tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC November 18, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PST
welcome back to msnbc. 4:00 on the east coast as we continue to watch this developing story out of france this morning. this is a look at the suburb of saint-denis north of paris. and a much quieter scene at this point than it was at 4:30 this morning when police began conducting raids in an area in saint-denis. again, it was about 4:20 this morning. the likely target of those raids, a man named abdelhamid abboud, the alleged mastermind of the paris attacks on friday night. again, 4:20 this morning, it was very dark. and in this neighborhood, people started hearing intense gunfire. take a listen to what that sounded like. [ gunfire ]
intense gunfire and then explosions in later hours could be heard in saint-denis. the results of which now are two suspects are dead. five people have been arrested. at three police officers or authorities have been injured in this. and again, the likely target of the raids, abdel hamid abaaoud. it's unclear whether or not he was inside that apartment and if, in fact, he was whether or not he's dead or alive. we do know that one woman who was inside that apartment blew herself up with a belt that she was wearing before authorities
were able to get to her. so these details still unfolding at this point. we went 20 minutes south to the center of paris which is where we find chris jansing who's been there for hours now listening to a little bit of what it was like for people in that area and their reactions to hearing this gunfire erupting in the darkness of night. good morning, chris. >> reporter: good morning. we've been tracking this, as you said, for hours now. and you can just imagine the horror of the scene just a short distance away from that stadium where suicide bombers blew themselves up on friday. so a city already on edge, a city already the target of terror, and then in the dark of fight, they start to hear this intense gunfire. this was an enormous police operation, moving in, heavily armed police. and by some accounts, a long period of sustained gunfire and then that explosion right at 4:20, right at the beginning of the operation, according to the
paris prosecutoprosecutor, the w herself up. and then that sustained period of back-and-forth. at one point while we were on the air, we then heard six to seven explosions that literally rocked the cameras that were there. we've heard the reports of people in that neighborhood. one woman who was holed up with neighbors in her apartment describing how terrified she was, how they didn't know what was going on. there was a large evacuation. they moved people out of that area to the center of town where they have essentially a shelter set up in the town hall because there was concern how many explosives might there be? could people in that building be in danger? we heard from one of the reporters there, was it possible that there was enough explosives -- were there enough explosives in that apartment that it could take the entire building down? so they cleared out that neighborhood. they've cut off transportation into and out of saint-denis.
schools are closed today. and so this is a city that is still very much the scene of an active -- not only an active investigation but there is active danger out there. one of the other outstanding questions. and as we hear the sirens in the background, as we have often heard this morning, could there be any other apartments that might be wired? they're going to be very careful in going in here. i think it's also significant to note what this means for the psyche of france, of parisians and certainly the people of saint-denis who have been so shaken, first with "charlie hebdo," then what happened on friday. and one of the eyewitnesses, one of the people who lived in that neighborhood was spoken to by one of our producers. and he put it this way. he says, "this isn't going to stop an attack here, an attack there, maybe today, maybe tomorrow. it's the hatred. it will be there. it's deep inside." and he asked the question, "is
this going to be the new normal for france?" so even as we wait to hear who was inside that building, could it be abaaoud who is the most wanted, the mastermind, someone who is is behind other terror attacks here, also on the mind of the people of france and certainly in the paris region, is this the new normal? is this the situation that they're going to be living with going forward, what changes will they see? certainly those of us who lived in new york city in the days after 9/11 saw immediately the differences and the ongoing security changes at places like federal buildings and the airport. and yesterday when i was over by the bataclan and we were looking at the folks who have been there laying wreaths, laying flowers, lighti lighting candles, in one of the grocery stores nearby in that neighborhood as people were walking in, i saw a security officer who was looking inside of bags.
i doubt that in days and weeks before friday night, you could walk into the local grocery store and have a security officer who asked to see what was inside your purse. but then it's something that they're already seeing here in paris and concern about what this mean going forward. shannon? >> chris, and if we can even just hold the shot that we have right now, just looking at you standing there in the center of paris and this scene right here in saint-denis, the live picture where we can see all of the authorities there standing outside where was a gun battle just a few short hours ago, just an interesting juxtaposition to see the people gathering in downtown paris and then, of course, the aftermath of this incredible gun battle where police, of course, believed they were targeting a man named abdelhamid abaaoud. unclear at this point whether or not he was inside that building, but you can see here as we look at these live pictures, that they are creating a tent there outside of this apartment building which presumably
they're going to start to bring out some things that were perhaps inside the apartment building so they can continue their forensic work here undercorr here so that not everybody can see what's going on. obviously, this is a very sensitive situation as they were -- as they were conducting this raid here. this is a little video, as you see here, of the alleged mastermind, abdelhamid abaaoud. that's the man that they believed powe leshlly had intelligence, was inside that apartment in saint-denis, again, a french suburb north of paris. they had hoped he had been inside. at this point we don't know whether or not he was. we do know that two people were killed, two suspects dead from inside that apartment building. five people arrested. a few of which were inside of that apartment building as well. and three police were injured in that, yet to be seen which people were inside that apartment building. one was a female who was wearing
a suicide belt that exploded very early on around 4:20, 4:30 this morning in saint-denis there inside that apartment building, setting off gunfire exchange and, of course, this raid continued. it looks now at this hour 10:00 saint-denis time there outside of paris, france, that they are beginning to do some forensic work, that they are setting up a little bit of recovery after this raid went down for hours and hours in the early morning hours. and i want now, if i can, to bring in ben plesser who travels with richard engel. you all have been to different ends of the earth. and i wonder if you can give us a little bit of an idea here of being there in france and how different this was to see something like this go down outside of paris. >> yes, you're right. we spend a lot of our time in the middle east and other sort
of war-torn countries. one of the things that is surprising about this year is that the wars of the middle east have kind of landed in paris, for the second time. earlier this year, we were here for the "charlie hebdo" attacks, and now we're here again. and as we stand here in this neighborhood, we were walking around while the raid was going on, talking to people, to the neighbors who had come out to see this. and the truth is, the more popular spoken language was arabic. we did several of our interviews in arabic which richard engel speaks fluently because that was the language people here were more comfortable with. it really feels like a little island of the middle east just north of paris. which is kind of the character of this neighborhood. and as we're learning the identities of the people who were involved in this attack, it appears very much that neighborhoods just like this one have once again given birth to a
generation of disgruntled young men who were radicalized. >> did you get the sense at all, ben, walking around there and talking to people in the area that they were completely shocked by this? or did some of them have a sense that, well, this is an area where something like this could happen, if at all? >> you know, you hit it right on the head. there was the feeling of this is how it is. this is how things are now. in neighborhoods like this, you can see sort of outward signs of more sort of religious leanings. france used to be a country that prided itself on kind of keeping religious appearances out of the public domain. and there's certainly been a shift here towards more kind of
fundamentalist approaches to islam. and it was in that group, there's obviously a tiny minority, but this is a minority that many people know about. and yes, the witnesses we spoke to were not -- they were terrified. they were not expecting to find themselves waking up to a war zone outside their door this morning. but they weren't totally surprised by the ties between this neighborhood and back in paris. >> the pictures that we're looking at right now, ben, are quite calm, i imagine, to what you all saw. i understand that you have some video that you and your team shot a little earlier that was a little more intense. >> yeah, this was -- we were just standing, watching the operations seemingly wind down. the cops relaxed in their posture a little bit. and then all of a sudden out of the blue, these four police officers in full riot gear, guns
drawn, came out just past us. we followed them. and they were searching from car to car, from street to street in a very aggressive pose. they were clearly searching for something, and they were searching for it very, very aggressively. whatever it was that they were looking for, because they did not find it, and the situation wound down. but it very much is the feeling here that while things have calmed down, there's still a lot of tension in the air. we're also hearing now conflicting reports about just how final this sort of end of this operation is. there are some reports suggesting that there are still one person outstanding, if you will, that they're still searching for in this neighborhood. >> certainly the video that you were just showing us would suggest that perhaps they believed that somebody either got out of the building or managed to escape because they certainly looked like he were this aggressively hunting somebody there and obviously are
moving away from the building. >> that is exactly right. you know, one thing that we definitely found out through this operation, whether or not they found the man that they were looking for, the so-called mastermind of this operation, one thick that is very interesting is that we all assumed that he was in syria. that if he was running this operation, he was doing that from syria because we know for a fact that he was there. he was filmed in an isis propaganda film inside syria and appeared in isis' propaganda magazine from inside syria. the fact that they're looking for him here, whether they found him or not, means that the french authorities now believe that he is back in this country, which means that a very well known, very public member of isis has managed to, in the opinion of french authorities, smuggled himself back into this country, and that's going to
cause a huge amount of concern. >> and i don't know how close you are to where that apartment is right now or what your vantage point is, but it looked like they started to sort of cordon off the area and cover up a little bit outside of the front of the building. can you get a sense as to what they might be doing right now outside? >> yes, this is a pattern that we've seen in all the scenes of the attacks in paris. yesterday we saw for the first time outside the theater where the rock concert was held, they immediately put up a tarp, and they hide all the forensic work behind that. the french legal system is quite strict about not allowing any information about an ongoing investigation to be released that could undermine the investigation. and also, this police cordon which was extremely strict. i would assume that it is
designed for two reasons. one was to stop would-be assistants from warning the targets of the movements of the police. so they kept everyone well away so that they wouldn't have a vantage point and be able to see and call in, the police are coming and this is the direction they're coming from. but i think the other reason is probably that they wanted to make sure that right now we would be far away enough that we would not violate the rules in terms of this investigation and that the media, the people, the neighbors, would not glean any useful information about what the police is doing, where the investigation is headed from the forensic evidence that they're getting. >> i wonder, ben -- i know you mentioned that richard engel was speaking in arabic to some of the people that live in the area there because that is a predominant language. i wonder if any of them mentioned that some of the authorities were trying to get
information from them and trying to glean information that might be useful to authorities to the people surrounding there, or whether they were just trying to evacuate people for their safety? >> right. at least this morning, there was absolutely no intelligence gathering that we could see. it was a very aggressive operation. it was conducted by an elite unit of the french police very much like our s.w.a.t. team. they came in clad in their protective gear, and they came in meaning business. they were not interviewing the neighbors. they were dragging them out where they felt the need to evacuate them, and they were searching each and every one of them just in case. this was not an investigation. this was a raid. >> i see. >> and also interesting to point out, we're now seeing slightly off the area that the live camera is pointing to what
appear to be troops out in military uniforms out on the street. all they're doing is holding the cordon. they're not in any way involved directly in the operation. but it is a jarring sight to see armed troops on the streets of a quiet town in france. >> i'm sure many of the citizens feel the same way as you do. ben plesser, nbc news producer travels with richard engel, we appreciate you being on the phone with us and giving us all that information. again, just to reiterate, for those of you who are just joining us at this hour, police raids starting at about 4:20 saint-denis, paris, france, time this morning being carried out in that suburb. it's a french suburb just north of paris. police believed they were targeting a man named abdelhamid abaaoud, the alleged mastermind. he was the likely target of this
raid. at this point we are still waiting to find out whether or not he was actually inside that apartment building. we do know that two people were killed, two. ises, one at her own hand. a woman was a suicide am boer. she blew up her belt. another person inside that building was killed by authorities. five people arrested. three police officers and authorities at this point we know were injured in these raids. and it appears at this hour that they have calmed down there and are now into the forensic stage here. of course, a very fluid situation in saint-denis in france. and we're going to continue to follow this for you. but for the moment, we're going to take a quick break here on msnbc.
we give you relief from your cold & flu. you give them a case of the giggles. tylenol® cold helps relieve your worst cold & flu symptoms... you can give them everything you've got. tylenol® welcome back to msnbc. we continue to follow this developing news out of france at this point. police there carrying out raids starting at about 4:20 this morning in the northern suburb of saint-denis. it's about 20 minutes north of paris. they started raids there under the cover of dark there about 4:20. looking for a man named abdelhamid abaaoud, the alleged mastermind of the paris attacks on friday night. this is a look at him right here.
he's a belgian-born 27-year-old man. already been on the radar of authorities. he reportedly joined isis after traveling to syria in 2014, was involved in multiple prior incidents and has somehow been eluding authorities for quite some time. and this is a man who even his own family had disowned him. they had celebrated when they thought that he was dead. of course, he's not. and now this is the man who was being targete in a raid here in saint-denis, france. now, at this point, it's unclear whether or not he was inside the apartment. we do know that two suspects who were inside that apartment are dead. one of them, a female suicide bomber. she was wearing a belt which exploded shortly after the raids began in the early-morning hours there. the other person was killed by authorities. so those two suspects are dead. five other people are in custody. at this point, we're getting a live look here in saint-denis. this is hours after the raids had begun.
10:24 local time there. and you see a lot of activity here with the authorities coming out of that building. they set up that white tent there not too long ago. and you can see they're sort of lined up there, blocking what looks like perhaps is the entrance to that apartment building. but again, you can see a flood of folks coming this way towards the cameras. unclear at this point, again, whether or not abdelhamid abaaoud was, in fact, inside that apartment building. this has been going on for hours here. and we understand that they will, of course, be gathering some forensic material from inside that apartment building. but again, we continue to follow this. and we are waiting to hear a little bit more about who was inside that apartment building. for now, we're going to take a quick break here on msnbc, but stay with us. we'll be right back.
welcome back to msnbc as we continue to follow this breaking news out of france this morning out of a french suburb called saint-denis where police have been carrying out raids since 4:20 local time there. we now know at this point that two suspects are dead after the raid. five people have been arrested. three police officers or authorities have been injured in this. and allegedly the man they were looking for in all this is ab de abdelhamid abaaoud, the mastermind. i want to bring in a veteran
u.s. intelligence officer. malcolm, i'm looking at the time line of this here. and i think back to friday when the attacks happened. and then here we are less than a week later, 300 raids in the past 48 hours. and then early this morning in this northern suburb here, saint-denis, an overnight raid starting at about 4:20 this morning. i'm wondering what kind of intelligence and at what point did they get it? would authorities have to have it before they decided to go into this raid in this suburb here of france? >> well, as you know, they carried out well over 300 raids throughout the city, shaking down leads and hunting for weapons and equipment. and they did. they found over 200-plus weapons including a rocket launcher. so by doing that, that probably gave them some intelligence from people who had suspicions or direct knowledge of where these suspects were. they may also have received tips from the public. but once they got a lead that
they were down in the saint-denis area which is actually very close to the venue that the first two suicide bombings took place at the sports stadium. then they would have brought in national intelligence collection assets combined with law enforcement. that's communications intelligence, special teams. they would have brought in the french national intelligence agency, the dgse, which is their equivalent of the cia, their version of the fbi, the french national police, all have special intelligence collection unit, and they would have put a box around this location until the raid forces, which is their version of the fbi hostage rescue team, would arrive on station, and then they'd observe it with snipers until the direct action team is ready to go. but before they do that, they will want to watch those people. they want to observe their ins and outs, who they're communicating with. and as you saw, we had a suicide bomber in there, and they may
all have been rigged as suicide bombers. so you need to know that before you go in through the door. >> if there was anybody still alive inside this apartment building, what are the chances that they'll be able to get any information out of them at this point? i mean, obviously, there was a woman inside there who was willing to blow herself up rather than be captured here. so what's the likelihood that they're going to get any intelligible information out of that apartment? >> well, they're going to get intelligence out of the physical location and the bodies themselves. people often carry around their cell phone. they carry around physical evidence of notes, tickets, little pieces of pocket litter, as we call it. but whatever they were doing inside there also will tell you what's going on. was it just, as we call it, a bolt hold? that's a place where you just rush off to after your attack, and it's not really groomed out for you. it's not made up for you to stay for a long time. or was it, in fact, their
principal safe house? which means that there could be other weapons, ammunitions, indicators in the logistics pipeline that brought the terrorists and the weapons into paris? or was it the bomb factory which would actually be the gold standard here, the place where they actually built the weapons that they used in the suicide attacks, and that will give a treasure trove. that would be a treasure trove of intelligence. so the french are going to take it very slow, and they're going to go through that place with a fine-tooth comb, and they'll be sharing that with international intelligence agencies because this could occur in other countries or may actually be in planning for other countries as well in other parts of france. >> there was some video that ben plesser who's an nbc news producer who travels with richard engel, he had showed us a little bit earlier of them following some of the police officers who suddenly sort of parted from the apartment there, and then all of a sudden picked up their pace and were very aggressively looking in the area of some cars. and it looks to me like they're obviously looking for somebody
who maybe they either believe got out of the building. anyway, at this point my question is if the man who they thought was inside there, abdelhamid abaaoud was, in fact, inside or perhaps escaped, how big of a deal is it if he is not inside that building and he or someone close to him escaped? >> if he's not inside that building, then we've got a very big problem on our hands. he was the operational commander. also the inspirational commander. he's the guy who probably, when they were back in syria, said, you know, i can run these missions for you. i'll reinfiltrate myself back through europe, through athens, get myself back boo binto belgi. i will be essentially the mini-osama bin laden or the mini-abu zarqawi and start carrying out some acts which will bring down, you know, some real heaton to the french and belgian authorities. and look at some of the missions he carried out this year.
the knife attack on the train which was supposed to have been a machine gun attack which was thwarted by american citizens. attacks inside europe, gun battles in belgium. this man needs to be caught, and he needs -- and to tell you the truth, he probably will not be caught alive. so his neutralization is actually just as good as catching him because he's recalcitrant. he will not communicate with them. it will take a very long time to get any information out of him, if not years for someone who is this deeply involved with isis. >> the live look at st. deaint- right now. obviously a lot more calm when that gun battle was going on. my question to you is if abdelhamid abaaoud was not inside that building and at this point they're gathering information from that building how much is time of the essence here? i know they look like they're at a slower pace right now because there's not a gun battle going
on, but how important is it that they're quick with what they pull out of that building? >> well, it's going to be very, very important. and again, they're going through it systematically. but what you may see -- they're not going to actually physically move these things. there's teams going through there, probably a joint team of the armed forces, the national intelligence service, the french national police organizations. and what they're doing is they're radioing back to a national command post. and that national command post has control of every asset within france right now and probably within the european union with cooperative agents and interpol as well as the united states may actually be in that command post. and they are going to be feeding out raw intelligence as they see it. and they may be counting off the bomb vests, you know, do we have them all accounted for? they may be finding rifles. are they part of the lots that we had before? and this information is going to be broadcast to other police organizations and sub-task forces in an effort to make sure
that if that man's not in there, the national manhunt starts all over again. and then if he is in there, now let's see what intelligence gives us about people who may have supported him in belgium, in france, the netherlands anywhere else so that they can shut down the entire european theater of isis. >> how common is it that an alleged mastermind like that reinfiltrates himself into the area where the attack is going to happen? isn't that a massive risk for him? >> yes, but i actually don't like the use of the term "mastermind," although he may be the operational commander. he came from syria, the city of raqqah. there's an enormous quantity of experience in isis. isis is a conglomeration of al qaeda in iraq, the group that fought the united states for eight years nonstop, helped kill over 4,000 u.s. soldiers, and the former saddam regime loyalist and their commando
force, and they were 40 years running a police state. so they have deep, deep terrorist and intelligence experience against some of the greatest intelligence agencies in the world. and they would have groomed him as well as his ability to live up to their cultic ideology. they would have groomed him to be a battle commander. and he would have gone back to europe, and he would be there to organize cells and actually take part in these missions. they revel in taking part in these missions. and that's why they put out the videos of him back in syria, to show that they are men who face the enemy. >> all right. malcolm nance joining us this morning, veteran u.s. intelligence officer giving us some interesting perspective. again, unclear at this point if abdelhamid abaaoud was, in fact, inside that apartment building. you're looking at a picture -- live picture of saint-denis, france, and suburb north of
paris where, again, french special forces did conduct this raid. two people are dead. one female suicide bomber who detonated her vest and another person killed by authorities. five people under arrest and three police have been injured at this point. obviously a developing story. we continue to follow it here. for the moment, though, we're going to take a break. we sent two women into a real guys night out
to see if they could find the guy who uses just for men. it's me. no way. i had no clue. just for men gives you a natural gray-free look in just 5 minutes. it looks really good. great looking hair made easy. just for men. welcome back. we continue to follow a developing story just north of paris where early this morning about 4:20, police there carried out a number of raids on one apartment there. very early on in the raid we learned that a female suicide bomber had exploded her belt, killing herself. and we know at least one other person was also killed by authorities. so we have two people dead after these early-morning raids there. we have five people who are
under arrest and three police officers or authorities who were injured in the process of this. we understand that the target, the alleged target of these raids was a man named abdelhamid abaaoud, the alleged mastermind of the paris attacks which happened, of course, on friday, killing 129 people and injuring hundreds more. these raids, again, starting at about 4:20 local time there in saint-denis. this is about 20 minutes away from paris. it was very, very dark. and for people in this neighborhood, this is what it sounded and looked like. [ gunfire ]
there you hear it, the gunfire, sustained gunfire, starting at about 4:20 local time there. we're joined now by ben plesser, an nbc news producer who travels with richard engel. and ben, i understand you were on scene there as this all was going down. give us a little bit of an idea of the surroundings there and what was happening. >> yes, we arrived at this [ inaudible ] and there was gunfire kind of echoing throughout the apartment. police by this point [ inaudible ] very aggressively.
>> all right. obviously we're having -- ben, if you can hear me, we're having a little bit of trouble with your signal there. and it's not a great signal. we're going to try to get it fixed and see if we can get ben back on the phone with a better sfal. b signal. you're looking at live pictures of saint-denis outside of the apartment building where police had conducted these early-morning raids. it all started at about 4:20 this morning. the alleged target was a man named abdelhamid abaaoud, the alleged mastermind of the attacks from friday. this is a guy authorities had been searching for since friday, and they believed was potentially inside this apartment building in saint-denis, france. this is just a hop, skip and a juch jump away from the stade de france where the france/germany soccer game was going on on friday night when those attacks began. so not too far from that area,
carrying out these raids. again, two people killed in the raids. one, a female suicide bomber who exploded a belt that she was wearing and the identity of the other person is unknown at this point. we're waiting for the developing news here to find out whether or not abdelhamid abaaoud was, in fact, inside that apartment building. that would be a massive get for them, of course, if he was because they do believe he coordinated these attacks which went down on friday, killing 129 people. i believe we have ben back now at this point. ben, are you with me? >> i am. apologies. >> no worries at all. take us through early this morning that incredible gunfire. >> yes, we pulled into town. we drove in from paris in a hurry when we heard about the raid. when we arrived, there was still pretty heavy gunfire echoing off the buildings in this neighborhood. the police, by that point, had established a pretty wide cordon around the area they were operating in, and they were very
aggressively keeping that cordon safe. when we approached, they were shining powerful flashlights into our vehicle and then into our faces and screaming "get away! get away!" they had their guns drawn. they were very obviously very much on edge. the situation was clearly still very fluid, and they were still in the process of figuring out where all the people that they were looking for, all the people that they had encountered in this raid were. now several hours later, their posture has relaxed quite a bit. they're clearly much more comfortable having control of the area, and they're not as aggressive. but the cordon is still up. >> it appears we may have lost ben again. let me tell you about that video we were just seeing. it was actually video that ben and his team shot as they were
there at the scene. here we are. these police officers sort of took a little bit of a detour from the area where they had been performing the raid. and all of a sudden started running and doing a pretty aggressive search by these cars up here. unclear exactly what they were looking for, but certainly by the looks of it they believed that be some was outside of the building that they were doing -- performing the raid on. you know, leaving people to wonder whether or not abdelhamid abaaoud perhaps was not inside that building or one of his associates who they were looking for. we're not sure at this point, but this is video that ben plesser and his team got earlier this morning in saint-denis where those raids were taking place. again, just to recap here, two suspects dead after these early-morning raids in the suburb of saint-denis. that's about 20 minutes north of paris. and again, very close to the stade de france where france and germany was playing the soccer game which was interrupted. ben, i understand we have you on once again.
last question for you and then we'll let you go. i know you're very busy there. we're looking at that video where you followed those police officers. at this point are you getting any sense if they're still searching for someone or have they now gathered in to the evidence? >> i think they're settled in, but this has been an incredibly dynamic situation. it is obvious that each one of these raids -- and there was an incredible number of raids, yields, new tips, and then they follow them. some of them obviously, in this situation, where the police officers came chasing down, guns drawn, searching through the street. some of them are immediate. others are more sort of long term. there have been so many of these raids and so many people have been gathered up. many of them released. they're going through lists of contacts and suspects, hopping
from one situation to the next. but this raid may very well have yielded -- certainly was targeted at the man they believe is the mastermind who organized this. if they have managed to find him and especially if they manage to find him alive, this may be the beginning of the end of the search -- sort of search and raid part of this operation. >> the sheer number of people that we're looking at right now in these live pictures is just incredible, to get an idea of how many people are involved in a raid like this and the aftermath as well. is there a crowd behind you there people who live in the area looking on here? >> yes, there is, but i have to tell you, it's not as large a crowd as you would expect. i think that residents of this particular neighborhood are not necessarily comfortable standing behind this police line, are not necessarily comfortable coming
into contact. there have been very agressive stop and search operations going on all over paris and the area. i think people are mostly staying home. >> i understand it. okay, ben plesser, nbc news producer traveling with richard engel, we appreciate you joining us. continue to do great work for us. we appreciate it. >> thanks. >> all right. we continue to follow this developing news here on msnbc as it unfolds in saint-denis, paris. stay with us with our continuing coverage.
welcome back to msnbc as we continue to follow this developing story out of france. a live look at saint-denis. this is a french suburb north of paris, about 20 minutes north. 10:55 local time there. and you're looking at the aftermath of what was a police raid that went down in this area. it started at about 4:20 local time. two suspects killed in this. five people arrested. three police officers injured in this. at this point, we're still waiting to see whether or not the intended target of this raid, abdelhamid abaaoud, the alleged mastermind of the paris attacks from friday. we're waiting to find out whether or not he was, in fact, inside that building when the raid went down. we know of the two people who were killed there, one was a
female suicide bomber. she detonated a belt that she was wearing, killing herself. and it set off a flurry of gunfire early this morning. again, two people killed in these raids. but the man they were looking for, abdelhamid abaaoud, belgian-born man, 27 years old, already on the radar of authorities before this. reportedly joined isis after traveling to syria back in 2014, had been involved in a number of very serious prior incidents here and has been eluding authorities for quite some time. he was the man that they intended to target here. but again, at this hour, we do not know whether or not he was inside that apartment building. we'll be waiting for the developments here as we continue our coverage here. 300 raids they've performed in the past 48 hours, culminating with this one which seems to obviously be the most serious. again, two people dead. five people arrested. three police officers injured. and we continue to follow this developing story. stay with us. after the break, chris jansing live in paris with the very
[ gunshots ] breaking news this morning. dramatic raids play out overnight as place exchange gunfire with suspects in the paris terror attacks. right now, at least one person is dead, five arrested, in raids targeting the suspected linchpin, the man at the center of it all. plus two air france jets departing from the u.s. diverted en route to paris after bomb threats are called in. meanwhile, russia steps up attacks on isis headquarters in syria, joining the air campaigns of franc a