tv Today NBC March 22, 2016 10:00am-11:00am EDT
a busy airport departure area, where people are checking in, kiosks, rolling in with bags, getting ready. had to be one of the business zest times of the day. 8:00 a.m. brussels time. not long after, an explosion rocking a metro station in in the center of town. now we'll pause. >> some of you will return to regular programming. good morning. breaking news. terror in brussels. suicide bombings rocked the breaking news. terror in brussels. the death today rising to at least 30 people. just this morning new video emerges. train raid iders forced to travel
>> the first explosion didn't sound horrible but was followed by a lot of screaming. the second explosion was greeted by dead silence. >> a hunt potentially for suspects under way. we're live with complete coverage, tuesday, march 22nd, 2016. good morning, everybody. welcome to this continued special edition of "today." it's 10 a.m. on the east coast, 7 a.m. on the roast and it's 3:00 in the afternoon where we find ourselves covering the town of brussels and everything that has happened there to change everything in that city. >> a lot has tlapd. after 8:00 level time in brussels, these two explosions, that departure terminal filled with people checking in for flights, carrying their baggage. at the kiosks, some say it was close to a starbucks kiosk. some people lining up to get a
it was packed. everything had a suitcase or back pack or a pack and. when you look at these images, you can see just how powerful those blasts were. >> no question about it. we have two scenes here. the airport scene up just described and then the subway station. this is the maalbeek train station. >> eyewitnesses who got to the the train station, described images of some passengers covered in white sheets.
the immediate proximity would probably have a very slim chance of surviving. i want to give you some other perspective here. president obama about to deliver a speech in cuba. we do expect of course him to make remarks about the attacks in brussels. we'll go live as he gets set to make those remarks. also, we're going to talk to one of the front-runners in the presidential race. both of them actually have very different takes on how these attacks should be handled internationally. >> we're talking to hillary clinton and to donald trump. let's go to nbc's keir simmons. please bring us up to date. >> this was nothing less than an attacks on belgium's capital. two blasts at the airport just before 8:00 a.m. local time. a witness telling us the second blast seemed more powerful than
then an hour later an explosion on a metro car new european government buildings. i just want to share with you some of the accounts people have been giving. you can see a terrified passenger fleeing from another subway car after the blast has gone off in a car further up that line. people who were there saying it was panic everywhere so there were a lot of people on that metro. meanwhile others who were at the airport describing people crying, shouting. it was a horrible experience one witness said. another said people were running away, lots of people on the ground, a lot of people were injured . you can just see from the pictures the smoke and debris. the french government, his own capital hit in november, declaring this morning that when brussels was attacked today, the whole of europe was hit and vowing a continuous and
terrorism. what people are seeing are pictures like these, the smoke pouring from brussels airport and people running for their lives. it is really going to be shaking the psychology of europe. this is the latest attacks. we saw the attacks in paris in november and they back on the "charlie hebdo" magazine earlier last year. people will ask now, is there something failing in our intelligence services allowing this to happen again and again? today we are being told there is a continuing hunt for associates of salah abdeslam, who arrested on friday in connection with the friday attacks. officials openly saying they believe that associates of his are on the run, while officials are telling people to stay in l homes, to stay off public transportation, much of which is closed while they continue to try to figure out if there is
whoever did this who is still on the loose. matt and savannah? >> we call our attention to president obama, who is in cuba this morning and is expected to delivery marks to the cuban people. this is the big speech day but will make remarks on the terror attacks in brussels. >> what keir was talking about how transportation is shut down, so many people are not citizens of that country. they then had to leave the airport, they have nowhere to go. they can't get around inside brussels. we heard of the #circulating on
place to come. and now a similar places for them to just take shelter from what will be a day of chaos. >> we're joined by phone. what can you tell us? >> we were standing about a block and a half away from the entraps to the maalbeek. witnesses saying they felt the blast being, everything went black and when they looked around they say many, many. injured. just in the last ten minutes or
police. they moved everybody back a couple of blocks or so because of a suspicious vehicle that had been idling on the street for about 45 minutes no, one inside, no one claiming that car. it tells us more about how nervous this city is, only a few hours out from these three explosions, one at the and we were seeing the effect of that now. we're also hearing reports that the european union building, commission building, will be evacuated this afternoon. we've seen no sign of that yet, no cause was given, but
this point, guys. >> kelly cobiella on the scene. thank you so much. >> not only are they scenes are horrors, but sounds of horrors. we do in the take that lightly. we're getting these images in and sharing them with you. >> investigators are fairly optimistic they can get a good head start on figuring out who was responsible because of things left behind. reports indicate a rifle was left behind, possibly explosive material that was earlier rendered safe. there are reports of a body left there. we have not gotten confirmed
were, though it's obvious there may be some connection with isis, that's what members of congress are saying, this attack has all the hall marks of an isis directed attack. in terms of the response from the u.s., americans are in touch with their european counterparts but there have been no formal instructions in the u.s. on what actions to take because there have been no threats of attacks. in response many major cities are on their own, stepping up security at airports, at train station, commuter trains and subway terminals. we seeing this in new york, washington, d.c., chicago, los angeles and boston so far. more deployments, more
walking through airports with weapons deployed, many more bomb sniffing dogs, a lot more messages, if you see something, say something. beyond that, at least so far, we don't get indications there are going to be changes to train stations here in the u.s. no change on curbside check-in, dropping people off or picking them up. nothing are contemplated in the aftermath of the brussels attack. >> so often when we talk about airport security, what happens about is the moment you present your i.g. to tsa. and yet you made the point that
attacks at airports, those attacks occur prior to that security. >> the public areas that are open to everybody, that are not screened and not security, the responsibility for those are the individual operators. the second point is that the recommendations. that's what we've been looking for today. so far none other than when you would expect, passing along what is publicly known about what
>>. >> we're joined again by special agent. at some point security has to begin and end. >> you have this area that's relatively easy to get into but get to tsa. it an attractive soft target. imagine if you took that perimeter out and said you're going to screen people before they get in there. now that becomes the target, somebody with a bomb in the trunk. so the real key here is, yes, you have to have good physical security and you have to have that show of force and that presence, but you also have to have the intelligence to dictate those actions to try to stop those things before they get started. i think what we saw in brussels wasn't just a lack of enough police officers, it was a lack of a really good robust intelligence network that didn't identify the cell and their
happened. >> we confuse the suicide bombings, we confuse that with the belts, the vests, that we talk about. does that kind of damage seem consistent with what can happen from those types of devices? >> yes and there are people being treated at hospitals with nails embedded in them. when they learn when they go
devices with maximum effect. >> the al qaeda we remember 15 years ago that were planning these huge attacks and now where they're saying wherever you can do it, do it. >> you don't need a sophisticated attacks like we saw on 9/11. look at san bernardino, for example. there are assault weapons available everywhere. >> and here you have a handful of people able to bring the capital of europe to a standstill. >> the situation is different over there. they have many thousands of young men and women, there's a support network where they can get the weapons and the supposives. the situation is much more dangerous over there. >> don borelli.you've finally earned enough
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it is expected that he will simply attach a section or a portion of that speech to this subject in just a second. we're about to hear from president obama on this tuesday morning. i believe he's being introduced right now. this speech previously scheduled to take place at the grand theater, but obviously the events in europe have been unfolding very quickly. andrea mitchell has been telling us the president has been kept abreast. let's toss now and listen to what he has to say.
thank you. thank you very much. president castro, the people of cuba, thank you so much for the warm welcome that i have seed, received, that my family have received and my delegation has received. it is an extraordinary honor to be here today. before i begin, please indulge me, i want to comment on the terrorist attacks that has taken place in brussels. the thoughts and the prayers of the american people are with the people of belgium and we stand in solidarity with them in condemning these outrageous attacks against innocent people. we will do whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally belgium in bringing to justice those who are responsible and this is yet another reminder
must be together regardless of nationality in race or faith in fighting against the scourge of terrorism. we can and will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world. to the government and the people of cuba, i want to thank you for the kindness you've shown to me, michelle, malia, sasha and my mother-in-law, marion. >> president obama just making some comments before his main speech at the main theater in havana saying that the thoughts and prayers of the american people are with the people of belgium, saying we'll do what is necessary to bring to justice
for these terrorist acts and then saying we can and will defeat those who threaten the safety of people all around the world. andrea mitchell has been traveling in cuba with the president. not a lot that the president had to say. actually what you would expect him to say on a morning like this. >> reporter: indeed. the fact that he spoke at all about this is an acknowledgement that he didn't speak quickly enough after the paris attack. he regretted he didn't realize how that would instill fear in the american people. prime minister, charles michel, offer support. he says that the people of the united states and the president
of belgium as well as nato and the european pledging full kwop cooperation from the united states. the u.s. intelligence and united states will be deeply involved in this investigation and in helping whatever they need, as they were after paris, also the forensic help of the u.s. and the fbi can be of great assistance to the belgian police as they look through the horror of this attack and try to find whether there are any traces, any trails from the perpetrators from the suicide bomber, from the explosives back to any known terror cells. >> we know that work is already occurring. andrea mitchell, traveling with the president.
the attacks in brussels, i want to go to tom costello, who has a special experience in aviation but also in brussels, having close family there. what are you hearing from your sources? >> my wife and kids are from there and i went to college there. we reported about 45 minutes or so they found an undetonated explosive belt, they believe, that was allegedly belonging to some suicide bomber. the question is did he or she get away? they have now detonated that device. they are looking for whether there might be one or more suspects on the loose, who were directly involved in the attack. 20 believe to have died in that subway station at maalbeek.
within nbc news as we try to get a handle. mollenbeck is the neighborhood where we have seen the isis folks who have that ideology or the strongholding, a neighborhood of brussels. that is separate from maalbeek, a subway stop right next to the european commission, the european union headquarters. so the explosion appears to have happened on the subway station at maalbeek, not mollenbeck, which is where they believe the individuals came from, that radically inspired neighborhood where a lot of jihadists or people with those sympathies live. injuries. one of the surgeons is reporting the injuries are extreme and
especially those at the airport have significant nail injuries, shrapnel injuries. he and another surgeon reporting -- tom, i just want to jump in because i'm said there were three americans injured, they were described as mormon missionaries. weep just got that information in. you were giving us some information about the injuries and when you're hearing from the hospital there is. >> so there are a number of hospitals immediately around the airport but the trauma center or clearly one of the better hospitals is in fact catholic university in lufen. if you're going red light and siren, i guess it would take about ten minutes to get there. i imagine that's where they may have been taken. we can also tell you veteran
40 years of service they've never seen injuries this horrific. that according to some of the firefighters on the scene. limited train service started up again in the capital region of brussels but it's going to be a very slow go. >> it's actually surprising they've already started train service back up. >> we'll take a quick pause here and allow other stations to join in. >> former fbi special agent don borelli, they're starting up train service, even as they rush to determine if there are more accomplices out there, others who managed to slip through, others a part of this cell that may go in different directions. >> i this the same reaction you did, that's pretty fast.
done to make sure those who do get on the trains are safe. all the people that had been sheltered in place have to get eventually home or wherever they need to be. >> and there are people who were simply stranded, on their way to school, on their way to the airport and they were stopped in their tracks and they've got to accommodate these people. >> and this is where some of the good comes out of the bad, that people open up their homes and i imagine that's what we're going to see in belgium. >> we don't know whether there's a fuj gitive on the loose, a suspect trying to make their way out of europe.
sh. >> i think will's a lot of criticism is do they have enough coordination? yes, there is coordination but is there enough coordination when you look at the number of people that are in belgium, they've gone over, come back, got training and how do you track them when they move freely from country to country? it's a huge problem. one i imagine the officials are really looking at to figure out what can we be doing better? >> you look at greater europe and then you go to belgium, knowing there is a concentration of radicalized people in that neighborhood and then you have this kind of attack, what does it do reputationally to brussels and belgium? >> it's hard to be critical, this is day one. but this seems like it was a failure of intelligence. if you look, salah abdeslam was
he was right in that neighborhood. it took that long for them to figure out where he was. and then they came to find him as a place they didn't even think they would have anybody living there, they found explosives and found weapons and then he was on the loose. it speaks to this community and the need for better intelligence in that community.
as we cover the atlaks. 31 killed in terror attacks. we just learned at least three americans are among them. tom costello, what are you hearing? >> flemish television is reporting the explosive may have been tatp, which is a common explosive and it may be the same used in the paris attacks. and a building which is connected to the european commission in downtown brussels, that has also been evacuated. can we hold the picture right there if it's possible for a moment? that photograph right to the right of it, if you could hang a right, that would be where the starbucks is beep
starbucks. starbucks is saying there are reports that the explosion took outside the airport, they can confirm all of the starbucks partners have been accounted for and safe. that is coming from starbucks that explosion seemed to have gone off right next to the starbucks and amazingly nobody killed in terms of the employees. >> when you say it's a kiosk, is it a self-service -- >> i'm sorry, it's a poor use of the world. it's kind of like a stand. it not like a big starbucks that we would could go. >> tapt is very powerful but created by some very powerful products.
can be put together with those hair products where it's distilled down. again, it speaks to a level of training. is it possible could you make this without any training? maybe. but most cases we've seen people have gone over, learned how to make this and brought it back to use as part of their plot. >> we have been showing you scenes all morning long of the destruction inside the departures terminal at the airport in brussels. we have jeff hoffman, an american working as a consultant for nato in brussels. he was taking his girl friend to catch a flight when these explosions occurred. it's nice to talk to you again. as we look at these images, you describe to us you were kind of between the two explosions. >> that's probably your best approximation. the first one went off i think
second. i'm sorry, you can hear all the sirens in the background. the first one went off about 30 feet away. the second one was closer to the starbucks your correspondent was just discussing about 40 feet to the left of me. more towards the glass wall at the front of the airport. >> can you describe the impact, the concussion of those explosions? >> i've admittedly done my share of fireworks in my time, i've never had one go dlofs me off cles ose to me, the shock impact was nothing like i've experienced. naturally you turn and it was
occur. >> smoke and debris, did you see the injured? >> the first explosion went off and my girl friend was directly in front of the counter. i turned and i realized what was happening. i turned toward her. the second one that occurred, i was already on my way over and getting her to the ground beside the countersorry so i didn't see the immediate aftermath, and we were trying to get out of the airport because we weren't sure if there was going to be a third.
i could see what appeared to be people lying on the ground. you said after the first explosion there were screams and after the second explosion there was dead silence. what was the time delay between the first and second blast? >> i'm going to guess maybe 10 to 15 seconds. i'm well you a aware eyewitnesses are never reliable in terms of timing. i would get 10 to 15 seconds. it was quick to the point where you knew what the first one was and when the second one went off, you knew what you were in the middle of. >> i can only imagine what you must have been like with your girl friend and i know you made and high tailed it out of the airport.
>> apparently we had been on the train but the first time i saw claude as he was crouched down close to you, i'm going to apologize to her for this later but i kind of threw her on to the baggage belt to get her behind the counter. we were inside the building for a good minute and a half before we moved out front. with all the security you've seen on the streets, it didn't seem like anyone was around. it felt like the entire airport had emptied out and was completely quiet. so once we kind of determined, okay, maybe it's safe to head towards the doors, we moved toward the doors and that's where we encountered the first casualty that i had seen, an intact individual and blood all over his face.
that's when the chaos was beginning. we were directly across from the terminal building for a good 30 to 40 minutes trying to get a sense what was was the safes way to go. >> knowing you're a consultant for nato, you sound like a guy who pays a lot of attention to world events. you i'm sure have seen reports of attacks and tragedies in other world capitals. had you ever given thought to what you might do in a similar >> i think living here you have to. i arrived shortly after the bataclan attack. i think any time that you're here, knowing what you know about this city and the issues that it deals with, i think you have to adopt a mentality of
being aware. it's just common sense to me in a way. i was also u.s. coast guard but i can't say that i learned anything about this from that experience. but i think in general if you're in europe these days and you watch the news and you're awhich are of what's going on, there's in question you have to watch around. my boss always texts me watch your six, which is keep your eyes out. >> for our west coast viewers i said to you now having lived through this and knowing the situation in brussels and knowing the element that may have been responsible for this or probably was, will you stay? >> you know, i can't answer that question right now. i know when we talked earlier, i
average calls at almost being in one place at a certain time. there's a part of me that stops and goes, no, no, i will not because this is going to continue to happen in my opinion. we're going to see more and more of this. yeah, there's the military option of dealing with isis, there's the socio option we wi which needs to be kicked into action. i have a brother-in-law that survive 9/11. and i'm still of the mindset that says you don't run away that we as a society have to mant plant a flag and a no more.
run away feels like defeat. i could use more colorful thoughts on describes my thoughts on isis but i don't want to give them the benefit of driving me out of europe. >> we really appreciate you taking time to talk to us this morning. your best for your girl friend and all of those who have been through this with you in brussels. >> you're also welcome. take care. >> tom costello, what are you learning? >> flemish television, so far they've been very accurate on their reporting. the airport is in flemish territory, if you will. they are reporting they are actively looking for a suspect who they believe was last seen on some sort of a surveillance photograph or camera wearing a white sweater. there may be other suspect who
the attack but one suspect they're actively seeking. and police are repeating the same thing over and over again to the media in belgium and this is please do not report on our tactics, what we are doing and where we are, we have an active situation under way. so the media in belgium are trying to adhere to that but they do report that one suspect wearing a white sweater is missing. >> all we've seen are videos coming from cell phones and things like that. we have not even begun to scratch the surface of the surveillance footage. we'll see a lot of that coming out over the next couple of days. >> we'll have a lot more coming
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welcome back to a special edition of "today." >> we just heard from the president as he kicked off his speech in havana, cuba. he said this attack is another reminder that the world must unite to fight terrorism. >> clearly this heightens concerns about security at airports and public transportation. national security is a key issue in the presidential race. a little earlier we talked to both front-runners of both parties, donald trump and hillary clinton. first our conversation with the we joined now on the phone by democratic presidential
the former secretary of state. connect clinton, good morning to you. >> good morning, matt. from your time of secretary of state, you know that area well and you know belgium well. what was your initial reaction when you heard this news? >> it was just terrible horror, the idea that terrorists are continuing to strike at the heart of europe and now brussels and the number of cash f of casualties in what look to be coordinated, sophisticated attacks. we've got to stand with our allies as they have stood with us on so many occasions and we have to intensify our efforts to
ever doing this again. it it's going to be a long challenge because there are a lot of factors including the easy accessibility. we have to be strong and steady in how we respond. >> we aren't yet aware whether isis is taking responsibility for this or if isis merely inspired this. nonetheless we agree that isis is really at the heart of this. if you were president today, what would we be doing differently to try to get at this root cause in. >> well, savannah, you're right that we're not sure yet but it's also true that we have been confronting the threat of terrorism for quite some time
manifestation of it. we got to tighten our security. i talked about our visa system and our when i was secretary of state, we often had difficulties with our european friends because they were reluctant to impose the kind of strict standards we were looking for. that after paris has changed and we need to do much more to tighten things up. i know our security professionals are looking to do that. but it's unrealistic we would say we we completely shut down our borders, that would shut down commercial. but we have to do a much better
europeans on tracking and following anyone who has any connectivity with terrorism or terrorist activities. >> do you think europe is going to have to reconsider now that we have see how easily terrorists have moved between france and belgium and other countries? >> you know, matt, i think they already are reconsidering it. the dream of a whole free europe that was at peace is one that should not be walked away from. it was an essential development after the horrors of world war ii. but we do have to be realistic about how people move from place to mace place. it's been my understanding the europeans are looking hard at how to better protect their borders internally. and of course they are coping
syrian refugees and refugees from other parts of the middle east and south asia. they have labored to do that in an appropriate way. did but that, too, poses extra burdens on them. this is a time for to us reaffirm our solidarity with our union friends and allies, individually and through nato as they struggle with how to defeat the terrorist threats they face. >> in is a pore could something like this happen here? is this something that people should fear?
got to recognize that the threat posed by the modern incarnation of terrorism is one that we have to be vigilant against. and i know that americans have every reason to be frightened about what they see and what happened to us in san bernardino. and remember the terrorists are trying to undermine the democratic values that are at the root of our way of life. weep cannot let them succeed. we have to intensify to keep friend and allies to combat threats. >> that is why perhaps some
suspect like the one taken into custody in brussels, maybe should use some enhanced techniques and then -- is that just simply a logical step after after. >> matt, i think it is certainly understandable that people would be asking those kind questions. as to waterboarding, our country's most experienced and bravest military leaders will tell you that torture is not effective. it does put our own soldiers and our own civilians at risk, but
we do have to give law enforcement and intelligent officials all the. back to the question about the cell phone, i just can't believe that we can't find a reasonable path forward here, trying to help our law enforcement professionals get the information they need, to follow up on attacks, but most importantly to prevent them. and the privacy and safety of people who can lose their lives and be injured in an attack has to be weighed against the privacy and safety of our information. and i just still believe there's got to be a way for our great tech companies and our law enforcement professionals to figure out how to deal with
it appears from the early reporting on capture of we also know terrorists are not stupid nech are quickly adapting. and the more they use endescription encryption to communicate, the more difficult it's going to be to disrupt them. >> thank you for your time. we're going to be hearing from donald trump, the republican front-runner in a little while. >> tom costello has been
and flemish television is saying there may be one. >> pi we heard in the boston bombing aftermath as well, they want nothing to be given away. let's give station as chance to break away to local news. we'll continue in a second. >> good morning. as we continue our coverage of the terror attacks in brussels, belgium, we turn to cuba. that is where president obama is. he just wrapped up his speech in havana. he topped his remarks with a brief statement about what has been unfolding in brussels this morning. andrea mitchell is traveling with the president in half -- in
charles michel today, he ledged support, all the things that the belgian people might need at this horrible time of need. at the same time, he proceeded with his speech to the cuban people. broadcast live on cuban television, saying that the embargo needs to be lifted but even if the embargo were lifted, that the cuban people could not live their full impression.
president in cuba. this tripp has been overshadowed. >> it was interesting to see raul castro bristling from the questions. and making some accusations about the united states as well. clearly, though, our focus is over in europe in brussels with the people of belgium after these what seem to be coordinated attacks, at the airport, the debt nation of two bombs there, one in a train station. the ones at the airport happening about 10 seconds apart at around 8:00 in the morning when that terminal was packed with people. some just buying coffee. >> and not long after that the devastating attack at the train station.
morning, everybody. it's late afternoon in brussels, it's a day they will not soon forget. you're seeing these images of terror as two separate attacks unfold. one at the international airport. 8:00 a.m. locatime. busy departure terminal. two explosions went off. not long after that at a train station, it appears to be inside a train car. at least 11 people were killed as we understand it at the airport.