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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  November 30, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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u.s.-led coalition to fight the terrorists? new isis ambition. terrorist forces creating a new stronghold on another continent. now bringing their depraved brutality to libya with its self-proclaimed capital in syria under increasing assault, is isis looking for a place to regroup? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. >> we're following the breaking news. the u.s. embassy in kabul, afghanistan, taking dramatic action warning of a possible attack in the next 48 hours. americans in the afghan capital being urged right now to use extreme caution as officials deem the threat, quote, very significant, active and credible. also breaking this hour, sources telling cnn that investigators are now looking into whether the eighth paris terrorist, salah
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abdelsalam, escaped to syria. and now we're also learning of a planned second wave of attacks against transportation networks, schools and jewish targets in france. we're covering that, much more this hour with our guests including the chairman of the house armed services committee, congressman matt thornberry. expert analysts also standing by for late-breaking developments. let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. she begins our coverage. what are you learning, barbara, about this threat, this new threat of an imminent attack in kabul maybe in the next 48 hours? >> wolf, the u.s. embassy issuing this warning earlier today. there are some 10,000 u.s. troops plus a good deal more hundreds of american government personnel spread out across afghanistan. this warning from the u.s. embassy about the potential for an imminent attack in the capital of kabul warning americans to use extreme caution. a u.s. official telling me they believe this threat is emanating from the al qaeda haqqani
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network, a well-known group of very violent operatives that come across the border often from pakistan into eastern afghanistan, long had their eyes on the capital. so there will be a lot of nervousness over the next 48 hours. the u.s. embassy, nato military headquarters also ramping up their security in this timeframe, but not discussing the specifics of their security measures of course, and, wolf, even as all of this is going on growing concern for the u.s. military about russian military moves in syria. a major escalation, that's what one u.s. military official calls russia's latest battlefield move. the russians have now activated this massive air defense missile system in western syria, the s-400. >> translator: we need to have security for our air force.
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and that is why we have activated the s-400 system. >> reporter: leaving the u.s. trying to figure out what to do next. >> the s-400 is one of the most capable air defense systems in the world. it's got significant capabilities that will enhance russia's ability to not only defend its air assets but also it will serve russia's interests by protecting syrian air space or at least the air space that bashar al assad controls. >> reporter: from its location at latakia air base in western syria, the missile has the capability to track and shoot at airplanes all the way toin surlik air base in turkey, u.s. officials say. but for now the u.s. is counting on the fact russia has no intention of attacking u.s. warplanes. the pentagon believes that from latakia air base in fact the russian radars would have a hard time reaching over a mountain range just to the east and locking onto u.s. aircraft.
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still, u.s. warplanes could be at the risk of an accidental shootdown as they fly over turkey. >> they're going to have to alter their tactics, their approach routes. and at the very least coordinate with the russians to make sure that they don't get shot down by the s-400 or any other antiaircraft system that the russians are deploying at this point. >> reporter: and since the shootdown of the russian aircraft by turkey, it appears the turks are steering well clear of russian aircraft, u.s. officials say. the state department publicly backing up turkey's assertion the russians were in its air space, but still holding the door open to reconciliation with the russians if moscow agrees to fight isis. >> our view has been very clear on where we'd like to see russia in terms of this broader scope. and it's worth stepping up a step. you know, if our objectives are the same and if russia is
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committed to the counter-isil fight, then that's a conversation we're going to have. >> reporter: and maybe just a hint that some of that conversation may be happening, general joe dunford, the chairman of the u.s. joint chiefs of staff has just concluded a phone call with his russian counterpart. the pentagon describing that phone call as courteous, wolf. >> courteous. all right. that's a good word. thanks, barbara, for that. now the breaking news from paris where investigators suspect the fugitive eighth terrorist may have escaped to syria and rejoined isis forces. tonight our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is working this story for us. do french investigators, jim, have an idea where salah abdelsalam might be right now? >> well, it's not clear they know for sure, but we're told french investigators are looking into the possibility that he escaped to syria. sources telling cnn, but that remains for now just an investigative theory. belgium officials telling us they always knew he might try to get to syria. there was clearly a network in place that managed to get
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several of those attackers back and forth between paris and belgium, brussels and syria before those attacks. but belgium officials saying right now they have no indications that salah abdelsalam has done so successfully following those attacks. and, wolf, u.s. officials i've spoken to they say that investigators may in fact be getting closer to locating him in europe. >> and you're also learning that these terrorists in the paris attacks they had maybe other plans in the works as well. >> that's right. it seems more than one group had more than one group of targets underway. we know that the mastermind, abdelhamid abaaoud, and second man that were killed in that assault in the apartment in saint-denis following the paris attacks that they planned a major attack on a major shopping center and that they'd made preparations for that attack. sources tell cnn the source also had other targets, quote, ready to go, including transportation networks, schools and jewish targets. that being an echo of the january attack on the kosher market following the deadly
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attacks on "charlie hebdo." this is an interesting detail reported today, and that is that one of his associates, one of abdelhamid abaaoud, the mastermind or ringleader, one of his associates had bought him two suits for $5,000 to help give him cover as he went into -- if he was able to carry out this attack on this fancy shopping center, but to give him cover so he would blend in as part of their preparations. as you look at these you really get a sense of, you know, they were doing their homework on these attacks to be able to carry them out at a number of locations. >> money is not a problem for isis. >> no question. >> they've got maybe a billion dollars that they've stolen, so far oil, gold, banks, jewelry. they've got a lot of money. and they squeeze money from all those people under their control both in syria and iraq. >> it's a business. >> money is not a problem. $5,000 piece of cake. thanks very much, jim sciutto. president obama and the russian president vladimir putin they talked face-to-face in paris today about isis, the terror threats. meeting on the sidelines of the
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global climate conference. our senior white house correspondent jim acosta is traveling with the president. jim, is there any sign putin is willing to work with the u.s. in this war against isis? >> reporter: not yet, wolf. today president obama and vertebra ya's vladimir putin appear to be looking right past each other as they met on the sidelines of this week's global climate summit in paris. the two leaders are still at odds, very much so over any kind of alliance to defeat isis. mr. obama he did express his regret to vladimir putin after turkey shot down that russian warplane last week. but putin is still furious. he is refusing to meet with turkey's president erdogan at the climate talks. so instead president obama will meet with erdogan tomorrow morning. now, the war on isis is looming large over these climate talks. as soon as he landed in france the president laid a single white rose outside the bataclan theater to remember the victims of the paris attacks. but the president made the case here that bringing the world together to battle climate change is yet another way to take the fight to isis.
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here's wlat president had to say. >> we salute the people of paris for insisting this crucial conference go on. an act of defiance that proves nothing will deter us from building the future we want for our children. what greater rejection than those who would tear down our world than marshaling our best efforts to save it. >> reporter: now, republicans are pouncing on the president's focus on global warming insisting he should be busy destroying isis. new jersey governor chris christie said the president's involvement in this summit is insulting, in his words. the white house fired back today saying had the president changed his plans or had the summit been canceled, it would have shown the world that isis can have a big impact on big global events. wolf, the white house views this climate summit as a legacy
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defining opportunity for the president. but so is isis, wolf. >> jim acosta's traveling with the president in paris for us. jim, thanks very much. let's talk about all of this and more with the chairman of the house armed services committee, republican congressman matt thornberry of texas. thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> let's talk about this escalating tension between our nato ally turkey and russia, right now. this could really explode if something isn't done to deescalate this crisis right now. how worried are you about this? >> i'm very concerned. from the time that russia became much more involved in syria, there has been a real threat that things could escalate out of control, whether with turkey, whether with the u.s. or whether with some other nation. and i think the danger of miscalculation, the danger of intentional escalation for national purposes, one or the other, is very real. >> let's say the russian
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warplanes, those su-24s did in fact violate turkish air space for 20 or 30 seconds. did turkey do the right thing sending f-16s up there and shooting down that plane? >> well, any nation including turkey has a right to defend its air space. >> they have a right to do it, but did they do the right decision? >> well, i think you have to put it in context. according to turkey they gave at least ten warnings on this occasion. and that there were previous occasions where their air space was violated. and then of course a part of turkey's calculations is who were the russians there bombing? we talk about them being there as part of the anti-isis campaign. but in reality they are bombing some of the people who are trying to overthrow assad. >> they were bombing ethnic turks in syria right now who are fighting bashar al assad's regime. the russians are supporting bashar al assad's regime. so here's the question, if the russians continue to bomb those turkamen, those ethnic turks in syria, and turkey were to try to resist that, this thing could
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really explode because the russians now are putting in place surface-to-air missiles that could knock out those turkish f-16s. >> you're exactly right. and turkey being a nato member could also call upon other nato countries to help them defend their space. that's why this is such a tinderbox and what helps one hurts another. and the morass that syria has only gotten worse and more so even in recent weeks. >> i'm worried about the tinderbox as you are. i want to talk about what's going on in kabul, afghanistan, this imminent threat warning just released. some sort of terror attack potentially in the next 48 hours. we'll discuss that and a whole lot more when we come back.
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that could endanger u.s. warplanes flying over syria going after isis targets, not just turkish or french or other planes, u.s. aircraft potentially could be in danger. >> exactly right. it has a wide range. and it could include the u.s. air base inside turkey as well as other aircraft that we fly in that region. so i agree with the point that it is a major escalation. and that's part of what we're going to ask the secretary of defense about tomorrow. >> what do you want to hear from him? >> i want to hear a path forward towards successfully degrading isis. >> how do you do that? >> well, the president has said that was his goal, but at the same time the president says, well, they're contained and we think things are going pretty well. i don't know if many folks would agree with that assessment. so one example is we have more air strikes in the first two months of afghanistan than we have in the last 16 months of iraq. so a more serious effort with u.s. leadership is absolutely required. the military details the
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military has to decide. it's not for congress to decide that. but we should insist, i think, on a strategy that leads to success not a holding pattern. >> because the u.s. military is bound by certain restrictions they don't want civilian casualties so-called collateral damage. and if the pilots go in and they've got their bombs but they get word that isis forces are in the midst of a civilian area, they're not going to drop those bombs because they don't want to kill civilians. >> exactly. and isis knows what our restrictions are and they take advantage of it. and they have -- >> how do you get around that? if isis deliberately plants themselves in the midst of civilians, elderly, women, children, in raqqah or elsewhere in syria, how do you get around that? >> well, the key is you've got to leave isis guessing. you cannot be so restrictive that we only drop ordinance on about a third of the sorties. that's what we've been doing. so we have to remove those restrictio
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restrictions. it would also be helpful if we had forward air controllers who could help target those air strikes to be more effective. but the president has not allowed that either. >> 50 special operations forces are being deployed to syria right now. that's presumably a start. >> 50 guys is not going to turn this struggle around. but my point is there is a series of restrictions we have placed on ourselves which shows the isis and shows potential allies that we're not serious, we're not committed and we're not going to stay with this. that momentum has to be turned around to push back. >> occasionally they have some pretty good intelligence when they took out jihadi john, you know, the propagandaist, the isis in the videos beheading americans among others. they knew what they were doing then. >> yeah. no question. we occasionally have successful strikes, but i think it's also telling that right after the paris attacks the first couple days of attacks that the french carried out were targets that the americans had provided them. the question is why hadn't we already been hitting those.
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>> what's the answer? why didn't they? >> because of our restrictions and there's really not much more of an answer beyond that. >> when you see the defense secretary ash carter, chairman of the joint chiefs tomorrow, do you have confidence they know what they're doing right now? >> i have confidence in them as individuals. what i do not have confidence in is that the white house allows -- gives them a leeway to have a successful mission. to me that's the key. the military has to be in charge of the military part of this campaign. and they can't have white house aides micromanaging every step that they take, which is what's been happening. >> you've seen these reports that the inspector general at the department of defense is investigating whether they were sugar coating intelligence reports the u.s. military central command to make it look a lot more rosy the war against isis than was actually the case. you're deeply concerned about that, but how serious of a problem is that? >> well, any hint that intelligence is being shade d t
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try to please people in the white house or others is very concerning. >> is that going on? >> we don't know. but we are not just relying on the inspector general. both the house and senate armed services committee with the house intelligence committee are working together on our own review of these matters. because it is a very serious issue. and we're trying not to make sure we don't interfere with the inspector general investigation, but congress has its own oversight responsibilities into an allegation that's that serious. >> you're going to let them do that investigation separately. you're not going to call witnesses before your committee because there are a lot of so-called whistleblowers who say their intelligence reports were doctored. >> well, we are discussing this with a number of individuals who have knowledge of the facts. we're trying to be careful not to interfere with the inspector general investigation. but we're not going to wait until that's over because it is so serious and it has such relevance to what's happening today on the ground. >> when the u.s. embassy in kabul, afghanistan, issues an alert saying that a terror
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threat is imminent and then they say not just imminent but within the next 48 hours, that suggests they have hard intelligence that there's a terror plot against americans in the works in afghanistan. there's still 10,000 u.s. military personnel in afghanistan, thousands of american civilians at the embassy, contractors, there are a lot of americans there. >> there are. and a lot of americans in danger. i think it is somewhat unusual to have this much specificity of a plan warning. but you're right, they must have very specific information to issue that sort of warning. and hopefully they have enough information to stop the plot before it's carried out. >> does the afghan military, which is supposedly in charge of protecting the u.s. embassy and protecting americans, protecting everyone in afghanistan, and the u.s. has spent tens of billions of dollars training, arming, getting the afghan military ready. can they get the job done? >> they can. over time. remember that what our military said they needed as far as
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continued u.s. presence were not allowed to stay because the president started withdrawing people too early. secondly, intelligence is one of the things that takes more time to develop an intelligence capability. so we need to stay there in order to assist them to stand on their own two feet. if we leave too early, like we did in iraq, you have a result that will resemble iraq. and obviously that's been a catastrophe for the world. >> you want 10,000 u.s. military personnel to remain in afghanistan for how much longer? >> as long as it takes. i wouldn't put a time limit on it. the question is how quickly can you build up the afghan capability. the 10,000 number is a political number. it's not what the military asked for. the president just wanted to be below 10,000 so they end up at 9,800. >> u.s. troops have been there in afghanistan for 14 years already. this is the longest war in u.s. history. are you talking about another 14 years before the afghan military can do it on their own?
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>> i don't know how long it will take. but you know what, wolf, i think about what all of us expected on 9/11 as far as further attacks. so that u.s. military presence in afghanistan has helped prevent al qaeda from successfully attacking our homeland again over these 14 years, at least in a big 9/11 type plot. so it's had important dividends. now it's ab shutsly true we want the afghans to provide for their own security. and that takes some time, but we shouldn't run out because we see what's loeft if we do by the example of iraq. >> mac thornberry, thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me. our terrorism law enforcement experts they've been listening as well as working their own sources. coming up, we'll have more on what's now being described as an imminent threat against u.s. citizens in afghanistan's capital. and later, the man accused of first-degree murder in the mass shootings of the colorado springs makes his first court
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it's gotten squarer. over the years. brighter. bigger. thinner. even curvier. but what's next? for all binge watchers. movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. we're following the breaking news. the u.s. warning about a very significant active and credible threat of an attack in afghanistan's capital city of kabul. let's bring in our law enforcement analyst tom fuentes. he's a former fbi assistant director. our terrorism analyst paul cruickshank, he's editor and chief of the terrorism studies journal, ctc sentinel.
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and our cnn counterterrorism analyst phil mudd, former cia official. phil, how unusual is it when the u.s. embassy in kabul issues a warning to all americans of an imminent threat and then go one step further and say within the next 48 hours? a specific warning like that, they got to know something. >> that's right. pretty unusual to get this level of detail. i think you got to look at two pieces. first it's the backdrop. the taliban has been trying to show in the midst of the u.s. withdrawal how significant they are in afghanistan. one of the ways to show that is to prove that they can attack the most secure area in the country, that's the capital. with that as a backdrop you get information in as an intelligence specialist that says something in this circumstance like some guys around the campfire saying they're coming in the next day or two. you don't have the specificity to stop the plot, but with that level of specificity from someone like a human source or telephone intercept, you have to go out in public and say over the next couple days we're going to shut down the embassy and secure it.
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>> basically they're telling all americans in kabul stay in place, don't go out. >> that's right. >> and for them to issue a warning like this it's a sort of double edged sword. on the one hand you're telling the enemy and the terrorists in effect you know what they're up to. that could undermine the effort to get those terrorists. on the other hand you want to protect the americans. >> that's right. there's a rule in the business though that we apply all the time called the no double standard rule. if you are u.s. government employee and you know there's an imminent threat that might lead you to change your procedures, that might lead you, for example, to vary the way you get to the embassy today, you've got to tell the public about that threat as well. you can't have u.s. government officials securing themselves because they're aware of a secret threat without warning the public. because if the public then faces an attack and you didn't tell them, there's going to be hell to pay. so you get a warning in this circumstance. >> so who do you think is behind this threat? taliban, al qaeda, isis, some other terror group in afghanistan? who's the most likely suspect? >> i think cnn's being told it's a mixture of haqqani network and al qaeda that are behind this
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both very strong groups, both very much allied with the afghan taliban, the haqqani networks, the networks that's been responsible for some of the biggest attacks in kabul over the last ten years, they're encroaching into territory around kabul. and all these taliban, haqqani, al qaeda groups, show isis who is the big beast in afghanistan. >> there's a rivalry going on right now. they want to prove they're the toughest guy whether it's isis or al qaeda or the taliban for that matter, right? >> exactly. and by launching a huge attack in kabul you will be sending a very loud message we own this territory. >> the other thing that's very worrisome right now and you've been studying this is the notion this eighth terrorist in the paris attacks, salah abdelsalam, he may have escaped not only france, not only belgium, not only the rest of europe, he may be in an isis safe building in syria right now. what are you hearing about that? >> that's the working theory of
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french intelligence services. there's a different theory that the belgigians have. they're more skeptical he could have got all the way to syria. the idea that he would be able to get all the way to syria would be very, very stunning indeed. but it's perhaps somewhat plausible. we saw the ringleader in the attack and come back from syria despite he was one of the most wanted men but very, very difficult to get all the way to syria, wolf. >> when you were with the fbi, you worked with all these foreign intelligence services, these law enforcement agencies around the world. what bothers me and i wonder if it bothers you is there seems to be a serious tension between the french and the belgium right now. different analysis, different operations. how much collaboration are they actually engaged in? >> well, the problem, wolf, is they're willing to share with each other, but what do they have to share? they don't really have strong intelligence bases within their own communities in paris and
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within the communities like molenbeek and brussels. and therefore they're not getting the information. >> why is that? >> because they've stayed out of those communities. they've not done the appropriate outreach to get in there. you have second and third generations moroccans, algerians, and north africans. because of that the police don't have the relationship in the community. they don't have the sources. they don't believe in obtaining the intelligence as aggressively as the way other intelligence services such as our own would do. and now they're paying the price for that. they didn't know about the cell that did the first attack. they didn't know about the second cell that they had the shootout with in the apartment. now they're saying there's a third cell running around preparing to do an attack and don't know who are where they are. and salah abdelsalam they're saying, well, we can't find him here so he must be there. >> and there's this other attack supposedly in the works going after schools, transportation centers, jewish neighborhoods in france right now. let's also not forget there's
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150 world leaders in paris right now including the president of the united states. and there's enormous security, but how in danger potentially are they? >> i don't think they're in danger from an organized cell that's going to come at this with 15 people like what we saw in paris a few weeks ago. i think the concern you have to have is somebody inspired by that attack takes out a weapon or explosive and says i don't care what the consequences are, i'm going to try to breach the perimet perimeter. with this kind of security perimeter the chance that a one-off that somebody who says i'm going to attack today but i don't have a real plan can penetrate the perimeter is low. so i think one-off possible the chance that there's a broader attack i think is unlikely. >> you think these terrorists would love to plot an attack against these world leaders who are convening for this global summit right now? >> there's no doubt about it. in fact, just a few hours ago isis released the new issue of their french language magazine saying this is just the beginning of the storm. the network behind the paris attacks is still present in syria. the senior ringleader fabien
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clain still active around raqqah trying to recruit these french and belgians coming into the group and trying to send them back to launch more and more attacks against europe. >> i think these threats they make and i'm sure you'll agree, tom, you got to take them seriously. >> you do. and still be concerned about all the other soft targets in town. while all the security is concentrating on the world leaders, you still have train stations and airports and schools and other activities they have to try to protect as well. >> standby, we have a lot more coming in. we'll have much more on this part of the story coming up. but there's other breaking news we're following right now including in colorado where the suspect in the mass shootings in a health clinic just finished his first court appearance. we're learning new and disturbing details about his troubled past. also, isis expands its deadly grip moving into new territory that could serve as a place to hide and regroup. we have details. no matter how the markets change... at t. rowe price... our disciplined approach remains. global markets may be uncertain... but you can feel confident in our investment experience around the world.
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or hospital that takes medicare patients. and there's a range of plans to choose from, depending on you needs and your budget. so if you're turning 65 soon, call now and get started. because the time to think about today. go long. we're following breaking news in colorado where the man accused of shooting in a colorado springs health center has just appeared before a judge. dan simon has more. tell us what happened? >> reporter: hi, wolf. this was a relatively short court appearance, just 13 minutes. and routine in the way these things go. the suspect 57-year-old robert dear was charged with murder in the first degree. the suspect i have to tell you looked somewhat out of it. he looked as if he was struggling to stay awake in that courtroom. i can tell you that the judge appointed a public defender, a
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man named daniel king, who interestingly enough represented james holmes the mass shooter in that aurora, colorado movie theater. i can tell you that the next court date is scheduled for next wednesday. the prosecutors have the option to add more charges. they have ten days to do so. and the judge said if convicted the suspect robert dear could either serve life in prison or get the death penalty. in the meantime, of course the investigation continues as authorities work to come up with a motive. wolf. >> since he's charged with first-degree murder he's not going to get bail. he's not going to be eligible for bond, is that right? >> reporter: he won't be eligible for bond. and you notice there, wolf, this was a video feed. you can see that the suspect, robert dear, was wearing what appeared to be some kind of protective vest. now, keep in mind he is at the detention center. and as i said, this was a video feed, so it's not clear why in fact he would be wearing that vest because the public would not have access to him, wolf. >> dan simon in colorado springs
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for us. thank you. we're also learning new details about robert dear's troubled past and his run-in with law enforcement. our justice correspondent pamela brown has been working her sources. she's joining us here in "the situation room." pamela, what have you learned about this alleged shooter's past? because we're learning more by the hour literally. >> that's right. i was speaking to officials today. there have been fbi investigators working with local investigators, speaking to those colorado but also in north ly in carolina where he lived around a year or so ago before moving to colorado. and at this point in the investigation authorities believe that robert dear acted alone from talking to those that knew him. we're also learning that he brought in some long guns and handguns when he went into that facility on friday. those guns were in his duffel bag, according to officials. that's part of the evidence that investigators are reviewing along with these propane tanks, some of which were around his car. and officials believe he was trying to shoot at them to cause
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some sort of an explosion. some of these are the things that investigators are looking at, but right now, wolf, we're being told that there's no clear reason why he targeted that planned parenthood, what the motive was. i've learned from my sources that he did mention baby parts around the time when he was arrested and then later in interviews with investigators he talked about his anti-government views, anti-abortion views, but there's a lot still to learn in this investigation. it's still early on. and in light of that i'm being told that local charges will come first from the prosecutor and then the federal charges could come after either hate crime charges or terrorism charges, wolf. so we'll have to wait and see what happens. those federal charges are in case something falls through with the local case. because you know in colorado they have the death penalty as a possible option. >> that would be the justice department coming in and deciding whether or not to file some federal charges. so far there's been no public discussion of the motive, right? >> there's discussions about
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what his mindset could have been, but from an investigative standpoint investigators haven't looked at all the evidence and said, okay, writing is on the wall, it's simply too early, wolf. that's why they're not coming out to say anything. we're only a few days into the investigation. but that will come with time. and we will see what happens when the charges come out. the local charges and then perhaps federal charges on top of it. >> yeah. and the accusation this guy murdered three people, a police officer, two civilians and others were injured as well. pamela, thanks very much for that report. coming up, growing concerns that isis is building a backup capital on another continent. hi i'm heather cox
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on location with the famous, big idaho potato truck. our truck? it's touring across america telling people about idaho potatoes. farmer: let's go boy. again this year the big idaho potato truck is traveling the country spreading the word about heart healthy idaho potatoes and making donations to local charities. excuse me miss, have you seen our truck? you just missed it. ahhh! aw man are you kiddin' me?
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first syria than iraq and libya is the next isis stronghold. terrorist found in north africa. brian todd is digging deeper and finding more information. this is a potential major expansion for isis. >> it is. tonight it's clear isis is no longer a regional threat. they launched terror attacks in europe and now according to intelligence officials, the fear is they are building a backup capital in libya if strongholds in iraq and syria ever fall. they marched groups of christians on to beaches twice this year and beheaded them. they have beened music, burned cigarettes in public and forced women to wear vails and have facilities where ieds and booby traps are made.
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this is isis' stronghold in libya. because there is no functioning government in libya, there is concern among many in the intelligence committee that libya could be a fall back base of operations for isis if the terror group suffers unsustainable losses in iraq and syria. for months, officials in washington warned of isis' growing strength in libya. >> libya is the province or affiliate we're most worried about and the hub from which they project. >> isis established a strong presence in the coastal city of gaddafi's hometown. they said it will be no less than raqqah. isis' chief stronghold in syria. >> the islamic state in syria is being run as a colony by the islamic state in iraq and syria. they have send them to libya to implement a very similar style of rule. >> analysts say that means more patrols that shut down media outlets, beauty salons, any
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western influence. >> the routine, which is the daily life of the people, they have their own education system, justice system, police, islamic police, yes. >> reporter: tonight a warning from analysts, isis may target another city which would strengthen its hand in libya. >> the concern from sert is they will move eastward into thisurty will move eastward into this region to give them revenue to build more support and really give them a base of operations in this country. >> analysts say libya is a magnet for european jihadists and the group's affiliate made statements about launching attacks on europe. for isis' branch in libya, europe is accessible and less than 500 miles from surt to cicely and less than 500 meters
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from surt to greece. analysts worry tonight about a land ruth where isis could attack tunisia and could destabilize the country and infiltrate into southern france from there. worrisome. >> what is the u.s. doing? >> stepped up air strikes for one. we're told a u.s. drone strike killed a senior leader in libya two weeks ago around the same time as the paris terror attacks and "the new york times" reports the u.s. and britain sent commandos to conduct surveillance, gather intelligence on the ground but there are not many long term options. the one thing good for the u.s. and allies all this coastline, it's a vulnerability for isis, you can attack them almost at any time because there is no functioning government or military force to stop it. >> no functioning government and a lot of analysts in the u.s. government and outside the u.s. government are certainly questioning that whole strategy of getting rid of gaddafi.
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the situation in libya in north africa now, ominously potentially a lot worse. brian, thanks very much. coming up, more breaking news, a u.s. embassy puts out a chilling warning of an imminent attack. i'll talk to a u.s. congressman whose getting more information on a u.s. intelligence briefing now and plus, one of the fugitive from paris now believed to be possibly back in syria as he rejoined isis, the isis ranks to plot new attacks. sure, tv has evolved over the years.
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news, imminent attack. the u.s. is warning of an active and credible terrorist threat overseas and that could happen within hours. we're standing by for new information from a top u.s. lawmaker inside a closed door intelligence briefing right now. trail of terror, is a fugitive from the paris terror attacks now safely back with isis inside syria and planning to strike again? we have chilling new details about so-called ready to go plots against additional targets. ready to reload. the alleged gunman appears in court amid new evidence that the rampage could have been even more deadly. we're learning new details about his background and his possible motive and breapreaching to tru the front runner meets with african american religious leaders. are they endorsing him or not? questions about trump's claims and refusal to back down. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and
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around the world. i'm wolf blitzer, you're "the situation room". let's get to the breaking news tonight, americans warn terrorists may strike in less than 48 hours. the u.s. embassy in afghanistan say there are credible reports of an imminent attack on the capital city cobble and more attacks targeting transportation networks, schools and jewish areas, this with one of the alleged attackers still at large. sources tell cnn intelligence that salah abdeslam likely escaped to syria. i'll ask the top democrat what he's learning. congressman adam shift wrapping up a closed door briefing on
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terror threats. correspondents and analysts are standing by as we cover the news that's breaking right now. up first, let's go to the pentagon correspondent barbara starr. what are you learning, barbara, about this threat of an imminent terror attack? >> good evening, wolf. this threat warning from the u.s. embassy will remain in effect at least until early wednesday morning, 48-hour window open. the big concern is that a network, group of al qaeda affiliated terrorists may be behind this engaged in the past and a number of attacks. and good expertise with road side bombs and suicide bombs and multiple targeting potentially across kabul. the u.s. em bye see warning does not suggest americans are
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particularly targeted but americans against kabul are warned to be very careful, try and stay home and keep a very low profile during this time because the u.s. is not certain at this point what will happen. there have been additional security measures we're told taken in the headquarters and the military, the diplomats not revealing what the measures are but goes to the level of concern through at least early wednesday morning, wolf? >> from afghanistan, barbara, let's go to syria now because i know you're learning more about russia's major escalation inside syria right now. tell our viewers what you're learning. >> the mayor escalation, wolf, that russian s 400 that is a pretty nasty looking piece of business is now activated inside syria. it is at an air base in western syria. this is an anti air missile system that has the capability
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to reach out and target airplanes taking off from turkey. of the message the u.s. believes is that the russians are telling the turks back off after that shootdown of a russian airplane by the turks but a great deal of concern by the u.s. military because they don't want any accidental disaster of course especially with u.s. aircraft and one u.s. official saying this is a big escalation and sit down and figure out how to deal with it. tomorrow should be interesting. defense secretary ash carter and the chairman of the joint chiefs scheduled to testify on capitol hill obviously going to face a lot of questions about all of this. >> yeah, they will be testifying before the house armed services committee. barbara, thanks very much. let's get to the terrorist terror investigation that's underway right now. more reason to fear isis is preparing to launch fresh
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attacks. our security correspondent jim sciutto is here "the situation room." jim, there is word this fugitive eighth suspect in these terror attacks, he's on the loose right now maybe plotting yet more strikes. >> that's right. it's the attackers they know about that they can't mind find others they may not know about and isis calling the paris attacks the beginning of a storm in the latest issue of the french language magazine but that claim is also supported by what french investigators have been finding. they say the paris attackers had other plots, quote, ready to go including those targeting transport and jewish targets. the street behind the bataclan concert hall site of some of the worst bloodshed and most desperate escapes of the paris attacks is open again with bullet holes marking the walls. still, one of the chief architects of the carnage all e alleged eighth attacker salah abdeslam remains on the loose.
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french investigators looking to the possibility he escaped to syria sources tell cnn. >> if he made it over land from france to turkey, it would have been very easy for him to get into syria, same, he could have also done that via greece by boat to syria. all of that is possible and there is very little control over the borders. >> reporter: still, it would be an alarming escape by europe's most wanted man. his last known whereabouts were belgium. authorities are getting closer. >> i do think they are closing in on him and that's the good news. there are many involved with this plot as very sophisticated plot and external operation and we see from isis. >> reporter: investigators are piecing together the november 13th attacks. french police say salah abdeslam
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bought ten dead nay totonators batteries. the store manager alerting authorities after police publicized his arrest warrant. >> we're dealing with a trail that's gone cold and they are looking for any kind of clue, people he met, anybody whose possibly seen him. >> new information the terrorists were planning more bloodshed. the paris attackers had other targets ready to go including transportation networks, schools and jewish targets. an echo of the january attack on a kosher market following the deadly shooting at the offices of charlie hebdo. we learned today that the u.s. military has now lifted its ban on travel to paris and brussels by u.s. military personnel. european command introduced that band following the paris attacks and not unprecedented wolf, they did it for instance after the
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attacks in london in 2005 but we heard the department of homeland security say on cnn he is concerned about copy cat attacks in the u.s. no lessoning or disappearance of concern. >> there is deep concern understandably so, jewish communities in france and belgium right now obviously very worried they have been targets before and presumably could be the targets down the road. jim sciutto, thanks very much for that. tonight, president obama is in paris, he's been holding urgent talks on the terror attacks and the isis threat including a one on one meeting and putin is launching a major escalation of war. there were clear signs of tension between obama and putin when they met on the sidelines as it's called of the global summit. >> reporter: that's right the
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plenty of tension in the relationship. president obama came to paris to honor the victims of the terror attacks here and rally the world to confront the threat posed by climate change but once again appeared to put heads with his long-time global nemesis, vladimir putin. as moscow continues its air strikes inside syria complicating the u.s. fight against isis, today president obama and russia's vladimir putin appear to be looking right past each other in this photo snapped at this week's global climate summit. two leaders at odds over any alliance to defeat isis. mr. obama expressed his regret to putin after turkey shot down a russian war plane last week but putin is furious refusing to meet with turkey's president at the climate talke talks. the war on isis is looming large over the climate summit as soon as he landed in france, the president laid a single white rose outside the bataclan
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theater to remember the victims of the paris attacks. and police clashed with protestors, angry over a new ban on large demonstrations part of the intense security measures in the french capital. >> we have come to paris to show our resolve. >> reporter: but in paris, the president made the case that bringing the world together to battle climate change is yet another way to take the fight to isis. >> what greater rejection of those who would tear down our world than marshalling or best efforts to save it? >> reporter: republicans pounced on the president's focus on global warming insisting he should be busy destroying isis. >> it's insulting to the position he holds. it's insulting even more to the responsibilities that are his for him to be talking about this stuff right now. >> reporter: after the president's initial response to the paris attacks were slammed by critics, the white house is trying to get back on offense announcing the tightening of the visa waiver program that eases
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travel in the u.s. and appointing a senior to the advicement and planning talks about incoming syria refugees and the white house contends its republicans who are wrong about the climate summit. >> if the entire world planed to come to paris, and you had leaders from over 190 countries who would plan to come here to paris and we called that off, that would be demonstrating that isil can disrupt the activities of the entire world. >> reporter: in the hopes of deescalating tensions with russia, president obama will meet with turkey's president tomorrow, just as the president is urging nearly every country in the world to sign an agreement limiting carbon emissio emissions. white house officials maintain mr. obama is more than capable of tackling more than one challenge at a time. >> jim acosta in paris. joining us is adam shift who wrapped up a secret briefing in his role as the top democrat
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committee congressman. thanks for joining us. you've just come from this intelligence briefing and other restrictions, let's get through some of the sensitive issues right now. first, french authorities are saying it's likely the eighth paris terrorists, salah abdeslam may have actually fled europe and is in syria right now. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, wolf, i'm not sure we know his whereabouts, whethere whether he's in france or belgium. it's not something i would be able to share but i don't think we have a definitive conclusion at this point about his location obviously we're doing everything we can to assist our french and belgium colleagues, providing whatever intelligence we can running down any leads we can and using any selectors we have. he's at the top of our list in terms of this investigation. >> here is what worries me is we're getting two different accounts of what is going on
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with this salah abdeslam, one from french officials and one from belgium intelligence. you would think there is strains that relationship. >> reporter: i'm sure, there is cooperation and a lot of difficulty because they are reacting to new information and so there are gaps in what they are sharing with each other. this is a broader problem, wolf, than france and belgium. this is a problem across europe and ultimately, i think europe is going to have to make a decision that either going to have to share information create a unified list in realtime so they can identify who is moving where, people have returned from syria in iraq for example, or they are going to have to end that unrestricted travel within europe, but can't have it both ways and maintain security where they can expect i think unfortunately more attacks like paris. >> you heard jim sciutto's report there were other
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so-called ready to go terror plots in the works against transport locations inside france, schools, jewish neighborhoods. what are you hearing about these other so-called plans? >> i think that's exactly right. that's why they can't let down their guard at all in europe right now. it's not just an issue of this one cell, this one attack that may yet be in the works from group of plotters, but there may be additional isil operatives in europe that have their own plans or may be given and delegated a certain amount of authority by isil in syria to act on their own and use the resources they have and as we've seen in january and now in november, access to weapons and firearms in europe is quite easy and that's making it possible to have these kind of paris mumbai style attacks. >> yeah, french officials say it's a disaster in belgium.
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you can go to the train station in brussels and buy an ak-47 or some other assault weapon for not too much money so they are really critical of what is going on there. stand by, congressman, we have much more to discuss and we're getting more information on the imminent threat to americans inside kabul afghanistan and all the breaking news when we come back. you can't predict the market. but through good times and bad... t. rowe price... ...we've helped our investors stay confident for over 75 years. call us or your advisor. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. on location with the famous, big idaho potato truck. our truck? it's touring across america telling people about idaho potatoes. farmer: let's go boy. again this year the big idaho potato truck is traveling the country spreading the word about heart healthy idaho potatoes and making donations to local charities. excuse me miss, have you seen our truck?
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we're following the breaking news on global terror, the attacks on paris. a briefing just wrapped up and standing by on capitol hill. congressman, this eighth terrorist, salah abdeslam, his whereabouts right now unknown. we're hearing the paris attackers had other attacks ready to go including schools, transport locations, jewish neighborhoods. here is the question, though, is it safe for the president of the united states and about 150 other world leaders to be in paris right now? >> reporter: i think it's safe for the president, the president will have every precaution taken on his behalf but it is a risk having that large a body at a time like this. it's a very tempting target for
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european plotters in france or belgium that have that freedom of mobility in europe. so it is a risk but i can it's a risk the president felt important to talk, we wouldn't be cowed by the threats and we would go about our business and address priorities like climate change and i think it's the right decision. >> this -- have you been briefed on any specific threats, not necessarily to the president but threats here in the united states right now? >> reporter: still no threats that emanate from the paris plot but people are inspired by what they saw in paris. some of the people on the fringes of society radicalized may choose now to act out. that's probably the near term threat over the longer term, though, it's a real concern and part of the reason why you saw jay johnson take the steps to tighten up this visa waiver program while we look into additional legislative action that may be necessary and why ultimately we need to end that sanctuary that isis has in iraq
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and syria that it can derive resources from and have the lux ki -- luxury to plot against us. >> are there other specific terror attacks against us? >> reporter: we know isil would like to attack us here and they are looking for ways to infiltrate or inspire people online. this is very much of goal of theirs. in the near term they realize we're a hard target to reach. they are going after the more proximate targets in europe. it also has the advantage of dividing europe against itself and in this way, the refugee crisis as well as the panic of the attacks and any argument between european partners, as well as what we have seen between russia and turkey. this all is to isis benefit. >> the white house announced a senior advisor to the president will focus solely on this war
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against isis. is this a sign the white house is restructuring the overall approach? >> reporter: i don't think it's a sign they are restructuring the approach but certainly want to have people whose only job when they get up in the morning and go to bed at night is try to determine what's the most effective way to attack this problem of isis. it is a global threat and, you know, i know you've been talking about this, too, wolf, but there is increasing alarm at isis growing presence and strength in places like libya but if we're not careful and end the conflict between the two governments in libya allowing this vacuum, we could have isis holding major ground in yet another country that would be a disaster of preportion. >> they are taking over in much more of libya now. we had a report from brian todd on the worrisome development in north africa. let's talk about kabul afghanistan, issued a specific warning saying in the next 48 hours there could be a terror
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strike warning americans in afghanistan, there are still 10,000 u.s. troops there and thousands of civilians, contractors warning of a specific credible threat. what can you tell us about this? >> well, i think that warning is well due. i think there is information leading to the conclusion that there could very well be a significant attack that it could be very imminent. now we have seen the taliban like othered a ver s ed a veedi adaptive and we may decide to wait, wait until we once again let down our defenses somewhat or people use the opportunity to travel more broadly or can't maintain that constant state of readiness to then unleash an attack but you have to give that kind of warning when you get specific credible intelligence that a great is in the works and attack may be in the works so it was very wise to issue the alert
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they did. >> congressman adam shift, thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. just ahead, other breaking news we're following. the alleged gunman at the colorado women's clinic appears in court. donald trump meets with african american pastors, religious leaders amid controversies about his views on race and religion. what emerged from this meeting at trump's meeting in new york? ♪ it's the final countdown! ♪ ♪ the final countdown!
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there is breaking news out of chicago. jason van dyke just walked out of jail after posting bond. he faces murder charges. he posted bail. we will have more. other breaking news we're following in colorado right now, as well. the accused gunman at a woman's health clinic appeared in court just a little while ago and likely to be slapped with first-degree murder charges very soon. dan simon is in colorado springs for us. you have new details on the investigation, dan, what are you
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learning? >> reporter: hi, wolf. this was a relatively routine court appearance except for the fact you have a high-profile e suspect. he was appointed a public defender, robert dear 57 years old. he looked like he was struggling to stay awake in the courtroom, almost sedated and also wearing a bulletproof vest, but this was a video feed. show was here at the detention center so it's not entirely clear why he was wearing that bulletproof vest. dear is accused of killing three people and wounding nine others. >> do you have any questions about any of these rights, sir? >> no questions. >> reporter: suspected gunman, 57-year-old robert lewis dear will remain in jail after an attack at a planned parenthood clinic that left three dead and nine wounded while a motive is unclear, a law enforcement official told cnn after
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surrendering to police, dear made remarks about quote baby parts and spoke of his anti abortion and anti-government views with investigators. propane tanks found in the parking lot led authorities to believe he intended to cause more harm by shooting them to trigger an explosion. what is known about dear's life indicates he lived a hermit's existence for many years eventually living in a cabin with no electricity or running water in the north carolina mountains. although he live in solitude, he was no stranger to police. in 1997 his then wife accused him of domestic assault but records show charges were never filed. in 2002 dear was charged with being a peeping tom. those counts were dismissed. in 2003 he was arrested and charged with two counts of animal cruelty but found not guilty. dear perhapsed property in colorado, a small community 65 miles west of the planned parenthood facility for $6,000.
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neighbors say what interaction they had with dear was friendly but limited. >> really nice guy. gave us some anti obama flyers. i didn't really read them. i just, i think i used them to start the fire in our campfire that night. that's about all i've run into him. >> reporter: well, the next court date is next wednesday and not surprisingly, wolf, the judge said if convicted, the suspect would either get life in prison or the death penalty. wolf? >> dan simon in colorado springs, thanks very much. we're learning more about the alleged gunman's weapons and possibility he was planning a much more deadly attack. let's bring in pamela brown. what are you learning, pamela. >> some of the items the gunman brought in, wolf, was handguns as well as long guns, rifles in the duffel bag he brought there to the crime scene and in addition to all of those guns, wolf, we're learning as dan pointed out there was propane
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tanks around his car officials believe he may have been trying to shoot at to cause some sort of explosion and investigators are talking to those who knew robert dear where he lived in north carolina and up until a year ago when he moved to colorado but so far, all indications point to the fact robert dear acted alone and also, wolf, it is early in the investigation. we're learning a security guard is supposed to be posted at these planned parenthood facilities. we're being told there was a security guard there but he had left once his shift had ended before the attack and there was a gap of time between when he left and another security guard was supposed to take over and in between that time, that's when robert dear walked in and opened fire, wolf? >> pamela, thanks very much. let's bring in tom fuentas.
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and sonny hou. could this alleged shooter robert lewis dear face the death penalty? colorado hasn't executed a prisoner since 1997. >> that's right and i think he certainly could face the death penalty. we know james holmes, the colorado shooter faced the death penalty but we know he wasn't given the death penalty. i think in colorado we're dealing with a state that may charge him with the death penalty. he may not be convicted of the death penalty or get the death penalty, rather but i think what is interesting is that the public defender that we're looking at now, daniel king was also representing james holmes. so he at least has one representing him very familiar with the death penalty and familiar with the process and i think it's too soon still to determine whether or not the prosecution will seek the death penalty. i'm sure that's a decision that hasn't been made yet because they don't know enough about his motive and don't know enough
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about this case to make that determination. >> jeffrey, three people were murdered, a police officer, two civilians, man and woman. what do you think? >> well, it's certainly a candidate for the death penalty if you're going to have one and the question of intent here is very important because it's possible if this is determined to be a terrorist act that the federal government could step in just as they did in the tsarnaev case in boston and say this was a federal crime that could result in the death penalty. all of this defends on the issue of motive and intent and that's going to take awhile to investigate. we do have this one stray comment apparently about body parts, which does suggest a political motive but investigators are going to have to do a lot more thorough job before they decide what crime to charge him with and whether to seek the death penalty. >> and presumably, tom and
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you've been involved in investigating a lot of these cases, they could claim that this individual was mentally unfit, unstable, he was crazy and as a result, he didn't know what he was doing. >> that's one thing, wolf. he did take the guns there and plan this out to be able to make that attack, but the other issue of getting back to motive is that you want to look at people's e-mails accounts and interaction with their neighb neighbors, friends, families, co-workers. he's like the unabomber in the shack. how much interaction would he have other than handing a neighbor a flier about obama. he's in a cabin with no water, no amenities. there may be a limited ability to prove what he was think. >> sunny, we're also following jason van dyke charged with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old laquan mcdonald in chicago.
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the police officer posted bond, $1.5 million. he's out of jail. are you surprised that one who is charged with first-degree murder walks on bail at least for the time being? >> well, i'm not surprised. i think a lot of people will be surprised and i think a lot of people will be upset but bail is not supposed to be punitive. in other words, you're not supposed to make bail so out of reach for someone that you're punishing them. the goal of bail is to make sure someone returns to court for trial and also determines whether or not this person is sort of a threat to himself or others. i think in arriving at the bail amount, the $1.5 million, the judge made it very clear this is a serious crime and that he is charged with but i'm not surprised that he was able to make bond or that he was given bond. >> so i assume jeffrey a lot of people in chicago will be upset this guy is out of jail after he was charged with first-degree further and take that and is the
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person a risk of flight and his lawyer he believes is going to have an ankle monitor and not going to go anywhere and he's understandable ruling that it is also true that first degree murder defendants almost never get out on bail. so yes, this is rational and yes, people are going to be upset. >> pretty extraordinary, isn't it, he's out on bail. >> they don't do it and someone come up with the money and he's able to do it. so i think that as sunny mentioned, and severity of the crime and come up with it.
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>> we'll see what happens. thanks. just ahead more news, donald trump meets with black pastors, religious leaders and did he see the endorsements as the campaign was looking for? also, more on the breaking news an american embassy warning of an imminent terror attack after receiving a threat deemed significant active and credible. jusdoes that mean they have toer grow apart from their friends, or from the things they love to do? with right at home, it doesn't. right at home's professional team thoughtfully selects caregivers to help with personal care, housekeeping, meals, and most of all, staying engaged in life. oh, thank you, thank you. you're welcome. are you ready to go? oh, i sure am. we can provide the right care, right at home. on location with the famous,
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we're standing by for remarks by donald trump, he's campaigning in georgia tonight after a meeting with african american pastors and other religious leaders stirred up more controversy earlier in the day. sarah murray is joining us from georgia right now. the claims trump makes on the campaign trail continue to raise lots of questions. >> reporter: that's absolutely right, wolf and today the attention was on the trump campaign's out reach to black pastors like you said. it did cause a little controversy but ultimately trumps able to walk away with at least a couple endorsements. >> i saw love in the room. i see love everywhere i go. >> reporter: despite walking past what his campaign promoted as an endorsement vent with 100 black pastors, donald trump emerged calling today's closed door meeting a success. >> we didn't think we would have
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a press conference but we all thought it was such a good meeting we would do that and we have many, many endorsements that came out of the meeting. >> reporter: in a lead up to today's get together, they said they had no intention of backing the gop front runner or attending the meet and greet. >> if you talk down to women, if you talk down to documented immigrants calling them rapists and then black lives get them out of here, no, you can't represent me so i don't even need to hear your platform. >> reporter: victor cousins said he came to talk with trump, nothing more. >> really incumbent upon me to ask him what we expect from him. i'm not here to endorse mr. trump, i'm here to have a dialogue. >> reporter: passion and out right criticism comes as trump faces scrutiny for retweeting a message and suggesting a black lives matter protester deserved
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to be roughed up at a trump campaign rally. others attending today's meeting said they would attempt to convince their colleagues to support trump. >> anybody that knows donald trump personally knows he's not a racist and provided more jobs for minorities, mexicans, african americans and not only what the african american community needs but what america needs. >> reporter: today trump seemed undeterred by the change in plans. >> the beautiful thing about the meeting is they didn't really ask me to change it down. i think they want to see victory because ultimately it's about we want to win and we want to win together. >> reporter: meanwhile, trump continues to face scrutiny for repeatedly insisting he saw large crowds of muslim americans celebrating in new jersey on 9/11. >> i had hundreds and hundreds of calls and tweets of people that saw it and plenty of people saw it. >> reporter: now trump has continued to repeat those claims even though they have been rated
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false by fact checkers and even though no videos of people cheering on 9/11 has been uncovered in new jersey. wolf, back to you. >> sarah, thanks very much. let's talk about what is going on in this race for the white house. joining us mia mallika henderson and gloria borger and senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny. stand by, we have a lot to discuss and are getting a lot more information in. much more after a quick break. the only way to get better is to challenge yourself,
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political team. a top adviser to donald trump meanwhile insists he has never come across a situation where the gop front-runner said something inaccurate. michael cohen made that surprising remark to jake tapper on "the lead." jake pressed him about trump's recent comments, including mocking "the new york times'" reporter disability. >> trump cited this report from 2001 in "the washington post" from kovalesky. this is trump at a rally talking about this reporter. >> the thing about northern new jersey draws the prober's eye, written by a nice reporter. you ought to see this guy. ah, i don't remember what i said. i don't remember! he's going, i don't remember! maybe that's what i said. >> all right. let's put up a still photo from
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that event and let's put up a pick of kovalesky. >> how many people do you think have covered donald trump in the past? thousands upon thousands? >> how many with that disability? i would guess one. >> do you think mr. trump remembers this specific reporter? >> he said -- >> he said he does not remember. >> he sees thousands and thousands of reporters a year. >> he was talking about the article until he pulled back. >> and then he mimics his injury. >> mr. trump donates millions and millions of dollars each and every year in order to combat disabilities, in order to combat cancer, whether it's children, he donates millions of dollar as
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year. mr. trump is not the type of individual that is going to make fun of somebody's disability. he wouldn't know this guy prior to this entire nonsense. >> but we just saw him do it. >> he was not making fun. he was being visticulate, which donald trump is. he was showing the ex as sper rags of a reporter. it had nothing to do with his disability. >> first of all, he said he was a nice guy and then he said, you've got to see this guy, and then he twists his arms to mimic his disability. >> he wasn't twisting his arms to mimic anything. >> let's discuss what we just heard. gloria, it's a controversy that doesn't seem to want to go away, this latest controversy involving donald trump. >> you know, i think one of the reasons is that trump really doesn't acknowledge it at all. and if you look at the pictures, you saw jake's questioning, you
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saw the answers in this interview and part of the issue, i think, with donald trump is that he may never get anything wrong as mr. cohen says, but he doesn't acknowledge that he might actually have potentially gotten something wrong or made a mistake. we saw that with john mccain when he said john mccain wasn't a war hero. we saw it with carly fiorina when he made comments about her physical appearance. and then you have this new thing with this new york times reporter and there's no sort of acknowledging that maybe i was misinterpreted on so surge, i would never do that about him. nothing. i think that makes it worse, although, as you all know, nothing seems to stick. >> i think that's right. the presidential race is entering -- about to enter a new phase. a serious phase. and voters could care less about any of this. i don't think they will hold mr. trump accountable for it. i think his supporters will be
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his supporters. this is mainly background noise. how the others react to this is more interesting. he's not going to suddenly say, i lied about this. i made a mistake. he's troubling down, quadrupling down and voters are i can look, move on. >> you knew him when you worked at "the new york times." >> sure. >> and you knew him when he worked at "the washington post," mr. kovaleski. he said, yes, i met with trump on several occasions. >> and it's hard to look at the trump video in which he prefaces by saying, you've got to see this guy. it's hard not to look at the video and look at the actions that he's making and not thing of kovaleski. he obviously does have this very visible disability as well. >> one thing i think the voters will pay attention to is -- and i could be wrong here, is the kind of personalization of
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politics. this one disagrees with me, he's a dummy. this one, i don't like the way she looks, who would vote for someone with that face. this one i disagree with his politics, he wasn't a war hero. i think people have huge problems that know we have to deal with and this kind of petty school yard stuff -- >> 65% of the republican base that's not already supporting him. >> that's right. and those 25%, or whatever it is -- >> not the first controversial comment he's made that hasn't hurt him. >> exactly. >> with that republican base. he did emerge from that meeting at trump tower with the african-american pastors, religious leaders, and a whole bunch of them walked out with him and endorsed him. >> yeah, they did. there was miscommunication going into this meeting, whether it was not an official endorsement but he came out and said it was a success. and in many ways it was. >> a lot of love. >> a lot of love.
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you have folks there like not only a reality tv star but also a anyominister. in spite of some of the things i said may have been construed as racist by some people, look at these african-american pastors. >> it certainly looked good when they walked out. >> it did. i was watching the entire thing. it sent the message that donald trump wanted to send even though there had been a problem about whether they were going to endorse him. they all came out and seemed pretty positive about the meeting. it was a 2 1/2 hour meeting. so it went on for quite a while. >> still important to keep in perspective, it's a pretty difficult to say that donald trump is going to win a majority of the black vote zf course. >> right. but he doesn't want to be labeled a racist. >> right. >> we'll see what he says tonight. guys, thanks very much. stay with cnn, by the way, for the next republican presidential debate. i'll be the moderator. the final gop face-off this
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year, it all happens on december 15th, live from las vegas, only here on cnn. that's it for me. thanks for watching. you can always tweet me. a u.s. embassy warning of a terror attack in the next 48 hours. officials calling the threat cred credible and imminent. plus, a chicago police officer who shot a teen is out of jail tonight. and the alleged gunman of planned parenthood in court today. let's go "outfront" for a motive. good evening, i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, breaking news, a stark warning from a u.s. embassy of an attack within 48 hours. americans in of a


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