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tv   At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan  CNN  March 25, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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tale for releasing these prisoners who are already caught and captured? >> a number of the leaders of isil were in detention in iraq back in former years, including the head of isil himself in iraqi detention. so it is important that these are people who have experience. they are people who have shown dedication over the years. >> does it give you pause about releasing prisoners from gitmo? >> well, as far as gitmo is concerned, that's the very reason why we need an alternative detention facility to gitmo. because it's not safe to release everybody or transfer it to the custody of another country. that's the very point of that. >> reporter: general, we've just heard this week that there are 5,000 u.s. troops on the ground
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in iraq. why is the pentagon and senior military leadership reluctant to say it's more than 3800? >> we're not reluctant. what we track is the number in our force management level. that's 3800. this is nothing that's inconsistent with what's been going on the last 15 years. people that are in direct support of the embassy, those have knot nnot been counted. it's a consistent way of counting that's been going on for 15 years. at any given time we have 3800 directly in support of the mission. when units rotate, we don't double count them. if there's a unit of 200 replaced by a unit of 200, and they're being replaced at the same time, we don't count it as 400. the accounting of our people has been consistent. we're not denying that there's more people than 3800. you get the numbers from us. but in terms of what we count in
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the mission in -- that's in accordance with the direction, the 3800 is in the mission. i didn't say 5,000 was accurate. i said 3800. and there's some number above that as a result of people that support the embassy and people in other categories that don't count against the 3800. >> reporter: i'd like to follow up on questions about the ha marines and the fire base. unlike the previous military combat positions in fire support, this is an independent base. these are u.s. military only. and by all indications they are not just defensive but in this latest movement by iraqi worsfo, they provided fire support for offensive operations against isis. why is this not the first footprint of a u.s. combat ground operation there in iraq?
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>> the reason they're in a different base is simply a function of geometry. they're designed to support forces in an area. the artillery can't be co-existing with fire support. this position was selected because of the geometry necessary to support that location. in regard to providing support, to me, there's no inconsistency between what the artillery unit did and what our aviation support is doing. we've said we're providing enabling support to include combined arms to iraqi forces. that's what this artillery unit was doing. >> we have indications this is a pretty permanent position right now. after a short period of time, u.s. army personnel are going to replace the marines there. it still has all indications that the u.s. military is
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directly involved in the ground operations with the iraqi -- >> maybe quickly i'd say even since last week now as the iraqis have started to consolidate their positions, the situation on the ground changed in terms of where the iraqis are in terms of the defensive support they're providing. that's already changed through the course of the week. but in all honesty, i just cannot see this being inconsistent with everything that we've been doing over the last several months. >> let me add to this. and what we'll be doing in coming months. this is our approach to eliminating isil from mosul. the iraqi security forces are the ones carrying out the assault. we're helping them. that's our approach, and we'll continue to do that. started in ramadi. we'll continue going up to mosul. >> reporter: do you operate
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seeing more u.s. ground forces closer to the front lines as the battle toward mosul -- >> one thing i probably need to clarify. this position is behind what's known as the ford line of troops by the peshmerga. it's by no means out on front on its own. and secondly the question about the future, we have a series of recommendations that we will be discussing with the president in the coming weeks to further enable our support for the iraqi security forces. so, again, the secretary and i both believe that there will be an increase to the u.s. forces in iraq in the coming weeks. but that decision hasn't been made. you know, you alluded to decisions that were already made about army units replacing the marine units. there's no decisions made about what's going to happen at this position in the future. but it is going to be decided in the context of the broader issue that the secretary will bring to the president again, focussed on what it is we need to do to maintain a minimum campaign and
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to enable operations in mosul. >> reporter: back on the haji imam. was it in syria and was this a u.s. raid or was it a drone strike or a manned aircraft? >> i'm not going to say where and how it was done, carla. i'm simply not going to do that. but it's -- the only thing i will say, it is consistent with our strategy there which is to put pressure on isil every single way we can from the leadership which we've discussed previously right down to supporting local forces on the ground, and with respect to operations in iraq, i want to make sure and reiterate that everything we do is with the consultation and approval of the iraqi government. >> reporter: can i ask you the
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same about abu sara? you said he was targeted. can we assume that was an air strike? >> again, i'm not going to talk about how these guys went out. we have a number of ways to do that, and i'm going to ask for your forbearance there. we're going to be disciplined about that. >> reporter: you said to congress that the europeans need to step up their intelligence sharing. i know that several people who were part of the brussels attack have been on our terror watch list and would not have been led into the united states. are we increasing our sharing of our intelligence? did we share all that information with the belgians? >> i can speak military to military. i spoke broader to congress, law enforcement, and so forth. from a military to military, we've increased the intelligence
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sharing and we have specific locations where we bring together a number of coalition partners to do just that. i mean, we think that over 100 countries have dporn fighters in syria and iraq. you've seen the numbers that exceed 35,000. i wouldn't put a high degree of confident that we have the exact numbers, but that gives you a magnitude of the problem. in my judgment, unless all the countries that are affected by the foreign fighters are koor cooperating at the law enforcement negligence, the intelligence community level and the military level, we won't have the site picture necessary to take action against these individuals prior to the attacks like in brussels. >> just to reinforce what the chairman just said in getting back to the fight in syria and iraq, i should also mention that a number of our european partners to include belgium in the last month and a half after i had the counterisil mine
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stee ministerial in brussels. i want to note the belgians did that too. that's different from the homeland security law enforcement and intelligence side of things. but in the fight in iraq and syria i want to note the belgians have intensified their role in view of what happened in brussels that's worth noting. >> reporter: mr. secretary n in light of brussels and the attacks that happened in paris, as you look at the death of this person and whether isis leaders in syria, can you tie some of this together for us? do you see these plots in europe, these cells in europe being directed from isis leadership? do you, for example, think this man, haji imam, could he have been, was he involved in the paris or brussels cells? are there operatives in syria training them how to make bombs?
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what are the links you're seeing between isis in syria and these cells emerging? >> i can't confirm that this individual had anything to do with the brussels attacks specifically, but the general phenomenon you're describing is correct, and the kinds of influence are various. they range all the way from fighters who have trained in and participated in isil operations in iraq and syria, returning to their countries of origin, and that's where these many foreign fighters that the chairman was talking about are concerning to us. right through ones who are recruited and trained by such individuals but have not themselves been in iraq and syria or been in contact with isil forces directly right back through those who are simply inspired by, maybe get some sort
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of general instructions, from isil, but are otherwise self-motivated and self-radicalized. there's an entire spectrum that our law enforcement and counterintelligence colleagues are dealing with. >> reporter: can i follow up quickly? yet we see the link between the paris and -- >> one other thing, there's no question that this individual and other individuals we've eliminated have been part of the an apparatus of isil. both to return and by using the internet to do so. no questions these leaders did that. >> reporter: so the leaders you see, what's your assessment? do you think this cell that has emerged in europe, do you think, and several of them have gone to syria by all accounts.
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do you think they're being directed by isis leadership, or is that even a relevant question to ask? is being inspired by them enough to have the expertise, equipment, technology, weapons, to carry out the mission? >> it's a relevant question. if they're directed, we want to get at the people. that's what we're doing, and eliminate the people who are directing them. but even if it's just inspiration, it's still taking you back to iraq and syria and the need to eliminate the sources of the inspiration. the idea that there can be an islamic state based on this ideology. we're going to eliminate that image. that's an important part of eliminating the inspiration even if it's not direction, but the answer to your question is there's both direction and there's inspiration and various shades inbetween, and we need to combat them all. i can't speak for the paris and
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brussels cells, and that's a law enforcement matter. my impression is it is a mixture of some who are inspired either by the internet or by a friend or associate or family member who himself did travel to iraq and syria. i think you see that mix in what we already know of the cells involved in paris and brussels. but i'm not going to presume that i know everything that french and belgian law enforcement know. that's their business, and they share it through law enforcement channels with us. >> reporter: mr. secretary, you mentioned it seems for months now that the progress against isil has been frustratingly slow. you mentioned the momentum is now clearly on your side. are we at a point where there's a turning point? are we seeing signs isil is beginning to crack? are they offering less
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resistance? have we turned the corner? >> well, we're certainly gathering momentum and seeing the momentum is having effect, and we're broadening both the weight and the nature of our attacks on isil. we've learned a great deal, and we continue to learn about who is who in isil so we can kill them. about how they get their finances so we can dry that up. and the forces that we're working with on the ground in both iraq and syria continue to gather strength because our strategic approach for the retaking of territory is to help local forces to do so, and you see both in iraq, the iraqi security forces first with ramadi, now with other times up
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t you fray freeze valley, and you see it in syria with the taking of an example i gave at the top of my statement in the taking of the town of shadadi which is the key connection between raqqa and mosul, and the idea there is to dissect the parent tumor of isil into the syrian side and the iraqi side. in all of these ways other gathering momentum, broadening both the nature of the tools we're using and the pure weight we're bringing, and the same is true of the partners as well. >> the only thing i'd add is we talk about moementum. it's indisputable whether it's the amount of ground they hold, or the resources. we've started to affect their command in control in a negative way. we've begun to undermine the narrative, but there's a lot of work that remains to be done,
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and at the same time while isil has not been able to seize ground in the past several months, that hasn't precluded them from conducting terrorist attacks or operations more than the conventional operations. i think the momentum is in our favor. i think there's a lot of reasons for us to be optimistic about the next several months. by no means would i say we're about to break the back of isil or that the fight is over. >> and one final note i'll make if i may, peter, just to reinforce what the chairman said. it would be one things brussels reminds us also essential as the military effort is, and confident as i am that we're going to be successful and that we're gathering momentum, it's necessary, but there's a critical law enforcement and homeland security ingredient to this, and there are partners in this fight here and in other
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countries. brussels is a reminder that that fight is necessary as well, both in the european countries and any other country potentially affected by that including our own. and with that, let me thank you all very much. >> all right. you're listening right there to very big news coming from the pentagon. the defense secretary, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, announcing in the pentagon briefing moments ago that a top isis leader, the finance minister as the secretary described it, also someone responsible for some external plots has been taken out. a man that goes by a couple names, including haji imam. there's a picture of him. a big announcement coming from the defense secretary, obviously, important to him to take this moment to come out to the pentagon briefing room and announce it formally confirm his death in the past couple of days. we'
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let me bring in to discuss the significance of this in the broader fight against isis, especially in the aftermath of the brussels attacks, let me bring in paul cruickshank and fill mudd along with karen greenberg. thank you for sitting through this with me as we're really listening to the detail. i was very interested in how the secretary was going to describe this operation, not giving any detail, but describe how significant this man was. he said one of the goals of their fight against isis is to eliminate the isis cabinet, and this was a step toward doing that. how significant do you think this was? >> the secretary of defense does not come in front of the cameras unless there's a significant breakthrough on the war on isis. this is exactly that. he was believed to be the number two of isis in charge of the
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groups finances. also played a role as we've just heard from the defense secretary in the external operations of isis, so things like the paris attacks and the brussels attacks, he would have had perhaps some input in terms of launching a strategy of launching attacks in europe. this is someone who is a long standing jeed ihadi. he was the deputy of the founder of isis al zarqawi we when it was called al qaeda. when it was fighting americans. he was the group's envoy to bin laden. he was bin laden's favorite to took over, but baghdadi got the top job. he was a former fizz physics te. he's from northern iraq. he was operating on the both iraq and syria side of the border. he was killed in syria. >> an important -- as paul
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points out. if the defense secretary is coming out, it shows the significance. but he also said striking leadership is necessary but far from sufficient because these guys will be replaced. i want to get your take on the significance of it. but also the fact that he was not, the defense secretary did not want to go into detail of how the operation took place. barbara star's sources tell her it was not an air strike leaving open the option of special forces. >> that's good intelligence. locating a target like that over time who has been in the organization for more than a decade as paul points out and therefore has really good operational security, this isn't just a tactical success. it indicates that intelligence collection in syria is ongoing. but on your point about the significance of the take down, a couple things you need to think about that are difficult from an american perspective.
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our optic on time is short. the life span of a group like isis, typically about 20 years. you have to do a couple things in that time. eliminate geography. isis was on a role in 2014. if we get a cease fire in syria, i would expect the geography there to be eliminated. that's long term. in leadership, this is not about one individual. that's why he was specific about being cautious. it's about individuals over the course of time. one after the other after the other. you can't look at this in isolation. you have to take them out over time. >> stick with me. i want to get over to our pentagon correspondent, barbara starr. this came from your reporting, all of this even before the secretary of defense came out, and i thought your question to him was so important when you said if he says this man would have been involved with external plots as the secretary said, does that mean he would have to at least have some knowledge of
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or some involvement plots like paris and brussels? >> well, plots like them. this is what the intention community is looking at right now as you see these cells emerge in europe. how do they trace back to sort of the head quarters elements of isis in syria and iraq? who is inspiring these cells? who is directing them? the secretary indicated, i think, what many u.s. officials believe right now which is it's a mix. some of these operatives in europe are directly perhaps under some type of orders. maybe not time tadate and placef where to attack, but at least some direction, go forth and launch attacks. s some of them inspired by others and come back to europe. this is a very long term problem. i think the secretary was
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emphasizing this person haji imam is a very important get, but it's not the real answer. there is no final answer on how you take out the full isis leadership. we've seen over the years every time the u.s. struck an al-qaeda leader, someone else stepped into place. i think what you guys are talking about is exactly right. a lot of this is going to go on for a very long time, but for today, perhaps the most interesting part is what the secretary would not publicly talk about. he wouldn't say it was syria. he wouldn't say it was special ops. let me wrap up by saying when the u.s. military goes after a high valued target like this, it is the joint special operations command. it is the covert units of special ops whether it's so-called s.e.a.l. team six or other operational groups. these are the guys out there keeping watch and looking all the time, assembling the
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intelligence chain to locate the high value target and keep their eyes on them and be able to move when they can. the secretary didn't talk about that. i think what was not said in the press conference, the most interesting stuff. >> speaks volumes. thank you so much, barbara. obviously in the pentagon briefing and breaking the use before that. even though the secretary says striking leadership is necessary, al beit not sufficient in the fight against a terror network like isis, i think taking the leadership out one by one, though, is more welcome than not doing it at all. i think we can all agree on that. stick with us. we have a lot more to discuss. the impakts of this as well as the impact of what is going on right now in brussels, belgium, as we learn this, a major operation in belgium is underway right now. the man hunt continuing to intensify for the suspect still out there in the brussels attacks. an explosion was heard as well as gunshots, gunfire. we'll take you there live.
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a major police raid and a new arrest in the schaerbeek area of brussels. fred pleitgen is with us. we're looking at some new video coming in. you can't see it but you can talk to us about the wounded, the man wounded and taken into custody. what are you seeing and hearing? >> reporter: well, it meshes with what eyewitnesss told us as well. we were outside the police cordon as the raid was going on. they said there was a man who apparently was armed and on a tram station which is where we are right now, and that he apparently was threatening. it was then that police was alerted to his presence there. they then shot him, and the witnesses told us initially that he had been shot but hp shot in a way that he was not killed. they believed it was the leg or something, and certainly the video does seem to corroborate with the people were saying. it also was the case that there
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were bomb disposal squads called. it appeared as though a bomb robot was also used during all this. we could see the man appeared to have a backpack on him, and the bomb robot seemed to check out the backpack. the massive police operation which did involve a lot of police officers, obviously a lot of special units like the bomb squad as well, is now over. the tram traffic here on the rails is actually running once again. the police say that they have one man in custody, and that they believe that the arrested person is, quote, linked to tuesday's terrorist attackings in the belgian capital. so someone apparently linked to the attacks at the airport and in the metro system as well. that explains also why this was such a large operation. clearly they believe they were onto someone who was very significant. remember, at this point in time the authorities are still certainly searching for two people that were seen in those
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tv cameras at the airport as well as at the metro station and still trying to uncover any sort of larger web that might be out there linked to these attacks and the paris attacks as well. >> absolutely. fred, thanks so much. let me bring in clarissa ward, she's also standing by in brussels with new details. clarissa, the new video coming in is truly amazing, of that suspect being shot and taken away. you see the robot moving in. what are you picking up in terms of the investigation and the hunt for the suspects still out there? >> reporter: well, kate, the investigation and the hunt seems to be spreading further and further, not just in belgium. we saw raids in france last night and now we're hearing about a coupling of important potential arrests in germany. one man who was arrested had a text message on his phone that mentioned the name of the metro
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bomber, el bakraoui. that was sent at 9:08 local time. we don't have anymore information as to what the man's involvement may have been in the brussels plot if he was directly involved. he was reportedly just stopped during a routine check because he seemed shifty or uncomfortable. meanwhile in france, we had some major anti-terror raids overnight. police acting after arresting a man who say they was nearing the final stages of -- or the advanced stages of plotting a significant attack. what we're seeing here, essentially, are these different cell structures in paris, in brussels, now arrests happening in germany, unclear to the extent they're all operating together or to what extent they're overlapping. but the two men who are the primary focus of the man hunt in belgium continue to be the third man in that picture of the airport bombers. he's wearing that tan jacket with the classes and the hat.
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apparently disguising his identity. he was the one pushing that suitcase filled with the super po at the present ti potent explosives that didn't detonate. as yet, the unnamed and unseen man who was reportedly captured outside the metro carrying a large bag. but police have not released any information in terms of name, identity. they haven't even released the surveillance image showing this man. and we've seen this is a common theme, kate. belgian authorities keeping tight lipped and not sharing too much information with the media for fear of tampering with the investigation. >> thank you so much. clarissa is on the ground working her sources on the investigation and the developments that are fast moving. let me bring the panel back in to continue the discussion about everything going on. all of the raids underway. the operations that are underway to look for the suspects. paul, when talking about this,
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the pick up of this suspect in germany, you've picked some really interesting details about who this person is, what they found and the links? >> this comes from a source by german officials who is telling me about this operation yesterday in germany. two arrests, one in near the belgium border at a train station at a routine check. he started abouting sus sishs. the local police took him into custody. when they got ahold of his phone, there was a text message sent minutes before the bombing with the name of the person in the bombing. they believe there may be a tie between this individual and the brussels attacks. the other individual arrested also believe connected to the el bakraoui brothers. all of these developments in
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belgium and germany and in paris last night. they all appear to be connected. i can walk through that. this raid in schaerbeek, we saw -- >> the one we're looking at right here. >> this man was believed to be as belgium officials are speaking out, believed to be connected to the brussels attack. but also believed to be connected to that man, reda kriket who was arrested in paris last -- >> the raid outside of paris last night. >> so a connection there. but now between the brussels attack investigation and that raid in paris last night, they've got this individual, reda kriket into custody. he traveled to syria in 2014. he was a known associate of abaaoud who is the ring leader of the paris attacks. he was found -- >> the connections are -- >> the connections are myriad. he was found with tatp in his possession. the french interior minister said he was in the advanced stage of attack planning. what i think we're seeing play
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out here is a major push by isis in europe to attack at least potentially two countries, perhaps more. >> it almost feels that they're just scratching the surface of how wide and deep it is in europe. i want to get your take that as clarissa was pointing out, the third suspect in the airport. we heard from sources that the united states knows the identity of this suspect. they're not releasing it, though. what's the thought behind that? >> the thought is that you don't want somebody who you're pursuing to know what you know about them. it's good law enforcement work. it's good intelligence work. what you are seeing here, i want to point this out in terms of finding these people. brussels came under and belgium under a tremendous amount of criticism early on in the investigation right after the bombings. and what we're seeing now is excellent intelligence work and law enforcement work. one after another, people are being rounded up and arrested.
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people are being identified because of coordination of the united states and intereuropean officials. and you saw the same thing in the lavont in syria where you saw that there was, what kind of intelligence to be able to get the second in command. this is really a pushback on two levels. one is the law enforcement level of taking people out in a military level, and the other is the we can do this and fight these guys. this is a story we're going to own. and so they don't release names because just good practice. best practices. they'll find them and then tell us. >> i want to get your take on that, phil. does that mean if they're not releasing the name of this suspect, this third suspect, does that tell you they're close to finding him? that they don't need the public's help? ro >> they're going to ensure they don't spook the target. he may be 95% certain the noose is closing, but as soon as you put the name out on cnn, put
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yourself in his shoes. now you're going to try to disappear. i think if they can locate him quickly, obviously they'll take him down, but over time if we find out in two or three days that they can't find him, you may see the name released because they'll need help from the public. >> stand by with me. we have more information. i was listening to it in my ear. we'll take a quick break. another live report from the latest raid outside of brussels. a lot of moving parts as the operations intensify to search for the suspect still out there responsible for the horrific attacks in brussels. we'll be right back. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me, and you're talking to your rheumatologist
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back to our breaking news coverage out of belgium. a major police raid and a new arrest in brussels. nick paton walsh is there. he joins us live. nick, as i'm looking at this, as i'm looking at you, i'm watching the amazing video of the arrest and how they took this guy down. you're right there at the tram station where it all happened. walk us through the scene. >> reporter: well, as far as we know at this point, this man we don't know if he emerged from the building or was walking on the streets or on one of the trams that passes through here. he was tackled or confronted by police. two shots were fired. one we understand hit him in the leg, and after that there was a third noise, and explosion. this man fell on the ground.
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we don't know how police came to find him here. we don't know who he is. we can tell by the scale of the police operation here they were here in force, that they were deeply concerned about who he might be. he may be, obviously, some kind of important suspect in all of this. but after that moment there, these trams that you can see passing behind me now going about their normal daily business and routine. two trams were emptied of the people and the trams moved slightly further down the track and then went about their business. right now you can see the glass of this tram station broken. we don't know how. whether it was from one of the shots or the explosion or some other means, but despite the broken glass on the floor, hoards of media and locals coming back to try and go about their daily life. it shows you the challenge police have here. they want don't want to interrupt daily life much. they still have to deal with the crime scene here.
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witnesses saw police bomb disposal experts approach a bag on the floor. witne we saw police go up to it and begin to pick through what was in it. it's since been taken away here. but very tense scene for a number of hours here in the heart of brussels and also two gunshots fired and an explosion. clearly this police investigation tightening on certain individuals. i have to say, at the same time, the biggest concern for investigators is how day by day the number of people they seem to be searching grows rather than diminishes or finds people in their custody. >> absolutely. at this point it's becoming difficult to keep track of the raids and arrests and the myriad of links between the actors. we're seeing one of them behind you, clearly surprising seeing how quickly they're trying to get back to normal life at the tram station after the arrest.
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nick is there for us. thank you nick. it's good to see you. let me bring in david road. he's a national security investigations editor. it's great to see you. thank you for coming in. talk to me first about what we're seeing and talking about with nick paton walsh. you have this arrest at the tram station. take that with the raids and the police operations taking place that are not just in brussels to look for people involved but now it's reaching to germany and back into just outside of paris and the what looks surely like some links that are beginning to emerge to all of this. what does this tell you? >> i mean, there's two ways to look at it. an optimistic way, and a mention about the arrest in germany and the text message on that individual's phone. if this network is using their phones more, if they're using more electronic communications and that's how the police are locating them in the different areas, that's a big step forward. the real danger and what really
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frightened officials in terms of paris attack and the brussels airport attack was that the operatives were not using cell phones. they had sort of gone black. they were either using encryption, but clearly the french and the belgians were sort of blind to this attack. that's a positive way to look at it. the negative way is these are people all across europe. there could be hundreds of them, fighters who have returned from syria. so it's a very difficult situation. >> and david, i could also lean on your expertise to get your take on the big news at the top of the hour, the secretary of defense announcing that the u.s. has taken out the number two in command, the finance minister of isis, a man who is also involved and responsible for some external plots. what is the impact of taking him out? what is the impact on most immediately europe, but also here in the u.s.? >> well, my colleagues have heard he's a long-time jihadist.
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he was detained apparently by saddam hussein's government before the u.s. invasion. he was released and then went to afghanistan. he's clearly an experienced operative. it's a step guaforward. the reports about isis easter tory shrinking are true, but the tar danger is people expect they will counterattack in europe. that's the biggest danger. they want to show that losing this deputy commander won't slow them down. officials are less concerned about the u.s., not that there's a network in the u.s. or teams of people. it's can isis inspire a lone wolf attack in the u.s. no one knows. i don't think even isis knows. there's a smaller threat here, but clearly when they lose territory, lose their number two commander, they want to show their strength if they can in europe and in the u.s. as well. >> yeah. and as the secretary of defense points out, taking out a top leadership person like this is necessary but in no way
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sufficient. that's an important message as we look going forward. david, thank you for coming in. i appreciate it. >> sure. thank you. >> we also have this just in. cnn can now confirm the death of a 21-year-old belgian national. the boyfriend of an american woman. his family is learning today that bart meegan was killed in the brussels airport while traveling to visit his girlfriend in atlanta. they met five months ago. emily spoke emotionally to cnn the day after the attacks, after she never heard from him. listen. >> i talked to him on the phone before he was going to get on his train to go to brussels which was a two hour train ride. and he promised me he would tell me once he got to the airport safely, and he did send me a
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message saying i'm on the train, and just excited to see me, and that was the last i heard of him. the last two days have been something i never thought i would feel. i just -- i guess i didn't know how much one person can love another until -- until you just don't know where they're at. you just have no idea. and you -- um -- i'm just hoping for a sign of some sort that he's okay. and i'm just -- i -- i believe in god and i believe that god is with him. and that is what i hold on to. that is where my hope comes from. >> that was before and then with this news, our heart just breaks for emily and of course for bart's family.
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our thoughts are with them in this horrific time that they're now facing. let's talk about the flip side of the coin. the amazing moment we have to show you. american parents reuniting with their son. who survived this being his third brush with terror. cnn was there for that moment. for that reunion. you're going to hear an interview with him from his hospital bed. just his strength. and perspective. we'll be right back. >> i was so lucky. thinking how close i was. i saw a lot of people that were injured worse. but nothing could be worse for the whales. most of the orcas at seaworld were born here. sending them into the wild wouldn't be noble. it could be fatal. when they freed keiko, the killer whale of movie fame, the effort was a failure and he perished. but we also understand that times have changed.
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from the #1 doctor recommended brand. ensure. always stay you. all right. right now, you're look at live pictures of ted cruz speaking to voters in oshkosh, wisconsin. the next big fight for republicans. this is one day after the feud between him and donald trump exploded, as cruz blasted trump for a retweet that targeted
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cruz's wife. listen to this. >> 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'll do it every time. donald, you're a sniveling coward and leave heidi the hell alone. >> that was then and this is today. amanda carpenter joins me. and adrianna curran. yesterday, ted cruz's words were just -- the gloves are off, if they were still on, i guess we could say. should he be taking this on another day? this feud over donald trump and his wife? >> i think ted cruz has every right to defend his wife pip would like to see more republicans defend women from these sexist attacks that donald trump launches almost on a
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nearly daily basis. the first big question, megyn kelly asked fox about the sexist things trump has said. he blew up. he continues to play it up every sipgle day. this is not a shtick. this is who donald trump is. republicans can't stand on the sidelines and allow this man to continue the vile attacks. they shauld say, hey, if you have a mother, sister, wife, you have an obligation to say this is not okay. and hold donald trump to a higher standard. >> are you ready for trump to move on? >> oh, absolutely. i think we should move on. where we should move to is the "national enquirer" story that says ted cruz has had affairs with five mistresses. you have been named. >> i don't think that is moving on. >> if we're going call donald trump's character into question,
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i would like ted cruz to issue a statement whether or not "the national enquirer" story is true, that he's had affairs with many women, including you were named, amanda. will you denounce or confirm? >> let me step in. let me be clear. it will come as no surprise to our viewers. cnn has no reporting on that story from "the national enquirer. xwts. >> what's out there is tabloid trash. they can talk to my lawyer. it's categorically fault. you should be ashamed for spreading this smut. >> i'm not spreading smut. >> i'll can't to make my thoughts known about donald trump. i'm not backing down. >> let me just do this. i have spent two shows talking about this. i'm going to be much more comfortable talking about a national enquirer report when cnn has done some more reporting
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on that topic. i don't want to talk about the message, the mess edger, the intent of the message. at least for today, please, ladies, i don't want to talk about a "national enquirer" report. let's talk about wisconsin. how important wisconsin is to the future of the candidates. wisconsin has become the surprise make or break for both ted cruz and john kasich. if you look at the math, folks are saying, if they don't stop them in wisconsin, they can't stop trump from getting to the magic number of 1237. what is cruz going to do about it? >> he has to show up john kasich in this state. he's saying i can win ohio, i can win these mid western types of states. cruz has to beat kasich and run him out of the race. i think he's in a good position to do that and continue to make the case that he's the one to beat donald trump. bring in the attacks that are out there. address them. the more donald trump brings up this stuff, the more his
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supporters do this, the more people will continue to turn against them. >> the one thing we hear from donald trump. he has a lot of mantras he likes to repeat. one is how easy it will be for him to beat hillary clinton in a general election. he always talks about the head to heads in the polling. and that he's light years ahead of her. let's move light years ahead to a general election matchup between trump and clinton. in the latest cnn poll, she's beating him by 14 points. what do you say? >> yeah, but, i think that's a variable number that will change. leading up to the general. because hillary clinton is tethered to president obama's failed foreign policy. we see the world has become a much more dangerous place. hillary clinton as secretary of state is directly tethered to the failing foreign policy. that's an advantage that donald trump or any candidate, another candidate, should they win, will
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have against hillary clinton. then you have the pending indictment that could come down from the fbi. it is very possible that donald trump or a gop candidate could beat hillary clinton in the general. >> amanda, adriana. thank you very much. that segment took a turn i was not anticipating. let's let the conversation continue. thank you all for joining me. our special news coverage of the very important story we're covering, the attacks out of brussels, belgium, continues right now. this is cnn breaking news. >> top of the hour, i'm poppy h harlowe in for ashleigh banfield. we begin with breaking news. out of the pentagon. ash carter just confirmed the death of the isis terrorist described as isis' finance minister. and by many accounts believed to be the number

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