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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  November 18, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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kind of rest. but of course we need some resilience because it's a permanent risk and we have to accept that. >> professor, thank you. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper in paris. i turn you over now to wolf blitzer. he is in "the situation room." thanks for watching. happening now, breaking news. following a threat against washington an isis video warns of an attack on new york. the slickly produced propaganda shows the construction of a suicide bomb and a bomber zipping up his jacket over the device amid scenes of manhattan. about to attack, french authorities say a bloody overnight raid marked by explosions and gun battle stopped a terror cell ready to launch a new operation. was the paris massacre ringleader there? masterminds plan new details on the man believed to have coordinated the paris attacks and earlier terror plots. is he working with another top
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isis operative. and soda can bomb. isis claims this explosive device brought down the russian airliner over sinai killing 224 people. could this be a major new threat to air traffic? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the breaking news amid a stunning flurry of developments today in the aftermath of paris massacres a chilling new threat from isis has just emerged. a new propaganda video suggests the terror group is targeting new york. they chose an explosive device being put together and a bomber zipping his jacket over a suicide belt. crowded manhattan street scene show the intent to show fear. explosions and gunfire echoed through the early morning darkness as security forces raided apartments in a paris
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suburb. they met heavy resistance, two terror suspects killed including a woman who blew herself up. she was reportedly a cousin of the alleged mastermind of the paris terror attacks, abdelhamid abaaoud. investigators are checking body parts found in the rubble to see if his dna turns up. an isis magazine is showing an image of what it says is the bomb that brought down that russian metrojet airliner over sinai. the picture of a soda can with what experts say looks like a detonator and a switch. and honduras has detained five men said to be syrians who allegedly arrived there with fake passports. a honduras police spokesman suggests their final destination may have been the united states. our correspondents, analysts and guests will have full coverage of the day's top stories. let's begin in paris with cnn's john berman. john, there have been extraordinary developments today in the paris massacre case, but first the shocking new isis video which clearly seems to
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threaten new york city. what are you learning? >> clearly threatening new york city, wolf. it's slickly produced, like many of the isis videos. we're not going to show it here. we will show you a couple still frames. what is in the video pictures of explosives, pictures of someone dressing himself with explosives, some kind of explosive device. and then footage of new york city itself including herald square where macy's is. obviously very crowded streets. did they shoot the video themselves somehow in new york city? we simply do not know. but clearly part of the psychological threat some of the psychological terror that isis seeks to spread around the world. now, while this video comes to surface just over the last few minutes, here in paris a stunning development as well with french authorities believing the man behind the attacks here on friday, the ringleader of those attacks not in syria as previously assumed
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but possibly right here in this city and they staged a stunning raid to go after him this morning. [ gunfire ] the predawn calm shattered by gunshots and explosions. the paris suburb of saint-denis a battle zone. scores of police and commandos race past the stade de france sports complex to the site where they thought they might find the ringleader of friday's attacks, abdelhamid abaaoud. there in two apartments they confronted a cell of heavily armed terrorists apparently ready to carry out another attack. the raid sets off an hour long fire fight and six-hour siege. [ gunfire ] the force of the assault and the explosive response so powerful that a floor in the complex
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collapsed. at the end the facts still unclear. belgium state broadcaster rtbs reports a female cousin of abaaoud appeared to blow herself up with an explosive belt. at least one other suspected terrorist is dead, but exactly how many more killed? difficult to dissurgecern with parts littered among the rubble. the key question tonight, is abdelhamid abaaoud dead? dna tests under way to match the body parts found in the apartment. eight people were taken into custody, but officials say abaaoud was not among them. a resident of the building describes the mayhem. >> translator: really we could see the bullets, the light of the laser pointing our way. really it was explosions, we could feel the building really shaking. >> reporter: police sources tell cnn the raid came, quote, just in time. another attack could have been minutes away.
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french authorities say wiretaps led them to the apartment complex. one piece of evidence, a phone found outside the concert hall attack on friday. >> translator: i can confirm that mobile telephone was discovered in a rubbish bin outside the bataclan concert hall from which a text message had been sent by the member of the commander at 21:42 saying we've left. we've started. >> reporter: president francois hollande says this raid proves his nation is at war. >> translator: at war against terrorism which itself has decided to bring war to us. >> reporter: tonight, whatever the fate of abdelhamid abaaoud, another manhunt continues for salah abdelsalam. one of his brothers was among the seven terrorists killed friday. a surviving brother, muhammad
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abdelsalam says his brother should give up the fight. >> i would tell him to surrender. >> report from john berman in paris. let's stay in paris. senior international correspondent clarissa ward is on the scene. she was there at the beginning of this dramatic anti-terror raid as well. what's the latest, clarissa, you're seeing and hearing right now? >> well, wolf, you know this is one of paris' rougher neighborhoods, but residents here told us they had never seen anything like it. for seven hours today they said this place felt more like a war zone than anything else. we know that police fired more than 5,000 bullets during this seven-hour long faceoff. when we arrived on the scene police were trying to bash down the door of a church up at the end of the block there. they managed to get in the church after banging away on that door for quite some time. it wasn't clear what they were
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looking for, but you really had the sense authorities all over the place trying to lock down the area, trying to get a sense of who was in that apartment, how many people around the area might be involved, where people might be hiding. and later on we were able to get, wolf, up onto a roof from where we could see the back of the apartment building. and it was just so striking, wolf. here in paris, in france, to see the aftermath of explosions like that, all the windows blown out. you could see all around those windows, the pockmarks of heavy munitions. we don't know if they were fired from the technicians inside the building or fired from forces outside the building. but what we could also see were forensics experts, men in white suits combing through that entire apartment looking for dna, looking for fingerprints, looking for clues. who was in that apartment? was the eighth attacker possibly in that apartment? salah abdelsalam. was the alleged ringleader of
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the this entire attack, abdelhamid abaaoud, in that apartment? we heard earlier in john berman's package that it's believed that the woman who blew herself up was a cousin of abaaoud, but we're also hearing that the body was so badly dismembered by the force of that explosion that police are still trying to lock down the dna. and really, wolf, the dna will be key in determining who was killed, who was in that apartment. we also know another attacker was shot dead by a sniper. eight people arrested. so a lot of moving parts here, wolf. and what i can say from talking to people on the ground, things may have calmed down temporarily right now, but with abdelhamid abaaoud and salah abdelsalam potentially still out on the streets and here in paris, nobody is going to sleep easily tonight, wolf. >> i think you're right. until now as you note, clarissa, it was thought that abaaoud was somewhere in isis controlled areas of syria.
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do the authorities there know when he actually came to france? what's the latest you're hearing about his travel? >> well, exactly, wolf. just yesterday we were all under the impression that abaaoud he was the ringleader of an attack in belgium in january. that attack was thwarted. he managed to evade being captured. and it was thought that he had gone back to isis territory. he had gone back to either syria or iraq. and we had heard that as recently as a month ago french and coalition had tried to target him with air strikes inside syria. now it appears we don't even know if he did indeed go back to syria. and really what this goes to show is just how difficult, wolf, it is to track these guys. they are very technologically savvy, and they are street smart. important to remember we're getting more information about how many of these men have rap sheets. we now know that salah
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abdelsalam and abdelhamid abaaoud actually spent time together in a belgium prison. so these men very well versed in how to deal with the police, how to try to go under the radar, how to use encryption technology on their cell phones, they're constantly ditching cell phones. and indeed we've seen that cell phones have been a key part in what led up to this raid. so now authorities really trying to drill down not just on the whereabouts of those too, but on a larger network that people fear would have been necessary to orchestrate these attacks, wolf. >> clarissa ward reporting for us. clarissa, thanks very much. i want to bring in republican congressman adam kinzinger. congressman, thanks for joining us. what can you tell us about this claim from isis on how they supposedly took down that russian airliner with that can of soda, if you will. does that sound credible to you? >> well, it does sound credible.
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i mean, in a new era, you know, people are understanding terrorists especially how to make more powerful explosives, how to sneak them through security. and even if it's not necessarily through the, you know, production line of putting it in your bag and going through security, how can you throw a can of soda over the fence at the airport and have the guy driving the truck around come and take it to the guy who's going to plant it on the airplane? any of these are all possible. again, i mean, you have to give terrorists credit. they're smart in an evil way. they're smart at figuring out how to get undetected, how to kill the most innocent people they can. and so may very well be possible. >> there's new video that isis has just released showing what they say is a suicide bomber with a vest in new york city getting ready to attack new york city. they showed pictures of manhattan, if you will. we're showing our viewers some still photos of that. they're clearly suggesting new york is their target. couple days ago they said washington, d.c. was their target.
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do you take these threats from isis seriously? >> i do take them very seriously. you know, we don't want the american people to live in fear. and where terrorism has its greatest power is, you know, look even when a terrorist attack happens as tragic as it is, a relatively small percentage of the population is actually touched. but the intention of terrorist to multiply fear and to cause people to stay in their house. you know, to not spend money, to see isis as more threatening than they are. but we have to take it very seriously. this is where given the proper money and resources and technology to our first responders, to our police, the fire, to rescue, is extremely important. out here in washington, d.c. for instance, you know, we had the threat against here. but we have fantastic men and women of the capital police force that keep us safe every day and are looking for telltale signs. i know new york city has the same. and frankly every small to large city across america's got to be on the look out for this. >> certainly are. they're raising their security levels even as we speak. congressman, we have more to
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discuss. stay with us. we'll continue to follow the breaking news out of paris. much more after this. (vo) what's your dog food's first ingredient?
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we're standing by with congressman adam kinzinger. a new propaganda video suggests the terror group is targeting
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new york city. it shows an explosive device being put together and a bomber zipping his jacket over a suicide belt. crowded manhattan street scenes show the intent to sew fear. let's go to our chief international security correspondent jim sciutto. he's in paris for us. jim, what's the latest you're hearing on this very disturbing new isis video? >> wolf, this is the second u.s. city for isis to threaten in just the last couple of days in videos. this one shows alarming footage. and we know that this is what isis is very good at, creating alarmist propaganda videos. this one specific to new york. you see and we are only using still images from that video, but you see there what appears to be or resembles an explosive device wrapped in tape. then you see a man in a video zipping it up under his jacket. that is followed by an image of herald square in new york city, the implication clear that their next target is new york city. this just after a couple of days ago they threatened washington, d.c.
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now, to be clear, you look at these pictures you don't know where isis shot this. there are a lot of stock images out there of locations and targets and buildings in new york city. and it appears possible that that image you see there of herald square is a stock image. so this could be not necessarily substantial, but we do know isis has an enormous aspiration to attack the u.s. i've gotten that warning repeatedly from french security officials here this week. and certainly from u.s. officials. of course the question becomes capability. they don't have the same capability that they have in europe. it's just closer, frankly, easier to get from syria, don't have an ocean to cross or plane to hop on. but we know that's their desire. the u.s. takes it seriously. whether this is substantial, we doept know yet but certainly threatening. >> certainly does. jim sciutto in paris, thanks very much. we're back with republican congressman adam kinzinger of illinois, served both in iraq
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and afghanistan. this new video disturbing isis video of, congressman, making this threat to new york city. the video itself is new because it shows president hollande of france making speeches in the aftermath of the friday night strikes, even if they're using old footage, if you will, of new york city. but it is very disturbing. have you been brief ed on any credible propaganda threats other than these videos to new york, washington, d.c. or any other city in the united states? >> well, no, we haven't been briefed on any new brand new credible threat. maybe the chairman of the intel committee has better information on that. but i will tell you this, we know there's a very real threat. we know that isis would love to reach out and strike the united states. in the terms of reaching out, that was al qaeda. they had this intention of striking into the united states, or striking into europe. and everybody kind of saw isis
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as more focused on building this caliphate which now is the size of the united kingdom. for them to go to the level of bombing the russian airliner, bombing the suicide bombs in lebanon, to threaten paris and now the united states, we have to take this seriously at some point when isis makes threats and follow through as they have, we have to take that threat seriously. if that threat is against new york city or washington, d.c., i guarantee law enforcement are on the tip of their toes looking for this kind of problem. >> you served as a fighter pilot in the u.s. air force, you're still in the reserves. these air strikes that have been going on intensified russian, french against isis targets raqqah, so-called capital in syria, is that air power enough to do the job? >> look, i'm an advocate for air power, obviously. and i think it's extremely important. my question about the french strikes in raqqah it was great that the french took out whatever it was a handful of
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targets in raqqah after the fight. the problem is why were there still targets in raqqah? we've been fighting isis now for over a year. why are there any hard targets left? they should all be eliminated. the fact is we haven't employed air power enough. we don't have enough intelligence assets on the ground to develop what are fast moving targets, a guy in a bongo truck. if you look at it from the air you don't necessarily know is that a family in the truck or isis fighters. if you have intel assets on the ground, you're able to identify that and strike them. that's what we need to plus-up. we need to plus-up our special operations in iraq and syria. and keep cutting off the head of the snake until we destroy it like we did in the surge in iraq. >> congressman kinzinger, thanks very much for joining us. >> you bet, wolf. take care. coming up, chilling new details of the man believed to have been the mastermind of the paris attacks and earlier terror plots as well. and five syrians with fake passports, they're caught in honduras. police say they had already traveled through six other
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countries. were they trying to reach the united states? stay with us. you're in "the situation room." here at the td ameritrade trader group, they work all the time.
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breaking news, french authorities say two terror suspects died. eight detained during overnight raids in a paris suburb. officials say the mastermind of the paris massacre, abdelhamid abaao abaaoud, was not captured. investigators are examining dna from the scene to see if he was killed. our brian todd is looking into his background. fascina fascinating, this guy is really a bad guy whachlt are you learning? >> we have new information on abdelhamid abaaoud's connection to the paris attackers, his ability to elude capture. and among most notorious plots by isis he's been involved in, it appears that at the young age of 27 he's been counted on by isis to recruit attackers, train them and launch their operations. he was a target of the dramatic violent raid on two apartments in saint-denis outside paris where officials say suspects were about to launch an operation. belgium state tv says a woman who blew herself up in the raid was his cousin.
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tonight, dna tests are underway to determine if abdelhamid abaaoud, the alleged master mind of the paris massacres, was among those killed in the raid, or if he got away. abaaoud is apparently good at being a ghost. he bragged to isis' magazine about being able to enter europe and syria whenever he wanted. quote, my name and picture were all over the news yet i was able to stay in their homeland, plan operations against them. >> and at a certain point abdelhamid abaaoud actually faked his own death, made his own family back in belgium who disowned him feel like he was dead. so that he could cover his tracks. >> abaaoud then communicated with isis operatives planning an attack in belgium back in january, a plot which got thwarted by police. also linked to an attempted assault on a train bound for paris this summer. he's reveled in isis brutality. he's seen here dragging the bodies of victims behind a pickup truck. and here abaaoud makes an
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impassioned call for jihad. >> translator: are you satisfied with this life you are having? this humiliating life? whether it's in europe, africa, arabic countries, america. >> the "new york times" reports when his family heard that he'd possibly been killed last year, abaaoud's own sister said they prayed he was dead. >> one of the reasons they disowned him is he came back to belgium at a certain point from syria and essentially kidnapped his younger brother just 12 or 13 years old and brought him all the way back to syria to sort of make him join isis. >> and tonight new information linking abaaoud to another paris suspect going back at least four years, the belgium federal prosecutor tells cnn abaaoud served time with this man, salah abdelsalam who's now on the run, at a belgium prison in 2011. >> it's quite possible that as abaaoud's father says that prison was that catalyst which
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pushed him towards the jihadist movement. >> now, if abdelhamid abaaoud has been taken out, a significant threat to europe is removed. but analysts say there are at least two other top isis operatives who likely had connections to the paris attackers still out there. one is fabien clain, clain's voice can be heard on an isis claim of responsibility for the paris attacks. the other one a man named -- heads isis french speaking external operations network. abdelhamid abaaoud's been his apprentice, so two top isis operatives, wolf, still connected to the paris terror attacks still out there. >> joining us in "the situation room," mike rogers, former chairman of the house intelligence committee, also our law enforcement analyst, the former fbi assistant director tom fuentes, and our cnn national security analyst peter bergen. mike, if abdelhamid abaaoud was in fact killed in that raid overnight, why is it taking french authorities so long to
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make that determination? >> if you heard some of the original reports there are body parts everywhere. so they're going to have to do some dna testing to try to make sure. it's probably that the body is unrecognizable at this point. >> that's why -- >> i think that's why. >> if he's dead they will determine. they'll find enough to make a determination at some point, right? >> they will. he served time in prison. they'll have some dna samples from belgium they'll be able to match. >> how did the french authorities get the eight terrorists who were arrested overnight, how do they get them to talk? >> i don't know if they can get them to talk, wolf. it's going to depend on how dedicated they are and really what they have to offer them. they're not going to be able to get any kind of leniency from them even if they have the ability to plea bargain. so they really don't have much incentive to get them to talk about anything. >> let's say abaaoud is dead, does that really in the big scheme of things as far as the isis plots against france or here in the united states or elsewhere, does that really make much of a difference? because there are a whole bunch of other guys waiting in the wings. >> clearly he's an effective planner. but, yes, there are thousands of
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people gone to volunteer to fight for isis. and, you know, they're not deterred by one of their members dying. in fact, they celebrate it. >> the other day the u.s. killed jihadi john, mohamed emwazi, the so-called british terrorist slaughtering hostages, beheading them if you will. did that make much of a difference other than scoring some points if you will? >> psychologically it was an important blow, but you have to have tempo is the most important thing here. so these one-off press release kind of strikes aren't going to do it. candidly are not doing it obviously. so what they need to do is have a sustained leadership attack in places like raqqah, in places like ra ma di. and they have to do it at the same time. hopefully that's what you'll see come out of this because, again, one-offs, dropping bombs here, next week doing a report about how many bombs -- none of that has been impactful. they're going to have to have a strategy that targets and starts
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degrading their leadership capabilities as well as their logistics, as well as their financing and do it in both places at the same time. >> peter, a couple days ago isis releases a slick propaganda video saying washington, d.c. is next, get ready. now they got a slick propaganda video they've just released saying new york city -- and you see these iconic spots in new york city and manhattan, that's next. you take those threats from isis seriously? >> well, it's easy to threaten. it's hard to execute. i think the main problem with these kinds of videos if there are people who just are inspired by isis who see these videos and of course we know that there are in places like new york they might take that as an opportunity to do something. not so much that they are directed by isis or trained by isis, but they might be inspired by these videos. >> what about the fbi? what are they doing now? i know they've sent over a delegation of fbi agents to paris. what are they doing? >> the fbi already has a large office in paris in the embassy. and these agents are there to supplement those agents assisting the french.
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and sharing information. they're also there to learn. they want to find out exactly how those vests were put together to try to identify who's the bomb maker who appears to be still on the loose in france ready to strike again. so everybody -- everything is talked about abaaoud as the great mastermind and leader. he's not the most dangerous guy. i think the bomb maker is more dangerous than he is as we saw with the syria and yemen. they're there to get information as much as give it and share it. >> good point. we're getting new information on these five syrians with fake passports allegedly trying to make their way to the united states. we're going to have much more on this developing story right after a quick break. [meow mix jingle slowly anright on cue.cks] [cat meows] ♪meow, meow, meow, meow... it's more than just a meal, it's meow mix mealtime. with great taste and 100% complete nutrition, it's the only one cats ask for by name.
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call the hartford at... or go to gohartfordauto.com today. get this free calculator just for requesting a quote. our terrorism and law enforcement experts are standing by as we cover the late breaking news. among the late breaking news we're following is a new isis propaganda video suggesting the terror group is targeting new york city. it shows an explosive device being put together, a bomber zipping his jacket over a suicide belt and crowded manhattan street scenes. also breaking now amid growing fears that terrorists may be hiding among refugees fleeing syria, officials in honduras have just announced they've detained five syrian men who arrived with fake passports and may have intended to travel to the united states. let's bring in cnnespanol senior correspondent juan lopez. what can you tell us? >> what we know honduras like
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other countries doubled security after the attacks in paris starting during the weekend they stopped a man at customs when they were checking their passport they suspected it was fake. and on tuesday they confirmed they have five possible syrian citizens trying to enter that country. they came in on separate flights but had greek passports. they called in greek diplomats and they spoke no greek, they're not greek. obviously part of the big, big business of human trafficking. and the authorities assumed the honduras authorities assumed they were trying to make it up north. up to now they've arrested this year up to 13,000 foreigners trying to use honduras as a way to get in. >> why honduras? >> because it's close to mexico. it's close to costa rica. it's on the way the trek many migrants try to make it to the u.s. that is a very difficult trip to make now that nicaragua has closed border with costa rica. there are over 1,000 cubans trying to get into nicaragua. it's a usual route used by traffickers who want to bring people into the united states. >> mike rogers, we don't know if
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these five individuals with these fake passports were at all connected to isis, do we? >> no. we have seen nothing to it. there's a lot of suspicion you have to roll into this. one thing is the sheer amount of money they have, so you can show up, if you show up in nicaragua and don't have bribe money, that's one issue. these folks are showing up with cash, with money. and that's the one thing that isis has been able to do is take large sums of cash and move it around to move their people not only in europe but in this case possibly in certainly central america. >> peter, we certainly heard that from president hollande in his address today. he made the point that isis unlike other terror groups they've got a lot of cash. they've got oil. they've got gold. they've got a lot of money to throw around. right now they're very wealthy. and they can do stuff, bad stuff with all that money. >> yeah. and i think, you know, they control millions of people and they tax them and extort them. think about every time they add another city to their reach, you know, they're adding hundreds of thousands of new people they can
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extort and tax. >> and that's a serious problem because this is a wealthy terror operation with a lot of people and a lot of educated people, moreover a lot of military personnel who used to work for saddam hussein's military. >> what will be interesting now is if the stop the policy of paying ransom when their citizens get kidnapped by them. a lot of the millions of dollars available to isis has actually come from european countries paying ransom in the case of hostages taken by them. >> so the whole world right now and correct me if i'm wrong, mike, is on a higher state of alert right now as a result of what happened friday night in paris? >> oh, absolutely. and i'm sure that led at least to some degree to these passport controls working in a place like honduras where they showed up with greek passports. obviously that's going to raise a level of suspicion. and a good interviewer can get to the bottom of that pretty quickly that that passport is not jiving with what that story is. >> i assume honduras authorities and others will be questioning these five individuals to find out what their motive was.
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>> that was their next step to have an interrogation to find out what they were doing, where they were going. they've seen it before. it's not the first time. obviously they're concerned having their country as a way point. more so when the u.s. is working with honduras to try to stop the flow of migrants toward our southern border. >> it's a serious situation. guys, standby. there are other developments unfolding right now including alleged terrorists in custody after that raid, that bloody shootout near paris. and we're about to get a rare look inside the city isis claims as its capital and where civilians are suffering from both the group's tyranny and from bombings. stay with us. and can you explain why you recommend synthetic over cedar? "super food?" is that a real thing? it's a great school, but is it the right one for her? is this really any better than the one you got last year? if we consolidate suppliers, what's the savings there?
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zipping his jacket over a suicide belt in crowded manhattan street scenes. jets from russia and france hitting raqqah. today pentagon officials explain these targets weren't hit earlier because isis continuously changing fighting communications and headquarters within that city. raqqah once was home to some 200,000 people. cnn's global affairs correspondent has a rare look inside that so-called isis capital. it's pretty scary what is going on there. >> very scary. we rarely get a glimps inside the stronghold. a group are risking their lives
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to tell the world about the brutal fate of their city, smuggling public beheadings, crucifixions and torturing of women. the images you're about to see are frightening. aed a toddler dressed jihad is encouraged to behead his teddy bear. the disturbing scene spread through social media showing the children inside the children in raqqah syria. boys as young as 5 year olds old in an isis camp training for the group's signature executions. >> in this camp they try to teach them the ideology of isis. they sent them to bomb themself, they use them to carry we weapons, medical stuff in the clashes. >> reporter: they are raising jihads from a small age. >> yes. >> reporter: videos used by media outlets like cnn are the
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only way to say what life is life under extremist rule. isis banned journalist, replacing them with slick propaganda glamorizing life in the state. a dozen activist are pulling back the curtain of isis rule in their city, once among syria's most liberal. they call themselves raqqah is being slaughtered silently. >> isis started to execute and humorize in raqqah and no one did anything for the city, no one every heard about it. so we did our campaign trying to put the attention on our city to maybe someone will do something to the city. >> reporter: the photos and images they smuggle out, a lifeline to the outside world. >> you can say no life in raqqah. you can't do anything. no schools, no universities, nothing to do and everything is
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expensive. >> reporter: it sounds like hell. >> yeah. >> reporter: one woman snuck a camera under her vail risking her life to film this video depicting isis brutal treatment of women. >> they can't go outside alone. if she want to go outside, she should go with a husband, father, brother, or whatever and she should -- and she should cover all herself. the woman in raqqah or in isis areas are nothing, just they use them only to do sex, to buy and sell the yezidi girls. >> reporter: they are making them prostitutes? >> yes. >> reporter: they were covering clashes when isis stormed his house. he managed to escape the country and now manages the group's social media. >> isis arrested one of our borders. they took his laptop and found our campaign logo and after
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three weeks, they executed him in a public square. >> reporter: last month one of their members working in turkey was beheaded. why are you journalist showing what is going on in raqqah instead of being fighters killing isis fighters? >> if you will defeat isis and you didn't defeat the ideology of isis, maybe after two months or three months or years you will fight and find a new isis. >> reporter: the group is declared an enemy of god by isis. the members don't know who will be next but prepared to pay with their lives. this weekend the members of raqqah are being slaughtered silently and honored by the committee to protect journalist. a very brave group of individuals. >> the video of that little kid trying to behead the doll, if you will, terrifying. elyce, thanks very much for that report. coming up, we have more breaking news ready to attack
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explosions and gunfire echoed during bloody overnight raids which french officials say stopped a terror cell from launching a new operation and isis shows off a soda can bomb they say brought down that russian airliner over sinai killing all 224 people on board. how great a threat can this be to air travel?
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happening now, breaking news, isis threatens new york city, a terror propaganda video just released suggestions isis will strike the largest city. is there an imminent threat?
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key evidence includes cell phones leading french police to another terror cell whose plot is show in deadly raid. is the mastermind in the paris attacks dead? >> isis publishes a picture of the bomb that downed a russian passenger plane in egypt planted inside a soda can. what does it reveal about the terrorest bomb making capabilities? fake passports. men carrying counter fit greek papers detain in honduras. was their next stop the united states? we're learning late breaking details. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'll wolf blitzer. you're "the situation room." we're following breaking news. a disturbing video released by isis suggesting a terrorist suicide bomb plot against new york city. the video shows a bomb being
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assembled and man wearing a device hiding it following scenes of crowded manhattan streets and police analyzing dna of body parts to see if the mastermind behind the paris attacks was killed. police fired more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition during the operation which they say forwarded another plot. a woman detonated a suicide bomb and part of the building collapsed leaving human remains scattered and in honduras, authorities detained five syrian men traveling on fake passports they believe was trying to go to the united states. the men had already traveled through five other countries. we're covering all angles of the breaking news this hour with our guest including senator tom cotton a member of the intelligence and armed services committees and correspondents and expert analysts standing by.
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the first from paris and our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto there are major new developments unfolding. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. one of them, a new video, a new threat tonight. in fact, the second american city isis threatened in the last 48 hours on monday was the capital, washington. after striking the capitol of france, paris, it would strike america and its stronghold and isis threatening new york city. this is viewed as a prime target for this group an aspirational target, one they have been talking about for is the but in this video you see a new and haunting threat. alarming images from an isis video apparently threatening an attack on new york city. cnn is only airing a few frames of the video, which shows the french president speaking along with people arming themselves with what appear to be then scenes of herald square in
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new york. parts of the video appear in a april rap video but tonight suggest a new warning. all of this comes as suspected isis terrorists were arrested here in paris. in the early morning hours, heavy gunfire. explosions as french police raid an apartment building in a paris suburb. suspected terrorists hiding out inside. and police say planning another major attack. >> translator: the police officers faced great difficulty. an armored door resisted the explosives launched in the raid. there was uninterrupted gunfire for almost an hour. >> reporter: french authorities arrested seven people, including this man who appears to have been stripped down. it's unclear if that's because police were searching him for explosives. ma'am tour video captured
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another suspect ordered to the ground quickly handcuffed by police. two other suspected terrorists were killed in the raid including a woman that blew herself up. that woman believed to be the cousin of abdelhamid abaqoud. >> translator: one body was torn apart and not identifiable. early evidence indicates the explosion was caused when a woman detonated an explosive vest. >> reporter: french and belgium police zeroed in on the apartments interviews, intercepted phone calls and bank records led them there and they had intel jeligence abdelhamid abaqoud was there. the raids took place north of paris. one of the locations hit by terrorists on friday.
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residents describe a terrifying operation. >> translator: they told us to lie down on the floor, don't move and turn off the lights. >> reporter: the man that owns an apartment told cnn affiliate bfm tv he did not realize who he had rented them to. >> translator: if i had known something, do you really think i would have let them stay here? >> reporter: several police officers were wounded in the raid. several police officers were wounded in the raid, and this police dog killed. wolf, we take a closer look at the video tonight and seen some of the images are not new. they were in a previous rap video put together by isis and some of the images of herold square appear to be stuck images but it's been updated with current comments from the french president and just want to give you a reaction because we're just getting that now from the new york police department. they note that while some of this video footage is not new and i'm quoting from the
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statement, the video reaffirms new york city remains a top terrorist target and say there is no specific or current threat. i tell you, wolf, you speak to new york police department officials and u.s. intelligence and u.s. counter terror officials, they know that isis aspires to attack major u.s. target cities such as washington and new york, certainly at the top of their list and while they don't have credible specific information, they take that threat seriously. that's the way this group operates. this is the new world we live in and the way they view this group and shows a new capability on the streets of paris, wolf. >> they got to do it, especially after what happened friday night in paris. thanks, jim sciutto for that. i want to stay in paris. clarisa ward is there. what are investigators doing at the scene right now? >> reporter: well, wolf, it's
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pretty quiet here now but this is one of the toughest neighborhoods in paris and residents told us they have never seen anything like this. we got up on the roof behind the building and we could see investigators on the scene. these were forensic experts in wliet. some were taking photographs. they had cameras, flashlights and taking samples because of course, the key aspect now of this investigation is to try to find out who was in that apartment and who was killed. we know two people were killed. one woman who blew herself up believed to be the cousin of the alleged ringleader, abdelhamid abaqoud and another person we know was killed by a police sniper. we don't know who that person was. as long as the alleged eight atta attacker salah abdeslam is
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accounted for, you can make sure nobody is going to be sleeping well tonight, wolf. >> thanks very much. cell phones and those apartments and our justice reporter evan perez, you're getting new information from your sources. what are you learning? >> wolf, there was no doubt the information found on this cell phone in particular, that message that appeared to be a go message were very key for investigators in france trying to unravel this network. the fbi and u.s. intelligence have been turning over more information that is helping to drive some of the hundreds of raids that you have seen that french authorities have carried out in the last few nights in paris. i'm told that essentially there is so much chatter going on they
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are detecting, this is no lead too small not to turnover. that is something that's changed after friday night. >> you're also getting more information about those five syrians who have just been detained in honduras with fake passports supposedly trying to make their way here to the united states. what can you tell us? >> well, wolf, this is part of a larger trend, really. and we had earlier this week we had authorities in st. martin, the dutch part of the caribbean island detain three people who they said were of syrian descent who also similarly had fake greek passports. they detained them and have been sharing the information. we don't know and u.s. law enforcement doesn't know whether these people were tied to any extremist groups. there is no indication that that's the case. what they believe is happening is that the u.s. is sharing a lot more information with countries in the region to give them access to a database of false passports, and that hand
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is allowing countries to stop this. there is an under ground trade of false documents driving some of the migrant traffic across the world, really. honduras is only part of that and so what i'm told by officials is that they certainly in light of paris have been making sure that they are sharing that information, asking countries, not only to secure their own borders but also keeping an eye on the idea that terrorists might try to exploit the false document trade, wolf. >> evan perez, thanks for that report. let's talk about all of this and more are tom cotton of arkansas, a member of the intelligence committee and armed services committee and combat veteran that served in iraq and afghanist afghanistan. thanks for coming in. this so-called ringleader abdelhamid abaqoud, do you know if he's alive or dead? >> i seen reports that suggest he died. he tried to fake his death before in the past to throw
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authorities off the trail. this should be something french authorities can identify. he's alienated from his family. you would think they would cooperate and dna testing could be done soon whether it was abu killed. >> the suspicion is he was in syria, in raqqah with the leader of isis abby baky backer al bag. >> one thing this highlights is gaps in our intelligence collection in part because of so-called end to end encryption, whether in a playstation 4 or app or i message in iphone, terrorists are able to use encrypted communications and that's something we need to consider as a society, whether or not we want terrorists and child pornographers and drug
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traffickers to have access to these powerful encrypted tools. >> i want to get to that in a moment. wrapping up on this terrorist leader, abdelhamid abaqoud, the notion he once faked his death, are there other co-conspirators out there and other plots in the works right now? >> well, i can't comment on specific plots but i can say we should assume there are other plots going. the show opened with a report by this video striking new york. i feel like we've come full circle with the islamic state now because al baghdadi, the leader released from american custody during the iraq war told his american captors, i'll see you guys in new york. it's clearly their intent to strike the united states and that's why we have to go on offense to fight them where they are before we fight them here in the united states. >> earlier there was a video threatening washington d.c. by isis and this revamped, revised
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video changing it to new york city. >> there is no doubt their intention is to strike the united states. we see they have the capability to strike not just in paris but lebanon and civilian airliners coming out of egypt. it's important we all ask ourself this question, you, me, the american people, president obama, what would we do after a paris style attack in iraq or washington or new york? we should do that now? >> what do you recommend? >> significantly increase the campaign and number of bombing running we're conducting in iraq and syria. in the last few days the french struck headquarters and command and control in raqqah. we struck several dozen, over 100 world trucks. why weren't we doing that weeks ago and months ago? we have two restricted rules of engagement. more troops have to go to the middle east. some of them need to be american troops. not necessarily trigger pullers
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but whether iraqi security forces or kurds, what have you. artille artillery, intelligence. ultimately, we have to be the leader in this coalition and that's something we haven't done yet. >> president hollande of france will be in washington on tuesday to meet with president obama. and then he's going to moscow to meet with president putin. he wants a worldwide global attack force basically to try to kill isis. should the u.s. be part of that? >> we shouldn't be part of a coalition with russia -- >> why not? if the russians want to destroy isis, what is wrong with aligning with them in that narrow area? >> unfortunately, russia's actions speak for themself. after that aircraft was blown out of the sky, russia's bombing raids in syria predominantly are striking coalition backed opponent forces of bashar al-assad. russia has aligned itself with the shiite access of bashar al-assad and iran. that is the catalyst for the islamic state to expect russia and iran to fight the islamic state is like expecting gasoline
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to douse a fire. >> they have increased their assaults on various isis targets, as well, right? >> they have but vladimir putin is a former spy. information operations district from what the real objective is, to be a power player and keep assad and his regime in power and humiliate the united states and frustrate us at every turn. >> clearly furious 224 russians, almost all of them russians on metrojet airliner were killed by isis and says they will pay a heavy price. stand by, we have much more to discuss. we have a lot more information coming into "the situation room." right now, we'll take a quick break and be right back. ♪ while you're watching this, i'm hacking your company. grabbing your data. stealing your customers' secrets. there's an army of us. relentlessly unpicking your patchwork of security.
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following breaking news, a new video directly threatening new york city showing images of manhattan and a suicide bomber with a vest and jacket, the direct threat to the city of new york. the former police commissioner in new york city ray kelly is joining us right now on the phone. commissioner, how seriously do you take this threat against your city?
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>> i think you have to take all threats seriously. you know, they want to panic people obviously in the aftermath of paris, but pretty much they have tried to do what they said they were going to do. obviously, they are not always successful but they layout a plan and they publicly put it forward and i think we have to assume that they are going to try to follow through with that plan. >> you think there are isis terrorists already in place, let's say, in new york or washington d.c., the video earlier in the week threatens d.c., that there are isis plotters in place ready to carry out a suicide attack along the lines and images of this video? >> i think the big concern is the aspirational effect of isis. it may not be people that have been dispatched from overseas but we've seen lone wolf and
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many, many people radicalized in the basement watching videos. , the message is do what you can to kill, kill, kill, kill is the messages he puts out. that has an effect on some people. the lone wolf threat is the type of thing that we have to be concerned about here but obviously, we have to be concerned about all of the potential threats, but that -- the inspirational power of isis is significant. >> because in paris, as you know, that was not a lone wolf or two. this was a highly coordinated pretty sophisticated plot, multiple locations, a lot of people involved and apparently, there was a second plot ready to do and that's why police went into the french suburb and did what they did and say there are
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other plots underway. i guess the question is i know there are lone wolves out there, individuals that might be inspired to do awful things but is there potentially a coordinated plot like this? >> sure. i mean, obviously, a possibility. i mean, we were a free and open society that lots of people come in, come out from overseas. people that are -- that can be u.s. citizens. we've seen primary only u.s. citizens that have planned to commit jihad in the united states not only but certainly some of them. so we can exclude any of this. we need a 360 degree perimeter. we can't look at lone wolf or look at small groups. we can't look at threats only from overseas. i think the french had some unique problems. they were just overwhelmed by the number of people that they have and still overwhelmed at the number of people they want to watch. number of people that they are
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suspicious of. we don't have a number that comes close to that, although, jim said about 900 investigations going forward. so that's still a lot of people even though proportionally, i think we have the resources to handle it better than the french have. >> commissioner kelly, thanks very much for joining us. >> okay, wolf. >> and good luck to the people in new york city, of course. we're back with tom cotton, a member of the intelligence and armed services committee. do you want to comment? >> i agree with commissioner kelly. we have to assume the islamic state wants to strike new york or any other american city and we have to get back on offense and assume that they now have the capabilities to do here what they did in paris, which is a coordinated military assault that requires training and planning in advance or what they
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did in egypt to that russian aircraft which is smuggle a small bomb on an acraircraft. >> let me show you the picture this is isis, a picture. soda can, supposedly with a detonator, explosives. that was, they say, put in the cargo department in a suitcase on that russian metrojet plate taking off from sham el-sheikh. killing all 224 people on board. do you think that's legitimate the picture they released? >> i have no reason to doubt it is or no reason to doubt they are developing that type of capability. remember, al qaeda has been trying to take down a civilian airliner with these bombs for many years and failed. now they will be in competition with the islamic state to try to take down another airliner, never a good time when you have islamic terror groups to see who
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can kill more americans. >> because they seem to have good, sophisticated bomb makers. >> look at the suicide vests in paris. those aren't going to crime infessed neighborhood and picking up an ak-47 on the street. that takes real skill in bomb making. >> senator cotton, thanks for coming in. >> thanks, wolf. just ahead, much more breaking news. going live to paris where officials say a bloody overnight raid with exposes and gunfire stopped a terror cell from launching a new operation. and isis claims this bomb built with a soda can brought down that russian airliner over sinai killing all 224 people on board. so does that pose a major new threat to air traffic?
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we're following the breaking news. isis just released new video that seems to be suggesting a terror bomb plot against new york city. the video shows a bomb being assembled and a man wearing a device hiding it under his jacket. this follows the isis threat to strike washington d.c. and in paris that killed at least 129 people. let's go back to jim sciutto in paris for us. jim, this is very disturbing isis video. >> reporter: it's the second u.s. city that isis has threatened in a video just in the last 48 hours.
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as you referenced, wolf, on monday a video threatened washington d.c., isis calling it the stronghold of america and said they would attack here after they carried out the stronghold in france. now a threat to new york. to be clear, we reached out to the new york police department. they say there is no credible or specific threat. they note as we noted ourselves when we looked at this video that not all images are now. some are repurposed from a rap video published several months ago but updated with resent comments from the french president. they know u.s. terror officials told me this, as well, counter terror officials that new york is certainly an aspiration target of isis. i'll tell you speaking to french security officials here this week, i've asked them that same question. as you look at their capabilities here in france, what is your assessment of their
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capabilities in the u.s. and they certainly take it seriously. the u.s. working closely with french authorities, you have a permanent fbi field office here beefed up this week. i've been told by law enforcement officials they are cooperating quickly with the french exchanging information. they take this threat seriously. it's not the same level. they aren't the same numbers as europeans face but the threat to the u.s. is considered real and something that the u.s. has to keep an eye on. >> certainly do. jim sciutto in paris, thanks very much. let's get more on the deadly, dramatic raid that may have killed the master mind of the paris attacks, abdelhamid abaqoud. at least two people died in the operation including abaqoud's cousin. nic robertson is ins paris. the investigation is continuing there right now. any new developments? >> reporter: wolf, we're just a
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few yards away from the house where the police stormed in and arrested the terrorists inside the building. i'll step out of the way and we see the teams in forensic overalls coming in and out of the building to the left and what you see there are carpenter there is helping sure up the building. they have power saws and sawing through heavy lumber taking it into the building. we heard the prosecutor explain earlier on you see more debris coming out of the house and workers bringing other material out of the house. the prosecutor explained before they hear the power saws going. the prosecutor explained that getting that forensic evidence to prove whether or not abdelhamid abaqoud was killed in that premises, the building the prosecutor said was in poor shape, they needed to sure it up. that's going on now.
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according to one of the police officers we talked to, he said this work could take another 24 hours at this premise to complete here. there is a police line here. the police are screening local residents very carefully before they let them get into their houses in in this neighborhood. >> clearly a fear other terrorists could be at large and other plots. nic, thanks very much. let's dig deeper with paul in paris and former assistant fbi director tom and phil mudd. phil, if this terrorists, abdelhamid abaqoud was in that apartment when blown up and he was killed, even the body parts, they would be able to determine fairly soon whether or not he's the guy who was killed. >> should be able to. you don't need much to do dna analysis. you get a piece of a pinky you can do it.
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there are co-conspirators taken, you better tell me who is in there and died and didn't. you have dna and opportunity -- >> you think the guys they arrested will talk? >> they may. depends on personal psychology. you would think they would be so hardened they wouldn't talk. when the emotional bubble is broken, some would say i'm scared, i'll talk. not common but it happens. >> i agree. it happens. >> senator ris sh was here with me and he said four of those killed, they were known to u.s. intelligen intelligence, known to u.s. officials. if they were known to u.s. officials, wouldn't they be known to french officials? >> the information that led the u.s. to put them on the watch
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list here. that was shared. >> that was share snd. >> yeah. >> that doesn't mean they know where they are or what they are up to at that moment if they were presumed to be in syria. >> is it your assumption that at least four of those individuals who committed heinous crimes friday night were under surveillance, were being watched by french police? >> that i don't know. i don't know because the french don't have enough resources to watch everybody and they are like us. we have over 1 million people on our watch list here. we're not watching 99% of those 1 million people. they have the same issue there. they don't have as many but don't have as many intelligence and law enforcement services to deal with it. >> paul you've done a lot of reporting on this. what is your assessment based on the assumption at least four of the individuals were known to the u.s. and as tom says, if they were known to the u.s. they presumably were known to the french. you're there, what are you hearing? >> reporter: look, some of these individuals were only the edge
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of the radar screen and belgium security services and of course, known to a certain degree therefore by the united states intelligence services but the problem is there are so many of these individuals now traveling over to syria, 6,000 or so from europe. 15 00 back and the problem is isis is moving up gears in terms of launching international terrorists operations. my understanding from talking to officials today is that it's -- there is a group of about a half dozen belgium and french operatives in isis who moved up the hierarchy, who are the brains behind this operation. they include abdelhamid abaqoud but also include fabion clan.
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abdelhamid abaqoud may look up to him. back in 2009, before he eventually left for syria, he was involved in a threat stream here against the bataclan music hall, wolf. so this group that's been active in syria and the mo at the moment is to try to talent these fresh recruits, give them quick training, one or two weeks and send them back to do attacks. >> let's talk about this video that isis just released, we programmed some of the scenes were taken from a rap video put out earlier in the year in april. it's a clear threat to new york city earlier today. i spoke to mayor de blasio and he said there is no specific credible threat. this video comes out. what's your analysis? >> i watched the interview and i got to say are you kidding me?
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when you're assessing a terror organization, there are two elements you assess, capability and intent. in terms of capability, isis has a european capability based on the thousands of recruits that have gone there. the fbi said they have investigations in every state in this country in several hundred north americans have gone there and now we have a statement of intent earlier about washington and today about new york and officials are saying -- >> you said there was no specific credible threat. >> if i'm a federal official or state official and i have this specificity of capability and intent, we were warned by al qaeda in 1998 and said this is overseas. we were warned by isis and said we don't see it on the ground so we're not certain. not clear to me why we're saying we don't see a credible threat. i see one. it's pretty clear. >> what do you see, tom? >> agree. it's a continuous threat nonstop that they have been putting out to attack, attack everywhere and especially in new york and
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washington d.c. so as soon as a couple people see this and decide to do it, they are going to launch. in the united states, these terrorists only need to bring a toothbrush. any 14-year-old in new york or chicago can get a gun. >> on that picture isis released of that soda can they say blew up that was a bomb inside and killed the airliner with 224 people on board. here is the question, why would they tell the world how they did it? under normal circumstances they would want to keep that secret presumably to do it again. >> reporter: well, we saw the same thing with al-qaeda and yemen with the underwear device, they released details and the printer bomb and perhaps because they want to send a significant until to western security agencies they were indeed responsible for this but it could just be propaganda and
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just be an attempt to make themselves look 10-foot tall in the eyes of supporters. they are making a huge amount of propaganda with the attack against russia and this attack against france. what they are saying is they are tacking eastern crusaders and western crusaders. they are co-equal enemies of isis now, wolf. the question will be can the united states and russia get together to defeat the group? >> the sick thing is the release of these videos threatening new york or the picture of the soda can bomb inspires bothers to join isis. that's a propaganda tool for a recruitment. >> that's right. i think the reason they put out the video is partly inspiration. look, there is authenticity, not just our claim. here is the device we use. i think they are rubbing our
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nose. they say you spend billions of dollars and thousands of lives. here is a coke can, igniter, we'll destroy your entire infrastructure you put up to fight us with these simple tools. >> sick, sick, sick. thanks very much. we'll stay on top of breaking news. much more coming up. it's unclear right now after a bloody anti-terror raid could dna testing reveal it was actually killed in the operation? and isis claims that bomb built from the soda can brought down the russian metrojet airliner. has the terror group reached a new level of bomb-making ability? we have new information. there's something out there. that can be serious, even fatal to infants. it's whooping cough, and people can spread it without knowing it. understand the danger your new grandchild faces. talk to your doctor or pharmacist about a whooping cough vaccination today.
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following breaking news, a photo of what isis claims downed the plane killing 224 people. the picture appearing on the online propaganda magazine. that has airlines and passengers around the world increasingly nervous. our aviation correspondent rene marsh is working the story. this is happening before one of the busiest travel periods here in the united states. >> the world is on edge and that means the slightest notion of a threat would prompt major reaction when it comes to aviation security. i spoke with several former atf agents that say this new photo from isis could be the explosive
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device used to bring down the passenger plane but there is a healthy dose of skepticism. despite that, isis is holding this photo as proof it downed metrojet 9268. this is the bomb isis claims they used to bring down the russian passenger plane over the sinai peninsula. the picture posted in an isis magazine shows what appears to be explosive material concealed in a soda can, along with wires and a detonator with an on and off switch. cnn cannot independently verify the authenticity of the photo. the article says isis quote discovered a way to compromise the security at the sham el-sheikh international airport, where metrojet departed and a quote bomb was smuggled onto the airplane. >> we'll serve for them everywhere, wherever they are hiding. >> reporter: the news comes one day after russia's president vladimir putin said nearly two pounds of explosive material
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blew the passenger plane out of the sky. >> there is doubt as to whether or not it's the device used to bring down the russian aircraft. >> reporter: this retired atf agent says the on and off switch on the detonator means a suicide bomber had to be in the cabin of the plane ready to flip raising questions about how someone could get on the plane with the device that could easily be detected by screening machines. >> with this type of device, it has a very high metal signature from the soda can to the battery to the switch to the wires. a completely assembled device like this would be difficult to circumvent normal security. >> reporter: u.s. officials have run the names on the passenger manifest list and found no red flags for anyone on board. . isis previously claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 224 people. but if this is the bomb, it would be the first piece of evidence that the group has put forward. >> the soda can has arabic
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writing, the cap is a commercially manufactured cap that we have seen in that region. >> reporter: for a more skeptical bomb, why the material wasn't bombed and why isis didn't produce video proof of the video making this bomb as and millions of americans prepare to travel for the highway, they should expect longer lines at the airport. they will be spending more time not only checking passengers but also luggage and random swabbing of hands and luggage to check for explosive residue. >> it's going to be a very busy travel season next week here in the united states. rene, thank you. much more on the breaking news right after a quick break. for adults with an advanced lung cancer called "squamous non-small cell", previously treated with platinum-based chemotherapy, it's not every day something this big comes along. a chance to live longer with... opdivo,
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we're following the breaking news that an isis propaganda video shows a suicide bomber zipping up his jacket over the device amid scenes of manhattan. in france, meanwhile, authorities are analyzing dna from body parts recovered in a police raid at a home near paris to see if abdelhamid abaaoud was killed in the gun battle. also occurring now, amid fears that terrorists are hiding among syrian refugees, officials have arrested five syrian men in honduras who may have been planning to travel to the united states. out there on the u.s. presidential campaign trail, this topic is resonating.
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sunlen serfaty is joining us. >> reporter: wolf, many candidates like jeb bush here in south carolina are really trying to capitalize on this moment, this renewed focus being on national security but ben carson is trying to recover from what many see as a series of foreign policy blunders. with the country focused on the threat of attacks at home in the nation's security, tonight the gop candidates are jostling to define themselves as leaders, capable of defining themselves. >> jeb bush at the citadel trying to define the election as a choice for commander in chief, casting himself as a safer option, the seasoned hand. >> we are choosing the leader of the free world. and if these attacks remind us of anything, it is that we're living in serious times that require serious leadership. >> reporter: an attempt to draw a clearer contrast with the
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political outsiders and front-runners, dr. ben carson and donald trump. carson especially finds himself playing defense over his foreign policy credentials after one of his advisers told "the new york times," "nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him give one iota of intelligent information about the middle east." ben carson says that man is not one of his advisers but in an interview admits he face as steep learning curve. >> you know, i know a lot more than i'll know a year from now. >> reporter: those comments come on the heels of the former neurosurgeon indicating that china is involved in syria. >> i have had several sources that i've gotten material from. >> reporter: an assertion that the white house and experts call false. today, in an attempt to staunch the bleeding, carson published this op-ed, part of what calls for the hacker group anonymous to monitor social media, to
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block users using inappropriate behavior and religious hate speech. >> unbelievable. >> reporter: tonight, donald trump piled on tweeting, "how does ben carson survive this problem? really big." and a new poll out by bloomberg tonight shows that terrorism in the threat of isis is specifically the top concern on the voters' minds. so clearly, wolf, this will continue to shape the race going forward. >> out on the campaign trail, sunlen, you're in south carolina, one of the early primary states, i guess what happened in paris, the national security debate, that's now dominating, right? >> reporter: it absolutely is. jeb bush was down here talking at the citadel and to the cadets about his plan for isis going forwards. this speech was preplanned before the paris attack but jeb bush adding in many lines referencing what he would do with isis going forward and also how he feels about the syrian refugees coming in to this country.
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that's a big issue that really divides many of the candidates on the campaign trail. >> sunlen serfaty, thank you. that's it for me. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." the cnn's coverage of the paris attacks continues right now with erin burnett "outfront." >> good evening and welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world tonight. i'm erin burnett reporting live from paris. we begin with the breaking news, a chilling new video from isis threatening new york city. the video showing a man making a suicide bomb, strapping it to his body. it also shows scenes of times square, among other popular tourist destinations. this comes as french forces stormed an apartment building in the early morning hours today. they were targeting the reported master minds of the paris terror attacks. a vicious fire fight

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