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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  November 22, 2015 7:00am-9:01am PST

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good morning from new york. i'm harry smith with msnbc's continuing coverage of the terror attacks in paris. melissa harris-perry will be back next week. here are the latest developments we have at the top of this hour. before wrapping up his asia trip in malaysia this morning, president obama vowed that the united states and its allies would defeat isis. >> we will not accept the idea that terrorist assaults on restaurants and theaters and hotels are the new normal or that we are powerless to stop them. after all, that's precisely what terrorists like isil want, because ultimately that's the only way that they can win. it is the nature of terrorism. they can't beat us on the battlefield so they try to terrorize us into being afraid.
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they're a bunch of killers with good social media. but, the overwhelming majority of people who go about their business every day, the americans who are building things and making things and teaching and saving lives as firefighters and as police officers, they're stronger. >> tuesday, president obama will meet with french president fra sfr francois hollande to discuss strategy for the fight gns eaga isis. then he'll head to russia to meet with vladimir putin. brussels is on the highest terror level amid warnings of a paris-style attack. residents are being urged to avoid public spaces like concerts, airports and shopping centers. for more on that story now let's bring in nbc's claudio w
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lavanga in brussels. day two with this lockdown on the streets. >> reporter: harry, you can probably see yourself right behind me. i'm in the city center of brussels. usually on a sunday this is a bustling place but many restaurants and cafes are still closed. the subway system is still shut down and it will continue to be so until tonight at least. that makes it very difficult for people to move around. so it is day two of the shutdown -- of the lockdown, but we don't know how long this is going to go on for. now the national security crisis center is meeting right now to decide exactly that, whether to extend it because as for now we know that it will end tonight. we do predict of course that it will be extended indefinitely until at least they will either arrest or kill salah abdelslam. now he is the eighth and only terrorist linked to the attacks in paris who is still alive and is still at large, on the run and possibly he's here in
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belgium, even brussels, because this is where he was born, raised and radicalized. in the meantime, of course, people here are trying to get by with their lives with difficulty. we spoke to a number of people this morning in the streets and there are some kind of mixed feelings here. one girl was going to work, to work at a shopping center, one of the few that was open. she said my boss told me to stay homefy wanted to, but i just want to continue with my life as normally as i can. harry. >> difficult there, for sure. claudia io lavanga in brussels. france is sending an air carrier to the eastern mediterranean ready to launch attacks on isis by tomorrow. nbc's kelly cobiella joins us now from paris. kelly, how big a military campaign does it appear the french are planning to launch? >> reporter: well, they're
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saying they're tripling their air strike capacity by bringing in this aircraft carrier to the eastern mediterranean. just to give you an idea, they've had about 12 fighter jets in the region for the past year. they've led about 1,300 sorties, dropped roughly under 300 bombs. had 300 air strikes. most of those though in iraq. they only started bombing syria in september of this year after that foiled train attack. so this marks a real change in strategy for the french. just over three days since the attacks, they dropped 60 bombs over sites in syria. so they're really upping their attention on syria. but the other aspect of this is the push for more support from a global coalition. to that end, francois hollande will be heading to the united states to talk to president obama about forming this global coalition with the united states
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and russia, both working toward the same end with france and other european partners. but even today, harry, there was an interview in the local papers from the french army chief of staff and he was saying, look -- this will not be an easy military victory. it will be a long-lasting military fight, if that's the only direction we go. it has to be solved on a political diplomatic level. >> kelly co-ybiella in paris, thank you. justin vote, let me start with you. let's talk about brussels. let's talk about belgium and this place that turns out to be literally like a petri dish for this kind of activity. what's going on there now and what's transpired there to make
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it the place it is? >> sure. well, look, all over europe there are multi-cultural cities that have immigrant neighborhoods, many of them filled with muslims. the vast majority of whom are normal hard-working people who have absolutely no interest in this kind of extremist jihadist activity. so i hesitate a little bit when we hear words like hotbed being applied to these places. we know -- >> this molenbeek neighborhood in belgium is truly a fact of life. >> there are many little molen be molenbeeks all over europe. i would actually point to two factors outside of the muslim community or muslim-islam neighborhood that distinguish belgium. one is a history of relatively lax gun laws. to 2006 it was actually pretty easy to get a gun in belgium with just an i.d. that was changed after a right wing skinhead went on a shooting rampage there. the second thing is that belgium itself, even amongst its
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european population, is somewhat fractured and divided. there's a flemish speaking portion and a french speaking country and the country is cut up into six different policing units. this can make coordination, counterterrorism and crime fighting in general much more difficult. >> let me go to mr. barron in washington. as we were watching this all unfold, one of the things that the president said was this is not a new normal. is that -- we're trying to find the truth of what's transpiring now. what do you sense it is? >> well, you can hear it in the president's voice, how he's trying to sound tough and express leadership from afar on this trip, building momentum to this building with hollande, while trying to i think give some sort of reality to the situation, that this is one attack on a city, by this group isis and as the world reacts with such force and so much
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rhetoric over so long, while he's been out there, he's trying to really be the calmer in chief say, look, we have a plan, we have a coalition, we've had over 8,000 air strikes militarily, but don't blow this out of proportion anymore. which really reflects his entire thinking of the use of force, of the use of the military and the ability to fight to victory somehow against isis, against ideology. there's a lot more to come. i i'm very curious to see what happens when obama gets back, when this momentum toward a global coalition starts to build, what type of political change and leadership -- >> let's talk about these attacks though of just in the last month or so from turkey, from the peace march, to beirut, to. this is an extension of isis' arm that we really haven't seen before. does it then deserve a new strategy and a response to it? >> well, that's what we want to
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find out. so the president has said, again, can't kill your way to victory, that's something generals have said from the pentagon for a long time. what has changed is exactly what you said -- an airliner goes down, a bombing in beirut, then the bombing attack in paris. and now all the fear here in the united states about new york, about washington, as we see what's happening in brussels. this is the new way, the hybrid between military campaign in the middle east now becoming the terrorism that many people remember from the '80s and '70s in western cities. >> justin, what is your thought about this extended reach now all of a sudden? it could be, well, this is our new campaign and this is to show how strong we are, or might it be just the opposite? >> it could just be the opposite. there are two ways of looking at it. either the group feels emboldens and wants to take its fight outside syria and iraq to the far broader enemy which is what
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jihadists like to think of as capitals of the united states and europe. but they do feel contained and squeezed by the current global strategy to keep them from winning more territory, to keep them from easily drawing recruits to where they want to be. up to now isis hasn't been a terrorist organization, they've been a proto state. and by shifting their strategy they might imperil all the gains they've made in the last few years. you have to wonder if there are some seenier high-level people in raqqa now shaking their heads going, was this the right move? >> certainly if you lived in syria or iraq you would think they were a terrorist organization. >> sure. they use terrorism -- for sure. but they haven't operated the way al qaeda did as a global terrorist organization. there was some things slightly different. >> justin, kevin, thank you very much. here in new york -- we'll just keep going here.
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up next, we'll go to mali for the latest on the ground there and about the investigation under way after friday's deadly assault inside the radisson blu hotel. we'll be right back. ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪
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an extremist group linked to al qaeda has taken credit for the attack that killed 22 people include be two of the attackers at a five-star hotel in the capital of mali on friday. the group in a statement released yesterday said it executed the nine-hour siege with the participation of a branch of al qaeda that operates in the sahara region. mali remains under a state of emergency today as security forces continue the search for
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three or more people suspected in the attack. we want to go now to nbc news correspondent keir simmons reported from mali with more on the story. keir, good morning. >> reporter: harry, good morning. those three suspects that they believe were involved in the attack are still on the loose. they are still searching for them. they aren't clear honestly how many men were involved in the attack here. but i have just in the last few moments had a chance to go into the hotel with the malian president. the thing that strikes you as soon as you walk in there. stench actually of smoke. on the next floor up with the breakfast room where the attackers attempted to light a fire. we had one american witness describe to us how he hid under a table there, was hit by shell casings, then saw them setting right to that area. it appears they were trying to
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set light to the entire hotel. the malian president told me the only way to combat this kind of jihadism is for the world to unite he said from moscow to washington and listen to his response when i got a chance to ask him a question. >> can a terrorist be beaten? >> for sure. i am deeply convinced of that. >> reporter: one american who didn't make it, she worked for an organization funded by usaid. there are tributes to her, including from hillary clinton to knew her and described her as absolutely committed to helping people here in west africa. harry, you'll know the people who dedicate their life to coming to help some of the po poorest people in regions of the world like this win the hearts of people here and that's exactly what she did.
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so the dedications that we've heard from her family and others are being repeated by the people here in mali. >> keir simmons live with us in mali today, thank you very, very much. the terror attack in mali was the latest in the series of attack from terror groups signal agroing threat from militant jihadism in northwest and east africa. the group who claimed responsibility for the mali attacks is led by an algerian militant who led a 2013 siege gas a against facility in algeria that included the taking of some 800 hostages and the killing of 39 people. though his group is an affiliate of al qaeda which also has loyalist groups in mali, somalia and kenya. in 2013, al shabaab that carried out the west gate mall attack in nairobi that left 67 people dead, al shabaab gunmen also killed 147 people, mostly
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students, in a violent rampage at the university college in northern kenya earlier this year. isis has also extended its influence into africa with deadly violence in libya, including separate incidents in which ethiopian christians and egyptian christians were targeted and beheaded. and in nigeria, isis has embraced boko haram, the radical islamic sect and armed insurgents that's claimed territory in northern nigeria with such brutality that has in fact outpaced isis as the most deadly terror group in the world. joining me now from washington, d.c., ambassador ruben brigady, dean of the elliott school of international affairs at george washington university and former u.s. representative to the african union and the u.n. economic commission of africa. mr. ambassador, good morning. >> good morning. >> as these things go, africa
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has been an important sector of concentration for the united states government. but as we really look at this map and see these various groups that seem to be going on unchecked, is that an accurate sense or is there some notion that there is influence that can be exerted against them that could bring them under control. >> it is obvious that they clearly are exerting more and more attacks across the region from east africa and somalia all the way across the continent. it is not entirely accurate to say they are going unchecked. these various attacks have put terrorism at the top of the security agenda for africa. just last september african heads of state gathered in nairobi to declare a joint policy towards counterterrorism. and also increasingly the united
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states and other allies are working closely with a variety of countries whether kenya to counteral shabaab or in the basin to counterboko haram. challenge is two fold. one, having the coordinated intelligence across a variety of different countries with whom we don't have multiple intelligence sharing agreements in order to find, fix and finish these various targets. and the second problem, frankly, is one of capacity and governance. most of these groups operate in areas that are large ungoverned spaces that are very difficult to track and they obviously are benefiting from the great deal of insecurity that followed the toppling of moammar gadhafi in libya, thus facilitating the flow of weapons and people across the region. what's clearly needed is a much greater sense of cooperation and much greater operational cooperation and indeed cooperation on matters of intelligence to counter a variety of these threats across the region. >> how big a job is that? >> it is enormous.
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it's enormous because you are not only talking about a wide geographic region but also because of the challenge of sharing intelligence in a way that's both actionable, that also protects the sources and methods of that gathering and particularly doing so amongst a variety of countries that don't traditionally have the sorts of agreements. interestingly enough, once one has the intelligence, it is a comparatively easy matter to figure out how to go avid targets. but the real challenge is finding out where these people are so that we can actually take the steps that are necessary. >> it seems like it so often falls to the united states to lead this charge. do you have any sense if there is a greater collective will to do this among other countries? >> well, first of all, i think the french have been incredibly engaged, certainly in mali. >> for sure. >> dating back to january 2013. there is increasingly series of cooperation with other countries from the european union.
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but what is clear now, as you saw from the u.n. security council vote in february condemning isis, is that it is obvious that this is a threat that the entire world has to go against. this is a threat to the entire international order, the very nature of the modern nation state. these groups are killing christians and muslims. they are killing westerners and africans. and thus, it is in our collective interest to figure out not only politically how we develop the will to go after them but also how you turn that political will into substantive operations to go after and neutralize these threats. >> mr. ambassador, thank you so much for your time and expertise this morning. do appreciate it. >> my pleasure. up next, the birth of isis and its growing rivalry with al qaeda. you'll see. 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. 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.
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we're getting slammed with orders. and my customers knowing right when their packages arrive. totally slammed! introducing real-time delivery notifications. one more reason this is our season. welcome back. here is a quick update on some of the breaking news we're following this morning. the fbi says it is taking seriously a rt roed isis threat
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against a wwe wrestling event at an arena in atlanta today. the hacker group anonymous says it uncovered information that isis was planning to attack the event as well as other locations in the u.s. but the fbi says it does not have any specific or credible information about of attack an this time. turning back overseas as the terror attack unfolded at the radisson blu hotel in mali on friday, experts quickly suspected it might be al qaeda acting in response following the isis-led attack in paris earlier last week. an al qaeda affiliate ultimately did claim tonight. while the two terrorist groups were once united they're believed to be in the midsted of a growing rivalry. according to "the new york times," the rivalry took a particularly vicious turn in this january. al qaeda's yes, ma'am be affiliate claimed tonight after a gunmanslaughtered the staff at
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"charlie hebdo." the most daring attack on west in years by a group that had begun to be seen in jihadist terms as a bit greying and cautious compared with the social media savvy islamic state. some european analysts believe that the islamic state operative who officials say orchestrated last week's killings saw the january attack as an urgent challenge to do something bigger. joining me now an expert on the complex relationship between al qaeda and isis, malcolm nance, executive director of the terror asymmetrics project. do you sense when we read that piece in the "times" yesterday about this rivalry, do you sense there isrifvalry between these two groups? >> of course. there's been a rivalry between these two groups going back to late 2013. there was a split between isis and al qaeda. first not ideologically.
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simply about a matter of strategy and tactics on what to do within syria and iraq. this led to a series of clashes between pro-isis groups and pro-al qaeda groups, al nusra front, led to the killing of a senior al qaeda commander in syria who was sent by osama bin laden himself back in 2011 before he was killed. then of course the split between isis and al qaeda in june 2014. isis doesn't believe that al qaeda, old men in the hindu cush mountains should have any command or control over their group so these two groups still operate independently of each other and they have the same objective. >> at the end of the day though do you sense there is some credibility to this? does al qaeda say to isis we're not dead yet? >> oh, absolutely. i think that if you just watch the way that the attacks are carried out, it's not so much that the operational planning of one group is designed around the
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success of another group. it's just that there is now a competition for the global jihadi movement which of course stemmed from al qaeda and al qaeda's operatives in somalia and the islam ic, they feel the are not getting the press or getting the resources and the money that actually comes with them, much less the manpower for jihadis who want to join them. it is incumbent upon them to carry out more and more sophisticated attacks that are more brazen an daring. and after "charlie hebdo," it is very possible that isis thought why are we not doing attacks of this magnitude? >> we are paying such close attention to this now. these attacks had gone on for years now, both in africa throughout iraq and syria. now it's drawing closer in to the west. as we look at it so closely, all of a sudden it really has our attention, it looks to be like an uncontainable virus.
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would that be an inaccurate description? >> i think of it as a containable virus. it is a virus. temperatures the ideology. the ideology itself is viral and it affects a population that's is susceptible to that. as we say in terrorism, the criminals, the crusaders and the crazies. however, this is not -- this is a continuum. we have been faced with this threat for almost 30 years. it's just that those of us in the intelligence profession, we've seen these waves come and go. 1990s, the year 2000, 9/11 being the high-water mark. it waned. then the invasion of iraq literally killed thousands of american soldiers trying to contain this. and now we are seeing the next generation, the next wave, generation five of al qaeda which is now isis, young, more virulent and mott willing to pay attention to their elders, they're greying men, as you put
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it. we are just now receiving that again in the west. >> how much of a difference does it make? i was looking at an ap piece that was written actually some time ago already. they are estimating that isis pulls in $50 million a month from its black market oil operations. if you have territory and you have a means of collecting capital, you have a viable business. they have a business model going there. >> they do. as a matter of fact, the black market of oil is everywhere in the middle east. i just returned back to the united states from seven years living in abu dhabi. i can't tell you how many number of times i was asked, you have experience in iraq, would you like to go to iraq and help facilitate the sale of this small oil tanker, or this number of trucks that are going to turkey? and all of it was black market. from one barrel to 500,000
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barrels, this market fuels the world. so long as -- at that time oil prices were extremely high, close to $100 a barrel. and there is a market for it. there are middlemen who are willing to buy oil from anywhere. >> and saddam hussein used that same market all those years ago. i remember being in iraq and seeing the convoys of trucks that were going from the country on a most magnificent highway in the country into black market areas where they could sell this stuff. >> that's right. highway 8. you're absolutely correct. and we are just making inroads into attacking that financial network. and for the most part, people say, well, why haven't we struck these trucks? we've been striking oil refineries but it is more important for the military to degrade the combat capacity of isis then get around to destroying their oil refineries and logistics chains for these trucks. we're doing that now, taking away each little building block that hold up this pseudo state,
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this proto state as one of your guests called it earlier. >> malcolm nance, terrific interview with you on reuters if you go to the website. it is somewhat lengthy but very, very informative. thank you very much for your time today. >> it is my pleasure. still to come this morning -- what the u.s. government wants from tech companies like apple and google in its effort to fight terrorism, and why those companies aren't so interested in helping. ♪
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leadersh leadership, we will dismantle their networks and supply lines and we will ultimately destroy them, even as we are in the process of doing that, we want to make sure that we don't lose our own values and our own principles. >> president obama will meet with french president francois hollande in washington on tuesday. meanwhile, france is stepping up pressure on isis sending its aircraft carrier "the charles dugaulle." brussels is on high alert as a paris style attack may be imminent there. olivia sterns brings us the story of the aftereffect of the attacks in paris, how nine days later the terror witnessed in that city continues to have an impact.
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good morning. >> reporter: good morning, harry. people here in paris are trying their best to get back to life as normal or perhaps wondering if this new heightened state of anxiety is now their new normal. i'm here of course in the place did he la republique. you can see it is sunday afternoon and hundreds have gathered behind me at the makeshift memorial. it became one after the "charlie hebdo" attacks in january. now at the bottom fresh flowers and votive candles for the victims of last friday's terror attacks. one thing we aren't seeing a lot of on the streets of paris anymore is tourists which is very surprise because paris is the most popular tourist destination in the world. i went around and found one american family who saw the attacks take place on television and they decided to come anyway. they're thrilled they're here. it's not a typical scene on streets of paris. soldiers with machine guns patrolling the plaza outside
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notre dame cathedral. >> it is incredibly quiet. it is eerily quiet. >> normally this time of day there are more people. >> even off-season like this, there would be people here at 10:00 in the morning. >> reporter: this is an american travel writer and tour guide who has called paris home for 20 years. he says he's been getting some panicked calls from the states. >> i specifically had someone ask me is it safe to come. that's a very difficult question to answer. >> reporter: john and suzanne collins decided it was. the california couple had been planning their first trip to paris for months when the terrorists struck. >> we hesitated for a moment about coming, then i thought the only thing worse than a terrorist event like that would be if people stopped going to to support parisians. i thought i'm not going to be one of those people. i'm going to go. >> but not everyone is feeling as brave. according to the president of france's restaurant hotel union,
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hotel okay paccupancy is down 6 70% this week and cancellations for christmas are already starting to come in. the hospitality industry predicting 35% to 40% less business in december. laura is a sales representative at one of the companies that operates tours down the river seine. she says the boats are empty. >> nobody is coming. all the groups are canceling. there is less tourists. nobody is coming back here. >> 80% of the groups have canceled. >> yeah. 80%. >> reporter: but the collinses say they're glad they didn't cancel their trip and can't wait to come back. >> we were just pat a museum yesterday seeing amazing art. it's just -- then you sit and have a cup of coffee and talk about that. it's just so much fun. >> harry, i also asked the collinses what they thought of this new familiar sight of
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heavily armed guards at sites like notre dame or just the sound simply of sirens in the air as we tend to hear every ten minutes now in paris. they say they find it a little bit frightening but also reassuring. if you indulge me, i would like to wish john collins a very happy birthday. >> olivia sterns, thank you very much. up next, what are we willing to give up to feel safe? 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. yeah, especially with this new offense we're running... i mean, our running back is a beast. 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.
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i'm not about to swim in the slow lane. stay strong. stay active with boost®. late this past week the french parliament voted to extend its nationwide state of emergency for three months. emergency law allows state authorities to conduct stops and searches, block websites, and disband associations or gatherings. this includes mosques. following this development, a classic debate emerges whether it is justifiable for states to limit civil liberties in the name of national security. also rekindling the surveillance debate this week was cia
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director john brennan who reportedly blamed, in part, leaks by former national security agency contractor edward snowden for enabling terrorists to evade detection. joining me now are constitutional law expert, a professor of law and political science at yale. and director of the carnegie mellon center for international relations and policy advisor to the rand paul campaign. good morning. can i give you a little new polling information just to get us warmed up? a new poll out from "the washington post" showing that fear here at home is up. 83% of would-en voters say they think a mass casualty attack is likely in the near future. when we see those kinds of numbers, when we see what sort of flowing through the bloodstream here after watching what's happened in france, and then in paris and the attacks even before that in beirut and in turkey.
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what's at stake as we go forward in this war on terror? >> well, i think what's at stake is political leadership in the west and in the united states in particular because those poll numbers will become a lot more dramatic if our leaders continue to use the crisis as an opportunity both in mali and in paris as an opportunity to score political points during a campaign. what americans need to hear is how do we balance privacy and security in a way that keeps us safe but at the same time honors our values of freedom and democracy. that's not happening now. >> in a time like this, how is that balance achieved? >> well, i got this thing here, it is called the constitution. i always like to flash it to the audience. we could start with the fourth amendment which talks about the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and
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seizures. and so it begins to at least give us a concept, a concept of reasonableness. it gives us a goal. security. and here are a couple of issues. one, as there are threats to security from bad guys, it might very well be the government is permitted to do things that might not -- it might not otherwise be allowed to do because net net government policies might make us overall secure in our persons, houses and personal effects. i remember when there weren't metal detectors in airplanes. then the '70s, then people started flying planes into building. so we accept all sorts of things about airports than we did before. the other thing about airports, attention between privacy on one hand and equality on the other. we don't at airport just single
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out folks that look like me. it would minimize the intrusions. but in the name of equality actually everyone goes through the metal detector. note also that those metal detectors don't involve warrants or probable cause or even -- >> so even without thinking about it we've given plenty in that direction. >> already. >> what's on your mind? >> thinking about airports, it is also important to be realistic about how much we can screen people. more than 800 million people pass through american airports every year. and in european airports it's close to 2 billion. it's unlikely that with all of these various attempts to keep us safe through tsa and others that we will be able to protect every single person who's going through those airports. i think being realistic about what the challenge is instead of using it for political purposes. that's what makes i think senator rand paul's presidential
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campaign so interesting, not to be plugging him here. but the fact that you have a republican who in the last couple of years has been making statements that are very similar to the aclu, concerned about civil liberties at the height of this growing war on terror i think is a way forward, is that we've got to build an alliance of americans who really are thinking a lot more carefully about what's before us now in an age when terrorism is in fact growing, not diminishing. don't go away. up next, big tech versus big government. how do companies like apple and google balance privacy and security. ridiculous number of miles... or there's a fee to use them. i know. it's so frustrating. they'd be a lot happier with the capital one venture card. and you would, too! why? it's so easy with venture. you earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, every day. just book any flight you want
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they even have an i.t. phone number, for cryin' outloud. it is the very practice of going dark that has so many worried. but tech leaders say allowing any kind of path around encryption leaves tech consumers susceptible to hacking. a statement was issued on thursday saying, "weakening encryption or creating back doors to encrypted devices and data for use by the good guys would actually create vulnerabilities to be exploited by the bad guys. weakening security with the aim of advancing security simply does not make sense." so they say. joining the panel now, russell brandon, a reporter for "verge," covering technology, security and politics. so is there a way to even put a crack in the back door that would be beneficial to the nsa for people who are looking for the bad guys?
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>> certainly the nsa thinks so. this is a conversation we've been having back and forth for 20 years. i think from the tech perspective, these systems either work or they don't. if there's another key to your house somewhere, there's a concern that that key falls into the wrong hands. >> so at the end of the day, what if this dream comes along and they're going to apple, they're going to google, they're going to these folks. chances are many people in the audience who have an encryption app on their phone right now. >> certainly. if you sent an e-mail or made a purchase online you were using encryption. it's not been exotic or a scary tool at all. it is fundamental to the internet at this point. >> so, will there be a point, just as we feel the foment of all this right now, will there be a point when folks stand together and the congress or the president of the united states gets these guys on the phone and says, you got to break it open? >> i wonder where you cross the line. i think part of the troubling thing with a lot of the rhetoric
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we've heard from director brennan, a lot of the rhetoric from people in congress is, it's not just about encryption. it is about the question of is there going to be a space on the internet where you can have a conversation with someone without a crypt of that conversation being available to the u.s. government. because when they talk about going dark, that's what they're saying. they're saying you're having a conversation, we can't tell what you're saying and that's a threat to national security. if you follow that logic leads to some really scary places, i think. >> right. so let's talk to our constitutional law expert. if if that might be in the offing somewhere, how does that fit in to your little red book? >> well, if you just think about two individuals, we might say, well, people have always been able to whisper to each other. of course now we might be talking about thousands or hundreds of people far-flung being able to coordinate quite elaborate and antisocial acts like terrorism, which couldn't have been done preinternet.
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so we have a new technology that makes possible much more damage from antisocial folks. just as guns were one thing when they were single-fire muskets that required a minute to reload, they became something very different when you have machine guns, something very different still when you have nuclear technology which can threaten a lot more individuals. >> kiron, should americans be worried or be thinking right now, looking at what's going on right now and what's transpired in france, basically the suspension of much of the constitution -- should the people in america say, well, listen. if it is going to save me, i'm better off. >> i don't think i would put it quite that way. i don't think americans have to be worried that somehow the government is going to grow so large that we have no privacy whatsoever, or that we're going to constrain it so much that it can't make us safe.
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i think those are false binary opposites. i have so much faith in the american public especially during an election period when we are looking so closely at what candidates are doing and saying that i think it will be difficult for the government to begin to take awith a i from our rights. if i could also state -- >> you can't. >> i won't say it then. >> you may -- we may see you in the next hour. thank you very much. thank you all. coming up at the top of the hour, the declaration made by president obama in an overnight news conference and the story of one survivor from the attack in mali. melissa harris-perry is back next week. msnbc's coverage of the terror attacks in paris continues right after this.
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use caution when driving or operating machinery. most common side effect is nausea. i can't believe i did it. i quit smoking. ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. oh no... (under his breath) hey man! hey peter. (unenthusiastic) oh... ha ha ha! joanne? is that you? it's me... you don't look a day over 70. am i right? jingle jingle. if you're peter pan, you stay young forever. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. ♪ you make me feel so young... it's what you do. ♪ you make me feel ♪ so spring has sprung. welcome back to msnbc's continuing coverage of the terror attacks in paris.
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i'm harry smith in new york. melissa harris-perry is back next week. for second straight day, the belgian capital of brussels is on the highest terror alert level amid precise warnings of a paris-style attack. residents are still being urged to avoid public spaces, like concerts, airports and shopping centers. meanwhile, france is stepping up its pressure on isis sending its aircraft carrier to the mediterranean where it is expected to be ready to launch attacks by tomorrow. . president obama will meet with the french president on tuesday before wrapping up his asia tour in malaysia this morning. the president once again reiterated the u.s. and its allies would defeat isis. >> we will not accept the idea that terrorist assaults on restaurants and theaters and hotels are the new normal or that we are powerless to stop them. after all, that's precisely what terrorists like isil want.
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because ultimately that's the only way that they can win, it is the nature of terrorism. they can't beat us on the battlefield so they try to terrorize us into being afraid. they're a bunch of killers with good social media. but the overwhelming majority of people who go about their business every day, the americans who are building things and making things and teaching and saving lives as firefighters and as police officers, they're stronger. >> joining us now with more on the president's comments this morning, nbc news's white house correspondent kristin welker. kristin, early, early in the morning the president spoke our time. what stood out to you? >> reporter: well, a number of things. president obama defended his strategy for fighting isis, harry. he also warned that some of the heated rhetoric that is resulting from the paris attacks particularly that's coming from the gop candidates is playing
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right into the terrorists' hands. he says it is essentially creating the type of fear mongering that terrorists are trying to provoke. this all comes as a recent abc news/"washington post" poll found that 57% of americans disapprove of the president's strategy for combating isis. only 35% approve. some of them saying that he has underestimated the threat of the terrorist group. meanwhile, the white house has pushed back against that type of criticism, noting isis has lost 2 20% to 25% of its territory. here's a little bit more of what president obama said during that news conference. >> the most powerful tool we have to fight isil is to say that we're not afraid, to not elevate, to somehow buy in to their fantasy that they're doing something important. >> reporter: now, harry, as we
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speak, president obama is traveling back to d.c. when he arrives, there is no doubt the national security will be at the top of the agenda here at the white house. as you mentioned, he will be meeting with the french president francois hollande here on tuesday. senior administration officials say that will be a chance for the two leaders to re-affirm their commitment to one another, to fighting isis, and also to the u.s. helping in the investigation into the paris attacks. >> kristin welker at the white house this morning, thank you so much. now to friday's hotel attack in mali that killed 20 people. want to go now to nbc news correspondent keir simmons who is in mali. you've been talking to people there in mali, everyone from the president of the country to survivors. let's hear what's out there this morning. keir, thank you. >> reporter: that's right, harry. good morning. in fact, in the last hour or so we've had the first chance to go inside the hotel behind me and see for ourselves what happened. the first thing that strikes you when you go in there is the
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stench, the smell of smoke. because these attackers, they broke in to the breakfast room and set light to things in there, it appears, trying to set light to the entire hotel. when you see it now, the windows are smashed, they are blackened. the bodies have been removed. 22 people died, including two attackers. but one man who survived has been talking to us, a man from florida who, amazingly, tried to get away when he saw four or five gunmen running up to street toward the hotel. he fell over. still got himself into the breakfast room. then says that the attackers were very close by. terry kemp takes up the story. >> didn't see anybody in there. crawled back underneath a table. at that time i heard three terrorists come in. they started shooting the room. they were standing right next to me. they never seen me. the shell casings were hitting me under the table.
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then they piled up stuff in the corner, set it on fire. >> reporter: he says that when he gets back to florida he's going to hug his family which is, as you can imagine, exactly what anyone would do with relief having come that close to death. we went into that hotel, by the way, with mali's president. he looked around, was just in shock at what he saw. they are used to jihadi attacks here but an attack on a hotel like this with so many westerners is not something they are always used to. this is what mali's president had to say to me after he had seen what had happened inside. >> what is your message to the world after paris and now this? >> today is a new day. everywhere you may be, you have to notice something. we have a common destiny.
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the challenges we facing now is a global challenge, a holistic one. so its nation must feel concerned, deeply concerned, what happened to mali. >> reporter: one of the frightening aspects of this, harry, is that the attack here has been claimed by a local affiliate of al qaeda. we talked about yesterday that just raising the specter of isis and al qaeda competing to carry out the worst possible massacre. one other point, harry. the american who was killed in there, there are tributes pouring in to her, including from hillary clinton. she worked for usaid and she is described as somebody who just dedicated herself to west africa and to the poor. a terrible, terrible loss for people here and for her family, harry. >> keir simmons in mali this morning live, thank you very much. now to for the latest on the hunt for one of the terror
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suspects still at large. a brother of one of the suspects has been speaking out. msnbc's thomas roberts has more with that. thomas? good afternoon. >> reporter: harry, good afternoon from paris where it is just after 5:00. yes, we are hearing once again from mohammed abdelslam, the brother of both salah and ibrihim. salah is the last suspected attacker. he hasn't been seen since friday. the brother, ibrihim, actually detonated his suicide vest outside of a parisian cafe but the brother is speaking out once again today to a belgium broadcaster, rtbf, saying he doents feel th doesn't feel his brothers were radicalized. he did say, yes, they'd changed in recent weeks, that they had given up alcohol, that they had devoted themselves, he thought, it was more devoted to the faith, didn't see it in a radical way. but he also talked today and addressed his brother and why ow
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who are you got away. he thinks that he might have had a change of his mind. >> salah is very intelligent. i are think that at the last minute he decided to turn back. perhaps he saw something or heard something that was not what he was expecting and decided not to complete what he was planning to do. remember also that we are not aware of the details of the investigations and we do not know if salah has killed people. we do not know if salah was at the places where the attacks took place." >> reporter: harry, a lot of people could speculate about whether or not the characterization of the brother there about salah being intelligent and changing his mind meant that he felt that he was being detected by authorities and made a different choice or if he had a change of heart and didn't have the courage to go through with that plan. but one thing i want to point out is that this brother, mohammed, was questioned by
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authorities, questioned an released. he is not believed to be involved with this and the last time he said he spoke to his brothers was about two to three days before the attacks that happened here on friday the 13th. harry, back to you. >> thomas roberts in paris this afternoon, thank you very much. still to come this morning -- the surprising response from some in dearborn, michigan's muslim community about the debate over syrian refugees. but up next, a look at president obama's strategic response to isis. so what about that stock? sure thing, right? actually, knowing the kind of risk that you're comfortable with, i'd steer clear. really? really. straight talk. now based on your strategy i do have some other thoughts... multiplied by 13,000 financial advisors it's a big deal. and it's how edward jones makes sense of investing.
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i love working in the salinas area becauseriselda zendejas. i always wanted to do something where i could help people around me. so being a construction supervisor for pg&e gives me the opportunity to give a little bit back to my community. i have three boys. they're what keep me going every day. our friends, families live in the area. and it is important for all of us that we keep our community safe. together, we're building a better california. headed to this region, there was a headline in one of our publications back home that asked, obama's asian distraction?
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the premise seemed to be that this region was somehow disconnected from pressing global events. i could not disagree more. this region's not a distraction from the world's central challenges, like terrorism. the asia-pacific is absolutely critical to promoting security, prosperity and human dignity around the world. >> that was president obama speaking earlier this morning from malaysian where he responded directly to critics of his choice to remain abroad as terror attacks have heightened security concerns here in the united states. the president returns today to the u.s. where he faces scrutiny of his approach to the terror threat from critics calling for a more aggressive response in his rhetoric and u.s. military policy. in a new nbc news/survey monkey m online poll, 65% of americans support a more significant military strategy that would send additional ground troops to fight isis in iraq and syria,
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56% disagrief. joining me now, a professor history and public affairs at princeton university. contributor to the nation. and director of carnegie mellon university's center for international relations. did the president leave a void by continuing on his trip because so much noise has been made since a week ago friday? >> i don't think he did. i mean i think first of all if he came back, it would only create the impression that he was acting in a state of crisis which doesn't always look good for the president. and what happened in washington, what happened whether he was there or whether he was overseas, i don't think that has a big effect on what donald trump says or what the house republicans do. finally, asia is important. so this is not disconnected from the problems we're dealing with. >> ali, what's your sense? >> i mean, you know, honest live
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i think it is a little bit ridiculous. he went to the g-20 summit right afterwards in turkey. that's like right in the heart of these issues that we are dealing with. the discussions there were focused very much on the issues of the paris attack and the response to isis. >> he runs into vladimir putin. >> yeah. you know, that's important. it is an important person to be talking to at this moment. so i just think that it's -- and as julian said, the chatter in washington's going to happen irrespective and there is going to be headlines and criticisms whether he's here or not. so i think there is an imperative to kind of go on with business. >> but he's in a vacuum, though? >> he's giving tons of press conferences. he's making remarks all the time. i don't think any less so than in other moments of crisis. what is it? three press conferences in the past week? i feel like that's about standard issue for a time of crisis like this, whether he's at home or away. >> i think he did the right thing to continue on his planned
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journey. asia is important, as julian just said. china is the lead trading partner of most of the asian economies. the united states has to get a greater stake in the political economy game in asia but also the south china sea and the creation of these islands by the chinese. it's a security concern. and so -- >> but they're already talking about there wasn't enough tough language to say china, back off, china, back off. >> well, this is where i think when you talk about a void and the noise filling that void, the president needs to appear less reactive and get ahead of the curve with a grand strategy that americans understand, and that's what's been missing. even while he's abroad he's been lecturing the media and many of his opponents. i don't think that this is the time to take them on but instead articulate what he is going to do to increase our fight against isis, more effective air strikes. we need to understand what his strategy is. and many americans on both sides
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of the aisle don't feel comfortable that they know his strategy. >> answering the question we asked a second ago, think about, these attacks have now been ongoing in syria and iraq for years now and now it seems to creep into europe through turkey, into paris. suddenly it feels like for americans it is on our doorstep. america's sitting there saying, hey, we're my fireside chat to say we have this under control? >> i think that's a valid point. i mean i think he can say we shouldn't be scared and he should say fear gives isis exactly what they want, but fear exists. and so you don't just get away with it. i think if there was a mistake it was focusing on the republicans in those comments rather than offering either a grand strategy or some sense beyond saying we're going to stay the course in terms of what the course is. presidents have to communicate to the public.
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part of leadership is to create calm and create assurance. i do think there's room for obama, even though that's not his style. i mean his style is not to do that. it is to be steady, to stay the course. but this might be a time without bombast to explain what we're going to do, at least the outlines. >> if isis is in fact creating a different strategy by moving these targets away from syria in iraq, does that then demand a different strategy in terms of response to it? >> absolutely. i mean i think there's no doubt about it. i don't want to be a pessimist but i'm less convinced that as obama said that this is something that we -- i don't think it is the new normal either, but i think it is a possibility that we should be ready for it here. there was that great "times" article this week that we're unable to stop mass shootings like school shootings and it's hard to see how a lone wolf gunman is much of a different scenario. all you can do is hope to catch these people somewhere in the
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radicalization process and keep an eye on them. >> it is a miracle to me -- honestly i travel every single week of the year and i go by soft targets continually and that this hasn't happened yet to me is in some ways almost miraculous. >> i mean i think there is a difference in the way muslim communities exist in europe versus the way they exist as part of the fabric of our society here. that's really the only thing i can think of. but i have the same reaction. i'm surprised it hasn't happened here yet. it sounds horrible to say. >> it has been a threat since 9/11 so there is a good side to it, that there have been successful efforts to contain this. we shouldn't wipe that away. boy, it's just miraculous or good thing it hasn't happened. there have been efforts to combat that. >> folks from minneapolis, there are lots off examples over the
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years that the ill finfiltratio surveillance has paid off in stopping this stuff. >> yes. but on the other hand we can't have an environment now where we go to radical measures in the process of fear than undercuts civil liberties or generates the kind of rhetoric which is dangerous. >> you know what? we have to take a break. >> it happens. >> you're right on the edge of saying important stuff and we hope to hear that from you in just a second. up next, we want to show you a new nbc news report out of dearborn, michigan, about the syrian refugee debate.  can a business have a mind? a subconscious. a knack for predicting the future.
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but momentum pushes you forward. and it's why we're with you. 80 thousand people now... on the ground. in the air. engines on. because there is no stop in us. or you. only go. this week nbc news went to dearborn, michigan, a city just west of the detroit where a thriving enclave of mostly muslim-arab immigrants has lived since the last century. michigan's governor rick snyder was among the first of more than two dozen governors who wanted to close their states to
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resettlement by syrian refugees. in some dearborn areas, some supported his decision saying they feel increased scrutiny of their religious identity here at home since the attacks overseas. >> for us as syrians here, as part of the muslim community, i have to say, isis is our worst nightmare. isis is not only killing our people and hundreds and thousands of them, it is killing, torturing, but also hijacking our image. >> we could not afford being looked at like, okay, well, you are one of them, you know. we cannot afford that. >> joining me now, a lecturer and researcher of american history and religion. good morning. >> good morning. >> let's go back all the way to last friday. as these events unfold, as you can feel the difference in just on the street in america, in its
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focus, in its sense, in what it cares about, in what it looks at, have you felt it personally? >> what's interesting is depending what street you're on. right? i live in brooklyn in an african-american community which has a very different relationship to islam that stretches all the way back to the founding of this country. so there is a different respect, a different acknowledgement of what muslims have contributed to the united states. that said, i understand the fear that's being expressed around the country. i'm scared, too. and this is the thing. one of the muslims have been the most victimized by daesh and isil or isis and al qaeda, and the rhetoric that seems to erase the victims, the muslim victims of this -- of these groups, does a disservice to us. it also erases -- we frame the
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discussion in terms of muslim terrorism or islamically influenced terrorism. we ignore the roles of muslims in countering these acts. one of the things that struck me about the bombing was the bomber who was trying to enter into the stadium was halted by a security guard whose name was zaheer. i don't know if he's muslim, but i know that name and that's an arabic name. thankfully on ground and in most muslim communities around the united states you see a diversity of what muslims are contributing to american life. >> you said yourself though, you're scared. right? in terms of especially the rhetoric here in the united states, some of the political rhetoric, the idea about at least that was floated temporarily about registering all muslims. >> right. >> when you hear that as an american, what do you think? >> right.
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well, this is a double fear, right? i'm scared of terrorism,i inbutm also afraid of the road we seem to be willing at least look down or walk down. you read the newspaper articles in the 1940s are that were written about japanese after the bombing of pearl harbor. some of the language is so similar. you have "l.a. times" correspondents writing, a viper is a viper regardless of where the eggs hatch. right? i mean this is the dehumanizing rhetoric that was used to refer to the japanese that normal itzed certain attitudes so that when they were interned in these camps, most people just thought it was okay. similarly the rhetoric around jews, that fueled the refusal of the united states to accept jewish refugees. and so you have -- so instead of hysteria, we need history. history tells us that we should
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be cautious when we entertain these kinds of -- this kind of rhetoric, that normalizes certain kinds of attitudes and certainly there have been threats on muslims. there have been threats on muslim mosques. there have been muslims taken off of planes. i'm getting ready to travel, so are many muslims are traveling for -- to see their families, taking advantage of the thanksgiving holiday. so this is something that we're concerned about. >> you live with it every day. >> yeah. i don't want to be a victim of a terrorist attack but i also don't want to be wrongfully profiled as a terrorist. right? so there is this problem with the rhetoric. >> is there a vacuum though from -- we were talking about the vacuum before. this is a different one perhaps. is there a vacuum with among the muslim community of a voice to say, we have just as much at stake in this as you do? >> i don't know if there is a
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vacuum of -- in the muslim. community. i think there is a vacuum in the media to not focus or not amplify the many and many voices that we have. of the political -- people exploiting this for their own political advantage to ignore the muslim constituencies in the united states. and certainly muslims have, as i said, muslims have been as enslaved people, helped build this nation before it was a nation. in the 20th century, whether they were immigrants who settled in various communities like dearborn and established themselves with businesses and professionals and certainly the same in the african-american muslim community that provided all kinds of services to our communities. this was in spite of the kind of anti-muslim sentiment and repression. so imagine without that repression, without that anti-muslim sentiment what more we could contribute to the united states. >> zaheer, thank you for coming
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by today. coming up next, video in just this morning showing how new york city is making preparations to respond to simultaneous terror incidents like the ones seen in paris. msnbc's coverage continues right after this. when heartburn hits fight back fast tums smoothies starts dissolving the instant it touches your tongue and neutralizes stomach acid at the source tum, tum, tum, tum smoothies! only from tums
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as a health services and innovation company optum powers modern healthcare by connecting every part of it. so while the world keeps searching for healthier we're here to make healthier happen. a welcome back. i'm harry smith here in new york. melissa harris-perry will be back next week. president obama wrapped up his asia tour today in malaysia with some of his strongest words yet against isis. he says the united states and its allies will defeat the terror network that he called killers with good social media skills. and he urged americans not to give in to fear. he will discuss the fight against isis with fremplg president francois hollande in washington on tuesday. meanwhile, france is stepping up the pressure on isis sending its aircraft carrier "the charles de
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gaulle" to the mediterranean where it is expected to be ready to launch attacks by tomorrow. here at home earlier this morning the new york police department conducted an active shooter drill to test security measures in the city's subway system. following the drill, new york mayor bill de blasio spoke about the city's preparedness to respond to terror. >> this is a city that since 9/11 has had an extraordinary anti-terror capacity of our own within the nypd. offices all around the world have helped the nypd to have the information they need in real time but under commissioner bratton we have expanded that capacity greatly including the actions we have taken this year so we will have a 500-plus person critical response command able to respond literally within minutes to any incident and in fact to many incidents simultaneously if god forbid that was the situation. >> reporter: msnbc's dadam rees
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was there for the details. >> reporter: it was an active shooter drill. a series of scenarios in the subway right below where we are now. the first scenario, two shooters opened fire on the subway platform. multiple casualties. two transit officers respond. they neutralize them. in the second scenario, again two shooters, but this time one of the them has a suicide belt. the transit officers neutralize them as well. a series of incidents underground so they can learn from it. multiple agencies were here today. the fbi, office of emergency management, secret service, even homeland security. they hope to learn lessons from these drills so that he can use them in the future. here's homeland security jeh johns johnson. >> we know of no specific credible threat of a paris-like attack directed at the u.s. homeland. we are and we continue to be and we have been concerned about copycat like attacks as director
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comey said on thursday. we're concerned about the type of attack we've seen by a so-called lone wolf. this type of exercise is something to address that. >> reporter: now part of this operation was run by the counterterrorism squad. 500 new officers, heavily armed with m-4 semi-automatic weapons. they have new vehicles. they have heavy armor and they'll also have new phones so they can communicate with each other. commissioner bratton says they're sending a team to paris once things settle down there so they can learn lessons from what happened in paris. they want to know more about the suicide vests. they want to know about the encrypted apps they believe the terrorists used to communicate with each other so they could avoid the authorities. they want to make sure that what happened in paris doesn't happen here in new york. >> adam, thank you very, very much. still to come this morning, actor george takei talking about
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invest with confidence. in the wake of the terror attacks in paris, the 2016 presidential candidates increasingly are fielding questions about national security. after a town hall event in iowa on thursday night, gop front-runner donald trump was asked if he would want an implemented database tracking muslims in the united states. he responded, "i would certainly implement that. absolutely." while mr. trump has since backtracked, his initial response sparked outrage from religious groups and rebuke from many of his presidential rivals. here is texas senator and fellow republican candidate ted cruz on friday. >> well, listen. i'm a big fan of donald trump's but i'm not a fan of government registries of american citizens. the first amendment protects religious liberty and i've spent
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the past several decades defending the religious freedom of everybody. >> in a recent poll, cruz has climbed to 18% putting him in second place tied with ben carson whose support at least for this survey is beginning to wane a bit. back with me now, a professor of history. and public affairs at prince son. ali gharib, contributor to "the nation" magazine, and kiron skinner, an advisor for rand paul. speaking of who's played this best in terms of if you're a republican candidate and you're looking to take advantage of what has transpired in the last week, who seems to have played this best? kiron, first with you. >> i hope that no one is using this as an opportunity to play it best but to really krb lly ce to our understanding of the challenges that we face.
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i think everyone is stumbling with this -- the paris and mali attacks because it is difficult to find a common language about the global conflict we're in. this is where i think the president could have made some ground this week and maybe even pushed the republicans into a different type of conversation. we know that we're not at war with a billion muslims. but we are in a global war on terror that is largely led by muslims, that's largely funded and yideologically supported by the saudis. i think if we had talked to the american public about the fact that we really are in a long war, that would have -- >> now you're saying there was a vacuum from the vacuum conversation before. ted cruz especially i thought was so deft when he said we don't want to register anybody, back to your civil libertarian roots, to say that's not how
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republicans do this. is he actually the one who's saying i've figured out, we want not such great strong rhetoric but we want to have -- maybe humor for the republican orthodoxy on this. >> ted cruz was right on the database thing which was totally outrageous. i'm done predicting the republican field. it is such a crapshoot. >> everything we've learned up until now were wrong. >> remember all the predictions about trump lasting two weeks? i think there's some real demagoguery on the right and ted cruz has been part of that, too. he was saying just last week that obama wants to let in tens of thousands of syrian muslims. we have to stop it and only help the christians. that's playing into the exact same thing. it is this holy war idea that we're not going to help these syrian refugees, not because he has any information that any of
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them are terrorists or that the vetting process isn't appropriate, but because they're muslims. that's part of it, too. >> i think correcting donald trump can't even be seen as reasonable as this point. he has used the most inflammatory rhetoric in the past week. that's dangerous. that's not the environment in which to handle. i think where we need to hear from republicans in terms of policy, just as we have to hear from the administration, is how do you handle this kind of three-way battle in syria with isis, assad and allies -- insurgents supported by the west, how do you deal with be counterintelligence, not in terms of a. national registry but debates we had been having about the nsa. and i do think republicans are going to have to offer where they stand on this and not simply criticize the administration. that is a debate we can have in a healthy way in an election season. that would be fine. but some of this rhetoric i think --
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>> that's not what's happening. >> but i do think the republicans stumbled this week, many of them on saying we can't let certain refugees in but we should be allowed to let others in. but part of what they're trying to get to and i think this is important is that you've got an fbi director on the law enforcement side in the intelligence community saying we really can't vet people at a fool-proof level that would allow americans to feel safe about having thousands of refugees come into the country. we've got to listen to what the government leaders say. they were using those statements to say we've got to slow down about the refugee admissions processes into the united states. that's important and i take seriously what the fbi director says when he says we cannot do this work and then the governors piled on and said we didn't do it in our states either. this is a fundamental issue that should not be partisan or politicized. how do we in detail manage lots
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of new people -- >> at the end of the day it is all about the horse race, it is all about who's right, who's wrong on this and when terrorism is on your doorstep, you failed. that's -- that's a very easy political position to -- >> there's just no perfect security. that's the problem with this perspective, it is the problem with the bill that passed the house about refugee vetting, is that it demands that there be perfect security and that just doesn't exist. i mean it is not good politics for somebody to come out and say that but it is just the truth. >> you can rebound politically. president bush won big re-election in 2004 after 9/11. it is possible to offer something that the country is satisfied with. >> that went really well for us though. >> julian, thank you very much. ali, kiron, thank you. those seats sometimes cost a ridiculous number of miles,
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earlier this week a virginia mayor cited japanese internment in his reasoning for blocking syrian refugees. i am reminded that president franklin roosevelt felt compelled to sequester japanese after the bombing of pearl harbor. actor george takei who was in r interred himself for four years respond he said there was no threat. we loved america. we were decent, honest, hard-working folks. tens of thousands of lives were ruined forever. a new broadway musical, "allegiance" starring takei is inspired by his family's experiences behind the barbed wire. that mayor apologized for his remarks on friday. joining me now is actor and activist george takei. good to see you again. >> good to be with you. tell me about the genesis for this play, for this musical. >> well, as you said, i spent
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four years of my childhood in three internment camps. one was the horse stalls of santa anita racetrack. and then from there, we were sent to the swamps of southeastern arkansas. a camp called roar. and there the loyalty questionnaire came down, a year after imprisonment, and my parents said they took our business, they took our home. they took our freedom. the one thing we're not going to give them is our dignity. we are not going to grovel before this government. and they answered no on that loyalty questionnaire. and for that, we were sent to a hard -- much more severe camp in northern california. >> walk this back a little bit. what happened was people's businesses were taken away, their property was confiscated. >> bank accounts were frozen. we were -- everything was taken from us. >> and so then the government comes to you and asks you what?
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asked your parents what? what's the loyalty oath? >> that came after we were in prison. it was a year into imprisonment, and then they came down with the loyalty questionnaire. the most controversial question was question 28 which was one sentence with two conflicting ideas. it asked, will you swear your loyalty to the united states of america, and for swear your loyalty to the emperor of japan. this being asked of american citizens born and raised here. my mother's born in sacramento. my father was born in japan. >> it's a presumption. >> it's an arrogant presumption that all of us had some kind of loyalty simply because of our faces to the emperor. so if we answered no, i don't have loyalty to the emperor to foreswear, then we were saying no to the first part of the very same sentence. if we answered yes, meaning we
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do swear our loyalty to the united states, then you are confessing that we had been loyalty to the emperor -- >> in the past. >> now we're willing to sit that aside and repledge our loyalty to the united states. >> as you perform this musical and people see this come to life in a way perhaps they've not seen it before, how do people respond? >> they are moved. some are surprised. they can't believe that such a thing happened in the united states. and most everyone feel enlightened by it. in the 1980s, congress created a commission to examine the reason why something so unconstitutional happened. and they found it was three things. one, racial prejudice, two, war hysteria and three, lack of political leadership. and the same situation applies to our time today.
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there is hysteria. there is racial prejudice. and irresponsible and irrational fear on the part of political leadership. whether it's members of congress or mayors of cities. >> you say these things as a person who lived behind the barbed wire. was a child, watched what happened to your parents and your parents' friends and family members, right? >> yes. >> people will hear you say those things and say, it's not now. >> it is very much now. it is very much now. and our musical "allegiance" is very relevant to our times. when someone like mayor bauers can make that kind of -- first of all, ignorant statement saying it was sequester of japanese nationals.
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we're japanese americans. american citizens. and it wasn't being sequestered. we were imprisoned in barb wire prison camps, century towers, machine guns pointed at us. no question it was a prison camp. and political leadership in congress as well to be stampeded like this with a broad brush, characterized all arab americans as terrorists. all muslims as terrorists. we have a very intense vetting process, and that has got to be understood, and political leadership has to be responsible leadership and enlightened leadership. >> george takei, thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. >> good to be talking with you. >> do appreciate it. the broadway show is "allegiance" and it's showing right now here in new york city. this is going to do it for me poo
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i'm harry smith. melissa harris-perry is back next week. msnbc's coverage of the terrorist attacks continue with alex witt. but despite the great progress that we have achieved, there are still too many veterans who still need a place to live. this project is a comprehensive rehabilitation of the center's facility here in downtown boston to create permanent supportive housing, transitional housing and service spaces, a facility that really delivers on society's commitment to people who have served in the military. citi® was the financial partner because they were able to come with the resources, both the capital resources and also the human resources, the experts in their fields, and without citi's partnership we probably would not be in construction right now. the goal for us in this project is to be more effective in the services that we provide so that veterans who have committed to put their lives at risk to protect this country have a home in this country.
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hello, everyone. exactly high noon in the east. 9:00 a.m. out west. welcome to "weekends with alex witt." the very latest on the aftermath of the paris terror attacks. the brother of terror suspect salah abdeslam spoke with belgian tv and asked his brother to surrender. our colleague thomas roberts will have more on this interview live from paris in a few minutes. the belgian capital brussels remains at that highest alert level. residents and tourists heeded government alerts to be cautious. new york city police just conducted what they call an active shooter drill. counterterrorism units t

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