tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS November 13, 2015 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
>> pelley: an explosion at a soccer march is just one of multiple terrorist attacks unfolding tonight in paris. many are dead and wounded in bombings and gunfire. there are reports of00s. also tonight, a u.s. drone strike may have killed the isis militant who beheaded american hostages. charlie d'agata is with kurdish troops as they retake a key tone from isis. >> reporter: we are now inside sinjar, and you can hear the gunfire rattling. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley.
siege tonight, hit by multiple coordinated terrorist attacks which are still unfolding. at least 60 people have been killed, but the situation is chaotic and that number is certain to change. many more are wounded, and there are reports of hostages. french counter-terrorism forces are striking back. france has closed its borders. minutes ago, president obama called the terrorist assault an attack on humanity. there were at least three simultaneous attacks on entertainment sites in north central paris about 9:00 p.m. paris time, a busy fridays night. they include an explosion near the national soccer stadium, which was filled with more than 80,000 fans as france played germany. ( explosion ) people crowded the field after the game.
the french president, francois hollande, was in the stadium, but he was safely evacuated and is now holding an emergency cabinet meeting. there was chaos as gunmen opened fire at a packed restaurant, also in north central paris. and terrorist gunmen stormed a concert hall. french media report up to 100 hostages may have been taken there. cbs correspondent elaine cobbe is in paris for us tonight. elaine. >> reporter: scott, at the soccer stadium north of paris, the stade de france, there were several explosions heard, and we're now hearing reports here that police believe there may have been suicide bombers behind those explosions. as you said, the crowds at that friendly match between france and germany went on to the field, hoping for safety there. president francois hollande was evacuated. around the same time, in the east of paris, shots were fired
terrified diners there fled the scene, and not far away, at the concert hall, the popular concert hall, the bataclan, a hostage situation is still under way. we're hearing around 100 people still being held there, and, of course, the area where the "charlie hebdo" shootings took place in january. president hollande has already spoken to the nation. he has declared a state of emergency. and the anti-hef terror police have been put in charge of the investigation. that shows just how seriously the french government is taking this. >> pelley: elaine, what is it like to be a citizen of paris tonight? >> reporter: it's fridays night, scott. usually, the city is teeming. there are cars around that time streaming in from the suburbs as people go to nightclub, to late theater. in the east of paris, it would have been very full. but even as i came, the west of paris, far away from it, very few cars on the road.
but in the east, they've evacuated streets. they've closed down the metros. much of the metro network is shut down for the evening. >> pelley: elaine cobbe reporting for us from paris. elaine, thank you very much. it was just a few minutes ago that president obama spoke about the attacks at the white house. >> we are reminded in this time of tragedy that the bonds of liberte and egalite, and fraternite are not only values that the french people care so deeply about but they are values that we share. and those values are going to endure far beyond any act of terrorism or the hateful vision of those who perpetrated the crimes this evening. we're going to do whatever it takes to work with the french people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice. >> pelley: the president earlier this evening. chip reid is at the white house. chip.
>> reporter: scott, the president also called the attacks heartbreaking, and he said that he talked with president hollande, by coincidence, earlier today because there's a g-20 economic summit in turkey. the president is scheduled to leave for that summit tomorrow. he did not say whether those plans are still on. and perhaps more importantly, in just over two weeks, president obama is scheduled to go to paris for a massive climate summit. that is something that it's still not clear whether that could possibly be postponed. but, scott, as you can imagine, with more than 100 world leaders there, it will be a security nightmare. >> pelley: chip reid at the white house. thank you, chip. we spoke a little bit earlier this evening with stephen sanchez who is a freelance journalist in paris. mr. sanchez, what did you see? what did you hear? >> reporter: well, i was about three blocks away from the soccer stadium, when i heard one or two loud explosions. it may have been one and i may
loudexplosions. i was walking out of a restaurant and i was getting ready to walk back to my hotel when i heard the explosion. i started walking in the direction they thought the explosion had came from. i started walking that way when i saw just crowds of people trying to run out of the stadium as the police were getting there. >> pelley: what else did you see in those moments after the explosion? france. they were whisking him away. he was at the game, and he got out within, i'd say, maybe a minute or two. >> pelley: what about the explosion? what did it sound like? was it a pop or was it more of a thunderous kind of blast? blast. >> reporter: it sounded more like a thunderous blast. at first i initially thought it may have been fireworks because i anyhow the game was going on tonight and i thought the game might have just finished. i looked to the sky after i heard the loud bang. there were no fireworks and
that's when i knew it had to be something pretty serious. >> pelley: freelance reporter stephen sanchez tonight. thank you, stephen. we are getting reports just now explosions at the bataclan concert hall. it was attacked earlier this evening by the terrorists. this is where we understood there were a number of hostages being held. apparently, french forces are engaged with terrorists at the concert hall. witnesses are reporting automatic gunfire and explosions there right now. michael morrell is a former number two at the c.i.a. he is our cbs news senior security contributor. michael, what do you make of this so far? >> reporter: scott, one of the things that strikes me is the operational security here. we're talking about a large number of operatives conducting multiple simultaneous attacks and staying under the radar of french intelligence and french security. that is very difficult to do. it's a level of sophistication
>> pelley: and what does that level of sophistication tell you about who might be responsible? >> i think, scott, the key question on responsibility comes down to this-- was this a group of self-radicalized individuals who came together and decided to do this on their own, possibly meeting in a mosque or meeting in prison? or was this directed from overseas by either isis or by al qaeda in yemen? isis has been working on its capability to conduct this kind of attack in europe, and you remember, that al qaeda in yemen attack. >> pelley: the "charlie hebdo" attack was back in january. 17 people were killed by three gunmen who were islamic radicals, and then in august, we recall, three americans stopped a man with a machine gun on a train in france, and prevented that terrorist attack, which france?
and why now? >> so i think, you know, france is a leader in the coalition, in the fight against isis. it is also in europe one of the easiest capitals to get to. so i think it tend to-- it tend to be a focus. >> pelley: michael morrell, former number two at the c.i.a., michael, thank you very much. we are getting reports now that france has said that schools will be closed in the paris region. a number of subway lines in paris have been closed as well tonight. at the united nations, the secretary-general ban ki moon condemned the attacks. he described them as despicable terrorist attacks. president obama earlier today at the white house said this was not just an attack on france. humanity. before we move on to other news, a quick recap. multiple terrorist attacks
at least 60 people have been killed. many more are wounded. those numbers are certain to change as we get more certainty about what has happened. but three attacks at a theater, a so, stadium, and a restaurant on a busy fridays night in paris. a little bit later in the broadcast, we will have all of the latest developments. now, in another important story today, the pentagon says it appears that the isis executioner known as jihadi john was killed by a u.s. drone strike in raqqa, syria, which is an isis stronghold. once again, here's chip reid. >> reporter: with his angry rants and masked face, mohammed emwazi became a global symbol of the barbaric brutality of isis. >> our knife will continue to strike the next of your people. >> reporter: in 2014, for all the horrified world to see, jihadi john, as he became known,
including three americans, journalist james foley and stephen sot love, and aid worker peter kasig. >> this guy was a human animal, and killing him is probably making the world a little bit better place. >> reporter: army colonel steven warren in baghdad today said the pentagon is, "reasonably certain" emwazi was killed last night by a hellfire missile fired from a u.s. drone near the isis stronghold of rack asyria. emwazi was born in kuwait but grew up mostly in london where he became radicalized. he left for syria in 2013. critics of the obama administration have long argued it is doing far too little to fight isis, but today white house spokesman josh ernest used the targeting of emwazi to push back. >> i think it is clear evidence that we are making important progress in one element of our strategy, which is to apply pressure to the isil leadership. >> reporter: outside his new
hampshire home, james foley's father, john, saw things differently. >> bombing him won't bring jim back. it won't change the war. you know. we're-- we need to eliminate isis. not jihadi john, okay? >> reporter: president obama did not specifically order this attack because the operation was in the hands of the pentagon. and, scott, they say it could be days before they have definitive proof that jihadi john is dead. >> pelley: chip reid at the white house. chip, thanks very much. now more on the unfolding terrorist attacks in paris. we have a witness to tonight's events. his name is julian pierce. he spoke earlier tonight to cnn. julian, what did you see? >> they reloaded three or four times, their weapons. and they-- they didn't shout anything. they didn't say anything. they were masked. they were wearing black clothes,
on the the floor, and i was luckily at the top of the stage, so people started to try to escape, to walk on people on the floor, and try to find the exit. and i found an exit when the terrorists reloaded their guns in the meantime. and i climbed on the-- on the stage, and we found an exit. and when i-- when i went on the street, i see 20 to 25 bodies lying on the floor. and people were very badly injured, gunshot wounds. and i-- and i took a small girl, a teenager. she was-- she was bleeding very
like, 200 meters, and i found a cab, a taxi, and i lead her in and i said to the cab driver, gto hospital." and i have some friends right now who are still inside the bataclan who are hiding because they're not sure if there is any terrorist in there. and they're hiding in some kind of room in the dark, and they texted me, and they're very afraid, of course. >> pelley: now, the theater where julienne pierce was evacuated from is apparently at this moment the scene of an ongoing police assault. this is the theater where we were told there could be as many as 100 hostages. the french president has confirmed that an assault is under way by french forces at
concert hall, where the hostages were being held. witnesses near the concert hall have reported automatic weapons fire and explosions in the area, but we do not have any more than that. elaine cobbe is our correspondent in paris, and she is joining us now again live. elaine, what are you hearing? >> reporter: scott, french media are reporting that there is, indeed, an assault under way at the bataclan where the hostages were being held. some reports are saying that several people have already been released from the concert hall, that they have been taken out by police. there have been reports of explosions and shooting there. still unclear if it's over. it's still under way. but as we said earlier, the anti-terror police have taken charge of the investigation here. there are intervention teams all
they've been block roads across the area where the bataclan is and where that restaurant was around republique and all the metrostations in the area are now closed and trains are not running through there. >> pelley: elaine cobbe reporting for us live from paris. the french president is pleading with the residents of paris to stay in their homes, warning them that police actions are ongoing against the terrorists. to quickly recap, at least 60 people have been killed in multiple terrorist attacks on the city of paris tonight. three entertainment sites-- a soccer stadium, a concert hall, and a restaurant-- were attacked simultaneously. many people have been wounded and at this moment, there appears to be a police assault on the concert hall in an effort to free as many as 100 hostages. we're going to go to a break right now, but we will be back with all the very latest
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>> pelley: before we return to the attacks in paris, we want to make note that the democratic presidential contenders will be debating tomorrow night. john dickerson will moderate, and our nancy cordes will join him on the panel, and they're in des moines tonight. john, let's start with you. given what we see in the polls, a sizable lead for secretary clinton. what's riding on this debate? >> reporter: well, you're right, she's very far ahead in the polls and that's why she'll be getting a lot of pressure from her opponents. she's going to have to withstand that pressure and also try to lock in with her performance, the good performance people debate. elections are about choices, and debates are about distinctions, and that's the challenge for senator sanders and governor o'malley. they have to show voters through this debate what the difference is and why they'd be a better president than hillary clinton. >> pelley: nancy cordes, how are you going to approach the questioning? >> reporter: well, we'll,
obviously, be asking them about foreign policy, scott. and we want to get at some of their differences in domestic policy as well, and how they would enact those policies. you know, eight years ago, president obama stood on debate stages just like this one and divide. but if anything, things have gotten worse in washington. differently? republicans say all of their expensive and that you had that you'd have to raise taxes to pay for them. so how would they fund some of these very ambitious proposals. >> pelley: an important event tomorrow night. nancy cordes, john dickerson, thank you very much. you can watch the democratic presidential debate tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. right here on cbs. twitter is one of our partners for this debate. we invite to you tweet us your questions for the candidates. the very latest on the terrorist
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>> pelley: this night of terrorist attacks in paris is being called the greatest attacks in the the french capital since world war ii. there have been at least five city. they began about 8:00 p.m. paris time. entertainment centers, including a concert hall, a so, stadium, and a restaurant. various estimates of fatalities range all the way through 60, although that number will undoubtedly change when we have more information in the light of day. the french president is asking people to remain in their homes. he has closed the borders of the country and declared a state of emergency. more in just a moment. words how happy i was when i quit. it's like losing some baggage, i don't have to carry it around with me anymore. chantix made it possible for me to quit smoking. along with support,
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>> pelley: now, this just in from paris. a police counter-attack at the concert hall that was taken over by terrorists may be over. there are reports that some of the terrorists were killed. there were reports by witnesses of automatic gunfire at that theater and some explosions. it had been reported earlier that as many as 100 hostages had been taken in that concert hall. this is part of the coordinated attacks tahave happened in paris about 8:00 p.m. paris time when the soccer stadium, a restaurant, the concert hall, and other entertainment locations were attacked in a simultaneous terrorist strike. france has declared a state of emergency. the borders have been closed. a federal source tells cbs news that at least 60 people have