tv News 4 New York at 6 NBC November 13, 2015 6:00pm-6:30pm EST
>> oh, i think it's self-evident that there are sleeper cells in france with this going on. you just can't organize something like this. you can't get the weaponry. you can't organize the transportation. you can't coordinated the attacks. you can't do this just because you heard something 24 hours earlier. it takes more than that. you have to be prepared to do it, obviously. it keeps happening. >> there seems to have been a plan in place. >> look, you have a major event taking place tonight in paris. a french/german soccer game which was going to be attended by the president of france and other dignitaries and leaders. so is that a target? of course that's a possible target. we see that here in the u.s., again, when we have major events. security gets ramped up greatly at all kinds of concerts and sporting events as a precaution because the concern, will terrorists attempt to target this mass gathering of people? so the investigation under way. u.s. officials say it could take
24 to 48 hours to get a good grip on who and what is involved. and if you remember, we have seen in other shootings, you know, there are manhunts that crisscross the country in france as they search for these suspects which started out in one section of the country, and part. bdo hebdo." >> if you have a french passport, you can go to other countries and a major concern, major investigation. >> as you were saying in all their countries, they're probably ramping up as well, you know, looking at their intelligence right now on heightened alert. it must be an incredible fear surrounding nations. >> incredible concern in terms of who's responsible, what connections do they have? was there a central -- of course. and were they ordered? were they acting on their own? are there any ties? look, we have seen certainly the isis leaders in syria reaching
attempting to make direct contact with operatives in countries like france, like britain, even here in the u.s. and there has been all sorts of communication online. and, again, the concern now cell phones with the ability to digitize and avoid detection. major concerns as to who could be responsible for this. but, again, with this ongoing, with this just two-plus hours old, it's a long way to go before we get our arms around exactly who's behind it, how many people are involved, and how did this happen? >> and to that point, the president moments ago said that there is live activity going on right now in france. and he doesn't know what this is over. so this may still be developing, this entire attack. david ushery is standing by in the newsroom now with the latest update. daufd? david? >> yeah, we've heard from the french president, hollande, he talked to his nation a short time ago. he wants the borders to france closed. he's ordering that now.
remember, this is not simply a situation where the french president was briefed. he was actually impacted by this, was at the national soccer stadium when those explosions happened outside and obviously whisked away to safety. but again, francois hollande ordering the borders to be closed. the military will be deployed. and a few minutes ago in case you were just joining us, we heard from president obama which also speaks to the nature of this. less than a couple hours old or a little bit more than a couple hours old and the president took to our waves nationally, our airwaves nationally to talk about this, describing it as an outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians. he obviously has not called president hollande as of yet because he, obviously, knows that the president is engaged with trying to deal with this. and as jonathan mentioned, this is still a live event. at least at one of the locations, as we understand it from french media, a concert hall where there is a hostage situation. how many hostages? unclear. also we're learning and we heard a little bit about it from nbc's kelly cobiella, but there's a
fourth scene now. this is at a shopping area, a mall. we're waiting to hear what the magnitude is there. this was at the la salle shopping area in central paris. now you have four scenes where there is bloodshed, to say the least, if not death. chuck? sibila? >> david, thank you very much. you were talking a moment ago about -- or we were talking about the implications for the refugee crisis in the middle east right now heading toward europe. and with the borders closed in france, this may be just the beginning of closing the open borders around europe. >> we are getting some reporting. we have a team that monitors the jihadist websites and chatter. now, of course, we have to be very careful about this because they claimed responsibility for almost anything that takes place across the globe. but there is some chatter now on some of these jihadist websites that this was some sort of isis-inspired or isis group that exists. wait to see. they also claimed responsibility for the bombing of that airliner
undetermined, unproven. but clearly, some major concerns, again, with the shootouts and shootings as to what were the suspects armed with? in addition to the rifles, what were those explosions? were those backpack bombs? were they molotov cocktails? what sort of devices were used that set off the explosions that you heard outside the soccer stadium? i have not heard any reporting yet in terms of what that may have been except that there were three big booms outside the soccer stadium which i think we began. >> just so much to get your head wrapped around. again, you know, we heard from the president talking about the president francois hollande, that he had not reached out to because he knows how busy he must be. he also made a statement that his prayers and thoughts, of course, go out to those people that have been wounded out there. again, that number, i believe now -- we've confirmed 35, but
some french reports have said that as many as 60 people, maybe even more, have died. we've also got a statement from bill de blasio, and he says the people of new york are heartbroken to see our sister city of paris shaken again by these thoughtless acts of violence, and we stand with sol later with the residents of the paris and with the mayor hidalgo during this horrific time. their families and all the residents of paris are in our hearts tonight. the nypd is in close contact with our international liaison in paris and the local authorities and are closely monitoring this situation. of course, closely monitoring the situation out here because i'm sure that a lot of the viewers that are watching right now are very concerned. >> and the concern here, the concern in paris, remember the size of the protests and the outcry that took place in paris after the "charlie hebdo" attacks, and that was an attack on free speech, and 20 people
this appears to be a far worse incident n this city with four locations, bombs, shootings taking place. the fallout is going to be considerable in the days and weeks ahead. >> and again, i just keep on thinking back to the situation, the ongoing situation of the hostage -- the hostages that they may have. as many as 60 or some reports are saying even 100. i mean, that's got to be the major concern at this point. >> right. and the question is, and the difficulty with that is unclear. do they know how many gunmen or hostage takers are inside? and as a result, what type of operation do you do? do you negotiate with known killers who have now just taken part in the slaughter of innocent civilians on a friday night in paris? or do you need to go in and how do you plan and activate a
>> and beyond that, what's the scope of the attack? is this just the first wave, or is this it? is it just four locations, or will there be follow-on attacks now? is this the beginning of something bigger? the same questions were asked here. brynn is standing by outside the french consulate right now. of course, security has been stepped up. we saw last time we were there, there were two police officers out front. brynn, what's the situation now? >> reporter: yeah, chuck, far different scene than what we saw a half an hour ago when we last talked to you. you can see these two police officers just to the side of the french consulate. but i want to show you some video really after i talked to you. the hercules team came here to the french consulate on the upper east side now, they are parked across the street. and of course, that is the nypd's heavily ahmed special forces team. now, they're standing across fifth avenue, and that's likely to get just a really good view of this building which at this time is pretty much shut down. most of the lights are off. the flag is still waving above
them, but we've seen a few people actually leave the consulate at this point. but that hercules team, there's about five o >>r six of them also with a dog. and they are peering over central park wall that's adjacent to the park and really down the street, and they've really got a good view of what's going on. i've been monitoring social media. and a lot of people are kind of, like, oh, why is there only two nypd officers at the french consulate? that is certainly not the case. a number of officers are here now, keeping their eye out for any particular activity that could pop up. of course, as you've been hearing from jonathan dienst, everything is all clear right now in new york. there are no specific threats at this point, but this is the nypd's tactic to really just have some sort of presence at popular areas like here, of course, the french consulate, other diplomatic buildings and then, of course, places like times square and the bridges, et cetera. we just saw two nypd officers switch out. uso i assume that that's going to be the case throughout the evening. and then, of course, across the
team. also on social media, i wanted to mention a lot of people saying how they're heartbroken. i know, chuck, you said it, too, that people, you know, obviously reacting to this after the "charlie hebdo" incident earlier this year. when that happened, i remember being here at he french consulate and a lot of people were bringing flowers and mementos, just expressing their grief. that has not quite happened yet, but of course, this is all still folding. people coming out from work and walking down fifth avenue wondering why all this media is here in front of the french consulate and why the nypd is here. and we're the ones breaking the news. so i imagine that will be taking place, those flowers and those mementos outside the french consulate as the night goes on. back to you guys. >> all right. thanks a lot, bryn. jonathan, very quickly now, the report we've just gotten from the a.p. is that the president president, francois hollande, said the french military is attacking a site in paris. possibly that's the hostage situation. >> that's what i was thinking. >> you would think. the military's been deployed to paris.
that much we do on know. it would make sense that specially armed troops could be called in to attempt a major rescue operation. but again, that's just speculation. we're not going to know, and it's not something they're going to want the media talking about in realtime because they have an operation and lives to save. >> you have david velasquez also on the phone right now. you said he's the former -- >> yes, the former director of the new jersey fbi. are you with us, sir? >> yes, i am. >> yeah, hi, dave. thanks for taking the time out for us. can you fill us in from the fbi and the national security view here, what are jttfs and u.s. security officials now doing as a result of what's happening in paris? >> one has to understand that after jihadi john was taken out by the u.s. military, the jttfs across the country were put on heightened alert for any possible retaliatory attacks. where those attacks come to fruition, then the jttfs activate any and all sources
that it has on the street and elsewhere to see what, if anything, could happen here. so at this very moment, you've got jttfs standing up their command centers, contacting the sources, analyzing the intelligence that they have, and relaying everything that they have and sharing it with local law enforcement as well as fbi headquarters >> david, typically when something like this happens, not this, but i'm talking about the attack that was announced on jihadi john, is the jttf given advanced notice that the announcement is going to be made so you can prepare? >> no. the military will operate independently on that. but the intelligence community will be notified subsequently to prepare itself for a retaliatory attacks the homeland or elsewhere. in this case, it happened to be paris. paris, unfortunately, doesn't have as robust a law enforcement and intelligence apparatus as does the new york cit area ands othe parts of the united
states. so the enemy will go after the weakest link. in this case, they deemed that paris was their weakest link. >> and in terms of the information for u.s. officials, how quickly, how well is the cooperation in terms of information sharing, and how long do you think it's going to take to get a sense of who's behind this, who might have ordered this, and whether there are other sleeper cells or other operatives connected to this cell? >> the information sharing will be virtually instantaneous because that's what's required sh in this daroy and age. so what's going to happen is there's going to be a lot of people not sleeping tonight throughout the u.s. intelligence community, working on the intelligence that they have, putting it together with other pieces and sharing as much as they can so that the local law enforcement agencies can deploy the visible presence of protection out there, backed up by the more covert methods to counter the terrorism threat.
give our viewers who are looking at what's happening overseas and thinking, could the same thing happen here? >> after having worked for the fbi for 31 years, i know that every possible resource is being tapped to make sure that the attacks aren't replicated here. so there's going to be a lot of work done tonight in the next few days. but moreover, the work has already been ongoing. while everybody goes about their business on a day-to-day basis, the fbi and the other law enforcement and national security agencies have been at work every single day. it hasn't stopped since 9/11. it's a constant war on terror. and it's not just a cliche. it t's a way of life. >>k. dave, we know in france, they've had hundreds of people from there go to syria, participate in the jihad, the fight there, and many of them have returned to france.
the concern there regarding those travellers and the ability of french intelligence and french law enforcement to try to get their arms around that large a number of potential foreign fighters who have -- or french fighters have gone back and rth? >> unfortunately, they haven't been able to get their arms around it. the resources that have been devoted to the effort just haven't been the same as the resources that have been devoted here. unfortunately, it takes incidents like this to stimulate the budget process in any untry so that the resources are devoted to those sues. >> but the labor -- just to follow one suspect involves an enormous amount of resources. how do you prioritize? >> the fbi prioritizes by going at what looks to be the most imminent threat. there are some threats that are still yet to be developed. for instance, there are
teenagers who are just surfing the web who are aspiring to become terrorists. and then there are others who are just more mature in their development. and those are the ones that the fbi prioritizes the most in order to stem the threat at the moment. >> we've heard from the police department and from fbi officials that there's no intelligence to suggest any threat here in the u.s. what is your take on the nature of the threat this city now faces given events that are happening over there? >> i think overall, we're in good shape because of the efforts that the nypd has visibly on the street and the work between the fbi, the nypd and the other agencies are surprised of the jttf. the close working relationship. the turf battles that occurred in the past are no longer allowed to occur today. so i think new yorkers can pretty much go about their business. keep a watch.
to assist law enforcement and national security officials to get their jobs done and keep everybody safe. but i think we're in pretty good shape. that doesn't mean we should let our guard down. >> david, when you were on active duty with the fbi, what kept you awake at fight? night? >> the sleeper cells. the sleeper cells, the sleeper agents. the ones who were extremely quiet. and those are the hardest to detect. the so-called lone wolves would keep us up at night, would keep me up at night. those are the hardest to detect, the ones that are not as visible on the internet. there's some that are so well developed. they're known to stay off the internet because u.s. national security is on the internet making sure that they're keeping tabs on it. the very quiet ones are the ones that are the hardest to detect and the most dangerous. >> all right. when you look at what happened at the attacks we're seeing here in four different locations, coordinated attacks, weaponry
and explosives in at least one location, weaponry in all of them, what does that tell you about the sleeper cell that you were worried about? what does that tell you about the organization that took place to make that happen? >> it tells me that these operatives had operations on the shelf ready to go. so they were just looking for either a command from elsewhere or an incident that would precipitate the launching or the activation of the cell. we and the fbi knew for a very long time that sleeper cells had ideas about how they were going to go about their business and that it doesn't take much to launch terror. it could be a molotov cocktail. it could be walking into a restaurant with a gun. and this particular set of incidents in paris seems to solidify the theory that these were off-the-shelf operations
that were activated by either an in order from overseas or an incident that they were to respond to. >> okay. and david, you're still on the phone with us, while we're getting more information. i want to ask you about the hostage situation out there. there may be 60 hostages, we're hearing, or maybe even as much as 100. what do you do in a situation like this? do you negotiate, or do you just go in? >> it all fends s depends upon the situation. there's no one-size-fits-all for that situation. they need to contain the area. if they negotiate, they will try to negotiate first. but if the hostages are in imminent danger, then the protocol is to go in and try to get the hostages out. even if it means a loss of life. >> all right. thanks so much. former new jersey fbi director david velasquez on the phone with us.
for those that are just tuning in right now, there have been coordinated attacks in paris, shootings and explosions. we want to give you a map now of some of those places where there have been attacks. there was a shootout at a bar. that's one of the locations. a soccer stadium. 11 people were actually killed in that shootout at the bar. at least that's the confirmation that we have. there was also an explosion at the soccer stadium in paris which we also heard and the president francois hollande was at that stadium at the time during that soccer game. but he was able to be ejected or taken out. there have also been another attack at a concert hall where there was an american band playing. so we do not know if there are american -- there could be some american fatalities. there's also that ongoing situation there as well. again, as many as 60 to maybe
and we just spoke to davidville velasquez about that. and a fourth incident in paris at a shopping area. >> we've also learned from french police just now that they have confirmed there have been two suicide attacks and one bombing. two suicide attacks and one bombing in this series of attacks across paris right now. >> you wonder if that bombing is the same explosion that we heard outside of the stadium. >> quite possibly. and i'm not quite sure what the distinction is except there were perhaps two other explosive attacks elsewhere and the bombing i'm talking about did not involve a suicide bomber, just a bomb that was planted. >> the confusion based on my piecing together is that there's a scene outside the stadium and there's a scene in the restaurant. and there seems to be confusion, if people are double counting the explosion outside the restaurant or if there were two outside and one inside. but again, there were some reports early on of the possibility that one of those attackers near the stadium, near where the french president was, was a suicide bomber with some sort of either backpack or
so again, chuck, it goes to what you were talking about. orchestrated, coordinated, planned cell in place. and now you've got the french troops in, joining french police in operations to try to save, to put an end to the terror and try to save as many hostages and civilians that are out there. again, reports of bodies in the streets of paris after this terror attack. >> the implications here are for much more than france. the implications here are going to involve other countries in europe. france already has declared their borders closed. other countries will have to be worrying very seriously about whether they have similar sleeper cells ready to go into action around europe. and elsewhere around the globe as well. the implications -- the impact of this is going to be realized in the days ahead. you'll recall on 9/11. we stopped all air traffic, as i
recall, for about a week, shut down air traffic globally because of those attacks. we shut down manhattan completely. you couldn't get in or out of manhattan. until we got a full picture of what the threat really was. only then did life begin to return to normal. so this is just the beginning of a very, very difficult number of days ahead for the people of france and perhaps for others in europe as well. >> and the borders have been closed already. >> yep. >> president hollande closing the borders of france. >> they are going to obviously have to determine who these suspects are. they're going to have to go to their residences and search those residences and get on those computers and their cell phones, find out who else they were in contact with. they're going to have to go find their relatives and speak to them about what do they know, their friends. so yes, you're right. this is a long road ahead certainly in terms of the investigation. certainly in terms of this evening if there are 60 to 100 hostages in a theater, you've got to go in there and do what
and get them out, given the multiple attacks that are roiling paris at this hour. >> let's go up to david ushery in the newsroom with more information. david? >> well, chuck -- >> i'm sorry. misdirection. let's go to brynn gingas outside the french consulate. >> reporter: yeah, chuck, the situation constantly evolving. the hercules team has now left the french consulate this evening, but that doesn't mean that the night is off for them. it is likely that that special ops team is just headed to another part of the city as the nypd has this sort of reactionary stance. so when something like this happens overseas. so, of course, now there are going to be police officers, a heavy police presence all across the city in certain areas like the bridges and times square, union square possibly. here at the consulate, we still have those two officers standing post, but the consulate is very quiet right now. you can't obviously get in. and really the windows are pretty dark. it doesn't seem like anybody is
even there at this point. a lot of people still just learning the news of all of this unfolding. and i actually just got some text messages from a source of mine who works at a precinct nearby here. and i was told that he was about to go home. his shift was over, but then he is also being mobilized which means that, again, a large number of police officers are going to be grouped together and sent to different parts of the city just as a reaction to what is going on in paris. that's the latest, chuck. back to you. >> all right. thank you very much, brynn. on your screen, you see that a.p., 100 hostages taken, terror attacks in four locations in paris right now. and those locations are the very locations, the very sort of thing that we've been worried about in this country as well. very, very easy targets, easy to get into except for the stadium, but easy to make the attacks there. this is, i think, an ambition that isis has expressed recently. jonathan, they wanted to have a more dramatic attack. they wanted to have something
and this -- with the coordinated strike across paris like this, that is a bigger attack than we've seen recently. >> it certainly is. the "charlie hebdo" was multiple gunmen who opened fire on the french satirical magazine. we saw a jewish supermarket also attacked in paris. but nothing yet to this scale that we have seen. as for the rhetoric coming out of isis and coming out of inspire, don't forget we've got al qaeda in the arare bian peninsula still threatening major incidents on the west. so you have these various terror groups all competing to carry out strikes on the west. isis' rhetoric and their calls have been do it small, do it big. whatever it takes. and remember, you literally have had hundreds of french citizens traveling to syria and iraq to join the fight there. many have returned home. and the french intelligence agencies have had, as you heard
hands full trying to prioritize which of these radical travelers they need to follow. and it's also very difficult because, you know, they traveled to turkey, and then they could sneak across the border. so it's very hard to differentiate and track and make sense of all of this. and it's a tremendous amount of work to try to attract possibly suspects who are out there and, again, we are still waiting for this incident to be resolved, which is still dragging on at this hour with hostages on standby so that the investigation can get started into who these suspects are. so hopefully they can be put to a arrest. >> you said something, it could take as much as 48 hours. we want to go now back to david ushery who's been following the developments out there as well. david? >> yes, sibila. obviously we've been showing you images from french media that we're getting. of course, as we've seen with these events, they play out in realtime on social media.
our producers here in the newsroom have been looking at it. we want to show you video. honestly, we're going to freeze the video because it is so troubling and haunting. we're going to let you listen to the audio to get a sense. [ moaning ] all right. so you can hear wailing there in the background. we froze it because it just got worse. this is at one of the restaurants. one other thing we're noting on social media. the associated press is reporting automatic gunfire they're the they're near the theater. in fact, we understand there was an american heavy metal band performing there. we understand from associated press there's automatic gunfire, and on social media people are describing quite a scene there. so we're keeping an eye on that as well, chuck and sibila. >> david, thank you.
report earlier, the military got into action. they were assaulting one location in paris. now from social media, it's indicating that they are making the assault. they weren't negotiating with the people holding it is the hostages. but if there was automatic gunfire still playing out now and we heard maybe 10 or 15 minutes ago the assault was under way? >> yeah, about 15 minutes ago. >> then this will be a very difficult situation at that concert hall. very difficult. >> again, a part of this story as you hear the cries and the pain on the streets of paris, the faces of who these victims are that we're going to learn in the hours and days ahead as to who were targeted and who were victimized. heartbreaking stories to come as to who these victims are, innocent civilians on a friday night in paris. >> and their families must be so sad. well, to recap this breaking situation we have been following for the past 90 minutes, terror attacks on four locations in paris. french media is reporting 60 people dead. 100 hostages have been taken. >> the state of emergency has been declared in paris and, of course, the french borders have