tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 14, 2016 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
and for whatever reason, france has become the epicenter of all this terrorism now for months. if you include belgium, so much of it has been in the very important continent of europe. it's all about that. a lot of arab people live in that countries, especially in france. some are assimilated, some are not. there's a lot of anger against these immigrants, and anger from the immigrants. it's a cauldron. and to see a beautiful city like nice, at a time of national celebration, by a truck, out to kill people, to maim many others, but to kill so many people so quickly in cold blood, looking in their faces through the windshield and killing them, because that's what you want to do that day. and here at home, i must say something about this decision by trump, if it is mike pence, he's managed to really pick a rose here. because he could have made some very serious mistakes if he had picked gingrich, i think, there would have been a whole kind of
problem. many people hold newt gingrich responsible for the bad turn in washington politics, starting back in the mid '90s. and i think chris christie, we all know the problems he's had with bridgegate, and that doesn't seem to be over yet. but i really do think in picking a christian conservative in the midwest, a person roswho was an altar boy and a fan of john f. kennedy, a liberty dem, now a christian conservative and a conservative reagan republican, it's an interesting conversion there in the man's life, and they're valid. i think he found a winner here who is going to be an anchor for him and he needs an anchor. an interesting combination, a match of a man who was a bit bombastic, to see the least, and a very calm, somewhat humorless, mid westerner to balance him out and to be his anchor. there will come times where trump will say something that's hard to digest or even accept,
and i think that mr. pence, governor pence, will help him deal with that matter. he will be a good force for him, a sober force for him. >> all important stuff with the proviso if it holds true. >> yes, if it holds true. >> and if it's the story we're covering. chris matthews, thank you for joining us from washington tonight. that's going to do it for this portion of our live coverage. to take over, we go to chris hayes. >> thank you very much. good evening from new york. dozens reportedly dead in the french city of nice after a large truck barreled through crowds of people celebrating bastille day, the french national holiday. witnesses describe the truck traveling at high speed down a promenade that had been shut off to vehicular traffic, filled with revellers. hundreds if not thousands gathered to watch the fireworks. that truck mowing down people in
its path, witnesses describe it zig-zagging to maximize damage. the person driving the truck has been killed by french officials. but it's still unknown if he or she was acting alone. residents of nice are still being asked to stay inside in their homes. the regional president has told french media, the driver was also shooting at people in the crowd and weapons and grenades were found in the truck. francois hollande returned for a crisis meeting. president obama has been briefed on the situation in nice by his national security team and just released a statement that reads in part, on behalf of the american people, i condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in nice, france, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians. on this bastille day, we are reminded of the extraordinary
resilience and democratic values that have made france an inspiration to the entire world. julian was driving during the scene, can you first set the seen of what things were like on the waterfront in nice before this happened? do we have julian there? >> yes, hello? >> hello, julian. can you tell me what the scene was like before the truck appeared, people out on the streets watching the fireworks. >> it was just a mess. i arrived after. i didn't see what happened. but right now i'm on this -- in front of the -- and security's around and i'm taking care, i will say, staying close to a
family who just lost his wife. and there is a guy dead, and they cannot remove the body now. they said because they need to make the -- all the investigation and everything. so it's very hard for them, because the body are there and police seems to not do anything. but they do, of course. but the thing is, there is so many dead people everywhere. right there, next to three dead people. nothing we can do. just watch and await. >> you are right now in the scene, in the aftermath of this, and you're saying there are still bodies out in the street. security officials, presumably, they have closed off that area, i imagine? >> yeah, the area is closed f m
from -- speaking french. the trucks with the firefighters -- they didn't remove anybody. on the dead body i can see, i can see like six, seven dead bodies. they said that we don't remove them. they take care of the injured people first, because the people are dead, so they cannot do anything more for them. >> are the streets empty aside from those bodies and the security officials? >> in fact, which is surprising, a lot of people can walk, can go and come. the security does not even like understand what -- so it's not like secure. i will say that anybody can come, in fact. they closed the road, there's a lot of police going to the main place where there is a lot of
bodies. but i don't know what to tell you. it's a very strange situation. it's like -- i don't know. >> julian, can you see the truck from where you are? >> no. from where i am, no. i don't see the truck. i'm like, behind the helicopter and all the police cars. so i cannot see the truck from where i am. but i'm really close, i think i'm a hundred feet or so from there. i cannot see the truck, i didn't see what happened. i arrived after, and i just came to this guy who was on the ground -- >> julian -- >> -- some -- some -- i just stayed there next to the son and his wife, dead.
>> julian, can you tell me, there's some conflicting reports about the length that this truck drove through the crowd. do you have a sense of how far it traveled in that crowd from where you are? >> i think it's -- they say, from what i heard about the police when they were last speaking about, he drove a couple of hundred meters, driving around the people. and -- sorry. what was your question? >> just how far it was able to go through that crowd. i had read some accounts that say as much as two kilometers driving along that boulevard. >> yeah, yeah. it happened on two kilometers. and that's why i don't understand, because the truck is -- that's very strange, because there is dead bodies,
but the truck seems to be stopped like 200 meters away. so i don't know if some guy just escape and shoot. but i cannot say that's what happened because i didn't see and i don't want to give wrong information. >> julian crozet, i thank you for your time. and please, please be safe. >> no problem. >> joining me now, contributor for "the daily beast" and msnbc contributor who is based in paris. if you could just describe to folks the kind of setting that is the waterfront in nice on bastille day, so people can get a sense of what the target of this apparent attack was. >> well, sure. nice is a port city and a resort town at the same time. and the promenade des anglais which goes back into the 19th century. it's been a famous place for
tourists to go and for local residents to walk, it's a very, very wide promenade that runs along the mediterranean in a sort of slow curve around the water with the beach below it. when on bastille day you have big fireworks displays above the mediterranean there, that promenade des anglais fills up with people and the street fills up with people, and there are bars and hotels, the windows are full. everybody turns out to see the fireworks. so the fireworks had just ended tonight, and people were just getting ready to make their way to restaurants or wherever they were going to go, when the truck started crashing through the crowd. and there were probably thousands of people on the promenade at that moment. >> yeah, part of what makes this, i think, particularly horrible to contemplate and even the footage we're seeing, if anyone has ever been to a large urban fireworks show, that feeling you have when the fireworks end, of being
completely in a sea of people, completely hemmed in, that was the situation these folks found themselves in, at the moment that that truck began to bear down on them. >> well, chris, that's exactly right. and the truck had a lot of room to maneuver as well. one of the eyewitnesses that we talked to said that she was safe because she was in the street. once the truck was up on the promenade des anglais. it could zig-zag through the crowd, literally trying to mow people down as quickly as it possibly could. like some horrible video game where you try to knock zombies out of the way. except these were not zombies, these were innocent people who were being killed by the driver. >> now we have some word from local officials that there were grenades and small arms found in the truck. we still don't have any identification of who is behind the wheel there or any indication of motivation. of course france has been under
a state of emergency that was scheduled, i believe, to end on july 26th. how is this resonating right now in france? given all that this country has been through? >> i think people are very nervous. i think that they're looking over their shoulders a lot. and one of the things that we've seen, if this turns out to be this islamic state, if this turns out to be jihadist terrorist attack, they keep changing their tactics. they keep finding new ways to kill people that were unexpected before. you were here before after the bataclan slaughter and the massacres in the cafe. nobody had done anything like that before. nobody had done anything like "charlie hebdo" before. they keep coming up with more ways to kill people. and the more ways they find, the more nervous people become, because how are you going to protect against trucks driving
down the street? when you're sitting in a cafe, how are you going to protect against somebody driving by and blowing you away? it's a very trite frightening t here. >> what has the domestic political situation into which this apparent attack enters, in terms of how french policy makers have dealt with the aftermath of both "charlie hebd hebdo", the bataclan, the horrible murder of the police officers at knifepoint just, i think, about a month ago? >> well, i think what we're going to see, i'm afraid what we're going to see is what we saw in all those attacks you just mentioned, as well as the attack in brussels, which is that the police already knew these guys. they were already on their tails, to some extent. but the police don't have the resources to follow everybody they suspect all the time. and as a result, you have these guys who have what they call fishes, which says that they are
suspected of jihadist sympathies, but there just aren't the resources to tail them constantly. and they are smart enough to know that their phones are monitored and that if they act a certain way, the police will lose interest in them. that's exactly what happened with the man who murdered a police officer and his wife in front of their 3-year-old child just a few weeks ago. >> all right, christopher, dickie in paris, thank you very much, christopher, i really appreciate it. we now have on the phone, nbc producer bob franken from nice. and bob, my understanding is that you are near the scene of where this happened. what do you see? >> what i see is an empty promenade des anglais, the thorough fare that runs right by the mediterranean ocean. what i'm seeing also is heavily armed police with automatic weapons at each intersection, blocking traffic and blocking pedestrians, sometimes pointing their rifles, to stop people
from coming onto the promenade. now the promenade is the roadway that goes right to the pedestrian area where the thousands of people were sitting, watching the fireworks display for bastille day. right at the fireworks were ebbing, the show was ending, the truck came, according to witnesses, and started mowing down the pedestrians. if you look out onto the pedestrian area, you can still see some of the apparently dead people, because the emergency officials, for starters, were trying to deal with the injured. we're hearing that 70 have died. the truck moved passed this area, continued on, still hitting pedestrians and went at least a couple football fields to use an american description, before it was finally stopped and apparently the driver killed. >> we are getting word from french security officials that there was -- there were gun
shots as well, that either the truck was ultimately brought to a stop because it was fired at and that perhaps, i think, at least one eyewitness that i had seen, and again these are eyewitness accounts in the midst of mayhem sometimes don't always shake out, that there were shots being fired by the people or person that was inside that truck. do we know if that's the case? >> well, we don't know that that's the case. i can only tell you some witnesses told me they had heard gun shots. others said they had not. so, again, it is the fog of a catastrophe, that kind of thing, that right now, will make witness accounts, only semi- reliable. the fact of the matter is that the driver went up a long way and then finally police shot and killed him apparently. >> do you have a sense of how this -- we just talked to an eyewitness who talked about the aftermath of the scene. i don't want to be too grisly here, but how the scene is being
secured and attended to at this moment. >> there are a lot of police, as you look out onto the promenade, you see one emergency vehicle after another sitting there. there are probably 50 of them right now securing the area. in addition to which i described a moment ago, heavily armed police at each intersection, stopping people from entering the promenade which is the main thorough fare. we know this was a real draw for tourists, i heard someone on our air earlier saying you could hear as much english as french on a day like today. it is quite a tourist attraction in terms of the composition of the crowd one would imagine, on a night like this in nice. >> it's the riviera and nice is the largest city, along cannes, perhaps the most famous city, down the road.
but in any case, this is bastille day, the french independence day, it's a long weekend, so there were thousands of people here, more than there normally would be in a heavy vacation period. >> we've gotten word from the mayor of nice, that he's asking citizens to remain indoors at this moment, but my sense is, the message so far from french officials, they believe that they have killed the assailant in question. we don't know if it's more than one, and that the scene is more or less secure at this point. is that your understanding? >> well, that's personcertainly impression you get. early on after this happened, the police were trying to get people down to the beach. there are a series of steps to take you down to the beach, and they were trying to get them to go down there, because they worried there might be a follow-up attack. what was happening instead, people by the thousands were running. a hesitate to call it tstampede
but they were running for their lives, literally, to get away from the scene, going up into the middle of town. >> and you had folks, as i understand it, there's sort of a several-foot drop from that pedestrian part of the boulevard there down to the actual water level and folks jumping down, rolling down, running down, to get out of the way of the truck, because that was one of the only safe harbors to get to in the midst of this attack. >> there would be. and those who were lucky enough to be by the steps to go down there, would of course have run down there that way. what would happen then, after they were on the beach for a while, those particularly with families would just come up and leave and go, you know, to their homes, that kind of thing. i talked to one person who had been with his family and was barely missed by the truck. obviously he was very shaken. he was one of those who immediately said that he felt it was a terrorist attack, which is
now apparently on the way to being confirmed. >> yeah, the a.p. reporting of the paris prosecutor's opening of a terror investigation. what we do not know, who the assailants are or what their motivation was at this point. it does seem clear from every bit of reporting and every bit of information we've gleaned from french officials, is that this was intentional. this was an intentional act of slaughter and mass murder by whoever was behind the wheel of that truck. thank you very much for giving us some time. i appreciate it. all right, joining me now, former u.s. intelligence officer malcolm nance. and malcolm, my first thought, when i saw the wires crossing with news of a truck running into a crowd in nice was, i hope this is an accident, let it please be an accident. but there is some precedent for some extremist groups using
vehicles as essentially weapons of terror. >> unfortunately, there is great precedence for using vehicles like this. and my first thought, of course, was that this was a vehicle as weapons attack. the technical term is suicide become as weapons attack. it's a terrorist attack where a car or a truck is used in a suicide attack and runs into an individual or a crowd. and they expect to die at the end of that. over the last two years alone, in israel, there have been over 48 of these suicide vehicle as weapons attacks. where we had individuals take small cars or a small commercial truck and just run into an individual or a group of individuals at bus stops. we had one incident where it was soldiers at a bus stop, and most of them are generally individual attacks. this appears to have been a
large-scale, planned attack, using the mass of that large truck that we had, which, by the way, they don't have 18 wheelers like we have here in the united states. but that truck is about the size of the largest, single-body, cab trucks that are used on european highways. and by using that, by going there at the promenade des anglais and going down the street and onto the sidewalks, the vehicle itself and the energy behind that vehicle is the attack. the fact that he had light weapons, may have carried firearms and expected to use hand grenades, which i believe they found inside the vehicle is just the coup de grace on an attack like this. but the israelis have suffered in the last two years, 19 killed in these attacks and over a hundred injured. and they just had it on an individual scale. this was a concentrated type of attack using this vehicle as a
weapon. >> i imagine investigators, obviously the first thing they'll be doing is tracing the chain of custody of this vehicle. they'll be trying to figure out who the driver was and if there are any accompaliceaccomplices. it has not been definitively established whether there was more than one person in that. though i did hear an eyewitness saying there was more than one. sometimes those don't bare out. we're also watching channels of isis supporters, some of who are celebrating, although there's been no official claim. we've seen in the wakes of attacks by isis, quite a bit of time passes before any official claim of credit. >> sure. and it will come out in one of the two official and non-official news agencies. whether it will come out in an isis video or press release, or through it's unofficial alamak agency. that's isis. however, these types of attacks were first encouraged by al qaeda in their inspire magazine number one back in 2010, where
they wrote an article saying, use whatever tools are at your disposal. use your cars, use your trucks to kill our enemies. that was taken up by the palestinians who have virtually no connection to the types of jihadist attacks that we see from these sal afa jihadies of al qaeda and isis. we don't know who carried out this attack. this could be an isis attack, could be al qaeda. we'll have to wait with and see. >> i should also note, obviously the circumstances and context strongly suggest a jihadi group given what we've been through. but we should just be clear about where our reporting stands. we have no information on the motive of this attack as of yet. that's going to be something that will be, i'm sure, borne out shortly. joining me on the phone, rukmini callimachi on just got back from
paris. you were just tweeting about a reaction to the attack from the sort of isis supporters online. >> yes, thank you for having me. after each of these attacks in the past, we have seen that the pattern is as follows. first, there's celebration by isis accounts and by accounts that are loosely affiliated with the organization. these tend to grow in a kind of crescendo, and then the claim of responsibility comes. the word of caution here is that they have also celebrated after attacks that were not isis. specifically after egyptair and after the crash of the germanwings plane. so you can't always tell from the fan accounts whether it really is an attack by them or not. >> malcolm was just speaking about precedent for this use of vehicle in this kind of mass murder. >> yes. >> has isis used this before? is this something -- obviously al qaeda has called for it, and
we've seen other groups employ it. do we know if this is something isis has used before? >> yes, they have. in one of his very first speeches, the spokesman of isis, who intelligence officials believe is the man in charge of external operations in the west, these types of attacks, in september of 2014, he called for their insurance in the west to use any means they could, he specifically named using your car to wram into the infidels as a technique that they could use. one month after that call, a 25-year-old man in canada used his car to run over two security officials. i believe, killing one of them. >> that was a canadian attack, and that preceded by just a short period of time the attack that actually happened in the capital there in canada. >> exactly, exactly. and it was very early on. we didn't quite know what to make of these attacks then.
but looking back on it, that young man had the isis logo on his facebook profile and exhibited a lot of the radicalization that we later saw in a person like omar mateen in orlando. >> rukmini, we've discussed this before and there's been a tremendous amount of reporting, writing on, even debate that i've been following, about where isis stands at this moment. and again, i don't want to jump to the conclusion it's isis. i don't think it's an unreasonable expectation that that might bear out to be the case, given the context in which we're living in and given what we've seen happen. but again, we don't have reporting establishing that. that bracketed, talk to me about where isis stands at this moment. there are some who say it's under tremendous territorial pressure, there's anothers who say it's as strong as it's ever been. >> i think it's clear they've lost some of their territory,
but they still hold the capital of their caliphate raqqah, and their second most important city, mosul. i believe the paradigm proposed by the officials in washington, because they're being squeezed inside the islamic state and syria and iraq, that therefore they're lashing out. i don't believe that's correct. the data is as follows. as early as december of 2014, more than six months before isis declared a caliphate, breaks from al qaeda and comes to the fore, they were already sending fighters back to europe. interestingly, given what's happened today, again, we don't know if this is isis, but the very first isis fighter that i was able to track who returned to europe, returned to nice -- sorry, to an area very close to nice. he was radicalized there, he went to syria, he fought with isis, and then he came back and he was arrested locally before
he could carry out an attack. and one of e plots that officials believed he was hatching, was on the carnival in nice. so this is a city that has been in their cross hairs. >> rukmini callimachi, thank you for your time tonight. appreciate it. we are coming up midway through the hour, of course. today before this happened at around 4:30, 4:40 on the east coast of the u.s., 10:40 local time in france, the big story has been politics, particularly the vice presidential choice of donald trump. there was early reporting this morning, including nbc news, that governor mike pence of indiana was to be the pick. with the latest, because there's been some twists and turns in the story, now is nbc news capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell. and kelly, what do we know at this hour? >> well, it's been an extraordinary day. we now know that donald trump has decided to postpone the event that was expected to unveil formally his vp choice.
that was to happen friday at 11:00 a.m. in manhattan. he says that is now pushed off. he also in a phone interview with another cable network said that the planned joint interview with trump and his vp choice for "60 minutes" that too he said is probably off for now given the events in france. and it appears that trump says that because of the carnage, the nature of the attack, the climate we're living in, that he didn't think it was appropriate to go forward with a vp announcement. there are some limitations to this postponement, however. friday at noon, governor mike pence of indiana would be required to withdraw from the ballot, seeking a second term as governor if he's to be on the ballot as a vice presidential running mate. that's a fixed time. donald trump doesn't have such a deadline until the convention begins. he would additionally have more days, but that will be a challenge tomorrow. based on our reporting,
everything pointed to mike pence, and yet tonight, donald trump has said, in an interview by phone to a cable news channel, that he had not made his, quote, final, final decision and he went on to praise newt gingrich and chris christie, the other two believed to be the top three choices, and he did that in such a way with that it leaves the door open to wondering why is there some question mark? so the trump campaign is not formally confirming all of this. trump seems to be keeping the door open. all of it is pointing to mike pence, we just don't know when it will happen. chris? >> my understanding is, we have video footage of mike pence getting into a car at teeter bro bro airport in new jersey, having known in from indiana. there's no evidence that christie and newt gingrich, who are in new york, but we do know
mike pence is here. and we also know that whether or not donald trump has made up his mind, or whether he's reconsidering now, there were numerous people informed that pence was the choice, right? >> yes. and that's why this is unusual. we have been through cycles before where there is sort of that nail-biter about which of the top contenders would be named. i guess in a trump year that shouldn't surprise us. clearly moving a governor to the east coast from indiana at a time when many signals were pointing to that, that just certainly is the hand that's being played. i was, through my reporting, told that newt gingrich and chris christie had not been formally told by donald trump that they were not the pick. and that is also unusual. so this has just not played out the way it typically would and it exposing all three top contenders to some discomfort. and question marks.
if it is mike pence, they shouldn't be leaving any doubt. we heard trump tonight praising all three. maybe that's just his way of keeping the question mark until he's able to go forward. >> that's always a possibility, thank you for your time. >> joining me now, laura haim, the white house correspondent for canal plus. what are your sources telling you, what is french media telling you about the latest from nice? >> the latest is that the french president, the french prime minister, and the minister of interior are together, gathering information about who did that. they don't have any clue for the moment about what happened. they just know that it was only one person, but i don't know if this person acted by itself, if it was a lone wolf, or if the person had accomplices. at this moment, what we know, it's almost 2:00 in the morning in paris.
there's again the french situation, like in washington, d.c., when there's a big crisis, you have in the white house the situation room. that's what is happening at this moment in france. not at the palace of elysee, but with the minister of the interi interior, the prime minister, who is leading this meeting. the minister of the interior is the equivalent of the homeland security person here. is on its way to nice. and the french president, who this afternoon, because it's bastille day, was off, came back and is of course on the phone with the french prime minister and the minister of interior. about what happened, i can tell you that people in nice and all over france are shocked. this is another attack. nobody knows what's going to happen next. people are extremely shocked by the testimony from nice. it was a horrible attack. the families were all together
in nice and they were watching the fireworks. imagine you and the united states, it's july 4th, you're watching the fireworks with the family, and suddenly, you have a truck, which is arriving and which is trying to kill you, to kill your kids, to kill your wife, to kill your sister. it went extremely quick, but also slow, because according to our sources, the truck was driving, it was zig-zagging for more than ten minutes and he was about to do that on a distance of more than one mile and a half. and then the people were panicking. some families went into the water to protect themselves and their kids against the truck. other families went on the beach, on the private beach and hide according to some testimonies, under some mattresses. it was a terrifying moment, and
then you have a lot of bodies on this famous promenade des anglais in nice, and a lot of people in france want now to understand who did it and again it's another attack on the very, very sensitive society, which was so deeply injured by numerous attacks this year. >> laura haim, thank you very much. i should -- i should now give an update, since we're running a banner at the bottom. the regional president, christian estrosi, of that part of france, has tweeted that there are 77 deceased victims. at least 75 dead, 50 injured. we have been holding off on a body count, on a number of deceased because it was a little unclear as to whether victims meant those injured and killed. but the regional president recently just tweeting about 77 dead, which is a just staggering, horrific number to contemplate. joining nee now, nbc news
foreign correspondent ayman mow mohyeldin, let's put this in the context of the last month. just in the last month, orlando, 50 dead, 49 killed, including the shooter who pledged allegiance to isis. the attack on the istanbul airport, which appears to have been also the work of isis, although no formal credit, though we believe it was them. dozens dead there. the dhaka attack, just in the same week as that, and now this in nice. >> and don't forget about iraq. >> 250 -- >> bigger than all of these. and it's not to say that one is bigger than the other in terms of the magnitude of the loss, but what it demonstrates is the capability of whoever is behind all of these attacks. i don't mean behind it from an operational point of view, but operationally in the sense that there's an ability to inspire these types of attacks. and you know, we're not -- we're still in the very early stages,
not sure who is behind this in terms of an organization, but the deliberate attack, and when you start putting it on a -- analyzing it through a matrix of possibilities, the symbolism of this being bastille day, that it's france, the crudeness of it, that terrorist organizations have been calling for vehicle attacks, those things in context, demonstrate an organization, and organizations, that are now inspiring one another in a perpetualerat race perpetual state of attacks, to top the types of attacks that we're seeing all over the world. so the cause of concern for officials is whether you are seeing a brussels-style attack, or an istanbul-style attack, a sophisticated, explosives, multiple attackers -- >> coordination, a cell. >> being able to acquire explosives, scout out a location
and carry it out, that in addition to what we're seeing in orlando, someone who is mentally deranged but latches onto an ideology at the very end to give it a meaningful purpose, but at the same time, going out and carrying it out in a crude way with nothing more than an assault rifle bought illegally. in addition to what we're seeing in dhaka. multiple attackers, a hostage situation dragged out for hours, brutally executed throughout the course of the ordeal. it is demonstrating a new wave of terror, that i'm not even sure officials and authorities are understanding and are not aware what is it going to take to stop this, in terms of counterterrorism? there's a big picture way to stop it, but shorm counterterrorism ways, i don't think they have a clear understanding of how to topple it. >> that's a very good point. just so folks now, they're watching not live footage. that's from earlier this evening in nice, france, in the south of france, where reports indicate 75 people have been killed at least, in a truck attack on a
crowd leaving bastille day fireworks along the water. tourists, families, strollers, men, women, and children, barreled over by a white truck driven intentionally to, according to witnesses, cause as much destruction and mayhem as possible. the driver has been killed by french security officials. that's the truck right there. other photos show the bullet holes in it. and ayman what you said about this wave of terror, i do want to take a second because you pointed out and this is important, it can sometimes get lost, certain parts of the world that are under sustained attack do not get the same coverage as other parts of the world. i think that is quite clear. the baghdad attack in which 250 were murdered was one of the worst attacks that's happened in a country that's seen literally thousands of attacks like these. >> it was by far the worst terrorist attack in iraq in a decade, since the end of the
actual war, and it's hard to say there was an end to the war in terms of what's happening inside the country. but it was one of the worst terror attacks that country has seen. sadly, the world's reaction is, well, this is almost normal for iraq -- >> the expectation. >> yeah, the expectation is that iraq is in a state of war, kind of like syria, so when these attacks happen, even when it is isis, the world shrugs their shoulders and say, that's the norm. when we see it on the streets of nice or paris and given the fact that it's unfolding on a national holiday, the world's attention is captivated by it, and certainly the western politicians strike a different stone. there's the universality of the condemnation. that happened for iraq as well. but the sense of urgency that this is going to raise questions for french officials who are saying, we're shoring up our counterterrorism laws, shoring up intelligence, shoring up security and then seeing this
vulnerability, once again, it's going to raise questions about how this happened on a day where security should be heightened. and we're constantly making analogies to what it was like on the fourth of july. whether it be new york, d.c., or l.a., we know these cities shut down. i mean, in new york city, days leading up to it -- >> massive security presence. >> the nypd showcased what they rememb were doing to lock down the city for these celebrations. french officials did that. you were not allowed to drive on it. how did a vehicle manage to get that close to pedestrians? >> the horrifying effectiveness of this attack is the novelty in so far, the official moments of the truck rolling past, you have police and others rolling after it, fairly clearly not grasping, thinking this is someone who had gone awry. >> right. >> you can see here as the truck rolls in and it's moving fairly
slowly, you have police officials running alongside it, you can imagine them thinking, oh, this guy's lost, i have to let him know. >> at the end of the day, you have to be saying to yourself the threat possibility has expanded greatly. so if you are a senior counterterrorism official, and in one center you're planning for the significant mass of symbolic coordinated attack that is driven by a cell that has explosives, that has firearms, all the way down to the guy with a knife who can go into a police officer's home, as we saw in france, and execute a family, you put on the spectrum of attacks, and you just have to be extremely worried about what everything now is becoming used as an attack. >> my first thought today, putting yourself in the shoes of a counterterrorism official, who is tasked with trying to prevent this -- >> the task is off the charts. >> and it's important to note that so many of the tactics that we're seeing essentially
exported from isis territory were first employed against the people of iraq and syria. they have deployed what we call terrorism, they have deployed truck bomb, suicide bombs, all kinds of things in the area that they were fighting for territory first. >> i can't make this point enough, because we're looking at this. obviously it commands attention. it commands the world's attention. but in the course of a month, when you talk about the spate of attacks that have taken place, isis is attacking -- >> everywhere. >> isis and all these organizations are attacking everywhere, muslim countries, bangladesh, iraq, syria, turkey. in addition -- >> the holy cities in saudi, medina. >> exactly. >> literally in the heart of islam -- >> it is the second most sacred site in the religion. these organizations that are perpetrating these are not doing so in the name of a religion, against the very same corner stones of that religion, killing muslims as we saw in medina and
other where. we are centering into a new level of global terror they think, like i said earlier, officials are struggling do deal with. not only western officials, officials in those arab and muslim countries as well. >> ayman, thank you very much. we're continuing to follow this horrific story out of nice in the south of france, where at least 77 are dead, many others wounded, after a struck barreled through crowds of people celebrating bastille day, the french national holiday. witnesses described that truck, a white truck, traveling first slowly, and then careening at a high speed, down a promenade that had been blocked off to vehicular traffic, crowded with hundreds if not thousands of people along the mediterranean, mowing down people in its path, leaving a horrific scene in its wake. according to the regional president, the driver was also shooting at people through the window and weapons and grenades were found in the truck. the driver is now dead according to french officials. that's the front of that truck and you can see the bullet holes
in the beginning, in the front. though residents are still being asked to stay inside their homes, french president francois hollande returned to paris from fest i fes festivities in the south of france. it's now being treated as a terror investigation. president obama has been briefed by his national security team. joining us now, kelly cobiella, what's the latest? >> well, chris, as you mentioned, french officials just within the past hour or so confirming that the truck driver did, in fact, fire to people in the crowd as he was mowing them down on this very busy promenade in nice. and that he had more ammunition, more sort of arms in the truck as well. one can only imagine what the intention was, reports of both grenades and explosives in that truck as well. we're hearing from local officials that the death toll,
as you mentioned, is at least 75. we've been hearing throughout the evening that there are a very large number of casualties, and the death toll could go quite high. reports of some 50 injured, and we're now seeing and hearing reports from eyewitnesses, witnesses talking about just this massive wave of people running toward them, fleeing this truck, and reports of hearing gunfire, and then of course the driver is killed. the situation afterward, absolutely horrific, according to these witnesses. people strewn across the sidewalk, across the streets and ambulances and emergency officials trying to take care of the wounded. in fact, there are some reports that some of these hotels, some of these businesses along that promenade have turned into sort of make shift hospitals, where people are being treated and where people took cover when
this was happening. still a lot to investigate, though, chris. the question of whether or not someone else was involved. whether this was a lone wolf attack or if there were accomplices somewhere in france. as you know, there's a state of emergency in france, which has been in effect since the paris attacks back in november. it was set to expire in just about a week or so. so french officials will now continue trying to figure out the identity of the driver, trying to figure out if there's any sort of accomplice, or accomplices involved. so far, chris, no claim of responsibility, and no official word yet from the french, that this is, in fact, a terror attack. although it's being vfrinvestigd that way, chris. >> do we have any hard confirmation that there was just one individual inside that truck driving it? >> well, all we're hearing is based on witness testimony and on -- most of our information
actually is coming from this french regional president of nice. and what we're hearing from french officials on the ground at this point is that there was one truck driver, that there was one person involved in this. directly involved in this. and that person was neutralized, or killed, on the scene. we have seen no reports so far, no official reports anyway, or from eyewitnesses, for that matter, that there was more than one. >> all right. kelly cobiella in london at this hour, thank you very much. joining nee now, jin katulis, we were just talking about ayman, thinking about the counterterrorism challenge at this moment. the last time we had something like this was that period in 2003, 2004, 2005, al qaeda had attacks in london, in madrid, in bali, in mumbai. there was a sort of wave of attacks across the world by al qaeda. it's been a while since the world has seen anything like this, and i should say, we, as
of now, do not have any responsibility, but we do have a context preceding tonight. >> yeah, and in more recent years, we've seen terror groups and individuals use vehicles in places like jerusalem. i know, i used to live in israel and i know from my friends there that this type of attack can instill a constant fear. just imagine, chris, walking down the street going home tonight and a lot of people thinking about this, if you're living in nice, you're worried about this. so this type of attack, the way it was executed is not sophisticated, but it has a massive psychological impact on individuals. and the second thing is, the coverage of this and seeing the videos and things like this, in an era of pop-up terrorists, of this very fragmented, decentralized terror networks, and individuals who are self-starting themselves, there's a real risk of copycats. you know, when we get a lot of coverage like this, and people
are really disturbed. and lastly, obviously early reports, but the weaponry that was there, and the grenades and others, that provides a thread that law enforcement and intelligence will look at to see, you know, where those weapons came from. that's where the centerpiece of the fight is here. i know we often have very fearful reactions and rhetoric, and we should be concerned about all of this, but what our law enforcement and intelligence agencies do, in places like france and here at home, that's the tip of the sphere in trying to prevent this. and obviously the scale of what france is facing is quite large, given the three attacks over the last year and a half. >> you know, the state department tallies every year fatalities due to terror attacks, and it has seen record numbers over the last three, four -- three or four years, i believe. this year, particularly high. i believe, i'm recalling this from memory, in the 30,000
range. most of that in the areas of active hot war in iraq and syria. but when you look at the global situation, i mean, is there some sort of strategic rethink that is in order here as we look at where we are right now? >> well, look, you look at the anti-isis campaign, where we're almost two years into it, coming up in about a month or so. and i think everybody's fixated on the military campaign, as we should be, in iraq and syria, and it's seen some progress. but there are four other lines of effort that are essential as going after their home base in places like iraq and parts of syria. and we often don't talk about it. but i think it's very important. it's how we react. one of the components is, how do we counter, sort of this distorted ideology? and i don't think, here we are almost 15 years after 9/11, this battle of ideas and how do we
defeat extremism, we've heard a lot of rhetoric about it, but we really haven't had the sustained effort to talk about it. and when you look at how some of our political leaders here at home, or over in europe talk about this threat, we're still in our infancy in trying to actually defeat it. it's as central as the military actions we might take on the battlefield. but we're still looking for that north star, and the strategy. and that's where i think one of the weakest points, what our leaders say and what different political leaders say matter quite a lot. and often times, in recent years, in europe, and here in the u.s., we've seen a lot of fear and in some cases hate. and that's not the most effective. because it can tend to isolate large communities like muslim communities. >> brian katulis, thank you very much for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> we are following breaking news of the attack in nice where at least 77 are dead. 50 injured, perhaps more.
all -- all done by that truck that you're seeing in the video there as it rolled towards a throng of revellers out on a beautiful evening in nice to celebrate the national holiday of france, to take in some fireworks at the seaside town. as the crowd was breaking up, that truck barrelling towards the throngs of people, killing at least at this moment, 77, and that death toll may climb. joining me now, jim cavanaugh, retired atf special agent in charge. maybe you can walk me through what kind of things officials are doing right now, in the aftermath of this to try to make sure that they have everyone who is involved. >> right, chris. well, you know, the basic questions come up right away. who is the guy, the shooter that they know is dead? you know, i like to -- i'll start simple in these cases. grab a wallet, grab the phone, you find out who he is. is it his truck, is it rented? is it stolen? track that back, like the truck
was tracked back in the oklahoma city bombing to the rental place. and are there other confederates with him, co-conspirators? in the truck, we don't have all the facts yet. or somebody nearby that could have been on the phone with him, in his ear, directing him. you made a great point, how far did the truck go? i think laura said two cla kilometers. so did this truck travel a mile and a half mowing down pedestrians? i was struck by this when i heard about it and started talking about it, about the president of france announcing within the last 24 hours that they were redeploying the aircraft carrier charles de gaulle in the fight against isis. these guys are very symbolic. they're criminals. and it struck me, isis deployed
their aircraft carrier, their missile. if in fact it turns out to be isis. but on the broader discussion, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. and this is a ripple effect like a stone in the water coming out after the iraq war. first it was saddam's fanatics and the territory was taken from them so they went into that asymmetrical warfare. they morphed into al qaeda in iraq under zarqawi and territory was taken back. they were almost decimated. they reconstituted in syria, in the levant and they seem to be losing that and they're spreading out again. the circle everwidens, but it's the same formula. >> jim, thank you very much. joining nee now by phone, eric who was having dinner nearby when tonight's attack happened. eric, can you tell me what you saw? >> yeah, sure. we had been on the beach at a
restaurant, enjoying the dinner and the bastille day fireworks, and about 10:30 when the fireworks had ended, we were just settling our bill. all of a sudden we heard screams and pop, pop, pop, pop sounds. and my wife, she's deaf, recognized the sounds as gunfire, and we immediately got up from our table and ran. the restaurant we were at, it was about three meters below the promenade des anglais. and there's an area underneath -- it's a shelter. we went back with about a hundred or so people, sheltered under there. but as we were running into the shelter area, people were diving off the promenade onto the beach and onto the sheet metal roof of the restaurant. we were in the shelter area for
an hour and a half, maybe two hours. at various times being told by police to get back in, as far as we could get in and then allowed to come out a little further. and then we were evacuated to a hotel about 150, 200 meters east of where we were. this hotel is also on the promenade. and you could see, you could see one body, but you could see debris. we saw a stroller that had been run over. we saw road signs that had been crushed. we were finally released from that hotel, i guess, about an hour or so ago. maybe a little bit longer. and we were able to come up along the promenade des anglais, and there are bodies and blood everywhere. >> eric, the moment that the truck hit, you were at sea
level, beneath that boulevard and it was essentially above you that that truck was rumbling past and people were diving out of the way? >> that's correct, that's correct. >> what -- can you tell me what people were saying in that restaurant for the hour there in the wake of this? >> well, initially after it happened, nobody was really sure what was going on. you could hear the screams and the gunfire, but the people that we were sheltered with were, as far as i knew, all people who had been in the restaurant. people were sort of all age ranges, pretty scared. they were people crying and my wife and i were, for a time, in a toilet stall, with about, i would say ten people total, trying to take cover, because we weren't sure what was happening. and everybody seems pretty shell
shocked. eric, i'm very happy that you and your wife are safe, and i appreciate you making the time tonight and get some rest. >> sure, thank you. >> thank you. all right, our coverage continues next with rachel maddow. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. thanks, my friend. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. it's been about four and a half hours since what looks to have been another significant terrorist attack. this time in france, this time in the southern french city of nice. to give you some context for where and when this attack happened, nice is in the southeastern corner of france. it's near the border with italy. it's a port city. it's a beautiful place. it sits right on the mediterranean. and famously, right along the seashore in the middle of that city, there's a beautiful, long promenade, a long walkway, over four miles long. it's called the promenade des anglais. today is not an ordinary day in france.