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tv   Ali Velshi on Target  Al Jazeera  March 22, 2016 5:30am-6:01am EDT

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melting pot has some edges that are uncomfortable and need to figure it out but clearly a rise of new kind of dark nationalism and some of the countries affected by this is happening in response to this. when you look at internal security places like brussels and france you add to that the refugee crisis and you add to that the economic essentially inside europe in greece and germany you take off those things and they are making a very toxic meks of defensiveness many europe and i felt it when you talk to regular people here. >> and i really appreciate you talking to us about your experience in the airport when the explosions went off, thank you, i really do appreciate it. let me just remind you you just joined us what we know so far,
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there has been one explosion at malbik station at the metro under ground network. local media say brussels metro is being completely closed down. earlier two explosions went off at the capitol airport. local media says one was inside the departure area and the other was outside the terminal building. according to local television at least 13 people are dead and 35 injured. another witness at the airport has described what happened. >> translator: we were having lunch on the fourth floor of the departure lounge when we heard the first explosion and there was screaming and people started to leave then a second large explosion and the windows shattered and the injured were lying by the check out desks on the ground. >> we are live in the studio with mohamed and the picture
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next to you is of the brussels metro and all of the stations have been evacuated in the city after the explosion went off in an hour or so and who i was talking to steve clemmons who was in the area port when the bombs went off says what this really throws up is how identity is effected or being questioned at the moment. >> this is a huge problem. i mean this also really taps into what we were just speaking before steve got on the phone with us. we have large segments of population in europe and may have citizenship in countries they have been living most of their lives they feel disenfranchised and marginalized and when you go to a country like france you can't help but see it especially in the south and go to mosques there and speak to members of the muslim community especially members of north african muslim communities there and will tell you most of the ones we spoke with
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throughout their lives they felt as though they had been actively discriminated against by the french and makes it much easier for groups like i.s.i.l. or other groups to tap in the anger and disenfranchisement and recruit and go to places like syria and get training and go back and plot attacks. again we are not there yet when it comes to the attack and all the details but this is a growing problem in europe and now you seen the attack that happened in paris last year and seen the attack that happened today it's something europe will really have to wrestle with and said in the past they intend to have out reach and intend to have policies more inclusive and members of society that could be attracted to groups and may want to go and fight in a place like syria and come back and plot attack they want to make sure it doesn't happen but the fact that attacks keep happening kind of shows europe has not been doing a good job at this. >> that is quite a leap isn't it
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to feel disenfranchised and being trained to kill people. >> absolutely and it has to do with groups like i.s.i.l. are masterful at the way they are able to use social media and use their online presence to tap into anger like that, to recruit people to come, to join their cause. and at this point these societies, these groups, these governments they have not been able to effectively counter that and that is where you are going to need some serious action taking place. the biggest thing that can be done when you speak to a lot of muslim groups in places like france they say they need to feel that the groups there need to feel they are included in french society and not discriminated against. another big factor economic opportunity, most basic thing there members of society there, many who lived their entire lives and are muslim don't feel economic opportunity and not
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enough jobs for them, when they don't have economic opportunity it's easy for i.s.i.l. or groups like i.s.i.l. to recruitment. >> people disenfranchised in europe and a large part of people do feel disenfranchised and the heart has been closed down and evacuated and trains on the euro star also have been evacuated particularly the line between brussels and london. let's bring in jackie roland she is in paris now, what is the concern there jackie, what happened? >> well, here in paris obvious they are following the situation in brussels very closely. in the last half hour there was a high-level meeting here at the palace of president francois hollande summoned his interior
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minister someone who has been intimately following events throughout and we have seen him on saturday at the palace as well after arrest of salah-abdeslam and topped security and political officials meeting to look at the potential consequences for france. i have to say here in paris as a p precaution the main rail way station where trains leave for brussels was briefly closed earlier on tuesday morning. the direct train between paris and brussels was briefly suspended. what we are hearing now the train between brussels and paris is being stopped north of france so clearly security officials, police and military trying to control what still be a developing situation and we have been hearing about a series of bomb blasts not only at the airport but also metro stations in brussels and it seems that there is a desire to try to keep
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people out of brussels as far as possible as we have been hearing from nieve on the scene and brussels the heart of europe and vital to the function of eu institutions and normally full of people of different nationalitys all the time travel between brussels and other european capitols but the closer of the airport, the desire to turn trains back, there seems to be a very deliberate and conscious effort by the authorities to stop people coming into brussels now in order to make it easier for them to do the work and securing the city and beginning the search for the perpetrators of these attacks. >> as we know where you are there is a state of emergency, a high presence of security, but the chatter, the recent chatter jackie after the arrest of salah-abdeslam is there could be more attacks imminent but wonder how you can stop something like this from happening.
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>> well, from the president, french president down in the days after the capture of salah-abdeslam and hearing from presidents and prime men sters and prosecutors and the war name that this is not over, the investigation will continue. and in particular what i think was a very ominous and, in fact, warning that was heard was that there is an understanding within these networks what intelligence officials have been able to piece together is that when one cell closes down there can be an automatic action to bring other cells alive and there was a warning with the capture of salah-abdeslam can be understood in a wider network saying he activated and time to activate another cell. this was actually said about 48 hours ago. it was in the public domain. officials were aware that this is their understanding of how
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these networks operate and new the risk was live and brussels is pretty much in lock down anyway and it was friday and police at the street and heightened state of alert and yet despite the heightened state of alert it is possible with one bomb attack against one target but multiple bomb attacks against multiple targets and very worrying for security forces and above all worrying for ordinary people be they belgium or foreigners working in brussels but despite the heightinglied state of alert it is still possible for this kind of sophisticated series of attacks to take place. >> thank you for that, jackie. we just had confirmation about the explosion at the malbik station and the fall out from that and while there have been many injuries apparently no one has been killed so many injuries at the station at heart of the
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city, many injuries but no one killed. let's go over to istanbul in turkey. let's not forget that turkey has seen a string of attacks over last couple of weeks, dozens of people killed, also soft targets attacked right in the heart of the cities will to harry faucet how is this hnews going down an how has it been viewed? >> i think people here in turkey are still very shaken up by what happened a couple days ago. on saturday a suicide bombing not far here near the square right in the town of this largest city in turkey, the man who is believed to have carried out that suicide attack according to the turkish government and turkish national with links to i.s.i.l., someone from the border areas down south and it just shows how pervasive this threat is all across
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europe, extending here to turkey. of course there are some 2.7 million registered syrian refugees inside turkey, potentially many more unregistered and within that kind of movement, that huge movement of people it has become different to police exactly who is going in and out and through this country. that is one of the reasons. of course there are all sorts of political and domestic political situations in european countries who have been bringing in all of these refugee numbers over recent years but one of the reasons that they are concerned and wanted to do this recent deal with turkey to try and slow down that flow of people is because of these security concerns of the president of turkey is talking about a full on fight against terror in this country. there have been some earlier in march some 16 arrests of people believed to have i.s.i.l. links in the southern part of turkey and so this is a threat that has
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taken very much a domestic one in turkey as it is seen as a potential launching point and a through point for those wanting o to do harm in other parts of europe as well and this morning in the newspaper here in turkey was that a recent doby match two of the biggest teams in turkey was called off on sunday because of fears there may be some kind of copy cat attack to what happened in paris last year in france so a tense time in turkey and the news out of belgium raises it further. >> tense time in turkey and can see the reach of these groups behind these attacks, how easily they can cross over into countries and commit these sort of atrocities. we are looking at live pictures coming from brussels airport where three hours ago or 8:00
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a.m. local time two explosions went off, 13 people have been killed and confirmed at this stage and at least 35 injured and the explosions and part of the ceiling came crashing down and glass was shattered and the airport as you can imagine that time of morning was packed with commuters coming and going. they have all been evacuated and you can see still a steady stream of people being evacuated. i spoke to someone earlier on who is not far from the explosion and he said what really struck him is how calm everybody was. nobody freaked out or panicked and really calm and took it in their stride as they were evacuated from the airport. air traffic has been stopped to and from the airport. all metro stations in the city have been closed down particularly considering there was an attack in the station and fortunately nobody was killed there at mulbik station and we
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go to james base in geneva where a high-level meeting is taking place on what we are hoping in syria. you are getting a low lot of response from leaders all around the world, james. what has been said? >> jane, let's start here in brussels because obviously everyone is looking towards i.s.i.l. and links with i.s.i.l. and obviously that brings us to syria and the talks here in syria between the delegation from the government and the delegation from the main opposition block, the high negotiations committee and they just put out a statement moments ago and their spokesman says the world must stand united to defeat terrorism and heavy heart we learned of the ruthless attacks in brussels and hnc and the people of syria stand with the people of belgium in solidarity and a statement put out in the last few moments here in geneva from the main opposition block which will be
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back here for talks in the coming hours with staffan de mistura trying to deal with what may be the original cause for these problems, the war in syria which allowed i.s.i.l. and them to take control of territory in syria and quite possibly has learns with those involved in the attacks in brussels and i take you to brussels and the latest reaction from there that we are reading our websites and on twitter. and just moments ago the prime minister of belgium who i'm told now his residence is on the guard by para military police he put out a tweet and he said for now we ask the population to prevent movement and stay at home and this message from the leader of belgium and prime minister of belgium. we also have reaction coming from the european union because this was not just attack on belgium, it was attack on the european quarter of brussels which is the capitol of europe
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as well as the capitol of belgium and vice president of the eu commission she earlier tweeted please stay home or inside buildings and tweeted again saying all eu institutions are at alert level orange. she says all meetings on eu premises and outside have been cancelled and she said there is access only for those with staff badges. reaction from other european leaders and david cameron the prime minister says he is shocked and concerned and says he will be holding a crisis meeting from sweden and the prime minister from sweden says the attack on democratic europe so reaction coming in from little and diplomatic ladders across europe to an attack which is not just an attack in brussels but many feeling it's an attack on eu and the international community. >> now one of the areas that was attacked this morning, james was very close to eu institutions
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and you know it very well because you lived in brussels and also know that area port because you traveled through it quite frequently, quite surprising considering how many important people, how many high security people are passing through the malbik metro station and something like this can happen, do you think we will see a massive rethink of security policy there? >> well i think it's hard to prevent against these sort of attacks you have mass transit public systems as you do in most european city, if you have metro systems like brussels you need to get people around and move people at rush hour every single morning including all of the officials and diplomates that work for the european union and the european commission and various other departments of the eu for the various missions and, in fact, the embassys of all the eu countries which are all gathered there in the european quarter of brussels.
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it makes you think what would you do instead about the situation at malbik metro station and the metro stations that serve all of these eu institutions would you search every person with a briefcase or a bag, you are going to completely disrupt the transportation system of brus brussels and if you do it elsewhere of london, paris, berlin and other european capitols and i think the same problem will affect air transportation because what seems to have happened here is explosions took place in the departure hole. you will know everyone watching will know when you go on a plane most airports you arrive with your baggage and put it on a baggage trolley and go to check in. no one checks you at that point and that appears is the point where the bombing occurred. there are some places where security are tighter and one is baghdad in iraq you are checked before you get in the airport, in tel aviv and you are checked
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before you go through the security. perhaps now we are going to see a change, a change for even tighter security than what was introduced in 9/11. i was actually living in brussels at the time of 9/11 and actually on the day of 9/11 i flew from there and i could tell you security was greatly tightnessed back then and i think we may be seeing a new step change in europe after this. >> okay thanks for that james and i believe we are going to i'm just waiting to find out where we are going. she is talking so listen in. >> waiting for precise news of dynamics of attacks in brussels and it's quite clear that the root of the pain we are suffering around our region are very much same and we are united
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at only suffering our victims but reacting to this act and reventing radicalization and violen violence together. we dipped in this and object know it is happening and talking about these attacks and how it's likely to affect people. what do you think they are doing now? jackie roland said there has been a security meeting in france and cabinet meeting in brussels. >> a sad truth about something like this and what we can expect
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to happen and if a group like i.s.i.l. claims responsibility and whether or not that happens you will see a crack down occur and already security has been raised and heightened now and in the wake of the france attacks you had a large segment of the society there that already felt marginalized but then when security alert was raised and when they knew that there would be raids through the country and mosques and other institutions raided they thought they would be further marginalized and under the microscope and these are people who felt they are under the microscope their entire lives and felt disenfranchised because of that and perpetuates an ugly cycle and in wake of attack or any kind of attack like this you will see security state move in
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and raids conducted and see people swept up in this. but if the focus goes upon a certain community or the muslim community, a community and a lot of them feel disenfranchised and once again they will feel t further disenfranchised but it's what happens in the wake of these attacks. >> those who are not muslim possibly who don't know muslims s and don't have muslim friends do you think it gives reason to take out anger and frustration on them? >> i think we have seen the pattern play out again and again in wake of attacks in the last few years whether it be the united states or whether it be europe and i think unfortunately we can say with some degree of certainty that it could be expected that that could happen and again that is just going to polorize people further and groups in europe don't like the
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fact there are muslim communities in their cities and countries, already they are angry about that. one of the things that has driven that many the past year has been the refugee crisis. i've spent a lot of time in the last year covering the refugee crisis and the migrant trail as it goes through europe. time and again when we have been in these countries you hear people especially right wing groups and ana lot ocountries they are becoming popular in places like hungry even in sweden and they will use that to say these people are terrorists and the facts that attacks are happening at a time when there is this migration route that is happening, they say there is a link when, in fact, no link has ever been proven. so it really just perpetuates the uglier side of societies when things like this happen and people already have a dim, dark view of muslims, muslim communities, they are going to utilize attacks like this to try to have more anger against them. >> thanks for that and do stay with us and want to bring this
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our correspondent and it's nieve barker in brussels and watching everything that has been unfolding since 8:00 a.m. local time this morning and tell us where you are nieve. >> well, i'm just outside the airport where the blasts took place earlier on this morning and what we have seen over the last few hours is a steady stream of people being evacuated from the airport and coordinated evacuation by police and i'd say in the thousands and a combination of both airport staff along with travelers here looking very very confused as they arrive with their luggage and a short time ago we saw a bus that was being controlled by the police carrying a number of people. they were wrapped in thermal blankets and saw at least one woman with a blood-stained face looking extremely dazed.
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clearly in shock. as i said a tremendous amount of police activity. we still are hearing the sound of ambulances whizzing by. according to some eyewitnesss that we have spoken to here there were a large number of dead and injured on the ground inside the departure lounge where it's believed these two blasts took place and i spoke to a member of staff in the departure hold at the time but the very far end. he said the first blast happened by the aaron desk and the second close to a "starbucks" cafe in the departure lounge and he and a few of his team members hid inside the mechanism of one of the conveyer belts before managing to be able to climb through the conveyer belt and out to a low level and to the emergency exit. his main concern was that perhaps there wasn't enough security on stand by at the airport at the time despite the
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fact and since the paris attacks we have seen the military in large numbers on the streets of brussels and heightened level of security when it comes to police and that is the scene at the airport, evacuation that is still continuing. >> thank you for that and let's bring in david low, he is a terrorism and security expert and a professor at john werz university and is live from liverpool and good to have you with us on this day where we have seen three attacks in brussels and let's talk about security at airport first. was this a severe lack of security? i mean could something more have been done to prevent something like this do you think? >> well, i think it's very difficult because you look at that departure lounge ease of access and, you know, you have that situation again where we are looking at a soft target and not looking at a target where once you have gone through
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security procedures and obviously questioned asked about fact of what has gone on in the last couple of weeks in brussels certainly with arrest of salah-abdeslam and others on of course he was a key figure and maybe perhaps more of a uniform presence there but, you know, how far do we have to go with security? do we have to really have procedures to even get into a check-in desk? you can understand. >> do you think that is what needs to be done? >> the problems this will cause. well, they are talking like we may have to take some actions this way, certainly in the short term because the bottom line of course is safety is the safety of people and that is what is paramount and if we do do this in the short term and get passengers both for train services and brussels has the euro star and train links and looking at ferries as well as
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aircraft to say to passengers arrive early, there is more of a disruption in the cue but it's all about being safe but this could be one step that has to be taken. >> after the paris attacks france is under a state of emergency, belgium just raised their security levels to a level four, that is its highest level and do you think it's enough and what impact do you think this is likely to have on security? >> well, the difference between going from level three to level four isn't that great. the difference is level three is attack is highly likely but i mean the uk is currently at level three and has been now for nearly two years, level four indicates that details of when and where an attack is likely so obviously you can understand why brussels now is at level four and virtually on a lock down which they stopped all the metro traffic et cetera. the impact it has a great
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disruption to peoples' lives in brussels and essentially the european union and the buildings on lock down. you can see what is happening but it is looking ahead and i think if there is a positive to come out of this we have seen a great disruption of the islamic state and making a guess because no one claimed responsibility but highly likely this group is responsible for the attacks but again it's an educated guess and don't know any more so from this it is looking at perhaps getting further evidence and perhaps crossing the intelligence again and causing even more disruption to the group and at moment they have been seriously degraded for their full capacity. >> very good to have you talking to us on al jazeera about these three attacks that we saw over several hours in belgium on tuesday. we are hearing through afp, we can't confirm this but afp
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quoting belgium civil defense and says the death toll now is 21 and heard a little earlier at least 35 people have been injured, this is at the airport, no reports of anybody dead at the metro station in the heart of the city but many people injured. earlier a witness in mccafeteriaty spoke to us from outside the metro station shortly after the explosion the there. >> i was at the metro station which is the one just before malbik and i was exiting the metro and there was a loud muffled sound seemingly coming from up stairs, there was a lot of dust raised and people started kind of panicking and leaving the metro station quickly. when they came to ground level there were a lot of soldiers there helping the process and a lot of confusion and this is


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