tv Sex Slaves MSNBC July 1, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
this is msnbc's breaking coverage of the dramatic news unfolding in bangladesh. it's late saturday morning in dhaka. a short time ago special security forces launched an assault on the holey artisan bakery after a standoff with armed militants holding dozens of people hostage. we're told commandos participated in the operation. police are now telling msnbc news all the gunmen have been killed. we're told by journalists on the ground that 14 hostages were rescued. another report states that 34
people were transported to a local area hospital. the associated press is reporting that at least five bodies were found inside the bakery. eight or nine gunmen stormed the bakery last night, local time. dozens of people were stilled in the building according to restaurant employees who managed to escape. isis has taken credit for the siege. the state department has said they have not been able to confirm that claim. i want to bring in my colleague to tell me more. >> reporter: we are ready to say this is now over. very dramatic developments in just the past two hours. at about 10:00 p.m. local eastern time, our time, that raid began on the restaurant with come man dose entering that restaurant. there was a hail and exchange of gunfire. we're talking about the rapid action battalion like an s.w.a.t. team equivalent in bangladesh. that raid went on for 10 to 20 minutes. there were a series of
explosions. screams heard coming from inside that restaurant. then it was quiet. all silent for about 40 minutes. that's when some of those hostages started coming out of that restaurant. at least 34 people wounded. again many of these reports initial, at least 34 people wounded in this event, including as we understand it, japanese nationals and indian nationals. we are waiting to hear word on what other nationalities were involved. this ways a diplomatic enclave. quite likely a number of foreigners caught up in this very violent incident. >> i want to go now to mu muna akhmed. give us an update of what you've witnessed, what you saw and heard over the course of this operation as it unfolded from your vantage point. hello, can you hear us? all right.
it seems that we have lost her. are you with us? we'll try to re-establish that connection. malcolm nance, we've been talking about the significance of this operation. some very important pieces of the puzzle that we've learned. some of it we're not able toind pently confirm. most notable is the isis claim of responsibility. it came out on affiliated news sites associated with isis. let's talk about what this means if in fact this turns out to be isis. also on the heels of the attack that we saw in istanbul which the turkish government is assigning to isis. >> right. well, this would be the coming out in inaugural event for isis in the eastern indian sub continent. and bangladesh in particular. they have never had an operation of this scale, this magnitude, suicide hostage barricade where
they have come out and now captured the attention of the entire international community. very few people before tonight could have told you where dhaka, bau bangladesh was or that it was the capital of bangladesh. they have staked their claim in an area traditionally al qaeda's. al qaeda -- it shows isis as being pressured throughout the world are now activating their smaller level affiliates and carrying out big scale operations. >> jim cavanaugh, if you're with u i want to talk to you if we can about this operation from your expertise as a hostage negotiator as well as a special agent of the atf. talk to us about how this unfolded in terms of the element of surprise. when we began our coverage we were both a little bit surprised that the police, the bangladesh police and their special police, decided to launch this operation during daylight hours and not with the the advantage of perhaps nighttime darkness.
it seems by the results that we're seeing now this may have worked to their advantage. >> right. and they could have had listening devices inside. if they were doing this appropriately, listening devices inside. the long rifle teams watching through the scopes, closing the perimeter, debriefing the one hostage that got out and maybe even the one suspect for any information they might gather. then they might have saw an advantage. an advantage where hostages were separated from terrorists, a place where they could make a move, and we're hoping they had a more surgical team up front from what we saw with the armored personnel carriers. that might have been a follow on to a more surgical special operators up front who went in. if they've saved 14 people out of 20, i mean, that's a pretty good number here. and a very very dire situation. so i'd say the commanders were reading the inside, reading the escalation, de-escalation, clues
that they were make their move, making their decision to move. darkness sometimes is an advantage, sometimes it's not as great an advantage as knowing what's going on inside. so you have to weigh all those things. time goes for you, goes against you. you got to weigh all those things. so i think in the end, this was a very difficult situation they faced, and they did rescue some number of hostages in there. and maybe the number of hostage takers was not as great as we thought earlier on, 7 to 9, maybe, turns out to be only 6. because they said they were all dead and five killed, one captured. >> let's talk about that one potentially captured attacker. what value would that attacker have for law enforcement officials, counterterrorism officials? who's going to want to get their hands on him to get the information that he knows about what took place? >> yeah. he'll be interrogated briskly once hi wounds are patched up. and he'll probably be singing like he was on "the voice"
telling everything he knows. he's probably just a young guy. he's not going to withstand any sophisticated interrogation by the police after this thing is over. and malcolm will tell you likely these guys, they'll even want to brag about their operations. his colleagues are all dead. he went there with the objective probably of suicide himself. so he's not going to be tight-lipped about it. he'll tell all the it. of course they'll no who all the other killers were and sort through it and get good intelligence. >> i think we've re-established with an eyewitness that we've been speaking to throughout the course of this ordeal as well as through the operation and the end of the siege. from her vantage point, mamud, walk us through what you've been able to see from your balcony. i understand you're a few blocks away from where all of this unfolded. talk us back a little bit about what you're seeing now, what you saw this morning as this operation was unfolding real time right in front of your
eye eyes. >> i think we may have lost her again. we'll keep working on that connection. let me bring in steve clemens and talk potentially what this means for the bangladeshi government. we've talked about the implications for united states and isis's global reach. what direction, steve, does this now take the bangladeshi government that has wrestled with its own domestic challenges with the rise of accomplice cal islam. some groups who have been affiliated with a more extremist militant groups, what do you think is -- what do you think this attack, this siege, is going to have on the government now? >> well, a smart move of the government would be begin to demonstrate in a very visible way cooperation with other nations that have the resources it doesn't have to coordinate
and synthesize those capacities to begin taking on this element which has -- those of us who care about the bangladeshi people have been worried for some time about this targeting of sectarian leaders. and the news of these deaths would pop in the american or the western media and disappear very quickly. but you could feel for those of us who have looked at bangladesh and the fear and how it was growing across some of the moderate elements of bangladesh that not enough was going on. these are sentiments expressed to me by others in bangladesh. i want to respect your other commentator's views, that she sees the government as having done some brave things and having stepped forward. and the supreme court trying to basically re-establish secularism. but there are a lot of people who feel that in the face of these killings, the government
has been clamping down on dissent, unresponsive, and not effectively taking on this issue. so i think the strategy that they should take is to begin to do what malcolm said. this is a change in the game. they are now on the map with big countries around the world with lots of resources. hopefully they will welcome and accept all of that and go after these groups that are operating in their society and begin to shut them down and curtail their activities. but i don't know they're going to do that. i hope they do. it's not been something that they've been doing thus far despite the murder of many of the best people in their country. >> steve clemens, stay with us. i want to bring into the conversation graham wood with the atlantic as well as an edward r. murrow fellow at the council on foreign relations here in new york. graham, good to have you with us. i know you've learned a lot about isis. so give us a sense of what's at play here for isis.
some people may be watching this. as malcolm was saying they may have never heard of dhaka or bangladesh. why bangladesh? why has isis been so keen on trying to establish a foothold in this particular country over the past year? we know that since november they had an issue of dabik magazine that spelled this out, talked about it, but why? >> they've been very clear about their desins on bangladesh. they have this strategy of looking for countries that have strong muslim majorities, as bangladesh does, and that are also inparentally inherently un. bangladesh's government isn't on the firmest footing. isis looks at governments like that and says we would like to attack places where we can show that the government is even less stable than it appears to be at first. they want to be able to say that the government here can't provide security. it can't provide stability.
then they want to be able to point to their own state in syria and iraq and say, look, stability is what we do best. we were able to do this in a war zone. so if bangladesh gets worse -- and believe me they'll try to make it worse -- then we'll be an alternative that bangladeshis might be able to turn to in the worst of times. >> i take it, graham, you're looking at this situation and probably saying this is not going to be the end of it. this is not by any means the last time we'll hear from isis or even extremist groups affiliated with isis or adopting its ideology in bangladesh. >> it's not the end of the beginning. this series of targeted assassinations is another example of isis trying to say we can strike you where we wish. we can make sure that bangladeshi society is unstable, it's unprotected by its authorities, and that if there's someone we don't like we can take them out. so this is the message that isis
has been giving, that it's just given us more loudly than before today. >> and graham, let me ask you this. i know we're talking about isis because they've put out a claim of responsibility that we haven't independently verified. but if we were to run the spectrum of possible terrorist groups or militant groups in bangladesh, could there be another one that was capable of carrying this type of attack out? if so who or why? >> i think that's possible. i think it's unlikely, though. the choice of venue to attack in a suburb of dhaka that is an international suburb, a place where people are most secure, most cosmopolitan, that points to some group that wants to make an imprint on the global scene, not a local group. there's possibility, i guess, of an al qaeda affiliate that might want to do an attack like this. but the fact that isis has, it seems, claimed it has september
out images that look for credible. of course they still might not be but so far look to strongly suggest that isis's hand is involved here. >> graham wood, contributing editor with the atlantic as well as edward r. murrow fellow at the council on foreign relations. appreciate your insights. thanks for joining us, graham. >> thanks. >> malcolm, very quickly, counterterrorism efforts with bangladesh, describe for us what they were like yesterday, what they're going to be like tomorrow. >> well, before yesterday they were just regional and local counterterrorism support that we were providing all around the world. the united states has provided counterterrorism support to well over 100 countries. but what it's going to be tomorrow is going to be absolutely astronomical. they are not only going to get counterterrorism support most materially in terms of equipment, weapons, intelligence collection capacity, they're going to get a lot of training. and not just at a regional level. you see they had victims who were from japan. japan tends to contribute a lot
of materials. india itself has a very robust counterterrorism capacity and very elite teams. and they themselves can offer that at a regional level. the united states special operations command is probably already have people over there liasing with the american embassy, may have given advice on this raid. so they are also going to be able, through the state department and the fbi and other cooperative agencies, suddenly come down to bangladesh and try to professionalize at least a major organization like the r.a.b. into a really elite counterterrorism force. >> all right. malcolm nance, thank you very much for joining us. we're going to take a quick brake here. watching extended coverage of msnbc's live coverage of the dhaka siege that has unfolded in bangladesh. stay with us. we'll be right back.
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>> you're with us watching extended coverage of the siege in dhaka, bangladesh. it has been unfolding now for the past several hours overnight. with me throughout all of it has been cal perry updating us throughout the course of the evening. cal give us a quick rundown of what we have learned. >> it has been an astonishing last 12 hours for the small south asian country of bangladesh. this country finding itself at the center of terrorism. something that the world is now coming to grips with. in just the past two hours, the commandos involved have laid siege to the very restaurant that terrorists had laid siege to some ten hours earlier. we now are ready to say that this is over. at least 34 people wounded. we're still working on the details of the nationalalities. we understand that all of the hostage takers, attackers, gunmen were killed in that raid. it is still unclear right now at this hour what the exact numbers are on those who are killed and those who are wounded.
it will probably be a day or two before we have very specific information as the officials are just now getting around to briefing the media. but certainly this news cycle which was dominated by the istanbul attacks now is refocused on a new region in the world, a new front in this, the war on terror. ayman? >> cal, thank you for that update. i want to bring in steve clemens. steve, you heard cal perry talk about a new front in the war on terror. it is hard to talk about anything in southeast asia and not talk about its impact on india, in particular case here you have bangladesh, obviously a neighbor, shares a border with india. now that it has what we believe to be a strong presence of extremist groups, whether al qaeda and indian sub continent, whether isis in its new form in bangladesh, what is this mean for india? what impact is this going to have on the geopolitical security structure of the
subcontinent? >> i think india, remember, bangladesh declared independence, was made independent from pakistan in 1971. so it's a complicated region. there's some tension between bangladesh and india, but overall good relations. but there are pop ups here. but there's a lot of illegal movement of people and migration from bangladesh into india. and perhaps vice versa. but remember, india is a country that has experienced horrific trirmt. most often you may remember the mumbai attacks that were sponsored by l.e.t. in pakistan, a terrorist group there, allegedly with some support of a sliver of pakistani intelligence support. i think that my knee jerk response is india has a greater resilience, a greater intelligence capacity and a greater preparedness right now than bangladesh has.
it has greater capacity. but when isis is out there looking for soft spots, looking for weak governments as graham woods laid out they might try to destabilize. while the indian government has fragile tis and what not, it's not this kind of terrorism that would necessarily do it. i tend not to be worried about india as much as i am other governments that are fragile like the bangladeshi one right now. >> all right, steve clemens, stay with us if you can just for a few more minutes. i know it's been a long night for all of us. but jim cavanaugh, if i can bring you back into this discussion. and the implications of what we are seeing unfold halfway around the world, what it means for us back here in the united states. some similarities. the united states is about to enter a holiday weekend, one of the long holiday weekends, one of the busiest if not the busiest travel holiday weekend of the summer. the target in bangladesh, a restaurant, a cafe. nothing extraordinary. nothing out of the ordinary about that particular location
other than perhaps thought was frequented by westerners, frequented by tourists, frequented by diplomats. but still with a presence of security. we heard from the reporters that we've been speaking to on the ground. they told us that security as it was entering the end of ramadan, entering its holiday period was stepped up, beefed up. something we're seeing back here at home. how concerned are you if you're a u.s. law enforcement official this evening watching this unfold halfway around the world? >> well, i am concerned. and i think law enforcement in america is concerned. but we have great capacity. we have great intelligence. and we've been hit in more recent times by these inspired actors, not a group like this of seven actors together. we've been hit with one or two actors who are inspired by al qaeda or isis. they can be extremely deadly. look at the one actor in orlando. it killed 49 people. but those are the kind of attacks we've had. the inspired attacks. i think we should all be
concerned. but the answer is, you got to be alert. pay attention to what's going on. if i could complete the circle, ayman, that you and steve were just talking about. it's so important in the terrorism law enforcement sphere and what's going on in the world here. mumbai. mumbai is such a major terrorist attack. ten attackers trained in pakistan to attack moumbai. the indian police were so well trained they were able to handle that situation at these 12 locations over four days. fire at the hotel, multiple attacks on the jewish center. they were trained and up to that challenge. bang debangladesh can you just imagine this disruption in the city in dhaka from this one event, what if there were four or five events simultaneously? in the u.s. we have the capability to deal with that.
some countries do not. you look at mumbai, pakistan, inspired attacks in the america. it's a circle of what isis and al qaeda push out in their virus against the world. attack where you are. sometimes we'll send a trained cell that we support financially with weapons. i think we should all be concerned of the july 4th weekend. not to freeze ourselves from not celebrating but just to be alert when you're out there. pay attention. have your own personal strategy and personal strategy with your small group. i will say have a command post at home. have somebody at your own personal command post you can call, you can text, you can reach out to and have a little strategy to get away, move away, to see something to say something. and my personal advice to everybody always is, take cover. there could be another. and all of these attackers from the boston marathon to al qaeda to mumbai, there's often a follow on shooting or bomb. so take cover.
there could be another. move away. be alert. it will happen somewhere. and the more alert people are the safer they're going to be. >> jim on one hand i want to say those are words of wisdom. on the other hand, it's also a reminder of the new reality and the new world we live in we want to take a quick break. stay with us. we'll come back with more extended coverage of the dhaka siege. you totaled your brand new car.
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eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. eliquis treats dvt & pe blood clots. plus had less major bleeding. both made switching to eliquis right for me. ask your doctor if it's right for you. welcome back, everyone. i am ayman mohyeldin at msnbc headquarters in new york. you're watching live extended coverage of the dhaka siege that has been unfolding in bangladesh over the past several hours. i want to go back to steve
clemens. steve, you and i were talking about something that i think is very fascinating, which is some of these attacks, whether they be orlando or istanbul or now as we're seeing bangladesh, not necessarily directed by isis but maybe even inspired. talk to us a little bit about the cascading terrorism effect, the butterfly effect if you will what we're seeing unfolding on the global stage. how are these attacks related or not related to one another? >> well, as jim cavanaugh and others on the program have said, that there are different kinds of terrorism enacted by different players. some are inspired couples. we've seen married couples in san bernardino or omar mateen in orlando or hasan in fort hood. others i worry about terrorism we've heard it all over tv today, because this was a complex attack with numerous
people that was engaged with a plan and was suicidal, that that capacity and sophistication pretty much identifies this as the footprint of isis or al qaeda. as opposed to other groups that are out there. and i worry that the prevalence of this and the way in which we're covering this is it's not hard for others to begin to both copycat. so we have a bias i think built in in our analysis. and i also think that we've when you've seen -- we don't give a lot of boko haram in africa and other places are mimicking what they're seeing and affiliating. i remember when peter bergen wrote the book "holy war" he looked at al qaeda in its earliest form as bin laden a zawheri organized it with responsibilities that operated
across different languages, 60 different nations or so, in what was then toxic intelligence environments. when the intelligence environments have gotten orders of magnitude more toxic watching and looking in the security enhanced, the capability of terror groups have been enhanced. so you have a combination of a group like isis which has stepped beyond al qaeda and has just called people to go out and stab and kill, in some places, or to organize more sophisticated places to take down tourist sites, to take down airports, to do other things. and the agency in this, like who's controlling what, is a much more confused picture. i worry a lot about this cascading effect, echo effects in other countries. and i think we need to be careful with our own presumptions about who's doing what. because i think the world of terrorism could easily expand to many more groups who just begin to mimic what they see unfolding in dhaka today. >> it is a sad reality. but steve clemens, i know you've been with us throughout the
course of this ordeal all throughout the night. thank you very much for your analysis and insights. much appreciated, steve. >> thank you. >> as we've been trying to throughout the course of the evening -- has been with us throughout the course of this tragic ordeal. i'm being told that we've just lost him. we want to cross over to cal perry who's in the news room. cal, there was a question that you and i were kind of discussing offline a little bit. this was about how much isis is able to control the news cycle. when you look at just the past couple of weeks, from the attack in orlando, from the attacks in istanbul, and now this attack, there is this way that isis has the ability to shape so much of the global media narrative about security, about terrorism. >> and this is becoming so important in them spreading their message. look at the week that we had. on tuesday we saw that horrific attack on the istanbul airport.
in 48 hours there was video on almost every media outlet of suicide bombers exploding the suicide vests inside that airport. on thursday evening we had the iraqi department of defense or the equivalent of the iraqi department of defense putting out that video showing u.s. air strikes on an isis convoy. that knocked those pictures from istanbul off the air. then today for 12 hours we had a siege in dhaka that was clearly drawn out partly to get this kind of media attention. so really, picking up where steve had left off, this is a way of spreading that ideology. not just on social media but on media, on mainstream media as well. we have spent the last 12 hours talk talking about the islamic state, which may or may not be behind this attack. but in the eyes of many people, that doesn't really matter, right? they claim responsibility through one of these adjacent media outlets, and suddenly they're on the front page again. they're above the fold. that in many ways is a victory
for the islamic state, daesh, however you want to refer to them and something we have to be mindful of. this battle is taking places in dhaka and istanbul and in newspapers around the world and television stations around the world. >> what do you think, cal -- i know you've monitored this as well and certainly having lived and traveled in the middle east and other parts of the world -- how does this have an impact into the overall isis strategy in terms of how it radicalizes, how it recruits, how it draws people to the fight or how it even inspires people to carry out attacks? >> listen, we talk so often about people feeling ostracized from the community that they're, in whether that's a muslim person living here in the united states who's feeling ostracized from a community in orlando, or whether that's a taxi driver in jordan who feels he is out of place with the sort of mainstream muslim beliefs of that country. this is a providing individuals around the world who have difficulties for any number of reasons, a place to go, a home,
something to make the incident, the attack, the horrific nature of whatever it is they're carrying out, it gives it more mean thing. look at orlando for example. there were any number of things that laid behind the reasons that that gunman went into that club and carried out the vicious attack. but he took time to call 911 and declare his allegiance to isis. whether or not he had anything to do with the islamic state or this was just inspired by things that he read online, that phone call to 911 provided him with more meaning for a horrific attack that he carried out in orlando. >> cal, let's talk a little bit about what this could possibly mean for u.s. counterterrorism effort to go after isis in this particular space, which is online propaganda or recruitment or even through various media. how do you see a situation where the u.s. government could recapture that narrative as you mentioned with that video, for example, in iraq? >> well, it's not so simple as just hopping on twitter and starting to sort of refute some
of these statements. it goes much deeper than that. this is about an international development. this is about international aid. this is about changing the narrative that's being created in the middle east, a narrative that the u.s. has long fought over the past decade since the war in iraq, right? this is a narrative that the u.s. has gone to great lengths to correct since the war in iraq. and it's going to take time and it's going to take reaching out to these nations, finding arab partners. we talk so often about countries like jordan, lebanon. u.s. military aid to the lebanese armed forces has increased dramatically in the past few months. that is a willing support for the united states. a message not just a symbolic one but a very real message that we are with them in their fight against isis. and we can't forget. there are arab countries out there that are on the front lines against this fight, against isis in the region. >> all right, msnbc's cal perry has been with us throughout the course of the evening monitoring this situation. we're going to take a quick break. when we come back we'll recap some of tonight's developments.
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i'm ayman mohyeldin. we're we've been reporting on the attack on an upscale restaurant in dog cave. police stormed it, were able to resolve the situation according to police commanders on the ground. with us here in studio is msnbc counterterrorism analyst malcolm nance. malcolm, we've watched the situation unfold. and we've been talking about the implications of what this means from isis's perspective. but let's talk about what this means from a u.s. perspective. what is this going to change for the united states in its global map of combatting isis?
>> well, there's two components to that. the actual practicality reality how we'll carry out counterterrorism operations and assist bangladesh to that. and the united states that is going to view this as part of a massive continuum of treft attacks never seen before in history. we all have been here during the 9/11 period. those of us in counterterrorism understand these things do occur in waves. this week we're seeing a series of attacks that have gone on that have been attributed to the islamic state of iraq and syria. and we understand that, that we are in this international battle with them. and we're throwing punches at each other. the united states, on the other hand, has managed to kill almost 23,000 of those fighters in the last two years and is pressuring the islamic state to the point where it's ready to collapse. so what will we be doing? the united states special
operations command will probably be the first organization tasked out right now to send trainers from over in africa or out of qatar to bangladesh to give them advice, training and assistance, in case that there's a follow on attack that could occur there. and the u.s. state department will coordinate the fbi and other operations to go over there to study these attacks. and of course, give as much support to bangladesh. so bangladesh has now moved up to a tier one player on the u.s. counterterrorism support, certainly in the indian sub continent. >> i'm going to talk about some of the points you brought up what this means on the political front in the united states in the election season some of the rhetoric. i want to go overseas to get an update. joining me by phone is "new york times" southeast correspondent covering this along with her colleague on the ground in dhaka. good to have you with us. what can you shed light on in terms of what has unfolded in
this operation over the the past several hours? >> we know that army troops in several dozen armored vehicles approached the restaurant and stormed it. there was gunfire and there were explosions for about 40 minutes. then ambulances rushed from the restaurant scene. about 200 relatives and friends were outside the restaurant. many -- some of them text messaging with the hostages inside. and weeping afterwards when they lost contact and when they didn't get any more messages. >> do you know anymore about the fate of the hostages in terms of how many were in there, how many have been injured, how many have been rescued alive and how many may have lost their lives? >> we have a senior police source that at least 12 people have been rescued. some of them foreigners.
we don't know how many died. the government isn't saying that as yet. but there were definitely some deaths. >> and gita, i wanted to ask you as well a question i posed to one of our earlier guests. you're obviously in mumbai covering this. there's going to be some implication for yand as a result of what has happened in bangladesh. not because in any way, shape or form that it is involved. but it's hard to discuss security in southeast asia, particularly on the subcontinent, without discussing what this means for india. what role do you think india may be playing now, either in helping bangladesh cope through this through its own experiences? what has been the sense of the reaction from the government there from what you've been hearing? >> in bangladesh, had a close relationship under both current governments with india. but it's a relationship they're quite quiet about. because india is so controversial in bangladesh,
especially among fundamentalist types of the growing radicalized population. especially because during the last months there have been a lot of hindu priests and other hindus killed in the continuous hacking deaths. india is on heightened alert. the indian government has been reaching out and is quite concerned about the sudden turn of events in which hindus have been targeted in these machete attacks. it started with bloggers. it's expanded to other people. lately it's been focused on hindu. india is majority hindu. >> what direction do you think this may have in terms of shaping the current policies of the bangladeshi government? is this going to push them in a direction where we are going to see a crackdown both on political islamist organizations that they've been dealing with on the fringes of the political system?
or do you think we're going to see a massive change in the way the state is approaching security and counterterrorism? >> i mean, we just saw a massive crackdown in which more than 10,000 people were arrested. that was two weeks ago. and then we have this attack. what everyone i'm speaking to is hoping this will do is convince the government to work more closely with the u.s., india and other countries that are specialists in dealing with the international terror groups. the government -- i mean, we hear the government has been working with the other governments. but the hope is that this will convince the governments that international groups, international terror groups, are a force there and need to be focused on and not to see this solely as local groups wreaking havoc.
>> gita, you certainly know the lay of the land of the government in bangladesh and in india much better than i do. but would you say that the government in bangladesh was aware or at least was treating the risk or threat of transnational terrorist organizations like isis and al qaeda seriously? or were they shunning it or maybe turning a blind eye to how much it had grown over the past couple of years? >> it's hard to tell. publicly they were denying the presence of international terror groups. but when we spoke to individual senior police, they were not. they were just saying it's more complicated. they were saying that we've had local militant groups, terrorizing the population for two decades. and that those local groups evolve and their affiliations change. and so they may be affiliated
now with international terror groups. but we need to fight them on the ground as local groups and clamp down locally. and they were making the international connection sound more tenuous than perhaps they were. >> and i take it, gita, that the presence of foreign fighters is not probably very common in an environment like bangladesh, that most of these elements, most of these extremist elements are indigenous or organic from within bangladeshi society itself. >> yes. they're from bangladeshi society themselves. sometimes influenced by people who have left. they were heavily influenced by people who went to afghanistan to fight and then returned and r radicalized their friends and relatives. and there are some leading bangladeshi isis fighters. whether they're communicating with locals in bangladesh has
been the subject of intense debate. because the isis leaders from bangladesh left decades ago. local police were telling us, look, they didn't think they were communicating because people who left don't even speak bangla. and the people that they thought were involved locally don't speak english. and they weren't sure how they would be communicating. >> very quickly, gita, if i can, last question for you. talk to us about the freedom of expression or freedom of space, if you will, for issues like internet freedom and usage in bangladesh. is it relatively free the media? we talk about radicalization we always talk about it at least in the context of the west, a lot of it happens online, in private chat rooms, in things out of the shadows -- or in the shadows so to speak of online. the deep web. the dark web. does that exist in bangladesh? do they have free internet kmus yoo usage?
is that where the radicalization is happening in groups like this? >> they have free media. so it is happening on the internet. but it's also happening on the ground. there's a lot of medrasas and a lot of nonprofits that have sprung up funded by saudi arabia and other nonprofits in other parts of the world that preach salafist or wahabi, very conservative type of islam. so it's happening from both directions. on the internet as well as on the ground. >> all right. geeta anand. thank you. stay with us. we'll have a lot more when we come back right after this break.
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and more importantly what this means for us here in the united states. i'm going to put you on the spot by telling you we're little bit short on time. but give me your final thoughts on this. >> bangladesh is really gopg to change after this. the government was trying out secularization campaign. getting significant push back from islamist groups. the question now can they rally those islamist groups to reject this immense violence that's occurred inside their country and of course bring that to crush whatever nascient isis organization is cropping up there. >> malcolm nance, counterterrorism expert. you've been watching extended coverage of the hostage situation in dhaka, bangladesh. a situation that has now ended according to police on the ground. stay with us for much more throughout all of this ordeal. i'm ayman mohyeldin in new york. so i asked about adding once-daily namenda xr
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coverage of the dramatic news unfolding in bangladesh. it's now late saturday morning in dhaka. a short time ago special security forces there launched a raid on the holey artisan bakery after a 11--hour standoff with armed militants holding dozens of people hostage. we're told over 100 come man dose participated in the operation. police are now telling abc news all of the gunmen have been killed. police also say the raid is now over. we're told by journalists on the ground that 1