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tv   Sex Slaves  MSNBC  July 1, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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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 14 hostages were
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rescued. another report states that 34 people were transported to a local area hospital. the associated press is reporting that at least five restaurant employees who managed to escape. now, isis has taken credit for the siege, but the state department tells us they have not been able to confirm that claim. i want to bring in my colleague, cal perry, who can tell us more about this police operation as it unfolded. cal. >> we are ready to say that this is now over. it unfolded. cal. >> ayman, 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 commandos entering that restaurant. there was a hail and exchange of gunfire. we're talking about the rapid action battalion that's basically like an s.w.a.t. team equivalent in bangladesh. that raid went on for ten to 20 minutes. there was a series of
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explosions. i want to go through mamuna. we've been speaking to her. 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 mamuna.
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>> hello? >> hello, are you with us? okay. we're going to try to re-establish that connection if we can. but with us here in studio, we have with us malcolm nance. malcolm, we've been talking about the significance of this operation. some very important pieces of the muzzle that we've learned. some of it, we're not able to independently confirm. most notably is the isis claim of responsibility. it came out on affiliated news sites belonging to isis or affiliated with isis, rather. let's talk about what this means if in fact this turns out to be isis. also on the heels of the attack we saw in istanbul, which the turkish government is assigning to isis. >> right. well, this would be the coming out, inaugural terrorism event for isis in the indian -- you know, eastern indian subcontinent. and bangladesh in particular. they have never had an operation of this scale, this magnitude, a suicide hostage barricade where they have come out and now captured the attention of the entire international community.
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very few people before tonight could have told you where dhaka, bangladesh, was or that it was even the capital of bangladesh. so they now have staked their claim in an area that actually was traditionally al qaeda's. al qaeda of the indian subcontinent had dominated this part of the world. but it also shows that isis, as they're being pressured throughout the world, are now activated their smaller level affiliates and carrying out big scale operations. >> jim cavanaugh, i want to talk to you 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 bangladeshi police and their special police decided to launch this operation during daylight hours and not with the advantage of perhaps nighttime darkness. it seems by the results that
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we're seeing now this may have worked to their advantage. >> right. and they could have had listening devices inside. you know, 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. and then they might have saw an advantage, an advantage where hostages were separated from terrorists, a place where they could make a move and, you know, we're hoping they had a more surgical team up front from what we saw with the armored personnel carriers, but that might have been just a follow-on to a more surgical special operators up front who went in. you know, if they've saved 14 people out of 20, i mean that's -- that's a pretty good number here in a very, very dire situation. so i'd say the commanders were reading the inside, reading the escalation, deescalation clues, and they were making their move,
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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. seven to nine, maybe it turns out to be only six because they said they were all dead, and five were killed, one captured. so -- >> let's talk about that one potentially captured attacker. what value would that attacker have for law enforcement officials, counterterrorism officials? who is going to want to get their hands on him to get the information that he knows about what took place? >> yeah, he'll be -- he'll be interrogate the briskly once his wounds are patched up, and he'll probably be singing like he was on "the voice," telling everything he knows.
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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 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 about it, and of course they'll know who all the other killers were, and they'll sort through it and get some good intelligence. >> i think we've re-established connection with an eyewitness we've been speaking to throughout the course of this deal as well as the operation. walk us through what you've been able to see from your balcony. i understand that you're a few blocks away from where all of this unfolded. so 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 eyes.
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all right. i think we may have lost mamuna again. we're going to keep working on that connection. let me bring in steve clemons and talk potentially about what this means for the bangladeshi government. we've talked about the implications of what this may mean for the united states and certainly what it may mean for isis' global reach. what direction does this now take the bangladeshi government that has wrestled with its own domestic challenges, with the rise of political islam, some groups that have been affiliate the with more extremist elements of extreme militant groups, rather. what do you think this attack, this siege, is going to have on the government now? >> well, a smart move of the government would begin to demonstrate in a very visible way cooperation with other nations that have the resources it doesn't have to coordinize and synthesize those capacities
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to begin taking on this element which is -- you know, those of us who care about the bangladeshi people have been worried for some time about this targeted killing of secular leaders but also sufi and shia representatives and others in society. you know, 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 look at the fear and how it was growing across some of the moderate elements of bangladesh. that not enough was going on. these are not my feelings. these are sentiments that have been expressed to me by, you know, others in bangladesh. and i want to respect your other commentators' views. mamuna, that she sees the government of having done some brave things and having stepped forward. you know, the supreme court trying to basically re-establish secularism. but there are a lot of people who feel in the face of these killings, the government has
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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 nance said. this is a change in the game. they are now on the map of 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 have been doing thus far despite the murder of many of the best people in their country. >> steve clemons, stay with us. i want to bring into the conversation graeme wood. he is with the atlantic as well as an edward r. murrow fellow at the council on foreign relations here in new york. graeme, good to have you with us. listen, i know you read a lot about isis, and so give us a sense of what's at play here for isis. some people may be watching
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this, and as malcolm was saying, they may not have ever heard of dhaka. they may have never heard of 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 dabiq magazine that spelled this out, that talked about it. but why? >> they've been very clear about their designs on bangladesh. they have this strategy of looking for countries that have strong muslim majorities, as bangladesh does, and that are also inherently unstable. bangladesh's government is not one of the ones that we could point to that we could say is really on the firmest footing. so 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. and then they want to be able to point to their own state in
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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. >> i take it you're looking at this situation and you're probably saying this is not going to be the end of this. this is not by any means the last time we're going to hear from isis or perhaps even extremist groups affiliated with isis or adopting his ideology in bangladesh. >> that's right. it's not the end, nor is it as some of your other commentators have said the beginning. it's 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 -- this is the message that isis has been giving, and it's just given us
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more loudly than before today. >> and, graeme, 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 this 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? and if so, who or why? >> i think that's possible. i think it's unlikely, though. the choice of -- the choice of venue to attack, in a suburb of dhaka that is an international suburb of a place where people are most secure and 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, it seems, claimed it, has sent out images that look to be credible.
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they still might not be, but they look to suggest that isis' hand is strongly involved here. >> all right. graeme wood, appreciate your insights. thanks for joining us. >> thanks. >> malcolm, very quickly, counterterrorism efforts with bangladesh. describe what they were like yesterday, what they're going to be like tomorrow. >> before yesterday, they were regional and local counterterrorism support that we were providing all around the world. you know, 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 both ma materially, 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
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counterterrorism capacity and very elite teams, and they themselves can offer that at a regional level. the united states special operations command probably already has people over there liaising with the american embassy, may have even 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 rab into a really elite counterterrorism force. >> all right. malcolm nance, thank you very much for joining us. we're going to take a quick break. you're watching extended coverage of msnbc's live coverage of the dhaka siege that has unfolded in bangladesh. stay with us. (lock clicks) (dramatic music) (group) surprise! oh my goodness! happy birthday! oh, you. (laughing)
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welcome back, everyone. i'm ayman mohyeldin here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. 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 my colleague cal perry. he's been updating us throughout the course of the evening. cal, give us a quick rundown of what we have learned. >> ayman, it has been truly 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
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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 nationalities. but we understand that all of the hostage-takers, all of the attackers, all of the 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. >> all right, cal perry, thank you for that update. i want to bring in steve clemons. 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
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not talk about its impact on india and, 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 it al qaeda, whether it be isis in its new form in bangladesh, what does this mean for india? what impact is this going to have on the geopolitical security structure of the subcontinent? >> well, i think -- i think india, and remember bangladesh declared independence, was made independent from pakistan in 1971. so, you know, it's a complicated region. there is 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
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terrorism. 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, you know, 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 graeme wood just laid out, that they might try to destabilize. you know, while the indian government has fragilities and what not, it's not this kind of terrorism that would necessarily do it. so i tend not to be worried about india as much as i am other governments that are fragile like the bangladeshi one right now. >> steve clemons, stay with us if you can for a few more minutes.
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jim cavanaugh, if i can bring you back into this discussion. 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 that it 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've told us that security as it was entering the end of ramadan, entering its holiday period, was stepped up, was beefed up. something we're seeing back here at home. how concerned are you, if you are 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.
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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, you know, one or two actors who are inspired by al qaeda or isis, and they can be extremely deadly. look at the one actor in orlando that 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. you got to pay attention to what's going on. if i could complete this circle, ayman, that you and steve just talked about because it's so important in the sphere and what's going on in the world. mumbai is such a major terrorist event, ten attackers trained in pakistan to attack mumbai. they had 12 locations. there was a lot of deaths. but the indian police, the mumbai police, were so well trained, they were able to handle that situation at these
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12 locations over four days. fire at the hotel, multiple attacks in the jewish center, and they were trained and up to that challenge. bangladesh, can you just imagine what this disruption in the city of dhaka from this one event. what if there were four or five or six events simultaneously? in the u.s., we have the capability to deal with that. some countries do not. so if you look at a mumbai attack, you look at a bangladesh attack, you look at the inspired attacks in america, it's a circle of what isis and al qaeda push out in their virus against the world. attack where you are, and sometimes we'll send a trained cell that we support financially and with weapons. i think we should all be concerned over 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 a personal strategy with your small group. i always say have a command post at home.
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have somebody at your own personal command post you can call, text, reach out to. 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. you know, 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. hey, searching for a great used car? yeah! you got it. just say show me millions of used cars for sale at the all new carfax.com.
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welcome back, everyone. i am ayman mohyeldin at msnbc world 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 clemons. steve, you and i were talking about something that i think is
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very fascinating, which is some of these attacks, whether they be orlando or istanbul or now as we are 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, of what we are seeing unfold 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 radicalized members of the u.s. military in fort hood, you know, take on action in the united states. but in other places, up know, one of the biases that i worry about, those that are terrorism observers, and we've heard it all over tv today, is because this was a complex attack with numerous people, that, you know, it was engaged with a plan and was suicidal, that that capacity
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and sophistication pretty much identifies this as the footprint of isis or al qaeda as opposed to other groups out there. and i worry that the prevalence of this and the way we're covering this, 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 when you've seen -- and we don't get a lot of attention to this -- boko haram and other groups in africa, north africa, mali, libya and other places are mimicking what they're seeing play out in other places, and they are affiliating. so i remember when peter bergen wrote the book holy war inc. what was interesting about that was he looked at al al qaeda in its earlier form, with ministries and responsibilities that operated, you know, across different languages.
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60 different nations or so in what was then toxic intelligence environments. well, the intelligence environments have gotten orders of magnitude more toxic watching and looking in the security enhanced, the capabilities have been enhanced. so you have a combination of a group like isis which has stepped beyond al qaeda and has 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. the agency in this, like who's controlling what, is a much more confused picture. i worry about echo effects in other countries. i think we need to be careful of our own presumptions of who is doing what. i think the world of terrorism could easily expand to more and more groups who just begin to mimic what they see unfold in dhaka today. >> it is a sad reality. steve clemons, i know you've been with us all throughout the night.
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thank you for analysis and insights. we've been constantly relying on information coming to us from the ground in bangladesh. we want to cross over to the planning editor at the dhaka tribune. he's been with us throughout the course of all of this tragic ordeal. i'm being told that we've just lost him. so we want to cross over to cal perry, who's in the newsroom. 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, right? look at the week that we had. on tuesday, we saw that horrific attack on the istanbul airport.
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and for 48 hours, there was video on almost every media outlet of suicide bombers exploding there, 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. and 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 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
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them, and it's something we have to be mindful of. this is a battle that's take is place not only on the ground in places like dhaka, in places like istanbul, but it's taking part in newspapers and television stations around the world. >> 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 >> 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 is 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
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of whatever it is they're carrying out -- it gives it more meaning. look at orlando, for example. there were any number of things that lay behind the reasons that that gunman went into that club and carries out that 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. >> and, cal, let's talk a little bit about what this could possibly mean for u.s. counterterrorism efforts to go after isis in this particular space, which is either online propaganda or recruitment or even, you know, 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 start of refute some
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of these statements. it goes much deeper than that. this is about 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. 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 partners. we talk so often about countries like jordan, countries like lebanon. u.s. military aid to the lebanese armed forces has increased dramatically in the past few months. that is a willing support from 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. we can't forget, right, 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. he's 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 at msnbc world headquarters here in new york. you've been following our extended coverage of the siege that has unfolded in dhaka, bangladesh, at an upscale cafe and restaurant. hostages were taken. 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.
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malcolm, you know, we've watched the situation unfold, and we've been talking about the implications of what this means, you know, from isis' 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 combating isis? >> well, there's two components to that. there's going to be the actual practicality on the ground reality of how we carry out counterterrorism operations and how we'll assist bangladesh to do that. and then there's the political dimension here in the united states which is going to jump onto this and is going to take this and view it as part of a massive continuum of terrorism attacks that have never been seen before in history. we all have been here during the 9/11 period, and those of us in counterterrorism understand that these things do occur in waves. this week we are seeing a series of attacks that have gone on, that have been attributed to the islamic state of iraq and syria,
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and we understand that, that, you know, we're 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 pressuring the islamic state to the point it's ready to collapse. so what will we be doing? the united states special operation command will probably be the first organization tasked out right now to send trainers from out of qatar to bangladesh to give them advice, training, and assistance in case there's a follow-on attack that could occur there. and then the u.s. state department will coordinate the fbi and other operations and 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 subcontinent.
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>> i'm going to talk to you about your points about what this means on the political front in the united states in the middle of an election season. i want to go overseas real quickly to get a quick update. joining me now by phone is "new york times" south asia correspondent who is covering the story from mumbai along with her colleague on the ground in dhaka? what can you shed light on in terms of what has unfolded in operation over the last 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 any more about the fate of the hostages in
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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 heard from 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, geeta, 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 india 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
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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? >> india and bangladesh have had a close relationship under both current governments. but it's a relationship that quite quiet about because india is so controversial in bangladesh, especially amongst fundamentalist types and the growing radicalized population, especially because during the last month, 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 just with bloggers. it's expanded to other people, and lately it's been focused on hindus. and of course india is majority hindu. >> what direction do you think
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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 their 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
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the hope is that this will convince the government 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. >> and 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
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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 these -- 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. >> i take it that the presence of foreign fighters is probably not 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.
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sometimes influenced by people who have left. they were heavily influenced by people who went to afghanistan to fight and then returned and radicalized their friends and relatives. and there are some leading bangladeshi isis fighters. whether they're communicating locally 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 don'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, geeta, if i can, last question for you. talk to us about the freedom of expression or freedom of space, if you will, for, you know,
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issues like internet freedom and usage in bangladesh. is it relatively free -- the media? i mean when we talk about radicalization, we talk about at least in the context here in the west. a lot of it happens online, and in private chat rooms, in things out of the shadow -- 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 usage? is that where the radicalization is happening for groups like this? >> they do have free media, so it is happening on the internet. but it's also happening on the ground. there is a lot of madrasas and a
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lot of nonprofits that have
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i'm ayman mohyeldin at msnbc world headquarters here in new york. we've been following the extended coverage of the dhaka siege. i want to cross over to my colleague, cal perry, who has been following this throughout the course of the evening with us from our newsroom. cal, you have some new information you're just getting. >> just want to give you a quick look at what's happening in japan. officials are briefing the media there. it's starting to emerge that a number of nationals who were in this siege were japanese. in the coming 24, 48 hours, we'll have a better idea of other nationalities. the word is starting to filter out. >> malcolm nance, let's talk very briefly as to where bangladesh goes forward and,
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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 a little short on time. but give me your final thoughts. >> well, bangladesh is really going to change after this. the government was trying out its secularization campaign. they were getting significant push back from islamist groups. the question is 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 nascent isis organization is cropping up there. >> all right. malcolm nance. 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 here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. oh my goodness! happy birthday!
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