tv Smerconish CNN November 14, 2015 6:00am-7:01am PST
paris. i'm in the french capitol. a lot more ahead after a quick break. this is cnn breaking news. i'm michael. the islamic terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attacks that unfolded in paris leaving 128 dead. another 99 in critical condition. the deadliest violence to strike france since world war ii. we know americans are among the injured and dead. they called it an act of war by a terrorist army and pope francis echoed that saying this is part of the third world war, this is not human. at least six coordinated attacks, shootings and bombings
at a rock concert on busy city streets and outside a stadium where the president had been attending a soccer match. the worst was at the concert where at least 80 parished. this is what it looked like outside the concert hall. we're bringing you the very latest from paris where residents awoke today to a national state of emergency. we'll have cnn's nick robertson at the stadium. can this happen here? i'll talk to former homeland security chief ridge and former police commissioner. first, let's go to cnn diplomatic editor where the isis attacks began. nick, suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the stadium but there were reports the original plan was to be
inside the stadium. what can you say about that and the future attacks? >> 80,000 people crammed into the stadium. isis said they targeted this match between two christian countries, that is their twisted rationality. the french president was in attendance. isis made note of that. the question is we know that the first suicide bomber blew his explosives upright around the end of the match. was he trying to get inside the stadium to get in amongst the crowds, the densely packed crowds there. what we do know is that the bombers appeared to coordinate amongst the three of them that the second bomber blew up his explosives about 20 minutes after the first.
you get the impression there they wanted to put people into panic and then try to attack them stadium. the third suicide bomber blew himself up. a clear effort. the french president was here and he was took away by security. >> i think i hear you say you don't know whether he may have been a target of the attack. >> isis hasn't said that prec e precisely but they were able to attack under the president's nose. it sends an incredibly strong message that the president can be so close to such an attack where there were three bombers and the security detail took him
out of the ground when the fist explosion took place. there were two suicide bombers on the loose. how close might have they been able to get to them? this is real concern to the french authorities. >> what will be the military response? peter, you have written that france is vulnerable to the violen violence? >> no country has supplied more fighters to the syrian war than france. according to french officials, 1,500 french citizens have travelled to syria. 185 have returned and that might be an undercount.
what we saw in paris unfolded yesterday and sort of speaks for itself. other european countries are vulnerable. the brits have seen several hundred go. a few americans as well, michael. >> kernel, does this demand a military response or law enforcement approach? >> i think it's pretty clear that the french are going to look at this for a military response. as you know, the french have been involved in iraq since the beginning of the coalition and recently they've expanded their operations to syria which may have drove some of the attacks in paris. the french are looking at this as an act of war and going to respond militarily. the problem will be how are they going to do that? stepping up air attacks doesn't
do anything unless we got adequate targets to strike. that's been the problem all along in syria and iraq. >> do you think this will then bring about a coalition of the willing. might this be a unifying force among the united states and the united king doll, russia, perhaps iran and maybe the chinese? >> well, it would be helpful if we had a coalition willing to commit to operations in syria as well as iraq. right now, the british are only bombing in iraq. they can't get permission to bomb in syria. i'm hoping that these kinds of operations will bring in coalition more together. involvement of the russians is going to be problematic. we've shied away from that. the scheme says you bomb here, we'll bomb there. i don't think we'll be co- cooperating much more than that. >> peter, i'm also interested in our expertise. i've read the profile of
westerners not drawn to isis, this is not the profile we've been dealing with in afghanistan. what are the differences? >> one of differences is the number of women. we've looked at 500 of the fighters in syria and a little under 20% are female which is extraordinary. you may remember, michael. one of the people involved in the attacks in january this year, his wife left france and went to syria and seemed to be part of the conspiracy and she's one of many western females who have gone. also, the profiles are young. we've seen something like 80 teenagers go from the west to syria to fight and many of them have family members part of the juhad. some of them get married in syria to foreign fighters and some of them have family members involved. >> and the sheer magnitude of
the number of the returns as you've written about them poses a difficult problem were law enforcement because how can you surveil so many individuals? >> the problem is in france. the french calculate it takes 25 people to follow one suspect. if you look at it, you've got 25,000 people employed trying to look for, look at these people. the french don't have these kinds of resources and that problem exists in britain where they can't follow literally every suspect coming back and the same is true in germany which is seen also 700 of their citizens go. >> kernel, i have the statement in my hand that's been atributed to isis and it speaks of eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles. do you think these six coordinated attacks could be carried out only by eight individuals? >> no. i don't think the numbers add up. if you count the number of
suicide bombers that were presence at the stadium and the number of people involved in the operation at the theater, that accounts for almost all of them. i suspect there are more involved in the operation. more importantly is this infrastructure that might be in place to support the operation. somebody had to provide the weapons and provide an escape plan if there was one. the french are good at this. they'll get to the bottom of this. >> what do you expect the united states roll to be if the president says this is an act of war? >> i suspect that the french will be more involved in coalition planning of operations. the united states operations so far have been rather anemic. we've been so reluctant to accept any civilian casualties
at all. the rules of engagement are comer sm. the time of spotting a target is much, much too slow. i think in the last operation in sinjar we've eliminated some of those problems. we've got to streamline the operations to make them effective. it's not the willingness of the participants, it's the cumbersome structure we put in place. >> let's go to the chief course important nt outside the concert hall where at least 80 individuals died in the isis attacks last night. president has called this an act of war. what are the implications of that statement? >> they are huge implications. this is the kind of language we have not heard for a long time. not since after 9/11. he said over and over again this army of terrorist has declared war on france.
he called them -- he said france would be ruthless in their response and said that would happen within the country and outside the country. he had the former french president who came out today and again, amplified this language of war. we are at war he said. france is at war. right now, the domestic and foreign policy has to take that into account. nothing will be the same as before. right now, in terms of news, the french authorities say they have killed, they have accounted for seven potentially eight attackers. i heard your discussion about the number of attackers. they are now looking for a car because of surveillance video because of authorities and french tv stations identified a car that may have been used in some of the drive by restaurant shootings and they are worried
that the car may be booby trapped or may be a vehicle used to carry out further attacks. that's on the one hand. it's huge in staggered numbers. 300 people are in the hospital injured. of those 99 or so injured critical critically. that's in addition to the 127 or 128 people who are known to have been killed. and so this is a huge, huge operation going on here and really staggering in terms of how europe is being hit and very, very slick from isi isis' point of view. you've been talking about the statements they've been putting out in four different languages atributed to every country they want to target. britain, american, french, russian. the russians are now involved and of course, arabic. they've also reposted an isis video from last year. they've reposted an old video in which they said if france
continues these attacks, for instance, air strikes in syria, then they will carry out more attacks and at the same time, we know from our interviews, i just interviewed the turkish prime minister, you know a major frontline state against isis and this whole war, unless the war in syria is stopped and unless isis is defeated, none of this will stop. isis will not be defeated from the air. it has to be a ground force of some kind. this may be a turning point, we don't know. the bottom line is from every military person you talk to, almost all the national security community around the world and indeed in the united states among former national security officials they know isis cannot be defeated and contained and cannot be defeated from the air alone, it must be defeated on the ground. >> if he is believed and i'm sure he is, it will have the
unintended consequence isis is seeking. let me ask this question, if i might, the closings that continue this afternoon because that's the time of day it is in paris around you suggest that the french is concerned it's not over. can you speak to the level of closings? >> yeah, well, they are concerned, of course, because there is a car, so-called eighth assail ant and more, we don't know. they are doing extra border checks. we were able to come in. certain flights coming in, certain trains coming in. lots of extra checks. there are also the president announced today in yet his second public statement that there are more than a thousand soldiers deployed to reinsure and maintain security and surveillance. the entire domestic security apparatus is mobilized. there are many, many hundreds if not thousands of police par military forces mobilized. this is really a country in a state of emergency that remains
in effect. in addition to that, he'll be meeting with cabinet members and members of the political parties tomorrow, sunday. on monday for only the third time in the history of the french republic we'll be having a joint session of congress at their sides and this will be the third time. this will a very, very serious turning point. it puts really almost in the side light everything that's happened before and the french, let's face it, are traumatized. in less than one year a major attack at this time that the country was on high alert because all world leaders are coming here in two weeks time for the big exchange meeting that starts in this city at the
end of this month. >> we're lucky to have you on a day like today. thank you so much. up next we'll go to the frontlines of the war against isis with nick peyton wall sh and is there reason to be afraid here at home? i'll talk to tom ridge, america's first secretary of homeland security. you know, meeting the residents and i had a gentleman stop me and ask me if i made his dinner. he had lost his wife recently, but i didn't know that. he made a remark to me about not sure he wanted to be there anymore, but he said something to me that has stuck with me to this day. after having your dinner, i think i want to stick around a while and that really meant something to me.
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isis attacked paris last night leaving 128 dead. french president called it an act of war. nick peyton wall sh is the only western television reporter on the frontline of the war and joins me from iraq. nick, what might the significance be of president hollande say it was an act of war? >> reporter: it certainly sounds more militaristic in language. we know the french air force are involved and over the region but
does this harold in an extra level of involvement? the grasp here and in iraq and the boarder in syria, you have to be weary of what a massive scale what it would look like. it would be indefinite and extraordinary. this is a war in syria which has so many different militias fighting amongst themselves at times. given the extrimties it looks more moderate in the battlefield over there. it's been a mess for years and been a mess that allows isis to have a foothold and continue to flourish in the way they have. the military options are slight, i would frankly say. no country is going to want to inject tens of thousands of troops inside the mess to want to clean up. given that the coalition and americans got together and
learned in iraq their presence became a lightning rod against them. a complicated question. what is military response going to be if there is one and i think at this time hollande is looking to have a way to respond to this. as long ago as november last year isis putting out videos of french speaking citizens in their ranks burning french passports and saying in the video they said to people if you can't follow join us here do it where you are. there are weapons and cars available. the french speaking militants reminding people about the prohibitions about the coalition air strikes doting people on to do their and he referred to juhadist duty inside of france.
this has been a long term problem france has faced and the issue now has become so awfully magnified on the streets of paris. what does this mean for the evolution of isis? is this something they planned for a long time or a result of them losing on the battlefield? juhadi john was taken out by the u.s. air strike. has isis always wanted to attack the west or is it as they say a consequence of air strikes against them? they said the air strikes had to stop if they were going to stop. a lot of questions here definitely designed to unify and show the paris governments here despite actizations doubtless. the government of paris has a committed response they can offer. michael. >> nick, i think americans are
waking up wondering a couple of things. one being as you just addressed whether this will lead to a commitment of ground troops in syr syria. what will be the impact of the refugees? to go online to see quiet a debate playing out in terms of those fearful of refugees or increasingly sympathetic of the refugees from syria. can you briefly speak to that? >> well, totally different story here. in libya where so many of the refugees for the channel of turkey and greece became more poplar. some use to set sail. as long as a year ago they were saying you know what, we're going to fill those boats with people loyal to us who will attack europe. it's been part of isis isis' messaging. the mass majority of those seeking asylum in europe doing so for their own safety. there has been abiding fear
recognized within that rank that could be those who infiltrate and cause issues we may have seen on the streets of paris. the security failings that may have been in the months of boarders seemingly more pores. they're trying at the same time dealing with this horrifying threat that appears to do anything to inflict random or very targeted casualties against civilian targets in france. >> thank you so much. the only western reporter to be on the frontline of that war in syria. inevitab inevitab
inevitablyly, we wonder what to expect here at home. this represents a change in tactic from isis. in other words, these are what an expert like you would refer to as soft targets. speak on that. >> first of all, i'm sorry i have to join you under extreme and horrific circumstances. i think democracies are soft targets. you may pick a theater or choose a restaurant democracies being open and free and embracing a value system that is a contrary to isil and the juhadist who has been and will permanently be a target. they're bar bay rancic and venomous actions. it's a value system verses a value system and whether they choose to destroy skyscrapers, assassinate and murder victims inside theaters, we are now engaged. the barbarians are no longer at the gate. they're inside the gate. how the global community, not
just the united states, but the broader global community deals with these resent attacks. it was an act of war but not a war against the french and not just a war against the americans. it's a war against democracy at large. we need to understand it and respond to it. >> i'm not interested in giving them a road map but i've long said i'm glad they don't understand our way of life because they wouldn't focus on targets like the twin towers. do you worry we're now vulnerable here at home in a way we weren't previously. >> i don't think the threat to the united states is any different today than it was a couple of years ago. i think that the threat the much more complicated. al qaeda was much more strategic in their approach.
they broke away. they're moelk abile and aggress. the means they used in paris were simple. we've seen them before. they used weapons and explosives and took hostage. the coordination is different, however. i think again we don't want to be fearful and deal with the reality, michael. the reality is it's a global scourge. it's not just an attack against the french. if they arow them to attract more volunteers and take more territory, somehow the western world would be more free of their evil and barberism sadly misunderstands the nature of the disorganization. they're out to destroy and again, i'm not, i don't like to use the word fearful.
we're a democracy, powerful democracy. we're open and free and let's be better prepared and accept the reality of the global scourge. >> up until now, as a layperson, let me say this to you, mr. secretary. i've viewed them as desert barbarians that thank god for the united states seemed primarily focussed in syria. if in fact they were responsible for the metro jet and in egypt and lebanon and now the paris and the expansion of the footprint is now undeniable. >> frankly, let's face it. not only do they expand and have operational cells in countries but they have a dozen or more other terrorist groups who have publicly professed their alignment with isil. i do think that the broader community including the
nondemocratic world and i'm talking about some of the allies and people in the region, these muslim countries need to understand that this is going to be a sustained effort, multinational effort to deal with this emerging and growing threat. not just again to the world but to the broader fwloebl community. >> governor, one final political question, if i might. up until now on the 2016 stage, it's only lindsey graham who has been saying we need to commit ground troops. we need to go fight the fight over there or we're not getting ahead of the curb. you think that's going to change? >> well, i'm not going to speculate how people are going to respond to it. i think from my point of view, the vacuum of the american leadership is in my judgment been one of the challenges and you've provided some of the opportunities for isil to move much more aggressively.
i think the republican candidates at large will be required to respond to this in a public way and those of us involved in the race and those of you who analyze it and comment on it will see what response makes the greatest sense? it seems to me that the united states is very reluctant to deploy massive groups of ground force. i understand that. we've also seen the value of some of the operational expertise working with the kurds just the other day. i do think that the global community looks to america for leadership to build a sustained commitment and multilateral force and skoord nated effort with competent troops and much more aggressive air campaign. let's face it. this is a multilateral response. i would like to see american leadership and see the republicans respond to it. this is serious business and going to take quiet sometime to dislodge us. you can't negotiate or appease. you have to eliminate. they're no longer at the gate.
they're inside and the only way you deal with it is you have to eliminate the venim. >> are you saying we need to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here? >> no question about it. it's not just our fight. there should be muslim troops on the ground. obviously, we've got great capability, fortunately, for us the kurds along with air support from us and our operators on the ground directing those air strikes. just an example, during desert storm and i realize this is a little bit different, we pounded the area with over a thousand air strikes a day. now, i realize the circumstances are different now but the effort in syria, we're doing 15-20 a day. our arab allies are just foc focussing on yemen. it's about time the rest of the world including those countries in the neighborhood understand
this is not just a threat directed towards western democracies. you can undermine them as well. it's now time for the american leadership to rear up and organize this effort and whether or not the white house does it, remains to be seen. i respect the republican candidates over the next couple of months. one of them will emerge and provide the leadership. >> governor, secretary ridge, thank you so much for your service. new york has been the inane focus of terror attacks, terror focus from september 11th aimed to bomb plots from time square. the city has long been a target. today new york city is an heightened alert and to understand what the challenges are near is new york police commissioner. i walked toward times square last night and saw very heavy police presence in midtown manhattan and i wondered what was taking place i wasn't seeing? what goes on on a night like
last night or a day like today behind the scenes from the n.y.p.d.? >> you have intelligence communications between paris and new york city coming through the p.d. itself through the intelligence services, the fbi, the cia. they'll be massive deployments of police to soft targets be it sen goings and tourist attractions rockefeller center. you have to look at what happened in paris, what happens in syria, what happens in iraq on a daily basis. what do they target? when they're doing operations in iraq and syria and afghanistan? what are they targeting? >> you've been warning about this. you've wrote years ago, tell everybody what your prognostication was. >> this is going back to my
testimony in the 9/11 commission. i said you don't need another 9/11 flying planes into buildings and doing what they did on september 11th. you're going to have multiple attacks and create mass casualties and chaos. that's what happened in paris. >> that's what i was saying. that has long been my concern thank god they don't understand the way we lead our lives and perhaps that's about to change. will you comment with your expertise about what's known thus far. 1,500 folks at a concert hall, concert in progress, shooting begins and law enforcement responds. i've got to believe when the police get there, they don't know what they're dealing with. how do they tell the good guys from the bad guys? >> there's two issues. one, their police service and military, they can dispatch military components in a circumstance like that. we can't, we don't.
we have to be prepared for these kind of responses in this country. six months ago, 11 months ago they were taking a lot of this equipment away from the min municipaliti municipalities. we should be watching paris and watching what happened there. in this country, you're going to be in a position where our special operations units, our swat teams, erts, municipal state police agencies are going to have to respond to stuff like this and they have to have the resources and equipment they need to do the job. >> it makes me concerned. i recognize the as a rule nur blt that might exist in new york city but when the battlefield equipment from iraq or afghanistan ends up in may berry, it brings on a mill tarization of the police that's not healthy. how you strike the balance is a tough question to answer. >> i think it's monitoring, it's making sure that the resources are going to where they're needed. the training is going to where they're needed.
it's going to happen. now that it's happened in france and isis and al qaeda and all these other groups have seen the damage and the destruction and the immediate focus and attention, you can be sure that they're looking at this country and how they're going to do it. >> final question. is the largest challenge for those who do what you use to do for a living, how to surveil individuals on the radar screen? time and again i hear this individual was known to law enforcement. it's hard to follow so many. >> you know what, last night i said this was a major intelligence failure. i look at this and i'm thinking a dozen to two dozen people were vovrled. >> you don't believe eight could have pulled this off? >> no. >> thank you so much for being here. up next, we'll go back live to paris. christie has the deputy mayor on
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now let's go back to paris for the latest on last night's isis attacks that killed 128 people and the hunt for any terror suspects who may still be at large. christie is standing by with the mayor of paris. christie. >> reporter: michael, exactly. just to refreshes, as well as those dead there are 300 wounded, 99 of them critically. the death toll is likely to go up. the french television station reporting that authorities have seen a car that they want to identify and they're looking for their worried it may be a big
bomb or used by accomplices. with me is patrick whose a deputy mayor and they reunited all the leaders of paris today. all the neighborhood leaders and themselves. what is the state of paris today? >> today is an emergency situation. we have to face people wounded, injured and so to treat them in hospitals and to treat them in paris or outside of paris becau because we're. >> overwhelmed. what about i remember during the attacks before, people came out to show they wouldn't surrender or be terrorized. now? >> now it's difference. there's more sadness and probably more fear. we don't know if this terror attack is over or not. sometimes in the social media
you have reports, mostly false news but it showings how word rid. yesterday night. >> it was where the majority of the deaths happened just there behind us. >> people say oh, they're open. come, come. all around here people open the doors of their building to welcome people, to cure people and to. >> so police are leaving. what do you think that means? do you think that means all the bodies are evacuated? today they were bringing trucks in to take the bodies to the morgue. >> probably it's a sign it's been -- it has to be cleared out for investigations. >> do you know how many people were killed? >> we don't know exactly yet. >> there were reports more than 80 people were killed there. >> we don't know exactly. what we did also this morning. we decided to open up two districts to welcome families. people are seeking for support,
psychological support and to seek. >> you brought more and more psychologist in from around the country. >> of course. >> you've also prohibited any public marchers and free markets. tell me about the paris life how it's been shut down. >> it's a decision made with the president and the ministers to shut down everything today. no demonstration, no flee markets, no gathering, no concerts, no whatever. to secure the city of the maximum. also, to liberate police forces where we need them. >> well, this is a major issue. in this terror attack it's a mass attack but it's done all over the place. presumably, partly also to stretch the security and the medical forces. >> of course. >> how stretched are they? can they deal?
>> they can deal but we have to call support from outside of paris, of course, but it's really, really attention, of course. >> could france imagine, paris, that not so far from us, right over there, it's right here, not even a year. >> it's what i was saying when i was working here. again, to show this where we were so many to demonstrate, a nightmare, starting over, this is an awful thing. this makes so angry again and again and more deaths and more persons. this is really very sudden moment for us. >> sad and terrifying. >> sad and terrifying. >> patrick, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> back to you, michael. there you have the real fear and the desperate sadness that is in paris not the mention the heightened security and the
terror about what more could be inflicted here. >> it raises questions here at home as to whether our police departments could respond to so many simultaneous attacks. >> well, look, this is the worst nightmare for law enforcement and this is what security officials have been saying for a while. right after isis started raising its incredibly violent and ugly head, you had senior police commissioners across the united states and elsewhere across europe, england, france, germany, all these places saying blow backs from isis and especially from the syrian war, especially because so many hundreds of thousands of fighters are going over the fight the isis cause in syria. the blow back on us is going to be terrifying and to their end we're seeing it already. we saw it against the russia flight and what the intelligence people are saying is within weeks they're watching people
online be so radically and violently mobilized at a speed they've never had to deal with before because of the proliferating effect of the social media and the online universe. it's even about to accelerate almost beyond the intelligence and the security officials capacity to deal, michael. >> thank you. just ahead, what presidential candidates are saying about the violence in paris. i'll talk to former governor mike huckabee about how he thinks this country should protect itself.
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world war. it makes me wonder in a political context whether lindsey graham is about to have some company now when he says we need to commit ground troops. are you prepared to make it k-- to make that kind of statement? >> i've been saying that for a long time. you can't exclude the possibility of ground troops. i've also said it can't just be american ground troops. the president has to start putting the priority of protecting americans, not the image of islam. and just yesterday, he's on television saying that we contained isis. well, clearly we haven't. these dogs are unleashed. the only thing that we're going to ever do to stop them is to take aggressive action. i'm calling on the president to the do four things. number one, we need to close our borders. if a left wing politically correct country like france will close its borders, it's time for us to put a moratorium on people coming here from countries where there are isis or al qaeda ties.
a second thing we needed to do is that we simply need to have a very serious coalition built with people from around the world that includes russia, the nato nations, that includes the middle eastern countries, many of whom are in the neighborhood, and we need to aggressively fight isis and destroy it. while we're at it, let's get rid of al qaeda. let's take this straight to these terrorists who are savagely murdering innocent people sitting in cafes and stadiums. it has to be done. >> governor, i hear you say we should close the borders. yet, i look at this, maybe it's a glass half empty, glass half full. i look at what transpired in paris. i feel even more sympathy for the refugees who are fleeing this craziness because it's taking place in their country. i'm thinking about the syrians. so i guess i'm pushing back and saying doesn't this make you more sympathetic and more willing to be helpful to the people who have to live with this more so than we have?
>> we can import it to our country, f we want to, michael. it seems to me the craziest thing we could do is take people who live in a desert who don't speak our language, who don't understand our culture, who don't share a same world view, and bring them to minnesota during the winter. or we can decide that we can provide humanitarian assistance but let's demand that they go to saudi arabia, and we'll create a refugee place there or in dubai. or let's do it in jordan. for goodness sake, why would we do it in europe or the united states when you're going to displace not just people geographically, but you're going to completely displace them culturally, linguistically, even climatically. >> i've got -- i've got -- wait a minute, i've got four kids at home. i think about a husband and wife living with this on a day-to-day basis who want to get the hell out of there and have no part in any of this. and instant what the -- send us your weary. isn't that what the united states is all about?
>> yeah, but it doesn't say send you your terrorists. for -- send us your terrorists. forgod's sakes michael. >> i don't want to let the terrorists in. >> that's why we have to have a better process. we don't just have open borders like i do in europe. this is the result of the e.u. saying, yep, come on in. the result is there's no way to -- as the president would say -- contain them. look, if we have people who are trying to truly escape the horrors of these radical islamic groups, then let's give them safe haven. it doesn't have to be in the borders of the united states of america. even our own fbi director says we don't have the capacity to properly vet people to know whether we're letting in a refugee or a terrorist. >> to be continued. thank you for being here. you can follow me on twitter. i have type 2 diabetes.
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good morning, everyone. i'm christiane amanpour live in paris for our special coverage of the devastating terrorist attacks here that have tripled the city and that have been claimed by isis. >> i'm john berman. want to welcome our viewers in the united states and all around the world. let's get to what we know as of this hour. new developments coming in. france under a state of emergency following six, six separate terrorist attacks. isis claiming responsibility, so far 128 confirmed dead. the numbers really, these numbers will change