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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  June 3, 2017 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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one or identify one person, they may begin to go after a network of people. and so this early stage -- and the other thing you could see is they may just be chasing someone. >> just as i just mapped it at this hour before the cordons, you know, within the timeline the metropolitan police gave to us, it is certainly within that time frame to drive at legal speeds to get from that location number two to location number three, mustafa. >> yeah. and that's a strong possibility. and the fact that we don't have coming out making a statement tells us this is an active situation, that they have not tamped it down completely yet. and they're still not just investigati investigating, but they may be in active pursuit of putting
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this thing down. >> mustafa, if you were with us an hour ago when we started showing these lives pictures onscreen right now, there were probably half the number of vehicles, at least very roughly speaking here, based on what we see now in the live pictures on screen. and we're taking in as much as we can for our viewers, to get an understanding of why we're watching this. what stage do you believe we're in based on that sort of arc of this story so far? what stage are we at in terms of when we might know more? might it be tomorrow or might we know soon? >> we're likely to have more information later tonight. what we're seeing right now is manpower arriving at the scene from different sites of the incident, to basically take control of the perimeter, to make sure if there are suspects still out there, they're letting the citizens know that police
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are onsite and visible. so you'll continue to see that. but at some point this evening, we're likely to see, you know, someone from the home ministry come out and make a statement to let us know, you know, what they know already. either we're going to see a manhunt or we're going to see definitively that we've captured x person or captured a person and the investigation is going on. >> one of the things we're also noticing in these live pictures, mustafa, for those watching them, more ambulances. that is not what we saw when we first got on air an hour ago, even through to the last 30 minutes, we weren't seeing the number of ambulances onsite. just going by the live pictures, we saw five ambulances gathering at this one location. in terms of -- as a consultant to the department of loam hanof securi security, as you've expanded the
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locations that you've had to now bring into focus to three, does that stretch the coordination here in ways that would slow down the expediency here? what are some of the considerations that law enforcement would need to take as they look at three locations, the third being somewhat far away from the other two? >> london has got a strong police force. and it's a dense population, so when you've got an active situation like this in an open market, you potentially have people that were just part of someone running through the market. there could be a number of reasons why we're seeing the presence of ambulances. it could be just to make sure that they're standing by if something does happen. there could be a lot of reasons for this. i think as information unfolds, what we're likely to learn is
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more about the assailants, and was it just one or were there multiple. if there were multiple, could they have fanned out in different directions, that's why we could have seen attacks in two different markets. if it was one and it was coordinated, could it potentially be coordinated attacks? or it could be just a lone wolf who went onto the bridge and then ended up in the market, and he's still being chased. there could be a number of reasons we're seeing what we're seeing right now. >> nbc terrorism analyst malcolm nance, at the top of the hour, 7:00 p.m., seeing these live pictures coming out of london, to give you a sense of the locations we're looking at, we have vauxhall, we have borough market, we have also london bridge, three locations that
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we're looking at. that's the first piece of information. we have an alleged van that hit pedestrians on london bridge. we then have incidents at borough market, at vauxhall. the details still unclear in terms of what has happened. but we are getting early information that at least one person had been taken into custody on london bridge from the bbc. and then bodies being seen as well. that also coming from different reputable sources, rioteuters a others. nbc news not able to confirm this independently as of yet. a lot of data coming in for those joining us at the top of the hour on msnbc. it's midnight in london. what have you been able to take from all these pieces of information, based on the hour that we're in? >> well, you know, we're going to try to limit our speculations on this.
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but as we see, we've got two components which definitely fit together. that's the report that you've got from the bbc reporter, that a vehicle was zigzagging on london bridge, that it came up on the curb and hit pedestrians. and then the incident at borough market a little later, which is directly in line from london bridge. i mean, it's just down the street from there. you know, past the london bridge experience and into the town. but, you know, we haven't really confirmed just what kind of operations the police are carrying out, apart from the response, the medical response and the police response to the actual incident. now, vauxhall, on the other hand, there's a vauxhall section of the city, that could be a response to, as you may have heard from the bbc, that they may have had a suspect in custody, and they may be carrying out what their so-19 armed police forces, may be carrying out a raid of some type
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or some sort of defensive operations. we're not sure about that at all. as of now we know there is this incident. it does look similar to the westminster bridge incident which occurred a few months ago. we've seen these type of attacks before. as a matter of fact, isis put out a telegram video, a photograph a few days ago with, you know, gun plus knife plus truck equals attack, encouraging people to do this type of operation during ramadan. but that is all speculation as of right now, until we get some hard intelligence. you know, the most we can do is say that there was a serious incident, and, you know, it may have involved foul play. it has to develop itself. >> what are we missing here, malcolm? what are some of the details that you would be focusing on right now as a terrorism analyst, and again, the word "terror" has not been included by any report as of yet, confirmed report, and not coming from the metropolitan police right now. and you've been very careful in also underlining that.
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what detail are we missing in this discussion so far? >> what we're missing are what i would call key intelligence indicators. and those indicators would be the behavior of the vehicle once the incident has ended. did a driver -- did we have a drunk driver? did we have a person who was, you know, diabetic, might have gone into insulin shock. and i've seen a vehicle leave the road like that. or do we have a person who carried out another act? we have speculation that there was another act carried out by more than one individual. and until we get some confirmation of that, you know, we don't know. i haven't even actually heard an eyewitness yet that has mentioned that there was, you know -- specifically, you know, that there was a knife attack, which would change the dynamic of thiss altogether. if we find out these guys were carrying out a raid, so to
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speak, after running over virgin islands -- running over individuals, then we have exactly the scenario on the london bridge. borough market is right down the road, due south from the bridge. so an assailant on foot could have run down in that direction and could have gone in any number of different places. the question is, are they trying, whoever the person is, are they in custody, or do we have a team of people who are on the run? and those are the only two scenarios right now that we can extrapolate out of this. london police are going to be taking very, very strong action right now. they operate very defensively when there's an incident. the first thing they do is get together their armed squads, and anyone who was on their watch list that they suspect might carry out an attack or people they have under surveillance, they're just going to pop them right away, they're just going
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to flood those zones and start rolling up people within the next 12 hours. >> so that's what we could be seeing, malcolm, flood the zone, because we've seen so much activity. >> oh, absolutely. and they're going to do it. they have very, very well-laid critical incident plans in england. it's something that, you know, ever since the 7/7 bombing, where they had the attack on the metros in tavistock square, the british have a responsive partly cloudy for an act of terrorism. they do that not only because there's an incident in a specific spot. they'll do what the new york city police will do when there's an incident, try to either get someone who is planning an attack to back off from that, or intercept someone who may be a secondary or tertiary attacker. and that's why they flood the zone throughout the entire city. >> malcolm, stand by.
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we have an eyewitness who was there, joe dillon, a student at kings college, who was in the area when that incident happened. joe is on the phone with us right now. joe, tell us where you were, what you heard, and when that happened, if you can. thank you, joe. >> hi, richard, thank you for having me on. i'm walking down the alleyway to meet some friends. >> is this close to london bridge? >> i live in london bridge. and i hear maybe six to eight gunshots. and screams unlike i've ever heard before. people running fast. i never ran so fast in my life. so i ran, and i hid. and several police officers told me to proceed to my home, which is right around the corner. but i can attest to the strength
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of the police department here at kings college. at kings college i study counterterrorism. there's great plans nonprofiin . the fact of the matter is you never know when it's going to happen and there's only so much you can do. >> give me a sense, if you can, joe, which end you're on, and how close you were to london bridge when you heard the shots. >> i live at london bridge. i can only imagine that i was only 50 to 100 meters away. i can't even speak of it, i'm so shaken up by it. normally i could speak as an expert most of the time because i study this. that's what i do as a master's degree. right now it's so early on, it's so difficult to determine, how many attackers and how many assailants are free and on the loose. i can speak as to my neighbors
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and roommates who decided to go on the ground. there are several police officers in the area that are telling them to return inside. >> so where are you now, joe? >> i'm currently in my home, orchard lyle, it's on the corner. i could probably throw a rock where the incident took place, from where i live, if i had a good enough arm. it's very startling. >> six to eight gunshots, and i know you must be very shaken. i know you understand the importance of being in a safe place. so if that should change, please do let me know. from your window, then, can you see london bridge now? >> i cannot directly see london bridge. but i can hear several
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helicopters flying overhead. i've gone downstairs, and i've seen -- actually i'm quite scared right now, today my building doors have been broken and it's not able to lock me in and i know people are still loose. it's early on, nobody is claiming responsibility. even when responsibility is claimed, you're not quite sure if the group is claiming responsibility. >> do you remember roughly what time, joe, you heard those shots? was it about an hour ago? >> it was within the hour. i can tell you it was within the hour. i don't know exactly when. i can tell you it was within the hour. several rounds were fired. i can't tell you if it was the police officers firing towards the assailant or it was vice-versa. but i can tell you that --
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hopefully it will be coming in more in order. there's likely people on the ground still loose. >> as you were moving away from the location, tell me what you saw, if you remember. was it a busy, busy area? did anybody fall? that's always a concern in these situations. did you see any of that? >> i live right across from borough market. i know there was people hiding over at borough market. and i didn't personally see anybody fall. but i know that, you know, unfortunately it is saturday night, and there's a lot of people intoxicated in the area, and more difficult to escape. a lot of the people are having more trouble than others. we let some people into our building, and tried to help them. that's about all we can do.
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>> and you're close to borough market which is also being cordoned at the moment. >> across the street. >> across the street. if it's safe, what do you see out the window happening at borough market? because it is, as you may have heard, the second location that is now under cordon and under focus. >> yeah. i can actually go down very quickly and see it better, a better view, a safe view but a better view. >> as long as you're in a safe location and within the constraints of law enforcement. >> mm-hmm. yeah. definitely. i'm makingy way dowtairs now. >> what floor do you live on? >> i live on the fifth floor, which is the sixth floor in american terms.
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i can tell you that as a student that studies terrorism, it's very sobering. a lot of times, studying it at a distance is very different than studying it right in front of your eyes. >> it is probably, most definitely, a coincidence that you did not want to happen. >> mm-hmm. no, most definitely not. it's amazing how many attacks have happened in such a short frame of time. >> what are you seeing as you're going down the stairs there, joe? is everybody basically staying in place? >> most people are in their own rooms. some people are in more common areas. >> is this a dorm? >> yeah, it's a dorm facility. i would encourage people to stay in their own rooms rather than being in the more accessible areas. >> if they've told you to stay in your room, we would prefer
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that you do the same here, joe. have they told you to stay in your room or stay in the building? >> i haven't been told any directions by anybody other than the police who said return to my building. i will stay in the building. just to get a better picture of what's happening from a safe location, if possible. i'm sure you guys would agree. >> yes. joe, you know, let's be sure, even though they told you in the building, just from this perspective that you would probably best return to your room. it's not worth it for you to go into the streets or be close to an area of concern. so why don't we leave it there, joe. i would rather you return to your room, if you can. and if you can tell me as you're doing that, what other pieces of information you remember from what happened during the initial hearing of the shots. you counselted six to eight gunshots, right? >> mm-hmm.
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and i can see police officers currently walking down the street right now. it's cordoned off. >> okay. >> joe, we're going to leave it there because, again, if you can, please, although you are adhering to the constraints given to you by the law enforcement officials in the area and those police officers there, just from a perspective of safety, please return to your room if you can. and thank you so much for giving us your perspective. joe dillon there, a student at kings college. and also doing his master's with a terrorism-related degree. joe, thank you so much. >> take care. >> jim cavanaugh, nbc news law enforcement analyst, joins us right now. jim, you heard joe dillon, a student at kings college there, trying to give us and recollection the most
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information that he could. were you able to glean anything from what he said? >> well, you had a great discussion with him. he's clearly upset. he was right at the epicenter of the event. you know, i think the way he described it, there's a possibility that the gunshots he heard were police gunshots. the area around there, armed officers from the metropolitan london police are deployed. we all believe -- it's true, most metropolitan officers don't carry guns. but many more carry guns now than used to. and the special squads that are around places of note, like parliament and so forth, they do have some more officers there. and, you know, i spent quite a bit of time with the metropolitan police in their special units. england is a very unique place. attacks with weapons and knives
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are very common by the criminals in england, in london. they use a lot of weapons. but they don't have the amount of guns they have here. so we see those kind of attacks, we see them in the news, attacks with weapons. from all the facts you've uncovered and what's been reported, a vehicle striking pedestrians, maybe somebody with weapons, we could have had a police response with officers trying to take down somebody with a weapon. that's just a possible scenario based on what the witness said. you could also have a shooter coming out. but, you know, usually if you're having some kind of a terrorist shooter, you'll have a lot more than six or eight rounds. and police would be more disciplined, if they're shooting close proximity to someone with a weapon, it could be just a few
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rounds to bring them down. that might be possible. and of course you had the discussion with malcolm about could there be more activity. we just don't know, if the same assailant runs somewhere, is the vauxhall incident connected. we tend to make the connections in our mind that are gigantic. people could be connected by a cellphone. if you have multiple actors, even just two actors, with a cellphone they could be connected and act simultaneously. so it doesn't necessarily take great strategic planning. there's a little planning, of course, but it isn't monumental, to have a couple of people or a few people at different locations making attacks with vehicles or edge weapons. that may be what they're facing there. right now the police have got to swarm the areas where the attacks occurred, get right on
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the person. what we always do, basic police work, we go to the guy, get his wallet, pull it out and say, who is this guy? more often than not, they have i.d., they can find out who his confederates and associates, are get back in their vehicles, make sure there's no other plots afoot. takes what police will be most concerned with. there's one or two here, you know, if there's criminal activity, is there someone mentally disturbed. could it be terrorism? if it is, are there other attacks afoot? that's process is, you're keeping the discussion right where it's supposed to be. nobody knows this is terrorism for sure. could it be? yes, it bears similarities, as malcolm said, to many other attacks, and isis encourages these attacks. >> jim, i have some information i wanted to play for you to get your reaction, because as we're trying to gather information,
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you know, we're only really an hour and a half into this right now. there's been obviously huge hunger for what we don't know, to try to put something together that you and other big brains have been able to pull together for us. but i want to give you some more information. and this is from an eyewitness account from the scene. this is a scene very close to the london bridge area. and it's being described by a security officer named faith buscemi. if you could listen to this, jim, and i'll get your thoughts after. >> i saw people running, screaming. somebody was injured. i've seen people with some blood. and it's been the worst day of my life, honestly. in these kind of things, you sit in front of the tv. but when actually you see people and hear people screaming, it's
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scary. >> that just coming in, jim. then there's this from another eyewitness, a witness that was there at the london bridge area as well, telling reuters that he saw a van veering into people on the bridge, seeing a few people being knocked over. we also have this, which you may or may not have heard earlier from holly jones, who is a bbc reporter, who was on the bridge. she reported to us here at nbc news that a man was arrested or taken into custody with shirt off, that this individual that was taken in custody was handcuffed. she did not know who the person was. and she said when she was on the bridge, holly jones, and she was closer to the north side, that a white transit van with a male driver, about 50 miles an hour, turned into the pavement, hit several pedestrians that were in front of this bbc reporter, also hit some people behind her. and she counted about six
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victims, she was telling us. and then the white van zig zagged across the bridge, about eight ambulances then gathered, and then also law enforcement with guns arrived after that. and so that's just some of, again, the eyewitness accounts that were on the location. does that help you or us any more understand what law enforcement might be doing now at this hour as they're trying to put it all together? >> right. those are good facts, really, they do help, with those witnesses. what strikes me with the first witness where you played the audio is the absence of report of noise. having investigated many shootings and bombings and attacks, even stabbings, notice here the absence of a report of noise. the first witness you talked to, the male in his apartment, he reported the gunshots he heard. the second witness reported no sound. if a person hears a large explosion or gunshots, they report it to you. what they're reporting is people
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are injured, running, bloodied, but they're reporting no sound. that is consistent with maybe a knife attack or a sharp weapon or even someone being run over by a motor vehicle, because motor vehicles are ambient noise. we kind of dismiss their presence. that witness is consistent with reports of no explosions. the transit van on the sidewalk, of course, seems like a very deliberate, a very deliberate attack. it's not somebody just crashing, maybe has a spasm or something. somebody zigzagging, turning directly into people, a deliberate attack. that leads you to a criminal and/or terrorist attack. those are good facts, they help put it together. the gunshots could have been t stop a motor vehicle by police. it could have been stopping somebody with an edged weapon.
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i would think we would have heard of more gunshots because of the sound that comes from something like that. not always, there's no fast rule, but generally they try to bring a lot of ammo. and if they have just one rifle with 30 rounds, they're not going to fire just a few, and then you hear the police fire back and it's quite a gun battle. and here there's reports of just six or eight shots. so it still looks like a vehicle attack, an edged weapon attack, and those witnesses seem to be consistent in the pieces they've seen of this evolving event. it's very good facts you've gathered. and more to come in, because the detectives now at the metropolitan police, scotland yard is their headquarters, they'll be all over this. the antiterrorist police as well, the special squads. they're all spun up now. they're trying to say, are these people part of any cell they've looked at.
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and the terrorist squads look at that even if they don't know everything yet. they try to get ahead of the curve. you heard malcolm talking about that. that's what the terrorism guys are doing. that's what we did on the joint terrorism task force. we say, is this something for us, is this connected to anything we're doing, does this look like somebody we looked at before, no, this is just a crazy guy, a criminal guy, okay, we're out of here. but they spin up because they want to stop the next one. that's a lot of the activity going on in london. and like you said, it's midnight. >> it's after midnight, 12:30 a.m. as we've been talking, they have reopened, if you're just joining us, for those who are with us on msnbc and watching us, they have reopened that third location. so i believe what that therefore means here, jim, as we began this last half hour, we had three locations for incidents.
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the details thereof in terms of what happened at the three incidents, unsure. but the vauxhall area, according to what we're hearing at the moment, has now been reopened. so that may be removed, if you will, from the list of locations in question. that would therefore leave us just with london bridge again and borough market, which are very close to each other. vauxhall, a little bit more of a distance right now. so there could be some progress. back to this idea that you were giving a head nod to with malcolm nance, and this is the flooding the zone process that law enforcement might be undertaking right now, once an incident like this happens, they have a list of locations, people of interest that they then move forward on. what is that process like, to flood the zone? that might explain to us why we see so many police vehicles that
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may or may not be associated with the incidents that we are covering specifically. >> right. you're going to see a lot of police activity at any crime scene, the scene of the attack, because you're going to uniformed response, armed officer response, maybe some tactical teams layered on by detectives at the crime scene, coming in there to process that. after your emergency services have rendered aid. each scene with an attack, there's going to be activity. then what you glean from the suspect's wallet, you know, we try to make this big complicated thing, but like you say, we get it right out of the pocket, who is this guy, we get fingerprints or a photograph of him and then move quickly to their residence, their vehicle that's nearby. london is loaded with closed circuit tv. they would move to those locations fast. when you see a lot of activity,
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it might be their residence, their car, a report of other suspicious people. there could be a few things there. what the special squads do, though, like we were discussing is, they don't leave their discipline. if they're in the antiterrorist squad, what they're going to do then is work within that world. they'll be trying to see, you know, if they don't have a lot of information from the scene, hey, is any of our guys real high on our list, where are they now? and usually there's a high list, a list of people that you're really worried about, that you might have under some surveillance, maybe not 24-hour surveillance, but some active surveillance. and the question is, where are they now, what are they doing now, are they involved in anything? and you want to check that out, even if you didn't have all the facts from these attractiacks, if these attacks don't turn out to be terrorism. that would be a little quieter,
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not so evidence. you're going to be a little stealthier about that. i think a lot of the activity we're seeing is crime scene secondary information from the criminals to the next location, reports of other suspicious people. that's a lot of the activity right now. >> what's happening in the united states at the moment, given that london and new york, for instance, the united states and the uk, are so closely knit when it comes to not only antiterrorism efforts, but also within the intelligence community, within the law enforcement community. they are tied at the hip. and so in this situation, what happens for instance in places like washington, d.c., chicago, l.a., and new york, when an incident like this happens? >> all of the major law enforcement agencies have command posts. and there's a lot of joint
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command posts. when you're talking about counterterrorism in washington, the fbi, all the major agencies have command posts. every state has a center run by state police but staffed by federal agencits. all those analysts and intelligence professionals and state troopers are watching now. they're watching msnbc, they're watching fox, they're watching cnn, they're watching every news network. they're watching them all on a big board. and they've probably got some feeds right in from london, they're watching the bbc, sky news. and of course they're working their lines with their colleagues and they're saying, you know, anything happening here, is there anything we need to pay particular attention to here, have we had anybody that's traveled back and forth to london lately, do we have
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anybody who is a british citizen who we've been watching. they're scrubbing that from their minds and databases. and they're paying attention. they're not running out in the streets, places like nypd, lapd, sometimes they'll put people at high profile events right off on one of these things. they're paying attention, because that's what they've got to do right now, to see if there could be something. right now it seems pretty isolated, a vehicle and edged weapon attack. nobody is getting too worked up about it. they're watching, paying attention. they're keeping their superiors informed. and that's the way we've done it for years with a lot of success in the united states. >> when you have analyzed these incidents post facto as well as during, as you have so many times with me and others here at msnbc and nbc news, what is the risk? there's certainly a risk of
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underreaction, but is there any risk of overreaction, of deploying too much, as we've been watching all of this live coming into our satellite center here in new york city, and then beaming it out from london, is there ever a point where you go, well, that's too much, or you shouldn't be applying that amount of force there? >> well, you know, in the city, the experience and the facts, when there's multiple attacks, i don't think the response could be too large, to get enough officers and investigators there to quickly quell and find out what's going on. it's not a question of too many officers. it's a question of using them inadequate adequately, smartly, getting all the help you can get. look at what happened in manchester. i mean, manchester is also facing a lot of -- they have runs and concerts and activities and sports and soccer games.
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so there's a lot of paying attention across england. london is really going to be spun up. across england is going to be spun up. as you go away from the event, there's still a lot of attention. journalists like yourselves are handling this at exactly the right level. we don't know exactly what it is, this is what we know, these are the hard facts, sure, it could be that, it could be that, but it could be something else. it just has to be reported just exactly the way -- and that's the way the law enforcement wants to deal with it as well, because it doesn't help them -- we all said we wanted to work from a foundation of facts. we work from the foundation of facts. it's okay to say this is the facts we know, just like today in london. and we can go ahead of those facts and say, hey, well, it could be this, we might need to get ahead of that. but we always know what the
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foundation of facts are. we're not attributing our movement to that necessarily. but sometimes you've got to move ahead, otherwise you'll be left behind. that's what the antiterrorism police are about. >> jim, have you been able to watch the video we've been broadcasting? >> no, i haven't seen it. >> the video is interesting, because the arc of it has been pretty consistent. we've not seen running. we've seen pedestrians walking for the most part. we've seen law enforcement vehicles come at basically the same pace. however we've seen an accumulation in the last now two hours. of course it's almost impossible to determine whether it's double the amount or, you know, 50% more, whatever the case may be. we've seen increase in vehicles. but many of the pedestrians walking in an orderly fashion. as i was speaking with joe dillon, he was clearly running from london bridge because he was so close by. our own producer, mo abbas, when
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he was leaving a restaurant that was close to the borough market and southern end of the london bridge, also running away from the area. but calm all the way around, at least on the live video that we've been taking in. >> you know, it always makes you admire the british. they definitely have a strong constitution. there will always be an england, as it's been said, and they are tough. they are resolute. and they show that every day. they're the masters of understate, they're the masters of strength. of course we've seen it here in the u.s., in boston and new york, too. we all look to each other for the strength. certainly british people got it, and they show it right away, immediately, they go right back to their lives. i don't know who these -- if this turns out to be terrorism, we're not sure it is, if it does, they're not scaring the british people, i'll tell you
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that. they're not to be scared. they're going to go on. they're very admirable. >> and so many folks in your space of expertise look to the metropolitan police, certainly london's finest, europe's finest working tonight. jim, thanks so much. i so much appreciate your perspective on what's happening. stand by, if you can. i want to bring in lucy kafanov, who has been watching this since the very beginning with us, about two hours now, lucy, there in our london bureau. if you can, what has changed then since you and i first spoke two hours ago? where are we at? >> richard, what's changed in literally the past few seconds is we heard from british prime minister theresa may, who said that this is a fast-moving investigation, and one that is being treated by the authorities here inland as a potential acted of terrorism. so that is a pretty big step
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forward here, with the prime minister saying that. we have learned she will be chairing a so-called c.o.b.r.a. meeting, basically a meeting of top security officials, the home secretary, all the relevant police authorities here in the next few hours. and as you've said on air over the past few hours, this is now at three different locations. it appears that the main incident was a white van plowing into a crowd of pedestrians on london bridge. the stabbings seem to be limited to the borough market area. and it's not clear at this point whether the vauxhall incident was related or not. we have learned that authorities have reopened the train station there, which might indicate that things are returning to normal. but again, no confirmation from the police. this is a fast moving, developing situation, one that according to the prime minister here in the uk is now being investigated as a potential incident or treated, pardon me, as a potential terrorism incident. if that does pan out to be the case, a very worrying
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development, just a week after that manchester attack, the worst terrorist attack that britain has suffered since 2005, when there were multiple assaults on the london transportation system. a very disturbing development this evening, richard. >> lucy, that is a major development, because the use of the word "terrorism," in this case "potential act of terrorism," coming from the british prime minister, as is probably obvious, not loosely used at all. and we've been clear, as well as those who have been reporting, that to use that grouping of words, "potential act of terrorism," is a major change in what they might be doing. as we've been watching these pictures, right, and lucy, when you and i have been talking over the last two hours, we were very clear in saying we have not heard that yet either from officials or those from the
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metropolitan police. give us a sense of what that might mean when we hear that from the uk's leader. >> well, it certainly will be interesting to see what that translates to in terms of the police and the official response as the authorities get up to speed on this, because again, we saw the threat level here in the uk taken from critical to severe. will it be raised back up to critical? that of course means an attack is imminent. it will, for example, require the deployment of more armed officers on the streets, the deployment of military officers, the army, effectively, to protect areas like buckingham palace, certain other tourist locations, to free up officers to patrol the streets. so there could be real life consequences to this. and the psychological effects, a week after the attack at the
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ariana grande concert, to have the prime minister say that this is a potential incident of terror, of course a very chilling development. >> that's a very good point. just for those londoners, for brits having to hear that word again so close to the ariana grande, the manchester incident, and again, right before a national election. all of that being put together. although as we know, tough folks there in the uk, and they are unfortunately hardened by the incidents that have happened not only within the last year. the c.o.b.r.a. meeting, any more details on that? and is that also -- clearly, as you were saying, that's a major development, as she has, if you will, this information room gathering. >> that's a great analogy, richard, i was just going to point this out myself. that is a pseudo situation room for the leader of the united
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kingdom, theresa may. the top police officers, the home secretary, all of the top intelligence agency officials will gather in one room to try to piece together exactly what bits of evidence they have to try to put together a timeline, and of course to try to put together a response. and it is most likely, if there was to be any sort of change in the threat level, it is most likely to come out after this kind of meeting. because this is, again, basically the opportunity for all of the key employers to put together all of their info and figure out how much more risk there is to the public, how much more response has to be taken in the immediate aftermath. and there doesn't have to be just one c.o.b.r.a. meeting. in manchester, we saw one in the morning and another one in the evening as the situation developed. usually after these kinds of meetings, they do have some sort of statement to the press where they either update us on what the investigation has revealed or what steps will be taking
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place next. so this will definitely be an important one to watch as we try to get more facts about what's actually taking place here in london. >> you and i are of like mind, that was going to be the next topic. once you use the phrase like "potential act of terrorism," brits will want to know, okay, what's next? we haven't heard yet, right, lucy, in terms of when we might be hearing from the met or when we might be hearing from any of those in the national leadership, have we? >> no, not at all. the only thing we've heard from the authorities so far was a tweet, actually, urging the people here in london to basically run to safety, hide, and then call the police if it is safe to do so. but in terms of big picture analysis of what actually happened, i mean, quite frankly, richard, it is just too soon. you can see from the pictures there just how many officers are out in the streets. three different locations. it may be that not all of the
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locations are tied to one another. but again, there's just so much to piece together here. as we were talking in the earlier hours or hours, a lot of evidence for them to potentially go through. for example, the cctv, the closed circuit television cameras that are you will aoval uk, all over loon. they'll need theanpower to go over this video, compile the evidence, interview eyewitnesses, trying to get their own forensic people on the ground. this isn't going to be a quick one, is what i'm trying to say. >> as you're gathering all the information that's happening not too far from where you are at the london bureau, where would you say we are in the arc of intensity? the first hour, we were getting more locations. we were seeing more activity in terms of law enforcement vehicles. we're now i think almost exactly at the two-hour mark, when you
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and i started talking, roughly, more or less. where would you say we are? are we increasing in terms of intensity of what's happening there in london? are we leveling off? vauxhall is now being cleared, are we now down to two locations? >> it does appear, and i'm saying this from our london bureau, i'm obviously not in the street at the moment, but it does appear that whatever took place is something that the authorities have responded to and are now trying to bring under control. whether it's dealing with the victims, whether it's closing off areas. it does not appear, at least in the past hour that we've been speaking, that more locations are now a target. so perhaps it could be safe to say that they are really focusing on whatever it is that took place between 10:00 p.m. local time and roughly 11:00 p.m. local time, which was this vehicle plowing into a crowd of pedestrians, and then the potential stabbings. it does seem like those were separate incidents, but perhaps
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they're related. again, it's just too soon to say, we don't have enough information. i think a good resume ule of thr anyone dealing with these incidents, and unfortunately there have been too many of them in europe and of course in the united states in recent years, is to really stay calm and try to be patient, to wait for more of the official information to trickle in. yes, theresa may said they're handling this as a potential terrorist incident. that does not necessarily mean that it is a terrorist incident. there's a lot of questions remaining to be answered here. but of course from the size at least and the intensity of the police response, just the sheer number of cars in the street, the helicopters, the ambulances, it does seem that this is something bigger than expected this evening. >> it has grown, certainly, in the last ten minutes, based on what the british prime minister said, theresa may now calling it a potential act of terrorism. this was not a word we heard in the first two hours. of course, as you are so clear
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to say, this does not mean it is. but the use of the very word itself is certainly giving us an indication of how wide this potentially could be. nbc's matt bradley now joins us. he's phone. he was near london bridge earlier. still there. matt, what are you learning now? what's new this hour? >> well, we're not learning anything new right now. police had expanded the area they had cordoned off. actually we're no longer in sight of the incident. i was there for 30, 45 minutes looking at the scene kind of unfolding. as lucy described, just a huge police and emergency services response. helicopters swirling overhead. dozens and dozens of police officers and ambulances and police cars. it really was -- police flooded the zone here and it just speaks to the degree to which they're on edge about the threat of terror following the manchester attack a couple of weeks ago and the westminster bridge attack a
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few months ago that looked right now it might be similar to this one. again, as lucy said, there's no real indication this is actually a terrorist attack quite yet, even though the police are certainly investigating it as such. the witnesses that i spoke with, they said that they saw what looked like someone lying on the ground and other people administering cpr to somebody who was clearly injured. this woman i spoke with said she couldn't tell if he had been stabbed or beaten or hit by a car. she said she saw other people lying nearby this person who was lying on the ground and they also looked as though they had been injured or killed. she said right after she saw this a police officer told her and her friends to run as far away as they possibly could, which seems like just about good advice you'd get in any incident like this. >> matt, earlier you saw a lot of activity in terms of police vehicles and personnel moving. just as we were speaking you said, yes, in fact, a group just
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was moving in. it's now close to 1:00 a.m. there. what are you seeing now? i know the cordon is now larger so you're farther away from what might be the epicenter. but what activity are you seeing in terms of law enforcement, if any? >> well, i'll tell you what we saw, richard, right before the cordon was widened, right before the police told us to move back further. this seemed to be the incident that caused them to tell everybody to move back. there was a man, looked like a man in his 20s or 30s, who was running north away from the bridge. and the police were pursuing him with dogs. it was actually really kind of unexpected. shouting at him to stop. then it looked like he ran behind some ambulances and it seemed as though they were able to detain him. then i saw some other police officers also with dogs shouting into the station from above the station at the top of the stairs, shouting at somebody inside the station to stop moving and to stay still. and police kind of started
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running toward this incident. again, richard, in situations like this that are unfolding so quickly, it's hard to sort out what is just precautionary measures, what is just people or police acting with an abundance of caution, trying to subdue crowds, or whether they're actually respond together incident itself. one of the things we're seeing around here, richard, this is london on a saturday night. there are lots of people around who are very drunk. and that's another real complication for the police here. this is a saturday night in the heart of the city. and there are tons of people who are coming back from parties or from bars. and a lot of them are kind of acting up, kind of taking this not so seriously. that's another challenge the police are having to deal with is the passersby and the sheer number of people who are flooding out of restaurants, bars, cafes, and are gawking at this incident. and frankly, we were one of them. that's one of the reasons why i think they had to expand this and try to keep members of the public from getting closer to
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this. and really complicating a very complicated situation even more. >> yeah. and as some londoners might tell you, depending who they are, is that the arc of that energy you were just describing happens earlier in the evening than perhaps in other cities on the weekends in hot spots like london in terms of what you're describing of ineven debris yated individuals that had to be cordoned and had to be moved into places that were safe. trying to get them to understand what was happening. matt, i'm also getting this just in from the metropolitan police. they're saying the incident in vauxhall was an unrelated stabbing incident there, not related to what we were seeing earlier in borough market, earlier at london bridge. that the incidents at london bridge and borough market, have now declared them terrorist incidents. that is the major development. those two pieces of information.
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the latter being the one that is more definitive. we have the prime minister as you probably heard, lucy cavenaugh, saying it is a potential act of terrorism, we're now hearing the metropolitan police saying what happened on london bridge, what happened at borough market, although we don't have details exactly, were terror incidents. that's a major change in the language, as you know so well, matt bradley. >> that's right, richard. i'm actually hearing that for the first time from you. it would seem that that would really escalate the amount of concern and the amount of resources that the london police are going to be throwing at this situation. the fact that the vauxhall situation has been resolved or was not connected that doesn't really surprise anybody. the fact is vauxhall is about a mile away. if the perpetrator had fled there, if there was a coordinated incident involving someone else, that would have been kind of a far-flung location to have two connected incidents occurring very close to one another. so it doesn't really surprise
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me. the fact that this is now -- that the police are now saying that this was a terrorist incident, that would sort of raise the bar, raise the ante on this. it's going to cause a lot of londoners to remember the situation several months ago right outside the parliament building, when khaled massoud took a vehicle and drove down west bridge right in front of parliament and plowed over several people and then got out of his car and beat or stabbed to death a police officer who was guarding the parliament building. this is a sort of similar incident. if it does turn out to be a terrorist incident, people are going to say that this is -- looks like a copycat kind of situation. a car being weaponized to kill ordinary pedestrians and then perpetrator dismounting the vehicle and attacking people with a knife. it looks eerily similar to that incident from several months ago. >> matt, we're also hearing that the metropolitan police telling
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nbc news that this -- these are the items that were associated with what they are now calling terrorist incidents. number one, firearms. number two, a car. number three, knives. so that's more information that we're getting from the metropolitan police directly us to here at nbc news. then there was that piece of information that i just shared with you moments ago, that they are saying and i quote, "the incidents at london bridge and borough market were declared as terrorist incidents." they said that, the metropolitan police, six minutes ago. and then metropolitan police telling nbc news these are the items that are related to these terrorist incidents. firearms, a car, and knives. so it appears that we're hitting a point at least in this incident in this very terrible incident, that we are -- they're confirming the details and they're pulling together their sources to be able to report this not only to us here at nbc news, but also as they're
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tweeting out they're now considering these terrorist incidents, matt. >> that's right. it would seem as though this would be kind of a definitive escalation in the police treatment of the situation. if they're describing it now definitively as a terrorist incident, that must mean that they have an idea of who the perpetrator was and that they're zeroing in on some level of what his motivation would be. i mean, obviously the thing that escalates this from a car accident to a malicious terror attack is the fact that it seems like he dismounted the car and then attacked random passersby. it seems like people in this restaurant, with a knife. so the fact that they are now saying this was a terror incident, not an accident -- not an ordinary crime, it would probably mean they're going to be doing exactly what they did in manchester, expanding the investigation to the next step, looking for accomplices. they're going to want to see exactly if this man act ad loan or was somehow connected to a
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wider network or group. that investigation for manchester is still ongoing. police are trying to determine to what extent that perpetrator in manchester attack, whether or not he was acting alone or whether he was acting within a wider network, whether there was an ideological connection or ideological motivation that could be connected to him. and a lot of that is still ongoing. and that's kind of going to be the next step here. and i think we're going to see that cordon expanding outside of the monument area just north of london bridge. we're going to start to see home alerts and police looking into what kind of network the perpetrator would have been operating in. so it looks like the work of the police now is really just getting started and the investigation is going to be expanding dramatically, if indeed they determine that this is definitely a terrorist incident, which it seems as
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though they've already done that. >> nbc's matt bradley at the closest position that you can get right now to london bridge where there was a terrorist incident. those are the words coming from the metropolitan police. if you're just joining us here on msnbc, we're in rolling coverage right now of a breaking news incident in london. downtown london at the famous london bridge as you see in the lower right-hand part of your screen, the map. not too far away also, borough market, there are two locations that metropolitan police are looking at right now. what we just learned in the last ten minutes, they are now calling the two incident areas and that which happened at london bridge and borough market as terrorist incidents. they are also telling us, metropolitan police, here at nbc news, that firearms related to that, number one, that a car number two is related to it,

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