tv Way Too Early MSNBC November 20, 2015 2:30am-3:01am PST
early." good morning, friday, november 20th, i'm chris jansing. we are live in paris once again, and we begin with that breaking news from mali. we have learned that a group of gunmen have stormed a hotel in mali's capital city, bamako, taking at least 170 people hostage. it happened at the radisson blu hotel. a spokesperson for the company that owns radisson tells nbc news the hostages include about 140 guests, and about 30 employees. according to the associated press, ten gunmen stormed the hotel, but nbc news has not been able to verify that number. the u.s. embassy in mali has confirmed it is aware of an ongoing, active shooter operation at the radisson hotel. let's bring in nbc news correspondent ayman mohyeldin who is live in brussels. what do we know now? >> well, we're starting to learn a little bit more details about this active shooter situation that has taken place in the malian capital. it's important to emphasize some
of this information is coming from both government officials, as well as the hotel itself. some of it is coming from news agencies. we'll start with what we know officially that is coming from the radisson blu hotel owners. they put up a statement saying at least two persons as they described them, have taken about 170 people hostage inside that hotel. they say about 30 employees, and about 140 foreigners or visitors of the hotel have been taken hostage. we're not yet sure what the nationalities of those hostages inside that hotel are. now, again, we're learning from the united states embassy in mali that they are aware of this active shooter situation. they say 140 people have been taken hostage. that they've confirmed. and they are urging all u.s. citizens in mali to seek shelter, to remain in place. they have not given out any word or confirmation whether americans are inside that hotel. that has not been ruled out. we do know according to the chinese news agency that there are, at least, chinese hostages inside that hotel.
now that is what we know from official sources. what we are hearing from news agencies, like reuters, was that gunmen stormed the hotel shortly after 7:00 a.m. local time, firing and taking that building hostage. we're also getting some spishl reports that they're releasing some of the hostages, perhaps based on the identity of those inside the building. if they are muslims, according to some of these news reports, they are being released. again there's no confirmation from security sources on that. that is coming from credible news agencies like reuters and others inside mali. so it's still a very active situation that is taking place, and right now, security sources have the security services have surrounded the hotel at this point, are closing the entrance roads that lead in and out of that complex. chris? >> and we just got word while you were speaking that there is a presidential source who is saying that there are french citizens inside that hotel. and there is a french connection to mali, is there not, including a presence of french military?
>> absolutely. there's actually a very robust french presence in mali. a lot of it political and military. mali used to be a french colony, but more recently, the french military was very active in leading the airstrikes that forced out militant groups in the northern part of the country. you may recall that back in 2012, mali carried out the mali military carried out a coup and that led to the split of the country. al qaeda affiliated groups took control of the northern part of the country, and that led the french military and the french president francois hollande to lead an air campaign to depose those al qaeda militant groups that have taken place there. the air campaign was also supported by about 1,000 french troops that were on the ground, and there has always been very close ties between mali, and france, both on a diplomatic, cultural, and business level. so, it would not be a surprise to find out that there is a robust presence of french nationals at that hotel, in addition to the military presence that france has kept in mali. chris?
>> give us a little more of a sense of what you know, ayman about the terrorist links there, what groups have operated in that region? >> well in recent years they have been predominantly tuareg, rebel groups in the north of the country, many of them affiliated with al qaeda in the negrib, an affiliate of al qaeda in the western part of africa. they operated in algeria, libya, and in places like mali. in 2012, the president of mali was overthrown in a military coup. now mali has had a history of, if you will, militant struggle in the north, fighting against militant groups, but it all accelerated in 2012, following that military coup. immediately after that military coup, those rebels, with al qaeda affiliates, managed to take control of the northern part of the country, and effectively dividing that country in two.
and that is what led the french government at the time to support a military campaign. now, since that military coup, the government has been reinstated to a democratical transitional government although many believe that the military still controls power, but right now it seems that they have managed to retake control of the north, they still struggle with some of these al qaeda affiliated rebels, but for the most part, since that french military campaign, the northern part of the country has once again been reinstated under the control of the central government in bamako. >> all right. thank you so much, ayman mohyeldin. i was just handed a note from our folks who are at the white house that national security adviser susan rice has briefed the president on the unfolding situation in mali, and, of course, his national security team will continue to keep him apprised. mean time, in the netherlands, authorities are on heightened alert there, in rotterdam. police have detained three people near a parked car with
belgian license plates. the police say the car gave officers reason to further investigate, although they're not saying exactly why this was treated as suspicious or saying anything about the identities of the three people. also this morning, french prosecutors say a third body has been recovered at the scene of the apartment where wednesday's raid happened. and we are learning more about the suicide bomber who blew herself up in wednesday morning's raid. the first woman suicide bomber affiliated with isis, the first in europe. there are reports this morning that french prosecutors say they found a passport belonging to hasna ack bull'sen at the scene. the mayor tells nbc she was born in a northwestern suburb of paris in 1989 after her family moved to the region in the '70s. photos obtained by dailymail.com depict her as a modern young woman taking selfies and another one of her in a bubble bath wearing a necklace.
her brother said she had no interest in religion, never read the koran and only started wearing the muslim vail a month ago. her father is in morocco but his home in france was raided yesterday and french police brought in her mother and brother for more questioning. and more details are emerging about abdelhamid abaaoud who also died in wednesday's raid. until identifying him yesterday authorities had lost track of him since january 15th, shortly after the "charlie hebdo" massacre. "the new york times" reports this morning, he began planning a series of attacks eleven months ago. according to french officials they thwarted at least four of six plots he was involved in. while we also have new reporting on the counterassault in paris at the bataclan theater. that's the night where terrorists killed 89 people there and wounded dozens more. nbc's lester holt spoke with the french police officer who led the raid. >> we discover, like a hell on earth. and in more than maybe 7,000, 8,000 people were laying on the
floor. >> 700, 800? >> yeah. laying on the floor. tons of blood everywhere. nobody was screaming. >> this is the first thing that went through the door? >> exactly. >> and it's pretty obvious what happened. >> yeah. as soon as we opened the door, the terrorists, one of the terrorists shot like between 25 to 30 rounds of ak-47 bullet. so 7.62 caliber. >> that's it. these are the bullet holes? >> exactly. immediately we've got a guy in the middle of the group get hit in the hand, so he fell down, because of the -- the pain. we found the two terrorists, it was like a dead end for them. and the first one blew himself with the explosive jacket. the second one tried to do the same but he get shot by the first officers. >> they were both wearing suicide vests? >> exactly. >> and one of them went off? >> yeah, there was blood everywhere. >> lester hold was one of the leaders of the raid at the bataclan. meanwhile u.s. and coalition
military forces are continuing their attacks against isis. militants in iraq and syria. the department of defense reported eight more strikes in syria, 19 more strikes in iraq yesterday. this week air strikes have been targeting isis oil production. that is a main source of revenue for the terror group. according to the pentagon, the military dropped leaflets warning truck drivers to abandon their rigs before they were destroyed. russia's defense ministry claims their air force has been targeting isis oil refining assets, as well. well, defying a veto threat from president obama, the house of representatives yesterday passed legislation that would drastically tighten screening protocols for syrian and iraqi refugees entering the u.s. 47 democrats joined the vast majority of republicans supporting the bill. it passed by a vote of 289 to 137. giving it the two-thirds support needed to override a presidential veto. >> our law enforcement and intelligence community cannot verify that each and every person coming here is not a security threat, then they
shouldn't be allowed in. right now, the government can't certify these standards. so this plan pauses the program. when we have indications that some of the paris bombers, one at least, may have come through the refugee routes, don't you think that common sense dictates that we should take a pause and get this right? >> so let me give you a sense of the mechanics of the bill. it requires the heads of the fbi, the department of homeland security, national intelligence, personally to certify that each person admitted is not a threat. a requirement the white house has called untenable. and here's what president obama told reporters about the refugee issue earlier yesterday in the philippines. >> you subject them to process that takes anywhere from 18 to 24 months, before they are admitted. and, the -- the -- the idea that somehow they pose a more
significant threat than all the tourists who pour in to the united states every single day, just doesn't jive with reality. that's not what our law enforcement thinks. that's not what anybody who's looked at this problem thinks. >> the senate is expected to take up the bill after the thanksgiving recess. we continue to follow that breaking news from mali. at least 170 people being held hostage right now by gunmen who stormed the radisson hotel in that country's capital this morning. the u.s. embassy staff has been asked to shelter in place for the time being. we will keep tracking this story and bring you the latest when "way too early" comes right back.
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according to a hotel spokesperson the hostages include about 140 guests, and 30 employees. the u.s. embassy there has confirmed an active shooter situation and has asked embassy staff, as well as all u.s. citizens, to shelter in place. now right now there's no official connection to any known terror group but we do know that france has been leading the fight against islamic extremism in mali. even killing an al qaeda commander back in july. again at least 170 hostages seized by gunmen at the u.s.-owned radisson hotel in mali. and we will continue to follow this story. an american teenager was among five people killed in a pair of attacks by palestinians in the west bank and tel aviv yesterday. 18-year-old student ezra schwartz of massachusetts was in israel during a gap year between high school and college. israeli police say schwartz and two others were killed in the second attack of the day when a palestinian man used a machine gun to fire on other vehicles from his car, before it collided
with another vehicle on the west bank. the first attack happened in a commercial area of tel aviv, where officials say a palestinian with a permit to enter israel from the west bank stabbed three israelis, killing two of them. both assailants were taken into custody. it is another rainy day here in paris, in fact it's supposed to get quite stormy come the afternoon. for a check on your weather, let's go to nbc meteorologist bill karins. >> ugly weather there in paris. >> no -- it's ugly. >> yeah, looks kind of chilly, too. we just dealt with that yesterday in areas of the east. we still have a little bit of rain left over. boston you're almost done. another half hour, it's going to rain hard up in maine. up along the coast definitely a rainy morning for you. but the story of the next 24 to 36 hours the first snowstorm of the fall season for the midwest. already snow breaking out here throughout nebraska, and portions of south dakota from valentine and now this is quickly starting to move into iowa. so how much snow are we going to get? in the next 48 hours here's our snowfall map and the highest totals are right across the
northern half of iowa, right in to northern portions of illinois, southern wisconsin from chicago to milwaukee somewhere in that jackpot is a chance of a foot of snow. that's impressive. these are the first snowflakes some of you are seeing this season. so for the chicago area grand rapids, this will be an accumulating snowfall. especially late tonight, then you'll wake up to that snow saturday morning, kids will play, and a lot of the adults will have to go out there and do some shoveling and cleanup. des moines, three to six inches. chicago three to six. right along the lake shore maybe a little bit less. milwaukee six to nine inches also. the forecast, the southern half of the country looks great and we're not going to have any problems at all even towards saturday and sunday much of the nation is going to be looking fantastic out there, chris. so chicago, the kids will be playing with their sleds and making snowmen come saturday afternoon. >> well, one of our intrepid producers says parts of france are expecting snow this weekend, as well. so it's that time of year. >> it is. >> thank you so much, bill. still ahead, we will have the latest on the breaking news from mali. gunmen storming a radisson in
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we are back live in paris, continuing to follow breaking news out of mali where gunmen have stormed a hotel, taking 170 people hostage. let's bring in nbc news correspondent ayman mohyeldin who is live in brussels for us. we're getting a translation on something that just came out of the office of the president of mali. but in the mean time, what have you been able to find out? set the scene for us.
>> well, we're getting a little bit more information from some countries who have foreign nationals inside of mali. some of whom were at that hotel. it's important to emphasize this is coming from official state-owned media both in turkey and in china who both have confirmed that they have foreign nationals at that hotel. as we're reporting earlier, we have confirmation from both the radisson hotel saying that at least two persons, believed to be much more according to security sources, but according to the radisson statement, at least two persons managed to take hostage about 170 people inside that hotel, including 30 employees, and about 140 visitors of that hotel, if you will. we also know from the u.s. embassy that they are aware of the active situation, active shooter situation as they described it. they have not confirmed whether any americans are among those hostages, or whether or not all americans in mali are accounted for. they are urging american citizens to seek shelter in place as of now.
we understand, according to the reuters news agency, who were able to speak to some of the eyewitnesses at the scene, that the malian security forces have surrounded the hotel. they've sealed the area in and out of the compound. we also know according to reuters that some of the eyewitnesses they've been able to speak to have said that hostages have been released, based on the identity of some of those that were being held inside. still a very fluid situation right now. but nonetheless, very troubling confirmation that at least 170 hostages have been taken at that hotel, chris. >> and obviously we don't know anything about who these people are who are holding these hostages. but put it into some perspective for us, ayman, the political/security/terror situation in mali. >> that's correct. we don't have any confirmation yet. again there was some anecdotal eyewitness accounts of those gunmen entering the building, expressing or saying islamic
slogans like god is great and others. but still no claim of responsibility. no identification by the hostages if they're affiliated with any known groups or any own militant groups. now, mali as a country has certainly dealt with a growing rebellion for the past several years, particularly in the north of the country. the country itself experienced a military coup back in 2012, and effectively after that military coup rebels, some associated with al qaeda affiliates in the western part of the country, and other rebels, local rebel groups, laumnched a rebellion against that government and managed to break up the northern part and bring it under their control. you may recall al qaeda affiliated groups there going through timbuktu and destroying it. that led to a french military response that led to french airstrikes and the presence of french troops that has managed to bring the northern part of the country back under the control of the central government, chris. >> ayman mohyeldin reporting for us from brussels. thank you. and we have been able to translate the first tweet out of
the office of the president of mali which is just basically confirming the facts that the hotel radisson blu bamako was attacked this morning by armed assailants who took 170 people hostage. there is a second tweet, we are having that translated right now. now, as part of everything that's been going on here in paris, the refugee debate continues to dominate the conversation out on the campaign trail back in the states. at the center of it all, donald trump telling nbc news he would, quote, certainly implement a databasis tell to track muslims in the u.s. >> should there be a databasis tell that tracks muslims here in this country? >> there should be a lot of systems. and today you can do it. but right now we have to have a border. we have to have strength, we have to have a wall and we cannot let what's happening to this country -- >> is that something your white house would like to do? >> oh, i would certainly implement that. absolutely. >> specifically, how do you actually get them registered? >> it would be just good markment. what you have to do is good
management procedures. and we can do that. that's nice. >> do you go to mosques and sign these people up? >> different places. you sign them up at different -- but it's all about management. our country has no management. >> would they have to legally be in this database? >> they have be -- let me just tell you the key is people can come to the country, but they have to come in legally. thank you very much. >> mr. trump, why would muslim databases not be the same thing as requiring jews to register in nazi germany? what would be the difference? is there a difference between the two? is there a difference -- >> who are you with? >> i'm with nbc news. is there a difference between requiring muslims to register and jews. >> you tell me. you tell me. >> do you believe -- >> why don't you tell me. >> do you believe there is? should muslims be, i mean, fearful? will there be consequences if they don't register? >> trump's remarks about a
muslim registry came after a day in which two syrian families were stopped at the border in laredo, texas. the department of homeland security tells nbc news that they were regular migrants who made no attempt to evade authorities. we'll be back -- we'll be back with more -- with "morning joe," especially on that developing hostage situation in mali, right after this. d noise) the indomitable nature of the human spirit. that's what's happening here. because there's something out there something better and bigger than here and with 80 thousand people to help you realize your wildest dreams... we'll get you there. because there is no stop in us. or you. only go. take the zantac it challenge! pill works fast? zantac works in as little as 30 minutes.
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good morning, it's friday, november 20th, and welcome to "morning joe." we've got breaking news this morning, of course, out of mali. in west africa. a group of gunmen have stormed a hotel in mali's capital city, taking at least 170 people hostage. this is unfolding right now, at the radisson blu in central mali. a spokesperson tells nbc news the hostages include about 140 guests, and 30 employees. and according to the associated press, ten gunmen stormed the hotel shouting allah akbar before firing on the guards. the u.s. embassy in mali has confirmed it is aware of an
ongoing active shooter operation in the city. and according to the apa, malian army commander says about 20 hostages have already been released. let's go right now to nbc news correspondent ayman mohyeldin live in brussels. he's, of course, been following the latest developments there very closely. but also the latest developments in mali. obviously, ayman, this has been a war-torn country for some time. a heavy french presence after you had the islamists take over the country in 2013. what can you tell us about the country and why we're seeing another massive terror operation there? >> it's important to emphasize we still don't know the ident y identity. a lot of turmoil over the past several years in 2012 when the