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The Latest Spate of Attacks in Germany; FBI Investigating Suspected Russian Cyber Attack Against DNC. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired July 25, 2016 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:05] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, when is a terrorist called a terrorist or a deranged mass murderer? The latest in the spate of
attacks in Germany coming up, why language matters in all these cases?
Also ahead, does Putin want Trump to win the U.S. election? Now, the FBI is investigating the suspected Russian cyber attack against the Democratic
Party and we'll get reaction live.
Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. There is shock and mourning across Germany as the
country reels from four deadly attacks in just seven days. First, an ax welder on a train in Wurzburg followed by a gunman who slaughtered nine in
Munich then a man welding a machete in Reutlingen and last night, a suicide bomber near a popular music festival in Ansbach.
As the attacks unfolded, so did immediate fears that the country was being terrorized by terrorists, but off fears clouding the facts. We now know
that two of the attackers did mention ISIS as their cause. But the deadliest attacks for instance in Munich had nothing to do with that Jihadi
group. Yet the saturation media coverage makes little distinction as the world-respected security and intelligence Soufan Group warned today, "The
immediate rush to find connections and assign meaning to such attacks generates perceptions and narratives that, whether accurate or not, have
In a moment, German MEP Elmar Brok but first terrorism expert Peter Neumann joins me from Washington.
Peter, welcome back to the program. First, you heard what The Soufan Group says. This rush to link generates and unfortunate impact. How do you read
that? What kind of impact?
PETER NEUMANN, SECURITY STUDIES PROFESSOR, KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON: Well, in Germany, the particular impact will be that this is a wave of terrorism
that has resulted from allowing refugees into the country. And I have no doubt that the populous far-right will try to capitalize on that. And that
makes it not only a security problem but also a political problem and that is indeed very, very problematic.
AMANPOUR: And what do you -- I mean, we talked about language matters whether it's Nice which has no official links to ISIS at all, whether it's
Omar Mateen in Orlando which also does not, whether it's a couple of the ones in Germany which did not and yet some of them do. There seems to be
an unequal use of the terminology of Islamic radical terrorism or just terrorism in general.
NEUMANN: Sure, but that's also partly ISIS' fault because ISIS has set out as a deliberate part of its strategy to empower these loners. It is
actually saying to all of these people, you can use our brand. You do not actually have to be linked to our movement. You do not have to be part of
the sort of command and control structure. You can go out do something as long as you record somewhere beforehand that you're sparing allegiance to
the caliph, we will recognize you as part of the group. And that's what we're seeing now.
And the particularly concerning bit is that it seems to attract a lot of people that has psychological problems. And in many ways, it seems to be a
strategy that is designed to appeal to people who are socially isolated or have these issues and who are then given a project to latch on to.
AMANPOUR: And in for instance, Omar Mateen in Orlando, he was accused or suspected of being a repressed homosexual. He was a wife-beater. The same
apparently with the Nice attacker who danced, drugged, ate pork but had a deep psychosis described as having you know, a hair-trigger propensity for
violence. Drinking, wife-beating, drug-taking, et cetera.
So, you're saying this whole subgroup of people who are coming in being embraced by ISIS, how difficult does that make it then to identify the real
NEUMANN: It makes it very difficult. And I think even when talking about a psychological issues, we have to differentiate. So, there are psychoses
which actually are kind of mind-altering. They are making it impossible for you to recognize reality. That is something that affects about 1% of
[14:05:10] A lot of the people we're talking about here are people with personality disorders which is different from having a psychosis. If you
have a personality disorder, you can still be politically motivated. You still recognize what is going on in the real world, but the personality
disorder perhaps makes it easier or propels you to carry out these attacks.
And I think what we have to look at now is particularly people who are undergoing treatment for these kinds of things and try to discover whether
there are links to political causes they advocate.
AMANPOUR: What do you think is actually happening in Germany? I mean, all of a sudden, this is happening in Germany. All of a sudden, last year, it
was mostly France and Belgium. Is Germany at risk of becoming the new France and Belgium?
NEUMANN: I think the situation in Germany is slightly different because what we seen in France and Belgium were by and large homegrown terrorists.
They were Belgian and French citizens who in many cases had gone to Syria and Iraq in order to become members of the Islamic State and then returned
with the order to carry out attacks. That is very much a problem of failed integration. People who do not belong or do not feel they belong into
What we've seen in Germany with the exception of Munich is refugees which, of course, creates an entirely different narrative and is equally
problematic not only because of the political debate but also because the security authorities know practically nothing about these people. These
are often people who have arrived very recently. In many cases, it is not sure whether they've given their correct names. There's no history to
these people. And if they then connect to a movement via the internet, it becomes very, very difficult for authorities to find anything out.
AMANPOUR: Yeah and of course just Sonboly in Munich professed allegiance to the right-wing mass murderer and it's very big. But let me quickly ask
you about policing. For instance, in France, we're in possession now of a piece of paper which is a copy, well if it is, from the prosecutor's office
which shows that the person suspected of giving the gun to the Nice attacker had been stopped, had been questioned for other reasons by the
French Police. He was in violation of his residency and his visa. But he was let go. He wasn't even deported, much less further questioned.
There's a problem with policing as well.
NEUMANN: Yes, there may be. But I suspect there would have been quite a few of these cases that we're not properly followed up on, without
necessarily arising suspicions of extremism. The problem is the same everywhere in Europe. As a result of what happens since 2011, so many
people gone to join now as enthusiastic supporters of Islamic State and practically every Western European country, security agencies have reached
limits of capacity.
A lot of people cannot be followed anymore because it requires about 20 officials in order to follow one person 24 hours a day. So, if you have a
small country like Belgium for example and suddenly 500 people going to Syria and some of them returning, you can easily see how some of these
things are basically falling through the cracks because they don't have the capacity to look at them anymore. And it's a huge challenge.
AMANPOUR: Indeed. Peter Neumann, thank you so much for joining us tonight.
NEUMANN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And we're going to cover the saturation media coverage about all of this as well because earlier, I dug down into what's happening in
Germany and why it is the latest European target with the German MEP Elmar Brok. He joined me from Bielefeld in Germany just a short while ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Elmar Brok, welcome back to our program. Things seem to have really spiked in Germany, certainly in this last week. Four terrorist
attacks since last Monday or maybe not. Maybe it's some terrorism, some not. Are you able to make sense of what's going on right now?
ELMAR BROK, GERMANY MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: As you already said that all the terrorist acts, it was such killings as it was in United
States in schools and so on, people were in psychological treatments and individuals who has hates against classmates and so on. And here, the nine
people died in the Munich shooting. And the two other cases, it injured people but thanks God nobody was killed. But this had popped in Islamic
terrorist background but by individual criminals who did it.
[14:10:00] AMANPOUR: Does Germany know what it is because one of your ministers, today says, it is clear that Islamic terror has reached Germany.
That's Bavarian's justice minister. And your interior minister says that 59 investigations are being conducted into refugees suspected of links with
terrorist's organizations. How does the country get a grip on this and why is it happening in Germany now?
BROK: I think it's all over in Europe. First in Paris, now in Germany. But I think these are not planned terrorist acts as we had it in Paris and
Brussels. These are the individuals who sought they should act in the sense of the Islamic State. Not prepared from the headquarters of them.
It is different in some other cases last night where someone was already in clinic and who had tried always tries to makes suicide suddenly makes such
a suicide bombing. How could you know before that such people would do that and I think this is very, very difficult and that makes it even more
dangerous and it leads to unsecurity of people.
AMANPOUR: We're just talking about that one. That was a suicide bomber. He was Syrian. He was an asylum seeker. And he in fact left behind a
phone video pledging allegiance to the ISIS leader. He did have mental issues. He was denied asylum and yet he wasn't deported. Should he have
BROK: I think so that they should deport much faster. These people are not accepted, asylum seekers as refugees, then I think we have to be faster
to send them home to send them to other places. In this case, he had asylum in Bulgaria, we could have sent him earlier to Bulgaria.
AMANPOUR: And what effect is this having politically. We've obviously seen the movement PEGIDA come out and blame Angela Merkel. We've seen
Alternative fur Deutschland, the hard line of the far-right group but also blaming Chancellor Merkel and her refugee policy.
BROK: For sure, that is helpful for such populist but we have to say that it has nothing to do with the migration issue because some of them, they're
not the classical migrants. And you have it always such as normally it is perhaps killing in Munich has his dual citizenship since many years so that
has nothing to do with migration but it's complicated to make such a differentiation in a public debate.
AMANPOUR: It's a challenge for you all to put that picture across, right?
BROK: I think they're in a global war against the terrorists. As national states, we have to do together to win it, civilized world unit together or
we will lose it. But on the other side, you have also cases as we always had that ill people try to make suicide when they have a big show and take
people with them in order to have this big show. And from that part of people, we see also always the same picture in United States as similar
cases in Germany and other countries that must make initiative to warn the parents have to play the role. The classmates have to play the role. The
brothers and sisters have to play the role to prevent such a situation which has brought so many dead people in the last decade in all our
AMANPOUR: Do you think that the blanket coverage on television has an effect?
BROK: I think so. We had today very broad debate about that in Germany. For sure, media must report. They must inform the people. But in
situations as life coverage, they all have their own time. Does it not mean that people who want to become famous by doing such things become
encouraged by that? Someone said today in Germany we should look more about the victims than on the person who has done it to take away this
feeling that you can become famous man in history.
AMANPOUR: Very, very important point. Elmar Brok, thank you so much for joining us from Germany tonight.
BROK: Thank you. Good night.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And when we come back, U.S. politics, another week, another convention in the United States. This time, the Democrats take center
stage but not without high drama and skull daggerings (ph) in what's been an election that defies convention. Are the Russians now invading the
Democrats cyber space? We find out, next.
[14:16:27] AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program and it is day one of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia and already high drama.
Hacked e-mails showing the Democratic National Committee favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders to win the White House have forced out the DNC
chair and it's also raising a very troubling question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBBY MOOK, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: The hackers that got into the DNC are very likely to be working in coordination with Russia, and,
again, I think it's -- if the Russians in fact have these e-mails, again, I don't think it's very coincidental that they are being released at this
time to create maximum damage on Hillary Clinton and to help Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, is Vladmir Putin actively meddling in the U.S. election to help his preferred candidate? Trump tweeted, "The new joke in town is that
Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails which should never have been written stupid because Putin likes me."
The FBI is investigating all of this and with me now from New York is David Rothkopf, CEO and editor of Foreign Policy Magazine. Welcome to the
program. It sounds a little bit like a spy novel or a spy James Bond story. Do you feel there's any merit in the accusations that this goes all
the way back to Russia, to the government?
DAVID ROTHKOPF, FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE, CEO AND EDITOR: There seems to be a lot of evidence to that effect. When people looked at some of the trails
on the e-mails and then the hacks that took place with the DNC, they found metadata, a metadata that was in Cyrillic, metadata that bore the kind of
quail-tail fingerprints of some Russian hacking groups that are pretty well-known, APP28 APP29 and so on.
And so, it seems right now that the evidence is strong that the hack came from Russia and that the release of the information was designed to have
maximum political impact to the negative on Hillary Clinton.
AMANPOUR: In fact, you know, you mentioned previous hacks, some of course apparently the same ones who attacked the White House State Department and
the Joint Chiefs. There is obviously a lot of talk about the so called closeness between Trump and the Trump campaign and President Putin. Not
only the mutual admiration that they profess for each other but all sorts of issues, for instance, you know, Paul Manafort, the campaign, was a
former advisor to the Russian backed Ukrainian President Yanukovych. I mean, does that make you suspicious?
ROTHKOPF: Well, it certainly is worth-noting. You know, the Trump business has gotten a lot of money out of Russia, out of financiers who are
very close to Putin in the past. Manafort, the campaign chairman has long standing ties to Yanukovych, has a close -- has close ties to Putin. This
hack suggests that the Russians are seeking to support the Trump campaign. During the RNC, they changed the platform in order to change the policy on
Ukraine in a way that would be more acceptable to these people even though they said they weren't going to have anything to do with the platform.
And then above and beyond that of course, you had statements by Trump to the effect that he would not honor NATO except on a selective basis that he
admired Putin and so forth.
And so, taken together, you've got two possibilities. One, the Russians are interested in influencing the election and Trump is going along with it
either as a patsy or to serve his own interest or two, there is some deeper tie. You don't need the deeper tie to be concerned though. You've got to
ask the question, why does Vladimir Putin preferred Donald Trump in the White House?
[14:20:10] AMANPOUR: Well, you're the former government official, you were in the Commerce Department under President Clinton. The government surely
knows. The United States government must know where this hacking came from, right? It has the wherewithal to know this.
ROTHKOPF: I believe the U.S. government does know. I believe the -- what I referred to earlier has given them strong indications. Certainly, the
FBI has announced that they're looking into this hack. And the FBI has been tracking the groups involved in this hack for a long, long time now.
They're very familiar with these groups and their techniques and their signature.
AMANPOUR: And you've said the deeper question is, why would this be happening? So, why do you think this would be happening?
ROTHKOPF: Well, you know, I mean, there's two possibilities. One is that Putin thinks that Trump will be more accommodating to Russia, less likely
to confront them. Putin has a historically tough relationship with Hillary Clinton who stood up to him a number of times in the past.
And so, they may think Trump will get along with him because he said nice things. The other is they may think that Trump and his policies will
weaken the U.S. and weaken NATO and thus strengthen their position on the world. My sense is both are probably true.
AMANPOUR: Give us a sense of how dramatic a departure what Donald Trump told the New York Times last week about, you know, selectively enforcing
the NATO protection of allies, particularly in face of a potential Russian invasion, let's say the Baltics or whatever. How important is it what he
said in terms of U.S. national interest, I don't know, peace and prosperity in the world, just general foreign policy?
ROTHKOPF: Well, look. They -- The Atlantic Alliance has been probably the principle foundation of U.S. International Security Policy since the end of
the Second World War. And it's been based on the treaty obligation under NATO since then.
And that treaty obligation says that we're going to come to the defense of every other party in NATO as a part of something called Article 5 that it's
not selective, that we're all in this together. It's helped the U.S. be stronger because we share a burden and these people share a buffer with the
And, you know, Trump has said a number of things that suggest that he thinks NATO is obsolete, that these countries aren't carrying their weight.
And then, in this New York Times interview with David Sanger and Maggie Haberman, he went a step further and said, well, we'll honor this
Now, that may be his opinion. But that's actually contrary to international law. It's contrary to the way NATO works. And it sends a
very unsettling message to our allies who are now saying, will the US, the principle power within NATO be there when push comes to shove.
And in places like the Baltics, that doesn't seem remote. That seems like something that could happen as it happened in Ukraine and as it happened in
AMANPOUR: Let me just read you a couple about this. We know because we've been seeing and monitoring it that Russian state media including Russia
Today has basically been lined up behind Trump in this story of the election. Politico today called him the Kremlin's candidate. Jeffrey
Goldberg at the Atlantic said, it's official, Hillary Clinton is running against Vladimir Putin.
And he basically says that Trump is making it clear that as president, he would allow Russia to advance both its hegemonic interest across Europe as
we've just discussed, but also in the Middle East.
ROTHKOPF: Yet, it seems like this is absolutely true. It's not just those publications. The New York Times has had stories. New York Magazine has
had stories. We've had stories covering this. And I think it's absolutely clear that there is some kind of alignment of interests between Putin and
And that Trump is perfectly willing to play along. He's perfectly willing to accept the support of Putin despite Putin's record against democracy,
against the Georgians, against the Ukraine, despite the threat that he poses to our top allies in Europe. And I think that should be really, you
know, cause for concern not just among Americans, but everybody who is involved in the Atlantic Alliance.
AMANPOUR: David Rothkopf, thank you so much indeed. And coming up, we imagine a world changing the nature of a very important and topical
conversation as we just been discussing. Prince Harry speaks out about his personal struggle with grief and also mental health issues. That's next.
[14:26:53] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, in a world where the mental health of troubled loners is becoming a mortal danger to so many, we
imagine a world trying to open up with Prince Harry hosting a BBQ for Heads Together, an initiative that he launched with his brother and sister-in-
law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, otherwise known as Will and Kate and its goal is to get rid of the stigma linked to mental health.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY CHARLES ALBERT DAVID, PRINCE OF WALES: Everyone can suffer from mental health, either whether you're a member of the royal family, whether
you're a soldier, whether you're at sports or whether you're on at team sport, individual sport, whether you're a white man, a driver, whether
you're a mother, a father, a child. It doesn't really matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The events of sports stars and Olympians come together and talk about their own struggles with mental health and in conversation with
footballer Rio Ferdinand who lost his wife, the mother of his three young children to cancer last year, the prince said that he only spoke about the
grief he suffered losing his own mother, Princess Diana, 16 years after her death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID: Everything can be OK but I really regret not ever talking about it, you know. So the first 28 years of my life, I never talked about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: He was a brave boy, only 12 when she died. He said he was trying to be tough. Now he's trying to show that real courage comes also
in sharing the pain, hoping that opening up will help many of those suffer to open up about their own struggles and also start the healing.
That is it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcast, see us online @amanpour.com and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.