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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 9, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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you are watching al jazeera, i'm david foster. these are the latest developments out of france. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: french police killed the two brothers suspected of being the charlie hebdo attackers. and in the eastern suberb of paris, police storm a supermarket, killing a gunmen holding hostages. it is being reported that a number of hostages have died. ♪ two incidents involving
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hostages in france have come to dramatic ends. this is dammartin about 40 kilometers north of paris, two gunmen killed in a gun fight with security forces. they were killed near the the -- the -- the -- airport. there were stun grenades. we heard the automatic fire there. it is thought that the one hostage being held there, managed to at least escape with his life and moments later at a kosher supermarket in porte de vincennes, an eastern suberb of
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paris also. simon mcgregor-wood has the latest both of those incidents. we'll go live in a moment but first this report from simon mcgregor-wood. unfortunately we don't have that report encapsulating everything we have learned in the last 80 minutes or so. but i understand we do have barnaby phillips. do we have barnaby. okay. let's go to rory challands in porte de vincennes in the eastern part of paris. first of all, we understand the hostage taker has been killed. you were reporting that a short while ago but bring us up to date on those people we was holding hostage. >> reporter: yeah some rather sad news and i think some of the
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satisfaction the police here would have been feeling rubbed off slightly. we're hearing from police sources that at least four of the hostages who were here in the -- in the kosher supermarket died. we don't know how they died. we haven't had official confirmation of this. but this is the information coming out of police sources here in paris. just a few moments ago, it did seem like this was a very satisfactory operation on two fronts by the french police but the hostages now it seems that hasn't been quite the case and there are a certain number of fatalities that happened here in porte de vincennes when police stormed the kosher supermarket, or indeed in the hours before that when the hostages were in there with the gunmen. we'll have more information from the police in due course. >> okay.
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that's rory challands in eastern paris. the porte de vincennes area. let's go 40 kilometers north to dammartin-en-geole barnaby phillips our man there. you were pretty close by when the siege ended in the industrial complex. tell us how it went down. >> reporter: well there were a series of explosions and then a sustaining burst of gunfire. the latest report we had is it was the kouachi brothers who came out firing from the warehouse, the printing house where they had been holed up for much of the day. and they were subsequently killed by the police who surrounded the building. here in contrast to the situation in porte de vincennes all of the indications are that the only hostage who the suspects had was safe and is okay. there was a policeman injured here but it seems that it's all
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over at this stage. so when i was talking to you, david about 20 minutes ago, i was talking about 16 dead in two and a half days of chaos in paris, in the vicinity. now we have to revise that figure up to 20 dead including many civilians, including some police officers and including suspects today. so quite the extraordinary two and a half days in french history. >> we have that report barnaby thank you. and we have the report now from simon mcgregor-wood bringing together the ending of the two sieges both north of paris and in the suburbs. parisian suburbs.
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[ gunfire ] >> okay. we were hoping that we would hear from our correspondent simon mcgregor-wood but a technical problem means we have his pictures and report and i'll try my best to go through it with you. this is dammartin-en-geole north of paris, the siege ending there with automatic gunfire. this is the east of paris, porte de vincennes. where another hostage taker had a number of people with him in a kosher jewish supermarket. police went in there, throwing stun grenades, flash bang grenades as well and we also understand while he died not only did he lose his life but
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also a number of hostages have done so. let's go to jacky rowland, our correspondent. it has been an extraordinary 24 hours jacky. we were hoping that perhaps only the hostage takers had been killed but that is proving not to be the case. >> reporter: yes, i mean there's initial images when we saw those s.w.a.t. teams going into the kosher supermarket in porte de vincennes, we saw some people fleeing away from the supermarket at the same time and we heard reports that some hostages had been freed. but as some hostages were being freed, other hostages it would appear were dieing in the fire fight. figures of the dead they are saying a total of five people killed at the porte de vincennes siege ending including the
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hostage taker. a man had been named by police as amedy coulibaly. we also have reports that two special forces -- two of the officers who went in were also injured during that attack. it's not suggested that those injuries were serious, but nevertheless a loss of life from hostages that is clearly something that casts a long shadow over an operation which initially seemed to have been fairly quickly and cleanly carried out. >> we're looking at security forces helicopter moving in to dammartin, i believe this was shortly after the security forces themselves had gone into that small printing press where that man was held hostage. jacky i don't know whether it's dwelling on the politics of this in just a moment -- why don't i
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come back to you in a little while, and ask you about the wider picture here because while both sieges have ended, the french president has been talking about the overall threats france faces. >> translator: international solidarity has been expressed very strongly. there have been aggressions, attempts in friendly countries over the last few years, and when it is france our friends my also meal concerned. on sunday there will be a meeting of european ministers, the prime minister is acting in close cooperation with other countries with regards to intel gerns services and information, and that too is very important. >> jacky what did he have a meeting with marine le pen, the right-wing organization that wants to see immigration controls tightened up well
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aware the french public and indeed the president that groups such as this will use instances such as this to their own advantage. >> reporter: well the concern that has been expressed really consistently ever since the first attack at charlie hebdo has been expressed from president francois hollande the prime minister and also as well i think very significantly from the heard of the application application -- opposition party, the former president coming without a strong message of unity, saying that this is a time in the country that all forces that value the republican values should come out in support of those values. the former president say it's important that this should not be a time for party politics
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for scoring political points so i think certainly as the french public perceives that marine le pen has been trying to score political points that tactic could backfire when you have other figures taking a more statesman like approach. i think it's very important as well, when we try to analyze what possibly was motivating these attacks, because unfortunately we can only analyze that since the deaths of the kouachi brothers and the attacker at the supermarket means the security forces will not be able to interrogate these people and will not be able to hear from them if they had chosen to speak what exactly was motivating them. but certainly there seems to be a constant threat this idea of setting communities against each other. when you look at the targets, the kouachi brothers attacked charlie hebdo, a magazine
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infamous for basically poking fun at everyone and aggravating and causing offense across the political spectrum but it has become particularly infamous for its cartoons that incenses the muslim community. they also shocked police officers again, a target -- a group that could be pointed at to say to members of the community, look they are against us. then when you look at the attacks attributed to that second -- the second operative, amedy coulibaly is the same that has been given by police he attacked uniform police officers. he then carried out attacks against a kosher supermarket. these targets were chosen specifically to event certain sections of society. clearly there was some kind of an underlying theme there. them and us to enforce
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divisions. the message from president hollande the message from the former president, and from a lot of senior political and religious officials saying let's not play into their hand. we are going to be united. so if any politicians seek to score political points off of the back of these tragic incidents, that could well backfire in terms of the way that the french public view those people. >> jacky thing you. we'll be back with jacky rowland in a while. we'll go now to [ inaudible ]. tell us how you felt this ended? a little bit -- well a considerable loss of life not only the hostage takers killed
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but also a number of hostages as well. was there anything else the authorities could have done? >> first of all it is pronounced nesmer. it's hard to say. it ended the way it did. i assume the authorities felt based on facts and circumstances and the information at their disposal, that they felt the compelling need to undertake an attempt to rescue the hostages. that is always a high-risk proposition, and one that often sadly ends up not too well for some. so it's a success in that they ended the situation and killed the bad guy, but certainly the loss of next life in the hostages is something i'm sure authorities tried very hard to avoid. >> when you were working with the fbi on this one assumed as a negotiator that you were involved a great deal more in the talking rather than the
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action but would you have been telling those people with the guns and stun grenades that you felt at certain point it was impossible to continue with the talking? >> you always continue with the talking even if you decide to go with a tactical intervention but the negotiation's team job is to provide an accurate assessment with how the dialogue is going with the hostage takers. are we calming them down? do we think there's an opportunity for them to make some better decisions about the outcome. or conversely does their behavior and their statements indicate to us that there's increasing risk increasing danger in which case it's important we share that assessment with the onscene command authorities who then may opt to utilize tactical rescue efforts in an attempt to resolve the situation. >> we reported about 30 minutes
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before the first gunfire that we heard, and i suppose about five minutes later, we heard the second situation. we reported that the hostage taker in the supermarket had said if there were an assault on the other hostage takers that he would begin killing his hostages. at that point would you have probably thought we have to move pretty rapidly. >> i have so assume that the french authorities came to the conclusion that if they had to take tactical action against one side whether it was deliberately planned and initiated or as a reaction that that would then trigger simultaneous efforts at both sites to address that very problem i articulated. so that's not surprising that that was their thinking. >> i know you have got to go in a couple of minutes, but bear
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with us for just a short while. we have been saying we will round up events for sometime. we can do so now. i will probably want to ask you a question after the report. >> reporter: french special forces moved in on sharif and said's position around 5:00 local time. distant camera positions picked up the sound of the assault. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: wisps of smoke rose above the printing company. and eyewitnesss saw ambulances rushing to the scene. french media are reporting security sources say the two suspects in the charlie hebdo shooting were killed in the operation, their single hostage has been released unharmed. barely 15 minutes later in porte de vincennes, five or six large
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explosions were heard at the scene of the second siege, at a kosher supermarket. here a single gunman thought to be called amedy coulibaly had taken up to five hostages and had threatened to kill them if police moved in on the two suspects in dammartin, who it is thought he knew. here too it is now reported the hostage taker is dead, and a number of hostages have been released. simon mcgregor-wood al jazeera. >> and not officially confirmed, a number of the hostages simon was referring to they may have as well loss their lives. the fbi's chief negotiator in the past joining us now. you can never be certain i'm sure of how these things are going to end. but generally the skill level of these people who try to talk
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these hostage takers down has become quite a science hasn't it? >> it has. and i have worked very close with the french negotiators, and they are very professional. they certainly have good skill sets and experience. we have to remember that at the end of the day, it's ultimately the hostage-takers who [ inaudible ] the ending. if they don't make good decisions and behave badly, or increase the threat, then the authorities are often left with no recourse but to try to intervene in an effort to save lives, and the fact that some lives are lost in that process is extraordinarily unfortunate but i think it has to be laid at the feet of the hostage takers and not the authorities. >> thank you for spending your time with us. let's go to the former sas man.
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robin, we heard the former fbi chief negotiator there referencing, the way a siege ends is basically down to the hostage takers themselves. both of these groups have been involved in shooting people fatally. it was unlikely for this to end with them still alive. >> yes, that's exactly right. the fbi guy from the states spoke very eloquently and clearly. it's the fault of the hostage takers these hostages have died not the fault of the authorities. and there would have to be an escalation in violence that would trigger these events. and it appears that the hostage takers in dammartin have initiated the attack, and left the authorities with no option
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but to carry out an immediate assault on bothvenues. the one in dammartin seems to have gone extremely well. the one in paris itself is a tragedy because more people died but the authorities had to do something, and it's almost unheard of for a situation like this to end without the loss of some hostage lives. >> and i suppose we have yet to establish how many people were inside that supermarket, and if you have a crowded place and somebody wields around with an automatic weapon it's very difficult to prevent casualties. >> that's right. and if he had an ak37 you would only have to spray it once to kill or wound an awful lot of people.
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but we did see hostages running from the building in the arms of the police in good health so it's clear the assault did rescue some. it's a tragedy that others parished in the attempt. >> watching what has unfolded over the last 48 hours what do you think the authorities will have learned? what have you learned? >> well what the authorities have learned, what i have learned. we have seen that european governments are prepared to take strong reaction to people of this nature. if they come to france or britain, the authorities will take the required action to end the situation quickly and promptly. in this situation it looks as though the french authorities were forced to take action by the actions of the hostage takers. but they were well prepared
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well coordinated, well managed, and people will criticize them over the next few days but they should be aware that his are not predictable. in europe we have some of the best-trained people in the world dealing with this. but there's no perfect solution or answer. >> okay. that's robin talking to us from london about the events i'm about to recap for you. two situations involving hostages in and around a paris have come to an end with all of the hostage takers killed in police assaults. the two brothers suspected of carrying out the attack on the satyrical magazine charlie hebdo have been killed in the airport. the hostage they had held for hours survived the police assault there. 40 kilometers south and to the
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east we come to porte de vincennes, an eastern parisian suberb. that hostage killed by police and reuters also reporting that four hostages were killed. i'm not sure if it's four hostages or four people, one of whom was the hostage takers. one of the brothers was believed to have been trained by al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula, that is a group largely based in yes ma'am -- yemen. what is the story here? >> reporter: well david according to a senior official in the yemeni intelligence service, telling al jazeera that indeed he was in yemen in 2011, fighting alongside al-qaeda
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however, that official said they are still looking for the exact details. we also know from that official that he was deported at point. there are reports that kouachi was in touch with the main al-qaeda recruiter. that leader was killed in a u.s. drone attack also in 2011. >> if these people are known with the authorities, and if they are associated with al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula, then authorities would be aware of them and not want them to be in the country. how is it that they could come and go so freely? >> yes, that's the question that that official didn't want to answer and he said he will try to gather as much information as he can, and he will come back to us. because we did exactly ask him
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that. if he is known to be al-qaeda affiliated he is fighting with al-qaeda around the south and southeast of the country, how come you let him go? he said he is looking for the details. >> and i'm sure it would be interesting to hear his response, whether they have conversations with the french and other european authorities to keep him on their watch list as well. >> absolutely i got the sense, david, after the foreign interview if you will with our producer that the official was a bit cornered in a position that he doesn't -- he doesn't feel comfortable about, because it is really embarrassing for him as an intelligence officer. that's why he came out and escaped the whole thing by saying he will come back to us.
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david let me point out one important thing for our viewers in general, how important this al-qaeda group is. it is described by the americans as the most active branch of al-qaeda, it joined forces between al-qaeda in yemen and al-qaeda in saudi arabia in 2009. and let me tell you some of the operations that the group claim responsibility for. remember the little rock shooting in the u.s. in 2009? that was claimed by this group. also the fort hood in texas, that was also suggested that the perpetrator had linked with this group, and the most prominent of them all is the christmas day bombing in 2009, where the nigerian young man was hiding explosives in his underwear and trying to set it off on a plane going to the united states. so this group, al-qaeda in the
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arabian peninsula is active and never shied away from saying publicly they want to carry out global attacks david. >> thanks very much indeed. and worth wondering about that reply. because all of the those associated with al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula, carried out as loan-wolf agents but perhaps given help by an organization. that's a question we can ask somebody later in the news hour. let's take a look at what lead up to friday's siege. it ended with the two main suspects the brothers in the last hour and a half being killed by police. after the attack on the offices
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of charlie hebdo on wednesday, the two gunmen were at large for almost 24 hours until they were first spotted outside of paris on thursday. the owner of a petrol station calling the police claiming to be robbed by the two suspects. around 24 hours about to friday in and reports with a gun fight with police. police chasing the vehicle which they believed the kouachi brothers had hijacked from a woman and the chase ending in a print shop in a tiny industrial area. they took a hostage and kicked off a siege that lasted at least six, maybe eight hours. and that ended in police storming in and using automatic weapons. the two brothers killed the hostage, we understand freed.
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let's go to barnaby. barnaby you watched it all happen. take us through the day as you saw it. >> reporter: well the siege here in dammartin, david lasted by my estimate some eight hours or so. we were starting to get calls about 8:30, 9:00 in the morning, saying there had been a shooting incident a little bit further up the motorway. a car chase ensued perhaps the suspects inside. it was presumed the kouachi brothers had been intended to head back into paris. perhaps they were intending to head to the airport which is nearby. but any way they turned off into a little town which i'm afraid is no more than