tv CNN Newsroom With Carol Costello CNN November 20, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PST
radisson hotel in mali taking hostages. just one week after the attacks in paris. good morning. i'm carol costello. >> and i'm anderson cooper live in paris. thank you for joining us this morning. there is a lot to get to. we begin out of mali in africa. a counterattack is under way right now the capital of mali where u.s. special forces are helping retake the radisson hotel. dozens of hostages have been released but the hotel says more than 100 are still trapped inside. >> that attack began early this morning when gunmen stormed a luxury hotel reportedly carrying ak-47s and riding in vehicles carrying diplomatic license plates. at this hour, three have been killed. and goqty1 others injured. >> and the embassies urging all americans to stay where they are and sending out this video of a
tactical teaming heading there right now. david mckenzie is following the story. what are you hearing? >> reporter: -- >> excuse me. not david mckenzie. robin, what is the latest from you? >> good afternoon. what i can tell you is that a ten member elite group of special forces from france heading to help as well as u.s. special forces operating on the ground trying to help rescue the hostages. we're not exactly sure how involved they are, if they are actually going in, if they are engaging with the attackers or if they are just providing help on the ground in other forms such as logistics and of course checking on u.s. citizens as well. we do know anderson that the u.s. embassy has increased its security there and there might be additional forces heading to
help secure the embassy. it is close to the radisson hotel if this does turn into a protracted hostage siege. i spoke earlier with a u.s. expert and he told me about the real need in this situation for speed and surprise. he said in a hotel of this size there are a number of places to hide. for guests as well as the attackers. and there has to be certain criteria that is known without a doubt before people can go in to rescue hostages. they have to know the exact location where the attackers are. because if they are wrong this can mean more innocent people being killed. they also have to have a fail safe way of getting in. to get in as quickly as possible. once they are in, once they have breeched that particular area, then the attackers will know they are there. and there has to be a certain amount of seconds, not minutes,
to reach the hostages and take out the attackers. >> is it known exactly how many terrorists there are inside that hotel holding these hostages? also, do we know the exact number of people being held at this point? because i understand about eighty or so people were released if they were able to -- according to one local reporter, if they were able to give a profession of islamic faith. if they could show they were muslim, they were let go. do we know how many terrorists there are? >> we are hearing two to three. but this could -- this might change. and it might be that security forces haven't seen a couple of them. and it could be -- it could even -- we're not really sure and it is very fluid on the ground. we're not sure also how many hostages inside. we had one 80, 107 hostages has
been taken and 80 were released one report that they were able to voice certain islamic voices. and we do know there are at least more than 100 people stuck inside and it would be of varying degrees of people. it would be local malian staff. also westerners. and aide workers, the usual people you would see in a city as this. we do know that three united nations staffers were safely evacuated early this morning. but essentially that is it as of now. >> appreciate the reporting from nairobi. and colonel, for the security personnel this is a extremely difficult operation. in the united states, the belief now in an active shooter situation is you have to go in
quickly. the whole notion of the -- the old motion of holding hostages for negotiation in the u.s., that is sort of now the belief is with active shooters it is not really the case. it is often just a delaying tactic. >> right. and what's happening now is people understanding the hole, the loop in which you make the decisions, is shortened. and that loop is we know the terrorists are going for maximum killing effect. that was the old model. now what you are seeing is someone going in and they want to kill. and that is the assumption. and because they want to kill, the counterterrorism forces have to go in with the idea that we have got to prevent them from killing the hostages as much as we possibly can. >> do we know much about the capability of the special forces in mali? the u.n. personnel are also on the team helping establish a perimeter around the hotel and a french tactical team is on their way. and u.s. special forces are said to be involved on some level.
but it's got to be critical that the capability is in mali. >> right. the capability in mali is minimal at best. they have gotten training from u.s. special operations forces and training also from the french. there is a good reason why the french tablgt cal team is on its way. they are there to assist and possibly to lead a hostage rescue effort. but of course it takes a while to get from france all the way to mali. >> and time is of the essence. talk what we've seen in mali over the last year. the french forces are in the north. they are farther north. they have been dealing with this islamist insurgency and they were able to beat that back. >> the back stretch is jihadis took a lot of the northeast of the country. they were advancing north in late 2012 and french sent in forces to reverse that. they were driven back.
the french took hold of some of these areas, back some of these areas in northeastern mali. but in the last year or two there has been a gathering islamist insurgence fueled by these weapons coming in, fueled by the general chaos in the region. and you have a number of jihadi groups operating now some with affiliation towards isis. some towards al qaeda. there is a powerful group there in may switched allegiance from al qaeda to isis. i think it is possible we could see this is isis-linked if this is the group. it could also be a couple of al qaeda groups. their leader appearing a month ago saying they were going to launch more attacks against french interests in mali. and then another another group we've talked about on cnn. >> he had taken over oil fields several years. >> exactly. and they held hostages there.
a lot of hostages were killed when the forces went in. that same group claimed responsibility for an attack on a restaurant in march. they are pretty rare these attacks by the way here. so this is a very significant event. there are going to be a lot of questions about security at the hotel. they knew there was a threat out there. this is one of the top luxury hotels over there. it seems somehow they may have been able to gain access by using diplomatic number plates and perhaps that is the way they got in. but obviously a lot of concern as we've been talking about. that just like in the bataclan here in paris that they may try to kill as many as possible inside this hotel. and of course this reminds us a lot as well about that speech in the taj mahal in mumbai in 2008. >> the difference with that is there were ten pakistan
terrorists there. again we don't know the full number. the early report said two to three terrorists. but the idea they could take 170 plus hostages, shows you the speed with which this can occur. the fear with which it can be instilled in people. but it is the numbers are pretty small. >> they are pretty small. however i'd be a bit suspicious that it is only two or three people. a large hotel like the radisson in this area is going to be one that requires a bit of planning and it also requires a enough of a dispersion of forces to go in and grab as many people as you possibly can. >> also there is an outer lair of security. if you are driving in, usually you have to open your car. they have layers of security, even metal detecters. >> true. but in many cases the metal detecters aren't manned properly. and one of the big weaknesses is we do a lot of show for security
but but don't necessarily implement the security. and that is where all the hotels all throughout the world are really going to have to step up how they do this. >> we've just got gotten word four chinese nationals have been freed. and report again that muslims inside the hotel, if they could show a profession of faith, if o&qwyñm8
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obviously, france has played a critical role in mali. that would be upon target for any of these groups. >> yes. we still, the sovereignty of mali, when it was split in two with islamic groups which took the north of the country. so now we're split, which is a collective regional answer to the terrorist threats and so we work with five countries in the region to secure the country. but we still have supporters over there. >> julian theron, i appreciate you being with us. thank you very much as we continue to monitor the situation. we also now are getting more information just in. another person has died following friday's terror attacks here in paris. the death toll now at 130. as you know, a number of people are still in the hospital with wounds they received. one of them has died. we'll be right back.
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good morning. i'm carol costello. isis is winning the war on fear at the moment. here in the united states, there is talk of registering all muslims and shutting down mosques. also, on capitol hill, house republicans stood firm in the face of a veto threat from president obama and with the help of 47 democrats passed a bill that could limit the number of syrian and iraqi refugees allowed to enter the united states. the final vote tally, 289-137. ensuring a veto-proof majority. but it's the heated rhetoric that's upsetting many american muslims. ben carson comparing some of the syrian refugees fleeing isis to rabid dogs and donald trump. listen. >> should be a lot of systems.
we should have a lot of systems. and today you can do it. >> i would certainly implement that. absolutely. >> specifically, how do you actually get them registered? >> it would be just good management. what you have to do is good management procedures. we can do that. >> do you go to mosques and sign these people up? >> different places. you sign them up at different places. but it's all about management. >> just to be clear, it's not just republicans. the mayor of roanoke, virginia, a democrat, brought up japanese internment camps to justify keeping them out of virginia. we have a journalist and editor in chief here. and contributor to the daily beast and political commentator. welcome to both of you. >> thanks. >> mr. trump's idea flies, dean, that might mean you would have to register even though you were born in new jersey. your thoughts? >> i'm just going to be going on
my italian half right now. i'm italian, most middle easterns, we're not latino dominican or puerto rican. these are the most alarming words i've heard. the idea of closing down mosques or somehow depriving us of our liberties is something i've seen white supremacists online say, anti-muslim bigots say. when a person like donald trump says it, we should pause. he's said despicable things about latinos. he will demonize minorities. it should be a wake-up call for all of us. donald trump is worrisome. >> you're a naturalized u.s. citizen. your thoughts? >> i completely agree with dean. i don't know whether to be depressed or incredibly angry. i'm somewhere -- or scared. i'm terrified about the backlash. what trump is doing is, his rhetoric is so dangerous. i mean, there could be no bigger
boon to isis than having everybody, the collective punishment of world 1.7 billion muslims. that would be a boon for isis. i think trump, he wants to build a wall to keep the latinos out, he want to register all the muslims. invoking these tactics from nazi arab germany and world war ii and the japanese, this is incredibly dangerous. >> ail bloomberg poll showed 76% of democrats and 61% of republicans agree with the statement, islam is an inherently peaceful religion but there are some who twist its teachings to justify violence. >> i wish those numbers were higher. there are parts of scripture, if you want to live them out, it could be scary. the big thing for us, the muslim communities, making a case for us. the number one victim of isis are muslims. they slaughter them on a daily basis over there. it's not islam versus the west
like isis wants or certain republican politicians say in this country. it's all of us versus isis. we must be unified against them. the idea of splitting us by our faith is what isis wants. i want the numbers to go up, but part of it the burden is on us. getting out there, making the case for what our faith is really about. that's the challenge. >> both of you, this is what isis wants, what do you mean by that? >> just gives them a large pool, such a larger pool to recruit from. think about it. there's a big difference, this is a much larger conversation. between the muslims in europe and the muslims in america, there's a 40% unemployment in muslims in europe. it's very easy for them to recruit. if it becomes a situation, the lines are drawn in the sand and it's us against them, it really should all of us. like dean said in a recent article that he wrote, all of us against isis. not west against isis. i mean, no one is paying a greater price for terrorism than
muslims. we face the greatest backlash. we have to pay all the racial ramifications. i don't think anybody hates isis more than muslims do. we have people walking on foot across countries escaping and fleeing exactly the kind of violence that we saw in paris. how can we shut our doors to the very people who have lost because of terrorism and isis? >> most americans say it is a good idea to pause in allowing syrian refugees to come into the country to make sure our ts are crossed and is dotted. i understand that concern. if someone from isis came in, i would be killed first. if you look at the facts and i hope calmness prevails, it takes months for them to process five different agencies. we've had 2,000 refugees here since 2012. zero cases of any ties to terrorism. in times -- a question of one
more layer of security for people. let's not trample the principles on the statue of liberty. helping people in need, yearning to be free. let's not lose this over fear. >> dean and that shea, thank you. appreciate it. condemning the paris ringleader as a psychopath and devil. not surprising until you consider the source of such venom, his own father.
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unfolding in mali, in the capital of bamako. u.s. rescue missions n what capacity we're not sure after gunmen stormed with ak-47s, stormed a radisson hotel in the capital city. we're looking at new video of hostages being evacuated from the hotel. the situation, we're told, still unfolding minute by minute. state tv reporting dozens of hostages have been freed. we've also learned at least three people are dead, including a french citizen. now, earlier today a u.n. spokesman talked to cnn, described how the gunman entered the hotel. >> the storm with diplomatic plates. what i can tell you is people entering with ak-47 in the hotel. i'm not sure they are here to negotiate. >> security forces now launching a counterassault operation. we'll stay on top of all of this, bring you more details as
they come in. it's a very fluid situation. meanwhile, the father of the man who orchestrated the paris attacks is said to be feeling relief his son died in that police raid in suburb paris, according to the attorney representing the ringleader's father. here's part of her enter you vi -- interview with cnn's erin burnett. >> yes, he was relieved because he knew in the last month that his son was linked to all the terrorism acts which happened in europe. he was afraid to learn that his son, abdelhamid, had done something terrible. >> it was reported that he was involved in his father's bris. he was proceed siding over board
meetings in 2013. when did his father learn or think, notice for the first time that his son was becoming radicalized? >> it was during 2013. his son was beginning to make a lot of critics concerning the way the father was educating the small kids because he was educating them, you know, like european. and abdelhamid was upset because of that. >> abdelhamid abaaoud has said some horrible things, natalie, of course. one of the things he said, i quote him from a video he put out. it gives me pleasure from time to time to see blood of the disbelievers run. he put out another video, you you see him dragging a pile of bodies behind a truck in syria.
what did his father say to you when he saw this video, when he heard these horrible things. >> he said exactly that this was the behavior of a psychopath. for him it was the proof that his son became a devil. >> that attorney also represents the brother, salah abdeslam, the eighth terror suspect still on the run. he says abdel hamid sa lem wants his brother to surrender as soon as possible. if he's still alive, quote, i want to tell him abaaoud is dead. he must go to belgian authorities because he's the only way to avoid being shot down by police. and nurtures hi. the johnson's scent, lather, and bubbles help
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we're learning some hostages have been rescued after armed terrorists stormed a radisson in mali, one week after the attacks in paris. hello, everyone, i'm carol costello. >> i'm anderson cooper live in paris. welcome to our viewers in the united states and watching around the world right now. a lot to get to. the rescue mission under way in the capital city of bamako. u.s. special forces helping to retake the radisson blu hotel and exactly what role they're playing, we're not sure. we have new video coming from inside that hotel. armed secured forces helping usher out hostages. people of all nationalities, chinese, french, indian nationals, others were all staying at that hotel. >> according to state tv, dozens of hostages have been released.
they say american citizens may have been in the hotel as well. >> in addition to american special forces, the french armed forces tweeted out this photo of a ten-member elite tactical team en route to bamako. we begin our coverage from nairobi. what's the latest? >> reporter: well, some good news, as you said, anderson, with several people being rescued. the news is filtering through. indians, algerian, chinese rescued. these two german, according to the german foreign office, were able to get out as well. u.s. special operations on the ground and the u.s. state department stating they believed there could be some americans inside, but they're working to confirm that. the very latest we understand is malian forces have gone inside international forces. an elite hostage rescuers coming from france.
whether they'll be too late to help in the rescue or still in the hostage situation will be ongoing. a very similar incident played out, in fact, in august in central mali where islamist militants stormed the hotel. 17 people were killed, including westerners and malian forces. that took about a day. it also happened very, very early in the morning, on a friday. according to reuters, an affiliate of al qaeda has claimed responsibility. they don't go on to say which affiliate. experts believe it could be one of two splinter groups, but if this turns out to be true and it's not isis-related, then the question will be, why is this coming on the -- so soon on the backs of the paris attacks? indeed, is this -- are we going to see more of these sorts of attacked linked with al qaeda and isis. just a few attacks last week with boko haram in nigeria, killing up to 40 people. they are isis's largest
affiliate in nigeria. >> robin, what have you learned about how these terrorists gained access to the hotel? and i don't think we have an accurate number, but any updates on exactly how many terrorists were involved in this operation? >> reporter: we're hearing between two and ten. if they've taken so many hostages, what we're hearing from experts, it must be more than two because that's a large number of hostages. with a hotel of this size, even though it's a nightmare for rescuers because there will be so many doors and places to hide and so much time if a rescue mission is launched, there's also a lot of places for the people daisht hostages to hide themselves. two people is a low number, if they've managed to keep 170 hostages or less for this amount of time, it is quite low. what we're hearing about how they gained access, anderson, very concerning because we're hearing they used either a diplomatic vehicle or a vehicle
with diplomatic plates. how this plays out in a lot of countries, in africa, is that vehicles with diplomatic plates are often left alone and not searched because they assume the people in there are vetted in some way. how these diplomatic plates got onto the vehicle, we're not sure. if it was a diplomatic vehicle itself. it could have been stolen, perhaps. it raises a number of concerns. i know a number of large hotels -- large hotels don't bother searching diplomatic vehicles, so there could be a sign of the sophistication of the attack and the planning and execution, but a wake-up call to a lot of security companies and governments around africa. >> the president of mali said the siege, in his words is worrying but not desperate. obviously, we're trying to get the latest information we can. it is a fast-moving situation. thank you very much. as i mentioned, the president
making that statement that we just received. i want to go to nick in a hotel close to bamako. are you, yourself, safe? if you can, set the scene, what you have heard, what you have seen. >> anderson, thank you. i am safe. we're all safe. our office is right next to the radisson, so i left this morning, got my son to day care and drove to the office as on a normal day when i was called by the security person who said there was an attack going on at the radisson and we should stay put, not move. so instead of going to the office, i drove to a different hotel about a half mile away from the radisson and picked up two colleagues there in from our headquarters in baltimore and sat down there and started making phone calls to all of my
colleagues who said, do not come to the office, stay put where you are. if you are in the office, go to the top floor and hunker down. i myself decided not to go to the office. a security person went on foot to the office as security forces were gathering toward the radisson. my security person was able to reach the office and gather all the staff on the top floor and kind of hunkered down for about an hour and a half as they were listening to the gunfire and kind of the security forces in the parameter of the hotel. once we were told it was safe and we could evacuate, we managed to get the 25 people out. >> niek, what can you tell me about the security at the radisson. i assume you've been there many times. how extensive is the security?
>> yeah. i mean, i think the previous daisht previous guest was talking about her similar experienc experience, there's a level of security, unfortunately, in a security incident like these. obviously, i'm not a security expert so i can't speak for them, but we know -- the attack started around 7:00, 7:30 this morning. by 9:15 the security in the area was to intense that we felt comfortable moving our office out of the staff and out of harm's way. i can't comment at all on their response to -- >> no.
niek, what -- what i'm actually asking is in regular times, i'm talking about before this assault, when you had visited the radisson hotel, are there metal detectors, if you're driving a vehicle into the hotel, does anybody search a vehicle? >> yeah. the streets block off on both sides and then you have to get to that and they check vehicles. there's a metal detector to get into the building. and your bag or purse is checked. i remember the protocol. i also remember, i'm on my bike every once in a while, the security protocols are increased in one year that i've been passing by there. >> i'm glad that everybody on your staff is okay and you're doing all right. i appreciate you talking with us. i want to return to the paris terror attacks.
a new detail emerges from the ruins of wednesday's deadly police raid. police combing through the wreckage left by explosion and gunfire, discovered the body of a third person inside the wreckage. our clarissa ward is outside that building where the raid unfolded. it speak it is to level of damage inside that building if they're just now finding that. >> reporter: we're finding out not just two, but three people were killed inside that apartment. you can see the apartment behind me here. i'm going to ask our cameraman to push in on it. you can see it's still very much an active scene. there's a fire truck. a policeman on top. they appear to be looking at the roof. we've seen forensic experts on the scene, continuing to work there throughout the day. you can assume it it is an
absolute mess inside. i want to show our viewers some video that was obtained by abc news at the moment of the blast when it's believed that suicide bomber detonated her vest. it's pretty extraordinary stuff. let's take a look. >> reporter: you saw the windows blowing out. you saw flames coming out. you can imagine just what the scene inside that apartment looks like. that's why, perhaps, we don't yet know who this third person killed inside the apartment was. we know the first, of course, abdelhamid abaaoud, the architect of friday's attacks.
we believe the second person, his cousin, hasanaitboulahcen, and the search is on for the eighth attacker, salah abdelsam. >> a lot more coming up in this hour to tell you about. hostages being escorted out of a mali hotel. how many are left inside. we'll try to find out for you. this bale of hay cannot be controlled. when a wildfire raged through elkhorn ranch, the sudden loss of pasture became a serious problem for a family business. faced with horses that needed feeding and a texas drought that sent hay prices soaring, the owners had to act fast. thankfully, mary miller banks with chase for business. and with greater financial clarity and a relationship built for the unexpected,
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rescue efforts under way. this time at a hotel frequented by westerners in the african country of mali in the capital of bamako. this just about a mile from the american embassy in that city. u.s. special forces are said to be assisting the rescue effort. the state department says americans may be trapped inside. at least two dozen gunmen -- excuse me, at least two gunmen, we're not sure of the exact number, stormed the hotel armed with ak-47s. at least three people are dead, including a french citizen. this is still a very active and kinetic situation. we're trying to get as many details as we can. we're hoping to establish contact with a reporter on the
ground shortly. but from what we know, it seems early reports indicate that the terrorists were able to gain access to the hotel, arriving in a vehicle or vehicles with diplomatic plates. whether they were legitimate diplomatic plates or fake plates, we're not clear. security was said to be not all that extensive at this hotel, considering the history gone on in mali. there was a french tactical team, commando team, highly trained, that was en route there. unclear if the operation will still be going on by the time they actually land. but we are monitoring developments and we'll bring you the latest shortly. we'll torst ss it back to carol new york. >> thank you. we know u.s. special ops forces are helping to secure the former hostages' safety after they were taken out of that hotel. u.s. special forces are esco escorting them to a safe place. erin burnett has managed to talk to someone at the hotel, the radisson blu.
what did you find out? >> this is someone who worked at the restaurant. they said the attack started during breakfast. the attackers stormed in. people then started running out of the restaurant. he said the attackers came in through the main lobby entrance and started shooting at random. people started running to the elevators. we do not know how many people are injured, how many are dead, but he said people were congress gating by the elevators, desperately trying to get inside. while they were waiting for those elevators, they then were shooting all those people. so, horrific scene, as he describes it. they were not dressed in any commando style. the shooter, who he said shot at him, and then he was able to get away. that shooter was wearing blue jeans, a checkered shirt and a hat, cap. >> wow. >> not dressed in commando style, but blue jeans and a checkered shirt. this is a crucial question in terms of who's responsible. we don't know how many shooters there are. this is just the shooter he saw. but the language they were speaking. this shooter was not speaking french. he was speaking a local malian language. i'm going to try to figure out what that was, but it was not french and it was not english, which might have indicated perhaps some nigerian or boko
haram element but it was a local malian language. >> as far as we know, only three confirmed dead at the moment. at one point there were 170 hostages inside that hotel. we know at least 30 or so have been freed and more are coming out of that hotel minute by minute because u.s. special ops forces are there and escorting some former hostages to safety. >> tell us about mali. it's 95% muslim? >> yes. i will say it's not the sort of style of islam that many americans and people around the world might expect. it is in most areas very african-inspired. there's singing and dancing. it is a very -- but it is mostly muslim. there's no question about that. obviously, some of these jihadist groups, these groups that have linked themselves in the past few years to al qaeda, to perhaps boko haram in
nigeria, which has pledged itself to isis, or perhaps now we may be seeing some isis-inspired event, we're not sure, these groups started to bring a much more conservative, obviously radical brand of islam, particularly to northern malmri. lots of people fled. i've been in refugee camps where these people are -- i was there three years ago. some i talked to are still there. they've been permanently displaced. the brand of islam these groups have tried to impose in northern mali is not a brand of islam most malians are familiar with. >> this could be a reason this is happened, the mm alian government asked the french to help get rid of these jihadists, and france did that. >> they did that. there were questions, would the united states come in because these were al qaeda-linked groups at the time. the french went in with their special forces.
they went in aggressively. they fought. since then we have seen the pace of attacks in recent months, this year, several attacks pick up against peacekeepers, civilians, even at a bus station in bamako. where there was a jihadist groups getting weapons from libya, there have been more and more attacks moving farther south, with this now in the capital. >> going back to the person you contacted that was inside of the hotel when this attack went down, he just saw two gunmen and that was it? >> my understanding, and i'm going to be speaking with him more, but at this point i know he saw one of the gunmen. the gunman had blue jeans, checkered shirt, cap, dressed casually, speaking in a local language. as they indiscriminately started shooting in the lobby. >> that fits because they supposedly pulled up in this car with diplomatic plates. they were pretending to be diplomats. >> which is who stays in this hotel. an international mining conference ended yesterday. military units stay in this hotel, airplane crews stay in
this hotel, air france said they have crews there. they accounted for them, they're safe. this would be the nicest international brand hotel in the city of bamako, the capital of the country. >> you can watch complete coverage of the terror attacks tonight with erin burnett on "outfront" at 7:00 p.m. eastern. heated rhetoric over syrian refugees. i'll talk to one lawmaker, a democrat, who voted yes on a bill that would make it tougher for refugees to settle in america. d plans yet? it's easy at medicare.gov. or you can call 1-800-medicare. medicare open enrollment. you'll never know unless you go. i did it. you can too. ♪ diis critical for brain health?n brain food, hmmm. ensure has b vitamins that help support brain health
joining me is bob cor. >> obviously, there are concerns about what could happen here. i'm on my way to the middle east but to focus on what we do in syria. he'll meet with minister of defense, and the equivalent of the national security adviser. it's both about the intel here, what's happening here in paris and in france, and also what we're going to do about the situation in syria, where the root of this is. >> how is the cooperation between the u.s. and france on intelligence sharing and also cooperation within europe itself. >> i met with our fbi officials here and other folks involved in intelligence gathering and the cooperation has been growing in a very good way. it's especially taking off now. i think it's going to create a whole new relationship. it's already been good but i think we're going to build upon what's been occurring. >> the huge influx of refugees, migrants we've seen over the
last year coming from syria, until the situation in syria itself is resolved, until progress is made, there's no end in sight. >> no question. france of all the european countries has more foreign fighters in syria that would obviously come back to france some time, some have, as we've seen. there's no question. as long as our strategy in syria is containment, more and more and more of this is going to occur. and i think people are waking up to that and realizing that. hollande is going to the united states on tuesday. i just met with the minister of defense who's going to be there with him. i think everyone understands that collectively we've got to do something far morrow bust. as we sit here with them contained, again, they have the ability to train, to inspire people, because they have ground
that they control so that's absolutely right. >> another huge concern, we're told a number of foreign fighters trying to go to syria has dropped, the fbi said yesterday that may not be such good news because they're now actually encouraging people to stay where they are and do whatever damage you can. if you have a car, they're being told, use that car to kill people. >> you've seen the public relations material they put out. that's exactly right. some people aren't able to make the trip and yet they have grievances against the country they're in. they're inspired by what isil is doing. that's exactly the threat. that's what i think is the biggest concern right now in the united states. >> what would you like to see happen in syria? it's obviously incredibly complex situation. there's a lot of -- >> i hear politicians, and i'm one, throw out all these numbers and things. i think the first decision that has to be made, are we as the
united states going to take part, use the coalition to end their existence or just deal with the containment we've been doing? it's really an executive decision first. i think once that decision is made, it is collecting from our great military leaders the best way to go about doing that. we as a nation really haven't made the decision yet, in my opinion, that we want to destroy them. it's been a decision to contain. you've heard iraq first, we'll deal with syria later. you know the fact daisht robustness of what we're doing in the air. we know the air can be defend this. again, it has to be a decision by the united states that, yes, this is important enough for us to -- france has to make the same kind of decisions. others, too. but that doesn't hasn't been made. >> in your opinion, u.s. leadership is critical. >> absolutely. you know, you see president
hollande going to the u.s. he's going to be in russia a few days after. he's running around, doing what you would expect him to do after what has happened here. and what they're doing in mali and other places. france has demonstrated leadership in multiple areas, but i think with something like this, the only way for it to be successful is with senior leadership. >> thank you for coming down. coming up, the latest on mali. how many hostages remain inside the hotel and who could be responsible for the attack? there are a number of groups. we'll take a look at all of them ahead. we'll be right back. everything you've got. tylenol® i'm mary ellen, and i quit smoking with chantix. i have smoked for thirty years and by taking chantix, i was able to quit in three months.
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operation, gunman storm a luxury hotel. u.n. troops and special forces launching a counterassault. we're joined now from nairobi. what are you learning? >> reporter: well, sounds like bad news coming from the radisson hotel in bamako. we are hearing -- i'm speaking to a local journalist on the ground who says he's seen a number of bodies pass and a number of injured and ambulances as well. so, at the moment, just three dead officially. we're waiting to see if that has been updated. according to an eyewitness on the ground, they have seen more bodies. that's also according to a u.n. official on the scene who says the death toll is likely to rise from where it is now at three. we're hearing an al qaeda group has claimed responsibility. an al qaeda-linked group has claimed responsibility for this
deadly attack. we're not sure who it is at this stage. al nasra was responsible for an attack in central mali, killing 17. began early morning, early friday. over ansar's leader released a video saying they should step up the tempo to attack french interests and the french in general. at the moment, we're not sure which of these al qaeda affiliates it could be, but these are the two we understand are the most likely. also, anderson, on the back of these isis attacks in paris, a number of experts are worried this has ignited some kind of war for pr between al qaeda-linked groups and isis affiliates. indeed, the foreign policy
research institute saying back in 2013 that competing isis affiliates may increase their attack tempo in an effort to assert themselves. this could be very worrying if it becomes a battle for attention between al qaeda-linked groups and isis-linked groups. we're seeing more of that on the ground here in east africa as well. >> appreciate the update. we'll continue to check back with you throughout this morning. we go now to new york, my colleague, carol costello. >> anderson, thanks. the attack on the mali hotel comes one day after french president francois hollande praised troops for fighting jihadist in that west african
takes place against the background of the terrorist attacks and a heated debate over refugees and muslims in the united states. on capitol hill, lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill that could limit the number of syrian refugees admitted to the united states. for some republican presidential candidates, the issue has become a popular talking point on the campaign trail. the democratic national committee is putting out this ad in response. >> we are at war with radical islam. >> radical islamic terrorism. >> you do have a problem with radical terrorism. >> radical islamic jihadists. >> radical islamic terrorists. >> we do not fight against islam. we fight against evil. >> the war against terrorism is not a war against muslims. nor is it a war against arabs -- >> all right. you get the idea here. joining me to talk about this, democratic congressman kurt schrader from oregon. he voted yes on that bill that could limited syrian refugees coming into the united states. good morning, sir. >> good morning. how are you? >> i'm good. some on twitter have not been kind, calling you a traitor to oregon and axenophobic. are you concerned?
>> no. because there's been misrepresentation in the press, like you did, how this would limit syrian refugees into this country. i ask everyone in the country to read the bill. it's three pages, straightforward. all it talks about is making sure our intelligence and security forces, including the fbi, certify people coming in through the refugee program, which every member of the congress wants to continue, are not under a threat to people of the united states. people in this country are afraid, carol. they deserve to know that the united states government and their congress is doing everything to make sure the refugees that need to get out of these horrible places can do so safely and they do not pose a threat to america. >> i will say some say the intent of this bill is to create so many checks that it would be impossible for any syrian refugees to come into this country any time soon. >> absolutely false. again, read the bill. republican leadership could have put on a strange bill that would
have gone muslims, would have had all sorts of restrictions, stopping the syrian refugee program all together i give speaker ryan some credit for putting a responsible bill on the floor that just says, hey, let's make sure we're doing our due diligence and let's get the fbi involved. we heard in the prior attacks how the fbi has been integral helping the french authorities. we're asking the same thing for this country. i think that's a major responsibility of members of congress, is national security and reassure the american people it's all good. read the bill. it's not at all what it's been hyped up to be. >> so, congressman, this vote to keep a pause on syrian refuse geese -- >> there's no pause, carol. that's incorrect. >> dozens and dozens of checks. i'll go along with you. >> additional checks. >> a lot of people -- >> one additional check. some say that's just one part of what is becoming a disturbing
climate in america. donald trump said he would not rule out a database that registered u.s. american muslims. ben carson comparing these refugees to rabid dogs. is this the kind of language that's good for our country? >> absolutely not. i think it's good to have folks on both sides of the debate on this bill in congress to show people that we're not as xenophobic country. we're a country of immigrates. my own country emigrated and i'm proud of that heritage. we should embrace that. that's one of the vital aspects of this country, new thinking, new blood. unfortunately, different groups and some in the media are conflating these. this is not a crazy presidential race, nut cases saying these extreme things. this is responsible members of congress with a serious debate making sure this program is safe and making a statement they support the refugee program. i get that. >> right. what you're saying is the bill
is sane and some of the rhetoric coming from these republican candidates are, in your words nut cake? >> yes, sir. >> wanted to make that clear. george w. bush, you heard him in that ad. he said those things about american muslims after 9/11. the rhetoric about muslims seems to be much more harsh today. what happened? >> well, again, i think people tend to be afraid. unfortunately, a person that doesn't look like you, doesn't sound like you, maybe doesn't dress like you, they're an easy target to potentially vilify or blame for certain things that are happening. as we heard in an earlier segment on your show with senator corker, this is a tough problem. the syrian conflict is very, very complex. i don't agree with him that it's the united states' sole responsibility to jump in there. it did not work in iraq. it did not work in afghanistan.
we have to have the way to a peace. we have to have europe step up, put their ground forces there. have the gulf steps step up. and, frankly, engage russians victims of the islamic state to come up with a political resolution for the syrian government so there's a stable force there that can stay on the ground and keep the peace after everyone's gone. >> congressman, thank you so much for being with me. >> thanks, carol. still to come in the "newsroom," in the aftermath of the paris terror attacks, growing fears of backlash against muslims here in the united states. we'll parse that more after the break. what's the catch? there's no catch. you want me to give up my two aleve for six tylenol? no. for my knee pain, nothing beats my aleve.
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it's rare you hear a father relieved to hear his son is done. that's apparently what the father of the man who orchestrated the paris attacks told his attorney. he's relegaled his son died in that police raid, according to the attorney representing the ringleader's father. here's part of her interview with cnn's erin burnett. >> it was during 2013. his son was beginning to make a lot of criticism concerning the way the father was educating the small found in the rubble --
a suicide device, obviously, police will be conducting dna testing to find out the identity of that third person. we do know the eighth terrorist, abdel -- i'm blanking on his name. abdeslam is still at large. also a ninth person who may have been with him is also still at large and unidentified. we'll have all the latest on that, carol, shortly throughout the day. >> all right, anderson, thanks so much. you've been up for a long time, so we totally understand. >> sorry about that. >> we do have good news out of mali. all the hostages have been freed from that hotel, according to afp. cnn will be covering that throughout the day. the heated rhetoric from some on the campaign trail here in the united states is upsetting many american muslims. ben carson comparing syrian
refugees to rabid dogs and listen what donald trump said if he would require muslims to register in a national database. >> i would certainly implement that. absolutely. >> if there's a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you're probably not going to assume something good about that dog. >> the mayor of roanoke, virginia, a democratic, brought up japanese earnment camps. joining me, communications director for the muslim public affairs council in washington. welcome. >> thank you. >> can you understand why many americans are afraid at the moment? >> oh, absolutely, definitely,
but we as american muslims are also afraid. the very fact that i am here as an american born and raised citizen, a proud midwestern girl, a mother, on national tv, having to speak out against the terrorist attacks of people a continent away is indicative of how those attacks affect us here in this country. our struggle is two-fold. we have to push back against extremist ideology overseas, defend ourselves physically from those attacks and also deal with the political extremists in this country who choose to marginalize us instead of seeing as american counterparts. >> when the idea of american muslims possibly having to register in a database, what went through your mind? >> i mean, it was very absurd and surreal.
i couldn't really believe this was actually being said and that people were actually entertaining the idea and that more people weren't speaking out against this. i mean, is this responsible rhetoric coming from a potential presidential candidate? what kind of america are we trying to move forward to? is this the america that we want to fight and stand up for? it's very -- it's very alarming. it's actually very counterproductive because the political extremist ideologies coming from these presidential candidates is playing into the hands of isis and the terrorists abroad. they are trying to push a framework that promotes that the west is at war with islam and muslims and by trying to disenfranchise and marginalize, it only promotes the isis agenda. i would caution people to be very careful about what they're promoting. even if it's just to gain political points in an election year. >> just to be clear, in that bill that went through the house that puts a pause on united states accepting syrian refugees, for the moment, is that a good idea? >> look, we understand.
we are all concerned about the security and safety of our nation. we want security measures, of course, to be in place and they should be in place across the board, but they shouldn't be targeted to people based on their faith or based on people's emotion or fear. that's not the country that we are. and that's not how we make policies. i understand the fear, but i feel we have to look at the facts and make policies based on sound judgment. >> and just -- i just wonder how people -- have people been reacting to you in a different way since the paris attacks? has that happened? yes, yeah, it has been, but we've seen both the bad and the good. i don't want to focus on the bad. i would rather focus on the many gestures of outreach we have received. that is -- you know, that is the future i want for my kids. and that is the future i'm going
to work for. >> thanks for being with me this morning. >> thank you. >> thanks to you for joining me today. and thanks to anderson cooper reporting live from paris. i'm carol costello. "at this hour with berman and bolduan" after a break. it erases 99% of your most stubborn makeup with one towelette. need any more proof than that? neutrogena. when a moment turns romantic why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom? cialis for daily use is approved to treat both erectile dysfunction and the urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex.
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