tv The Situation Room CNN January 8, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PST
twitter @jaketapper and @theleadcnn. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. over the wolf blitzer who is next door. happening now, manhunt, roadblocks and rage as heavily armed police and troops search rural villages for the suspects in the slaughter. a paris magazine. officer killed. a policewoman is shot dead in a paris suburb by a man dressed in black wearing a bulletproof vest in what authorities are calling a new terror attack. terror training. new information one of massacre suspects spent time with a dangerous al qaeda affiliate in the middle east. and the motive -- what's behind the massacre at the magazine office? what drove the gunman to kill a dozen people in cold blood? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." let's get right to the breaking news. tens of thousands of police are
combing cities towns, and rural areas. they're hunting for the suspects in the massacre at magazine office in paris, the dragnet focusing in on villages north of paris where roadblocks have now been set up and helicopters are hovering overhead. there are also new details about the wanted men. cherif and said kouachi. france has told the united states one of the brothers received weapons training with al qaeda's affiliate in yemen. and we're also learning both suspects were on the u.s. terror watch list. as france unites in defiance of the slaughter of the offices of the satirical magazine there are also new fears tonight after today's killing of a female police officer in a southern suburb of paris. officials have not directly linked that to the earlier massacre although they are calling it another terror attack. congressman ed rice is here standing by live with our correspondents analysts and guests. let's begin with cnn's chris
cuomo. what are you learning chris? >> reporter: wolf we understand from sources close to the investigation they had eyes on the sky, on the suspects as they were heading into the north country here that the suspects realized that left their vehicle, entered the woods in that part of the country on foot. those parts of the woods have been search preponderance of the evidence they have not found the suspects. the good news is as night falls the searchers believe the advantage turns to them. night vision is very accurate and they can see the bad guys they're looking for without being seen. to be sure, this manhunt is massive. heavily armored french commandos moved into the french countryside searching for two brothers wanted in wednesday's terror massacre. a gas station attendant reportedly telling police he was threaten by the brothers stealing gas and food and then driving off.
police immediately set up checkpoints in the area. >> translator: there was a man who left their car and went through the forest. don't go around the forest to avoid running into them. >> reporter: police say a third suspect, an 18-year-old, turned himself in to police late wednesday after seeing his name mentioned on social media. tonight france's interior minister says more than 88,000 people are involved in the manhunt for to brothers. 34-year-old said and 32-year-old cherif kouachi. cherif was known to french police as part of a jihadi recruitment ring in paris that sent fighters to the war in iraq. in 2005 he and another man were headed to iraq before they were arrested. at trial he told the court he was motivated by u.s. troops' abuse of detainees at abu ghraib prison in iraq. he served 18 months in prison. cnn has learned french law enforcement were tracking the brother because former counterterrorism official tells cnn that with many people under surveillance the monitoring of
the brothers stopped. a french source close to the french security services tells cnn there's evidence one of the brothers may have traveled to syria recently. the older brother, said has no criminal record but police say they found his i.d. card in the abandoned getaway car. wolf they're learning more and more about this nexus between what was known about these two brothers on the u.s. and french intelligence sides. the question is why weren't they kept under closer surveillance or was that impossible wolf. >> chris, you're right near the magazine "charlie hebdo." what's it like there now? gives us a little flavor of the mood. >> reporter: this morning we started with a moment of silence here at about 11:30 in the morning local time. that's when the massacre happened wolf. people came here. they were locals. they were tourists of all colors and creeds. and they came here and started to applaud after the moment of the massacre showing their resolve, that "charlie hebdo"
will live on that while lives were taken, that there will be a rejuvenation of it. and we do know that the magazine will come out. and we do see different demonstrations here in the republican square people coming together and saying they will not be afraid. we see the signs. we see unity. right now the mood is without question somber wolf. there are makeshift memorials here. people are lighting candles to remember the lives that were lost. many people here have family members who will never be back. >> what a sad story. chris cuomo, thanks so much reporting from paris. as french authorities cast a wider net for the terrorist superintendents let's get more on the heavy police presence in a rural area just north of paris. atika shubert is on the scene. what are you learning, atika? >> reporter: you heard chris mention that gas station. the search seem to be concentrated between that gas station and the village i'm
quite near to that's four kilometers that way. earlier in the day we saw heavily armed police going house to house searching. just a short while ago we saw about 30 police vehicles leaving the area includeing rapid response teams and what look like forensic vehicles. we don't know if the search has ended or widened out. keep in mind this is a very rural area lots of open fields and farmhouses but also a very large fornest this area and this will take a lot of time for police to comb through several thousand acres wide. so it will take a long time for police to search it thoroughly. >> police are convinced that the two suspects were indeed at that gas station. they did rob the gas station. they stole gas. they stole food. and then they escaped. they're saying these are the two brothers. right? >> reporter: to be clear, the police have made no comment as to whether or not the two suspects who robbed the gas station are definitely the
brothers. what we do know is that they had a very heavy police presence there and we saw a number of plain clothes officers detectives and forensics teams combing through what looked like cctv video and other evidence there. so what we're judging this on the massive police presence that's here. you know you heard the number 80,000 people involved in the search. well, a lot of that is concentrated right here. >> atika shubert on the scene for us just north of paris. a closer look now at the suspects in the terror attack. there are extraordinary new details. the latest from chief national security correspondent jim sciutto joining us live from paris and our pentagon correspondent barbara starr over at the pentagon. barbara, first you. tell us what you're learning act these brothers in the middle east and norte africa. what are you learning snr late-breaking and disturbing developments.
two u.s. officials tell me french authorities have now told the united states one of the brother, said kouachi, traveled to yemen in 2011. and of course yemen is the home to the very violent al qaeda affiliate al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. this is concerning. said they believe, got weapons training there in handling weapon possibly even in bomb making. in 2011 the leader of external operations for al qaeda in yemen, anwar al aiwa i can, the american-born cleric who has had threatened the united states was said to be behind several attacks. he was killed in an american drone strike. not clear if said ever met ahim. but he goes to yemen, gets weapons training. now the question for u.s. and french intelligence how close was the affiliation to al qaeda here? was he inspired by al qaeda?
or worst scenario was this attack in paris directed by the al qaeda affiliate in yemen? these are the questions the u.s. is struggling with right now. a little built of confusion. the french justice minister says her information is that one of the brothers wouldn't say which one, travelled to yemen in 2005. but i have to tell you, u.s. officials are working off the presumption today that the 2011 travel date that they say they got from french authorities, that's the one they're looking at trying to figure out how close the relationship with this al qaeda affiliate really was. and of course al qaeda in yemen had already targeted the magazine in paris recently calling for the death of the editorial director. he sadly was killed in this attack. it's becoming a very interesting question. affiliations with al qaeda in yemen, potential with syria and iraq potential affiliations
with isis. we may well be entering a new era of terrorist attack where is there's no easy labels to put on the perpetrators. >> amazing reporting from barbara starr breaking the news on cnn. we'll get back to you. i want to go to paris right now. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto is on the scene. you're learning more about what's going on. tell our viewers what you've learned, jim. >> reporter: what's become very clear today is before these attackers were able to carry out this murderous attack just down the street here they were well-known both to u.s. and french authorities. in fact for years. we learned today that both brothers the kouachi brother, were on the u.s. database of known or suspected terrorists known as the thai database. they were on a u.s. no fly list and had been for years. from french authorities' perspective they knew about both brothers they had one of them and often two under surveillance for a number of years before that surveillance was stopped. and in fact they'd been 'death tainted and arrested a number of
times for jihadist activities. the younger brother, cherif kouachi, arrested, jailed in fact, in 2008 for being involved in a network that was recruiting fighters to go to iraq. in 2005 he was stopped trying to leave france to go to syria for himself to join the fight in iraq against u.s. and coalition forceses there. french authorities believe he was radicalized by the u.s. invasion of iraq made worse and radicalized by the u.s. treatment of prisoners abu ghraib. you often find the profiles of these suspected jihadis are complicated. he was also a rapper described by his lawyer in defending him in his trial in 2008 as someone who liked to smoke pot, who liked to drink, to say that he was not a radical muslim he was, in fact just another 20-something kid in paris. a complicated profile but one that u.s. and french authorities were very aware of for years
before this attack took place. >> jim, at the time of this terror attack they were not under any surveillance by french authorities because clearly they were moving around at will. >> reporter: that's true. they had been under surveillance. they were no longer under surveillance before this attack took place. i spoke today with the former head of france's counterterror service, and he said this, and i'm quoting him here. he said "there are too many of them, too few of us." too many jihadi suspects that is too few security personnel to follow them. he explained to me the mathematics. he said it takes anywhere from three to as many as ten agents to keep just one jihadi suspect under surveillance. 24 hours a day seven days a week. and in france alone there are 5,000 names on their list of suspect jihadis. you would talk about tens of thousands of security personnel
necessary to keep every one under surveillance so it becomes a judgment call. this is the difficulty of intelligence and counterterror work and he was taken off surveillance. in particular the former head of the counterterror unit told me a problem is when these people go off the grid when they stop being active. you take them off surveillance you may not know what they're up to until they come up again. they resurface again. and sadly in this case resurfacing with an act of violence right here in central paris. but the numbers there get to the real difficulty. i'll tell you, wolf you will often hear the same thing from u.s. counterterror officials. granted, there's nothing like that number of known or suspected terrorists in the u.s. but even u.s. counterterror officials will say it's hard to keep track of these guys and in fact it's only a matter of time before we may see on u.s. soil a lone wolf attack or something like that as well. >> we were showing our viewers what you were discussing earlier. one of these brothers actually in this video rapping. clear hily he's got a history
that's let's say unusual for someone now accused of being engaged in massive terrorism. stand by, chute shult. congressman ed royce from california is with us. thanks for join us. what do you make of this news first reported by barbara starr at the pentagon that one of these brothers actually went to yemen and trained with al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, aqap as it's called? >> and this is going to be the big question in france if you've got 5,000 jihadists and you're keeping track, and they're french nationals. this is the biggest problem for them an they're returning to france. then you're trying to monitor them. what steps can you take to make certain that either you're not allowing them to come back into the country after they've taken training by al kooid in yemen as this young man did? these pose very real questions for france because they're dealing with french citizens. we don't have a problem commensurate with that. we have maybe a couple hundred fighters. >> that's a lot. >> but in all of europe there's
15,000. >> a lot more europe but still a few hundred potential terrorists in the united states and that's a serious problem. the sense that this one brother when he was in yemen, aqap the arabian peninsula, was trained and sent back to france to engain in terror? was this a coordinated aqap operation? >> clearly to me to have the type of training he had and to have had the hit put out by al qaeda and yemen against the editor and then to have it carried out and to have him take credit for it and give that credit to al qaeda yemen when he was carrying out the operation, it's very clear to me. the problem for the united states i see here is as i said we only have a couple hundred that are operating, but a french national national's passport and visa can be used to come to the united states. >> you don't need a visa if you have a prench passport.
you can fly into washington dulles airport, jfk, l.a.x. go wherever you want. should that be changed? some of your colleagues are saying the u.s. should take another look at this nonvisa requirement for allies like france or other countries in europe. >> i worked very very closely on the issue of the no fly wis wlis the fbi on what we can do so actually get all of the data from the europeans in terms of whatever we have on french national or german national et cetera who is doing that type of training or going out to fight with isis because them returning to europe is a direct threat to them eventually potentially coming here. >> justice reporter evan perez broke the news these two brothers cherif and said kouachi, that they actually were on the u.s. no-fly list. so had they tried to come into the united states what would have happened? >> that's the good news. they would have been prevented. likewise one of the things our committee is working on right now is a change in the law so that we can get more authority
or responsibility to the secretary of state to remove the passport basically of a u.s. citizen who is a national security risk because he wants to go and train with -- >> we know one of the brothers was in yemen presumely with aqap al qaeda arabian peninsula. was he also with another brother at one point in iraq and syria based on what you know? >> from what i've heard in terms of the connection with syria, what i'd heard is one of the brothers had been in syria. and this is going to be a real problem for france because france and the united states were the first two countries into syria and so you can imagine the blowback within france given the french contingent in syria and what the french are doing right now across north africa. they pushed al qaeda out of mali with our help. but it was their troops that did it. the french foreign legion and the french military. and so there's tremendous blowback from radical islamists against the french government. i know a lot of these terror
groups have applauded this terror operation in paris, but so far based on whey've heard, no one as actually claimed responsibility. is that true? >> well i would put it this way -- if the man carrying out the attack claims it for al qaeda yemen -- >> supposedly according to an eyewitness who survived the attack heard him say that. >> yes, and i think you can debt cret it on the basis of that. that would be my judgment. >> the u.s. working assumption is that this is al qaeda in the arabian peninsula operation. >> we in the committee believe that yes. >> and the house foreign affairs committee. mr. chairman i want you to stand by. we have more questions to discuss. this is critically important information we're sharing with our viewers. we'll take a quick break. new information coming in. stay with us. you're in "the situation room."
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france has told the united states one of the massacre suspects had spent time in yemen training with al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, aqap. we're also learning both brothers were actually on the u.s. terror databases. we're back with the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, republican congressman ed royce of california.
if all of this is true that these guys may have gone to syria, at least one of them was training in yemen, and then they went back and committed this terrorist outrage and went through those editorial meetings calls out names of the cartoonists and editors and the other, then executing them point-blank like that it look like a pretty sophisticated operation. >> not only sophisticated but also very much in the nature of al kai's past demands in terms of, as we know freedom of speech freedom of religion is not high on their list. we have seen in pakistan now some 700 schools closed down because of the objection of islamists against having women educated. so you're going to see in the west increasingly these types of radical organizations carrying out. >> what's chilling is the editor of this publication, charlie hebdo, a well-known cartoonist
an excellent journalist stephane charbonnier, he was on the al qaeda most wanted list because of some of the cartoons depicting the prophet muhammad. he was actually targeted and if in fact -- that sends a pretty chilling message to a lot of people all over the world. >> it does but orlandon the other hand when they targeted him, he said i'd rather die standing than on my knees. he was very defiant. what you saw from the french population last night was "not afraid," those signs they were holding. i think it's going to cause quite a reaction in europe and quite dae manhandle for freedom of expression. france was the product of the french enliten ment nenlightenment. this is so part of their culture. i think this is going to put a lot of pressure on radical islam in france to acultureate to the ideals of freedom of speech.
also very disturb, there was a second terror incident today, an individual dressed in a black uniform, his face covered in a mask an ak-47, similar weapon to what was used yesterday, in a southern suburb of paris goes out and executes a policewoman in cold blood. i don't know if there's a connection or not a connection a copycat or whatever but what are you hearing? >> well what we hear is you've got two forces simultaneously in play here. one, al qaeda. but then as you know there's a different model for isis. and what isis is asking is for homegrown terrorists to carry out their individual attacks. so this is how this gets so complicated. and for the intelligence services in france ever more complicated. >> the ramifications, the lessons learned for the united states are what? >> closer cooperation with french intelligence which is some of the best in the world, as well as other european intelligence networks a better
ability to track those who we monitor, who are trained. and i think border security becomes a real issue as well. >> this is a serious problem. nine other individuals, french authorities say have been taken into custody. i don't know if they're related to these -- this incident at the magazine or in the southern suburb of paris, but what can you tell us about these nine others that have already been arrested? >> wolf at this point, we don't know from the french authorities the connections of these nine. but we do know that the french had their eye on some 5,000 jihadists in the country who weren't currently active. but these were all individuals who had been fighting either with isis or been trained overseas or gone to afghanistan to fight, and so they have a long laundry list of people they have concerns about. they monitor them. and if they found any connectivity between them and these three individuals, of course they would bring them in. >> as far as you know, the
u.s./french cooperation in intelligence sharing and this kind of counterterrorism is excellent, right? >> long-standing and as close as it gets. >> and the attorney general of the united states eric holder announced today he's going to be going to paris this weekend for high-level ministerial meetings with french authorities. we'll see what happens on that front. the bottom line right now, this was not a lone wolf or a lone wolves. this was a coordinated operation. hold on far moment because i want to show our viewers what's going on at joint base andrews outside of washington, d.c. there's air force one. you see the president of the united states has just arrived. he was in phoenix on other business earlier in the day. he's getting ready to head over to the white house. cowes michelle kosinski is our white house correspondent. i know he was briefed on air force one about what's going on in france the ramifications for the u.s. what are you learning? >> reporter: this meeting just wrapped up a short time ago. his national security advisor, homeland security adviser,
secretary of homeland security directors of the cia, fbi, and others. the focus was on paris to update the president fully on the situation as well as look at the u.s. security posture in light of this. no further detail was given on any changes that might come out of this, but because the president was traveling, this was all done by phone as he was on air force one on his way back to d.c. from phoenix. and we did hear from the president yesterday as well as others in the administration but today the white house has been quiet. they're not responding to any details that have come out through law enforcement. they're not weighing in on any of those details, especially since one of the big questions out there is foreign fighters and that has been a big concern of the administration. the press secretary, though did reiterate what he said yesterday, that the department of homeland security tells him there are no specific or credible threats of terrorist attacks here within the u.s. wolf? >> i know he's aboard marine
one. that'll take him to the white house, the south lawn of the white house momentarily. we'll watch marine one as it does so. michele, thanks so much. still here with ed royce. do you have any criticisms? i know a lot of republicans in the house like to criticize the president of the united states but on this particular issue, the war on terror right now, is he doing the right thing, the wrong thing? what's your analysis? >> well i think the most important thing right now is let's show our solidarity with france. let's have the united states stand with our closest and longest ally france in terms of the history of this republican and our values freedom of speech freedom of expression. i think the attorney general's doing the right thing, going to paris in order to deepen these ties and especially the cooperation, because we're all in this together with respect to these 15,000 foreign fighters that are, you know, fighting with isis. but at some point could return to europe or the united states. >> and if in fact al qaeda and the arabian peninsula in yemen
was behind this terrorist attack against these journalists and police officers in paris, what should the u.s. and france and other allies do about it? there are occasional drone strikes in yemen going after some of these aqap targets. what else if anything should the u.s. be doing? >> well i think at that point from djibouti where we cooperate with the french forces and elsewhere we would look very very closely at everything we could do to absolutely take out those cells. i think you'd see much more operations on the ground in reprisal from france and the united states against al qaeda. >> a lot of those drone stroke-strikes that go against these al qaeda targets in yemen originate from djibouti from a base in the horn of africa. >> they do but also it used to be that we would take a lot of these agents into custody with our operations on the ground in
order to get sources and learn who else we needed to have arrested. and i think this will be part of the discussion because you can't do it all from the air. at some point you have to get your agents on the ground and you've got to take into custody some of these -- >> is the yemeni government doing enough? >> in yemen it's -- iran is involved in yemen trying to, you know -- they're in the process of creating insurrection there. you've got these different terrorist networks. it's almost a stateless -- >> a real mess. >> -- society right now. >> what a disaster. ed royce chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, thanks for coming in. >> thanks wolf. coming up, a live update on the manhunt for the gunmen. jim sciutto is in paris. he's getting more information. stand by. also inside the jihadist mind-set. what drove these terrorists to kill people who draw cartoons? hello... i'm an idaho potato farmer and our big idaho potato truck is still missing.
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the suspects in the terror massacre shocking details on those brothers who were no strangers to french and u.s. authorities. our chief national security correspondent jim sciutto joins us live in paris. jim, they are -- are they any closer to finding these two individuals? >> reporter: well eel wolf the french officials have significantly expanded the area of france on high alert as they try to find these attackers. they've expanded that area right up to the board we are belgium. some 175 miles from here in paris. now, the focus of their attention continue s to be a large wooded area thousands of acres of a wooded area about 50 miles northeast of here. that is where earlier today from a helicopter investigators believe they saw the attackers abandon the car, go into those woods, and it's in those woods tonight they want to go in security forces with their night vision goggles to attempt to find them. but i'll tell you, wolf i was out with police this morning as they moved from one town to
another town and each place where they thought they were zeroing in then they moved their target. now we see them tonight extending this area under search really hundreds of miles in the direction of northeast heading up towards belgium. it shows just how difficult it is to tighten the noose around them and bring them into police custody. >> tell us where you are right now. we see a lot of candles behind you. set the scene for us. >> reporter: this is a street where the shooting happened yesterday. and we've seen this vigil grow overnight, flower candles, very simple and quiet. we've watched people come here each of them paying their respects for a time quietly, then they'll walk away. the crowd has been consistent throughout the night. this is the kind of emotion that you've seen unfolding here in paris and one that is both sad and emotional but also defiant. and that really to me is the dominant message here.
you see it on the covers of newspapers and magazine hear it from people here saying it's a terrible tragedy but our response here in paris and france is going to be we're going to stand up to this, we ear not going to shy away from this. >> we'll get back to you soon, jim sciutto on the scene in paris. we're also getting word in "the situation room" that a new radio message from isis calls the paris terror attacker i'm quoting now, brave jihadists, praises the attackers for going after a magazine that in their words, again, have been belittling the prophet muhammad. why did the french magazine's cartoons enrage these people so much that they wanted to kill them for revenge? brian todd is looking into the mind-set of these individuals. >> tonight we have new insights into that from one man who was a jihadist and another who's still a radical cleric. they've got fascinating answers to the question of how the killing of defenseless people is justified in the mind of a
militant. during the attack, the masked men shouted "allahu akbar," god is great, and said they were avenging the prophet muhammad. the journalists singled out had made fun of the prophet muhammad in their magazine. many are asking how a perceived insult triggers the jihadis? what triggers them? >> once you take on the ideology the islamic teaches the prophet muhammad is more revered than our parents. if someone insults your parents, you don't do anything because you get arrested for assaults. for these people it doesn't matter. they feel they have license and right to commit a vigilante attack on a person. >> reporter: he's a former jihadist who almost went to iraq to fight. but he broke away and went undercover for canadian intelligence. a current radical, london cleric chowdhry writing in a
controversial op-ed in "usa today" says muslims have an obligation to defend the prophet. how can the killing of defenseless people ever be justified even in upholding the honor of the proffet? >> when you talk about killing of defenseless people we could talk about iraq afghanistan, the cia, guantanamo bay. americans have tortured innocent people. they're still in guantanamo bay. the muslims are reacting. >> thousand dollarry writes the messenger muhammad said whoever insults a prophet, kill him. a prominent islamic scholar in washington strongly disagrees. >> nothing in the koran or the life of the prophet suggests violence. in fact the prophet is known as a mercy unto mankind in the koran. >> reporter: the former jihadist says it's not always about religious beliefs. some radicals are using islam as an excuse to kill. >> these are people that have this predisposition from prior
experiences. and it's more ease yrier for them to commit such acts. >> reporter: a question tonight one often asked after the attacks in paris, do mainstream muslims ever speak out against it? mubin sheikh and professor ahmed say many do speak out against it but it's not covered in the mainstream media and there is a risk to speaking out. even when muslim leaders speak out, they're often attacked sometimes physically by radical islamists. >> there's also the suggestion sometimes there's a roishl component to all of this what's going on brian? >> believe it or not, yes, wolf. sheikh says they don't consider them as moderates. they view them as sellouts. there's a term they use to describe moderates, they call them coconuts -- brown on the outside, white on the inside. >> brian todd, thank you. with us now in "the situation room" our senior international correspondent nic robertson.
guillaume despres, jane harman from the homeland security committee, now leads the wilson center in washington and our cnn terrorism analyst paul crookshank. guillaume, tell us what's going on. you've described a certain calm in your words, a the calm way these gunmen were operating. this was a targeted attack clearly. you have new information. what else are you learning about what happened? >> reporter: as you've said it's been extended to include an area that borders belgium. the big fear for the french authorities is the two gunmen would try to escape and leave france. but there is also another fear which played a lot today during the day, is that they would come back to paris, actually and try to do other killings in paris. it doesn't seem to be the case because the car that they hijacked yesterday to which they
had changed the license plates has been spotted so they think they have ditched the car and they're on the foot in this massive wooded area that is now really cold really wet, really damp and they think they might be hiding there. but paris is not on lockdown. but of course at every gate of paris, every entry point of paris, there are plain clothes officers heavily armed ready for action in case the two men came back to capital. security has been picked up in several areas in paris, mass transit, tv stations of course some schools because they're afraid that they would come back. but of course right now the target is this massive, 20 30-square-mile area in northwest paris where they think that the two gunmen could be. >> i know there is concern there may be accomplices out there getting ready if they haven't
already to help them in their escape operation if in fact, they ear going to escape. stand by for a moment guillaume. i want to bring in jane harman. was that an intelligence blunder -- you were on the intelligence committee -- that these two guys were not under surveillance given the fact they were on the no-fly list one spent a year and a half in jail cheerily the french knew they had done some training in yemen, maybe eve np syria? it looks like an tels blunder here. >> well we'll learn more about that. and our intelligence services and our fbi specifically -- and by the way, eric holder as you pointed out, our attorney general is coming over this weekend -- are going to assess that. but for the moment they had been under surveillance, they had been in. for all i know and i don't know the active intel did not show that they were plotting anything in the near term. there are a lot of people to surveil, and let's keep in mind the goal here is not to build a police state, to turn us into the kind of isis-like operation that we obviously are trying to
defeat. this is a collar of competing narratives. our narrative is open and free. this could be a tipping point in a good direction because so many french and english and lead national weather service the middle east are now wide awake about this and pushing back. >> nic, you've studied this and reported extensively on the ideology behind this violence. you heard brian todd's report. it is chilling to hear that kind of language and actually see the action that follows up. i guess we should all anticipate more of this right? >> undoubtedly. this is an ideology that's not going away that's still gathering adherence, there are still place where is people can get weapons training by going to iraq by going to syria. they'll be welcome with open arms. message that's coming through social media, which is pervasive and well used by young people who are recep tich to these ideas in europe and the united states. this is a america nism to get to these people. and incidents like this will
inspire some people further. so at the moment, this is a trend that's not going down. look back over the past month. you have radical islamist attacks in afghanistan this week. you know, in turkey this week there's a female suicide bomber who goes into a police station. australia barely a month ago, a radical islamist there. in pakistan 132 school children killed there less than a month ago. you have all these incidents just recently. this is a trend that's ramping up at the moment not slowing down more. >> it's interesting, paul and you studied this for a long time these two brothers said and cherif kouachi, they grew up they were born in france parents may have come from algeria, but wung of them was into rapping. clearly not religious far long time. they were into drinking and smoking pot, all that stuff. then all of a sudden if you believe all these reports, they become islamic jihadists and do
what they're alleged to have done. >> all of a sudden they become born-again muslim radicalized by the u.s. invasion of iraq in 2003 they join a study group in paris, there's a charismatic preacher who's trying to persuade them to join the fight against the americans in iraq with abu musab al zarqawi, the al qaeda group that became isis later on. one of these brothers was so radical in 2005 he wanted to launch an attack before leaving france for iraq in 2005 against jewish targets that he learned how to fire a collection in a theoretical way back then. he was arrested before he was able to travel though. >> he was arrested because he was going to try to go to iraq to fight the united states supposedly outraged what the u.s. had done at the abu ghraib prison. a lot of you stand by. much more on the breaking news after this. so,as my personal financial psychic, i'm sure you know what this meeting is about. yes, a raise. i'm letting you go. i knew that.
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area this according to a french source close to the investigation. we're getting this information from our own chris cuomo who is on the scene in paris. investigators surmise the suspects entered the woods on foot. police helicopters are using night vision equipment to try to locate these men. earlier today, a police helicopter glimpsed what they believed to be the two fugitives in the area. we're joined by a reporter from french television. what do you make of this development that a helicopter is searching with night vision equipment, looking for these two guys in a wooded area, just north of paris? >> well the french police think they may have a leg up at night, because they know they are not well equipped for surviving the night. they have been spotted with rpg
and kalishnikov weapons, but they don't think they can stay long in this very wet, damp wooded area in the north of paris. they are using this technological advantage that could help them with heat seeking equipment that could help them locate the two gunmen. they think that they are by foot because the car they stole yesterday has been spotted. there is a fear here in paris that some copy cat might try to do other killings in paris. you know this morning a police officer was killed another one wounded. apparently the incident is not directly linked to the attack of yesterday, but they're worried that some other radical muslims would try to be inspired by what happened yesterday and do other, you know targeted killings or
some other killings in different areas of france. >> jane it's not just in france where they're worried about copy cats they're worried about copy cats elsewhere in europe whether in belgium or germany or here in the united states. >> we are. you had jeh johnson on your show last night and is all over this. that doesn't mean there's 100% security. these folks attack where we're less prepared and surely it can happen in europe. it's not only muslims who are disaffected, but i think in paris we should commend the paris police. they're doing a thorough manhunt here. i think they will capture these folks, and i also think though the risk of copy cat attacks is there, paris is on high alert and hopefully the risk is as minimal as possible. >> very quickly, paul are you surprised they haven't captured them yet? >> it appears they're closing in
on them. they have all the technology. it's probably just a matter of hours from what we're hearing. >> all right, stand by. we're going to get a live update on the frantic search for these french terrorists the paris attack also has the u.s. scouring its databases. were signals missed that could have kept the terrorists off the streets? we'll be right back. ♪[ac/dc: "back in black"]♪ ♪[ac/dc: "back in black"]♪ chevy colorado when you find new roads, you win motor trend's truck of the year. does a freshly printed presentation fill you with optimism? then you might be gearcentric. right now, all printers are on sale.
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happening now. breaking news. frantic search. tens of thousands of people taking part in the massive manhunt for the brothers wanted for the paris terror attack as new information emerges about ties to al qaeda. did one of the suspects train with terrorists? tightened security. american officials say they've known of the french suspects for years, and they're now scouring their databases to try to identify people inside the u.s.
who may also pose a threat. were important signals missed? bomb probe. the fbi investigates an explosion outside an office belonging to the naacp. is this a case of domestic terrorism? we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> this the cnn breaking news. >> we're following the breaking news. the massive manhunt gripping france a force of 88,000 people that has been mobilized. and we're learning new information about the two brothers suspected of kiln a dozen people in that massacre. cnn sources say french officials have told the united states one of the brothers trained with al qaeda in yemen and other sources tell us the suspects have been on the u.s. terror watch list for years. and now another attack authorities are calling it terrorism. a gunman dressed like the terror suspects shot and killed a
female police officer in a paris suburb. it's not known if the shooter is still at large. authorities haven't connected it to the paris attack at least not yet. we're covering the breaking news with our correspondents our guests including the state department spokesperson maee hearth. but first, let's go to paris with jim sciutto. what is the latest, jim? >> reporter: wolf we're laning just now of what could be a crucial moment in the hunt for the gunmen behind this attack. police helicopters attempting to track them from the air northeast of paris. this is an area where police spotted them earlier running into that wooded area. we were following the police as they went from town to town in that area surrounding the town setting up checkpoints in an
attempt to locate them. this comes as french authorities have also significantly expanded the areas of france under high alert as they continue this manhunt. expanding that up to the belgium border 175 miles from here in paris, showing the difficulty as they try to tighten the noose on the perpetrators of this brutal attack. as the manhunt continues for the attackers in the countryside outside of paris, a clearer picture is emerging of the gunmen behind the masks. authorities have identified brothers cherif kouachi, 32 years old, and said kouachi as the chief suspects. the two left behind a getaway car and inside a key clue. said's i.d. card. the gunmen's first mistake. >> translator: it was a mistake, a single mistake. >> reporter: both brothers were known to french authorities and had been under police monitoring. >> translator: as soon as the
identity of the suspects was known, where they might flee to they were placed under surveillance. >> reporter: but a former counterterror official says there are too many suspected jihadis in france. cherif a fan of rap music was sentenced to three years in prison in 2008 for recruiting jihadis to fight in iraq. in 2005 he was arrested before traveling to syria from where he intended to travel to iraq to fight against u.s. and coalition forces there. cherif's former lawyer claimed he was not an extremist. >> translator: he was like a lot of young people. he just had a job that provided him money for an uninteresting lifestyle. when he arrived in 2008 he seemed to be getting back on the right path. >> reporter: much less is known about the elder kouachi brother, said. he was investigated along with
his brother for involvement in a planned prison break in 2010. >> translator: said kouachi lived in france he was unemployed and was never condemned or accused. but he had in the periphery of some of these investigations which his brother was involved. >> reporter: today we found the mosque where the two were radicalized torn down. a neighbor described said. >> translator: he lived here for a year and a half. he used to leave in the morning and we never saw him. but if he really did that was disgusting. what we saw last night, truly we cried. >> reporter: what's become clear today is that these two suspected gunmen were well known, both to u.s. and french authorities for years before this attack took place just behind me here. we're learning that u.s. officials had both of them on
what's known as the tide terror watch lists. they were also on a no-fly list for traveling to the u.s. here in france french authorities knew of them. they had them under surveillance for some time. but unfortunately, they stopped that surveillance a number of years ago when those brothers went quiet, they went off the grid. it's a challenge they face all the time with 5,000 known or suspected jihadis here in france alone. wolf? >> i assume security where you are at the offices of this magazine charlie hebdo is intense still. they're planning on coming out with a new issue next wednesday, right? >> reporter: they are, indeed. they say they will not be cowed by this which is a message we've heard from so many not just journalists and publications in france but from the people of paris, as well. but standing on the street right now, there is a police cordon but very easy traffic in and out at this point. really just to allow some people to join the vigil here for the
people who were killed. but around paris today, and as we traveled up to the northeast of paris today, i couldn't tell you how many police cars with their sirens i counted, police checkpoints, armed policemen. this is a country very much on high alert tonight. >> jim sciutto, we'll get back to you. i want to go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. you have breaking news over there. you're looking into the suspect's ties to al qaeda. >> reporter: two u.s. officials tell me the french authorities inforled the united states they have information that said kouachi traveled to yemen in 2011 got weapons training there. very concerning because he apparently was there at the behest of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. the al qaeda affiliate in yemen, one of the most dangerous al qaeda groups that has already tried to attack the united states and a group that had the french magazine in its cross
hairs. now, the weapons training he apparently got there, according to these u.s. officials, included how to handle guns potentially such as the kalishnikovs that were used in paris and some rudimentary training in bomb making. this is concerning because they don't know right now, tonight officials say they're scrubbing through databases trying to figure out could there have been others? said apparently returned to france at some point, is fairly quiet, as jim sciutto just reported. but he was essentially a sleeper cell if you will because he activated again and carried out this attack. two things they need to know tonight, are there any others out there and more precisely, what exactly were his ties to yemen? in 2011 did he ever meet with anwr al awlaki the cleric
killed in an american drone attack. was he carrying out this attack in paris at the direction of al qaeda in yemen or did he return home and just stew for many years and inspired by al qaeda in yemen? these are just some of the key questions tonight that u.s. officials say they have got to find answers to. >> they've got to find these answers quickly. barbara, thanks for breaking that story for us here on cnn. let's go to michelle kaczynski. >> reporter: the president returned to the white house a few minutes ago and this is an unplanned, unscheduled trip. we saw him getting off marine one and arriving at the white house. he he would he then headed to the french embassy. we believe he's there to sign a condolence book inside the embassy. we heard him give a strong
statement yesterday, calling the attacks cowardly evil and horrific expressing the u.s. stands with france and both countries stand for the same values, for free speech and freedom of the press. on his way back from travel today from phoenix, too washington, d.c. we know that he was briefed by his national security team. an update from his team on the situation as it stands as well as a look at the u.s. security posture currently in place to protect americans both here and abroad wolf. >> i'm sure we'll be getting pictures of his visit to the french embassy in washington not all that far away from the white house. stand by for that. michelle thank you very much. the paris attack has u.s. counterterrorism officials scouring the list of terrorist suspects. our justice correspondent pamela brown is working this part of the story. >> reporter: sources tell us the
kouachi brothers had been on the u.s. no-fly list for years. even though there's no indication they ever traveled to the u.s. tonight law enforcement and intelligence officials are tramblescrambling if any targets in the u.s. might be connected to the brothers. following back-to-back attacks in paris, the fbi, dhs and intelligence agencies in the u.s. are scrubbing their databases and evaluating high level targets living in the country. >> any sort of second dare connections between them. >> reporter: the targets include americans believed to have returned to the u.s. after fighting in syria. sources sell cnn out of the dozens of americans who have returned from syria, a percentage of those are believed to have fought with terrorists. u.s. law enforcement and intelligence officials are evaluating what kind of impact the paris attack may have on those individuals in the u.s.
and whether they should take any action against these targets by contacting them directly. a move that would disrupt intelligence gathering but potentially stop an attack on u.s. soil. >> since 9/11 there's been a shift in the u.s. policing paradigm to a preeveryonemptive paradigm. they're looking to prevent attacks and part of that is looking at possible connections and possible dangers when something like this occurs. >> u.s. officials tell cnn the paris attacks highlight the terrorist threat facing the u.s. from coordinated attacks to lone wolf attacks, driven in some measure by terrorist groups. >> al qaeda and the islamic state are encouraging people to strike and aiming for larger scale attacks. lone wolves keep law enforcement on their feet they waste resources, they keep the enemy scared they keep you in the headlines, while at the same time you can prepare to do something larger.
>> reporter: tonight cities like new york city are stepping up security. >> it reminds us that the terrorist threat is still very real for this country, as well as for other western nations. >> reporter: even though law enforcement here in the u.s. are still scrubbing their data bases, so far there hasn't been any connections found between the terrorist suspects in france and high level suspects here in the u.s. authorities are awaiting more information on these subjects in paris before they know anything definitive and they may not happen until someone is in custody. >> let's see when that happens. pamela brown, thanks for the reporting. the attorney general of the united states eric holder will head to paris this weekend to discuss terrorism and the threat of the foreign fighters with high level paris officials. our justice reporter evan perez is joining us from new york. what are you hearing from your sources? >> reporter: this is going to be
a high level ministerial level between u.s. officials, eric holder possibly homeland security secretary jeh johnson might be going along to join his european counterparts to discuss terrorism and foreign fighters and what to do about them. because as you know wolf, the big concern for some time has been you have a lot of these european countries have visa free travel rights to the united states and the concern is you have thousands of foreign fighters who have gone to iraq and syria and they've gone back home, some of them and they could get on a plane and travel to the united states. in the case of these two suspects in paris, they were on a no-fly list. the french are known to share information very closely with u.s. officials. not so with some of the other european countries. that, wolf has been a big issue for the attorney general. he's been having these discussions, both in washington and in paris in the last few
months discussing this very issue. the issue is the europeans are concerned about privacy and whether that violates their privacy laws if they share this with americans. that's going to be front and center with this discussion over the weekend, wolf. >> this trip that the attorney general eric holder will take to paris, i take it it was not previously scheduled, it was added to his schedule as a result of this terror attack on this french magazine? >> reporter: it was something added to his schedule. the interesting thing about this is i was talking here in new york just a couple days ago with an official from a police -- the national police agency from one of these european countries. he told me one of the issues was the issue of privacy in europe where there is so much concern about what information they can share with the united states. and one of the things he said to me was, perhaps because of what happened in paris, perhaps there
could be a change of mind in some of these countries. >> evan perez reporting for us. thank you very much. we'll get back to you. let's get more on all of this. joining us is marie hearth. thank you very much for coming in. are they any closer to finding these two terror suspects? >> they're certainly working as hard as they can. we are sharing any information we have that could possibly help. so hopefully for everyone's sake they will find them soon. >> any sense that these two guys who may be in the forest north of paris, do they have accomplices that might be helping them? >> that's certainly a fear. the french are looking closely at that right now. if we have any information, law enforcement or intelligence that could help answer that question we'll certainly share it. >> anything in terms of the u.s.-french cooperation right now that you want to be happening that isn't happening? >> not at all. we have an incredibly close relationship with the french,
especially on counterterrorism issues. certainly on this we are giving them any information we have. >> how concerned are you about copy cat attacks in the united states? >> we're always concerned about copy cat attacks. to be fair right now our intelligence community, our law enforcement agencies are pulling every single threat that we know about this, where they might have trained who they might know. we don't have indications there's any threat to the u.s. homeland related at this point, but we're always concerned, of course. >> i've spoken to some members of congress that are concerned that french citizens do not need a visa to come to the united states. and some members of congress want to reconsider that non-visa policy for close allies. where does the state department stand? >> there's regulations that govern those issues. separate and apart from that if
we have derogatory information that may lead to them being put on a watch list they still won't be able to travel to the u.s. >> if they had tried to come into washington airport from paris, what would have happened when they landed? we're told both of them have been on the u.s. terror watch list. >> if someone is obviously there are ways to prevent them from entering the u.s. if people are on a no-entry list to the u.s. they will not get in. >> jim sciutto is in paris getting new information on this terror massacre that occurred yesterday. what are you picking up, jim? >> reporter: wolf we're getting the first picture from inside the site of this shooting and we should warn our viewers as we show this picture, it's a grew someone. it shows just signs of the bloodshed that took place when these two gunmen stormed the offices, just behind me here
about 50 yards down the street yesterday and killed those people including the editors with this magazine. as you look at this video, this picture now, you really do get a sense of just how violent this was. remember the eyewitness accounts we have the gunmen coming into this building here knowing who they were looking for. in fact, it appears knowing many of these cartoonists would be present at this time for a rare weekly meeting, calling them out by name, and then executing them one by one separating in fact the targets that they had in mind from the women in the office other people in the office and executing them with high caliber weapons and you get a sign of that from looking at this picture now, wolf. >> it's so chilling so disturbing jim. some of the eyewitness survivors pointed out they were specifically targeting cartoonists, including the editor in chief of this
magazine calling them out by names. and if they saw a woman, they said you know what? we don't kill women and they let the women survive. it's a brutal scene over there. >> reporter: no question. this gets to the point we talked a lot in the last 4 hour24 hours, this was a sophisticated attack they had information, they knew who they were going after. they seemed to know they would be gathered yesterday. and they came in and found them and killed them. killed only them. and then of course members of the police who they killed as they were leaving, one inside the building who had been assigned to protect the editor and later that image we remember from the street shooting that wounded policeman on the ground who was a muslim member of the french police. so you get a sense that they were prepared. they took these shots with control and discipline that shows training and shows the brutality, as well. and these images we're seeing
from inside there highlight that. again, difficult images to look at. >> jim sciutto, thanks. marie hearth is still with us. the president is now at the french embassy here in washington paying his respect, his condolences. we heard secretary of state john kerry speak in french to the people. france is america's closest ally. you see pictures like this. it's so stunning and so awful. how does it impact the response presumably that's going to make place. >> you're right, it's heartbreaking. those are difficult images to look at, and our response if what these terrorists wanted to do is make us afraid and take away our resolve they've done the opposite. more people around the world have seen that cartoon in the past 24 hours than have ever saw it before. we are going to stand closely
with the french hunting down helping find the people responsible and working with the french to prevent something like this from ever happening again. we know there are threats out there but we'll fight them together. >> we have more questions for you. we're following the breaking news out of paris. we'll take a quick break. we'll be right back.
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this is cnn breaking news. >> a tale of two photos. the first one we're going to show you, the awful, awful bloody magazine office attack. these are the first pictures that have been released from inside the office of "charlie hebdo" the magazine that was attacked yesterday. there was a terror massacre 12 people were killed brutally. 11 others were injured, several remaining in critical condition right now. this is a brutal picture. take a look at this other picture that's just come into "the situation room." this is the president of the united states at the french embassy here in washington, after arriving back to the white house, he drove over to the french embassy to express his condolences, pay his respects to the people of france. he signed a condolence book
there. he stood somberly very solemn at the french embassy for a few moments. there was a marble statue nearby. including a painting of the battle of yorktown. france is the oldest u.s. ally and clearly the president wanted to express his deepest condolences to the people of france. we'll get that videotape shortly. but let's talk about what's going on. marie hearth is still with us, the deputy state department spokeswoman. the whole notion of action that the u.s. may be considering now, especially since barbara starr broke the news at least one of these brothers trained in yemen for al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, one or both of them they had been in syria. you say that the u.s. and its allies will respond. does that mean drone strikes, targeted killings. what are you talking about? >> what we're doing right now, our intelligence community, is going through every bit of
information we might have known, about the individuals responsible, where they might have gotten training. they were clearly well trained, where were they trained? who were they trained by? once we have all of that and know all of that i think we'll talk more about what a response might look like. we've been very aggressive in going after terrorist affiliates around the world, including in yemen, for many years now and we have had some success there. >> is the u.s. stepping up security at diplomatic outposts around the world? stsz >> we're evaluateing that. if we take additional steps, we will. if we have to do anything we will. >> what about the u.s. embassy in paris? >> the embassy is open it was open yesterday. doing diplomatic business with our oldest ally in the world. if we have to change anything there we will, but at this point, we haven't. >> will there be more
preventative measures taken in the united states of potential other operations or copy cat operations? >> this is something that law enforcement and the fbi have looked at for many years. this unfortunately isn't the first kind of attack that we've seen. we're always worried about copy cats. we've seen people try to bring terrorism to our own shores so this is something we've wrestled with for a long time. we are on high alert for places like new york and l.a. >> i know the secretary of state, who speaks fluent french has spent a long time in france and feels very close to the people of france. this must be hitting him personally. talk a little bit about that. >> absolutely. you saw him come out yesterday as this was unfolding and speak in french directly to the french people to show solidarity with him. i've been on many trips with him to paris. last summer he visited a sown his family came from in france to see the mayor and see people that were still in that town.
so he has strong personal ties to him. it hits him very hard but only strengthens our resolve to work with the french to help them in any way and defeat these horrible terrorists. >> i know the president went to the french embassy to pay his respects in washington. will the secretary of state, is he considering a trip to paris right now. >> i think it's safe to say the secretary is always considering a trip to paris. we have a trip coming up soon to india and other places. he has spoken to his counterpart several times. >> that's the french ambassador to the united states and the president now. we have the videotape of the president at the french embassy. there he is paying his respects to the people of france. the president clearly moved by what has happened and we see him there, as well. this is really a shock what has happened to the united states government isn't it? >> absolutely. all you have to do is look at
that photo or the videos. this is a cowardly attack on people that just wanted to publish cartoons. they wanted to participate in this great free society that france has, that we have. and these cowardly attackers, there's nothing brave about what they did, even if terrorists try to say that going in there, picking people out with assault rifles wearing masks, and then fleaing. it's just horrific. >> we're showing more video of the president here at the embassy paying his respects to the people of france. your conversations with the muslim world, in the aftermath of what's going on the u.s. diplomats are talking about this attack on this french satirical magazine. what is the basic message the really want is for muslim leaders around the world to step up and say, this is not ourot represent our religion. we've talked about this public
relations message over the past several months when it comes to isis. but in this case to step up and say this isn't who we're about. i believe that these terrorists are on the losing side of history, that in the long-term, the moderate forces will prevail, we will prevail. but the losing side can be very dangerous and i think that's what you've seen that they resort to these tactics. but if muslim leaders can stand up and say this is not who we are, and you may hate those cartoons with every fiber of your being, but you don't deal with that by killing people. >> as far as someone taking responsibility claiming credit for this terror operation, i haven't heard anything publicly. i heard expressions of support saying you did the right thing, but has anyone claimed responsibility yet? >> not yet. there have been a lot of messages of support from other terrorist groups but not yet. we're looking at every single thing we know about these guys to see maybe who they were
trained by and i'm sure we'll be talking about them. >> the president in the french embassy in washington. the president and the french ambassador of the united states paying their respects to the people of france. >> all right. they're leaving the french embassy. thank you very much for joining us. we'll continue to follow the breaking news right after this. you're driving along, having a perfectly nice day, when out of nowhere a pick-up truck slams into your brand new car. one second it wasn't there and the next second... boom! you've had your first accident. now you have to make
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up. what did you learn, evan? >> reporter: i've been talking to intelligence officials here in the united states and one of the things that there's an emerging concern about is these signs of a link between the paris attack and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. barbara starr reported french officials passed on information that one of these brothers did travel to yemen for some training, and this is -- they believe this is the realization of a fear they've long had, wolf which is the more attention the united states and everybody else pays to isis isil whatever name you want to call them the group that's been fighting to create a state in syria and iraq the more attention we pay to that group, the more that al qaeda in the arabian peninsula or other al qaeda group also try to carry out some kind of very big attack in the west and they believe that this might be somewhat this is.
now, the concern there is they're not going to stop in paris, because this is really a fight for recruits. these groups are competing with each other. they're not only trying to strike against the west but they're competing for their lifeblood. so the concern here is that we might have more of these types of incidents as these two al qaeda groups these two terrorist groups compete against each other, wolf. >> some very disturbing developments. thank you very much. let's get reaction to that. phillip mudd is joining us. what is your response to what evan just reported, phil? >> boy, this changes the game wolf in one fundamental way, the question we had last night, was connectivity did they do it independently or were they connected to a network? if they're connected to a broader network, is that network using the same training the same travel routes for example, the same ways of masking travel to send people elsewhere in
europe and the united states. if i'm sitting in the chair tonight and i realize we're not just talking about paris but talking about yemen, i want every bit of data to overlay it what i have here in the united states. >> i want to bring in tom fuentes, our law enforcement an list. you've been studying these images. these are the two suspected terrorists the getaway vehicle. we see a police car here. walk us through what you see here. >> at this point in this photo they've exititted off murdering all the people inside the building. they see a police car up the street and what you see in the next photo after this which i don't want to go to yet, is
these two shooters are shooting what looks like at each side of the front of the vehicle as if there might be two officers inside of it. but you see almost just a nonchalant casual aiming stance. >> let's go to the second image over here because this is the police vehicle we just saw, but we see all the bullet shots. >> what's significant about this is the shooting discipline or the shooting training. normally when you're operating a fully automatic weapon ak-47 or any of the other type of weapons that are fully automatic, we see the terrorist training on the monkey bars al qaeda in afghanistan, places like that in the past or we see them with their machine guns what happens when you shoot a fully automatic weapon the recoil and the
torque of the rifling causes the pattern to go up and to the right. when you have an inexperienced shooter, that's what happens. when you see groups like this and then probably here and maybe few strays but when you see tight shot patterns that indicate it is they were in fully automatic mode they knew to do two to three-round bursts and keep a tight pattern. they are a pretty significant distance back from this police car, to be able to shoot that tight of a pattern. >> this is very disturbing, very worrisome. and we've discussed it before. this is the i.d. of one of the brothers one of the suspected terrorists that was found inside that vehicle. i thought these guys were
disciplined. they sounded like they were professional. how does he leave his i.d. inside that vehicle and there is a picture that the french has released? >> that is a great question at this point. they've had such a disciplined attack to this point, what seemed to be professionally planned and carried out, and now you have this identity card left in the get away card. were they that stupid and careless to make that big of a mistake? we don't know. it could believe that this is his way of taking credit. we don't have another terrorist organization yet that's taken credit for the attack. maybe he's taking credit and leaves his i.d. and says i did it, come get'9" it. the only other problem that goes back to they might just be stupid we have the armed robbery that they commit at the gas station later on after this incident here. and now it speaks to their lack of planning.
they need to rob a gas station, show their faces to get gas and food. what are you going to get at a gas station? they're going to get half a dozen croixsants? >> the french authorities have not said these two guys were part of that robbery. an eyewitness says he believes they were the two, but the french authorities have not yet said that. but obviously you make a good point. i want you to stand by tom foreman, we have our experts standing by, as well. there is a lot to discuss as far as the breaking news is concerned. you're hearing it unfold right here in "the situation room." we'll be right back. street... return on investment isn't the only return i'm looking forward to. for some every dollar is earned with sweat, sacrifice, courage. which is why usaa is honored to help our members with everything from investing for retirement to saving for college.
enforcement analyst tom fuentes, phillip mudd paul crookshank and phillip crowder. phil could a simpler operation like this be undertaken in the united states, what happened in paris yesterday? >> sure. i think it could. obviously we have a lot of soft targets, but in terms of the escape you can run but you can't hide. if they had prepositioned food, they could get away for a few days. but you have a couple of problems in this situation. first, everybody has seen their image. as soon as they go into a store or gas station, they're going to be identified. the second in the digital piece that's critical here atm card, visa card debit card. if they touch anything digital, authorities have all their digital information. they're going to be identified.
so the noose is going to tighten i suspect fairly quickly. they can get away and they could in washington and new york or a few days but not forever. >> what are you hear? >> we've got two elite anti-terrorist police units and as you just said there are those helicopters as well five helicopters with night vision and thermal cameras. it is that equipment and those people versus the two armed suspects. also in terms of where this is happening, with all respect to the neighbors, it's pretty much no-man's land. the biggest village in that area an area of 20 kilometers by 10 the biggest village has 600 people. so we're seeing these two elite police forces going from one village to the next and all of these villages surrounded by wooded areas, so the final confrontation, if there is one,
that could happen in a village in that remote area or the wooded area. >> you heard the news that barbara starr broke, that one of these brothers was in yemen. what does that say to you? >> it says maybe that's where they learned how to shoot these o orchestrate terrorists in europe. not clear if they met him while he was out there and they'll be looking at this. and also in yemen is trying to one-up isis there is a war of words between al qaeda and isis. and if this is aqap this will restofr them to relevance. >> are you worried they could escape and get out of france and make it to belgium and who knows where? >> it is possible. it is not far for them to go.
100 kilometers and one hour drive, not through the woods, but if they were in somebody else's vehicle, hijacked a car, that is possible. and another thing that is worrisome, al qaeda and the arabian peninsula has been coming at us with explosives, with the premier bomb making and that adds a new element of weaponry we haven't seen in the past. >> and there are concerns they may have collaborators and they may have had assistance. >> if that is the case they had military training. there was talk of three suspects. the third one seems to be eliminated. we were talking about three yesterday and now only talking about the two brothers. and from the french interior ministry there is less than what we are getting from the intelligence here in the united states at this point. we knew about the one of the
brothers one wasn't known by police but the other one did travel to yemen. it gets more complex than yesterday. >> i want you to stand by because we're not leaving this story. there is other breaking news from paris that we're monitoring. the latest on the manhunt for the terrorists behind the deadly attack. also case of domestic terrorism targeting the naacp right here in the united states. (son) oh no... can you fix it, dad? yeah, i can fix that. (dad) i wanted a car that could handle anything. i fixed it! (dad) that's why i got a subaru legacy. (vo) symmetrical all-wheel drive plus 36 mpg. i gotta break more toys. (vo) introducing the all-new subaru legacy. it's not just a sedan. it's a subaru. sheila! you see this ball control?
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more on the breaking news out of paris in a few moment. but first a possible act of domestic terrorism here in the united states a bombing at a naacp office in colorado. ed laugh end era has the latest. >> reporter: burn marks on the sign of a building the aftermath at the naacp office in colorado springs. >> i saw a big puff of smoke and i thought a car exploded. >> reporter: but it is the idea of what it could have been. the fbi is investigating after a pipe at the scene, along with a gas can that failed to ignite.
>> the flare with the gas can was meant to ignite the gas and against the wall would burn the building. >> reporter: the fbi has yet to call this a hate crime because the building houses more than the naacp. >> jean's hair design studio s. el paso. >> it happened against the wall of a hair salon who is convinced it was targeted over race. >> i always had in my mind and with the naacp and our affiliations there could be some danger. we are always in danger. but do you what you have to do. >> reporter: the national naacp said this isn't the first incident our bus was shot during our journey for justice last month. that went from ferguson to the capitol. the fbi won't confirm they are working that case or any case involving the naacp as hate crimes though back in colorado
springs, the chapter president has a clear message for whoever caused this explosion? >> apparently we have someone's attention that we are working toward civil rights for all. and that is making some people uncomfortable. >> ed laughen dara. colorado springs, colorado. let's recap the details about the maunts for the two gunman -- manhunt for the two suspects. they may have been spotted over a wooded area. helicopters using night vision are trying to track the suspects. french have told the u.s. that one of the suspects trained with al qaeda. and al qaeda affiliates are trying to state some headline grabbing terror attack. tom fuentes, this is a disturbing attack. >> well it is. and one of the things that
happened al qaeda after 9/11 couldn't put together as big of an attack as 9/11 but it took a while before they decided to adopt the policies of hezbollah and others and do smaller scale attacks, death by a thousand cuts. and that is the type of attack where they are not killing 3000 at a time but a dozen at a time will do the job. >> philip are they confident they could find these guys. >> it could happen soon. this could be the final standoff in the wooded area in the remote part of france. it is up to the two suspects do they give up entirely and if they are convicted you are looking at two possible life terms in prison or there might be that violent last stand. that could happen. it is after midnight now in france. it could happen nighttime or tomorrow or even later. >> we'll stay on top of this story. that is it for me. thanks for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room." erin burnett "outfront" starts
right now. outfront tonight, breaking news the manhunt on police helicopters that moment using night vision and zeroing in on a wooded area north of paris. are the suspected terrorists there. and the suspects brothers one trained by al qaeda in yemen. tonight we find out they were on the u.s. no-fly list. how did intelligence officials miss that. and the shocking stories of two women who survived the shootings. one with a gun to her head and the other hiding under a desk. why did the attackers spare all but one woman? let's go "outfront." and a good evening and