Return to Transcripts main page
At Least 128 Dead in Paris Attacks; Interview with Mike Huckabee. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired November 14, 2015 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[09:00:00] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN HOST: I'm Michael Smerconish. It was ISIS. The Islamic terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the horrifying series of attacks that unfolded last night in Paris, leaving at least 128 dead. Another 99 in critical condition.
The deadliest violence to strike France since World War II. We now know that Americans are among the injured and possibly the dead. President Francois Hollande it an "act of war by a terrorist army, ISIS" and Pope Francis echoed that saying "this is part of the third world war, this is not human."
At least six coordinated attacks, shootings and bombings at a rock concert, on busy city streets and outside a stadium where Hollande himself had been attending a soccer match. The worst carnage was at that rock concert, at the Bataclan arena where at least 80 perished.
This is what the terror looked like from the alley outside the concert hall.
We're bringing you the very latest from Paris where residents awoke today to a national state of emergency. We'll have CNN's Nic Robertson at the stadium.
Can this happen here? I'll talk to former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge and former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerick and more.
First, let's go to CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson who is outside the stadium where the ISIS attacks began. Nic, suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the stadium but there were reports that their original plan was to be inside the stadium where they might have killed more people. What can you tell us about that and what are you hearing about possible future attacks?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: 80,000 people crammed into the stadium, watching the soccer match between France and Germany. ISIS has said that they targeted this soccer match between it was a match between two Christian countries, that is their twisted rationale here.
The French president was in attendance. ISIS has made note of that. The question being asked here right now is because we know that the first suicide bomber blew his explosives up right around the end of the match. Was he trying to get inside the stadium to get in amongst the crowds, the densely packed crowds there. Was he thwarted because the security was setup because the French president was in attendance. That's not clear but what we do know that these bombers appeared to coordinate amongst the three of them that the second bomber blew up his explosives about 20 minutes after the first.
You get the impression there that they wanted to put people into panic and then try to attack them as they were leaving the stadium. The third suicide bomber blew himself up on the other side of the stadium from me. That was 20 minutes again after the second bomber. So a clear effort to try to target the fans as they were leaving. But was that a fallback position had they intended to get in. The French president presence here and he was whisked away by security after the first explosion but his presence did that thwart them in their plans?
SMERCONISH: So I think I hear you say that we really don't know whether Hollande, himself, may have been a target of this attack.
ROBERTSON: ISIS hasn't said that precisely in their claim of responsibility but what they have said is we were able to attack under the president's nose. It certainly sends an incredibly strong message that the president can be so close to such an attack where there were three bombers. His security detail took him out of the ground when the first explosion took place.
The scenario that present itself here was there were two suicide bombers on the loose outside as he came out. How close might have they been able to get to him? This, of course, a real concern for the French security authorities, that near miss, if you will. But what role did his presence play in either the attack being here or in fact, keeping the attack at bay.
SMERCONISH: Nic Robertson, thank you for being here.
So what will be the military response? Joining me are CNN's national security analyst, Peter Bergen and CNN military analyst, Ric Francona.
Peter, you have written that France is particularly vulnerable to returnee violence. Why?
PETER BERGEN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, no country has supplied more fighters to the Syrian war than France. According to French officials, 1,500 French citizens have travelled to Syria. They say 185 have returned and that might be an undercount. What we saw in Paris unfolded yesterday sort of speaks for itself. I mean other European countries, of course, are vulnerable.
The Brits have seen 700 of their citizens go. Belgian, which is of course, a relatively small country, seeing something like 350 of their citizens go. We've seen 4,500 westerners go overall and amongst them a few Americans as well, Michael.
SMERCONISH: Col. Francona, does this demand a military response or a law enforcement approach?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I think it's pretty clear that the French are going to look at this for a military response. As you know, the French have been involved in Iraq since the beginning of the coalition and just recently they've expanded their operations to Syria which may have driving some of these attacks in Paris.
But I think the French, correctly, are looking at this as an act of war and I expect they're going to respond militarily. The problem will be how are they going to do that? Stepping up air attacks really doesn't do anything unless we got adequate targets to strike. That's been the problem all along in Syria and Iraq is finding enough targets to drop bombs on.
SMERCONISH: Well, do you think this will then bring about a so-called coalition of the willing. Might this be a unifying force among the United States and the United Kingdom, Russia, perhaps Iran and maybe even the Chinese?
FRANCONA: Well, it would be helpful if we had a coalition who is willing to commit to operations in Syria as well as Iraq. Right now, the British are only bombing in Iraq. They can't get permission to bomb in Syria. I'm hoping that these kinds of operations will bring this coalition more together.
Now, involvement of the Russians - that's going to be problematic. We've shied away from that. The deconfliction scheme primarily says you bomb here, we'll bomb there. I don't think we're going to be cooperating much more than that.
SMERCONISH: Peter Bergen, I'm also interested in your expertise which I've read. The profile of westerners who are drawn to ISIS, this is not the profile that we've been dealing with previously say in Afghanistan. What are the differences?
BERGEN: One of big differences is the number of women who are going. We've looked at about 500 of the western foreign fighters who are going to Syria, a little under 20 percent are female which is extraordinary. You may remember, Michael that (INAUDIBLE) who is one of the people involved in the Paris attacks in January of this year, his wife left France and went to Syria and seemed to be part of the conspiracy and she's just one of many western females who have gone.
Also, the profiles are very young. We're seeing something like 80 teenagers go from the west to Syria to fight and many of them have family members who are part of the jihad. Some of them get married when they are in Syria to other foreign fighters and some of them have family members who have been involved in other terrorist plots or rather jihads.
SMERCONISH: And the sheer magnitude of the number of the returns as you've written about them, Peter, poses a difficult problem for law enforcement because how can you surveil so many individuals? BERGEN: Well, the problem is particularly acute in France. I mean,
the French calculate takes about 25 people to follow one suspect. If you look at the universe of people, upwards of 1,000, you've got 25,000 people employed trying to look for, look at these people. The French don't have these kinds of resources and, by the way, that problem also exists in Britain where the British can't follow literally every suspect that is coming back and the same is true in Germany which has seen also 700 of their citizens go.
SMERCONISH: Colonel, I have the statement in my hand that's been attributed to ISIS and it speaks of eight brothers wrapped in explosive belts and armed with machine rifles. Do you think these six coordinated attacks could be carried out only by eight individuals?
FRANCONA: No. I don't think the numbers add up. If you count the number of suicide bombers that were presence at the stadium and the number of people involved in the operation at the theater, that accounts for almost all of them. So the ISIS statement maybe trying to cover any one else who is involved by saying you got eight, that's how many we sent.
I suspect there are more involved in the operation. But more importantly is this infrastructure that might be in place to support these kinds of operation. Somebody had to do the reconnaissance, the transportation, provide the weapons, smuggle these people in, drive them to the border, and provide for any kind of escape plan if there was one. So there are a lot more people involved and the French are pretty good at this. They'll get to the bottom of it.
SMERCONISH: Finally, colonel, what do you expect the United States role to be if in fact President Hollande says this is an act of war?
FRANCONA: I suspect that the French will be more involved in coalition planning of operations. But the United States operations so far have been rather anemic. We've been so reluctant to accept any civilian casualties at all.
The rules of engagement are very cumbersome. The time between spotting a target and getting permission to engage that target is much, much too slow. I think in the last operation in Sinjar we've eliminated some of those problems. But we've got to streamline the operations to make them effective. It's not the willingness of the participants, it's this cumbersome structure that we put in place.
SMERCONISH: Peter Bergen, Rick Francona, thank you so much for your expertise.
let's go now to CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour who is outside the Bataclan Concert Hall where at least 80 individuals died in the ISIS attacks last night.
Christiane, President Hollande has called this an act of war. What are the implications of that statement? CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well,
Michael, they are huge implications. This is the kind of language that we have not heard for a very, very long time. Not since after 9/11. He said over and over again that this army of terrorist, this army of jihadists has declared war on France.
He called them (INAUDIBLE), the Arab acronym for ISIL - he said France would be ruthless, would be merciless in its response and he said that that would happen within the country and outside the country. He also had on his right flank, the former French President Nicholas Sarkozy who came out today and again, amplified this language of war.
"We are at war" he said. France is at war. Right now, the domestic and foreign policy of this country has to take that into account. We have to act quickly. He said nothing will be the same as it was before. Right now, in terms of news, the French authorities say that they have killed, they have accounted for seven potentially eight attackers.
I heard your discussion about the number of attackers. They are now looking for a car because of surveillance video, according to authorities, according to the French TV stations has identified a car that may have been used in some of the drive by restaurant shootings and they are worried that this car may be either booby trapped as a massive bomb or may be a vehicle used for accomplices to carry out further attacks.
That's on the one hand. The latest, huge in staggering numbers. According to AFB, 300 people are in the hospital injured. Of those 99 or so injured critically. That's in addition to the 127 or 128 people who are known to have been killed. And so this is a huge, huge operation that's going on here and really staggering in terms of how Europe is being hit and very, very slick from is ISIS' point of view.
You've been talking about the statements that they've been putting out in four different languages attributed to every country that they want to target. Britain, American no doubt, French, Russian. Because the Russians are now involved and of course, Arabic.
They've also reposted an ISIS video from last year. They've reposted an old video in which they said if France continues these attacks, for instance, air strikes in Syria, then they will carry out more attacks and at the same time, we know from our interviews, I just interviewed the Turkish prime minister, as you know Turkey, a major frontline state against ISIS in this whole war, that unless the war in Syria is stopped and unless ISIS is defeated, none of this will stop.
ISIS will not be defeated from the air. It has to be a ground force of some kind. This may be a turning point, we don't know. The bottom line is from every military person you talked to, from just about all the national security community around the world and indeed in the United States among former national security officials they know that ISIS has to be defeated, cannot be contained and it cannot be defeated from the air alone, it must be defeated on the ground. Michael.
SMERCONISH: If President Hollande is to be believed and I'm sure that he is, it will have the exact, unintended consequence that ISIS was seeking. Let me ask Christiane, this question, if I might, the closings that continue this afternoon because that's the time of day it is in Paris around you suggest that the French are concerned it's not over. Can you speak to the level of closings?
AMANPOUR: Yes, well, they are concerned, of course, because there is this car, there is this so-called eighth assailant and there may be more, we don't know. So they are doing extra border checks. Now we were able to come in. Certain flights are coming in, certain trains, obviously, the Eurostar coming in. But lots of extra checks.
There are also the president announced today in yet his second public statement that there are more than a thousand soldiers deployed to reassure and to maintain security and surveillance. The entire domestic security apparatus is mobilized. There are many, many hundreds if not thousands of police paramilitary forces also mobilized.
So this is really a country and a state of emergency remains in effect. In addition to that, he will be meeting with cabinet members and indeed with members of the other political parties tomorrow, Sunday.
But on Monday for only the third time in the history of the French republic he will be addressing a joint, in American terms, a joint session of Congress or Parliament or (INAUDIBLE) at Versailles. This only happened - apparently, this will be the third time. This is a very, very serious turning point.
It puts really almost in the side light everything that's happened before and the French, let's face it, are traumatized. In less than one year a major and brazen attack in the form that these new terrorists, these new warriors are able to do with impunity, at this time that the country was on high alert, high security deployment because all world leaders are coming here in two weeks' time for the (INAUDIBLE) 21, big climate change meeting that starts in this city at the end of this month.
SMERCONISH: Christiane, we're lucky to have you on a day like today. Thank you so much.
Up next we'll go to the frontlines of the war against ISIS with Nick Peyton Walsh and is there reason to be afraid here at home? I'll talk to Tom Ridge, America's first secretary of Homeland Security.
SMERCONISH: ISIS attacked Paris last night leaving at least 128 dead. French President Francois Hollande called it an act of war.
Senior international correspondent Nick Peyton Walsh is the only western television reporter on the frontline of that war and he joins me now from Irbil, Iraq. Nick, what might the significance be of President Hollande saying it was an act of war? NICK PEYTON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It
certainly sounds more militaristic in language. We know the French air force are involved in skies over this region but does this possibly herald in an extra level of French or NATO involvement? That's unclear at this stage.
You have to - the grasp of the reality here in Iraq and across the border in Syria, you have to be wary of what a massive scale military involvement would look like. It would be possibly indefinite, extraordinarily messy. This is a war in Syria which has so many different militias fighting amongst themselves at times.
Given the extremities ISIS has gone through, (INAUDIBLE) the Al Qaeda group (INAUDIBLE) it looks more moderate in the prey of battlefield over there. It's been a mess for years and it's been a mess that allowed ISIS to have a foothold and continue to flourish in the way that they have.
So the military options are very slight, I would frankly say. Because no country is going to want to inject tens of thousands of troops into that mess to try and clean it up. It's just simply not a wise idea, particularly given that the coalition and the Americans got together and learned in Iraq that in fact their presence became a lightning rod in the insurgency against them, amplifying balance, some even said.
So a complicated question. What is the military response going to be if indeed there is one and I think at this time potentially Francois Hollande is looking to sound as though they have a strident way of responding to this. As long ago as November last year ISIS was putting out last year, ISIS was putting out videos - they have French speaking citizens in their ranks burning French passports and then going on to say, very explicitly, in the video that they said to people if you can't follow your jihad, then join us here and (INAUDIBLE) caliphate, do it where you are. There are weapons available, cars available.
The particular French speaking militants reminding people about the prohibitions on the Islamic (INAUDIBLE), about coalition air strikes basically doting people on to do their, he referred to their jihadist duty inside of France.
This has been a long term problem France has faced and I think the issue now has become so awfully magnified on the streets of Paris. What does this mean for the evolution of ISIS? Is this something they planned for a long time or is this a result of them losing on the battlefield? And perhaps it would be no coincidence they (INAUDIBLE) last 48 hours, one of their figure heads in social media, jihadi John was taken out by U.S. air strikes. Is that unrelated to the timing of attacks in Paris? Has ISIS always wanted to attack the west or is it as they say a consequence of air strikes against them?
Part of the message of (INAUDIBLE) responsibility they said the air strikes had to stop if they were going to stop. So a lot of questions here. Francois Hollande's strident statements here definitely designed to unify and show the Paris governments here despite accusations is doubtless going to face (INAUDIBLE) past months in terms of intelligence gathering that the government in Paris has a very defensive response that they can offer. Michael.
SMERCONISH: Nick, I think Americans are waking up today, wondering a couple of things. One, being as you just addressed whether this will lead to a commitment of ground troops in Syria. Here's a second consideration, what will be the impact on the refugees? To go online is to see quiet a debate playing out in terms of those increasingly fearful of refugees or increasingly sympathetic of the refugees from Syria. Can you briefly speak to that?
WALSH: Well, totally different story here. In Libya where so many of the refugees for the channel of Turkey and Greece became more poplar. Some use to set sail. As long as a year ago there were (INAUDIBLE) propagandist s saying you know what, we're going to fill those boats with people loyal to us who will attack Europe. Now it's been part of ISIS' messaging, obviously, the vast majority of those seeking asylum in Europe and doing so for their own safety. There has been an abiding fear recognized at times by some European officials even within that rank that there could be those who infiltrate who seek to get in Europe and cause issues we may have seen on the streets of Paris.
So the security failings that may have been (INAUDIBLE) in the months of borders seemingly more porous, that's something that people will have to address or investigate. But the broad question for Europe now is to try and grapple with two different tasks here of providing the home for refugees. This is the (INAUDIBLE) to provide and at the same time, dealing with this horrifying radical threat that appears to do anything to inflict random, it seems, or they say, at this point, very targeted casualties against civilian targets in Paris. Michael.
SMERCONISH: Nick Payton Walsh, CNN, thank you so much. The only western reporter to be on the frontline of that war in Syria. Inevitably, we wonder what can we expect here at home. Tom Ridge was appointed the first secretary of Homeland Security in the wake of September 11. He's also the former governor of my home state of Pennsylvania.
Secretary, thank you so much for being here. This represents a change in tactic, it would seem, from ISIS. In other words, these are what an expert like you would refer to as soft targets. Speak on that.
TOM RIDGE, FORMER HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: First of all, Michael, I'm sorry I have to join you under such extreme and horrific circumstances. I think, by definition, Michael, democracies are soft targets. You may pick a theatre, you may choose a restaurant that democracies being open and free and embracing a value system that is a contrary to ISIL and these jihadists has been is and will, I think, permanently be a target.
They're barbaric and venomous actions. It's a value system versus a value system and whether they choose to destroy skyscrapers, assassinate and murder innocent, defenceless victims inside theaters, we are now engaged. The barbarians are no longer at the gate. They're inside the gate. How the broader global community, not just the United States, but the broader global community deals with these recent attacks (INAUDIBLE) three or four of them over the past couple of weeks, certainly remains to be seen. But I do think President Hollande said it correctly, it was an act of war but it's not a war against the French, it's not just a war against the Americans. It's a war against democracy at large. We need to understand it and we need to respond to it.
SMERCONISH: I'm not interested in giving them a road map but I've long said since September 11, governor, that I'm glad that they don't understand our way of life because they wouldn't focus, frankly, on targets like the twin towers. Do you worry that now we're vulnerable here at home in a way that we were not previously?
RIDGE: I don't think the threat to the United States is any different today than it was a couple of years ago. I frankly think however that the threat is much more complicated. Al Qaeda was much more strategic in their approach as we know ISIL broke away from Al Qaeda. This is - they're mobile, they're aggressive. They're fairly sophisticated in their operation.
Look, the means that they used in Paris were fairly simple. We've seen them before. They've used weapons, used explosives and took hostages. The coordination of the attack is something a little bit different, however. I think again we don't want to be fearful, we just heighten our level of preparedness and deal with the reality, Michael. The reality is it's a global scourge. It's not just an attack against the French. Anybody that thinks that if the western world, the United States or French withdraws from Syria and tries to basically allow them to build that caliphate, to attract more volunteers, to take more territory, that somehow the western world would be free of their evil and their barberism and sadly misunderstands the nature of the disorganization.
They're out to destroy and again, I'm not, I don't like to use the word fearful. We're a democracy, we're a powerful democracy. We're open, we're free and so let's not be afraid, let's just be better prepared and accept the reality of the global scourge.
SMERCONISH: Up until now, as a lay person, let me say this to you, Mr. Secretary, I've viewed them as desert barbarians that thank god for the United States seemed primarily focussed in Syria. But now, if in fact they were responsible for the metro jet - if they were responsible for events in Egypt and Lebanon and now in Paris, then the expansion of the footprint is undeniable.
RIDGE: Well, there's no question about it. I think you're absolutely right. It's an expansion that far exceeded anything Al Qaeda has ever done and frankly, let's face it, not only do they expand and they have operational cells in multiple countries but they have a dozen or more other terrorist groups who have publicly professed their alignment with ISIL.
I do think that the broader community including the nondemocratic world and I'm talking about some of the allies and people in the region, these Muslim countries need to understand that this is going to be a sustained effort, multinational effort to deal with this emerging and growing threat. Not just again to the world but to the broader global community.
SMERCONISH: Governor, one final political question, if I might. Up until now on the 2016 stage, it's only Lindsey Graham who has been saying we need to commit ground troops. We need to go fight the fight over there or we're not getting ahead of the curb. You think that's about to change? You think he'll have company in that regard?
RIDGE: Well, I'm not going to speculate how people are going to respond to it. But I think, at least, from my point of view, the vacuum of the American leadership is this space, in my judgment, been one of the challenges and provided some of the opportunities for ISISL to move much more aggressively. So I do think the Republican candidates at large will be required to respond to this in a public way and those of us involved in the race and those of you who analyze it and comment on it will see what response makes the greatest sense?
[09:30:03] Look, it seems to me that the United States is very reluctant to deploy massive groups of ground force. And I understand that. But we've also seen the value of some of the operational expertise working with the Kurds when they took out the road to Sinjar just the other day. But I do think that the global community looks to America for leadership to build a sustained commitment, a multilateral force, a coordinated effort with competent troops and much more aggressive air campaign.
But let's face it. This is a multilateral response. I'd like to see American leadership. I'd like to see the Republicans respond to it. But this is serious business and going to take quiet sometime to dislodge us.
But we can't negotiate. You cannot appease. You have to eliminate.
But as I said earlier, they're no longer at the gate. They're inside, and the only way you deal with it is you have to eliminate the venom. And they're plenty venomous and it's going to take us quite some time to do it, but we cannot do it alone.
SMERCONISH: Are you saying we need to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them here?
RIDGE: I don't think there's any question about it. I think that it's not just our fight. I think there should be Arab -- that there should be Muslim troops on the ground. Obviously, we've got great capability, fortunately, for us the Kurds along with air support from us and our operators on the ground directing those airstrikes.
But just an example, Michael, during Desert Storm and I realize this is a little bit different, but we pounded the area with over a thousand air strikes a day. Now, I realize the circumstances are different now, but the effort in Syria, we're doing 15 or 20 sorties a day. And our Arab allies are just focusing on Yemen. It's about time the rest of the world including those countries in the
neighborhood understand this is not just a threat directed towards western democracies. You can undermine them as well. It's now time for the American leadership to rear up and organize this effort. And whether or not the White House does it, remains to be seen. I respect the Republican candidates over the next couple of months. One of them will emerge and provide that kind of leadership that the world needs.
SMERCONISH: Governor, Secretary Ridge, thank you so much for your service.
RIDGE: Thank you, Michael.
SMERCONISH: New York has been the inane focus of terror attacks, terror focus from September 11th to bomb plots aimed to Times Square, bridges, tunnels. The city has long been a target. Today, New York City is on heightened alert.
And to help understand how the city has responded and what the challenges are here is former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.
Bernie, I walked toward Times Square last night after working late here in this building, and I saw very heavy police presence in midtown Manhattan and I wondered, and I want to ask you -- what was taking place I wasn't seeing? What goes on on a night like last night or a day like today behind the scenes from the NYPD?
BERNIE KERIK, FORMER NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Well, you have intelligence communications between Paris and New York City coming through the PD itself through the intelligence services, the FBI, the CIA. They'll be massive deployments of police to soft targets, be it synagogues, tourist attractions, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central, Penn Station, transportation hubs.
You have to look at what happened in Paris, what happens in Syria, what happens in Iraq on a daily basis. Where do they target -- what do they target? When they're doing these operations in Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan, what are they targeting? The same stuff that happened in Paris yesterday.
SMERCONISH: You've been warning about this. I mean, you've wrote years ago. Tell everybody what your prognostication was, unfortunately correct.
KERIK: This is going back to right after my testimony in the 9/11 Commission. You know, I said you don't need another 9/11, you know, flying planes into buildings and doing what they did on September 11th. You're going to have multiple attacks on the ground, in different parts of the city, a state or a country, on the same day at same time, and create mass casualties, mass chaos. That's exactly what happened in Paris.
SMERCONISH: That's what I was saying to Governor Ridge. That has long been my concern when I made the statement -- thank God that they don't understand the way we lead our lives and perhaps that's about to change.
Will you comment with your expertise about what's known thus far, about the police response in Paris last night? Fifteen hundred folks at a concert hall, concert in progress, shooting begins, law enforcement responds. I've got to believe, Bernie, when the police get there, they don't know what they're dealing with. How do they tell the good guys from the bad guys?
KERIK: Well, there's two issues. There's a couple of issues.
One, their police service and their military, they can dispatch military components, you know, in a circumstance like that. We can't, we don't. We have to be prepared for these kind of responses in this country. You know, six months ago, 11 months ago they were taking a lot of this equipment away from the municipalities.
[09:35:02] Well, we should be watching Paris, watch what happened there, because in this country, you're going to be in a position where our special operations units, our SWAT teams, our ERTs, municipal, state police agencies are going to have to respond to stuff like this and they have to have the resources and equipment they need to do the job.
SMERCONISH: It makes me concerned because I recognize the vulnerability that might exist in a place like New York City. But when that battlefield equipment from Iraq or Afghanistan ends up in Mayberry RFD, I think it brings on a militarization of the police that's not healthy. How you strike the balance is a tough question to answer.
KERIK: Well, I think it's monitoring, it's making sure that the resources are going to where they're need. The training is going to where they're needed. You know, it can be done and done right.
But, you know, we have to be prepared for attacks like this in this country. It's going to happen. Now that it's happened in France and ISIS and al Qaeda and al Shabaab and all these other groups have seen the damage and the destruction and the media focus and attention, you can be sure that they're looking at this country and how they're going to do it here.
SMERCONISH: Final question for Bernard Kerik. Is the largest challenge for those who do what you use to do for a living, how to surveil individuals who are on the radar screen? Time and again, I hear, well, this individual was known to law enforcement. But, you know, it's hard to follow so many.
KERIK: You know what, Michael, last night I said this was a major intelligence failure. You know, I look at this and I'm thinking a dozen to two dozen people were involved at least.
SMERCONISH: You don't believe eight could have pulled this off?
KERIK: Absolutely not. This is a major blunder in intelligence.
SMERCONISH: Wow. Bernard Kerik, thank you so much for being here. Up next, we'll go back live to Paris. Christiane Amanpour has the
deputy mayor on the latest in the hunt for the suspect.
Stay with us.
[09:41:12] SMERCONISH: Now let's go back to Paris for the latest on last night's ISIS attacks that killed at least 128 people and the hunt for any terror suspects who may still be at large.
Christiane Amanpour is standing by with the deputy mayor of Paris, Patrick Klugman -- Christiane.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Michael, exactly.
And just to refreshes, as well as those dead, there are 300 wounded, 99 of them critically. So, the death toll is likely to go up. And a French television station, the main private station, reporting that authorities have seen on surveillance cameras a car that they want to identify and they're looking for. They're worried it may be jerry- rigged as a big bomb or it might be used by accomplices.
With me is Patrick Klugman, whose a deputy mayor.
The mayor, Anne Hidalgo, reunited all the leaders of Paris today. All the neighborhood leaders and yourself.
What is the state of play in Paris today?
PATRICK KLUGMAN, DEPUTY MAYOR, PARIS: Today is an emergency situation. Today, we have to face families looking for someone, we have to face people wounded, injured and so to treat them in hospitals and to treat them in Paris or outside of Paris because were really --
KLUGMAN: Overwhelmed with the situation.
AMANPOUR: What about -- you know, I remember during the attacks before, people came out to show solidarity and to show that they wouldn't surrender or be terrorized? Now?
KLUGMAN: Now, it's different. There's more sadness and probably more fear. We don't know yet if this terror attack is over or not. And from time to time in the social media, you have some reports, most false news, but it show how worried is the population. But yesterday night as the attacks were going on at the Bataclan, people --
AMANPOUR: And the Bataclan were the majority of the deaths happened.
AMANPOUR: The worse of this attack happened just there behind us. KLUGMAN: People in the social media say, oh, they're open. Come, come. All around here people open the doors of their building to welcome people, to cure people and to --
AMANPOUR: Now, so the police are leaving. What do you think that means? Do you think that means all the bodies are evacuated? Because today, they were bringing trucks in, more trucks to take the bodies to the morgue.
KLUGMAN: Probably, it's a sign it's been evacuated. But now, it has to be cleared out for investigations.
AMANPOUR: And do you know how many people were killed at Bataclan?
KLUGMAN: We don't know exactly yet.
AMANPOUR: There were reports that more than 80 people were killed there.
KLUGMAN: We don't know exactly. What we did also this morning. We decided to open up two districts to welcome families because people are seeking for support, psychological support and to seek what may need be --
AMANPOUR: And you brought more and more psychologist in from around the country.
KLUGMAN: Of course. From all around.
AMANPOUR: And you've also prohibited any public marchers, demonstrations, even flea markets. Tell me about the Paris life, how it's been shut down.
KLUGMAN: Well, it's a decision that was taken in close consultation with the president and the ministers to shut down everything today. No demonstration, no flea markets, no gathering, no concerts, no whatever, to secure the city of the maximum and also, to liberate police forces where we need them.
AMANPOUR: Well, this is a major issue. In this terror attack it's a mass attack but it's done all over the place. Presumably, partly also to stretch the security and the medical forces.
KLUGMAN: Of course.
AMANPOUR: How stretched are they? Can they deal?
KLUGMAN: They can -- they can deal but we have to call support from outside of Paris, of course, but the situation is it's really, really attention, of course.
[09:45:01] AMANPOUR: Can you imagine -- could France imagine, Paris, that not so far from us, it was right over there, to happen to "Charlie Hebdo", it's right here, it's not even a year.
KLUGMAN: It's what I was saying when I was working here. Again, and to show this where we were so many to demonstrate, it's like a nightmare, it's like starting over, you know? This is an awful thing. This makes so angry again and again and more deaths and more wounded persons. So, this is really very sudden moment for us.
AMANPOUR: Sad and terrifying.
KLUGMAN: Sad and terrifying.
AMANPOUR: Patrick Klugman, thank you so much, indeed.
KLUGMAN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Back to you, Michael.
There you have the real fear and the desperate sadness that is in Paris not the mention the heightened security and the terror about what more could be inflicted here.
SMERCONISH: And, Christiane, it raises questions here at home as to whether our police departments could respond to so many simultaneous attacks.
AMANPOUR: Well, look, this is the worst nightmare for law enforcement and this is what security o officials have been saying for a while. You know, right after ISIS started raising its incredibly violent and ugly head, you had senior police commissioners across the United States, in New York City, and elsewhere across Europe, England, France, Germany, all these places saying blowbacks from ISIS and especially from the Syrian war, especially because so many hundreds of thousands of fighters are going over the fight the ISIS cause in Syria.
The blowback on us is going to be terrifying and to that end, we're seeing it already. We saw it against the Russia flight and what the intelligence people are saying is that's within weeks they're watching people online be so radically and violently mobilized at a speed they've never had to deal with before because of the proliferating effect of the social media and the online universe.
So, it's even about to accelerate almost beyond the intelligence and the security officials capacity to deal, Michael.
SMERCONISH: Christiane, thank you.
Just ahead, what presidential candidates are saying about the violence in Paris. I'll talk to former Governor Mike Huckabee about how he thinks this country should protect itself.
SMERCONISH: Reactions to the Paris attacks are coming in overnight from across the political spectrum. Donald Trump sent his prayers to the victims. Hillary Clinton said no terrorist attack will ever dim the spirit of the French people.
My next guest is Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, who joins me from Florida.
Governor, President Hollande said this is an act of war. Pope Francis said it's the Third World War.
It makes me wonder in a political context whether Lindsey Graham is about to have some company now when he says we need to commit ground troops. Are you prepared to make that kind of statement?
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Michael, I've been saying that for a long time. You can't exclude the possibility of ground troops. I've also said it can't just be American ground troops.
There are things this president has got to wake up and understand, he has to start putting the priority of protecting Americans, not the image of Islam.
And just yesterday, he's on television saying that we contained ISIS. Well, clearly we haven't. These dogs are unleashed. The only thing that we're going to ever do to stop them is to take aggressive action.
I'm calling on the president to the do four things. Number one, we need to close our borders. I mean, if a left wing politically correct country like France will close its borders, it's time for us to put a moratorium on people coming here from countries where there are ISIS or al Qaeda ties.
A second thing we needed to do is that we simply need to have a very serious coalition built with people from around the world that includes Russia, the NATO nations, that includes the Middle Eastern countries, many of whom are in the neighborhood, and we need to aggressively fight ISIS and destroy it. While we're at it, let's get rid of al Qaeda.
Let's take this straight to these terrorists who are savagely murdering innocent people sitting in cafes and stadiums. It has to be done.
SMERCONISH: Governor, I hear you say we should close the borders. Yet, I look at this, maybe it's a glass half empty, glass half full. But I look at what transpired in Paris. I feel even more sympathy for the refugees who are fleeing this craziness because it's taking place in their country. I'm thinking about the Syrians.
So I guess I'm pushing back and saying doesn't this make you more sympathetic and more willing to be helpful to the people who have to live with this more so than we have?
HUCKABEE: Well, we can import it to our country, if we want to, Michael. It seems to me the craziest thing we could do is take people who live in a desert, who don't speak our language, who don't understand our culture, who don't share a same world view, and bring them to Minnesota during the winter.
Or we can decide that we can provide some humanitarian assistance but let's demand that they go to Saudi Arabia, and we'll create a refugee place there or in Dubai. Or let's do it in Jordan. But for goodness sake, why would we do it in Europe or the United States when you're going to displace not just people geographically, but you're going to completely displace them culturally, linguistically, even climatically.
SMERCONISH: I've got -- I've got --
SMERCONISH: Wait a minute, I've got four kids at home. I think about a husband and wife living with this on a day-to-day basis who want to get the hell out of there and have no part in any of this. And isn't what the United -- send us your weary. Isn't that what the United States is all about?
HUCKABEE: Yes, but it doesn't say send you your terrorists. For God's sake, Michael --
SMERCONISH: Well, I don't want to let the terrorists in. I don't want to let the terrorists in. I want to let the people who are being preyed upon by the terrorists.
[09:55:03] HUCKABEE: And that's why we have to have a better process. We don't just have open borders like they do in Europe. This is what's the result of the E.U. saying, yep, come on in. And the result is, there's no way to -- as the president would say -- contain them.
Look, if we have people who are trying to truly escape the horrors of these radical Islamic groups, then let's give them safe haven. But it doesn't have to be in the borders of the United States of America. Even our own FBI director says we don't have the capacity to properly vet people to know whether we're letting in a refugee or we're letting in a terrorist.
SMERCONISH: To be continued. Thank you for being here.
I'm Michael Smerconish. You can follow me on Twitter.