tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN November 19, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm PST
11:00 p.m. on the east coast, 5:00 a.m. in paris. i'm don lemon. the manhunt for the so-called eighth attacker, salah abdeslam spreading as inch from authorities confirm that abdelhamid abaaoud was killed in a police raid. meanwhile, isis releases a video threatening to conquer rome and blow up the white house. we are not showing the complete video because we don't want to give attention to their propaganda. and the fbi is watching dozens of people who they think pose the highest risk of carrying out a copy cat attack. let's get back to the
investigation. the latest on the search for salah abdeslam? >> absolutely, don, the latest we have is the search for salah abdeslam has been expanded to france and belgium and the netherlands. the netherlands says that it is a global manhunt. and abdeslam in the past has spent time in the netherlands. and one of the things we have to keep in mind is that this is the guy in the cell who rented some of the cars. one of the cars that was rented was found in a paris neighborhood here very close to where the ring leader then was later killed. this is certainly someone who knows how to get around europe
and certainly this participate of europe in particular. >> do we know when he was last seen? >> yeah, i mean, that is one of the things that puzzles many people in this investigation. the last time is when he was checked by the police after the attack. he was taken into custody, questioned and, then, don, he was released. that is one of the big failures that people are talking about. at that point in time, the authorities did not keep him in custody. the cops didn't feel a reason to keep him in custody. he was last seen on a highway outside of paris. but knowing that area a little bit, the highways branch off into the netherlands and into germany, once you are past the greater paris areas you can go in a lot of directions. >> there is concern that he may have a suicide vest with him? >> yeah, sure. there is a big concern. everywhere that so far the
authorities have encountered the terra terrorists involved in the attack had suicide vests and the cousin of the ring leader who blew herself up when the authorities came over to raid their apartment in a neighborhood to the northeast of paris. so certainly it appears as though these people have a lot of access to explosives. and explosive vests is one of their main tools of choice. there is a concern he might be armed. you might be talking about rifles. but you also might be talking about suicide vests as well. >> what did the french prime minister say when he addressed the parliament? >> well, i mean, he said that he wanted additional powers. he said that he wanted the -- france and other countries to get tougher on combatting isis but he also warned that there is still of course a very big threat of terrorism for france, but for other european countries
as well. one of the things the french have been saying is they need a pan-european effort to combat terrorists and isis and making sure that these people don't get into this country. they believe that some went through the migrant route through the balkan states and turkey as well. this is what the french are saying we need to crack down on this and get tougher on terrorism. but they strike a very defiant tone and they say they are going to fight this out in the end and they vow to destroy isis. >> nbc news spoke with the lead of the commando raid on friday night. >> we discover like -- more than maybe 7,000, 8,000 people -- >> 700, 800? >> yeah. laying on the floor, tons of
blood everywhere. no sound, no one was screaming. >> the details that are emerging are horrifying. >> yeah, they certainly are, don. i was able to speak to some of the people that survived the bataclan raid. one of the things they keep talking about is that awful sense of vulnerability and they had nowhere to go, nowhere to run. if the attackers find them they will kill them immediately. and no one can save them. i spoke to people who hid in a room and tried to breathe as little as possible. they talked about people shivering. and you have that police officer there talking about people who were on the ground and not moving, obviously trying to play dead and not make the attackers recognize them. it really was an awful scene and that is something that many people that have described what wept on in that bat clan theater which was the raid that went on if quite a while.
where they shot the place up and executed people and rounded people up. and when the raid happened they blew themselves up. it must have been a traumatizing event for those who survived and for those who lost loved ones in that. and it's a traumatizing event for this nation as a whole and certainly explains why there has been such a strong response from the french as far as law enforcement is concerned in this country. but also as far as their military response and bombing targets in syria as well. >> fred pleitgen thank you very much. we are learning more about the incident that happened on friday and more about the raid that killed the leader of the attacks, abdelhamid abaaoud. cnn's nic robertson has more on how it all went down. >> reporter: 4:20 a.m. on wednesday. an elite french police unit closes in on an apartment building in the paris superb of
saint-denis. wiretaps have led them to this neighborhood. their target, abdelhamid abaaoud, the suspect ring leader in a string of terror plots. police make their way to the third floor but an explosive charge fails to open the security door. a ferocious gun battle erupts and continues for an hour. three people are quickly arrested. but there are now still two or three people inside, including a woman. they throw grenades. police fire 5,000 rounds into the apartment. after the scene quiets down, police send in an attack dog named diesel to check for signs of life. diesel is shot dead. a police sniper shoots one of the terrorists inside. injured he continues to fire back. a police officer shouts to the woman, where is your boyfriend? she yells back, it's not my
boyfriend. then a loud explosion. police say the woman detonated a suicide vest. it turns out she is the cousin of abaaoud. but it's several more hours before police can enter the building where they find a scene of carnage. two men are detained but there are the remains of two of three bodies inside. detectives race to discover whether abaaoud is one of them. but they have to move slowly. more than 24 hours pass before the prosecutor's office in a two-line statement say the bullet-ridden body is abaaoud's. >> among the six attacks that have been avoided or foiled since spring of this year, abaaoud seems to have been involved in four of them. >> reporter: a victory against terrorism but many questions remain. >> the french had no idea that
abaaoud was back in europe. had slipped across the borders undetected. it was a tip from moroccan intelligence that led the french to belief that abaaoud had left syria and was back to begin a campaign of terror. the question for france now and for all on the continent, are there more like abaaoud who slipped undetected into europe? nic robertson, cnn, paris. >> thanks for that. when we come back, air strikes on isis in syria, are they working? how much do we know about the terrorist stronghold? new isis threats just as the holiday travel season is about to begin. how serious should americans take all of this? you accelerate, we've created a new company... one totally focused on what's next for your business. the true partnership where people,technology and ideas push everyone forward.
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the leader of the paris attacks is dead. french police say abdelhamid abaaoud died in a raid on a house in paris. and the search for salah abdeslam is expanding tonight. air strikes are pounding the syrian city of raqqah. cnn's nick paton walsh is in the middle east tonight. >> don, we know the airplanes are again over raqqah. we don't know the numbers of strikes at this stage. we know they have been headed west of the city too and frankly even in the middle of the afternoon, tens of kilometers away there our city you could
hear lengthy and intense rumbling as explosions hit that town. it has a large population. many civilians could be in the cross hairs of the strikes. the first civilian casualties came in last night when a fuel truck was targeted. we do know the russians did that day say they were aiming for oil infrastructures. so many air forces in the skies, so much vengeance on the part of the russians and the french and there are reports from activists that isis leadership is trying to leave the city heading east to mosul. they will have a job to get there. the peshmerga have cut off the main route in iraq near the town of sinjar. there is a sense of pressure against isis on the ground. no doubt about that. there is a definite expectation
in syria that the kurdish forces in the north may start moving against it really soon. they don't have the numbers or the fire power but they might be going for it anyway. and the americans could be advising them to. a lot of movement here and changing dynamics. and it's the civilians in raqqah whose fate is so important. whatever happens from the air strike must put their fate paramount if they wish to defeat isis and have a functional society afterwards. >> nick paton walsh thank you for that. joining me now is rick francona and james spyder marks. france and russian have increased their air strikes in syria in response to attacks. are they working and how would we know? >> the short answer is yes. there is a routine assessment that takes place after every
strike. a lot will focus in on what occurred. it used to be called bomb damage assessment that had a kinetic feel to it. but now we are looking at did we achieve the effects we were trying to achieve. you get a sense of that attack and targeting cycle. what france is doing, adding to what the coalition and russia is doing, stepping up the aircraft and types of munitions they are launching, it is effective. but there is room to improve in terms of the amount of air strikes that could be taking place. we could really up the volume here and make this an ear bleeding campaign that gets a lot more movement out of isis forces on the ground. that might on veeuate the immediate need to put something on the ground. >> are you speaking directly to the commander-in-chief right now? >> i'm not. >> you're not. >> i'm not, don. >> how much do we know about
what is happening on the ground inside raqqah, how do we get information from there? >> is it a combination of all those intelligence capabilities. the technical capabilities that allows you to listen to cell phones and get into conversations. but the real intelligence is our ability and coalition capabilities, those that live in the neighborhood, to get human intelligence sources on the ground which is what rick francona did when he was in syria as a defense attache. he knows this intimately. i would defer to rick as to how those human sources are working and the networks we can get folks to pop up and report. >> how are we getting the information, lieutenant colonel? >> this is a real problem. this is a hard target. it is very, very difficult for us to access these areas
directly. you have to do it through cutouts and from people who talk to other people. every time you use a cutout you lose something. this becomes very problematic. how do we get information from inside raqqah that we know is good and in a timely matter. intelligence is good but only good when you can use it. when it's timely enough to do something with. and i think that's what has been a problem up until now. but when i look at the number of air strikes going into raqqah now as compared to what we were doing six months ago, the numbers are exponentially higher. we have begun to develop the sources. we are using all the ints. and i think that we are starting to see the results of the efforts we began six months ago. i think this is a positive sign
the fact that we are seeing more air strikes go in. but we are not there. too many aircraft are returning with ordnance on the air force. we just heard from nick paton walsh that the first civilian casualties came in last night. a lot of civilians were killed. does that hurt our cause there? >> you know, it does. i think the people in washington now, the administration are casualty adverse. but you can't operate in a sterile environment. you have to take adequate precautions and take the most precautions you can. i think we're going to see an increase in civilian casualties as the russians and french are involved. i think i heard indications today from the secretary of
defense that we're going to be relooking at the rules of engagement. i think we will see increased sorties going in. that is a by-product of what we're doing. >> sadly civilian casualties are a part of it. the median unit says that they have suffered no casualties. do you believe them? >> not at all, don. clearly when you look at the volume of attacks that have taken place on the heels of the events in paris, there really has been a very strong effort and some real destruction that's taken place in terms of isis. and we've heard from intelligence reports that leadership within raqqah have now made the move toward northern iraq to try to find some degree of sanctuary because of the increased pressure that
the russians and united states and coalition partners have put on them. russia has the capability to do some real precise attacking just like the coalition partners do. i mean, they are launching cruise missiles from the caspian. and they are launching out of georgia meaning they have to fly over turkey. you have a coordination issue. i think at that level within the air coordination centers and the air tasking order that the coalition puts together, russia is putting together something as well. we don't want to hit a target six times when that ordnance could be used some place else. and you don't want to have aircraft that come back with ordnance still latched under the wings. we want those things to be used. >> thank you. a manhunt in europe for a
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the manhunt for an eighth suspect in the paris terror attacks spreading across europe now. but do we face a similar threat here at home. he is the author of "undercover jihadi." nine people arrested in brussels last night and now the search for salah abdeslam expanding in europe. unique challenges when it comes to a manhunt, europe does. >> absolutely. one is the borders and the free flow of people and the part of the european community that love about europe. the other is that he is hiding. they know -- he knows that everyone is looking for him. this manhunt will be difficult but they are putting a lot of resources behind it. we have seen manhunts like this before that almost always result in finding the person. >> what about information sharing. what is your asasessment of the
intelligence operation in europe? >> i want to say that i have confidence in it but this terrorism incident happened and we are learning that this country knew that he was traveling there and that country knew he was traveling there. and i think what we're going to learn is that people knew there was movement of a environment of people who were then converging in france and if we only put the pieces together i'm not saying it could have been stopped but you could have delayed or disrupted it. >> in your opinion how extensive is this terror network in france? >> well, france has over a thousand foreign fighters who have gone to syria. that is only just those who got up and left. there are easily that many or more who are still in place in france. it is a two-headed threat, domestic and those who have gone to syria and come back in. so it's a very large network.
seven guys alone won't pull this off. there is a support network behind them. >> we are hearing about the threats here. but is it comparable. does something like that exist here in the u.s.? >> i would say it's not really as bad as is it in europe. the social conditions are different for muslims in north america. the alienization narratives are not as bad. it's not as bad as it is in france. >> absolutely. if anything keeps america safe it is its capacity to integrate new communities which we have done so much better than countries like france and england and elsewhere in europe. that's why we don't have 7,000 people going to syria to come back and fight us. >> it's also a approximate umity problem. >> we have an ocean.
people wonder am i safe here? the short answer is no. there is always a risk. what you try to do is minimize the risk and maximize the protection. that's the thing you will see in new york city with cops and bomb-sniffing dogs. and maintain a first responder and response capacity. that will lower the risk for most americans even those in new york city. you are never going to get it to zero. >> you know, we have -- you try to stop young people from being recruited by terror groups online. we have seen two isis videos released in two days. is this propaganda machine trying to capitalize on the paris attack? >> absolutely. there is a quote i'll never forget. media gives terrorism a longevity it might not otherwise enjoy. especially after an attack like
this they have protocols in place. they will start flooding with propaganda. saying we're going to hit you here next. for those who follow them online they have hashtags like calamity will befall the u.s. and it's very, very important for us not to play into the hype. >> all of the emotional stories you hear on inertias like -- all over the world. those emotional scenes, the carnage, do you think that helps their recruitment efforts or hurt their recruitment efforts? >> it can go both ways. for those who have drank the proverbial kool-aid, they love it. they celebrate anarchy and chaos. and for others it is turning them off big time. muslim communities -- i had someone approach me. they want to work for the intelligence service. france has their enlistment to
the military went up considerably. so you know, it's working on both sides. for the majority of us we need to keep our wits about us. >> we have seen the threats in london, in brussels and other cities. it's going to mark one week soon and it will be a few weeks since the russian jet with the soda can. do you think they would like to pull off another attack as soon as possible? >> yes. >> that's the goal? >> that's the goal. we are watching and we are there and something else happens. the fact there were disruptions in various countries today is a good sign. the assumption is an attack might have been planned. the united states is heading into thanksgiving and the holiday seasons. there will be increased security because there is always increased security around thanksgiving and the christmas holidays. so people shouldn't be surprised by that.
there will likely be even more intense security, i think, my guess is, through the new year. that just given what's going on, we are going to ramp it up and maybe take a deep breath in january. >> interesting. thank you very much. when we come back, america is a land of immigrants. but syrian refugees may not get a warm welcome here. that story is next. believe it. at&t and directv are now one. which means you can watch in the house, in a treehouse, or even in miss pepperpie's house. pause in your pjs and hit play during a pb&j. nice! and enjoy some cartoons instead of listening to dad's car tunes. (dad) ♪meet you all the way! get the best of both worlds. directv at home and 2 wireless lines. from directv and at&t. engineering and coordination to hit the perfect shot.
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syrian refugees trying to enter the united states have become a hot button issue in the wake of the paris attacks. 31 of the nation's governors oppose allowing them to settle in their states. . the vote was 289 to 137 with 47 democrats joining 242 republicans in favor of the bill. the senate minority leader harry reid says he will try to block the bill. this tug of war is nothing new
in american history. here is cnn's jason carroll. >> reporter: immigrants make up 13% of the u.s. population. the united states is known for being made up of immigrants but has a husry marked with dark chapters of intolerance. i tall an and irish immigrants flocked to the states in the 19th century and fwreeted by anti-catholic discrimination. in 1939 with europe on the brink of war, 10,000 mostly jewish refugee children from germany tried to enter the united states. in a poll at the time about 60% of americans said keep them out. 30% in favor of letting the children in. months later, more than 900 jewish refugees from jury roomny on board the uss st. louis
denied entry. >> we knew this was a land of immigrants. we couldn't understand why the coast guard forced us into international waters. >> reporter: after returning to europe a quarter of the ship's passengers died in concentration camps. >> america put in immigration controls that were basically geared at turning away jews and italians and eastern europeans and southern europeans. zblrld world war ii bred much intolerance. 100,000 people of japanese descent forced into interment camps. it was a time in the u.s. when african-americans suffered under jim crow, state and low el laws forcing segregation. this sign making it all too
clear, no dogs, no negroes, no mexicans. >> at every point in our history we try to draw a line between us and then. >> van tran is from vietnam. he is now a professor in new york. >> and that change over time. as we think about the current situation it's really important for us to go back and think about our history as well. >> reporter: despite the words on the statue of liberty, it could be said that each new immigrant group may have its own story of not being welcomed, even so, the united states is still the place many would like to call their new home. jason carroll, cnn, new york. >>. joining me now marc lamont hill. we have that beautiful lady in the harbor given to us by our
oldest ally which is france. is history repeating itself? >> absolutely. at every historical junction, americans have said we don't want those people in. and we forget that most of us have been those people at one point or another. we have to be open to this. it is the right thing to do and honors the spirit of what america wants to be and makes good sense. >> the house passed a bill to suspend the program allowing the syrian and iraqi refugees into the u.s. until national security agencies are sure they don't pose a security risk. most experts i have spoken to do not believe that is a good idea but it is a politically popular. do you think this is just about politics? >> i don't. in talking to immigration lawyers, they say the key here, the most important pillar of immigration system is to ensure
our national security and protect the american people. with that being said, i think that right now what this bill is doing, you can see it's a bipartisan bill that would support saying let's catch our breath and we need to find a balance of being a compassionate nation and allowing refugees to come in. but we have to ensure that the vetting system is in place and we can verify everyone coming in. it's something that we have to take seriously. i think it is worth looking at how can we improve our national security measures especially with an archaic immigration system we have in place to make sure we vet these individuals. >> the vetting process is stricter than anyone coming into the united states whether it's a refugee or immigrant or anyone else. up to a two-year process. >> clearly the facts are that isis has made it a point they
want to infiltrate. this is what they were doing in the case of france and europe. what did france do? they closed their borders. this is a matter of taking a step back and ensuring we have the right vetting system in place and ensuring the muslims coming in and yazidis coming in making sure they are vetted. it is a proper system that should be handled especially with the fear that this sort of attack could happen in the united states. but you do have the french nationals, many that work for terrorists. you have those individuals that could get a visa and come to the united states and cause havoc. >> marc, go ahead. >> a few points here. first, i don't think that the system itself is broken and archaic. i think that is simply undrew. and i don't think this is comparable to a traditional immigration system. it takes 18 to 24 months to come
in as a refugee. you go through the homeland security and the -- >> they have no way to verify these individuals. >> and those are not allowed in. >> and you don't know whose documents are fake. >> let me finish. let me make my point, first. so i think all of these things are part of -- the truth here is that we simply do have a rigorous system. could it be better? could we develop more intelligence? yes. you said that france closed its borders. yes, they agreed to accept 30,000 people. if the nation that -- >> let him finish. >> if the nation that was most directly affected by this could still accept 30,000 people why can -- >> we have to have the proper measures in place.
five of the wealthiest muslim countries have not accepted one refugee. >> why does that matter? >> it does matter. it does matter. >> that was a point -- >> even rula jabreal made that point yesterday here on cnn. there are many people from countries who are affected by this. why won't those countries accept those people at well? marc first and then mercedes. >> i agree there are muslim countries that don't do it but we have never modeled our process after bahrain or qatar or -- >> is turkey bigger or better? marc, we need to protect our borders. we need to protect our nation and our people. that is our top priority and the top priority in the immigration
system. i'm sorry, yes. if we are going to work with our arab allies and they can provide a safe haven for the syrian refugees they should be part of helping the process. >> i have stuff for you in the next block. >> there are millions of -- >> more to talk about this right after this break. stay with me both of you. next what donald trump is saying about syrian refugees. don't go anywhere. and i had a gentleman stop me and ask me if i made his dinner. he had lost his wife recently, but i didn't know that. he made a remark to me about not sure he wanted to be there anymore, but he said something to me that has stuck with me to this day. after having your dinner, i think i want to stick around a while and that really meant something to me. i never had an experience like that and it just let me know that what i'm doing is much more important than just food.
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the syrian refugee crisis is one of the hottest items on the campaign trail. donald trump and ben carson are talking about it. you were having a lively discussion before the break. donald trump said he would consider shutting down all mosques. today in interviews with nbc he said he wouldn't rule out a national database for u.s. muslims and later he said this. >> i feel totally bad for them. but we don't know who they are or where they come from. i feel bad for the people in the country. we should build a safe zone. but to bring them into this country is suicide.
i call it the trojan horse. you can't do it. >> marc, tell me what you think of that. >> one, the idea of developing some sort of surveillance of muslims around the country is disturbing and disgusting. it is just an enemies list and violating civil liberties. the idea of saying there is a trojan horse. and that plays into islamaphobia. do we have to take terrorism seriously yes, but it has nothing to do with what we're doing here. we have full resources to vet and investigate refugees and bring them into this country. >> do you think he goes too far there, donald trump? >> i think i would have used different words than he did. but i think what he is talking about is important which is the
fact that we need to ensure that the cia, the intelligence officers are able to track and figure out who is out in the united states in a lot of cases dealing with -- with the possibility of being islamic fundamentalists. we know that the fbi director came out and said there are thousands within the united states who could be buying into this islamic propaganda. we know that hundreds to thousands of americans have fled the u.s., have gone over to syria, that we have had a difficult time tracking. i don't think it's a foolproof system and this is where i think it's important for part of the cia, the fbi, the intelligence officers to have the access and the ability to track the movement of potential terrorists in the u.s. >> ben carson compared the syrian refugees question to the handling of a rabid dog. let's listen to that. >> for instance, you know, if
there is a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you probably not going to assume something good about that dog and you're probably going to put your children out of the way. does it mean you hate all dogs? not by any stretch of the imagination but you are putting your intellect into motion and thinking how do i protect my children. at the same time, i glolove dog and hopefully the humane society can take the dog away and create a safe environment once again. >> marc, your thoughts? >> first of all, he is trolling on these issues, i think it's a poor analogy. in this case, the rabid dog is isis. we are not chasing down rabid dogs but all dogs. that's the problem. we are going about this the wrong way. if someone said i'm interested
in intensifying the pursuit of isis, fine. if there is a reason to believe that the muslims who are already here are members of isis i would say fine. but that is not what is happening here. you said we need to find out how these people are getting islamic indoctrination -- >> it's radical islamist fundamentalism. >> it is different than what you said earlier. we are prosecuting muslims which has -- >> which we shouldn't be. >> what about what he is saying? what ben carson is saying, do you take offense to the language? >> i think we have to step back a little bit here. what we need to be focusing on the fact that president barack obama was defensive in the past couple of press conferences, more focused on attacking his political opponents, acting like he is going for a re-election as
opposed to deal with this so-called strategy which has we know has taken a backseat. i'm more concerned and why the american people feel so uncertain. my 8-year-old asked is america safe? and you know i couldn't answer that question. why? because i don't feel i can trust my leader right now to unite this country and figure out a way to deal with radical islam and to destroy isis. and that's where i find if you are talking about fear, the reason we have uncertainty is that we don't trust the fact that the obama administration is doing everything it can to destroy isis and have an offensive strategy. >> i give you 30 seconds, marc. >> the reason people are afraid is because we foment fear by making people think there is an islamist around every corner and that is not true.
if you disagree with the strategy, that's fine. but one way to continue to allow isis to radicalize people is by creating an islamaphobic narrative in the united states. it also creates a radicalization when you have people who want to leave these regions and come here and they can't. people are refugees because they are afraid of isis. >> i have to go. thank you, both of you. we'll be right back. the future belongs to the fast. and to help you accelerate, we've created a new company... one totally focused on what's next for your business. the true partnership where people,technology and ideas push everyone forward. accelerating innovation. accelerating transformation. accelerating next. hewlett packard enterprise.
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he was studying in israel at the tomb of his death. the attack happened ten miles south of jerusalem. the suspected attacker was arrested. our live coverage of the terror attacks with john vause and isha sesay. >> hello, everybody. welcome to cnn's continuing coverage of the the terror attacks in paris pip'm john vause. >> i'm isha sesay. a source says the hunt for one of those involved in the paris massacre is still underway. he was stopped after the attacks but he was let go because they hadn't connected him to the terror plot. the justice ministry denies the search has expanded to the netherlands. >> it's confirmed the