tv CNN Special Report CNN November 13, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am PST
just go in paris, the sun is just starting to rise. this is a city in shock after a deadly unprecedented and highly coordinated series of attacks on friday night. at least 153 people were killed in six different ho case locati paris and its suburbs. authorities say eight attackers are dead, seven of them blew themselves up. some of them armed with ak-47s, and some of them with belts on. it is still unclear how many attackers were involved in tota total. >> three explosions were heard at the stade defrance. >> at least 112 people were
killed at the concert hall. witnesses say gunmen entered and shot at them for 15 minutes. >> well, isis has applauded the attacks on twitter, but there is no official confirmation that they were involved. and at least 100 soldiers were deployed. >> and they had already beefed up security because of the upcoming global summit. frederik pleitgen joins us now. fred, what other security measures can the people in paris expect in the coming hours. >> reporter: well, they will just see beefed up security here not just in paris but other places as well. i have been going around the city, john, and you can feel the presence. anybody who visits paris knows they do have a considerable amount of police officers on the city with the occasional soldier, as well. but it certainly is something where you see that that presence has been beefed up a lot more since of course these attacks
have taken place. and one reason as you guys have stated, this is of course because it is not clear whether or not there are still suspects at large, whether or not the eight attackers who were killed seven of which as you said were wearing suicide vests and blew themselves up. whether or not that is it or whether or not there are others and who also is behind all of this. so until that is clear you can really feel how this city is on a heightened state of alert. at the same time, of course, it is also very much in a state of sadness and a state of mourning. just a couple of minutes ago the early morning papers were therefo delivered here. one of them says today, the massacre right in the heart of paris. and you have this one with a black cover that just says horror on it. all of it going in similar directions. so you can really feel, there is another one here that says the war in the middle of paris. so you can feel how the people have been absolutely shaken by
the events that have taken place. there is a lot of sadness. there is a lot of anger, and of course there are a lot of people at this time who are opting to stay inside because of safety reasons, and it is something the government has told them it would be a good thing to do. >> this is coming ten months after the charlie hebdo attacks. we saw after what happened in january a country coming together. we saw them standing as one. the question many people have now is how will france respond as a nation to this latest strike? you know, that is a very, very good question, isha, and that is something i would say of course we are only a couple of hours after this happened but the jury certainly is out. and if i recall the hours after charlie hebdo happened it did not take long for demonstrations to start. for unity to be proclaimed. for people to come together and
come up with that slogan, "i am charlie." and that is certainly something at this point in time we are not seeing here yet. and one of the reasons of course is that people simply don't know whether or not this is over yet. there is still that fear here, that there could still be attackers at large. it certainly is a much more subdued mood that we are feeling here in paris, rather than that almost spiritual feel that people had had after hardly hebdo happened to show the world that paris was able to overcome all of this. that the people of this nation would come together and overcome. that is something we're still waiting to see if that feeling can still unfold here in the days and hours at this point after this horrific attack. and of course we have to keep in mind the attacks that happened here on friday night as far as the number of casualties are concerned are much greater than charlie hebdo itself. well over 100 people have been killed and if you look at the
theater behind me where the rock concert was going on, how many people were killed here, the hostage situation that unfolded there. it is certainly something that has shaken these people, and coming after charlie hebdo has put a lot of fear into a lot of people here. >> yes, absolutely, the immediate concern is there could still be gunmen out there they're trying to track down. frederik pleitgen reporting live there in the streets, four minutes past 8:00 on a saturday morning. thank you, fred. thank you, fred. and one witness at the epicenter of the terror attack spoke to us the moment after the attacks at the concert hall. >> and he said one was shouting.
a >> it is still unclear who was behind these attacks, steve moore joins us again, a former fbi supervisory agent. steve, as we grapple with this question of who was behind the attack when you look at how this all played out what stands out to you as you try to answer that question? >> the logistical sophistication that it took to launch this attack was significant. the al qaeda and isis like to do leaderless resistance, the lone wolf attacks. they tell you generally what they want you to do and then let you do it independently. but this seems to be more centrally planned. so the this is going to change a lot of the paradigm on what you're looking for. >> account, you're a
counterterrorism official, and you're sitting there, what do you do now? >> this is what we're all afraid of. these small unit attacks, we're vulnerable to that. so what we're going to do is get together. we're going to find every bit of intel we have. we're going to sit at a table and try to put together a jigsaw puzzle with pieces that come from different sides of the ocean. >> the fear is copycat attacks in other major capitals? >> it's certainly possible but they're not going to be as carefully planned. that doesn't mean a lot to a victim. but they're not going to be as robust as this attack, if they occur. >> how do you know that? because this could be a blueprint, isis could have this in multiple areas. >> if you're talking copycat, a
person will just jump off -- >> similar attacks. >> if we go to similar attacks it could be to this is the first of a wave of attacks that they have planned. we don't know that. i mean, you have the russian airliner going down. you have this attack. >> one in beirut. >> i kind of thought that they were making threats after the russian airliner went down. you're about to be surprised. maybe this is. but as a counterterrorism operative i can tell you that when you go to work in the morning your job is to make sure there is no smoke on the horizon when you go home that night. and it is a terrifying responsibility. >> and so being said. french counterterrorism, the fact that this happens ten months after charlie hebdo, they stepped up security measures, new counterterrorism laws, sweeping surveillance put in place and it begs the question, how good are they?
>> well, they're probably pretty good against the threat that they were against in january. when isis sees what the -- freshm french or americans or russians are going to do to counteract them, like a football team they're going to find seams in our defenses, and they're going to go in that direction. and that is what they did here, they found and exploited a weak ness and that will happen all through history. as we go forward every time we make a move they will make a counter move. 9/11, nobody on 9-10 would have believed that anybody with box cutters could kill 2500 people. but they changed the paradigm. >> this gets us to the question of isis if it was in fact isis, everybody seems to think it's isis. it seems like isis. they're now moving from a regional threat to an
international terrorist organization. why is that? >> they have always been more than a regional group, because their reach is big. that is the point they're making. >> they want territory in syria, iraq, maybe libya, they were not really interested in the big al qaeda event of going after the western targets. now they seem to be sort of reaching into other international areas. >> and is that because they're being contained on the battlefield? is that what we're seeing? >> i think what they were doing is not looking so much for land but looking for a home base in which to launch the attacks. and if we missed the point that they were coming up with a home land of their own from which to launch these attacks then we brought part of this on ourselves. we have to know this this was just a launching pad that they were obtaining. >> nobody cared about afghanistan before 9/11. >> that is right. >> do you see -- if this was
indeed isis -- if it was indeed isis and they are moving into this area of the international arena, international terrorism arena the choice of targets, do they matter in the sense that they're looking for iconic strikes or for -- in the case of isis do we believe it, if they're moving in this direction it's just about making a slash. so it becomes more about the soft targets as opposed to the louvre, the eiffel tower? >> over and over i have seen terrorist groups trying to make the biggest symbolic attack that they can. balancing it against their chances of success. so yes, they would love to hit the louvre. but if they believed that their chance of a body count is very minimal, then they're going to hit a cambodian cafe. they want bodies first. they want symbolism second.
>> frightening. >> i know we're out of time, we have been asking since 9/11 why do they hate us, and i don't think we have ever answered it yet. i would like somebody to tell me that. >> me, too. >> appreciate the insight. >> after the break, when we come back our breaking news continues here. we'll have -- we'll hear more from a shaken french president horrified at what has unfolded in his nation's capital. we also hear from people inside the stadium. they describe the moment when the crowd first heard the blast. ♪ is that coffee? yea, it's nespresso. i want in. ♪ you're ready. ♪ get ready to experience a cup above. is that coffee? nespresso. what else?
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hello, everyone, it is just after 8:00 a.m. in paris where people are facing a city torn apart after a series of terrorist attacks and the threat may not be over. at least 115 people were killed in explosions and suicide bombs at six locations across the city. at this point france is in a state of emergency and security it heightened. >> i have spoken to prime minister, and the elected members, the mayor of paris, the -- in order to measure this
tragedy. this abomination in several places of the capital. who tried to kill as many people as possible. i am expressing myself, my horror of the dead. and express my compassion to families, those who have been struck by this. france, which is determined and united and which will not be stopped with this emotion in regards to this drama and this tragedy of the population. >> the visibly shaken french president francois hollande. now the most devastating place hit, a concert hall at least 100 people died there. paris prosecutors say eight terrorists in all were dead but more may have been involved. >> joining us now by phone from paris is geraldine, what is it
like to be in paris right now? can you describe the mood for us? >> reporter: well, i think this morning many parisians were waking up hoping they just had a terrible nightmare. but the truth is that life has deeply changed here since yesterday night. it was not a specific target, like charlie hebdo last year. but the purpose was to show that from now on, anybody, each of us can at any time in any place be killed the an attack. >> sadly, geraldine, it was a nightmare. it was all real, and 153 people are dead. what reaction do you expect from
french officials? do you expect some kind of crackdown. after charlie hebdo, there were sweeping laws put in place. are you expecting to see more laws in place, higher security, what is your instinct telling you? >> reporter: well, of course, normally at this time you have cars and families in place. this morning i went down to get bread, and it was closed. yesterday i was in the middle of my flat, and we couldn't go out. and i was hearing all the gunfire shots from my home. everybody was you know, at the window, just wondering if we are at war. and actually, it's the sentence which we heard yesterday was we are at war. you have to understand this district, which was under attack
yesterday is a district -- it's the most popular district in paris where people go out. you have restaurants and bars. you have all the young people on a friday night after one working week, just trying to relax. to have a drink. it's totally crowded. and a couple of terrorists went down from streets and shot randomly from people sitting on -- >> geraldine, you said it's like a war. do you think france is now at war with whoever carried this out and that is most likely isis or some other islamic terrorist group? >> reporter: well, it is a little bit too early to you know, to make statements about that. the terrorists yesterday were very young, very, very young, the witnesses said. they had these amazing war
weapons, kalashnikovs. so they are of course exploited. but we don't know where it comes from. but it could also be just a decision of young people from the suburbs trying you know, to get some attention. so as far as now, it's not very clear. it's very easy in france to get fireguns. >> and geraldine in the aftermath of those horrible charlie hebdo attacks back in january we saw france come together as one. we saw a united nation. do you think we'll see that again this time? >> yes, well, i think it has -- maybe it has already started. it's -- in paris, everybody is calling everybody, just keeping in contact. all of the social networks, there are supporting messages.
so i think it will be of course this weekend. or the latest next week, some you know big meeting to -- to show that the parisians will not accept to change their everyday life because of a couple of young fanatic people. >> geraldine schwartz, we thank you for joining us. and just giving us some sense of the feeling in paris, the day after these horrific time. we thank you for your time and really our thoughts are with you and the people in france. geraldine schwartz, a journalist with the french paper. >> and in the concert hall, one witness described it as tense moments as gunmen opened fire. concertgoers described it as an
attack that killed at least 112 people before the siege came to an end. >> four attackers died when police raided that concert hall. in all about 100 hostages were brought outside. france's national stadium outside paris, fans were cheering at a soccer match between germany and france until this. [ speaking in a foreign language ] >> and that was the sound of two of the three blasts that went off near the stadium. a source told cnn it appears to have been a suicide bombing. it took a while to figure out exactly what was happening. >> well, the french president was among those fans, evacuated from the stadium. >> espn reports that the players were not informed about what was
happening until the end of the game. and fans learned some details through social media. and witnesses say there was a lot of confusion and chaos. >> there was confusion. we heard two explosions. but at the beginning i thought that they were agricultural bombs. and there had been lots of roomings inside the stadium. we were at gate e, it exploded nearby. it's true that it was noisy but i thought that it was only agricultural bombs. but then there were rumors, we heard about a shooting. there was a lot of confusion in the stadium. a very frightening crowd crush happened with people on the ground. everybody started to panic. it all happened quickly. and now it's impossible to go back home. the trains are packed. there are people everywhere. it's quite stressful and it's a big mess in paris.
>> just incredible. well, one witness to the attack says his cell phone actually saved his life. >> this man was going by the name sylvester. he said his phone blocked shrapnel as he crossed the street. >> the time it took to hung up i was crossing the street and straightaway boom, it exploded right in front of me. everything was blown to bits and i felt stuff flying around and i left. i fell and then i got back up. and that is when you guys saw me. you were already there. so this is the cell phone that took the hit. it's what saved me. otherwise my head would have been blown to bits. >> we'll have a breakdown on the continuing coverage. and when we come back we'll take a look at the six sites that were attacked and where they are in relation to each other and in paris. and france ups security at
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. hello, everyone, welcome back to our live continuing breaking news coverage of the deadly paris terror attacks. i'm isha sesay in los angeles. >> and i'm john vause. this it a look outside the concert hall in paris. at least 112 people were killed there on friday night when gunmen started shooting at a packed performance. >> that was at least one scene
playing out in the french capital. at least 153 people are dead after the coordinated attacks, unlike anything the city has seen before. >> the residents are asked to stay indoors and the city is under a state of emergency. >> and so far no claim of responsibility. >> so six coordinated attacks. we want to give you a sense of where exactly all of this happened in paris. >> here is cnn, tom foreman with a live view. >> reporter: all of these attacks took place north of the traditional tourist areas in paris, and the first one here, we talk about the bataclan theater attack. this was really quite a distance from the old charlie hebdo residence. bataclan theater holds about a thousand people, maybe a little bit more. it was a structure considered a
medium sized venue. shortly before the concert began, the base player from the american band from california tweeted out this photograph of the venue inside. so you get a little sense of what it was like. from the street level you can see most of the buildings around it are a little bit taller than theater itself. and you can see some of the view there where of course many of the victims came out as they tried to flee, and then later on as they tried to triage people and see who was hurt or killed. later, not a short car ride, not a bad walk anything. you get to this restaurant, le petit cambodge. this is a popular restaurant for the area. it is in some tourist guidebooks. it's not really a tourist site very much. more of a local site but it would be very popular with young people there. cambodian food offered there. also a very densely populated area in this district of paris,
then if we move on to the stadium you're getting much further north here. much, much bigger crowd. it's a modern stadium. had an event under way. the soccer match. 80,000 people at this stadium. and this is where we know there was a suicide bomber, according to the authorities. why that suicide bomber did not find the opportunity to strike more people we don't know. it is a good thing they did not. but that will be many things they try to sort out as they try to go over the geography, where the attackers came from, how they wound up where they did and how they staged these attacks. >> our thanks to tom foreman for that. all of france is under a state of emergency while the hunt for those responsible remains under way. >> authorities say eight attackers are dead, seven blew themselves up. unclear how many people are actually involved. there has been no official claim of responsibility with the question of more attackers are at large. the country has beefed up
security quite a bit. an extra 1500 soldiers are being deployed throughout paris alone. let's talk to our cnn international correspondent frederik pleitgen who joins us now. fred, you were there outside on the streets, near the bataclan theater. what can you tell us what is happening behind you? >> reporter: well, the investigation is going on in full swing behind me. as you can see the area is widely cordoned off here inside the bataclan theater. and inside we do see the law enforcement officials going in and out of the building. it's not clear how much of a site they would have cleared at this time. certainly the investigation has been going on all night. and it is of course one that is very urgent. and one thing many are asking is there a sort of wider terror ring involved in all of this. had you look a at the
sophistication. you have multiple attacks happening at the same time. not too close to each other. you had the ones that happened here in central paris, and also elsewhere. you look at the weapons involved, the ak-47 rifles, certainly that is something not easily available here and certainly something that security forces would try to keep track of. and the fact that seven of the eight who were killed did in fact have suicide vests on them and managed to deatonate. that leads people to believe there possibly could have been something more to this, than just regular street criminals. people feel fairly unsafe at this time. and it's interesting we have been skimming through the morning papers here. one that caught our eye. it says this time, it is war. and that is certainly the indications that you get when
you listen for instance to the statements from the french president, who was of course visibly shaken by what happened, but at the same time said there would be a very harsh response, and one without mercy. >> and fred, clear something up for us if you can. i don't know if you have an answer for us. but some of our guests say it is pretty easy to get an ak-47 there if you know where to go in paris. some say it's very difficult. so what is your take? >> reporter: we actually looked into all of that when we were covering the charlie hebdo killings that happened here in paris. and if you remember on the heels of the charlie hebdo killings there was also an attack that was thwarted in belgium, as well. we managed to speak to some officials in belgium, and they said it was easy to get them.
that they were trying to clamp down from those ak-47s, those rifles that were being available. probably it has gotten more difficult since then. you would think that the law enforcement authorities here would have tried to clamp down on these weapons. but certainly the gist we get was that it is possible to get these weapons and also that a fair number of these weapons are actually around. are actually in europe dating all the way back some of them to the balkan wars when a lot of them were imported into europe on the black market. there were other takes on this, but certainly something in the past as we covered the charlie hebdo killings, we were told that it was possible to acquire these weapons. this is something people managed to do without being detected. as we look at the charlie hebdo matter, the people there were also armed with assault rifles so it clearly is a problem that
the authorities here have tried to identify and tried to come to terms with. >> i knew you would have an answer for us, fred, thank you. frederik pleitgen there live in paris with the very latest. >> thank you, fred. well, much more on the unprecedented attacked in france still to come. we've seen the deadly assaults on the concert hall with at least 100 people killed. up next, one witnesses description. and also the french president calls the attacks outrageous, and he promises to give the people of france whatever help they need. ♪ ♪
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people with ak-47s and explosive vests. the prosecutors say eight attackers are dead, seven of them blew themselves up. another was shot by police. >> take a look at footage, one of the six locations hit in the terror attack. a concert hall, the bataclan theater had had at least 100 dead. >> and they were enjoying a rock concert. the terrorists shattered the crowd for at least 15 minutes. there were more accounts. >> after two hours we heard names and first name. it was the s.w.a.t. team or something, the cops and they asked us to get out with our hands out, to move out those who were wounded. and we went out. they protected us. it was a blood bath. it was a slaughter. dead people everywhere. >> there were blasts coming from everywhere. we tried escaping and then we ended up in front of the guy and he didn't shoot us, so yeah, we
could escape. >> over and over again we heard words of bloodbath, carnage, war zone. >> war zone. and we have a cnn producer covering this unprecedented attack. he spoke to our own don lemon about the scene he witnessed. >> earlier, the scene was one of a war zone. a central paris, very known district with a lot of young people going out. and it was turned into a war zone for a few hours. armored vehicles, about 300 approximate. heavily armed police, tactical teams taking positions. the atmosphere was very, very tense and every few minutes or so we could hear shouts, skraem -- screams, horrified screams. >> so talk to us about the hostages brought out.
what were their conditions? >> reporter: i would say that they were in a state of -- they were horrified blatantly, on what they saw. some of them were holding their heads, helped by police out of the nightclub, and just trying to get a grip. >> you say they were holding their heads. were they saying anything? >> reporter: i couldn't hear any words because i was not that close. i was about 30 to 40 yards, from the entrance of the bataclan nightclub. i could hear a few quite horrifying screams. >> and it was chaos and i could imagine because this theater holds about 1500. that is a pretty big crowd. >> reporter: a lot of people
thankfully, thanks to the work of the police forces, a lot of people managed to get out. there was the first assault just through the front gates of the nightclub, just about an hour after the beginning of the standoff. and a few 100 of the hostages were evacuated at this point. and then later about 20 minutes later, 20 or so and then 50 or so hostages were taken out -- evacuated out of the nightclub. >> no claim of responsibility still, but a witness told some of the witnesses at the concert hall were shouting allahu akbar, whi . >> why hasn't the islamic state claimed credit?
it looks like their attacks, has all the mass casualties, a dimension of syria, but you know these people don't have a playbook. and these things, there are so many of them. i wouldn't say they're spontaneous, but they're lone wolf groups that wouldn't necessarily think about the propaganda other than the attack itself. i think what we're seeing in the islamic state is a lot of small franchises, even the attack on the russian airplane was a franchise, or the attacks in the suburbs of beirut yesterday. so i don't think we should make too much of it. they all share the same objective, which is to attack the west, in reprisal for what is happening in iraq and syria. this is a sectarian war. and it is far-flung, and it's very difficult to you know -- there is no beheading this movement.
we could take raqqa today and what i could predict with absolute certainty there would be more violence from groups like this. >> well, let's talk about the attack itself. six or seven locations, automatic weapons, hostage-taking, suicide vests, automatic weapons. you don't learn that on line, do you explosive. >> no, you don't. and i've heard people commenting on this. i mean, in u used to run these groups and do lethal operations for the cia. and getting several groups, uncoordinated attacking at the same time in that operational window, you know, able to reload. unintimidated by the police, these people have some sort of training. you're right, john, you don't get this up on the internet. i don't really care what the police dig up, these people knew what they were doing. >> clearly he has a lot of
experience, that is what he is talking about. okay, world leaders are expressing shock, anger and sadness at the attacks. >> u.s. president called it not just a coordinated attack on paris or the people of france but on all of humanity and the universal values we share. >> this is a heartbreaking situation and obviously those of us here in the united states know what it's like. we have gone through these kinds of episodes ourselves. and whenever these kinds of attacks happened we've always been able to count on the french people to stand with us. they have been an extraordinary counterterrorism partner and we intend to be there with them in that same fashion. >> an american government official says there is no credible or specific threat to the united states. but some big u.s. cities are stepping up security out of an abundance of caution. the new york police department is sending armed officers to
locations linked to france there at the french consulate. there will be extra patrols at nightclubs, theaters in manhattan. police say they have beefed up security at other locations into and they did this on social media today, david cameron tweeted out i'm shocked by the events in paris tonight. our thoughts and prayers are with the french people. we will do whatever we can to help. u.s. vice president joe biden our hearts are with paris tonight as we learn about these tragic attacks. we stand together, we will never bow or break. >> and ban ki-moon condemns the attacks in paris and demands the immediate release of hostages. >> and the british chancellor deeply shocked by the attacks in paris, have conveyed our sympathy. >> and praying for the cities
and families of the victims. and the secretary general released a statement saying i am deeply shocked by the horrific attacks across paris tonight. we stand strong and united in the fight against terrorism. terrorism will never defeat democracy. >> and russian president vladimir putin has condemned the attacks and offers assistance into the investigation. >> and the terror masks, the headline in the french capital. after the break a look at how the country is responding to the wave of terror. you're watching cnn. actually be exactly what i am. i got to hang a picture. it may not seem like much, but to that resident it was the best thing in the world. it's amazing to me because it takes me seconds. but yet, when i go into the apartment, i'm there for half an hour. it is not just hanging a picture, it is conversing, it is being a friend. there aren't old people there.
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welcome back, everybody, you're watching cnn live breaking news coverage. we are covering the wave of terror attacks which have left the french capital in a estate of shock and the world shocked. >> and in six locations throughout paris they have claimed the lives of at least 153 people. >> the deputy mayor warns the death toll will rise significantly. the epicenter of the carnage is a concert hall. the gunman shot at the crowd for
15 minutes. >> security is being ramped up at france's borders and inside the capital. authorities still don't know if there are more suspects at large. there has been for official claim for responsibility. >> right now, pray for paris is the hash tag worldwide. >> and you can see to -- that the prayers are coming in from every continent. many people heartbroken for france into a france. >> and remembering the victims, a sea of people caught on camera. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> the words of the french national anthem echo through the stade de france as fans were
evacuated. >> there was a sad symbolic sight, in the capital, which is also known as the city of light. >> the eiffel tower went dark to honor the victims of the paris terror attacks. one by one, it faded to black. the legendary building the site of the attack. thank you for joining us, george howell and amara walker will join you live.
this is cnn breaking news. >> live from atlanta, welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm george howell. >> and i'm amara walker, great to have you with us. breaking news coverage right now, the terror attacks in france. it is 9:00 a.m. where there is a national state of emergency after the highly coordinated series of attacks. >> at least 153 people were killed in six different