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AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND MICHAELA
More Raids, Arrests in Belgium Manhunt; New Details in Taliban Bombing Christians; Trump Being Pressured on Foreign Policy; Trump Threatens Lawsuit over Delegates. Aired 11-11:30a ET
Aired March 28, 2016 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:52] KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everybody. I'm Kate Bolduan. John Berman is off today.
This morning, for the first time, we're seeing video of the Brussels airport bombing suspect who got away. Belgian federal police have now released this airport security video of the mystery man in the light jacket and the hat. Could these pictures, these new pictures, this video help investigators track him down after nearly a week on the run? This, as the death toll of the horrific attacks is on the rise, 35 people now dead.
And new raids, more arrests across Europe, revealing just how wide the terror network is reaching of those who could be behind these attacks. They are searching for at least eight suspects they believe have links to the ISIS attacks in both Brussels and Paris.
International correspondent, Phil Black, is in Brussels with the very latest.
Phil, what are you picking up on this manhunt, this frantic manhunt that is now getting even broader?
PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, first, some information that came to us a short time ago that has to be interpreted as a setback for the investigation. The authorities here announced that a man who up until very recently had been considered their key suspect, their biggest arrest, has now been released. Last week, they arrested a man identified only as Faycel C. On the weekend, they said he was charged with murder and attempted murder. Significant charges that suggested he played a key direct role in things that took place here last Tuesday. Now they've announced his release and said the information that led to his arrest and those charges has proved inconclusive, so a setback there.
But meanwhile, that investigation does continue. We've seen raids in Brussels over the weekend. As many as 12 on Sunday alone. Today, the authorities here announced another three people had been charged with terrorist-related offenses. But it does appear that they are that key person, that suspect, the man that you were just talking about there that we can now see in moving video, the man in the white jacket and a hat captured on security video at the airport in the moments leading up to the suicide explosions that took place there. They are looking for him because we're told by the authorities that security videos showed him running from the scene before the blasts took place. So he is still believed to be on the run. And as far as we know, the authorities here have no immediate leads on just where he might be at this time -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: And, Phil, you talk about video. There was some really startling video from over the weekend of exactly where you are, protests breaking out at the memorial. What happened? What more are you learning about how that all played out?
BLACK: You can see here at the memorial site, it is quiet and peaceful as it has been for much of the last week. That changed late Sunday when it was really invaded by hundreds of men dressed in black, many of them, their faces covered. They were chanting, screaming at times, behaving in a way that I think you'd have to describe as aggressive. And a lot of what they were saying was nationalist, anti immigrant. They were saying that Brussels is our home, these sorts of things. It marked a real change in the atmosphere here. Other people who were gathered here peacefully started chanting back. There were some scuffles. And it was the police that drove them out of this square using water cannon in the end to disburse that crowd. It was pretty tense for a while. It was only a brief window in time. And I think for the hundreds that were here, still only a limited number in terms of behaving that way compared to what we've seen at this location over the last week. It shows, in the country, there's something of a divide of how people are responding to the terror attacks that took place on Tuesday.
BOLDUAN: Yes. Some important perspective as we look at the startling video.
Thank you so much, Phil. Phil is on top of it.
Let me continue the conversation now. Joining us is CNN terrorism analyst, Paul Cruickshank, who has been connecting the dots on this throughout Europe. And also with us, CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA official, Phil Mudd.
Guys, it's great to see you.
Paul, on the latest we're just hearing from Phil Black, this Faycel C., he was an important pick up. That was a leading suspect. He not only detained but he was charged. Is this a setback that he was released?
[11:05:33] PAUL CRUICKSHANK, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: They clearly at a certain point, perhaps based on eyewitness reports believe he might have been at the airport, might have been involved. They clearly do not now believe that. They clearly think he probably wasn't involved otherwise they wouldn't have released him. So there's this manhunt that goes on. And we understand that there are eight individuals who are wanted right now in connection with the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. Now, one of the those individuals is an individual who came in with a Syrian identity paper from Syria through Europe, through the Greek island of Leros and was picked up by Salah Abdeslam. We are told they suspect he was operationally involved in the Brussels attacks. One possibility, only a possibility, is he is the third airport suicide bomber, the one that got away. But they don't know whether that's him or whether he might have been the guy seen on CCTV at the metro station at Maelbeek with the bomber there, or that he was involved in some other way. But they believe he was involved. But the eight that their searching for is an individual, a Belgian of Malian descent, who actually traveled to Syria with Abaaoud, the Paris ring leader in 2014. A few months after he got there, ISIS tweeted out a picture, which supposedly showed his dead body, but now they think maybe he faked his death. They were faking their own deaths on social media so they could slip back into Europe without that kind of scrutiny.
BOLDUAN: And they did so successfully, it appears, as we now know.
Phil, when you hear about a couple of these things taking place, you've got this one, was a suspect, he was charged with terrorist murder, now released, set back in the investigation, and also as Paul is talking about, the fact that they have still not successfully or publicly identified the third person in the airport, this video that we now see in a loop and the image we see from the surveillance video. Is that surprising that we still haven't identified him?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: The lack of identification to me is surprising, especially now that the public as seen this for so long. Somebody out there -- and this might be an indication of the divide we've talked about between immigrant communities and places like Belgium and police, law enforcement. Somebody out there knows who he is.
On that second issue of the release, that to me is not surprising. The reason is straightforward. In the immediate aftermath of an attack, the amount of information you get in and the people implicated at the fringe of the attack explodes. The police don't have time to surveil people over weeks in the case of an imminent threat because they fear there's going to another attack. So they'll bring everybody in, see who is dirty, and some of those people are going to be released. This is pretty common in an investigation of this magnitude.
BOLDUAN: Paul has done great reporting on how far this has reached. I'm not even going to have all the dots connected correctly because the web is so confusing when you have people arrested or detained not only in Belgium or France but reaching to Germany, the Netherlands Italy. How far do you think this goes, Paul, if you had to say?
CRUICKSHANK: We can simplify it. There's a spider web through Europe. The center is Brussels, Molenbeek, and the neighborhoods that have been raided there. Abaaoud, the Paris ring leader also at the center of that spider web. But the tentacles reach out into France and Holland and Italy and Belgium, potentially also the U.K. ISIS are accelerating their international attack planning. They want to hit all the European countries that are bombing it in Syria and Iraq.
BOLDUAN: And this is the question that is plaguing every intelligence service, Phil, all the security services at this point, but how do you break that web, break it before another attack? MUDD: Well, that web indicates that there's a vulnerability as well.
If there's one advantage, it's that we did not see separate plots in Paris and Belgium. You see people who are communicating, living together, traveling, texting each other. Every one of those communications, whether it's to a human being or by electrons, e- mails, phone calls, instant messaging, that's a vulnerability for a security service. When you start to get players at the core of the web, you should be able to map it using surveillance tools quickly. The question here, Kate, and what my colleagues and I can't figure out is once you get the people at the core of the conspiracy, how is it that four months later, four months after Paris, you can't find them? They are vulnerable when they start communicating -- Kate?
[11:10:15] BOLDUAN: Yeah, and this is what we see. This is what we see in the aftermath four months later.
Guys, great to see you. A lot of moving parts. As always, as we kick off the week, appreciate it.
Just ahead for us, partying, poker, and marijuana. Friends of the Paris attackers are speaking out too CNN, showing us videos like this of life on the inside just before those horrific attacks.
Plus, a bomber targeting Christians enjoying Easter at a park. Among those targeted, children and their parents. We'll take you there.
And the threats flooded in from Hollywood to big business, even the sports world. Breaking moments ago, the governor of Georgia announcing whether he would veto or stand by a controversial bill that would allow faith-based businesses to deny service to the LGBT community. His big decision ahead.
[11:15:04] BOLDUAN: New details on the Easter Sunday bombing targeting Christians. Authorities in Pakistan say the death toll is rising. Now 72 people confirmed dead, many of them children. More than 340 people injured. The suicide blast ripped through a park full of families in the city of Lahore. A Taliban splinter group is claiming responsibility saying they intentionally targeted Christians celebrating the holy day.
Let's bring in CNN international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, for more on this.
The video, the images coming out of there are horrific. The story behind it even worse. Nic, what more are you picking up?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the Pakistani authorities say they have raided a number of cities in the country. Lahore, targeting terrorist facilitators there, another one in Punjab Province and another city. Five different big raids they say. They're not saying how many people they've rounded up.
The images are horrific. The attack, in and of itself, on families picnicking in the play park, utterly despicable. The prime minister is expected to make an announcement about this soon, in the coming minutes. He cancelled a trip to the United States.
What we understand is that this group is claiming that it will start a new round of attacks in Pakistan. It has a history of targeting Christians and, indeed, just a few weeks ago, targeted two U.S. employees of the U.S. consulate close to a tribal border region with Afghanistan, targeted them with a roadside bomb. So this group has a record of effective deathly attacks, and this time, vowing to continue -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: Vowing to continue. The threat continues. As you said, raids are underway, and we're going to be hearing from the prime minister on exactly what he knows and the steps that they need to be -- steps forward from here on out.
Nic, thank you so much.
I want to talk more about this with CNN global affairs analyst, Bobby Ghosh, also the managing editor of "Quartz."
Before we get to the "what should they do," just looking, the death toll, in and of itself, is horrific. Then when you hear the story behind it, children, families at an amusement park, on swings, playing, picnicking, for a holiday. It's just horrific. I mean, why?
BOBBY GHOSH, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Yes, it is. And the group says that they're deliberately targeting Christians. Even in this attack, three times more Muslims were killed than Christians. Even in a park like that, even though a lot of people are celebrating Easter. It's Pakistan. It's Lahore. In a park in Lahore, you're going to get people from communities. In Pakistan, the majority is Muslims so the majority of victims are Muslims. Whatever this group claims to be trying to do, it is killing Muslims more than it's killing anybody else.
BOLDUAN: What is your understanding of what this group is trying to do? I mean, this isn't the first time, as you said, more Muslims were killed in this attack as well, but this isn't the first time Christians have been targeted in Pakistan or Lahore. What is this group trying to get out?
GHOSH: This is a spin-off group from the Pakistani Taliban. They're trying to establish their credentials and show they're badder than the Pakistani Taliban, and they attack all kinds of minorities, even minorities within the Muslim communities. There's a community known Hamidis (ph), who are a minority of the Shia community, also a minority. They're interested in attacking minorities, and basically, if you like the sort of, this is a kind$, of bullying, if you like, by people claiming to represent the majority and picking on groups that cannot defend themselves, that don't have the ability, and don't have the official government support to defend themselves.
BOLDUAN: As the world's attention is on the threat of ISIS, in the United States and abroad, how big of a threat does the splinter group pose?
GHOSH: At the moment, it's focusing its attention on groups within Pakistan. But if we read our history, that's almost never the end of the story. If you allow these groups to prosper in these environments, they become more ambitious and they look outwards. Let's not also underestimate the impact that ISIS is having within Pakistan. ISIS is a recent entry in Pakistan, but they are trying to create a sort of foothold in that country. That puts pressure on all these other groups to try and prove their jihadi credentials. This could be one of the many consequences of that.
BOLDUAN: That's one thing we've heard in other places when there's a competition between terror groups to show their bona fides in terms of the terror world.
Bobby, it's great to see you. Unfortunately, talking about this. Thank you.
GHOSH: Thank you.
[11:19:54] BOLDUAN: Just ahead, back in the United States, Bernie Sanders, he may have the momentum -- and we heard him say that word quite a lot over the weekend -- but does he have the math? We'll hear his new argument about how he sees a path to victory.
Plus, on the Republican side, will the feud over their wives impact the next primaries? We're going to discuss as the race heads straight into what's become a make-or-break state for the GOP.
[11:24:48] BOLDUAN: Donald Trump being pressed for specifics on his foreign policy views. He told "The New York Times" in an interview he's not isolationist. He prefers the term "America first." Rival, Ted Cruz, is criticizing Trump's policies saying the front runner is out of his depth in this regard, and that recent attacks on Cruz's wife were Trump's way of distracting from his own shortcomings on national security matters.
Let me bring in CNN correspondent, Phil Mattingly, who is tracking this from Wisconsin.
Phil, what is behind -- what are you hearing is behind the new line of attack coming from Cruz against Donald Trump ahead of this make-or- break primary in Wisconsin?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They think they're on solid ground here. What we've seen from Donald Trump has been kind of the most illuminating look into his foreign policy, one that really breaks from not only Republican orthodoxy, but really the bedrock of U.S. foreign policy principles on several levels, renegotiating treaties, questioning alliances with key allies. These are areas where Cruz and his team feel like they can capitalize. Looking at Wisconsin, eight days from now, a crucial contest, 42 delegates up for grabs. It's anybody's race between Cruz and Donald Trump and between John Kasich.
One of the most interesting elements here in this state, Kate -- and I've been here for a couple days -- there's a strong anti-Trump movement in this state, driven largely by conservative talk radio. Ted Cruz and his team think they can take the policy ground, take the attacks they've seen over the last couple of days and turns those against Trump in this state. It would be a huge win for Cruz to take a large portion of the delegates.
One of the other interesting things to keep an eye on, Kate, is Donald Trump, last night, tweeting he was upset at Cruz for stealing delegates in Louisiana. Here's the back story of how that works. Donald Trump won the state of Louisiana by about three points. He and Cruz, because of the way the allocation system works, shared delegates, 18 apiece. Rubio had five. There were five unbound. Cruz moved in and he's trying to take the five unbound and take Rubio's as well. Totally within the rules, totally legal. Donald Trump thinks it's unfair and is threatening to sue. Kate, I've been talking to a lot of people. Nobody thinks he has grounds to sue here. But it really underscores the importance of having those teams on the ground working on those delegates. Should we get to an open convention, those are the types of teams and issues that are going to be absolutely crucial to whoever is going to win in Cleveland -- Kate?
BOLDUAN: But having grounds for a lawsuit, will that stop him? We'll see. Because that will have a very big impact, at least on where Donald Trump wants the conversation to go if that lawsuit comes forward as he says in a tweet.
Phil, great to see you. Thank you.
Let's bring in CNN political commentator and Donald Trump supporter, Kayleigh McEnany; CNN political commentator and a senior writer for "The Federalist," Mary Katherine Ham; and Doug Heye, former communications director for the Republican National Committee.
Guys, it's great to see you.
Doug, let me start with you.
Phil was just in Wisconsin, the next -- what's becoming a very important state on the Republican side. This has become the state that Cruz and Kasich really need to make some moves here if they want to hold Trump from his path to get to 1,237. What do you think of what Phil was talking about, this new line of attack coming from Cruz focusing on Donald Trump and what they believe is a flimsy foreign policy stance?
DOUG HEYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah. That "New York Times" interview with Maggie was appalling in the lack of knowledge that so many of us had known was there from Donald Trump, that he doesn't have specific answers on specific questions. This isn't an issues-driven campaign where everybody wants to see the 10-points plan on everything, but given Donald Trump's admission that most of his advice comes from watching people on tv -- I suppose that means Gomer Pyle or somebody like that -- it speaks to why the emperor doesn't have any clothes or answers. At a time when the world is to dangerous right now, whether in Brussels or San Bernardino or police municipalities throughout the country really trying to ramp up and find out if there are any problems in their communities, there are a lot of voters with anxiety and they want a candidate with answers and knowledge. BOLDUAN: Kayleigh, I'll let you respond. Are you concerned if Cruz
continues on the line of attacks of what he believes it is flimsy foreign policy credit, it could move the numbers?
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Not at all. I think Donald Trump has been prescient when it comes to foreign policy. On terror, he has been on the forefront of calling radical Islam a problem, but saying it's wrong to intervene in other countries, topple dictators and leave space for ISIS. He was against the Iraq War before Hillary Clinton was and virtually a Republican was. Likewise, he was made fun of by "The New York Times" because he said Brussels is a place where we seriously need to look at, terrorists are overtaking this city. He said this, and "The New York Times" made fun of him. He has been in the forefront of acknowledging this problem. I think voters recognize that. And I think that interview of "The New York Times" that he gave 100 minutes to "The New York Times," no other candidate is doing that on foreign policy. I saw a lot of substance. We must have read different interviews, Doug.
HEYE: -- that suggests a lack of knowledge on the problems that we face.
BOLDUAN: Mary -- Jump in. Go ahead, Mary.
MARY KATHERINE HAM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, Donald Trump doesn't often have specific policies. He has feelings and he has tweets. And those things will change from day to day. We see it happen all the time in real time from his Twitter feed.