tv MSNBC Live With Jose Diaz- Balart MSNBC November 16, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PST
good morning. right now on msnbc, we have breaking news. isis has released two videos celebrating in the paris attacks and threatening attacks on washington, dc. we will pring you more information as it comes in. also today, the associated press is reporting that french officials identified the suspected master mind of friday's attacks.
he's believed to be linked to attacks on trains earlier this year. salah abdeslam had been stopped and let go. officials say there were 16 raids across the country overnight. more than 100 people put under house arrest in the last two days alone. the french government striking back hitting isis strikes in syria late last night. this is french president francois hollande at the sar
bonnes university. the president is expected to hold a news conference in the next hour. savannah, good morning. what's the latest in paris? >> you went through it pretty exhaustively. there have been so many developments. you have french authorities working very hard on the law enforcement piece of this, conducting more it and 150 raids on the trail of the attackers. there's a fugitive at large right now. there were conflicting reports about a possible arrest in belgium. that has not happened. the alleged master mind is somebody i'm sure we'll hear more about and the french authorities really trying to seasoned a message with hitting these targets overnight, presumably with u.s. help in terms of targeting and wanting
to send a clear message. when president hollande said the response would be merciless, that indeed is the plan. >> his reaction was a military one in raqqa. the leaders are at this g-20 summit. these world leaders have to get together and say what do we want to do about this? you have an attack of a russian jet, isis suspected, the attacks in beirut, isis suspected and the untold horrors down the
road. world leaders have to look at themselves and say what are we going to do about this? >> a new isis videos threatens we will strike america at its center in washington after claiming responsibility for these attacks here in paris, downing of the russian jetliner and what happened in beirut. we've got to take this very seriously. >> yes, we have to take it very seriously. and you have to see this is a brilliant piece of psychological warfare being carried out by isis against the rest of the world. they now put out videos every time using our own materials, our on news materials and come out and sit done in algeria, in this case, to say he's going to -- he and the rest of the organization are prepared to strike in washington and all over the world. it's going to have the effect of galvanizing law enforcement to have to go after this, whether there's actual attacks in place or whether it's just the faint
it, is actually a brilliant piece of propaganda. >> so did something change in the recent past? i know that isis has always kind of focused its cal fiphate on syria and iraq. what schangchanged? >> there's a lot of talk of isis having this strategic shift towards fans. but if you look back at their operation sense their inception back in 2006 and then in 2010 they started carrying out mass suicide attacks in iraq, then they shifted out to syria. they're coming in the heels of their parent organization al qaeda. they have the exact same amount of experience and manpower but now they're stretching
themselves out and using them as covert agents and carrying out attacks. nothing's changed they're just carrying out attacks they've wanted to do for some time. >> we've been here and you can as soon as people are really on edge. >> absolutely. we're here last night when all of a sudden people started stampeding. i had shot an interview, i had just left five minutes before but our crew was still here. just a false alarm had people reasoning for their lives. they really don't want to have their way of life disrupted. in an instant you have that chaos and fear. it's a moment away at any time. >> kind like a rock dropped into the pond. we were just a block away. when people were running, the story they were saying was the gunman was out.
it's just spreading because of one false report. >> it's the very definition of terror. >> savannah, great seeing you. >> and now the raid outside brussels. police believe withone of three brothers linked to the attacks. keir simmons joins me by phone where he's been tracking the raid. what are these reports that he was in custody but he wasn't? what are officials telling you this morning? >> reporter: this morning officials are saying they do not have him in custody. they have had a whole area of streets cordoned off. there have been police commandos going from house to house. >> this is a location not just a
few streets away from the house where salah abdeslam lived. a number of those attackers came from this very suburb of brussels, it is believed, three brothers from the same family are allegedly involved, one who blew himself up in those attacks, another who was arrested and we are hearing may have been released and then salah himself who is on the loose, got to the border of france and belgium, got stopped
just after the attacks but then was allowed to go three. the police who stopped him did not realize it was as we stand it just in the aftermath of the attack. it's about a two-hour drive to the border. so if he left immediately and a car was abandoned in paris, then he would have been there within two hours or so after the attack. now the question is where he is and whether he has come back to the community he knows where i am standing now. >> it's really extraordinary when you talk about spain and you start thinking about the long time that this has been brewing in europe, that attack in the train station in spain caused more casualties than this one did in france. indeed we're seeing something that is not just isolated to one place in one time. keir simmons in brussels, thank you very much. right now we are awaiting a news conference from president obama as world leaders wrap up the
g-20 summit in turkey. speaking at the summit yesterday, president obama promised to, quote, redouble efforts against the terrorist group. >> the skies have been darkened by the horrific attacks that took place in paris. as was true with the terrible attacks that took place in ankara, the killing of innocent people based on a twisted ideology is an attack not just on france, not just on turkey, but it's an attack on the civilized world. >> president obama also met face to face with russia's vladimir putin, a meeting that lasted 35 minutes and focused on syria, according to the white house. peter, any reaction to this latest video that appears to
threaten an attack on washington? >> reporter: we've been reaching out right now. what we can tell you not specific to this attack is more broadly we heard from the cia director, john brennan, who has said to the reports are he believe this is not a one-off event, that it's clear in his mind isis has an external agenda. he said it likely they have other plots in the pipeline right now. as we get more information on that specifically, we will pass it on to you but it does demonstrate the broad challenge that exists not just in europe but here in the united states to try to protect soft targets against the potential threat of future attacks like what we witnessed in paris last week. >> peter, to add to what you just said, the president's national security adviser did
tell nbc news there will be, quote, an intensification of efforts against isis. could that mean an increase in the number of armed forces in the region, syria? we stand there as going to be 50 special operation troops in the northern syrian area but could we see more? the future? >> there's no indication that the strategy is changing, but it would be doing it stronger, more effectively, a better arming of forces this syria, perhaps getting more allied forces to joan special ops. but ground troops, that was a question asked specifically of adviser been rhodes. he said they do not believe a substantial addition of u.s. ground forces in syria would be the solution here.
>> peter alexander at the white house this morning, thank you very much. our breaking news coverage live from paris begins next. plus survivors in paris sharing their stories with us this morning. i'm going to be speaking live with a man who was just steps from one of the attack sites and reached the scene before police did. that story next right here on msnbc. how you doing? hey! how are you? where are we watching the game? you'll see. i think my boys have a shot this year. yeah, especially with this new offense we're running... i mean, our running back is a beast. once he hits the hole and breaks through the secondary, oh he's gone. and our linebackers and dbs dish out punishment, and never quit. ♪ you didn't expect this did you? no i didn't. the nissan altima. there's a fun side to every drive. nissan. innovation that excites.
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i >> i had a chance to speak to witnesses of the attack. two of her best friends were at the concert. one survived, one did not. >> unfortunately i wasn't very surprised. i was expecting something to happen but i didn't expect it to happen so soon and so near because we both live in this neighborhood and have a lot of friend. >> i was just here and i heard everything. >> reporter: what did you hear? what were you thinking >> i don't know. i don't know. it was terrible. it was so terrible. i don't know. i'm so sad, i'm so scared. i don't know. it's terrible. >> was very afraid because we both knew that all our friends lived in the area and so, yes, i
spent the whole evening from like 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. watching the news texting everybody and calling everybody has been what was happening and they were safe. >> and you lost friends. >> we had two friends, our bernie sanders friend, which is called paul, he was at the bataclan with his sister, he escaped. his sister who we knew very much and loved died. it was still a big punch in the face but it's not the same because, you know, it's -- they targeted concert venue, stadium, restaurants, bars, they typically just go for where we entertain and drink and go out and, you know, it's -- we're
afraid. we're afraid and we're grieving. it's an awful day for us. >> can you ever feel safe again? >> i hope so but i'm not optimistic about the situation. two attacks in one year, total 150 death if we put both in. so, i don't know, i hope so. >> the couple told me something that i think a lot about. they told me that the loudest sounds they hear is when there is silence because they just hear over and over again the sounds of those gunshot going off. clark winter was in paris on business having dinner just buildings away from labelle cafe, reaching the restaurant even before police were on the scene. clark winter arrived back in the u.s. yesterday. he joins me this morning.
thank you for being with me. >> thank you. i was in paris ands going with some friend to dinner. we walked right by the restaurant four or five minutes before and then walked into the restaurant next door. as wooe were sitting down, we heard gun fire. it's not a sound you're familiar with but you recognize it immediately. it was my instinct to go out and see what i could do to help the people out there. it was very, very close. when i got there, there were six bodies outside the restaurant, another on the street. stranges a strangers trying to be helpful. then someone screamed there was an assassin shooting and we were there and the police showed up in four, five minute and took charge. >> it's hard to describe how one roo a
reacts when you see something. one isn't accustomed to hearing automatic machine gun fire going on. you really weren't sure if there was a gunman out and about yet people were trying to help and comfort each other. >> it's hard to explain. it was instinctive and it seemed the right thing to do was get up and help the people that were there. we felt we were safe. it sounded look somebody had driven by. i went out to say what's going on, how can i be helpful? i'm a photographer. i didn't have my camera. i did have my iphone. i said i have to take a few pictures of what is going on here, this has to be shared and then put the camera away and helped the people lying on the ground. most of them i suppose were already dead. as i looked through the cafe people, there were many more in there. human spirit, there were many people standing up and ready to be helpful to see what we can do. i guess the police had just
found out about a previous shooting and therefore were delayed in arriving. >> clark winter, thank you. it's good to see you this morning. i'm glad you're back home safe. i appreciate your time. >> it's a pleasure to be here. >> the paris attacks reigniting the debate over how to deal with the migrant crisis into europe and in the united states. the migrants continued streaming west. we'll be right back from paris.
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before the bell in honor of the victims in paris. nasdaq plans to have a moment of silence as well. >> the attacks here in paris have transformed the debate over the thousands and thousands of migrants arriving, after the passport of a recent syrian migrant was found by the body of one of the attackers. >> does the united states have pause about bringing syrian refugees into the united states? >> no, we have a very careful vetting process that includes the national homeland security, we can carefully screen anyone
coming to the united states. >> but snyder said they will suspend it and another governor said no refugees. and bobby jindal fired off a letter to the white house demanding to know how many refugees have been settled in his state. the administration responded yesterday putting the number at 14. joining me now from washington, laura hemm. thank you for being with me. could fears that at least within of the attackers arrived from syria change people's expectations or even how they ha handle this crisis in europe? >> we don't know what's going to happen. in 45 minutes, the french president is going to be in versailles and speak probably about this issue in front of the
french parliament and that's going to be a very important political moment because as you pointed out, the refugees crisis is in the mind of all the french people and all the politicians, how are they going to deal with those massive influx of refugees coming to europe. it's a very sensitive issue at this moment in europe. i just would like to presize that morning holder terrorists or kids, yes, there was probably one syrian person but we have to wait a little bit to make sure but the syrian passport fond near the body. but there were four french citizens, that has been confirmed, that didn't cross the bor border, that were not part of the refugees coming to europe, according to some french intelligence officers, it's taking two to three years to fully radicalize someone who is
going to do a suicide attack. so there's going to be all over the world a temptation to say look at those crises of migrants, look what's happening with the refugees, they are the dangers. i'm not sure that they're going to be the danger in the weeks and months ahead. >> right. but i'll give you an example. i was speaking to a couple of serbian friends of mine here in paris and they said their heart has been open for months now trying to see how to help some of those people and just this morning were telling me you know what, i'm a little bit concerned now about those people because of the open border situation, for example, that exists in europe and the fact is that when you don't know who they are, it could change, do you think, not only the minds of people but policy intra europe, for example, how people travel? >> yes, absolutely. but the big problem is going to
be in europe how to control the borders and the belgium story is in my opinion extremely interesting because belgium has a different policy in terms of controlling people that the french people -- apparently the cell which attacked paris was mostly from belgium. i mean, the infrastructure was in belgium and belgium does not have what we call in france a way to control the people who are radicalized, the police think that there are a lot of young french people who have been radicalized that can travel easily between france, belgium and other countries in europe and that's interesting because belgium doesn't have this policy. so people are going to want to see a united policy, how you control the borders and there's going to be a very interesting debate that you already have in
america in the presidential election about how you control the borders, do you have to build walls like the republicans in france and in the united states are asking or can you do something else. that's a very, very sensitive issue about civil liberties. >> a sensitive issue that people are speaking of much more loud after friday. hey, laura haim, thank you very much for being with me. thank you for your time this morning. >> you're welcome. >> coming up, the very latest on the new isis threat against washington, d.c. i'll have an analyst who has seen that new isis video out today. plus new reactions on the attacks from the 2016 candidates and what former republican candidate mitt romney is saying about isis. this is coverage live from paris. the game? you'll see.
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isis has released two propaganda videos celebrating the carnage and threatening an attack against washington, d.c. for the air strikes in syria. the video is promising retaliation against any other countries taking part in those strikes. the associated press reports french officials are identifies the suspected master mind salah abdeslam is the suspected eighth attacker who had been stopped on
saturday but was let go. police say he eluded police just this morning. and we are awaiting remarks from president obama from the g-20 summit in turkey. thomas roberts is with me now. we've been pretty mch driving around paris all day. tell me what you're seeing, as soon asing and finding. >> when we got in this morning, it was very early, we came through customs, which was very busy. finally got on the ground and in the car and after getting situated with just our bearings, went around to the different attack sites where we found scores of people coming out where they were resilient and saying they would not be defeated but a lot of people crying, a lot of people sensing the emotion of such tremendous loss, people still siting candles and what we see here in the square, so many different
conversations being had and more and more people showing up to be a part of this time in history. there are a lot of geo political conversations but a most of the people, americans today, tourists glad to be here, some were scared over the weekend but they're glad to see comes back to a bit of a monday regularity, though there is a sense from some of the folks i talked to that they're appreciative of the extra security forces but it unnerves them at the same time. >> you see them at the cafe and they look calm but they're looking across their shoulder a lot more than they were on friday. >> absolutely. absolutely. so it's a real balance they're striking today. there's still much mourning to be done and answers to be found for who is responsible for this and the motivations of what brought it. >> more now on that new isis video that threatens to attack
washington, d.c. joining me now, director of the middle east and north africa research and analysis at flashpoint partners, which monsters terrorist threats. what's your assessment of the video? >> they end up capitalizing by issuing more threats on a variety of countries. in one of the isis videos we see fighters threatening europe and continue to threaten france but one of them specifically makes an explicit threat to the united states saying just as we attacked france in its heart in paris, we will attack america in its heart in washington. so he's trying to draw a similarity that both of these countries are enemy nations, that we should attack them. their fear is this might echo with radical individuals, maybe sleeper cells in the united states to try to copy that kind of attack. but this is just a purely
propagandistic approach to capitalize on the events in france. >> as we're seeing the actual video, lathe, that you were able to see earlier today, you can actually see some were shot inside a populated area. are they specifically saying washington, d.c. snmt. >> they are specifically mentioning the capital washington, the capital of the united states. they are trying to draw the similarity between attacking paris, capital france in its heart. they want to do the same in washington. you know, of course but this is not just about washington, this is about any major city in the united states, this is about any kind of attack in the united states, whether it's washington, new york, boston and so on. any kind of event that isis feels involved in worldwide they want to draw that connection to the united states to say that the united states is our primary target.
>> and laith, let me play to you this morning -- >> it is clear to me that isil has an external agenda that they are determined to carry out these types of attacks. i would anticipate that this is not the only operation that isil has in the pipeline. >> and laith, are they changing their tactics or at least the location they are deciding to attack? >> i feel like that isis is playing now on multiple fronts. now that we see their global aspirations are cementing and actualizing around the world, france is case in point, i believe that this is only the beginning, that more attacks will unfold. regardless of whether isis is directly involved or not, we might see isis claim responsibility for attacks that
it did not exactly direct but feels it needs to capitalize on for p.r. value. so i believe this is just the beginning and that we might see more attacks either be foiled or actualized. >> laith alkhouri, thank you very much. we go now to my colleague, steve kornacki in new york. steve? >> the president's foreign policy more specifically his strategy in syria and iraq, they are now front and center as you might expect in the 2016 race, republicans candidates eager for the opportunity to blast the president. this morning on nbc's "today" show, 2012 republican nominee mitt romney saying u.s. involvement in the dismantling of isis needs to be much greater. >> isis has become strong are and they have metastasized much more broadly in the world. and if we don't change our course and take this seriously
and go to war against isis, we're going to see what happened in paris happen in the united states. >> an nbc news senior white house correspondent krechris jansing has been following the developments. mitt romney saying need to declare on isis. donald trump on "morning joe" said he would be looking to commit 10,000 ground troops. is this going to be the default position on the republican side? >> it already looks like it is. jeb also called for a declaration of war. with the exception of rand paul, you've heard a lot of them saying the same thing, we are at war, we're in this position because we don't have strong leadership, i will provide strong leadership. i think the other part of this equation that we have yet to see, what does this mean for what has been almost an anti-experience kind of election. this has been driven by a hatred
of washington and by personalities, this republican process so far. now the question is will someone like donald trump, will someone like ben carson, who do not have that kind of international foreign policy, diplomatic experience, will we start to see a shift in the numbers? >> it seems like that's a particularly apt number when it comes to carson. trump doesn't have the experience but he does have the bluster, he's taking a very aggressive tone on isis. ben carson was on fox news sunday. when the topic comes to foreign policy specifics, he has struggled a little bit there. >> he now is saying he is being advised among others henry kissinger but pressed, as you said, on sunday, who would he turn to to form the new coalition, he said basically everybody. i don't want to leave anybody out. so the depth of knowledge there is something that a lot of people have been questioning all throughout but it takes on a whole new importance when you look at what's happened over the
last 36 hours. >> i just want to put these numbers on the screen. we know the president's approval rating has been stuck in the mid to high 40s for a long time now. this is before the attacks, 33% of obama's handling of foreign policy. how about his handling of isis in syria and in iraq? just 31%. >> and when you have his deputy national security adviser coming out and saying we don't believe there's an imminent threat but you have guys like bratton brennan coming out, it's going to shift that whole conversation, internally in washington and on the international stage as he continues the trip that once he leaves turkey and the g-20, he's
going on to the philippines and to ma llaysiamalaysia. >> jose, we'll send it back to you in paris. >> steve, thank you very much. coming up, a live report from nbc justice correspondent pete williams is next with the new threat from isis against our nation's capital, and where security is being stepped up right now. that's next right here on msnbc live from paris. you drop 40 grand on a new set of wheels, then... wham! a minivan t-bones you. guess what: your insurance company will only give you 37-thousand to replace it. "depreciation" they claim. "how can my car depreciate before it's first oil change?" you ask. maybe the better question is, why do you have that insurance company? with liberty mutual new car replacement, we'll replace the full value of your car. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance. ♪
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(vo) you can check on them. you can worry about them. you can even choose a car for them. (mom) honey, are you ok? (child) i'm ok. (announcer vo) love. (mom) we're ok. (announcer vo) it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. and breaking news at this hour, we are following reports that isis has released a new propaganda video calling for attacks on washington d.c. the video, which has not yet been youauthenticated by nbc ne rchbss friday's attack in france
promising the same in the u.s. capital. pete williams is in washington with the very latest. pete? >> i think for the sake of precision, i'm not sure that this video calls for attacks on washington but what it says is it refers to any country that, quote, participates in the crusader campaign like france, we will strike america in its center in washington. so perhaps more of a prediction or a threat against washington. of course it's not news to people here in the intelligence and law enforcement community that isis is a threat in the u.s., but the paris attacks have brought some immediate changes. commuters in the big cities are seeing a more visibility preon trains and bridges. the fbi has ordered agents to step up surveillance of terrorist suspects. this is a surge of fbi
capability with investigation under way in every state. there's been a highly visibility force at tourist attractions, places where u.s. is giving extra scrutiny to passenger lists on inbound flights. what we're seeing is around the country police chiefs putting more officers on the streets, especially where big crowds gather. the national park police says it's stepping up patrols of monuments and memorials, places the park service called treasured icons. the key to this obviously is intelligence trying to prevent anything before it happens, and that's where the fbi's greatest resources are focused right now, jose. >> pete williams, thank you very much. you are seeing on your screen right now in turkey, we are expecting any minute now to see president obama at the podium right there. he is about to hold a news conference at the g-20 summit. this is going on in turkey. the president had expected to talk about a whole slew of
issues with these g-20 partners but right now the focus and certainly the most important conversation that many of these leaders are having is how to deal with what happened here friday in paris. while we await the president, and the minute he does he want to bring in telemundo correspondent vanessa, as we see these images, you've been covering this situation since friday. how has this place changed? >> absolutely. jose. if you look in the dictionary the definition of terrorism is an act designed to inflict terror and extreme fear. this is what's happening here in paris. these attacks have been basically a violation of everything what the french believe -- liberty, fraternity and equality. people are really fearful here. >> we were as a matter of fact last night about to finish a transmission with telemundo network and then we saw this panic and people were literally
running for their lives for what turned out to be a false report. >> it was a false alarm but definitely we saw that this is just the feeling that the french people are going through. a lot of fear, extreme fear. you have to keep in mind that this morning the french prime minister just said that -- >> vanessa, we see president obama right now at the g-20 news conference in turkey. >> thank you to president erdogan for hosting this g-20 summit. the hospitality of the turkish people is legendary. to our turkish friends -- [ speaking foreign language ] i had been practicing that. at g-20 our focus was on how to get the global economy growing faster and creating more jobs for our people and i'm pleased that we agreed that growth has
to be inclusive to address the rising inequality around the world. given growing cyber threats, we committed to a set of norms drafted by the united states for our governments should conduct themselves in cyberspace, including a commitment not to engage in the cyber theft of intellectual property for commercial gain. as we head into global climate talks, all g-20 countries have submitted our targets and we have pledged to worg together for a successful outcome in paris. of course, much of our attention has focused on the heinous attacks that took place in paris. across the world, in the united states, american flags are at half-staff in solidarity with our french allies. we're working closely with our french partners as they pursue their investigations and track down suspects.
france is already a strong counterterrorism partner and today we are announcing a new agreement. we're streamlining the process by which we share intelligence and operational military information with france. this will allow our personnel to pass threat information, including on isil, to our french partners even more quickly and more often because we need to be doing everything we can to protect against more attacks and protect our citizens. now tragically, paris is not alone. we've seen outrageous attacks by isil in beirut. last month in ankara. routinely in iraq. here at the g-20 our nations have sent an unmistakable message that we are united against this threat. isil is the face of evil. our goal, as i've said many
times, is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organization. as i outlined this fall at the united nations, we have a comprehensive strategy using all elements of our power. military, intelligence, economic, development, and the strength of our communities. we have always understood that this would be a long-term campaign. there will be setbacks and there will be successes. the terrible events in paris were obviously a terrible and sickening setback. even as we grieve with our french friends, however, we can't lose sight that there has been progress being made. on the military front other coalition is intensifying our air strikes. more than 8,000 to date. we're taking out isil leaders, commanders, their killers. we've seen that when we have an
effective partner on the ground, isil can, and is, pushed back. local forces in iraq backed by coalition air power recently liberated sinjar. in syria isil's been pushed back from much of the border region with turkey. we've stepped up our support of opposition forces who are working to cut off supply lines to isil strongholds in and around raqqa. so in short, both in iraq and syria be with isil controls less territory than it did before. i made the point to my fellow leaders that if we want this progress to be sustained, more nations need to step up with the resources that this fight demands. of course, the attacks in paris remind us that it will not be enough to defeat isil in syria and iraq alone. our nations are therefore committed to strengthening border controls, sharing more information and stepping up our
efforts to prevent the flow of foreign fighters in and out of syria and iraq. as the united states just showed in libya, isil leaders will have no safe haven anywhere and will continue to stand with leaders in muslim leaders including faith leaders who are the best voices to discredit isil's warped ideology. on the humanitarian front, our nations agreed that we have to do even more individually and collectively to address the agony of the syrian people. the united states is already the largest donor of humanitarian said to the syrian people. some $4.5 billion in aid so far. as winter approaches we are donating clothing and generating through the united nations. but the u.n. appeal for syria still has less than half the funds needed. today i'm again calling on more nations to contribute the resources that this crisis demands. in terms of refugees, it's clear
that countries like turkey, lebanon and jordan, which already are bearing an extraordinary burden, cannot be expected to do so alone. at the same time, all of our countries have to ensure our security and as president, my first priority is the safety of the american people. and that's why even as we accept more refugees, including syrians, we do so only after subjecting them to rigorous screening and security checks. we also have to remember that many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves. that's what they're fleeing. slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values. our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety, and ensure our own security. we can and must do both. finally, we have begun to see some modest progress on the diplomatic front which is critical because a political solution is the only way to end
the war in syria and unite the syrian people and the world against isil. the vienna talks marked the first time that all the key countries have come together. as a result, i would add of american leadership, and reach a common understanding. with this weekend's talks, there pea a path forward. negotiations between the syrian opposition and the syrian regime under the auspices of united nations, a transition toward a more inclusive representative government, a new constitution, followed by free elections, and alongside this political process, a cease-fire in the civil war even as we continue to fight against isil. these are obviously ambitious goals. hopes for diplomacy in syria have been dashed before. there are any number of ways that this latest diplomatic push could falter, and there are still disagreements between the parties, including most critically over the fate of
bashar assad who we do not believe has a role in syria's future because of his brutal rule. his war against the syrian people is the primary root cause of this crisis. what is different this time and what gives us some degree of hope is that, as i said, for the first time all the major countries on all sides of the syrian conflict agree on a process that is needed to end this war. and so while we are very clear-eyed about the very, very difficult road still ahead, the united states in our partnership with our coalition is going to remain relentless on all fronts -- military, humanitarian and diplomatic. we have the right strategy and we're going to see it through. with that i'm going to take some questions and i will begin with jerome cartellia of afp. >> thank you, mr. president.
129 people were killed in paris on friday night. isil claimed responsibility for the massacre sending the message that they could now target civilians all over the world. isn't time for your strategy to change? >> well, keep in mind what we have been doing. we have a military strategy that involves putting enormous pressure on isil through air strikes that has put assistance and training on the ground with iraqi forces. we're now working with syrian forpss as well to squeeze isil, cut off their supply lines. we've been coordinating internationally to reduce their financing capabilities. the oil that they're trying to ship outside. we are taking strikes against
high-value targets, including most recently against the individual who was on the video executing civilians who had already been captured, as well as the head of isil in libya. so it is not just in iraq and syria. . on the military frornt we are continuing to accelerate what we do. as we find additional partners on the ground that are effective, we work with them more closely. i've already authorized additional special forces on the ground who are going to be able to improve that coordination. on the counter terrorism front, keep in mind that since i came into office, we have been worried about these kinds of attacks. the vigilance that the united states government maintains and the cooperation that we're
consistently expanding with our european and other partners in going after every single terrorist network is robust and constant. and every few weeks i meet with my entire national security team and we go over every single threat stream that is presented. where we have relevant information, we share it immediately with our counterparts around the world, including our european partners. on aviation security, we have over the last several years been working so that at various airport sites -- not just in the united states, but overseas -- we are strengthening our mechanisms to screen and discover passengers who should not be boarding flights and improving the matters in which we are screening luggage that is going onboard. and on the diplomatic front, we've been consistently working
to try to get all the parties together to recognize that there's a moderate opposition inside of syria that can form the basis for a transition government and to reach out not only to our friends but also to the russians and iranians who are on the other side of this equation to explain to them that ultimately an organization like isil is the greatest danger to them, as well as to us. so there will be an intensification of the strategy that we put forward. but the strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that ultimately is going to work. but as i said from the start, it is going to take time. and what's been interesting is in the aftermath of paris as i listen to those who suggest something else needs to be done, typically the things they
suggest need to be done are things we are already doing. the one exception is that there had been a few who suggested that we should put large numbers of u.s. troops on the ground. and keep in mind that we have the finest military in the world and we have the finest military minds in the world. i've been meeting with them intensively for years now discussing these various options and it is not just my view but the view of my closest military and civilian advisors that that would be a mistake. not because our military could not march into mosul or raqqa or ramadi and temporarily clear out
isil. but because we would see a repetition of what we've seen before which is if you do not have local populations that are committed to inclusive governance and who are pushing back against ideological extremes, that they resurface unless we're prepared to have a permanent occupation of these countries. and let's assume that we were to send 50,000 troops into syria. what happens when there is a terrorist attack generated from yemen? do we then send more troops in to there? or libya perhaps? or if there's a terrorist network that's operating anywhere else in north africa or in southeast asia? so a strategy has to be one that can be sustained and the
strategy that we're pursuing which focuses on going after targets, limiting wherever possible the capabilities of isil on the ground, systematically going after their leadership, their infrastructure, strengthening shia -- or strengthening syrian and iraqi forces and kurdish forces that are prepared to fight them. cutting off their borders and squeezing the space in which they can separate until ultimately we're able to defeat them. that's the strategy we're going to have to pursue. and we will continue to generate more partners for that strategy and there are going to be some things that we try that don't work. there will be some strategies we try that do work. when we find strategies that work we will double down on those. margaret brennan, cbs.
>> thank you, mr. president. a more than year-long bombing campaign in iraq and in syria has failed to contain the ambition and the ability of isis to launch attacks in the west. have you underestimated their abilities and will you widen the rules of engagement for u.s. forces to take more aggressive action? >> no, we haven't underestimated our abilities. this is precisely why we're in iraq as we speak and we we're operating in syria as we speak. and it's precisely why we have mobilized 65 countries to go after isil and why i hosted at the united nations an entire discussion of counterterrorism strategies and why we've been putting pressure on those countries that have not been as
robust as they need to in track being the flow of foreign fighters in and out of syria and iraq. and so there has been an accuse awareness on the part of my administration from the start that it is possible for an organization like isil that has such a twisted ideology and has shown such extraordinary brutality and its complete disregard for innocent lives that they would have the capabilities to potentially strike in the west, and because thousands of fighters have flowed from the west and are european citizens, a few hundred from the united states, but far more from europe, that when those foreign fighters returned it posed a significant danger.
and we have consistently worked with our european partners disrupting plots in some cases, sadly, this one was not disrupted in time. but understand that one of the challenges we have in this situation is that if you have a handful of people who don't mind dying, they can kill a lot of people. that's one of the challenges of terrorism. it's not their sophistication or the particular weapon that they possess, but it is the ideology that they carry with them and their willingness to die. in those circumstances, tracking each individual, making sure that we are disrupting and preventing these attacks is a
constant effort at vigilance and requires extra toeordinary coordination. part of the reason it is important what we do in iraq and syria is that the narrative that isil developed of creating this caliphate makes it more attractive to potential recruits. so when i said that we are containing their spread in iraq and syria, in fact they control less territory than they did last year. and the more we shrink that territory, the less they can pretend that they are somehow a functioning state and the more it becomes apparent that they are simply a network of killers who are brutalizing local populations. that allows us to reduce the flow of foreign fighters, which
then, over time, will lessen the numbers of terrorists who can potentially carry out terrible acts like they did in paris. and that's what we did with al qaeda. that doesn't mean, by the way, that al qaeda no longer possesses the capabilities of potentially striking the west. al qaeda in the peninsula that operates primarily in yemen we know has consistently tried to target the west, and we are consistently working to disrupt those acts. but, despite the fact that they have not gotten as much attention as isil, they still pose a danger as well. and so our goals here consistently have to be to be aggressive and to leave no stone unturned, but also recognize this is not conventional
warfare. we play in to the isil narrative when we act as if they're a state. and we use routine military tactics that are designed to fight a state that is attacking another state. that's not what's going on here. these are killers. with fantasies of glory who are very savvy when it comes to social media and are able to infiltrate the minds of not just iraqis or syrians but disaffected individuals around the world. and when they activate those individuals, those individuals can do a lot of damage. and so we have to take the approach of being rigorous on our counterterrorism efforts and consistently improve and figure
out how we can get more information, how we can infiltrate these networks, how we can reduce their operational space even as we also try to shrink the amount of territory they control to defeat their narrative. ultimate ultimately to reclaim territory from them is going to require, however, an ending of the syrian civil war, which is why the diplomatic efforts are so important. and it is going to require an effective iraqi effort that bridges shia and sunni differences which is why our diplomatic efforts inside of iraq are so important as well. jim avila. >> mr. president, in the days and weeks before the paris attacks, did you receive a warning in your daily intelligence briefing that an attack was imminent?
if not, does that not call into question the current assessment that there is no immediate specific credible threat to the united states today? and secondly, if i could ask you to address your critics who say that your reluctance to enter another middle east war and your preference of diplomacy over using the military makes the united states weaker and emboldens our enemies? >> jim, every day we have threat streams coming through the intelligence transmission. every several weeks we sit down with all my national security, intelligence, and military teams to discuss various threat streams that may be generated. and the concerns about potential
isil attacks in the west have been there for over a year now and they come through periodically. there were no specific mentions of this particular attack that would give us a sense of something that we need -- that we could provide french authorities, for example, or act on ourselves. but typically the way the intelligence works is, there will be a threat stream that is from one source, how reliable is that source. perhaps some signal intelligence gets picked up. it is evaluated. some of it is extraordinarily vague and unspecific and there's no clear timetable. some of it may be more specific, and then folks chase down that
threat to see what happens. i am not aware of anything that was specific in the sense that would have given a premonition about a particular action in paris that would allow for law enforcement or military actions to disrupt it. with respect to the broader issue of my critics, to some degree i answered the question earlier. i think that when you listen to what they actually have to say, what they're proposing, most of the time when pressed, they describe things that we're already doing. maybe they're not aware that we're already doing them. some of them seem to think that if i were just more bellicose in expressing what we're doing that that would make a difference,
because that seems to be the only thing that they're doing is talking as if they're tough. but i haven't seen particular strategies that they would suggest that would make a real difference. now, there are few exceptions. as i said, the primary exception is those who would deploy u.s. troops on a large scale to retake territory either in iraq or now in syria. and at least they have their honesty to go ahead and say that's what they would do. i just addressed why i think they're wrong. there have been some who are well meaning, and i don't doubt their sincerity when it comes to the issue of the dire humanitarian situation in syria, who, for example, call for a
no-fly zone or safe zone of some sort. and this is an example of the kind of issue where i will sit down with our top military and intelligence advisors and we will painstakingly go through what does something like that look like. and typically after we've gone through a lot of planning and a lot of discussion and really working it through, it is determined that it would be counterproductive to take those steps, in part because isil does not have planes. so the attacks are on the ground. a true safe zone requires us to set up ground operations. and the bulk of the deaths that have occurred in syria, for example, have come about not because of regime bombing but because of on the ground
casualties. who would come in, who would come out of that safe zone, how would it work, would it become a magnet for further terrorist attacks, and how many personnel would be required and how would it end? there's a whole set of questions that have to be answered there. i guess my point is this, jim. my only interest is to end suffering and to keep the american people safe. and if there is a good idea out there, then we're going to do it. i don't think i've shown hesitation to act, whether it's with respect to bin laden or with respect to sending additional troops into afghanistan or keeping them there, if it is determined that it is actually going to work. but what we do not do, what i do not do is to take actions either
because it is going to work, politically or it is going to somehow in the abstract make america look tough or make me look tough. and maybe part of the reason is because every few months i go to walter reed and i see a 25-year-old kid who's paralyzed or has lost his limbs and some of those are people i've ordered into battle. and so i can't afford to play some of the political games that others may. we'll do what's required to keep the american people safe. and i think it is entirely appropriate in a democracy to have a serious debate about
these issues. folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do? present a specific plan. if they think that somehow their advisors are better than the chairman of my joint chiefs of staff and the folks who are actually on ground. >> i want to meet them. and we can have that debate. but what i'm not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of american leadership or america winning or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the american people and
to protect people in the region who are getting killed and to protect our allies in people like france. i'm too busy for that. jim acosta. >> thank you very much, mr. president. i wanted to go back to something that you said to margaret earlier when you said that you have not underestimated isis' abilities. this is an organization that you once described as a jv team that evolved into a force that is now occupied territory in iraq and syria, and is now able to use that safe haven to launch attacks in other parts of the world. how is that not underestimating their capabilities and how is that contained, quite frankly? and i think a lot of americans have this frustration that they see that the united states has the greatest military in the world, it has the backing of nearly every other country in the world when it comes to taking on isis, and i guess the question is -- if you'll forgive
the language -- why can't we take out these bastards? >> well, jim, i just spent the last three questions answering that very question, so i don't know what more you want me to add. i think i've described very specifically what our strategy is and i've described very specifically why we do not pursue some of the other strategies that have been suggested? the -- this is not, as i said, a traditional military opponent. we can retake territory. and as long as we leave our troops there, we can hold it. but that does not solve the underlying problem of eliminating the dynamics that are producing these kinds of violent extremist groups.
and so we are going to continue to pursue the strategy that has the best chance of working even though it does not offer the satisfaction, i guess, of a neat headline or an immediate resolution. and part of the reason, as i said, jim, is because there are costs to the other side. i just want to -- i just want to remind people. this is not an abstraction. when we send troops in, those troops get injured. they get killed. they're away from their families. our country spends hundreds of billions of dollars. given the fact there are enormous sacrifices involved in any military transaction, it's best that we don't shoot first
and aim later. it's important for us to get the strategy right and the strategy that we are pursuing is the right one. ron allen. >> thank you, mr. president. i think a lot of people around the world and in america are concerned because, given the strategy that you are pursuing and it's been more than a year now, isis' capability seems to be expanding. were you aware that they had the capability of pulling off the kind of attack that they did in paris? are you concerned and do you think they have that same capability to strike in the united states? and do you think that given all you've learned about isis over the past year or so and given all the criticism about your underestimating them, do you think you really understand this enemy well enough to defeat them and to protect the homeland?
all right. so this is another variation on the same question. and i guess -- let me try it one last time. we have been fully aware of the potential capabilities of them carrying out a terrorist attack. that's precisely why we have been mounting a very aggressive strategy to go after them. as i said before, when you're talking about the ability of a handful of people with not wildly sophisticated military equipment, weapons, who are willing to die, they can kill a lot of people and preventing
them from doing so is challenging for every country. if there was a swift and quick solution to this, i assure you that not just the united states, but france and turkey and others who have been subject to these terrorist attacks would have implemented those strategies. there are certain advantages that the united states has in preventing these kinds of attacks. obviously after 9/11 we hardened the homeland, set up a whole series of additional steps to protect aviation, to apply lessons learned. we've seen much better cooperation between the fbi, state governments, local
governments. there is some advantages to geography with respect to the united states. but having said that, we've seen the possibility of terrorist attacks on our soil. there was the boston marathon bombers. obviously it did not result in the scale of death that we saw in paris, but that was a serious attempt at killing a lot of people by two brothers and a crock pot. and it gives you some sense of i think the kinds of challenges that are going to be involved in this going forward. so again, isil has serious capabilities. its capabilities are not unique. they are capabilities that other terrorist organizations that we track and are paying attention to possess as well. we are going after all of them.
what is unique about isil is the degree to which it has been able to control territory that then allows them to attract additional recruits. and the greater effectiveness that they have on social media and their ability to use that to not only attract recruits to fight in syria but also potentially to carry out attacks in the homeland and in europe and in other parts of the world. and so our ability to shrink the space in which they can operate, combined with a resolution of the syria situation which will reduce the freedom with which they feel that they can operate, and getting local forces who are able to hold and keep them out over the long term. that ultimately is going to be what's going to make a difference. and it is going to take some time but it is not something that at any stage in this
the overwhelming majority of victims of terrorism over the last several years, and certainly the overwhelming majority of victims of isil, are themselves muslims. isil does in the represent islam. it is not representative in any way of the attitudes of the overwhelming majority of muslims. this is something that's been emphasized by muslim leaders, whether it's president erdogan or the president of indonesia or the president of malaysia, countries that are majority muslim but that have shown themselves to be tolerant and to work to be inclusive in their political process. and so to the degree that anyone would equate the terrible
actions that took place in paris with the views of islam, those kinds of stereotypes are counterproductive, they're wrong. they will lead, i think, to greater recruitment in to terrorist organizations over time if this becomes somehow defined as a muslim problem as opposed to a terrorist problem. now, what is also true is that the most vicious terrorist organizations at the moment are ones that claim to be speaking on behalf of true muslims. and i do think that muslims
around the world, religious leaders, political leaders, ordinary people, have to ask very serious questions about how did these extremist ideologies take root. even if it is only affecting a very small fraction of the population, it is real. and it is dangerous. and it has built up over time, and with social media it is now accelerating. and so i think on one hand, non-muslims cannot stereotype, but i also think the muslim community has to think about how we make sure that children are not being infected with this twisted notion that somehow they can kill innocent people, and that that is justified by religion. and to some degree that is something that has to come from
within the muslim community itself. and i think there have been times where there has not been enough push-back against extremism -- there's been push-back -- there are some who say well, we don't believe in violence, but are not as willing to challenge some of the extremist thoughts or rationales for why muslims feel oppressed. and i think those ideas have to be challenged. let me make one last point about this. and then, unfortunately, i have to take a flight to manila. i'm looking foord to seeing manila, but i hope i can come back to turkey when i'm not so busy. one of the places that you're seeing this debate play itself out is on the refugee issue. both in europe and in, i gather, it started popping up while i
was gone back in the united states. the people who are fleeing syria are the most harmed by terrorism. they are the most vulnerable as a consequence of civil war and strife. they are parents. they are children. they are orphans. and it is very important -- i was glad to see that this was affirmed again and again by the g-20 -- that we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence. and somehow start equating the
issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism. in europe, i think people like chancellor merkel have taken a very courageous stance in saying it is our moral obligation as fellow human beings to help people who are in such vulnerable situations. and i know that it is putting enormous strains on the resources of the people of europe. nobody's been carrying a bigger burden than the people here in turkey with 2 1/2 million refugees and the people of jordan and lebanon who are also admitting refugees. the fact that they've kept their borders open to these refugees is a signal of their belief in a common humanity. and so we have to, each of us,
do our part. and the united states has to step up and do its part. and when i hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the christians but not the muslims. when i hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person is fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted? when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution? that's shameful. that's not american. that's not who we are. we don't have religious tests to
our compassion. when pope francis came to visit the united states and gave a speech before congress, he didn't just speak about christians who were being persecuted. he didn't call on catholic parishes just to admit those who were of the same religious faith. he said protect people who are vulnerable. so i think it is very important for us right now, particularly those who are in leadership, particularly those who have a platform and can be heard, not to fall into that trap, not to feed that dark impulse inside of us. i had a lot of disagreements with george w. bush on policy, but i was very proud after 9/11 when he was adamant and clear
about the fact that this is not a war on islam. and the notion that some of those who have taken on leadership in his party would ignore all of that, that's not who we are. on this, they should follow his example. it was the right one. it was the right impulse. it's our better impulse. and whether are european or american, the values that we are defending, the values that we're fighting against isil for, are precisely that we don't discriminate against people because of their faith. we don't kill people because
they're different than us. that's what separates us from them. and we don't feed that kind of notion that somehow christians and muslims are at war. and if we want to be successful defeating isil, that's a good place to start, by not promoting that kind of ideology, that kind of attitude. in the same way that the muslim community has an obligation not to in any way excuse anti-western or anti-christian sentiment, we have the same obligation as christians. and we are -- it is good to remember that the united states does not have a religious test and we are a nation of many peoples of different faiths, which means that we show compassion to everybody. those are the universal values we stand for.
that's what my administration intends to stand for. all right? thank you very much, everybody. >> president obama at the g-20 summit in turkey. brian williams here with you from it msnbc headquarters in new york. that last remark, a defense of the values, the president said isis is fighting against. without delay, however, as the president goes off to manila in the philippines, let's go to nbc's bill neely who is in the place derepublique in paris. >> reporter: brian, from the high rhetoric of the president to the nitty-gritty on the ground here, france is striking back, both abroad and in syria and here at home. an extraordinary series of raids
overnight carried out by french police. i can't remember the last time we saw 168 raids in one 24-hour period. 23 people arrested. 104 others being questioned. we're told that they were targeted on known jihadists or supporters of isis. 31 guns were seized. and a rocket propelled grenade launcher. so quite significant there. police have also named the person that they believe is the mastermind behind the paris massacres. a man called abdel hamid abboud, he is belgium. he lived in a brussels suburb which is being linked to so many of these jihadis. it is believed he went to syria last year and it is thought he was one of isis' chief executioners. there is a clear line being drawn between the people who caused mayhem on the streets here in paris and syria. most people making a clear link
that they were either under orders from syria or indeed had themselves being trained in syria. a lot of the eyewitness testimony speaks of young men who went through the restaurants and theaters very calmly firing, then reloading as if they had been militarily trained. of course, a manhunt is still under way for other accomplices. one has been named. many have not been named. for example, it is thought that somebody professional made the suicide belts which were identical and very professional made. there was a bombmaker that the french police are hunting as well. and also here in paris, there is a very somber, almost frightened air because this morning the french prime minister said that we have to be prepared for more attacks. more attacks, he said, are being planned on france from syria and within europe. so french people heave really
braced really for the possibility of more. i've just come from the site of one of the massacres where almost spontaneously people broke out singing the french national anthem. there is an air of defiance here. you saw that last night in the overnight raids. 12 french warplanes attacking the isis stronghold of raqqa. in one sense you have to wonder how effective that was. was that a symbolic raid? simply saying we can do this to you? because a lot of people here are wondering how exactly does that stop attacks on the streets of paris. and interestingly, brian, right at the beginning the president seemed to hint that the military relationship between france and the united states may have changed, not much, but slightly. he said right at the start, "we will give more information on threats, more intelligence, more quickly and more often." and indeed, u.s. forces were involved in those french raids on raqqa last night. so there is a sense here that a lot has changed, a sense not
just in the way of life of parisians but also the relationship between france and the united states militarily may have shifted just a little. but this is an anxious city, especially after the warnings from the french prime minister this morning. expect more. you simply have to live with this threat now. >> bill, let's talk about that anxiousness. because i guess it was just after midnight your time last night that it resulted in kind of a spontaneous stampede. no one could blame the people. it seems someone set off firecrackers on a side street. that was mistaken for gunfire. and people just simultaneously started running through the streets. this now well known videotape of people running through those candle and flowers memorials in front of the restaurant. is that kind of nervousness still palpable behind you there?
>> reporter: yes. and it happened right here in the plays de la republique, a place where a million people gathered in january after the "charlie hebdo" attacks. there is a mixture, brian, of nervousness, but at the same time people are out cheering. again, you can hear in the background sometimes people breaking flu the french national anthem. there is a sense that they want to show isis that they will not be defeated. one woman said to me yesterday i was shocked, and then i was sad, and i hope in a few hours' time i will get angry because we need to be angry against isis. but at the same time, just a few hours ago i talk to some muslim leaders here and they had a message for isis. they said, you thought you could divide us. you will not divide us. you have only brought us closer together. so there is this curious
dichotomy between people who are aware that maybe something has changed in this city, maybe something has changed in their lives forever. but yet athey will defend their way of life and the values of this society until the end and determined that isis on these streets will not win. >> bill neely, place de la republique in paris, we'll be relying on you for more reporting throughout the day obviously. and while president obama was speaking at the g-20 summit and taking questions from the traveling press corps, something quite historic was taking place in paris. president francois hollande became just the third french president to address a joint meeting of parliament. it is still going on. we want to play you part of what he said translated into english. >> translator: france is at war.
the acts committed last friday in paris and near the national stadium are acts of war. they made at least 129 casualties and many wounded. they constitute an aggression against our country, against our values, our youth, against our lifestyle. >> the translated words of the president of france. again, remarks and address still going on. if you were watching our coverage friday night after the initial word of these terrorist incidents, you saw laura hyme, of the french television news channel. she covers the white house in the united states for them. she is back with us now. laura, i guess there is no way to overstate the moment this -- that this address to a full if
you session of parliament represents. >> you're absolutely right, brian. it is an historical moment. it is in the cattle of versailles. the first time which -- in which we have a session like that. it was in 1875. then nicolas sarkozy, the former president, did it a few years. now it is francois hollande. it is not like in the united states where each year you have the president addressing in the state of the union. the parliament, this is completely historical, unique. and the president wanted to do th that, as the french constitution is giving him the power to show unity and to press for unity in this wounded nation. >> laura, i think the president's words, repeated today, that this is war, have taken a while to filter through the world.
and various countries have received those words differently. what do you think the french people -- how do you think they will define war in this case? >> by living normally. and that's what is interesting. i know that your reporters are going on the ground in paris and discovering a very wounded city. but all the people i spoke with are telling me tomorrow we're going to go to the couafes, we' going to have a drink on the tear ra te terrace. we don't want to change our way of living. that's one hand. on the other hand, you have a very, very deep problem coming up, how does france respond to the refugee situation. how france is going to respond to those french people who committed act of terror. i would like to comment that
among the terrorists, we know that four people were french. they were born in france, they were raised in france. they had french passport and it is a very difficult moment for the french society about what's next. definitely something has changed. there's a generation which is completely traumatized. most of the people who died on friday were young people. they were 30 years old, 31 years old, 25 years old. and this is now what we called in france generation bataclan, the name of the theater where the suicide bombers arrived and opened fire on the crowd of young people. >> laura, parliament is standing, along with the president. let's turn up the sound and listen in. ♪ ♪
♪ ♪ >> well, laura, that was quite a powerful moment. >> extremely moving. that shows the unity of the tradition of standing up against terrorism. that's extremely moving especially when you know what's happening with the french president, hollande. he was very weak until now. he was extremely criticized. and it was an historical moment. watching that i was thinking
that it was like probably witnessing something which could have happened in after the french revolution or after the french civil war. it is an historical moment inside the french nation. >> laura haim in france who lives here in the united states, covers our white house. lau laura, thank you. continue thanks for your reporting. let's bring in our chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell. andrea, an eventful day here already. an eventful day at the g-20. let's start there. you were watching and listening to the president's comments. the president's remarks, and then his answers to questions. what stood out? >> what stood out is first of all that he's not going to change the strategy. he said they would intensify the strategy but he is resisting any suggestion about ground forces. he said that they would intensify. the current military strategy which is air strikes.
he described is as a training and equipping the iraqis and standing up syrian partners. but we know that both the training and equipping of the iraqi has not worked. so far the iraqis, other than the peshmergas, have fled any engagement they've been involved with. and the syrians have only been a handful. five or six people for all of the money that's been spent. they have so far not trained syrians on ground or gotten syrian allies on ground. so there has been a lot of criticism of that military strategy. he was very defensive in his tone. he reacted to the political criticism. he reacted to a lot of the others saying that they need to do more. and he defended the intelligence gathering. he defended saying that once a month they meet and go through the entire threat nexus and said that there has been vigilant, robust and constant vigilance on intelligence side. and if i may just suggest that only an hour and a half to two
hoursbrennan, the head of the cia, one of his closest counterterrorism advisors going back to his white house days as the top counterterror advisor, brennan was suggesting that they do now have to go back to basics and see what they may have overlooked. i think we have that queued up. >> i certainly would not consider it a one-off event. it is clear to me that isil has an external agenda that they are determined to carry out these types of attacks. this is not something that was done in a matter of days. i would anticipate that this is not the only operation that isil has in the pipeline. >> and so he's acknowledging now something that the u.s. has been very reluctant to acknowledge, that isil has external capabilities and operations similar to what we knew in the '90s and tragically in 2001 from al qaeda. this is not something that we
had anticipated before. we were always told that if isis did something in the united states, it was through a lone wolf. it was not the way al qaeda or al qaeda in the arabian peninsula based in yemen have operated. but this is a new game. >> of course, there was much made over the weekend that the president had just said isis was contained. >> exa ktly. >> that was kind of streamlined yesterday flu he meant geographically. but there's no way this jumps over any definition of contained. >> they say that he meant contained or constrained within iraq and syria being rolled back geographically. but that if you look really at what he said, that doesn't seem to be what he said. when he talked about containment. i was noting that in his opening statement today he went back to his original configuration, the language that he had used over the last couple of years, which was to degrade and ultimately
destroy isis. he's taking note, his advisors are taking note of the criticisms of talking about containment. also, interesting that in saying that he was so defensive, he's saying, well, if they had advisors, my political critics, if they have advisors with a better option, come tell us. but what he's saying is that we have considered all of those things, that they can't answer the follow-up questions and that we've looked at, for instance, the no-fly zone, something that hillary clinton has joined in remming and that that would not work because isis or isil or whatever you want to call it is on the ground. they're operating on the ground. they're not operating in the air. well, when saying that they're on ground, of course we haven't figured out all of their capabilities and all of their anti-aircraft capabilities. we don't know really what kind of weaponry they have captured. what has been acknowledged after paris and what you were talking about friday night when you and i were on together is that this
is a known game. isis is now able to operate overseas in a way that they have never previously acknowledged and that means we don't know what we don't know regarding how safe the homeland is. >> andrea, we also don't know what war will look like depending on all these member countries. the president of france has said several times now since the initial attacks we are at war. our french colleague laura haim just said for a lot of french men and women, for a lot of parisians with be that will mean going on about their lives. >> what we've seen, remarkably -- you could predict the french reaction. the french people. the way they responded. the way they were in the streets. singing. the musical moments. prayerful moments all weekend. that said, what hollande also said today is that we have to consider amending the french constitution. i'm not sure exactly what that
means. but he may be speaking about more surveillance. there has been more surveillance since "charlie hebdo," less privacy in france. what more does he mean in terms of surveillance and going through internet and trying to find those dark places where these isis collaborators are operating? i was intrigued by walter isaacson this morning on msnbc saying that we have to deal with the dark places that silicon valley is not willing to acknowledge, that they in fact are providing safe haven online for these conspirators. >> half a minute past the top of the hour. here we are at 11:00 a.m. east coast time. we have just heard in the past hour from the president of the united states and the president of france. geographically separated. president obama is at a previouslych