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Encore Presentation: Winning the War on Terror
Aired December 3, 2005 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: "CNN PRESENTS: WINNING THE WAR ON TERROR" is next, but first, here's a look at other stories now in the news.
Pakistan says al Qaeda's operations chief died earlier this week in an explosion at a home in a northwestern tribal area. Abu Hamza Rabia was among five people killed in the blast. Officials denied earlier reports the explosion was caused by a missile strike. They say Rabia was responsible for planning external terrorist attacks.
New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin wants the city's displaced residents to come back home. Nagin is in Atlanta today wrapping up a town hall meeting with Hurricane Katrina evacuees. A number of them came to the Georgia capital in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. Nagin held a similar meeting in Memphis, where he admitted New Orleans could never be totally safe from hurricanes.
I'm Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN Center in Atlanta. More news at the bottom of the hours. "CNN PRESENTS" begins right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a war against democracy. We should be very, very tough.
DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): How do other countries fight terrorism?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When 9/11 happened, what the Europeans basically said to us was, welcome to our world.
ENSOR: What can Washington learn from them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are things you don't do.
ENSOR: From battlegrounds around the world, the secrets to fighting terror.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The one who wants to kill you, kill him first.
ENSOR: From the interrogation cell ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know that he is the key to the next bomber. And it all depends on you.
ENSOR: ... to the streets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police in Northern Ireland, they knew the buttons to press. The IRA eventually became completely paranoid.
ENSOR: Tonight, learning how to win the war on terror.
(on camera): Welcome to this CNN PRESENTS. I'm David Ensor.
When explosions ripped through three luxury hotels in Jordan's capital recently, killing 57 and turning wedding parties into scenes of blood and grief, the attacks became just the latest grim reminder that there are many fronts in the war on terror, that many nations have been fighting terrorism for decades.
And it's just that type of experience and painful lessons others have learned over the years, and sadly, more recently as well, that could be invaluable to the U.S. fight.
Over the next hour, winning the war on terrorism. It's a search for answers and options from veteran international spies, soldiers, cops and judges. Their successes and how America can avoid their mistakes.
STEPHEN WHITE, POLICE SERVICE OF NORTHERN IRELAND: When he took the gag from the lady's mouth, she was screaming about a bomb and we realized we were in a dangerous situation. And we were able to catch three terrorists that were convicted.
DAVID TSUR, CHIEF OF POLICE, TEL AVIV, ISRAEL: In your country they check somebody when he goes out of the shopping mall. Whether he stole something. Here they check you before you go in. Whether you are carrying a bomb or something.
ENSOR (voice-over): A police chief in Tel Aviv, a cop in Belfast. What can they teach America about defeating terrorists? More than you might suppose. We tend to think of the 9/11 attacks as a unique, history changing event, the first international terrorism on U.S. soil, casualties in the thousands, attacks that caught the nation off guard.
No doubt about it, Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and the like are a new breed, an invisible stateless foe with global reach, adept at using the Internet to plot and recruit, determined to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My resolve is steady and strong about winning this war that has been declared on America. It is a new kind of war.
ENSOR: The administration's new kind of war on terrorism has included dramatic, sometimes deeply controversial steps: a war in Afghanistan, a preemptive war in Iraq, a massive new Homeland Security Department, a Patriot Act with greater intrusive powers, captives in Guantanamo Bay largely unprotected by American laws. All part of the new balance between liberty and security.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have to check you, OK? ENSOR: But is war really the right idea? And can it really be won?
RICHARD HAAS, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I much prefer thinking of it as disease. It's something that's part of life. It's something we have to live with, but unfortunately we're not going to be able to eliminate it.
ENSOR: But if it is a disease, it is not a new one. Mass casualty attacks have long been the weapon of choice for terrorists. There are nations that have been responding to it for decades. Over time they have found that some tactics work, others do not. Counter terrorism has a history.
KAREN J. GREENBERG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER ON LAW AND SECURITY, NYU LAW SCHOOL: When 9/11 happened, what the Europeans basically said to us was, welcome to our world. We have been trying to tell you about this for a long time that what threatened us threatened you. Now you understand.
ENSOR: But before you can learn to fight terrorism together with other nations, you need to agree on what exactly you are fighting.
(on camera): What is your definition of terrorism?
MARIAN PRICE, FORMER IRA BOMBER, 32 COUNTY SOVEREIGNTY MOVEMENT: I feel that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.
ENSOR (voice-over): That's the view of an unrepentant IRA bomber, a view no doubt shared by some Palestinians in the occupied territories and by supporters of Osama Bin Laden, a view that terrorism can be legitimate if the cause is just.
(on camera): For our report we will use a simple definition of terrorism. The use of violence against civilians or noncombatants for a political goal. We're not going to examine the merits of causes here, whether they're right or wrong. We will look at the tactic of terrorism and how to stop it.
(voice-over): We will hear from a British spymaster, a former terrorist. And the cops who are trying to stop him. We will learn from a former Israeli prisoner who now works on security for the Palestinians. And from the French judge who locked up terrorists like Carlos the Jackal. One-thing counter terrorism experts worldwide agree on, Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is not going to be defeated soon.
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, FORMER DEPUTY DIRECTOR, CIA: My conviction is they're trying to plan another big attack here. They're trying to gain surprise, which is their friend in all of this. And they only have to be lucky once.
ENSOR: So it matters plenty, how others fare against terrorists and it matters what has worked for them in the past. Some of their strategies and tactics could be part of our future. When we come back, what can a terrorist tell us about how to stop people like him. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I ordered a detective inspector shootings involving policemen and soldiers. Hundreds and hundreds of things.
ENSOR: The recent attacks on London have brought home a bleak truth about terrorism. There is no way to stop every terrorist, no way to prevent every bombing. But Britain comes to this fight with experience. This is far from the first time that it has been struck.
Belfast, Northern Ireland. : UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has been the scene of absolute violence and mayhem.
ENSOR: The heart of the oldest and bloodiest struggle against terrorism in Europe.
STEPHEN WHITE, POLICE SERVICE OF NORTHERN IRELAND: We had firebombs, rocket propelled grenades, surface to air missiles.
ENSOR: A struggle between catholic and Protestants over the future of Ireland. A decades long clash between those willing to use violence and terror and those sent to stop them, police officers like Stephen White. His knowledge of terrorism is broad. He's trained police around the world and he now heads the European Union's training program for Iraqi police.
WHITE: What works against terrorism? Well, we know what doesn't work. Draconian -- knee jerk reactions to terrorism do not work in the long term.
ENSOR: White believes every terror outburst is unique and requires a custom made response. Knocking down doors with troops as the U.S. has done in Iraq is seldom as effective as making arrests with well trained local cops.
WHITE: The key thing is to think how can I minimize any adverse effect to those who are not actually guilty of the terrorist act but living in the proximity, maybe a member of the same family.
ENSOR: What do you do as an I.R.A terrorist?
SHAWN O'CALLAHAN (ph): I murdered a detective inspector.
ENSOR: Shawn O'Callahan (ph) was one of the top I.R.A. operatives that men like Stephen White were trying to stop.
O'CALLAHAN (ph): Shootings involving policemen and soldiers, a lot of hijacking of cars and vehicles. A lot of robberies of banks. Hundreds and hundreds of things.
ENSOR: O'Callahan (ph) eventually grew disgusted with the I.R.A. and became an informer. He couldn't agree more with his former adversary about what works. When northern Irish cops took over from the British army -- O'CALLAHAN (ph): From that period onwards, you can see consistent evidence of the I.R.A. campaign being slowly contained. The police know Northern Ireland; they knew the buttons to press. They knew the people they were dealing with. They knew the history.
ENSOR: And they knew how to infiltrate the I.R.A.
O'CALLAHAN (ph): The I.R.A. eventually became completely paralyzed and thought there were informers around every corner.
ENSOR: From the other side of battle lines, Stephen White says the British learned from their mistakes.
WHITE: The swamp areas with military forces to have human rights put to one side to have draconian legislation to have -- I think all those things in a sense have backfired.
PRICE: When they were adopting the tactic of the jackboot it did nothing but make people stronger in their resolve.
ENSOR: Mary Ann Price was an I.R.A. operative who at 19 bombed London's criminal courts. Unlike Shawn O'Callahan (ph), she is unapologetic and unchanged in her views.
PRICE: I believe that I was part of a war going on, a war of liberation from my country.
ENSOR: What pulled the rug out from under Mary Ann Price and her like was a British change of tactics. Not just the use of community police but an invitation from Britain and Ireland to the I.R.A.'s political wing Sinn Fein to join in peace negotiations. As a result, violence has come to a virtual stand still. The British are winning.
PRICE: Absolutely. The British have won.
ENSOR: What is the tactic that worked for them?
PRICE: The carrot. They dangled a carrot in front of certain people and they swallowed it, hook, line and sinker.
ENSOR: But the carrot is not the only method the British have used. Their long struggle with violent terrorism caused them to accept trade-offs many Americans may not be ready to swallow. More security for less freedom. In the 1980s the I.R.A began a bombing campaign aimed first at the leaders of the country. They almost succeeded in killing Prime Minister Thatcher and her cabinet.
MIKE BOWRON, COMMISSIONER, CITY OF LONDON: And later in the day the I.R.A. issued a statement which went along the lines of today you were lucky, but just remember you got to be lucky all the time. We only have to be lucky once. I quietly repeat that to myself every day.
ENSOR: Mike Bowron is the assistant commissioner of the city of London police. His force is charged with guarding Britain's economic heart. Which was the I.R.A.'s target in the early 1990s. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a bomb. This is not a hoax.
ENSOR: The first step, make London's financial hub easier to defend. Over 100 streets leading into the city are reduced to what is now less than 20.
BOWRON: See if we can zoom in on it.
ENSOR: New technologies were deployed, especially closed-circuit TV cameras used first in Belfast. Cameras that soon became omnipresent as both government and business bought them by the thousands. Walking along this street or any street in the city of London, one thing is almost certain. You're on camera, a person living and working here can expect to be filmed dozens of times each day, either by police or by privately run surveillance cameras. An independent closed-circuit operators group estimates that Britain has at least half a million live cameras. That's one for every 120 people.
Are there people here who regard that as an intrusion?
BOWRON: No. I think by and large the public of Britain realizes those cameras aren't discriminating against thieves, potential terrorists.
DAME STELLA REMINGTON, DIRECTOR, MI5: Most people understand that these things are there to help sort of protect them against serious threats.
ENSOR: Dame Stella Remington was the director of MI5, Britain's domestic intelligence agency witch fights terrorism by spying on Britain's far more extensively than the FBI does in the U.S. Where would you say the line is drawn in this country in that debate between how much security you have and how much liberty you're allowed.
REMINGTON: I think the line is moving. More of us -- have liberties being intruded on as the government takes responsibility for trying to look after us.
ENSOR: Britain's intrusive but firm defense against terrorism and the carrots and sticks used in Northern Ireland, none of this work overnight but decades of patient effort have made a difference. The symbols of sectarian discord they're here on streets of Belfast. There may be more problems. But over the past few years, the atmosphere has clearly changed for the better.
Buildings are going up. Investment is moving in. People who would once have been silent are refusing to be pushed around by the I.R.A. or Protestant thugs. These weekend soccer players are both catholic and Protestant. Unheard of, just a few years ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lord be with you.
ENSOR: This Catholic Church --.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forgive us and help us we pray. ENSOR: And this Protestant church in Belfast was both burned to the ground during the conflict. They helped each other to rebuild.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe very strongly that to expect extraordinary challenges and dangers, somehow you got to normalize the situation.
ENSOR: Coming up, the country with some of the toughest laws may surprise you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you're a radical or terrorist, and if you have to make a choice as to where to go in Europe, you would rather not choose France.
ENSOR: It sounds and look like North Africa. Prayers in a nation with 6 million Muslims. But the nation is France. And the mosque is in Paris. The atmosphere on the streets of this Muslim immigrant neighborhood is tense. Last night some young men threw Molotov cocktails at the police. The night before on this same street, the police shot a Moroccan born man during an arrest. The heavy presence of riot police makes clear they will not tolerate violence.
Their approach, classically French, is the same one that French is taking against terrorism. In the U.S., the French are sometimes cast as soft or unwilling to fight. In fact, when it comes to terrorists, France takes the gloves off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have succeeded each year to prevent deadly tacks against this country.
ENSOR: Judge Brogare (ph) leads an elite counter terrorism team. Closely guarded at all times by armed bodyguards, the judge has a dangerous job. There has been at least one attempt on his life. He has extraordinary powers in France. He's both prosecutor and judge. They were given additional powers after a wave of bombings over 20 years ago.
In the wake of the terrorism attacks of the 1980s in Paris, France set up a tough-minded system of counter terrorism enforcement. In the balance between liberty and security, many outside analysts say France decisively chose to put security first. From his cramped office in the (INAUDIBLE) Brogare can order the arrest of a suspect for questioning for up to four days without charges. And for the first 24 hours, without access to a defense lawyer.
If Brogare, the prosecutor wants a certain apartment searched or a particular telephone tapped, then the Brogare, the judge can sign the order for that to happen. In over two decades of fighting terrorism, Brogare helped put the notorious terrorist Carlos the jackal behind bars, more recently the judge helped smash an al Qaeda cell plotting to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
BROGARE (ph): Because it is a war against an (INAUDIBLE) that is important, we should be very, very tough.
ENSOR: French law casts a wide net designed to catch anyone remotely connected with terrorism. In France mere association with terrorists is a crime if you have even minimal knowledge of what they're up to.
BROGARE (ph): What is important is not to arrest people, it is to prevent attacks. We succeed.
PROFESSOR GILLES KEPEL, FRENCH ISLAMIC EXPERT: If you're a radical, or a terrorist, and if you have to make a choice as to where to go in Europe you would rather not choose France.
ENSOR: But the tough laws have their downside. Brogare has ordered the arrests of terrorist suspects who were held for years only to be released for lack of evidence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's been willing to lock up quite a few people who later turned out to be innocent.
KEPEL: It is a very thin balance and no one wants to put people in prison, particularly when they're innocent. But in the same time, you have to live in a safe country.
ENSOR: Another key weapon in France's armory against terrorism, the powerful directorate of territorial security, it is a spy agency like the CIA that can arrest its own citizens like the FBI. Pierre Bogastaflorian (ph) is the DST's head.
PIERRE BOGASTAFLORIAN (ph) (through translator): It allows us to stitch together the whole work of intelligence and then to intervene as law enforcement.
ENSOR: The French have learned from their own tortured past with terrorism. The 1966 film "The Battle of Algiers" showed with stunning accuracy, say historians, how brutal the French were in their Algerian colony in the '50s as they tried to suppress terrorist attacks by a pro independence group. In the film and in reality, say I had historians, torture generally convinced capture members of the group to talk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: France's North African colonial empire was dealt a crippling blow during the year.
ENSOR: But in the longer run it backfired, angering and uniting Algerians to the point where massive protests a few years later led to French withdrawal and Algerian independence. Torture is never used in France now. But Bogastaflorian (ph) was unusually candid about more subtle forms of pressure they do use.
There are types of pressure that are acceptable. Simple forms of pressure. Sometimes when one holds a whole family, not without reason, but because there is a suspicion of the family, the simple fact that a brother or an innocent wife is confronted by the authorities convinces a suspected young man to be more cooperative. The French take a harder line on cultural issue as well as security. Despite protests and new law bans head scarves or any religion wear in public schools. Part of an effort to separate church or mosque and state. This is a country where Arab immigrants are asked to consider themselves French first, Muslims second.
KEPEL: The key is the integration of populations from dissent into the mainstream. The more you feel part and parcel of French so seat, the less there will be room for extremists and radicals within their ranks.
ENSOR: The head scarves ban imposed by Francis Parliament may have wrangled Muslims but Muslim leaders like Laj Thami Breze say the vast majority here embrace French values. And the government's approach to terrorism.
LAJ THAMI BREZE, PRESIDENT UNION DES ORGANIZATIONS ISLAMIQUES DE FRANCE (through translator): We have total confidence in the justice of our country.
ENSOR: Which comes first for French Muslims that they are French or that they are Muslims?
BREZE (through translator): Twenty years ago they considered themselves to be Muslims. Nowadays there is an evolution to putting French citizenship first and after that, attachment to Islam.
ENSOR: Many more North Africans are expected to join France's 6 million Muslims in coming years. France will have its hands full embracing the law-abiding majority while cracking down on the violent few. When CNN PRESENTS returns, interrogation, assassination, how far can a democracy go to stop a terrorist.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go out, reach out for him and kill him.
ENSOR (voice-over): This is the other face of terrorism.
MAYA SEGAL, HEBREW UNIVERSITY STUDENT: A metal nut penetrated my head from this side.
ENSOR: On July 31st, 202, Hebrew University student Maya Segal went with a friend to eat lunch at a school cafeteria on the Jerusalem campus. A bomb exploded.
SEGAL: My right eye is not just closed, I don't have an eye, and they had to take off part of the brain because they took out this metal nut.
AVI RIVKIND, CHIEF TRAUMA HADASSAH HOSPITAL: You have one here, two, three four, five.
ENSOR: Segal was taken to Hadassah Hospital's trauma ward where most Israeli civilian victims of terrorist attacks have been treated.
RIVKIND: There's no part that is immune. The particles are flying all over the body.
ENSOR: Nine died at Hebrew university. 90 were injured. Since 2001, more than a thousand Israelis have died in terrorist attacks. Where the population of seven million, that's the equivalent of almost 43,000 Americans. Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was the mayor of Jerusalem.
EHUD OLMERT, MAYOR OF JERUSALEM: I was at every one of the sites where terror took place, two minutes, three minutes later when bodies were still warm and the blood was still spilled.
ENSOR: The carnage from suicide bombers has prompted Israel to take extreme steps for democracy.
OLMERT: Is there any question about the legitimacy of killing someone who is described as a rolling bomb, that is someone that is on his way to commit a terrorist action? Go out, reach out for him and kill him.
ENSOR: And that's what Israel does. The targeted assassination is one of its most controversial tactics, shunned in public by most democratic governments, but not by Israel.
On this night, a sniper squad is going out on a reconnaissance mission, tracking suspects. But when an arrest is deemed too dangerous, targeted assassination means that terrorists are hunted down and killed without a trial. The most prominent Palestinian to be assassinated, Sheikh Ahmed Yaseen, the paraplegic spiritual leader of Hamas whom the Israelis accuse of ordering suicide bombings.
Yaakov Perry, head of Israel's internal intelligence agency, Shin Bet, for seven years, makes no apologies for Israel's methods.
YAAKOV PERRY, FMR. HEAD OF SHINDHET: The one who wants to kill you and you are sure that he wants to kill you, kill him first. If buses with innocent children are getting explode every day in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, so it is an effective mean and we shouldn't be ashamed.
ENSOR: But it is an imprecise weapon that takes innocent civilians with the target. In fact, during the time that one 1,000 Israelis have died from terrorist attacks, well over 3,000 Palestinians, militant as well as innocent bystanders have been killed by Israeli forces. Even within Israel, there is heated debate over whether the killing may lead to more terrorism in the long run. Yaakov Perry hints at the internal discord within Israeli security circles.
PERRY: I'm not sure that they can justify every target of the assassination, but as a method I justify it.
ENSOR: One indication that's been an effective tactic when the militant organization Hamas negotiated with Israel for the current cease-fire, its first request was that that the assassinations stop. Military force is not the only tactic in the Israeli arsenal.
SEMON ROMA, FMR. CHIEF SHIN BET INTERROGATOR: You know that he's the key to the next bomb. And it is a matter of hours, you don't have that much and it all depends on you.
ENSOR: Breaking the will of a suspected terrorist was a specialty of Shemon Roma (PH), former chief Shin Bet interrogator.
ROMA: In certain points you feel that a punch will be very helpful. But I'm sorry, but we are -- we can't do it this way these days.
ENSOR: Roma has interrogated many hundreds of suspects and personally broke three-quarters of them, he says.
ROMA: You need to be a good actor. Sometimes you have to act like you are very much angry and sometimes that you are very much friendly, and -- but not give him your real feelings. You let him sail with you into the ocean of small talk. In a special moment, you ask a question.
MOHAMMAD DAHLAN, MIN. OF CIVIL AFFAIRS, PALISTINIAN AUTH. (through translator): The punishment starts with arresting the family, frightening and threatening for weeks.
ENSOR: Mohammad Dahlan has been on the other side of the interrogation room and spent four years in Israeli jails. Now he is a minister in the Palestinian authority and his old foe needs his help. Part of his work is to keep his fellow Palestinians from attacking Israel. Dahlan believes Israel's tough approach will fail unless it acknowledges the motivation of Palestinians fighting Israel.
DAHLAN (through translator): You can't understand how the half million Palestinian prisoners recruited against Israel. You will find sort of a personal reason with each of them that pushed them into doing what they did. It could be that they arrested their mother or one of their relatives was killed or his home was demolished.
ENSOR: Israel defends its tough tactics, but there are limits. Its legal system has set clear boundaries, targeted assassinations are legal. Torture is not. Abu Ghraib, says Israeli officials, could not happen here.
DAN MARIDOR (PH), FMR. KNESSET MEMBER: You fight the war, you need to win the war, but not at all costs. There are thing you don't do.
ENSOR: Dan Meridor is a former Knesset member, a former minister of justice.
MARIDOR: Democracy fight terrorism with one hand tied behind its back. It's much more difficult but if you don't do it this way, you lose our nature as democracy. We lose our democratic way of life.
ENSOR: For Israel it is a constant struggle, protecting itself while not losing its identity. Here that also means refusing to cower in the face of terrorism.
PERRY: And if we destroy another discotheque, restaurant, or bus, we will still go on buses, we'll still go to the same restaurant, we still dance in the same discotheque, we shouldn't give terrorism any chance to win, to break our souls, to break our spirit, never.
ENSOR: At the Hebrew university cafeteria, Maya Segal is now a regular.
SEGAL: It's difficult for me. But I feel I must do it.
ENSOR: Refusing to let the terrorism she faced define her.
SEGAL: A lot people ask me what happened to you. And if they don't know me, I simply say I got exploded. And they go, like, what? It's not funny. How can you joke about it? Sometimes there is nothing else to do.
ENSOR: When we come back, Spain struck by terrorism does the unexpected.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The enemy is not Islam. The enemy is not the Arab immigrants.
ENSOR: In the south of Spain, the Alhambra Palace stands as a monument to a golden age of Islamic civilization. When the rest of Europe was in the dark ages, Muslim rulers in Spain were presiding over a renaissance of art and science, and keeping the peace between Christians, Jews and Muslims who all lived together here along the narrow streets of Grenada. Sala Alamronny (ph) immigrated to Spain from Morocco 11 years ago, in part because of the legend of al- Andalus, the Arabic name for the Islamic empire, which for many Muslims represents paradise lost.
SALA ALAMRONNY (PH) (through translator): For us, al-Andalus is the highest point achieved by Arabs. It's a jewel that has been lost.
ENSOR: In small towns across Spain like this one, the locals celebrate the reconquest of Spain by the Christian armies, a bloody crusade that finally ended when the Muslims and Jews were forced out of Spain in 1492. Here in Alcoi, the battles between Christians and Muslims are now an excuse for partying. The original meaning left in the past, but for al-Qaeda, the past isn't past at all.
On March 11, 2004 10 bombs exploded on four different trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and injuring thousands of others. Three weeks after the attack, police raided an apartment in the Madrid suburbs where the bombing suspects were hiding. They blew themselves up. But, police were able to recover a videotape. On it suspects vow revenge for the loss of al-Andalus in 1492. The suspects had another goal as well, they wanted Spain to take its troops out of Iraq.
The Spanish people took to the streets to protest terrorism and then they did something that took many Americans by surprise. They did pull their troops out of Iraq. It was a campaign promise made by the socialist candidate Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose election as prime minister came three days after the bombing. Angry Bush administration officials privately accused Spain of going soft, of making a major concession to terrorists. Zapatero's justice minister sees it differently.
JUAN FERNANDO LOPEZ AGUILAR, SPANISH JUSTICE MINISTER: I think it would never be a fair assessment to pretend that Spain is soft on terrorism. We have suffered much, we had a lot of bloodshed, we have kept out the intimidation.
ENSOR: In fact, the Spanish government has battled terrorist attacks from ETA, a Basque national separatist movement for over 30 years. And after 9/11, Spanish law enforcement moved quickly to arrest and try suspected al-Qaeda members in Spain. But, there's another twist to this story. Despite the bloody march attack committed by North African immigrants, Spain's socialist government did something counterintuitive. It relaxed immigration laws declaring an amnesty for illegal immigrants already in the country.
AGUILAR: It is not a choice to come all the way back to the 15th century in which the Spanish kings of the day expelled out almost a million Muslims and Jewish from the Spanish soil, it's not going to happen ever again.
ENSOR (on camera): Spain's message to the Muslim world is clear. We're all in this together, it is not a clash of civilizations. And that message is being heard.
(voice-over): Sala Alamronny, the shop owner who came from Morocco 11 years ago says extremist attitudes are increasingly rare among Muslim immigrants in Spain since the socialist government came into power.
ALAMRONNY (through translator): Everything has changed, Zapatero has changed the Spanish foreign policy in a year. Things are better with the Europeans, the Arabs, the Moroccans. There is nor collaboration with police, anti-terrorism and immigration. There is a ton of understanding.
ENSOR: Spain's charm offensive includes a government sponsored documentary about the experience of Moroccans in Spain. A project intended to heighten cultural sensitivity. Another sign of a growing partnership between the government and Muslims, a first of its kind fatwa, issued by Spain's Islamic commission. It condemns bin Laden as a Muslim heretic and calls on Muslims to fight actively against terrorism.
AGUILAR: We have to bear in mind very clearly that enemy is not Islam, but the enemy is not the Arab immigrant. The enemies are those who are devoted to crime, particularly to organized crime. So, we must tell always the difference.
ENSOR: The Spanish prime minister has called for an alliance of civilizations, arguing that fighting poverty and oppression in the Muslim world is more effective at stopping terrorism than waging wars. Spain's government hopes to build a bridge between the western and the Arab and Muslim worlds. And Sala, working in the shadows of the palace, he shares that dream.
ALAMRONNY (through translator): In this city, the three religions, three cultures have always lived together well. I think that with a little effort we can reach into all being friends again.
ENSOR: When we come back, what is in store for the U.S.?
RICHARD HAAS, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: As a society, we will start making efforts to protect every soft targets or as many soft targets as we can from schools to shopping malls.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do know that the terrorists are still out there. We know they're plotting to try to launch another attack against the United States.
ENSOR: If there is another catastrophic attack on U.S. soil Americans will need to ask themselves, how far do we want to shift the delicate balance between security and freedom? Take a look at the streets of the city of London where everything that moves is track the by police. The experts say closed-circuit TV surveillance may be coming to a street near you.
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: The British value their freedoms as much as anybody else. They've had more than 30 years of dealings with a relatively serious terrorist threat and they sacrifice quite a lot of things we take for granted in this country, like the ability not to be under surveillance 24 hours a day.
ENSOR: Now, look at the streets of Jerusalem. Notice that most restaurants and large shops have private security guards, and that soldiers watch over most public places.
RICHARD HAAS, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I think we're also much more likely to still look like Israel. Essentially as a society, we will start making efforts to protect every soft target or as many soft target as we can from schools to shopping malls. We're not simply going to limit that to airports. I know couples who don't go out for cups of coffee together because if something happens, they don't want their children to become orphans. People live their lives differently. I don't believe for the most part, we Americans live our lives that differently. I think that the day could come when we do.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today we take an essential step in defeating terrorism.
ENSOR: Americans' notions of how much we want big brother to be watching could change too.
BUSH: This government will enforce this law this all the urgency of a nation at war.
ENSOR: After the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Patriot Act giving the FBI in particular greater intrusive powers to gather intelligence against terrorists inside this country. But experts question whether the FBI, with its cautious law enforcement culture, will ever be willing to set Americans spying on Americans in the way MI5 spies on Britons. Cops, they argue, may never make good spies.
John McLaughlin is former deputy director of the CIA.
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, FRM. DEPUTY DIR. CIA: The question is will it fit with their culture? Can their culture accommodate this kind of emphasis and reward it equally with those whose job it is to investigate and arrest.
ENSOR (on camera): And if there is another 9/11 attack in the United States, do you think the FBI will be...
MCLAUGHLIN: I think if there was another 9/11 attack in the United States the pressure to go to a separate MI5 would be overwhelming.
ENSOR: As for Osama bin Laden, the terror chief who changed so many lives for the worse, experts say he may not have many more days of freedom to enjoy. But the day he's found will not end the fight.
BERGEN: Unfortunately bin Laden's legacy is going to live on whether he's captured or killed.
ENSOR (voice-over): And killing bin Laden would not necessarily help.
BERGEN: In the longer term, a kind of martyred to bin Laden might give a bigger boost to the power of his ideas. Really the best thing we could do is capture him and give him kind of a Saddam Hussein treatment, check him for head lice, and that would puncture his mythic persona.
ENSOR (on camera): But what will check the power of bin laden's ideas? The fires that fuel terrorism? Should the U.S., like Spain, do more to reach out to other Muslims? Across the board in every country we visited, the answer was yes.
(voice-over): Even U.S. intelligence officials say terrorism will not be stopped without addressing its root causes, like the demographic time bomb, ticking in the Muslim world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that left alone, in 10 or 15 years you're going to have megacities of 20 to 27 million and you will have vast numbers of unemployed young men and women on streets who will be prime candidates for recruitment by terrorists. So this isn't easy.
There is no formula by which you can attack all of this. But it needs to infuse our policies on aid, on development, on education, on information, on outreach. And at the same time, we still need to be wrapping these guys up in the woods, in the back alleys.
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