tv NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt NBC September 18, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EDT
on this sunday night, active terrorism. the search for who is behind a powerful explosion in new york and a potential bomb found just blocks away hours after another blast on the jersey shore. tonight new clues into a possible terror connection. mall attack. nine people hurt after a man goes on a stabbing spree in minnesota. witnesses say he asked the victims if they were muslim. inside aleppo. as the ceasefire unravels in syria, our bill neely on the ground inside the war-torn city. running on empty. gas stations across the south running out of fuel, others raising prices as a pipeline shutdown forces a state of emergency that could last into winter. then play by play.
how a group of volunteers are bringing the theater to life for the visually impaired. "nightly news" begins now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with kate snow. good evening. law enforcement are on edge tonight after three incidents across three states. in minnesota, a stabbing attack at a mall last night. on the jersey shore, a pipe bomb exploding just before a race. and what the government is calling an act of terrorism. a bomb blast strong enough to shatter windows, shake apartments and injure 29 people. thankfully all the injured are released from the hospital now as investigators try to figure out if there is a link between the incidents in new york and new jersey. we have all of it for you tonight beginning with our richard engel. >> reporter: good evening, kate. what we're talking about is what
seems to be three explosive devices that were found or detonated here in new york and new jersey. investigators are trying to figure out, are all these incidents linked? they believe they have found one key connection with city officials telling nbc news that the detonator in these three devices all appear to have been old school, old style flip phones. and that similarity suggests this may have all been the work of one individual or one group. but they don't know who that is. passers-by ran in panic. >> everybody get off the street! let's go! >> reporter: from what new york officials today confirmed was a bomb that detonated in the heart of manhattan around 8:30 last night. >> the sound was so overwhelming. >> reporter: the bomb exploded in or near a dumpster, which seems to have contained much of the blast. even so, it was strong enough to crack the glass doors of a gym
across the street. >> when you see the amount of damage, we really were very lucky that there were no fatalities at the time. >> reporter: no fatalities. luckily no one seriously injured, either. all 29 hurt were released from hospitals today. much of the credit for that goes to the rapid response from this city, heavily secured after 9/11. within minutes, police, fbi, national guard and firefighters flooded the area. and cordoned it off, leaving john avador unable to return to his home. >> i ran outside and saw glass and people screaming and chaos. one woman walked out, she was holding her head. >> glass everywhere? >> there was glass everywhere. she said a chandelier had fallen on her head. >> reporter: and this may have been just part of a planned wider attack. four blocks from the explosion, emergency crews found what looked like a crude bomb made with a pressure cooker,
unexploded. the governor said the two devices were similar. and hours earlier, a pipe bomb exploded in new jersey. there were no injuries. >> a bomb exploding in new york is, obviously, an act of terrorism, but it's not linked to international terrorism. nerd, we find no isis connection, et cetera. >> we have a lot more work to do to be able to say what kind of motivation was behind this. >> reporter: there has been no claim of responsibility so far from any terrorist group, foreign or domestic. police have many leads to work on. video from the scene, bomb fragme fragme fragments. but authorities so far won't say if they have any suspects and ask the public for help. a security cordon is still in place here, but it's relaxed somewhat with residents able to return to their homes.
now let's turn to that explosion in a beachside town in new jersey and the investigation, as richard mentioned, into whether it is connected to the new york incidents. agents were back on the scene today searching for clues as residents remain on edge. morg morgan has more. >> reporter: fbi going door to door asking residents if they saw anything suspicious. have they been coming door to door to speak with you? >> they've been canvassing the area and speaking with everyone. i spoke to them and others as well. >> a pipe bomb went off here early yesterday morning. they found other things that didn't detonate as intended. federal authorities are now looking for clues and the perpetrator. >> do you have any reason to believe that the explosion in your state was an act of terror targeting that marine charity
race? >> as far as terrorism is concerned, chris, it clearly san act of terrorism, but it was done intentionally to try to terrorize the people of new jersey. so that we know, but we need to know who is responsible now and get them into custody. >> reporter: in belmar, new jersey, a festival canceled today for safety concerns. >> i think it was a good idea. better safe than sorry and we'll see what happens next here. >> reporter: back at seaside park, residents thankful for what didn't happen. >> that could have been a lot worse if the whole thing had gone off. >> reporter: kate, we're standing in the exact location where that pipe bomb exploded inside a trash can which you can still see here on the ground beside me. also what happened is that pipe bomb, those contents have already been sent to quantico and they're being processed at the same facility where those new york devices are also being sent. kate? >> morgan radford out in new jersey. for more now on these investigations in new jersey and new york, let's turn to our justice correspondent, pete
williams. pete, what do we know? >> reporter: well, no suspects tonight, no answers to the big question of who did it and whether the new york and new jersey bombings were connected, but this is a fast-moving investigation. the bomb planted there in new jersey turns out to be a gold mine of evidence, now being analyzed at the fbi crime lab outside washington. it was made of three pipe bombs, but two didn't go off at all, and we're told tonight the first one blew up only partly so lots of that was left behind to st y study. officials say they're not sure how the bomb was built that went off in new york, but they assume tonight it was a pressure cooker. they're still gathering hundreds of pieces to be sent to the fbi, too. some think the explosive material in that bomb represented widely used commercial products used by gun enthusiasts to make targets. as for the pressure cooker allegedly dropped off in a suitcase a few blocks away, it
was identical to instructions written by al qaeda. there are koicoincidences betwe the two, especially the use of cell phones. they are investigating a mall attack as a potential act of terror. tonight a man is being hailed as a hero. >> reporter: families with small children escorted out of a minnesota mall after a man with a knife disguised as a security guard went on a violent rampage. >> somebody was stabbed right outside the store. >> reporter: witness say the man with the knife was yelling about allah and asking people about muslim. >> he was asking, are you a muslim? how do you respond to that when someone has a knife a foot from your face.
>> they ranged in age from 15 to 50 years old. the man who stopped him now being hailed as a hero. the suspect tried to attack the officer. >> as the suspect tried to attack him with the knife, not only did he fire, the suspect came down, he came back up on three different occasions. >> he was calling himsesaid to of isis, but there is no confirmation of that claim. both the police and the islamic community of st. cloud, minnesota say it is still too soon to know the motives. minnesota is home to a large population of somali refugees, predominantly muslim. today community leaders say they're devastated by the violence of one man and have been working with authorities for years trying to work with radicals who try to recruit
their young men. >> isis does not represent us. he does not represent islam, he does not represent somalis. >> reporter: now they fear they will be a target of backlash against muslims in the united states. late this afternoon i spoke with several leaders of the somali community here who say they did know the suspect. they say his family is in disbelief over what happened. police here in this community say they also knew the suspect. they had dealings with him in the past but only for minor traffic stops. kate? >> gadi schwartz in minnesota. thanks. the actions of the past 36 hours already playing in politics as national security comes to the forefront in the political conversation. donald trump and hillary clinton are reacting in very different ways, their responses reinforcing the contrast in their leader styles. here's hallie jackson. >> reporter: after multiple attacks, two very different responses. >> just before i got off the
plane, a bomb went off in new york. >> reporter: donald trump reacting fast just minutes after reports surfaced of the manhattan explosion, before authorities had confirmed what happened. >> we are going to get tough and smart and vigilant, and we're going to end it. we're going to end it. so we'll see what it is. >> reporter: and today the tone of a new tweet raising eyebrows as he sends his warmest regards, best wishes and condolences to the victims. hillary clinton meanwhile now labeling the weekend incident an apparent terrorist attack, late saturday counseling caution. >> we'll have to let this investigation unfold and i'll have more to say about it when we actually know facts. >> from both nominees, a striking contrast when it comes to their idea of national security. >> do they want somebody who demonstrated they know people and know the facts, or do they want somebody who supposedly in his gut just can deal with issues? >> reporter: it's a distinction not lost on either campaign,
clinton's camp touting her background. trump's team, his tough talk. >> mr. trump is doing very well on the issue of who would manage islamic radical terrorism. >> i would say experience really matters. >> reporter: still, even the trump campaigns on showing strength, he is under fire for his national security stance from some top republicans, including now two-time defense secretary robert gates, out with a scathing op-ed, calling trump beyond repair. >> robert gates. believe me, i am so much better at what he's doing than he is. >> people say they trust trump on terror, but who better to serve as commander in chief, clinton has the edge. at a time of rising anxiety, a conflicted electorate. national security, of course, one of the top concerns for voters. given we're still 50-plus days out from the election, it's not that the attacks of this weekend
will continue to resonate politically until then here on the campaign trail. that said, if something similar were to happen in late october, early november, it could be a game changer. >> hallie jackson, thanks. inside aleppo as the ceasefire continues to unravel. the men, women and children in the besieged city of aleppo once again caught in the middle of it all. bill nealy from their front line. >> from their front line today, hours of explosions, too. this isn't the silence of a ceasefire. there is shelling in aleppo right now and plumes of smoke from the rebel-held areas inside this front line. it's deadly inside this city and dangerous driving in, 200 miles from damascus.
the ice line sis line ban houabt way. this is a very safe passage in. >> the truce was supposed to let in food deliveries. it's clear the attacks haven't stopped and the humanitarian aid hasn't arrived. >> reporter: they were accused of breaking the ceasefire repeatedly. they were attacked this morning by rebels trying to retake this area, and three of their men were killed. each side blames the other, children pay the price. they just fled an area under fire. a local charity feeding them. across the front line, rebels claim regime warplanes dropped bombs here today, left children injured. it's true, the u.s.-russia ceasefire dealings crumbling fast. peace, food and hope here are all in short supply. bill nealy, nbc news, aleppo,
syria. >> the conflict in syria will be at the top of the agenda as the u.n. general assembly kicks off in new york this week. president obama has arrived in what will be his final assembly this year. what's on the agenda? >> the president has arrived here for several days of talks at the u.n. general assembly, the fate of syria hanging in the balance and the ceasefire falling apart. they said they were working to confirm those reports, that the assad regime had carried out attacks on innocent civilians in and around aleppo. they were skeptical of the ceasefire about a week ago, trusting austrians and syrians would do their part. this comes at a time when they are hitting bottom charged with those airstrikes. russia demanded the meeting, the united states called it a stunt.
they have plans of carrying out those airstrikes, something they deny. the two finally had their face-to-face encounter. that happened in china a couple of weeks ago. the officials say it's all about whether or not and russia can settle their differences, and right now the outlook for that appears quite bleak. kate? >> ron allen at the u.n. tonight. ron, thank you. how a pipeline shutdown i there are two billion people who don't have access to basic banking, but that is changing. at temenos, with the microsoft cloud, we can enable a banker to travel to the most remote locations with nothing but a phone and a tablet. everywhere where there's a phone, you have a bank. now a person is able to start a business, and employ somebody for the first time. the microsoft cloud helped us to bring banking
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human rights attorney clooney is taking rights to the united nations. friday she was there to support one of her clients who survived isis captivity. clooney has been on a mission to make sure isis leaders are put on trial for their crimes. cynthia mcfadden had a chance to speak with her. >> they are brainwashing people, and i think one of the ways to take action against that is to expose that brutality and that corruption and partly you can do that through trials. >> and you can watch more of cynthia mcfadden's exclusive interview with amal clooney on nightly
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finally tonight, think of it as a kind of color commentary. volunteers describing what's happening on stage during a play for audience members who might otherwise not be able to enjoy the show. here's joe frey. >> reporter: for those who are visually impaired, the theater may sound like a daunting venture. after all, even when the curtain goes up at washington's arena stage, they can't see what's happening. but the woman chattering away in the back row can. rita tean is an audio describer, a play-by-play announcer of
sorts describing the action. >> that thing you're talking into is a steno mask? >> or the feed bag, as we like to call it. >> reporter: the words are then pumped into the ears of patrons. imagine, terry pacheco says, the end of the movie "titanic" when the blue gem is thrown overboard. >> without audio description, i would walk out scratching my head. >> reporter: the describers are volunteers for a non-profit called metropolitan washington ear, which offers the service in about 60 plays throughout the year in d.c. >> it gives the full experience that you and i are lucky to have. >> reporter: paul godario is certainly grateful. in his 20s, he was diagnosed with a rare eye disease that gradually erased most of his sight. >> it gives the whole
experiencely going experience of going to the theater something to look forward to. >> rita gets praise, too. joe fryer, nbc news, washington. >> what a wonderful way to experience the theater. that's "nbc nightly news" for sunday night. lester holt will be right here tomorrow. i'm kate snow reporting from new york and i will see you all week long on msnbc, 3:00 p.m. eastern. from all of us here at nbc news, have a great night. i'm hillary clinton and i approve this message.
donald trump says he alone can fix the problems we
face. well i don't believe that's how you get things done in our country. it takes democrats and republicans working together. that's how we got health care for 8 million kids. rebuilt new york city after 9/11. and got the treaty cutting russia's nuclear arms. we've got to bring people together.
that's how you solve problems and that's what
i'll do as president. tonight, in minnesota, the vikings' brand-new billion-dollar stadium, makes its regular season debut. and it's the first look at sam bradford, in vikings purple, against aaron rodgers and the rival packers. ♪ ♪ can you feel it >> last season, the vikings ended the packers' four-year reign atop the nfc north. >> and the minnesota vikings are