tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC November 18, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
telegram announced that, okay, they will shut down the channels on their service that isis has been using to communicate in the past. the company says they have now blocked 78 isis-related channels on telegram across 12 languages. they've done it now. because now it bothers them. no rush, you guys. that does it for us now. our coverage of the attacks in paris continues now with lawrence o'donnell. we begin tonight with a note to the american news media. stop calling ad ining abdelhami the master mine. you could call him the ringlead ringleader but stop glorifying this homicidal maniac who flocked out of high school. when you're typing mastermind
into the graphics that appear on television screens all around the world in the islamic world, ask yourselves, what would this mass murderer look to be called? organizer? ringleader? or mastermind? if he could type the word into your computer to describe himself on these t screens, he would type mastermind. what would the islamic state like him to be called? you are taking dictation from terrorists when you call him a mastermind. we have mas murderers in this country who kill more people than they killed at that paris restaurant and no one says a mastermind was involved. we know better than any country in the world how easy it is for crazed killers to open fire on unarmed people when they least expect it in theatres, in
church, in schools. we know it doesn't take a mastermind. it takes a sick mind. the mind of someone like this. there he is in his pickup truck, happily dragging dead bodies behind it, bodies that have been mutilated. "the washington post" alone among american news organizations is reporting that he is dead, that he was killed in the dramatic raid by paris police in the middle of the night last night that left two dead, possibly including abdelhamid abaaoud. french officials are awaiting the results of dna tests before they make an official announcement about who was killed last night. it is not the first time that abdelhamid abaaoud was reported dead. last year his family in belgium was told that he was killed fighting for the islamic state in syria. his family reacted to that news
with joy. his sister yazmina said we are praying that abdelhamid really is done. his father said i didn't take it anymore. i'm on medication. i don't ever want to see him again. police made eight arrests at the end of that raid last night. the paris prosecutor today said this -- >> translator: there are eight people, seven men and one woman in custody. now the identities of the people arrested in the building have not been formally established, but i must say that abaaoud and salah abdeslam are not part of those in custody. >> do we have any estimate of of when we will have the dna results that will tell us about
the dead bodies. >> we don't know, and that may be in part because they don't know here whether they do, indeed, have the body of abaaoud, or if it was somebody else connected to these attacks. remember that the authorities believe that he wd that he was with isis until just today that it emerged they were looking for him in this cell of people connected to those attacks. and it was with great force that they attempted to take over that cell. they had 110 police officers. there were 5,000 rounds fired. the building was so intensely pulverized by the firefight, they now believe that part of it is uninhabitable. it may well take some time. they will want to be certain that it is him if they're going
to announce it is him, because the question will be whether he was able to travel from syria, perhaps using false identification, traveling through greece. that will be something they will need to be completely confident about before they come out and make that announcement. but by the way, a number of mistakes, if you like, have been made by this group, despite the fact that they, in their eyes, have successfully carried out this attack in paris. that car was discovered with so much weapons and ammunition in it. the fact that this cell was discovered even while it was planning another attack, the french prosecutor believe, is another error, if you like, on their part, which will now allow the authorities here to go through that third floor apartment, to go through that car and get more evidence, evidence that may lead them to others involved. >> keir simmons in paris.
thank you very much for joining us tonight. we're joined now in brussels by our foreign correspondent. brussels authorities are also involved in the investigation of the identities of who was caught in that raid last night. >> yeah, that's right, lawrence. it does seem all investigations so far continue to bring pieces of information back here to belgium. in fact, one of the pieces of information that came out of this morning's raid 2346 saint-denis in france was confirmed by local belgium media. it's important to realize the news broke kind of late, but local belgium media are reporting that the woman who blew herself up during that french police raid earlier that day was, in fact, a cousin of abdelhamid abaaoud, the individual that they believe was an architect or the leader who designed this particular attack on paris.
now, this also comes on the heels of another large manhunt, not only for this individual who's believed to be the reng leader, if you will, of the paris attackers, but the manhunt also continues for sala salah abdeslam, who is believed to be one of the attackers. all of this is coming out of belgium right now. that has led belgium authorities to carry out raids over the course of the last several days. there have been several individuals, at least seven according to belgium security officials that have been detained. five of those have been released. two remaining in custody as we understand it, as they continue to piece together pieces of information. two individuals at one point were living and their families currently reside there. there was a candle light vigil. the community came together to stand in solidarity with the french victims of the terrorist attacks. in fact, one of the brothers, the brother of salah, ibrahim,
the two individuals involved in the fer ror attack actual lly participated in the candle light vigil. there was a moment the community here rallied behind him. they're in the spotlight, not only in the investigation, but questions over how these individuals have played a substantial role in some of these terrorist attacks taking place in france, as well as raids that have taken place here in belgium. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. we're now joined by laura haim. thank you very much for joining us. you were on this network last night and virtually everything we knew about that raid as it was happening was coming through your sources in france. they were invaluable, giving us an accurate account of what's going on there.
what happens in your investigation? when do your sources indicate, if they do, when we might found out the identities through the dna tests who was killed in that raid last night. >> they want to take their time. they want to be fully confident about what they're going to find. it was extremely violent. they told us that again, they have to check the dna to make sure that they're not going to do any mistake when they're going to announce something. >> and what is the expectation in terms of the investigation going forward from here. what they obtained or found in that raid last night, did that indicate to them there are more possibilities out there than just the group that was in that apartment? >>' i'm seeing that they're questioning their -- it's not about what happened last night, it's about what they found in a car. the car was attacking the
restaurant on friday evening, and according to an investigator, the phone in the car, they found three noois, they found a lot of bullets. but they also found bandage. they don't understand why for people who want to commit suicide and blow themselves up, you have bandage, sophisticated bandage inside the car. soo they were wondering if to this unit, the unit on the restaurant tomorrow night was really committed to blow themselves up, and they're convinced that because of bandage in the car it means that the people wanted to leave and maybe wanted to lose something else, knowing they might have been injured in the attacks of the restaurant. so that's a tricky point for the investigators at this moment.
>> laura, what led the police to that apartment last night? >> in fact, the one suicide bomber. and that's why it's so interesting and so tragic for france and europe. because this story of this woman suicide bomber is absolutely huge for the investigators. her name is hasna aitboulahcen. she was inzeed the cousin of abaaoud, the organizer of the attacks. that's why she was wiretapped because she was close to him. she was wiretapped by three different services from the french intelligence. one was an administrative unit, and they wiretapped her a few
months ago because she was the cousin of abaaoud, the second service that wiretapped her, according to our sources was a unit which was in charge of islam and drug traffickers. she was dealing drugs and they wiretapped her phone. and the third unit which wiretapped them according to what we learn, she became completely panicked a few weeks ago. we don't know when precisely, but she become completely panicked when she heard that abaaoud was traveling from syria to come to europe. and that was the trigger point. the french intelligence really began to follow up. and then yesterday, they were absolutely convinced that they
were going to find her alone with two men and they didn't expect at all this level of violence, according to the director of the raid -- i mean the director of the unit, which is so specialized in the fight against terror. when they arrived, she began to fire at them extremely violently. she had explosive, and then it was silent. and a few minutes ago, she blew herself up. >> and the fact that they were able to wiretap her, that seems like something obviously a big slip-up on her part, and on the other conspirators' part that she would be using a phone known by french authorities for a while.
>> yeah, that's a problem of the story, you know. the french are watching a lot of people. it's a very, very difficult task. and those people are apparently inside the sfaems, again, on the attacks in paris. we knee in the attacks, there were two brothers. the cousin of the architect of the attack. this is a family structure. so the french services are trying from time to time to listen to the family members hoping sometimes it's going to bring them something. and apparently it was the case for this one. >> laura haim, thank you for guiding our live coverage of that raid last night and thank you for joining us again tonight. >> you're welcome. coming up, islamic state released new propaganda video today. this time showing images of new york city.
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what do you make of that point that the prosecutor say they believed they collected evidence that they were ready and intending to act again. >> well, look, i think the cell phone that was discarded during the attacks on friday might have led them through forensic analysis on that phone to some information data, names, phone numbers and maybe track that. or cross reference those phone numbers and names with a database they already have, some sort of a blacklist. but furthermore, i think the story is still unfolding. they're trying to determine the ringleader was part of the individuals who were killed, but in the grand scheme of things, i think this is too sophisticated for him or the other individuals to be seen in that neighborhood. so i think there's a lot of speculation there. >> and jim cavanaugh, can you see any incentive for the investigators and the prosecutor to not reveal the identities of who was killed last night?
even if they definitely already know it as "the washington post" is reporting? >> yeah, i think they just really got bodies blown to smither reesmith ereens. so you're going to have a massive blast in there. they're pretty unrecognizable. they may have to get a dna, blood test, fingerprint. that may be the delay. >> we're going to show some of the video the islamic state released today, propaganda video that depicts new york city in some of the elements oof that video. obviously specifically intended to be interpreted as a threat here in new york city. the fbi statement on this video is, we are aware of the reporting of ongoing terrorist threats of new york city to include the dmuly released isis video involving times square. it reaffirms the message that
new york city remains a terrorist target. while there's no specific arc c articulatable threat at this time. >> the fbi and nypd said this is propaganda value mostly, trying to issue another threat to new york city, one of the most desirable targets for terrorist groups around the world, of course, including isis. and before that, al qaeda. but i think this footage has been recycled before. it's been used in previous isis videos. and so it is not new, the threat is not new, but the video message is new, which is threaten france yet again in the same video saying this is not over. and it's not over, i guess, on a much wider scale. it's not over for france or other countries we view as enemy nations. >> all of us here in new york wake up knowing this is a target.
the nypd obviously knows it's a target city. how does this video change nypd and security in general posture in new york city? >> well, you can see from the new terrorist team, the 500-man terrorist team they employed they're on top of their game. but the new yorkers aren't in any more danger before the video than they are today. i agree with leif on that. there is a light motif that terrorists want to hit manhattan, but it hasn't gotten more dangerous. what's the most dangerous thing at the moment, i think, is the tempo of the isis attacks externally, the attack in turkey, the attack in beirut, the russian airliner, the multiple attacks in paris from all suicide bombers and their use of operational security. the tempo of these events, success upon success upon success. they want to strike more and more and more. u.s. is a target, new york is a target. but they're just trying to
inspire somebody to do smug here. which they do every day, they want to inspire someone. if they had an operation, but i don't think they have that level of sophistication here at this point, and leif with speak to that as well. europe has it, france has it. we've seen it, unfortunately. >> leif, five syrians arrested today. moving through central america reportedly by the authorities intending to travel by land to the united states, using what they determined to be fake greek passports. this is what everyone is worried about. >> absolutely. this is a massive worry, not only among the populouses of many down tris hosting refugees but among a lot of politicians. i think, you know, passports are somewhat easily faked. they could be faced. we've seen these happen before.
somebody went on and said he was able to fake a syrian passport and a syrian i.d. with essentially pretty cheaply. and so i think this is something that terrorists might try to exploit and take advantage of. but i think in the grand scheme of things it's not exactly the main priority. >> but jim cavanaugh, with all of the talk of the weakness of our southern border, it would seem inviting to terrorists. >> well, it is, lawrence, but it's so diminous a risk. it's xenophobia. these are victims of the terrorist groups. they're really a very low risk for this. it's just sort of a posturing and, like leif said, politicians fear mongering. law enforcement wouldn't want to spend a lot of time on this. i can tell you, they should be vetted, of course. anybody coming into the country, i totally agree, but the risk is
more people in europe, western europe, who really are isis members, really are al qaeda people, really have traveled to fight in syria, iraq, years ago, afghanistan. those people who we know and who really are terrorists coming over to the united states on a visa program, not refugees being persecuted, barely getting away with their lives and their babies and the clothes on their back. i don't think there's very much danger there at all. >> thank you both for joining us tonight. coming up, republican rhetoric heats up over admitting syrian refugees into the united states. we will have two governors join us. >> we are not a nation that delivers children back into the hands of isis murderers because some politician doesn't like their religion. it runs on optim. it's what sparks ideas. moves the world forward. invest with those who see the world as unstoppable.
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about. it calls for a new standard of verification for refugees from syria and iraq. it would mean a pause in the program until we can be certain beyond any doubt that those coming here are not a threat. it's that simple. and i don't think it's asking too much. the white house warned today that president obama would veto that bill. the white house tweeted, slamming the door in the face of refugees would betray our deepest values. that's not who we are, it's not what we're going to do. last night, president obama had strong words for the republican presidential candidates who opposed allowing syrian refugees in this country. >> isil seeks to exploit the idea that there's a war between islam and the west. and when you start seeing individuals in positions of responsibility suggest iing tha
christians are more worthy of protection than muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the isil narrative. these are the same folks often times who suggest they're so tough that just talking to putin or staring down isil or using some additional rhetoric is somehow going to solve the problem s out there. but atharpparently they're afraf widows and orphans coming into america as a part of our tradition of compassion. at first, they were worried about the press being too tough on them during debates, now they're worried about 3-year-old orphans. that doesn't sound very tough to me. >> ted cruz was the first republican candidate this week to say we should accept only christian refugees into this country. ted cruz reacted to the president's comments with his predictable childish bluster. >> well, let me suggest
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>> we are not a nation who sends children back to isis murder because we don't like their religion. we are not a nation that backs down out of fear. our first responsibility is to protect this country. we must embrace that fundamental obligation, but we do not make ourselves safer by ignoring our common humanity and turning away from our moral obligation. >> joining us now, organ governor kate brown and daniel brown. >> we will continue to welcome syrian refugees to oregon, as long as they have been thoroughly vetted by the federal agencies.
>> governor malloy, what is your view of syrian refugees and how connecticut should receive them? >> well, you know, i met a family today that was scheduled to go to indiana based on the position that their governor took and were redirected to connecticut. i went down to new haven and met a husband and a wife and their 5-year-old son. they were driven from homes in 201 1. they've been in refugee camps for four-plus years. they' gone through an exhaustive process with the united states government. and they finally came to the united states. i wanted to make sure theyed up b they were welcome in connecticut. quite frankly the united states has an obligation just as france and other nations have an obligation to resettle refugee the. -- refugees. this has been established
international law, at least under 1951, under certain agreements under the united nations that required the resettlement of people from the second world war. we participated throughout. previously before this stuff on friday, people weren't having this discussion about syrian refugees or for anywhere in the middle east for that matter. all of a sudden because we have a particularly small group of people, we're having these kinds of discussions. if you're going to block anybody from coming to the country -- and i'm arguing this, just be certain. but the people who perpetrated the attack were from france and belgium. we're not stopping people from airports coming to our country visiting from france or belgium or saying they shouldn't be allowed to relocate to our country. there is a certain xenophobic, perhaps racism involved in what's going on here. and i'm sure that nobody wants to admit that that's what's going on, but if you look at the entirety of the discussion we're having, these governors, these
republican governors have said they won't allow people from syria in their states, not one of them, to the best of my knowledge, is saying we should have universal background checks for guns. we know now that over 2,043 people on the terrorism watch list were allowed to buy guns in the united states legally between 2004 and 2014 because the nra has been effective in making sure that there's not a cross reference to the terrorism watch list. if you can't get on a plane in syria or in the united states without somebody doing a background check, why are we allowing terrorists or people on the watch list to buy guns in america. if you want to make america safer, let's clamp down on illegal guns. 30,000 people in america will die as a result of gun violence. governor brown had a terrible incident at a community college in her state just a short while ago. there are things that we can do to make americans safer, but i don't see the speaker of the
house saying we should clamp down on guns or we should allow people to stop buying guns over the internet without a background check or at a show without a background check. he decided to pick on this particular group, because it seems in his mind, and other's minds, i suppose, that it makes political sense. i don't agree with that. we have to fulfill our moral obligations. >> some of your colleagues around the country seem to believe they could simply stand on the interstate and prevent people from entering states. which is illegal. they cannot do that. they have absolutely control as to who enters your states from other states. but the states do run programs in specific assistance to refugees in these kinds of situations. and there may be some discretion among governors as to how many help they direct to certain people in those programs. do you see anything in the
programs that oregon has that you would want to adjust in any way in relation to syrian refugees? >> well, in oregon, we see this state as a safe haven, and we will welcome syrian refugees, other political refugees with open arms. we think it is our obligation to open the doors of opportunity for them. the private organizations on the ground will make sure that they have the services they need, the education services, the employment services, the relocation services to make sure that they can get ahead and succeed in this country. >> i want to listen to what fbi director said about the possible risk of admitting refugees. let's listen to this. >> on behalf of the fbi, what you can assure is that we will work day and night to make sure if there's information about somebody, we have surfaced it
and we have evaluated it. >> we don't have the information on both of these people, isn't that true? >> i can't sit here and offer anybody an absolute assurance that there's no risk associated with this. >> governor malloy, what's your response to this? >> the u.n. sent 23,000 names to the united states for possible inclusion as refugees. from that group, the united states reviewed those files and accepted 7,000 for further review. of this 7,000, less than 2,100 have actually been admitted to the united states. the family i met, this 5-year-old young child that i shook hands with and he looked me straight in the eye and i complimented him on that. he's going to be a great american. they've been in the process for well over 12 months. the average process period to come in as a refugee is 12 to 18 months. if you're accepted. and a lot of people are not accepted. this is a very thorough process.
so thorough that to the best of our knowledge no syrian who's come into the country over the last several years has had a legal problem of any type. and certainly no threats of terrorism have arisen. but let's -- again, lawrence, if i can, we know that a large percentage of the attackers on 9/11 were from saudi arabia. no one said we should stop commerce or trade or visitation from saudi arabia. we know that other people have perpetrated crimes around the world from other countries. but yet we're talking about this relatively small group of people. and let me make this point. no one has taken a vote from turkey or from syria, a raft to the united states. they' got to go someplace else. there's plenty of time to check this out. what we're talking about is do we honor our international obligation and moral obligation.
at least in my state i say yes. >> governor brown, governor rick snyder of michigan has suggested that we take a pause. he's not opposed to moving forward in the future, but he says as a result of these events in the last week, what about a pause just to examine what's going on here. when people in government talk about a pause, that means stopping it. and then you somehow have to restart it. so i'm not sure how that would work. that seems to be what the house of representatives are talking about, too. what they're calling a pause a enthe obama administration is interpreting as stopping it. >> the states don't have an independent authority to refuse refugees. in my mind, this is a question. it's a test of who we are as a people. are we goerng to continue to be a beacon of hope and light for the rest of the world. or are we going to shut down that light? in oregon we want to make sure we provide an incredible, safe
opportunity for these refugees, that they have the ability to rebuild their lives after suffering from devastating circumstances. in my mind, that's who we are. we are a safe haven and we are opening the doors of opportunity. >> governors kate brown and dan malloy. thank you both for joining us on this important issue. thank you. coming up, the bomb that the islamic state says brought down that russian jet over egypt. rou, we are having 5,000 new cars being sold every month. this is a very big problem for us with respect to fast and efficient transportation. it's kind of a losing proposition to keep going this way. we are trying to tackle the problem with several different modes. one of them is the brand new metro. we had a modest forecast: 110,000 passengers per day in the first line. we are already over 200,000.
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>> that was vladimir putin yesterday, and today the islamic state has published what they claim is proof of its involvement in the bombing of that plane. in the latest issue of the terror group's official magazine "dabiq" the islamic state revealed what they say is the image of the improvised explosive device used to take on the russian passenger plane. in the picture, a soda can is shown with what appears to be commercial grade detonator and a switch connected to a battery. u.s. intelligence sources say that if a single can was used as the explosive, it was likely placed inside the main cabin under a window seat. an article in the magazine asserts that the islamic state originally planned to target a western country but changed their plan when russia began bombing syria.
yesterday, the russian air force reported that it had completed one of its largest air strikes yet, launching 34 cruise missiles, and claiming to destroy 14 islamic state targets in syria. joining us now is tom thurman, a former explosives expert and now a professor in the arson and explosion program in eastern kentucky university. tom thursd tom, this soda can bomb, that is enough to take down a plane like that? >> absolutely. i would imagine, although i haven't done it, that you could pack at least a pound of explosives in that can, and i would like to remind you that this is a narrow bodied plane. it's not a huge airplane. andless than a pound of explosives brought down 747 pan-am 103. so absolute lly. it's entirely possible.
>> so he was speaking yesterday before he saw this image of a soda can that isis released today. and he was saying they believed it to be about a kilogram, just over two pounds of tnt, as he describes it, went off i side. could you get that much into that one soda can, do you think? >> i think that's stretching the story. that soda can would not take in my opinion two pounds or one kilogram of explosives. and actually, again, it doesn't take two pounds. an airliner flying at cruise altitude, 30,000 feet, the only thing it has to do with blow a hole in the side of the plane and that's your explosive hole. that's your explosion dynamics and you have possibly a pressure differential of 8.2 psi. and at that point, you have a
mechanical implosion of the plane. the pressure exiting that plane actually at that point rips the plane apart. it's not the explosion at that point. the explosion starts this procepro proce process. and then it's carried out by the prosecute es sure differential in the plane. >> and there's a lot of controls that are running under the floors and in the ceilings of these aircraft and you lose a lot of the controls in this kind of an explosion? >> and if the bomb is under a seat, that's true, but in modern aircraft today, they don't have the controls as we had in the old planes with actual cables. it's all electronics. and electronics are a lot easier to destroy than the cables. but still, the point being at 30,000 feet, you blow a hole in the side of the plane, which if a soda can is, in fact, the
container, the plane comes apart by the explosive decompression. the plane is not going to continue to fly. >> coming up, the story of a woman who chose to run toward the sound of the guns on friday night. in paris. can a business have a mind? a subconscious. 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? come on, wake up!!! come on, why ya sleepin'? come on! >>what time is it? it's go time. >>come on. let's go, let's go, let's go. woooo hoooo!! yeah!!
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>> and tonight's "last word." a producer at france 24 news lives across the street from the sidewalk cafe called la bel la belle equipe where 19 people were killed. when she heard the sound of the gun, she ran towards the sound of the gun. she told lester holt what happened next. >> this is the most terrible image i have on my head, 10, 11, 12, maybe 15 people lying down. all the people were very, very calm. no scre no screaming, no noise. >> tell me who you treated first. >> it was a woman who had a gunshot in the arm. i remember applying to with her right here.
people started to feel the pain and people started to feel the pain and panic and ask for treatment first, what are you doing? help me, look at this. >> one of the people that you treated that you met was an american woman. >> yes. it's a very important memory because she didn't speak a word of french. she had beautiful eyes and i was actually joking with her. i was trying to keep her focused and with me. and i think i looked at her deeply in the eyes for maybe 20 minutes nonstop. >> it must have been comforting for her to hear someone speak her language. >> yes. she was less wounded than others so she had to wait a long time, a very long time lying op the floor. >> has this taken something from the paris that we all know and love? >> absolutely not. they didn't cake anything. we will really stand up and we will really fight in our own