tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC March 18, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
book now at choicehotels.com ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ geico motorcycle, great rates for great rides. good day from new york, brian williams with you once again. at the height of the afternoon hours, 2:00 p.m. here in new york city, evening is fallen in molenbeek belgium and there is a huge police operation under way
that will conjure up memories four months ago, that awful, awful evening in paris that came in as a report of a shooting at a sidewalk cafe. then as friday night led into saturday morning we learned the extent. 130 innocent people died in what is sadly called a spectacular terrorist attack, in the parlance of law enforcement. it sparked, of course, a huge man hunt and woman hunt, as it turned out and the main lead suspect following that attack has apparently just in the last few hours been apprehended in the molenbeek section outside brussels, belgium. salah abdeslam is in custody. we learned that from a government minister in belgium but in and around brussels and its suburbs this is what you see. you see people unable to go back
to their homes, people getting out of work and kind of frozen in place. you see police officers, paramilitary, swat teams, dogs and it's easy to go back to that very, very dark place four months ago when there had been a terrorist attack. we don't know how to explain on the screen we just watched on live television, a dog barking at a young man who ran away but this is tense. this is police coming up to people who again may just be driving through the neighborhood and trying to get to their aapartments, remember the definition of terrorism and these terrorists sadly succeeded greatly. the people of paris, it didn't take them long to rise back up and make going outdoors a statement and life in parns has
remained robust since then. among those watching and listening is our chief foreign correspondent richard engel who has, of course, devoted over a decade of his life to covering insurgencies like isis. richard, sum up how this came to be. people were surprised at isis' reach initially. we saw them as the insurgents who were stealing the vehicles american military left behind initially in the middle east, steeling the weapons from the allied war effort and then their reach and influence started to spread outward. >> let me start with the smaller picture and then widen out. we have just learned a short while ago from a deputy mayor in brussels that salah abdeslam, the reputed attacker in paris who decided not to blow himself up, ditched his suicide vest and
left france, crossing the border into belgium, has not only been detained but that he was not? the leg. we learned from another security source in belgium that abdeslam was one of the suspects of the paris attack arrested today. no final number of how many people were arrested or are still being arrested right now in connection to this raid. to sum it up, a belgian minister, the minister of migration what seemed to be the national mood today in belgium. his tweet said "we got him." so for french officials, for the belgian government, this is a very important day. puts some degree of closure on the attacks. but as you said, brian, the fact that isis was able to bring its brutality and export its fanaticism and take it out of
the battlefields in iraq and syria and bring that know how to a group of french and belgian nationals living in their home country, traveling back and forth, showed that isis would not be contained. that problem remains. right now the man who was perhaps it had most wanted fugitive in all of europe has been detained, shot in the leg, and captured in a swat team raid in a neighborhood on the edge of brussels. >> richard, we're watching these nighttime pictures, what would normally be a beautiful cobblestoned european street. what a terrible feeling that the folks who live there have to almost walk as if they look innocent and yet on some of these streets not everyone is and on some other streets there's a real culture of
secre secrecy, that know that their neighborhood is a wanted man. this is a dicey time with a lot of law enforcement flooding city streets. >> so a quick reaction that just came across twitter, brett mcguirk, who is a senior envoy for the president for all things isis and the counter isil campaign has just tweeted out "congratulations to belgian authorities on the capture of isil terrorist salah abdeslam. we will never forget his and all isil victims, #paris." the u.s. formally congratulating belgian for this operation, for arresting and apparently injuring, according to the deputy mayor in brussels salah abdeslam. >> richard engel, thank you.
we want to speak to new hampshire democratic senator jeanne shaheen, a member of arms services and foreign relations in the senate. senator, i understand you were already in brussels at a conference? >> i am. i'm at the brussels forum, which is a conference that's held to talk about challenges facing the e.u. and there are a lot of european officials here, there are a lot of american officials here. and one of the things we talked about this morning and the panel i was on is the challenges europe and the u.s. is facing from isil. so it's very good news that the belgians have caught the most-wanted terrorist in europe, salah abdeslam. >> when and how did the words spread through where you're staying and where you're working that this had happened. >> i heard from an official of the american embassy who reported this very good news.
>> and do you see any change in the -- we keep wondering if this is going to change security footing, if this will -- you know, the concern is that it angers and whips up terrorist cells who aren't captured. >> i think it's interesting he was captured in molenbeek, the suburbs of brussels where they have raided before and captured other suspects in terrorist attacks but one of the interesting things, i met with our ambassador to the e.u. earlier today who talked about the very positive working relationship among the law enforcement authorities within the e.u. and with the united states. so while there will be, i'm sure, some opposition from those terrorist cells who may still be in belgium or other parts of
europe, the fact is we can feel very positive about the ability of law enforcement to go after them. and that's what we saw today in belgium and this is a very good day for belgium, france and all of europe. >> senator, in closing, i can't blame people for turning on their televisions and wondering what this is they're seeing, seeing imagery that's reminiscent of back in november when we last saw these streets, these scenes, there are so many people for whom this is their daily calling, their daily job, so many americans have moved on now to the presidential race, to march madness and the sports world and yet there are people there are people who do nothing else but think and strategize about bringing these people in and running them down. >> well, that's absolutely right
and they deserve all of our thanks and the officials both from belgium and europe who were involved in this raid and who got abdeslam deserve our thanks and credit and we -- they're what helps keep us safe. >> senator jeanne shaheen, democrat from new hampshire, member of the senate arms services and foreign relations who happens to be in, of all places, brussels, belgium, and was there when the news broke that at least one main suspect from the paris terrorist attacks of four months ago had been apprehended. now we learned he was apparently shot in the leg, though not life threatening. senator thank you very much, ammon continues to watch with us. is there anything you've been able to glean from looking at what is local coverage that we're picking up and also re reading incoming news wires and social media? >> it's safe to say this is
still very much an on going operation, not necessarily from the perspective of a military or paramilitary or counterterrorism operation but the fact that police have sealed off the area as we can see on those images there, the fact that they're trying to keep people away from possibly a specific location where this operation took place and other neighborhoods or parts of that neighborhood where they believe could be other individuals they're looking for. when we were in molenbeek back shortly after those paris attacks we saw similar scenes, we saw them shut down not just molenbeek but if you recall there was some concern in and around the main city center of brussels that with this individual, salah abdeslam, still at large, that there could be other attacks and at one
point shutting down the entire subway system. and that elevated the level of anxiety to what we're seeing now. this is still very concentrated in the district of molenbeek in brussels but we don't know what officials currently know about abdeslam in terms of other associates he may have been with, they may be at large. we know there was one individual that french and belgian officials have been looking for since the paris attacks, a man they've identified by name. they believe he helped abdeslam get away in november and helped him stay on the run for the past four months. they're still looking for him. there's no information from what i've been checking with individual overseas whether or not they believe he was the second individual in that apartment. so i would describe it as a very active operation and certainly a very tense moment for not just the district of molenbeek but
across brussels this evening, brian. aymon, describe molenbeek as a section of belgium. >> it's one of the districts of brussels, the capital, it's a population, a district that is populated mostly with descendents of immigrants. between 30% to 40% as i recall from my time there are believed to be muslims and the descendents of north africans. they've had challenges with integration and unemployment and a tough neighborhood. we spent a lot of time there over the course of that investigation, had a chance to speak to a lot of young moroccan belgians, they told us about their grievances that they have, their inability to find jobs, the difficulty they had with local officials and law enforcement so it's definitely a
neighborhood that has posed some challenges for belgian officials in the past, brian. >> amman, having been part of our team that covered the initial story. let's go to chief foreign correspondent richard engel who has more information. richard? >> a producer in molenbeek working for nbc news just confirmed there were at least two explosions heard in the area. this comes as it appears the operation is by no means over. there are reports that the swat team that is there are looking for -- is looking for potentially two other suspects who may be holed up in the neighborhood on the run, but this local producer confirmss that this operation is not over
and there may be other people that the swat team is still looking for. >> richard, just to speculate, explosions could be, i suppose, someone mistaking large caliber gunfire, they could be flash bang grenades employed during a raid where they enter suddenly a house and are looking for people. could be booby trapped explosives left behind. could be a lot of things. >> could be a lot of things. there have been reports throughout the day of people hearing grenades and when police and swat teams do operations like this they will throw stun again nads, sometimes called flash grenades, they make a loud noise, they sound like a grenade and the effect is to startle people inside a room or a building that is being assaulted but we were not given specific information about what type of explosion the -- that was heard just that the operation is still
ongoing and that two explosions were heard. a big concern is that somebody may be holed up with a booby trapped vest, a suicide device but we don't know. only what people are hearing in the streets. >> richard engel, thanks. we'll fit in another break here where our eyes will remain trained on these live pictures coming into us. the scene as the dinner hour arrives in belgium and they have apprehended at least one main fugitive from the paris terrorist attacks. that engage people. and to connect us with the wonderment of nature. the detail on this surface book is amazing. with the tiger image, the saliva coming off and you got this turning. that's why i need this kind of resolution and computing power. being able to use a pen like this. on the screen directly with the image. it just gives me a different relationship to it. and i can't do that on my mac.
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section of brussels, belgium, where today authorities in a raid have wounded and captured apparently the remaining main fugitive from the paris terrorist attacks salah abdeslam and that is about all we know. he was apparently taken in with as many as two other individuals and there may be other location there is in the process of watching or moving on. we want to bring in a special guest, ambassador marc ginsberg, ambassador to morocco and a former white house middle east policy advisor, also former advisor to the pentagon special operations command. ambassador, let's talk about isis itself. is it more robust or is it hobbled compared to its condition back at the time of the paris attacks? >> thank you, brian, it's really
a geographical question that needs to be answered. in iraq and syria, there's no doubt isis has been geographically financially as well as from a manpower perspective hobbled as a result of the coalition attacks on it. but in libya and in north africa isis has been able to regroup in particular and as you may recall, brian, the obama administration has been conducting a series of air raids on towns along the libyan coast where isis is trying to establish a new caliphate to offset the losses it's experiencing in iraq and syria. >> ambassador, when you hear about someone who was involved in those horrendous terrorist attacks in paris four months ago, who we all kind of new or surmised fled to the molenbeek area of brussels, belgium, that tells you that there is some sort of safe harbor being give
on the a fugitive or fugitives and that goes back to my main worry about a movement like isis. it's hard to bomb an idea out of existence. it's hard to you havsnuff an id. i know you've had a life of expertise. what do you make of the isis problem and how would you go about combatting it? >> indeed, the rat's nest that is the suburbs of brussels is of deep concern to those of us who understand that isis' recruits largely from french-speaking tunisia, french speaking algeria, french-speaking morocco at least are able to find the safe haven to establish the base of operations that they need in a country and particularly a capital where the multitiered levels of governance make it almost impossible, particularly before the bataclan parisian attacks to have coordination of
intelligence authorities and here we are again almost four months since the attack where most likely in a series of raids it was almost by happenstance that the french and british authorities were able to fall upon the fingerprints of abdeslam who during the last four months have been able to evade arrest. my biggest concern is that isis is still able to provide the training, the support, the financial support as well as perhaps the continued migratory support for migrants who are making their way into belgium from syria and turkey because there's no doubt he continued to have colleagues supporting him during these last four monos, several killed in tuesday by the belgian authorities and in brussels just a few days ago. >> speaking of safe haven, what does it tell you that he was picked up in his hometown? >> well, that's what's really
deeply disconcerting. look, brian, it's taken over four months for the authorities to track him down. there had been speculation he fled to syria after the attack. this is a man who evaded arrest when he went even into budapest to be able to transport two of the attackers on paris back into belgium and smuggle them into paris along with him. so it raises serious questions. first and foremost, what is the support network that he has among the emigre belgian moroccan isis supporting community that still exists in belgium? because, look, brian, the raids that are still going on suggest that the belgians have not rooted out the isis cells that exist in amsterdam or paris. the inif infestation still exis europe. >> and you know the tension will increase in europe, we've already seen it happen, because
of the influx of immigrants since the paris attacks. >> well, indeed. in fact, we already have seen reports on social media. i've been deeply involved in a social media effort to try to stem to recruitment of isis operatives from tunisia, morocco, and to europe and into syria and the middle east in the last six months. i think what emerges from our analysis is that there are refugees that have been apprehended that have used their migratory status to make their way into europe and have been picked off by the authorities as potential sympathizers for isis. that is, of course, brian, i want to be very careful here, the vast majority of refugees are entering europe escaping from the collapse of syria and iraq and they pose no threat to europe but there will always be a few bad apples the key is how many have they been able to apprehend? >> i know one of your
concentrations has been social media, as you mentioned, how good are they at it and how often are you impressed by their use of it? we're able to track their recruit operatives throughout the middle east particularly in north africa where tunisia provides -- little tunisia is the major source of non-iraqi and syrian operatives to join isis in syria, libya, as well as in iraq. their capacity to use inscription technology, particularly in the underground web, is something that the fbi and european authorities are just beginning to tackle with. you know the controversy involving apple and the u.s. government to break into the iphone of the san bernardino attacker is just illustrative of the challenges that we face because isis operatives are still able to use encryption
technology to be able to communicate between them whether they're in iraq or in libya or in syria with their operatives and they are able to evade european authorities as well as american authorities and that remains a very strong problem. if we're able to cap dhture the telephone of abdeslam, we may be able to find out who he has been in contact with but if it's password protected, we here in real trouble. >> ambassador, thank you very much for being with us, marc ginsberg, former ambassador to morocco but, more importantly, a middle east policy advisor, an expert on social media vis-a-vis the middle east and a former advisor to the pentagon special operators. another break for our coverage and we'll be right back after this. is very important.. so all eleven models come standard with an intelligent crash response system... hmm. ...seven stability-enhancing systems...
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our partners in europe. we do know that these raids have been going on in the molenbeek neighborhood of brussels, belgium. we have seen instances on live television where people have not been allowed to go to their homes, their neighborhoods, we've seen children reunited in adults, with children trapped inside a home on a street that was frozen. it's just very difficult with the barking dogs and the screaming people just what it is they're talking about. police have on and off entered the many different structures and they have just frozen entire neighborhoods. tempers get hot, it's friday night, people are coming home from work, coming home from their day to find they can't go ho home. ayman mohyeldin, we've seen this
happen time and time again, especially with the paris attack attacks. >> we're getting information about the operation going on in molenbeek. it's far from over. according to the deputy mayor of brussels, he's told the associated press that, in fact, an emergency plan has been put in place for the residents of molenbeek who are not able to get back to their homes as a result of this on going operati operation. as we heard from richard engel, the sound of two believed to be explosions taking place a short while ago. but there's still a lot of concern that other individuals, other systems that may have been part of abdeslam's support network are still either at large or are holed up in some of the areas where the police have carried out this raid a short while ago. so we understand an emergency plan has been put in place to help with local residents unable to get back to their homes.
police are trying to secure the area, they want to make it safe for the residents. we can see from those pictures it's nighttime there and that darkness will be a factor for the police. but no doubt about it, it's still a very tense situation that is unfolding. a lot of questions about why abdeslam had been on the run, his face plastered, everybody knew who he was. yet he decided to come back to that neighborhood. you'll hear questions as to whether or not the police were tipped off from local residents who may have seen him or whether or not there was some kind of operation that led to his capture based on intelligence from outside of that neighborhood. but it's going to be very interesting to understand why he decided to return to molenbeek, an area where everybody knew he was, was under surveillance by the police and was the subject of a lot of scrutiny and efforts by counterterrorism officials to target that particular area.
he must have felt he had a got support network in molenbeek that could help him, but it failed today. >> do we have our friend jim cavanaugh ready to speak to us? the answer is yes, apparently, jim is a retired atf special agent in charge for three decades and a person we turn to o often in situations like this. jim, the reason i was thinking of you is police work is police work and veterans in the trade like you will often say criminals way too often return to the scene of the crime and criminals way too often for their good go back home. >> well, exactly, brian, and ayman makes a point there. but it comes back to us as investigators that we've seen for so many times. where did we capture eric rudolph? right back in murphy, north carolina, where he never left. time and time again. and the reason that abdeslam is
still in molenbeek is that's his comfort zone, that's really all he's got. he's not some major director of isis. he is a childhood friend of abaaoud, who was the commander of the slaughter at the bataclan in paris. so he's not the great hierarchy. he's going to have some information, but a lot of the information we find as cases like this progress and you've covered them, you've watched them, the investigators in france know so much about all the players that led these attacks. they know everything they ate and drank for days before, they know their plans, they have their phones, their computers, their associates, their families. they've mapped it out and timelined it out. in some dimension, they know more than the people involved about the big picture of what
happened with that cell so abdeslam will have critical information. the main stuff you want from him is, is there another attack afoot? who else are cell members? where have you been since the bataclan? where where v yhave you hid sno have you contacted? is there a stash of firearms and explosives. >> and, jim, looking at this city street scene, looks like we had a little tumult with some yelling neighbors, some very high-strung dogs and now more police officers have just joined the force here at this rope line at the end of one of the frozen zone streets. richard engel has been following this as well and, richard, turn first to report that at some point in this raid two blasts were heard. i suppose there's a higher-than-normal chance that
they were flash bang or stun grenades? >> i'm not sure if we were the first to report it but things have been coming and going. but operations like these tend to ebb and flow as there are raids, the police and swat team evaluate what they've done, they move on to another target and this operation has had its moments of ebb and flow. a couple of hours ago it looked like it was winding down, then a short while ago, about maybe 40 minutes, there were these reports of at least two explosions. you talked about a police frozen zone. a lot of that police frozen zone is being focused on the place where the sound of one of those explosions was heard and a newspaper in belgium is reporting that a third suspect has been arrested. we haven't confirmed that, but a belgian newspaper is reporting that. we had heard earlier that salah
abdeslam was one of the suspects captured and that others were still being pursued. it's an ongoing operation but if you believe that one belgian report, so far three people have been detained. you mentioned earlier about how important it is to find out who abdeslam has been in contact with. that he hasn't been leaving his safe zone. he hasn't been leaving his neighborhood. and we believe we have a little bit of information about at least one of the people who salah abdeslam was in contact with, potentially someone who had actually been sheltering him for some of the time, at least, while he's been a fugitive. it goes back to tuesday, and tuesday was really the moment this case started to crack. there was a relatively small police raid on a house in a different neighborhood, not molenbeek, in a neighborhood a short drive away and in that
raid thesuddenly found themselves under fire. an armed militant was inside, he was eventually killed by a sniper and that armed militant has since been identified and the name and his date of birth match a document, one of the documents, i have the document right here, that was given to nbc news and other news agencies as part of a whole hoard of documents allegedly leaked out from isis about their own foreign fighters. that accomplice, that person in the house and killed where abdeslam's fingerprint, we learned today, was also found fits the isiisis-type profile according to this document with the isis logo on it. the man was algerian, born in 1908, joined isis in 2014. traveled to several european
countries, has residency in sweden and it appears this individual was -- is suspected of having wired money to the paris attack. so the more suspects they capture, each time it seems they're finding more people who are connected to this -- those horrific attacks back in november in paris. >> our chief foreign correspondent richard engel who has spent years of his life studying this often sad and grim business of terrorism. richard, thanks. i want to alert our audience, we have television in from the belgian television network vtm. this shows a suspect being apprehended. we don't know it is the the main suspect that we've been covering
here, salah abdeslam and and obviously you see a body there wrapped up so they can get him into the car. it would make sense if there were our main suspect because the initial report was that he was shot in the leg and you can see this suspect visibly hopping or limping as he is taken, head covered, into custody. this is from the belgian television network vtm. some incredible video. this is broad daylight city street, suburb of brussels, belgium. gunfire audible in the background. they move in fast, put him in the back of a vw police car.
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you put a big bug in a kids hands and change their world view. (laughs) i'm thomas roberts at nbc world headquarters in new york and you are seeing on the side of your screen some of the first images coming out from vtm channel in brussels. this is showing what the scene looked like in molenbeek earlier today as belgian authorities say they have taken into custody the most-wanted terrorist in europe, salah abdeslam. he's been on the run since november 13. the abdeslam is believed to have fled from france into belgium and slipped slipped away. raids in the country of belgium have remained ongoing. according to a correspondent
that i was speaking to for a european television channel, he says there have been roughly about 100 raids in the area in that country trying to capture and take down these different isis cells that might be involved. our richard engel is standing by for us. richard, talk about the attraction of why -- we're going to go back to richard edge until a second. laura haim is the white house correspondent. we talked about this while we were in paris together about the atracks of brussels, the country of belgium for isis-inspired or isis-involved individuals. why has it been so hard for authorities to track down the most wanted man? a visible face like salah abdeslam? >> that's a very good question and that's what the families of the victims are asking. their lawyer just spoke to us and said why it has been so long. now we can close a chapter but it's unbelievable, and i'm
quoting the lawyer, to think that this man has been hidden in europe, in belgium for more than four months so there are a lot of things going on at this moment. i can just tell you that according to our sources we have a confirmation that abdeslam has been injured in the leg and he's currently taken care of by french and belgian policemen. another man has been arrested, another man will be on the run. again we have to be extremely cautious about what we know. but from our sources we have certain confirmation that he has been injured in the leg. >> and we know there were two people, as you're pointing out, arrested during this raid but we do not know who the person that's being loaded into that volkswagen. only one can make an assumption as you're talking about the reports of salah abdeslam being shot in the leg and seeing that
person kind of limping his way into the vehicle. talk about the intensity of what it's been like there belgium and for french authorities wanting belgian authorities to be able to find salah abdeslam if he was existing and living in that country, especially as we saw brussels go on lockdown in the days following november 13 and the scare that that caused for people living there. did the intensity remain, laura, this whole time? >> yes, absolutely. and specifically in this neighborhood in belgium where you have a lot of mosques, most of the mosques are in the specific area of molenbeek. what is interesting to understand who are the two men who have been with abdeslam, we believe that their were two manhattan according to our sources who were a part of the french plot on november 13, apparently there were seen with
some of the people who committed the attack in paris before the attacks and the french police force found a cell phone where you can see that one of the men who was arrested today was sending texts and sms to the people who carried the attacks in november. the french authorities are telling us that they are absolutely convinced that after today they arrested all the people involved in the attacks in paris. it has, again, to be confirmed officially at this moment, the french president is talking with his belgian counterpart, the prime minister, and we expect a press conference soon from the french president. >> laura, stand by. i want to bring in david ignatius, a "washington post" columnist in in brussels at the same conference where french president hollande is. and, david, nbc news confirmed that the belgian prime minister michel was sitting with the
french president monitoring the paris-related attack operation there in molenbeek. what can you tell me about how word travels about whether there was going to be a capture of salah abdeslam? >> first i should make clear that i'm actually at a different conference in brussels, this is called the brussels forum sponsored by the german marshall fund which is a think tank. i did talk with a very senior belgian official today. we did not talk about the specifics of this raid but about the counterterrorism problem in general. these officials stress belgium is focused on finding ways to integrate its large muslim community better so that they have a better chance of finding and stopping cells like the one today. the belgians are very worried that the muslims here have
[ inaudible ] very dangerous. i know from my contacts that u.s. intelligence that their concern about european networks, specifically in france, belgium and other countries nesh is enormous. they fear isis has developed networks of people beyond the cell that was hit today that were going to pose a problem because they're working everyday 24/7 with european intelligence and security agencies. but officials in the u.s. are worried about europe's vulnerabili vulnerability. >> and we learn about this and then we can make the working theory that there has been synergy with intelligence moving around to track abdeslam to have him taken into custody. the big question is about whether this will trigger a potential strike of anything that this group was planning or if it just buries other members of a cell further underground.
>> obviously there's no way for us to know but there's no evidence of this about this cell. what i do know is that each intelligence official i talked to within the last week that other plots are in motion, in their words, in europe. other plots that have direct connection with isis facilitators and being able to take down one cell, capture salah abdeslam, arrest him, that's obviously an important breakthrough. but people should understand there are multiple plots and personalities who are part of this and there's a huge task for the french, belgians and others. a final point i'd make, in many, many years of covering intelligence and security issues i've never seen close er cooperation between the u.s. and
european services than is the case now. this is really the equivalent of a three-alarm fire and the u.s. has been trying every way it can to help them get their arms around the problem. >> david ignatius with the "washington post." david, thank you for your time, sir. tara palmieri, political reporter based in brussels joins me right now. tara, as we're watching this unfold, i want to point out that we're waiting to hear from the belgian prosecutor coming up. i believe at 3:30 eastern time. we'll take that live for everybody. but a friend of mine who's a foreign correspondent as well based in brussels said he interviewed someone this week, a terror expert and said most of these isis-inspired or isis-involved people are drawn to brussels, drawn to belgium because there are charismatic radical extremists able to recruit their friends and family members and that the state left them too much space for doing that to exist in that that arena. explain from your experience living there how you have learned what it means for the
people of belgium to have that freedom of expression, freedom of speech and why it's been so hard for the state to track down these cells? >> there's -- the thing is that the neighborhoods, they really cling together. there's not a lot of integration in belgium between, you know, first-generation belgians and people who have lived here for a while and the truth is is that they can't conduct raids in the same way they do in the u.s. because of privacy laws. they can't conduct a raid after 6:00 p.m. they can't listen to -- they can't listen to phone calls. it's much more difficult for them to track people and now with encrypted messaging, it's been very easy. but the fact that salah abdeslam has likely been in brussels for the past four plus months is incredible, that he has such a strong network in belgium to protect him for so long. >> so tara when we look at the
images that we're seeing now and the massive forces that have been on the streets and we know that brussels was under that lockdown in the days following november 13, what have you seen and been reporting on in these months that have passed? because a lot of people would be curious to know if the raids continued, if they were making any progress, or if they just got lucky this week. >> i mean, there have been more than 100 raids since the attacks in belgium. i was tuesday reporting on a scene of just a raeg raid thegu that gave them everyday to know salah was still in town. they found his fingerprints on a glass, in the home where three police were wounded and that was just a regular raid in a perfectly nice neighborhood and that just shows you how this network in brussels is really deep and they've been evading
police for so long. >> tara palmieri with politico based in brussels. thanks for making time. appreciate it. we'll have more on this developing story as we've gotten confirmation of the successful capture of salah abdeslam in molenbeek. we'll be back with what's new on that story as we shall expecting to hear from the prosecutor some time later today. and much more on politics back here at home as we update you on the latest in the race for the white house come 2016. back in a moment. tired of working for peanuts?
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the tenth participant in the attacks in parisment his older brother was among the suicide bombers who detonated himself during these attacks. nbc news's richard engel has been following this breaking story. he joins us from istanbul turkey. let's talk about this raid and the reports that we've been hearing about explosions near where police were searching. >> the raid is ongoing and there have been moments when it seemed like the raid was over, when the officers on the scene had a much calmer demeanor. but then about an hour and a half, i believe, ago, there were reports that nbc news confirmed of explosions, at least two explosions. police focused in, tightened their cordon around one particular location where that explosion came from and now there