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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
State Dept. Warns Attacks Being Planned Throughout Europe; At Least 30 Dead In Attacks, ISIS Claims Responsibility; U.S Officials: Attacks Tied To Network Behind Paris Massacre; U.S. Official: Belgians Looking For 3 Possible Bombing Associates; Manhunt Underway After Deadly Terror Attacks; ISIS Flag, Nail, Bomb, Chemicals Found During Search; Taxi Driver's Tip Led Police To Location Of One Raid; Belgian Official: Fugitive's Bomb Failed To Detonate; U.S Officials: Belgians Have Shared Names Of Possible Suspects; Security Stepped Up At U.S. Airports, Train Stations; Presidential Candidates On Deadly Terror Attacks; Presidential Candidates React To Belgian Attacks; Awaiting Results In Western Tuesday Contests; Cruz: Police Need To Patrol And Secure Muslim Communities; 3 States Vote As Candidates React To Belgian Attacks; Father Of Bombing Survivor Speaks Out. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired March 22, 2016 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:01:07] ANDERSON COOPER, AC360 ANCHOR: Just past 9:00 p.m., here in Washington where the State Department has issue a new terror warning, an early morning in Brussels after Twin terror attacks.
Intelligence and counter terrorism agencies in both places working around the clock. Now, they are trying to turn the security camera image from Brussels' main airport into something actionable. Something that might help them catch the fugitive on the right and unravel what authorities believe the two on the left did setting off explosive devices in the airport.
One of two attacks. The other about an hour later at a crowded subway station in the middle of the Belgium capital killing at least 20 people. ISIS claiming responsibility. Intelligence officials are as a working theory tying it to the same cell or larger group that carried out the Paris massacres. And as we said, there's new information on the search for who was behind the attacks today.
A number of U.S. Officials telling us Belgian authorities have shared the names of several suspects with their American counterparts. Those names, these officials say, are being run through databases of suspected or known terrorists. One U.S. official saying the Belgians are looking for at least three people who may be associated with the bombings and in light of all that this new State Department warning.
Elise Labott joins us now with the latest on that. The state department just released the warning of threats potentially facing Americans traveling in Europe. What are they saying? ELISE LABOTT, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Anderson. Well in the wake of the attacks, State Department now warning Americans that terrorist groups are planning near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation. And, when they say near-term attacks, that suggests that these attacks could be in their final stages of planning, so it's pretty remarkable for the State Department, Anderson, to issue a warning of this nature for Europe essentially urging Americans and Europe to hunker down and avoid these type of public spaces.
I just spoke to a senior state department official about the decision to issue this kind of rare warning. Official said, look, we know is ISIS on the loose, we know they've been planning attacks, and we have a responsibility to warn Americans to take necessary precautions. No credible or specific attack about a particular place or country, but there have already been attacks in France, Turkey, and now Belgium. So they're not ruling any country in Europe out, Anderson.
COOPER: And obviously as the weather improves, spring and then summer in Europe, a lot of Americans head there. What do we know about the status of the Americans who were injured or missing during the Brussels attack?
LABOTT: Well, we know about six Americans that have been injured. We know a Lieutenant Air Force Colonel who was detailed to NATO and members of his family were injured. We also know about four Mormon missionaries who were from Utah. Now, three of them sustained serious injuries. One of them minor injuries. We don't know of any fatalities yet but the State Department very hesitant to issue any final numbers because the numbers are widely fluctuating.
And, I'm told by officials that there are several Americans that they're trying to find, several missing Americans, families desperate to find them and so that's why they don't want to issue any final numbers yet. And that's why, Anderson, when they issue this travel warning, they put a caveat, very important to Americans in Europe to register with their local embassy, keep in touch with their families, because if there's any emergency they want to make sure they can get to any Americans who need help.
COOPER: OK, Elise Labott. Elise, thanks very much.
More now on the search and the forensic work which is still under way at that apartment in Brussels neighborhood that authorities raided earlier today. That is where our Fred Pleitgen is joining us now.
Explain where you are. You're outside the apartment where the forensic teams in the last hour were still working. Is that still going on?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that is still going on. In fact, I think what we can do, is we're going to pan right up to that the building where this is going on. In fact, the forensic work, Anderson, appears to have expanded somewhat. Remember the last time we were speaking it was going on in the top floor of that building. It's now also going on, on the third floor.
[21:05:05] We saw some police officers go through both to those floors of that building. We saw, again, camera flashes as though they were photographing something. We saw also police officers going through there with their flashlights.
What I also saw in the past, let's say about hour or so is a lot of police officers coming out of that building carrying a lot of paper bags with anything that could be some sort of evidence and loading it onto vehicles like, for instance, the one that you see right here. There's also time and again forensic officers going to those vehicles and, again, combing through that area.
This is, of course, apparently the apartment from which those three people who were seen on that CCTV video and also on that picture, that's where they departed to the airport from.
And so many believe that this is also where a potential bomb factory could have been. This is also the place where the authorities found a nail bomb, chemicals, as well as an ISIS flag and that's one of the reasons, of course, why they are now conducting these searches.
The latest that we're getting is they say what we're seeing right now happening here is probably going to continue throughout the night. This raid took place fairly shortly after the attacks took place around 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. local time so only about, I'd say about four hours after the attacks. So very pinpointed the authorities found this building and raided it.
COOPER: And they were able to get there relatively quickly because of a tip off from a cab driver, is that right?
PLEITGEN: Yeah, that's exactly right. And that's quite remarkable because apparently the cab driver that picked up the three gentlemen from this area right here, he said they were loading a lot of suitcases into the cab, they said they had so much stuff that they had to leave one suitcase behind which is apparently the one that later the nail bomb was found. And then he took them to the airport and as they were unloading the cab, they refused to allow him to help them unload their suitcases.
Now, apparently he told the authorities that he was then driving away, he saw these pictures that were released of those three suspicious people at the airport, immediately recognized them and then called the authorities which then allowed them to very quickly make out this area here in Schaerbeek which is also the area that was apparently a site of a bomb-making factory that was creating explosive used in the Paris attacks in November.
There was a big police operation was going on here, Anderson, for a while. We were behind the chord and then there was a helicopter flying around this building right here with a sniper from inside that helicopter taking aim at this building. So the authorities obviously very, very serious taking no risks as they were getting into the premises here and now searching it as well.
COOPER: All right, Fed Pleitgen. Appreciate it, Fred.
A lot more to talk about now. Joining us CNN global affairs analyst and "Daily Beast" contributing writer Kimberly Dozier, also CNN Terrorism Analyst Paul Cruickshank, CNN Intelligence and Security Analyst and former CIA officer Bob Baer, and joining us as well CNN contributor Michael Weiss also of "The Daily Beast" and the author of "ISIS Inside: The Army of Terror."
Paul, in terms of just the new details, it's clear there was more than just one person that authorities are looking for at this point. There's no doubt this is more people involved.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: This is a broader cell, a broader network linked to ISIS, part of ISIS which are operating in Brussels which operated in Brussels and in Belgium to hatch the Paris Attacks. They're looking for a number of individuals related to those Paris attacks including a potential bomb-maker who is believed to have made those devices in a bomb factory in that very same Schaerbeek districts.
COOPER: So that bomb maker is still out there.
CRUICKSHANK: He's still out there. It's possible he's an individual called Najim Laachraoui who went to Syria in 2013 because he probably joined ISIS there and then came back. Now, he was one of the senior conspirators in the Paris attacks.
COOPER: One of the people who was contacted by the attackers prior to, and then perhaps during.
CRUICKSHANK: Exactly. Communicating by text message by phone with the three attack teams in Paris as they carried out those attacks that night. His DNA was found in that bomb factory in Schaerbeek. So, as they're doing the forensics tonight if they can match his DNA to this device that they found today, that would be confirmation that he's the bomb maker and that is a very worrying thing, indeed, because if you got an experienced ISIS operative, a bomb maker on the loose in Brussels, all he needs is willing candidates to equip them to launch more attacks and there are plenty of those these days.
COOPER: Kimberly, you were just in Brussels.
KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: And the other disturbing thing is that they knew this was coming. The Belgian foreign minister told the conference I was at which is partly about terrorism this weekend, that in questioning the Paris fugitive who'd just been arrested that they found out he had a new wider network, he had plans for future violent attacks, and they were out there looking for anyone connected to him and yet they didn't find this plot.
[21:10:12] COOPER: So even while, he was in the run, the subject for this massive manhunt in which Belgium has said, look, there were more than 100 raids over the last several months, this guy Salah Abdeslam was out there planning something else.
DOZIER: He had heavy weapons gathered, he had gathered what they say is a new network of willing participants. They just didn't get to them in time.
And as I got to the airport yesterday, I'd seen increased security around the places you'd expect in the center of the city, around tourist spots, around major hotels but there was no security from the point where the taxi drops you off to get to the ticket counters. So the terrorists know this, too, they went for a soft target.
COOPER: Right. Michael, today's attack, I mean, it's more likely it was conceived and directed from operatives there in Belgium or by ISIS officials actually in Iraq or in Syria because in the wake of the Paris attacks, ISIS did release videos that were made of the Paris attackers beheading hostages in I believe it was Syria or Iraq. I can't remember for sure.
MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR, SENIOR EDITOR, THE DAILY BEAST: Right. And the conspicuous absence in that propaganda was of Salah Abdeslam, the 10th attacker who either, I mean at the time we'd all thought maybe he chickened out or perhaps his suicide belt just didn't detonate and so he kind of repaired back to his ISIS network inside Europe.
But there was also an accusation that, you know, he could have been in ill odor with ISIS because he failed to fulfill his martyrdom duties or you recall, Anderson, there were reports right after the Paris attacks, this "Sunday Times" other European news outlets were reporting that Salah Abdeslam was seen frequenting a gay district in Brussels, he might have been a closet homosexual and this could have completely, essentially exposed him to ISIS.
All of these now, seems to be mythology. It's very, very clear he was still an active ISIS operative. I mean as Paul and others have pointed out, he was equipped with a Kalashnikov when they raided his safe house which he had been domiciled. And four months, he was hold up with a senior ISIS operative who was coordinating the Paris attacks in realtime from Brussels over the phone using, you know, telecommunications.
The guy was very clearly still a going agent of the caliphate on European soil. So absolutely, I talked to Jean Charles Broussard, a French kind if terrorism expert who today told me, Belgian nationals about 535 of them have gone over to Syria, most of them joining groups like ISIS, (inaudible) of that figure, 200 have returned to Belgium.
So Belgium is country about 11 million people, little over the size of the population of London. It takes about 20 to 25 counter terrorism officials to track one single terrorist operative who is a suspect.
So you can imagine the amount of personnel and manpower that has gone into trying to do this drag net throughout the country.
COOPER: You know, Bob, it's interesting, Salah Abdeslam, you know, we know he didn't fulfill any -- didn't detonate a suicide vest in the Paris attacks. Then when he was apprehended, he was running away. He basically literally ran through authorities, ran through law enforcement and try to run away until he was shot, I believe, in the leg and that's when he was apprehended. It's interesting to me that he didn't attempt to die in this operation, die before being captured when other people he was with, in particular, this guy who's believed to have been the coordinator of the Paris attacks, did die in a shootout providing covering fire for Abdeslam and one other person to get away.
BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST, FORMER CIA OFFICER: Well exactly, Anderson. I think he was ambiguous about Jihad and martyrdom and the rest of it and couldn't be counted on but the Islamic state won't exclude you because of that because people do sign up for murder operations and others don't. He may have what we consider, chickened out but he was still part of a network. Still part of his family supported him apparently and his friends in Brussels so he was still like a key element.
You know, and as far as, you know, direction from Raqqa, from the Islamic state's capital, we're just guessing on a lot of this because these people are staying off the phones, and for so long we've relied on intercepts and chatter to figure out what these groups are but the real problem is we can't get into the mentality, we don't, the Belgium police, the CIA, no one has decent sources inside these networks, so a lot of what we talk about is just guesswork.
COOPER: Kim, how big of a failure is this for Belgium intelligence? I mean if in fact, this group is linked to the group in Paris as seems increasingly likely, the fact that after months of manhunts and dozens, if not more then a hundreds of raids in Belgium alone, this larger cell was able to continue operations is extraordinary.
DOZIER: Look, the Belgian Intelligence Agency is understaffed, overworked. They have been caught at a standing start and they're trying to catch up with building networks through this community that they haven't spent a lot of time doing intelligence collection in.
[21:15:14] And when you go there, just was there on Saturday night, you can feel there's a sense of sort of confrontation.
COOPER: You're talking about neighborhoods like Molenbeek?
DOZIER: Like Molenbeek, between the police and the locals. And Belgian officials lament, they said -- we don't know that community very well. If you talked to Intelligence officials outside of Belgium, they'll say, look, their privacy laws keep them from doing a lot of things that we need to be doing. That's why the British Intelligence Services, for instance, were actually listening to the communications in Belgium and helping, but they had to stop because of Edward Snowden revelations.
COOPER: Interesting. A lot more ahead tonight. Kimberly Dozier, thank you, Bob Baer, Michael Weiss, thank you. Paul Cruickshank is going to stick around just ahead today as the attacks in Brussels.
A stark reminder as Kimberly just said that airports, train stations incredibly vulnerable. We'll get the latest on efforts for tax up protect locations. Plus, how all of this is affecting the presidential campaign, that's where you just saw a picture there of Donald Trump. He responded vigorously to this morning. Senator Ted Cruz, Kasich, all the presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders all came forward with statements about the attack.
More on that ahead.
COOPER: Welcome back. Our breaking news that we're covering tonight, the State Department warning that terror groups may launch more attacks on other so-called soft targets throughout Europe and they might do it soon.
[21:20:06] Consequently, American travelers are now being urged to be vigilant in public places and when taking public transportation. The Belgium attacks have sparked to show force and locations across the United States tonight. Rene Marsh has the latest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RENE MARSH, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, U.S. cities nationwide are on heightened alert. New York City is stepping up its police and National Guard presence. High visibility anti-terrorist patrols can be seen in the subway system where officers are checking bags for explosives. Signs at New York's Penn Station alert passengers about random checks and the city's three major airports have heightened security as well.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, (D) NEW YORK: Expect to see extraordinary NYPD presence out over the coming days as a sign of our readiness to protect people at all times.
MARSH: Airports in cities across the country including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles, are also ramping up their security presence. Police Chief Patrick Gannon oversees LAX, one of the busiest airports in the world.
CHIEF PATRICK M. GANNON, LOS ANGELES AIRPORT POLICE: We never want to be predictable. We always feel that if you're predictable, you're vulnerable.
MARSH: So-called soft targets like train stations and U.S. airports have long been a security concern. Areas like passenger drop-off, airline ticket counters, baggage claim, and all other areas before the security checkpoint are potentially susceptible.
GANNON: We employ our own Intel analysts that provide us with airport-specific and transportation-system-specific information that helps us in our daily deployment of our officers.
MARSH: In the nation's capital, bomb-sniffing dogs and S.W.A.T. can be seen on patrol.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The K9s that are stationed here are trained, I think they're the best in the country.
MARSH: Amtrak police are conducting random bag checks, an ongoing show of force around the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Rene, they're actually been credible threats toward U.S. soft targets or other targets?
MARSH: Well, the federal government, Anderson, saying that at this point, they have no credible threats, however, the federal government announcing today that TSA will be launching these specialized teams that both airports and train stations across the country. These teams will have bomb-sniffing dogs as well as special advance screening technology. Anderson?
COOPER: All right. Rene Marsh, thanks very much. Lots to discuss. Joining us again, CNN Terrorism Analyst, Paul Cruickshank, also CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem who formerly served as U.S. assistant secretary for Homeland Security and CNN national commentator and former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers.
Paul Cruickshank, in terms of increased security of the so-called soft targets, I mean, it's very difficult to cover the wide range of kind of targets that we've seen attacked in Paris, whether it's a concert hall, outdoor cafes, even an airport like this.
CRUICKSHANK: Yeah, the airport in Brussels is not really being particularly a soft target ...
CRUICKSHANK: ... because they ratcheted up security, there were military personnel patrolling the area outside the airport, the area inside the terminal and the departures hall and they managed to get through despite this even though it was a hardened target. But, of course, somewhere like an airport or a concert venue or a metro, you can't protect all these public spaces. People just have to sort of go about their daily lives.
But basically they've got an almost unlimited target set that they can now go after. That's why it's so important to bust these cells before they can launch these attacks. It appears they prevented part of a cell from launching the attacks when they arrested Salah Abdeslam and accomplice and killed that Algerian senior ISIS conspirator but another node of a network managed to get through.
COOPER: Juliette, in terms of, you know, this warning that's gone out for Americans traveling abroad, I mean, obviously the government does it out of an abundance of caution, but there's not much, I mean it's so broad it's, you know, if a family has a trip planned to Europe this summer, you know, what do you do?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Right, it's be careful, be smart. I will say this State Department announcement is a little bit different than others. Most of the time they're very generic like there's a heightened alert level. This one was actually quite specific in terms of recommendations of what to do, be careful in various, you know, sort of soft targets, large events. It's not recommending no travel at this stage. That's important to say.
But it is some of it is just trying to educate, remind people that they can do a lot to minimize the risks to themselves and some of it is what we call Security Theater which I don't mind. I was in government.
You know, the show of force that these airports, the extra policemen near the train. You know, are they going to be able to stop every terrorist? Of course not. No one thinks that they are but part of it is to assure the public that people are leaning forward that they actually have a sense that this is going to be the important moment in people's lives and they want to come everyone.
[21:25:04] COOPER: And we certainly have seen this in New York, with this I think they call Hercules teams which one is to kind of quicken the response time if there is an event, but it's also to have a very public show of force.
KAYYEM: Yeah and I mean the viper teams that that you were talking about that TSA had no deployed or I mean think of a Super Bowl or Beyonce concert. You have people there not because they are going to stop every bad things from happening but to the people can actually enjoy their lives or the reason why they're going to that event.
COOPER: But Chairman Rogers, though, at an airport, I mean there are some airports in the United States and around the world that will have a check of traffic as you're coming in, maybe it's a law enforcement officer will stop, open up a trunk. But you can't do that at every airport, you can't search every bag that's coming into physically to an airport building?
MIKE ROGERS, FORMER HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Yeah, so all of the debate recently is how much we don't allow our intelligence or law enforcement folks to do. We're going to have to change that conversation in America. You cannot hire enough guard gates, and guns to stop terrorists from getting into places like airports, or train stations or bus stations or in the case in Paris in concert halls.
If you're going to be effective, you have to stop them early in the spectrum in their planning phase. There's always a conspiracy in these things. There's -- in the case of Paris, I think they're up to 30 different people. You need to intercept that early on in the planning stage. You do that through really good intelligence. Aggressive, signals intelligence, as well as human intelligence ...
COOPER: Well, it has there been ...
ROGERS: ... a combination of all of those.
COOPER: ... too much reliance on, you know, is technological intercepts, on signal intercepts as opposed to human intelligence. Because in the neighborhood like Molenbeek, it does seems to be this very tightly knit groups, people have grown up together, people have committed, you know, crimes together, or were spent time in prison together. It's hard to infiltrate that.
ROGERS: Just like organized crime was beat in the '80s and '90s, not beat but certainly diminished in the United States through aggressive human and then technological collection platforms.
The same needs to happen with terrorism. If they operate in the same way, it's an organized group that surreptitiously plans activities that is supposed to be out of the room of notice of law enforcement. That's -- it is the frameworks is the same. So you can't over rely too much on technical and you can't necessarily over-rely too much on human. You have to have the right combination.
The problem has been, though, that with encryption, new commercial encryption technology, they have been able to operate under that radar.
COOPER: Right. We know the Paris attackers used, and I read this in your article on cnn.com, Paris attackers used -- I forgot the name of the encryption, but there's some communications that law enforcement has not been able to penetrate because of that encryption.
CRUICKSHANK: That's right. The afternoon (inaudible) at 2:14 p.m. they downloaded the encryption app, telegram, the Bataclan attackers, and presumably then started to use that to communicate.
When you go through the police reports, there are no mentions of any communications they were able to recover from the telegram messaging app suggesting that they've just been destroyed and there is a self- destruct function on that messaging app. And this is all part of this wider going dark concern of authorities have that terrorists can communicate freely at will and coordinate these plots using this multitude of different encryption apps.
So it's a real worry for law enforcement agencies and they're having to intercept plots sooner and sooner and sooner, not allowing them to play out because they can't have eyes and ears into them like they used to before.
COOPER: Juliette, you know, we now understand that the three people who went to the airport who are in that surveillance video, the still frame that's been released, took a cab there. Couldn't get all their bags, in fact, into their cab. Perhaps there would have been more explosive devices inside. Paul Cruickshank was saying one of the devices did not believe did not detonate. Law enforcement was able to detonate that.
What does it tell you that they took a cab? I mean, is it because in the Paris attacks they rented vehicles.
COOPER: There was a lot more preparation.
KAYYEM: I think this goes back to Friday. I think it goes back to the arrest on Friday and this question about whether the British -- the Belgium authorities were learning anything about potential attacks so they sped it up. So it means that they didn't do a dry run with a taxi because they obviously couldn't fit everything into the taxi.
But what it also says to me in someone who had been in Homeland Security, is at some moment these terrorist groups are touching others, right? So the taxicab drivers says they wouldn't let me touch the luggage, they had to leave some behind, they seemed odd.
You know, obviously this is -- you know people are running up against some of these terrorists and they're planning and so part of the engagement that we talk about with communities whether it's immigrant communities or whether it's just the see something say something campaign really does mean something.
KAYYEM: Because, they're not going to run into an agent, right that they might, you know, order a pizza, get into a taxicab, you know, go to a movie theater or something in their process of trying to act normal.
[21:30:01] COPPER: It will also be interesting to note did not the person who did not blow himself up in the airport, did he take a cab or was there a car waiting for him? We don't know. But has that cab driver come forward and then can they use CCTV footage to track the location of that person.
Obviously a lot more investigators looking for it. Paul Cruickshank, thank you, Juliette Kayyem, Mike Rogers as well.
Just ahead, what the presidential candidates had to say about today including Donald Trump who did more than just double down on banning Muslims from entering the country.
See how much more, next.
COOPER: It's a big night in politics here in the United States. Four nominating contests in America Samoa, Utah, Idaho, and Arizona. The terror attacks from in set all day for the candidates. All of them, both parties made public remarks about the carnage. Some of them took it a step further.
Senator Ted Cruz called for authorities to patrol and secure Muslims neighborhood in the United States. Earlier I asked him to clarify what he meant.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Can you name a neighborhood now that you would like to see these patrols in? Neighborhood that you believe has been radicalized?
TED CRUZ, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Listen, a classic example was Mayor Michael Bloomberg's successful program, cooperating with the Muslim community to target and prevent radical Islamic terrorism and mayor Bill de Blasio is afraid of being labeled politically incorrect ended that program, said no, no, no, no, we're not going to do this anymore. [21:35:03] And that is foolishness. It's the same foolishness that governs Barack Obama after every one of these attacks he goes on national and televised address and lectures Americans on islamophobia. We need a president instead that targets the bad guys.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
COOPER: Senator Cruz wasn't the only candidate making statements in the wake of the latest wave of terrorism on a day when four states are voting.
Here's Sunlen Serfaty with more from the campaign trail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tonight, a new commander- in-chief test for the 2016 candidates.
BERNIE SANDERS, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We stand today with the people of Brussels.
JOHN KASICH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well today, of course, is a sad day for the entire civilized world.
SERFATY: Many of the presidential hopefuls expressing sympathy for the victims and their families, but varying in their responses to how to confront the threat from ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Democrat Hillary Clinton calling for increased surveillance in the U.S. in an interview with Wolf.
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have to also toughen, as you say, soft targets with, you know, greater police presence. There is no getting around that.
SERFATY: Her rival, Bernie Sanders, also talking up the idea of bolstering intelligence gathering.
SANDERS: We need to have significantly improved intelligence and cannot just be done within the United States.
SERFATY: Donald Trump offering a typically brunt assessment.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Brussels is a disaster. They have areas of Brussels that cops won't even the police won't even go into those areas there so dangerous and so radicalized.
SERFATY: And doubling down on his proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.
TRUMP: We have no choice and you're going to make exceptions on heads of state and certain people and I'm not saying you don't do that, but we have a real problem and people don't have any idea what's going on.
SERFATY: Clinton today rejecting that approach raising questions about Trump's temperament. CLINTON: We need steady, strong, smart minds and hands in the White House.
SERFATY: Trump's GOP rivals are also looking to draw a contrasts. Ted Cruz and John Kasich both touting stronger ties with NATO after Trump said Monday the U.S. should rethink its involvement with the alliance.
CRUZ: The day after Donald Trump called for America weakening NATO, withdrawing from NATO, we see Brussels.
KASICH: I would make every effort I could to strengthen the NATO alliance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Sunlen, the ADL information ADL already was speaking out about Ted Cruz for what he called special patrols about Muslim neighborhoods, right?
SERFATY: That's right. No mincing of words here, Anderson. The ADL came out with a very strongly worded statement slamming Ted Cruz over this proposal they liken to something that would demonize, in their words, Muslims. They say it called it irrational, misguided, counterproductive and made the argument it would lead to more adversarial relationships in these communities where they do want to improve relations.
They argue it would make residents feel more frightened and less likely to help police community. Now, we saw Senator Cruz today really go on the defensive, peppered with questions from you and other reporters all front the day over this proposal. And the way he defended himself, he said, look, it's kind of like in communities where there's a heavier police presence than normal because there's gang activity. So he tried to make that relation there and then, of course, doubling down on his proposal. Anderson?
COOPER: All right, Sunlen Serfaty, thanks.
I want to show you right now, what it looks like this evening in Boise, Idaho. This is the Democratic caucus site. In that line goes on for more than a mile. Officials there saying they expect between 10,000 and 12,000 people caucusing at that site, alone.
The terrible news in Belgium has dominated, of course, this day of voting. John King joins me how the Magic Wall tell us what's at stake and what's being called western Tuesday. Just two Republican contests tonight. A big test.
JOHN KING, CNN'S CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Two, as, you know, the terror attacks bring a somber mood over the voting. We'll see what then it affects the result. A very big day in the race despite the mood right now. Let's take a look.
Right now, here's what Ted Cruz very needs. If you look at delegate count coming in, Donald Trump at 683, Ted Cruz at 421. So, Ted Cruz, pretty simple, he needs to cut into Donald Trump's lead here. So, what Ted Cruz is hoping happens tonight is that he wins Arizona. That's a winner take all state. The winner now is only get 58 of the 98 Republican delegates at stake tonight.
Ted Cruz wanted Missouri and North Carolina last week, he didn't get it. If Ted Cruz can win there and then go on and win in Utah by more than 50 percent, if you're above 50 percent you get winner take all, this is the dream scenario for Ted Cruz. Which not only shuts Donald Trump out in terms of delegates, but allows Ted Cruz to change the math a little bit and to get close. If this happens tonight, you will see a giant impact on the race.
However, more likely scenario that people think is going to happen is that Donald Trump wins Arizona. He's favored in Arizona. His immigration message is anti-terror message helped him build a lead in Arizona. If Trumps get the winner take all there, the fascinating conversation, is what is John Kasich get in Utah and even in Arizona?
[21:40:00] The Cruz forces are complaining, the Kasich campaigning in Utah this week might keep them under 50. And it if does even if Ted Cruz wins under 50. Let's say he get 45 percent of the vote and Trumps gets 35 percent. Trump gets 35 percent of the vote and comes in second and Kasich is down in third, Donald Trump could end the night picking up 70 delegates and moving forward.
He enters the night needing about 54 percent of the remaining delegates. If he gets 70 percent tonight, they'll leave the night needing about 52 percent of the remaining delegates. So, can Cruz take Arizona? If he can and take Utah, that would change the race. If Trump comes out with more delegates tonight, it keeps him on track. Still tough math to get to 1,237, excuse but possible.
COOPER: And, we should point out Cruz has had Mitt Romney campaigning for him in Utah though Romney was campaigning for Kasich in Ohio recently.
KING: The Bizarre week for Mitt Romney. But trying to help with the large LDS, the Mormon Community in the State of Utah trying to help Ted Cruz get to 50 plus 1 ...
KING: ... to get the winner take all threshold. It's a big deal. It is only 40 delegates. But if Cruz can get them all, it helps him in the stop Trump movement. If they split them up Donald Trump is the beneficiary.
COOPER: What about on the Democratic side?
KING: Again the math is what's important three Democratic contests. If you look at the map is right here, Bernie Sanders enters the night 324 delegates behind Hillary Clinton. She is favored in Arizona.
Let's say she wins Arizona. Its possible Sanders could win. But let's say Hillary Clinton wins. This is 55-44 remember Democratic rules are proportional. If she wins 55-45, it will go like that. You just mentioned the long line. Bernie Sanders likes big turnout in Utah. He is favored the caucuses in Utah. If he wins 55-45 the split would be something like this. If he wins higher he gets a little bit more and that's key. I'll get to that in a second.
But let's, say Bernie Sanders also wins Idaho, and 55-45. Bernie Sanders could win two out of three tonight. But the end result would be that Hillary Clinton, if the margins are 55-45, for here and for him there, the end result of the night will be she adds one to her delegate lead.
Even if he wins two our of three that is why the margins for Bernie Sanders tonight in these states especially if he can take Arizona, and then he get Hawaii, Alaska, Washington state on Saturday, Bernie Sanders if he wants to change the math in this race before we start to come back to these big states, starting in Wisconsin, next month, Bernie Sanders needs not only to win, but to win 60-40, 70-30 to close the delegate math. Because especially in a state with a small basket of delegates. If it just 55-45. He gets the blue. He's blue. He gets the victory. But he really doesn't change the map.
COOPER: And yet, having more I mean just racking up delegates does allow, you know, allow him to justify staying in ...
COOPER: ... through the convention.
KING: And he wins along the state. And, let's just take it out through Saturday. Bernie Sanders is expected to win out here. Again, Bernie Sanders is expected to win in Alaska.
The hard part is even if he goes 5 for 6, Anderson, right. If he goes, oops I went too far there. Let me come back to that. Come back its moving up. It makes it easier. I should know better. Even if he does that, even if he does this he could win five out of six, right, and he still only cuts about 13 or 14 off her delegate lead. That's the frustrating part for Sanders. If it's 55-45. He needs to start winning big. No question this would keep him raising money ...
KING: ... he will keep his supporters energized. He's going to be in the race for a long time despite the math.
COOPER: All right a lot to watch for tonight.
Coming up next the father of one of the survivors of the attack today joins us.
[21:46:42] COOPER: With 230 women, men, children, were hurt in the attacks in Brussels today. One of them Sebastien Bellin, suffered severe leg injuries in the airport explosions. He was standing in line at a check-in counter when it happened. Sebastian played college basketball at Oakland University in Michigan and professional ball in Europe. His father Jean Bellin joins us now by phone. Jean, how is your son doing?
JEAN BELLIN, SEBASTIEN BELLIN'S FATHER: Hi, Anderson my son is doing well considering. He went through a first operation earlier today, but because he left for about an hour on the floor at the airport in Brussels, he lost a lot of blood. So they stabilized him and he's going to go through another operation tomorrow morning.
COOPER: Have you been able to talk to him? Has he been conscious?
BELLIN: Yes, yes I spoke with him twice. I first reached out to him this morning and he was obviously stunned, but the first words out of his mouth was, Dad, you wouldn't believe the carnage I saw around and then we talked about him and about how he's doing and how he's feeling.
He was very clear, very articulate even though he was obviously in a lot of pain. And then the second time I talked to him two hours later, I think he was obviously sedated and, and I think feeling much more tired and I think ready to be taking a break.
COOPER: We've seen a lot of injuries to legs, to lower extremities, I believed because the bombs were in suitcases and were placed either on trolleys or on the ground, low to the ground. Do you know how close your son was to one of the blasts?
BELLIN: Yeah, I don't know. That's a good question, I don't know exactly all I know is that the force of the blast where he was, was sufficient to throw him up 60 feet in the air and then he landed back and he got shrapnel really big shrapnel in his left leg and his right hip.
COOPER: It actually lifted him up in the air?
COOPER: When you heard this, I mean, you know, one sees this on television, one reads about these sorts of things, I can't imagine what it's like to get that call. How did you find out your son was there?
BELLIN: Well, I think -- very quickly there were photographs of him circulating in the Belgian press and because we have huge network friends in Belgium. They reached out and sent a picture of him on the floor I'm sure you've seen the picture and asking is that really Seb? And that was at 4:00 this morning California time. So, yeah, that was a shock.
COOPER: Oh, my gosh.
BELLIN: That's how we found out and the rest of the day they spent trying to reach the crisis center in Brussels and then to the hospital. Everybody was so helpful and so supportive. I got through to the floor nurse right away and they put me into him.
[21:50:03] So in a sense the first two hours of the day were very, very, very though but once I spoke to him folks (ph) that, you know, I think it was more determination a few were going to get to it.
COOPER: Yeah. Well Mr. Bellin, our thoughts and our prayers are with you and your son, your entire family and all those who are suffering and in pain tonight.
Thank you so much for being with us. And please give your son our best wishes.
BELLIN: Thank you, Anderson, thank you for reaching out and all thoughts to all the victims as well and all that's to all feel anxious about what's happened to their family members.
COOPER: Yeah. A lot of people waiting for answers. Jean Bellin, thank you so much.
BELLIN: Yes. All right.
COOPER: Coming up next, we'll have more on the manhunt and the tip that tied three suspects in apartment that was raided today where police are still on the scene.
COOPER: We're learning more all the time, seeing more on the ground in the wake of today's terror attacks in Brussels, a lot of it surrounding apartment in the Scarbeck neighborhood where CNN's Frederik Pleitgen has been all day and all night. What's happening there right now?
PLEITGEN: Yeah, Anderson, this is of course the apartment that apparently the three men who went to the airport to then detonate those bombs took a taxi from.
[21:55:03] I want to show you what's going to on right now, because what's pulled up now is that truck over there, which is an explosive ordinance disposal cruise (ph) on anti-bomb squad that's pulled up here.
We're not exactly sure what they're doing up there in the apartment. But if we pan up to the actual apartment, which is on the fifth floor of this building, you can see, there is still light on up there, there are still people working up there. We have seen people on the Balcony there with flashlights apparently looking for something.
So, we're not exactly sure what this bomb squad is doing there. The forensic work is still ongoing throughout the evening.
As we've been standing here speaking to you, they have been bringing out bags, paper bags full of something that could have been evidence, but the forensic teams here clearly still working throughout the night of course this apartment of great significance also because a nail bomb and chemicals were found here that could of course or very likely are linked to the attacks that happened today, Anderson.
COOPER: All right, Fred. Still a lot to learn as these investigations are still under way on multiple fronts. This, of course, became the focus of presidential politics today more on tonight's races in just a moment.
COOPER: Just a quickly recap before moving on to politics, a manhunt now under way for one, probably more people in today's terror bombings in Brussels, 30 killed, 230 wounded.
A state department travel warning now in affect for Americans, potentially traveling to Europe.
[22:00:04] Developments unfolding through out the night, which we will of course continue to bring you.
Right now, we shift for a while to CNN election coverage, but we will bring you any updates as warranted. Wolf Blitzer will be joining shortly. Wolf.