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Officials: Brussels Attackers Planned to Hit France; Newspaper's Trump Satire: "Deportations to Begin"; Spieth Holds One- Stroke Lead at the Masters. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired April 10, 2016 - 07:30   ET



[07:30:21] ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: The breaking news coming out of Belgium. We're learning that the original targets of the Brussels attackers weren't really meant to be Belgium at all but in France, specifically the financial district in Paris, that according to our affiliate BFM. A source close to the investigation says they also wanted to strike a Catholic association in Paris but officials say they were spooked by quick progress in the Paris attacks probe and thereby shifted to Brussels.

This new information comes as prosecutors say one of the men rounded up in the terror raids has confessed to being the wearing the hat. He was seen in surveillance taken before and after the Brussels attacks wearing a hat. Abrini is also the last wanted man from the Paris attacks. He's now facing several terror charges.

CNN senior international correspondent Frederick Pleitgen is live in Brussels.

And, Fred, this information is coming as result of the interrogation after the raids, correct?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the investigators here in Belgium, Martin, are saying that there are various sources from where they're getting a lot of information at this point in time, presumably some of that could be from the interrogations from Mohamed Abrini, also that second high profile man who was also arrested on Friday, Osama Kraiem, who apparently also played a role in the Brussels bombings as well.

But again, the authorities at this point are saying that there are several sources that they are taking this information from. One of the things we have to keep in mind is that right before the Brussels attacks happened. Another high value target was arrested, of course, Salah Abdeslam, and there were people at the time who believe that could have been an accelerator for the Brussels attacks, remember, a laptop was found from one of the suicide bombers that said that said that he felt that the police were on their trail and they need to move very, very quickly. So, certainly, it had been an assumption before that perhaps Brussels

may not have been the original target of these attackers. Nevertheless, it seems as though they are getting valuable information at least from Mohamed Abrini, waiting to see if that will be corroborated, because so far, what the Brussels authorities are telling us is things that they actually already pointed out before.

They put out before a map of the route that Mohamed Abrini took after he left the Brussels airport and he seemed to confirm that to them saying that he dropped his coat at some point. And later sold his hat somewhere, which some believe is bizarre. But there is an up tick in police conducting raids and actions after these arrests took place where you could really feel they seemed to have something more to act on than before.

One of the interesting things also that came out, Martin, is you remember, yesterday, we're at the major raid that was conducted in the Schaerbeek district of Brussels, we've now heard from the federal prosecutor here that they believe the apartment that was raided may have been a safe house. That was used by the attackers of the metro station here in Brussels.

SAVIDGE: And, Frederik, we're also getting word of an ongoing investigation today in Brussels. And you just sort of alluded there seems to be a lot of follow-up action. Have you ever anything about that?

PLEITGEN: Well, we have heard that there were several operations going on in various districts in Brussels. It is unclear whether or not the police have concrete suspects they are still looking for or whether not they are just waiting to see whether or not there is a wider web, that is behind these attacks. But, certainly, they still do believe that there are still people at large, that those people could be very, very dangerous and that's also why you are seeing this uptick in operations, Martin.

SAVIDGE: Uh-huh. Fred Pleitgen, thank you very much for the update.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: You know, as so much of this new information comes to light from the raids in Belgium. I want to look at investigation.

CNN contributor and author of "ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror", Michael Weiss, and Kimberly Dozier, CNN global affairs analyst, and CNN military analyst, General Mark Hertling.

Thank you all so much for being with us.

General Hertling, I want to ask you something based on what he just what Fred just talked about, that they are getting information from various sources and that Mohamed Abrini confirmed the route that he took, the route they suspected after the Paris attacks but he's given this information that he sold his hat, that he threw away the coat. That he is the man in the hat. How much credence do you put in what this man says? Do they usually give you tidbits of truth and then the rest are to true you off?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, they do. There is some truth in there but probably a whole lot of falsehood. And the interrogators, and that's the difficulty with releasing this kind of information early on. Fred's doing a great job in reporting trying to get as much as he can. But I would warn that the Belgian officials to keep a little quieter in terms of release of this information, because you have to piece the puzzle together.

[07:35:04] And interrogators are looking for gaps and seams in the kind of information they are giving. They're not -- they shouldn't be taking all information as being 100 percent correct. They need to find the seams of these and bounce it off of the other suspects as well.

PAUL: OK. Hey, Michael Weiss, we're hearing, we're getting some news here that a movie theater near Brussels is being evacuated. That is all we know, we don't know why or specifically where it is.

But you talked yesterday about ISIS targets, as we're getting this new information today about the fact that France was the intended target here and they sped up their plans for an attack and had to change it to Belgium because the speed of the investigation kind of took this terrorist group by surprise. But you mentioned Italy, Spain, Germany France, Belgium, as targets of ISIS. That is an expansive territory.

I'm just curious, how organized do you think ISIS is in all of those markets?

MICHAEL WEISS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the reason Spain and Italy are on the map -- well, on their map, is for Islamic historical reasons, al-Andalus with respect with Spain. With respect to Italy, it's because Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, said, you know, if we have our druthers one day, inshallah, we will conquer Rome. It is also the proximity to their fallback garrison in Libya. It's quite close. I mean, ISIS does have a growing concern, and what 500 miles off the coast of Europe at this point.

In terms of the organization, this is the $6 million, isn't it? I mean, how wide are these networks? How sophisticated are they? You know, in a sense, Paris was a spectacular success for ISIS, but it was one that had followed a series of almost Keystone Kop-like failures. I mean, Abdelhamid Abaaoud was implicated in about half a dozen attacks, all of them I think had been aborted.

Remember, the high speed rail attack which was thankfully interdicted by active U.S. servicemen. So, you know, we don't know and this is what's worrying me. I can tell you my supposition based on interviews with ISIS member, former ISIS members, is I think there are a larger number of ISIS operatives are in Europe than currently known by European security services. That said --

PAUL: And they're flexible, right? They're flexible.


PAUL: They're able to look at what the investigation was doing and say, OK. Forget what we had planned, let's do this.

WEISS: Exactly. Ad what worries me there is look, there is no question that operation was planned months in advanced, right? I mean, they had to make the TATP, suicide bombs. They had to sort of scout the soft targets.

But if they originally were looking to do it in France, I mean, they did it in Brussels perhaps more easily because they came from Brussels, right? That's their home town. They knew the lay of the land and how to navigate the metro and so on.

But if they were able to essentially relocate the site of this attack within a matter of weeks, I don't know, days, that's a remarkable level of adaptability and innovative thinking on their part. And I mean, again, this is what worries me.

You know, where are these guys currently in the continent? I mean, we have the Schengen visa-free system. You know, you have asked me for many days and week, why do they stay so close to the scene of their crime? Well, it's because they are easily embedded in these communities, you know? I mean, they know this area better than they know Raqqah, Syria, or Mosul, Iraq. That's the reason.

PAUL: So, Kimberly, I want to ask you for your reaction to this news that we're hearing this morning. First of all, that the intended target was France. And secondly, we're getting word of a movie theater near Brussels is being evacuated.

So, in other words, this is possibly the first raid of the day we might see. And how confident are you in the information that investigators are gleaning from all of these various sources?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, we did have two top Belgian ministers say in the past two days that while they have had great success rolling up members of this cell, they don't know if they have gotten everybody and the alert has to remain high. So, it's not surprising they are not taking chances and if they think a movie theater might be targeted, just clear everyone out.

Two things could be happening. They might be flushing out the remaining members of this Paris Brussels cell, or there could be other cells operating independently who decide to move up their time line on attack. What we don't know is how much or any of these cells communicating with each others. Or with the people who may have been trained them with ISIS back in Raqqa.

In other situations, if you look at groups like Islamic jihad, they have a system they call the grapes where each cell exists unto itself. Doesn't really have to communicate back with the original leaders and they don't talk to each other.

[07:40:03] So, all of these police raids, all of this activity could be flushing any members of the original, or some other cell out into the light. The good thing is by making them move, you might be able to capture them. But again, like the Brussels attackers, they could also be moving up their plans for violence. PAUL: All right. General Mark Hertling, you have one more thing to

want to say.

HERTLING: And just one more thing. One of the things I learned and this is from an al Qaeda interrogation that we did a couple of years ago. The terrorists that we're interrogating said, you never attack in your own backyard unless you are put on the defensive. That's critically important.

What's happening now appears to be either they were hurrying up and trying to get the attack off, or they were on the defensive.

PAUL: Interesting. All right. General Mark Hertling, appreciate you being here so much.

Also, Kimberly Dozier and Michael Weiss, your insight is always, always appreciated. Thank you.

SAVIDGE: Still ahead: satire in the front page. Why today's "Boston Globe" features this editorial spread on what they think a Donald Trump presidency would look like.

PAUL: And "Saturday Night Live" could not resist poking fun at Hillary Clinton and her subway skills.


PAUL: Those darn New York City subway turn stiles. This could happen to anyone, let me just point out.

SAVIDGE: It could.

PAUL: But it happened to Hillary Clinton this week. She had to swipe the card about five times before getting through the gates to ride the train.

SAVIDGE: And I thought it to be a delightfully human moment, because we've all been there.

[07:45:02] PAUL: We've been all been there, yes.

SAVIDGE: "Saturday Night Live" decided it was just too good to pass on. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But do you know my favorite part of New York is, the subway. I love to ride it. And I am comfortable riding it. In fact, here's me using it earlier today.

The New York city subway is the best way to get around. I guess it's been a while. Is this a working metro card? Is this -- I'll just go in the old fashioned way.

I'll take a cab. Cab is the best way to get around.


So, see New Yorkers, I'm just like all of you. I never sleep. I'm in a hurry to get to work. And when I'm running, I really hate it when a slow old Jew gets in my way.


PAUL: Oh my goodness. Always entertaining.

SAVIDGE: Very, very much so. Yes.

Next on NEW DAY, sticking with politics. "The Boston Globe" has rather interesting front page. A take on what a Donald Trump presidency could look like. We'll show you it all, right after this.


SAVIDGE: I don't know if you read "The Boston Globe," but this morning, "Boston Globe" is warning readers about what they call the deeply troubling risks of a Donald Trump presidency. "The Globe's" editorial board published an imaginary front page with headlines like "Deportations to Begin," and "Markets sink as trade war looms."

[07:50:07] It's satire but the editorial board says it is trying to make a serious point.

CNN senior media correspondent and host of "RELIABLE SOURCES", Brian Stelter, joins me now.

Good morning, Brian.


SAVIDGE: The interesting thing about of those headlines, the deportation thing actually could be real, but it would be applied to the Obama administration. But that's a whole another story. What do you think is going on here?

STELTER: The idea here is to try to create conversation about what Trump has said, what he has pledged, what he has promised. And it is a very interesting stunt by "The Boston Globe." I have a copy here. It kind of reminds me of what college newspapers do on April Fools' Day, where they create a fake front page.

But in this case, it's trying to have humor as well as a serious point. It uses many of Trump's quotes against him. For example, the headline here says, "U.S. soldiers refuse orders to kill ISIS families," and that's referring to when Trump said that the military should, quote, "take out family members of known terrorists."

There are also some m/more humorous parts of this paper. It imagines the Yellowstone National Park will be renamed Trump national park. So there are some jokes as well.

But I can show you what the ideas section editor Katie Kingsbury told me last night. She said what we're trying to do is take an exercise and using Donald Trump's own words. It says, "Our goal is to create a conversation about what a Donald Trump presidency could look like.

Now, obviously, martin, this comes from a point of view. This is from the editorial page, which is separate from the newsroom of "The Boston Globe." Still, though, I'm sure some people look at this and say it's another example of liberal media bias.

The editors say they are just trying to get people to focus on what Trump has actually said. You know, perhaps when we focus too much on bickering, back-and-forth, personal insults, maybe we don't pay as much attention to the quotes Trump has given. So, that's what they're trying to do.

SAVIDGE: Yes, I get that. It's actually -- you know, it could be very effective. Is there going to be a Ted Cruz front page or Bernie Sanders front page?

STELTER: What I find really interesting, you know, on page 2, they have a long op-ed that says that Trump must be stopped. But then they also say that Ted Cruz would perhaps be even more dangerous. That's their words. They call him an equally extreme candidate.

And "The Globe" is suggesting that Mitt Romney who, of course, Massachusetts former governor or Paul Ryan should be nominated to the convention instead. So, "The Globe" is trying to suggest alternatives to Cruz and Trump. I wonder if somebody online will make a parody front page for Cruz instead of Trump.

SAVIDGE: Yes, what if you confuse what is real and what is not? I mean, maybe it's a joke to think of any of that.

All right. Brian Stelter --

STELTER: There is always that, too.

SAVIDGE: There is that risk you run.

Brian Stelter, thank you very much, as always.

STELTER: Thanks.

SAVIDGE: And again, catch Brian Stelter on "RELIABLE SOURCES". That will be this morning at 11:00 Eastern, of course, right here on CNN.

PAUL: There's a familiar face at the top of the leaderboard at the Masters. Can Jordan Spieth hold on? We're going to take you live to Augusta. Stay close.


[07:56:29] SAVIDGE: Another big day in Augusta. That's where CNN's Andy Scholes is live this morning.



Jordan Spieth is on the verge of history today. No one has ever led consecutive Masters from wire to wire. And one more good round from Spieth, and he's going to be bringing home his second straight green jacket.

Now, he was really running away with the tournament yesterday, but he ran into some trouble at the end of his round. On 17, he would hit in for bogey followed by a double bogey on 18, ended up shooting 1 over in round three. Now, coming into today, he has a one-shot lead over Smylie Kaufman.

Spieth, the first golfer ever to lead the masters for seven consecutive rounds, but he knows he's going to have to be on his game today in order to win it all.


JORDAN SPIETH, DEFENDING MASTERS CHAMPION: It was a really tough finish to go from really holding a four-shot lead and being in a very similar position to last year to, all of a sudden, now, it's anyone's game. So, it's tough to swallow that. I'm in the lead after 54 holes. If you told me that at the beginning of the week, then I'd be obviously very pleased.


SCHOLES: Another great story here in Augusta is the play of Bernhard Langer. The 58-year-old German shot a 2 under yesterday and is in third place. He's trying to become the oldest golfer to ever win a Major. Jack Nicklaus holds the record, winning the Masters when he was 46 years old.

Now, Langer has actually won the Masters twice, the first coming in 1985. Jordan Spieth was not even born when he won it.

All right. Just to show you how windy it was out here in round three, check out what happened to poor Billy Horschel after marking his ball on the 15th green, a big wind gust came through and blew his ball all the way into the water. According to the rules, it's like Horschel hit the ball into the water. So, he actually had to take a penalty stroke.

So, not a great day for old Billy. It's expected to be much less windy out here today, guys. Spieth going to be paired with 24-year- old Smylie Kaufman. Now, Smylie is playing in his very first Masters. He's been paired with Spieth before way back when they were teenagers. They played in a junior golf tournament in Dallas.

By the way, Spieth won that tournament. Smylie joked yesterday that he's 0 for 1,000 when going up against Spieth. So, he isn't exactly confident heading into today.

PAUL: All righty. I was going to ask, who won that one?

Thank you so much, Andy Scholes. SAVIDGE: See you, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

PAUL: So, I want to tell you about former NFL player Will Smith. He was shot to death overnight after a traffic dispute in New Orleans. Police say he was killed after exchanging words with a driver who rear-ended his car. Smith's wife was also shot, taken to the hospital. Smith spent his entire nine-year NFL career with the Saints, including winning the Super Bowl. The team confirmed the news a short time ago, calling it a, quote, "senseless and tragic loss".

SAVIDGE: Secretary of State John Kerry is in Hiroshima, Japan, for a two-day meeting with leaders of the G7 nations. This visit is aimed at laying the groundwork for next month's G7 summit. Key topics for that visit are terrorism, the refugee crisis, and nuclear disarmament. It is the first trip to Hiroshima by a sitting secretary of state. The city was devastated by an atomic bomb at the end of World War II.

PAUL: And Britain's Prince William and his wife, the duchess of Cambridge, starting a week-long trip to India, began their first visit to the country by paying respects to the victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

They also met with children's groups and tried their hands at cricket. The visit aims at strengthening ties between India and the U.K.

Hey, I hope you make some great memories today. Thank you for spending some time with us.

SAVIDGE: It was a pleasure on my part. Victor will be back.