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tv   News  Al Jazeera  November 20, 2015 12:30pm-1:01pm EST

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welcome everyone to al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm tony harris. we begin with breaking news out of mali where a siege in the capitol, bombco, finally is over. the country's security minister says all of the hostages are now free, but at least 18 people are dead. witnesses say gunmen stormed the hotel more than seven hours ago, with guns and grenades, and a group linked to al-qaeda is claiming responsibility. yvonne ndege joins us.
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how did this siege to the best of our knowledge come to an end? >> reporter: we know the various security sees involved in trying to diffuse the siege at the hotel, has been surrounding the perimeter wall of the radisson blu for at least seven to eight hours. those consisted of french forces, malian special security forces, and also u.n. peace keepers. because there is a u.n. peace-keeping mission there. and at some point during the course of the day, they were able to access the premise. they were able to get into the hotel, and at least 80, people were set free. now it's -- not clear whether they were set free because the gunmen let them go, or whether there was a special operation force that were able to secure their release. but we're not getting reports
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that the siege is over. a malian security official is being quoted saying that most, if not all of the hostages are out of the premise. but this does fly in the face of some of the other information we're getting. reuters news agency has just started reporting that there is still an ongoing situation with gunmen potentially who may still be in the hotel. really not clear, obviously the various security agencies are still in the midst of trying to make sure the hotel is safe. and also some conflicting information also about the death toll. we're talking about 17 to 18. but some reports suggesting that it could be higher, as high as 27. we don't have firm confirmation there the malian security services, but one imagines in the coming hours the picture will become a lot clearer. >> yeah, what do you have on the
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earlier reporting that the gunmen released hostages who could recite verses from the quran. >> reporter: that's right. and this points to a potential motive. because initially, according to eyewitnesss, when these men burst in, they were screaming in arabic, god is great in arabic, before taking control of the hotel. then apparently, what we understand is that some hostages were freed. those who were forced to recite verses of the quran were let go of. one has to imagine that when that did happen, they -- when they were freed at least, they perhaps began giving the security services, the various agencies involved in the rescue operations various information about the gunmen, perhaps of the motive, and what they had been
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saying to various hostages. some of the security agents working at the hotel are saying and have been telling the press were saying these are jihadist. we already know that one group is claiming responsibility for this attack, a group that affiliates itself with al-qaeda. >> yes. yes. i was following some of your report earlier in the day, and this is not the first time there has been an attack like this, a similar attack, not that long ago on another hotel, correct? >> reporter: well, that's right. and when you look at the history of -- of this place, tony, there has been political and security crisis going on for at least three years. there was a coup three years ago. you also had ongoing fighting in the north with the tuareg
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separatists move. in march a restaurant was attacked outside of bamako, several people were killed there. in august there was a similar siege, nothing on the scale of what we're reporting today, but a similar siege at a hotel in a central malian town in which at least five expatriot workers for the united states were apparently gunned down. so, yes, there is a history of this. and at the time, those behind those attacks did, again, pledge allegiance to al-qaeda. the question, obviously now, people will be asking is are these events, these three events, the march, august, and now this attack, are they connected in any way? is it the same people behind these attacks? it's not clear yet.
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>> yvonne thank you. the group's leader who is claiming responsibility split from al-qaeda to form his own group. josh rushing is here. we're going to get into that algerian attack that killed 40 hostages, including three americans. u.s. military forces -- military personnel was actually involved on the ground in mali, and played a role -- we don't know exactly what the role was -- in managing this situation. >> that was a surprise -- >> yeah. >> -- part of the story. we know there have been special operations forces on the ground in mali even after the coup. when the coup happened a few years ago, the u.s. suspended military operations with mali. but only a month later there was
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a car crash that killed three special operations soldiers and three local women there, so we knew then that the u.s. had remained there with special operations forces. these guys weren't managing the situation. i imagine the primary would be the malian forces, secondary the french forces. tertiary would have been the u.s. forces. >> yeah, they certainly wouldn't have been the front line forces going in. but certainly setting a perimeter and assisting wherever they could. >> you have this attack, and there was no guarantee it was just the hotel. >> yeah. >> so that probably pulled them out of their base there.
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>> what would u.s. forces be doing there? >> training. there has been a lot of problems there with the rebellion if you will in the north of mali. so they would have been training mali forces. they could have been part of that, the u.s. helping with the stabilizing of the government. >> yeah, anything to suggest thatten a attack like this, yvon has indicated there were other attacks. might this lead to an extended role of u.s. forces? >> i think if there were to be an expanded role, it would come to the point of expands intelligence, perhaps drones. because the french forces are
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very spread out. >> they are in chad and other places. >> yeah, they were talking about pulling some of those forces to move them to syria and iraq, but now they have to pick what they want to do. >> josh appreciate it. >> thank you. european nations are tightening their boarders in the wake of the paris attacks and they agreed to begin the process of restricting access as adam raney shows us, it is generally very easy to get between most e.u. countries. >> reporter: my journey begins in the heart of paris, we face traffic, a hassle that parisians know all too well. in a half hour we're on a highway towards the belgium border. a few minute before we reach the border, a toll plaza with a french policeman. we were not stopped.
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then we approach the border itself. there's a lot of traffic-slowing cones out, and i see flashing blue lights. i don't know if that's police. we're only about 800 meters from the border into belgium. and we're going to see if we get stopped by any security. we just crossed into belgium from france. there was a man with some flashing blue lights but no one asked to stop. the next morning back to the border. we decided to cross back near a rural boarer town. finally a sign you are in france. again, no security or police. it's hard to even know when you are in belgium or france, so we stop. this is us this blue dot on this road that runs along the border between belgium and france, and
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over here is france. you cross the street and you are in another country. >> translator: yes, there is more security since friday. two days ago there were police. i was working, so i didn't see security. i didn't see police today. >> translator: europe should unify to do global work and not each country works alone. >> reporter: at the bakery this french woman says she hasn't seen any security. what you do see along the border are a lot of trucks, shipping, trade. the borders seem wide open to let commerce and people travel freely. in their midst militants looking to exploit the system. >> adam raney joins us live from paris. let me start here -- i'll get to questions about the agreement for border restrictions in a moment. but it's fair to say, i think, i
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believe, that it's no surprise that you were able to travel from country to country as easily as you were, that was part of the e.u. experiment, correct? it's mart of the shanegan, agreement to allow for easy passage between nations. >> reporter: yes, that's correct, tony. it is. but in the past week on several countless occasions, the french president has said we are tightening border controls. he gave the idea that at borders, especially the belgium border where some of these attackers crossed in from, that there was going to be a tighter presence, but all i can say is we crossed nearly a dozen times back and forth and it is porous, there doesn't seem to be increased security. the woman who said there was, said, yes, friday after the attack there were a couple more police, but you can just walk
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back and forth, which is the whole point of a borderless european union, but in these days we are expecting to see, perhaps a little more vigilance. but other then the man we saw at the toll plaza and a couple of other police, we didn't see a tighter border. >> so tell us more about this agreement on border restrictions. >> reporter: well, tony, the important thing that the european ministers agreed to earlier today, is that from now on they are going to put e.u. citizens to the same exam and test when they arrive at an external e.u. border they do other countries. right now if you have a european union pass port and you land in a paris airport, you go through a fast-tracked lane. they are agreeing to check your
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name against a database of people with criminal records and other issues they want to highlight to make sure that people have been vetted properly. they also agreed that they would share more information, share flight information. they are hoping to do this by the end of the year. they need to talk to each owe more when they have intelligence on passengers, and make sure all of these countries in the european union have that, because right now someone gets in, and there's really not much control on where they go, when they go, so they want to make sure once they get to an external border, it's just like u.s. citizens going back to the u.s., they are checked at that moment. >> right. we understand french officials found a third body in the saint-denis raid. what is the latest there? >> reporter: well, they have been unable to identify that
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body yet. but they are likely using the same forensic tests to try to identify this body. we don't know what database they are going to be comparing the remains to. they identified the woman who blew herself up. so it could be a matter of hours before they identify this body. and reminding our viewers, the main thing to remember abdelhamid abaaoud was killed in that raid, and he is the suspected architect of the attacks that happened a week ago. members of our team here have seen people starting to express more anger with the government outside of these vigils. one of our reporters spoke to people at the concert venue, and you get think sense that the government did not learn a lesson after the charlie hebdo
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attack. >> gotcha. adam appreciate it. thank you. influencing others. how isil is using decade's-old propaganda techniques, and modern technology to expand their reach.
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isil released a video that mentioned new york city after the paris attacks. officials say there are no specific threats to the city,
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but just dropping the name was enough to spark hours of media coverage as jake ward reports, it is an example of how the group has developed a sophisticated propaganda machine. [ gunfire ] >> reporter: the attacks in paris were immediately seen on screens around the world. caught in this video. heard live during this espn brood cost. violence captured on video has become its own language. >> now it's our time to spill our blood. >> reporter: isil has deployed that language endlessly and expertly. professional-looking videos like this one, released the day after the attacks. often with subtitles and news experts and flashy transitions. >> that's the identity of the
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propagandai propagandaists. propaganda comes in two forms. one is raising the awareness, the consciousness, the patriotism, the loyalty of people that its being aimed at, and it's also working towards the enemy to try to take away their -- their will to win. >> reporter: it's worth noting that u.s. military recruitment videos use the same rhetoric. the techniques that isil uses are drawn directly from comp temporary media. this is video they put out where later than executed this man. i'm not going to show you that. but they set up all of these graphics, and later when they are talking to him, there is
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this sort of effect where they are both interviewing him and then zooming out on these certain maps above him. and it looks very familiar. and that's because you see it all the time, for instance, in video games. here is 2009's call of duty, one in a series of games, and it is the same effect, that flashing in on the map. >> it is using many of the same camera, sound techniques, story-development techniques, image sort of eye candy that we're used to seeing, but it should be haunting to ourselves, because no one more than the united states has despite the objections of parents and school teachers and psychologists and everyone else no one but the united states has fetishized violence in movies and games. >> reporter: isil is also
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following a very effective rule of publicity. keep supplying the media with fresh material. al-qaeda put out sporadic footage, but every week isil offers something new for journalists to pick up. in a world steeped in our media, the difficulty for the audience is being able to tell the difference between fiction and reality. on capitol hill a controversial new law is now moving to the senate. it does face an uncertain future in the senate. and the president has promised to veto the bill if passed. refugees who made it to the united states say they are facing a whole new set of problems. 'these ferre has more. >> our home, our friends, our
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neighbors, the family, my uncle -- >> reporter: she tries to explain in english what living in aleppo was like. >> there was a war. we were scared from bombs, explosions, everything. no future. >> reporter: the family of six paid $1,200 for a smuggler to take them to turkey. they relocated to south forward-looking in july of this year. >> translator: i feel so lucky that i was able to come here safely in a legal way. >> reporter: her niece drowned trying to leave syria when the boat she was in capsized. she was among the recent wave of refugees trying to get to germany. florida has taken in just over 100 syrian refugees, 26 are in the miami area.
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but plans to bring more are now under scrutiny. some governors want to block refugees from coming to the u.s.? light of what happened in paris what do you think about that? >> translator: i think this is wrong, because people in syria are fleeing for their life, just to secure a better life for their children. >> thank you. >> reporter: the family says they went through six interviews over a course of a year as part of the vetting process. >> translator: i believe they are going to look differently at us now, us specially because we are muslims. and that would scare us a lot. >> reporter: the children are eager to fit in here. planning to at tend a local school. the eldest daughter wants to be a doctor. her mother was recently
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diagnosed with recurrence of breast cancer, and her father is a stroke survivor. >> reporter: you want to help people like your father? >> everybody. not just my father. when we come back the latest out of mali, gunmen attacking a luxury hotel in the capitol. more on that straight ahead.
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>> al jazeera america brings you independent reporting without spin. >> not everybody is asking the questions you're asking me today. >> we give you more perspectives >> the separatists took control a few days ago. >> and a global view. >> now everybody in this country can hear them. >> getting the story first-hand. >> they have travelled for weeks, sometimes months. >> what's your message then? >> we need help now. >> you're watching al jazeera america. >> welcome to al jazeera america.
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more reporters, more stories, more perspective. >> from our award-winning news teams across america and beyond. >> we've got global news covered. okay more now on the breaking news from mali. at least 18 people are dead after a siege at a luxury hotel in mali, the capitol there. the government saying the attack is now over. at least two gunmen have been killed. an al-qaeda linked group is claiming responsibility. belgian officials say one belgian citizen is among the dead. thanksgiving week is
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expected to be the busiest american travel week of the year, but with this year's travel season, coming in the wake of the paris attacks, government officials told travelers not to be scared. john henry smith has more. >> reporter: nowhere in america has the fear from the paris attacks and the bombing of the russian airliner last month been more evident than at the nation's travel hubs. three major airports have seen flights delayed or diverted due to security concerns. with 47 million americans set to travel neck week, the heads of the justice department and fbi did what they could to ease america's travel fears. >> we are not aware of any credible threat here of a paris-type attack. and we have scene no connection at all between the paris attackers and the united states. >> reporter: a series of isil videos in recent days that al jazeera has chosen not to air
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have been promising violent attacks on major cities like new york and washington, d.c. >> isil and its supporters put out all kinds of propaganda, but that is not credible intelligence. of course we investigate all of those threats. >> they want us to live in fear, and we refuse. they want us to change who we are, and what makes us american, and that we will never do. >> reporter: but there will be extra screenings at airports that could make the holiday lines even longer. the fbi director says the public is the greatest tool they have for preventing attacks. >> counter terrorism is what you pay us to do. tell us what you saw, and then go on living your lives. living your life while we do our work. >> john henry smith, al jazeera. that's all of our time, thanks for being us. i'm tony harris in new york city. we'll be back at 7:00 pm eastern
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time here on al jazeera america. ♪ >> announcer: this is al jazeera. hello everyone. i'm felicity barr, and welcome to the news hour live from london. coming up in the next 60 opinion -- minutes. after 9-hours of siege host taijs at a molly hotel have been freed. that siege taking effect a week after the attackses in paris. also ahead russia launches cruise missile strikes against


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