tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN November 14, 2015 9:00am-10:01am PST
other common side effects include low potassium in your blood and injection site reactions. get medical help right away if you experience trouble with breathing, serious allergic reactions like swelling of your face, tongue, or throat, sweating, extreme drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion. now i know about novolog®. taken by millions since 2001. vo: ask your health care provider about adding novolog®. it can help provide the additional control you may need. hello. i'm christiane amanpour, live in paris for our special coverage of the breaking news, the terror attacks across this city, which has put this city in a state of emergency and the president has declared a state of war has been waged on france by what he called an army of terrorists, an army of jihadists, isis itself. >> and he promised a ruthless
response. >> i'm john berman. i want to welcome our viewers in the united states and all around the world. i want to bring you up to speed about what we know about this terror attack. developments just within the last few minutes. france under a state of emergency following six separate but connected terrorist attacks here. isis claiming responsibility in an online statement. so far, at least 128 people are dead. that number very likely to change. as many as 180 people were injured. that number, too, likely to clang. we're learning right now that at least two americans are among the injured. just a few minutes ago, we heard from u.s. secretary of state john kerry. this is what he said. >> i want to make sure that it is absolutely crystal clear that the united states stands with france and the rest of the world in our resolve to eliminate the scourge of violent extremist groups from the face of the earth. and make no mistake, that
resolve has only grown stronger in the wake of this unspeakable brutality. >> french police right now continuing to look for suspects. authorities have identified one of the attackers as a french national. german and belgian police say they've raided at least two neighborhoods in brussels right now. this is an ongoing operation believed to be in connection with the attacks here yesterday. >> as they would be. we know that these attacks, there are so many hotbeds all over europe. and indeed, belgium was the focus of attention right after the "charlie hebdo" attacks. >> it was, there was a raid that week, in fact. some 1,500 soldiers will be deployed around france, particularly in paris at specifically security locations, which is a lot of people out on the streets tonight, as it gets dark. a lot of french citizens wanted to show solidarity with one another. a lot of people, i think, with some pent-up energy because
they've been shut inside all day today, living in fear. >> we should actually point that out. it's getting pretty rowdy around here, with all sorts of people coming up to where the press is. this is kind of the only rallying place. there are no demonstrations allowed, no ability for mass marches. the authorities are scared that there may be follow-up attacks, so they try to keep people off the streets. but as you can imagine, when the lights are on, it brings out all of those who are attracted by lights, including this guy singing. >> we are standing just in front of the bataclan, this theater, this concert hall where some of the worst of the carnage was yesterday. it's right behind me, the bataclan concert hall. a tarp surrounds it right now, because all day today, they were carrying out some of the bodies. now far from where we're standing right now are clarissa ward. clariesva has been following the investigation right now. what's the very latest? >> reporter: hi, john. well, we actually spoke to a
father and a son who were inside that theater when the attack began, and they said, what was most interesting to me, that the men they heard speaking were speaking french without an accident. they said they were undoubtedly french nationals. they said that they were incredibly well armed, that one described actually seeing the vest. at the time, he thought it was just a vest for carrying magazines. now we know that it was an explosive vest. they say it was a tan vest, and he also commented on how sophisticated the operation appeared to be. previously, when we've seen these types of attacks, we've often seen sort of voluntary heroes stepping in to try to talk out the gunman. in this case, this eyewitness told us that essentially one man was playing lookout while the other man was shooting into the crowd, thereby, trying to mitigate any attempt from anybody in the crowd to take on the attackers.
john, christiane? >> clarissa, you know, you've been standing out there for a long time and you've been doing some of the investigation into this, as well as actually raiding neighborhoods, whether it's in brussels or whatever it might be. what are you hearing when you talk to officials about how you actually close this stuff down, when you have so much online ability to proliferate the threat and to have these, you know, multi-pronged attacks that stretch the authorities practically to breaking point, and that make it very difficult for them to stop these attacks before they happen, when people are radicalized so rapidly online? >> reporter: well, listen, christiane, you know, every country has its disaffected youth. and that's not something that's specifically unusual, but what you're seeing in france and other countries in europe is that disaffected youth are now able to go to syria and to iraq. they're able to learn how to use
the most sophisticated heavy weapons, they can learn how to build bombs, and they train for operations like this. that makes it incredibly difficult for authorities here who are trying to track all these different, you know, france and belgium, two of the highest numbers of french and belgian citizens, who have gone to syria and to iraq, to join the jihad. and french authorities, obviously, have a very difficult job, trying to monitor what these young men do and young women, indeed, when they return to france. and i think there will be a lot of emphasis right now on trying to ascertain whether these men, whether these attackers were known to french authorities, how they were allowed to plan such a massive operation, essentially under the nose of french authorities, and so quickly after "charlie hebdo," when it was assumed that really so many lessons will be learned. another thing that people will be looking very closely at, that we saw with "charlie hebdo," is this nexus that exists between
criminal elements and terrorist elements. these men were carrying very heavy weapons, christiane. they had automatic machine guns, they had grenades. where are they getting these weapons from? we know very well that in europe, gun control is a major issue. it's not easy to buy any type of a weapon here in europe. how were they getting these weapons? is there a nexus with a criminal element? we saw with those responsible for the "charlie hebdo" attack and for the taking of the kosher grocery store back ten months ago, they were carrying weapons. they had both served time in prison here in prison and there's a strong argument that this radicalization is not just happening on the battlefields in syria and iraq, it's happening here in paris, it's happening in the prisons, and it's happening to these criminal elements. christiane? >> you know, it's interesting, clarissa, you talk about the weapons. where do they get the weapons? there are raids going on in
belgium right now, believed to be connected with the attacks here in paris. it is very possible that there is some kind of weapons connection there as well. there's still so many mysteries about how this attack was carried out. but there was one thing that was said by the french president himself, which is very revealing. he said he believed this was an attack planned abroad, but carried out by people inside france. and clarissa, that in and of itself, the idea that it was planned by isis, he says, perhaps in iraq and syria, that shows an increasing reach by isis, no? >> reporter: absolutely. the sorts of attacks, john, that we've seen isis perpetrating across europe have essentially been much smaller scale, lone wolf attacks. they've been calling for a year now, you have a car, run someone over. you have a knife, go and stab somebody. any opportunity you have to kill the non-believers, you should take it. but what we're seeing here is a
much more complex, much more sophisticated operation, and really much closer to the sorts of attacks that we've seen planned by al qaeda. the question is, when did isis grow so much more sophisticated in terms of its plans overseas? we saw -- you know, now it appears that isis put a bomb on a russian airliner. when did they receive this capacity? is this reaction to pressure that is being put on them in syria and iraq? lots of questions here and still very few answers. >> all right, clarissa ward, nearby where we're standing at the bataclan theater, thank you very much. we appreciate your reporting on this. >> and we are joined now by natalie gule, she's a member of the french senate and she's the vice chairman of the senate's foreign affairs committee and head of the investigation committee into jihadism and radicalization. so miss gule, thank you very much for being here with us. you know, how did france get this wrong, i'm sorry to ask you
this, but this is a paioint of heightened intelligence, heightened security, waiting for the climate summit with all the world leaders, ten months after "charlie hebdo," how could these people come here and do this, with all of this weaponry? >> well, because, you know, we have no border in europe, first of all. then we have a lot of foreign fighters, a lot. and then we have material for this radicalization, because we have 7 million of islam here and a lot of them are getting radicalized. so there is some concern, really. >> and do you have any about this specific case. are you hearing anymore than what we're being told right now about this? who these attackers might be? it looks like it's a mixture of team. half from syria and half from france, because, obviously, they were very professional. and that is a little bit new.
the way that they were behaving and the -- behaved? yes, okay, sorry. and also the way they organized this attack -- >> the french president, francois hollande, said it was planned abroad, this attack was planned abroad in syria or iraq, and carried out by people inside this country. you say it was a mixed group, french and maybe -- >> because we find somebody, we discover that one of the people from the soccer place, with the fingerprint, was french. >> so you know that for sure? that is confirmed? >> yes. >> can you confirm that? >> for sure, it's french. there was one french. one french, sun syrian, one egyptian, for the time being. >> for sure or is this just the -- >> the passports, they found a syrian and egyptian passport -- >> passport. but the french is absolutely french, because we find his fingerprints on our databases.
so there is no way that he's not french. >> all right, so you are head of this investigative committee into jihadism and radicalization. do you have -- i mean, are you able to have the tools to stop the radicalization? the british intelligence have made incredibly, you know, scary comments about how it's almost impossible these days to stop it, because of online. >> not online, and then because the situation is not clear, you know? it's almost, also impossible, as i told you before, because of the borders. and then we have 700 people under the radicalization, which is a lot. you cannot put a policeman behind everybody, because we don't have the financial -- >> one of them, apparently, was known to the police. this french was known to the police. >> it was known, because we found his fingerprint. >> he was known before. >> but you knew of him before? >> yes, of course, because, all
the french people do not have the fingerprint on the databases. >> if you knew about him before, how did he slip through? >> all the murderers we had last time were also known before, as they were acting like that. >> that's a real problem. >> it's a hell of a problem. it's a hell of a problem. and because we are in a state of low. we don't want any exceptional regulation. we just want to -- >> okay, you're a politician. >> i am. >> you're an elected official. >> yes. >> what is the pressure going to be on now, the political pressure, to clamp down harder? what is the reaction going to be in france? because 128 people are confirmed dead and many more may die. how many -- tell me the figures. what do you know about the injured? how many injured? >> 300. >> are you sure? >> oh, yes.
>> 300 confirmed, official, confirmed injuries? >> yes. >> and 99 of those are critical? >> i think something like that. >> so what will the political fallout be? >> you know the problem is that as a politician, you have to keep your blood little bit cold. you have to think about it. you cannot make statement, just before -- you know, we are under tous for us. it's a terrible shock for us. like the society and everybody, it's like we're drunk, it's unbelievable. you know, i didn't sleep last week -- last night. you know, nobody can sleep. and you cannot make state like that on -- >> but the french president, francois hollande, did make a statement vastly different than we heard before. >> well, he's the president. >> he said that isis declared war on france. >> yes. >> he said the response will be ruthless and merciless. how ruthless? what will change? what happens now?
>> i think that, for example, we have a lot of imam who are not allowed to stay in france anymore. and nobody kicks them out. i think we have to apply the rule, you know, the state of law as to be respected. we have law enough. what we need is more money, more europe, more coordination. you know, i met john brennan, the head of the cia months ago when i was in d.c., and he asked for more cooperation. he said the french intelligence service were very brave and very efficient, but we need more cooperation. and we need more europe. because we have to secure the bores. >> what about the borders? >> it's terrible. we need to -- we need, absolutely, to secure the borders. >> how do you do that? what do you mean? >> well, we have to consider, as the president said, under war --
>> on the war -- >> absolutely. and then we have the enforce the control for the i.d. we have to check very carefully. we have to increase the staff everywhere. we have to increase also the intelligence. >> your muslim community here, of which you have millions, who are not terrorists. >> of course. >> and who are not violent and who are not radical, and who want to be french, and many have come out and said, you know, this is terrible, many in england, in the united states, in france, in the wake of this attack. many french muslims are worried that there will be an automatic backlash against them, again. >> of course. as well as the muslim community after 9/11. i mean, how do you want to -- as i said, not in my name, fine. but at the same time, those people who are acting in the name of buddha. they're acting in the name of bad islam. >> the terrorists are. >> yes, the terrorists are. so, you know, everybody's making
a mission with that. and what we have to do, that is my point of view, is to organize the muslim community, which is not organizing as all. >> in terms of intelligence, france had been on heightened alert, many european countries, where they were beginning to upgrade the fear level and the threat level from isis, syria, all of that. you know, what about that kind of intelligence? how are you able to ramp that up? >> well, you know,ntelligence is working fine. >> well -- >> but you cannot put -- there are risks, you never get it. you cannot get it. >> but how can this happen ten months after "charlie hebdo"? >> because we -- it's a new threat. we have to train people. if you have 1 million policemen,
you have to train them. you have to recognize, let's say, regular islam from islam on the verge of being radicalized. that comes not in one day. >> senator goulet, stay with us. i want to ask you after the break if you believe you have neutralized this current threat or if there might be still more terrorists out the there, active right at this moment. we'll ask you that right after this quick break. when it comes to helping you reach your financial goals,t taking small, manageable steps can be an effective... and enjoyable approach... compared to the alternatives. push! i am pushing! sfx: pants ripping how you doing eddie? almost there. small steps. at axa, we'll help you take the next steps, with more confidence.
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therthat can be serious,ere. even fatal to infants. it's whooping cough, and people can spread it without knowing it. understand the danger your new grandchild faces. talk to your doctor or pharmacist about a whooping cough vaccination today. welcome back to paris. i'm john bernann along with christiane amanpour. we're standing right in front of the theater, the concert hall
that was attacked yesterday. more than 80 people killed there. just one of six separate sites attacked in a coordinated terrorist assault on the city of paris. at least 128 people dead here. many more injured. maybe as many as 300 people injured, which is a fact we just got confirmed by natalie goulet, a member of the senate here in france, also the vice chairman of the foreign affairs committee, the committee that deals with terrorism in this country. senator, you just told us you were briefed this afternoon, not long ago, by the minister of the interior. >> minister of interior made some statements and something is very important. he deliver the d.a. for the communication. we will have just one person making the official communication on this issue. which means that you don't have some -- so you will just have the d.a., who will be in charge of the communication. >> so a consistent flow of
information. >> yeah. >> what is the latest you know about the current investigation itself? there were eight terrorists killed yesterday, seven of them wearing some kind of suicide vest or bomb. are there more people still out there, connected these attacks? we don't know. i think we don't know. and i think even we know, sometimes, some things you don't have to know. because to let the people investigate it properly -- >> you mean, you don't have to tell. you're not telling publicly what you might know? >> yeah. >> and i think also the investigation team has to make its job properly and not to advertise every single detail. >> can you give us any further information about what we've been told in press reports about a possible car that's been discovered. >> i heard about that belgium network connection. >> there are raids in belgium right now. >> and that is also a question
of border. that looks like -- >> these are the other -- >> that killed people in france -- >> charlie and also this terrible thing, jewish museum. so looks like a very organized team and very connected. >> what does it do for you inside? because not only do you have very real problems with a radicalization of a certain segment of the proposition and hundreds of your own citizens going to iraq to fight or rather to syria to fight for isis, and inside, you also have the rise of the extreme right, the national front, who are rising and rising in popularity. just explain to us how this complicates the dialogue, how it makes it more difficult. >> first of all, the national front, the extreme right, is ahead of a lot of election right now -- >> and you have elections in december. >> in december, so they are
ahead for the polling, for the polls. and it will create a lot of disturbance. >> people are angry. >> people are angry, they are scared. and then we don't solve the problem. obviously, the problems are not solved. and for the national front, what is more important is a problem. i'm not looking for any solution. they are just looking for the problem. it is exactly what happened, and those kind of things, you know, what they say, that it's easy. immigration today, it's a terrorism of tomorrow. >> that's their slogan? >> yes. >> what is the solution? what is the solution to the very real problem with hundreds and hundreds of your citizens, getting up and going to join a cult and committing this kind of mayhem or being accomplices of this kind of mayhem on your own soil? >> you know, you have to understand, if somebody has a solution, just call him and ask us to give us a solution. so we don't have a solution.
because what we have in this country, if i may, we do not have any communityairism -- >> it's very secular. you don't officially have different religions -- no, no. and that creates a lot of trouble. because a state, as the state, cannot interfere in the religious matter. >> it also cannot help specific religions. it cannot help the muslim community as the muslim community. >> or the jewish or whatever. >> when you thhear the french president, francois hollande, now say, this is a war and he will be ruthless, is the war in iraq, in syria, or is it here as well? and how do you fight both? >> well, it's the same. we are in this kind of world under the globalization, that you can not expect sending your troops in iraq or in syria without any consequences on the -- >> but your troops are not in
syria. do you think that this might make france, the french people, or the french leadership more serious, maybe, about a ground force for syria? >> ground force, i don't think so. i don't think we are ready for any ground force. i don't think so. but, no, i don't know what the president will tell you. on monday, we have a special day for the congress. the president is going to speak to the parliament. >> only the third time in the last 55 years. >> two. >> only the second time. >> for very simple reason, that it is only possible since 2008, because we modify the constitution. so, president sarkozy wanted to duplicate what happened in the state, when the president comes and makes his speech. >> addressing the joint -- >> the state of union. >> the state of the union, exactly. >> so president sarkozy wants really, to duplicate this -- yea, which is a nice thing. but to answer your question about the solution, we have to
open, have a very open discussion with the muslim community and the other community, too. and to try to restore the cities and link -- the link of the cities -- it's totally broken. some people don't recognize the state as it is. don't recognize a government. don't trust the politician. and so, they are looking to something else. >> senator goulet, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us. >> i hope my english was not too poor. >> it was very good. >> we have breaking news all over this investigation into the terrorist attacks here in france. six separate coordinated attacks here in paris, less than 24 hours ago. now, we're just getting word of raids in belgium, connected to the situation here. more news, right after this. for adults with an advanced lung cancer called "squamous non-small cell", previously treated with
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all right. john berman here in paris along with christiane amanpour. less than 24 hours since the attacks all over this city. six separate but coordinated attacks. right behind us is the concert hall, behind those police vans, the concert hall where at least 80 people were killed. well, 128 people, at least, killed overall right now, maybe as many as 300 injured. >> we have just heard that figure from a french senator. we've been saying the conservative figures up until now, but she has said that it's been officially confirmed that 300 people, at least, have been wounded. of those, 99% are critically injured, and therefore they expect the death toll rise. >> and we should tell you that there are raids going on in belgium, believed to be connected to the situation here, perhaps having to do with some kind of weapons supplied for this operation. a lot of news to tell you about.
we want to start right now with cnn's senior diplomatic editor, nic robertson. nick is standing by outside the stadium that was targeted last night. nick, you have some information about some new international concerns. well, not new concerns, but lingering international concerns about the possibility of attacks. >> that's right, i've been talking to a saudi source with knowledge of how the saudis have been assisting, if you will, european governments with their knowledge of isis people making their way to europe. and what saudi sources are saying is that the numbers, the threat magnitude right now is so great, that it is not possible to completely neutralize the threat right now. what he describes is a situation whereby they begin monitoring the numbers closely of isis flowing out of the region into europe and other countries in july of 2014, just about a year and a half ago.
the numbers were climbing, climbing, climbing, he says. then, january there year, they say the numbers began to go up alarming, to the point where now they feel that the numbers coming back of isis supporters coming back to europe, cannot, in his words, be completely neutralized, meaning that the magnitude, the numbers coming back have too great for europe's security services to be fully across, all the time, to fully monitor and fully control. this is a very stark information, a very bleak picture that perhaps begins to explain why this particular attack and the attackers were able to be as deadly as they were. john, christiane? >> nick, thank you very much. and we just want to reiterate, at this point, that one of the three suicide bombers, who the police say were found at the stade de france, where you are,
we have had it confirmed in the last few minutes that one of those was a french national who was known to police. this had already been reported, but we are confirming, as far as we've been told, by senator natalie goulet, that one of those at the stade de france, was a french national. >> a man they'd had their eyes on, apparently, for some time. >> and the united states says there has been u.s. victims. we've heard from david cameron, the british prime minister, who expects and has warned british people that there may be british victims among those who were caught up in this terror last night. this, of course, a major metropolitan city. we'll probably find several nationalities, not just french people, who are among the victims. >> i want to bring in cnn's chief national security correspondent, jim sciutto. jim, the u.s. will be assisting the french in this investigation. already are, in fact. what does their role look like? >> that's right, i'm told that by a senior u.s. intelligence official, as you note, that is
assistance that would have started even before this attack, but they will be focusing attention now. it's going to include a number of things. help with intercepted communications. help with tracking the names as they identify some of these attackers, based on terror watch lists, people that they knew of before, and crucially, people that they did not know of before, because, of course, they want to take advantage of that intelligence, so they can carry out further operations to see who else might be out there. and that is what you're seeing now, as you see follow-on raids, like the one we're seeing in belgium taking place right now. they want to fan out from what they've learned here to see if they can catch others, if there are others out there bwho might be planning more attacks. >> gym, there's a development that's taken place over the last couple of ours right now, where the greek government says that one of the passports found at the scene, i believe the scene of the -- of the soccer stadium here, one of the passports found connected to these attacks had been processed in greece. explain to me exactly what he is
confirming and why that's significant. >> that's right, processed through greece. in fact, through the island of larros. this is one of the entry points of this flood of migrants that we've seen entering europe over recent weeks. tens of thousands of people, fleeing the syrian war. i don't have to describe to you, john, the political sensitivity of this discovery, because, as you know, there has been great concern here that there might be terrorists hiding among those migrants. and of course, that is an allegation that is used by opponents of the migrants to say, we have to stop this flow, that it is dangerous to have this flow. now, i should say that the greek government, in confirming that one of those passports had been processed through there says they can not confirm whether the person who was processed through greece was the same person who carried out the attack. there is a black market in passports here in europe. it's possible it could have been stolen. but that's at least the initial indication. and it gets to something that is a fear.
and i've talked to u.s. intelligence officials, counterterror officials, who have been watching this as well. is it possible that groups such as isis would use this flood of migrants to sneak more people in? but i should also note this, john. that even if that is true, the fact that people from isis, cisse supporters, isis veterans from syria, before this flood of migrants, were already returning to europe, because you have hundreds of europeans who have gone to fight there, and using their passports, have come back even before you had this migrant influx. and, in addition to that, what we know about this investigation, as you noted, just before, is that at least one of those who took part was french, was local, in effect. so someone who may not have had to come in from anywhere, but was radicalized here and took part in these attacks. it's a very complicated issue. it's extremely political sensitive, but it is an interesting development, for sure. >> and indeed, jim, it is what the intelligence services have been threatening or rather worrying about and warning us about, this threat for many,
many months. and in fact, quite a few years, now. this blowback from the syrian war that's been allowed to burn, unstopped, and unchallenged. and this is what's really difficult. and as jim sciutto said, you know, this is a politically sensitive thing. the idea that one of these may have come -- because you remember, that it wasn't so long ago that isis threatened the world, said, we will put people in these refugees. we will put our people amongst these refugees. and of course, on social media, the refugees are absolutely, you know, devastated. because they said, we are fleeing this very kind of carnage that assad and isis are perpetrating on us in syria. and they, of course, they know how risky this kind of development would be for them. >> it's an election issue in the united states. it's an election issue here in france as well. we just heard from a senator right here, who was saying that the right here in this country is saying the immigrant of today is the terrorist of tomorrow. >> that is a really hard
statement and it's what frightens everybody. >> it does. nevertheless, right now, the borders are closed. one of the measures that the french president is taking with this remarkable state of emergency in place right now. >> and what is so remarkable is that despite the fact that the president has canceled his trip to the big g-20 meeting in turkey this weekend, still, they have not canceled the huge global gathering of world leaders, who are due to come here in just two weeks from now, for the opening of what's being billed as these last-ditch climate talks. >> i think those discussions about climate change will increase in scope to talk about other things as well. we're following the breaking news here in paris, the connected terrorist attacks, six of them, 24 hours ago here on the streets. raids happening in belgium right now. a state of emergency throughout this country, europe on edge. much more right after this. inthe mid-size van, from mercedes-benz. it's got small-ability
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john berman here in paris along with christiane amanpour. behind us, the bataclan theater where at least 80 people were killed. one of six targets here in paris yesterday in this coordinated string of terrorist attacks that left at least 128 people dead. eight terrorists, at this point, that we know of, neutralized, dead. seven of them wearing suicide vests and one of them, one of them now confirmed to be a french citizen.
>> i think it's seven dead, six of those with suicide vests, one was killed. but you're right, one of them, a senator, has now confirmed to us, is a french citizen known to the police. >> we are expecting much more information about the investigation into the terrorists, into the actions that took place in this country, and into what's happening right now, because there are raids in belgium. we have a news conference with the paris prosecutor who's overseeing this investigation, francois mulland, a lot of new information in less than 20 minutes. >> and we need more hard information. because as you can imagine, with all of these events, there's so much that comes to you from various different sources and we were lucky in the last 20 minutes to have the french senator with us, natalie goulet, vice clamor of the foreign relations committee in the senate and leading the investigations into jihadism and radicalization. also, she was able to confirm for us that there have been about 300 wounded.
that is a big jump from the official number we've been reported earlier and that 99 of those are seriously injured. many foreign nationals, probably among them, including americans, possibly british, and many others, as you can imagine, in this very metropolitan and cosmopolitan capital. so french president francois hollande said today in his address to the people that isis, and he named isis, has declared war on this country. a terrorist group, he said, a jihadi group, and there is really a sense of heightened alert. cnn's military analyst and the retired commanding general for u.s. army in europe and the seventh army, lieutenant general mark hurtling is there joining us in the united states and also the contributor and co-author of isis inside the army of terror, michael weiss. can we perhaps both start by asking you, general, what now do our leaders have to think about in terms of neutralizing isis?
the president, as you heard us reporting, told "gma" on abc that he felt isis was contained. what is your assessment of that statement and what do you believe has to happen in order for this not to happen again. >> i think he has said that they have been contained, but he was specifically talking about syria and iraq. and i think that statement's true. but you're going to see continued elements of isis or elements who claim they are a part of isis, or those who are doing their bidding all over the world. and this is not just going to happen in europe. it's going to happen in many other places, christiane. and i think you've had the repeated theme of the closed borders and the open borders in europe and that's been in existence since about 1995. you know, when i was a young lieutenant over there, you had to show your passport at every single border between the nations. you could easily flow, now, between the eastern block and paris without anyone doing any checks. and that's where weapons and the flow of migrants and the flow of terrorists, in this case, is a
kou ocuring constantly. >> when the president says that isis is contained in iraq, in syria, what does it matter if they're able to carry out an attack in paris that very same day that kills at a minimum, 128 people? >> well, because i think the base in syria is critically important. raqqa, the capital, is extremely important. the attempt at building a caliphate in that area has been critically important. so i think containing it there is one thing. but, john, again, we have said for many years, this is a global issue of terrorism. and isis has now become the new brand. people see it, the islamic extremists see it as what they want to connect with. so if it's taken outside the border of syria, which is currently happening in many places in europe, not just paris, it just shows that i think other people have to step up and take notice that this
isn't just a problem for syria and iraq, it's a problem for the entire world. >> we want to turn to michael weiss, but first, before we do, what is your best military advice, if you were to be giving military advice, on how to defeat isis, right there as you mentioned, in raqqa, in syria, in iraq. how to do that, because all the world leaders who i've been talking to in the region, for instance, you know, the leaders of turkey, and many, many others say that this will not stop, until the war in syria ends and until isis is defeated. and assad, of course, but isis is responsible for this. >> yeah, well, as we've said for so long, christiane, it cannot be the united states that's ending this war. we can contribute to it, but it has to be the formation of good government in those places, and in all the other places where these terrorists are actually -- there are going to be terrorists all over the world. but when you have the open space where terrorists can act as they
have, intimidating the people of a country like they have in syria and in parts of iraq, you have to stop that first. and i think it's got to be done by the individuals and the governments of those countries. when you have mr. assad continuing in power, where he's ignoring the call for shared power for the majority of his people, you will contribute to the growth of these kinds of organizations. the same thing is happening in paris, to a degree. when you have, as you just interviewed the senator, who's saying there's a challenge with integrating the muslim population in france. that is going to contribute to these kinds of actions. when you have open borders throughout europe and you can have the free movement, and not only the free movement of terrorists, but the free movement of weapons, you're going to have continued activity like this. >> michael weis, i want to bring you into this discussion, remind our vurts, in about 15 minutes, we'll hear from the prosecutor overseeing the investigation, into these attacks here. also, the investigation into what might still be going on
around this country right now. but we already do have a key fact michael, provided by the french president, holland, who tells us he believes this attack was planned by isis outside this country, presumably iraq and syria, and carried out inside this country by a group. this is what isis has been trying to do all along, and it represents a change. this isn't saying, go pick up a rock or an ax, this is a centrally planned, it seems by president hollande, attack planned in syria and iraq and carried out here. >> in late october, i was in turkey, interviewing a defector from isis. he wasn't just a lowly rank and file defector, he was a member of their state security apparatus. that's the group, the organization that mohammed emwazi or jihadi john had belonged to. and he said, the ability to receive recruits from abroad has been somewhat circumcised
because of better border control. so the next phase is a foreign expeditionary phase. isis views itself as a state, it sees itself as a state in syria, specifically. we have underestimated them from the very beginning. and he said he was personally tasked to fight isis foreign operatives. and he said, i trained frenchman, two of them. and i said, where are they now? he said, they went back to france. this is a huge global security threat. this isn't just about washington waging this war alone. but the united states has underestimated isis and its lethality and its reach from the very beginning. you had the president of the united states go up on tv a fort knight after a russian jet was battalion out blown out of the sky and say that isis has been contained. well, if this is containment, i would hate to see what hemorrhaging looks like. and look at what's now happened
in france. 130, 150 people possibly dead. they planned this for months. this took an enormous amount of consideration and sophistication. you're probably talking about two dozen operatives, who had been entrenched in france, receiving weapons, building these bombs, and also scouting and surveilling these locations. i heard yesterday an eyewitness in the theater outside where you're standing now, said, there was no security protocol here. people could walk in, there was no metal detector, which means that these guys had actually gone to that theater beforehand, passed by, essentially, a non, you know, security detail, and knew that they could smuggle in ak-47s and suicide bomb vests. i mean, so these guys are very clever. yes, this is their goal. they don't care -- this is not about ransoms. this is not about hostage taking anymore. it's about striking wherever you find him and killing as many people as possible. we look at this, quite rightly in the west, as abject horror.
but their constituency, if you like, the people who they are trying to globally brand as affiliates or fellow travelers look at this with a sense of sanguinary glee. this is exactly what they want. because the way they sell it, there is a global conspiracy led by russia and the united states, backed by the jews, and now with the help of iran that it's looking to extinguish sunni muslims. i think this is a geopolitical crisis the likes of which we have not seen in a very, very long time, in this part of the world. >> stand by. when we come back, how were these people able to plan this under the watchful eye of french intelligence, given the fact there's a major international meeting taking place here in two weeks as well. a french prosecutor expected to make a statement about the status of the investigation in just a few minutes. we'll have that maand that much more when we come back. if a denture were to be
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welcome back to our coverage of the breaking news of the terrorist attacks here in paris and we are waiting for the french prosecutors to talk and to give us the latest details of what happened and the investigation into whether there are more attackers on the loose. in any event, we're waiting for that. in the meantime, we're joined in the u.s. by michael weiss, author of a book on isis, and by general hurtling, former commander in the field. can we pick up the conversation, michael weiss, with you regarding isis. and you had mentioned that you had spoke to an isis defector who said that he had received french jihadis who had come to fight and cause and then had been sent back here. and we're hearing the worst nightmares of intelligence officials all over europe, is that this is the new face of war. these people, who now come back with their own passports and
don't have to be, you know, natives of syria, egypt, saudi, wherever you want, and lie, steal, beg, and borrow a visa to get here. how has this -- when this has obviously made it so much easier to commit these crimes. >> right. and there's two sort of tracks to this, christiane. you've all seen the videos of the foreign fighters coming into raqqa and burning their passports of origin on camera. i asked the defector, is this the norm? he said, no, that's just theater. when you come and join isis, you deposit your passport to the isis hq in raqqa and they keep it. in other words, it's not quite true that you are repudiating entirely your origins or nation of origin, because you're keeping that identity for them in case they want to send you back as a sleeper. they said that athe