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tv   Wolf  CNN  March 22, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT

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all. i don't have the intelligence on that. french and belgium intelligence will be working that, but the way that salah abdeslam abandoned his mission, which was to attack stade de france and dropped his weapon system and cell phone led me to believe he had a moment of conscious and left the structure. went to molenbeek and holed up up. >> thank you for your insight. we appreciate it. we are continuing to watch this breaking news out of brusselss. wolf starts right now. >> terrorism as struck belgium. >> at the airport two explosions, which authorities
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believe were coordinated suicide attacks. >> i heard an explosion. the ceiling was coming down an the second exploegs went and everything is black. >> immediately there was panic. so people were shouting and running around. people were on the floor. people were injured. >> an hour later and a few miles away, another explosion. this inside of busy metro. >> there was smoke. we heard and saw the blast. >> the metro immediately stopped. power turned off. lights turned off. >> they lifted the terror threat level to four. only the second time since the second world war this has happened. the first was in the immediate aftermath of the paris terror attacks. >> this is cnn breaking news. >> hello, i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. we are following breaking news.
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here are the details as we know them right now. belgian police are circulating this photograph from the airport. it was taken from a closed circuit tv camera at the brussels airport earlier today. police say they are looking for the man in white in connection with the attack but they haven't named him as a suspect. isis claimed responsibility for the terror attacks. . a massive manhunt is underway right now to find those responsible. the planners, the bomb maker, the accomplices, the death toll is high. at least 30 people dead in the bombings at the airport and at the subway. 230 more were injured in the attacks. those numbers could clearly go up. attacks that seemingly caught everyone off guard. here's a picture of president obama on on his historic trip to cuba right now being briefed along with his national security adviser susan rice. a little while later, the president of the united states had this to say about the attacks in brussels.
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>> 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, race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. >> also, right now, the united states state department has issued what's called a shelter in place order for all americans in the brussels area. security has been stepped up in various american cities, as well. here in washington, d.c., s.w.a.t. teams with sniffer dogs are scouring the airports and in new york, police are making similar moves in what they describe as an abundance of caution. let's go live to brussels right now. we have the late-breaking developments. special forces are now searching
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the neighborhood. what do we know that is happening right now? >> this is what we are hearing from eyewitnesses. one woman who is next door to one of the houses being searched described police special forces officers combing the area. they also -- she also said that there is a police security cordon around the train station. everyone going in is being searched. their bags, their items are being searched. this seems to be a part of the ongoing manhunt for the man in the picture that you showed earlier, the man in the white coat. the picture was released by authorities after the minister of the interior confirmed they had to deal with a controlled detonation. they found what they believed appeared to be a third suicide belt. just to remind our viewers, one of these attacks was confirmed here. one of the detonations, one of the detonations at the airport
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was confirmed having been carried out by aed is attacker. they found a third belt. they believe and detonated it in a controlled explosion. the sense we are getting from authorities is the belt is linked to the man they are searching for. security forces say their working assumption right now, stressing this is very much early hours of the investigation, but their working assumption is this is linked to the network that carried out the paris a terror attacks. >> isis, as you point out, formally declared it was responsible for organizing these two terror attacks in belgium right now. is there a sense, that the timing of these horrible terror attacks coincided, were related to the arrest the other day of salah abdeslam, one of the terrorists involved in the paris attacks? >> absolutely. in the immediate aftermath of that arrest, the belgium foreign
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minister, were reiterating this isn't over. if anything the vigilance needs to be stepped up because their fear and intelligence was that this network, that a new network had been built up around salah abdeslam in his months on the run and they were planning to carry out new attacks. their worry was especially by shaking the hornet's nest they could press fast forward. any of those accomplices seeing him in to custody, seeing what could emerge from any interrogation of salah abdeslam may push fast forward on any of their planned plots. although they haven't formally confirmed that this is what has emerged today, what has unfolded today. definitely the working assumption from the sources we are speaking to. >> the other working assumption, i'm told is isis wanted to prove it is very capable of launching
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these kinds of attacks, right a the heart of europe on the heels of arrest of salah abdeslam. stand by. we will get back to you in a little while. for a small country, belgium is home to a large jihadist network, a pipeline for militant fighters heading to syria and iraq and serving as a planning area for terror attacks. so, why were these attacks, to some least, a surprise? let's discuss what is going on with two of our guests paul cruickshank and james -- thank you to both of you for joining us. paul, you nobel jerusalem and were born and grew up up there. this is a country on high alert right now. what did the authorities miss? >> they clearly missed something because the attack got through. i think if you rewind a week ago to exactly this time a week ago
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they got intelligence about an address in brussels which they then searched. the intelligence was that address had a link to terror attacks where they weren't expecting to find anyone at that address. when they got there they got in to a fierce gun battle with three operatives inside. one was salah abdeslam. he managed to escape and eventually they got him. inside of that residence, they found a kalashnikov, detonating explosive, isis flag, ammunition, all suggesting that some kind of attack plot might be in the works in brussels. they recovered that explosive, those weapons, but it would appear possible that this wider cell had other safe houses in brussels and an attack -- hey were planning perhaps an attack that accelerated after the belgians stumbled on their safe
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house in the west of brussels. >> you are now the dean of the fletcher school of law and diplomacy at tufts university. you were the nato supreme allied commander. this nato is headquartered just outside of brussels. how concerned should nato allies be they could be a target of these kinds of isis attacks right in europe? >> well, first of all, wolf, i think the big surprise is we had not 0 already seen a terrorist jihadist attack in belgium. the country rife with large segments of the population that are highly radicalized. as the nato commander for four years, i lived in this vicinity. every day i saw local intelligence that led me to believe this was going to happen and the authorities have rounded up people over time. in terms of nato as a target, nato will be a hard target for the terrorists. the bases are well defended. the military is quite capable and well armed. i suspect we will see more
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attack on soft targets like here at the airport. >> what does it say to you that the state department an you spent four years living there at nato headquarters in belgium has issued this shelter in place order to all americans who maybe visiting belgium right now? >> i think it is very good advice. as paul cruickshank has mentioned several times today, we don't know the full extent of what additional ammunition is in the locker so to speak. clearly this is a jump attack. when the leader was captured, i think a lot of elements flushed. there could be another round or two. the brunt thing is to stay tight, stay indoors and let the authorities do their thing. >> paul you agree the timing of the attack coming a few days after the arrest of salah abdeslam is related? >> i think that's plausible. given the fact that he was starting to cooperate in some way with investigators, some of
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his co-conspirators, his associates may have been worried he was giving up intelligence about their plans. when he was in hiding in this safe house in the western district of brussels, he was there with a isis operative, somebody calling the shots in the terror attack in paris in realtime with the attack teams in paris providing them with instructions, a senior operative within the group. so salah abdeslam would have been told about any plans they had in the works. perhaps he was part of the future plans to launch attacks. so perhaps they decided to accelerate whatever they were planning. clearly the fact they had detonateders and kalashnikovs and ammunition this this apartment wasn't just to protect themselves from police. it could have been used to plot
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some terrorist attack several dozen individuals in belgium who all basically came back from isis' so-called caliphate in syria. >> quickly, before i let you go, i have to ask you about donald trump, the republican presidential front runner's comments to me that this is a good time for the u.s. to reduce involvement with nato, stop spending so much money on nato commitments and let the european allies, germany, especially pick up the expense. your reaction as the former nato allied commander. >> one constituent he made happy is putinen. and that has been his objective to get the united states and europe separated. that thinking is highly dangerous and the events today tell us why. we need to cooperate
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internationally, interagency, working to deal with what is a global challenge, wolf. >> thank you very much. paul crack sha paul cruickshank, thanks to you, as well. he what hear from hillary clinton. she's standing by live. we will speak with hillary when we come back. these are live pictures from belgium right now. that city on high a, high alert. don't let dust and allergies get between you and life's beautiful moments. with flonase allergy relief, they wont. when we breathe in allergens, our bodies react by over producing six key inflammatory substances that cause our symptoms. most allergy pills only control one substance. flonase controls six. and six is greater than one. flonase outperforms the #1 non-drowsy allergy pill. so you can seize those moments, wherever you find them. flonase. six is greater than one changes everything.
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let's bring everyone up to date in the breaking news. the terror attacks we are following in belgium.
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the city of brussels on high alert. indeed on a virtual lockdown after the bombings. isis has formally claimed responsibility for a total of three explosions which rocked both the airport and the main subway station. [ screaming ] >> at the international airport in brussels, the blast tore the through the departure hall collapsing part of the ceiling. at least ten people are said to have been killed in that attack. look at this. this is a closed circuit tv picture from the brussels airport. police say they are looking for the man in white in connection with the attack. they have not named him as a suspect. an hour after the airport attack, a third explosion ripped through a metro station near european union offices in brussels. authorities say 20 people were killed there. the fight against isis and the prospects of terror on american
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soil have been major issues, of course i will in the presidential race here in the united states. we will speak to the former secretary of state hillary clinton in a few moments. she's the democratic presidential candidate. but paul cruickshank, our terror analyst is standing by. as you look at this statement, the isis release that i was reading carefully, they make a point -- and i will read a sentence from it. targeting an airport and a central metro station in the center of belgium capital of brussels. a country participating in the international coalition against the islamic state. factual question, is belgium really participating in the war against isis in either iraq or syria? are there any belgium troops, aircrafts, fighters participating in the war. >> they are involved in strikes
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against isis in iraq and islamic state. the so-called islamic state. belgian and french isis fighters have appeared in lots of videos, threatening gun and bomb attacks in belgium. exactly the kind of attack that you saw play out today. there's really been a steady drum beat of terror in belgium going back to may of 2014 when you had a french isis operative carry out a gun attack on the jewish museum in brussels killing four. fast forward to 2014, a bomb plot was thwarted when belgium fighters fwen a safe house in belgium. that plot w there was also an attempt on a
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passenger train traveling from amsterdam through belgium to paris by another isis-linked recruit. so there's been a steady drum beat of terror in belgium. the terrorist attacks were staged and organized from that, wolf. >> we are getting tweets from isis supporters out there. very chilling words, as you know, paul. they say "what will be coming is worse." . stand by. paul cruickshank is standing by. we will speak to hillary clinton, the democratic presidential nominee when we come back. once again, these are live pictures coming in from brus brussels, bell juchl the city on high alert.
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thank you for joining us. i should call you madam secretary. let's talk about what the u.s. should be doing right now to strengthen european anti-terror operations before the terrorists shift their attention to here in the united states. >> well, wolf, i think we have to do several things, as i have been outlining and speaking about. we have to defeat isis. we are making progress but we have a lot to do. we have to shut off the flow of foreign fighters, funds and weapons and we have to take them on the internet. you can put walls an your country but you don't keep out the internet. that's been a major tool for radicalizing, recruiting, propagandizing that isis is quite sophisticated at using. we have to do more to coordinate law enforcement and intelligence efforts with our european friends.
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i have experienced as secretary of state as urging european nations to toughen their own laws. there's been some progress but i would respectfully say not enough. i think after paris and this terrible event in brussels there must be more. we have to keep working with muslim nations because it's going to take a coalition to defeat isis, to shut down the arch of instability from africa to asia. here at a home, we have to recruit everybody to being the first line of defense. after 9/11, as new yorkers well remember, we had a program, if you see something report it. if you hear something report it. we got a lot of reports and that meant reaching out and making everyone feel they had a role to play in preventing terrorist attacks. >> let's talk specifically about soft targets like airports for example. i know security has been built up. if you were president of the united states, what would you do specifically to make sure the kind of terror attack we saw
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today in brussels, wa we saw in november in paris, what else needs to be done in the united states? well. >> we have to toughen our surveillance, surveillance and toughen soft targets with greater police presence. there's no getting around that. as i understand from the early reporting, one of the two attacks was by a suicide bomber. the terrorists are getting more sophisticated about what they use in these bombs to try to escape detection, like what we have at our airports. we have to continually be learning and getting a ahead of these thugs and criminals in order to prevent them from doing what they did in brussels. >> this is what senator ted cruz, the republican presidential candidate told me yesterday. he spoke about you. listen. >>. >> we need a commander in chief that defends america and defending america means defeating radical islamic
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terrorist and isis. what is unreasonable is barack obama and hillary clinton's consistent pattern to say the words radical islamic terrorism. >> go ahead and respond to the senator. >> well, that's a long debate that people like him try to stir up. i call it radical jihadist terrorism because it is clearly rooted in islamic thinking that has to be contested first and foremost by muslims around the world. but i think it is a mistake. i have said it repeatedly. george w. bush said it to do anything that implies we are at war with an entire religion, with one 1.2 or 4 billion people is not only wrong, it's dangerous. right here at home, we need to be reaching out and including muslim americans and communities where they live in our first line of defense. we don't need them to feel if
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they hear or see something they report it. we want them to report it. we want them to be a part of our protecting the united states. the same goes for europe. so, you know, i think these debates about semantics really misses the point. i was involved in the most important counterterrorism effort of the last eight years and making a decision whether or not to go after bin laden. i think i understand the stakes. i have think i understand that we will be more effective in defeating radical see jooe haddism and defeating isis and the other isis terrorism groups if we have coalitions with nations that are predominantly muslim. i don't think that you get that cooperation that i'm looking for deep, intense, long-lasting cooperation by playing these semantic games. let's work at preventing the terrorists and isolate them from the vast majority of muslims and defeat them and do whatever we can to protect america, europe and our other friends and
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partners around the world. >> yesterday, when you addressed aipac committee, you were critical about donald trump, the republican presidential front runner. i spoke to him after your speech. this is what he said to me about you. >> look where she got us. look at libya. look at the migration. look at benghazi. here's a woman that's talk. she's just reading it off a teleprompter. all she does -- believe me, they write that for her. >> he also said you have low energy and don't have the stamina to be president of the united states. you want to respond to mr. trump? >> no, i really don't. i don't want to respond to his constant stream of insults. i find it really, at this point absurd. le let me talk about what i will do, what i have done and what kind of commander in chief i will be. because i think that's what is
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at stake in this election. we need steady, strong, smart minds and hands in the white house and the situation room to deal with the problems that we face around the world. on the first day, january 20th, 2017, a new president will be in the oval office. we can't sit here today and predict all of the challenges and threats that will face that new president, but we know we have to be both vigilant and effective in fighting terrorism. i believe i have the track record, the experience and the temperament to do just that. >> as you know, nato is headquartered outside of brussels. could have been a target as far as we know. yesterday trump said the u.s. should decrease spending on nato. what role do you see nato specifically, madam secretary? you and i have met at nato headquarters on a few occasions. what role would you see nato playing, as an organization, in this war against isis? so far they have not been, as an organization, involved.
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>> look, i'm a very strong supporter of nato. it's the best international defense alliance i think ever. we have to keep adjusting and changing its mission to meet the new threats that we, as members of nato face. i think it would be a grave error to to walk away from europe, to walk away from nato to turn our backs on countries with whom we have a long history and shared values. frankly, who we need to be working closely with as we combat and defeat isis and other terrorist threats. i think nato has a role to play. i would certainly as president and commander in chief be looking to define that role to make sure that the capacities, the tools and assets that nato has are at the disposal of member nations, like belgium during this, you know, terrible event that they are experiencing. and then let's see what more we can do. how do we form the defense
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relationship with other nations like we did in libya? you know, people talk about libya, they forget what gadhafi was threatening than forget we put together a coalition between nato and the arab league. the united states did not lose a single person in that effort. we did depose a very threatening presence who i think would be creating a situation much more akin to syria where we have seen assad supported by iran and russia wreak havoc in his own country and be the source of a lot of difficulties of terrorists taking over territory of million of refugees fleeing. you have to look at each of these and have a historic context and a understanding and i'm a supporter of nato. i want to make sure it is modernized and does i part in defeating the enemies of today not just yesterday. >> i know you have to run. one final quick question. on a day like today when we see
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this horrific terror attack in belgium and a lot of wonderful people were killed, hundreds were injured. you were the united states senator from new york state on 9/11. you see what is happening in belgium right now. this hits home to you. it gets very personal, doesn't it? >> yes, it is. it's incredibly personal. you know, i think our response after 9/11 from everyone regardless of party orrer partisan ship, united our country. we made some changes that we had to make in our laws and in our law enforcement practices, our intelligence. it is easy for people looking back to say, oh, well, maybe you didn't need to do that. at the time i was in support of what we did do. we have staved off another attack of that magnitude. that was just unthinkable that it would ever happen to us again. we still have lone wolves. we have radicalized terrorists, like we saw in san bernardino.
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so we have to remain alert and vigilant. i am focused as i can be to make sure we keep america safe and work with friends and allies to help keep them safe because together we will defeat the terrorist threat. that, to me, is our highest priority going forward. >> madam, secretary, thank you for joining us. >> thank you very much, wolf. republican presidential candidate, governor john kasich spoke out moments ago. he was critical of president obama for his response to the attacks in brussels. he said the president should cut short his trip to cuba, most certainly scrap plans to attend the baseball game in havana today. listen. >> i'm a little surprised that the president is going to a baseball game when i believe he should, if i were president i would have cut short my visit. i would have flown home.
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i would have conducted calls jointly with heads of state, and begun to assemble teams of people, intelligence experts who can take a look at this serious breaches that we have in intelligence. i would also involve our friends in the arab community who though that radical islam is also intent on destroying and threatening them. >> take a look at this new photo obtained by the man wanted in connection with the brussels terror attack at the airport. you can see a suitcase on the luggage rack. we will get more analysis of what you are seeing right there. the latest information. also this, we will speak live to congressman king of the house intelligence and homeland security committees and talk about what u.s. intelligence has learned about these terror attacks, what the u.s. should be doing right now. much more with peter king after this . tone a daybiotic from
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here's the latest on the terror attacks in belgium. the first at an airport this morning an an hour later another at a subway station in brussels. police released security camera footage and are looking for man in connection with the attack. the death toll is at least 30 people now confirmed dead in the bombings at the airport and the subway station. 230 more injured. those numbers could clearly go up. one eyewitness at the airport described what happened. >> i heard an explosion. all the ceiling is going down. i just go under the sink and the second explosion went and everything is black. >> the second explosion was there, which was, in my eyes,
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much more powerful than the first one, which blew out windows and full of smoke and there was some panic. people were on the floor and injured. it was quite a mess. >> isis is publicly claiming responsibility for the latest terror attacks in belgium. cities across the united states right now are taking security precautions following the attacks in brussels. stepping up police presence, high-profile locations and airports. new york republican congressman peter king is joining us live. he's a member of the homeland security committee and the select committee on intelligence. congressman, thank you for joining us. >> you are welcome. >> frairst of all, i assume you are being briefed on what happened in belgium today. what can you share with us? >> we have been gotten formal briefings because it is still being put together. let's face it, general consensus was this is isis, as we know. i think the sophistication of
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the attack has impressed or surprised people in that it was, again, a series of attacks. it was coordinated and the secondary targets and explosions. this was a sophisticated operation. what has to be concerning as far as europe is concerned, is that they were very aware that an attack could be coming. there was extra security. they were doing extra surveillance and still an attack of this magnitude was able to be carried out. that is very concerning, certainly for belgium and other countries in europe who do not have the same level of counterterrorism that we have in the united states. or for that matter the british. >> i know security is beefed up. today is already an abnormally high level. various places in new york, for example the airports, penn station as well as here in washington it is being beefed up at the airports. you can see various major cities across the united states. is this done out of what they
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call an abundance of caution, or as far as you know , congressman, are there specific threats against these high-profile targets in the united states? >> wolf, my understanding is there are no specific threats against the yooit united states right now. however, we have to assume the united states is always being targeted. certainly in new york city, as commissioner kelly and commissioner bratton always assume whenever there is a attack new york city could be next because we have been attacked or attempted to be attacked so many times. so even though there is no indication right now of an a attack, it could still happen. that's why you do see increased level of security all around, particularly -- one could be a coordinated attack from ie sit or a aisle /* al-qaeda.
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what we need is more surveillance, more surveillance out of the communities to stop these attacks before they begin, we can stop them before the explosives are put together and they are coming to the airport, to the subway station or coming to the landmark site. surveil lance is what is essential. and especially since more and more it is difficult for us to intercept phone calls, understand they are using burner phones in europe now and it makes it difficult to intercept phone messages. so you need human intelligence. you need people on the grund, in the communities to find out what is happening to head off the attacks before they begin. >> i have been told, this is from our reporting going on at the belgium airport, the brussels airport today. the attacks occurred outside of the security perimeter before they went through security, what we would call tsa security here in the united states. it was when they walk in to the terminal, getting ready to check in their bags. a big crowd at the counter, as you know from your travels an
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the world and as i know from my travels whether in europe, asia or the middle east, very often they have a layer of security outside of the terminal before you go through another layer of security going towards the gates for example at those terminals. is it time to rethink putting in a new level of security outside of the airport, outside of the main building before you go through security to head toward the gates? >> how that would be done i'm not sure. i have been concerned for a long time about the large lines you see of people waiting to go through security. somebody walks in though middle of that crowd, as a suicide bomber, it's the same as killing a few hundred people on the plane itself. such a large gathering of people there and such a vulnerable target. certainly true on trains and subways. the extra layer of security could help. what the cost would be and how it would be done, would you be stopping people, how would you know who to stop and who not to.
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it is the magnetometers and going through people's pockets and what not. could you do that twice? again, european countries sometimes don't have the same constitutional restrictions that we do here in the country. if i go back to it we have to have more surveillance in the communities themselves. the community where the threat is coming from. in this case the muslim community. so we can intercept and find out early before the attackers actually begun. >> peter king of the homeland security and intelligence committees. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. coming up, more on the breaking news, terror attacks in belgium killing at least 30 people, injuring more than 200 at a metro station as well as the main airport in brussels. should the intelligence community be worried about airports as soft targets? we will have more on that when we come back. these are pictures coming in from brussels right now. burning of diabetic nerve pain, these feet were the first in my family to graduate from college
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once again, we're following the breaking news. the terror attacks in belgium. the city of brussels now on a very high state of alert after multiple attacks earlier today. police have released security camera video from the city's main airport where two bombs went off at the check-in area before you go through security to go to the gates. they say they're looking for the man in white, take a look at the right part of your screen, in connection with the attack. investigators are operating under the assumption that the other two suspects in black, that they are dead. about an hour later, after the bomb went off at the airport, there was another bombing at a
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very busy subway station. at least 30 people were killed. more than 230 were injured. isis has publicly claimed responsibility. here in the united states, so far today, a handful of airports, they have stepped up security, including los angeles, new york, chicago, boston, atlanta and of course right here in washington. pamela brown is here, kimberly dozier is here, our cnn senior affairs analyst. pamela, first of all, the picture that they released, they're looking carefully at this one suspect who is sort of dressed in that white jacket. >> exactly. we see the three men here. these are who officials in belgium believe were behind the attack there this morning. if you notice the two men in black, both of them are wearing one glove on their left hand. and right now, officials are analyzing this and working theory is they were wearing that one glove to conceal a
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detonator. it's believed these two men were killed in the blasts and the man in white perhaps waps the one that left the suitcase bomb there and he is still at large, so there's an active investigation under way. we know the fbi was given this surveillance picture, video. what u.s. authorities are trying to do, see if these are people on their radar, and ensure there are no copycat attacks in the united states. >> we've been told by the federal prosecutor in belgium that the two men dressed in black on the other part, the left part of the screen, they were -- they have now been identified as the suicide bombers. they were going through -- the man with the lighter jacket, he's apparently still at large, he's a suspect. they're actively searching for the man with the white jacket. when you were there, you were there yesterday, was that right? >> yesterday morning. i didn't notice any security in that area as i got out of the taxi and went to the ticket counter. so to the point that it is a
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soft target, absolutely. now, throughout the weekend, if you walked around the city of brussels, there was a very high state of alert. i was at the conference german marshal forum full of u.s. and european officials saying they'd been told by their security teams to brace for possible retaliatory attacks over the arrest of salah abdeslam in molenbeek so they knew that something was going, could happen. the belgium foreign minister said they had found salah had a larger network than expected and thought they were planning follow-up attacks. >> you've been doing studies at airports. what needs to be done -- i don't know what could have been done at brussels at the international airport. apparently walked in before they went through security. they saw a big crowd at a baggage counter. they blew themselves up. killed a lot of people.
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>> i was scheduled to be at the same conference. for unrelated reasons, canceled at the last minute. >> this conference in belgium. >> any of us, any of us could be at any of these places and our hearts have to go out to the people who were killed and their families. on this, airports are still soft targets. as hard as we tried. airplanes are much harder. airplanes have been the historic focus of al qaeda and related groups. bombs on airlines. we should still assume they are an intended target. airports, both at the front of the airport where you check in for security, and at the back of airport where people can put soda can bombs on planes. we just saw that movie in the sinai. are soft. and have to be hardened. peter king, about having checkpoints ahead of entering an airport. that's certainly what happened at ben gurian in israel. could this guy with the luggage cart been stopped?
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maybe so. although a lot of these explosives are now concealed in plastic. yes, we have to harden airports because they're a logical place to get a lot of people. >> you wanted to add something. >> well, the scary thing is that the belgian authorities knew something was coming ever since the paris attacks four months ago. they've been trying to rebuild their intelligence network and penetrate molenbeek where something like 200 foreign fighters are estimated to have come back from syria and started cells. but they're trying to build intelligence networks under a crisis. and u.s. and european officials i spoke to said they're doing their best but they're small, they're overtaxed with this job, and that just leaves the opportunity for the terrorists. >> pamela, as you know, u.s. counterterrorism authorities, intelligence, law enforcement, they're worried that not enough is being done, for example, like a place like belgium. >> absolutely, because of the porous borders. that's been a concern from day one. but in the wake of the paris attack, u.s. officials had
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intelligence that was shared with european officials at the same network believed to be behind the paris attacks was planning further attacks, and so what they're looking at now is that is the case here in the wake of the sal law abdeslam arrest and i've been asking, do they think this is retaliation for his arrest, wolf, and the working theory is these plans were already hatched, already in the works, but they accelerated the attacks today in the wake of the arrest. >> jane, go ahead. >> belgium has been a weak link. the mayor of brussels had a lot of information, names. didn't share it with other because she didn't think she should do that. it's a small country with poor resources. it's the headquarters of eu. >> headquarters of nato too. >> it's the heart of europe. europe is now a battlefield. they have great operational security so they're not communicating in ways that we easily can intercept. there may be plots planned already in different parts of europe, not just in -- we shouldn't just assume in belgium
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and france. >> what do you think of donald trump's recommendation this is a time to reduce military commitments to nato? >> i think it's a bad idea. i heard hillary clinton say the same thing. nato has to be modernized for future threats. >> why doesn't nato get involved as an organization in trying to destroy isis? >> i did ask nato officials about that at this conference. and they said they had to wait for a group decision from all their political masters. >> what do they mean? >> all those different countries or members of nato have to decide -- >> they got involved in afghanistan -- as an ergs organization, never got involved in iraq. but a rlot of people are saying that's why nato exists. >> europe is a target clearly, a battlefield now for the isis-trained foreign fighters who are coming back where they came from and probably already have plots under way. >> all right, we have to run unfortunately. stay with cnn throughout the day and night for all the late-breaking developments.
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i'll be back, 5:00 p.m. eastern, in "the situation room." our breaking news coverage continues right now. hi there, i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn's coverage of the deadly terror attacks. isis is now claiming it was their men who carried out the suicide attacks at the main international airport in brussels early this morning and also at a very busy subway station. right now, a massive hunt is under way for, wait for picture and we'll show you here, this is a very crucial image. the man in a lighter colored jacket, in the khaki jacket there, in the white glass, the hat, this is airport surveillance footage. it shows obviously all three of them pushing these different baggage carts through the departure area of the airport. now police say w