tv CNN Newsroom- Paris Terror Attacks CNN November 14, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
the united states and around the world. i'm pamela brown in washington. this is "cnn special coverage." paris is in a state of emergency. police remain on the lookout, and france's borders remain shuttered. that's because last night islamist terrorists brought life in paris to a deadly standstill. this video i'm about to show you is very disturbing, we want to warn you. it shows people trying to run for their lives, dragging friends away from gunfire. [ gunfire ] [ screams ] >> that's exactly the kind of terror that held this entire city hostage last night. at least seven isis terrorists, each strapped with suicide belts and equipped with automatic weapons, assaulted six locations fanned across paris. the attacks came one after the other in quick succession. french investigators are almost certain they were coordinated to happen that way. and listen to what it sounded like during one of the attacks
inside france's national stadium where bombs went off. [ cheering ] [ explosion ] >> in total, 129 killed including an american student. 352 others wounded. many of whom are in hospitals fighting for their lives now. and let's go back to erin burnett in paris. erin? >> all right, thank you very much. and here in paris i'm with jim sciutto, our national security correspondent. jim, just a moment ago, we are here, of course, 4:00 in the morning. there are still people out here. there are people out -- there are two memorial service where we are. one to our left. one to our right. just a moment ago, i think it made everyone choke up. a young woman came to one of the memorials and exploded with grief. was just -- was just crying. that is what we have seen all
day. >> no question. i've seen such a mix of people. i've seen parents come with their children, bringing them -- a funny thing to do, as a parent, as well, to bring them to the site of something like this. it reminds me of what happened with "charlie hebdo." people neil this was assault on them. it's an assault on their city, their country, their way of life. they feel connected, almost an obligation to show respect for the site here. i will say something else. a lot of people have talked about the city, the country shutting down. there was certainly a somber mood here. i've seen people out, i've seen restaurant open. >> yes. >> i think that's something to be commended. >> it is. and i was with a woman today who was in new york for 9/11. she was here last night. she now lives here in paris. and she said the feeling felt the same. just a shell-shocked feeling of emptiedness. but there is a desire to rally. her comment was i don't want to stop, i want to keep doing what
i love. i thought that was a poignant thing to say. >> no question. people are using here in france the term, this is france's 9/11. you have that. there's some defiance. you see even in the symbols, the peace symbol you've seen with the eiffel tower inside the peace symbol. things that remind me of the je suis charlie after "charlie hebdo." this on the lamppost, the scene of the effects attack, still there. >> what is the latest that are you learning? i mean, it is -- they are struggling now and are working, racing against time. the deputy mayor says that they don't believe or they have no sense that this is over. they don't know that there are more attacks. they don't feel confident that it's over. they are racing, they feel, against time to try to identify the attackers. >> right. to identify them, presume -- to prevent if there are any others out there from carrying other attacks. we have the first identified. his name -- he was a french
person from south paris. in fact, identified early in the day by fingerprints. ismail mustafi, not sure of his age, 29, 30. what's key is he was known to police. he was known to be radicalized. that goes to the point that you can't put everybody in jail who has something to do with something like this. >> to your point, they say they have hundreds if not thousands of people they made it to track. >> 5,000 -- >> and prioritize. and someone who they knew was radicalized who may have had links to other known terrorists did not make that list shows you either that there were horrible mistakes made or that this list is simply way too large and unwieldy to actually -- >> and you can't put someone in jail for something they haven't done, right? i mean, that's the thing in open societies. the state of the investigation, you have one of the seven attackers identified. they had found a syrian and
egyptian passport near some of the other attackers. there's questions as to the authenticity. one we know had been registered as crossing into europe through greece. one of the main entry points for some of the refugees. again, could have been a false passport. then the outer circles. they've arrested someone who was connected to one those who rented a car in belgium. there were raids underway in belgium also connected to the attacks. as you say, great fear here because they don't believe they have everyone. >> thank you very much. as they are trying to race against time to try to track down anyone who may have been linked to these attacks to find out who was helping the attackers and whether there are perhaps more plots and more attacker, they have been -- there have been a series of raids going on today including some in belgium. that's where our reporter is. what can you tell us about these raids? >> reporter: police have been following that trail of the
black box wagon car at the scene. this car was registered here in belgium, and the man believed to have been driving at the time of the attack was picked up along with two other belgium nationals. this led police to the neighborhood that in and of itself is explained as kind of involved in implications of terror thefts. they were concerned that someone involved in the "charlie hebdo" attacks was in the neighborhood. we understand a heavily armed police presence at at least three houses. an eyewitness and local media are reporting that there has been at least one arrest. belgian police say that they feel this incredibly strongly, and they want to be as involved with finding who was involved in the network as they can. >> all right, thank you very
much. last night, absolute carnage unfolded at the bataclan theater behind me. as you see, a couple hundred feet away, behind me now in dark not next to the police van -- darkness next to the police van. 89 people executed. that is the right word to use, from what we understand happened in the club last night. the death toll will likely rise. 99 people in critical condition. shane thomas mcmillan is an american freelance photographer who was here in the alleyway behind the club last night, witnessed the chaos and horror as survivors streamed out into the streets. what did you see, shane? >> caller: the building adjoined to the bataclan, we could really only hear everything. after the shooting ended, we
went to street level. they were bringing people around that corner actually and placing the injured in the courtyards along the street behind bataclan. and we walked down into that, to the scene of the medical personnel. they were rushing to sort of get everything stabilized and sorted for people who'd been injured in the attack. >> shane, are you someone who -- you are a professional at taking pictures and capturing images. you saw something last night that you never expected to see. as you saw this and decided to take pictures, what went through your mind? >> caller: actually almost didn't take any photos. i -- people for obvious reasons were not in the mood to have a
camera in their face. and i understood that and didn't actually feel like putting it there. so i took a few photos in moments where i felt like it was appropriate. in general, i tried to -- i was doing reporting for pri and on the phone. helping people here and there with little things. it was visually completely overwhelming. and emotionally, as well. it was a really tough situation. i was watching people's lives change right in front of my eyes. it was really humbling. >> the building where you were staying, the apartment building, was turned into a triage center. what did you see? did you see people who were able to be saved there?
>> caller: yeah. some people were. other people weren't. i wasn't right there for all of it. because of my camera, i had to leave the area. so i was there but not right in it for very long to be honest. more out on the street where people were being sort of put into the courtyards or where a lot of people were actually looking for people they'd lost. it was people in every sort of different state that you can imagine after something like this. >> what did -- what do you remember most? i know it must be so hard it accept what you've seen. what do you remember most about what the survivors told you? >> i don't really feel like going into detail, but the thanks happened inside of there.
one young couple after i checked on them a few times opened up and told me a little it what had happened inside. i mean, we've all heard what that is now. but to hear that from people who were in their physical condition was really shocking, very shocking. >> thank you. talking to witnesses, talking to people inside has been so sobering. a father and son who witnessed the horrors inside the theater, two of the lucky ones who got out of there. you will hear them next. they speak to cnn about what it was like inside. you'll hear that interview coming up. the son just 12 years old.
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one of the things that's been so hard to understand about the attacks even as they were happening was exactly the scale. they were happening simultaneously all across this city. it took people inside paris time to realize the horror that was happening, and of course time around the world for everyone to realize exactly how this was going down. i want to go pamela brown. you have actually now been able to put it all together. how it all happened so quickly, all in a row, in such quick succession last night. >> reporter: absolutely. and officials i've been speaking to are alarmed by the planning, the coordination, the seemingly training that these officials -- these terrorists went through to spread horror across the city and launching attacks on the so-called soft targets. as people were out in the city enjoying the evening, at the theater, watching a band, at a soccer game, or at a restaurant. three teams of terrorists armed
with rifles and matching explosive devices launched coordinated attacks at six locations unleashing chaos across the streets of paris. it starts at 9:20 p.m. a soccer match between france and germany is rocked by a thunderous explosion. [ explosion ] >> reporter: french officials say an apparent suicide bomber detonates killing himself and an innocent bystander. france's president on site to cheer on the national team is whisked away to safety. >> the ground shook a bit. and i thought there's something wrong here. >> reporter: five minutes later, the second attack at two paris restaurants. terrorists opened fire killing at least 15, seriously wounding ten more. french officials say the killers wore masks and arrived by car, shell casings left behind indicate they fired more than 100 rounds. >> we had huge gunshots and lots of glass coming through the window. so we ducked on to the floor with all of the other diners.
>> reporter: 9:30, a second explosion outside the soccer stadium. thousands of fancifully the scene. the body of a second suicide bomber is found. 9:32. a team of terrorists open fire out a bar. five people killed. eight other wounded. 9:36. at least 19 people shot and killed outside another restaurant. 9:40, another explosion on boulevard boltar near the concert hall. inside where the american band eagles of death metal was playing, more explosions and gunfire. witnesses say the attackers came in firing, and at least one person said he heard yelling allahu akbar. the terrorists held a living hostage for several hours before police stormed the hall. at least 89 killed. four attackers also dead, three wearing explosive belts. >> on the ground floor, a lot of dead bodies and blood.
some people had been held and had to stay for several hours among dead corpse and went out covered with blood. >> reporter: then 9:53. a third explosion near the soccer stadium. police later find the body of another suicide bomber. a siege of gunfire, explosion, and bloodshed leading to the deadliest terror attack in europe in more than a decade. officials i've been speaking with today in the u.s. say at this point it does not appear at this early stage in the investigation that there are any co-conspirators in the u.s. connected to the paris attacks. the concern is that there could be copycats. the fbi ramping up scrutiny on some of the subjects, 900 terrorism investigations in the u.s. considered priorities. erin? >> thank you very much.
of course, fear in the united states and in other countries around the world and here in europe, fran. they are desperately trying to stop a threat. the paris deputy mayor telling cnn earlier tonight, our poppy harlow, that he thinks there is still very much an ongoing threat from this particular wave of terror attacks. this comes as we are starting to learn the names of those killed by these terrorists. it is just bit eye bite, we are -- bit by bit we are learning names. elonie brielle, 23. at the concert at bataclan behind me with friends. thomas ayat also at the bat:. a spanish citizen, nick alexander, a british citizen. valentine ripet, a parisian lawyer who studied at the london school of economics. these are just some of the names. and that's all they are, they're names. but behind them are lives and loved ones who are grieving so deeply tonight. life will never be the same for
their families, life will never be the same for the survivors of this slaughter. our clarissa ward spoke to a father and his 12-year-old son, 12 years old, who escaped the massacre. >> we heard this bang, bang, bang. and like everybody else, we thought it was fireworks or part of the show. and then i felt something if past nye my ear. i don't know -- was it a bullet or something? i don't know what it was. then i realized something's coming out -- you know, something's going toward the stage. and at that point, i think everybody understood. everybody threw themselves on the ground. i stuck my head up from the desk to see what was going. on i saw the two shooters. one was changing his magazine. so he had a whole lot of magazines in front of him. he had a big vest on. >> reporter: what did he look like? >> he looked like a young fellow. said someone, nothing particular at all. >> reporter: did you hear him speak at all? >> i did. i heard him at one point. he said something about syria. i think you heard it better -- >> yeah, he said, you need to think about syria.
if french like -- there wasn't any accent or anything. it was -- >> obviously a native french speaker. i could see one of the guys was doing crowd control, and the other was executing. so there was no chance -- there was a terrorist incident some month ago in europe, a similar kind of scenario. there was no chance of anybody being a hero. these guys were organized. one was covering the crowd. the other of doing the shooting. >> reporter: one of the worst moments of your life fearing that your son could have been hit. >> well, yeah. i thought -- i was screaming out his name and thought, he couldn't be far away. so he -- he should shout out "dad" or something or "stop." he wasn't there. >> reporter: had you ever seen a dead body before? >> no. it was my first time. and i was -- i was lying just next to one which really was not in a comfortable position at that moment. >> reporter: you must have very,
very frightened. >> yeah. >> and from long beach, california, a community now in mourning. one student from a college there killed in last night's attack at the bataclan behind me. and paul, what do you know about this young woman's life? we are just starting to learn a little bit about what appears to have been such an energetic and passionate young woman. >>. >> reporter: loved by her family, adored on the campus want tonig. tonight was the homecoming game. before tip-off they observed a moment of silence for 23-year-old naomi gonzalez. they sat and thought about her. they'd been talking about how tragic this is. she was a rising star. across town, a short while from here is the family pascher shop. we spoke to a -- barber shop. we spoke it a very close friend
of gonzalez. here's what she had to say about a young woman who she described as the apple of her mother's eye. let's listen. >> beautiful. beautiful person. >> smart by all accounts. >> smart. beautiful. i mean, she was a gift of life. we lost her. >> reporter: what should she be remembered for? >> for her spirit. life. fun. a joy. >> reporter: others on this campus also describing her as a joy, a mentor to younger students. somebody who is a leader and admired within the department. now issuing so much in design that she won a global competition or came in second, i should say. it was about a sustainable -- about sustainable products. she had designed this biodegradable bag that included fruits and nuts. and then the bag after it was done could be turned into a
small planter. she and her colleagues, three of them, received a $3,000 award from the biomimicry organization. as i said, they all described her as among the best of the design students. a shining star. not just someone angling for a degree. someone who was just esteemed in and out of long beach state's design program. erin? >> paul, thank you. france's president is calling this country's battle with islamic radicalization unprecedented. france with the second largest population of muslims in europe. was last night's attack an intelligence failure? new details on the investigation when we come back. woman: it's been a journey to get where i am. and i didn't get here alone. there were people who listened along the way. people who gave me options. kept me on track. and through it all, my retirement
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welcome back, isis today claiming responsibility for the terror attacks and promising more carnage. we'll show video of the chaos outside the bataclan theater right behind me. this is as survivors were trying to escape death. there was an execution-style massacre happening inside the theaterment cnn just reporter evan perez joins me now. and evan, what are you hearing about isis' involvement? yes, they are claiming responsibility, but does that mean that they were involved in terms of core isis directing this? >> reporter: that's exactly what the fbi and the u.s. intelligence community is focused on. just this weekend, everybody i know came into work, they're
going to come in tomorrow because that's the question whether this was something that was controlled from rack afrom isis' -- raqqa, from isis' home base, or whether this was something that was the type we've seen before. a more home-grown, inspired attack. again, for the 129 people that are dead, really that makes no difference. but for u.s. officials, for counterterrorism officials, they really want to know this. this resembles a lot. the mumbai attack, as you remember in that case, you had someone in pakistan actually giving instructions to the young men that were carrying out the attack that lasted for a couple of days, as you remember. in this case, we don't know. they haven't been able to find any communications on the day of the attack, for instance, that might have indicated how they were able to coordinate and simultaneous simultaneously launch the attack. the fbi suspects they had to be communicating in some way. the question is how did that occur. the other thing they're looking
at is the names. the names of these people who have been identified as the attackers. they reported at least one of the attackers was on a french data base. the question is was that person on u.s. data bases, as well. that's another thing the fbi is trying to work out this weekend. >> we know that france is known for having one of the best counterterror intelligence units in the world. of course, that is an incredibly sobering thing when you think about "charlie hebdo" and now these attacks happening just ten months apart. the united states and france also are incredibly close when came to coordination. is the u.s. fully in the loop? are the u.s. and france communicating and sharing everything, or not? >> that's a big question that i have right now especially in light of the fact that we reported one of these attackers was on a watch list. the u.s. would normally get that
kind of information from their french counterparts. that's a question i pose to officials, as well. as we reported in the last hour, none of the names so far, nothing -- none of the names that have been shared were raising flags for u.s. officials. this san investigation in its earliest stages. there might be more information that comes forward. another thing that worries u.s. officials -- as you mentioned, the french have a very large problem with the number of extremists that they are keeping an eye on. the question is, how do you stop people from getting on airplanes. france is one of the three dozen or so countries that have visa waiver rights for travel to the united states. one of the thing the homeland security department has done in the last few months is to add additional requirement, additional information that is required for people who are traveling from europe to make sure that no -- no people who, for instance, went to travel to
syria to fight get on airplanes to come to the united states. >> certainly very terrifying. you know, one of the leaders of the middle east recently was saying they're trying to track these individuals, trying to screen them. even with the best technology in the world, it is not possible to know every person who they are and what their intents are who are coming out of syria. this has overwhelmed french security services, countries in the middle east, the gateway for people coming out of syria. the french prime minister called the terrorist threat facing france unprecedented. our brown todd looks into this part of the story. brian? >> reporter: france's problem with muslim extremists blew up last night, but it had been festering for decade. inside the muslim community in france, criminals often come under the influence of hard-line clerics or become radicalized in other ways. case in point, one man in the
theater assault last night was known to police. amid the carrage at the bataclan -- carnage at the bataclan theater, officials pulled fingerprints from one of the terrorist. from that, according to the paris prosecutor, they know they have at least one home-grown attacker. a 29-year-old man born in the southern suburbs of paris. a common criminal, the prosecutor says, who'd been arrested eight times. >> translator: an individual who was never put in prison and who in 2010 was identified as radicalized. he was never involved in any kind of terrorism. >> reporter: petty criminals from poor paris neighborhoods who go on to launch devastating attacks. if it sounds familiar, the kouachi brothers who carried out the "charlie hebdo" attack ten months ago were from a poor section of paris. at least one spent time in prison. both became radicalized. it's a problem not unique to france, analysts say, but is certainly seen on a larger scale there. france has one of the largest muslims contingents in the west.
almost 8% of the country's entire population. there's a more startling statistic. >> 70% of the prison population is muslim in france. i mean, that is an extraordinary number. it shows that, you know, this is a marginalized group. this is also a group that is sort of in a criminal underclass. >> reporter: unemployment is staggering among france's muslims, experts say. and they haven't assimilated with other french citizens. the french ban on some headwear which aplaplies to all religion add to isolation. >> symbols being deniedenied, marginalization, poverty, unemployment, you know, high rates of arrests and police attention on minorities. they feel already that they're under siege. >> reporter: and ripe for recruitment by radical clerics who appear in so many neighborhoods. >> extremist look for openings where someone feels like they're not getting a fair shake and try to exploit them in order to draw more people into their cause.
>> reporter: analysts say the french security services are simply overwhelmed. they cannot get their arms around this problem. cnn has told french intelligence has opened surveillance files on about 5,000 islamic extremists throughout the country. and they can't monitor all of them all of the time. they have to figure out who they believe the most dangerous ones are and hope they're following the right people. erin? >> a stunning number, 5,000. how could a group of terrorists organize such coordinated attacks? even if they weren't being monitored, wouldn't intelligence officials have picked up the coordination, the cell phone conversations, or the in-person meetings or online coordination? somehow they missed it. across america, people... ...are taking charge of their type 2 diabetes... ...with non-insulin victoza®. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar. but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza®. he said victoza® works differently than pills.
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welcome back. you are watching our special coverage on cnn of the paris terror attacks which french president francois hollande has described as an act of war. isis claiming responsibility for the deadly carnage that unfolded across this city just 24 hours ago. joining me now, our counter terrorism analyst phil mudd, peter bergen, and former operative bob baier. i want to start with you, peter, and the arrests we know of. they have identified one of what officials say are seven attackers. of course, they think there possibly could be more. they don't yet know. they do think there are a lot of
people involved in making this happen. they have arrested three people in belgium. one of whom, the name was on the rental cars that they used, the attackers used here in paris. and two others who are related to one of the attackers. what do you think about the arrests? how many more are coming? >> we've got to be patient here. step one of the investigation, we've seen in the past 24 hours. that is chaos, and then the initial identification of the attackers. we have at least one identification. as soon as you get that name, that's going to mean an e-mail, a cell phone number. the amount of information is going to blow up. so you can start picking up other people. fathers, brothers, co-conspirators. you don't know who those other people are yet. but you as a counterterrorism investigator will say we want to talk to anybody who has touched this individual in the recent past to find out anything they know. we're going to find in the coming days that a lot of people have picked up, a lot of people
are questioned. believe me, in the next week, a lot of people will be released. right now, we're in stage two where the instructions coming in so rapidly, you can't figure out what's fact and what's fiction yet. >> and i imagine you would take bob nunnall anyone to custody that you think is a remote risk. and the deputy mayor say, "nothing says this terror series is over yet." do you think that that shows either that they have intelligence of further planned attacks or perhaps equally as frightening? that they have no idea as to where to look, that they think -- therefore it's possible there could be more attacks? >> i think that they have no idea. the fact that they missed seven people all willing to commit suicide, martyrdom came as an enormous surprise to the french. i think every day they're surprised by the depth of support by the islamic state or whichever group is behind this. i think what else concerns them
is rear bases in brussels, the suburbs there. an easy place to buy arms. they do not know the extent of the threat to france. and they're suspecting the worst and telling the french people we have to really clamp down. i think you'll see big changes in france, both politically and the way they view the agreement across borders. it simply cannot. they will not sustain another of these attacks. they will have to guard the borders. >> let me talk to you about that, peter bergen. shengan, the open gourders. when you talk about the biggest example of open borders in europe it is the syrian refugees coming in. france has taken fewer than many other countries, only about 20,000. two of the attackers we now understand had syrian passports. as to whether they were really their passports, that's not yet confirmed. they may well have been. and these passports are from syrians. that they have traced to have just come through greece. syrian refugees who just came
into europe in the past few weeks. that could potentially be very damning. >> as you say, it's not clear what weather they are syrians or not -- not clear whether they are syrians or not. they are in france, britain, you have a hungarian prime minister who wants to build a wall, donald trump style in hungary. and all across europe there's an anti-immigration kind of sentiment that is rising. at the same time, you have the worst refugee crisis since world war ii. and some countries have stepped up to the plate. like the germans are taking 160,000. the united states is taking -- ridiculously small number so far, 700. the politics around this are going to be -- is this going to be very hard to advocate. unfortunately for the wleejs are fleeing this appalling war and are doing it in unprecedented numbers. >> no one knows, of course, what will happen, bob. but this does beg the question
to peter's point. the country with the most muslims in europe is germany. more muslims than here in france. germany has not had these sorts of attacks. is that because of errors that french intelligence is making, is france a different kind of target? what do you think? >> french intelligence is much better than germany's. they've never been very good. they're not very well unified, the intelligence services. the external service isn't very good. and i think -- i think the point is that france is engaged in this war against the islamic state and has a disaffected muslim population. there's a deeper chasm between muslims in france than there is in germany. i can't explain why. they've always had less of a problem, and the germans have stayed out of the middle east by and large. that's why they haven't been subject to attacks. they're a country of transit into britain and into france.
>> thank you very much to all three of you. paris is on high alert. the deputy mayor said this is not over. there's no evidence to suggest that the series of terror attacks is over. officials suspect at least some of the terrorists came directly from syria. what do the attacks mean for the war? does this change the war that france is fighting? that the united states is fighting? that's ahead. what super poligrip does for me is it keeps the food out. before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. just a few dabs is clinically proven to seal out more food particles. super poligrip is part of my life now. withof my moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis... ordinary objects often seemed... intimidating. doing something simple... meant enduring a lot of pain. if ra is changing your view of everyday things orencia may help. orencia works differently by targeting a source of ra early in the inflammation process. for many, orencia provides
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with 9 in critical condition tonight -- with 99 in critical condition tonight. isis claiming responsibility. this could change the course of the u.s.-led war on the terror group and the course of the war in the middle east now. a broad regional civil war starting in syria. i want to bring in our global affairs correspondent. and elise, with the french president saying that this is now war, what are u.s. officials saying about what it means for the united states, keeping in mind that the president of the united states said yesterday that the day of the attacks and what is he saying? >> reporter: look, erin, isis is already a global terror organization. if not one of the, then the pre-eminent global terrorism organizations. i think that there's a recognition by u.s. officials and the coalition already. you saw that they have been able to inspire attacks around the world. they had affiliates popping up through the middle east, isis
and the sinai believed to be responsible for the downing of the russian airliner. i think this is going to stiffen the resolve to go after isis wherever it is. and that could be in the sinai. it could be in libya. it could be in yemen. and you saw just yesterday even before these attacks the u.s. used the air strike to kill the leader of the affiliate in libya. so i think right now i think everybody's going to be meeting at the g20 in turkey tomorrow. there's going to be a lot of talk about how they expand this global coalition not just to look at iran in syria and iraq but also some of the other affiliates that were working with local part partners on the ground trying to boost their capability. france is a nato ally. i think you'll see nato involved. i see a real urgency now end the civil war so the flow of refugees are not bringing terrorist along with that.
>> i want to go straight to the military analyst. he spent time in iraq. let me ask the fundamental question about what the suds going to do. they say it's been contained, the ultimate goal of the war in isis, to degrade isis. yet he said contained. and now we have this happening to france. does this change the american strategy? now with special operations boots on the ground in syria, does that number go up? >> i think that public opinion will force a change in the strategy if not here among our nato allies. remember that the last time that article 5 of the nato charter was invoked was on 9/11 when the united states was attacked by terroris terrorists. now there's a major terrorist attack against a nato ally. i would not be surprised if the french invoke article 5 of the
nato charter that would force us to do something much more than we've been doing to date in order to destroy isis in a territory it controls. >> to be clear, that would mean -- that would mean ground troops. i mean, it is certain that while air strikes have had some effect, right, just yesterday, jihadi john, the british man seen in so many of the beheading videos was killed by an air strike in the isis stronghold of raqqa. strikes is not been working. they have not won the war. they have not won this war. when you say a change, does that change really mean ground troops in a significant and meaningful way? >> you know, you can fly over a land forever, you can bomb it into smithereens. wars are won and lost on the ground. at some point, i think nato is going to come to the real ziegz that it is going to have -- the realization that it is going to have to inject ground forces into the conflict. that does not mean getting involved in a ten-year
occupation of syria and iraq. we can turn that over to the arabs, the tribes, to the kurds, others who are willing to do it. but we have got to be involved in destroying isis where it exists. >> colonel, you know, today when i was thinking about this, in the past two weeks, right, two weeks today, you had isis or isis facilities taking down a commercial jet. the first time that al qaeda, isis, any group like this has taken down a commercial jet since 9/11. 224 on board metrojet. you had the bombing in beirut with scores killed. you had a bombing in baghdad just this week. now you have attacks in paris. it is an unprecedented string of terror attacks. this is something that the world will see more and more as one terror group. does this change isis' power. is isis more coordinated and more centralized than we gave them credit for? >> well, it absolutely does. isis is a brand on the rise.
they if not directly coordinating attacks, they certainly are inspiring them. and it is a much more decentralized organization than al qaeda. the only way you can stop the attacks is to rule in the brand. the only way is to destroy the territory it occupies. you can't just simply play defense and rely on your intelligence agencies and counterterrorism and expect a good outcome. intelligence is not perfect. we've obviously seen that in the past few days. >> colonel, thank you very much. something for everyone to think about as to whether the world will now be committing more ground troops in a significant way to syria. i want to thank our viewers in the united states and around the world for joining me tonight. i'm erin burnett reporting from paris. back to wolf blitzer in washington after a break. let's celebrate these moments... this woman... this cancer patient... christine...
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on every purchase, everywhere. so, let's try this again. what's in your wallet? welcome to cnn's democratic debate special. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. we finished watching hillary clinton, bernie sanders, and martin o'malley face off in a somewhat different debate than originally planned. the international crisis sparked by the paris terror attack
shifting a lot of the focus especially in the early rounds to terrorism, national security, and the global threat posed by isis. for hillary clinton, former secretary of state, was it her moment to stand out? for senator bernie sander the, was it too much foreign policy, was he able to deliver? we have our expert standing by to talk about this and more. first, listen to this key remark by hillary clinton about the rise of isis under the obama administration. >> won't the legacy of this administration that you were a part of, won't that be that it underestimated the threat from isi isis? >> i think we have to look at isis as the leading threat of an international tear network. it must not be contained, it must be defeated. there is no question in my mind that if we summon our resources, both our leadership resources
and all of the tools at our disposal, not just military force which should be used as a last resort, but our diplomacy. our development aid, law enforcement, sharing of intelligence in a much more open and cooperative way. >> senator bernie sanders was also asked about the terror threat which he's previously tied at least the major terror threat to the united states to climate change. >> senator sanders, you said you want to rid the planet of isis. in the previous debate you said the greatest threat to national security was climate change. do you still believe that? >> absolutely. in fact, climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism. if we do not get our act together and listen to what the scientists say, you're going to see countries all over the world. this is what the cia says. they're going to be struggling over limited amounts of water, limited amounts of land to grow their crops. you're going to see all kinds of international conflict. >> we have a very strong team of political experts with us tonight to review exactly