tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN November 16, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
happening now, breaking news. on alert just days after the slaughter in the heart of paris, isis now threatens attacks against the united states and vows to strike in washington, d.c., where police are now stepping up security. the cia director says the terror group likely has more attacks in the pipeline. mastermind, as police carry out dozens of raids across france and belgium where the attacks were apparently organized, we're learning the man suspected of planning the paris massacres may be in syria, a close associate of the isis leader. and slamming the door, republican presidential candidates called for blocking syrian refugees and more than a dozen governors now say their states won't accept them. president obama says slamming
the door is un-american. he says it's a betrayal of the country's values. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> our breaking news, an urgent hunt is underway right now for a surviving suspect in the paris massacres along with those who planned and facilitated the attacks. the suspected eighth terrorist managed to escape the security net before authorities realized who he was. he's on the loose right now is considered very dangerous. there have been more than 150 raids across france and in belgium along with multiple arrests. but the suspected mastermind of the plot a belgian is thought to be in syria and is thought to be a close associate of the isis leader. the cia director says isis could have other attacks, quote, in the pipeline. and in a new video isis is now
warning that the united states could be next vowing to strike in washington. as world leaders look for new ways to confront isis, president obama is defending his strategy rejecting calls to send u.s. ground troops in to fight the terror group. i'll speak with congresswoman tul tul tul tulsi gabbert. let's begin in paris with cnn's john berman. john, there are extraordinary developments today, what's the latest information you have? >> dramatic speech today from the french president francois hollande who said in no uncertain terms france is at war. and that war now not just in syria where officials believe there is a mastermind behind these attacks, but also in the streets in france and belgium where there is believed to be a killer on the run. a plan conceived in syria,
organized in belgium, launched in france. tonight authorities believe abdelhamid abaaoud, a belgian citizen and close associate of isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi is the mastermind behind the attacks. assigning it to a terror cell in the brussels suburb of molenbeek. seven of the terrorists are dead, but tonight a global manhunt for one suspect who managed to evade authorities at least once. this man, 26-year-old salah abdelsalam was questioned by french police headed to the belgian border in the hours just after the attacks. but he was not detained. one of his brothers, a terrorist killed in the attacks, another questioned by belgian police. the operation, the subject of an historic speech by french president francois hollande to a join session of parliament in versaill
versailles. >> translator: france is at war. the acts committed in paris on friday evening these are acts of war. they constitute an aggression, an attack against our country, against its values, against its young people and against its way of life. >> reporter: hollande called for an additional 5,000 par military police officers and sweeping new laws to help deport suspected terrorists. tonight, french police engaged in nationwide raids. more than 150. seizing weapons including a rocket launcher and placing more than 100 people under house arrest. >> it is clear to me that isil has an external agenda. >> reporter: also tonight an alarming warning from the director of the cia in the wake of the russian airliner explosion, the open air market bombing in beirut and now paris, authorities in the u.s., france and elsewhere believe more isis
attacks are in the pipeline. hiding that concern a new isis video asserting a direct threat on washington. >> translator: we say to the countries that are participating in the crusader came pain, i swear to god, you will have a similar day that france went through. i swear to god like we struck france and its stronghold paris, we will strike america in its own stronghold, washington. >> here in paris there's no mere threat, no abstraction, it is real and it has happened in this city. behind me in the place de la republique this memorial that's been here for days now people lighting candles, leaving flowers there 24 hours a day, wolf, because they want to be part. they want to share in this collective mourning. >> certainly do. john berman in paris for us. thank you, john. out of the manhunt there have been raids across france and
belgium. one suspect managed to slip through the net early on. let's go to cnn international correspondent clarissa ward. tell us more about the hunt for this one individual terrorist salah abdelsalam. >> well, that's right, wolf. salah abdelsalam was actually stopped by the police driving towards the belgium border just hours after that attack. he is the brother of one of the attackers who blew himself up inside the bataclan theater. and yet he was able after being questioned for a short while to continue on. obviously the thought was that he went to belgium and we saw in the brussels suburb this morning extraordinary raid two entire city blocks shut off, the bomb squad were brought in. they brought in mobile robotic bomb units, detonated explosions reported. and all across the country here in france today more than 150 rai raids, 23 arrests, they said they found weapons, heavy weapons, rocket launchers, they
found military clothing, police here not only, wolf, looking for that elusive eighth attacker, but also trying to drill down on a larger network that would have been necessary to facilitate and orchestrate this complex and sophisticated attack. but so far it appears no real leads, wolf. >> so so far despite all the raids in belgium and france authorities really have not learned a whole lot more? is that what i'm hearing? >> if they have learned a whether or not he wiwhole lot more, they're certainly not sharing it. all of this is really contributing to a sense of panic here, a sense of uncertainty and unease among the french people. you know, just last night we were here. it was a very quiet memorial. and one moment there was a rush of panic, there was a stampede. women were running with their children screaming and crying. and you realize that the french people are very concerned, they're very frightened. this is not a country that is
simply going to return to normal life in a matter of days. >> it's going to take a while for sure. let's hope it stays quiet. clarissa, thanks very much. joining us now democratic congresswoman tulsi gabbert of hawaii, also an iraq war veteran. when you hear isis threatening the next attack would be right here in washington, d.c., is that a credible threat, or are they just sort of boast sng. >> i think after we look at what just happened in paris, we've got to be very proactive to make sure that no city in the united states is the next target for an isis or al qaeda style attack. i think as we watch this manhunt going on across europe, i'm reminded of a vulnerability and a weakness that must be addressed. we've got a visa waiver program that really does not address the vulnerability of the open and porous borders between syria and turkey. we've seen already how many foreign fighters from across
europe are able to travel through those borders and are not being tracked and are not being -- they're not able to be addressed before going through that. so we need to temporarily suspend this visa waiver program until the intelligence community gets a handle on this. and exactly how large it is and what's going on. >> so what you're suggesting french citizens or belgium citizens right now they don't need to get a special visa if they want to come to the united states as tourists, for example. there's a visa waiver program, as you say. you say they should be required to get visa? >> they should be required to go through the normal visa application process so that we can thoroughly vet exactly who's trying to come into the united states. as it is now it really could be a matter of hours before someone travels through these different borders, someone who's become a foreign fighter, fighting in syria and ends up here on the united states soil presenting a potential threat. >> because these terrorists in paris, these suicide bombers, they were either french citizens, belgium citizens,
european citizens. what you're concerned about is they could get on a plane and fly to the united states. >> that's exactly my concern. again, with the open and porous border between syria and turkey and the lack of tracking from people who are coming through those borders and going from turkey and to other european countries especially with the thousands and thousands of foreign fighters we're seeing across europe, we've got to address this immediately. >> if the united states imposes these kinds of visa restrictions on french or other european citizens those countries are going to do the same thing to u.s. citizens who want to travel there. and that's going to cause a disruption in movement, in trade, business, stuff like that. you've heard those arguments. >> i've heard those concerns, but our first and foremost concern needs to be keeping the american people safe. you want to talk about the effect on the economy if these actions are not taken and an attack is allowed to occur here, that is not something that anyone wants to deal with. so we've got to recognize the potential threat, the weaknesses
that exist there and shore up those weaknesses so we don't allow something like that to occur. >> the cia director john brennan, a very important speech today in q and a he said that there are more isis attacks, in his words, in the pipeline right now. and they might be attempting to come here to the united states. that's your concern. but he also said something very alarming. he said u.s. intelligence right now is strained. that's a pretty alarming statement. >> it is alarming. and there are limitations to what the intelligence community can do. this is why it's so important for those in the intelligence community to be using the resources that they have to focus on those credible threats. focus on those who have these potential links who are have been identified as potential threats to the united states rather than going through these bulk gathering of data on every single american, gathering information on all of our phone calls, that's a waste of resources. and it really puts way too much information out there when they
should be really calling that information in a very narrow fashion that's targeted on those who present a potential threat. >> the ring lead ner this particular case abdelhamid abaaoud is believed to have been involved in that foiled brussels attack last winter. but he managed to elude intelligence law enforcement in europe and belgium and elsewhere. he may be in syria for all we know right now. so was there a major intelligence blunder in europe. >> i think this is exactly what we've got to look at as we learn more information about this and why i remain concerned about the open avenues of travel that people have between europe and the united states as we deal with this very specific situation and the lack of accountability really on the intelligence communities on both sides on exactly who these foreign fighters are, where they are and what they're doing. >> the president of the united states spoke at length about all of this today outlining his own strategy.
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the door on refugees. our senior white house correspondent jim acosta is traveling with the president. >> wolf, at a news conference wrapping up the g-20 summit president obama said the war on isis has entered a new more aggressive phase after the paris attacks. he also defended his strategy for defeating the terror group, a battle plan that has once again come under withering criticism. on the defensive but staying the course, president obama responded to the attacks in paris determined to keep and expand his plan to defeat isis. >> there will be an intensification of the strategy that we put forward, but the strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that ultimately is going to work. but as i said from the start, it's going to take time. >> the president responded to critics who insist he's not fighting hard enough to destroy the terrorist army, arguing those detractors are proposing what he's already doing. >> folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a
specific plan. >> but mr. obama brushed off calls to pour thousands of u.s. troops into iraq and syria saying that would only repeat past mistakes. the president was visibly annoyed that his strategy was even questioned. >> why can't we take out these bastards? >> jim, i just spent the last three questions answering that question. we can retake territory. and as long as we leave our troops there, we can hold it. but that does not solve the underlying problem of eliminating the dynamics that are producing these kinds of violent extremism groups. >> the president also defended the assessment he made just days before the attacks in france that isis had been contained, maintaining the terrorist army has lost ground. he denied that he misjudged isis from the start despite once describing the group as the jayvee team. >> there has been acute awareness on the part of my
administration from the start that they would have the capabilities to potentially strike in the west. >> the president also weighed in on the discovery that at least one of the paris attackers had posed as a syrian refugee insisting that the u.s. should not keep out those trying to flee isis. >> many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves. that's what they're fleeing. slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values. >> without mentioning his critics by name, mr. obama snapped at jeb bush and ted cruz who urged a focus on aiding christian migrants. >> when i hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the christians but not the muslims, we don't have religious tests to our compassion. >> what's the most responsible way to do that -- >> reporter: president also noted marco rubio and another gop contender called for halt to syrian migrants to the u.s. is the son of cuban refugees. >> when some of the folks
themselves come from families who benefitted from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that's shameful. >> time and again the president promised the white house along with the u.s. intelligence community is working urgently to thwart every possible threat to the homeland. >> we'll do what's required to keep the american people safe. >> from the g-20 summit the president next heads to asia where his planned agenda will pull him away from the war on isis even if that fight will likely overshadow the rest of his trip, wolf. >> jim acosta reporting for us. thank you. we're back with democratic congresswoman tulsi gabbard of hawaii. she's a member of the house armed services and foreign affairs committee also an iraq war veteran. you say leave president bashar al assad in power right now. the u.s. has other more urgent business in fighting isis in syria. but listen to what the president said on that today. listen to this, congresswoman. >> and there are still disagreements between the parties including most critically over the fate of
bashar assad, who we do not believe has a role in syria's future because of his brutal rule, his war against the syrian people is the primary root cause of this crisis. what is different this time and what gives us some degree of hope is that as i said for the first time all the major countries on all sides of the syrian conflict agree on a process that is needed to end this war. >> all right. congresswoman, has he convinced you that you got to get rid of bashar al assad? >> the cause of this humanitarian crisis, the cause of these refugees, the cause of the chaos on the ground in syria is the fact that the united states, saudi arabia, turkey and these other countries have been arming these forces and waging this war to overthrow the syrian government of assad. this illegal war. it's counterproductive. it has only worked over the years as we're seeing now today to strengthen our enemy, strengthen isis, strengthen al qaeda as it's helped them obtain
their objective, move closer to their objective. >> what do you want the president to do? >> number one, number one priority, stop this illegal counterproductive war to overthrow the government of assad. >> you say it's illegal. >> it's illegal because congress has not -- the american people have not declared war against this sovereign syrian government of assad. it's counterproductive because it's working towards the exact same objective that isis, al qaeda and these other islamic extremist groups are trying to achieve that. if they achieve that they will regain -- excuse me, they will have all of that territory under their command. and it will present a greater humanitarian threat to the region as well as a greater threat to the world. we need to stop the illegal war and focus one pointedly on our enemy. focus one pointedly on al qaeda, these islamic extremist who is have just conducted this horrific attack in paris and who pose a threat to the region and civilization as a whole. >> as part of their new propaganda video, isis, that they released today they also had this warning to the united
states. let me play this clip. listen to this. >> translator: we chose boxes of ammunition and now boxes of elections, and we decided to negotiate with you in the trenches and not in the hotels. >> they also warned as we reported earlier they're coming after washington, d.c. next. so specifically in terms of sending u.s. troops into syria to fight isis and to iraq for that matter but to specifically syria you're ready for the president to send u.s. troops in there? >> absolutely not. i think it would be counterproductive to our goal, our mission chrks is to defeat isis and al qaeda. to do that -- >> so how do you fight isis? >> we're working with our partners on the ground, using our air assets as we have seen successfully in a few different instances in both iraq and syria, adequately and appropriately arm the kurds for example with the heavy weapons and the equipment they need. even with all of their gains and the effective fights they've had on the ground against isis, the united states is still failing to give them the equipment and
the adequate support that they need to really be able to deal those decisive blows. we need to be able to do more of that working with partners on the ground in order to defeat isis. >> you want the u.s. to start supplying heavy weapons to the kurds, for example, the peshmerga, directly, right? >> absolutely. there's no reason why the united states should continue the failed policy of upholding this shia led government in baghdad when you've got the kurds and you've got the sunni tribes who continue to be disenfranchised and completely shutout and not empowered in any way. >> france is stepping up its air strikes. they're using bases in the united arab emirates in jordan. britain doesn't even do any air strikes. the uae, jordan, some of the friendly arab countries, they've stopped doing air strikes right now. it seems there's a bit of diminished allied involvement in the struggle against isis. >> and i'll tell you why, because people are being distracted by this mission to overthrow the syrian government of assad. and the united states unfortunately is playing right
into that. if the united states leads and sets the tone saying isis and al qaeda, these people are a threat to us all, gather our partners, gather people who are serious about this fight and gather those resources and have a strategy to effectively do it. it's being diminished and dl diluted by this regime change mission that should not occur. we need to stop that illegal war and not make the same mistakes that have been made in the past. >> congresswoman tulsi gabbard, thanks so much for coming in. >> thanks, wolf. coming up, new details on the urgent hunt for those behind the paris massacres. raids across france and belgium as signs point to a mastermind in syria. and isis is warning the united states may be next. plus, is the all-out assault that a european capital a new strategy for isis. why the bloody massacre in paris may be a game changer. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." it's more than a network and the cloud.
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breaking news, a desperate manhunt is underway right now for a surviving suspect in the bloody paris attacks. the ring leaders are thought to be top isis figures in syria. the cia director john brennan says isis likely has more attacks in the pipeline. and the terror group is warning of more to come. in fact, in a new video it says it will strike right at washington, d.c. let's bring in our justice correspondent pamela brown. what are you learning about this investigation? >> just getting some new
information, wolf. multiple officials telling cnn that none of the bombers identified so far in the paris attacks have been on any u.s. watch list, raising new questions about how the u.s. and its allies were able to track syrian foreign fighters. the attacks french officials say were plotted well in advance from inside syria. what remains a mystery tonight is how three teams of terrorists were able to launch coordinated attacks under the radar of western intelligence. an international manhunt is underway for salah abdelsalam. sources say the 26-year-old french national was stopped by police just hours after the attack and then released. investigators say his brother blew himself up at a cafe in paris. >> translator: we did not think for a moment that one of our brothers was related to these attacks. >> reporter: a third brother, mohamed, was arrested after the attacks then released in belgium. he spoke to reporters saying he does not believe his brother was involved in the attacks.
we're also learning more about the other attackers, french national bilal hafdi, an and ismael. officials say a man using the name ahman al muhammad blew himself up at the stade de france. a subject of an international arrest warrant since 2013 is responsible for the attack at bataclan. >> this is something planned over the course of several months in terms of making sure they had the operatives, the weapons, the explosives with the suicide belts. >> reporter: six of the attackers spent time training in syria, belgium authorities confirm they lost track of some of them. >> we were not aware that some of them already returned. >> reporter: tonight intelligence sources tell cnn at this point in the investigation it does not appear any of the attackers were known to the u.s.
today, attorney general loretta lynch addressed potential risk of foreign fighters launching an attack on u.s. soil. >> do you feel adequate with our european counterparts to prevent people like the paris attackers who we know went over to syria and trained from boarding a plane and coming to the u.s. given the visa waiver program. >> our relationship with our european counterparts in this area is robust. and it is strong. and we are always working to make sure that not only we but they also have the information that they need. >> and u.s. investigators are increasingly convinced the attackers used encrypted communications to evade french intelligence. one u.s. official describing that as an educated presumption in part because some of the attackers who french authorities already had information on before the attacks were known to use popular encrypted apps. in addition u.s. officials have been combing through e-mail and other communications and have turned up very little, wolf.
still very early on in this investigation. >> yeah. hopefully they get some progress and they'll find all these guys and find them quickly. pamela, thanks very much. we're following the breaking news in a newly released video. members of isis now threatening attacks in europe and in washington, d.c. the department of homeland security and the fbi now say there's no specific credible information of an attack on the u.s. homeland. not so long ago isis fighters were concentrated on capturing territory largely in syria and iraq. brian todd is looking into this apparent change in their strategy. what are you finding out, brian? >> tonight we're getting new information in shifts in tactics. the coordinated assaults in paris we're told coming in the wake of the beirut suicide attacks and the downing of the russian passenger plane together signify game changing measures which have put western intelligence on its heels. the moment inside the bataclan theater when terrorists unleashed their kalashnikovs.
coordinated suicide bombers detonate outside the packed stade de france. the carnage in paris leading u.s. and european officials to warn tonight that isis is turning a page in its strategy. >> isil has developed an external operations agenda that is now implementing with lethal effect. their agenda is to kill. pure and simple. >> as referred to them as murderous sociopaths. >> paris was hit the day after isis claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings in beirut. an isis affiliate is believed to have brought down a russian passenger plane with 224 people onboard. three devastating terror hits in less than two weeks. >> isis is clearly emboldened by these attacks. i've seen this sort of damage and destruction that is created. >> but why now when a principle goal of isis to this point has been to capture and hold territory in iraq and syria? >> as isis loses terrain, particularly in northern syria, they want to increase, escalate
the number of attacks that they wage abroad because, again, this is the way they sell themselves. >> the paris attacks bore the hallmarks of al qaeda, coordinated cells, well planned, high profile, design to inflict mass casualties. and there's growing evidence tonight that isis' central leadership in iraq and syria is calling the shots in these a asymmetric attacks. sources in france tell cnn two prominent isis members thought to be in iraq or syria may have masterminded the paris onslaught. very close to abu bakr al baghdadi. the sources says abaaoud would be in contact with baghdadi in attack like this. what is isis' goal in launching mass casualties on soft targets? >> i think their goal is to push back against those who are pushing against them and to make sure people feel vulnerable at home such they will maybe not engage in the kind of counter
isis activities we've seen of late. >> and more asymmetric attacks could be on the way from isis. cia director john brennan says given the resources devoted to the paris assaults, the weapons, the explosives, that probably wasn't the only operation isis had in the pipeline. and in a new propaganda video put out since the paris attacks, isis has threatened to hit paris again, to attack rome and washington, d.c. wolf. >> and u.s. officials are taking those threats seriously, brian, thanks very much. let's bring in our experts former congresswoman jane harmon, top democrat on the house intelligence committee, she now heads the woodrow wilson center here in washington. also joining us peter bergen and phil mudd, former cia official as well as cnn military analyst retired lieutenant general mark hertling. guys, we have a lot to assess right now. let me take a quick break. we'll gather the information. much more on the breaking news
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continuing to follow the breaking news. the manhunt for those behind the paris terror attacks a new isis threat specifically threatening an attack here in washington, d.c. we're here with national security counterterrorism military experts jane harmon. the cia director john brennan says more of these attacks are in his words the pipeline. could isis execute a 9/11 style
attack in the united states now? >> i doubt it. it could execute an attack but i doubt anything catastrophic. although it's not impossible. they have to be lucky once. we have to be right 100% of the time. we're doing a lot to make our homeland secure, plus we don't have the assimilation problem that europe has. what we do have is pretty good system to know who's here. and we're building trust with communities and they're turning people in. we also have a good system to block travelers who shouldn't be here. an electronics system, and we should tighten i think our visa waiver system. but we also should let refugees in but vet them carefully. >> but the problem is of the terrorists who committed the horrors in paris, most of them were not on any watch list. most of them were belgian or french citizens. nothing would have stopped them from flying, getting on a flight in paris and flying to the united states, getting weapons, getting explosives, doing whatever they want right here in the united states. they easily could have done that. >> sure. i mean, if you talk about this
conversation about whether this could happen here and a lot of people say, no, i can't see something of this magnitude. i don't get that conversation. first, you have six, seven, eight people in this case who are gathering. you can find that number of isis sympathizers in states all across america. second, access to weapons. you can get that at any gun show in america. third, access to locations that aren't hardened. if you want to say this can't happen here, i'd put those three together and tell me how can you argue that you can't have that combination of characteristic ss? >> general, do you want to weigh in? >> i do. first you need the desire, which we've just seen a film from isis that says they now have the desire to attack outside syria and iraq. and you need the capability. and as phil just said the guns in the united states are much more prevalent than anywhere in europe. they had to go probably to the eastern block to get those ak-47s that they use. and it's not that difficult to put a suicide vest together. even though we've said this is a complex attack in paris and it was a coordinated -- you could
take eight guys and train them to do this in a heartbeat, wolf. the uncomfortable truth is i'm very surprised we haven't had this kind of attack in the united states yet. >> and that visa waiver program now being criticized you heard congresswoman tulsi gabbard say she wants to get rid of it even friendly countries like france and belgium, she wants to make sure people are screened before they just get on a tourist visa, come to the united states and that's that. would that really be effective if the visa waiver program were moved? >> i think it would be very effective and damaging the european economy and global economy. i don't think that's a sensible plan at all. i would agree with jane the catastrophic attack by isis in this country is very, very unlikely. the kinds of cases we've seen since the beginning of the year we've had more isis cases than any other time in our history since 9/11. >> when you say catastrophic though, peter, what would stop these terrorists instead of
doing what they did in paris, coming to the united states, getting machine guns, whatever, going to a rock concert just loaded with 1,000 american young kids and just starting to shoot them? that would be pretty catastrophic. >> it would be. but we've had almost 15 years since 9/11. that's always been true. that's always been a possibility. it just hasn't happened. because it is more complicated than people are presenting. yes, weapons are available. yes, there are sympathizers, but they don't have this huge infrastructure and support network that they have in europe. we've had 1,800 french men go to syria to fight. we've had maybe a few dozen americans get there. >> all right. hold your thoughts for a second because we're going to continue this conversation. we have a lot more to assess. we're also getting more information coming in to "the situation room." we'll be right back.
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back with our security panel, president obama today predicted his strategy to bring together nations including reaching out to russia and iran ultimately will work in defeating isis. phil mudd will that work? >> we're confusing the threat to the united states and number two, territory in syria. there is a fight in syria that iraqi and others should be leading and we should be supporting. that has little to do with a small sliver of a terror organization plotting against paris or new york or washington. we should focus resources on the terror aspect of isis and
support people focussing on the geography. >> general, if you take a look at the map, the president says isis is contained geographically in iraq and syria. holding on to what they had but not getting further. other countries are clearly expanding their reach. it's very, very alarming when you see where they have now established serious territory. >> i'm not sure they are expanding their territory as much as other organizations are wanting brand names of isis. some organizations exist for a long time. boca haram and several others around the region and now they are assuming the name of isis and it appears isis is growing. they certainly may have control in those different terrorist organizations but they are being struck hard in iraq and syria and suffering from that and that may be a reason they are looking for other places to strike like sinai and paris.
>> the president today held firm. he's not sending u.s. troops on the ground into syria to fight isis. >> yeah, i heard him say that but we are increasing our action. let's understand that isis is an army and idea and we have to defeat the ideas as well as the army. just two more points from before, we do have an electronic system that checks travelers coming into the u.s. not just the vis what waiver program and we carefully check. there is a problem if no one was in any data base. i think that will prove not to be true. but for homegrown terrorests, we have some confidence we know who is here. we're building trust with communities. our people are our force multiplier and terrifying them with this on tv, i don't think is our best move. wolf. there are a lot of success stories in the country and welcoming diversity but carefully checking -- >> when the cia director john brennan says there are other plots in the pipeline, that's the cia director saying that,
not just a bunch of pun dense. >> i agree -- hold your thought because we need to take a break but he has access to a lot of sensitive information. he doesn't give a random speech like that. he knows more about plots than we do at this table. the mastermind as you are gent s -- urgent security sweeps continue. the man planning the attacks in paris may be close to the isis leader. had a headache! but now, i...don't excedrin® is fast. in fact for some, relief starts in just 15 minutes. excedrin®. now available in geltabs.
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a troubling warning from the cia director saying isis is liking working on more operations and now the terrorists are vowing to strike washington d.c. what are they planning? worldwide manhunt, the urgent search for an eighth suspect wanted in connection with the paris massacres and learning new information about the possible mastermind behind the attacks. what are his ties to the leader of isis. strategy? president obama sharply defending the u.s. plan to fight isis and vowing to see it through but with critics growing louder and the terror threat increasing will he be forced to come up with a new battle plan? not welcome, more than a dozen states vowing to close their doors to syrian refugees in the wake of paris attacks and president obama blasting a suggestion to allow christians but not muslims calling it unameric unamerican. we'll talk about it with mikeco
in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're "the situation room." >> we're following breaking news, major new developments in the paris terrorist attack. an isis fighter is vowing and i'm quoting now, we will strike america and it's stronghold. washington. and while cities across the u.s. are increasing security, the head of the cia says it's likely isis has more terror operations in the pipeline. we're also monitoring the global manhunt for a french citizen want in connection with the paris attacks and international warrant is now out for 26-year-old salah abdeslam. he was questioned by police and let go. they say he is dangerous and should not be approached.
raids should continue across france. more than 150 so far, one that turned up a rocket launcher. the president says his country is at war. the state of emergency declared allowed police to place more than 100 people under house arrest and wants those powers to b extended for months. we're covering all angles of the breaking news this hour with our correspondents and our guests including republican senator john mccain. he's the chairman of the armed services committee. he'll join us live this hour but let's get straight to paris first. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is standing by. jim, you're learning details of this investigation. >> reporter: wolf, that's right. tonight growing evidence that french authorities missed warning signs on these attacks, many attackers known to french authorities before the carnage they carried out on the streets of paris. at the same time, they are getting more details as exactly how they made this happen. carried out here in paris, staged though in neighboring
belgium but with approval all the way back in isis headquarters in raqqa syria with supervision perhaps going to the very top of the terror group. this say french officials is one of the possible ringleaders of the paris attacks. heard saying in this terror video he enjoys spilling the blood of infidelities. he is abdelhamid abaqoud is belgium citizen in syria and a close confident of isis leader. france's former top counter terror judge. >> this guy is actually very close to the chief, himself. for me, not evidence about that but this huge attack has been issued or approved by him hill
self- >> reporter: in a new terror video, isis is threatening to bring bloodshed to the streets of the u.s. >> i swear to god a similar day that france went through you will go through. i swear to god as we struck france and its stronghold, paris, bewill vehicle ameri-- w america and it's stronghold. >> reporter: john brennan says the u.s. is taking it seriously. >> i would anticipate this is not the only operation isil has in the pipeline and security intelligence in europe and other places are working to see what else they can do in terms of uncovering it. >> reporter: as the u.s. and europe prepare for more plots, france is now counting the missed signals for friday's deadly rampage. at least two attackers were known to french police, one for terror offenses and the other for being radicalized. six attackers are believed to have traveled to syria and
returned to europe. one crossed along with thousands of syrian refugees through a major migrant entry point in greece. in addition, the suspected ringleader seen on the right here was directing an attack by these two isis fighters who were later killed in a shootout with belgium police in january. but french authorities say they are simply overwhelmed. today the list of suspected terrorists and others radicalized in france has grown to some 11,000. >> we know that there are french people coming back from syria that might be a threat against french cities. we know there are french cities in france that have never been to syria or iraq that also might be a threat against french citizen. >> reporter: you now have a divisive debate, senior politicians who we spoke to who is running for president speaking about preventive
detention, taking some of these people on this vast list of 11,000 suspected jihads and putting them in prison under surveillance in detention before they act. we had a little taste of that last night, wolf. more than 100 raids and more than 100 people on house arrest and some 23 people detained. that is the measure of alert. i was here in january, wolf, but the level of nervousness here is even much greater than after the charlie hebdo attacks. >> president hollande announcing a state of emergency. will continue allowing those actions for another three months or so. thanks very much. in the wake of the paris attacks, western nations are being forced to reevaluate their strategy as war planes bomb terrorist targets in syria. elyce is working this part of the story for us. president obama he was on the defensive today at his news conference in turkey.
>> the president called the paris attacks the worst france has faced since world war ii, a setback in the fight against isis and rejected calls for a swift change in u.s. strategy against the terror group. tonight, there are new questions about the president's resolve and whether he has a comprehensive plan to stop isis global expansion. french war planes pounded isis stronghold in syria. retaliation for the deadly paris attacks but only an increate mental surge of the strategy. a defensive president obama doubled down. >> there will be an intensification of the strategy that we put forward, but the strategy we're putting forward is the strategy that is going to work. >> reporter: as the president focused on denying isis territory in syria and i racket, his cia director acknowledged
for isis, the battle field is already global with more attacks in the pipeline. >> they are looking abroad now to have these spectacular attacks because what they want to do is further the narrative about the caliphate which is growing and successful. >> reporter: just days before the carnage in paris, isis took credit for a pair of suicide bombs in beirut and it's aphysicaf affiliate in sinai says it downed a commercial jet, a claim backed by u.s. and british intelligence. the worldwide threat could turn adversaries into partners, obama huddled with russian president vladimir putin. after squaring off over syria's bloody civil war, the two leaders agreed on a way forward in syria, putin has now stepped up air strikes against isis and calling for the world to team up to defeat the terror group. tonight, new questions about whether obama who once called isis a j.v. team and hours
before the paris attacks said the group was contained has a comprehensive approach. >> the strategy we're pursuing that focuses on going after targets, cutting off their borders and squeezing the space in which they can operate until ultimately we're able to defeat them. >> they will not be in combat. >> reporter: his out going point man on isis in an exclusive cnn interview warned until the root causes are addressed, they will never be defeated. >> if we don't get at the issues over the long term, not just become pelled to constantly be fighting, the symptoms of the problem we'll be condemned to fight forever. >> new scrutiny to welcome 10,000 refugees to the u.s. after revelations one of the paris attackers snuck into europe with syrians fleeing the violence, the president scolded critics calling for a clamp down on muslims and calling it
unamerican. he said there shouldn't be a religious test for who gets admitted. the syrian people are also victims of terrorism. >> he was very, very passionate on that specific point. thanks very much. we're seeing increased scrutiny right here in washington d.c. in the wake of the paris attacks and the new isis threat to attack america's capital city. other u.s. cities are on a heightened state of alert, as well. tell us about that. >> they are saying there is increas increas increased vigilance and making sure nothing gets pasted them. one big concern is the fact that these particular terrorists were able to stay so far off the radar, paris had no idea this was coming. >> reporter: in it's latest video, isis continues threats against the west setting its sights squarely on the united
states. >> translator: we will strike america and it's stronghold washington. >> reporter: they warned the terror group has a lethal external operations agenda and what happen in paris will likely be attempted elsewhere. >> i would anticipate that this is not the only operation that isil has in the pipeline. >> reporter: following the attacks in paris, police departments in several major cities across the united states have ramped up security. in washington d.c., metropolitan transit police stepping up patrols on public transportation using bomb sniffing dogs and additional bag screening. in new york city, 200 highly trained elite counter terror forces deployed to protect crowded places. a force that will ultimately total 500 tactical officers. >> the assignment puts you and volunteered that assignment. there is no more essential assignment in the world of policing. >> reporter: so-called soft target venues are increasing security. the nfl which already uses
counter terror tactics asked it's members to further tighten its efforts. the cia director acknowledged isis learned to stay off the grid to help avoid detection. the attorney general said these encrypted communications are a major concern. >> we are pursuing a number of options. we're in discussions within the industry looking for ways they can lawfully provide us information and still preserve privacy. >> reporter: the big concern is there are 6,000 european suyria fighters. the u.s. has far fewer people that have tried to go or made it there to be killed, there is a concern and the big concern is that someone may try to slip in across the border or even by boat and that's what a lot of people are worried about, that it's not the u.s. fighters that are coming back, it's those from elsewhere who may try to slip in because they got nothing to
lose. >> slip into the united states, deb, is that what you're saying? >> exactly. >> deborah feyerick reporting. let's go to paul and mike rogers and national correspondent for france 24 phillip. my condolences to even at france 24. one of your colleagues were killed just going to a rock concert, right? >> yes, thank you very much a. camera technician at france 24. he had a 6-year-old son and went to that concert at the bataclan and didn't make it out. they are in mourning like all of france. >> you hear these stories, 129 people killed so far. you hear story after story. it's so heartbreaking. what can you tell us about the reports that this specific operation and the cia director john brennan seem to suggest it had been planned for months, it
was a complex operation including a lot of phone conversations or whatever. >> well, it means that some of these suspects or attackers or alleged attackers were based in france or a lot of indications are turning us toward belgium. that is more likely to be the place where these cells were operating and able to plan all of this. after all, belgium has coal across so, so many times and all these times we've had to talk about terrorist attempts or successful terror attacks in europe a lot of the time they have originated in belgium. that's where the perpetrators ended up being found. i believe those were on the train where the u.s. soldiers were able to intervene were also from belgium and this time around again, that is where the investigation is turning. not necessarily in paris though still there is a state of emergency in paris meaning that the authorities can intervene and can pretty much for example stop the flow of traffic there and tell people to not leave
their homes at least give that recommendation. but for now, it looks like belgium is the place to look. >> looks pretty awful. pa paul, they say there are more attacks likely in the pipeline. if these attacks in paris weren't on the radar, is there a strong likelihood future plots including here in the united states could be missed? >> reporter: short answer, wolf, is yes because the numbers are staggering, the numbers of extremists traveling from europe to syria to fight with groups like isis, more than 6,000 have traveled more than 1500 have come back to europe and that's just the numbers that we know about. jim sciutto was reporting that in france 11,000 suspected radicals here if you look europe wide, that's multiples of that and the security services here are completely over stretched, wolf. i talked to security officials, counterterrorism officials on a
regular basis. they are very worried about what comes next now and the number one concern now is isis will flood. this is the richest terrorist group in history. it's got training camp rivaling those run by al qaeda and all those western recruiting coming in that it is send back and capable operational planners and increasingly getting into the international terrorism business. it's thrown a fraction of resources into international terrorism. if they start to ratchet that up, we'll be in a very, very worrying scenario. >> it is the richest terror group out there that captured the oil fields, mike rogers near mosul. billions of dollars potentially. they had robbed the bank. mosul is a city of 2 million people and they have all that gold. this is a very, very powerful terror operation. >> clearly. one of the things that worries you about an organization is do they have space to plan operations and do they have finances to plan operations? and the space to recruit.
if you look at the social media, none better, they can recruit here in the united states in france, in brussels, anywhere they want in the world using social media, some 90,000 tweets a day trying to encourage people to commit acts of terror or join isis. finances, billions of dollars. that's concerning because it doesn't take a lot of money to finance the operation of which you just saw but it does take some. this gives them an opportunity to do a lot of those types of events because they have the cash to do it. and that's -- they have certainly the land and the space and the freedom to plan these operations but that's what makes them -- >> i listen carefully to john brennan, the cia director's speech and he seemed to suggest they are only just beginning. stand by. we have a lot more to assess, much more on the breaking news right after this quick break. p blah
isis characters, you say take them seriously. >> look at their track record. they talked about a big storm coming. they had three major events in the last month. they have predicted that and talked about it. they have talked about infiltrating the refugee stream with terrorists designed to do events here. they just did that. they told us that before it happened. now they are talking about other events and other attacks. i would take them seriously. they tend to forshadow what they are trying to do. makes it difficult for intelligence and law enforcement agencies but now at least we should learn to take them seriously. i know they are saying it's just a boast, maybe so. i would argue we ought to tighten up the belt in washington d.c. if that's what the next target wants. >> that's what they say, the next target could be washington d.c. the at least 250 americans have tried or have succeeded in getting to syria. it's very plausible that there are americans here in the
homeland trained by isis at least that's what u.s. law enforce t enforcement officials fear they might be literally ready to strike at any moment. how concerned are you about that? >> reporter: wolf, i think it's plausible but we need to put the threat to the united states in some context. 6,000 europeans have gone to syria and iraq extremists about 200 to 250 americans, so 30 times more from europe. so much, much bigger threat being tasted here in europe, wolf. i think one of the big concerns is isis-inspired attacks, people that haven't travelled to syria and iraq but can go and pick up a very powerful weapon at a gun store and launch a copy cat attack. we've seen a drop off of the number of americans traveling to syria and iraq.
some people will stay at home and try to launch attacks there, wolf. >> but phillip, the whole fear that u.s. law enforcement now has is that most, a lot of these terroris terrorists, they may be u.s. citizens or other countries for that matter. they can get on a plane and come to the united states without too much difficulty. >> quite easily and some of these might have traveled to syria and iraq as well of course. those movements of course we would hope would have been seen by intelligence services, either of the united states or france in this case. but when you look at again talking about the intelligence services or chance in the united states. something went wrong. this is a group of up to 20 people involved, at least eight to ten and a coordinated attack after all, and, you know, we've discussed this before but we do go back to the charlie hebdo attacks on the 7th of january when french security services
were harshly criticized because at one point they did know the brothers but stopped their surveillance of them and then it was the american intelligence that knew more about the french. that might happen this time again. there is a real possibility because we're not hearing much from the french intelligence -- >> i'm told they are doing a major boost to learn lessons. guys, stand by, more breaking news coming into "the situation room." new information about the seven dead terrorists, one suspect still at large. how many of them were already known to police? and we'll talk about the investigation. the u.s. response, the threat isis is now making to attack washington. senator john mccain, chairman of the armed services committee. there you see him standing by live. we'll be right back. believe it. at&t and directv are now one. which means you can watch in the house, in a treehouse, or even in miss pepperpie's house.
news, a global manhunt unfolding for a french citizen wanted in connection with the paris terror attacks. an international warrant is out for 26-year-old salah abdeslam whose brother was one of the suicide bombers. he is believed to rented one of the cars used in the attacks. he was stopped and questioned by police hours after the massacre but released. let's bring in our international diplomatic editor nic robertson. nic, you're learning new
information about the terrorists. tell us what you've learned. >> reporter: well, wolf, we heard from eyewitnesss of the attacks of how some of the gunmen seemed to act in a professional military trained manner, the way they changed magazines and fired into the crowd indicated a level of military training. some information we're uncovering now about some attackers show according to some sources that as many as six of them may have been to syria, may have got their training there. this is what we're learning. eight suspects, seven of them now dead, according to cnn's french affiliate bfm tv. six spent time in syria. they carried out attacks in syria broken into three groups. three suicide bombers attacked, a belgium said to be 19 or 20
years old. one came from syria posing as a refugee traveling on a fake or doctor passport. at the bataclan concert hall, a 29-year-old french national spent years in a city and sammy, a 28-year-old born in a paris suburb. [ gunshots ]. >> reporter: police say mostefai had a criminal record and radicalized but never been accused of terrorism. one had been placed under sup supervision after attempting to travel to yemen. the seventh suspect detonated his suicide bomb at a cafe. the paris prosecutor's office identified the attacker as a 31-year-old french citizen but
hasn't disclosed his name. sources tell cnn it was 31-year-old abdeslam. he used a car found abandon in a paris suburb with three kalashnikov rifles inside. after being questioned by police in belgium, one of abdesla m's brothers spoke to bf mtv. [speaking foreign language]. >> translator: you also need to understand in spite of the tragedy, my parents are in shock. we do not realize yet what has happened. my family and i are affected by what happened. we found out by tv just like many of you. we did not think for a moment that one of our brothers was related to these attacks. >> reporter: a third brother, salah abdeslam a 26-year-old belgium national may be the eight suspect in the attacks.
he remains at large, the subject of an international manhunt and french police warn he is dangerous. one of the things we're learning about one of those attackers there indicates the sort of lack, if you will, of joined up counterterrorism efforts between in this case france and turkey. what we've learned from tour kirk oc -- turkish officials when he entered, there was nothing in a database to indicate he might be a problem. yet, here in france he was already recorded as being radicalized and a special watch list, if you will. twice the turkeyish say they wrote to french officials saying tell us more about him. we don't know why they were asking that question but say the french didn't answer them. when we talked in the past about how to tackle isis in syria and
iraq, we've talked a lot about the way that counterterrorism officials throughout europe cooperate. this seems to be one of the cases where perhaps that cooperation didn't quite go as planned, wolf. >> looks like there was a lack of cooperation between friendly intelligence services and this particular case. all right, nic robertson, thanks very much. let's get more on what's going on. joining us is john mccain. senator, thanks very much for joining us. the cia director john brennan, a man i assume you know well said this attack in paris was planned in his words over several months and he doesn't think this was the only operation that isis now has in the pipeline. i assume you agree with him? >> oh, absolutely and he has more information than i do, but i don't think there is any doubt that this was a well-planned and well-orchestrated operation, which you have -- nic just
pointed out i think in more detail than i know, but there's no doubt about that, wolf, and there is no doubt about mr. baghdadi's intentions. he said i'll see you in new york. i don't think there is any doubt about this. i think -- it certainly does sound a real strong note of warning. >> mike rogers, the former chairman of the house intelligence committee said the same thing, believe what these guys said. abby backer al baghdadi, the suspected ringleader, abdelhamid abaqoud, does it concern you the americas don't have a better ability to keep track of the terrorists. >> i think it's obvious we're going to see new measures enacted both on the boarders of
the eu and inside. this is a call and i'm sure there are people all overrule europe that are update tonight going over procedures that are going to have to enact and obviously, we got to make sure that none of these people can come here. >> well, some of these guys apparently were not on any u.s. watch list. they were french or belgium citizens. how do you deal with that? they can get on a plane, fry to jfk, get a tourist visa and do what they want. >> it's tough. our screening has to be much more intensified. it may cause or more inconvenience at airports but this event is graphic demonstration of the reach of isis. i wish the president of the united states would learn that same lesson. the very defensive double down on nonexistent policy presentation, the president is deeply disappointed to me and others. >> you say we need a surge.
the u.s. needs a surge on the ground presumably in syria right now. well, what specifically would you want the president to authorize? >> i want the president to authorize when hillary clinton and general petraeus, his security team at that time recommended years ago to establish a no fly zone, a place for refugees and a place to equip moderate syrian individuals and we're going to have to have i believe an international coalition with some american participation but mainly arab and perhaps turkish involvement to go in and take out isis. air alone isn't going to do it. if anybody believes our nonexistent, no strategy action so far have had any real break on isis has not looked at a map of the world as we see other countries in the middle east
where isis is gaining footholds. >> senator mccain, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. up next, calls to reject muslim refugees but accept christians. president obama is blast blasting the idea as unamerican. we'll talk about that with mike huckabee. there you see him. he's calling on congress to take action.
with startling evidence between links of isis and syria, 23 glove neovernors here in the states say they do not want syrian refugees in their states and to keep muslims out while allowing christian refugees in an idea president obama calls unamerican. our chief political correspondent dana bash is standing by. dana, most of the governors clearly are republicans. what's the latest? >> reporter: most are republicans but there is some bipartisan support for this. as you just mentioned, nearly half of this country's governors are now saying they do not want syrian refugees in their states and here on the presidential campaign trail, republicans are ripping into the president's policy on that and his overall response to the paris attacks. >> we cannot let them come into this country, period. >> reporter: it's a sentiment spreading like wildfire now in
both parties, no syrian refugees in the u.s. >> we can't have another problem and this could be one of the great trojan horses. >> reporter: governors across the country are now taking matters into their own hands, closing their state borders from alabama to arkansas to indiana, michigan and more. >> i am now requesting that the president and the federal government seize sending refugees from syria to north carolina. >> reporter: texas governor greg abbott announced his state will not accept refugees from syria precisely as president obama was speaking on the matter in turkey. >> when i hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person whose fleeing from a war torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from family whose benefitted from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that's shameful.
>> reporter: that a thinly veiled hit on presidential candidate ted cruz. >> i have to say particularly in height of wh light what happen in paris, that's lunacy. >> reporter: cruz whose father fled from cuba will introduce legislation this week banning syrian muslim refugees from america. what would have happened if your father was trying to get from cuba to the united states and the political leaders say nope, who knows, maybe you could be somebody that could commit crimes against americans. >> that's why it's important to define what we're fighting. if my father was part of radical islam that promotes murdering anyone that doesn't share your extreme faith, it would make perfect sense. one of the people that carried out this attack in paris was a syrian refugee that came in and the president is per electly fine with bringing people into this country to carry out
similar acts of terrorism. >> reporter: ben carson wrote paul ryan calling on congress to stop paying for programs to resettle refugees. >> congress i think should defund all the programs that allow these people to be brought here immediately today. >> reporter: ohio governor john kasich who initially supported bringing syrian refugees to the u.s. changed his mind siting security concerns. >> look, there is no way that we can put any of our people at risk by bringing people in at this point. >> reporter: despite all of that opposition, even and especially from governors like kasich who changed his position in light of what happened that paris, the state department spokesman is saying they believe they can steadfastly bring in refugees and are committed to doing and they believe they can do it in a way that rep endsresents americ values and keep americans safe. >> dana, thanks very much.
let's get more with republican presidential candidate, the former arkansas governor mike huckabee. thanks very much for joining us. you heard president obama say any suggestion that refugees, migrants would have to take some sort of religious test to come into the united states, muslims not allowed, christians allowed, that's unamerican, your reaction? >> what's unamerican is not making the security of the united states the first and most important duty of the president of the united states. this is a president who said we contained isis just hours before isis unleashed an extraordinary carnage upon the city of paris killing 127 people and leaving blood all over the city. the president always builds a strong man at a moment like this but the president of france, a left wing socialist president has declared wore on isis. he clearly understands if this is the threat to our existence and he's closed the borders of
france, all our president has done is closed gitmo or attempted . >> i've said today that we've got a cub scout for a commander in chief. by the way, when i said that, i got incredible push back angered at me because people said it was an insult to the cub scouts. people are angry. even when you see people like john kasich who is reversing his position because i'm sure of the ear full that he's had from the people of ohio, right now america is afraid. we don't want another boston bombing. we don't want another terrorist attack. >> all right. governor, the current governor of arkansas, governor hutchinson, opposes syrian revere refugees. how do states legally bar refugees from entering the
country if the federal government, the president of the united states says they can? >> well, i think governors have every right and in fact they have a responsibility to say we've got to protect the people of our state. besides, who is going to pay for all of it? where are they going to live? i'd love to see this. if democrats and particularly some of the candidates for president are so intent on getting syrian refugees, let's ask hillary how many are going to vermont. let's find out how many are going to go to baltimore. let's put some in lafayette park across from the white house. let's send some to hollywood. you have a lot of people on the left who think that's what we ought to be doing. there are a lot of people in america who don't want to see in their cafes and in their concert halls what happened in paris and they expect the president of the united states to take every action to stop it. >> but these people, a lot of these people, most of all of
these people who are fleeing assad and isis, they need refuge and this is a country over the years that has always taken in refugees. >> well, we have taken in refugees. arkansas, in fact, took a lot of refugees from vietnam. they are some of the best citizens we've ever had. but there's a difference when you have people infiltrating the ranks of the refugees as a stocking horse to be able to get in and do carnage. we already know that in fact happened in perhafrance. let's build those camps. that's fine. we're certainly willing to be able to help do that. but let's not do in the united states or kuwait or in the uae. you know, the saudis haven't stepped up at all. they have been obscenely rich because americans have bought their oil. now let's watch them do something that will show some responsibility in their own neighborhood. >> very quickly, governor, you
say the speaker of the house, paul ryan, should step down if he doesn't reject this notion that the united states admitting syrian refugees. you are really serious about that? you think he should step down if he allows funding in the united states to continue? >> well, if the president won't protect us, we would like to think that the republicans in congress would. the congress holds the power of the purse. it's what their constitutional responsibility is. if they are not willing to do it and if he's not willing to lead them to do it as republicans, then, yes, i think he should step down and let a republican stand up and say, no, mr. president, we weren't going to fund something that the american people absolutely don't want. that's -- i want to just remind people, they work for us. we don't work for the elected officials and sometimes i think those folks forget that. >> governor huckabee, thanks for joining us. >> thank you. great to be with you, wolf. >> thank you. much more on the breaking news right after this.
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we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. . we're learning new details right now about what the united states knows and, importantly still does not know, about the terrorists who killed at least 129 people in paris. our justice reporter evan perez is getting this information. evan, what are you learning? >> wolf, this weekend, intelligence analysts spent the entire weekend trying to comb over signal communications of these attackers and, very surprisingly, they have not been able to find any communications. it's one of those things that is very puzzling to the intelligence community.
obviously there is some indication and this is one reason why officials are increasingly persuaded and encrypted means of communication. some people will turn up and perhaps the french might have found something with u.s. officials but right now the officials and puzzled and one thing they do now is known to use encrypted applications. that's driving this view that they must have been using encrypted means because it's a simultaneous attack that they were able to launch and they believe that they had to be talking in some way. >> and these encrypted communications could not be monitored by law enforcement authorities and intelligent officials and they planned and
did what they were doing? >> this is how they were able to invade. >> as james comey, the fbi director told me, that's one of the greatest worries they have. evan, thanks very much. that's it for me. thanks for watching. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. good evening to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, live from paris, we begin with the breaking news tonight. a massive manhunt. officials believe one of the suspected terrorists behind the deadly paris attacks is still alive and on the run at this hour. french police stopping and questioning salah abdeslam for hours but then released him. a new development tonight, we are learning the paris terrorists rented an apartment in the paris suburb for a week before launching their attack, according to french media reports. this comes as isis, in a new