tv MSNBC Live With Tamron Hall MSNBC November 20, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST
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 as 18 people.
now, it's not yet clear whether that includes the hostage-takers or just the hostages. we do know that over the last couple hours, malian security forces backed by the united nations and backed by a few special forces that were in country as well as french special forces that were in the region have all been involved in trying to get these hostages out. they were moving systematically from floor to floor to try and rescue some of those folks. now, some may have escaped, some may have been released as a result of the efforts of the security forces. it began this morning at about 7:00 a.m. when a group of gunmen entered that hotel. that report initially said that there were two gunmen, but it seems to be a little bit higher than just two individuals. at the time, radisson put out a statement saying that 170 people were inside that hotel, that it included 30 employees and about 140 guests. this is a hotel near government buildings frequented by a lot of western diplomats and businessmen.
and as you can expect, there were a lot of international personnel in there. we've heard that the chinese government as well as the turkish government and indian government all confirmed that they had nationals inside that hotel. not everybody is yet accounted for. we've also gotten confirmation that as many as six americans were inside that building at the time of the hostage-taking. those six, we understand, have been rescued, or at least have made their way out of that building. the security operation continues to unfold. but as we were saying, the security minister of that country is now quoted as saying there are no more hostages, though the death toll has now climbed to at least 18 people, tamron. >> and ayman, let's paint the stage for our audience regarding the climate, the security climate and terror threat that exists in mali. it's been a very turbulent few years for that country. france in 2013 launched a series of air strikes. there's been a lot of instability there for some time. >> reporter: yeah, the context of this is extremely important.
mali, the central government in mali has been struggling with a very stubborn rebellion in the northern part of the country. that rebellion began in 2012 following a military coup that ousted the country's leadership. as soon as the military coup was carried out, we saw a group of rebels and various groups, some of them aligned and affiliated with al qaeda, others islamist militant groups in the region all launched a rebellion against the central government. they successfully managed to take control of large parts of northern mali, declaring sharia law there and establishing their own state, so to speak. well, the french government immediately launched a counter offensive, if you will, led by air strikes in early 2013, and that helped the central government regain control of the territory, but over the past two years, it has systematically struggled with this growing militant group. they have launched attacks inside the capital of bamako,
they have launched attacks in the northern part of the country. this by far, though, if it is linked to any of these groups -- and we do have a claim of responsibility and we'll get to that in just a second -- but if it is linked to any of these groups, it would be the most brazen and substantial attack carried out, because first, it was carried out on a western target in the capital of bamako, one that is highly symbolic, given the fact that it's frequented by a lot of businessmen, diplomats, government officials, and it is in the heart of the seat of power of the malian government. so, a highly symbolic, highly strategic, if you will, soft target. we are talking about the claim of responsibility. that claim of responsibility has been made by a group known as al mourabitoun, part of the composition of that country. many of them had in the past close links to al qaeda, close links to al qaeda-affiliated groups, but since then have been operating on their own. now, they've put out that claim of responsibility. again, nbc has not independently verified it, but it is believed
to be credible because of the fact that they've been operating in that country and have made very clear that they had intents to go after the central government in mali as well as french interests. and keep in mind, this country was a french colony, a lot of french interests in there. and on the heel of the paris attacks, that cannot be ruled out, that this was in some way, shape or form symbolically, not necessarily tactically, but symbolically connected to what was happening against france in paris. >> and ayman, we know that a u.n. conference was to take place, and that would add to the diversity of the people staying in that hotel, to your point. there are a number of people said to be french staying there at this time. we've heard from china, regarding people there. turkish airline, some of its staff at that hotel as well. so, you have a wide range of foreigners staying at that hotel. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. and we also got confirmation from both air france as well as turkish airlines that some of their staff was staying at that
hotel. so, it gives you a sense that, yes, there was this u.n. conference that was taking place there. this is a hotel that is, as i mentioned, because of its location near many government ministries, and it's considered by malian standards to be a luxury hotel, you would expect it to be frequented by diplomats, dignitaries, government officials, but also international businesspeople. we mentioned the chinese government, which invests a lot in mali, has been doing some infrastructure projects there. they, too, had a strong presence of personnel as well as government and business folks in the country. and they were probably staying at that hotel. many in addition to those participating at that u.n. conference. i think it's going to be interesting to see how, with all of this presence of international folks and this u.n. conference, how these perpetrators managed to get into that building. now, one report suggested that they may have used fake diplomatic license plates to get by security at the hotel in order to be able to enter the building. again, no confirmation on that, but that is at least one account of how these individuals managed to enter the hotel, tamron.
>> all right, ayman. we'll check back with you, but let me bring in chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski. jim, i've seen you on air this morning. the number has fluctuated and changed regarding special ops presence in that area near the hotel. what can you tell me now? >> and we're now being told here at the pentagon that among the number 18 -- and that number has still not been confirmed, in terms of the number killed there in that hostage operation there in mali -- apparently, two of the hostage-takers, two of the militants were killed, which, if that 18 number is correct and still has to be confirmed, that would mean that 16 of the hostages, or perhaps some of the security personnel, were also killed in that operation. now, six americans did safely evacuate the hotel. it's not clear whether they were there on private business or they were part of this u.n. peacekeeping conference that was under way, but six americans did
safely evacuate. not clear if there were any americans that were actually among the hostages. we'll still have to wait for that word. but initial reports that 26 special operations forces were involved in the hostage rescue effort turned out to be totally incorrect. the bottom line is that there were two special operations forces in the vicinity, apparently off duty, probably in civilian clothes and unarmed. one of those special operations forces helped those hotel guests evacuate the hotel. he was down on the main floor or just outside the lobby, ushering the people out. another special operations soldier is at the command center where mali forces, security forces, military police were putting together an assault to try to rescue the hostages and take down those gunmen. so, only two. they were not directly involved in the rescue operation itself.
officials here at the pentagon emphasize, this was a mali operation, a mali security operation, but it was very confusing all morning, and now we've eventually come down to those numbers. still, that number 18 that ayman referred to is still uncertain, but latest report out of here is that two of the hostage-takers were killed. not clear if any americans were those involved in the casualty numbers. >> all right, mik, thank you very much. let me bring in an analyst with flashpoint global partners. alex, thank you for joining us. this al qaeda affiliate that's taken responsibility here, we have not confirmed that information, but our richard engel, who knows the area, knows the hotel very well, says that it's an individual or organization looking to target westerners in bamako, this would be the place, this hotel. >> absolutely. i mean, we know that a lot of airliners have their personnel housed there. we know, obviously, french colony, a lot of civilians there. but it's interesting. the group that's actually
allegedly claimed question, al mourabitoun, they're a bit split. al mourabitoun had pledged allegiance to al qaeda, the leader, but he had renewed his pledge of allegiance in late spring, early summer, but part of it broke off in about may and pledged allegiance to isis. so, it's still unclear if it was al mourabitoun who it was exactly. >> take us into why the organization, the terror group would split. what is the appeal of being affiliated with isis versus al qaeda for these individuals? >> i mean, i think part of it is obviously ideology. al qaeda tries to distance itself as much as possible from isis. but then also, there is an appeal for these guys for isis because they have seized so much territory and there is kind of that momentum for them going. but we know some of the attackers were allegedly speaking english, which would be more indicative of isis branch, possibly even boko haram. it's more likely they would be speaking french if it were al qaeda, but the details are unclear. >> talk about the climate when you have for example this terrorist attack playing out a
week ago in paris, all the headlines directed at isis. how compelled are other off-shoots to try to upstage or try to bring the attention to their cause and to their group. >> it's a problem. we're definitely seeing some sort of one-upping one another. but at the same time, there's an effort to differentiate one another. so, while they are still trying to out-do one another, they do want to distance themselves, but we are also seeing that apparently, some muslims were allowed to leave, and i've seen some chatter indicating that al qaeda guys were saying, you know, this was more our style. we wouldn't kill muslims. that's still one-upping each other, trying to get the attention but distancing themselves from just killing all innocents. >> and regarding that this may be revenge for france, the air strikes, 2013. there have been a series of incidents leading up to this where this terror organization and others have focused on france for its efforts in mali specifically. >> yeah. i mean, we saw, there's been a lot of unrest in mali for quite in sm time. these al qaeda-linked groups had seized the north, pretty much, in about 2012, and it wasn't until late last year that
french-led operation was able to drive them out. so, it's been unrest in the area for quite some time. >> thank you for your insight. now to the latest on the paris terror attacks a week ago today. france's prime minister now announcing another person has died, bringing the number of people killed to 130. more than 350 were injured in the attack. authorities also say they've conducted almost at this point a staggering number of raids, 800 raids throughout that country just in five days with nearly 200 of them last night alone. in all, 90 people have been detained and 174 weapons seized. french officials are trying to identify a third body believed to be a woman found overnight in an apartment that was raided by police on wednesday. that raid led to the death of the ringleader and a female suicide bomber. authorities across europe are still, though, looking for others who may be involved,
specifically this man described as the eighth attacker, salah abdeslam. jonathan roberts has been following the developments all morning long. you have to wonder, thomas when you look at the number of raids just last night alone, that's a staggering number. certainly, this did not end with what went down in that apartment. >> reporter: tamron, we've been watching these continuing numbers to mount up daily. it is one week and it's staggering to think, it's one week since this happened here in paris. but let's just go over those exact numbers as we got the update from the interior ministry, as we do daily. and overnight, we found out that there were 90 people detained, 174 weapons seized, as you point out. tamron, that was a combination of handguns and rifles and military-style weapons, they say. 164 people are under house arrest. now, in total, we have 793 raids that have happened since last
friday's attack. tamron, we covered it yesterday, the fact that the lower house of the french parliament had approved president hollande's ask for the three-month state of emergency. this is to create the larger, broader powers of security sweeping and surveillance here for the country of france. the senate is taking up debate on that measure today, and it's widely expected that it would be approved, but that again goes back to how there will be a state of emergency in this country for three months, and we can continue to count the number of raids that will most likely take place because of this. tamron, the other thing that you point out is that third body. it has not been identified from the saint-denis raid early wednesday morning. one thing that they weren't specific about to begin with was whether or not it was a man or a woman. most sources are indicating, and french media has been saying, that it is a female. and tamron, there is a lot of speculation about what this
means as the suggestion and question of female jihadis is being raised as we move forward with these investigations and if isis is being more successful with recruiting females to the ranks. >> you know, it's so interesting, speaking of recruitment, on the other side focused on the french army. they are now saying, thomas, the spokesperson, that people are waiting in line to join, the number's tripled since the paris attack. the french army has 104,000 troops, 8,400 civilian employees. like we saw in the states after 9/11, many individuals saw this as their call to do something more, to join forces with the military in hopes of preventing something like this again. that's exactly what we saw after 9/11. >> reporter: there is definitely a sense of national pride here in this country, tamron. i spoke exclusively with the u.s. ambassador to france the other day, jane hartman. she said that she characterized this as france's 9/11.
and just to pass on a note that i got today from the embassy, they put out a security briefing, an update about the measures and a message that they wanted to pass along to u.s. citizens, tamron, with the holidays coming up. many people probably have expected or might have business plans coming to france right now. so, this e-mail went out, and it characterizes security measures as saying "the government of france indicates the strong possibility of follow-on attacks." tamron, the other thing that's very interesting to point out is that they are not allowing for public demonstrations to take place here in france, and that's going to go on until november 22nd. yesterday i visited the grand mosque here in paris. that is one of the largest and most popular mosques in this city, and they are going to hold a gathering this afternoon at 2:00. to do so, you have to file paperwork with the precinct of police to let them know that you're going to be having any type of gathering. that's common for most places
that are going to try to ask a large group of people to come, but they were denied that ask of having a gathering, so they had to cancel that today. >> right. >> reporter: they still held friday prayers there, but it was going to be open to muslims and friends that wanted to denounce terrorism. but again, there are no public demonstrations through november 22nd. however, it doesn't apply to people that want to come out to the different shrines that have emerged throughout paris, and people are encouraged to do that, to show their unity and their pride moving forward. >> all right, thomas roberts, thank you very much, thomas. and we continue to monitor the breaking news in mali. president obama has been briefed on the situation. we'll get a live report from the reporter traveling with the white house in malaysia. that's coming up next. from ba to stir up the holidays, before earning 1% cash back everywhere, every time and 2% back at the grocery store, even before they got 3% back on gas, all with no hoops to jump through,
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let's go now to nbc's ron allen. he is traveling with president obama, who's been briefed on the breaking news out of mali. ron joins us from kuala lumpur, malaysia. and ron, i should note right now, we are working to confirm reports that there are no more hostages in that hotel in mali. nevertheless, very tense situation, and it is still ongoing. what is the latest on what we're hearing from the president and his team? >> reporter: well, they've been trying to monitor this. of course, the president was notified the minute this happened. we are in kuala lumpur, malaysia, a majority muslim country, for a summit meeting of regional leaders, and security here is extraordinarily tight, as it has been on each of the stops along the way, in the philippines and in turkey over the past number of days. what officials here have been emphasizing to us is that mali is a place where there have been a number of terrorist attacks on western targets, three or four over the past couple of years. and the reason that there were american special forces there nearby when this happened, apparently, is because they're in and out of the country
assisting a u.n. peacekeeping force that's been there for some time, as well as french troops. the bottom line, mali is a very active and aggressive place for terrorism fighting the mali government. and as i said, the french are there as well, which of course, begs the question of whether this attack was in some way related to what happened in paris last week. officials are telling us that they have to figure that out, but the initial indications are that this attack in mali was carried out by al qaeda, the organization that's been active in that part of the world. so, whereas the attack in paris was carried out by isis. and there is an important distinction. so, initially, it might appear that the two are not connected, but then, of course, what happened in mali may have been a copycat, it may have been inspired, it may have been a coincidence. but at this point, the bottom line is, u.s. officials are still trying to piece together what happened. again, it's a part of the world where there's a lot of attention paid to terrorism. u.s. troops are in and out of there. there are hundreds of americans there on any given occasion, embassy staff, aide workers,
contractors. so, it's perhaps no surprise, sadly, no surprise that there would be some sort of an attack there. the good news, of course, is that it seems that the situation has wound down, the number of casualties still trying to be accounted for. it seems that all of the americans that were there have been accounted for. >> okay. >> reporter: but again, because of the continued terrorism activity in that part of the world and with the president out here on the road, a lot of attention, a lot of concern about what's happening there. tamron, back to you. >> and we're just getting information that the u.s. provided airlift support and aerial recon there, and at least six u.s. citizens rescued in mali. this is some of the new information that's coming in to us regarding u.s. personnel were assisting outside the hotel. our own jim miklaszewski, ron, provided details that these were special ops who were just assisting outside the hotel to clear out some of the individuals who were fleeing for their lives. thank you very much for the latest from malaysia. i do want to give you more information as we reported, u.s. officials continue to stress that it is too early to know if
there is any possible connection between the attacks in mali and the attack in paris. meanwhile, here in the u.s., in wake of the paris attacks, the issue of syrian refugees is boiling over on the campaign trail and on capitol hill, defying a veto threat from the president yesterday, the house passed a bill that drastically tightens screening protocol for syrian and iraqi refugees entering the united states. it would require the homeland security secretary and directors of the fbi and national intelligence personnel to sign off on each refugee. 47 democrats broke with the white house and voted in favor of the republican-backed measure, even after the obama administration and officials tried to have a last-ditch effort to rally democrats against the bill, a move that reportedly back-fired, though the future of the bill is still murky in the senate, where it won't be taken up until after thanksgiving. joining me now, democratic senator of maryland, ben cardin.
senator, thank you so much for your time. >> tamron, good to be with you. >> first let me get your reaction to the latest news out of mali. we are waiting to get more details here, but at this point, an al qaeda affiliate now claiming responsibility to that attack. this is one week after what we watched play out in paris. obviously, the instability and the focus of the world on these terror organizations. >> well, it's clear we need more global coordination and cooperation to go after these terrorists wherever we may find them. we don't know how much isis is involved in this, if at all. al qaeda's claimed credit. but it points out that we need to have a global, coordinated strategy against these extremist terrorists and to be able to not only degrade but to destroy wherever we find them. >> but you point out a global effort. it seems that for more than a year or two, we've heard officials from the obama
administration or others stress the threat of isis, stress how important it is to, as the president noted, contain and destroy this organization, but it seems now france and russia, after that airliner, are stepping up. is it that the threat of isis wasn't taken seriously? were they underestimated? >> i think you're exactly right. we now know that france, which was not involved in dealing with isis from a military point of view in syria is now engaged in air strikes. russia is now switching its attention from protecting the assad regime in syria to going after isil. these are all positive developments about more support for the u.s.-led efforts against isil. so, we are hopeful that we will get a more coordinated and a more aggressive campaign, not only to degrade, but to destroy isil's presence in the middle east and to protect our homeland. >> senator, now to the bill that passed in the house with support from a number of house
democrats. it is up in the air, as i mentioned, regarding the senate. the president says he will veto it, but what do you see happening with this controversial bill in the senate? >> well, all of us, democrats, republicans, working with the administration, we must do everything necessary to protect our homeland. we must take all precautionary steps. in regards to the refugee resettlement program, it's a very important program. it's part of our effort to deal with those who have been victimized by conflict and by the terrorists. they must go through the most stringent screening security tests that we have. there is a strong process we already have in place. we need to evaluate that process. but during this debate, another area's come out, and i think the senate will concentrate on that, and that is, we found many of the foreign fighters, those who have been trained in syria and iraq have european passports that could come to the united states under the visa waiver program. we don't have anywhere near the
type of screening procedures for people coming in under the visa waiver program. so, my colleagues in the senate, democrats and republicans, we want to make sure we do everything necessary to protect the homeland from those who come in to america to make sure they have no terrorist connections, and we intend to strengthen every way that people can come to america. >> but when you say you should do everything to strengthen the security here, this bill says it would require each of these individuals to go through homeland security secretary, directors of the fbi, national intelligence personnel sign off on each refugee. some would say that's a step to make sure no one gets into this country that would do us harm. so, would you support that bill, if your words are that you would do anything to make sure? >> well, we want to look at the current screening procedures. the current screening procedures involve homeland security. the current screening procedures require fingerprinting and
interviewing the person must establish who they are, must establish that they have been victimized by the conflict and are in fear of their life. >> so, you believe enough is in place now? >> no, no, i believe we'll continue to evaluate it, but it's work on the current system, which seems to be working. we have currently today about 2,000 syrian refugees who have been relocated in the united states. we haven't had a single problem with any of these 2,000 in regards to being involved in terrorism. let's see if the system's working, let's build on the current system. we might have to strengthen it. we'll take a look at it. but let's make sure that we understand that the refugees that are resettled in america go through the most stringent security screenings. let's not focus on one area where we may have more vulnerability on other areas. let's focus on them all. >> senator ben cardin, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. >> we greatly appreciate it. we continue to follow that breaking news out of mali, and we're getting new details in on the victims, also the number of americans rescued from that hotel. i'll bring you those details. and later, more on the investigation in the paris
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decrease alcohol use while taking chantix. use caution when driving or operating machinery. most common side effect is nausea. man, i love being a non-smoker. ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. we continue to follow the breaking news out of mall decree. there are reports that no hostages remain at the hotel that was seized early this morning. the people responsible for this attack, it is not clear at this point, but an al qaeda affiliate has claimed responsibility. we're also learning six americans have been freed. msnbc's cal perry joins me now. he's been monitoring the details on the victims and the latest on the situation. cal, what do you have for us? >> yeah, let me be clear, nbc news cannot independently verify a lot of this. it's still very early. but what we are hearing, on mali state television, they are saying that 18 bodies were discovered. u.n. officials have said to "the new york times" that that number could be higher. but again, we need to stress,
very early hours. this is also africa, where information is not necessarily as free-flowing or as direct as we would see in a place like paris. tamron, let me give you a bit of background on mali. we had an attack in august in mali on august 2nd in the central part of the country. that was seen as a bold move. that's on the map. that was seen as a bold move by, again, these groups operating in the north. this is a country that straddle as an arab north with an african south, as we see so many of these countries now struggling through these very issues. at the time in august, it was seen as a bold attack because it was in the center of the country. this is far bolder. this is the capital. this is the seat of power. this shows a much, much deeper penetration and provides a much bigger challenge for the security forces. again, we know mali special forces backed, now we're hearing bp some american special forces and french special forces were able to make their way into that hotel. they are still combing it. one of their concerns, of course, is going to be if anything was left behind. >> absolutely, and we're seeing
some of the images come in, and we saw earlier, cal, people who were able to escape with the ongoing situation. this is some of the video coming in to it. but how this all unfolded, there are some reports, as you know, that these individuals had diplomatic tags. there was a u.n. conference taking place at this hotel, as our richard engel noted, very popular with westerners who are visiting mali. it is considered a first-class hotel, where you would have a more affluent or more business traveler staying there. >> yeah. and in speaking to people on the ground this morning, the situation was utter, utter chaos. people did not know what was going on. obviously, the gunfire sent people running for cover. when it comes to this hotel, this is the best option in mali. this is the nicest hotel in mali. and in fact, for u.s. government personnel, this is one of just a couple of hotels in the country where they're authorized to stay for security reasons. it has a lot of diplomats that stay there. we know that u.s. special forces, and we heard ron allen
saying, u.s. special forces are in and out of mali a lot. this would be the destination to stay because it does have a mild to moderate amount of security. >> you were monitoring state tv. what is the stability or instability of the government there at this point? >> well, so, you had a coup in 2012 in the country, you had french then commit troops into the country in 2013 to try to break up those groups in the north, but they're not broken up yet. this is evidence of that. so, it's an unstable situation. certainly, i think there's going to be a lot more attention now from the french in trying to get into that northern part of the country and root out these groups, many of which have splintered. some have pledged allegiance to isis, others to al qaeda. so, it's a mess, certainly, for the french. >> cal, thank you for those new developments there. and we are continuing to monitor the breaking news, as mentioned, where u.s. officials are telling americans in mali to shelter down, shelter in place, even though we have reports now that all of the hostages are out of the hotel. we'll bring you the very latest
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we are back with the latest breaking news out of mali. the u.s. embassy telling americans in the malian capital to continue to shelter in place due to what it calls the ongoing security situation at the radisson blu hotel, this despite reports that the hostage crisis at that hotel is over. we're also following reports on the ground that a number of people, the number of dead is now at 18, including 2 gunmen. we do know that six americans who were at the hotel were rescued. an african group affiliated with al qaeda has claimed responsibility. and joining me live by phone is "time" magazine's africa bureau chief aryn baker. she's in cape town and has been following the situation in mali. aryn, what do you know regarding whether this threat is over and it's been contained? >> well, at this point, u.n. officials are telling
journalists that their peacekeepers are counting up to 27 bodies on the ground in the hotel. it's not clear yet how many are gunmen and how many gunmen there were to begin with, but that's where we're at the the moment. >> the security at the hoetel, we've pointed out throughout this hour, this is considered a hotel where you would see a number of westerners, a number of business people, a high-security environment, but nevertheless, these individuals may have been able to get there or get in using diplomatic tags. are you able to paint a picture of what happened this morning and how they were able to breach that security? >> that would be pretty easy if you had diplomatic plates, and that's what people on the ground are reporting. it would be very easy to get past that initial security. the second level of security would require a stop, but it seems that at that point, the attackers opened fire, and that's where the first two security guards were killed. >> what can you tell me
regarding the climate? had there been recent threats? what was the level of concern regarding the possibility of something like this happening? >> there have been some attacks in bamako. the first attack was in march of last year on a nightclub. i think six people were killed by a grenade attack. so, there has been some sort of sense of heightened awareness of the possibility of an attack, but largely, the terrorist attacks and the militancy has been left to the north of the country, not in bamako. up until last year, bamako had been a completely safe place to visit. >> and the timing, one week after the paris attacks, the ongoing raids in paris which led to the ringleader being identified and killed there, is there any indication at this point that these two incidents in two different countries have any link? >> i would say at this point
based on what we know, the answer to that is no. isis does not have much of a presence at all in mali. it might have some declarations of support from some of the insurgent groups, but they have no operational capacity. and also, the planning for such an attack like this one, it requires sophistication, it requires capacity that would have required, you know, weeks, if not months to plan. so, i don't think this could have been triggered by paris, based on what we know now. >> thank you very much, aryn, for your report. we greatly appreciate it. aryn baker, the africa bureau chief for "time" magazine. as we continue to follow breaking news from mali, there are new developments surrounding the paris terrorist attack. france's prime minister now announcing another person has died, bringing the number of the dead to 130 people. and 350 people still among those considered injured. authorities also have said that they've conducted almost 800 raids throughout the country in just five days.
200 raids happening last night alone. and french officials are trying to identify now a third body found in that apartment that was raided where the ringleader of these attacks was killed, and a female suicide bomber took her own life. so, there is a second woman found at that scene in the rubble. and right now we're learning more about that suicide bomber. her name is hasna aitboulahcen. she's believed to be the first female suicide bomber in western europe. friends say that hasna was outgoing, a party girl. they describe her lifestyle as being one surrounded very much by those things, and she'd recently appeared, according to family members, to become radicalized. nbc's keir simmons has more on her background. >> reporter: good day to you. how does a young woman who grew up in a western capital like paris become a suicide bomber? neighbors are saying she had a troubled childhood, but they're even finding it difficult to understand how she turned to
islam. she was a party girl with a like of cowboy hats, friends say. photos like this one obtained by the dailymail.com, show female suicide bomber hasna aitboulahcen in the nude. one friend said the 26-year-old drank, smoked marijuana, even seen snorting cocaine, all in violation of muslim law that isis claims to uphold. she suddenly appeared about a month ago in full vain, they added, joking she wasn't committed to religion but doing this for a laugh, becoming a jihadist. police in belgium say she posted this photo to social media back in june. hasna aitboulahcen was born six miles from the apartment where she blew herself up sunday morning. a neighbor captured her chilling exchange with french officers in the final seconds of her life. [ shots ] >> where is is your boyfriend? >> he's not my boyfriend!
>> reporter: the man they were searching for was her cousin, so-called ringleader of the paris attacks, abdelhamid abaaoud, who reportedly recruited her to isis, as he did his 13-year-old brother. authorities are not certain of the full scope of their relationship. thursday, her mother's home in a paris suburb was searched, and left with three bags of evidence. that a woman would kill herself in the name of jihad shocked many in france, but the phenomenon is nothing new. the same day as the raid in saint-denis, a series of blasts plotted by isis affiliate boko haram killed 49 people across two cities in nigeria. one of the suicide bombers there was an 11-year-old girl. and it was so-called black widows who killed 40 commuters on the moscow metro in 2010 and a female suicide bomber in 1991
even assassinated the prime minister of india. and the picture emerging is of jihadists who operate more like gang members with women drawn in to isis by male family members or even by boyfriends. one expert telling me those boyfriends operate more like pimps, seducing young women to isis with false promises. back to you. >> thank you, keir. up next, i'll talk live with the reporter from french broadcaster for the very latest on the situation in mali, where hostages stormed a hotel popular with westerners. this is brad.
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belgian who apparently died in this attack. what can you tell us? >> reporter: that's right. we have gotten confirmation from the belgian parliament here. we have reached out to the belgian foreign ministry, who says they are aware of the reports and are checking on the fate of this civil servant as he is being described. however, we got confirmation from the local belgian parliament here. today people were addressing it in their speeches in parliament. he has been identified as a 39-year-old civil servant who worked for the french parliament here in belgium, was in mali for a three-day conference on helping civil society build democratic or representative governments in mali. he was actually scheduled to return back to belgium tomorrow, saturday, that is, here to brussels. the news now coming out of brussels is that at least one of their -- one of the hostages who has been confirmed dead in that raid on the mali hotel now has been identified as a belgian
civil servant who is working for the local french parliament here. >> we are getting new information in, we are being told from the u.n. to be cautious in reporting any numbers of fatalities at this point. they are saying the hotel has not been cleared yet and they just don't know the number of fatalities. there are some attackers who have been killed as well. there has not been an official confirmation yet. that is some guidance that is coming in right now regarding this still being an ongoing situation. ayman, thank you. joining me is laura haim, washington bureau chief for french broadcaster canal plus. thank you so much for joining us. obviously, you have everything that is still unfolding in paris. 200 raids just last night alone, 800 since the attacks. a staggering number. how would you describe at least the efforts by the french police and this number of raids taking place ongoing?
>> i think the police is trying to avoid another attack on the french soil. yesterday evening what was striking was to watch the french prime minister manuel valls who went on the evening news. the french prime minister said we are still at risk. there's a threat, a constant threat. the french prime minister said i have to do my duty and i have to tell the french people that the threat is still there and he was talking about chemical attacks against france. we know that some hospitals in france have been put on alert and they are trying to find the man who last friday was part of unit two, the cell which
attacked a restaurant. >> we also know there's no confirmation of the link between the attacks in france with what we are watching play out in mali but that is certainly concern given the presence of the french military in mali and the interests france has had in that country. >> yeah. for what's happening at this moment in africa, there is absolutely no doubt that france is the target at this moment of the attacks in mali. we have a lot of information about that. that's something quite interesting which was given to me by a very reliable source. this source tells me that last october, there was a message sent to france about a coming attack in bamako, the capital of mali, and in this message a group said we are going to punish france for what happened in mali in the past years and we are going to take hostages and
we are going to attack a place to punish hollande so this group, ansar dine, the leader of this group is 60 years old, he's from al qaeda and people are taking really seriously, they are taking really seriously the threats. then, and i'm giving you this information which also has been confirmed by some investigators, a few minutes ago there was a message done by another al qaeda group to a radio saying we did take charge of what happened in bamako. it's definitely a terrorist attack involving probably al qaeda. >> thank you so much for your incredible reporting. we will continue to follow the latest developments from msnbc's
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ask your doctor about it by name. breaking news. gunmen storm a hotel in the capital of mali, killing at least three people and taking dozens hostage. at this hour, reports are that there are no more hostages inside the hotel and the pentagon tells nbc news that six americans are among those who got out safely. and terror in paris. we now know a third body was found inside the rubble of the saint-denis apartment where the ring leaders of last week's attacks were killed on wednesday morning. this comes as we learn that the suspected ring leader was seen on surveillance video just before the siege began. good day. i'm chris jansing in paris. we are continuing to cover the breaking news out of mali in west africa, where islamic extremists armed with guns and grenades stormed a luxury hotel in the capital city of bamako
earlier today after a standoff that lasted hours, security services in mali indicate that attack is over, but many details remain unclear, including who is responsible and how many people were killed. for the very latest, i'm joined by nbc's ron mott, who is in london, msnbc's ayman mohyeldin in brussels, nbc's jim miklaszewski is at the pentagon and laura haim, washington bureau chief for france's canal plus, is in washington. ron, let me start with you. i know this remains a very fluid situation but what do we know? >> as you know, good day, first of all. as you know, the numbers of dead and wounded are likely to fluctuate greatly in the aftermath of a crisis like this and so we can tell you we just reported off the top of the hour here that it was at least three confirmed dead. now one of the french press agencies is reporting that the death toll is now at least 18 and what we can tell you is the hostage crisis itself is over. there are no more hostages being held at this