tv PBS News Hour PBS November 19, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight: french police confirm the mastermind behind last friday's attacks did die in a police operation. we get the latest from paris. >> sreenivasan: i'm hari sreenivasan in paris. we talked to residents in the neighborhood of the raid and what this could mean for their community. >> ifill: also ahead this thursday: refugee politics here at home. the house votes to tighten security checks, while some local governments say they don't want syrians fleeing war in their communities. >> woodruff: and, tracking down the islamic state's money. have their finances been underestimated? >> isis actually took in as much as half a billion dollars in the past year from oil alone.
>> ifill: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions
and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: french officials claimed a major kill today in their hunt for those behind the paris attacks. they announced the ringleader of last friday's massacre died early yesterday, in an all-out battle with police. hari sreenivasan begins our coverage. >> sreenivasan: official word of abdehlhamid abaaoud's death came as forensic teams police worked at the scene of the raid that killed him, in saint denis. authorities had already said two people were killed and eight others arrested. but today, the paris prosecutor confirmed one of the bodies was indeed abaaoud's, based on analysis of his fingerprints.
french prime minister manuel valls formally announced it to members of parliament. >> ( translated ): most of you already know this, but thanks to we know the extent of the threat - was found amongst those who were killed. i would like to pay tribute once again to the incredible work done by our intelligence services and the police. >> sreenivasan: the 27-year-old belgian abaaoud was thought to be in syria. but he'd bragged in the islamic state's english magazine that he was able to slip in and out of europe undetected. and at a news conference, the french interior minister complained that other countries failed to report his movements. >> ( translated ): abdelhamid abaaoud obviously played a key role in these attacks. we did not receive any prior information from any european country, where he could have gone through before reaching france that would have suggested he had arrived in europe and was travelling to france. it was only on november 16th, so after the paris attacks, that the intelligence services of a country based outside europe
told us they had evidence of his presence in greece. >> reporter: french investigators believe abaaoud was behind four of six failed plots since the spring. they have yet to detail his exact role during the paris attacks or his location in the days leading up to it. the circumstances of his death in saint denis are also unclear, although officials said his body was riddled with bullets. his cousin, identified as the other person who died in the raid, is believed to have blown herself up, just after an exchange with police, captured in this audio recording. >> sreenivasan: there's gunfire, then police ask "where is your boyfriend?" >> sreenivasan: "he's not my boyfriend," she says, and police again ask where he is. >> sreenivasan: the woman repeats: "he's not my boyfriend," followed by more shots, and an explosion, possibly her suicide vest detonating. a day after the raid that killed the ringleader of the paris attacks, the people here in st. denis -- a working class
neighborhood that's trying to pull itself back up -- are concerned that this event will undermine those efforts. monique jeffroy was born in saint denis, and has lived here all her life. >> ( translated ): it gives the impression that this is a terrible town. with the police everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. its far from the truth, that's not what this area is like. on a cultural level it is a very interesting town, there are a lot of people who are motivated to help improve it. >> sreenivasan: inside the area cordoned off by police are dozens of shuttered shops, including one that employs jean francois de fournier. >> ( translated ): if i have to buy something, never i'm coming to st. denis again >> sreenivasan: why not? >> for the security. everybody will be afraid of st. denis. like they will be afraid of the bataclan. >> sreenivasan: locals like dies granis, are happy with the investigation into this act but also with parliament's extension of the state of emergency today.
>> ( translated ): i agree with extending the state of emergency because it will allow the police and everyone to carry out inquiries more seriously without waiting for the bureaucracy which will delay it. it helps open doors. i think it's a good thing. >> sreenivasan: that vote today in the national assembly was overwhelming -- 551-to-6 -- to extend the emergency for three months. it followed a fresh warning from prime minister valls about what islamist extremists might try next. >> ( translated ): the way of carrying an attack, of killing, is constantly evolving. and i say this, of course, with all the necessary precautions but we know it and we have it in mind: there is also the risk of chemical or biological weapons. >> sreenivasan: meanwhile, in belgium, there were nine more raids today in and around the poor brussels neighborhood of molenbeek. authorities said nine people were detained in all. seven had ties to bilal hafdi, one of the suicide bombers who died in the paris attacks. molenbeek was also the home of salah abdeslam, another suspect
in the attacks who's still on the run. belgian police have now issued this alert about him. >> salah abdeslam, one of the main suspects in the attacks, is he is possibly still in our country. the man is 26, slim and about five feet, nine inches tall. he is extremely dangerous and likely armed too. so, in case you see him, certainly do not take action yourself but warn police immediately. >> sreenivasan: in addition, belgium's prime minister charles michel announced a series of new measures, including $427 million to expand the anti-terror fight. >> ( translated ): we want to act along four major lines. first, to eradicate messages of hate and calls to violence. second, to concentrate efforts and our means on individuals who have been flagged as potentially dangerous. third, to strengthen the security measures. and finally, to act on an international level. >> sreenivasan: michel also said he wants to amend the belgian constitution, to lengthen the time terror suspects can be held without a charge.
in italy, authorities announced they're looking for five people after a u.s. warning that st. peter's basilica in rome among other sites might be to pensionle targets in a new plot. italian authorities also made a couple of arrests today. a couple of men were trying to get to malta on fake passports. i
fighters who have left europe and gone to iraq or syria perhaps to be trained. >> woodruff: hari, tell us, what are the french themselves doing to step up their own efforts whether it's intelligence or whatever else? >> sreenivasan: well, the prime minister today called foro a deeper investigation into exactly how it is that abdelhamid abaaoud slipped in and out and bragged at it in the magazine and get into europe so easily. the defense council says they're for intensing militaries actions against i.s.i.s. in and outside europe. >> woodruff: do you get the sense officials continue to feel under a lot of pressure over there in france? >> sreenivasan: yes, i think so because right now is the
lower house of parliamenticsam tomorrow will be another vote. there is a sense of urgency here. people are expectinghe their politicians to be held accountable especially considering the gravity of this attack. >> woodruff: hari sreenivasanan joining us once again from paris, thanks. and we'll turn to the growing threat of islamic state attacks around the world. irvetion attacks in europe to >> ifill: in the day's other news, the refugee crisis in europe took a sharp turn, as four countries imposed new rules in the wake of the paris attacks. serbia, macedonia, croatia and slovenia announced they will turn back economic migrants and allow only war refugees to enter their territory. that quickly created a logjam along several borders. a u.n. worker in macedonia said about 1,500 people were being held back at the country's frontier with greece.
>> the government as far as i know has been committed here from the border officials is that the government has decided to let pass only syrians, afghans and iraqi refugees. farther west, austrian chancellor werner faymann called for stricter border checks.ymer but in turkey, president recep tayyip erdogan urged people not to harden their attitudes against muslim refugees. >> woodruff: the fallout from the paris attacks also dominated the u.s. presidential campaign today. democratic front-runner hillary clinton said the u.s. must lead the fight against islamic state militants in iraq and syria, with an expanded air campaign. but, speaking in new york, she said local forces in the region, not u.s. troops, should do the bulk of the fighting. >> injecting some large contingent of american forces complicates that, in my opinion. right now, we need to keep the pressure on the people on the
ground, and get them to change their priorities and work together. >> woodruff: clinton's chief rival, vermont senator bernie sanders, echoed that sentiment at an event in washington, d.c. >> the bottom line is that isis must be destroyed, but it cannot be defeated by the united states alone. a new and effective coalitioniv must be formed with the muslim nations leading the effort on the ground, while the united states and other major forceses provide the support they need. >> ifill: on the republican side, jeb bush called again for a more aggressive stance against the islamic state, including an undetermined number of ground troops. he spoke to reporters in new hampshire, after filing official papers to appear on the primary ballot.o >> we can't do this leading frog behind as the president has suggested. we can't do it as hillary clinton has suggested, up till
today, at least, that it isn't our fight. it is our fight. it's a fight for western civilization. >> ifill: the candidates have also been weighing in on resettling syrian refugees in the u.s. today, republican ben carson said it's vital to keep out potential terrorists. he told an audience in alabama: "if there's a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you're probably not going to assume something good about that dog." we'll explore the continuing politics of the refugee debate,e later in the program. >> woodruff: violence between israelis and palestinians claimed five more lives today. one was an 18-year-old american tourist who died when a palestinian in a car opened fire in the west bank. two israelis were killed there as well. the gunman's fate was unclear. earlier, in tel aviv, a palestinian attacked a prayer gathering in an office building. he stabbed two israelis to death, before being captured.
>> ifill: president obama is insisting that the civil war in syria cannot end while presidenh bashar al-assad remains in power. he spoke as he met today with canadian prime minister justin trudeau at the asia-pacific summit in manila. mr. obama said it is "unimaginable" that assad would stay. >> overwhelming majority of people in syria o consider him o be a murderer who can not regain legitimacy and if, in fact, he is still in power, then regardless of what outside powers do, there is still going to be large portions of the population that are fighting. >> ifill: separately, thee president said the attacks in paris will not change his mind about closing the prison fore terror detainees at guantanamoai bay. >> woodruff: the former subway sandwich spokesman jared fogle is headed to prison for more than 15 years, after pleading guilty to child pornography and
underage sex. a federal judge in indianapolis handed down the sentence today. she also imposed a fine of $175,000. fogle apologized in court, and said he regrets letting so many people down. >> ifill: for the first time in decades, more mexicans are leaving the united states thanth entering. the pew research center reported the numbers today. it said a little over a million people returned to mexico in the last five years. at the same time, 870,000 moved north into the u.s., reversing a long-time trend. pew attributes the shift to a sluggish u.s. economy and stricter border enforcement. >> woodruff: wall street had what you might call an uninspired day. the dow jones industrial average lost four points to close at 17,732. the nasdaq fell a point, and the s&p 500 slipped two. >> ifill: and, genetically modified salmon will now be for
sale on grocery shelves around the country. the food and drug administration approved it today, as the first engineered animal allowed for human consumption in the u.s. the fish grows twice as fast as normal salmon, reaching market size more quickly. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: isis pursues chemical weapons. how the terrorist group makes its money. the u.s. house votes to tighten security checks on refugees. and much more. >> ifill: we return now to the paris attacks, and adulhamid abaaoud, who managed to return to europe undetected after joining the islamic state in syria. to help us understand more about him and others like him who hav become radicalized and pose aos threat, i'm joined by "wall street journal" reporter stacey meichtry, and lorenzo vidino,
director of the program on extermism at george washington university.te welcome to you both, gentlemen.n stacey meichtry, tell us everything we know about abdelhamid abaaoud. >> well, he comes from a suburb of brussels where his family were business owners, they had a house and, as far as they were concerned, they were a normal family. as he got older, he started a career of petty crime, getting convicted for assault, breaking and entering, and he ended up serving prison terms in thee different prisons. at some point, he decided to travel to syria, and it was there where he apparently rose to significantly a high rank for a foreign fighter in islamic state territory.
he was known as an amir of war, which is a military commander. >> ifill:nd so he was part of his parents' retail business in belgium until 2013 and sometimem between now and then he not only got involved but became a leader in this. how significant is it that he was taken down today? >> it's very significant, firstt of all because it's deprivess i.s.i.s. of a significant commander. second of all, this is somebody who managed to construct a broad network of associates capable of carrying out attacks. you know, the interior minister of france today said that he was involved in up to five different plots against european soil, and when they raided the apartment, his hideout, police came up against some significant fire power. it was a pitch battle that
lasted hours. this was someone who was capable of assembling a significant arsenal. >> ifill: how unusual is this what we're having described here? >> unfortunately, not unusual.l. there are over 5,000 europeanspe who have gone to syria and joined i.s.i.s. and other jihadist groups. a few of g them have gone back. not all those who go back are intent on carrying out attacks. abaaoud was an exception in that he was going back and forth between syria and europe developing operatives and mobilizing to carry out attacks. but unfortunately the numberser are very high and there are a lot of problems for european intelligence agencies to monitor such a large number of people.e. >> ifill: well, that's interesting to me because people knew about him, they knew a little bit about his movements. why wasn't he tracked or was he being tracked? >> well, we've got to find out
the details of exactly what happened and clearly that was a failure of intelligence on the french part but, again, i think there are a couple of things to be mentioned here. first of all, as i said, the number, it's so do it track such a large number of people. the french alone have over 1500 people who have gone to syria to fight and they have 11,000 individuals they consider radicals that they have to monitor. obviously theto manpower requird for that is enormous.ou add to that the fact people can cross borders in europe withoutt having to go through any barrier or having to show a passport. so there is freedom of circulation, but intelligence agencies are still divide bid countries, so he could have gone in from a certain european country and e the french wouldd have not been notified by them. so there is this division amanager different european countries and paris exploited. >> ifill: stacey meichtry, what do these attacks and this investigation tell us about how
these kinds of terror networks work? >> well, i think what's remarkable about this case is that previously we had assumed that islamic state in particulao was almost a local militia. their focus was to build a caliphate in syria and iraq in the middle east. what this particular attack demonstrates is they have really expanded and developed the capability to launch indirect attacks on western soil. they really have become a global syndicate capable of activating operatives in the field. in the case of abaaoud in particular, this is somebody who was able to slip back and forth across european borders, go to syria. he was seen evidently as recently as a few months ago in greece. that was today's revelation. so, you know, this really caught french officials offguard.d. >> ifill: and we're discovering now he had other plots in mind?
>> in fact, we spoke to french officials today and they told us that they believe that either he or the militants involved with him were planning an additional attack in the neighborhood that is one of the most cherished neighborhoods in paris.. there were other plots afood. he was thinking of launching an attack against paris' business district. >> ifill: why belgium? why is belgium such a hot bed for this kind of activity is this. >> well, belgium traditionallyly have given asylum 20 years ago to a lot of very radical people who in a way have radicalize add new generation.io there have been a few groups that operate there. they're not necessarily violent a few years ago. when the conflict in syria broke out, they started recruiting and mobilizing across the threshold
to violence. the bell jns never cracked down on them. it's also a country who has a lot of political problems internally, the division between the french and dutch speaking part, the political divisions inside of belgium for then the formation of a unified law enforcement and intelligence agency is prevented.nt they haven't cracked down on the networks. there is a lot of organizede crime which is why it's easy for terrorists to get black market weapons and other places in belgium. >> ifill: we heard the prime minister or the foreign minister say they were worried about chemical and biological attacks in the works. do weks know what that's based ? have you heard any reporting that suggests that that's the next worry, stacey meichtry?
>> we don't -- ll -- >> ifill: mr. meichtry first. t's a constant dern. w -- constantconcern. when we're talking about islamic state you're talking about a group that occupies territory where there were materials to make chemical weapons. evidently, there was an agreement struck in order to deweaponize those arms, but you never know. there are concerns always that there are still materials out there. >> ifill: lorenzo vidino of the george washington university program on extremism and staceyc meichtry of the "wall street journal." thank you both very much. >> woodruff: now the politics of refugees here at home. politicians at all levels, from
both parties, weighed in. our political director lisa desjardins reports.di >> reporter: dominating the u.s. house of representatives today: the refugee crisis that's been plaguing europe for months. as a bipartisan majority easily passed what's called the americi "safe" act. the bill does not mandate a pause, but would likely force one by requiring that each syrian or iraqi refugee get a background check from the f.b.i., something the f.b.i. director has said may not be possible due to lack of data from the region. then the f.b.i. director, director of national intelligence and the secretary of homeland security would personally need to sign off onof each refugee. in the eyes of speaker of the house paul ryan, the bill fills gaps in a dangerously weak vetting process. >> our own law enforcement experts are telling us that they don't have confidence that can detect or block, with the current standards in place, that
isil, or isis, has not tried to infiltrate the refugeeee population. >> reporter: house minority leader nancy pelosi stressed humanitarian concerns, highlighting the dangers these syrians and iraqis face. >> families in syria and iraqan are desperately trying to escape isis' gruesome campaign ofn torture, rape, and terror and violence of the assad regime. the republican bill before thee house today severely handicaps the refugee settlement of the future in our country. >> reporter: but it may be reaction without consequence. b the white house, has already vowed to veto and the bill faces uncertain fate in the senate. where democrats propose a different approach, toughen requirements for visitors from friendly countries, who can arrive with little vetting and no visa now. >> the visa-waiver program, has many, many more people goingha through with millions. it takes virtually no time, as opposed to 18 months to 24 months, and there is much less vetting. we need to really tighten up
that program. >> reporter: the political wavet continued to on the local level. the democratic mayor of roanokeo virginia, democrat david bowers, joined dozens of mostly o republican governors in opposing the re-settlement of refugees in their communities. >> i have no opposition to american involvement in assisting the refugees. i just don't think it's time tot bring them over here. >> reporter: but just a few hours drive from roanoke, in arlington county, virginia,on they're keeping out the welcome mat. we have an obligation to make sure people from all walks of o life who live in our community and speak over 100 languages feel welcomed.el >> reporter: lowell governments are weigng in even though they lack the legal authority to direct the process. >> woodruff: lisa joins me from the news room. looks like none of the republican plans to put more
limits on the refugees coming in can get around the presidential veto. what's their strategy around that? >> that's correct. there are a couple of c strategies. in the end, the best chance for republicans they feel is to leverage the next big fiscal crisis and it's not far away, judy. december 11th is when funding for most of the federal government runs out again, and some republicans are talking about attaching to the budget bill a potentially called only omnibus budget bill to force a pause on the flow of refugees. that brings us to a standoff situation with the white houseou and not clear as to how the white house would react whether either side would allow or shut down the government over a major national security issue. the president said he would veto the bill passed today based on the idea that he said it takes resources away from where they're needed and would overwhelm the system.st in addition the f.b.i. director today said he doesn't think this bill is a good idea either.
one other note, this might not be the only issue. rand paul is currently proposing his own bill to limit refugeess flow and he is starting to hold up a transportation and housing bill over that issue as well. so this is rec sheaing across many issues on the hill. >> woodruff: lisa desjardins, thank you for the d reporting. >> you got it. >> woodruff: for more on the debate over refugeeor resettlement, i'm joined by virginia congressman gerry connolly, he was one of 47 democrats who voted to tighten control of refugees. and erol kekic, executive director of the immigration and refugee program for church world service, an organization that provides placement and assistance to refugees around the world. we welcome you both. so congressman w connolly, let e start with you. why did you join with the republicans to vote for this legislation proposal to tighten restrictions on these refugees from syria and iraq?
>> well, the tightening has to do with certification. the bill essentially requires three government officials, the head of the f.b.i., the head of the d.n.i. and the head of homeland security, to certify that the refugees being allowedd in the country are in fact not terrorists, that they have been vetted.y . that adds an extra layer of bureaucratic review, but that's what it does. it doesn't stop the program.. it doesn't even have a pause by statute. it doesn't finger a particular ethnic group. it's not islamic phobic according to the rhetoric of the republican candidates and governors which i find repug nanlt and allows the refugee program to continue. it is ae. bureaucratic program t it seems to me does the least amount of harm under the circumstances where americans want reassurance that we're not unwillingly letting people into the country who can do us harm. >> woodruff: it's not just the
republicans making one argument, it's the argument from the president who says this is hysteria over what he calls widows, orphans, older people and very young children, and he said it does basically shut down the refugee -- >> well, i don't think he readre this bill. i think he wasll reacted to theh earlier wave of demagogue riand islamphobia and nativism coming out of republican presidential candidates andl the republican governors, and i agree with the president but h this bill doesn't do that. >> woodruff: let me turn to erol kekic. your organization works with several other organizations. you have something like 400 offices around the country, 49 states. my question is what do you make of these efforts?rt you have been working with these refugees for years and years. what do you make of this effort today in the congress? >> we're certainly rather disappointed that the elected officials have succumbed to this
mass hysteria that has been spewing over the airways for the last four or five days. even the president of france whose country has been under the horrible attack has actually come forward and said despite this they will still accept 30,000 refugees over the next two years and, at the same time, here we are in the united states where we had this orderly program, when we had refugees vetted by a number of intelligence and security agencies, falling for this his tearia trying to prevent people from come into our midst, this is repugnant and disgusting. >> woodruff: i think you heard congressman connolly say it's merely an effort to tighten up the scrutiny that already exists. >> refugees are already the most scrutinized group of travelersrs to ever enter the united statesi of america. they go through an extensive process of vetting done by the most advanced agencies we have in view of government. if you can't trust the u.s.
government to do something, that's a different story. but we are confident that the u.s. government has put in placed a quat measures to screen -- put in adequate measures to screen and screen again refugees coming into the program. these people are for exom we have background information,ti biometric information, seen by the high commissioner for refugees before they ever get to walk through the system we have today, they have been seen by the departments of homeland security, state, defense and a number of other agencies. but to focus on this particular group instead of all the other groups of travelers coming toin the u.s. is a waste of time and resources. >> woodruff: congressman connolly, you're hearing him say there is already a very thorough vetting process in place now. >> indeed it is. i believe the>> chamberren of te homeland security committee and speaker ryan have put together a
ventilation bill that does harm. >> woodruff: what do you mean? prove to us that we're protect and secure. >> woodruff: are you hearing that? >> all of usth are.ll i have enormous respect for the gentleman how just interviewed. i myself have a refugees background and i have called for expanding syrian refugees coming into the united states. this is a humanitarian crisis and the biggest recruitment opportunity for i.s.i.s. is refugees camps left unattended. but it's a balancing act here. this legislation isn't what the gentleman just described.be read the bill. it doesn't stop the program.gr it doesn't prevent refugees from coming in. he's correct that we have a very robust vetting system now. this adds one more layer and iti seems to me that, if this were to become law, we could work it out so that it's incorporatedrp into existing procedures and protocols. >> woodruff: erol kekic, what
is the harm done if additional scrutiny is applied to these refugees in this particular time after these paris attacks. >> refugees languish in rchg camps in urban situations for years on end before they're ever referred to this program. then they go through this extensive process which takes anywhere between one and three years. i have been hearing this 18 to 24 months. in reality, the process takes more than three years. if we added a additional layer to this system here, are we trying to really age people out of the system before they vet them? we can't have this debate. the winter is coming and we do not have enough money to support them in the camps. we need to do more. >> woodruff: what about the humanitarian aspect, congressman? >> 98% of refugees that have been allowed into the country from syria and iraq are elderly women and children, 98%. do they really believe an extra
certification will exclude that 98%? i don't think so. ith think we're worried -- >> there could be and we want to make sure that doesn't happen. but again, the question was are we going to respond in any fashion or not to the tragedydy that just occurred in europe or are we going to declare everything is fine here and we're unwilling to even look at an extra certification to make doubly sure? i came down on the latter side because i heard from the white house this morning, and their argument against it was essentially we don't have enough staff to make that happen.n >> woodruff: finally, mr. kekic, what are the consequences? right now the president is saying he'll veto it in the senate. no indication the senate will pass it but it has passed the hohouse of representatives. if it becomes law, what will the consequence be? >> we're concerned the additional layer will mess up the system that already exists,,
so the pre-checks and clearances, they all have expiration dates. all of this will go back to the beginning of the system and will add, two three, four years to the actual system that already exists. i don't see a benefit in that at all. >> woodruff: erol kekic with church world service. congressman gerry connolly of virginia. thank you both.u >> thank you, judy. >> ifill: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: a texas school for young refugees, where the tests they face go beyond textbooks. but first, we turn to the question of why it's so tough to choke off the supply of money to isis. there are new calls for countries to crack down on groups that may be financing f them. earlier today, authorities in kuwait, which suffered its worst attack from isis this summer, arrested members of a cell
providing money and arms to the terrorists. new estimates show the militants have resources in the middle east that go much deeper . our economics correspondent, paul solman, begins, part of our making sense series, which airs every thursday on the newshour. >> reporter: since the paris attacks this weekend, the forces arrayed against isis have beene pounding the territory it holds. and specifically, hitting oil it's been extracting for sale, as oil is a key source of isis revenue, having made the group one of the richest terrorist armies in history. earlier today, democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton insisted the u.s. should be targeting isis' money. >> when it comes to terrorist financing, we have to go after the nodes that facilitate illicit trade and transactions. the u.n. security council should update its terrorism sanctions. they have a resolution that does block terrorist financing and
other enabling activities but we have to place more obligationss on countries to police their own banks. >> reporter: republican candidate donald trump has been even more aggressive.ve >> isis is making a tremendous amount of money because they have certain areas of oil they took away, there's some in syria, some in iraq. i would bomb the ( bleep ) out of them. >> reporter: meanwhile, there'se been a debate over just how much money isis actually has. last year, david cohen, then with the u.s. treasury department, said on thee newshour. >> i think, today, in the aftermath of some of the airstrikes that have been taken, as well as some of the efforts that have been undertaken to restrict isil's ability to use these smuggling networks, our estimate is that isil is now earning something on the order of a couple million dollars a week. >> reporter: a report in "bloomberg businessweek" suggests cohen was overly optimistic, citing new data from the treasury that isis actually
took in as much as half a billion dollars in the past year from oil. but just yesterday, army colonel steve warren, spokesman for the joint task force, said the stepped-up offensive against isis' main source of wealth is paying off. for the first time, the u.s. is attacking oil delivery trucks. >> in al-bukamal, we destroyed 116 tanker trucks, which wenk believe will reduce isil's ability to transport its stoleno oil products. >> reporter: besides the oil fields in iraq and syria that isis controls, there are three other major sources of terrorist funding:ur taxation, which might just as easily be called "extortion" ind the case of isis; kidnapping for ransom; and finally, the looting and the sale of precious antiquities smuggled from the region. this is economics correspondentc paul solman, reporting for then, pbs newshour. >> ifill: william brangham has more about how isis gets its funding.
>> brangham: and for that i'm joined by cam simpson from london, a reporter from "bloomberg businessweek" who watches this subject at co-wrote that cover story. cam simpson, you. report on several misconceptions that the u.s. had about i.s.i.s.'s capacities with regards to oil.a what was it specifically we got wrong? >> boy, i think, you know, william, unfortunately, we pretty much got everything wrong. we severely miscalculated the damage that we had inflicted on i.s.i.l's oil infrastructure during those strikes that started more than a year ago. yougo know, you had david cohenn that setup peace. the numbers he cited, the administration continued to cite for at least seven months after that well into this year that we had bombed their oil revenue down to about $100 million a year. you know, what they discovered this year was that they not only significantly overestimated the damage we had done but
significantly underestimated the amount of money i.s.i.s.re was getting. so thein new figure we have aftr a raid deep into enemy territory against the oil amir of i.s.i.s. where they seized a massive trove of intelligence ledgers is they're making $500 million a year. so that's ay really significant difference.. $400 million is not a rounding error. that's probably enough to pay mostf their armed forces, maybe twice over. it's a lot of money. >> brangham: you also report that we initially went after i.s.i.s.'s refining capacity but not the crude oil capacity.y why does that distinction matter? >> i think initially -- and again, this is what we know from what was said at the the time during the strikes and sort of the approach that they took and are taking now going after the trucks -- you know, i think that people believed that refined oil is obviously more valuable than crude. refined oil is what you actually
burn and put in your car. it's versus crude oil which you can't really use until it's refined. since it'sfi more valuable, i think we thought we have storage tanks in place where they seized oil, they have refineriys, if we take nat out they're finished. that's not the way it worked or they completely changed the way they were doing business. now when donald trump says he'll bomb everywhere, it doesn't work that that. you're that yo talk about thousf pipes buried in the desert where someone can fill with a truck or a can and i.s.i.s. gets paid at the end to have the hose pipe and he drives off and sells the oil and he's not a part of i.s.i.s. it's a part of the entire economy in this region for everybody. for fuelingy. generators, gettig electricity, for asphalt for roads, for everything. so it's incredibly difficult challenge. when the pentagon said this week
they had bombed 116 trucks lined up and that was the headline, in some ways to me it was almost like you could say the headline is there were 116 trucks lined up to get oil because we'd been watching the trucks drive around for a year and haven't gone after them specifically because they're civilians, but then estimates that some of these lines, these queues at the bigger oil depots where the trucks are filling can be two miles long, can be four miles long. some of these drivers sit in these lines for months, you know, with their trucks waiting to fill up, sell the oil and come back and get another load. >> brangham: you detail a lott of the different ways i.s.i.s. is able to get money -- the selling of sex slaves, ransom from kidnappings, banks' money they've seized what was incredibly fascinating was the system of taxation. can you explainn. a little bit more about that? >> yeah, when you have brutal
power as they have over 8 million people, you can squeeze literally every piece of life in that system. you can tax students and the tax rates vary depending on the grade they're in. you can tax people for working previously for religiously inappropriate regime, whether soldiers, teachers, whatever,er and they have to get an identity card that says they've repented. you know, they've charged up to $2,500 for an identity card to say that you've repented that you have to renew every year for, like, $200. they're squeezing everything.g they can squeeze everything.t there is taxes on utilities, mobile phones.s. i mean, the idea that you can hit this with u.n. sanctions and the international banking system, it's just so far-fetched. it's impossible. when you have control of that many people, you can continue continuously squeeze them foror all the money you need. it's probably a bigger income
source than the oil. they're good at. this they have been doing this from the beginning since we have been dealing with them since 2005. this is the same group we went after in the surge in 2007. they're likely collecting money from every possible source you can imagine. >> brangham: cam simpson, bloomberg businessweek. thank you for joining us. >> my pleasure, thank you. >> woodruff: as we mentioned earlier in the program, there's an ongoing debate over whether the u.s. should accept syrian refugees following the attacks in paris. many american cities already regularly take in refugees, not just from syria but from around the world. one of the major challenges those cities face is how to educate the children, who typically speak little or no english. april brown visited one school in houston, texas, taking on
that challenge. the report is part of our american graduate series, a public media initiative funded by the corporation for public broadcasting.de >> reporter: this 12-year old boy is one of thousands of children who've made the dangerous journey from latin america in search of a brightero future. jose-- who asked us not to use his real name-- came to houston with his brother and aunt from el salvador, a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world. can you tell me what happened in your city, why you left? >> because there is too much guns and then they can kill you. >> reporter: jose, who spoke no english when he arrived, is just one of a growing number of immigrant and refugee students finding a new home in houston. the city has become increasingly attractive to foreigners fleeing their homelands. >> the reasons why houston is a top destination for refugees is affordable cost of living, vibrant economy, welcoming
environment, big support for the local communities, different faith communities and a very strong infrastructure for refugee settlement. >> reporter: ali al sudani isre the head of refugee services at interfaith ministries, a resettlement organization that helps newcomers with everything from housing and job training to finding schools for their f children. al sudani is a refugee himself who came to the u.s. from iraq three years ago after serving as a military translator. for immigrant and refugee students, he often recommends the las americas newcomers school, where jose enrolled inin august. >> we have kids from all over the world. up to 32 countries at times. so we have kids from cuba, we had kids from afghanistan, iraq, we have kids from congo, >> reporter: marie moreno is the principal of las americas. her students speak nearly 30 languages but english is one that all are just beginning to
learn. and it's not just a new language that's a challenge.t >> coming in with not knowing the language, not knowing the culture it just takes them at least a year or two to just kind of acclimate, kind of understand what's going on, understand the language. how does this all work this education in america work? and so, it just provides themd that stepping stone. alongside learning the abcs, they're also introduced to thehe basics of living in western society. >> they don't know how to hold a pencil or sit in a chair. they don't understand it's okay to have fresh toilet paper in the toilet. >> these kids show up from refugee camps, from crossing the border alone and reuniting with parents af >> reporter: dena rehal is an
instructional support specialist at las americas who helps coach teachers.o this year, most are new to the t school, just like the non- traditional students in theire classrooms. >> these students are coming from backgrounds that include no schooling, can include movingg repeatedly where their schooling is interrupted, coming from f backgrounds where they may have traumatic experiences thats affect their academic success. so with teachers, we really have to lay the foundation that this is not a student who may necessarily perform at the academic level that they are t capable of. >> reporter: when children first enroll at las americas, they take literacy tests and are then placed in classrooms grouped by english proficiency rather thanh grade-level. 14 year-old luwam and 11 year-ea old gaym are going through the process, having just arrived inn houston as refugees from eritrea, considered by many to be africa's most repressive state. >> in my school one teacher of english.
>> reporter: even though las americas is funded like any other public school in houston serving low-income families and english language learners, it has additional resources to meet the needs of its students. >> they're by subject matter. this one is math terms in english and swahili.y's >> reporter: moreno has invested in dictionaries and other materials that translate words from english to the child's native tongue and vice versa. everyone here makes a concerted effort to respect where students have come from.e during a summer trip to guatemala, moreno picked up a book written in ki'che - a mayan language that las americas student moises tumax had learned along with spanish growing up there.isni at first, he couldn't believe she had found it. >> ( translated ): it's incredible to see it here, in i the united states.er in guatemala you can find them,f not in any store, but in a booka shop. >> reporter: with so many languages spoken at the school, communication is often aen challenge. so to help bridge that gap, moreno has been trying new
forms of technology, including an app that helped her settle a recent dispute between two students. b >> fight: word given back in arabic. and so the kid would say "ah,":r and then he would speak in his language and it would pick it up.wo and then it basically says it in arabic and then i can read it in english.he >> reporter: sometimes disputes and other outbursts are a sign of the deep emotional issues d many students arrive with. sarah howell leads a small team of social workers at las americas.s she says nearly all of the children here have experienced some form of trauma that can affect their daily lives. >> it's just everything from "i want to hurt myself," "i can't go on" to, well, "it's really hard, i'm sad but i'll be ok." h because i'm seeing kids who don't know who they are. k our refugee kids may not have ever had an identity. our central american kids are angry about their identity.ic
a lot of time about "you know i'm angry that i had to leave me home," "i'm angry that my home wasn't safe."th >> reporter: to make sure students are staying on the right track, principal moreno often meets with parents. >> how is your english coming? >> reporter: she encourages thee to come to the school if they have questions, need social services or even clothing forth their families. as part of the effort to ease the transition into american culture and education, students have lunch and p.e. with students from the school next door. that also complies with federal requirements that english learners be integrated into traditional classes as quickly as possible, which is one reason most students stay at las americas for only a year. principal moreno knows some of her students came into the country illegally, and admits that immigration is a polarizing issue.ll but it's not one she wades into. she says it's her job to focus on the kids and families that continue to show up to herho school.
>> you and i both know that there is a lot of families and a lot people in this country that depend on the government for a lot of things and aren't looking for ways of improving. and so why breed more families like that when we can educate families that want to learn english so that they can become our next electricians or our next doctors? >> reporter: moreno is already preparing for a new influx of students, as some refugees from syria are expected to be resettled in houston.ar for the pbs newshour, i'm april brown in houston. >> woodruff: on the newshour online, it seems everyone is weighing in on the refugee debate. even willie nelson. last night before an audience that included several members of congress, the country legend gave his take, in a song.
"there's room for everyone in the promised land," he sang. it's a song he called appropriate for the currentt times. we have a clip of that, from the 2015 library of congress gershwin prize for popular song. find a link to listen, on our home page, pbs.org/newshour. >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight.d i'm gwen ifill.gh >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening, with markn shields and david brooks. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night.ws >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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