tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN November 13, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
spirits. and we will carry out the love that they were showing. >> thank you, ladies, so much. by the way, started the campaign hate won't win, the president and first lady have joined in. if you want to learn more go to hatewon'twin movement.com. i'm brooke baldwin. thanks for being with me. "the lead" starts now. thanks, brooke. if jihadi john ever wondered if there was any place that got hotter than syria in the summer, well, he might have gotten his answer by now. "the lead" starts right now. isis in retreat from a key iraqi city as the pentagon says it is almost certain a missile incinerated the human animal known as jihadi john, the masked isis terrorist with american blood on his hands and his knife. trump nado, his stunning relentless tirade and blistering attack on dr. ben carson among others. the speech clocked in longer than some feature films. did the race just change again?
plus, some breaking news. the u.s. supreme court about to leap into the national debate over abortion for the first time in eight years. a decision could come in the thick of the 2016 presidential race. good afternoon everyone. welcome to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. some major developments in the last 24 hours in the war against isis, to catch you up to speed on. jihadi john, the stone cold killer and coward who from behind a mask is seen in those barbaric isis beheading videos is now suspected dead, killed in a u.s. drone strike. now we're learning exactly how the u.s. carried out that air strike near raqqa, syria, targeting the english speaking star of the sick propaganda videos. also, today in eastern syria the u.s. is destroying a main revenue stream for isis, the oil fields in syria that the terrorist group has seized. in northern iraq kurdish troops claiming victory and control of a key iraqi city situated
between other isis controlled towns. and a big question lingering in beirut, lebanon. was it truly isis behind those brutal twin bombings killing 43 people and wounding hundreds more in a busy marketplace yesterday? we begin of course with new information on the air strike on jihadi john. cnn's jim sciutto joins me now. jim, walk us through how your sources are saying this strike went down. >> this appears to be a pretty remarkable intelligence operation. the u.s. had jihadi john for continuous surveillance from the air for some 36 hours following his every move on a series of stops around raqqa, syria, that is the isis stronghold, until they had what the u.s. said is confident now successful strike from a drone. and jihadi john just to be clear not just a terror face, he was an operational leader too in the words of one official a very active terrorist. >> you now have 72 hours -- >> reporter: he's been one of the most haunting voices and brutal killers in all of isis.
>> it's only right we continue to strike the next of your people. >> reporter: and now it appears that jihadi john's reign of terror is over. tonight, the u.s. military says it is confident that a drone strike in raqqa, syria, killed the british born muhammad emwazi. >> this guy was a human animal. and killing him is probably making the world a little bit better place. >> reporter: cnn has learned that the u.s. had been secretly tracking the infamous isis front man in raqqa for several days. using three mq9 reaper drones like this one to track his movements and listen in on his conversations. by wednesday the intelligence was firm, and the mission was a go. after zeroing in on him in raqqa, the u.s. watched as he walked out of a building and got into a vehicle. three drones overhead fired two missiles into the vehicle killing the man believed to be jihadi john. >> certainly the role that mr.
emwazi has played in radicalizing individuals around the world and inspiring individuals to join their cause made him a threat not just to the region but to countries around the world. >> reporter: if confirmed, the strike would be a significant intelligence victory in a country where until recently the u.s. had thin intelligence assets. however, recent operations have killed three senior isis leaders. a special forces raid, recruiter in an air strike and now apparently jihadi john. >> there will always be somebody to take these people's place. yes, we should go after them, but we also have to realize that they're going to regenerate their leadership and they're going to bring people in we've never heard of before and the process starts over again. >> reporter: syria is what the intelligence community refers to as a hard target, not a lot of intelligence assets on the ground for the u.s.
but they do still have a great deal of capability. surveillance from the air, drones, satellites, intercepted communications, we saw both of them in action here. the latest in a series of successful strikes against high value targets, you've seen that in syria and places like yemen. again, another hard target. of course, question is what effect does this have on the operational capability of a group like isis. >> fascinating. jim sciutto, thank so much. joining me to discuss this all is democratic congressman adam schiff, he's the ranking member of the house intelligence committee. congressman, thanks so much for being here. let me ask you, just how confident are u.s. officials that jihadi john was in fact killed when there are not u.s. troops gathering dna and testing it out? >> certainly sounds like from the defense department statements that they're pretty confident. they usually won't come out this early this hard unless they have a lot of certainty. but again, that's going to be based on what we can see from the air. it's going to be based on our signals intelligence. we won't be able to gather dna. and so we'll be looking now to see what the militants are saying among themselves.
but you have to be careful even there because we have been thrown off before. where they have falsely staged a death when we missed the target. so it will probably be some time maybe in weeks before we're sure. >> jim said this is not just a symbolic victory in terms of jihadi john being the face, even though he cowardly hid his face, of isis, but that he actually had some operational responsibility, is that right? >> you know, we're still trying to determine exactly what his role was apart from being this mouthpiece to western audiences. but plainly he was a great resource for isis. he understood the west. he understood the culture of the west. he helped in the recruiting. so in that sense this is broader than just taking out one symbolic target. nonetheless i don't think any of us expect it will have a real operational impact. probably the more significant event of the week was the operation still ongoing in sinjar. that could cut off that road from raqqa out to mosul that
could have a real tactical significance and be a much more serious setback to isis. >> let's talk about sinjar right now. stay right there, congressman, we want to talk specifically about how this key city where kurdish forces claimed to have liberated an isis stronghold after just two days of intense fighting. this morning kurdish peshmerga troops proudly raising their flag over that city, sinjar, which had been held by the terrorist group for more than a year. cnn senior international correspondent nick paton walsh is embedded with kurdish forces on the front lines. he joins us now live. nick, what are you seeing on the ground there? >> reporter: well, it has been a remarkably swift move by the peshmerga to take their city. it started yesterday we saw moving to the eastern and western flanks to cut that road off congressman was just talking about there. but today they moved in from the north straight into the city center. hundreds of them on foot. in fact meeting initially heavy resistance, a lot of automatic gunfire as they moved in there, but that slowly turned into it seemed isis melting away and leaving in their wake a
remarkable number of traps, roadside bombs and in fact tunnels dug under some of the roads linked up to explosive devices. a fear that maybe isis fighters disguised themselves as peshmerga and go literally underground. in fact, we were there in peshmerga they said an isis sniper fired over their heads. the peshmerga fired back. they have two injuries in their ranks. still deeply volatile inside that city, but it's definitely in peshmerga hands now. no doubt about that. very little to live off though. barely a building that hasn't been damaged, rendered unusable by the violence brought upon the city. the time when the yazidis who once lived there can actually come back is still distant, but all the same the peshmerga are in control. they've torn huge trenches and laid big earth berms across that main route 47 between raqqa and mosul. no one's going to be using that in the foreseeable future without their permission. so at least one strategic goal
accomplished. and the symbolic fact of over 24 hours long this offensive is kicked isis out of an important city for them. >> nick paton walsh, thanks so much for your great reporting. please stay safe. congressman schiff, ranking member of the house intelligence committee, president obama said in an interview with abc news that isis has been, quote, contained in iraq and syria. contained and is not gaining strength. how can the president say that considering the fact that we see isis expanding in egypt and now maybe even in lebanon? >> well, i think the president was probably referring to the stalemated battlefield within iraq and syria. isis isn't really for the most part broadening its reach there. it's not capturing any major cities. you do see this dynamic where the peshmerga will capture sinjar back and yet isis in syria may capture a few small towns. frankly they were given a boost by the russians going in and bombing some of the other forces that gave them leeway. but nonetheless not much
movement. they are largely contained within that battlefield, but certainly outside of iraq and syria they're not the least bit contained. we see their growth in places like afghanistan. we have deep worries about libya where if we're not careful you could see isis controlling a large part of territory some time down the road. so egypt in the sinai as you point out, the bombing in beirut, they're very much growing and continue to recruit people around the world. >> so contained except for where they're not contained. but let's move onto the new coalition campaign, the air stkes against the isis controlled oil fields in syria. why now? why do that now? >> i think the administration has been wanting to take more aggressive action to go against isis finances. the challenge here is that you only have so many targets without the risk of civilian casualties. we could decimate pretty much all the oil revenues if we wanted to, but that would require not only going after these massive facilities but
going after the distribution network of these small trucks that they use to transport fuel. and there is a real risk of civilian casualties. so this may be a greater willingness to risk that to cut off these finances and appreciation the fact because the battlefield is stalemated they have to do something to break that stalemate. >> if assuming that the kurdish hold on sinjar remains and there isn't some big isis counterattack in the next few days, is the u.s. and are the kurds preparing to launch a campaign to retake mosul? >> i don't think that's going on now. and i don't think it's within the capacity of the peshmerga as well trained as they are to go and take mosul. the big challenge there is who's going to hold the place. and here it's not sufficient to have the peshmerga forces or american forces go into mosul. you need sunnis willing to hold onto mosul. and the sunnis right now are faced with an awful choice of being part of isis or being part
of what they consider to be a tehran led shia government out of baghdad. we have to work with the iraqis to give them another alternative. the iraqis have not been willing to do that. until they do i think taking mosul is going to be impossible. >> congressman adam schiff, always a pleasure. thanks so much for your time. appreciate it, isis claiming responsibility for that deadly double bombing that left more than 40 dead and hundreds wounded. now another terrorist group is vowing retaliation against isis. we'll go live to beirut next. the promise of the cloud is that every organization
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killed in twin suicide bombings yesterday, at least 43 people were killed, more than 200 were wounded. cnn's senior international correspondent clarissa ward is in beirut. she visited the blast site earlier today. >> reporter: this is the scene where that second suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest. more than 40 people were killed, and more than 200 injured. and if you walk around here, you can see the streets here are still covered with broken glass and the blood of all the people who were killed and injured in this attack. now, isis is claiming responsibility. they say because this is a shiite muslim neighborhood. and most of the people living here support hezbollah. and actually if you look at these yellow flags around this neighborhood, these are the flags of hezbollah. and hezbollah has been fighting with the regime of bashar al
assad inside syria in that country's civil war. >> and clarissa joins me now live. what's the mood in beirut tonight? >> reporter: well, jake, you know, the mood is somber. but i would also say there's a great deal of anxiety. this is the first time in nearly two years that we've seen an attack of this magnitude here inside lebanon. and beyond that this is really the first time we've seen isis claiming responsibility so stridently for such a bloody attack. and if you look at the language that isis used, jake, in their claim of responsibility, they weren't making demands. they weren't saying you must do this and then we'll do that. they were just basically declaring war. they were saying we will continue to attack these shiite neighborhoods wherever we find them as long as this continues. there was no sense of if you do this we'll back off, no give and take. so people here in lebanon, you
know, they've been through their sectarian problems over the years. had a long, long civil war, more than a decade long here. so there's a great deal of apprehension that lebanon could be going down that road again. >> and lebanon as you mentioned it's a stronghold of hezbollah, it's a political party also considered by the u.s. to be a terrorist group. how is hezbollah vowing to respond to isis? >> reporter: well, this is again what is fueling people's fears here, jake. hezbollah is showing no signs of saying, okay, let's pull back from the brink or let's talk about this or let's try to avert, you know, further violence. in fact, they're saying, and i quote, brace yourself for a long war. and that has many people here deeply concerned. what you're seeing across this region, jake, really is isis trying to capitalize on countries that are already racked and plagued by sectarian divisions and fan the flames of that sectarian hatred with the hopes of creating chaos that they can then exploit.
>> clarissa ward live in beirut, lebanon. stay safe. great reporting, thank you. in our politics lead, donald trump takes it up a notch even by trump standards. >> how stupid are the people of iowa? how stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap? >> trump's full takedown of ben carson and his profanity-laced tirade about isis coming up next, plus, dr. ben carson making his own headlines today saying his sources might be better than the white house's when it comes to syria. glad i could help you plan for your retirement.
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welcome back. we have some breaking news for you out of paris, france. several people have been killed and seven others injured physical following a shooting in central paris late friday, according to cnn affiliate bfmtv. police are at the scene outside a restaurant where the incident took place. at least in one of the locations that's been identified. a witness told bfmtv that firefighters are also on the scene to treat the injured. we are going to follow this story -- actually, we are going to go now to paul cruickshank, our terrorism analyst, to talk about what we know. paul, are you there? >> yeah, hey, jake. this is obviously very early stages here. this is a developing, fast moving situation in paris. there are reports of a shooting at a restaurant.
and there are also unconfirmed reports of explosions at the national football stadium in paris as well. unconfirmed reports that president hollande francois being evacuated because of all this from that area. i was speaking to one french national security reporter. you can imagine the moment they're sort of racing to get information. the worry at this very early hour is that this may be some kind of terrorist event, but it's at a very, very early hour here. but the worry is that there may be something coordinated going on right now in paris. i have to emphasize, again, we really do not yet know what is going on whether this is some kind of terrorism event or there is some other explanation for these early reports coming in from paris, jake. >> paul cruickshank, our terrorism analyst with this breaking news story that we're getting out of paris, france, about an incident, a shootout leaving some people dead, at
least ten wounded. is there anything you can tell us about the location of this event in the restaurant and also in the stadium that you referred to as possibly being the location of some other event? >> well, the reports are that there was a soccer game going on france, germany, several reporters have been tweeting out that they heard explosions outside the stadium. some reporting suggesting perhaps a grenade was thrown. but around the same time these two different events happening with casualties reported in both cases. that leads to a lot of concern that there could be some kind of terrorist event here, but we do not know that at this point. it's very, very early in terms of gathering information on this, jake. french national security reporters here are racing to get information.
do not exactly know what is going on yet. i think the french authorities are trying to grapple with this as well right now trying to figure out what's going on. will there be more events in other parts of paris? of course everybody thinks back to those terrible days in january when there were those attacks on the "charlie hebdo" sat say tier -- satirical magazine. the killing of the french policewoman as well those were coordinated strikes between two brothers, tand doing it on the behalf of isis, jake. >> paul cruickshank, i'll let you work your sources right now while we catch up and talk about this with our national security correspondent jim sciutto who joins me live in studio. and, paul references the "charlie hebdo" shootings in which 11 people were killed, another 11 wounded.
the killing by the brothers of the french policewoman and of course the other is dent in the kosher supermarket where five were killed, 11 wounded. i think what is so striking is that shootings are rather rare in france. and that is why something like this happens. people immediately suspect that it might be terrorism as opposed to the united states where there are tens of thousands of homicides and suicides and another accidental death due to firearms. >> so listen, there are parallels here. in fact, we don't know the cause behind it yet. so as you and i know well we have to be careful. we have as paul said you have attacks roughly at the same time at two different locations. one a restaurant, one a bar outside the national stadium where you have this france-germany match. that at least is a parallel to past attacks we've seen. again, no information. i have reached out to u.s. counterterror officials where there are reports and checking now to see if they get any
information about what french authorities believe. but some background when we talk about "charlie hebdo" and the possibility which is all this is right now that this is somehow related to terrorism. when we compare the scale of the problem to what we face here in the u.s. and what countries in europe, particularly a country like france faces, i mean, we're talking about an order of magnitude different. during "charlie hebdo" french security officials would talk about hundreds of suspected jihadis in the country. sometimes perhaps even thousands. and they don't even have the resources to track all of them, right? you need a number of people just to track one of them. compare that to the states where the numbers tend to be in the dozens and we get very concerned about that then that is a real concern they have a factor of ten larger in a country like france. and they also have a direct pipeline to france back and forth in fact from france to syria and back. a lot of hundreds of french volunteers for a group like isis. and that's why there's great concern that the level of alert there is very high. again, we do not know that this
is tied to that, but that is the background that french security forces face. you know, really on any given day. as you make the point, sounds of explosions, sounds of automatic gunfire that at least is an indication that that's a possibility. >> just for those of you tuning in right now, we're reporting on some very, very initial reports from paris, france, of a shootout. several people were killed. seven others injured. a shooting at a restaurant in central paris late on friday. this is according to our affiliate in paris bfmtv. police are at the scene outside a restaurant where this incident took place. a witness also told bfmtv that firefighters are on the scene to treat the injured. there has been in addition to this a report of some sort of loud sound, whether it is from gunfire or an explosion at a bar
outside the french national stadium where a soccer game was going on. we're going to take a very quick break and gather some more information to bring to you. so stay with us. we'll be right back. the possibility of a flare swas almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go... and how to deal with my uc.
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we continue to follow this horrific breaking story out of france. there are now reports of explosions near or in a soccer stadium in france, the stade de france where the president of france was watching a soccer match. president hollande. he's now being rushed from the stadium to the interior ministry. and the stadium we're told is in lockdown. he's going to the interior ministry to keep track of these unfolding events there because in addition to that incident at the stadium, police are saying there are 18 people who have
been killed. 18 people who have been killed according to cnn affiliate bfmtv. that is because of a shooting that took place at a restaurant which is in eastern paris in the tenth district. we're told this is a trendy district, popular with a lot of young people. and somebody came into the restaurant and opened fire. there are some initial reports that the individual had a colash kov. we have not been able to confirm that at cnn but that is what's being reported in france. let's go right now to my colleague jim sciutto right here. so what we have based on this very early information, and i want to caution all of our viewers of course this is a story that is developing as you're watching television. and information is coming in. and a lot of times initial reports from the police are not always 100% accurate. but based on what we know there
seem to have been at least two events, two events, one at the french stadium stade de france, the other at this restaurant in eastern paris in a trendy restaurant that on a friday night would be very filled. police now saying according to our affiliate 18 people killed according to a cnn affiliate bfmtv in france. the idea that there would be coinciding events makes this especially suspect in terms of it being a terrorist act. >> that's right. and look right at that 18 dead is already more than the death toll of the "charlie hebdo" shootings. as you say, we do not know this is terrorism. what's significant about this? the fact there were two attacks. the fact both were very public places, one particularly public and high profile the stade de france an extremely well
attended soccer match between france and germany. the sound eyewitnesses saying of automatic gunfire, that's significant in a country such as france. and reports at least from eyewitnesses of the sounds of explosions. all those things are indicators of possible terrorism. but again, we do not know. this is terrorism at this point, but that death toll right there of 18 killed on the paris streets is very unusual for a country like france where they have nothing like the prevalence of guns that we have here. it's just not the kind of shooting violence that they see there. >> jim, let me interrupt for a second if you'll forgive me. our affiliate in paris, france, is reporting of a third incident in paris, france now. a third incident. this one in the eleventh district. we're told that in one of these locations, we're not sure which one, there are these three incidents. there is an incident in the tenth district that is at the restaurant, a trendy district
popular with young people in east paris. there is this other incident with guns, gunfire in the eleventh district. and then there is this third location where explosions were heard at the stade de france, a france national stadium where the soccer match was going on. french president hollande francois was. it is locked down. this is all eerily and disturbingly reminiscent of what we covered in january when there were attacks on the offices of "charlie hebdo" in paris. i believe in the eleventh district, if i'm not mistaken, of paris. and then there were two other attacks although they were not coincided. they did not happen all at the same time. but obviously this looks, jim,
again it's early reports now, initial reports, but we're told 18 dead according to our affiliate in paris, france, bfmtv. police are saying 18 have been killed. i'm not sure if that's at one location or at all three locations. but rather disturbing news in a city in a country that is already been racked with the horrors of terrorism this year. >> that's right. and just again, background, we will always caveat this because we don't know this is terrorism. but there are a lot of indicators that are parallels even to past terror attacks like the "charlie hebdo" one where you had two shootings, a hostage taking at the kosher grocery all this playing out in january. but just to lay the groundwork for the threat in this country. french security police noting frequently they have hundreds, perhaps thousands of suspected jihadis in the country. very difficult for them to follow. they have a very real threat. >> cnn correspondent jim betterman joins us now on the phone from paris.
jim, what are your sources telling you about this horrific night? oh, i'm sorry, i'm told it's not jim bitterman. it is melissa bell with france 24. melissa, can you hear me. >> reporter: yes, i can. >> tell us what your sources are telling you, please. >> reporter: what they're telling us as you've been hearing began in the tenth district a shooting there another one in the eleventh a series of explosions at the stade de france. all over paris all you can hear is the sounds of sirens. the elite french police force has been involved in the "charlie hebdo" the end of its siege are making their way to the scenes to try and get this thing under control. but there's lots of confusion as you can imagine in paris. a city really in a state of shock. the details only beginning to come out. lots of amateur footage emerging from some of the teams working
the eleventh particularly near the second scene of the shooting. lots of very shocked people, began shooting at people in a restaurant. all kinds of rumors not confirmed about what might still be going on, but what appears now is that according to a number of early estimates 18 people have been killed. >> 18 people and your sources are telling you what we've been hearing as well that there are three different incidents that we're told? >> three different incidents. the first was a shooting in the tenth. very quickly afterwards came in which the reporter on the ground says, my colleague says she saw herself five bodies, five dead people there. the second one a few minutes later in the eleventh not very far away in a street some amateur images emerging from there of a very damaged restaurant in which two men opened fire and there have been a number of people killed as well. and then a series of explosions at about the same time as the
stade de france, of course the football match is on tonight. >> melissa bell with france 24, police are saying 18 have been killed. is that 18 just at the one of the three locations? >> reporter: no. that appears to be an estimate of the people killed so far in several different instances. but it is as yet unconfirmed estimate. there's no telling really how high it's going to go. this is really only still just happened. and lots of it is still going on. it's very little actual known fact, definitive fact for the time being a lot of speculation and early reports that there could be 18 people dead. >> right. of course as we talk to you, melissa bell with france 24, to reiterate for all those watching we are bringing you the information from bfmtv, our affiliate, and from other correspondents with cnn, with france 24 as it comes into us, but this is a breaking news story. and a lot of the initial
reporting is speculative or is incomplete as we get this information from law enforcement officials and from others in paris, france, where we're told there are at least three events that have taken place. one a shooting at a restaurant in eastern paris. one -- another event in the eleventh district, the first event was in the tenth district. this would be the eleventh district. and a third event explosions reported at the stade de france y a soccer game was going on. and if president hollande who is president he was taken away at the interior ministry right now. but the stadium we're told is in lockdown. we're told also now by our affiliate that police are reporting that there are hostages at a fourth location. hostages at a fourth location at
a theater. this is a night of terror in paris, france. this theater is in the tengt district as is the restaurant. paul cruickshank, our senior terrorism analyst, tell me what your sources have been telling you about these horrific reports coming out of paris, france, in a night of bloodshed. >> well, jake, you've just described it as a night of terror. and that is exactly what this seems to be from everything that we're hearing four different attacks in four different locations. an ongoing hostage situation. a bomb potentially or a grenade going off outside the national football stadium, the president of france having to be evacuated from that soccer match. this is extremely disturbing. i'd be in touch with french national security reporters working their sources. obviously the concern right now is this is some kind of
terrorist event that is unfolding in paris. but you can't say that with any certainty because we're only in the opening stages of this it would appear. but just the sheer scale of this, the coordination that appears to be going on in different parts of the capital suggests something perhaps that was pre-planned. something major that has been in the works. and french authorities have repeatedly said there's an unprecedented terrorist threat to france from islamist terrorists, from isis inspired terrorists, from isis itself over a thousand french nationals have traveled to syria and iraq, 250 have come back. many of those joined with isis recently president hollande said they were thwarting getting information about terrorist plotting every single week new information coming in. just a few days ago they thwarted a terrorist plot to attack the southern naval port
of the home of the aircraft carrier. over the last several months they've thwarted many terror plots in france ever since we saw those terrible events in january when so many were killed at the "charlie hebdo" satirical magazine. and that kosher market. there have been many plots which have been thwarted, for example in april there was a plot thwarted to attack churches. in paris that was orchestrated by french isis fighters in turkey who persuaded a student to try to launch those attacks. that was thwarted. there was that attempted attack on that passenger train going from belgium to france in august. three americans prevented a blood bath that day by a gunman. again, the suspicion in that case that isis had some kind of involvement either inspiring or directing that attack. so there is just huge concern in
france. and this is the nightmare scenario everybody feared was going to happen. potentially unfolding right now and in the hours ahead, jake. >> paul cruickshank, our senior terrorism analyst, paul, thanks so much. if you're just joining us, let me bring you up to speed on what's going on in paris, france, this evening. it's a horrific night of bloodshed. we first heard reports of a man entering a restaurant in the tenth district in eastern paris and opening fire. we also heard about another incident at a bar or restaurant in the eleventh district. there was another event, a third event at the stade de france, the french national stadium where a soccer match is going on. some sort of explosion either outside or inside the stadium. the president of france, francois hollande was present watching the soccer match. he was whisked to safety. he's now at the interior ministry where he's watching
these events unfold. and now we have just learned in the last few minutes of a fourth event also in the tenth district, which is where the initial restaurant attack took place, where there is an ongoing hostage situation in a theater. that is where we bring in jim sciutto, our senior national security correspondent who just got off the phone with french police. what are they telling you, jim? >> just speaking to french police and clearly there's a lot of confusion there as well, or at least them as attempting to assess exactly how far and how many incidents there are. the police just now telling me there are a total of three attacks. looking at the map it is possible two of the attacks were very close to each other in the eleventh, but certainly one at the stade de france and they believe there were one or possibly two explosive devices at stade de france that they're investigating now. and the weapons being used police say ak-47s, automatic rifles, so again these are the parallels we were talking about. ak-47, use of explosives, that's
what gives indicators of the possibility of a terrorist attack here. again, the french police telling me three attacks, one of those at the stade de france one or possibly two explosions in these attacks that automatic weapons were used. >> all right. jim sciutto, thanks so much. i'm joined on the phone right now by freelance journalist seth borjs who was near one of the incidents. seth, which incident were you near and what can you tell us? >> yeah, so i was right at the neighborhood in the tenth, which is where a shooting that appears to have been a colish no kov shooting went off. i was walking out of my apartment and i actually saw somebody with a bandage around their arm and large amount of blood dripping off of them. i have no idea if this was related, fire department took him away into an ambulance. still it looked to me immediately like maybe he had cut his hand on glass. i didn't understand what had happened or if anything serious was going on. i walk about ten paces and there's a large crowd of people.
and a lot of police. and at first i thought there was any sort of police activity that might occur, it's a friday night in a very popular bar and nightclub and restaurant district. and then i see police with guns hiding behind vans. as i said it looked like a scene from an action movie. it almost didn't look real. yes. >> the event you're talking about is the one in the tenth district across the street from the restaurant? >> i'm not sure -- i got away from there, so i can't verify the name of the restaurant. but that's probably it. it's right at canal st. martin next to la republic plaza. >> okay. >> so i get there and there are cops with what appear to be guns in their hands sort of hiding behind vans. dozens and dozens of firemen running around every which way appeared they were attempting to close off the road. there was a large group of pedestrians, onlookers at this point taking photos and just looking. and i don't think anybody realized the severity of what
was happening or other events were occurring concurrently. people are standing on benches, taking pictures, nobody was trying to clear the pedestrians. at glance you would have thought it was a bar fight. and then people started talking. and it appeared there were five or six shots in short succession that went off very quickly. and that probably led to fatalities. i heard differing reports on the street that people were shot in a restaurant and in a car, looking online appears the restaurant is the accurate one. >> and you heard the gunfire itself coming from the restaurant? >> no, no, it happened about ten seconds before i stepped outside. it happened directly in fropt of my apartment building. it was not a bomb. there was no bomb over here. >> all right. seth porges, thank you so much. stay wus. i'm sure wolf blitzer will want to talk to you in the next hour as we continue to cover this. paul cruickshank has been working the phones, working his sources, our senior terrorism analyst.
paul, what do you know? >> well, they're struggling to get to grips with this at the moment. they're in crisis mode in paris. the president of the republic francois hollande was evacuated from the national football stadium. he was there for a soccer match between germany and france. we understand he's rushed to the interior ministry to meet with the interior minister. and they're trying to grapple with what is going on, which is an unfolding situation. reports of attacks in four locations and ongoing hostage siege in one of those locations. a report of either grenades or explosions outside the stade de france, obviously concern that there are gunmen on the loose right now in paris armed with heavy weapons. and if this is some kind of terrorist event as it certainly looks like at this point they'll be concerns that these people could have been people trained with isis who are skilled in killing people with these kind
of weapons with these kind of explosives. around 250 people who fought in syria and iraq have come back to france. europe wide we've seen 6,000 travel to syria and iraq. >> thank you so much, paul. france 24 is now reporting that there are 60 individuals being held hostage at a theater, a concert hall approximately 60 individuals being held hostage in paris as part of this wave of terror that is going on in paris, france, this evening. there have been explosions, three explosions according to police telling our affiliate bfmtv three explosions outside the french soccer stadium, stade de france as well as incidents at two restaurants, one in the tenth district and another in the eleventh district. now we're told there are approximately 60 individuals being held hostage by gunmen in
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happening now, breaking news. paris terror, fear multiple people are reported killed in a shooting, there's also word of possible explosions outside the national stadium. and a hostage situation unfolding right now as well. we're following a night of unfolding terror right in the heart of the french capital. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room."