain is that having this external service as
well as the internal service and having them work together means that the external service probably has a very good relationship with the Turkish
counterparts and can look at these cases in detail and think, OK, this person really is worthy of immediate attention; whereas, these people may
be -- you know, they're maybe just sort of mucking about and we will get the police to look at their community but not much more than that.
AMANPOUR: Well, that's fundamental then. So you think perhaps an external service needs to be bolstered. People are talking about a whole
revamp of the European security whatever, infrastructure.
So you've just said something that I hadn't heard before, that the MI- 6 external service is a value adder and a force multiplier when you're dealing with all these potential subjects.
BARRETT: Yes, of course, because the internal service will have its relationships, too, of course, with its partner services but the external
service does add value by bringing in some of that sort of granularity which is so important to any investigation.
Once you've caught the hold of one thread and start pulling it in these very tight-knit cells, usually the whole thing can unravel. You can
find out about the rest of it. But you have to know which thread it is. Then you have to know that that thread is actually connected to a cell
rather than just a loose thread that you pull and it comes out.
That may not be a very good analogy but if you bring the external expertise with the internal expertise, you're more likely to come to --
BARRETT: -- the right conclusion.
AMANPOUR: Let's just put it in perspective again: three attacks in Europe since January of 2015, four attacks in Turkey since June of 2015,
all ISIS-related. Obviously the wars in Syria and Iraq are allowing this stuff to happen.
But what about the Muslim communities in Europe?
Do you ever wonder what -- where their allegiance is?
I know it sounds awful but is their allegiance to the state or is their allegiance, do you think, to their families, their friends, their
BARRETT: I think that's a very interesting question. And if you look at Belgium, I think Belgium only has about 500,000 Muslim -- it's quite a
relatively small community but even within that, we're talking about a tiny percentage of people who were involved in the attacks and they're
interrelated. They've grown up together, they live in the same area and certainly think in the same way.
They reinforce their own attitudes and so on and they've formed such a tight-knit little group within such a sort of bubble that separate from the
rest of society that I think it's very difficult, even for their own community, to say more that, than, well, these young guys seem to be going
off the rail. They're doing carjacking and stuff like that.
To know that somebody is actually planning such horrific attacks as happened in Paris and in Belgium, you know, how do you penetrate that?
Do they even decide that they're going to do that very long before they do it?
So there are all sorts of difficulties, I think, for not only for the police forces but also the community itself. Even if it feels a greater
affinity towards its country than its community, even if those things are in conflict, which of course, in most cases, they're not.
But when you have a tight-knit cell, I think it's the old, old story of do you betray your friends or do you betray your country and your
And I think inevitably if they're your brothers and cousins and people, you're going to say, well, I'd prefer to betray my community rather
than my friends.
AMANPOUR: Richard Barrett, thank you so much indeed. Thanks for joining us tonight.
BARRETT: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And when we come back, finally justice for a war that ended 21 years ago. The former Bosnia Serb Radovan Karadzic gets the book thrown
at him, found guilty of genocide at The Hague. The verdict and the victims -- next.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.
Nearly 21 years after the end of the Bosnian War and finally a day of judgment and reckoning for Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader
has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after being found guilty of genocide for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
Survivors of the war gathered outside the U.N. tribunal in The Hague to hear the verdict, the single most important in Europe since the end of
the Second World War, where it was proven that Karadzic and his henchmen intended to whip out a whole ethnic group. Karadzic was also found guilty
of nine other crimes against humanity and war crimes charges, including extermination, persecution and deportation.
For the families of the thousands of Muslim men and boys who were killed at Srebrenica, it has been a long road to justice. Much of the
trial depended on painstaking forensic evidence, as this special report reveals.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): The Bosnia War ended 21 years ago but, incredibly --
AMANPOUR (voice-over): -- remains of its victims keep coming to this identification center in Tuzla, where teams of scientists reassemble the
jumble of fragments found in mass graves into identifiable individuals, as they try to solve what's been called the world's biggest forensic puzzle.
So far, they say, they have positively identified over 6,000 victims among the 90,000 missing in their database.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have almost, I hate to say this, a factory- like system. We've now put it in a way that the DNA evidence can be provided for court purposes, whether it's a domestic court, whether it's an
AMANPOUR (voice-over): The center has mostly identified victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, where more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and
boys were killed by units of the Bosnian Serb army.
They then concealed the dead and their crime in mass graves. The massacre, which was later declared a genocide, devastated the village of
Dobrac. Before the war, about 1,000 people lived in this farming community; today, only four of these homes are occupied by women living
Before the massacre, Saliha Osmanovic (ph) lived here with her husband and two sons. As the Serb onslaught began, one son was instantly killed; a
week later, Serb paramilitaries captured her husband and they made him call their other son out of hiding, whereupon he was captured, too.
Saliha (ph) fled to a refugee camp and she saw all this in the news.
SALIHA OSMANOVIC, SREBRENICA SURVIVOR (through translator): I saw it on TV.
I mean, how could he be alive after that?
I don't know what to tell you. When you haven't lived through this, I hope that no one ever has to. Believe me, it's so difficult, even today
after 21 years. Only when I sleep, I don't think of it.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): And recently the investigation center found the remains of both husband and son and returned them to her for burial,
here at the Potocari Memorial Cemetery for the victims of the Srebrenica massacre.
OSMANOVIC (through translator): Truth must be known that it happened, that there was a genocide in Srebrenica.
ERIC STOVER, AUTHOR AND HUMAN RIGHTS INVESTIGATOR: The woman who survived Srebrenica wanted justice and they wanted to see that it go all
the way up the chain of command eventually to the person who allegedly ordered that massacre.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): For four decades, human rights investigator Eric Stover has played a decisive role in post-war justice, leading
forensic missions and uncovering mass graves all over the world. He came to the town of Bugojno in Central Bosnia to observe the excavation of a
field where human remains had been discovered.
STOVER: Pursuit of justice after war is one of the most difficult pursuits that one can undertake principally because you're working in an
environment that is often dangerous. You're trying to collect evidence that the perpetrators do not want you to collect.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Much of the evidence collected in the Balkans came here to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague and it is kept inside
this bombproof vault at the headquarters.
BOB REID, DEPUTY CHIEF OF INVESTIGATIONS: In the beginning we were all a bit shell-shocked because we just kept hearing allegations day after
day after day of mass atrocities that were occurring in the region and we said, well, where do we start with this?
AMANPOUR (voice-over): They started with routine police work that accompanies every murder investigation, taking testimony, mapping crime
scenes, gathering physical evidence.
REID: With this type of war crimes investigation, you have to walk yourself up the chain of command.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Indeed, finally the man right at the top of the pyramid, the Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, was extradited to
The Hague in 2001, where he was charged with 66 counts of crimes against humanity. But he was having none of it.
SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC, FORMER YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT: I consider this tribunal false tribunal and the indictments false indictments. It is
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Milosevic died in prison before a verdict was ever handed down and since 2009, the president of the breakaway Bosnian
Serb Republic, Radovan Karadzic, has been on trial and, like Milosevic, he, too, refused to recognize The Hague tribunal.
RADOVAN KARADZIC, FORMER BOSNIAN Serb LEADER (through translator): I am not going to enter a plea at all for the reasons I already mentioned.
This tribunal does not have the right to try me.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Karadzic was accused of genocide and ordering the Srebrenica massacre while his military commander, General Ratko Mladic,
was captured --
AMANPOUR (voice-over): -- in 2011 and also charged with genocide for carrying out the massacre. His case continues and Saliha Osmanovic came
from her village to face him and to testify against him.
OSMANOVIC (through translator): I was never afraid to speak the truth. What happened happened. He sat on the bank and I said the same
things just like it happened. That I saw him had Potocari that he was there. I said it all.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): Saliha is one of 4,000 witnesses who have come seeking justice at The Hague, expected to finish its caseload in 2017 after
an unprecedented 26 years and a cost of nearly $3 billion. That's $20 million per accused.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A crime against humanity.
AMANPOUR: So a really important verdict handed down, genocide against Karadzic there today. And Eric Stover, who you saw in that report, has
written a memoir of his experiences, "Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror."
And that is released next month in April.
Coming up, imagining the world of Radovan Karadzic from psychiatrist to mass murderer, a horrifying thing to witness, as I did throughout the
Bosnia War. That's next.
AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, imagine a world where mass atrocities go unchecked until it's too late. It's happening now in Syria and it
happened in Bosnia a generation ago.
If today's Syria is a magnet for jihad and terror, it was Bosnia throughout the '90s. It's a war that I covered from start to finish and
witnessed first-hand the mad, murderous project of the self-declared Bosnian president, Bosnian Serb president, Radovan Karadzic, who today
decades later has been convicted of genocide and other crimes against humanity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR (voice-over): National arrest warrant issued for Radovan Karadzic lists "flamboyant behavior" as his distinguishing characteristic.
A self-styled president of the small Serb entity he carved in Bosnia, Karadzic's flamboyance veered from poetry-loving, silver-haired Serb
nationalist to leader of Europe's most brutal experiment in racial purity since World War II.
The International War Crimes Tribunal has charged him with separate counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and violating the laws and
customs of war. A psychiatrist by profession, Karadzic was born in Montenegro in 1945 but later he moved to the ethnically mixed city of
In 1984, Yugoslavia's Communist authorities sentenced him to --
AMANPOUR (voice-over): -- prison for a fraud and embezzlement scheme. But by the time Communism fell, Karadzic had jumped onto the nationalist
bandwagon that already had rolled through Slovenia and Croatia and would destroy Bosnia.
In 1990 Karadzic was selected president of the Serbian Democratic Party which he helped found and two years later he became president of the
self-declared Bosnian Serb Republic allied with Yugoslavia.
For the next three and a half years, the world would watch the siege and bombardment of Sarajevo, massacres in marketplaces, sniper and mortar
attacks on civilians and concentration camps filled with Muslims.
The goal was to carve out an ethnically pure Serb statelet. Throughout most of these years, the international community seemed unable
and unwilling to fully engage in order to end the war.
Governments deployed thousands of troops to keep a non-existent peace and to deliver food and relief supplies. An endless stream of
distinguished politicians and diplomats came bearing cease-fires and peace plans. But Karadzic toyed with all of them, bombing and besieging Sarajevo
as well as towns and villages all over Bosnia, he always portrayed the Serbs as the real victims.
KARADZIC: The best does not understand and does not know such enough such has creased, cornered Serbs and endangered in Serbia right now in the
very dangerous state of mind in terms of a ravenous force satisfies. So they are ready to fight.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): By May 1995, the war had reached a critical point. While talking peace, Bosnian Serb forces kept bombing. They took
248 U.N. peacekeepers hostage. And in July that year, they committed the worse single atrocity seen in Europe since the Second World War.
They overran the small Muslim town of Srebrenica, which had been designated a U.N. safe area and they went on an orgy of mass executions.
The catastrophe at Srebrenica finally convinced the West that it now had to act to end the war.
And in August 1995, NATO unleashed its first-ever bombing campaign against the Bosnian Serb military machine. Now Radovan Karadzic appealed
for the bombs to stop.
KARADZIC: We are under terrible attacks by NATO. They are bombarding us so terribly that it has been seen since Second World War in Europe.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): At the same time the West organized a final peace plan to end the war. Led by the United States and mediated by
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the Dayton Peace Accords effectively partitioned Bosnia. But under a unified presidency with the eventual
possibility for return of ethnically cleansed refugees and democratic elections.
No one under indictment could participate and by 1996, Karadzic was forced from public office. He spent years hiding, trying to avoid capture.
And according to NATO sources, amassing a fortune on the black market cigarette trade.
AMANPOUR: Now sentenced to 40 years in prison. The U.N. human rights chief said today's verdict and sentencing convey a strong message to the
likes of President Assad and other violent nationalists.
"No matter how powerful or untouchable people think they are, perpetrators of such crimes must know they will not escape justice," he
And that is it for our program tonight. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.