The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 01/09/15
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
On August 9, 1982, there was a terrorist attack in the heart of Paris. It
was in a neighborhood of Paris called Lemoret (ph). The attack was really
just out of blue. Multiple attackers with no warning, armed with machine
guns and grenades, and they attacked a purely civilian target. They hit a
restaurant in broad daylight in the heart of the lunchtime rush. 1982.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack since World
War II. Six people were killed and 22 wounded when gunmen sprayed
customers at Joe Goldenberg`s (ph) restaurant with machine gunfire. There
were reports that a grenade was also thrown. The gunmen then escaped down
alleys, firing as they fled. Some people were hit as they ran for cover.
A plainclothed policeman was critically shot by mistake. He had drawn his
pistol to shoot the terrorists, but was mistakenly shot by one of the
Goldenberg`s is the most famous kosher restaurant in Paris. It is situated
in the heart of the ancient Jewish Quarter. Many French Jews contend the
government has not done enough to protect them during the rash of anti-
Semitic incidents following Israel`s invasion of Lebanon.
The restaurant`s owner, Joe Goldenberg, tried to calm the angry crowd and
said he would reopen tomorrow. Those who had gathered then prayed. Steve
Mallory (ph), NBC News, Paris.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That is an incredible report. That was August, 1982. Six people
were killed in that attack. 22 people were injured.
Today, in that same neighborhood in Lemoret in Paris, at the site of
Goldenberg`s deli, there`s a plaque mounted outside where that shop was, to
commemorate the lives that were lost there in that terrorist attack in
1982. Lemoret has changed a lot over the years. It`s a very fashionable,
high-rent neighborhood now. Goldenberg`s restaurant, Goldenberg`s Deli is
not there anymore. There`s apparently some high-fashion shoe shop in that
spot now. But that neighborhood is still known as the Jewish Quarter in
the city. It`s been a Jewish neighborhood in Paris honestly for centuries.
And today, this afternoon, French police went door-to-door in that
neighborhood, up and down that street where Goldenberg`s deli was when it
was attacked in 1982, where that plaque is now commemorating that attack
there more than 30 years ago, police today went door-to-door in that
neighborhood and told the shops and restaurants there to close down for
their own safety.
That happened as hundreds of French police and security forces were engaged
this afternoon in a hostage standoff at a kosher supermarket in Paris. The
assailant in that standoff who was ultimately killed by police today is
someone who at this time yesterday we didn`t even know was a suspect or was
involved in this plot at all, this plot that has turned out to be a multi-
part, relatively complex, multiple assailant, sequential, multi-day
terrorist assault in France.
France has a very different modern history with terrorism than the United
States does. And that`s true both in terms of how France handles the
threat of terrorism as a government and as security, in terms of their
security forces. But it`s also just a very different history in terms of
what they have been there through. The streets they have walked. What
they`ve faced in their own country and in their own streets in terms of
terrorist attacks. And some of what I`m going to say about that is going
to sound like it`s just history here, but it`s not. It turns out to be
directly connected to what just happened and apparently what is still going
on in France, with one suspect in this complex assault still on the loose
and being hunted by police tonight.
OK. 1995 and 1996, over those two years, Algerian militants waged a long,
relentless, complex series of bombings inside France. There were nine
separate attacks, including this one in 1995.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The explosion tore through a subway train at the height
of rush hour in the heart of Paris. Within minutes, emergency crews
started pulling survivors to safety. Some victims had to wait two hours
before being freed from the wreckage. Officials report four people were
killed and at least 60 injured, some of them seriously. A nearby
restaurant served as a makeshift emergency room. One survivor said there
was the smell of gunpowder immediately after the explosion.
Um : There was a very large explosion, much smoke, black smoke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prime Minister Alan Jupet (ph) blamed the blast on
terrorists, and anti-terrorist experts confirmed it was a bomb. And it was
targeted to cause maximum casualties. The subway station at St. Michel
near Notre Dame cathedral is especially crowded this time of year with
foreign tourists. The French antiterrorist squad has now been called in to
lead the investigation.
Tonight, the French government has mobilized all law enforcement agencies,
and border crossings are being reinforced. France is on red alert, with
government officials vowing to bring to justice those responsible for the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: That was in July of 1995. And that ultimately ended up being the
worst, the deadliest in that two-year long series of Algerian terrorist
attacks in France. Eight people were killed in that bombing that we just
showed that clip from, 8 people killed, 86 other people were hurt.
But that attack was one of a string of attacks. That was just one of many.
Those attacks, by those same attackers, for those same reasons, they kept
going on after that one for more than a year and a half. Including one
attack in October of 1995 in which the Musee D`Orsay (ph) train station was
hit with a bomb, that`s central Paris, 28 people were hurt in that one. I
said I know that this sounds like history, but it`s not. And here`s why.
Ultimately, those attacks were in `95 and `96. In 1997, the French
government put 38 suspected militants on trial for organizing and
participating and planning all of those bombings over the previous two
years. They put them all on trial. They basically felt I think like they
wrapped up that terrorist network.
But check this out, the man who was convicted specifically of the bombing
that I mentioned in the Musee D`Orsay train station in 1995, the guy
convicted of that bombing was this man. He got convicted of that bombing.
He got sent to prison for a good long stretch around the time that French
prosecutors were trying to wrap up this network of these Algerian Islamic
militants who were engaged in this long bombing campaign in France. They
got that guy for the Musee D`Orsay train station bombing. But 15 years
after that train station bombing, while this guy was still serving his
sentence for that bombing, French authorities uncovered a plot to break him
out of prison.
That bombing campaign, back in the mid `90s, for France as a nation, that`s
part of the bad old days of these Algerian militants that they pretty much
wrapped up. Right? They basically solved their problem when they stopped
those bombings and put all those guys on trial in 1997. Sort of done,
right? The bad old days for France. But for a new generation of Islamic
militants, when they looked back at that bombing campaign in the 1990s,
they see that as the good old days. And they have lionized and celebrated
the perpetrators of those bombings.
And so 15 years after that train bombing, in 2010, they were apparently
going to bust this guy out of prison. And when French authorities
discovered that plot in 2010 and disrupted it, these were two of the men
who they arrested for that prison break plot. Seem familiar? The man on
the right, Ahmady Coulibaly, was actually convicted in conjunction with
that prison break plot. He was sentenced to prison for it. The man on the
left, Cherif Kouachi, was held for three months after being questioned
intensively in that case. Ultimately, prosecutors decided to not charge
him in the case.
When this second terrorist attack started unfolding today, in France, two
days after the “Charlie Hebdo” massacre, it was not the Kouachi brothers.
This attack at this kosher market in Paris, when we realized it was not the
Kouachi brothers, that there was somebody else apparently acting in concert
with them, carrying out the next stages of this apparently connected plot,
part of what connected the suspects from the “Charlie Hebdo” attack and the
attack in that kosher market today was that French authorities believed
that both of these guys were involved in the same plot to bust out of
prison this 1990s era Islamic militant train bomber.
In prison, both of these men are also known to have associated with this
guy. This is a man who is not just another link between the two suspects.
He`s also another link to France`s long history of terrorism that even
predates 9/11. The man on the right side of your screen here, his name is
Jamal Beghal, and he was known to French authorities basically as an al
Qaeda member and as a facilitator for the Osama bin Laden era of al Qaeda.
He was in prison in France while these younger men later served time and
got to meet him there. He was in prison because he got arrested in 2001
for his own plot to bomb the U.S. embassy in Paris. This was an al Qaeda
plot. He was thought to be an al Qaeda facilitator, but his arrest was
even before 9/11. He was picked up for the plot to bomb the U.S. embassy
in the summer of 2001, before 9/11 ever happened. He was convicted of that
plot and he was in prison serving a long sentence when he met these young
new guys, Cherif Kouachi and Ahmady Coulibaly. He met them in French
prison, and he is described as becoming a mentor to them in prison.
Basically, this old guy from al Qaeda.
After the al-Qaeda facilitator guy was released from prison, he apparently
stayed in touch with these young men. “Le Monde,” the French newspaper,”
today published these photographs taken in April of 2010, showing Cherif
Kouachi with the al-Qaeda facilitator guy he had been in prison with, the
guy who had been in prison for planning to bomb the U.S. embassy in Paris
before 9/11. In these photos, they are apparently walking around a
football pitch in a central French region called Kental (ph). “Le Monde”
today also published this photo, of the same guy, who we recognize on the
left, the same al Qaeda guy, the guy who had been in prison for attempting
to bomb the U.S. embassy before 9/11. They`re showing him in this picture
with the other suspect in these terrorist attacks, the one who we learned
about today when he apparently took all those hostages at the kosher
market. On the right of your screen here is Ahmady Coulibaly. On the left
is the al Qaeda facilitator guy, who became his mentor in prison. This
picture shows them again in Kental reportedly in 2010.
In the same series of photos, published by “Le Monde” today, there is also
what`s described as Ahmady Coulibaly on your left, suspect from the
supermarket attack, and on your right, the woman who is reported to be his
girlfriend. The images, these images published by “Le Monde” today.
Appear to all have been taken at the same place, roughly, at roughly the
same time. They show both Coulibaly and apparently the girlfriend handling
weapons. Specifically they`re handling what looks to be crossbows. Before
Ahmady Coulibaly was killed by police at that market today, that kosher
market where he held all those hostages, French police today released this
wanted poster, showing both him and his girlfriend. He, on the right side
of your screen there, he is now known by French police to be dead. She has
not yet been found. And there`s a manhunt for her right now.
There were some reports earlier in the day that she had also been present
at that kosher market hostage siege as well. She might have been present
for the hostage taking at that market, and she might have escaped by
blending in with the hostages as police raided the supermarket and killed
Coulibaly. Those reports about her whereabouts are unconfirmed. All we
know now is that police say they don`t know where she is now. They do not
have her in custody. They are seeking her as a suspect in this plot. The
wanted poster describes them as armed and dangerous.
Again, France has a very different history with terrorism than we do as a
country. It`s a long history. Frankly, not of just individual spectacular
attacks like we experienced on 9/11, but rather, they have a long history
of longitudinal, complex plots that take place in steps over time.
Coordinated cells of attackers, serial attacks, one after another. They`ve
been through that before in their modern history as a country, and that
history, it turns out, is not just context for understanding the French
mind-set here. The modern history of terrorism in France is directly
connected to what has happened over these past few days. Including plots
and attacks that predated 9/11. Their pre-9/11 history of terrorism is
directly connected to what happened today, and the connections happened in
In terms of the latest that we understand from French authorities, the most
urgent matter, of course, is this woman. They`re still looking for this
woman, who, again, we believe to be the same woman who is pictured,
although covered up, with weapons and with one of the other suspects in
these pictures from 2010, published today by “Le Monde.” Her exact role in
the murders and the terrorist attacks that have taken place over the last
few days is not yet known. It`s not been described by French authorities.
But police, we know, are treating her as a terrorist suspect. And, as I
mentioned, her wanted poster described her as potentially armed and
We also have a little more information about what happened after the
“Charlie Hebdo” massacre that led to the police raids today that killed the
two “Charlie Hebdo” suspects, who were still at large, as well as this
third suspect, Coulibaly, who emerged today.
Late tonight local time in Paris, after an entire day spent waiting with
mostly speculation and only a very few granular details of what actually
happened today, late in the news cycle today in France, this local
prosecutor in Paris gave a press conference where he laid out a lot of new
details that we did not know before his press conference about how events
today apparently unfolded. This is basically the latest and most complete
report of exactly what happened.
What we heard from the prosecutor did not comport with a lot of the on-the-
fly reporting that was going on while we were all watching the siege
happen, but according to the way the prosecutor understands it locally,
this is what happened. At around 8:00 a.m. local time this morning, the
Kouachi brothers emerged from the forest. They had been hiding overnight
in the woods outside Paris. After emerging from the woods, they hijacked a
car, and then rammed that car into a police patrol car. They then
exchanged gunfire with police. The older of the two brothers was
apparently lightly injured in that gun battle. Potentially shot in the
neck, although not grievously wounded.
The brothers then fled on foot. They abandoned their car, and that`s when
they took refuge in that printing plant north of Paris where we all saw
events unfold today. At that printing plant, they took a hostage. It was
the manager of that plant. They had that one hostage. What those suspects
did not know at the time was that there was actually a second person, there
was another employee inside that building with them. They never knew that,
apparently. That employee was on another floor of the building, and that
person hid in the kitchen of the printing plant in a cupboard under the
sink, for the duration of the standoff. That person stayed there in the
cupboard the entire time this hostage crisis unfolded, all the while - all
the way through the time the brothers were finally shot and killed by
Paris prosecutor revealed to the media tonight that police were trying to
contact the Kouachi brothers on their cell phones throughout the day, but
the suspects never answered. Instead, police were told to relay their
messages through the wife of Cherif Kouachi. The standoff ultimately ended
when, according to the prosecutor, the brothers suddenly emerged. They
just came out the door of the printing plant, they came out shooting at
police. Officers threw stun grenades at them, suspects kept shooting.
They injured two officers, but police shot them dead. That`s how the
“Charlie Hebdo” suspects died. Shot and killed by police. They did not
kill their hostage. That person survived, as did the person who was hiding
in the cupboard under the sink the whole time.
That`s how one of the two hostage standoffs ended today, with the two
suspects, the two brothers shot dead by police when they emerged from that
printing plant outside Paris after a long standoff. The other standoff,
the one that happened inside the city, at that kosher grocery store, where
multiple hostages were being held by a third suspect, Ahmady Coulibaly, we
also know how that one ended. And I should tell you, for this one, we have
some pretty remarkable video. You may not have seen this today. It`s a
very clear shot from an angle you probably haven`t seen before. It`s a
little disturbing, I have to say. It does show exactly how that incredibly
and terrible scene came to an end today. You see the metal door going up
there. You do (inaudible) body lying on the ground. You see police moving
in, spraying the inside of the supermarket with gunfire.
At this point, you see a person just running from the inside of the shop,
straight into that hale of gunfire. We have frozen the video there with
the suspect running into the gunfire. But that is where he was shot by
police. We then see police storming into the supermarket as a string of
just terrified people who have been held hostage inside that market all
day, including during the gun battle. As they run out into this just
chaotic scene in the street. Many people screaming. You see people
running in multiple directions, you see police storming in, not apparently
in any sort of formation, police storming and people just continue to run
for their lives.
And then you see police beginning, at one point, to attend to the wounded.
Four people were killed during that standoff today. French authorities are
now saying that the people who were killed in that incident were killed by
the suspect. They say nobody was killed during the gun battle except the
suspect himself. That`s the word of French authorities at this point.
Just a remarkable video, capturing how that terrible scene ended today.
One of two terrible hostage situations that ended today. But even with
that incredible drama and with both of the Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly
ending up dead today at the hands of police, incredibly, it is still not
over. Because the manhunt continues for one suspect who is still at large
tonight. Joining us now is Chris Dickey. He served as Paris bureau chief
for “Newsweek.” He is now foreign editor for “The Daily Beast.” Mr.
Dickey, thank you very much for joining us, especially so late at night. I
CHRIS DICKEY, THE DAILY BEAST: That`s fine, Rachel. It`s my pleasure.
MADDOW: In terms of what we know and the status of the investigation and
these very interesting questions about the suspect who may still be at
large, what can you tell us about the latest on the search effort and what
French authorities are saying about the status of the investigation?
DICKEY: Well, I think what you need to understand is that they`re looking
at what they described as a family cell. It`s a fairly tightly knit group
of people, related to each other, or they`ve been in prison together. As
you`ve described in your introduction. And one of the things that hasn`t
really been paid much attention to, in the coverage in the United States,
is that they have already detained a lot of people connected with this
They put about I think more than nine people in jail yesterday for
questioning and will hold them for some time until they start to get the
kind of information they want. Initially, it was just to try to find the
two shooters from the “Charlie Hebdo” massacre. But I think now, their big
concern is to make sure that there`s not a broader organization here, that
there are not other cells. And since they have managed to kill everybody
who could tell them that, except for Hayat Boumeddiene, I think one of the
reasons they want to get her is not just that she might be armed and
dangerous, but because she might be the person who can begin to lay out for
them what is the extent of this conspiracy.
MADDOW: One of the things we heard today is that Hayat Boumeddiene, whom
you described again, who is the suspect who is at large, and the wife of
Cherif Kouachi, are known according to phone records, at least the
reporting that I`ve seen, to have been in very close contact, as you say,
this is sort of being described as a family cell, – should we take that to
believe that other family members of these young men who are killed today
are not just in custody, but that they are, in some ways, working with
police? Is there any sense that there may be cooperating witnesses here? Or
is everybody being held sort of in an adversarial context?
DICKEY: I think most of them are being held in an adversarial context, and
I think they are probably being grilled pretty roughly. The police are
very - how shall I say, France is very upset about this. Because
notwithstanding its long history of terrorism and enduring terrorism as
you`ve described it, this is really extraordinary, even in a French
context. The number of dead is so high, the targeting is so high, the
parallel plots coming off at the same time is something they have never
seen in this country before. All of that is very disturbing.
But there`s one other element that you didn`t touch on, that I think has to
be understood about the experience of France with terrorism. France
understood terrorism in the days of Palestinian terrorism. For instance,
the (inaudible), the Joe Goldenberg deli massacre that you mentioned at the
beginning. They understood something that people understand in the Middle
East, that terrorism was a kind of brutal form of communication between
parties who at some point might want to enter a negotiation, and in fact
that`s what happened after the Goldenberg deli massacre. The Syrians were
related to that, were behind it. And there were some very rough games
played between the Syrians and the French.
Al-Qaeda terrorism is nonnegotiable terrorism. Al Qaeda does not want
anything from France. It does not really believe that it`s going to get
people to stop publishing cartoons. It wants to conquer France,
eventually. It wants to take over. That may be fanciful, but that`s what
it wants. That`s why the prime minister here talks about this as a war.
It`s not just terrorism. It is a war. And it`s a war basically to the
death. And I think that that`s the thing – that sort of dawning
consciousness of that is what`s new in France and very, very disturbing for
The U.S. experienced that and understood it very clearly after 9/11, even
though the U.S. never had the kind of experience with terrorism that France
had had. It was clear to the Americans that there was no negotiating with
Osama bin Laden. There wasn`t anything you could do to make this go away,
except eliminate the enemy, and I think the French have come to that
conclusion, as well, which is one reason that the French are very busy
deploying troops in a lot of places that Americans don`t pay much attention
to in order to fight the advances of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda-related groups.
One of the most obvious places being Mali, where a French intervention
stopped al Qaeda supported groups from taking over an entire country.
MADDOW: Chris Dickey, former Paris bureau chief for “Newsweek” now foreign
editor for “the Daily Beast,” Mr. Dickey, thank you very much for your time
tonight. I really appreciate it.
We`re going to have much more about today`s events in Paris. Coming up
next, we`ve actually got the latest on a startling story that broke very
unexpectedly tonight at the New York Times. The prospect of felony charges
for America`s most famous general. Please stay with us.
MADDOW: So today has been one of those news days where it`s hard to
believe it`s all happening at once. But this bit of late-breaking news
tonight, this is not one of those things that we saw coming at all. NBC
News nevertheless has confirmed tonight that federal prosecutors and the
FBI have recommended that felony charges be filed against General David
Petraeus. To be clear, charges have not been filed against General
Petraeus, but the New York Times tonight reports in a bombshell report that
federal prosecutors and the FBI have recommended to Attorney General Eric
Holder that the general be indicted on felony charges for improperly
disclosing classified information to his then-mistress. This goes back to
the shock resignation of General Petraeus.
President Obama was re-elected to serve a second term as president on
November 6th, 2012. But just three days after that election, Washington
was shocked when the director of the CIA and a household name across this
country, because of his leadership in Iraq and Afghanistan and at the CIA,
people were talking about him as a potential presidential candidate, three
days after the presidential election in 2012, David Petraeus shocked
everybody by suddenly resigning. He issued an explanatory statement saying
that he had had an extramarital affair.
Quote, “after being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor
judgment. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the
leader of an organization such as ours.” Meaning the CIA.
President Obama accepted General Petraeus` resignation, replaced him as CIA
director, he put John Brennan in. But after all of that, there remained a
criminal investigation into whether or not in the course of his affair, and
in the course of his time as CIA director, General Petraeus transferred
classified information to the woman with whom he got romantically involved.
And the whole thing had been a little bit cloak and dagger from the very
beginning. The affair was first reportedly discovered by federal
investigators, after a friend of General Petraeus told an FBI agent that
she had received some alarming anonymous e-mails concerning General
Petraeus. These were anonymous threatening emails claiming that this
woman, the friend of General Petraeus was having some sort of inappropriate
romantic relationship with him. There`s no reason to believe that she was.
But FBI agents took it seriously. They launched basically a stalking
investigation to find out the source of these threatening emails. They
eventually traced those messages, those anonymous threatening messages to
the woman who turned out to be General Petraeus` mistress. That is how
they found out. That is how federal agents stumbled upon computer evidence
that the general was having an affair.
Following General Petraeus` resignation from CIA, FBI agents reportedly
discovered classified documents on the computer of his mistress. Now,
General Petraeus says that`s not from him. He has said repeatedly that he
never provided his mistress with any classified information.
But “The New York Times” reports tonight that the FBI and the federal
prosecutor who have been investigating this case, “New York Times” reports
tonight that those investigators and prosecutors have concluded that
General Petraeus did provide that information, and that he should therefore
be brought up on felony charges for having done it.
If their recommendation has, in fact, been made, that would put the
decision in the hands of Attorney General Eric Holder. It`s his decision
as to whether or not charges will be brought against General Petraeus.
These are charges that, if they`re proven, could send the retired four-star
general and former CIA director to prison.
Joining us now is “New York Times” correspondent Michael Schmidt who broke
this story this afternoon, along with his colleague Matt Apuzzo.
Mr. Schmidt, thanks very much for being with us.
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, “THE NEW YORK TIMES” CORRESPONDENT: Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: Is this a new recommendation that was just made to the attorney
general? Or did the FBI and the prosecutors make these recommendations
some time ago and it`s just getting out thanks to your reporting now?
SCHMIDT: I think this has been sitting on Eric Holder`s desk for many
months. This is not something that just happened now. Actually, people in
the Justice Department thought Holder would have made a decision by the end
of last year, but that time came and went and nothing has happened.
So, the question is, will Holder make a decision before he`s replaced by
whoever the next attorney general is going to be?
MADDOW: I don`t want to ask you anything about your sources for the story.
That`s not what I`m getting at here. But do you have any sense, having
reported this out, as to why this is coming out now? This has been sitting
on the attorney general`s desk for moments now, why is it in “The New York
SCHMIDT: Why is it in “The New York Times” now?
MADDOW: Presumably, somebody wanted you to know, so that it would be in
“The New York Times”.
SCHMIDT: Well, that kind of degrades our reporting. I mean, we go out and
talk to a lot of people about a lot of different things and we try to learn
as much as we can about a range of subjects, and this is something that
come up recently for us, and we took the information, and we ran it to
ground. And as we did that, we learned about something that has really
flown under the radar for a long time.
As you remember, this was a really big deal back in 2012. And since then,
it`s been really quiet. Mr. Petraeus has built a really great post-
government career. He`s making thousands of dollars in the speaking – you
know, giving speeches and he`s working for KKR, the big private equity
firm, and he`s teaching.
And a lot of this has sort of been forgotten. All that`s really known is
that the investigation is still open. And people said, why is that?
But besides that, we haven`t really known much.
MADDOW: In terms of the specifics of the case here, you report in your
story tonight that general, quote, “has no interest in a plea deal that
would spare him a trial.” Clearly, he believes that he`s innocent of these
But it sounds like, at least the way that you described, it sounds like
prosecutors and the FBI think that it is a clear case.
SCHMIDT: Yes, they are convinced about this. They think that Mr. Petraeus
has been treated differently because of his status. They believe that if
he had been anyone else, he already would have already been indicted.
And they don`t understand why Attorney General Holder hasn`t done anything
yet. And they questioned whether he`s afraid to do it, or whether he`s
passing the buck. But they certainly believe that the evidence is very
strong and that, for some reason, this is taking a very long full-time
because he`s a war hero.
MADDOW: “New York Times” correspondent Michael Schmidt, congratulations on
this scoop. I did not at all intend to degrade your reporting, quite the
contrary. It is a remarkable thing to have found out. Thanks for helping
us understand it. I really appreciate it.
SCHMIDT: Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: All right. We`ve got lots more to come, including some new news
about the U.S. response and U.S. expectations after the attacks in France
Please do stay with us.
MADDOW: There`s a lot still to come tonight, including on the ongoing
situation in France, the search for a suspect who remains at large after
today`s drama. But also, the notice sent out by Homeland Security and the
FBI here in this country today in response to the France attacks.
We`ve got details on all that and more, still ahead. Please stay with us.
MADDOW: Early yesterday morning, less than 24 hours after the massacre at
the offices of “Charlie Hebdo” in Paris, a young policewoman was patrolling
in the southern Paris suburb of Montrouge. The officer`s name was Clarissa
Jean-Philippe. She`s 26 years old, she was rookie, she reportedly had been
on the job as a police officer for just two weeks.
She and her partner were on patrol in that suburb. They were called to the
scene of a traffic accident. When they arrived on the scene, someone
started shooting. Somebody opened fire on them with what was reported to
be an automatic weapon.
Now, what has been described is that the assailant emerged from a third
vehicle stolen car that was not one of the vehicles involved in the
accident. Officer Jean-Philippe`s partner was unhurt, but she was shot
several times and she died at the scene.
A street sweeper working nearby reportedly tried to intervene. He was also
shot. He injured, but he survived.
Now, this was less than 24 hours after the “Charlie Hebdo” shooting. This
is an unprovoked attack on a police officer, an unprovoked attack with an
automatic weapon, the shooter reportedly was apparently wearing balaclava,
wearing a ski mask. But French authorities said, initially, that they had
no reason to link that attack to the “Charlie Hebdo” attack that had taken
place less than 24 hours before.
And that explanation that they were not linked remained the case for a full
day as the manhunt for the Kouachi brothers swept across France. This
morning, though, we learned that the two shooting incidents were definitely
connected. And this afternoon, we learned how police figured that out.
Paris prosecutor said today that the man who shot the policewoman and that
street sweeper in the streets of that Paris suburb, he was wearing a
balaclava. He took it off and dropped it on the street as he fled. Police
were apparently able to retrieve DNA from the balaclava, and within two
hours, they`ve identified this man, Amedy Coulibaly.
Police knew he was connected to the Kouachi brothers. He had spent time in
prison with Cherif Kouachi. Phone records soon showed that Cherif
Kouachi`s wife had spoken over 500 times with Amedy Coulibaly`s girlfriend,
this woman, Hayat Boumeddiene.
When they connected those dots between these folks, French police put out
an alert for Amedy Coulibaly and his girlfriend. It`s unclear what the
girlfriend`s involvement might have been in the shooting of the policewoman
or in Coulibaly`s latter hostage-taking at the Paris kosher market where he
was ultimately killed by police.
But what did become clear as the day wore on is that the “Charlie Hebdo”
incident and the shooting of that policewoman, and the hostage-taking at
the market, these incidents were not unrelated. They weren`t even
collateral of suspects fleeing the police and doing desperate stuff. These
were planned stages of a relatively complex terror attack involving
multiple but connected attackers.
Late this afternoon Paris time, Coulibaly called a French TV channel called
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
REPORTER: Are you linked to the two brothers who carried out the Charlie
AMEDY COULIBALY: Yes, we coordinated to carry out the operations.
REPORTER: Are you still in contact with them? Have you recently been on
the phone wit them?
REPORTER: In what way did you coordinate? Are there other events planned?
Is there a plan that you are carrying out together?
COULIBALY: No, we only coordinated at the start. When they started with
Charlie Hebdo, I started with police.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
MADDOW: When they started with Charlie Hebdo, I started with police.
The massacre at “Charlie Hebdo” was part one. The killing of Officer
Clarissa Jean-Philippe was part two. The hostage situation at the kosher
market and apparently the simultaneous hostage situation, that printing
facility outside Paris, those turned out to be part three.
And once you realized that sequential pattern, the question, of course, is,
is there a part four?
After police killed Amedy Coulibaly in that kosher market and they killed
the two Kouachi brothers at that printing facility after that, a lot of
people`s hearts leapt into their throats when a third hostage situation
unfolded in France today. The gunmen took two people hostage in a Jewelry
store in Montpellier, which is in Southern France.
French newspapers are now reporting that that standoff is over and those
hostages released. After a lot of worry, authorities say that there was no
connection between that event and the events of the last few days.
But that worry will undoubtedly rear its head at every turn for some time
to come. Sources claiming to be with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,
the terror group`s branch in Yemen, they overtly took responsibility today
for the “Charlie Hebdo” attack in statements released to the West. And who
knows if they did direct it or if they`re just blowing smoke and they want
But it isn`t just coordinated attacks, attacks directed from abroad that
are the only kinds of attacks that are of concern. A lone copy cat with a
gun is equally frightening, arguably harder to stop and could strike
anywhere. Is there a part four to these attacks and could it be anywhere?
And what tools are being used to try to stop it by the people who spend
every waking hour on this stuff, to make sure it doesn`t happen.
Joining us now is Joseph Pfeifer. He`s chief of counterterrorism and
emergency preparedness for the New York City Fire Department.
Chief Pfeifer, thanks very much for being with us.
JOSEPH PFEIFER, FDNY COUNTERTERRORISM CHIEF: Thanks for having me, Rachel.
MADDOW: As a person who is charged with preparing for events like this,
trying to see them coming and trying to figure out what the response will
be if they do happen, what is most concerning to you about what happened in
PFEIFER: What`s concerning to me, as you mentioned, is these complex
incidents – multiple incidents, different locations. And what we`re
concerned about, looking at the information that`s being reported is not
just an active shooter, but there`s IEDs and Molotov cocktails.
So, what we`re concerned about in New York City is this type of what`s been
called as a Mumbai-style of attack, using three modes of weapons –
shooting, IEDs and improvised incendiary devices.
MADDOW: Improvised explosive devices would be bombs, improvised incendiary
devices would be Molotov cocktails. All of which, I mean, depending on
exactly what you`re talking about, are pretty sort of low-cost-of-entry
weapons for attackers. I mean, that`s what strikes me. I mean, there`s
been some interesting allegations, reports out of France that these guys
may have had heavy weapons, there`s certainly multiple reports that they
fully automatic weapons. Those things aren`t easy to get your hands on.
But these things could have just as easily been done with semi-automatic
weapons and other things that are very easy to get your hands on in this
I mean, is that part of the concern that these are essentially attacks that
could be carried out by people with very little training and very few
PFEIFER: That`s the main concern. It takes a lot of training to fly
planes into a high rise building. It doesn`t take that same level of
training to have automatic weapons, or to have an explosive device or
What we`re concerned about is it happening in our city. What we`re
concerned about is this happening in high-rise buildings, like this
building itself. And to that concern, both the FDNY and the NYPD, the FBI
were training together to make sure that we could handle this complex
MADDOW: When the FBI and the Homeland Security Department put that
announcement today, sort of bulletin saying, you know, be on the lookout in
case there is, this is what happen in France, be on the lookout in case
something is going to happen here. What do local authorities do and local
planners do once they`ve gotten an alert like that, that they wouldn`t
otherwise do? When you`re expecting that something might happen as a
copycat or as a part four to this event, it might happen here, how do you
step it up? What do you do that you don`t otherwise do?
PFEIFER: So, what we do is talk to the intelligence community.
PFEIFER: So, yesterday, I had a conversation with the New York State
Fusion Center. We discussed on a secure conference call, we discussed some
of the things you`re reporting about today.
I made my contacts with NYPD and we`re planning an exercise on a high rise
building, a building that`s being renovated within New York City. So we`re
able to go in with NYPD with their heavy arms. If there`s a fire, how do
we coordinate that with the fire department? And most importantly, how do
we get people out that are injured?
PFEIFER: So, what we saw in the attacks in Boston, the Boston marathon, we
saw that people were able to be removed from the scene very quickly and
they survived. So, what we`re training on now is to be able to move people
from a high rise building and that they can survive and speed is of the
MADDOW: Joseph Pfeifer, chief of counterterrorism and emergency
preparedness for the New York Fire Department – thank you for helping us
understand. I appreciate it.
PFEIFER: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SUBTITLE: If you want to know who owns any website in France, the answer
now always is –
The entire French Internet is now Je Suis Charlie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Of all the people, one group I did not expect to insert itself
into the French terrorism story was the hacktavist group Anonymous.
Anonymous is the group that has hacked everybody from PayPal to Visa and
MasterCard, to the Tunisian government, to the Ku Klux Klan.
But today, Anonymous put out this video in which a group announced plans to
exact revenge on the orchestrators of the “Charlie Hebdo” attacks in
France. Anonymous said they will hack the Web sites and social media
accounts of the terrorist groups responsible for what just happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We intend on shining the light on these events in
homage to the innocent people killed. All the Anonymous of the entire
planet have decided to declare war on you terrorists. We will get each and
every one of you and we will destroy you. You have allowed yourselves to
kill innocent people. We will avenge their death, we will watch all your
activities on the net, we will close your accounts in all the social media.
You will not impose your Sharia law in our democracies. We will not allow
you to kill our freedom of expression.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: In addition to the scary Guy Fawkes mask`s statement that you just
saw there, they also released a written statement vowing that those opposed
to freedom of expression can expect a massive frontal assault from us,
because the struggle for the defense of these freedoms is the foundation of
Now, we have no idea in terms of what exactly to expect for this
cyberattack or when to expect it, but given Anonymous` recent history in
hacking corporate and government Web sites across the world, including ones
that are very difficult to hack, it is likely just a matter of time.
And honestly, it couldn`t happen to a nicer bunch of folks. Watch this
MADDOW: The most urgent matter at hand continues to be that French
authorities are continuing their search for the fourth suspect involved in
the attacks in that country. She`s thought to be the girlfriend of the
suspect killed in today`s hostage standoff at that kosher market in Paris.
He was killed by police at that standpoint, but she is still at large
tonight. And police are on the lookout for her across France.
That does it for us tonight. Now, it`s time for “THE LAST WORD WITH
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>