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Candidates Going Head to Head in Wake of Brussels Attacks; Cruz Calls for Police Patrol in Muslim Neighborhoods; International Manhunt for Terror Suspect; Defense Secretary Carter Calls on Europe to Beef Up Security; Investigators Believe Terror Bomb-Maker is Dead. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired March 23, 2016 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[22:00:00] JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: We're out of time. CNN TONIGHT with Don Lemon starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Donald trump says he wants to wants to waterboard terrorists. Ted Cruz says he wants to patrol of Muslim neighborhoods. But would any of that keep us safer?
This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
As the candidates argued the urgent manhunt spreads for one or more dangerous terrorist suspects tonight. Here is what we know right now. Investigators believe the bomb maker may have been killed in one of the blasts at Brussels airport.
They say he is Najim Laachraoui. The man on the left in this picture, the man in the center is Ibrahim el-Barkraoui, also a suicide bomber. His brother Khalid blew himself up at a metro station in the heart of the city. The third man in this picture who is believed to have left another bomb at the airport is on the run tonight.
The tragic toll of the attacks stands at 31 killed, 270 injured.
There are lots going on tonight. But I want to begin with this. There's a new video, it's obtained by CNN. It shows the horrific first moments after twin bombs went off in the Brussels airport. And we have to warn you this is difficult to watch but it is important because it shows the terrible human toll of this attack.
To rubble, you hear the shouts of the victims and the rescuers. Heartbreakingly, a baby crying in the middle of that debris. The video was shot by a taxi driver who was outside but ran into the airport to try to find his son who worked there.
And thankfully, though, his son is fine. Our affiliate, CNN Greece, supplied us with that video.
Let's begin right now with Nick Paton Walsh. He is live for us in Brussels. Hello to you, Nick. What's the latest tonight from Brussels? NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as it stands
we're hearing from a variety officials. And as you said, they believed the second man that's been identified in that video is in fact, Najim Laachraoui. Now it is significant because he was considered to be involved in the making of the bombs behind the Paris attacks.
And therefore, the clear link between the massacre in Paris and the most recent massacre here in Brussels. Now it is thoughts that it he was to see some explosion. They haven't tested DNA or fingerprints at this particular state. And at least an outstanding questions, though.
Because it is not clear who the man in the white is and it is not clear whether Khalid El-Brakroui who was the man who blew himself up in the metro, causing more deaths and injuries if he acted alone.
There are still questions here, one particular one, Don, stems from information from the Turkish government. They quite clear that Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, who was one of the men who blew himself up in the airport was deported by then in June of last year back to Holland. Not originally where he was from but because he had tried to become part of a band group and potentially tried to cross over into Syria.
That's what the language he just didn't quite manage to do it. So, a huge tipoff there from Turkish authorities to the Belgians. They didn't act upon it.
But bear this in mind, too, Don, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui came back here knowing fully well he was potentially on some sort of black list, yet still, was part of the cell still in the climb impunity to be able to go forward and enter that airport without massive explosive device, Don.
LEMON: What is the feeling tonight about intelligence there tonight, Nick?
WALSH: I think people are deeply concerned. There are many things that people know the authorities don't know, like who is the man in white? Was Khalid acting on his own in the metro? But these are the things that perhaps authorities don't know they don't know. How many people are in the cell but are not accounted for?
One key question is why was there so much explosives left in the flat that was raided that was connected to the brothers and the attackers, 15 kilograms, 40 pounds were there. Who was that intended for? Are the other parts of the cell here? We do not know two people are on the one, that man in the white you saw on the surveillance video.
And another man called Muhammad Ibrahim who was close to Salah Abdeslam, one of the planners of the Paris attacks. A lot of unanswered questions, a lot of nervousness here. I have to say in the central square there's been a sense of solidarity, unity. And frankly, a ray here (ph) a sense of defiance for the fear that the terror attacks have tried to instill into people.
But there are a lot of holes here and a lot of questions that both in the authorities are going to have to be find. And that defense is were overwhelmed, we can't track everyone who comes back from this dangerous parts of the world. But still they missed a lot of key warning signs here potentially for one more or less for every attacker we're aware of, Don.
LEMON: Nick Paton Walsh in Brussels for us tonight. Thank you, Nick. Now, I want to bring in CNN justice correspondent, Pamela Brown. Pamela Brown. Pamela, good evening to you. What are your sources telling you tonight about the manhunt?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now they're still trying to identify the man in white as we've seen in that surveillance picture, unless they're just not publicly identifying him.
But last we're told, Don, they're trying to figure out who he is. We know there was to be on the lookout that was sent out in Europe yesterday for an individual, authorities believe is tied to the Brussels attack.
[22:04:59] So, it's unclear if that person is the man in white. The big concern, Don, is this ready-made network in Belgium, in France to help get people like the man in white cover. We saw it after Paris with Salah Abdeslam. And now the concern is that is he is being protected by this network of other Jidahist in Europe.
LEMON: There were missing signs, warning signs about this man, correct?
BROWN: Yes. And we heard Nick to touch on that. I mean, we have the brothers, first off, one of them Ibrahim, who blew himself up at the airport, he was deported from Turkey back to Belgium last summer.
Turkey's president said today reportedly that he had ties as a foreign fighter, that Belgium was alerted to this but that Belgium didn't do anything. And then his brother had an Interpol notice, a red notice that was sent out issued just this year for terrorism charges.
And then, of course, Don, we have the Paris bomb maker, who we've learned today was one of the attackers at the Brussels airport. There was an Interpol red notice issued for him as well. And so a lot of questions are being raised about what happened? How did they operate under the radar in Brussels after the Paris attacks when the city and the country was on such high alert?
LEMON: That's a good question. So, I want to ask you about that, about Salah Abdeslam's arrest. Did it speed up from the Paris attacks? Di it speed up the timeline of yesterday's attack?
BROWN: That's certainly the belief. So, initially it was a working theory and now officials have more concrete evidence to back that up. Because they found this laptop that was in a trash can outside one of the homes, and in it Ibrahim talked about how he needed to rush because that he was going to end up in jail with him.
And officials say with him with Salah Abdeslam. And so, the question now is, they have this plot that they wanted to launch but did they have this target already picked out or was it just sort of an opportunity for them after Salah Abdeslam was arrested, an easy target for them to launch an attack? That is still unclear. But what is clear is that they accelerated their plans, Don.
LEMON: Let's talk about Americans now. Because the Americans are concerned. What about the threats here at home and Americans overseas, right? What are your sources telling you?
BROWN: Well, for Americans overseas, you know, the State Department issued this rare alert yesterday basically saying that Americans in Europe should be very careful, avoid crowded places, should really think twice essentially before traveling to Europe because terrorists continue to plot near-term attacks.
You don't hear that kind of language from the State Department very often. So, clearly there's intelligence to back that up, Don. But here in the U.S. I'm being told by counterterrorism officials they don't feel like the risk is as high for a Brussels-type or as Paris-type attack because of the proximity.
That is obviously looks harder for a foreign fighter in Syria to make it into the United States. You don't have the same sort of integrative support system here that you have in Europe.
And also Europe has these porous borders that it's so easy for the foreign fighters they can go to Syria, get training, come back to the E.U. zone and then go from country to country. Certainly that he risk, the threat seem much more alarming in Europe than in the United States, Don.
LEMON: Yes. It's interesting because that was a really broad alert. You see it's much more specific to cities. Thank you, Pamela Brown. We appreciate that. I want to bring in now Paul Cruickshank, CNN's terrorism analyst. Paul, hello to you. What are at your sources telling you about what they're learning through interrogations?
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, they saw it entirely getting Salah Abdeslam and they are thinking knew about this plot. They think he was going to be part of the plot but he didn't tell him anything about this attack in Brussels.
So, he's clearly not cooperating very much with security officials in Belgium. They're going to have a lot more urgent questions for him in the hours ahead. If you rewind back about a week ago, they discovered Salah Abdeslam's safe house, his hiding place in Brussels.
They basically stumbled upon it, they didn't realize that he was that, they got into a big firefight. One of the senior masterminds of the Paris and Brussels attack was killed.
But when they went in to that apartment they found an ISIS flag, they found a Kalashnikov, they found detonators. Back last Tuesday, a week ago, that will create a lot of concern that a plot was in the works. And now the Belgian officials believed that the rest of the cell that weren't in that safe house were in another address in Brussels. They feared that they were going to get captured; the dragnet was
closing in on them. So, they accelerated that plans. The original plans they believed was going for a much bigger attack still with at least twice as many operatives. But half of the cell were either killed or arrested a week ago.
LEMON: That he was -- did they always think he was living right there in plain sight? How significant is that? What does that mean?
CRUICKSHANK: Yes. I mean, the officials I spoke to thought the most likely scenario was that he was still in Brussels, that he wouldn't have moved from Belgium, from people who could keep him safe. When he came back to Brussels from Paris, he was given shelter by the very same ISIS cell, the wider network behind the attack.
[22:10:06] At his safe house he was being protected by a Mohamed Belkaid, a Nigerian ISIS operative who provided covering fire as the Belgians tried to get into that residence a week ago, so that Salah Abdeslam and an accomplice could escape through the roofs of the building. And so, he was very much still in the ISIS' fold, and they believe still very much part of attack plotting.
LEMON: You said that this was sped up because of the capture of Abdeslam. But does it, does that that the bomb maker, which is Najim Laachraoui, that he died and that believed to have died in the airport. Does that tell you that it was sped up? Because bomb makers don't usually die. They send them in and they go out, right?
CRUICKSHANK: That's right. I mean, the fact that he was sacrifice, decided to sacrifice himself I think perhaps indicates that they felt their final hours were up, that the Belgians were closing in on them.
One of the brothers left a last will and testament on a computer, which was found near the bomb factory in Schaerbeek saying we don't want to be arrested like him. The Belgians think that the "him" in that regard was Salah Abdeslam. They didn't want to go to jail; they wanted to go to paradise in their view to be rewarded for what they were going to do in the afterlife.
So, this was sort of the last hand from that point of view. They had a tremendous amount of explosive. They had so much explosive. But according to that taxi driver that picked them up in Schaerbeek, they weren't able to get all their suitcases filled with explosives.
The taxi driver he didn't know that but filled with explosives into the taxi cab. That's why they had to leave one of the suitcases behind. So, they have enough suitcases for at cell which was at least this big.
LEMON: And that's where they got the information, a lot of the information from the one they left behind.
We're going to talk more and much, much more about all of this. Paul, I want you to stick around. When we come right back, the State Department warns Americans traveling anywhere in Europe. How great is the terror threat and who is at risk? [22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: As the manhunt spreads for a suspected bomber still on the loose tonight, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter says it's time that Europeans beef up their efforts to defeat ISIS.
I want to talk about this deadly attack with Nicholas Kristof, columnist for The New York Times. Nick, good evening to you. You heard Pamela Brown mention that State Department travel warning to Europe.
And here's what it says "Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation."
This seems unusually brought it. Are you surprised that it's not more specific to certain cities in Europe instead of all of Europe?
NICHOLAS KRISTOF, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: You know, I don't know what intelligence that's based on but I think they clearly have something they're basing that on. You know, it's important to note also they're not telling Americans don't go to Europe.
They're just saying be careful and particularly stay away from locations where that can be a threat. I've -- my daughter is in Europe right now and I'm, you know, I'm -- I feel good about her being there. I don't think we should be too alarmed at this point about that.
LEMON: What about -- let's talk about the reaction here. Because you know politicians have been acting. Do you think their reactions are appropriate?
KRISTOF: I have been distressed by Donald Trump's reaction and Ted Cruz's reaction. And I think it essentially plays into the Jihadi narrative, which is then that there is divide between the West and Muslims, that that is unbridgeable, that you will always be alienated.
And that, and I think saying that the police have to patrol Muslim neighborhoods, that we should resort to torture plays into that narrative and reduces our chance of creating allies within the Muslim community.
LEMON: Let's listen to them right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ, (R-TX) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is standard law enforcement, it is good law enforcement to focus on where threats are emanating from, and anywhere where there is a locus of radicalization, where there is an expanding presence of radical Islamic terrorism, we need law enforcement resources directed there, we need national security resources directed there.
DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, I think we have to change our law on, you know, the waterboarding thing. He may be talking but he'll talk a lot faster with the torture. If he would have -- if he would have was talked, you might not have had to blow up all these people dead and all these people horribly wounded because he probably knew about it. I would be willing to bet that he knew about this bombing that took place today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: very simply, what's your reaction?
KRISTOF: You know, there is this -- when you poll Westerners and Muslims about each other then there is an agreement that the other is violent. About two-thirds of Muslims says Westerners are violent, roughly the same going to the other way.
And I think that when you have presidential candidates saying these things, they confirm that narrative. That Americans believe in torture, that they believe in a religious cast on how we patrol neighborhoods.
You know, at the end of the day if we are going to stop terrorism, we're going to require having allies within these communities and building bridges. London has done the best job of any European city in trying to stop this and that's because they have -- they send people into these communities trying to spread the word within it to stop this...
LEMON: Is it possible that the candidates are only reacting to some very real fears from Americans?
KRISTOF: Oh, absolutely. And I mean, I think these concerns are absolutely legitimate. I am -- and I think they may get worse. I mean, at the end of the day ISIS is losing territory. It's lost about one- third of its territory. I think that as its triumphal narrative fades, it's going to be more inclined to try to blow people up.
LEMON: So, here's the question then. Is it more important to try to, you know, to use that rhetoric when it comes to Americans I guess, would make Americans feel better, right, to make us as Americans feel better?
[22:20:07] Or to sort of appease our allies and not, you know, offend people who may be prone to radical Jihadism.
KRISTOF: It's important to reassure Americans and to I think to speak to Americans, but I don't think it's helpful to etherize people based on their religion or their ethnicity, to separate people any more today than it was in the 1940s when we interned Japanese Americans.
I think that in the end we always regret that. And it's not always unjust it's also ineffective.
LEMON: But our time is different now. Are these different times than then that what you're...
KRISTOF: There are certainly differences but looking back at the history of violent incidents, then we're always scared and when we are scared we make bad decisions in ways that are unfair to particular groups, but they are also ineffective in trying to address the security problems, a very legitimate security problems that we as a nation face.
LEMON: Ash Carter who is the Defense Secretary spoke to my colleague Carol Castello today. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHTON CARTER, U.S. SECRERARY OF DEFENSE: The Brussels event is going to further signify to Europeans is that they, as we have been accelerating our campaign to defeat ISIL in Syria and Iraq and elsewhere, they need to accelerate their efforts and join us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KRISTOF: He's absolutely right. I mean, it's not an accident that this happened in Belgium. Belgium has had lousy intelligence apparatus; they have incredibly weak police apparatus. Border control has been very weak. It's easier to get guns in Belgium than in other places.
You have very high unemployment before they bore in Belgians. And I think that Europeans and Belgians can do a lot better job and that the entire world can also do a much better job in addressing Syria. I think we all thought that, Syria, you know, it's too bad, it can fester on its own and Syria is festering it's come back to haunt us all.
LEMON: When you're overseas as president and you're on your trip as important as Cuba, the question is, when there's an attack, because the president has received lots of criticism for this.
Here's a video, it's him at a basketball game yesterday, the same day as the attack -- excuse me, the same day as the attack in Brussels. It's really fuelling this debate. Do you think this is politics or should he have handled this differently? Because the optics, you know, you have him there and then you've got, you know, 30 people who are dead and 220 injured.
KRISTOF: President Obama is invariably, I think, right on the facts and on the merits. Emotionally I think he was wrong in this case. I think that we wanted some national comfort.
KRISTOF: And I think he missed that opportunity.
LEMON: Yes. I've been, you know, as you look around and you turn to different media and I am very often on urban radio and everyone says that it's racism but my counter is that it's just bad optics on a day -- what would you have had the president to do? What would like to have seen from the president?
KRISTOF: I think he needed to speak to Americans and provide not so much policy guidance as just reassurance, that I understand your fears, that it's legitimate to have those concerns and that we are doing everything we can to work with allies to develop policies to try to reduce the risk.
LEMON: And you have a column coming out in the New York Times tomorrow that speaks about terrorists. It's called "Terrorists, Bath Tubs and Snakes." I'll let you have the headline tomorrow.
LEMON: It's going to be interesting when it comes out. Thank you, Nicholas Kristof.
KRISTOF: Good to be with you.
LEMON: Yes. Thank you.
You can hear more from Carol Costello's interview with Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, that's tomorrow morning on CNN Newsroom, 9 and 10 Eastern.
When we come right back here on this program, Ted Cruz is calling for police patrols in Muslim neighborhoods across America, but will that make us safer? We're going to talk about that next.
LEMON: So, the candidates are going head to head in the wake of the Brussels attacks. Donald Trump is calling for torture against terrorists, Ted Cruz wants police patrol in Muslim neighborhood across America.
Back with me now is terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank, also joining us is foreign policy analyst Rula Jebreal, and Buck Sexton, a former CIA analyst.
So, Buck, after an attack, right, we want to show everyone that we're strong, you know, that we want to show that attackers that we're strong, strong from attack that they can't change our way of life. Is that stupid? I mean, should we tighten security and make it harder for people to move around freely?
BUCK SEXTON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, people should go about their daily lives. But in terms of what's going to happen after a major attack there are going to be changes made whether the security forces, security services and police say so or not. They obviously are going to step up presence in ways that you see.
For example, now here in New York City there are people carrying M-4s, and there are K-9 units out in Grand Central. That's really to make people feel better about things. That's actually not going to prevent any attack.
It's very, very unlikely that that would be actually be something that would be useful. What is useful is the sort of things that you would see behind the scenes tracking down lead that would come from various cells or rather active. Or people that could have been in contact with them.
So, those things are all happening beyond the scenes. But, no, for your average civilian, there's not much to do. We can say be vigilant. That's what you like to do in a dangerous neighborhood.
LEMON: So, there is nothing to -- but, we live in New York City. We often see people carrying; we often see law enforcement doing that. I mean, but when attacks happen or there's a threat of an attack, we see it, you know, we see it more. But that's only to make people feel better?
SEXTON: No. I used to work for the NYPD intelligence division, there's a lot going on behind the scenes, they're talking to human sources, they dealing with federal law enforcement, the FBI is on this.
There are lots going on that you're not seeing that is very effective in counter -- in the counterterrorism world. I'm just saying some of the things fall more into the line of theater or they're trying to make better...
LEMON: I do feel better when I see the dogs.
SEXTON: Exactly. And you got the guy with the M-4 you know, if something goes down, at least someone's there to throw down.
[22:30:02] But generally speaking, the things are happening you don't know about. Those who are elected to disrupt the plot.
LEMON: Ms. Rula, how are you this evening? I want to talk about this because Ted Cruz said that police should patrol Muslim neighborhoods before to get them before they become radicalized. Here as how Hillary Clinton responded and then we'll talk.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When republican candidates like Ted Cruz call for treating American Muslims like criminals and for racially profiling predominantly Muslim neighborhoods, it's wrong, it's counterproductive, it's dangerous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Who's right?
RULA JEBREAL, FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: I mean, let's look at the facts and reality. I understand the emotionality of the moment. However, what Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are saying not only doesn't work, It's actually it's a liability. It's a national security threat to follow this path. And I'll tell you why. Look at Trump, for example, the overwhelming
majority of people who went to fight with ISIS from Europe, foreign fighters come from a very peculiar neighborhood. Charlie Hebdo attacks, you had the Kouachi brothers. But also the answer came from there.
One of the first responder was a policeman, Ahmed Merabet. He happened to be actually a police officer in Paris. He was one of the first respondents, he died in the line of duty. There's other Muslims who hid, for example, Jews and he was Lausanna (ph) and for example -- so the most important Intel that we have come from the Muslim community, come from Muslim countries, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan. So, what you are...
LEMON: So, Hillary Clinton is more you think she's more accurate in her assessment?
JEBREAL: Absolutely. Look at the police officers, for example, in New York City. You have 1,000 police officer. You have Bratton telling Cruz you don't know what you're talking about. Not only he doesn't know, what he's endorsing does not work. Because this will break the bond with the community...
JEBREAL: ... that actually will give you information and Intel about what's happening.
LEMON: Do you agree with that as a terrorism expert, counterterrorism?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, I mean, there are just facts there, gentlemen. The fact is that the vast majority of American Muslims are absolutely horrified with what ISIS is doing and there are many American Muslims who are involved in law enforcement as Rula was saying.
For example, here in New York City, one of the key terrorism prosecutors in terrorism cases is an American Muslim Pakistani woman, or the Pakistani descent whose family came to the United States and has been involved with some of the biggest profile terrorism cases, prosecuting them in the courtroom.
There are so many Muslims like that in the United States. And so, you've really got to enlist the help of the Muslim community, empower them to take on this vile ideology, the distortion of the Islamic faith.
JEBREAL: If I may also...
LEMON: Yes, go ahead.
JEBREAL: Look, where to you recruit the most in Muslims communities that are marginalized? Why Europe has this problem with foreign fighter? Because they have issues, serious issues with integration. I'm sorry, discrimination breeds more radicalization.
One of the most important plots that were disrupted was the suicide bomb -- actually was the bomber -- the Christmas bomber as they call him. Who reported on him was his own father who was a Nigerian head of Central Bank. He called the FBI and he said "My son is about to carry out an attack." He was Muslim, his son was as Muslim.
LEMON: But what Ted Cruz is saying is even before he get to that point here, I guess he's saying if you're in the neighborhoods and you're law enforcement and you get to know the neighborhood then you may see these things, you may see these packages, right? Is there any to that?
SEXTON: Yes, there is validity to the bouncing act between reaching out to Muslim communities. Having sources in the Muslim community who trust law enforcement and will speak to them who say, look, there is this guy who is saying that this can happen.
I mean, there are cases where you can read about them where individuals will say I want to go join the Islamic state or they'll talk about this perhaps with a certain group, or with a cluster in the back of the mosque, but if it's brought to law enforcement's attention, they can step in.
A lot of the cases you see in this country are people who are caught before they can even get out and go join ISIS and that's because somebody in the community spoke to them.
Now there is going to increased surveillance to some community. One thing I have to say is the Europeans indulge in a lot of hypocrisy on this. They're going to talk about how they're completely open minded about this and they are completely accepting, but they will in fact up to the level of sit down they have of Muslim communities. There will be more human sources running these communities.
That is absolutely going to happen because if they don't do that, if any of these regimes, whether it's in Belgium or France or elsewhere Europe, if they don't do that and there is another serious attack like this it could be the fall -- and that government all of a sudden could be considered too wimpy, too incapable handling the problem. And then the far right -- then far right parties step in and say you can't trust these guys.
JEBREAL: But are you talking about cooperation or you're talking about patrol? Because these are two separate things.
SEXTON: Well, one can very easily transfer into the others. What I'm saying is that oftentimes there will be an effort to try to reach out to Muslim communities. And they're very open about that. I mean, I know this because this is what some of these -- some of these counterterrorism forces in different countries actually do.
[22:35:00] JEBREAL: But this is not what John Miller was talking about. This is more, I'm not...
SEXTON: I understand. Well, I'm talking about in the European context.
LEMON: Yes. He's saying, he said that in Europe.
SEXTON: I'm saying in Europe you'll have, for example, the police doing outreach in the Muslim communities and come of the domestic intelligence services are going to be listening to a whole lot phone calls...
LEMON: I want to -- let me -- let me...
SEXTON: ... and they don't talk about that. And so, there's hypocrisy that happens.
LEMON: Let me get this question in. Because Laachraoui, Najim Laachraoui, the guy who is believed to be dead, who is believed to be the bomb maker in this case, he came into as a refugee, to Europe via Turkey, as a refugee.
And the question is because, you know, there is this whole concerned here about asylum seekers, right, Rula? Should America crack down on asylum seekers? Or is it just too dangerous to take them in right now?
JEBREAL: Look, the European phenomenal with foreign fighters comes mostly and first and foremost, from European citizens. The overwhelming majority of these foreign fighters are already citizens. Third and fourth generations. The Kouachi brothers, these other brothers that did the attack in Brussels. All of them.
But if you look at who they are, and this is the thing that is actually disturbing, the overwhelming majority don't speak Arabic, they don't absolutely read the Koran. They know nothing about it. They have criminal records.
Where did they get radicalized? In jail. Jails in Europe are a pressure cooker for extremists. There is another thing that is disturbing beyond in what the policies are. The policies intervene or the governments and the agencies when it's already full formed Jihadist and he's operation and or about to be operational to stop him.
But the process of prevention does not happen. A third party, before he becomes a terrorist, this is the -- this is space where we are...
SEXTON: Where would the government intervene? I mean, how would that work? How would the government intervene? When did the government then...
JEBREAL: It's actually very easy. It's very easy.
LEMON: OK. Stand by.
SEXTON: I would like to know.
LEMON: Hold that thought.
JEBREAL: We should have other show about that.
LEMON: Hold that thought. We're going to talk about that more when we come right back. You guys are going to stay here.
When we come back, even democrats say that President Obama has to do more to fight ISIS. But what? That and more when we come back.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Investigators are trying to piece together cruise tonight as the manhunt spreads for at least one escaped terror suspect.
Back with me now my panel here, Paul Cruickshank, Buck Sexton, and Rula Jebreal. You were talking about intervention beforehand. You guys were disagreeing or at least discussing that. What was your point?
SEXTON: Well, there are a couple of ways to go with this. And I'm not sure exactly where she was coming at the issue but one problem law enforcement constantly has to deal with is respecting the rights of, in this case, Muslim minority communities while also being able to catch that point where rhetoric turns into Jihadization.
It's very difficult to do. Oftentimes they'll be a sense that somebody may have radical or very anti-American ideas, that's protected under the First Amendment. You can say you hate America, you can say you hate Israel, you can say that whatever happens to our troops overseas is what they deserved. That's all protected under the First Amendment.
When somebody says that they start getting additional law enforcement scrutiny, then all of a sudden the ACLU and others come in and they say what are you doing, why are you profiling. But if you don't do that, you have people well, why there isn't intervention before somebody says, all right, I've reached out to ISIS, I'm joining the Jihad.
JEBREAL: Well, the issue of prevention is connected with integration, especially in European communities. The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, he said -- and I basically agree with him, especially if you look at what's happening in certain European realities.
Five million Muslims in France, four million in Germany. You have others all over, especially in the U.K. He said, whatever you spend on defense you need to spend another amount on integration. And this is where it comes.
We need these kinds of programs. People, I don't know, Buck, if you speak Arabic. Clearly, you talk about terrorists but you need to understand the culture, you need to understand the language, you need to understand what is appealing, what is the message that ISIS is selling in these prison cells. And what are they selling online, and in...
SEXTON: Exactly. I mean, I served in Iraq and Afghanistan targeting people that were doing beheadings, that were building suicide vests. I mean, I was doing that at very a specific level.
JEBREAL: I am so -- what I'm saying is already too late when they become a Jihadist.
SEXTON: And I also that this point about -- this point about discrimination by the way.
JEBREAL: It's not discrimination.
SEXTON: No, you mentioned discrimination specifically.
JEBREAL: It's actually a very clear, actually counterterrorist inside communities made by the community themselves.
SEXTON: Well, you can go back to the trace because ...
JEBREAL: With all due respect, white people like yourself who doesn't understand the language, doesn't understand the culture and doesn't even know the religion.
SEXTON: I don't -- I don't understand what that has to do with trying to prevent people from blowing up buses and trying to annihilate.
JEBREAL: That's as I said, that's already too late.
SEXTON: That was my job. That's what I'm speaking to on this issue.
JEBREAL: I'm talking about way before intervention.
SEXTON: Well, you're speaking about before intervention. You're also saying that people who aren't able to assimilate properly -- there are a lot people who are disenfranchise who strap on suicide vest, who don't decide that they're going to go join a foreign fight on foreign country as part of...
LEMON: Point taken, Point taken.
SEXTON: ... imperial venture and kills as many innocent...
LEMON: Paul Cruickshank, this is exactly that happened that ISIS want for people to have sort of, you know, gap or divide that ISIS is looking for.
CRUICKSHANK: Exactly. I mean, a central part of that strategy, a central pillar of the strategy in launching these attacks in Europe is to create a hostile backlash against Muslims in Europe, in the West, so that they can use that for their own recruitment purposes. In their words, they want to shrink the gray zones in Europe, in the
West. In their view, Muslims will then not want to stay there, not want to be part of those societies, will be more sympathetic towards ISIS.
So, that's a big part of what they're trying to do here. And we have seen a lot of aggressive sentiment on both sides of the Atlantic against the Muslim community and that's playing right into ISIS's hands.
LEMON: Let's talk about politization here. All right. Because this is what John McCain, Buck, this is for you, and Lindsey Graham said about President Barack Obama approach to ISIS. He said its failed, they believed it's failing.
"After allowing the ISIL threat to grow and strengthen for years, the administration still has no plausible strategy to destroy ISIL on any close -- on anything close to an acceptable timeline." Do you agree?
CRUICKSHANK: Well, the problem that we have at this point is that ISIS, I mean, still in Syria and Iraq. They have a significant position there. They are losing territory. They've lost about 20 percent of their territory in the last year.
[22:45:00] The West, the anti-ISIS coalition is winning but it's winning far too slowly. And the problem is the richest terrorist group in history with more Western recruits than any other terrorist group in history continues to ratchet up international terrorism.
LEMON: I wonder how much -- I wonder how much as we continue...
SEXTON: I do know about the anti-ISIS campaign. So, fair enough.
LEMON: So, let's play the video of the President at the baseball game yesterday. I'm wondering how much this video of him at a baseball game feeds into what politicians are saying about him on the right especially Lindsey Graham and john McCain.
SEXTON: Well, the president hasn't taken...
LEMON: His approach to ISIS.
SEXTON: His approach to ISIS. I mean, if you talk about this working it might work over the next 50 years. In the meantime, ISIS has established franchises as far-flung in Nigeria, in Libya, in the Sinai Peninsula, it's even pop up in Afghanistan.
The president, by the way, the commander-in-chief, he also doesn't speak Arabic and seems to have a pretty good grasp of these facts in understanding of how to deal with terrorism or maybe he doesn't.
I don't know that this is a pre-conditions essentially that have any ideas on the subject whatsoever. All that said, I think that ISIS is clearly still maintaining enough of its territory that it's able to act as a launchpad for Jihadist attacks into Europe.
It is only a question of time before it comes here, whether these people are disenfranchised or not. I don't know they care about them. I'm just trying to stop them and hoping others will be able to do so as well.
LEMON: Does that -- do the optics of what...
JEBREAL: You need to understand...
LEMON: Hang on, hang on, Rula. The optics of what we showed is that sort of, you know, solidify what the other side are saying?
SEXTON: I mean, I'm a conservative as well as somebody who's working at CIA. I think what President Obama did look horrible. I mean, that was -- and we had people from his own side saying that it just looked very, sort of distant from what's a much more important issue right now, which is the fight against terrorism in Europe.
And quite honestly, I think the president is trying to hand this off to the next administration. And most people I know who are Middle East, foreign policy U.S. strategy in defeating terrorism experts feel like this has been a half-hearted effort at best based on the air campaign, based on the $500 million spent to trained a total of five troops on the ground.
Again, in my area of...
LEMON: I have a negative minute left. Can you do it quickly?
JEBREAL: Yes, I can do it very quickly. What matters is what we are doing. And basically what government has been doing, especially in Syria or in Iraq and other places. It's try to build this large coalition made basically by allies.
And our allies are not helping us, especially Arab allies. You need to have native groups on the ground, Muslim troops that goes there and basically ends the problem.
But ISIS is also an idea. It's an idea that you might have strategic victories but you have also to have tactic victories.
JEBREAL: They are already in Libya, they are in other places, but what is happen -- I don't think President Obama -- I think he is unfairly judged because of one episode but what we are selling, the idea that integration doesn't matter. It actually matters and in understanding the phenomenal matter in...
LEMON: It's big. It's going to be a big challenge for the next person who finds themselves, you know, president and behind the desk in the Oval Office. Thank you. You've got to just jump in, Paul. Because these two...
CRUICKSHANK: I had plenty of other time to face on this.
LEMON: Thank you, Paul Cruickshank, Rula Jebreal, and Buck Sexton. I appreciate it.
Coming up, how DNA connect a suspected bomb-maker to the Paris attacks and to the Brussel -- Brussels bombings and how investigators are finding clues in the rubble.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: A terror suspect on the run as the urgent manhunt spreads. Meanwhile, officials say they believe the ISIS bomb-maker is dead. But what else have they learned?
Joining me now to break down the clues, Anthony May, retired ATF explosives enforcements officer, and forensic scientist Lawrence Kobilinsky.
Good to have both of you on tonight, gentlemen. Anthony, I'm going to start with you. Intelligence officials have reported today that an Islamic state bomb-maker whose DNA connects him to November Paris attacks was one of two suicide bombers at Brussels airport. Is it unusual that the actual bomb-maker would be, you know, one of the suicide bombers?
ANTHONY MAY, RETIRED ATF EXPLOSIVES ENFORCEMENT OFFICER: Don, I find that very hard to believe and interesting. Typically the bomb-maker, bomb builder, bomb designer, whatever term you wish to use is a prized possession. That would, I mean, for they would basically mean that somebody with my skill, my ability that can build bombs, decides to put a bomb on and go kill myself and, you know, it would be the end of my bomb building career.
I know they're talking DNA is linking him between with the Paris bombings, but you know, it's quite possible and plausible that he may have had or obviously had a hand in building those bombs.
But it could have been part of the indoctrination into the suicide Jihadist type of, hey, you're going to become suicide bomber, you're going to help in putting together these other devices. It's kind of a learning or training aid, training experience. That's kind of my thoughts on it.
LEMON: Larry, he's talking about Najim Laachraoui, who they believed prepared the explosives, right? So, tell us about what investigators may have learned from the forensics in the attacks and how they link to...
(CROSSTALK) LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Well, I mean, this is a --
this is -- these are multiple crime scenes and it's got to be handled like any other crime scene except this is a crime scene based on terrorism. It's a crime scene in which there are explosives involved.
So, clearly we have to identify the explosive. We go to the seat of the explosion. We have to do a grid search and the purpose of that search is to develop evidence and generate information. Of course the goal is to get that kind of information so that we can identify who was at that scene, who were the perpetrators, there are body parts that have to be put together.
But the key is to get information so that we could search out those other people, those maybe two dozen other people that are involved in this whole incident. There have got to be people that supported these people, that gave them shelter, that fed them, that gave them money. There's clearly a very wide network here.
LEMON: Anthony, tell us about these types of bombs and their construction. They're changing, right? What's different now?
[22:54:59] MAY: Well, I don't know that they're actually changing. Now just looking at the debris, that was on the screen a second ago quite extensive, a very extensive blast pressure wave went through there.
Now I learned earlier today that and it will probably be proven by the forensic analysis, people like Lawrence, who will do the chemical analysis of the residue that, yes, sure TATP was probably used. But you're going to find that there was some other explosive such as a ammonium nitrate.
And I say that just by examining the damage that was occurring there.
LEMON: All right.
MAY: Now as far as the changing in the design or the tactics, that they've been pretty constant in as far as the explosives that they've been using.
LEMON: Yes. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.
When we come right back, armed and dangerous, the latest on the manhunt spreading across Europe. Plus, the politics of fear. Why Hillary Clinton says this about Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: If Mr. Trump gets his way, it will be like Christmas in the Kremlin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We're following two huge stories tonight. The urgent manhunt in Europe. And what the presidential candidates say they would do to fight terror.