tv Criminal Mindscape MSNBC November 21, 2015 1:00am-2:01am PST
some have chosen to go another route. >> all right, thank you for joining us tonight. appreciate it. that is all in for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts now. >> the remarks not just in sound bites but at length, that was stunning. i just stood in front of the tv watching in disbelief. that was real public service to air that again. thank you, my friend. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. tonight, the u.n. security counsel has passed -- and they will quote combat by all means the terrorists threat posed by isis and do everything to deny them their safe haven in iraq and syria. and russia has made a habit of going their own way, particularly when the word syria
gets mentioned and russia initially proposed their own resolution and they might insist on getting their own resolution pased instead. but in the end, the russians did not put forward their own competing resolution and when this happened tonight, it was a unanimous vote and that is not exactly a best new thing in the world but that sort of international unionimity, that solidarity against terrorism is heartening. after this hell of a week that we have just been through. on friday, of course, it was paris, the death toll has now risen to 130 and on friday, another suicide bombing attack. this one in nigeria killed at
least 42 people in the market place and then another suicide attack, this time a pair of suicide bombers who blew themselves up again at nigeria, this time it was at a market for cell phones and other electronics. that was in a northern nigerian city. and not only were the attackers thought to be female but one is thought to have been 11 years old. so, it will not come as a surprise when i tell you that both that double suicide bombing and the single suicide bombing the previous day, also in nigeria. together they took nearly 50 lives and they're attributed to the terrorist group boko haram.
and just as we're getting news of the double bombing, in what appears to be an 11-year-old suicide bomber. and this report was released from the global terrorism index. the western world realing from the attacks on paris and comparatively speaking, there was zero attention paid to those two suicide bombings that killed all of the people in nigeria and it came out and named as the single deadly terrorist group in the world, not isis but boko haram. they this year have killed more civilians than the taliban, more than al qaeda, more than isis. boko haram has more blood on its hand as terrorist group than any other terrorist group in the world this year and as long as
we're understanding the various allegiance, it should be known that the leaders of boko haram did pledge allegiance to ice. they consider themself to be an african province. and they're deadliest terror group in the world now. and part of what we're trying to disintangle and figure out now is whether we should see boko haram and maybe, therefore, isis, if it's part of isis, should we see them as also responsible for the new fatal attack that happened in the capital city of mali. it started at 7:00 a.m. local time and they were in a car with diplomatic license plates and they were apparently let into the grounds because they had those diplomatic plates and that started a siege that lasted all day long. police and security services did not consider the scene to be clear until late afternoon. the death toll has -- fluctuated
over the course of the day and as best as we can tell right now, what happened today in mali, there were multiple attackers, they were armed with guns and possibly grenades and they held upwards of 100 civilian hostages from many different countries, u.n. workers, all sort of people and in the end, the attackers are all said to have been killed by security services on scene and the death toll for the civilians is thought to be about 20 people at this point. again, i stress those numbers are subject to change as we gelt more confirmed reports out of the capital city of mali after this terrible attack today. mali is a really big country, geographically, it's in west
africa. and mali is known for a lot of things. it's known as a massive producer of gold, particularly in historical terms, and it's a really big gold producer. and in terms of cultural nation, it's been known as an exporter of incredible music and world renowned musicians. they started hosting an international music festival called festival in the desert. if you've ever been to burning man, festival desert puts it to shame. it's one of the most remote international music festivals in the world. they started in 2001. it got bigger and bigger and bigger, all the way through to
the 2011, 2012, that's when this footage was shot for a documentary called "last song before the war." >> during the day you rest, there are games, it's very mellow. you read, you take camel rides in the desert and in the evening it's like the desert comes to life. all of a sudden 2000/3,000 people come from all over and it's just the most a peaceful, happy assembly of people that i have ever experienced in my whole life. the music is incredible. >> and this is footage from a documentary called "last song before the war." about the festival in the desert and at that time it had been happening every year for a decade in mali. and every year, getting more and more international acclaim, and celebrities around the world, you could see bono.
and it turns out that 2012 is in a documentary because 2013 got called off. 2012 is the last one they have held. the festival has not happened since 2012 and go to the material online, they now call themselves, festival in exile. because they can't hold it because mali has just become too dangerous. in january 2012, which is the year of the last festival, january, islamic extremists rebel groups started a lightning take over of the whole northern part of mali, the most famous place in northern mali of timbuktu has been a english metaphor for really far away. and once the islamic rebels in mali took over northern mali, including timbuktu, they did what they like to do when they
get their hands on priceless global treasuries to document the beginning of civilizations and of course they took pick axes to those historic sites. they took it over in january 2012, held it all in 2012 and in january 2013, they decided they were going to take over the whole country and advance on the rest of mali and started marching south, aiming to take over the capital city and at
that point, the french government decided this was their responsibility and that they would intervene to save mali. they would send thousands of french soldiers, ground troops and air power into mali and they would take direct military action to repel those islamic groups and they pushed them back into the desert and they really did reverse what otherwise looks like was going to be a complete take over of that country and they took back timbuktu and they took back all the territory radical groups had been controlling. in terms of geographic control, that french assault in 2013, it works. but it's never that simple. while that successful military campaign was underway, one of these terrorist groups launched a horrific terrorist attack right next door to mali in aljeeria. you probably remember because of
the scale of the attack. the same month the french military assault is happening. what they attacked was a remote, gas processing facility and it was apparently way too lightly protected and full of westerners and other international civilgens who they found were easy to take hostage. >> and now to another big and still developing story tonight, americans citizens among dozens of people taken hostage in algeria and it's right next door to mali where incidentally, french war planes have been bombing for days. and nbc is the only correspondent on the ground. good evening.
>> reporter: bryan, algerian officials say the hostages were taken by heavily armed islamic militants linked to al qaeda and they were responding to the military operation by the french here in mali supported by american cargo aircraft, spy planes. and it's a natural gas facility, and it's located in the remote sahara desert and they approached 3 unmarked vehicles. they took at least 20 and perhaps more than 40 people hostage, at least three americans, 13 norwegians and others from britain, ireland, canada and france, reportedly leading the attack, former al
qaeda leader who had just hours before promised retaliation for french's military action in neighboring mali. >> it's remarkable to look back at that footage knowing that was not the only report that was going to happen on that siege. that was just the start. that was just the first night's report of what ended up being a multiday assault on that gas facility in the middle of the desert. and in the end, they would terrorize 40 of their hostages. and they strapped bomb belts to some of their hostages. so, that's part of what i mean by they terrorized and killed their hostages. and that brings us up to date
with today's attack. you saw in that initial news package, from the first night of the assault, the person believed to be leading this assault was maktar, and he has a face that's hard to forget. you can tell that he's got one eye. he was wounded while fighting in the 1990s in algeria. he's one of the most notorious jihadists in the world and he was credited with the attack on the gas plant as the french were mounting this massive military campaign over the boarder in mali. that was january 2013 and then two months later, he was reported to have been killed. >> moving overseas, still no confirmation reports that a top
al qaeda a commander has been killed in chad. the army says they killed maktar in a. >> the attack on the oil refinery gas plant, january 2013 and in the march, the leader of the attack, the one-eyed guy reported to be dead. they said they killed him in chad. he was not dead. they did not kill him in chad because you fast forward and this past june he was reported to be dead yet again, this time thanks to fighter jets targeting him in libya. >> libya's interim government says he was killed in the attack along with other militants but hes death has not been confirmed. >> so, this one-eyed guy, reported dead in march of 2013, he was not dead.
he was reported dead again this summer, june 2015 and they reported it wasn't a libyan strike, it was two fighter jets who targeted him specifically and they thought they got him. >> apparently he may not have died then either because in the wake of the hotel attack in mali, the french defense minister said the person they believe to have led this attack today is the same guy, mokhtar belmokhtar, who keeps not dying. a guy gave a statement claiming responsibility for the attack. and mokhtar is reportedly the leader of that group and his
group and islamic want joint credit. in terms of what this means for us, there are reports that suggest that his group should be seen as linked to boko haram and since they're linked toize, he is part of isis and today's attack should be seen as a isis-related attack. and so, maybe we should see this as an al qaeda linked group. there are multiple arm chair quarterbacking reports saying that al qaeda and isis are actually desperately at odds, particularly in this part of the world and they would never work together and never have overlapping allegiances in that part of the world. so, pick which it is. he is either associated with isis or al qaeda but not both. that is why we turn to experts in these matters because
ignorance isn't bliss about things like this. the reason we turn to experts in moments like this, to tell us we with we should be skeptical of and we turn to them in terms of understanding the international threat because without understanding who's against oo who and who's with who, how can we reasonably expect they can be targeted and defeated. you can't divide and conquer unless you know who needs to be divided.
imminent threat of an attack in the brussels region and this is just hours after a terrorist attack was launched against a hotel in mali. there has been one claim of responsibility for that attack and it's still unclear who is responsible and whether we should see this latest attack is related to isis, al qaeda, both, or neither. here is former fbi agent and an expert in counterterrorism. thank you for being here. does it matter in a counterterrorism sense? >> absolutely. you have to know who's behind the attack and if it's isis, the situation is very different than al qaeda. in this case, it's an
organization that we've known í for a long time and it's established by mokhtar and he had a big ego, like lot of the characters over there and he worked very closely with al qaeda and he decided to separate. >> he used to be in al qaeda and schismed out of it. >> he decided i'm not getting along with the leaders of the group and established his own group and his own group actually have berber and arabs. usually, the different terrorists groups has its own ethnic mixing or makeup. so, basically, he established his own thing and he wanted to be clear he's still a member of al qaeda.
so, he pledged and said i will always operate under al qaeda's banner and we're going to do it under this more opportune brigade. >> there have been reports that we should see his group as being associated with boko haram. >> that's not true. at the beginning of the civil war in mali, in the beginning of the al qaeda attack in 2013, after the situation in libya, and it became a disaster, a lot of fighters went from libya to mali and this is when the war started in mali. during that time period, boko haram appeared to have working relationships with some of the extremists operating in mali. boko haram, i think last march,
they became members of the islamic state, so-called islamic state.&p however, other groups, those organizations are still operating under al qaeda. >> so, we should see this as an al qaeda affiliated attack? >> this is absolutely al qaeda affiliated attack. and interestingly enough, last month al qaeda said that mokhtar was dead and didn't say how he was killed. maybe he was hit in libya, but it took him a while to die but we can't verify the statement but it said that he was dead and we have to look back and dig the to this statement and see, was it something that mokhtar put out to release pressure on him or was he actually killed? >> was this group so -- did it hinge so much on him as a
personality and a leader that you would expect his group to fall apart, if he was dead? would you expect them to be able to pull off a big attack like this in mali if they had just lost their leader? >> this is not the first time al qaeda conduct. they did something very similar attack in the capital of mali at a luxury hotel and killed lot of people before but now a lot of the attention is because of what happened in france. especially because of the french intervention in mali. is it considered an international attack against france. and al qaeda and its affiliates did not want to be upstaged by isis and what they're doing in paris, so they decided to do some sort of attack and focusing
on local issues. saying, look, we went to this hotel and ask if people are muslims or not before and we didn't want to kill muslims and then we hid them in areas we believe they're targeting muslim lands and this is the differences between how al qaeda versus ice is approaching things. >> i've been reading about it all day trying to make sense of it and you're clearer than anybody on the suject . mr. trump, why would muslim
mr. trump, why would muslim data bases not be the same as requiring jews to register in nazi germany? what would be the difference? is there a difference between the two? >> who? >> i'm with nbc news. is there a difference between requiring muslims to register and jews? >> you tell me. why don't you tell me. >> should muslims be fearful? >> to be clear, we're not setting that to a mournful rolling stone sound track to give a more drama, it was actually playing in the background. and today, this story about mr. trump and this policy proposal didn't go away and in
so, the jaw dropping news in american politics yesterday started with a print interview between a reporter where he appeared to accept an extraordinary idea that was put to him by the reporter and he let us have the audio so we could hear his question and mr. trump's answer. >> france declared this state of
emergency where they closed borders and established some degree of warrantless searches. do you think there's some kind of state of emergency here and do we need warrantless searches of muslims? >> we're going to have to do things we have never done before and some people are going to be upset about it but i think that now everybody is feeling security is going to rule. so, we're going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago. when you look at what's happening. >> in terms of doing this, to pull off the kind of tracking we need, do you think we may need to register muslims in some type of data base? >> we're going to have to look at a lot of things very closely.
we're going to have to look at the mosques. >> so, in that interview, he did not take the opportunity to rule out but sounds like an alarming and very specific proposal to keep a list of people in this country who belong to a particular region. he's asked specifically, do you think we need to register muslims or note their religion on their id ", well we're going to have to look at a lot of things very closely." that seemed like a big deal and when a reporter from nbc news followed up later that day, the story got bigger. >> there should be a lot of systems, beyond data base. we should have a lot of systems and today you can do it but right now we have to have a border, strength, a wall and we cannot let what's hapening to this country -- i would certainly implement that.
absolutely. it would stop people from coming in illegally. it would be good management. you have to do good management procedures and we can do that. >> reporter: do you go to mosques to sign these people up? >> different places but it's all about management. our country has no management. >> reporter: would they have to legally be in the data base? >> the key is people can come to the country but they have to come in legally. >> should there be a data base system to track muslims? >> there should be a lot of systems beyond data bases. how would you do it? sign people up. this is not donald trump saying, no i would not support keeping a list in america. right? or not?
he posted this on twitter. "i didn't suggest a data base, a reporter did. we must defeat islamic terrorism and have a watch list to protect america." so, which is it? i didn't suggest a data base, sounds like he could be against the idea but then says we must have surveillance including a watch list, that kind of says he likes the idea, right. we reached out to trump's campaign to find out what his position is in registering muslims in a data base. we don't try to clairify every one of his positions but this seems like such a provocative possibility, specifically from the republicans frontrunner that we wanted to be clear on his view. we did not hear from the campaign and we want crystal clarity.
quote, what is mr. trump's specific position on the idea of putting muslims in a america into a data base? would he support the idea of having muslims in america carry identification that specifies their religion? let's be clear, we have not heard back from the trump campaign. but trump did call into our friends at the fox news channel to try to shut the door. >> he was responding to that reporter where the suggestion was made and certainly something we should start thinking about but i want a watch list, surveillance programs. obviously, there are a lot of problems, i want a data base for the syrian refugees that obama lets in, as republicans, if we don't stop them and i want a data base for the syrian
refugees that are coming in, because some are messing, at least one is missing already, gone and you look at paris and what's happened all over the place, look at the tragic event of today and last night in the hotel and you say to yourself, why shouldn't we have good surveillance? so i want watch lists, surveillance programs. we need protection and we need it now. >> just to be specific. did you hear that one specific part? >> i was really responding to a totally different reporter, he was responding to that reporter and basically the suggestion was made and something we should start thinking about. >> what exactly is the thing we should start thinking about? could you please be clear of that. in the immortal words of justin bieber "what do you mean?" and until he explains what he means, i think on a matter this
provocative, they're going to continue getting responses like this. "donald trump's suggestion is reminiscent of darker days and this one. what mr. trump proposes, it's a horror movie that we jews are quite familiar with. >> donald trump is deep now into blaming the media for this whole scandal, right, blaming the media for us reporting that he's campaigning the idea of watch lists and data base to register american muslims and i know it's fashionable and politically smart to blame the media but this is important and somebody's got to do something other than standing there disbelieving that this really is the top tier of the republican contest to try to
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its terror alert to its highest possible level and the highest level they have ever raised their alert to as a nation they've raised it specifically for the capital city of brussels and it's an international capital. it's head to the headquarters of european unigen and nato. and in brussels tonight, they have raised the terror alert for that city and surrounding areas to its highest level ever and they're warning of an imminent threat in the brussels area. they're saying to avoid concert halls and major transportation hubs. and particularly unnerving after what happened in paris. and officials in the city warning of an imminent attack. we'll be right back.
so, this is a very strange story. one of the thing that has become well known about the man who is reportedly the orcistrator of the paris attacks and reportedly died in the raid in saint-denis outside paris and he recruited his own 13-year-old brother to leave belgium and travel to syria and become an isis fighter himself at the age of 13. there's no news on theb wroublts and he hoped he would be taken alive and interrogated so the parents could find out what happened to the younger brother. and he has another brother who is in prison on terrorism charges in morocco and they claim that part of the reason
the french ultimately found out that the alleged ring leader was in france himself is because his brother told authorities, as soon as the attacks happened in paris that his brother who is being called the master mind, he wasn't in syria, he was in france. the story the moroccan police are telling is that the brother narked him out from that jail cell and that's how they found abdelhamid abaaoud and that's fascinating and turns out the stories of moroccan prisoners are turning out to be a gold mind in terms of what we know about the paris attacks and what we know about isis as a whole. and the washington post has an incredible piece of reporting about nuts and bolts, how do they do it terms. and they got this knowledge through interviews with isis
defecters who are now in prison in morocco. they sat down with men who until recently were members of isis in syria and what they learned is very unexpected. it's weird and it's disturbing. what they describe resemblees a medieval reality show. their ubiquitous presence distorting the events. they purportedly document and read many takes. and they're directly involved in decisions on strategy and territory and they form a privileged professional class with status, salaries and living arrangements that are the envy of ordinary fighters. so, in the west, we're familiar with the threatening material
that isis puts out, the videos to show the brutality of the group and there's propaganda of a different type aimed at potential recruits. and those paint a totally different picture with bustling markets and happy children p. so, they have the horrific stuff and the idealic stuff and both types play, reportedly, on giant viewing screens set up in isis controlled neighborhoods for residents to watch. and we've often known that this is crucial to isis members around the globe but never how it operate as an organization and a quasi-government and that's all brand new to us and
thanks to this incredible reporting in the washington post today. and joining us now with the thanks to this new incredible reporting in "the washington post." we are taken inside the isis propaganda effort. mr. miller congratulations on this reporting. it was eye-opening. what construction me as most surprising was the degree to which isis privileges the actual people who do the video production, who do the propaganda for them within their own organization, giving them power, status, money. what construction you as most surprising based on sort of how you went into this versus what you learn? >> i think the extent to how pervasive it is and choreographed, even public events are inside the caliphate, and so i mean the description that we include of the story is
a public beheading that's a punishment, internal punishment in which these camera crews show up with cue cards to hold up for this public official to read while he's rendering this sentence for this condemned man. then doing multiple takes asking the executioner to raise and lower his sword over and over again so they can get the right angle. the depth and extent to which things are designed specifically for propaganda purposes is why we kind of describe it as this resembling a medieval reality show. >> you had access to these isis, i guess you call them defectors, men who you spoke to in this moroccan prison. how did they end up in this moroccan prison. do you have any questions about what they told you? >> we acknowledge that in the story that, certainly the arrangement in which we were
able to interview these people would lead to you suspect, at least, that they were like try to downplay their role in the islamic state. but we didn't find much to indicate that they were -- they were altering their stories and when we were asking questions about the media and how it functions and we try to corroborate a lot what they told us by getting detail from them and getting and checking with it other sources and against the accounts from other defectors that we talked to. >> one of the things that you mentioned and that's highlighted in the story as an area of particular concern is that some of these defectors, some of these former isis fighters describes what sounds like an american or north american or maybe more than one american or north american involved in isis media efforts. >> that's right. it sound like there could be two or three. we've known for some time there was one that appears in this prominent video that they released a year and a half ago called "flames of war."
the fbi has a photo of him on their website asking the public for information. the defectors we talked to spoke of two others including one who is behind-the-scenes working in the production facilities and responsible for doing a edit. there's a broadcast that the voice is distinctly american or at least north american. >> greg miller for "the washington post." remarkable reporting. i know what it took to get this reporting. i'm glad the "post" sprung for it. >> thank you. we have much more ahead on this busy newsnight. please stay with us.
>> this has been a week in which political news has been overshadowed but one political story worth watching tonight heading in to tomorrow. louisiana governor riveroff race. that election is tomorrow. yeah they do it on saturday. i don't know why. and louisiana is historically a very red state. the democrat has been leading the recent polling in this race. this is already a tight and fairly nasty campaign. that was before david bitter decided to make the scary syrian refugees the sole focus. the election is tomorrow in louisiana despite whatever you have seen in the polling. if you get anybody to talk to you about it honestly nobody knows how it will turn out. watch this face for real.
look at these images just a few hours ago right in front of the white house. look about hundred people gathered for a candlelight vigil. the banner there reads american muslims against isis. that event tonight was organized by a number of d.c. area muslim groups although people from a bunch of different religious faiths joined in the march to the park that preceded the vigil. that was again tonight in lafayette square right across treat from the white house. earlier today also in d.c. muslim leaders held a smaller gathering on the steps of the lincoln memorial. an interfaith gathering.
again meant to condemn the attacks by isis in paris. this was also philadelphia tonight. people marching through the streets of philly for what organizers describe as a unity hard ball is up next. good night. >> another attack, this is "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. i want to start by making what i believe to be an important historic point. the number one goal of the mideast terrorist is ignite an east-west war that forces moderate arab governments from power. and establishes a caliphate in their place. only through such a war can they achieve this goal. why? because the terrorists do not threaten the power of western governments and not