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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 23, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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good evening. in this hour, the grim possibility that what happened in brussels and before that in paris, part of a larger plan and that new isis attacks are actively being plotted and could be in the pipeline. that assessment forming some of the basis for the state department travel alert that came out just last night. it raised a lot of eyebrows and now the intelligence that went into it is also raising a chill. the latest from cnn's justice correspondent pamela brown who joins us from washington once again. what are your sources telling you about potential other attacks in europe? >> reporter: counterterrorism officials are very concerned about imminent attacks in europe
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based on a combination of electronic intercepts, human sources and database tracking that indicates several possible targets have been picked out by isis operatives since the paris attacks. there was chatter before the brussels attacks indicating something was about to happen but nothing specific enough to indicate where and when the attacks were going to happen. it's the same situation with the information officials have now. that targets have been picked out by people connected to the brussels attacks and the paris attacks and it's just basically not a matter of if but when they'll launch an attack according to officials i've been speaking with. there's a lot of concern because they're still floating around europe. people connected to these plots have not been rounded up yet. it's unclear what specific sites have been picked out, according to sources. they aren't giving us that information. if you look at that state department warning issued yesterday, that warned u.s. citizens in the u.s. who were in europe from going to sporting
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events, restaurants and tourist sites. you can glean a lot from that. >> any sense of the timing? we've heard different things. occasionally you hear imminent being tossed around or just the atmosphere for it. the travel alert itself is extended all the way until june. >> right. and so i think the reason why is because they've seen with isis operatives they are flexible, opportunistic, entrepreneurial. there have been other isis plots that officials knew about based on intelligence. they knew a target, a time. then it passed. the plot didn't pan out. and then they see something like this happen in brussels where they have a sense, information, something that's going to happen but they didn't exactly know the day or where. and so it's very difficult for them to pinpoint a time and a place and that is why we're seeing this alert extended through june. i wouldn't be surprised if it's extended beyond that because of all the foreign fighters that have returned to europe and have the training to launch attacks. it's difficult for officials to
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know where they are, who they are. >> and the cascading series of events it no doubt adds to the urgency of that alert. what about the man in white, the nan that surveillance photo. the one who did not kill himself, to believe at least, in the attack. are authorities any closer to identifying him or knowing where he is? >> at this point as far as we know, authorities have not positively identified him or at least haven't publicly told us who they think he is. we've learned there is a be on the lookout notice sent out in europe for a specific person authorities believe is connected to the brussels attacks. but authorities don't know if that's the same person as the man in white in the picture or someone else. and counterterrorism officials believe his role was a facilitator, a controller. someone to make sure these attacks were carried out and as we know government officials say he left that suitcase bomb behind and fled. his whereabouts still unknown. >> there was another major development with someone they do know. at least they believe they know.
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najim laachraoui believed to have been killed in the attack at the airport. one of the suicide bombers there. and he has been linked to the paris attacks, correct? >> that's right. in fact, belgium counterterrorism say the man in the left of this photo is najim laachraoui. he's a bombmaker linked to the paris attacks because his dna was found on two of the suicide belts used in the paris attacks. and authorities believe that he was -- took place -- had a role in the attacks yesterday morning at the airport. some may wonder why the bombmaker would kill himself but authorities we've been speaking with downplayed his importance saying there are a lot of trained isis operatives that know how to make the same types of bombs used in the paris and brussels attack. >> there is some information which shows how difficult it has been for the belgians to stay out front of this. ibrahim el bakraoui in the middle of the surveillance photo, he was detained last year
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in turkey, sent to the netherlands. the belgians were informed. what can you tell us about this? >> this is raising questions about missed signs, intelligence failures that the fact that ibrahim el bakraoui was deported back to belgium. the turkish president reportedly said he was support back for his ties as a foreign fighter and that turkey told belgium about this, warned belgium but belgium didn't do anything about it. his brother had an interpol red notice issued this year based on terrorism charges. but then today, john, the belgium authorities said they only knew of the brother's ties to violent crimes, not to terrorism. there seems to be a big disconnect here. >> pamela brown, thank you for your reporting. want to bring in cnn terrorism analyst paul cruickshank, counterterrorism analyst philip mudd who served as a senior official at the cia and fbi. also from brussels, cnn's senior international correspondent clarissa ward who has been covering this situation on the ground there. paul, i want to talk about the
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alert from the staat department. does europe, do officials in europe, in belgium have a sense of the size of this cell? do they think the threats are coming from this specific cell with the men who carried out this specific attack or are we talking about a larger cell or cells here? >> we're talking about an entire network who have been dispatched by isis to launch attacks. just a few weeks ago, we reported, i was told by senior western counterterrorism official that before the paris attacks there was fragmentary intelligence coming in that the external operations division of isis, who were talking with a very top leadership of the group reporting up to that top leadership of the group had dispatched 60 operatives to europe, to conduct attacks on five cities, including paris, including london, berlin, major population center and belgium as well. they've hit two of those five
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cities so far. the concern is isis are targeting the european countries that are involved in the anti-isis coalition. and there are other countries like netherlands also involved in that way. you could see attacks in the following weeks. >> talking about 60. there were 10 involved in paris killed there. five or so involved here in belgium, either in custody or dead. one might be missing. that leaves an additional 45 at a minimum who could still be out there. >> that's right. and if you look at the arithmetic. 6,000 european extremists have traveled to syria and iraq. 1500 have come back. there are plenty of people that could get involved in terrorist plots. the people coming back from syria, people would experience a killing, they have a sudden cache when they come back to europe and mix with others who see them as heroes. and that can really accelerate a lot of attack planning. >> clarissa, on the ground there some very specific instances in
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the attacks in brussels where it seems like the belgians may have missed signals or lost track of people that they had their eyes on. najim laachraoui. a red notice from interpol. one of the bakraoui brothers. a red notice from interpol. the other brother had been deported from turkey to the netherlands and the belgians had been alerted. three of the suicide attackers were known or some have been known to the belgian government. >> and what's interesting, john, is they weren't just known. some of them were known for terrorist ties, which obviously should have raised very serious red flags, but many of them as well, particularly those two brothers, were known to authorities as criminals. one of them had been sentenced for an armed robbery. another for possession of weapons. these were petty criminal thugs. and i think what authorities still seem to be trying to catch up to is a phenomenon that we have seen accel raerating since charlie hebdo whereby the new
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terrorist is part terrorist, highly radicalized, obviously, but often with some sort of criminal background. and that criminal background makes it really tough for authorities to try to drill down on these networks because these men are experienced. they know how to buy weapons. they know how to navigate the criminal underworld and they know how to avoid detection. what you heard paul saying there, beyond the 1,500 or so who may have come back from isis -- from syria and iraq and claimed loyalty to isis, you are dealing with all of their criminal networks who maybe have not bought into the radical ideology but share that know-how and flagrant disregard for the authorities and the state and who are willing to work with these radicalized individuals in whatever way may benefit them. authorities really looking at a two-headed monster here with radicalization as one component and criminal activity as the other. >> biphil mudd, give me a sensef what the belgians need to be
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doing. the state department issuing the travel alert that more attacks could be on the way. there could be people on the run or planning more attacks right now. what do authorities there need to be doing? >> think about a couple of things. people in my business are scratching their hases. when you look at counterterrorism investigations like this, especially with the volume the belgians have, you have to come at it with a systematic approach. how your prioritizing cases. which get the most coverage? that is human informants, surveillance on the street? which get less coverage, for example, only looking at someone's e-mail activity? something is missing here when you have a case of this prominence where it appears the security service either can't follow or can't locate the perpetrators. in this case you can say they're dealing with so many people that they can't cover them all. my answer would be they may be dealing with hundreds of cases. they aren't dealing with hundreds of people connected to paris. how are you prioritizing cases. and the second is, you have to be passing data realtime to the
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americans, the british n others in europe. we've talked about this. this is not good in europe in terms of data passing. i want to know phone messages, phone calls. that kind of information has to be passed today, realtime, across north america into western europe. >> there's a lot of information that came out today. what does your gut tell you about it. on najim laachraoui, believed to have made some of the explosives used in paris. one of the suicide attackers at the airport in brussels. the bakraoui brothers. a lot of explosives found in their apartment, tatp that may have been used in a future attack. we had the note left by one of the brothers afraid of getting caught. does this indicate this was sort of a small circle, a small, closed circle right now and a lot of the loose ends have been tied up with many of them dead, or is this just the beginning? are they part of a much bigger
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group of people out there plotting more? >> i think when you talk about circle or cells you have to understand how the world of terrorism is changing. i would call these people clusters. when we had the 9/11 plot, that's a classic cell. a group trained overseas and don't communicate with anybody else. we're talking about people recruiting criminals to come in. it's not a closed circle. some connections are informal. a two-headed monster. people who have access to weapons and explosives because of criminal enterprises. access to isis because they've been radicalized. this is rough to follow because you don't know who say conspirator, who is interested, who is selling weapons. to suggest it's a closed circle or even a cell to my mind underestimates how difficult it is to follow when you're talking about groups of people so loosely connected. >> paul cruickshank, phil mudd, clarissa ward, thanks. we'll go to brussels shortly and get reaction on the suicide bombing we've said was arrested, released and managed to drop off
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the raid parp later we'll dig deeper into radicalization. my conversation with a former muslim extremist about how it happened to him and what can be done to stop it. blades here, bl. some more over there... whoa! that's not another blade. this is shielding. with lubrication here and here. the new gillette with proshield lubrication before and after the blades shields from irritation for a close, comfortable shave. the new proshield from gillette. the best a man can get. and one proshield refill gets you up to one month of shaves. ♪ [engine revs] ♪ ♪
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as you saw, one of the brussels killers is getting a lot of attention for being in so many words the one who popped on in to the radar, set off alarms and sank back underground. they arrested ibrahim el bakraoui last june. they deported him. they notified belgian authorities and then apparently nothing urgent happened on the part of the belgians. something to stop him from doing what he did yesterday. nick paton walsh is on that. he's based in beirut. spent a lot of time in turkey. what are your sources telling you about how exactly this happened. >> well, obviously, the defense the turkish put forth is a vast number of individuals who they get suspicions from and pass
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information to western intelligence agencies and the western intelligence agencies don't act. the belgians say they're overwhelmed with that information. it may be that ibrahim el bakraoui fits into that category of one of far too great a number. the facts are compelling here. his deportation in june 2015 from turkey where he was suspected of trying to become a foreign fighter inside of syria. allegedly snts back to holland, we understand. now you have to listen to this quite remarkable fact. despite the fact he was deported, knew he was blacklisted or given a substantial tip from belgian authorities about his jihadist intentions, he still went ahead and became part of this cell with salah abdeslam and subsequently went on to commit these awful attacks in the airport there. it is remarkable to think of that kind of sense of impunity he must have felt. bear in mind, too, we don't know if he made it to syria. he travelled to southern turkey.
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the wording doesn't seem to suggest he was caught coming back in from syria. perhaps trying to get across. still, people are asking, there's a lot of comfort perhaps with the explosives here. many people have to have a degree of training, open space away from authorities to do that. syria provides that. vf gators will be trying to work out the nature of his travel during that 2015 visit. >> the rap sheets on these guys is incredible. not just bakraoui. you have two of these guys, the bombmaker and the other brother that were interpol red notices on them. international alerts. warning of them. not to mention the fact they were associate with salah abdeslam, one of the main suspects from the paris terror attacks, the most wanted man in europe. that's four people the belgians should have been on the hunt for, yes? >> and you'd think you can perhaps forgive one thing falling through the cracks but as you say, quite staggering.
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you have to also wonder, too, what are the people who are not on their radar actually up to who may be connected with this cell? it's staggering, as you say. one of the red notices for khalid bakraoui was he was sought. and najim laachraoui brazenly involved in this attack. able to walk into an airport with that level of explosives. we still have this 15 kilograms, 40 pounds of device still inside that apartment. who was that intended for and who else was part of this cell and where are they? >> nick paton walsh, thanks so much. the terror attacks are sparking new controversy on the campaign trail in the united states. this morning on "new day," senator ted cruz reiterated his comments calling for police to secure and patrol muslim neighborhoods in the u.s. he also slammed his crit ics. >> it's been interesting in the last 24 hours when i call for pro-active policing, directed at
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radical islamic terrorism, the reaction from democrats, mayor de blasio here in new york blasted me, attacking me. it's an example where democrats are more concerned about political correctness than they are about keeping us safe. and that's why people are so fed up. >> senator ted cruz has drawn some fire from his remarks, not least from american muslims. gary tuchman reports from an american city that's presumably under the ted cruz proposed plan would be targeted for police patrols. we wanted to hear from the people who live there what they had to say about senator cruz and his comments. >> reporter: michigan, just outside of detroit is a unique place because it's the only american city where the majority of residents are muslim. and a majority of the city council members are, too. it's a comfortable place to be an american muslim. and that's why ted cruz's comments about patrolling and securing muslim neighborhoods captured so much attention here.
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>> i think it's the way he said it. a little scary to me. >> reporter: you've all heard ted cruz's comments. how many of you are angry with his comments? raise your hand. hands down, please. are any of you accepting, okay with it? raise your hand. >> no. >> reporter: nobody? the men in this mosque come from places like yemen, bangladesh and bosnia. many have been here for decades and want people like ted cruz to know they consider themselves americans first. what was the first thing that went through your mind? >> i feel very bad. it's not right thing to say. this is america. everybody has a right to live, equal opportunity. >> it is a discrimination of a group, of a faith. nobody can support this. >> reporter: but many people certainly do, including some
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non-muslims who live, work and shop in this city. >> do you think hamtramick is less safe because of all the muslims who have moved here? >> we don't have proof to that yet, but do we have to wait for another brussels and paris to prove it? >> reporter: the attacks horrified everyone we talked to in hamtranick, non-muslim and muslim. an employee of the store is from yemen, but he's been here in the u.s. for 26 years. >> i want america to be safe because i live here. my family, i work. this is my country. >> reporter: if a new president wants police security patrols in muslim neighborhoods, what would the non-muslim police chief in hamtranick do? >> that to me is racial profiling, ethnic profiling, something our country has been working very hard to get away from. something they're not wanting to do in this country. i don't think that's something we should support. >> reporter: and the chief says
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she has no intention of aband abandoning her principles. >> we all need to stand together and take a strong stance against terrorism but ousting a particular group or fighting against a particular group that happen to live in this country of a different faith is not the answer. >> gary tuchman joins us. do you get the sense the muslims you talked to this community think what they are hearing from ted cruz and donald trump is just politics or do they think these policies will be implemented if either of these men will become president? >> they do not think it's just politics. they take ted cruz for his word. they take donald trump for his word. and they do think that if either of those men are elected president, their lives in some ways will be changing. but they're not going back to yemen and they're not going back to bangladesh. they plan to stay here. this is where their lives are and they'll worry about it when that day comes. but they are very grateful for what their police chief said today. >> gary tuchman, thanks so much. just ahead issue new details
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about two of the brussels suicide bombers. brothers who blew themselves up just an hour apart. a pattern we've seen from charlie hebdo to the boston marathon to the slaughter in paris. sub lisiblings who share a commitment to terrorism. what's behind it? i've been claritin clear for 14 days. when your allergy symptoms start... ...doctors recommend taking one claritin every day of your allergy season... ...for continuous relief. with powerful, 24 hour... ...non-drowsy claritin, live claritin clear. every day. whfight back fastts tums smoothies starts dissolving the instant it touches your tongue and neutralizes stomach acid at the source tum, tum, tum, tum
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all the breaking news, we're learning much more about how this terror attack fits a pattern we've seen quite a bit. among the killers, two brothers. here's randi kaye. >> reporter: two brothers, both suicide bombers inspired by terror. ibrahim el bakraoui blew himself up at the brussels airport just before 8:00 a.m. that's him in the middle. his younger brother khalid el bakraoui carried out his suicide attack ban hour later at the city's metro station. in the days before the brussels attack, investigators targeted a residence rented by khalid el bakraoui. he and his brother suspected of having ties to the attacks in paris last november. and paris suspect salah abdeslam, arrested last week. until now, the brothers had only
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been lunged to violent crime, never terrorism. in 2010, ibrahim el bakraoui was sentenced to nine years in prison after shooting at police. it's unclear why he was released. his brother khalid was arrested in 2009, the network says, and sentenced to five years in prison for carjackings. this is not the first time two brothers have instilled fear and caused bloodshed. in the paris attacks last november, salah abdeslam's brother detonated a suicide bomb. he died while his brother fled. also in paris in january last year gunmen forced their way into the offices of charlie hebdo magazine killing 12 people. the prime suspects, brothers sharif and saeed kuwashi. the brothers were in a u.s. database of known or suspected international terrorists. they'd been on the no-fly list for years. a massive manhunt took
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authorities to a building where the kawashi brothers were hiding. both brothers were killed in a shootout. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula later called them heroes. in boston in april 2013, two bombs and two brothers yet again. tamerlan tsarnaev and his younger brother dzhokhar. three people were killed. more than 260 injured. days later the older brother who once had dreams of boxing in the olympics was critically wounded during a shootout with police. his younger brother delivering a final blow by running him over in the street to make his own getaway. the next night the younger tsarnaev, once the captain of his high school wrestling team and a student at dartmouth, was discovered bleeding in a boat starred in someone's backyard. dzhokhar is cornered and captured, later charged with
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conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death. last year a jury sentenced him to death. randi kaye, cnn, new york. someone who knows what it's like to bond with a brother over extremism, the author of "radical, my journey out of islamist extremism" and a columnist now for the daily beast. the fact these two suicide bombers were brothers, this is a pattern we keep seeing. and you became radicalized when you were 16 years old, a year after your brother. he didn't recruit you exactly but you sort of followed his example. how does this happen? >> my brother and my two cousins. four of us grew up together and became affiliated with an islamist organization together. i think it happens when there's a level of disintegration in society, john. when young european born and raised muslims don't feel part of the wider society and, therefore, their bonds of
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loyalty and afinity and friendship and blood are something that means more to them than any sense of loyalty to mainstream society. >> so you feel closer to your cousin, to your older brother than you would to the culture as a whole and, therefore, closer to the jihadist organization they become part of? >> well, it's a process. it begins by emotional relationship with the sibling or with the cousin. it's important at this stage to state clearly the parents aren't usually involved in this process when it comes to radical zagss in a western context. those first generation migrant parents are usually of a different interpretation of islam to the extremist version those born and raised in europe who become radicalized eventually subscribe to. it's a bond primarily that's emotional and then moves through to organizational and affiliation with the same -- it resembled gang recruitment. once it sets in, even at that stage, siblings can end up being
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cheaper than water in terms of spilling their blood. and one even executed his own mother. once the indoctrination sets in at that stage the blood ties don't really mean much. >> there's a practsical aspect. it's easier to plot if you live with someone or see someone constantly so you don't have to use cell phones or use e-mails. >> absolutely. you're unlikely to inform on your own brother, your own cousins, family in that way. so there's the practical aspect of living together and the added trust. growing up together in that way. and people -- studies indicate even soldiers who join the army, a lot of them fight more so because of the camaraderie that they develop with each other than any sense of overrising patriotism. it's to protect each other as a tight-knit group. it's long been understood to follow a similar process in those early stages. once the ideology kicks in it's a different level of
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understanding and the analogies to gangs then falls short and it becomes more akin to an insurgent organization, a bit like the vietcong. it becomes like an insurgency. >> it may be the thing, that most proximately gets someone involved. you talked about the overall situation of muslims in europe. how they often feel alienated from the broader population. is that also part of the recruitment process? >> there are four factors. one is a sense of grievance. could be domestic. could be alienation. could be economic factors. and invariably also involves foreign policy grievances. the second is an identity crisis. they begin to question whether they are really british, american, belgian in this case, or whether muslim first and foremost. muslim first and muslim last. isis has an answer as to whether we're muslim first and last or british or american. the third factor is once you
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have grievances, charismatic recruiter comes along to provide a sense of belonging where society didn't really provide it. and the fourth is the ideological indoctrination. with those four factors in no particular order, the process of radicalization is complete. to address that we need a policy that addresses those grievances, whether they are real or perceived. a policy that meets the challenges of identity in a modern globalized world and undermines the charisma of those recruiters and debunks the narrative or propaganda. >> thank you for being with us. appreciate it. >> pleasure, jan. thank you. coming up, donald trump on fighting terror, even with nuclear weapons. ugh! heartburn!
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in the last two days, all the presidential candidates have weighed in on how they'd fight terror. some in ways we hadn't heard before. more now from phil mattingly. >> reporter: terror and politics once again inextricably linked. >> it's not about patrolling neighborhoods or shut our borders down. >> reporter: donald trump saying
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when it comes to foreign policy, he will keep u.s. enemies guessing. >> we need unpredictability. we have enemy. isis san enemy. i frankly don't want the enemy to know how i'm thinking. >> reporter: going all in on the use of torture. >> we have to change our law on the waterboarding thing where they can chop off heads and drown people in cages and heavy steel cages and we can't waterboard. >> reporter: and considering the use of a nuclear weapon against isis. >> you wouldn't rule out the possibility of using a nuclear weapon against isis? >> i wouldn't want to rule anything out. i wouldn't want to tell you that. at a minimum, i want them to think maybe we would use it. >> reporter: ted cruz under pressure from new york city police officials. >> in the statements he made today is why he's not going to become president of this country. >> reporter: defending his own proposals toincrease patrols in
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neighborhoods. >> it's made america so vulnerable. >> reporter: hillary clinton challenging both in a sweeping foreign policy speech in california today. >> we can't let fear stop us from doing what's necessary to keep us safe. nor can we let it push us into reckless actions that end up making us less safe. >> reporter: each candidate fighting for position in the wake of the western tuesday contests. a day that saw hillary clinton come closer to locking up the democratic nomination. >> i'm also very proud to have won arizona tonight. >> reporter: a delegate split in the gop. ted cruz winning utah and donald trump dominating in arizona. another primary night raising questions about the effectiveness of the stop trump efforts. cruz securing the endorsement of jeb bush. pointing to it as another sign the party is coalescing behind his candidacy. >> what we're seeing across the country is the momentum is with us. one of the things that shows that is this morning, jeb bush endorsed our campaign.
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>> reporter: phil mattingly, cnn, milwaukee. >> joining me, cnn political commentator and donald trump supporter jeffrey lord, republican strategist ana navarro and david gergen. david, you heard about how some of the candidates are addressing the issue of terror. donald trump not ruling out nuclear weapons. ted cruz wanting to secure muslim neighborhoods here. they obviously are saying this for a reason. they think there is political gain here. what is it? >> there is political gain. americans feel shaky, jittery. there's increasing sense this terror -- these terror attacks are out of control. and they are looking for a straw man. that's what's benefited trump. in the short term this will help him the most. the nature of his proposals, they sometimes get wild, in the long run will play to hillary clinton, if she's tough. >> jeffrey lord, how do you use nuclear weapons against terrorists? >> well, what he's really saying, john, is something that's been done before in
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american history. most definitely with richard nixon. it's call the mad man theory, seriously. it comes from mack velly. keep the enemy guessing as to what you whim do or not do. are you unpredictable. make insure they see you as unpredictable. richard next nixon was a devout believer in this. he wants the soviets to believe he was a mad man capable of anything. out of that came his arms agreements, his trips to china, opening with china because he really felt he had used this wisely. that's in essence what donald trump is saying. >> is that, ana, what donald trump is saying? is it being unpredictable or unserious? >> john, please don't ask me to interpret donald trump. i don't speak that language. i just think both cruz and trump are trying to outdo each, on who can be tougher and crack down
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hard or muslims. they see muslims as the enemy. they're trying to portray that. it's worked for trump in the past. and cruz is keenly aware he is in a primary fight with donald trump. and it's about giving red meat to the base. and saying the things that make sense in a primary, though may not make sense, if and when one of them becomes president. >> it's interesting -- >> john -- >> hang on one second. a lot of what's being said is reaction to how president obama is dealing with this most recent terror attack in brussels. some say the lack of reaction by president obama. he continued his trip to cuba. went to the baseball game in cuba. continuing his trip to argentina. i have to show you pictures of a short tomb ago. president obama in argentina dancing, doing the tango. hopefully we have that video. here's the president. ♪
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that's the president doing the tango. the president of the united states. david gergen, not badly, i should say. david gergen, though, as far as the image goes in the midst of terror fears after brussels, is this the image the white house wants to send? >> the president has a belief that restraint is the best thing he can do. he does not want to seem like he rushed into anything. that somehow he gets all shaken up and he wants to hold back. i happen to disagree with that. i think people now after all the attacks. we've had an attack a day around the world for the last 12 days. after san bernardino and paris and brussels and ankara and istanbul, people are looking for more forceful action to actually drive back isis. and right now we're not winning against isis. we have reduced the amount of territory in syria and iraq but they've expanded elsewhere. we learned through the associated press they trained up 400 fighters to go through
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europe. under those circumstances, i would tell the president when you gave your speech in cuba, the 38-minute speech and you only gave a few seconds to brussels, you brushed it off. when you go to a baseball game it looks frivolous. dancing like that. he should have made the hard call and coming back and gathering people or looking for leadership here. that's a critical issue for him. restraint does not equal leadership when you are under attack. >> the idea isis is sending fighters -- jeffrey, go ahead. >> right before the brussels attack, former british prime minister tony blair gave an interview to the bbc. and he was talking about this very issue. and he said that when people are forced to choose between what they see as -- liberalism that
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was flexible and not assertive, versus a hard line position that they inevitably when faced with terror will go straight to the hard liners. i really think that's what you're seeing. he said this before all this transpired, but i think he was right about it. >> ana, i have to give you the last word. 15 seconds or less. the president dancing the tango. your thoughts? >> i think the entire thing is horrible. it reminded me of when he went golfing after james foley's head was cut off. it's inexcusable when the entire world is standing in solidarity with brussels, is in shock, in grief, the president of the united states is in cuba sitting next to a dictator who has been in power for 56 years who has ordered the shootdown of american citizens, who has been anti-american for 56 years. eating peanuts and going to the baseball game like he was waltz disney. it's not walt disney and it's a day of grief for the entire world. i think president obama knows
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full well that optics matter but he chose his legacy over optics. and it was a shameful, shameful disappointing moment for president obama. i was disappointed. i was not surprised. >> ana navarro, david gergen, jeffrey lord, thank you. just ahead, our top story and why belgium is such a hot bed for terror. accident three years ago. the medical bills - the credit card debt all piled up. i knew i had to get serious my credit. so i signed up for experian. they have real, live credit experts i can talk to. they helped educate me on how debt affected my fico score. so i could finally start managing my credit. now my credit and i - are both healing nicely. get serious about your credit. get experian. go to and start your credit tracker trial membership today. the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid,
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we've been reporting on what happened in brussels. more now on why? deborah feyrick reports. >> the scope of the network was bigger and more sophisticated than ever imagined. >> it illustrates that belgium being a central hub for isis is also the de facto capital of the european union on the other hand. it's very sobering. >> reporter: belgium is a small, predominantly catholic company of 11 million people in the heart of europe.
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about 6% of the population is muslim, many originally from morocco. more than any or european company per capita, the highest number of fighters to isis have come from belgium. many were inspired by the once powerful group called sharia for belgium. its leaders targeted a vulnerable and disenfranchised community with rampant crime and unemployment. >> there were two or three men who were critical in sharia for belgium in the recruitment process, in the fund-raising and in getting the channels organized to send people overseas. the belgian authorities did not take belgi sharia for bell judg seriously until the damage had
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already been done. >> the notable paris attack operatives, salah abdeslam and all three of the brussels suicide bombers. salah abdeslam was found in the molenbeek neighborhood. >> they don't have enough law enforcement and they haven't been able to ramp up at the same rate that foreign fighter recruiters have ramped up. >> those fighters are well funded and well protected. >> deborah, are authorities able to get enough intelligence, enough information about this community? >> they're certainly working harr hard at it. they are trying to improve intelligence gathering techniques but this is a very insulated community. there is a significant language barrier.
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the authorities, the belgians have a long way to go. >> deborah feyerick, thank you very much. we'll be right back. introducing rhinocort® allergy spray from the makers of zyrtec®. powerful relief from your most frustrating nasal allergy symptom* ,all day and all night. hasn't your nose been through enough already? try new rhinocort® allergy spray. muddle no more®
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we're out of time. "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts now. >> donald trump says he wants to wat wat waterboard terrorists. ted cruz says he wants control of muslim neighborhoods. with you would any of that make us safer? investigators believe the bomb maker may have been killed in one of the blasts at brussels airport. they say he is najim laachraoui. the man on the left, ibrahim