tv Wolf CNN March 18, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PDT
only with xfinity. this is cnn breaking news. >> hello. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. we begin with breaking news. the fugitive suspect in the paris terror attacks captured alive in bell aai flooif belgium. he's reported to be injured but he is alive. let's bring in our chief national correspondent jim sciutto. our cnn terrorism analyst paul from new york. and cnn contributor and author of isis inside the army of terror michael weiss.
tell us about the raid. what do we know that just happened? >> wolf, really minutes ago, as part of an armed police operation in brussels, they captured two suspected terrorists alive. those two suspected terrorists received injuries as a result of the operation but they have now confirmed the identity of one of those individuals is salah abdeslam, the so-called tenth paris attacker who participated in the paris attacks, dropped off the stadium bombers that night but his suicide device, he didn't carry through with that. he didn't become a suicide bomber that night and managed himself back to brussels. the trail had gone cold until tuesday when police went to an address in brussels that they believe was linked to the paris attacks. they had no idea that salah abdeslam or any other terrorists were inside.
there was a big fire fight and two of the terrorists managed to escape. they believe one of those was probably salah abdeslam, and they they have been working 24/7 to get him. he will be put on trial for those paris attacks. a big moment for the families who lost loved ones that day and big moment for european security services because i think he represented still a significant potential threat for some kind of follow-on attack, somewhere in europe. he was inside the safe house with a senior algerian isis operative who was one of the ring masters of the paris attacks. that operative was kill bade police sniper on tuesday afternoon. he had been given orders to the paris attackers during the paris attacks, including to him.
significant moments indeed, wolf. >> let's not forget 130 people were killed in the november 13th attack in paris. hundreds were injured. salah abdeslam has been often described least as one of the ring leaders in all of this. remind our viewers how he managed to escape. >> for whatever reason, following the attacks, and again, there was that suicide vest found near the site of one of the attacks that had his dna on it. late in the night after the attacks finished, he called friends in belgium asking to be picked up to help him and bring him back from paris. to some accounts he was in tears. it's not clear if that is correct but as he fled back they drove down from belgium. they picked him up on the outskirts of paris and headed back to belgium. border police stopped them at the border, but at that stage, french police did not have the
knowledge that salah abdeslam was connected to the attacks. so they let them go on the way back to belgium. authorities were able to track the vehicle. 50 minutes later, they find out that salah abdeslam just slipped through their fingers but the result was he was able to go in to hiding in belgium. this is such a significant moment for the belgian authorities, but for the french, as well. that's why i think remembering today in brussels, there's heads of state, heads of the 28-member countries of this european union are meeting in brussels where this has been going down today. we had the french president hollande step out of the meeting to talk to reporters. he said, look, we cannot tell you all of the details at the moment but his words were right now we are living an important
moment. this is the level of so many people who died in paris were french, many others, but for the french president this is for him, at least, a moment not of conclusion but a significant step in bringing to account those responsible. wolf? >> good point. jim sciutto is with me, as well. let's go to the white house press secretary josh earnest who is speaking about this right now. >> should be more aggressive and act more aggressively. >> i can't comment on any specific private financial transaction. i will say as a general matter this administration now for years has been urging congress to take steps to close the inversion's loophole that allows large -- >> we mr. replay what he just said. he was just at the white house. he was asked about what happened in belgium. we will get that sound for you. stand by for a moment. but jim sciutto is with me here in washington and our chief
national correspondent. u.s. has been deeply involved in this as well. u.s. counterterrorism officials. they are looking to see what happened in paris and belgium to try to make sure it doesn't happen here in the united states. >> you have u.s. counter terror officials including the fbi posted there permanently to continue this intelligence sharing relationship to prevent attacks there and also prevent attacks here. interestingly where he was taken, ostensibly, this was a surprise. he was hiding in plain sight in belgium, where he went the very night of the attacks fleeing paris. as nic robertson mentioned, he was stopped and let go. i asked a french official, is he surprised this is where salah abdeslam would be found and he said no. the greater risk is to cross border crossings and do things you need to do that is necessary to get from paris to belgium perhaps back to syria. in many ways it's easier to stay
in place, move around and don't communicate, move from safe house to safe house and this is what he hassing managed to do since the paris attacks. the other thing is he will be tried for the crimes of course. france has enormous emergency power laws. before they go through the legal process, they will be able to interrogate him. that's going to be their focus in this early stage. interrogate, get intelligence about further isis members in and around there to prevent further plots and get all of those t though tendrils. >> i know french officials have complained about what going on in brussels. right now salah abdeslam is in the custody of belgium officials, but as you know the french will want to question him and maybe try him in paris.
how does that work? >> he is in the company of the belgium authorities right now. there maybe an extradition request from the french. there a european arrest warrant it is pretty automatic. if he wanted for crimes. he may be tried in france, given the attack took place in france. so many french people, in paris lost their lives that night. i've got to say in the last few months there's been very strong cooperation between belgian and french counterterrorism investigators. the belgians have been playing a big role in all of this. there have been 11 people in total who have been arrested, suspected of a role in the paris conspiracy who were going to face trial. including some people playing senior roles in the conspiracy. there have been a lot of breakthroughs on the belgian side a lot of breakthroughs on the french side.
they have been working hand in glove over the last few months. this is through a counterterrorism coordination as it is meant to work. what we have seen now is a lucky break in the investigation. when they went in to this safe house on tuesday afternoon, just thinking it was an address of interest related to the paris attacks, not expecting it to be a terrorist den and not expecting it to have salah abdeslam, one of the most wanted men in the world. perhaps the most wanted man in the world right nowed in of that apartment. he managed to get away because one of his colleagues, terrorist colleagues provided covering fire, firing at the police as they tried to get lu the door. he appears to have escaped. if he was there at the moment through the roof. the two terror suspects fled through the roof and went to another location in bill jerusalem. belgium security services were hot on their trail and managed
to pin them down a few moments ago. >> very quickly, the individuals arrested in belgium, as you point out, paul, have they been -- they were involved in the paris attacks allegedly. france or still in belgian o - custody. >> they are still in dell january custody right now. we are told by a senior official that someone called mohamed belkaid who i am told and we reported before that played a senior role in the planning of the paris attacks. he was a rested a few weeks after the paris attacks in brussels. in his residence in brussels, they found video footage of a belgian nuclear scientist. some surveillance had been shot suggesting there were other plans in the work in belgium, in europe. bigger plans perhaps in the works to launch other attacks. all very concerning.
clearly a breakthrough they have gotten salah abdeslam. he could be a treasure trove of intelligence. the fact they are able to kill one of the senior members of conspiracy on tuesday, mohamed belkaid, someone giving orders to the paris attackers during the time of the paris attack was a very big breakthrough, as well. there are a number of suspects still believed to be a large, including a belgian moroccan who ferried the attackers from belgium to france and played a role in the attacks and a few others that they are looking for. but this is a huge breakthrough for the belgians and french today. >> we will stay on top of the breaking news. more after this. i'm gonna take mucinex sinus-max. enough pressure in here for ya? too late, we're about to take off. these dissolve fast. they're new liquid gels. and you're coming with me... you realize i have gold status?
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-- molenbeek. these are from our affiliate. a drone flying over the streets of belgium area in molenbeek area a. just outside of brussels. the drone you can see it moving thering taking video. live pictures for law enforcement, counterterrorism officials. this is a drone flying over molenbeek. paul cruikshank, peter bergen, national security analyst, juliet and senior lawsuit analyst, tom fuentes. for viewers tuning in right now the capture alive of salah abdeslam potentially represents a major breakthrough if he talks. what are the rules in belgium if he decides? can he retain an attorney? does he have the right to remain silent? can he shut up and not remain
cooperative or are there ways to force him to tell all? >> he will be able to remain silent. he doesn't have to cooperate. in past terrorism investigations in brussels, notably after a terrorist plot was thwarted in january, some of the suspects stayed completely silent, refused to cooperate at all with investigators providing a lot of frustration. and so he may decide if he's a true believer to shut his mouth and not say anything at all. but of course skilled interrogators have all kinds of techniques to use to try to get people to open up. after a while they may be bored and want to talk to somebody about what they have done. they may feel proud of what they have done. it appears that salah abdeslam was very much part of the isis
network. he was hold up in a safe house. he had guns. it appears he was a true believer. they are hoping to get as much intelligence as possible. >> we don't know if he will or won't talk. what do we know about the role that the leader of isis played in the terrorist attack that killed 130 people last november 13th? >> we know they had operational knowledge that something like this was going to occur. and how much they knew will probably be told or at least disclosed in the months ahead. what i there's a belief that isis is a big blob that is
taking over iraq and syria. but the truth is there is some coordination and control it is significant. even though there are other isis masterminds behind this one. we know that is true. the about seasosence of an arre have appeared weak. this is a significant arrest, if only for a sense ta western europe can actually show some success against this growing threat. >> let me bring peter bergn in to this. reporting that we are getting, what do you think, will they be able to get this guy to talk and perhaps reveal details of other plots in the works or based on his history, this 26-year-old
salah abdeslam that he will remain silent in prison? >> it is hard to tell. he maybe a true believer and say nothing. he is entitled to do that but get the right interrogator in there. someone that can build confidence and somebody who can illicit some kind of discussion of what happened, maybe we'll get something. it is -- at the end of the day, you know, that's hard to tell. tom is with us as well. what role will u.s. officials say in this investigation in to the paris terror attack? >> they will have a big role and they have had for two decades in western europe. the fbi has offices in paris, brussels, the hague and 12 other western capitals of europe and they work very closely, as well
as other components of the u.s. intelligence community working there very diligently. the problem is, and i think that much of the reporting about the bad relationship between authorities in paris and brussels, much of that is based on the fact they don't have a lot 0 of intelligence. they share what they have, but it is pretty weak. that's been the biggest problem. their outreach programs in the muslim communities are largely ineffective. that's how these guys can get safe houses and hide in places like molenbeek and brussels and no one goes to the mpolice or authorities and say these jihadists are living above me. it is not the lack of sharing but collecting in the he first place. >> nic robertson, i have been told by french officials over the years they have been disappointed in the level of cooperation, what the belgium
authorities do as far as fighting terrorism in bell judgment maybe that improved recently but what are you hearing? >> we hear all the time there are frustrations. it's not just between france and belgium but inside of europe. europe has -- it doesn't have common policies in sharing information between intelligence agencies. at times, particularly in the past, national interests don't align as much as they do now many the era of isis. we are in a new phase of cooperation inside of europe. this is, you know, a new development. the ground work has to be laid for that.
we hear about similar situations in britain and other parts of europe. so you have to bring it together as nations. it's not easy or complicated but what we continue to hear from officials is that it is improving. i think we need to look at one other thing tonight here in europe, as well. salah abdeslam certainly appears now to be liked by isis enough to be, if you will, in a safe house with other senior players within isis. he's been on the run for four months. i don't think it will be overlooked by jellan overlooked by agencies awaiting his capture that that could perhaps be something that could trigger a reaction from isis in the coming days.
i think we understand that counterterrorism officials will be on a heightened state of alert. special forces training for potential of a paris-style attack here in the u.k. going in to this weekend we will be looking at a situation where counterterrorism authorities all over europe will be on a more heightened alert than perhaps they might have been last week. >> because isis wants to show it is capable. that's understandable. we are looking at pictures from molenbeek area. they still have suspects at large. they are looking for other cells presumably. we will take a break and rejerusalem the breaking news coverage in a moment.
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x1 makes it easy to find what blows you away. call or go onliand switch to x1. only with xfinity. from belgium authorities saying we got him. he was cap you ared in the molenbeek area. clarissa ward is joining us. you were in paris and covered the terror attacks on the stadium over at the theater. it was an awful situation. 130 people were killed. many of them young people. hundreds injured and they have been on the lookout for this
terrorist salah abdeslam ever since. the fear is there are other terror cells isis connected still at large, right? >> well, i think there are a lot of concerns. obviously this is a moment -- you just heard the belgium justice minister saying we got him. it is an important moment for people to feel safer knowing this man is off the streets, but there are larger questions still looming, such as how is it possible that perhaps the most wanted terrorist certainly in europe, possibly in the world, was with able to continue to live in belgium, in molenbeek, on the outskirts of brussels in broad daylight ostensibly for four months? it has been four long months since the paris attacks took place in november. while this is certainly a triumphant moment for belgian and french and indeed all european security officials, i think it raises questions of how
easy it is for people like salah abdeslam to go under the radar so to speak. you see this is a major concern in many european capitals. is there enough cooperation between the communities that men like salah abdeslam are members of and law enforcement officials? certainly went we were spending time on the outskirts of paris in the so-called suburbs, the disenfranchised youth living there. people we spoke to said they weren't interested in doopting with police and talking to authorities because there's such a bad relationship in many cases between these communities and between the authorities. so certainly now, wolf, as i said before, this is triumphant moment and important moment but it still does raise a lot of question about how about he was able for four long months to be hiding in plain sight so to speak. >> that suggests peter, bergen, mae must have had help, acome
polices who hid him and knew what he had done, who he was but were willing to hide him for whatever reason raising the spectrum of more terrorist looms at large. >> there are as many as a couple dozen people who have some role to play in all of this. you know, the more we learn, the larger the group of people who provided some form of support network becomes. it is worth pointing out, wolf, that belgium and france have supplied more foreign fighters to isis proportion a naallpropo. the germans provided quite a number as have the brits. for americans, should they be concerned? and the good news is we have seen only one person, one person
defect from isis in the last -- the number of people who have been trained by groups like isis in syria who have returned to the united states have only been two whose names have been made public. so, the united states is protected by geography. you can drive from paris to damascus. not from damascus to washington. and it is also protected by the relatively small number of americans wo have gone. we have had 6900 westerners who have gone to train in syria. only a handful of americans relatively speaking have succeeded in getting there. from an american national security perspective, the problem of isis foreign fighters being trained by isis in syria is really magnitude lower than what we have seen unfolding in france and belgium. >> you make a good point. let me bring in nick roberts, our senior diplomatic international editor and why france and belgium specifically,
why are they such hot beds for potential terrorists emerging from those countries? >> one of the reasons that most people tend to look at is the communities, the immigrant communities that the children, more often of immigrant communities have not prospered as well as other countries in europe and have been displaced from the centers of cities like paris or the suburbs where resentment has grown and where isis a and its is narrative has grown and ease of distributing that narrative through the internet and the attractiveness that it managed to portray itself. it has appeal to a group of people that are sort of open to this kind of message, open to something more interesting. open to a different, more
aggressive way of life that's fighting the system. utterly fanatical way. they are buying the message, the condition there the assessment is the conditions created by the communities or within the communities has allowed this to happen. yet, yawn, that bears further examination. in britainen, for example, where they are equally, over the years, the past four, five, six decades a large immigrant community here disenfranchised youth within that community, as well, exposed to the same message. also gone to join isis in iraq and syria. perhaps a part of it, part of the draw from france and paris is that the immigrant communities there feel a greater connection because they have come from north africa, from the middle east than we have seen here in britain over in the decades. it's been more from western
asia. it's very hard to examine this and come up with hard, concrete answers. but the root of it is disaffected youth that is looking for a different message. isis' message has come at a time when they can grasp it simply and attractive enough to pull them away. coming from britain for example, you have to cross frontiers. if you leave from france you don't have to go across the same frontier as britain, wolf. >> what worries u.s. and law enforcement officials is isis' ability to use social media to recruit these disaffected youth, whether in france, belgium or other places, as well. we will stay on top of the breaking news. more coming up. . also new information as far as american politics is concerned. the road to the white house. new developments in the anti-donald trump movement emerging. we eel share that with you and much more after this.
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much more on the breaking news coming in from brussels. the capture alive of a terror suspect. we will get back to that in a while. new developments we are watching, as well here in the united states on the race for the white house. remember, the magic number for the republicans is 1,237. that's the number of delegates donald trump will need in order to be ensured he's the republican presidential nominee. his camp, by the way, very confident they will get that number in advance of the convention coming up in july in cleveland. opponents of his own party, the republican party, they are trying to stop him. groups of prominent conservatives have been meeting behind closed doors to try to
figure out how to derail donald trump right now even though he is way ahead in the delegate count. one of his top advisers spoke about on cnn's "new day" earlier today. >> if these people were so concerned about what was going on, why don't they find a better candidate to run against mr. trump? we will get to 1237 and these guys will be stewing on the floor of the convention in cleveland and we will have to figure out whether they want to get on the train or will end up under the train. we have people who are elitists, who are part of the ruling class of this country or portenders to that thrown who think they are part of the ruling class who are openly and willingly going out and telling the american people who have voted for donald trump that they are stupid and they don't know any better. i want to tell you, if that's the path they want to go down, there will be consequences for
that kind of thinking. >> strong words from sam clovis. let's talk about this and more. well, when you hear strong words, strong words from donald trump, as well, raising the possibility of riots if he is denied. if he's close and doesn't get to the magic number but very close. what goes through your mind. >> bringing the party together with veiled threats. it is incumbent on donald trump to do work to bring other people in to the fold, is it not? i'm not sure he how well it will work and i'm not sure he is interested in doing it at all. there rules for a reason. when you see 38 to 40% of republicans who said i would
consider a third party run there's a real issue that needs to be worked on and not just told there will be consequences for this. >> what do you think the front runner donald trump should do about this rebellion, if you l among conservatives, republicans who are looking for an alternative, anything but donald trump. >> keep winning. he's polling in the 60 percentile in the state of new york which is a huge state with a lot of delegates. leading in arizona a arizona which is winner take all. she winning by double-digits in california the largest state of the union but it seems like every time he wins all of my friends from the establishment have the same look on their face that bob kardashian had when the o.j. verdict was read. i don't know why people are shocked by this when all of the metrics, all of the indicators say this is where we are going. if donald trump continues to win, you are going to see a continuation of elected members of the congress, governors, mayors get behind him as we have
seen, rudy giuliani is the biggest name to get behind him. i think you will see that continue and donald trump is a guy right now who's the presumptive nominee. i think we are far enough along now where we can say the likely scenario is that donald trump will be the republican nominee and the establishment needs to accept that. >> well, chris, i've known you a long time. you are an experienced democratic strategist. let's say donald trump is the republican nominee, hill i have the democratic nominee how worried should democrats be about facing off with donald trump in november. >> a couple of broad camps. one small camp i'd say that thinks he's extremely vulnerable because of the divide support he has within his own party. he's clearly alienating critical voting blocks, whether hispanics or women. that makes him a very unappealing candidatement the other block, which i subscribe
to is i think he is a potential real threat. i don't think he can go in to this election with this unstable electorate and under estimate the potential threat he has as a candidate. the other reality is -- and i think this is one of the things that sometimes political analysts and pundits forget, when you look at the percentage of americans that vote it is only 55 to 60% of eligible voters. if he is able to tap the other 40%, whether it is anger, frustration, hate, whatever you want to call it, he can pose a serious challenge. >> stand by. my conversation with hillary clinton activists out there, they are worried about the possibility of this kind of race but we shall see. stand by. coming up, the former democratic presidential candidate michael dukakis is joining me. we will talk about donald trump, hillary clinton and a lot more. stick around. this is the all-new 20wow, it's nice.. let's check it out. do any of you have kids? i do yes. this car has a feature built in called teen driver technology,
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president obama has called out republican presidential front-runner donald trump multiple times now and he's described the republican presidential campaign, in his words, as vulgar and divisive. michael dukakis knows what it's like to be slammed by a sitting president you're trying to replace. here's ronald reagan in 1988 being asked about rumors that dukakis had been treated for depression. >> do you think the american people deserve to know whether he's fit to govern by making his medical records public? >> look, i'm not going to pick on an invalid. >> president reagan later apologized, saying he was trying to be funny and it didn't work.
the former governor of massachusetts, his run against george h.w. bush plays out in this sunday's episode of "race for the white house" here on cnn. he's joining us from california. governor, thanks very much for joining us. >> good to be with you, wolf. >> you always insisted on running a pretty clean campaign, a strategy some say may have cost you the race. so what do you make of the campaigns being run right now by the republicans, candidates specifically like donald trump and ted cruz? >> well, it's a food fight. if these guys are running for the presidency, you have to prove it to me. i don't hear any issues about the country. each of them has their own particular approach to things, but if they're serious candidates for the presidency, you can't prove it by me. >> you're the son of greek immigrants. what do you think of donald trump's comments on immigration,
on at least temporarily banning muslims from entering the united states, building a wall along the u.s./mexican border and having mexico pay for it? >> i think he's nuts. look, he's the grandson of german immigrants, and he ought to be ashamed of himself. i'm very proud of my background, as i'm sure you are, who are a lot closer to the immigrant experience, wolf, than other people. but this is a guy, a grandson of somebody who came over from germany, and i don't know what he's talking about. for one thing, it's preposterous. we're not going to spend billions on a wall. that's ridiculous. net illegal immigration into the united states today is zero. it's zero. so i don't know what he's talking about. it's very divisive. it's not the kind of america i believe in. i don't think it's the kind of america most americans believe in. i hope at some point he's going
to start addressing real issues that face this country. >> what about what we're seeing in the primary race between hillary clinton and bernie sanders? i know you support hillary clinton. sanders, though, says it's a big mistake for him not to take his campaign all the way to the democratic convention in philadelphia in july. he thinks it will motivate the base for an larger turnout in november. do you think he should stay in the race or drop out? >> i think if he wants to stay in the race, he should. you recall in my race jesse jackson stayed up right until the end, spoke at the convention. i didn't have a problem with that. and frankly this is such an incredible opportunity for the democratic party. wolf, to have this kind of food fight on the other side and to be able to go to work and make this -- and i'm serious about this, a 50-state campaign. every state, every precinct. we've got to organize this country. we've got to work with people across this country. if we do so, we're not only going to win the presidency, we're going to win the congress
back. i think the fact that sanders for example stays in the race gives us a better opportunity to organize for the fall. and that effort has got to begin now. i'm serious about this. i think this is a huge opportunity for the democratic party, but we've got to seize it. >> as you know, this sunday night, cnn is running an episode of race for the white house, about your campaign against george h.w. bush back in 1988. how would you describe president bush as an opponent? at that time, he was the vice president. >> well, he was okay. i don't think he ran a great campaign. i made two huge mistakes in that campaign. i'm sorry to say they cost me the election. the first was, and i made a decision i was not going to respond to the bush attack campaign. you know, the country was very divided at the time. there's this kind of nostalgia about the reagan era. it was a very polarizing eight years as you'll recall.
nothing warm and fuzzy about it. i was one of those guys who thought the american people would respond to a positive campaign. and i think they would have. but there's a lesson to be learned from my demise in '88 it is that if the other guy's going to come at you, you got to be ready for it and you got to have a strategy for dealing with it and i didn't and i think that hurt. secondly, i was the guy who always won elections with intensive precinct-based grassroots campaigns. i spent too much time talking to people i thought knew more than i did about how to win the presidency. maybe for city council, but not for the presidency. and that was a mistake and a big one. and it took president obama not once but twice to prove beyond any doubt grassroots campaigns for the presidency work. which is why i think it's important the democratic party do the same thing this year.
unfortunately, you can't take them back. >> michael dukakis, thanks very much. we're getting more detailed on the breaking news this hour, the arrest of the paris terror attack suspect in belgium, sab de sal law abdeslam. reporting that he has been shot in the leg and taken to hospital. btn also reporting that two suspects may still be in the house where the raid took place and that the operation is ongoing. stay with cnn for updates on the raid and capture of sala abdel salam. the news continues right after a quick break. g is magical for all the wrong reasons. you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® for powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin®. because it starts working faster on the first day you take it. try zyrtec®. muddle no more®.
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. >> you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. we have breaking news coverage of one of the most intense and deadly manhunts of our time and we can confirm one of the fugitives, perhaps the most wanted man in the world, suspected in the paris terror attack, has just been
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