tv Charlie Rose PBS October 1, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program, tonight lisa monaco, she say lawyer, former chief of staff for the f.b.i. director and former prosecutor in the department of justice. when john brennan left the white house, to become director of the cia, the person that president obama chose to replace him, is lisa monaco. e is now assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. tonight, a conversation with her. >> this is the challenge. charlie. how to-- how do you use, and it's a brutal irony, actually, when you think about it. isil is a group who is dedicated to rejecting modernity. that's their apocalyptic vision. >> rose: and what they use. >> and what they use is one of the greatest innovations that the united states has
brought to the world. >> rose: internet. >> the internet, social media, an engine for social change, an engine for free speech, an engine for creativity. and so how do we address their messaging? we've got to do, in the digital space, what we're trying to do in the physical space, which is deny them a safe haven. >> rose: lisa monaco for the hour, next. >> funding for >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: american express. >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
she is is president obama's chief counterterrorism and homeland security advisor. she succeeded john brennan in 2013 when he was chosen to lead the cia. her role encompasses critical issues that affect u.s. national security. they include the campaign against isis, our hostage policy and cybersecurity. she's also near the head of the table in the situation room briefings on immigration and other critical issues. in addition to that, she coordinated the administration's response to the ebola outbreak. lisa began her career as a federal prosecutor in washington and serveds achieve of staff to f.b.i. director bob muller. i'm pleased to have her here at this table for the first time. welcome. >> thank you, charlie. good to be here. >> rose: is there more interesting jobs than you have in washington? >> i'm not sure there could be. >> rose: yeah. how do you see it? i mean what dow defined task -- do you define the task of
the job that the president has given you? >> well, charlie, in many respects i have the best job description that there is. i get to help the president and his national security team keep the nation safe. and keep the american people safe. that fundamentally is the job. >> rose: what is the biggest threat to our national security? >> well, if we're talking about terrorism, as you mentioned at the outset, my job encompasses homeland security and counterterrorism. on the homeland security side, cyberthreats, first and foremost, we're very concerned about. on the terrorism side, people are very, very focused on isil as they should be. but i continue as do many of my colleagues continue to be very focused on al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, the most determined and persistent affiliate of al qaeda corps. and their continued efforts.
>> rose: and al-nusra. >> and the krrx orisan group and it goes on. >> rose: is it possible that they will be able to coordinate all of these groups so that there will be one central command of all terrorists coming under one umbrella? baghdadi or whoever? >> what's interesting, charlie, is you see a shift in the terrorism landscape since 9/11. and even in the last few years. isil arguably hassle vateed in terms of being at the vanguard of the global jihad. al qaeda and what we refer to as al qaeda core operating in the fatah in afghanistan and pakistan, was for a long time our chief focus. and isil now and the area that it occupies between iraq and syria, and increasingly it's efforts to extol adhereance to violence is our focus.
>> rose: al qaeda on the arabian peninsula. >> uh-huh. >> rose: are they reporting to a bin lad everyone's successor, zawahiri. >> well, up until a short while ago, the leader of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, mr. al-wahisi who died over the summer was the deputy to zawahiri. he was and had been named by zawahiri as the number two in all of al qaeda. so yes, very much a close relationship. >> rose: has the success of isis changed al qaeda? >> you know, it's interesting, i think. and there was a statement from zawahiri just last week. there is, i think you see in the counterterrorism community, would tell you, a struggle for continued relevance. al qaeda corps has been largely designated in the afghanistan, pakistan theater. and that is due to the
relentless pressure that our intelligence community, our military, our law enforcement efforts, working with our partners including pakistani military operations over the last year. >> rose: how do you coordinate with drone policy? >> well, we continue to take action, direct action, lethal action against those threats, those terrorist actors who pose a continuing imminent threat to u.s. persons. so what does that mean? that where a country and a partner nation, where those terrorists are operating, cannot or will not take action to stop a threat that is posed to the united states, we will do so. and the president has spoken-- spoken about this quite clearly. my job is to assist him in doing that so i'm working with the members of the intelligence community, with the military, to work through those operations. >> rose: and operational role with respect to drones, is that now handled by the
cia or the pentagon? >> well, we've been very clear and the president has been very clear that lethal action against terrorists ought to be done largely by the military. and ought to be done-- . >> rose: largely. >> well, there are operations sometimes that you need to have be done by the intelligence community. i'm not going to speak to specific operations. but you want to make sure that the president has a whole range of tools at his disposal. but when you're talking about the most great action you can take, the most serious action you can take to disrupt a threat, and that is lethal action, that is the job of the military. that is what the president said in his speech in 2013. when does he got involved about the use of drones. >> well, i think the best example of this is with regard to the strike zens anwar alaki that has been talked about. but largely, charlie, this
is about setting policy. it's about setting priorities. and making sure that the military and the intelligence community have clear policy guidance. so for instance, the president set out very clear standard for when the united states government will use direct action, lethal action against a terrorist target outside an area of active hostility. >> rose: you can tell us what the standards are? >> so as the president laid out in his speech now, two years ago, in the national defense university in 2013, he made very clear that we apply the highest standard we can. and so that means that a terrorist target, there must be near certainty that that terrorist target is a-- first of all, the terrorist target has to be a lawful target. then that that we have to have near certainty that that target is present and importantly that there is no
civilian-- civilians that will be killed or injured. >> rose: civilians killed or injured. what kinds of mistakes occur? or a hostage. >> the most disturbing and unfortunate example of that is, as you know, the announcement the president made a few months ago, about the death of warren weinstein and giovanni laporteo, an italian aide worker. they were killed in a u.s. counterterrorism operation. we did not have indications that they were there, quite obviously. and despite the application-- . >> rose: did you have evidence that they had been there sm. >> no. >> rose: so you had no reason to believe they were there at all. >> no. >> rose: had been there, went there. >> had there been as the president said in his statement when he made the announcement, had we had that information, we would not have conducted that operation. >> rose: even if you had a suspicion that they-- might
be there, there would be no operation, even if you couldn't confirm that they were there. >> there has to be near certainty that the highest standard that you can apply, that there isn't going to be a civiliancasualtyor injury. and it is a devastating thing when that happens. and as the president said, and he made the decision, immediately upon being told what had happened, that there would be account -- accountability and it would be public. that this was the action that had been taken and the united states would take responsibility for it. >> rose: if you are an al qaeda leader or terrorist leader, i assume the wisest thing you could do to avoid a drone attack is to have people close to you, a family or children or a hostage. >> we've seen terrorist actors undertake actions to try and thwart operations. >> rose: like what? >> staying off certain communications devices. >> rose: i assume they do
that as a matter of course. >> at a certain point you've got to communicate. you've got to move. and the work of the intelligence community in the military tries to work within that. >> rose: how is isil different? >> it is a threat and a phenomenon different in kind, i think, than the al qaeda core threat and even its affiliates. a few things to note. they have displayed a, almost apocalyptic ambition. certainly a brutality that has been unprecedented. >> rose: apocalyptic vision is kind of to establish a caliphate. >> to establish a caliphate. >> rose: between iraq and syria. >> exactly. and in the wider world as well. they have shown the ability to take and hold territory. this was the distinguishing factor. and one that we were talking about at this time last
year. and as you know, the president was able to bring together a group of some 60 nations in a coalition to fight isil in military terms, and as well to go after their finances, to before foreign fighters, to address their abhor ant messaging that they provide to young people, to enlist them, in their acts. so isil is different in the vision it puts forth, its focus on the caliphate, its ability to take and hold territory. but most distinguishing feature, i think, charlie, is the success they have had in their ability to use social media. i make the analogy that several years ago, just a handful of years ago, my colleagues and i in the counterterrorism community were focused on aqap, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula to use a magazine to expoll their-- extol
their followers and give direction. at that time t was a pdf file, hard copy magazine distributed in forums on the web. that looks like the 8-track tape version of propaganda now, when you see what isil is doing. isil's use of twitter. and social media poses what i refer to as an exponential threat. >> rose: but is it primarily for recruiting or in multiple ways. >> it's both. so it is-- people use the term recruiting. but it is more like enlistment. because they put the messages out there. there are some 90,000 twitter accounts that-- are associated with isil and sympathetic to isil. a smaller number, a smaller fraction of them maybe real true isil members. but they themselves will have 50,000 followers. so just do the math. they are getting their word
out, getting their vision out, in some cases directing, in some cases just extolling individuals. and they're preying on vulnerable people. mostly youth this is a distinguishing factor too, charlie. we don't see one demographic who are drawn to this. all ages, but mostly youth. and. >> rose: and what is the a traction for them? is it the romantic adventure that they are buying? >> this is a question that we need a lot more focus on. and frankly a lot more research on. but i think one of the things is an attraction to being part of something bigger. something-- these are disillusioned vulnerable souls. >> rose: that's the reason young people join gangs in urban neighborhoods. >> that's exactly right, that's exactly right. >> rose: an there's been a lot of talk about the parallels. and are there ways that we can give those young people an off-ramp, if you will,
before they get drawn to this? >> rose: my impression is, just from reading a lot of media, is that recently there have been some people who fled, to give testimony that it has not what you expect. >> yeah. and this is what we need to lift up. this is what we need to get more attention to. >> rose: but that's a responsibility of the state department or the white house? >> so the state department runs under the leadership of rick stengel, who i think you may have had on here before. >> rose: or known a long time. >> known a long time. runs something called the cfcc, which is basically a strategic communications center to provide messaging that seeks to counter isil's narrative. but the truth of the matter is, charlie, we can do that and rick's doing a tremendous job on that. and we have set up and he has worked to set up the gulf version of this in the
uae, something called the-- center that will send out messages to debunk isil's narrative. but what really needs to happen is we have to lift up the voices of those people who have traveled and found that isil is being hypocritical. it can't-- . >> rose: it's not as romantic. >> it's not a romantic jihad, it is a brutal undertaking. it's a savage undertaking, where women are enslaved and raped and beaten and soldiers who come-- . >> rose: including baghdadi himself. >> in terms of-- . >> rose: rape and-- they have been reports. >> there have been reports, there have been reports. >> rose: can you confirm it? >> i can to the. >> rose: you cannot or you can't tell me. >> i can't tell you. >> rose: that had to do with a hostage as well who was later killed. >> yes, i think you're speaking of kalla moore. >> rose: exactly. stories that came out about her. >> that's correct. >> rose: where is he? do we assume he's in syria
and roca. >> q roca is largely viewed as the stronghold. >> rose: for both syria and iraq. >> for isil. now for a long time and the last time he was public and that we had a public sighting of him was in mosul. and it was a big step, i think, and the first time he had been seen publicly in quite some time. and a show of defines that he had gone out publicly in mosul. >> correct. >> but there is also this. you have been able to launch successful drone attacks against isil figures high up in the leadership. >> correct. >> rose: including the guy who was doing the finance for them. >> yes. >> rose: does that have any impact? because some people have said to me, they have carefully organized themselves so that there is someone to step up. they expect to lose certain members because of drone
attacks or other clashes militarily. >> well, we've been putting tremendous amount of pressure on isil in iraq and increasingly in syria and increasingly around aroca. you mentioned abu saif who was a key finance lead are and he was killed during the course of a capture operation, charlie. this was-- . >> rose: it was intended to capture. >> it was. military members going into syria to capture him, and-- . >> rose: special forces, is that the idea? >> correct. and what did happen though in that raid was a tremendous amount of intelligence was gathered. and that helps us understand what isil is doing in its finances. but also in iraq, during the course of the coalition operations, the u.s. military was able to remove from the battlefield an individual named haji mutah, the number two in isil. and over the last few months. >> rose: meaning you killed him.
>> correct. and over the last few months, in syria, due to, an over the course of increasing operations in syria, there has been the death of an individual named janad. hussein and others who were the main focus, main proponents in isil of external operations, particularly extoling persons here in the united states to undertake what we refer to as opportunistic attacks. >> rose: a put intold me that he worried most about people on the battlefield coming back. >> yeah. >> rose: to russia? those russians have been attracted coming back. he said i would rather fight them in syria than fight them in russia. and that's why i'm in syria. let's just talk about russia and syria. he has made no-- he is clearly telegraphed fact that he wanted to build up russian forces there, to support assad. >> uh-huh. >> rose: he also says he's
there because he wants to defeat isis, and he thinks it's important to keep assad in government because you need a central government to fight isil, isis, and invited the united states to join him and other countries in that effort. why is that not a good idea? >> so a few things about that, charlie. one, those things are fundamentally intentioned, we believe. >> rose: fundamentally. >> intentioned. the assad government and what it has done to its people through the use of barrel bombs and other atrocities. >> rose: gas. >> gas. >> is a magnet for extremists to come and indeed foreign fighters to flow in to syria and iraq, but into syria. so assad is not a counterterrorism partner. >> but, but, and he said that. putin, i mean i asked him that very question. a lot of people believe that
assad is a magnet to attract near recruits to isil. he said, i mean, most people believe that, many people believe that you ought to be able, and secretary kerry has said this, not to immediately take assad out. but agree that you want to transition him out, but then near term, we need him for that effort. is that the administration's position? because that's clearly what secretary kerry has said unless you correct me. well, i think what i would say, i'm not trying to say we need him for that effort. because assad is not going against isil. now if the russians want to make some constructive contributions to the fight against isil, i think that's a good thing. i would say, however, there's no need to reinvent the wheel. the president began and led and continues to lead and will convene again tomorrow, the coalition of 60 some odd nations, countering isil.
and that was begun last year, at around this time, as you know, or a little bit earlier in the summer, precisely because of one of the main considerations, certainly, was the flow of foreign fighters. and the need to fight isil. >> rose: coming through turkey and other places. >> coming through turkey to europe, and frankly an e-ticket away to the united states. >> rose: right. >> so the-- the aim of the coalition certainly to partner with the iraqi security forces, to push back isil, to address the flow of foreign fighters. >> but there is a policy difference there. saudi arabia and other members of the coalition want to get assad first. they want to remove him because of the reasons you suggested. >> they certainly certainly do. >> and so tell me what are the sort of gradations of our policy with respect to assad? where is it today? >> well, i-- the thing i would say about this, charlie,ing is the effort we
have made against isil has been one focused with our gulf allies. and you're quite right, they and we believe assad should go. >> rose: but they want him to go almost as a condition of their involvement. >> well, but that's not actually right. because-- . >> rose: well, they're not happy with the fact that there is not a huge focus on getting assad removed. >> well, what is interesting is-- . >> rose: is that true or not. >> no, i-- . >> rose: you disagree with that? >> i think i would take issue with that. >> rose: but you done take issue with the fact that assad is a higher priority for them than it is for us. >> well, it depends on who we are talking about, right, because i think saudi arabia, i would argue right now, their focus is yemen. it is iran. >> rose: fair enough. >> it is certainly, it is isil. this time last year as i was traveling through the region to gain support along with secretary kerry and then secretary hazel to gain the support of our gulf allies to join the coalition and to
undertake strikes, unprecedented, arab airplanes dropping bombs in syria. >> rose: including our jordannia and a pilot was captured and burned to death. >> correct, correct. but uae, saudi assistance. so that was all garnered because the one thing i found in my discussions with the gulf countries was there unity against isil. they believe it is a per version, certainly, of islam. they will not call them isil. any time you talk to-- . >> rose: dash. >> they do not want us to refer to isil as islamic in any way. >> rose: why do we call it isil rather than isis. >> well, it's interesting. >> rose: that seems to be a central government pronunciation guide. >> yes, it's a-- one of the reasons is they have
undergone or tried to undertake their own change in their name several times. they started as al qaeda in iraq, as you know. it became isil. and then wanted to become isis or the islamic state. i think the view to not-- to only call them isil is to not give them the benefit of their own branding. >> rose: of calling themselves the islamic state. >> correct. >> rose: to use that term is offensive to a lot of people. >> correct. >> rose: who are muslims. >> yeah. >> rose: so what is the difference between what the united states and russia want to do in syria? >> what they want to do, take putin at his word, is to fight isil. that's a good thing. but he also wants to plop up assad. >> rose: right. >> and that, again, is fundamentally intentioned because we believe assad cannot stay. >> yes. >> rose: there is no legitimate future in syria. >> rose: do you he accept the fact that he wants to prop up assad because he thinks assad maybe a serious
mistake on his part, but assad is necessary in the fight against isil? that he brings something that is important which is a central authority, an army, and other factor? >> i think that remains to be seen. because we've not seen a tremendous amount of effort by the syrian regime against isil. >> rose: that's interesting. no-- it's all directed against so called moderate forces, that's the entire effort. >> the-- . >> rose: cuz most of the deaths of civilians come from the syrian army, correct? >> correct. so-- . >> rose: so that would be like 250, 300,000 people, whatever the number is now. >> and 12 million refugees. >> rose: 12 million. >> 12 million, well, 7 million, some, displaced persons. 4 million refugees. so 12 million total. >> rose: have been displaced
by this war. >> correct. so that is an instability that comes from the chaos that the assad regime's actions have wrought. and what it has amounted to is isil moving into that space and being able to operate. and what we want to do is to limit that freedom of movement, to push them back to make it not be a hospitable environment. and now we've got turkey in the game which is going to allow us-- . >> rose: how is turkey in the game? >> they've opened up their base to allow coalition planes, to allow for the united states to fly missions out of there. and they are becoming a more active partner with us against isil. >> rose: as you noticed i'm concerned that primary opposition is their primary reason for doing this, in part, is to go after curb in the reg-- kurds in the region who want to
overthrow. erdowan government. and this is way way for them to have cover to attack them. >> so what i would say to that, charlie, well, certainly the pkk is a long-standing threat and concern to turkey. but what i would say to that is isil poses a real threat to turkey. i just met with the foreign minister a few hours ago. it's something we talk to the turks about. and they are working with us now against isil. they have very real concerns about ice ill on their border. and-- isil on their border and the flow from turkey into syria and then back out committing attacks in turkey. >> it's a trontional time because you had david pet ray ution and hillary clinton and others urging more to be done. the president made a decision not to do more at the time. he seemed-- and he argued that he didn't believe-- he
worried about several things. he worried about one, and correct me if i'm wrong, he worried about weapons supplied to falling into the hands of jihadist groups. we just saw that, in fact, happen. some weapons and armoured carriers and things like that, were given up when some moderate forces surrendered to al-nusra and gave up their carriers and joined them, moderate forces, supported by us. not only gave up, not only joined al-nusra, but they gave up their arm aments and trucks and other things. ing it's troubling. >> so the reports you are referring to are troubling. and our efforts to train and equip moderate opposition have certainly facialed challenges. they're just one-- . >> rose: challenges when, you know shall did -- general olson said four or five have been vetted, that's more than a challenge,
it's almost like it's fatal. >> well, it's one effort moention many. we've made tremendous stride as long that stretch of border between turkey and syria. >> rose: in supporting -- >> in working with turkamen, working with kurds. >> rose: but these are not moderate forces that were supposed to be the bull work -- boll work coming out of the arab spring to overthrow bashar al-assad that is what was supposed to happen. and even former syrian army officers were supposed to be part of this whole effort. it fails. my question, really, you can quarrel with failure, but why, what happened? >> because this is very difficult. it is very difficult to build up, in essence an infant rye amongst people who are worried about their
families, fighting for their lives, figuring out how to sustain themselves an their families even as they are wondering whether or not they stay in syria. do they flee with the 4 million refugees? who-- the calderon of extrialist groups and those trying to fight the regime, those trying to fight is ill t is a very difficult challenge to identify those individuals, to vet them, to make sure that they are not extremists, that they can be trained, that they can be trusted, with our armaments, with that training. so that is the effort we're undertaking. we're doing so with coalition partners w turkey w saudi arabia, with jordan. >> rose: with respect t seems to have taken a long time. >> well, and it's going to take longer. because what is needed, charlie, is a local ground force because we can't do this solely from the air.
and there needs to be a force, a local force that will hold ground once the coalition clears it. >> and the argument that goes, while all this is happening, or failing to happen, isis has become stronger and stronger and stronger. >> well, it is certainly-- no one has made any bones about the fact that it is a long, slow, hard process. but what i would say is there has been progress. in iraq, isil occupies 30% lester tore than it-- then it had gained. >> rose: but it is still in control of mosul, the second largest city in iraq. >> it is, it is. but this time last year, charlie, we were talking about isil being on the march. having taken over mosul dam, taken over tikrit, heading towards kirkuk, slaughtering-- in sinjar mountain.
now today that is not the case. tikrit, 100,000 people have gone back to particular rid. all of which is to say that there are going to be ups, there are going to be downs this is a very, very difficult problem. and in syria, this time hast year, isil was operating completely untouched. completely untouched in syria, now that stretch of border between turkey and syria, we have cleared, working with turkamen, working with kurds. we have cleared that and pushed isil back from all but about 60 miles. >> have you takened control of the border? >> up until that last 60 mile stretch, yeah. so that is, and we're placing more and more pressure on roca. so none of which is to say that this is not an incredibly hard, long, slow process. the president has said, it's going to be a multiyear effort. and that is for sure. and it can't be only a military operation. >> exactly. i want to talk about that. so you've got, it is
certainly when the former prime minister of iraq was in power, the effort he made against sunnies lead many sunnies to find iceist attractive. you have a new prime minister. has that in anbar province stopped being a big problem, that sunnies were willing to support? or acquiesce in opposition to isil because the government in baghdad, they viewed as much of an enemy as isil? >> look, you're quite right. the maliki government did not address sunni grievances. and so what you had was isil rolling through and you had sunnies in iraq, facing the bitter choice of fighting for a maliki government that they -- believe was fighting for them, or going with the guys who were in incredible, brutal fighting force.
and that was isil. and so yes, many of them joined up. >> rose: and it includes some former military officers who were in the saddam hussein army. >> right. and that's right. and what you saw the president do, this time last year, last summer, is say we're not going to lend our support until, unless and until the abadi government forms an inclusive government. >> rose: has it? >> it has. it has increasingly so. now there is more to do. and an bar in particular, to-- there's more that has to be done to address sunni grievances, to make sure that they can be part of the fighting force. >> rose: this is the political element of the fight. >> yes. >> rose: . >> there is a political element. but there is going after the finances of isil. there's going after the foreign fighter flow. and countering their message. >> rose: former general cia director david petraeus
temped, i believe last week i believe last week before the congress. recommended two things. one more effort on the political side. >> uh-huh. >> rose: the necessity of having more forces against isil, and creating these safe zones. does that strike you as a wise policy and an achievable policy. >> well, i think they are very resource intensive. and i think you would have some of david petraeus's military colleagues say that to actually have a safe zone, to undertake the protection of that safe zone, particularly in as complex an environment as syria, when it's very hard to tell who is fighting who, to actually undertake the protection of that zone, can be quite a hard undertaking. >> rose: there is from philip gordon who was white house coordinator of the middle east and north africa and gulf region and advise the president of syria. he said this in political
magazine on the 25th of september. the essential problem with u.s.-syria policy since the start of the crisis has been the mismatch between object-- objectives and names. the objective of displacing the assad regime has proven unachievable with the means we have been willing or able to deploy to achieve it. agree with that? >> well, phil, a very smart guy, pent a lot of time in the situation room around the table, wrestling with this, hardest of all problems. in terms of the means, i think the critics, many critics have talked about putting more resources against this problem. and if that comes in the form of u.s. troops, i think the president has been very clear that he believes that would be a mistake. >> i will talk about other things with syria. but syria is where the main focus in iraq on the battle against isis is right now.
>> uh-huh. >> fair. >> fair. >> syria in iraq. >> where else is it, and what is the status of isil in pakistan? what is the stattus of isil in afghanistan what is the stattus of isil in libya? >> so. >> saying they concern you, i'm sure. >> absolutely. isil as we've talked about, stated goals, the caliphate starting first in the heartland of syria in iraq, it is also trying to establish what it calls provinces in libya, in yemen, in afghanistan, in the sinai, in algeria, in the caucuses. so their global expansion, their desire to expand globally is quite clear. and that is an absolute concern for somebody in my job and for my colleagues. of most concern, i would say, right now, is probably their effort, it is twofold. effort to establish a
province in libya that is focused externally on external attacks. and then from my perspective as the president's counterterrorism and homeland security advisor, isil's ability to use social media to extol followers to commit attacks here in the homeland. and what we have seen is their use of social media to get their message out, to enlist, to recruit, to direct or extol followers to take up an attack simply if they have an opportunity. >> what's the best example of where that has taken place? >> well, unfortunately there's several examples of those who are in contact with isil here in the united states. and either trying to fight to go-- trying to travel to go join, or who have been
inspired by isil's message to try an-- . >> rose: to do something here. >> to try and take an attack. and in fact, the f.b.i. has made about 50 arrests in the last year. of individuals who are either in contact with isil members, in syria, or they're inspired by and seeking to travel and lend their support to isil. an what's interesting about this, charlie, is those individuals don't fit any one profile. >> rose: wow. >> they don't fit any one demographic. some 30% of them are under the age of 21. so the unifying theme here is youth. men, women, girls. >> but there's no single profile. >> no single profile from-- there's an investigation in every state of the union. >> what's interesting too is that the connection is not made at a mosque as it had been in the past. >> no. >> it's made on social media. >> made on-line.
it's made on-line. >> rose: and so the only way you can combat that is what sm. >> so this is the challenge. charlie, how to-- how do you use, and it's a brutal irony, actually, when you think about it. isil is a group who is dedicated to rejecting modernity. that's their apocalyptic vision. >> and what they use. >> and what they use is within of the greatest innovations that the united states has brought to the world. >> rose: internet. >> the internet, social media, an engine for social change, an engine for free speech, an engine for creativity. and so how do we address their messaging? we've got to do, in the digital space, what we're trying to do in the physical space, which is deny them a safe haven. >> rose: got to do it but we have not yet been able to do it opinions correct. >> rose: and that is one of your highest priorities. >> that's one of my highest
priorities. an it's something i think we have got to as a government enlist technology companies, innovaters, social entrepreneurs, thought leaders. and it's something that i have been very engaged in doing. >> rose: central figures administration are saying to the tech community, we've got to work together. >> yes. >> rose: because of the power of these instruments that you have created, we have to enlist you. their response is, as you-- you can tell me better than i can tell you, is that encryption is necessary. we don't want to create, to be responsible. we won't allow people to encripps. and we don't want to provide, not specifically the government, but anyone the ability to come in the back door. >> so i think there are two different issues there. there is the encryption issue which poses a real challenge for law enforcement. but by the same token, encryption is a very
important tool and something we absolutely want and need for cybersecurity purposes. but putting that to the side for a moment, the tech community is very engaged. and i have experienced them being very engaged in working with us, to try and counter isil's narrative. so what do i mean by that? the only way you are going to combat and undercut and expose the true nature of isil's brutal message, is to replace it with other voices. legitimate voices, moderate voices. and who are the best people to do that? we've got the best minds in marketing social media, and expression here. >> rose: in the private sector. >> in the private sector. soif's had a number of meetings and done day long sessions out in silicon valley, up in boston, and talking to people here in new york, about how can we harness this wonderful tool
to get out the message that says isil, you should not buy what isil is selling. they can't govern. they are brutal. they are being hypocritical, in what they try and entice to you do. >> rose: is it part of their agenda, do you think, to take over saudi arabia? well, i think it's part of-- art of establishing the caliphate. and --. >> rose: take over saudi a rain why. >> part of establishing the caliphate. >> rose: is to create a state that can expand. >> exactly right. and certainly the kingdom where the two holy mosques are, would figure in. >> rose: how about pakistan, isil in pakistan. >> including osama bin laden and many people think sdpla what heri as well. >> so isil is one of the provinces i mentioned, is al qaeda, i should-- rather isil in the corasan, a
reference for afghanistan. what we have found is that those who are seeking to join isil in afghanistan, pakistan, are thus far largely disgruntled, decision affected members of other groups, so whether or not they have really-- formed true ice ill there, that remains to be seen. >> hostage policy, just because-- it is an issue of concern to you, an everyone else. what is our policy specifically? >> today our policy is as it has been, for many years which is to make no concessions, to those who take our people hostage. importantly, though, what we change in the hostage policy review that we did last spring is to make very clear
that we will not abandon them, and the families will not be prosecuted when they make probably the most difficult decision. >> rose: so if they had to make a decision to pay a ransom for theirs, they will not be prosecuted, and they know that. >> the justice department announced as part of this policy review, that they have never undertaken such a prosecution. but the important thing, i think, that resulted from this policy review, charlie, was a recognition that our approach to dealing with hostage policy and trying to get our people back, had been constructed for another time, quite frankly. it had been-- drawn up in an era before isil, before we were dealing with hostage takers, operating in ungoverned spaces. so the challenge that we have with isil operating in syria is, of course, as we've just spent time talking about. we don't have a partner to
work with in syria to help us get our people back. >> the president has gone out of his way to praise russia for his help in the iranian nuclear negotiations. that ought to be a possible model, shouldn't it? >> there are things that we have shared interest in, certainly, preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon is one of them. and we're able to work to great affect. >> but what is the fear? the fear is simply he's going to protect assad and assad needs to go? is that the primary fear? or is it somehow, you know, that this is all about russia wanting to play a bigger, larger role than the united states would like for it to play? >> i think the concern is that if they're going to do something productive against isil, that's one thing. but if they're going to be propping up and supporting assad, that is, runs directly counter to what we're trying to do because-- assad has been a magnet. >> rose: is it necessary for them to say we're not here to prop up assad. we're here only to fight isil, to satisfy new.
>> remains to be seen. they need to be a lot clearer about what their intentions are, an as you noted, those discussions are literally ongoing. >> taking place as we-- and what about iran? what is their objective? their opposed to isil? >> yes. >> isil is very much-- how much can we cooperation with them? they've got general-- who is everything. even moscow, even-- even damascus, even baghdad and he is seeing leadership in all those places, which brings me to this, how bad is it when you get up in the paper this morning and the lead story is, and just happened to be "the new york times", russia surprises u.s. with accord on battling icist, a deal with iran, this is my question. iraq and syria adds to the
discord on tactics. what is that deal about? >> so you know, this is, an i saw that story, i don't think, and i would take issue with the term surprise, again. >> rose: russia surprises you. in other words, you knew that was coming? >>. >> well, first of all, russia as we said, has been involved in syria. and iraq, the iraq government, sovereign government, they can engage in the discussions and the relationships they're going to have there. what i would tell you, though, is there's all indicate-- indications that this is very limited cooperation. we'll hear from prime minister abadi. >> you're not worried about it. >> no. >> i didn't think so. not worried about it because you think it is limited, because what intel againsts they can share, what y does it not bother you? >> because one, the iraqi government, sovereign nation, and they can speak to this and we'll hear from prime minister abadi tomorrow when
he speaks to the u.n.. secondly, this is no surprise. as we've already discussed, russia, has long been in syria. and will continue. >> rose: in lataki and has had this client relationship for a long time this is not, this is not -- >> am i missing anything that i should understand, you want to communicate about your responsibilityless. in terms of terrorism, and homeland security. >> i think you've gotten at the breath of them. we haven't spent that much time talking about domestic pieces of that. >> rose: tell me about what they are. >> well, this goes to the social media issue. >> rose: i assumed that is what it was about. >> and our broader effort of which that is a piece, to counter violence-- violence, and the approach that we believe very strongly needs to come frankly bottom up
from communities. and what we're seeing, and it's been interesting, a year ago, at the u.n. last year, president obama had basically a call to action for a country to come together as part of the counter isil coalition to include countering the narrative and undertake countering violent extremism efforts. we then hell a summit at the white house on countering extremism in february. and what we have seen grow is frankly a global movement, to bring communities together, to bring young people. i was at an event this morning, a global youth summit with hundreds of young people, some in their teens from 45 nations around the world, coming together to build digital blatt forms, to give kids a path that makes them not susceptible to isil. and that's a tremendous
change. >> rose: when the president asked you to take on this responsibility, you were at the department of justice. >> uh-huh. uh-huh..you were a >> rose: again, corporate and otherwise, i don't know -- >> i was the head of the national security division. which was, and is a division in the justice department that brings together terrorism prosecutesers, es meanage prosecutors and it was one of the reforms after 9/11 to bring those elements together under one roof. >> rose: so the president nominates his homeland security and terrorism advisor who he had been close to, was advising during the campaign, and formally had a long time career in the ciah been chief of staff. >> uh-huh. >> and he says i need you somebody else? because john is going to go over to the cia, and he made the decision that you were the person. what did he say to you as to why he needed you? >> i think, well, first he
said are you willing to take those three a.m. phone calls which i said i was. look, hi been in, it's been 15 years in the justice department. before coming to the white house as a prosecutor, and as chief of staff at the f.b.i., and i think having seen the transformation of our government, pre and post 9/11, and and seeing the benefit of bringing intelligence and law enforcement tools together, thinking creditically of the prosecutor, and-- critically of the prosecutor and believing very deeply in the rule of law, which is, of course, what the justice department is all about, all of those are elements that we need to bring to our counter terrorism and homeland security fight. and i think the president believes that very deeply. >> i think he probably had a sense of your mental toughness and that's what made the case.
that you could come in there and pick up with the kind of strength that john brena-- brennan, brought to the job. that somehow the experience that you had had at justice and all those showed him and the people that were nd the right person,sion to because you need a very, very sharp mental toughness. you would be the first to say that. >> yeah, yeah, it-- it is unrelenting. but it is a tremendous privilege. >> rose: you said in a speech at the all-girls prep school that you went to, who would have thought that attending an all-girls school would have prepared me so well for basically all-male environment. >> uh-huh. >> it's true. it's true. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> rose: a pleasure to you have here. hope will you come back and stay in touch and help us understand, you know, what the effort against terrorism
is, how it changes, how it evolves, and how the challenges present themselves. >> rose: . >> thanks very much, chartie. >> rose: thank you for joining us for the hour. see you next time. >> for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us on-line at pbs my org and charl-year rose.com captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
the following kqed production was produced in high definition. ♪ calories, calories, calories! >> wow, it rocked my world! >> it just kind of reminded me of boot camp. >> i don't know what you had, but this is great! >> it almost felt like country club food to me. >> don't touch. it's hot! >> i gotta tell you, you people