-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com hello. i'm wolf blitzer and it is 1:00 p.m. here in washington, and 9:00 p.m. from irbil, iraq, and wherever you are watching paul from around the world, thank you for joining paul. we start in brussels where a number of people were a arrested in a series of raids, but so r
far, no sign of the paris attackers who is still believed to be at large in belgian. they have not found weapons or explosives in all of the raids which leaves the threat of a paris style attack intact. our cnn international correspondent fred pleitgen is there on the scene for paul right now in brussels. >> reporter: the eu's administrative capital under a de facto state the of lockdown. cops and soldiers patrolling in empty street ss as the subways d the the schools can and the shops will be shut because of the terror alert. many of the parents keeping their children indoors. >> we are trying to go out just in the mornings and do the shoppings in the mornings, and then after that, after of the night arrives, we stay home. >> reporter: authorities are hoping to catch salah abdeslam who is still on the loose after
the paris attacks. and they are also trying to foil what the government believes is an imminent terror plot. many are shutting down businesses because it would be vulnerable for attack with people gathered. there are military vehicles patr patrolling the area, and also, soldiers on the ground standing guard especially in places frequented by tourists. management of the ab concert hall has decided to cancel all concerts for the week, because a music hall is one of the places targeted by the terrorists. >> we can not put people at risk, certainly not the people or the artists, themselves. >> reporter: what seemed so unrealistic a week ago, but now
a harsh reality for the residents of brussels hoping that the scare is going to end noon. >> fred joins paul live from brussels, and what do we know about the 21 people who are detailed from the anti-terror raids? >> well, it is interesting, wolf, because new information that just came to paul a couple of minutes ago. a new presz press release put out by the federal prosecutors' office, and many of the people in the raids who have been detain detained are released and some of them in custody, but one person in particular, and we r aret not sure as to the identity yet, but said that one of the people is charged with participating in activities of a terrorist group, and with the terrorist at ak in paris. so certainly they do seem to have something substantial there. and we are waiting to have additional information, but the raids did net a number of people, and no explosives or weapons found in the raids, but they did certainly cause a commotion here in brussels.
i was on the scene as they were wordonning off one area, and the police and the military were on high alert, wolf. >> we are waiting to hear from the british prime minister who is meeting with the top security advi advisers in brussels where you anticipate, fred, he will make a statement the about how much longer the emergency state will continue? >> we do anticipate that he is going to be making a statement and give some indication as to how it is going to proceed. frankly, people are not sure how much longer this can go on. and we are right in the middle of the brussels, and an emrap is right here in the heart of the capital of belgium. and the heart of the administrative capital of the you peen union, and as you see, very few people out on the streets, and the subway systems are not open, and the shops are
not open either, so while the belgian edadministration says tt the safety is paramount, some are wondering how long it can go on. the authorities are confronted with it, and they say that on the day by day basis, they will advise whether or not to keep the threat level writ. >> we will have a word are from the prime minister when he makes that statement. it is an empty brussels where fred pleitgen is. and we are waiting for the white house press secretary john earnest to give a white house briefing. meanwhile, the city has not shutdown completely like brussels, but they are still searching the backpacks of children in paris as they go the school. today, the british prime minister david canalron was
in -- david cameron was in france to discuss the events of the last week. and what assistance is david cameron offering there? >> well, wolf, i want to get to that, but one thing that paris police have told cnn and that is an area in paris has been sealed off after the discovery in a garbage can of something that is resembling a suicide have vest, and a bomb retrieval group will be there to remove it, and we will tell you more about that when we get it. and now, as to the prime minister, yes, he crossed the english channel to meet with the president in a show of solidarity. this is what he had to say. >> it is good to be back in paris, a city whose people have
shown determination and courage and resilience. a city where millions came out friday night to live their lives and send a clear message to the terrorists, you will e never win. you will never beat paul. >> the two leaders visited together at the scene of the bataclan theater where more than 80 people were killed, massacred at a rock concert by the terrorists. but david cameron brought more than a show of solidarity, because he offered the use of britain's air base on the island of cypress in the mideastern mediterranean to bolster the french air power, and now that the french air carrier charles de gaulle is in the eastern mediterranean, and jets from that aircraft have begun to carry out the sorties in that area, and also he has repeated an appeal of the french and the british governments have made to
the rest of the european union to kind of crackdown on the illegal firearms trade to push forward a system to allow all european governments to track the passengers on the trains and flights, and something that the european parliament has blocked, but something that france and britain have been wanting to have happen so that nobody could slip through as happened in france. >> and also, to do with the britain parliament to do what has not happened so far, to launch air strike against the isis targets, themselves. ivan, we will be back to, you and we want to turn to the white house. tomorrow, president obama will be welcoming the french president francois hollande about the terrorist attacks, and the white house briefing by the way is ready to start any moment, and we will have live coverage of that, but first, to
joe johns at the white house. what are we expecting from the discussions tomorrow, joe? >> well, wolf, keeping it in context, first hollande is coming here in washington, d.c., to meet with president obama, and then to russia to the sit down to talk with vladimir putin, and the question really is whether hollande can broker a deal or get some type of the agreement between united states and russia to put paul side some of -- to put aside some of the differences, and work together to defeat isis. this is the president in kuala lumpur about it.
>> if i were to say cynically that my goal was to remove assad regardless of the terrible things that he has done to the people, the united states could not stop the fighting in syria by those who are opposed to assad's rule. and there are members of the coalition who agree with me on that, including president hollande. >> and it is a sticky situation for the united states as well, and a lot to talk about it, and it is not just isis. wolf. >> thank you, joe johns at the white house. coming up, we will look at the paris attacks, and how it is changing the war against isis. later this hour, cnn gets extraordinarily close to the war
20 miles away from the isis stronghold of raqqa in syria. we will have a live report, and nick paton walsh is on the scene. people don't have to think about where their electricity comes from. they flip the switch-- and the light comes on. it's our job to make sure that it does. using natural gas this power plant can produce enough energy for about 600,000 homes. generating electricity that's cleaner and reliable, with fewer emissions-- it matters. ♪ ♪ (vo) some call it giving back.
well jan's prime minister is speaking right now, and we will listen in. that the threat is considered serious and imminent, and so we will remain in the same situation as was the case yesterday and the day before yesterd yesterday. for the rest of belgium, we are remaining level 3. as you may know already as well, level 3 is a terror alert level that is possible and likely. the threat is the same as yesterday, as i said before, and we fear similar situation as we also thought yesterday. so we remain alert. we remain with the message that we call on everybody to remain alert and careful. the targets remain the same as
yesterday as well. so shopping centers, and shopping streets, public tra transport and the reason why today, again, we have, we can only confirm the decision to take similar measures and further messages as yesterday namely in the next couple of days, e will see a reduction in large offense where great crowds gather, for two reasons, and first of all for the safety of the pop you arelati-- populatio nature of the casualties that the police can take, and the military can take, and secondly, we will continue with the reinforcements of the police and the military. and in brussels we will keep that at level four, but also, we will keep level three in the rest of belgium, because there is also a serious threat will
level for the rest of belgium, and we also keep our concentration, and presence when it comes to public transport. i informed you yesterday that we did everything possible with our security forces to the try and go back to a normal situation as soon as possible, and i want to give you the information that these messages will remain valid until next week, monday, which means that we can have a new evaluation everyday, but at the moment, we want to stick to these measures until next week monday d, and what is important for thele schools and the metro is that today, the decision was made to revise a situation on wednesday. so to reopen the schools on wednesday and additionally to
also reopen the metro for the metro that can be on a sliding scale. so from wednesday. which means that for schools n the next couple of hours, we will use that time that we have to sit together with the security forces to the look at the level for tomorrow throughout our country, and for schools, and while the schools will get special attention, and we will optimize presence and we will try and reopen schools starting on wednesday. this is a very strong signal, and this means that we will progressively go back to the normal week even with level 3 in belgium, and level 4 in brussels, an repeat yet again for brussels, we would like to reopen the metro again on the
sliding scale, but it is at the earliest from wednesday. that is a strong signal that we would like to send out. i would furthermore like to add that the prosecutor's office is working very hard. the they are doing their utmost. they are working under hard conditions. everybody understands that. but we have to be able to continue our work, and that is definitely our intention. together with all of our security forces, i would like to repeat that the belgium government and the belgium population have been confronted with a difficult times, and difficult circumstances, and i would one more time like to repeat that we would like to thank our population for the serenity, and the understanding. we are doing our utmost with the security forces to go back to a
normal situation as quickly as possible. and that is everybody's intention. we want the to make shure that you know our intention, and also, i would like to once again thank our security forces. they are doing a great job. it is not easy, and it is not evident, but they are very much appreciated by us, and we support them under these difficult is circumstances. all right. there you have the prime minister of belgium charles miche will will giving the word that the high level alert will continue in brussels. obviously, they are deeply, deeply concerned that there could be isis terrorists throughout brussels. and also, we are waiting for the white house press secretary josh earnest who is doing to be walking into the white house briefing room.
we will have live coverage of that. president obama is going to be welcoming the president of france francois hollande. he is meeting with prime minister cameron today, and are there is a coalition that the french president would like to put together to take the war to the isis right now. as we await the white house briefing, let's discuss what is going on. we have phil mudd, and kimberly dozier, and also major general retired mark spider marks. and you have heard that until mond monday, they will stay on the next state of alert that is basically telling the people to stay inside of their homes, and that is extraordinary. >> yes, the extent of the war g
warning to the government gives me one clear indication that these are not precautionary measures based on the concern that terrorists went back from paris to brussels, but there has to be specific intelligence, because you don't shutdown the city, because you are worried that people are traveling around. and the specific stuff. and the hardest thing here is not to get into the warning. it is the determining if you don't get additional intelligence, how to get out. >> hold on one second. i want to go to the white house. >> well, julian, i have not spoken to him about the specific comments that you cited. one thing, and two things, actually that the two individuals are keenly aware of. the first is that both of othem are aware of how challenging this particular problem is. when it comes to the situation in seyria, and for years, this has been a difficult problem to work through. and there is no deanything how
significant that challenge has been as the united states and the coalition partners have worked through it. the second thing, and in some ways this is more important, each of them and to to a person is keen ly aware of the priorit that the president has placed on working through the problem in a way that the advances the national security interests. both of them have been involved in the extended policies that are available, and the president certainly has valued the advice they have given over the years, around certainly, if they have additional ideas or suggestions, and we are willing to take their call. the fact is that taking a look at the resources that has gone into this is to understand that there is a come pprehensive strategy that is being implemented by the united states and the 64 other members of the coalition. that is a testament to the priority that the president
places on the issue, and also a testament to the american leadership that is at work here. >> and does the president believe that the resources he has given to the mission are sufficient? >> well, the president is certainly believes that there is more that our coalition partner s can do in this -- >> well, not coalition partners, but just the u.s. >> well, maybe you have looked at the comments more closely than i did, and in regard to the first question, but you asked me if it is a mitigation, and it is dependent on the 65 nations coming together to recognize the common interest here, and then submitting resources. we have seen the stepped up contributions in the last few weeks, and we welcome those. >> are you saying that it is the u.s. efficient, and it is the cooperation of coalition partners that is needed here? >> again, the point is that we have been certainly engaged in
kcon versations as the presiden was traveling around the world over the last week, having c conversations with leader like president erdogan and others and what those coalition partners could contribute as far as resources. i would not rule out that there are addition al contributions. and when you look at the range, it is clear that the united states is being the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the problem of syrian e refugees or whether you consider the significant investment of the military resources to apply pressure to the isil leadership, and to support the fighting forces on the ground as they regain the territory from isil. >> in the situation from
brussels, what is the president thinking of the steps there by the officials to put this city on lockdown for several days as they are looking for the suspects from the paris attacks. does he believe it is the right approach? >> well, we are not going to be in the situation of monday morning quarterbacking the efforts under way in brussels or anywhere frankly to ensure the safety of the citizens of that european city. obviously, the united states is committed to sharing information. assisting with that investigati investigation, as it is ongoing. >> have you been sharing information with the authorities in belgium? >> absolutely. the united states since has long standing information sharing agreements with can countries in europe. this is actually an area where we do believe that there is more that the european partners can do in terms of the improving the quality and the quantity of the information that they share with one another, but also to improving the amount of
information and the way that information is shared with the united states. that is certainly something that we are committed to. we are committed tole helping our allies in europe deal with this rather urgent threat. okay. julia? >> thank you, josh. while the president was away, a numb ber of republicans talked about a delay of the president's plan to close guantanamo, and the plan he is presenting to congress, and does the white house -- we will continue to monitor the white house press briefing, but you heard josh earnest, the press secretary saying that the u.s. top officials are anxious to form this coalition to fight and defeat isis, including this big meeting that is taking place tomorrow with the visiting president of france, francois hollande. and we are getting more on this story of an apparent suicide
that just tastes better. with more vitamins. and 25% less saturated fat. only eggland's best. better taste. better nutrition. better eggs. all right. we are following all of the t breaking news. we are following a couple of emerging news. police are telling cnn that in the paris suburb they are sealing off an effort where they have discovered an article that is resembling a suicide vest in a garbage can, and they are
analyzing it now, and a bomb retrieval toom has gone there. and in belgium they have announced that i have arrested a suspect last night in belgium, in brussels, for participating in the activities of a terrorist group, and these are the key words in connection with the attack on paris. spider marks, these are fast-moving developments right now, and very worrisome developments, and you have heard the belgium prime minister say they will be in the lockdown situation until next monday. >> it is worrisome, and good news. they have are good intelligence, and following up. obviously, sufficient evidence for them to go after this type of the intelligence to bring it to the surface, and saying we can make some progress here, but they won't be clearly in a lockdown situation, unless there was real fire po the smoke. maybe some intelligence where they say that we have to stay in the posture. >> and speaking of intelligence, kimberly, there is word now that the central command is being
investigated if they were delivering overly rosy intelligence reports. >> well, we have heard 50 analyst analysts saying you took our raw material, and rewrote it. it is being investigated, but the pentagon is going to say, look, it is the job of the guy's job in charge to take that wide view and couple it with the other agencies to produce a report that will give the commander in chief ammunition to make decisions. the jury is still out on that and none the meantime w we are hearing from former pentagon officials though that they believe what is going on, on the ground is not moving fast enough to keep up with the the growth of the isis network. the former top pentagon defense chief mike vickers er ers wrote
article over the weekend say heg wanted afghanistan 2001 to send in more u.s. special forces operation, and other intelligence operators to go to lead and guide the fighters against isis more sharper. >> how unusual for the inspector general to look at the reports and whether they were cook iing the books to make it look like the war against isis in mosul is better than it seemed to be. >> the report of the inspector general is not, but there are a two things going on. the inherent problem of the intelligence reports. the pact that the folks went public is telling me that it is not a substantive problem, because management problem. this is not going out isside of
the door unless you have a bunch of analysts saying that we are managed poorly, and that is what you will find. >> and president obama says he wants a full review. and he does not want any sugar coat canned reports of intelligen intelligence, and so when isis took over mosul, the second largest city in mosul, the iraqi forces ran away. then there was later documents that said they re-deployed. >> so it is unfortunate to have something like that to reach the highest level. so you take raw intelligence and indecertainable report and turn it into what has been made. and having been one of the guys at the low level intelligence at uniform, and then to the top levels, the top person must reach into the command to make sure that everybody has what they need so that you can have a consistent view that is going
forward. you encourage the competitive a analysis, and intelligence at some point, but at some point you have to go to the boss to say, to phil's point so that he or she can do something about t it. intelligence leads to operational decisions. that is what is key. but if you put your finger in it, and end up messing wit, you will have what kimberly saying, the analysts are saying that our voices are not being heard. >> and in the vietnam war, the rosy assessments of the number of vietcong killed and the vietnamese killed and then in the end, we know what happened. >> rightt. as an intelligence professional, you want to tell the president what he wants to hear. we knew what the white house needed to have with the pressure, and the pressure to the ensure what is reported accurately on the ground, and looks like a problem in this case. >> and the same thing in afghanistan where the cia had one intelligence report saying that the taliban is coming back,
but the military intelligence was entirely different, and the cia was accusing the general in charge to make his campaign look like it was winning. >> it is a serious problem, and we will see what the inspector general at the department of defense coming up with. we will watch that. still ahead, the u.s. troops are preparing for a massive -- i should say kurdish troops preparing for a massive assault, and not u.s. troops, but kurdish troop troops. we will have a live update from nick paton walsh. people don't have to think about
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are within sight of the isis strong hold of raqqa. they are 20 miles away and close enough to hear the bombardment of air strikes by the coalition forces. now they are receiving training and equipment as they prepare to advance. our international correspondent nick paton walsh travelled to the front lines to see the situation first hand. >> after paris, the sinai in the cross hairs it is here, raqqah. and lost in the haze, yet they can hear it, loud thuds, and heaviest at dusk. three days ago, he says, we saw 14 air strikes suddenly hit n r nearby, and then the french said they had started bombing. we will do our best to avenge paris. he like the other young kurdish fighters have lost friends, but fighting isis is a duty for humanity ra ter this than vengeance as they man series of trenches and outposts 20 miles from the city.
we have heard the distant thuds of what could have been two air strikes, but from where we are standing, here's the kurdish front line, and the trench dug as far as we can see, and then all in this direction flat open land until you reach the outskirts of raqqa, the capital of isis's self-declared caliphate. and otherwise it is the silence of stalemate in the desert. weapons here are scant. this man carries the ak-47 of his friend who died eight months ago. out here in the flat open ground with isis in the next village, they still scorn isis' leaders and welcome help. if the french, russian or american fighters this commander says come here to fight, we will cooperate with them, as we are all fighting to clean the area of isis for all of humanity. isis left their mark on the nearby area as has the fight for it.
even the mosque littered with mines. >> the si the silence here is breathtaking, and this is the road down the raqqah, and you can hear the complete absence of human life. there is little in victory left to fight for. on the way out, we meet these guys who don't look much like white knights, but that is what the pentagon hopes they are, the syrian democratic forces to get american aid to say they have secured the major defection inside of raqqa to fight isis. we weren't expecting this large number to the join, but now there are 4,000 tribesman he says. when we want to move, all of them are ready, and we have managed to sneak weapons to them, and we are moving forward. western leaders call this a global fight, but here, alone, do you feel the dust, death and
determination. >> nick is joining us live from irbil in northern iraq. explain to the viewers around the world, nick, why retaking raqqah is so critically important. >> well sh, it would be a massi symbolic blow to the ideology of isis. it is a vital city in the yidology, and what they call the capital of the self-declared caliphate, and place where so much of the infrastructure and po policy is ed coming out of. and to deprive them of their two population centers, mosul and iraq ka would be raqqah would be a immense blow. it is a massively complicated task, wolf, because it is a huge urban sprawl, and tens of thousands of people damaged and well prepared to propel the invaders and a very complex task ahead. >> you know the kurdish fighters
and you were with them, courageous fighters and they have limited military equipment, but without the imminent arrival of the ground troops, can they get the job and liberate ra raqqah? >> well, they have air power in their favor, and the troops can hold those trenches, because otherwise they will be hit from the skies. but what you heard from the report of one of the members of the revolutionary a army of raqqa thousands of sunni tribesmen who are willing to defect and fight against isis, and if that is true, and we couldn't corroborate it, that is a huge blow to the isis, because they have by this stage given the nature of the community inside, raqqah alienated many of the locals, and that could be a game changer to get the local people to rise up, and given that the locals are sunni arsyrn
arabs, but there is a full long time ahead of them before this begins. >> thank you, nick paton walsh. do they have the land mine sweeper, because isis has planted the roadside improvised bombs all over the place, and i presume they are very concerned about it. >> yes, it makes the movement almost impossible. we saw in sinjar as they were search searching for them with a metal detector, and the places there, that you saw, it is incredibly hard and slow and incredibly dangerous work. >> and thank you so much nick paton walsh there on the scene. and the trial of the man was secret, a nd the fact is that te american journalist sentenced in iran is even more uncertain.
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the russian president vladimir putin is in iran today. he met with iran's president and the supreme leader to discuss the syrian crisis and an international peace plan designed to end the conflict. the supreme leader told putin that u.s. policies in the region pose a threat o to iran and russia and called for closer ties between their two countries. the visit comes as u.s., france and britain discuss joint action against isis in syria. meanwhile, an iranian court has sentenced "the washington post" reporter to prison. jason rezaian was detained in 2014. according to "the washington post" an indictment cited by the media calls him an american spy, accuses him of gathering information about people and companies inside iran.
the indictment accuses him of providing information to the u.s. government. both "the washington post" and the state department here in washington deny all of these charges. his trial was held largely in secret. no details have been released on what exactly the verdict is. the sentence that . his brother is joining us. how are you and your family reacting to the latest news about your brother? >> it's just one more time that iran has come out and given us information. only part of the information and not anything to go from. we know they are saying that he was found guilty. e we don't know what he was found guilty o of. they are saying he has prison time he was charged with and now we don't know what that is. it's just stringing out and torture for all of us to figure out where we're at and where we're going. >> has your family been in touch with jason?
has he been told what his prison sentence is? >> no one has spoken to him since the spokesman said that. we should have access o to him within the next couple hours. hopefully we'll hear from him then. >> what is the u.s. government told you? >> i haven't spoken to the state department since the news came out. what we do know is the state department has been speaking with the iranians and having communications because. of the talks for the nuclear agreement. but also because of the talks regarding isis. we know they are having talks on the sidelines around that. our hope is that iran will finally realize this isn't good for public opinion or good for their opinion of the world and it will help them to become a closer nation with everybody else if they let jason out. >> the iranians publicly, the foreign minister among others raised the possibility of some exchange. your brother and other americans held in iran in exchange for
iranian prisoners in the united states. what, if anything, is happening on that front based on what you're hearing? >> you know, i really don't know. what i know is jason is innocent. they have some folks here that have been convicted of charges and went through a fair and open process. jason has been in jail now for 488 days. he had a total of 8 hours of court time. he met with his lawyer for one and a half hours outside of the court. u don't see any equivalency there. i don't know how anybody in their right mind would think there's an equivalency there. >> he should be released. what can our viewers around the world do to help? >> thanks for asking. you can go to change are.org/freejason. there's a petition there that over half a million people have signed. you can go to freejason.net. there's information about how to contact the mission and send
them letters and let them know this is important. we have people that over 150 countries that have signed the petition. we want more. we are going now inside a period where the u.n. has the working group on arbitrary detention. it's important they know this is wrong and that's going to flow over to the iran and how they are treated in the u.n. >> good luck to you and your brother jason and your entire family. thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks so much, wolf. in addition to jason, three other americans are currently being held in iran. in october "the wall street journal" report ed that one was detained while visiting relatives. one was arrested in 2012. firestormer marine was detained in 2011 and later sentenced to ten years in prison and robert levin son went missing in iran in 2007.
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hello there, i'm brooke baldwin live here in beautiful paris, france. it is 8:00 here local in the evening. you're watching cnn's special coverage of the terror attacks that still more than a week later have the city on edge. . heavy is the word i keep hearing. i've been here 24 hours. it is a heavier atmosphere. it's still the stu of light and love, but it feels heavy. e we learned an area in a paris suburb has been sealed off as a bomb team checks out what