tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN May 22, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
there's a hurdle of, however, when it comes to sharing across europe when it comes to sharing between the different intelligence services in the european union, information coming, say, from the french, british, from the ger mmans to e french. i heard frustration that that information is just not coming in sufficient quantity and sufficiently quickly given the gravity of the threat facing europe over the last few years. not enough yet has been done to improve that intelligence sharing, anderson. one thing the united kingdom has got going for it compared to the continental europe right now is it's much more difficult for these extremists to purchase on the black market or any other way ak-47s, kalashnikovs, in the uk. much harder to get guns on the
streets of manchester, on the streets of london than on the streets of amsterdam, brussels, on the streets of paris. of course, in paris on that night back in november 2015, anderson, that was a coordinated gun and bomb attack on a stadium, on the concert hall and on the cafes. we have only in manchester at this time seen what appears to be a single suicide bomber carry out an attack. >> if you are just joining us, the latest developments from the united kingdom where police are treating a suspected terrorist bombing, a possible suicide detonation, deadly explosion just outside an ariana grande concert. it happened outside the manchester arena shortly after the concert ended. 19 people have been killed, approximately 50 people have been hurt.
authorities are treating it as a possible terrorist attack until they learn otherwise. we are expecting to hear from them shortly. it was supposed to be at the top of the hour. it's two minutes past that. i want to go to phil black who has been monitoring this for several hours from london. phil, what's the latest? >> reporter: anderson, we are getting a clearer picture of what happened here. the interesting information is the confirmation from the venue itself, the manchester arena. it confirmed the blast did take place outside of the venue, which confirmed an observation we made through the evening, looking at video from within the arena, it didn't show any obvious point of detonation. there was no smoke. it didn't look like a bomb had gone off. now the venue is confirming that the blast -- the incident took place just outside the venue, just outside the concert -- just after the concert finished. just as people were leaving the venue. that's what witnesses have told us as well. one blast and according to the
police as you touched on, 19 confirmed dead as a result of this. as many as 50 or more injured. we know that many of these were young people, teenagers, children with parents and so forth who had spent the night enjoying the concert just inside. >> continuing to monitor this, awaiting the press con convenience. andy, thanks for being with us. you were at the concert itself? >> yes. we got to the concert at about 7:00 p.m. had a good time, everything was like. it was really good. it was his first concert he had been to. then about i think it was 10:40 and the explosion happened. we were walking up the stairs just about to leave in the exact same direction as where the explosion happened. >> you heard the explosion very clearly? >> oh, yeah, yeah.
it must have been five feet away from where we were. we heard the explosion happen. the boom rattled in my chest. you could feel it in the ground. it was just horrific. >> can you tell me what direction -- you said you were that close to the explosion, you actually felt it in your chest. what direction were you walking in? what direction do you think the explosion took place in? there's been some who have said it may have taken place close to a box office on a way from the train station. >> yes. it was in the -- we heard from quite a few people that it was in the foyer of where -- near the box office is where it was actually happening. we actually came through the entrance of where that bomb actually -- the explosion, whatever it was, we came through where that actually happened when we came into the concert. it happened -- it was the top left-hand side of the arena.
at the top of the stairs. >> andy, let me ask you. you came through that way. what sort of security -- did you pick up a ticket at the box office? i assume you were checked for security at some point. what sort of security did you go through after that? >> when we were -- i had the tickets printed off. we was coming through the main entrance of the arena. the security was fine. they were checking bags and everything like that. it all looked seemingly normal as what you would expect. >> as you left, what did you see? >> so we left to go in the opposite direction of where the explosion happened. we were going there. it was a stampede of people. trying to help people up as i was leaving. we was going in the opposite direction of where it was happening. you have to go up a stairwell and back through where the
toilets were. as we got outside, you know, there was -- we started looking around to see where we were and get up there and there was another boom. i don't know whether the second one was an actual explosion or -- there were balloons in the concert. they were constantly going -- being popped. i just told my little brother this is what it was. it wasn't an explosion, it was the balloons. he is 9 years old. he knows what goes on in the world. it's a shame really. >> how is your little brother doing? i can't imagine, this is his first concert, scary for any 9-year-old to be in a crowd of 20,000 people panicked. how is he? >> well, he is home in bed asleep now. thank god. i was ushering him out of the arena. i had my hand on his chest. his heart was beating so fast. i thought, i'm responsible for him. we was walking up to the other
exit and all that was going through your led is are there people with guns, is there another explosion? your mind just switches into a different mode. i really, really felt sorry for him thinking this is his first concert and this is happening now. i had my friends messaging me and texting me asking me if i was okay. i didn't know what was happening before anyone else knew. >> how difficult was it for you to get out and to get home? you had 20,000 people leaving this arena at once. police moving in. >> so when we was leaving, everyone was just going into one direction. it was just -- i was keeping hold of him to make sure he was right behind me. as soon as we got outside, i bolted in the other direction and just -- i work in the city center. i know it like the back of my hand. i just went down by a couple more shops. we were going to get the tram home.
the tram goes through the arena of where it was happening. there was no chance of that. i called up a friend and he came and picked us up. >> i'm glad you and your brother are okay. i'm glad you are such a good big brother that he had you there by his side. thank you so much. >> okay. >> a short time ago, authority carried out a controlled explosion. they dead nature edetonated a s item. we understand from law enforcement it tush turned out old clothing. we hope to hear from police shortly. we were told a press conference any moment. we will bring that to you as it happens. with us this hour monitoring developments -- they are moving quickly. we began about an hour and ten minutes ago, not really having a clear understanding of what if anything had happened, whether it was some sort of -- something went wrong in the concert, some sort of device and that people
panicked. now according to the reporting of pamela brown, with -- from three different sources, two u.s. sources, one western who had been briefed on the matter, that they believe now they are looking at the possibility of a suicide bomber. a number of the eyewitness reports -- be cautious about any eyewitness report. a number of eyewitnesses have talked about the explosion seeming to come from somewhere around a box office area which is also accessed to an above ground train station. i believe it was victoria station. that's connected to this arena. the arena itself has tweeted out that the explosion took place outside the arena. they obviously wanted to point out that their security procedures were in place. you just heard from andy james, a concertgoer who brought his brother -- his 9-year-old brother do list firhis first co they went through security.
i want to check in with simone. if you could -- anything new you have learned? if you could, bring us up to date on all of your reporting so far. >> reporter: that's right. what we have learned through the last hour or so is that u.s. officials who have been briefed on the investigation -- two u.s. officials, both to pamela brown and evan perez and i, saying the likely cause of this explosion was a suicide bomber. officials believe that the person who was wearing this -- whatever it may be. we don't know if it's a suicide vest or some other device that was used, did this as people were leaving the concert and caused some of the injuries. people were running and it's believed that some of them who were running were injured. it appears that some of the people may have been injured by the blast. the u.s. officials who have been briefed on this say they don't
believe right now that anyone else was involved. it's likely just one bomber. but they are obviously still continuing their investigation. they're trying to figure out if this person was attached to anyone, was this a cell, who may have helped make the components of this bomb, who may have helped bring this person to the scene. they believe it's a male who was the bomber. still a lot to work through. really right now, u.s. officials are being briefed. all are telling us that it's all very preliminary, even though this happened over three hours ago. this is still preliminary. they're trying to gather information. folks at the state department and other intelligence agencies throughout the u.s. are being briefed, are being updated continuously. we don't know anything about the victims, if there are any u.s. victims. we're just sort of still working through it. still trying to keep things updated and trying to find out more information right now. >> we're trying to find out information about the status of
the 50 or so people who have been injured, wounded. certainly our thoughts and our prayers are with them and their families and obviously when it's appropriate and we get the information, we will update you to give you a sense of what sort of injuries they have received and how most of them are doing. i'm joined by paul cruickshank and phil mud. we talked about what law enforcement is doing in terms of intelligence -- the intelligence community at this point, what are they focused on? >> the first piece we don't have which is whether they have identification, not just a name but looking to see if there's a backpack. did somebody leave an id car. do you have a cell phone? we found that in the chelsea bombing. a cell phone didn't detonate. there's a lot you can do without that. with this density of activity in a place like manchester, police and intelligence guys are looking at social media. they have got people in my world covered people on e-mail, people
covered on phones. they should have a pretty good informant network. you go out there -- >> there's a history of. treatmentism. >> a lot of extremist history in manchester. see if people are saying jimmy is gone, john is gone, did you see what's on tv, somebody was talking about that last night. even if youconspiracy, not onlye a support network, but was somebody else involved who is watching this saying the noose is going to tighten around me, i have go with my own operation. otherwise the cops are going to get me. >> you also have -- u.s. law enforcement, not just on at letter to understand what happened here, but to see if there's any blow back in the united states. nypd, famously they keep very close track of any terrorist incident around the world. they try to have officers go over and learn from local law enforcement to understand are there some new methods that
jihadis or extremists are using? is there a new way they're communicating? is there a new way that they're trying to cause mayhem? >> there's a lot they will do. as soon as they get a phone number -- the question is, did that person ever call the united states? you will go out two hops. that's not only did they call somebody who called in the united states? there's a huge volume of data you are looking through. second, you are looking at broader intelligence subjects. are people elsewhere, the u.s. is interested in europe or potentially in syria or iraq, talking about this? for example, i would be curious to know, are isis guys saying, are you looking at cnn? we never heard of this? even the negatives are a clue. you are blowing out from the location that the event took place, getting the information there. to the question about immediately tactically whether there's a support network and going back saying, is there a bigger group of people behind this the cell? and might be behind a cell in new york or chicago.
>> paul cruickshank, how active is a group like isis in terms of their use of the internet, in terms of twitter, to try to encourage people around the world to attack in place? in the garland terror attack, first attack on u.s. soil claimed by isis, you had isis recruit recruiters, one in raqqah, one in somalia, encouraging the attackers and in contact with the attackers. is that network -- a number of them have been targeted and killed in drone strikes strike. is that network in place? >> it's been degraded but it's still in play. it's still active in and around raqqah, the isis headquarters attorn ton town. they are in touch with a variety of extremists in the west, in europe, in the united states to
try to get them to carry out terrorist attacks in isis' name. we have senior line direction over these encrypted apps in half of all the terrorist plots that we have seen in europe since 2014. a very big part of this terror threat coming from isis using encryption online to communicate with sympathizers back in the west. it's very, very difficult to intercept any of that, if not impossible in real time, anderson, if you don't know who your target is, you don't have a suspect. so european security agencies have been flying blind. u.s. security agencies have been flying blind despite the huge amount of money spent on gchq here in the uk, spent on the nsa in the united states. the case of the brussels attack,
they were actually able to record audiotapes and then it appears send those audiotapes, audio briefings over the internet using the encrypted apz apps giving them feedback about their planning, even able to get precise bomb making guidance from isis handlers in syria. there's an umbilical cord when it comes to at tacks. that was seen in garland, texas, as well. >> paul, we will come back to you. we are four plus hours from the detonation of this device. law enforcement looking at this as a possible suicide attack. on the phone is joe who was at the concert. joe, thanks for talking with us. tell me what you saw and heard. >> so about two or maybe three
minutes after the concert finished and ariana left the stage and people started to leave the seats to leave the arena and there was a really loud explosion. a really loud sound that turned out to be the explosion. lots of people came running back in to get away from it. then from then on it was just a mad rush to try and get out of the arena. by the time we got out, about five minutes getting down the staircase and got outside. then the emergency services had begun to arrive, were starting to arrive by then. >> you said some people actually after the explosion who had left actually ran back into the arena? >> they left the seating area to get to the outer foyer. they ran back into the seating area. >> from everything we have heard from different eyewitnesses, it seems like -- again, this may not be accurate.
a number of eyewitnesses said it seemed like it was near a box office in an area that's accessed by above ground train station. is that an area you were anywhere near as you left? did you exit a different ntered. i exited the other way. i was on the other side of the arena. didn't see the explosion. >> just in terms of security when you entered -- i talked to one person a short time ago who said their bags were checked. did you go through metal detectors? >> i'm not sure about metal detectors. but my friend had a bag with her and that was checked. >> just in terms of when you left, you saw you said law enforcement there. how difficult was it to get out of the area? >> we i think were a few of the first people to get out of the arena possibly. so we crossed the road and walked into to get as far away as possible.
>> you said that social media helped you get out. >> yeah. i was trying to get back to liverpool, a sit city 40 minute away. people on social media were helping us to find transport to get back. >> joe, i'm glad you are okay. and got out safely and were able to get home. thank you very much. we have reporting from pamela brown and evan perez. a western law enforcement official saying a man at the scene has been identified as the probable suicide bomber. a u.s. official said suicide bombing is considered to be the likely reason for the blast. that is a major step based from what we have heard now from pamela brown and evan perez. i want to repeat that. a western law enforcement official telling cnn that a man at the scene in manchester has been identified as the probable suicide bomber. the u.s. official said suicide bombing is considered to be the likely reason for the blast.
steve hall, you have been monitoring this as well. it starts to move quickly from here. it seems like they have some sort of identification very possibly from at the least they may have video now at this point of the individual. >> yeah. this is where paul was saying a very interesting thing a few minutes ago. this is where the cooperation not only among the internal law enforcement and intelligence services inside the uk, but also importantly their connectivity to intelligence and law enforcement services across europe and indeed across the world become critically important. because you can tree oniage and figure out what's going on at the scene at the moment. i would defer to phil who has more experience in this, dealing with these sort of situations right up close. there's going to be hours, days and weeks ahead where the sharing of intelligence and the sharing of this information to understand not only what happened here but with the
specific goal of trying to make sure that it doesn't happen again in the future. or if there's a plan afoot, you will know what to look for. the other thing that paul said that was fascinating is the increased use of the point to point encryption systems that are commercially available. anybody can download them from the app store of your choice. which really give terrorists and others who are trying to hide from the intercept capabilities, it's really pretty good protection and has thwarted the attempts of intelligence and law enforcement to predict when the next attack is going to be. that's a real growing problem. it's this clash that we have between open societies, how much are you going to monitor your citizens, how much are you big brother and try to figure out what's going on in communications, their movements, whether they are subject to searches right on the streets, all of which provides you better protection against terrorist
attacks but also which encroach on the liberties that those of us who live in democratic societies enjoy which is one of the things terrorists are hoping to increase the tension there. as this continues, it will be interesting to see how the threats play out. >> moments ago, prime minute is theresa may put out a statement. all our thoughts are with the victims and families of those who have been affected. we have been told there would be a press conference 20 minutes ago. we are waiting. obviously, police are busy. it's understandable this would be pushed back. we want to bring that to you live from manchester police as soon as they hold that press conference. continued to be joined by steve hall, paul cruickshank, our terrorism expert, and phil mud as well. you are just joining us now.
it does seem like the pieces are now becoming clearer and clearer. >> i think they're becoming more clear, anderson. it's still very, very early in this. a big factor -- i heard phil mention it earlier is the type of bomb, how it was made, what bomb making school, basically, the person followed. what kind of explosive material, the forensic powder to determine the exact chemical composition of that. that will help identify possible bomb makers. >> this is a dumb question. why would a bomb maker have such a distinctive signature that could be identifiable. >> when you learn how to make a bomb, it's not like learning to be a french chef. if you make a bomb and have all ten fingers, you stay with that recipe. that creates the signature. this is true for bomb making schools and for the chemicals that are involved. the see the bombs that come oust yemen typically petn and they
are made a certain way and the wiring is done a certain way, the type of materials used to construct it. then you see other schools that teach -- using different chemicals or different packaging, let's say or different shrapnel with the bomb. it's usually pretty distinctive. or off the internet recipes. we have had individuals make bombing all by themselves, big case in canada in 2006, the toronto. that individual made the first bomb by himself. detonated it. videoed it so he could use that as a recruiting tool. then he used bigger and bigger amounts of the explosive testing it out in the wooded area outside of toronto. then at the end, when he was getting ready to make an enormous bomb that would have been three times the size of the bomb used in oklahoma city, that's when the police thwarted the case. >> we should point out, we don't know what kind of device, based on reporting from evan perez, pamela brown, they believe it's
likely a suicide bomber. but we don't know if that means a vest, some sort of device on the person. we saw the tsarnaev brothers using pressure cooker bombs. as of now, we only know -- we have not heard from law enforcement directly. but of one individual so far. >> that's right. when i saw that report, i'm presuming we don't know the name yet. that they found the physical suicide bomber. that is a significant step forward. fingerprints, facial recognition, presumably they found if it's a backpack bomb, they found whether there's any information on that, including an id card. i would expect we transition to stage two. stage one is chaos. stage two is identification of the pinpoint piece of intelligence, name, fingerprint. then you explode into saying, when i got that name, go to the phone company, the internet service provider, go to every family, friend, your interviews happen when you find what apartments he lived in. in the morning, that information volume is exploded
exponentially. >> i don't want to get into too much detail. there's enough evidence at a scene like this that they could get a fingerprint, they can get some sort of identification based on physical evidence, not just from a camera image. >> depending how the device exploded -- if he has got half his body still there, they will take a picture of his face going around to people in manchester who are part of extremist circles or informants. something will say my friend is missing and be able to identify him. >> i would agree with that. not to be too gruesome, but body parts survive, even if a person is wearing the bomb. pieces, hole fingers, hands can be recovered. could be fingerprinted. not to mention dna. we don't know if this person was a refugee and may have gone through some type of identification process. >> or they have a prior record. what we have found time and time again -- you and i have talked about this paul, in the wake of
paris and belgium, many of the people who weren't born in a country, whether born in france or belgium, were petty criminals and losers in life who took this on for one reason or another. >> that's right. many of those involved in isis plots in europe, isis-inspired plots in europe from this sort of gangster jihad background, people who have become islamized after they were radical, after they were part of gangs. people with a certain skill set in terms of operating clandestinely in terms of evading attention from police, able to put together armed robberies or other types of criminality. people with access to weapons, explosives potentially, from
criminal contacts. the fact that so many people with this background have joined isis, so many people with this background have acted on behalf of isis has really given the terrorists group more fire power when it comes to its campaign of terrorism against europe, against the west, anderson. >> again, we are expecting some kind of on camera briefing from authorities in manchester. our preliminary world is we will hear from ian hopkins, the british equivalent of a police chief or commissioner. i spoke with sam ward who lives by the arena. he gave us as good a picture of any of what happened and what he was witnessing at that moment. let's listen. sam, can you explain what you heard and if you saw anything? >> yes. we heard an extremely loud bang. it was really sharp, really nothing like i have ever heard in the city center before.
just as you was talking, we just heard seven ambulances exit the manchester central fire station with lights and sigh rerens fla and rush down to the arena. i'm sure sure what happened. a large amount of ambulances just left the venue then. i'm looking at a roadblock. there's at least another 25 ambulances positioned on the pavement just almost literally sat there waiting. five, six fire engines that i can see all with the crews stood by as they are waiting to be given the nod to just go. very, very, very large police presen presence. i don't know if you can hear the sirens. >> yeah. >> it's kicking off again. it seems to be coming in waves. none of the vehicles are moving
on their own. they are five or six deep at any one time. the firemen are running into the fire station now. i'm not sure what's happening. it's absolutely mental at the moment. >> sam, about how far away from the arena do you live? >> 200 meters from the arena. i'm 100 meters away from the city center fire station, which is a very large city center fire station. they have got everything being occupied from everything from salvation army vehicles all the way through to the ambulances and the rapid response vehicles. >> sam, have most of the people who were in the arena -- we were told 20,000 people were there. are they gone from the area now? >> yeah. the area is still. it's very quiet. it's very quiet in the city center. initially after the first wave of sirens and the evacuation, it
was filled with cars. the roads were bedlam. people just going through red lights. it was very much families. there was kids, moms and dads, they were doing everything to get out of the city center. it looked like the emergency services did a really good job of managing that traffic. it was only bedlam for five minutes and now the roads are extremely still. i'm not too sure whether you can hear it. we have got two helicopters above us, both hovering extremely low. you can almost feel the flood from the blades. >> i appreciate you talking to us. i appreciate your clear head in all this in describing what you were seeing right now. sam ward, thank you so much. that's new video you are seeing that we are seeing also for first time. people being arriving at hospitals. 19 people dead according to authorities at this point. frankly, with this statement or press conference, we are
expecting and waiting at some point, we may get an update on that number. 19 killed so far confirmed by police, 50 or so injured. the full extent of injuries we are likely to hear more about when police do give that press conference. you see some people arriving at the hospital. i want to give you -- sam, when we were talking to sam, that was probably about 30 or 40 minutes ago. about two minutes later, after we stopped talking to him, we got word that police had found a device -- found a package that they thought were suspicipicios. when sam was saying he sees things, somebody else is kicking off more, people were running into the local fire station, we believe what he was actually witnessing was the run up to the controlled detonation. it's not that there was a second attack. that's what we believe he was
witnessing as the time. we weren't sure and nor was he sure why there was suddenly an increase of activity. we believe that's what it was. i just want to give you a rundown of what we know, what we don't know and a general flow of events. we understand that this device believed to be a suicide attack, a suicide device, you just heard reporting that law enforcement believes they have identified the suicide attacker. we believe the device was -- exploded around 10:35 p.m. that according to manchester police as of two hours ago. they may update with a more exact time. it's not clear exactly where the device was detonated. we expect to hear more on that shortly. from a number of eyewitnesses, people have talked about an area around a box office area that is part -- basically, there's a train station, victoria station that's attached to this arena. then it's about a two minute walk i understand from the train to the box office area.
then one would go through security. they had bag checks at the concert. we believe the explosion took place somewhere in what's been described as a foyer around the box office area. that's based on a number of eyewitnesses. as you know, those can be unreliable. a number of people talked about coming through that area when they entered the venue. but when they left, they did not go through that area because that is where they believe the device exploded. 10:35 or so, the concert had just ended. the lights had gone up. people had started to leave when the explosion itself took place. people inside the arena -- you see the arena there -- heard the explosion. were not clear of what it was. you can see a lot of pink things. those are balloons that were part of the concert, kind of as you know in concerts, they are thrown into the crowds. some people believed it was just a bunch of balloons popping. others who were nearer by said they could feel the detonation in their chest. they could feel it in the
ground. obviously, heard the sound. some people who had been leaving the venue came back in and then, according to a number of eyewitnesses who we talked to over the last two hours, people began to leave in the other direction. there was obviously a lot of concern as 20,000 people are trying to get out as quickly as possible from an arena. we talked to one man who was there with his 9-year-old brother, his little brother's first concert. his hand was on his brother's heart. he could feel his little brother's heart beating out of his chest. they, of course, thankfully got out safely. it's not clear exactly what sort of device was used. we do not yet know the identity of the person that law enforcement seenfor enforcement seems to have identified who carries this attack out. social media, a number of eyewitnesses credit social media with helping them get home. people online helping other people. one person was saying they needed to get to liverpool. people online helped find them a
ride. they were sharing rides. localis turning off their meters and giving people rides. it's a crime scene being investigated. we expect to hear from police hopefully very shortly for more information. we have been monitoring events with our phil black, steve hall, paul cruickshank, phil mud as well. that's basically -- i covered pretty much everything i can remember from the last two hours. there's still -- it's important to point out all the things we don't know. i assume investigators do that as well. they work on what they can confirm and then they don't make any suppositions. >> that's right. in this case, you have to take a step back and go through almost a checklist. people are running around chasing all kinds of data. i used to have a checklist of six or eight items. where did the money come from? the explosives, radicalization, the travel. obviously, are there conspirators involved in this effort? is there a central cell in a place like raqqah that was
involved? stepping down that. instead of saying what's coming across today, what's the guy's name you stepping through saying, we know nothing about money. nothing about radicalization. nothing about travel. nothing about co-conspirators. despite the data you laid out, i'm looking at this saying, we got about a 5% story so far. >> if you identify the person, that seems to be the biggest break of all. then you can start to move backwards. no? >> that's correct. in the initial circle that you are looking at, as soon as you have his name, you can start checking off the box by looking at things like his bank account, communication about whether somebody is wiring money in. you are looking at the first line communications saying, who did he speak with in the past 48 hours? you still have a second circle that could take weeks or months. let's say -- i don't think this will happen. but let's say there's an international dimension. starting to go back to determine who is at the core of that in a place like syria, so that you can get enough information for special forces to conduct a raid
in six months. that's tough intel business. that's the back end when you get an international conspiracy. >> a number of these online recruiters who are most well-known -- i'm not adepartmeadept number to remember their names. there was a guy in raqqah in touch with one of the garland attackers who tried to stack and got killed in the attack. he was targeted in a drone strike. he was part of the group. i think they called them the legion, that this guy at george washington university that monitoring their communication. there was a guy in somalia who was a big online recruiter. to me it's interesting that they have -- there's a unit in isis which is geared toward the encouragement of people overseas to stay in place and try to attack however they can. >> typically, what they do as in garland is that they recruit. as soon as someone shows an interest, they refer them to one of the dark apps that can't be traced. they can communicate secretly. that's one of the big problems with this. i should add that the fbi has a
huge office in london. they will be providing assistance. going through the more than 80 offices around the world that the fbi has, plus the domestically here, to look at databases. is there any information out there? were there phone calls intercepted? were there any warnings or threats made by a group or by an individual or even by this person once they identify him if they can identify his communication devices and get ahold of them. did the phone survive like in san bernardino, the subject's phone? did the laptop that he may own and have at home, where does he live, can they get their hands on that? it seems to me they identified this person fairly quickly. that means this could be somebody that they were looking at already and just couldn't have enough personnel to keep tabs on him. someone else might have called the police and said, this guy put out a manifesto or something earlier today that he was going to do something spectacular at this arena. normally, you wouldn't identify an individual that committed
suicide with a bomb -- it's usually tough to identify that soon. >> that's one of the difficult things for law enforcement, whether the fbi or mi5 in britain, the foreign int intelligence service, is they can have a suspect not relating to this attack, but in general, they can have somebody who they believe is interested in extremism, they can have a lot of suspicious things this person has done, they can follow somebody for years but at a certain point, if that person hasn't acted, you can't stop somebody like that. you can only devote resources to somebody for so long. >> that's true. i remember years ago when i was in the fbi, meeting with the head of mi5 who said we have 1,000 really good suspects, a couple hundred top tier that we should watch. we can do 50 at a time. they have to use their best intelligence and their best intie ii intuition and make an educated
guess. we have seen that in this country. no service anywhere in the world has the resources to put 24/7 coverage on these individuals for any extended period of time. i ran a special operation squad for two years in the fbi. full court press on one individual will take 30 people. >> really? >> to do 24/7, seven days a week, use aircraft, do the full coverage, which we did on organized crime figures, terrorism cases in those days. it's very, very difficult. no agency has those resources. >> in order to devote those resources, you have to be -- you have to have a lot on that person to really believe that they may go -- >> absolutely. you do. >> you will notice the fbi doesn't talk about how many people they have under that kind of surveillance in the united states. that's because the number is so low. >> it's not only 30 people on the ground. you need translatortranslators. you need analyzers. you need lawyers to go to a judge to say i want coverage on this person. you start multiplying that out
against let's say only ten subjects. you are already into hundreds of people. the bureau has 35,000 covering everything from white collar crime to gangs to terrorism. there are very few people you can put on that kind of coverage. remember, too, they're looking for that coverage. they will make it. >> i have seen -- followed on cases in the united states where they -- fbi would run an informant on somebody for years in order to try to gather information about that person. the fbi would come under criticism for the money they paid the informant. in one case $130,000. based on what you are saying, that's not expensive given if the alternative is running 30 seconds on somebody for that length of time. >> you hear the criticism of the fbi that this person was on the fbi's radar six years ago. why isn't he still? why aren't they still watching this guy? that's a good example. you can't. you can only narrow it down to the top ones you think and hope you are right. >> paul cruickshank, at this point, given what we know based
on cnn's reporting, based on what we heard from pamela brown and evan perez, where do you see this -- the focus of this investigation? if they have learned the -- if they have identified the attacker, i don't know if that means they have identified the person by name or just found enough to begin to get close to identifying this person by name. where does it go from here? >> well, anderson, as we have been discussing, they will be reviewing all the cctv, trying to figure out this individual's route, where they came from. they will be doing all the forensics, dna analysis, fingerprint analysis to see if they have a match if this individual is on some kind of database, somebody who may have had a criminal record as we have been discussing so many of those that have got involved in isis terrorism in recent years have had criminal records.
trying to figure out who this individual is and who they are connected to. at this hour, there's not any claim of responsibility from any terrorist group, al qaeda or isis or any other group. it should be noted that in the past few days, al qaeda through the son of osama bin laden have called for attacks in the west. the son has been promoted through the ranks who may take over the entire al qaeda organization one day. they are not just looking at just isis. they are looking at al qaeda. quite possible this could just be one individual who managed to put this device together. the more sophisticated the device is, the more powerful the device is, then the more likely it is that the individual in question would have had some kind of terrorist training overseas, instruction in how to do this. it's quite tricky to make bombs from the kind of chemicals that
you can go and buy commercially on the streets of the united states and the united kingdom. it helps if you have some kind of practice, some kind of training. but i have to say as well that isis had putting out more and more instructions out over the internet about how to make bombs. we have seen that from al qaeda and yemen who provided a detailed bomb making instructions for the devices that were involved in the boston bombings. also the san bernardino devices that that attacker -- those attackers in that attack left behind to try to target emergency services. this is an investigation which will be pursued at a furious rate now in the hours ahead. we can expect the prime minister to convene the cobra emergency cabinet, which comes together at times like this when there has been a major terrorist attack on
uk soil. that's what we are talking about. a casualty terrorist attack. >> paul, again, i know i have been saying this for an hour, but we continue to get heads up that we expect a press conference any moment now. we will bring that to you. we talked about this a little bit. the clock is ticking on this. obviously, there are long-term issues to learn about this. but most immediately, they need to find out, are there other people involved, are there other people out there, is there a cell right now in manchester, england? >> that's right. the concern is that there could be follow on attacks if there's a wider cell behind this, if there are a group of isis operatives who have come back from syria that have been dispatched to the united kingdom to carry out a terrorist attack. we saw with the paris brussels cell, they managed to launch attacks, the same cell in two
cities. there are some signs they were trying to plot an attack at amsterdam airport as well. so if you have a group of, say, five or six or even a dozen individuals which was the number involved in the paris and brussels cell, they have the capacity to attack again. so they're very worried as we move through towards the morning that there could be more people out there. another thing that isis have been trying to pull off and there's some intelligence on this, is to launch attacks near simultaneously in various parts of a country, various parts of the european continent, all at the same time. they want to get attacks through which are very spectacular, which are going to get media attention to change the subject line to the fact that they're
losing territory in syria and iraq. >> michael weiss is joining us. michael, you have been following this. you just tweeted out, whoever is responsible, the primary target was women and children. keep that closely tethered throughout the night. these are young kids, many young kids at this ariana grande concert. it's a sickening thought somebody is laying in wait for them to leave this arena in order to detonate this device. you have pointed out -- i have been reading your tweets. manchester, there's a history of radical islamist extremism for a while. >> my colleague at the heritage foundation pointed out it was one of the largest attacks that was aborted or interrupted by the british security services. a pakistani national, who was
actually extradited to the united states bity the uk and i his trial in brooklyn when he was cross examining the british cop who raided his hoe and found this material suggesting he was planning this attack on one of the most crowded just another grim reminder that a lot of these attacks on the continent, in the uk, come from native sons who are born there and who are afforded every opportunity, their parents might have emigrated but they grew end essentially as brits, as frenchmen, as germans and i wouldn't be surprised to find out if this was a native or somebody who had spent his entire life in the uk. and to your point, yes, this is a concert, you know, these are -- the cliche is they're soft targets. i don't know if there's any particularly soft about the carnage that's being perpetrated. here you have a band that caters to a certain demographic, young teenage girls. if this was, again, i want to
sort of issue the caveat, say we don't know exactly what's happened, i don't want to get ahead of my skis. if this was an act of islamist, al qaeda or isisse perpetrated executed terrorism, they would have planned to kill as many women and children as possible. and what they'll do to justify it is they'll say, you, the crusader, conspiracy that's ranged against the sunni, you're killing our daughters and our women and children in syria and iraq. that's their moral equivalence, that they trotted out when they emulated a jordanian pilot in a cage. eye for an eye justice. there's nothing just or defensive about this, this was an act of mass murder in an industri industrialized -- the uk for me is a second home. ed there 2 1/2 years. i got married there. i have family that came from
there. it hits me personally when i eee this happen. the attack in westminster, it didn't kill as many people as they would have liked, this the death toll was 20, probably going to escalate if this was a have happ shrapnel laden device or nail bomb, this is what they are trying to emulate. >> again, we're awaiting this press conference, a broadcaster at the local radio station is on the scene. what's happening on the scene right now? >> i'm at the back of the manchester arena which is a huge arena here in the uk. it's all cordoned off, about a three-mile cordon has been set up and it's by a shopping center and there's around about 70, 80 police cars here. the blue and red lights from the police car are lighting up the night sky. above me, a helicopter circling around the arena. it's been up there for 3, 3 1/2 hours now. as i see victims are still being ferried away from the scene. a police officer here told me he's having to divert ambulances through the city because they're
not from this local area. they've come from all over the uk to try and help with this massive effort. and they don't know where they're going to go, they're going backwards and forwards. sirens ringing through the night sky. >> most of the -- i assume now given that this is -- we're now four-plo four-plus hours since this incident, everybody who was injured, wounded at the scene, they've already been taken to hospitals, yes? >> yes. most people have been taken to hospital. a few are still are loitering about here just in shock. i've seen so many families, so many little girls wearing baby pink ariana grande t-shirts, girls as young as 7 or 8, holding out their hands, saying to moms and dads please get me as far away from here as possible. dramatic scenes. less than an hour ago, there was a controlled explosion by a hotel that i'm standing by now. police found an item of clothing. it wasn't a suspicious item.
police officers pushed me back dramatically and a bang, a huge bang which just ripped through the night sky. the ground shook. it was that loud. so many girls and women were screaming because it was absolutely terrifying. >> i understand many people when they left the venue they went to local hotels, even if they can't stay there, they went to go someplace away that was safe and inside. >> yeah, absolutely. i'm standing opposite one of those hotels right now. people who are, again, cups of tea, cups of coffee, phone chargers for people to check in on facebook to say that they're safe. they haven't got rooms, as you say. they're just in the lobbiies hanging around not too sure what to do. as i look across the road now into the glass windows of this one hotel, there's a man there crying his eyes out. rubbing his eyes just in shock. not too sure what to do. and the streets around manchester have become a ghost
town. they've fallen silent. >> i understand, we talked to one person who was trying to get to liverpool, wechbt nt on soci media. people are trying to help each other get rides. even local taxis turned off meters to give rides to people. >> yes. because the cordon is so big, it's quite hard to get in and out of the city at the moment. so, yes, taxi drivers are picking people up and hotels, as you said, they're picking up children. they're picking up families. they're just trying to get people safe because after that controlled explosion, as i mentioned earlier, it doesn't feel safe around here yet. so po so people are trying to get as far away from here as possible. >> amy, i appreciate your reporting for us tonight. thank you very much. be careful out there. here back obviously monitoring events with paul cruickshank, with michael weiss, tom fuentes, phil mudd as well. paul, in terms of the resources that the british have compared
to what we have seen in france, and the problems we've seen in france, the problems we've seen in belgium, it seems like the british intelligence forces an also law enforcement have a better handle on things than we have seen in some other countries in europe. >> yeah, anderson, i think there's some consensus that the brits are best in class when it comes to dealing with these sort of counterterrorism issues. they've been dealing with it really all the way back to the ira threat from the 1970s onwards. that meant they had to get very smart very quickly when it came to dealing with terrorism threats. they developed a lot of expertise. they made sure that their domestic security services and their police services worked hand if glove, that they had staff working in each other's buildings, that they were
sharing intelligence in real time. and this has really resulted in the uk thwarting plot after plot since 9/11, there really have not been a large number of plots that have got through. the once that have are the london bombings, of course, back in 2005, and more recently, that attack on westminster bridge which resulted in four people including a policeman being killed. but they've had a remarkably high success rate. the problem is the threat is as big as it has ever been when it comes to islamist terrorism. the system really is blinking red. officials have been warning about this for some time here in the united kingdom. there have been 900 or so british residents who have gone off and fought in syria and iraq, joined groups like isis. hundreds have come back and there are thousands of individuals in the united
kingdom who hold islamist extremist views who are supportive of isis who will be cheering, if you can believe, this violence, this carnage, this unspeakable terror tonight in manchester. >> yeah, you know, just -- phil, in just in therm temples of the of attack, the most recent attack we saw in london, the man who drove the car along westministster bridge got out and stabbed people, low he level attack, needed a car and a knife. in this case, it's another step, needed to learn tow to manufacture a device. >> it is. someone had to learn to manufacture the device. you can't learn that overnight. as soon as you get more than one person, you not only have planning but and creased likelihood they reached oversea, they traveled together, spoken with people about the conspir y conspiracy. when you've got one person, intelligence lives off mistakes. you got to talk to the wrong
person, e-mail the wrong person. when you got one person, the likelihood that individual is going to make a mistake, not talking to anybody else, obviously, lowers, the likelihood you can catch them also lowers. >> if it's more than one person, it's probably more than two people because to go and recruit someone -- to make a vest, to recruit somebody if it's not the same person, it's, i would assume it would require more than one person to go out and find somebody. >> that's right. that's one reason that you get more potential threat from larger conspiracies, but more opportunity from people like me. they go out searching for a greater capability, who can train us, who can provide the explosives. they talk to radicalizers. so there's opportunity and cost with bigger conspiracies. >> yeah. there's still obviously a lot to be learned. we know this device was detonated around 10:35 p.m. local time. it is -- it is now, let's see, it's 10:00 here, so it's 2:00 a.m., or, no, excuse me, 3:00 a.m. right now in -- almost 3:00
a.m. in manchester. we anticipate a press conference from police at some point. we've been waiting for it -- some point. we are told it is going to take place. our cnn coverage continues throughout the night obviously. i want to turn things over right now to don lemon. this is cnn breaking news. >> anderson, thank you so much. much more on our breaking news now. nine people confirmed dead, around 50, if not more, injured, at the arianda grande concert in manchester. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. we're awaiting a news conference, going to happen at any moment. a western law enforcement official is now telling cnn a male at the scene in manchester has been identified as the probable suicide bomber in this event. a u.s. official said suicide bombing is now considered to be the likely reason for this blast. it hatppened just before 10:35