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tv   At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan  CNN  November 18, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST

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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.
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the raid and the resistance at one apartment. there were a couple sites that were targeted there, making as many as three. the force in the resistance so violent that the entire floor of a building collapsed there. as we said, the target of these raids, the alleged belgian terrorist, the alleged isis terrorist, abdelhamid abaaoud. it is a man who was believed up until yesterday to have been in syria or iraq. but there is intelligence they had reason to believe that not only was he in france but this northern neighborhood of paris. was he killed this morning? is he one of the two people dead? dna testing under way right now to try to figure that out. also today, police sources tell cnn this raid came just in time. it came just in time to foil some kind of plot that these terror suspects were just getting ready to spring into action. the french interior minister says the police quick actions prevented more crimes and more
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murders. certainly seems as if they reacted very, very quickly to whatever intelligence they had. take a quick look at how it all unfolded this morning. >> 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. er that 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. >> reporter: that was our atika shubert in the saint-denis neighborhood as some kind of flash bangs were going on, several hours after they heard an enormous amount of gunfire. so violent that an floor of an apartment collapsed. our clarissa ward is standing outside live that building right now. what a scene behind you, clarissa. >> reporter: hi, john. yeah, we've managed to get onto a rooftop here from which we can see the building behind me.
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i'm just going to duck out so that we can push in and take a look at that apartment building that was the focus of these raids. we can see forensic experts have been moving around inside those rooms. they've been taking photographs. and you can see the aftermath of those blasts that were heard. all the windows have been blown out. you can see the pockmarks of heavy weaponry around those windows. and we've spoken to a number of residents and eyewitnesses who told us that it all started at about 4:30 a.m. they heard gunfire. they heard grenades. and then at about 7:30, they started to hear some more intensive explosions. now, we know that two people were killed in this building right behind me. seven people were arrested. and i'm assuming we've seen those forensic experts in there. they're taking photographs. they're moving around. i'm assuming they're collecting dna samples because, of course,
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the question that everybody wants to know the answer to is whether or not it is possible that, in fact, abdelhamid abaaoud, the alleged ringleader of friday's attacks, was in this building. perhaps he escaped. perhaps he was killed. we still have a lot of questions. this is a very fluid situation. now, after the raids were carried out on the two apartments in this building, the focus then moved for police to a nearby church. and we were there as we heard police banging down that door, trying to break into that church. it took them some time to get in there. they then filed in. they spent some time looking around. then they exited. it didn't seem that there was anything actually inside the church. but certainly a sense here among residents, john, that this is a situation that's unprecedented. this is paris, france. people here have never seen or experienced anything like this. you know, looking at these
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windows with all the glass blown out with the walls pockmarked from heavy weaponry, this really is uncharted territory. not just the alleged ringleader of these attacks but also salah abdeslam who is the alleged eighth attacker and even a ninth suspect. so the network keeps growing. the search keeps growing. and so far, more answers than questions. john? >> reporter: and this operation played out over about seven hours where you are in saint-denis. and as you correctly point out, they do not know if they got their target. abdelhamid abaaoud. they do not know if they got him. they are inside there testing right now. what is clear is they thought he might be there, which is why they brought an enormous amount of force to bear.
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give us a sense of what was used and exactly how they staged this operation, clarissa. >> reporter: well, from what we've heard from local residents, there were stun grenades. there were heavy weapons, a lot of gunfire. of course, those explosions -- and it's difficult, john, for people to determine which explosions may have been the attackers inside that apartment blowing themselves up, as we've heard, and which may have been controlled detonations from the authorities. we know that there were a variety of different security forces on the ground. there was a military presence reportedly at one point. there were regular police. there were paramilitary police forces. so it's fair to say that this was an enormous operation with hundreds of troops involved. and when we were outside that church, we saw something like 40 police cars, sirens wailing, pulling out of the location. the raid appeared to be over. and now it's really up to these forensic experts in that
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apartment building just behind me to try to determine who was in that apartment and what they may have been plotting. >> reporter: yeah, and now the scientists are taking over. and their job so crucial because everyone wants to know, did they get him? did they get abdelhamid abaaoud? that's the big question right now. clarissa, stand by. i want to bring in paul cruickshank. paul, you have information about this raid, about how they went in and about what they're doing now to faind out if they got hi. >> that's right, john. speaking to a senior belgian counterterrorism official, he says that the key information that led to this raid in saint-denis was an intercepted communication, a wiretap, which indicated that a relative of abdelhamid abaaoud was at this safe house, suggesting that perhaps abdelhamid abaaoud himself was also there because the french had other strong indications that he was in
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paris. so they moved forward with this raid in the middle of the night. they went in with quite some force, the french commandos. but they were met with fierce resistance from the people inside. there was a female suicide bomber who blew herself up. and in order to try and neutralize the suspects inside the building, they had to use, as clarissa was saying, some really powerful munitions. the sorts of things you'd use in war, powerful grenades and munitions. and that reduced some of the building to rubble. a floor collapsed. and it's been very difficult for them to identify the bodies because the body remains are sort of scattered everywhere. and so right now they're efforting dna analysis to see if one of the people killed inside the residence was indeed abdelhamid abaaoud, one of the suspects brains behind the operation. >> paul, stand by. i want to bring in our chief
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national security correspondent jim sciutto as part of this conversation. jim, as paul points out, they have body parts to work on right now. they don't necessarily have abaaoud's dna. >> they would need to have his dna to match it. and even that would take time for them to be sure. so that's a key question. i mean, we should note that police said that when they went into this apartment, they believed that they had intelligence that he might be there. that was one of the reasons they moved in so quickly and with so much force. as paul said, the key clue that led them to this place was an intercepted communication. and i was told and one of the clues that we know they've just gathered in recent days were the cell phones collected from nearby the dead bodies of friday's attackers. that a key clue. so the question is, who was on the other side of the calls that those attackers made? >> reporter: right. >> on friday. that led them to this cell. >> reporter: and jim, there's been criticism for how the french and the belgians may have handled intelligence prior to friday's attacks. but since friday's attacks, if this raid today was connected to cell phones that they picked up
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on the scene of the attacks on friday, they moved very quickly. >> credit where credit is due. this was the subject -- the result of good police work, good and very fast and urgent police work. they had this apartment under surveillance just since yesterday. there was a call in the last couple of days that led them there. this is acting very quickly. it gives you a sense of just how urgent they are. they're not going to leave anything to chance. but it also shows that they're throwing resources at this and they're making progress. >> paul, if you're still there, the word we got from police sources this morning was they believed they got there to saint-denis this morning just in time. they staged this raid, killing two suspected terrorists, arresting seven more, just in time, just before they believe they were about to launch some kind of attack here. what can you tell us about that? >> well, yeah. i mean, they were very worried. they were about to go and launch something here in paris. the world's media is now here. and so the idea would have been
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potentially that they had this first attack on friday, launching the attack at the stadium, the bataclan, the other locations, the restaurants, that terrible loss of life. but now the entire world's attention is on paris. and five days later, if they were able to launch another spectacular attack, that would be absolutely traumatic to this city, to this country, to this continent and indeed the entire western world. and i think that may have been their exact intention. given the suicide vest, the explosives, these -- it does not seem this was some kind of logistical support network. all the indications, i think, are that they were about to move forward with something really quite terrible here in paris. john. >> reporter: jim? >> that's the thing. to keep clear, we just doubled, in the last several hours, s the arithmetic of this group because as of friday, you had the seven dead attackers. then they talked of one,
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possibly two attackers involved in that still at large, one of which -- one of whom they have an international arrest warrant out for. as paul says, they had the weapons, explosives. >> this was a cell that was getting ready to do something. >> of nine people. seven arrested, two killed. you've gone from eight or nine from friday's attack to 18 in effect. that's an significant increase but thankfully we are talking about an attack thwarted, successful police work as opposed to a second attack on the streets of paris. >> all right. some key questions remaining which we'll get to in just a moment. abdelhamid abaaoud, if this man, in fact, was in paris this morning, perhaps dead, perhaps arrested, how did he get back here? this is a guy they have had their eyes on. french authorities, belgian authorities. u.s. authorities knew about him. how was he able to move from syria back to paris? also, the phone wiretaps. what other intelligence do they have that led them to this site in this neighborhood, and what else are these phone discussions telling them about what might happen next?
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officials say this morning's raid in the paris suburb of saint-denis came just in time. they say the terror suspects were about to move on some kind of operations. let's go there. let's go to cnn senior international correspondent fred pleitgen in saint-denis with the very latest. fred, we just saw clarissa ward on a rooftop where this raid went down. you're on ground level. what are you hearing from your van tatage point? what kind of neighborhood are we talking about here? >> reporter: well, it's sort of a working-class neighborhood, kate. i would say i'm 50 yards from where all this happened. there's a police cordon behind where i am. of course in the early-morning hours of today, the people here were rocked out of their sleep by several concussions, several
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explosions, and a lot of gunfire. i was speaking to someone earlier today as this was going on who said he was absolutely terrified and heard these gunshot s ricocheting on his street. he was told in no uncertain terms by the authorities to get back inside and to lay low. what they did then, kate, is they put out a bit of a bigger cordon around the area. they moved ina lot offorces and, of course, used very heavy weapons to blast their way into that apartment. after that female suicide bomber had set off her device and blown herself up as the first initial police officers tried to get in. then it really turned into a waiting game. and for a long time, we were seeing police special operations forces outside of the area. some of them with shields. obviously thinking about making a move to get in. however, at that point in time, it seems as though the police had cleared the area. now, what's going on right now, kate, is that the area here is coming back to life a little bit. people are going out once again. but again, that immediate area
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outside where all this happened is still very much cordoned off. police there are setting up what seems to be 360-degree cameras so they can still keep an eye on what's going on. certainly some terrifying moments and a major standoff what was going on here. and as you said, the police there saying they believe they acted just in time. and certainly judging from the response they got from the terrorists that were inside that apartment, they probably are right, kate. >> and have you been able to hear any more from others in the neighborhood? you say this is a working-class neighborhood. we heard from the video the blasts and the gunfire that you could hear while atika shubert was live overnight, i can imagine what it was like for someone living in that neighborhood. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. i mean, it was absolutely terrifying. it's interesting, i just spoke to one gentleman who lives here. and he had a little baby. he said, of course, the little baby was terrified as well. they were hearing all of this unfold. it started off with some very
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heavy gunfire and then came those explosions. and all of that went on for a very long time. and they were sort of, you know, the occasional explosion that was going on for hours after the initial raid started. and people we've been speaking to are saying, look, they know that this is sort of a working-class area. it's an area also that does actually have a fairly high crime rate. but it certainly is not an area where they would expect something like this to happen. and the other thing, of course, that really frightens people is that this is the second major terror event that's gone on in their neighborhood in just a couple days. keep in mind the stadium where several suicide attackers blew themselves up, the stade de france, is only a couple hundred yards away. so people are extremely concerned about what's going on, downright frightened to think that something like this could have been going on in their neighborhood, kate. >> absolutely, fred. fred pleitgen on the ground there in st. daint-denis where massive raid and firefight happened earlier this morning. i want to talk about all of
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these latest developments and also what intelligence there was before and now and the impact of that here in the united states. let me bring in congressman will hurd. he spent nine years as an officer for the cia. congressman, thank you very much for joining me. importantly, you were in a classified briefing last night. i was looking at the list. you guys were briefed by the head of dhs, the fbi, the counterterrorism center, and even more. did they give you any sense of other attack operations like this one that we're talking about overnight with this raid, other attack operations in the pipeline, the scope of what you're looking at here? >> well, they were very clear. secretary of dhs and director comey were very clear that they don't think there are any credible current threats to the homeland. but what was interesting is that they showed this evolving intelligence picture after getting information on the
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attackers that were killed. they're learning about their accomplices, and they're looking for folks all over europe. and there's a lot of information exchanged that's happening between the u.s. and our european partners. and our law enforcement and intelligence agencies are taking that information and trying to look backwards to see if there's any other clues to potential future attacks. >> congressman, you talk about the evolving nature of the intelligence. i do want to get to that especially. but in this briefing, were you told or given any sense on the u.s. side that they believe that the organizer of these attacks, abdelhamid abaaoud, that he was in paris? because all of the information flow to this point was that he was not. maybe he was in iraq. maybe he was in syria. and now this raid overnight was based on information that he could have been not only in france but in paris. >> there wasn't any conversation about the actual location of the mastermind behind these. i think the conventional wisdom
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is that he was somewhere in syria and iraq. but again, in a situation like this, it's constantly evolving, constantly changing. and if he is in europe, the dragnet around him is going to definitely be tightening, which is a good thing to take a player like this off the battle space. >> congressman, what does it say, the fact that all the conventional wisdom was that he was in syria or in iraq and that he moved into paris, into france undetected? >> well, we don't know if we can confirm that he actually has moved into paris. i haven't seen that level of intelligence. and i think the important thing is in looking at all this to figure out how we can use this in the future. one of the things that -- you know, i sat on the task force to look at the threat of isis to the homeland. and one of the things that was pretty shocking to me is the lack of information sharing amongst our european partners. we were sharing tens of thousands of names of known terrorists. and many of our european partners were not checking known travelers against that information.
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i think paris, i think the french changed after "charlie hebdo," and i think our european colleagues have a long way to go to improve the amount of information sharing that should happen in order to keep europeans safe and ultimately keep americans safe as well. >> it does seem that this has exposed that among other things. now, it's interesting that you point out that information sharing. we have heard from a couple other members of congress over the past couple of days saying that four of friday's attackers, that they were known to u.s. intelligence. from what you heard in this briefing and from your sources, do you get a sense that they -- these four attackers that were known by u.s. intelligence, were they on u.s. watch lists that would have prevented them from flying into the united states? >> i think that those individuals that have being identified have been on watch lists. and i'm pretty confident any new information that is gained from these investigations, those
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names are going to be immediately put on watch lists to prevent them from coming to the united states. this is something that's incredibly critical. and i've seen how information sharing within the u.s. intelligence community has changed from 2000 when i first joined the cia to when i left in '09, and it's even changed significantly since i've been in congress. so i think this -- we can always be doing better. we should always be looking in ways to do better. but our level of information sharing is way more significantly interconnected in the united states than with our partners in europe. >> and real quick, congressman, next week is one of the busiest travel days, if not the busiest travel week of the year. you say there's no credible threat right now that you're hearing from all of the intelligence heads that would know to the homeland, but what are we going to be seeing in terms of at u.s. airports? are we going to see more security? what are you hearing? >> weeks ago, prior to these paris attacks, director johnson has encouraged tsa to do
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additional screening. and not only at local airports but at airports that feed from the middle east into the united states. so they've taken additional measures. a lot of those measures haven't been publicized because we don't want the bad guys to know what's happening. but those kinds of things are happening every single day. and the men and women in law enforcement are looking to figure out how do we learn -- how do we take the information we're learning from these attacks to continue on protect our homeland. >> not just learn but learn fast. as we saw overnight how quickly and how importantly that quick action is. congressman, thank you very much for your time. i appreciate it. let's get straight back to paris where john is. john? >> all right, kate. thank you so much. in this neighborhood just north of paris, saint-denis, forensic experts poring through an apartment, a destroyed apartment right now, investigating body parts to see if french authorities killed abdelhamid abaaoud, the man believed to be the ringleader behind the paris attacks on friday.
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we're going to go back to that neighborhood, tell you what people there saw this morning and what they knew about the folks living inside. stay with us. >> 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. ok, we're here. here's dad. mom. the twins. aunt alice... you didn't tell me aunt alice was coming. of course. don't forget grandpa. can the test drive be over now? maybe just head back to the dealership? don't you want to meet my family? yep, totally. it's practically yours, but we still need your signature.
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all right. john berman live in paris. if a neighborhood just north of here, forensic experts testing dna inside an apartment complex to see if french police killed the man believed to be the ringleader behind these attacks on friday. abdelhamid abaaoud, the man believed to have organized the attacks here that killed 129 people. there was a raid this morning.
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an apartment all but destroyed there. two suspected terrorists killed. seven taken into custody. was he among them? our clarissa ward is standing by outside that apartment with a remarkable view of what was really a battleground, clarissa, just a faw hours ago. >> reporter: hi, john. well, we are here. you can see right behind me that apartment building where those two raids took place. and i'm just going to duck out of sight here so that you can really take a look. you can see forensic experts. they are inside that building. and you can also see the scale of the damage from those explosions. the windows have been blown out. you can see around the windows, heavy weaponry, pockmarks. and we assume now that those forensic experts are in there. they're trying to glean who was inside the apartment. who were these terrorists? what were they plotting? where were they going? and was the primary suspect in all of this abdelhamid abaaoud
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inside there? now, we know from residents in this area that this all began at about 4:30 a.m. local time. there were reports of gunfire, of grenades going off. and then at about 7:30 a.m., reports of loud explosions. it's believed that one woman inside that apartment blew herself up. and certainly from what we can see, again, if you look at those windows, all the glass has been blown out. and i don't know if we can even push into the windows, into the rooms. you can see the walls appear to have been blown out. very, very little left inside that apartment other than now those forensic experts. they are going to be combing through, looking for any details, any dna, anything that can net some clues. we know that two people were killed in that raid. another seven people were arrested. but the ringleader or the believed ringleader of all these attacks, the sort of focal point now of this entire
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investigation, it's not clear if he was inside, if he was still at large. and that, of course, has many residents here feeling very much on edge. john, this is paris, france. this is not a war zone. people, residents here, told me they have never seen anything like this. incredibly frightening and unsettling for everyone, especially as it's unclear who is still at large and just how large this network might be. john? >> clarissa ward, we have to let you go. it's a very fluid situation there. go do what you need to do. thank you so much in saint-denis. she just said this is paris, but this morning it was a war zone. for seven hours, the force of the raid, the force of the resistance so violent that a floor in that apartment building behind her you just saw, a floor collapsed. we fknow that one suspected female terrorist, she blew herself up using some kind of explosive device. there is one other suspected terrorist dead right now. again, the force of what
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happened so vie leapt that all that's left, we are told, body parts. they are testing dna right now to try to match those body parts with abdelhamid abaaoud, the man believed to be the ringleader behind the attacks here on friday. i want to bring in our terror analyst, paul cruickshank. paul, you've been talking to intelligence sources here and around europe. what caused them to do this raid and about what they're doing now to determine if they got their man? >> john, that's right. i've been speaking to a senior belgian counterterrorism official. the french and belgians are working closely together on all of this. what led to this raid in the early-morning hours in saint-denis was an intercepted communication, a wiretap, indicating that a relative of abdelhamid abaaoud was in this location. so the thought was, well, perhaps he could be there as well because the french had also developed separately strong information suggesting that he
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was in paris. so early this morning, french commandos went in. but as you were just saying, they were met with very fierce resistance indeed. and now they're having to try and effort to do dna analysis to see if abdelhamid abaaoud was one of the people killed in that residence. that's going to take a little while, i understand, to sort out from a western authority point of view. >> such an important question right now. and those forensics investigators are in there now trying to determine if that is the case. paul cruickshank, thaw very mnky much. it would be a remarkable development if it turns out he was in paris and organized this attack from the city itself. it was believed he was in syria or iraq. so that in and of itself, a stunning development. what did people in that neighborhood know about the folks living or residing in those apartments over the last few days? our erin burnett has been on the
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streets talking to people who have surprising information about what they saw over the last few days. stay with us. what if one piece of kale
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i'm john berman live in paris. a stunning turn of events here over the last several hours. a series of raids today in the northern neighborhood of saint-denis. the question right now is is the alleged ringleader of the friday attacks here in this city that killed 129 people, is he dead? the assault this morning on one of the buildings, and there were three separate raids within this series of raids, the assault was so violent and the force of resistance so intelligence that an entire floor of this
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apartment building you're looking at, an entire floor went crashing down. as i said, the target of these raids, the alleged isis terrorist abdelhamid abaaoud, intelligence suggested this morning to french and belgian authorities that he might be in paris, might be in saint-denis in that apartment complex. there were two suspected terrorists killed. dna testing is under way right now to determine if he is one of those killed. one of them was a woman who was believed to have worn some kind of explosive device, a suicide device. there was one other person killed. was it abaaoud? seven othered terrorists are now in custody. police sources also tell cnn that this raid, this series of raids this morning came just in time. just in time, they believe, before this group of people, nine people, two dead, seven now in custody, could have been about to launch a new attack on the streets here. the french interior minister says these raids prevented what
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could have been another horrific day here in paris. as you can imagine, for seven hours this morning, that neighborhood in saint-denis, it was a war zone. as you can imagine, ever since, people have been buzzing about what happened there, about what they saw before the raids. what they saw about the people living in those apartments. cnn's erin burnett has spent several hours if the neighborhood. she joins me now by phone. erin, you've been people on the ground who saw the assault. what did they tell you? >> reporter: you know, it's interesting, john. the neighborhood is lower middle class, parts of it are incredibly run down when you see pictures of that apartment. some of the ones around there look very similar in terms of just being very run down. one of the neighbors across the street, i had a chance to speak with him. he thought he heard garbage trucks, ran downstairs and saw the entire raid and all of the shooting, was actually able to show me some of what he saw. it is incredible when you consider the firepower of what
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happened at this raid. look, the reality of it is, this is an immigrant community in many ways. one of the men i talked to is here illegally. they're very afraid of authorities, s that and that isf the reason they say that people in the community may have said nothing if abaaoud was there. look, they believe abaaoud was in the area yesterday. this is what several of them told me. they can't provide any firm evidence of it, right? i want to emphasize that. it's neighborhood chatter. but they concurred with it. they actually said that he came yesterday and went to mosque this morning. and mosque starts around 4:30 there. so they said he went a little early and missed the beginning of the raid. they do not know whether he was caught in this raid, whether police were able to catch up with him. and again, they are saying he's there. we don't know that at any point. we're waiting for the prosecutor to update us if abaaoud was indeed there. that's what they say happened. and, of course, they say this woman also showed up yesterday to this apartment. the woman that they say was the girlfriend, they believe, of abaaoud. so this is the neighborhood
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chatter of what they're saying. obviously, you can't verify any of it. and the prosecutor will tell us what really happened. but this is what the neighbors seem to think, at least the ones we spoke with. >> and a french prosecutor is going to give a news conference a little bit more than an hour from now. so we should get a lot more official details about what happened and what they've discovered. but erin, it is so interesting, at a minimum, and it is just neighborhood buzz, but at a minimum, people there suspect or would not be surprised if abaaoud was there in the previous few days. >> reporter: no, they wouldn't be surprised at all. they weren't surprised that he went to that mask. they think he went to the mosque early to pray. what was interesting, john, is i asked them if he were there, why would to one have called? why would no one have said anything to authorities? and the answers there were a bit vague. and a bit defensive. to be honest with you. and it first was well, no one could be sure. you know, there seemed to be some real questions, i think, about that and whether he was
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actually able to harbor in some sense in this community. if he was there. >> erin burnett returning from that neighborhood, saint-denis. we know you'll have much more on your discussions, some of the video you picked up there tonight on "erin burnett outfront" 7:00 p.m. eastern. many more developments to cover. straight ahead for us, the paris prosecutor holding a news conference, revealing what they have learned from inside that apartment. the dna tests on the body parts there. did they get the suspected ringleader of friday's attacks? also, what led them to that apartment. the revealing wiretaps, the cell phone discussions, the text messages they uncovered that led them perhaps to this major discovery. stay with us. people don't have to think about
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we are learning this morning's explosive raid in saint denis was driven by information left on cell phones left behind after friday's attack around paris. the cell phones investigators believed they belonged to the t attackers. cnn's justice reporter evan perez is joining with us much more on. this and evan, what have the investigators learned and what more are they learning from the phones? >> well, kate, one of the most important things they were trying to learn is who else was part of the network. that is what you are seeing today. there have been over 200 raids that have been conducted by phr french police over the last two days, and a lot of it is driven by some of the intelligence that has been learned not only from the phones, but also from the human sources, and other pieces
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of intelligence that they have been able to the pick up. we know that the fbi has been funneling information that they have in their files, and so has the cia and sending information back to the french to help with some of the raids. we know that is playing a big role. and really, we have is been talking about the phone, because, you know, there was such a little trail that was left behind by these attackers. they were able to the find encrypted apps on the phone, and so were those apps used to help plot the attacks? that is unanswered at this point, but however, the phones prove to to be a trove of information to drive some of the police activity that you are seeing now, kate. >> and it shows the challenges with this encryption, and the challenge challenges for all of the intelligence services, ahead for them. thank you, evan. let's talk more about this and bring in our our counter terrorism expert phil mudd on this. phil, you have spent years with the cia, and if you were there right now after this raid
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overnight, and two people dead, but seven people detand, with what are you doing with the seven people after this raid right now? >> the couple of pieces that you have to focus on now always, always imminent threat. the first question that you to ask is if there is something else afoot that we have to stop now. the second question is that you have to ask a people question. are there other cokon spe-consp out there and support network for the false documents and the travel and the facilitation, and the provision of money. so you start with the imminent threat and then to the plotters and the expanded plot. over time, you have to have more advanced conversations about things like what is the network leading back to seyria, and how did you arrange travel back to the syria, but you have to start at the core of imminent threat and slowly and even over weeks and months build it out. >> and what about the connection of syria, the person they thought that was the target of the raid, we are now learning is the organizer of all of the attacks, abaaoud abdelhamid.
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now there is a big question, because they don't know yet or confirmed yet if he was in the apartment or if he was, is he dead or alive. for someone who is supposedly on the radar of the west, does it surprise you that he was able to make it back into paris supposedly undetected? >> there are a couple of things that surprise me, and that is not one of them, and the reason is straight forward. if you look at the e geographic location of syria, you can get smuggled across into turkey easily, and i presume he had good false documents, and he is traveling across europe to a city that he knows, and that is another indicator of how he could do that, because he is not going into the foreign environment, but one surprise to me that is this morning that is growing, and that is the number of people in thist plot n. is a huge plot from the counter terrorism perspective which talk s to sophistication, and also raises this question of how good the operational security was. that is a lot of people who are not getting on the wrong phone to talk to the wrong person at the same time.
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>> and phil, what does -- it -- would it surprise you that abaaoud have been at the apartment and been with the people to the launch an operation, and been so close to it? >> well, that doesn't surprise me for a simple reason, and what i have realized over the years is that the plotter plans the event, and the event itself drives them emotion ally and the fact that many of them are going to commit suicide operation, and they are not e focused on the afteraction, and remember for the charlie hebdo after plot was not focused. so people don't focus on the emotions after the event, but on that the night, and then you get the chaos and the aftermath when they realize they don't have a place to go. >> and they are talking about the chaos in the aftermath, and now a huge investigation into the aftermath of the firefight and the raid and nowhere close to figuring out who was there and why and what operation they were about to launch. phil, thank you very much. and thank you all for joining us at this hour.
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hello, everyone. i'm poppy harlow live in paris this evening. it is 6:00 here. >> i'm ashleigh banfield in new york and welcome to a special edition of "legal view with ashleigh banfield", and we are awaiting word from the highest levels of france as to exactly who was arrested and who was killed in an overnight series of raids north of paris. we know that the police were looking for the ringleader of friday's terror attacks, and the authorities say that they acted just in time. two suspects are now dead, seven others have been detained after a


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