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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  January 9, 2015 9:30am-10:01am EST

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live pictures from dammartin where a hostage crisis is unfolding in the eastern suberb of paris where we understand the gunmen seized up to five hostages at a kosher supermarket, and that is the scene where police have cordoned off the area. at the same time crossing over to the suberb in the northeast of paris where the two suspects behind the charlie hebdo killings on wednesday are also holding a hostage there, and they are holed up in anbuilding. police and security vehicles in the two areas. ls has two negotiation is reportedlyaking
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place, and that could he lead to the evacuation of dammartin a little earlier. crossing to jacky rowland, joining us now from paris to tell us jacky more of what we hat francois hollande is meeting. a expect him to ministers will make remarks after this meeting, because there have been a series of crisis meetings almost rolling meetings over the last 48 hours ever since the attacks at charlie hebdo. and it is quite common after those meetings various
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ministers do make remarks. obviously very but also the message of unity which we have heard repeated on several occasions. it is anrein complex situation, which security forces are dealing with on the ground and also which government officials are trying to manage both in political and information terms. it was difficult enough the situation faced already in dammartin, 40 kilometers to the east of paris where you had the situation of two gunmen suspected of already killing 12 people at the charlie hebdo publication who are understood to be holding one hostage. obviously security forces absolutely frantic to neutralize these suspects who have already been on the run for 48 hours,
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but equally anxious to protect the life of that hostage who apparently they are holding in that warehouse. that's one very delicate situation. timing has to be carefully managed. negotiations with the armed men to try to secure the release of the hostage yet at the same time in parallel scenario planning going on special forces will have detailed plans of that building trying to figure out where there may be entry points. and also figure out how long they are willing to wait and talk and at what point something could trigger an intervention. and yet you have another parallel situation going on in another area this time on the eastern outskirts of paris. this time five hostages are
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involved. five are not confirmed, but the french media have been reporting this and attributing it to police information. and police are aledging that the man they say is holding these hostages is the same individual as the gunman who shot two police officers in the south of paris on thursday killing one of those officers. they say that this same individual is now holding the hostages and they are saying that he has an accomplice his girlfriend. those people have been named, and their photographs have been circulated. and, again, a very delicate situation, in a much more built-up area. in some ways the security forces and negotiators at dammartin have a somewhat less-fraught task because they have secured the go a -- ahead and evacuate
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children from a school. to the east of pairs, you are talking about a shop which is in a much-more densely built up area. five hostages we're hearing. it's difficult to know to what extent the police have been able to evacuate other civilians who could be at risk so again, a very complicated, delicate situation. so obviously the security forces in a western democracy like france do take their orders from elected civilian politicians, so there's politicians having to make decisions clearly being guided very much by the expert advise that they are getting from security professionals, but also having to make those decisions very much in the back of their mind with their needs as politicians to be seen by the
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french public as doing their ultimate to protect public security and at the same time again, seeking to maintain this message of unity, seeking not to do anything precipitous which could exacerbate the situation, because although we don't know exactly what the situations are between the immediate instant triggers for the decision by these individuals to carry out these attacks, there does appear to be a tendency behind those attacks to try to drive wedges between different communities in france. and clearly the politicians and the security forces in trying to end these situations wouldn't want to do anything that could exacerbate and heighten those divisions, and clearly injuring people killing people be it either the suspects themselves or civilians or host agency
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would exacerbate that situation. >> let me ask you one more question about the public reaction, whether they have been getting the reassurances that they immediate from their french authorities, and whether the authorities have succeeded in delivering that message of unity. >> reporter: certainly it's a message that has been repeated time and again by politicians. and there have been displays of unity, particularly in public meeting places like here in paris where there were rallies and two minutes of silence on that square thursday noon as well as other public places. so very much the population responding to these desires to display unity, and unity between differ different
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minorities within france. clearly the authorities are seeking to demonstrate to people that they are doing everything possible to demonstrate their security. there is a heightened visible security presence in paris. you are seeing a lot more police officers and general staff looking out for anything potential -- potentially suspicious. so a lot of people bodies personnel out and about there with weapons, showing themselves to be guaranteeing securities. so really the government is absolutely -- francois hollande had promised to deploy every single resource at his disposal
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while really is stretched doubly and now bearing in mind that there are two parallel hostage situations going on at the same time in different areas. >> all right. jacky i'll let you go for a few minutes. remi jacky was raising interesting points about how the president has called for unity. this is a difficult situation for him to maneuver politically, not only with the events that were unfolding in dammartin, but also now this second hostage situation. >> his job is to make sure there is no panic across any city and making sure that people do not interfere with the reactions of the police authority on the ground. he wants to communicate about it but not too much because the perpetrators of those actions also listen to radio and
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any information that he can give. he wants to show someone who is calm in the situation of managing the situation, which has the authority and capacity to double check and to manage the -- the forces on the ground which so far is doing pretty well. >> so you would say he is succeeding. >> he sh -- is succeeding in the sense that there hasn't been too much information going around. and also the work of the minister of the interior and the actions of the troops on the ground have been successful preventing that those events would become even bigger. it was very very hard from the start to be able to suggest that those individuals will go to any actions, because their profile is very specific. for example, [ inaudible ] is somebody that was working, and integrated into society today. he had been indeed part of different plots in 2010 but
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since 2010, he hasn't shown any kind of action that would made the authorities believe that he would develop such a plan today. >> what kind of debate is this going to raise in france? starting from in fact the attack on the charlie hebdo headquarters, and i know that has already raised a big debate but also this second hostage situation. >> there are going to be three kinds of debates. first how to integrate better the different populations. the second kind of debate is about freedom of speech. freedom of speech is an essential element of the french identity, and should be preserved, but we're going to
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have the same debates around charlie hebdo that we had in 2008 which [ inaudible ] questions about anti-semitism for example. the third kind of debate is the one that i'm afraid of. the politicians taking advantage of that situation, such as marine le pen, to work on this issue on the rhetoric of the danger of immigration. that's the one that i'm worried about. and these debates will be really out of touch because we're talking about terrorist cells that are linked to events from 1995. it's about the younger generation of [ inaudible ] for the last two or three years. we are talking about
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citizens -- actually french citizens, so not recent imma imma -- immigrants. unfortunately marine le pen will capitalize on that. and it will be extremely important to show unity here. just showing that it is actually an action coming from the heart and soul of the citizens trying to protect the republican values. and making sure that there's a limit of the potential islamphobic acts that we have seen in the last two days. >> okay. remi thank you very much for the time being. we're going over to barnaby phillips on the development situation there. barnaby.
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>> reporter: yes things haven't changed here. they are in a warehouse that is a local printing company. we assume it is the prime suspects for the charlie hebdo killings. we believe they have a hostage with them and that is something that is obviously going to constrain the police and weigh very heavily on the policemen's minds. dammartin is not quite a town under lockdown but people have been told to be extremely careful. people are avoiding unnecessary movement and the one positive development that we did have, what was it a couple of hours ago, that there was an agreement to evacuate some 1,000 school
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children. the schools are close -- relatively close to the warehouse where the hostages are being held and there was an agreement between -- i'm sorry -- rather the suspects have a hostage, we believe. and we understand there was a verbal agreement between the police that are negotiating with the suspects and the suspects that children should leave safely. so that has happened at least. >> okay. barnaby thank you. barnaby telling us about what has been going on over the last couple of hours in dammartin. giving us an update on the situation there on the two suspects that have a hostage with them. there is a parallel hostage situation going on in the east of paris, where we understand a gunman and police have now released his name. they have also released a
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picture of him. it is he and his girlfriend and they are the two suspects behind the situation going on now in the east of paris. they seized hostages -- there they are. they seized up to five hostages we understand at a kosher supermarket in the east of paris paris, and they -- so that is the situation that is going on now in the east of paris at the same time. simon mcgregor-wood has the latest on the situation across france. >> reporter: the latest incident is taking place at a kosher food store in the east of paris, reports say a single gunmen has taken at least one hostage. french television showed armed french police rushing to the
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scene. there are reports of injuries. it is also reported this gunman may be known to the two suspects in the charlie hebdo shootings, sheriff and said kouachi. earlier they were cornered in a printing company north of paris. french security forces reported shots had been fired earlier, as the two brothers stole a car early in the morning. police and military helicopters maintained a permanent aerial presence above the site. local residents were told to stay in doors, nearby schools were locked down. two airports were also shut down as a -- precaution. the president spoke to the nation. >> translator: at this point we must do everything to ensure the protection of our citizens. the minister of interior is in
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coordination with the prime minister and in whichever part of the country you live the state is there for you. >> reporter: french police have now established contact with the two brothers. french officials have spoken of the need to neutralize the two suspects in the charlie hebdo killings. it's not clear what room there might be to a negotiated end to this standoff. robin is a former special air service officer for the british army and joins us from london. robin, we have been speaking for the past hour or so we were talking about what was going on in dammartin. there seems to be some sort of negotiation going on. we saw as a result an evacuation of school children. do you expect that to also cross
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to the east of paris where there seems to be another hostage situation that is currently unfolding? >> yes, they will be operating the same plan. it's a procedure that is carried out in all of these represents. you want to secure the area protect the public and get a link with hostage takers so that you can control the situation and ensure the situation of the public and give the hostages the best chance of being rescued. you can expect to see the same policy wherever there is an incident. >> according to one french official he said this could take hours. i believe he was referring to the situation in dammartin, where he said this could take hours or days. how long do you expect it to take? not only the situation in dammartin, but as well as the
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east. >> i think the official is right, it could take days. it depends on the behavior of the hostage takers. if they decide they want to raise the level of violence then the security forces will have to act quickly. if they are prepared to talk then the longer they talk the better the situation is for the security forces and the hostages. >> so which direction do you expect the suspects to go in? will they raise the level of violence or will they talk? >> i think from the information we received so far from the media, it appears that negotiations have started to take place, and there is communication between the security forces and the hostage takers so that's a good sign. but it can change at any point. and they will be getting information that gives them an indication of their emotional state. if they are in a high emotional
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state they are more likely to want to commit suicide or kill season -- someone. >> and we understand it is important for these suspects to be brought out alive. >> yeah for the french intelligence services and european intelligence services it would be a great plus if they could bring out the hostage takers alive. then they have access to who supplied them with weapons, the people that indoctrinenated them and brought them into this situation. >> what is it that they will be doing, the police and the security forces, what will they be doing to bring out the suspects alive? >> they will -- they will be supporting the hostage -- the
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negotiators. they will be supporting the intelligence services. they will be stood by -- it's their job to go in -- if -- if the violence escalates, but they stood by and prepared to go at a moment's notice. that's their job. that's what they want to do. however, it's not in the hostage's best interest and certainly not in the best interest of the politicians and the security forces to do anything too radical too quickly. >> okay. robin, thank you very much for the time being. crossing over back to paris and bringing in jacky rowland who will give us an update on the situation first of all in dammartin, jacky. >> that situation in the east is continuing. the man is armed with two
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automatic weapons, holding a number of hostages. the figure five has been given but not confirmed by police. police have -- have apparently deny is denied earlier reports -- there were reporting about casualties. the police say no no one has been killed although it is a few hours now that this suspect has been holding people in that supermarket. police have also issued names and photographs of two suspects who they say they want to get information on in relation to that siege. they've issued a photograph of a man and a woman who they say is his girlfriend. they say that those people are armed and dangerous. the police are also saying that
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this suspect, who they believe is holding those people hostage right now at the supermarket, also carrying out a shooting attack just over a day earlier, in which one police officer was killed and another seriously injured. so that's the situation in the east. one other detail as well a few hours ago, police chose to reveal that they had established, what they described as a connection between the kouachi brothers who will believed to be the two armed men who are holed up in a warehouse at dammartin, 40 kilometers to the north of paris, and this main suspect, who is according to police holding people hostage right now in a supermarket in the east of paris. so clearly for the french public there will be concern that there appear to be links that these people seem to know each other, people carrying out simultaneous
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hostage incidents. i think the public would be more alarmed if the attackers involved in the charlie hebdo shooting were still on the run. they are now pinned down to one particular location by french security forces. although of course there is the added very difficult complication that they are apparently holding one person hostage, and security forces will be very anxious to try to guarantee the security of that hostage. >> jacky, we have been talking about the statements that francois hollande has come out and made and we heard the prime minister speak a short time ago, and questions are being asked about the political clout that
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hollande and his party could gain from this. i have remi in the studio. i know you are monitoring french media, but you have just seen an interesting tweet from the party -- >> it's from john marine le pen, the father of marine lee upon. he tweeted calm vote for le pen. he used to be a borderline terrorist intent on the [ inaudible ] during the algearian war. so you definitely see the society is trying to gather around key values around a political win on the interest of an extremist party. so i hope this actually will show the real feeling of them.
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>> interesting comments jacky that remi was just telling us about. how are the french public reacting to how their government has handled the ongoing crises in the country. >> reporter: obviously different people would have different views on this. but in terms of public manifestations of public opinion, we have rallies that have taken place, and also the two-minute silence that was held across france on thursday. these have been public displays of support, and people at these events at any rate appear to be responding to calls by the president, the prime minister and also the heard of the main opposition party, the former president to show unity. the message really coming from
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political leaders, and i'm talking about main stream political leaders. the socialist party, and the center right ump party. the message from these people is very much if terrorists attacks are trying to [ inaudible ] we must respond by showing unity. >> okay. jacky thank you very much. we'll leave it there for you. that's jacky rowland reporting for us from paris. you are looking at the live pictures from a suberb in the east of paris where there is an on going unfolding hostage situation taking place right now. david foster is with you in just a moment right here on al jazeera. he'll have all of the very latest for you going on in france as well as our correspondent.
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>> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ >> welcome to the news hour coming to you live from doha. i'm david foster. police are dealing with two hostage situations. they surrounded the men suspected of killing 12 people at the charlie hebdo magazine. and in paris a gunman has taken hostages at a kosher supermarket. shots have been fired. in other news a shock result in sri lanka's


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