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tv   News  Al Jazeera  November 20, 2015 6:00am-6:31am EST

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in order to map these different attacks and cannot be just focusing on the north of mali but the whole region and i think that it's sort of network like structure is very important to try and connect similar actions in different countries going on at the same time. if we can do that then perhaps we can just start to get a glimpse, a very small glimpse of the scale of the phenomenon and the resources that need to be mobilized and the concepts that need to be mobilized in order to understand how the problem can be tackled. what seems to be quite obvious way back in january 2013 when france attacked the north of
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mali is that military actions alone cannot solve the problem. >> okay. >> must be a concerted effort to solve the situation politically as well. >> thank you for that indeed and we will come back to you but for the moment we are there live and you join us at the top of the hour with our continuing extensive coverage of the hostage situation taking place in mali's capitol bamiko and bring you up to date with what we know so far and happening at the luxury radisson blue hotel, very popular with tourists and officials. three people have been killed and security forces have managed to rescue around a dozen hostages and now initially there were around 140 guests and 30 staff members being held and total of 170 and know there are at least ten gunmen involved in the ongoing situation and amongst the hostages are
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chinese, french, turks and nigerian nationals being held inside that building. most of the gunfire taking place on the seventh floor of the radisson blue. this is located just west of bamiko's capitol, it's an area very close to ministries and diplomatic offices. it takes up a whole block and is in the western district of the capitol. we have a local business owner here and has been giving us more details. >> about ten gunmen early in the morning at the radisson blue and started shooting at the guards that were guarding the radisson blue and the news we get so far is not 100% accurate but they got shot in front of the radisson so and jihad came in
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and we don't know if it's 100% accurate or not with things going on and waiting to hear more. >> this is an on going situation from what you can see. can you tell us whether you have heard of any reports of casualties and also we understand that there could be up to 130 people that were staying in that hotel that could be taken hostage, can you confirm? >> a lot of people in the hotel and we don't know the exact number of the people that are there but there is a lot of people and it's early in the morning and they shot all of the guards with the news we have so far. >> who were these gunmen in your opinion, who would do this? >> we think they are jihad but we don't know. >> no claim of responsibility as of now? >> not yet. >> and what is the security
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situation right now around the hotel? >> we block at the exits to the hotel so there is no way to get near the hotel. >> let's speak to a correspondent who covered mali extensively and knows that area well in the doha so bring us up to date with what you are hearing there. >> the french presidency has confirmed there are french nationals inside the hotel and the chinese news agency is saying that seven chinese nationals are inside as well so that is confirmed. french sources are also mentioning the mali special forces have stormed the hotel with the process of rescuing hostages have already started and three hostages dead so far and announced by mali minister and 20 hostages released so far this is what has been coming early. it is a situation of
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information. >> and information coming out in drips and drops as you expect in an ongoing hostage situation but you know that hotel and if special forces are storming it and how difficult an operation is that going to be? >> looking at the fact it's a hotel with many rooms like yvonne mentioned with a lot of guests and probably the casualties would be more than what we could expect. it's a closed area. the exits of the hotel are not really much unless some of the guests get to the roof and find their way out of the hotel but it's only it doesn't have the readiness for such situation. there are no multiple exits, there are no -- there is no actually any way out of the hotel except from the same entrance so i think like we are seeing now it's a 170 hostage situation and so far out of those either released or killed
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which could be about a quarter of the number we have three dead already so i think it would take more casualties. >> likely to rise. this is not the first attack that happened of this kind in mali. there have been several places attacked which are particularly used by foreign officials and foreign tourists. >> yes, it's true because generally speaking the situation in the country either what is happening now in this hostage situation or even back at the beginning of the french intervention, it is i would say the french have more control on the ground even more than the national government and when you go on the streets of bamiko when i've been to districts where night life and foreigners usually attend you don't actually sense any presence of security or any it would be easy for any person to just you know take or kidnap someone the street. i mean i think the country
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hasn't been like this in the past but since the presence and the rise of those groups operating with al-qaeda and we mentioned the three groups and jihad there is a sense of competition between the groups of who actually could do better more because in the beginning of the groups before the intervention they would be some kind of separation, some groups would prefer to attack only military targets of the mali and french army but talking about the possibility of the interventi intervention. >> and they are the leader and called in a resent audio recording to fight france and
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very much against the peace agreement that was signed in sort of june with the government to try and bring this to an end >> that is true and born in 1954 in the city of kidow and comes from a high background family, his family has been in that city for more than a century and it's very interesting how he has moved from the cause of getting a homeland for this in the north of the country and to becoming one of the main leaders of army or foreign nationals and it actually would be worth mentioning he is also responsible at the french intervention for attack of south nigeria against the government operated plans in the southern part of algeria so he was part of the peace process at sometime
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back you know before the war on the coo but i think he is more proving he is the one that has control on the grounds and because we have not seen much action from the other groups since the end of the war. >> thank you for that abdullah giving us context on the situation going on in mali, that hotel still under siege and it looks like that some special forces, soldiers may have gone in to the hotel with a view to ending the siege situation and we don't know what is going on right now and yvonne is monitoring this story from the nigerian capitol abuja and what is the latest you are hearing of what is happening on the ground? >> well, what we know shiulie is the hotel is still under siege and security services from the french army and sinigal special
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forces and u.n. operatives part of a peace keeping mission are trying to diffuse the situation and i want to give out a sense and an idea of what the security situation would have been like leading to this point and know from security sources that these attackers apparently arrived and not confirmed but what we are hearing arrived in a vehicle with diplomatic license plates which points to the fact that this area would have been heavily secured given first of all the history of attacks in bamiko animally in august there was an attack in which at least five u.n. workers were killed in a central malian town and also an attack in march at a restaurant in which people were killed, sprayed with bullets, so this kind of area would have had a lot of security anyway. it's a place where you have a lot of the government buildings,
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a lot of the diplomatic buildings and in the last few minutes we managed to talk to somebody who was there yesterday in bamiko and it was a nigerian business man, the richest man in africa and top 20 richest people in the world was having meetings just in the surrounds of the radisson blu yesterday and a report this morning said he was involved in the attacks and he called and said it was fine and he is in legos and i asked him what was the mood around the hotel and he said everything was perfectly fine and good security and fortified and conducted his meetings with various leaders and government leaders there and he left and like many he is shocked to hear of the on going and unfolding hostage situation going on at the hotel. there is obviously huge concern
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now mounding about the individuals of those involved and know and reporting that at least turkish nationals are involved turkish airlines use the hotel when they come in from wherever they come from istanbul and also know nigerians are involved, not sure whether that is an airline or whether those are people who may be working in the hotel or doing business but obviously this kind of hotel is a hub, is a destination for ex patriots like the many radisson blu's in the west africa regions and i stayed in sinigal and lots of security and lots of checks given obviously the threat of extremism and unfortunately today it seems and it's clear this ongoing attack is designed to obviously frighten the international community and those who stay there and the u.s. embassy in bamako are
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keeping citizens updated and put out a treat saying the situation is on going with an active shooter operation is what they are calling it and citizens should stay inside but obviously it's not just the americans, everybody involved in this and they will be extremely worried right now. >> do we know what the hotel operator itself has been saying? >> yes, now the hotel operator which is a united states-based company the radisson blu is u.s. owned did put out a statement saying they are doing everything they can to help the authorities and assist the authorities in trying to diffuse this situation and get people out of there they said in a statement that 140 people have been taken hostage and 30 employees and looking at what about 170 roughly who could be being held by these gunmen.
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they are extremely worried about the situation. they say they are working with the security services to try and help them figure out the floor plans of the hotels, et cetera, et cetera so ultimately this situation can be brought to an end as siftly as possible with as few casualties as possible but obviously news of at least three dead is going to be a concern and we heard the freelance journalist we have on the outside of the hotel talking about the number of gunmen and initially the hotel owners were putting out information saying that there were around two gunmen involved and getting contradictory information from security services and from our own eyewitness on the ground that actually around 10-15 he said 10-15 gunmen stormed the hotel when they launched attack and hugely worrying situation at the moment. >> updating from abuja there and what we know so far of what is
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happening at the radisson blu is three have been killed and managed to rescue dozens of hostages and 140 guests and 30 staff members were being held and are told there are at least ten gunmen involved in the situation but the hotel operator said they believe there are two and there are chinese, french, turks and nigerians being held inside and we will talk to alexander an anthropologist specializing in northern mali and is in italy and alexander what does this situation tell us about the stability or otherwise of mali? >> well, stability is a big word for mali and i think since the year 2004, 2005 stability has been a real issue. as we know in 2012 tluz with a
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military coo saying there was a problem in the country that obviously manifested also through the war in the north of mali and the free regions of the north when different elements of gadhafi's army and different ethnic groups started to return from libya to the north of the country. but the destabilization of the country i think has been there and we know for example that the previous president of mali who was an army general and who had himself been the perpetrator of the coo back in 1990 is someone who had elected 50 generals in the army for 3,000 troops, 3,000
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men which suggests the real imbalance and we also know that there was a special relation between gadhafi in the way in which the army had to be trained so i think that the picture we are getting if we know a little bit of this history is that perhaps in spite of all appearances and in spite of the stigmaization in the north and there is a risk base on which you can think if there are terrorist organizations in mali they are also in the south of mali because it's not just an
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ethnic related phenomenon and somali people of all ethnic groups can be recruited in terrorist groups that have a global network like organization that can send the national boundaries of the mali country. so stability in mali is in itself i think a real issue and it has always been independent back in 1960 partly because of the way that political regimes were put in place by former political powers and notably france, the continuous presence of france and other western countries in mali for its gold resources and other mineral resources that have recently been found and now the presence of new actors in the global economy that have an interest in mali resources and that all of the interests i think in contributing to destabilizing
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the country in one way or another. if we start to put different elements together we can see that stability in mali is not something that international actors are willing to support because that will run against interests that and see mali as a weak country so they can have a stake in its primary resources and this is another start of the story to read how terrorist activities can be used to destabilize the politics of the count country. >> okay, that is really useful to know, i just want to go take us back to the scene at the regard some bluro tell in bamako and goat an update on the situation that is happening there now with singari, no, we
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do not have hear so the situation on the ground we can bring in abdullah who has been monitoring some of the arab news lines coming out for us and the last thing we heard is it looked like special forces had gone into the hotel to try to bring the situation to an end which clearly is no easy task. >> so far what we have been hearing is the number of hostages released has increased to 50 and five of the turkish airline lines has been confirmed by the turkish official and news agency and five of six crew members have been released and we so far i mean we have known that indians and others are hostages inside the hotel and worth mentioning this is not the first attack this year inside the mali capitol and there has
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been attack by gunfire on abar in the capitol back in march and it resulted in five people being dead, i think it is just now a matter of time before the hostages get released but we don't know what the nationalitys of those killed are and we will have to wait for confirmation. >> it will be sometime before we find it out and know the mali president was on a trip to chad with the g 5 meeting and he has now returned to the capitol. is this a government that is able to handle situations like this? >> i think former situations and talking about the one that happened in august about this attack back in march in the capitol shows that the government is really very fragile and weak and going back to the capitol and showing he can handle things and has members of his cabinet there and
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minister of interior watching the situation closely from the scene of the attack but as we have seen he is using french soldiers and u.n. soldiers to help him with it and the same happened back in august so. >> the government needs propping up and we know that president obama has been briefed on this, the u.s. president has been briefed on this situation, how closely will the rest of the world be watching, what is a very unstable area where yet another terrorist attack is playing out? >> well, the importance of this attack or the location of the attack is that mali has a lot of neighbors and has a lot of the sahara size when you talk about its neighbors and have algeria in the north and moratoria and sinagal and from nigar we are close to nigeria and the group boko haram has been operating in
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those areas very easily because of course of the vast areas of desert there. it makes it hard for anyone either any of these governments to actually be able to track their activities but i think they will be more of watching closely those areas by the you know western governments and the united states in order to. >> know what the affects are and how it impacts on them and for the moment thank you very much indeed for that and our correspondent who has extensively covered mali so just to bring you up to date with the latest situation some hostages we know have been released, at least three people have been killed, up to ten gunmen inside that hotel very difficult to tell what is going on and we know there have been gunshots fired and the gunmen are on the seventh floor of the radisson blu hotel and forces have gone inside the hotel and try and bring the situation to an end but other than that we do not
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know how close they are to succeeding. we are going to get some other news while we wait to hear the latest lines from there and of course we will keep you updated with our extensive coverage of that hostage situation in mali. so let's get some other news now, european union interior justice ministers are holding emergency talks in brussels this hour and discussing whether to boost the blocks external security and introduce border checks and that is what the minister had to say before going into that meeting. >> translator: we are in brussels with meeting for ministers of justice and interior because we want the eu who spent too much time on useless things so far to take action and about working together to stopping the trafficking of arms and implementing a detailed plan of action with set dates and goals and a sense of urgency and time for decision making is now. abdul who is suspected of planning last week's attacks
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entered syria undetected and died in wednesday's assault in an assault in northern paris and voted to extend the state of emergency for three months and measure expected to pass in the senate and the french muslim council is using them to send a unified message during prayers and 2 1/2 thousand have been asked to condemn all violence and terrorism. let's speak to andrew simmons live from paris and andrew first of all let us talk about the security failures because that man able it seems to move freely around europe despite the fact that he was known to security service services. >> that is right shiulie of quality of intelligence and absence of intelligence here in france about abaaoud's movements
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in syria in resent months and no information from france that he was actually here. we just heard about an hour ago from the french prosecutor's office and they are now saying that three bodies were recovered from the apartment which was raided in that onslaught on wednesday and three bodies and amongst the bodies it would appear they recovered a hand bag with a passport which identified a woman named latin and believes to be a cousin of abaaoud and she is a 26-year-old and she actually detonated a suicide vest, blew herself up at some stage in the onslaught but as i say many questions after the death of abaaoud who is known as the ring leader. in the aftermath of assault by
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special forces on this building comes the positive identification of a man french security agencies describe as the ring leader of the attacks last friday. the french prosecutor says the fingerprints from one of two bodies recovered prove it's abdelhamid-abaaoud and the woman appears to be his cousin and is not clear if he blew himself up as the woman did, before she detonated her suicide vest this is an audio recording of an exchange between special forces and the woman. bell belgium born and wants to send a mess and.
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>> stand up and spring and jump up and rush for the victory. >> reporter: according to security officials according to a "new york times" report he was a number of european citizens fighting for i.s.i.l. in syria making their way back to the continent to plot attacks and recruit fighters and security was known of him in december because of a phone call he made and escaped police raid in january and eastern belgium before traveling back to syria. >> translator: no information coming from a european country where he could have transited before arriving in france was given to us suggesting he must have got into europe and then continued to france and it was only on november 16th after the paris attacks that an intelligence service from a n - non-punon non-european country signalled they were aware of his presence in greece. >> not a lot.
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>> we are scared of an ambulance siren. >> reporter: nowadays when people see someone with a long beard and long shirt they think it's a terrorist. >> reporter: the suspected master mind of what happened to paris last week maybe dead but so many people here are still in an emotional vacuum of grief and insecurity. >> andrew the muslim community has been asked directly if it were unify in a message against violence, what is the mood there about that? >> request was made by the grand council of muslims here in paris. the actual effectiveness has been on a daily basis because the call has been going out on a daily basis and indeed many muslims had organized an antiterror demonstration which was supposed to take place on friday but it couldn't take
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place because of emergency powers going through the senate shortly and will definitely be rubber stamped and approved because there can't be any large public gatherings under these measures. there are something like 4.8 million muslims throughout france, more than 2000 places of worship, the vast majority of muslims are getting more and more concerned, worried about moves of real disgust towards them and a real isolation it is feared so we are getting now into more and more of a sensitive time in france, these are very, very different days with relays between the muslim community and the rest of france, a lot of tension about this and this has been born out by the presence of defense minister at the grand mosque for friday prayers ando


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