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Paris Mastermind Killed; One Attacker on the Run; Commando Leader on Bataclan Siege: "Hell on Earth"; Female Suicide Bomber Identified; Source: Fugitive Gunman Search Extends to Netherlands; ISIS Threatens Rome, Washington and N.Y. Attacks; New Details On What Moroccan Intelligence Knew; Victim's Husband to ISIS: "You Can't Make Me Hate"

Aired November 19, 2015 - 21:00   ET



[21:01:34] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it's early morning here in Paris. There are late new developments on the story here as well as the repercussions across Europe and around the world of what took place on Friday and what has taken police since then. The search for one of the fugitive terrorists, expanding details of how authorities located the ringleader, who was now confirmed dead coming to life. The Paris SWAT commander who led his team into the Bataclan and into a wall of AK-47 fire. He is telling his story tonight. There's that. There are new ISIS threats and a sobering assessment of dangers inside the United States from the director of the FBI, that's all in the hour ahead.

We begin though with the ringleaders' takedown in the raid on the terror hideout in Saint-Denis just outside the city. Nic Robertson joins us now with that. Today authorities really, they identified this guy. What have we learned about the raid itself and about what it means for the larger manhunt?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, what we've learned about the raid was, I mean it took them 24 hours really to identify him, identifying his remains and they said that his body was impacted many times, not clear if it was just by bullets or his cousin exploding her suicide vest or whether he had explosives, as well.

We know now that he is connected to jihadists inside France, but authorities are saying that they will go after them. They say that he played a decisive role in the attack last Friday. They're also saying that he has been connected to four out of six failed terror plots here in France and that since spring alone. So this is a man that authorities now believe and are saying very clearly had a significant role. But what's surprising here was they thought he was in Syria yet here he was in France.

COOPER: Yes, incredible development that, a big surprise obviously to the French intelligence. The female suicide bomber believed to be the first female suicide bomber in Europe, what do we know about her?

ROBERTSON: Hasna Aitboulahcen, according to relatives and according in some newspapers, they're saying that until recently, she was not even radical at all, that she didn't ever opened a Quran, that this was a girl who liked to go to parties, liked to have fun, liked to drink until about a month or so ago. And then became radicalized, her family, her brothers are quoted as saying that they'd sort of given up on her. They told her to smarten up her lifestyle, they had problems with her. But it is the tapping of her phone that appears to have led police to the raid in Saint-Denis. So in that regard, it appears she was getting very, very close to her cousin, closer to radicalization.

COOPER: Amazing though that I mean, she'd only been radicalized for a month or two, I mean, she probably never even had time to even look at the Quran if she was even ever motivated to do that. Obviously, it's good news for everybody in France that this ringleader is dead and that he's been taken out. But the larger network is still out there.

ROBERTSON: The larger network is still out there. The government today has debated the emergency laws which will effectively give the police greater and...


COOPER: They decided to extend them for three more months.

ROBERSTON: For three months, and this will allow them to follow up leads more quickly and go from one apartment to another apartment and put people in a more permanent -- on to some semi-permanent house arrest in the meantime.

So these are stronger powers, but it appears from what we're being told that they're going to need them because of the associations that this man had and the revelation that he came back into this country without being picked up by authorities. Not only are they looking for the people that they know are connected with him, but now they have to realize that some of the other significant figures they'd been aware of that they think are in Syria may not be, may be here.

COOPER: That's troubling. Nic Robertson is going to be rejoining us in just a moment. I want to take a look now in depth with the raid on the Bataclan as seen through the eyes of the man who actually led it. He runs an elite police SWAT team here. He spoke tonight to NBC News' Lester Holt.


[21:05:11] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We took position at the enter of the theater and then we discovered like a hell on earth. I mean, more than maybe 7, 8,000 people were laying on the floor.

LESTER HOLT, NBC HOST: Seven to 800?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Laying on the floor. Tons of bloods everywhere. No sound. Nobody was screaming. In the last door, we approached the door and suddenly one of the terrorists on the stage, we don't know, ask us to go backward so I tried to speak with them and he told me that he want to negotiate. So I said OK, give me a phone number. As soon as we opened the door, the terrorists, one of the terrorists shot like between 25 to 30 rounds of AK-47 bullets. So 7.62 caliber.

HOLT: And that's -- these are the holes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. Immediately, the guy in the middle of the group get hit in the hand so he fell down because of the pain and...

HOLT: One of your officers was hit?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, in the middle of the group. First thing we saw that the guy shooting and a lot of maybe 20 hostages between the shooter and us. We cannot shoot at that time because it was too risky for the hostage. At the end of the hallway, we found two terrorists. It was like a dead end for them. Aand the first one blew himself with explosive jacket. The second one try to do the same, but get shot by the two first BRI officers.

HOLT: They were both wearing suicide vests.


HOLT: And one of them went off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, blood everywhere. For us, it was so intense, the assault, the bullets, the explosion, all that stuff. We're still very focused on what we did to be honest, and maybe half an hour after we saw what the environment and for us, it was very, very tough. We're still together. We come back to the office and spoke together until maybe 7:00 in the morning and maybe going to be some trouble for some of us in the next weeks or something but for now, so far, it's still okay.

HOLT: But you saved a lot of lives.



COOPER: No doubt about that. A Friday night that he says he is still struggling to come to grips with. More now on the Wednesday morning raid that follow and likely prevented another mass casualty attack. The terror takedown in Saint-Denis. Senior international correspondent Clarissa Ward has one neighbor story, take a look.


KAREEN, WITNESSED RAID: I turned on the light and the police were right there. They told me turn the light off, close the window and close the curtains.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is what 30-year-old Kareen woke up to when police stormed the building where she lives. She had no idea that Abdelhamid Abaqoud, the mastermind of the Paris attacks, was just two floors above.

KAREEN: There are police everywhere. Every floor, every place, we didn't know why. We were in a panic and we stayed there until 5:00 a.m., two hours in the apartment in a small hallway. Me and my friend and her three kids.

WARD: She told us how the walls were shaking with the force of the blasts. She was convinced she was going to die.

KAREEN: We saw nothing but death. For the kids, it was so horrible. It was like a nightmare.

WARD: Were they crying, I asked?

KAREEN: Yes, they were screaming and crying. The little one who is 5 years old, the little boy asked his mom, "Are we going to die?" It was horrifying.

WARD: After two agonizing hours, they were finally evacuated by police.

KAREEN: We're in shock.


COOPER: Incredible. Clarissa Ward joins us now along with CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour and our Nic Robertson is here as well.

Clarissa, did she have any idea these guys were in this building, or that the ringleader was in the building?

WARD: Well, that's what I asked her. I said, "Did you ever see Abaaoud, did you see his cousin, did you have any sense of what was going on? And what was so striking she said, I would never have noticed because Anderson, this isn't the kind of neighborhood where you look at other people. This is the kind of neighborhood where you keep your head down and you mind your own business and that's exactly why it's such an attractive target for someone like Abaaoud to hunker down because simply put, Anderson, no one there is going to report him.

COOPER: And I mean, Christiane, there's still so much we do not know. We don't know how long these guys were there for. We know they were under surveillance we believe for about 24 hours. You've been talking to a lot of people about this cell and about the larger investigation, as well.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, and particularly to the grand mosque (inaudible), the chairman of the Grand Mosque here in Paris because all the news is that so many of these people were these European jihadists who went out and came back. And that is the big, big threat obviously as we've just been reporting.

[21:10:07] And, you know, if you look at their profiles, you've just been talking about the woman suicide bomber. By the way, the first ever in Europe. The first ever for ISIS known. None of these people have a particularly religious profile at all.

COOPER: That is so interesting. AMANPOUR: They're all petty criminal dropout druggies. I mean just --

you know, on the skids, and they don't all come from bad or poor families by the way. They come from pretty descent families like Abaaoud certainly does. And he was saying what ISIS is, is a sect, it's a cult. You know, we won't be trying to figure out what it is, and that is what he's saying. I mean, they attract these down and out people, particularly the girls who groomed, girls -- grooming girls to come on over. Don't know about this one, but the on the whole.

COOPER: It's so interesting because years ago, I mean, we did some of these stories on radicalization, as what's happening inside mosques and a lot of the people were, you know, were thrown out of the various countries they were in. Nic used to do a lot of reporting from the England about that as well. But now, I mean, to your point, it really is these young guys who grew up here, were part of the society and don't even really know the Quran. They don't -- you know, there'd been examples of them reading like the Quran for dummies because -- and this whole sort of false piety is just...

AMANPOUR: Abaaoud himself, his own family say had no inclinations at all towards religion. He was not a religious person. He drank, he partied, he did drugs, he was a petty criminal. And you know, it's kind of hard to hear a family say they're glad their son is dead, but they have said that and you can imagine for somebody as psychopathic as him, and that's the situation these families find themselves.

COOPER: And Nic, you are learning that it wasn't French intelligence that discovered that he was here, they only discovered because it was what? Moroccan intelligence.

ROBERTSON: Moroccan intelligence and we still don't know how Moroccan intelligence knew that he was here but the French didn't.

COOPER: He's of Moroccan descent.

ROBERTSON: He's Belgian with Moroccan descent. Yeah. So presumably, they have some people who were in the community who are picking up whispers, presumably. We really don't know.

I think speaking to the issue of this sort of party going, drug smoking young men that suddenly take up, don't understand the Quran. The thing that's changed going back to when were looking at this in Britain 10 years ago is in part the internet and ISIS' ability to sell a seductive narrative to kids that feel marginalized for whatever reason. We found this in Britain just this last summer. The youngest British suicide bomber gone off to Syria. His family were incandescent with rage, how can the British government allow this stuff to be on the internet and kids see it in their bedrooms and they fall for it? And that's how it happened so quickly. ISIS is very, very adept to this and we're behind them in that one.

COOPER: But it's also so interesting how it's these young guys who are new converts and it's often these new converts who are the most violent.

(CROSSTALK) WARD: Exactly. Yeah.

COOPER: Like they're trying to prove something or try to make up.

WARD: They're trying to prove it and also they haven't grown up with a good sense of religion in a sort of meaningful profound and natural way. It hasn't been like an organic process in that sense.

COOPER: Also a lot of these guys seem like psychopaths.

AMANPOUR: Well, that's what they call this one, Abaaoud, they absolutely do and particularly, his behavior in the videos, it really show that psychopathic tendency.

But of course to what we were just saying, you know, the MI5 Chief Andrew Parker, I mean what he said is pretty stunning, is that all of this regarding the internet, they've been radicalized to the point of violence so fast over the internet, faster than the intelligence chiefs have time to disrupt their plan and that is actually the big game changer and to be very frank, I was really surprised to hear the chief religious leader, Muslim leader here in France say that because they have land, that they occupy in Syria and Iraq, it gives them a big grandeur, it gives them a big, you know, factory in which to plan their terrorism. And that land has to be taken away from them.

ROBERTSON: And it's what they set out to do. Sorry. This is what they're set out to do. When ISIS went into Syria, they won't go in there to remove Assad. That was their prime motivation of (inaudible). Raqqah was top of the list. We see the out fall.

WARD: And one other thing I would say, the parents sometimes are a little slow to react because initially they're happy to see their kids are no longer smoking weed, their kids are no longer -- they're suddenly behaving well, they're respectful, they're not drinking alcohol and in the beginning, it's a positive transition they think, that sometimes it's too late before they realize that it's actually something far more sinister.

COOPER: Clarissa, thanks very much. Christiane, Nic Robertson as well.

Coming up next, the raids in a Belgian terror nexus and serious questions about why it is taking so long. Words and important signals missed? Drew Griffin investigates when we come back.


[21:18:25] COOPER: Well with the master -- with the planner of these attacks dead, one of the murderer still on the loose, the so-called eighth terrorists still on the loose. Police across France and much of Europe had been rounding up suspects, 600 raids here since Friday. Fresh sweeps in Brussels and Belgium today where several of the killers lived, known to authorities on the radar which of course raises all kind of questions about missed signals, how was this ringleader able to get back from Syria to France without being discovered until Moroccan intelligence, according to Nic Robertson, alerted French intelligence. CNN senior investigator correspondent Drew Griffin has been looking into it. He joins us from Brussels tonight. So Drew, talk to us about these raids that were going on.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATOR CORRESPONDENT: There were nine raids early yesterday morning now here in Belgium apartments, a few houses, nine people arrested and brought in for questioning but Anderson, the biggest questions are surrounding whether or not the Belgian officials have a handle on all of this, that's because six of those nine raids concerned this one guy, Bilal Hafdi and his whereabouts are actually his trail of investigation.

The Belgian police today acknowledged that they have known about this guy since early 2015 when they learned he gad traveled to Syria to fight for ISIS and they also may have learned about him even earlier than that when his radical Islamic behavior kind of showed up involving a schoolteacher. You know, it's just another case where despite all of this, that the Belgian police had no idea this guy was even back in Europe until his body was found in Paris.

[21:20:04] COOPER: Well, I mean, Belgian police certainly had chances to intercept some of the other terrorists who were involved in this plot, didn't they?

GRIFFIN: Yeah, there's a lot of criticism, the two brothers, Salah Abdeslam who's still on the run that you mentioned, Ibrahim Abdeslam who blew himself up in Paris as well. Anderson, the Belgian police were alerted to then back in February, why? Because Ibrahim Abdeslam tried to go from Turkey into Syria. That's according to the Turks. They sent him back to Belgium, notified the police, the police actually went and interviewed both of these brothers back then and came up empty, determined there was nothing to it so they let them go.

You said there's growing criticism by Belgian officials, well today, the Belgian prime minister really say he's going to clamp down, but I talked to one Belgian analyst who said, 'Look it, this is too little and too late." Listen to what he said.


BILAL BENYAICH, SENIOR FELLOR ITINERA INSITUTE: It took too long and even our anti-radicalization policy took too long, actually. The discussions needs time and too bad I think that our politicians, that our governments, successive governments didn't or they did underestimate the problems actually that were happening underground. Luckily, now there is this discussions. They are aware of it, they area facing it, but they are still not tackling it enough.


GRIFFIN: Anderson, in a speech, the prime minister of Belgium announced that he's going to increase both the intelligence and the security services by a big margin. He also said he wants to increase the efforts being made to stop young Belgian men from going to fight in Syria. Then he also vowed that any of those ISIS fighters who come home thinking they're going to come home to Belgium, they he said will come home to a prison cell. Anderson? COOPER: Drew, appreciate the reporting.

Before continuing the conversation, I want to quickly show you some of the new video which aired on ABC News. The first clear look of the explosions during the raid in Saint-Denis. The female suicide bomber blew herself up.

Joining us now is CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruichshank. Also, Regis Le Sommier, Deputy Editor in Chief at Paris Match.

I want to talk to you about what you know about this ringleader because Paris Match actually had contact with them. Before we do that, just to what Drew was reporting about the problems in Belgium. How big a problem is it from your vantage point, intelligence sharing between services, between countries inside Europe? Because in the U.S., we had a huge problem with that before 9/11 between sharing between the FBI and the CIA. It seems like that problem exists here.

REGIS LE SOMMIER, DEPUTY EDITOR IN CHIEF, PARIS MATCH: What I -- having thought about all this, we can say that we are really at post 9/11 stage in France, not that we, you know, we cooperated with the U.S. on many cases and everybody is aware of, you know, that global terror threat.

But this time around, we're still piecing together how an attack of that scope could have happened in our country, in Belgium and in France. We need to, you know -- definitely there's going to be a lot, a lot of questions addressed to politician, addressed to intel service, you know, in the coming months. There's going to be a huge shakeup and also maybe the problem is we're going to turn towards more security. That's obvious.

This is something that your viewers have to understand is that France has always prided itself of being a free country and, you know, sometimes pointing at the U.S. with too much regulations, too much trouble at the airport, in the U.S. much tougher than it's here. Not that we don't scrutinize things here, there is proper legislation that had been put in place but maybe the country is too open and that's what a lot of people are thinking.

COOPER: Paris Match, which is a legendary magazine here, hugely respected, you've actually been in contact in years past with this ringleader.

LE SOMMIER: With about -- yes, we started -- this all started with one of our freelancers that found his cellphone in Syria and we pulled out the videos of him, you know, driving -- when you see him with the Afghan hood, that's from that video and during that video when you listen to it, he speaks in French sometimes, a little bit in Arabic. He says that, you know, he's pulling bodies of dead soldiers, of -- that there's been an offensive -- it's in (inaudible) north of Aleppo.

COOPER: He's dragging them from his vehicle.

LE SOMMIER: He's dragging them from his vehicle. But he says, you know, I'm pulling the body of Kufars which are, you know, the name of infidels. He said, you know, I'm not on the frontline at that time. He said that the Chechens did that.

[21:25:01] There's been an offensive and he's pulling the body. He's with, you know, young recruiters that just came from France and he talks to them. He's from Belgium. He's with French people, which is very interesting because back then and I think ever since when they fight on the ground in Syria, they are with group of, you know, with the same language. So there's no surprise that you see them, you know, connected -- being connected, so much connected to Belgium because they fought together. They forge bombs, you know, blood bombs in Syria.

COOPER: They are also from largely the same neighborhood, they went to prison together, they were petty criminals together. They have -- it's like an extended gang.

LE SOMMIER: Yes. It's an extended gang, but would say, you know, modern day, they -- some of them went to school together and if you take the ring of terrorists from the south of Paris and from the north, as well, you have people that, you know, are from the same neighborhood. Even you can connect Coulibaly and a few of the suicide bombers from the Bataclan. Coulibaly is of course the one from the kosher, the deli kosher...

COOPER: Right.

LE SOMMIER: ... from January, back in january.

COOPER: Paul, I mean, the network, though, continues in Syria. I mean, there's other nationals, Belgian nationals, French nationals who are there who again very well could be planning we think are in Syria, could be here, we don't know, but it could be planning other things.

PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: We know they are in Syria and we know they're planning other things and we know there was a senior French ISIS fighter Fabien Clain, who was working with Abdelhamid Abaaoud. They were both in (inaudible) together trying to quickly turn around European extremists, send them back to launch attacks, which once were together for a string of attacks, attempted and attempted attacks against Europe, against France and they're still out there. Clain by the way took responsibility for this attack on behalf of ISIS. He's a senior figure in the group 10 years older than Abaaoud and I think the French will want to target him.

COOPER: No doubt about it.

CRUICKSHANK: Potentially.

COOPER: Thank you so much. Fantastic to talk to you. Paul Cruickshank as well.

A lot ahead in this hour. Up next, we're going to take a look at a former ISIS insider speaking out. He claims to have spent a year as a spy for the terror organization. He's now sharing rare insight of the group's daily operations. He spoke exclusively to Michael Weiss of the Daily Beast, some remarkable interviews that Michael did. He joins us ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[21:31:22] COOPER: Well, after years of brutal attacks and now most recently the bombing of the Russian plane in Egypt and the shootings and bombings here in France, ISIS has unfortunately become a household name. Much is still unknown though about the organization's day to day operations.

Now, one man claiming to be a former ISIS spy is revealing details about his time in the terror group, who the leaders are, where sleeper cells are or operating, even how ISIS chooses suicide bombers.

The account is part of a special series in the Daily Beast by senior editor and CNN contributor Michael Weiss and Michael joins us now.

Michael, this is an incredible series that I started to read today that you were in for the Daily Beast. It's multiple parts. I encourage anyone who has not read it to do so. The guy you interviewed claims he defected from ISIS' so-called security state service. What to you is perhaps the most revealing thing you learned from talking to him?

MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, ISIS has always presented itself as an actual state. I mean, they are called the Islamic state for a reason. This is part of their propaganda. We have administrative services. We run a vast intelligence gathering apparatus. We conduct military sorties in a more conventional than unconventional manner. But it was hard Anderson to separate just their bluster from the reality. And what Abu Khalid (ph), the defector, that's a known pseudonym that we've given him to protect his family by the way, what he revealed is that I wouldn't call it a functioning state by any means. But in a sense, it's gone directly to failed statehood in a manner of quite reminiscent of Saddam Hussein's republic of fear, or indeed, I mean, Bashar Al-Assad's regime in Syria. I don't know if the quote actually made it into the piece, I can't remember. but Abu Khalid said, living under ISIS rule in Al- Bab, which is one of the two main towns in Aleppo that they control reminded him after living under Assad for, you know, however many decades. One of the things they do well.

And one of the things that they do well...

COOPER: Basically they have groups kind of monitoring other groups, one security service is monitoring another security service.

WEISS: Absolutely, and here's the important takeaway. A lot of guys that run ISIS today had graduated, if you like, from the regime of Saddam Hussein. They were members of the Baath Party. More specifically though, the Iraqi Mukhabarat, which is their intelligence services, the Iraqi military intelligence, the guy who essentially found that ISIS' franchise in Syria, Haji Bakr, had been a colonel I believe in Saddam's air force intelligence service. And documents that had been recovered by (inaudible) show an intelligence apparatus that was nothing so much like what the East German Stasi or the KGB used to do. Counterintelligence, you know, the way that ISIS has managed to conquer a third of Syria, it's not because these guys fight so terribly well. In Kobani, they went like lambs to the slaughter. I mean, Abu Khalid was telling me that a lot of guys thought there was a conspiracy within ISIS to have them killed because they were being just kind of use this (inaudible).

The reason they're taking so much terrain, they dispatched sleeper agents into free Syrian territory with a lot of money. You know, remember, ISIS is a very wealthy franchise. They control the oil fields in Syria, they make money from human trafficking. They impose taxation, right? The more terrain they take, the more people there are to collect zakat or Islamic tax from.

They dispatch these agents armed or equipped with $300,000 to $400,000, they infiltrate a free Syrian army brigade or battalion and guess what, with that kind of money, you rise very quickly to the top. So unbeknownst to Syrian rebels, the rank in file, in some cases they're being controlled by agents provocateur of ISIS and this is how ISIS actually takes territory in advance of its military onslaught. They manage to recruit and proselytize within free Syrian villages and townships and the population just gives itself over.

[21:35:01] And they also sell themselves on the basis of functioning administrative services. We will collect the garbage. If you have a problem with the restaurant that you go to in Al-Bab or in (inaudible), we will inspect the restaurant. If it's infested with vermin, we will charge it to fine on the proprietor of the restaurant and that's not even to get into the deterrent factor, which is the penal code and how severely they punish even the most minor infraction.

COOPER: Michael, he also told you about that, you know, they were getting a huge number before in recruits, thousands a day at one point and this kind of jives with what the FBI director was telling press earlier today and other reporters. But that number has actually dropped dramatically.

The concern, of course, is are they -- you know, they're telling people to stay in their home countries and just do attacks there. This guy actually talked to you about two French nationals, he claimed that he helped to train and you contacted him after the Paris attacks. What did he say about them?

WEISS: Well, I asked him -- you know, I had asked in a stumble when we did the interview what were their names and he said I don't know. I mean, you know, in ISIS-held territory, nobody uses their real name, you're always Abu something. And he said if you ask what your legal or given name is, that's like a red flag. They assume that you're a spy and the punishment for espionage of course Anderson is you get your head cut off.

So he said -- he gave me the physical descriptions. You know, he told me, one guy had blonde hair and blue eyes. It was a French national, very likely a convert to Islam. The other guy was of North African descent and had a small child, I believe. So, you know, he did say, and I asked him, did you warn anybody about these two and he answered very sort of discreetly yes, and left it at that. So he wants to be on the other side at this point.

COOPER: All right. Michael Weiss again is on the Daily Beast, it's a fascinating series of articles. Thank you very much.

Still ahead, new details on who helped French authorities track down the ringleader of the Paris attacks. More ahead.


[21:40:54] COOPER: Some breaking news on early reports that the manhunt for Friday's fugitive killer has expanded to the Netherlands. Just moments ago, local media reported the Dutch officials say that is not in fact the case. ISIS released another new video today, this one threatening attacks on Washington and Rome. Yesterday, another video, as you know, these things about New York. We're also getting new details tonight about the Moroccan intelligence that helped French police find the ringleader of the attacks in Saint-Denis. Our justice reporter Evan Perez joins me now. So Evan, what is the latest on this new Moroccan intelligence?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: We had a fascinating interview with a senior Moroccan official, thanks to the work of a couple of our producers (inaudible), and really what we learned was that the Moroccans had a lot of information about Abaaoud and where his -- and what they did not know was his exact whereabouts. And once it became clear from French intelligence that they believed Abaaoud and certainly ISIS was behind the Paris attacks, that's when they set into action.

They said they tapped Moroccan source. As you know, Abaaoud is Moroccan, his parents are Moroccan and they were able to figure out that he was with a suspected suicide bomber, a female suicide bomber in Saint-Denis. They were able to pass that information to French intelligence on Monday, just a couple of days after the attack and one of the questions I had was why were they tracking him? They said they simply knew about him because Moroccan fighters who come back from Syria and Iraq are given extensive interviews. They ask them, the Moroccan intelligence ask him who are you with, who are you fighting with? All the names of the people who you are there with and that is information that they're able to collect and use for later intelligence. This is the reason why they knew right after the attacks that Abaaoud was likely in France and they said about trying to track him down.

COOPER: Which obviously was a huge help to France intelligence. What's the latest on the video?

PEREZ: Well, the latest on the video is that the FBI and other intelligence agencies simply believe that ISIS is trying to capitalize on its moment in the sun. A lot of these videos are just retreads of past images. You've seen a lot of these before. They know the world's attention is on them and they're trying to capitalize that they're masters at propaganda and they're trying to take advantage of as much of this as possible for recruits, for money and to instill fear frankly, and that's what we heard from Director Jim Comey, the FBI, and attorney general Loretta Lynch. They say people should not be afraid. Let the FBI do its job and, you know, they'll track down people who might be carrying out attacks here.

COOPER: Evan, thanks very much for the reporting.

Just ahead, we'll take you inside the Bataclan theater attack, a young couple described the terror, and also the extraordinary kindness that they witnessed among those trying to survive.


[21:47:22] COOPER: Well, over the last couple of days, we have met really some extraordinary people, including a young couple who walked out of the Bataclan theater alive last Friday after witnessing the unthinkable.

As their mask were unfolded, each had no idea if the other was safe. They got separated during the concert before the killings began. Amari Baudouin was hiding in a bathroom that was packed with dozens of other terrified people. Back on the dance floor, his girlfriend Isobel Dubarry (ph) played dead. Here's more of our interview.


COOPER: Everybody tries to imagine what they would do in a situation like this when -- were you thinking of different things in your mind of what to do? What was going through your mind?

ISOBEL DUBARRY: Complete shock. I think that's the first thing. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe this was happening.

COOPER: It didn't seem real?

DUBARRY: Didn't seem real. I had to stay calm so I thought about my family. I thought about my friends.

COOPER: You were reliving moments with your family, and with your friends?

DUBARRY: Yeah. Yeah. And picturing their faces and saying -- and this is the only thing I did was I said out loud I love you. I didn't say their names. I just pictured their face and I said I love you and whispered.

COOPER: Were you afraid they would see you saying I love you?

DUBARRY: My face was towards the ground when I said it. At this point, I was so, so prepared to die, so expecting to die, it was such a long attack that I don't think anyone thought they were getting out of there alive.

COOPER: When you were laying down, what did you see? Were you looking down? Were you -- DUBARRY: I was in a fatal position. I was resting my head on a

couple, on a man who was trying to protect me, protect my body. I still don't know if he's alive. I don't know if he made it. When we left, I don't remember. He was the kindest man. He spoke to me in English. He reassured me. He said everything was going to be fine. He moved his body to try and protect me, to try and save my life when his was so much in danger. And the whole time he said don't run, just stay and he -- those words saved my life because the people who ran were shot.

[21:50:00] COOPER: At any point did they actually try to take hostages (inaudible).


DUBARRY: And as Amari was saying is that the tragedy here is that so many people our age were killed in that attack. So many people won't get to live their lives that were just only started.


COOPER: Is there anything else you want people to know? You want to say to people?

DUBARRY: I want to say thank you to everyone who supported me through -- us through this horrible time. I'm so grateful to be alive that so many people didn't and that's what we need to remember, to remember the victims.

COOPER: Thank you.

DUBARRY: Thank you.


COOPER: Isobel Dubarry and Amari Baudouin, very strong, amazing that they were able to survive.

Just ahead, a man whose wife died in the Bataclan attack writes an open letter to his killers and what he said is the message of defiance and a message of grace and we encourage you to hear. Stay tuned.


[21:58:12] COOPER: So many people here have every reason to be filled with hate after what's happened but they are not. And now a husband and a father is explaining why with extraordinary grace. His wife was killed on Friday. Their little boy is just 17 months old. In this BBC video, this grieving man reads from his Facebook post an open letter to his wife's killers. Listen.


ANTOINE LEIRIS, WIFE KILLED IN BATACLAN MASSACRE: If the God for whom you kill so blindly made us in his image, each bullet in my wife's body would have been a wound in his heart. Therefore I will not give you the gift of hating you. You have obviously sought it but responding to it with anger would be to give in to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be afraid? To cast a mistrustful eye on my fellow citizens? To sacrifice for my freedom, you lost, same player, same game.


COOPER: Well, CNN's Hala Gorani sat down with him earlier.


HALA GORANI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The other thing that you said is...


GORANI: "We are only two, my son and me, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world." Which I thought was so beautiful.

LEIRIS: (inaudible) I don't know about (inaudible) et cetera. But we stand free. We stand with the taste of life. We stand with happiness. We play games with my son. And then no, they don't win. No, no. We stand.

GORANI: Your son is only 17 months.


GORANI: So still, he doesn't understand.

LEIRIS: But he feels everything. And he know everything. We talk about it. And then he cry. But he was crying about because his mother, he miss his mother.