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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  November 16, 2015 9:00pm-10:01pm PST

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you can't see safety. this is not the american way. that's not what we are known for. >> thank you very much. >> that is all in for this evening. >> thank you at home for joining us. i'm rachel maddow in new york. richard engel is live in paris. i'm looking forward to doing this hour with you. thank you for being here, my friend. >> reporter: absolutely. >> we will be co-anchoring for most of this hour, because we basically want to combine the latest from our news room here in new york with richard's latest reporting from on the ground at the site of friday's terrorist attacks in paris. we will be talking about that. there is one specific thread from the investigation into the paris attacks that i think is
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worth pulling here right at the outset. it's a through line of the investigation that you can see now and i think that through line tells what appears to be a very worrying story about how the people who want to launch these kind of attacks in the west are getting better at it over time. i mean it in a specific sense and over a very short period of time. in april of this year, on the 19th of april, police in paris got a call from a man in distress. the equivalent of 911 because of a terrible gunshot wound. he was shot through the thigh, bleeding everywhere. he was laying on the street if farris when paramedics showed up. they saved his life. aside from dealing with this gruesome injury that he got, the next order of business was figuring out what had happened to the guy. it turned out the guy couldn't explain exactly how he got shot. so they had to investigate the scene where they found him to try to figure out who shot this guy. it turns out, he shot himself. by accident.
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in the leg. after getting the guy's 911 call. they found him bleeding. he's lying there in a pool of blood. there is a trail of blood leading from him. they follow the trail of blood from him on the sidewalk back to his vehicle, his car. and in his car they find a loaded ak-47 and a loaded pistol and a whole bunch of ammunition and three cell phones and a laptop and all sorts of notes for what looked like a planned terrorist attack on a nearby church. this idiot was apparently on his way to launch a one-man blood bath in france, he called the french equivalent of 911 and hoped police and paramedics and firefighters wouldn't know his weapons and terrorists stuff when the they turned up to help him. the police went to-idiot's apartment, they found more weapons and maps of his planned
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attack. they found lots of evidence of who else in europe he was communicating about his plans for this attack. they found a trail of communication that appeared to lead to someone in syria, who had been apparently encouraging this young man to carry out this attack and tilling him to hit a church, that specific day. >> that day that he did head out with a car full of weapons and a plan. but he shot himself before he could pull it off. that brilliant 24 year old was arrested. at least two more people were eventually arrested in conjunction with that plot in april. police named one suspect in that case who never did get arrested. he was not thought to be in europe. he was a 27-year-old belgium man, not in belgium at the time of this attempted attack in april. he was thought to be in syria. still, though, he was a named suspect in that attack. this 27-year-old belgium guy thought to be in syria named in conjunction with that man that shot himself on the way to go
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shoot up the church. april. then in august, it was a high speed train traveling between amsterdam and paris. a young man, 26-years-old, got aboard that train with an assault rifle, a pistol and several hundreds rounds of ammunition and a knife. he reportedly hid in the bathroom. after it crossed into belgium into france, he sprung out to the main part of the car. he started shooting. we remember that train attack because of three young american men among those that rushed the attacker at great risk to themselves. they tackled him. remarkably, nobody was killed in that attack. three people injured, not counting the assailant, himself, to got the snot beaten out of him who tried to kill people despite the ammo. the assailant from the train
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attack was a 25-year-old moroccan man. he is in custody in france. they named another named suspect believed to be involved in it somehow. t. high speed train attacked from august. that main suspect was the same named suspect the same 27-year-old belgium named as a suspect in that case from april where the idiot shot himself in the leg before he could launch the attack on the french church. the one in april and august on the train, yeah, there was a perpetrator arrested but also a suspect named by police but not arrested because they don't think he is in europe but in syria. both of those incidents the guy is the same guy. 27-years-old, belgium born and raised. now believed to be in syria.
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police did not believe he was physically present for either of those attacks. they don't think he personally carried them out. they believe he was linked, maybe running both of those attacks from abroad. we know who this guy is. whether or not you will recognize his name, you know him in context. because of something that happened after the "charlie hebdo" attacks. it's hard to believe the "charlie hebdo" attacks were this year. it seemed so long ago him they were in january. you might remember one of the things truly terrible and terrorizing about that attack was that it just went on and on and on, for several days. after the initial massacre at the "charlie hebdo" office, then they killed a policeman in the street and then the next day, a random man shot and injured in the street. a police woman was shot and killed in the street. the brothers who carried out the "charlie hebdo" attack were tracked down outside of paris when they robbed a gas station. they holed up in an industrial building overnight. when everyone e when those two brothers were killed by police, when they went down guns blazing
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at trat industrial estate, even though it wasn't over because then the third man kept up the assault taking hostages inside that kosher supermarket in paris shooting and killing four hostages before police went in and shot him. and then when that was over. like, is it over? would there be more? were there going to be more attacks after it went on for three or four in there is still going to be more people involved in that lot. were there other accomplices? was that still going on? it turned out in the investigation in the immediate after math they figured out some of the weapons from the "charlie hebdo" and supermarket attacks, some could be traced really quickly to belgium. and in the wake of the "charlie hebdo" attack. there were police raids in france and there were police raids in belgium, searching for everybody who might be connected to those attacks, anybody who might be about to launch a follow on attack and these raids, there are dozens of them.
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and they were fairly frenetic. they went on for days and then all of a sudden one week after the assault on the "charlie hebdo" officers, one of those police raids, basically turned into a war. there were a lot of these raids, now went down slightly differently. in only one of them was it a war zone, a fuselage of fun fire basically out of nowhere. >> reporter: this is what it sounded like today. like a war. in the normally quiet belgium city of vervieres. a neighbor filmed counter terrorism raid that turned into a prolonged gun battle. it began, authorities say, when the suspects int house opened fire. >> two people were kill, a third one has been arrested. luckily during this intervention, no policeman was harmed. >> reporter: nor any civilians. the suspects were clearly armed and dangerous.
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in belgium the terror threat were killed. police killing two gunman. they sifted through evidence today and arrested more suspects in a dozen raids. police say they found four assault rifles here, explosives, police uniforms and radios. they have been listening to the man's phone calls and say they would have been the prime target of the planned attack. >> they, meaning police would have been the planned target. that raid which turned into a huge gun battle that killed two young men who had opened fire on police, the semi-automatic assault rifles, those two young men who were killed and the third arrested were apparently part of a cell that stock piled weapons and ammunition, but police uniforms and police radios for apparently a large
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scale sophisticated attack that would have targeted police in belgium, a week after the "charlie hebdo" attacks. and in that raid, two men killed, others arrested as a part of that cell. but again, in that instance, there was one man named as a suspect as connected to that cell. although he had been a part of that cell in belgium, he was not there. he got away. we know that, after weeks of that gunfire in that belgium town, within a couple of weeks, the guy who was the named suspect who wasn't found that night. the guy the supposed ring leader of that cell, he turns up in the isis magazine al qaeda has a magazine, isis has a magazine. he turned up february of this year doing an interview with isis about being an isis fighter, what it was like to run
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a terror cell in belgium and how much he wanted to hit europe and how jealous he was of his come patriots who died in belgium a week after the "charlie hebdo" attack. all the same guy. the alleged ring leader of the belgium terrorist cell that planned a follow-on attack in belgium a week after the "charlie hebdo" attack. he escaped the hail of gunfire, police raid in january. in february, he turns up talking about it all in the isis magazine. in april the same guy a named suspect as the brains behind the world's stupidest terrorists who called 911 on himself after shooting himself accidentally before he ever made it to the church he wanted to attack in april. in august the guy is the same suspect in the guns and knives high speed train attack thwarted by the three brave american heroes. january, february, april, august. and now in november, french
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police told the associated press in the "new york times," that that same guy, same guy is believed to be the mastermind of friday nights terrorist attacks in paris that have claimed at last count 129 lives. one guy. linked to all of those incidents, all in the space of less than a year. if that bears out. if that proves to be true, would that be a good sign or a bad sign that the person who directed this cell of attackers in paris, someone who is that much on the radar of the intelligence agencies, is that good because western intelligence agencies apparently have their finger on the pulse and they know who the important bad guys are? or is that terrible news because even somebody that high profile is still this operational. somebody whose picture i can show you in part, i got it in a magazine. somebody i can show you video of, isis uses him in propaganda videos talking about how excited he is to be dragging bodies
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around on rope in his vehicle, which i could show you, but i will not. there is a lot of really pressing questions right now. why's the bomb-making factory that made all those suicide vests? who is the bomb maker? is there an eighth attacker or multiple accomplices on the large or on the run? will these raids in belgium find any out standing accomplices? will they provide new evidence about this attack? how is politics going down in france, specifically, in europe and here and we're going to get to all of those questions tonight. but, on this specific point, if these reports are true about the alleged mastermind of the paris attacks, then these guys are getting better at this, because hammond abdelhamid abaaoud has been pinging on intelligence radar all year long, this
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27-year-old belgium guy turnings up a lot in the news and in police reports as a named suspect and in terrorist propaganda. all year long, he's been like a sunrise on the radar. all year long, while he has not been caught. and while his stupid and failed pla plots from earlier in the year graduated and escalated to the successful complicated toll that unleashed a river of blood and pain in paris on friday night. same guy all those attacks. and i get the difficulty of finding an anonymous nobody that aligns themselves with extremism. it is harder to get, the inability to find and fix and finish someone who makes himself this invisible. this connected. this famous. this known. >> that i do not get. i think my boys have a shot this year. yeah, especially with this new offense we're running... i mean, our running back is a beast.
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once he hits the hole and breaks through the secondary, oh he's gone. and our linebackers and dbs dish out punishment, and never quit. ♪ you didn't expect this did you? no i didn't. the nissan altima. there's a fun side to every drive. nissan. innovation that excites. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night,blind. and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit take the zantac it challenge! pill works fast? zantac works in as little as 30 minutes. nexium can take 24 hours. when heartburn strikes, take zantac for faster relief than nexium or your money back. take the zantac it challenge.
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so tonight i will be co-anchoring with richard engel in paris. i understand you have been reporting in it tail on who the attackers are and what you know about them. >> reporter: rachel, you were talking about mastermind. who the muscle used in this attack. the people that did the killing are home grown. today we followed in their foot steps and that led us to a quiet town about 50 kilometers outside of paris. that is where one of the key suspects, one oft key people who have been named in this assault spent several years. and the mayor of the town told us mostefai identified as one of the rock concert murders has been associated with radical and
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the mayor told us he was radicalized slowly and left town in 2012. when we went to the mosque, the place where he supposedly met people who brought him down this path of radicalization director told us he didn't know anything about mostefai. he wasn't hiding, had a criminal record and wasn't always this devout muslim. you see him here in this youtube rap video. investigators who had been looking at this very closely over the last several days, obviously, know a deal more about mostefai more about the other attackers, in fact. in 2007, he started spending more time with islam radicals, then in 2013 nbc news learned he traveled to turkey but he never legally left turkey, which strongly suggests he slipped then into syria and somehow managed to get back into france to carry out the attack.
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as for the others connected to friday's attack, there is sammy amimour, believed to be another of the alleged rock concert shooters. he has been wanted for terrorism since 2013. bilal hafdi, ibrahim abdeslam. he is connected to the man who may be the most wanted man in europe tonight, his brother salah. he is the one everyone is looking for. he rented a car the killers used to drive into paris and he drove back to belgium. but he was stopped at the border by french police. they checked him. police looked at him but they let him go. he moved on into belgium and disappeared.n he is a big manhunt is under way for the man what happens you are looking at right now. police are hunting for salah.
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they tell people not to approach him, describing him as dangerous. another bomber, another of the attackers mohammed was questioned, released, the brother of that man. he was questioned by authorities but then they decided after raiding his home, he was not material collected and he was let go and he gave a brief statement to the press. and while all of this information is coming in, one of the things that is causing most concern here in paris of the attackers did, in fact, hide among the refugees for flooding into europe by the thousands every day. it is believed someone carrying a passport with the name akmed alamo homudentered into the greek island in earlyuct a in
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dpreek island of laros. he came here. >> on that last point, do we know that passport was a genuine passport, we know this guy is syrian. i understand they used his fingerprints to track him as a person through that transit point in greece. is as a syrian that is his passport? >> reporter: it's really important to drill down on this. this has become such an explosive issue in this country and around the world. >> yeah. >> reporter: are the syrians, terrorists using the migrant trail, are they going to destroy the world under the name of humanitarian relief? what we do know, however, a fingerprint found here, found from an attacker was the same fingerprint that greek authorities registered on the migrant trail and it was the fingerprint that we assume is associated with this passport. so even without the passport, we know from the fingerprint that the person was in greece and the person was here.
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and it is assumed he used that passport. so we don't know if he's syrian. we assume the passport is fake because the number the sequence of the numbers described is inconsistent with real passports. but, unfortunately, why, because of that fingerprint match on the ray tacker and the match registered in greece, one of these, at least, did hide among the migrant trail. >> that is very serious consequences. >> we will be talking about those consequences, political consequences in europe, the political consequences in the united states. ahead, right after this. richard, our coverage continues. we'll be right back. >> they are, in fact, psychopathic monsters. there is nothing, nothing civilized among them. this is not one civiliation pitted against another. this is a battle between civilization, itself, and
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barbarism between civilization and evil and modern fascism. both at the same time.
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specifically ban syrian muslim refugees from coming to the united states, presumably ted cruz has invented a magic litmus paper that derives a person's religion on their forehead. lately, he seems for more interested in becoming president. shoo he is doing his best to catch this anti-muslim wave on the right. hold that thought. and 2% back at the grocery store, even before they got 3% back on gas, all with no hoops to jump through, daniel, vandi, and sarah decided to use their bank americard cash rewards credit card to sweeten the holiday season. that's the spirit of rewarding connections. apply online or at a bank of america near you. apply online or at and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night,blind. and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424.
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♪ ♪ it took the rockettes years to master the kick line. but only a few moves to master paying bills on technology designed for you. so you can easily master the way you bank. welcome back as we continue our coverage of the paris
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terrorist attacks. correspondent richard engel is in paris. here's the next discussion, is there a bomb-making factory still in operation somewhere within driving distance of paris? all seven of the terrorists were wearing suicide vests, which makes friday the first suicide bombings if france's history one of the largest coordinated suicide bombings everywhere ever. all the vests were basically the same, push button debt fators, shrapnel to turn into deadly projectiles. they used triacetone, patp is made with essentially odd combinations of odd concentrations of regular household products. it's a known killer. tatp has been used in fatal terrorist attacks before. including the london transit bombings in 2005 which killed 52 people. today it isn't the most
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difficult explosive to get your hands on, it is easy to blow yourself up accidentally making tatp. as a compound, it is volatile. too much heat or friction or an electric shock can cause an accidental detonation. but the other thing that can go wrong is that it can be a dud. just two weeks after the 7-7 bombings in london, seven bombs on london buses failed to detonate t. shoe bomber, richard reid in 2001 and the so-called underwear bomber, both tried and failed to bring down airliners with tatp bombs. they did what they were supposed to do. but the bombs didn't work. so it's not easy to make a bomb out of this stuff. and it is very says for something to go wrong. and knowing that, well, in paris on friday, the attackers had seven vests all seemed to have worked as they were supposed to.
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one of the terrorist attackers did not detonate the vest. he was shot and killed before he could do so. we know of no one being blown up in the lead up because the way they built the vests or the explosive. again, as far as we can tell, none of them were duds. seven suicide vests identical. they worked. so doesn't this mean that there is an active quality bomb-making factory somewhere with access to belgium and france? how do you find something like that if you know it exists? and is that a development that law enforcement intelligence agencies did not expect? richard engel live tonight. you are live with us in new york. malcolm nance, a former u.s. counterterrorism and intelligence officer, literally, keep his book to be terrorist recognition handbook next to my desk at work. his forthcoming book is called "defeating isis." thank you for being here. i appreciate it. >> us as my pleasure.
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>> you know these things, i did not. did i explain about tatp bomb making sound right to you? >> it was absolutely correct. it was almost textbook. i'm sorry you put it out like that. >> it's not impossible to make. if you can make seven suicide vests with it and they all work and you don't get blown up in the process it means you are good at it, right? >> it's utterly amazing the very instant that the general council in paris described this actual components of this vest, immediately, my mind went back to a vest that i had seen that was built in iraq in 2004. these vests are not easy to manufacture. you have plastic explosives you set. they're highly volatile. >> that i can explode in an instant.
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somebody very skilled at this went out and at the timed it, maybe blew up a tree stump or took it out and blew up a can in a field and managed to create such high quality detonators that they worked precisely as planned. >> richard, do you want to jump in here? >> reporter: i do. although, i'm not sure if i'm qualified. i don't carry his book with me all the time, but if he will ask, if you could answer one question, how long would it take to org united an attack like this to get those vests ready, the weapons? to stage it? because there is some, it's a question of timing here. are we talking weeks, months? >> this is a matter of months. now, it depends on the group's priorities. if they want to dedicate man power, shake up their logistics training, they can do that. every time you do that, you push the network, what you find is you actually tip yourself off to
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intelligent. you don't want to tip yourself off. so you do a slow, methodical systemattic approach to where you bring in your logistics training, you have your bomb maker, bomb master come in. he will work separately. he will marry up with the team leader and the individual team members instruct him how to wear the vests. use the vests and then they will practice over time a series of overruns watch out for counterintelligence. if all goes well, they make their mission. >> what about mental preparation, as rachel mentioned, i can't remember the last time you had seven people go in with vests on, prepared to blow themselves up. nobody backed out. nobody chickened out. what kind of psychological preparation do you need for that kind of attack? >> well, for this group, you don't need any psychological preparation.
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the fact that are you are involved in an al qaeda group, you are already indoctrinated into the ideology of a martyrdom death. they all wear suicide vests. this is a badge of honor amongst them. those who don't die in those attacks are derided. so we've seen this before. you have seen it in london. you saw it in the madrid subway bombings. 19 men committed to die. they die because it's a twisted corruption they believe they're going to heaven, when, in fact, every tenet in islam says they are going somewhere else. >> malcolm, what we know about these technical aspects of what they did, what the bomb masters say put together here, is there anyway that that is a good forensic lead. are these generic enough that
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knowing what we know about these vests doesn't necessarily tell us where they came from? or can this be a good forensic start to finding them? >> it's going to be a brilliant forensic start to finding them. this isn't like you see in the movies. there is a twisted wire, it's yell le, the bomb guy always does it that way. no, they're going to take that gobble apart. recreate the bomb. the fbi does this and they will rebuild that and analyze it right down to the level of consistency as it exists at the time of the attack. then they will cross reference that with every piece of material that has ever been taken from any terrorist safe house anywhere. we are very, very good at that. this is going to either bring us to the bomb master or it's going to bring us to the training camp where this was found. you know, every time there is a suicide attack anywhere in the world, iraq, afghanistan, against our allies. we analyze those bombs. we have an entire counter ied
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directorate whose sole function is to analyze these attacks. we will isolate this down to the training facility so we can properly bomb it ourselves. >> malcolm nance, executive director of the terrorism project. if and when they find this bomb-making factory. we know it has to be within driving distance of at least brussels if not paris, we will be calling you back to explain to us what they have found. malcolm. thank you. >> my pleasure. >> we have much more tonight from here in new york and in paris. we'll be right back. once he hits the hole and breaks through the secondary, oh he's gone. and our linebackers and dbs dish out punishment, and never quit. ♪ you didn't expect this did you? no i didn't. the nissan altima. there's a fun side to every drive. nissan. innovation that excites.
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can a a subconscious. mind? a knack for predicting the future. reflexes faster than the speed of thought. can a business have a spirit? can a business have a soul? can a business be...alive? >> this is a fingerprint record, not of something arrested and booked. this is an immigration fingerprint record of a 25-year-old man that transited through greece last month off an island if greece. then those exact fingerprints this past weekend turned up here.
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>> at the french soccer stadium that was bombed during friday's terrorist attack in paris, french officials found the body of one of the suicide attackers outside the stadium after he had blown himself up with a suicide vest. they found parts of him, also found a passport identifying the man as having come from syria from the parts of his body that they found, they took his fingerprints. they found they matched the prints taken from a migrant who transited through greece last month as richard engel is reporting earlier this hour. but that development, that one of the paris attackers had entered europe as a migrant that today has essentially consumed all the political oxygen here in the united states in terms of what we should respond to what happened in paris. today, 19 u.s. governors and counting came out to say their states will not accept refugees. they say because of what
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happened in paris, their doors are now closed to any refugees. it's not clear they have the legal authority to do that. they're doing it anyway. you notice all the states highlighted here are in red because it was uniformly republican governors who came out today to shut the door on refugees. the exception there is democratic governor maggie hassan of new hampshire who said the federal government should stop letting syrian refugees in. she had her own spin on the matter. the u.s. government has only agreed to take in a total of 10,000 syrian refugees, a fraction of the millions who are leaving that country and is a significantly smaller proportion than many of our closest allies and western europe. . all of these states have said, no, no, you are not coming here. richard engel in paris. you covered the refugee tide closer than anybody.
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how do you understand this compared to those already taking in more refugees than the u.s. is anyway. >> reporter: rachel, you mentioned that the u.s. government has agreed to take in a total of 10,000 syrian refugees. that's a tiny fraction of what many other countries around the world are taking. but the rules are a huge difference between how the refugees are being processed in europe and compared to the united states. when we were if greece last week, watching thousands and thousands of syrian and other refugees come ashore, most of those refugees were arriving in europe were effectively going unscreened. they were just arriving in those rubber rafts, crashing on the shores and climbing into dry land. the ones going to the united states, the refugees who are going to be accepted, they will go through a much more elaborate screening process. they will be filtered. there is an inter-agency review that involves security checks from the department of homeland
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security. they're screened by the national counterterrorism center as well as the fbi terrorist screening center. their names are cross-checked with a massive database that's maintained by the u.s. intelligence community and the department of defence. the process that have to handle these refugees in the united states is completely different from the disorganized chaotic and completely organic process that is happening in greece where feel are just showing up climbing on to shore and trying to get to safety. >> so richard, with this political storm now in the united states, the allegation is being made that the screening process that syrian refugees have to go through in order to get into this country, it isn't reassuring that there is no screening process on earth that would be tight enough that would just let people in, that's the sort of arguments that you are hearing from republican presidential candidates and these governors today. what is your take on how good the screening process is, for
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those that need to get into the u.s., it sound rigorous to the point of being exclusive? >> reporter: i have spoken to counterterrorism officials here. they think it is very unlikely that a known militant would be able to get into the screening process, lands in an american airport, would come in through a on a cruise ship. they think if isis is going to reach out and touch someone in the united states, it would be someone who self-recruited, recruited online or perhaps a militant who came across the land border with canada. it's a very long border. very hard to control. they think those are more likely scenarios than the 10,000 refugees screened and rescreened and rescreened and coming through a formal process. >> exactly. thank you, richard, i should note that on the other side of those republican governors who slammed the door on syrian refugees today, at least six democratic governors came out to
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say that refugees for the violence in syria are welcome if their state. so that is six against 19. that's the totally politics on this matter today in the united states. we'll be right back. ♪
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push everyone forward. accelerating innovation. accelerating transformation. accelerating next. hewlett packard enterprise. >> republican presidential candidates spent the day proposing varieties of american ground war in syria as the appropriate u.s. response to isis attacking paris. the leading lights of the democrat ig party in foreign policy are proposing something quite different from that. that's ahead. a truly useful partisan divide for once. stay with us. and flexibility. it's where great ideas and vital data are stored. with centurylink you get advanced technology solutions from a trusted it partner. including cloud and hosting services - all backed by an industry leading broadband network and people committed to helping you grow your business.
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72% of americans think it's going badly. won't the legacy of this administration, which you are a part of, won't that legacy be that it underestimated the threat from isis? >> well, john, i think that we have to look at isis as the leading threat of an international terror network. it cannot be contained. it must be defeated. but it cannot be an american fight. and i think what the president has consistently said, which i agree with, is that we will support those who take the fight to isis. >> foreign policy pushed to the forefront of saturday's democratic debate in iowa. richard engel is in paris and from d.c. is chris murphy in connecticut. senator, really appreciate you
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being with us tonight. you get both me tonight and richard engel in paris. richard? >> well, senator, let me just come out and ask you very directly. there has just been a horrific attack where i am in paris. what should the united states do? >> well, i think there are two paths forward for the united states. one is to enlist our partners in europe who now may as a consequence of this attack take the isis threat more seriously in a sustained, now multilateral, effort to keep isis on its heels militarily. primarily means u.s. air assets now possibly along with greater assets from europe attacking them from the air while we seek to stand up units on the ground that can as we did last week in sinjar, start to push back this feeling of inevitability that surrounded this supposed caliphate. remember the amount of territory isis holds decreased by about
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25% since last summer. but the second thing we need to do is to avoid making mistakes that would actually swell the ranks of those that are signing up to fight the west. signing up to join isis. and that's why shutting down our borders and essentially creating this impression of a war of civilizations or putting u.s. troops on the ground as targets for isis would, in fact, feed this narrative of a caliphate expanding to fight the west. so it's continuing to put pressure on isis, primarily through air asset, and it's avoiding trying to create recruitment for the folks are trying to sign people up against us. >> senator, when you talk about the -- >> it sounds like -- >> go ahead, richard. i'm sorry. >> go ahead, rachel. >> we'll sort this out with a coin toss later. senator, let me say when you mention the amount of territory under isis control shrinking in
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recent months, is that something that you attribute to the u.s.-led air campaign? i mean, a lot of people 7,000 air strikes and they think, well, what has that gotten us. as best as we can tell isis is just expanding their international propaganda game and their recruiting. do you feel like the air strikes have actually done some good? >> so, i think the air strikes have kept them on their heels. i think particularly inside iraq is that the iraqi military and kurdish peshmerga are picking up capacity. that has led to some progress internally. again, it's important that this impression that the caliphate is just expanding is ended and i think we are making progress along those -- along that road. my fear is that we are going to take steps over the course of the next several weeks or months that is simply going to feed into the story line that will allow them to build their ranks internally in the region and externally, if you certain
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listen to a lot of republican candidates and republicans in congress, it would lead you to believe that that's the road that we're headed now. >> senator, i was struck by one thing, by the president's tone when he addressed that conference today. he seemed testy. he seemed like he was trying to fight off a war that maybe he feels is being imposed upon him, being forced upon him. is that the way you saw it? >> well, i think there's this sense of american hubris that still remains from the iraq war, that the american military can solve the problem of isis. what the american military can do is keep isis on its heels. as secretary clinton said in the debate this weekend, this is a decision that has to be made by sunni and shia on the ground in the region as to whether they are going to reconcile. we can't end isis in iraq so
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long as the iraqi military is 95% shia. so long as those in ramadi are uncomfortable living under a shia regime because they don't think that their rights are going to be respected. so i think the president is rightly frustrated at people who believe that america and america alone can effectively solve this problem. and we let our partners off the hook in the region when we create that impression. so there is an american component. there is a military component. but ultimately isis has grown in the region, not because of a military vacuum but because of a political vacuum, because of the marginalization of sunnis, the actions of bashar al-assad and the states have to play a role here but it is limited. i think the president rightly is frustrated that a lot of people who just crow about the lack of american leadership don't actually present any credible alternatives to what he's doing. republicans actually haven't put on the table any real substantive comprehensive
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alternative because in the end they really don't have one. ultimately this is a decision that has to be made by the populations on the ground as to whether they are going to reject this radical version of islam. >> senator chris murphy of connecticut. thank you very much for your time, sir. it's good to have you here. senator murphy one of the leading lights in democratic foreign policy now and for the foreseeable future. i'll be right back with richard engel in paris. how you doing? hey! how are you? where are we watching the game? you'll see. i think my boys have a shot this year.
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richard engel, we are a few hours away from dawn in paris. what do you expect in the day ahead of the investigation and reaction to these attacks? >> i think the investigation is on going. there's going to be more raids. but already here in france there is a sense of what happened. the french president described it as an attack that was far up in syria. it was organized in belgium. it was executed here in france.
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and this horrific combination of extremists who are homegrown, reaching out across into a war >> it's been a privilege to join with you tonight. thank you for being here for this hour. it's been great to have you here, my friend. our ongoing coverage of the attacks in paris continues now with lawrence o'donnell. this is msnbc's continuing coverage of terror in paris. the islamic state, the threat to attack washington today making the question of how to stop the islamic state all the more urgent. first, brian williams with the latest developments in the investigation. brian? >> lawrence, thank you. and good evening. it is a cold and rainy night in paris tonight. we're still within the 72-hour envelope after the terrorist attacks that have left 129 people dead, hundreds more injured.


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