tv Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans CNN November 19, 2015 2:00am-3:01am PST
welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. the breaking news right now, we are just learning of six separate raids in six separate locations in belgium apparently connected to the attacks here on friday. apparently connected to at least one of the attackers killed here on friday. we will have much more on that in just a moment. meanwhile, here in france, police literally digging through the rubble of an apartment in the suburb of saint-denis. that is where the raid was yesterday. the huge raid involving more than 100 law enforcement officials. 5,000 rounds fired. it was targeting the man believed to be the ringleader of last week's attacks. abdelhamid abaaoud. officials say they moved in toward that apartment because of wire taps. they had information showing that at a minimum, abaaoud's cousin was saying there. it is believed at this point that cousin is dead.
she apparently blew herself up early in the operation wearing some kind of suicide explosive device. at this point, police say they do not believe abaaoud is among the eight people arrested. there were eight people taken to custody and in custody right now. abaaoud is not one of them. however, what they are doing is going through the apartment building testing body parts. so much destruction, all that is left is body parts. trying to link dna to that man, abaaoud, to see if he was killed inside the raids. joining me now is cnn's frederik pleitgen. fred, you were in saint-denis yesterday during the raids. you saw the level of destruction inside that building which explains what they are doing now. they are going through piece by piece to determine if it was abaaoud. >> they keep having to stop as well because the destruction is so bad as you said. one. things that happened is they met so much resistance, especially in the second apartment they went into.
they went into two apartments total. they had to use heavy ordinance to get their way in there. that apparently caused a whole floor of the building to collapse. there is still an ordinance in the building. they are looking for body parts to get some sort of dna samples, but they have to watch out not to step on anything for something not to explode. i was there until way late last night. even then they were still blowing things up. still doing controlled detonations to make sure the building was clear and go through it safely. it is a painstaking process. >> scientific battle right now. it is not as if they had dna from abaaoud on file now. now they have to match what is there with perhaps finding relatives to see if they can make a definitive link which is crucial because he is believed to be the ringleader of the friday attacks and french police
tell cnn they believe they got to saint-denis yesterday just in time. >> they believe there was another possible attack immin t imminent. like you said, absolutely just if time. it was from the intercepts they got. the cell phone intercepts and a cell phone they found near the attacks on friday that showed them intel that led them to the house. this house was under surveillance for about 24 hours. normally you want to establish patterns and see when people are coming and going and possibly what sort of fire power they have in the house. they moved in quickly. then if you look at the amount of people arrested. eight people arrested and two people killed. that is the size of the attackers that caused the carnage last friday. >> more than enough to carry out serious devastation. the french officials have been criticized for intelligence
failures leading up to friday attacks. this needs to be considered an intelligence success. based on cell phones found on friday and the wire taps in the last few days. >> they moved quickly. they got intel from belgian officials. with the intelligence failures, you are not acting fast enough. in europe, you are not sharing intelligence quickly enough. in this case, things moved forward quickly. we don't know how much of that is connected to the fact of the emergency measures in place. legally makes it easier for them to put in place surveillance and take people in custody and conduct these raids. if these people would have gone on a rampage with suicide vests and ak-47s in paris at this time, another massacre would have happened. >> the question is abdelhamid
abaaoud, is he killed in the attacks? we awaiting. fred, thank you. there is breaking news in belgium. anti-terror raids under way. we are told now in four separate locations, four neighborhoods, including apparently the district where the ringleader of the paris attacks, the man we were just discussing, abdelhamid abaaoud, one of the areas where he once lived, but other attackers killed. other attackers involved here also from that area. from brussels right now, still headed to the scene of those raids. i'm joined by senior correspondent ivan watson. ivan, give us a sense of what is happening. >> reporter: that's right. the announcement that the police conducting the raids came just as the belgium prime minister addressing parliament and addressing new measures to address combat in the country.
john, the prosecutor's office say the police targeting six locations across the city. the family and entourage they are looking for is the family of hadfi. he is one of the suicide bombers from the paris attacks. now he had been on the radar of bell begin authoriti bellgian authorities. they believe he left to join the ranks of the isis community. what the officials did not know he was here until he blew himself up. they are targeting his family and entourage. they say they have detained somebody for questioning in connection with the paris attacks.
again, this comes as the prime minister came out with the speech claiming credit for the intelligence that the belgian security forces gave to france to carry out the raids in saint-denis that we saw, but also calling for new measures to crackdown on what is a problem in this country. saying that perhaps belgium has to strip citizenship from would-be jihadis and placing tracking braceletis of people wanting to go to syria. and tough talk saying anybody who is a jihadi and comes back should be put in prison. john. >> ivan watson for us. you see him on the move headed to the site of one of the raids there. raids on associates believed to be connected with one of the suicide attackers here in paris on friday. we will have much more on that
developing situation in belgium just ahead. meanwhile, isis appears to be ramping up the propaganda machine. the sort of online magazine of the terrorist organization published a photo of what looks like a soda can bomb they say was used to take down the airliner over the sinai peninsula. the white house does not confirm whether or not they believe the schwepps can here did take down that plane. although the administration says it is convinced isis was behind the attack. we want to go straight now to moscow to senior correspondent matthew chance. matthew, the image of the soda can, the can of schwepps and what appears to be a detonator. the russian officials said they believe it was only a two-pound bomb that took down the plane.
that would fit in the soda can. any reaction this morning? >> reporter: they said it would be up to two pounds. up to a kilo. this doesn't rule out of the possibility the explosives fit inside this tin can which looks like a schwepps fizzy pineapple drink. there is a switch as well. there is speculation it could have been somebody on board. that is not verified. the russian press is speculating it could have been on a timer. that is another means of having the device detonated as well. for the kremlin, they have been tight-lipped on this saying they scene the images that have been published on the da'ish web site and stopping short what have they are doing about it. they say they will bring the perpetrators to justice.
they launched an increasing number of military strikes inside syria. focusing on a number of things. the oil tankers used to fund isis, but also launching cruise missiles as well. upping the military game in syria after it was confirmed that the attack on the metrojet liner was a bomb. >> an attack in sinai and attacks in beirut and attacks in paris shows you the scope of what is going on with isis and the concern all around the world. matthew chance in moscow, thank you so much. christine, back to you. john, new isis threats in the u.s. as well. a brand new isis video claims new york city could be the next terror target. the video shows scenes of times square. what you are seeing is video or pictures of a suicide bomber zipping up a jacket after putting on an explosive belt.
new york's mayor assuring the residents there are no specific credible threats. >> the people of new york city will not be inn temperature dated. we understand it is the goal of terrorists to intimidate and disrupt our democratic society. we will not submit to their wishes. >> the nypd initiated a critical response command with 500 officers dedicated to anti-terrorism activities. five syrian nationals trying to reach the united states using stolen greek passports. they have been arrested in the bahamas. these five men were arrested late tuesday after flying into the airport in the honduran capital. they will face a judge later today. the authorities claim they were planning to make their way to the u.s. by land by crossing guatemala and mexico. the brutality of isis
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and positively radiant skin. aveeno® positively radiant moisturizer... with active naturals® soy. aveeno® naturally beautiful results®. tensions running high across france this morning as we speak, french lawmakers debating whether to extend the state of emergency for as long as three months. they banned public demonstrations for the next few weeks. this as we wait to hear if the ringleader has been killed. the body parts found in the apartment building trying to link them to abdelhamid abaaoud. was he inside? is he dead? joining us now is cnn anchor hala gorani and melissa bell.
hala, we are waiting. was it abaaoud? >> the big challenge is in order to conduct dna tests, you have to test it against dna of abdelhamid abaaoud. presumably not on any database. they have to find relatives. it will take time. challenge number two as well as what happened in the apartment, explosives were used. there was resistance. there is an entire floor in the building that is not structurally sound. it takes a lot of effort and a lot of planning and some risk involved as far as the investigators are concerned to enter the building and continue the tests. >> 5,000 rounds fired in the raid. melissa, this discussion of whether it was in fact abaaoud or not, obscures the issue. the mere suspicion that it was. the suspicion that this guy could have traveled back and forth to syria and the focus of so much concern in belgium and the united states for the last year.
extraordinary. >> and throughout this, his name came up quickly. the french authorities suggest he may have been the mastermind. obviously not physically on the ground. the idea he was fighting in syria and had been some time. when he boasted of coming to and from europe, you did not know whether to take it seriously. according to what police said, they had a certain number of crossed information that led them to believe he might actually have been. we have to wait. you are right. the violence was such within that apartment that the bodies will take a while to be identified and pieced back together to identify. the belgian authorities have transferred all information they have to the french in order to test what is inside the dosier. >> you brought up belgian officials. we are learning there are raids targeting one of the suicide
attackers here on friday. trying to go after some of his associates the you can see the web widening in the investigation. not just in paris, but belgium as well. >> this is a two-country story from the beginning. the links with belgium and france in the investigation from the first hours after the terrible attacks on friday. the suspected ringleader is belgian in molenbeek. he comes from the suspect ringleader. someone who planned and orchestrated dozens of attacks. is he in the building? the investigators from the beginning, beyond the fact that eight suspects and two dead in saint-denis, have said this is a bigger network. it is not just a handful of people. that is what they are trying to determine. >> plus, 100 raids every night since the attack. how much longer do the
authorities keep this up? >> they will have to keep going for a time. the state of emergency will put these powers in place because the parliament will give the powers the state is requesting. place them on house arrest and keep an eye on them more closely. you see the raids and number of arrests over the past few days, the arsenal uncovered. >> rocket launchers in an apartment in lyon. you don't expect to see that. melissa bell and hala gorani, thank you. syria's president must go. that message coming again this morning from president obama. what he says needs to happen before isis can be defeated. we are live next. other wirearriers make families share data. some way to say happy holidays. switch to t-mobile now and get 4 lines with up to 6gb each,
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the fight over syrian refugees coming to america hits the house floor today. lawmakers set to vote on a republican backed bill that would suspend the resettlement program. cnn's michelle kosinski traveling with the president overseas. she joins us from the philippines. michelle. >> reporter: good morning. we heard the president go off on this plan this week. calling it irresponsible. not who we are as a nation. political posturing.
today, the administration wasn't quite so harsh. the press secretary did call this something that isn't focused on national security and calling it cheap political calculations. the administration is opposed to stopping the program even if it were a temporary pause. in their response, it is untenable. it would not add anything to national security. it would cause unnecessary delays and chip away at u.s. humanitarian goal of helping out victims of war. there is another plan brewing in congress over the visa waiver program. that is nations that have an agreement with the u.s. that people can travel here without getting a visa. some in congress bipartisan bill is shaped that would put additional restrictions on that. the administration today would not go so far as to say whether they thought that was overly
broad. something like not allowing people to come here if they have been to iraq or syria in the last five years. as it is looking like the framework would be for this. they are saying they would be open to tightening things up. not only on the visa waiver program which is called into question for years as to how that effects national security as well. but the refugee vetting. they are open to evaluating it. >> michelle kosinski traveling with the president in manila. again, that vote in the house scheduled for today. 27 minutes past the hour. was the ringleader of the paris terror attacks killed in the police raid in the paris apartment? dna testing. an intense investigation happening right now in france and raids happening in belgium.
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is the ring leader of the paris terrorist attacks alive or on the run or dead? dna testing this morning. intense investigation happening in france. new raids in belgium as a new isis video threatening attack on new york city. a lot of developments this morning. welcome back to "early start." i'm christine romans in new york where it is 5:32 in the east. >> i'm john berman in paris. welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. there is breaking news right now from belgium. a series of raids across that country. centered around people believed to be connected with some of the suicide attackers here on friday. we will get to that in a moment.
also this morning, police digging through the rubble of an apartment in the paris suburb of saint-denis this morning. they are looking to connect the body parts found in the apartment with perhaps the ringleader of friday's attacks. abdelhamid abaaoud. was he inside that apartment when they raided? more than 100 officers went in yesterday with guns blazing and 5,000 rounds fired. eight suspects taken into custody. abaaoud not among them. one woman killed, believed to be abaaoud's cousin. officials say they moved into the apartment because they were listening to wire taps and phone conversations connecting to abaaoud's cousin. police believe they did get there to stop what could have been another attack. i'm joined by cnn's frederik pleitgen.
fred, you were in saint-denis yesterday. you saw the aftermath of the raid. help us understand why it is taking so long to match or find the dna of abaaoud in the apartment. >> i think finding is the key word. they are literally trying to find little parts of the bodies in there. there was so much fire power that was used on both sides. the officers said they got there and initially a firefight when they went into the first apartment. they found a second apartment where terrorists tried to go in there and they met some very stiff resistance. the female suicide bomber who blew herself up causing damage to the apartment. when they encountered that fire power, they shot back with heavy weaponry as well. caused the floor in the house to collapse. obviously causing major damage. i was there until late last night and they were still setting off controlled detonations in the neighborhood. there was an unexploded
ordinance in that building. it was difficult for them to work through that destruction and have unexploded grenades and bombs in there is certainly something that makes it a lot more difficult. it was interesting. in the night, people were coming back out and then all of a sudden, you hear a whistle and controlled detonation and people went running for cover. >> what intelligence led them to the apartments? >> a mix of intelligence. they got tips from the belgians. there were intercepts, but a cell phone found in a garbage can near one of the places at the site of the attacks here on friday. that tipped them off to the fact there was the apartment in saint-denis. the time they spent observing that apartment was short. about 24 hours. they understood they needed to move fast. that is why they are saying we believe that we might have thwarted something that could have been big as well. when you look at the amount of
people involved. eight people in custody. two people killed. ten people in the cell. that is the same size of the cell operating here on friday night. >> any sense of the eight people in custody? the only thing we know is that abdelhamid abaaoud is not among them. >> the other thing is that also salah abdeslam, the man sought in the international warrant and the manhunt going on in france and belgium is not among those arrested either. we know that one of the people inside there and maybe the one who blew herself up is the cousin of abaaoud. other than that, the police are trying to find out who these people are. some have been badly wounded. they have not been interrogated yet. they hope to find out more from them and the size of the operation and the cells and who the people were. >> it is unusual to get people directly involved or close to carrying out an attack in
custody. it could be an important source of intelligence. fred pleitgen, thank you. there is more breaking news right now. anti-terror raids under way in belgium, believed to be connected to one of the individuals involved in the attacks here in paris on friday, of course, belgium directly connected to what happened here. the ringleader, abdelhamid abaaoud, he was from belgium. salah abdeslam, the man fred was just talking about, also from belgium. these raids apparently connected to another individual who died in the attacks. joining us now live from belgium at the site, i believe, of one of the raids is senior international correspondent ivan watson. ivan, give us a sense of what is happening. >> reporter: john, we're in the neighborhood of molenbeek here. it looks like an ordinary street. the belgian authorities were clever. they announced they carried out a half dozen raids around the
city, but long after the operation at least at this location was over. the locals we talked to say the police came and they blocked off the streets and searched the building. they did this before dawn. then announced it hours later. now the authorities say that they were looking for the family and entourage of bilal hadfi. he was one of the terrorists in the attacks friday night. he is believed to be 19 or 20 years old. a resident of brussels. he is one of three residents in the city who were key suspects in the paris attacks. the belgian authorities say they detained one person so far for questioning in connection with the paris attacks. the belgian connection to the paris raids, it is very important, of course, abdelhamid abaaoud, who is the suspected organizer of the attacks is a belgian citizen.
he is perhaps belgian most notorious jihadists. in 2011, salah abdeslam was arrested. spent a month in prison alongside abaaoud for theft. they were convicted to the and partners in crime. and years later, key suspects in the attacks in paris. salah abdeslam still at large and also a resident of the very neighborhood. john. >> the links between these terrorists. so interesting, ivan. so many have spent time in prison together and so many spent time in syria together. ivan watson in belgium, thanks. christine, big news in new york as well. back to you. >> we do, john. we have a new isis video claiming new york city could be the next terror target. this video shows times square
and harold square and the video of the suicide bomber zipping up a jacket over an explosive vest. preparing for an attack. new york's mayor flanged by officials assuring citizens there are no specific credible threats. the nypd initiated a new response command of 500 officers. and syrians have been arrested in the bahamas. they were arrested late tuesday night after flying into the honduran capital. they will face a judge later today. the suspects were planning to make their way into the u.s. by land, by crossing guatemala and mexico. isis fears keeping france on a state of emergency could be extended. our live team coverage next. quiet! mom has a headache! had a headache! but now,
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tensions running high across france this morning. right now in the french parliament, they are debating to extend the state of emergency for another three months. they are deciding to extend the ban on public gatherings until the end of november. that comes at a cost in france. people like to gather. there is the climate change summit coming in two weeks. this as we wait to hear whether the suspected ringleader of the paris attacks on friday, whether he was killed. was he inside one of the apartments that was raided yesterday in the suburb of saint-denis? dna tests under way right now to determine if abdelhamid abaaoud is dead. joining me rights now is anchor hala gorani. hala, it is such a big question. very important, too. either this man is dead, the
ringleader who planned the attacks on friday or he could be on the run planning more. >> we know he is not in custody. that means he is either dead or still on the loose. dna tests don't take, not like a television show where you have a result within a few minutes. the added challenge in the apartment in saint-denis, it is essentially body parts. there were explosions. it is very difficult to conduct these tests and forensic combing of the scene. also because the structure itself is not necessarily sound. we understand from the prosecutor that the door was reinforced. they had to blow it open. then you have the female suicide bomber who blew herself up. then you had the other individual inside the apartment who was killed as well. so you have a very complicated scene. we should get hopefully information either today or in the coming days and it will finally answer that question. is the suspected ringleader
among the people who died in the apartment. >> there was concern he was planning other attacks, perhaps launching another attack very soon. that information is very crucial. we know as you said he is not among those in custody. also not in custody, salah abdeslam, the eighth attacker who slipped through the fingers of police there. the fact there are eight people in custody right now, that is fascinating. it is unusual to have suspected terrorists who may have been on the verge of an attack alive and under arrest. >> in the case of the suspected terrorist, not suspected, the terrorists who were killed in the case of the "charlie hebdo" the korachi brothers and then the man who took several people
hostage in the supermarket killed individuals there as well. he ended up dead as well. in this particular instance, we have suspected terrorists connected to the attacks on friday who are alive and in custody. we saw some video on french television of them being arrested. they were completely stripped of their clothes because you don't want to take risks with people who are in the habit of exploding suicide vests. they were bundled up and put in police vans practically naked. that is what they have to do in dealing with these individuals. >> you know the authorities here are pulling on the threads to try to stop what could be more tacks. just this morning, over the last few minutes, we saw raids in belgium connected to one of the attacks on friday. >> we had cars rented there and driven across the border into franchise. the suspected mastermind of the attacks, a belgian citizen. others suspected of spending
time in a brussels suburb where the raids are taking place today. really intense police activity across belgium and france. hundreds of raids. >> hala gorani, great to have you with us. thank you. president obama facing questions of how the united states will handle refugees. that debate raging in congress and beyond. that just ahead from us. (vo) what does the world run on? it runs on optimism. it's what sparks ideas. moves the world forward. invest with those who see the world as unstoppable. who have the curiosity to look beyond the expected and the conviction to be in it for the long term. oppenheimerfunds believes that's the right way to invest... ...in this big, bold, beautiful world. where their electricity comes from. they flip the switch-- and the light comes on.
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norway. the prosecutterror organization publishing the men in the online magazine. the caption reads executed after being abandoned by the infidel nations. isis claims ransom demands for the men were refused. the fight over refugees coming to america hits the house floor today. the bill that would effectively suspend the refugee program. president obama is blasting congress for jumping on the refugee issue saying in his words of solve the threat of widows and orphans. michelle kosinski is screjoinin from the fiphilippines. she is traveling with the president. >> reporter: we have heard a lot
from the president in the past two days. he used strong language to blast the plan to stop refugees from coming in from syria, but also the rhetoric. that is what he latched on to calling it offensive, irresponsible. saying it is not who we are and that it needs to stop. today, he said, you know, are yo really going to stop this program but let in the millions of tourists that come in every year. he said it just doesn't jive with reality. that's why the administration has threatened to veto this bill. what it would do is be a temporary pause in the program so the administration could certify there would not be a security risk. the administration is calling that untenable. they said it would not add anything to the security situation in the united states, but only cause unnecessary delays to a program that is safe and is working. that said, the white house is
open as they put it, to making some changes where needed. they are open to looking at the program. they are open to working with congress on this and other related issues. they are clearly not open to stopping the program all together. even if that were to be temporary. christine. >> michelle kosinski traveling with the president in the philippines this morning. thank you. stopping isis and processing or not processing syrian refugees, a big topic of conversation on the campaign trail. republican candidates hitting back against president obama after he accused them of trying to close america's borders. some taking it a step further saying in order to defeat isis, the u.s. needs to put military troops on the ground in syria. >> if need be, yeah. we have to get rid of isis quickly. not for a long time. let me tell you what i want to do. i want other people to put troops on the ground.
we will back them up 100% and bomb the hell out of them. >> i would not say no civilian casualties. no one in america wants that. i can't say we won't have combat troops on the ground. i would not put restrictions in place to make it impossible for us to be successful. >> ben carson and lindsey graham are calling for military action on the ground in syria. new raids related to the terror attacks in paris. they are happening right now in belgium as we learn to wait if the attackers' ringleader has been killed or on the loose. "new day" picks up our special coverage now. >> i heard the gunfire. >> 5,000 rounds fired. at least two terrorists killed. others taken into custody. >> the ringleader here. is he in custody? is he dead?
>> raids are ongoing in brussels, belgium. >> this what they claim brought down the passenger jet. >> threatening new york city. >> pictures of someone dressing himself with explosives. >> as soon as people see this, they will launch. >> the people of new york city will not be intimidated. >> announcer: we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is a special edition of "new day." i'm in paris. you have alisyn and michaela in new york. there is news of more raids overnight. some still ongoing. the hunt shifting back from belgium to paris. the whereabouts of the alleged planner in question. authorities actually examining dna from body parts found to see if his remains are among them. there's also new information
linking the threat, the potential plots back to the united states. essentially new york city. isis making big promising about attacks saying they just executed hostages from norway and china. another development, five syrian men due in court in honduras intercepted with three fake passports, reportedly on their way to the united states. let's begin with senior international correspondent fred pleitgen. fred, you've been bouncing back between paris and belgium. it's not random, they believe the more they learn in the raids this network is bigger than any one country? >> reporter: oh, absolutely. it was always something where it appeared it involved belgium, it involved france and people are going back and forth. especially with the raids that happened yesterday in saint-denis. they're trying to get the mastermind of all of this, adele
hamed abaaoud. he tried to coordinate attacks operating from belgium just a couple months. his associate, salah about da slam. the other man. >> the eighth attacker. >> reporter: the eighth attacker still on the run under way. also in belgium, they rented vehicles in belgium to bring them here. certainly, it's clear that this network is big, that this network is sfophisticated and very much linked to the attacks on friday. >> the big pushback, they're not sure he's in that apartment. they are examining the remains. remember, as fred brilliantly reported yesterday, 5,000 rounds of explosions. they have structural integrity issues. they believe if this guy is still around, he probably wasn't in there. fred, stay with us. now, a major concern of investigators here, also again, it's not just about