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Terror Attack in Paris; U.S. Embassy Move; Royal Wedding Countdown. Aired 12-12:30a ET

Aired May 13, 2018 - 00:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Another terror attack in France, one person is stabbed to death in Central Paris. Police shot and killed the attacker;

Plus Israel says it's stepping up security along the Gaza border as the U.S. prepares to officially move its embassy to Jerusalem on Monday.

And in Britain, even the military is preparing for its role in next week's royal wedding. We'll have the goods on that for you.

Live from CNN Center, I'm Cyril Vanier. It is great to have you with us.


VANIER: We have to start with terror on the streets of Paris. Authorities say that a man carrying a knife killed one person, wounded four others. This is the video from social media that appears to show people running for help while a victim lies on the ground there.

Minutes later the assailant was shot dead by police. A terrorism investigation is currently underway. The attack happened in the city's Second Arrondissement. That is an area that is popular with both Parisians and tourists. It's in the central part of the city, not far from the Paris Opera House.

ISIS is claiming responsibility for this. It claimed online that the attacker was its soldier but hasn't provided any proof to back that up, however.

So let's go to Paris and our senior international correspondent there, Jim Bittermann.

Jim, can you set the scene for us?

Explain to us what happened, and what part of town it happened in.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Well, Cyril, this is as you know a highly popular part of town. It is between the opera -- and I can see the opera here if I look down the street that -- and the Louvre. And I can almost see the Louvre down the street that way.

And right behind me, about 100 yards on a street that is full of bars and cafes and restaurants at about 9 o'clock last night, the assailant came up with a knife and attacked, in all, five people.

One of the persons he attacked was killed and two are in grave condition and two are said to be slightly injured. Police responded immediately, and as you know, this area, there are plenty of police right around here. The response time must have been fairly short because they caught the assailant as he was still on the scene.

And first they tried, according to a police source, they tried to use Tasers on him and that didn't work so then they shot him when he came at them with the knife. That's according to a police source.

The prosecutor now has confirmed that he did yell, "Allahu akbar," as he attacked the first of his victims. And as a consequence, the prosecutor has now opened this up as a terrorist investigation, which brings on a whole new level of investigation with different investigators and much more careful investigation than, say, a normal attack.

So it's at a different level now and I think we'll get dribs and drabs of information. But things may not be coming right away as they thoroughly go into the background of the assailant.

One other thing I should say and that is that, according to a police source, he wasn't carrying any identification. So that's going to slow things down a little bit because it means that they'll to identify him either through fingerprints or some other means.

So it will be -- may be awhile before we get more information on exactly who he is. Some of those people around, who saw the attack took place, said he appeared to be some one in his 30s. Other than that, we don't know very much about him -- Cyril.

VANIER: Yes, the assailant was carrying no I.D. He's been killed by law enforcement. At this hour, precious little information about him; no doubt French law enforcement and the prosecutor of Paris will be giving more information in the coming hours.

We do know one key thing, though, the media wing of ISIS has claimed him as one of their own, calling him a "soldier of the caliphate, their words. Jim Bittermann, our correspondent in Paris, thank you very much.

BITTERMANN: You betcha.

VANIER: Let's get Josh Campbell's perspective on this, he's CNN's law enforcement w analyst and a former FBI supervisory special agent.

Josh, what stands out to you about this particular attack?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: So there are aspects of this attack that are striking as a former investigator. The first being the type of device that was used. And I'll get to why that's important in a second.

The second being this claim that we've seen now reportedly of ISIS claiming responsibility for the attack. So let's break down both things.

First the device: when you look at the type of weaponry that could inflict a great amount of harm, you typically don't think of a knife, right?

They're not using these mass casualty type situations as a firearm would or now, as unfortunately we've seen, an escalation, uptick in --


CAMPBELL: -- vehicles used as devices. And so the question now comes to why.

Now if it's mental health issue, that's obviously something that we set aside completely. If someone doesn't have easy access to a firearm or some other type of deadly weapon, maybe a knife is all they have.

But assuming that this is terrorism and as we've seen now French investigators appear to be looking at it through that lens, that tells me that using this type of device means it is a very personal attack because the psychology of an investigator is that, if you're going to kill someone, there are different ways to do that.

You can shoot someone, which seems very impersonal if you do that from a distance. But walk up to someone and stab them repeatedly shows a very personal type of depravity.

And obviously in types of terror attacks where we've seen where they have that grievance that's based on ideology, that is often an instrument of war.

VANIER: Each time I see this type of attack in France, I am reminded of a, quote, a pronouncement, a call to action, dare I say, by one of the ISIS leaders. This was a number of years ago now and he had addressed this to Muslims around the world.

And he had said, grab anything you can, anything can be a weapon, whether it is your car, whether it's a knife, whether anything else. And go and essentially kill the infidels.

Do you feel this is a response to that call?

CAMPBELL: It is possible and you're exactly right. We think of these two phases that ISIS has gone through, the first being in September 2014, where they were pushing word out across the world, saying, come here, come here to the caliphate and come kill here.

And only if you can't travel, only if you can't come, should you act locally. That script was flipped in 2017, when the message changed to, we don't need you here. We need you to attack where you are. Now in reality, it's because ISIS was being decimated and they no

longer wanted fighters to come in that would then be taken off the battlefield in short order.

But what that did do is tell people out there, who may have been prone to being radicalized by this type of ideology, that it's more important for you to act where you are.

In fact, as you mentioned, the messaging that ISIS used actually instructed them by saying that the smallest thing that you can do in the West is greater than anything that you could do here in the caliphate.

So it shows that type of conditioning, looking for these types of soldiers who may be acting locally.

Now one thing that's interesting is there are different types of acts that are used. And when I look at the wording that was in this reported claim of responsibility by ISIS, they describe him as a "soldier of the Islamic State."

And I distinguish that between what we've seen in the past, when they describe people who are part of a quote-unquote "detachment." Those are usually the people that are directed, that are told to go and specifically do something.

When they talk about soldiers, they're typically talking about people who have been inspired. So a lot that we don't know about this person; that will all come out as the investigation continues.

But at least it appears now -- I don't know if ISIS knows who this person is but it's possible that he was inspired by their messaging.

VANIER: Now I wonder, given that ISIS has lost almost all its territory in Iraq and Syria but the attacks abroad, especially in France are continuing, do you expect that one ay this will actually stop, that ISIS won't be enough of an inspiration for people to go out and carry out this type of attack?

CAMPBELL: It's an important question. And it's very difficult for someone who has been in the intelligence business to say something will completely be eradicated. Because we're not just talking about actors; we not just talking about taking land.

We're talking about an ideology. And it's very difficult to stop something that pervasive.

You hit on something earlier, this media wing of ISIS, how very adept they are at using words selectively. If you look at how ISIS has been decimated over the course of the last year and a half, they are continuing to lose on the battlefield, they are being crushed.

But the one operation that continues to operate and quite effectively, I would say, is the media wing. And that's because they're not physically located in any one percent but they can spread out. They're in basements in different places in Europe. They're obviously in the Middle East and they can move and they're agile enough where they can move outside the auspices or the view of law enforcement and intelligence services.

But so long as you have people that continue to operate underground that are pushing out this message, kill, kill, kill, it will outlast any war that happens on the battlefield.

VANIER: Josh Campbell, important analysis there, thank you for your point of view on this. Thank you for your help. Thanks.

CAMPBELL: Thanks, Cyril.

VANIER: At least eight people are dead after bombers attacked three Indonesian churches. This happened in the port city of Surabaya in East Java. Police there say the attacks are suspected suicide bombings.

In addition to the two deaths, 38 others have been injured. Investigators are working to identify the victims. Surabaya is about 660 kilometers from the capital, Jakarta.

North Korea is now setting a date for the dismantling of its nuclear test site. North Korean state media says it will be carried out between May 23rd and May 25th. That's just weeks before U.S. President Donald Trump sits down with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The measures will include blowing up tunnels and removing research facilities and foreign journalists, as had been promised by North Korea, will be allowed to watch.


VANIER: President Trump tweeted, "Thank you to Pyongyang," and called the move a, quote, "very smart and gracious gesture," ahead of the summit.

In Sudan, a 19-year-old woman sentenced to die for killing her husband has less than two weeks to appeal. We have been telling you about this over the last 48 hours and we will continue to follow this story over the next two weeks.

Noura Hussein, that's her on the picture, says that she stabbed the man she was forced to marry, screen right, after his relatives held her down and he raped her. One of her lawyers tells CNN Hussein is still in complete shock following her sentencing.

Her case has shown a spotlight on forced marriage and marital rape in Sudan. The legal age to marry in the country there is just 10 years old. And marital rape not recognized as such under the law, meaning a husband can force intercourse with his wife any time he pleases.

Coming up after the break, the U.S. says moving its embassy to Jerusalem is no cause for unrest but Israel is taking no chances, calling up thousands of extra troops. We'll tell you about that.



VANIER: Welcome back. Let's get to the other top story this weekend. The Israeli military saying it's doubling its security forces ahead of the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. That's scheduled for Monday.

A 1-kilometer tunnel in Northern Gaza was blown up Saturday by Israeli forces. This is the sixth Palestinian tunnel to be destroyed in six months.

Coinciding with the embassy opening is the anniversary of Israel's founding in 1948. This is a date that often always inflames tensions with Palestinians. In fact, they have a name for that anniversary. They call it Nakba in Arabic, meaning catastrophe.

CNN's Oren Liebermann has the latest from Jerusalem.

Oren, it's really hard to overstate the symbolism, the symbolic value of moving this embassy to Jerusalem.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the symbolism of so many of the dates during what could be a very volatile week this week. Today is what's known as Jerusalem Day, where Israelis celebrate what they consider the unification of Jerusalem.

That in and of itself is a day that on its own sparks tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. But on top of that, now you have the embassy move, Nakba Day, you pointed out, the catastrophe, as well as the beginning of Ramadan this month.

So all of these could make for an incredibly volatile week. That's why the Israeli military has upped security forces both around Gaza and throughout the West Bank.

And then it is a question of how does this week go?

But the symbolism very critical for Israelis, who will be celebrating the opening of the embassy or who will see the opening of the embassy just as they celebrate the 70th anniversary of the country.



LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Israel recently marked its 70th birthday with celebrations and speeches. Among the reasons for the Israeli leaders to celebrate was this:

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: We are delighted with President Trump's decision --


NETANYAHU: -- to move the embassy here. It says a simple thing: peace must be based on truth.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): But why is this such a big deal?

Israel has always seen Jerusalem as its capital city.

Why not the rest of the world?

A bit of history here. Israel was established in 1948. Jerusalem was a split city between Israel and Jordan for nearly two decades after that until 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

When Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, the countries pulled their embassies out of the city in protest. That is because East Jerusalem is supposed to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The U.S. meanwhile, had its embassy in Tel Aviv. In 1995, the U.S. passed a law requiring the country to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But every president since then, Republican and Democrat, has waived the move, citing national security concerns.

President Donald Trump promised during his campaign to move the embassy, a promise he kept in December.

TRUMP: Today we finally acknowledge the obvious, that Jerusalem is Israel's capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): So where will the new embassy be located?

LIEBERMANN: Right here behind me in what's now the U.S. Office for Consular Services. This is where you come to renew a passport or apply for a visa. The building itself sits right next to the Green Line, which delineates East from West Jerusalem. It sits firmly in West Jerusalem.

But an expansion of the building to make it the embassy will require some building in no man's land, which is a sort of buffer zone between East and West Jerusalem. It holds very little practical significance in terms of modern-day Jerusalem and yet that zone retains incredible political importance.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The mayor of Jerusalem celebrated the official opening by posting the new road signs.

NIR BARKAT, JERUSALEM MAYOR: It sends a very clear message to the Jerusalemites and others the intention and the back and the support Israel has and the sovereignty of the city of Jerusalem.

LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said more countries were looking at moving their embassies to Jerusalem as well. So far only Guatemala and Paraguay have committed to taking that step.


LIEBERMANN: It is because of the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem as well as Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel that Palestinians say the U.S. can no longer serve as a mediator in a peace process.

Cyril, Trump and the Trump administration still insist they are going to put forward a peace plan sometimes in the coming weeks or months.

VANIER: I wonder, Oren, are Israelis unanimously in favor of this, in favor of moving the embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?

LIEBERMANN: Pretty much. There was some -- there were some disagreements over the timing, over the motivation behind Trump's decision to do so. Now it seems the country is very much behind Trump's move, especially on top of, I would say, a majority here being in favor of Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

All of that ties together to make this a country that openly celebrates president Donald Trump and is happy to do so. So I very much expect tomorrow will be a very happy day here for Israelis as it is just the opposite for Palestinians.

VANIER: Oren Liebermann, reporting live from Jerusalem. Thank you. We'll keep you busy throughout the weekend, of course. Also on Monday, when that embassy will officially be opened and there will be a video message from President Trump that will be played during that event.

Oren, thank you.

Someone else who is following this closely is CNN global affairs analyst, Aaron David Miller.

Aaron, good to have you back on the show. So on Monday, the U.S. officially relocates its embassy to Jerusalem.

What happens on Tuesday and all the days after that?

What does it really change?

AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: It's a fascinating question. I think, in the end, that is to say, once the initial reactions -- and I suspect on the part of the Palestinians, the international community, they will be severe.

Once all of that passes, I think in the end this is going to change very little in large part because by the time Mr. Trump will address the Jerusalem issue (INAUDIBLE) respect, in my opinion, wrongly, by taking unilaterally to move -- unilateral move that doesn't serve the interests of the United States or the negotiations.

The reality is that the peace process was all but dead when he inherited this situation. The gaps between Israelis and Palestinians on all of the core issues, particularly Jerusalem, including border security, refugees and of claims, were Grand Canyon-like. The suspicion and mistrust on the part of Netanyahu and the Israeli government and Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority was profound.

This is simply going to make mission impossible that much more impossible. And I think in large part, again, I don't want to overreact -- in my judgment, the U.S. embassy belongs in West Jerusalem --


MILLER: -- but as part of a negotiated settlement. And I do not understand, unless the Trump administration is going to address Jerusalem when they roll out their peace plan, whenever that occurs, and address it in a way that meets not just Israeli needs, which are core, but so are Palestinian needs. And I think that, in the end, is what troubles me most.

There appears to be no recognition, no understanding of the fact that there are other constituencies, Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, that have a profound stake, a core stake in Jerusalem as well.

VANIER: So let's talk the Iran nuclear deal then, because this is also in the regional mix. Iran is trying to save the deal.

Do you think this can survive, despite the fact that the U.S. has pulled out of it?

MILLER: I really don't. You know, the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear agreement, is not a religious experience or a Major League Baseball game. It can't be saved. It can only be saved if both the United States and Iran and the other parties in the JCPOA undertake a fundamental commitment to preserve it.


VANIER: -- one country pulling out, the United States, if China, Russia, France, Britain, Germany, the European Union, they all abide by the principles and the letter of the agreement, it can't survive?

MILLER: I think the Europeans will try to go that route, to create a sort of JCPOA minus the United States. The real question, though, is once sanctions begin to bite, and if you took a look at the Treasury Department's white paper on this issue last week, Treasury intends to resume all of the sanctions. And Mr. Mnuchin was talking about applying additional sanctions.

Once those begin to bite, with respect to European companies' capacity to do business, there is already great uncertainty, and the direct sanctions against Iran, I suspect that you're going to get an Iranian reaction.

I don't think, frankly, the whole thing is tenable. The JCPOA is a highly flawed agreement but it was functional. But it does require a clear commitment on the part of the United States. And for many different reasons, none of which, I would argue, do you have anything to do with foreign policy.

The president decided that he needs to extricate the United States from (INAUDIBLE).

VANIER: CNN global affairs analyst, Aaron David Miller, thank you very much. Always a pleasure having you on.

MILLER: Thank you, Cyril.

VANIER: Coming up after the break, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot in a little less than a week. CNN is all over that. And members of the prince's army regiment say that they are proud of Captain Wales. Their important role on the big day, we'll explain that after the break.





VANIER (voice-over): Twenty-five-year-old Netta Barzilai of Israel performs "Toy," the winner at this year's Eurovision song contest in Lisbon, Portugal. Most notably, you saw them there, were the chicken noises and the chicken moves.

But the song's actually got a serious message. The lyrics warned, if you listen, "I'm not your toy."

That's a nod to the #MeToo antiharassment movement. The victory had fans back in Israel dancing with joy. Now, the often eccentric finale of the songfest had its own drama. A protester grabbed the microphone while --


VANIER: -- U.K. contestant SuRie was singing. Security dragged him away and SuRie continued her performance. So that's for the Eurovision song contest.

And now this: the queen approves. The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is less than a week from now and Buckingham Palace has released images showing Queen Elizabeth's formal consent.

In the U.K., the first six people in line for the throne must get the queen's permission to tie the knot. The document is designed with symbols of the United Kingdom and the Markles' home state of California.

It will be given to the couple after their wedding on Saturday. Meanwhile, the couple has asked the head of the Anglican Church in the U.S. to give the address at the service, which will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate the marriage vows. And after the ceremony, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle plan to leave Windsor castle for a procession through the town. Members of the armed forces, including some who served with Harry in

Afghanistan, will be escorting them. Max Foster, of course, joins the cavalry as they prepare for the big day.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Meghan Markle steps into St. George's Chapel, her arrival will be heralded by state trumpeters.

TRUMPET MAJOR MATTHEW SCREEN: I don't think we'll be seen. Everyone will be looking at the dress rather than us. But you will definitely hear us.

FOSTER (voice-over): Trumpet Major Matthew Screen sent recordings of several fanfares to the couple for them to select which one they wanted.

SCREEN: It's of a very poignant moment if not then, the moment of the wedding. Then there is a lot of pressure, a lot of pressure involved.

FOSTER (voice-over): Given Prince Harry's military service, it's no surprise the household cavalry has been asked to play an important role on the day. Those who served alongside him in Afghanistan remember him fondly.

FRANKIE O'LEARY, LANCE CORPORAL: On a personal level, humorous; bags of humor, which he seems to pull out the bag even when the chips are down. People are hungry and fed up and don't want to go on, he can still pull out a laugh.

FOSTER (voice-over): Some of his former service personnel will ride alongside the royal carriage, whilst others will line the steps of the chapel.

MAJOR DANIEL STOVALL (ph): He means everything to me and to my men and I like to think it means a lot to him, knowing full well that the soldiers on parade have either served with him in operations abroad or worked with him on training exercises.

FOSTER (voice-over): At the cavalry's barracks in Central London, there's a buzz of excitement. Uniforms are cleaned and mended, jackboots are polished. The armory is checked. And horses prepared for show.

It's a routine they're used to. But this time the audience is global. And when it comes to Prince Harry's fiancee, Meghan Markle, they're pretty excited about that, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A cracker, to be fair, a looker, very cool, got that Yankee style, yes. We're happy for him.

FOSTER (voice-over): No doubt, Prince Harry agrees -- Max Foster, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VANIER: And thank you for watching. I'll have the headlines just after this.