tv MSNBC Live With Jose Diaz- Balart MSNBC November 20, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PST
u.s. government employees were in the hotel. how many isn't clear. retch ard ngel is with me. obviously this has been a dangerous, rapidly developing situation, you can see video with people move quickly out of there. what do you know about the hostages and any attempts to free them? >> the video shows and local intelligence in mali says 80 hostages have been rescued. a will the of activities have been focused on the 7th floor. the images that woof soon showed mali and troops, trying to
approach it with caution fearing that could be shot at. there are some im. >> also moving on to the upare floors. . the rest we really doesn't know at this stage how many people are still inside. those reports of american government employees, or american guests perhaps, how many dead. official reports said three dead but that is also very unclear. we also doesn't have a claim of responsibility at this point and there are many different islamest groups operating in mali. witness said they were heard shouting in arabic god is good. islamest groups is expected, many of. this operating inside mali right
now. the country has been divided since at least 2013. that's when islamist groups, many backed by al qaeda, started marching toward the capital of bamako and they were on turned back when french forces intervened and reversed the advance of of thos islamist groups and many have repeated fwosh under frd. the trip vosers talks about the was the one that was popular with westerners. this hotel we already know from the reports, was the place where airline crews were airline overnight. >> i've stayed at this.
this is perhaps the most luxurious are the most well known. it was a place where u.n. officials often went, airline crews always -- or generally stayed there on their overnights in and out of bamako. journalists in our case with we went there stayed numerous occasions. it is without -- it is the place in bamako to stay if you are arriving on a business trip or government trip. there's also word that peace talks were due to start in this hotel, starting very soon. that could also play into what issin folding. since i've been there, i can give you a little bit of the layout of the hotel. there is security, or at least there was there was when i was there at the gate. you move in, there as a central elevator bank, a staircase that
climb up around but if you were looking for a target to attack westerners or high-profile visitors to bamako, this would be the place. > >>. >> hernan from ivory was in mali recently and has opinion in touch with reporters throughout the area. what are you learning? >> reporter: i'm just talking to reports are there on the ground. the situation has been very volatile at the moment. there's been reportedly 80 hostages that have been freed. we dent know if this is really happening at the moment.
there was a command are there who said special to hp clear them, take them to safety. but officials here in the pentagon say they have no end case that any u.s. military uniformed, especially special operations forces are there in any kind of peacekeeping of sm kind there. so it would sta. ilt not clear from here anyway at this point that in fact u.s. military personnel special operations forces have been
involved in helping rush some of those hotel guests to safety once this attack began. chris. >> nick, eknow you'll stay on top of this. jim miklaszewski at the pent oft pentagon. i want to bring in the chief executive officer of crowd strike reporting. this is a place that is known to be a will the of high-level guests. now adding to that, what we're hearing from jim mcchef ski, that there was a u.n. peacekeeping conference there. is there any doubt in your mind it may be tied to that? did you think it could be. >> the time is right essentially to spread fear.
what did you think is going on here? >> it's still too easy to tell. investigators on the ground, intelligence agency globally are going to be looking for connections to paris. they'll be doing a lot of work as it relates to frens ex. right now they're still in a rescue operation and they're looking to save folks who are trapped there. but on the heels of that there will be a large investigative effort to try and put some connection here or determine the or zwrb johnson. >> >> as we're looking at these pictures that have just come out in the last 15 minutes or so, what do you think is going on on the ground sense between
security services and hostage tackers that will but this is all about trying to bring people to safety. concurrently there will be an investigate of effort. people are going to be working on identifying who the attackers are and the connectivity they might have to any technical terrorist organization and what they might able to do to stop or prevent other attacks that might occur somewhere else in that ta is this someone you can endeed negotiate with? is this loo this is it identify.
is there something in technical you're looking for? is 4 if but security services there on the ground are going to also assess whether these hostages are in nin look to put in some ff changes on the ground minute by minute and that he will have to assess what's occurring and make sm determinations about how to move forward, chris. >> there are certainly a lot places in the world where the state department has a travel advisory. but on that des, targets considered to be
have fen tiff word from a soon why are frmt -- senior official and they did help organize the evacuation of the hotel by many of the guests. they have not been involved in any of the attack activity to attempt to take down any of those terrorists that are apparently still holding hostages there in the hotel. that are not involved in any kind of military action whatsoever. but simply went into action to help the process of evacuating the hotel and get the remanning gue -- remaining guests out of the
hotel safely. that's all we have at this point. it appears they were just doing their job. >> and also how lucky for those people in the hotel that they were in there. give us an idea how extensive would the training for special ops be for hostage taking situations? >> that's a lot of what they do. technically in afghanistan, they're the withins that go in with night vision goggles and try to actually launch that kind of operation with complete surprise. what we don't know here is because of these forces and it's not clear they were special operations but these american forces if they were there to attend this peacekeeping conference, it not clear that they would have been in uniform, number one, that they would have had protective gear or that they were fen armed. many teams when they go into a
country, they will in fact shed their military gear and their weapons so as not to draw attention to themselves. when they travel abroad, unless they're on a military operation, they will not be wearing their uniform. again, it's not clear they were even recognizable as u.s. military but they did help evacuate the hotel. they are not involved in the military and/or police action to try to bring that hostage-taking situation to an end. >> jim miklaszewski, thank you. let me bring in tom sanderson who was just in mali and is on the phone. give us your situation of the situation on the ground and your take of what's unfolding right now. >> well, it's obviously very frightening.
we were there looking at mill glant groups active in country. mali is an unsettled country, but they've been operating all over the country, including in bamako. you have a military that executed a coup a couple of years ago, there's disarray among the forces, low morale. you could pull off an attack like this with ease, for sure. >> this has has pb a rob ands did array again in the security services. it's part of a rests will area across that part of africa where
you've had al qaeda, but then again something happens in france, a country and troops were there for the last three years to counter some of the groups active in the north. this is an area that's already been under siege and has had a response. >> tom sander san from csis, recently become from mali. >> we'll have the latests in out of pearce after this quick brac. what? wow...
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have been rescued from that hotel. the hotel is saying 138 people are still enside, 125 guests and 13 employees are still in the building. they said their highest concern is the safety of all their guests and employees and they're in constant contact with authorities. air france had a crew of 12 inside the hotel and because of some security krns, apparently when their crew crew it syndicate that perhaps the hostage teaks are were targeting this french crew or mean just french people in general. turkish airlines says reporting $148 people are there that the
this is a des naegs that a lot of foreigns are travel to these tease flfrm it's obviously a very fluid and tense situation. not a lot of fine details. but no confirm as here but certainly they say this lookly actions. can can more that update. >> we got word word that the death toll has now resten. since the attacks police have
conducted 793 rp pratt raid under these. where top terrorist amoo mmd and the woman was wearing a suicide belt during the standoff with police. she's a 26 yoorld frechb woman of ffrm we're also learning more about the man intelligence officials admit they lost track before last week's attacks. this morning we know he was
linked to six attacks, four of them that failed. the paup report that tlfrp. it, the ffrmt -- now the apartment where he died near the scene at the stadium. robert thomas is here with me at the stadium. we're starting to really learn more about this investigation. what are you finding out? >> it's been one week and we have seen a will the of activity over that week, chris. one this evening that remains constant, the people that continue to come ot to these different shrines that have popped up around the city. i just got an e-mail from the u.s. embassy here in paris. the wording that they're using
for people traveling in the country right now because of the new security michiganiers being enacted here, they're saying that terrorist organizations and the government of francend kate the strong possibility of follow-on attacks. we've had over 793 raids seninc all this began. that's a combination of handguns, rifles and military-style weapons have been seized and 164 people have been placednd these new powers under house arrest. so the french authorities have the power to do this. >> they have this electronic bracelets. they can do that without going to a judge. and it was approved for this
three-month state of emergency. that is the new normal for the state of france this afternoon. the other point, salah abdeslam remains the most wanted man in the world right now, the suspected eighth attacker that they don't have a good lead on as all european police forces are trying to track down. >> not to mention the bomb makers, they say these different bomb belts they use all look the same and this were the work of somebody who knew what he was doing. >> the work of somebody who knew what they were doing. obviously effective. one of the things that people at home need to know is there are people still traveling to this country and coming to paris for well established plans whether it's for business or holiday reasons. he wants people to know there
are no public demonstrations allowed until november the 22nd. and then coming up i know you'll be back, if you don't leave, but for november 30th and the global climate summit where over 100 world leaders are expected to descend on paris and security is a huge issue to make sure that goes off smoothly. >> not to mention thousands of people who are being told to stay home because they'll be part of protests. thomas, thank you so much. >> certainly. >> we're going to have much more ahead this morning from paris, including more on the breaking news out of mali. another act apparently of terror. this time an attack on a hotel that is frequented by westerners. i am totally blind.
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zchlkt a very fluid and dangerous situation continues in mali at a hotel that is known to be frequented by westerners. there was a u.n. peacekeeping conference going on at the time. 170 originally taken hostage, three dead. let's bring in ambassador wendy sherman, former secretary of state and has been to mali. give us a sense of what your take is of what's unfolding there now. >> mali is an incredibly large and poor country. the north has long been ungovernable state. they tried to tam many down the islamists.
mali, that's where timbuktu is in the north. but nobody travels there anymore because of the risks involved. it's why president obama, secretary kerry and secretary clinton in her speech yesterday talked about a worldwide strategy to counterterrorism. this is not just with what has happened in soarus -- there is broad effort to defeat isil and any knock-off groups from isil, to deal with the infrastructure worldwide new eras. i mentioned that conference but
also there was a frn float crews there and concerns about this many if not it it if generally sending a message perhaps to president hollande. >> i think it's possibly a message to president hollande but it really is a hotel for westerners. and this entire undertaking by the terrorists is basically to say that their way of life is what should take precedence, not our way of life. and indeed if bamako, mali is a predominantly muslim country. we're talking about muslim against muslim. if people could recite passages of the core rakoran, they were .
malaysia is a large muslim country. so this is not about wednesday versus islam. this is about the world and a group of terrorists and terrorist ideology that is spreading a lot of copycat, a lot of cells connected to each other. this is why this is a network we have to go after. no one incidents including secretary clinton yesterday who laid out a broad strategy to deal with this. we all have to think in those terms. >> obviously this has changed the entire tenor of the presidential cam pan and certainly has changed the priorities of american voters. there are critics who have said that what secretary clinton has said, your formers about, is not much different than what we've heard from president obama and
lot of discussion what we need to do militarily. but hillary clinton said we shouldn't send in thousands of american troops because that will counter and and increase t the. >> and that question of ground troops at the heart of one of the key debates going on back home. ambassador wendy sherman, thank you so much for coming on. >> thank you, chris. >> we'll get the also a it's time for the owe your
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. could there be a connection between this attack and france given the country's long association with mali? laura, it's good to talk to you. obviously there is this long association and there are still about a thousand french troops who were thereejust want to give what has been double-checked by my journalists and by my sources. france is definitely the target. last october there was a message ehas been owed wooks and to
explosive vest and to attack french target. so what is interesting is again through our sources we know that the terrorist, the people who attacked the hotel today used diplomatic documents, used a car with diplomacy being plates. president hollande is now asking people to -- president hollande and himself team are definitely watching closely what's happening. >> so this to you is no doubt a retaliatory strike for french influence there in mali and sending a message directly to president hollande and the french government?
>> yes, absolutely. it seasoned a message against france but also against people while trying to fight in a global way terrorism all over the world. what is interesting is that at the same time that the a tack happened in mali, there was g-5, which is a summit involving presidents of the countries the president of mali was at this g-5 summit according to my sources. he is on his way back to mali, but the symbol is there. there was a summit done by those leaders in africa to we don't know at this moment who did that. we have several options but definitely it's terrorist act and definitely it's a message
against the french president and what the french are doing in this part of the world to fight islamists. laura haim from canal plus, thank you very much. what do you make of that reporting from laura haim? >> i think we have to look at the facts on the ground. what we've heard from some of the hostages freed is at least some of these individuals were speaking possibly english with a nigerian, oh, another language but certainly not english. as many people know, boko harram
swore allegiance to al qaeda. there is a group which is the heir to the group that took mali back a few yearsing a and this group seems to be splitting apart, the division being amongst people who ten to support al qaeda. one does one der whether or not this is a group that is seeking to amplify the message of the terrorist attacks but carrying out a that doesn't sound look french speaking individuals all
these reports are preliminary and we're going to have to wait to see what else comes out. >> i want to go back to how many groups of operating in that area of the world. it reallies did speak to the complexity of the job. anyone who is trying to fight terrorism have in just trying to figure out who is aligning with who, where the imagine thremajoe and tracking all these people. >> there's a guy, the one eye, he was behind the hostage taking incident years ago, he's drifted through al qaeda, to libya, and
one of the groups he's no longer affiliated with said he's still alive, he's fine. especially in this part of the world, they tend to move fluidly between these groups and isis have having an odd effect in terms of like we've seen in afghanistan pushing some al qaeda des dents out into their own organizations. to what degree they are coordinating, it's very difficult to say. there are thousands of miles that separaaccepting boko haram out in the bush for the most part. is there real actual coordination going on behind the scenes? >> i want to go -- i guess this brings us more back to what's happening here in paris.
in it can your partner, laith alkhouri, who has been looking into these messaging systems that allows terrorists to communicate, he says the app is the hot new thing among jihadists, the company said thanks to your reports today we're able to block another 164 public channels used to spread terrorist propaganda. >> i think they have grossly overstated the impact of what they've done. the isis channels are not impacted whatsoever. they're completely intact. they moved to another location that is more secure on telegram. that's because they wanted to
implement more security. we have to hold the people at telegram to account. they are vastly overstating the impact they're having in terms of it's not the only platform that isis is using. i mean, there are a number of different u.s. tech companies that have adopted very strange positions regarding the use of their resources by isis and other jihadi groups. and one would hope -- >> well, there's one part of that, obviously, that government officials have been talking to those companies about that. on the other hand, i think one of the fascinating things, and i know you have been following, is you have this hacker group, anonymous -- >> yeah. >> -- who have said that they're going to war on isis. what are the chances that they can be disruptive? >> well, look, anonymous can be very effective, if they want to be, but so far, the targets that they are choosing, it doesn't seem like it's causing critical damage to the isis online infrastructure, and it's also important to emphasize that in terms of their targeting, they've targeted a wide range of groups.
they have not just isis in the wake of paris, they're also targeting hamas and the taliban, which are isis enemies. so, you know, look, they may have some impact, but i think really, the major impact here is not vigilantes, it's coordinated action by international governments, and that's what's sorely lacking. >> evan kohlmann, always good to talk with you. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> we'll be back in a few minutes. how i stay active. so i need nutrition... that won't weigh me down. for the nutrition you want without the calories you don't... introducing boost 100 calories. each delicious snack size drink gives you... 25 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein. so it's big in nutrition and small in calories. i'm not about to swim in the slow lane. stay strong. stay active with boost®. hey! how are you?g? where are we watching the game? you'll see. i think my boys have a shot this year. yeah, especially with this new offense we're running...
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more now on that deadly situation in mali, where terrorists stormed a hotel frequently by westerners. three people are said to be dead, an unknown number still being held hostage. originally, 170 people were taken. joining me on the phone, mamadou diara, a reporter in mali, about an hour away from the hostage situation at a hotel. i know you're also a local reporter. tell us what you're seeing, what you're hearing. what's going on in that city right now?
>> reporter: thank you. at this time, there's so much conflicting information, but what we know from being on the ground is at this time, about 80 people have been freed and french and malian security forces stormed into the hotel trying to get people out of the hotel. >> how has the situation been on the ground prior to this? had you had an ongoing, sort of high state of alert, concerns, and in particular in that area, which i understand where the hotel is located isn't really directly in the central city? >> reporter: there was no warning sign, nothing at all. i mean, in the area where the hostage negotiation is taking
pla place, people were told to stay away. other than that -- [ inaudible ] >> mamadou ddiarra, a local reporter for us. we'll have more on that breaking news. the twins. aunt alice... you didn't tell me aunt alice was coming. of course. don't forget grandpa. can the test drive be over now? maybe just head back to the dealership? don't you want to meet my family? yep, totally. it's practically yours, but we still need your signature. the sign then drive event. zero due at signing, zero down, zero deposit, and zero first months payment on a new jetta and other select volkswagen models. your loving touch stimulates his senses and nurtures his mind.
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about 25 u.s. military personnel at that hotel today. it's not clear if they had any of their equipment, any of their weaponry, but supporters of an al qaeda affiliated group are now claiming responsibility for the attack on twitter. important to say that, so far, that is unconfirmed. all right, take a look. this is where the radisson blu motel is in central mali, popular with westerners and high-level government officials. we also have new images coming in to us showing some of the hostages being freed. there are reports that there was special operations forces moving in to end this situation, but exactly how many attackers there were, reports of two first, then ten, how many hostages remain inside, still unknown. nbc's foreign correspondent ayman mohyeldin has been following this story. and ayman, what's the very latest you're learning? >> reporter: well, one thing we can say with a certain degree of certainty is the security operation is under way.
and right now we know, according to malian state tv, that malian special forces are involved in going floor to floor to rescue and secure the release of some of the hostages. the day started out with information of 170 hostages taken, according to the radisson blu statement on their website, as well as the u.s. embassy, that confirmed that 140 hostages had been taken inside the hotel. the latest information that we have is that there are about 137 individuals that remain inside that hotel, hostages inside that hotel, including 13 employees and 124 guests, if you will. we have gotten the nationality of some of these individuals. these individuals, these nationals include chinese, indian, turks, and we can expect there to be, as well, westerners. no confirmation yet on whether or not there were any u.s. individuals, u.s. citizens at the actual hotel. you mentioned that there was a
military presence there. well, u.s. africa command has tweeted out, saying that a small group of special forces is involved in the rescue efforts at that hotel. we also know that the french president has ordered the deployment of 50 special forces from france to help with those operations in addition to the current efforts by the malian security forces. the united nations has also deployed some additional resources. it does maintain a force in mali, part of its u.n. mission there. so, a lot of different moving pieces to this puzzle. the operation is ongoing, and we know that at least, according to the "associated press," three people have been killed. chris? >> we also had a report in our last hour, and you may not know anything about this, but let me just ask you, we're told that they had diplomatic documents and plates to gain access to the hotel. is that something they would have had to do to get into this
area of the capital, do you know? >> reporter: well, we know that the hotel is in a relatively secure part of the capital, part of the western outskirts, if you will, of the capital, surrounded by a lot of government ministries. it is a hotel that is frequented by united nations and western diplomats. given the context of the security situation, i would be very reluctant to say that there was not tight security there. i can imagine that there might have been very tight security in and around that area because of all of the important strategic government buildings as well as diplomatic missions. the question that remains, though, is what type of access did the hotel specifically have in place, and that i personally don't know. we were hearing some antidotal reports from some eyewitnesses that these individuals had cars with diplomatic license plate. but keep in mind, the country itself has been riddled with security problems for the past several years. so, in a place as sensitive as the capital, in a place as
sensitive as this district within that capital, you can imagine that security must have been very tight, given the fact that it is a country that has seen its fair share of attacks and attempted attacks by militant groups over the course of the last several years. >> nbc's ayman mohyeldin in brussels. thank you for that. and joining me now, brett mcgurk, special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter isis. and we have a lot we want to talk about in terms of what's happening here on the ground in paris. but if i can, first, is there anything you can tell us about that deadly and fast-developing situation right now in mali? >> well, chris, it's a rapidly developing situation. obviously, we're very focused and we've been in communication with our embassy there throughout the day. i think dod has confirmed this morning we have about 25 u.s. military personnel on the ground that we understand are helping with some of the first responders, but malian forces will be going in to take care of the situation, and we're obviously coordinating very closely with them, but it's a
fast-moving situation. our main concern right now are getting the hostages to safety and helping the malians get it under control. >> and understanding that this is very early in the process, but do you think there is a possibility that this could somehow be related to what happened a week ago here in paris, if nothing else, to amplify the message being sent by the paris attacks? >> i think it's really too soon to speculate on that. i mean, obviously, these terrorist groups try to stoke attention. there's copycat attacks, but it's too early to speculate on anything like that, nor any kind of connection between this group in mali and isis. the groups in mali are not particularly connected to the isis groups. >> let me ask you now about the situation that is going on here on the ground in france, and obviously, a lot of new pieces to the puzzle coming out this morning. and there's been a lot of concern about the ability of all western governments to track
these kinds of terrorists. two of the things we learned was that, finally, we saw pictures of abaaoud, the so-called mastermind of these attacks, was caught on video just 20 minutes from where the bodiclan attack took place, and the hotel where he was killed was a short distance from the stadium. what do you say to people here and in the united states who are watching this and saying we just don't have a good handle on where these terrorists are, even when they're known to us? >> i just came back from paris, where you are. i spent two days there with secretary kerry, meeting president hollande, meeting senior french officials, and also going to the memorial sites and talking with french citizens. and if anything, we are galvanized and we're in solidarity with the french. we came to paris after being in antalya with the g-20 and the
global community, doing more to get a handle on this threat. let's make no mistake, we are determined to destroy this ba barbaric terrorist network. there's a lot going on in iraq and syria and its phony, self-declared caliphate, and we're going to continue to put the pressure on isis throughout that area. but most importantly, we have to collapse these global foreign fighter networks. you know, chris, we've never seen anything like this before. we have about 30,000 of these foreign fighters traveling into syria from 100 countries all around the world. we think we started to get some inroads on to those networks. over the last year, about 40 countries have passed new laws to crack down on foreign fighter flows, about 25 countries or so have cracked down and actually arrested foreign fighters. what we need to do now, and within the global coalition, we set up a structure to do this, is we need to share information across borders. this is something that's very difficult. it requires cooperation among law enforcement community, intelligence community. we just signed a very important
information-sharing agreement, intelligence cooperation agreement with france just a few days ago, but this really has to increase. in the eu in particular, tracking individuals on airplanes or passenger records is something that they are in debate within amongst themselves, in brussels and within the eu, about balancing the security threats against privacy concerns. and it's something that they really need to tackle. but within the global coalition, we've built this coalition of 65 countries all around the world, because these people are coming from countries all around the world, from europe to asia to africa, and we have to coordinate on a global basis to just not only crack down networks capital by capital, but to share information and collapse the networks across borders. that's something that we're going to be very focused on over the coming months. >> when you say, though, for example, as you just did, that we're making some inroads, do you understand the concern of people who hearing, for example, here in france the possibility of a biological chemical weapons attack? people in new york city who are seeing an increased presence in
times square, people in washington, d.c., who are worried about a video that suggests that that could be a target as well, the fbi looking to the italians to track five people after threats in st. peter's square, in milan at miscala, in milan at the dwoemo. what are people hearing that they need to work harder, they need to find more cooperation, which seems like a long-term goal, when the threat is very real and very much today? >> well, chris, look, this is a tremendous challenge. i think our fbi director, james comey, and the attorney general spoke to this yesterday about what we're doing here in the united states. we're actively smothering anything that might be a potential plot here in the united states. there's been no direct intelligence, actual intelligence of anything here in the united states, and we're working to share information with capitals, particularly across the eu and particularly with france. no question, i think investigations will go on about what exactly happened here in paris, but we have to get to the bottom of this global jihadist
network, which is pouring foreign fighters into syria. there's a role for every single country to play here, and there is no question that we need to intensify our efforts. it is a simultaneous pressure strategy. we want to suffocate the networks. we want to suffocate the networks, not only in iraq and syria, which we're doing, but suffocate these global networks. there's a role for turkey, because most of these foreign fighters are coming through turkey, and we're of course working closely with them, but there's a role for what we call the source countries, where individuals are getting on airplanes and coming to turkey. we're sharing information and making sure we are tracking where people are going. there are ways to do this. we have the tools to do this, but we have to have cooperation from the capitals to share the information and to balance, as they do in their capitals, in their own national debates, this balance between the privacy concerns and the very acute national security risks. >> brett mcgurk, you have taken on -- and this is an understatement -- what is an extraordinarily difficult and challenging job, and i know
you're going to be briefing later on today at the state department, and we'll hear more. thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us. >> thank you very much, chris. >> and now let's bring in nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel, who is outside the baticlan theater. we'll switch back to the mali hostage situation. there are reports, as you heard, richard, that an al qaeda-affiliated group is claiming responsibility. what else are you hearing? what else are you learning? >> reporter: that claim of responsibility, which is still at this stage, unconfirmed, says that a local group, an african-based al qaeda affiliated group called the mirabipun has claimed responsibility. it's a group that's attacked in mali before. it's attacked western targets before, which makes the claim credible. it also goes to the local grievances that are in mali right now. since 2012, there has been effectively a civil war in mali with islamists in the north,
some of them ethnic twaregs fighting against the government which is in bamako. and it wasn't until french forces, the french military, the government of francois hollande, intervened militarily that those islamist troops were rolled back. they were never fully defeated. they still have bases in the south, and islamist supporters have been doing hit-and-run attacks where they can in mali and elsewhere. that is the claim at this stage. we still are getting -- there is still an unclear picture about what exactly is happening on the scene. state television in mali is showing pictures of forces inside the lobby, so the hotel has been breached. state television says that 80, at least, foreign hostages from the hotel -- they could be guests, staff -- have been taken out to safety. the u.s. military says 25 personnel are insisting in the rescue effort, trying to bring civilians to safety once they are outside. the military suggesting that
they are not actively involved moving floor to floor of this hotel. witnesses say that much of the activity was focused on the seventh floor of this hotel, and unclear how many gunmen. initially, there were reports of ten. now, according to my colleague, ron mott in london, he's reporting that there may have been two, four, but a smaller group of gunmen, not ten, perhaps more like two or four. that's what we know at this stage. the claim of responsibility could be significant. there are other islamist groups in mali. isis has a tiny presence, but at this stage, based on that claim, it looks like it could be more of this al qaeda affiliate, but still unconfirmed. >> you mentioned in the last hour, you've stayed at this hotel, you're very familiar with it. we're getting sort of a big picture of what that hotel is, sort of how big the complex is. you said that a lot of it was focused on the seventh floor. how big is this exactly? sort of where does it sit in
terms of the city itself? and what do you make of these reports that in order to get there, there were some diplomatic documents and diplomatic license plates on the car that were used? >> reporter: so, the diplomatic plates. there have been multiple accounts of that, mostly coming from local staff at the hotel. we have not been able to confirm that ourselves, but they say that diplomatic plates were arrivi arriving, and that would not be surprising, because this hotel was about to host a peace conference. as we were just saying, there's been a civil war in mali since 2012 when the islamists took over the north, and this was an effort, u.n.-brokered peace conference about to start. so, there were a lot of people arriving in the city at the hotel, in the area associated with this conference. so, if you wanted to attack the conference, if you wanted to attack vip targets, diplomatic plates would be a good way to do that. the hotel itself is really the place in bamako. there are not many luxury
hotels, western standard hotels. this one is well known. it is the place where foreign visitors, diplomats, government employees, a lot of airline crews use it. air france says that its 12-member team of pilots, 2 pilots and 10 air crew, have been rescued safely. turkish airlines says that some of its aircraft personnel have also been recovered, not all of them, however. the hotel's layout is -- you went to the hotel, there is a security gate, or at least there was when i was there. there's a central elevator. i believe it's a glass elevator. a metal staircase, sort of a modern-looking staircase that curls around the elevator. the rooms, obviously, start above that. there is a pool and gym in the back. the hotel is just on the edge of the city. it is an area where there are several banks, several diplomatic compound, the offices
of several large airlines. it is not a crowded, crowded area. the market, however, with fruit and vegetable stands and people selling their goods on blankets, is just about a five or ten-minute walk. so, it is just out of the main bazaar section of the city, and it is in what would be considered a more secure and upscale neighborhood. >> richard engel, as always, your extensive experience in some of the most dangerous places in the world so invaluable to our understanding. thank you so much. i'm sure we'll talk again. and our coverage continues live from paris. we're closely following all those developments on the hostage situation at that high-end hotel in mali. breaking details as we get them. and we'll be right back. constipated?
we are many hours into this crisis in mali, an ongoing hostage situation where attackers went in, guns firing, by one estimate ten of them, but it's still unclear exactly how many people are being held inside. three people reported dead. let me bring in sean hennry who served as an executive assistant director of the fbi, now president and chief security officer of crowd strike services. thanks very much. as we've been talking, there's been a report that an al qaeda-affiliated group is claiming responsibility for the attack on twitter. we have no confirmation of that, but does that tell you anything? >> yeah, chris, you know, this is still a developing situation. obvious la obviously. we're about six hours into this, and there's going to be a lot of information. we know oftentimes, early information, it turns out to be inaccurate. but if you're thinking about the potential of al qaeda, and we talk about is there any relation to paris or not, one of the concerns that has been expressed in the intelligence community is
some type of competition between those two groups, because they're fighting for recruits, they're fighting for -- they're fighting for financing, et cetera. and being knocked off the page, if you will, by something like paris, could potentially inspire somebody to take some action. but again, it's going to take days and possibly weeks for investigators there on the ground and security services globally to assess and evaluate all of the intelligence, the evidence they can find, whether it be through interviews, searches they're able to conduct, documentation or signals intelligence that they are able to uncover in the course of this investigation, chris. >> let's talk a little bit more about what would be going on on the ground right now. if this is an al qaeda-affiliated group, is it a group of people that you can negotiate with? are these people who have gone in there thinking, doesn't matter whether or not i get out alive? >> you know, we've seen in the
past jihadists who have gone in with no intent of coming out. we see suicide bombers, suicide vests that are being worn. and when rescuers come in, they're detonating themselves. we just saw that in paris. again, unclear what the motivation is of these particular attackers and if they intend to negotiate or not, if there are particular demands. we've also seen historically demands to have co-conspirators who might be incarcerated somewhere to be released in exchange for the release of hostages. so, these are the types of things that the negotiators will be going through in the coming hours as they try to, again, get these hostages out to safety, which is the most important piece right now for them, chris. >> and we're also looking at sort of the motivation here. and again, early on, we don't know exactly who this is, but as we've been pointing out, this is a hotel that is frequented by
westerners, but it is also the site of a u.n. peacekeeping conference. what do you make of that timing, coincidental or potentially they timed it for that? >> that's very true. is it something, again, on the heels of paris and this is merely a coincidence, or is this something where the attackers knew well in advance that this was a location that would be used for this u.n. conference? there would be high visibility, there'd be a lot of representatives from many different nations there that they wanted to have some impact on to spread their word or their message. again, this is the type of information that negotiators on the ground as well as investigators in the coming days and weeks will be looking to sort through, because that will help to identify if there are other pending attacks and additional intelligence that they can collect to disrupt those types of events going forward, chris. >> shawn henry, really appreciate your time. thank you so much. now let's go to msnbc's kyle perry, who's been following this
hostage situation. i understand you've spoken to people in mali. what are they telling you? >> well, we know the situation is ongoing. we've heard reports of that, and we've heard recent reports of gunfire. as we monitor mali state television, it's really important that we explain to our viewers, this is a very different place than paris, this is a very different place than new york. we are not going to see the same kind of coordinated rescue operation. this is a poor country, certainly by global standards, maybe not by african standards, but this is a country that straddles an arab north and an african south. it has been affected by the events of libya. we've heard of these various groups in the north that are pledging allegiance to isis. so, we can let history guide us here a little bit. we have seen attacks like this in the past. in august we saw an attack in which gunmen went into a hotel -- this was in central mali -- you're seeing there on your screen in sevare. that attack on august 6
eighteenth draggth dragged out for hours, people hiding in the hotel, the terrorists going for ransom. and that's a pattern we've seen from groups based in the north, this pattern of hostage-taking, of asking for ransom. certainly, you'll hear the name of the group ansar dine. i think we'll be saying that a lot more in the next 24 hours. so, this fits in with what we've been seeing unfolding in mali in the past sort of three to six months, certainly a ramping up. this, as you just laid out, chris, really a target of opportunity, a target where lots of diplomats are, a gathering place for westerners. frankly, and as we heard our richard engel say, because it's the nicest hotel in the country. it's probably the nice yes host in the country by a long way. so, this is a target of opportunity and while it's in the early hours, we can certainly let history guide us a little bit. >> cal perry, thank you very much.
we will have much more from paris ahead, including more on this breaking news on another terror attack that's going on right now, that hostage situation at a luxury hotel in mali. ng you reach your financial goals, taking small, manageable steps can be an effective... and enjoyable approach... compared to the alternatives. push! i am pushing! sfx: pants ripping how you doing eddie? almost there. small steps. at axa, we'll help you take the next steps, with more confidence. for advice, retirement and insurance, talk to axa today. they come into this iworld ugly and messy. ideas are frightening because they threaten what is known. they are the natural born enemy of the way things are.
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national security adviser susan rice has briefed the president on the ongoing situation, the hostage situation in mali. i want to go back to nbc's jim miklaszewski at the pentagon. what more can you tell us about americans who may be involved there, mik? >> reporter: chris, we finally got this all sorted out. according to u.s. officials and nbc news, there were actually only two u.s. special operations forces, not the 25 or 26 that was originally reported, but only two u.s. special operations forces that were involved in helping evacuate the hotel. now, one of those special operations forces -- and we're guessing, we can't be sure that he is unarmed and not in uniform -- but that soldier was
assisting local security and local security police and military in evacuating the hotel, helping those guests who were not taken hostage leave the hotel, and that, we're told, includes six americans who were in the hotel but not taken hostage. now, according to the officials, that one soldier on the scene was assisting local authority. and then there is another special operations soldier at some kind of command center where the local police and military are still under way -- their operations are still under way to confront and rescue those hostages who were taken by the armed militants who stormed the hotel early this morning. so, at this point, even though there are 26 special operations forces in mali, semi-permanently -- they're there on training missions -- only two showed up in the vicinity and are assisting local
personnel. they are not involved directly in any kind of armed hostage rescue operation, and it's not clear, while there were six americans who did evacuate safely, it's not clear if any of the americans, if there are any americans being held hostage, chris. >> so, they weren't there necessarily related to the u.n. peacekeeping conference that's ongoing there, mik? >> reporter: no, there is a u.n. peacekeeping conference there. we know some americans were there in some capacity. i don't know if they were the target of these militants, but one would imagine that among the six americans who did safely evacuate the hotel, that they would have been probably part of that seminar, that peacekeeping seminar there in mali. >> jim miklaszewski at the pentagon with an important update there. thank you so much, mik. >> reporter: thank you. >> now let me bring in former new mexico governor bill
richardson also a former u.n. ambassador to the u.n. and energy secretary under bill clinton. always good to see you, ambassador. let me ask you a big-picture question about mali, because there was already a general sense of unease here, on the european continent, with so many threats in so many different countries, in the u.s., where there's been a talk of additional attacks, potentially, threats, of course, undetermined in places like new york and washington, d.c. now we see this unfolding in mali. what does it tell you about the global reach of terror and about the concerns that everyday americans have about where we are in terms of the threat of terror? >> well, first, terrorists are using hostage-taking, terrorists know this is a major weapon for them, hostage-taking anywhere around the world. i think americans should be
concerned. any time we travel, we should let the consulates know where we are, especially in europe right now. but i think what is evident here, chris, is that diplomacy no longer is used as much in this hostage-taking. you almost have to have military operations, even though our special forces may not have been as involved as much as initial reports. the fact that it was a raid, a military operation by local officials that was involved in this case, in the bergdahl case and many others. so, the role of diplomacy, you can't participate and negotiate with these terrorists. you almost have to use force. >> let me ask you about what's going on in paris now and the possibilities moving forward. we were talking to brett mcgurk earlier. obviously, there are these huge questions that are out there -- what do we do to fight terror and isis in particular? we have these meetings coming up
between president hollande and president obama. he's going to be in washington in the oval office. then he's going to be traveling to moscow to meet with vladimir putin. do you think there's a possibility, ambassador, that this attack in paris, this series of attacks a week ago, could have accomplished what maybe diplomacy hasn't been able to achieve, which is some sort of unified, international coalition to fight isis led by the u.s., france and moscow? >> yes, i think, unfortunately, the effect may be that the major players, like the united states and russia, when it comes to syria, might cooperate. this is why i think the president's policy so far makes sense, but he may have to move in a new direction, such as a no-fly zone, which i think would be, hopefully, supported by the russians, even though there's a possibility of an altercation. a no-fly zone that would go into
northern syria to protect syrian refugees, supply lines. turkey has to cooperate there. and also at the same time, i think it would put leverage on russia to participate more actively in this coalition. but now france is active in the bo bombing, the united states, hopefully, russia, a real coalition, more than the 65 countries that a majority are just providing supplies and logistical support, might be a step in the right direction. but i would caution against more u. u.s. troop involvement. i think the special forces that are there are sufficient. i think the 3,500 american troops on the iraq side, that's good. but i think beyond that, we should be very careful. but the answer, chris, is not closing mosques, barring refugees in the united states
and putting thousands of ground troops on the ground. i think we have to be strategic. a big coalition, a strong coalition, a no-fly zone, i think, in the future, in my judgment, makes sense. >> governor and ambassador bill richardson, always good to talk to you, sir. thank you. and we'll have much more from paris after the break. so what about that stock? actually, knowing the kind of risk that you're comfortable with, i'd steer clear.
without raising blood pressure. so look for powerful cold medicine with a heart. coricidin® hbp. theand the kids always eat sky their vegetables.e. because the salad there is always served with the original hidden valley ranch. i'm chris jansing back live in paris, and we've learned that the number of the dead in last friday's horrific string of attacks has risen to 130. french authorities say they've now conducted nearly 800 raids over the past week, detaining dozens of people and seizing nearly 200 weapons. for more on all of this, i'm joined by nbc's thomas roberts. and thomas, what more can you tell us? >> all right, so we've been watching a lot of things. it is one week later and there's been so much activity in the new security state of france, as
these raids are very active. so, the combination of raids -- 793 since last friday's attacks. overnight specifically, 182 additional raids were performed where 17 people were detained and 76 weapons were seized. now, after five nights, we have a total of 90 people detained, 174 weapons seized. chris, this is a combination of military-style weapons, handguns and rifles. and then also, additionally, 164 people have been put under house arrest, and this goes to france's new state of emergency powers that they have, pretty wide-sweeping, of what they are allowed to do in the wake of what happened here last friday. now, the french senate yesterday voted in the lower house of parliament to extend president hollande's request for the 90-day, 3-month state of emergency. the senate expected to pass that this afternoon, and that will keep these broad surveillance and security measures in place
for at least the next three months, where they then will re-evaluate, chris, if they need to keep them in place for a longer period of time or relinquish them. >> but it's extraordinary when you think about it. just on average, more than 100 a day of these raids that they've been conducting. we hear about very few of them. we heard about one yesterday, for example, in the north of france, only because there was an explosion where they had detonated some explosives to blow off a door in a home. >> we seem to get the updates daily from the interior ministry that gives us these brand-new numbers. and i think for a lot of people, one of the more shocking is the weapons that have been seized in a country not known for folks having access to weapons. >> yeah, some of the war weapons. i think in one case, they found a rocket launcher. >> so, this is of big concern as these numbers continue to amass only after five days of these sweeps that have been happening. and we know after being here and covering "charlie hebdo" in january what that meant for how they wanted to crack down their
intelligence, what this means now moving forward, how they want to work more fluidly with other global intelligence agencies to make sure that they have a proper estimation of what's going on in their own country. they hope to be able to use the next three months through this state of emergency to figure that out. >> thanks very much, thomas roberts. now, just a few hours ago, at an emergency meeting in brussels, european nations vowed to take new security measures, including the tightening of their porous borders. this comes a week after the paris terrorist attack that was believed to have been orchestrated by isis. "the atlantic" contributing editor graham wood has written extensively on isis, including a comprehensive article earlier this year, "what isis really wants." graham wood joins us from new york and here in paris by editor christopher dickey. we talked on sunday night, and a lot, obviously, has happened since then, most significantly,
obviously, the raid in saint-denis, but help put this all in perspective, what you've been watching unfold over the last week in terms of what you know and what your investigations have shown you about the terror group isis. >> well, it tells us that isis has really changed its strategy, or at least has changed its emphasis. you know, isis had been so strictly focused on keeping territory in its core territories. it was trying to expand through conquest. and it actually told its people, you should probably avoid having paris-style attacks. you know, they would bless them after the fact, but they didn't emphasize them because they thought it would just get them invaded and they'd lose their caliphate. evidently, there is at least a portion of the population that supports isis that has a very different view of things and thinks that it's actually a good strategy to attack russian
airliners, parisian concert-goers, and possibly more. what remains to be seen is what portion of the isis leadership and of the isis foot soldiers think that this new strategy is the one to pursue. >> well, let's talk about these new foot soldiers, because i think one of the things that surprised a lot of people was learning, graeme, that the person wearing the suicide belt was a woman. by reports, she was somebody who became radicalized only very recently. we've seen these pictures of her in a bubble bath. her friends say she always drank alcohol, she was quite extraverted. were you surprised by that, and were you surprised by the fact that now at least there are reports in the paris press that the third person killed may have been a woman as well? >> i'm not surprised at all. you know, the islamic state has for its entire existence, part of its recruitment has been focused on women, first of all. they've been saying women should go to syria and should take part in the building of a society, mostly by being mothers.
on the pictures, the apparently secular life she lived, that also is a very common thing for supporters of the islamic state and people who fight for it. a lot of them, they seem to have lived, shall we say, sinful lives in the eye of conservative muslims, and then have come around and repented. and you know, i've spoken to islamic state supporters about this, and i've asked them, do you think this discredits your people? and they say no. they say the companions of the prophet muhammad himself were sinful people and they turned around. so, i think a lot of people who join the group, including this woman who blew herself up, they may very well have a view of their joining as a way to compensate for their past devices. >> and christopher dickey is here now as well. you've lived here a very long time. let's talk a little bit about the disquiet that we have seen. and it's amazing to me that it
never stops, the number of people who come out to these makeshift memorials. but we learned just how easily, it seems, that the mastermind of all this, abaaoud, slipped through the grasp of french intelligence officials, caught eventually on film just in a metro station 20 minutes away from the major explosion that killed 89 people at bataclan, and then of course, in saint-den saint-denis, that apartment so close to the site of another suicide bombing attack at the stadium. what about that, chris? >> well, i mean, i think what it shows is that abaaoud, the man we're talking about, he knew the streets, he knew how to operate in the streets of belgium, of brussels, here, wherever he was moving in europe. he knew how to exploit the situation. >> he bragged about that. >> and he bragged about it. he bragged about it in "dabiq," the official magazine of the islamic state. so, he knew the streets, and clearly, the police didn't know
that he knew them so well. they think they have informers, they think they have people wiretapped all over the place, they're listening to people's phone calls, but there's only so much they can do at the end of the day. they can't follow everybody, and somebody who's as smooth an operator as abaaoud was, he can move around, clearly. that's what scares the hell out of people today. >> i want to bring you back to the situation in mali as well, but before i do that, i have one more question for graeme, if i could, graeme. one of the things that nbc news learned just over the last 24 hours is that intelligence officials estimate that this entire operation may have cost no more than $10,000, when you put together weapons, explosives, housing, transportation costs. you put all of that together, you're looking at only $10,000. the main component of this is the people who are willing to give their lives for this cause. but you know, we've heard so much about how isis is self-funding, and now we are targeting with these air strikes their sources of oil revenue.
but in the end, $10,000? what does that say about what a terrorist organization -- how a terrorist organization can operate without huge sources of funding? >> yeah, so, isis has oil revenue, it gets revenue from hostages, and it taxes its people. but you know, i just don't think that that is the way to combat it, that is drying up its finances is certainly one way to do it. the most important resource that it has is manpower and foreigners, foreign fighters. i mean, 2,000 people from france alo alone. if they simply mobilized those people, used the passports that they have, they certainly don't need refugees, for example, from syria to do their work. they have people who know the streets, who know the places where they're going to attack. and that's the resource that we should be looking at most carefully. >> we are out of time, unfortunately, graeme wood, chris dickey. thanks to both of you. and we'll be right back.
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u.s. officials now trying to account for americans in mali, obviously, particularly in the capital, where there is ongoing terrorist attack and a hostage situation that has killed at least three people. ayman mohyeldin is standing by with more on what's going on near that hotel in the capital of mali. ayman, what are you learning? >> reporter: yeah, chris, you know, it's always very hard to confirm this information, but there is information trickling out now from credible news agencies, like afp and others who have reporters there on the scene who are attributing their reporting to the country's security minister, who is saying that there are no more hostages as a result of the security operation. however, there are some initial reports that the death toll that we've been reporting, which stands at three, could substantially increase. this is just within the last few minutes that we're getting this information starting to appear on some of these news agencies.
it seems that the ongoing operation led by malian security forces backed by the u.n., including a very small presence of u.s. special forces that were there quint decoincidentally, a others, that this operation is still ongoing. but as of now, according to the country's security minister, there are no more hostages. now, the death toll, the initial assessment of the death toll according to eyewitnesses that were involved in this operation as of now stands at 15. so, that would be a drastic jump from the three that we've been reporting throughout the course of the day. now, all of this information still coming in, still not independently verified by nbc news. but as i said, other news organizations with reporters there in mali are reporting that according to the country's security minister, there are no more hostages and that the death toll is substantially higher than the three initially reported as a result of this ongoing operation. chris? >> ayman mohyeldin, thank you. two incredibly important pieces
of information. now let's get to malaysia, where president obama arrived just earlier today. nbc's ron allen is traveling with the president in kuala lumpur, and ron, what can you tell us from there? >> reporter: well, talking with u.s. officials here and elsewhere, they want to emphasize the context. they say that mali is a place where there have been terrorist attacks, maybe three or four, in the past couple of years, directed at western targets. so, they see what's happening there now as the continuation of a pattern, a pattern that they point out that much of the outside world doesn't pay attention to and hasn't focused on as we've been focused on isis attacks in other parts of the world. they also point out that not far from mali, in nigeria, boca harum, which was recently determined to be the most aggressive terrorist organization in the world based on a count, which is to some extent an isis affiliate or an isis associate, is also not far from there. so, the point is that in mali, there are hundreds, they say,
perhaps, americans who are there all the time, embassy personnel coming and going, academics, aide workers, others, not tourists, people who are there working, contractors and so forth. they also point out that there is a small contingent of u.s. troops who are there all the time in and out of the country on various missions working with a u.n. team that's there as well. there's a u.n. peacekeeping force that's in mali, and that has had engagements from time to time with terrorist organizations, with terrorist operatives, mostly individuals or groups associated with al qaeda, not isis, although the distinction's probably not that important at this point. and lastly, they said that there are indications that all americans have been accounted for, but they're still not sure if some americans are missing or among the fatalities -- hopefully not -- but that's the latest we have. still a very fluid situation that they're trying to get a handle on exactly what's happened and what's happening. chris? >> ron allen, thank you for that update. and again, the headline from ayman mohyeldin, that the
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sfx: pants ripping how you doing eddie? almost there. small steps. at axa, we'll help you take the next steps, with more confidence. for advice, retirement and insurance, talk to axa today. good morning, everyone. i'm tamron hall. we have continuing coverage this hour of the ongoing hostage standoff at a radisson hotel in mali. new reports out this moment, just moments ago, that there are no more hostages inside the hotel. we are working to confirm those details. now, the pentagon has also confirmed that u.s. special ops are supporting malian forces. earlier, they had gone in to rescue more than 100 people still inside that hotel. now, three people have been confirmed killed after a group of gunmen stormed the hotel in mali's capital of bamako earlier
this morning. an al qaeda-linked group is now taking responsibility for the attack. those claims are unconfirmed also at this hour. as you can imagine, a lot of moving parts. nbc's ayman mohyeldin has the very latest. he is standing by. so, ayman, right now we're working to confirm these details, but it is possible at this point that some of the hostages or more of the hostages have been released or managed to escape. >> reporter: yeah, it seems to be a little bit of both, tamron, and we should start right now with the caveat that, you know, nbc has not independently verified this information, but a lot of credible information is coming out of mali right now. we want to start with the country's security minister who has been quoted as saying that there are no more hostages, an indication that perhaps this hostage situation has come to an end. another disturbing piece of information, though, that we are learning, the death toll initially reported at three now seems to be substantially higher, believed to be as high 1