tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN September 24, 2013 2:00am-3:00am EDT
it's perturbing. it's not just somalia and kenya and the horn of africa. >> and what happened in mali they have been put on the back foot. but there is this resurge if not of al qaeda proper than of these franchises all over the place. >> and the american connection to all of this. we have seen a number of americans mostly of somali descent who group up here in the united states becoming radicalized and fighting for al-shabaab. >> three to four dozen and they worry that the number could be higher. many of them from somali-american communities.
i ran into one who was going home to minnesota to see her mother today and she says this troubles their community. and so the challenge for the administration is these are young americans with passports. the administration does not believe al-shabaab is capable of doing this here. doesn't mean they don't go back and double check when something like this happens. but they don't believely the there is organized to project force like this in the united states but they go back with intelligence sources and have been involved in supporting the operations in somalia and helping the kenyan governments try to deal with al-shabaab. if there are 36, 42, whatever number of americans you have, where do you know where they are in the world? how do you track them? it's why we have controversies of nsa and wiretapping in this country. >> first american killed who set off a suicide attack what a somali american.
>> and an american who had some political disagreement with the leader of the group and he was killed. so this is not a new thing. and i think this kind of incident about a shopping mall. americans morphed their definition of terrorism after 9/11. this is sort of the old school traditional definition of terrorist. >> when i turned on the tv and saw breaking news and west gate mall i assumed immediately it is in the united states. this is a sharp reminder that terrorism is a global problem.
that's why what happens over there matters here. it doesn't stay over there. it's what you just said. i can't think of anything that's more relaxing or more ordinary than going to a shopping mall. >> this one, as we know, as she has been reporting, it has touched many of the officials, the foreign minister, who you were quoting earlier, one of her daughter's friends was killed. >> kenyetta had a nephew there. >> and people in cnn have relatives and friends out there. be interesting to know if i can ask nima a question. you heard what the foreign minister said she believed two or three of the gunman are american. do you have independent confirmation of that? we don't quite have it down. we just want to know whether there is evidence of that and how would she know that? >> reporter: well our understanding is they do have eyes in there. we don't want to get into many details. it's an ongoing operation but
it's they have access to see some of these people inside the mall and they're also going on a lot of the descriptions, the eyewitnesss that have been coming out that were held by the hostages and spoke from the hostages from the accents that they're hearing. we don't have independent confirmation but it's this is something that al-shabaab have been crowing about online. they claim there are three americans in there, one brit, one canadian and one finn. and it tallies allot with what al-shabaab has been very good at. they are good at creating videos that speak to these men who feel disenfranchised and create a sense of hero schism and this twist of sense of being god's warrior, come home and find your calling here. that's what they are better at than any al qaeda franchise. they are trying to drive home we are getting your people to come here.
how do you know it's not next time our people in your homes. and although, you say that the american government doesn't feel this could happen at home but they are worried enough to put millions of dollars into the international effort. without somalia being stable, al-shabaab will be a threat. >> that's why kenya is targeted. kenya has troops in somalia which motivated a lot of somali-americans of the dozens who went over they were being told by people in their community it was ethiopians invading ethiopian christians invading a muslim country. i'm curious about the impact in nairobi. one of the things that separates terrorism from criminal activity, besides the methods is the intent. and the intent is to make a political statement and make an
actual statement. when we saw the mumbai attacks which are similar in the level of technical sophistication required. a handful of people able to bring the city to a halt for several days. is the entire city, the entire country of kenya watching this? >> reporter: what drove the kenyan involvement was how much of what is going on in somalia is bleeding across the border into kenya. low level stuff but people here have got used to living their lives looking over their shoulders. any time we go into any of the shopping malls like west gate we are used to being searched and a level of vigilance. so the kenyans are going, all right, this is horrifying and more than we're used to but we decided this is the price we are willing to pay.
we have decided we are going to come together as a community. and when it's someone all the way up the ladder to the president, his nephew and his nephew's fiance you kind of feel they are able to come together around this. >> nima we will take a break and have more on this after the break. tweet me @andersoncooper. we'll be right back. ♪ man: [ laughs ] those look like baby steps now. but they were some pretty good moves. and the best move of all? having the right partner at my side. it's so much better that way. [ male announcer ] have the right partner at your side. consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan,
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welcome back. the you're just joining us. the pbs news hour reporting that the kenyan foreign minister reported that two americans are among the people who killed 60 people in a nairobi shopping mall. the u.s. officials are not ready to say whether americans are involved. al shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack. jessica buchanan who was held captive by gunmen in somalia for 91 days. you were threatened to be sold to al shabaab. >> absolutely. that was the worst outcome from the ordeal is if they did sell
us to al shabaab or if they captured us from the group holding us there would be very little chance of survival. and i mean, on day 93, when the navy seals came in to rescue me i had no way to know that somebody was coming in to save me. and my first thought was this is al shabaab and they are coming to get me. >> [ inaudible question ]. >> the guys who held me wanted money. they were asking for a large ransom. it was nothing but money to them. but for al shabaab, my opinion is it's not about money but more about a statement. >> there are still hostages at this mall on day two going into day three -- >> day four now. >> what is the difference between day four and day 90, 91 in.
>> day four you are still trying to figure out what's going on? who's got you? this is where i was in my day four. you're still trying to learn who is in control, who do they answer to. am i going to get food and water? day 91, 39, you realize you're in it for the long haul and if your chances are survival -- if you are going to make it through this and you have to change your perspective. right now i think for me day four thinking back it's all just about just getting through minute to minute. >> this is an active gunfight. they are being used as human shields from some reports. >> sure. >> and there is a real feeling that, you know, these gunmen are willing to die. >> and being executed at point-blank range. >> how did they treat you? they weren't al shabaab and in it for the money like the somali pirates.
how did they treat you? did they give you food? did they assault you? >> there was harsh treatment. we lived outside for the entire 93 days. we were never taken into any buildings we sat under trees in the day and slept in the open at night. and very aggressive and the guys holding us were addicting to this leaf that made them high. >> it's a twig that is like amphetamines and by the end of the day they are wired. >> wired, paranoid and trigger happy. >> how many cases are there like yours in a year? >> i don't know. >> one of the unfortunate things about this is the united states and the african union had a success story in somalia. a completely failed state and total mess. you were in it at that time.
they have started -- and now finished pushing them back out of the capital and a president recognized by the u.s. >> and it was a famine that started it. they refused to allow in aide workers to feed people. i want to bring in peter bergen. is this a sign of strength by al shabaab or a sign of weakness? this is all they can do is holding civilians and killing women and children in a mall? >> it's a sign of weakness. if they wanted to make a statement, their enemy is the kenyan military. but they don't have the capability to attack the base. as you have been discussing this is a group that has been defeated militarily by the kenyans and african union troops. they control the capital in mogadishu.
this is a group on the wane, not on the rise. this attack may be an effort to show they still have skin in the game. >> and so for those in the united states who "a" haven't heard about this group and are concerned about this happening in the united states or europe or elsewhere, has al shabaab shown a capability to operate internationally beyond east africa? >> you know, they tried to kill -- they -- somebody associated with al shabaab tried to kill a cartoonist and they broke into his house and the cartoonist had a safe room. so that wasn't successful. the previous attacks were in uganda where they killed 70 people in 2010. it has been mostly confined to africa. >> i think what is obviously something that is important with all these world leaders in new york talking about all this.
president obama met with president jonathan. >> president of nigeria. >> president of nigeria. >> i just love his name. >> it's great. >> they have a problem will with their al qaeda affiliate. give us a sense of how strong the african and north african version of al qaeda is right now, peter. >> it depends where you are. nigeria it's not good to be a christian in northern nigeria and being near a cell. they have attacked a lot of charges. but they haven't attacked outside of nigeria itself. in mali, the french army basically defeated the al qaeda affiliate in mali at the beginning of this year. it waxes and wanes. the attack on the algerian gas facility. so it depends be. you overall i would say that
there in most cases these groups are not doing particularly well. most people in most part of the world don't want to live under a taliban style rule. >> it has been able to recruit a number of americans of somali descent. there was an american convert to islam who tried to go over there. i think he was apprehended in kenya. who are the people who have been recruited and how have they been recruited? >> a lot of them come from a neighborhood in minneapolis, the average income is $17,000. 20% unemployment rate. and you know, i think the pitch is, you know, as you've said at the beginning of the show, a christian army has invaded from ethiopia. you can have an exciting time, you know, it's part of a -- experience of brotherhood and it's for the religion and that's appealing. most of these folks have come from minnesota and have been recruited from places like
seattle and alabama and maryland and other places around the united states. probably the most attractive affiliate of al qaeda for americans right now. in fact 15 americans have died fighting with al shabaab. as many as four of them as suicide bombers which makes this report we heard on twitter sound plausible. >> the fact that they -- al shabaab was tweeting about the attack and twitter shut it down and another site sprung up associated with them. do you think it's likely that an attack of this style could or would happen in the united states not necessarily from al shabaab? it does seem not that technically savvy or require a huge amount of training. >> we have seen attacks like in in aurora, colorado, but if they shouted ala akbar it would have been a bigger story.
but they don't have the capacity to the these attacks in the united states. they did an attack in boston which killed four. but there aren't many takers in the united states for this ideology and they are not organized in a group capable of this kind of an attack. >> what happens next? this is going to end at some point. what is the international -- what does the united states, what does kenya have to do -- can do? should do? >> i think the way this will end is all the hostages and hostage takers will be killed. and kenya has a motivation to remove this group. they took a port in 2011 that was called by al shabaab. there is a strong revenge motivation here.
>> jessica, as someone who lived in nairobi are you concerned about the -- >> i feel that nairobi is a safe place. i lived there for off and on for seven years and the things that happened to me didn't happen in nairobi. i think the kenyon people are lovely, amazing, strong and they will band together and come out of this. i saw the progression and how they struggled after the election but they maintained integrity and moved on. and i think that they'll -- they'll overcome this. >> appreciate you being on. thank you so much. peter bergen, thank you. the threat of a government shutdown in the united states. only one week left in the fiscal year and the federal government runs out of money. what is going to happen?
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it's not going to pass the senate controlled by democrats. but one of the chief proponents said this today on capitol hill. >> i think every one of us, republicans and democrats should get back home and listen to our constituents and ask them what are the challenges that you are facing. when you ask your constituents what are the problems you are facing? over and over again the answer is obama care is killing jobs and taking away my health insurance and driving up my premiums and causing small businesses to go out of business. if we listen to the american people that should be the priorities. >> we are back with our panel. good to have you here. do you believe that is true. when people go back, that's the number one problem? >> i event know which american people he is talk to. a cnbc poll showed by a three to one margin that americans don't want to shut down the government to defund obama care.
they don't like the law but they don't want to defund it or shut down the government. ted cruz is expecting the american people to rise up behind him but they are not there. >> the american people can walk and chew gum but a lot of the politicians can't. some liberals don't think it goes far enough. others are dealing with it as it is making the headlines. they read a story saying their premiums are going down but they will have fewer choices. but they don't think you shut down the home with enterprise of the government to do it. this is why we have elections. mitt romney wasn't shy in the last election about saying and elect me and get rid of obama care and he lost. the supreme court upheld the law. most republicans will say let's have it out in 2014 and 2016 and
try to change the law but it's to shut down the government over it, most republicans view as a fool's errand that will hurt the party at a time it is poised to doing quite well. >> that's why so many republicans are against it. if you want to fix obama care or repeal it or fix it or change it, the best way to do it is to elect more republicans and the political cost of a government shutdown is really going to effect any possibility of electing more republicans. >> cruz gets the headlines but marco rubio is with him on this. >> i knew you were going there. >> why is he with him? >> cruz is move to elected politics. marco rubio knows you -- >> i don't agree with marco
rubio on this. but i think that the difference between marco rubio and ted cruz is that rubio is not on a national tour putting pressure on congress and other members calling anybody not in favor of it the defeatous caucus. it's his position but he is not being a slash and burn republican. >> it is extraordinary. we remember when newt gingrich did this in the '90s and it ricochetted on him. >> which he denies. >> i think it did. >> most observers did. i just spoke to him the other day -- >> how many times can we have this and maintain -- >> from his historian's perspective the democrats got the house back for a little bit
not long after that. but now the republicans are back. if you look at the arc of history after 40 years of democratic rule before newt gingrich, the republicans have done pretty well. and that's a fact. did it hurt their image in the short term. and would bob dole say it -- >> back then, republicans were united. you know, in that tactic. today, we're not. most republicans are against the government shutdown despite what nancy pelosi may have said on sunday. so you know, the difference is we are airing out our dirty laundry and differences and turning it into a spectacle for everybody to see. i don't think that's the way to grow a party. it's not the way to become the dominant party. >> a research poll. the question is who is more to blame? republicans, 39, obama administration, 36, both, 17, neither, 2, 6 say they don't
know. it's 39 but evenly split. >> that tells you how weak the president is now. independents have left the president. a lot of americans are skeptical or don't like obama care or not sure what it's going to do to them. so right now you have parity. however, americans don't want the government shut down over this. if the republicans shut it down over this then you have a singular personality and a good communicator he has the pulpit of the presidency. and bill clinton won that debate because a president speaks with one voice. when you have a republican party that will be in a firing squad. i don't know anybody who is smart about politicians who say that the president wins. >> what does this say about being able to fix so many of the problems that need to be fixed so many big issues that month after month we talk about this dysfunction in washington.
people around the world look at this and can't believe it. >> that's why congress has approval ratings that are 11, 12%. >> worse than reporters. >> as much as the american people are not in love with the president, they dislike congress even more even if they have questions about obama care if the government shuts down they will blame robs. all the polling is suggesting that. >> that's the sad thing and ironic thing. obama care was turning to a problem for president obama and democrats. it's every day the mayo clinic or sea world or one more business taking people off the insurance rolls or taking them off -- >> they are just -- >> we are giving obama the escape out. we are giving the solution. instead of focusing on the problems, everybody's focused on the civil war in the relationship water. >> but are the people who are making this an issue and forcing this issue, can you answer my
question put them in two schools, new and safe members of the republican party, tea party like movement. the only thing they worry about is the primary challenge. they go right, right, right. and on the senate side, funny, aren't they doing the most to run for president in 2016, where maybe they are willing to suffer but they are going -- >> but rand paul is striking a compromising tone. he is looking as the compromiser in chief right now. >> he says you shouldn't have to shut down the government. >> the obama care survives. the money has been allocated a few government workers will not make it but the program will continue. >> we'll take a break. will hillary clinton run for president in 2016? i think we will be asking this
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she is not in any hurry to make a decision about running for president in 2016. she will continue to weigh a variety of factor. former president clinton was asked about his wife's priorities today. listen. >> do you think she'd rather be today she can do both, president or a grandmother? >> if you ask her i think she'd say grandmother. but i have found it best not to discuss that issue. >> sounds like chelsea may have influenced you. >> i'm just trying to -- my goal is to live to be a grandfather. the rest is out of my hands. >> i think they would make fine grand parents. >> i like he almost spit up his water there. >> what a question. >> bush is going to be president. >> do you think she was drinking
water like we are? i can't believe we are drinking water. >> most candidates are running until they run. she is running until she doesn't run. she is by leaps and bounds ahead by 5,000 points among over democrats. >> let's look at the poll. >> my math isn't so good. do we have that poll? >> choice for nominee, clinton, 65%. >> that is the political equivalent of 5,000 points. >> this is not the first time she has been lead big 5,000 points. >> it would be interesting to watch her put together a team. the most fascinating to me, if you look at what's happening in the changing of the clinton foundation, not just in the name, the bill, hillary and chelsea foundation. and there is an article in the new republic that is unfavorable.
you see the not so hidden hand of chelsea who i saw back in the day when she was cute with curly hair and braces. she is now a force in this family. you can see things that are clearly designed that if my mother runs what do i need to do? what things could hurt her in 2015 and 2016 we can deal with today? >> you think that chelsea is behind it? >> i know it. i know people who are in the clinton world and it is fascinating to watch. she was this cute, shy, unassuming kid who was overwhelmed at being in the white house and now she has grown up. >> let's bring in the cnn political commentator. he is joining us on the phone. is the hidden hand of chelsea clinton behind all this? >> i hate to disagree with king. >> he knows. >> you do know.
i don't know means i don't want to talk about it. >> but it is note worthy that her name is now on the door at the foundation. this is an accomplished woman. i'm with john. i knew her when she was 12 years old and bright at that. but now he is an accomplished woman and worked in finance. she worked in consulting and now she is going to -- i think have a strong hand leading this. i think it's terrific. >> but the question is about hillary 2016 not chelsea 2050. >> do you think she's running? >> some days i wake up thinking yes and some days i wake up thinking no. but she has the luxury of time. but also, anderson, this is good for business. let's face it, keeping her name out there, the speculation. she's going to write a book and speaking gigs. she has all sorts of things going on where being a potential candidate and presumed nominee is good for business.
>> sarah palin is talking about running for senate. >> is she again? >> this is going to be is she again for the next three years. every time there is an article or speech or chelsea makes a decision, everything something it is this is hillary going to run. >> it's not going to be three years. it's going to be one and a half. she is going to get a lot of pressure. >> she is already. >> from other potential candidates. >> let's be serious. women want to see her run and believe it's time for a woman to be president. and i think that -- >> has benghazi hurt her for a run? >> i think there's no question. there is no question that republicans think that that's their first -- you want to be president. you want to be the ceo. you have to deal with terrorism. on your watch this happened and there were a lot of warning signs. she man handled the republicans
when she went up on congress. >> hate tweet him, people. >> and the republicans concede that point. but is it a legitimate to ask me about the warning signs? of course it is. is it enough to derail her? i think not. >> i completely agree. and in benghazi right now trying to make that an issue going forward. but it's one blotch on an untarnished resume. when she left the secretary of state she had a sky high approval ratings. it's one blotch. it's a terrible incident but i don't -- >> republicans would say there's more than one blotch in the clinton history. if she runs she will be a formidable candidate. >> it's a known quantity. >> we are just scratching at the surface of what's going on with
doug band. you will hear -- >> for those -- >> who is that? >> doug band was an internal in the white house, he was the guy who put the speech on the podium. you see a guy walk off dropping the speech and carry the bag. if you look at bill clinton in world events in the final days of his presidency. he was the body guy. the implication is that he turned his role as a top assistant to the president at the clinton global initiative and he helped design the clinton global initiative that he traded in on his access and he is part of an investment firm now and he said i can deliver bill clinton and cashed in on the name. >> it is not by coincidence that the company that we have heard about where -- when she came back from maternity leave she got a consulting agreement with the state department and was
able to consult for a private company. it's the same company we were talking about. >> at this point, "a," do you think this doug band issue is going to have legs that could hurt hillary clinton down the road? and what do you think the main factors will be for her to decide? >> the answer to "a" is easy. no. three years and two months away from the election. this week, even tonight, there is an ongoing terrorist attack in nairobi. seven days away from a government shutdown and may default on our credit. the middle class is under siege. any sentient being people would say i'm concerned about doug band. let's cast our vote based on them. i know them both. doug band came into bill
clinton's life and took over his life when his favorability was dropping because of pardons. and i have no problem with the fact he is going into business with his friends and friends he met through the clintons. >> neither does bill clinton as bill clinton told charlie rose today. but hillary has been out of politics now for four and a half years. the most unpolitical post in government is secretary of state. and i think that what we're seeing here is if she gets back in politics she is going to get back in the cesspool of politics and the scrutiny and all the bad things will come back. >> paul, thank you for calling in. some other stories that caught our panels' eye today when we come back. [ male announcer ] campbell's angus beef & dumplings.
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you really love, what would you do?" ♪ [ woman ] i'd be a writer. [ man ] i'd be a baker. [ woman ] i wanna be a pie maker. [ man ] i wanna be a pilot. [ woman ] i'd be an architect. what if i told you someone could pay you and what if that person were you? ♪ when you think about it, isn't that what retirement should be, paying ourselves to do what we love? ♪ welcome back. this is when we ask our panelists about a story they want to talk about. you have a big interview.
>> i do with president rowhani who has just arrived in new york. this you tweeted a picture of himself driving into new york. >> he did a selfie. >> i think it was the driver. but you know, there has been so many tweets. but the real issue is they all say this is the time to strike a deal with the united states over the nuclear program. my view is if the u.s. can do a deal with syria over chemical weapons it can do a deal with a more important country over nuclear weapons. >> i want to go back to the pope's interview last week. you did discuss it here. but andrew took it all for himself. and i think we missed the part about the women. there was so much attention given to the abortion remarks and the remarks about gays but he said interesting things about the role of the women and finding a bigger role for women.
i want to read you one line. he said the feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions. i say listen to the pope. >> alex? >> obama has to worry about not just republicans but liberals coming up in the fiscal fight. the left is emboldened. they feel neglected by the white house. they think they are standing up for his idealism but it's another issue on his mind. >> i'm going out of character for me as the father of a 2-year-old and 20-year-old. mick jagger is going to be a great grandfather. >> a great grandfather. >> is that really true? >> take the great grandchild on tour. >> that does it for this edition of "ac360 later." see you here tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. thanks for joining us. the american dream is of a better future,
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