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Obama: We Will Destroy ISIS; French Warship Ready To Strike ISIS Monday; Brussels Subways Remain Closed; New Images Of Paris Apartment After Bomb Blast. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired November 22, 2015 - 06:00   ET



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We will take back the land that they are currently in. We will cut off their financing. We will hunt down their leadership. We will dismantle their networks and their supply lines and we will ultimately destroy them.


VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking this morning, President Obama sending a strong message to the other world leaders that these terrorists, ISIS, will be stopped.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Also breaking overnight, Brussels still on the highest terror alert level and want to share the dramatic pictures we are getting inside the apartment that was part of the raid on Wednesday.

It's so grateful to have your company. Thank you for sharing your time with us. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Good to be with you. Our senior international correspondent, Frederik Pleitgen is following all the headlines from Paris including the president's message to terrorists and other world leaders about taking out ISIS. Fred, good morning.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Victor and Christi. It is a beautiful day here in Paris. It is exactly mid-day here. We are seeing a lot of people come out to the make-shift memorial out here.

There was a group of young people who again and again kept singing the French national anthem to show their defiance in the face of terrorism. Of course, at the same time, there is still a lot of concern in this city after the terror attacks took place.

Are the security services here really on top of the terror threat? We will get to all of that in a second. But first of all, let's get some of the news that has been coming in in this investigation, of course, also the greater global political impact.

As major European cities are on high alert because of the threat from ISIS, President Obama, as you said, has this message for terrorists -- you will be destroyed. The president spoke at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, just hours ago, using some of his strongest language yet promising to take out the terror group.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: We will not accept the idea that terrorists' assaults on restaurants and theaters and hotels are the new normal or we are powerless to stop them. After all that is precisely what the terrorists like ISIL want because ultimately the only way they can win.

It's the nature of terrorism. They can't beat us on the battlefield so they try to terrorize us into being afraid, into changing our patterns of behavior and into panicking, into abandoning our allies and partners and in retreating from around the world.

As president, I will not let that happen or even as we destroy ISIL on the battlefield and we will destroy them, we will take back land that they are currently in. We will cut off their financing. We will hunt down their leadership.

We will dismantle their networks and their supply lines, and we will ultimately destroy them, even as we are in the process of doing that, we want to make sure that we don't lose our own values and our own principles.


PLEITGEN: Now, the president will have even more international fire power at his disposal. The French say an aircraft carrier will be operational on Monday in the Mediterranean right off the coast of Syria and it will be ready to carry out airstrikes against ISIS flying, of course, out of there.

Joining me now is terrorism expert, Sajjan Gohel. He is also the international security director for the Asia Pacific Foundation. Sajjan, do you think that ISIS through these terror attacks has managed to do what international diplomats have not and that is to unite the world's community against them?

SAJJAN GOHEL, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY DIRECTOR, ASIA PACIFIC FOUNDATION: One hopes a consensus is building now between the countries, such as the United States, Britain and France and Russia on the other side to come together and to work out a strategy that can actually dismantle the infrastructure of ISIS.

We know they have competing interests in Syria, but ultimately they face the common threat of ISIS. They also suffered from terrorism by this group.

[06:05:07]And unless they actually come to a proper conclusion, they will suffer more attacks in the future. So one hopes that Paris is a watershed moment and they can actually try to move forward as opposed to fighting with each other. PLEITGEN: I want us to listen to some more of what the president said today. Here is another sound bite from him and then let's talk about that afterwards.


PRESIDENT OBAMA: They are a bunch of killers with good social media and they are dangerous and they have caused great hardship to people. The most powerful tool we have to fight ISIL is to say that we are not afraid to not elevate them, to somehow buy into their fantasy that they are doing something important.

They are a bunch of killers and there have been people throughout human history, who can find an excuse to kill people because they don't think like them or look like them, and we fight them and we beat them.


PLEITGEN: We beat them. Now, Sajjan, I remember just a couple of days ago, the president was saying, well, look, America has already made progress against ISIS because they have managed to contain them. Now he is talking about destroying them. Do you think there is a new quality, new urgency to what he is saying?

GOHEL: Well, keep in mind, that whatever the air strikes have done in the last year, and it seems to be debatable whether they have been contained or not, ISIS has been able to carry out more attacks in more parts of the world than ever before.

What needs to be done is the dismantling of the infrastructure on the ground because otherwise it will continue to exist and support their agenda, spew out their propaganda through new media platform and radicalize, to motivate self-starters.

Whatever the tough rhetoric is it has to be matched now with deeds, because, otherwise, they will plot and plan other attacks. This is a death cult that very much wanted economic with social consequences.

PLEITGEN: Do you think that ISIS is conducting more of these terror attacks that we are seeing, for instance, against the Russian airliner and the Paris attacks here because they are losing ground on the battlefield?

Do you think it's a reaction from them to keep up their media blitz, if you will, that they have been conducting over the past years to signal that they have momentum when, in reality, they don't?

GOHEL: Well, that certainly is one take and it's plausible and it's possible, but I wouldn't rule out the fact that this is a group that is also testing the west resolve, testing that red line of how many people can they kill before the west is actually going to react in a much more aggressive way?

I call it a kind of pre-9/11 moment when al Qaeda attacking the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and then the attack on USS (inaudible). The U.S. didn't really react and didn't take decisive action convincing al Qaeda that they could step up operations and culminating in the 9/11 attacks.

Certainly unless the west takes really tough direct action dismantling ISIS infrastructure the terrorist group is going to think they can still plan more attacks.

PLEITGEN: Sajjan Gohel joining us there from London via Skype. Thank you very much, sir, always good to talk to you.

Now remember that while we have the situation going on here in Paris, while the manhunt is going on, while the city is trying to regroup, we also have a situation going on in Belgium and that is where we want to head right now where Brussels remains on lockdown for a second day.

The subways in that city are closed. The streets are flooded with police. However our Drew Griffin is there on the ground and he joins us now live. Drew, is there any indication about how much longer the city will remain under that heightened terror alert?

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Fred, the prime minister and his security officials will meet within this hour to try and determine whether or not to keep this city and its threat level of four.

The metro closed and all of the concert venues and public spaces closed, as you say, or to announce that there is going to be some sort of lifting of this as we begin the workweek tomorrow here in Brussels.

It's all going to hinge upon whether or not they have contained offer on feel like the threat that developed on Friday night is over, or still present, and that was separate and above in the search for the eighth Paris attacker.

[06:10:07]They have been trying to find that Salah Abdesalam since last weekend, but only Friday night they announced a separate threat, some kind of plot that they got wind of that involved several different locations and that is why they went to these emergency procedures.

We should know this afternoon, there should be some sort of announcement, but right now, as you said, this city remains somewhat paralyzed, though, not in fear, just paralyzed because most of the public venues have closed -- Fred.

PLEITGEN: Drew Griffin there in Brussels keeping an eye on the situation there, as people very concerned. Thank you very much for your insight.

Still to come, it's Sunday afternoon now in Paris, just barely afternoon. The sun is out. The holiday decorations are up. How is the city coping today nine days after the attacks? We are learning more about a powerful drug that ISIS is

reportedly giving its fighters making them feel invincible on the battlefield. That's coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep you awake. You can stay awake for days at a time. You don't have to sleep. It gives you a sense of well-being and euphoria and you think you're invincible and nothing can harm you.


PLEITGEN: Good morning, everyone. Welcome back to our special coverage of the ongoing investigation after the terror attacks in Paris. Of course, that investigation is going around the globe. It's going to Turkey.

We have new news also out of Malaysia where the president spoke and, of course, it is here in Paris and Belgium as well.

[06:15:03]New this morning, we have shocking images of that Paris apartment where a third unidentified terror suspect blew himself up during the police raid.

Just take a look at these pictures from Saint-Denis. You can see holes are smashed in the walls and huge bullet pockmarks on the wall and rooms just covered, absolutely covered in debris. Police say entire floors were destroyed and a whole ceiling blown off during that blast.

Plus we are now getting a clearer picture of suspect, Salah Abdeslam's escape after the Paris attack took place because he was one of the guys they believe might have been responsible for some of the logistics.

All right, want to talk about all this with senior international correspondent, Atika Shubert, who joins me here on set now. Atika, talk to me, first, about that apartment because you are there as the raid unfolded and you heard the intensity of that raid, and talk to us about those pictures that we are seeing now.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you can see the devastation that those explosions caused. I mean, what we know, for example, is that 4:30 a.m. is when the gun battle started. You can see the bullet holes. They are several inches big.

I mean, this was a massive gunfight. There was the explosion of the suicide vest used there. We not sure how much damaged that caused because frankly it was the other explosions, the six or seven controlled detonations that caused a lot more of this sort of structural damage. The ceiling collapsed in one. One of the floors collapsed as well.

PLEITGEN: The windows were blown out and there was damage from the outside. SHUBERT: Exactly. So I think it was a structurally poor building, but on top of that with these explosions, it's been so difficult for forensic investigators to comb through the debris and get the DNA they need to identify the people there including we have that third man who remains unidentified.

PLEITGEN: They singled out his DNA, though, haven't they?

SHUBERT: They've singled out his DNA, but he's not on any records here. So perhaps he is someone from overseas. They don't know who he is.

PLEITGEN: Well, it shows that he is probably not Saleh Abdesalam who is still that eighth attacker, one of the names that people can give him -- anyway, he is still on the run. The last place he was apparently seen was moving on over into Belgium.

There are new things that we are hearing from the lawyer of one of the people he was shortly apprehended with before the authorities let him go again.

SHUBERT: Absolutely. So it puts to rest that speculation that he might have doubled back to Saint-Denis. But what we do piecing together the events that he rented a black car and parked in the 18th (inaudible).

This is interesting because ISIS in its original statement said there was an attack in that district, but in fact, there wasn't one. We know he was picked up by his two friends from Brussels very early in the morning just 20-minute walk from that area.

Now what we believe is that he called them and he said come get me. Maybe he was supposed to carry out an attack that he didn't and that is supported by the words of the lawyer.

PLEITGEN: Two options basically. One is that his vest didn't go off. He might have blowing himself up, but it didn't work. The second is he couldn't go through with it because he got scared. Now people seem to be indicating he was wearing a bulky jacket.

SHUBERT: Yes, that's right. The two men who picked him up are now in police custody. They have been charged and their testimony is that he was wearing a bulky jacket. He was extremely nervous.

But they were stopped three times by police on the way out before they realized who they were looking for and they said he remained calm throughout, but they were concerned after the fact that he may have had an explosives vest underneath that, but they say they don't know.

They weren't part of the planning of the attacks. It is very interesting testimony and of course, we don't know where he is at now, whether or not he's still in Brussels, Belgium or elsewhere. His brother has said he should turn himself in and so far is there no sign of him.

PLEITGEN: Very emotional interview he did with Erin Burnett. Thank you very much, Atika Shubert, for joining me here.

We have new video from a Christmas market today, which is one of the major ones in Paris and always a major attraction. It is under tight surveillance and far from a festive atmosphere there.

There are a lot of security forces on the ground and you barely see any people. People are trying to get on with their normal routines and not let terror attacks ruin the holiday spirit that is so special this time of year here in Paris.

We also have, for the first time ever, testimony from the band playing in Paris, the night of the attacks and they are now speaking out about the chaos they saw. Hear part of the emotional interview with Eagles of Death Metal front man, Jesse Hughes.

Plus today is a start of a busy holiday travel season in the U.S., but heightened security could mean longer lines and more passenger screenings. That's coming up.




PAUL: This is the first look we are getting of the aftermath of a deadly shooting, involving fraternity members last month, at Northern Arizona University. Police body and dash cam video is what we are seeing. It shows the 18-year-old freshman, Steven Jones, moments after he allegedly shot four other students.

BLACKWELL: You heard on the video Jones begged the officer to help the victims there. Once he is alone inside the patrol car, he breaks down, starts apologizing. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Leave me alone. Leave me alone. No! No! No! He's my friend. Why? Why? Why? Why?


BLACKWELL: CNN affiliate KPHO says Jones claims he acted in self- defense.

PAUL: One of the top stories unfolding right now on, a 21- year-old babysitter in jail this morning charged with kidnapping and assaulting a 2-year-old girl. Hamilton police say Lyndon Albers was found shaking in leaves along the side of the road.

Her head has been shaved. Her body was bruised. She vanished from her Massachusetts home on Friday. The parents apparently had recently fired that now suspect, Abigail Hanna.

BLACKWELL: The state of Louisiana has a new governor-elect. Democrat John Bell Edwards soundly defeated Republican Senator David Vitter in this runoff election.

[06:25:05]Edwards was the underdog in this really bitterly fought campaign, but he earned 56 percent of the vote. He becomes the first Democrat elected to statewide office since 2008.

PAUL: Yes, real deal here. You can't deny it. It's Chicago! We kind of expected, to some degree, they are getting its first snowfall of the season, but I understand it, this is much more than usual. Chicago O'Hare recorded 7 inches of snow by mid-day yesterday, which forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights. And today's temperature is about a high of 20, a low of 9. Happy Thanksgiving.

BLACKWELL: Gunshots rang out inside the Bataclan Theater in Paris, the band that was playing says that they watched their fans try to save one another refusing to leave anyone behind there. We will have parts of that emotional interview up next.

PAUL: Also ISIS militants high on the battlefield and we mean that in a different sense. Why some experts say jihadists are smuggling in a powerful hallucinogenic.