endurance. and you can always catch up with all of the news we're covering on our website. and you can watch us live by clicking on the watch live icon. the address again, aljazeera.com. gunfire erupting in a paris suburb, french special police raiding the suspected hideout of the mastermind behind last week's attacks. >> at least two of those suspects are dead, more under arrest, as french investigators try to find the people
responsible. ♪ this is al jazeera america live in new york city. i'm del walters. major raids today north of paris targeting the suspected masser mind behind friday's attacks in paris. [ gunfire ] [ explosion ] >> gunfire and explosions ringing out earlier this morning. french authorities saying two people were killed including a woman who blew herself up. she is believed to be the cousin of the suspected mastermind who's fate at this hour, unclear. at least seven people are being held. five police officers were wounded, which the french president says is confirmation of the times they live in. >> translator: these actions confirm to us once again, that we are at war.
a war against terrorism, which itself has decided to launch war against us. >> it was an eight-hour standoff in the wee hours of the morning when adam raney arrived he encountered police with their guns drawn. he joins us now live. good evening, adam. >> yes, del, as you can see the sun has set here now. it has been a long day here. police have moved out of the area, when we arrived this morning, this was totally off limits to anyone other than the police who were conducting this search. police began moving in before dawn this morning at about 4:20 am local time, carrying heavy machine guns they moved through the northern paris suburb not far from the stadium where suicide bombers detonated their
explosives friday night. a series of explosions and heavy gunfire could be heard as the french special forces moved in on a row of apartments. paris prosecutors say the target of the raid was one of europe's most wanted suspects. he is a 27-year-old moroccan who lived in belgian and is allegedly the chief architect of friday's attacks. a woman blew herself up during the standingoff. seven people were arrested. authorities say they were following up on phone calls that suggested the mastermind was taking refuge in a safe house here. >> translator: i found out that it's at my house, that the people are holed up at my flat. i didn't know they were terrorists. someone asked me favor.
they asked me to put up two people up to three days, and i did them a favor. it's normal. i don't know where they came from. i don't know anything. if i had known do you think i would have done it. >> reporter: there has been no confirmation whether the mastermind was caught or killed. police were edgy, pointing their guns at us as we approached. people didn't know what was happening when they heard the explosions. >> translator: for three minutes it was extremely loud, more than 300 bullets. it was going back and forth orn both sides. not just the police, but on both sides. >> reporter: you can tell how big this operation was, because there is more than a dozen police vehicles just to carry in the hundreds of officers who came here and have been here for more than eight hours. disfight the massive show of force, there is still concern that the fugitives from a cell that now seems much biggerer
than previously believed, may still pose a security concern. that concern is a strongly felt one, and what we can see is that people here in the suburb are concerned that fugitives are still at large, and there's no sense that there will be more security in the coming days, because it seems day after day since friday there's some new announcement, bombing in syria, or rides like this. there have been more than 400 raids across france since friday's attack. and that gives you a sense of the footing this country is on right now. >> adam thank you very much. when authorities moved in, people there were told get out. one neighbor telling al jazeera what she saw during the raid. >> translator: it was in the flat just above. the police blocked the door to prevent us from leaving. they told us to lie down, switch off all of the lights, and that's what i did. i hid.
i tried to go to the toilets, but there were explosions and i could hear that the ceiling was going to crash. i tried to get out, and we stayed like this with my baby. we should see shots being fired. we could see the lights of lasers being pointed towards us. and we would feel the building shake. >> we want to go live to dana lewis in paris. are people there concerned that the alleged mastermind could have been so close the entire time? >> reporter: they are very concerned, del, and i want to flush this out a little bit in terms of the information that adam had. what we know now is that they had apparently had this woman, the cousin under surveillance for two days, at least. they had not only intercepted some telephone communication, but there were also some tips, so they were in contact with
someone. here is where this plot really deepens today. we are hearing from french media, the television network is reporting that these guys in the apartment were in the process of about to launch an imminent attack. in that they were a fourth cell. you know that we had three cells that moved out and attacked paris on friday night. one hitting the stadium, one hitting the bars and restaurants, the other one went to that brutal bloody musical, 129 people killed in total. police have been on the track of everybody -- the seven suicide bombers were killed in the attack, but there were at least two more on the run, but this appears to be a fourth cell according to what we're hearing now, that they were planning an imminent attack on the airport, and they were going to hit a shopping plaza, possibly in the financial district. so a lot more information
showing us that -- how fortunate it was that the authorities were able to get on to this group, before they carried out another attack. obviously the puzzling part of this is the mastermind, who was supposed to be in sir ja, who was wanted by french authorities who has taunted french authorities non-stop over the last year, he barely escaped a police raid in brussels in january after charlie hebdo, he narrowly escaped. suddenly he appears to be here in the heart of paris according to the information. we spoke to a security expert earlier about that today. >> if it's true that this guy was here, that's a failure. there are two [ inaudible ] here. you know this guy gave an interview to the [ inaudible ] so isil [ inaudible ] a few months ago, and they explained he was part of the terrorist
plot that was [ inaudible ] in belgium and that he managed to escape and go back to syria. if this interview is true, that would mean he managed to go back to syria and then back to europe. in that would be a big failure. >> reporter: del, again, we do not know he was in the apartment. we know they were acting on information that they believed he was there, that his cousin was the suicide bomber, but they have not confirmed whether he was captured or killed in that serve-hour gunfire and raid this morning. >> and if charles de gaulle was indeed a target, it is a major transit hub. dana thank you very much. right now in belgium we want to take you to the scene there, hunting of people gathering for a peace vigil. they are there to honor and pay tribute to the victims. it is part of brussels, and the
area where a prominent muslim population is closely watched. our correspondent is in the crowd, he says investigators are now saying there have been at least five plots over the last 18 months that have been tied back to residents in that area. the cia director says the attacks shows how hard it is to stop isil. >> the digital domain does not respect sovereign borders. you can move things around the world at the speed of light and hop around so many countries, and unless there's going to be some type of international understanding about what is appropriate and acceptable within that digital domain, we're going to face a world of hurt in the future. >> he also said the key is striking the right balance between privacy and safety. earlier this week, the cia director said there is also probably other attacks in the pipeline, authorities saying the
best defense is an observant b subject. i asked a former fbi profiler about that. take us into the mind of what americans should be looking out for. we hear people saying if you see something, say something, what should they be seeing and looking for? >> sometimes when i hear that phrase it makes me shutter, because it means when you are looking at a behavior, you have to recognize it, and if it's a benign behavior, then it doesn't draw your suspicion. but what people really do need to be aware of is really behavior that falls into the realm of -- of normal, and so when they see groups of people -- and let's -- we have to look at these individuals who are responsible for this, that they are primarily males between the ages of late teens and early
20s, and they behave as a group, and they will separate themselves from other people, so people need to -- what happens often is they will vet behavior and look at it, and say that is probably nothing, i done want to bother the police. >> she all thes says police needs to turn their focus on the families of the offenders to try to determine what their issues may be. russia is now using long-range bombers and missiles to hit isil forces near raqqa. and russia is flexing new naval muscle as well. in that is the same type of ships used to hit syrian targets from the caspian sea last month. we will continue to have all of the latest developments coming out of syria.
we want to take you back to belgium where hundreds have gathered for that peace vigil. they are there for the victims of paris. it's a part of brussels which is known for its prominent muslim population. carl tell us more about the vigil we're seeing. >> reporter: del several thousand belgians have turned
out and come to one of the main squares in the district. there's a candle lit vigil. all seem to be calling for peace. they say that of course islam is not a religion of terror, and they are expressing, of course, condolences to the victims of the terror attacks in paris. but at the same time they are turning out on the streets of their neighborhood, because they feel that this part of brussels has been unfairly stigmatized, some media have dubbed this area a cross roads of jihadi activity in brussels. and they say the whole community should not be stigmatized for the actions of just a few. interesting as well, as these several thousand people now holding this vigil, many are
gathered outside the very apartment building where two of the paris attackers lived, because the home of the mastermind and his brother is just on the square where this vigil is taking place. the brother of course as we know blew himself up, and the other brother returned from paris to brussels in the early hours of saturday, and he is still on the run, despite a massive manhunt. we can see outside of the window of that family home right now, for example, that the family have placed a few candles on the window sills. >> and karl the charlie hebdo attack, the train attack that was thwarted, all now paris all of them tied back to belgium. so how do the residents counter
these claims of ties to their city? >> reporter: indeed the resid t residents are trying to shake off this image, but there has been with this attack but also in the past, multiple leads leading back to this area, and talking to one lady today who's own son left and died in syria almost two years ago now, she says that the area, and the kind of atmosphere here is to blame to some extent for radicallizing youths. she say there is a large muslim population in the district, a ghetto mentality has sprung up, and because of certain failed social policies by the state, including failure to create employment and give a good
education, she says that is what has left the youth vulnerable. she says that is is very prevalent and that perhaps is behind some of the radicalization that is taking place, del. >> carl, thank you very much. also this morning, french president francois hollande talking about his country's reaction to the attacks, he said that france will not let the group change the life of his country. >> translator: daesh wants to poison, suspicion, stigmatization, and division. let us not give in to the temptation of giving we must not yield either to feelings of
fear, of excessive action, our social cohesion is the best rely. >> he went on to say that he believes france needs to reestablish control of what he is calling their frontiers. there is a growing call here in the u.s. to keep syrian refugees out of this country. now presidential candidates are making their feelings known. >> reporter: in cleveland monday night, bernie sanders stepped in front of thousands of supporterses, and said now is not the time for fear mongering. >> as americans we will not succumb to racism. we will not allow ourselves to be divided and is couple to islamaphobia, we will not turn our backs on the refugees from syria and afghanistan. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: last summer as hundreds of thousands of
syrianing refugees fled the region, the obama set a goal next year of 10,000 acceptances after accepting only 2,000 total over the past four years. >> we have the most extensive security vetting that we have ever had. >> reporter: but the attacks in paris and reports that one of the suspects may have travelled to france posing as a migrant have fuelled vocal republican opposition to the white house plan. >> bringing people into this country from that area of the world, i think is a huge mistake. >> it's not that we don't want to, it's that we can't. there's no way to background check someone coming from syria. who do you call? >> reporter: even jeb bush now believes only certain kinds of syrians should be let in. >> i think our focus ought to be on the christians who have no place in syria anymore.
they are being executed by both sides. >> reporter: for the entire republican presidential field, the hard line against muslim refugees amounts to a political lay-up. in july a survey indicated that 71% of republican voters were very concerned about the rise of islam extremism, compared to 45% of democratic voters. and now there are have been four straight days of intense media coverage from paris. rand paul and ted cruz both say they plan to introduce legislation blocking the white house's policy. >> the policy to bring tens of thousands of syrian refugees to america, i think is lunasy. >> reporter: even hillary clinton has stayed relatively quiet on this issue. at the last debate when asked, she focused on the security of
americans not the plight of thousands of refugees. >> i said we should go to 65 but only if we have as carefully screening and vetting process as we can imagine whatever resources it takes. >> reporter: martin o'malley believes the proper screening is already in place. >> accommodating 65,000 refugees in our countries today, is akin to making for 6.5 more people in a baseball stadium with 32,000. >> reporter: all of this means when it comes to full throated approval of syrians coming to the united states, sanders and o'malley stand alone. >> we will do what we do best and that is be americans, fighting racism, xenophobia, and fear. [ cheers and applause ] and we'll have much more on the latest raids in paris today
controversy, in florida it involves sanctuary cities, those are places that shelter undocumented immigrants and refuse to turn them over to federal officials. as ines ferre reports, florida is now trying to make that illegal. >> reporter: this man says he has a deportation order to go back to honduras. the 26 year old, fears new bills could send him to jail. >> if i'm driving, and i get stopped, pulled over, and they see i don't have a driver's license, and they see i'm undocumented they have to call immigration custom enforcement and take me to jail. >> reporter: the bill would end sanctuary cities in the state. it would be illegal for local law enforcement to refuse to collaborate with immigration officials. >> and basically, helping
undocumented -- >> reporter: he says if these bills become law, he would lose his freedom to move around miami, and that would mean significant changes for his life. >> if i get deported tomorrow, i won't be even to finish my semester in this school, and i just don't wanten to face the penalty. >> reporter: the bill comes weeks after north carolina governor signed legislation to do away with sanctuary cities in that state. and in philadelphia the major is considering rolling back the city's sanctuary policy. in this past proposals to restrict immigration have generated strong opposition. activists say growing anti-immigrant sentiment will push these bills forward. >> that means that police are going to have to look into people's immigration status, and that's a dangerous precedent. because then local communities are not going to want to
cooperate with the police. >> reporter: but one lawmaker says the bills are misunderstanding he says his measure will target those immigrants who commit violent crimes. >> it's only a matter of time until we're on the news with the next person that shouldn't be in here does something heinous. and we need to take proactive steps and say that florida is not going to be friendly. and we want to give you now a quick update on our top story. two people with dead and at least seven are under arrest, in an operation designed to catch the suspected master mind of the paris attacks, abdelhamid abaaoud. one of those killed are believed to be his cousin.
abaaoud at this hour is still to be at large. [ explosion ] [ gunfire ] >> a woman blows herself up and a man a shot dead as french police raid an apartment in a hunt for the paris attackers. ♪ hello, i'm lauren taylor, this is al jazeera live from london. also coming up, the belgian town at the ter of the paris attack ib investigation shows solidarity. and isil claimed this device brought down a rush an airliner. and a giant of the game,