Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY SATURDAY

Hollande Calls ISIS Attack "An Act Of War"; ISIS Claims Responsibility For Paris Attacks; France on Alert; ISIS Claims Responsibility for Paris Attacks. Aired 6-7 ET

Aired November 14, 2015 - 06:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: France under a state of emergency today and just in, the country's president says ISIS is to blame.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Paris is grieving this morning as 128 people were killed in the second terror attack in less than a year. One of the things trending in social media is #prayersforparis.

Thank you so much for being with us. We are so grateful to have you here. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. CNN is using our worldwide resources to cover this story from every angle today. We want to get you straight to Paris. CNN international anchor, Hala Gorani, is there leading our coverage coming from the theater, which saw the worst of the carnage last night.

But first, Hala, I want to talk about what we heard from the French president just moments ago, saying that ISIS is, indeed, behind this attack.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: All right. We want to get you caught up on what we know at this hour. By the way, I'm right outside the concert hall where the carnage took place, where the worst death toll actually unfolded.

The French President Francois Hollande declared earlier this morning that ISIS terrorists are the ones responsible for yesterday's attack. Interesting he called their actions in this city, quote, "an act of war."

Here's the latest death toll. It is likely to increase. At least 128 people have been killed. Eight of the attackers are dead. Officials are scouring the video trying to find anyone who may have escaped or helped them, of course.

This is going to be critical in the investigation. The worst of the carnage as I was mentioning at the top of the hour, happened at the (inaudible) theater. Two police vans are in front of the concert hall.

I spoke with one of the police officers here. He told me bodies are actually still being removed from this building. Forensic vehicles are taking them away to the medical examiner's office, and eventually to the morgue.

This is where at least four gunmen held scores of people hostage, brutally firing into the crowd, slaughtering around 80 people, some of them on the ground, those who were running shot in the back, shot while they were laying on the floor.

And incredible new images are coming into CNN, by the way, from (inaudible). It shows concert-goers fleeing from a back exit. Can you hear gunfire ring out. Let's take a listen, take a look at some of this footage. This is the first time we are seeing it on CNN.

(VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: There you have it. Five other sites, by the way, it wasn't just the concert hall. Five other sites in the heart of Paris were targeted. They were packed with Friday night revelers. Really this is the first in France, you have to put it in context, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the big soccer game stadium.

France's President Francois Hollande was in attendance. He has been removed from the scene and taken to a secure location. The suicide bombers is blowing themselves up. It really turned into a war zone overnight.

Let us turn to the investigation because now the big challenge is going to continue to figure out who is responsible, who organized it, who armed, who bought, who financed these attacks. The situation is extremely tense as you can imagine. Residents are told to stay inside as military reinforcements mobilize across this city.

Let's bring in our senior international correspondent, Clarissa Ward. She is not far from where I'm standing, near the concert hall. What are you learning? What is the latest on the investigation?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, that's right. You heard President Francois Hollande saying that this was an act of war

by ISIS. Now ISIS has come out online and essentially claimed responsibility. This statement was just released moments ago. It bears all the hallmarks of other ISIS statements.

And they talk about the battle of Paris. They say eight suicide bombers struck at the heart of France's crusaders. They call them soldiers of the caliphate. It says they were sent to act on behalf of god and the messenger of God, the prophet.

[06:05:00] It says they targeted specifically selected locations. ISIS here, really, a brazen claim, Hala, we have not seen the likes of this before, ISIS taking responsibility for something of this nature.

This country is still reeling, indeed, the city is still reeling from the massacre of "Charlie Hebdo" earlier this year. But the numbers simply pale in comparison, and if you look at the heavy weaponry they were using, suicide bombs, automatic weapons, grenades.

There are still a lot of questions as to how did these men get these weapons, where were these men from? We know according to French media reports that the bodies of the dead attackers are now being examined, their DNA is being examined, trying to get more clues as to their identity, as to who they are.

As to whether they spent time in Paris, according to one eyewitness in that theater, at least one of the men speaking in French says this is what you get for what you have done in Syria. So certainly, a lot of questions now, I think French police will be looking at possible criminal elements as well.

Because as you well remember, Hala, (inaudible) with Charlie Hebdo and (inaudible) who took that kosher grocery store. They had criminal backgrounds. They spent time together in prison so a lot of elements that will be explored. ISIS is officially claiming responsibility for this brutal attack -- Hala.

GORANI: Right. We heard from the French president just minutes ago. He blames, of course, ISIS as well. It was organized from outside of France withheld from inside of France. It's starting to sound a little bit like perhaps what happened in January with "Charlie Hebdo," which to remind our viewers it was only nine months ago in the French capital.

This though taking it to another level, Clarissa, what can you tell us about this claim of responsibility by ISIS?

WARD: Well, it's a typical claim. It's very much the same sort of claim that we've seen before. This is really the first time we are seeing a claim like this with an attack in the heart of a European capital.

While we have seen people from ISIS or claiming to act under the guidance of ISIS, carrying out attacks in the west, in Europe before, they have not been on this level and they have not been of this nature.

Even though "Charlie Hebdo" attacks you reference, there appear to be more of an alliance with al Qaeda. Those brothers said that they have spent time in Yemen. We are looking at Syria, Iraq, ISIS and no doubt all authorities in France will be asking themselves some very tough questions here.

Had these men spent time in Syria and Iraq and, if so, why weren't they being followed? Did authorities know that they had gone to join the jihad? All sorts of questions that we have already heard they were asking themselves, nine months ago as you mentioned after the "Charlie Hebdo" massacre.

GORANI: Right, I mentioned the weaponry. We are talking about sophisticated weaponry. It's not something you improvise, suicide belts, automatic assault rifles. These are not things readily available. They have to be bought on the black market. They have to be found.

This is an operation with six separate attack sites. So it has to be organized and quite a sophisticated way. Explain to our viewers what would take to unfold the way it did. WARD: That's why I emphasize the criminal element here. France, some of our viewers in the U.S., France and Europe have extremely strict gun laws. It is incredibly difficult to get your hands on a semi- automatic weapon here. The people that have access are criminal elements.

After the "Charlie Hebdo" massacre, I spent a lot of time in the suburbs of Paris, where a lot of these criminal and radicalized elements are coming from. I spoke to a group of young men. I said to them, tell me how hard it is if I wanted to go and get an Uzi, is that possible?

They said if have you the money in Paris and you have the connections within those criminal elements, you can get those weapons. So I think authorities will definitely be focusing on what some criminologists will be calling the hybrid models of terrorists.

These are young guys with criminal background, in a sense, they formed this deadly nexus because they have the criminal know-how from their time on the streets, but they have the zeal of a radicalized individual.

GORANI: All right. In the case of the "Charlie Hebdo" attacks, we saw that as well. It was a different source of inspiration perhaps ISIS, but certainly, they will be looking at the criminal attack records of those who committed these attacks. Clarissa, stand by. We'll get back to you throughout this day.

Joining me now for more is CNN law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes, and also military analyst, Lt. Col. Rick Francona.

[06:10:06]Tom, let's talk first about the criminal element. What is the first thing that investigators will be looking at here in terms of the backgrounds of those who committed these attacks to get them to the source of who ordered this carnage?

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, they have all kind of cells in Europe, particularly in France, for decades as a matter of fact. The wake of 9/11, there were al Qaeda cells in several countries that were going to commit attacks, but they were thwarted by arrests, including an attempt to blow up the United States Embassy in Paris.

So these cells, many of them were convicted, members of those cells. They got minimal sentence. They're back out on the street. In fact, one of the individuals coordinating that attack on the embassy helped in the "Charlie Hebdo" attack. He was back out at jail. Back out there.

So I think the law enforcement element there is going to have a good start at identifying not just criminals linked to them for years. Many of the European countries have been in denial that their strict gun control laws will keep guns out of the lands of bad guys and it doesn't.

Gangsters and terrorist have no problem getting automatic weapons, grenades and all other equipment to use in these attacks. I think now we are seeing that more and more, where a lot of people didn't believe that before.

GORANI: All right. Through criminal network, yes, they are able get them. Although, just ordinary people have a much, much harder time, of course, as they intend on breaking these gun laws.

Rick Francona, I will ask you about possible inspiration from abroad, possible ISIS whether in Syria or Iraq organizing the attacks on many, many countries away. What do you make of what unfolded here in Paris?

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, given this sophistication of the planning that must have gone into these operations, six simultaneous locations, these kinds of weapons and this kind of timing. They would have had to have done reconnaissance. They would have done test runs.

So this is not something they did on one night. So there was a lot of effort that went into this. This is very typical of what we've seen from ISIS in the past. But I'm thinking we're also looking at these people that have gone to Syria and France is overwhelmed with the numbers of their citizens that have gone to fight with ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

They have gained the combat experience and the weapons training they would have needed to pull this off. They've returned to France. The French cannot keep track of all of these people.

So the sophistication of the planning, but yet the simplicity of the attacks, automatic weapons, suicide belts and grenades, that doesn't take a lot of sophistication.

GORANI: And Tom Fuentes this happened in January, something quite similar. Nine months later, this horrific attack at six different sites across the French capital takes place with over 100 people killed. We don't have the final toll yet.

In fact, I'm right here in front of the concert hall just to remind our viewers of where we are. Bodies are still inside being removed into forensic trucks and taken to the medical examiner's office here, a few kilometers away.

Does it surprise you to hear that French authorities that this happened, that this was organized, a sophisticated attack in multiple sites so soon after Charlie Hebdo?

FUENTES: No, absolutely not. It could have happened a lot sooner after Charlie Hebdo and it probably going to happen again in the days, weeks and months ahead. Actually, this attack reminds me of several different attacks.

It's similar to the 2002 takeover of the opera house in Russia, where 133 hostages were killed by Chechen terrorists and about 40 terrorists themselves were killed in that attack. So a theater takeover is very similar to that. And also the attack in Mumbai where you had 12 individuals with automatic weapons, grenades and GPS's go to several locations and hold Mumbai, the entire city hostage for about three days, a city of 20 million people.

So those elements of many different attacks that have gone into this particular coordinated attack.

GORANI: All right. Tom, really quickly, how do you protect yourself against this? We are saying sophisticated. In the end, it's a guy with an AK-47 pulling a trigger, possibly a lone wolf with some inspiration from abroad, law enforcement officials trying to protect the city against this, the challenge is huge.

FUENTES: Right, it's almost an exercise of futility to try to protect everybody, especially soft targets, at movie theaters opera houses or athletic stadiums.

[06:15:03] I think the colonel would agree with me that, had this been a sophisticated, well trained attack. You have numbers of heads nearing a thousand. It's terrible as 120 or 30 people is.

Same thing in Mumbai, they killed under 300 and given what they had a target-rich environment that has been a trained group of individuals, well trained, the death toll would have been a thousand. I think we are at least fortunate. It could be much more horrific if these people knew what they were doing.

GORANI: All right. Tom Fuentes, Lt. Col. Rick Francona, thanks very much. It is a city in shock in Paris, in six different locations, including the big soccer stadiums. The concert hall here, where a concert was taking place over 100 possibly almost 150 kill. The death toll rising, back to Victor and Christi in the studio. See you in a bit.

PAUL: All right, Hala, thank you much. We appreciate it. Information we are getting live from Paris this morning. In the wake of these attacks, obviously, major cities in the U.S. are stepping up security, everything from sporting events to pass transit. We will tell you what we have learned.

BLACKWELL: President Obama calls the terror seige outrageous and vows to stand with the French government, the French people in the days ahead.

PAUL: Also prayers on the campaign trail as the 2016 presidential candidates learn about the attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Dear Lord, we keep the families in Paris in our prayers. The children who have been frightened to learn of the death of maybe their mom or their dad or their brother or their sister --

(END VIDEO CLIP) [06:20:32]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe there was more than one. It sounded like there was more than one. They stopped to reload and they reloaded again and more gunshots fired the second time around.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: All right. We are following our breaking news out of Paris, a city in shock, a city still reeling. ISIS has now claimed responsibility for the attack. At least eight terrorists attacked multiple sites last night, killing at least 128 people in what were highly coordinated and well planned attacks.

France's president is blaming ISIS. He's calling these attacks, quote, "an act of war" and he's promising that his country will be ruthless in its pursued of those responsible.

All right, we are here outside the concert hall. That is where the massacre took place of almost 100 people. The big soccer stadium outside of Paris is where there was a friendly soccer match between France and Germany and there explosions took place.

It is understood that suicide bombers blew themselves up there. Take a look at cell phone video taken a moment after the blast. The players slowed down. They realize something is going on. They suddenly look around to see where it came from. Take a look.

(VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Better now. All right, CNN's Nic Robertson, our international diplomatic editor is outside the stadium. He joins me now with more. Talk us through what happened yesterday and what the scene looks like this morning.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (via telephone): Hala, what we understand is it seems likely at this stage that one of those first suicide bombers that targeted the stadium here was perhaps initiating the first of the strikes against, you know, against the stadium.

ISIS has come out on one translation of the statement says they targeted a football match because it was between two Christian country. That's the first indication of what happens why they chose this venue or claim to have chosen this venue.

Al Qaeda in the past has said football stadiums, football matches were something to target. ISIS saying they targeted this stadium, three suicide bombers, the first one at about 20 past 9:00 in the evening and the French president, Francois Hollande was there.

ISIS in their statement say they were able to target the location while he was there. The French president was escorted away very rapidly from the stadium. The next suicide bomber went back 20 minutes after the first one. The third 20 minutes after that, so carefully coordinated as we see suicide bombings in the past.

One bomber detonated explosives as paramedics people rush out and then another bomber attack the three sites attacked here at the stadium were three separate locations, one at the main entrance of the stadium, one about 300 or 400 yards away from the stadium outside over a McDonald's restaurant, and then another one at the west entrance of the stadium here.

The coordination of trying to maximize the casualty count to target while there were confusion, people were exiting in a hurry, while they were being taken away. The death toll here as we understand at the moment all people killed as we are told from three suicide bombers -- Hala.

GORANI: All right, Nic Robertson is reporting on the latest, what unfolded in the evening yesterday during that friendly soccer match and also the security situation today. Three suicide bombers at State De France.

[06:25:08]We are outside the concert hall where almost 100 people were killed. We will have a lot more on these terrorist attacks across the French capital. A quick break, we'll be right back. Stay with CNN. We continue breaking news coverage.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: I want to get you the latest on what's happening in the situation in Paris. We know that right now we are waiting for a press conference. We're going to hear from the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.

President Francois Hollande has declared three days of mourning as the country grieves the 128 people killed in last night's terror attack.

BLACKWELL: Also officials are urging Parisians and visitors to stay inside or in public buildings closed as military reinforcements are brought in.

PAUL: The city grappling with last night's events. France says they're ready to fight back. Hollande declaring the country will be, quote, "Ruthless in its response and calling the attacks, quote, "an act of war."

BLACKWELL: President Barack Obama called it not just an attack on Paris or the people of France, but on all of humanity and the universal values we share.

PAUL: CNN's Chris Frates is joining us now with more reaction from leaders in Washington. Chris, what are you hearing there this morning?

CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christie. President Obama spoke with French President Francois Hollande last night. That was just hours after the horrific attacks.

Obama reiterated the United States' support for our oldest ally. He offered to help the French investigation anyway the United States can.

[06:36:03] Obama and Hollande pledged to work together and with all of their allies to defeat terrorism.

Here's what the president said last night right after those attacks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The French people had stood shoulder-to-shoulder with United States time and again. Now we want to be very clear that we stand together with them in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

Terrorists, itself, represents the timeless values of human progress. Those who think that they can terrorize the people of France or the values that they stand for are wrong. The American people draw strength from the French people's commitment to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FRATES: So Secretary of State John Kerry, he expressed outrage and sadness over the attacks saying in a statement, quote, "These are heinous, evil, vial acts." Those of us who can must do everything in our power to fight back against what can only be considered an assault on our common humanity.

Now the secretary also spoke this morning from Vienna. He's meeting with foreign ministers there on Syria. And he said, we are witnessing a kind of medieval and modern Fascism at the same time which has no regard for life, which seeks to destroy and create chaos and disorder and fear, and the only thing we can say to those people is what they did in this has stiffen our resolve, all of us to fight back, to hold people accountable and to stand up for the rule of law, which is exactly what we are here to do.

So Kerry said the U.S. embassy in Paris is working to account for Americans there. And he echoed Obama's pledge to provide whatever help the French government needs -- Victor, Christi?

PAUL: All right, Chris Frates, appreciate the update. Thank you so much.

And we want to let you know, new this morning, we do now have a formal claim of responsibility from ISIS.

BLACKWELL: One of three explosions at that football stadium last night. Again, we are awaiting remarks from the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, in just minutes. We'll bring it to you live right here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:36:03] GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani. We are reporting from outside the concert hall, the Bataclan, where almost 100 people were massacred by terrorists. France on alert. Its borders still closed. Its continental borders internationally, though, flights and trains are coming in, but with very long lines at immigration.

ISIS is claiming responsibility for a series of horrific and shocking attacks that left more than 100 people dead. 128 is the latest death toll count, but it is still rising.

The French President Francois Hollande has vowed that France will be ruthless as it lead this fight to combat the terrorists who committed these murders across the French capital. We are expecting the mayor, by the way, of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, to speak to reporters soon. We will bring you that live when it happens.

Here is what we know right now. Police are confirming 128 people have been killed in six separate attacks across the capital. Another 180 people wounded, 99 of those are in critical condition. The French President Francois Hollande as I was saying is directly blaming ISIS for the attacks. He spoke on television just about an hour ago. He also called it, interestingly, an act of war.

ISIS for its part has officially claimed responsibility online saying that eight brothers, quote/unquote, "carried out these attacks." The country is observing now the first today of three days of national mourning as security enveloped the city and we have some incredible new images and chilling images coming into CNN.

From "Le Monde" newspaper showing concert-goers fleeing from the back exit when the firing started. You can hear gunfire ring out. Take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(GUNFIRES)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: All right. There you see some of that video, amateur footage, of course. It is shaky, it is blurry, but it gives you a sense of the absolute panic that took place and chaos that took place here behind me at this concert hall.

All right. And take a look at some of this video. This is one when one of several suicide bomber explosions took place at the soccer stadium in this side of France.

Take a look

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AUDIENCE: (SINGING "MARSEILLAISE")

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Apologies, those were actually soccer fans singing the "Marseillaise," the French national anthem as they evacuate the Paris stadium after the suicide bombings took place. You hear them clearly sing the anthem in defiance.

80,000 fans were in the stadium when multiple blasts were heard outside. And fans that were essentially in a state of panic rushed onto the field, itself, trying to get away from the danger on the outskirts of the stadium.

CNN's Nic Robertson, our international diplomatic editor, is live outside of that stadium right now.

And, Nic, it has to be said that these suicide bombings took place when the French president was inside the stadium. He had to be hurried out for his own safety. Tell us more about what is going on this morning.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, right now, Hala, in the last minute, quite literally, a mortuary van has crossed the police line here and has driven into the stadium area. Clearly, there is very likely at the moment forensic work going on. We can't see it. This is one of the principle entrances to the stadium. The main entrance was targeted by one of the suicide bomber. That was the third suicide bomb around about 9:20 in the evening. It seems to be the first of the terrorist acts of last night.

[06:40:00] About 20 minutes later, another suicide bomb went off, about 300 or 400 yards from where I am down this road, again, close to the stadium, outside the McDonald's restaurant. The other bomb went off. The suicide bomber detonating his explosive.

About 20 minutes later, the western entrance to the stadium. The coordination appears to have been to try to maximize the number of casualties through the confusion of having crowds rushing out, moving away from what they thought was the danger zone and targeting them where they were expecting to begin to find some safety.

The fact that the French president was here is something that ISIS has already commented on. They have pointed out that they were able to target where he was. They say that they targeted this soccer match because it was between two Christian countries, France and Germany playing a match together.

So it seems to be, although this is ISIS, taking a leap out of al Qaeda's playbook, who have been in the past told its adherence, to target matches in exactly this way, Hala.

GORANI: All right. And, quickly, before we get to Clarissa Ward, the death toll of four at the stadium, does that include the suicide bombers or are those victims?

ROBERTSON: It's not clear at the moment. We know that there were three suicide bombers. Four people died. We haven't got a breakdown yet of the figures here or the casualty toll from the scene here at the stadium.

GORANI: All right, Nic Robertson, thanks very much.

And we are awaiting a statement by the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. We'll bring you that when it happens. Also, the mayor of this city, a city still in shock this morning after these horrific attacks, Anne Hidalgo, is going to be also making a statement. We will be going to that live as well.

Let's turn to the latest on the investigation. Our senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward is not far from my position right here. Not far from this concert hall, the Bataclan, where the worst death toll, the worst of the carnage took place behind me.

Clarissa, what are you learning about exactly what happened? And we -- as we were telling our viewers, ISIS is also claiming responsibility.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Hala. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement. It bears all the hallmarks of their ordinary statements.

I just wanted to read you a few lines from it. They threaten that this is just the, quote, "first of the storm." And they say, the smell of death will never leave their noses as long as they lead the crusader campaign.

Now we've also heard of a separate thing that is circulating on ISIS- affiliated accounts on social media. It is in French. It's a nasheed, or an Islamic song or chant about the quote, "heroic works" of these eight suicide bombers.

It again threatens the French people and Europeans in general saying if you think you are safe in your fortresses, essentially, think again. But it's interesting, Hala, that that's in French and not in Arabic, really underscoring the point here, that while this may have been an ISIS plot, it was -- many believed -- well, we still don't know, I should say, but entirely possible that it was likely perpetrated by French nationals. And that is what has so many people here on edge.

Now we don't know yet the exact identities of the eight attackers, the eight known attackers, I should add. The French prosecutor's office had said that it can't confirm there are more than that. And, of course, there will have been a much larger network, one would assume who would have helped to facilitate a sophisticated attack of this nature.

According to French media now, the bodies of those eight attackers are being inspected. Their DNA samples being taken so that, essentially, investigators can try to find out who these men were, what their nationality was, what their background was and how they were able to pull off this unprecedented attack?

GORANI: All right, Clarissa Ward is near the concert hall, where as we were saying, the worst attack took place. We just saw four vehicles, several of which were, in fact, forensic, funereal vehicles there we believe carrying some of the bodies. Many bodies still inside the concert hall right now, being processed, being removed behind me. A really, really grim and tense scene. A sad and tragic day in Paris. We will have a lot more to come after a break. We are waiting for the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.

He's going to be making a statement and holding a news conference and the Paris mayor as well. That and a lot more after break. Stay with CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:48:22] GORANI: All right, welcome back to our breaking news coverage from Paris.

As we were mentioning and reporting. This morning, France is waking up to more details on these horrifying terrorist attacks that happened across the French capital. Now here's the latest death toll that we have.

Of course, it is possible that it might still rise. 128 people dead, 180 others are injured, but many of them are in critical condition. Now just to recap for our viewers who are just joining us, who might be waking up across the United States as we also welcome our viewers around the world.

Terrorist attacked six locations in Paris. ISIS is claiming responsibility for these attacks. The French president is calling what happened in the French capital, quote, "An act of war."

Let's bring in Olivier Guitta. He is a managing director of "GlobalStrat." It's a security and risk consultancy firm to give us a general sense here on what investigators will be looking at.

Of course, after Charlie Hebdo, there were many fears, Olivier, that French citizens might travel abroad, become radicalized, received weapons trainings in Iraq or Syria and come back here.

Do you think that's the first avenue for investigators to look into at this stage?

OLIVIER GUITTA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, "GLOBALSTRAT": Actually, there are a couple. What has been very interesting is that in the past few weeks, French investigator have uncovered that the "Charlie Hebdo" attack in the supermarket store, where remotely controlled from a Jihadist -- French-Jihadist based in Syria.

So you are correct. They have been looking at returning Jihadists. But you have to remember, since September of last year, Islamic state add time and time again in different videos and audio tapes made the case for westerner not to come to Syria and Iraq any longer but to attack the homeland.

GORANI: Yes.

GUITTA: That's one thing to remember. The second one is that in the past two weeks, Islamic state has also advised their operatives or followers, if you will, in Europe, to basically travel to another country and attack this country rather than attacking their own homeland because of the fact that they could go undetected by their own security services and the time that information would be shared between two countries would allow them to pass through that as well.

[06:50:46] GORANI: All right. Interestingly, you are saying that ISIS is -- online, is encouraging attackers perhaps to even go to other countries. Now, also our viewers as you know and as many of our viewers know, this is a passport free zone, the Schengen. You can go quite freely from one country to the next country.

This is something that might be considered by investigators, Olivier, you believe?

GUITTA: Very much so. I mean, look, we know of several countries, especially Belgium that have traveling, traveling person there and links to various attacks in Europe. So there will be a lot of back and forth between the Belgian and French authorities.

We've seen in the case of the Thalys train that Spanish authorities that warn the French about the perpetrator, Schengen will have to be rethought totally after what happened last night in Paris.

GORANI: All right. Olivier Guitta, thanks very much.

The passport-free zone here in Europe, perhaps a cause for concern in terms of how easily people planning attacks can travel from one country to another. But it is a founding principle of the European Union, and one very difficult to tinker with at this stage. But one concept and one notion that authorities are being forced to look at very carefully.

We're going to take a quick break, while waiting for statements from the U.K. prime minister, from the Paris mayor as well.

We'll be right back. Stay with CNN for more on our breaking news coverage from Paris.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[06:56:03] GORANI: All right, welcome back, everybody.

We are live in Paris this morning with special coverage of the terrorist attacks in the French capital. I am right here outside the concert hall, the Bataclan, where the worst of the massacres took place. ISIS is claiming responsibility for the attacks. France's president, Francois Hollande, is calling what happened in the French capital "An act of war."

He is promising to quote, "Lead the fight against the terrorists." Now the death toll is absolutely staggering in modern times. France has not known an attack of this magnitude. 128 people were killed last night. And the death toll may well arise, because so many of the injured were critically wounded.

At this morning, officials are urging Parisians to stay indoors. The investigation is under way. We'll have a lot more from Paris here in just a moment.

Christi and Victor, for now, back to you at the CNN Center.

PAUL: All right. And, Hala, thank you so very much.

We want to point out that U.S. government officials want to clarify. There is no known threat to the American homeland in the wake of the terrorist attacks there in Paris. However, major cities across the country are placing units on high alert and many at events that you may be planning to attend today.

BLACKWELL: Yes. Let's start in New York City. The NYPD says they are deploying special security teams to the crowded areas. And in New York, there are lots of them. This is all out of an abundance of caution.

CNN's Polo Sandoval joins us now. He's live in Time Square. They are in New York City.

First, Polo, let me say that we are waiting to hear from British Prime Minister David Cameron, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. If one of them steps in front of a camera, we're going to have to interrupt. But are you seeing evidence there in Times Square of this heightened security?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Victor, that's an interesting question. At this point, we haven't seen any significant increase, but we have been here before where a coordinated attack overseas will essentially renew concerns here in the U.S. for authorities to remain extra vigilant.

But as you just mentioned a few moments ago at this point, officials with the Department of Homeland Security say that there is no credible threat or no reason to worry, but obviously we are still seeing a significant presence or at least we can expect the significant presence at some of the sporting venues here in New York City.

Some of the -- what we expect -- what could be potential targets, but also the everyday places that folks may frequent, especially on the weekend. Night clubs, for example. Some of the bar scene as well.

And then we also heard from New York Mayor De Blasio, who says not only the police presence will be necessary, but also gathering as much intelligence as they can, not only overseas, but also here in the U.S.

PAUL: All right, Polo Sandoval, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.

And we are covering this story all morning long here on CNN.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the next hour of your "New Day" starts right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

BLACKWELL: These are some of the stunning images coming to CNN.

From "Le Monde," concert-goers at the Bataclan theater running. You see out of that back door running for their lives. Four gunmen stormed into the concert hall, firing into the crowd. Dozens killed at that location.

Good morning to our viewers joining us around the world.

I'm Victor Blackwell.

PAUL: And I'm Christi Paul. Always great to have you with us.

CNN is using its worldwide resources, obviously, to cover the attack in Paris. We have correspondents and analyst stationed across the globe and we want to begin with our colleague Hala Gorani in Paris who is outside the Bataclan.

And we've heard the president of France, Hala, say that he wants everybody to stay home, to stay off the streets.

Are you finding that people seem to be heeding that warning?

GORANI: Well, the streets are a lot calmer, are a lot quieter. Certainly, I arrive in Paris about a couple of hours ago, driving from the north of Paris to this location right here outside the concert hall, the Bataclan. You did get a sense that the streets were quieter. Of course, where we are here, many of the world's media are gathered behind us, that building, which is the concert hall.

And, in fact, chillingly, just a few minutes ago, we saw some forensic vehicles carrying out the bodies of people who fell victim to some of the attackers yesterday.