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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 9, 2015 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

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two hostage sieges come to a dramatic end in france. five are killed at a jewish supermarket in paris. just minutes earlier police shot dead two brothers wanted over the attack on the satirical mag charlie hebdo. ♪ hello, you are watching al jazeera live from london. we have the very latest on the breaking news from france including a national address by president francois hollande who thanked security forces for ending the day's long crisis. ♪
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thank you for joining us let's bring you up to date with the end to two dramatic hostage situations in france. the kouachi brothers linked with the killing of 12 people of the attack on the offices of charlie hebdo are dead. [ gunfire ] at the same time police moved in on a second hostage taker at a kosher supermarket in eastern paris. he has been named as amedy coulibaly. he is also suspected of killing a policewoman on thursday. police say his accomplice is this woman, hayat boumeddiene. and in the past hour the french president has addressed the
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nation. well al jazeera has correspondent covering every part of this story. rory challands is in porte de vincennes in eastern paris where five hostages were held by a gunman. and lawrence lee is in dammartin-en-geole where the kouachi brothers were holding a hostage in a factory. rory it was a shock day, not one siege but two. tell us what happened where you were. >> reporter: well some normalities returning to this part of eastern paris as you can see the road that i'm standing on now has traffic flowing down it. for most of the day this was completely off-limits to car and most people. police cordon set up behind me. the whole area blocked off as the situation unfolded in a
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jewish supermarket not far away. it began with one hostage situation and then as the day progressed another one unfolded. both of those, now ended. my colleague simon mcgregor-wood can give you a summary of the day's events. >> reporter: just as darkness was beginning to fall french police launched an operation to end the siege at the kosher supermarket in porte de vincennes. a number of explosions were heard fist and then as you can see in this video, heavily armed policemen started to storm the shop. inside a single gunman thought to be amedy coulibaly was holding a number of hostages he was also suspected of killing a police woman in paris on thursday morning. he had reportedly threatened to start killing hostages if police launched an operation against sharif and said kouachi who it is claimed he new. here you can see the explosion
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as police try to break in. two police officers were injured and the hostage taker was kill interested in the shootout. you can see hostages being liberated by police but al jazeera believes four were killed in the operation. >> and rory it must have been very shocking where you were all eyes were on another hostage situation and all of a sudden this happened as well. >> reporter: yeah it was, and there are a number of questions that -- that the police are going to have to answer that france as a whole is going to have to answer. this situation hasn't been totally resolved yet, because we don't know exactly the links that there were between these two hostage situations between the perpetrators of these two crimes. we don't know how connected they were with each other. as simon mcgregor-wood was saying in his report there, the
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hostage taker here in eastern paris had said that if the police stormed the kouachi brothers and moved against them in dammartin to the north of paris then he would start shooting hostages there. that suggests there was some sort of link. that's something that will have to be answered. how did these hostages die as well. that's another question that will need to be answered here. did they die in the police storming of the supermarket, or had they died beforehand? a third question is where is hayat boumeddiene, the woman that the police would dearly like to find and ask questions of. is she implicated in any of these events as well or was she just related in a romantic sense to the hostage taker here in
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eastern paris. so a number of questions that have to be answered in the coming hours and days. >> let's focus on this woman again, rory. just remind us how these two names came into the -- into the public. >> reporter: well when the hostage situation developed here in eastern paris, in porte de vincennes, about 1:00 in the afternoon local paris time it doesn't too long after that the police released two names, the name of the man they believe who was responsible for the hostage taking and also that woman, hayat boumeddiene. they released two pictures. they believe that the hostage taker here was also the man that shot two police officers in paris yesterday.
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and they believe the woman that they are looking for was also involved in some way in that event too. they think that she is the girlfriend of the man, and that's why they are looking for her. because she have some sympathy with him or have some connection to these events but we still don't know -- >> rory forgive me i'm going to have to interrupt you right now. let's go straight to tennessee in the u.s. >> france is our oldest ally. i want the people of france to know that the united states stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have been directly impacted. we grieve with you. we fight alongside you to uphold our values the values that we share, universal values that
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bind us together as friends and allies, and in the streets of paris, the world has seen once again what terrorists standing for. they have nothing to offer but hatred and suffering. and that spirit of france will endure forever long after the scourge of terrorism is ban initialled from this world. [ applause ] >> now i'm in knoxville, not only because i just like knoxville -- [ laughter ] >> but i'm here today because one of my resolutions is to make sure that folks across this great country feel like they are
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coming back. and there is no doubt thanks to the steps we took early on to rescue our economy, and to rebuild it on a new foundation -- >> and we just heard president barack obama there give his reaction to the events of the past few days saying that the united states stands with the people of france. in the past hour we have also heard from the french president. he's addressed his nation. >> translator: i want to call upon vigilance, unity, and civilization. vigilance, it is up to the state to demonstrate it. and with the prime minister i have further strengthened all of the means to protect our public places and to ensure that we can live peacefully without at
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anytime being able to be the target of a threat or a risk but we must be dij -- vigilant. i also call upon unity, because i had expressed it before french people. it is our best weapon. unity means that we must show our determination to fight against anything everything that can divide us and to be -- not give in at all to anti-semitism, because today in a kosher supermarket it was a terrible act that was committed. not to be divided means that we must not refuse -- avoid any raising of the stakes. the people who committed these acts, these fan atticss -- fanatics have got nothing to do with the muslim religion.
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finally we must mobilize ourselves. we have to be committed to deal with threats, but also through solidarity the solidarity we must show all the efficiency that we can. we must not -- never give in to any pressure never show fear because we have an ideal which is greater than us and we're capable of depending it everywhere. >> al jazeera's jacky rowland joins me live now from our bureau in paris. jacky strong words there from the president, but he is going to be criticized over the next few days over not only the handling of this situation but how it could have been allowed to happen in the first place. >> yes, i mean he said during that speech that france hasn't done with all of the potential threats facing it. that there were still threats
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out there. there are many people who would say you knew already that threats were here. so why are we only talking about vigilance now after a series of days. on wednesday we had the killing at charlie hebdo, on thursday we had the shooting of those police officers one of whom died and now on friday these two hostage-taking situations in particular that situation at the kosher supermarket, where four hostages we understand were killed as that came to a conclusion. people were saying you know, there was a risk already. where was the vigilance beforehand? there is knowledge in the security establishment that there are french citizens french nationals who have been overseas overseas, and drawn to the idea of fighting jihad. so many people will say it's all very well now to talk about ren
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forcing security but more could have been done before. security is one of the aspects on which president hollande is going to be very much scrutinized. and there will be questions on how french society processes this. the president saying we cannot equate these actions with the islamic religion. is everyone going to accept that or is there a danger of vigilante attacks, and launch attacks as a symbol of something they may see as a danger. >> i know it's still early days but do we have any idea what steps they will take to increase
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security in france? >> i think we're going to see increased scrutiny. increased examination of the intelligence agency's databases, information about people returning from overseas. we have seen time and again when there are in fact violent incidents of this kind i'm thinking of almost three years ago when there were a series of shooting incidents in the southern town on that occasion the gunman was someone who was overseas seeking military training and had become radicalized. so i think we'll have to see the intelligence services start getting databases of who are these people and what are they doing? for some months now it has been estimated that hundreds of young people born in france french passport carriers maybe who's parents or grandparents
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originally came to france from former colonies in north africa young people who have alienated, and they go to iraq or syria or wherever and get caddal caddal -- radicalized. so i think we'll see intense work by the intelligence agencies to try to identify potential threats. >> jacky rowland thanks very much. and now let's go to lawrence lee live for us in dammartin, where the kouachi brothers were holding a hostage in a factory. i guess throughout the day people thought perhaps police would move in at nightfall, but that's not what happened. do we have any details as to what exactly happened when the brothers were killed?
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>> reporter: well there are two con digiting versions of events. the first was the troops and police has stormed in using pyrotechnics, flash bombs and those sorts of things and they had then gone in very quickly, shot the two brothers and that was the end of it so that was the first story that came out. the question that arose from that was, why would they do that because it was still daylight because the usual tactic is to do it in the middle of the night when the suspects are their sleepiest. the story that then emerged, and it's probably accurate is that the two brothers came out almost like butch cassidy and the sun dance kid for a last standing and started shooting at the authorities, presumably knowing they had absolutely no chance because they were entirely outmanned and outgunned.
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and they were immediately killed. there was no police loss of life and the hostage was unharmed as well. that would explain why it happened in daylight and it would go towards explaining the mentality of the brothers who by all accounts said they weren't prepared to be taken alive, and would rather do something which they would see as being gloeshrious and die as martyrs. i think on balance, the police will be pretty pleased with the way it went here. four dead hostages in paris is terrible. 20 dead people since wednesday, by french standards is an enormously high number but if this is the end of it on friday night, then potentially french politics can spend the weekend regrouping and get out of direct
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crisis mode and a bit more into what happens next. >> and there was the hostage that was taken by the kouachi brothers must be counting his lucky stars. what do we know about him? >> well not very much barbara to be perfectly much. it was a small company, small number of employees. inside of a small retail park. this printing prison had this space. they had taken him hostage and by one account they said don't worry, we don't kill civilians when they moved in. i don't suppose for a minute that would have put his mind at rest but in the end he got out absolutely unhurt and that's one of the reasons why the police will be pleased. and as i was saying before as we were standing in the fields and the police were leaving, and
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we would hear the townspeople cheering who had been cooped up all day. as quickly as the place shut down news spread that the town was basically liberated, and you could see life coming back to normal very very quickly afterwards. >> lawrence lee live for us thank you. former sas special forces here in the u.k. robin is in the studio with us. we were just hearing from lawrence how it all unfolded in dammartin. do you think there is anything that could have been done to capture these two men alive. >> no not at all. they clearly wanted to die, and they got their mission completed by doing that. i don't think they expected to live as long as they did. and holing up was part of their martyrdom and they have achieved
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that. so if the security forces hadn't shot them it was probable they would have shot themselves. >> what have you made of the french response? >> i think the french response should be congratulated. they took a very difficult situation that was unfolding very, very quickly, very, very violent, and coordinated all of the different organizations very very well. and they managed to pin these people down on the move very very quickly. people were criticized and say oh they should have done this and why didn't they do that. but in very difficult circumstances they have managed to resolve this situation within 48 hours, and i think that ought to be congratulated on how well not only the dies that did the assault in the police on the ground but the management the coordination, the unity of all of the people involved and how smoothly they have managed this
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situation from start to finish. >> obviously we're still finding out more and more about the kouachi brothers. we're getting reports that one of them say he might have been trained in yemen by al-qaeda but what you have seen what kind of training do you think they have had? >> yeah, it was clear the two brothers had some kind of military training. they carried their weapons like soldiers, they moved like soldiers. it looked as though they had made rehearsals. they prepared their targets very well. they had names. they probably had done reconnaissance on the area and they seemed to have a very, very good and solid plan. once the attack was over they didn't seem to have a plan. after that it was just head for the hills. >> apparently one left an id card as well. >> yeah which was foolish and indicates the level they were actually at but the way they handled their weapons and carry
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t out these murders was a sign of training. >> do you think they might have been part of a bigger cell? >> they are part of a bigger organization. but above them they will only have a handler. they are a bit like missiles they are launched and forgotten about. but the only two they will know is their handler, and even then maybe even by a telephone link. >> the fear in france and across all of europe is how many others can there be? and is there anything that can be done to prevent similar attacks. >> there are a lot of things being done. this is an intelligence war. and you can't follow everybody who is a potential terrorist all the time. you don't have the resources to put teams on individuals for 24
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hours every day. but it's intelligence that prevents most of these type of attacks before they occur. there's always going to be one. the terrorist only has to have one lucky day. the police have to have every day lucky all the time. >> we heard from the head of the inattorneyal security services here in the u.k. saying there is a sense of acceptance that come will go through. do you think -- you seem to think that that's the case. do you think society thinks that way as well? >> yeah i think people understand the reality of these type of attacks. they are very small. two people can fighten an awful lot of people. get it in perspective, every death is a tragedy, but we probably lost more people on the road in the last week than we lost in paris in the last week.
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every single individual is sad, but these ones have a political perspective to them they upset people. they are idealogical conflicts that go on here and it's a motive as well. but to prevent these types of attacks, it's the intelligence services that do most of the work. >> robin thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us. we'll be talking to you again over the past few hours. as we reported a hostage taker at the supermarket siege in porte de vincennes in eastern paris has been killed. the main suspects in the attack are the kouachi brothers. here is phil lavelle with what we know about them. >> the suspects appear to have worked in pairs. these two. amedy coulibaly, and hayat boumeddiene. thought to have been boyfriend and girlfriend. police say he is suspected of killing an officer on thursday and she was a person of interest to them. and he was also apparently the
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hostage taker at a kosher surp market on friday. then the brothers. the two men at the focus of the intense manhunt after the attack at the charlie hebdo officers. sharif was once a rapper but one with a criminal record for drug dealing, and he appeared to have been radicallized by a man who him was convicted of recruiting jihadist to go fight in iraq. his brother said was the one that got the police on their tail because he left his identity card in the get away car. and police have identified him as the main tacker on wednesday. he is thought to have visited yemen in 2011 where he met this former top al-qaeda preacher. clearly the authorities knew who these men were.
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and the u.s. knew about them too. they were on a specific no fly list. on top of that, the french authorities have them under surveillance in fact a direct quote from the french prime minister. so the questions now twofold. why was charlie hebdo so exposed when it had been threatened? and secondly how did four people at least two of them known radicals get to be followed and yet unfollowed when there was clearly a danger. when the answers do arrive they are sure to be uncomfortable. [ inaudible ]s in germany have used friday prayers to condemn the attacks. >> reporter: this mosque in berlin is one of many across germany where people coming for friday prayers have heard sermons directly addressing what happened in france. the a leader has been telling
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the congregation that that kind of violence has no basis in the quran or the teachings of the prophet muhammad. and that's something the justice minister was keen to emphasize as well. >> translator: during a phase where there are people trying to instrumentalize what happened in paris, to split society, we cannot let that happen. the key part of that is the community work done by this mosque. >> reporter: talking to the worshippers here it's clear they feel no connection to the people that carried out the paris attacks, but they do have their own personal fears about what could happen next in germany. >> i think there will be revenge attacks and society will be divided. religions will be split and people will be split. >> translator: since yesterday i have been looking around to check if someone is throwing a stone at me because i'm a foreigner. >> reporter: a survey that has
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just come out here but was carried out in november suggests 61% of non-muslim germans are fearful of islam. clearly there are still tensions in this country and elsewhere in europe. but those tensions are something the government and muslim organizations are trying hard to diffuse. nadine barber reporting there. we will of course have a lot more from those paris attacks in just a few minutes. live reaction from the capitol and beyond. stay with us.
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