tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN December 19, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
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welcome back, you're watching cnn, i'm brooke baldwin. we have a number of breaking stories to get to. the votes are coming in to finalize donald trump's win in the electoral college. he should reach the 270 mark and become the next president of the united states. also in turkey today, this assassination at a museum, the russian ambassador to turkey killed while giving a speech at an art exhibit. the killer was heard shouting do not forget aleppo, do not forget
syria. the third breaking stories, we have learned in berlin, a truck has just plowed through this busy christmas market in the western part of the city. so let's begin there. fred is on the phone with me and knows berlin better than anyone i know. fred, tell me first what happened. >> this happened about an hour ago. exactly one hour ago at 8:00 p.m. local time. you're absolutely right. this christmas market is one of the main ones in the west berlin. only five miles away from my house, heading there right now. the latest we have is that apparently this truck came from one of the streets close to the christmas market. the market itself is in a very busy pedestrian zone. and from what we hear the truck simply plowed into the market and hit several market stalls. there was an eyewitness said it was going 40 miles per hour and showed no signs of slowing down
as it went into the christmas market. it's unclear at this point, the police tell us whether or not it's terror related. there are some sources that say early indications are that it is. the latest that we got from the police literally a couple of minutes ago was that they say they can confirm there are multiple dead and at least 50 people injured. so it is a major incident that happened here in berlin tonight, brooke. >> let's back up a couple of steps. just to set the scene here, you are six hours ahead from east coast time it's 9:00 at night, hustling and bustling couple days before christmas, people are out, families are out. how many people would you guess if this is so close to your home, would have been in that square at in given evening? >> well, you know, i would say it's thousands. we have to keep in mind, christmas markets are extremely popular in berlin and indeed everywhere in germany. i can't stress enough, this is the biggest one in the western
part of berlin. it's right one of the big pedestrian zones and biggest landmarks in western berlin, church of remembrance. what you would have there, many people shopping anyway but then on top of that, brooke, it's also around the time that people would get off work. you get off work and do christmas shopping before you go home. that market would have been absolutely packed and that seems to be the indications we're getting from looking at the first videos of that it was indeed a very packed market, also of course in light of the fact it's only a couple of days before christmas and a lot of people will have wanted to squeeze in christmas shopping. >> this is an entire pedestrian area, is that right, fred or would this be ajas ent to a thorough fare where you would have cars? >> there is -- there are two thorou thoroughfares that line the square but the square itself is a pedestrian zone and fountain
in the middle. there are streets leading up to it. the truck probably would have been able to get pretty close without anyone noticing. there's been a lot of construction going on there. i'm not sure whether or not there would have been any barriers to hold this up. certainly after the incident we had earlier this year in nice where a truck plowed into a crowd, there will have been some additional measures put in place. here in germany, there's been a huge discussion about the safety and security at christmas markets because it was seen as something that could be vulnerable to a terrorist attack. but nevertheless, it seems as though that truck literally just crashed right into that place going extremely fast from what we're hearing, 40 miles per hour. there will have been a lot of people on the ground there that would have had no chance to get out of the way because it is so packed and there's market stalls also on either side. there's really not many places for a lot of people to try to run and get to safety to. >> if you are just joining us,
we're covering breaking news out of berlin, i have fred on the phone, lives miles away, and knows this area well. it's evening time, we're days before christmas, this is an extremely popular christmas market. you have family and children and out and about buying those gifts. fred was estimating 1,000 plus people out shopping when apparently this truck driver came careening off the sidewalk and into this area full of people. according to berlin police and multiple people have been killed, and another least 50 have been injured. you brought up nice and i was there this summer and that's where my mind went. we don't know, that's the thing. the notion of using a car as a weapon is something that isis has called upon followers to do but it's way too early to jump to that. i do remember you and i being on tv together some months ago as listen, other european cities have been worrying about being potentially a target and was
there not -- it was an issue it was a mcdonald's some months ago? >> you're right. there was an issue in the mcdonald's which that turned out to be a rampage but there was a series of incidents in germany that happened. actually a terror attack at a concert that happened only a few days later where a guy came up to a security gate at a concert in the southwest of germany and blew himself up. now, luckily the bomb he built was apparently quite faulty and therefore only blew him up and nobody else. it is something that has shaken the german public, after the incidents in france and belgium and germany took in 1.1 million refugees in 2015. it is a situation where people are concerned that things might happen and we learned that for instance, some of the attackers that conducted the paris attacks in november 2014, that they also
went through -- went through germany, went through some asylum seeker homes in germany. people have been very concerned and we need to stress again, very concerned about the situation and the security on christmas market because it is really the main place that people go to. if you do your christmas shopping in germany and look at the stalls there, maybe drink some wine, and it's just something that is so part of the german culture and would have been so full at that point in time. >> fred, i want you to stay on the phone with me as you head towards this square. let me also be clear to all of you, police have no information on this truck driver. you see all of the ambulances at the scene. again, according to berlin police, there are at least 50 people who are hurt and multiple people have been killed. they also police cannot confirm whether or not this was a terror
attack this just happened. max foster is also another voice in this conversation as we work to try to understand what happened, how this could have happened on a monday evening, less than a week before christmas at this incredibly busy and popular christmas market. max, what more can you share? >> well, they are saying they can't say it's terror related but that's interesting itself because they also considering that as part of the investigation -- it reminds me of when we were in nice in france earlier this year and that horrific scene that unfolded there. there's no doubt what people are considering right now and police haven't confirmed it as a terror incident but they are going to be considering that as a result of that and clearing the area and similar reflection to what we saw when we flew into nice earlier this year, brooke. >> how familiar are you with christmas markets, max? i know there are christmas markets where you're from in london. i'm trying to understand, when fred said at least 1,000 or thousands of people would have been out on an evening, this is
a massive group of people who would have been gathered. >> people fly to germany for the christmas markets, it's absolutely one of the traditions and if it was some sort of attack on that, it's an attack on german culture absolutely because they really represent one of the key attractions really, certainly to berlin at this time of year. it's a great exciting time and it's very cold and people go into the markets and drink warm red wine, it's muled wine and the idea that any sort of incident would happen there would be frightening to many germans and be something they could relate to. we have to wait to see what caused this. you'll remember, brooke, when we first started reporting on pt nice attack, everyone there assumed that this was an out of control truck going through the promenade there and that could still be the case there. we have an incident earlier this year where a bus drove into a crowd and the driver had a heart attack.
we need to consider that might be a possibility here. >> absolutely. max foster, thank you so much. again, this truck driver plowed into this crowd into this christmas market according to police there, at least 50 have been injured, multiple people have been killed. we'll stay on that story. we're staying on the story here out of turkey. this breaking story, this assassination, there was -- this is the man with the gun here and this happened at this art show, the russian ambassador to turkey was shot and killed while he was standing at a podium. what this gunman yelled as he open fire and russia is already responding and calling it a terror attack. how exactly might they respond further? we'll have a live report. back here at home, the electoral college meeting in state capitals across the country to officially elect donald trump as the 45th president of the united states. so far there are have been no faithless electors but the
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we're looking at these initial pictures, the ambulances arrived on the scene at this massively popular christmas market. we're hearing from police as a result of a driver in a truck going off the sidewalk and slamming into a number of innocent civilians, nine people have been killed and at least 50 have been injured. why this has happened way too early to know. we're watching that for you. also, we're watching a number of electors of the electoral college meeting and
voting at state capitols across the country here. this is the official process. this is what happens every four years. we're talking about it because this historic election and russia's meddling in the presidential election. so it's in the spotlight. trump is getting close to the magic number of 270. also, we're watching the gunman who assassinated the russian ambassador to turkey today has been identified as an off-duty police officer. we want to warn you, that we're going to show some video in a couple of moments that is graphic. you will see ambassador andrey karlov, he was speaking, man on the right side of the screen, speaking at this art gallery in ankara when this assailant barged in and pulled his gun out started shooting and shouting. the whole thing was caught on camera. again, it is graphic.
[ shouting ] [ speaking foreign language ] >> the gunman was shouting god is great, do not forget aleppo, do not forget syria. let me bring in the director of the turkish program at the washington institute for middle east policy and -- at the scene of today's shooting. d diego, i want to begin with you because you're there. what did you see and what more do you know about -- >> it's brooke, you're live on cnn, can you hear me?
okay, let's scratch diego. let me ask you, i don't know how much you know about the details of this assassination, but i think it's important to explore the relationship, this complex relationship between turkey and russia and russia already responding saying this was a terror attack. >> incredibly so. turkey and russia had significant disagreements in the past years overse syria but we w them reach a convergence of interest. they negotiated for an end to the conflict in aleppo and evacuating civilians from areas controlled by russia and its allies in aleppo, to areas controlled by turkey and allies, taking matters into their own hands and trying to settle the conflict in northern syria. this is an attack on solution
but it's really refreshing that leaders of both countries, putin and erdogan came out strongly condemning the attack. the attack is recognizing this is a provocation between relations between their two countries. let's see what will happen. because the turkish foreign minister was on a flight and just landed and -- >> this is the day before in moscow where you have the foreign ministers of turkey, russia and iran all getting together to discuss what's happened in aleppo, you explain it perfectly, you have turkey and russia who feel differently about the president of syria helped broker this ten uous ceasefire in aleppo. how will this affect the innocent men and children trying to get out? >> it will afblgt them negati negatively if the ceasefire
broke down. not the entire civilian population is safe, so if the evacuations broke down they would be in harm's way and this is definitely terrible news. it seems to me that there was sort of a power sharing agreement in northern syria with russia and turkey taking matters into their own hands. the question is who's behind this attack and who will be benefitting from tend of the power share. early indicators and counterterrorism experts point at al qaeda connections but we'll have to wait and see. they would rather see turkey and russia fight so -- because al qaeda presents itself as the avenger of sunni muslims. they would like to see suffering continue to help to recruit. that's a very sick ideology but it would not be surprising if
they found to be behind this attack. >> it is a very sick ideology. russia has said this is a terrorist act. how else might they respond. >> i think russia will wait for turkey's response. the attacker was an off-duty but nevertheless turkish police officer, whether this was an inside job inside the security establishment and how they could do this. i think rush with a will want a thorough investigation of the attack and if turkey can come up with that, my guess is russia will not overreact because it would lose from overreacting. it has captured aleppo. aleppo is in the hands of russia and its allies and they benefit from continuation of convergence of interest and good ties with turkey. i think putin will be trying to his best to not overreact and turkish leaders will do whatever they can to make sure that russian concerns are satisfied. >> all of the ripple effects of this assassination today in
ankara, thank you very much. >> it's a pleasure. >> coming up, we're staying on our breaking news out of berlin, at least nine people, according to berlin police, not people killed and at least 50 injured after this truck driver plowed into this hustling and bustling christmas market. we have an update for you on that. also ahead, the president-elect donald trump is closing in on the number he needs, 270 electors, meeting all across the country in state capitols to cast their votes, we're watching that for you. lots happening on this monday. you're watching cnn.
breaking news out of berlin, germany. it is night time there, monday evening, thriving hustling and bustling christmas market and you now have reports of an individual, who plowed his truck into this christmas market full of people on this monday evening. according to berlin police, they are saying at least nine people have been killed, at least 50 people have been injured. we have fred -- >> do we have fred? that was a yes and we have the former cia counterterrorism. fred, since you live all but a couple miles away. tell me what's happened? >> hey, brooke, i just arrived on the scene a couple of minutes ago and the whole place is jam packed with ambulances and fire trucks and police vehicles. i've counted at least 20
ambulances on the scene here. i've dealt with the fire department and police in the past, by the signals they've given, they determined this is a mass casualty event. there's also a lot of bystanders, very worried bystanders now -- an ambulance going past here right now. there's a whole lot of bystanders pushed back behind the police line. it's a gigantic operation and from what eyewitnesses have been telling us, they say that this happened around 8:00 p.m. local time and this truck simply plowed into the christmas market. in fact, right now standing on the street they believe that the truck was coming from as it plowed into that market around 40 miles an hour, eyewitnesses saying it did not make any effort to slow down or brake and
went through several market now the police saying nine killed, 50 wounded and judging by this response, i believe that would certainly be the case. >> here's my question, fred, is the truck still sitting there or did he plow through the people and leave? do we know anything about the driver? >> i'm not seeing the truck from my vantage point. i believe that it stopped. i'm not sure whether the driver is in custody or not. i'll try to get an update in a couple of minutes. they set up a press point here because a lot of officers here are busy at this point in time. there's another four or five police vehicles moving into the zone. that's really unclear whether the driver has been apprehended judging by the fact that the german authorities believe this is terror related, i would assume they have a man in custody and he's being questioned but i can't confirm that. i'll try to do that as soon as possible -- >> did you just say berlin authorities do believe this is a terror related incident?
>> from what i'm hearing they believe that it is. >> okay. >> and that would lead me to believe they would have someone in custody but it's unclear whether that's the case. i'd have to confirm that but judging from what i've been hearing, they do believe this is most likely terror related. >> okay, fred. thank you, fred pleitgen and bud sexton, i want to be crystal clear, i'm not seeing anything in my e-mail saying cnn has confirmed whether or not this is indeed being called a terror attack. but bob, what are questions you would be asking about what's happening, what we're watching? >> well, i would think this would be a copy of the nice attack. there's been an emotional jolt through the sunni muslim community throughout europe
because of the fall of aleppo, a lot of muslims sympathize with the carnage that has gone on there. you can connect, at least i can, the murder of the russian ambassador in ankara. also i'd like to say this has been long anticipated, another attack like this, a nice-like attack. first time in germany mass casualties. if indeed this is terrorism, i think europe is in for more of it. >> what do you think? >> when you look at the indicators and the probability, it certainly points towards a terrorist attack, we can't be certain but the similarities with niece, here there are photos posted online, you have a truck that seems to have been used in this again attack. there's the remote possibility that it was something other than that. you also look at the target, just before christmas, christmas market, the number of people that were injured and nine killed, that number looks like it will go higher.
the probability this was some kind of horrific accident is small. it looks like it fits in with the criteria would expect for a jihadist attack, similar to what we saw in nice, from the jihadist perspective, an attack on a french national holiday -- >> there were weapons there. it is different in the sense that i'm not hearing reports of shots. it sounds like this individual we know nothing about this individual or if this person has even been caught, drove up going who knows how fast into this crowd of revelers. >> one of the lessons of the nice attack from the terrorist perspective and jihadists, those who might want to be acting out now because of what's happening in aleppo or grievances real an managed, they may have recognized that the vehicles the most important component in this process. all you need is a big vehicle that gets enough speed momentum
behind and target set full of people that are innocent civilians. that would add up, the absence of weapons or gunfire, it may be they realize all you need is the vehicle looking very likely this was a jihadist attack given all of the indicators we have. >> i remember being in nice and talking to our terror analysts who are saying this is what isis was essentially saying to followers, this m.o. of using a car as a weapon, am i correct? >> oh, absolutely. as buck was saying, it's easily accessible, of course, a truck, there's virtually no way to stop it. you can't put -- on every public event. the islamic state has evolved, doesn't need bombs and explosive ez an guns. it can create mass casualties with vehicles and europe right now is at a loss what to do about this. they can't control what's happening in aleppo.
even though germany has nothing to do with aleppo, the islamic state paints the west as a single front. and that it's per missible to kill civilians and especially on a symbolic holiday and christmas market like this. >> have there been any attacks, not necessarily with a car used as a weapon but within germany. there was a mass casualty event, not sure terror related or not that we covered live, this would be the first? >> this would be the first. i mean, there has been attacks in germany on the train with an afghan on a coffee house and rest of it but this is the first time that germans have -- this is a copy in a way of brussels and nice attack or even the paris attacks and i think what as the police get better and start rolling networks up, you'll see more and more are probably people inspired by the violence in the middle east, ip
spired by the islamic state, without actually making contact. we're going to find out. if there was terrorism, german police -- let's wait and see. we can revise this next hour or so. >> nine dead, at least 50 injured there at a busy christmas market on a monday evening in berlin. buck and bob, thank you. we'll keep a close eye on what's happening there. also ahead, we're watching electors in texas, they are expected to be the ones to push president-elect donald trump over the threshold to reach 270 electoral votes, officially making him the 45th president of the united states, that count sits at 241. we'll take you to austin, texas when it happens. ♪
before we talk politics, an update on electoral college, just a reminder we're watching the situation that has developed in berlin, germany. someone we don't know anything about this driver, but someone plowed his truck into a busy christmas market right around 8:00 local time in berlin. according to police there, at least nine people have been killed and 50 injured. so we will have more on that as soon as we get anything more. also, we're watching electors, all 538 around the country voting officially for the next president. let me bring in our panel, abby phillips and cnn political analyst, jeff zeleny and history public affairs professor at
princeton. i believe -- i don't know the exact latest tally but i think it will be the texans in austin who officially -- 241 right now, needs to get to 270 to make it official. jeff zeleny, i'm expecting no surprises. >> no surprises, brooke. those 38 electors in the state of texas will put donald trump over that threshold of 270 electoral votes likely within the next half hour or so. there are also other red states convening right now, including nebraska and missouri and alaska and others. it is definitely on a path towards happening. this is an exercise of democracy. we see it happen every year in state capitols across the country. nothing new this year. donald trump is going to meet the threshold here. there were some hopes of democrats, liberals who thought they could change things here but that has not happened. we have not seen much drama. there are have been a few outbursts in wisconsin and colorado and protests other
places but, brooke, donald trump as he's watching this in palm beach, florida, he's already on a bit of early christmas vacation. he'll have an exclamation point on his victory, officially become the president-elect. >> that should happen in the next few minutes. professor to you, to jeff's point it has been happening for however many years but it is different because of the unprecedented historic nature of the presidency and popular vote went one way, electoral college went another and add in russia interfering and you get electoral college on the spotlight on national tv. >> this was an electoral college vote no one was sure would be as normal as it usually is because nothing was normal in this campaign. the context. russian hacking scandal raised questions about what would happen. >> how long does this date back?
>> this dates back to the founding, this is the electoral college system we've had from the start. it has to be formally accepted on january 6th. >> vice president announces it. >> and congress could challenge it and members can challenge part of the vote but that won't happen. i think reality is settling in and president-elect trump is going to have a happy night. >> i think it is note worthy, abby, though in the paper this morning, the different groups and i talked to a harvard professor part of one group who wanted the electors to vote his or hur conscious and and go against the grain. can you talk about those efforts and how it's not happening? >> yeah, i mean, for a lot of these folks there were a lot of hurdles. it wasn't just as easy as some people saying i don't want to vote for donald trump. in some states they have legal boundaries that make it more difficult to do that and face
potential legal consequences for stepping out of line with their state's vote count. so it was a challenge and it was a long shot from the very beginning. and what you've seen so far in the vote totals we've had, very few electors, fewer than a handful, have done anything other than vote according to the way their state did. the ones who did, didn't necessarily vote for hillary clinton. even to deny donald trump two or three electoral college votes hasn't necessarily meant those votes would be transferred to the other candidate who lost the presidential election. >> okay, abbi and julian and jeff, thank you. mr. trump should reach the 270 number in texas momentarily. coming up, we're covering the breaking story out of berlin this tragic evening at a busy christmas market. thousands of people go out to these things and come to berlin to shop ahead of christmas and
breaking news out of berlin, germany. reports that someone has driven a truck through a busy crowd in a very popular christmas market, potentially up to thousands of people shopping there in the days before christmas. the latest numbers we have from berlin police, at least nine people have been killed and at least 50 injured. max foster is live for us keeping a close eye on what's been happening there. max foster, do we have any word on who was behind the wheel? >> the only thing we've heard in the last few seconds is that our sources telling us that a suspect has been apprehended supposedly, the driver. that's the very latest we have on this. the numbers absolutely horrific.
very chilling when you consider that the state department just less than a month ago was warning that there could be a terrorist attack on outdoor markets. listen to this, brooke, this was from end of the november. credible information indicates isi will al qaeda and affiliates plan to attack with the focus on the upcoming holiday season. very much the focus right now will be on the potential of a terrorist attack even though it hasn't been confirmed at this point. we don't know the motivation. this driver could have been inkpi incompass tated. >> do you know if police have called this a terror attack or not just yet? >> there are local sources suggesting that's the case but we haven't confirmed it. we don't want to go there yet. we can say they are
investigating in that direction as they automatically would in this situation. very quickly after these attacks as you know, you cover them yourself, they discount terrorism as quick as possible and they haven't done that yet. >> max foster, thank you so much. an update on what's been happening there in berlin. also, just an update on what's happening here at home. the electoral college, 538 members have been voting today, ultimately the official stamp for the next president of the united states. so it's the texans in austin who are expected to be the ones to push mr. trump over the 270 number, officially making him the 45th president of the united states and ultimately members of congress get together the 6th of january and up to the vice president to declare it and sworn in january 20th. an update on the tally. we'll be right back.
again, if you're just joining us, nine people have been killed, at least 50 injured in this mass incident in berlin. now we can tell you according to berlin police, the suspect, who is the one who drove that truck, has apparently been apprehended. drove the truck into this major crowd at this christmas market. no details as of yet. a spokesperson saying the operation there is ongoing, but just tragedy on a monday evening days before christmas. we are also watching the official vote tally for the next president of the united states, donald trump here. let's go to kyong law in texas ahead of the vote. kyong, will this be the vote to put him ahead of 270? >> reporter: 270 electoral votes should, and i say should, put donald trump over the top, over 270. the drama we were expecting here, and it's minor drama,
because according to the republican party here, they are anticipating that every single one of those electors, except for one, will be voting for donald trump. so that will mean 37 to add to the total. christopher supern is an elector. even though he is a lifelong gop, he is not going to will of the state and he is going to vote against donald trump saying trump, in his opinion, is simply not qualified. so that's what we're watching here. the vote just about to begin. we are anticipating it will begin any moment from now, brooke. >> that, though, mentioning the selector, people voting as they said they would. i am curious because we've heard reports of some protests, some hiccups in some of these state capitols, kyung. have you seen that in austin? >> we've seen dozens and dozens
of people who were on the steps of the state capitol. there were people stealing the rotunda, holding up signs saying the electoral college is the last stop, they want the college to defy the word of the state. the electors believe they are just simply doing their job, that they are following the will of the state. one thing i should add, brooke, one little nuance is that the state party says there is one person they're not 100% sure on, but even with that, they do anticipate that the rest will go to donald trump. >> okay, and so just quickly, the vote has begun or not quite yet? >> reporter: the ceremony has begun. this is a minutes long -- it should be minutes long, but it's actually being extended because there were four people who were disqualified because they had jobs with the federal government, a job with the county, and then there was one elector who decided not to come because he didn't want to vote for donald trump as well. so they have to replace all of them, and the people who are
filling those spots, they are also anticipated to vote for donald trump. >> okay. kyung, thank you. we'll be watching those numbers when the voting begins there in austin. thank you in texas. we'll keep an eye on that. also we are watching the story develop out of turkey today. this off-duty police officer here has been identified as the gunman who killed the russian ambassador to turkey today. the shooter could be heard shouting in turkish, quote, god is great. do not forget aleppo, do not forget syria. and he fired. you can hear it in the video. it was caught on camera shot after shot after shot. he killed a man by the name of a aundre carlov. he was speaking in the turkish gallery. they have called this a, quote, unquote, terror attack.
let me bring in senior correspondent who is on the ground of the turkey-syria border. what more do we know? we saw this gunman in the picture. do we know anything else? >> reporter: well, brooke, it's a good question. we know he was 22 years old. he was from turkey's coastal regions. not only was he a police officer, but he was also assigned to the riot squad. we know he was an active duty police officer. it's unclear if he had any sort of official role in tonight's event. when you look at that chilling video, you can see clearly he knew how to use a firearm. that first shot he fired was a direct hit on the ambassador and the ambassador basically crumpled to the ground right away. now we know why. we know he has firearm training as a result of being with the police. turkey is reacting quite forcefully to this. we understand now from turkish officials that the gunman's father, the gunman's mother, and the gunman's sister have all
been detained as investigators are combing through his home, looking for any piece of evidence that can tie him to a bigger picture and explain why this 22-year-old would assassinate the russian ambassador. >> muhammad lela, thank you. i want to pull away from that because we just got a major development here in this berlin story. paul crookshank, you are the man i wanted to talk to. our cnn terror analyst here. you now have the news with regard to this investigation. tell me what you've just discovered. >> this is now being investigated as if it were a terrorist attack by german authorities, the german intelligence official telling cnn that that's the way it's being investigated. but they have not yet confirmed that this was a terrorist attack. that determination may take several hours. but this is being investigated as if it were an act of terrorism in berlin, an attack which has obviously led to fatalities which recalls the
ghastly attack in nice which you and i recovered during the summer when 86 people were mowed down by a truck in the promenade by somebody who had been radicalized by isis. we also saw just a few weeks ago another car running attack in the united states at ohio state. isis, al qaeda, they both call for these kinds of attacks from their followers. this is being investigated as an act of potential terrorism at this point, but they still need to make the full determination that that is, in fact, what they are dealing with. but obviously, you know, given that a truck plowed into a christmas market, given all the warnings, given the intelligence that has come into western intelligence about isis and their supporters determined to launch attacks in europe during the holiday period, given the fact that just a few weeks ago there was a u.s. state
department warning alert that went out for american travelers to europe warning about exactly this kind of scenario, an attack on a christmas market, it is being investigated as if it were an act of terrorism, though they have not yet confirmed that to be the case. >> so just 60 seconds, paul. you're right, we talked a lot about nice and how isis has called for followers to use cars as weapons. but what do you make of this christmas market, specifically, as a potential target if, in fact, this is what it is? >> well, intelligence has suggested that isis and followers and extremists want to attack during the holiday, because that can be traumatic for people. people just to want get out and enjoy a holiday market. it's obviously a target of opportunity because a lot of people are gathered outside, and it's very difficult to protect all possible christmas holiday markets all around europe. so it's a soft target.
this target may well have been a target in a terrorist attack tonight. >> poaul crookshank, thank you o much. i'm sure jake will have this also. "the lead" with jake tapper starts now. this is cnn breaking news. welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead" and we will begin today with breaking news out of germany. a man driving a truck barrelled through a christmas market into a crowd in the heart of western berlin this evening. this incident is now being investigated as an act of terrorism, an intelligence official tells cnn. you're looking right now at horrific pictures from the aftermath. german police are reporting at least nine people have been killed, dozens more injured, perhaps as many as 50. let's get right to cnn's frederic