host: hello, continuing our coverage of the developing news story today from brussels, there -- inck and bill jim belgium and around the world after multiple, tax left at least 30 people dead and over 200 injured -- multiple bomb attacks left at least 30 people dead and over 200 injured. police have identified three suspects. one is currently thought to be on the run. belgians prime minister is calling on the nation to be calm and show solidarity.
traffic is closed into brussels and the national security alert level has been raised to its highest possible level. here in france, the eiffel tower the belgianed in national colors this tuesday, a silent gathering. hall, -- atcity paris's city hall, french president francois hollande is pledging to stand by belgium. thank you very much for being with us. i am catherine nicholson. the islamic state group has claimed responsibility for almost simultaneous attacks in brussels that killed at least 30 people and wounded well over 200 striking inasts
quick succession this morning. the first two bombs detonated at 8:00aventem airport around a.m. an hour later, another bomb exploded at the maelbeek metro station and left a further 20 people dead. we have footage on the screen of the aftermath at the airport. three days of national mourning have been declared in belgium, and investigations are obviously underway. investigators believe at least three men were involved in the attack on the airport and one is on the run. raids are taking place around belgium this evening. police have already found an bomb,c state flag, mail and chemicals during the raid.
>> these are the suspects behind apparent twin suicide explosions according to investigators. they are now seeking the third man in the black hat and coat. he is thought to have fled. anyone witheeking information on his identity. >> investigations are ongoing at the various crime scenes. searches aree taking place at various locations around the country. several witnesses are also being questioned. while brussels remained on lockdown with the terror alert at its highest level, police searched the district, finding a mail bomb, chemicals, and the flag of the islamic state organization in an apartment. the jihadist group earlier themed responsibility for
blast online. investigators are now seeking potential links between the strikes in both cities, if any exist. some insightst from our guest. david is a security and terrorism expert. he joins us live. the belgium interior minister has said in the last hour that authorities have been expecting some kind of attack, but they had not anticipated it would be on this scale. could or should the attack today have been expected or indeed prevented? david: prevention is the keyword for counterterrorism. but to this type of attack has been forecast for the last inple of months, not just belgium, but france is also a major target, as well as the u.k.
beenean member states have expecting some sort of attack since the events in paris on the 13th of november. i think if you look at this even though their ability has been degraded somewhat in the brussels area, it shows you is andermined this group how well funded and well-equipped they are still. todayws to come out of has been so tragic. once again, we have to see innocents being killed, civilians. it shows you how difficult a task it is to prevent. host: if we could look at the weapons we use today. -- that were used today. we understand kalashnikovs were found at the airport. these are assault weapons. aw does a person walk around
european capital with a kalashnikov and not get noticed? strange,know it sounds but it depends on how they conceal the weapon. we should look into the airport attack, whether the bomb was contained in luggage or whether it was suicide bombers. it had the hallmarks of a suicide attack. but it shows you how difficult and how easy it is to conceal from the police and security services. host: indeed, it seems they are relatively easy for people to get a hold of weapons like this. how are weapons like kalashnikovs and other guns and explosives getting into the heart of europe, into european capitals? david: this is where it's quite
interesting. betweenoking at links terrorism and organized crime. firearms trafficking has been a major issue for many years coming in from eastern europe and other parts of the world. i think once these weapons have ,ome into continental europe allowing free access of goods there is also the correlating fact that they are allowing criminals and freely as to move well. i think maybe this is something the authorities will be looking at how they can control in the future. host: indeed, another measure that has been talked about today and talked about many other times before is passenger name authorities can track who is getting on airplanes and where they are going, what they are doing.
the french prime minister brought up this issue once again today. ofyou think the introduction passenger name records could help to prevent attacks? david: strangely enough, i was in brussels in june last year to about passenger record data. 2011u was looking at it in and last year, whether to such a diary. i think not just for aircraft passengers, you look at brussels , it's a great example at how -- of how it is a hub in europe. you have interstate rail travel. erries between member states. it's not just who is going
to be the passenger. the looking at where were tickets purchased, how are they purchased. this could be vital evidence for the information of who is organize the transport of individuals. host: we do know there have been jihadists who have returned from training in the middle east with organizations like the islamic state group, or even fighting with them. we know authorities are making efforts to track these people down and stop them coming back into europe, but we also know that not all of them are being caught. his more manpower needed on this -- is more manpower needed on this question mark it seems like quite a difficult enemy to be fighting. needed on this? it seems like quite a difficult
enemy to be fighting. david: you can see the imports of cooperation with turkey -- importance of cooperation with turkey. over the last few months, turkish authorities have been cooperating. people have been trying to .ravel to iraq to join isis cooperating is absolutely vital. it is quite sad that it takes events like this to accelerate cooperation. that wetally important have intelligence and that we need to share. post: thank you very much. -- host: thank you very much. it is now about 12 hours since the third bomb exploded in
brussels this tuesday morning. let's look back over events now. beenorrespondent has looking at what happened at zaventem international airport subwaythe maelbeek station. panic as fear and people abandon their luggage and try to escape through the smoke at the checking area of zaventem international airport. two bombs tore through departures just after eight :00 tuesday morning when the european hub was particularly busy, leaving several dead and many more injured. authorities have confirmed it was a suicide attack. >> i heard a man shouting just behind the counter of the delphia bank. he was speaking in arabic. when he finished speaking, i saw this in norm's explosion -- in norm is. everyone panicked. -- enormous explosion.
everyone panicked. i hit my head under the counter where i was working. reporter: some passengers were led onto the tarmac for fear that other bombs remained inside the terminal, and then the airport was evacuated. just one hour later, while emergency services were concentrated at zaventem, scenes of chaos at the brussels metro network. .n explosion near maelbeek this footage shows people trying to evacuate as panicked children cry in the background. above ground, plumes of smoke filled the streets at the heart ofthe belgian capital past o-matic, just a stone's throw 'som the eu -- capital
diplomatic district, just stones throw from the eu capital. quick smoke was filling the carriage and we could not breathe. >> we saw an explosion, a flash of light. floor.e just fell to the then, there was a second explosion. reporter: for those traveling to work or into the belgian capital this tuesday, some are not so lucky. passengers were being treated on the pavement, some seriously injured. others were killed in the blast. it took just minutes for security services to lock down the area, and only 200 additional soldiers were .eployed on the street
flights in and out of the international airport were canceled. belgian's terror alert has been raised to level four, the highest level. three ys of natnal mourng ha now beedeclared at t eu headarters i ussels, fls are flng at half mas have been a great many reactions from all across the world. a moment of silence held here in france today. the national assembly gathered for its daily session. we have been hearing from president francois hollande. he convened a special emergency security meeting at the presidential palace earlier. take a listen to what he had to say. : terrorismollande has targeted belgium, but it is europe that has been hit. and it is the entire world that is concerned. we need to take this terrorist threat seriously.
this attack comes after others. paris was particularly targeted last year in january, and then in november. other continents were also hit. host: francois hollande speaking earlier on. let's take you to some live pictures coming to us from havana, cuba. we can see air force one, the president's plane, on the runway, just about ready to take off. barack obama has wrapped up in historic visit to cuba -- an historic visit to cuba, the first time a sitting president has visited the communist nation in 88 years. the white house has been reacting to events today in brussels, of course, and is expected to announce new measures to tighten airport security in the u.s.
president obama expressed his condolences to belgium during a conversation with the belgian prime minister, calling from havana as he wrapped up that visit. we have been following his visit. oforter: it is the last day president obama's three-day visit to the cuban capital. havana was, of course, overshadowed by what happened in brussels. there was a minute of silence on stop of barack obama's steps here on the cuban island. the baseball match between the tampa bay rays and the cuban national team, where again, we saw president obama and castro sitting side by side, listening to their respective national anthems together. the game was preceded by the minute of silence. before hand, we saw president the same castro in place. that is when president obama addressed the cuban people and
pretty harshly criticized the cuban human rights record and the lack of freedom of expression. in attendance at that's beach was raul castro, cuba's president. there have been awkward uncomplicated moments for barack -- awkward and congregated moments for barack obama during this visit. it was always going to be that way. they still do not get along on some of the most important subject matters. the human rights record in cuba is just one of them. cuba insisted on behalf of the government that it once the trade embargo to be lifted as quickly as possible, but as the u.s. president said, it is time to look forward, and it looks as though the cuban people are ready to do that along with their governments. raul castro and barack obama almost a permanent fixture during the three days that the president spent here on the island. host: barack obama wrapping up
in historic -- and historic visit to cuba. as we mentioned, reaction to what happened in brussels today. 30 people killed in at least two bomb blasts at the airport and a metro station. picture, the islamic state group has claimed for theselity attacks. is retaliation for belgians part in the u.s. coalition fighting them on the ground in iraq. guest: there was a very political motivation, at least in the claim of responsibility, which you can read on the unofficial is retaliation for belgians part in the u.s. coalition fighting them on the ground in iraq. isis news agency website. used to claim responsibility for events in the s in, such as blast
jakarta, the tunisian capital, or baghdad a few weeks ago. belgium is athat country participating in the international coalition in the islamic state -- against the islamic state. it has specifically been mentioned in this claim of responsibility. to put that in perspective, belgium does not have a major role in the campaign against isis, certainly not compared with the u.s. or french bombing of the in the area so-called caliphate. i think we can perhaps link it more to the belgian crackdown on alleged isis networks than on belgians specific bombing campaign, which is pretty light compared to the other countries
in the coalition. that's my personal interpretation. i think this has much more to do belgium accelerating its crackdown against suspected jihadists in the last few months, and that crackdown has targeted people thought to be part of the paris attacks network, but not only. there was a big raid in february, for example, that targeted people that had nothing to do with paris. i would say it is more linked to that then belgium and the coalition. host: indeed. thanks so much. back to zaventem airport in brussels. our correspondent is there. catherine, i understand you can bring us some updates from the red cross who have been present at the scene since this morning. the sportscenter haster:
been used today as emergency facility to bring thousands of people who have been evacuated from brussels airport following the bomb attacks. here, they have been helped by various groups, including the local authorities. you for being with us. what have you been doing with people evacuated from the airport today? >> we've had three phases. phase one was to transport the people from the airport here. the second phase was to do a ,riage here in the sports hall and to register the people who came from the airport here. the third phase is to relocate to people who are here hospitals in the vicinity, or,
if those are full, to others in the area. reporter: there is no one sheltering here. >> surprisingly, at the end of the day, there are only 25 people left here at the hall, and we have beds for them in the building behind the hall, camp beds. reporter: i understand your emergency plans have been reviewed and this is one of the act on you were able to this. >> exactly. we reviewed the contingencies every six months and have several training days in which all the members have specific tasks. and today, the plan has worked very well. we have also seen today a lot of belgian people showing solidarity and coming here offering people a bed to
sleep in, a free taxi right, a free car right. that?u tell us more about >> there has been an enormous amount of people who came here with clothing, drinks, food, clothing, whatever you can think of, they brought it. we had little use of it, unfortunately, because most of the people were quite quickly to other installations , but a lot ofy volunteers came into the hall and talk to people, try to support the mentally, because in this sort of situation, a kind word can do miracles. have had and you people here from all over the world. brussels is a major airport hub
here h. a national airport, yes. we have a diversity of nationalities and we use a lot of the volunteers, who talk a lot of languages, to translate with passengers who were stuck here from all sorts of countries. today, we had italian people, spanish people, norwegian people , swedish people, who came in and didn't reductions to the passengers and us. to theintroductions passengers and us. reporter: in must be upsetting to have an attack in your neighborhood. >> it has shattered people vary enormously. struck us today is that my colleagues and i were very stimulated by the tenacity.
nobody rested, head down, and everybody came to help. and nobody today has talked about the attack. everybody was busy helping people. i think tomorrow a lot of people draft of theack events that happened today. reporter: i am sure the work , and theinue here fallout from these attacks will continue for some time. thank you very much. host: thank you, catherine, reporting from brussels airport. we will just bring you breaking news right now. is citing a local saying theussels airport bombs were in fact in luggage. earlier, we showed you a photo weree three men they say
the attackers. they were seen pushing luggage trolleys through the departure hall. one man, the one to the right dressed in pale colors, wearing be on thebelieved to run. the other two are believed to be suicide attackers. britain is warning citizens against anything but essential travel to brussels. kathy clifford brings us up to date on increased security measures across europe. reporter: maxum secury acss brusss as autrities decide on new measures. >> the security level has been brought to level four, which means additional safety measures, reinforcements of onder controls, and limits
03/22/16 03/22/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> it is also a very said day for europe as europe and its capital are suffering the same thing that this region has known and known every single day, now seeing it elsewhere. amy: terror in europe as bomb blasts rock brussels. two explosions at the airport and one at a belgian subway