16/11/2015 Newsnight


In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis.

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Tonight on Newsnight, we are live in Paris in the Place de


la Republique, as the president tells France, "We are at war" .


We report from Brussels and Belgium, where half of the attackers came


from, including the man thought to have masterminded the plot.


It's long been known that Belgium had a security problem.


In Greece I've been speaking to an official who registered one of the


suicide bombers when he first arrived in Europe. And what of the


implications for Britain as the drum beat for strikes on Syria sounds.


Hello, good evening from Paris, where the appalling events of what


happened here on Friday have now triggered responses and


investigations right across Europe, most notably in France and in


Belgium. And in Greece as well. This country woke up to reports that its


police had carried out raids in 168 separate locations right across


France. But the most wanted man is still on the run, dangerous, very


possibly still armed. Salah Abdeslam is believed to be the only surviving


member of the group of gunmen who took part in Friday's atrocities.


Police are understood to have initially stopped him but then let


him across the border to Belgium. As the president here declared the


country at war, he showed his military actions with might, attacks


on Raqqa, that Isis strong hold in Syria. Mark urban, our diplomatic


editor is here to talk us through the events of the day. There's been


a lot of sound and fury, what is the significance of what's come out of


tonight? The key thing, you mention all the raids, more than 160 of


them. The state of emergency, the first time nationally in France for


54 years. There are big changes afoot in France. That became clear


when we heard President Hollande addressing a joint session of the


two Houses of Parliament here. It was clear right from the start.


TRANSLATION: France is at war. The acts committed on Friday evening in


Paris and near the National Stadium are acts of war. It is an aggression


against our country, against its values, against its youth, against


its way of life. In the speech he laid out a hugely ambitious set of


measures, 5,000 more police, more border guards, important in the


context of the immigration debate, more spies. Legal changes, a state


of emergency to be extended for three months, changes to the basic


law of France - the constitution, redefining the terms and the powers


that could be used under the state of emergency. Real changes to the


concept of liberty, so central to this country. He used that very


emotive phrase, "We are at war." He showed what he meant with the


attacks on Raqqa. How far will military might work? A lot of debate


about the targets, where did they come up with 20 targets. Islamic


State denying they did any good at all. That's a purely demon strative


action by France last night. They're sending a carrier. America is


sending a carrier. Critically today we heard President Obama saying no


more boots on the ground. He pushed back against that idea. Whatever the


retorical support for France people don't want to put their troops in


there. So how can you increase the pressure. The own way is through


progress on the peace plan. That will be difficult. An idea floated


today by President Hollande of a joint front for military action with


Russia and the United States. He says he will meet both leaders soon.


Perhaps through coordinated action they can help to increase the


pressure that we have seen on IS, particularly from the Kurds and


other forces in the north of Syria and Iraq in recent days. That's the


best they can hope for, I think. Mark, thank you very much. The


epicentre today changed today. There has been questions over the


surveillance operations. Let's talk to our investigations reporter. What


can you tell us about that? Well, the problem for Belgium is


historical as much as anything else. It's a highly devolved country. It


has a number of Darren police forces. It -- number of different


police forces. It doesn't have the resources you might expect from MI5,


GCHQ and SIS. I know in 2010 British diplomats were concerned enough


about what was going on in Belgium and their counter-terrorism strategy


to raise this at the highest levels of Whitehall. At the time, I think


the problems were compounded by the fact that Western intelligence


agencies were not really prepared to share information with Belgium. You


can see that even before the Syrian crisis erupted, Belgium was


considered a weak link in this intelligence chain.


We're hoping to hear from the investigations in Belgium, where we


know certain significant developments have been made. We


understand that was not only the epicentre but the home of the man


who Masterminded these attacks. But what about further afield? We know


most of those who carried out the attacks in Paris were born or


brought up in Belgium. But it seems likely that at least one of them


entered the EU posing as a refugee last month. He was identified by


fingerprints and passport details found at the scene. They match a man


who we understand arrived six weeks earlier. How he got into the


European Union is a huge question for European security and for


Europe's migrant policy. We are heading to Medson Island,


a lump of scrub and rock But for those who dump


their life jackets here, this represents salvation,


the entry point to Europe. They come in their thousands,


fleeing violence at home. Now it seems one of them has


brought the war with them. It was on this rocky outcrop,


we understand, that someone with a passport in the


name of Ahmad Al Mohammad was helped The passport may have been


a fake but we do know that one of the Paris attackers gained entry to


the EU posing as a Syrian refugee. That is an earthquake


for a continent in the midst of a migration crisis and for the people


who continue to arrive every day. We want the peace in Europe, because


they have war in my country. I come here to better,


get a new life. We may not yet know


the true identity of the man named as Ahmed Al Mohammad, but his


journey has injected fresh angst The Coast Guard brought


Mr Al Mohammad to Leros. There, passengers go through


a process of registration. Greek and EU officials take


fingerprints and photographs and ask I have spoken to an official who


says that he remembers Mr Al He told me he arrived on a boat


with about 70 or 80 other Syrians. Immediately, something did not


feel quite right about him. He said he kind


of kept himself to himself. He told me he would have highlighted


his concerns to an intelligence More than 500,000 refugees


and migrants have entered Europe Border forces across the continent


are ill-equipped to conduct On a small island like Leros,


they are simply not capable Many immigrants have passed


from Leros, We think all the time, maybe some


of them are not really refugees. President Hollande said today that


a failure to control Europe's external borders would lead to


the dismantling of the union. But the man on the front line, the


mayor of Leros, says that would mean Here in Leros,


we don't have the economics, the It will happen again


if it continues like this. The police told us they were not


authorised to give interviews but He said that specially trained


experts at key border crossings can help


prevent terrorists from getting in. "If you want a safe Europe,


this is what has to be done". The Paris bomber appears to have


travelled across Europe From Leros,


a man with a passport in the name of a Ahmad Al Mohammad takes a ferry


to Athens on the 5th of October. Serbia registers


the same name entering On October the eighth, he turns up


in a refugee camp in Croatia before crossing into Hungary,


believed to be heading to Austria. Then he disappears until last


Friday, when he detonated a suicide On Leros, the never-ending stream


of migrants continues unabated. Ahmed Al Mohammad may have been only


one jihadist in a million refugees but this


crisis is an issue which is testing the very bond that hold Europe


together, and today, that question Clearly it does raise questions or


sentiment, at least, about Schengen, about the Angela Merkel border


politician. And a French politician, who was Justice Minister under Mr


Sarcozy, met with me. I asked what she thought the response should be.


Do you think the real threat from France comes from outside its


borders or inside? Rachida Dati, the former justice


minister, battling through my French.


I am joined now by Alain Richard who was French defence minister under


One of the phrases I took away was Rachida Dati saying that without


security, you can't have liberty. In other words, the borders around


Schengen, around Europe, have got to be fiercely guarded to allow for the


liberty inside. Do you agree? It is rather a common view, isn't it?


Identity any radical meaning in it. We have at all times to ensure


security for our citizens and for the Republic as a whole. We have to


do this, preserving our liberties. What can we do more? The real issue


is how we do it, and what practical decisions we take. That is what we


were discussing this afternoon in Parliament. What do you think those


should be? When you hear for example, stories that one of the


attackers came through Greece and was recognised as possibly being a


loner... It is a supposition, not news. Except they have got his


fingerprints so we know that he came through there, whether as a refugee


or migrant, we don't know but capital will be made of this. But


you remember that come all the other attacks were either born here or


raised here, so it is obviously out of the screen to look first at the


migration issue. The real issue is about society and the impact of


jihad is -- jihadists in all our countries. France have a huge number


of citizens who have left this country, to wage war and jihad and


we know they are starting to come back and that is the problem. We are


working on that. When you speak of an enormous number, it is less than


2000 people out of 66 million. That does not sound like a lot to you? Of


course, but the problem is, we have to search more people than that.


Also people who are staying in France can become dangerous. That is


the real challenge will be security. We have the following more than


10,000. OK, the big question, and this has been attempted by


governments on right and left with limited success, is it this idea


that you bring in the Muslim community, make sure they are not


isolated, that you include them, in an inclusive policy? Or is it the


policy that says religion in France is separate from the state? Which is


the right response? I don't see any contradiction between the two. We


have education and public services, civic participation, all of this is


open to Muslim citizens. Actually, many of them do take part. I would


say that over 90% of people of Muslim culture, it does not mean


that they are actually practising their religion, but we assess that


probably less than 15% of people from Muslim... You know... Why do


you make the distinction between those who are cultural Muslims and


those who are religious Muslims? Why? There are people who don't


practice and don't go to the mosque every week so they are not mainly


subject to religious influence. Even the ones who become jihadists have


not necessarily been religious or practising for long. Some of them


are even converts. One last point, we heard from Rachida Dati about her


thoughts that Angela Merkel's open door, generous policy to migrant was


a mistake. What do you think France should do? What should it attitude


been out refugees? We have a duty, which is a treaty we signed, as your


country did, we have simply a rule which obliges us, if we check that


they are actually refugees, coming from a dangerous area, we have to


accept them. The real fact is that very few of them have asked to come


to France, barely 2-3%. It is out of the screen to think that this is the


issue really linked to the attacks. Thank you for joining us.


Today the epicentre of the investigation into who carried out


these attacks shifted to Belgium, and more specifically the Brussels


suburb of Molenbeek, where three of those suspected of having played


What is it about Belgium that seems to make it such a hotbed of


Armed police and explosive experts around an apartment block in


Brussels this morning, as the investigation into the Paris a tax


continues to spread across Europe. This is where the siege in Molenbeek


has been going on. We have seen snipers on ruse and heard what


sounded like a number of explosions. The police are not


telling us what is happening exactly. No one was arrested in the


end. Police were looking for this man, Belgian born Salah Abdeslam,


believed to be one of the attackers who fled Paris. Locals who knew him


he was shocked. One of his brothers was arrested but


released by Belgian police today. I asked in what his message was to the


families of the victims. A third brother, Brahim Abdeslam, is


the only man to be identified from the group who launched repeated


attacks on Paris bar and restaurant goers. The Stade de France suicide


bombers included Bill had fee, who had allegedly previously thought in


this -- fought in Syria. His fellow bomber arrived as a refugee on a


positive fake Syrian passport. Omar Ismail Mostefai from Paris attacked


the Bataclan concert venue as did fellow Parisien Samy Amimour. Both


are now dead, as is one other as yet unidentified attacker. The alleged


mastermind in Syria is one of Belgium's most notorious Janice, who


faked his own death to temporarily return to Europe. He even took his


13-year-old brother to Isis with him. Neighbours at his father's


house told us tonight the family were devastated. One described him


as a normal, cannabis smoking young guy before he was radicalised. There


are more Belgian jihadis in Syria per capita than any other western


country other worrying number of them come from the very small and


very multicultural Brussels district of Molenbeek. A lot of the people


here resent the association between them and terrorism but the area has


been linked to a series of attacks, even long before this. Last year, an


attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels was carried out by a French


man who had spent time here. In January, police killed two men from


Molenbeek in a shoot out. They were suspected of plotting terrorist


attacks in Belgium. And a foiled attack on the train from Amsterdam


to Paris was also linked to the area. So what is going on in


Molenbeek? Many say it is wrong to label Molenbeek a kind of jihadi


capital but it has 40% youth unemployment, discrimination and


crime. That makes people more vulnerable to radicalisation. Some


of these people are involved in criminal activities, they are


members of certain groups or gangs. Then something happens in their


life, it could be trauma or something that changes the way they


look at life. The logical step for them is to look for Atonement, to


become better Muslims. They come into contact with certain radical


elements that promised them many things, like Atonement and


forgiveness for everything they have done and they promised them


paradise. Local young Muslims say they often felt harassed by the


police but were also horrified by the recent attacks.


What about the authorities here? I spoke to the woman in charge of


social cohesion. TRANSLATION: I raised the alarm in 2010, said there


was a time bomb in the district. We have said for a long time that the


problem is social order. All we needed to do was keep the young


people occupied, get them playing football, going to the cinema, but


we did not help them find a place in society. Horrific violence always


leads to the question why. But for 129 victims, the answers are too


late. Reporting from Molenbeek, Secunder


Kermani, there. Let's go back to Nick Hopkins because the Belgian


authorities are trying to combat the problems they are facing. What are


they doing? Well, you are absolutely right, they realised they had a


problem and they were the first country in Europe to do a proper


audit of their citizens that had gone to Syria and they were pretty


horrified at what they discovered. There are more people going out from


Belgium proportionately than other European countries. But they have


tried to be more aggressive in their counterterrorism strategy in the


last year. There was a showcase trial in Brussels earlier this year


which had 46 defendants and only eight of them were only physically


in the dock because the rest of them, many of them were thought to


be fighting in Syria. One counterterrorism expert I spoke to


earlier said that the problem is not that Belgium cannot do this kind of


counterterrorism activity, but it is simply that they were behind the


curve and they can't get ahead of it and they are being overwhelmed.


Another thing I would say is that the Belgian authorities will argue,


with some reason, that many of the people who have been radicalised in


Brussels have listened to extremists from countries like Britain. I'm


sure we will be hearing more about that in the coming days. Nick


Hopkins, thank you. The manhunt may be moving the story on or elsewhere


but as you can imagine, the grief right here in the heart of Paris is


extraordinary raw. Our heart of this story is the lost lives, the broken


hearts and they destroyed families of the victims. Lewis Goodall has


been speaking to one of them. Laurent Lafont-Battesti was in the


Bataclan concert hall with a friend and was forced to flee onto the roof


with dozens of others after he heard We decided to sit on the balcony


because the public of this band is younger than us. I think down there,


they were dancing. We wanted to be in a quiet place. People were really


enjoying the concert. Everyone was in a very good mood. After half an


hour, we heard some bands, and so the band -- some bangs, and the band


were running away behind the stage. At first, I thought it was a game,


part of the show, that they would be back in five minutes, only to make


us scream. At the bangs went on and on. People around me were more and


more afraid. Some of them left the balcony very soon. Maybe they took


the wrong decision because they went downstairs and the terrorists were


there. There was a window, where you could get access to the roof.


Someone before me succeeded in opening the window. There was a


group of, I don't know, 40-50 people, trying to access the roof.


We have tried to be gentle men, so it was ladies first to the roof. In


the meantime, we were very afraid because the sounds of the bangs were


going on and on. Very quickly, I have seen very beautiful things at


that moment, very courageous behaviours, people trying to help


each other because it was very high, the window was very high. It


was difficult to access. After, when we were on the roof, we got to an


apartment, which was not on the top of the next building, 52, you have


yourself, so you receive news, people calling you. I had my mother


on the phone because all the news channels on TV were talking about


this. I was... Sincerely, I was more worried about my mother, really,


because I care about. I was wondering why.


Of course, those people are monsters.


But maybe it is my way to try to save me, to think


The survivor of the Bataclan concert hall siege, there, Laurent. While


France has declared a state of war, what of its political ally, Britain?


Our political editor Allegra Stratton has been looking at how the


British Parliament has reacted to events in Paris over the weekend.


How do you feel those discussions at the very top of both political


parties have gone? David Cameron reiterated his


position. He doesn't believe he has a Parliamentary majority to have


strikes in Syria. And there seems to be a chasm between the two leaders.


In particular, Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon told our colleague, the


BBC's political editor, that he believed that British police forces


shouldn't have the right to shoot-to-kill on Britain's streets.


And for many Labour MPs, they were very unhappy. In a meeting this


afternoon with the party, they attacked him. In fact, one person


told me that they shouted him down. It was yet another testive exchange.


But it serves to underline there is a huge difference. That said, I have


been told that the events in Paris have shifted opinion within the


Labour Party. One source told me there are now more Labour MPs minded


to support David Cameron. If he could come up with a political


solution alongside a military one, they would be reluctant but they


would support him and defy Jeremy Corbyn. That said the same sources


say the numbers of Labour MPs are not yet enough to deliver David


Cameron that Parliamentary win. So there's been a shift but the Prime


Minister is right to call it as he is doing, he wouldn't yet win by


enough. Friends of his have told me he doesn't just want a wafer-thin


win, which he would have at the moment, he would want to say British


public opinion is behind him and that isn't clear right now. That's


the political side of the discourse. What about the operational side, if


I can call it, do they think there are procedures in place for


something like this London? They seem to think they are on the front


foot. More funding announced in recent days. I think we'll have more


announcements on the horizon. One question is whether they would rush


through the surveillance measures on the horizon, not due to come in for


a while. I've been told this evening, there is no rush to put


this through, whatever else you might be told. There is a


vulnerability for people inside Government. They are worried that


possible cuts that we may hear next Wednesday when we have the Spending


Review to the police forces will expose them. The Labour Party have


been attacking the Conservatives about this today and many Tories do


actually think this is quite a shrewd area for them to go on. One


senior source said to me, with the fight against Isil we have the


surveillance measures in place. A lot of these suspects were known to


people. What we don't have is the resources. To be cutting the police


forces is wrong. Thank you very much. Well, as so often, after


horrific events like this, there has been plenty


of rhetoric here about defiance, about not letting


But as the shock of France's worst post-war attack


begins to subside, how will the events of last Friday night affect


I've been assessing a little bit of the mood on the streets of Paris


this weekend. This is a city trying to get back to


normal. But there's nothing normal about this Monday morning in Paris.


It's almost a relief when, at midday, the city stops to recognise


that. BELL TOLLS Raw grief, incomprehension and


anger. At the flower shop, where mourners and supporters come to


purchase a single white rose, we're told they've never been busier. They


ran out of wrapping paper two full days ago. The city understandably


wants to be defiant. What's been noticeably absent this time round is


any sense of communal mourning, because of this ongoing state of


emergency declared, there's been literally nowhere and no way for


people to gather together in the solidarity of grief. That means


there hasn't been the same sense of national cohesion that we saw so


firmly and so proudly after the attacks of Charlie Hebdo back in


January. Then, as I remember well, La Place de la Republique was full.


They came in their thousands and marched on Paris for those gunned


down at their place of work. This time round, security forces have


warned people not to congregate too publicly. There's that air of


unfinished business, particularly whilst the han hunt for -- manhunt


for one of the attackers is still full on. Overnight, with military


might, France proved what the president meant when he called


Friday's attack "war". There is fear. People are among themselves


talking about how to live with fear, without being paralysed by fear, as


fear is a kind of part of a new norm, a new normal. You know, I


think people really make a point, as in January, to continue to lead a


normal life. There's this general understanding that if you break with


your habits and if you don't, you know, if you stay indoors, if you


don't go out, don't go to restaurants, don't go to concert


halls any more, it means they've won. Last night, a wave of panic


throughout the capital. Sirens and police responded to what we now know


were false alarms, but at the time they certainty people running. This


square has once again, though, become a make-shift shrine to the


victims. This banker by trade was offering hugs to passers-by. Free


market compassion wholesale to anyone who needed it. It's free.


Sometimes they cry. Sometimes they just talk to us. They say we have to


be strong. They will not, we will not be terrorised by them. They kill


people from my age and just before the attack, I was having a beer with


one of my friends in a cafe, you know? So, it could have been me. So


back to that question of defiance then. France will strive to prove as


never before that it can't be divided along lines of race or


religion, but without the opportunity to show a nation united,


it gets harder and harder to put those fears of difference aside.


The former assistant managing editor is with me now and joining me now to


talk a bit about the sense of national cohesion and the importance


really. If you feeling it as strongly this time around as we all


felt it after Charlie Hebdo and the hashtag we had then. We get used to


a thing the second time. I think you never get used to such horrific


things. Probably people have been shocked for less longer time. I mean


and the political reactions have come in a quicker way. Too fast? I


don't know. It's just the way it is. It's very important to have a


political debate as well. These things are not ordered. It's just


the way people react. I think it's obviously different because the


first time in January the attacks focussed on the newspaper and on the


Jewish community. This time, it was felt like an attack on the whole


French society or at least Parisian society. It's like the quote about


the Nazis, that first they come for one group, then they come for


another group. I guess what Friday told us was actually, they're here


for everyone. They're here for the young people particularly. I would


beg to differ in the sense that it is true they are of a different


nature, but the Charlie Hebdo people we had grown up with them. So it was


very, you know, they were very dear to us. They were people in their


80s, they had shaped the political humour of generations of French


people. Then they come to our Jewish compatriots, which was appalling and


something which touch us deeply because of terrible memories of what


we call the dark years. I don't think it's very different. Now it's


different because they attacked Parisians at large, but it's the


same narrative. They hate democracy. They hate civilisation, that's what


France and Paris are targeted because they are among the


birthplace of civilisation, enlightenment, scepticism and


pleasure. And if Isis can create schisms in a society that's the work


done for them tenfold. Do you fear that's what will happen now, there


will be divides, along race or religion? Or difference of foreign


policy even. I fear it, really strongly. I think what happen is


that they, terrorism is always part of the message in it. The last time


it was about freedom of expression. It was the Jewish community. This


time it's about youth. It's about way of lives. I think they decided


to hit a very specific part of Paris, besides the Stade de France.


It's not like the kind of terrorism we're used to, like if they were


going to hit the chaps Lee za, some place -- Champs Elysees, some place


that is famous. This message was for the French people. It was a real


lively part of Paris that was attacked. Do you think this will


send people tumbling towards the right politically? Towards Marine Le


Pen and the Front National or will it have a reversion effect? We'll


see. There are regional elections in a few weeks. You know, the extreme


right has existed since, for a long time. Since 1986, I was a teenager


then, and France has been moving to the right since. I don't think it's


going to enhance our divisions. On the contrary, irthink it's going to


unite us more. I'm rather optimistic about the outcome about social


cohesion actually. There will be questions about migration policy,


about Europe's borders, about how welcoming France should be to those


from outside. Yes, but I think we must at least rove sift some of the


questioning, the way -- at least resist some of the questioning, the


way questions are asked. Do you think you're representative of


France? I think I'm representative of some French people who are


actually rather left-wing and feel very much committed to civil


liberties. I think in some way, the extreme right has already won a


battle, which is the battle of the play Jen da. I'm not sure these --


political agenda. I'm not sure these attacks will benefit them in terms


of elections. We will see in a few weeks. I'm not sure about that. At


least they already won because what Francois Hollande said was


unmentionable some weeks ago. Things change quickly. Talking like the


American conservatives in some way. He was quite adamant in Versailles


saying this is not a war of civilisation because those guys


represent no civilisation. It's enemy of civilisation and secondly


he said refugees are the target of those people and they are welcome.


So it was nice to hear, but it doesn't mean security is not an


issue. There is advice for a revision of the constitution because


what we have is laws dating back from 1950s, so it has to adapt to


the current situation. I think he actually offered a very good balance


between security and civil liberties. Now he has to walk that


fine line. Thank you very much for joining us tonight. Since Friday,


we've been learning a little more about some of those people who lost


their lives in the violence which cut across this vibrant,


cosmopolitan city, the city which invented cafe culture hit in its


very street cafes. Here are the faces of just a few of those who


lost their lives. Nvment Good night. -- good night.


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