"nightline." attacks on paris. >> tonight, the global manhunt zeroing on in on one of the suspected killers responsible for the attacks on paris. the most wanted man in the world narrowly escaping as france declares war on isis targets. and the new threat to an american city ask why the cia is calling it a wakeup call. in paris, witnesses with harrowing stories of survival. those joyful moments just before terror struck. rocking paris to its core. and how one man and his piano is touching hearts around the globe
declaring war on isis. launching air tribes. but there is skepticism at home about syrian refugees as isis america. correspondent terry moran is on the ground in plus sells. brussels. >> reporter: warnings of more attacks on u.s. soil issued by isis militants in a batch of new propaganda videos saying, as we struck france in the center of its abode in paris, we swear we will strike america at its center in washington. cia director brennan says the attacks in france should serve as a wakeup call for americans. >> their agenda is to kill. pure and simple. >> reporter: the threats come after the u.s. helped france organize an air strike that pounded the de facto isis capital of raqqah on sunday. and today the noose tightened around the isis fighters responsible for the carnage in paris. seven attackers confirmed dead but at least one remains at large.
26-year-old la saw abdel slam, now perhaps the most wanted man in the world. a french national born in brussels he's believed to be the gunman who led the team shooting in restaurants and bars that left bodies out in the open streets. this morning police thought they tracked him to this building in the gritty neighborhood outside brussels molenbeek. police cordoned off streets, surrounding an apartment building, scaling rooftops. then they moved in. but their target was gone. police say he fled paris friday night. they found the cars he'd rented. one left outside the theater, suburb. then driving a third car with two other passengers, he headed toward belgium, stopped by police at a roadblock on detained. and they made it across the border. the two other people in that car picked up by police later, now terrorism. and the fugitive's brother detained but later released
saying he had no idea that both his brothers -- one died during the attacks -- were terrorists. "we are an open-minded family, we never had any problem wills jut advertise." we do not know if he will have the courage to turn himself in. he you up here, he is a normal person." abdel slam is among muns in belgium who have joined isis or other terror organizations. a fert ground for extremists. we spoke to a resident who's seen this firsthand. three of your neighbors went to syria? >> right. >> reporter: after 12 people were killed by three gunmen in the "charlie hebdo" attacks, in paris this past january, authorities traced the rifles used back to belgium. making this country a critical link in past plots. hasan rahali is a city councilor here. >> is it a cancer or disease in this neighborhood? >> it's a disease now.
>> reporter: he tells us how discrimination against muslims may have radicalized many young men. >> there are things that remind you you're different. you're coming from somewhere. you're second. there's the first level and the second level. >> second chas? >> second class. that's really the problem. >> when you were young and you felt the sting of discrimination, when you felt the pain -- >> hopeful, hopeful. you know, this desire, desire to beat. desire to make something bad. you are so -- the frustration in you, you need to expose it. >> you felt that? >> yeah, absolutely, in my heart. deep in my heart. >> reporter: following friday's massacre, officials now cracking down on these jihadist hotbeds. in france, 168 police raids took place. in all, 31 weapons and computers seized.
23 people have been arrested and questioned. another 104 placed under house arrest. authorities believe the plan was organized in belgium, carried out in france. but masterminded in syria by this man. 27-year-old abdel hamid aboud, linked to previous terror plots including the foiled european train attack earlier this year. >> isis is much larger than al qaeda ever was. and certainly much more powerful today than al qaeda is. they are more well trained. they are more well funded. and they control much more territory than al qaeda ever did. >> reporter: isis is believed to have 20,000 to 30,000 fighters financing their terror. oil fields that generate about $40 million a month. and now with the paris attacks the group signaling to the world that it's operating on a global scale, prompting france's president francois hollande to
raids in syria to date. the targets an isis command post, training camp, recruiting center, weapons warehouse. areas the u.s. identified and passed along to france. we are at war with jae haddist terrorists, hollande said. in the last 15 months the united states conducted the majority of the more than 8,000 air strikes in iraq and syria, committed 3,500 troops to iraq, and 50 u.s. special operations troops. but critics now say it's not enough. earlier today president obama responding to multiple questions about his strategy against isis. >> there will be an intensification of the strategy that we put forward. but the strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that ultimately is going to work. >> president obama, after the paris bombings, seems intent on doubling down on a losing strategy. that's not going to work. a few more air strikes are not
determined and as entrenched as the islamic state. we need a new strategy to mobilize the sunnis who form the popular support base for isis. we need to turn them against isis. as we previously turned them against al qaeda in iraq in 2007. >> reporter: the attacks, the new threats and reports that one of the paris attackers may have slipped into france as a syrian refugee have forced the u.s. to ramp up security. a growing number of states are now refusing to take in those refugees. potentially affecting the 18,000 cases referred by the u.n. for refugee resettlement. >> we can't be in a position where we abandon our belief in refugee asylum because of the possibility that there might be one terrorist hidden in the group. we have to do very thorough vetting and if they cannot be fully vetted they're not allowed in. this country stands for taking
and for us now to abandon that is to do exactly what the terrorists want us to do. >> reporter: while cities across the u.s. are now on high alert in new york city a heavy police presence in times square. >> beer here to prevent, detect, deter, disrupt. >> reporter: concerned after the paris attacks. for "nightline" i'm terry moran in brussels. >> our thanks to terry moran reporting from brussels tonight. we're joined by abc's chief justice correspondent pierre thomas. the intelligence community is clearly concerned that the jihadists seem to plot the attacks undetected. >> juju, there are real concerns about what's called the growing dark syndrome. officials worry the killers in france may have used encryption technology to hide their computer and cell phone communications. new tonight belgian officials suspect the terrorists used gaming systems like playstations to communicate off the grid. all disturbing because it appears the bad guys were invisible. >> thanks, pierre.
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cc1 test message it was a festive friday night. what a cosmopolitan city like paris does best. romantic outdoor cafes, soccer match, a rock concert. all shattered by terror. tonight powerful stories and images of survival emerge ing amid the bloody chaos. abc's matt gutman is in paris tonight. >> reporter: it's been three days since paris' rupted in gunfire. the worst across the street from here at the bataclan theater. as parisians continue to mourn the survivors, initially too traumatized to speak, are beginning to tell their stories. the crowds raising a glass to the band. jamming delightfully away until
shots. not automatic but just semiautomatic? >> yeah. bang, bang, bang. then again the recharge. >> reload? >> yeah, reload. >> reporter: celia and benjamin were on date night. listening to the eagles of death metal as murderers in the form of three isis suicide attackers emerged from the back. >> we saw blood ever everywhere. people next to us bleeding. so we were all lying on the floor. just trying not to move. one of them -- so they were mostly i think three of them -- young people, around 20 years old. >> reporter: eight rows from the stage, another group of 20-somethings, hannah and jack. >> jack stepped to the back and looked to the gunman, looked to the front. i could see the lead singer. his face just dropped. >> reporter: they fired as they went.
>> they started shooting. shot! stopping. >> reporter: some were able to immediately flee to the exit. >> behind the seats. my friend was behind me. and he ducked. and i said, there's a safety exit, let's go. i took my friend's hand. kind of hike -- >> inched your way over? i didn't stay on the floor. stupid of us. could have gotten gunshot, i suppose. >> reporter: celia and benjamin were pinned down, forced to play dead among the dead. >> there was bleeding on my feet. i felt the blood dripping on my feet. there was another one lying on my back. blood, big blood. >> an ocean of blood. >> reporter: these are the faces of the men and women in that crowd friday night.
and in the aftermath, you a picture too grisly to show without blurring it. the attackers issued no demands but stated their purpose. >> one of the attackers said, you killed our brothers in syria and now we are here. another one said, don't move or i kill you, and he started again. >> reporter: those inside desperate to escape. jack and hannah saw an exit. >> just to see people crawling along the floor. >> three layers of people that froze or tripped and they weren't moving. you had to climb over these people. that was the hardest thing. that you were pushing down on someone's shoulders or standing on someone's back. >> reporter: they spill out of the theater into this back alley. this man hobbling away. in that video you see survivors dragging the wounded. and there on a ledge a woman hanging. she cries out "please, please, mister, i'll pregnant."
her up as the camera pans away. sebastian is a 34-year-old musician. abc news has learned he saved her but didn't know it until after the shooting. the butchery so savage not even those in it could comprehend it. >> i didn't know what was happening. it's only afterwards when we got home in a cab, we sat in front of the tv, we saw the messages that i realized it was an actual terrorist attack. >> reporter: back inside, celia and benjamin had lost each other. >> i could see her but i couldn't touch her. i didn't know if she was hurt or dead. >> reporter: as the gunmen headed towards the stage they decided to make a break for it. >> when we found each other, there was another shooting. so we went back down on the floor. and then a few seconds after that, we heard a policeman near the entrance. and he said, come on, quick, go, hurry up, get out, get out!
>> climbing over corpses to get out? >> yes, yes. >> reporter: they made it out but 89 died in that concert hall. dozens wounded. a country left reeling. minutes earlier gunmen in a black vehicle shot at people sitting outside the terrace of a restaurant. roman lives in the neighborhood which he now calls a cemetery. >> i can tell you a picture that is still engraved in my mind, probably forever. the terrace of the restaurant with all the dead corpses that remained there for hours. untouched. no cover, no blanket, nothing. and they were all dead. almost in the position they were when they were having their drinks. >> reporter: roman did all he could to help. >> there was a young girl, 20 or something. i just stayed beside her because her feet, she had no more shoes. i grabbed a survival blanket and put it back on her feet so she was not cold. she was dying.
nine were injured. >> can you describe the sound of the shots? >> it's like heavy rain on a metal roof. something like that. >> that fast? >> really, really, really fast. like really being exterminated. no feelings. no mercy. nothing. it's not human, these people are not human. >> reporter: small wonder parisians are still jittery tonight. yesterday paris's place de republique empty as if someone had pulled a plug. we saw panic from our hotel. >> everybody's running. >> reporter: running for their lives, crouching under restaurant tables, doing anything to protect themselves. police taking positions, aiming their rifles. it turned out to simply be fireworks. but for those who were actually in the crosshairs, the bigger questions like, will there be
will it spread to the u.s.? those will come later. >> in a way you feel so lucky to be alive. because we don't know how we managed to do this. >> reporter: for "nightline," matt gutman in paris. >> when we come back, stirring symbols of solidarity from every corner of the globe. messages of peace for a world in mourning. welcome to the most social car we've ever designed. the 2015 nissan murano. recipient of autopacific's satisfaction award. now get great deals
the true colors of hope echoing around the globe in a tribute to paris. amidst the horror and grief, a moment of hope. davide martello outside the bataclan theater playing john lennon's "imagine." >> music goes directly into your heart. you have a mirror in front of you and you're reflecting yourself in this music. >> reporter: after those now-infamous attacks the 34-year-old musician drove 400 miles from germany to may at nearly every site where innocents lost their lives. >> my hope is that all the musicians all around the world are playing music for peace. this is what the world needs right now. >> reporter: around the globe, echoes of support. monuments awash in the colors of the flag. this image trending worldwide. and in paris tonight, a symbol
sunk. our thoughts once again but france tonight. thanks for watching abc news. of course we'll stay on top of all the latest developments overnight on our "nightline" facebook page and at abcnews.com. of course tune into gma first thing in the morning for the latest develops. good night, america. starts right now. hudson'