tv Early Start With John Berman and Christine Romans CNN March 25, 2016 2:00am-3:01am PDT
now you have major film companies, hollywood saying we will pull our filming out of georgia if this continues. the nfl said earlier this week, the bill could hurt atlanta's chances of hosting a super bowl at the new stadium. breaking news this morning. we will start "early start" right now. >> new terror raids. new arrests across europe and overnight and into the morning. investigators hunting for the two surviving brussels bombers as the advance terror plot thwarted in paris. a lot going on. good morning. welcome to "early start." i'm christine romans. >> i'm victor blackwell. 5:00 a.m. in the east. breaking news on the battle front against terror in europe. overnight and this morning, new raids in belgium leading to at least six new arrests. this is happening as investigators now know of several additional isis plots in
europe. possibly linked to the brussels and paris terror networks. the manhunt is still ongoing. one for the man who dropped off a bomb and ran at the airport and one who participated in the metro bombing. we learn of new intelligence failures. top belgian officials admitting mistakes were made. we are covering the story the way cnn can with correspondents around the world. let's start with senior correspondent frederik pleitgen in brussels. you report raids have happened across belgium in the last few hours. >> reporter: absolutely, victor. a flurry of activity by the belgian authorities. the recent one in the early morning hours of today. police say they conducted a raid in the forrest area. it is an area where last tuesday, an apartment was
discovered where also the dna of salah abdeslam, of course, implicated in the paris attacks and had links to the people who conducted the brussels attacks. his dna was found there and a few days later, he was apprehended by police. several people overnight were detained. it is unclear if they will remain in custody or be charged. then the raids that happened overnight in various locations in brussels. among them where i am right now in the schaerbeek area which is where the plotters of the airport and metro went on to those locations from that apartment here. there were also arrests in another district called jette. and three people were taken into custody in front of the prosecutor's office. we are waiting to see if they will remain in detention or if
they will be let go. we know a forensic unit, victor, was in the apartment for several hours. >> we know belgium has lowered the security alert level. we see a lot of activity trying to penetrate this network across that neighborhood you're in there in brussels. fred, thank you. overnight in france, a paris suburb on lockdown as a major raid is conducted. a high level militant was arrested in the advanced planning of an attack. i want to bring in correspondent jim bittermann in our paris bureau. they had been looking for this guy for some time. they found him in the neighborhood of argentoi. tell us about it. >> reporter: exactly. they found him yesterday morning, actually. he was picked up. he had been on the run since convicted in brussels.
police picked him up and on interrogation, they found he used an apartment in the northwest paris suburb. they raided that apartment at 5:30 last night. while the raid was still going on, the interior minister did the most extraordinary thing. went on television at 20 minutes until 11:00 to talk about the fact there was a raid going on and not having all of the details. what they did find was a small quantity of explosives and hand guns. he said in the television discourse last night that the planning was going on for some attack in the paris or france area and the exact details are unknown. he said we will hear more from the paris prosecutor. the identity of the man is not known. a 34-year-old frenchman. he was convicted in brussels court last july. what makes this interesting, i
think, although the interior minister made it clear this was not linked to the brussels or paris attacks. what makes it interesting is his conviction last july in brussels was along with another person whose name appears everywhere. abdelhamid abaaoud. thought to be the ringleader for the paris attacks. clearly he is in the terrorist cell and terrorist network that the investigators in belgium and france are investigating. christine. >> thank you, jim. belgian authorities admitting mistakes were probably made leading up to the tuesday bombings. this morning, there are new questions about how suicide bomber ibrahim el bakraoui managed to slip through the cracks. he was deported by turkey and warned he was a militant. turkey's president saying this was not the first time turkey
warned european officials about a terrorist and only to be ignored. let's bring in our correspondent arwa damon. this is what officials are calling a lack of urgency on the part of the european officials. >> reporter: and turkey is frustrated by all of this had not just because of the unnecessary loss of life, but turkey feels as if the west does not consider it to be an equal or credible partner despite what may be publicly said. turkey for years has been gathering intelligence on a number of individuals. it has a watch list of upwards of 38,000 names that have been provided to turkey and every single time one of those people tries to enter the country, turkey says that it deports them and notifies the respective nation. in the case of el bakraoui, this
is what happened. el bakraoui was actually not on any of these watch lists. he came into the country and started out by going to a resort town on the coast. a lot of people trying to join the fight in syria, especially if they are trying to join alongside isis do first try to pose as tourists because turkey has been cracking down. el bakraoui ended up where we are now in the city of gaziantep. one of the main transit hubs for anyone trying to get into the war zone. intelligence is closely monitoring individuals who come through here. we don't know what it was about el bakraoui's behavior that raised suspicious, but they were raised. they detained him and notified the netherlands because that is where he would be deported to as well as belgium. about what the turks firmly believed was his intent.
to go and join isis on the battle field in syria. the netherlands say they were informed of the deportation, but not given the reason why. belgium acknowledging this is an intelligence failure on their part. speaking to the bigger picture in all of this, clearly there are severe issues with basic communication and following up on vital information. as you were mentioning, this is not the first time the turks say they provided information to europeans that has not been acted on. two other cases we are aware of. one in which the turks notified the french of an individual actually on the watch list. alerted to them by french authorities. they said he came to turkey. they deported him. he carried out a knife attack. then a man who the turks flagged to the french as a person of interest and went on to be one
of the main paris attackers. >> thank you, arwa damon. >> and colonel leighton said they don't trust the turks here. that shows the divisions that are rife within the intelligence community. officials are admitting the mistakes were made. can europe fix the terror crisis? and now investigators warn new attacks could be coming. oh, look... ...another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair works... ...in one week. with the... fastest retinol formula available. it's clinically proven to work on fine lines and... ...even deep wrinkles. "one week?
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overnight in paris. the man arrested and convicted in absentia in brussels for financially paying for and helping recruit young men to go to syria to go to the fight in syria and come back. the money guy here. what does that tell you about what officials and investigators are doing right now to pick up the loose ends and thwart any attack that could be happening? >> christine, if it is the money guy, that is a big deal. it shows they have gotten through to the web of connections and they in essence picked up the bombmakers because of thing deaths in brussels. you also have a situation now where you have the money guy from argenteuil. if that is the case, they are trying to roll up the most important isis cells they can find right now. if they have the money guy, the hope is they can understand
exactly where the money is going. who is paid, how they are paid and what they are paid for and where the money comes from. is it something that just comes from raqqah? the reported capital of isis in syria or other sources? that can open up a plethora of information that allows for further analysis and perhaps other arrests may be coming out of this as a result. >> this french suspect shares commonality with ibrahim el bakraoui as i read this profile that negates the narrative of the disenfranchised young men looking for inclusion. we know he was known by police for trafficking jewelry in 2013 and 2014. we know el bakraoui, described by the belgians as a criminal,
but no connection to terror. it shows the line of general criminal activity and crossing over into terror. >> that's right, victor. that's an excellent point. what you're seeing is the under worlds comes together. criminal under world and terrorist under world are finding common cause. they can use each other for purposes and for the criminal element, this brings about adventure and ability to bring a cause greater than themselves. when they do something like this, it really allows them to go beyond just petty theft or other acts of petty nature. when you do this, you have an interesting nexus that should be followed through by all law enforcement in europe. criminal activity can often mask other things. >> in this case, when you talk
about brussels and some neighborhoods outside of paris, you hear about lack of opportunity and high unemployment and how this jihadi narrative just sort of strikes a chord there. it is not the whole story. in some cases, we see educated young men from middle class families. we talk to mothers who are horrified who raised their children the right way and their sons are arrested. do law enforcement need to do more on the front end in prisons and in schools? instead of solving the crime at the end, do more to prevent the allure of the jihadi narrative of the young men in the first place? >> christine, i think so. going after crimes and criminal acts is reactive. you know, we're very good at that. we tend to react to stimuli of
various types. all nations do that. it's much more important to get at the root causes. when you talk about this, it is not just disaffected youth, but you are dealing with people who have the means, but also getting an opportunity to lead. in some cases, that leadership opportunity is what they seek. they don't necessarily care where they're leading, but care that they lead. if they can lead an enterprise like an isis cell, they say why not. we have to prevent that. perhaps it is a bit of a moral education more than anything else. it is an effort to recognize these things are often based on factors as desires to lead and influence and that is one of the major elements in the narrative. >> it is complicated and so many different threads to sew together to solve it.
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breaking news. at least six new arrests overnight and this morning in terror raids. intense manhunt for the surviving brussels bomber. welcome back to "early start." i'm victor blackwell. >> i'm christine romans. it is 5:30 in the east. breaking news on the battle of terror in europe. new raids in belgium leading to six arrests. now several additional isis plots in europe, possibly linked to the brussels and paris
network. the manhunt intensifying for the men who survived the bombings. one who dropped the bomb off and ran and one who participated in the metro bombing. we learn of new intelligence failures. top belgian officials admitting mistakes were made. breaking right now, u.s. secretary of state john kerry in europe this morning with the joint news conference. we are covering the story the only way cnn can. we have the latest with correspondent frederik pleitgen in brussels. >> reporter: it was a flurry of activity overnight and early morning of today in the district where some of the terrorists were involved in the plots in brussels had a safe house. in the district, there was a
raid in the early morning hours. police telling us they detained several people. we don't know the identity of the people whom they detained. it certainly appears to be a big operation in the district. the place i'm here is schaerbeek. it is the apartment that served as the bomb making factory for the brussels airport bombing. there were forensic units on the scene securing material out of the apartment here. it is unclear if anyone was arrested here. overnight, six people brought into detention. three right in front of the belgian federal prosecutor's office. three people apparently waiting in a car. certainly the belgian police stepping up activity as it searches for two people still at large. one on the surveillance cameras
and one from the metro station where many people say was acting strangely before the blast. some say they saw that person leaving the metro station after the blast. christine. >> fred, we're learning more about the people missing. we're not getting much new information about confirmation of fatalities as the investigation continues. we are learning about a mother of three. a woman who is a teacher at an islamic school in brussels. her students waiting for her on the morning of this and she did not come out of the subway. we are learning of people traveling and people going to work. people taking families on vacation. this terror, the way it evolved for isis strikes at the core of how people live their lives. are we learning anymore about the lists of the dead? >> reporter: it is an important question. you are right, christine. people in the city say they are
downright afraid at this point in time. it is difficult for them to carry on with their lives. i spoke with someone who says she goes to the metro station almost every day that was hit. these people are deeply shaken. at the same time, you still have all these people missing. i was at the makeshift morgue set up at the brussels airport. the officials there and officials generally here are saying to this day at this point in time, there still has not been a single person killed who was identified with 100% certainty. there are a lot of families and people out there who are waiting for any sort of notice about whether or not their loved ones may come back. for instance, the students at the school where the teacher is missing. a big problem. a tragedy for these families. they want clarity. at the same time, many so many days after this happened, are fearing the worst.
>> the mother of three sons. we see her picture there. as we talk about the investigations going forward and missed opportunities, it is important to keep our authorities on the victims and pray for the people waiting for word. thank you for that, fred. let's go to france where there are breaking details on the terror plot that was foiled with major raid overnight in the paris suburb. a source close to the investigation is identifying the suspect in custody as reda kriket. let's go now to senior correspondent jim bittermann. he is in the paris bureau. jim, what do we know about reda kriket. >> reporter: he was born in a paris suburban in fact, was a convicted in absentia in brussels. what makes him interesting to authorities is the fact he was
convicted with abdelhamid abaaoud, who was the mastermind behind the terrorist plots who bombed the paris stadium and bataclan theater in paris. the two of them were clearly in connection or had connections prior to the paris attacks. the interior minister said last night there is nothing to connect this man who was arrested kriket with the attacks in paris or brussels. he is involved in the circles. he has some connection. when they raided his apartment, the apartment he had been using in the northwest paris suburb, they found according to reports here, an arm and one weapon and explosives. they found some explosives. they are still checking it out. prosecutor is expected to give more information later on in the
day. i think it is just the beginning of the investigation. we will hear more and what the plot was. the interior minister said it was in an advanced stage of preparation. he did not say what the target was or how advanced. victor. >> jim in paris. thank you. belgian authorities admitting mistakes were probably made leading up to the deadly terror bombings. questions about how airport suicide bomber ibrahim el bakraoui managed to slip through the cracks. he was deported by turkey which warned european officials he was a militant. after el bakraoui arrived in the netherlands, he was set free. turkey is saying this is not the first time european officials were warned, but ignored. let's go to senior correspondent arwa damon. it is like he drove through the cracks. a casym here with turkish
failures. >> reporter: a lot of failures. in the case of el bakraoui, he was picked up in gaziantep. it is home to a number of non-profits, but it is one of the main transit hubs for people crossing into the war zone who include those who want to go and join isis. turkey has a list of names that have been provided to it. upward of 38,000 individuals on the list. el bakraoui was not one of them. he is someone who the turks identified as being suspicious. exactly why we don't know at this stage. prior to arriving in gaziantep, he spent time at a holiday resort. that is standard among those trying to slip through the cracks and get to syria. they pose as tourists.
something about the behavior sparked suspicion. they picked him up in gaziantep. the turks very adamant that they were clear in saying the reason he was deported is because they suspected strongly that his intent of being here was to go and join the group isis. they say the netherlands and belgium did not follow-up on that intelligence. it's not the first time. two other occasions where the turks have notified authorities in europe about potential individuals who may have ties to terrorism. that intelligence has not been followed up on. in one case, a man carried out a knife attack in france. another case, one attacker was one of the key paris attackers. so the turks are saying, europe is always criticizing us saying we have porous borders. we agree. we are doing everything we can.
europe needs to look at the intelligence failures in all of this as well. to speak to that, a big meeting of european ministers that took place yesterday. they are trying to come to agreement about how to increase security at airports and also how to under take the sharing of airplane passenger information lifr lists. this is actually not happening in the european union. that is one of the many reasons why if they have a european union passport, once they get back, they can travel through fairly quickly and fairly easily. turkey additionally is saying look, europe needs to stop scapegoating us. europe needs to take us seriously and europe needs to realize there have been improvement in cooperation, that cooperation has to significantly increase if we are going to begin to attempt to follow-up on
all of the vital intelligence that will potentially save people's lives. >> thank you, arwa damon. a cruel irony. 20 to 30 years into the european union experiment that meant to open borders and movement of people and goods around europe. that is the biggest problem. >> discussing exchanging the airline data. we discussed during the break, it doesn't stop people from driving from country to country. >> you can drive from france to germany. officials are admitting mistakes were made, but what can they do to fix the intelligence failures? we are breaking that down next. i invehe fold-o-matic 5000. my metris also holds over 2,500 pounds of payload. hauling 2,500 pounds in my small van is no problem.
european leaders are trying to plug the security gaps and again trying to share the airport passenger data. >> let's go live to washington and bring in military analyst and joint chiefs of staff director colonel cedric leighton. colonel, i want to talk about the arrest of reda kritet in france overnight and one of the bombers in brussels. we know there was a will found on a laptop in which they expressed fear they were the next to be arrested. that likely expedited their plan after the arrest of salah abdeslam a week ago. now with the arrest of reda kriket and he was in the advance stages of planning a high level attack, what is your degree of concern this arrest could expedite a plan somewhere else across europe? >> i think it's a huge concern,
victor. i think we're looking at the scattering of the rats, if you will. when these types of arrests occur, you will end up with a lot of movement within the targeted organization. in the case of isis, you will see terrorists move across borders. they may try to escape the police dragnet. they may find it difficult. they will have two choices. run or stay in place. if they stay in place, that will also allow for certain things to happen on the law enforcement side. it may result in further arrests that way. it's far more likely if they run, they will get caught. this is one of the big things if kriket has a lot of information, and he is the money man, that could mean a lot of roll up of terrorist forces out there. it won't be complete or 100%,
but it will go a long way if they can act quickly. >> you look at the arrest. he was somebody who was a jewel thief who used those skills to figure out how to get young people to the fight in syria and iraq presumably. we look at brussels and paris networks here. we look at the concentric circles between the countries. hiding out in different apartments in different neighborhoods in paris and brussels. are you concerned about other networks in germany or netherlands or spain? there could be a revived attempt of the network elsewhere? >> we have to be concerned about that. the networks rely on the fact that many of the people working for isis are from north africa and a lot of those countries, the people are used to speaking
french. they grew up speaking french and arabic. it is easy for them to go into the countries. not necessarily to blend into society, but easy for them to get there and allow themselves to be part of the peripheral part of society. in germany, you have a different mix of people. a long living turkish population that's been there since the 1970s. they are less likely to be involved in isis. there's a new addition over the summer with the migrants from syria and iraq. that adds a new dimension to the german landscape. it could result in isis cells formed there. i know they have been formed in some of the areas of germany. the question is how effective are they and well developed are they. it looks to be at the moment they are not developed as well as the other networks are.
it will not take much for them to get ramped up and get involved in the underworld. >> we brought into the conversation beyond belgium, arwa damon reporting from gaziantep. the information that came from turkish officials to eu. we know the ongoing distrust with european officials and those in turkey. how do these entities stream line information and bring uniformity to it? some european officials are saying they are dumping information with no supporting details. >> that is right, victor. you are dealing with the expectations of the receiver. the european nations want certain things in certain formats. they expect details to be there. they don't expect that they'll act on very vague generalities.
for kpexample, if turkey's intelligence says this mr. x is a bad actor, there needs to be proof instead of vague suspicion. so there is not only a cultural issue here, but a legal issue. the european nations will not go after someone based on superstition or suspicion. they will want proof and that is going to be very hard to do. it's going to require cultural change on both sides. more proof from the turks as example and the other middle eastern services and the greater notion to accept the vague generalities and use that as a way to look into the behavior of the groups and people. >> all right. colonel leighton, thank you. 51 minutes past the hour. more companies threatening to take their business out of georgia. we will get an early start on your money next.
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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 are a sniveling coward. leave heidi alone. and vice president joe biden is calling republicans ridiculous for using his words to block the nominee merrick garland. biden saying they are taking a 17-page speech from 1972 out of the context. president obama nominated garland earlier this month to fill the opening left by antonin scalia. let's get an early start on your money. stock markets are closed for the good friday holiday. a five-week winning streak snapped. new talk of an earlier than expected interest rate hike from the fed and also a pull back in oil prices. cooling sentiment on wall street. a 21st century fox and weinstein
company will take their business out of georgia if the governor signs the bill that would give faith based organizations the option of denying services to gay people. proponents say it protects religious freedoms. they ending plans to shoot a film at the end of the year there. time warner issued a statement against the bill. you hear from other hollywood film companies saying they will not film in georgia if the governor signs this. tax credits have been used to lure film companies to georgia. those breaks cover up to 30% of the production costs. the nfl says this could hurt atlanta's chances to host a super bowl. new raids and arrests related to the brussels terror attack. the breaking news continues. "new day" starts right now.
overnight, a series of anti hfr terror raids in several belgian neighborhoods. >> six people arrested overnight. >> i don't give this group of savages for getting better. >> if you think what if, i go crazy. >> at least two people at large. >> the number of suspects still growing. >> she was facing the explosion. she was burned on the face. >> my hands was burned. >> she walked on bodies to get out. >> belgian interior minister offered to resign. this is cnn breaking news. good morning, everyone. welcome to your "new day".
it is friday, march 25th. i'm alisyn camerota. i'm live in brussels this morning. michaela pereira and john berman are in new york. breaking news in the terror investigation. belgian police conducting multiple raids throughout the capital. they have detained at least six suspects in connection with tuesday's bombings. also, the two unidentified attackers, the search for them is intensifying as the threat of more attacks hangs heavy over this city. the justice minister also admitting that they made major mistakes in terms of intelligence gathering. and we're also learning that a man arrested overnight by french police for an advanced stage terror plot is now linked to the paris attacks. all of this as secretary of state john kerry arrives in brussels. we will hear from him in just moments. let's begin with our senior international correspondent. tema, thank you for being here.