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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 1, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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potentially taken. not aware of the identities. however there could be one werner among those hostages. thanks so much. that does it for me right now. stay tuned kate snow picks things up right now. >> good day i'm kate snow, msnbc headquarters here in new york. we continue to follow breaking news out of bangladesh where a group of gunmen attacked a restaurant frequented by action-pats near a u.s. embassy. a witness telling msnbc it started around 9:30 or 10:00 local time tonight. that's three and a half hours ago. she heard the sounds of fun geyer, then a various sounds of fun geyer and explosions. that witness saying she is still seeing tactical vehicles, ambulances, gunmen took hostages after exchanging in gunfire against police. a superintendent on the scene
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there reports there are 40 hot tajs and four officers have been killed. all of this taking place in an area known as the diplomatic enclave of dhaka, the state capital of bangladesh. the said department saying all u.s. personnel are accounted for. but there are reports as thomas just said there may be foreigners or potentially one foreigner among the hostages. lucy joins us now from london. good evening kate. obviously this is an ongoing situation. a lot of moving parts there. i have spoken to contacts on the ground in dhaka in bangladesh. ex-pat journalists who have lived in the area for years. they say this is really one of the most secure neighborhoods in the country. there are checkpoints around the neighbor that sort of watch who gets in and out. those checkpoints doesn't target people on foot. and they do largely focus on cars and motorcycles. not every single car is basically checked f. there were determined militants who wanted
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to enter the area they would be able to do so. contacts of mine saying everybody considered this to be truly safe. a lot of shock on the ground over what is happening there. john kirby the u.s. state department spokesman saying it's too early to tell who may have been involved in this attack or their motivation but these have not been quiet times in bangladesh, a majority muslim country that has seen a worrying uptick in violence. security has gtden heavier in this area over the past year. essentially since 2015, that is when isis turned its attention to bangladesh. an italian eid aid worker was shot in the dptdic enclave in september of 2015. he was jogging at the time. isis claimed responsibility for the attack. there has been a gruesome pattern of attacks. 25 violent sometimes public killings of religious minorities secular activists, free speech activists since february alone.
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and as the former ambassador was saying recently on our air this is one of more complex attacks we have seen. up until now these killings have been isolated attacks targeting individuals. something like this, eight or nine gun men, a number of hostages that takes coordination, that takes planning. this is potentially a new worrying chapter in what is already a turbulent and dangerous time in bangladesh. >> lucy cavanaugh in our london bureau. stephen steve clemens is an editor at large for the atlantic and a msnbc contributor. pick up where we left off, with the assistant superintendant eptd of rap i had action battalion squads in dhaka telling us 40 hostages and saying he believes they are extremist militants. how are you digesting what you are hearing? >> i think it's horrible. those of us who have had the opportunity and the privilege to spend time in dhaka and have been there and knows this area
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is not just frequented by diplomats but many ngo people. bangladesh has been a place where the pioneer of the micro credit program, bill and hillary clinton close to him. he won a know pell prize. bangladesh is where people go to promote real change in the life of bangladeshis. that is part of the fabric of this. but as the preceding commentator said, there has been an increasing frequency of targeting horrible killings of bangladeshis for the most part. there have been some foreigners that have been killed. but on the whole it's been the former editor of the first lgbt magazine in bangladesh. you know, a progressive blogger who was pioneering social media in bangladesh had been hacked to death in violent killings. and many of us have been worried this was growing. isis -- many people thought isis
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has taken credit for some of these actions after the fact. and intelligence has largely said they didn't see how isis would establish an inroad. today may be an inflection point in that. we don't know that. but it may be an inflection point where isis has perhaps begun to work more directly with some of the banned jihadi groups who have been buried in bangladesh for some time. it's complicated. we're seeing this still unfold. but it is one of these things where you see one of the best places in dhaka just now turned upside down. >> yeah, that is to say the least. steve clemens thank you. stay with us. i want to turn to the foed phone. edward reese is with us, senior adviser to peace dividend trust. he is in dhaka right now. he was formerly with the united nations with the department of peacekeeping operations at the u.n. edward, i know you are about a kilometer, maybe about .6 mills
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miles away from the scene of all of this. tell me what you are hearing and what you are seeing. edward, can you hear kate? yeah, looks like we've lost edward for the moment. we will try to get him back on the line. he is just about a kilometer away from everything that's happening. here in studio -- as this develops -- right now, we are looking at tape on purpose because right now local media is not showing live images of what is taking place right now because they don't want to show their hand, what is taking place outside the restaurant. we believe there are at least four killed at this point and 40 hostages. that's quite a number of people being held by swl between seven and nine militants. >> i have spoken to folks in
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bangladesh. they are giving me similar information. dozens being held hostage. as we heard from our own producer, one of them believed to be a west earne. it fits the profile of what a group would want to go after. i think this is going to be al serious and escalating situation in the coming hours as some of these elite police forces get in position and we are seeing some of those pictures of what they are called rap i had action battalion squads. that was told to us by a producer who was there on the ground. it's not clear if any negotiation is underway or if police are planning a rescue operation, if that is the case. obviously what we've seen over the past several weeks in months in term of increased attacks, attacks with a very specific purpose in the sense they are
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going after targets of highly symbolic soft targets coordinated in the sense it has multiple participants. not just one individual. no a lone wolf. if you have nine or eight attackers as what has now been described to us, this would have to be a cell of some magnitude that in itself for bangladesh is going to be a new phase, they haven't seen this in the past. >> i can't help but think back over the past couple of weeks. we were just in orlando and the situation at the pulse nightclub. not that i'm saying this is the same isis inspired type terror. but there were hostages inside and a police stand off. it's hard not to draw the parallels. >> their erie similarities. that has to do more with the nature of how the attacks are changing not to say it is. >> the same group. >> yeah, that it is the same group.
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but they are inspiring one another by seeing the magnitude of the attacks that can be caused by going after soft targets. going off symbolic targets like airports in istanbul and brussels, also staunts and cafes in orlando a nightclub. as we have been hearing, the militant groups in bangladesh exploit the situation that has been on the rise now for the past year. isis has specifically called in many of its on line propaganda to increase its presence in bangladesh. so we know there is a motivation for that terrorist group to try and go after bangladesh. and then the target it self would fit the profile of what other isis cells have gone after either in paris or in europe or in turkey. we're seeing something similar here. again, premature to say it's isis but it has the hallmarks systematically of what we have been seeing over the course of the year. the frequency of the attacks now seems to have accelerated over
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the past couple of months. >> it feels that way in this business. we find ourselves every few days. joining me now, white house correspondent ron allen. when we last checked in, the president hadn't been briefed. do we know at this point. >> yes, the kate, the white house informed us that the president has been briefed by the monaco homeland security and counter-terrorism adviser. that essentially escalates the situation now of course to a different level. obviously the president was aware of what was going on. but now we understand he is going to be receiving regular briefings. what that means in terms what have the white house and u.s. officials have concluded about this event, if anything, still remains unclear. the united states and bangladesh, i can tell you, though, in recent months have been having discussions about trying to deepen our engagement with bangladesh in terms of counter-terrorism operations. the relationship is now not that deep. for example, bangladesh is not part of the counter-isis
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campaign that's been going on. it is a poor impoverished country but certainly a place that could be a breeding ground for this kind of extremism, a place that is no stranger to this sort of terrorism. officials there and bangladesh and elsewhere have been saying publicly they believe most of the attack that have been happen willing that have been chronicled in the recent hours as these developments have been happening has been homegrown and seems to be locally based. now because of this larger scale attack that appears to have been -- again, appears to have been coordinated, carried out at a higher level of sophistication that could indicate there is no some international, some global, some involvement that is not just homegrown. so of course that's going to be a big concern with the united states, is this something that's happening that's something new. >> again, very early stages now as the united states tries to analyze what's going on there,
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watching this very closely. even in our briefings here today at the white house, the president is -- his national security team were not ready to say that the attacks in istanbul were definitely isis inspired or isis coordinated. we are several days out from that. it's going to take them some time here to conclude about exactly what is happening there in bangladesh, i would think. the white house going to take a cautious approach the all these incidents but obviously a lot of concern about what is happening there. >> ron, thank you. if you are just joining us, again we are looking at the situation in bangladesh, dhaka, the capital city n a diplomatic zone, at a restaurant, tonight an attack involving armed militants holding hostages. the state department just putting out a tweet saying if you are a u.s. citizen near gulshan contact loved ones directly or use social media to alert them of your status.
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back here at msnbc headquarters in new york with that breaking news developing over in dhaka, bangladesh, the capital city n a diplomatic area or zone of that city, at a bakery restaurant tonight an attack involving hostages, involving a number, some say seven, some say up to nine militants shooting and then taking hostages inside that restaurant. msnbc's cal perri has been monitoring all the latest. >> it's called the holidayy bakery, in reality it is more of a cafe. it serves as a bakery in the day and a nice restaurant in the evening. this is the diplomatic enclave
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inside contact achlt it's popular amongst tourists from the west and europe. attacks starting around 10:00 p.m. you are saying a layout of where this restaurant s. it's on a central lake in dhaka, which makes it that much more popular amongst west earners. eight gunmen entering this restaurant, immediately taking hostages. there was an exchange of gunfire with police. we also understand they are using crude improvised explosive devices. this is something that the state department has warned american tourists traveling to bangladesh to be aware of. we saw that tweet from the state department urging american citizens to reach out to loved ones in the country. i want to add this is one of the countries that frequently has travel warnings, travel warnings from the state department about various risks that could be entailed. and the state department urges
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u.s. citizens if you are planning on traveling to bangladesh, like pakistan, like india it's one of those countries where they urge you to check in with the embassy so the embassy can be aware of how many american citizens are in the country which right now is certainly the top priority for the state department to determine how many americans are in the country and then account for their whereabouts. >> cal perri. and we did get word earlier from the said department that everyone directly under their authority has been accounted for. at least know where they are. let me bring in the former chief of staff to secretary of state colin powell. he joins us now. thank you for being with us. appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >>s you are watching this developing news. you know the region, you know the country. your thoughts? >> tragic.
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my memory goes back to when we had to divert marines from the first gulf war into bangladesh to save lives from a massive typhoon that hit the country. very poor, most people in dire type conditions. they don't need this thing. it's not something that a developing country like bangladesh pressed hard by climate change with the rising seas needs at this time. >> we have been talking about the scale of this. if we have 408 hostages there, and a number of gunmen, perhaps seven to nine individuals involved, this is different than what has happened in recent years in bangladesh. >> very different. i think what we've seen seeing is mostly muslim, 87% of the population hindi, about 11 to 12% of the population, violence, originally related and so forth. a hindi priest was killed recently for example. this is very different. this is what ali suffan's group
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is describing as the long reach of isis and isis-like groups al qaeda and so forth's inspiration. two things have to exist. you have to have basic poverty. you have to have a lot of men who have nothing to look forward to. and you have to have some kind of inspiration getting them to do things like this. fortunately to this point it's probably the certifiable groups in each country that are doing it. but that's enough. when you have got isis stoking the coals and other like them. and you have got disenchanted almost disempowered youth all over the world, particularly muslim countries, as ali's group says you are going seer mo of this. >> if you are the state department, the u.s. government, secretary john kerry, what do you do in light of not just this attack today, turkey the other day, on and on, brussels and paris, what do you do. >> more assistance and more
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development in these countries so you have fewer young men who want to do these sorts of things. and young women for that matter. but you are going to always have this crust of people who frankly are certifiable in many respects, criminals as they were in paris and in brussels. you have got to deal with it. i think you heard. so of the thing. we need more cooperation, deeper cooperation on intelligence sharing on helping with law enforcement techniques and so forth. and we need to have robustness and resilience about our nationalities and our people. we aren't going to stop this. it's going to keep happening. we have to become harder about its happening. like the israelis with respect to terrorism in israel. that's not a nice thing to be talking about. beer not going to rid the world of this any time soon, we are going to have to manage it and bring it down to as low a level as we can. and that's going to require
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cooperation and collaboration. >> colonel wilkerson nice to have you with us. appreciate it. cal perri is here with me in new york. you were making an observation. >> i want to get a photo up on our screens. you are going to see a photo here. this is the bgb. they are border police, one of the more efficient security forces inside bangladesh. you heard the colonel there talking about the aboveert in bangladesh. this is an exceptionally poor country. there is that photo. the bgb being brought into the scene of this attack is one more sign perhaps they are preparing to raid this building. the first sign was the local media stopped carrying the live pictures. the fact this group has arrived on scene is another sign. this is one of the more efficient security groups inside the country. i was there in 2007 when u.s. marines started assisting the people after a cyclone, a devastating storm. it highlighted again the level of poverty. but these border guards are some
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of the more professionally trained grus because there is a refugee problem in i object in aing countries. the country of bangladesh has been concerned for decades with controlling those borders. again one more sign this is potentially coming to a head. >> to put it in terms of america, is that maybe like a s.w.a.t. team or something more federal? >> i think that's a compare comparison, like a s.w.a.t. team. the army in bangladesh, the police force in bangladesh is a condescription force. it's not the most professionally trained force. again, the equipment they use is not to western standards by any means. thee guys, the border police they are seemingly better trained again because there is a real concern in bangladesh about refugee situations with the neighboring countries. cal perri thank you. joining me now seth with liberty south asia. you lived and worked in bangladesh and now you live and work with a group in that region. your observations as we are just
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getting information in about what is happening over there. what we know right now four officers apparently killed. some 40 hostages. that number keeps fluctuating and a very fluid situation. surprised? >> unfortunately i'm not surprised. in fact, i think that this has been something that has been simmering for some time. myself and my completion, doctor christine fairer at georgetown university wrote last august warning that you know we were seeing this slow rise in islamic extremism in bangladesh. this is not the first attack, obviously. we've seen attacks before. but i think something that's important to recognize that's very different about this is that prior attacks have largely been hit and run-style attacks on individuals. here we have, as previous people have mentioned, an attack that
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clearly appears to be planned and designed to create a large spectacle. but the other important element here is that, especially as we see these elite security forces arriving, it is -- it is hard to believe that the attackers planned to go into this and leave alive. now that creates a whole new type of attack that we haven't seen before in bangladesh that we have seen in other places the style of attack where the jihadi militants go in with the expectation of being killed and martyring themselves in the name of jihad. that is concerning because it indicates that not only are attacks becoming more sophisticated but the troops are better organized and perhaps having links, closer links with
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some of these big international jihadi organizations. >> seth old nixon thank you for your perspective. i have ayman mull that dean has returned to us. you ran out to make a phone call, talked to people in bangladesh. >> i spoke to a doctor. i was introduced to him through others on the ground. i called him and he gave mow an update on the situation. this is at united hospital in gulshan, the area where this is taking place. so far they have treated 25 people. 25 people wounded brought into the hospital being currently treated. three others were taken to a nearby hospital baca medical college, two police officers and one civilian. they have been put on a high state of alert. that means the hospital is notified that an assault or high level operation is going to be taking place. he didn't say a name but he did
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say that the hospital has been told to prepare for more casualties in the coming hours. that's perhaps an indication that some kind of assault operation is going to take place. this is according to the doctor currently at the hospital, united hospital in gulshan. >> to recap, united hospital has treated 25 people with some level -- wounded people. people who experienced something in this situation? >> exactly. he didn't comment on their nationalities. he didn't tell me if there were any foreigners or westerners. he just told me right now they are treating 25 people as a result of this incident. he said it began at 9:00 p.m. information we already know. he says according to the reports we were getting at the hospital, six to eight people were involved in the shooting in this incident. he said there has been one confirming aof a senior police officer who has been killed. he confirmed that. he named that officer -- we are not going to name him. but he said he was a local police chief in the area.
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that's according to the doctor i just spoke to. he described the area. obviously the hospital is in the vent. >> you told me it's down the street. >> not far from there of it's in the same area of gulshan where some of the diplomatic compounds are. embassies are all within the vicinity of the area. again he was saying to us he believes there are foreigners still or westerners still inside of the ongoing situation. e his reports were lower, 20 to 25 he reported as hostages. >> these numbers are flkt waiting all over the place. >> absolutely. they have already treated some people who have been injured including members of the police force as well as civilians. by his estimate now 30 people being treated at the various hospitals, the baca medical
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college as well as the 25 being treated currently at the hospital in gulshan. >> good news that some people have gotten out and are getting treatment. not good news that there are still a number of hostages inside. joining me now a british journalist near the scene in dhaka in bangladesh. joseph i'm not sure where you are, maybe you can because us through where you are and what you have seen and heard. >> on the ground half a mile from the restaurant and site of the attack in gulshan, which is a popular restaurant and bakery and on a night like tonight which is the beginning of the weekend and the begin of the holiday, it would be full of ex-pats and local elites.
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and so this is really a massive blow at the heart of the stability of bangladesh. there have been been two other attacks in the past 24 hours in bangladesh against ethnic minorities and religious minorities. the region has cracked down on suspects, and it has failed. we've seen 14,000 suspected militants round about. and we are now seeing a very different and very aggressive stage of terrorist assaults in this country which have been going on almost repeatedly now for you know several years. and this is a massive escalation. and there is nothing -- there has been nothing this
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sophisticated so far. >> joseph, as far as this particular attack, you said you are about half a mile away from that bakery. you said there would be a big crowd on a friday night. we are hearing anything from 20 to 40 people may still be inside and being held hostage. what are you hearing on the ground? >> that's right. i mean, i have, you nknow -- i live very close to the site. and they said there was gunfire and at least one explosion, which i heard. and is reported in the media. >> you heard that yourself? >> i heard -- i heard it in the background, and i saw squadrons ever police walking towards the site. and then the sustained gunfire
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stopped. and apparently there was this hostage negotiation in which the individuals who -- up po 60 individuals were in the restaurant in the garden. reportedly these guys stormed in there and reports of a foreign chef, a chef communicating from outside saying they have been driven up to the roof of this -- i guess it is a two-story building. and one of the chefs was shot, apparently. and that multiple victims in the security forces including the paramilitary of bangladesh have been heavily armed. and rapid action battalions are
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negotiating with the hostage takers. >> joseph, we have a bad connection but i think i just heard you say that there is some negotiation going on between officials, authorities there and the people holding these hostages. joss he have, a british journalist who joins us by phone. ayman, you are pointing at something. i don't know what you are seeing. >> we are getting information from our partners at flash point. they monitor social media interactions and more importantly isis affiliated news agency. they are reporting that isis's affiliated news agency has claimed responsibility for this attack saying islamic commandos attacked a restaurant in bangladesh. >> that's isis officially taking responsibility. >> this is according to our partners at flash point that we have relied on for monitoring these sites. nbc news hasn't verified this but this is what we're hearing from our partner organization.
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also, another intelligence group is reporting the same. there now seems to be a claim of responsibility by isis. this is obviously very significant. it's significant on a few different levels. claim of responsibility within a few hours of this incident, that is very telling. importantly, given the fact that isis over the past year has been systematically trying to increase its presence, establish a foot hold, carry out these attacks that is going to be a departure. they have already claimed responsibility for the assassinations that we've seen, the killing of individuals that are activists, that are writers, members of the gay community in bangladesh. all of that has happened -- and there have been about 30 or so over the past. >> that's what the british journalist was referring to, there have been a significant number of attacks but most more singular. >> attacks that in the past didn't fit the isis profile.
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now they are claiming responsibility and this is more the style of attacks, large scale, coordinated specific attack. >> we'll be right back. glad forceflex. extra strong to avoid rips and tears. be happy, it's glad. amazing sleep stays with you all day and all night. sleep number beds with sleepiq technology give you the knowledge to adjust for the best sleep ever. don't miss the lowest prices of the season sale, with the c2 queen mattress now only $699.99. plus 36 month financing. know better sleep. only at a sleep number store.
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what will you do with your aleve hours? back again with break news ots of bangladesh. we are looking at a situation at a restaurant still developing, still unfolding there. hostages have been taken. this is the in the capital city of dhaka. let's go to raj kahn, nbc news producer in islam bad next door. he has new information. raj? >> hi, kate. it's not looking good. the firefight has been going on for a few hours now. ifo i spoke to an assistant spendent of the police who is leading one of the rab, the rapid action battalion which is the specialons force in charge of handling answered terror activity.
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gun fights are not uncommon. so there have been casualties from the police. four officials from this source have been killed, including an officer commanding a local police station. also according to this police official, seven to eight mill hants are holed up inside. they heavily armed. they are using grenades as well, besides automatic weapons. there is 40 hostages, that's four zero, that includes one confirmed westerner. we don't know whether that's american or not. but there is one confirmed westerner in this area, which is filled with the diplomatic and western crowd a lot of the time. >> and raj, from what you understand, is there a negotiation going on? are it's more of a firefight? >> there have been reports from local bangladeshi media loud announcements have been made by
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the police parallel to the operations telling people who are and can -- who can come outside to come outside. but we have not been very clear about how many people have left this particular vicinity. i had seemed like the seven to eight militants as the police officials told me are well entrenched inside. a few minutes ago when i called up the police headquarters there were still some staffers around. just right now, right before i called you, most of police headquarters was empty as well. it seems that the bangladeshi dhaka police is throwing what it can at these attackers. >> you mentioned a moment ago this is not something police there are necessarily trained for, having a fire fight or encounter with people holding hostages is not in their playbook? >> no, this is what could be called a complex attack. bangladesh has had a speight of
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religious violence. there has been hackings recently reported which we worked on as well from a couple of months ago where a gay rights activist was stabbed to death at his home. just yesterday, there were reports about a hindu priest being stabbed as well. there has been extremist violence in dhaka, but nothing as complex as this. >> raj kahn thank you so much. work the phones when you can. >> joining me terrorism analyst malcolm fans who have been with us throughout the afternoon. i heard you earlier saying this is such an aberration in terms of what we've seen in the region and in bangladesh. we haven't seen something so organized. >> yes, absolutely. what we've seen out of bangladesh is we saw a rising level of individual extremism
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that was going on. now, whether that was organized by groups who were just becoming more proficient in their terrorist operations and were carrying them out one at a time or whether we just saw these individuals carry out attacks, what we generally expected to see were the individual murders, which were happening. there were -- some were against bloggers. there were several bloggers who were executed. there was an atheist who was executed who was very prominent as the last producer you had on said, thereof a transgendered person, and then the assassination of an italian inside one of the diplomatic compounds as well. and there have been small scale explosive attacks there. that -- what is going on today is an order of magnitude greater than anything that has ever occurred in bangladesh. what we have here is a classic -- you know, islamic
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extremist suicide hostage barricade. and i'm afraid to say that the reason they went to this restaurant is the same that we saw in many other examples, they wanted a situation where they could get the international media to pay attention to them. and while paying attention, they carry out a massacre. now, it's quite interesting that what they are doing is that they are holding these hostages. they went to a place with westerne westerners. and then they engaged in gun battles with the police. the longer they do that, the greater international press coverage that they get. unfortunately, it probably will end with a great number of casualties. >> we already know about a number of injured from our reporting. malcolm, before i let you go, i don't want to scare nguyen but we are on the friday night of a long holiday weekend here in the united states. we have got july 4th on monday. a lot of people are already taking off for vacation. give us some context.
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do you see this as part of a pattern? >> we see it as part of a pattern because we need to understand that we are engaged with war -- >> we are losing your connection. i apologize. >> okay. >> i think you are back. are you back. >> yeah, i'm back. as i said, we are engaged with war with isis and al qaeda. they have spread their tentacles out everywhere. but what is happening is punches are being thrown in various locations. so, yes, we see this attack going on in bangladesh. this you this raise the alert of intelligence and law enforcement authorities worldwide just to be sure that nothing is going to occur in another location. that's a classic misdirection attack where you attack in one location to gain the attention of everybody, and then a more well prepared or an individual can go out and carry out an
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attack in another location. so, yes, we should be cautious. but then again, we should not allow isis or al qaeda to dictate how we celebrate our national holidays. >> malcolm fans, thanks for being with us. appreciate it. again, we are going to take a quick break here. continue use coverage when we come back. brain, which controls your thumbs, which control this joystick. no, i'm actually over at the ge booth. we're creating the operating system for industry. it's called predix. it's gonna change the way the world works. ok, i'm telling my brain to tell the drone to get you a copy of my resume. umm, maybe keep your hands on the controller. look out!! ohhhhhhhhhh... you know what, i'm just gonna email it to you. yeah that's probably safer. ok, cool. mother in-law with a glad bag, full of trash. what happens next? nothing. only glad has febreze to neutralize odors for 5 days. guaranteed. even the most perceptive noses won't notice the trash. be happy. it's glad.
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no ones got moves like uncle joe. ♪ when it's go book on choicehotels.com for instant rewards like gift cards, plus savings of up to 20%. book direct at choicehotels.com as we rejoin our continuous coverage of what is happening in bangladesh at this hour, a hostage situation involving gunfire, involving explosions, some seven or eight militants apparently holed up inside a restaurant with hostages, as many as 40 hostages, one of whom may be a western citizen. also learning just in the past few moments that isis through one of their news agencies, appears to be claiming responsibility. lucy cavanaugh joins us from london. what else are we hearing? >> kate, obviously a lot of moving parts to the situation. i have spoken to contacts of mine, ex-pat journalists based
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in dhaka to get more color and understand being this neighborhood, this diplomatic enclave. it's been considered they say one of the safest areas in bangladesh all together. there is a lot of embassies there, there is a lot of security checkpoints. those security checkpoints, however, are largely focusing on cars and motorcycles toe determined militants can get into the area more easily than they would for example, in a western country. one of the things to keep in mind as you just mentioned we are hearing the isis affiliated news agency is claiming that islamic state commandos attacked the restaurant frequented by foreigners in the city of dhaka in bangladesh. we are hearing that from the site intelligence group as well. u.s. state department saying no americans on the chief of mission involved in the attack. but they are trying to account for other americans, private citizens who may have been in the area or in bangladesh all together. another u.s. official in
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washington describing this as a very fluid very live situation. kate, these have not been quiet times for bangladesh, a moderate muslim majority country. it has seen a very worrying uptick in militant violence see violence in recent years. security has gotten heavier in dhaka since 2015. that is when isis turned its attention to bangladesh initially. an italian aide worker was shot in the same diplomaticen clarify in september 2015. isis claimed responsibility for that attack. there was a japanese citizen who was killed. isis claiming responsibility as well. that is be of course not the only threat. we have seen two dozen brutal killings of religious minorities, secular active activities, advocates. all since last february. as a former ambassador was recently saying on our air, this is one of the more complex
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attacks we have seen up until now. so far those killings have been targeting individuals. this a reported seven, eight, nine possible gunmen, potentially 40 hostages. that is a very complex attack. it will take planning, coordination. a worrying development for bangladesh, kate. >> lucy kavanaugh, thank you. we were talking during the commercial break about the claim through the isis-affiliated news agency claiming this is a link to isis. when you look at the last few months at all the attacks we have seen and whether there's any kind of pattern. >> yeah. what you see is a very interesting development across the spectrum of isis attacks. let's look, for example, in orlando. you had an individual who claimed to be doing what he was doing because he was inspired by isis. the u.s. investigators, the fbi, the others that have been looking into this have found no evidence to suggest this was an isolated coordinated or isis
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directed attack. it falls on the speck truck of radicalization and inspiration. they have been much more forth coming saying they believe this was an isis attack. one of the attackers may have been in raqqah as far as a month ago traveling from syria, the isis stronghold coming in and carrying out this attack. isis hasn't claimed responsibility for it. all the hallmarks, the fingerprints if you will, are there. so it fits the paper of what we saw in brussels and paris. a cell, three people, explosive, followed by small arms fire. now this attack. it is a coordinated attack of multiple individuals. and isis has claimed responsibility for it. what it highlights for you is the spectrum of operations that isis engages in. some that are directly claimed by the group, something that indicates they had a hand in planning it, claiming responsibility, letting everyone know they're behind it and others where they are inspiring
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individuals, lone wolves in the united states. and others more sophisticated where they are training individuals, people participating in the battle fields of iraq and syria, and heading back to europe and carrying out attacks in turkey and elsewhere. all three of those highlight the dangerous challenge this terrorist organization is now capable of projecting beyond its borders. >> as brennan said the other day, he was talking about this very thing. this makes it so very difficult for u.s. and allies. >> they have to be prepared for all three scenarios. they have to look for the lone wolf individual and the cell coming in trying to coordinate something, acquiring explosives. and look for these overnight where someone snaps but claims responsibility for the way we saw it in orlando. >> we are looking at tape out of bangladesh. we will take another quick break. we are wait to go see how this resolves. there are reports that negotiations may be under way. we'll take a quick break and be right back.
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this is a report of a hostage situation. multiple gunmen firing shots and taking hostages where bangladeshis and ex pate kwrats hang out on a friday night. are you there? can you hear me? >> yes. hello. i can hear you. >> hi. it's kate. i'm going to ask cal to join me as well. he's been following thing too. you know the area. you know the restaurant. can you describe what a friday night is normally like? >> well, friday is a very busy day fort restaurant. they have a lovely lawn. on friday afternoons, a lot of children are playing on the lawn. a lot of family members are
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there. once dinner time starts, a lot of families are there. the restaurant is really, really good. it is a very popular restaurant. so friday night is a very, very busy night for the restaurant. >> i can't imagine what's happening now in the city. i know it's friday night. did things just come to a stand still in town? >> the first thing i did is call all of my friends and make they weren't there. friday night, is usually fall of people we know. i could have been there. >> and everybody is okay? >> most of my friends are okay. i know there's probably about 80 people inside the restaurant. they're scared that we might know something. we checked in with the people we
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know and everybody seems to be fine. the owner of the restaurants are actually friends of mine. so i called them, and they're safe. i heard that one of the chefs might not be. but i'm not sure. we don't really know the names of the people who are inside. >> caliperry here in new york. i'm wondering when if you go out on a weekend in dhaka there have been one-off attacks. we haven't seen a large scale attack like this in the past. is this something that worries you when you go out at night? >> they are not very comfortable with it. it is happening around the tri-state area. it might sound strange but it just hasn't happened around the kind of areas that we usually go to or we take our children to.
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this really has hit close to home. this is somewhere i take my son. we don't feel unsafe when we are there. so this is completely the dark horse that something like this is going on in our neighborhood. >> nazia tareq is there at the moment in dhaka. thank you for checking in with us. appreciate it. and we'll continue our continuing msnbc coverage as we cross into the next hour. 4:00 eastern time. that means it's the middle of the night in bangladesh. 2:00 a.m. there in dhaka where there is an active hostage situation nearing its fifth hour right now. as many asinine gunmen taking siege of a popular eatery. it happened 9:20, 10:00 their time this eveni

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