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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 1, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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that does it for us tonight. i'll see you sunday. it's an all tom show. here's kate snow picking up our coverage right now. good evening. i'm kate snow. it is 6:00 on the east coast. it is 4:00 a.m. in bangladesh where we continue to follow breaking news out of that country's capital, dhaka. at 9:20 local time this evening, about seven hours ago, as many as nine gunmen attacked a restaurant, popular with ex-pats in a diplomatic zone near the u.s. embassy. police say there may be as many as 40 hostages inside that restaurant. authorities told the associated press the gunmen took hostages
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after exchanging gunfire with security forces. according to isis, to the isis affiliated news agency, isis is claiming responsibility for the attack. that is not, however, an official statement out of isis. our nbc producer based in pakistan joins me now. what do we know at this hour? apparently we lost our connection. so let's go on to panaki. can you hear me? >> yes, i can hear you. >> what are you experiencing at this hour? >> well, now, this incident happened in basically a diplomatic area. i was there, until an hour ago i was there. now all the roads are blocked
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down there. people were rescued from the area if not exactly from the restaurant. right now, all the roads to that area, it is blocked. so we cannot say what's going on down there, you know. at the restaurant there. >> did you say an argnetinian national? i think we lost you completely now. difficult communicating with bangladesh as you can imagine, the cell phone situation on a good day is not great over there. let's see if we can get our nbc producer based in islamabad,
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pakistan, right next door to bangladesh. can you hear me? >> i can hear you. >> it's kate again. bring us up to speed. you have been talking to people on the front lines. last i checked in with you, it had quieted down and the authorities were outside the restaurant but had not made any move to go inside. is that still the case? >> that is the case, kate. we are being told that there is a process of biding time. that's essentially what's happening. no demands have been made by the suspects inside. there are also doubts about the identification of the suspects. when i talked to another policeman and mentioned the isis claims which had sprung up, he said we have no idea on the ground, it doesn't look like isis. it just looks like local terrorists. when i asked him how, he said well, the two officers who we lost on the ground earlier
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today, they were killed by a hand-made grenade. it wasn't a military grade grenade. it was a hand-made grenade. that indicates this is some sort of local group. we don't see some sort of huge international syndicate terrorist connection over there. however, the numbers still remain the same. around 40 hostages inside, at least one westerner in what is confirmed by police, seven to eight terrorists with heavy weapons, with automatic weapons and what we now know are hand-made grenades which they used effectively. they knew what they were doing. they went in shouting chants of allah akbar and no demands have been made. no shots have been fired for awhile. we know at least one hostage managed to make it out. we are not clear at all about how he did that. what we are clear about is when police officials rushed to
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rescue him, they died in that process because they were attacked by a grenade thrower from the first floor of this rather posh restaurant. >> has there been any communication from those inside? are you getting any kind of reports about what's happening to those people? >> we are not entirely clear about what's happening inside, nor is police. in fact, it's dark. they lit up some parts of this area for their own purposes as far as security forces are concerned. they are not clear about the identity. when i kept on prodding the police officials about who exactly is inside, because we are hearing all sorts of reports, when i said are there more than one, for example, is there more than one westerner inside, he said we don't know exactly. but what we do know from the profile of the restaurant is it's a high end place, in the posh part of town.
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lots of diplomatic highbrow crowd in and out of there. one can assume the clientele of this restaurant is perhaps on the who's who of dhaka's finest. now, that doesn't mean that there's not locals inside, not just diplomats and locals inside. one official was saying one of the restaurant owner's relatives is still inside as well. essentially, not really clear what the status of the hostages is except that one is confirmed as a westerner and at least one is confirmed as someone who managed to escape. >> all right, waj, thank you for your continued reporting there. joining me now is planning editor at the dhaka tribune. he's not far from where all of this is happening. we checked in a little earlier and you were telling me much the same as what our producer just said. things had quieted down. is there still a sense of quiet
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at 4:00 in the morning? >> so this is the situation right now. it had been quiet for several hours and then about ten minutes ago, it's about 4:00 a.m. here, about 3:50, 3:53, three shots rang out. we have eyewitness reports that a young man was carried out. i have been told that he was believed to be a suspect in this hostage taking and that's the latest that we have. the government has been very quiet until a moment ago but the home minister has been contacted and he says that our prime minister has been informed and that she is being kept up to date about developments in this hostage taking crisis. >> asif, you said this is about 15 minutes ago that things changed and someone was brought out. i couldn't hear everything you said because my producers were talking to me. did you say one person who you believe was one of the hostage
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takers? >> right. we have a report that shots rang out at 3:53 a.m. three shots rang out. and shortly afterwards, members of the battalion, an elite police force here in bangladesh, actually a multi-use force, brought out somebody, a young man who is believed to be a suspect in the hostage taking. >> but at this point, do you still believe that there are up to eight other people armed individuals inside holding hostages? >> we have no reports on the rest. we were told earlier and everybody had been reporting that eight to nine attackers formed that initial team. we are not sure at this point if that number is accurate. we do know one person has been brought out and it's believed to be a suspect. how many remain, we cannot say for sure. >> in terms of how many people are inside and potentially held
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as hostages, you probably don't know either? >> we don't have any information on that yet. nothing that we can confirm. >> okay. asif, that is a big development that at the very least the police were able to bring out members of a rapid action about tal battalion were able to bring out one person believed to be a suspect. if i could ask you to please continue reporting and check back with us, if you learn any more details. we were hoping this would come to a positive resolution. thanks so much. joining me now, msnbc terrorism analyst malcolm nance. we have been following this for hours. we have been speaking over the course of the last five hours. that's some good news, that 15 minutes ago, shots were -- several shots were heard and a battalion went in and brought somebody out. >> well -- >> maybe good news? >> could be good news, could be bad news. the rapid action battalion is a paramilitary organization. it's cross-services sort of like an intergovernmental special force.
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what probably happened was they set the inner perimeter. they have an outer perimeter, regular police, inner perimeter of the r.a.b. the r.a.b. probably shot somebody with a sniper weapon system, wounded him. somebody was carrying guard duty and managed to snatch him and drag him off. from the look of this, two stories as he says, an open pavilion on the right-hand side -- >> i think we have pictures of what it looks like. >> you can see it's a very nice restaurant in the diplomatic district. however, part of his assessment or the previous reporter's assessment that these were local boys, this couldn't be an international terrorist group, this is how isis and al qaeda operate. they take local people, they can buy, create their own weapons systems. we saw that in indonesia. they had coconut based weapons, bombs and hand grenades. they can create them but they can still carry out an act of international terrorism and get themselves on the map. >> so the fact that they have what was just described as
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home-made grenades, hand-made grenades, doesn't make you think that this is not isis. >> that doesn't matter at all. improvised weapons systems and improvised explosives is the hallmark of isis. all it requires is you to get the explosive filler, a charge, container and fuse, and you can create very effective hand grenades. getting automatic weapons in a country like bangladesh, i have been there, it's an extremely poor place. you can buy weapons, they are often stolen, come across continuthe indian border. these things can be acquired if you have money. this group had to have been enabled in some way for them to plot, plan and now significant terrorist attack that is far bigger than anything that has ever been done in bangladesh before. >> we were talking about sunup. it's going to be sunrise in about an hour and a half from now in bangladesh. it's been relatively quiet aside from this incident 15 minutes ago or so. what do you, if you were gaming out what might happen here,
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what's best case scenario, worst case scenario? >> i have had to act as a terrorist in my career so gaming out terrorist operations is part of the mission. in this case, this is most likely not what most law enforcement would like it to be. this is not a hostage barricade. this is going to probably end up as a suicide hostage barricade. that's a mission where they go in, they take mass hostages, they get as much international attention as they can, they draw it out over a long period of time and either the local law enforcement initiates an attack and then they kill the hostages, or they wait for some point of significance within the timeline and they execute the hostages. we are now in ramadan on a friday night going to a saturday morning, which was a significant time to attack because they knew that everybody was out having their -- >> they break the fast on friday night. >> right. so now we are coming to morning, to the prayers, the morning prayers, and if they want to
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survive this and draw it out, then it will go past the prayers. if they have in their heads that they want this to end and carry out a massacre, it's going to occur just after those prayers. >> so just maybe an hour and a half. >> quite possible. or they could try based on international media, try to drag it out for a few days. but it's going to end in a very bloody way, i'm certain. >> we will hope you are wrong in this case. >> i hope so, too. >> appreciate your insight as always. we'll be right back. [siren] come on! ♪ come on. ♪ ♪ p&g. proud sponsor of moms.
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back now with our continuing coverage of breaking news in bangladesh, the capital city there, an attack on a restaurant where ex-pats or westerners frequent and a hostage situation that is ongoing at this hour, as it is 4:15 in the morning in bangladesh. we are getting some new video into nbc. i want to warn you before we
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show this that there are some graphic images here. but this appears to be people injured, probably in the initial attack. as it's been described to us, gunmen stormed this restaurant around 9:20 local time this evening so that's hours and hours ago, and shots rang out. many people have described hearing gunshots, hearing explosive sounds, in those early couple of hours or early moments. then things went silent and up until the last half hour, we hadn't heard of any movement or anything except that gunmen were holding hostages and the police had cordoned off an area around the restaurant. just in the last 15 minutes, we have been reporting that there was one incident where it appears one of the gunmen may have emerged and gotten shot by police and been taken away. aside from that, we still believe this is the site of a hostage taking situation. joining me now, seth, you lived and worked in bangladesh, you
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know that area. can you compare for us what we are seeing here versus what we have seen unfortunately in previous weeks, even earlier this week in turkey? >> well, i think that there is an important parallel there but there are also important distinctions. it's important to understand that this attack in bangladesh today is really unprecedented in bangladesh both in the scope and the scale, but it's not something that really comes as a surprise. in fact, bangladesh much unlike turkey has had a political situation where the government under the prime minister has been really making an effort to restore secularism to the country and to reverse islamization that took place under prior military generals, military dictators. this has infuriated local islamist groups who have been
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really carrying out political attacks against the government, calling them anti-islam, saying they are trying to cleanse the country of muslims, which echoes the rhetoric put out by groups like isis and al qaeda in their propaganda. the effect there is that these local islamist groups are mainstreaming this radical extremism and the idea that the government, by promoting secularism, is somehow a threat to islam. in fact, during a recent supreme court case with the bangladesh supreme court, it was considering whether or not to keep islam as the official religion of bangladesh and the local islamist groups put out statements warning that they were prepared to carry out an armed jihad if the government tried to restore the secular constitution. >> on the flipside, what is the
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government's effectiveness against these groups? has the government had an effective counterterrorism strategy? >> you know, that's a very good question. i think that it's been definitely something of a mixed bag. on the one hand, we haven't seen the types of really open islamist extremist terrorist groups organizing the way that they do, for example, in pakistan. on the other hand, i think that it is undeniable that there is a growing problem of islamist extremism in bangladesh and that ties between local groups on the ground and international groups like isis or al qaeda are taking place. i think that this attack today should put to rest any question about whether these big trans-national islamist networks are communicating and working
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with local groups on the ground in bangladesh. >> you say it should put that to rest. you say they are coordinating? >> i think it would be very hard to deny that at this point. >> thank you so much, seth. appreciate your time tonight. i'm joined now by steve clemens, editor at large for "the atlantic." we have been talking for hours, now, too. a couple of thoughts. ramadan, we mentioned it now, we are in the final week. it's a friday night, when this happened. we are almost to saturday morning now in bangladesh. what if any effect does that have or what context does that give to this whole situation? >> well, i think malcolm nance said it quite well. we don't know exactly what the motivations and the sort of points of difference to these terrorists are. he sort of bluntly predicted that there's a possibility that after morning prayers, you may see something horrific unfold. we just done know so we're speculating on this. i agree with those people that
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have said there has been a pattern where some of these terrorists in various places have been trying to draw out international coverage to sort of further their branding campaign of what they're doing in the world, and i would agree with that. so ramadan and i have to basically say for those people who have been to this area of dhaka, this district and this particular area, it's not only diplomats in this area. there are a lot of great ngo heads who dedicated their lives to try to help the impoverished bangladeshi people, so it is a very special place of joy and safety and i think ramadan and breaking the fast as you just noted is something that isis affiliates or islamist groups, we don't know all of that just yet, are essentially trying to strike into the heart of that joy. >> steve, do you think the u.s. authorities would be helping at this stage of the game? i don't know how this works. would the fbi be consulting with
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teams on the ground or obviously there's always d.o.d. personnel anyplace in the world the u.s. has a presence. would they be coordinating or helping? because there is this question about whether bangladesh has a sophisticated police force and sophisticated anti-terrorism s.w.a.t. team. >> well, clearly there's not been enough. john carlin, assistant secretary for terrorism in the department of justice, was here this morning with me in aspen and i think that he's been, you know, one of the people that's been worried about the growth of terror networks abroad and with regard to bangladesh or turkey, where there was a recent major attack, there is coordination, there is information flow, and i think that the question is it enough in a place like bangladesh, especially when the publisher of an lgbt magazine was recently killed, he also had very good ties with the u.s.
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embassy and while there had been other killings, that particular one really struck at the home of the growing security problem in bangladesh and you saw an uptick recently i think in concern here. people like lisa monaco on the president's national security team had been watching this. and the question is, does bangladesh have the capacity to have done more on its own regardless of where the u.s. may have been. my answer is just speculating, probably not. i have been watching the twitter traffic today. bangladeshis commenting about this. friends of the liberal blogger who was killed or the publisher of the lgbt magazine and other secularists who have been targeted. there is a sense and a complaint in the flow of this and i have no way of verifying it but a complaint that the government has been slow and ineffective in really challenging and taking on these islamist groups. so despite coordination between the united states and bangladeshi intelligence and
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legal authorities, there may be -- may have been a lack of will. at least when you look at the sort of public reaction to what's unfolding. >> steve clemens, great to have you with us again. thanks so much. we'll be right back with more of on coverage of tonight's attack in bangladesh.
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msnbc's cal perry is with us now. malcolm nance remains with us as well. thank you for being here. if people could hear our conversation during the commercial break, i would like to recreate what we were just talking about because we were picking up on where steve left off, which is you have got a team, a s.w.a.t. team, counterterrorism team, in bangladesh that maybe doesn't have the most up-to-date resources. >> the istanbul attacks, those security forces at the airport did a phenomenal job. >> absolutely. >> of taking out those terrorists. when you look at the pictures we are seeing coming out of dhaka,
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we are not seeing the same kind of equipment that you would see in other places of the world. i haven't seen night vision equipment, right? that could be another reason as you add to sort of what malcolm was saying about morning prayers, maybe that's another reason we are not seeing them rush that building. normally nighttime is a major advantage for security forces because they have better equipment often than the attackers. i'm not sure that's the case here. >> malcolm, you were nodding along. fill us in on what you were trying to contribute then. >> well, cal is exactly right about the capability of the r.a.b. and some of the paramilitary forces and local police forces in bangladesh. i have been there, and believe me, most cops are armed with a long baton. there are very few firearms. the next weapon is an ak-47. so this is why the terrorists may have had a very easy time the acquire weapons. >> when people are saying this is a secure area, i heard that word the last few hours, but it's not so much that it's got heavy duty security. >> no. >> it's more that it's sort of a
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westernized area. >> it's a westernized area but there are places around there with barriers, you know, not super-advanced barriers, the old style, a few policemen sitting there drinking tea most of the time but it does have a higher level of security than anywhere else. >> secure in relation to the rest of the city and rest of the country, but compared to diplomatic enclaves in pakistan, compare it to diplomatic enclaves in other countries, there's no comparison. >> so what are people saying, you have been following online, you have been looking. you and i were observing there's not a great internet connection over there so you are not getting the kind of social media we have had in other recent attacks. >> information is really difficult to come across not only for us but for governments as well. i was just talking to the control room. italian state television is reporting there are seven italians in the restaurant. nbc news is reaching out, we have not confirmed that. one of the problems we have is getting a phone line into dhaka right now, is becoming nearly impossible. part of that is so many people are on their phones and the capacity just doesn't exist in a k
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country like bangladesh to handle that volume of activity. >> we were mentioning a little while ago, thinking back to kenya and the mall attack there, and hours in, they finally did try to go in but it was messy. do you think this could get messy? >> i think it's probably going to get messy. the westgate mall was almost a unique situation, too, in that the initial response of these attackers was to kill everyone. everyone that they saw, they just shot them dead. even the first responders who were in the mall actually holed those guys up but misidentified how many attackers were in there so kenyan special forces, they are excellent, went the information collection route and finally determined it was just a few guys. this is a completely different situation. we know they have boxed up in a building, a small two-story building, they have got these hostages in there, they probably have them under observation. the question is the capacity of the r.a.b. to actually go in and effect a penetrative assault,
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direct action into that building, before they can kill these hostages or you know, the building itself may be rigged. we just don't know the capacity and the cleverness of the terrorists at this point. now, one last thing i would like to say is that one of the things that we saw for al qaeda-based groups when they did these mass hostage barricades, even though the italians may know there are seven italian hostages in there, the group itself may call out to al-jazeera or al arabia or some other venue and list their demands before they carry out their mass suicide. we should be prepared for that. >> all right. great to have you both with us here. thank you so much. after the break, we head to the white house for reaction to the unfolding hostage situation in bangladesh.
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i feel fantastic now. exploring treatment options is at the heart of how we fight cancer. the evolution of cancer care is here. learn more about our treatment options at appointments available now. back now with continuing coverage of the ongoing hostage situation in bangladesh, we are going to check in now at the white house. nbc's ron allen is there. the president has been briefed on the situation. ron, going into a long holiday weekend, the timing isn't great. what are department of homeland security officials saying as well as the white house? >> reporter: well, even before this, of course, we had istanbul and orlando and so u.s. government, homeland security, the white house, have been very fixated on homeland security as we enter this weekend and as far as i have heard, there have been no reports of specific threats. but of course, everybody is
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being vigilant because there will be so many public gatherings, parades and barbecues, so on and so forth. regarding the bangladeshi situation, what we have heard from the u.s. government there, state department, the pentagon have said that all american personnel associated with those operations have been accounted for, though it's unclear how many american tourists or private citizens there may be there, and they have been encouraged to contact family, friend, to let them know of their whereabouts. we know the embassy was never threatened there so there's that. we can also tell you that in recent months, weeks, the u.s. government's become very concerned about the increasing level of violence in bangladesh, and there have been meetings, there have been discussions about some of the issues raised by some analysts, this whole notion of capacity. what are the security forces there capable of doing. united states has been trying to increase its cooperation with bangladesh in recent weeks and months to help areas like that, like police, security forces,
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intelligence gathering, strategy, tactics, so and so forth, and one of the big problems i understand has been that the bangladesh government, bangladeshi government has been reluctant to essentially admit and say that there are foreign tourists, foreign terrorists, i should say, foreign connected terrorists operating in their country. they have blamed most of these other attacks to domestic politics, domestic opposition figures. so a big development here will be just an analysis of what exactly who is responsible for these attacks and carrying them out and by most accounts it appears there is some level of sophistication that had not been seen there before that suggests some global, some international cooperation or perhaps orchestration, coordination. that of course is something the u.s. is going to be very concerned about. >> ron allen at the white house, thank you. joining me now is anusha hussain, a bangladeshi journalist based in washington, d.c. she has family nearby and is very familiar with where this
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situation is unfolding. first of all, our hearts go out to you because i know this is a difficult time when you have loved ones far away and you don't know what's happening. have you been able to talk with anyone back at home in bangladesh? >> i have, kate. thank you so much first of all for having me on. i can't tell you, i have lived in the states for over two decades and i never called home the way that i called home, the way that i called home today. it's like being in a war zone. you know, sadly, the time that we live in from paris to orlando to istanbul, just in recent weeks, but when it happens to your own town, when it happens to the city that you live in, i'm a journalist but i'm in complete shock. this is a bakery that everybody goes to. this is a bakery where my nephews go every day. my sisters live in this area. one of my sisters live across the street. our parents are a little farther from the center. but what's really important, i want your viewers to understand,
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is that it is not kabul, afghanistan or baghdad, iraq. this is a place that is considered a success story, a development success story. this bakery is not even ten minutes from the u.s. embassy there. it's not a designated foreigner zone or ex-pat zone. there are bangladeshis and ex-pats living side by side. we are a huge aid community. we are considered a development success story. we are the country that gave birth to microfinance, women's empowerment. i'm really trying just not to start crying because whoever is behind this attack, this is a huge statement. they are letting us know that there is a very coordinated group in town. in the region. and they're here. they're here to play. >> yeah. it could, we don't know what's
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going to happen, we don't know how it's going to end, but it could be something that puts a stain on that reputation that you just described, something that mars everything. >> definitely. you can't escape economics and commerce from instability and political instability like this. you know what's so terrifying about this attack is that unlike, i don't know, kenya, istanbul, we are not equipped. you can see the forces on ground, the resources on the ground, you are showing it right now. not only has this city been taken by surprise, but we don't have the capacity to deal with such a large scale attack. it's never happened before. i mean, i think the last time you could say coordinated attacks took place in bangladesh would be in 2005 when over 400 coordinated bombs went across across the city. but in the past two, three years, we have really been dealing with attacks on our secular voice, on secular
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bloggers. so this is insane. you know, this is a developing story. the situation on the ground is very fluid. at the very most i can tell you now that my immediate family are safe but there's so many people that are unaccounted for, the hostage situation is still ongoing. i mean, the chances of this situation ending poorly right now is very high. >> to go back to your friends, your family, your relatives, are they -- how are they feeling tonight? are they scared? are they holed up inside, i imagine? >> kate, the city is on lockdown. this is -- i can't even explain. it's like 18th street in d.c. for college kids. i don't know. like on a friday night. for us, our weeks are different so our weekends are friday and saturday and the start of our week is sunday. so friday night in the month of ramadan, you know. these people, whoever is behind these attacks claims to be doing something for islam or for muslims, here you go. between istanbul and bangladesh,
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just in a week, over 90% of terrorist attacks, the victims are muslims. so who are these people? whatever they are doing is not for the name of any religion. no religion. >> so good to have you with us. that perspective is so valuable to us. thank you so much. >> thank you so much for having me. >> we'll be right back.
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it is almost 5:00 a.m. in dhaka, bangladesh, the capital city where the hostage situation there is still unfolding. joining me now, msnbc law enforcement analyst, former hostage negotiator, for the atf, jim cavanaugh. jim, one bit of information we learned just at the top of this hour was that at some point, maybe about 45 minutes ago or an hour ago, it appeared that one of the potentially one of the suspects, hostage takers, was
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brought out after shots were fired. so there was an exchange, there were some shots fired and then one of the hostage takers, one of the suspects, appeared to have been taken out by police, removed from the scene. what does that tell you? >> well, it tells me that those actors there are moving around, moving around inside. they might be moving around some of the hallways and they're looking for the police just like the police are looking for them. so he might have come down a hallway, been wounded by the officers and taken into custody which is a great intelligence thing for the on-scene commanders. they will know his identity, they will try to debrief him but he'll have connections to all the others. you also reported that a hostage escaped and that's someone who would normally be debriefed as well to get every bit of information about the weapons, the explosives, the suicide vests, anything they said in addition to the normal ways you collect intelligence on a barricade like this. >> that was i believe earlier in the evening that they think one
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of the employees of the restaurant was able to get out. so as we head into early morning hours here, and as this drags into the seventh hour, how does fatigue, how does lack of sleep and all of that start to come into play? >> well, it comes into play and the commanders have to work the time. time is neutral in a situation like this, but you have to work it to your advantage. these guys are homicidal and suicidal. their goal is death. they want to kill everybody and they want to kill everybody in there. so that's what you're working against. there's probably nothing you can give them, if they make any demands they won't be achievable. any time you can maybe get in there, maybe save some of the hostages, the best tactical team in the world will have a hard time dealing with seven or however many are left in there, we don't know the exact number, and also, where are the hostages. if you are commander you want to know where are they, are they in one room, are they tied up, do
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they have explosives strapped on them, how many people are guarding them. you would like to find out all that information before you make your decision if you are going to make a deliberate assault. it's almost going to be required here because they are never going to want -- these guys will never come out with their hands up and go to jail. so at some point to the advantage of the commanders, they are going to have to make a deliberate assault. they have to be positioned for that. they have find an advantage to do it and then they will have to make their move. the problem is that they can kill all the hostages just by gunfire in a few seconds and likely they have sorted them out by nationality, got their passports to try to identify who they are. will they do it right away, it's hard to say. they are willing to die, certainly the actors are, but they may want to prolong it as well for the theater of it. >> yeah. unfortunately for the theater of it. jim cavanaugh, thanks so much. joining me here on set now, nbc's foreign correspondent
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ayman mohyeldin. you had been speaking with a doctor on the ground who treated many of the patients. what's the latest? >> the latest is what we have been reporting throughout the night. there hasn't been any substantial changes on the ground. for the past several hours, the scene at the hospital has been somewhat calm. i mean there isn't a sudden influx of patients, a lot of casualties, so that number of people remains the same. the last i checked with them it was at 26 wounded, many of them security personnel and at least two dead. two police officers dead. that was at that one hospital. there may be other hospitals and clinics. >> our producer had said four police officers dead. >> exactly. i believe that to still be the case in the last couple hours i checked in with hospital officials. >> as i said to jim, we are in the seventh hour. we are nearing daylight here. any indications that we are near an ending to this? >> this is somewhat uncharted territory because if we take the isis claim of responsibility at face value that it is isis related, this would be a first for isis in so many ways that
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they have so many western hostages in a live moment situation. what we have seen in the past is that they will storm a place and try to kill or be killed and they will continue to kill until they are killed. >> think about paris, for example. >> exactly. think about paris, think about brussels, there was a suicide attack. even in istanbulie sign that -- assign that to isis, it was a situation where they would kill or be killed. this seems early in the standoff. they have not gone out blazing yet. meaning they didn't go in and kill everyone, then come out and try to attack everyone on the scene. this will be uncharted territory for the bangladeshi authorities and for those being held and caught up in this. i would be curious to know once the foreign nationalities are established, say now we know that perhaps italians or french or germans perhaps, will any of these countries want to be involved in any kind of operation. will they say look, these are our nationals, our citizens, we
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must be involved. i'm sure there must be some kind of security cooperation, maybe jim can talk about that more than i could, but certainly there's going to be some kind of cooperation with the embassies, the diplomatic missions, security personnel on the ground. >> we touched on that earlier in the hour with malcolm and cal that undoubtedly there is some level of coordination taking place. maybe teams already flying in to try to help. thank you so much. we are as we just said, less than half an hour from sunsi ri in dhaka, bangladesh. this hostage situation is in its seventh hour. we'll have the very latest up next. my mom loves giving me advice. she even gives me advice... ...about my toothpaste and mouthwash. but she's a dentist so...i kind of have to listen. she said "jen, go pro with crest pro-health advanced." advance to healthier gums... ...and stronger teeth from day one. using crest toothpaste and mouthwash makes my... ...whole mouth feel awesome. and my teeth are stronger too.
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-- we are not very comfortable with it but it hasn't been happening around the area so yes, we were worried about it but this hits really close to home. this is a place that is right next door. this is somewhere that i take my son, that we go and eat and feel safe when we are there. so this is completely just bizarre for us to even comprehend that something like this is going on in our neighborhood. >> i spoke with nazia a little earlier. she's in dhaka talking about what it's like for the community in the midst of this horrible
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situation with hostages being taken at a very popular restaurant in that city. joining me now, laith alkhouri, msnbc terrorism analyst and director of middle east and north africa research and analysis at flashpoint. nice to see you in person. let's talk first about isis, the news agency affiliated with isis has been actually putting out releases this afternoon about what's happening in bangladesh. >> indeed. the media agency which is affiliated with isis but is not centrally connected in an official manner to isis has released three different statements. first identifying the attackers, the hostage takers as specifically islamic state quote commandos and those usually when they refer to commandos they are talking about individuals who are usually armed with guns as well as explosives. those are the kind of individuals you don't want to leave alive. they want to stay and fight until the last drop. in other statements it's indicated that several people have been killed, others have been wounded.
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>> they are putting out death tolls. putting out numbers which we are not repeating here on msnbc. but does it strike you that this is isis trying to control the media message, trying to tell us what's happening as opposed to bangladeshi government putting out statements? >> i think that is at least part of it. i think isis all along has been trying to steal as much air time as possible, trying to maintain its relevance to any of these current events, especially even attacks that it didn't even direct or orchestrate like the orlando attack, it did end up putting out statements and videos celebrating that. >> talk about the global scene here. bangladesh probably isn't the first place americans would think of when we think of isis. >> bangladesh has not had trouble with isis until the last several months when isis cells emerged in bangladesh, launched a number of assassination attacks as well as kind of making themselves feel present. al qaeda has operated in bangladesh for several years before and its attacks have
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primarily also been assassinations. this is a large scale attack. >> this may be evidence that isis is trying to branch out, not just be in syria and iraq but in asia as well? >> i think at least part of the story is that isis is trying to mask some of its losses and the challenges it's facing today in iraq, syria and even libya, and trying to assert itself around the world to show that it's actually growing, not actually facing these challenges like we know on the ground. >> is that a major threat or major concern for counterterrorism officials across the planet then, that they are trying to branch out? >> absolutely. look, isis just indicated that it has operational cells in not only bangladesh but also in europe. we saw it in the france attacks, in the brussels attacks. it's turning the attention away from what's going on in iraq and syria and giving its support base the idea that it's actually growing, it is still very powerful, still confronting 60 plus nations around the world and ideas that they want to give
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you the impression they are everywhere, they can strike in the so-called hearts of enemies. >> even if that's not necessarily the case. laith alkhouri, thank you for being here. that does it for our coverage this hour. i'm kate snow. "hardball" starts right now. trump attacks left and right. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews. we are covering the hostage situation in bangladesh, of course, where as many as nine gunmen have taken hostages at a cafe in that diplomatic zone of the capital city. but our big story again tonight is political. it's here at home. donald trump, whether you're gaga for him or terrified against him is something we haven't seen quite before. he's taking on the big business types who love getting cheap labor here or even cheaper abroad. he's taking on the liberals and


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