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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Brutal Attack on French Satirical Magazine; History of Terror Threats for Defamation of Islam; White House in Support of Freedom of Speech
Aired January 7, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: It's 2:00 a.m. in Paris. Anderson Cooper will be with us shortly from Paris. I'm Wolf Blitzer reporting from Washington.
Things have been moving very quickly in the hours since three killers perpetrated the single deadliest act of terrorism in Paris. Indeed, in all of Europe, in nearly a decade. There's a major police operation under way right now in the city of Hamabad, an hour-and-a- half or so outside of Paris.
We have just learned that it's been going on for several hours. That at one point, heavily armed officers entered a building there and they went in with sharp shooters looking on nearby. What happened inside is not yet known. No shots were fired.
Right now, the scene is said to be calm. The key question, did they get the three killers responsible for the massacre earlier today at the satirical weekly magazine, "Charlie Hebdo" with Paris assault over 12 people including five editorial cartoonists are dead. The publication which has proudly mocked nearly every faith and public figure over the years was attacked for mocking Islam. The Killer shouting, we have avenged the prophet Mohammed as they made their getaway.
Any notion, though, that reason even as traumatized as they are in the city has been right now, can be scared into silence or submission. That vanished overnight. Take a look at this.
These images spelling it out. We are not afraid. Thousands of people gathering in the place de republic. Many carryings signs saying Je Of Suis, Charlie. I am Charlie. Others held pens and pencils in the air defending free speech, defending it under fire.
We're live for the next two hours as this story unfolds. Let's begin with Jim Sciutto. He has the very latest.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This remarkable video shows the attackers just moments after the slaughter. It was 11:30 a.m. An ordinary winter day in Paris. These two masked men, police say, had just killed the editor and three prominent cartoonists who work for French satirical Newspaper, "Charlie Hebdo." In all, the vicious attack left at least 12 dead, nearly a dozen
others wounded. The killer seemed to show purpose but not outright haste. They execute in cold blood and already wounded policemen. Seconds later, one of them stops to retrieve a shoe dropped from the waiting car. And then make their escape.
From a second camera, you hear the gunfire. The man who took these pictures say he was one of the first to call for help when he realized what was happening.
This woman says she and her friend heard the shots at least a dozen, she says, and hid to avoid the danger.
Chaos and the wreckage of lives was the order of the day in central Paris, wounded were carried to waiting ambulances. Police cars showed the ferocity of the gun battles.
According to authorities, the gunmen and the drivers sped to the streets to the northern edge. They were forced to abandon the black Sitro land (ph) and carjack another vehicle, police say. The (INAUDIBLE) hoisted on to flatbed truck and take it away for examination.
The French president Francois Hollande promised he would do everything to catch the attackers. Freedom, he said, would always be stronger than barbarian. Those comments echoed by President Obama at the White House a short time later.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The one thing that I'm very confident about is that the values we share with the French people, the belief, a universal belief in freedom of expression, is something that can't be silenced because of the senseless violence of the few.
SCIUTTO: Among the dead, newspaper's editor and leading cartoonist, Stephane Charbonnier. Also killed were cartoonist Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski, and Bernard Verlhac. The newspaper has already experienced Islamist violence, fired a bomb in 2011 after it published a satirical issue, they said, guest editing by the prophet Mohammed. A year later, the editor Stephane Charbonnier spoke to the French newspaper in Lamont. And it a quote "now, I'm destined to be remembered," he said, "it may sound pompous, but I'd rather die standing than live on my knees."
Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.
BLITZER: And joining us from Paris Hala Gorani. And joining us from New York our justice reporter, Evan Perez.
Hala, what's the latest there in the investigation, the search for these killers?
HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we understand that a police operation is under way, about a hundred miles from Paris. What is unclear, however, is whether or not there have been any arrests, whether or not according to some reports there may even have been a fatality. None has been confirmed by Paris police. And right now is certainly a time very early on in this unfolding operation and has to be very careful about what we report.
But we do know and we can say that an operation is ongoing in that part of France. As I said, a hundred miles or so outside of Paris. Now, we do know according to the deputy mayor of Paris that three suspects have been identified. However, there have been no official confirmations of names at this stage. We do know there was a getaway car, that at one point in the north of Paris, the suspects changed cars after a reported accident according to the prosecutor general in Paris.
So this was a very well planned operation against the officers of Shali Abdul, which we are just a few hundred yards behind me. And this is really taking in to another level, Wolf, because this is not a solitary gunman, the likes of which we saw, for instance, in Sydney with a rather random target. This really appears as though it was planned, that the gunmen knew where they were going. In fact, according to a doctor who helped treat the wounded and spoke to survivors, it appears as though the gunmen separated men from women and then called out names specifically. So in other words, knew who they were targeting.
Shali Abdul and that satirical magazine that is really been in the cross hairs of some of these extremist Islamist groups after having published cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed, that they found offensive. In fact, the fire bomb was thrown in the offices of Shali Abdul in 2011.
The question now, is why wasn't that office better protected knowing that Shali Abdul was such a target and knowing as well even according to the prime minister in this country, Wolf, there was generally speaking, a feeling that intelligence was pointing to a potential attack in France. Back to you.
BLITZER: Yes. They called out those names, those specific names of the journalists, the cartoonists and executed them on the scene.
Hala, stand by.
Evan, the French, obviously, they are very sophisticated security services. But to what extent are U.S. officials now involved?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well Wolf, what they're doing right now is they've shared the names, the French authorities have shared the names of these subjects, these suspects, with U.S. authorities. The FBI was provided the names and the analysts both from the FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies has spent the last few hours combing through all their databases to get a picture of every bit of communication that these suspects have had in the last few months, especially in particular, there's one of these suspects, the elder brother that we have referred to. He is one that was known to U.S. -- I'm sorry, to French authorities. He was on their radar. I am told that U.S. authorities have been told by the French that there was some level of surveillance against him and he was also known to U.S. authorities as a result of that, Wolf. That's going to raise some questions now for French authorities as to what happened, why wasn't he watched more closely.
BLITZER: In terms, Evan, of whether this could be part of a larger terror plot that could potentially target U.S. interests either in the United States or elsewhere around the world, what are your sources telling you?
PEREZ: Well, that's a real concern. And that's one reason why the U.S. has put its embassies, military installations overseas on high alert, tougher security just to make sure that there are no threats coming forward there. They're also worried, Wolf, about possible copy cat attacks in this country. That is something the FBI, the homeland security department are warning police departments around the country. And I expect that you're going to see a lot more about that in the coming days.
PEREZ: Evan Perez and Hala Gorani, both of you standby.
I want to bring in our national security analyst Peter Bergen, the retired U.S. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, also the former FBI and CIA counterterrorism official, Phillip Mudd.
General, the video of these attackers, what stood out to you when you watched it? Because a lot of people are saying these guys look very different. They look very, very well trained.
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, (RET.) U.S. ARMY: When I first saw it, Wolf. I was concerned because this is a different approach. There were about seven things that jumped out at me, first of all, the uniforms. They were all in the same uniform. What I could tell from looking at their coat, they were very bulky which led me to believe they had either armored vest underneath or some type of suicide device.
One of the gunmen had what we call in military a triple point sling, which gives you a little bit capability to fire a weapon closer. When you saw the pictures of the police vehicles with the bullet holes through the window, that was what is called a tight shot group, very different than the kind of things we normally see with jihadists, where it's a pray and spray with their AK47.
They were firing single shot. They weren't firing automatic on the automatic device. And they were -- it was aimed fire. They had good muzzle awareness as they went through the streets which means they didn't cross in front of each other.
This was a trained group. The reconnaissance that they must have conducted for this operation was probably ongoing for weeks if not months. They knew exactly where they were going to go. They had battle buddies. They were moving in a fire and maneuver context. And I think the speed of the operation was critical.
And when you're driving in Paris, part of the reconnaissance is how do you get through the streets? And it was close to the noon hour where a lot of cars are moving. And anyone has been to Paris knows it's pretty difficult to move around that city during the day. They not only came into the target but they got away very quickly.
So this was an operation that was planned, executed by well-trained terrorists, and they went after a critical target in their view and they were very specific in the people that they killed.
BLITZER: It was very well executed from the terrorists' perspective.
Peter, does ISIS have the knowhow, the capability to pull off a terror attack like this or does it look more like the work of a group like Al-Qaeda to you? You've studied these guys for a long time.
PETER BERGEN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Well, both of them had the capability. And we have seen an attack in Brussels on may 14th of last year in which a Frenchman killed four at a Jewish museum. He had had some experience in series, all care if he is with ISIS or Al- Qaeda.
By in a way, it's sort of a distinction without a difference. You know, I mean, both of these groups are Jihadi ideologically driven. They both have substantial recruits from the west. We have seen 700 French then go to Syria for, not all fighting for Jihadi groups but it is the largest group from west and those Romani in particular countries.
So, you know, whether it's Al-Qaeda or ISIS or Al-Qaeda and the Islamic, at the end of the day, it's a group motivate by the same ideology, all of whom have some form of capability to do this.
BLITZER: Phil, the coordination of today's attack, and it was pretty coordinated, very sophisticated. Does that point to more than just three people involved? What's your analysis?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: That would be the first question I'd be asking, Wolf. As an intelligence professional, the law enforcement guys in the minutes afterwards are chasing the suspects down. I'm sitting there in my old seat frustrated because I want to know as soon as you identify those guys in the hours afterwards, I can start mapping out whether there are other people around them based on their connectivity.
In the digital age, I could put that connectivity together very quickly and in a number of hours. I suspect U.S. intelligence professionals, if they already have the names have already been able to map out some of this to determine whether the sophistication of the attack indicates that there is a broader network here. With those names, again, in hours, you are going to have a wiring diagram of where they communicated, where they sent money, where they traveled to start to answer that critical question. Was there a broader conspiracy afoot here?
BLITZER: General Hurtling, you spoke about the suspects. What they were wearing, the black uniforms, if you will. What's the significance of that, if you will?
HERTLING: Well, I just think it's a uniform, Wolf. It was reflective of the organization that they wanted to go in a very disciplined manner. They had the (INAUDIBLE), the hoods on. So I think that's just an indicator that they wanted to go in tough, they wanted to go in hard. And I said earlier today, this is a near special operation kind of execution. They went in hard, tough, and quick and they executed the targets which is unfortunate. This is different than what we've seen recently.
BLITZER: General Hertling, Peter Bergen, Philip Mudd, guys, thanks very much.
Anderson is just arriving in Paris. We're going to go there after the break. Anderson will be talking with the man who took the rooftop video we've all been watching today.
Stay with us. Much more coming up.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
BLITZER: That video taken from the rooftop of officers Charlie Hebdo, that's the magazine. French officials say the gunmen have been identified. A manhunt now under way. Focused at the moment in the city (INAUDIBLE) about 90 minutes by car from Paris. We're going to continue to monitor this coverage throughout this hour, the next hour.
Right now, let's go to Anderson. He's in Paris. He's got Martin Boudot with him. Martin Boudot, the man who took the extraordinary video.
Anderson, good you're there in Paris for us.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, thanks very much. An extreme incredible presence of mind on the part of journalist Martin Boudot to take that video under incredibly dangerous circumstances.
Thank you very much for being with us. When did you realize something was happening?
MARTIN BOUDOT, JOURNALIST: Well, a colleague of mine was going for a smoke outside and he told us that two guys, two persons were standing out and trying to get in with (INAUDIBLE). So we heard the first shots and then more and more shots, right across the whole, five or six minutes away.
COOPER: That close?
BOUDOT: Yes. It's basically (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: Did you know instantly that they were shots?
BOUDOT: No. At first, we just heard shots. We heard screams and then we tried to get to the roof.
COOPER: You ran up to the roof?
BOUDOT: Yes. We went to the roof and try to -- try to, you know, avoid bullets from it and try to keep all the agency safe. It is like 20 people, our chief agency.
COOPER: It's incredible, though. I mean, the video that you took and we're looking at some of it now, I mean, this went on for a number of minutes. I think five to ten minutes or so. Is that about how long it was?
BOUDOT: Yes, from five to ten, at least. It seemed like it was, you know, so much longer. And then the cops arrived and they just stop shooting them. And we didn't know.
COOPER: The police stop shooting them or the terrorist start shooting the police?
BOUDOT: The terrorist start shooting police. And then we didn't know what they were supposed to do because, you know, we were stuck on this roof. We knew there were victims a few minutes away from us, but there might be somewhere or maybe a third guy. And they were yelling. So finally, what we did, we went to Shali Abdul's office. The very first doctors and we got --
COOPER: You actually entered the offices?
BOUDOT: Yes, right after, I mean, probably from ten to 15 minutes after they left.
COOPER: In the scene there?
BOUDOT: You know, it was like, slaughtering. It was like a massacre. It could see the bodies on the left into the meeting room and the other people from Shali Abdul who were spared or were hiding. And they were just standing like, not zombies, but they were like standing and didn't do anything. And we tried to help the very first wounded but actually to be honest, there were a lot of wounded. They were just (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: When the shooting was occurring, did you see all three gunmen?
BOUDOT: No. I only see two of them.
COOPER: You saw the two of them. So you saw the two that actually entered the offices.
COOPER: Because the early report said that there was the third gunman but who is spy, the lookout staying on the street.
BOUDOT: I didn't see the third guy, I saw two guys shooting with very professional manners. I mean, I've been on the ground like you. I've seen, you know, I have seen how we manipulates rifles and do manipulating like professional.
COOPER: They were using the rifles, holding the rifles correctly. Shooting relatively calmly. BOUDOT: Yes. I mean, they were hugging the shoulders on the rifle.
They were just acting like policemen. At first we thought they were policemen.
COOPER: Really? It was that sort of organized?
BOUDOT: Yes. It was unreal. And we felt that something was going on. Nobody (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: Obviously two policemen were killed in this. But believed one of them was guarding the office. Have you seen security for that office?
BOUDOT: Yes, we've seen police cars for the last couple of months. But actually --
COOPER: They have just move in about six months ago.
BOUDOT: Yes. They moved in six months ago. And in a police car, it was two policemen or three on base. They were outside the building and they were, you know, just here days and nights. But these last few weeks, they were not here anymore and from what I heard from Shali Abdul and witnesses I've talked to, either felt that the threat was a little less dangerous lately. It looked like something a little cooler, if I may.
COOPER: Things seem to have settled down.
BOUDOT: Yes. And that's actually, you know, that's why they were surprised by what happened. We are also surprise that I really want, you know, to tell them how to support them and obviously you guys here as well. But the friends, you see 100,000 people gather.
COOPER: And extraordinary. And when you saw the crowds here in Paris, in other places in France and also all throughout the world, frankly?
BOUDOT: Very touching. It's beyond words. That means a lot for us. Especially when, you know, the U.K., the U.S., Montreal.
COOPER: If the idea was to silence freedom of expression --
BOUDOT: Well, it's failed.
COOPER: It's failed.
BOUDOT: If they wanted to make Shali Abdul disappear, they actually made it a legend, you know. Shali is now a legend. And well, thanks to them, actually, I think that's good punishment.
COOPER: Martin Boudot, I appreciate your time talking to us. Thank you. And I'm sorry for you have been through today. Thank you. Just incredible and extraordinary video. Video that's really helped
law enforcement as well . It has been analyzed very closely and will continue to be just ahead in Paris and across the world as we talk about outrage over today's terror attack targeting those who exercise their right to free speech. Protesters filling the streets in support of those who lost their lives today. We'll take you to the front lines ahead.
COOPER: And thanks for joining us. We are lie in Paris where the city, this country throughout the world, people are still reeling from the attack that occurred here in broad daylight just a few blocks away from where we are standing, updating what had been a fast-moving, a number of fast moving developments this evening.
Police rated a residential building a short time ago in the city of Rem (ph). Heavily armed officers went in. Sharp shooter standing nearby. What happened inside, the exact details not yet known. There are a lot of conflicting reports. And I want to give you accurate information to this all. I don't want to speculate.
No shots were fired right now. The scene is said to be calm there. This, less than 24 hours after the deadliest terror attack in Europe since 2005. Some are calling France's 9/11.
Overnight, Parisians turned out in huge show of solidarity for the fallen and for free speech even in the face of violence, even in the face of threats. More on that from Frederik Pleitgen who joins us now.
You were there. I mean, just incredible show of strength and solidarity.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A critical show of strength and solidarity but there was also sort of an air of heaviness there. It was interesting because I was speaking to some people and they were saying, you know, we feel exactly the same way that we felt on 9/11. And they were very quick to say, of course, they don't want to equate it to 9/11 because obviously, that was so much worse. But they said they had the same heavy feeling.
At the same time, there was this this air of defiance where people are saying we are not going to let our core values be taken away from us so they kept screaming, you know, freedom of expression, liberty, all these core French values.
And the interesting thing that I thought which was really got to me is that you had a crowd there and that was well over 10,000 people that there and this was all just organized on the internet really quickly. It was not -- there were no speakers or anything. There was absolutely no anti-Islamist or anti-Muslim sentiment there, whatsoever. You know, people were saying we're going to get through this together. There were people of Arab descent and they here (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: I saw people holding up pens, signs --
COOPER: Freedom of expression, people holding up some of the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that "Charlie Hebdo" had published and also this taking place in towns large and small across France. We saw images in Amsterdam, in London, in Berlin, in New York. All over the world.
PLEITGEN: It was very universal. And it was actually all over the world. It was very universal and the symbols also, where ones that said the pen is going to be stronger than the guns. It was really interesting because you have these people who were chanting these slogans who were saying liberty, who are holding up these caricatures that have been drawn by this magazine. And at some point, the whole crowd went silent and everybody just held up their pens to show the strength of the pen versus the rifle.
So yes, it was an amazing moment and was amazing to see how quickly it was organized, how many people showed up. And, again, the positive mood that was there. It's going to be something that's very, very important here in France and Europe as well because, of course, extremist -- right wing extremists in Europe and Islamic extremists are going to try to use this to create descent.
COOPER: And Martin was saying earlier in the previous segment, if the attempt was not only to destroy this magazine and quiet freedom of speech, it had the exact opposite effect.
Fred, thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.
I want to bring in Chris Dickey. He is foreign editor for "the Daily Beast." He is also a long time Parisian reporter. He joins now along with Marjid Nawaz, a former extremist himself. He now speaks out against violent radical Islam with (INAUDIBLE).
First of all, your thoughts when you saw this crowd tonight all over the world standing up in defiance of this horrific act?
MAAJID NAWAZ, AUTHOR, "RADICAL": Anderson, I'm very proud of the French people at this moment. If it's true that there were 10,000 out on the street despite the clear and present danger, then it's truly a courageous act and is the beginnings of the thoughts of (INAUDIBLE) and artists we will always speak about. It's very important for everyone to make a distinction. As it's happened in this case, actually. Between criticizing an idea, any idea including my own religion Islam, which is an idea at the end of the day, and picking on individual Muslim people. The former is called freedom of speech. The latter is called anti-Muslim bigotry and it's the former that this newspaper magazine was engaged in. It was simply scrutinizing and satirizing an idea, I think with all other ideas. And so, it's a matter of principle that people stand together including Muslims standing with (INAUDIBLE) across Europe on this principle of free speech. Why is it so important? Because in democratic societies as we know, law, policy, opinion is formed by speech because that is our weapon. Democratic societies are stable. We don't resort to violence for change. The freedom of speech is our lifeblood. And if that is threatened, then that's the fundamental pillar of these societies.
COOPER: Chris Dickey, I mean France has seen terrorism before, even in '70s. Algerian terrorists fighting here based on France's involvement in Algeria. Nothing like this, though, for quite some time.
CHRIS DICKEY, FOREIGN EDITOR, THE DAILY BEAST: No, not for a long time. I mean the French have a fairly high tolerance for pain. They can send their soldiers abroad and have them die, and the country doesn't get terribly upset about it. They can have terrorism here to a certain extent, and life goes on. There was a bombing in the Saint- Michel metro in Notre-Dame station back in 1995 that killed a lot of people.
COOPER: They just said they've had a number of attacks really in the last several weeks. Two people driving vehicles and ...
DICKEY: Crazy attacks. Crazy. Sort of lone wolf deranged person attacks. This is different because so many people died. Because it was targeted against the press, against the idea of freedom of speech. Because the people who are doing the shootings seemed to have been so skilled at what they were doing, not just some deranged guy who pulled the shotgun off the wall, but people with Kalashnikovs, they are hard to acquire in this country and who knew how to use them very clearly. Indicating that they may have had training someplace else or even in the French army. We don't know.
COOPER: Imagine, it's interesting. I've heard from some people on Twitter who said, you know, this magazine was being provocative. They were, you know, angering people. They were publishing these cartoons, which are obviously pouring salt on wounds. To that, what do you say? To those people particularly on this day, what do you say?
NAWAZ: Well, what I'd say to those people is that the problem here is well and squarely lies at the feet of people who decide that a way to bring about change in democratic societies is through murder and bloodshed. They are the problem. Not journalists, certainly not satirical cartoonists. And we have to be consistent at the end of a day. You know, I am a Muslim. We come from a Muslim community and we are very critical of Western or American foreign policy. I've been very critical personally on the invasion of Iraq. In fact, I opposed it from a jail center. As a political prisoner in Egypt, I've been critical after the torture report was released from the United States. So if I've got the right and of other Muslims have got the right to
criticize British or American foreign policy or French foreign policy in this instance, if we've got the right to criticize the practice of rendition to torture, then likewise, everyone else has also got the right to criticize everything else.
And if we frankly, if we find that provocative and insulting, then we also have freedom of speech. We can stand for election, we can elect others that agree with us and we can campaign through the democratic process. We must never accept that in such circumstances, the problem are the victims who have been murdered this day. No, they are not the problem. The problem are a bunch of people, bigots, theocratic fascists, who are so insecure, who believe in a god so great. Well, and if that god is so great, then I'm sure that god Allah can look after himself and doesn't need these ill-educated theocratic fascists to murder people in his name and all that actually does that achieve is what we've seen in the sense of Paris today and I hope continues, and that is defiance in the face of such threats.
COOPER: And it is interesting, Christopher. Because this magazine which has been around on and off through from the '70s has a relatively low subscription. It's not, you know, you see it in subway stations, you see it on newsstands, and yet today, it is stronger than ever. Its message is stronger.
DICKEY: Much stronger, mush stronger. It has more credibility than ever. I mean look, if we've been talking about this magazine two or three days ago, it wouldn't have seemed like even worth talking about. But because of what's happened, it's - and because it was targeted, because of an attack on free speech, it's become very important as the symbol to the whole world. But in fact, if you look at "Charlie Hebdo" in the old days, it was always provocative.
COOPER: Do you think - and which is say - provocative against - I mean about all religions.
COOPER: About everybody.
COOPER: I mean it was an equal opportunity offender.
DICKEY: Just to wind people up any way they could. Which is fun. The best thing about Charlie Hebdo was the covers. You would look at them and you wouldn't buy it.
DICKEY: But at the end of the day, of course, we're now talking about a tragedy. And whether these guys target Charlie Hebdo or next week "Canal Chene," (ph) or next week another magazine or another publication.
And look, we've seen this in the United States. I mean, you know, Trey Parker and Matt Stone on South Park. When they, you know, showed the idea of the Prophet Mohammed, not even showing him, but in a bear costume, somebody in a bear costume, there were death threats against them.
DICKEY: Sure, let's go back to "The Satanic Verses."
COOPER: Salman Rushdie.
DICKEY: At some point, as much - saying, at some point you just have to say no to all of that and say freedom of speech is the thing that most vital in a modern civilized society. It's the only thing we have that militates against fascism and against oppression over the long run. And I think the fact is that the people who were against freedom of speech were willing to kill to stop freedom of speech are people who want to impose what Maajid is calling "theocratic fascism" whoever they are.
COOPER: Chris Dickey, it's good to have you on. Maajid Nawaz as well. I'm going to check that - later on in the program.
Just ahead, terror groups have openly targeted critics of Islam. I'll talk to a woman who is on al Qaeda's most wanted list, about what it's like to live with a target on her back.
COOPER: Welcome back. We are covering the breaking news from here in France in Paris. A police operation under way right now in the city of Reims. About an hour and a half outside Paris, early the deputy mayor of Paris and authorities have identified the three suspects wanted in today's terror attack. Two are brothers. This morning, the gunmen, of course, burst into the office of the satirical weekly "Charlie Hebdo," murdered 12 people there. They shouted Allah Akbar, which is the Arabic, of course, for "God is great." It's not the first time that critics of Islam had been targeted by terrorists. Randi Kaye tonight looks back.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The poster reads "Wanted dead or alive for crimes against Islam" published by al Qaeda. Those pictured primarily people who have criticized or satirized the Muslim faith. In the eyes of militant Islam, punishable by death.
Salman Rushdie, 1988, he publishes "The Satanic Verses," a book highly critical of Islam. Protests erupt. Bookstores in the U.S. and Britain and a newspaper are bombed. Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini even issues a fatwa, ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie.
SALMAN RUSHDIE, AUTHOR, "THE SATANIC VERSES": This threat is not theoretical. I mean I think - I think in many cases some people may think that because nobody's killed me, there's not anybody trying to kill me. And actually, that's just not true, I wish it were.
KAYE: 2004, Dutch filmmaker, Theo van Gogh, produces "Submission", a movie which criticizes the treatment of women in Islam. A few months after the film's released, van Gogh is shot to death, stabbed and nearly decapitated in Amsterdam. His killer, a 26-year old Dutch Moroccan Islamist is serving live in prison.
Kurt Westergaard. In 2005, the Danish cartoonist draws an image of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. Muslims across the world are outraged, Danish embassies in the Middle East are set ablaze. Westergaard receives numerous death threats. Eventually, a man wielding an ax breaks into his home, but he survives the attack.
Lars Vilks. 2007, the Swedish artist sketches a series of drawings depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog. Protests erupt. Vilks receives death threats and al Qaeda affiliate offers up to $150,000 for his assassination. In 2009, a plot to murder Vilks is stopped by law enforcement. Among the plotters, three Americans. One of them, a woman named Colleen LaRose, who's dubbed Jihad Jane. Stephane Charbonnier, in 2011, his satirical French magazine "Charlie Hebdo" publishes a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad and names him editor in chief for the next issue. Their offices are fire-bombed, but no one is hurt.
STEPHANE SHARBONNIER, EDITORIAL DIRECTOR OF CHARLIE HEBDO: One has the impression that everybody is driven by fear. That's what this small handful of fundamentalists that doesn't represent anyone wants to do. Govern through fear.
KAYE: In today's attack, tragically, Charbonnier and 11 others are killed. Also, on al Qaeda's most wanted list, Theo van Gogh's partner in that controversial film "Submission." Ayaan Hirsi Ali, AUTHOR, "INFIDEL".
COOPER: And we're joined now by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. It's good to have you on the program again, thanks for being with us. First of all, just on a personal level, as someone who has been targeted for years now for your work, for your statements, for your beliefs, what was your reaction when you heard what happened today?
AYAAN HIRSI ALI, FOUNDER AHA FOUNDATION: Anderson, thank you for having me. Good to speak to you again. I am in a state of shock. Like the rest of us, for the second time, I'm in a state of grief. I'm mourning the loss of, I would say, the entire staff nearly of Charlie Hebdo. The way I had to mourn and grief Theo van Gogh who I knew personally, and it's a different sort of grieving, but ultimately, it's the same thing. When you live the way I live, you have to ask yourself over and over again. What is -- who are these people who want to kill me and what do they want from me? What is it that drives them?
And over and over again, I come to the conclusion that this is not some kind of random event. These are not some, you know, bunch of deranged thugs. This is a movement. It's an ideology. The people who are doing this have a vision. And they united around that vision. And it's embedded in a world religion and in a world civilization, and I'll come to that part later. But this is what I have to say to myself. The grim truth is, for me to be safe, I have to outlive a generation of young minds who are polluted, whose minds are contaminated with this ideology.
And what we have seen today, this morning, is a massacre of individuals who stood up through that ideology, who said we are going to fight for the freedom of speech, for the freedom of conscience because this is what our society is about. This is what - this is who we are. This is what civilization is. And how we respond to what happened today, not only in times of policing, not only in times of, you know, the right thing to do about finding the guys and bringing them to justice, that is going to happen, I'm confident that is going to happen, but how the rest of us and especially the press responds is of great consequence. COOPER: Your name is on a wanted poster that was put out by al Qaeda
magazine "Inspire" in March of 2013, the same "Wanted" poster that included the editor of Charlie Hebdo who was killed in today's attack. Unlike Maajid Nawaz we just had on, you don't make a distinction between radical Islam, for say, and Islam itself as President George Bush said, the U.S. isn't at war against Islam, against radical Islam and extremists. For you, though, you don't make such a distinction.
HIRSI ALI: I make a distinction, but the distinction is in a little bit in a different way from Maajid's. I agree with President Bush, I agree with President Obama and with all the leaders of the civilized world that we are not at war with Islam. But within Islam is a radical movement that has declared war on us. And that radical movement regardless of their number, they are a minority, but that minority has declared war on us. And in that asymmetric relationship, you have irregular warfare, and we have to respond to them, not only in taking off their leaders, not only with military means and surveillance means but we also have to get to the bottom of it and see what's -- where the ideas are coming from. And it's very grim. It's very sad. It's the religion I was brought up in.
COOPER: So, this is the fight not just of ...
HIRSI ALI: It's the religion of my mother.
COOPER: You're saying this is not just a fight, a military fight. A police fight. This is a fight of ideas as well.
HIRSI ALI: This is a fight of ideas. This is a fight of visions. We have a movement that is transnational, that has the resources, that has the conviction and they wants to impose their vision of what they believe on the rest of us. And the more we ignore the ideological components of this equation, the more we get ourselves into the situation we are in now.
HIRSI ALI: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, we're going to have more with you in our next hour. You are going to be joined by Maajid Nawaz, and we'll talk, it's an important discussion to have and I want to go into greater depth with it in the next hour.
We are just getting our first report of a suspect in custody in these killings. There have been unconfirmed reports earlier. We are working to firm up some of the details. We're going to bring them to you momentarily.
Just ahead, President Obama says the attack here in Paris shows how much terrorists fear freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press. While more of the response from the White House next. Stick around.
And welcome back. We continue to follow the breaking news here out of Paris and elsewhere in France. We've just gotten word or a report from AFP, Agents of Foreign Press that the French national is - that actually the youngest of the three suspects has surrendered to police. The youngest 18-year-old of the three suspects of wanted today in the brutal terror attack against Charlie Hebdo killing 12 people, the youngest suspect has surrendered. The surrender apparently took place a few hours ago, that suspect, as I said, is 18 years old. It is now Thursday in Paris, a national day of mourning has begun. Two suspects, according to the latest bulletin from Police, are still at large. Police have put out their photo. We're going to show that photo to you as soon as we can get it up. 12 people, as I said, murdered by masked gunmen who burst into the office of the satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo. A publication frequently mocked Islam and frankly every other religion and just about every other political character on the world stage. President Obama condemned the attack, pledged to stand with France.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: For us to see the kind of cowardly attacks that took place, reinforces once again why it's so important for us to stand in solidarity with them just as they stand in solidarity with us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: CNN's White House correspondent Michelle Kosinski joins me now. So, we know President Obama spoke to President Hollande here on the phone. Do we know much about the phone call?
MICHELE KOSINSKI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, basically, that the president offered condolences and the U.S.'s assistance in whatever manner is needed. And that's something we heard repeatedly today from the president, from others in the White House. We heard from Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson today, too, who wouldn't go into detail about that assistance, he would only say repeatedly that the U.S. is doing a number of things in support of the French. We did hear from the FBI, though, saying that they were going through databases to help the French gather information and that the FBI is an open and constant communication with officials there. We know that top level national security officials in the U.S. government are also talking to their French counterparts, of course, Anderson.
COOPER: And are you hearing anything White House about concern about targets inside the United States or American interest here in Europe or elsewhere?
KOSINSKI: We know that that's a concern, that's obvious a concern, especially as regards foreign fighters. Of course, we don't know if these people in France traveled abroad, fought in wars. And then came back. If there is any connection. Of course, it's still early days. What we hear from the White House is that they don't know of any credible threat or specific information that would indicate that something is being planned here. But it was interesting to hear from, again, Secretary of Homeland Security Jay Johnson that what this tells him is that the threat is evolving. That they become more diverse affiliates as some of these terror groups. That the planning is becoming more complex. He's very worried about lone wolves and yes, that is something that he worries about happening here in the U.S. as well.
COOPER: Michelle Kosinski, I appreciate your reporting. Thank you.
In 2012, the French government temporary closed their embassies and schools in several Muslim countries after the Charlie Hebdo published cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Senior political commentator Jay Carney was the White House press secretary back then. Here's what he said about the editor's decision to actually run those cartoons back then.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We don't question the right of something like this to be published. We just question the judgment behind the decision to publish it.
Now, it has to be said. And I'll say it again. That no matter how offensive something like this is, it is not in any way justification for violence. Not in any way justification for violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And Jay Carney joins me now. Jay, do you still have the same concerns you did two years ago about how wise it may or may not have been to publish these kinds of cartoons? Because why - I mean the argument is why should anyone have to kowtow to someone else's, you know, something that may offend somebody else?
CARNEY: Well, no, I don't think that was what I was expressing on behalf of the administration. Our view and remember, we had experienced this with the video that had been seen by some Muslims as offensive to Islam and to the Prophet Muhammad that it was produced in the United States. And the point I was trying to make is, and I think it's the correct one for the United States and our oldest ally of France, which is the whole point of freedom of the press. And in our country, the first amendment. It's not to defend conventional speech or not to protect acceptable speech, but to protect and defend offensive speech, objectionable speech.
And I don't doubt that some Muslims could be offended by and were offended by some of these depictions and I think that that's where you can as an observer question the judgment but when it comes down to the right to publish, the protection that the law affords and the absolute unacceptability of violence and reaction to it, we have to stand firm. And I think that's a bedrock principal our country and also, the French democracy.
COOPER: If an American newspaper wanted to publish cartoons similar to one that Charlie Hebdo published, what would you tell them?
CARNEY: Well, I think we've had an experience, for example, it's not a publication, but it was the preacher down in Florida when he was threatening to burn the Koran that would potentially cause great offense and potentially violent reaction among extremists. And that my - that was in poor judgment as a decision to make, but his right to do it is obviously something that's protected by our Constitution and something that as a former journalist, and someone one who believes deeply in the first amendment. You know, I would defend right up to defending this speech and even more offensive speech.
COOPER: How concerned has the White House been in recent years about this style of attack? Because it's different than a lone wolf attack. It's different than a large scale highly orchestrated attack. I mean, this is a handful of people, three people that we know about in this case. Apparently, it was some sort of level of military training or military confidence targeting, you know, with Kalashnikovs an office. This is the kind of thing that could happen just about anywhere.
CARNEY: Very concerned, Anderson. And I think that what you see here is a reflection of the fact that the effort against extremists, Islam and extremists around the world has taken a toll on the ability of al Qaeda and al Qaeda offshoots to organize mass sophisticated attacks. . It has led to the more - the greater likelihood as a replacement for those kinds of attacks, of lone wolf attacks. People are simply inspired by the call to Jihad, to take action that's undirected, at least not specifically from a central power but just a call to act and take lives and create damage. I think also, I mean the smaller the cell of people, lone individuals the hardest to detect. A small cell of just a few people who may or may not have been acting at specific direction from a central authority. Very, very hard to detect in France and in the United States.
COOPER: Jay, I appreciate it. Jay Carney.
Up next, another live hour of "360." As far as we know, the manhunt still under way. The latest report from AFP. One suspect has surrendered, is in custody, the youngest suspect. 18 years old. Believed to be the person who was on the street while the two brothers were actually carrying out these senseless murders inside "Charlie Hebdo" as well as police officers on the street. The manhunt for the suspected terrorists continues. Protests here in Paris and all throughout Europe and the United States. We'll have more of that ahead. We're live all the way to the 10:00 hour tonight.