tv MSNBC Live MSNBC November 14, 2015 2:00am-2:31am PST
vehicles and going away. and then the gunman entered the bataclan theater and the gunman reported that they killed 100 people and injuring dozens andm. keir, good morning. what are you hearing? >> reporter: good morning. i'm standing which was chaos and panic last night. the bataclan music hall which you were talking about is just along the street here from me, now you mentioned we simply don't know how many were killed in these attacks because it is the picture is so confusing even now. although we believe that three suicide bombers detonated bombs at the stade de france, that was the beginning of this, in a sense it was all coordinated, in this very area, a group of shooters attacked a bar and a
popular restaurant, i'm told by people here it would have been packed. but then as we now know, the most horrific scene played out in the music hall down this street. one woman describing how she hid beneath a body to keep away from the shooters. she then found herself, we don't know whether she was in there in a bathroom. she was shot in the foot, alex, she describes and there are various reports of this, she describes those shooters shouting about syria, that may be some indication of their motivation. in some way or other. alex, in this very street a suicide bomber blew himself up. a number of others inside that music hall did the same. we understand, though, two of the shooters were killed by police, by the security forces as they moved into that music hall, because they believed that the hostages were being killed
one by one. >> keir, it is our understanding that things happened almost calmly, that the shooters allegedly did not rush out of their cars, at gunpoint, that they calmly walked out. this is from eyewitnesss we heard from news reports talking to people in this residential neighborhood, just looking outside of their windows and seeing two men walk out of their car, one describing an incident where one of the gun men went to somebody eating outside on a terrace, literally put the gun to this diner's head and shot him. and then move into the inside of the restaurant. is that what you're hearing that it wasn't like this rush, it was almost this eerie calm craziness. >> reporter: yeah, like a military operation, alex. one witness talking about the men, arriving at -- she said was a restaurant or a bar, and then just letting off rounds for more than a minute, then cold
bloodily turning and walking away heading to the next victims, you assume. that's one of the reasons why we still don't know exactly how many cells there were if you like, how this was coordinated. we assume, we have to assume, that they were all working together even if they are in different parts of this city. but we don't fully know yet who went to which bar, which restaurant, who ended up at the music hall here. all of that is being pieced together. by the way, you can imagine, the french government in emergency meetings this morning, meeting of defense officials just broken up here because one of the questions they will want to establish is what did happen. another will be who were these people and of course at the same time a group like this tends to seems unlikely they would work without accomplices. the same french security forces will be very much wanting to establish who knew them, who knew about what was happening, who they need to very, very
quickly get under arrest this morning. >> in terms of accomplices, keir, there is again another news report i read and news is coming in from all vantage points, some which we can confirm, others not but there was a report i read where when they were leaving these restaurants specifically la petite cambage and the bar, there was a blocked car that allowed the gun men to leave. they were able to make if you will a clean getaway. has any of that been confirmed? are you hearing that report yourself? >> reporter: you know, it's so confusing right now. we talk about things being confirmed. what we have now is a whole set of witness statements that began emerging at the point in which the shooting and bombings began. we do think that at the la pete cambodge 14 were lled. at the belle equipe 19 iled.
what we're hearing is south of france one person was killed. that is stunning but if that is the case because of the suggestion that there were three suicide bombers there. so we are yet to find out what played out there. seeing the video inside that stadium where the president of france was watching a soccer match between germany and france. they heard explosions, they heard the attacks taking place outside. and then the fans and spectators had to be locked down inside that national stadium just looking on cell phones to figure out what was going on. and they were left there until seems safe enough to allow them to leave because they were just mu multiple shootings taking place. >> it's 5 minutes past 11:00 a.m. in the morning local time in paris. talk about the scene behind you in terms of who is there, how much is it a police presence,
how much is it a media presence, how much is it tourists or neighbors, local residents coming out looking at dismay and shock what's happened. >> you know something, president hollande talked about the fact that this country will not be defeated by what he said was a terrorist attack. we will not be defeated by the terrorists. really striking thing here is that people are back out on the street, there is a real spence of community, you can see behind me the way that the road is cordoned by the french security and there of course are a large number of media. every direction i look in, french people are moving around, everybody wants to know what happened, to discover for themselves. there is a sense of calm, a sense of some confidence, at the same time i think some nervousness too. it's the kind of feeling you would expect after something
like this happened. >> keir, i'm going to ask you to stand by and stay with us. joining our conversation is steven clemens from washington, d.c. good friend of our broadcast. steven, perspective on all of this. word has it that there was nothing alerting any one, investigators, people that routinely follow terrorism chat sites, anything like that that gave a heads up as to what was coming. >> i think that's the biggest red flag out of all of this horror that we've seen is that even going back and looking at the chatter we had and others on yesterday, that had basically said that they have seen nothing. u.s., french, broader european intelligence authorities said they didn't see chatter that something was about to happen. there was a bomb threat yesterday in there but seems unrelated to what happened yesterday. so, the fact that france, which
is essentially been vigilant, that has coordinated between the police, the military and its intelligence authorities after the hebdo attacks that was in place and this complex, multi-site synchronized terror incident took place in that environment is very worisome. that mover did this created a model of communication and interaction that isn't showing up and that they have evolved. that is a very worrisome fact that i think we're seeing. >> steven, can you put into perspective how difficult it is to coordinate an attack like this. i want to take issue with some words used. it's coordinated certainly. but when people talk about it being a sophisticated attack, really how sophisticated is it in the true meaning of the word. people who have a gun, some described as a kalashnikov
rifle. they go outside of a car or walk into a building and start shooting. is the sophistication in the suicide vests that allegedly seven of the eight attackers were wearing and by which they died when they were blown up? >> i think the sophistication comes in a number of fronts. certainly the notion of a suicide attack or a bomber in paris which hasn't been seen before is an element of that. but i think that more broadly, it's really when you look at the fact that these people look as if they were militarily trained, they had a confidence, killing people on this scale is not a video game exercise. there is a confidence that existed there that they had what they were doing, there was timing, it seems because there were multiple attacks that occurred around the same time. as we think it happened. and i think that that is part of the element of sophistication that this was seemed to be planned, they knew what they were doing, there was confidence, so that indicates some element of training. so you can say the kalashnikovs,
many of us were surprised and began to look forensically how would these weapons come into the country. and that is part of the sophistication dimension of this. >> i want to get to keir simmons. hang on, steven. i want to have you stand by. keir simmons in paris, you have something new to report. >> reporter: yes. the president of france has been speaking and this is what i'm being told. he's saying and i'm going to look down and read so i get it right. from what i have been told he is saying he is now saying 127 people were killed, the president of france is saying the attacks were planned and organized from abroad with help from inside france. president hollande is describing these as an act of war, and i have not -- wasn't able to listen to his comments but what i am told is that the president
of france says these attacks were committed by islamic state. that is what he has just told the french people in a statement, i believe he may still even be speaking now. >> keir, i was taking notes as well on what you were saying. planned and organized from abroad, but carried out conducted by whom? >> reporter: with help from inside france he is saying. so attacks were planned and organized from abroad with help from inside france. we know alex, that there have been and this is really worried the european security services, large numbers of people traveling to places like syria to fight in the war there, sometimes to join islamic states. we know that some of them have come back to countries like france to most countries in europe to be honest, so when the president of france says that these attacks have been planned
abroad but with help from inside france, you start to get a picture of what he may be saying. he thinks happened. and these of course will be early indications from the european security services who will be talking to the french government. the french have a very, very strong intelligence service. so they will be asking themselves the question honestly, how it is that this could have happened, how it is that they could not have gotten an indication that this was going to happen. but it now appears that they are telling the president of france that they do believe that these attacks were organized from abroad. >> okay, keir, thank you very much for that. we'll get back to you in a moment. steven, so based on what keir has said here, and your statement that you think this is military training, it would seem that would be the case, how many french citizens are known to have traveled overseas or into the middle east at least, getting some sort of training camp exercise, training so that they would be able to carry out
this kind of activity? >> i don't know the number now, alex, but when the "charlie hebdo" attacks unfolded we were told at that time by french authorities there had been a few thousand french citizens who had gone to syria, and that had been there and that were essentially part of the arena they were worried about, that these people would be under surveillance. it's very clear right now that whatever that surveillance scheme was, a number of people continued to evade detection, that these people whom we know so little about at this point, were able to coordinate and connect and conduct this terror incident. we don't know, i was listening to keir with you, and he did mention the words islamic state. i'd be interested to know whether the french president actually uttered those words because many looking at how these attacks unfolded said this is a signature of al qaeda, not necessarily islamic state but many of the people who then
reference the islamic state said if they -- this does turn out to be tied to the islamic state it shows a new dimension of broadening the battlefield. if you begin to add this up and you begin to say and again there is a speculative, a lot of big here. you look back at the russian airliner incident, in sharm el-sheik egypt, the beirut bombing which also was possibly connected to isis, some allege. if that is true then isis expanded its battlefield dramatically out of syria and iraq and shown a capacity which is truly staggering. >> absolutely staggering to say the least. i believe we have colonel jack jacobs as well with us. so colonel, my question to you, closing the borders, how realistic is that logistically? yet we have i want national flights coming into charles de gaulle, you have the trains,
those bullet trains that run throughout the european union. and into great britain. how can you possibly close the borders? what does that mean? >> well, you can't. you actually can't. you can close the major points of ingress as you mentioned. but at the end of the day, people can get through either by circumventing the major points where you come in, or more significantly as we've been discussing the last few minutes, when you suggest home grown assistance in this attack, the people are already there. we have opened, they have open borders inside the eu, so once inside the eu, anybody can go anywhere and you can try to close it down, but you're not going to be able to close it down completely. and you consider the fact that you've got a very large number of disaffected people inside france, particularly around the
major cities including paris, you realize the enormity of the problem of trying to keep the potential for violence out of france i don't think it's going to work. >> okay. colonel jack, we're going to take a short break here and come right back as we leave you with live pictures there of the area around the concert hall in paris, the site of the most heinous crimes imaginable last night.
at 19 past the hour, 5:00 a.m. on the east coast. here's what we know so far. france's president says at least 127 people were killed, that toll could rise. the attacks were planned abroad with help from inside france and committed by members of the islamic state. there were six separate attacks in total. all eight attackers are dead.
most of the dead were killed in the city's bat la clan theater and then killed. all of that came from the french president moments ago, here is francois hollande's entire statement. >> what happened yesterday in paris, and near the stadium of france, was an act of war. in a situation of war the country must make adequate decision. it's an act of war that was committed by terrorist army, isis, an army of jihadist against france, against the value that we promote and defend throughout the world, against what we are, a free country that speaks to the entire world.
it's an act of war that was prepared, planned, organized and in fact, from the outside but with accomplices in our land and we will need to identify them. it's an act of absolute barberism at this hour we have 127 dead, and many injured. the families are collapsing under grief. the country is deeply saddened and have decreed there will be three days of national mourning. all the measures to protect the french people and our territories have been made within the context of this state
of emergency. the law enforcement, police forces and the army which were so krncourageous and i want to salute their work yesterday, allowed to neutralize the terrorists. the army and the forces are mobilized to the full extent of the ability and try to make sure that all the systems have been strengthened to the highest level, the military soldiers will be patrolling through paris in the next few days, france because it was cowardly attacked, shamefully attacked, violently attacked, france will be imapplicable against the barbarians of isis, it will act in the framework of the law and but will use all the means adapted in our country and
abroad in conjunction and in consultation with our allies who are also targeted by those terrorists. during that deeply sad moment of time but which is also a turning point for our country, i call upon all of us to be united and to keep our calm. i would like to tell the full congress the lower court and higher court that will be gathering in versailles on monday that we are strong and that we will stay united in this ordeal even though they are injured, we are getting -- we will get back up and france is strong, is solid, it's active. france is dynamic and it will overcome barberism.
the force that we are able that we are able to mobilize today is something that we're convinced we can do this. the country we are defending is our country but it's way more than that. it is the values of humanity and france will know how to assume and take its responsibility, i call upon you to have this absolutely indispensable unity. >> all right. there french president francois hollande. we played that for you in its entirety, it's the most recent of several statements that the president has made to the citizens there in france but of course all of this being translated around the world. let's bring in military analyst jack jacobs. speaking of the military of course which the french president referenced there, we understand there are 1500 troops, jack, that have beenoun. what will their specific duties be today? >> well, a lot of them will be military police there
might be bombs or there might be the capability of conducting another attack. one of the things that they are not going to be talking about when you discuss 1500 troops in and around paris, is the increased intelligence collection operation that's going to take place particularly in muslim neighborhoods in and around paris. areas of large numbers of unemployed dils affected youths, some of whom are home grown radicals, some of whom have -- who have left, gone to turkey, then to syria, to fight and then return back to france. the biggest effort, the effort that's really going to pay dividends that's going to keep france safe, is an increased intelligence collection operation and that's going to
take place everywhere in france but particularly in muslim neighborhoods and big cities. >> to that extent, colonel, as we have been talking with security analysts here on msnbc and reading all of the news and wire information coming in, we did not hear a level of chatter. there was nothing to indicate that an attack of this nature was imminent and yet you have the french president saying quite definitively that this attack was planned, with assistance, from abroad, carried out by people inside. how would he be able to access that kind of intelligence at this point? i mean, is it the kind of thing that was just there right beneath the surface? how do you imagine that came about? >> it's possible that it was information that was already available but was overlooked. sometimes you have actually too much information, gathering information and processing it into finished intelligence is a labor intensive exercise. there are a lot of protocols you could use in order to get this
through a computer, but it really is a labor intensive exer size. >> colonel jack jacobs, appreciate that. for all of you we'll take you back to paris. more details on what was happening inside the bataclan theater there that arena in which the most unthinkable horrors happened. there is social media that we'll get the details on that and listen to what people were saying from inside while those attacks were happening.
giving you a live look at paris near the rue over kapf. the site of a heinous attack where hundreds were injured or killed while listening to a concert conducted by the eagles of death metal, a california-based band that was in the middle of a european tour. it's the unthinkable that has happened again in paris. here's what we know so far in the scope of last night's attack.