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tv   Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson  ABC  November 26, 2017 10:00am-10:30am EST

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sharyl: we're invited to board military fast boats. it's the safest way to see the worst areas. was the fighting yesterday related to the kidnappings or something different? gen. sobejana: yes, it's part of our rescue effort. sharyl: fighting abu sayyaf? gen. sobejana: fighting abu sayyaf. sharyl: islamic separatists have been using violence to try to break away and establish an islamic state. gene yu: these guys are battle-hardened fighters or terrorists that have survived essentially the war going head to head with western military and special operations. scott: rome, one of the oldest cities in europe. but in this rr
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on terror, it has remained unscathed. so why so safe, so far? giampiero massolo was head of italian intelligence. to fight today's terrorists, they're using lessons learned combating another group -- the mafia. giampiero massolo: and this is something we learned eute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] sharyl: welcome to "full measure." i'm sharyl attkisson. it's hard to believe, but we are now 16 years into the global war on terror. today, there are some signs of success in the middle east against the islamic extremists known as isis. u.s. and coalition forces have retaken iraq's capital, mosul, from isis hands.
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ground in syria. but knocking down isis in one spot means their battled-hardened fighters are turning up in new places you probably haven't heard much about. that happened this summer, when isis-linked insurgents joined established islamic extremists in the philippines. we went to southeast asia and the islands of the southern philippines region of mindanao, where kidnappings, firefights, and the threat of terrorism is growing. these tropical islands and pristine beaches disguise a dangerous reality. after our nighttime arrival in a province called mindanao in the southern philippines, we're riding in a caravan guarded by armed security forces. mindanao is the target of u.s. state department travel warnings due to terrorist fighting and kidnappings. this is zamboanga city, which is under martial law as the country attempts to contain islamic extremist violence, which
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we were invited to board military fast boats accompanied by heavily armed commandos. it's the safest way to see the worst areas. our guide is a hero in this longstanding war against islamic extremist terrorists, general lito sobejana. he heads up a joint task force of the philippine military. today, the general and his men are actively working to save more than a dozen kidnap victims held by islamic extremists. the day before, one of the general's men was shot and six terrorists killed. was the fighting yesterday related to the kidnappings or something different? gen. sobejana: yes, it's part of our rescue effort. sharyl: the battle actually goes back decades. gen. sobejana: that island is the island province of basilan. i was stationed there in the 1990's, and i was even wounded in that island. seriously wounded, becau
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body. sharyl: fighting abu sayyaf? gen. sobejana: fighting abu sayyaf. sharyl: abu sayyaf is considered one of the most violent islamic jihadist groups, responsible for the philippines' worst terrorist attack, the 2004 bombing of a ferry that murdered 116 people. sobejana received the philippine medal of honor for his heroics in fighting abu sayyaf in the 1990's. two decades later, abu sayyaf is now said to be lining up with isis, prompting some to make the argument that islamic extremism in the philippines deserves more of the world's attention. gen. sobejana: we are now in the middle of the two islands of santa cruz. these islands are part of zamboanga. sharyl: earlier, we spoke with general sobejana at camp navarro, headquarters of the western mindanao command. could you explain in just a sentence or two to the american audience what the fighting is about? gen. sobejana: well, initially, we followed the ideology o
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establishing islamic independence in mindanao. sharyl: islamic separatists here in the southern philippines, he says, have been using violence to try to break away and establish an islamic state. we're there when the general takes a call from the frantic wife of a hostage. if she doesn't pay ransom, the terrorists say they'll behead him. but there's a strict no ransom policy. isis didn't pioneer the notion of violently establishing an international islamic state, or caliphate. muslim extremists in mindanao have been conducting a terrorist campaign for an independent islamic state since the 1970's. gene yu: we've had reports and information coming in that there's been foreign fighters from saudi, from yemen, et cetera, down in mindanao for four years now. sharyl: gene yu is a former green beret with u.s. special forces, supporting philippine troops fighting the terrorists. he now helps run a private security firm here. he says wi
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footing in iraq and syria, seasoned fighters fleeing the mideast are now showing up in the philippines, where there are many sympathizers. gene yu: these guys are battle-hardened fighters or terrorists that have survived essentially the war going head to head with western military and special operations. these people are not dumb. okay, they're not incompetent fighters, right? to survive that long, only the best guys have survived that long. sharyl: in may, fighting escalated when hundreds of terrorists attacked the philippine army in the region's island city of marawi, population 200,000. civilians were taken hostage, thousands fled, nearly the entire city was later evacuated. after months of fighting, 400 terrorists were dead. so were more than 100 civilians and philippine troops. after the latest siege in marawi, the philippines has
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from america in its ongoing fight against islamic extremists. at a recent hearing in the u.s., joints chiefs of staff vice chairman general paul selva suggested that with isis now moving into the philippines, it might be time for a new commitment. or else, he said, there would be a possible long-term catastrophe. gen. selva: in every case where we see that the resurgence of terror networks, particularly in the fragile areas of the southern philippines, i think it's worth considering whether or not we reinstate a named operation. sharyl: the ongoing battle is what prompted philippine president rodrigo duterte to declare emergency martial law in may in the muslim-majority region. it allows the military to act as the police and to make arrests without warrants. the declaration of martial law has sparked some criticism, both in the philippines and internationally. we were there in july when their congress voted overwhelmingly to extend martial law through the end of the year.
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we also found support for martial law on the streets of zamboanga from people actually living under the terrorist threat. do you support the martial law? >> yes, for the peace and order in this country, especially mindanao. sharyl: do most people support martial law, do you think, most people who live here? >> yes. sharyl: this man sells pork at a local market and worries about terrorists coming from the mideast and connecting with local groups like abu sayyaf. >> this martial law here in the philippines, in mindanao, is favorable for us. sharyl: here in the southern philippines, there are places where tourists and locals can't move freely without fear of being snatched off the street by muslim terrorist thugs who raise money demanding ransom. the beheading of this canadian tourist last year sparked international outrage. four more victims were captured right before our visit. gen. sobejana: well, right now, in my area of responsibility, that is the whole provin o
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it used to be 16 and then there were four additional victims. sharyl: kidnapped? gen. sobejana: kidnap victims, yes, and we are trying our best effort to rescue them safely. we have the policy of no ransom, so we do not allow ransom money to get into the hands of the abductors. sharyl: he knows where the terrorists are, he says, but can't simply blow them up because they hide among their wives, children, and community. meantime, general sobejana continues in his third decade of fighting a familiar and brutal enemy. we've talked to some observers sharyl: we've talked to some observers who really want this to get under control because they fear people like the islamic state and other extremists could see this as an opening, this region, to come in and spread more ideologically-based violence here. do you worry about that happening?
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gen. sobejana: well, i think there are indicators that they are here already. sharyl: should we be worried about that? gen. sobejana: well, i think we should do something about this, so that their number will not become large. sharyl: they're working to keep a migrating threat in the war on terror from establishing a new beachhead in southeast asia. as for the battleground in the city of marawi, after three months of fighting, philippine troops have retaken control. the government estimates it will cost over a billion dollars to rebuild what the islamic terrorists destroyed. ahead on "full measure" -- so far, there's one country in europe that's largely escaped attacks by islamic terrorists. scott thuman takes us there and explains the unusual reason why. ♪ attacks by islamic terrorists. scott what if home security and explains twas different?son why.
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sharyl: terror attacks in western europe have seen a huge surge over the past two years. since 2015, there have been 53 attacks, way up from just two in 2014. horrific tragedies in france, britain, and belgium come to mind. but one country, to date, has been largely spared. our scott thuman traveled to italy and found some remarkable reasons why. scott: rome, one of the oldest cities in europe, called the eternal city, it has survived the rise and fall of empires. but in this current global war on terror, it has remained
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so why so safe, so far? how much of it, you would say, is good work and intelligence, and how much of it is good luck? giampiero massolo: well, in life, you always need luck, so it's an inevitable combination actually. scott: giampiero massolo was italy's director of intelligence from 2012 to 2016. he says the way current terrorist organizations operate is similar in some respects to another group they've been fighting for decades -- the mafia. and that experience is paying off. italy monitors suspects closely, has constant and open communication with police at the local level and, a key tool, wire and phone taps can be approved at lightning speed. giampiero: all the process is fairly quick, and this is something that we learned exactly from domestic terrorists, and from mafia, we developed these kinds of things.
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scott: and without some of the strictures of other european nations, like germany or belgium, highly sensitive to people's privacy and often reluctant to surveil or tap citizens. after they find potential targets, or threats, the italians employ another fast tactic -- deportation. giampiero: we conduct a very severe policy of expulsions. that is, we kick off people from this country in a very early stage. we don't wait. better sooner than later. scott: and when you decide to deport someone, to kick them out, you can do it pretty quickly, can't you? giampiero: yep. scott: italy, and specifically the vatican, has long been under threat. and isis has made no secret of its desire to hit the country. in fact, just last year, the terror group renamed its online magazine "rumiyah." translation -- rome. the police and military presence in rome seems overwhelming, from
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the coliseum to the trevi fountain, tourists are blatantly reminded of the threat, and would-be attackers, reminded of the forces they would face, between serious-minded soldiers and a serious array of security cameras. and ironically, there is another mafia factor at play, nicola pedde of the institute for global studies says, that is protecting the country. nicola pedde: italy has a very strict regulation with respect to firearms. and so, if you don't have a legal capacity to buy and to hold firearms, the only chance is to resort to the organized criminality. scott: so, if a jihadist or a sympathizer, someone radicalized, wanted to get their hands on weapons illegally, they might have to go to organized crime families or the mafia to get them, and that family may say no. nicola pedde: yes. 90%, they will have to refer to them.
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scott: the muslim community, as a whole, also has a peculiar position in italy. despite more than a million followers living here, islam is not recognized as an official religion, which makes opening schools or community centers more difficult. the minaret at the grand mosque is the only symbol of muslim faith you'll see in the roman skyline. but one leader says that's all the more reason for muslims to be peaceful, with hopes of winning over government skeptics. so to be a good muslim, you said, you also have to be a good italian? salah ramadan elsayed: yes, according to the koran. scott: imam salah ramadan elsayed says efforts to maintain a peaceful reputation for muslims in italy is critical work. and sometimes that work takes him behind bars, where radicalization can occur. salah ramadan elsayed: it's very important to the imam to visit prisoners, to reach them. you are eating here and you are drinking the water of italy, so you must be loyal to italy.
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scott: so you're saying that by going to prisons, by speaking to people and teaching them not only to love islam, but also to love italy. salah ramadan elsayed: yeah, to be integrated. scott: it prevents radicalization, it prevents attacks? salah ramadan elsayed: yes, it helps very much. scott: the lack of attacks against italy may also be partially due to its reduced combat role in the anti-islamic state coalition. and maybe, by avoiding the accusations and labels that might make them a target. are you saying that italy doesn't make as many enemies? nicola pedde: if you look, for example, the case of, italy with respect to groups like hezbollah. hezbollah is not recognized as a terrorist entity in italy, or the muslim brotherhood. so our position is quite different from most of the others. scott: are you surprised that you've been so successful so far? nicola pedde: you know, we live day by day, and so we are sober enough to think that sooner or later, but until now it didn't happen.
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sharyl: but italy is targeted by isis, right? scott: giamperro massolo, the former head of intelligence, tells me not only would italians be very surprised if they had any clue how many plots have been foiled, he says they'd also be quite proud of what the intelligence agencies have done, but never made sharyl: thanks, scott. coming up on "full measure" -- if the worst were to occur, would our government s streaming and gaming are only as good as your internet. so get the best internet - with the 100% fiber-optic network. with fios gigabit connection you get the fastest internet available with download speeds up to 940 megs plus tv and phone for just $79.99 per month online
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sharyl: since the cold war, the federal government has been preparing for a worst case scenario -- a nuclear attack or other strike. those programs are carried out in secret and paid for with billions of your tax dollars. the problem -- some claim so-called "continuity of government" plans aren't adequate. and as "full measure" contributor joce sterman reports, we have no idea where those billions of tax dollars are going.
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nation is under attack. in new york, the twin towers are on fire after two airliners fly into the buildings. in washington, the pentagon burns. and in sarasota, florida, president george bush leaves a classroom of schoolchildren to begin a series of flights on air force one to barksdale air force base in louisiana. pres. bush: freedom itself was attacked this morning. joce: then to offutt air force base in nebraska before returning to washington later that afternoon. vice president dick cheney is whisked to a secure underground location. the government went into survival mode. garrett graff: none of these programs worked in the way that we had hope that they were. joce: garrett graff is author of a book called "raven rock: the story of the u.s. government's secret plan to save itself, while the rest of us die." garrett: the only time that we have ever paid real close attention to these plans is
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they don't work. joce: to you, does that highlight the need for more transparency? garrett: it highlights both the need for more transparency, but also more exercises. pres. truman: all things that we hold dear are in great danger. joce: continuity of government plans have been around since president truman and the dawn of the atomic age. each administration has added their own touches. the greenbrier, the secret bunker built beneath a resort that would have housed members of congress, was built on eisenhower's watch. john f. kennedy's press secretary pierre salinger organized what was called a doomsday press corps. along with additions, graff discovered big concerns. garrett: this is a shadow government that we want as a country, but we don't know where they are. we don't know how many there are. we don't know what we're spending on them, and we don't have any real idea on whether it will work. joce: graff's book highlighted a dod report that came to light during jfk's time in office. it called continuity of
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government plans severely lacking. president carter's team called it a worry to all familiar with it. joce: 9/11 also exposed major flaws in the system. from communications problems on air force one to even the heroic actions of leaders themselves. garrett: donald rumsfeld at the pentagon did exactly the wrong thing for these plans and procedures by going to the crash site, by helping to evacuate the wounded, literally carrying stretchers out of the pentagon, which was an amazing thing for him to do from a leadership perspective -- and exactly the wrong thing to do for him to do from a constitutional perspective. and this is the central tension of these plans. joce: graff estimates as much as $2 billion a year is allocated for continuity plans. but that's an estimate at best that he determined by looking at costs piecemeal in black budgets spread across government agencies from e
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defense to the federal emergency management agency. actual spending is even hidden from the government accountability office and the lawmakers who approve it, sparking floor speeches like this one from representative peter defazio in 2007. rep. defazio: or maybe there's something there that's a outrageous. the american people need their elected representatives to an review this plan for the continuity of government. john fortier: and we found there were many members who understood it was a problem, but didn't want to consider all of those worst case scenarios. joce: john fortier led a commission established after 9/11 to examine the legal and constitutional questions that must be answered to ensure continuity of government. in john: it was, in a way, like people avoiding writing their will, not wanting to think about their own demise. joce: among the commission's recommendations -- a constitutional amendment to speed filling vacant house seats after a massive crisis, a plan
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and considering people outside d.c. for the line of succession. 16 years later, after research, congressional momentum, and two official reports, none of the group's recommendations have been implemented. john: we really have not fixed our fundamental problem. the house of representatives a still today, if something big were to happen, many members and killed, we would not have a good way for getting that body back into being for two to six months at a time, when you really needed that body. joce: what do you think is the biggest consequence of not having this plan ironed out before something happens? you john: well, i think the biggest problem is chaos. joce: so formulating a plan, fortier says, even an imperfect one, is better than none to keep the government going when a in crisis occurs. i'm joce sterman measure." and dang. ok, i gotta run... hey wait. there's something i need to tell you.
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sharyl: next week on "full measure" -- we're go on patrol with the men and women tasked with protecting our southern border. >> an individual in the water. sharyl: when dark falls, we work our way to the edge of the rio grande and look through infrared binoculars. that's a person standing on the mexican bank -- maybe a lookout. or someone waiting for the chance to cross. meantime, we're onto a group that a border patrol camera spotted crossing the river. local police join the chase. protecting our borders -- next week on "full measure.
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until then, we will be searching for more stories to hold powers accountable.
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>> from washington d.c. and around the world, this is "government matters" with francis rose. >> thanks for watching the weekend edition of the office of management and budget are working the trump administration as agency reorganizations into the fiscal year budget request right now. one of the key elements is shared services. that's not a new concept for government. nasa haas using shared services


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