tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN February 16, 2015 11:00am-12:01pm PST
p.m. eastern. that's it for me. thanks for watching. i'll be back in "the situation room" for our international viewers, amanpour is next. for north america, newsroom with brooke baldwin starts right now. here we go. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being here with me on this presidents' day, monday. we begin a new phase in the war on isis. it's just begun with this. 21 egyptian christians kidnapped, lined up on a beach and beheaded. another brutal mass murder at the hands of isis. but this time it didn't happen in syria, iraq this was in
libya. this is an egyptian fighter jet. the first strikes by egypt against isis or at least the first they will admit to. the primary target, an isis stronghold in egypt's north derna. joining me now from amman, turkey is our cnn correspondent jamona who are these christians that were beheaded and how were they captured in libya? >> reporter: well brooke, 21 egyptian christians. we know that these are two separate incidents taking place in december and january where they were captured south of the libyan capital and turkey has had a history of extremist groups that have operated there. egyptians, christians and
muslims, many over the years, have flocked across the border into libya looking for jobs and according to reports, these 21 men were from impoverished towns in egypt trying to send money back home when they were captured in libya. over the years, we have seen similar incidents, brooke where egyptian christians have been persecuted in libya. of course nothing has brutal as gruesome or horrific as we are seeing in this video. >> you know one of the questions, of course is who specifically are these militants who did these beheading. joman jomana, you covered the overthrow of moammar gadhafi. are you surprised, if it's isis here that they have gained
ground in libya? >> absolutely no surprise brooke. over the years, there have been so many warning signs. libya has had a history of jihadists. with the overthrow of moammar ga gadhafi, there was total chaos and it created the attack back in 2012 with the attack on benghazi and since then so many warning signs that jihadists are gaining more ground and expanding their presence in libya and we are seeing isis over the past few months trying to really come out more publicly and exert it is influence there and so many libyans that i've been talking to recently i only left the country a few months
ago, they feel that their country has been abandoned by the international community fighting isis in iraq and syria. they say it's really ignored what has been going on in libya. >> i want to go back to that with two experts. thank you so much jomana in amman, jordan. it's been confirmed that isis is gaining more foothold outside of iraq and syria. you can look at the map, algeria, yemen, egypt, afghanistan and pakistan now seeing this rise of isis militants. the reason defections by the taliban, even by boko haram and a branding of sorts as taliban members realize fighting under the isis flag will get them more money and more recruits. joining me now peter mansour
and also with me here michael wice. michael, good morning to you. they felt abandoned by the international community. i'm curious, when you -- these people who did the beheading who are now in this part of libya. >> uh-huh. >> do you think they came over from iraq and syria from the caliphate, so to speak? >> it could be either. there's been a lot of cross-pollination and i remember being in southern turkey in 2012 a lot of syrian rebels. a lot of rebels were saying they were trying to get all of these weapons from libya. essentially, the stockpiles -- the warehouses that the libyan government would open the door and tell them take what you want. the question is can you get them aboard the ship and then
through turkish customs. it could be moving back in from raqqa or libyans, as you say, a lot of guys are joining isis because this is the jihadi organization. people defect from secular groups and they go over to isis because that's where the money is and that's where the weapons are. >> and then you now have because of what happened in libya, colonel, you have egypt. we now of course, have seen jordan uae, these arab nations taking on a more active role in this fight and i'm wondering, with an escalation of an involvement in this part of the world, how that might change or shift the u.s.-led coalition here. >> well it's going to change it significantly because we're going to get more arab support but briefly on the last point, back in the surge in the iraq war in 2007 we caught the
manifest and we could see where they were coming from and the number one region was eastern libya. so -- >> really? >> these jihadist groups have been there for quite a while and a lot of them are homegrown but obviously there's a lot of cross-pollination. egypt's reaction to the killing of their citizens the arab world is finally waking up and they are getting involved in the fight against isis and that's going to do nothing but help our efforts to destroy this evil group. >> and what baffles me is remembering, sitting in this chair near what two, three years ago when we were covering all of the revolution and the change and the pictures michael, of you know tahrir square and what people thought it would become and then the overthrow of moammar gadhafi, fears that it could happen in
egypt, just marveling at the position over the last three years. >> i mean france russian in 1805 this is what happens in revolutions. the guys that you hope would come out on top do not necessarily do. the bad guys lying in wait for a long time seize power. show me in history, in modern history where -- i mean american revolution is probably the only instance where it's actually succeeded. so i think, yeah people str to kind of curve their expectations and be more sober in the way they access these things. >> what about, colonel, it strikes me -- when you look at the map, how close libya is to the mediterranean sea and italy is right there, that the proximity, as we talk about syria and iraq now to africa and libya -- and if we had a
map, i'd love to show it -- and then the mediterranean sea, all of this war, this fight, this battle t. battle it is getting closer and closer to the west. >> this was a message from isis that they won't stop in libya or on the confines of the arab islamic world. they are going to cross the mediterranean sea and they are going to take the battle to europe. it's symbolic that the blood of these 21 egyptian men who were killed washed into the mediterranean sea. the isis fighters made the point that they were going to destroy the pope. so they view this as a struggle for really world supremacy when you get down to it and the next target would be europe after they consolidate their hold in the middle east. it's quite an expansive agenda. >> the blood into the mediterranean sea, for isis a foreshadowing. you're telling me that was
entirely intentional in what they did? >> this group is very savvy in their media relations and almost nothing they do is done without purpose. so yeah i think it was a foreshadowing that the blood would stretch across the sea to the shores of europe. >> that is disgusting. retired colonel and michael weiss, thank you. >> thank you. as crowds gather for a vigil after the deadly attacks in copenhagen danish investigators are finding new clues in the past of the 22-year-old suspect. was he truly inspired by the "charlie hebdo" attacks or was he working alone? terrorism analyst paul cruickshank is going to join me. and calling for modern day exodus and a return home to israel. and extreme winter weather wreaking havoc across much of
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i just wanted to look at some live pictures here. 8:15 at night in copenhagen denmark. this is a candlelight vigil. two days after a string of deadly shootings, two people were killed in attacks in the cafe and at a synagogue. two men are behind bars in connection with those deadly attacks in denmark. their defense attorney says they have pleaded not guilty. they are accused of helping the suspected gunman get rid of his weapon and give him a place to hide. that suspect is dead.
police found him after some surveillance pictures showed him getting into a taxi after one of the attacks. that driver gave police the address and then when officers appeared the gunman began shooting police shot and then killed him. that was hours after the suspect opened fire on a cafe during a free speech forum. in fact there was a swedish cartoonist known for his controversial drawings of the prophet muhammad who was there. there is a recording of the moment that the shots rang out. [ gunfire ]
were injured. hours later, more gunshots this time at a synagogue. a security guard was killed there. the suspect is omar abdel hamid el hussein. is he linked to a criminal group. let's go to terrorism analyst paul cruickshank. author of "agent storm." when you hear about this cartoonist and the controversial depictions of the prophet muhammad it jogs not too far back to the "charlie hebdo" massacre. what do you make of that? >> i think quite likely it's an inspiration. we saw exactly the same kind of target in denmark as in paris and paris was against a kosher
market against a cartoonist. in denmark, against an artist a controversial depiction of the prophet muhammad and also a bar mitzvah party outside of a synagogue. someone who appears to be radicalized in prison and known for being a gang member but not known for being an extremist. they didn't know he was radical. he got out of prison a couple of weeks ago. it's possible he was radicalized while he was in jail. >> that's the thing. we've talked about that before, how other wannabes jihadists are radicalized while behind bars. there's a real problem in denmark with muslim youth who have access to weapons because they are members of a biker gang let's say. how does that take someone from that step to becoming jihadi? >> that's absolutely right.
there's a particular nexus. for a lot of people inside the gangs, there is sort of a jihadi mindset that they have that suggests their criminality because it's all against the infidel west and sort of a redemption and born again in islam-type dynamic that goes on. so gangsters have moved from denmark to go and fight in syria and iraq. you know even just recently people have gone over there and come back. so there's a real nexus between gangs and jihad. that's very worrying for danish officials because, as you said the ease to getting weapons and exclusives all of this kind of stuff, resources of the criminal underworld are available to those people. >> but when i think back to the similar conversations about par is paris, one of the attackers was radicalized because of certain
leaders in certain cells in france, who would have radicalized this attacker in denmark? >> that's going to be a big part of the investigation but in europe and through the united states there's a problem. in europe particularly a lot of young muslims are being sent to jail and when they go to jail some of them are mixing with these terror convict who is are spreading this ideology. it's a real problem. in france they are so worried about it that they are talking about separating the general prison population from these terror convicts so you can't have this kind of situation that goes on. remember amedy coulibaly who carried out the attack in paris against the kosher store, he was radicalized. >> final question for saying he is -- if he was perhaps acting alone, yet you have these two other people who were arrested who may have helped him carry this out behind the scenes, do
we know anything more about those people behind bars? >> we don't know anything more about their identity at this point. were they perhaps two other gang members who were also radicalized or just friends of his but they appear to have obviously known what he was planning, which is obviously very concerning that there were at least potentially three people involved in these plans brooke. >> paul cruickshank, thanks very much. we'll talk in the next hour as well. before the deadly attacks in copenhagen swedish artist lars vilks was involved in the couldn't controversial drawing of prophet muhammad. on saturday he was in that cafe when the gunmen attacked and the cartoonist told cnn that he is in hiding and not afraid. cnn's atika shubert looks at
this artist. >> reporter: when lars vilks spoke at a lecture in to 10 he was punched at the podium and then there was a brawl. it's an occupational hazard for vil vilk us because of a picture he drew in 2007 of the prophet muhammad as a dog. that landed him with a $100,000 bounty on his head. here's how he explained it in a 2010 interview. >> this should be a small thing. you cannot make exceptions for religions. that's the point. i mean this should be the same rules as we have for the jewish religion or whatsoever that we should make an exception.
islam is not more holy than the other ones. >> reporter: but vilks did not start this latest round of controversy. in 2005 published cartoons of the prophet muhammad including a bomb atop the prophet's head. for many muslims, any images of the prophet muhammad is seen as blasphemous and insult the prophet. cnn has decided not to show any of these images. but for vilks and his supporters it's matter of free speech and that's why he was speaking in copenhagen on friday. danish police have shot dead a man suspected of carrying out the attack but have yet to reveal his identity or motive. but police have investigating it as a terrorist attack. vilks and his supporters already have an answer.
they believe vilks and his work of art were the target of violence. atika shubert, london. >> atika, thank you. coming up next a cease-fire in ukraine. hanging on by a thread. we're live in donetsk and eastern ukraine coming up. and as isis terrorists brutally killed these egyptian christians in libya egypt takes swift action. does this change the strategy for the u.s.-led coalition? stay right here.
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holding. a defense spokesman says five security forces were killed in fighting with pro-russia separatists and there have been 100 violations since it went into effect two days ago. both sides were supposed to withdraw their heavy weapon but that has not happened. nick paton walsh is in the donetsk region. nick is anyone where you are calling this a cease-fire at all? >> reporter: well the question is what can you call a cease-fire when the sides haven't stopped actually firing. now, here in donetsk where normally you would hear artillery in the background it's quiet. but the key rail that both sides want hundreds if not thousands of ukrainian troops are trapped, that's still very violent, indeed. we went down very close to it today and saw people trapped in basements, getting delivered
food and shelling around them and not having seeing the likes of them in three weeks. we're not quite sure who is firing at who but both sides involved and also a sense of fear too, that the road was completely cut off. those ukrainian troops inside were not going to get out. in fact one who had emerged from around that town said they tried to drive down that road and it was, quote, a one-way trip to the graveyard. a bleak situation, indeed. it's always going to be what could potentially break the cease-fire entirely. the cease-fire is holding apart from debaltseve. that's the borders of both sides here and that's where people are going to be looking very closely in the next two days to see if that will get better hour by hour brooke. >> so if a few days pass and the
violence continues, then what? >> reporter: exactly. when do you actually say that the cease-fire is not a cease-fire? that's a political gesture that somebody has to make so someone is going to have to blink first. events on the ground are making it impossible to indicate that the cease-fire is still happening. people are deeply concerned as to when that moment of recognition will happen because the violence will escalate and this is on the doorstep of the european union of this war raging still. >> nick paton walsh, thank you so much. coming up next as the terror attack if denmark target a synagogue, now a jewish cemetery has been vandalized with anti-semitism graffiti.
plus isis militants after the brutal beheadings of egyptian christians. how will this affect the u.s.-led coalition, this fight against terror? you're watching cnn. stay right here. mouths are watering, lemons are squeezing and stomachs are growling. or is it just me? every minute between you and red lobster's lobsterfest feels like an eternity. and who could blame you for craving our largest variety of succulent lobster dishes all year? dishes like dueling lobster tails. with one tail topped with creamy shrimp and a second tail stuffed with tender crab. i was hungry already and now you show me lobster lover's dream® let's make this dream a reality. a delicious, delicious reality. but one that won't last forever, so hurry in. in my world, wall isn't a street. return on investment isn't the only return i'm looking forward to. for some every dollar is earned with sweat, sacrifice, courage. which is why usaa is honored to help our members with everything from investing for retirement
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christians who had moved to libya for work. joining me now, our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. barbara, you had to spend the time looking at this video and specifically the masked men speaking with very well-spoken english. i mean does the u.s. have any clue who he is? >> you know tough to say at this point. the u.s. intelligent community is certainly looking at this video frame by frame. it's been noticed clearly by anyone who listens to it, that this person speaking on the tape appears to have well-spoken english. so who is he? we don't know. but this tape many experts will tell you, is just the latest example of isis pushing to more and more violence more and more brutality because they know that their propaganda is achieving their goal which it is getting them in front of the world's media, getting the world attention for their acts and their purported causes.
but this time the men that they chose to attack some of egypt's least fortunate citizens. these are egyptian christians who came to libya looking for work you know people who didn't have a lot, really just looking to get by some of them as they were executing, crying out, once again, really one of the most horrific videos and we seem to say this week after week. >> every time. every time. you are in washington. we know president obama has laid out his war plan to congress keeping the options open to fighting isis beyond the borders of iraq beyond the borders of syria and now with this video of egyptian christians will this change or evolve at all? >> well it's interesting. you know isis adherence, people
who are swearing their allegiance and adherence to isis are popping up in so many places. hundreds and hundreds of miles away. afghanistan, pakistan libya, yemen, sanaa area. it's not likely that they will be able to consider military action in all of these areas but the goal is to partner with governments in the region as we have seen jordan and its air force pilot coming front and center of the coalition, partner with them and get them to take on some of this. this is not going to be a u.s.-led military coalition by any stretch. the u.s. not looking to do that by any measure but trying to get other countries across this region to also step in. it looks like the egyptian government right now so angry about all of this that they are going against what they call these isis training camps, these isis targets across their borders deep inside libya.
brooke? >> barbara starr, thank you. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu drawing some criticism here for his comments after the shooting attacks in denmark over the weekend. he called on jews to leave europe and move to israel. similar to comments he made after the terrorist attacks in paris. >> translator: israel is your home. we are calling and preparing for mass immigration from europe and i would like to tell all of the european jews and all jews wherever they are, israel is the home of every jew. >> with israeli elections coming up next month, some european political leaders and community leaders in denmark say mr. netanyahu is politically motivated here. but in france five teenagers face charges after dozens of graves at a jewish cemetery were desecrated. our senior correspondent jim bitterman has that store row.
jim? >> reporter: five teenagers are being held and being questioned ranging in ages from 15 1/2 to 17 years old and decided to go into this cemetery in the eastern part of france and began tipping overhead headstones. they didn't even know that they were jewish graves until they started vandalizing. 250 were vandalized in all including one or two tombs in which they tried to break in to them and get into the bodies down below. they could be charged with a much more serious crime which is to say vandalizing tombs for religious reasons carries a sentence for up to seven years. >> jim bittermann, thank you so
much. coming up next here at home it's cold or a lot of you. parts of the southeast raising for bitter winter weather as northeastern states phase another wave of snow. nick valencia is live in nashville where it's snowing? nick? >> reporter: brooke the freezing rain has been relentless since this morning. i'm nick valencia in nashville. we'll tell you how they are dealing with it after the break. you're watching the cnn "newsroom." i'm louis, and i quit smoking with chantix. quitting smoking is a challenge and it's a lot easier to go into a fight when you've got somebody that's got your back. having chantix as a partner made it more successful. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix helped reduce my urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix.
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zero. another 50 million people with a winter storm warning stretching from north careolina to new jersey. the south is also getting hammered. winter crews are out in full force and that's where we will begin with cnn's nick valencia. i also have cnn's will ripley in boston and meteorologist jennifer gray to put this in perspective for us to tell us when we will be done with all of it. nick to you, perspectivewise, how often does nashville get hit with something like this? >> reporter: it's been miserable, brooke. last year a couple of incidents like this but nothing near to what we saw today. to give you a context, that's a chunk of ice off of a car. that's how much freezing rain has fallen in the few hours that we've been here. that's what is on the road. take a look behind me. this is broadway. this the main drag in the
entertainment section in nashville and those roads could look a lot worse if not for the work of the emergency crews out here all morning and really all weekend long treating those roads and brining those roads. interstate 40 there's been a handful of accidents, reports of a 30-car pile-up on interstates and nashville international airport canceling more than 50% of their flights and the mayor telling people to stay indoors. some people are still out and about wondering what all of the fuss is about here on the streets. brooke? >> people hanging out and enjoying broadway. hey, it's a great city. how cold is it now and how chilly will it get tonight, nick? >> reporter: it's been in the 20s. and we heard coming into this trip here in nashville, it could feel like negative -- below negative 10 but that really hasn't been the case. it's been cold.
it's actually warmed up quite a bit. it's good news for folks braving the elements. brooke? >> downright balmy compared to boston. let's go to will ripley who we normally see in tokyo. let me talk to you and the massive snow mound. i'm concerned for all of my friends in boston with old pipes and old roofs. what did the boston mayor say? >> reporter: well the mayor is really warning people that they need to be careful right now even though the worst of the blizzard is every oh. it's a balmy 18 degrees. because the wind is calm it feels a lot better than it did over the weekend when we were running around in the midst of this storm. one big danger brooke is people were shoveling this snow. we got a were ro,report sadly, that there is one death because of snow that has fallen. people get out there and shovel
for a few minutes and raise their heart rate up dangerously high. >> the mayor is saying hey to all of you out there, it's one thing to go across the town on cross-country skis. don't be reckless right? >> reporter: there's been a social media movement. there's a hash tag online and people are getting into second-story windows and jumping into these snowdrifts snowdrifts like this. the mayor compared this behavior to a very popular ski resort in new hampshire saying boston is not a resort. >> first of all, it's a foolish thing to do and you could kill yourself. so i'm asking people to stop that nonsense right now. these are adults and this is the city of boston.
>> loon mountain a very popular place to go skiing. the problem is this is hard-packed snow. you'd find yourself in a world of hurt because you're not going to get very far. it's rock hard in some areas, brooke. >> okay. be careful getting down. i'm feeling like your mother a little bit will ripley. thank you, will. jennifer gray, to you. i know you spent quite a bit of time in boston for the first round of snow but they keep getting hammered and hammered every single weekend. why is this happening? >> they are going to get hit again in a couple of days and people are getting cabin fever if they are doing stuff like that. it's going to continue. we're seeing a mess across the south. look at nashville. north end of the city all snow. south end getting freezing rain. we get the ice and freezing rain
and forget about traveling. it's going to be very dangerous conditions on the roads around nashville, chattanooga as well. d.c. the snow is knocking on your back door. we could see up to 8 inches of snow by the morning. the morning commute will be trouble for you as well as new york city. here are you will a of the winter storm warnings and watches in effect. we have went ter weather advisories in effect as well. the ice is the biggest concern because of the danger in travel and it collects on everything. we could see power outages. anywhere from little rock memphis, knoxville, charlotte, raleigh, it's going to start as snow for you and turn into ice as we get into the overnight hours. also looking at up 8 to 10 inches we're going to see quite a bit of snow and 2 to 4 inches in new york possibly. boston it's not going to be as big of a deal for you. you're only going to get a couple of inches. of course we don't want it because we have so much snow on the ground. timing this out, raleigh changes over to ice.
this is 10:00 p.m. tonight. d.c. already it has snow. for the morning commute, you'll see a couple of inches and then it skirts by boston by the time we get into the morning and afternoon. brooke? >> we're keeping you updated on our website, jennifer and her team doing so. go to cnn.com. jennifer gray will ripley and nick valencia thank you for covering this for us. right now, though thousands of people are gathering at this candlelight vigil in denmark. they are there tonight with the winds whipping for the victims of the shootings over the weekend. what officials have to say now about the suspect. we'll check back in with our cnn's international correspondent nick robinson. we'll take you there live. shopping online is as easy as it gets. ♪♪ wouldn't it be great if hiring plumbers carpenters and even piano tuners were just as simple? thanks to angie's list, now it is. we've made hiring anyone from a handyman to a dog walker as simple as a few clicks.
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murder. the victims were neighbors of hicks. the killings apparently grew out of an ongoing dispute over parking but they are investigating. jean ka casarez is working on this for us today. >> the grand jury met this morning and they have now returned an indictment. three counts of first-degree murder and discharge of a firearm into an occupied dwelling. now, what this means is now it's a formal case with a formal charge in superior court in durham county, north carolina. it will move forward and will have to have an additional initial appearance which will be the first week in march, i'm told and then the case will proceed. here's the big question. are we going to see the prosecutor move to give notice of intention to seek the death penalty? >> right. >> don't know. >> that could be on the table in the state of north carolina. we also heard from the president releasing a statement a couple of days ago in the wake of the
senseless murders. >> right now the counsel of american islamic relations is having a press conference as we speak in maryland. they came out last week saying that they wanted a full-fledged intensive investigation on this for several reasons. number one, the brutality of the crime, the anti-religious statements that the suspect made and what they say is the anti-rising muslim rhetoric in this country. >> i hope that investigation is thorough on all parts. jean casarez, thank you so much. we'll be listening for that news conference in maryland. and now we continue on to this. hour two, you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. a new front line is emerging in the war on isis.
libya. libya here. this all began with this horrific scene here in the orange jumpsuits. 21 egyptian christians are forced to kneel and beheaded. egypt retaliating to the sickening murder of its citizens. an egyptian fighter jet en route to neighboring libya. these are the first strikes by egypt against isis at least the first that they will publicly admit to. the primary target here is in derna. egypt's military saying avenging egypt blood is our right and duty. joining me now from jordan is jomana karadsheh. who were these