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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
New Video of Airport Attack Aftermath; Airport Suicide Bomber Believed to be ISIS Bomb Maker; Mother of Satan Explosive Found in Terrorists Hideout; Turkey Says It Deported Attacker to Belgium; Brothers Identified as Suicide Bombers, Suspect on the Run; Hillary Clinton Accuses Cruz, Trump of Bigotry. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired March 23, 2016 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:07] ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Next, live from Brussels with the breaking news tonight. CNN obtaining exclusive new video from inside the airports moments after the blasts.
Plus, the explosive known as the Mother of Satan found in one of the attacker's apartment in a whole lot out of it, it's cheap, it's easy to get, it's the new weapon of choice for ISIS. Our special report on it coming up.
And Ted Cruz says patrol Muslim neighborhoods. Donald Trump says waterboard. And Hillary Clinton says they're both dead wrong. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. And I am live in Brussels tonight. OUTFRONT, the breaking news. The exclusive new video, terrifying images from inside the airport attack. The death toll from this attack on this city's airport and subway has risen today. The tragedy getting even worse. At least 31 people now dead. Two hundred seventy more injured. Many of them with lost limbs and severe burns. Lives that will forever be changed.
And tonight, we have obtained exclusive video from inside the airport just after the explosions. I want to warn you that this is graphic video with incredibly disturbing images. It is a scene of other devastation. People coming into an airport to go on vacation to say good-bye to their loved ones, men, women, and children across the floor, bodies everywhere. This is inside an airport. People going for vacation, for work. A horrifying -- horrifying moment that happened here in Brussels yesterday.
Also today, the Belgian investigators say they believe the second suicide bomber seen on the left in the airport surveillance photo, that one there on the far left is a suspected ISIS bomb maker tied not only to the Brussels attacks, but to the terror attacks last November. Now, that leaves the man in the white jacket as the central focus of a manhunt. We're covering the story from every angle.
Tonight, I want to begin with Clarissa Ward. Clarissa, so many developments today. But in this city still a massive manhunt going on, a race against time as they're worried of more attacks in particular for that man. CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's exactly
it. Now, we have seen this image over and over again, the three men in the airport. And it's the man on the right whose identity we still don't know. He's dressed very distinctively in a light jacket. Also wearing a cap and glasses, possibly an attempt to disguise his appearance. But what's perhaps most distinctive is that whereas the other two men are each wearing a glove, those gloves likely used to disguise the detonator that they would have been carrying, this man was not wearing any gloves.
Possibly an indication that he never intended to blow himself up. We do know though that his suitcase contained the most powerful and the largest amount of explosives. But at this stage Erin, we still don't know where he is, we know that there is a manhunt underway. But Belgian authorities have been incredibly tight lipped. They don't want to leak anything into the media. There are raids and searches going on. But they don't want to do anything that could damage their investigation because they're coming under a lot of pressure here. A lot of these men were known to authorities. And there are a lot of questions about how they were able to elude capture for so long.
BURNETT: Known previously in jail and very well known to them. In fact, some of them already wanted. And the bottom-line is though, it is a manhunt for that one man in particular, but also possibly for others that could be planning attacks now.
WARD: That's right. The Belgian prosecutor said earlier today in a press conference that there are still a number of men at large possibly armed, possibly dangerous. This is a city still very much on high alert. You can hear behind this, there are some revelers, there are people who have been coming here to pay their respects. And there is definitely a -- but people here are also frightened, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Clarissa Ward. And as I traveled here today from Paris, it did not appear that there was any noticeable increase in security coming into Belgium despite the massive manhunt. Still authorities are turning up a number of significant leads in a community just near where we are.
BURNETT (voice-over): A desperate race against time. Police raiding several apartments, searching for suspected terrorists tied to the deadly twin attacks on the Brussels airport and the metro station. The fear, they may strike again soon. The focus of the manhunt tonight, the man in the white jacket.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The third suspect wearing a white colored jacket and a hat has fled. He dropped a large bag and then left before the explosions. His bag contained the largest explosive. Shortly after the arrival of the bomb squad, this bag exploded.
BURNETT: Also tonight, Belgian investigators believed this man suspected ISIS bomber Najim Laachraoui is likely one of the suicide bombers who blew himself up at the airport. Laachraoui connected to both the Paris and Brussels attack. His DNA found on two suicide belts used in the Paris attacks that killed 130 people. He sent money to a Paris bomber.
And before that, he traveled to Europe with Salah Abdeslam, the Paris attacker who fled the carnage. Abdeslam hid in plain sight in Brussels for months. And investigators believed he was part of yesterday's attack as well. And there is fear of more attacks to come. A tip from the taxi driver who drove the three attackers to the airport led investigators to this apartment inside a massive amount of bomb making materials.
[19:05:24] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifteen kilos of explosives, and 150 leaders of acetone, detonators and a suitcase filled with nails and explosive devices.
BURNETT: Ibrahim el Bakraoui who blew himself up at the airport was deported to Belgium from Turkey last year after authorities flagged him to the Belgians. And two more of the men were already wanted by Interpol before the attacks.
BURNETT: And I want to bring in POLITICO senior correspondent Ryan Heath. He lives here in Brussels. He knows this community well. Clarissa Ward of course our senior international correspondent is still with me.
Ryan, I want to show that video because it is something that strikes at the heart of everyone watching. You go to an airport and it is a moment of possibility. Right? It's that big business trip. It's that going home. It's that going on a trip. It's that special time with your family. One woman with her two twin daughters and her husband, she died. They are still alive. And you see this video and it brings home just how horrific is this.
RYAN HEATH, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, POLITICO EUROPE: Yes. That is absolutely right. And it brings back what we were all feeling yesterday, the absolute chaos and confusion because it was really unclear where where these noises coming from, what was going to follow next, where could people go for help. Whether you were at the metro or the airport, that was a pattern that emerged throughout the day and followed with all the controlled explosions that we were hearing throughout the afternoon. We didn't know if that was a next bomb or if that was the police keeping us safe. And it's many hours to restore any form of calm, more rhythms to daily life here.
BURNETT: And Clarissa, we have now seen this terror cell which has broadly been involved in the Paris terrorist attacks now planning again to people where they don't expect it, where their defenses are down. Where they are full of joy at restaurants or joy at the prospects of travel. And now the fear tonight that what we see in this image and in this video from the airport could happen again, that they are in this race against time, that there could be more attacks.
WARD: And this coming on the heels of Paris when people thought never could this happen again and yet it has happened again. We know that some of these men were able to hide in plain sight for four months. Many of them had traveled to Syria. Many of them had extensive rap sheets, criminal activity. This were men whether through criminal networks or terrorists networks who widely known to authorities. And I think there's a very real sense of realization not just in Belgium, but all across Europe that this is a huge problem and authorities are still struggling to get their arms around it and to work out how to deal with it.
BURNETT: And Ryan, it's very different. You know, you have of course the controversial comments by Ted Cruz in the United States about policing Muslim communities. But even well short of that, with the Boston bombing, they shut down the city of Boston on a manhunt. They shut the city down until they found him. They're not shutting down Brussels until they find this man in the white jacket who could be planning an imminent attack. They're not doing that, but they are trying to do raids. And you've been learning a lot more about that, these raids that are going on.
HEATH: Yes. So, I've been involved in following these raids even back in the terror lockdown in November. And I can assure your viewers that at that point in time the police was simply not in control in that situation. They would buzz around from house to house. It was very case on cops. We really didn't know what the plan was and what the outcome was. And you would think after that experience and after knowing you need to put a long-term plan into place, after pressure from allies, from France, from the U.S. and from other sources that they really would have upped their game. Instead what we saw was a significant but not an all-out effort to conduct searches for example through the houses in Molenbeek.
So, we've seen 120 searches up until the bombs here. That is one per day. In a district that has 30,000 houses, they've searched one out of 250. Now, that's a big gap between searching every house, in searching one out of every 250. And I think that is the big gap where people now need to be asking questions, where should we be landing in that gap instead of really having their strength.
BURNETT: And how are they not searching homes that are known to be linked to people who are -- have rap sheets, who are once on the Interpol lists, that Turkey sent homes saying, this guy is a terrorist, you should look for him.
HEATH: Ninety five of them as well.
WARD: This speaks to just the complete disconnect between the authorities and the communities where these people are hiding out. There's a total lack of trust for the authorities in these communities. I remember in Saint Denis where the raids were in Paris, people were saying we don't talk to cops here. We don't give them information. We keep our heads down. We mind our own business. And the raids which Salah Abdeslam was actually discovered, that was an accident. They went into that apartment thinking it was going to be empty and three people started opening fire on them. So, it really was -- but it was an accident.
BURNETT: Which is absolutely shocking when you think about the reality of that situation. But there's no plans then, Ryan, to shut down that neighborhood or shut down this city, even though they believe that there could be more attacks. That's a risk that they're going to take?
[19:05:05] HEATH: Yes. And we already have a situation where the law is frozen in time. Where you can't raid a house after 9:00 p.m. in Belgium and before 5:00 a.m. That's one of the times that Salah Abdeslam got away in recent months.
BURNETT: That's a stunning fact.
HEATH: It is absolutely unbelievable. The police knew that within the terror lockdown that that wasn't sustainable, so they began a series of fake raids and cafes just behind us here. So, that they could say they began an operation before 9 p.m. in order to get to the houses that they really wanted to get too. Now, if that's not a band aid solution, I don't know what it is. And we're running out of band aids now that this manhunt continues and we're not getting much closer to the result.
BURNETT: Band aid solution when people are being massacred and slaughtered. Thank you both very much. You're going to be with me of course throughout our special coverage.
OUTFRONT next, the deadly explosive known as the mother of Satan made with materials you can buy in a drugstore found in an attacker's hideout. By the way, kilograms and kilograms of this. Our special report on TATP.
Plus Belgian officials under fire in the wake of the attacks. We're going to talk to the mayor of that district, the Molenbeek district known as a breeding ground for jihadists. She is going to answer the questions tonight. And Donald Trump says, laws against waterboarding are all wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I would say that the eggheads that came up with this international law should turn on their television and watch CNN right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:15:33] BURNETT: Breaking news on the devastating terror attacks here in Brussels. Tonight, officials finding a massive stash of explosives inside the hideout of one of the attackers. The explosive nicknamed, the Mother of Satan. It causes mass devastation. Materials can be found in a drugstore to make it. I warn you the video that you're about to see is extremely disturbing, but this is what something so simple from a drugstore can wreak.
Nick Paton Walsh is OUTFRONT.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Exclusive new video from inside the airport just moments after the explosions. Mass devastation. Children screaming. Is this the aftermath of a TATP, triacetone triperoxide bomb? Officials found 15 kilograms of the explosive where the alleged bomb maker was hiding out. It's a homemade explosive with a sinister nickname, the Mother of Satan. A name coined by terrorists because it's sensitive to heat volatile and can potentially cause extensive damage. Experts say, it is also cheap with ingredients that are easy to come by.
PETER JONES, COO, TRIPWIRE OPERATIONS GROUP: Ninety percent of the stuff we have here, you don't need a license to buy. I can go in a truck right now about half-an-hour away and come home with 90 percent of this.
WALSH: Brussels is not the first time TATP has been traced to terrorist attacks. Last November, Ibrahim Abdeslam detonates his suicide vest as part of the Paris massacre. December 2001, Richard Reid was arrested after he tries to blow up a plain with an explosives device hidden in his shoe. One component, TATP. July 2005, bombs explode throughout London. Fifty two dead, more than 700 injured. Investigators discovered the homemade bombs contained TATP. September 2009, Najibullah Zazi is arrested for plotting to bomb a New York City subway using TATP. Zazi gets the ingredients he needs at a Colorado beauty store, a Lowe's, and a Walmart.
SETH JONES, RAND CORPORATION: You're not generally get these people by trying to monitor what they purchase.
WALSH: Seth Jones specializes in counterterrorism at the Rand Corporation. He says TATP ingredients are so readily available buying the items may not raise suspicions. That's why Intel is key.
JONES: Najibullah Zazi who was identified in 2009 was involved in boiling TATP in his hotel room in Aurora. He was not identified for the ingredients he was purchasing. He was identified because of good intelligence in monitoring e-mail accounts where he came up.
BURNETT: Nick Paton Walsh is here with me along with former CIA operative Bob Baer and our terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank. Nick, when we look at this video from the airport that is, it's just -- it's carnage and it's gruesome. And these terrorists knew exactly what they were doing when they assembled this bomb, when they brought it into that airport. Materials that you can get at a drug store, you could put together can wreak that kind of damage.
WALSH: Absolutely. Bear mind that some of these devices were almost too heavy for them to lift put on trolleys. Very volatile potentially. But if you're not so concerned about your own well- being, let alone those around you -- then extraordinary potent. And you say, something you could make out of normal stuff you can buy in a drugstore.
BURNETT: Normal stuff you can buy in a drugstore Bob Baer and when it comes to assembly, something that you actually think you can train on pretty quickly. Because of course these reports that maybe the bomb maker was a suicide bomber, but this question of could others be able to do this. Could he have trained others? You think the answer to that is yes.
BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: Erin, yes. It did take me a couple of days with you out in the field practicing on the stuff, getting the protocols, making it safe, teaching you how to keep it in the refrigerator, in a plastic container while you're moving keeping it cold, watching out for static. The formula is very simple. Boiling the peroxide down. We could open a bomb factory in your hotel room. And if you had good ventilation, make as many bombs as you'd like over the course of a couple of days.
BURNETT: It's a terrifying thing and it's a horrifying thing. Bob, when the taxi driver said to authorities, I picked these men up and I picked them up at this apartment, they went back to that apartment, they found 15 kilograms of TATP. They found all the materials that would be used to make these bombs. When you hear 15 kilograms, how many bombs could you make with that? We have no idea how much they have in general but in this one apartment, 15 kilograms. How much is that?
[19:20:08] BAER: Well placed, I could probably kill 500 people with that between malls and airports. You could do 15 vests. A kilo of that could do the same damage that was done in the airport. This stuff is very powerful. It's like plastic, military plastic explosive. People are terrified of this. It's easy to make. We've been tracking the CIA, this technology back to the early 80s. And it's -- there was one bomb maker that taught AQI, the Islamic State follow on how to make this stuff. And they used against it in Iraq and it's the technology is widespread. In getting one bomb maker in Belgium is not going to stop these attacks.
BURNETT: And of course, involved in that airplane explosion, the Russian airliner so recently. Paul Cruickshank, you just heard what Bob Baer said. That that amount alone, and that one apartment that they raided here in Brussels today could kill 500 hundred people. What do you think they were planning to do with that? Obviously, everyone says, oh, they went ahead with these attacks because they were worried that maybe authorities were going to catch on to them, clearly though they had more planned because they didn't use everything that they had.
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, that's absolutely right, Erin. In fact, Belgium officials investigators I've been speaking today say they fear that the plan was going to be twice as big because after all they arrested or killed at least half of this terrorist network that remains in Brussels. They arrested Salah Abdeslam, an accomplice. They killed Mohamed Belkaid, the overall leader of the Paris and Brussels attacks.
So, there are at least three others that were going to be involved in a bigger plan, a bigger attack, but the rest of the cell that were still at large, they feared that they were cornered, and so they accelerated their plans. Launched a smaller attack, the most originally being planned.
And they had all this explosive that they had made. And they in fact, they got into a taxi to go to the airport and they couldn't fit it all into the taxi. They had so much explosives. So, that's why they had to live behind this bag with those 15 kilograms of explosives. Just one point of what Bob Baer was saying, sure, it's easy to make, but only if you're taught what to do. Most of these extremists don't have the luxury of getting trained by someone like Bob Baer.
And I can only think of a couple of examples in the whole universe of plots where extremists in the West have managed to make TATP without going overseas to get trained and get instructed on how to make it. That said, an awful lot of European extremists going over there, getting that kind of training. One other example, Ibrahim Bedina (ph) who came back to France in early 2014 was plotting an attack against the French Riviera. He had three kinds of TATP that he managed to build.
BURNETT: And Nick, just to this point also that they were accumulating all these materials and able to do that here in Brussels to go in again and again. Now, whether they bought it in bulk or went in every week and emptied a pharmacy, these things were happening in a city that is on high alert that is expected more attacks that was on a constant manhunt and now they were still able to get all of this and put it together.
WALSH: I think you have to ask the question what was that remaining material in that flat intended for. We still have people whose whereabouts are unknown. The man in white in the surveillance video, no name for him.
BURNETT: Right. And he's just one of many that they're looking for.
WALSH: We don't know if Ibrahim el Bakraoui (ph) in the metro, had an accomplice assisting with him there.
WALSH: What was that explosive left behind for? Was there a further plot? Is that yet to be realized? How is it being interrupted? Is there an explosive elsewhere? They clearly have no shortage which is necessarily put it in only one place. Many questions that must keep investigators awake tonight.
BURNETT: I know. Now you certainly would not. Nick Paton Walsh, thank you very much. Bob Baer, Paul Cruikshank.
And OUTFRONT next, the missed signs, so many of them. One of the airport suicide bombers was flagged by the Turkish government. He went to Turkey. He came here to Brussels. They said watch out, he's a terrorist. Belgium did nothing.
Plus, we now know two brothers are behind the Brussels terror attacks. It's a disturbing trend. Why has jihad become such a family affair?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [19:28:04] BURNETT: Breaking news. It's about 12:30 a.m. here in Brussels where CNN is learning of a possible intelligence failure leading up to yesterday's deadly terrorist attack. We now know government officials were aware of at least two of the attackers. In fact, just last year, Turkey deported Ibrahim El Bakraoui and flagged him to Belgian authorities. Bakraoui was one of the men who blew himself up at the airport.
Our justice correspondent Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT breaking a lot of this news. And Pamela, here we are with another horrific attack and yet missed signs yet again.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It is disturbing when you look at the big picture here hearing from Turkish authorities today Erin, they say they deported Ibrahim. Last year they say they had indications he was a foreign fighter deported him back to Belgium. The Turkish president reportedly said that Turkey were in Belgium that he was a foreign fighter but that Belgium didn't do anything about it. And then you have his brother, Khalid, who blew himself up at the metro station. There was an Interpol red notice issued for him just this year for terrorism charges. So, you had these two brothers who blew themselves up. Linked to terrorism. But today, the Belgian prosecutor came out and said, all they knew where are that the brothers were linked to violent crimes, not terrorism. So, Erin, clearly there is a disconnect here with the information flow.
BURNETT: It certainly is. All right. Thank you very much.
And I want to bring in the mayor of Molenbeek tonight, Francoise Schepmans. Mayor Schepmans, thank you so much for being with us tonight. Horrible time I know for you as a citizen of Belgium, of Brussels. Our reporting of course now saying that one of the men involved in this horrible attacks here in Brussels was deported from Turkey. They told the Belgians, they said watch out for him. They flagged him. He came back to Brussels. Did any Belgian authorities ever tell you as the mayor of Molenbeek that he was coming back?
[19:30:00] MAYOR FRANCOISE SCHEPMANS, MOLENBEEK DISTRICT OF BRUSSELS: No, of course not. Well, you had the local level and the federal level. And there is no collaboration between --
BURNETT: Hmm. So they're not talking to you. They're not, they're not --
SCHEPMANS: They don't have to talk to me about their investigation. What I have to do as mayor is to be careful about what's happened on the street, the security of the people. When we have a police operation or raids, you see concerning those people who became terrorists. I didn't have any information about them. We didn't know they had become radicalists.
BURNETT: So, you didn't know they became radicalists, and then when they came home, people in the community didn't tell anyone. They lived amongst them. Many people in the community knew. No one said anything. That has to be a really hard thing as a mayor to know that some of
these people are living in what we might call plain sight in Molenbeek.
SCHEPMANS: Yes. Well, I think that most of the people here in Molenbeek, they didn't know they had become radicalists, that they were preparing attacks, terrorist attacks. I'm sure about that, but maybe we aren't being careful enough about what's going on in the streets or in some places in our district.
BURNETT: All right. Mayor Schepmans, thank you so much for your time tonight.
SCHEPMANS: Thank you.
BURNETT: A significant statement there.
Paul Cruickshank is back with me.
And, Paul, you just heard the mayor say there's no collaboration, no sharing of information so that when someone comes back to her neighborhood flagged by a foreign country as a terrorist, Belgian authorities don't tell her. That's something pretty shocking to hear.
CRUICKSHANK: Well, clearly, there's been a lot of criticism about information sharing. In Belgium, there are a lot of different jurisdictions there. It's not helped by the fact that you have three languages in Belgium and very many different agencies, so that clearly needs to be worked on.
But I think there's been a lot of sort of beating up on Belgium over the last few months. And some of that is fair and some of that is perhaps unfair. I speak a lot to Belgium investigators. And there has been some really strong police work in the wake of the Paris attacks.
We can't tell the full story of that yet for obvious reasons, but they arrested 11 people in connection with the Paris attacks. Last year in January 2015, they thwarted a major gun and bomb plot which may have been just as attacks. There was also some impressive police work in getting Salah Abdeslam. This is a small country with limited capabilities. It is trying to do its best to prevent this threat, but they're bearing the brunt of ISIS' attack plans right now, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. I want to bring Ryan Heath back in, a senior political correspondent here in Brussels.
The mayor, though, she had no -- she admitted, look, yes, I did not know. No one would tell me if people come back that they suspect are terrorists.
HEATH: That's a problem, but it's also not the full story. There's three pieces of information we need to factor in. The first is that at some point, Mayor Schepmans was handed a list of 95 people that Belgian authorities did understand to be trained and terrorist radicals. She doesn't have a lot of power about what she can do with that information.
But as mayor in Belgium, you're at one of the most powerful levels of government. There is a lot of power and money concentrated in the hands of a mayor, and when you share the same party of the prime minister. Now, the question you need to ask themselves is, if you were the mayor of a district and there were radical problems there and you were in the same party as the prime minister of your country who does have the power to do things, did you two every met to discuss about what to do? Did you ask extra funding to ramp up that community engagement and do the grassroots end of this game? Maybe, maybe not.
At another level, we have the city locked down for four days in the end of November last year. And we had dozens of raids take place. I think only one person was charged out of all those raids. Now, there might be good policing somewhere else, but that didn't look like good policing when you're on the end of those raids.
BURNETT: And she continues -- I mean, I had a chance to talk to her a little earlier. She said, you know, it would be a mistake to shut Molenbeek down right now, which is in a sense impressive to those who are watching -- an impressive thing to say, whatever, impressive in a good way or a bad way. But, you know, that they are worried about follow-on attacks, they're worried that this could happen again and they don't think that it is worth shutting down the neighborhood where they think he's meant to be hiding.
HEATH: But sometimes, there's a difference between what's fair and what is necessary. I think that's the question now that needs to be asked. I think the mayor is right when she says the majority of people didn't know about this.
[19:35:01] The problem is too many people did about it. And the (INAUDIBLE) terror cell, the organization of the terror cell, the layers of people who had to be involved in escorting these individuals in and out of buildings, to help someone like Salah Abdeslam from being cornered, but couldn't be taking because of laws that prevent raids between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., it's something that goes quite deep. That's the source of the concern right now. There could be more bombs and attacks because of the depth of those networks in Molenbeek and also now in Schaerbeek.
BURNETT: Well, thank you very much, Ryan, and also, of course, to our Paul Cruickshank.
And OUTFRONT next, as I said, two of the suicide bombers in Brussels were brothers. We have a special report on this strange and disturbing pattern again and again. Brothers united in terror, the war of words that has erupted over how to fight terrorism in America.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PIERS MORGAN, FORMER CNN HOST: Are you anti-Muslim?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not anti-anything. I'm just common sense. I mean, I just say it like it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:40:04] BURNETT: It is about 12:45 here in Brussels in the morning. Right now, the deadly terror attacks in Brussels are breaking news. And it turns out they were a family affair.
Authorities revealing two brothers carried out the carnage here, the El Bakraouis, no strangers to police because of their past, well-known in fact to authorities. The latest case in a very troubling pattern of siblings teaming up for horrific terrorist attacks.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The first attack in Brussels, the airport where Brahim el Bakraoui blew himself up in one of the two deadly explosions in the departure lounge.
An hour later, his younger brother, Khalid El Bakraoui, would follow in his footsteps carrying out a suicide attack in the metro.
Two brothers known to law enforcement for the criminal history now tied in terror, sharing a family name, a life history, and radical beliefs.
(on camera): Does that surprise do you?
STEPHEN MOORE, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: No, it doesn't surprise me. A lot -- a lot of our cases revolved around family members working together.
LAH (voice-over): Counterterrorism expert and retired FBI agent Stephen Moore says, just look at recent history. The Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam arrested just days ago was a logistics man in the string of coordinated attacks in November. His sibling Ibrahim Abdeslam joined his brother in terror, detonating his suicide bomb outside a cafe.
Last year, in the Charlie Hebdo, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi spearheaded the massacre.
The Boston marathon bombing, homegrown terrorists and brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The 9/11 hijackers, of the 19, there were three sets of brothers.
MOORE: They'll support each other sometimes even when they're not ideologically sold on what you're believing in. They're following you, not an ideology.
LAH: ISIS's social media propaganda remains most potent among the isolated and disenfranchised, one person latches on. He or she can bring impressionable relatives in the same house along.
In 2014, then 19-year-old Mohammad Hamza Khan packed his bags and headed to Chicago's O'Hare to join ISIS in Syria. Traveling with him, his 17 and 15-year-old brother and sister. U.S. Customs stopped them at the gate. His mother made this plea.
ZARINE KHAN, SON STOPPED AT O'HARE AIRPORT: We have a message for ISIS and Mr. Baghdadi and his fellow soldier and media recruiters: leave our children alone.
LAH: Counterterrorism experts say knowing the pattern is one thing. Addressing it, well, that's something different. The key may be that they know that there is a leader in the family if this happens. They need to figure out who the leader, gets that person before turning the siblings into followers.
Erin, though, it's easier said than done.
BURNETT: Kyung Lah, thank you very much. We've seen this again and again and again.
And OUTFRONT next: Ted Cruz says the solution is to patrol Muslim neighborhoods in America. Donald Trump says waterboard. Hillary Clinton says they're wrong. We'll be back.
[19:46:53] BURNETT: Breaking news tonight: the deadly massacre here in Brussels dominating the race for the White House. Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz both pushing controversial plans to fight ISIS. Hillary Clinton says they're guilty of being bigots. President Obama says they'll make ISIS stronger.
Suzanne Malveaux is OUTFRONT.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Brussels terror attacks sending shock waves through the race for president. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump saying he'll leave all options on the table when it comes to fighting ISIS, including the use of nuclear weapons.
TRUMP: I'm never going to rule anything out. And I wouldn't want to say, even if I felt it wasn't going, I wouldn't want to tell you that, because at a minimum, I want them to think maybe we would use it.
MALVEAUX: And doubling down on his support for harsh interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding.
TRUMP: The eggheads that came up with this international law should turn on their television and I would be willing to bet, when I'm seeing all of the bodies laying all over the floor, including young, beautiful children laying dead on the floor, I would say maybe, just maybe, they'll approve waterboarding and other things. MALVEAUX: Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton countering that such
methods run counter to U.S. values.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm proud to have been part of the administration that banned torture, after too many years in which we had lost our way. If I'm president, the United States will not condone or practice torture anywhere in the world.
MALVEAUX: Clinton also calling out Ted Cruz by name for proposing that law enforcement step up their policing of Muslim neighborhoods.
CLINTON: So 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.
MALVEAUX: President Obama echoing Clinton's comment while on a visit first to Cuba, then to Argentina.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just left a country that engages in that kind of neighborhood surveillance, which by the way the father of Senator Cruz escaped for America, the land of the free.
The notion that we would start down that slippery slope makes absolutely no sense.
MALVEAUX: Cruz returning fire, charging that Democrats are misguided in their strategy for combating terrorist threats.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's an example where Democrats are more concerned about political correctness than they are about keeping us safe, and that's why people are so fed up. We need a commander-in-chief whose priority is keeping the American people safe and that's what I'll do.
MALVEAUX: As both Democrat and Republican candidates intensify their efforts to seal the nomination, they are doubling down on what their arguments for what makes them the strongest commander-in-chief. Republicans are painting President Obama as weak, soft and stupid in dealing with ISIS, and by extension, painting his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that way; while Obama and Clinton are in lockstep portraying Trump and Cruz as reckless, inexperienced and out of touch.
[19:50:03] In a thinly veiled reference to Trump, Clinton said today, loose cannons tend to misfire -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Suzanne.
And OUTFRONT now, our political commentator, former member of South Carolina's House of Representatives, Bakari Sellers, a Hillary Clinton supporter, and our political commentator, the host of "The Ben Ferguson Show", Ben Ferguson, a Ted Cruz supporter. Ben, Hillary Clinton came out today and said what Ted Cruz is
proposing is bigotry. That it would be absolutely the wrong idea. It's a strong word to use to call someone you could be running against a bigot?
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I'm not surprised that she's trying to score political points here when we're under attack by Muslim extremists, and she won't even call them Muslim extremists or jihadists or terrorists barely. So, there's a big difference in the way you have Ted Cruz looking at this and the way you have Hillary Clinton.
Ted Cruz is saying we need a relationship on the streets in the neighborhoods where we know people are trying to actively recruit young Muslim men to be terrorists. And the same way that we have police that go into neighborhoods that are either high crime, regardless of what the makeup in the neighborhood is, the same way we go into areas where there is gang problems, where we try to get a connection. Policemen do this all the time with parents and grandparents and people on the streets to try to get rid of these gangs.
We should be proactively doing this the way we did after 9/11. It may not be politically correct, but it saves people's lives.
BURNETT: Bakari, Ben phrase as building relationships within Muslim communities. Hillary Clinton says policing Muslim communities different than others, giving them special scrutiny as plain bigotry.
What's the right to call, a bigotry or building relationships in Muslim communities?
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, what's it is is racial profiling at its highest, and it is bigotry and it's foreign policy rooted in xenophobia.
But even more importantly, no one is talking about on the Republican side, a comprehensive strategy to take on is. What Ted Cruz said today was something as bombastic as Donald Trump to score political points.
But no one is talking about strengthening or joining air strikes to take out ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria. No one is talking about helping out Arab and Kurdish forces on the ground. No one is talking about using diplomacy to help finish or remedy this Syrian civil war or this Iraq sectarian divide that we have.
They're not talking about these things. Instead, they are playing to the red meat of their base and they're leaving Americans unsecure in being a great recruiting tool for ISIS.
FERGUSON: With all due respect, what you just described has been the last 6 1/2 years --
BURNETT: Bakari, the poll, the most recent poll, one of three registered voters say Donald Trump is the best presidential candidate to handle terrorism. I know you're talking about Ted Cruz. But this -- Donald Trump, 1 in 3, a man who wants to temporarily ban foreign- born Muslims from the United States, the man who wants to build a wall on the southern border.
More trust Donald Trump on the issue of terrorism than Hillary Clinton. That's pretty damning, isn't it?
SELLERS: I mean, I guess it's damning, but Donald Trump is running for war criminal in chief. I mean, that's the fact of the matter.
But I'm not worried about who is going to keep our country safe, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, because I truly believe in the heart of American people. I truly believe that America truly understands that there's no doubt in our minds that just building a wall between America and Mexico or banning all Muslims, that is not a foreign policy. In fact, that's more dangerous than anything.
FERGUSON: But, Erin, that's not what we're talking about --
BURNETT: Go ahead, Ben.
FERGUSON: What we're talking about here is the idea that Bakari has just said that he is endorsing is the idea that we've had for the last 6 1/2, seven years under President Obama. It's been a failure.
The idea is a failed idea. We tried it this way. We don't engage terrorists and we pull back from terrorism and it allowed for ISIS to become what it is. Now, we see ISIS being able to do what they're doing in Europe. It's the same thing they want to do here in America. We have to change the way that we're dealing --
SELLERS: That's not what I'm saying.
FERGUSON: Let me finish -- with the way we're recruiting Muslim extremists and the way that we're fighting back. This is not a time for political correctness to gain votes as Hillary Clinton is trying to do. This is a time to be honest with the American people and say this idea that Obama came up with has been a failure and we have to change course. That's what Ted Cruz was saying today and last night.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much.
And we're going to be right back with our continuing coverage of the Brussels attacks live here in Belgium.
[19:58:42] BURNETT: Another senseless act of terror, and yet, in the face of tragedy, people coming together here. Many seen right behind me. Some are singing. Some are praying, laying candles, writing tributes.
Famous monuments around the world lit up tonight in the colors of the Belgian flag. All of this a token of solidarity for the lives lost, at least 31, 230 more forever changed. And the way here from Paris today, "We are Brussels" on the highway.
One of the first fatalities we're learning about a 36-year old woman at the airport. She was there with her husband, her twin 3-year-old daughters. She was going for an Easter trip with her twin daughters when those bombs witness off. Her little girls and husband miraculously survived. They'll never again see her.
Just six months away, a Belgian law student killed in the explosion at the metro station here in Brussels. Another man also lost his life there, a government worker. Among the missing and the wounded, many with American ties, including this Tennessee couple Stephanie and Sebastian Schultz, their family still awaiting news of their fate tonight.
Also missing, two siblings who have spent a lot of time in New York. And Bart Megam (ph), he was set to fly to see his girlfriend in the United States. Imagine the excitement and jubilation he felt on that trip. The last text was on the train to the Brussels airport.
And then Sebastian Bellin, a basketball player who we learned today had a second surgery to remove bomb fragments from his leg, and the American Mormon missionaries we've told you about, one young man in the group witnessed the Boston bombing and now this.
They're all in our thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for joining us. "AC360" starts right now.