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tv   The Place for Politics 2016  MSNBC  March 22, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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>> good day. i'm andrea mitchell from cuba. the breaking news of the terror attack in brussels. you're seeing president obama here in havana a short time ago addressing the cuban people and what happened in brussels. >> the thoughts and the prayers of the american people are with the people of belgium. we stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people. we will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally, belgium, in bringing to justice those who are responsible and this is yet another reminder that the world must unite. we must be together, regardless
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of nationality or race or faith, in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. we can and we will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all over the world. >> here's what we know at this time. 31 people are believed to have died in the attacks at the airport and the subway station nearby. three americans are critically injured. they have been identified by the mormon church as missionaries. critically, but not life-threatening injuries. isis has now claimed responsibility. pete williams joins me from the newsroom. >> andrea, good day to you. >> and by phone. >> andrea, good day to you. >> pete, tell us what we know and what officials and homeland security officials telling you. >> well, they don't know of any specific credible reports for attacks on the homeland, andrea.
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they are following the response of the belgian authorities looking at who was responsible here. they tell us they're chasing down several leads based on a couple of pieces of information. first of all, witness reports. the photographs from airport surveillance and material that was left behind. we've heard that there was perhaps one unexploded device found and a rifle and plus, we believe the body of one of the attackers. that's all very important to them. they're working their intelligence sources and they say they're pursuing leads right now. no known threats against the homeland, andrea, and in terms of the response we've seen in the u.s., basically what you would expect. based on the attacks that were in brussels on an airport and a subway station, security is being stepped up here at airports and rail facilities, but not at the direction of the
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federal government. this is in response to what local authorities think is the right thing to do, the most visible response has been in new york. really, i think you would describe it as an aggressive presence of police and subway stations in the new york area on commuter lines coming into new york and similar security on subway systems and this point as well. you'll see a lot more visible security. other than that, no fundamental changes that we're aware of at airport, train stations, or subway stations in the u.s. there's no credible threat against him. >> let me follow up with you on what we know about the explosives. first of all, let's recap a suicide bomber, as well as another and how many devices were involved in the twin attacks on the airport and the subway station. >> reporter: in terms of the
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airport, authorities now believe that we'as a suicide bomber. they haven't been more specific in saying what the suicide bomber had although the supposition was that it was a suicide's vest. the second is what the belgium's ambassador has called a suspect package in what authorities in belgium called a suitcase. so the second explosive device and authorities and witnesses at the airport said one sound was a lot bigger than the other and that would perhaps explain the differences there. the explosive material is not surprisingly what's known as t.a.t.p. it's a commonly used explosive for terrorists. you can unfortunately find all sorts of recipes for how to make it. it's not difficult to make. it's not very stable but it's easy to make and that apparently as the explosive here and that's with the recent isis inspired attacks in europe.
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>> pete, as you well know, the airport security in the u.s. after 9/11 was increased to the point where at some points, cars were stopped and searched as they approached the airport. before they got to the terminal with their unchecked baggage. this was a soft target. it was people arriving in that big arrival hall before they went through security. i heard a lot of criticism privately from other officials of the level of security that was put on by the belgian security officials given the fact that abdeslam was arrested and was being interrogated as recently as friday. >> reporter: two points about that, andrea. one, you're right, and repeatedly several times after 9/11, in fact, there were
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restrictions on access to u.s. airports. that would be turned on or off and ratcheted up. you couldn't drive up the airports. there was no curbside check-in. i don't know of any plans here in the u.s. to reimpose those measures or change that. but you're right. we have heard criticism from some people in belgium who have said, given that they believed more attacks were imminent, why wasn't there more done at airports. the problem is trying to decide what that is and if the bombs were in a suitcase, do you search everybody who is carrying a suitcase into the airport? that is the airport. no airport in the world is set up to do that. that's the problem. >> and pete, the head of the tsa, i believe, was in brussels for an unrelated meeting. presumably, he is one of the people who will be helping the officials there because when the president called prime minister
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to belgium today, they called for all help to be provided for intelligence services and other agencies. >> reporter: peter nefenger was coincidentally in brussels. not at the airport, we're told, but he was in brussels, and he is relaying to the u.s. and very much involved in the discussions here with the american authorities on what steps to take based on what he's hearing over there. >> pete williams, thanks so much. i know you have to get back to your reporting. thank you for being with us on this breaking news as we continue to report on brussels and the horrific terror attacks there. i'm joined by steve decrani on the phone who was there when it happened. i know you took video as well. tell us what you saw. what you experienced at that hour of the morning.
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>> reporter: i just managed to get through the security checkpoint. it just happened and then people were inside saw a lot of injured people coming down. all of those people have cuts because the glass ceiling had fallen down. and then the police immediately began with cutting off the area. having a safety perimeter all around and a lot of people also came by air sight. and then gathered somewhere at 200 yards from the building. two hours later, there were even evacuated more further to one mile, one and a half miles and then what i heard from the witnesses is that there was a first explosion near some desk near the end of the entrance hall and a lot of people started fleeing towards the exits and then the second bomb hit and the second bomb was large and more powerful and said to have contained nails. there were a lot of injuries
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because of the second bomb. and then two hours after that attack, everybody was cleared out even further. because there was a third device which didn't get off and then the special forces just decimated or recalled in belgium, the control destination of one suspicious package, which should have contained perhaps another explosive device and was a suspicious package around. at this moment, the airport is still blocked off. nobody gets in. there's still some technical research and military down there. the airport, just at brussels airport, will be closed until thursday at least. no flights tomorrow in and out of brussels airport. >> steve declaney, thank you so
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much. we're glad you're safe. tom costello who covers aviation is with me now and has a double connection because your family is from belgium and you have relatives there. you spent so much time there. you have breaking news on the systematics in this case. >> let me give you a couple of pieces of information. first of all, the belgium federal prosecutors office. three men of interest, they look for at least one of them. the man on the right with the white jacket or coat. they're looking for that individual. you can see these three men were believed to have been at the brussels airport this morning. you could see they all seem to be pushing some sort of baggage cart. we are not sure, it would appear, maybe two of these individuals may have been a part of this attack this morning. according to federal prosecutors and they're looking for this individual on the right. we don't know if he got away. and an initial report that an unexploded belt was found and
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had to detonate that belt. that is the latest from the belgian federal prosecutor's office. at the airport, 400 flights now cancelled into and out of brussels today, as you would expect. the airport ceo saying they would remain closed at least through tomorrow. although that. you look at the extent of the damage to that airport and the amount of forensics investigations that has to continue in the brussels airport, and we will see how long it takes them to resume operations. it's not just a matter of the debris on the ground but the damage to the infrastructure as well that they are dealing with. the computer infrastructure, the electricity, the water piping. all of that. it will be something that they have to address. also this coming in. some hotels in brussels are now offering their hotels free for the night for individuals who are stranded, who are stuck. you might imagine a lot of people who had intended to fly
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out today can't fly out. they're stuck. people who had intended just to be on the road and leave or be on a train trip and maybe for whatever reason, they're not able to leave brussels. some hotels in brussels are now offering free rooms for the night. and now we have several reports of injuries. three individuals, we are told that they are missionaries from the church of latter day saints. three mormons have been injured and are being treated for wounds suffered at the airport. also, one u.s. member of the military and his family, three family members are also said to be injured. those are the known americans that i have at this point. schools who were on lockdown, that lockdown has been lifted. and rail service and some metro service is now starting out limited as it might be given the state of conditions there in downtown brussels. and that is where we stand at
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12:12, 6:12 in brussels this evening. back to you, andrea. >> tom, if you could take a moment to also share with us your knowledge from friends and family and all of your travel there about the airport, the area of the subways and how the belgian people have been responding since the paris attacks and all of the focus on the melnbek neighborhood and the arrest of the prime remaining suspect survivor of those attacks. >> it's probably worth repeating that the belgians have taken great pride in being a country that welcomes immigrants. and especially refugees from war-torn areas or areas that are suffering from terrible corruption and economic collapse and what have you. and they have done that for decades. and in fact, they have been among those taking the lead on accepting refugees from syria. that said, it follows into this
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country that the critics within the country have said, listen, there is too much of a social safety net for individuals. in other words, if you show up, you're given a stipen and maybe not for those who have an ulterior motive. we don't know if these suspects were born if brussels or belgium. if they are from another country, we simply don't know. but it feeds into this dialogue very much a part of the political landscape for decades and growing, especially following the paris attacks about whether there needs to be more police presence and more of a sharp eye on individuals who may have ulterior motives. there is a sizable muslim population within belgium. and they are generally very much welcomed and they are very great contributors to the society. and so you could see this constant pull of trying to figure out how this country
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adopts to all of this that has been going on for the last 20 years. and i would stress again, a country that has really tried to welcome refugees and welcome people from all over the world who are in need of help. >> in fact, that has always been the reputation of belgium going all the way back to world war ii and the way they treated the people trying to escape from persecution. this is a real crisis of conscience and of culture. in europe and in western europe and now in belgium. what we're seeing in germany, of course, the political effects of all of this in france and germany and the rest of western europe are really being felt. thanks so much. tom costello reporting on what is happening at the airport. what we know at this time and jim from the pentagon is reporting as tom just mentioned that there is one military u.s. service member, not identifying the person and four members of
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we believe a male member of the military. his immediate family who are among the injured. so five people, but not five service members. one military family. the identity not being given at this time by the pentagon for reasons of privacy. right now, steve clemens, our friend and colleague and msnbc contribute for and editor at large for the atlantic on the phone from frankfurt, i believe, steve. but you were at the airport arriving at the airport today and leaving a conference in brussels just moments before the bombs went off or moments afterwards. i've heard you saying you saw the smoke. >> yeah, i saw the smoke. and had a sense of the fear of everyone that was leaving and runni running. they saw the holes in the top of the great hall that had been shattered. some people that said it was a sign that the bomb exploded
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upward in a way and shattered the very highest levels of that great hall. and oddly, that may have meant that it saved some, not didn't save lives but didn't kill as many people if it had exploded in a horizontal fashion, for whatever that's worth. but we're in the melee this morning and just basically saw belgium, where i've been the last few days, heightened up in a great deal of fear. i arrived as the abdeslam operations were going on with the policy officials in europe and saw security beefed up a little bit there. but then subsided, went to the molenbeek neighborhood to walk around and things were just seemed to be very much back to normal. and when you took the train this morning to the airport with the airport, you just didn't feel
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that anything was amiss. and even as i came back and we were sitting back on the train back to the brussels train station, the security there really didn't gather and build to a much larger degree until we heard the rumors of the bombs. it's been a very tense morning. i started out in brussels. i took five trains to get to amsterdam to where i am now and just boarding a flight to washington. >> and steve, did anyone stop you along the way? if you were or anyone else moving around europe as you have today, i'm hearing from our personnel moving in from germany and elsewhere that no one had stopped them at any border. >> reporter: i think the oddest thing for me is that i was with people all morning. one man, i tweeted some conversations with him and
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interviewed them on my iphone and put them on twitter, kept breaking into tears every few minutes because he was right at the edge of the blast. and so many of us evacuated out sort of bonded together and talked and we were there. and those of us that were in the brussels north train station and just knew from what we saw that there was no way that the authorities were going to be able to open the airport tomorrow. we tried to get out of brussels as fast as we could. we bought tickets to amsterdam with the nearest train leaving and were able to get on that train and depart just before they closed that station and closed down the rail lines. but we were able to get just outside of belgium. we stopped in brussels and they changed our train because it was told they closed the border and were doing a security protocol to change the train. we're thinking to ourselves, we were in the airport and no one
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has screened us. that meant anyone, good or bad, ill intentioned or just trying to get away from everything, went through without any filters. i went through this now. from security protocols that i don't understand, once we were in holland, holland instituted security procedures with their trains and we changed trains four times on the way to the airport but no one screened us, looked at our papers or our passports or anything along the way. so it's very odd that if an individual had wanted to leave the airport this morning, they could have easily left with our crowd back on to the train into the city and have left the country. >> steve clemons, you've had quite a journey. thank you for joining us today. >> thank you, andrea. >> our foreign editor. joining us from brussels. chris, you live in paris and you know so well how paris responded
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to the bataclan attacks, the horrendous attacks in november. brussels is now ground zero for these attacks. we know that isis has claimed responsibility. there's no way to confirm that now. but how do you see the response in brussels to this terror attack? >> reporter: well, you know, i think that i was talking to a counterterror expert today, french-based. he said, you know, the islamic state looks at europe and sees it as the soft underbelly of the west. it looks as belgium and looks the soft underbelly of europe. it's a disorganized country. it went through almost two years with no government. the security forces are badly organized. and you also have this very large immigrant population. it's not to put down brussels, not to put down belgium, but it provided a lot of opportunities for these guys to operate. clearly, when they were attacking paris, they wanted to
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use this as a base. once the crackdown started here, they decided they would hit in belgium as well. so i think people are aware of all that and i think it makes them nervous. i think people are also very, very worried. certainly, the professionals are worried there will be another hit sometime in the next couple of days, which would be hugely demoralizing. in paris, we woke up one morning and found out that a cell, that the avaud cell was broken in a ferocious gun battle outside of town two or three days after the november 13th attack. that was almost more demoralizing than the attacks themselves because people look at each other and say, it's not over. i think that could easily happen here. >> it was a feeling, even from this distance, i was hearing from intelligence experts that european experts, that they were concerned there was another shoe to drop and arrested. they found the weapons.
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they thought there could be another plot hatching. so why was there not security in the following days? >> reporter: it's one thing to know in general that there's going to be another attack or another attack is going to be planned. it's another thing to start checking every bag that goes into the airport and another thing to start frisking people in the subways. i mean, it's an extremely difficult situation, and the only way to stop terrorism of this kind is through very, very aggressive intelligence work and belgium just hasn't been very good at that. >> there's some intelligence reporting from our own that these attackers could be part of a paris network. >> reporter: i think that there's links for sure. i think that all of them basically, we don't know, but it's very likely all of them answered back to the sort of director of european operations,
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whoever that is, in syria with the islamic state. the so-called islamic state. you don't need lots of people to carry out terrorist attacks like this, but you do need well trained people. the logistics are not easy to carry out simultaneous attacks and it's not that easy to make the bombs that everyone can be made from commonly available materials. a lot of jihadists blow themselves to smithereens. i don't know salah abdeslam was necessarily one of them but many do the attacks and carry them out and probably both. >> finally, chris, it may be early to say so, but do you sense with the anti-migrant sentiment that is rising in parts of europe, the rise of some right wing political movements and this attack following after paris, that the
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borderless concept of the european union which has been the pride of the european economic growth may be fragile and may be coming a thing of the past? >> reporter: look, andrea, it's not just the borderless concept that's fragile. yes, it is. the whole european union is fragile these days. if britain pulls out in june, which is likely after incidents like this because it's a referendum and referendums are emotional, the whole european union could start to go down the drain. >> chris dickey from paris, from brussels, but a long time paris correspondent and thank you so much. nbc chief global correspondent bill neeley is live on the phone from brussels right near the metro station that was bombed. bill, tell us what you are seeing in the neighborhood there around that metro station.
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>> reporter: well, i am seeing literally still police cars and ambulances and lights flashing towards the metro station. we're still not sure if they have taken on all of the bodies. they certainly, evacuated the wounded. this is a city in utter shock. and just to reiterate, this was a strike, not just at the very heart of belgium but at the very heart of the european union. the metro station is the closest one to the headquarters of the european union. there has been a claim by a news agency that this was an isis attack. no great surprise there. these were coordinated triple attacks with mass casualties and clear aim. the big question is, was this the last act of an isis network
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that was in a sense being wound up or the first strike by a new one? in other words, is this the end of salah abdeslam's network and the network that carried out the paris attacks? or is this a wholly new one? because these networks have got, once again, under the radar. a failure of intelligence, yet again, by the belgian authorities. how on earth were these people able to hide in brussels to prepare their suicide vests and their bombs? once again, belgium is not just faced with the crisis but a lot of questions of intelligence and policing. >> bill neeley, nbc chief global correspondent on the phone in brussels, thanks so much. we're going to continue our continuing coverage of the breaking news from brussels. you're watching msnbc.
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and these feet would like to keep the beat going. ask your doctor about lyrica. welcome back. we are continuing our breaking news coverage of the brussels terror attacks. nbc foreign correspondent eamon moedean joining us. let's talk about the claim from isis. we have not confirmed that, obviously, but what are the basic signatures that would lead one to think it could indeed be isis and the same cell related to the paris attackers? >> reporter: we can begin, actually, with the claim of responsibility that came in. it was posted a short while ago on the amek news agency. isis affiliated web site that
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has in the past put out claims of responsibility shortly after attacks. u.s. officials tell nbc they believe that claim of responsibility to be credible. now, what we will see in the coming days if this does follow a similar pattern that isis has done in the past, more isis-affiliated or credible news agencies particularly following the media group will put out more details about the attack. the announcement that came out a short while ago did not provide a lot of information about the nature of the attack but what we see about significant attacks carried out by isis. you'll see the news agency described as the organization's wire service, if you will, putting out this initial claim of responsibility and more details will emerge over the course with subsequent claims connected to isis. what we've seen in the past is that further down the line, if in fact, this was an isis directed attack as we believe it to be now, we would perhaps see
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the profile of these individuals. keep in mind, following the paris attacks in november, in the english online publication belonging to isis known as the magazine, they put out a profile of several of the attackers including the ring leader, who spent some time in syria. but there's more significance to this that it bears the hallmarks of an isis attack. one i was speaking to is that the nature of this attack is the sophistication, the fact that it's multi-targeted. the coordination of the time and where it took place. the highly symbolic nature as well as the strategic significance as a result of attacking the airport. those hallmarks and the nature of these type of explosives say it could come from an organization that has serious battlefield experience and that could limit it to a handful of organizations with isis being on the top of that very short list. so right now, as we recap u.s. intelligence officials believe the claim of responsibility from
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isis to be credible at this point, andrea? >> and of course, abdeslam was arrested on friday. he's being interrogated and whether he's cooperating but there's a lot of supposition that if it is related to abdeslam and the group that sponsored him, it could be that this accelerated or previously planned follow-up attack or that this was done more quickly because they're afraid that he might divulge something that might jeopardize his security. >> one of the points we've known in the past is that isis is keen on what they describe as operational independence. we've seen that in some of the directives, if you will, that have been issued in the past. there's the school of thought that abdeslam who was captured on friday was part of a larger network in europe and that was certainly something we learned shortly after his capture. french and belgian officials expressed their concern that
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they learned that a vast number of people that allowed him to evade capture over the course of the last four months. there is the school of thought that pulling off an attack like we saw today, the type of surveillance video or reconnaissance to identify potential soft targets who knew they could get into the airport and down into the subway system. that also, the preparation of the explosives. the nature of building that type of bomb could not necessarily have happened in 72 hours or perhaps four days, but this was something in the works. something that had been prepared or set in motion but was perhaps accelerated as a result of abdeslam's capture. concern among these attackers now he's in the custody of belgian officials or european officials he may provide intelligence or information about his network of possible attacks that could lead them to foiling several plots. as a result of that, they accelerated perhaps their attack in what we saw earlier today.
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the concern as we heard from officials this morning is that this may not be the end of it. they are still concerned that there may be other attackers still on the large, that other plots still may be in the works, so to speak, across europe. certainly in belgium according to belgian officials, andrea. >> that would be a logical assumption given how little they have known and how they've been unable to anticipate these attacks. thank you so much, eamon madine. congressman adam chif. congressman, you went to that airport presumably, and you've been meeting with european intelligence officials in recent weeks about the situation with isis and the follow-up to paris. have you had any briefing about today's attacks? i know congress is not in session. >> well, i had a preliminary briefing, but we're still
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gathering information from our european partners and obviously looking to our own holdings to see whether this information that we can still shed light on this. but unfortunately, what we've seen is that even when europe is in a state of vigilance, even after the arrest of abdeslam, these kind of attacks are still very possible. europe must remain on alert because i think the risk in other capitals remains grave. you have these foreign fighters coming back and belgium contributed more per capita than any other european country. it's difficult to keep track of them and then they can be concealed in these massive refugee flows. the challenge is enormous. the resources are pretty limited. belgium has been stepping up the amount of people they are devoting to intelligence and law enforcement, but they're playing catch-up and we see the terrible results of that today. >> earlier today, chris dickey,
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the veteran correspondent describes europe as the soft underbelly of the west and belgium as the soft underbelly of europe. >> reporter: i think there's a lot of truth to that. europe is much more accessible than the united states. we remain much more of a harder target and belgium has had a lot of problems not only because of the magnitude of foreign fighters, but because of the relatively scarce resources that had previously been devoted to the problem. there are these logistical hubs in belgium, in brussels, and those hubs may be operating now in these other capitals. those plots may also be advanced because of salah abdeslam's arrest. this is an enormous kchallenge. but there's a lot of blame being placed in belgium.
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but a lot don't talk to each other very well. some of those barriers are coming down, but very slowly while the threat moves very quickly. >> congressman, at least there's one report we have not confirmed as far as i know that airport security will be increased here in the united states. i should say in the united states in southern nevada. it's been noticeably tighter in recent days. i'm not traveling myself today, so i don't know about whether there is a response to this. do you think more needs to be done here and at least temporarily until we can sort out who the perpetrators are? >> reporter: i'm sure there are addition fall stal steps that s taken and i don't know about the plot in belgium or the united states but nonetheless, there's the risk of people who are inspired by isis already who will take these attacks as motivation to carry out attacks in the united states now.
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i'm sure there are steps going on. some that will be seen and many that won't be seen to heighten our defenses. overall though, i think there's a lot more work we still need to do at our airports to harden them. here, the attack was before security. i still remain very concerned about how adequate our security is and how safe our aircraft are. i think there's a lot more to be concerned about. i think one final point is the primary stuff we still face here is from the home grown radicals of people like farouq, the shooter in san bernardino, radicalized and still hard for foreign fighters to get back in the united states or to the united states. that's going to be a bigger problem over time. but right now, our primary threat, i think, comes from americans who are radicalized at home through the sophisticated social media that isis uses. >> and finally, congressman, it's been really awful to talk about politics in this conduct
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but there is a political impact. we saw what happened after paris and the way donald trump and others capitalized on fears of mai grant migrants migrants. today, he was on "the today show" with savannah and matt and suggested that abdeslam being sberg gaited now, if he were commander in chief, he would authorize water boarding and other forms of torture. anything goes, basically. he said i'm in that camp. what's your reaction to that and how it may change the political debate this attacking in brussels? >> reporter: i'm apalled by it. essentially what he has said in the past and may be reaffirming is his willingness to go outside of the law to violate the laws of war and torture people. that is not what this country is about and i think we've seen demonstrated. gets you bad information.
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so it's not an effective way to do intelligence work. and i think beyond that, a lot of statements in particular he's made that would cast dispersions against all muslims in this country and around the world is enormously counterproductive. it just plays into isis' narrative that the west is hostile to islam. i think these statements are both dangerous as well as enormously counterproductive. >> thank you very much, congressman, for joining us today. in salt lake city, msnbc's jacob soboroff has been reporting on the three mormon missionaries who were seriously injured in the brussels attacks. what are you learning about the background of these gentlemen? >> reporter: so andrea, what we know right now and in salt lake city as you said outside of temple square, the global headquarters of the mormon church is that three of the four mormon missionaries who were in
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the brussels airport today were american from the utah area. one of those missionaries was french and she made it through airport security before the blast went off. but nbc news has learned from richard and he was a 66-year-old mormon missionary who was injured in this blast that he spoke briefly with his wife, pam, soon after he was injured in this airport explosion. he told her his leg and face were injured and pam called family here in utah about midnight eastern time to tell them he had been injured and serving a mission right now in brussels. he was not right now at the time of that airport attack. there were two other american mormon missionaries. one was 20 years old by the name of elder joseph and the other was elder mason wells. 19 of sandy utah. i want to it rareiterate that t young woman who made it through
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the security checkpoint may have well just been after long preparation for this mission in heading off when the blast occurred. the three other missionaries were escorting her to the airport and she was going to serthe mission in ohio. mormon missionaries often write letters and e-mails to family but don't see them and have communication on those days and the first communication they may have had since christmas day was the news of this blast, andrea. >> what a shock that must be. thank you so much for all of that information, jacob soboroff. live on the phone. thomas bignaw who was there. what did you see and what happened? >> reporter: hello. yes, when i woke up this morning to go on a walk as usual and i was on the underground. when i got there, three soldiers
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were around. i got up because it was only 10:00 but out there. and then got on to the metro to go towards there and when i got on the oxford train to the front of the train, i had a hueard a blast strong enough to move the trains, and this was about 400 meters, 400 yards from where the explosion took place. it must have been quite a powerful bomb and then the train stopped halfway between where the bomb took place and i got on to the train. >> was anyone injured in the car that you were in? can you see the reaction to people or the train just move and you felt the explosion but
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there was no real effect? >> no one was injured. we could all feel it. and of course, the few minutes aft after, there weren't any injured people. just puzzled, scared, and didn't really know what to do. should they try to get off the train or sit? luckily, the train came out and asked people to stay calm and everyone did. as much as possible, at least. >> that is remarkable. thomas, thank you very much for calling in and we are so glad that you are safe. the attacks in brussels.
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we are reporting on all aspects of this. the intelligence, what happened. who might be responsible. the response and what it means in terms of european security. and of course, security here at home. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. we will be back in a moment after these messages. abdominal pain. diarrhea. it could be ibs-d. prescription xifaxan is a 2-week ibs-d treatment that helps relieve diarrhea and abdominal pain for 6 to 24 weeks. do not use xifaxan if you have a history of sensitivity to rifaximin, rifamycin antibiotic agents or any components of xifaxan. tell you doctor right away if your diarrhea worsens while taking xifaxan as this may be a sign of a serious or even fatal condition. tell your doctor if you have liver disease or are taking other medications because these may increase the amount of xifaxan in your body. tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or are nursing. the most common side effects are nausea and an increase in liver enzymes. ask your doctor about xifaxan for ibs-d.
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welcome back to msnbc's continuing coverage of the brussels attack. i'm joined now by evan coleman. evan, first of all, i wanted to ask you about the claim of responsibility by isis. how credible is that given the circumstantial evidence, or at least in any of your reporting? >> it's very credible. the agency that issued it, ahmed news agency. an isis-affiliated media outlet people embedded with isis fighters on the front lines of
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syria and iraq. there's no doubt they're receiving information directly from isis and work directly with isis. they pretty much are isis. and we've seen in the past when these kind of terrorist attacks have occurred, the usually pattern is ahmad breaks the headline an then the official isis lead with the media center, one of the official actual spokespeople for the agency and in terms of is this credible, is this awe ththentic? yes. >> it could have been triggered possibly by the fact that abdeslam was captured on friday and supposedly talking to interrogators and concerned about operational security. is there any way to know whether this would be linked to the same
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attackers of the paris cell? >> we don't know for certain. >> another operational group. >> this is the operating belief and i think based op gon good reason. as you see the video, the cctt footage of the explosive, this doesn't look like an amateur job. someone put together these bombs who knew what they were doing and the same thing we saw what happened in paris. there are only a small number of people who could possibly be in europe in this area capable of building these devices in terms of this quality level. it stands to reason that it's probably the same person that put together the explosives in paris that did these ones. the question is, is that person still alive? is there still a bomb factory out there? immediately after paris, i think a lot of us suspected that was the end of it. now we have good reason to think otherwise. it's been four months since the paris attacks and yet you have number one most wanted man in europe running around the
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capital, brussels, in the same area that he used to live and nobody recognized him. nobody saw him. nobody noticed anything. what this tends to suggest there's a fairly substantial network of people in this area who are sympathetic and supportive of these folks and that is different from previous attacks and that is unusual and it's worrying. >> that is pretty alarming. i wanted to show you a picture of three men who federal prosecutors in belgium say are suspects in the airport attack. and these three men are wearing gloves on one hand on their left hand. does that signify anything to you that they were going to detonate that? >> unfortunately, it does. it brings up something we saw from the paris attacks. which is the individuals involved in the paris attacks used a detonator, a piece of string cradled in their hand and basically, that was the
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detonator. so almost certainly, yeah. what you're looking at is someone concealing a detonator inside of a glove. that's almost certain what it is. it's unfortunate nobody noticed this but someone wearing one glove, it doesn't scream out isis. these folks, it looks like they knew what they were doing and conducted surveillance. it looks like they knew exactly what targets to go after and it's remarkable. for years, people asked, how come al qaeda doesn't attack these targets or going after airports, bus stations or trains and i think the answer was for a long time, these jihadist groups were going after the huge targets. going after the world trade centers of the world and those attacks didn't work. now they've got a network inside of europe that is self-sustaining, capable of building advanced explosive devices and it's extremely difficult to protect. it's difficult to know how to stop people to come from the
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front door of an airport. there are places, to get inside the building, you have to go through the metal detector. that's not something we've seen in most western countries. it's unusual. it's different. it could present a huge problem. there's a certain number of people going through the airport at any time. imagine that at jfk or heathrow. it would be difficult to check every person that way. >> i know that. i've had the experience in kabul of being body checked outside of the kabul airport at least a block away. so it is done in afghanistan, but that tells you a lot. and that was done in a more limited way. cars were checked going into arraignme airports. we want to thank you for all of
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your reporting and your continuing reporting as we wrap up this hour on msnbc. i'm andrea mitchell reporting from havana where the president did speak briefly about helping the belgian officials. we reached out that belgian prime minister and he is still planning to stick to his schedule and then go on to argentina before returning to the united states later this week. that's all for us here in havana. picking it up on the other side is savannah guthrie at 30 rock. , but that is changing. at temenos, with the microsoft cloud, we can enable a banker to travel to the most remote locations with nothing but a phone and a tablet. everywhere where there's a phone, you have a bank. now a person is able to start a business, and employ somebody for the first time. the microsoft cloud helped us to bring banking to ten million people in just two years. it's transforming our world.
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among the injured, mormons on a mission trip. isis claimed responsibility and we have multiple reporters in the area. pete williams. what's the latest you can tell us? >> reporter: two devices exploded. based on witness testimony, they try to find out who those people are. they may have important information about the bombings. they could be suspects. they could be people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. but they're eager to identify who they are. isis claimed credit.


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