tv News4 Midday NBC March 22, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm EDT
morning, everybody. 8:00 on the west coast. it's late afternoon in brussels, belgium. it's a day they will not soon forget. you're seeing these images of terror as two separate attacks unfold. one at the international airport. 8:00 a.m. local time. busy departure terminal. two explosions went off. not long after that at a train station, it appears to be inside a train car. at least 11 people were killed as we understand it at the airport. more than 20 -- excuse me -- 20 killed at the train stations and we may have hundreds of others injured. we're continuing to count the toll, including we're sorry to say, three missionaries from utah who were injured.
they're critical but don't have life threatening injuries. we'll continue to follow that. >> as has happened in other cities around the world in the past, people in brussels are basically in their homes, in their businesses, locked in, probably watchi ining events un on their local television outlets. not being able to travel around the city. we want to get to richard engel, who has what appears to be a potentially major development on the investigation side of this. richard, what do you have? >> well, it seems the investigators are making some progress. one senior u.s. intelligence official told me that belgian federal police are searching a residence in a neighborhood in brussels that they believe was the launching pad for the three suspects believed responsible for today's attacks. a search is underway. they have leads. they're conducting this search, and they believe this residence was something of a staging ground or launch pad. that's one.
combing through the chatter that they're finding online, trying to eliminate duplications. eliminate circular reporting. at this stage, u.s. officials are trying to determine if there are other imminent threats connected to today's attacks, or unconnected to today's attacks. they still, at this stage, as they're going through the intelligence, don't know. >> richard engel on the investigation side of this, thank you. let's turn to kelly cobiella. she's made her way to brussels this morning. kelly, good morning. what are you hearing? >> good morning, savannah. as you can see behind me, the street is starting to open up, more traffic on this street where you'll find the entrance to the maelbeek metro station. that is where the explosion happened this morning, at the height of rush hour. normally, at 8:00, 8:30 in the morning, this street would be very busy. people would be on their way to work, taking the same metro they take e d
happened this morning. witnesses saying that they heard a noise, everything went black. when they were able to see again, they saw many, many injured. one man who lives very close by and takes this metro every day said he was delayed a little bit. decided to have a little more coffee. when he walked around the corner he heard a loud bang. we saw people coming out, bloodied and others carried out. he said it was hard for him to tell how badly injured they were. we now know that at least 80 people injured in this explosion. 20 people killed here. just to show you the amount of nervousness, the tension in this city at this point, just within the past couple of hours, these streets were all blocked off. our cameras were moved a good block away. police were clearing the area
it turned out to be nothing. it does show you the amount of tension, the amount of nervousness among counterterrorism police and among the general public. this is a report that came from the man who was just on the street and noticed a car idling for 45 minutes. this is going to continue over the next few hours. people are staying in their homes. stores are closed. every once in a while, you hear sirens. everyone is trying to keep up and try to figure out what the latest is. are they safe? is it over? is it ongoing? guys? >> that's why these mornings are so tense. you really don't know what the scope and magnitude yet is of this attack. kelly cobiella, i know you'll stand at your post and keep us posted. thank you very much. let's talk to an eyewitness. thomas rwas riding in the metro in brussels and felt the explosion. how are you doing? >> good afternoon. i'm doing as best as possible.
in proximity to where this explosion took place. >> so i was taking my usual train in the morning to work. i work in union affairs. the european quarter. i was on my way. i arrived in the metro station and there are already a military presence there because of the bombing in the airport an hour earlier. i thought after that, nothing would happen, but i was wrong in this case. i took the metro to go to work. i went to the front of the metro, of the train. as soon as i got to -- as soon as the train started to leave off, i heard a huge explosion. it shook the front of the train a little bit.
slowed down. basically, i was 30 seconds to one minute, if i was one minute earlier, i would have been where the bomb took place. it's a bit scary. i'm feeling really bad for those who did take that metro one minute earlier. >> our hearts go out to them. after the explosion, the train stopped and what happened next? were you evacuated? >> i think the train driver actually accelerated a bit, didn't want to get stuck at one of the metro stations. then she stopped. she came out and told us there was an explosion. she told us to stay calm, and that was obviously quite difficult. but she went to the back of the train and stayed there for a while. during that time, there was
there wasn't -- i'm not going to say it was difficult to breathe, but it was getting in that direction. smoke was coming from the bomb, so that shows how close we were. basically after 20 minutes, we all had to walk down the train and had to walk back to the -- in the lines of the tracks, we walked back to the train station. it was done in a professional manner. i think the driver and the police did really great. it could have been a lot worse. yeah, it was done in a very good way. >> thomas, you said something a few minutes ago that struck me. you said, when you got to the metro, knowing that the explosions had already taken place at the airport, you figured nothing else could happen. let me take you before the airport attacks. as someone who lives in brussels, had you feared something like this? especially given all the coverage of brussels being a hot bed for terrorist activity, especially in the wake of the
paris attacks? >> it's a good question. i have been living here five years now. i have to say, i don't really recognize the descriptions that are made in the press, american press and european press, about brussels being a hot bed for terrorism. it's never been my impression. i lived here for five years and i love it. i wouldn't think of living anywhere else. that being said, i think nowadays in europe, as in america, i think it's probably similar, we're all expecting it to an extent. especially because brussels is an area where there is a political presence. eu is led and run. it's where nato is. it's a prime sort of suspect for any type of terrorist attack. it's expected. but it's also surprising when it happens.
heard one of your presidential candidates has been saying, calling it -- brussels isn't a good place to live. but i think brussels is a good place to live. >> thank you very much. let's go to tom costello, who has been following this breaking news as it develops. what do you have? >> i got a couple developments. i would pick up on a comment that your guest had there. nato is headquartered in brussels. i've got to tell you, one of my first reporting assignments was to report on something going on in nato headquarters in brussels. they are very proud in brussels that they are a member of nato. a small member, but a critical member nonetheless. nato headquarters is there. yesterday, we had donald trump suggesting the united states might need to revisit whether we remain in nato.
it's an iin ining jury excused positit -- jux position. we hear the possibility that the explosive that was used here was tatp, a common explosive used by terrorists around the world. that is what vtm, flemish television, is reporting. the officials, the police on the ground believe they're dealing with that here. they continue to look for the suspect. they believe he's wearing a white sweater. there are some police activities which we've been asked not to report on, and the belgian media is ab tstaining from, augussugg there is tactical operations going on that the police want to wait until they're secure. the airport doesn't know when it'll reopen because the extent of damage to the airport is significant. that's an understatement.
you'd now have police and forsentic forsen forse forsensics teams doing analysis. they won't re-open the airport until it's cleared as a crime skaen a scene and, number two, they have significant damage. from my bird's eye view, looking from washington but having spent a lot of time at the airport, i can't imagine it'll open for at least a week. significant damage done to a critical transportation artery for brussels. >> is that the only departure lounge? some of us are familiar with airports that have more than one. that's the only one, i guess? >> that's it. earlier, we had a happen of the brussels airport. there it is right there. if we can take it full, the -- on the bottom right, the rectangle is the terminal. that's it. you arrive in there. you pull up. you see at the bottom, you have like a gray-maroon area. that's the parking structure. you can pull up to the parking structure. you can then walk across the
terminal. there are all the airlines there, lined up. you can go to whichever particular check-in you need. then you go through security and down either the b gates or make your way all the way over to the a gates. that's a very long hike. i've often said, boy, it feels like a mile or two, walking to the a gates. that's one terminal that feeds down to the concourses. by the way, they separate out. intra-european traffic and international traffic down the various concourses. one other note i wanted to pass along, i quickly move through my notes here, and that's the washington, d.c. metro airport authority is reminding all of us -- and it's repeated since 9/11 -- if you see something, say something. various airports around the country are increasing their security stature today. they're ramping up a presence, putting more tactical units out. dog units if you will.
random checks. it almost goes without saying, but maybe you can't say it enough, if you see something suspicious, say something is the word from the washington, d.c. metro airports authority. back to you. >> tom, thank you. let's turn now to nbc news analyst christopher dickey, world news editor for the daily beast. he's in brussels. i'm struck by the fact you were in new york not long ago. we sat in my office and said, often when we speak, it's in the aftermath of a tragic event like this. here we go again. >> i'm afraid so. we also said there was going to be another hit and maybe more than one in europe. in fact, it was just last week i was talking to colleagues at nbc and saying, we have been lucky so far. then this hit today. >> and at least on the part of french president hollande, he looks at this as a continuation, a long attack on europe. if you want to go back to the
january "charlie hebdo" attacks, the november attacks in paris and now here in brussels, it has been a sugstained assault on western europe. >> it's not only a sustained attack on western europe, these are more and more competent terrorists. it's starting to look like g guerilla warfare, which is what the islamic state wants. they used a crude explosive, but it's hard to make that into a bomb that's really effective, that can be stored. now, we seem to have tatp bombs all over the place in europe. that means, among other things, there's probably a bomb maker out there that the police and intelligence services would dearly love to catch. >> i don't know if you were hooked up in time to listen to a conversation we just had with a guy who has lived in brussels for five years. he took some exception to the
characterization of brussels as being a hot bed of terrorist activity. you've spent so many years in europe. you know it as well as anybody i've ever talked to. what's your characterization of brussels? >> well, i don't think you can vilify all of brussels, but it is true, there are neighborhoods, like parts of molenbeek, not even the whole neighborhood, but parts of molenbeek has young, arab and muslim men in them who are perfect, perfect targets for jihadists who are looking to recruit. like the guy salah abdeslam, who was arrested, he and his brother, who blew himself up, was running a bar. in a critical moment, somebody approached them and recruited them. to that extent, it's definitely true. i just talked to somebody in the u.s. intelligence service who said we ought to call this raqqah belgium. it isn't like that, if you are around the city. you could go around the city.
of the city. but there are pockets of it that have become very dangerous and, in fact, the center for this jihadist activity. >> it's become active and operational. i wonder, chris, from your perspective as a watcher of europe, whether there is kind of that soul searching that we're familiar with here in this country after what happened here on 9/11, where you are balancing the competing concerns of wanting to go on with life and not wanting to surrender to fear and, yet, also being fearful, and for good reason. are you seeing europe those iss well? >> it's a huge issue. it's a political issue because there already was rampant islam phobia in this part of the world. now, you have a situation where people who were not inclined to look suspiciously at arab and muslims, now they're terrified. this all fits into a plan laid
an idea log who, in fact, laid it all out. he said, we need to take the war to europe. soft underbelly of the west. we do that, and we will create divisions and dissent and islam phobia and eventually, we'll create a civil war. well, these are, in the views of isis, the first steps on that path. >> christopher dickey in brussels for us this morning. thank you so much. always good to get your perspective. i appreciate it. >> thank you, matt. thanks, savannah. we're back with much more on this breaking news in just a moment. stay with us. i never felt satisfied... ...no matter what the quantity was. afterwards, i felt so upset with myself.
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there is a lot at stakey here, you know? we've been planning for this for a long time. and we'll keep evolving things. knowing you is how edward jones makes sense of investing. we're back with more of our coverage on this morning's deadly attacks at the airport and in the subway system of brussels, belgium. we heard from hillary clinton a short time ago. we also spoke to donald trump, the republican front runner in the presidential race. here's what he had to say. >> you know, often people talk about a president getting that 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. phone call when something tragic has happened, either here at home or around the world.
so let's go to the hypothetical situation. president trump gets that 2:00 a.m. phone call. what would you have done? >> first of all, this is a subject that is very dear and near to my heart. because i've been talking about it certainly much more than anybody else. it's why i'm probably number one in the polls. because of the fact that i say we have to have strong borders. we have to be very vigilant and careful who we allow into our country. i know brussels well, and brussels is a total mess. brussels is a -- and i'm not talking about the attack today, i'm talking about generally speaking -- the city used to be one of the finest, one of the most beautiful and one of the safest cities in the world. now, it's a catastrophic, very dangerous city where the police have little control. >> let me take you back to my question. >> it's too bad. >> what would you have done first as president of the united states if you got this call? >> well, as president, i would do probably what i would have been doing for the period of time that i was president.
borders, and i would be not allowing certain people to come into this country without absolute perfect documentation. we're allowing thousands of people already, matt, to come into our country. they don't have proper documentation. we don't know where they're coming from. they happen to be in the migration. they happen to come from perhaps syria, but nobody really knows. they have no idea of telling because they don't have the dock yu -- documentation. >> which people would you exclude? >> i'd exclude the people coming from syria that don't have documentation, coming in from the migration line. interestingly, they have cell phones in many cases, but you say, how did they get the cell phones and where do they get the bills paid? i would certainly exclude those people from coming in. the assimilation has been a disaster. you go to paris and you go to bru brussels and other cities, what's happening now with germany, with merkel's brilliant move to allow over a million people to pour into rm
it's turning out to be catastrophic. >> let me ask you this, mr. trump, they have in belgium a guy by the name of salah abdeslam in custody now. he's said to be the man who planned the terror attacks of november 13th. he's in custody. what would you say would be appropriate in terms of what they can do to him at this moment, to get any information they can about possible further attacks? >> well, i would say they should be able to do whatever they have to do. they have to get the information. i would say they should be able to do whatever they have to do. >> be specific, if you will. >> the laws are liberal over there, they won't do that. but they should be able to do whatever they have to do to get him to give the information. the very sad thing is, he was being guarded and protected by people that were a few doors away from where he lived. they were protecting him, and they were guarding him. it was lucky they were able to find him. he was planning another attack. they didn't find him because people turned him in.
and protecting him. that's not supposed to be the way the system works. >> when you say do whatever they have to do, can you be specific? i mean, what do you mean by that? >> well, i'm not looking for breaking news on your show, but frankly, the water boarding, if it was up to me, and if we change td laws or have the laws, water boarding would be fine. if they want to do -- as long as it's with -- because we work within laws. they don't work within laws. they have no laws. we work within laws. the water boarding would be fine. if they could expand the laws, i would do more than water boarding. you have to get the information from these people. we have to be smart, and we have to be tough. we can't be soft and weak, which is what we are right now. when i say we, i'm talking about other countries, also. >> if you talk to experts who do these interrogations, you often find a division. some people think that harsh interrogation technique works and will deliver you the information, and others say it doesn't work. you'll get false information.
interrogation, let's use the word, torture, works in a case like that? >> yes, i am. i am in that camp. i don't believe the other people. i am in that camp, absolutely. they'll read him his rights. he'll sit there with a good lawyer. the lawyer won't give any -- ten years will go by. by the time it goes by, he won't know anything because the world will have moved on to a worse place. no, i am in the camp where you have to get the information, and you have to get it rapidly. >> let's keep in mind, draw the distinction here, that abdeslam is held by belgian law enforcement, not by intelligence, like here in this country when the cia took suspects to secret places in other parts of the world. >> let the military take it over. they have to get their act together. belgium is not the belgium you and i knew, matt, from 20 years ago, which was one of the most beautiful cities and one of the
safest cities in the world. belgium is a horror show right now. terrible things are happening. people are leaving. people are afraid. this all happened because, frankly, there's no assimilation. they are not assimilating. they're not assimilating in other locations either. >> just a couple of seconds -- >> shthey want sharia law. they don't want laws that we have. they want sharia law. you know, you say to yourself, at what point? how much of this do you take? what we're doing is allowing thousands and thousands of these people into our country. we're going to have nothing but problems, as sure as you're sitting there. >> in the 30 seconds i have left, mr. trump, what would you say to the american people on a morning like this? >> i would say to the american people that we are going to be very strong. we are going to be very vigilant, and we are going to be very tough. we're not going to allow this to happen to our country. if it does happen, we're going to find the people that did it, and they're going to suffer greatly. r.
the thoughts and prayers of the american people are with the people of belgium. we stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people. we will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible, and this is yet another reminder that the world must unite. we must be together. regardless of nationality or race or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. we can and we will get those who threaten the security of people all around the world. >> those were the words of president obama this morning. he
was addressing the terror attacks in brussels, belgium, at the time of his speech in havana, cuba, to an audience that included cuban president raul castro. >> this is a chip that otherwise would have been making the headlines because of the historic nature of it. yet, it's been overshadowed by these terrible attacks in brussels, belgium. earlier this morning, counterterrorist source told nbc news officials believed isis was behind the attacks. moments ago, the terror group, through a surrogate, appeared to claim responsibility. let's begin this half hour with nbc's pete williams who has been reporting for us all morning. good morning and bring us up to date with what you know. >> american officials that i've been talking to cannot confirm whether this was isis or not because they don't know, and that i have n they've not been told by counterparts in europe or american investigators, who was responsible for this. the suspicious is certainly high that it's isis inspired, both because of the timing, right after the arrest oe
isis-inspired mastermind behind the paris attacks or one of the key facilitators there, and also because of the hallmarks of the attack. that's certainly the operating assumption. there have been no threats against facilities in the u.s. so the response here has been relatively muted. there's much more visible security at key transportation points in the u.s., at american airports, subway stations, big train stations. in terms of operations of the airports or a change, a fundamental change in the security at and around airports, train stations, subway stations, we haven't seen that. but if you're traveling today by rail or by air in the u.s. and you're going through big cities, you're certainly going to see more officers that are armed. more people with bomb-sniffing dogs. you're going to see security at bridges, tunnels, big cities especially around new york. air patrols, that kind of response. it seems to be so far what the response in
they emphasize there is no intelligence, no reason to think that attacks like the ones in brussels are planned against facilities here in the u.s. always a concern, but no specific information about it. savannah and matt? >> pete williams, thank you, in our washington newsroom. earlier this morning we spoke with ryan heath, "politico's" senior eu correspondent who joined us by skype. put into perspective what you're seeing and hearing, and i would like to ask you also about the level of fear that the people of belgium have been living in over these past several months. >> to be honest, it's quite chaotic. i've been unable to get back to our offices. 150 yards from that maelbeek metro station that was bombed. i'm back at my home, which is itself 300 yards from the molenbeek district. it has been chaotic. you hear sirens in the background the whole time. people have been given co
it wasn't clear how severe all of the activities were. some people are still locked up in bank branchs near the european union headquarters. others are told they must go to work or they'll be fired. there's a lot of confusion out there. of course, you have e scenes in the airport where most people were evacuated. some were stuck at their gate. others like the delta passengers have been sitting on the plane until the last few minutes. it's been flying in all different directions. i think after four months of gravitating between the full terror lockdown in november and wondering when on earth the authorities were going to catch salah abdeslam and his accomplices, it's really been a difficult time for people here in brussels. where they have started to lose some of their trust in how authorities are handling the situation and they're forced to rely on their gut instinct. that's never the position you want to be in when the threats are out there. >> based on events of the past several months, even the past sera
lot of people there who would be surprised by something like this brewing in their town, but it doesn't lessen the shock of it actually happening? >> exactly. there's a kind of resignation, a weariness about the town. it doesn't themselves in their homes but they know the process isn't done and over with. they know more than 90 people have become radicalized in syria and come back to belgium. even if you catch the people behind the paris surely others operating. we were warned by the interior minister, watching abdeslam doesn't mean the other terror cells were shut down. unfortunately, it's come true this morning. >> interesting perspective. "politico's" chief eu correspondent, ryan, thank you so much. we've got more people to talk to right now.
of course, tom deals so much with what happens at airports in this country, but also has an interesting personal perspective on what's happened in brussels because of family ties to that area. tom? >> yeah, this one hits close to home. given the fact that my wife and kids are belgian. i'll give an update where belgium stands. terror threat level at four, the maximum you'd expect. the school locked down in brussels and the surrounding areas has been lifted. if you've been to brussels, you know it is a linguistically divided city. you have the flemish portion of the city, and you have the french portion of brussels. often, they're in conflict, and there's constant political finding. there's also a unified belgian regional capital government. so those schools are divided linguistically, and they have been on lockdown much of the day. the lockdown has been lifted. some rail service is now -- has
basis. some metro lines have been restarted on a limited basis, as well. however, that does not mean that things are back to normal. because you still have, for example, the nearby nuclear power plant, they have evacuated all non-essential personnel. same thing at the european commission, which is right there where that particular metro stop was bombed. and that one, that particular area, is under an incredible police presence, if you will. nato headquarters, i should have said this earlier in the day, and didn't strike me, nato headquarters is literally right down the street from the airport. i mean, it's probably maybe a two mile drive out of the airport. nato headquarters. for the entire nato membership, all of the countries that participate in nato have headquarters right there in brussels. and the last point i would give you is where we stand on the airport. 11 people thought to have died at the airport. 20 at the subway. but in the airport itself, we
this unexploded explosive belt, which the authorities took and detonated, we were told, according to flemish tv. flemish tv also reporting they believe the explosive used in this was a common explosive used by terror suspects around the world, tatp. that is what they're going on as they now look for one, they believe one suspect, last seen in the airport but they believe he may have left the airport wearing a white shift rt, sweat or overcoat of some sort. >> perhaps we'll see a surveillance image of that if that reporting is construct. i'm struck to hear him reel off the government agencies. thinking of paris, striking the heart of europe, the cafes and the theaters and way of life. i mean, this is the head of europe. this is the seat of government. >> helps that tom spent a lot of time there. we began this half hour with some of president obama's comments from cuba on these attacks in brussels.
andrea mitchell joins us now. she's been traveling with the president in cuba. andrea, good morning again. >> good morning again. just -- i'm struck by tom's impressions because of his familiarity with brussels. my take is so different because i go there for nato meetings and go there with secretaries of state. nato is a mutual defense organization. so when you go on the -- to the nato campus, you are going to military security. what president obama and secretary kerry promised to the belgian officials today, the president's call to the prime minister, is all the support of nato as well as american intelligence. nato hasn't been engaged in this. if nato does become involved, that would be a big assist to the belgian security apparatus. we know the state department has been dealing with the ch
because three american missionaries were critically injured but not life-threatening. those were the three americans that we know were involved. all of this is happening while the president is going to be heading to a baseball stadium here in cuba. we are told that that schedule hasn't changed. they've loaded the press bus, and the press core is heading to this unprecedented baseball game attended by raul castro and president obama. the president did open his speech to the cuban people by saying, you know, that -- he was going to stand in solidarity and we will not stand down. we will defend the world. we will be defiant against terrorism. he's made those brief remarks and then went on with his previously planned speech about what cuba needs to do to join the community of nations and improve their relationship with the u.s. >> when did the plans call for the president to get back to
>> he's not coming back to washington. according to the current plan, he is leaving in a couple of hours, this afternoon, for argentina argentina, for a two-day visit there. right now, not planning to come back to washington. this is not a national security crisis he couldn't handle from the road. that can change at any moment. farce as far as we know, he's planning to continue his travel schedule and will be heading to argentina later today. >> andrea mitchell traveling with the president in havana for us. thank you, as always. we're back in a moment.
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and as a senior executive in business that when women are at the table, we get things done. i'm kathleen mathews and i approve this message. it is now 11:43 here on the east coast. 8:43 out west. as we continue to cover this morning's tragic suicide attacks in belgium. at this moment, we can tell you
more than 200 others have been injured. we do know that three americans are among the wounded. >> let's go back to nbc news analyst christopher dickey, also the world news editor for "the daily beast." you're there in brussels and i know you spent a great deal of time there. what's the sense on the street now? how are people responding to what's unfolding these last hours? >> it's very somber. i think there's a lot of confusion in the city because a lot of traffic has been rerouted. you have central parts of the city that are cordoned off now. i think there was a lot of worry earlier today that there would be yet another attack. the problem one of the sinister parts of a plot like this is you just don't know when it's over. you can't be sure. for instance, in paris, we know that the people who carried out the horrible attacks on november 13th were looking out -- looking to carry out yet another horrible attack, two or three days later. fortunately, they were sed
all of that, i think, makes for a pretty grim mood in the city. >> christopher, you hear a couple schools of thought these days. especially when you talk about what's going on in brussels. some people say the intelligence agencies there are not up to snuff. that they are not doing enough to root out some of the people who are then exporting terrorism to other parts of europe. then you hear others say, well, the problem they have to deal with is far greater than, for example, what intelligence agencies in this country have to deal with. in large part, that's due to the number of people, the sheer number of sheepeople, yueuropeao traveled to iraq and syria and come back to europe to spread violence. what's your take on this? >> well, matt, i'd say both things are true. clearly, the extent of the problem here in europe is very, very extensive because there is a very large population of
muslim and arab people, and also turks, who have a lot of young men in their ranks who are very disaffected and unemployed and easy targets for the recruiters who come and preach jihad and say, you're just a bum right now. we're going to turn you into a hero, fighting for god. there are going to a handful of people that will listen to that. we don't need to talk about thousands and thousands of terrorists to carry out something like this. we only need to see them recruit a few hundred. that, they've been able to do here. >> chris, what about the response? i remember after the paris attacks, the french president hollande was vocal about a military response, deeper involvement in syria and fighting isis in syria and iraq. what do you think might be the fall out here? >> well, i think there is going to be a push for even more action against isis in iraq and in syria. and the net result of that is going to be to heighten the
attacks in europe and in the united states. so i think we're in for a difficult time ahead. we can be winning the war on the ground in syria and iraq and, to some extent we are, and we can be losing it by suffering terrible terrorist attacks in europe and in the united states. >> chris, last time we talked to you, and we spoke about the extraordinary changes taking place in europe, the face of europe changing, how does an attack like this impact those changes or accelerate those changes? >> well, it certainly is going to make it more and more difficult for muslims and arabs to integrate into european society. the level of suspicion is high, and it translates to politics. the things we see in the g netherlands, in france, or the fascist parties in greece.
situation of more and more of a cultural divide. harder to integrate people. that, of course, will be used for more recruiting by the jihadists. >> christopher dickey, thank you very much. we will be talking a lot in the coming days. we appreciate it. >> thank you, matt. today's attacks have law enforcement agencies across the country increasing security. we've got nbc news analyst clint vansant with us now. before we talk about what's happening here, let's talk about what might be happening in the rail station and the airport over in brussels. what are they gathering? how do they use what they're finding? how do they start the investigation? >> there's a number of things they can find. we'd like to know the explosive. pete williams and others talked about what the compound might be. there is a strong probability in
its own individual signature, based upon how it's been put together. does that match what was found in paris, to then tie those two groups together? they'll be looking at any other forensic evidence they can find. matt, if there was one or more suicide bombers, of course, we have to find out who that is. they're going to have to be in this pain staking search amongst the dead and wounded. they're also looking for anything that could help identify not only the device itself but the person who carried it. that just may be fingerprints. it may be traces of dna that they have some record for, that they could link back to a potential terror suspect and try to identify who is responsible for this. then, of course, we have the standby for law enforcement, cameras. they'll be looking at security cameras, trying to identify who has come and gone.
they may well have the actual incident of the bombs going off, the person who set the bomb or the vest off. they may have that on film right now. what law enforcement does many times if they have pictures of suspects, they may first try to find the suspects themselves. then seek the media and the public's help if they can't find them right away. >> clint, i can't help but think that there is a holding cell somewhere in that area with salah abdeslam, who was just picked up four days ago by authorities. suspect in the paris attacks, thought to be a fixer or someone who did logistics for the paris attacks. you've got to believe the inver ga -- interrogators have gone back to him. perhaps the photos, if authorities have it, maybe they're showing it to him. i know your background is in talking to suspect, hostage negotiations. what do you think the approach is? >> well, they will. they'll strongly be trying to approach this individual and
one of the questions today, savannah, is why today? why did this attack take place today? we know this individual was arrested four days ago. did the attacks take place because his terror cell members were angry, and they did this in retaliation, or were the cell members afraid he might talk and reveal who they were, so they did kind of a hurry up drill and put this plan in place before he could reveal who they were and where they might be hiding? that's one of the many things law enforcement is trying to identify now. >> it struck me, clint, a second ago when you were talking about the work at hand for investigators at the airport and the train station. when i think of the airport, that is on your hands and knees kind of work. that is magnifying glass and tweezers kind of work. that place will remain a crime scene for an awfully long time, before they can even think about getting it up and running again as an airport.
>> it'll be days before the law enforcement forensic team is willing to turn that crime scene back over. not only are they trying to identify the remains of terrorists, but you may have other victims who were close by. there could be a ton of forensic evidence. matt, as you said, it is a gruesome thought, that these men and women are on their hands and knees in the middle of all this carnage, trying to identify some lead that will take them to these -- this terrorist cell perhaps, before it strikes again. >> clint, thank you so much. >> critical hours. we want to go back to pete williams. pete has been working the phones, as well. good morning. what else do you have? >> savannah, the response we've seen in the u.s. is based on nothing of intelligence value. nothing of an intelligence nature. it's all based on what american officials ar
governments are being told by the federal government on what is publicly known about the attacks. information from news media reports, from government officials in belgium and also from social media. as a response, you've seen the response vary by what the capabilities of local governments are and what they think they need to do. the most robust response has been in new york. it's at the airports, it's at the subways, on the trains. simply going to be a much more visible presence. that is always the case when there is any kind of a terror attack anywhere in the world. new york city officials always believe they're potentially in the cross hairs and they always do the most. people will see more security at airports in the u.s. people with weapons, officers deploying bomb-sniffing dogs. security lines may move slower today. you'll also see it at airports -- or at train stations and subway stations around the country. we've seen it today here in sh
in chicago, in l.a., in miami. amtrak says it has robust security deployed on its trains. in terms of forensics, specifics or names about the attack, american officials have not been given that level of detail about the attacks. that's understandable. the european authorities are right in the middle of this, and they have their hands full trying to pursue the leads they have. frankly, at this point, american help is not what they need, although they may be talking to american intelligence officials to exploit electronic communications. that's something i'm sure they've been doing the last several days. there are no plans, we're told at this point, by the department of homeland security, to impose or recommend any changes in security here in the u.s. for the simple reason that there is no intelligence indicating threats to the u.s. there's always a concern about copycat attacks. that happens any time and anywhere there is a terror attack throughout the entire world.
to see a very substantial change here in the u.s. >> one of the reasons for that also, pete, as you said earlier, i can't remember how long ago it was, but this was a perimeter avoiding attack. that the perimeter for security at most airports is the most that you turn over your id and you get to the tsa checkpoint. >> right. >> then go through the screening. this intentionally happened prior to any of that screening. where passengers just mill about before they've been checked at all. >> of course, the airport attack gets the most attention and it's the one we're seeing the most pictures of. let's not forget the attack on the subway train, too. this brings up a constant problem throughout the world. really in the last several decades. if you look back at the history of terror attacks, there are many more victims on trains and subways than on airplane attacks. they are much more often attacked and much more vulnerable. here in the u.s., something like
nine times as much money is spent on airport security as it is on rails and subways. of those systems, they simply carry so many more people. hundreds of times more passengers move through big city train stations and subway stations than move through the airports in those cities at any given time. >> right. >> so it's always a challenge, matt. >> pete, thank you very much for your perspective. as we approach the top of the hour, we're going to pause to give some stations the chance fios is not cable. we're wired differently. in the last 10 years our competitors have received a few awards. but we've received a few more, including jd power who ranked us highest in customer satisfaction for the third year in a row. only fios has the fastest internet on the most awarded network.
breaking news from brussels. dozens dead, more than 100 explosions now being called terrorist attacks. president obama is pledging to do whatever is necessary to help that country. >> they are closely monitoring brussels and taking precautions. they are asking you to do your part. >> welcome to special mid-day. the crisis overseas, terror in brussels, belgian prime minister is calling for calmness and solidarity in the black moment in that country. >> that after multiwelexplosions were reported at brussels airport 8:00 a.m.