tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN November 18, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PST
here in paris. i'm anderson cooper. has been an extraordinary morning. a number of developments here in paris. i want to bring you up to speed. take a look at this. [ explosions ] gunshot explosions thundered through the city of saint-denis. seven suspects in custody. two people are killed amidst ooufl that gunfire. among the dead a woman who authorities say detonated a suicide device as authorities closed in. several police officers were wounded. a police dog was killed in the raid. sources tell us the raid was just in the nick of time.
they say this group was ready to attack and could have launched a second wave of terror an the city at any moment. the alleged target this time was a business district in paris. another chilling twist. the target of the raid police believe -- and this is the big news we've learned in the last several hours. police believe the suspected ring leader of friday's horrific attacks was actually hiding here in paris. if you had talked to authorities yesterday they would have said that he was most likely still in syria. now they believe he may be in paris. and he was a target of this raid. at this moment it is not yet clear if he's among those killed or captured. but france's president says that a state of emergency blankets his nation. >> these actions confirm to us once again that we are at war.
a war against terrorism, which itself has decided to bring war to us. >> and in the paris suburb of saint-denis this morning french time it certainly did sound like war. cnn correspondents and analysts from around the world have converged on paris and spanned out across the city. and belgium also very much a nex nexus. i want to again begin in saint-denis where we find clarissa ward. let's go back for viewers who were just joining us. sprain what you have witness and heard over the last say 12 or so hours. >> reporter: hi anderson. well, we are here just above the scene where the raids took place
targeting two different apartment buildings. if we pan down here you can see there is still -- the road is completely blocked off. they have pushed journalists back on both ends. and that is because this was the scene of some heavy gunfire and explosions just about 11 hours ago. the resident of this apartment where we are currently told us the explosions started about 4:30 in the morning. he said it started with gunfire. he also heard grenades and he said at around a short time later he head a explosion that is the female that is believed to have blown herself up. and later on things continued to a church on the other end of the street. we saw a large group of police. they were banging down that door
anderson. desperately trying to get into that church. they poured into the church, spent some time in there. came out some time later. it didn't appear they found anything inside the church but what it gives you a sense of is just on how high alert the police are. there was a military presence here earlier. the road was completely blocked off. and what this resident told us was so' r eerie was you could h all the gunfire and explosions and grenades. but you didn't have a lot of people on the ground. you didn't have police telling people what was going on. the street actually felt empty in the beginning. police waving around their guns understandably telling people poking their heads outside to get back in. and people living here in paris are not used to this. one man said we have never seen
anything like that. the described it as sound lookic a war zone. we do know at least two were killed. at least seven arrested. but no clues yet as to who was arrested and whether they are any closer to finding the alleged ring leader of friday's paris attacks. anderson? >> clarissa, the idea that this guy, this so called ring leader or planner of friday's attacks could actually be in france is really startling. we know according to authorities that previously he was in syria. he had been involved in previous attempts. there was the attempt on the train that was thwarted by several american military personnel who subdued the attacker. but the idea that he would have been able to go from syria and reenter france is extraordinary. >> it is.
and what you are realizing here is just how difficult it is to keep track of these guys. to keep track of their movements. we were hearing as recently as a month ago french and coalition forces were targeting this man with air raids inside syria. now it appears he may be here in central paris. that is of course a startling development if it is true. and it really highlights the difficulty of following up on all of these different guys when they were able to move within the european union, open borders. they can move from country to country. we know that before abboud has gone as far as faking his own death to family to try to escape detection and fly under the radar. so it is still a very fluid situation here. and to be frank, parisians very much on edge. they are no closer to knowing whether this dangerous terrorist is here in their own city or even still possibly back in syria. so it is unfolding and fluid
situation anderson. >> fluid to say the least. clarissa, we'll continue to check in with you. there are so many moving parts to these investigations going. hundreds of raids over the last several days. joining me now to talk about all this. cnn correspondent jim shooto and the paul crookhank. for the last several days the focus really has been on belg m belgium. there is the so called eighth terrorist, the man believed to have been driving one of the vehicles during the attacks had gone back to belgian but now it really brings it all back home. >> and just for viewers back home, it is an hour and a half away by train. like going from washington to new york. and clearly these attackers were
moving back and forth from belgian to france frequently. perhaps had a staging area but this is where they carried out the attacks. and one, we could easily be talking this morning about a second rampage in paris. instead we're talking about what appears to be a successful operation just in time as police described it. and i'm told that it is based on intelligence they gathered the last couple of days. intercepted communication, phone call calls is key. and i think if you can find something good out of this, is that there was tremendously good, tremendously fast police work to stop this and act so quickly. when you look at the people inside the apartment they had many of the tools the attackers on friday had. explosive vest, automatic weapons. >> authorities are saying that the focus of what this group was
planning would have been the business district here in paris. a time which during the weekend would not have been busy. but on a day like today where things are sort of returning to normal, where businesses at least are open, there would have been a lot of -- >> right. and you and i have seen this around paris. this is stale city alive and operating. there are crowds here. there are stores open, businesses open. so the way this group acts they go after soft targets. really anywhere they can find people they will attack. and one more point about significance that you referenced. the idea that the ring leader would have been here in france gets to this point we've talked from the beginning on these attacks. that the carry out such a broad expansive, international interconnected plot under the noses of french and western intelligence despite all the resources they are throwing at this to stop these guys before they can act, including someone
known who can move back and forth from syria to france is worrisome. >> and also we are hearing months ago this man was a target of air strikes inside syria etc. if that was true, then how is it possible that he reentered france? that is a huge question. because he has been on the radar. it's not as if he could slip in easily. he's a belgian national. is whether we know. he's in his late 20s. he's well known to intelligence communities here. and well known to u.s. intelligence as well. he's bragged publicly in isis publications about attacks. >> and french security sources tell me they believe he's moved back and forth a number of times in reba recent movpts. and they connect him to many plots. you remember this train attack where the brave americans stopped the attacker. they believe he had a connection to them as well. >> that was from belgian to
france. >> interestingly enough. so gets right back to that corridor in effect of terror from belgian to france. the thing is it is surprisingly easy, to easy to still get from syria to europe. and, for instance, i was speaking to french security officials who were saying that still turkey isn't doing enough to stop the refugee flow but it is not one country. because you have so many countries involved here. security services in france overwhelmed. we now know the u.s. was -- and they are doing their best to watch and stop them from moving. >> i want to bring in paul crookshank. this latest raid what. do you make of it. i think it is extraordinary what jim is saying the idea that this man so wanted by authorities, wanted in belgium as well could possibly be here in france? >> well it's extraordinary anderson.
and there was an extraordinary raid this morning as well. it was, you know, a huge, sort of, fire fight. they had to use a lot of fire power to go in and the concerns obviously that the group inside were preparing some kind of second wave attack here. and now the world's media has assembled in paris. and i think the plan was probably going to launch a second wave attack. somewhere here perhaps in the business district when the world's media were here congregated for sort of maximum effect. i and i think there is also concern there could still be other plotters at large. i don't think many of us expected there to be two cells. and certainly given the fact there are now two cells, two different groups operating, there could be a third.
so they will try to get a handle on all of that, anderson. >> and jim, again, there were the raids three locations, two apartments on the same street and also the church on that street. and it does beg the question, what else is out there? >> they have been very clear french authorities they believe there are more either attackers or supporters out there. >> let's quickly review who they are looking for now. because the eighth terror suspect. it is confidencing how many. there this ring leader ab del hamid abaaoud who they had hoped as at this location today. we don't know for sure whether or not. they have taken seven people into custody. there two people were killed as well in the raids. and friday night there were eight terrorists involved say authorities. seven were killed friday night.
one of them out there. there was an international arrest warrant out for him. it is believed he had gone back to belgium but again that is up in the air. >> several attacks on friday. i believe there was an eighth attacker. salah abdeslam. they put an international arrest warrant for him yesterday. and authorities said we're looking for another person involved. and the source for that may be this video of one of the cars that took the attackers to a restaurant caught on video. they see a third person in that car. so they are looking for that third person. >> and that is a new piece of information. previously they had only been talking about a eighth suspect involved in friday's attacks but because of that video. >> it goes to nine. >> and that is nine just from friday's attacks. today you have seven arrests and two dead people. so there was a whole other cell planning an attack. and in addition to that, the thoughts about this ring leader. where is he?
is he in belgium? rather in france? they had enough information to suspect he was in one of those apartments this morning. the fact is we don't know. and i don't think it would be going out on a limb to say french security services don't know how many people are still out there. >> and it will be interesting to see if they can get information from the seven people they now have in custody. what sort of information they have. thank you for your reporting. there is so much to come in this next hour. is the obama white house doing enough to prevent attacks on u.s. soil? one congresswoman and air force veteran says it is time to step up. she joins me, next. you give them a case of the giggles. tylenol® cold helps relieve your worst cold & flu symptoms... you can give them everything you've got.
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well the dramatic raid this morning around saint-denis was sparked apparently by information found on cell phones left behind after friday ea's attacks. cnn reporter even perez is following the story from washington. do we know for a fact that they were using encrypted apps or is that just a general concern? >> well ke don't know anderson. we don't know whether they were using encrypted apps for this operation. we know they were practicing extraordinary security. we know there was very little electronic trace left behind. and intelligence officials know also people associated with this cell, people associated with abaaoud who you've been talking about have practiced a lot of operational security in carrying out plots.
for instance, they throw away cell phones. they change them out sometimes up to five times a month. they change cars frequently. they check their car for listening devices, for instance, to make sure intelligence is not listening. and they use a lot of fake documentation papers. so nay know all of this. the u.s. and french investigators know all of this. however the finding of these cell phones, which occurred after these attacks is possibly one of the biggest breaks that they have had. perhaps it was a mistake. perhaps it was a mistake not dedestroying those cell phones. we don't know. because we do know at least on some of these cell phones they have found encrypted app. whether they used them in this attack we don't know yet. we know they have used them in the past. so that explains why there is so little of electronic trace. the other thing that is important art the cell phones is that at least one of them was found with a message and red something to the effect of okay
we're ready. it is believed that message was sent before these attacks began. and it perhaps was the coordination message. the message that said launch these coordinated sales attacks that occurred on friday night in paris. >> so just very briefly evan, do we know how many cell phones were found? exactly where they were found? and do we know who that message was sent be? i believe it was one of the bataclan attackers but who it was sent too? >> we don't know anderson where exactly they were found. we know they tried to discard some phones but the police made sure they looked through garbage cans and everything at those scenes to make sure they could capture everything. and police have done a lot oaf work. as you said they are racing against time. they are trying to figure out who these people are and where they have been. and if they make any mistakes they want to capitalize on them.
>> sorry to keep hitting this point. but do we know who the that message we're starting, we're beginning was sent to? or what location? >> my question is it really the address that was raided too? the apartment previously that was rented -- >> we really don't know who sent the message, which one of these attackers received the message. and whether it had anything to do with these raids. we do know anderson that some of these investigations that have occurred because of this cell phones did drive this raid and some of the other raids that have been happening. there is a lot of information that is flowing back from these cell phones. >> all right. evan perez. i appreciate your reporting. i always think in an situation like this it is as important to talk about what we know as also to talk about what we don't know because it can be very confusing. there is a lot of details and a lot of importance is in the details. on capitol hill today the o bam
administration's strategy on terror is going to come up heavy scrutiny as member os the house, homeland security and foreign affairs gather for a joint hearing. the focus rise of radicalism in the united states. joining me is member of the committee. good morning congresswoman. appreciate you being with us. you say it is time for the white house to step up. specifically what do you mean by step up? >> well anderson, we are facing a generational conflict with islamist extremism. and we've seen obviously a game-changing dynamic that now most people are woken up to but we've been following for the last year or year and a half since the caliphate was declared. with the attacks in paris and the takedown of the russian airliner, again most have woken up. it it seems for our administration doubling down on
the strategy. >> what do you want to have happen is this -- >> -- in iraq and syria. we've been averaging about 15 strike sorties a day. in comparison in desert storm we had over a thousand. and in iraqi freedom about 800. we have not unleashed american air power to be able to rain down on this caliphate. and they have declared themselves as a state. we need to treat them like a state. take out their vulnerability, command and control -- >> let me ask you about that congressman. let me ask you about that. do you believe that the u.s. military doesn't want to hit targets? i mean? -- i'm assuming that military officials who are in charge of this would say well, if they are bombing targets that you know about, they would be more than happy to hit them. it seems like they are hitting multiple targets over and over again, even targets that have already been hit because there are frankly not that many targets. given the nature.
it is a lot different than it was during desert storm obviously the nature of isis. >> we have so many opportunities anderson from the very beginning. the rules of engagement that have been put on our pilots are so restrictive when it comes to pilot identification and collateral damage. the laws are very clear. we don't target civilians. but if we have a legitimate military target. we do everything we can to limit civilian casualties but behave engagements that are civilian sashlt casualty so high that we have pilots coming back with bombs. and terrorists continue to rain terror on tens of the thousands of the civilians. and it took us this long to start doing that and we're dropping leaflets and we're allowing the fuel to continue to finance this terror operation and the caliphate over the last
17 months. look this is just an example where if we got to look at achieving the effects we want militarily we have to identify the target, constrain and take out and destroy the command and control t logistic, the financing capable. but it is not just a military operation. the headquarters is in iraq and syria. but the fact they feel they have taken on american air power and they are winning is allowing them co-tonight to recruit this a very sophisticated social media campaign. over 200,000 estimated positive tweets on social media a day from isis and they are inspiring and directing individuals to either travel to iraq and syria. we know of 30,000 individuals from a hundred countries that we know of that have traveled over there to join the caliphate, train and potentially come back. 4500 from western countries. these are waiver countries. those that could just come into america. and 250 americans that we know. but the more immediate threat is really inspiring those in place,
in their own countries to get radicalized. directing them via dark space and telling them to commit violence right where they are. so this is a multi faceted threat and the obama administration is not taking it as seriously and is not going after it as the generational conflict it is. >> republican qualm congresswoman ma congresswoman martha mcsal. thank you.
place starting early this morning here in a suburb of paris. a new report, two of the suspects apprehended this morning. we're told seven in custody. two are being treated for wounds they received during the police raid. our poppy harlow is on the phone. she's at the hospital with more. what do we know about these two? >> we know ore affiliate here on the ground in paris has said and i'm standing outside the hospital, two of those suspected arrested in the early morning hours are being treated here. this is about half an hour from where you are right now anderson. this is in the north of paris. according to bfm one of those suspected terrorists was arrested with a wound to his arm, went into surgery this morning. the second arrived here about 11:45 a.m. local. that would be 5:45 a.m. eastern time. went into surgery with a more serious wound to the arm.
the security here at the hospital is incredibly tight anderson. when we got out of the cab just a moment ago. they approached us immediately. a police officer with an assault rifle telling us to get out quickly and for the car to keep moving. they do not want any vehicle stopping in front of this hospital. you have people in the neighborhood, children. parents standing by, wondering what exactly is going on. i have seen more than a dozen police officers in front of this hospital. now you have a web of at least 15 people. it could be much, much larger. the key here for the doctors is going to be to keep these men alive so they can be interrogated. any answers to lead to my more suspects in all of this is critical. because again they don't know how big this web is anderson. >> yeah. that is one of the things a that is so interesting about the raids this morning. not just the idea that the
alleged ring leader the attacks os friday. this belgian man who is in his late 20s who is well known to law enforcement intelligence agency in europe and in the united states who's been said to have a planned other attempted attacks in the past. the idea that he is not in syria has authorities had thought as little as yesterday that he actually may be in paris, poppy, that's a huge piece of news for french citizens to now absorb. so much of the focus over last several days has been belgium and the nexus. but now with the raids in paris it really returned. and certainly put this back on the front burner for french citizens for parisians that there could be other cells in this city currently operating.
poppy we'll continue to check with you. the events taking place throughout the region, both here and france and in belgium. the predawn raid here in paris. three locations all the on one street. the sound of gunfire and explosions cutting through the early morning calm. as french police stormed two apartments in the saint-denis neighborhood. t >> reporter: very unusual. but they were moving in the crowd here looking for something and now moving down the street. one of them still operating here. they are showing their photo -- oh and an explosion has just gone off. this is still very much an ongoing operation. that was quite a large explosion in that direction. a second one now. just hold on. no gunfire that we can tell so far. a third explosion.
fourth. that was much larger. there are a number of military soldiers now being moved into the front as well. >> that was the scene earlier this morning. senior international correspondent picks up the story now from that same neighborhood in saint-denis. >> first let's talk about what we know about what went on. bring us up to date, just the latest information on exactly how many people now have been taken into custody in that raid. >> reporter: yeah anderson. these raids again about 4:30, 4:25 early in the morning. and there were explosions. there was gunfire going on. i was actually able to speak with a gentlemen who witnessed some of that and he said he was
absolutely terrified as all of a sudden there were bursts of machine gunfire and he was told to get off the streets, to get away and to get into his apartment and lay low there. as more and more police forces moved in. there was one female suicide bomber who blew herself up. apparently as police officers were trying to enter into a this apartment. in total the police are saying that two of the terrorists were killed. seven people are in custody but certainly this is something that did take a very very long time. and, you know, we've been out here for hours now as well. and there was a gigantic police force here. there were a team bald the b.r.i. that was getting ready to move into that apartment. we saw them at the ready, standing in front, their weapons drawn. some had shields in case someone fired out. and they apprehended these people now. and there is a slow drawdown
still under way here. what the police have actually done now is they are starting to set whaup seem to be sort of 360 degree surveillance cameras here to continue to keep an eye on what is going on here on the ground. at the same time they are starting to pull forces back. but this is a massive operation. well over a hundred police officer, firefighters. emergency medical personnel. one police officer we saw moving away with some sort of limp in his foot. it is unclear whether he was wounded. and two terrorists killed, seven of course are in custody. and they will be interrogated and authorities hope to get valuable information to see if there is anyone else involved anderson. >> right. and we know cell phones found
near some of the scenes from friday's attack were part of the link that led authorities to more raids. it's given authorities certain pieces of information to go on. the question is did the raids that o occurred. are there cell phones and computers that might lead them elsewhere. the brother of a suspected terrorist is still at large. the so called eighth terrorist who's believed to have been involved in the attacks on friday night. his brother sat down for a one-on-one interview with erin burnett. up next why he says his family is still in shock and how he says one of his brothers changed before the brutal killing spree. and the kids always eat their vegetables.
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surrender. that is the message from the brother of two men tied to the brutal terror attacks in paris. authorities are on the hunt for this man, salah abdeslam who they say may have helped carry out last week's killing spree. lea he's believed to be the eighth member of the terror squad from friday. on tuesday we sat with his brother to hear. >> what do you say if salah is watching this program somewhere, what do you say to him about what you want time do and what he's done? >> translator: i would tell him
to surrender. that is the best solution. to contact the authorityies. i know it must be difficult to watch on tv. some actions to try to find him. and you can see that some of these actions to find him are impressive. but he must not be afraid to surrender, to explain. but of course if he has something to do with it he must accept responsibility. >> the massive man hunt pushes on. and authorities are combing through evidence trying retrace the last known whereabouts. joining me is fact director at
new york university law. and director of intelligence analysis for the nypd. thank you for being was. it's fascinating. of the three brothers the one erin burnett talked to, he was arrested over the weekend but he was let go. he's not believed to have anything to do with this. his two brothers, one of them died on friday, the other is believed to be the eighth terrorist who got away. does it surprise you the kind of -- that this is kind of an interfamily thing. not only that there are these brother but that there is so much in this one little neighborhood in belgium. so many of these people seem to live in that area and know each other from that area and have socialized together. >> exactly right. and those are two helpful points. one first of all terrorism is a kind of family business. we saw in the boston marathon situation. the tsarnaev brothers. and one reason to have a this
connection is if you are dealing with an intimate in the fall you are not likely not to be communicating in a way intelligence mechanisms can pick up. so it is great antisurveillance mechanism. and also it is a kind of the microclimate in which radical civilizations have taken hold. and it takes this in this point has created terrorists in this case. >> and i they lot of people saying when the brothers talking and saying they are unaware of what the brothers are up to. i think a lot of people find that hard to believe their child become radicalized. do you believe it? >> i'm not an expert in family and pathology and families. so i wouldn't comment on whether the brother is credible. but i would say there are many of the telltale signs of radicalization that could be heard in that interview erin burnett did. first of all the travel to turkey. the travel to syria. we'll know more. but that to me is the giveaway
that someone may be on the route to doing something quite significant. there is nothing better in the way of training a jihadi than contact in the flesh with jihadis and going to syria. as far as the traps of the radicalization, the adopting highest forms of islam, giving up alcohol, wearing a beard, those are veryrveerfect indicators. and i think we ought to be very skeptical of those as any indication. often those are going to be false positives. so i think law enforcement can't extrapolate too much from them but travel to the front line if that is in fact what happened here would be very significant. >> thanks very much sam. still to come a scare in the skies. two airlines bound for france
well, concerns over terrorism spread overnight to international air travel. there were a couple of incidents to tell you about. two air france flights from the u.s. to paris were forced to make emergency landings because of anonymous bomb threats after the planes took off. cnn aviation correspondent renee marsh has more. this i found particularly interesting because i actually flew back from new york last night on an air france plane without any problem. where were these planes diverted from? >> well, we know that one aircraft was -- had left l.a.x. in los angeles.
the other left dulles airport. and as you said, anderson, because of those phoned-in bomb threats, they had to divert. they could not go to their destination last night. again, we should point out that receiving bomb threats for these airlines, that's not so much a unique situation, but the timing of all of this is what's noteworthy. we're talking about air france flights, both of them bound for paris. of course, the timing. this is a point where paris is trying to move forward. it's still dealing with the issues after the attack. and then you have these two bomb threats. this was a 777 and a380, so hundreds of passengers were on board. they had to deplane. we know that the plane was checked, luggage was rechecked, and we're hearing from the airline that after they brought in the bomb-sniffing dogs, they did their sweeps, they determined this was not a credible threat. and oftentimes that is the situation with these bomb threats. but again, in the climate we are
living in, the airlines, airport authority, aviation security personnel not taking anything for granted. >> sure. rene marsh, appreciate the update. thanks very much on that. our coverage of the france terror attacks and the latest raids this morning. the ongoing manhunt continue right after this break. the pursuit of healthier.
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saint-denis as police launch a raid. seven suspects now in custody. two people are dead. two were killed in that raid. among the dead, a woman who detonated her suicide device as authorities closed in. several police officers were wounded, but sources tell us the raid was just in the nick of time. they say this group was planning an attack and could have launched a second wave of terror on the city at any moment. cnn so close to the raids, you can hear the explosions during a live report by our atika shubert. >> reporter: very unusual that they were moving in the crowd here looking for something and have now moved down the street. you can still see one of them here still operating. they're showing their photo to -- oh, and an explosion has just gone off. this is still very much an ongoing operation. that was quite a large explosion in that direction. a second one now.
just hold on. no gunfire that we can tell so far. a third explosion. fourth. that was much larger. police asking them to move back. there are a number of military soldiers that are now being moved into the front as well. >> i want to start in saint-denis this morning, the suburb where three raids have unfolded in recent hours. let's get the latest on those raids. our senior international correspondent clarissa ward is there. what's the scene there now and then let's go back and talk about what's occurred over the last 12 or 13 hours. >> reporter: well, hi anderson. this is normally a quiet pedestrian suburban street, but just 12 hours ago, one resident told me it sounded like a war zone. now, i want to try to pan over a little bit so you can see the scene here.
police have completely blocked off the street on both sides. in the middle there somewhere where you can see the fire truck and those firemen are two apartments that were raided. according to residents here, it all began at about 4:30 in the morning. the owner of this apartment on the balcony that we're standing on told us that he heard gunfire. he heard grenades going off. and then he said police and military began to sort of swoop into the area. and it really culminated, he said, at about 7:30 in the morning. that's when he described hearing several loud explosions. now, when we got on the scene sometime later, police shifted the focus of the raid to a church which is actually behind our position here. we saw those police. they were banging down the door. eventually they wrenched it open. they filed into the church. it's not clear, anderson, exactly what they were looking for. they spent some time in there and then filed out. it didn't appear that they found
anything. but in the two raids here behind me in those apartments, we know that two people were killed. one of them believed to have been a woman who reportedly either detonated herself or blew something up. we also know that seven people were arrested. the focus of these raids is believed to have been the ringleader of friday's attacks, 27-year-old belgian abdelhamid abaaoud of moroccan descent. he was also the ringleader of an attack in belgium that was thwarted back in january. he managed to elude capture, and really he has proven to be a very elusive character. we though that french and coalition forces were trying to target him with air raids in syria as recent as a month ago. yet now it appears it is possible that he is right here in the capital of paris. still no word on his whereabouts. but residents here deeply shaken
up by what has happened, anderson. this is paris, france. this is central europe. people here told me they had never seen anything like this. anderson? >> yeah. i mean, clarissa, as soon as yesterday, we were being told this guy, this alleged ringleader, was likely still in syria. the idea is shocking, i think, to many french that he could be here, in fact, in paris this close to where the attacks took place on friday. do we know what this group, this cell, if that's what it was, or what these suspects may have been planning specifically? >> reporter: we don't know specifically what they may have been planning, but we are hearing that it could have been big. and it is believed, as i said before, it is believed that this is all combined, that this is all related, that friday's attacks are indeed related to whatever attack was just
thwarted here this morning. and really, anderson, this underscores the size of this network. we've been talking a lot on our air about eight attackers. then there was a ninth suspect. now we're talking about a larger network, at least seven people arrested in these raids. this is an ongoing investigation, an ongoing manhunt, and it seems to be expanding, anderson, by the minute. >> clarissa ward, appreciate that reporting. cnn affiliate vfm is reporting that two of the suspects targeted in the raid were injured. they are now being treated at the hospital, which is just outside of paris. our poppy harlow is there outside the hospital. she joins us now. what do we know about their injuries, poppy? >> reporter: what we know is there were two of them who were arrested in the early-morning hours, as clarissa described. came here to the hospital in the north of paris. we're about 30 minutes from where you are. we know both were wounded to the arm, one more seriously so. the one who was more seriously
injured arrived here about 11:45 a.m. local time, went immediately into surgery. new information coming to us from our affiliate bfm that one of those who was injured, presumably the one less so, has already been transported with many, many police and armored vehicles around them. transported out of this hospital. the question is, where was that man taken for interrogation? just to set the scene for you here, was the ringleader, abaaoud, was he arrested? that is a question that we don't know. was he in that apartment? was he one of the men who was injured and taken here? that is possible. what is so critical now for these doctors here is that they are able to keep the men alive so that they can be interrogated because they will have answers as to how big this web really is. perhaps what was the next attack that clarissa was reporting that was planned that could have been extremely large. that's the focus right now. what information can they get from these two men? when we got out of the taxicab, anderson, in front of here, the
police immediately approached us with assault rifles. they told our taxi driver to keep moving, keep moving, don't stop. we jumped out and we were escorted across the street. they don't want us in shops or anywhere near the front of the hospital speaking to the police. there is nothing that they can tell us directly. security incredibly high here. again, two of those suspects treated here. one already transported with armored vehicles by police out of here. the other one presumably still inside undergoing surgery. >> poppy harlow reporting. poppy, thank you very much. security tight all throughout paris, obviously. i was in a neighborhood yesterday, saw somebody just getting out of a subway, police just went up to him, had him hold up his hands, just random searches in many parts of this city. this morning we're also learning that a cell phone recovered after friday's attacks may have provided some critical information for today's raid. joining me now to talk about all of this is cnn chief national security correspondent jim sciutto.
for our viewers, it is confusing keeping track of how many people are involved in this. maybe just step back a second. friday's raids, friday's attacks, it was believed there were eight terrorists involved and that seven of them were killed in the attacks. one of them was believed to have gotten away. there's an international manhunt out for him. it's believed he returned to belgium. but now this raid today, that's a different group, seven people taken into custody there. two people killed in those raids. and again, two different people who police are now looking for. >> the simplest way to think about today's raids is that we have just doubled the number of active terrorists somehow related to these attacks because on friday, you had a number of eight or nine, initially they said seven killed, one still missing, then they added last night another person that they were looking for, unidentified. this morning, you now have nine people in that apartment, seven arrested, two killed. planning, say police, an imminent attack. so that was not a support network. these were active terrorists, an
active cell. you and i very easily right now could be talking about a second attack that took place as opposed to a successful raid. i think in the scheme of things, the nervousness and the alert this is good news, right? this was good, urgent police work that appears to have prevented an attack. but at the same time, it shows you what french officials have been warning from the beginning, that the folks who died on friday, it doesn't end there, that there are others out there and that's significant and concerning. >> let's talk about the two main people whose names we know who are still out there. one, there's this international manhunt out for this man who -- >> salah. >> who was involved in friday's attacks. do we know what his connection is to the other man believed to be the ringleader of all of this? >> this is new information. we're finding out -- we've talked about the ringleader,
abdelhamid abaaoud. the connection he has, this eighth attacker from friday, is that they served in prison together in 2011 in belgium. >> we're hearing this now for the first time. >> this is new information. what's significant about this is that prisons are often the incubators of radicalization. and many of the plotters already we know, the ones killed on friday and others arrested, start as petty criminals. they had arrests for pickpocketing, robbery, et cetera. they go to prison. i'm not saying that's the only place they could be radicalized, but it is often a place. and they make connections and continue on. so now we know a very key connection in these attacks between a missing presumed attacker from friday and the alleged ringleader is that they met in prison in 2011. that's significant. >> very interesting indeed. the question is how much communication has there been between them? did the cell phone that was discovered during the bataclan attacks or in the wake of that, is that what led people to this apartment? >> it is key. i'm told that -- and police have said this -- that intercepted communications led them to these
apartments this morning. these apartments under surveillance just for the last 24 hours. so we know that that clue, that information, that intelligence was new. it was fresh. it was urgent. and i know that some of those intercepted communications that have made a difference that have been a clue leading to this second cell were from those phones found near the bodies of the actors who carried out the attacks on friday. >> we're also joined by paul cruickshank. what are you learning about the raids this morning? >> hey, anderson. i've just been speaking to a senior belgian counterterrorism official, and he has a lot of new, important information including what led to this raid at saint-denis overnight. and that was, indeed, as jim was saying, an intercepted communication, the intercepted communication, the wiretap suggested that a relative of abdelhamid abaaoud was at the
residence in saint-denis. separately, the french also had other strong indications that abdelhamid abaaoud was in paris. they put all that together, and they launched this raid in saint-denis against this residence. when they went in, they were met with fierce resistance, extraordinary resistance from the people inside the building. so the french security commandos had to resort to heavy munitions to neutralize these suspects. they blew up a lot of the building, a whole floor came down. and there were a lot of body remains scattered around the wreckage, making identification very difficult. they're now efforting dna analysis on the people who were killed inside the building to see if one of those people was abdelhamid abaaoud. they do not know yet whether abdelhamid abaaoud was one of those killed.
they're efforting into all of that right now. i also have key information from this same official on the wider network that is thought to be behind the paris terrorist attacks. it seems that there were several brains, according to this official, they suspect there were several brains behind it, not only abdelhamid abaaoud, but also a senior french isis operative called fabian clan. now, fabian clan's voice was heard on the isis claimed responsibility which quickly followed these attacks in paris. the belgians believe that abdelhamid abaaoud and fabian clan were working together in and around raqqah, syria, to recruit belgian recruits coming in and to send them back to launch attacks. and they would turn these recruits around very, very quickly, giving them perhaps sometimes just one or two weeks of training, then sending them back to europe to launch attacks. they're both believed to be
behind those attempted attacks on that passenger train, also churches in paris in april. another key piece of information from belgian counterterrorism officials is that the bombmaker in this paris attack still believed to be at large, anderson. >> paul cruickshank, stay with us. we're going to take a short break. i want to come back to you, though, on the other side of this break because there's a lot -- you just gave us a lot of new information. i just want to drill down on a number of the key pieces with jim and paul. paul, if you could just stick around. we'll also take a look at more airstrikes attacking isis targets. the question is, is it enough? we'll be right back. all her aches and pains.
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as you know, there have been dramatic raids early this morning here in paris. seven arrested, two dead. of those seven arrested, two were hospitalized with some wounds. targeted the person believed to be the ringleader of the attack. but we don't know, really, the results of that raid. but our cnn terrorism analyst paul cruickshank has gotten new information. i want to go back to him. we're also joined by jim sciutto here at the plaza republique. let's talk about what you just reported because you gave us a lot of new information. this is based on a conversation -- again, who was this conversation with, and if you could just bring us up to speed again. >> well, anderson, as i was saying, this comes from a senior belgian counterterrorism investigation, somebody at the heart of the investigation. the belgians and the french are working hand in hand on this investigation. and as i was saying, the key
thing that led to this residence in saint-denis overnight was an intercepted communication, a wiretap, indicating that a relative of abdelhamid abaaoud, the suspected ringleader of this plot, was at that address in saint-denis. the french also separately had other strong information suggesting abaaoud was actually in paris. so they went in and launched this raid, french commandos, but they were met with fierce resistance by the people inside the building. such fierce resistance that the french commandos had to resort to what were described to me as the weapons of war, munitions, grenades, that they had to use to neutralize the suspects inside the building. one of those suspects, a female suicide bomber, blew herself up. i mean, this was quite a firefight that went down. but because the french had to
use heavy force, heavy munitions against the building, some of the building collapsed. at least one floor collapsed. there was a lot of rubble. there were body parts everywhere from the suspects. and that made identification difficult of who was inside the building. and so they are now efforting dna analysis to see whether, indeed, abdelhamid abaaoud was inside that building, was one of the people who were killed inside that building, anderson. >> all right. so that's really fascinating because we know there were two people killed, or at least that's what we believe based on comments made by french officials so far. two people were killed, one of them a female who detonated a suicide device. so that would leave one person who at this point is unidentified. so again, we don't know if that is this alleged ringleader. and jim sciutto, you've just been learning about the connection between this alleged ringleader and the so-called eighth terrorist who was involved directly in friday night's attacks who's still out
there on the loose. >> that's right, the imagine who's subject of this international arrest warrant, salah abdelam. they served time together in prison. so often it's where these terrorism suspects meet and become radicalized. that puts them together for some four years to build a relationship and provide the connection for this attack. sources have been telling me in these last 24 intercepted communications have made the difference. that provided the intel that led them to this apartment. i find it incredible that these guys would have been speaking on those phones in light of the, you know, the efforts being put out there now by french security forces to find them. so that's quite remarkable. but perhaps that speaks to -- because we know that the terrorists who acted on friday, they communicated, at least in those last minutes before the attack because there was a text message discovered on the phone by one of the bombers.
perhaps they felt it was okay to communicate because they were close to another attack, as french authorities have said. >> critically what we don't know is who the -- one of the attackers was communicating with. we don't know where that text message was sent because the text message basically in your reporting was essentially saying okay, we're going in now. we're going to start now. that was the attack at bataclan. but we don't know who that mess building was being sent to. >> we don't know for sure, but i've been told the phones that they found by those dead attackers from friday's attack helped lead them to where they were today. so it's possible that on the other end of one of those lines was someone who was in that apartment tonighted that to other intercepted communications. but that shows how quickly they are working on intelligence and evidence right now. you get an intercepted call yesterday, communication, they put the operation in place overnight, and they, in effect, neutralized this cell. >> and now because of a cell phone video, it's believed there were actually nine people involved in friday's attacks. >> that's right.
so you have the numbers expanding on friday. seven dead attackers. then you have the international arrest warrant out for the eighth. and then as of last night, they said we're looking for another at least unnamed attacker. and then in the last six, seven hours, you have, in effect, the size of this group doubled because you have another nine people involved here, presumably seven arrested and two killed. an active cell. >> paul cruickshank, what's not known is how this person, this abaaoud, and i'm mispronouncing the last name, abaaoud, how could he who had supposedly been in syria recently and even been the subject or the focus of airstrikes by french and u.s. jets, how could he now be in paris? >> well, you've got to remember, anderson, he's got a track record of being able to slip away and to slip through. back in january when he was the ringleader of this plot in
belgium, this isis plot in belgium, he was actually coordinating the cell from greece. and they actually managed to get on to his cell phone, but they weren't able to locate him in greece. the belgians even brought in the cia back in january. by the time the international dragnet had closed in, he had escaped and gone back to syria. so he's somebody that's got a lot of capability on how to move around undetected, slip through borders. this is a guy who was involved in gangsterism, in molenbeek. all three brothers were involved in gangsterism according to belgian counterterrorism officials. and so they learned these kinds of skills evading police, evading security services, forged documents, imaginative ways to get in and get out, anderson. >> it is interesting, and it bears repeating, i mean, a lot of these guys, it's not as if
they're masterminds. a lot of them are basically petty crooks and criminals. they have long criminal records of petty crimes and low-level crimes before turning to jihad. >> well, that's absolutely right, but it's a skill set that's equipped them well for organizing these terrorism plots. and one of the things they find it really easy to get hold of are weapons, kalashnikovs. they have all the contacts they need from the days back when they were part of the neighborhood gang in molenbeek. they were involved in robberies in the area. so it would be very easy for them to gain hold of these kind of weapons. and they've pulled off the most spectacular terrorist attack in the west since 9/11. >> paul cruickshank, appreciate you being with us. jim sciutto as well. we'll continue the reporting. a flurry of police activity here in paris. gunshots, as you know,
explosions, raids as french police search for the terrorists behind friday's deadly attacks and this other group as well. the number of people now expanding. our breaking news coverage from paris continues in a moment. >> and an explosion has just gone off. this is still very much an ongoing operation. that was quite a large explosion in that direction. a second one now. want to survive a crazy busy day? sfx: cell phone chimes start with a positive attitude...
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more airstrikes targeting isis both in syria and iraq. they may be working, a humanitarian group is reporting in isis leaders and members of their families have been abandoning the self-proclaim ee capital of raqqah because it's no longer safe. that coming after syria's strikes have killed at least 33 suspected militants.
now, to focus on this part of the fight, i want to bring in two of our cnn military analysts, former commanding general of the europe and 7th army, mark hertling and peter mansour. colonel hertling, the level of raids we've been seeing, of airstrikes, how many targets are there that actually can be struck? i mean, there are reports that some of these targets are being hit multiple times. are there more targets out there that aren't being hit? i talked to a congresswoman earlier who was critical, saying there are more targets but that the rules of engagement make it difficult to strike those targets. is that true? >> that's somewhat of an uninformed y eed view, anderson. i would suggest early on in the campaign there were few targets because we didn't have the intelligence we needed on the ground in syria. and to a lesser degree, you also have the potential for collateral damage. but as you get more info, as the people on the ground, both the kurds and the syrian free forces start feeding information, and
we've seen indicators that they are feeding that information, you have more targets to strike. remember, early on in the war, there was a human cry about only one-fourth of the planes were dropping their bombs and three-quarters of them were coming back. that's changed radically over the last couple months as we've gained more intelligence. and yes, it's not only a physical factor of dropping a lot of weapons, but it's also a psychological factor of continued pounding of these fighters in syria and iraq. >> so it's not the case -- i mean, we're hearing that that drumbeat from a lot of folks who are critical of the air campaigns so far who say, look, that pilots are returning with, you know, with bombs that have been fired, with munitions that haven't been used and that the gloves need to come off. you're saying essentially that's not the case? >> it's not the case anymore. when we were flying early on from the uae, you're talking about several hours of flight time against a preplanned
target. so you have a target set. you go in. you strike it. and then you return. you maybe refuel and do another pass. now that we have aircraft and we have more observers on the ground, you're beginning to see what are called tics, troops in contact. they are feeding more information. an airplane can come over, do a rapid engagement of something that's fighting on the ground or a rapid intelligence target and return. so you're going to see more and more as you get more and more information. that's the aspect of warfare that i think a lot of people in washington really don't understand. you've got to fight for intelligence that drives the continued fights or the strikes. >> colonel peter mansour, i mean, do you believe these airstrikes are being effective? do you believe that they are enough? >> no, i don't. you know, the closest historical parallel is the kosovo war when we bombed serbia for several
months, and they really didn't have an impact on the decision-making of the serbian leadership, only russian pressure caused them to withdraw finally. we're going to need a capable ground force to combine with the airstrikes before they will be effective. ground forces can force the enemy to mass. that will provide targets to the airstrikes so that two-thirds of the planes don't go back to base with bombs still on board. and in terms of bombing infrastructure, you know, it's pretty obvious to the folks in raqqah, once they commit a terrorist act, that we're going to retaliate. and by all accounts, the humanitarian group on the ground raqqah is being slaughtered silently, the airstrikes hit empty warehouses and empty stadiums because the folks there had already left. because they knew the airstrikes were going to come. >> general hertling, what about that? >> truthfully anderson, i'm sorry, i didn't hear what the
colonel said. i was disconnected from him. >> okay. that's all right. the idea that some of these are, you know, hitting empty buildings or hitting buildings that have already been evacuated by isis forces in raqqah. >> well, certainly -- and that's true at any given time. when you're going to hit -- conduct strikes, very different from the early stages of either "desert storm" or the early stages of afghanistan and iraq when you're going after known government buildings, what we're talking about is individual fighters that are trying to establish a state. so yeah, you're going to have some strikes against buildings where tre's no one there. but truthfully, i think as we get, again, going back to the better intelligence, when you have the observers on the ground, knowing where the target sets are and you can strike them, you know, that's the art of conflict. and anderson, the other thing that i would say is, you know, you have to know your enemy in the fight. there are three key tenants of any human conflict. know your enemy.
adapt faster than he does. and then at the same time, provide him multiple ways to die and to influence his psychological behavior. i think we've seen there intelligence, nick paton walsh reported is in sinjar, there were no follow-up fighting by isis after the peshmerga took that city. there have been reportings by michael weiss saying that he's talked to isis fighters, and they're telling him that the pounding has been too much. and in fact, that may be one of the contributors that isis is expanding their target sets to outside syria and iraq. and i think we have to adapt very quickly and talk about security against those kind of attacks as well. >> all right. general hertling, appreciate it, colonel mansoor as well. we're going to take a short break. massive raids in a suburb of paris. we'll take you to that neighborhood next. when heartburn hits
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of the paris terror attacks as well as the raids that took place earlier this morning here in paris and the international manhunt for the eighth terror suspect. i want to go to cnn senior international correspondent fred pleitgen. he is in the neighborhood where today's raids took place in saint-denis. fred, police are still obviously on the scene trying to gather as much information they can, whatever evidence they can. bring us up to speed on what you're seeing around you and what we now know about exactly what took place. >> reporter: yeah, anderson, they're sort of downsizing the police operation. there's still a cordon in place and still a lot of police officers out there. the most recent thing i've seen them do is put up 360-degree
cameras so they can still monitor the area and make sure that nothing goes wrong there. and you're right, there are still forensic teams that we're seeing on the ground still going towards those apartments where all of this took place. of course, trying to gather as much evidence from those apartments as possible, anything that they can get their hands on that, of course, would be very valuable to see whether or not there's still other people involved in this, if there's still any other sort of clues to would help them bring to light exactly who these people were they were dealing with today and also, of course, some of the clues towards what exactly happened and who exactly was involved also in the paris attacks that happened on friday. now, the raids here started at 4:30 in the morning. and it was interesting because i was speaking to someone on the scene who was witnessing all of this unfold. and he was just absolutely terrified, saying that there were these gunshots going off. there were explosions going off and that he had been told by the police to go back into his house immediately. the police themselves, when they went to this apartment,
apparently met some very fierce resistance, a female suicide bomber who blew herself up and some other people in that apartment as well. in total, two of the terrorists were killed. seven of them are in custody. some of them, of course, were wounded. but the police do hope to gather some valuable information from them as well. you know, they keep saying that they came here just in the nick of time. and they believe that they did prevent something, another attack possibly that could have also caused major carnage, anderson. >> and obviously, what we don't know is the identity of the two who died. we know one was a female who detonated a suicide device. we don't know the identity of the other person, whether it could possibly be the alleged ringleader of the attacks on friday night as well as what seems to be now a plan to carry out other attacks. because fred, i think it's important to point out that this group that they raided today,
french authorities are saying that they actually were planning further attacks. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. that's exactly what they're saying. and they're saying that they got here just in the nick of time. now, what exactly the communication between this band of people here is and those that carried out the attacks that happened last friday at this point is very unclear. but one of the interesting things, of course, that we can already glean from what's been going on here is they seem to have very similar arms on them. especially in the case of one of them being able to blow themselves up. that certainly does indicate that there were high-powered explosives inside that apartment. so certainly the police here do believe that thanks to this raid, they did -- or this city did dodge a bullet, anderson. >> we're just getting some new pictures, i'm told, fred, of the apartment where one of the raids took place. we know there were raids in two apartments that were across the street from each other. you get a sense of the damage. this backs up some of what paul cruickshank was reporting just a
short time ago from a source, a belgian source that he was talking to about the explosives that were used against the suspects inside. according to his reporting, one noor actually seemed to have fallen through. it looks there on the third floor or so in an apartment there. obviously a very dramatic raid early this morning that took place starting around 4:00 or so, 4:00 a.m. france time. we'll continue to check in with you, fred. we have breaking news this morning. new details on the suspected ringleader of the paris attacks. more on that ahead. wfrom your cold & flu. you give them a case of the giggles. tylenol® cold helps relieve your worst cold & flu symptoms... you can give them everything you've got. tylenol®
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while the hunt for salah abdeslam pushes on, we're also learning new details about his ties to the suspected ringleader of the paris attacks. joining me, cnn international correspondent ivan watson. ivan, what have we learned now? >> reporter: well, we've learned about more links between some of these suspects here with abdelhamid abaaoud, evidently having spent time in prison in 2011, according to belgian authorities with that fugitive right now, salah abdeslam whose house is directly behind me about 100 feet away from here. and the last time that salah abdeslam was seen was driving away from paris in the direction of belgium. and he was stopped by french police, questioned and then released. this despite the fact that
earlier this year, belgian authorities had questioned him when they suspected that he and his older brother, ibrahim, wanted to go to be jihadi volunteer fighters in syria. the french authorities let him go. he has since been missing. but the car that he was driving in was later found here in this brussels neighborhood of molenbeek. let me set the scene what's going on right now. in the main square here which was full of journalists yesterday talking about how this neighborhood has been a recruiting ground for a disturbing number of violent jihadis, right now you have a gathering of residents of this community that are trying to show their support and commemoration for the victims in paris and also to kind of just make a show of peace. and according to a communique released by the organizers here, they also want to declare that repression should not be a response to the terrorism acts
that we've seen in paris. this is a community that's had a big problem with high youth unemployment. it's had a problem with local crime as well. and, of course, the fact that far too many young men from this neighborhood have been recruited into the ranks of isis in syria and have been participants in the terrorist acts in paris of last friday night. anderson? >> ivan, it is extraordinary how many of the people involved in this are from that area. abdelhamid, he also used to live in that neighborhood. >> reporter: that's right. i mean, his father's house was about five minutes' walk from where i am right now. and his father also had a shot behind me. but as a resident here was just telling me, you know, that father went through a terrible tragedy because not only did his elder son go off and become an organizer in isis, but that abaaoud man took away his younger 13-year-old brother to
syria. that is part of why he's one of the most notorious people from belgium to join the ranks of isis. and bell ygium is struggling wi the fact that this small country has contributed more fighters per capita to isis in and the war in syria than any other country in western europe. anderson. >> incredible to think he got his 13-year-old brother to go to syria to join him in this death march. ivan watson, thank you very much. appreciate that. we'll have more from paris, also from belgium. seven arrested in the raids this morning. two dead. two hospitalized. the raid targeted the believed ringleader of the attack who now authorities believe may very well be here in paris. thanks very much for joining us. our coverage continues in just a moment.
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hello, everyone, i'm kate bolduan joining you from new york. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world this hour. >> reporter: and i'm john berman live in paris for cnn's special live coverage of an extraordinary turn of events here. this frin the frantish search f the terrorists responsible for the attacks in paris last friday. and there have been dramatic developments all morning. targeted this morning, perhaps the ringleader of the attacks here on friday. did they get him? is he dead? that is the big question right now. this is how it started. gunfire, powerful explosions in a northern neighborhood of this city, saint-denis. seven terror suspects were arrested. two suspects, two terror suspects killed including a woman who blew herself up wearing some kind of explosive device early on in the operation.