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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 22, 2016 12:30pm-1:01pm EDT

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will stop our resolve to defeat isil. here on al jazeera, we're going to take a short break, back in just a moment, but as we go out, let's show you some pictures which were taken by a survivor at the airport. well, it's difficult to see in the clouds of dust, but you can pick up the sounds of confusion and panic in the immediate aftermath of the two explosions in that departure hall. okay. you are watching al jazeera with special coverage of events in particular today in brussels. ♪
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when it comes to the fithings you love,. you want more. love romance? get lost in every embrace. into sports? follow every pitch, every play and every win. change the way you experience tv with x1 from xfinity. >> "inside story" takes you beyond the headlines,
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beyond the quick cuts, beyond the soundbites. we're giving you a deeper dive into the stories that are making our world what it is. you are watching al jazeera with me david foster. let me update you on the top story. the islamic state of iraq and the levant says it was behind bomb attacks in belgium that killed at least 34 people. there were two explosions in the departure hall of the airport. there 14 people died. about 100 were hurt. a third device was found there, and later safely detoted. an hour after that, here on the underground system on the metro,
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a third bomb went off at the station very close to the european union headquarters in the center of brussels. higher fatality numbers there. at least 20 killed, and 130 injured. and shortly before we came on air with this hour of special coverage, police released an airport security camera image showing three suspects. the two in black, the men on the left are believed to be the bombers from the airport attack. the third man, the man in the light wind cheater and wearing a hat is still being caught by police. paul brennan is live in brussels. the stern of the city was shut down pretty much need at -- immediately. security forces telling people to stay where they are. as that changed?
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>> reporter: it has reduced somewhat. the area over my shoulder, difficult to zoom in, because we might lose the signal, there is about a 300-meter section of this air carriageway through the center of the city which remains shut off. in that is where the metro station is. we have seen in the last 10, 15 minutes, a large group, more than a dozen officers with forensic white suits emerge and disappear. it appears that already shift they were working on underground at the sight of the explosion. we also heard earlier that the area of the explosion has now been cleared of casualties and fatalities. but with regards to your primary question, which is the police cordon. people were initially told to
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stay in doors. now the cordon has shrunk. the area inside the cordon is now outside. and many people stuck in their offices all day have now been allowed to go home as best they can, because the metro system remains shut. as you can probably hear and will see in a second, there is still a significant amount of police, vehicular activity. i have seen police, army, and plain-clothed police whizzing around here with their sirens blaring in the last couple of hours. >> paul the explosion was in a tunnel, as i understand it. and that can often be a favored tactic of those wanting to commit atrocities because they know it will be contained and the damage will be that much greater. >> reporter: indeed. i have seen some still
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photographs of the carriage which was hit by the explosion, by there is catastrophic damage of the actual metal work and the structure of that carriage underground. it does appear that the metro train would have just been leaving mallbeek, but not the whole train. and the pictures that i show of the carriage show it completely blasted apart. i have used that metro to get to the building where the european summits are usually held, and i have used that summit to get to the building, because it is much quicker than the cars. it would have been packed. it was morning rush hour. thousands of people using that metro to get to these offices, and the international aspect of it is that the diplomats would have been targeted. whether they were the primary target or just inincident, we'll have to see. but this is non-just a belgian
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incident, this is a crisis, an incident of international proportions. >> paul thank you. in that is paul brennan in the center of brussels. let's go out a short way to the airport, and neave barker, my colleague who is there where the first two explosions took place, and you left us, neave, about 30 minutes ago saying the airport director was about to make a statement. did you have a chance to hear what he had say? >> reporter: yes, that's right. the chief executive of the airport came out to speak to the media. he first of all confirmed he did not think the airport would be ready to be opened again until at least thursday. that is to give investigators enough time to pour over the scene. this is of course, an active murder scene. and whatever evidence is
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gathered here could have massive implications on the french and belgian investigators on going investigations. he put an end to the speculation that both of the blasts that occurred here actually happened inside the departure hall. there had been some suggestions that one blast took place outside and another inside. a little bit earlier on, we also heard from american airlines who have put out a statement, primarily because it had been widely reported that one of the blasts took place here the american airlines check in desk or the tickets desk. they said it didn't take place anywhere near their desks, in what is a very large departure hall. but we have spoken to several eyewitnesses who say one of the blasts took place near the starbucks cafe, the other near the ryan air desk. that is what we're hearing from
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eyewitnesss. >> neave did the -- >> -- regarding the functions of the airport -- >> no, please, carry on. >> yes, go ahead. >> the airport is working in some way or not? >> reporter: yes, the airport is completely shutdown. it is not receiving any aircraft whatsoever. many flights have been diverted to nearby airports. the other airport serving brussels is still open, but as far as this airport is concerned, it's closed while the investigation continues. >> yeah, 200 flights according to flight radar 24, diverted. i want to ask about the suggestion that a third device was found at the airport. either it was detonated safely or failed to explode. >> reporter: yes, that's right. we are hearing similar news also coming to us from officials,
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which also seems to corroborate what we're also hearing from eyewitnesses too. they say that they were warned that another device also was potentially undetonated. and they were told to leave certain areas that a third device would be detonated. at this stage all we're hearing in terms of any potential weapons found, is that a clash that cough rifle was discovered. that seems to add to what we have been hearing to people speaking to us who say they heard, as well as the two loud explosions, gunfire along signed them. >> neave, we'll leave it there for now. let's bring up, as we introduce justin crump security analyst
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here in the studio. let's bring up the picture that was released by the police as we understand it, of three men at the airport. two men on the left are said to be -- >> i believe -- they believe they were the attackers, and the current reporting which i have to say is a little bit vague on this, and i think the picture itself is leaked. the man on the right is being looked for as a potential third attacker who is believed not to have died at the airport. given the timing that could be someone that was on the metro, or even a case of mistaken identity. >> let's leave the picture up. neave barker or somebody was mentioning that the fact that the two men on the left, have only one glove on -- >> yeah. >> -- on one of their hands could be because they are hiding detonators within the gloves?
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>> yeah, that's one of the things that is being said. it is possible. of course they could also have it in pocket. again, the devices themselves are, though, of interest. if there was the explosive which we have seen in recent attacks. that's no more than 10 days old, maybe 5. and someone who -- >> you are saying if it's a tatp device it can only be five to ten days old -- >> right. because it would deteriorate. it is very unstable to move. i know when abdeslam was arrested was there talk of another attack being underway. i think we have known he has been in brussels for a long while. he even said on skype that's where he was. so i think obviously there has
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been a long focus on him. it's unlikely these devices would have been made and deployed in the time since he was captured. so i think probably an operation to some extent where the planning had largely taken place. now whether or not the timing was driven by the arrests and the desire do something about -- >> everybody is saying their sympathy is with the people of belgium and the belgium government. is it fair to say that the police have been on top of this? >> belgian has the highest number per capita of people who travel to syria to fight. so the belgians had a fairly substantial problem. the french do as well. it take 25 surveillance officers
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to track one individual. so the scale of things is obviously shown. and indeed the difficulty of finding someone that we knew where he was, and we couldn't find him in that period of time. >>hortly after abdeslam was taken as a wounded program. >> yeah. >> the police have released a picture of another man, said to be his accomplice or certainly somebody associated with him. what are you hearing about this person? and perhaps his involvement in whate have seen in the last 12 hours? >> i think it's clear this network was larger than people initially believes after paris. this is one person who is loose, but clearly we're seeing evidence that sat least two people were at the airport which matches the explosions at the airport. so although there was talk of
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looking for one other person, obviously there were three involved in this, i believe they are connected. and i fear that germany is also likely to be affected and france, and potentially even switzerland where we have seen security alerts in the last few months. >> okay. thank you very much indeed. that's justin crump talking us to. we will continue with our special coverage of events in belgium here on al jazeera after this short break. ♪
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♪ let's bring you up to date with me, the very latest we have events in belgium. isil says it was behind bomb attacks in brussels that have left at least 34 people dead. there were two explosions in the departure hall of the airport. 14 people died there. more than 100 were hurt. a third device, we understand was later found and safely detonated. so that was what we saw at the airport here on the metro system, the brussels underground system, an hour later, a third bomb on board a metro train that is very close to the european union headquarters in the center of brussels. and the casualty list there, at least 20 people lost their lives there, and more than 130 were injured.
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now the police have released this picture, apparently some suggestions that it was leaked when they posted it on an internal twitter account. we aren't sure, but we have the picture. two men on the left said to be suspects. they are thought to be those who designated devices at the airport, one at least a suicide bomber, and the man on the right with man with the hat and lighter colored clothing is believed to be involved. we don't know in what form, but he is being sought by police. the pictures from the underground show an eerily calm seen as the metro is evacuated, but everybody is forced to walk through the dark to safety. take a look at these pictures. this appears to be people on board one of the carriages
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getting off in an extremely orderly fashion. not what i lead you to believe it was going to be. there we are. yeah, this is obviously not where the explosion actually took place, but one of those perhaps of the carriages on that train. through mallbeek. you can see it is inside a tunnel. these devices often detonated inside a tunnel for worst effect because the tunnel can contain the explosion, the effect on those people involved in the carriages a will be that much worse. let us bring in -- because there has been a lockdown in central brussels. let's bring in richard corbett, deputy leader of the labor members of the european parliament there. okay. we don't have that. it's obviously difficult to make sure we get through the right
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lines to brussels, the communications have been a little bit difficult there. in the meantime let's hear from the turkish president and prime minister. they have condemned the attacks. our correspondent has more from turkey. >> reporter: turkey's president has described the attacks in brussels as a heinous crime, and he said that there were no differences between terror organizations whether they were kurdish militants attacking ankara, the turkish capitol, or the attackers in brussels. so he is trying to say, basically that turkey as well as europe are under contain of terrorism by kurdish militants as well as other groups, perhaps including isil. another reaction coming from turkey's prime minister, saying that turkey standing with belgium and the belgium people.
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he also said that global terrorism has shown its face again. now if this -- the attacks in brussels were claimed by isil, then this plays into the hands of the turkish government, because turkey is saying that it is a victim of a terrorism campaign, of isil as well as the pkk, the kurdistan workers party. >> that is our correspondent in turkey. we have established contact now with richard corbett. brussels has been in lockdown, mr. corbett what has .hahhed to you guys now? are you still being told not to get out of the building? are or you free to leave? >> they have just announced that people are free to go. they said that people shouldn't leave at the same time. so parents and people with young children are encouraged to leave
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first. >> you have been there since the first thing this morning. what was the first that you knew about what happened? >> as it happened i had just walked past the metro station just a few moments before. though i didn't hear or see anything. it just brings home how random it is, who is going to be killed or injured. and of course one's heart goes out to those who have been killed or injured. but across the whole town it has of course caused apprehension, public transport was shut down. many streets were blocked off. helicopters have been going back and forth overhead. unpersistent rumors on social media, of course no way of checking whether they are true or not, but of course, people were wary of them, because they were predicting more attacks. so that engenders exactly what the terrorists want, which is terror and fear. >> inside the building that you
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are inside in, in brussels, what were you advised to do? did you see extra security? or were you free to go about your business? >> the security to get in was of course doubly vigilant and brave men and women doing that by the way, because anybody can come up to that check point perhaps with a bomben them. but they were doing it professionally, systematically, and that gave assurance that once you were inside, you were reasonably safe. >> and now that you are free to go, you said the -- the idea is to instill terror. that is what terrorists strive to do. how will you feel walking through the streets of brussels, perhaps past the same station that you use? >> i expect i'll have to take a different route, but obviously everyone will be looking
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carefully around them to the extent that you can, of course. one of the terrifying things is that this can happen in a totally unpredictable and unforeseeable way anywhere. not just in brussels. we had the attacks in london, the attacks in paris, in madrid, istanbul, ankara, you don't know where they are going to strike. often with local home grown terrorists, of course, but part of a wider network that seems able to strike anywhere. >> and your thoughts until now about whether brussels has been a safe place prior to this. did you feel safe? >> brussels felt no more or no less safe than anywhere else, frankly, in general. there has never been an attack on the inside of the any of the european institutions. so that gives a feeling of security for those who work there, but that doesn't count for everywhere else.
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>> richard corbett thank you, talking to us from the european parliament building, where the parliamentarians have been locked in all day, but are now free to go. let's bring in mr. crump again. when isil said they carried out this attack, there was no surprise, really, twluz? >> not at all. we produced reports last week talking about threating in europe. and what we saw today was part of the report. not just belgium, but very much fl -- following trends. i think we focus on the loan wolves, but i think that's a misnomer. one person is less much effective than two or much less
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effective than four. it's much easier for four people to buy things. and abdeslam did buy a lot of the supplies for the attacks in paris, including the detonators. i think these latest attacks are slightly more self director. these are people in general who have had a bit of operational experience, and that is eventually driving events. >> justin we'll see you later on. as we continue our special coverage here on al jazeera. let us bring up the picture from the airport in brussels. the three men now confirmed by the federal prosecutor to be the chief suspects behind the explosions. certainly at the airport which have left 14 people dead, and perhaps also behind the explosion on the metro underground. these are the most wanted men in europe. stay with us, if you can.
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.. . .. . ♪ . >> the death toll at least 24. there were two explosions as brussells airport. and here are the brussells metro, another explosion at the station. >> it has been confirmed according to federal prosecutors that these men were in their opinion behind the attacks.