tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC December 11, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PST
taking the show to alabama. as voters there go to the polls to pick their next u.s. senator. morning joe tomorrow live from birmingham. >> roll tide. >> that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruehl picks up the coverage. she's got the latest details on the explosion in new york city near times square in the subway by the port authority bus terminal. >> thanks so much, mika, thanks, joe. we are following this news out of midtown manhattan. an explosion gone off inside the port authority bus terminal. it is being investigated as a terrorist attack. reports are still preliminary. but police tell nbc that a man carried an improvised explosion v device into the terminal but the device went off prematurely. a senior official with the nypd tells nbc that one person is in custody. that person was apparently injured. but there are no reports of any other serious injuries or deaths, thankfully. the fib has now joined the nypd and the bomb squad to investigate the scene along 42nd
street just south of timings square. think about how crowded it is there. you got to remember this happened right at the height of rush hour. as thousands of people were headed to work coming in and out of that terminal. joining me now by phone from the scene is nbc producer adam reese. adam, talk us there what is it like there. >> stephanie, you are exactly right, as yourself can imagine. this area was flooded with commuters earlier this morning when this happened. right now, it is flooded with law enforcement. multiple law agencies have arrived. the bomb squad sent another vehicle here. multiple police agencies from state police, local police, critical response group has arrived. the mayor just arrived a little while ago. and i can say, stephanie, that we are very lucky that there weren't more injuries here at the port authority. as you know, this is a very busy commuter spot. thousands of people coming here,
through here this morning at rush hour. more police are arriving as we speak. they are still surveying the scene downstairs. we saw multiple fbi agents come up from downstairs and other state police go down there. so they're still investigating. many police officers fro multiple agencies are here. as you mentioned earlier, we're just very lucky there's only one injury and that seems to be the person with the device. we don't know if it was a belt, a backpack. some of those details still are not clear. but our investigator unit is looking into that. we hope to learn more of that in the coming hours. and we expect a press conference here possibly within the hour, stephanie. >> all right, adam, stand by. i want to bring in nbc news justice correspondent pete williams from d.c. pete, what are you hearing from your sources? >> well, pretty much the same thing with a couple of additional details. first of all, there's just one injury. authorities say the injury is the person who had this homemade
bomb of so many kind. it's not clear at this point whether the device went off too early, whether it was made improperly, whether he set it off too soon. in any event, the only person injured was the person carrying it. he survived the attack. we were told he was down. i don't know how serious his injuries are. there are other reports the authorities were talking to him. so apparently they were not fatal injuries. he still is talking to them. it's just the one device that they know of. one of the reasons they have evacuated is until they get the arms around this and know exactly what it is, they're going to try to figure out whether to trace back his steps, look at surveillance video and see if he planted anything else. as you heard adam just say, all we're told at this point he was wearing it, but we don't know if this was a backpack that he was going to carry and place later that had some kind of a timer on it.
and it went off too soon. or whether this was, in fact, a suicide-type vest or belt he was intending to set off while he was wearing it so we don't know those details yet. we're told he was 21 years old. we have a name but we haven't confirmed it yet. we're told he was 27, had been living in the new york area, had been living in brooklyn, and appears to have come to the u.s. within, say, the past ten years. so that's as much as we know about the suspect at this point. but this place is 42nd street and 8th avenue. it is a transportation hub in new york because it's got two subway stations. it's got a tunnel connecting to times square. the port authority bus station. so it is one of the key transportation nodes in new york city and that's why so many people have been affected by this. but it does seem like new york has dodged a pretty serious bullet here, stephanie.
>> all right, joining me now is a man who knows new york city very well, former new york city police commissioner bill bratton and brett stevens, an msnbc political analyst and op-ed columnist for "the new york times." commissioner, i start with you, what's your take on this? >> the preliminary information coming ought of this event this morning is that this was a sole actor. 27 years old is correct. the early information is a bangladesh native and been in the country for seven years and supposedly committed this act in the name of isis. that's all preliminary law enforcement source information at this time. they will be doing the rollbacks to where he live, trying to determine as much information as they can. was he acting by himself, was he acting with others, that will all be part of the now expanding investigation. this investigation, apparently a terrorist act, will be taken over quickly by the fbi joint terrorism task force with the
n nypd. and while it occurred apparently between port authority and new york city transit facilities in a walkway that is heavily used in the rush hours, that the nature of it will basically require that it be a federal investigation. >> then what's your take assuming that -- if we assume that this man was acting on behalf of isis, how should we talk about it, how should we cover it? there's much criticism after things like this, when they said media shouldn't say this person's name, they shouldn't show their picture on tv, attention is what they want, attention is why isis will celebrate them. how should we talk about it? >> just the opposite, that i'm in favor of getting information out when you can. other people may be aware of him. may be able to provide information apart from the investigation that's very active and under way. as more is known about this individual, others might come forward and give additional information. was he, in fact, a member of a group? was he, in fact, in places that they might not be aware of as a result of investigation?
now, this idea of don't identify, don't show his picture, i'm sorry, i go the other way. as to this individual, what's going to go on right now, is they will attempt through the camera systems which are very elaborate in that area, trace his movements. the reason they have that port authority closed off, they will search every inch of that facility, make sure there aren't other devices he might have left in the facility. this also impacts traffic coming in from new jersey. because the tunnel is right there. so you've got buses. you've got subways. you've got port authority trains and you have traffic. it's one of most significant transportation hubs in the city. it is one of the reasons why they like attacking new york, it generates this kind of attention, international worldwide media attention. >> so for new yorkers, we've already got huge security right around our building. you've got blockades after blockades. yet still things like this happen. what should be done? should people not go to tourist hubs like this? i mean, i was on that block
yesterday with my kids. >> not at all. we'll all go about our lives. the reality is these things will occur. we prevent a lot of them in this city because it remains such a prominent tourist hub. the resources that the city commits to this issue. 1,000 person detective unit, intelligence, counterterrorism. during my time with mayor de blasio, we added hundreds of a ditional uniformed officers to counterterrorism. there are all the offices you see with the helmets and the vests that rush to these occasions. throughout the city today because of that expanded capability you're going to see cops everywhere. just additional layers of assurance. the idea is try to detect and prevent and then if something were to happen as it did today to be able to massively flood the area to get control of it very quickly and conduct a very exhaustive investigation. the reality of the world we live in today, these events will occur. we can prevent a lot of them. the idea of see something, say
something, this is a reminder of how important this is. >> you know this kind of reality. you ran the jerusalem post. we see these types of things happen there. what's life like then? >> one of the things i find striking is when i returned to new york from jerusalem i thought this is the biggest city in the world, it's the most attractive terrorist target. and yet coming from 9/11, apart from a few relatively minor incident, the city's been extraordinarily safe. so to some extent, this incident is testimony to the effectiveness of new york city policing in the wake of 9/11. the seeming lack of so sophistication of this attack, it seems to be one individual with ill-made explosive device, means that you're seeing kind of the isis signature of terrorism which is one guy finding out how to build these devices on the internet.
but it's not the kind of wildly sophisticated international conspiracy that 9/11 was or some of the other terrorist attacks that have taken place for example in paris a couple of years ago and elsewhere in europe. what this is perversely is a tribute to the strength and effectiveness of new york city policing over last many years. >> do you agree with that? i just want to add a little information, the suspect is now at bellevue hospital. would you agree with that assessment? >> definitely. the number of meetings that i attended intelligence briefings and the skiff, which is the sealed room at police headquarters, that looking at various plots that were under way had been detected, that some of them did not come to fruition. there's the prevention detection side of it that the public does not see. and the extraordinary capabilities of the fbi, cia, all the various alphabet agencies.
then you have the visibility of what you're seeing this morning in terms of the capability of this city. when he indicated the idea we have had now almost 30 of these, if not more than 30 of these, since 9/11, we had the recent deaths down on the bikeway on the hudson river. >> awful. >> but in the whole country since 9/11, the number of deaths committed by terrorists has been relatively small number. we've had orlando. we had san bernardino. we had the boston marathon bombing. we had our most recent event that took those lives down at the hudson river but we have prevented a lot of them. we will continue to prevent a lot of them. but the reality is they're going to keep coming. and whether they've inspired, enabled or directed. but the sad reality in our country we're sitting here talking right now, no loss of life here this morning. tremendous disruption. some place in america today, some nut with a gun is going to go out and kill three or four people. every day we have a mass shooting in this country.
while we need to focus a lot of attention on terrorism because it attracts so much attention, at the same time we're a country that's losing tens of thousands of citizens every year to gun violence. we don't seem to be able to get control of that in the way we've gotten control of the terrorism issue. >> that's a good point -- >> i suspect someone is going to want to turn this into an immigration story. this is not a story about lax immigration rules. >> does that someone's name rhyme with stump? >> maybe. i think it's important to put out very early to the extent that these attacks are thwarted as so many of them are, they rely on very effective communication between the police and various communities. that can't take place when you're demonizing entire categories of people or suggesting that because someone may have come as an immigrant that we should just bar the door to immigration from all muslim countries. >> then why when you talk to people across america are they so concerned about national
security? when you talk about all of the possible terror plots that have been thwarted, it doesn't seem like america feels like the number's low. it seems like america thinks it's out of control. >> look, this is exactly it. i think commissioner bratton puts it exactly in perspective. we just had a mass shooting in las vegas in which 58 people were killed and we act as if -- it almost never happened. there's -- what happened to legislation to at least stop bump stocks from turning semiautomatics into automatic weapons? this has become a tool of political convenience. and people ought to stop and say just look how successful policing is, has been throughout the united states to stop terrorism. let's look at these things in their right perspective. because there's a serious loss of perspective at the country. >> joining us now, msnbc
terrorism analyst malcolm nance. ways yo what's your take here? >> that was a brilliant discussion between the chief and your compatriot there. it's all very true. we have a lone actor who has used the subway and metro system to come through from wherever he launched, his little safe house as he might see it, come up into the port authority and final a channelized area where there is a large number of commuters and he attempted to detonate a device. the very fact the device did not fully explode and injured only him is a testimony to his incompetent. if this is what isis is throwing at us, you can see they had more effectiveness with a truck than they would an explosive device and we should feel lucky and it is a testament to the effectiveness and the fear that new york city police department is putting into these people, that they cannot have an organized plan. they have to have individuals with disorganized plans in order
to effect anything. but my first take is this was probably -- you're going to find out this it was probably a belt device and, you know, there's three major components to an explosive device. you have your initiation, your initiator, which is either a battery or a match. a detonator. and then your payload. what most likely happened is his detonator was some type of flash powder like black powder. that initiated and burned him but did not set off the payload which is what saved everyone around him. >> brett, when you look at this, how do you think this is going to be received? here in new york, look, it happened that the last terrorist attack along the hudson river bike path ended in my neighborhood. basically at the foot of my building. and it was halloween. my children were out, shopping
for halloween costumes. it was obviously terrifying. one of the things about new york is the incredible resilience of the city. kids went treat or treating that night. we had the new york city marathon, huge event, enormous crowds. people came out to cheer the marathoners. that sense of resilience, refusing to be cowed is essentially to a successful approach to terrorism. you mention id worked in jerusalem those years. one of the things that was so striking about the way jerusalemites responded to one suicide bombing after another is they picked themselves up, they opened cafes that had been bombed, quickly resumed normal life. that is also part of the attempt of success in defeating terrorism. they cannot ultimately disrupt the desire of free people to go about their lives. it's essential. as serious as you take an event like this, it happened right across the street from my office
at "the new york times" that you get up and you say we're moving, we're moving forward with our lives, irrespective of what these people think they can achieve. >> and that's what new yorkers know how to do. i want to bring bill cohen of "varietv "vanity fair" into the mix. you and i both lived in the city when 9/11 happened. 9/11 didn't stop new yorkers and downtown manhattan. >> no, not even -- >> you cannot begin to compare what happened this morning. i want to add we just learned there are four injuries total. none of life threatening. that underscores the fact that this is so different from what we saw happen in 9/11 but speaking how new york operates. >> the point of resilience and perhaps we've learned that from people living in israel who face this over and over again repeatedly throughout their lives or day-to-day existence. america is a very far removed in many ways, separated by two very large oceans, and so that's one
of the things about 9/11 that freaked everybody out so much, was the way we seemed so vulnerable at that moment to that kind of attack. yet i was here, you were here, new yorkers were unbelievable during that time. i've never felt such an incredible spirit of togetherness and emotion and support. it was remarkable. thank goodness -- >> as ted cruz calls them, new york values. >> i'll take them every day. >> new york values. doesn't mind a new york paycheck from goldman sachs. but new york values. we're going to keep monitoring this situation in new york. the moment we know more, you will know more. after a quick break, nbc's exclusive reporting about special counsel bob mueller and his investigation. why is he focusing in on 18 days? keyboard clacking ] [ mouse clicks, keyboard clacking ]
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. you're watching msnbc. at the port authority, an explosion earlier this morning. we'll go back to that scene in just a few minutes. a crucial window of time that may determine whether robert mueller can build an obstruction of justice case against president trump. i want to walk you through exactly what nbc learned. according to two people familiar with the investigation, it all starts at the end of december when mike flynn calls russian ambassador kislyak to talk sanctions. on january 14th, he lies to vice president pence about that conversation. on january 24th, flynn lies again, this time to the fbi. two days later, sally yates, who is acting attorney general at the time, tells white house counsel don mcgahn that the justice department
knows flynn has been lying to the vice president and others. that same day, mcgahn takes that information back to the white house and briefs the president.
it's what happens from that point that is critical. because four days later on january 30th president trump fires sally yates, not mike flynn, sally yates. but it is not until february 13th, nearly three weeks after yates' warning about flynn that flynn himself is forced to resign. in those 18 days between the time the white house found out flynn had been lying and the time he was actually pushed out, that robert mueller is focused on. i want to bring in nbc's carol lee who led breaking this massively important story. carol, explain why these 18 days are so important to mueller's investigation. we have to remind our viewers, president trump, even the day mike flynn left that night, i think it was like 4:00 in the afternoon, kellyanne conway was on tv, saying the president stands with mike flynn, and then the president
after the fact said it was the media, we were pushed into this, mike flynn's a good guy. so walk us through this. >> i think you laid it out
really well in terms of why these 18 days are so critical. one of the significant things that has come up in our reporting is that people who have been interviewed by mueller's team believe that he's trying to figure out if there was some sort of cover-up. if -- to the extent that the president would have had any role or any awareness of that. the other thing that's significant about this is if you put it against the backdrop of the president's tweet last weekend where he said that he had to fire mike flynn because -- not just because he lied to the vice president, but because he lied to the fbi. in terms of the obstruction of justice inquiry, this particular period of time could be very significant in determining when the president knew that michael flynn had lied to the fbi and when others in the administration knew that michael flynn had lied to the fbi because if you remember, don mcgahn when he was told by sally yates that michael flynn could
be susceptible to blackmail from the russians because he wasn't being honest about his conversation with kislyak knew that michael flynn had already spoken to the fbi and we spoke to, you know, federal prosecutors who said that the natural thing to do would be to ask mike flynn whether he lied to the fbi. so there's a number of things that bob mueller would be asking about in terms of that time frame. the other thing that's interesting about this is we focus a lot on the campaign and what happened in the campaign. this is another window into what mueller's team is looking into inside the white house. we know they're looking at the drafting of that statement for the don jr./trump tower meeting on air force one. the president's interactions with james comey now we know he's having witnesses walk him through each of these 18 days to determine what happened. >> this is so many great reporting. social carol lee's kids, mom didn't do much christmas shopping this weekend. stay with me, panel. brett stevens and bill cohen.
brett, to you first, have we ever gotten a satisfactory explanation from the white house why it took so long to fire mike flynn? >> no, i don't think we ever -- we ever have, but this is one of the reasons why the mueller investigation is so important and i think it's one of the reasons why the president's apoll juices and defenders are becoming increasingly so strident in their demands that bob mueller be fired going so far as to even draft speeches for him, trying to justify his firing which is that mueller is coming closer and closer to uncovering what seems to be a credible obstruction of justice charge coming from the president of the united states himself as -- >> isn't it interesting that the white house and the president's most ardent supporters have yet to make a clear explanation for why it took 18 days or what happened, but they're clearly out there pushing to get bob mueller fired. i want to play part of sally yate's testimony with her
conversation that took place on january 26th. please watch this. >> would you tell the white house? >> so i told them again there were a number of press accounts of statements that had been made by the vice president and other high rank white house officials about general flynn's conduct that we knew to be untrue. we also told the white house counsel that general flynn had been interviewed by the fbi. mr. mcgahn asked me how he did and i declined to give him an answer to that. i remember that mr. mcgahn asked me whether or not general flynn should be fire and i told him that really wasn't our call, that was up to them, bus that we were given them this information so they could take action. >> that was lindsey graham earlier who just last night on twitter informed the twitter verse how spectacular the trump golf course he played at was. to you, bill cohen if done mcgahn knew that mike flynn lied and he knew that mike flynn was interviewed by the fib, wouldn't it be a safe assumption to
assume he was lying to everyone else, including the white house? >> yes, and he's made himself incredibly vulnerable, right, incredibly vulnerable to leverage by the russians. i think that's behind what donald trump is worried about. he knows the russians have leverage over him. he's trying to cover it up in some way. trying to push it off on to, you know, the mike flynns of the world. it's clear that the russians have something on this. i don't think it's just the mike flynns of the world. it can't just be the mike flynns of the world. you don't then turn around and fire the fbi director, comey, in may, if it's just your national security adviser who is somehow vulnerable to leverage from the russians. >> we need to point out that chris ray has been vehemently supporting the fbi saying what great men and women are there. and chris ray is president trump's appointment. carol, i want to go back to the heart of the story where you have mueller appears to be interested in whether trump
directed flynn to lie to senior officials including pence or the fbi and if so why the sources said. that sounds like the mueller team is investigating trump back into december. not even january or those 18 days. >> well, i think because it all starts back in september, there are a number of questions. we know they're looking into who all knew that michael flynn was talking about sanctions with the russian ambassador. we know that it was his deputy, incoming deputy, k.t. mcfarland, but were there others and did this go all the way to the president. i think that is the main question when you tie -- put -- you know, connect all of these dots. it's essentially what did the president know and at what point did he know that. as it relates to mike flynn, was he -- was he aware of those conversations. you know, he said that he was not aware that mike flynn was talking about sanctions with the russian ambassador, but he also said, even if he was, he wouldn't have a problem with it
because that is what he was supposed to be doing. you can't look at those 18 days and michael flynn's statements to the fbi and to the vice president and not also look at what happened on that critical day of december 29th when michael flynn talked to the russian ambassador about sanctions. >> we're going to revisit the story. we're not done discussing it. we have to take you back to the port authority. we are expecting a press conference on that explosion any minute now. and i want to bring in nbc's morgan radford live in new york. what more do we know at this point? >> stephanie, this is a rapidly changing scene. i want to show you the police behind me. hundreds of officers with long guns, heavy machinery. they've been here canvassing the scene. some of them i saw knocking on neighbor's door, trying to find out what they heard and, if anything, possibly what they saw. to give you a sense of the timing and where we are now, stephanie, the first sound was heard at 7:19. approaching that morning rush hour. we're just steps away from new york's times square.
it happened at new york's port authority bus terminal. we spoke to one witness earlier and she said she immediately when she heard those sounds, she and everyone around her started running. take a listen. >> when you heard the explosion? >> i was in the bus authority. boom. boom. then i just ran upstairs. >> what's the first thing you did? you ran up the stairs. >> you said boom, you know, you're trying to say, okay, it's a noise, whatever, it's a noise. and then that's when you see the smoke. and that's when everybody just ran to the closest exit, up the stairs at the port authority where you get the greyhound bus at. >> what went through your mind? >> get the hell out of here. >> christina is originally from north carolina and she says that being in new york at some level she's almost become desensitized to these things because they're happening with increased frequency and she says it's in
new york, anything can happen. she was one of the many people who ran. they describe this as every man for themselves. we're also learning about more details about the suspect. we know it was a man who was in his 20s. when that device detonated, officials are still not clear if it was a backpack or a vest or a belt. we confirmed he is in custody in bellevue hospital. just to give you a mood of things as people are still trying to get by to work. this has really shut down this main grid. this really serious transit area at this hour. people are coming by. people are looking. people are asking officers questions. >> all right, morgan radford. let's bring in nbc's anne thompson also live at the scene. an anne, as we look at these pictures, we can still see people in the streets. are businesses open around that? it's 9:30 in the morning on monday december 11th. this is a very busy time in new york city. >> stephanie, let me show you a scene that you would never see on a typical monday morning at 9:30. this is 8th avenue.
it is free of traffic. and i am about two blocks south of where morgan is. and there, that awning that you see on left-hand side of your screen, that's the entrance to the port authority. it's in there, that's where that explosion happened. the police have done a really great job of controlling access to this area. you can only get here by foot. but new yorkers are all taking it in stride. everybody's walking to work as people come by this scene, they get out their cameras, they take some pictures. all the stores around us, the coffee shops, the restaurants, they're open and ready for business. so the only thing this seems to have disrupted is the traffic and then some of the subways here in new york. and some of the bus traffic. because as morgan said the port authority is sort of the heartbeat, if you will, of new york's transit system. and to have that disrupted on a monday morning means it's going to be tough for people to get to work. but what is absolutely striking is that the city has just gone
on. they've stopped -- traffic has stopped here, but not the city itself. people are still going to work, still going about their business. and nobody seems unusually scared or worried. they are curious, yes, but things are still happening as they would on a monday morning except you just can't drive on 8th avenue. stephanie. >> thanks, anne. i want to remind our viewers, we are expecting a press conference on the scene any moment now. retired special agent in charge for the atf. jim, your assessment here from those who you've spoken to already this morning, commissioner, bratton, nance, they consider this -- i don't want to say victory but tremendous if you consider the crowds of people in place at the port authority on a morning like this that only four people are injured and none of them are life threatening injuries. >> a good day for new yorker, a
bad day for the bomber. clearly he's not a master at his craft. we're lucky for that. the way these bombs work, likely this is strapped to his body. and it malfunctioned in some way when he was either trying to detonate it when he was walking or when he did detonate it and the mixture, low water, as we call it, it did not completely call it. a high order detonation is complete detonation of explosive material which would be deadly to him and others. so it could have malfunctioned in the triggering mechanism, a short circuit, the power source, when he jostled it or when he tried to detonate it. you know, or the explosive filler low watered. so those are the possibilities. you've been right to cover it with bill bratton and the nypd's respo responding. i worked on lots of bombers. they don't always make just one bomb. that's why the police are sweeping the subways for secondaries, looking around. if you remember in april in st.
petersburg, russia, a suicide bomber killed 14 people but he also placed a bomb first at another subway station disguised as a fire extinguisher and that was later found. he had a suicide bomb on him but it wasn't the only bomb. it pays to be alert. they're going to do their sweeps. this harkens back to times square, faisal shasad who made a rude contraption and it malfunctioned and he was a flub, left his keys in the car, so forth, we were lucky on that one as well. but it's most likely this guy's an inspired actor with no bombmaking skills and his device was crude and malfunctioned on him when he was close to placing it or detonating it. >> malcolm, would you agree with that? jim's assessment? because this man was clearly not a master bomber and this was a crude attempt at creating a device, it looks like we're
looking at andrew cuomo and mayor bill kde blasio making their way to the podium. let's listen in. >> everybody's got sound? good morning. at approximately 7:20 this morn, we had a terror related incident in the subway in the passageway between 42nd and 8th. the governor's going to speak. the mayor's going to speak. i'm going to give you some more details. talk about the minor injuries. and joe is going to talk about subway service. governor. >> thank you, good morning to everyone. the first news this morning was obviously very frightening and disturbing. when you hear about a bomb in the subway station which is in many ways one of our worst nightmares. the reality turns out better
than the initial expectation and fear. you had a number of law enforcement agencies that did a fantastic job. the nypd, the papd, the port authority police, the mta police, they were all on it. you see behind us, representatives of all the agencies coordinated. the assistant director of the fbi bill sweeney is here. so everyone worked together. there was an explosion. the police commissioner will go over the details. it was a minor -- an effectively low tech device. there were several injuries. we hope minor. and it was handled extraordinarily well. there was a disruption in train service, in bus service. while a sweep was being done.
that's all being restored now as you'll hear from joe loadda. the subway service, except at 42nd street, is being restored. the port authority bus terminal is reopened. so buses will be running once again. this is new york. the reality is that we are a target by many who would like to make a statement against democracy, against freedom. we are the statue of liberty in our harbor. and that makes us an international target. we understand that. with the internet now, anyone can go on the internet and downlead garbage and vileness on how to put together a amateur level explosive device. and that is the reality that we live with. the counterreality is that this
is new york. and we all pitch together. and we are a savvy people. we keep our eyes open. and that's what see something say something is all about. and we have the best law enforcement on the globe. and we're all working together extraordinarily well. i want to thank the mayor and the mayor's office for doing a great job this morning. and we will go forward and we'll go forward together. all the service will resume. we're not going to allow them to disrupt us. that's exactly what they want. that is exactly what they're not going to get. thank you. >> thank you very much, governor. let's be clear, as new yorkers, our lives revolve around the subways. when we hear of an attack on the
sub way, it's incredibly unsettling. let's be also clear this was an attempted terrorist attack. thank god the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals. thank god our first responders were there so quickly to address the situation to make sure people were safe. thank god the only injuries we know at this point were minor. i agree 100% with the governor's choice, the choice of new yorkers. we're a beacon to the word. we show the society that many people of faiths and backgrounds can work and we show a democracy can work and our enemies twoont undermine that. the terrorists want to undermine that. so they yearn to attack new york city. but new york city is blessed with the finest law enforcement and what our first responders
did today is another example, the ability to address the situation quickly, contain it and make sure people are safe. let me just say it's very important for my fellow new yorkers to know there are no additional known incidents at this time. there are no additional known activities. we will wait for a fuller investigation of course by the y ynpd and fbi. but at this point in time, all we know of is one individual who, thank god, was unsuccessful in his aims. there are also no credible and specific threats against new york city at this time. but we will give you more information of course as the investigation unfolds. the first responders responded brilliantly. now the mission of the nypd is to secure all major transit hubs and major sites in this city. you'll see expanded nypd
presence today. new yorkers have come to understand when you see our specialized forces, when you see those long guns and those highly trained officers, that's something that should be reassuring to you. it means the nypd is on full alert and out in force and that means you're safe. finally want to say the governor evoked that phrase, we can't say it enough times, when you see something, say something. this is the difference maker. we've seen it time and again. when an everyday new yorker sees something that doesn't make sense, hears something, sees a package, gets a feeling that something's wrong, don't hold it to yourself. tell a police officer. they are the ones who can take the information and act on it. it's so important to speak up. because you could be saving many lives by doing so. i'll finish by saying this. this is the most resilient place on earth. we proved it just over a month
ago. we proved it on 9/11. we're going to prove it again today. the terrorists cannot win. we're going to keep being new yorkers. let's get back to work. thank you. >> all right, these are the preliminary facts. so just happened a couple of hours ago so you have to understand these are preliminary facts. at approximately 7:20, an above ground walkway which connects the line at 42 and 8th avenue with the rit line at 14 and 7 and that's the shuttle at times square, the 1, 2 and 3 train. police were called to a reported explosion. responding units found an injured 27-year-old male. we've identified him as akayed ullah. he had burns and wounds to his body. preliminary investigation at the scene indicates this male was wearing an improvised low tech explosive device attached to his
body. he intentionally detonated that divide. looks like there are three other people in the immediate area that also sustained injuries. the subject was placed in custody and transported to bellevue hospital. immediate police response to the scene included members of the trans transit bureau, state troopers and the fbi's joint terrorist task force. in addition, the nypd strategic response group, critical response command, assigned to other commercial hubs in other locations throughout the city as a precaution. this incident was captured on transit system video. further review and interview of witnesses is under way. thorough background investigation into ullah is being conducted by the task force. we are asking anyone who may have any information about this individual or incident to call the terror hot line and that's 888-nyc-safe. just as the governor said, as
the mayor said, we are new yorkers, we don't live in fear. if you see something that doesn't look right, you have an only obligation to come forward, flag down a cop and give us a chance to investigate. dan will talk about the injuries now. dan. >> thank you, jim. as police commissioner mentioned, the perpetrator detonated the device. it caused burns to the hands and the abdomen, also lacerations. personnel removed the perpetrator to bellevue hospital where they're being treated now. three other people that were in proximity to the explosion removed themselves. two of them took themselves to mt. sinai west, one to mt. sinai queens, all with minor injuries that are being consistent with being in the area of the explosion. that is, ringing in the ears and headaches. we have three minor injuries to people in that corridor and serious injuries to the perpetrator. that's it at this time.
>> as it is commissioners both said, earlier this morning, we received an alert of the explosion that happened in the tunnel and immediately the mta and transit authority shut down the lines on the 8th avenue line, the a, the b. many of them were rerouted. i will tell you right now they are all back. the only disruption we have right now is both the 7th avenue line as well as the 8th avenue line, we're bypassing the times square 42nd street corridor and also the shuttle between grand central and times square is shut down. we expect it to be back up and normal by this evening's rush hour. i do want to also state that on november 6th, just a month or so ago, we had a tabletop exercise with the nypd to coordinate our efforts in the event that something like this ever happened and the result of that was today in less than two hours we are back totally up to speed
and getting our passengers around. i want to especially thank not only the nypd but also our passengers and our customers for their patience. thank you. >> we're going to take some questions. >> suspect -- anything before he -- >> the question is, did the subject utter anything before he detonated the device. part of the investigation. >> commissioner -- >> where was the device located? >> -- potential target for years? typically have police on platforms and on trains but there are a lot of these corridors connecting lines where you don't see a cop. does this point out a potential security weakness in something that might be -- >> all right, the question is transit seems to be an apparent target, is there any weaknesses downstairs? listen, we have almost 3,000 transit cops that work in the subway system every day. you have the strategic response group, the critical response
command. all parts of the system is patrolled. >> can you describe, is it a backpack or a vest? a little more about the device? and in the video, what does he look like he's doing? does he look like he's waiting for a big crowd to gather? what is he doing? >> the question is, what is the device look like and what was the subject doing before he detonated? john can talk about that. >> without getting into too many specifics, the device is based on a pipe bomb. it was faaffixed to his person with a combination of velcro and zip ties. the bomb squad is in the process now along with the fbi special agent bomb technicians processing that crime scene with others. they're going to gather up those pieces and we'll have a better idea of what the device was put together with and what was inside it. >> -- any history of -- >> one at a time --
>> hold on, hold on. yeah, we're not going to go into that right now. >> right here. >> hold on, one at a time. hold on. >> -- did he detonate it himself? is this done purposely -- >> the question is did juliette. >> reporter: did he detonate it himself? >> that's part of the investigation. we don't know that to be a fact just yet. right behind juliette. yep, right here. >> reporter: is there a reason why we are seeing the incident from a few weeks ago, more now, we have gone years and years in new york since 9/11 without nothing and now it seems like we are seeing more. is there a reason why? >> there have been incidents starting with 9/11, but i'll let john talk about that a little bit. >> all right, sure. so as you all know, since the world trade bombing of 1993 and well before that, new york city, new york city as the media capital of the world has been a target of terrorist attacks in
the past. there was the world trade center bombing in 1993, the 9/11 attacks, and in the course of post-9/11 world, as you are aware, there's also approximately 26 plots that we can talk about that have been prevented through intervention. there was a times square bombing that failed to detonate. there was the chelsea bombing from september 17 of '16. and then this incident. so clearly, due to an immense effort put into this by the fbi, the nypd, our intelligence and counter terrorism people and everybody else, it's an all hands effort. we have prevented a significant number of plots, a significant number of attacks, but this is a fact of life. whether you are in new york or london or paris, the question is, can it happen here? and the answer is, it can happen
anywhere. >> reporter: did he have any connection to isis? >> right here in the front row. >> reporter: was there any connection to isis? >> he did make statements but did he claim a connection to isis? he made a statement but we're not talking about that right now. hold on, right behind you. >> reporter: where did the device go off in the passageway? >> he's walking eastbound to 4, 2 and 8. from this corner to times square underneath. if you have taken the subway, you know the passageway i'm talking about. hold on, in the back. >> reporter: a subway system of this size, with 24-hour surveillance, you have it all covered. how could he possibly -- >> the question is, the size of the subway, how can you have the system covered? there are 6 million people who ride the train every day. everybody needs to have their eyes open and pay attention.
if you see something that makes you uncomfortable, make the phone call or talk to a cop. give us a chance to investigate. in the back. [ inaudible ] the question is, was it intentional where he detonated the explosive device? we don't know that yet. right here, miles. >> reporter: commissioner, i understand that -- [ inaudible ] >> the question is, are we at different locations in brooklyn? i'm not going into this right now. this is part of what we do. we are investigating his background to see the addresses he has and fully investigate where he lives. all right, listen, we're going to come back to you later on with some more information. thank you very much. thanks. >> we'll update you as things become available, all right? >> just wrapping that press conference. i want to share this, as you just heard, authorities
identified the attacker as 27-year-old aqad akuya. as we heard the police commissioner, to the best of their knowledge, it was intentionally detonated. now, we had said there are a total of four people with reported nonlife-threatening injuries. it sounds like the injuries are ringing in their ears and headaches. so it doesn't sound like it is more than that, but if you watch the video, you can see right here -- that explosion go off. and remember, this was reported at 7:20 this morning. and that area, the corridor where this happened, you've got two subway stations, a bus terminal, a shuttle to times square, this is among the most outed hubs of new york city.
7:20 is the height of rush hour. i want to bring back jim cavanaugh in charge of the atf. based on what we have heard from the mayor, what do you think? >> it looks like the device lowered on them. it didn't completely detonate. >> say that again, it what? >> in bomb world, we talk about the destination. if a detonation is up cleat inc low order detonation, incomplete detonation of the explosive filler, a high order detonation is a complete detonation of the explosive material. if we had a high order detonation, a complete detonation of explosive material, this guy likely would have had most of the pipe in his stomach. and he wouldn't be talking, and he wouldn't be in the condition they have described. so he survived this blast pretty
good. and so it looks like, from the video, putting the facts together, it looks like a low order detonation. an incomplete detonation of the explosive material. now, chief o'neal said, maybe he set it off himself. that's kind of hard to tell unless they know something we don't. he could have jostled it, he could have tried to hit the trigger, whether it is electrically fused or not electricity fused. he could have lit a fuse and it went off. he's not a very good bombmaker. they did say it was strapped to his body. likely a suicide-type belt around his body. and they did say it was a pipe bomb. and, you know, if you have a bin go off next to your skin, stephanie, even with not a lot of explosives, if it detonates high order, you're going to be eating most of that pipe through your stomach and abdomen. and you're going to have a lot of blood. so it doesn't look like that. when he falls on the ground, you know, it doesn't look like a high-order detonation to me. but we don't know the total
extent of his injuries or all the facts that the nypd does. so that should come out later. >> he's at bellevue hospital. malcol malcolm, weigh in. one reporter asked before the bomb detonated, did anyone report they heard him shout anything, say anything. and there was not an answer to that. what is your take on all that you have heard? >> well, jim is absolutely right, this was a low-order detonation. and it appears at the beginning of his explosive training, he initiated this device somehow, whether with a match or electronic detonator and then the actual detonation material itself, that sets off the main charge, it blew up successfully. but you can see it's a flash in that thing. and it actually blew him backwards and flipped him over. but the main payload, which was his pipe bomb or bombs, that definitely didn't go off. i have been around a lot of suicide bombers and had a suicide bomber's remains fall on my safe house's front door. and when the main high-order
explosives go off, that person separates. so what we have here is someone that didn't know what he was doing. the law enforcement is pushing him down to where they have to watch things on youtube in order to make the devices. if this guy is from brooklyn, he won't be out testing this, all right? it's different from the guy in new jersey. he can go out to the woods and blow things up. but he just decided to take his luck and it failed on him. >> malcolm nance, you are another breath. a suicide bomber's remains ended up on your door front and you didn't blink through that. i certainly did. i want to turn to the two new yorkers sitting next to me. it is so hard to say, gosh, this is a win. but looking at the video and knowing how crowded it is, all the subway stops. and we know what we heard from the head of the mta with the exception of a few disruptions by this evening, they think everything will be back up and
running. >> we were very fortunate. if it were high order, we could have been seeing 8, 10, 15 casualties. with the ceilings low, explosions go very wide. but it does say something about the fundamental weakness of the isis strategy attempting to radicalize people through the internet. if you don't have a central location as al qaeda used to have in afghanistan and pakistan to train, to professionalize, you're going to get amateur attempts like this one. doesn't mean we'll be so lucky the next time around, but it means that isis is using a strategy that isn't desk tinntir success. >> some could say this is a weak failed attempt. >> politics aside, we are lucky today. identify be i've been in the tunnel and know how confining and narrow of a space it is. it could have been much, much
worse. assuming that location. >> and even a stampede of people running out could have been trouble. wow, what an hour. thank you all so much. bret, bill, jim, malcolm, jim and malcolm, i have a feeling you should stick in your seats and will stick around for the next hour. that wraps me up. see you at 11:00 with the breaking news coverage continuing with hallie jackson in washington. thank you. we are definitely staying on top of that with what is now being called an attempted terrorist attack by new york's mayor. we just got the update on the detonation of the explosive device, the bomb apparently on a subway platform near times square. one person arrested, several injured. we are going back live to the scene in just a couple of seconds. we are also live, by the way, in alabama, with less than 24 hours to go until polls open in that special senate race. everybody is watching. with current and former