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tv   Fault Lines  Al Jazeera  November 18, 2015 3:30am-4:01am EST

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the web goes and what level of suspect they could be looking for. obviously, the attackers that were killed. the eighth is salah abdeslam and the ninth one, abdel hamid abaaoud, who is the main subject of this operation, with so many different operations, different teams, the sophistication of the operation, acquiring weapons, all of this is obviously far more than nine people. the question is whether any of the people who were involved are actually in st denis at the moment. actually, the owner of the
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apartment will be very interesting to the police. they're having to throw the net very wide. at the moment in st denis it is still there is interest as to whether information about this apartment we're getting some word from ap that one attacker may still be holed up in the apartment, identity unclear. i suppose you're not able to say whether that's the case or not because you're not getting any information from the police. >> reporter: it's highly
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possible. certainly when we on friday-- certainly on friday night when the attacks were going on, once it was over (technical difficulties) we heard the debt nations, since then, we're now talking about a couple of hours since then, there was still a ve very, strictly enforced police cordon. it is not at all - it is very of consistent with the behaviour of the police.
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there could still be suspect in there thank you for that. our correspondent on the scene there, jacky rowland, explaining that it is very difficult to get around, roads have been cordoned off, there are large numbers of security forces there, including the military and special forces and swot teams. let's just bring you up-to-date with exactly what we know about that ongoing police operation in paris. of course, the targets are suspects from last week's attacks in which 129 people died. the operation taking place in st denis, a suburb in northern paris which is in lock down. several explosions and begun fire have been heard. two suspects, and one woman killed in police raids and five suspects have been detained. three police officers were
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injured. we are getting unconfirmed reports, and we don't know if this is the case or not, that police are apparently saying that one attacker is still holed up in an apartment in that stand off in paris. let's go to our studio guest remi again. a lot of police activity there even though some suspects have been arrested and some suspects have been killed. tell us a little bit about this area where this operation is taking place. >> certainly. this is an interesting suburb. it is a very up and coming neighborhood. at the same time, there has been an effort from the government to t try to create jobs for citizens.
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there a large companies around the city. i imagine the state of parching all the way around-- panic. it's going to be very narrow streets. it's going to be full of people trying to assess whether or not they're going to work, whether or not, how to come back, what is the situation today. it's a neighborhood which is very diverse in terms of communities. it has now both different communities from north africa, there's a cradle of french history here. because of the rise of the price of housing inside paris, a lot of young people are settling in st denis because of housing
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prices they've moved there because they can't afford anywhere else. >> exactly. people from all across the different communities of france, that actually know each other and are from different religions. i.s.i.l. is trying to attack, communities living together peacefully when you look at the operation going on, we see from the pictures there seems to be officers from several different facets of french security forces. we've seen the men in balaclavas, who we assume are special forces, we've seen presumably the army walking around in green, and there's the swot team all heavily armed. france has had a good opportunity to train for these kind of operations with events
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that we've seen happening after charlie hebdo. >> there's the acts in 1990. i remember a plane that was stationed from algeria that were able to take - eight terrorists inside the plane. the question now is what is happening right now inside this apartment, if indeed there's still one person being detained, i don't know what medical condition is, but the idea is to get to him presumably they're not going
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straight in because there's other factors at play here. maybe there's a hostage, maybe there's explosives, maybe their buildings are booby trapped. >> this is a very dense neighborhood. the operation being able to operate and trying to contain potential people wanting to go close to it. i imagine since the operation started very early in the morning, there are still people nearby, whether they were taken out of the scene or whatever. it is extremely difficult to get information yes. this is taking place in a heavily populated residential area. >> that's why they are located there. they know it's complicated to get to them. in terms of information from the media, i think the police is going a good job now in trying
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to prevent information going out. we saw in january some irresponsible networks that were trying to call the supermarket to get info and there were guys hiding in the basement it's possible that the suspects in this apartment is sitting watching this on tv right now. >> yes we've been talking about the number of suspects at large. we know that seven were involved in the attack on friday. two others that are being looked for, salah abdeslam and abdel hamid abaaoud, but there could be a whole network of others that police want to track down. >> that's where they're trying to get information from inside the house, who were living there. the owner of the apartment saying he didn't know what was going on. he made a promise to someone. the question is who is that
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someone? that someone is the key operative inside the organizations on the ground. maybe they're connected to other families. it's usually a group of brothers, usually different - they would go through the different motoring documents that they have on all those one thousand so people that were gathered around different mosques and different activities to try to see where they are and locate them. what is interesting to look at is the fact that the last three or four days there has been a state of emergency which has been instigated by the president. the authorities will will be able to check who was there and who wasn't. they will be able to see the activities. that will help the authorities to be efficient on the ground.
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that's also why president francois hollande-- he wants to extend it for several months and will that be palatable to the french public? >> you don't want to over do it. you have to strengthen more intelligence, but what made france successful and a target is the fact that people live freely with freedom of expression and freedom of life. if all your correspondence, ema email, et cetera, was looked at, the french wouldn't like this it seems like it is going to be looked at seriously by everybody. >> when we talk about trying to find the right answers to
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prevent those operations, the suggestion from the republican side of opening a detention center, who do you put in, maybe talking about football and not related to terrorist, but because a close neighbour, are you going to put in detention center? that doesn't make sense. the problem is to see and how understand how those people go from becoming just - in the case of various people-- in the case of salah abdeslam he was serving in a bar. in the matter of two weeks, he blew himself up. if i was in the authority, looking at someone serving in a bar, is not someone to be looked
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at for this thank you for that. live pictures from st denis where a police station operation is still ongoing. jacky rowland is there. jacky, give us an idea of the number of police officers we're seeing, what kind of security officers we're seeing. the vehicles there, some are police vans and some are ambulances. >> reporter: hundreds of security forces quite simply. regular police are securing the outer cordon and then as you go further in, you get to the more hard-core police units, people like this swot teams which are known as the red here in france, also anti terror police and military as well. we've seen military troops here. in terms of the types of vehicles, it depends on the outer cores. as you go in, there are
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ambulances, fire engines of the literally hundreds of officers from different branches of the police and the military involved in this operation, and the cordon, the police cordon, is very wide and is being maintained with extreme vigilance which suggests that there is still something very active going on inside, but we're not getting a lot of information, if any, about what exactly that is tell us about the buildings which are being targeted. we understand that there were two at the center of the cease operation earlier. >> reporter: yes. we understand that the police moved into two particular sites. one of them we understand was an apartment block with four floors. apparently the suspects were holed up in an apartment on the third floor. certainly when the police first moved in, there was gun fire from the apartment and then a
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very intense barrage of gun fire which according to the people in the neighborhood lasted about ten minute, about 4.30 am local time, 3.30 gmt. there was apparently a second location as well which the security forces were targeted. all the while a helicopter was circling over head and we could see the search light on the top of buildings. that was before down. around down we heard an number of detonations. a woman in the apartment was wearing ann ex-employeplosive v. it may have been her vest or grenades, which is what police use when they're trying to end
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this type of situation. they were having a siege around the house of a gunman who killed a couple of soldiers and jewish school children, on that occasion they blew out the winds, used stun grenades. in terms of actually how those two locations were finally taken over, in fact even - it's unclear whether those locations are entirely under police control now because, as i mentioned, this cordon, this police monitoring of the situation is very, very strict. the police are absolutely on their alert and it has taken me more than an hour to be able to reach this cam rah to talk to you. -- camera. we we security forces pulled gu on us and we had to walk in the
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other direction. it's clear that there is still some subjects of extreme interest to the police within this cordon in the center of st denis it is speculated that one of those subjects is abdel hamid abaaoud. he is the man who is believed to be the mastermind of the attacks that took place on friday. >> reporter: in a name that we first heard on sunday. he was not initially thought to be close to the attacks. he was not initially thought to have been one of the attackers on the ground in france. he is a belgian national, 27 years of age. he had dealings with omar ismail mostefai. it was believed that he was in syria, organised and plotted friday night's attacks remotely.
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it appears now he was closer and quite possibly in paris himself. on tuesday, late on tuesday, police started to speak about another attacker that they were looking for, another suspect who was still at large. it was interesting that they didn't give a name or photograph for him. it may be that they didn't wish to alert abdel hamid abaaoud to the fact that they knew he was in france. we don't know whether he was at either of those apartment blocks that were targeted. we don't know whether salah abdeslam was with him as well. we know three were killed, one a woman wearing an explosive belt. we know that three police officer have also been wounded but not seriously if there is someone who is holidayed up inside the-- holed
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up inside the apartment, as is being reported, the priority would be to get him or her alive because they want as much information as possible. >> reporter: what we have been seeing since friday night is a really intensive coordinated operation by security forces, intelligent services, not just here in france but in other parts in europe, notably in belgium because we know there's an attack with belgium-- a connection with the attacks and belgium. the fact that seven attackers died in the various attacks on friday night means that there is not really much in the way of information for the police. we know that a number of people have been arrested in raids in consecutive nights.
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people were arrested in belgium and we've heard reports of arrests in germany. the brother of the salah abdeslam, he was also detained and questioned and released him. there was no reason to detain him further. he has appealed on television for his brother to give himself up to police. with the lack of suspects being detained, five were detained in the early hours of wednesday morning, but with this shortage of suspects who the police can actually untag, it makes the task all the-- interrogate, it makes the task all the more difficult to broaden the net to identify people who provided various things for the attacks, support, logistics, financing. the seven attackers did not do
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this on their own. they clearly did this with the help of other people. they want to prevent these people preparing for further attacks thank you for that. as jacky was saying earlier, the owner of the apartment which is currently the focus of the interests by all those security forces there has been identified and earlier was talking to the media. >> translation: i found out that it was at my house and people are holed up at my flat. i didn't know that they were terrorists. someone asked me a favor to put three people up for two days. i did it. that's normal. i don't know where they came from. i don't know anything. if i'd phone, do you think i'd have done it? that is the owner of the
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apartment who will need to answer questions, not the least of who got him to rent his apartment to several of the suspects. bringing you up-to-date so far, we know that at least two suspects have been killed, including a woman who apparently was wearing a suicide vest and was shot dead by police. five people have been detained. several police officers, three police officers, have been lightly injured during those police raids. it is quieter at the moment. our correspondent is saying that it looks as though the first frenetic phase of the operation is over, but it looks like the stand off is continuing. we think there may be one suspect holed up in the apartment. we know the military on are on the scene, special services and swot police are on the scene. the police operation beginning from dawn this morning in france. let's just run a little bit of
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footage from a few hours ago when a series of explosions rang out. explosions and gun fire during that police raid. roads being cordoned off people asked to stay away. a security analyst now with global security resources. steve, good to have you with us. i'm sure you've been watching the same pictures that we have that apartment now surrounded by security forces including the
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army. describe to us what's going on here as they set up for the long siege trying to, obviously, pin down a suspect but also trying to keep the public safe. >> reporter: yes. good morning. complicated issues on the ground. as you've just rightly said, they're preparing for the long siege. they don't exactly know what they've got inside the building, are the suspects armed which the answer will probably be yes, has he got larger fire power and also incendiary devices. i think what the police are trying to do is evacuate the surrounding buildings probably between 300 and 600 metres so that if there are incendiary devices that will go off, the public won't be harmed around they may put a bigger cordon around that area than that.
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there will be an inner cordon and outer cordon preventing, obviously, the public getting stuck and the suspects being moved out by the police. they will be trying to get as close as they can to what's called get an eyeball on the apartment, whether they can see through a window, a crack, anything that they can see, so they will try to get as close to the building as they can without spooking the suspect do you think there will be anyone actually inside the building or are they all operating outside the building at the moment? >> reporter: i would think in the basement, but at the risk of saying too much as we're on live television, it's somebody else's
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operation. i don't think we should, perhaps, talk about things like that presumably, the main point to make is that the police are looking for a peaceful end to this and they do want to get them alive. >> absolutely. absolutely. we haven't got too many suspects alive after this since friday as we know. the likelihood to be perfectly honest, it's a 50/50 chance that the suspect here is going to be taken alive. on record, the way of doing stuff for them has been to kill themselves, to blow themselves up. so the police are going to be extremely sensitive in monitoring the point that they can take this person alive, which just doesn't get any more difficult than that. they need to keep this person alive. he is the source of information which will unravel a much wider
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investigation into really what happened on friday because at the end of the day all the police can do is piece things together and some of the pieces of the information that has been coming through will start to make more sense now if they can just get one suspect, but i would think the likelihood of that is fairly low at the moment. so they're just waiting for the longer siege. they may try to get food and water into the building, they may try and coax somehow to get this person out to get a completely safe resolution. at the end of the day this is what they're looking for thank you very much indeed for that. steve park, security and terrorism analyst. i am getting word, i can't confirm this, but we are being told from the french newspaper that the person may well be
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abdel hamid abaaoud. we will have continuing coverage on this police operation. stay with us.
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you're watching al jazeera from our headquarters looking at pictures coming live to us from st denis where we have continuing coverage of the raids in france. a major operation is underway. that is the situation in st denis in paris. in this suburb a


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