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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Paris under Terrorist Attack; Increasing of ISIS Activity; Military Style of ISIS Terrorist Attacks. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired November 13, 2015 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST, OUTFRONT: We'll have the phone numbers on the screen. Please reach out and make a call to the numbers if you are there in Paris.
Our live coverage of the terror attacks continues right now with Anderson Cooper.
[20:00:16] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Erin, thanks very much. Good evening, everybody.
We are covering the wave of terror that has broken out over Paris tonight. Just moments ago, the city's deputy mayor put the death toll at 118 but that very easily could rise. You're looking at the scene of a recent concert hall (INAUDIBLE) by the time security forces ended the siege there late tonight. Gun men had carried out with one witness described a slow-motion massacre.
Ten to 15 minutes of gunfire according to this witness. The killers apparently not saying anything, just shooting, reloading and shooting again according to this witness. Shooting and reloading, the word he used was blood bath. It was one in a string of shootings, terror attacks, bombings at two restaurants that we know of in the city's major soccer stadium, though the deputy mayor said there were attacks at six to seven locations.
The full details we simply do not know at this moment. Paris tonight is under curfew, all of France under a state of national emergency, travel restricted, borders closed. Tens of thousands of police security forces and troops now either on alert or out on the streets. This is happening less than a year after the "Charlie Hebdo" massacre, just days of the downing of the Russian airliner, just hours since bombings in Beirut.
We have correspondents and experts around Paris and across the globe to help over the next two hours tonight s as information comes in as it no doubt will this next two hours.
I want to start with CNN's Pierre Buet on the phone tonight from Paris.
Pierre, what's the latest you can tell us?
PIERRE BUET, CNN PRODUCER (on the phone): There is not much definite information I can give you at this time. All I can say is what I saw in front of (INAUDIBLE) about an hour ago while the police raided the place. And all I can say is that a good number of hostages have been evacuated safely out of the premises and the place is still cordoned off right now. (INAUDIBLE) but I'm in safety now thankfully.
COOPER: Do you have any idea about know how long the standoff or how long the incidents lasted at the Bataclan Theater?
BUET: Yes, I was in front of the Bataclan for about two hours and 15 minutes. What I can say is police raided for about an hour and a half before they decided to go in. Then there was a series of loud bursts, automatic rifle bursts and then a few detonations, which I can only assume were either grenades from the police or from other individuals but I can see this was the police trying to get into a building. I saw about 100 to 150 hostages walk out safely out of the premises. Twenty or so hostages were trapped in the first floor of the building. And thankfully, were evacuated by the police through a system of ladders. About six meters from the ground. One hostage suffered from a gunshot wound and had to be evacuated thanks to a rope, but I believe this person is now with the emergency response unit and out of harm's way.
COOPER: Pierre, do you have any sense of how many fatalities there were inside the theater?
BUET: I cannot tell so far. Numbers vary. I heard a number of 100 people dead inside the theater which seems horrible number. Judging from the screams, the horrible screams that I could hear from people evacuated outside, I can only say that there were a good number of casualties because this was a very frightening situation.
You have to imagine this turned into pretty much a war zone right now. There is police everywhere, armed police everywhere. Emergency response units everywhere. Right now, as I'm speaking, there is about 50 ambulances, vans, ambulance vans, maybe 200 or 300 police in the area. This has been turned into a war zone.
COOPER: Pierre, obviously, these are very early reports and a lot of information we don't know, do you have any sense of how many attackers there were at the theater?
BUET: Sorry, can you repeat that? I'm sorry. Please, please. Sorry, can you repeat that?
COOPER: Do you know how many attackers there were inside the theater?
[20:05:00] BUET: I cannot confirm the number of attackers. All I know is it's a great deal of firepower to get in. There was seven detonations, loud detonations, explosives and then just before that, a few rounds of automatic rifle power. Magic rifle fired just before that. So that's a lot of police trying to get into the building. I don't know how many attackers were in the building but it took a lot of police to bring them down.
COOPER: And Pierre, I just want to inform our viewers that you can see on the banner on the screen, we have just learned the death toll now stands, it has now been raised to at least 149. That's 149 dead and again, these are -- this is still very early hours. There's a lot of information we don't have. We'll be watching that number very closely.
Pierre, do you have a sense of how long once authorities decided to move into the theater, could you tell how long that operation actually went on for?
BUET: I would say up to 30 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes is how long it took from the time that police were in a standoff in front of the building until the time they rushed the inside of the building, I would say 30 to 45 minutes.
COOPER: And as Pierre was reporting, he said he saw as many as 100 people being brought outside. If that is, in fact, true, that's certainly showing that the death toll could have been much higher inside this theater but again, we don't have an accurate sense how many were killed inside. There are conflicting reports on that.
Pierre Buet, we will continue to check in with you throughout the night as you continue to report here.
Jim Bittermann is also on the line. He joins us now.
Jim, you've worked in Paris for many years. What are you hearing from security sources? What are you seeing?
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on the phone): Well, I will tell you, I've never seen a scene like this, Anderson. I just walked past at least 50 ambulances that are parked just about 100 to 150 yards or so from the Bataclan, from the nightclub where this took place. The death toll is clearly what we have been saying, I've never ever seen anything like this. The neighborhood around here is completely sealed off.
One of the other things I just seen a couple minutes ago is that they brought in ten city buses that were empty and headed towards the scene. And I think that's probably to take out any of the survivors that were evacuated. There were a number of people evacuated from the nightclub by the security forces. Now, the ambulances are starting to move. It's just a long line probably quarter of a mile long of ambulances that are moving into the scene and I suspect that the death count is going to be horrendous - Anderson.
COOPER: You talked about those buses which are potentially for those who were rescued. Obviously, authorities have to be very careful to make sure to search those who are leaving the theater, search anybody who is leaving the theater to try to prevent anybody who may be a potentially involved in this attack from trying to sneak away. That's one concern of law enforcement from a situation like this.
Jim, can you explain just the location of the Bataclan theater, where it is in relation to and we can put up a map, what part of Paris this is in and in relation to how far away from some of the other attacks that we know of.
BITTERMANN: Well, it is not that far away from Charlie Hebdo. It not that far from that but (INAUDIBLE) occurred. But it is a very popular area, and area that is full of night clubs and restaurants and what not. And I would say around here on a Friday night, things would have been packed. There are certainly a lot of people inside the Bataclan tonight for the concert. But just in general around the neighborhood there's a lot of -- it's a very popular neighborhood for young people to hang out in.
And I think that, you know, it's also kind of a difficult neighborhood for the police and security forces to operate in because it's a lot of close quarters in here. So I suspect that they had some difficulty just getting units in here once action started.
Now one of the things that has been reported by (INAUDIBLE), which is, of course, a very respected newspaper here, Anderson, there were seven, a total of seven coordinated attacks including the one of the football stadium and elsewhere. So it is clearly a major operation that has been planned for some time.
One thing I should say, too, Anderson, is that I think there must have been some kind of an intelligence warning here of some sort because in the last week or ten days here around American and other ex-patriot locations there is stepped up security, just subtle, not major, but you know, more army, more police at the various sites around Paris where Americans are located, where other people are located, Anderson.
[20:10:35] COOPER: Jim, there had been reports earlier from BFM TV that there were gunmen or potential terrorists still on the loose. Are you able to confirm that? Have you heard that? Do you know?
BITTERMANN: I can't confirm it but I can tell you that that's certainly what the police would be on the lookout for. And that's one of the things the president hinted at when he said that he was closing the borders and securing various neighborhoods. They are sealing off neighborhoods here in a way I've never seen before basically with cops and with army of soldiers with assault rifles who are aggressively stopping motorists in a way that it is impressive.
I mean, I just saw one witness where a gentleman came up to one, probably didn't know what it was and the young soldier just pointed his assault rifle right at him and said turn around and the guy was quick to do so. But you know, they are not taking any chances. There could be other people out there. There could be other attacks planned and they just don't know this for sure. So I think that's one of the things that they are looking at.
COOPER: I should tell you I talked to a woman who survived the attack at a restaurant who she believes, though, she didn't see who the attackers were, she believes they were others in a vehicle or in the street shooting into the restaurant then paused to reload, shot again and then left. So if her report is accurate, they were initially not chased off, there were no police on the scene when she actually was able to evacuate the restaurant, just ambulances on the way. So it seems like from at least her account whoever shot into that restaurant whether one or more people and she believes more than one, though again, that's only one eyewitness, those, whoever did that would seem to have gotten away and obviously, that would be people police are eager to find and looking for right now.
Jim, we will check in with you.
Joining us as well right now from Paris is Seth Porges.
Seth, one of the shootings I understand happened in front or close to the apartment building you're staying in. Walk us through what you saw, what you heard.
SETH PORGES, EYEWITNESS (on the phone): Sure thing. So I was walking out of the apartment building and I believe the shootings occurred must have while I was in the elevator. I didn't hear them. But as soon as I get outside, there is a man crouched inside the gate of the apartment building with a bleeding hand. And my first thought was this is the guy who got into a bar fight or maybe punched a window, bleeding from his hand dripping. I didn't think too much of it. Five steps later I see a bunch of police. Again, looked like normal police activity at this time. It is impossible to really tell what was going on. There were tons of onlookers taking photos. Nobody was clearing out the streets.
And then I saw cops with guns huddled behind vans and looked like a scene from behind a movie. There is about three dozen firefighters came out of nowhere and they blocked all the streets for vehicle traffic. But still, there were on lockers everywhere. They weren't telling people to shrew just yet. There are people and they are talking to people and finding out what is going on and what did you see. Then you start to get a drip, drip, drip of information. Somebody said there was a shooing. And I think, OK, there's a shooting, but that's the end of it. But somebody says, no, there are more than one person got shot. And it's a machine gun and he's still out there. And you realize that there is a machine gun and he is out there and you get out of that neighborhood. That's when you run. And I got out of there, let me tell you.
COOPER: So Seth, do you know which incident was this? This wasn't -- this isn't the Bataclan Theater. Which incident? Is this at the restaurant or one of the restaurants?
PORGES: You know, there's so many incidents now, I don't know if it was more than one restaurant but this is a restaurant in a neighborhood called (INAUDIBLE). It is a night club bar district area full of people. There were tons of people on the streets even after it occurred, which meant gathering the people, taking photos, no one really realizing what was occurring.
COOPER: And as far as you understood, had the shooting already occurred or was it an ongoing situation where there was a gunman on the scene?
PORGES: The shooting had already occurred. Now, had the gunmen -- I heard scattered reports the gunman was running around shooting other people. But I mean, again, you're hearing rumors and things whispered among people who are in the middle of a highly chaotic situation. So what the actual truth was impossible to say.
[20:15:06] COOPER: Right, obviously multiple eyewitness accounts can differ. People can see different things and then word of mouth is sort of like a game of telephone. The weapons that the police had who were on the scene, you said a group of police were behind a vehicle, were they long rifles? Were they automatic weapons or were they pistols?
PORGES: At first, I saw police officers with pistol. Pretty soon thereafter you see the long rifles and within an hour, you saw armored vehicles coming through the neighborhood. Probably came sooner than that but I saw them within an hour, full on swat styled armored vehicles as well as what appeared to be military, you know, folks in camouflage with rifles, as well.
COOPER: And did you stay around to see how this -- the situation that you witnessed, how it ended or did you leave?
PORGES: So I got out of there once I realized there was a guy with a machine gun who was on the loose, and I would recommend anybody do the same. I needed to get back to my apartment building at some point so I did a route around. It only about 30 feet from the apartment building I was staying in but those were 30 feet I didn't want to cross. I was way too close. I don't want to be there.
I took a very, very long route around. And as I was doing that and as I finally came back maybe an hour later, the police had taped and sort of sweeping the sidewalks and the streets, creating a perimeter where nobody could cross. And right as the police were about to sweep up into where my apartment building was I got into the gate. Had a waited a minute later, I would be stuck outside right now.
COOPER: Seth, appreciate you telling us what you know. The reason I asked, Seth, the portion of what kind of weapons the police have, you know, one of the things we learned subsequently after the Charlie Hebdo attacks was that the first police on the scene were heavily out gunned. It was only later that police with more powerful weapons were able to respond.
Julien Pierce was inside the Baticlan Theater when the attack there began. Julian is joining us now.
Can you describe what you saw, what you heard, Julien?
JULIEN PIERCE, REPORTER/EYEWITNESS (on the phone): Well, the show was about to end. The band Eagles was staying for almost an hour. And suddenly, we heard gunshots coming behind us. And when I looked back I saw at least two men, unmasks men, maybe there were three, but the confusion I can't tell you exactly, but they were holding assault rifles, AK-47. I'm sure about it. And they were firing randomly to the crowd.
And so obviously, we all lie down on the floor to not get hurt. And it was a huge panic and the terrorists, sorry, shot at us for like ten, 15 minutes. It was a blood bath. And they shot at us and reloaded again several times, multiple times and it's actually what time I escape because they reloaded by reloaded basically. I just waited for the time they reload to run, to climb the screen and to hide behind it. And I tried to have few people around me. And it was shocking. I mean this was panicking, huge panic. And so,
they shot at us ten to 15 minutes. It was long. It was very, very long. And it's about it is not a huge room. It is about 1,000 people gathering in it and it was overcrowded. I mean, there were no empty rooms. It was sold out, basically. So it was easy for them.
COOPER: So two to three men and CNN has now confirmed that two gunmen were killed. And again, this is the earliest report, but we are being told that two gunmen were killed inside the theater. You are saying you saw two, possibly three gunman with AK-47 style long rifles shooting into the crowd and this went on for ten to 15 minutes. Were they standing around and shooting? Were they moving around?
PIERCE: They were not moving, actually. They were just standing at the back of the scene, the back of the crowd and they were just shooting on the floor because everybody was on the floor. And I seen one of the guys, very young, actually, he was like 18 years old, 19 years old maximum 20, maximum and he was executing people on the floor. The person around him was holding rifles down who are shooting people. So they were not moving actually. They were just standing at the back of the concert room and shooting at us like if we were birds.
[20:20:40] COOPER: Were they saying anything?
PIERCE: I didn't hear anything about them. I haven't heard, (INAUDIBLE) or something like this. I have some friends who escaped who heard them talking about Iraq and Syria, but I'm not quite sure about it. But I haven't heard anything but the screaming of the people.
COOPER: The gunman, do you remember what they were wearing? Did they have heavy clothing? I mean, there had been some concern about possible suicide vests or anything like that, did you see anything --?
PORGES: Not from what I seen. They were wearing like a jogging, black stuff. I mean, they were all wearing black, but no tactical vests, no -- nothing like this. They were just holding AK-47s. That's all. I haven't seen grenades. I haven't seen bombs or whatever. But it happened so fast. I mean, we were just trying to hide and save our lives. So I looked to one guy a few times, one I described to you very young and he wasn't wearing tactical stuff. He was just a random guy. I mean, I could have met him a few minutes before and never thought he was a terrorist.
COOPER: I know you said your friends said they heard some people speaking, do you know what language they were speaking? Were they speaking French?
PIERCE: I believe so. I believe so. Because the friends I talked to said they were talking French between them. So I believe they were speaking French. I don't know if they are French.
COOPER: Julien, when you went to the concert, was there metal detectors or anything when you walked in? Searched by security?
PIERCE: Nothing. We haven't been searched, body searched, nothing. I mean, I just show my ticket. They flash it and that's it. I mean, they didn't look to my bag and didn't look at nothing. Security was very poor. Honestly.
COOPER: And so basically, I mean, the scene you're describing is one basically everybody was laying down on the floor and in the course of ten or 15 minutes, these people were just going around shooting people, executing them point blank.
PIERCE: Yes. That's the scene that is what happened and hopefully, I was in the front of the -- I was at the front of the scene so I was some kind protected by the bullets. But everyone was panicking. Everybody was trying to escape. So everybody was walking on bodies to try to climb on the scene to get protection. And so I said to the people around me just to play dead basically. And we waited, we waited for the time they reloaded the gun to climb the scene and to hide ourselves, you know, in a small room on the right of the scene. But unfortunately there were no exits in that room, just a closed room so we were trapped. So we waited for five minutes. They stopped shooting and they reloaded again and we run on the scene to find an exit. And it's when I found an exit that I saw the body of a young girl was shot twice in the leg. She was bleeding very badly, and I grabbed her, and I put her on my back and we run. We ran together for in the streets for 200 or 300 meters. And I found a cab and I stopped the cab and I said to the taxi driver, well, go to the hospital with her. But she was bleeding so badly. I don't know if she make it. I don't know if she's still alive because she was collapsing.
[20:25:16] COOPER: How long total were you in the theater? How long did it take you from the time the shots began to get out do you think?
PIERCE: It took me for 15 minutes from the beginning of the shooting until I escape. So I believe they continued after that. They shoot again inside the theater. We were very lucky. We were lucky few to escape. But I believe, I'm not sure that they continued to shoot on people on the floor.
COOPER: Were the police on the scene when you left the theater?
PIERCE: No, none at all. None at all. When I managed to escape with the wounded girl, two people, we just ran for 300 meters and we didn't see any cops, any policemen.
COOPER: So even 15 minutes after the shooting --
PIERCE: Five minutes after they arrive and they were obviously heavily armed. But no, no cops for 15 minutes at least.
COOPER: Julien Pierce, I appreciate you talking about what you saw. And thank you very much. I wish you the best.
I want to go to Michael Dorio now. He is the brother for the drummer of the band that was playing at the Baticlan Theater.
Michael, what have you heard?
MICHAEL DORIO, BROTHER OF BAND THEATER (on the phone): I spoke to my brother probably 20, 30 minute after the incident occurred. He had fled the scene to a police station and found a gentleman to give him a cell phone and knew my number by heart so he called me to tell me that everything was OK with him. And that basically he had, you know, been performing and heard the gunshots. The whole band heard them before they saw anything and stopped playing, hit the deck and went back stage and exited as fast as they could.
COOPER: And did they at any point see the gunmen or were they able to just get off the stage that fast?
DORIO: He said that they did see gunmen but they didn't stick around for, you know, it was all a flash so they saw - heard first, saw second and immediately, you know, bolted backwards to the back stage area.
COOPER: And do you have, Michael, do you have any sense of how many people were in the theater at the time?
DORIO: Yes. It's a venue that actually holds around 1500 people according to Julian, my brother and it was sold out and at capacity. And maybe, you know, over sold so maybe more than that.
COOPER: So the number of people who are in that theater could have been very, very high. We had a producer on the scene that said he saw at least 100 hostages leaving the building alive. And we're still trying to get an accurate toll for how many people inside the theater lost their lives and an exact counting of what transpired.
Michael, I appreciate talking to you. I'm glad your brother is doing OK.
I want to go to our justice correspondent Pamela Brown who has been working her sources joins us now.
Pamela, what are you hearing?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I can tell you Anderson, from the officials I've been speaking with today, there is great alarm over the apparent methodology as well as the apparent preplanning that went into the series of coordinated attacks at six to seven locations, we are learning. And one counterterrorism official I spoke with today said this has the hallmarks of various tactics from different terrorists groups. With Al-Qaeda, it has the hallmarks of mass casualty and the visibility. And with ISIS the small tactical nature, they are opportunism. So officials here in the U.S. haven't concluded who was behind this. But they do say that this is it is evidence to them that this international terrorism, but unclear who could be behind it.
They still don't have information yet about the suspects. As you know in these situations, Anderson, it's very fluid. They are waiting to hear from French counterparts to see if there is U.S. nexus with the apparent terrorist or the victims. I will tell you there is great concern that this could inspire others here in the U.S., others who may have been planning to launch an attack to expedite that attack and therefore there is increased security at large cities across the United States including New York and Los Angeles. There is concern that people perhaps they have been monitoring will want to act now after they see what happened in Paris and what these apparent terrorists were able to get away with, with the AK-47 these hostage takers are suicide bombers.
It is clear, Anderson that a fair amount of preparation went into this and the big question now how did this happen in Europe? There is a big problem of travelers, people going over to Syria, getting the training and them coming back and wanting to launch attacks and this could be law enforcement's greatest fear with that, Anderson.
COOPER: And Pamela, I should tell you, the death toll, and this is a grim accounting minute by minute we're getting more information about just how many people have been killed. The latest confirmed number is 153 people now known dead, just a short time ago it was 149. It is now 153 people known dead from a string of attacks and exactly the nature of all of these attacks, as many as six to seven, we do not fully know. We know about what is believed to be a suicide bombing at the French stadium. This attack by multiple gunmen at the Bataclan Theater. There was also a shooting into a restaurant and you're going to hear from the survivor of that attack very shortly.
The other nature of the attacks we are still trying to figure out as you know in a situation like this, oftentimes there is very contradictory information, multiple eyewitnesses see things from different angles, oftentimes count more gunmen than there may be. So, we then are just trying to bring you as much information as we can. I want to show you some video from the soccer stadium. One of the explosions there, the sound of it was caught on camera. Listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FRENCH)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FRENCH)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You hear the sound there, the game continued. Nobody seemed to really know, no announcement was made until later on. France's president was at the game. He was whisked away, other spectators held there for hours. I want to talk to Phillip Mudd, who is a former counterterrorism official at the CIA and the FBI, currently counterterrorism analyst, also CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruikshank and Bob Baer, former CIA officer and the CNN national security analyst.
You know, Phil, when I - when you hear of multiple attacks coordinated in this way and a variety of weaponry used, AK-40 style, long rifles according to one eyewitness at the Bataclan theater, and potential suicide attack at the stadium, other guns used in firing into this restaurant, I mean, in some ways it's like the Mumbai style attack where you had multiple locations hit simultaneously in a coordinated fashion. PHILLIP MUDD, FORMER SENIOR OFFICIAL, FBI AND CIA: It is. But you have to think about a few things that would be of concern in the U.S. law enforcement today. Over the coming days, we are going to hear comments about the sophistication here, the extent of the conspiracy. This is a very large group of people from a counterterrorism perspective. But I would step back and say before we go down that path to say how much were they trained by ISIS, what kind of operational training did they receive? I look at this, and I'm stunned by scope and simplicity. If you look at the targets, soft targets, no security spread across a pretty broad geographic area, simplicity of weapons, we don't know what kind of explosives, but a lot of the weapons are the kinds of weapons we would have seen in "Charlie Hebdo, " For example, I look at this and say with the volume of people who have been affiliated with ISIS in this country, the United States in Western Europe, scope and simplicity strike me first, not sophistication or some idea that this was centrally directed by ISIS.
COOPER: Bob Bear, when you look at this, what do you see?
ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OFFICER: Well, what I see is I served in France, Anderson, and the difficulty of getting automatic weapons and explosives and realizing how good the French police are because they are very good and they have been on full alert. They have been all over these communities, the returnees from Syria and Iraq. What really concerns me is they have tightened up their security and their communications and their ability to get enough weapons and explosives for seven strikes, which is a lot.
And I agree with Phil, they went after the soft targets where the mass casualties really shocked the Frenchmen. The French have closed their borders. This is huge. There's not much that French can do about it. When you have a military style assault and everybody is able to reload, keep their weapons going and knowing what and also hitting their targets very quickly within a 30-minute window of doing the most damage they can. There is some sort of coordination here and some sort of central - you know, somebody knows what they are doing.
COOPER: Paul Cruickshank?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: I agree and it really points towards an established terrorist group ISIS, or al Qaeda. Over 1,000 French nationals have traveled to Syria and Iraq, many joining with ISIS, more than 250 have returned. Europe-wide a staggering 6,000 extremists have traveled to Syria and Iraq. 1,500 back in Europe. Security services stretched very thin. They just can't monitor any - any, but a few all the time, 24/7.
This has really has been some time coming in from - the president of France recently warning that there was an unprecedented threat that they were learning of new terrorist plotting every single week in France. I think one of the early warning signs was that terrorist plot in eastern Belgium in January. There were some ISIS fighters who had returned from Syria directed by the ISIS leadership. They had an arsenal of weapons and explosives. Fortunately, the Belgians got on to them. They thwarted that attack. That could have been a terrible attack in January.
ISIS are increasingly getting into the international terrorism business. We saw that in January in Belgium. We also saw that potentially with that attempted attack on the train, fast-speed train heading towards France in the summer, which was thwarted by those three American heroes with a gunman with potential links back to ISIS. We've seen ISIS launch attacks in Tunisia, killing 30 British tourists and others. We've seen ISIS carry out attack in Turkey, killing more than 100 in Ankara on the tenth of October with those two twin suicide bombings in Beirut just yesterday. This is a group which appears to be getting much more into the international terrorism business and given its resources, all those tens of millions of dollars it has in Syria and Iraq, all the thousands of recruits from the West, all those training camps, this really is an unprecedented terrorist threat the West is now facing, Anderson.
On a day where President Obama said that the ISIS has been contained, ISIS has been contained in Syria and Iraq, well, I think the problem with ISIS that it's pivoting towards international terrorism. It's got a lot of resources and we are seeing potentially that play out now on the streets of Europe on a more and more regular basis.
COOPER: You know, I'm just getting now a breakdown of the casualties as we now know them and I just want to read that out to our viewers, because it's really the first kind of break down we're getting and it gives you a sense of the scope of this.
As you know, as we've been saying, the death toll now believed to be 153. As many as 112 people are believed to have been murdered, slaughtered in the Bataclan Theater. 14 killed at a Cambodian restaurant, 19 killed outside of a bar, La Belle Equipe, I believe it's called, four were killed at the stadium according to French authorities and four were also killed in an incident at the avenue De La Republic.
So, that is the breakdown. 112 at the theater, 14 killed at a restaurant, 19 outside a bar and then four killed at the stadium and four killed on a different street, as well. I want to -- we'll be continuing to check in with Phil Mudd and Bob Baer and Paul Cruickshank.
I do want to go back to Jim Bitterman who's on the scene for us in Paris. Jim, as we just got in this break down, you really do get a sense. And again, these numbers may increase in the hours ahead as more people are treated for their wounds and as more information comes through, but this, at least this accounting is one, two, three, four, five separate incidents that we know about at this point.
JIM BITTERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, at least that, Anderson. And one other thing that I've been counting here are the ambulances going to and from the nightclub, which is just down the road here and we've been watching as literally hundreds of emergency rescue personnel have been going and coming back. Some of them coming back and looking like they were very sad, indeed. We saw - we've also seen some wounded people come out. They didn't want to talk about what they saw or what happened inside. We tried, but they were -- at least one person was walking away from the scene grazed by - with a bullet wound on his leg.
So, it is a scene that I'm not sure we really want to describe too much on the air, but you can see as well that these -- there's a constant steady stream of ambulances. When we came up to this location, there was a line of at least 50 ambulances parked ready to go into the scene and they have been doing that one by one, kind of going in with their rescue personnel.
It's rather staggering, Anderson, to say the least.
COOPER: And Jim, I've talked to, you know, two people. Now, one person who was there, saw at least one of the gunmen. Got a good look at the gunman, and early reports say that at least two gunmen were killed inside that theater. He was unclear how many fatalities there were inside the theater, but
believed the theater was at the very least sold out if not overbooked and that that theater holds he said, believed it held at least 1,000. I talked to the brother of the drummer who says it holds 1500 and it was also oversold. So there's a discrepancy just in the numbers of how many people, we don't know how many were killed, how many are still inside the theater who survived and how many were able to actually escaped either before police arrived as our eyewitness did or were freed by police. So, we're still trying to figure out the numbers here because there's a potentially huge number of people who were inside that theater, if, in fact, it's true that it was sold out as two people have now told us.
Jim, we'll continue to follow with you. The horrific scene unfolding tonight in Paris is something that France has feared intensely, especially since the attack on Charlie Hebdo last January. As we've been discussing, hundreds of French nationals have left the country to fight in Syria and Iraq alongside ISIS and other groups, radicalized French citizens with passports making France incredibly vulnerable. I want to bring in Maajid Nawaz, a former Islamist extremist, author of "Radical: My Journey Out of Islamist Extremism." Maajid, it's good to see you, sorry it's under these circumstances. What do you make of what you have been seeing from Paris tonight?
MAAJID NAWAZ, AUTHOR, "RADICAL: MY JOURNEY OUT OF ISLAMIST EXTREMISM": Unfortunately, Anderson, I concur with some of the remarks we've heard, and particular those made by Paul Cruickshank in the segment earlier. Welcome to the new normal. Such attacks as the precedent was set in the Mumbai attacks a few years ago, such attacks in Europe, unfortunately, are going to be on the rise and the reason for that is because I believe we cannot simply kill outweigh out of this problem, what we're dealing with. And I've said it time and time again, is a fully blown jihadist insurgency that has spread across the globe, and has levels of support as was mentioned earlier, up to 6,000 European born and raised Muslims have gone to join ISIS.
This is not an immigration problem. Though, I think Le Pan will probably benefit from this in France. Germany had for more immigrant Syrian refugees, in fact, than France has received. This is a European born and raised Muslims who are citizens of these countries problem. And to tackle that, I think first and foremost, we've got to recognize this problem for what it is, recognize that there's a global Islamist insurgency, be able to name it, and put down a long-term plan to dealing with this. Because we've never witnessed this type of insurgency before in history.
COOPER: And Paul Cruickshank is still with us. You know, Paul, to Maajid's point, I mean the idea that we don't know again how many people were involved in this conspiracy, how many people are actually involved in the planning and actually carrying out the attacks. There an initial report that as many as five gunmen have been killed, but again, that's a very preliminary report. And we haven't been able to confirm that independently. But at the very least, the idea that we're not talking hundreds, that a relatively small number of people with AK-47s, a suicide vest can bring a city, an international city like Paris to a standstill and a country to close its borders, that's an extraordinary statement about the power of just a few individuals to cause fear and to cause terror in a global city.
CRUICKSHANK: And we saw it, Anderson, on 9/11 with those 19 hijackers, you know, changing world history. I think this is another inflection point tonight in France. The situation in Syria and Iraq cannot continue from a Western security point of view. ISIS and al Qaeda have a safe haven in Syria. ISIS is also and Libya is increasingly in Yemen. It has a presence all across the region, really, right now and I think the international community now has to come together to deal with this threat and deal with it in a decisive way. Otherwise I fear that we're going to get more and more nights like this in Paris. I talked to European security officials on a regular basis. They have never seen a threat like this. They do not have the resources, the manpower to monitor the people that they need to monitor. The threat is just too vague. There is just too many people that have become radicalized by this ISIS propaganda, too many people that have traveled to Syria and Iraq dwarfing the number of people who traveled back in the '80s and '90s to Afghanistan and I think, you know, that we're in for a very significant threat in the months ahead, Anderson.
COOPER: And I do want to say CNN has now confirmed that five alleged attackers are known to have been neutralized. That is the word. We were told - we don't know if that means that they have been killed. We're also now just learning that according to the Paris prosecutor's office, that is what we - that's where that number comes from, the Paris prosecutor's office is saying that five alleged terrorists or gunmen have been neutralized. Again, we don't know whether it means if they have been killed or whether some of them have been apprehended or wounded or in custody. We'll try to find out more information on that.
I also do want to tell our viewers that while we're live talking live with our guests, most of the images you are seeing are not, in fact, live, particularly ones that show police climbing up a building. Those are pictures which are on delay for operations that have already taken place. The picture you're seeing right now is live, but right before you saw pictures of police climbing down some ladders. We don't want to give you the sense that we're showing operations as they are going on because obviously the concern that we have, as everybody should, is that terror groups can be monitoring live broadcasts and as we saw in Mumbai, giving instructions, also in the Munich Olympic attacks, giving information to the attackers based on what they are seeing on television.
Maajid, one of the things, you know, it's interesting that while we all see this and say this is horrific and horrible and disgusting, there are some people who watch this and see - and are encouraged by this and see this, I mean, as a further recruitment tool for more operations.
NAWAZ: Of course, because ISIS, you know, we've had some hollow symbolic victories of late, the killing of Mohammed Emwazi, otherwise known as Jihadi John had no command and control position within ISIS of any significance, and ISIS have demonstrated time and again, whether it be with attacks in Sinai in Egypt or attacks in Beirut, in south Beirut against civilians there, or now with the attacks in Paris that they are operationally not only fully capable, but even more capable than we imagined them to be, so and I agree again, this is - these attacks are a game changer.
So, there will be people who are either supporters of ISIS or they are fellow travelers who will be cheering at the spectacles, the terror that we see unfolding in Paris tonight, because for them it proves that ISIS is alive and well. And I fear that we've had too many unfortunately, mission accomplish moments. You know, that phrase that George Bush used as president when he declared the Iraq war was over and I think the killing of bin Laden was another such mission accomplished moment and as was this killing of Emwazi who up until then was the most wanted terrorist in the world.
I think what we're dealing with if we recognize it's the fully blown jihadist insurgencies, to recognize the success of such operations as in Paris now. What they do is they attract more recruits to ISIS, because people feel they want to join the winning side. They feel that this is a fully capable not just a terrorist organization, but a fully capable so called caliphate that is able to wage so-called jihad against the West. So I fear that people will be celebrating right now tonight, and another type, another group of people will be obfuscating and making excuses and blaming everything on Western foreign policy when though it has a role, cannot in any right mind or way be blamed for some -- for people shooting as one of your eyewitnesses said, people shooting at people like they are birds on the streets and they are hunting. You know, we've got to recognize, that something terribly wrong has gone, gone on here with the value system that we have to address head on.
COOPER: We're also continuing to be joined by Phil Mudd and Bob Baer. You know, Phil, I spent some time recently for report I'm doing on "60 Minutes" about active shooters with the New York City police department and also, the Washington D.C. police department and they are retraining all police in New York City and in Washington D.C. to deal with active shooter situations and in particular, the idea of a Mumbai-style attack. I talked to the commissioner police in New York who said he is frankly amazed that there hasn't been a Mumbai style attack in the United States where you have a number of locations hit with multiple, multiple terrorists trying to basically paralyze a city attacking soft targets, which is essentially what we are seeing here and when you hear that it took -- when the eyewitness who we talked to said he thought the shooting he had been in that theater for about 15 minutes before he was able to escape and when he did escape, there were no police on the scene. What does that tell you about the capabilities or the way the French law enforcement may be stretched because in New York City, they pride themselves on being able to respond to an attack like this within a matter of minutes?
MUDD: Sure, but you're talking about number of targets here across the city that would stretch any security force. I've dealt with the French in the past. They are terrific at this kind of stuff. They have been the subject of terror attacks for decades.
I think what this tells me is the transformation in the world of terror that in some ways makes it more dangerous than it was in 2002 and the reason is pretty straightforward. In 2002, you had small cells that were connected to a central organization that is al Qaeda. The intelligence organizations like the CIA and the FBI, the French try to penetrate al Qaeda to stop those cells by identifying a very few number of people. In 14 years now, we transition to ISIS saying we don't actually have to run cells at all. All we have to do is to put out terrorist ideology and if ten people, or in this case, five, six, seven decide that they want to follow that ideology, all they have to have is access to weapons and explosives. An access to soft sides. That's not something al Qaeda would have considered 14 years ago. And for any department, I think the real challenge is to say if that's the message, if the message is ISIS saying go out and attack without any central coordination, here is the problem in one sentence, what red flags do you look for to identify the people who might do this? I'm not sure I could figure that out.
COOPER: Also, Bob Baer, it's not as if they are attacking high profile targets that would naturally have a level of security. Obviously, the stadium would, but a bar on a street, a restaurant on a street, this theater, though they might search people's bags going in, which in this case they didn't seem to, they are not, you know, they wouldn't -- these are not targets that would be a top of the list and yet, they are able to hit them and bring a city to a standstill.
BAER: Well, Anderson, you hit the nail on the head. I mean how do you defend a big city? Even New York City. I don't care what the New York City police say, but if you simply drive around town until you see an area where it's not being protected, some place where there is night life or a theater, a movie theater, it doesn't really matter, you can get in there and you can kill a lot of people in a few minutes and the police, even if they can respond in ten minutes, the casualties have already been, you know, done.
And this is really the problem. We're vulnerable as a country. And, you know, we also have the possibility of these fighters coming back who do understand military assaults. I've been in touch with law enforcement just recently and they said these people are here and they do understand how to take down a building and hold off the police until their work is done and they are just getting that much better, but you and I talked about this two years ago. If these wars in the Middle East continue as they are unabated, it's going to come here in the United States.
COOPER: Phil Mudd, also it seems like in the United States, at least, with active shooter situations, the police now believe you have to go in as quickly as possible. Most - the killings often take place within the first couple of minutes, you have to - first officers on the scene, you can't wait for tactical units, but in this case, obviously, when you have an entire theater full of people, potentially being held hostage, it's got to be an incredibly difficult thing for security forces to figure out, do you go in, do you wait? These are obviously not groups, which are looking to take hostages and have demands met. It seems like they are there to just slaughter people.
MUDD: I think that's right. You've hit on a point that I think is another transformation in the world of terror. These people typically might have operational training limited from a group like ISIS, but the emotion of the moment for them, going in and planning an operation like this and getting to the point where among your colleagues you're going to storm something like a theater and start to murder people left and right, the emotion of the moment means if you're thinking of storming that theater, you've got to calculate that the likelihood those shooters are going to stop, the likelihood that there is somehow some sane motivation that will hold them back from murdering the entirety of theater is pretty low. They are so emotionally driven by the time they begin the attack that in my judgment, they assume they will be killed. So why not go forward and kill everybody in the theater? If you're storming, I fear, I think you've got to sit back and say we've got to move despite the risk that we're going to kill people as we go forward because we can't always identify quickly.
COOPER: I want to go back to our CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown who's been working her sources throughout this hour. Pamela, what have you learned?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the FBI just releasing a statement at this hour, Anderson, saying the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are closely monitoring the unfolding events in Paris, and we remain in contact with out counterparts in the region. At this time there is no specific or credible threat to the United States. I can tell you that the FBI has an office in Paris. They are very busy and at this point, officials here in the U.S. with the FBI and other agencies are still waiting for information. The officials there in Paris were overwhelmed, Anderson, and so at this point, they are also trying to figure out what exactly happened and who could be behind this. But there is a level of concern here in the United States, Anderson, even though there is no specific credible threat that there could be copycat attacks.
[20:55:01] This is something we've seen or heard from officials, the concern of people launching attacks simultaneously on soft targets. We're seeing that it looks like playing out in Paris, and so officials here in the United States on high alert and the FBI now sending out this statements at this hour, Anderson?
COOPER: All right, Pamela. Pamela, in terms of the coordination between the FBI, between U.S. intelligence and French officials, do we know more about what sort of aid is being offered?