tv Local 10 News 430AM ABC March 22, 2016 4:30am-5:00am EDT
one off the highest security area s then at least two metro stayings that have symbolic locations next to the seat of the belgian government and seat of the european union. these are all not yet confirmed. >> in case some viewers are tuning in at the bottom. hour you're looking at some scenes right now, the aftermath f the departure terminal we believe at the brussels airport. new video in to us. you can see what impact this blast had, i believe those are like ceiling tiles that have come down onto the ground. there are injuries reported there but now the breaking news that we're getting right now our alex marquardt is there at the airport in brussels but saying that there are lal reports saying there may have been an additional three explosions at metro stations all around this capital. >> three different subway ations is the report that alex was getting from the local broadcaster essentially public broadcaster similar to the bbc of bruls.
you're saying is one of those is located near the eu. one is in the maalbeek area. the third do you think is near thth nato headquarters? >> reporter: it's what you were talking about. what the significance of this city is is that this city is home to these major institutions, the european unio nato and, of course, all of these embassies relatively concentrated in the center of brussels and if these explosions did take place a at these metro stations they are highly symbolic symbolic. one is next to the belgian government. another is next to the main building housing the european union and when you add on the explosionsnse know about at the airport two at 8:00 this morning. this would indicate a coordinated attack so hope to be getting more information from
top of the hour. there is a lot of confusion. at least one person killed b reports of more as t authorities have sealed off the airport, flights have stopped going out and coming in and we are on our way by foot to that departure hall right now. >> you mentioned two explosions happened around 8 a.m. local time and then subsequently we have t tse reports, unconfirmed of three explosions at three other subway stations or three subway stations in the area, give us a sense of what's going on this time of day in brussels. this a peek time to be moving and getting to work. a sense of what the city is doing right now. >> yeah, this is 9:30 in the morning right now and so and the explosions the first ones at the airport happened at 8:00 so you really can't get more peakkhan that. this is when people are taking the first flights out of the
this is when people are using the metro to go to work. this sis the highest trafficic that the city will see. talking aboutoordinated and targeted attacks, then, you know, this is the hour that makes the most sense to target. now i'm seeing official word from the brussels metro, the brussels bway system they are shutting down the whole system. all metro stations are closing across brussels. that follows reports of three explosions at three different memeo stations in the heart of the capital. very symbolic areasext to the seat of the european union and of the belgian government. >> a big deal, everybody. we're getting these reports of additional explosions. local media reporting them at several metro stations within the city of brussels this coming
took place at the airport roughly about 8:00, i'd say, local time there in brussels. brussels is five hours ahead of us right now because of daylight saving time normally it would be six. so, alex at this point they've shut down the airport. they have shut down the metro station. i cocod just imagine this is a city that is just in the throes of a lot of angst right now. >> reporter: well, absolutely imagine in the u.s. in d.c. or philadelphia or new york shutting down the main airport and shutting down the subway station. thatat would absolutely wreak havoc. i remember about six years ago covering a double suicide bombing in the metro in moscow and the russians only shut down about six stops on the in et tree because they wanted to isolate it and keep everything going. now, europeans are taking a lot more -- would take a lot more and we're seeing it now. the belgians shutting down the
indication and confirmation of those three attacks that happened at the three different stations and so right now, the only way to get around this city is by car, by bus, we haven't heard yet what's happening with the railway system but when you are shutting down the subway system of a major european city, that means there are strong fears of attacks and possible more attacks to come. >> in the time you've been repoing in brussels with the recent events have you seen anything like this where at any kind of closures like this have occurred or where that would seem to be something that would occur. >> reporter: i'm sorry. >> i was asking in the recent events you've been covering
unusual is it?maelbeek? but these quick reactions. not unprecedented but how unusual is it. it's extremely unusual. to shut gown the entire airport and not couch it in language that would leave any short of room for any other possibility is a clear indication that they believe that this is terrorism. they -- there have been evacuations of other airports in other european cities like geneva and i was there but they were doused by saying this happens all the time. if you're shutting down the subway system, there's fears of more happening. >> it should be of note. you're familiar with belgium as am i a lot of people travel through the rail system.
all -- also more importantly it nnects to paris and amsterdam and to the netherlands and within just a matter of a couple of hours with the high-speed trai there so they've really targeted an area where they knew a lot off people would be and would cripple the city. >> reporter: absolutely. a good point. everything is close together and suddenly you drive an hour an you're speaking a different language. american students are always coming over here and getting their eurorail passes and traveling all over the continent. something people have been doing for years so to a large extent peopleely a lot and certainly rely a lot more on trains and -- than the u.s. does. there are, of course, budget airlines that fly all over europe that are very popular, but this i i -- these cities are so interconnected and that was one of the problems that we saw in paris, these people were able
countries unnoticed. under the agreement they have, there are essentially no borders between these european countries, there are checkpoints and sometimes people are stopped but it is very easy to travel between these countries. >> and, alex, just give us a sense of where you are now, what you're seeing, what the scene is there. >> reporter: thahawas just a convoy. you can probably hear it in my breath. we're on foot. all the roads are empty. the police have set up a perimeter around the airport. no vehicles are being allowed in. but people are being allowed to come and go on foot. we have seen some travelers, some of the thousands who were presumably trying to get out of brusls airport this morning leaving the airport trying to get back out to the highways a and i would imagine get a car to go
but we are approaching the airport. it is the scene of confusion, there's police tape, lots o sirens and emergency services all around the airport and i would imagine the same scene is playing out now in brussels with the closure of that metro system. they have said that ty have shut down the entire system and not just the stations that were reported to havavbeen targeted and so right now there's going to be paralysis in the belgian capital. lots of traffic, nothing moving in the metro and a lot of confused and scared people. >> alex, i should mention we're getting wordd from american rlines, you mentioned one might have taken place in a terminal where amerin airlines operates out of so the word is right now we are aware of an incident at the brussels airport departure hall and taking care of our customers, employees and contractors. at this time all of our employees and contractors are accounted for with no injuries reported. american airlines flight 751 has
when operations at the airport resume we will recommend -- reaccommodate, rather, our customers so a`erican airlines there addressle flight 751 and many offts passengers and crew members who were likely to be at the airport this morning. >> of course, 25 minutes ago the brussels airport did tweet that passengers that are still located in other areas o the airport are asked to remain calm and to wait for further information. alex, you mentioned you're seeing many so of these passengers stream out. is it large crowds of passengersy do you get a sense that there's still -- they're still at the airport because those are the pictures we have earlier of large crowdsds just kind of floating around trying to figure out where to go or what's going on. some of them emotional talking to authorities. and really it just seems like everybody is still there. what is your sense? >> well, initially it was a trickle butut that's because we were further away. now we're closer coming up on what looks like the main
a lot more people, a lot more of a police presence and more passengers. i'm looking at a man now clearly wounded, wrapped in a blanket. he has a gash on his leg. it is bloody and so he would be one fof the many wounded at the airport this morning. the scenes we're seeing are not chaotic of they're relatively orderly. people streaming out with their confused. pqople getting on to buses who will be taken away from the airport. they were trying to fly at 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 in the morning when most of the early flights of the day are taking off talking about thousands trying to leave this airport who had packed into that departures hall and who are now not able to fly.
seeing a steady stream, really a river of passengers with their bags lving the airportrying to figure out where to go. >> our alex marquardt is at the aiaiort in brussels where several have been injured and at least one person is dead but we're also getting this report from the associated press. an ap reporter saying several people injured in explosion in brussels metro near the eu offices. the explosions at the metro took place at three different metro stations this morning, one of them, the stations we're told by our producers here located just one stop apart but more importantly, one of them is the exit sean entry point for the european union, alex, so it does appear very much as if this is a coordinated attack this morning. >> reporter: that was the major fear and in the pas few months after paris. paris, of course, showed us all that these types of highly coordinated and very deadly attacksan take place under the noses of the police.
the works for a long time and get the authorities were not able to pick up on it. 130 dead at the end of the day at major sites across paris. the fe out of that, intelligence officials in the uk, in france saying that they feared more of the same. but not just coordinated attacks within one city but coordinated attacks across cities so when these first explosions happened at 8:00 at the airport this morning, if you're an intelligence official, immediate assumption is going to be where else could this be taking place. we as a news organization we're thinking where else could this take place? and on our way walking to the airport, the first reports came out of explosions at the metro. so this does appear to be a coordinated simultaneous attack, targeting the belgian transportation system, the airport airport, zaventem, one of the biggest of brussels referred to
is not only a very tactical attack but very symbolic. >> and the terror level going t maximum level in the wake of the airport explosions, now we have the reports of the three more explosions on the three metro stations, the entire subway system closed at this moment. give us another sense of what's going on there. you're seeing the crowds of passengers leaving the airport. you mentioned you saw someone wounded. you said it was a pretty calm scene. not chaotic. are people visibly bway. i would imagine it's pretty jarring and getting word of other things happening in the city. >> reporter: when i say it's not chaotic. i mean that people are not screaming -- running around screaming but there is a thought ofofconcern. you can see it on their face, very drawn, grim faces but orderly. i should highlight that. these explosions happened just under two hours ago andn people
airport by the hundreds. by the thousands. but it is very orderly. people walking very calmly, obviously no smiles on their faces but you don't see too much trauma. there isn't much crying or screaming so what they're going to be trying to figure out now where to go. they can't take their flights out of here and likely hearing of other attacks that are now taking place in brussels. the police are funneling them away from the airport towards an overpass and we're see more and more buses coming to pick them up. >> so, alex, let's -- i'm going to ask to pull up that map once again to show you a sense of where we're talkingngight now. terror has struck the european capital, you would say, of belgiumh this morning and it first started around i'd say 3:00 east coast time, 8:00 belgium time getting this from
saying there were two explosions in the departure hall around 8 a.m. local. that's about 3:00 eastern time here in the u.s., the possibility of a terrorist attack is being investigated. our priority is to secure the area. there have been many injured. the level and threat in belgium has been raised to four, the maximum alert with special emphasis o transport hubs, airports, stations and nuclear plant s plants but also releauing that statement but that came out prior to/the word of the other explosions at the train stations this morning. >> w w should mention injured have been taken to a hospital where a crisis plan has been activated so the city reacting to what is going on in brussels this morning. the metro stations are closed following records of those explosions on the three different subway stations, all separate from one another following the two explosions and
brussels airport around 8:00 a.m. the time as alex explained peak time for peoe to be moving through the city, commuting through the city and now evererhing is coming to a close. transportation shutting down. >> alex, we should point out we're getting word that other airports understandably around europe are being beefed up at least with security. heathrow, of course, in london, charles de gaulle, of course in paris, many of these airports are beefing up security understandably after this morning's incident. >> reporter: we're -- the belgian prime minister put out a statement confirming the explosions at the airport this morning. in the departure hall saying right nowt's the possibility of a terror attack that is being investigated.
in downtown brussels but has been raised to 4, its higigst alert level with an emphasis on transport hubs and nuclear plants as you just mentioned. confirmation at least one -- there was an explosion at one mqtro stop and there are reports from belgian media there were two others, as well. >> we'll give him a quick break and on the phone abc's consultant john cullen who is r terrorism consultant. john, can you hear us? >> yes, i can hear you. >> it would appear to be a worst nightmare playing out in belgium. >> yes, it appears things are not going in the ribht direction. if one explosion possibly could have been something that w un
the reports are true, that there areultiple explosions, taking place in multiple transportation facilities, this would have the eaarks of a terrorist attack. >> john, can you give us a sense of your reaction to this in light of the recent events with thth recent arrest of salah abdeslam? >> well, we've been hearing warnings from law enforcement and intelligence authorities for months now about their concerns that there could be hundreds if not thousands of people in europe, united states and canada who have been inspired by the ideology of groups like isis.. while the arrest in brussels was a welcome sign from the standpoint of the terrorist attack in paris, that should, you know, that doesn't diminish the fact that it's a significant threat facing europe that remains. >> and, john, as we keep you on the line we have new video we want to call up here in a moment of the smoky subways as we mentioned and look at that. what a horrifying scene that is right now. this is the scene playing out
or so in downtown brussels. one of three metro stations that were attacked this morning. it would appear to be attacked where you had three explosions go off and smoke billowing out of that location right now. john, i don't know if you've gotten a chance to look at many of the images that we're getting. i know it's fairly early but any sense when you look at the impact of all those explosions there of the explosions there at e airport, any sense of what might have been used or how this might have happened? >> it's too early to tell and the investigators are obviously looking at this first and foremost, security authorities are going to try to gain control of the situation. they are going to, you ow, provide aid to those who are injured at these locations but they have got to figure out if they're more attacks coming and stop those attacks for the safety of the citizens in the
important factor on security official officials' mights at this point. >> can you walk us through what security officials will be doing right now. we know the terror alert was raised to the maximum level after the explosions, the metro cokpletely shut down and airport being evacuated. all flights canceled or diverted. nothing is going on there now. so wha are authorities going to be doing as we speak in reacting to this news coming out and what's going onn the city right >> because they're unfolding they'll try to get people off the street. if you haven't seenn it you'll see a massive influx of uniform law enforcement and military personnel. particularly around where people congregate. this is a difficult one because authorities have already been saturating the commuty trying to arrest people associated with
paris attack. so from an investigative perspective, they're already, you know, knocking on as many doors as they possibly can. i think right now, what you're going to see and they may require some assistance from the outlying areas you're going to see just a massive, massive security presence on the s seets of brussels. >> once again we're talking with abc terrorism contributor john cohen joining us on the line followin the explosions that took place and rocked the capital of belgium this morning. and, john, you know, we're getting these reports at onef the subway stations or metro stations attacked near the european union office there is in belgium and also you have this airport that was attacked. any significance that you could kind of glean at this early hour of the locates that were selected? >> i think, you know, it's early, that will all come out through the investigation.
kong get great and in particular if an attack plan had to be speeded up because of the arrest over the past several days then people who are carrying out these type of attacks will go to places where they can blend in with others, can go to places where there are large crowd so this cause as many casualties as possible. secondly, the significance is that, you know, if you can shut down the transportation infrastructure of a city you shut down the city. and there's no other way to have the most dramatic impact on a community or a city like brussels by shutting down its transportation systems. >> you know i first want to emphasize the possibility of a terrorist attack is being investigated, nothing has been confirmed. nothing been said beyond that officially by the prime minister, the word from the prime minister from a spokesperson this statement that was put out a little earlier. we know the threat level was
we know before this, john, that the threat level was raised. it just wasn't at the highest level yet. given that context heading into this morning are you surprised at these -- if these were attacks that they were able to be carried out at an airport at this airport and at these subway stations? >> yeah, i think, unfortunately, nothing much surprises me anymore. you know, we've been hearing through reports such as those on our network and others about the concerns that there was a much larger presence, a much larger set of operatives, you know, lqcated in that city and in that region. again, this shouldn't be a surprise to anybody necessarily because there have been concerns that have been raised byy european union officials, the u.s. officials over the last several months about just the breadth of the threat posed by those either recruited or inspired by isis and other terrorist organizations.
latest that we have, confirmable as of abc news right now so y y have two explosions that took place at the airport around 3:00 eastern time, roughly 8:00 belgian time this morning. all airport operations suspepded and evacuated. some kind of incident involving the brussels metro. we believe three different incidents at three different locations, that is what we're getting from belgian media so it's been quite a morning so far there in brussels. >> we should mention according to the ap at least one is dead in that brussels airport explosion, there are numerous injuries at both the airport and the metro station near the eu headquarters according to the ap what we know of the damage or theh reported damage in the wake of these attack -- or excuse me, these explosions. we know they're explosions but not whether they're attacksks yet. according to the prime minister's statement but as far as the injuries and -- that have
both the metro and airport and one dead. >> you said there's been a lot of chatter with a lot of the networkshat you guys deal with. you've been hearing that there might possibly be a plot? >> yeah, i think they were reporting yesterday from belgian officials that some of the results from the interviews that were taking place with individuals that have been arrested of late gave them --- caused concern that there was an existing network out there associated with those that carry out the paris attacks and additional plots may have been in the process of being planned. that said, you know, i think unfortunataty the times we're living in right now and based on everything we've seen over t t past year, year and a half, just has to, you know, we just have to remind everybody there are people out there that we may not know about that security servicesemay not know about who
attack in the name of deology, the ideology of a group like isis so this is just in the sense the new normal waneand we -- it's a very reall possibility in city as cross europe and the united states. >> so give us a context of what you expect to be the reaction in cicies across europe. i know i have a statement from the heathrow spokesman saying that we take this safety and security of our passengers and colleagues v vy seriously and in light of the events at the brussels airport we're working with the police at heathrow who are providing a high visibility presence. they expect flights to the brussels airport to be affectedd as you would suspect considering that all flights have been canceled at the brussels airport. so obviously other airports reacting. how do you expect europe to be reacting this morning? >> you will see a increase in security across the european union, i suspect. you will see -- there will be an
region and perhaps internationally. you will likely see an increase in security presence in mass ansit stationsnd other potential so-called soft targets or people locations where people kong get gait. i think we will also -- i mean american officials will be monitoring what's going on, as well. there are a large number of flights that come to the united states from the european union and obviously they will be wantong to evaluate whether there's any security implications to the u.s. >> all right. that would be john cohen joining us, former dhs official joining us on the very late e. john, thank you. we want to reset for everyone who might be tuning in at the toof the hour this is abc news special report following the horrible morning thatt it's been so far in brussels, belgium. the scenes you're looking at righghnow is the main airport there, international airport.
it's roughly about six miles northeast of the center of the city. this morning about 3:00 local time. 3:00 eastern time two explosion rocked the departure hall of note an american airline flight was getting ready to take off in about an hour o or two when these explosions took off and there were many passengers who were probably in the departure hall at the time. were told all of those folks are safe but there are several injuries reported at the airport there and there is one death and then come an hour later these reports -- >> reports of three explosions at three different subway stationsnsnd the metro is closed and the city is on the maximum level alert after these multiple explosions and we@ know that from the prime minister's office a spokespeon saying that the possibility of a terrorist attack is being investigated at this point. i also want to mention i noticed that vice president of the european commission has tweeted, following the situation in brussels eu institutions are working together to ensure the
please stay home. >> let's pull in richard clarke joining us at this early hour. richard, thank you for joining us here. you see this. you hear these reports andndour thoughts? >> well, i think this is likely to have been pro-voked at the specific time by the arrests in brussels. it looked like the belgian police after weeks of faire to round up the gang that was still left was finally closing in on them. and the people who perpetrated these attacks today probably thought they had very little time left to do it before they were caught because of the evidence that the belgian police were getting from their raids earlier in the week. but if there a a multiple attacks that means there was still a rather large cell still out there and the belgians only lately said that publicly that they thought there was a --