tv World News Now ABC November 18, 2015 3:30am-4:01am EST
good morning on this wednesday move 18th. this is a special edition of "world news now." >> we're following breaking news from france. >> gunfire and police raids north of paris. you see the scene there earlier. the suspected terrorists under arrest. and all the breaking developments from france. good morning, everyone. i'm kendis gibson. >> and i'm reena ninan. helicopters, gunfire, stun grenades. we've heard all of these explosions overnight. right now we have on the ground abc's alex marquardt. alex, what are you hearing from police at this hour? >> reporter: good morning, reena. well, the justice department tells us that this raid has wrapped up and that coincides with what we're seeing here on the ground. it has been relatively quiet for the past two hours. the last thing that we heard was a flurry or series of loud explosions that were probably concussion grenades or sound
grenades that police used to stun people when they carry out these raids. what we understand from the paris prosecutor's office is that five arrests were made. three from inside that apartment building that is about 200 yards down the road from us and two other people, a man and a woman who were near that apartment building. now, the big question this morning is whether one of those five people arrested is abdelhamid abaaoud. he is believed to be the ringleader, the organizer of this series of attacks that took place on friday night that left 129 people dead. he is a 27-year-old belgian that was believed to be in syria with isis. he is a prominent member of isis. he has been featured in many of their propaganda videos trying to recruit fellow europeans, fellow french speakers, but also in some of the more barbaric propaganda videos as well in which they show the executions of those who have turned -- or those they accuse of turning against isis. so as i mentioned, he was
believed to be in syria. we understand from french officials this morning that the target of this raid was indeed abaaoud. and so the big question this morning that we're waiting to hear is whether he was among those five arrested in that apartment. >> something so different, alex, is the fact this man is a belgian national. he wasn't someone in syria who found a way to make it over. he was from the country itself. how is that affecting the way police are going about their -- lookingmay be associated with him? >> reporter: this is essentially the nightmare scenario. this is the chickens coming home to roost. we know that thousands of europeans from belgium, from france, in elsewhere have gone to join isis in syria. particularly from belgium, which in terms of -- has the highest per capita number proportionately of fighters who have been to join isis. specifically from one neighborhood in brussels called
molenbeek. and that's where this -- where abaaoud is from. he's believed to have traveled from belgium to syria. he claimed in an isis magazine to have then come back to belgium and was part of a cell in a town called verviers near the border with germany. i was actually in that town in january when police carried out a raid on that cell, killing several members and seizing a large weapons cache as well as police uniforms indicatesing they were ready to carry out some sort avenue tack. then abaaoud reappeared in syria claiming he was able to slit through the net of belgian and european intelligence. so if indeed abaaoud made his way back to europe, to france and coordinated this attack, that is not only deeply embarrassing for the european intelligence services but also deeply disturbing because it goes to show what many others like him who have gone to join
isis in syria may be able to do. >> and alex, i'm curious. you say it's embarrassing. but also we look at this neighborhood that's right there around you. it looks like any other parisian neighborhood, any other french neighborhood. there are a lot of people there who might have recognized had guy. his picture has been out there. how surprising is it that no one in this particular neighborhood said anything? and is that telling of the people who live in that area? >> reporter: well, you're absolutely right. this is a very nice neighborhood. it is a working-class neighborhood. it's a suburb of paris. we're right now the stade de france, which is where three of the suicide bombings took place on friday night. we're on a square right here called place victor hugo. and what you can't see is the beautiful cathedral behind me. so your question is absolutely right. why would someone from a neighborhood like this -- or why would someone from a neighborhood like molenbeek in belgium go to join the fighters in syria? now, both in france and in belgium there are large muslim populations, large populations of young muslims, men who are -- who feel disenchanted,
disconnected with french and belgian society, particularly the more secular society. unemployment rates are high. and they don't feel like they have much of a future. so these areas, not really saint-denis where i am here, but what they call the banlieue, the suburbs outside of paris that are a fair bit grittier than what you see here, have essentially become breeding grounds for jihadist groups like isis. these young men who don't feel like they have much future in those cities make ripe targets for groups like isis. and that's exactly what abaaoud was doing, was trying to recruit people from these neighborhoods in france and belgium to the cause. >> and we know just how successful isis has been both on social media and live in person at recruiting people. we want to go to matt gutman. alex, thank you first of all for your reporting.
we want to go to matt gutman also on the ground in saint-denis. matt, what can you tell us? >> reporter: right now it seems like this operation is coming to a close. you can see the police still have that perimeter set up about 20 yards away from us. and down that boulevard, about 400 yards away, is where all of this shooting happened. now, we heard it originally about 4:30 a.m. local time here in paris. we came here about 45 minutes later. heard reports of gunfire. then about an hour after that we heard a number of explosions, possibly concussion grenades, stun grenades, which could have been part of the siege or the arrests that have been made. five people have been detained according to the french justice ministry. two people are dead, one woman apparently detonated a suicide vest she was wearing either during or at some point during the siege that has basically been going on for about four hours now. and what is surprising is that france is a country where you don't see that many security
personnel on the street. it's very low-key. during the million man, million person march after the "charlie hebdo" attacks earlier this year there were hundreds of thousands of people in the streets marching quietly, and there was almost no security presence. but what we saw here this morning was pretty impressive. at first it started with a very small cordon of police because we got here pretty soon after it happened, just a couple of police officers who stopped us and ordered us off the road. told to us park and get away. they actually did it at gunpoint. then more and more anti-terrorism commandos arrived wearing balanclavas. then we saw three giant truckloads of military personnel unload, red berets, possibly paratroopers. clearly they were mounting this assault and many shots fired. but whatever is going on is several hundred yards down the frood us. it does seem like it's coming to
an end. we've had silence coming out of there possibly for about 45 minutes. nothing major happening. what has been happening in this community is it is absolutely frozen. the local governor has close the all the schools. 12 schools are closed. they told people who live in thissing-class community to not go to work, stay in their homes, it's not safe to get out. earlier when we arrived it was before dawn, we saw anybody coming out into the street beyond that police perimeter, they had their hands on their head, and he believed they might have been suspects, and police certainly treated them as such until they identified them as such. it was incredibly tense and still is. there are a number of onlookers right now just trying to get a feel for what's going on, but most people are in the buildings around us. you see them peering through the curtains to see what's going on downstairs. but right now it doesn't seem like about to end anytime soon in terms of the police presence, but i think most of the violence, the arrests, and whatever happened down there
seems to be coming to a close. >> matt, what can you tell us? we know this population is a residential community. you were talking about how police specifically said don't leave your homes. but what's the guidance now? we know there are close to over 100 people under house arrest. nearly 200 raids that have been conducted over the past few days. but what's the sense for the people on the ground who are just trying to live a normal life, like go to school? at have you been witnessing over the past few days? >> reporter: it's been almost -- there are two sides of france and specifically paris right now. one is the side that is trying to show triumph over tragedy, the one that exalted last night watching the france-britain game. we were at a pub looking at people and watching them drink and try to enjoy the name. they were standing arm in arm singing the marseillaise and
expressing the soul of the city which is about revelry, going out and enjoying the company of your good friends, drinking wine and drinking beer and enjoying this fantastic place. the other side this jittery edgy side of this city and we experienced that on sunday during one of five major stampedes. panics. triggered by almost nothing. apparently, one of them was triggered by firecrackers. another was simply a phantom experience. but we were out in the square, the place de la republique. thousands of people emptied just within seconds. police training their weapons on something, they weren't quite sure what it was, but it was a very harrowing experience. and again, it was just all about fear. and there's a lot of that still right here. >> yeah, matt. and we appreciate your report there and continuing that whole conversation about fear. i want to update something that we've been following since last night around 11:00 eastern time. in were two air france planes, big planes that were diverted, one from dulles. this is the one that came out of l.a. it was an a-380 that was diverted to salt lake city and a boeing 777 that was diverted to
nova scotia, halifax, nova scotia. this after bomb threats that were called in. and the breaking news we're getting right now is both splainz been clearplanes have been cleared no, explosives found, both on their way to paris. >> five days since those terror tacks the country desperately trying troe gain composure again. we'll have former fbi special agent brad garrett who'll tell us how this impacts us here in america and what the fbi and law enforcement are doing to protect the homeland. stay with us. t to offer us today? ♪balance transfer that's my game♪ bank you never heard t of, that's my name♪ haa! thank you. uh, next. watch me make your interest rate... disappear. there's gotta be a better way to find the right card. whatever kind you're searching for, creditcards.com lets you compare hundreds of cards to find the one that's right for you. just search, compare, and apply at creditcards.com. ♪a one, a two, a three percent cash back♪
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paris. these are live pictures coming in now. and these pictures are coming in more than five hours after a massive police raid went down in this neighborhood. we are told now that five people have been arrested, three from inside an apartment, two from outside. a female suicide bomber detonated her vest as police were closing in. all of this relating to the attacks that took place in paris on friday. >> and as we watch these pictures of the streets of france, we wonder how this could impact the homeland here in the united states. you can't help but wonder if this could happen in washington, d.c. or los angeles or tampa, florida. we're going to bring in -- earlier this morning we spoke with former fbi special agent brad garrett who talked to us about what law enforcement are doing to secure the homeland. >> well, one of the keys anytime you're trying to determine if somebody's in a residence is what intelligence do you have that he's there? in other words, did neighbors call you?
did a source call you? what is the situation? and then what you try to do is take that and can you actually corroborate it? in other words, what makes you, the police, convinced that this person is in that house? you know, as we just experienced the last couple of days, they entered a house and he wasn't there. they thought he was inside. so maybe they have that situation, maybe they don't. but at some point if they have enough time they're going to figure out how to get either cameras or mikes inside a particular location to actually determine what they can see. and at some juncture, and i think you're reporting you're hearing noises, which may possibly be flash bangs, et cetera. that they may well have entered, you know, a residence or an apartment, whatever it might be. >> brad, i was really surprised. shortly after these attacks on friday the fbi coming out and
saying that they will be upping surveillance in this country and particularly looking for people potentially who suddenly go dark. can you tell us about that and what the fbi is doing post these attacks on friday? >> sure. they've got literally dozens of people they're keeping track of. and what the suggestion is, based on what we just saw in paris, is that there is no outward or open communication. now, is there encrypted communication? that remains to be seen. but the key here is that if you've got some players or individuals that you're particularly concerned about then you're going to up the surveillance. in other words, the physical surveillance. the electronic surveillance. obviously, of cell phones and/or hard lines. and i think that's what they're suggesting, that there may be a core group of people they really have the most concern about, and they're trying to do sort of what they call the tick-tock, which is literally the tick-tock of their life, where are they, where are they going, who are
they associating with, et cetera. >> brad, what happens in a situation like this? they're talking about an area, molenbeek in brussels, that they believe to be the epicenter where the planning took place. they say this community, it is largely muslim, that very tight-knit. how does the fbi or any law enforcement crack any sort of community that is very tight-knit? even if you up the surveillance in that area. the people aren't going to speak. how do you get a tipoff as to what's happening or what people are up to? >> well, the biggest advantage they have today is even people in communities like that -- this know that the behavior that occurred in paris will come back down on them. and it is in effect i think coming back down on them to a certain extent. so that will get some people to talk to you. but you bring up a point that's been a real issue for the fbi and others during -- since 9/11. there's been complaints from the muslim community that the bureau
and other agencies, nypd in particular, were using too aggressive of tactics. they were trying to infiltrate mosques, et cetera. and so you've got that whole component, that some of its worked, some of it has not. but it still boils down to two things -- human sources and electronic intercepts. and i suspect that's where they're getting the majority of the information that's driving, for example, the current location where they're attempting to apparently go into or think about going into a residence or an apartment. >> all right, brad. i'm just curious about this one thing. they're saying this morning that it's possible abdelhamid abaaoud, and this is a guy that's suspected behind the "charlie hebdo" attack, the train attack that didn't happen, and now this, and they thought that he was in syria and now it turns out he might possibly be in a suburb of paris in a
residential area? does that kind of shock you that that may be the case, that he might have been able to survive there for all this time? >> no. because the ability particularly in europe to move around, particularly if you're doing it by car, is just not that difficult. and particularly if you have great fake i.d.s and/or somebody else is moving you, i can definitely see that to be a possibility. >> all right. former fbi special agent brad garrett joining us a little bit earlier. we'll be right back.
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back seat chefs peer inside your oven. but you've cleaned all baked-on business from meals past with easy-off, so the only thing they see is that beautiful bird. go ahead. let 'em judge. we are continuing to follow the breaking news out of france. a suburb north of paris is the focus of police raids, where police say they believe the mastermind behind the paris attacks on friday could have possibly been holed up. we want to take you to an eyewitness from this neighborhood right now. raheel mohammed. raheel joining us now from skype. you were just a short ways from this. can you tell us your location specifically and what you heard overnight? >> i'm in saint-denis. sorry if i don't speak good english. i'm at saint-denis. and beginning at 4:30 shotgun boom.
and i don't start -- 15 -- shotgun and that don't stop. everyone run in the street. police. police talk us to go home and stay safe with family. >> how many gunshots did you here? >> around 50. i don't know. yeah, a lot. a lot. a bomb. shots. a lot. >> now, raheel, do you have any sense -- police say they're focusing on the man who may be behind the attacks on friday. is there any sense, do you know who this guy is and potentially was there any buzz in the community? do you think he might be there? >> i don't know. i don't know who they are -- if terrorists about the attack of saturday on paris, i don't know
but he was wanted and he watts saint-denis. >> he possibly might have been in your neighborhood. you mentioned you heard 50 gunshots. and now to hear that these suspects might have been in your neighborhood. how frightening was that? >> how what? >> how scary? >> me, i'm not scary. i don't realize again. my mother, she's crazy. she don't go outside. people are scared. but me it's -- >> i can understand. he's saying his mother was quite scared. he heard so many shots. raheel, we appreciate you joining us. >> raheel mohammed, an eyewitness from the suburb of saint-denis. we'll
breaking news this morning in france, heavy gunfire and explosions in an early morning raid targeting the mastermind behind the paris attacks. >> a standoff as the sun rises. police storming a suburban neighborhood. a dramatic turn in the terror investigation. we have live team coverage. on this wednesday morning we continue with abc news breaking coverage out of france. a raid targeting the alleged mastermind of the terror attacks in paris. >> the sights and sounds, s.w.a.t. team surrounding an