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tv   News  Al Jazeera  March 22, 2016 6:00am-7:01am EDT

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quoting belgium civil defense and says the death toll now is 21 and heard a little earlier at least 35 people have been injured, this is at the airport, no reports of anybody dead at the metro station in the heart of the city but many people injured. earlier a witness in mccafeteriaty spoke to us from outside the metro station shortly after the explosion the there. >> i was at the metro station which is the one just before malbik and i was exiting the metro and there was a loud muffled sound seemingly coming from up stairs, there was a lot of dust raised and people started kind of panicking and leaving the metro station quickly. when they came to ground level there were a lot of soldiers there helping the process and a lot of confusion and this is seemingly now this is the
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explosion that took place at malbik the next metro station down where we felt from where we are. >> that is a pretty busy station particularly this time of the morning. >> yeah, this time of the morning, the metro i was on was packed and we actually had to wait in the metro station for a while before it left. morning? that was a very busy time we're looking at a picture which i believe is coming from near there. we can see snow rising. very heavy traffic, people on the streets. i should imagine it must have been fret frightening. -- pretty frightening. the security lifted to the highest level yet. has there been fear, considering what has been happening in the country and the links to those living there to the attacks in paris? >> it's hard to say. everybody has their own individual experience. i have to admit i haven't really felt the fear, i haven't been
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living in fear despite going through numerous different scenarios and different situations here from 4 november, in fact, but everybody has their own interpretation of events. what is probably the most jarring is that people don't know what is going on. that was evident this morning in the metro station there. there was a lot of confusion. some people ran and some stood still frozen. it's hard to know the security there, is there an ever-present security force on the train stations considering the imminent threats or nothing at all? >> there is a strong security presence. it's always notable. it was actually surprising for me to see, as soon as i came up to the ground floor, there were numerous soldiers there, there was a vehicle parked outside. the stations had all been cleared off. the main street that runs down
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along here is packed full of people walking. everyone is out of the metro station. there is a security presence and they are effective of what they're doing, i guess how big was the force of the explosion and did the seem that it was an explosion? >> admittedly, no, it didn't. i was a full metro station away. i'm sure it still felt significant. it was more as if construction was going on all the time here. there could be any number of bangs or something that you want put down to what it is exactly, but it was clear that it did cause some consternation. there was a clear bang heard, but like i said it was a metro station away, so it wasn't discernible the extent of the explosion you were telling me earlier
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that you're not one of those living in fear because of what has been happening. will what you've seen and heard today change that in any way? will it change the way you live now? >> no. i will get on with my life and do my own thing. that's the whole point of attacks like this. they're supposed to make you live in fear, but i refuse to it's just after ten g.m. t, 11 o'clock in the morning in brussels. there have been a series of explosions in the belgium capital. two of them have happened at the international airport. one of them at a key metro station. according to the belgium civil defense, 21 people have died. this is what we know so far. two explosions have gone at the airport in brussels. local media says one went off inside the departure area and another exploded outside the terminal building. there has been an explosion at the metro.
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the subway has been closed. the airport haseen evacuated. flights cancelled. the station has been closed and train services stopped. belgium is now at maximum security alert at level 4. the belgium prime minister has been reacting to the news. he says: al jazeera's imran khan has a report. >> reporter: this video was taken just a few moments after the explosions at brussels airport. eyewitnesses say they felt the blast at the airport. >> we just looked at each other and i said let's go this way. it was over there. easy to get away from it. >> reporter: the blast took place just after 7 gmt with another just under an hour later.
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on a tunnel between metro city in the city. belgium had been on high alert since arrest of salah abdeslam. government is now having cry is says meetings between europe. david cameron says he is convening a high-security meeting in london. the explosion is said to have taken place at an american airlines check-in desk. f.b.i. member said it could have been a planned attack >> if they had an attack, they bumped the timeline up and they jumped through it before they would normally have planned to. this could have been the case right here. the two explosions this morning, reports that there may have been other ieds or improvised devices recovered at the airport that did not detonate. >> reporter: the interior ministries has raised the threat level in the country to the highest and rail services in and to the city have all been
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cancelled. imran khan let's look closer where the developments are unfolding. the first two explosions were at airport. that's about 12 kilometers north-east of brussels. then an explosion at the metro station in the city center. the underground metro is situated close to e.u. buildings, including the european parliament as you can imagine all the train stations have now been closed across the city. let's talk to our correspondent neave barker inside of brussels. he is outside the airport. what are you hearing about these explosions, nea veshgs e, and possibly at this stage there's speculation about who might be behind it. >> reporter: that's right. we're hearing from belgium prosecutors who have confirmed that at least one of the blasts that took place here was carried out by a suicide bomber. there have been heightened state of security already over the
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course of the weekend following the arrest of salah abdeslam on friday. both french and belgium prosecutors said that despite the significant milestone in capturing salah abdeslam after a four-month manhunt, a lot more work still needs to be done. they were also deeply concerned that other attacks could happen in the wake of that key arrest. already we've seen interpol heighten security of borders throughout europe. they were looking for one man, a 24 year old who was athought to be a close associate of salah abdeslam who is currently on the run. his d.n.a. was linked to explosives used at the paris attacks last year. it is, of course, way too early to link these incidents with him at this current stage, but it does show you exactly what has been on the forefront of the authority's minds on the last couple of days. what is happening here now. the evacuation continues. i've seen several thousand
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people, civilians and airport straf, stream out of the airport. there's still a heightened security presence here along with ambulances as they try and establish exactly what has happened here. the you are entire aarea remains cordoned off neave, the witness that you've been speaking to, they were talking about the experience inside the airport, what it was they saw, how large these explosions were. what happened to them immediately afterwards? >> reporter: that's right. we've been able to speak to some eyewitnesses as they leave - as they are evacuated by the authorities from the airport here. a short while ago i spoke to one of the staff who was in the departure lounge at the time when the blasts happened. he described the blasts as happening close to the air desk. a second blast close to starbucks.
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that was believed to be outside the departure lounge. he describes a tremendous amount of debris, a tremendous amount of damage to the roof and facade and also from other i witnesses we gather that a large number of injured and dead people were lying on the floor floor. he managed to escape climbing down through the baggage mechanisms to safety, but it has already raised concerns that happied of the explosions here, they may not have been the kind of level of security hoped for at this particular airport. i can bring in one of the eyewitnesses who was present in the departure lounge. welcome to al jazeera. can i get your name first of all? >> my name is tom. >> reporter: can you tell me what you saw over the course of the morning? >> i started at 8 o'clock this morning. i have internship here at swiss port. i was with my colleague and we went out to the stand by room
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from swiss port and we looked to our left side and we heard a big explosion. we thought it was a bill board falling down, but it was a big noise. a lot of people screaming. my colleague stood still. he was wondering what happened. i said to him to run and we were very quick. he was right behind me, and at one point i lost him. he was gone. he jumped behind the check-in desk. he jumped in the baggage car sell where the baggage goes down-- carousel. i just went to the exist and then i heard a second explosion. it was next to me, but, yeah. >> reporter: how close were these two explosions? were they quickly after another? >> less than a minute. i think 30 seconds, yeah >> reporter: it is your view that one happened inside and
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outside? >> no. i think both of them happened inside >> reporter: they may have both actually happened inside the departure terminal? >> yes. >> reporter: we're hearing different things. what did you see from the people who were at the area at the time? >> everybody was screaming, panic on their faces, calling each other, family, different people with blood on their legs. >> reporter: of course, the airport already had a lot of security here over the last few months there has been military here, police here. >> yeah. >> reporter: how easy do you think it would have gone get a device into the airport? >> the departure hall, very easy, yeah. because there is no - they are walking around and eye on people, but if you just hold the luggage and nobody checks what's inside, so departure hall
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anybody can come with what they want >> reporter: at the moment there isn't any security or scanner when you arrive into the airport >> no. the departure hall, everybody can come in and out, even if you're not travelling. >> reporter: could you give us a scale, a sense of the scale of the damage inside the departure hall? how powerful do you think this blast was? >> the first one was a very big explosion. i think the left side of the - no, the right side of the buildings is very damaged. i didn't see anything because i ran the other side, but yeah, i think there is a lot of damage. >> reporter: can you tell us about the evacuation process because we're still seeing people arrive here with their luggage, with, and staff. >> i went to the terminal together to evacuate, and then everybody went down the stairs, the exit emergency exits to the
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tarmac where the aircrafts are. everybody had to leave their luggage, their hand luggage upstairs because they were told there were weapons found, and then with buses everybody came to a safe place nearby the airport. >> reporter: thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> reporter: as you heard there, from one of the eyewitnesses that was inside the departure hall at the time, an incredibly chaotic scene. both of them may have happened inside the terminal. we've heard different accounts of other eyewitnesses saying what happened inside and outside. either case, an incredibly chaotic and frightening scene for those involved in it. the evacuation continues. the police presence remains high. of course, this is an ongoing security operation, not only here in the airport but elsewhere in the belgium capital
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it is indeed, neave barker, thank you for that update. there have been international reactions, as you can imagine, to the attacks on twitter. the vice president of the european commission said: the british prime minister david cameron said: just a short while ago, european union foreign policy chief said the e.u. needed to unite in moments of tragedy like this >> we're suffering the same pain that this region knows, being it syria or elsewhere. we are still waiting for more precise news on the dynamics of
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the attacks in brussels, but it is quite clear that the route of the pain we are suffering around our region are very much the same and we are ewe night not only-- united in suffering, our victims, but also reacting to these acts and preventing radicalization and violence together i take you to pictures now of people on the move in the city. they're walking along the metro tracks there in brussels. we know after the attack at one of the stations in the heart of the city that all metro stations have been closed down, which is understandable. you also in pleas to residents, locals, not to leave their homes or buildings. there is a concern that there possibly could be another attack, an imminent attack, but at this stage we've got people
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walking along these train tracks going to wherever they can find some sort of security. they've always been evacuated after the attack about two hours ago. in the station where fortunately nobody was killed, but we are hearing of quite a few injuries. let's bring in our correspondent. the reason i'm talking to you, omar, is we don't know who is behind this attack yet, but there has been rising concern of the rising numbers who - of people living in europe who go over to syria to get trained up in syria and who return and conduct these types of attacks. hold on, before i come to you. >> reporter: yes, jane the french interior minister is speaking now, so let's listen to what he has to say. >> translation: it is also the case for the rest of the
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territory, 600 police have been mobilized in addition to the forces already deployed. in addition, measures have been decided with regards to public transport. first of all, access to the public areas, transport areas, are now solely reserved for people holding a ticket or an id card. secondly, preventive messages of awareness will be broad casted by the operators-- broadcast by the operators aimed at the public. secondly, context of the measures, there will be patrols on these sites and we will provide support. finally, measures of controls
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will be deployed systematic. more generally, the events that strike at the heart of the european union show the importance of the applications that we had made to the union to strengthen further the coordination and anti terrorist efforts at international level. i think, of course, of the urgency to have the prime minister r discussed at parliament level. i think the strengthening of the conditions, control conditions, within schengen. they must be questioned. at the time of access of external borders need to be controlled.
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a european task force to fight against fake documents, mobilizing the best experts in each country must be able to intervene immediately at the external borders of the european union. it is vital to maintain vigilance and mobilization to deal with the threats that we're faced with, with calmness that we need to act in all matters what i talked about, the cooperation, and those that mobilize our country and the country of the european union, i think of the fight against the trafficking of illegal arms require urgent measures, the modification of directive 91
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cannot wait. the president have reminded during the meeting, the determination of france to fight terrorism and that's what we've been doing for some months through the strengthening of the police and the intelligence services and it's what we're doing through the rigorous application of the rules of law in a state of emergency and we will continue this action faced with a level of threat. i repeat to you today that it is at an extremely high level. thank you very much that was the french interior minister talking after the three attacks in belgium. he confirmed that no trains are running to and fro stations in the belgium capital. he said they will be doing whatever they can to prevent something like this from happening again. certainly on their soil.
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he has confirmed that france will deploy 1600 police officers at the borders. he also said that the schengen visa, the way it operates, will be focus episode on as well. he said a european task force to fight against fake documents must be able to intervene when and where they see necessary. let's bring in martin reardon, the senior vice president of the security kon sul tan see and a former f.b.i. agent. we have been seeing high-level meetings in france and belgium. this is what they're suggesting, 1600 more police officers at the border. is that a smart move? >> they certainly want to keep up the security on the borders. i think it is important to realise that these cells are already in the country, whether it's in belgium, france, germany, perhaps in the u.k. or elsewhere. they're already there. they're formed. they're going to be come part
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mentalised. what one compartmentalized. there is going to be a preven there. whether kwlits at the subway stations, whenever. terrorists are going to go to the easiest target possible. if they see police or if there are canine teams there as well, it's not going to be an easy target and they will go some place else is this something after the event. after the paris attacks, we know that one of the suspects passed through the borders easily back to belgium, was stopped by the police as well, never apprehended. clearly there have been mistakes on so many levels, haven't there. if you see what has happened today, it certainly raises questions about the security in areas that should be secure. >> i not sure i would categorise that as mistakes. this is complicated in the fact that when you have these independent cells and they know the trade to guard their communications t, they're
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careful what they're doing. a lot of times it's a lucky break to get them or it's detailed analysis of phone records, of emails to identify cells and put them under surveillance. this is really a complicated matter. the security services, the intelligence services in europe, western europe, are among the best in the world. they're working over time on this, but things are going to slip through what does this is an about the cells that are operating at the moment? do you have any idea how many there are? there has been a suggestion that possibly one cell has been closed down because of the arrest in belgium this weekend. is that-- >> it depends on the numbers, but i think if you look at the general agreement, the western european countries, about 5,000 europeans have gone back and forth between iraq and syria. some have already returned about 25% on average, have already returned to the countries they
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came from originally. many of them don't want to fight any more. some do. if they form cells and the idea was to come back, form a cell and attack the right target at the right time, we don't know how many are out there the attacks that we saw over a period of three to four hours on tuesday morning, what does it suggest about the way they operate, the explosiveexplosive? what do you think their ultimate aim was? >> the aim is, as with any terrorist attack, is to put fear into the public, so that if they don't trust their own government to protect them. this is what the terrorists want. the type of attack, this is relatively uncomplicated. you heard that term complex attack or complicated attack. this is not a complicated attack. soft targets, they were picked because there wouldn't be a lot of security there. it's a matter of doing your preoperational surveillance to identify the target, find out what's the best time to go in
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there, and in this case you walk right in, whether a suicide vest or a backpack with an explosive. relatively simple i want to bring in neave barker in brussels, who is at the scene of the attacks. i'm wondering what the response is to the news that france is planning to deploy 1600 more police officers at the border. is there proof there that this could possibly work? >> reporter: it's very difficult to say, but what we are seeing here, at least at the airport is, of course, a heightened level of security. what has happened here over the course the of the last few hours is that many thousands of people, staff and also travellers have been evacuated gradually from this area. you can see a bus full of
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people, and behind this bus police are starting to seal off this road. this is now an active crime scene and as the belgian authorities have now confirmed, at least one of the attacks that was here was a suicide attack. it is a murder scene as well. any evidence gathered here will have an impact on the ongoing investigation, into a series of cells operating in belgium, france or further afield. the feeling on friday with the feeling of salah abdeslam was that the brussels cell was closed. the question still remain as to whether there are other people, other organizations, other cells willing to fill the gap and carry out further attacks like this one. the immediate step at the moment for the authorities, though, is to ensure security. that is happening here and they want to absolutely avoid that nothing else happens in the belgian capital we also are hearing that belgium will be sending an extra
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225 troops to brussels to help with the security situation there. and following those three brafts. as you can imagine-- blasts. as you can imagine, there have been international reaction to what happened in belgium over the course of this morning. from 8am those three attacks. let's bring in our correspondent about the free flow of fighters between europe and syria and how many passed through turkey. why is it that they're going there? what sort of training do they get, why do they feel driven to go? >> reporter: since the start of the war in syria in 2011, it was peaceful, of course, it was protesters and it was called an uprising. it quickly developed into a
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nasty and bloody conflict in that country. it also turned into a proxy war. what happened there and given the complexities of that war, it became kind of a magnet for all fighters with all different background, extreme and non-extreme, so on and so forth. you had al-qaeda as well as groups with conservative, islamic, lis lambist agenda. because the war became very bloody, it gave way to more powerful, if you will, more bigger group that emerged in syria ands i.s.i.l., islamic state in iraq and the levant. they declared they're on caliphate style and they took mosul in northern iraq and parts of syria. those fighters converged on to syria and they joined i.s.i.l. let me give you estimates from
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spy chiefs for example. the former british spy chief said late 2015 that over the last 18 months syria became incubator for foreign fighters and he estimated that there are about 31,000 foreign fighters fighting in syria as well as iraq. you can see the terrifying number here. they are also estimating, our services saying that those fighters come from different countries, up to 100 countries, including countries in europe. germany, belgium, france, netherlands, the u.k., russia and so on. you can see how big it is. what sort of training they have, all sorts of training in different parts of syria and, of course, when they declared the caliphate in iraq, they gave them a way in iraq and syria. how did they end up in syria was, perhaps, the turkish
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authorities at some point in this bloody conflict gave a blind eye to those fighters because turkey was very much opposed to bashar al-assad's government and they wanted to top emhim down, so-- topple him down, so that's why they went through turkey to syria i was going to ask you about the accusations levelled against turkey, the fact that they looked the other way, allowing these fighters to go in there. many people are saying that possibly that attitude has now led to what we are seeing in turkey, the increase in violence there. >> reporter: yes. that's the accusations coming from opponents of the ruling party here, the justice and development party. certainly the accusations levelled from the turkish opposition and also from countries who are on the side of the president bashar al-assad regime. they accuse turkey of
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deliberately sending "terrorist", into their country. the government says it that there are foreign fighters from 80 countries fighting in syria. a lot of them are let through turkey into sir, but the argument of the turkey changed over the past year because we started to see in turkey itself being attacked by i.s.i.l. you have also the turkish government says it increased its pressure, its border security, on its border with syria to try and stop any flow of fighters or even weapons, and there are some point there were accusations of oil smuggling. so all of that, they increased the number of their personnel. of course, after pressure from the u.s. and as well as other countries. now turkey says it is victim of i.s.i.l. and it denies all accusations, and they say for the last month, for example, in march a few days ago there was an attack that was carried out, a suicide attack in istanbul and
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it was carried out by an i.s.i.l. member and also you have attacks in january and february as well as last year thank you for that. it is just after 10.30 g.m. t and this is what we know so far about events in brussels. belgium's prosecutor says a blast at the airport was a suicide attack. two explosions went off at the zaventem terminal. there was been one blast on the maelbeek metro network. we have heard people have died. we're not sure how many have, but certainly there has been a lot of injuries and the metro stations have been closed down. according to the civil defense, at least 21 people are dead and many more injured. that's in the attack in the airport. the threat level has been rachd across belgium to level 4. that's the highest.
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brussels city is in lock down. people have been told to stay where they are. other neighboring countries and the e.u. government in brufs have increased security. france's interior minister says 1600 extra police officers have been sent to the borders. so people have been told to stay at home, to not leave their buildings. this suggests that, possibly, more attacks are expected, but what we're looking at now are people walking along train tracks after those metro stations were closed down after an attack about three hours ago in the heart of brussels. very close to e.u. institutions, people being evacuated from stations and trains. people walk in the dooshg with the lidz on the side guiding them along the tracks.
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let's bring back martin reardon to talk about the security. you're saying it's not a failure because how can you predict something like this going to happen, how can you stop it from happening when there's a soft target. do you think this will and should lead to a massive security overview, though? >> an overview, absolutely. every time there is a terrorist attack the government owes it to their population or their country to do an in-depth look at what happened to see if there were, in fact, mistakes made. was there a piece of information that would have been known in belgium or france that wasn't shared or wasn't followed up. so it's too soon to say there was a failure there. again, when you have these small cell attacks, they're very difficult to thwart. terrorists are careful about what they do. unless you pick up something to
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compromise that, it goes on we saw a couple of explosions at the airport. one at the me tro station. there are possibly more attackers out there. we don't know at this stage. what does it suggest about the way they are operating, the timing of these explosions? >> the way they're operating, i think they're well organized. when you look at a terrorist cell conducting attacks, that's what we saw in paris and it's what we're going to see here probably. the cell is made up of different components. they have different components, whether that ask suicide bombers, assaulters, with handguns and rifles. you probably have a support network that involves surveillance and counter surveillance elements. you have the bomb maker which is the critical element in any cell is the person that makes that ied, whether it's an explosive vest or put into a backpack. not easy to make.
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it's putting them together and having the timing mechanic appearism or the detonator put in there correctly and a trail there >> exactly. the bottom p bomb maker are out there. they're not suicide bombers. they have a skill and they will be protected where do they learn that skill from? >> a number of places. the best place is right there in iraq and syria. when you look at different terrorist organizations, whether it's aqap down in yemen, has probably the best bomb maker in the world for a terrorist organization. then you have up there in iraq and syria, they're talents. they've got four years of experience, more than that, islamic state goes back to al-qaeda in iraq in 2003 timeframe. it's more than a decade of experience making these explosive devices, whether
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vehicles or suicide vests france is under a stoej. we've got police officers deployed-- estate of emergency. brussels will have 225 more police officers. what more can countries do to stop something like this from happening and to prevent so many people from to easily slipping across the borders and going to places like syria. >> well, the first part of that question, what more can they do to prevent this from happening. i think you're going to see a significant increase in uniformed officers, canine teams in brussels and elsewhere in europe. one, to restore confidence in the populations there that they go about their daily lives without worrying about another attack, but also to thwart attacks. again, terrorists prefer to conduct attacks on easy targets. if necessity see police there, they make a secondary target.
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it still may happen, but it makes it harder for them. as far as to stop them from going to iraq and syria in the first place, that's difficult. you can put blame and some countries are putting blame on turkey nor not tightening up their borders, at least initially, but there are issues in other countries that need to be addressed to stop the individuals becoming radicalized in the first place and travelling there yes, because that's an enormous issue particularly in france add belgium, isn't it, where people feel as though they're operating out of these circs and, therefore, angered enough to leave the country and conduct that's sort of atrocities. at the airport and the metro station now, it is, obviously, a crime scene and investigation is underway. what would they be looking for? >> i think a number of things. at the airport, the suicide
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bomber, there are generally remains at the bottom that can be collected. d.n.a. testing, they can identify who that bomber is. it is possible that he or she would have had identification documents on their person. that could be recovered. we saw this in paris. whether those documents were put on there deliberately so it could be tied back to islamic state or just by accident, but there's a chance that they would do that. you have video cameras, surveillance systems out there. they will be reviewing those films to see was a suicide bomber dropped off by a vehicle. if they can, can they identify that vehicle. was somebody else with that suicide bomber. in the case of the metro station, we don't know a lot about what happened there yet, whether it was a backpack or a suicide bomber, but in all likelihood if it was a backpack oar a piece of luggage, letter going to recover small pieces of
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that and they will be able to say they're looking for a blue backpack or a brown leather briefcase, reviewing the surveillance cameras, if they are there in the vicinity of the station, to see who would have walked in with that and go from there. that's a lot of analysis. i can guarantee you that in belgium europe overall, they're going to be putting as much man power as they can to identify this cell thank you. i think we need to go over to neave barker now because i believe that the police are moving people on. what have you been able to ascertain in the last couple of minutes or so? >> reporter: that's right. as you've just been mentioning, of course, this is an active crime scene, an active murder scene now that we've had it confirmed from the bull gem authorities that at least one explosion was carried out by a suicide attacker. armed police are beginning to seal off this area. police dogs have arrived as well. going back to the issue you were
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talking about there with the guest in the studio about gathering intelligence, it looks as if, of course, important information, important d.n.a. evidence will be gathered here that could open many more doors in understanding how these attacks took place, and it could, as we have seen in previous investigations around the paris attacks last november, give some more clues about possible further threats in the future, more imminently, though, it is down to the belgium authorities to make sure that enough personnel are on the grounds. as you mentioned, they've decided to send it more troops to the capita. there are still concerns that there may be more to come thank you for that. france's interior minister spoke just a few minutes ago. he said, as neave said there,
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they're deploying 1600 personnel to the area. >> translation: the determination of france to fight terrorism and that's what we've been doing for some months through the strengthening of the police and the intelligence services and it's what we're doing through the riggous application of the rules of law in a state of emergency and we will continue this action faced with a level of threat. i repeat to you today that it is at an extremely high level jacky rowland joins us now. those comments coming 20 minutes or so after a high-level security meeting.
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obviously france feeling an impact on this. what is the fallout that you've seen so far? >> reporter: in france they are also introducing precautionary measures. of course, france is already in a state of emergency following the attacks of november 13. france is also on the highest state of alert. it is called attack level. so they can't really raise the security level any further. one is used to seeing armed troops in france as well as-- we seem to have lost jacky. >> reporter: i am still here. i am currently also navigating the security of french transportation fment at the moment. they have brought more heavily armed police to the main railway station in paris, which is where the direct trains between brussels and paris depart from. they have been cancelled as part
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of a security measure. just to give you an idea of the lack down, there are no trains going nor planes. the road borders are also closed. i think the french and belgium authorities have realized that what we've seen in recent months is an extraordinary ability of members of the cells to pass undetected throughout the schengen zone in europe. even on the night of november 13 to november 14, the fact that salah abdeslam, prime suspect, was able to travel over road from france it belgium. these time they're not taking any chances. everything is in lock down because, obviously, at the moment the authorities, we've
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heard, are believing that these were suicide attacks but prurl as was the case on november 13 in par issise, the network goes beyond that's that perpetrated the attacks. they're looking for those who did the logistics, planning, telecommunications, explosives, safe houses, transportation. there is a much wider network and it's those people that the authorities want to capture. because that at part is obviously alive. there's a high state of fear and security in france and in belgium. they fear that there could be another attack at any time and literal anywhere really he says what we feared happened. it was a black day for belgium and confirming that military reinforces have been deployed,
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confirming that several people are dead and wounded. you mentioned the word "fear", and i should imagine in belgium as well as france, jacky, there is still fear and this must reignite horrific memories for the french. >> reporter: it does. i have to say that, obviously, in france it was only four months ago that we had those huge attacks in which 130 people were killed and more than 300 injure. it is notable in france today that traffic is heavy. people were on the way to work elected to go by car rather than use the underground. they're always a very, very vulnerable target. if you're in london and paris, you might see up to a million people using the public transport system throughout the course of the day. so many people are carrying backpacks. the fact that one of the explosions was on the brussels
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metro of course sent shock waves you also mentioned the schengen visa and this is something that needs to be looked at. is that an important factor here, do you think? >> reporter: i think it is a critical factor. we have seen how the visa free schengen zone has been in the spotlight over the past few months. first of all because of the movement of refugees and migrants we saw in europe and then because of the facility with which people planning-- i'm sorry, i will have to cut you off. the security briefing is taking place at the moment with the belgium prime minister. >> translation: we needed to be sure there were no new additional bombs in the luggage. so for the time being it's too early to give you a specific number of victims. as the prime minister said, the priority was given to the
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treatment of injured. some of them so seriously and instruction judge is in charge of doing everything possible to trace the authors and to see if there are not other people on the run. the police authorities are in charge of the investigation and are working and are looking at all the cctv footage for the time being. i can't give you further information, but the various districts headquarters are in place and they're working very well. we're doing everything possible to try and normalize the situation and progress.
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>> [speaking in foreign language. not being translated] apologies for that. let me just quickly remind you of what the prime minister said at the security meeting. he says it's too early to say how many victims of these attacks. he says that one explosion, the one at the airport, was likely to be a suicide attack. while he was talking, confirmation from the german federal police that they will increase the security on their
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streets after these attacks. they will also increase security on their borders with belgium, france, netherlands and luxemburg. let's bring in our guest, a legal expert. good to have you with us. what's your response to what happened? >> i'm not surprised, in fact. maybe three or four times this month, each time i arrive with my luggage, on i enter into the airport, but each time i have the same id. if i come here with one bomb, i can kill 10 people without any problem. it is easy to enter in the airport we have got the translation
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back. please do stay with us. we're going to listen to the security conference underway in belgium. >> translation: level 3 is a high level threat. it is a high level, and it has been enforced for some months now we're going to leave that q
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and a session there at the security conference in brussels where the prime minister was talking about this dark moment for the country and the increase in security measures and they don't know at this stage how many people have been injured or have been killed by this. the investigations, obviously, underway into what happened and if there's anybody else out there. thank you for staying with us. you were talking to us a little bit earlier about your security concerns at airports. >> yes. for me if no measure of security, maybe a soldier at the entrance, but they don't check the luggage. they're just at the door. you have maybe in this airport you have more than ten millions of passenger each year and you have no control in the entrance of the airport. just the presence of soldier,
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but they do nothing. they are just looking. it's not enough. they don't look and don't check the luggage we are hearing from france, germany now and belgium, that they're going to be increasing their security levels, the secure alert has been raised-- security alert has been raised to a 4 in belgium. are there legal ramifications to raising security levels to clamping down, to putting more security services on the streets? >> yes. in fact, there is no clear rule about the level of the threat, but the government decide, but you have no clear legal rule with the clear level determine. the importance of the sides
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directly was the government i don't know how much you know about the schengen visa. everyone knows about it, it allows travel between certain countries in europe. it was a suggestion that it will become more of a focus. is that important and how will that from a legal point of view be changed? >> yes. i think it's very important. if you don't - the government can decide absolutely all and can break the liberty of the populati population. if you don't have a legal frame, you open the door to all abuse from the states. it's necessary to determine how to pass from each level and what are the consequence of increase of the level of threat
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how do you feel after something like this, the fact that so many soft target have been affected, possibly innocent people feel, how does it make you feel? >> i feel very bad. in belgium no-one believe that this can happen. in belgium we believe that we export terrorists to other country, to france, et cetera, but clearly we have many point in belgium to focus the attention of terrorist. we have the european institution, the international military organization, and it's quite strange that until now, until today the terrorist focus on other country and to act in
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belgium. clearly we are just facing a real threat. i'm frightened for my family i should imagine so. i really do appreciate you talking to us on this day. thank you. earlier a witness spoke to us from outside the metro station. if i can just remind you that that was one of the stations that was affected by an explosion there. we are hearing that somebody has been killed, or a fau people have been killed. we don't know any numbers. certainly a lot of people have been wounded after that explosion. this is what he told me. >> i was at the metro station just before the one where the blast was. i was exiting the metro. there was a loud muffled thud seemingly coming from upstairs.
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people started panicking and coming-- panicking and coming out of the station. this was the explosion that took place here, the next metro station that we felt from where we were i should imagine that's a pretty busy station, particularly this time of the morning. >> yes. at this time of the morning it was packed. we actually had to wait in the metro station before it left so it was completely full. it was a very busy time we're looking at a picture which i believe is coming from near there. we can see smoke rising. we see very heavy traffic, localities of people on the street-- lots of people on the street. i should imagine it was pretty frightening. the fact that security has been lifted to the highest level yet. how much fear or has there been fear considering what has been
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happening in the country and the links to those living there to the attacks in pa >> it's hard to say. everyone has their own individual experience. i have to admit i haven't really felt the fear, i haven't been living in fear despite going to numerous different scenarios, different situations here, since before november in fact, but everybody has their own interpretation of events. what is probably the most jarring is the fact that people don't really know what's going on, and that was evident this morning in the metro station there. there was a lot of confusion. some people were running and others stood still frozen. so it's hard to know the security there, is there an ever-present security force on the strain stations-- train stations considering the imminent threats or nothing at all? >> there is a strong security presence. it is also notable. it was actually surprising for me to see that there were numerous soldiers on the ground
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floor, there was a vehicle parked outside. there was a quick mobilization of people. all the stations had been quickly cleared off. the main street that runs down along here is packed full of people now walking. everyone is out of the metro station. so, yes, there is a security presence and they are effective of what they're doing that attack was followed by another explosion in the center of brussels. officials say at least 21 people have been killed the metro system and the airport has been closed. snoop the attacks come four days after salah abdeslam, the main surviving suspect in the