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tv   Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  December 7, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST

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important. i think that not just for melanoma but other types overcancers as well, cancer comes in sometimes and disables the immune system. this turns it back on. >> good cancer news good for everybody. thanks very much dr. sanjay gupta. i'm jim sciutto in today for jake tapper. i turn you over now to the capable hands of wolf blitzer. he is as always in "the situation room." happening now, breaking news. for quite some time the fbi says terrorists behind the san bernardino attacks were radicalized long before the massacre. now investigators are focusing in on the couple's overseas trips. who did they see and what was their connection to other countries? target practice, the killers now known to have visited multiple shooting ranges in southern california, even as they were stockpiling ammunition and explosives. how do they practice for their attack unnoticed? secret life. new details of the female terrorist who pledged allegiance to isis, where she grew up and
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her dual life in pakistan and saudi arabia before coming to the united states. did she lead her husband down their deadly path? changing strategy, the terror threat prompts president obama to make a rare oval office address to the nation trying to reassure anxious americans the u.s. will prevail. but with growing criticism of his plan to fight isis, will he be forced to adopt new tactics against the terrorists? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." this is cnn breaking news. we're following the breaking news. the fbi just revealing disturbing new details about the san bernardino terror attack saying the couple that carried it out had been radicalized for, quote, quite some time. the fbi also says syed farook and tashfeen malik practiced at shooting ranges once within days of the massacre. and we're learning more about
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the bomb lab discovered in the killers' home and the 19 pipes that could have been used as explosive devices that were removed by the fbi. we're covering that and much more this hour with our guests including president obama's deputy national security adviser ben rhodes. and our correspondents and our expert analysts they are also standing by. let's begin with cnn's kyung lah. she's in san bernardino for us. kyung, you were there at this latest fbi news conference. update our viewers. >> reporter: well, what the news conference really showed us is what investigators had suspected for some time, that there was extreme planning involved. that there was even dry runs at some of these gun ranges nearby, but most important, wolf, that the radicalization had been taking place for some time. all of it happening undetected. investigators now believe both syed farook and his wife tashfeen malik were both well down the path to supporting
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jihad when they were photographed by u.s. customs at chicago's o'hare airport in july of 2014, as she first arrived in the u.s. on a fiancee visa. >> we have learned and believe that both subjects were radicalized and have been for quite some time. >> reporter: tonlt, cnn has learned prior to the attack farook not only interacted with americans being investigated by the fbi but also looked at contacted terrorist groups overseas. in a news conference late today the fbi said there is mounting evidence the couple's massacre was planned well in advance. >> both of these subjects did some target -- participated in target practice in some ranges within the metro area. >> reporter: some of that practice was within days of the attack using guns allegedly bought by farook's friend enrique marquez. tonight police are back in marquez's home. >> right now our major concern the fbi, atf and the jttf is
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determining how those firearms, the rifles in particular got from marquez to farook and malik. >> reporter: as investigators in california continue to scour the couple's history here, there is increasing focus on their trips overseas. >> we are attempting to expand that investigation out and build it and build a picture of each person, the timeline and ultimately the crimes that they committed. >> reporter: tonight those searches appear to be focused on two tracks, learning more about malik and her path in pakistan and tracing farook's path. his father telling cnn that his son -- >> all pakistanis coming from the major cities are liberal people. >> understand. >> okay. and he was going towards conservation. >> he was going towards what? >> conservation. his views were conservative.
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my views were liberal. >> we have spent quite a bit of time at the two mosques where the couple prayed. the people who were there, those who prayed with him say this is what's most concerning to them. they know the profile to look for. it's usually a young man maybe very political, someone who may not even have a job. but this is a guy that came to the mosque all the time who had a family and had a job. wolf, they simply didn't see this coming. >> all right. kyung, thanks very much. all this certainly putting a lot of pressure on president obama,in creasingly forced to defend his plan to fight isis and keep america safe. and it prompted him to make a rare oval office address to the nation. our white house correspondent michelle kisinsky said it was not new. >> reporter: the goal simply to address americans concerns and help them understand what the u.s. strategy is for keeping them safe. the president did say that the terror threat is now entering a
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new phase. of course how to address that. specifically the kind of attack we just saw in california is still the subject of fierce debate with critics many americans wondering if that strategy is enough. tonight, the obama administration is attempting to play offense on the heels of the president's primetime address detailing a strategy to defeat isis. today his homeland security secretary said he will create a new intermediate designation as part of a revised terrorism alert system warning americans about threats law enforcement is hearing about even when they're not specific. >> we need to do a better job of informing the public at large removing some of the mystery. >> reporter: officials say shooters in san bernardino were terrorists radicalized online but did not raise alarm bells to u.s. intelligence, something the president acknowledged overnight. >> this was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people.
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>> reporter: facing criticism that his strategy is not working and needing to reassure anxious americans in a rare address from the oval office president obama laid out what he says the u.s. and its partners are doing. >> we will destroy isil and any other organization that tries to harm us. our military will continue to hunt down terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary. >> reporter: still tonight critics say president obama only defended existing strategy including air strikes, supporting syrian opposition and iraqi soldiers but laid out nothing new. >> i was disappointed last night when the president failed to lay out any new steps to fight this threat. instead he doubled down on his strategy of hesitancy and half measures. >> reporter: today, the white house pushed back saying the president wants support for three initiatives including calling on congress to pass authorization for military force against isis and pressing both chambers to change gun laws making it harder for people to
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buy assault rifles, which the california couple used, harder for people on terror watch lists to buy guns. >> are they suggesting that we should wait for somebody who's on the no-fly list to go buy a gun and kill a bunch of innocent americans and then we should pass a law? is that what we're waiting for? >> reporter: the white house has already taken steps to toughen up security screenings for people coming into the u.s. from countries where a visa is not required. the president also just announced a review of the visa program on which one of those california killers' came in. and the white house says it will work with congress where there is bipartisan support to tighten up screenings even more, wolf. >> mental anguish ill kosinski at the white house. thanks very much. we'll get more on what's going on in just a moment, but we're also following breaking political news right now. the republican presidential candidate donald trump has just issued a statement calling for a complete ban on all muslims entering the united states. let's talk about all of this with president obama's deputy national security adviser ben
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rhodes. lots to discuss, ben. but i want to get your reaction to donald trump's statement that he just released saying there should be a, quote, total and complete shut down of muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. and just moments ago he doubled down with a tweet saying, just put out a very important policy statement on the extraordinary influx of hatred and danger coming into our country. we must be vigilant. this statement from trump as you know follows the president's statement last night in the oval office in which he urged americans to be tolerant, not engage in any discrimination against muslims. what's your reaction to this statement from donald trump? >> well, wolf, it's totally contrary to our values as americans. you know, we have in our bill of rights respect for the freedom of religion. muslim americans have made extraordinary contributions to our country, but it's also contrary to our security, wolf. the fact of the matter is isil wants to frame this as a war
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between the united states and islam. and if we look like we're applying religious tests who comes into this country, we're sending a message that essentially we're embracing that frame. and that is going to make it very difficult to partner with muslim communities here in the united states and around the world to prevent this scourge of radicalization that we need to be focused on. we should be making it harder for isil to portray this as a war between the united states and islam, not easier. >> all right. let's move on. i want to talk about the fbi announcements today. the statements today that two of the san bernardino killers had actually been radicalized for some time. based on what you know right now and you brief the president every morning on what's going on in the intelligence area, was there some sort of intelligence failure that allowed these two to go undetected on the radar? >> no, wolf, look, this is very difficult. because what we have not yet seen is that they were directed
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by a foreign terrorist organization like isil that they were getting in communications with people in syria who were telling them to do something. the intelligence community obviously puts extraordinary focus on those types of communications, those types of contacts. that's when we can see an operational plot that can be disrupted. when it's simply individuals who over a period of time become more radical in their views, that's much harder to detect from an intelligence standpoint. that's why frankly we need to have partnership with our muslim communities. as the president said last night we need muslim leaders to stand up and to reject this ideology. and we need to be able to work with them to spot signs of radicalization in their communities so that there can be an intervention before something like this terrible tragedy takes place. >> how would you describe that partnership right now? >> well, it's very active, wolf. we have our department of justice, state and local law enforcement has close partnerships with muslim leaders, with mosques, with
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members of the muslim community. and they work together so that they understand what the signs of radicalization are and they can offer a different pathway to individuals before they go down, again, the type of dark path that clearly was the case in san bernardino. >> because the notion is this is still speculative but it looks increasingly like these two killers were radicalized online. so how do you deal with that in terms of protecting americans' ability to go online but at the same time monitoring what they're doing? >> well, wolf, there are a couple of issues here. one is something the president referred to last night in his address, which is we see groups like isil seeking to use encrypted technology so that there can be activity on social media, activity online that cannot be detected by intelligence and law enforcement agencies. we want to have a dialogue with the technology sector about how we can make sure that people's right to privacy is respected
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but at the same time there's not a dark space where people are able to go undetected and communications for instance with terrorist organizations like isil. but secondly of course there's the greater challenge of people having access to lots of content online. people having access to extremist content. this could be the case in other ideologies. that's again where you need the partnership with people who are interacting with people like these two terrorists in san bernardino on a regular basis who may see changes in their behavior, may see them taking more extreme political views and religious views. and there can be some form of intervention to prevent them from going down that path of radicalization. >> we have much more to discuss. ben rhodes the president's deputy national security adviser, he's at the white house. we'll continue this right after a quick break.
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terrorists. does that mean going out and killing as many of these terrorist leaders as possible? >> well, wolf, if you look at the track record of this president from when he took office, we've been in a methodical campaign to remove terrorists from the battlefield. we steadily degraded al qaeda, we took out osama bin laden, we took out a number of terrorist leaders. whether that's in afghanistan, pakistan, somalia, yemen, now in syria. i think we've had many debates for instance over the use of drones over the years. i think over the course of the last seven years people can see that every time we face a threat this president's been willing to authorize force to take out terrorist who is threaten the united states. >> or when you use the words take out you mean kill, right? >> well, absolutely if that's necessary. in some instances where you've been able to capture terrorist suspects, but that's very difficult in places like syria and iraq. certainly was the case in places like pakistan, somalia and yemen. so whether that's through air
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strikes, through drone strikes, this president's been willing to do what is necessary to protect the american people. >> the president also last night chided turkey, a nato ally, told them they have to seal the border. last week the president said nearly 100 kilometers of that border very long border, but about 98 or so kilometers, 60 miles were open for terrorists to go back and forth. why hasn't turkey sealed that border yet? >> well, wolf, we made progress along that border. again, with forces inside of syria who've been able to push back isil, and then we've been able to seal that border. at the same time there is a 98-kilometer stretch that we still believe needs to be cut off. we're doing our part on the syrian side of that border with air strikes and support for forces on the ground fighting back and pushing back against isil. we want turkey to move its own forces, its own troops on the turkish side of that border to seal that off to make sure foreign fighters are going across the border and make sure oil is not smuggled across that
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border. president erdogan committed to president obama they would do that. we expect it to go forward. it will require deployment of resources from turkey on its side of the border. and that's what we've been working through with them. >> is isis selling oil through black markets across that border through turkey? >> yes. we have seen isil smuggle oil out of syria, sell ilt on the black market. we've been doing two things with respect to that, wolf. one is we've been more aggressively targeting oil infrastructure inside of syria, taking hundreds of strikes against oil tankers. that will take away key sources of financing for isil. at the same time we want to make sure they cannot get that oil outside of syria. that's why we have to cut off and seal that border. >> the president also said last night he wants to continue to train tens of thousands of people in syria and iraq to go ahead and fight isis. so far that's been a total failure. the u.s. spent several hundred million dollars, trained five or six rebels in syria to fight
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isis and in iraq the iraqi military for all practical purposes for mosul just simply ran away. why is it so hard to find allies to fight on the ground in syria and iraq? >> well, wolf, where it's been a success we've seen that the model can work. in northern iraq the peshmerga forces, the kurdish forces -- >> the kurds are good alliealli. but i don't see a lot of syrian rebels or iraqi military personnel willing to go into mosul or ramadi or fallujah and retake those areas where so many american military personnel gave their lives. >> well two things, wolf, first of all, we have been able to identify more partners inside of syria both kurdish and arab who are now fighting against isil in eastern syria. and our special forces who will be deploying to syria are there to help facilitate those efforts to provide them with equipment, to provide them with advice so they can go on the offense against isil and continue to make progress. in iraq i think the challenge that we've had, wolf, is that
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the sunni areas that have been taken by isil, a majority of the iraqi security forces many of them were shia. what we wanted to do is get multisectarian units and iraqi security forces and also get the sunni tribes mobilized in those areas so they can push back against isil's presence. we have an ongoing effort to do that in partnership with the iraqi government. but clearly this is an area where we want to continue to accelerate our efforts. that's how you're ultimately going to get at places like ramadi and fallujah. >> ben rhodes is president obama's deputy of national security adviser. thanks for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. coming up, new details about the mysterious woman at the center of the fbi's terror investigation. we're also learning more about the guns both killers used and about their target practice in the days leading up to the san bernardino terror attack. the citi double cash® card comes in very handy with cash back twice on purchases. earn once when you buy, and again as you pay. that's cash back now, and cash back again later.
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new details. gunning down 14 people and wounding 21 others. brian todd has more. >> we have new information on tashfeen malik's background. tracing her path to terror our investigation found that her days in pakistan are an important focal point. it was there that she attended a school known for its puritanical interpretation of islam. then she made her way to the united states. a sering new image of the couple who would become terrorists.
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july 2014 tashfeen malik and her husband, syed farook, arrive at chicago's o'hare airport. tonight a law enforcement source tells cnn it's believed malik was radicalized before this moment, before she came to the united states. did she radicalize him, or was it the other way around? >> we still do not know, but i will say this. as the investigation has progressed, we have learned and believe that both subjects were radicalized and have been for quite some time. >> reporter: how and where was the 29-year-old mother of a newborn radicalized? malik came from a family of wealthy landowners in pakistan. she later moved to assault and battery raid ya with her immediate family. cnn has learned that malik returned to pakistan to attend this school in the city of multan. she studied to be a pharmacist and received a degree in 2012 according to school officials. malik covered herself wearing a face veil, a common custom for women in the region. one of her professors described
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her as a good student. >> she always remain busy in study. and i don't think so, she was more religious or like that. >> reporter: but cnn has learned tashfeen malik later attended this institution, a chain of women-only religious schools in pakistan which according to an islamic scholar we spoke to teaches a stricter puritanical interpretation of islam. it's not fundamentalist, this scholar says. and doesn't advocate violence. but the location of the branch she attended does raise a red flag. >> the fact that malik went to multan, a city in the past has served for recruiting ground for extremist particularly the group carried out the mumbai siege attacks, that is something of concern, that is something that needs to be looked at.
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>> reporter: and tonight malik's family is being investigated. authorities have raided a home her father owns in multan. kr, cnn is now told by tashfeen malik extended family that her father had a falling out years ago with hissiblings. he then himself turned to a more strict islam. to her connections to radical islam, possible connections to her immediate family are now being investigated. >> and, brian, there's also a well she might have trained w herself in the use of automatic weapons, right? >> a chilling quote, wolf. a senior law enforcement official in san bernardino told the daily beast that tashfeen malik was, quote, a very good shot. this official was describing her last stand with her husband when they fired 76 rounds at police from their suv. this official said, i'm quoting from one of our guys who was in a gun battle with her and her husband, that's all this police officer said, this official says he was dead serious. and we now know of course from
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the fbi that malik and her husband engaged in target practice quite often. one of those practice sessions as we just found out was within days of the mass shooting, wolf. >> brian todd with the very latest. brian, thanks very much. up next, today's startling revelations from the fbi's terror investigation of the san bernardino mass shootings. among the things we learned today both killers did in fact engage in target practice in the days actually leading up to the attack. and there's also other breaking political news. donald trump now calling for a total stop to muslim immigration to the united states. came out today thousands of people to run the race for retirement. so we asked them... are you completely prepared for retirement? okay, mostly prepared? could you save 1% more of your income? it doesn't sound like much, but saving an additional 1% now, could make a big difference over time. i'm going to be even better about saving. you can do it, it helps in the long run.
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go long. we're following breaking news in the san bernardino terror investigation. just a while ago the fbi revealed significant new details about the two killers. >> as the investigation has progressed, we have learned and believe that both subjects were radicalized and have been for quite some time. now, how did that happen? the question we're trying to get at is how did that happen and by whom and where did that happen. and i will tell you right now we don't know those answers at this point. >> let's bring in our justice reporter evan perez following the investigation. what do you think led the fbi to reach this sort of interim conclusion? >> well, wolf, they've had a little time to go through his communications, to find -- to talk to members of the family. and my understanding is they found that this radicalization path is not something that just
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happened in the last year or so. it's something that goes back some period especially with farook in the case of his wife they certainly believe that the radicalization began before she ever sat down for her consulate interview with the state department to get this visa, this fiancee visa, in order to come join her husband here in this country. so that raises really important questions for the homeland security department, it raises important questions for the state department. why is it someone who was already on this path, how was it that she was able to pass through the vetting, the security screening in order to come to this country and less than a year later or about a year later launch one of the deadliest terror attacks in this country. >> it sounds like if he had been radicalized for some time, she had been radicalized going back to pakistan or saudi arabia long before they probably even met. it sounds as if this marriage was sort of arranged as a terror marriage to get her in the
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united states to potentially commit these kinds of terror attacks. >> and i think what it is there's a lot of speculation that perhaps she drove him to do this. i think from what the fbi knows at this point they believe he already was on this path. and keep in mind isis has only been the flavor of the moment for just over a year or so. perhaps other groups that's what the fbi's looking at they want to see perhaps whether other things were influencing him before they got to isis. >> standby. i want to bring in the rest of our panel. our national security analyst peter bergen, law enforcement analyst former fbi assistant direct director tom fuentes, congresswoman jane harmon, top democrat on the intelligence committee now heads the woodrow wilson center. peter, how do officials likely determine that these ftwo killes had been radicalized for some time? obviously with hindsight they go back and find stuff. but they didn't find if they'd been radicalized for some time,
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why didn't they know that leading up to this? >> well, until we have a machine that can peer into women and mens heart and souls that's a hard question to answer. >> but if they're online and exchanging e-mails or tweets with bad guys and apparently they were and now they say the people they were communicating with whether through encryption overwhatever were on the watch list, being reviewed by the fbi and other u.s. law enforcement, wouldn't that have brought some attention to that? >> well, it looks like farook was in touch as evan was saying with trying -- either was in touch or trying to get in touch with people in al qaeda, maybe in syria. but often these things are dismissed. there was nothing else that seemed to prompt attention. in the case of the wife, you know, what we hear about her in university in pakistan shows she refused for instance to have a photograph taken of her at the graduation, which is sort of an indication she's an
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ultrafundamentalist. those kind of indicator also part of this pattern. >> we're now being told by the fbi that both of them, tom you used to work at the fbi, engaged in target practice for a long time. she was very good in using these rifles. but even in the days leading up to the mass murder, wouldn't someone have noticed her? she was wearing, you know, a scarf, maybe even a full berka going into rifle practice, wouldn't that have been obvious? >> well, do we know that's how she showed up? the kind of clothing she was wearing or change to more western style to go to the range. i haven't heard exactly what she was wearing. but people going to target practice, this country -- this goes back to the whole firearms issue. we have 300 million some guns at large in the united states. and people go to the range every day, multiple ranges. and out west they're able to go into more rural areas and shoot in the desert and in the fields without attracting a lot of attention.
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so we just don't know. and that could also be part of why they're basing they were radicalized at some time. they may be looking that if they've been acquiring weapons, ammunition, pipes, explosives and can go back now to acquiring that over a period of time, then probably look that's why they were acquiring it because they had become radicalized, not because they're great sportsmen. >> and, jane, they're looking to see if this was just an inspiration or if they were actually directed a lot more than just inspiration by isis or some other terror group. how would the fbi, u.s. law enforcement, intelligence community find out about that? >> exactly by doing what they're doing, which is uncovering more and more clues. this is going to be a huge intelligence and law enforcement challenge going forward. exactly the wrong thing to do is what donald trump is just recommended, which is to keep all muslims out of the u.s. you want to get muslim communities in the u.s. to cooperate and not to radicalize, well don't do what donald trump said. but let me add something to what you said about the terror
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marriage. in that terror marriage there is a 6-month-old baby. and the tragedy of this is i would guess and this is just jane's theory, these were cold, calculated killers and the baby was basically a prop to make them seem like normal americans living in a quiet community. >> yeah, that's pretty shocking all around. guys, standby. we have much more to discuss including donald trump's latest statement make america great again. he says you can do that by a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. we'll go in depth when we come back. ♪ santa has a magic snow globe for every family... ♪ ...and whatever he puts in our snow globe, shows up at our house. and this year, look at what he put in our driveway. santa can do that? he sure can, honey. the lexus december to remember sales event is going on now,
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we're following some startling new political fallout from the san bernardino terror attack. this afternoon the republican presidential front-runner donald trump called for a total stop to muslim immigration into the united states. a written statement from the campaign says this, donald j. trump is calling for total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. let's go to our senior washington correspondent jeff zeleny he's covering trump today campaigning in south carolina. jeff, what are you learning about this statement as the trump campaign provided specifics? >> reporter: wolf, the trump campaign has not yet provided specifics, but i can tell you this is an extraordinary escalation of any of the proposals or any of the rhetoric we've heard from donald trump since he jumped into this presidential campaign. he released this statement just a short time ago in a characteristic trump fashion without any statements or how he
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would actually carry any of this out. his campaign manager has told us that it is applying to tourists as well as applying to immigrants who would also be coming here. donald trump did explain a little bit in a statement. let's take a look at this. he said that great surveillance and vigilance must be adhered to. we want to be very fair but too many bad things are happening. and the -- there's too much hatred to go around here. so donald trump is going to explain more of what he's talking about tonight. you can see behind me he'll be attending a rally in just about an hour or so to south carolina voters. but, wolf, i can tell you that this is not at all what he was taing just a couple months ago. on september 19th one of our reporters asked him about what he thought of the muslims. let's take a listen. >> do you personally think muslims pose a danger to this country? >> i love the muslims. i think they're great people. >> reporter: so that is a long ways from i love the muslims, i think they're great people to
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what he is is proposing today, wolf, is that is less than three months time here between that statement and this statement here today. >> i know the white house deputy national security advisor ben rhodes condemned the statement that donald trump made any other reaction from any other republican campaigns? >> reporter: wolf, the reaction is one of dispargment. lindsey graham said it would problems more than that and threaten their lives. chris christie also denounced this. so wolf, across the board his fellow republican candidates are denouncing this and this is one of the things donald trump throws out there. we'll see how he explains tonight and we'll talk to voters in south carolina and see how they are reacting. one of the examples from the fallout of the san bernardino shooting that is front and
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center in the presidential campaign. >> it certainly is. thanks for much. let's get back to our experts, peter has polls showing a huge percentage of muslims he says polled agree that violence against americans here in the united states is justified. you studied this. have you seen polls like that? >> no. >> what's your reaction to what trump just announced? >> i mean, i think it's fundamentally unamerican and reminis reminiscent of what happen in world war ii when the united states closed the borders to jews and that's a great strain on our reputation. >> what's your reaction? >> well, i stated it in the last segment. i think it's appalling. i think lindsey graham is right and in addition to causing muslim communities in this country which is fairly as
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assimilate and cause people radicalized like this couple will encourager muslims in the field. it's very, very, it's absurd. it's also shows him as the master of free media. he was not getting enough attention so now he is. >> i have to add one thing, for the fbi and homeland security department here, one of the big differences between this country and european countries is certainly the fact that the muslim population in this country is not -- is not living in isolated suburbs where they are disaffected. one of the things about the country is that the muslim population is successful and one of the things the fbi is certainly worried about is creating populations of people who are disaffected with this country who feel left out, cut out. that's not what you want to do because it makes their work much more difficult. you create more terrorists
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simply by pushing people aside and making them feel like they don't belong here. >> tom fuentes when you were assistant director of the fbi, i assume you worked closely with muslim americans. >> absolutely and i said repeatedly during the paris attacks one reason we have not seen a successful attack with six, eight, ten people completely unknown to law enforcement intelligence that lived in multiple communities n brussels and paris without anybody knowing them, we don't have that. every conspiracy where two people try to get a third, try to get a fourth, before too long the fbi is no because of the relationship in the community. somebody in the community calls the fbi and police and says this person is trying to put together a group to do an attack it was very impressive in san bernardino in the early stages of this that c.a.r.e., an inner, i guess, religious group but mostly muslim came forth and condemned this.
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it is not muslim. it is not anti american but anti muslim. >> there was a family member out there condemning it immediately. >> the whole community has been careful, not politically correct but careful to avoid labeling it. >> how is isis likely to respond from a statement like this from donald trump? >> i don't know. i just don't know. they may not. for them the american political race is probably not front and center. they are much more likely to respond to like san bernardino, which we seen. >> have they responded to the president? >> i don't think they have. i don't think they really have but it is the type of thing that really makes their recruitment even better. >> guys, don't go too far away. here is a question for our viewers:do you think president obama's strategy to defeat isis will be effective? tell us what you think at facebook.com/cnn. we'll bring you the results in the next hour.
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much more on the breaking news coming up. new terrorist intelligence. is the u.s. closing in on the leader of isis plus the new revelations about the isis supporters who carried out the terror attack in san bernardino. the fbi says they were radicalized quote for quite sometime. 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. call us or your advisor... t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
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it's gotten squarer. over the years. brighter. bigger. it's gotten 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. happening now, breaking news, radicalized to kill. the fbi says the san bernardino attackers embraced the ideology of terrorists well before they committed a massacre. were they committing a rampage when this photo was taken of them entering the united states?
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deadly discovery. investigators found many more pipes that could have been used to build bombs in the killers' home. we have new information about their weapons and how they managed to build a military-style arsenal. tracki in ing bagdadi as th launch a mission to get top operatives and take them out plus trump stuns again. he says he wants to stop all muslims from entering the united states at least for now this as he's gaining ground in the new cnn poll in iowa. how will his new terror response play with voters? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news. the breaking news tonight, the fbi says the married terrorists behind the san bernardino attacks practiced
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their shooting skills within days of their deadly rampage. we now have a photo of the couple entering the united states together through customs at o'hare airport in chicago last year. authorities say both killers have been radicalized for quote quite sometime. there is also more evidence tonight of weapons of mass murder inside the couple's home. the fbi says explosives experts removed 19 pipes that could have been used to build bombs. in a new response to terror on american soil, the republican presidential front runner donald trump is calling for the united states to block all muslims from entering the country at least for now. he says the move would be a total and complete move and last until congress takes some kind of action to better protect the nation. i'll ask senator angus king a member of the intelligence and armed services committee and correspondents and analysts standing by to cover the breaking news.
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up first, pamela brown with more on the investigation of the terror in san bernardino. pamela, what are your sources telling you? it appears tashfeen malik was radicalized before coming to the u.s. and whether the couple ever made direct contact with terrorists overseas. for the first time apicture emerged of the attackers together, the photo was snapped as the married couple passed through customs at chicago's o'hare airport in july 2014. >> as the incest gages has progressed, we have learned and believe that both subjects were radicalized and have been for quite sometime. >> reporter: u.s. officials believe farook's wife tashfeen malik had been radicalized before stepping foot in the u.s. raising alarm bells about the fiancee visa she came in on. the state department says malik would have had to have an in person interview before receiving her visa, but a state department document obtained by cnn and her immigration file
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shows she failed to show up for the interview. it's unclear if she ever rescheduled. >> the background checks aren't as extensive as you would get on a regular type of visa or green card or employment situation over here in the states. >> reporter: malik was born in pakistan and spent some of her life in saudi arabia where her father lives and she earned a degree in pharmacy from a women's only pakistan college. a professor said she was quiet and reserved. >> she was an average student. she came, always kale on time. >> reporter: cnn learned syed farook not only interacted with fbi terrorism subjects but looked into contacting terrorists groups overseas. like al qaeda affiliates. farook's father told an italian newspaper his son quote shared the ideology of al baghdadi to create an islamic state and fix
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sated on israel. farook lived with his mother in this home in redlands california where they found ammunition and bomb-making ma for yells and they told nbc news investigators are interested what she knew about her son and daughter-in-law's activities. >> we want to find everyone that profited from it, financed it and i'm not saying there is anything like that but we will leave no stone unturned. >> reporter: it's unclear what started this husband and wife on the path to radicalization or who may have known about it in advance but tonight, new indications of planning in the days ahead of the attack. >> we do have evidence that both of these subjects did some target, participated in target practice in some ranges within the metro area. >> reporter: the state department says all procedures were followed when malik received her visa and prior to that she did have a face-to-face
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interview they say and so far no one else associated with the attacker haves been charged including the former neighbor and friend of farook that bought two of the rifles used. we learned the fbi interviewed him and searched his home twice. special operations forces are going after senior isis operatives with new you are aga urgency and operatives. let's go to barbara starr. getting el b getti getting al baghdadi is a huge priority of the united states. >> if he is behind the attacks, the u.s. wants him and wants him bad. [speaking foreign language]. >> reporter: isis' leader abu bakr al-baghdadi secretly traveling every few months to mosul, iraq to preach to his followers. apparently believing he can move
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faster than u.s. air strikes can target him a u.s. official tells cnn. he avoids regular patterns of travel to keep from being tracked. the u.s. officials said. getting him and other senior isis operatives is now a top priority for u.s. special operations forces being sent into iraq and syria. it's even more urgent in the wake of the paris and san bernardino attacks because of isis' ability to inspire followers. >> we're deploying special operations forces that can accelerate that offensive. >> our threshold for collateral damage increases with the value of the target we're going after and, you know, i can assure you if we're going after baghddadi we'll go after it as aggressively as necessary. >> special operations forces will now either find and kill or capture and interrogate top isis
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operatives. >> certainly it's our preference to capture in all cases and capture because that allows us to collect some intelligence and to gain additional information and insights. >> reporter: getting that intelligence may be a race against time. isis' global reach is growing according to a new assessment by the u.s. intelligence community. an estimated 23,000 isis fighters have been killed by coalition air strikes in iraq and syria but isis is still increasing the areas it controls followers are now as far away as bangladesh and indonesia. >> it's obvious this organization is generating not only gains in other countries, it's also gaining recruits. >> reporter: up to 30,000 isis fighters and supporters could be inside syria and iraq according to administration estimates. >> we have not contained isil. >> have they been contained at
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any time since 2010? >> tactically, in areas they have been strategically, they have spread since 2010. >> reporter: ash carter on wednesday will be back on capitol hill defending the obama administration's isis strike that -- strategy. >> thanks very much. we're also following new political fallout from the san bernardino terror attack. the republican presidential front runner donald trump wants to stop all muslims from entering the united states at least for now. a written statement from the trump campaign says trump is calling for a total and complete shut down of muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. let's go to our senior washingt washington correspondent jeff zelleny. what are you learning about trump after that statement was released he tweeted another
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statement doubling down on what he's saying. >> reporter: wolf, donald trump is doubling down but with very few specifics about how any president could put anything like this in place but wolf, of all the rhetoric we've heard during the campaign, i can tell you this is extraordinarily and sent shock waves throughout the republican party. they believe what donald trump is doing is spreading fear and praying on the fear of americans and that's words coming from fellow republican candidates. he didn't give specifics how this would play out but his campaign manager said it would apply to immigrants. donald trump said great surveillance and vigilance must be adhered to. we want to be fair but too many bad things are happening and the percentage of true hatred is too great. wolf, the extraordinary thing about this is a couple months ago in september, donald trump was asked directly about muslims and said i love muslims, they
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are great people. of course, this is since the san bernardino shooting happened but he is -- what some of his rivals believe is taking advantage of this incident to try to make political gears and jeered by fellow candidates. >> i asked president obaben rho proposed ban of muslims entering the u.s. >> totally contrary to the values as americans. you know, we have in our bill of rights respect for the freedom of religion. must almostlim americans made contributions to our country but contrary to the security. isis wants to frame this as a war between the united states and islam, if we look like we're plotting religious test we're sending a message we're
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embracing that frame and that going to make it very difficult to partner with muslim communities here in the united states and around the world to prevent the score of radicalization we need to be focused on. we should make it harder for isil to make this a war between the united states and islam not easier. >> angus king a member of the armed services committee. senator, you read the trump statement. your reaction? >> a gift to isis. a gift to isis. this is exactly -- this is literally their strategy if you read about what they are trying to do, they are actively trying to drive a wedge between non-munon non-muslims and muslims around the world to push muslims to their extreme version of islam and this is exactly the worst thing we can do. it's the same argue the applies to sending u.s. troops into syria. that would be the same mistake
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because that's what they want. they are trying to convey to the muslim world that this is a war of the west against islam. the new crusades. that's the language that they like and i've read some of their strategic writings and they talk about exactly this kind of thing where they want us to push our muslims away and push them toward radicalization. it's just a terrible idea. >> in a statement you've read and i've read sites polls suggesting that there is hatred among a lot of muslims around the world that want to come to the united states and he tweeted just put out a very important policy statement on the extraordinary influx of hatred and danger coming into the country. we must be vigilent. we heard what the president said last night. >> you asked me two questions, what should the government do? obviously one of the things we have to do is be careful who does come in but not exclude
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people that includes 1.6 billion people in the world but be careful what people's backgrounds are. are they on the watch list or terrorist watch list or no-fly list. what are their connections to terrorism? i think we need to be careful about that and take extra scrutiny particularly if people coming from these unstable countries in the middle east. that is definitely part, should be part of the policy. but we don't want, what you said what should muslims do, i think it's incumbent upon muslims, particularly in gulf states to forswear this organization. they got to come out with their own religious leaders saying this isn't islam. this is a small slice of a small slice and they got to step forward. the united arab of ishould step
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forward. we can't carry this message. muslims have to step up because these guys are ruining their brand. >> senator, we have a lot more to discuss including the latest revelations about the fbi investigation into the terror attack in san bernardino. i know you're well briefed. much more with senator angus king in a moment. count on being slammed this hwith orders. we're getting slammed with orders. and my customers knowing right when their packages arrive. totally slammed! introducing real-time delivery notifications. one more reason this is our season. ono off-days, or downtime.ason. opportunity is everything you make of it.
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we're back with senator angus sing. the fbi says the married killers in san bernardino, california were radicalized for quite sometime before the attacks and we're learning more about attempts by the top isis lead tore dodge the u.s. military's efforts to track him and take him out. what are the chances of finding abu bakr al-baghdadi and as the white house says take him out. the president says that was his goal in effect to kill him? >> i think it will be difficult because he's obviously aware we're after him and he moves in secret and there's a lot of efforts to conceal it, but, you know, we got jihadi john, we believe, and i think my advice to mr. bagdadhi don't buy green
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bananas. >> what can you tell us about the wife, tashfeen malik, when she was radicalized, how, did she come here to the united states as an isis sympathizers anxious to kill americans? >> i think that's the indication. here is what i can share, she came from pakistan, had been to a saudi arabia and clearly had sympathies it appears when she came here. this is the hardest kind of attack to prevent, although, a lot of people aren't aware of this, over the past year or so, the fbi has arrested 60 people in the u.s. plotting these kinds of attacks. so they have been very effective. they have got 90 oc0 investigations going on in every state and often, these are people like the people in san bernardino but sometimes they are ordinary americans, non-muslims that have fallen for the romance of the death cult as the president called it but this
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is a very tough problem for us because it doesn't involve a lot of planning and a lot of leaks and a large group of people. this is one that we have to keep working on and i think all of us have a responsibility. we don't want to be snitches on each other but we also want to, if you see something, say something. >> did she radicalize him? >> i don't know if i can go that far because it appears that he was going to some of these websites for some years even before he met her but clearly, she was an active participant but can you believe this, wolf, that this woman, this couple left a 6 month old baby? it's sort of incomprehensible. >> the assumption, that was just for show to have a child but they were never really planning on raising the child. they were anxious to go out and dot work of isis. >> what a tragedy for the child and what a tragedy for the grandparents and people who are puzzled by this, but this is
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a -- this is a powerful idea and we're talking, the president was talking last night about military options. we need to talk about the idea and it's -- you can't kill an idea. we have to be combatting it. i thought that was the one missing piece of the president's speech and i thought he did a good job of laying out the strategy and talking about how he got where we are but one missing piece is we need to be fighting on the battle field of ideas and that's where as i mentioned before, we got to have the world's muslims with us. >> was that an intelligence failure here not picking up these two? >> i don't think so. i've done a lot of thinking about that and we'll have a briefing tomorrow afternoon on that subject but it doesn't appear so. we don't want to live in a country where everybody is being watched all the time. you know -- >> but apparently, he, the husband syed farook was in touch with people whether on the internet and various communications with people who
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were in fact being watched by the u.s. government. >> and that's where we need to dig in and see whether there was something missed. it's a question how many leads can you follow up but here was a guy, people at his workplace expressed shock. they didn't see any of this coming but obviously, one of the things we have to connect is was he in touch with other people, are there other people involved in the cell, if you will and this is why some of these programs that got all the flak last year about being able to follow up on the phone calls not the content but who called who, i think that's an important tool. >> the president says the u.s. is not going to deploy ground troops into syria to go after isis. there are 3500 or so in iraq right now so where are the ground troops coming from because the moderate arab states, months ago had error strikes and stopped months ago whether saudis, jordans, they are not engaging in air strikes and they have absolutely no intention of sending ground troops in the french have made
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it clear what happened in paris aren't sending ground troops and british aren't. where are the ground troops coming from? >> we got iraqi security forces and kurds in iraq but syria, where the ground troops will come from. that's why what secretary kerry is working on in vienna to try to ease assad out, if we can t getsge gets a sad out, the ground troops is the syrian army. >> the president didn't mention bashar al-assad. he made no mention of what hillary clinton is proposing, a no fly zone to protect syrian refugees in syria. those were sort of what critics are calling thunderous critics. >> the part of getting rid of assad to focus the attention of the syrian army, the russians, iranians, americans on isis, that's the strategy it -- the
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successful extinction of isis goes through damascus. >> da mass tuck, the mascus has and he is ball asballah. >> here is what has to p haen. putin has to decide isis a greater danger than assad is an asset. they don't like this radical jihad because they have their own problem in the caucuses and russia and i think they are in the process of making that calculations. that's why they went to vienna. >> angus king, thanks for joining us. terrorists experts are digging deeper into the radicalization of the couple and plus, donald trump's rivals have a very strong negative reaction to the new proposal for a total and complete shut down of all
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muslims coming into the united states for now. ♪ and then santa's workers zapped it, right to our house. and that's how they got it here. so, santa has a transporter? for the big stuff... and it's a teleporter. cool. the magic of the season is here, at the lexus december to remember sales event. this is the pursuit of perfection. oh no... (under his breath) hey man! hey peter. (unenthusiastic) oh... ha ha ha! joanne? is that you? it's me... you don't look a day over 70. am i right? jingle jingle. if you're peter pan, you stay young forever. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. ♪ you make me feel so young... it's what you do.
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we're following breaking news in the war against isis and the terror threat a u.s. official tells cnn more than 23,000 isis fighters are estimated to have been killed in 8700 air strikes by u.s. and coalition partners. let's dig deeper with our cnn
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justice reporter evan perez. the former fbi assistant director and analyst tom fuentes and bob baer and terrorism analyst paul cruickshank. now intelligence says you can't really fight the spread of isis without defeating them significantly on the battle field in both iraq and syria. how significantly does isis need to be diminished on the ground for that to work? >> oh, i think it has to be absolutely we just simply can't bomb them. we have to look at the support they are getting around the gulf, saudi arabia and pakistan as long as this movement is being funded it will exist. the only way to end this thing is bring the conflict from the middle east to a conclusion and that should be our main concern. the bombing again will not do it alone. >> if the u.s. and its allies,
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paul, eventually do beat them on the battle field, does that also destroy and defeat the ideology? >> short answer no but i think it will significantly degrade the power of the ideology, wolf, because isis' appeal is based on the idea of winning, of victory and holding territory as a big part of that. makes supporters around the world believe god is on their side and gives isis a lot more legitimacy and persuasive power to ask followers around the world to launch lone wolf strikes, a lot more persuasive power to recruit people into the organization, as well but no, it's not the whole part of the story and there needs to be a generational effort to defeat the ideology, as well ultimately that will be a battle that the muslim communities around the world need to fight against this distorted litterless
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interpretation of islam that will create a need for muslim and preachers to really take on this ideology. >> tom, as you know, authorities including the fbi, which is the lead investigative agency, they don't know if the wife of this case, tashfeen malik radicalized her husband syed farook or vice versa or they both were radicalized for a long time. they do suspect that. was there an intelligence failure here? >> i don't know how you could determine that because this is inside their heads. they hadn't really revealed it to other people they would do an attack or recruit others to help them and if the intensity of the radicalization increased during their pillow talk, i don't know how law enforcement or intelligence will penetrate that. >> the fbi said they were communicating with individuals, terrorists on the watch list who the u.s. was monitoring and also were engaged in an extensive target practice on firing ranges
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even in the days leading up to that massacre in san bernardino. wouldn't that have suggested some call for monitoring? >> well, you know, wolf, let's take the second part first. this is a country where it's very easy to obtain these weapons to go out and do target practice especially in the west. it's not unusual. it's not anything that would call attention. u.s. muslims have the same right as you or i to go out and shoot guns whenever you want, as long as there is no -- you haven't broken any laws, there is nothing to prevent that and as far as their contact with people who were on the fbi radar, we're told, we asked this of the fbi director on friday and he said these were people who the fbi investigated, closed cases on, nobody was charged. these were not high level people and these contacts were not of the nature that would cause the fbi to take a deeper look at farook. i think the problem here lies in the wife and how she was screened before she came to this
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country a year ago she got into this country a year later carries out a terrorist attack. >> they are taking a closer look. go ahead, tom. >> if i can add to that, i've been through the k. 1 process with my wife, you both get screened. the k 1 visa requires both parties to submit extensive, a stack of material about this thick that goes to usc ia and later results in a state department interview before leaving that country and additional interview coming through u.s. passport control. >> but the process is mostly geared towards preventing marriage fraud and not intended and now i bet it will, looking at whether or not somebody could be a terrorist. >> no, it's a process to not let bad people in and there will be financial support on this end and insurance and the person will not be a train. it's an extensive diligent process. i don't know how she got through it. >> it's said the isis leader abu
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bakr al-baghdadi travels to mosul to preach to followers apparently believing he can move faster than u.s. air strikes, drone strikes, can target him. what does that tell you about his mind set? >> well, i think wolf, he's aware that we monitor all cell phones in syria and iraq and that just anybody in his convey can't have a cell phone beyond the internet or anything and i would imagine the discipline around him is just extraordinary. these people have come a long way and understanding our capabilities of our drones and our f-16s. they understand technology and that's why he's managed to elude us for so long but getting rid of him alone isn't going to do it. we have to destroy the meeting as paul said, they cannot look like victors holding territory because they will draw recruits all over the world and will continue to as long as raqqah stands as a capital. >> paul, you're in london, over the weekend there was a stabbing
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incident in the london metro, subway system. the attacker was reportedly yelling this is for syria. you're getting new information from your sources there. tell us what happened. >> well, we're hearing disturbing new details about this that this was an attempted beheading. it seemed he pinned his victim, a 50-year-old man down to the ground and held his head in his hand and started sawing with a sharp knife on his neck. it appears he got distracted when passers by started shouting at him. the police then came. tasered him to the ground and took two or three attempts to get him to the ground. very, very disturbing details. they examined his cell phone and the cell phone they found isis propaganda including the paris attacks and pictures and content related to the san bernardino shootings last week. so this may be a copy cat attack after paris, after california. somebody else inspired by the isis ideology. also reports that he had mental
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health problems and we've seen that connection between mental health and radicalization before in the united states, as well. >> very disturbing information. stand by, when we come back, another update on the investigation of the terror in san bernardino. how the killers prepared for their shooting massacre. we got more information and also, we'll hear donald trump's rivals react to a stunning new proposal to ban all muslims from entering the united states at least for now. when you booked this trip, you didn't know we had over 11,000 local activities listed on our app. or that you could book them right from your phone. a few weeks ago, you still didn't know if you were gonna go.
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we have more now on the breaking news in the presidential race to the republican presidential front runner donald trump now calling for a total and complete ban on muslims entering the united states in response to the attack in san bernardino. our chief political correspondent dana bash is joining us. dana trump's opponents are weighing in. >> i talked to lindsey graham this afternoon who said he thinks this is a death sentence for interpreters and other muslims working to help america fight against isis around the world but true to form, in the face of that kind of outrage, donald trump is doubling down on his stunning statement. a total and complete shut down of all muslims entering this country. that, donald trump's new policy prescription for dealing with terror threats in america. asked by cnn in september if
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muslims pose a danger to the u.s., here was trump's response. >> i love the muslims. i think they are great people. >> reporter: now in a new statement, he claims vast muslim hatred towards america saying our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. trump presidential rival chris christie quickly dismissed it. >> this is what people say when they have no experience and don't know what they are talking about. with e don't need to resort to that activity nor should we. >> reporter: lindsey graham tweeted every candidate for president needs to do the right thing and condemn at real donald trump's statement. one called him you thiunhinged cruz cautiously distanced himself. >> that is not my policy. i introduced legislation in the senate that would put in place a three-year moratorium on
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refugees coming from countries where isis qaeda control territory. >> reporter: 33% of likely iowa caucus goers support trump, that's an eight-point increase from last month. >> the american people are looking for a commander in chief who will keep us safe. >> reporter: ted cruz is now in second place overall but winning among evangelical voters, traditionally key in iowa. pen carson tumbled seven points, now the third choice of iowa republicans likely to vote. what unites gop voters is disdain for president obama and republican candidates spent the day competing to criticize the president's oval office address on isis. >> we don't need a president that goes on national television and lectures the american people like a school. it conda senescena sends saying problem we have is islam phobia.
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>> more reaction is coming in from trump's opponents about his new proposal to ban must almoli. ben carson said he couldn't see a muslim being elected president said everyone visiting this country should register and be monitored and that he, wolf, would not advocate being selective on one's religion. >> stand by for a moment. i want to bring in sarah murray and chief political analyst gloria borger in the new cnn poll, trump has this 13-point lead among caucus goers dana reported. what is driving this impressive lead? >> donald trump is driving this impressive lead. what you saw today from him, i believe, is going to appeal to his base and i wouldn't be surprised despite his statement that it increases his pole numbers with evangelicals in iowa. donald trump knows how to drive the conversation, wolf. i think his supporters see somebody who is steadfast,
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stands for something they like, anti obama, no political correctness, he does very well on foreign policy, on dealing with isis and dealing with the economy and we saw he found a way to separate himself from the rest of the republican field and what are they talking about today? donald trump. >> and he's beeniing criticized >> but they are talking about him. >> sarah, you spent a lot of time covering the trump campaign. how is this likely to play on the conversations you had with trump supporters? >> the reality is when you go to a lot of states, there is a lot of fear and suspicion and confusion about muslims in america and of course, even, you know, the people you talk to will say they don't think all muslims are bad but think the u.s. doesn't know how to differentiate. they want a better system for this and trump is really trying to play into the fears with this and like gloria said, he knows how to turn a media narrative. there was another poll in iowa
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that shows donald trump was losing to ted cruz in the state a little different from what our polls showed. we're talking a lot less about that and more about donald trump at his latest controversial proposal. >> what is driving ted cruz because he's clearly moving up? >> look, ted cruz is a traditionally classic candidate who could and would potentially win in the iowa caucuses. he is conservative fiscally but more importantly, appeals to the social conservatives that drive the votes generally and the caucuses in iowa. so that's, i think, why if you kind of talk about the two polls, the university poll, the way they polled were people who voted in the past in iowa republican primaries. cnn's poll looked at that but also looked at people who say that they are going to vote in the future, which includes a lot of new voters, people that haven't gone to caucuses before, those are the people that trump
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is trying to appeal to to get to the caucuses and that's the did i have -- difference but the master at the message and that trump is, he didn't want anything to detract from the idea that he is winning. >> you know, he's a master at this because this plan today, such as it is, doesn't contain any specifics. it's full of bombast, of youbvi but contains no deadline. it's open-ended that he would shut down muslims entering the united states until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. that's open-ended as far as i can tell because when does congress figure out what is going on. >> not just muslims that want to immigrate but muslim tourists. once he starts speaking, he'll elaborate a bit on what he said because it caused controversy. >> absolutely. his campaign said this would
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apply to tourists and i imagine we'll hear more from donald trump and for other republicans, others that slammed at other members of the republican party, they are cringing because they can feel the way this will impact whoever the republican nominee is if not donald trump. these words will be used to paint the republican as a party hostile towards minorities and this is what republicans worry could affect senators and people down the gal lot. look congress is in session. everyone is being asked what do you think about this trump proposal? that's not a question you want to be answering if you're a republican in a tight senate race. >> we are only a little more than a week from tomorrow. the republican presidential debate, eight weeks until the iowa caucuses. we'll look at trump's competition. much more when we come back.
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we're stand big for a speech from the republican presidential front runner donald trump. the breaking news this hour, trump now says the u.s. should block all muslims from entering the united states in response to
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the attack in san bernardino. this as donald trump widens his lead and his opponent among other opponents but his chief opponent right now in iowa, ted cruz, climbs into second place. we're back with our political team. dana, it's only eight weeks until the iowa caucuses. cruz is doing well in iowa. our poll has him number two. another poll has him number one. it's a battle for the evangelicals. is that what's going on there? >> it's a battle for the evangelicals but i think what our poll shows not just in iowa, but the national poll that we had last week, that there seems to be a pretty clear two or three or four people that are now really in the battle for this nomination. you've got trump, cruz we were talking about. rubio in iowa is pretty far behind. he's at about 11% i believe, maybe 13%. then there's carson as well. everybody else is very low in the single digits. you're talking about jeb bush and john kasich and chris christie and so forth.
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so, you know particularly when you're talking about the first contest state, you have a huge field but it's narrowing in terms of who the contest is really between. >> you know it's now a game of expectations. i was talking to somebody in the rubio campaign today and they're like, well, if we come in third in iowa, that'll be fabulous for us. but it won't be fabulous for them. they're working hard to do better there. but the race is really shaping up, and you've got trump, the white working class. you have cruz, the conservative candidate. then you have rubio who could potentially be that crossover ad that could appeal to conservatives as well as to the republican establishment. at least that's what they want to think. >> and christie is polling -- >> exactly. >> not good right now, but we have seen him in interviews in the last couple of days he's clearly latched on to the idea in the wake of the terror attacks this could be his moment. he can talk about being a u.s. attorney and prosecuting these cases. if he can move his numbers in
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iowa maybe he'll be in better shape going into new hampshire. still very early and his polling -- >> so the republican establishment, gloria, they're pretty nervous right now. they don't necessarily like trump or cruz either. >> when we talk about the republican establishment these days, i'm not quite sure what we're talking about anymore. i think what you're talking about is donors because the republican establishment is wall street, the people who are funding these campaigns. and donors are getting nervous because nobody is coalescing around a candidate they think that can get elected. this is the republican establishment. so they'll watch iowa and new hampshire. so far the jeb bush people are nervous i'm told, but they're not leaving yet. they're sort of hanging in there. and they're waiting for some votes actually, believe it or not. >> but going back to what we were talking about before, the big news today which is donald
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trump's statement to ban all muslims from entering the country, carly fiorina, they have had their words, but she said just a few minutes ago that she believes this is not good for the republican party. whether he is the nominee or not. we're seeing the churning continuing. >> we're standing by to hear from donald trump as well. by the way, the last hour we asked our viewers to weigh in on the following question online. do you think president obama's strategy to defeat isis will be effective? many of you voted in our unscientific vote on social media, 32% of the respondents said yes, 68% said no. 68% they do not believe president obama's strategy in dealing with isis will be effective. i wanted to update you on that online question that we asked. remember, we're eight days away from the final republican
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debate. they face off next week, december 15th. you can follow us on twitter. please tweet me @wolfblitzer. please be sure to join us here in the situation room. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. san bernardino's husband and wife killer, both were radicalized for quote quite some time. the family attorney my guest tonight. plus much more on donald trump's new plan. a ban on all muslims entering the united states is this too far? trump's spokewoman our guest. and the number of foreigners joining the fight for isis more than doubling. let's go "outfront." good evening.

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