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The Rachel Maddow Show, Transcript 11/18/15

Guests: Tammy Duckworth

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thank you, my friend. It`s really good to have you there. Thanks to you at home as well for joining us this hour. You cannot take liquids in any significant quantity onboard a passenger aircraft anymore. You know this, right? You have to put any liquids or gels in teeny tiny little containers. And you can`t bring on board a large number of those teeny tiny little containers. The total amount of liquid and the size of the containers that all your liquids have to be in, it`s very tightly regulated now, in a very annoying way, for going on a decade now. But if you have ever wondered why it is that you can only put something this size in your carry-on luggage, but on the same flight, as the same person, you`re welcome to put something giant like this, full of the exact same liquid in any size into your checked luggage -- this can go in the carry-on, but this or something bigger, even, can go into your checked luggage, your checked luggage you don`t have access to during the flight. If you`ve ever wondered why we have a liquid ban for carry-on luggage but not for our checked luggage, it`s because of this house in London, East London. And it`s because of something that the British version of the FBI, something that MI-5 saw inside that house. And what they saw, initially, made no sense to them. But when they figured it out, all of a sudden, rules changed around the world. It was some time in the summer of 2006. MI-5 decided to put surveillance on this house, this guy`s house in East London. They were worried about some associations that this guy had. They were worried about his trips back and forth to Pakistan. They were worried about some unusual stuff that they were seeing in his luggage, some stuff when he was coming back into the U.K. from some foreign trips. They didn`t find anything illegal, but there were weird combinations of items that they didn`t understand. And that combination of factors led MI-5 to put surveillance on this guy, including hidden cameras in this house. And what they found inside that house was what appeared to be a bomb-making factory. But it appeared to be making sort of miniature bombs. That guy who they had under surveillance and another young man were seen by MI-5 in that house constructing devices of some kind, what might have been explosive devices, inside soda bottles. And not big two-liter soda bottles, but normal, personal-sized plastic soda bottles. And MI-5 investigators were looking at the surveillance footage, they were initially, reportedly confused as to why these guys would be making little bombs like that. But then, when day found the same guy intensively researching flight timetables for hours at a time in an Internet cafe, they ended up putting two and two together. These little drink bottle bombs, these little drink bottle explosive devices -- they were bombs, they were small bombs, but they were just large enough to rip a hole in the fuselage of a commercial airliner at cruising altitude and thereby crash the plane. And they were just small enough -- they were big enough to do that, but they were small enough for these guys to be able to plan to get bombs of this size onboard those aircraft. And not just onboard one or two, they had plans, apparently, to get these bombs in soda pop containers on to seven different airliners. The MI-5 surveillance camera catching the soda bottle bomb-making, that footage was seen by the surveillance cameras on August 3rd, 2006. Within a week, the U.K. authorities arrested young men all over the U.K. who were said to be involved in that plot. Six of them had already made martyrdom videos, that they wanted to be seen in the aftermath of committing these planned suicide bombing attacks onboard airliners with the bombs and these little soda bottles. The hidden camera revelation about them making those soda pop bombs inside that house, that surveillance footage happened on August 3rd. The arrests happened across the U.K. on August 9th. And then, on August 10th, the very next day, the very day after those arrests in the U.K., the U.S. put in place our new national rule, restricting the amount of liquids that you can bring onboard a plane. And that rule has been in place of since. But the reason it applies to carry-on luggage, specifically, and not to your luggage you stow in the cargo area, the reason it applies to carry- on luggage, specifically, is how exactly those guys in London were assembling their soda bottle bombs. According to the evidence that prosecutors presented against the eight British men who got life sentences in this plot, according to prosecutors, what they planned to do was use those soda bottles and a few other innocuous-seeming everyday items to basically bring bomb components onboard commercial planes and assemble the bombs in flight. So, the detonators for these bombs were going to be rigged using little AA batteries, which had been hollowed out and re-filled with a different chemical to be part of the detonator. As a power source or an igniter, they planned to use some little electronic device, like potentially a disposable camera. But for the actual explosive material for the bomb, that was inside the soda bottles. What they would do, according to prosecutors, the way this plot worked, is they would leave the top of the bottle on, leave it factory sealed. They would then drill a little tiny hole through the bottom of the soda bottle, empty out the soft drink, fill it, instead, with the explosive fuel, and then they would use something like glue or superglue, something soft but adhesive to re-seal the tiny hole in the bottle that they`d made with the drill -- something that would seal the bottle back up, so it could still hold liquid, but it was soft and penetrable. And that was important, because once onboard the plane with what appeared to be a can -- a bottle of soda pop, the bombers plan to take out their apparently unopened, innocuous bottle of soda, they would puncture that soft seal in the bottom of the bottle, using a syringe. Through the syringe, they would squirt into the bottle the secondary chemical they needed to add to the liquid to make into a proper bomb, then they rigged the thing up to the little MacGyver detonator that they had hooked up and boom. So, you cannot take liquids on to planes in any significant quantity, to this day, because of the plot that the British law enforcement thwarted by eight British men to make small bombs onboard planes using doctored soda bottles and syringes. And bombs are no simple thing. The so-called shoe bomber, Rich Reid, he tried and failed to detonate the bombs that he had hidden in his shoe. The underwear bomber tried to combine bomb components onboard the plane for his bomb, but he couldn`t pull that off either. In Paris, though, we know the bombs worked. A lot of them worked. Six of the seven attackers who were killed during the Paris attacks on Friday night, six of them died when they detonated suicide vests or suicide belts that they were wearing during the attacks. The seventh attacker who was killed on Friday night was shot, but he was also wearing a suicide vest or belt when he was killed. So that`s six, if not seven, working, operational suicide bomb vests or belts that were used in the Paris attack. That`s a lot. Who built those bombs? Where`s the bomb factory? Who`s the bomb maker? Where is the bomb maker now? And how many more of his suicide bombs are out there? Because in the last 24 hours, we have found out that whoever made the suicide bombs for the attackers on Friday night in Paris may not have stopped the at seven. We now know there was an eight suicide bomb that had been constructed and we know that because yet another suicide bomb was set off last night by a woman inside an apartment in Saint-Denis, just immediately north of Paris proper during that massive French police assault on that apartment building. And we`re going to have more on that raid coming up, including live reporting from Richard Engel in Paris. We`ll have that in just a moment, talking about the identity of that apparent suicide bomber in that apartment building, the ongoing manhunt that continues today and into tonight and much more. But there are two other things that have just happened that I think put the explosives issue, put the attack issue back at the heart of the ongoing nature of what`s going on here. Not just looking back at Friday, but thinking about what is yet to be resolved and what may be yet to come. First is some visual images that were posted by the French news magazine called "Le Point." Visual images from "Le Point" showing the inside of a hotel room that was apparently used by the attackers in a lead up to Friday`s assault. Among the still-unexplained items left behind in the attacker`s hotel room were a pile of syringes -- syringes -- and what the publication describes as short needles and the kind of tubing that you would use for intravenous lines. Were those for bomb making? Were the attackers either making the bombs that they then detonated later on that night? Were they responsible for the last-minute combining of components of the bombs? Were those syringes totally unrelated to the suicide vests and belts? Could the syringes conceivably used for drugs or for something else we don`t understand? But that`s one factor to consider. The other factor to consider today is that today, ISIS put out the latest edition of its propaganda magazine, in which they claimed credit again for bombing the Russian passenger jet that crashed in Egypt 2 1/2 weeks ago. As part of their propaganda magazine, they posted this picture of what they claimed was the bomb or at least the kind of bomb they say they used to bomb that Russian jet. As you can see, it is small as a soda can. It is, in fact, designed adds a soda can, an intact one. Probably wouldn`t get a succeed glance before it was hooked up to that detonator and what appears to be a switch. Making bombs is hard. It is much easier to do it wrong than to do it right. And when it goes wrong, you either accidentally hurt or kill yourself or you make a dud. But these guys in France are not making duds. And the number of bombs they made for the Paris attacks, the number of bombs they made for Paris is still unknown. We can account for eight of these suicide bombs so far and at least seven of those eight seem to be in fine working order. Are there more? Where are they? Who`s making them? Tonight, ISIS released another one of their slick propaganda videos, where in this latest one, they used recycled footage that they`ve used before of this guy strapping on a suicide bomb and then they show footage of New York City`s Times Square. Again, they`ve used this before. This follows ISIS releasing a different video several days ago, in which they overtly threatened an attack in Washington, D.C., as well. Both the FBI and NYPD say they`re aware of this new video out tonight from ISIS. They say there`s no specific, credible threat to New York that they are aware of at this time. But amid the ongoing manhunt, amid the ongoing raids, hundreds of raids now across France and in other European countries, as the French state of emergency continues, there is still this ongoing issue that is still in the mix of the ISIS bomb master and what presumably has got to be sort of bomb-making factory and a good one, somewhere in western Europe. This time last week, Paris had never had a suicide bombing before. Now, it`s had seven and it could have had eight. And as security has evolved in the past, which each new successful terrorist attack and each real but interrupted terrorist attack, until that bomb maker and that bomb factory are found, that physical, technical threat is going to dominate everything about the response to this attack, right alongside the manhunt and all the issues of human intelligence. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: One of the things we have been watching for and worrying about in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks is whether there would be a follow-on or copycat attacks of a large or small scale. Well, today, French officials say they thwarted what they expected to be a large follow-on attack when they launched that huge raid north of Paris, in which eight people were arrested and two people were killed. One, apparently, by suicide bomb. That was last night. We`ll be talking about that in more detail with Richard Engel in just a moment. But after that at around 8:00 p.m. local time in France tonight, which is about 2:00 p.m. on the East Coast of the United States, there was a stabbing attack against someone who teaches at a Jewish school in Marseille. Marseille is in the far south of France. It`s quite a distance from Paris. This is a male teacher who himself is Jewish, who was apparently accosted by three men who threatened him and shouted anti-Semitic insults at him, and then stabbed him in the arm and the leg. Local prosecutor says one of the men who was involved in this attack wore a t-shirt supporting ISIS. The attackers fled when the police showed up. They have not been apprehended. The only good news here is that the teacher`s wounds they say are not life-threatening. This happened today, of course, as France is still reeling. We`ve got Richard Engel live in Paris, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: One of the best-known car companies in all of Western Europe is a French carmaker named Citroen. You may have seen this logo before. Their cars are not common here in United States, but Citroen are pretty common throughout Europe. The model you see here is called the Citroen Xsara. And it`s Xsara spelled with an X at the beginning. And tonight, police agencies all across Europe have been told to keep their eyes open for this particular vehicle model, along with a specific possible license plate number. A notice went out this morning from French authorities to be on the lookout for that specific car, a Citroen Xsara, because it may be transporting one of the named suspects from the terror attacks in Paris who`s still believed to be on the loose tonight. There may be two attackers who took part in Friday`s attack in Paris who are still at large. If there are two, one of them is somebody who police have yet to identify publicly. But the other is by this man, who by now could essentially be anywhere. Two men are in custody today after police say they gave this man, they gave Salah Abdeslam a ride out of France and into Belgium in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. But the closest lead that French authorities seem to have on him now is he may be traveling in this kind of Citroen, somewhere in Europe. So, in terms of the manhunt part of the story, there still is Salah Abdeslam and possibly one other attacker on the loose. And there`s also the alleged mastermind behind these attacks. He`s a 27-year-old Belgium man who`s appeared in is propaganda video and ISIS propaganda magazines in recent months, as we reported earlier this week. He`s not only believed to be the mastermind behind the attack in Paris, he`s also been linked to a failed attack on a high-speed train, traveling between Amsterdam and Paris earlier this summer. That was the attack that was foiled by a bunch of young Americans on the train. He`s also been linked to a failed attack on a church in France earlier this year, in which the attacker himself the screwed it up by shooting himself in the thigh, accidentally, on his way to carry out the attack. He`s also linked to a well-armed, highly organized plot to apparently ambush and kill Belgian police officers. This one guy is believed to be linked to all of those plots, just over the course of the past year, including now the Paris Friday attacks. And apparently, last night, French police thought they had him. Last night, at about 4:30 in the morning local time, French authorities launched an all-out raid from that apartment in the Saint-Denis section of Paris. It`s actually just north of Paris. That raid went on for hours. Something like 5,000 rounds of ammunition were fired by French security forces during the raid. They say that they launched that raid, because they fought that this one guy, this 27-year-old Belgium guy, the mastermind of these attacks, was hiding out at that apartment. It had previously been believed that he was in Syria and not in Europe, but last night, apparently, French police say that he was their target in Saint-Denis. That raid took place, again, over a period of hours last night. And today, there`s been this sort of evolving mystery as to whether he really was there. As to whether that Belgian man, that alleged mastermind, was one of the two people who was killed in the raid. All day today, "The Washington Post" newspaper has been reporting very confidently that the mastermind was, in fact, killed. You can see their headline here. "Alleged ring leader in Paris attacks, killed in raid, officials say." "The Post" quotes two senior European officials speaking on conditions of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters. They say they received confirmation from the French that this Belgian man was slain in last night`s raid. Now, that`s what "The Washington Post" says. NBC News has not independently verified that. And it`s interesting, the Paris prosecutor today, who released tons of new details about that raid, he made no such announcement, either. He says at least two individuals were killed in the raid, but he declined to identify either of them. So, "The Washington Post" says they have two anonymous sources, who tells on the guy is dead, but they are pretty much alone in claiming that the guy is dead. So, it`s a bit of an important mystery right now, in terms of how much of this manhunt is ongoing. The organizer of the attacks, he might be found. He might be dead. But he might not. Joining us now is NBC News chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, who was in Saint-Denis last night when the raid took place. Richard, thanks very much for being here and thank for taking over for me last night. I was really happy to be able to put things in your hands. RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Well, thank you very much. I hope I steered the ship a little bit in your absence, but I`m very glad you`re back. MADDOW: Thank you. And you were more than able, as I knew you would be. What are we hearing tonight about that raid tonight? There is this mystery with this very bold "Washington Post" reporting about the alleged mastermind of the attack being killed in this raid. What`s the latest? ENGEL: Well, those journalists from "The Washington Post" are going quite far. I would be, frankly, a little bit nervous if I had written that article right now, because, they`ve made a very bold statement. They said that he is dead, that the ring leader was killed in that house. But the chief French prosecutor, as you just said, when he came out of his press conference, gave all the details that all the reporters in this city and around the world have been asking for. What are the connections? How many cars? How many attackers? Which attacks were they involved in? All of the things that we`ve been trying to piece together he laid out. But he said very clearly that they still don`t know if the ring leader was in the house. And the reason they don`t know is they found two- bys. The police raided the house. It`s interesting to know how they raided the house. They first went to the house. They received a tip-off that a woman and possibly Abaaoud were in the house and they decided it was a credible tip. They rushed to the location with force. They arrived with a massive amount of force. They try and do an explosive breach on the door, and find out that the door is armored. It`s a protected security door. So they can`t get through it. But by attempting to get through the door first, they alert the people inside that the police are trying to come in. The attackers inside pull their weapons, I assume she either puts on the suicide vest or gets it ready. They burst in. The second one worked getting through the door. Guns start firing on both sides. The woman blows up her suicide vest. Five police are injured. The woman -- and the reason I say "the woman" is because French officials say it was a woman -- but the Paris prosecutors say that she was so badly mangled is that the indications are that she`s a woman, but they`re not even sure. Her body is that destroyed. That they look at the body and they think, yes, that`s probably a woman. She was standing near someone and either because of the massive amount of gunfire, 5,000 rounds, or because of her bomb, her bomb was so powerful, that it dropped the floor out below her feet and part of the building started to collapse, the person next to her is also in no condition to be identified. And they are conducting DNA tests to find out if that person, so mangled that he`s unrecognizable, might have been Abaaoud. They`re also -- when they are able to stabilize this building -- are going to see if there might be more buildings under the rubble, because the prosecutors said the building is so badly damaged, they don`t want to go inside and sift through it. So, maybe there`s another body around the rubble. "The Washington Post," very forward leaning, he`s dead. I don`t know how they know that, but I would love to and there`s a lot of people in this country are hoping "The Washington Post" is right, I can tell you that. MADDOW: One of the things that was so striking, both about "The Washington Post" claim that he was dead, but also about the French police claims that he was the target, that they believed he was there and that`s why they launched that raid, is because I think it was widely assumed or at least widely stated that he was believed to be in Syria. Was that -- was that an assumption or was there good reason to believe that he was in Syria or at least not in Europe at the time of the attacks. ENGEL: The assumption was, as far as we understand, and we don`t really know what the French know. And frankly, it would be kind of a good ploy for the French to say, they though he was in France. Oh, well, he`s deep in Syria. We`re not on to him. But from what we understand, they really did think that he was in Syria. ISIS propaganda showed him in Syria, dragging bodies. You put that video on, you didn`t show the horrific bits, but showed the parts that were not too disgusting, in Syria. He featured prominently, I think, three times in major pieces of ISIS propaganda in Syria. So, it would be fair to assume that he was in Syria or Iraq or somewhere ISIS-friendly. But if he did manage to sneak back in, then it would be an enormous opportunity for the French to go after him. And that`s one of the reasons they went so quickly. They got this tip-off. They verified the tip-off, according to the prosecutor. They thought he was there and took advantage of the opportunity. Now they`re trying to find if they got their man. MADDOW: Richard, we have to take a quick break, but can you hold for just a moment. There`s another piece of this that I want to talk to you about, which is kind of a technical part of it in terms -- ENGEL: I was here all night last night, I`m going to leave now? I`m here for you, Rachel. MADDOW: All right, stay right there. I`ve got bomb questions for you when we come back. We`ll be right back with Richard Engel. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: We`re back with NBC`s chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel, who is live in Paris and was at Saint-Denis last night when this giant raid took place. Richard, I want to ask you about the description you just gave about the suicide bomb that went off in the middle of that raid. It may or may not have been a woman who set off that bomb. A lot of people say it was, but maybe it wasn`t. But you described it as being such a big blast that it cratered the floor of that apartment building, it almost collapsed the entire building. Do we know anything about how good, how big these suicide bombs were in the pantheon of suicide bombs? And whether or not this one that went off last night was the same as the one on Friday? ENGEL: I know you reported a couple of days ago that the NYPD is coming over here or may be over here now to find out that exact question. And a lot of bombs and their strengths also have to do with the environment. If they`re in a closed space, the doors are closed, there`s no place for the blast to exit. They become much more powerful. So, if you`re in a closed room, the doors are closed, the windows are closed, it can do a lot more damage than it can if you`re, you know, outside a stadium or in an open place. So, the short answer is, no, I don`t know if it was the same bomb maker. Don`t know if it was the same caliber. But this is not an easy device to find. It`s not an easy device to make. The other vests, French officials described, were all similar. This cell was linked to the other cell, so it would be a fair assumption to assume that they were similar vests, but that is really, just an assumption. MADDOW: And is it your sense, in terms of what you know of the investigation and what you know about terrorism investigations, generally, that the bombs, what`s left of the bombs, what may have survived in terms of the one suicide vest that we think was sort of deployed in the attack, but not used, and the one attacker who was shot rather than blown up, do we expect that to be an important forensic part of the investigation and are American law enforcement agencies and American and even military assets sort of the leaders in terms of how to do that? ENGEL: The FBI has gotten very good at this. And, frankly, it goes back to Iraq. The U.S. military was in Iraq for so many years, dealing with IEDs. IEDs killed so many American troops, huge, multi-billion dollar task forces were established to counter IEDs, to find out who makes homemade bombs, how they`re made. There are entire laboratories that the FBI does primarily, where they reconstruct homemade bombs. And they`ve gotten excellent at identifying a particular signature of a particular bomb maker, based on the components of the chemicals and how the bombs are put together and where the explosives are placed and the kinds of shrapnel. But those are really, I don`t want to say, academic debates. At this stage, France has a more immediate problem of finding out, are there more of these bombs right now? MADDOW: Yes. ENGEL: And then, long-term, yes, they need to find out who can make these bombs, how they can be made, and what can be done to prevent them. But, long-term -- yes, the Americans have gotten very, very good at this bomb identification. Not just because of Iraq, but that sped things along. MADDOW: Right, and that question about, you know, what`s immediately at hand, what needs to be answered, you know, if there are eight of these suicide bombs that we know have been created for France, and just in the past week, does that mean there`s more? Is there a stockpile somewhere? Is there an active factory? Is there an ISIS bomb master? ENGEL: And those syringes. MADDOW: Yes. ENGEL: You hit on something very important. Every one in this country was looking at that hotel room. It was a strange hotel room. That video has been taken of one of safe houses. We know there were three different safe houses that the teams of attackers used. And the safe house didn`t have much in it. There were some pizza boxes, a little bit of food on the table. The beds were not made. The mattresses were turned over, unclear if it was police who did that or the attackers themselves. Just didn`t make the beds or knocked them over for some reason. But very clearly on a table was a pile of syringes. And it`s unclear why and -- but if these people were bomb makers and making suicide vests, as you mentioned earlier, syringes have a very bad connection. MADDOW: Reporting from Paris, NBC chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel. Richard, thank you again for your time tonight. Really appreciate it, my friend. ENGEL: It`s my pleasure. MADDOW: We`ll be right back. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: One big thing that Paris had been planning for well before Friday`s attacks is the huge landmark global climate conference that Paris is supposed to be hosting at the end of this month. It is a super high stakes, super high-profile U.N. Summit on Climate Change that has been in the works and has been the subject of lots of political consternation in lots of countries, especially ours. It has been in the works for years. That conference is going to go on. It is going on as scheduled in Paris next month. But French officials announced today, there will be a significant change as to how it`s going to happen. They have decided to ban a huge march, a huge demonstration that is scheduled to take place a week from this Sunday, in Paris, at the outset of that concert. An environmentalist march was expected to attract around 200,000 people. If you asked the environmentalists, they`d say they`re expecting even more than that. Officials have now proclaimed, because of security reasons, that march will not be permitted next Sunday, nor will another big one that was planned for the end of the conference. Marches are expected in other cities around the world over those two days to coincide with the Paris conference, but they will not be happening in Paris. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: Yesterday, four days after the violence in Paris, we saw those terrorist attacks make their first appearance in an American political ad. Republican Senator David Vitter, who is well behind in the polls in his bid for governor of Louisiana, David Vitter accused his Democratic opponent of wanting to bring Syrian refugees and the supposed terrorists among them to the state of Louisiana. David Vitter, as always, putting the "K" in classy. Well, today, we have our first presidential level political ad featuring the Paris attacks, and the ostensible threats posed by the refugees from the war in Syria. In Iowa, New Hampshire, and in South Carolina today, Donald Trump has started airing a new radio ad. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP, DONALD TRUMP RADIO AD) DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Obama has no strategy to defeat is. And now, he`s preparing to let hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria into the United States. I will stop illegal immigration. We`ll build a wall on the southern border. And yes, I will also quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS. We`ll rebuild our military and mistake it so strong no one -- and I mean no one -- will mess with us. If I win, we will not have to listen to the politicians who are losing the war on terrorism. We will keep America safe. And we will make America great again. (END AUDIO CLIP) MADDOW: On that hundreds of thousands of refugees, nobody knows where Donald Trump is getting that hundreds of thousands number. Asked about it at a press conference this evening, he said he had it, quote, "on pretty good source", that President Obama wants to bring 250,000, quote, "migrants" to the U.S. Ever since Friday`s attacks, Donald Trump has been saying that not only would he not allow any Syrian refugees into this country if he were president, he said if any are let in over the next year, when he becomes president, he`ll round them up and kick them out. Nobody particularly wants to talk about horse race politics at a time like this, but there is a very real question as to whether or not the Paris attacks are going to change our country`s politics. They`re going to change country`s political trajectory. For example, now that Republican voters are looking at their candidates through the lens of a renewed terror threat, some people positive they might abandon, sort of upstart outsider candidates, who have been leading in the race. They might head for more establishment types instead. People who thought that would be what would happen are wrong, because we now have the first polling done exclusively after Friday`s Paris attacks. And it turns out Donald Trump pops among New Hampshire Republicans. Donald Trump not only remains far and away the front runner in the first poll taken in New Hampshire after the Paris attacks, he actually got a five-point boost from his last showing in the same poll. In the WBUR poll in New Hampshire, Donald Trump is now way out ahead of his nearest rival, Ben Carson, by ten points. There`s also a new FOX News poll out today in New Hampshire. This is also, again, polling done since the Paris attacks. In the new FOX News`s poll, look at Donald Trump`s lead. He`s at 27 percent. He leads his nearest rival by 14 points in the new FOX News poll. Mr. Trump has been losing ground in some national polls recently. Maybe that will continue. We don`t know yet. But at least in New Hampshire, in polling done in the days after the Paris attacks, Donald Trump has been making it a central talking point that he will protect America from dangerous Syrian refugees. And his popularity, at least in New Hampshire, among Republican voters is growing. And now, he is about to take his campaign of that character, to the heart of anti-immigrant, anti-Syrian refugee politics in America. He`s about to take his campaign back to Alabama. On Monday, you may remember, it was Alabama`s governor, Robert Bentley, who was the first governor in the nation to sign an executive order that would ban any Syrian refugees from coming to his state. Alabama was also the state in 2011 that passed an immigration law so harsh and unprecedented that thousands of Latino families literally fled their homes in the middle of the night. And Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Session III, Jeff Sessions, who wrote an anti-immigration bill so extreme that even Ted Cruz opposed it. When Donald Trump needed an immigration plan, he went to Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama to write his immigration plan. In August, Donald Trump went to Alabama. He stood alongside Jeff Sessions for some of it. He went to Alabama in Agust and drew 20,000 people to a huge rally in Mobile. And now, tonight, we have learned that Donald Trump will be heading back to Alabama on Saturday for another big rally in Birmingham, and if there`s one place where he can look great as the anti-Syrian refugee bomb ISIS tough guy, maybe he thinks it`s Alabama. Meanwhile in Washington, on Capitol Hill, Speaker Paul Ryan confirmed the House will vote tomorrow on a bill that would require sign-off on each individual refugee from Syria or Iraq. The bill would require sign-off on each one, each one individual person from the director of the FBI and the director of national intelligence. That seems doable. President Obama has already promised to veto that bill, but the House is expected to vote on it tomorrow. This is the fight now on the campaign trail, in state houses, and now in the United States Congress. Joining us now is Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth of Illinois. She`s an Iraq war combat veteran, and as a child, she saw firsthand another refugee crisis in Southeast Asia. She has an op-ed today called "Reject fearmongers, welcome Syrian refugees", that appeared in today`s "Chicago Trib". Congresswoman Duckworth, it`s really nice to have you here. Thanks for being with us tonight. REP. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D), ILLINOIS: It`s good to be on, Rachel. MADDOW: What do you think explains the move, particularly by governors, across the U.S., including the governor, the Republican governor in your state, to make Syrian refugees the issue and to try to block them state-by-state? DUCKWORTH: Well, I don`t know why they`re doing it, Rachel, but here`s what I do know -- when we react from fear and terror, the way these governors are reacting, we have achieved the terrorists` goals. This is what they want to do. They can`t beat us on a conventional battlefield, so they have to beat us somewhere else. And so, when we react with terror and fear, we`re doing exactly what the terrorists want us to do. And this is a time for us to lead from strength, not from fear. And these governors are playing to their lowest common denominator and really not helping our national security. If they want to help our national security, we should actually be working towards helping the refugees get here, because I certainly don`t want a whole another generation of disaffected youth who hates America. And that`s what will happen if we leave these kids in these refugee camps. MADDOW: One of the reasons I wanted to talk to you about this is specifically because of what you`ve explained about your own lived experience. As a kid, I understand that you had some experience sort of witnessing firsthand, refugees fleeing incredibly difficult circumstance and the importance of the United States in dealing with the refugee crises at that time. Can you talk about that a little? DUCKWORTH: Sure, Rachel, as a child, my father worked for the United Nations development program. I actually was living in Cambodia, until two weeks before the Khmer Rouge took over. I remember as a child living in Thailand, as my dad was trying to bring humanitarian aid to the refugee camps, to the refugees who were fleeing Laos, who were fleeing the Khmer Rouge out of Cambodia, who were fleeing Vietnam, were loading they had into boats and sailing on to the South China Sea, seeking a were the life, seeking safety. Let`s not forget that these refugees are victims of torture. And they are not safe. You know, I can`t imagine, Rachel, what it must be like. My daughter, Abigail, turned one year old today, I can`t imagine having to go home today, picking up Abigail, and only what I can carry, fleeing across an entire continent. And when I get to the ocean, put her, the most precious thing in my life, into a little rubber dingy, because that`s safer than where she is right now. And, you know, we did the right thing by the boat people in Southeast Asia, when I was a child, we could have brought in we need to do the right thing here with the Syrian refugees. These are women and children and victims of torture. MADDOW: Are you confident with the administration`s assurances that these are the most well screened people coming into the United States by any means and that are any security concerns should be alleviated by the screening processes that are already in place? Are you reassured by those assurances from the administration? DUCKWORTH: Well, Rachel, we have the most robust screening program of any place than any nation that`s accepting refugees. So, before they even come to our 13-step process, they have to get through the United Nations Refugee Commission first. And then they come to us. They go through a 13- step process. They get biometric screening. They sit down with DHS interviews. They go through the whole process. I`m working with the administration to figure out what else we can do to make sure that no one slips through the cracks. But let`s be clear, these are women and children and victims of torture. And we turn our backs on them, we reinforce the message that ISIS is sending out to folks across the Middle East that America hates Islam, that we hate them and that we will turn their backs on them. And that will create yet another generation of people who will threaten our national security in the future. And I simply am not going to allow us to do that. We`re better than that as a nation, Rachel. MADDOW: Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth of Illinois -- thank you very much for your time tonight, Congresswoman. It was great to have you here. Thank you. We`ve got much more ahead. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: So, the State Department tonight announced a $5 million new reward for information about this particular ISIS leader. The State Department describes Abu Muhammad al-Shimali as basically ISIS`s immigration master. They describe him as a key figure in the group, who`s responsible for moving foreign terrorist fighters into Syria, into ISIS- controlled territory. The State Department says last year, he helped foreign fighters from Australia and from Europe and the Middle East all enter Syria. They say he basically manages the ISIS processing center for new recruits in Syria, people they collect from all over the world. And tonight, this senior ISIS leader has a new $5 million bounty on his head. We got much more ahead tonight. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) MADDOW: So, this is the city of Raqqa in Syria, considered to be the home base of ISIS in Syria. Raqqa is an important city. It`s now an important target in the military fight against ISIS. But about 130 miles west of Raqqa, there`s a town that holds its own significance importance to ISIS. It`s a town called Dabiq. Dabiq is where the end of the world is scheduled to happen, according to ISIS. In their particular theocratic view, Dabiq is the place of impending Armageddon between the end of the world global fight between Muslims and the unbelievers and that will bring about the end of the world and they`re totally psyched about that. So much so that Dabiq is also the theme of their monthly propaganda magazine, complete with interviews and profiles and glamorized photos of ISIS fighters always smiling next to graphic photos of their victims. Well, today, ISIS released its latest issue of "Dabiq" in which they claim credit once again for the bomb that brought down the Russian jetliner in Egypt last month, taking the lives of 224 innocent people. They`re also, of course, crowing about pulling off the attacks in Paris on Friday. But in this new issue of this magazine out today, they also claim to have executed two hostages, reportedly a Norwegian man and a Chinese man, each of whom they`ve apparently been holding for months. ISIS posted a propaganda photo in this issue of "Dabiq" magazine today of what they say are the bodies of those two men who they were holding hostage but they now say they`ve executed them. The government of Norway says it`s investigating those photos and the claims. But there`s one other thing to know about this particular announcement from ISIS. In a previous issue of "Dabiq", and the issue of this magazine that came out in September, ISIS had shown photos of the same hostages alive. They claimed they were holding those two men alive. And they also posted a number for a messaging service called Telegram. They said they wanted to use Telegram, that messaging service to negotiate a ransom for each of those men, the man from Norway and the man from China. Telegram is a messaging app designed to be totally untraceable by security services. There`s no way apparently you can reverse engineer or surveil these messages in order to find out where they`re coming from. So, Telegram is in part what ISIS have been using to communicate with each other and also specifically what they have used to try to get people to give them ransom money for their hostages. And now, Telegram knows this. They have in the past acknowledged that ISIS uses their messaging service. It`s been unsettling to see that this Telegram has not expressed they`re particularly bothered by ISIS using their service. But today after the attacks in Paris, and after the announcement from ISIS whose ransom they used, the company Telegram announced that, OK, they will shut down the channels on their service that ISIS has been using to communicate in the past. The company says they have now blocked 78 ISIS- related channels on Telegram across 12 languages. They`ve done it now, because now it bothers them. No rush, you guys. That does it for us now. Our coverage of the attacks in Paris continues now with Lawrence O`Donnell. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. 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