tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow CNN November 21, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
we are continuing our live coverage in the quake of the terror attack here in paris. this hour, heavily armed police and soldiers standing over the belgium capital of brussels, amid serious fears that there could be a repeat of what took place where i am in paris, last week. and warning of a possible imminent threat and placing the city at the highest terror alert. they're urging people to stay home if they can and also developing, police making four arrests in connections with the attacks in parisparis. a fourth man was arrested insel
seized him. and when this news broke a few hours ago, the fact they said a specific and imminent threat. to use those words mean they must have very precise information. but are they telling us why? >> reporter: absolutely. to use those kinds of words, given the sense of tension that has flooded many european capitals, not just brussels and to feel that there is so imminent that you can't share greater information because you're in the process of trying to get ahead of it, that gives you a sense of what the belgiums are up against. local media have been reporting that perhaps it's one or two men and there's a real concern about explosives. we've seen this evening, they
were flashing lights -- flash lights onto driver's faces. they clearly had someone or someones that they were looking for. so, there is very much a sense that this is targeted. but at the same time you're trying to balance the values of life. most of the bars have either already closed or are completely empty. so some people have tried to go about their normal lives and people are choosing to stay home and people are telling us they're staying home tonight, poppy. >> and let's just speak about how brussels is so critical in all of this. you have brussels and the attackers in paris an orchestrated and planned part of the attack and weapons, it's
believed, from brussels and the most citizens that have left to join the jihad. why is it so vulnerable? >> reporter: well, that is absolutely the $50,000 question, that's the one we've been asking and it's the toxic combination of where you found the nexus of this, in the mullenbeck town, it's a sleepy town in brussels and you can get forged passports there, illegal weaponry and then you also have incredibly porous borders throughout europe, but particularly in brussels. a lot of the people wanted the people going to syria to be kept
track of and they didn't act fast enough and those are questions that belgium is going to have to start answering. >> and we'll get back to you shortly wlilive in brussels. and the arrests in turkey, nick robertson has new details on who the men are who arrested, one who allegedly scouted the locations in paris. >> what we do know is 26-year-old, of moroccan descent, picked up by turkish authorities in a town where the g 20 summit leaders were meeting. and president obama quas he was meeting in a hotel, with members believed from turkey and he was perhaps on his way
through turkey from belgium through turkey on his way to syria to essentially get beyond the clutches of european intelligence officials. he is believed to have been the man who scoped out the targets a week ago. because he is from belgium, that he is of moroccan descent, the belgium authorities may have been looking for him, could have alerted turkish authorities, and possibly the turkish authorities were watching their borders to follow these two isis suspects as they came into turkey. we also know that moroccan intelligence officials have been incredibly helpful, helping the french track down the ring leader of the attacks, abdul
abaao >> thank you very much for that. i want to bring in former cia operative, and bob fuentes. s even saying to people don't go to crowded places, don't go to the airport. what does it take for them to issue that alert? >> they have to really be prepared for an attack. there are people on the with weapons. they don't go to a level four in belgium without that. and 1980s, the aljeerians in the
90s and this is truly unprecedented. >> yeah, it is. it's extraordinary and what happened in paris is you have the parliament that have almost unanimously voted this week to extend the state of emergency for three months and it gives the police here and intelligence agency sweeping powers for search and seizure, preventative detention, things that you would not normally see play out here, and not in the united states without a lot of justification and warrants. is that what's needed to get the intelligence or is that crossing a line when it comes to civil liberties? >> i think it might be over bord. this takes a long time to develop the tintelligence to
understand and as we've seen in paris, the attack last week, they had no clue that those eight people were going to wage that attack and when they did the search at the apartment, 48 hours before that time, they had no clue they were there. so, that means there were 16 terrorists ready to go and they had no idea. so, suddenly deciding now that they're going to supplement all these years of not haveling a good intelligence base, i don't think they can do it. >> something really disturbing that cnn has learned. a national security official telling us that at least one of the eight paris attackers would have been able to sign to the united states with the visa waver program and they say there's growing concern that maybe as many as three of the attackers could have made it to the u.s. how strong of a handle do you
think the u.s. has on these guys? >> well, the european -- the jihadests on the list, those lists will show up in the united states and you can keep them out. . before you visa waver, you have to apply to get on an airplane and they can take a look at that. the problem is theres so many who are not on the european lists and could easily board in brussels and buy legally a gun and launch a military-style assault. i think this is very disturbing this is going to come across the atlant atlantic. if in fact they can freely travel to the united states and there's no way you can identify them all in advance. >> on top of that, tom, we heard the prime minister in france saying this week and this is a
quote, he said we must not rule anything out. he went on to say we know and bear in mind that there's a risk of chemical or biological weapons. so many people think of isis and certainly don't think of them as becoming so advance as to use the capacity to use chemical weapons. is that a risk? >> it is a risk. i heard bob mention earlier today about some of the agents. we're not talking about raidiaological agents that are going to be intintroduced. if they ever get their hands on a nuclear device, they'll use it in heart beat and look out, who knows what will happen. >> thank you. we have much more ahead tonight
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welcome back. i'm poppy harlo live for you in paris. europe's open borders gave the paris attackers the ability to move freely between brussels and paris and back and forth again to carry out the attack here. but could the current veeisa war program that allows pe s peopleo to the u.s. have allowed people to travel there. >> we've been speaking to counterterrorism and as well as intelligence officials, and we've learned that one of them have a clean background and likely wouldn't have raised any red flags leaving to the u.s. and that three of them probably
could have gone past the watch list to prevent terrorists from coming to the u.s. we've learned that four of the terrorists in paris were in a broad terror dat a abase and at least one of the four was in a no-fly list. but the concern is that little was known about most of the t k attackers and intelligence we've spoken to have said there are barriers in place, that there's other intelligence gathering means, including interviews at the airports to prevent people from making it in who shouldn't come in and the focus has been the visa waver program which allows citizens in 38 countries to come to the u.s. for up to 90 days. however, we're told by officials that if there's any security concern with someone, that
either they would be denied entry or go through the state department to get a visa. but because there are still gaps, which is reflected in the wake of the paris attacks, we have learned that obama administration in the coming days will be releasing new information, new steps that will be taken to tighten security with a visa waver program. p poppy. >> pamela brown breaking that news for us. thank you very much. and possible attacks by isis and the syrian refugee crisis and being discussed right now at an intelligence conference in nova scotia this weekend for the ininternational security conference. and david road is there and he was once himself held captive by the taliban. that c thank you for being with me, david. what are they saying where you
are on all of this? >> to be honest, this was supposed to we a broad conference about china's rise and russia's push in the ukrain but it's isis all the time and there's a grim tone. they don't have an effective strategy in place to counter it. >> any changes a that can be made, especially here in europe? >> i just interviewed the chairman of the nato military committee from the czech republic and they're talking about stepping up forces in iraq to try to counter i er iceal on ground and the broad dits kushz is that they're more effective
than the west in communications and the only way to stop its spread -- and people keep talking about destroying the idea of isis, defeating the idea of isis and isis is vastly more effective at using social media to multiply it's strength. it's not as strong militarily in reality but they use these videos and social media to give it that allure to young people. >> i think it's interesting, the new prime minister and leader in canada has remained committed to awelcoming thousands and thousands of refugees into canada. is there anything being discussed about that, given the heated political debate, especially in the united states right now and europe about syrian refugees in particular?
>> there is a panel going on right now about this topic and there's a real division between countries. there are some leaders in provinces in canada that have called on prime minister not to take in these refugee refugees. minister john said they're determined to go forward. they feel they can screen them effectively, so there aren't terrorists slipping in and they're working with immigration authorities and their main strategy is to make sure these are just families, families who have been living in refugee camps and only allowing parents to come in with their children and the defense minister said they can do this and they are o going to go forward with this plan. >> and you have a more porous
border, if you will between the united states and canada. >> and that's the question but and this is our polarized politics. you have division in the united states between republican governors saying not to bring them in and the liberal government in canada that is going to go forward. time will tell. it's a really clever tactic by isis what they have done by having just a handful come in, maybe to france and it's created this fear and i think it's a fear that helps them. one of the messages here is that the more discrimination of islam spread spreads. >> and i think it's so important to point out the fact and the facts are that a number of the terrorists in attacks in paris
were european born residents and one who posed loikely as a syrin refugee with likely fake documents but that's just one. thank you. i appreciate it very much. i'll let you get back to the security conference. we're back in a moment. energy. focus. help turn your potential... into reality. start every day with milk's 8 grams of high-quality protein. how will you milk life? every day, brian drives carefully to work. and every day brian drives carefully to work, there are rate suckers. he's been paying more for car insurance because of their bad driving for so long, he doesn't even notice them anymore. but one day brian gets snapshot from progressive. now brian has a rate based on his driving, not theirs.
welcome back to our continuing live coverage from paris paris. the most powerful man in france will soon ask the world for more help, france's president in his two hmajor meetings next week, the first is with president obama and the second with vladimir putin. they want to gather international support for counterterrorism efforts. they call to take all necessary measures to quote redouble and coordinate their efforts. let's talk about what it will really take to defeat isis. and former u.s. military in syria and also our intelliance
and security analyst. i'd like you to listen to this. this is asking hillary clinton how she would respond to pressure to send u.s. ground troops into syria. >> it would certainly grow, but i think it would be a mistake. we should be sending more special operators, empowering our trainers in iraq. we have a lot of work to do to really decimate isis in iraq and syria. injected a large contingent of american forces complicates that, in my opinion. right now, we need to keep the pressure on the people on the ground. >> now, she has, as you know, been calling for that no fly zone in syria. and to you, is she right?
>> well, i think it would be a mistake to send a large u.s. ground force in there but that doesn't mean we don't send any. i agree to continue beefing up the special operations presence and don't leave them at these headquarters. get them out to the fighters and let them control those air strike strikes. if we're going to drop the ordinance, let's drop it effectively and as far as ground forces, let's do that down the line. let's see if we ecan do more with the air power, more effectively and putting ground forces on the ground creates a whole series of problems with the locales. >> and i know it's a very hard thing for many to stomach and swallow after years and years of war in afghanistan and iraq. but isis's war is being waged
far outside of syria and iraq. they planned this coordinated attack in france in syria but then orchestrated it in belgium with cooperation in france. >> well, poppy, i mean, i akbgr with you. i think the situation is dire, to say the least and i'm not just talking about the tragedy of this but the fact the european union is under this pressure. they're talking about closing borders borders. if there were an attack in the united states, the political atmosphere would change so quickly. the bombing campaign alone is not working. but frankly, the -- >> you were saying this to me, bob, weeks before. you were saying this to me to weeks before the paris attack. what needs to change given this attack?
>> i think the president has been badly briefed that we're containing the islamic state and what he said on friday, saying it was contained, it was a political disaster for him and the democrats. they don't care whether they operate in yemen or mali or libya or anywhere else. what they would like to do is bring down saudi arabia and put the capital in mecca. but that's neither here nor there. we have to understand the sentiment of these people and the fact there's implicit support from the gulf countries, at least at a private level. we're not getting the full cooperation of our supposed allies. we're not there. >> it's a great point, bob, and i'm sorry to interrupt you.
we have these three major arrests in turkey today. one of the men arrested suspected of coming to paris and scoping out the locations where they would execute this attack. >> and i think what we're seeing is a lot more cooperation in the law enforcement arena. how did they know to go get this guy? s i suspect there was a lot of information gathered in the aftermath, cell phones, they were able to move on and arrest people in belgium as well. so, that worked very well. but getting together with our allies -- and bob brings up a sticky point, the turks aren't bombing isis, they're bombing the kurds. t if we're going to go after isis, we have to get together and decide that's what they're going to do. right now, they're paying lip
service for it. >> that alliance, is it possible to really form a successful united states, french, and russian alliance, perhaps the china getting involved as well. one of their citizens being taken by ice. families share data. some way to say happy holidays. switch to t-mobile now and get 4 lines with up to 6gb each, and no sharing. just $30 bucks a line. that's 6gb each plus unlimited streaming with binge on. stream netflix, hbo now, hulu, and many more without using data. get 6gb each just $30 bucks a line, plus free video streaming. ditch your data worries with t-mobile. come on, wake up!!! come on, why ya sleepin'? come on! >>what time is it? it's go time. >>come on. let's go, let's go, let's go. woooo hoooo!! yeah!!
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carved thick. that's the right way to make a good turkey sandwich. the right way to eat it? is however you eat it. panera. food as it should be. republican presidential candidate, donald trump once again ratcheted up his rhetoric on american muslims. he had spent the past couple of days backing off his response to a multiple reporter questions about the data base of american muslims that he said would be a good idea but today at an event in birmingham, alabama he said he wanted surveillance of muslims. listen. >> just to set it clear, i want surveillance of these people.
i want surveillance, if we have to and i don't care. are you ready for this folks? they're going to make the so big, he said something so politically incorrect, that's why we're going to hel because we're so politically incorrect. such a big deal, such a big deal. i want surveillance of certain mosques, okay. if that's okay. i want surveillance. and you know what, we've had it before and we'll have it again. >> well, those comments from presidential candidate, frontrunner, donald trump about muslims comes as he squares off about -- sounds off about whether the united states should accept syrian refugees while isis poses a threat. >> very simply, we can't take them, folks, we can't take them.
>> reporter: it's a debate in the republican party, how to handle the syrian refugees in the wake of the paris attacks. and donald trump taking a hard line and not willing to take anything off the table including potentially creating a data base to track all muslims living in the u.s. and closing matter-of-courmosques. >> we should have a lot of systems and today you can do it but right now we need have a border, strength and a wall and we can't let -- i would certainly implement that. >> reporter: tweeting that he didn't suggest a data base but still not dismissing the idea. >> those that want to impose religious tests where people are going to register, we don't need
division in america, we need to be united. >> you talk about registering people, closing mosques and that's just wrong. >> and even ted cruz. >> the first amendment protects religious liberty. >> reporter: ben carson also saying it sets a dangerous precedent to single out one group of people instead calling for a data base of every person who enters the u.s. >> i have wawant us to know abo everybody who come into the u.s. >> reporter: that after this. >> if there's a rapid dog running around your neighborhood, you're probably not going to assume something good about that dog. doesn't mean that you hate all dogs. >> reporter: cruz, meanwhile, has proposed to let syrian christians into the u.s. but not
muslims. >> there's no doubt we would neat to vet anyone coming in but there's no indication of muslims pretending to be christians, coming in the referuge e refuge. >> and a new poll from washington post shows 54% believe the u.s. should not be taking in syrian refugees and only 13% are very confident that the u.s. will be able to identify terrorists among the refugees. cnn des moines, iowa. >> thank you very much for that. let's talk more about this back with david, he's an expert in vetting middle eastern refugees, he was at the state department. thank you for being with me. when we hear what some of the presidential candidates have said and 31 governors across the united states have said they will not accept syrian refugees
into their state or don't want to. and i want you to listen to indiana's governor. >> i just determined as governor of the state of indiana, it would be appropriate for us to suspend any further resettlement of syrian refugees until we can bring about the kind of changes that would give us the absolute assurance that they're not a threat to our people. >> so, then you have independent senator, angus cane of maine and he came out this week and said it would quote be much hard eer for a terrorists to get in the country through a refugee program than as a tourist. is that the case? >> tats ahat's absolutely the c and maine has a large amount of
ref uuge refugees. very few that have come through the refugee resettlement program, out of 785,000 since 2011, only 10 or less have been arrested for terrorist plots. none have actually carried out terrorist plots. there are much easier ways for terrorists to get here, like the visa waver program, and none of the 19 came as refugees. the politicians who are talking about this should not only look at the statistics, they have to look at other things that benefit the united states from these refugee programs programs. they support people who support democracy abroad. think of the protesters in iran who stood up to their government and many had to leave and some come over as refugees. we're rewarding them for speaking out against their
governments. same is true of the syrians and iraqis. so, we have to look at the benefits, we have to taylor them to make sure we continue to do it in a way that keeps america secure but so far it has not been a problem. >> as i ask you this, let's throw on the screen what it takes right now in the united states to get in, admitted to this country, as a refugee. there's a number of screens you have to go through but this legislation has passed in the house, you have 47 democrats sign on to this legislation and a number of republicans that would suspend the refugee program for iraqis and syrians right now and what they want to see in this legislation is for the head of the fbi, the head of homeland security, head of national intelligence to sign off individually on every syrian refugee that comes into this country. is that practical?
>> well, it's not only not practical, it's just not a good idea and it's a response to something that is not a problem. so, it's just the wrong policy. the people who supported that law in congress are playing politics, they're not looking at how best to protect america and that's really unfortunate. the vetting process is working, we can see that on statistics. and there's a vetting process boo ithe u.n.. so, the u.n. puts them through rigorous interviews, checks for contradictory in the information and then recommends them for resettlement and then puts them through the vetting process and that is working and pall tkz titi -- politicians need to look at that. >> and in our next hour, i'll have representative hudson and
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most strike images and we were able to find him and ask him why he took the picture and the message he hopes it sends. they say a picture is worth a thousand words. this one is worth countless. have you ever seen anything like you saw on friday night? >> never. >> he was off duty when the shots rang out across paris. he raced to the hospital. >> i went directly to the hospital where there was the most injured people. >> reporter: how many people did you treat on friday night? >> 27 person came to the hospital. >> reporter: you're not used to treating gun shots? >> no, not so much. a few but not altogether in one
place. there was many people and there was injury to the face, belly, some war scenes. >> reporter: it was a war scene? >> it was exactly that. to see the fear in the eyes of p people who were coming and most of them young people but it was everything. everybody was there. just everybody. >> reporter: what was the message you were trying to send with the photograph? >> it was a big organization for eve everybody to save people. we came together to help people, it's our job. everything was awful. the only thing that was incredible this night and quite nice. >> reporter: you found the good.
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. we're going to get back to our breaking news coverage in paris in just a moment but right now i want to tell you about an urgent situation in the united states. there is a fire in chicago's john hancock tower. this is the iconic sky scraper located on michigan avenue. it appears to be halfway up the tower. you have condos and residential space until you get to the very top where there's a restaurant and observatory.
and our correspondent, ryan young is just on the scene. you have fire trucks, ambulances and you have a fire in this building. bhaut what's the situation right now? >> reporter: they were getting ready to have a parade here in chicago today and most roads are being blocked up for that. had to make a mile run to get here. you can see fire trucks and police personnel for at least five blocks over and right now, i would say more than 60 firefighters just on the ground. if you look up at the building, you don't see much but you saw the flames, everyone's talking about it on social media in term oz of the intense flames pouring from this building. there's a restaurant, like a cheese cake factory, all these tourists who were nearby. a lot of people taking pictures right now. we've been told that a police
officer was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. i'm standing by one of the entrances to see if anyone comes out out. most people are watching and taking pictures but obviously, with all the intense flames from above, people wondering what's going on. >> ryan young, thanks for that and the fire department saying they're ventilating that uniuni that they have that fire under control. the streets already closed off for a parade and now closed offer for all that activity. law enforcement and fire activity around chicago's hancock center. we'll go back live to paris with poppy harlo right after this break.
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that's why if we're ever late for an appointment, we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. hello everyone. welcome to our viewers from the united states and around the world. i'm poppy harlow, joining you live from paris for our continuing coverage of the aftermath of the tragic terror aic t aattacks. it's 11:00 p.m. in this city and we're focussed on this city and focus intensely on brussels. because