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ISIS Video Warns of Attacks in Times Square; Police Raid in Paris. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 18, 2015 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 SHOW HOST: Well, of course be tomorrow night as well. CNN Tonight with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT SHOW HOST: Anderson Cooper, thank you very much. Don't go far we're going to get back to you. But I want to tell our viewers it's 10 p.m. on the East Coast, 4 a.m. in Paris where Anderson is.
This is CNN Tonight. I'm Don Lemon.
We have terror headlines in two major cities. Here in New York, a new ISIS video warning of an attack potentially targeting the heart of the city, Times Square. And in Paris, investigators feverishly combing through DNA evidence trying to determine whether a police raid killed a ring leader of the attack or if he is on the run.
We're going to begin, though, with the very latest terror threats from ISIS. That video that warns of a coming attack on New York City. The video is more than five minutes long. But we're only showing just a few frames from it just because we don't want to give them the exposure that they crave.
But you really should know about it. The frames that we're showing they depict what appears to be a bomb being constructed. Also a potential bomber zipping up his jacket over a bomb strapped to his body.
And generic scenes from areas like Times Square and Herald Square in New York. Our Deborah Feyerick could tell you, is live in Times Square, where we are waiting a news conference by the way, with the NYPD tonight.
Also going to be with us is John Miller. The department's top counterterrorism official. He is going to be live in studio with me. A lot to get to.
Back to Anderson now. And also CNN's Atika Shubert in Paris. Anderson, to you first, last night around this time, that dramatic raid began. What have we learned and who do authorities believe they have captured or killed?
COOPER: Well, eight people have been taken into custody from that particular raid from that particular cell. Seven men, one woman, as you know, another woman blew herself up after having a short exchange with police. And one other person was killed as well.
We don't know the identity of the second person who was killed. The woman who blew herself up was believed to be related to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, who, of course is the -- may have been the organizer, is believed to being the organizer of the attacks on Friday.
Now he is somebody who a law enforcement had been saying all along, was most likely still in Syria. That changed dramatically during this raid. We learned for the first that he made very well be here in Paris or at least this morning, might have been here in Paris.
That is a startling development in this investigation. An investigation, Don, which as you know, and you've been reporting and has been moving extremely quickly. Law enforcement authorities saying that cell phones found with this, some of the suicide attackers and the killers on Friday night, helped them start to piece together the links between these groups and try to kind of work out the time line.
Also obviously, those vehicles that were found here in Paris that were used during the attacks on Friday, that also brought them to Belgium. So, the investigation is moving quickly, but there is a lot to try to figure out. And as you said, testing DNA to determine whether or not this alleged ring leader was killed in the attack or if he was even in that apartment, that is yet to be determined.
LEMON: Hey, Anderson, I want to talk to you, let's play this video. You have this exclusive video of the raid. Let's play it and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Ah, wow. Anderson, so, listen, that's the video you run it exclusively. What are officials telling you, what have you learned about this video that we just played?
COOPER: Right. That is an exchanged, believed to be an exchange between police, between the commandos who took part in the raid early this morning, and the female suicide bomber. They asked her about the whereabouts of what they believed to be her boyfriend, meaning the allege ring leader. She said twice, "he's not my boyfriend," and then she detonated that suicide device.
So, a very dramatic, a short exchange between them in this raid that took place in the early morning hours here and was incredibly dramatic raid not only for people in that neighborhood, but really for everybody in Paris shocked to see that it wasn't just the eight or nine attackers who were known on Friday night. But this entire other group of people, who authorities now in France say were planning, yet, another wave of attacks here.
LEMON: And, you know, it's amazing to watch that video and to listen to what they're saying, 4.30 in the morning, this all started when we went on the air last night and that's when it all started to play out.
Anderson, stand by. Atika, you now, you were on the scene last night. So, tell us what that was like.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I mean, it was an incredibly tense and fluid situation. And they had so many different tactical units on the ground, also military soldiers who formed a kind of secure perimeter around the area.
[22:05:02] But you could just see that this was an operation that was extremely serious and sustained. I mean, it lasted for several hours. The shooting itself lasted for about 20 minutes. When we got there, it was just after the shooting had stopped.
And then a little while later, we started to hear this round of explosions, it's about six or seven. And I believe now that those were the controlled detonations that were set off by the police as part of the raid once the head -- once the gun battle really had finished.
But it was extraordinary to see. Not only did we have the SWAT teams units there, the military soldiers on the ground, but we also had the police judiciare, which is sort of the investigations police in the crowd of journalists and residents with masks on looking into our faces.
They seemed to be searching for accomplices among the crowd. So, it was this just incredibly tense and dramatic night for everyone there. Residents and media included.
LEMON: Atika, could Abdel Abaaoud have been in Paris since Friday the day of the attacks? I mean, the people in the neighborhood know he was there?
SHUBERT: Look, I think that he was well-known; his picture had been in the media now for several days. Because he had been sort of, identified as one of the possible ring leaders by authorities here.
Now there were conflicting reports on the ground whether in the neighborhood whether or not he was in fact there. But it's a shocking development. Because he was supposed to be in Syria, or Raqqah, just a few days or weeks' ago. It's possible that he was here.
This is somebody who, his family called in saying that he had died in Syria. Now intelligence believes he faked his own death so that he could travel more easily to Europe.
He was believed of anything to be based in Belgium but it's very easy to cross the border. There are no border controls. But very shocking to think that he may have been living in the heart of Paris -- Paris hiding in plain sight.
LEMON: Atika, thank you. Anderson, great coverage over the last two hours. Thank you. We'll see you soon on CNN. Let's get to CNN's Deborah Feyerick, now live for us in New York's Times Square with the latest on the new video. So, Deb, again, we are awaiting that news conference by the NYPD that
should happen during broadcast or at the top of the next hour. But what does this new ISIS video show, Deb?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this new ISIS video once again, sort of puts New York City right in the crosshairs. They know, the police here know that it's a target, it's a likely target and they have taken steps to beef up all the kinds of security that they can.
What's new about this particular video, Don, is that it has a lot of footage of French President Francois Hollande and that he declared war on ISIS. And so, they're using bites of his from different speeches over the last couple days.
But within the video there are -- there is some information, for example it's clear that ISIS wants to attack not only Britain but also the United States. And they've got three ways that they aspire to do this, a car bomb, a sharpshooter and also a suicide belt.
And it's the suicide belt once that video comes up, you will see the letters USA in the corner of that video. And one bomb, as they show them making it, it does have ball bearings and that is a huge concern to authorities because ball bearings is exactly what was in the Boston marathon bombs, and that caused the maximum damage to so many people.
So, officers know about it. The police commissioners are going to be here along with his team, basically to send the message that in fact, New York is safe, that there are a lot of measures in place to protect it. Here's what he said a little earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM BRATTON, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: As we go into this very critical six weeks in New York with the Thanksgiving event, Christmas tree lighting, all the Christmas festivities and the millions upon millions of tourists we expect, we have never been better prepared to deal with all of that. And that's fortunate, because there has probably not been a time since 9/11 when there has been so much concern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEYERICK: And so, Don, look, behind me, this is Times Square. It is still very, very busy. What is relatively warm November night. And you know, in a couple of weeks you're going to have New Year's Eve and the ball drop here.
The NYPD knows how to handle that. They have so much security in place during those big events. But it is a concern and that's why they've got these specialized teams, these counterterrorism teams that they are going to deploy, that are deployed, about 100 officers and heavy armor, heavy weapons, well-trained, and they will be able to respond extremely quickly.
So that in the event there is some sort of a threat or some sort of an attack, they can be on scene almost instantly.
LEMON: Deborah Feyerick in Times Square. Deb, thank you. And of course, next week we've the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. A lot of people coming to New York for the thanksgiving holiday and to shop. So, there is concern about that.
[22:09:59] When we come back right here on CNN, five Syrians caught with fake passports in Central America. Where were they headed? And what were they're going to do.
Plus, the NYPD top counterterrorism official, John Miller weighs in on the latest ISIS threat against New York as we wait for that news conference in Times Square.
LEMON: Back now with the breaking news here on CNN, live pictures of Times Square here in New York City where we are waiting a news conference in Times Square with New York City's police commissioner, it's on a new ISIS threat. The new ISIS threat to New York which includes Times Square and Herald Square.
We'll keep an eye on that. And we'll go to the news conference as soon as it happens. Meantime, ISIS claims responsibility for brutal attacks in Paris, in Beirut and for bombing a Russian jetliner out of the sky over Egypt, all in just two weeks' time.
We are joined by Graeme Wood. Graeme is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is with us via Skype. So, Graham, you know, Paul Cruickshank who is our terrorism here says, he says that ISIS is starting to move up the gears in terms of international attacks. What's your assessment of that?
GRAEME WOOD, THE ATLANTIC CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: For a long time ISIS was saying that international attacks were a bad idea. You know, when Al Qaeda had September 11, had a few days of glory. Then of course, there was an invasion and its lost its base.
[22:14:59] So, ISIS said that it was a bad idea. And obviously, it seems to have changed its mind. So, yes. They have really turned their strategy around, and now they seem to be focusing on that. And the reasons for that are unclear, but they are going to be interesting to find out.
LEMON: Well, speaking of strategy. What about the authorities, the investigations, how are they going to get those eight suspects that they arrested last night to talk?
WOOD: Well, so, they'll have to try every -- every means at their disposal. You know, they have obviously, a pretty wide intelligence network. There are just a lot of suspects out there. So, they're going to try to find out who those people know.
They are going to ask them nicely and they're going to try to figure out what information they can glean from their cell phone records, from their travel records and see what they can find out.
We don't know who they are or who they know. We don't know who they know. But obviously for France, this is a matter of immediate and grave importance. So, there is a lot of resources that will be focused on getting information from them.
LEMON: Abdelhamid Abaaoud, how would -- would you classify him as a mastermind? A ring leader, either of the two?
WOOD: He's being described that way. He certainly seems to be at the center of a lot of networks of Belgian and French fighters. Again, though, you have to keep in mind how many of these people there are.
We're talking about thousands of people with French and Belgian nationality and passports who have gone to fight for the Islamic state. So, if you get one person out of the way or even one person and his network out of the way, there are probably still quite a few left.
LEMON: How -- help us understand the psychology here. Are they in any different from serial killers or mass shooters, for example?
WOOD: Well, serial killers, mass shooters, terrorists, they, in some ways are pretty diverse group. They are people who are simply dissatisfied with the world and want to go out with a bang and they'll have a kind of real kill impulse.
What we find with a lot of ISIS people, not all, is that they have a positive view of the world, too. That is, there is something they want to build not just something they want to tear down. And a lot of them think that the Islamic state is a fulfillment of their religion, it gives them purpose in their lives.
And if they think that the thing that gives them purpose in their lives is telling them to go and blow up people in a concert in Paris, then they're going to do it. So, thinking of a few thousand or a few thousand people who -- who have that in mind is a sobering thought if you're a French or Belgian.
LEMON: If Abaaoud, if he has been killed. Because there is no confirmation whether he has or has not, if he was killed in that attack, is that a significant blow to ISIS' European operation?
WOOD: It is. But you know, martyrdom is his goal, of course. So, killing an individual is -- it has some downside. It doesn't have that many pluses other than they won't be able to kill again. What they've been already been able to do, though, is to strike fear into huge numbers of people, not just in Paris, Europe, but also in New York. So, they've already achieved a great success with what they've done.
LEMON: I heard again, Paul Cruickshank says that these were extremists who turned to Islam, rather than people who -- rather than Islamists who turned extreme. And he said there is a significance there.
WOOD: Yes. Well, you know, there is a view that some people have, that these people they go to their religion, they read their holy books and they find that it just says in their holy books that they have to go to Syria and fight.
And I think that it's a very simplistic view of things. They do find parts of their religion that confirmed for them, things that they've been told, things that are already predisposed to think.
What they often have in their past is those long history of rebellion, of being petty criminals, for example. And so, you find a long pattern in these people's lives of things that have gone wrong, ways in which they've been violent or misbehaving. And then they channel it in this religious threat or direction which obviously has a huge consequences, this geopolitically and otherwise now.
LEMON: Graeme, a Jewish teacher side more of the -- do you think that this is ISIS or maybe ISIS sympathizers?
WOOD: Yes, ISIS sympathizers probably more likely. And, you know, that that's been the strategy of ISIS in regard to foreign attacks for a long time now. They've said, it's great, yes, absolutely. Do foreign attacks -- do attacks overseas. You have our blessing and you have our praise for it.
But we're going to inspire you to do that, we're not going to help you plan. We're not going to give you weapons. And that's really the change that we've seen. Because those attacks tend to be small. They tend to kill small numbers of people, if anyone at all. Now, this one, clearly, there was a great deal of planning and expertise that went into it.
[22:20:01] And I think it's likely that the organization itself must have given its -- its help with planning and execution of this plan.
LEMON: Graeme, sadly, today, we also learned that ISIS claimed to have killed a Chinese and Norwegian national. What do you know about this?
WOOD: What we know is only what ISIS has told us. There were two men who were -- they were advertised as for sale by ISIS in the last issue of -- the previous issue of Dabiq magazine and the official magazine of ISIS. It said if you want to pay for their freedom, you can. And the indication of how to do that, what, how to get in touch.
The newest issue of that magazine came out today. And on one page you see unfortunately what looks like the bloody corpses of both of them and it says that they've both been executed.
LEMON: Yes. Terrible. If the world, Graeme, unites against ISIS, will these attacks have backfired?
WOOD: You know, in some ways, ISIS wants an attack. They have been talking about this for ages, that they expect -- in fact, they are certain that it's going to happen. And they want to go to West into having an attack and a disastrous battle between Muslims and crusader Christians.
I'm not so sure, for one thing, that they would actually like the results of a full assault on their territory. But on the other hand, it is possible for them to cause the West to do things that are not in the West's interests, you know, tensions are very high. The blood is hot. And foreign policy decisions made in this context have a tendency to go wrong. So, I think having some caution is probably wise.
LEMON: Graeme Wood, contributing editor to The Atlantic, thank you very much.
Up next, SIS threatening a possible suicide bombing New York. I'm going to speak with NYPD's top counterterrorism official as we await a news conference in Times Square tonight.
[22:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Our breaking news tonight, an ISIS video warning of an attack on New York City. And again, we're waiting a news conference in New York -- in New York City's Times Square, that will happen in any moment.
So, joining me now is to take a score to that is John Miller, the New York Police Department's deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism.
This video it shows images of Times Square, Herald Square and it warns, you know, they had warned of an attack on the U.S. and on Washington, D.C. With all that's coming up, showing these images, you've the Macy's thanksgiving day parade, you've got Christmas, you've, you know, hundreds of thousands of people are going to be here for a New Year's Eve. What's the concern level? Well, take us inside the law enforcement right now.
JOHN MILLER, NYPD DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INTELLIGENCE & COUNTERTERRORISM: So, this is a -- this is an old video that was kind of rehashed. These are some stock images, a catch from the internet that some of the news footage they took from the Paris attacks and they dusted off a video that we saw a few months ago, I think back in April, and gave it a new beginning and a new end.
So, this is ISIS doing what ISIS and Al Qaeda and terrorist groups do, which is propaganda. They had the attacks on Friday. They manage to pump out a brand new issue of Dabiq magazine found together with some old stuff makes them to some new stuff to promote the Paris attacks.
The video is kind of part and parcel of that propaganda effort. This is New York City. We have the most counter -- the most complex layered counterterrorism program of any municipal police department in America, if not the world.
We spend a lot of time thinking about this and planning around these things. So, Don, when we see the video, we make note of it but it's like a lot of the videos we've seen.
LEMON: And it doesn't -- it doesn't mention, I should say, and I apologize if I said that, it doesn't mentioned New York City specifically, but it shows images of New York City, which is troubling as well. So, let me ask you, 400 new counterterrorism officers. I want to take
a score to this news that we're waiting now. Counterterrorism officers in New York City now. They were deployed as part of 1400 new officers now on patrol.
Give us an idea of this additional manpower and is this something the commissioner is going to talk about tonight?
MILLER: So, this is a redesign of the counterterrorism program. The critical response vehicle program was made up of borrowing a police car from every precinct in every division in the city and then putting them in front of critical locations to have a police presence.
But you didn't always get the same cops two days in a row. They weren't specially trained for counterterrorism in particular. And if you look at the overlay of a Mumbai attack or the Charlie Hebdo attack or Paris attack on Friday, they weren't particularly specially equipped to deal with that.
What they were was they were a police presence. What we've done since it's clear that that program and that presence isn't going away anytime soon, is to revamp that into dedicated officers who show up on that detail every day who are briefed on the intelligence and the threat picture, who are armed with long weapons. The same kind that you would confront an active shooter or terrorist with, who have the heavier body armor that who are prepared to go in with the active shooter training.
So, it really is taking New York City Police Department's game to another level in terms of confronting this problem.
LEMON: OK. SO, if you're doing this, the New York City Police Department is doing this preparing for the worst, shall we say, right? That's what you do, right?
MILLER: To be prepared all the time.
LEMON: To be prepared for the worse. So then how concerned should New Yorkers be, people who are visiting, what is the concern?
MILLER: You know, the question that we get is, could it happen here? The answer is it could happen anywhere.
MILLER: The answer is really in, rather than spending time worrying, we spend time planning. Rather than spend time being concerned we spend time studying.
[22:29:58] What did they do, how did they do it, how did they do it in Tunisia, how did they do it in Paris last week, how did they do it the last time, what was their plot in London?
We game all of those, we table top them. We field exercise them. In a few days we're having an active shooter exercise being allegedly carried out by role players who are playing the role of terrorists in New York City.
This is an exercise that was set up a long time before any of this happened. But this is part of a continuum for us, which is it's about time on target, Don. Which is if it happens here, if that ever came before we want to get to have a response if that's going to get through them immediately and put it down as quickly as possible, so you don't have a situation where it goes on for a long time.
LEMON: But how do you prepare for someone or some people who are willing to blow themselves up?
MILLER: You prepare just like this, which is you have brave, dedicated, highly trained, properly equipped officers who are willing to go after those people, even at their own peril.
LEMON: So, you told me before that you work with people in other countries. I know that you're working with people in France. you have said that the commissioner has told me that this so-called leader, if you will, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, if he was killed in the raid last night, how do you think that affects going forward, ISIS, and even here in the United States, what may be planned for other places?
MILLER: I think if he was killed in the raid, ISIS will find another -- another operational commander who can -- who can take his place. One thing we have learned through the drone program and other things as a country is everybody's replaceable.
But I think -- I think what we've seen is an interesting change for ISIS or ISIL in that this is no longer about recruiting people on the internet and asking them to go shoot somebody over Twitter.
This is about bringing in a number of people who are already in Syria, who are already hardened foreign fighters who had some professionalism and discipline under a commander who had already plotted a different plot, managed to escape from Belgium and then manage to sneak back into Western Europe and run this operation. So, this is a -- this is a change of paradigm for the terrorist group also.
LEMON: What we have seen lately, we saw the attacks in Paris on Friday, we saw the, you know, what happened at the stadium in Germany. Had we saw the airline, whether it was a hoax or not last night, two planes. The raid. Are we in permanent high alert now here in the U.S. especially here in New York city?
MILLER: I think New York City has been on heightened alert since 9/11. That's never really calm down. Now we're on high alert right this minute. But I also find if you're on high alert, all the time, soon you're not on high alert anymore.
You can -- you can get alert fatigue, so to speak. So, I think given the world events we've -- we've watched that up a couple of notches. You can see that in the street. Part of that is to reassure the public. We're out there and we're properly equipped and we're ready. Part of that is to counter the threat. LEMON: Yes. I mentioned the planes and everything that's going on.
You know, the suspicious packages all over the subway, everywhere you see if you see something, say something. It's on television here. It is all over.
Law enforcement now, are you in a position of having to respond to every single threat, you know, who -- to sending everything that you can get to that threat?
MILLER: So, Don, that's the double-edged sword. And I'm not complaining.
MILLER: When we -- when we set that idea that we are in a heightened alert, we expect from the public that that thing they might have called about, say probably nothing that they are actually going to call that time. So, yes. We're getting more calls, we're going on more runs, we're looking at more suspicious packages, we're checking out more suspicious people when we get a call about specific individual. But that is what we're looking for. And that's what we do.
LEMON: So, you're going to be at this news conference tonight?
LEMON: In Times Square. The commissioner is going to be there. So, anything you need to tell us before about this?
MILLER: I think -- I think what you're going to hear at the press conference is a little bit about the forward planning and the preparation. But I think in this conferences, it's as much, Don, about dealing with some of the drum beat of Times Square being shown in an ISIL video which has happened many times before, to show that the mayor and the police commissioner and the police officers are all out there.
And we are not a city that goes by threats, lives under threats or hides. People will go about their daily lives. They'll come to Times Square an their police department will be out there with them. We stand with Paris. And when we're New Yorkers and that's the way we are.
LEMON: All right. John Miller, we will be watching you. It should happen at the top of the hour, pretty close at the top of the hour. We know you have to get there. We appreciate you joining us live on CNN.
MILLER: Thanks for having me again, Don.
LEMON: Thank you. When we come right back, if ISIS and the West are at war, who is winning?
[22:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Awaiting a news conference from the NYPD. It should happen at any moment. We will take you there as soon as it happens. Those are live pictures of Times Square.
ISIS attacks have become -- those are live pictures by the way of Times Square and that's where that news conference will be.
But ISIS attacks have happened more and more and they become more and more brutal over the past few weeks. But what are they trying to accomplish? What exactly are they trying to accomplish?
Joining me now is Mike Rogers, CNN national security commentator, Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist, and Rula Jebreal, foreign policy analyst and author of "Miral".
So, thank you all so much for joining us this evening. I have a very sober conversation with John Miller earlier. So, Mike, my first question is to you. If you listen to that interview with John Miller and you look at the events over the last week. If we are in a war between ISIS and the West, who is winning right now?
MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: Well, certainly ISIS has had some tactical victories and they've done something pretty important for their terrorist credentials. They've been able to pull off very sophisticated operations.
And it's not easy to get into France undetected, let alone be able to put together bomb makers and logisticians that can get vehicles and do other things and get on target and have that event go off as planned.
[22:40:03] That's a very difficult thing to do and it's that the level of sophistication and all that planning means they've had a tactical victory. Same with the bringing the plane down over the Sinai, killing the Russian tourists, that was a pretty sophisticated operation.
And same with getting folks into Lebanon and getting those bombs to go off on target, killing 46 people. So it is a -- they're having a series of tactical victory, certainly strategically we're nowhere close to losing. But that is an important part -- an important part of why they've gone to this psychological campaign that you see with the videos in New York.
LEMON: And you said that it's a psychological campaign because if you -- we're only showing just a couple of frames of that video. But it does shows images of Times Square and Herald Square. And that is psychologically they are trying to affect.
NICHOLAS KRISTOF, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: You know, but I think ultimately, whether this works or not for ISIS really depends not just on what they do but also on our reaction. I think one thing that ISIS is trying to do is to create a backlash in the West, in Europe and in America against the Muslim community. To create a greater divide, to create a sense of alienation and an antagonism that drives people to their arms.
And so, I think it's too early to determine who wins. But I think ultimately that depends in part on our reaction.
LEMON: You also say, Rula, they're trying to create a divide between -- between Muslim citizens and trying to turn Muslim -- trying to turn people against Muslims.
RULA JEBREAL, FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: Yes. This is what Al Qaeda did exactly in Iraq. And I agree totally with Nick. Look, they even wrote about it. When -- when the raid happened in Abu Bakar in Pakistan what do they find.
They find documents of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who is one of the Al Qaeda leader, and he wrote a memo about this. He should -- he said we should terrorize, brutalize and use it to divide the nation, and us and them, Muslim against Christian, Westerners against Middle Eastern.
And in that way we can recruit more and we can galvanize the cause. We can actually excite our base and we can create more recruitment whether -- so, we can actually push for an overreaction by the West that can invade and occupy and absolutely use force against our people and we use it.
This is what they use in their propaganda video. They use that for the West to threaten the West about New York. But what they are using to recruit people? They're using the children in Iraq and in Gaza and other places. This is how they recruit. This is treasury and it's called management of savagery.
LEMON: And it's certainly caused some backlash against Syrian refugees, and even in the wake of all this what happened in Paris, I mean, France is still going to take 30,000 people. But you say that they may -- because they believe that one of the suspects may have come in through the process as a refugee. You say that their -- that may have been on purpose.
KRISTOF: I mean, absolutely. I mean, you look at; the people that we know of, this nationality we know of, we know that there were five French nationals and one Belgian national. We don't know the others. There was this one person carrying an apparently fake Syrian passport, carrying it to a massacre. And why would you do that except to have defense?
JEBREAL: Well, up himself.
LEMON: Jeb, but why that benefit, how would that benefit ISIS?
JEBREAL: But we didn't find.
KRISTOF: Because they have to create a backlash.
KRISTOF: To, I mean, if Marine Le Pen, the nationalist leader becomes president of France, becomes the leading contender for the French presidency that benefits French radicalism. And I think that is very much their strategy.
LEMON: Mike Rogers, you know, five Syrians with fake Greek passports were detained allegedly trying to make their way from Honduras to the United States. There is no indication that they are a terrorist. But does the U.S. have the border control to stop that kind of entry?
ROGERS: Well, obviously, Mexico is a very porous border. We've seen the Iranians use operations a few years ago, attempting to get smuggle guns, weapons, and people in to do an attack on the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C. a few years ago.
We've seen the Russian intelligence services for years have used the porous southern border. So, you have to understand and accept that we have that border and over other nations know it and they are going to take advantage of that in their operational planning.
It's not surprising to me. I think in Honduras they had some 13,000 individuals who came to Honduras trying to go up north that they intercepted to get into the United States. So, this is five, but there are thousands more of all nationalities trying to use that southern border to infiltrate to United States.
LEMON: Rula, do you think that this whole debate about refugees that it feeds into a bigger ISIS narrative or plan?
JEBREAL: Absolutely. This is the biggest propaganda gift to Al Qaeda and I would say to ISIS. When you tell them, the Syrian refugee who actually chose the West. They didn't choose to go to live in an Islamic state, rejected that model actually, it's totally rejected that model.
It's a slap in the face of ISIS, who actually in their web site and their magazine, actually was -- was very upset the fact that the Syrians decided to live outside in Europe and embrace the -- nation of Kashmir (ph) and crusaders. So, they were upset about this.
[22:45:03] So, what our GOP candidates are doing is playing into the hands of ISIS. But there is something -- there is a bigger picture. ISIS is not only trying to manipulate our policies, they are trying to communicate to the -- to the Muslim world one thing.
There is a war within Islam. This is what they are trying to say. And the Muslims are telling them, no, we reject you. We actually and the French citizens, for example, who are saying today over and over, we chose or camp. Our camp is the French camp.
So in order to -- the police state and to crack down on, actually, the communities will create a bigger backlash. They don't need the refugee to come to America. They can come actually from France, from Germany, from other places. They don't need actually a passport. They don't need -- sorry, they don't need a visa.
LEMON: It's all propaganda.
JEBREAL: They can come easily.
JEBREAL: And the worst part of all of this, that the policy that was put in place for the last 15 years has produced radicalization and extremist but we continue repeating the same policies without thinking twice of the counterproductive...
LEMON: All right. Stand by. We're -- you're going to come. We're going to come back and get into this conversation.
When we come right back, a new poll finds that more than half of Americans, more than half of Americans don't want Syrian refugees in the U.S. We're going to talk about that next. And also we're going to take you to Times Square for a news conference that's going to happen with the NYPD. Live pictures of Times Square. We'll be right back after this break.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Back now with our breaking news. As millions of people flee the chaos in Syria and the brutality of ISIS. The refugee crisis is becoming a huge issue in this country and really around the world, and that country around the world.
I want to bring back Nicholas Kristof and Rula Jebreal.
So, let's talk about it. I mentioned before this poll, it's a Bloomberg poll, it finds that 53 percent of adults polled that they say that they don't want the 10,000 Syrian refugees that the U.S. is planning to bring here.
It has said that they stake only 28 percent -- only 28 percent say that it would be OK. And 11 percent say they take only the Christians. An idea that President Obama has said is shameful. Is this -- is this really surprising?
KRISTOF: I mean, this very, this is almost exactly matches up a poll in January of 1939...
KRISTOF: Of whether or not to admit 10,000 mostly Jewish children into the U.S. And it was again, two to one saying no, we shouldn't. And in retrospect, we clearly acknowledge, that was a shameful period in American history. You had a boat load of American Jews who arrived in the U.S.
We sent them back to Europe to be killed. At the same time today, when we have people in such desperate need, to turn our backs on them completely I think is not only a loss of humanity but also misunderstands the security situation.
LEMON: But what is this say about because, you know, when it says just only let the Christians in, right? Does this say anything about Islamophobia?
LEMON: I mean, of course. It's Islamophobia. But the way how we really feel about immigrants no matter what, you know, what their background, are Americans as open to immigrants as we would like to think that we are?
JEBREAL: Exactly. Whether it's Mexicans or...
JABREAL: Or, I mean...
LEMON: Or Jews back then.
JEBREAL: ... some are obviously -- or Jews back then. It's shameful. But I'm sorry to say, some leaders will exploit any tragedy to score political points. And we have to address the larger issue. They are weaponizing (ph) fear. That poll reflects fear.
Our policy has been driven by fear for the last 15 years. It's time to stop that. I never heard any of the GOP condemning actually the people behind the radicalization in the world. Our ally, number one ally, Saudi Arabia...
LEMON: But there are those who would say that they have...
JEBREAL: They are willing to take it with a Syrian refugee and not with the biggest -- with the biggest exporter of radicalization.
LEMON: But there are those who say considering what is happening in the world, what happened with the airliner, what happened in Paris that they want to make darn sure that the process to screen individuals coming in that is as astringent as possible, and that we need to take a pause. Even though the process is a two-year...
KRISTOF: There a legitimate concern about security. But I think there is a misunderstanding about where the threat comes. It doesn't come from refugees. There have been more than 700,000 refugees brought in since 9/11. Three of them have been arrested for terror-related offences.
If ISIS wants to send somebody in to create a terror incident they're not going to send them in for a two-year wait for a refugee visa. They're going to send them in on a tourist, on student visa.
LEMON: But do we know that? Do we know that? I mean.
KRISTOF: Yes, it takes a...
JEBREAL: I mean, look at the hijackers of the airplanes on the September 11 terrorists. They were on student...
KRISTOF: They are on tour -- and student and tourist visa.
JEBREAL: ... on tourist and student visas.
KRISTOF: That's where their brothers came exactly.
JEBREAL: Fifteen of them where it came from our country ally number two, Saudi Arabia. But we never complain with these allies. We need to start questioning these policies. Because if we want our children for the next 15 years to live what Paris lived in these days, we need to continue repeating the same policies that been put in place for the last four decades, backing tyranny and backing dictator who oppress their people produce there, and then force intervention. This is not trial.
LEMON: But you're talking about winning hearts and minds, which is what the president is saying, changing the behavior that causes this to happen.
JEBREAL: No, no, no, no. Not only that. I am fine with a military solution with boots on the grounds but they have to be native boots. You want your Muslim ally to fight with you. Today they are not seeing ISIS as priority number one. And you know what? Because they are bombarded by the Sunni majority in Syria, don't see ISIS as a threat number one. They see actually Assad who killed them in huge numbers
Saudi Arabia is not fighting ISIS. They are fighting the Houthis in Yemen. You have Turkey fighting the PKK, you have to talk to your ally clearly about they have to do in terms of their foreign policy but also domestic policies.
When they oppress their own people, sooner or later they will create an environment that is fertile for radicalization.
LEMON: I want to talk -- if you want to weigh in, go ahead.
KRISTOF: Yes. I mean, I just say that clearly, security is on people's minds. And security is a legitimate issue. But the focus on refugees is the wrong focus.
LEMON: But when you hear there is a two-year screening process.
LEMON: And everything that you just said that, you know, there -- we have all these things built. Does someone want to wait that long? Is that, people don't hear that. They just see that they're refugees, one of them may have -- one or two of them may have come over to Paris in that process. People don't hear the rest of it. Yes.
[22:54:59] JEBREAL: But, Don, none of them came to -- I mean, the passport that was found is a fake passport. We need to stress this in the media. LEMON: Right.
LEMON: I want to talk about this. Let's go to the, play this video. This is from the raid that took place in the early morning hours in Paris.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, what you hear there, you hear there is a female suicide bomber and you hear her saying he's not my boyfriend. And there are reports that some people in the neighborhood in St-Denis, may have known about the suspect being there but they were afraid to report him. You know, two things here. Female suicide bomber and the fear of actually reporting, fear.
JEBREAL: Well, Nick.
KRISTOF: I mean, I think it's unusual to have a female suicide bomber. It's not completely unprecedented. Boko Haram has used women. Something has been a little bit unclear whether they have real agency or whether a suicide vest is strapped on them and then they're, you know, sent off in the market to be blown up.
LEMON: Go ahead, Rula.
JEBREAL: Well, what I want to say about the use of women and it's -- I think there's a basic issue of radicalization in some societies in Europe which is made very easy because of the exclusion. So, on the margin of society you have these kids who are, who find ISIS appealing.
And what are we for -- what alternative are we offering? The only time we won against ISIS, oh, sorry, against Al Qaeda in Iraq when we separated the Sunni minority from Al Qaeda and that was the surge. We offered them an alternative, a political plan. We are not -- we don't have this on the table.
LEMON: OK. We have to go. Great conversation. Thank you very much. And we can get that press conference at the top of the hour. So, stand by, everyone. Live press conference in Times Square with the New York city police commissioner. We'll be right back.