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Airport Terminal Evacuated in London; David Cameron Comments on Paris Attacks; Pope Says Attacks are Part of Third World War. Aired 7- 8a ET
Aired November 14, 2015 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[07:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN ANCHOR: We believe several attackers with semi-automatic or automatic AK-47s, in fact, barged in and burst into that concert hall and started mowing people down. We want to get you caught up on what we know at this hour. But I believe we have the Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, who is now briefing reporters and holding a news conference. Let's listen in on what she has to say about what happened in Paris yesterday.
ANNE HIDALGO, PARIS MAYOR (via translator): Part of this Paris, which we all love, this open Paris of -- it's a happy city, happy to participate in all the cultures of the world. It is strong and diverse. This is the Paris which was attacked, no doubt because this model of living together, which is so evident in our city, is unbearable for fanatics.
It's unbearable for those who want to reduce the whole of mankind, to silence the message that we want to get over here. With all the questions of the region, I thank them for being here, Natalie (ph) for being here and for the support she has given at this moment of coming together. I thank Monsieur Rope (ph) and the socialist (ph) group. Also the colleges (ph) group of (inaudible) economist group, and (inaudible), chairman of the center independent group and the radical leftist group represented by Jean Barnardmo (ph).
We have all come to say that this model, this way of living, it is a place where we like controversy and discussions. That's democracy but democracy doesn't deny the humanity of others. We don't want to kill people. That's what we have to say here. We will be stronger. We will be stronger than those who want to reduce us to silence so that our way of life is weakened or annihilated. And I want to say to the victims and their families that all our thoughts are with them at the present time. Many present families suffering, they have lost loved ones, often very young people, and this pain is something we share. I also want to reach and thank on behalf of all of us ...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPOKEN IN FRENCH)
GORANI: All right. You've been listening to the Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, saying essentially that multiculturalism, that the way of life here in Paris bringing people together is unbearable for fanatics. Also saying that Paris will be stronger than the terrorists who want to silence the people who live here. Clarissa Ward, our senior international correspondent, not too far away from my position here near the concert hall where the worst of the attack took place.
There, you have the mayor as well. We heard from the French president. We're even hearing from opposition politicians all vowing that they will not be silenced by the terrorists. And I believe we're looking at live pictures now of people tying black ribbons around the French flag. And we continue to see, by the way, security official vehicles leave the site of the Bataclan right here behind me. Clarissa, talk to us a little bit about the official French reaction. What might come next?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: Well, Hala, I mean as you said, the mayor there really trying to emphasize that France will not be cowed by this attack, that the French will not allow their system of living peacefully, different peoples, different religions, coexisting, cohabitating, that it will not allow that to be threatened.
Obviously, ISIS' motivation here, you heard from that very fiery statement saying this is just the beginning of the storm, Francois Hollande calling this an act of war. This is really a declaration of war against secularism, laicite as they call it here in France, and on the French way of life. So you're hearing a lot of rhetoric from the government saying that they won't be cowed, that they won't back down, but at the same time there are a lot of questions to be answered.
At this stage, we don't yet know the identities of those eight attackers. Who were they? Are they French nationals? Did they spend time in Syria and Iraq? According to some eyewitness, they were speaking French, some of them. Some of them mentioned this is what you get for what you're doing in Syria. And certainly, that was reflected in the ISIS statement as well, threatening more attacks of this nature as long as France is a part of this coalition that is bombing ISIS targets inside Syria and Iraq.
Now, we've heard from French media reports that the remains of those eight attackers are now being forensically examined. They will be looking for DNA to give some clues as to their identity. And Hala, as we discussed earlier, this is just nine months after that terrible massacre Charlie Hebdo. The world was shocked by that.
This, we're talking much higher numbers, much more sophisticated operation, multiple targets, ISIS saying that they chose targets deliberately and specifically. This was a carefully calibrated operation. And what the French authorities will be wanting to know now is how much of it was funded and organized by ISIS and their leadership in Syria and Iraq and how much of it was done here in France on the ground, what networks are still in existence that facilitated the orchestration of this attack.
[07:06:31] GORANI: All right. Clarissa Ward, thanks very much. Who financed this? Who organized this? Who got the weapons? Where were these individuals trained? Did they receive training? Did they travel outside of France? All questions right now, we do not have answers to that. Investigators will be looking at.
The story not just in Paris this hour, we turn to London where a major airport terminal is under evacuation after a suspicious article was found. Unclear what's going on there, but our international correspondent, Phil Black, is on his way to Gatwick as we speak. What can you tell us Phil?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Hello. So Gatwick Airport, South of London, the city's second major airport after Heathrow. This could just be a precaution, but it's a -- it is a significant one. We're told that all of the north terminal -- there are two key terminals there, the north and the south -- the north terminal has been evacuated. And you know, I've spoken to passengers on the ground that have been moved from the terminal area into nearby buildings. And they since told us they are now being moved again that they're feeling is that the evacuated area, the perimeter is being expanded.
Now, we don't know precisely why this is the case just yet. We haven't confirmed that information. As I said, it could be precautionary, but it s certainly points to the nervousness that I think guarded with the responsibility of protecting key infrastructure and members of the public would be feeling in this city this morning. And for that -- and that is why the prime minister here is chairing his emergency committee, known as COBRA, here.
Effectively, at the top of that agenda is to determine whether or not there's any risk or any heightened risk or heighted threat to the risk of a terrorist strike here in the United Kingdom. The terror threat level here remains severe as it has done for some time now, the second highest level, which shows an attack is likely.
Today, the prime minister is -- the senior members of his government intelligence and defense department will be assessing intelligence and information to determine whether or not that needs to change, whether or not any other need or precaution need to be adjusted as well. But what we're seeing here, or hearing reports of at the moment at Gatwick Airport is certainly evidence of the nervousness and the precautions that have been taken here. At least that is I would say the evacuation of the entire North terminal at Gatwick Airport. We're on our way there now to try and determine precisely what's going on, what the reasoning for this was, Hala.
GORANI: All right, Phil Black. Thanks very much. Phil saying perhaps just a precaution. But if it is, it is a significant one with a large part of Gatwick Airport in London evacuated.
Let's bring in Sajjan Gohel, international security director of the Asia Pacific Foundation and a terrorism expert and Olivier Guitta as well, managing director of GlobalStrat. Thanks to both of you. Sajjan, I want to start with you here. When you heard of these coordinated attacks, six of them across the French capital, the weaponry used, the fact that they were suicide bombers in many cases, seven at least out of the eight. What went through your mind in terms of what you think actually happened here?
SAJJAN GOHEL, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY DIRECTOR, ASIA PACIFIC FOUNDATION: Well, this is an attack on an unprecedented scale in the West. We have seen marauding terrorism before, such as in Mumbai in 2008 when done in roam the streets, talked in hotels and restaurants and Jewish cultural center, similar what manifested in Paris. But what's also interesting is that suicide bombers were utilized. This is the largest number of suicide attacks in western Europe, not since the 77 bombings in London have we witnessed something like this. I think it is just illustrative of how shocking this whole attack.
[07:10:23] GORANI: All right, Sajjan Gohel -- Olivier Guitta, if you can - by the way, I want to tell our viewers why I suddenly turn to my right. Someone rolled a piano, right -- a piano in and started playing. I can't hear him or her play anymore, but I did out of the corner of my eye see the piano, there they go again. Perhaps just sort of just showing that, you know, civilization that art, that those who were targeted here at a concert hall that in their memory and their honor this person is playing a tune on a piano that has just been rolled in. So quite a surreal scene but just to explain to our viewers exactly what is going on out here as the media, the world media, have gathered here to report on this tragic story.
Olivier Guitta, I want to ask you a little bit about homegrown terrorism as well, because as we saw with Charlie Hebdo individuals who commit these crimes don't necessarily travel outside of France. Amedy Coulibaly, who took so many hostage at the Kosher supermarket, had not traveled outside of France. What do you make of what happened here yesterday?
OLIVIER GUITTA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GLOBALSTRAT: You are correct. I mean this is the big question to know if the terrorist were directly imported from Syria and came in or it was just the brains behind the attack that were asking the foot soldiers in France to coordinate an attack. You are correct in pointing out that Coulibaly was not really having traveled to other places. But for the time being, there's always been links at least between people that have the experience of having traveled in JD (ph) theaters to be some kind of mentor to some others and there was also Djamel Beghal that was the mentor of Coulibaly in jail and that helped him get more radicalized.
GORANI: All right. Olivier Guitta and Sanjjan Gohel, thanks very much. I don't know if our viewers can hear this but there's a grand piano that was just rolled out in the middle of the crowd and in the middle of this group of journalists and someone playing Imagine by John Lennon quite loudly. So perhaps, you watching us all over the world can hear it. In the meantime, we're going to take a quick break, a lot more of our breaking news coverage on CNN. Stay with us.
[07:15:48] GORANI: All right. Back to our breaking news coverage from Paris. We're hearing from the U.K. Prime Minister now, David Cameron reacting to the attacks. Let's listen to what he had to say.
DAVID CAMERON, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: ... when confronted by evil, short but resolute, in sorrow but unbowed. My message to the French people is simple. (SPEAKING IN FRENCH). We stand with you, united. While the full picture of what happened is still emerging, we know that there were multiple terror incidents across Paris and over 120 people are feared dead with many more injured. We must be prepared for a number of British casualties and we're doing all we can to help those caught up in the attack.
These were innocent victims enjoying a Friday night out with friends and family, no doubt at the end of a hard week. They were not seeking to harm anyone. They were simply going about their way of life, our way of life. And they were killed and injured by brutal callous murderers who want to destroy everything our two countries stand for, peace, tolerance, liberty, but we will not let them. We will re-double our efforts to wipe out this poisonous extremist ideology and together with the French and our allies around the world stand up for all we believe in.
I just had a meeting of COBRA to review the security situation here in the United Kingdom. The threat level is already at severe, which means an attack is highly likely, and will remain so. Our police and intelligence agencies work around the clock to do all they can to keep us safe. Every since the coordinated firearms attack in Mumbai in 2008, we've all been working together to ensure we could respond to such an attack. This summer, police and other emergency services carried out a major exercise to test our response multiple firearms attacks. And in the likes of last night's attacks, we will, of course, review our plans and make sure we learn any appropriate lessons.
It is clear that the threat from ISIL is evolving. Last night's attacks suggest a new degree of planning and coordination and a great ambition for mass casualty attacks. And we must recognize that how ever strong we are, how ever much we prepare, we in the UK face the same threat. That's why we continue to encourage the public to remain vigilant and we will do all we can to support our police and intelligence agencies with the resources and the capabilities that they need.
The terrorist's aim is clear. It is to divide us and to destroy our way of life. So more than ever, we must come together and stand united and carry on with the way of life that we love, and that we know and that we'll never be moved off.
I hope to speak to President Hollande later today and I'll make clear that we will do whatever we can to help. Your values are our values. Your pain is our pain. Your fight is our fight. And together, we will defeat these terrorists. Thank you.
GORANI: All right. You heard it there from the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron expressing solidarity with the French people, expressing solidarity as well with Parisians, and also telling his countrymen and women that his own country is in a heightened state of the security, of anticipation saying that a terrorist attack in the United Kingdom is highly likely there.
As we have been reporting over the last several hours and overnight as well here in France, there were six coordinated attacks. One of them happened behind me here at the concert hall called the Bataclan with a capacity of 1,500 people. We understand that almost 100 were gunned down ruthlessly here by a group of terrorists. But also highly symbolic, three suicide bombers blew themselves up at a soccer stadium where a friendly soccer game with taking place between France and Germany and the soccer game which the French president was attending, so literally just hundreds of meters away from the leader of this country. That's where that's where we find our Nic Robertson. He is standing by there at the Stade de France. Tell us what's going on where you are now, Nic.
[07:20:25] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, forensic teams, Hala, have been going through the area behind me. This is the location of where one of the suicide bombers targeted the game. It's not clear if because of heightened security because of the presence of President Francois Hollande the suicide bomber planned to get closer into the crowd. That's not clear.
But they -- the first suicide bomber detonated explosives just behind me here. That was about 20 past 9. Then about few hundred yard down the road from me in this direction, just past the end of the stadium at McDonald store, yet another suicide bomber detonated explosives outside of that. Twenty minutes after that, another suicide bomber at the western entrance to the stadium detonates his explosives, a clear effort on planning and coordination to try to target people as they were fleeing the scene to try to get away from the first blast.
This speaks precisely to what David Cameron has just talked about here in quite alarming terms, if you will, an evolving, planning and coordination -- a new degree of planning and coordination that is evolving in ISIS. He says that is now looking more than that they had intelligence authorities had assessed before looking for mass casualty attacks like this one. What they perpetrated at this stadium alone is a complex attack.
And of course, that was -- appears to be coordinated and timed with the attacks elsewhere in Paris. But here, the forensic teams continue their work. The area still locked down by the police, security in place in the buildings that we've seen around this location, Hala.
GORANI: All right. Nic Robertson, thanks very much at the Stade de France, a city in shock still today. One of the worst terrorist attacks in modern history across Europe, certainly the worst here in France, 128 people killed. I will be speaking after the break to a witness who saw several people murdered in front of his own eyes. He'll tell us what he saw and what he is thinking today on this tragic day, the first day of three days of national mourning in this country. We'll be right back. Stay with us on CNN.
[07:26:11] GORANI: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world as we continue our breaking news coverage of the horrific attacks that took place yesterday in Paris. France has woken up this morning to scenes like this. What you're seeing behind me here, you're seeing forensic vehicles. You're seeing security officials this way as well leaving the Bataclan concert hall where bodies are still inside being processed, some of them being loaded on to these vans and taken to the medical examiners here a few hundred meters away, we understand at least one of the locations as well while forensic teams are inside processing the Bataclan concert hall.
Mark Cole-Claw (ph) is a man who went through hell yesterday by all accounts. He joins me on the phone this morning. Mark, I understand you actually saw people murdered in front of your very eyes. Tell us what you saw yesterday.
MARK COLE-CLAW (ph), PARIS TERRORISM WITNESS (via telephone): Yes. We saw the -- we saw a gunman killing between three and five individuals, maybe 20 meters in front of us.
GORANI: What did you -- where were you and tell us at what point did you realize what was going on.
COLE-CLAW (ph): A friend of mine and I were walking towards the Fontain - Dele Fontain (ph) towards one of the cafes where the gunman hit. And what we initially saw, we thought it was either a police special forces like a SWAT team doing something, upholding law and order or doing something, or we thought it was a single targeted attack. But then we realized when the gunman had killed people outside the cafe and had shot into a car as well. And when the gunman walked into the cafe and opened fire then we knew that it was an attack on civilians.
GORANI: So you saw the gunman. You thought it was perhaps a member of the SWAT team because of why, because of the way he was dressed, was it a single gunman?
COLE-CLAW (ph): Yes. It was a single gunman. The way he was dressed he looked like he was dressed in military attire, dressed in black, black boots, black trousers, black sweater, gun up to his -- rifle up to his left shoulder, the way he was shooting is very professional stance. He was shooting short bursts, short controlled bursts. So I thought he was either military or a special part of the police, something like that.
GORANI: And then you realized that this was an attack when essentially he started gunning down people outside the cafe. Is that correct?
COLE-CLAW (ph): And when he moved inside the cafe after he had killed the three individuals outdoors and the one or maybetow in the white car. When he moved into the cafe and again shooting inside the cafe that's when I knew this could neither be a SWAT team or anything legal. This had to be an attack on civilians.
GORANI: Were you able to see his face? Did he say anything?
COLE-CLAW (ph): No. No, we didn't hear him say anything. And we also didn't see his face. We saw his build. We saw the way that he was moving, but we didn't see any clear facial details at all.
GORANI: And when you witnessed all of this, these people being gunned down, murdered in front of your eyes, what did -- what did -- what did you do at that point?
COLE-CLAW (ph): My travel companion and I, we froze completely when we saw that. It wasn't until we saw him opening fire inside the restaurant or the cafe that we knew this was an attack on civilians and then our stunned silence broke and we run in the opposite direction and sought cover.
[07:30:00] GORANI: And I mean you've had just a few hours to process all this, are you -- I mean are you OK?
COLE-CLAW (ph): I think both my travel companion and I are going through a period of shock -- delayed shock.
COLE-CLAW (ph): So I'm trying to arrange for us to go home and to get some counseling or some therapy, some crisis intervention of some kind.
GORANI: All right. And what is your plan now? You're still in Paris. Where is home for you?
COLE-CLAW (ph): Yes. We want to go home and we want to seek out some crisis counseling because we are civilians and we're not used -- we were not prepared for the impact of watching people getting gunned down 20 meters in front of us. So we're looking for a way to process that for us as tourists. Right now, we're talking with the embassy and perhaps we'll be talking with a psychologist here in Paris, I imagine.
GORANI: All right. Sorry you went through this really tragic event. Mark Cole-Claw (ph) there describing a horrific scene where he saw several individuals essentially gunned down, murdered in front of him by one of these terrorists. We understand eight individuals targeted six different sites across the city. Mark Cole-Claw (ph), thanks very much for sharing your story.
And I also want to bring our viewers an update on our other breaking news story. A terminal evacuated at London's Gatwick Airport. That is after the break. We will be right back. Do stay with us. We are continuing our breaking news here on CNN. We'll be right back.
[07:35:00]ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
GORANI: ... verge (ph) of the terror attacks in Paris, we continue our breaking news coverage. The country is under a state of emergency. Its borders remain closed today, those continental borders and the free passport zone. The French president, Francois Holland, has been speaking with world leaders all morning including the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who pledged her country's support after this attritious (ph) attacks.
ISIS is claiming responsibility and is promising more assaults in a statement that also said that each venue, including the one right here behind me, the concert hall, was precisely targeted.
Meanwhile, Francois Hollande has promised that his country will be, quote, "ruthless as it fights back." Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (via translator): It's an act of war committed by a terrorist army, Daesh, an army of jihadist against France.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. Paris' mayor spoke earlier this morning. In a heartbreaking statement, she said the city was, quote, "united in pain and suffering, and being here, it is something that you feel as well."
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 that we share. CNN's Chris Frates joins me now with new reaction from leaders in Washington to what happened. We heard that from Barack Obama. Tell us more as well about what the Secretary of State, John Kerry, has been saying.
CHRIS FRATES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey. Good morning from Washington here, Hala. Now, remember, President Obama did speak with French President Francois Hollande last night. That was just hours after these terrible attacks in Paris and Obama reiterated the United States' support for America's oldest ally and offered to help the French investigation any way the U.S. can. The president and Hollande pledged to work together and with allies to defeat terrorism. But here's the new reaction today from Secretary of State, John Kerry. He expressed outrage and sadness over the attacks and he spoke this morning from Vienna where he's meeting with foreign ministers on Syria. Here is what he had to say about the attacks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE UNITED STATES: So we are witnessing a kind of medieval and modern (inaudible) at the same time, which is no regard for life. It seeks to destroy and create chaos and disorder and fear. And the one thing we can say to those people is that what they do in is stiffen our resolve, all of us. We fight back to the whole people of (inaudible) and stand up for rule of law, which is exactly what we are here to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FRATES: So Kerry said the U.S. Embassy in Paris is working to account for all of the Americans there and he echoed Obama's pledge to provide whatever help of the French government needs, Hala.
GORANI: All right. Chris Frates in Washington. Thanks very much. Let's go back to Clarissa Ward, our senior international correspondents. She has a major update on one of the attackers I understand. Clarissa, what can you tell us?
WARD: Well, Hala, we're hearing from French media reports that a Syrian passport -- a Syrian passport was found by the body of one of the attackers at the football stadium or at the soccer stadium. And we don't know any more details other than that, but they're allegedly reporting that a Syrian passport was found by the body of one of the attackers. This could mean many different things. A lot of people have falsified documents. It's not clear why indeed someone perpetrating this kind of attack would necessarily be carrying their passport with them.
But Hala, I have to say it did remind me after the Charlie Hebdo attack when the Kouachi brothers fled the scene together, Cherif Kouachi left his carte d'identite, his identity card, his ID card in the getaway vehicle. So this is not unprecedented. But at this stage, we're still working to confirm. These are French media reports that a Syrian passport was found by the body of one of the attackers at that stadium.
GORANI: All right. Clarissa Ward, thanks very much. We'll get back to Clarissa shortly with more on the investigation. The Lieutenant Colonel Bob McGinnis joins me now from Virginia for more analysis on this situation. Let's talk a little bit about the possibility here that you have European nationals travel to countries like Syria, areas like Raqqa inside of Syria, the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic state, and the big concern that they might come back carry out these types of attacks. Do you think that's going to be the primary sort of avenue of investigators here looking into what happened in Paris?
[07:40:03] BOB MCGINNIS, RETIRED ARMY LIEUTENANT COLONEL: Well, there's not a doubt that there have been many hundreds of Europeans that have traveled to Raqqa, Syria, Iraq, who joined ISIS. I know that Brits have tracked at least 700 here in the United States. We have tracked about 250. And when these people do return, they come back with skills, killing mentalities and the willingness and perhaps there on the trigger from those that are sitting in Syria to do the attack. I thought it was interesting that President Hollande mentioned in his statement declaring this act of war. He said, "This was prepared, it was organized and it was planned abroad." The implication is someone who pulled the trigger was in Syria and those in Paris were just conduits by which they use their cosmic (ph) cause, their suicide bombs, and they use that to kill a lot of people for the purpose, of course, the strategic purpose that we find out more evidence by what ISIS is doing across the region.
GORANI: Now, we -- in some ways, these attacks are sophisticated, of course, because they're coordinated because the weaponry is more sophisticated than what was January for Charlie Hebdo. But in other ways, they're very basic. I mean essentially it's a man with an AK-47 pulling a trigger, right? So you have two aspects here of these attacks and it's not that complicated. Is it? I mean when you look at it you think it requires the level of sophistication that some military mastermind put this together or in this more of a, you know -- can this be carried out by people with a lot less strategic skill?
MCGINNIS: Well, moments ago, you were interviewing Mark who was sort of a live witness to some of the shootings and he describes somebody who was totally dressed in black that was very casual, very deliberate in what they did. You know, people that carry out a suicide attack or do what these people did at the concert hall, you know, they don't demonstrate emotion. They go in and they do their terrible deed and then they would withdraw if they're not dead. You know, this is indicative of significant training and coordination. So this is well- planned, well coordinated. It's not about you JV people out there trying to demonstrate to the world that they can kill people, no. There is a strategic point here. And I believe ISIS clearly, who has already claimed responsibility, is doing exactly what they want. And of course, you know, I would track this to other events that we see elsewhere, perhaps even the Russian downing -- or the Russian plane downing is evidence of a new strategy that's beginning to emerge not only, you know, here in Paris but elsewhere in the world.
So that's why you have in the capitals, in London that you heard, in Washington here, people are beginning to think, are we facing a new chain, a strategy that ISIS is going to employ or brought. After all, they've been sending people across the world for years. And now, their plans have been perhaps where they want to and then they're going to call them to action that trigger having them pull perhaps in Raqqa as you indicated.
GORANI: All right. Lieutenant Colonel Bob McGinnis, thanks very much. We'll stay in touch as well. Thanks for your analysis. We'll be right back with an update on the situation at London's Gatwick Airport. A man has been arrested, an entire terminal has been evacuated. We'll bring you more naturally on the latest on our breaking news out of Paris, coming up.
[07:47:04] GORANI: All right. Welcome back to our breaking news coverage from Paris. Today, France is showing resilience -- it has to be said -- and unity as well after some horrifying terrorist attacks last night, the worse in French modern history, 128 people killed. People are coming out to lay flowers at the site of the attacks. As I mentioned, the latest toll is 128 but 180 others are injured, some of them veru seriously.
ISIS is claiming responsibility for these attacks. French media are reporting that a Syrian passport was found on the body of an attacker at the soccer stadium. The French president is calling this an act of war on his country. Leaders around the world are expressing condolences as well as solidarity with the people of France.
While a lot more that's going in in Paris in a moment, but an update on our breaking news in London, an arrests after the evacuation of a terminal at London's Gatwick Airport. International correspondent, Phil Black joins me now with the very latest. Phil, what can you tell us?
BLACK: So Hala, what they told us is that have arrested these passengers (inaudible) what the police is calling a suspicious parcel (ph). Now, the police say that they're now on heightened awareness. They're (inaudible) because of what happened in Paris overnight, so they are taking this very seriously. And as a result of just how seriously they're taking it, they have evacuated all of the north terminal at Gatwick Airport. There are two terminals, the north and the south. At the north terminal, all passengers have been removed from the terminal area itself. We've spoken to some of those passengers there on the ground. They said that they moved yet again to another location. They were moved from one building then to another area as well. We're just now on the perimeter of the airport itself. There are police vehicles, road blocks, at all the entrance points. They're not letting anyone in at this stage. So that north terminal is on lock down and the police have admitted they have arrested someone at the airport this morning because passengers saw -- and describing what they described as suspicious item, Hala.
GORANI: Phil Black at Gatwick Airport. Thanks very much. I want to tell our viewers about some very strong words from Pope Francis. The pontiff is calling these attacks in Paris part of the third world war. The attacks in Paris were part of the, quote, "piecemeal third world war," according to Pope Francis, quote, "There is no religious or human justification for it." This is something he said in a telephone interview with the television network of Italian Bishops Conference. So the Pope in -- at the Vatican calling the attacks in Paris part of the third world war, very strong words coming from the Pontif. We will be right back with a lot more.
07:50:02 (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
GORANI: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and all over the world as we continue our breaking news coverage of the attacks in Paris. We are hearing from Pope Francis. He is using some very strong words to describe what happened here yesterday, saying that these attacks are part of the third world war. Delia Gallagher is our Vatican correspondent and she joins me now live from Rome.
Delia, what goes into choosing these words when it comes to the pontiff sort of describing attacks as part of the third world war?
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, let me put that comment into context for you. He called it a piecemeal third world war. And this is the phrase that the pope had used before in reference to a number of smaller conflicts that we see going on around the world. And so, he says that it is not the same thing as the sort of traditional wars that we used to have where you had a clear combatant and countries fighting countries. We have now piecemeal third world war in which he means, you know, the different conflicts happening but that are connected around the world. He made the comment, Hala, this morning talking to the Italian Bishop's Television Station that in itself unusual for a pope to do a phone interview on a TV station. And he added that there is no religious or human justification for it. He said he is close to the people of France, of course. And he said, "I'm moved and saddened and I do not understand these things. These things are hard to understand."
Again, Hala, to put it into context, when the pope speaks of a piecemeal third world war, he has used it before in referenced to the conflicts in the Middle East and reference to ISIS in reference to a number of the violent conflicts we see around the world. He is obviously now including the attacks in Paris as part of that vision that he has for this world in conflict, which as we know he has spoken out on behalf of peace and indeed encouraged on a number of levels, peace for these conflicts.
The Vatican, of course, immediately condemned the attacks last night and the Pope adding his personal voice to the condolences from around the world today. Hala?
[07:56:01] GORANI: All right. Our Vatican correspondent, Delia Gallagher, in Rome with more on the Pope's statement about the Paris attacks that they are a part of a piecemeal third world war.
Our coverage of the terrorist attacks in the French capital continues after a very quick break. Stay with us.