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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
At Least 153 Dead in Paris Attacks; Paris Prosecutor: 5 Suspected Attackers "Neutralized"; All Attackers at Paris Concert Hall are Dead. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 13, 2015 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[21:00:00] ANDERSON COOPER, "ANDERSON COOPER 360" HOST: Concert hall where at least 100-- count stands at 153 people in a string of shootings, and bombings that was in a soccer stadium, restaurant, outside of bar, a crowded concert hall where at least 112 people died in a siege in what one eyewitness describes as a slaughter.
Again, at least 112 dead at the Bataclan Theater, at least 14 at one restaurant, 19 outside the bar, four on a city street and four outside the stadium itself.
Now, authorities say five suspecting attackers have in their words have been neutralized, we don't know if that means killed or captured.
Paris of course is under curfew. French borders now closed. New information coming in moment by moment and we bring it to you as soon as we get it.
Our Jim Bittermann is on the scene in Paris tonight for us. He joins us now. Jim, in the last hour, you are describing the long line of ambulances. What are you seeing tonight?
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, there are still a number, at least probably 20 or 30 ambulances parked down -- just down the street here. We've been seeing them go in one by one. Some of them was drawn. We're not sure if they have anybody -- they're taking anybody away.
We've also seen a number of victims walking away with sort of metalized blankets that they have around them that the fire department officials have given them walking away from the scene. The people that I guess were not injured at all.
But there are still a lot of activity going on here. There is a meeting taking place here with the number of the emergency workers and we also saw something else we talked about earlier, Anderson, the idea that perhaps somebody got away. There may have been somebody's got but they got away.
We saw a dog unit that was brought in and perhaps to sniff the trail of some of the attackers. I'm not sure exactly what the purpose of that was, but there was a dog unit here as well. Just a little bit of information from the Paris City Hall and it shows speaks to how seriously this is being taken across the country. The president of course saying earlier that the borders of France are sealed, that whole neighborhoods are going to be cordoned off and things are going to be a little bit different in terms of security checks after this attack, but the city hall said today that all protests will be cancelled for tomorrow, that's Saturday.
All city halls around Paris, there are 20 city halls around the city definitely around these malls, they'll be closed too, all schools, museums, libraries, gyms, swimming pools, and grocery stores will be closed tomorrow, as well, according to city hall officials, Anderson.
COOPER: I mean, that's an extraordinary fact when you think about it, a city, Paris, an international city basically any location where people would gather is going to be closed in order to prevent the possibility of there being another attack, is that correct?
BITTERMANN: I think that's what it shows. I think that's what it demonstrates. You could say also probably in solidarity with the victims, but they can also demonstrate that there is some uncertainty about exactly whether this is all over. Anderson?
COOPER: And it's obviously very wise move. I mean, we saw in the wake of Charlie Hebdo as we all remember, not only the initial attack on Charlie Hebdo but then, you know, there was different gunmen going in different locations and two-- and what ended up, days later with two standoffs in two separate locations and more people lost their lives so obviously, prudence on the part of authorities there.
Jim, we'll continue to check in with you throughout this hour. Just before air time, I spoke with a woman, Charlotte Brehaut is her name. She was in one of the restaurants that came under attack. Listen to her experience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Charlotte, you were eating at the restaurant, walk us through what happened.
CHARLOTTE BREHAUT, EYEWITNESS TO PARIS SHOOTING: I was eating at a restaurant with a friend of mine. All of a sudden, we heard huge gunshots and lots of glass coming through the window. So we ducked onto the floor with all of the other diners and we heard numerous more gunshots coming through the window and shards of glass were hitting people lying down on the floor and I was holding a woman's arm next to me and when I suddenly started to process what was happening, was asking around if people were OK and I realized that she had been fatally wounded. She had been shot in the chest and there was blood all around her and there were other people in the restaurant, as well, who had been fatally injured.
COOPER: How crowded was the restaurant?
BREHAUT: It was really busy because it was a Friday night in Paris. It's quite a young area. So it was quite lively and it's a small restaurant, only 40 people I would say eating there. It's like 30 square meters. So it's a small place to target. And yeah, it was a lot -- a feeling of terror, I think, and panics amongst everybody there.
[21:05:07] COOPER: Could you see any of the shooters or the shooter? Do you know if there were multiple people?
BREHAUT: I didn't see anything. I immediately looked away from where the glass and the gunshots were firing so I didn't see any shooters.
I believe there was more than one. It sounded like there would be more than one and it also sounded as if they had stopped to reload and then they reloaded again and then more gunshots fired the second time around.
COOPER: Was it your sense that they had actually entered the restaurant or were they shooting from the street?
BREHAUT: They were shooting from the street and I heard reports that that was a drive by, so that makes some sense. It seemed as if they weren't coming in. I mean, I think the initial shock of there being casualties in the restaurant and shots going into the restaurant after that, we were waiting to see whether or not they would come in but they didn't, thankfully.
COOPER: Do you have any idea how many people were wounded and/or killed?
BREHAUT: I saw personally, maybe three or four people fatally wounded. I saw people with some blood over them, but I didn't have time to make that kind of estimation. I've heard-- since heard that seven people were fatally wounded in the restaurant that I was in, but I'm not sure.
Personally, I felt as soon as we hit the floor that it -- the first thing I thought over the Charlie Hebdo attacks. So since that, I've not been very surprised to hear that there's been a correlation that's been made. It was the same kind of feeling. It was dread in uncertainty that we had in January this year.
COOPER: But the woman whose hand you were holding or whose arm you were holding, she died?
BREHAUT: I don't know. I don't know. I was holding her hand and somebody asked me if she was breathing and I looked to her and I saw a pool of blood next to her and I couldn't tell.
I thought maybe she had been conscious but to be honest, it happened so quickly and it didn't -- no one was in a state to be able to do anything because people were just sort of frozen in shock, so I don't know. I don't know what happened to her.
COOPER: How long did this go on for? You said it seemed like they paused to reload and then shot again. Do you have a sense how long the entire incident was?
BREHAUT: I think it probably wasn't very long. I think it was maybe two or three minutes maximum. It felt like longer.
COOPER: What happened once the shots stopped?
BREHAUT: People waited for a couple of minutes because we weren't sure whether or not someone would come back into the restaurant or will come into the restaurant at all and then once we thought the coast was clear, myself and the person that I was with who had gone for dinner, we ran out onto the street and I live 15 minutes away from the restaurant so we ran straight to my house.
COOPER: Are you OK?
BREHAUT: Absolutely fine. It was really strange because for me because I was with a friend and we were sat right at the window where the shots came through and they missed both of us, and like I said, it was really a small restaurant, so it was strange and extremely lucky that we both came out of it OK and I'm just thankful and I'm just praying, really praying that the people who were there who were hurt make it through.
COOPER: Well, Charlotte thank you so much for talking to us and I'm so glad you're OK and I wish you the best.
BREHAUT: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Charlotte Brehaut, she was in the Cambodian restaurant that was hit and as we were reported earlier in the last hour, I want to give you just the break down.
We now know the latest figures were that 14 people are believed to at least, at least 14 were believed to have been killed inside that restaurant. So she was saying it's a restaurant that maybe had 40 or so people in it. She was very lucky to survived.
112 at least killed at the Bataclan concert venue. Another 19 people killed some shootings outside a bar, Bar La Belle Equipe. Also, four on the Avenue de la Republique and then four outside stadium where there was belief to be a suicide attack.
We're also getting some information from the United Sated State Department. I want to give this across particularly to those who have family member who maybe living or visitors who are in Paris at time or anybody who is living in Paris and the Americans living in Paris at this time who are listening to us on CNN International.
[21:10:07] This is some logistical information that the state department is trying to get across. The hotline for the state department is obviously being flooded with calls from the Americans who are concerned about loved ones in Paris.
They are trying to take information about Americans in Paris. They are passing it onto the embassy where officials are trying to figure out the welfare of each American currently in France or in Paris. Obviously, that is a very laborious process. Some things that would help them, any U.S. citizens who are in Paris right now, who are safe and OK, are being asked by the state department to please call their families, to do this as soon as possible, even though it's very late there in Paris, please call you families in the United States to let them know that you're OK so that they are not then calling the state department as well and tying up anybody who may actually need help.
So Americans needing assistance who are there should call 011-202-501- 4444. Now, the number you see on your screen that is for you -- those in the United States concerned about loved ones who are in Paris.
So if you're concerned about your loved ones in Paris and you're in the United States, call 1-888-407-4747. If you are in France and you need assistance, this is only for people in France needing assistance, 011-202-501-4444.
But most importantly, if you are an American in Paris, the U.S. State Department will very much like you to call your families, please let them know that you are OK, you will put their minds to rest and you will also be helping the state department help other people more efficiently.
Our justice reporter Evan Perez joins me now. Evan, I know you've been working your sources talking to people. What are you hearing about any potential or concerns about threats inside in the United States?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Anderson, that's what -- that's exactly what the FBI and the U.S. Intelligence Agencies are working at this hour. One of the things they are doing is going through all the intelligence streams that they have including signals intelligence.
As you know, the U.S. does a lot of collection of communications overseas, especially overseas and then what they want to know -- do at this hour is to see whether there was anything that they have in their possession that perhaps didn't raise concerns before but that now perhaps makes sense, whether there was any warnings that were missed, whether there was any indication of planning.
This was an attack that they believe was simultaneous, was clearly very well planned and orchestrated and what they want to know is how that possibly could have happened without raising any kind of intelligence concerns either in France or for the U.S., which is keeping an eye on things there.
Obviously, they are very concerned about the safety of Americans who are traveling there but just in general, they want to know when things like this could be happening because they could -- there could be harbingers of attacks here as we've reported before. Sometimes these things are triggers for attacks elsewhere. That's a big concern of theirs.
The other thing here, Anderson that I keep hearing from officials that we've been talking about is that this is -- bears markers of Mumbai, which is as you remember killed 166 people in over a period of a couple of days and the attackers did exactly this. Attacking one place first, police went there and then by the time the authorities were able to secure that location, they were somewhere else attacking. That's exactly what appears to have happened here and so that's obviously raising a lot of concerns.
We know that here in the United States, New York Police, Los Angeles Police have posted additional security of locations where they hope to assure the public and where there is, you know, there's concern that someone might try to carry out any copycat attacks, Anderson.
COOPER: You know, we should point out with Mumbai what seems to be -- well, we don't have any evidence of -- in this attack at this stage, is that there was a central control...
PEREZ: Right, exactly.
COOPER: ...in Mumbai, there was a central controller who was actually outside the country, was in Pakistan on the phone with the terrorists in the various locations, actually watching news reports and telling various terrorists at different locations...
COOPER: ...OK, now kill that hostage, they are coming in to get you.
PEREZ: Exactly, and in Mumbai also, Anderson, one of the things that occurred is that they didn't capture some of that intelligence, some of that communication until afterwards...
PEREZ: ...because if you recall, they were using phones that were bought from the United States companies and they were able to capture some of those conversations, but they did not have that in real time. So that's the things -- those are the things that intelligence agencies here and elsewhere are looking for. They are calming through at this hour.
COOPER: Evan, appreciate your reporting.
I want to bring in terrorism expert, Jean-Charles Brisard. He is the author of "Zarqawi: The New Face of Al-Qaeda".
[21:15:04] In terms of what we know at this hour, what stands out the most to you?
JEAN-CHARLES BRISARD, TERRORIST EXPERT: Well, obviously until now we're faced small scale attacks in France with foiled, small scale attacks. Obviously we're now in a new step with individuals coordinating themselves acting simultaneously in several points.
Heavy-armed, it's something really new. It means we're now entering in a new stage in the war against those terrorists and you were speaking about the links with the situation in Syria, the link is already there. We know that one of the shooters claimed to be acting for what has it happened in Syria tonight, just...
COOPER: We lost the -- obviously, he lost the transmission there. It happens sometimes in live television.
I want to go to our Phillip Mudd, who is former senior terrorism official at the CIA and the FBI currently, our commentators and analyst. Also, joining us CNN Terrorism Analyst Paul Cruickshank and Bob Baer, former CIA officer and a CNN National Security Analyst.
Bob, in terms of the capabilities of these attackers, I mean again, we don't know what level of training they had, how much training do you actually need though to mount attacks like this relatively coordinated, whether they were exactly simultaneous. We don't know the exact time frame of how many minutes apart they were. But as you see this, how technically sophisticated is this operation.
ROBERT BAER, FORMER CIA OFFICER: Well, Anderson, I don't know technically sophisticated. These were soft targets of course. But getting seven groups to hit targets simultaneously is not easy.
I've trained these groups over and over of course not for terrorism but you have to spend time with these people. You have to trust each other. You have to know who is going to pull the trigger. You have to know who is -- you have to vet these people. You just simply can't take, you know, 14, 15 volunteers and hope that they're all going to carry out their missions. That's not the way the world works.
These guys were organized and had some sort of training and we're just going to have to wait to see where that was.
COOPER: Yeah, Phil Mudd, do you agree with that? I mean, I think as I remember the Mumbai attacks that those guys were trained at some long-term training. I think they had been trained over the course of a year or so and again, they had a central controller kind of orchestrating them.
PHILIP MUDD, FORMER OFFICIAL, FBI AND CIA: That's right. I think there are a couple surprises here. The sophistication to my mind is not necessarily one of them but the surprises to me would be number one, operational security.
The amount of time they had to spend acquiring weapons, planning the targets I assumed communicating among themselves and I'm going to believe over the coming days we will realize that at least that a couple of them were on the radar somewhere. The operational security to plan that among this many people with this many targets overtime and not come higher up on the radar is interesting and to me a bit surprising.
The second thing, Anderson is target selection. With this amount of planning and this number of people, you've got to wonder whether something triggered this attack early because otherwise, you would have thought this group would sit back and say we're going to pick targets that are immediately recognizable, where somebody, anybody around the world watching CNN is going to say, I know why they picked that target. As they did with Charlie Hebdo, when everybody in the Islamic world is saying Charlie Hebdo is identified with anti-Muslim cartoon. So the curiosity to me is one, the operational sophistication two, why do you go against targets that are things like a Cambodian restaurant is not identifiable for someone who wants to spread an Islamic message?
COOPER: Which is actually, I mean, I guess you can look at it as one of the very frightening things about this because these are not obvious targets, they don't have the level of security, are we now in an age where the target itself doesn't necessarily matter for these killers for these terrorists as long as it makes a splash, as long as they can kill large numbers of people.
MUDD: I think there's a lot of that we will see in coming years partly because the sophistication of the people absorbing the ISIS message is not that high.
When we had the planning for the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago, that's three years of planning for 19 or 20 people who are destined to take down the highest profile targets they can find.
Now, you're having people who don't have that central-- typically that central coordination. They're not going to focus three years of training on a high profile target. They're not going to worry about taking down an aircraft and they may not even worry about whether the target is iconic.
So the lack of predictability when you're in the New York Police Department for example this evening and trying to determine what you're going to protect, here's my message, you can't protect the city to prevent this kind of thing when the targeting is so ambiguous. I don't think you could protect, Anderson.
[21:20:10] COOPER: Right, Paul Cruickshank, all you can really do is try to work on your -- the timeframe with which you respond to these kind of attacks and how you respond to them? You can't initially predict I mean unless you can, you know, get advance intelligence. But if you can't, you can't really predict what the target is going to be. All you can do is cut down your response time.
CRUICKSHANK: All right, that's absolutely correct, Anderson and the French have already been prying for this ever since the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the attacks on the Kosher markets (inaudible).
But just a followup the point that Phil was making, I think the fact that there was a kind of indiscriminate attack here, they were spraying bullets into restaurants, trying to make a splash, I think that may actually point more towards ISIS than Al-Qaeda because in 2013, the leader of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri said to all his followers around the world, you should not launch indiscriminate attacks on marketplaces because they may kill Muslims. Also, the Al- Qaeda affiliate in Syria has said Zawahiri ordered them not to launch attacks against the west from Syria.
So I think the targets that were selected point more tonight towards this being an ISIS-directed plot, Anderson. Remember back in January in Paris with those Al-Qaeda in Yemen attackers, the Kouachi brothers, they only targeted the cartoonist, the Charlie Hebdo magazine. They did not target others in that attack. So I think this indiscriminate violence over the last few hours points more towards ISIS, more towards a group wanting to make a massive splash to go after soft targets, Anderson.
COOPER: You know, Philip, to the point you made that we're likely in the coming days to find that there were some level of connection to other groups. I mean if there was -- sorry, actually, what you said was that it's likely they were on somebody's radar previously or at least, some that were on somebody's radar, the scary thing would be if they weren't on somebody's radar. I mean on the one hand, you say well there may be-- they were on somebody's radar and maybe somebody dropped the ball or they weren't the forces to monitor them correctly. But if they weren't on anybody's radar, that would be even more of a concern.
PHILLIP MUDD, FORMER SENIOR OFFICIAL, FBI AND CIA: I think that's right. The likelihood they weren't on somebody's radar is near zero in my mind. Remember let's talk about degrees of separation for a moment. When you're going through and breaking down a case like this, you're not only looking at conspirators and co-conspirators, you're looking at people who might have made for example travel arrangements, false documents, provision of money, provision of weapons and explosives. So this plot is going to multiply overtime in terms of numbers of people. If these plotters were more than one degree of separation away from somebody who is under surveillance or on the radar already, I would be shocked. The chances of that I think again is near zero. There's too much surveillance going on Western Europe. The problem is there are too many people under surveillance in determining which people you want to have under for example physical surveillance is near impossible when you're talking about the thousands who are returning from Iraq and Syria.
COOPER: Impossible, simply in terms of manpower alone.
MUDD: That's right. Not only manpower but remember the electronic surveillance you're talking about when these people are on cellphone, Facebook, e-mail. So you're talking about real-time surveillance not only in a physical sense on the street for example, which is the toughest to do in terms of manpower, you're talking about an analyst who have to absorb all the digital data that each of us live everyday and add to that if they were speaking another language, for example Arabic if they're coming in from Syria, you got to deal with the translation aspect as well. The numbers of people to look at any individual case that involves surveillance is misunderstood by the public. It is very, very difficult to keep any number of people under serious surveillance for a long period of time. You can't do it Anderson.
COOPER: I'm just getting some more information and this is interesting. This is specific to the Bataclan concert venue. We are now learning from Paris police that four attackers were killed, four would-be terrorists were killed when the police went in to the Bataclan theater. Three of those who were killed were found with explosive belts on, not explosive vests but explosive belts. So four attackers were killed, three of them were wearing some form of explosive belts.
One of the eyewitnesses or the eyewitness who I talked to earlier and we're going to bring you his statements to us again because what he said was just so chilling and really takes you inside what was happening in that theater. He witnessed -- he said he saw two to three gunmen firing into the crowd over the course of 10 to 15 minutes firing execution style of people who were just lying down on the floor playing dead, trying to pretend to be dead, or trying to just stay out of the way of the bullets.
[21:25:11] They took their time. They shot them point blank as they were laying down face down, they then took time to reload and fire it again. He saw only two to three but now Paris police are saying four attackers were in fact inside that theater and killed. Three were wearing explosive belts. We don't know if there were more attackers who got away. That is obviously something police are looking into.
Jim Bittermann saw dogs on the site but perhaps it could have been bomb sniffing dogs, it could have also been tracking dogs looking to see if there may have been anybody else who got away because a large number of hostages were removed. Obviously police were very concerned when they were -- people were exiting to make sure that a potential gunman did not exit or potential terrorists didn't exit with those people who had been held hostage.
We've got a lot more ahead. We're going to take a short break. Our coverage continues as we're getting more and more information. We are going to bring you the eyewitness statements from inside the Bataclan Theater in a moment.
COOPER: Welcome back. We just got information before the break that we told you about the four of the terrorists attackers at the Bataclan Theater. Four of the terrorists were killed inside that theater when police finally went in. Three of those who were killed were wearing some form of explosive belt.
The latest from Paris word with CNN Jim Bittermann brought us a few moments ago as well that this city of millions of people will be virtually shut down tomorrow. Government offices closed, schools closed, museums closed, libraries, groceries, virtually any place people can gather, gymnasiums, gyms off limits. The borders of the country of France closed. Travel restricted. The death toll rising at this hour to 153 including at least 112 at the major concert venue, the Bataclan concert theater.
[21:30:15] Earlier, we talked to a young man named Julien Pearce, who was inside the Bataclan actually saw the gunman. His account is chilling, it is really the most in-depth and detailed account we have heard from an eyewitness we spoke to him earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Describe what you saw, what you heard, Julien. JULIEN PEARCE, REPORTER & EYEWITNESS: Well, the show was about to end. The band, Eagles of Death Metal, was playing for almost an hour and suddenly, we heard gunshots coming behind us and when I looked back, I saw at least two men, unmasked men, maybe there were three, but the confusion I can't tell you exactly, but they were holding assault rifles, AK-47 I'm sure about it and they were firing randomly to the crowd.
And so obviously, we all lied down on the floor to not get hurt and it was a huge panic and the terrorists shot at us for like 10 or 15 minutes. It was a blood bath. They shot at us and they reloaded again several times, multiple times. And I assure to you what -- I escaped because they reloaded basically. I just waited for the time they reloaded to run, to climb the scene and to hide behind it and I try to help people around me and it was shocking. It was panic. Huge panic and so shot at us for 15 -- 10 to 15 minutes. It was long. It was very, very long and the Bataclan is not a huge concert room. It's about 1,000 people can gather in it, but it was overcrowded. I mean, there were no empty room, it was sold out, basically. So it was easy for them.
COOPER: Were they standing and shooting? Were they moving around?
PEARCE: They were not moving, actually. They were just standing at the back of the scene, at the back of the crowd and they were just shooting on the floor because everybody was on the floor and I've seen one of the guys, very young, actually, he was like 18 years old, 19 years old, maximum 20, maximum and he was executing people on the floor. The person around him, he was holding these assault rifles down and shooting on people. So they were not moving, actually. They were just standing at the back of the concert room and shooting at us like if we were birds.
COOPER: Were they saying anything?
PEACE: I didn't hear anything about them. I haven't heard anything (inaudible) or something like this. I have some friends who escaped who heard them talking about Iraq and Syria, but I'm not quite sure about it, but I haven't heard anything but the screaming of the people.
COOPER: Julien, when you went to the concert, was there metal detectors or anything when you walked in? Were you searched by security?
PEARCE: Nothing, nothing. We haven't been searched, body searched, nothing. I just showed my ticket. They flashed it and that's it. I mean, they didn't look to my -- in my bag and didn't look at nothing. Security was very poor.
COOPER: So basically, the scene you're describing is one where basically everybody was laying down on the floor and over the course of 10 or 15 minutes, these people were just going around shooting people, executing them point blank.
PEARCE: Yeah, at the scene, that's what happened and hopefully I was in the front of the -- I was at the front of the scene so I was some kind of protected by the bullets and -- but everybody was panicking. Everybody was trying to escape so everybody was walking on bodies to try to climb on the scene to get protection.
[21:35:09] And so I said to the people around me just to calm down and to hide, and play dead basically and we waited. We waited for the time they reloaded again to climb the scene and to hide in a small room on the right of the scene. But unfortunately, there were no escapes in that room, just a closed room. So we were trapped. So we waited for five minutes. They stopped shooting.
And they reloaded again and we ran on the scene to find an exit, and it's when I found an exit that I discovered the body of a young girl that was shot twice in the leg. She was bleeding very badly, and I grabbed her and I put her on my back and we ran together for -- in the streets for 200 or 300 meters and I found a cab and I stopped the cab and I said to the taxi driver, well, go to the hospital with her, but she was bleeding so badly, I don't know if she makes it. I don't know if she's still alive.
COOPER: Julien Pearce, I appreciate you talking about what you saw and thank you very much. I wish you the best.
The latest information we have is that there were four terrorists in the Bataclan Theater who were killed according to French police this evening. Three of them were found to have been wearing explosive belts we are told. It's not clear if those were the only terrorists, the only gunmen inside the theater itself or if others got away.
Obviously, police are on a high state of alert tonight and as we've learned much, Paris will be shut down tomorrow and many places where people would gather, gyms, workplaces, government offices, schools, really any places where people gather in large numbers. It seems like those are going to be closed tomorrow, both out of respect for what happened on Friday but also out of an abundance of caution to make it less likely -- and restaurants as well, less likely that another attack or more attacks could occur in case there are more terrorists out there.
American officials telling us -- well, actually, I want to show you these images out of New York City tonight, out of Lower Manhattan, that is one world trade lit up in solidarity with Francs, the colors of the French flag. American officials tell us they are closely monitoring all of this.
One fear, obviously, is copycat attacks. I want to turn to Mike Rogers, CNN National Security Commentator and the former chairman of the house intelligence committee. Chairman, what stands out to you tonight from what you've seen over the last several hours?
MIKE ROGERS, FORMER HOUSE INTELLIGENCE CMTE.CHAIRMAN: Well, and as the details kind of unfold here, what I find very fascinating is if you had seven different sites and that appears to be that there was seven different sites. Two of those sites engaged suicide bombers or at least suicide attackers. At the theater, those folks clearly were ready to die there and not believing that they were going to leave. Yet suicide bombers detonate at the stadium. Then you had reports of drive-by shootings, meaning those folks did not believe that they were going to die tonight, which means if you do the math, you have people who have to surveil these sites, you have certain logistics that you do, surveillance to get them there, to drop them off of these suicide vests.
All of that means that there is a bigger footprint of people here than they can account for, making the last number I saw was five dead. That means if you just do two per, that's 14. It's likely bigger than that. I think the car, some of the reports -- the early reports I saw had three people in it, maybe four people in it. You start adding up these numbers. It could be as high as two dozens to three dozen individuals and only five dead accounted for.
That's why I think they're shutting the borders down. They're shutting -- they're just sealing off the city, closing the city tomorrow. They have -- their problems are just beginning tonight as they're trying to track down these other terrorists who are on the loose.
COOPER: And if it is that many people, what does it tell you about their operational security, the fact that from what appears, they were able to keep this a secret until they went operational.
ROGERS: Yeah its -- again, that's also very, very interesting. It means that they were disciplined in their operational security or at least likely to have discipline in their operational security. If some of these people came in from refugee pools, you know, the length and time of this would tell me that these folks had to have been here for at least several months in order to pull this off. But not necessarily. They could have had planners here and then filled it with operational guys by bringing them in overtime.
[21:40:12] So lots of questions have to be answered on how this unfolded. But it does tell you that there are still gaps. You know, and the French has a pretty aggressive anti-terrorists bill that allowed them to actually go to phone companies without a warrant and get information about suspected terrorists.
So the very fact that these folks were able to put it together and pull something this significant off and clearly, there was coordination here, tells you that either their operational security of the terrorists was very good or they're just overwhelmed with the sheer number of folks they are trying to track in France that may be suspects of terrorist plotting.
COOPER: Yeah, we should also point out in France, in terms of countries in Europe which are actually accepting refugees, they've only accepting a very small number compared to Germany. I think they've committed to accepting some 20,000 over the next two years or so. Whereas you look at Germany, they've been receiving, you know, 800,000, 900,000 over this last year.
We did talk to that one eyewitness in the theater who said that his friends had heard some of the terrorists talking and he believes that they were speaking in French. But again, he didn't hear that himself. So I'm always wary about somebody reporting what their friends told him.
I want to bring in Dan O'Shea, who is former hostage negotiator at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Also more on this question of a single threat running for a whole series of recent terror attacks and suspected terror attacks such as the downing of the Russian airliner. Joining us also is CNN Contributor and Daily Beast senior editor Michael Weiss. He's the author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror".
Dan, from your vantage point as you looked at the information that's -- we've been getting and kind of drips and drabs, what most interests you and what most at this point do you want to know more about?
DAN O'SHEA, FORMER HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR, U.S. EMBASSY BAGHDAD: Well, a lot of your previous guests had brought up the very fact that this was a very decentralized attack. Seven different attacks throughout the city and, you know, Mr. Rogers brought up the fact that only five now are accounted for. And that background cell of active participants is still running around free and rampant. And then you got to look at the logistics trail to tell behind them.
This is a much bigger thing. This is Baghdad 2005, now in Paris 2015. And what major city is going to be attacked next? And this is really the crows coming home to roost. So, there is a lot of troubling, troubling things here. And this is just foreshadowing of the future and it's -- this is a very sad development on many, many levels that have been pointed out already.
COOOPER: And Dan, you worked on hostage situations in Iraq for a long time, you were involved with a lot of them. What's interesting about what seems like the nature of these attacks and certainly what we saw in the theater here is that they may be holding hostages or there may be people who are hostages inside, but this is not a traditional hostage situation where you bring in a hostage negotiator and they're not looking to negotiate for some sort of solution to this or end to this. There's almost no point in -- I mean it seems like from law enforcement, I know the New York Police Department believes in a situation like this, you're not bringing in a hostage negotiator, you have to go in because these guys are determined to die anyway.
O'SHEA: No, absolutely. And you look at the core -- you know, the seven different areas, we know the theater they targeted, you know, you got the soccer game between France and Germany. You have the theater which was an American band playing, which is going to attract a lot of obviously expats and a lot of Americans live in. They attacked Cambodia Theater -- a Cambodian restaurant. So this is part of the aim. This is really a global attack.
And you're -- again, you're guest brought this up. This is worldwide. This is coming back home. And people were (inaudible) by the kidnappings, the beheadings. I mean, you had Margaret Hassan, who was murdered by one of these major kidnapping rings in Iraq. And the Iraqi community and the Islamic community protested against because she was sort of the Mother Teresa of Iraq. And they were so reviled by this.
But now 10 years later, people are encouraged by this. And you're driving recruits from throughout the west now that are being driven as a victory. And that's what's troubling that you now have 10 years later this sense of barbarous men beheading. It's just -- it's accepted as the new norm. And this is not normal nor should it be on any measure. But it's what is happening. And it's truly as I said early, it is the crows coming home to roost and we're going to see more of this in the future.
COOPER: And Michael Weiss, I mean, I talk to Maajid who is also joining us, Maajid Nawaz. But Michael I mean, for a small number of people, for -- and it is an important number of people. They watched this. They watched the city of Paris shutting down. They watched the borders of France closing. They watched the death toll rising. And they are pleased tonight. They are pleased watching this at this hour. And this is going to drive more people to join this horrific cause.
[21:45:04] WEISS: Absolutely. I mean, look, one of the main bulwarks or propaganda planks of ISIS has been what they call remaining and expanding. So, everybody should emigrate to the caliphate. They should move into Raqqah. And that the borders of the caliphate will grow outward.
Well, the caliphate has actually been contracting. I mean, they've been losing terrain in Northern Syria. They just lost the town of Sinjar in Iraq. So what have they done? If you listen to the spokesman of ISIS, actually he runs all of Syria on behalf of the organization, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani.
He says look, you don't have to come here any longer. You can stay in your home cities. You can become sleeper cells. And joining ISIS is essentially just pledging allegiance to the caliph, Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi, having that pledge accepted.
So we've now seen a stunning debut by Wilayat Sinai, the ISIS affiliate in Egypt take down a commercial airliner by putting a bomb supposedly in the fuel tank. This is what we have to be very, very wary of.
As ISIS loses on the battle field in its heartland, around Mesopotamia, it will look to increase these international spectaculars. And what worries me most about this particular operation, Anderson, and you've been talking about this whole night. Look, these guys knew that that theater had no security protocol, right? They did the recognizance. They probably attended concerts before tonight knowing they could get in there with AK-47 and according to eyewitnesses now, you know, suicide bomb vests or belts where they were probably looking to detonate themselves at some point.
So this speaks a months and months of planning, recognizance. And yeah, I'm sure that they're -- you know, what we're talking, four captured or killed terrorists now, there's probably at least a dozen of them. And that means that they've entrenched in France. So, what are we to do here? You can't issue a travel warning. It's not like going to Beirut where another terrorist attack was just perpetrated 24 hours ago.
The U.S. doesn't say don't go to Paris, an international city, one of the most cosmopolitan sites on the planet. So this is exactly what these organizations want to do. And if this is indeed ISIS, I have to say the butcher's bill lately has been incredibly dire, incredibly impressive to them as an organization.
COOPER: And Maajid, you know, we often turn to you in a situation like this unfortunately, yourself a former Islamist extremist, the book "Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism " is one of my favorite reads over the last year. But -- and I -- I've asked you this question a million times, but how do -- how does one counter this? How do we counter this?
MAAJID NAWAZ, AUTHOR OF "RADICAL: MY JOURNEY OUT OF ISLAMIST EXTREMISM ": Well, thank you, Anderson for the remarks. Building on what Michael just said, where is terrorism that we used to know it in the old days, which now, you know, almost looks as if they were the good old days unfortunately. Terrorism used to be state sponsored. You know, one of the earliest suicide bombings that was successfully, if those of us who have those long memories will remember far back into Beirut in the '80s when the U.S. Marine Base was attacked and hundreds died. But there was always a state sponsor behind this terrorist attack. And whether that was Libya or any other, you know, rogue state like Iran, that's what we're used to and we knew where to focus our intelligence and activities to constrain that.
Then terrorism moved to the non-state act of stage which is in the day of Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden's lifetime. When at least we knew that it was within a certain organization that had a hierarchy, a bit like kind of an organized crime gang but, you know, ideological, so we knew who to hunt and destroy and where to focus our energies operationally to actually make them -- render them incapable of carrying out operations.
What's happened, building on the comments of Michael Weiss, is the itemization of jihadist terrorism. People no longer need a form of affiliation to these organizations nor to a state. Now of course, ISIS declares itself as a state. But even if ISIS state in Raqqah at its capital, were to be eliminated as it should be, I don't think people need any form of state to be motivated to carry out such attacks. And the reason for that is because when it atomizes in this way, all they really need is the sufficient motivation and the belief in the cause because what we're seeing here, what we're witnessing is an idea. And this idea has taken root beyond Raqqah, beyond Syria and Iraq.
So that's why we saw that the people in Sinai declared or the province of ISIS in the Sinai in Egypt, we saw in Libya where chunks of that country have succumb to this form of terrorism and they've declared ISIS in Libya. We saw it metastasize where groups have broken away from the Taliban and declared ISIS in Afghanistan.
So even if we were to remove the nerve center, we don't know where this will rear its head next. And that really tells us something. It tells us until we get to the bottom of the appeal of this idea, you know, you've got angry young people who are adopting this form of theocratic totalitarian utopianism. And somehow it has to become unappealing. And I agree with everything we've heard so far, that's an incredibly difficult task, it's going to take a very long time. But it's something which we have to really start getting our heads around.
[21:50:05] COOPER: I want to bring in Tom Foreman because at this point, I want to try to get a sense of what we know about the scope of these attacks, the location of them and their -- so the geographic distance between them. So Tom, just walk us through if you can what we know.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All this occurred Anderson to the north and a little bit east of the tourist areas, which you see the bottom of the map here, where you'd normally go in Paris.
I had a little problem with our image. We'll see if we can get it back in a moment. But the bottom line is that these things happened north of the areas you normally go. If you go in here to Bataclan down here, this is a very short distance away from where the Charlie Hebdo attacks where which we can see down here in the other part of the image.
If you move into the theater, this theater is a medium sized venue. It would hold about a thousand people, maybe a few more but not a whole lot. This is a photograph taken by the bass player from the band just before the concert begin tonight. So you have a sense of what the setup was like inside there.
So this is that location, quite near Charlie Hebdo, a short walk away from the street, you can get a sense of what it looks like. And where many of the victims were taken after the attack tonight. You saw them out in front of here and other places being handled. And you can see the other buildings all around. And some of which were a little bit higher than the theater, so it's a sense of that.
Up the road, not terribly far, there were some of these smaller attacks, you can see a little dot over there, in front of the smaller attacks. But then we move up to this restaurant up here, Le Petit Cambodge. This is a very popular restaurant, not necessarily a tourist spot but it is featured in some for the tourist guides as are some of these other locations that had some sort of incident. They're not as big -- This is when it is shut down, if we back off, you can see an image of when it's open, very popular with young people here. And this is a very densely populated arrondissement or neighborhood district of France.
And then of course we move from there to the stadium further north, very modern stadium that can seat about 80,000 people. And of course there's going to be many questions about what this suicide bomber as we're now told intended as the target up here. Because in fact, we seem to have had one of the smallest numbers of casualties up here at the stadium even though that's where the suicide bombers hit. But many, many questions about how these targets were chosen, Anderson, and how they were attacked, and who else as your guest noted a short while ago might still be out there after going through all this geography tonight, Anderson?
COOPER: Yeah, Tom, thank you. Again, the death toll 112 that we know at the concert venue, 14 at the Cambodian restaurant, 19 outside a bar, La Belle Equipe, four at the stadium as Tom mentioned and four on the Avenue De La Republique. I want to bring you Jean-Charles Brisard, he's the author of "Zarqawi: The New Face of al-Qaeda".
Jean-Charles, I understand you've getting some information about what some of the terrorists were saying at the concert venue, is that correct?
BRISARD: Yes, this is related to the link between these attackers and the situation, the context in Syria and Iraq. And obviously, one of the attackers at the Bataclan shouted that he was acting for what was happening in Syria, making a clear link with the situation there, which also coherent with what the investigators here in France believe that these attacks again expected against France are related to the context of Syria and Iraq.
COOPER: Do we know if the terrorists who said those comments in the theater, was he speaking in French, do you know?
BRISARD: Yes, he was speaking in French, yes absolutely.
COOPER: OK. So the idea would be that this is somebody who has obviously spent time in France. This is not necessarily somebody who has just come to the country, or at the very it's obviously somebody knows how to speak French, whether they've spent time there or not?
BRISARD: It's too soon to tell if it's someone who stayed here in France or someone who -- yes, spent some time in Syria fighting with a terrorist organization, that we don't know yet.
COOPER: In terms of the capabilities of law enforcement and intelligence agencies in France, how do you assess them? I mean, and has there been a change in the resources given to them in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack?
BRISARD: It has been after Charlie Hebdo attacks that there were a lot of announcements. Unfortunately since that time, we know that the services, judicial services, the intelligence services are overwhelmed by the situation.
There's about 2,000 French citizens involved in the Jihadist groups or organizations in France or abroad. And in addition to that, there are 3,800 French individuals that we know are radicalized since about two years now.
[21:55:12] So that means a lot of people to track down basically. But we knew, unfortunately, that something like that, not at that scale but could happen one day.
COOPER: Also, do you know what the response is by French law enforcement. In the United States now when there is active shooter situations, the idea is that law enforcement goes in immediately. They don't wait for a tactical unit or a S.W.A.T. team. They have to go in and respond because most of the killings usually take place very quickly early on within the first several minutes. Is that the same belief in Paris that initial units responding go in or traditionally do they create a perimeter and wait for heavier armed tactical unit?
BRISARD: Well, yes, this is the case, unfortunately, there is a procedure. And it might take some time until the tactical units are in place and ready for an intervention and that's what happened tonight in Paris unfortunately. So there's quite a bit of procedure for them to intervene and be able to respond.
COOPER: Jean-Charles, I appreciate you being with us. I want to bring in Mike Rogers as well. Chairman, it's interesting to hear that there is still in Paris is this idea of create a perimeter and wait for tactical units. In the wake of the Columbine attacks here in the U.S. that really began to changed. And now, I know within New York Police and the Washington Police their belief is you don't have time to wait for tactical units, these are people who are not going to be taking hostages. You have to go in, and you have to kill or neutralize the gunmen immediately.
MIKE ROGERS, FORMER HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Yeah. And you have to remember, and their tactics are designed this way. You create chaos even around a few square blocks, that also causes a little bit of confusion even with the law enforcement. They have limited resources, they have to respond. Yes, they have a tactical unit, a counterterrorism tactical unit. And if I saw some footage earlier from your CNN crew or your affiliate there, you could see the guys getting out of civilian cars. Meaning they had called their tactical unit, they probably drove directly to the site. So that would count for some time. And then you don't want to send them in exactly not knowing what's going on. That's going to take a little time. Those are the two time factors you really can't do much about.
It did seem like it took them too long to actually make the decision to go in the door. It looks like they had assembled. They're going to Monday morning quarterback that to death, I can imagine trying to figure out if the response time was exactly right. It sounds like though, when they reached the building, they did it correctly. It sounds like they were able to kill all four attackers with no police killed. And they couldn't detonate their belts, which tells me that they were as probably good as they could be once they entered the building.
COOPER: Yeah. I mean, it's remarkable that the belts were not detonated inside that theater by any of the three terrorists who apparently coordinate the law enforcement there had them on. What do you make of the fact that according to Jean-Charles one of the terrorists was speaking at louder, yelling about Syria?
BRISARD: Well, I mean clearly this has terrorist underpinnings. And so, if that's true and then if you track some of the social media coming out where ISIS is saying or taking credit for it, there will be more of this, that in it of itself, by itself isn't as credible as putting all the pieces together. It's probably too early to tell. But I would argue the factors that you see lining up and the tactics that we saw on all six sites would lead me to believe it's an ISIS attack versus an Al Qaeda attack.
And clearly, you know, they're using this Syria portion of it. And, Anderson, we know that Baghdadi has been calling for these smaller aggressive attacks stay home, do it in your hometowns, we've seen that mantra for months leading into this. And again, this is what happens when you just let it boil over and decide that it'll burn itself out. Well, it's not. You know in Lebanon, here, you're seeing it -- you saw it in Egypt. We've seen them at --have activities in Afghanistan. This is really concerning. It is not contained, as the president said today. I think it's getting worse and we're going to have to do something about it. And it sounds like the French are eager to do that.
COOPER: Yeah. It's -- There is a lot at this hour still to learn and no doubt in the hours and even in the days ahead, we will be learning an awful lot more. At this point, the death toll now stands at 153. The majority of those killed were killed at the concert venue. We are going to be continuing to cover this all night long. We'll have resources all weekend long. Stay with CNN for our continuing live coverage.
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