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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 22, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PDT

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arizona at 8:00 eastern covering the primaries. you can catch a special live bonus hour at 3:00 p.m. eastern if the travel goes according to plan. tune in. the rachel maddow show starts now. you're the guy that got the magic carpet checked out. >> i'm about to hop on it. >> safe travels. thanks to you at home for joining us. when franklin roosevelt died several months into his fourth
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brussels has been a very high-tension area for the police and for these terrorists who
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have been hiding out in belgium, so we do not know yet if this is an act of terrorism. we do know there have been two explosions reported at the brussels airport. and right now you're seeing the live pictures of the people who have been taken out of the airport. obviously, it's daytime in brussels, a very, very busy time of the day. and police seem to have the people arranged. they're keeping it very, very calm and trying to not panic. they don't know if these were set explosions, if this was an accident. of course they're looking into it to make sure that they have an understanding of why these explosions happened and if it was an act of terrorism or not. we do know that one was an explosion at the curb departure area of the airport in brussels where they say there have been multiple casualties. now there are reports saying there are several dead, but we do not have a count on how many people have actually dead. just a report that one people we
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do know of was killed in this explosion. and, as you can see, people have been moved out onto the tarmac. and they've been moved out of the airport, and, again, repo s reports, they're saying please do not come to the airport. they want to move people out of the airport area so they can investigate this scene. right now we're going to go to kelly koeb yaya with more. >> reporter: i'm on a train on the way to brussels right now. what we understand is that there were potentially two explosions in the bee departure hall of brussels airport. there were reports that this happened in the american airlines area in the check in area. reports of several people injured. we do have confirmation that at least one person has been killed. the airport has now been closed down. flights are being diverted. trains are being diverted. and passengers looking for family members and so on.
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there are video and images on social media showing smoke rising from the airport and passengers running from the airport. some reports from witnesses saying they could feel the building move. there was dust and smoke, saying there were two very, very loud explosions. we are on our way to the airport now. and we'll get you more as soon as we get there. >> kelly cobiella reporting. we know there were two explosions and one apparently at the curb departure area, which you said was at american airlines. do we know if the other explosion was possibly inside the terminal? or were they both outside? do we have any indication of where this second explosion came from? >> reporter: we don't have any confirmation on that just yet, but judging from the video on social media, it appears, it appears as though at least one of the explosions happened very close to the entrance. because you can see the blasted
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out windows. from the airport entrance. but, again, we don't have confirmation yet, media and passengers, obviously, being kept fairly far from the scene. as the emergency workers try to take care of the victims and assess just how many people are injured. >> and we're seeing pictures now of people that have been taken out onto the tarmac. obviously, they've cleared out the airport, and they have told people to not come to the airport, to stay away. i know you said they've diverted people away via trains and everything else to keep the airport clear. the airport, people from social media, like you're talking about say people have been wounded by glass and ceiling tiles that have been obviously, the explosion was strong enough to really shake the front of that building. and in that area. do we have any indication possibly, was it a car bombing? do they have any, have they said, mentioned anything about a
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possibly a car there? or how this bomb could have gone off at the front of this american airlines terminal? >> reporter: yeah, we just don't know yet. unfortunately, it's very difficult to get close to the scene, probably the best information right now is coming from the passengers who are actually in the airport. and as far as we can tell, you know, there were two blasts. and that's about as much as we know. whether they happened inside, just inside the terminal, was it potentially a car bomb? was it potentially an a, something in a suitcase, federal police have not said whether or not they can definitively say this was some sort of attack or something else. it certainly has all the signs of being an intensional act at the airport, when you look at the scene, when you look at where these explosions happened. but that hasn't yet been confirmed. we're still trying to figure
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out, you know, where exactly this happened. you can see shattered windows. you can see smoke rising from the actual terminal building, which would suggest that these blasts happened very, very close, if not inside the terminal. and there are some reports that at least one of those explosions happened inside. but, again, we just don't have confirmation of that just yet, dara. >> and kelly, if you would, we know this happened in brussels, about 8:55 in the morning. obviously, a very, very busy time to be at the airport. but you've been covering what's been going on in brussels, and tensions have been very high there because of the paris attack and what they're saying the terrorists have been hiding out in brussels. can you talk about the environment in brussels right now? >> reporter: well, it's still a very tense environment, and people, brussels has been braced for any sort of reprisal of any sort of u.nyou know, additional
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attack. salah abdeslam, the most-wanted man in europe caught four days ago, and belgian authorities have talked about the fact that they believe some sort of attack was being planned in brussels. they have, they've talked about the fact that explosives and weapons were found and, of course everyone in brussels has been concerned that there would be some sort of attack. they just simply didn't know what, where, how, why. so certainly, this is lending some credence to the idea that potentially another attack was on the way. you know, we're seeing more and more pictures now on social media there. i should mention, of just the chaos inside the departure hall of people lying wounded on the ground, which would suggest, once again, that one of those, at least one of those explosions did happen inside the departure
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hall. >> and kelly, just another quick question, if i may. you were talking about the, that brussels possibly was being on high alert harowever they're really not being attacked in brussels because of the recent arrests of the paris terrorists, so how have the police in belgium been handling, have they been on a high-alert status because of this? have they been taking extra precautions because of what's been going on with the paris attackers? >> reporter: in terms of what's actually happening at the airport, i don't have any information on whether or not there were increased patrols there, whether there has been any sort of security change, in terms of how cars approach the airport, how dropoffs are made or anything like that. however, you know, since the paris attacks and of course so many of the, of the links to the paris attacks came back to
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brussels and that neighborhood in molenbeek where salah abdeslam was from, that police have been actively searching for suspects and arresting people over the past five months. this is something that has not stopped, essentially, for five months. they've been on high alert. you remember from the days after the paris attacks, brussels being on lockdown, the city completely closed down for a couple of days because of the concerns over some sort of terror attack there. and that, while that, it hasn't been that extreme for that long, the brussels police have been on very high alert, and they've been looking for suspects and making arrests and performing raids for months now. and we are now hearing, by the way, that all flights are being diverted away from brussels airport. if you have family or friends, obviously, associates going into brussels, those plans are obviously going to have to
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change now. >> yes, kelly, we're getting reports now that they have canceled flights, and all the other flights coming in have been diverted from brussels. they are waurping people who would have been coming to the airport to not come to the airport. that the airport is shut down. and we're seeing scenes again of the front of the airport where this explosion or one of the explosions actually happened, where pieces of the airport are just sort of fallen in. and we're also seeing a lot of people that are now in the parking lot. we have the medical staff and emergency staff that have moved people out. they came in and took a few people on buses. so it looks like they're moving people to actually another section of the airport, possibly moving them further and further away from the building here. as i mentioned, this happened at 8:55 in the morning. brussels time. apparently, there were two explosions. very close together. one happened at this curb departure area of american airlines. and that information came from
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kelly cobiella who is in london and traveling to brussels for us to find out more information on this explosion. there are reports of multiple casualties. at this moment, we only have confirmation that there is one person that is dead. only one person at this moment, however, there are multiple casualties. people have been injured. there was apparently flying glass, because this happened in the front of the airport, and people, anybody who has been at an airport, you know when you fly in, there's the big windows in the front. and then obviously the check-in gates, and we're seeing pictures now of the opening area of the airport when you walk in. so you can see there would be a lot of glass coming from different directions. and right now they're trying to determine if one of the explosions actually happened inside the terminal. we do know that one happened at the curb departure. we don't know if the second one was inside. there has been no indication of whether this was a car bomb or whether it was a bombing that
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potentially had been carried in. and actually, we're waiting for confirmation to see if this was an act of terror. the nbc alastair jamieson is in london and will be joining us. what can you tell us? >> reporter: hi there, we have seen witnesses from the scene saying that in their mind, from what they've seen, there's no doubt that this was some kind of attack. as you say, no confirmation of that from authorities at the moment. we're still only in the first hour or so after those blasts happened. but those who were there, those who witnessed this say there's no doubt in their mind that this was deliberate. the scene of devastation is widespread across the check-in area. shattered glass, ceilings brought down. items of debris everywhere and multiple people wounded. that we can see on pictures. the airport itself is now closed
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o off. authorities at the airport are saying don't come anywhere near. flights are being diverted elsewhere. and this took place right about exactly an hour ago, just after 8:00 local time, just after 3:00 eastern. and it happened in the departure hall one of the check-in area of the main terminal, and this is an area used by a number of ebt national carriers, including american airlines. and the area has been widely devastated. there's shattered glass, all over the floor. people have abandoned their bags and fled. and all around the perimeter of the airport at the moment, we can see hundreds, thousands of passengers who have been evacuated from that terminal and others, making their way out through the perimeter roads, the car park parking lots. and all around the surrounding areas, trying to get as far away from that terminal as possible. pictures we've obtained from the
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scene show that large parts of the ceiling in the check-in area have come down. we have not been able to confirm more than the one dead that has been mentioned. but witnesses say there have been multiple casualties. i'm sure in the coming minutes, we will hear more about the extent of this damage. >> we are seeing pictures of people taken out of the terminal. they're waiting on the tarmac around the planes. some have gotten on buses and seem to be moving to other areas of the airport. the brussels airport serves about 23 million people per year. when you mention the thousands of people that would be there on just your average tuesday morning, we do see that there are thousands of people that would be involved in this potentially. al staalastair, the terror leve goes to maximum level because of the airport explosions. what kind of shock waves does this now send to other areas?
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obviously, you're in london. so there will be a represerippl for the rest of the area there. >> reporter: no doubt about that. brussels has already experienced a number of extreme caution levels in the last few months, obviously starting off from the november attacks in paris. most of those involved in that were linked to belgium, and you will remember just before christmas, there was that terror lockdown in brussels, where virtually the entire city came to a stand still. there were soldiers and security forces on the street there for several days. and authorities in other cities are in no doubt that an attack is not only possible but in fact likely. and they are very concerned about the possibility of exactly this kind of attack. this did not take place in a secure air site. it took place at an open
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departures area where you walk up from the curbside. and this sort of zone and zones like it in airports all around europe are exactly vulnerable to this kind of attack. and, as you say, the airport an incredibly busy european hub, the hub of brussels airlines partnered with american airlines and huft hansa. and the extent of that disruption, you can see there from pictures of inbound planes waiting on the tarmac. people evacuated onto areas air side on the airfield apron unable to get through the terminal area into the, into belgium itself, essentially. and while the area's on lockdown, i guess they're going to remain on the runway and in that area for some time. and in fact all of this comes just two days after authorities managed to take into custody one of the key fugitives from the paris attacks.
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and already authorities had said on tuesday, we are working at our maximum level of alertness that we fully suspect that other people, other jihadists are operating or living in belgium, planning new attacks, and it seems that every week there is a new terror raid. there are more terror cells, more people working, plotting to carry out these kinds of attacks around europe. and recently, a cache of documents passed to the news from someone working for isis, gave authorities a whole new list of names of potential terrorists and terror suspects and terror operatives, and that is believed to be one of the things that triggered this recent wave of terror raids and arrests. as information authorities gathered more intelligence, more knowledge, more names and aliases, they are able to carry
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out more preventive raids. the issue is, when you carry out these raids, there is the risk, of course, that those parting of the terror cell that are not captured and caught, are on the run, they are more likely to potentially carry out attacks rather than be caught. and this certainly has all the hallmarks of a terror attack carried out by exactly this type of terror cell, and authorities here no doubt will now be on maximum alert at the borders as well to try to prevent anyone else that they have on their lists from fleeing the country, that's of course in the wider context of europe's current border crisis, making things even more difficult. europe is right now dealing with the problems of its open border. the country like belgium surrounded on all sides. and until recently, you've not needed a passport to get through the border from france or the netherlands or germany, and that has led to situations where
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known terror suspects or known potential isis operatives have been able to enter the european union, common border area at places like hungary, slovenia and austria and so on and able to travel freely around europe, unable to be monitored by authorities, and that has caused some frustration with intelligence authorities, not only in europe but in the united states, where keeping an eye on these terroristing and these operatives has become increasingly difficult. and it's, what are we now, five months since the paris terror attacks, and yet one of the main suspects, salah abdeslam just arrested. that illustrates the difficulties that authorities face, how difficult it is to find even people whose identity is known and whose photograph we have. in the middle of a major
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european capital. and it would also raise questions about the level of security we can provide at train stations and airports. one of the things we take for granted is being able to walk in to the check-in zone of an airport like this and being relatively secure. this will lead to questions like that. there was an explosion in the check-in zone of moscow's airport around three years ago. again, in an unsecured zone. and that raised questions about whether there should be some kind of pre-security. that takes place in some middle eastern airports like beirut and tel aviv. but it is hard to strike that balance between keeping people safe in these areas where there are crowds and yet having some degree of freedom of movement. it simply isn't possible for authorities to keep every area where people are gathered safe at all times. technically, when there are
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attacks like this that may be carried out by lone wolf operators or people acting alone or without any kind of indicative plan. and it's hard for them to know what they can do to prevent this. in the meantime, anyone traveling from the united states to brussels or to europe, connecting through brussels, obviously, that travel will now be rearranged or diverted. there will be a knock-on effect compounded incidentally by an air traffic control strike in france. so this terror attack as well is causing casualties in brussels, will impact on europe's travel network, and indeed the city of brussels itself will be under a heightened state of alert. we've jeyet to have confirmatio of more deaths, but scenes show people wounded and people describing awful scenes inside that terminal building.
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and we should get an update from authorities in due course on the extent of this terror attack, dara. >> yes, alastair jamieson. we have reports of one person who has died. confirmation of one dead. we do have reports of several people being wounded after this explosion, at the brussels airport. apparently, there are two explosions. one was at the curb departure area. we see pictures of people out on the tarmac. we see pictures of emergency crews getting people out of the way. on the inside of the terminal, there were people hit by shards of glass. people on social media reporting what has been going on there. alastair, you mentioned the security, and obviously, this is something that we, in our country, here in america and in many parts of europe, we take for granted that you can go up to the airport and just leave your bags and check in. how is this going to, now,
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change security at places like brussels? and is the it going to come down to london, you mentioned tel aviv where there's a pre-check-in area. this has not happened and hasn't happened before in an area where, you know, possibly commuters are coming in. we have thousands of people coming in. it's a normal tuesday afternoon in brussels, where people are grabbing their bags and checking into this international area to catch their flights. how is this going to alter the travel plans and things in brussels, whether it be the airport, whether it be the train station? what is the effect going to be from here on in? >> reporter: that's exactly right. and authorities have to work out how they go to strike that balance. as you note, in the united states, there is no sort of pre-security before you go into a terminal. that's also the case in most of europe. it does tend to happen at
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airports in the middle east, although that prescreening is fairly cursory. it's not as rigorous as the secondary screening when you go through to the air site departures area. but it does involve some sort of initial check on baggage and gives security workers a chance to do some kind of screening and a simple visual profiling on people entering the terminal building. and cast your mind back to 2008 when there was that hay tack on glasgow airport in scotland where a car filled with fuel was driven to the check-in. >> alastair, can you holidd on r one second please? this is a nbc news special report. >> hi there. a special report. there are reports one person has died and several more have been
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wounded following an explosion at brussels airport in belgium. belgian police tell nbc news that there were two explosions, one at the curb departure area of the american airlines terminal, which is the international section departure hall one of the brussels airport. there are obviously, emergency crews on the scene. there have been multiple casualties, although there is only one confirmation that one person has been killed in this explosion. the airport has been closed. planes have been diverted. there have been cancellations set out. people are being told, do not go to the airport. do not come to the airport at all. people are, you can see the pictures, have been sent out onto the tarmac as security forces and emergency crews try to figure on exactly what is going on here. right now we have kelly cobiella on the ground on the way to brussels. what can you tell us? >> reporter: we're hearing new reports out of belgian media. this has not been confirmed by
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nbc news. there were reports there were shots fired inside that airport shortly before the explosions. this coming from belgian media. again, nbc news has not independently confirmed that. these two blasts that we're hearing about happened about an hour and a half ago now. they happened very close to the departure area. there are multiple pictures and video on social media showing people wounded in the departure area. glass blown, windows blown in to the airport. smoke rising. passengers running. some people said that they heard two very loud explosions. people were dazed, shocked. it's not yet clear, dara, how many people are injured. we do have confirmation, as you mentioned that at least one person has been killed. and the thinking is that this is some kind of terrorist attack, although federal police in
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belgium have not confirmed that yet. it's just too early. there are emergency crews on the scene. they're trying to get to the wounded, take care of the wounded. the airport has been evacuated. and we should mention, of course, this comes four days after the arrest of salah abdeslam, the one surviving suspect from the november paris attacks. and there have been conterms, dara, that there would be some sort of reprisal, some sort of revenge attack, and perhaps another cell activated in brussels following his arrest. again, this has not been confirmed to be a terrorist attack, but that is the thinking. that is the assumption here. as late as yesterday, the interior minister saying -- some sort of attack. >> i know you're in transit to brussels, so i thank you so much
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for staying on the line with us. we can go to alastair jamieson in london. we're getting unconfirmed reports that there have been several blasts in subway stations. one potentially near the eu building, and of course these are unconfirmed reports. for instan french media is saying there are these subway explosion. do you have any information on that? >> reporter: yes, we are seeing pictures from central brussels, showing what appears to be smoke coming from buildings close to subway stations in central brussels. but at the moment, we simply don't know what is causing those or indeed what is going on there. authorities themselves unable to conditi confirm that. but that is what french media is reporting, and as kelly was mentioning there, the belgian foreign minister did say after the arrest of abdeslam, that the
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cell he was hiding with was planning to restart something, that was their expression, and possibly that may have included what turns out to be the suspected attack today. don't forget, a large amount of weapons were found at the scene. there were kalashnikovs and an isis flag found as well. so clearly authorities were aware that this terror cell has managed to accumulate a large amount of weapons and is prepared to mount an attack that could take place across several areas, possibly as part of a coordinated terror attack. there's no indication that the attack on the brussels airport involved any kind of warning or whether it was coordinated. it took place shortly after 8:00 local time. that's about 3:00 eastern today in the check-in hall in the dertures area of brussels airport. the unsecured zone where people walk in from the curb.
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it happened in check-in four, departure one. that's a fairly small area used by international carriers, including american airlines. pictures show glass, parts of the ceiling fallen down, wounded people, debris all over the road. thousands of people running through the terminal out into the park lot and the surrounding area. what we're seeing is those people coming off planes arriving from other places, unable to enter the terminal. so they're evacuated onto the tarmac surrounding the planes on the runway, and that's where they're being kept until authorities can secure the area. now it seems as authorities are increasing the terror alert at airports throughout belgium and the region that there may have been these other explosions in central brussels. but we still don't have
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confirmation of that at the moment. what it will do is increase concerns for governments, not only in western europe but also in the united states that terror cells are prepared to mount these kind of attacks in crowded areas that are not secured. the predeparture area, before you go into an airport is you just walk in from the curb. and airports in europe and the united states generally do not have the kind of preterminal security that you would expect to find in the middle east. so authorities must now work out a way of trying to strike a balance between allowing the free movement we've come to expect and also protecting people from attacks that seem to be able to carried out at anytime. >> alastair, as you mentioned, we were seeing people, passengers actually walking from the tarmac, and it seemed to be relatively calm. it seems they have quite a sense of order going on in the airport where they've moved passengers from one area to the other. obviously, these people coming
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off of planes right now were not part of the initial explosion that happened at the airport. so it does seem relatively calm, although you can see all the emergency personnel running behind. more ambulances have arrived. also we are getting word that the metros in brussels have been closed. and there are unconfirmed reports now that there has been an explosion in the shoeman tube station and molenbeek tube station. of course these are unconfirmed reports, but we do know there is something else going on in these subway stations. we're getting reports of this coming in. as far as security is going on now in brussels, what is this going to do to brussels? you've now got the airport shut down, the metro stations have been shut down. how is this going to affect what's going on in europe, and is this going to affect london and france? and you mentioned there was possibly an air traffic control strike, potential going on in france, which is obviously going to be another issue that they'll
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have to deal with in terms of airlines. right now the planes are being diverted from belgium. they're not allowed to land, obviously, these planes had been on the ground before, when these passengers were released. i'm sure they were held up. planes had been diverted. people are being told do not go to the airports, but this has now, with these unconfirmed reports of potential subway station explosions, this is shaking out into more than just the airport explosions. and i know we had tapped on this saying potentially, this isn't a terrorist attack. you never want to jump into that and say hey, this is exactly what's going on before it's been confirmed. but this has all the hallmarks of being a terrorist scenario, with the recent arrest of the salah abdeslam. we are now getting confirmation that there have been four explosions from the brussels fireman spokesperson, saying there have been four explosions. they have been explosions on different metro stations in
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brussels. so obviously, this is now coming out through other parts of the ci city. alastair, what does this do for the feel of brussels, what does this do for security, what does this do to brussels right now? >> reporter: well, fortunately for brussels, the city has had a lot of experience with this. they've been on lockdown very recently over the christmas and new year period. remember, authorities feared they would be another terror attack carried out on the metro. and they warned people not to use it. the system was shut down. the streets were empty. soldiers were on the streets. and an eerie silence came about the place, no attacks and people slowly returned to normal. so the city has in many ways almost been expecting this. and has had security services have had a lot of time to prepare for the potential of an attack in, a possible attack in more than one place. and we're hearing that some of these subway stations, including
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shoeman, which is next door to the european union buildings could be involved in these other reported explosions on the metro. of course this happened absolutely in the middle of rush hour, busiest time in the city center, and also one of the busiest times of day out at the airport, which is one of europe's major airline hubs. what it will do is give authorities the headache of wondering whether or not they should worry about security in what they call the unsecured areas, the departure zones where you just walk in with your luggage before you go through security. it's the worst-case scenario for law enforcement, an explosion that goes off in a check-in area. this happened back in 2008 in glasgow. and also at the check in at los angeles airport a few years ago. these are areas that anyone can walk up and walk into. and therefore they are particularly vulnerable to a terror attack.
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we know that airports throughout belgium have been put on the highest level of terror alert. they're operating with a very high level of security. so there will be extra checks, extra border monitoring, and certainly, this will cause not only travel disruption, but will focus minds at the very highest level throughout europe, in terms of government level on how to maintain these borders, how to keep security and how to keep an eye on. people who are known to be members of terror cells and whose picture is known and serk lated as kind of a wanted effort. salah abdeslam's photo has been circulating since november and apparently he's been in brussels all this time until his arrest a few days ago. so questions for intelligence services who have always warned that these sorts of things are almost impossible to keep tightly across. you cannot prevent future terror attacks by being across every
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terror cell, you know, chiefs have always said that this is an impossible task. and it's about managing risk more than anything. and it comes as eu leaders in brussels have been discussing the issue of borders, which have been under huge pressure in recent weeks and months, because of the unprecedented migration from war zones and from economically depressed countries in the middle east, north africa, afghanistan and so on. a historical levels of people coming through the borders. and because of the european union's open border policy, many have been able to enter the european union in countries like greece and slovenia and have been able to travel undetected all the way to germany, belgium, france and indeed london. >> and alastair, obviously, border and security is going to be the absolute front and main issue now that the security
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forces are going to have to deal with. if you could hold on one second, we're going to kelly cobiella. she's en route. what are you hearing now? >> reporter: we're now hearing, and i think you've been reporting that there are explosions now or smoke at the very least at possibly as many as three metro stations in brussels. the metro has now been closed down. there are scenes of, you know, tape across escalators of injured. at least one injured person outside a metro station in brussels, close to the eu headquarters. so this is now looking like a coordinated attack of some sort. first the two explosions at the airport, potentially two explosions at the airport is what we're hearing, and now possibly more explosions in the pictures on social media of passengers getting off the
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train. -- [ audio breaking up ] we have no confirmation on what's happening inside, but we do know that there are reports of some sort of explosions there and possibly people injured. >> kelly cobiella, thank you. i know you're in transit, so it's difficult to stay on the phone. the prime minister david cameron has tweeted that he is shocked and concerned by these recent events in brussels and will do whatever they can to help. word coming from david cameron. the ramifications, the shock waves happening from brussels, obviously, this is an explosion at the airport initially, which happened at the beginning of the day, just after 8:00 local time as people were getting into the airport, into the international section of the brussels airport. apparently, there were two explosions in departure hall number one. there was shattered glass.
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people, we do have confirmation that one person has been killed. we do not have any more information on how many people have been wounded. we've been seeing pictures of the other thousands of people who have been at the airport that have just been moved out of the terminals. they are on the tarmac. people from certain flights landing have been diverted to the tarmac. flights have been diverted from brussels. they are trying to keep people away from the airport. metro stations have been shut down. there were reports of smoke possibly coming from the shoeman subway area. these are unconfirmed reports that smoke is coming from the shoeman metro station, also the mollen beak station, reports of three stations that have been in some other bomb, some smoke attack that's going on in brussels. so this is not only going on at the airport, but this has now
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gone in through the city of brussels. the metro has been shut down. the level of terror has been raised. it is now at the maximum rate, which is now considered a level four. they have raised the terror alert. and we are now getting more information that people have possibly been injured in the explosion in the metro explosions. and obviously, this is an ongoing situation here. we'll have more information as it comes in as to how many people have been injured, how many people have possibly died. we do have one confirmation that one person has been killed. and that was in the initial explosion at the curb departure area of the brussels airport, and, again, this happened, roughly after 8:00 on tuesday morning in brussels. thousands of people just starting their day. and alastair, again, it's later in the afternoon there for you in london. so this is midday. travel reports, things have been shut down. what are you hearing also coming
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out? maybe possibly through social media as to what's going on in brussels? >> reporter: absolutely, you're right. it's the initial explosions, two explosions at least authorities have confirmed out at the airport shortly after 8:00 this morning. so actually only about local time, only been about an hour or so ago. and that was not only at the height of the rush hour in the city center, but also one of the busiest times of day out at the airport. i mean, we know from eyewitnesses we've spoken to that there were multiple people injured, many of them injures to their legs, cut by flying glass and fast-moving debris. and a security source is indicating to nbc news in the last few minutes that the death toll could be higher, because of the severity and the number of those injuries, but that's not confirmed by authorities at the moment. they're saying only one
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confirmed dead. but it is possible -- >> alastair, if you don't mind, we're going to take a quick break to nbc stations can go back to their normally-scheduled programming at this moment. this is a break for nbc news to go back to their normal programs. hello, everyone. i'm dara brown, we are continuing coverage of the explosions that happened in the airport in brussels and unconfirmed reports of explosions in the subways in brussels. the metro has been shut down, the airport has been shut down. we have confirmation of one person who has been killed. curbside and there was really no
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security where people were coming to check in for their flights. it happened roughly after 8:00 local team in brussels on this tuesday morning. and you're looking at pictures of the airport where passengers at the terminals have been evacuated. they've been taken outside onto the tarmac with their luggage. apparently, it was a rather chaotic scene, there was glass everywhere. the explosion happened at the curbside departure area. we do have an eyewitness, and i'm sorry, your name is jeffsay. could you tell us what happened at the airport this morning? >> caller: out at the airport about ten minutes past 8:00 this morning. one explosion went off, and it was a check-in area. and soon, very short after that, there was a second one. >> and the second one was in the same area, jeffsay? >> caller: in the same area. so windows were blown out.
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the roof was coming down. people were on the floor. people were injured. there was fear, there was panic. everybody was running around. it was, it was a nightmare. >> i'm sure it was a nightmare. how quickly was it before everybody was able to, you know, get themselves out of that area amongst all -- >> caller: on the floor, everybody was running out like crazy. so everybody run out as fast as they could. and the people could not run. they were on the floor, because they were injured. a lot of people were injured on the floor where i was. >> was there any kind of warning? any sort of signs that an explosion was impending? or this completely came out of the blue? >> caller: no, out of the blue, out of the blue, just walking in for the check in for my flight to rome. a business trip, and nothing alert, it went off, and in a
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minute it was, it was -- >> you sound relatively calm right now. describing this scene, which i can only assume was extremely chaotic and frightening, what were your initial thoughts when this explosion went off? >> caller: first i thought it was something in the coffee counter or something happened. but after the second one, it was more serious than that. >> mostly, and you believe that this was possibly a terrorist attack? was there any yelling? was there any screaming? did anything precede -- >> caller: a lot of fear and yelling, a lot of screaming, a lot of people in panic. they left their luggage. everybody was running out. and then quite fast the services were there. the army was there to clear the building. so it was, it was so fast. but it seemed like it was ages. you could not believe that it was happening in your back yard.
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>> i'm sure this is very confusing and very perplexing at this time. where are you now in relation to where the explosion happened? are you on the tarmac? in a different terminal? >> caller: no, i'm in the parking lot. i'm in the parking lot. >> and you're with the other -- it looks like there are thousands of people standing outside. >> caller: thousands, and now they are evacuating the whole thing. and but like i said, that was an entrance hall, so they are evacuating now the whole airport. >> and jeff, if you don't mind, you said you were traveling to rome on a regular business trip. was there anything different this morning? did anything seem different before the explosion happened? >> caller: no, because i fly often. nothing seemed to me strange today. >> so this was just started out
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as a normal, average day of you just traveling to the airport. >> caller: exactly. exactly, exactly, exactly. quite often, i'm in europe. and a normal check-in. >> what are they doing now? what are they telling you for when they will be able to get you out of the airport? have they said anything about possible transportation as you as the passengers will get some relief as going back to your home or hotels? have they mentioned anything about that? >> caller: i'm going to try to take as fast as i can my car and go back home to see my family. >> thank you so much for calling in. you've given us an eyewitness account of what's going on. and you did confirm that there were two explosions. how far apart were the explosions, if you can remember. i'm sure the scene was absolute panic -- >> caller: very short. very short.
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it was like, it was in the minutes. >> within the minutes. >> caller: within the minutes. so one explode. then soon after the other one. and i had the impression that the second one was more powerful than the first one. >> that the second one was more powerful, did you say, than the first one? >> caller: yeah, that's what i think, yeah. yeah. >> and was it in the same area? >> caller: yes, it was coming from the same area. >> coming from the same area. now if you were in the front of this check-in area. we're trying to get a sense of exactly where the explosion happened. so if you were in the front of the paarea, was the explosion close enough where you were involved with the debris coming down? or was it farther away where you could evacuate the area? >> caller: the area where i was the left side and two floors down, i think, so it was not on my floor. so it was, because the elevators
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like coming from the station up and arriving and the departure hall, and that's why we were attracted by that, but i think it was two floors lower, i think, and the arrival hall. i think. so it seems to be okay -- >> and jeff, you're speaking with us now, and you sound relatively calm. talking about this experience. how were other people reacting to this? you must be standing around a few other people. has it been panic? or is there a resolve? what is the mood of the people? >> caller: people are looking like how is this possible? how is this possible? a lot of people in panic. a lot of people are in pain. they're suffering. a lot of people are running away as far and as fast as they can
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from the scene. >> i'm sure it's a very frightening scene there. we're seeing pictures right now of everybody out in the parking lot and on the tarmac. with the emergency personnel basically, you know, evacuating the area. so i'm sure this is slightly calmer than it was when this happened. and we do know this happened shortly after 8:00 how much time had you spent in the airport before the explosion happened? had you just arrived yourself? >> caller: i just arrived. i parked my car and straight to the check-in. and then it happened. >> and then it happened. but you mentioned that you were on a second floor. >> caller: the train station abo
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about. >> several people have been injured. there was a report of one person killed in this explosion. if you wouldn't mind, could you tell us when the explosion happened, was the ground shaking? or did glass just start pouring in? >>. >> caller: glass was, it was shaking very hard.
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you know, you immediately felt that it was moving. >> that it was moving. that the terminal was moving. we are getting reporting. we are getting reports right now of confirmation that there are now 13 people that have died. 35 injured. that's coming from belgium broadcasters. 35 people
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given the nature of the images we have seen in the social media in the immediate aftermath of the attack. clearly, there were some people with horrific injuries. and in that terminal area
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following the explosion. just under two hours ago. we're also seeing on social media images from the reported explosions in the subway. including people on the -- who have been taken out of a subway train near to the shuman station and they have had to walk along the track and be evacuated. so clearly this has led to the suspension of all train services. people have been evacuated in the emergency and we are seeing people being treated by emergency services outside those subway stations in the streets. no confirmation on what happened on the brussels subway station in town. but clearly there are photographs that shows something serious is under way and that people have been injured. just to emphasize how much of an ongoing situation this is, brussels is tweeting to the
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thousands of people that we can see in the pictures now who are stuck on the air side, on the actual runway side, planes are due to be leaving and have had to evacuate and are now in a -- in what is -- you would hope is a safe, but nonetheless they cannot move out of this area. the airport is tweeting out to say, please stay where you are, remain calm, we'll have more information for you. clearly all those people will have to remain there for some time until the area can be cleared and secured and that will be many tens of thousands this coming -- just after 8:00 at one of the busiest times of day for the airport. authorities will be busy trying to secure the actual explosion site in the terminal, in the departure zone. in the meantime, all those people stuck on the air side, where the planes are, will have to remain where they are. >> alstair jamison, thank you so
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much for your reporting in london. i so appreciate you keeping us to date on what is going on. with this explosion, coming out of brussels. alstair jamison from london with the updated -- updates of what's going on in brussels. i'm dara brown with nbc mousse. we have continuing coverage of the explosions that have up had in brussels at the brussels airport. we have confirmation, media is saying that there were two explosion at the airport in brussels and unconfirmed reports there's explosions in the subway stations in brussels. the thousands of people have been evacuated from the airport. this happened roughly a little after 8:00 a.m. local time on a tuesday morning in brussels as people were checking in to the international departure area, depart


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