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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  January 15, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm PST

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while some believe that the academy awards snubbed "selma" one place did not believe so the white house. president obama will host the cast of "sellma" tomorrow night. i'm don lemon and that is it for us tonight. "ac360" begins right now. and the fight on terrorism has been happening for over a week in france and now today, there sis a deadly raid in belgium. according to belgium security there is one raid going on right now that hit a terrorist cell that was on the verge of carrying out an attack. it left two suspects dead and one in custody. some members of the cell had met with isis in syria and plotted attacks to plot against the west
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for syrian air strikes. and this led after the paris attacks that led to the raid. the operation was posted on youtube, and we will play the whole thing for you unedited to allow you to get a sense of the intensity of the raid.
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that anti-terrorism raids are taking place right now. we have phil blakck on the ground there, and tell us what is going on as you know it.
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obviously, clearly some audio problems and we will try to reconnect with phil black. as i mentioned other operations are going on in belgium including as we are told in brussels. we have a reporter chris burns who is standing by there. i do want to go to him now, and he is joining us on the phone. chris, i understand a raid this in a neighborhood this in brussels and the suspects involved are said to be at large. is that correct at this moment? >> that is right, anderson. in a number of neighborhoods here in brussels and in the towns outside of brussels as well, there were a number of raids and the latest one was in a neighborhood called an derders anderslecht where explosives are being searched by police and also, near all of the european
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institution, and so it is coming very close to the european people and security is stepped up quite a bit, and to level 3 of 4, and so that tells you how much of the concern. and these have been going on for weeks, p but it it is the first time it has turned dead lyly, anderson. >> and i want to bring back phil black who is nin verviers. can you explain what we saw, phil? >> well the film that you watched, anderson, it is what happened just up the road from here and the road is still closed off at this time. the okay pants of that property they fired back. it was a prolonged gun fight that resulted according to belgium authorities, and that is certainly what the video shows, but at the end two suspects with were kill and a third
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detained. what the belgium authorities are telling us this evening is a that they move dd in this operation, and others across the country as a result of the information they have obtained after an investigation going on for some time. one that pre-dates the attacks in paris against the "charlie hebdo" magazine. they say they have received into margs that pointed to a major attack, and at the moment, no lin okay the events in paris, but they are looking at it that it raises the frightening possibility that the coincidence if you like that the attack was planned ready to go so close to those events that we have been tauklk ing about the in paris. >> and so i want to e repeat that because it is so important that as of now they don't have any linkage of the cell operating in paris that undertook the "charlie hebdo" attacks, and no linkage to this group there in ver vie -- vervie
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verviers? >> correct. with we foe that the kouachi brothers the links are al qaeda and yemen, and so at the surface, no physical direct link, and no talk of the mayjor players have any connection ooet either. and so to point to perhaps a coincidence as i say, and two separate cells or the organizations of the groups or the individuals planning attacks within a very short space of window into two neighboring countries or perhaps the possibility that there was some sort of motivation that the groups here received as a e result of the events in paris, and perhaps they have altered the timetable in some way. all of this very much indicates and backs out the concern that terror officials had talked about in europe over the last few months about the potential threat that exists here, and partly because of so many fighters traveling to syria and
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gaining experience and the fear is potentially the orders before coming back here, and return manage the hundreds to potentially bring that conflict to this continent as well. too many we are told repeatedly for the intelligence officials to follow closely here anderson. >> okay. i want to go back the chris burns join canning us from brussels. the other raids that you were talking about, chris, some reports are that the suspects may have gotten away or still are at large. is that your information? >> that is right, anderson. the building there in brussels some suspect s ares are at large, and prosecutors here are saying that the second building was searched where they found four kalashnikovs and the ingredients for explosive ss, but they did not report any arrest, and so obviously, they are trying to track those people down. and so these searches are are going to continue through the night, and they are also combing the sites for evidence as much
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as possible. they have scientific police investigators there who are real really combing it for every indication to find to try to track these people down. >> and chris, do you know how long authorities a had been watching this group in brussels? >> well anderson they had not said how long, but we know for week and even months, we have been seeing these roundups now and then of the islamic extremist suspects. but they did say that the, they moved in on this because of the wiretaps they had are from syria, and according to the police they were planning to attack the police sites or police themselves. so that is what why they cracked down on them and why they have raised the security
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measures and in fact the jewish schools will be closed friday in antwerp and brussels because of the attacks. >> thank you, chris burns and now fred pleitgen is also h join joining us now. what do you know about these? >> yes, anderson, the terrorist cells are not perhaps connected to paris, but this is going to go back to the arms dealers who was visited by amehdi coulibaly who was involved in the kosher market killing in paris. and so that jihadist killing led this operation to a new sense of urgency. as chris said they have been monitoring this for a long time
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but then it became more urgent. and also last weekend, two jihad jihadists returned from syria, and they were apprehended at the airport, and with that in brussels, they had a heightened sense of urgency, and so they were monitored for a long time, but when the arms dealer returned from syria, they decided to move immediately. >> this arms dealer who apparently turned himself in, and he sold weapons as far as the reports were sold he sold weapons to coulibaly, the man who took over the supermarket, and the man accused of killing the french policewoman, and the same weapons used by the kouachi brothers or the other weapons purchased by that man, coulibaly, for the kouachi brothers? >> yes absolutely. and the report we have is that the weapons purchased by the arms dealer in belgium, and the
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other weapons purchased be i the kouachi brothers were purchased at a gun market in brussels, and the market very well known here in brussels and also a black market where the weapons are sold, but from the arms dealer in an area where you will see the automatic weapon that was purchased from this arms dealer here in brussels, and also the handgun that we saw of the video in the kosher store, that was purchased from this man here in belgium, and certainly, this arms dealer is linked to all of this, but it is unclear if this arms dealer knew that he was selling weapons for a terrorist plot because he has turned himself the in, because he was afraid when he saw all of the events unfolding and realized that the guy he had sold the weapons to had done all of this. >> thank you, fred pleitgen. the arms dealer had turned himself in to the police after
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realizing that he had sold the weapons to the gunman in the operations of paris. and there were two people left dead this the raid in verviers. and some suspects may also still be on the loose. quick reminder to watch "360" any time you want by setting your dvr. and we will have more on the suspected terror cells linked to isis. also, the latest linked to the paris attacks, and everyday we are learning more and more information. one of the letter s tos to the editor of the "charlie hebdo," and we will vhave more surprising information coming up on that. business. we spend days booking gigs then we've gotta put in the miles to get there. but it's not without its perks. like seeing our album sales go through the roof
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welcome back. if you're just joining us, breaking news tonight. anti-terror raids in cities in belgium. not much details on those raids so far but we know this raid was on a suspected terror cell. according to senior belgium counterterrorism official, orders from isis to carry out attack in verviers and third custody right now. joining me is cnn terrorism expert paul cruikshank and retired lieutenant colonel james reece. paul, i understand you've been talking the a senior belgium counterterrorism official. what are you learning? >> they believe this group was connected to isis.
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they were recruited by isis and not only that, they believe they were directed by isis to launch a retaliatory strike in europe, specifically, in belgium because of these air strikes against isis. belgium is part of the coalition against over iraq so the belgiums think this is an isis plot which is trying to retaliate against belgium for that very, very worrying times in belgium for that very, very worrisome time. this is still a continuing operation. not clear yet that the danger is over. >> but you say recruited, directed by isis. meaning they had actually been in either syria or iraq in isis territory. >> yeah, i mean, these guys had been isis. the belgians think they were recruited and deliberately sent back by isis to launch a terrorist attack and this is a game changer moment because we haven't seen the isis leadership do that yet. i mean, the plots we've seen before it, some isis veterans coming back and launching attacks on their own steam. we saw that with the museum attack in brussels last may.
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they killed four people in a jewish museum. but even the isis leaders believe that he did that of his own volition. they think it's a game changer with the money and up to 1,000 european recruits. >> it's a game changer because of the time the european western nations got involved in the air campaign against isis so many people said look isis has not so far direct eded attacks against the west or targets in western europe. you're saying if in fact this is isis directed or isis mandated, that's why it's a game changer. it's the first time of a directed operation against a western european nation. >> absolutely. isis is clear on this. ahmed, a key figure in their group in september said we'll launch attacks in the west to punish you for this. they've warned this is coming,
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and this may be the reaction. >> not just an excuse. clearly, ideologically, they would have liked to but haven't until now. colonel, i want to replay the video for the viewers in verviers and get your sense of it as a former el delta force member. >> sure. >> what stands out to you? >> well, really, it is your classic counter terrorism assault here. you heard the gentlemen on the "erin burnett" show. he hears the booms. those are flash bangs. they were grenades. grenades do too much collateral damage especially an area where people live. the flash bangs start the fire. >> and they are completely disoriented if effective. >> what you want people to do is look in opposite directions while people are flooding in. really, the other critical thing is fighting upstairs. that's difficult. the belgians did a great job
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here and i'm glad to see as we finally have captured somebody which now we can sit down -- >> very significant. >> yes, we can really sit down and see what this network looks like based off of his feedback in the interview. >> this tape goes for a minute and 40 or so seconds. for an operation like this, you want it to be as swift as possible and control as much as the elements as possible. i don't know how many entrances there were to the structure but only one entrance, that's the worst case scenario. >> the rescue, hostage scenario. like this, surprise, speed, violence of action. belgians had no one hurt. that's a good thing for them. >> paul, the connection, officials. it doesn't seem like they're clear on the connection between these raids and the attack in paris. it seems like as of now, they don't believe that's any connection. that's something they are looking at. >> they don't believe it's a connection.
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the cells in paris link back to aqap and the ones in belgium link back to isis which are two competing groups. maybe the guys in belgium saw what aqap did and tried to respond like a one upman ship from these two groups. >> like amedy coulibaly and the alleged policewoman on thursday, pledged allegiance to isis, not sure if there was direction by isis or him just trying to bolster his own credentials. >> there's no evidence coulibaly traveled to syria and iraq and had no formal connection with the group or connection. he was fond of it and wanted to claim his operation for it but not linked to it in any greater way. >> belgium has also been very tough or trying to be the toughest against returning nationals who have fought overseas and i'm wondering if that has anything to do with kind of sharpening the divide there. >> well, they've got to get tough because there's a big problem. 150 belgium nationals in iraq.
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and syria right now. almost all of them to be with isis and 30 of them killed there and 70 back in belgium. that is still a lot of them to monitor. i'm half belgian. i go to belgium. i talk to officials there. they're very stressed out there. they don't feel they have enough resources to combat this threat. >> it's certainly in the united states, a concern but belgium is front and center now. colonel thank you for being with was, and paul cruikshank, thank you. "charlie hebdo." 3 million copies quickly sold out and first issue since the terror attacks in france. got a lot of new developments in the investigation. a trip that one of the suspects took to spain. that's now being investigated. also, an emotional letter from one of the magazine's founding
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letters. a letter that surprised some people. chief national correspondent jim sciutto with us. coulibaly and girlfriend took to madrid days before last week's attack. >> reporter: that's right, this is the french authorities tracking all the attackers movements both before and after the attack to see if anyone else is connected to this plot. they tracked amedy coulibaly and his companion hayat boumeddiene. she continues to turkey where we saw the pictures of her at immigration and to syria. at that point, later carried out the attacks and now looking to see if they saw anybody in spain or if there's any associates on the loose end in spain. this is a process not just going on in france but around europe right mou to to see how far and wide this network extends. >> wasn't she in the video of her entering turkey, wasn't she with somebody else? >> reporter: she was. this is why you do this. now they've found someone else tied to this. they've identified this man as
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someone else tied to a pakistani afghan terror cell. again, someone known to authorities before these attacks. they don't know his whereabouts right now either but also gives them more information because it shows yet another terror cell network tied to the one that carried out the attacks here. of course, the bad news with that is it just shows you there's a number of these groups operating now in europe. we have a reminder that is what we've seen going on in belgium. >> and you are starting to gate sense of the intricate web of all of this as we have seen many times. and harsh words now also from the founding editor of "charlie hebdo" against the founding editor who was killed in last week's attack. >> this was a really difficult painful clearly, but also controversial note. helped found "charlie hebdo" in 1970. this magazine has been around a long time.
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he writes a posthumous letter. one of the cartoonists killed in the attacks last week and in it, he's critical. he says, why were you so stubborn in that he continued to publish these kinds of cartoons? critical of islam even after the offices of "charlie hebdo" were fire bombed a number of years ago and he calls them an affectionate letter as well. he calls him a fantastic lad using the terms in the letter but critical too. it just shows that the visions over the publication of these cartoons are not just in the world and christian world or muslim world or just europe or in france but inside the magazine there were divisions over it. it shows just how powerful the controversy is. >> appreciate the update from paris. find out a lot more from breaking news about the cincinnati man accused of plotting an attack on the u.s. capital and lawmakers there. a new image of him in 2013. could it be a window into his mindset?
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there's more information tonight. new information about the 20-year-old ohio man accused of plotting a so-called lone wolf attack on the u.s. capitol. we just obtained this new picture from cnn affiliate wcpo showing christopher cornell protesting in 2013 at a ceremony commemorating the 9/11 attacks. saying 9/11 was an inside job and above that, the free masons were behind it. cornell caught in an fbi sting arrested yesterday saying that
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he had planned to bomb congress and gun down lawmakers as they fled the building. the fbi said cornell's social media postings put him on the radar and ready to carry out the attack. alexandra field has more. >> reporter: christopher cornell was a high school wrestling star. parents said they once had high hopes for a bright future but didn't seem to find his path until after high school. >> breaks my heart. he had so much potential. he could have got a scholarship. >> reporter: recently, there was reason to be hopeful again. >> he just became a happier person. >> and his attitude changed. he became a lot happier. he said when he prayed, he felt calm and felt at peace with himself and with god. he became just happy go lucky. >> reporter: he grew out his beard and adopted islam after reading a lot about it and his parents saw signs his beliefs had really taken hold. >> he would come in at prayer time and say his prayers.
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>> reporter: but at the same time the fbi says he was planning a deadly attack in the home he had been raised in cincinnati. . the fbi seized a book colonel had written in and a computer he had posted online. authorities say he told an fbi informant he wanted to commit violent jihad. investigators monitored the plot as it took shape saying pipe bombs placed in the capitol and people shot as they fled the scene. >> no, i don't think chris ever wanted to hurt anyone. >> then why say it? and why walk into the gun shop? >> i believe he was coerced. >> reporter: fbi agents arrested cornell wednesday after he bought two semiautomatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition at the point-blank gun shop and range in cincinnati. >> we had the forewarning but greased the skids a little bit but things go smoothly as part of the sale. >> reporter: he showed cornell exactly what he asked for. >> a lot of thumbs up today. >> reporter: how did he strike you?
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>> he did. he struck me as someone who had done a lot of research, but that he had not done a lot of hands on experience with the gun. >> reporter: cornell never fired a gun according to his parents. they say he never talked about isis and showed no signs of anger or violence. they say he spent much of his time alone. did he have friends? >> he had friends up until about a year ago. i think when he grew his hair out and his beard. >> reporter: on the day of his arrest, he left a note saying we would live with a friend to get him work. their son now behind bars but his parents believe he'll come home one day. >> i feel that it wasn't him. it wasn't him. >> alexandra field joining us. i talked to the dad last night. the parents are pretty adamant that their son didn't have the resources to pull off an attack and any idea how to pull off an
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attack like h? >> reporter: you have to look at the money in these cases, even talking about a relatively small amount of money. i spoke to the gun shop owner and the suspect came in with a big wad of cash, 50s and 20s. he only had a couple thousand to his name. was it an associate? the informant? they can't ask the son that. he's behind bars. >> any other run-ins with the law? >> reporter: we're hearing from local authorities here that he was named as a person of interest in a vandalism case. he wasn't charged with anything we're aware of at this point in any case but did attract attention in the community as you pointed out. that rally or rather the memorial event in 2013, the 9/11 memorial event, he was the lone demonstrator there, the lone protester. said he was causing a disruption but he wasn't charged with anything, and he wasn't breaking the law. >> alexandra field, appreciate it. thank you very much. up ahead, the parents of illinois teenager. tonight, the parents of an illinois teenager who's been
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tonight, the parents of an illinois teenager who's been charged with aiding isis are speaking out in their first interview.
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19-year-old mohammed zakn pleaded not guilty this week after being arrested at o'hare international airport in october. his siblings are not charge canned at least not yet. the kids have planned to travel first to turkey and then syria or iraq to join isis. all three were born in the united states. their parents are indian immigrants. after her son's plea hearing, sareen khan accused isis of brainwashing children. >> we condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms. we condemn the brutal tactics of isis and groups like it and we condemn the brainwashing and the recruiting of children are through social media and internet. and we have a message for isis and the mr. baghdadi and the other recruits of isis, leave our children alone. >> i spoke to zarine khan and thomas durkin, actually the
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attorney for the son who joined us as well. >> you've spoken forcefully against isis, against muslim extremists who try to through social media and the internet. do you feel without that influence, your son would not be in the trouble he is in now? >> yes, i fully think that would not have happened if it wasn't for social media. if it wasn't for the internet, he would never be in the situation he is in today. >> what is your message to other parents out there? >> to be, i don't know, maybe we the mistake we made was, we protected our children trying to protect our culture and our values. maybe that was a mistake. i would tell them to expose their children more to what's going on in the world, help them develop critical thinking skills, different shade between the good and the bad guys and
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yeah, i think that's what i would tell them to do. yes. >> shafi, did you notice changes in your son or a general sense of what happened? >> yes. lately for the past few months, he was very quiet and more isolation because he was watching or doing something on social media. that's why he was brainwashed for the past few months. >> zarine, what is your message to those who try to recruit kids to isis? >> to leave our children alone. please. that's my only message. to stop recruiting these children. they're too young. they don't know what's going on. they're small. they don't understand what they're getting into.
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just leave the children alone. you know? they're too young not to misuse these children. their lives and their innocence. they're misusing the children's innocence. the children are gullible. they're vulnerable, you know, their thinking skills have not completely developed and these people are preying on that. they're misusing them. their innocence and their youth which i want them to stop, to leave children alone. >> zarine, i know you can't get into the details of exactly what happened for legal reasons, but did you have any idea that either of your sons or teenage daughter held any of these ideas? according to authorities, they left you several pages of letters expressing their beliefs. did those letters surprise you? >> yes shgs, yes.
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definitely. yes. because those, the things in those letters did not reflect the upbringing they got. those values, they don't come from us. it was so out of sync. it was so out of place. i don't know where they got those ideas from. it was so unbelievable, actually. >> tom, is it your contention that their son is being prosecuted essentially for his beliefs, his ideas as opposed to wanting to get involved with a foreign terror group? >> what i'm saying is i think the bulk of the evidence points to him wanting to live in a caliphate. there is no question that he is -- he became a very devout religious young man. if you have ever seen the slickness of the social media and this online magazine that isis puts out, you can
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understand how somebody 18, 19 years old would be very easily fooled into thinking they were going to be able to live in a utopia. >> tom, isn't it naive to believe that anybody who has watched isis videos with all the horrors that they show and according to prosecutors, there's evidence that this young man and at least his sister have certainly seen the videos and reacted to them in some social media form. isn't it naive to believe that they would think they could just go live in a caliphate and which is essentially a war zone and not be combatants, in fact, prosecutors have said he made a comment about possibly being a combatant. >> i think it's naive to think that you could go live anywhere in a utopia. i think the whole thing is naive. of course, it's absurd. but i think that's part of zarine's point. this is a young immature person.
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the other children are even younger. this is nothing but immaturity. it's obvious to anybody who is well educated and has a lot of exposure to life that this would be absurd to think you could even go to a war zone. but they're not unique. there are thousands of kids doing this. and i think that's part of the point. what's causing them to do it? i don't believe in my client's case it's because he's a violent person and wants to go kill people. i think he was misguided young man who got manipulated by social media. >> that's attorney tom durkin, zarine khan. children in custody. one may be charged as an adult
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or both as juveniles. up next, the terror plot in belgium. we are just getting information in in the last several minutes on what one of the potential targets of this terror cell may have been. ke detal sils on that straight ahead. adalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision or any allergic reactions like rash, hives,
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update to breaking news story at the top of the broadcast. new information coming in about the thwarted terrorist plot in belgium and what the alleged suspects may have been planning. join g joining me on the phone is guy van vlierden.
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what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, the terrorists that were killed, a few of them killed. went to abduct high ranking law enforcement officials either from the police or the justice department. they want to behead the victim and distribute just like in syria, as a matter of fact. >> this is the cell we talk about in verviers, correct? >> reporter: it's the center. we were told that it was more a matter of hours than days because the terrorists waiting for an important operative to arrive in belgium in ver vieviers, probably, and as with we learned, he did arrive maybe even on wednesday. that's what was the sign to act for police. >> is it your information as
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well that two suspects were killed in this attack and one suspect is now in custody? >> yes. that's what we have learned. we don't know. it's very possible that there are more people arrested but we don't know yet. but there were three people shot in verviers, two killed and one was apparently wounded. but arrested. >> this is something obviously cnn has not been able to confirm. can you say if your sources are law enforcement or government sources? >> reporter: well, we were told by senior government source and it was confirmed to us by security sources. and we are running it on our front page tomorrow. >> guy van vlierden, appreciate your brak -- breaking news and reporting. thank you very much. we will be right back.
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welcome back. champagne and flowers. that is how two americans celebrated making history. they are a first to a free climb and reechach the summit of yosemite's e el capitan. look at the moment of triumph. tommy caldwell and kevin jorgeson accomplished the incredible feat. welcomed with hugs. used only their feet and hands and a safety road to get to the top. each often only gripping razor thin holes with what seemed impossible. took nine grueling days. my interview with them in just a moment but what you may not realize it's not the first major challenge on the side of a mountain. >> reporter: it's been called the hardest free climb on earth. el capitan's ina fa mouse dawn
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wall. >> a bunch of ice go flying by you. >> reporter: for tommy caldwell, perhaps not the most miraculous story of triumph. caldwell and three others climbed here in the peralmi mown mountainside in kurg stan. >> we were taken gunpoint by two men. >> reporter: the climbers were held for six terrifying days. tommy told his captors he and his girlfriend were married, hoping that would protect her. >> we were seriously fearing for our lives. we did not know what was going to happen to us. escape was always on the top of our minds. >> reporter: as they walked along a cliff one night briefly guarded by a gunman, caldwell shoved him over the side and the ground 1,500 feet beloew. >> we saw a last chance by pushing our guard off a cliff. it's hard to think about that
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and say it aloud, but now we're afraid we would not survive. >> reporter: caldwell was haunted, believing his captor had died. describes him as almost unable to speak until amazingly, he discovered his captor had lived. friends and family say his experience in kyrgyzstan. he has tried to in el capitan but after 19 days of climbing, it would not be denied. >> it's an amazing feat for tommy caldwell and kevin jorgeson. it was not to konconquer the dawn wall, but realize a dream that's come true. kevin and tommy join me from yosemite national park. kevin and tommy, congratulations. this is extraordinary to have accomplished something, kevin, that no one has ever done before. was there times when you felt like you weren't going to be able to make it?
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>> absolutely. i think that's the process of a big project. you're bound to have your ups and downs, your highs and lows and the last 19 days was no exception. there were moments when i didn't think i was going to be able to do it and then there were moments of pure joy and relief as things were going well. >> and tommy, i know you lost your voice from yelling for kevin so much on the mountain, but what was it like when you finally reached the top? >> it was like a big weight lifting. the whole climb was like a surreal experience but it was quite stressful. a relief getting to the top of the mountain, it was pretty awesome. >> kevin, for people who might not understand much about climbing, to free climb something like this, the strength that's required. it's just extraordinary.
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and the danger too. have you always gravitated towards free climbing? >> yeah. free climbing only means that you're just using your body to get up the wall. any use of ropes or gear is just for safety. it's back-up. >> you have to be able to pull yourself up at types by your fingertips. how many, may be a dumb question but people in my staff wanted to know, how many pull-ups can you do with just your fingertips, kevin? >> i don't know, i never really tried to find out. >> kevin, for you, what was the hardest thing? stupid and embarrassing, but going to the bathroom has got to be a challenge. >> i think it's harder just to be away from your friends and family. that support you in such a big audacious goal in climbing the
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dawn wall. we could be connected digitally up there, but there is no getting away from the the fact that it is just us up there on the wall for 19 days. >> do you take long breaks? what is the longest break that you took? >> the longest break i took was two days up there to let skin on my hands heal. >> can you show me your hands? are your hands okay? >> i don't know if you can see but the tips of my fingers are all bruised and on my index and middle, you can see the remnants of the slices of the pitch 15. the 15th rope length of the route. >> you said it took seven years to prepare for the climb. what is that preparation look like? physical? is it looking at the route or know in advance exactly the route you were going to try to take? >> it took a few months of scoping out the wall of trying to figure out if there's holes
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that link from the bottom of the top and it took a lot of physical training and it took the mental training in terms of just finally coming to a point where we believed we would actually do it. >> what happens now. you pulled off what many consider to be the ultimate climb. do you have something in mind that you want to do next? >> at least for me, i'm looking forward to some stress free just pure fun climbing. this was, like i said before, an emotional rollercoaster. a lot lighter now that we're back down on the ground. i'm looking forward to doing some light duty boldering or soloing or something mellow and fun until the inspiration for the next project strikes. >> none of that sounds mellow to me, i got to say. i thought you were going to say like kicking back watching a movie or something.
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>> no. [ laughter ] >> well, it's just a remarkable achievement as you guys know. tommy and kevin, thank you very much. >> thank you for having us. >> incredible stuff. anthony bourdain parts unknown starts now. ♪ ♪ [ singing in foreign language ] ♪ ♪