tv Smerconish CNN June 3, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
for the evening and it's an area -- london bridge is quite a photogenic area so people stop to take photos because from london bridge you can get quite a lot of views, the city skyline and the other bridges. so a lot of people were just stopped taking selfies and photos of the river or walking across in small groups. and it looked to me like the van was aiming for the people. >> wow. what did do you when you saw the van coming? >> well, i froze, to be honest. i was just trying to work out where is going to be the best place to go.
as i was doing that, then came, which direction should i run? if the van swerved from the other side of the bridge from me so it went away from where i was and i guess i was just lucky but it was seeing the van go past me and throw a person 20 feet into the air. >> we are looking at images right now from london bridge where you can see a large police presence, people are still in that area. we're seeing some folks walking and running. mark, stay with us. we're talking with mark roberts. he's a witness on a scene of something that happened within the last hour. he described for us a van going at a high rate of speed coming from the south and plowing into a number of people on the bridge, people who had stopped to take pictures and continuing
to drive forward, one person flying into the air several feet, eventually mark roberts says the van ran into a bus and it was still on the bridge at the time. mark, you also mentioned hearing what sounded like gunfire. how long after this initial incident where you saw the van hit a lot of people before coming to a rest, how long after that happened did you hear what sounded like gunfire. it was about five or ten minutes later and there was a lot of gunfire. police got here very quick. and the shots sounded to me like -- the gunfire sounded like it was coming from the barrow
market area. i know london fairly well. that sounded to me like the area that it was coming from. >> now, was that the same direction that the van was headed? >> it's a bit further on. so it -- that would have been consistent with somebody getting out of the van and running away and then being caught. >> and how long did it take you before you saw -- >> i don't have any information about that. it would be consistent with that. >> i understand. just trying to piece together some of the scene and the timeline here, mark. when you saw the van and the incident unfolding, how long did it take for police to respond? were they very close to that area? do you have a sense of how long it took? >> it was very quick. there were police patrolling around all the time anyway in the area.
and i was at london bridge station tonight and there were probably half a dozen police -- half a dozen police at the station itself earlier in the evening, just being present. so they would have been there on the scene very quickly. i'm not going to be able to continue on the line because i'm -- at the moment, i'm in a bus and the police have gathered together all of the witnesses who were on the bridge and they are taking us to a hotel where they are going to take statements from us. so at the moment, i'm being transported by the police to another location. >> okay. and who -- are the people that you are with all people who are uninjured or are some of them who were loaded up affected directly by this incident? >> they are all uninjured. they are people who are being
treated, paramedics are dealing with the people who were injured. >> highwa how many people were ? >> in my line of sight, i would say about five or six people spread out across the area, from what i could see. but i couldn't see any more than that. but i think i'm going to have to stop there, actually, because it's getting a bit difficult and there are a lot of people upset around here. and we're going off now to speak with the police. i'm going to have to leave you there. >> okay, mark roberts, we'll let you go. we really appreciate you pending the time with us to describe for us what you witnessed. thank you so much. we wish you and all of those with you the very best. we hope you will reconnect with us when you do have a moment. i want to just update our viewers right now about what we are watching and learning as
there's an incident unfolding on london bridge right now after 11:00 local time there. you can see these images with many police cars on scene, ambulances on scene, a lot of sirens and a lot of flashing lights. we are just talking with mark roberts, who was on london bridge. he talked about seeing a van coming across the bridge at a high rate of speed a little over half an hour ago now. he was on the bridge. and it was swerving back and forth, he said, bouncing off the pavement and knocking into several people. mark roberts describes seeing five or six people being mowed over and ending up on the ground. he said he saw one person fly several feet into the air as the van kept on driving carrying on until it hit a bus or a bus stop and coming to a rest while it was still on the bridge. he also said he heard what sounded like gunfire, about five or ten minutes after this
initial incident. coming from an area in which he described as the bureau market area, for those familiar with london. at this point, it's unconfirmed if there were gunshots fired at all. he just described what he thought was gunshots in the area. mark roberts was on the bus and is being taken to an area with other witnesses of the scene. we're continuing to look at the pictures here. you see a big police presence there on the left side of your screen and nearby where this incident just happened within the last hour. i want to bring in cnn law enforcement analyst and former fbi special agent james valiano here with me in new york as we learn more information as the scene is unfolding. james, what's your initial read based on what we've heard from that eyewitness? >> ana, what we're looking at is the western world's new normal. in situations like this, you always want to presume terrorism until proven otherwise but we
have to keep in mind there was another incident similar to this in times square where a crazed man drove up on a sidewalk into tourists. this looks like terrorism to me. that's the way law enforcement has to be handling it. it was once said about warfare, there's no constant conditions. al qaeda and isis and al shabab and other terrorist groups have adapted. they no longer go after hard targets. they look at soft targets. if they can't get into a concert, they blow it up outside. if they can't get into a soccer stadium, they do it outside. and if they can use a vehicle instead of buying bomb components that bring them under the scrutiny of law enforcement, that's what they do. >> and in just the last year or so, we've seen several incidents
in which a vehicle was weaponized in a terrorist attack. we don't know what we have here right now but we're learning several people were injured by a vehicle as the police are now responding to the scene on london bridge and, again, just what we're learning from this eyewitness, he described it as it appeared that this vehicle was aiming specifically for the pedestrians. we don't know who was behind the wheel. he was not able to describe what that person looked like, where they were focused, what they were doing, where they ended up going following this incident. but let me just go through a couple of these previous attacks. we know most recently, april 7th, 2017, this year, just a couple of months ago, at least four people were killed when a truck drove into pedestrians on a busy street near stockholm, sweden. in london, also, killing four people, that was at the time
london's deadlyist terror attack. we had manchester hapless than two weeks ago, the big concert bombing. that was a terrorist incident. so people are on edge right now, james. and as we're watching this, we don't want to heighten anybody's sense of fear. but this seems to be a very serious situation. >> sure. the pattern or paradigm seems eerily similar. if this proves to be a terror attack, they don't have to go to syria anymore or afghanistan to a training camp. they open up their laptop, watch jihadi propaganda and become radicalized and then don't need to go to a gun store to buy a weapon that is going to draw attention to law enforcement. they've just got to get a vehicle and then commitment themselves to doing what appears to have happened here, which is
to find a crowded place where people are unsuspecting and plow into a group of pedestrians and try to kill as many as you can. that appears to be what this is. >> would there be typically a high security presence in a bridge like this? this is a tourist destination, london bridge, right? >> i can tell you that our hyperfocus from the counterterrorism perspectives, whether it's manhattan bridge, george washington bridge, lincoln tunnel, it's the same thing in london, in the uk. london bridge is like big bend or the royal palace. it's one of the most iconic landmarks that there are. so remember, when they do this, when the terrorists select a target, they want to be able to maximize the carnage but want the impact to be even bigger because they are going after a
western icon and that's what london bridge is. >> we have fred pleitgen joining us on the phone en route to the bridge. it's filled with police cars and ambulances responding to what appears to be some kind of an incident. that's how they are describing it. the police in this area are tweeting out that they are dealing with an incident on london bridge. when we have more information, we'll update this twitter feed. there are officers on scene as they investigate exactly what happened. a number of witnesses have been transported on to buses to do interviews. fred pleitgen, are you able to describe for us what you're seeing in that area or are you still en route? >> reporter: i'm still en route but i'm fairly close now. police are moving to that area. you can see a lot of police cars, marked police cars but
unmarked police cars as well converging towards that area. i'm not too far away now. the traffic is getting a lot worse in that area down there and it will be completely blocked, as the eyewitness said before. but we do see a very, very much heightened police presence here on the streets here but especially cars that have just flashed by us right now, police cars towards that area. you can really feel how the police is reacting to this and i think it's something that we're all able to see on these pictures that we're getting, the amount of ambulance and police cars that moved into that area so very quickly. and that's one of the things about london, is that you don't really -- on normal days, you don't see much of a large police presence but when something happens, they do react very, very quickly and that's certainly what is going on right now, especially with these unmarked police cars that all of a sudden are popping out of
nowhere and then also moving in towards that area. so it's very clear that they are dealing with a serious incident, possibly a mass casualty incident, judging by the amount of ambulances that we see as we're en route to the scene here. you can really feel how in this area right now, law enforcement and emergency services really converging on this area and moving towards the place that is cordoned off after the incident took place. >> fred pleitgen, stay with me. there has been a stabbing at a restaurant near london bridge. two men entered a restaurant. this is in the bureau market close to london bridge. the customers found shelter and police have arrived at the scene. how close do you know is the
bureau market from london bridge? >> it's really very, very close. i would say it's maybe, maybe 70 to 80 yards away there from london bridge. this is something that took place almost exactly where that first incident took place. at this point in time, we don't know whether or not this stabbing is related to the incident with the van but it certainly seems highly unlikely that something like that, an incident like that would take place so close to where a van had just rammed into a lot of people without those two events being related. so it's certainly a possibility and as you recall, the eyewitness on before was also saying that he heard something going on that he believe may have been something like gunshots coming from the bureau market. we don't know whether or not that is related. now we have heard that there was another incident, we have another ambulance coming by
here. and it's really remarkable to see how many fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars are going down to that area. so obviously the authorities here we've seen incidents similar to this with mass casualty events. >> i want to bring in tom fuentes. excuse me. i just heard that he's not with us. let me ask you about this potential stabbing. eyewitnesss say two people were stabbed in this borough market. there were sounds of gunfire.
as you're putting these different pieces together for me, law enforcement perspective, how do you hampb h handle a situation where it soubnds like there could be multiple scenes? >> this is the model that we're seeing right now where there's one event and it can either be a distraction or a mass casualty event which this appears to be both. then, while law enforcement, while their focus is on the actual sight, that's when a second or third site occurs. there are two schools of thought. terrorists want to have the responding law enforcement folks get caught up in another secondary device or attack and another is just the distraction itself that allows them toll work unimpeded in a second location. hard to say this early in the process, ana, but it looks textbook. >> walk me through the priority of the investigators right now. >> absolutely.
okay. the steps are like this. first of all, crisis revolution. stop the loss of life, stop the damage to property. that's crisis revolution. the consequence management piece is another piece. and they set upper rim ter and contain the scene and work it methodically. third, make sure you collect all of the human intelligence and signal intelligence, meaning if there's any video cameras set up, if there's eyewitnesss to it, any of those things that you can piece together, put together the pieces to the puzzle to help solve this. solving the crime is secretary. we're going to get these guys. that's what we do. the first thing is to make sure there are no more events in that area and no other events in the surrounding area, that this event was used as a distraction.
>> would you be worried that there are multiple suspects out there? >> absolutely. even though the radicalization process can take one disenfranchised, disaffected youngster in their parents' basement that decides they want to do jihad, generally speaking, in he pa in he pa in he pa in he pa in the patterns that we've seen of recent. >> when you were listening to the eyewitness who was talking to us, mark roberts, was there anything that he said in particular that gave you like that light bulb moment of, this is what we're dealing with? >> yes. when i heard him describe there was a five or ten-minute period when the time that the week careened wildly and plowed into a group of pedestrians to the gunfire. now, this is britain. they have draconian gun laws. so it would be very unlikely that it's a citizen that got out of the car, a good samaritan
says, hey, i'm going to go ahead and engage the subject. it's one of two things. either law enforcement got on to the scene and engaged the terrorist or, secondarily, whether the terrorist decided after killing as many people as possible with the vehicle, he had a weapon and caused more casualties. >> i want to bring our viewers up to speed who are just joining us. it's 6:20 here in the east and 11:20 in london. within the last hour, we understand there was an incident on london bridge in which there was a van, as described by an eyewitness, that came at a high rate of speed plowing into people on the bridge at that hour. we have nic robertson who is close to the bridge. i want to bring him into the conversation. nic, walk us through what you're seeing and what you're learning. >> reporter: well, at the
moment, we just see a line of people literally running away from the scene. very, very scared and an ambulance is leaving the scene. what happened just up the street, that's where london bridge is. that's where a van is believed to have driven into and injured a number of people on the bridge and also reports of a stabbing. what we can see from here, the police have closed the road. let me step out into the road for a little bit so we can get a slightly better view. the direction of traffic to stay away from this area, there's a lot of anxious people around here. i've been driving up to this area seeing a lot of people who are in nightclubs, in clubs being moved out of the area and i think it was here where the police came up the street, the man in the fluorescent jacket is a police officer clearing the street. at the moment, it's unclear what
happened on london bridge but the police are advising people to stay away. they are locking the area down, clearing the area out and moving more police and as i was driving down here, there's a lot of police activity in the center of london as we approach here. >> nick, we obviously want you to stay safe, but what is going on around you? are people in a panic? is that the sense there? >> reporter: there is a sense of panic. the situation is not fully under control. the people that ran away before were scared of something. it wasn't clear what they were scared of. a small fight broke out behind me. it's hard to know precisely why the people are reacting that way. of course, it's late on saturday night here. it must be close to 11:00 at night. there's a lot of bars, a lot of clubs and people out drinking so that's going to add to the confusion for the police.
but even the police here, it's a tiny handful of police at this location. they seem to be running around not quite clear what they are trying to do and what streets they are trying to close. i'm standing here and more people are still exiting this area here. let me see if i can talk to them. did you come off of london bridge? >> yes. >> what was happening? what did you see? >> i don't know. >> reporter: sir, what did you see? >> i saw a guy who dropped his gun now. >> thank you. >> reporter: so as you can see -- >> nic robertson, we'll let you try to talk to some of the folks there and continue to take in the scene. stay with us. i'd love to come back to you but we are getting new reports right now of gunfire at borough market right now. not far from london bridge.
also, just this coming from the metropolitan police verified twitter account saying as well as london bridge officers have already responded to an incident in borough market. we have armed police at the scene. now, that tweet also coming moments after we learned that an eyewitness inside a restaurant in borough market said that a couple of people had been stabbed inside a market and people were taking cover. there could be multiple scenes right now that london police are responding to. it was the scene of a van careening into several people on the bridge and now the secondary area of borough market where we understand police are responding to that area, they've confirmed. they have armed police at the scene and reports coming from borough market of gunfire being heard in that area. again, we have our nic robertson and fred pleitgen working to get
more information with multiple police cars responding right now we are still trying to get details. police are not calling this a terrorist attack but we have james galiano here with me in new york. you say the approach, when you're going into a situation with multiple casualties and given the backdrop and the environment that we are in, they would be approaching this as if it were a terrorist attack. >> ana, even in new york when there's a gas explosion, until you can say definitively beyond 100% no doubt that there's a gas explosion, we treat these as terrorist events now. anything, infrastructure damage, car backfiring, in an abundance of caution, we presume it's terrorism and then work backward from that. as we're getting more and more bits and pieces of details coming in here, it clearly looks like just the typical template of somebody who possibly was
radicalized and inspired and was living in london or living in the uk somewhere and decided that they were going to act out on behalf of a terrorist group. as you cautioned before, we always have to look at these things and we have to weigh all aspects of it before we jump to any conclusions. but in the 21st century, this being our new normal, we have to presume terrorism. >> fred pleitgen is on the scene now. fill us in with what you are seeing, where you are and what you're learning. >> reporter: ana, you can see people evacuating the area here. some people are running away from the area. it's unclear if that person is injured. we have seen the police -- i'll get out of the way here now. you can see that there's a gigantic police presence back
there just about 70 to 80 yards down the road with a lot of police officers on the scene there. again, we've seen people again and again running out of the area. ana, a couple of minutes ago, i would say about ten minutes ago, there was several loud bangs that we heard in the area and now we're seeing police back there. they are running towards the scene and also apparently moving very quickly. those are armed police officers back there that are moving into that scene right now. again, about 70 to 80 yards from where we are right now, still securing the scene and still also getting people out of that area. it was just a couple of minutes ago that we did see several people evacuate the area. again, we heard about five or six loud bangs. not clear what that was, whether that was gunfire or whether it was stun grenades or something like that. we certainly heard that take place. it seems as though whatever happened here, that there may potentially be something active
going on in that area because you do have the police here and the police, i have to say, are concentrated at this point, still evacuating people out of the area. we keep talking about the borough market where the stabbing incident took place. you can see that large building known as the shard, it's around 300 yards from where we are right now. all of this is in fairly close proximity. we are very, very close to london bridge. there's more police that are being brought into that area. that's the scene that we've had for the past half hour as officers come to grips with what has happened here. they are responding to a very serious incident and certainly looking at the way that the police are conducting themselves right now, that's absolutely true. they certainly are making clear to any sort of pedestrians who
are out here that they need to leave as soon as possible. we've seen people pushed out of the cordoned area by the police as well. they are very, very serious about what happened tonight and very serious about conducting their work, getting all of the civilians out and moving in as many forces as they can. again, that includes the regular police and armed police and flying squads that they've had here. police are armed with automatic weapons. that includes first responders, emergency medical personnel as well as the fire department. so a very, very large incident has taken place here in fairly central london here tonight and, again, a lot of authorities here on the scene, ana. >> how far from where you are is london bridge and then put that into perspective from there to this borough market area? >> reporter: absolutely, ana. i'll get out of your way again
for a little bit and you can see that police cordoned right there. and i would say maybe about 70 to 80 yards more down on the right. that's where you have london bridge. so very, very close to the river right here. and then if we zoom out, you can see that tall building. that's the shar, the iconic high-rise building here. it's a fairly new building. that's around where the borough market is and which is where the stabbing incident took place. so we're very close to the scene of all of this. and this area at this time of night has a lot of people who are out here. when i was driving out here, you saw a large crowd of people going in the other direction. so there were certainly many people walking around this area. another unmarked police car is going behind us. the sound is loud right now. you see a lot of people evacuating that area. the area is quite full. a lot of people were out here tonight. this would have happened around maybe 10:15, 10:30 at night so
just as people are gearing up to go out on a weekend, and saturday night in london is always very busy when this incident took place. if you look down here, you can see that there is not really any sort of cordons and it was interesting listening to the eyewitness that you had on earlier who said that the van seemed to be veering and seemed to be going very, very fast, seemed to be moving in very quickly and then at some point hit a bus or bus station. that seems to be the only thing that could hold up such a car in a crowded area like that and now, ana, we have a lot of police officers coming down. there's a big detachment of police on motorcycles that are coming through right now. and that's showing you how serious the london police is taking this incident. that's been the scene on my entire way coming out here and it's certainly been the scene ever since we got here as well
as more and more forces are pouring in. at this point in time, we don't know whether or not the police might still be looking for a suspect or whether or not they apprehended the people who stabbed the two people at the restaurant or if somebody else is on the loose. this is still a very active scene. >> fred pleitgen, thank you. we have just learned that the president of the united states has been briefed on this incident and is aware that there's an incident that police are responding to on london bridge. a lot of police presence there. there's an incident that london police have said that they are responding to in the borough market. eyewitnesss tell us that there was a stabbing inside a restaurant. we have new pictures, images coming from inside that restaurant talk taken by
eyewitnesss. let's get a look at that. you can see here people on the ground. we heard from an eyewitness inside that restaurant that there were two people at least who were stabbed and that the rest of the people inside that restaurant huddled to try to stay safe. again, the metropolitan police tweeting, as well as london bridge officers have responded to an incident in borough market. fred pleitgen reported hearing loud bangs and an eyewitness said that a van came over the london bridge plowing into several people. he also reported hearing gunshots after that incident. i want to bring in kaitlyn curry who witnessed the incident on the london bridge. can you walk us through what you saw? >> hi, ana. we actually left borough market
before the second incident happened. so we were walking towards london bridge which is where the metro station is to the london bridge and as we were walking, we saw a car and a few bodies flipped into the air. we started walking and police came in and we were all evacuated and told to go to the metro station and the police came very quickly back into the area and most of us were able to get out of the area after the second incident happened as soon as we got on to the metro. scary because i heard people flying up and then heard gunshots when we were walking away from the bridge and we were on the north side of the bridge. the incident happened on the
south side. >> okay. so calum, you were on the north side of the bridge. what made you walk toward the bridge? you said there had been another incident just before that? >> reporter: >> no. the borough incident happened a few minutes ago. this was before the first incident a guy in the car was coming screaming down this street past us and then hit a few pedestrians. he hit quite a few. and he there were a few bodies that were flown up. not into the water, thank god, but hit them and then the side of the barrier of the road. >> now, you saw this vehicle. can you describe it for us? >> it was a black kind of normal every day car, like a four-door car. london is a very, very busy city
so we were walking down and the car was about maybe about a kilometer away from us and we saw some bodies flying up. so it was just a basic four-door pedestrian car or i don't know how you would explain it. but, yeah, just a basic car like most londoners would have, a middle class londoner would have for driving. >> with me is a cnn law enforcement analyst and retired fbi supervisor special agent. he, too, has a question for you. >> calum, it's james. can you actually see the vehicle right now? because the concern from law enforcement's perspective would be is it loaded with explosives and have the police built a large perimeter around that? can you tell if any of that activity is going on or have the police moved the vehicle and rendered it safe? >> so, no, i can't because we were evacuated as soon as the
incident happened. it was quite quick. most barriers have security and barriers and this is quite a high security. so i can't actually answer that at the moment because we were pushed back and told to get home as soon as possible. >> where are you right now and what are you seeing? >> so, i'm in the financial district. i just got back to my house in the financial district once the incident happened. >> now, did you talk to police as well about what you witnessed? >> no, because there was worry and panic around us. so kind of top of mind was to get out of the area and run for safety. >> so calum, it's james again. have the police had an opportunity to talk to you? because i know that of all the
witnesses and prospective witnesses that would be in the area, they are not going to want you folks to get too far away because each of you is going to provide a particular piece of information or evidence to hp p put this complex puzzle together. have you spoken to law enforcement or is it too early? >> i think it's a little too early at the moment because of the second attack that happened about ten minutes ago. so there's a warning for the locals to go but i have a police station down the road i can go to and give a report that evening. >> so calum, just back up for a moment for me and try to envision exactly what you're describing. you see a vehicle. we heard from another eyewitness that it was a van.
did you see the van hit people or bodies fly in the air? >> i saw bodies flying in the air from a distance. quite a few cars were quite close to each other. >> there were quite a few cars on the bridge at the same time? >> yes, on the bridge. >> and this vehicle, was it hitting other cars as well or just people who were walking? >> just the pedestrians. that's what i saw. >> and did you see where it came to rest? >> no, because we turned around at that stage. >> so you turned around. and did you start running? did you turn around because you were panicking? what was going through your mind? >> well, the authorities said you guys need to get out of this area and get far away from the bridge. >> so by the time you saw these people flying in the air, there were already authorities on
scene? >> yeah, most stations -- after the attack, there were quite a few security or police people around london. >> so there were -- there were already police officer who is would have been at the bridge at the time that this is happening? >> yes. and, also, there's a police station close by to the london bridge. >> okay. and just to confirm, if you don't know, if you weren't there, do you -- i just want to get a sense, you also mentioned this other incident in the borough market. were you -- >> yes. >> do you know of that incident directly or are you -- you've just heard about it? >> i made sure to get to an area -- it popped up on my notifications that the second incident had hit. >> so you were not connected to that? >> sorry about that. >> no. i just wanted to make sure.
i'm wondering, also, calum, while we have you here, when you talked about seeing people in the air and seeing this vehicle going very quickly, do you have a sense of just how many people were hit? >> to be honest, i don't know how many people were hit. i did see -- there was more than two bodies that i saw fly up. so it could have just been two but it could have been up to five or six people being flung up. but there were definitely -- when i asked other people who also saw it, they thought there was about 20 people that could have been involved or could have been hit by the van. >> oh, mied gy goodness, thank o much for joining us. apologies for what you've been experiencing this evening. i want to just bring our viewers
up to speed of what we're learning as we try to put together the pieces of exactly what is going on in london this evening. we can tell you that within the last hour or so there was an incident on london bridge. that is where police are currently responding where you see these live images, lots of flashing lights, lots of police presence and ambulance presence where, according to an eyewitness, mark roberts, who was nearby, he saw a van coming across at a high rate of speed, going back and forth and knocking into several people, he said. we heard from him and this latest eyewitness who saw people being flown into the air after being hit by the vehicle. the van, as described by mark roberts, said it carried on and eventually came to rest at what appeared to be a bus or bus stop. it was still on the bridge. meantime, police are responding to a second incident of some sort also in the borough market close to london bridge.
a restaurant at the borough market, people were stabbed. let me read you from what we're hearing from another eyewitness inside a restaurant there. this is at elliott's restaurant who tells us they were at the front of a restaurant when a load of people started running up the street from borough market. someone said, what is going on? and one of the people running said there was a man with a knife up there and he is coming this way. there was complete panic as everyone ran to the back of the restaurant and tried to hide themselves from view. a man suddenly appeared in the restaurant with a massive knife. some people in the restaurant believe there may have been another man but it was so chaotic, it was hard to tell. the man stabbed a waitress hiding behind a partition and stabbed her in the neck. he stabbed another man in the back and then he ran out of the restaurant. again, this coming to us from an eyewitness involved in secondary
incident. it's unclear if the incidents are connected but police are responding to both areas. police telling us that there are armed police on scene. fred pleitgen described hearing loud bang sounds and an eyewitness saying that he heard what he believed were gunshots. we now know that the white house has been briefed on this incident. i have james galiano with me. i'm curious what the fbi would now be doing in coordination with the white house national security team as they are all responding to what appears to be a very, very serious incident happening in london. >> ana, it's no secret, there's an intelligence alliance in the western world and it's made up of the united states, the uk, new zealand, canada and australia. we share all of our intelligence together. so i guarantee you they are now in the situation room in the white house and discussing it with the other four entities. the fbi has 80 overseas posts, global posts, we call our legal
caches. there's one in london. i guarantee you that it's in the hip pocket right now of the senior law enforcement in london and they are sending back to the new york office who has that responsibility as well as to the strategic intelligence operations center, the sioc, down at fbi headquarters in coordination. you could almost describe the a activity right now as a beehive. >> i want to bring in paul cruickshank joining us on the phone in london. if these are coordinated attacks, what do they tell you? >> well, the big question is if at this point but the police response tells you that there's a lot of concern and the uk has been on heightened alert since the manchester attack. the level was ramped up to critical, the maximum level a couple of weeks ago. now it's severe again.
but they've been very worried about this and very worried since the westminster attack in march in which five people were killed and now an attack on the bridge which a vehicle rammed -- which this may be tonight and one person in that attack was stabbed back in march. we've seen these kind of scenes play out all too many times on the streets in the western cities over the last year back in july, 86 people were killed in nice in a truck driving ramming since dent attack and then just back in december you had 12 people killed in berlin very, very difficult to defend against these kind of attacks. we have not heard yet from police is that this is considered a terrorist incident but i can tell you that this is being investigated very, very
urgently. it's on the streets of london and there's no indication at this point that this is eefr. they are very, very worried that there is still an ongoing situation on the streets of london and this is coming at a time when britain has had a vote in a general election. that is also creating concern that terrorists or terrorist groups might strike. and it's also the month of ramadan and isis has been urging followers to launch attacks during this period and we've seen a surge in terrorism and it's an elevated environment in the uk and just in the last few
months, even after west minute t westminster. the question that everybody will want to know is did an attack get through tonight. we don't know whether this was terrorism but certainly when you look at the police response and eyewitness accounts, it bears all of the marks. >> so you're seeing hallmarks of potential terrorism in this. what are the hallmarks specifically, if you were to pinpoint them, paul? >> well, the the report -- the very early reports is that there was some kind of a ramming attack on the bridge and the type used in isis-inspired plots on both sides of the atlantic. and so that's one of the hallmarks. these reports of stabbings, again, that we saw in the
westminster back in march, isis has been telling their followers in the west to carry on and not to stop and to kill as many people, wound as many people as possible and certainly fits the isis playbook and it's premature unfolding situation and we're just getting very, very early eyewitness accounts and i've got to tell you, in these situations, often the narrative changes hour to hour. some reports of potentially multiple attackers and we do not yet know that. possibly there's just one person involved here. and in these sorts of situations, until we're told more by the police, we have to assume that there are also possible alternative information even though that's pretty
unlikely given the information that is coming in at this point. >> let me bring in cnn international correspondent clarissa ward at our london bureau. what are you learning from your sources? >> well, ana, we're just actually on twitter now looking at the metropolitan police who have been keeping everybody updated to the best of their ability with these incidents are now reporting a third incident. they said officers are now responding to an incident in the voxil area, part of london, quite far away, completely separate from borough market and london bridge. it's in the south of london. we don't know any more about this incident, what it is, what's going on, whether anyone has been hurt but they have just announced that on their twitter account. the two areas, london bridge and borough market are distinctive
and vibrant night life and bars. people are out having a good time and enjoying their evening. enjoying their evening. in many ways this does bear the hallmarks of others that we've seen -- >> i'm sorry. we want to go to nick robinson. he's on the ground. nick, what can you tell us? >> riot police have rushed through the area. they appear to have arrested one man. as they rushed away from the borough market, they were shouting and screaming, making everyone run away tachlt. armed police on the scene here this evening. armed police were coming in down the street, racing toward the scene. screaming and shouting at people to get out of the way. the police are very tense, very nervous right now. it's not clear why they've had
to rush in the armed police at this stage almost an hour -- more than an hour now after the event happened. the scene where we are which is just at the back on the south side of borough market where the attack took place is a from notic and hectic area. we've literally had to run the last 200 yards to get out of the area. it's not like a westminster attack where they move the block aids back. they weren't many people and then armed police. what i'm talking about armed police, these are police in helmets, balance clavas. officers moving into the area. a dynamic and fluid situation
now. >> let me read what we're getting in terms of information from the londonth metropolitan police. they just tweeted an update. they say that around 5: 08 eastern time, 10: 08 there locally officers responded to a vehicle collision with pedestrians on london bridge. then they responded to reports of stabbings in borough market. shots have been fired. they've tweeted officers are now responding to an incident in the valpal area which we heard clarissa ward referring to. three separate zones. wut it into perspective where you just saw all that activity. are you closest to the bridge, to the borough market, and how are those three spots connected?
>> reporter: we're a few hundred yards from the borough market. we saw an incident happen here. it's police led a man away, held him in a corner and about 10 officers came around him, surrounded him because he was taken away. what the armed police officers were responding to, which seemed to be happening at the same time from different directions, wasn't clear but the armed officers weren't static. they were running through the streets in the direction of borough market but again not clear precisely what they were responding to. but from where we are borough market is a few hundred yards behind us and that was the scene the last few moments with
frenetic activity. the police officers now asking us to move back. >> did you get a good look at the person that they surrounded? >> a man 20 to 30s, light build, maybe 5'6", 5'8". dark hair, collar length dark hair. couldn't see more than that. just one person. both hands firmly tied behind the back. >> we'll get more information obviously about that individual. v have you been able to talk to anybody on the scene who were involved in either of these incidents directly? >> to someone who was involved directly, no. the security officer who was in the vicinity told he he couldn't tell me anything. the police officers we tried to talk to haven't been able to give clear instructions. the only information that continues to come from the police is for us to continue b
to move away, to continue to push back. the police officer is telling us -- police officer is telling us that the situation has changed and that they are -- there are firearms police officers in the area and that's why we're being moved back. it doesn't say where those fire armed officers are but we're being told we're moving back is because there are armed officers in the area. sir, is that an indication there's a gunman on the loose, sir? [inaudible]. >> thank you, sir. so for our safety we need to keep walking back is what we're being told and not able to confirm whether or not there are armed individuals in the area other than the police. >> ok. nic robertson we'll let you get to a safe place. please be careful out there and
bring us an update as soon as you have more information. do stay safe. joining us now, tom fa went easy. also, kim dozier. tom, if this incident, third incident now, what do you think they're dealing with? >> one of the things that always comes up in these types of incidents are that sometimes plain closed police are r-- doi at this point we don't know the basis of the call that caused the miss to run in the direction of where that car was located so we'll find out hopefully pretty soon. >> we've learned that there is an incident on the london bridge, on london bridge where there's a van that rammed into a number of people.
eyewitnesss say that they saw five or six people who were mowed down, were on the ground, not moving. there were people who were thrown into the air as this van went careening across london bridge. meanwhile there's a second incident, a stabbing that happened at a restaurant in a borough neighborhood. now they're responding to an inns ent at vauxhall. shots have been fired. do you get the sense this is still very much an active situation? >> sure. until you resolve all these different issues it's absolutely a situation. what we don't know is were multiple subjects involved and did they apprehend only one or one or more and other fled? we still don't know the status of the vehicle that started this whole thing. were there any occupants still in the vehicle? are they able to confirm yet
that the occupants or driver or passengers from the vehicle are the ones that went to the market and engage in the stabbings that occurred there? and at least one of them having been arrested at that location by the police, so as of now it's obvious the police are treating this still as an active situation. they don't believe they have everybody in custody or they haven't confirmed it to the best of their satisfaction and that's why nic robertson reporting that police running down the street toward the direction of the other report. >> tim dozier is with us, kim, i know you went to london previously when there was the other bridge attack that we've heard a lot of people refer to as the westminster attack on march 27. you've been in contact with folks there and law enforcement on the ground whoorl very much concerned about isis and other terror groups working in lubd and in england throughout the country. >> well, one of the things that
i've been watching forever since that trip there is what is the british press saying about this incident. because british officials at the time were telling me that they've been in conversation with the media saying don't jump to the conclusion that it was a terrorist attack, essentially because you don't want to give the terrorists credit for something before you know it was actually linked to some violent mill tanltd. i have just seen on the bbc's feed one of their top security advisors saying terrorism suspected. i think it won't be long before we hear from metropolitan police more details to back this one. one of the big problems there is just the sheer numbers. they've got something like 850 people who have gone to syria and iraq, believed to have fought for isis and have returned. they also have the problem of communities that are more isolated from the mainstream