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New ISIS Video Suggests New York is Target; Unclear if Mastermind Killed in Raid; Honduras Details Syrians Carrying Fake Passports. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired November 18, 2015 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: breaking news. Threatening New York. Following a threat against Washington, a new ISIS video warns of an attack on New York. The slickly-produced propaganda shows the construction of a suicide bomb and a bomber zipping up his jacket over the device amid scenes of Manhattan.
About to attack. French authorities say a bloody overnight raid marked by explosions and gun battles stopped a terror cell which was ready to launch a new operation. Was the Paris massacre ringleader there?
Mastermind's plan. New details tonight on the man believed to have coordinated the Paris attacks and earlier terror plots. Is he working with another top ISIS operative?
And soda can bomb. ISIS claims this explosive device brought down the Russian airliner over Sinai killing 224 people. Could this be a major new threat to air traffic?
We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: The breaking news. Amid a stunning flurry of developments today in the aftermath of the Paris massacres a chilling new threat from ISIS has just emerged. A new propaganda video suggests the terror group is targeting New York. It shows an explosive device being put together and a bomber zipping his jacket over a suicide belt. Crowded Manhattan street scenes show the intent, to sow fear.
Explosions and gunfire echoed through the early morning darkness as security forces raided apartments in a Paris suburb. They met heavy resistance. Two terror suspects were killed, including a woman who blew herself up. She was reportedly a cousin of the alleged mastermind of the Paris terror attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud. And investigators are checking body parts found in the rubble to see if his DNA turns up.
An ISIS magazine is showing an image of what it says is the bomb that brought down that Russian Metrojet airliner over Sinai. The picture of a soda can with what experts say looks like a detonator and a switch. And Honduras has detained five men said to be Syrians who allegedly
arrived there with fake passports. A Honduras police spokesman suggests their final destination may have been the United States.
Our correspondents, analysts and guests will have full coverage of the day's top stories. Let's begin in Paris with CNN's John Berman.
John, there have been extraordinary developments today in the Paris massacre case, but first the shocking new ISIS video, which clearly seems to threaten New York City. What are you learning?
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Clearly threatening New York City, Wolf. It's slickly produced, like many of the ISIS videos. We're not going to show it here. We will show you a couple of still frames.
What is in the video, pictures of explosives; pictures of someone dressing himself with explosives, some kind of explosive device. And then footage of New York City itself, including Herald Square where Macy's is. Obviously, very crowded streets.
Did they shoot the video themselves somehow in New York City? We simply do not know. But clearly, part of the psychological threat, some of the psychological terror that ISIS seeks to spread around the world.
Now, while this video comes to surface just over the last few minutes, here in Paris a stunning development, as well, with French authorities believing the man behind the attacks here on Friday. The ringleader of those attacks not in Syria, as previously assumed, but possibly right here in this city, and they staged a stunning raid to go after him this morning.
BERMAN (voice-over): The predawn calm shattered by gunshots and explosions. The Paris suburb of Saint-Denis a battle zone. Scores of police and commandos race past the Stade de France Sports Complex to the site where they thought they might find the ringleader of Friday's attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
There in two apartments, they confronted a cell of heavily armed terrorists, apparently ready to carry out another attack. The raid sets off an hour-long fire fight and six-hour siege.
BERMAN: The force of the assault and the explosive response so powerful that a floor in the complex collapsed.
At the end, the facts still unclear. Belgium state broadcaster RTBS reports a female cousin of Abaaoud appeared to blow herself up with an explosive belt.
[17:05:11] At least one other suspected terrorist is dead, but exactly how many more killed? Difficult to discern, with body parts littered amidst the rubble.
The key question tonight: is Abdelhamid Abaaoud dead? DNA tests underway to match the body parts found in the apartment. Eight people were taken into custody, but officials say Abaaoud was not among them. A resident of the building describes the mayhem.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Really, we could see the bullets, the light of the laser pointing our way. Really, it was explosions. We could feel the building really shaking.
BERMAN: Police sources tell CNN the raid came, quote, "just in time." Another attack could have been minutes away.
French authorities say wiretaps led them to the apartment complex. One piece of evidence: a phone found outside the concert hall attack on Friday.
FRANCOIS MOLINS, FRENCH PROSECUTOR (through translator): I can confirm that mobile telephone was discovered in a rubbish bin outside the Bataclan concert hall, from which a text message had been sent by the member of the commander at 21:42, saying, "We've left. We've started."
BERMAN: President Francois Hollande says this raid proves his nation is at war.
FRANCOIS HOLLAND, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): At war against terrorism, which itself has decided to bring war to us.
BERMAN: Tonight, whatever the fate of Abdelhamid Abaaoud, another manhunt continues for Saleh Abdeslam. One of his brothers was among the seven terrorists killed Friday. A surviving brother, Muhammad Abdeslam, tells CNN his brother should give up the fight.
MOHAMED ABDESLAM, BROTHER OF SALEH ABDESLAM (through translator): I would tell him to surrender.
BLITZER: A report from our John Berman in Paris. Let's stay in Paris. Our senior international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, is on the scene. She was there at the beginning of this dramatic anti- terror raid, as well. What's the latest, Clarissa, that you're seeing and hearing right now?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, you know this is one of Paris's rougher neighborhoods, but residents here told us they had never seen anything like it.
For seven hours today, they said this place felt more like a war zone than anything else. We know that police fired more than 5,000 bullets during this seven-hour-long faceoff.
When we arrived on the scene, police were trying to bash down the door of a church up at the end of the block there. They managed to get in the church after banging away on that door for quite some time. It wasn't clear what they were looking for, but you really had the
sense authorities all over the place trying to lock down the area, trying to get a sense of who was in that apartment, how many people around the area might be involved, where people might be hiding.
And later on we were able to get, Wolf, up onto a roof from where we could see the back of the apartment building. And it was just so striking, Wolf.
Here in Paris, in France, to see the aftermath of explosions like that, all the windows blown out. You could see all around those windows, the pockmarks of heavy munitions. We don't know if those were fired from the attackers inside the building or whether they were fired from forces outside the building.
But what we could also see were forensics experts: men in white suits combing through that entire apartment, looking for DNA, looking for fingerprints, looking for clues. Who was in that apartment? Was the eighth attacker possibly in that apartment? Saleh Abdeslam. Was the alleged ringleader of this entire attack, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, in that apartment?
We heard earlier in John Berman's package that it's believed that the woman who blew herself up was a cousin of Abaaoud, but we're also hearing that the body was so badly dismembered by the force of that explosion that police are still trying to lock down the DNA.
And really, Wolf, the DNA will be key in determining who was killed, who was in that apartment. We also know another attacker was shot dead by a sniper. Eight people arrested. So a lot of moving parts here, Wolf.
And what I can say from talking to people on the ground, things may have calmed down temporarily right now, but with Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Saleh Abdeslam potentially still out on the streets and here in Paris, nobody is going to sleep easily tonight, Wolf.
BLITZER: I think you're right. Until now, as you know, Clarissa, it was thought that Abaaoud was somewhere in ISIS-controlled areas of Syria. Do the authorities there know when he actually came to France? What's the latest you're hearing about his travel?
[17:10:05] WARD: Well, exactly, Wolf. Just yesterday we were all under the impression that Abaaoud, he was the ringleader of an attack in Belgium in January. That attack was thwarted. He managed to evade being captured. And it was thought that he had gone back to ISIS territory. He had gone back to either Syria or Iraq. And we had heard that as recently as a month ago -- as a month ago French and coalition had tried to target him with airstrikes inside Syria.
Now it appears we don't even know if he did, indeed, go back to Syria. And really, what this goes to show is just how difficult, Wolf, it is to track these guys. They are very technologically savvy, and they are street smart. Important to remember we're getting more information about how many of these men have rap sheets. We now know that Saleh Abdeslam and Abdelhamid Abaaoud actually spent
time together in a Belgian prison. So these men very well-versed in how to deal with the police, how to try to go under the radar, how to use encryption technology on their cell phones. They're constantly ditching cell phones.
And indeed, we've seen that cell phones have been a key part in what led up to this raid.
So now authorities really trying to drill down, not just on the whereabouts of those, too, but on a larger network that people fear would have been necessary to orchestrate these attacks, Wolf.
BLITZER: Clarissa Ward reporting for us. Clarissa, thanks very much.
I want to bring in Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Congressman, thanks for joining us. What can you tell us about this claim from ISIS on how they supposedly took down that Russian airliner with that can of soda, if you will. Does that sound credible to you?
REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R), ILLINOIS: Well, it does sound credible. I mean, in a new era, you know, people are understanding terrorists, especially how to make more powerful explosives, how to sneak them through security. And even if it's not necessarily through the, you know, production line of putting it in your bag and going through security, how can you throw a can of soda over the fence at the airport and have the guy driving the truck around come and take it to the guy who's going to plant it on the airplane?
I mean, any of these are all possible. And again, I mean, you have to give terrorists credit. They're smart in an evil way. They're smart at figuring out how to get undetected, how to kill the most innocent people they can. And so may very well be possible.
BLITZER: There's new video that ISIS has just released, showing what they say is a suicide bomber with a vest in New York City, getting ready to attack New York City. They showed pictures of Manhattan, if you will. We're showing our viewers some still photos of that.
They're clearly suggesting New York is their target. A couple days ago they said Washington, D.C., was their target. Do you take these threats from ISIS seriously?
KINZINGER: I do take them very seriously. You know, we don't want the American people to live in fear. And where terrorism has its greatest power is, you know, look, even when a terrorist attack happens, as tragic as it is, a relatively small percentage of the population is actually touched.
But the intention of terrorists to multiply fear and to cause people to stay in their house. You know, to not spend money, to see ISIS as more threatening than they are.
But we do have to take it very seriously. And this is where, given the proper money and the resources and the technology to our first responders, to our police, to fire, to rescue, is extremely important.
Out here in Washington, D.C., for instance, you know, we had the threat against here. But we have fantastic men and women of the Capital police force that, you know, keep us safe every day and are looking for telltale signs. I know New York City has the same. And frankly, every small to large city across America's got to be on the lookout for this.
BLITZER: Certainly are. They're raising their security levels even as we speak.
Congressman, we have more to discuss. Stay with us. We'll continue to follow the breaking news out of Paris. Much more right after this.
[17:18:52] BLITZER: We're standing by with Congressman Adam Kinzinger as we follow the breaking news. A new propaganda video suggests the terror group is targeting New York City. It shows an explosive device being put together and a bomber zipping his jacket over a suicide belt. Crowded Manhattan street scenes show the intent to sew fear.
Let's go to our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto. He's in Paris for us.
Jim, what's the latest you're hearing on this very disturbing new ISIS video?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is the second U.S. city for ISIS to threaten in just the last couple of days in videos. This one shows alarming footage. And we know that this is what ISIS is very good at creating alarmist propaganda videos.
This one specific to New York. You see, and we are only using still images from that video, but you see there what appears to be or resembles an explosive device wrapped in tape.
Then you see a man in a video zipping it up under his jacket. That is followed by an image of Herald Square in New York City, the implication clear that their next target is New York City.
This just after a couple of days ago and they threatened Washington, D.C.
Now, to be clear, you look at these pictures, we don't know where ISIS shot this. There are a lot of stock images out there of locations and targets and buildings in New York City. And it appears possible that that image you see there of Herald Square is a stock image.
[17:20:15] So this could be not necessarily substantial, but we do know this. We know that ISIS has an enormous aspiration to attack the U.S. I've gotten that warning repeatedly from French security officials here this week. And certainly from U.S. officials.
Of course, the question becomes capability. They don't have the same capability that they have in Europe. It's just closer, frankly, easier to get from Syria. They don't have an ocean to cross or plane to hop on. But we do know that's their desire. And we do know that the U.S. takes it seriously. Whether this video is substantial, we don't know yet, but it's certainly threatening.
Certainly does. All right. Jim Sciutto in Paris, thanks very much.
We're back with Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. He served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This new video, very disturbing ISIS video, Congressman, making this threat to New York City.
The video itself is new, because it shows President Hollande of France making speeches in the aftermath of the Friday night strikes, even if they're using old footage, if you will, of New York City. But it is -- it is very disturbing.
Have you been briefed on any credible new specific threats other than these videos that have been released by ISIS to New York, to Washington, D.C., or any other city in the United States?
KINZINGER: Well, no, we haven't been briefed on any new, brand-new credible threat. Maybe the chairman of the intel committee has better information on that.
But I will tell you this: We know there's a very real threat. We know that ISIS would love to reach out and strike the United States.
And look, we're in a very different phase. There was many people that believed that, in terms of the kind of reaching out. Well, that was al Qaeda. They had this intention of striking into the United States, or striking into Europe.
And everybody kind of saw ISIS as more focused on building this caliphate, which now is the size of the United Kingdom. For them to go to the level of bombing the Russian airliner, bombing the -- you know, in Lebanon, the suicide bombs, to do what was done in Paris and now to threaten the United States, we have to take this very seriously at some point when ISIS makes threats and follow through as they have, we have to take the next threat seriously.
If that threat is against New York City or Washington, D.C., I guarantee you our law enforcement is on the tip of their toes, looking for this kind of a problem.
BLITZER: You served as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. You're still in the reserves. These airstrikes that have been going on intensified Russian, French against ISIS targets Raqqah, their so- called capital in Syria. Is that air power enough to do the job?
KINZINGER: It's not. Look, I'm an advocate for air power, obviously. And I think it's extremely important.
My question about the French strikes in Raqqah, it was great that the French took out whatever it was, a handful of targets in Raqqah after the fight. The problem is why were there still targets in Raqqah? We've been in -- we've been fighting ISIS right now for over a year. Why are there any hard targets left? They should all be eliminated.
The fact is we haven't employed air power enough. We don't have enough intelligence assets on the ground to develop what are fast- moving targets, a guy in a bongo truck.
If you look at it from the air you don't necessarily know is that a family in the truck or is it ISIS fighters? If you have intel assets on the ground, you're able to identify that and strike them. That's what we need to plus-up. We need to plus-up our Special Operations in Iraq and Syria. And keep cutting off the head of the snake until we destroy it like we did in the surge in Iraq.
BLITZER: Congressman Kinzinger, thanks very much for joining us.
KINZINGER: You bet, Wolf. Take care.
BLITZER: Coming up, chilling new details tonight of the man believed to have been the mastermind of the Paris attacks and earlier terror plots, as well.
And five Syrians with fake passports, they're caught in Honduras. Police say they had already traveled through six other countries. Were they trying to reach the United States?
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
[17:28:57] BLITZER: Breaking news: French authorities say two terror suspects died, eight were detained during overnight raids in a Paris suburb. Officials say the mastermind of the Paris massacre, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was not captured. Investigators are examining DNA from the scene to see if he was killed.
Our Brian Todd has been looking into his background. Fascinating background: this guy is really, really a bad guy. What are you learning?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, tonight, we've got new information on Abdelhamid Abaaoud's connection to the Paris attackers, his ability to elude capture. And among some of most notorious plots by ISIS he's been involved in.
It appears that, at the young age of 27, Abaaoud's been counted on by ISIS to recruit attackers, train them and launch their operations.
TODD (voice-pre): He was a target of the dramatic violent raid on two apartments in Saint-Denis outside Paris, where officials say suspects were about to launch an operation. Belgium state TV says a woman who blew herself up in the raid was his cousin.
Tonight, DNA tests are underway to determine if Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the alleged mastermind of the Paris massacres, was among those killed in the raid, or if he got away. Abaaoud is apparently good at being a ghost. He bragged to ISIS's
magazine about being able to enter Europe and Syria whenever he wanted. Quote, "My name and picture were all over the news; yet I was able to stay in their homeland, plan operations against them."
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: And at a certain point Abdelhamid Abaaoud actually faked his own death, made his own family back in Belgium, who disowned him, feel like he was dead so that he could cover his tracks.
TODD: Abaaoud then communicated with ISIS operatives planning an attack in Belgium back in January, a plot which got thwarted by police.
Abaaoud is also linked to the attempted assault on a train bound for Paris this summer, which was disrupted by three Americans.
He's reveled in ISIS brutality. He's seen here dragging the bodies of victims behind a pickup truck. And here, Abaaoud makes an impassioned call for Jihad.
ABDELHAMID ABAAOUD, PLOT MASTERMIND (through translator): Are you satisfied with this life you are having? This humiliating life? Whether it's in Europe, Africa, Arabic countries, America.
TODD: The "New York Times" reports when his family heard that he'd possibly been killed last year, Abaaoud's own sister said they prayed he was dead.
CRUICKSHANK: Well, one of the reasons they disowned him is he came back to Belgium at a certain point from Syria and essentially kidnapped his younger brother, just 12 or 13 years old, and brought him all the way back to Syria to sort of make him join ISIS.
TODD: And tonight new information linking Abaaoud to another Paris suspect going back at least four years. The Belgium federal prosecutor tells CNN Abaaoud served time with this man, Saleh Abdeslam, who's now on the run, at a Belgium prison in 2011.
DAVEED GARTENSTEIN-ROSS, FOUNDATION FOR THE DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: It's quite possible that, as Abaaoud's father says, that prison was that catalyst which pushed him towards the Jihadist movement.
TODD: Now, if Abdelhamid Abaaoud has been taken out, a significant threat to Europe is removed. But analysts say there are at least two other top ISIS operatives who likely had connections to the Paris attackers still out there.
One is Fabien Clain, part of a special ISIS cell of French-speaking operatives. Clain's voice can be heard on an ISIS claim of responsibility for the Paris attacks. The other one, a man named Salim Benghalem, who analysts say heads ISIS's French-speaking external operations network. Abdelhamid Abaaoud, experts say, has been Benghalem's apprentice. So two top ISIS operatives, Wolf, connected to the Paris attacks still out there.
BLITZER: All right, Brian. Thanks very much.
Joining us now in THE SITUATION ROOM, our CNN national security commentator, Mike Rogers. He's the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Also our law enforcement analyst, the former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes; and our CNN national security analyst, Peter Bergen.
Mike, if Abdelhamid Abaaoud was, in fact, killed in that raid overnight, why is it taking French authorities so long to make that determination?
MIKE ROGERS, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY COMMENTATOR: If you heard some of the original reports, there are body parts everywhere. So they're going to have to do some DNA testing to try to make sure. It's probably that the body is unrecognizable at this point.
BLITZER: And so that's why...
ROGERS: I think that's why.
BLITZER: ... if he's dead they will determine, though. They'll find enough to make a determination at some point, right?
ROGERS: They will. He served time in prison. They'll have some DNA samples from Belgium that they'll be able to match.
BLITZER: How do the French authorities get the eight terrorists who were arrested overnight, how do they get them to talk?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I don't know if they can get them to talk, Wolf. You know, it's going to depend how dedicated they are and, you know, really what do they have to offer them. They're not going to be able to get any kind of leniency from them, even if they have the ability to plea bargain. So they really don't have much incentive to get them to talk about anything.
BLITZER: Let's say Abaaoud is dead. Does that really, in the big scheme of things, as far as the ISIS plots against France or here in the United States or elsewhere, does that really make much of a difference? Because there are a whole bunch of other guys waiting in the wings.
BERGEN: Clearly, he's an effective planner. But, yes, I mean, there are thousands of people who have gone to volunteer to fight for ISIS. So -- and, you know, they're not deterred by one of their members dying. In fact, they celebrate it.
BLITZER: The other day the U.S. killed Jihadi John, Mohamed Emwazi, the so-called British terrorist who was slaughtering hostages, beheading them, if you will. Did that really make much of a difference, other than scoring some points, if you will?
ROGERS: Psychologically it was an important blow, but you have to have tempo is the most important thing here. So these one-off press release kind of strikes aren't going to do it. Candidly, are not doing it, obviously.
And so what they need to do is have a sustained leadership attack in places like Raqqah, in places like Ramadi. And they have to do it at the same time.
And hopefully, that's what you'll see come out of this because, again, one-offs, dropping some bombs here, coming back next week, doing a report about how many bombs got dropped -- none of that has been impactful. And so what they're going to have to do is have a strategy that targets and starts degrading their leadership capabilities, as well as their logistics, as well as their financing. And you have to do it in both places at the same time if you're going to have...
BLITZER: Peter, a couple days ago, ISIS releases a slick propaganda video saying Washington, D.C., is next, get ready. Now they've got a slick propaganda video they've just released, saying New York City -- and you see all these iconic spots in New York City and Manhattan, that's next. You take those threats from ISIS seriously?
[17:35:21] PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, it's easy to threaten. It's harder to execute.
But I think the main problem with these kinds of videos is if there are people who just are inspired by ISIS who see these videos -- and, of course, we know that there are in places like New York -- they might take that as an opportunity to do something. Not so much that they are directed by ISIS or trained by ISIS, but they might be inspired by these videos.
BLITZER: What about the FBI? What are they doing now? I know they've sent over a delegation of FBI agents to Paris. What are they doing?
FUENTES: Well, the FBI already has a large office in Paris in the embassy. And these agents are there to supplement those agents assisting the French and sharing information. They're also there to learn. They want to find out exactly how those vests were put together to try to identify who's the bomb maker, who appears to be still on the loose in France, ready to strike again.
So everybody -- everything has talked about Abaaoud as the great mastermind and leader. He's not the most dangerous guy. I think the bomb maker is more dangerous than he is, as we saw with the Syria and Yemen. So they're there to get information as much as give it and share it.
BLITZER: Good point. We're getting new information, guys, on these five Syrians with fake passports allegedly trying to make their way to the United States. We're going to have much more on this developing story right after a quick break.
BLITZER: Our terrorism and law enforcement experts are standing by as we cover the late breaking news. Among the late breaking news we're following is a new ISIS propaganda video, suggesting the terror group is targeting New York City. It shows an explosive device being put together, a bomber zipping his jacket over a suicide belt, and crowded Manhattan street scenes.
Also breaking now, amid growing fears that terrorists may be hiding among refugees fleeing Syria, officials in Honduras, they've just announced they've detained five Syrian men who arrived with fake passports and may have intended to travel to the United States.
Let's bring in CNN Espanol senior correspondent Juan Carlos Lopez. What can you tell us, Juan Carlos, about these five men detained in Honduras?
JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ, CNN ESPANOL SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: What we know is that Honduras, like other countries, Wolf, we doubled security after the attacks in Paris. Starting during the weekend, they stopped a man at customs when they were checking their passport. They suspected it was fake.
And on Tuesday they confirmed they have five possible Syrian citizens trying to enter that country. They came in on separate flights, but they had Greek passports.
They called in Greek diplomats, and they spoke no Greek. They're not Greek. Obviously, part of the big, big business of human trafficking. And the authorities assumed, the Honduras authorities assumed they were trying to make it up north. Now up to now they've arrested this year up to 13,000 foreigners trying to use Honduras as a way point.
BLITZER: Honduras as -- and why Honduras?
LOPEZ: Because it's close to Mexico. It's close to Costa Rica. It's on the way, the trek that many migrants try to make it to the U.S.
Now, that is a very difficult trip to make, now Nicaragua has closed its border with Costa Rica. There's -- there are over 1,000 Cubans trying to get into Nicaragua. They haven't been able to do it. But it's a usual route used by traffickers who want to bring people into the United States.
BLITZER: Mike Rogers, we don't know if these five individuals with these fake passports were at all connected to ISIS, do we?
ROGERS: No. We certainly have seen nothing to it. There's a lot of suspicion you have to roll into this.
And one of the problems with ISIS now -- and I think it concerns law enforcement and our intelligence services -- is the sheer amount of money they have. So you can show up -- if you show up in Nicaragua and you don't have bribe money, that's one issue. These folks are showing up with cash, with money.
And that's the one thing that ISIS has been able to do, is take large sums of cash and move it around to move their people not only in Europe but in this case, possibly, in certainly central America.
BLITZER: Peter, we certainly heard that from President Hollande in his address today. He made the point that ISIS, unlike other terror groups, they've got a lot of cash. They've got oil. They've got gold. They've got a lot of money to throw around right now. They're very wealthy. And they can do stuff, bad stuff with all that money.
BERGEN: Yes. And I think, you know, they control millions of people. And they tax them, and they extort them. And so just think about, you know, every time they add another city to their reach, you know, they're adding hundreds of thousands of new people they can extort and tax.
BLITZER: And that's a serious problem, because this is a wealthy terror operation with a lot of people and a lot of educated people, and moreover, a lot of military personnel who used to work for Saddam Hussein's military.
FUENTES: Yes. What will be interesting now is whether the European countries stop their policy of paying ransom when their citizens get kidnapped by them. So a lot of the millions of dollars available to ISIS has actually come from European countries paying ransom in the case of hostages taken by them.
BLITZER: So the whole world right now -- and correct me if I'm wrong, Mike -- is on a higher state of alert right now as a result of what happened Friday night in Paris.
ROGERS: Oh, absolutely. And I'm sure that led, at least to some degree, to these passport controls working in a place like Honduras, where they showed up with Greek passports. Obviously, that's going to raise a level of suspicion. And a good interviewer can get to the bottom of that pretty quickly, that that passport is not jiving with what that story is.
BLITZER: I assume Honduran authorities and others are going to be questioning these five individuals to find out what their motive was.
LOPEZ: That was their next step, to have an interrogation to find out what they were going -- what they were doing, where they were going. They've seen it before. It's not the first time. Obviously, they're concerned having their country as a way point.
[17:45:01] More so when the U.S. is working with Honduras to try to stop the flow of migrants toward our southern border.
BLITZER: Yes. It's a serious situation.
All right. Guys, stand by. There are other developments unfolding right now including alleged terrorists in custody after that raid, that bloody shootout near Paris.
And we're about to get a rare look inside the city ISIS claims as its capital and where civilians are suffering from both the group's tyranny and from bombings.
Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: Following the breaking news. A brand new ISIS propaganda video just released suggests the terror groups is targeting New York City. It shows an explosive device being put together. A bomber zipping his jacket over a suicide belt in crowded Manhattan street scenes.
[17:50:09] Meanwhile jets from Russia and France, they're hitting Raqqa, ISIS' self-proclaimed capital, in northern Syria . Today Pentagon officials explain these targets weren't hit earlier because ISIS continuously changing its fighting positions, communications, headquarters within that city. Raqqa once was home to some 200,000 people.
CNN's global affairs correspondent Elise Labott has got a rare look inside that so-called ISIS capital. It's pretty scary what is going on there.
ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPORTER: It's very scary, Wolf. We rarely get a glimpse inside this ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria. Open to sent against ISIS is punishable by data, but a group of young Syrian activists are risking their lives to tell the world about the brutal fate of their city, smuggling out video and images of public beheadings, crucifixions and torture of women.
I warn our viewers the images you're about to see are frightening.
LABOTT (voice-over): A toddler dressed as jihadi with the ISIS flag behind him is encouraged to behead his teddy bear. The disturbing scene spread through social media, exposing the indoctrination of children inside the ISIS capital of Raqqa, Syria. Boys as young as 5 years old in an ISIS camp training for the group's signature executions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this camp they try to teach them the ideology of ISIS. They sent them to bomb themself, they use them to carry weapons, medical stuff in the clashes. So it's so horrible for the children.
LABOTT (on camera): So basically they're raising little jihads from a small age.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes.
LABOTT (voice-over): Videos smuggled out of the ISIS stronghold and used by media outlets like CNN are the only way to see what life is life under extremist rule. ISIS has banned journalists, replacing them with slick propaganda glamorizing life in the so-called Islamic State. But a dozen activists are pulling back the curtain on the horrors of ISIS rule in their small city, once among Syria's most liberal. They call themselves Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ISIS started to execute, to kill, and do all these human rights violations in Raqqa, and no one did anything for the city, no one even heard about it. So we did our campaign trying to put the attention on our city to maybe someone will do something to the city.
LABOTT: The photos and images they smuggle out, a lifeline to the outside world.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can say no life in Raqqa. You can't do anything. No schools, no universities, nothing to do and everything is expensive.
LABOTT (on camera): It sounds like hell.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
LABOTT (voice-over): One woman snuck a camera under her veil risking her life to film this video depicting ISIS brutal treatment of women.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can't go outside alone. If she want to go outside, she should go with a husband, father, brother, or whatever, and she should -- and she should cover all herself. The woman in Raqqa or in ISIS areas are nothing, just they use them only to do sex, to buy and sell the Yazidi girls.
LABOTT (on camera): So basically they're making them prostitutes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
LABOTT (voice-over): Abdul Hazis al-Hamza was covering clashes between ISIS and the Free Syrian Army, when ISIS stormed his house. He managed to escape the country and now manages the group's social media.
ISIS arrested one of our borders. They took his laptop and they found our campaign logo and after three weeks, they executed him in a public square.
LABOTT: Last month one of their members working in Turkey was beheaded.
(On camera): Why are you journalists showing what is going on in Raqqa instead of being fighters killing ISIS fighters?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you will defeat ISIS and you didn't defeat the ideology of ISIS, maybe after two months or three months or years you will fight a new ISIS.
LABOTT: And the group has been declared an enemy of god by ISIS. The members say they don't know who will be next but prepared to pay with their lives. This weekend the members of Raqqa are being slaughtered silently, will be honored by the committee to protect journalist. With the International Press Freedom Award.
Wolf, a very brave group of young individuals.
BLITZER: The video showing that little kid trying to behead --
BLITZER: That doll, if you will, terrifying.
All right, Elise, thanks very much for that report.
Coming up, we have more breaking news ready to attack explosions and gunfire echoed during bloody overnight raids which French officials say stopped a terror cell from launching a new operation and ISIS shows off a soda can bomb which it says brought down that Russian airliner over Sinai killing all 224 people on board.
[17:55:08] How great a threat could this be to air travel?
BLITZER: Happening now, breaking news. ISIS threatens New York City, a terror propaganda video just released suggestions ISIS suicide bombers will strike America's largest city. Is there an imminent threat?
Set to strike. Key evidence includes cell phones leading French police to another terror cell whose plot is thwarted in a dramatic and deadly raid. He's the mastermind of the Paris attacks among the dead.
[18:00:01] Bomb revealed. ISIS publishes a picture of the bomb that downed a Russian passenger plane in Egypt planted inside a soda can.