tv Happening Now FOX News December 15, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST
>> martha: what a day. we will stay on this story throughout the next couple hours. >> bill: "happening now" starts now. see you later. >> jenna: a threat forcing to shutdown nation's largest second school district. i am jenna lee. >> jon: and i am jon scott. the los angeles' schools are closed because of a threat. we have more live from los angeles. >> reporter: they get threats all of the time but this was rare enough to act. it was an unspecified threat at an unspecified school. officials say it came as an electronic threat. a local tv station is reporting it was an e-mail.
so they are looking for a backpack or a package. some type of bomb. obviously not an assault. there are 900 schools in lausd and they have closed all of them. that is unprecedented. out of an abundance of caution according to the superintendent. >> i know it is cold. we are making every effort to see we get the notification to parents as soon as possible but i am not taking the chance of bringing children into any part of the building until i know it is safe. >> reporter: that means lausd is calling in all of the resources it can from the county, federal level, fbi, atf, are going to have to sweep each school individually. 900 schools, 200 charter schools, more than 640,000 students in all. logistically this is a
nightmare. some buses had left the barn to get kids because the distances in los angeles are no great. other buses never left the yard. you have parents sending your kids "outnumbered" -- out the door thinking it will arrive but it never arrives. hopefully people realize what happened. you have public sport as well. are the bus drivers telling the kids not to get on the bus? if they are at school they are told to go to reunion gate. it was early the call came in. around 5 am. by the time they used connect ed, e-mail or emergency phone call, it was 7:40 and school starts at 8:00 so the call came in late for some who probably
put their kid on the bus or sent them out the door. the children are not going to be left alone. helicopters are up trying to take an assessment of where everyone is on this. lapd is not on a tactical alert which means no officers can leave their shift if you will and people come on. they are not on that. they have not called out a bomb squad to any specific school. we are not sure if superintendent, ramon cortines, consulted with the fbi or lapd before making this decision quote out of abundance of caution. he did say san bernardino was a component in the decision making. what did we learn there? pipe bombs can be made cheaply and easily and black powder is available at any gun store. did that go into the that
decision? we don't know. we do know it was serious for them to close down lausd, the second largest district in the country. >> jon: you are saying this is a call that came in? it was described as electronic communication earlier. >> reporter: no, it came in as an e-mail. the los angeles times is saying phone call. >> jenna: we are bringing in the ceo of investigative management, a group that advises on security. this school district has 640,000 students between kindergarten and 12th grade. 900 schools.
187 public charter schools and about 60,000 people employed. what does it take to shutdown an entire district like this? have you seen anyone like this before? >> no, jenna, i haven't. if you look at the proximity to san bernardino here there is a relationship. everybody is on edge, everybody is involved in investigating the case and looking at different things in san bernardino, and it is very possible there might be overlapping information or evidence that could tie into this case. we do get threats to schools. often they are done with students as a prank. but to close down an entire school system like this it has to be something incredibly powerful. >> jenna: let me ask you questions drawing from your experience with the task force
and your job now. there is no bomb squad around any schools. what does that tell you? >> we have been advising schools for 25 years. we are not new to this. when you have an investigation taking place that usually means you can look at electronic transmissions, try to identify forensically where this information is coming from. that is probably what is happening. rather than sending cops all over on a wild-goose chase, the fbi, homeland, and possibly the lapd is looking closely at the forensic on these computers to try to identify the source. so that is what is happening right now. it just makes sense it is an investigative tool. but as i said earlier, there has to be something to close down the entire school system. this is too big of an undertaking to do because of getting a bomb threat in an
e-mail. >> jenna: so close to school time. one wonders how much head's up the school district had on this. how do you determine such a credible threat in a short period of time? >> it isn't easy. you have to look at the track record, what threats come into the school on a regular bases, is it unusual to get this kind of threat to this person, has there been any surround sound or any other information the school has been threatened? it could have been an e-mail along with information from the fbi about a possible bombing they retrieved information during the course of their current investigation in california. very often it is not just the one thing but putting things together to build a credible case to say listen, this is a very real possibility. we can't take any risk.
we have to shutdown every single school in los angeles. and jenna, for that to happen, there has to be real evidence. >> jenna: it is chilling for any parent anywhere in the country to hear this news and wonder, bob, should i be sending my kid to school because of the threat? i want to ask you specifically about the los angeles school district. this isn't a school district without its own security. the la unified has their own police force and officers are deployed at every high school and some middle schools. it is the largest independent school police department in the united states. it is the fifth largest police department in los angeles county and the 14th largest in california. that adds to the story knowing the school district shutdown despite having what seems to be described on paper as quite a
cohesive security department. it isn't like they don't think about security in this district. >> that is right. and most big inner school cities across the country have this kind of protection. chicago and new york included. but keep in mind they could be up against something that is far beyond a uniformed police officer with an automatic weapon. when we are dealing with these kinds of crisis, not only in our own country, but around the world. and we look what happened around the world with students and children this is a real issue were us. certainly, terrorist know it is a vulnerability for us. it is something we have to try to stay one step ahead of. >> jenna: what is your message to parents who are watching this thinking should i be sending by kids to school today? based on what is happening only
in los angeles. >> we would tell them how to prepare the students, talk to them about what to do if there was a situation in the classroom, you have to move forward. you have to just keep alert, report issues, know what to do when something happens, know how to protect yourself, how to get out of the bad situation, how to leave quickly, how to meet your parents and have a contact number. you have to keep strong and carry on. >> jenna: reminder for families to have a meeting point in emergency situations. just a final question, bob, to help us out over the breaking news. what is the single most important piece of information you are watching for in regards to this threat? >> i am looking to see if there is any connection with a terrorist organization. if there is any evidence here the fact the kids are in danger.
is there evidence there is something going on in the school districts that the police can move in. it is too big to bring in the national guard and lapd to search every school. that electronic investigation is trying to pinpoint where this threat is so the police and fbi can get in there, comb it, and make sure it is safe. so i am looking for the electronic information that will lead us directly to the school. >> jenna: we are all thinking terror but haven't heard that specifically. there is so much to still learn. >> jon: the parents of two thirds of a million children, 640,000, learned there is no school today. mild chaos as a result. we will talk to one of those parents coming up.
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>> jon: los angeles unified shutdown today as the result of some kind of an unspecified threat in electronic communication possibly an e-mail that came in earlier this morning. authorities are treating it with a great deal of reality. they have shutdown schools in los angeles and you can imagine the scramble that is leaving parents in as they try to figure out what to do with their children. one is a frequent quest, former prosecutor, who has a child in los angeles public schools. i know your daughter had to shelter in place during the san bernardino terror attacks and now just as things were getting back to normal you have this. >> yes, and this is pretty scary for everyone, jon.
it comes on the heels of the san bernardino attack where my daughter's school had a specific threat to her specific school and she had to shelter in place and the school was placed on lockdown and s.w.a.t. teams came through the school with the children there and had to clear the school before we were able to get the child out. >> jon: so that was more than the aftermath of the san bernardino attack but it was a specific threat? >> that is correct. now we get text message, e-mail, and phone calls from the school shortly after 7:00 o'clock this morning advising all los angeles schools have been shutdown. >> jon: it doesn't give you much time to act and figure out what to do with your children all day. >> luckily my family is okay and able to handle it. but many people are both parents
are working or it is a single-important household this places an incredible burden. this will be the ripple effects -- the ripple effects will be seen all throughout los angeles. >> jon: as this comes in, it has to be some kind of crime, you could call it a prank, but if is a legit threat or some kind of a prank, someone ought to be called to the carpet for this. what do you want to know as a prosecutor? >> i know to know where this came from. i heard your previous guest discuss the forensic analysis that is going to be immediately done. nothing is really anonymous. it maybe difficult with servers placed all over the world and the nature of the internet, if this threat came through the internet as it has been reported by some outlets, the fbi, homeland security and others are
going to be trying to pin down where this exact threat came from. and then we can identify potentially who this was. and yeah, this person if caught, it is in a heap of trouble. >> jon: often the threats can be made through the anonymous remailer systems that don't generate a digital footprint. you are confidant one way or another this person will be found out? >> i am confidant we can figure out where it potentially came from. whether or not we figure out who was the specific person who made the transaction i am not sure of that. but i do have confidence in the fbi and others to be able to follow the electronic footprint. >> jon: thank you so much, troy. former criminal attorney and
father of a daughter who had to take cover during the san bernardino attack. thank you so much. >> jenna: we have one source, a law enforcement official, talking to the associated press. the threat that closed all schools in the lausd was e-mailed to a school board member and appeared to be from overseas. whether or not it was from overseas we don't know. whether or not it was terror related we don't know. we are waiting for more information. we don't want to forget what is happening in san bernardino while we wait. jonathan hunt is live in san bernardino. i am curious on the ground, this breaking news not a short distance from you, a little short distance from you, from what you are hearing from your sources, is there a connection
to what is happening or what happened in san bernardino? >> we have no evidence there is any concrete connection whatsoever at this point. but it is hard to believe the actions being taken by the lausd are not influenced to some extent on what happened here in san bernardino and the dreadful attacks that took place here. we are living in a jittery nation and no part is more jittery than this region of southern california. we are 65 miles from downtown los angeles. everybody in los angeles felt the horror of what happened here in san bernardino. when you get this threat, and it does appear as you said, according to the reporting of the ap, to have some via e-mail, obviously every single official in any position of responsibility right now is going to act out of an abundance of caution as superintendent
ramon cortines said of the lausd and that is exactly what they are doing today. one other element, beverly hills school district is a separate school district within lausd and surrounded by lausd but run separately. my three children go to the beverly hills school district. we have had e-mails saying the beverly hills school district is staying open. that is somewhat surprising given it is litterally stuck in the middleal -- middle. so it speaks to the fact this threat was specific. we have been told there is going to be an increased police presence at every single beverly hills school today but they do remain open. >> jenna: i will talk to you after the break but it is interesting to know the entire
every time. that's why if we're ever late for an appointment, we'll credit your account $20. it's our promise to you. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. >> jenna: coverage of the breaking news that the entire los angeles school district has been closed down because of a credible threat. we are still waiting for more on the nature of the threat. this news just broke over the last hour as the children were headed to school. catherine heritage is in washington, d.c. and has been doing reporting to dig deeper about what we know about the threat. here is what she can report: a government official is confirming the threat was received this morning to the school board member, reviewed by the los angeles police department, and then deemed credible.
apparently this message that was received spoke about or more specifically wrote about a bomb in a backpack and other packages in the school. we heard a little of that from the superintendent but it has been unspecific about what caused the entire school district to shutdown beyond the threat from the associated press quoting an official on the ground saying it came from overseas. we don't have a tie to terrorism. at the federal level, there is no specific or credible threat. so this is where we are at at this time. in the mean time not too far away from los angeles in san bernardino the investigation into the terror attacks there goes on and jonathan hunt is on the ground there. we were aiming to discuss the electronic footprint of this terrorist couple this morning. is there any news on what law enforcement has found through
their investigation? >> they have still looking carefully at the digital footprint post-attack and pre-attack. the fallout continues over the revelation of tashfeen malik's social media history. prior to her being allowed into the united states, by chicago's o'hare airport, we remember the famous photo and her soon to be husband entering the united states at the airport on july 27, 2014. prior to that she posted her support for jihad and the desire to be part of jihad online. we are learning she used pseu pseudo-names before that attack. the state department spokesperson was asked if this
had been seen what it have been enough for her to be denied entry into the united states. listen to his answer: >> i think it is safe to assume that if we had an indication that an individual applying for an application maintains contact with terrorist organizations or expresses terrorist sympathy, or desires, that that information would obviously have negative effect on decisions we might make. >> reporter: finding the couple's missing hard drive is the most urgent issue. the investigators believe they destroyed it or discarded it somewhere between the attack happening and them being killed some three and a half hours later in the shootout with the cops. >> jenna: more on los angeles
and the impact. >> jon: we are going to talk politics with a political expert of sorts because americans are saying all of a sudden terrorism is the dominate issue in this upcoming presidential election. normally, economic issues predominate but things have turned around very much after paris and san bernardino. more on that just ahead. ♪ no matter where you look, you won't find another small commercial van that can fit more, carry more weight, and yet go farther on a tank of gas than the ram promaster city. hurry in to your ram dealer for details on all current incentives. hii'm here to tell homeowners that are sixty-two and older about a great way to live a better retirement...
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>> jenna: more breaking news out of los angeles where the entire school district is shutdown because of a credible threat. we under we will learn more in half an hour, william? >> reporter: you know they moved that actually not at 9 a.m. local but 10 a.m. so one o'clock eastern is when the news conference is going to be held by lausd about the closure of an entire district. they are reporting there was an e-mail that went to a single board member and it originated overseas. government authorities are confirming there was an e-mail that was deemed credible and they are looking for a bomb in a backpack or other package. lapd is conveneing around the los angeles coliseum and those
officers, federal officials, school, police department, will comb each school. 900 schools. as well as 200 charter schools. people have to go through the lockers, locker rooms, classrooms, looking for the suspicious package of some sort. parents are receiving robo calls. they will not leave a message. you have to pick up the phone to get the message that is alerting you that schools are closed today. it is a logistical nightmare in los angeles right now. the mayor said any kid travelling gets free bus fare until to know to get the kids back home because the buses are not running. some parents are having to come home from work to watch their children for the day. the press conference has been moved to 10 a.m. local time, 1 o'clock in the east. >> jenna: this in from the nypd
the largest school district in the country. the nypd said there was a specific but non-credible threat made to new york schools this morning. in los angeles, credible threat that shutdown the school district. this is through the nypd twitter account. the commissioner here said they don't see this a creditable threat and the threats are made to promote fear and we cannot raise the levels of fear. new york is in the posture to take all threats seriously considering our history in this city but this coming from the commissioner there was a threat but they didn't deem it credible. we will wait to find out more from the nypd and los angeles school district which we expect a press conference around 1 p.m. >> jon: a fox news contributor is here to join us.
it is no wonder, given what happens in san bernardino and paris, terrorism is front and center on the minds of the american people. i guess because of an abundance of caution they opted to close the schools where you are. >> i am from los angeles. i cannot imagine i would be shocked if we were shutting down all los angeles unified schools because of a simple e-mail bomb threat. they are saying this is a credible threat which in my eight years of getting intelligence briefings when it rises to the level of credible it means there have been multiple sources. that they have somehow linked them together. that is what we want officials to do. i think it is important, jon, to note that we have watched politicians like los angeles mayor eric, california governor jerry brown, and president obama
mock and ridicule intelligence gathering techniques. this is why we need it. we can close the los angeles schools today. we can close the los angeles schools tomorrow. but we cannot keep closing schools and malls and having this fear. we must be able to gather the intelligence needed, put the intelligence together, and the lessons are that we must get these attackers before they actually accomplish their goals. before they climb into a plane, before they enter a building with guns and bombs and other tools, to cause havoc. we have to get them in a planning phases. the only way to do that is for politicians to make the tough choices to gather the intelligence that is needed. anyone, any politician especially here in vegas tonight on the stage, talking about keeping americans safe you have to come out with intelligence
gathering techniques. if you are having an affair no one cares about listening to your phone calls. if you are having an affair with an isis supporter we do care. all of the hype of not gathering the intelligence we need because of someone's concern of listening to their calls and their civil liberties, we need to gather all of the intelligence needed. >> jon: it is not clear the nature of the threat or from whom it came. but terrorist are not usually in the business of issuing warnings before they strike. there could have been someone ancillary to the plot that could have issued a warning. but they want generally as many casualities as they can and are not in the habit of giving warnings. >> right. they want to surprise us, have
us go about our normal lives, and immediately jump in and surprise us in a situation that is normal like going to school. i have to believe, i hope, the officials in los angeles are calling this a credible attack because it is actually been determined by multiple sources. that is the only way this makes sense especially when you label it credible. >> they say they are looking for a backpack with some kind of explosive in it perhaps packages at other schools. according to the electronic communication some board member received there is going to be numerous targets there in the los angeles school district. let's talk about the debate tonight and which of these candidates -- >> can i add one more thing? i think it is important from my side of the, from being a spokesman, i have been in these meetings where you cannot give all of the information to the public and media because a you
don't know exactly what is going on. part of this is only giving limited information because we want to find the attackers and want them to chatter and us to listen to the chatter. we should remember all of the information is not out yet. >> jon: i had the feeling even after san bernardino that so much information is getting out there perhaps it allowed some other would be isis-terrorist to change their mo the next time around and cover their tracks ahead and after the attack. >> the authorities want to listen. they want the planners to continue planning and talking. they will give the public limited information. >> let's talk about this debate tonight. when something like this happens, the nation's second largest school closes because of some kind of a terrorist threat, it obviously helps some of the
candidates who have expertise or are perceived to have expertise in the battle against terrorism, right? >> i think it helps the governors who have put policies in place that guard against attackers, that work with intelligence agencies to do programs and strategies. what i am looking for tonight is the individuals who talk about policies and strategy. not just give us big words of i want to kill isis or i am going to do something. i want to know how you are going to do it. we just elected president obama twice. and the media really didn't ask the questions behind the big greek column and behind the big words. we didn't know what the strategies are. we know he didn't have any strategy or he had an idea that he really wasn't able to talk about national security strategy without removing the politics from it.
i think what i want to hear tonight are people, individuals who are going to talk specifics. who are going to talk about, you know, we have to gather intelligence. they are going to take the hits from the people who say well, don't give up civil liberties. we need someone to look in the camera saying it is too important of a time. i will keep you safe. i will gather the intelligence and take the intelligence agencies from top to bottom and review and try to get them to work together clearly post-9/11 we are not working as well as we should because there are little pieces of information we can put together to get the attackers before they attack and we are not doing that. >> jon: it is easy to get caught up in the sweeping statements and not get down to the brass tasks. we will all be looking for that tonight. >> jenna: a little more information from the ny police department from the commissioner saying the school district in new york city received a threat but they did not deem it
credible. what is interesting the commissioner is now saying over social media, the twitter feed from the department of the city of new york, he is working with the fbi, the joint terrorism task force and the los angeles police department on this threat. it started off in new york and they say no credible threats but they are looking at it and some correlation is happening at a higher level. that is why i wanted to mention it. we don't know too much about the fbi's involvement in los angeles or any sort of federal involvement at this point. that is one of the questions we had. what about the electronic trail? we have a great cybersecurity expert coming up to talk about this. how do we know if this is overseas or a prank? we cannot eliminate that at this point in time but because it impacts our children in los angeles and elsewhere we will continue to watch. more on "happening now" in just a moment.
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threats to school districts on both coast. new york received one and they are deciding not a credible threat. but los angeles unified received an unspecified threat this morning but deemed it very credible so much so they shutdown down the entire district and 640,000 students are being told to stay home. if they have been dropped off to school they are huddled together in safe rooms under teach and staff supervision while their parents are told to go back to school with id and pick them up. this is coming three years after jenna and i were on air, three years ago yesterday, whether a psychotic killer walked into the
a school in newtown, connecticut. and less than two weeks after the terror attacks in san bernardino that took more than 20 lives. our nation is reverberating with the pain of these terrorist attacks and it has become an issue for the campaign trail. the candidates are now facing increasing questions about how they would handle events of this type in the future. john mccormick is senior writer for the weekly standard. there is going to be a republican debate tonight. how does this affect the context? >> terrorism is already the top concern on the voter's minds. this just insures that will remain that way. they want to ask who is a credible commander and chief and who can deal with the threats? that is why ben carson faded in the polls. he didn't have too much grasp on foreign policy.
donald trump has been able to capitalize on the fear in this country by making controversial comments about a complete lockdown banning all muslims coming. i think there is an opportunity for opponents if they can point out trump has been all over the map on the issues. when it comes to immigration, he said in september, we needed to bring in syrian refuges even though we cannot vet for who is a terrorist and who is not. now he says we need to ban all musl muslims which is coming under criticism. he said we should thought be fighting isis and now we are. there is opportunity and debate as the previous guest said on national security sures like nsa and data mining between mark rubio and ted cruz for example. >> jon: of the candidates not named trump who is in the best position to speak to the fears? >> reporter: i think marco rubio and ted cruz spent a lot
of time trying to show their credentials with foreign policy. ted cruz recently gave a speech at the heritage foundation trying to lay out the vision between mark rubio and rand paul. so i think they will square off a little bit talking about how they disagree on the extent of the nsa program about collecting the phone records of people to search for terrorist connections. ted cruz opposes that program and rubio things we should have kept it in place. >> jon: and chris christie said it is easy, referring to the other two and some of his candidates on stage, saying it is easy to fit in a senate chamber but he is the one who went out and fought terrorist. john mccormick from the weekly standard, thank you. >> jenna: we know the electronic threat at the los angeles school
thinner. even curvier. but what's next? for all binge watchers. movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. >> jenna: the los angeles school district is closed down because of what they deem to be a credible threat. we don't know much about the threat other than it is an electronic threat. new york city police department coming out moments ago saying we received the same threat as the los angeles school district. but we deemeded it not to be credible. the new york police department is working with the lapd and fbi as well to take a look at the threat and learn more. morg morgan wright, a cyber security
analyst is joining us. we don't know anything about this. whether it came from overseas, whether it is a hoax. how quickly can we find out that information? >> this is one of the times where it should be easy to get the path because think of the e-mail as a fed-ex or ups package. it has to start somewhere and end up somewhere. there is a route to follow. in the e-mail they are going thto the headers that contain the information about where the e-mail started from and how it got there. i am sure they are doing that as we speak. maybe it wasn't a big threat to new york. san bernardino is close to los angeles. that is the bad part of the threat. the good news is because of the location to san bernardino and that threat they are probably getting additional resources especially if it is overseas to track it down. >> jenna: what about timing? are we talking about a few hours before it can be traced to this is from overseas or wait a
minute this isn't and it isn't the threat we thought it was? >> that is depending on what countries -- if it came from overseas it would depend on the cooperation between the service providers in those countries to show if this is fake or is this record about the e-mail genuine. that normally might take a couple three hours. we have the fbi with the legal groups overseas working with the country and i am sure they are expediting it and i would say in a couple hours we should know more about this e-mail. >> jenna: thank you so much. a lot of questions on what next. live shot of los angeles. the school district shutdown still. you can see the gathering that looks like what i am imaging is a parking lot at one of the hundreds of schools that have
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>> jon: threats to the two largest school systems in the nation. new york city says it isn't credible, los angeles says it is. we will see you back in an hour. >> breaking from los angeles. we are following the district shutdown. more than 600,000 students and thousands of school employees told to stay home due to what school officials say is a quote rare credible threat. this is "outnumbered." i am harris faulkner. here today is andrea tantaros, sandra smith, author and founder of the chris kyle frog foundation, and we welcome back super bowl winning quarterback, broaas