tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN March 24, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT
hello. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm max foster live for you in brussels. within the past few hours police have raided more homes here, one anti-terror operation took place right in front of our cameras. officers spent hours inside this home and have been sealing off streets. police have arrested at least six people in connection with the attacks. three of them were outside the
federal prosecutor's office and officials will decide if any will be released. authorities also think there were five men involved in tuesday's blast, including a second bomber at the metro station. one witness may have seen him. >> i saw some guy 25, 24, 30 -- i don't know the age exactly. he had big bags. he was very nervous. he was very nervous. and he was back and forth in the metro hall, back and forth, back and forth. >> all of this as intelligence appointments to isis getting ready for more attacks and soon. on thursday french police arrested a man suspected of planning one that was already in an advanced stage. cnn has complete coverage in brussels.
our correspondents have been all over the city. we'll hear about the metro station and an emotional interview with a man whose siblings were traveling to syria. >> we have more on the intelligence gathered so far and also bring us up to date on the developments overnight. >> reporter: these developments overnight were quite interesting. we saw five people arrested in various parts of the city, including right in front of the federal prosecutor's office. this seems to be actually a kind of car arrest. the car was stopped, the people pulled out and arrested? we're not getting any details on who these people are and why they were arrested, but i think we can assume this is probably part of the wider rounding up of anyone who might know the extensiveness of this terror network. now in addition to that of course we're getting a few more details about how exactly the
attack was carried out. we know there were five suspects in total that are believed to have carried out the twin terror attacks. three at the airport and one of those is still on the run. police have an extensive manhunt for them, that is the man in the white jacket and black hat. still not been identified at this point. now, police also believe that a second man may have been -- may have taken part in the bombing of the metro station. apparently there is security video of a man with a bag there. now what's not clear is where he is, whether he left, whether he's still alive or may be dead. i think that speaks to how mangled the crime scene is at the metro station. so they really haven't identified everybody who was killed in that attack. so while all this is happening, there is this sense of urgency by belgian security forces here that it's almost a race against
time to stop any other attacks that might be in the planning and this is why they're beginning to round up people overnight and i think it's likely we could see more arrests in the days to come. >> interesting to hear from the french authorities that the a arrests in paris wasn't linked to the attacks. it seems as though the authorities are going for this much wider network and looking for any sort of intelligence coming out of it. >> much wider network. what's concerning here is that this arrest they said this is an individual who was in the last stages of planning an attack wh. so it does sound eminent. we're still waiting for confirmation of what they found during that arrest. this is the problem with isis is that isis doesn't have to give a direct order to have an attack carried out. it's more of a fiphilosophy.
so what we have it groups that come back home and sort of infiltrate boarders, come back into society here and then can begin their plans and plots individually on their own without any orders from isis. that is one of the hardest things for security officials to try and prevent. >> we're watching the developments. thank you. several in the intelligence community say belgian authorities have missed clear warning signs before the attacks. even the country's interior minister admits a major concern. cnn correspondent tried to get answers from him. >> reporter: a devastating attack, but also one that had a devastating number of warnings. of the five said to be attackers, we know the identity of three and for each of those we know belgian authorities were warned. najim laachraoui on the left here, skilled in bomb making and sought by interpol.
one of the brothers was subject of a red notice for three months before the attacks, this one for terrorism and issued in december and his brother travelled to turkey last june. he was deported by turkish authorities for trying to join isis. dutch authorities saying they got an e-mail from turkey 26 minutes before his flight took off, but never mentioned turkey's concerns. the belgian interior minister reviewed the papers overnight and then offered his resignation. >> translator: people ask how is it possible that someone was released and we missed a chance when he was in turkey to detain him. i understand that question. i cannot speak for a colleague, but for myself. i offered my resignation to the prime minister. >> it wasn't accepted, but he also wasn't answering questions. there are a number of occasions in which there were very clear
warnings about the links between these attackers and potential for terrorism. a remarkable decision here by the interior minister not to answer any questions despite the growing evidence of information being passed to the belgian government about the links between these attackers and terrorism. the number of suspects still growing as are the ramifications at the heart of power. cnn, brussels. >> we are going to discuss this further now with a reporter here in brussels for news week magazine. you've been covering it a lot in recent months and in terms of those criticisms of the security services, the authorities more generally, do you think that justifies because i've been speaking to them over months and
you've been seeing how they are working trying to prepare for something like this. >> reporter: i think to some extent it's justifiable and i think that's recognized by the belgian ministers as well. for example the ministers both apparently offered to resign over the fact that one of the brothers had been apprehended by turkey, but belgium told them to let him go. so i think they are aware they did make some mistakes, particularly that three of the suspects were known to the police. >> you were in a prison here where a lot of these terror convicts are held, right. >> reporter: confeyes. >> and this is where people are radicalized as well as. >> reporter: they don't have the figures for how many people are being radicalized in prisons. in france it's about 15% so it's definitely a problem and i was speaking to someone who sort of monitors all the prisons in the
country and he said there's 67 terror suspects. they are apparently kept isolated from the rest of the population, but that has problems if you keep someone locked up alone that's not going to help them become integrated in society on their release. >> are the authorities outside the prison service doing enough to try to keep them in prisons? >> reporter: i think they're becoming a aware of it now. so again the man that i spoke to said they have asked a man, they've asked prison guards to report any signs of radicalization, but obviously as with trying to find radicalization in general it's hard to root it out unless you're there at the very grassroots level. >> it's an interesting example because a lot of police services around europe will tell you that they are finding that people are being radicalized in prisons, it's an area they haven't gotten across in the same way of young
people being radicalized in the communities. >> reporter: absolutely. salah abdeslam and the brothers all had spent time in prison. it's not clear whether they were radicalized there, but there's an indication they may have been and that's very worrying. >> you were saying there's a concern that they don't have enough resources in the security services to deal with it. are they feeling they're going to get that support now that there's been a second attack which is linked to the attack in europe? >> reporter: as far as i'm aware no more funding has been announced. one person i speak to from the friends of europe she was saying it's not so much they're under funded but they're badly funded so instead of hiring arabic speakers they're hearing the wrong sorts of staff. she was saying it's about better directing the resources. >> that's a failure isn't it of the system?
>> reporter: i think it is, but i think it's a failure that happens across many cities we hear about in london all the time that the wrong sorts of police are in the police force or the right sort of people aren't. >> all these arrests we're hearing about, we probably shouldn't focus on them too much because these arrests are happening all the time? >> reporter: exactly. particularly since paris there are been numerous raids. it's definitely a positive thing. paris arresting someone in the advanced stages of a terrorist plot suggests maybe they are beginning to crack down on these radicalized individuals. >> thank you very much. a dark cloud hangs over brussels as people try to get back to normal here. next how commuters are feeling as security swarms the city's metro stations. hey buddy, you're squashing me!
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>> of course i am. why do people need to be so bad. i don't understand why. do you understand because i don't. i really don't. >> are you afraid? >> yeah, i am, but i don't have to be afraid because if i'm afraid they're going to win and it's not possible they can win. i can't imagine this. >> emotions are still so raw here in brussels as people struggle to come to terms with the attacks. the authorities lowered the threat level a notch. tensions are high throughout the city. phil black went to the central metro station to see how people are feeling about that increased security. >> reporter: there are so many soldiers on the streets of central brussels this now looks like an occupied city. >> it's a little bit kind of war, a feeling of war. >> reporter: an intimidating presence, but comforting for
people who are sharply aware of the vulnerability that comes with living in an open european city. >> safe. >> reporter: it makes you safe? >> yes, yes. a lot safer. >> reporter: it can now take a long time to get inside brussels central station. the crowd shuffles slowly. everyone is watched closely as they enter. s sojers patrol in small packs. the enter city metro is now open operating a very limited service for passengers who endure greater scrutiny. everyone is searched before getting to these platforms. there's so many soldiers and police officers at the station. the security is extraordinary and so is the atmosphere underground. a mix of necessity and determination means these people are still riding trains across and under brussels. are people behaving differently?
>> a little bit. yeah. >> we all know we're not safe anywhere. it can happen anywhere and at any moment. >> catching a train is now an act of courage because of what happened here. the metro station is where the most people died in tuesday's attacks, with the surrounding streets now open people are coming here to grieve. this woman came to sing. >> just to show that, yeah, that we never will stop singing and never will stop, yeah, doing what we do. >> reporter: there is great sorrow, but some here are making an effort for another emotions too. you see it along the road of the station where countless hearts have been scratched into the ground with messages of love and peace. some in the city are determined
to respond to terror with hope. phil black, cnn, brussels. >> we'll have more on the special coverage from brussels in just a moment, but right now we're going back to john in los angeles. thank you. now the race for the white house may have hit a new low with a nasty fight on the republican side between donald trump and ted cruz. both candidates spent the day defending the virtue of their wives. cnn has the details. >> reporter: donald trump and ted cruz are escalating their nasty spat involving their spouses. >> it's not easy to tick me off. i don't get angry often, but you mess with my wife, you mess with my kids, that will do it every time. donald you're a coward and leave
hi heidi. real men don't try to bully women. it's an action of weakness and fear. it's an action of a small and petty man who is intimidated by strong women. >> reporter: fox news anger megyn kelly joining the fray with a one word tweet to donald trump, seriously. cruz blasting trump for bling h bringing his wife into the middle of their show down. >> our spouses and children are off bounds. it is not acceptable for a big, loud, new york bully to attack my wife. >> reporter: the attacks were first sparked by a facebook ad from an anti-trump super pac, not the cruz campaign that used an old modeling photo of trump's wife posing nude, but trump still insists his rival was somehow involved.
>> i thought it was disgraceful and ted cruz knew about it. >> reporter: the sharp attacks eclipsing the divisions over national security now emerging as a flash point between the candidates on both sides in the wake of the brussels terrorist attacks. hillary clinton angling for a contrast, sitting down with muslim leaders in california. the democratic front-runner blasting her gop rivals for pursuing policies that she says will only sow division. >> we cannot allow our nation to pivot groups of people against one another. we cannot give in to panic and fear. it's not in keeping with our values. >> reporter: this comes as a brand new cnn poll shows if trump and clinton face off in the general election, 56% of voters believe that clinton will win compared with 42% who think trump will. while clinton also has an edge
when it comes to who would be a better commander in chief and who is more in touch with the middle class, she and trump are tied on the question of who is a stronger leader. back on that donald trump/ted cruz feud, the trump campaign is calling for the cruz campaign for direct that super pac with that facebook ad up about trump's wife, they are directing him to pull the ad while the cruz campaign responding saying they had nothing to do with it and they have denounced it. cnn, wisconsin. >> we have the assistant managing editor for politics at the los angeles times. did donald trump make ted cruz look like the classy high minded one here, or he's milked this a bit too much because after all he didn't condemn the original ad. >> well, so there's a lot of different factors at play. you have ted cruz trying to
appeal to evangelical base. if he can motivate them in the states to come, especially here in california, that could actually help him maybe get to where donald trump is where with the delegate fight and maybe get the nomination. then you have the fact that he's able to keep himself in the spotlight. we know donald trump has dominated the headlines over the last many months so now ted cruz is getting on television and responding to it and at the same time you have hillary clinton who is able to just think about the general election and think about if she faces donald trump here's one more thing he has said that is offensive to women and anybody that says don't talk about my wife, they're poll numbers go up. >> it was remarkable that ted cruz came out on four separate occasio occasions. hillary clinton was in los angeles talking to muslim leaders and basically talking about national security and foreign policy which i think in some ways is differentiating between the raeepublicans and democrats right now.
>> hillary clinton has moved on from senator bernie sanders. he's here campaigning in california as well. he says he's going to make california his strong hold. she's looking toward the general election even if sanders thinks he can still win. for trump and cruz this is a real battle and it could go all the way to the convention so they have to get at each other and the ad that they're talking about, this is an outside super pac, a group of people put together many of them who supported carly fiorina. this is benefitting ted cruz. >> donald trump has really bad poll numbers when it comes to woman. very unpopular with women. does something like this hurt him or are those who like him they're going to like him no matter what he does. >> women are not his strong class of people voting for him. if you think about the types of things he said and what will happen if he does face hillary clinton, this is a female
candidate who has taken advantage of that at times and has tried to be the tough guy at times and it is very possible he's going to say something that is a step too far that is going to bring the machine from all of the women on there and there are moderate republican women who will consider voting for her. for as many people that say they won't vote for her, there are people that will. >> ted cruz on and on again hammering the point donald trump has a problem with strong powerful women. that may or may not be true, but if you look at the track record, there's the perception at least. >> for all of that being true, you've seen this be the tough on candidate. he's said so many different things that have offended so many different types of people and yet he is remaining where he is as a republican front-runner generally taking 43% of the republican electorate.
we're probably looking at him as the nominee of the party. >> $60 million in attack ads have no impact like they did before super tuesday. he is well on his path. >> it seems like it. when we come back, young muslims disconnected from society targeted by jihadi recruiters. >> reporter: do you feel belgian? >> to be honest, no. >> a cnn exclusive the rejection we leads to radicalization. [alarm beeps] ♪
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welcome to cnn's continuing special coverage of the brussels terror attacks. police have detained at least six people in raids throughout the city. the manhunt continues for an airport bomber who is still on the run, plus belgian's interior minister has offered to resign. he says it's justified to question why officials failed to detain one of the airport bomber. ibrahim el bakraoui was released and turkey says it deported ibrahim el bakraoui after they deported him to syria. they say there might have been a second unidentified attacker at the metro. cnn spoke with a belgian member of parmment. she says the attackers were
losers and thugs and belgian need to do a better job at integrating muslim communities. >> when i follow this news, it makes me feel bad because of course it's three terrorists from a certain origin. i'm also from that origin. i'm a muslim. it's like am i a terrorist? are my children terrorists? >> do you feel like people point fingers at you and say you're responsible somehow? >> they do because they ask me to apologize for what happened. i'm sorry i'm not going to apologize because i'm not part of them. they are terrorists. >> anger, allin nation. cnn international correspondent has this exclusive report. >> translator: how do i explain
this? it's as if someone hit me with a very sharp thing in my heart. when my brothers left, i don't know how to explain. >> reporter: he says his brothers were among the first wave of jihadists. why do you think your brothers went to syria? >> translator: honestly i always asked them, but i never understood why, but it is as if they felt rejected. >> reporter: 2011, these men are street strange liesing, telling young muslims they will never be truly accepted as a part of belgian society so they shouldn't try. he is now serving a 12-year
sentence and they believe he served as a key pipeline of young belgians joining isis. some kielled in syria and some now cooperating in prosecutions. he is a belgian lawyer representing not only the members, but also families caught up on in this war against isis. his client was due to stand trial for murder in syria, but the trial has now been postponed. he believes the government could have, should have done more to prevent the exodus. >> the thing they are saying now the people who are 18 years old we cannot stop them and they can go to syria. they know everything from everybody, where he was going, how he planned it, when he buy his ticket, but they let them go. >> reporter: ten days after the paris attack 18-year-old man
says he was surrounded by police officers at a lock at supermarket and pushed to the ground. his friends attempting to film were threatened with arrest. >> they said get on your knees now and i went to my knees. i stayed for like 20 minutes on my knees with my hands up. >> reporter: after more than three hours at the police station he says he was released without any charges. at any point did you ask yourself why? >> from the beginning to the end, still why. why is this happening. is it because i'm look like muslim. is it because of my color. what is it. now i still have the questions, why did they really hold me at gunpoint and why did they really arrest me. >> reporter: belgian's interior ministry said they couldn't comment on the incident, but
stress in t stressed that allegations of racial profiling are taken seriously. >> kind of give those people who recruit a weapon to use in a way of they can say see those goes or this society, it's a racist society. they don't want you here so that's a key factor for them that are used. >> reporter: do you feel belgian? >> to be honest, no because in the eyes of this society belgian is being white. >> reporter: the deadly terror attack on the belgian capital coming just days after the capture of paris attacker in the
heart of childhood neighborhood has highlighted how little penetration authorities have into many belgian/muslim communities and the mistrust. for authorities hunting out those helping to perpetrate the bombings, it's a race against time to rebuild that trust. too much as at stake for the families of those who left syria and of those that have returned to strike terror in the heart of europe and their victims. it's already too late. cnn, brussels. isis has taken responsibility for those deadly brussels attacks, but in iraq and syria the terror group is on the defense. more on the battles to retake two isis strong holds next. d ou. no one surface... no one speed...
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in brussels. isis appears to be on the defensive. the army has forced the terror group out of two cities. this could be the start of a bigger operation to take iraq's second biggest city which has been under isis control for almost two years now. and in syria forces may regain control of a historic city. it's been ten months since isis fighters overran the city and began to destroy the ancient buildings and cultural treasures. >> reporter: after weeks of fighting in the desert forces appear poised to retake the city from isis. video broadcast by syrian state media shows troops entering the city. isis militants seized control last may. they publicly executed the city's 82-year-old retired head
of an tickties after he refused to reveal where valuable artifacts were being hidden. treasures, some 2,000 years old reduced no rubble. cnn shot this video showing the arch of triumph. it's now destroyed. >> translator: when you think of this city, the first thing you picture is the arch of triumph. i feel very sad. it makes me want to cry. there are no words. >> reporter: this city is located about 200 kilometers of damascus and is considered key to controlling a huge swath of desert extend to the boarder with iraq. recapturing there city would be a victory. jonathan mann, cnn. for more on the latest let's
bring . >> secretary kerry was just in moscow and i would not be surprised if they were having that exact same conversation because if you look at what's happening, these cities are key to what's going on and if the syrian army is capable of taking the city back from isis and the iraqis are able to take mozle. the syrians retake the city. they have the military force to do it and isis has done a good job of defending, but they can't stand up to the syrian army. on the iraqi side, we're a long way of liberation. >> how does this change the balance of power if you like or
the math in terms of the regime in syria and how it's clinging to power once they do take the city? >> the russian air force has really changed the situation on the ground. when vladimir putin deployed his forces there a few months ago, he went there to prop up the regime and he did that. it completely altered the situation. the syrian army went to the offensive and they've been able to retake territory that they had given up prior and they've been able to move toward the city. if they can take the city from isis, that complicates isis's situation. so this is -- it's a key battle and i think the syrians on the verge of winning it and i think that shores up the future. when we talk about what's going on in geneva, assad is now in a seat of power.
there's no way they're going to unseat him in kind of a diplomatic solution. >> clearly this is a very different proposition. that's not going to happen any time soon. how much of this is about preparation for a bigger operation to take back the city? how much of it has to do with protecting that u.s. army base which is in northern iraq which has come under fire in recent weeks? >> that army base that houses a marine arrow till area unit is providing support. this is the beginning of the operation to liberate the city. they have to clean out that whole tigeress valley. the u.s. army base there is providing that district support and that puts the u.s. in the real thick of the battle. i mean this is on the front line. they are not very far back.
we saw the loss of a marine there just last week killed in action. this is going to continue, but i think there's a grander strategy in play here. if we can move on mowsle at the same time they're moving toward raqqah, there's hope in the future that isis will be defeated in the next year. >> when we look at what's happening in iraq and syria, they're being squeezed there, the theory is that isis will lash out at other targets. is that what we're going to see and are these two events and what's happening in europe are they directly related. >> there's a cause and effect and we've seen this before. with he saw it when the russians first started bombing, there were actions against them in egypt and we saw the paris attacks when the french were more involved. isis has grown all over the world. we see them in libya and also operating now in southeast asia.
so as they get squeezed in their strong hold of syria and iraq, they spread out wherever they can. but if we can take away that operating base, that's like robbing al qaeda of their homeland in afghanistan. it makes their operations much harder. we still see al qaeda, but nowhere near the strength as when they had a base in afghanistan. >> we've had turning points before. maybe this is one which will work out that way. thank you for being with us. >> sure thing, john. u.s. federal authorities have seized a drug tunnel which connected a home in southern california to a restaurant just across the boarder in mexico. the house was bought last year and it was built to hide the tunnel. >> reporter: according to the u.s. attorney they bought this property in california for $240,000. they then got a contractor to build the house and they asked
the contractor please leave room for a floor safe. well according to the federal agents they connected that hole for the floor safe to a tunnel and as you can see this is 415 yards, a couple of city blocks, from mexico. over there you'll see the brown fence, excuse the extreme zoom in. this is the ground they covered and they connected the tunnel to a mexican restaurant on the other side that was still functioning up until the day of the bust. they have seized 3,000 pounds of marijuana. they've made at least four arrests on various drug related and tunnel digging charges. agents in this area say this is the first time that they can remember that alleged drug dealers bought a property and built a house for the sole purpose of hiding a tunnel that they were going to dig. reporting from california, now back to you. >> thanks to paul for that
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one of the memorials here in brussels. it may be weeks before many of those killed in the bombings are identified. meanwhile the stories of the missin are emerging as their loved ones try to find them. cnn's senior international correspondent joins me again with more on one of those presumed lost in the attacks. >> reporter: that's right. only three of the 31 killed have been identified so far. we went to a school where one of the missing is a teacher. take a look. on tuesday morning in brussels
students at this school were waiting for class with their gym teach teacher. this woman, a wife and mother to three young children. >> translator: she was supposed to start at 9:45, but she didn't show up. we started to worry. we thought she was sick. we called and called, but there was no answer on her phone. a powerful bomb had ripped through her morning commute. her family has checked every hospital. she remains missing. it may take at least three weeks to identify those killed. she was an exceptional woman. she represented the true values of islam with generosity caring. he correction himself as he says she was a woman. i'm sorry she is a woman. she smiled all the time. the chairs in her homeroom class
are still empty. many of the students haven't come back to school yet, but on the door you can see her name listed. before students return a counselor meets with teachers to discuss how to break the news to the children. what's your favorite memory of her. >> her smile. >> always jumping. >> reporter: at the gym children play. no one here can understand how the attackers can justify bloodshed in the name of her religion. it's simple he says whoever supports these people who harm so many others who paralyze those around them with fear is not a human being. we must not support these people. we must report them. the terrorist attacks on brussels may have robbed the school of the beloved teacher,
but it cannot shake their faith. this school is actually in the neighborhood where the investigators believe the terrorists were plotting the attack where they asemabled to the bombs. the families are awaiting news. how are they -- what are they doing? how are they coping? >> reporter: this has been the most painful part for families is knowing they're loved ones are dead, but they have no proof of this. so we've been talking to families and friends and what they've been asked to do is provide any information they can. they're given a long questionnaire to try to identify them with anything like tattoos, birth marks, that sort of thing, but the bodies are so badly
mangled the only way to do is fingerprints or dna samples. >> thank you very much. we hope they get some news soon. i'll be right back with the continuing coverage. (music plays) i love being able to touch the screen. umm, you can do things on the fly, if you're trying to teach a kid about a proboscis, just sketch it on there and you've got it immediately. yeah, i like that. i don't have a touch screen on my mac. testing, testing... 1, 2, 3, 4... ♪ ♪look out honey... ♪because i'm using technology...♪ ♪ ♪ain't got time to make no apologies...♪ ♪
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hello. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. this is cnn's special coverage from brussels live for you on the terror attacks that struck the city early this week. police have been conducting anti-terror raids all morning. one took place in fronts of our cameras. investigators sealed off streets and spent hours inside this home. they've also arrested at least six people in connection to the bombings. officials will decide in the