tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN March 18, 2016 11:00am-1:01pm PDT
>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we have breaking news coverage of one of the most intense and deadly manhunts of our time and we can confirm one of the fugitives, perhaps the most wanted man in the world, suspected in the paris terror attack, has just been captured
alive. we've just learned from our affiliate in belgium he was shot in the leg during the capture. he was caught during a raid in the belgium suburb of molenbeek, an area plagued with terror cells and radicalization. he is injured, but again, captured alive. the suspected driver of the car that dropped off three suicide bomber, at that french soccer stadium november last year, the night of those coordinated terror attacks throughout the city and one of the suicide bombers outside the cafes was, in fact, his brother. he did detonate that suicide vest and kill himself. immediately after the effect, sala abdeslam fled. help was even questioned by police, passed through checkpoints at the border, police didn't realize who he was and let him pass through. ever since then, he's been on
the run, for four months, evading law enforcement. finally this week officers raided a different apartment in brussels. they did find abdeslam's dna, sparking this intense hunt to track him down. the news he had stayed so close to the scene of this alleged crime shocking many in the terror community, who believed he would likely have fled perhaps all the way to syria. so we have you covered on every single angle. clarissa ward, cnn international correspondent, who is all over the story when it broke last fall in paris. bob baer, cnn intelligence and security analyst and former cia operative. juliette kayam, cnn national security analysts and former assistant homeland security secretary, and jim bittermann who was there through it all, of course our correspondent and bureau chief in paris. so jim, jim bittermann, let me actually begin with you there. i mean, it has been four months. this is perhaps the most wanted
man in the world. the timing, the significance of this capture, give it some perspective for me. >> i think for the french, this is a really big deal, for french authorities and for the french public. it was greeted here with a great deal of satisfaction amongst the french authorities, especially the fact that abdeslam was captured alive. that's going to provide authorities with a wealth of information. he was in the -- directly involved in the planning of what went on on november 13th. and he may be able to identify all of the logistical support this group that carried out the attacks had. he's the only surviving attacker. and he's also thought to be not as -- as convinced terrorist as some of the others. because he abandoned a vest, an explosive vest he had with him. he didn't blow himself up like the others did, and he fled.
and today of course he didn't commit suicide as police were moving in on him. he, in fact, was captured alive. he may be not so convinced as a terrorist and may be able to provide information about this logistical support, who was really in charge of this operation. plips are think. police are thinking perhaps maybe 20 to 25 people involved in supporting this operation, renting apartments and safe houses and cars and getting weapons. he's going to provide a wealth of information for investigators. tonight, one of the association of november 13th, which is an association of all the victim's families from november 13th, was on television. he said we are very happy tonight. we are finally going to get some answers we think to some of the questions we've had, brooke. >> jim, thank you, stand by. clarissa, let me bring you in. last time we talked about what was happening in paris, we were standing in paris. i remember the breaking news that the suicide vest had been found in a trash can in a
parisian suburb which apparently was sal law abdeslam's suicide vest. tell me more about his role back on friday night in november and the fact he didn't stray far from home that he stayed -- >> this is what has always perplexed people because usually in these situation, as jim says, everyone commits suicide at the end of these operations so you don't get a chance for justice, you don't get a chance to interrogate, to find someone, to get more information on what happened. but salah abdeslam who's 26 years old, belgium born, but french citizen, he was a different case. we know or we believe he drove the car, with three suicide bombers to the stade de france. one of them was his brother who detonated his vest and killed himself. we know this vest was found in a traj can. it's not clear what happened. did abdeslam have a change of
heart. so authorities have been absolutely fixated on finding him because he is the one piece of the puzzle that do potentially bring all of the other parts together and provide a much clearer picture of what happened. now, beyond that, there was also a fixation because it was a question of how on earth was he able to escape. we know that he headed to the belgium border and was in fact stopped by the belgium border just hours after the attack. we know we've seen this surveillance video that kay out from a gas station days later. and they he was apparently hiding in plain sight for four months, brooke, in this belgium suburb of molenbeek. a lot of people will ask the question, how was he able to hide? who was hiding him? what other networks and what other cells exist in these areas? >> so depending on whether or not they get him to talk, he could be a treasure trove of information for all those other text catentacles that created ts plot. for four months, hiding in plain
sight. is it appropriate to say he sort of had cold feet and didn't detonate his suicide vest? so in a sense if he were to want to go to syria to isis, would they have -- would he be a wanted man for isis as he is a wanted man for law enforcement in europe is what i'm asking. >> that's a good question, brooke. i think if he'd gone back to the islamic state, he would have been under suspicion. he probably would have been executed. he knew that. what concerns me really is he was able to disappear in a major european capital for four months and he was the most sought after man in the world. i mean, the discipline that takes to stay off telephones, e-mail, hide from the belgium police, hide from everybody else, is quite extraordinary. and tells us the length these people will go to and that they're frankly embedded in europe, they're hard to get to. >> bob, stay with me. paul cruikshank is here.
you broke the story, the fact that salah abdeslam was captured alive. we should start with the raid a few days ago where one of the men associated with this was killed and the others, including abdeslam, got away at that time. >> yes, so if we walk back to tuesday afternoon in brussels, when everybody here in the united states is all about the primaries and so on and so forth, super tuesday. in brussels, there was a counterterrorism search going on in the southwestern part of brussels. they had information linking an address to the paris attacks. that's all they had. they thought that property was empty. they didn't believe anybody was in there. in fact, there was no power or water going in at all. when they launched the raid, they didn't go in strokreally s, really heavy. >> little did they know.
>> as soon as they tried to open the door, they opened fire with their cakalashnikovs. the senior terrorist amongst them, mohammed belki, senior figure in the conspiracy, was the guy doing most of the firing on police, providing cover for his other two accomplices to get away. they managed to get away. >> through the roof, right? >> through the roof, managed to melt away into brusselings. next thing that happens is a police sniper managed to kill mohammed belki. they find all sorts of intelligence inside that apartment, including the fingerprint, dna, other evidence suggesting abdeslam had been there after the attacks, had been there recently, so the obvious assumption is he was probably one of the two people who got away. over the last 72 hour, they'd been working around the clock to try to find these two individuals. while they managed to get abdeslam just a few hours ago in that operation in molenbeek.
>> how did they know where to go? to connect "a" to "b," which is captured abdeslam, how did this happen? >> it was a very different change in the operating environment. because the trail had gone completely cold. he stayed in this one location, protected by other isis operatives, probably spending a lot of time at that location. all of a sudden, he's on the run. that creates all kinds of noise. he's going back to one of those neighborhoods that they like to kind of operate in, they feel more comfortable operating in, and so all sorts of intelligence then starts coming in to belgium counterterrorism services. today, just a few hours ago, there was a major armed police operation and they managed to take two of these terrorists, including salah abdeslam into custody, they were injured in that operation, perhaps in a firefight. we're still trying to confirm exactly how they were injured. they got two of these guys now in custody. it would appear that there's a significant probability those
are the two individuals who were also in that home. they're still trying to put all those pieces together as i speak, the belgium investigators. but even at this hour there is some word there are still some ongoing operations in that area. >> some explosives still going off -- >> because there could be others connected to them. it's all very dynamic. we're trying to get information as quickly as we can. >> so as this is still ongoing, i want to ask both of you to stay with me. looking at you, i want to take everyone inside of what -- how intense these police raids are. i remember when the ringleader, the mastermind, abdelhamid abaaoud was killed, you were there, perched on a roof or a balcony, and i wanted to talk to you about that. paul cruickshank, we want to talk to you about how much information they could get from abdeslam. and since he is a would-be suicide bomber, the fact they caught him alive, how will he be
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i'm brooke baldwin. we're back with our breaking news here. as the raid is really under way, a dynamic active scene in belgium as we have learned and confirmed the so-called eighth attacker in the massive paris terror attacks back on that friday night in november of last fall has been captured alive. the man who broke that news for us, paul cruickshank, cnn terrorism analyst. clarissa ward who covered it in paris, cnn international correspondent michael weiss has just been seated, senior editor at the daily beast, jim sciutto is with us as well, our chief national security correspondent, he's been working his sources. i know in france on this today. and juliette khaim is with us, cnn national security analyst and department of homeland security former assistant secretary. so let's begin with paul
cruikshank again, for people just tuning in, the significance of this live capture, dating back to a raid from friday night, he escaped through the roof. fast forward 72 or so hours, they catch him, now what? >> they'll want to interrogate him. they'll want to know are there any other plans, where are all the other co-conspirators. there are some still at large linked to the paris attacks. the number one priority will be preventing further loss of life. the fact that they've got him is a last step in that direction, because there's real concern he could launch a follow-on attack. he was in that safe house all those months with two other key members it's believed of the paris conspiracy, including a senior member of the conspiracy who is providing olds to the paris attackers, including providing orders to abdelhamid abaaoud, the ringleader on the ground in paris. there was a more senior figure operating all that time over the phone. providing coordination from brussels. he was killed in that operation
on tuesday afternoon by belgium police sniper. but he provided covering fire for two of his terrorist accomplices to get out over the roofs away from that building. it's presumed one of those was indeed salah be abdeslam becaus they found his fingerprints in that apartment. they'll try to get other information from him. now, in belgium, across much of europe, he doesn't have to talk. there is nothing they can do to force him to talk. in fact, in previous arrests in belgium, they've been very frustrated because the suspected isis operatives essentially said absolutely nothing and that's been a real challenge for them, but with skilled interrogators, there is a chance to get information. of course eventually they'll bring him to justice. they'll be a trial in france, i would think probably taking place in france. he'll be tried there and they'll be justice for those families,
the 130 people killed in those attacks, and hundreds and hundreds, up to 700 injured in those attacks as well. >> the fact, though, he remained in this community in molenbeek for as many months as he did, we keep saying hiding in plain sight. jim sciutto, i know you've been talking to your sources. you talkeded to a french counterterror official today saying he wasn't surprised that he would have stayed so close to home. t tell me why. >> that's right, because in effect he was telling me it's less risky. if you move, you have to cross borders and you have to communicate, you have to speak on cell phones where you might be surveilled. so oddly enough, almost counterintuitively, the safer thing to do is hide in place and keep in mind in belgium there is such a network there of safe houses, et cetera, that he would have places to hide, abdeslam, during this four month period. as paul noted in the broadcast earlier, this is a manhunt that
despite his proximity throughout this time since the paris attacks had essentially gone cold, until this raid in the last 24, 48 hours where they found his dna in that apartment and then in effect they almost stumble upon him to one degree. that's one point. the other point here beyond the legal proceedings that he will face, abdeslam, clearly be charged in these deadly attack, face the full force of the law. the french authorities have enormous emergency powers right now to hold before they charge. and the priority during that time will be intelligence gathering. they want to find out what remains of the network that carried out these paris attacks. what other cells may be out there that this cell had contact with, to prevent other attacks going forward. i met, last week, had dinner with the french interior minister who was visiting washington to discuss the terror cooperation between these to countries and his warning was we expect another successful terror attack in 2016. that is their footing. they're very nervous.
>> that is frightening. jim sciutto, thank you for that. juliette, to jim and also paul's point on, you know, he has facing this european arrest warrant, but they may hold on charges until they get more information, more evidence. walk us through exactly what that looks like and ultimately what he could face legally speaking and beyond. >> he's just now within the legal framework that exists in both countries as well as in europe. so there's no torture. there's no coercive interrogation. this is the traditional interrogation we understand in the typical fashion of law and order but there are professionals who will try to get information out of him. at the same tyime, i expect france is seeking extradition. to move him to the french judicial system which, as jim was saying, is much harsher than ours in the sense you can detain someone for a long time.
access to lawyers delayed. so there's going to be sort of a more aggressive law and order approach to him to see how much he talks. and then you're going to have a typical -- it's going to look different than the united states. but case against him. they have specialized courts in france and specialized judges who are protected, because you don't want the judges to be at risk. so that's how it's going to proceed relatively sort of familiar. what i do want to pick up on and just clear what paul and jim said, i think it's very unlikely that abdeslam was planning anything in the future. what i think french authorities are probably worried about is his arrest might trigger something that others have been planning. i think we have to assume that him being in the safe house meant he did not have much access to information. help w he was keeping low it the worry in both the west and the united states will be is this a trigger for something in the future.
>> all right, juliette, thank you. we have chris burns, cnn freelance journalist, on the ground in this community, molenbeek, in belgium, and so all is far from quiet here, on though we're reporting salah abdeslam has been captured alive. explosion, shots are still being fired. chris, tell me what you're seeing and hearing, please. >> yes, hello, brooke, we did hear a couple of explosions in the last 15 minutes now. they were just about a half a minute apart. i've asked police here on the they would not tell me.bout. they've been very, very tight. lipped. but they are in helmets and with shields. so they are ready for anything here. there are quite a few youths and they did run down the street there after some police dogs, sniffer dogs, went into one street that's blocked off. i think it's more a curiosity by the locals trying to see what is going on.
a few hours ago, though, there were shots, and of course as you know salah abdeslam was arrested in this shootout. so there remains the push by authorities here to try to find other suspects linked to the terrorist attacks, and we see just driven up about four or five police vehicles that just came from the direction of the street that is blocked off. it is not clear why they drove up. but there is still movement, still action we're watching on the ground here. lots of locals. lots of journalists. just waiting to see what is happening. it's been an intense situation and we're waiting to see if there could be further, perhaps further arrests. obviously, there is still action going on at this point, brooke.
>> understandable, everyone there still in riot gear as they have just, you know, apprehended i think we can call him one of most wanted men in the world. it's one thing, though, to watch it -- chris, thank you so much, keep your eyes open in belgium. clarissa, i just want to remind everyone because you were there. you were there in november during one of the police raids. how intense, what did you see, remind us. >> we hear chris saying there's still explosions, some gunfire. this is absolutely normal. the raid in sanderne, where we were, in the outskirts of paris, lasted six or seven hours, i believe. it went on and on. you imagine it's a fairly rapid thing. >> but it's not -- >> it doesn't actually work like that. often they're carrying explosives or suicide vests. there are a lot of considerations for authorities going in there in terms of their own security.
and it's not surprising to hear that amount of explosions either. i mean, we were surprised on the ground, my colleague, senior international correspondent atika shubert who was there from 4:00 in the morning was hearing blast after blast after blast. it's difficult to know if this is an controlled explosion, a stun grenade, a suicide bomber blowing himself up. it is normal for these raids to last hours and hours with a lot of heavy firepower being used as police try to, in the case of s saint-denis, they were trying to capture abdelhamid abaaoud. >> let's remind everyone what that was like. >> i'm just going to duck out so we can push in and take a look at that apartment building that was the focus of these raids. we can see forensic experts have been moving around inside those
rooms. they've been taking photographs. you can see the aftermath of those blasts that were heard. all the windows have been blown out. you can see the pock marks of heavy weaponry around those windows. we've spoken to a number of residents and eyewitnesss who told us it all started about 4:30 a.m. they heard gunfire, they heard grenades. we've managed to get on to a roof -- >> so that was clarissa reporting, that massive raid in saint-denis, which he was killed, abdelhamid abaaoud. >> he blew himself up. >> the mastermind of the terror attacks in paris. we have so much still to go through here on cnn. stay right here. more breaking news on the other side of the commercial break. [plumber] i need to be where the pipes are.
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this is cnn breaking news. >> major breaking news here on cnn on this friday afternoon. we have now confirmed the so-called eighth attacker in the paris terror attacks from last november has, in fact, just been captured, and he is alive. he is salah abdeslam, and apparently he's been living in this home, in this apartment in belgium, so not too far from france, for the last four months. we have some video just in. i can't tell you who the person is who we're seeing obviously being pulled into this vehicle, but clearly someone has been apprehended and is being taken in by law enforcement here in molenbeek, which is a community
of brussels. of the capital city as we look at this, let me stress this is far from over. we were just talking to a correspondent on the ground in the community. shots are still being fired. explosions still going off. even though two people have been apprehended, including this eighth attacker. we have an eye on what's happening there in the community, but i do want to bring in michael weiss, who has been sitting here with me, who can talk a little bit more about this. we also have congresswoman jane harman standing by as well, former california congresswoman. michael weiss, think it's important to you first to remind people. we had this conversation after charlie hebdo and we had this conversation after what happened in november. why belgium? and parts of france as well? as these hotbed locations for terrorism? >> well there are whole communities within these cities, these capital cities in europe who have given themselves over to a sort of ghettoized radical
mobilization. it's in london you have areas where extremist clerics are preaching from mosques in broad daylight. these are recruitment for jihadis. a lot of the foreign fighters who have gone to join isis either from belgium or france or germany come from communities like this. that's not to say there's a socioeconomic driver. there's this myth that terrorists come from poverty. a lot of the guys had attended very elite universities or schools. they came from middle to upper middle class backgrounds. but there is this kind of milleu that has been sort of, you know, driving this ideology. so it's not at all surprising to hear that, you know, brussels and molenbeek in particular is where the action has taken place. >> congresswoman, you've watched the coverage and the significant capture. what do you make of everything? >> well, it's a big deal, not
only the person captured arrive, and even if he doesn't talk, it's significant he was captured alive. but who captured him. the belgiums have been the weak link here. let's understand, in the eu system, there are open borders, the shangen system, and because of that system, because belgium has been the swamp, belgium has been the place where most of these folks have congregated and launched attacks in france. now if the belgiums are developing trade craft, and they apparently are, that enabled them to take out these people that swamp could be drained. and this will improve, not eliminate, the climate, and reduce the number of terror attacks. we should assume that this could generate a lot of copycat attacks, and that there are other sleeper cells, probably, in, i would say, in brussels, and maybe in parts of paris. these parts we just described. so vigilance is required. but belgium's getting better.
the french are very good. and obviously the u.s. is providing what assistance we can. >> i mean, congresswoman makes an excellent point. we talked a lot about that in the wake of the attacks, the open borders, the fact that abdeslam with two other associates were in a car stopped by authorities, passed through a checkpoint. i don't know if he was quite named a suspec at the time. the fact he's been living in this community four months, you know, i'm wondering -- i was just asking bob baer and i'd love your perspective, the fact he was so hunted by law enforcement, a, but also the fact that either his suicide vest didn't detonate or he got cold feet, we don't know, would he also be wanted by isis because he did not fulfill his mission so he could not go to syria. >> it seems an irony, hiding in plain sight. it happens all the time. look, osama bin laden was living in a pakistani town right under the nose of the pakistani
government for how ever many years. abu mass sab al zarqawi was caught in about a 15-minute helicopter ride away from the base of the u.s. special forces that actually killed him, very nearby where, you know, the u.s. occupation had its sort of central hub in iraq. this happens a lot. why? because as others have alluded to, when you move, you know, when you cross through countries even under the shangen system, you raise red flags. the mastermind, remember, after the attack, they published an article, only published after the event, of which he was boasting of how easy it was to slip the dragnet. you had a paneuropean hunt for this man who had been implemented in prior terror attacks that were not successful. he laughed and said i had a fake i.d. and they let me through. now, because there wases this continent-wide, global manhunt
for abdeslaabdeslam, he would hn an idiot to leave that radius. >> it made sense for him to stay close. >> absolutely. this is interesting because a lot of us assumed he was persona nongrata for one of two reasons. number one, he chickened out. help was visibly upset and weeping accord to eyewitnesses. he was the driver but he also had a suicide vest which did not detonate, and was found in a trash can. number two, this didn't get attention at the type, but outlets like the british sunday times reported on it. he was known to have frequented the gay district of brussels and bartenders at various gay bars are on record saying we thought he was a prostitute because he was here so often mingling with the crowd. whether or not that was true or intelligence planting stories designed to make him terrified. you can imagine, if he's been outed as a homosexual, he's not going back to the caliphate.
he was domiciled with one of the -- two of the major operatives, including the guy calling the shot -- >> the guy who was killed on tuesday. >> and he was armed with a caliph thcal kalashnikov, so it's not like they were holding him. this is the most significant catch in the entirety of the war. i even made people caught inside syria and iraq. why? because they're putting this renewed emphasis on foreign operations. they're looking to strike. can tell you interviews i've conducted with u.s. intelligence officials, national security types, this is the big concern. it's not even so much what's happening in the levant in mess po tame ya, it's what are they going to do next. i was told italy and spain are two countries they are hearing chatter about. >> the question is, will he talk, will he give up information. stay with me, michael. i love all your points. i do want to go to belgium right now because we have gabriel
ste steinhouser, reporter with the "wall street journal," in this community where the activity is taking place in molenbeek, just outside the capital city. i want you to start, gabriel, tell me what you're still seeing and hearing, activity among law enforcement. >> okay, i'm standing right here outside the cordoned off area. police are mostly calm. there are a lot of people standing by. there are a few skirmishes between police and local youth who have been throwing stuff, causing a little bit of mayhem. a little while ago, we heard two loud bangs. unclear if they were explosions, gunshots or maybe some, you know, police action to district people. but it's generally quiet. >> okay, and we're looking at some of your pictures you've tweetered out there from the scene. let me ask you, because you've also done reporting on -- this goes back to the raid on tuesday.
we were just discussing a senior isis official who had extreme involvement in the coordinated terrorist attacks in paris. he was the one engaged in opening fire on law enforcement. help was killed. that is when abdeslam and other individuals slipped out through the roof and we know two other individuals have been caught. they knew, gabriel, that at least abdeslam had been in that apartment because they found his fingerprints, correct, tell me what you learned about where his fingerprints were found. >> so indeed there was a raid on tuesday in an apartment in another district here in brussels, and four police were injured, one man was killed, and it was revealed today the man who was killed was also wanted in connection with the paris attacks. he was seen before the attacks with abdeslam who was obviously the one surviving participant in the attacks. prosecutors also said they found
fingerprints of salah abdeslam in the apartment. according to one police officer, on a glass, which suggestled he had been there very recently. then they suddenly had a fresh track. >> and that led them ultimately to what we've been reporting on for the last couple of hours, the fact that they got him and they got him alive. gabriel, thank you so much. michael weiss, thank you so much. former congresswoman jane harman, thank you. president and ceo of the woodrow wilson center, thank you so much. much more on this story out of belgium, the key terror suspect, the eighth attacker captured alive. what authorities hope to learn. potential wealth of information if he talks. plus, in politics today, it is donald trump versus the republican establishment. we've been reporting on this closed door meeting held to discuss something very specific, how to stop trump from winning the party's nomination. how do they plan to do that? you're watching cnn.
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we will take you back to belgium here momentarily. we have a news conference from the belgium prosecutor we're going to bring you live as we get new details as this eighth attacker in the coordinated paris terror attacks from last fall has been caught and has been caught alive. meantime, to a turning point for republicans trying to stop the presidential nomination of donald trump. their denial is now shifting to desperation. and they're asking this question, is it too late? still, anti-trump conservatives are plotting the next steps and there's talk of what's been called a unity ticket. they hope the combined report
for trump's rivals can keep trump from netting that 1,237 dell gates he needs to clinch the party's nomination. if they succeed, the gop could face a new challenge. listen to what one of his top aides told cnn today. >> i will tell you, if the republican party comes in to that convention and jimmies with the rules and takes away the will the people, the will of the republicans and the democrats and the independents who have voted for mr. trump, i will take off my credentials, i will leave the floor of that convention and i will leave the republican party forever. >> wow. let me turn to the author of george h.w. bush, the american president series, tim naptale, professor at nyu. also, a.b. stoddard, associate editor of the hill. and cnn political commentator amanda carpenter who used to serve as communications director for senator cruz. happy friday.
a.b., let me begin you with here on this whole notion of the unity ticket. at this the meeting behind closed doors, apparently this unit ticket would be ted cruz and john kasich. what is the logic of how these two could actually stop trump? >> well, look, i don't think that they can win more delegates than donald trump going forward, but they might be able to stop him from reaching 1,237 before the convention. they're already in a kind of unity ticket because they're not criticizing each other. you hear cruz say he's the only one who can stop trump but they're not attacking each other because they know they're better off with each other in the race. they'll amass more delegates combined than if one of them it was try to go against trump and they'll make it more possible that he's stopped before the convention. but both of them have only one path and that is contested convention. neither one is going to get the delegates to storm hp him now. i think paul ryan, the house
speaker, is right, you have to run for president to become president. i think people in those meetings desperate to stop trump, have concluded it would have to be somebody, not mitt romney or paul ryan, who's run in this cycle and, you know, is left standing. so it would have to be kasich and cruz combined or one of them maybe with someone else who's also run in this cycle. >> you mentioned paul ryan. let me just get to what he has said. the u.s. house speaker said this about the convention in cleveland. roll it. >> nothing's changed other than the perception that this is more likely to become an open convention than we thought before. so we're getting our minds around the idea this could very well become a reality and therefore those of us involved in the convention need to respect that. >> so, amanda, that's to you, you know, here ryan is not only the u.s. house speaker, he is the, you know, chair of the rnc convention. and he's admitting it will be open. what does that say about the
state of the republican party? >> he says we're still struggling to see what our heart and soul is, what direction are we going to go. this has been a very divisive primary season. we had a lot of candidates. we started out with 17 people duking it out. finally it's getting down to three. and people are scared that donald trump will be the nominee. the reason it's going to be open. the reason why donald trump may not clinch that precious 1,237 number is because people aren't unifying behind him. he has a strong group of supporters, but i think there's more people who are willing to go against that and say, no, i don't think this is the direction we're going to go, we're ready for something else. if it has to go to the convention, we'll do that. >> side note, and i think a.b. sort of hit on this. when we talk about, yes, paul ryan, very highly respected. he's the speaker of the house. but he lost. mitt romney lost. mitt romney's been out and about and he's been talking and he's been part of this, you know, anti-trump effort as well.
but, you know, also the whole notion of too little too late. they've ignored trump for months and months. one hand, why even listen to what those two are suggesting? >> first of all, paul ryan is the most powerful republican in the country. he's the spoeaker of the house, so he is the leader of the party. it doesn't matter that he lost -- he was the undercard in 2012. let it be said, however, that no one has gone from being speaker of the house to becoming president. a former speaker of the house, james polk, became president, but no one has gone from the job to become president. here's the problem. and we should all understand this. there's no playbook. there's no playbook for this situation. when they talk about an open convention, what they mean is a contested convention. there hasn't been one since the 1960s. maybe 1976 could have been but in the end reagan was defeated by ford. so the gop doesn't have people old enough to remember when there were really contested
conventions. that's one. secondly, the trump campaign, the trump movement is a runaway train. as we know, it's hard to stop runaway trains in a beautiful soft way. and nobody understands, nobody has figured out the movement, nobody in the leadership, the gop, predicted the movement, and now to think they can predict how to stop the movement, well, time will tell, but the odds are not great. >> you're not buying this unity ticket idea? >> well, the unity ticket is possible, but it depends on one, whether governor kasich or senator cruz can check his ego at the door and say, okay, i'll be number two. because you see the reason why this is a perfect storm, i believe, for the gop, was you had a bunch of people who were -- who thought they could be and should be president. and as the trump movement gathered momentum, few of them were willing to step back and say, no, i'll be number two this time. or i'll throw my support behind whether it would be senator cruz or senator rubio or back before
governor bush. but nobody did that. so what you've got now is two men, governor kasich and senator cruz, both of whom think they should be on the top of the unity ticket. until they figure that out, there is no unity ticket. >> tim neptali, professor, thank you, a.b. stoddard, thank you. back to our breaking news here. this key fugitive really who has been the most wanted fugitive in the world these last few months, the so-called eighthth attacker in the paris terror attacks has been captured alive. we're expecting a news conference from the belgium prosecutor coming up in mere minutes. we will take it live. we'll be right back.
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first responders are heroes for each and every call they respond to but we have to share this story of one firefighter who went beyond the call of duty. miguel marquez has the story. [ sirens ] >> reporter: for this firefight, every call, a mystery. in february, one call bowled him over. >> i just happened to be put in that spot to do what i was supposed to do. >> reporter: mccuen's squad arrived at this mobile home in
suburban detroit. in the living room, 18-year-old troy stone, suffering a severe type of muscular dystrophy, needing a ventilator to breathe, electricity to the home cut off. >> without electricity, how long would troy live? >> i'm not sure but it wouldn't be too long. >> reporter: christy and her husband have five kids. two have muscular dystrophy. for troy, breathing so difficult it takes seven machines, all running on electricity, to keep him alive. >> he's been through a lot. i'm sorry. >> reporter: christy's husband, out of a job for a year and a half, now working, but the family still struggling. >> ryan was standing there and he looks at me and goes, i'm going to pay your electric bill. i was just like, are you serious? >> reporter: he was. mccuen paid all $1,023.76 of it.
>> it seeped obvious what the solution was. they just needed their bill paid. >> reporter: a good deed from a guy in no position to do it. mccuen himself was laid off, retired two years ago. last year, he married andrea and they just had their first. that's 3-month-old camilla. >> he never -- surprises me when he does something nice. it's just -- it's ryan. >> reporter: mccuen's act of kindness made the local paper, sparking a round of help. a routine call. >> ryan's his hero he said. >> reporter: neither will ever forget. >> oh, my goodness, miguel marquez. oh. >> it is so sweet, it's so lovely. everybody asked him why you did it. you see this new and your heart goes out to them. two kids with this muscular
dystrophy. absolutely lovely. we were all in tears. even the hard core photographer we were with, absolutely crying. just a lovely family and this guy reached out at just the right time and it's really helped him. i get welled up thinking about it now. it says a lot about america. given all the terrible things happening in this world. >> thank you, i needed this. >> lovely on a friday. >> thank you, miguel marquez. this is cnn breaking news. >> here we go, top of the hour. this is cnn's breaking news. we're waiting for a news conference from the belgium prosecutor. as we are learning that explosions and shots are still ringing out through streets of molenbeek. this is a neighborhood just outside of the capitol hill there in belgium. police capturing one of the world's most wanted men, this is still an active situation. it is unfolding as i speak. here is the news.
we can confirm here at cnn salah abdesl abdeslam, one of the fugitives suspected in the massive coordinated paris terror attacks last november, has been captured alive. he was caught during this raid in this brussels suburb of molenbeek, an area plagued with terror cells and radicalization. abdeslam, who we're told was shot in the leg during his capture, is the suspected driver of the car that dropped off three suicide bombers at the soccer stadium in paris on that friday night. and one of those suicide bombers who he dropped off was his brother who detonated his vest and killed himself during that attack. immediately after those attacks, we know that abdeslam fled. he was even stopped, questioned by police, who, at that time, didn't realize who he was, and so they let him go. he has been on the run for four months now.
evading law enforcement. finally this week officers raided a different home in the brussels area. they actually found his dna fingerprints on a glass sparking this intense hunt to track him down. and the news that he had stayed actually so close to the scene of this crime in paris, shocking so many in the terror community, who believed perhaps he had fled all the way to syria. let me begin our coverage this hour by going straight to belgium to chris burns, our freelance journalist who's on the ground in this community where these explosives are still going off and shots are still being fired, so chris tell me what you're seeing there right now. >> brooke, there are a number of streets blocked off, police have cordoned off a number of streets as they continue their search. there's obviously still a lot of police activity after the arrest of salah abdeslam here in this neighborhood. we did hear some -- two very large explosions in the past
hour. about 30 seconds apart. in an area where they had sent, the police had sent, some police with bomb-sniffing -- with sniffer dogs. and the police are also -- a number of them are equipped with riot gear, with helmets and shields. because some of the local youth -- there have been sort of standoffs. it's a rather tense situation. at the moment where we are, we don't see a lot of activity behind us but there are police who are guarding the street. as the searches continue. the police have cordoned off also an area where abdeslam had been arrested and captured. that area also a lot of police, be cluding the riot police. so there is continued action here. there have been searches like these other the past few weeks, especially since the november attacks in paris. arrests just about every week.
but of course with abdeslam being arrested today, a lot more media attention and a lot more police presence, brooke. >> all right, chris burns, thank you so much. in molenbeek, belgium. let me bring in my panel. bob baer, cnn intelligence and security analyst. juliette kayam, cnn national security analyst and former homeland security secretary. michael weiss, co-author of "isis inside the army of terror." and eraaron cohen, former israe forces special operative. bob baer, let me ask you first, put this in perspective, how significant, how huge is this capture? >> oh, it's huge, brooke, they're going to be going into a lt of safe houses. they're going to get a lot of new leads. a lot of the evidence is not transmitted over the evideninte. they're going to get more associa associates, bomb makers, so forth. once you start these series of raids, they can go on for weeks.
i think by the end of it, they'll be close to, you know, mopping up the network that did the november 13th attack in paris. >> aaron, to you, just on sheer tactics, because all the genesis of this capture was, in part, what happened on tuesday, at a separate location, in an apartment, where, you know, one individual who was involved in the paris attacks, he was killed, and two others, including abdeslam, you know, slipped out through the roof and that is what then began this massive search for this eighth attacker. what are these police raids like? how intense? and, also, they never know, when they're banging down that door, what or who is on the other side. >> brooke, the type of -- the type of tactics being deployed now by the belgium special weapons and tactics team is what's called slow and deliberate clearing. it's designed for what's known as high threat close quarters
battle, essentially what this unit is geared to do. we have similar units in israel. they're essentially a paramilitary organization with the powers, you know, to arrest as a law enforcement agency. you'll notice in the footage you're rolling, they're moving very slow. so unlike, you know, the films where they're running into rooms and busting down doors and moving very fast and rapid, it's just not the case with terrorists. from the beginning of your report, you said there was ongoing and potentially shooting ongoing or explosives being heard. with these types of clears, they perform what's called a pressure cooker technique. essentially, they're going to breach the door using an explosive or some kind of ram. they'll throw a flash bang, which is a nonlethal diversi diversionary device which creates a bang and a very bright light to be able to basically shock whoever's inside the structure. and then they'll start pressing their way into the structure really slowly. because what happens with
terrorists is they will fire back at you. they're not afraid to die. it sounds like the indock krin nation with these guys was very extreme. so that indoctrination process means the team has to work slow. that's what they're doing, house to house, very slow, flash bangs, controlled and slowed movement. belgium authorities don't want to risk anymore -- you know, they don't want any more additional risk to their team members. not one of these terrorists is worth any one of these cops getting killed. >> so that's happening right now in this community outside of brussels. but back to november, i mean, let's just remember, 130 people were killed as a result of those coordinated terror attacks at the bataclan and stadium and multiple other cafes in paris. we're hearing from a lawyer representing the victim's family saying they want abdeslam extradited to france. americans died as well. i'm just curious if the u.s. has any say over what happens to
him. >> well, they won't have a determinative safe. we obviously have some sort of jurisdiction. there was a young woman from california who died in the attacks. so that gives some semblance of jurisdiction, but we would never go into france and say it's ours. the law really wouldn't work that way. what it does mean is that the fbi has been involved and will continue to be involved. so people should think about what happened now. there's going to be the legal front and the intelligence front. the legal front is going to look relatively familiar to u.s. audiences. it's different in europe but they'll be an extradition, a trial. the intelligence front, just picking up on what bob is saying, is now that we have him, finger prints, look, it's hard to hide for four months. obviously there was an apparatus that was supporting him. with the approval of isis in syria or iraq or wherever else. so that apparatus -- now we have
a way to begin to investigate that apparatus. so just look at it in terms of two different tracks right now. >> so two points out of that. first, to michael, the fact that he was able -- a lot of -- belgium's been in hot water, how could all of these people have been living in all these communities and not go, you know, detected for what they were up to. are you surprised at the fact he sort of stayed so close to home for so many months? >> no, i mean, one of the aspects of these communities is as a terrorist you inspire fear in those around you and make them reluctant to talk to law enforcement and security. u.s. counterterrorism officials tell me they always get very nervous when they see a community sort of contract in terms of its outward openness to the outside world or to external kind of conditions and communities. what this means is that salafi jihadi clerics start going to
ground inside mosques. that usually tells them there's an imminent attack when these guys go silent. doing in europe what they do in iraq and syria, intimidate people into submission. the fact he was hiding in plain sight as the cliche goes, again, it doesn't surprise me at all. these guys usually stay close to the scene because when they move, that's when they get snared. >> bob, former cia, you know, you know how this works. how -- what is in it for abdeslam to talk? how do they get him to talk? >> a lot of these people of course the belgiums will not use torture and neither do the french. but they'll just get worn down over time. they'll cut deals for the families. he doesn't particularly look hard core to me, otherwise he would have put a vest on and blown himself up. so i think there's a good chance this guy will cave under a professional interrogation. you know, he's been on the run. he's tired. et cetera.
he's got -- right now, he's got nowhere to go except cut a deal with authorities. >> all right, let me ask you to stand by. thank you so much. more on this breaking story out of belgium. including we're watching for this news conference. we'll hear from the belgium prosecutor, new information on this incredibly significant capture here. this eighth paris attacker caught alive. you're watching cnn special live coverage. we'll be right back. whyto learn, right?e? so you can get a good job and you're not working for peanuts. well what if i told you that peanuts
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and we're back with our breaking news. huge news out of a community just outside of brussels, belgium, as we have confirmed that one of the attackers from the coordinated 130 people killed, hundreds injured from that friday night paris terror attack. this individual has been captured alive. let me show you some video. you can see. i cannot tell you definitively if this is salah abdeslam or
not, but clearly as police are dressed in riot gear, they are not too gingerly tossing someone inside of this car. that who that is, we don't know. michael weiss is back, aaron cohen back, and also buck sexton, cnn political commentator, former cia counterterrorism analyst. on this video, aaron, let me just bring you back in from your tactical perspective, what are you seeing there? >> they have a suspect in custody. the vehicle looks like it's parked close to the exit. they want to get him in that car quickly. the gear they're wearing isn't riot gear. that's s.w.a.t. gear. they've got carbine-style weapons at, that they're deployed with, ballistic
helmets. that is a raid team. they've pulled him out of the building. they've cleared the structure. you can tell by their body language they're not happy with that guy at all. they're being more aggressive with him. that could mean that, in fact, is abdeslam. or it could just mean he's not being compliant. either way, as far as the body english of how they're putting him in the car. another guy who's covering streets there, to probably push the media back. i feel this was a successful arrest here. also seems they're putting him into an unmarked vehicle. >> why? >> it would seem like that's for security reasons. in order to lower the profile of the transport of whatever suspect that is. so that could mean -- >> why the hood? why not say, hey, here he is, we got him? >> because it's an unsterile
area. they have -- they want to get him into that interrogation room. they don't want anybody to take a shot at that guy or have him get hurt. just for security reasons. i don't know, maybe that's just a vehicle that they have in their vuunit that they pulled u that is more convenient. it seems to me it's going to lower the signature of that suspect. i think it's a good security measure, what they're doing right there. the hood over the head, let's cover the guy's face. let's not give anyone any intel about who it is we're bringing in to custody because we don't know want to know. the interrogation, like bob baer was referring to. they want to get him into the hands of intelligence authorities to extract every piece of information they can find out about isis -- >> bob baer was right on. >> -- down the road and what happened. >> let me say this, we do not know who this individual is who is in a hood and being taupsed
in this car, tossed in this car. is it abdeslam or the other individual they captured, we just don't know. jim bittermann in paris. jim, you live in paris, you lived through all of this, you covered all of this, you know, from the very beginning here. i mean, the fact that they got him and they got him alive, what will this mean for the french? >> well, i think a great deal. in fact, we're hearing some of it this evening, especially from the victim's families. various associations connected to the various attacks that took place on november 13th, and through these associations, some of the presidents and lawyers for the associations are saying how happy they are that he's been captured and captured alive. among other reasons, the fact that this probably means that there will probably be a trial, a trial here in france, in which they'll probably get a lot more information about the last few moments of their loved one's
lives. the families here have been complaining that they haven't gotten a lot of information from authorities. there's a parliamentary commission that's been investigating the attacks on the 13th of november. and they just the other day were walking through the bataclan thought wear so many deaths took place, and the families complained they weren't being made part of it and they weren't hearing from the parliament, they weren't hearing from security authorities, so this -- the potential of a trial, of abdeslam, will perhaps raise their spirits a bit, bring a little closure into this picture for some of them. i think it will mean a great deal on a personal leave. on an official level, i think they feel this was a successful operation and very successful demonstration that french and belgiums could cooperate. there's a lot of complaints here about not having good cooperation with belgium authorities but clearly in the last few months that has changed. french police were up there
today with the belgium officers as the arrests were being made today. and they were there earlier in the week, on tuesday, when the shootout took place, and the french police officer was wounded in that shootout. so there's been quite close cooperation across the border. that's something they're sort of saying tonight that we're hearing from security authorities, they're very happy the way it's gone, brooke. >> jim bitterman, thank you so much. i'm happy for paris tonight. this is obviously huge, huge development in the wake of what happened last november. buck sexton, to you, sir, you know, i think it's just important reminding people. i was reading as we talk so much about this community outside of brussels. this is actually where the weapons came from after charlie hebdo and that kosher supermarket shootout, those weapons came from molenbeek as well. why belgium as this hot bed? >> well, a number of reasons why belgium hasn't been able to deal well with these situations.
you don't have a particularly -- you have at least some minority of a muslim population in the country that's not well integrated. notable that they stayed in this neighborhood. >> for four months. >> for months without anyone finding out about this. there's no way there aren't a bunch of people who should have been aware. this is a neighborhood that now everyone knows specifically because it is a hot bed of radicalism. it's had a spotlight on it from the international media starting with this attack. and even before this attack, people knew this was a place where you had returning foreign fighters from syria. this sort of jihadi launch pad. so these individuals, because there's more than one. we've had a couple killed in shootouts. that they would stay and feel comfortable staying in this area raises troubling questions -- >> well, would they trigger alarms if they stepped too far outside of the home? michael, jump in on that. the fact that communications --
i don't know if they've been encrypted or not, but they would set off alarm bells if they go too far. >> similar to, for example, facial shazar, the times square bomber, he knew he had a limited time to get out because if he stayed in new york we would find him. he got pretty close. he made his way to the airport. it's interesting in this case the decision was made it would be too hard to get out of the entirety of the eu, that he might get caught so he would lay low in a neighborhood he knew best. then the question, how is it the authorities in belgium who are focused on this area -- >> didn't know. >> -- and are talking to i would assume human sources in this area and have surveillance capabilities weren't able to figure any of this out until now. it's a good day for them but also raises a lot of questions. >> jump in. >> you have this schengen sort of border free travel in europe. belgiums speak french, they speak german.
there's a huge frankophone contingent in this area. one who i interviewed told me he trained up two french nationals who had returned to france. very porous. all the reasons that buck has given. i would add one more. the ability to procure weapons in belgium is much easier than in france. >> why is that? >> it's a huge weapons export country. you'll recall in january of 2014, i believe, or i'm sorry, 2015, the single largest firefight in the history of modern belgium since world war ii took place in belgium. they recovered a minor arsenal -- actually, a huge arsenal i should say, of assault rifles, explosive devices, go pro cameras.
indicating like paris and the kosher marketplace in france, they were going to film whatever atrocity. and also stolen police uniforms. so they would smug until as law enforcement. this is a european problem. we're focus comifocusing on bel. in the uk, the british are terrified because isis is more or less -- if you look at the propaganda videos in the wake of the paris attacks. they had a bull's-eye, a target sight superimposed on david cameron's face. they're saying, uk, your time is next. because they just killed mohammed amwazi, they feel a sort of blood lust to retaliation. this isn't just belgium this is just one place they've been successful so far. >> you had attacks in britain, the jihadest attacks in spain so this is nothing new on the continent. what we do see here is how deep the ties run specifically in
belgium. you have ten involved in the attacks. dozens of people had to be involved in logistics -- >> it's an apparatus, it's all of the questions you raised. and hopefully they will get him to talk. because he couldn't have just been hiding by himself. >> there's a good chance they get him to talk. if this guy did chicken out, he wasn't ready to blow himself up, he's probably not the most -- >> and didn't do any shooting like some of his colleagues. >> buck sexton, michael weiss, thank you so much. we're watching and waiting to hear from the belgium prosecutor shed light on what exactly has happened. significant capture. we're also learning more about what happened in a closed door meeting of republican leaders plotting the best way to stop trump from reaching that party's nomination, the 1,237 magic number. michael smerconish joins me.
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what we have right here in santa cruz. see how you can save energy at pge.com. together, we're building a better california. quick reminder, we're waiting to hear from belgium authorities as they should give us some new information in the fact we have learned in the last little bit that the eighth attacker in the paris terror attacks has been apprehnded alive, which is obviously huge, huge news, because they want him to talk. they want to figure out how he's been hiding for so long. and what more he knows. mean time, politics. i have missed him. cnn political commentator michael smerconnish. >> we've been going all different directions this election. >> i know, lots of planes. with this whole -- we've been
reporting on this closed door meeting, high-level republicans, trying to figure out how we stop trump. okay, they say, maybe the idea would be unity ticket, a la kasich and cruz together. think that's going to work? >> every time you mention or someone else mentioned a closed door meeting -- >> trump's like yes. >> absolutely. because this is exactly what he talks about. see, they're afraid of me. it's the establishment. i'm rattling their cage. i don't know how you can justify a so-called unity ticket. unless there's some parts of the unity ticket had more delegates than donald trump would have and i'm not convinced if you add together cruz and kasich at the end of the road that they'll have more than trump has. he may not get to 1,2. but i don't know they'll get there together. >> footnote on the unity ticket notion, that would mean, had a very smart professor on last hour, that would mean one of these men would have to check his ego on the door and say,
i'll be the president, i'll be on the ticket. >> i bet marco rubio wishes he had done exactly that. >> we saw him yesterday saying i'm not being anybody's vice president. >> right, right, well, okay, so now you will no longer be a senator or a presidential candidate. >> on the notion of these delega delegates, come cleveland, you know a bit about this personally, will they feel wedded to trump? >> no, they won't. they will be wedded to whomover sent them. only so long as they are obligated by the rules. some states keep you around for many as three ballots. when i was in college i was elected alternate delegate to the convention. >> i'd love to see that picture, by the way. let me go to this. let me go to -- thank you, michael. this news conference now under
way in belgium. >> translator: three suspects, one of which is salah abdeslam. i want to thank very much the security forces, the intelligence services, the police services, the magistrates, the investigators, who are all represented here as well. it is a very intense work that has been undertaken today. my detailed and professional work, which has led to these extremely important results in the context of the fight against terrorism very important results. in terms of the context of the battle for democracy and the values that we believe in and that we want to uphold against these appalling acts. i also want to tell you in a few months, more than 100 searches have been made, often in very
difficult or sensitive situations, as happened in forest, 58 people have been held as a result of these searches. obvio obviously, i want to highlight to you the extreme importance of the cooperation between belgium and france. and in the few -- last few weeks, the summit, we worked together here in brussels to fight together what we were going to do and to beef up our capacities to fight together to prevent terrorism but also to shine a light on all the different investigations. and it is only this evening -- clearly this evening shows what we've been doing together and a success in the fight against terrorism and these horrendous acts against human life. so just a few instance to be
able to -- we received president obama on the telephone, who encouraged us and also wished -- and supported us to continue pursuing terrorists and also underline the values of liberty that the united states has. particularly our unified fight against terrorism. so he wanted to congratulate all the different security forces of our countries. so it was a very important moment. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> all right, so while they're speaking not in english, let's just explain what you're looking at. massive news conference. tremendous for both france and belgium. you see the belgian pm there, just speaking, sitting next to the french president francois hollande. president obama has been fully briefed. a call has been made between the belgian pm and also the president of the united states. as we await perhaps more information in english -- let's listen. >> translator: i also want to undermine the cooperation between france and belgium.
other elements that i wanted to tell you. i have so much pleasure to be next to president francois hollande, accompanied by the minister, belgian minister. so we went through this extraordinary event. when we were together at the european summit. so we -- the challenges that we face. so it really shows how we need to work closely together. as we did this whole afternoon. and we're able to give this message together. i want to thank my colleagues of the belgian government who have worked in this intense way. all of the different services linked up together. minister of justice, the interior minister, the foreign
minister, the second -- the different vice ministers. so all mobilized together so we could work in this cohesive efficient way. so that's what i wanted to tell you. and i would now like to hand over to the president of france, francois hollande. well, as the belgian prime minister michel has confirmed, salah abdeslam was arrested with two accomplices and he was formally identified today. i think of the victims right now of the attacks of the 13th of november of paris and in saint-denis. because salah abdeslam is directly linked to the organization and preparation of
and, sadly, the perpetration of this terrible attack. i think also of the families who will have been waiting for this arrest and all of those from near or from far who have been able to, who participated in this terrible act. i want to congratulate the prime minister and the belgian government for the various undertakings and work they've been doing and, in particular, congratulation the intervention of all the special units. the role of the security and intelligence services. and also -- also the justice department who oversaw the whole action. the cooperation between france and belgium since these attacks, but even before these attempts, has always been intense and important. hard work. again, it has showed how
efficient it is today. even if it has been a long journey and it is still not finished, we have to continue to act. this cooperation is between the different security and intelligence services. between the different police units. and i remind you there were french police specialist units today and on tuesday in forest and we have to continue, in fact, amplify this cooperation. this cooperation is equally a judicial cooperation. a legal cooperation. and salah abdeslam was under -- had an international arrest, a european arrest warrant. and i don't doubt that the -- the two legal authorities will imminently be asking for a request for extradition. i know that this is not the first time we will have to do
that. i know authorities will respond as favorably, as quickly as possible. i want to thank them. the belgium justice minister for this. and also the prosecutor. we also are aware of if this arrest is an important stage, it is not the only, nor the conclusion of what we are doing. because there have been quite a few arrested. and there will be more in the future. because i know that the network was wide and extensive network in belgium, in france, as well as other european countries. and so for as long as we have not arested each -- each and every one of those who participated, financed, supported, this terrorist network, which committed these horrendous attacks, these acts
of war on the 13th of november, our fight is not finished, and from tomorrow morning, given the information i have been given, i will be bringing together the defense committee of all our different -- the defense ministers of all our different european countries will be meeting tomorrow and we have to keep working so that this network and other networks -- because we know there are links between this network, which lead us back to syria where it is isis, isil, who wanted these attacks to be organized, financed and planned. it's their intent. and it is from syria a certain number of the protagonists of these attacks. and we also need to lead this
fight at the european level. it is no coincidence -- well, it is a coincidence, but often as europe produces them as we were together meeting at a summit, european summit, that this arrest took place of salah abdeslam, so the combat, the fight, needs to be led at the european level, and all -- and all of europe's means and methods that have been adopted by europe have to be implemented, particularly with regard to -- >> the french president sitting next to the belgian prime minister. you just heard him say we're not finished. the fact that they now have this eighth attacker from the paris terror attacks salah abdeslam. this is far from over. he mentioned networks, financing. it's france, it's belgium, it is other european countries as well. we have so much we need to delve
into, including new information here from paul cruickshank who broke this for us and has been all over this as far as how he was found. stay with me. lls and clean and real and looking good and sandwich and soup and a new personal best. and a little help and soup and sandwich and study group. good, clean food pairs well with anything. try the clean pairings menu. at panera. food as it should be.
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that just tastes better. with more vitamins. and 25% less saturated fat. only eggland's best. better taste. better nutrition. better eggs. all right. now with confirmation of the capture of one of the paris terror attack suspects, here's salah abdeslam. this is huge for the coordination between france and belgium and leads to a lot of questions as far as this terror network that he perhaps belonged to, how he basically hid in plain sight in belgium for so many months since that fatal attack in paris in november. i have clarissa ward, buck sexton and paul cruickshank with
me. paul, to you first, because you're the one with all this information as far as how this happened, how they caught him. what have you learned? >> our colleagues are reporting after salah abdeslam and his fellow suspect got away from that apartment -- >> on tuesday. >> on tuesday in the southwestern part of brussels, got away over the roofs, they actually contacted somebody that belgian security services had under surveillance and arranged a rendezvous with this individual. of course at that point the belgians had them. they were able to go to that address and we've seen the operation take place. it was the fact that they got in touch with somebody they had under observation and were listening in to that led to this major operation today. they came very close, it would appear, on tuesday. one of the terrorists inside, a
senior planner, senior coordinator in the paris attacks, provided covering fire as soon as police arrived. not suspecting that to be anybody there and providing covering fire so the other terrorists managed to get away over the roofs, scamper across to another location in brussels. but when they contacted this guy the belgians had under surveillance and were listening into, that's when they knew where he was going to be at a certain point in time and were able to move in with a lot of advanced intelligence. knowing where he was going to be at a particular place in time. >> they were waiting for him. we should also add that we learned from the news conference it's not just two that they have captured, it's abdeslam and two of his associates so three altogether. buck sexton, you were sitting here watching all of this unfold as well and you offer a different perspective. you were saying why was it only four members of law enforcement sort of banging down the door. but again, they were doing so many raids, how would they have
known? >> it's not that the four that were there, it's how quick the raction response would be once somebody with an ak-47 opened up on them. it's a little surprising that in this neighborhood people would have the ability to call authorities when people are scampering over roofs. it did take them a long time to find these individuals. they were not hiding in a compound, they were hiding in the middle of brussels. we knew not just that it was brussels but essentially what neighborhoods to be looking in. i do think, though, that the idea of how they were actually caught shows that there was a high level of operational security that these three individuals had. essentially they were flushed out and that's when they made the critical mistake, the error that led to this, which suggests to me that they had a pretty good understanding of the fact that they would have associates who would be under surveillance and essentially they were desperate. they knew if they couldn't get to a secondary safe house kind of location they were going to get found out so they rolled the dice and it worked out for the authorities and were able to
find them. these guys were trained, they knew what they were doing, so that factors into how they were able to hide in this place so long. >> just a quick note from you. >> well, i think it is also speaks to the issues in these communities. there isn't a lot of trust between people living in these communities outside paris, outside brussels and the authorities. and this is a very real problem the french and belgian and all european officials are going to be dealing with quite some time. as you heard from president francois hollande, this is just the tip of the iceberg. this network was bigger, it was wider and deeper and there will be many more arrests to come, brooke. >> thank you all so much. i have just heard we now know who mitt romney will be voting for. the answer, next. but your logo is old and a little pointy. so you evolve. you simplify. you haven't changed. you still help people live their best lives. and finally your new logo is ready, and you decide the perfect time to show the world is right... now.
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an elite chef with a passion for helping former inmates. this week's cnn hero once had a brush with the law. now brandon is using his second chance to help other ex-offenders get back on track. >> coming home from prison after someone has done their time, everyone deserves that fair and equal second chance. >> so my left hand moves, my right hand follows. >> i see that opportunity that someone deserves. i can see it, i can feel it. i've been given the gifts to fight to make sure that that door does get opened. >> to find out how brandon opens that door, watch his story. go to cnnheroes.com. while you're there, please tsuna nominate someone you think is a hero. major news in the political sphere here. we have just learned former republican presidential nominee, former massachusetts governor, mitt romney, has just now said he will be voting for texas
senator ted cruz, ted cruz. i have tim nefali with me now. ted cruz, the person who is the face of the government shutdown, filibustered "green eggs and ham." finally lindsey graham yesterday, we talked about pigs flying because he was supporting him. what's happening? >> the trumptastrophe is making strange bedfellows. trump represents a threat. if you look at his platform, to the orthodoxy of the gop. the principles the gop has been running on since reagan. mitt romney is the elder statesman of the gop, and he is saying we have to have a regular republican, even though many don't like cruz but a regular conservative republican represent our brand. that's what this means. what it doesn't mean for sure is that it will succeed. but it means that cruz becomes more competitive in the west and will pick up more votes in the
northeast when the primaries move over there. so this makes for a much more interesting competition. and for trump, a real problem. >> tim, thank you. do not miss tim and his sear ree ease requests the race to the white house." i'm brooke baldwin, thanks for watching. "the lead" starts now. >> thank you, brooke. they finally got him. "the lead" starts right now. breaking news. after four months on the run, the lone surviving paris terrorist now captured and wounded. what does he know with the attacks that claimed the lives of 130 people and any attacks to come? a senior donald trump warning of consequences if party leaders block trump from getting the nomination. could the republican convention turn into wrestlemania? plus trump hacked. the secret service investigating after anonymous declares war on donald trump and throwsis