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tv   Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield  CNN  March 23, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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where medicine meets the future. let us help grow your company's tomorrow - today - at business.ny.gov hello, everyone, i'm ashleigh banfield and welcome to "legal view." we're going to begin this hour with a trove of new information in that trail of bombings in brussels. and a warning, quite a strange one from the united states state department and it's directed at you, americans who may be traveling, quote, to and throughout europe. you heard right, the entire continent of europe. i'll have that in just a moment. in the meantime, a city in mourning, the de facto capital
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of europe is also the scene of intense grief, but also manhunts, primarily for the man now known as the man in the light jacket, the big hat. the one on the right of your screen. authorities do not know his name yet. but he's one of three men who carried bombs into the main brussels airport yesterday morning. the one on the right, however, was the one that got away. the two on the left set off their bombs in a departure hall, in a suicide attack. the wanted man left or abandoned his bomb which was the big equivalent of bombs but it did not employee until after security forces arrived and apparently detonated it. no one was hurt or killed by that third bomb. the man seen in the middle identified as ibrahim el bakraoui. the man who blew himself up near
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the headquarters of the european union. his name, the other brother, khalid el bakraoui. and authorities say he was identified by fingerprint in that train car. khalid was said to have rented the safe house that was used by the terror suspect in the paris attacks salah abdeslam, who you remember was arrest the just days later, before this had happened, just several days before this actual attack. and four months after the paris attacks. 31 people are now reported dead in the twin attacks in brussels. 270 people have been jurisdiction. and some of those people, sadly to report are not expected to survive their injuries. believe it or not, we have barely just skimmed the surface of this sprawling investigation. senior international correspondent clarissa ward joins me now with all of the latest details in brussels.
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he's joined by alize labott who is following in washington and senior contributor of the daily beast michael weis with us. and we're joined by cia director and former ambassador and current head of the foundation for defense of democracy james wozy. michael weis is the author of isis inside the terror." clarissa, i'm going to start with you, i'd like you to get me up to speed on the very latest information on the definite identification that's been made between salah abdeslam arrested last friday in a raid and these two people we know now to be part of these suicide attacks. >> reporter: well, ashleigh, what we know, the two brothers, the bakraoui brothers involved in the attacks, one who blew
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himself up at the airport. the other who blew himself up on the metro, that the brothers had actual actually rented the safe house that salah abdeslam was staying in. and one of them actually left a will in a computer found in a trash can. in his will, he said something to the effect i don't want to end up in jail like him. "h "him" possibly a reference to abdeslam. there are a lot of moving parts, ashleigh. what we learned from the ambassador as we learned a lot more information, we also know how many people are still on the run and at large. as you said the man on the right in the light jacket with cap and glasses, still very much at large. and authorities did warn there is a number of people, potentially very dangerous, part of this network, who have not yet been apprehended.
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what is noticeable, ashleigh, is that there has been a lockdown in terms of disseminating information. belgian authorities are keeping incredibly tight lipped. they've asked the media not to cover the searches and raids going on in various suburbs and that is, perhaps, because there's information that the media is putting out there could tip off the other network. this city is still very much in heightened alert, ashleigh. >> heightened alert that the united states is issuing a travel warning to americans who are heading to europe or who may be there. i want to get elist labott into this conversation. >> you remember 2010 when there was a similar warning, in all of my years of covering the state
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department, it's pretty extraordinary for the u.s. to put out a warning to americans especially risking travel to europe. saying terrorists continue to plan what they call near-term attacks throughout europe. which would indicate they're in the final stages of planning. basically warning americans to kind of hunker down if they're in europe. don't go to public places. public squares where people are congregating. sporting events, concerts, even to avoid public transportation. and i think it does reflect concerns by the united states that terrorists are planning attacks and americans could be involved. i spoke to a asenior state official about the warning. and the official said, look, we know isis is on the loose planning attacks. and we need to make sure concerns are taking the necessary precautions if traveling to europe. >> elise, i want to break in to argentina where the president is on the second stop of a foreign
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trip, cuba and now argentina. and he's speaking live. >> united states will continue to offer any assist answer that we can to help investigate these attacks and bring attackers to justice. we will also continue to go after isil, aggressively, until it is removed from syria and removed from iraq and finally destroyed. the world has to be united against terrorism and we can and we will defeat those, who from the safety and security not only of our people, but people around the world. that's a top priority of ours and i know president macri shares those beliefs. that's one of the reasons president macri and i agreed to work together to disrupt terrorism. to do more to choke off the terrorists' financing mechanisms that are in place. and to keep our people safe when they travel. u.s. federal agencies will lend their support to argentina's
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counter trerrorism efforts. and we're also supportive of president macri's intention to return to argentina's original role to peacekeeping missions including efforts to protect multiples through training an equipment. president macri has also committed argentina to helped to commit the effort for syrian refugees. and reduce crime and make streets safer. these are all areas where we can be very effective partners. the united states and argentina share a commitment to this planet for our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren, president macri showed me pictures of his wonderful children including the little one who i understand was
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a facebook sensation, and i can see why. so we want to make sure that she, just like my daughters and future grandchildren, that they've got a beauty of an argentina or united states that has not been irreversibly impacted by climate change. president macri's support for the paris agreement was critical to its success. his commitment to sign the agreement and pursue its ratification this year will be critical to bringing to force. argentina has set targets for energy and carbon emissions. because we have spirit, since i came into office tripling the amount of energy we get from wind and increasing the amount of energy that we get from solar power 20 timings. and the morning that we've done on shell oil and glass. we're partners and i pledged to president macri that we'll
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provide any technical assistance that he thought would be useful in developing the incredible resources and clean strategy that he's interested in pursuing here in argentina. we also share a commitment to global health security. we've agreed to work together on the response to the zika virus which is obviously affecting so many in this helmisphere. we agree to support the agenda in a world that's interconnected with diseases developing in even remote villages in africa or asia, because of global travel, ultimately, they could be of significant threat to our popalations. we can't pretend that somehow it's just their problem. it is our problem as well. and we're going to work together to improve our capacity to detect and respond to and ultimately prevent the threat of new diseases. it's also gratifying to see argentina champion our shared
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commitment to human rights. i hope we'll work together to strengthen the organization of american states. and the inneramerican human rights system to promote civil liberties, independent judiciaries, government transparency and accountability throughout the hemisphere. i know this has been an area of great emphasis for president macri. and finally after i leave casa rosetta today, i'll visit the metropolitan theater to lay a wreath to the tomb of jose marti. >> i suspect that the president was likely that this kind of news event would happen overseas in brussels, in the midst of a very important foreign trip that would take him to cuba and argentina. and much of what he's been doing on the road has been overshadowed by the report of the terror attacks. our michelle kosinski joins me
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live. michelle, there's been so much talk, some of it unwarranted with the president on the road in another country in another continent, i should add but some people say given it's a global war on terror and the americans are intricately involved he had to have known that when he was preparing the speech for today's crazy. >> reporter: definitely, it seems like lately, in the last two years, every time he goes on one of these foreign trips, somewhere else happens somewhere in the world that ends up overshadowing the story. that's what we end up talking about. what he's trying to do in other parts of the world, how it's overshadowed by something. lately, it's terror. then you have to look at the how the white house uses its own optics, quite frankly, how it changes its schedule or not changes its schedule. when the president was traveling
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in asia, he took the same criticism for not traveling to paris with other world leaders, the white house eventually said which is kind of unexpected. they admitted it was a mistake. that's not something that you often hear the white house say about its own decision making. they admitted maybe it was something that the president should have done. and he then travelled to paris afterwards. in this case, situation, always different per the situation. but here he is in cuba on his absolutely historic trip two days ago. he has a tight schedule. he wants to show the people this opening, and he wants to really connect with the people of cuba. when you think about it, that's really the point here. not so much to connect with raul castro. so the question is, should he have gone to that baseball game. it depends who you talk to how to view this. but the president did make a point to defend going to that game. he had this interview with cnn
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when he was asked directly about that. his response was the point of terrorism is to disrupt people's everyday lives and make them scared. he hammered home the point that terrorism shouldn't do that. of course, that doesn't cut down on the criticism, it was a baseball game, was doing the wave the right thing to do when had so many in europe are suffering. >> i think you hit the nail on the head, michelle. the idea of not having things disrupted with a castro beside the president with that reality maybe that's accepted and maybe it's not. maybe that's how the critics and noncritics weighed in. michelle, thank you for that. >> we're also going live to where the president is taking presses. before the smoke was even cleared investigators were on the scene at that airport and that subway station. the forensics are rich and
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breaking news this hour, that painstaking search by forensic investigators is continuing at the brussels airport. also right now, crews are digging through brand new evidence found during a raid in northeast brussels. it's there that police discovered explosive known as tatp. they also discovered a number of nails, screws and also an isis flag. then there's this, new images showing investigators are wearing hazmat suits carrying items out of an apartment. those items were found at a site of an earlier raid. let's get more from contribute eric curenski. first and foremost, that airport remains closed. there's a very good reason. they literally have to both
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through everything with a fine-teeth comb. and the damage is extensive. so it's a forensic project that has kept that airport closed. what exactly do you think the mission is? how do they tackle this massive crime scene and what are they looking for? >> well it's one of several crime scenes and it's large agency you said. you actually go to the crime scene and you look at the seat of the explosion and work your way out. there's sort of a grid surge. i would guess they would diagram the scene as like a pie, and break it into sectors and go through each sector one at a time. and the idea is to collect everything and anything that is evidence. there are components of the bomb, the suitcase that it was in. there are sometimes fingerprints and other trace items that they're looking for. there could be documents, we don't know what is in the suitcase. >> do you think they could get a fingerprint off a suitcase that
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was at ground zero of the explosion? >> it's sometimes possible, like pipe bombs, for example, you can have surprises like that that could reveal the clue that you need to solve the case. i mean, this is a complex case that there are probable dozens known. >> can i ask you this, they found the suitcase and they blew it up would they have done any processing of it or is it too dangerous? they found another suitcase at the apartment. >> that's a good question. tatp is relatively unstable. it's a high explosive. by the way, the reason that they use this stuff is because the ingredients are easy to get. acetone and hydrogen peroxide.
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>> i'm going to interrupt to you go to president obama. he's fielding a question on the attacks. >> more attacks as being inevitable. what would you say it says about the state of our debate on this when you have a major presidential candidate calling for surveillance of muslim communities. and president macri, if i may, you both noted that they're about to release documents about the dirty war. what do you feel that will reveal about america's role in this painful chapter in your country's history? >> josh, i think it is important to recognize that this is my number one priority. i've got a lot of things on my plate. but my top priority is to defeat isil. and to eliminate the scourge of this barbaric terrorism that's
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been taking place around the world. and we see high-profile attacks in europe. but they're also killing muslims throughout the middle east. people who are innocent. people who are guilty only of worshipping islam in a different way than this organization. they are poisoning the minds of young people everywhere. not just in europe. but in the united states and undoubtedu undoubtedly in argentina, people are looking on these websites. so there's no more important item on my agenda than going after them and defeating them. the issue is how do we do it in an intelligent way. and our approach has been continuously to adjust to see what works and what doesn't.
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what has been working is the air strikes that we're taking on their leadership, on their infrastructure, on their financial systems. what has been working is special operators, partnering with iraqi security forces, and going after leadership networks and couriers. and disrupting the connection between their basis in raqqah and their basis in mosul. we've recovered, taken away from isil, about 40% of their territory. and isil's leadership has been hunkered down. and we are going to continue to press on them unless we have driven them out of their strongholds. and until they're destroyed. while we are doing that, we're also extraordinarily vigilant
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about preventing attacks in our homeland and working with our allies to prevent attacks in places like europe. but as i've said before, this is difficult work. it's not because we don't have the best and the brightest work on it. it's not because we are not taking the threat seriously. it is because it is challenging to find, identify, very small groups of people who are willing to die themselves. and can walk into a crowd and detonate a bomb. and my charge to my team is to find every strategy possible to successfully reduce the risk of such terrorist attacks, even as we go after their beating heart in places like iraq and syria. and as a strategy evolves and we
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see additional opportunities, we will go after it. but what we don't do and what we should not do is take approaches that are going to be counterproductive. so when i hear somebody saying we should carpet bomb iraq or syria, not only is that inhumane main, not only is that contrary to our values, but that would likely be an extraordinary mechanism for isil to recruit more people willing to die and explode bombs in an airport. or in a metro station. that's not a smart strategy. as far as what some candidates have said, i think i've been very clear on this. one of the great strengths of the united states and part of the reason why we have not seen more attacks in the united states is we have a
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extraordinarily successful, patriotic, integrated muslim-american community. they do not feel ghettoized. they don't feel isolate their children are our children's friends, going to the same schools. they are our colleagues in workplaces. they are our men and women in uniform, fighting for our freedom. and so, any approach that would single them out or target them for discrimination is not only wrong and un-american, but it also would be counterproductive. because it would reduce the strength, the antibodies that we have to resist terrorism. fargs the notion of having
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surveillance of neighborhoods where muslims are present, i just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance. which, by the way, the father of senator cruz escaped for america. the land of the free. the notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense. it's contrary to who we are. and it's not going to help us defeat isil. last point i'll make on this, i understand, when we see the sight of these kinds of attacks, our hearts bleed because we know that could be our children, that could be our family members or our friends or our co-workers who travel to a place like brussels.
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and it scares the american people. and it horrifies me. i've got two young daughters who are growing up a little too fast. and i want them to have the freedom to move and to travel around the world, without the possibility that they be killed. so i understand why this is the top priority of the american people, and i want them to understand this is my top priority as well. it is the top priority of my national security team. it is the top priority of my military. it is the top priority of our intelligence officers. it is the top priority of our diplomats. but we are approaching this in a way that has a chance of working, and it will work. and we're not going to do things that are counterproductive, simply because it's political season. we're going to be steady. we're going to be resolute.
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and ultimately, we're going to be successful. >> just jump in here, the president raising an issue that is of critical import at this time, as we still are on the hunt for the last of those responsible for this twin bombing in belgium. he said the strength of the united states, in reference to what happened overseas, is that we have an extraordinarily successful, patriotic, integrated muslim population who are, and i'll paraphrase here -- are not ghettoized like some populations in europe are treated. to paraphrase that, something that we may not be fearful of such a failed base organized attack that we've seen in europe. the worst thing is we don't know what we don't know. joined by senior editor of the
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daily beast michael weis and author sabine sheikh. and the current head of the foundation for defense of democracies, james woolsey. i'd like to ask you about the comments that the president made in argentina. he has said that attacking terror is the top priority. but everybody sees this in a different light. some saying you need to get tougher. others saying you need to get more diplomatic. how do you see it? >> i think they see it in a different light because he was saying three things. the first three quarters of what the president said i thought was fine, articulte, talking about dealing with isis being the number one priority. that we had to use force in the middle east effectively. all of that was fine. and then he -- i think he
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somehow seems to have forgotten that in the days after 9/11, mayor giuliani and mayor bloomberg put together a system for operating the nypd and they were helped from retirees from the cia who understood these issues, too. they put together a very effective system of surveillance and yes, it looked more at muslim neighborhoods than at some others. just as if the fbi was going after certain types of organized crime, they would go to more sicilian and italian neighborhoods rather than than, say, irish. it's just an understanding of the way things work. and what the president tried to do at the end of his remarks by making it sound like common sense in surveillance was something hideous and awful, i
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find is really strange. and i think it undercut the very fine first three quarters of his remarks. >> so, michael weis, i'd like you to weigh in on this if you would. malcolm nance say terrific author of a book insightful about isis. just on this show yesterday talked about the relationship that this country has with the global muslim war. he has said very clearly that there are american operatives, high level operatives, low level operatives in the fox hole side by side with the muslim community. and it's very difficult to do this diplomatic dance at the same time suggesting that we also surveil muslim neighborhoods more. because that doesn't fit well with those who are allies around the world. if you could put that in perspective of what we just saw happen in brussels. help me understand how it harms us or hurts us -- or helps us or
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hurts us. >> well, first of all, i mean, there's a difference between good police work and law enforcement integrating with these communities. you might call it the broken window theory of counterterrorism. it's a form of surveillance but it's also a form of cultivating human intelligence getting informants and local communities that basically want to protect themselves and want to drop a dime on the dodgy guy next door in his mother's basement playing with fertilizer and that kind of thing. that's distinctive as senator cruz has said that we should carpet bomb the middle east. and to alienate the bellwether constituency that we need which are sunni arabs. you cannot defeat sunni arabs without sunni arabs alongside. that was displayed in a staggering degree in the al anbar awakening.
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i want to talk about something that nobody else wants to. isis was created out of the chaos out of post-saddam iraq. and there's a geopolitical concomitant factor with respect to isis. isis has created this conspiracy theory which increasingly doesn't look so much like a conspiracy theory but just foreign policy which is to say the united states and iran are aligned against the sunni. and the rightful heir to the middle east, the rightful heir to islam that used to control the holy city of baghdad until americans knocked out saddam. isis is driving box of what the united states is doing. the optics of this war are off ale. we're deconflicting with syria, and everybody is dropping bombs on the sunni. in iraq, in some instances, u.s.
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warplanes have given air support to shia and militia groups going after isis. iraq is a failed state now. there is no government. you have competitive factions. some led by nationalists and some led to loyalists to ayatollah khamenei. this is a problem. you want to talk about counters narratives, guess what, the u.s. is actually doing the isis messaging for it. and this is something that al baghdadi goes to bed rubbing his hands with glee. this is why you have young kids who in some case are not muslim, they can't recite one thing to you. and they become international terrorists. they're turning on cnn, it's easy to see and they're saying what's happening in the middle east? why are they suffering? this is clearly the problem.
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>> clearly, they haven't heard the republican argument about the iran/u.s. deal. i need to interrupt for a moment he's getting another question. >> -- why you decided that this was the correct course in terms of optics and message a. what is that message? and finally on the trip, it seems to me that both in cuba and argentina, you are seeking to roll back some of the maybe overreach or intervention of the colder war era. i'm wondering now that you're here whether that's shaping your views on intervention in syria and plan "b"? and president macri, president obama believes that normalizing relations with cuba will give the u.s. a lot more credibility and leverage around latin america. i'm wondering if you as believe that's true. answer will you both commit to attending the olympics in brazil no matter what happens with instability? thank you.
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>> mara, i addressed this issue a little bit at the baseball game when i was interviewed by espn. but let me reiterate it. grouping like isil can't destroy us. they can't defeat us. they don't produce anything. they're not an existential threat to us. they are vicious killers and murderers who perverted one of the world's great religions. and their primary power, in addition to killing innocent lives, is to strike fear. in our societies. to disrupt our societies. so that the effect cascades from an explosion or an attack by a
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semi-automatic rifle. and even as we are systematic and ruthless and focused in going after them, disrupting their networks, getting their leaders, rolling up their operations, it is very important for us to not respond with fear. as i said, that's hard to do because we see the impact in such an intimate way with the attacks that they make. but we defeat them in part by saying you are not strong. you are weak. we send a message to those who might be inspired by them to say you are not going to change our values of liberty and openness.
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and the respect of all people. and i mentioned at the baseball game yesterday, one of my proudest moments as president was watching boston respond after the boston marathon attack. because they taught america a lesson. they grieved. i was there for the memorial. we apprehended those who had carried this out. but a few days later, folks were out shopping. a few days later, people were in that baseball stadium. and, you know, singing the national anthem. and big papi was saying what he felt about boston. boston strong. and how a terrorist attack was not going to change the basic
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spirit of that city. well, at that moment, he spoke about what america is. and that is -- that is how we are going to defeat these terrorist groups. in part because we're going after them and taking strikes against them. and arresting them. and getting intelligence on them. and cooperating with other countries. but a lot of it is also going to be to say, you do not have power over us. we are strauong. our values are right. you offer nothing except death. and, so, it's important for the u.s. president, and the u.s. government, to be able to work with people who are building and
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who are creating things and creating jobs. and trying to solve major problems like climate change. and setting up educational exchanges for young people who are going to create the next new great invention or a scientific breakthrough that can cure diseases. we have to make sure that we lift up and stay focused as well on the things that are most important to us. because we're on the right side of history. and with respect to how my reading of history in latin america impacts syria, i think it's apples and oranges. what i have been clear about is, when it comes to defending the united states or it's allies and our core interests, i will not
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hesitate to use military force where necessary. when it is -- but how we do that is important. we just don't go ahead and blow something up just so we can go back home and say we blew something up. that's not a foreign policy. that's not a military strategy. and i do think it is important for the president of the united states and the administration to think through what they're doing, so that they can achieve the objectives that are the priorities of the american people. and i can tell you how i spend my time is thinking through with our generals, with our military, with our best thinkers how do we most effectively go after isil. how do we most effectively bring peace. we just don't throw some military action at it without having thought it through and
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making sure that it's effective. >> i will give you my opinion on president obama's trip to cuba. it would be great progress in american terms because doors have opened and tools have been given to those who want to choose again. and he as the president of the united states, there went without relinquishing any of the values we embrace in the united states and argentina. the flag of freedom. the cause of freedom. in other words, it's about every cuban being able to decide what they want to do in their future. i believe this temper has been taken enables and speeds up the discussion and that's what we need for the cuban youth who want more freedom to find more progress around the whole world.
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i see that very positively. and ai think it will be highly positive for the next few years, this relationship between united states and latin america as well. >> -- olympics regardless of the instability there. >> that's out of the program. >> the question about the olympics and the president of argentina president macri saying he's going. that was fast. he said that question was out of the program but he did say he was going as we're watching this press conference out of buenos aires, one of the questions the president was asked about the
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optics of going to the baseball game. what's on the agenda. the merits of the agenda and the optics of the president being on the road. he said these terrorists want to construct fear and you do not have power over us. mr. sheikh, i want to ask you, does that work, i have watched for decades as the palestinians and israelis have never solved a thing. yet, the terrorism continues and the carrying-on with normal life in israel continues. does it work when dealing with terrorists just to use that philosophy, carry on life as normal and we will win? >> well, i mean, let me approach it from both sides. if i think like a jihadi, i'm going to want the public to feel as much fear as possible. i don't want you to go outside. i don't want you to go outside and go shopping. spend money in your economy. i want your economy to take a
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hit. from security mechanisms to people just afraid to buy groceries. so that does serve the terrorist agenda. as a counter terrorist, i would think, look, you don't want to give into their narrative. i really appreciate what the president said about blanket only six of muslim communities. it doesn't work. the new york commissioner tried this. commissioner bratton came out and said, listen, that is not a program we intend to continue because you have muslims that are working on the inside. and if they start to feel that the system is working against them and sees them as a threat, how are you going to encourage more human intelligence from those communities? and without human intelligence you can tap every group you want you're not going to get evidence to be upheld in an american court of law to prosecute people and put them away for a long time. so the strategy that he mentions is definitely on point.
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>> and the other thing he mentioned and i thought of you immediately was, in answer to the first question, he said america has a different set of values when it looks at its muslim community. that we don't ghettoize our muslim community. he said it's patriotic, successful integrated muslim population. there has been a lot of criticism of administrations all around europe having ghettoized these muslim communities therefore forcing them into the fringes of society only to perhaps stick with one another. and they'll grow even tighter like family. like brothers, husbands and wives together. even mothers who supported the brothers. let's say.
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i'm wondering if this is something left to fester? >> yes. these are all aggravating factors, being in a bubble where you're engaged in group thing, these are all aggravating factors that make things worse. looking at the situation in the u.s. and where i'm from, in canada, there is a great integration. and we have over 6,000 members of the muslim community serving in the military. that doesn't even include the police officers at the federal, state and local levels. intelligence professionals. linguists, analysts, nsa analysts listening in. you can't further marginalize these communities. they're not marginized. why would we push them towards the marginization. the problem can get worse. our responsibility is not to make it get worse.
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to that end, mubin, i'm going to break from you in a minute. when we come back, we're going to discuss some of the possible fails of not only intelligence but counterterrorism. there are strident words surfacing from the u.s. counterterrorism officials as to how they describe their partners overseas. i'll leave you with just one, as we go to break -- they're like children. more on that in a moment.
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continuing our coverage on the terror attacks in brussels, how are the americans working with those counterterror officials overseas to track down the threat that still exists. those who are still out there and identify those who we still haven't identified those as killers. i'm joins by larry kobeblinsky, a scientist and larry, first to you, the forensics at the airport. there's still a dead man in the airport that we have not identified. how will they go about doing that? >> well, i think the answer is dna. they're going to have to identify all of the deceased and all of the body parts and all of
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the bodies. and once they do identify this member of this triad, that will give us a link to the association of maybe the other dozens of people out there who are out there. >> sort of a morbid thought you have to separate out the dna. >> that's standard dna procedure nowadays. >> it is. michael weis, obviously, larry's work is very tricky, it's difficult work. i would say that is the same of counterterrorism officials who may have let a few things slip through the cracks. and you have been blunt in your reporting about what senior counterterrorism officials have said about their counterparts over in brussels. do you want to recount that for me. >> well, they've been blunt. i'm just saying what they said. we talked to a veteran cia counterterrorism official who when asked what do you make of the belgian security services. actually, it's beyond the belgians, it's an eu wide
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phenomenon, the word used to describe their counterparts is they're like children when we go over to share intelligence. they don't know what's going on they're in a state of denial, not just jihadis coming back from overseas from who knows where, in towns in europe. it dates back 20 years, even before 9/11, europe was dealing with this problem. you've alluded sort of the ghettoization of muslim communicates and so forth, there's a great deal of the frustration by americans. >> one of the other definitions, i can't say it on television, but i will describe, they describe their trade craft overseas with s-h -- rhymes with pity. you know what it takes to get
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surveillance of 30 guys. >> it could be column "a" coming from column "b." belgium, is 530 nationals have gone to syria. for every expert you need 20 to 25 counterterrorism and law enforcement officials tracking that person. there's a manpower personnel problem, whatever you want to call it but again the judgment is coming down and it's a lack of confidence or lack of will to really address the heart of the matter. >> as we continue to see these mass coordinated attacks country to country, god forbid what's next. hopefully that will start to change and the americans will find a better partner. >> larry, michael, thank you. wolf is coming up after a quick break, the continued coverage of the president's trip and the aftermath of the twin bombings in brussels.
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>> announcer: is this cnn breaking news. hello, i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. here in washington, 6:00 p.m. in brussels, belgium, from wherever you're watching from around the world thanks for joining us. right now, president obama is renewing his vow to defeat isis just a day art deadly attacks in brussels. here's what the president said just in the last hour during a news conference in argentina. >> i've got a lot of things on my plate, but my top priority is to defeat isil and to eliminate the scourge of this barbaric terrorism that's been taking place around the world. this is difficult war. it's not because we don't have the best and brightest working on it. it's not because we are not taking the threat

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