tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN October 27, 2019 1:00am-2:00am PDT
>> announcer: that is cnn breaking news. welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. i'm coming to you live from atlanta. i'm natalie allen. well, after five years in hiding, it is believed that al baghdadi has been killed in a u.s. military raid. this breaking news happened overnight in idlib province near the turkish border.
syrian activists took video reportedly of that raid. cnn cannot confirm its authen c authenticity. here it is. a u.s. defense official said al baghdadi apparently detonated a suicide vest as u.s. special forces moved in. we are also told cia intelligence eventually tracked the cleric to syria. late saturday president trump tweeted, something very big has just happened. mr. trump is expected to make a major announcement sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. eastern, five hours from now. coming up this hour, we will look at the intelligence behind the raid and how it took place in a surprising area. we'll look at how his death, if confirmed, impacts the fight
against terror and the remaining influence of isis and whether his death, if confirmed, may be used as propaganda by his followers. cnn correspondent nick paton walsh has more on al baghdadi. >> reporter: his face in public only once. and even then in the presence of a small number. this is the moment of friday prayers. creator of one of the most successful and inhuman terrorist networks in history chose to reveal himself. yet before the in famy of his pulpit, he spent a decade rising quietly. a ph.d. student said to like football, these pentagon records show his capture by u.s. forces in 2004 near fallujah, his hometown. held for a years at u.s. camp buka.
it was there one expert who knew him, that he turned. >> translator: al baghdadi was not cruel or radical at the time, he just wanted to fight toward the americans. at buca he met foreigners who gave him such ideas. >> he knew my unit was from long island, new york. he looked over to us. and he said, see you guys in new york. here we are a few years hence, and i like at those words in a little bit of a different context right now. >> reporter: then there is silence. before hitting the al qaeda sanctions list in june 2011. here he led the islamic state of iraq, the al qaeda franchise in iraq. but as the u.s. left iraq and
the spring fell apart, sectarian violence of civil war bag a magnet for the blood thirsty. it led to the extremist groups to split in february 2014. months later the group showing breaking the porders of iraq. with al baghdadi at its helm claiming direct lineage from muhammad. an attack on an occupation of mosul. the atrocities in mount sin ja, the procedure of kobani.
one of the more terrifying things about the isis he helped create is not its obsession with gruesome video and act of murder, but instead its harnessing of social media to create a global franchise of people it often never met in libya, paris, brussels, people attracted to isis's brand to commit atrocities and even die for it. but in november 2014, rumors of an air strike hitting him. within a week a recording of his speech. [speaking foreign language] . it became a pattern. randomly released audio performs. they believe he was injured in may 2017 and had to take five months away from his duties as a result. yet from that moment onwards, what was left of isis's
so-called caliphate, collapsed in on itself. mows up, free from their grip in july. isis reduced to a tiny slip of land on the arky-syrian border. hateful. still capable of inspiring barbaric insanity. now, without his figurehead, a man willing to lead his followers to death, but only from the shadows. >> right now we want to go to ben lead man following the developments and to talk about what this signifies that al baghdadi is very likely killed and how it may impact isis moving forward. >> reporter: it's significant pause he was the leader of the so-called islamic state. but unlike, for instance, osama bin laden, al baghdadi, didn't really have a cultive
personality until he actually made that public appearance at the very beginning of the so-called caliphate in july of 2014 at that mosque in mosul. he was an unknown entity for most people. not just in the broader muslim world, but in iraq itself. unlike osama bin laden who he led the regime against the soviet occupation against afghanistan. i covered the final battle against the so-called physical caliphate. we spoke with dozens of captured isis fighters and their wives and their children. and i can tell you just a handful actually even mentioned baghd baghdadi when we spoke to them. their loyalty was to the islamic state, not to the man who led
it. even though he had all the right credentials. he fought against the american occupation in iraq. he was the descendant of the prophet muhammad. he was not somebody who was physical, had a high public profile. that simply wasn't his style. therefore for him to disappear from the scene now that he has been killed doesn't mean isis will shrivel up and disappear. and carrying on in that thread of thought, currently there is a series of uprisings in the arab world. in iraq, here in lebanon. in egypt you have had sporadic demonstrations for the first time in years. and i can tell you that the oppression, the repression, the
dun dungeons will provide the troops for some future extremist organization. so we are, with the death of al baghdadi, perhaps moving from one phase to another. but this phenomenon of extremist terrorist organizations is not about to come to an end now that al baghdadi has been, as we have been told, has been killed. . >> somehow the reign of terror continues. talk, too, ben, about the fact that after he announced the caliphate, many communities in iraq are so desperate that they welcomed isis into their community without realizing the viciousness and the savagery of this organization. we lost ben's audio. we'll continue to follow this
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developments. sources ten cnn the head of the terror group is believed to have died in a u.s. raid in syria. he apparently detonated a suicide vest as the operation was carried out. officials are awaiting a dna analysis to confirm his death. we have new footage of the air operation in idlib province. here it is. they believe this was part of the raid targeting al baghdadi. cnn cannot yet confirm its authenticity. ultimately the raid took place in a surprising location with a look at what that signifies, i'm joined by sam kylie on the
turkish-syrian border. sam? >> reporter: natalie, when this raid was conducted is not inside territory that would be a comfortable resting place for the so-called head of the islamic state. it is nestled in territory controlled by an al qaeda affiliate group, an organization that indeed was split from islamic state so-called back in 2014 and fought very hard against it for some time. 6 so ideological and theological and battlefield enemies were all around al baghdadi. but they are united in their hate of the west, and the united states in particular. this is an environment also, natalie, that is densely tpop lated with refugees from the russian air strikes and artillery bombardments that have so cursed the syrian landscape for so many years, particularly
from owe oleppo and homs. the kurdish dominated allies fought so long and hard and lost about 10,000 troops in the battle alongside the united states and other allies against the so-called islamic state. they put out an earlier one this morning claiming that they had been helpful in the intelligence that led to this operation. we've got no corroboration of course from the united states. this is not in an area where the sdf has any significant overpresence at any rate. we have understood from eyewitnesses this was a village, 5 kilometers, 3 miles, inside the territory, very close indeed to the turkish border. they tell cnn from a nearby town that the raid, in his view, conducted over a period of about an hour, involved several hole cop terse.
obviously as we have seen that video, they were on a tight location as we understand. all of this would point to obviously a very highly planned operation. it may have been just a few days in the planning or several months. we simply >> tony: until we hear more from the united states. you one that was conducted in an environment in the strategic sense, it was getting less and less benign by the day. since the u.s. president announced the withdrawal of the u.s. troops in a band of territory along the border with turkey, the precipitatoprecipit turkish incursion, undermining the potential for the united states to support this sort of operation with pre-existing troops on the ground. so this really follows the path of many special forces raids, particularly by tier one delta or the s.e.a.l. teams from an
external location and strictly focused on one environment. clearly they managed to get some troops on the ground because they said they will conduct dna studies to establish whether or not ultimately al baghdadi was killed in this raid. we will hope to hear more from the united states later on today. donald trump of course tweeting he's going to make some kind of announcement around 9:00 a.m., u.s. time, natalie. . >> it is interesting this took place so close to the urbgy. do we know anything about whether the united states informed turkey at all? or does turkey have anything to say at this point? >> reporter: turkey has been very quiet. we may yet hear whether or not they were involved. they are of course a nato partner. if they had intelligence that could have led to the killing or capture of a target such as al baghdadi, it would be incumbent upon them to have shared it. we don't know where this
operation was launched from. the two most obvious locations are here inside syria, as are turkey. they have a big usair base. of course they have a lot of assets in northern iraq, kurdish-controlled northern iraq, which is where a lot of targets have been launched from. it is interesting, inevitably speculated not only was al baghdadi there. they would have to keep a low profile in turkey issue territory. they fought the assad regime and later joined the jihadist groups, which he headed the most vicious and violent the world
has ever seen. natalie? >> yeah. let's talk about the timing of this as well. president trump said it's time for u.s. troops to move out. syria moved in. u.s. tanks going to protect oil fields. and all of a sudden this operation happens and they get baghdadi. >> reporter: i think they should be seen as entire set. this is really part of the global operations that american special forces, reinforced with drones and other aircraft, that be conducting around the world, targeting al qaeda, isis groups in yemen, all over the world wherever this nature would present itself. they have intelligence. this was the most wanted man a top of their hit list for kill and capture.
there are many other individuals around the world subjected to focuses that are not part of the wider, more strategier forces. green berets working alongside the syrian forces. thises was most likely a raid by deltas or s.e.a.l. oftentimes those are kept from the rest of the military. a research fellow at the institute for international policy. i will ask you what we have been talking about with sam there. the fact that al baghdadi was in idlib province tiding out in an area with al qaeda and civilians
and very close to the turkish border. >> reporter: yeah. this is a thing people will focus on the next few days. you would assume most people thought he was in western iraq where the support network is in better shape than it is in syria. so why would you be in a place such acid lib where you are vulnerable, surrounded by people who aren't your friends, many of whom are absolutely your enemies. so the only rationale you would think is he wasn't planning on being there for a long time. being that close to a border, it may as well have been a transit location with a view of entering turkey in the not too distant future. but the u.s. was able to interdict him. it's not a place you would stay tore a long time. . >> i want to ask you about the fact that american forces are pulling out of syria. now the head of isis is very
likely dead. and how this changes the landscape of syria right now. >> well, i think the first element of that you have to say the timing is extremely coincidental. this person they have been looking out for years was tracked down and appeared to be killed by u.s. forces, within a week or two of u.s. forces withdrawing in syria and allowing turkish forces to enter syria. so is there some kind of quid pro quo, and this is the final element of it, or is the timing entirely coincidental? that is something we will think about the next few weeks i'm sure. i'm sure the other issue here is in some secondary way, this strengthens the arguments of
damascus coming down to control. once you find the head of islamic state being killed in that province, it strengthens the argument on damascus and moscow. it appears on the surface of it. i think there is still quite a bit to be played out in terms of the being found in i.d. lid province. >> let's talk about isis beyond syria. they to operate in philippines, sinai. the threat very likely will continue because of this fact and how spread out it is.
and the fact that so many still support what isis stands for. >> sure. they would have had a succession plan in place that will now be enacted. this action has probably two elements to it. on the firsthand, there is certainly an intelligence leakage quite obviously because their leader has been killed by the united states. that will give pause internally to try and determine how that information about his location not out. on the other hand, islamic state may well try to produce some kind of operational outcome to show they are still relevant and
the death of al baghdadi hasn't stopped them. regardless of the death of al baghdadi, it's not the bd of islamic state by any stretch of the imagination. when people pledge loyalty to islamic state, they pledge loyalty to the leader not the organization. at some stage they're going to have to make an announcement about who the new leader is. then we will see a wrath of loyalty pledges to the new leader. it certainly weakened them but by no stretch of the imagine nation is this an end of the islamic state. . >> thank you for your insights. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure. a u.s. military raid believed to have killed the leader of isis. i...decided to take the dna test.
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welcome to our viewers here in the u.s. and around the world. if you are just joining us, we have been falling breaking news the past few hours that al baghdadi is believed to have been killed in the syrian northwest province of idlib. a military operation got under way at the turkish border. cnn cannot confirm this was the actually raid targeting al baghdadi. a u.s. defense official says he
apparently dell nated a suicide vest as u.s. special forces closed in. dna analysis will confirm if in fact, it isser him. the cleric has been in hiding five years. we are being told locating him was based on cia intelligence. president trump is expected to make the announcement sunday morning. he said it would be a major announcement at 9:00 a.m. eastern, just a few hours away. earlier he tweeted something very big has just happened. nick paton walsh joins us from erbil, iraq. you are learning how this operation was carried out. nick? >> reporter: at this point the syrian kurds, who have been in an incredibly difficult position
the last two weeks, their commander tweeted there was a successful historic operation as a result of joint intelligence work with the united states. now, given hours he is assuming a kurdish role in this operation. if you are looking to gather his whereabouts. i should point out at this point there is no point that's where it came from. if you are trying to join the dots here, it may be why he is making the statement on twitter. this greatly complicates the geopolitics so to speak of what has just happened. if the syrian kurds were in fact, involved in successfully adding this operation by u.s. special forces in which they moved into a town, a village about five or so kilometers away from the turkish border, then that is a group that turkey has
called worst terrorists than isis, assisting the united states in killing the leader of isis. now, turkey has begun an incursion into northern syria, much against the desires of pentagon officials. although seemingly with the green light of their commander in chief president trump. that operation is still ongoing. it has a deadline on tuesday. still at this point it seems that the syrian kurds are openly saying they were involved in a joint operation that was historic. it clearly must be a reference to this al baghdadi operation, which i should still say is not officially confirmed resulting in the death of al baghdadi. but that massively complicates matters geopolitically and another feather in the cap of the united states military who have been persistently saying that the syrian kurds are their ally in the fight against isis. they have found themselves having to beat a withdrawal from
the side of the syrian kurds after donald trump's suggestion of going away with this in kurz. . >> this would be fascinating to see the u.s. military once again reunited. they have great respect for the kurds. thank you for your reporting. we want to take a look at baghdadi more closely. why he has mattered in the fight against terror and why this apparent killing matters, especially since we have been hearing how isis is supposedly finished. ben wedeman joins us to talk about the significance of his death. ben? >> reporter: certainly is significant. this is a man who is from 2014 until today, led what was known
as the islamic state. he ruled around the size of great britain with as many as 12 million people. that was slowly shrunken down to a tiny little village in eastern syria. i was there when they were finally defeated. but no one was under the illusion at the time that that was the end of isis. according to a report biff ty t inspector general of the pent gone published last august, they believe as many as 10,000 isis fighters were still on the loose between iraq and syria. isis or affiliates are operating from west africa, libya, sinai peninsula in egypt, iraq, syria, afghanistan, and the philippines. they are still very much
present. what distinguished al baghdadi from, say, osama bin laden, osama bin laden was famous going back decades. in the 1980s, he was fighting in parallel with the united states, leading the so-called arab imagine dean. in july 2014 in mosul, he was largely unknown. and i'm not talking about through the islamic world, you in his native iraq itself. and he is not somebody who would make frequent public appearances. in account tpa, he only started to put out videos, audio or videos of himself after the fall of isis. so he always had a very low profile. never had a cultive personality.
when we expert viewed his family, no one really mentioned al baghdadi. their loyalty was the islamic state. so he was clearly not the sort of leader who once he disappears, the organization he leads will disappear with him. isis will remain. . >> all right. ben wedeman, thank you for that perspective from beirut, lebanon. thank you. we are joined by glen in london via skype. pen was just saying al baghdadi was a figurehead. he was no osama bin laden. but of course, as ben was just saying, people that follow isis will continue to do so even without him. but what is the significance
that finally special operations were able to catch up with him apparently? >> i think ultimately of course he's the only person who served as a figurehead here. so when we are looking at him as a human being, he was seen by his followers as having a religious tphepgz and practical leadership dimensions, except he didn't come to the forefront that much. he was a little bit of a ghost. he may have, to some extent, undersold himself. to some followers he had a high and lofty almost religious stature. to other people he wasn't that present. meaning that the concept of the state that he built was almost stronger than his personality. his loss will be a big blow, but it is not going to be a bigelow.
there's still a lot of banter back and forth on the internet in countries. it does mean they are losing clearly a rallying point. and intel analysts will be asking how much command and control did they have when we look at the military punching power and the power of i.s. >> let's talk about where he was found by all accounts an unlikely place, idlib province. and very close to turkey. >> yes. . and obviously everybody at this moment has a lot of questions. did it mean special stphrebgz
did it mean one of the governments or some of the government players in the area, did they have a role in this? does it have meaning in it? on the other hand, we can't really say at the moment that it means anything in particular. they have used different tricks to hide, sometimes right under the nose of authorities. osama bin laden was just down the road from a military academy. gentlemen just we just don't know the details of the larger puzzle here. >> we are awaiting dna analysis to confirm this was al baghdadi. if so, what is the symbolism, glen, of the fact that he reportedly blew himself up with a suicide vest instead of being
killed by opposition forces? how might that be used as propaganda by isis? >> it certainly could be. i mean, that's a very good point, natalie. if he can show, hey, i died fighting. i went down. i took my own life versus the americans got me, certainly that is a narrative they could start up in his favor in terms of building a legacy. i fought to the end. i was the lion. didn't take me alive.n, and they on the other hand, he did take his own life. he had to. he was cornered. he was captured. he was killed. it shows once again it may take a long time, you the enemies in this case -- we'll call it the west. we will call it the united states. but of course the whole world has been united against i.s. and starting the million murder of the journalist foley there.
this movement has been condemned worldwide. simply the fact that he stood up and killed himself versus being killed, i don't know in a bigger span of history if it's going to mean all that much. >> we appreciate your insights. glen scene from london. . >> thank you. >> a u.s. military raid believed to have killed the leader of isis. we'll be right back. trucks... and suvs. four years in a row. since more than 32,000 real people... just like me. and me. and me. took the survey that decided these awards. it was only right that you hear the good news from real people... like us. i'm daniel. i'm casey. i'm julio. only chevy has earned j.d. power dependability awards across cars, trucks and suvs. four years in a row. in't easy. 12 hours? 20 dogs? where's your belly rubs?
this video purportedly shows an operation circulated by syrian activists. they believe it is part of the raid targeting al baghdadi. cnn cannot confirm its authenticity at this time. the kurdish-led democratic forces, sdf, said there was a successful operation thanks to joint intelligence with the united states. but right now it is unclear if they are referring to the al baghdadi raid. well, moments ago we received another video we are bringing you now. iraqi state tv is reporting that these are the first pictures of the target of al baghdadi's headquarters. this according to one of their own intelligence experts. cnn has not yet been able to independently confirm this either. we want to bring you some other news we're following now. president trump is disputing
comments made by his former chief of staff at a political conference saturday. cnn's sarah westwood tells us what was said and how the warning may have come true. >> reporter: amid the intensive impeachment testimony, he had harsh words for former chief of staff after john kelly said during the search for his replacement, he informed the president not to pick a yes man saying if he validated all his decisions the president could get impeached. he said it pains me to see what's going on. i believe if i was still there or someone like me was there, he would not be kind of all over the place. president trump, the white house had an aggressive response to kelly's comments. on-the-record statements from both the president and the press secretary were issued in response to kelly's words. president trump saying john
kelly never said that. he never said anything like that. if he would have said that i would have thrown him on it of the office. he just wants to come pack into the action like everybody else. press secretary stephanie grisham said i worked with john kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great president. a widely respected former colleague, a rival of the white house, was celebrated at the time. that retired four-star general who serves the president's chief of staff for a year and a half. buff contrast the way that the white house had an immediate and coordinated response to kelly's comments with the way they responded to the impeachment inquiry, meeting new developments with silence and declining to dispute the specifics. republican allies even complained about the lack of messaging coordination and strategy coming out of this white house over the past few weeks.
new developments in the deaths of 39 people found in that container truck in essex near london. british police have charged a man with 39 counts of manslaughter in connection with the case. the 25-year-old suspect from northern ireland was arrested wednesday shortly after the bodies were discovered. for more, cnn mclane in belfast. >> reporter: the driver of the truck in this case has been formally charged. mo robinson, a 25-year-old from an hour southwest of belfast. he is facing 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy and money laundering. the other thing police are trying to do withou very much
luck is identify the 39 victims in this case. or even establish their national identity. so far they have only said they believe some of them were of chinese origin and some vietnamese origin. now they are saying very little about that at all. the problem for police is these people came with very little, if any, identification on them. so now they are having to identify them by marks, scars or tattoos that may be on their body. for that they need the help of the public. people in the chinese or vietnamese community who may have known their loved one was coming to the uk. the trouble that they're having, though, is many of the people who may know them may be in this country illegally and are reluctant to come forward. so police are trying to make the case that they are not interested in prosecuting people, only finding closure for their families. next, more of our breaking
news. a u.s. raid believed to have killed the leader of isis. these folks, they don't have time to go to the post office they have businesses to grow customers to care for lives to get home to they use stamps.com print discounted postage for any letter any package any time right from your computer all the amazing services of the post office only cheaper get our special tv offer a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to stamps.com/tv and never go to the post office again!
explosions there from idlib province, syria. you are looking at video taken earlier by syrian activists as a major military action got under way near the turkish border. cnn cannot confirm this was actually the raid targeting al baghdadi, but we are told the isis leader is now believed to be dead. iraqi state tv is reporting that these are the first pictures of the target at al baghdadi's headquarters. this according to one of their own intelligence experts. cnn has not yet been able to independently confirm this either. the u.s. and other countries have been hunting al baghdadi for five years. he was so elusive, years ago he gave up cell phones. he only was given messages via
paper. they have been looking for him ever since. at this moment he declared isis caliphate from inside the great mosque of mosul, iraq. that's in 2014. cia intelligence eventually led to a location in northwest syria. a u.s. defense official says al baghdadi apparently killed himself with a suicide vest as u.s. commandos closed in. meantime, the kurdish-led syrian democratic forces say there was a successful operation thanks to joint intelligence with the united states. it's not clear which operation they were referring to, but that would be significant since the u.s. has moved out of syria and fought alongside the kurds for some time. we are just four hours away from an announcement by president trump. we'll see what he has to say then. thank you for watching cnn
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and get a free shredder with annual membership. call now to start your membership or visit lifelock.com/tv isis leader al baghdadi is believed to have been killed in a u.s. raid. >> this remarkable feat of taking out the world's most wanted man. >> a u.s. defense official said al baghdadi apparently detonated a suicide vest during the operation. president trump is expected to make a major announcement. earlier, though, he tweeted, something very big has just happened. >> reporter: president trump is lashing on it at john kelly. >> i said whatever you do, don't hire a yes man, someone tha