tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 17, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
summer. >> bob, thanks very much. thanks to all our correspondents and analysts. we're following the breaking news out of barcelona, spain. at least one person dead, 32 injured. cnn will stay on top of the breaking news. don't go away. our special live coverage our special live coverage continues right now. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we're going to continue this live coverage of this terror attack in barcelona, spain. this is around dinnertime, summer, august, just imagine the crowds there in this part of barcelona, this massive white van plowed, going roughly 50 miles an hour, through this crowd of pedestrians in las ramblas. this is this pedestrian, gorgeous walkway, tourist spot in the heart of barcelona. we know at least one person has been killed, 32 are injured, and authorities are guessing those
numbers will rise. we're going to show you through the course of the next couple hours, pictures that we're getting from las ramblas from these victims but i want to warn you, what you are about to see is graphic and very disturbing. [ sirens ] >> this is cell phone video showing bodies just strewn along the sidewalk there. obviously, people racing to get out of the area, some of these bodies moving, some not. as for the driver, witnesses say they saw an individual get out of the car and run. the suspect or suspects are still missing, and a manhunt is underway right now. one person tells local media that this van was traveling
about 50 miles an hour when it just mowed down this crowd. another witness says they heard the sound of gunshots while they were hiding in a nearby store. so, a lot unknown. let me just be crystal clear. a lot unknown at this hour in barcelona. let's begin the hour, though, with london reporter riley carlson, who is here. and so riley, we've heard these reports. after we know this van careened into this crowd, there were these reports that these two armed men ran into this restaurant or a bar. where are we on that? has that been confirmed? is there a hostage situation underway or is that not confirmed either? >> reporter: well, that is one of the big unknowns at this point in time, brooke, but that is unconfirmed. we can't say whether or not that is actually ongoing, but it is something that local media has been reporting and also something that witnesses have been reporting to local media as well. so that is a -- could be a very big part of this story that at this point is very unclear and also unconfirmed. but as you mentioned, police do say they are still searching for
the driver of this van, and they do also say that they believe that this is a terror-related incident. they've activated their terrorism investigation protocols, although at this point, they still say they can't point to a motive either, and no one has since claimed responsibility. so, that just adds to what you said, still a lot unknown in barcelona at this hour, brooke. >> all right. evan perez, let me go to you because i know we have some reporting involving some sort of get-away car. what are you hearing? >> reporter: that's right, brooke. at this hour, we're told at least by a u.s. official who has been in touch with the spanish investigators that they believe that there was a get-away van that some of these suspects were trying to get to. that might explain why, again, adding to the confusion there from some of the initial reports, why we heard from some of the eye-witnesses that there were two vehicles. we know one of the vehicles was actually used to carry out the attack. this is the vehicle, the van that was seen driving about 50 miles an hour down a stretch of
about a mile on la rambla, which is what caused the injuries and at least one death at the scene there, but it appears, according to a u.s. official that spoke to shimon, one of our reporters here in washington, that the spanish authorities believe that there was a get-away vehicle that they were trying to get to. now, the question is, where are those suspects? we have reports from local media, which indicate that at least one person, one suspect, has been arrested. they've identified this person. they're showing pictures of this person as the person who may have rented the van. now, we don't know, we haven't verified this yet from the local authorities. they have not been saying anything official. but we do know from the local media there, including "el pais" and the public broadcaster that police are telling them that they have arrested one person. there's also those reports that you just mentioned, including from some of the eye-witnesses who have spoken to us, that there is some kind of scene
right near the scene of this incident where there -- some people might be holed up and the police are trying to figure out what is happening there, whether or not there are some hostages, whether these might be one or two of the suspects that carried out this attack, brooke. >> sure. we'll keep working on sources and try to figure out what exactly is happening, if people are holed up, if there are additional victims. evan, stand by. as we've been talking to president has tweeted. let me read the tweet from president trump. he writes, the united states condemns the terror attack in barcelona, spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. be tough and strong. we love you. from the president. i've got a number of voices i want to bring in here. paul cruickshank, beginning with you, you have all kinds of sources. what are you hearing? >> well, it's quite a confused situation at the moment. was this just a vehicle attack? was there a second act to this attack? was there a multiphase aspect to
this, some kind of potential hostage situation? that second part, very much not confirmed at this point. but clearly a suspect, maybe several suspects, still at large, potentially. >> several suspects potentially at large. >> that is just not clear how many people might have been involved at this point. and so, they are very alert. they want to get their heads around this very, very quickly. there's been one arrest. not clear exactly how that relates to this attack at this point. there's been no claim of responsibility from any terrorist group yet. you wouldn't really expect that in just the opening hours, normally, after an attack. it normally takes them a little bit longer to claim these kind of attacks and even if they do, it's sometimes completely opportunistic, they had no connection, no communication with the attacker or attackers in question. but you and i, we were in nice last summer. >> this time last year.
>> i mean t aft, the aftermath that, 86 people killed in that attack. a few months later, there was the berlin attack by somebody who was in touch with isis in libya, communicating with messaging apps and that led to the -- another large casualty count over there, and then of course in the uk, both attacks in london, london -- westminster bridge in march where we saw five people being killed. that was a multiphase attack where the attacker went on to try and stab -- well, actually stabbed a policeman outside the house of the parliament before he was shot dead. and then more recently, the london bridge attack just a few weeks ago where at night in london, they launched a van attack into a crowd on the bridge and then started stabbing people to death in the market. those attacks, they believe, were isis-inspired. we haven't, though, seen a big kind of paris-style
sophisticated plot, ambitious plot in europe, really, since the last big major plot was the brussels attacks in march of 2016, which was linked back to isis, a cell dispatched by the group to carry out an attack. we haven't seen those kind of attacks. they've been relying more on people, they've been inspiring or communicating with. >> sure. it just begs the question, other than the obvious why, what the motivation is, why spain specifically. stay with me, paul. bob baer, just bringing you in. because i think the point was made on the air, you think of, you know, belgium and you think of the uk and france at all helping be part of the u.s.-led coalition, the air strikes, iraq and syria, but not necessarily spain. why barcelona? i mean, i realize everyone's on vacation. this is a gorgeous part of the city, and in barcelona, las ramblas, evening, thursday evening. was this just an easy target for
them? >> a target of opportunity, exactly, brooke. you know, it's crowded at that time. spain in august, lot of foreign tourists, lot of british tourists, americans as well. barcelona is an iconic tourist destination, even though spain is not involved in the wars in the middle east, they still have a large north african community there, which has become radicalized and has been. you had the 2004 train bombings there, and don't forget, this is not a war against a nation, against the united states or britain. it's a war against western civilization. they truly believe that western civilization is intent upon destroying islam, and i've said it over and over, they just want to lash out and kill as many people as they can, and as misguided as it is, i think that is the way they are going to defend their civilization. and these are young kids, lot of, you know, criminal
backgrounds. we don't know it's the islamic state yet, but certainly has the hallmarks of it, at least inspired. and that's the way i'm calling it now. and it's pretty consistent. the u.n. has come out with a report saying, these people do not understand islam and they do not understand traditional islam, but they are grabbing on to an ideology which gives their lives meaning, and, you know, once they're taking this path of martyrdom, as they call it, they are willing to go out and strike out against any target that's vulnerable. >> talk about attacking the west. let me just weave this new piece of information in. apparently oregon state university, their basketball team is in barcelona, apparently this attack was directly in front of the hotel where the osu team was eating, and this is from the coach, saying whether or not they're safe, yes, we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant. so senseless and sad.
all accounted for. bob, stay with me. jim acosta, let me bring you in, our senior white house correspondent. we saw the tweet moment ago, jim. what else are we hearing from the white house? >> reporter: yeah, brooke, the president has been briefed on the situation in barcelona and as you saw, he just tweeted in the last several minutes that the united states condemns the terror attack in barcelona, will do whatever necessary to help. be tough and strong. we love you. that followed a tweet from the first lady earlier this afternoon, and we do understand that vice president pence, he's going to be making some comments on this within the next couple of hours. those should be on camera. the secretary of state, rex tillerson, made some remarks just a short while ago, and so the administration putting all these faces out there with the exception of the president, who's expected to remain behind closed doors to condemn what has happened out in barcelona. we should emphasize, brooke, in the coming days, the president's going to be meeting with much of his national security team, including the vice president, when he heads to camp david. we believe, on friday, and so
this is obviously a reminder, even though we've had all these events that we've talked about in charlottesville over the last several days, that he still has to represent the united states, still has to lead around the world and grapple with these very tough national security issues like these types of attacks. these opportunity attacks like we saw in barcelona earlier today, brooke. >> jim, thank you. we'll be listening for the vice president to make those comments in the next couple of hours. thank you so much. paul, just back over to you on, again, spain. i realize, you know, bob made the point, you know, you don't necessarily have to be a part of u.s.-led coalition to be involved. we know spanish fighters are coming back enmeshed in different european communities. why else? >> well, and remember, walking down the las ramblas, there would have been british tourists, american tourists, dutch tourists, people who belong to countries who are engaged in air strikes in syria and iraq against isis.
>> like a microcosm of the world there. >> very international target in barcelona. but spain has been grappling with a jihadi extremism problem for decades, more 100 spanish residents have traveled to join jihadi groups in syria and iraq, of which a significant portion have joined isis. that's actually a much lower number than some countries in western europe where you almost had 1,000 each in those countries travel to join the group so the scale of the threat is less big in spain than it is in some other countries but they've been very vigilant. there have been hundreds of counterterrorism arrests in the last several years. they've been very concerned about potential plotting activity, been concerned about this foreign fighter travel to syria and iraq and people coming back, and we've seen plots in spain since the madrid bombings all the way back in 2004, that they have had some serious terror plots, including in barcelona, there was a plot in
2008 linked back to the taliban, a cell in barcelona that was planning to hit the barcelona metro, so this city, no stranger to the threat of islamist extremism and there's also, in various parts of spain, there are clusters like all over western europe of people who have become very radicalized, who have been attracted to charismatic preachers, who have been attracted to the message of isis over the internet, and their message is right now, attack,attack, attack. we're losing ground in syria and iraq, so we're going to transition to international terrorism to rebuild our brand, to get support coming back in and to retaliate. >> god, they have their tentacles everywhere, it seems. elise labbott, let me bring you in. we heard from the secretary of state a little while ago addressing what happened in barcelona. >> reporter: that's right, brooke. well, this all happened while secretary tillerson and defense secretary mattis were with the japanese foreign and defense ministers talking about security
matters, including the conflict with north korea, and so before he came out to brief the press, obviously, secretary tillerson briefed on the incident in barcelona and this is what he just said to reporters just moments ago. take a listen. >> i'd like to start by acknowledging the incident in barcelona, which has the hallmarks, it appears, of yet another terrorist attack. we offer our condolences to the loss of life and the injuries that have occurred to so many innocent people yet again. we will continue to monitor the situation. we stand ready to assist law enforcement, national security authorities in spain. our consulates in barcelona and our entire mission spain team are currently assisting americans in spain who are affected by these events. we ask u.s. citizens in the area to let your loved ones know you are safe. terrorists around the world should know the united states and our allies are resolved to find you and bring you to
justice. >> reporter: and secretary tillerson, of course, this has been happening all too often and the u.s. is having to deal with allies around the world, particularly in europe about these type of car attacks, these shootings, brooke. he just -- secretary tillerson just swore in a new counterterrorism coordinator named nathan sales, a former doj and dhs official, and this is certainly one of his first orders of duty is to try and shore up intelligence and security cooperation with these allies around the world as these lone wolf-type attacks continue to pop up. of course there's a lot we don't know about this attack, but certainly, trying to prevent these type of attacks for u.s. allies, and the potential damage to u.s. citizens abroad, a real priority for this secretary. >> absolutely. as it should be. elise, thank you so much on secretary tillerson. again, president tweeting moments ago, condemning the terror attack, essentially saying, we'll do whatever
necessary to help. evan perez, let me bring you back in as you're working the phones, you and shimon and others. you had the getaway car reporting, the word of this one arrest. what else do you have? >> reporter: brooke, we have an important update now from the catalan police on their official twitter page. they're now saying, officially, that there is one man arrested. they don't identify that person who has been arrested, and they also say, very importantly, that there is no hostage situation. there are no other attackers holed up in a bar. we've heard this now from some of the eye-witnesses. we've heard this from local media in barcelona. the concern was that perhaps one or more attackers had fled the scene and was able to get into a bar or a restaurant nearby and was holding hostages, and that's one reason why, out of an abundance of caution, the police were preventing people from exiting some of the nearby establishments, some of the nearby restaurants there. as you know, that's a very
popular area, but we now have the official clarification from the police there in catalunya and they say that there is nobody being held hostage. there are no suspects being holed up in a restaurant or bar there in the center of barcelona. and that they have, indeed, arrested one man. they don't identify that person. the local media have shown pictures and have given the name of that person. i got to tell you, brooke, i was on the facebook page of that person earlier. i'm not identifying the person because we don't know whether or not this person actually was behind the attack or what the reason for the arrest, but i was reading the facebook page, and you see some anti-israeli sentiment on the facebook page. that page has now been taken down by facebook, perhaps, as a result of the attention it's getting. so, we don't know, again, from the police, the identity of this person that's been arrested and why the person was arrested. we know from local media reports, including from the public broadcaster there in
barcelona that it may be the person who rented the van, the van that carried out this attack. >> all right. let's back up a step. if we know the reporting is that there was this huge white van that plowed through this popular thoroughfare in barcelona, the great news that you're reporting is that there is no hostage situation underway. if they've got one person, which could be the person who rented the van, who remains? do we know how many other suspects are still at large? >> reporter: we don't know. we don't know whether or not there are other people who were inside the van who managed to get away. obviously, there's still a developing situation, a very confusing situation, especially with eye-witnesses who said that they saw other people fleeing. so, obviously, when something like this happens, you have a mass of people just fleeing, going all different directions, and that adds to the confusion, some of the eye-witness accounts that have added to the confusion here from the local authorities, but at this point, what we know from the local authorities that there's only one arrest, one man who has been arrested.
they do not identify that person and that there is no hostage situation. there's nobody holed up in a bar nearby. obviously, they all are still trying to investigate the situation, brooke, and they do say on their facebook page and on their twitter page, they're asking for information from eye-witnesses, anybody who has any information, they're asking people to come forward. >> okay. evan, valuable information. keep popping in and giving us more information. for now, i'm going let you go. thank you so much. james galiano just sad down, former fbi director. let me ask you. this is what happens in breaking news, it's a fluid situation. we don't know -- they don't entirely know if it's maybe one person, several people, again, the good news from evan, it's not a hostage situation, but at the same time, they have to still establish a perimeter, continue to search for additional possible suspects. walk me through that process, what they're doing right now. >> sure, brooke. once they determine that there are no hostages, that changes the calculus immeasurably
because now it goes from a fluid, you've got to have a dynamic entry plan, you've got to be able to move in and interdict or mitigate any more deaths or carbnage to a situatin where you want to establish a barricade, as you pointed out, a tight perimeter and now it becomes a crime scene. you've still got to potentially negotiate with terrorists and as paul can attest to, in the age of isis, there's a lot less negotiation. it's a lot more of, they want to kill as many people, make as big a splash as they can. if it's isis. which we don't know. this has all the hallmarks. >> but it sounds like we don't know. and paul jump in. we don't know if there are even other suspects. >> we don't know at this point. they'll be looking at cctv, interviewing eye-witnesses, how many people jumped out of the van. i mean, this is a very crowded part of barcelona. there may be some cctv coverage there. from that, they might be able to figure out quite quickly how many people were in the vehicle,
was it just one person, is that person already in custody, and so is this essentially over, or is that person not connected in terms of the actual attack itself, and might there be other people still out there. they're looking at that with great ferocity right now. you're always worried there could be follow-on attacks from copy cats, from other people connected to the group, it could be part of a larger cell that could move forward with attacks in the city or elsewhere in spain. and so, this is a country, a region, catalunya, on high alert right now in terms of the threat moving forward. >> so, just bob there, let me bring you back in as well on this whole conversation. if we have, according to shimon and evan, perhaps this -- if this is in fact the driver of the van who they have in custody, plowed through these innocent victims on las ramblas, and perhaps ditch -- tried to
ditch the van and grab the getaway car when this individual was arrested. am i getting this correctly? >> reporter: it sounds like that now. now that we don't have a hostage situation, it sounds like a fairly simple attack at this point. and whether he had friends waiting for him to get away or not, i wouldn't say these were people with military experience, the jihadis. their purpose was they woke up one morning and said, we've got to do our best to join the cause. >> why do you say that? what are the indications? >> well, the fact that the guy got caught. there was no explosives involved. so far. there were no weapons. there was no shooting. this sounds almost like an ad hoc attack. you know, if it had been well organized, they would have used that truck to breach a building, get in, take hostages and, you know, cause mass casualties,
more mass casualties, but this is >> art roderick, i have you as well. you know, in terms of this one individual who has been arrested, is in custody, is it the driver, is it not, is this the person that rented the van. these are all questions they're trying to ascertain answers to. what are some of the questions that authorities there in barcelona are asking of this person? >> i mean, right now, obviously, if this is the individual that was in the van, not only the cctv but any video from tourists. i'm sure they have all this pretty much nailed down at this point. especially since they've made the announcement that they have this individual detained.
obviously, his facebook page, as evan reported, has already been taken down. i'm sure they have all that information. associates, which part of the -- spain did he come from, was he actually from spain or was he a individual that came back from fighting in the middle east back to this particular area. so, they have a ton of information already that we don't know, and i find it interesting that there's a complete lack of info actually coming, you know, we've seen one press conference so far from the mayor. >> actually, art, let me cut you off because we did just get a little bit of information. this is -- >> okay. >> this is sad for me to report, but now we are learning that that death toll has now gone from 1 to 13. 13 people have been killed in this vehicle attack in barcelona. so, we do have that bit of tragic information to pass along. the latest number as far as those injured, 32. again, spanish government officials saying those numbers
could rise as well. and they certainly did when it came to fatalities. go ahead, art. i cut you off. >> no, no, no, that -- you know, i'm not really surprised about that. i'm, when we saw the earlier video, we saw a lot of people laying on the ground and nobody tending to them, which indicates more than likely those people had passed away. but you know, i'm sure they're unraveling this whole situation right now at this particular point. i agree with bob. this is a very unsophisticated attack, but obviously, it's created a lot of death and carnage there in that particular area. they picked a soft target, tourist location, streets were full of people. i think the key part here, too, now is we've got to account for all the u.s. citizens that were in that area. so, you know, contact your loved ones. as secretary tillerson said, and contact the embassy to make sure everybody's okay over there. >> art, thank you. stay with me. paul cruickshank again just bringing you back in, let me adjust some of the numbers.
confirming, this is from the minister of interior of the catalan government. 13 dead and now at least 50 injured. so 13 and 50. your not surprise bid the number being higher. >> we all saw those images. those images are absolutely terrible. they worry that that casualty count is going to go up both in terms of the number injured and the number dead. with 13 confirmed killed, this makes it the second most deadly vehicle attack that we've seen in the west. we've seen in europe in that berlin attack, 12 killed. now, 13 in this attack in barcelona. not quite as awful yet as those scenes which we both reported on in nice, france, last summer where 86 people were killed in that atrocity. but it just goes to show that the deadly power -- and we saw this in charlottesville as well, just last week, of vehicles,
larger vehicles, how deadly they can be and how impossible they are to defend against because where there are people, they can get hold of cars and you can -- there are crowds in every city, every town we live in, crowds always congregate. it's virtually impossible to prevent these kind of attacks. they can just drive around until they have a target or opportunity. >> why is this -- these multiphase attacks that isis has long since -- and again, isis hasn't claimed responsibility, could be isis, could be isis-inspired, could be somebody else but they put a call out a number of years ago saying, not only, use a car, run people over but grab a knife, grab a gun, start shooting. >> they realized that they could hit the global headlines by being sewn to have ownership in some way with some of these attacks. some of them where they're communicating with the attackers, some of them just merely inspired, and isis, over the last year or so, have been put under more pressure by the coalition. it's been more difficult for
them to organize these big plots like the paris attacks, like the bruls brul brussels attacks, more difficult for them to ship and track operatives who they've trained back to europe, back to the west to launch attacks where you have -- like with the paris attacks, ten people on that night being involved. this may be just one guy. but one individual, like we saw in nice, can kill almost 100 people with a large vehicle. >> again, the latest numbers from the spanish government, 13 dead, more than 50 injured, and just a note for all of you, listen, it's summertime. i know a lot of you know people who are traveling to or are in barcelona and here is the note from the u.s. consulate in barcelona. please only contact them if you need help. i can only imagine their phone is ringing. they're being deluged by phone calls and e-mails so again the u.s. consulate in barcelona saying, please only contact us if the situation is dire, if you need our help. let's go back to evan perez,
who's been reporting out a lot of this information pertaining to the scene here in barcelona, what we've been learning. for people, evan, who are just joining us, let's explain what has happened, you know, evening time in spain, starting with this van. >> reporter: right, exactly. this was a sunny day. it's the height of the tourist season there in barcelona, solarium wso, las ramblas was crowded and you have a lot of people who at this hour were just walking down this beautiful pedestrian walkway when this van driving, according to eye-witnesses, about 50 miles an hour just appeared to be mowing down people intentionally, swerving, going side to side, and mowing down people. now, we now know the number of dead and injured there has risen, but probably we're going to see even more, a bigger increase in those numbers simply because of what we were talking about, a crowded walkway with a lot of people who were just -- had no idea this was happening. as a result of this, we also are told from eye-witnesses that
there was a stampede. a lot of people just moving in different directions. some of them didn't even know what had happened, and so we're probably going to see some injuries, perhaps even some deaths as a result of that stampede. one important update from the police, they have made an arrest. the local media say that it appears to be the person who rented this van. now, we don't know whether that person was actually behind the wheel when this attack took place, and another important update, because we had heard so much from local media and some of the eye-witnesses, there was this concern that at least one or perhaps more attackers had managed to get away and had gotten into a restaurant or bar just off las ramblas there and had taken some hostages. the police have now said, according to their update, that there is no hostage situation, that there is no -- there are no other suspects who are holed up, and as a matter of fact, at this hour, they're now going door to door, those businesses, those establishments, they're
evacuating people. they're escorting them out of the area so investigators can now go do their work. we don't know exactly who is behind the attack at this hour. the police have been very careful to say that they believe, they're treating this and they are now calling this officially a terror attack but they don't say what the motivation or what the group was that might have been behind this. >> just so i'm clear, so that was also new that you're saying if police are going door to door because we had eye-witnesses calling in on air saying they're holed up in bars and restaurants, which lined this major pedestrian walkway. so, are they now -- they're all being dispersed. >> right. exactly. and that's exactly what's happening at this hour. the police there in catalunya have now put an update on facebook and twitter in which they're telling those people, if they're there, some of them have been there for hours. we saw pictures of them sitting in a circle, praying. they were very scared, obviously, and we now know that the police are going door to door, escorting those people,
trying to get them out because obviously some of them have been there for hours. i'm sure some of them are trying to reunite with loved ones. some of them ran into those businesses to try to escape this scene there, and so a lot of them probably, a lot of families were split up as a result of that. so, we're going to see some reunions there in the next hour or so as police go door to door there near las ramblas to evacuate those businesses and get those people out of that area. >> all right. evan, thank you so much for the time line. just letting people know what's going on in barcelona. 8:30 local time there now, thursday evening. michael weiss is joining us. you've been listening to air. as we're getting bits and pieces of this ongoing investigation there, what are your initial thoughts? >> it does remind me of the attack in germany a year ago at christmas. and you recall that that was originally assumed to have been a lone wolf or some random amateur, but in fact it turned out that guy had been a part of a pretty wide, extensive and
surveilled german isis network, and it wasn't quite as amateur as it looked at first blush. remember, he hijacked a truck that was about an hour's drive away from the target, which was a very crowded marketplace, took the driver hostage, there was guns. there had been some preliminary training. now, we don't know if this guy, assuming it is the person the got in custody who's said to be in morocco but a spanish legal residenc resident, we don't know if he's responsible. but if he is, i would be incredibly surprised if this was some random guy who was inspired by the internet. he probably was part of some network. they do exist in spain. two years ago, i remember a u.s. intelligence officer telling me that as the war against the so-called caliphate was warming up, the hot spots, the chatter that was being intercepted about radical clerics and jihad agitators were coming from european countries including germany, england, belgium, and
spain s spain. so thif this does turn out on is or isis inspired, peel back the layers. because chances are this guy was not acting alone. >> we will know in time. michael, thank you so much. just want to let all of you know, we will hear from police again. we're expecting a police news conference. we'll also talk to some of these eye-witnesses from these just terrifying events that have unfolded there in barcelona. i'm brooke baldwin. you're watching cnn. we'll be right back. it's just a burst pipe, i co(laugh) it. no. with claim rateguard your rates won't go up just because of a claim. i totally could've - no! switching to allstate is worth it. ♪ ♪ isaac hou has mastered gravity defying moves to amaze his audience. great show. here you go. now he's added a new routine.
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into a crowd in a tourist hot spot, las ramblas, if you know barcelona, in the city center. at least 15 people -- excuse me. 13 people have been killed. more than 50 injured. the search for more possible suspects is underway. tragic, tragic his or horror in. let's go to riley carlson, working this for us in europe. >> reporter: at this point, as you mentioned, 13 people have now died in this attack. that number is up from 1 just a couple of hours ago and more than 50 people injured so these are very big numbers because as you mentioned, this is a very busy area in barcelona, and there are concerns from security officials that those numbers, that death toll, could go up, because as we've seen in the past with attacks like this, sometimes the injuries from these attacks are just so horrific. at this point, police have also said that there is one person who has been arrested, but we're not sure, at this point, who that person is, how they might
be connected to this van or whether or not this person was actually the driver of the van. they're not identifying the person at this point in time either. so, there are still a lot of unknowns, but the good news is we do know there were reports there were rumblings and rumors of a potential hostage situation in the aftermath of this attack and police have now said that that is not the case. they are now going through this area, an area that is full of bars, full of cavefes, full of people at this time in barcelona and they have said that is not the case either. so this investigation is still very much underway and police are working that scene very, very, very intensely, brooke. >> riley, thank you so much. as we're talking so much about the investigation, let's talk to someone who was there. ella bartlett is an eye-witness. she was inside a restaurant at the time of this attack. ella, you're visiting from atlanta. i presume -- we just lost ella.
we're going to work on getting her back. paul, you and i were just chatting on commercial break. you were just in barcelona a few weeks ago. >> a few weeks ago. las ramblas is an area which is absolutely packed with tourists at all times, pedestrians, one of the busiest tourist spots in western europe, and there's a road. it's really long. it goes on and on and on, and so, what we saw with nice was that that long promenade along the sea front and the carnage there happening over around a kilometer of space, of boardwalk and not clear quite how far this van plunged into crowds for, but this is an area that would normally have been absolutely packed with people, and so with
terrorists who want move forward with an attack, they can kind drive around and figure out where are the biggest crowds going to be, if there's a barrier there, maybe there's not one here, and they've got all the time in the world to prepare for these kind of attacks. and this is a very international place, as i was saying, people from all over the world. this is an attack on the civilized world. this is an attack on the west. whoever has done this is sending a big message. >> got another eye-witness on the phone. paul, thank you. anthony is the director for the center for security and intelligence studies at the university of buckingham, and so sir, welcome. as we're trying to talk to more eye-witnesses, as you're learning, the bits and pieces, we all are, of this terror attack in barcelona, your thoughts, sir. >> well, i think the significant thing for people like myself who comment from afar is to ask how could this happen. 32 million people have visited barcelona this year.
las ramblas, as everybody who's been there knows, is in many ways a sitting duck target for one of those attacks where islamists of one hue or another are able to weaponize hired trucks in order to kill and maim as many people as they can. and we -- in 2016, so-called islamic state operatives issued a direct threat to people in spain, saying they wanted to reclaim the historic islamic land of andalucie and attacks were to be expected. at the same time, we've seen spanish authorities apparently powerless to stop people coming in to spain, landing on the beautiful beaches of the costas, migrants, we don't know who they are, getting out of these boats and going off into the hinterland. so big questions, i'm afraid,
about the security that existed in barcelona, the security currently on offer in spain, which i don't believe is good enough, and specific intelligence-led measures. if trucks are hired, then the authorities ought to be notified and it should be possible to check out people, you know, why does somebody of a moroccan heritage want to hire a truck all of a sudden? these are the things that people will want in order to keep us all safe. remember, in london, we've had two attacks on westminster bridge and london bridge, exactly the same tactic. >> we've mentioned those. we've been mentioning nice. the question is -- i hear you on saying you're a sitting duck but you think of, again, the conversation of soft targets, the conversation of main thoroughfares and pedestrian walkways and major cities all around the world. and it's that sort of ever-arching question, well, what do we do.
i'm going to thank you for now. we're going to slip another commercial break in. we're watching and waiting for this new police news conference from barcelona, hoping to get a little bit more information. again, one person has been arrested. this individual is in custody. we don't know if it's the driver of that van or not. police believe this could be the individual who rented the van. so many questions still at this hour. quick break. more breaking news after this. are made with smarttrack®igners material to precisely move your teeth to your best smile. see how invisalign® treatment can shape your smile up to 50% faster today at invisalign.com
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spain. right around evening time in a packed beautiful part of the city called las ramblas where people were out and about, you had this white van just plow people down in this terror attack. that is definitively how it's being investigated over the spain. the latest reporting we have is that one approximate persperson detained. the person who rented the van. were there other people in the van, other terrorists involved, we don't know, but what we know is that 13 people now have been killed. that number just went up, and authorities are anticipating the number to rise as well and more than 50 people have been injured. that said, we now have a new tweet from the president of the united states. let me just read this for you and we'll discuss this implications of this one. "study what general per shing of the united states did to terrorists when caught. there was no more radical islamic terror for 35 years." james gagliano, paul cruickshank with us. james, give us a little history lesson, general pershing,
philippines. >> also known as blackjack, was famous for being the general of the armies, which is a position that we had in the u.s. military before the five-star general that we're familiar with, with general eisenhower. back in the philippines, during a campaign with the military, they were having a problem with terrorists and a number of them were arrested. one of the tactics that blackjack pershing adopted was that they would take bullets and dip them into pig's blood and execute all the terrorists except for one. that one would witness this and go back ostensibly to tell the rest of the folks so inclined to be terrorists, this is what happens to you. >> what do you make of his reference. >> it's a legitimate military reference. i mean, we're struggling right now. i'm sure paul can speak to this with terrorism in the philippines as we speak. obviously, this was in the early part of the 20th century and it was an effective means to frighten folks that were considering taking part in terrorist attacks. i don't know how much it translates to today and whether or not it would bridge that gap, but that's what general
blackjack pershing is known for and that's what trump is referencing. >> is it an appropriate reference? >> it's an inflammatory reference and it's totally irresponsible if you think about it. nobody's really accused president trump of being a student of history. if he was a student of history, he'd understand that repression, cruelty, torture, all those things breed more terrorism. they create anger. the 9/11 lead hijacker grew up in egypt, a place notorious for torture. and so this sort of inflammatory language can make the problem worse, can put americans overseas in the military, elsewhere, in danger. this is a very disturbing moment for people working in counterterrorism. counterterrorism practitioners, the words of the president of
the united states matter deeply at times like this, at a time when we, by the way, don't know yet whether this was a jihadi terrorist act. there have been no claims of responsibility. it certainly fits the m.o. of something like that in terms of the tactics used, but there's very little information that's come in. this is a very fluid situation, and this is just totally inflammatory. many people working in counterterrorism, many people putting themselves in danger to protect the men and women of the united states are going to be very, very worried about this in the hours ahead. >> and i think it's also true, brooke, you know, president trump was stressing in regards to the charlottesville violence that we just witnessed -- >> there's no comparison. >> no, no, what i'm saying, from the perspective of historical context, we've got to understand that people that lived during the 18th and 19th century, they adhered to a different social construct than we do today. so to make this comparison between something that happened in the earliest part of the 20th
century, i would say, yes, it does not apply to how we handle things in the 21st century. >> between general lee and the first and third presidents and now general pershing, to your point on history, maybe refreshing would be a good idea. let's move on for now. just in to the u.s., as the president remains defiant over his controversial remarks, harsh words from a high-profile republican senator. tennessee senator bob corker is telling reporters, quote, helping inspire divisions because it generates support from your political base is not a formula for causing our nation to advance, our nation to overcome the many issues we have to deal with right now. continues on. he also recently has not demonstrates he understands the character of the nation. he has not demonstrated that he understands what has made this nation great and what it is today. and he's got to demonstrate the characteristics of a president who understands that people have
to understand we should hope that he aspires -- we should hope that he aspires that he does some self-reflection and that he does what is necessary to demonstrate stability, to demonstrate competence, to demonstrate that he understands the character of our nation and works daily to bring out the best of the people in our nation. let's analyze that with gloria borger. gloria, those are some incredibly strong, strong remarks from a man who the president considered to be secretary of state. >> right. and somebody he has spoken with a great deal and somebody he clearly considers to be an ally who has said, when he was back home to a rotary club, i believe, that the president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to be successful. and clearly, you know, bob corker is not someone who kind of mouths off a lot. he is a -- sort of a firm but
quiet senator who doesn't go around with this kind of critique of anything or anyone very often. so, it seems to me, in reading between the lines here, that while he doesn't mention charlottesville in particular -- >> we no whknow what he's talki about. >> we know exactly what he's talking about, and that it seems to me that was the straw that broke the camel's back for this senator and he is the first senator we have really seen come out with a fulsome public statement, not just on twitter, but to a rotary club where there were clearly journalists present, knowing full well that this was going to be picked up and reported. >> do you think -- listening to you, but i also want to jump back to the general pershing tweet. i'm sure you had the conversation i just had with james and paul here, gloria.
and you know, i'm also -- we mentioned charlottesville in a much different way as we've been having these false equivalency discussions over the last couple days over what he said from trump tower about monuments and the first and third presidents of the united states and equating that also with general lee, talk to any historian, that's not appropriate. do you think the president understands history? >> i don't know. i don't know. he may understand a version of history that he wants to understand. but what i think corker is saying in this statement is that there is a lot that he believes the president doesn't understand. the character of this nation, as he put it. and the character of the nation reflects, you know, how broad and diverse we are at this point. so, while he may understand history, i think, to equate, as he has, robert e. lee with george washington when he said, well, if you take down robert e.
lee's statue, are you going to take down george washington's statue, his version of history and his understanding of history may well be wanting. you know, i don't know what the president read or didn't read or how he looks at history, you know, and people interpret history differently. but i think what corker is saying and a lot of people are saying is, you don't understand what this nation has become and who we are today, and yet, you are the leader of all the people in this country. >> he is indeed. he is indeed. he's the 45th president of the united states. we're going to talk much more about senator corker's comments, about the president's tweets. back with our breaking news, though, of a terror attack in though, of a terror attack in barcelona, spain. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com we can now sadly report that at least 13 people have been
killed and more than 50 others are hurt. we do have some video, and we're just going to play you just a short clip to understand the atrocity and the terror of what has happened here in barcelona, but it is graphic video. it is disturbing. this is cell phone video. i know, it is horrible. bodies strewn along the sidewalk, some of them are moving, and some of them are not. as for the driver of the van, witnesses say they saw a person get out of the car and run. we know now that one person has been arrested. we don't know if that individual was the driver. one person tells local