tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC May 22, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
still unconfirmed, i will wait for the rest of the details that this was indeed a terrorist attack or suicide bomber, rather, and then try to connect the dots with who this individual is, who he communicated with. is this a loan wolf. >> thank you, sir, for your reporting on timely manner. we're going to continue to cover the breaking news from manchester, our coverage continues on "all in" with chris hayes. >> good evening. we're following two big breaking stories tonight, one at home and one abroad. here at home, yet another blockbuster report on efforts by the president of the united states to interfere with the federal law enforcement investigation into his campaign. we'll bring you the details in a moment. but first, the breaking news abroad at this hour, reports of an explosion and mass casualties at a concert in manchester england. let's go to nbc live from
london, kelly, what's the latest. >> the very latest is that we believe, according to nbc news, sources, multiu.s. officials briefed on the investigation into this say that authorities in the uk suspect that this incident was conducted by a suicide bomber. this happened at about 10:30 local time at the manchester arena. this is a huge arena. there was an ariana grande concert on there, you know, big draw for young fans. would have been a full stadium. holds 18 to 20,000 people. at the end of the concert, witnesses report hearing a loud bang. they say it sounded like an explosion and they ran for the exits. now, what has transpired since we've gotten a number of emergency vehicles there. we're starting to see pictures on social media of some of the kids coming out with injuries, some teenagers who presume teenagers with ripped jeans,
bandages around their legs, adults with similar kind of injuries being helped by first responders. some witnesses say they saw people with cuts on their head. but really unclear how many of these people were injured by some sort of explosion or by just the rush to get out of this stadium. at this point, the manchester police cordoned off a large area here in industrial -- there in industrial manchester. it's a huge city. it's the second largest city in the uk and this is also very central part of manchester, close -- it's a very central area, chris. as i said, our sources are now saying that the uk officials suspect this was some sort of a suicide attack. we also understand from our sources that as many as 20 may have been killed and hundreds injured. but a lot of this information, chris, as you know is still
developing and we're getting reports just minute by minute. >> i want you to stay with us. we have our justice correspondent from washington, d.c. pete, i don't know if you had anything to add from your sources there from washington, d.c. >> well, there's increasing confidence according to what the british authorities are passing along. increasing signs that this was a terrorist attack. it appears, they say, based on the forensic evidence, it was a suicide bomber with a backpack bomb. it would have to be a large amount of explosive in that backpack to cause such a loud noise that was heard throughout the arena and many people outside who say they heard it, too. it appears that the suicide bomber, if that's what it was, did not get into the main part of the arena where the concert was held, but instead, was outside of it, near near the box office and near the foyer.
it's still unclear whether the suicide bomber managed to get in. but the timing of the bombing, if it was a suicide bomber, someone setting it off on purpose, if that's the scenario, it appears to be someone setting it off as people were e leaving the arena. the concert we're told by many witnesses was just ending and people were starting to stream out and that's when the explosion happened. and the authorities here have been told by british authorities that that a large number of the casualties were caused by the crush of people, the stampede of people trying to get out of the arena, the witnesses say, of course, they didn't know where the explosion happened. they couldn't see it, many of them, if in fact it was in this foyer area. some reported hearing an explosion. those were the people who were outside in that area where the suicide bomber was.
these are the very preliminary indications but based on what the u.s. officials have been told by the british authorities on the scene, there are forensic indications, i think is the best way to say it, of suicide bomber with a backpack bomb. >> i want to play some video we have, which is a dash cam monitor that gives you a sense of the scale of the explosion that happened, take a listen. >> you can hear that echo in the background. eyewitness reports that have been streaming in, do refer to lot of people with open wounds, blood and the like that obviously would be dr you know, could have happened -- you know, could have happened from kind of device that had some sort of
nails or something like that in it. >> there were reports of shrapnel like injuries. these are coming in from eyewitnesss. i should mention in some of the video we're seeing on social media, you do see the inside of the arena just before people start rushing for the exits. you can see all of the balloons dropping. you can see clearly that this is at the end of the concert. the people are milling about and about to leave the concert any way. and this is the video i was referring to. so it does look like the end of the concert. people were about to head out of the arena when they heard this large blast. there was a lot of confusion according to the eyewitnesss inside, of not sure whether the explosion happened inside, whether it happened outside, whether there was going to be more than one explosion, quite a bit of panic inside. there are also reports of people coming to pick up their loved ones. as i said, this would have been a concert attended by a lot of
teenagers, a lot of young girls that are big fans. dads coming to pick them up or vice versa. so you would have had people outside, people inside, again, a very central and alive part of manchester, very busy part of manchester and 10:30 at night after concert is getting out. >> we should also say the context here, which may or may not be germane, but folks know what's going on, the background, of course, is an election. there's political election coming up. we know in france, there was an attack, i believe claimed by isis, the timing, it seemed not cowednesday dental the city election that's happening there. they're gearing up for election in the uk right now. >> yes, they are. and whether this is part in parcel of that, we don't know whether it's simply targeted toward, you know, a large very
westernized venue, whether it's some or the of attack geared toward, you know, a concert, people out and about, having a good time, listening to fun music. you know, we don't know who the perpetrator is, at this point. we have these reports that this looks like the work of suicide bomber, but who was the person carrying that bomb, we don't know yet. i should mention that the uk has been a severe terror threat level since august of 2014. this is something the police have been worried about practicing about, they've said repeatedly that they foiled a number of terrorist attacks, minnesota than a dozen terrorist attacks over the past two years. so this is something that people in the uk, essentially, i want to say have been braced for but to a certain extent that's true, whether or not elections add to the risk, i'm not so sure. it's entirely possible.
i should also add that there have been sumtome terror relate arrest in london, so all of these big cities are potential areas of concern when it comes to antiterror ras, terrorism threats, chris. >> kelly, thank you very much. we'll be checking back in with you. malcolm nance, i believe we have on the phone, terror analyst former intelligence official. malcolm, what is your reaction to what we know so far? >> well, the british authorities appear to have worked very quickly and from what we're hearing and reporting, this may have been a terrorist act that is not yet been confirmed but if they believe they have the remains of a suicide bomber, that, generally, becomes very apparent very quickly. i've personally been right on the scene of a suicide bombing numerous times.
and the suicide bomber is nothing like an injury that you would see with any other type of victim, usually. they are no longer in one component. that being said, that news would spread rather quickly and i'm sure will be getting a confirmation from british police over a period of time. it would also lend a new dimension to the types of attacks that england has had. they haven't had a mass casualty suicide bombing in over a decade. and it means that the raids which have just recently been carried out may have had a broader plot, it appears the british have done some arrest in other cities, but this one, apparently, slipped through the cracks and, you know, the law enforcement in england and everywhere else, you know, they have to be lucky all the time. and the terrorist have to be lucky just this once. we may be seeing an example of that. >> let me ask you this, this is something you spent a lot of time thinking about. we've seen attacks that have
been used a wide variety of implements in various different settings we had an officer stabbed here in the u.s. recently someone who appears to be a white supremacist, we've got car attacks and truck attacks. there's a logistical threshold to put together explosives like this, am i right? >> you're absolutely correct. you know, explosive bombing attack outside using rudimentary explosives like pipe bombs and black powder type devices. that is another dimension of terrorism. i think you've seen, over the last year, that's what -- what we've been watching are what we call zero value attacks. that means it cost nothing to carry out that terror attack, such as the one in niece where a truck was stolen. the knife attacks in which you
see in palestine and in the united states where a person just goes up and uses that implement to kill someone. same with gun attacks, they cost $57 per victim, that's how cheap terrorism is that's decreased san bernardino was $27. the knife attacks are $0. this appears to be, if it does turn out to be act of terrorism, more organized type of operation where they went back to the previous pair dime of building and construction explosive devices, impacts and then using them as what we call human-guided weapons, to go in and lay down a precision attack on a very specific location. this one is much closer to the france attack that occurred in 2015 during the paris incidents. >> remind us of the defrance
attack, what happened there? >> it was almost the same thing, if this turns out to be a suicide bomber attack, two suicide bombers were dropped inside in front of -- just across the street from the main entry of very very large soccer stadium at the height of a fully packed crowd and the bomber could not penetrate the exterior perimeter security. in fact, he was standing in front of a small snack bar for some time trying to determine the proper time. there were two bombers. and they went through two separate entrances and they were stopped. one was stopped at the gate at the foyer just like this and he exploded there and injured only a few people. the other bomber got spooked and detonated his pack and it killed no one except the bomber. >> our sources say there are at least 20 dead, hundreds of injured of what appears to be a bombing, certainly an explosion
arena in manchester where ariana grande was playing a concert. it was at the moment where the concert had just ended. the reason i think this pattern is important where we are, you can see the lights have come on and people are streaming out. the explosion itself possibly happened outside of the venue or in the foyer, what precipitated a mad rush, obviously, to get out of that venue. it was audible and visible, quite a few blocks around. the timing, the fact that it happened right at the end, lights were out, people would streaming towards the exits. what you say about the france attack and the fact that this security perimeter of a venue like this, you know, any country in europe right now is not going to be easy to penetrate.
>> right. it's interesting because your collection of those facts, the little intelligence indicators there spell out a very deliberate pattern that we've seen isis, for example, try to encourage with other attacks. it was designed to have one explosion to create a panic and the other explosion to create an opposite side panic so it would trample people. and those attacks occurred after mass stampede occurred that killed over a thousand people. this is the sort of, what we call, you know, terrorist str strategizing. if the concert was letting out and people are coming out. that's when you have the greatest compression of people near the gates and doors.
if you detonate a device, it will create a natural human reaction to stampede and we may find that a lot of these injuries are responsible from that. >> let me give an update on what our reporting indicates, 19 confirmed dead, 50 injured in that arena incident and it should be clear here, the reporting that we have from law enforcement sources have been briefed by uk law enforcement is that they believe it to be a deliberate explosion and possibly a suicide bomber at this point. this is video that was taken by people that attended this concert, as kelly said earlier, massive venue, 18,000 people in the second largest city in the uk. whoever did this, if indeed this bears out to be target explosion, as it appears to be, obviously, terrorizing many people as possible, whatever
possible motivation, the facts we know so far which are only tentatively established, obviously, we're very early in the story, would seem to indicate that some thought went into how to make this as terrifying for the people in this venue as possible. malcolm, to your point, that obviously is something that various groups have spent a lot of time thinking about over the last decades. >> well, you're absolutely right. you know, it's horrible, but they do have efficiency managers within these terrorist cells where they do try to get their most bang for the buck, so to speak. you know, this incident being -- if it's possible, if it does turn out to be act of terror and an individual suicide bomber, that may be a result of these recent raids throughout england. you know, it's one thing to actually carry out one act of terrorism, but you get a
multiplicity of terror effect if you can carry this out in multiple venues or multiple devices at the same venue. >> again, i want to -- let me just say, malcolm, i just want -- people are joining us and what we know and don't know. we have no indications of who was responsible for this. all we have from law enforcement, we have 19 confirmed dead, 50 injured, what appears to be some or the of improvise explosive device that was. it appears towards the perimeter of the venue in which ariana grande was playing a concert. no claim of responsibility. so people were just listening on it and make sure what we know about this incident. what i would like you to talk about, malcolm, you talked about a bunch of raids that have happened in england, do we have precedent in other circumstances in which raids have, essentially, precipitated cells believing they are about to be
rolled up and perhaps carrying out things they have been plotting more quickly than they originally intended? >> absolutely. we saw in the attacks in brussels last year, just about this time last year, but, you know, after a series of hundreds of joint french and brussle belgian police raids, the three suicide bombers who went to brussels airport and then to the train station. they felt, after the arrest of one of the french planners, that they had to -- their schedule of attack forward. this is one of the hard parts of terrorism. we do not determine how a terrorist cell attack or when they attack. only the cell leader knows that for sure. he may have a fixed date. but there are things in which law enforcement might do in which he makes what we call a go, no-go decision. and they may say, hey, we've got all the devices here or we only have partial devices here, let's
go now and abandon the, you know, the safe house and just effect our attack. that's what we saw in brussels. in fact, they found un -- you know, undetonated devices, devices that were impartial. so that means that law enforcement and their effectiveness did help precipitate an attack. you cannot predict it and you cannot do anything about it. it's just on the basis of what the terrorist individual, or terrorist or cell leader decide at that time. >> we should also be clear, there was appeared to be an attack by car outside parliament, i think it was just about six weeks ago or so, in london. we should also be clear that the uk is a place that is familiar with attacks on civilians, particularly bombings during the trouble by ira. they have had al qaeda in uk as well, so a wide spectrum of folks that have brought that kind of terror and violence to
the streets of the uk. it's a society that is quite resilient in the face of that, real projection of resilience, particularly, after that parliament attack not easily cowed or easily scared on the phone. yes, malcolm, please. >> i'm sorry. i didn't mean to cut him off. he'll be the first one to tell you, england has suffered a series of terrorist attacks. but they are so aggressive in their counter terrorism operations, i know right now there's a covert committee being called at the parliament. and they are very forward leaning on this that's why they're few and far between. >> stay with us, malcolm, on the phone, i want to bring former fbi supervisory special agent. we have confirmed from the manchester arena, which is tweeted on its account, confirmed the explosion happened outside the venue in a public space, which, again, to malcolm's earlier point about
what happened at defrance, there's some obvious similarities in that. >> yeah. obviously, i agree with everything that malcolm, you know, talks about. this is not the first time we see these kind of attacks in europe, especially, in the united kingdom. we remember 7/7, that targeted mostly the transportation -- public transportation of london. but, also, in the last decade or so, the british police was able to disrupt the major terror plot in manchester. manchester has been a hub for some cells every now and then, they'll call the disruption that we did with the british government at the time and the manchester committee that res t resulted in the manchester manual about how al qaeda operate and how they counter
interrogation and how they conduct terrorist attacks that was found, again, in manchester based on its name. i work in man chest we are the manchester pd. i -- i work in manchester pd. and i work with the counter terrorism branch who came all the way from london to that specific operation, they are some of the most professional people you'll ever meet. i can't imagine now that the counter terrorism branch, the terrorism branch, stockton yard, manchester police are all working together to figure out exactly what happened. it seems that they are dealing with this threat as terrorist attack and from the pictures that we see it is obvious that the attack did not happen inside the arena, it happened outside, as you mentioned earlier, chris. and as malcolm said, if you go
to these events, if you're up in the united states you have a lot of security that kind of prevent people from going inside and i think, these measures -- as it goes, terrorism business, we have to be successful 100% of the time, they have to be successful only once being the terrorist and the bad guy. i think at this stage it seems to me, at least, the obviously it's a terrorist attack and i think we just wait and see whose behind it, either as the investigation, the individual who was probably involved in carrying out that attack or claims responsibility for, you know, the suspects out there. >> yeah, i just want to reaffirm what we do and don't know that
we have law enforcement civil sources who tell us that they suspect that it's a suicide bomb that was detonated, the manchester arena has used its official twitter account. we can confirm there was an incident as people are leaving ariana grande show last night. the incident took place outside the venue in a public space, our thoughts and prayers the victims please follow on twitter for all further updates. it appears to be an intentional attack. initially there was some thought whether it was some sort of technical explosion, that was actual device that was placed there, it appears to be an attack of some sort, however, who was responsible, we don't know, their particular ideological motivation, we do not know. obviously, there are going to be speculation about that to follow. i also want to just make the point, which is that these images, which are terrifying, have been produced by people that are intent on terrifying the population.
and keep that in mind as you watch all of this unfold. and to malcolm's point, he says that suicide attack, if it is, in fact, is something that law enforcement and counter terrorism officials are generally able to get to the bottom of fairly quickly. >> yes. i mean, you have a lot of cameras over there around the arena and inside the arena, i think you'll have some, you know, indications about how many people were involved in this attack. there's more than one, possibly identify what we know or at least has been reported suicide bo bomber, was that person operating independently, alone, or did he or she have more people with them. i think it will be a lot of
intelligence that probably law enforcement on the ground already have it. and based often the identity of that connecting the dots, did he travel to conflict zone areas, did he go to join the terrorist organization outside. and it was one of the attackers at has been to yemen and joined al qaeda in the peninsula. in the terrorist attack or attacks there were few indications that some of those were involved have been to be syria and joined isis over the conflict zone and they were considered the fires who came back with a mission to create
havoc and terrorism inside, you know, france. so i think the law enforcement, the intelligence, the british are the best of the best. and i'm sure that they're having now relationships and cooperation with the different law enforcement and intelligent sources from around europe and even the united states. i think a lot of intelligence sharing is going on now and knowing how efficient and how professional both intelligent services and law enforcement services in the uk. i am sure they are putting the pieces together. >> have -- it has been tremendous progress in ways of security. -- we've seen this -- the truck
attack, particularly, using in that way, this which happens outside the venue, there is this kind of adjustments by security services to secure public spaces and make them safe and then just sort of degree to which there is only so much that can be done in that respect. >> yes, absolutely. this is something that we throughout, i personally seen throughout my work in counter terrori terrorism, first, you know, al qaeda attacked twin -- you know, conducted the twin bombings in east africa in nairobi. so when we start securing embassies around the world, they attack ship, we start securing ships with the uss. you know, they use the sector and they use the planes to
conduct 9/11. we start securing the aviation sector, they attacked, you know, buses and subways in london and in madrid. so they shift their strategy, then you take in order to go around the security measures that's being put in place to make us secure. they have to be successful, you know, sorry, we have to be successful all the time. they just want to be successful, one, and you have a lot of groups out there and a lot of, you know, radicals, regardless to which organization they believe they join. now, those guys have the motivation to the attack. they definitely have the intention to attack. sometimes they don't have the capability. a lot of times law enforcement
and intelligent services deprives them from capability. but everyone, every now and then are able to do, you know, a paris or a brussle or now a manchester. >> i'm going to ask you to hang on as well. i want to recap. what we do and don't know to be clear about this at this moment. we do know, according to uk police, 19 confirmed dead, 50 injured at that ariana grande concert. an explosion went off at the end of the concert as the lights were turned on at manchester in a large massive arena, 18,000 people capacity. at the end of that concert, there were explosions. the manchester arena itself said it happened outside the venue. we have reporting indicating they suspect it was a suicide bomber that caused that. we should note that there were thousands in that venue who appear to have been able to get out safely, people are sorting
themselves out in terms of finding their loved ones, but we do have 19 confirmed dead and 50 injured. we have no claim of responsibility, we have no indication as to the prep tra perpetrator. i want to bring in nbc ken delaney. what are u.s. officials talking about now? >> well, chris, as you just said, is the confirmed dead, it may go higher. they are understanding that the explosion happened outside the arena. you know, this is just the worst nightmare in terms of a terrorist attack that has been expected and has not occurred as often as might have happened with the isis threat in europe, you know, you've got a soft target here and almost defensible target. they are we're asking a question do we have an answer --
>> malcolm, are you still there? >> yes. >> malcolm is also on the line, had made the point, kelly i think had made this point, that there had been a number of raids recently, both in birmingham and manchester in the uk, which were counter terrorism raids, just over the last several weeks; is that right? >> yeah. that's absolutely right. the british have been carrying out some routines and, you know, they're almost -- so routine that you don't see them in the media. as we said earlier, british intelligence, you know, so 16, they're very good at finding out some of these blots and sympathic members and rolling them up with virtually, you know, when you see them in the media locally, but virtually without much international new publicity. and this may have precipitated, you know, the bomber in a
location to quickly go ahead and carry out his attack if it is a terrorist attack. >> president trump has been briefed on this attack. when it first was emerging i reached senior white house official who had not heard of it. we learned within the last 15 minutes he has been briefed. >> we'll see some sort of public statement. the president is still in israel, is that right? >> i believe that's the case. >> i believe they'll be departing fairly soon to italy. again, we do not know a whole lot at this moment and these situations, it's easy for rumors to fly and get out ahead of what the facts are. we do not know who perpetrated this. we do know there's a lot of traumatized people in manchester right now who lived through something pretty awful. eyewitness reports are pretty tough to read, accounts of blood and open wounds and the panic of crowds, again, this is done specifically to elicit that
response. >> chris, one thing that u.s. officials are telling my colleague is that they don't know whether the deaths and injuries were caused primarily by the explosion or by a trampling incident afterwards as people fled the scene. >> that's important. >> and the timing, you know, you can see the crowds there in this video, the timing is such that you had thousands of people exiting the venue at just about the moment that that explosion appears to have gone off and malcolm your point is that this is something that, you know, a lot of thought has been in various venues and put into the ways to maximize casualties in these kind of crowd events. >> yes. a lot of analysis goes in. i've actually seen captured documents where they look for, what we call, the traffic flow of the victim pool and they will want to get people to, you know, they want to detonate a device in a highly crowded locion a
that will cause a stampede effect. and that will create additional injuries. like i said, a good example of that was in a nonterrorist related incident in the muslim city of hoe -- holy city of mecca, they lost over a thousand people, not because of any critical incident, but because of religious where people wanted to get to where they had to get and it created mass stampedes that killed over a thousand people. when terrorist planner gets this into his mind, it becomes a very, you know, efficient way of multiplying whatever your combat effect is on to the -- on to your victim audience. so by getting to a venue that's very crowded, putting people into a concentrated area and then getting your bomber or your weapon system in place and then detonating it at the right time, you will kill people within the immediate blast radius. you'll kill a number of people.
more importantly, the key component of terror is terror, which is to get you to keep moving and to cause a second dare effect of stampede, which can kill and injure other people. >> all right joining me now, nbc news senior national analyst. . and juan, what do you make of this. >> well, unfortunately, think we're seeing another tragedy, not just in the uk but in europe that represents the manifestation of the concerns that counter terrorism firnls have had, which is there's a volume of radicalized individuals who are willing to perpetrate these kind of attacks. you've seen -- as you mentioned -- arrest recently in the uk as recently as may 17, four individuals in london who were plotting attacks, other arrests at the end of april. and you've had a continuous string of potential threats in the uk. this seems to be, again, we
don't know enough yet, but it seems to be the manifestation of terrorist attack of the type that these individuals are now trying to perpetrate, trying to attack soft targets, trying to get into venues like a concert and certainly trying to cause as much psych cological as well as human damage as possible. at the end of the day, we're probably going to see that the perpetrator, you know, were known to authorities or may have been on the radar at some point, or at least fell into the category of individuals that they were worried about potentially having returned from iraq and syria or inspire from the islamic state. i think that's the worst case scenario here, but unfortunately we're seeing another tragedy in europe and the uk has had to deal with this and they're trying to deal with it preventatively. but here we've seen an attack unfold right before our eyes. >> yeah, i should note, again, we do not have any definitive information one way or another, who is responsible for this,
obviously, people are going to put puzzle pieces together because of attacks that have happened in europe recently. we don't have reporting information at this moment about who did this, what they are, what their molt vativation or c of responsibility. it's also, true, europe has had a lot -- has had to deal with this quite persistently, particularly over the last few years, you know, other periods in its history in the 1970s from other groups and has had sustained counter terrorism successful when you look at the number of plots and logistical disruptions that they've been able to sometimy and stop over the last several years. >> you're absolutely right. i think disruption tend not to get enough attention as they should. they're often dismissed as over reaction by the police or, you know, the fact that they don't come to fruition doesn't get the
headlines, obviously, that actual attacks do. so you're right that the british security services, the mi 5 and mi 6 have done more and more in recent years to try to be preventative to make arrest where they can and as we've seen in the last month and a half, they've been quite aggressive in that regard, especially in the wake of the parliament attack. but, you know, the terrorist only have to be right once and they can pick soft targets in an open society and that gives them an advantage. they also have seen -- assuming this is a terrorist and i think that's the assumption that the manchester police and mi-5 are making at this point, i think these individuals take some degree of learning, if not direction from terrorist organizations. they have seen what the attack in paris looks like and the kind of carnage that causes and
psychological aftermath. so these are individuals that learn from each other. we, again, you're right, we don't know enough to proclaim that this is isis or al qaeda or some other organized group. but we do know that these are individuals, be they loan wolf or direct -- lone wolf or directed who learn from these other attacks and certainly try to cause as much damage as possible if they're going to kill fellow citizens. >> we've seen, juan's point about society, thousands gathered at different places across europe and united states at any given moment, it is part of an open society does and we saw in england, particularly in the wake of the last attack, which was that car on the bridge, real kind of sense of resoluteness that you are not going to alter anything about the functions of daily life in the face of this and something that actually brits, particularly, have dealt with, been resilient about over the
course of numerous decades. >> i covered the 7/7 bombings in london and the brits were back on the tube by the end of the day. they were not going to be terrorized. i think your earlier point was very well taken, around the time of brussels and paris, we found out there was a network of isis terrorist living in neighborhoods and paris and they knew each other. it was a cell they attacked twice. a lot of people thought there were going to be other attacks. europeans have done a good job of cleaning it up. they have a huge radicalization problem with disinfected communities. it the isis propaganda is still effecting lives and influencing people. again, as you politely point out, we don't know what this was or if it was isis, that's what it turns out to be. >> what do we know at this hour, kelly? >> well, just in the past nine
minutes or so, great erman chester police have put out a tweet saying that they're about to carry out a controlled explosion in the area and just sort of advising people in that area not to be concerned. there have been reports in local media, confirmed by nbc news that a second device was found in and around the arena that may be what's happening here. but again we have to caution about this because as people were leaving there could have been quite -- there was quite a bit of chaos, that much we know. there could have been something left behind, but clearly something of concern to great erman chester police so they're consider riing out a controlled -- they're carrying out a controlled explosion now. this part of central manchester have been cordoned off. it's still very much an active scene. all of this kicking off at about 10:30 local time tonight, so a good two hours ago, now, the first reports coming in through social media of reports of an
explosion at the end of the ariana grande concert at the manchester arena, the arena that holds 18 to 20,000 people. this is a huge venue. it would have been filled with lots of teenagers, families. ariana grande has a young fan base. so reports of this explosion, people rushed for the exits. there were eyewitness accounts of people saying that they saw people with cuts, people bleeding from the head, people with bloody arms and such, one young woman said that she heard the loud explosion, ran out the exit and saw blood outside the arena. we have since learned from manchester arena, they're putting out a statement saying that this explosion happened outside of the venue in a public space. the reports from manchester police, now, are that at least
19 people have been killed in this. it's not clear how many of those people were killed by the explosion or, perhaps, by the rush or the crush to get out of that arena. some 50 or so are reported injured, again, by great erman chester p -- by great greater manchester pd. they're telling us at this point they are treating this as a terrorist incident until or unless they learn otherwise. we're learning from our sources, various multiple u.s. officials that uk is treating this as, potential potentially, the work of a suicide bomber. that's where we stand at this point. emergency services still trying to deal with lots of casualties in the area. they're also, you know, very chaotic moment. there were families of potentially separated, friends separated, all sorts of stories starting to come out now of people who witnessed this, survived it. but, again, you know if this is the case, if it does turn out to be a terrorist incident, it
looks as though this is the path, this will be the deadlyiest in this country in over ten years, chris. >> kelly, thank you so much. i want to bring in law enforcement analyst jim cavanaugh who worked on explosives and it appears we do have explosives. the question is from what we know and the sort of level of mayhem this caused, what we could conclude about how difficult something like this would be to put together. >> there's a degree of difficulty. bombers like this are schooled, they can be schooled on the internet or trained by someone. in a suicide bomb, backpack, the common activity is make it antipersonnel bomb, full of nails, you know, when i was agent in charge of birmingham division, we had eric rudolph bomb the clinic, nail bomb, directional, improvised, killed
a police officer. i've seen, you know, fragmentation bombs, ball bearings, nuts and bolts and all kind of devices. when you put a bomb in a backpack, you'll fill it with fragmentation. you'll have some explosive filler in there. i think the discussion you had with malcolm and ally earlier was spot on. you know, the first thing that hit me on this bombing was the timing, the targeting. you know, why at the end of the concert? it speaks very loudly to probably could not get in. and, you know, that brought to mind, of course, the soccer stadium, as you discussed with malcolm in paris where the two bombers could not get in. but also brought to mind to me, the belgian airport attack which was before security where they wheeled the bomb in. and at the airport, the bomb and suicide belt attack, brought that to mind where it was before security. and, you know, that happens a lot right before security, you can't get in.
so there's always a perimeter. right now kelly is report they're sweepin for secondary ris. this is standard procedur we built this procedure in the last 40 years secondaries. you remember the recent case in st. peterburg russia metro, suicide bomber first dropped the bomb at another station and then bloom himself up at another station. so bombers don't have to have only one bomb, they can leave a bomb and kill themselves with a bomb. in the pay -- so the bomb squad has a challenge, you know, to open bags that can't be determined immediately that somebody owns. >> jim, generally, obviously this will be different in the u.s. than in the uk. the difficulty of acquiring explosive material from which to fashion something like this. >> yeah, chris, great question. i spent a month in scotland yard working with all those guys and bomb squad, we worked
specifically on bomb and gun matters effect in the uk, some of it was terrorism and some of it was criminal. it can be fashioned now, especially in terrorist circles they concoct all kind of mixtures. they can make all of these chemical mixtures from available materials they can acquire legally. so a bomber is a guy who wants to spend a lot of time and effort making the device. this could very well be an improvised mixture in an improvised device. so you have multiple things here, you have a mixture made, probably. could be commercial explosives or military, that's going to be a lot harder to get. you can mix it up like bathtub gin. and the suicide bomber, he has a switch in his hand, wire down his sleeve. he just detonated. it's command detonation. he doesn't need to be far away, traditionally, bombers, you
know, could be far away, be a long way away, be across the country. but the suicide bomber, you know, he's got to press the bomb. besides the effort of doing all of that, chris, we can't miss the fact fact he has to be incull indicated to kill himself and to do this mass murder. that is an important factor as well. >> ken, one of the things that we've seen, of course, and one of the things that is sort of a natural aid on the side of those on koount terrorism, it's not toes find people who are willing to killing "willing to kill the. it's one of the advantages that suicide bombings are harder to stop but also harder to recruit for. >> that is exactly right, chris. that's what makes this so disturbing. it's one thing to pick up a rifle and shoot at a shopping mall the ultimate soft target. but making a bomb requires a
level of conspiracy, requires communication, presumably, requires some technical expertise. these are things that counterterrorism authorities are trying to penetrate. it will be interesting the extent to which encryption plays a role. officials say it's harder to penetrate plots because terrorists are using encryption and blocking communications. we have no facts right now. i just want to tell you, i'm getting an e-mail from evan coleman or terrorism analyst who says one of isis's propaganda magazines on may 4 called for attacks on a series of attacks including in concert halls.
>> i just want to be clear about that that at any given moment that those are asking for that. you talked a little bit -- is ali still there? you talked about coordination between various counterterrorism agencies and officials across the u.s. and uk. that is probably one of the strongest partnerships that exist. >> yeah, absolutely. they have been our partners from the beginning on this war on terror. we have amazing relationships between the fbi and between mi5 and scotland yard that focuses mainly on terrorism inside the united kingdom. also the cia has exceptional relationships with mi6.
nypd, for example, has representatives in london to coordinate the strategy and information with the united kingdom. and law enforcement over there. so we have exceptional relationship, and i'm sure at this point a lot of the information needed for them if we have it, it's being shared immediately. and i believe that there will be a high level of coordination between law enforcement and intelligence services. we've been through this with them before. we work together to sullivan disrupt the plots in the united kingdom, but also they helped us disrupt the plots here inside the united states. we work together in countering terrorism around the world.
they are one of our best partners, and the relationship between the uk and the u.s. and the law enforcement and intelligence side is very deep. >> juan, one of the questions is -- we do not know who's responsible for this. attacks similar to this have been carried out in europe in the past. we have no claims of responsibility and no idea who actually did this. we want to be clear about that. there have been questions how isis will after no battlefield defeats, if the pressure on their hold in iraq and syria is accelerated if that will lead to increased attacks in europe. i'm wondering if you're thinking about that. >> it's a great question and
something counterterrorism officials are looking to. they will be more inclined to attack in the west, move into places like western europe. you also have the fact that isis has begun to tell its followers no longer to travel or attempt to travel to iraq and syria to attack in place using a variety of means, simple means if that's all that's available. and so you're absolutely right. the counterterrorism officials have been worried as you squeeze one part of the balloon, the territory they control, the other part of the balloon begins to expand and you see more of an attempt by isis to effect and attack in the west. one thing that's important to keep in mind in western europe which is a disadvantage to british authorities and western european authorities is the fact you have three pools from which these kinds of attacks can come
from if this was a terrorist attack. one is those that are directed by isis, those who have gone to raqqah and sent back to attack. we've seen that in france, belgium, germany. there's that pool. you have the newly radicalized, individuals who live in the country inspired by the message of isis or al qaeda and decide to learn online or perhaps get some help from people in country but haven't traveled and aren't directly foot soldiers of isis, but carry the banner and flag. so that's a problem. the other problem -- we've seen this in france, for example, is the long line i can't imagine ofro -- of radical i'd say networks. those provide an infrastructure and ability to support any sort of attack and they can then support a radicalized individual
who's coming back from fighting with i.c.e. or al qaeda or simple support a radicalized individual. this is difficult work, counterterrorism work, and the brits have done a really good job in recent years in part with u.s. help, but due to their own efforts largely. we may be seeing something that made it through those security protocols and efforts. >> i just want to note obviously that if indeed it first a suicide bomb, it's by definition terrorism, no matter the ideological component is. you are at some level engaged in terrorism. regardless of what we learn about the specific ideological motivations of the people that may have done that. >> absolutely right. >> law enforcement and intelligence officials are telling nbc news this is being
treated at terrorism, the only question is who did it, not whether it's terrorism. with an will correct me if i'm wrong. but in terms of the three groups he was talking about, the uk intelligence services have a better handle on who travels through their borders than the other countries. it's more likely that we're talking about a problem of home-grown terrorism. >> right. we should be clear in a numerous violent attacks that happened in europe have been french citizens, british citizens, and in fact, there was one example in germany of a framing of isis on an attack attack on a soccer bus by a right-wing neonazi.
obviously there's certain patterns that's hard to ignore. i want to reset as we near the bottom of the hour here, there are 19 confirmed dead according to our sources, 50 injured at an ariana grande concert that was happening in manchester arena. 20,000 people capacity. the light came on at the end of the concert. folks were headed out when there was an explosion that happened outside of the building itself. suggesting the individual that exploded that device did so before being able to penetrate any kind of security perimeter. we have eyewitnesses accounts of blood and injuries. 19 did he tell you we have no claim of responsibility. we don't know who did this. it's being treated as a terrorist incident. my colleague will pick up our coverage right now. good evening rachel. >> thanks to you at home for joining us this hour.
we are going to continue with tonight's brakes out of manchester, england. it's a beautiful city in the northwest of england when i lived in england for a while, i spent a lot of time in manchester. i'm very moved by this story tonight. as of right now our best information is that an explosion at a concert arena in manchester has killed 19 people, dozens more injured. a caution that will apply to everything this hour, but especially these details i'm about to give you now, is that these are early days. we will often look back at the initial reporting we get out of a major incident, particularly a major maybe terrorist incident, and we will find that initial reports were conflicting or did not bear out over time. so that caveat and that caution applies to everything we're learning in the aftermath of this incen