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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Multiple Bombs Explode in London's Transport System

Aired July 7, 2005 - 14:59   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CO-HOST: Welcome back, everybody.
Pictures of the scene today, in London. Thirty-seven people dead, that is confirmed at this point. That number is expected though, to rise. Seven hundred people wounded in the numerous attacks in the London Underground and also a double-decker bus; happened early today, the heart of the commute in London.

Some of these pictures and the stories of the eyewitnesses as well, utterly heartbreaking and gut-wrenching as they describe their moments and minutes of terror, as smoke filled the train cars, as they couldn't decide whether they should stay inside the car, outside of the car, and make a run for their lives in many cases.

Paula Hancocks is at King's Cross Station where 21 people, we are told by authorities, were killed. It's a crime scene. It's still closed.

Paula, what's the scene like there right now?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Soledad, it's a very different situation here than you would usually see at this time on a weeknight. It's actually deserted behind me. It's has been completely closed off. It's been that way all day.

There would usually be transit, sort of cars coming down here. It's a very busy intersection. The traffic lights are still working, but the only cars that are coming down here are police cars and police bicycles.

Now, in King's Cross itself, there is an Underground, a tube station, and there's also main trains that go in and out of that station to the rest of the country. So it is an extremely busy station. Most of that is still closed. It's thought that a couple of the platforms might be opening.

As for the rest of London itself, many of the Underground stations remain closed, and they're expected to be just a limited service tomorrow. So most people are just wandering around at the moment, trying to get home. There are a lot of people, obviously, walking for hours to try to get to a station that they know they can get home from.

I've been speaking to a few of those people. Many of them said, obviously, they felt very deep shock at what has happened this morning. But there's also been an element of the British stiff upper lip, which I've heard on more than one occasion from people I've been speaking to, saying they will continue to go on the public transport, because what else can they do? They have to go to work, and they're determined not to let this affect them too much.

But obviously some horror stories coming out this morning about people who have been trapped on trains, and the smoke and the burns and some very horrific pictures, as I've been showing a little earlier on -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: You're absolutely right, Paula. The details just equally as gruesome as well.

We had heard earlier, and part of it came out of that press briefing by the metropolitan police, that the bodies of those who were killed were going to remain where they fell, essentially, because it was a crime scene, and they can provide some clues about the explosion.

Can you update us on the status of that? I mean, is that still ongoing? Is that part of the investigation closed now so some of those -- those remains will be able to be returned to the family members?

HANCOCKS: Well, we haven't had an update from the metropolitan since we did hear that, but of course, this is still cordoned off. It is still a crime scene. There will still be forensics investigations going on. So nobody is allowed anywhere near it, so inevitably it is going to be closed off for some time. They don't expect this particular part to be opened for some hours, even if it is going to be open over the next couple of days or so.

So the metropolitan police officer, obviously, said that a little earlier. He also said that he was shocked, but he wasn't surprised. Many met officers, when they've been giving these press conferences, have said that they were expecting something along these lines at some point.

Obviously, they didn't want it to happen. They said it's a very sad day that it has happened, but they have implemented everything. They have been practicing for the last few years, expecting something like this to happen. They had a dress rehearsal back in -- a couple of years ago, expecting some sort of situation like this, about how they would evacuate people from the Underground.

And they said they did implement all of those -- those -- all those plans that they had to get people out as quickly as possible. But they said it is a sad day, but it did go as it was expected do go. But obviously, this particular area, where the most fatalities, 21 fatalities, have been this morning, will not be open for some time -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Paula Hancocks for us. Paula, thanks for the update. We'll continue to check in with you. Terrible news, obviously, that we've been talking about today -- Miles.

MILES O'BRIEN, CO-COHOST: This is the kind of attack that security analysts have been warning us about ever since 9/11, and really before them, as a matter of fact, but certainly, in a much more vocal way since 9/11. The so-called soft targets.

With all of the security involved in aviation, there leaves a whole other layer of transportation which doesn't come anywhere close to that level of security, and, thus, is clearly more vulnerable.

And a lot of the questions we have today are, as more security is put in place at these -- mass transit across this country, orange level alert given to mass transit, is it too late, is it enough, should it be part of the fabric of life here?

CNN's Kelly McCann is security and terrorism analyst for us.

Kelly, good to see you back here with us.

KELLY MCCANN, CNN SECURITY AND TERRORISM ANALYST: Hi, Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Give us a sense. You know, after Madrid, there was a lot of talk, a lot of lip service, quite frankly, about increasing security around train stations, subways, mass transit in general. Did it really happen?

MCCANN: I think it did in some respects, Miles, but remember that there's a threat triage that takes place. In other words, you can't just throw money, massive amounts of money in the case of public transportation to correct all -- all problems.

I mean, we still have a container problem here in the United States that we've got to address. We've got border issues we've got to address. Now we've got public transportation issues.

And I think that intelligence comes in such a gray world and in gray terms. It's never black and white. That the analysts that get paid to do it basically surmise what they can as the most pending and imminent threats. And then they apportion money based on that threat analysis. Simply, there's just not enough money to make it a terror- free United States.

M. O'BRIEN: Point well taken. But then when you look at the way the money is spent on the airlines, clearly there is a tremendous amount of money spent on that. And some would suggest, perhaps, giving the illusion of security to flying, because in many respects airports have a lot of vulnerabilities.

Should some of that money be distributed more evenly across the system? And I'm not just talking about airlines?

MCCANN: Sure. Remember that perception can actually increase security, whether you've really taken measures or the adversary actually just perceives that you've taken measures can be equally strong.

And I think that the U.S. government, the British government and all countries now concerned with terrorism are trying to find out where they can best spend their money for real hard security measures, and where they're best to put on a security show, because all security is a show to those people who conduct surveillance on those soft targets.

M. O'BRIEN: What do you mean by that? In other words people that really take the time to learn the system are going to find the vulnerabilities, regardless?

MCCANN: Of course. And as they look at something, you want to engender some -- some inconsistencies. In other words, the question was brought up a little bit earlier today on the network, you know, should we actually tell the public that the threat level is raised? And of course, it goes to deterrence. You're hoping to preempt and then by immediately inputting nonstandard security measures, the people who have been conducting operational surveillance suddenly see that the plan may not be operational anymore. It may not be valid.

And so it's that kind of inconsistency or raising the level of doubt in your adversary that works. It's more art than science in a lot of cases, Miles.

O'BRIEN: That was Octavia Nasr who brought that up, and she said that was a thread that was running through a lot of the Arabic language media, the question why would you tell people? And you've just provided an answer, that telling people, in and of itself, is a deterrent?

MCCANN: Yes, it is. Because remember, operational surveillance, and there's no telling when the surveillance was conducted on these mass transport sites in London, but it had to have occurred. They had to establish where security forces were, where there was camera coverage, what the density of the population would be highest when they were in those public transportation sites, in order to target well.

So as they did that plan, they made their plan, based on their surveillance, they continued to do surveillance as it gels into an actual action. Now, if suddenly everything changes and dogs show up and this entrance is closed and now that's an exit and it wasn't before, police presence is doubled, actually those operators can go back to the cell and say, "You know what? Our plan isn't functional anymore. It won't work. In fact, worse, we'll get caught and be defeated and seem to be weak."

So, in fact, it is this dance, this dynamic kind of threat versus countermeasures, constant dynamic that we're involved in, and it doesn't end, Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: So it's very important, then, if you operate under that theory, to be pretty unpredictable.

MCCANN: Absolutely. Consistent in your security measures, but unpredictable by those who would conduct surveillance on you. What they're trying to do is they're trying to depend that next Thursday at 8 there's not going to be any bomb-sniffing dogs. There's only going to be two policemen, there will not be random checks. That's what they're trying to depend on.

The day of the attack, if there are dogs present and there are surveillance teams, police presence has doubled or some other anomaly exists, suddenly they're not as confident in their plan.

And remember, that if it is, in fact, found to be al Qaeda or an al Qaeda affiliate, they're very interested in remaining strong in the world's eyes. And if they are defeated, worse publicly defeated, it will significantly impact their stature.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. Final thought here. Do you think this was a suicide attack or was this something where bombs were left on these trains with timers? And the chances of finding these people are likely, is it high?

MCCANN: Forensics will tell us the truth there, Miles. I can tell you that by listening to the discussion of the wall structures that were blown through down in the tubes, it had to be a fairly significant charge, or had it to be a fairly volatile compound.

Just with my own experience in fracturing reinforced concrete, et cetera, that's not easily done, and it's especially not easily done with an untamped explosive. So if you have a free explosive in a bag or strapped onto somebody, it had to be something fairly sophisticated in order to create that much damage.

M. O'BRIEN: It's always good to have a guy who's had experience fracturing reinforced concrete nearby. Kelly McCann, thank you very much for your insights. Appreciate it.

MCCANN: Thanks, Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: Millions of Britons use public transportation, obviously, each and every day, tourists as well. This afternoon we have a report from Jim Bolden. He's reporting from King's Cross, which is one of the busiest locations for commuters and which is now essentially a crime scene.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BOLDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): the bomb that ripped through one of the Underground trains had just left London's King's Cross Station. More people appear to have died under this station than in the other blasts.

That's no surprise: the King's Cross Station is one of London's busiest, with platforms for trains, subways, and busses.

(on camera) It's rush hour time, and on normal days many thousands of commuters would come here trying to get home on the trains or the busses, but even today many thousands have showed up to try to figure out how to get home. Some have told us they've decided to walk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How we're getting home is on foot.

BOLDEN: Where do you live?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kilburn.

BOLDEN: That's a long way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a long way but, you know, we're on our way, so hopefully we'll get there by dinner time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Walk. It will be a bit of a long walk, but I can deal with the exercise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My wife managed to make it up to Huston (ph) there, so I walked all the way from there, and I hope to get there within the next half hour.

BOLDEN: Some people just decided to use the closed bus shelters for other purposes. For those with nowhere to stay, the Salvation Army is offering beds nearby.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have three centers on standby. We have more than three centers in London, and we are really at the disposal, again, of the emergency services. The police will contact us accordingly.

BOLDEN: King's Cross was also full of tourists when the bombs went off, many staying in nearby hotels. Others found they couldn't get to the airport. These young Germans had just arrived in London and were trying to get to their hotel on the other side of the capital city.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I guess we'll arrive in five or six hours there. We're not sure we will even make it there, so we're clueless right now.

BOLDEN: This group of Americans were supposed to be in Scotland by the end of the day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a little unnerving. It's like a little surreal, you know. I'm from the states, of course. It's just a little unnerving, but other than that we're getting through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand that a lot of people get scared and that kind of stuff, but you can't -- you can't let terrorists, you know, control your life.

BOLDEN: London's King's Cross is full of people pulling suitcases day and night. Thursday was no different, despite the terror attacks.

Jim Bolden, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

S. O'BRIEN: Twenty-one people were killed at King's Cross Station, seven at Edgware, two at Aldgate, two on that bus. Seven hundred people injured. The numbers, though, we should continue to reiterate, we are expecting will change. Let's get right to Bill Daly. He's been with us all day, and he is a former FBI investigator but now the senior vice president of Control Risks Group.

You have an office in London. I have to imagine that they're kind of knee-deep in this at this point. What exactly are they telling you?

BILL DALY, SVP, CONTROL RISKS GROUP: Well, in fact, I just got a conference call with them a little while ago, and right now they're just starting to move some of the busses back in service, land rails are starting to come back.

But they're really looking forward for tomorrow, and tomorrow being another business day, what's going to happen. There are plans already afoot to have additional police on the trains, on the platforms, to give people a sense of security.

The other thing interesting, Soledad, is that a lot of the companies over there, and they have to realize that not only has this affected the public as a whole, but really the commercial aspect of business, what goes on, much like what would happen down here in Wall Street or in Chicago or Los Angeles, what happens to the business center.

And a lot of these companies are already initiating their business continuity plans. They're relocating people. They have operations outside the city, because people had given thought, much like the city had done and the emergency services did, how to react. Businesses now have to also go forward with those plans.

S. O'BRIEN: And of course, I'm sure many people are wondering if there's going to be an economic downturn like the one we saw after 9/11. But my question for you, you just used the words, give people a sense of security. A sense of security, very different thing from the actual security itself.

And we heard a little while ago from our Arab affairs editor, she says, you know, in Arab media people are saying, well, why raise the threat level now that the bombings have happened? And to me it seems like kind of a practical question.

DALY: Well, I think there are -- there are two answers to that. One is that it does give people some peace of mind. We do want people to go back to work. People talk about, you know, living life and going on, but yet there needs to be a little bit of support, needs to be some sense of confidence that there is, you know, someone out there preventing something happening on that day.

Although they're also right in the fact that, you know, it's already happened, you know. What's the chance of it happening again?

I think for us, people in the security and intelligence business, I think the more deterrence you can have, and it was discussed earlier, the better. I think the more you can have someone who might be planning something, even if it's not a large organization, but someone who wants to do something on the heels of these, somebody we call an ad hoc terrorist or a wannabe terrorist, may be deterred, may be put off by the fact that there's increased presence.

So there's this kind of duplicity. There's a two-fold process here why we do things in reaction to it.

S. O'BRIEN: We've been reporting that the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, has offered any assistance to Britain that they might need. In addition, we're told that FBI agents are on their way to London to help in the investigation, but a small team. And when you think of how sophisticated the anti-terror efforts are in London, what exactly can the American FBI provide?

DALY: Well, I think the FBI's role will be one to both provide support, if they can, but probably more just from sharing intelligence, sharing information that we may already have in our databases, that we may already have in our indices, that we can cross- reference with any information they start to come up with during their investigation.

It also will be another learning experience to find out, how was it that terrorists were able to fly so low below the radar screen over there in England, who has a sophisticated approach to looking at terrorists, and had gone through a couple of major arrests last year of terrorist cells? How was this able to happen?

And if it happened there, is it possible that with all of the monitoring it can happen here?

So I think there's a two-fold purpose there, as well, both to provide any assistance if we can, be a gateway into our intelligence apparatus here, and any information we have, and also for us to learn things.

S. O'BRIEN: Bill Daly, FBI -- a former FBI investigator. Thanks for sticking around with us. We're going to ask you to stay, too, so we'll come back to you in just a little bit -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: This all happened as the G-8 summit was underway in Gleneagles, Scotland. The meetings continued, despite a few stops for some rather dramatic statements, two of them from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, one from the president of the United States, actually another one from Jacques Chirac, as well. One of them very -- one of them very dramatic with Tony Blair, flanked by all the leaders, talking about how terrorism will not be defeated (sic).

The meetings went on, no communiques, however. CNN's Elaine Quijano is there to fill us in on what's going on -- Elaine.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello to you, Miles.

And the flags behind me at Gleneagles are here at half staff this evening. The meetings, as you mentioned, going on, despite the news out of London about the explosions, but one U.S. official describing the effect that the news has had on the world leaders, as saying there was a, quote, "renewed sense of determination, a renewed sense of purpose among the leaders to proceed on with their work."

Now, all throughout the day, as you mentioned, there certainly have been statements coming from the world leaders, condemning the attack, but also each of the statements echoing a same sense that they will fight back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The contrasts couldn't be clearer between the intentions and the hearts of those of us who care deeply about human rights and human liberty, and those who kill, those who've got such evil in their heart that they will -- they will take the lives of innocent folks. This is the -- the war on terror goes on.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It is through terrorism that the people that have committed this terrible act express their values, and it's right at this moment that we demonstrate ours.

JACQUES CHIRAC, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): This is an act of terrorism which once again inspires us with horror. It is totally -- it's a totally inhumane act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We not only regret, but we condemn, severely condemn this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUIJANO: And a U.S. official also pointing out a sign of the cohesiveness of the leaders here, pointing out that the leaders stood together when the joint statement was issued early on today.

Also, you noted, Miles, the leaders, certainly some symbolism there standing literally and figuratively behind British Prime Minister Tony Blair when he was issuing his statement.

Of course, President Bush as well as the prime minister very close allies in the war on terrorism. The message today coming out of Gleneagles directly aimed to the terrorists, that despite whatever differences may have existed, that they are standing united in the face of these attacks.

Now, we should also tell you that President Bush, we understand, has no changes to his schedule. He is set to remain here through tonight, not scheduled to leave until tomorrow.

We also understood that British Prime Minister Tony Blair, of course, who had left here to go to London, is expected to return here to Gleneagles sometime tonight -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: So in a sense, the meeting goes on, dramatically changed, doesn't it, Elaine?

QUIJANO: Absolutely. And that is something that certainly we've tried to press officials a little bit more about. And what they will say is that, certainly, over the course of the day there have been more informal discussions, as you can imagine, between all of the world leaders.

But in terms of whether or not this has tremendously shifted the focus, they say that they are intent on continuing the work on the agenda that Prime Minister Blair set out, that is, focusing on Africa and also focusing on the issue of climate change.

They believe, as President Bush pointed out, that it represents a very stark contrast of ideologies. President Bush noting this earlier today in his comments, that the images out of London show the ideology of hate versus here at the G-8, the ideology of people who are working together, world leaders who are coming together to try to improve people's lives.

M. O'BRIEN: Elaine Quijano, Gleneagles, Scotland, thank you -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: A little bit earlier today Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed a condolence book at the British embassy in Washington, D.C. Donald Rumsfeld is expected to do the same thing.

Let's go right to John King with more on that, and also the statement that Secretary Rumsfeld has released.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Soledad, what we're seeing is a reaction here in Washington that is part policy, that is, implementing new security measures around the country, but also very much part political.

You mentioned Secretary Rice. A bit earlier today, she went up to the British embassy here in Washington. She signed the condolences book. "They will not have died in vain," she wrote in that condolences book at the British embassy.

Then she delivered some brief remarks to cameras, condemning the terrorist attacks. We now just have released to us, and you see the secretary of state right here at the British embassy with Sir David Manning. He is the British ambassador to the United States.

Secretary Rice showing her solidarity with Great Britain and with the people of London on this day.

And just moments ago, a statement released by the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. He, of course, a controversial figure around the world because of his role in the war on terrorism. Secretary Rumsfeld saying in his statement, in part, "Too often the global struggle against violent extremists is discussed in the context that can distract from the harsh reality that its victims are innocent mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, and neighbors we see and work with every day. Images from London have shown faces filled with tear and shock."

"Such faces," Secretary Rumsfeld went on to say, "are sadly familiar to us here in America."

Now remember, Secretary Rumsfeld was at the Pentagon when it was struck on 9/11, was among those who went outside to try to help take the victims, those injured in that attack and get them to medical care.

So official Washington reaction includes such political statements, solidarity with the people of Great Britain. And Soledad, as we've noted throughout the day, it also does include raising the threat level to level orange, high expectation of a terrorist attack, high risk, only on mass transit systems -- subways, rail lines, bus systems -- essentially, Washington urging mayors and governors and others who have responsibility over mass transit systems to add police, add other security measures, and put citizens on alert.

Some 30 million people use mass transit in this country. Essentially, the government saying, heading home from work today, coming to work tomorrow, please go about your business. No evidence at all of any targeting here in the United States, but keep your eyes open, please.

S. O'BRIEN: Certainly. I think many questions raised about -- with all the preparation that they had in London, and still it happened, you know, can it happen elsewhere? When you hear about solidarity and familiarity on the part of the secretary of defense, certainly I think many people are thinking of those same words, as well.

John King, thank you very much for that update.

We're going to take a short break. Believe it or not, this is a special edition of AMERICAN MORNING as we go on toward 3:30 in the afternoon here on the East Coast. We're back in just a moment. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

M. O'BRIEN: Still images seared in our brain today after what we have seen transpire in the city of London.

Now 8:30 -- just about 8:30 p.m. there after a very long day there, and all throughout the world as we all have endured this terror attack, this coordinated terror attack in the crowded morning rush hour of London.

As it stands right now, we have 37 fatalities, in excess of 700 wounded, many of them seriously, and the repercussions of this all just becoming familiar to us now and known to us as we learn more about what happened there.

We've talked to several eyewitnesses all throughout the day. One of the people we spoke with was a woman who was on her way to work, happened to be just passing by the square where that double-decker bus exploded right at the moment that happened. She was probably only about 50 feet away. Let's listen to Abigail Milner.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

M. O'BRIEN: We've been hearing just compelling and gut-wrenching stories from witnesses who watched this attack unfold, a little before 9 in the morning, just simply trying to make their way to work in the city of London.

Abigail Milner one of them. She joins us now.

Abigail, I understand you were near the scene of that bus explosion at Tavistock Square?

ABIGAIL MILNER, EYEWITNESS: Yes, I was on my way to work.

M. O'BRIEN: Tell me what you saw.

MILNER: Well, there were just loads of people, and being redirected down a road because most of the roads had been blocked off. And I'd crossed the road, and was walking, and the bus just exploded, loud, huge noise, people screaming, running, shrapnel flying everywhere.

M. O'BRIEN: So when you say the roads had been blocked of, the explosions underground had already occurred? There had already been the response, and then this occurred. Is that accurate to say?

MILNER: To be honest, I don't know. And I'm not sure if any explosions had happened or they were just warnings of it, but there had been police cars everywhere, and just no busses, no -- you know, people were just everywhere, so I just headed by foot to work. And I didn't know what that happened.

M. O'BRIEN: And Abigail, I was just -- I was just about to ask you how close you were to this explosion when it occurred.

MILNER: I must have been about 15, 20 meters away.

M. O'BRIEN: That's awfully close.

MILNER: It was. As soon as it happened, I just turned because I imagined shrapnel everywhere and just ran. Put my jacket over me. And I was fortunate enough not to be hit by anything. My ears are a bit sore, though.

M. O'BRIEN: I can imagine. It was a tremendous blast to your eardrums. Tell me what you did afterwards, after you saw the explosion occurred.

MILNER: I think I just was so shocked. There was just people running everywhere. I ran into the nearest hotel just to get away. I ran in there, and everyone was kind of coming to see what happened. People were running out with blankets. You know, medical staff were trying to get to people. So everyone in the hotel that I was in was trying to help with any spare medical supplies, blankets.

I think I was in too much shock, really, to do anything. It was just -- it was horrific to see it happening. And I just knew there were loads of people around, because I had been walking with them. As I said before, they'd been redirected to go up this road, and so there were more people than usual. And I just didn't really -- I really didn't want to see what had happened. M. O'BRIEN: So you really didn't -- you didn't see the casualties, but you saw -- the general scene afterwards, would you describe it as panic?

MILNER: Yes. I think it's just -- just the fact -- I mean, I don't -- the fact that nobody expected it and everyone just -- yes, just screaming, running. And there were people lying on the side of the road, some people had cuts and once -- once the paramedics had got in and they were just trying to work on whoever they could. And there were police kind of coming around. And they wanted to check all the rest of the buildings for bombs. And just -- there was just panic, yes.

M. O'BRIEN: I'm curious, making your way to work this morning, I imagine the threat of terror and the thought that you might be anywhere close to being a target of terror was probably not on your mind?

MILNER: No, not at all. I couldn't -- now that it's happened, I just -- I could never have imagined really being in this situation. And I think -- just shock really. I never -- I can't even describe what it looked like, what it sounded like. Just scary.

M. O'BRIEN: And your reaction to those who would perpetrate something like this would be what?

MILNER: Why? I don't understand why they would do that. There's so many people in this world that are trying to better things, and why would they do that? I just -- I don't understand.

M. O'BRIEN: Does it make you angry?

MILNER: It does. It does, yes. I just think to take a life like that -- I mean, there's people that die every day, you know, with no food or -- and that sort of thing, but to selfishly take lives or hurt people, destroy things like that, you know, for the sake of their, you know, selfishness, I would imagine, it's just shocking.

M. O'BRIEN: Earlier we heard from a witness who was in one of the underground explosions or near to it, and I was very surprised to hear what he said. They said -- and the reporter asked pretty much the same question I just asked you. And he said I pity them. I pity the terrorists. Would you pity them?

MILNER: Yes. Well, I suppose pity being going to such extreme measures to bring their point across. I suppose they're cowards, targeting innocent people. I don't really know what to feel at the moment. And I just thank God that I'm fine, and I'm just praying for everyone that was hurt and just pray that they don't cause more destruction.

M. O'BRIEN: I suppose all throughout London, people such as yourself right now are trying to account for friends and family members. Have you been able to do that?

MILNER: I have, yes. My family's in South Africa, and so the networks have been, as you can imagine, just, you know, non- accessible. But I have managed to get ahold of my family and let people know. And as far as I know, everyone that I know is fine in London.

M. O'BRIEN: Abigail Milner, thank you for your time, and best to you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

M. O'BRIEN: Just one of thousands of stories this morning from that scene in the heart of London, as those coordinated bombings occurred. We're going to take a break on this extended edition of, believe it or not, AMERICAN MORNING. When we return, we'll check in with Sanjay Gupta. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

S. O'BRIEN: The terror attacks in London. Welcome back, everybody, to a special edition of AMERICAN MORNING. We've been on the air since 7:00 Eastern Time. It's now going on 3:30 in the afternoon here.

The metropolitan police in London earlier today were listing the injuries. And the injuries, they say, range from minor -- scrapes and bruises -- to the very major -- amputations in some cases, cases that required immediate surgery when the victims were rushed into the hospital. That brings us right to Sanjay Gupta who's got a little closer look at some of the injuries this case. Seven-hundred people, they say, wounded, some of them, of course, severely. Give us a range of what people are suffering with.

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, you know, right away, you talk about these immediate operations that are required. The reason someone usually gets immediate surgery is obviously to sustain life, a life-threatening injury, probably because of bleeding. For example, if there's significant bleeding from one of the abdominal organs like the spleen or something within the chest, or a traumatic amputation, as you mentioned there as well, those require immediate surgery just to stop the bleeding there as well.

All sorts of things happen in an explosion, and there's lots of studies that have been done on this thing. It's startling to see the number of studies that have been done on explosions. But four different things really happening almost simultaneously. First of all, there's the primary blast, the primary injury that occurs in this sort of situation, and that's just from the blast itself. From the actual explosion.

Then you have secondary injuries, which occur from the shrapnel and debris sort of being thrown around.

And then tertiary injuries from the bodies themselves being moved. And then you get things like burns. You get -- people might have an asthma attack from smoke inhalation injury. They may have a heart attack just from the stress of it all. So there are all of these different things at play. But I think most people sort of understand that the most dramatic, the most severe or serious is going to be from this primary explosion itself, Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: The blast itself, obviously, Sanjay, deadly, the four blasts. But even more deadly when -- or it's compounded when it's underground, right?

GUPTA: When it's -- and they again look at this. They say when it's in an enclosed space, that's some of the most dramatic stuff. I think we have a picture, for example, of a specific schematic of a bus. What it looks like on a bus. This is from an actual bus that actually had an explosion. I don't know if we have that image, but they can actually predict to some degree of accuracy, based on where the explosion is within the bus, what the pattern of injuries are going to be and where those injuries are going to be.

Take a look at this, Soledad. The fact that this exists is sort of remarkable, but this is supposed to be a schematic of an actual bus. That sort of orange dot in the middle, that represents an explosion, an explosion site. The dark squares are people who died sitting in various places on the bus. Yellow are moderately injured, and orange squares are those with just light injuries. These are the sorts of extremes that you go to sort of figure out what happens in an explosion. But as you mentioned, Soledad, an enclosed space, such as a bus, such as underground, can be the most dramatic.

S. O'BRIEN: When you look at that schematic and you show the people who would not survive a blast, what are the dying of? Is it chest -- blunt chest trauma, things like that? What is it?

GUPTA: The two biggest things, really, are blunt chest trauma and head trauma. Those are the things that are going to most likely be the culprits in terms of unfortunatate immediate death. Take a look. This was a blast injury to the brain. You saw a concussive wave come there. It hits the brain. The brain actually goes back and forth.

I show you this to give you a sense that the brain is actually going back and forth in the skull and then subsequently has some swelling. The skull cannot take any swelling of the brain, so that's why someone would die in that sort of situation. In some studies coming out of Jerusalem, where suicide bomb -- from suicide bombers and some studies coming out of war-related situations, it's those types of head injuries that cause the most deaths, Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: And you know it's certainly terrible that they can look to war and they can look to other suicide bombings to get interesting research on these kinds of things. Sanjay, thanks. Appreciate it.

M. O'BRIEN: In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security has issued what it called a limited orange threat level, which means that heightened level of threat, the high degree of threat level, is targeted specifically at mass transit systems. And one of the places that is the focus of a lot of attention, of course, in this regard is Washington, D.C.'s metro system.

CNN's Kathleen Koch was with officials as they swept through some of those stations in Washington today in the wake of the London bombings -- Kathleen.

KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miles, the security today was noticeable, though it was not alarming to those who ride Washington, D.C.'s subway system, called the metro. In fact, most people we talked to this morning as they were getting off the metro hadn't even heard about what happened in London, but security was ramped up immediately.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could happy anywhere. Everybody's concerned. It could happen here, it could happen in New York, it could happen in L.A., it could happen anywhere. So we're just out here trying to do our job, and like said, trying to gain the confidence and the cooperation from the customers and from the passengers out here. We're going to do our best at our greatest commodity and just relay any information that they possibly can to us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOCH: Now, we were on hand as metro officials held a demonstration for cameras, some 13 cameras, of the security sweeps that they're conducting throughout the metro system. Their SWAT unit or special response team comes into the subway stations heavily armed with machine guns, wearing bullet-proof vests. They check trash cans. They make sure that closet and utility doors are locked. Officers even board subway trains and look around for unattended packages. They also demonstrated for us how bomb-sniffing dogs are used to check the platforms. Our cameras also caught a dog earlier this morning checking newspaper boxes outside of the station at Metro Center, where several of the subway lines converge.

The transit system is also making frequent announcements, like the one you see there. Very similar to those that you hear at airports, asking passengers to essentially be their eyes and ears, to watch out for suspicious packages or individuals. As you saw, that message popped up at the entrance to the sign on -- to one of the Metro stops that we visited today.

Also, extra precautions being taken during the Nats game, the Washington Nationals game that's underway right now against the New York Mets. The trans (ph) police set up a mobile command center there, and they're also handing out these little cards to everyone who's attending, asking them to report unusual behavior, unattended packages or anything that seems suspicious -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: CNN's Kathleen Koch in Washington, thank you -- Soledad.

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M. O'BRIEN: All right, let's just walk you through that timeline one more time, just to remind people how this all unfolded. It's been a long time now since it all occurred. It all began at 8:51 in the morning, right at the absolute peak of the morning rush hour. It began at the Aldgate station. At the Aldgate station, we're told, seven fatalities, at that station. Five minutes later, Kings Cross, Russell Square location. Kings Cross, one of the busier transit stations in the entire underground system. Many tube lines going through there. 21 died in that particular blast.

20 minutes later, 21 minutes later, Edgware Road station, a hole blew through a train, through a wall, into another train, and perhaps even another train. Seven dead there. And then finally at 9:47, just under an hour after the first attack at Aldgate, at Tavistock Place, a double-decker bus explosion there. Two known dead there.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is not far from the Kings Cross station where 21 perished this morning. Giving us a sense of what is happening now, how people are finding their way back home in London -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miles, it's very quiet here at the moment. The area, still completely cordoned off. Kings Cross station, you can see behind me, usually one of the busiest stations on the London transport network. There are six underground lines that go through Kings Cross. Also it has train stations -- trains going to all across the country. At the moment, I've been told, only three of those platforms are open. They've been open in the past, a couple of hours.

This is where one of the trains had that bomb on it, the one on the Piccadilly line, which is one of the deepest underground stations, as well. So it took them a long time to try and evacuate people from that train, and also from other trains, which were blocked behind. This is one of the trains they managed to evacuate people from.

Now, this isn't the first time that we've had tragedies strike Kings Cross. Back in 1987, we had a fire at this very same station, which just started under an escalator. In that particular incident, 27 people died. But London Underground at the moment is describing this as the worst incident it has had on the underground stations and on any transport system within London.

So at the moment, it is -- it's very eerie here. This is usually a very busy intersection. You would see a tremendous amount of cars passing behind me. You would see a lot of people walking behind me. This is a station that many commuters would use to try and get in and out of work. But at the moment, it is absolutely deserted. Behind me, there's only a couple of policemen. There's only a couple of fire engines and police cars are the only cars that are using this particular road at the moment -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Eerily silent streets there, Paula. They're saying that the underground will not be back up and running by tomorrow. What are they telling people about heading back to work tomorrow in London? Stay home?

HANCOCKS: Well, at the moment, they haven't given any definite guidance. Earlier on today, they wanted people to try and stay at work so that they wouldn't have trouble trying to get home. But then they said, obviously, at some point, you have to try to get home. Thousands of people have been walking for hours to try and find their way back to their homes. It's very unsure what will happen tomorrow. Most of the train stations, we're being told, are open. The actual underground system itself, though, the Piccadilly line, which is where this particular train had the incident on, where those 21 people died, is not likely to be open tomorrow. It's not likely to be open for a couple of days, we are hearing.

So, obviously, there's going to be a great deal of difficulty for people getting to work tomorrow. But the way they were feeling as they're walking home tonight, they said if they need to walk, they will walk. So at the moment, many of the other tube stations could have a limited service, but obviously, the underground stations are so far underground and they have great difficulty evacuating people there. It is going to be a while before we have a normal service here -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: The resiliency of Londoners once again evident, keeping a stiff upper lip. Paula Hancocks at Kings Cross. Appreciate it.

We're going to take a break. We'll be back with a special extended very long version of AMERICAN MORNING in just a moment.

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S. O'BRIEN: The terror attacks in London. Welcome back, everybody, to the extended coverage of AMERICAN MORNING.

Former FBI investigator Bill Daly has been with us all morning and then, well into the afternoon, so thank you very much for sticking around with us. Let's talk about what happens now in the investigation. Many big questions, of course. What are investigators looking at most closely?

DALY: Well, Soledad, right now, that we're in really the investigations phase. I mean, the recovery, the evacuation has long been over.

They're now going to start taking as much forensic evidence they can from some of the victims who are still down in the subways, as terrible as that is to talk about, as well as any other debris that's found. They need to find out what type of explosives were used, was there a timer device used, was there some type of remote detonation, or was it someone killing themselves along with these victims.

M. O'BRIEN: A suicide bomber.

DALY: Suicide bomber.

S. O'BRIEN: How long does it generally take to get those answers, because I agree, I would think that's the big piece of the puzzle from which you can then start building a case against whatever suspects they think might be involved. DALY: Well, you're probably talking here, at least several days before they start to come up with substantiated facts. But don't forget, we're talking about different incidents and that all incidents that occurred here, all four of them, are going to be carried out the same way.

There may be different devices, different methodologies. And the other thing you're going to start looking at is, you know, the material, where could it have come from?

Can they start to go back and look through their records, look through even our intelligence records for any chatter, anything else that was out there, even if it was outside of Great Britain and say, was it connected with any pending, you know, incidents that were about to occur? Obviously, nothing was happening inside through the intelligence network inside the United Kingdom; they didn't pick up on it.

S. O'BRIEN: Is it too early to start doing a look at lessons learned and not only in the emergency response, but in what was clearly missed intelligence.

DALY: Well, I think that will be the thing that will come out of this, Soledad, after they go through the analysis. Right now, we don't know what happened. We don't know who was responsible. But subsequently, I think a great lesson to be learned for our own safety and intelligence purposes: How did this go undetected? How did the British government feel so comfortable, that in fact, in some ways, they relaxed a bit, feeling as though they didn't have anything to be extremely concerned about eminently in the transportation system and yet this happened.

S. O'BRIEN: Bill Daly is a former FBI investigator and also a senior vice president at Control Risks Group, a security firm. Thanks for talking with us. Thanks for sticking it out with us all day.

M. O'BRIEN: I bet you have a lot of questions, I sure do and if you want to get answers, a good place to go to CNN.com. CNN's Veronica De La Cruz has a little insight for you on what you might find there -- Veronica?

VERONICA DE LA CRUZ, CNN.COM CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Miles.

CNN.com has launched a special report on today's deadly explosions in London. There, you will find a time line that gives you a minute-by-minute account of the attacks, including a casualty hot line number for people concerned about friends and relatives; also, updates on transportation services.

Now, authorities say busses in central London are returning to limited service and national rail services have resumed. All underground services do remain suspended.

You can also log on for a map that shows the locations of where the blasts occurred and view images from the scene in this gallery and read the full text of Prime Minister Tony Blair's statement immediately after the attack.

You can watch video clips of survivor accounts and get complete video coverage. Now, Miles, CNN.com is creating a forum where you can share your experiences. If you check back later today, were going to have a forum online where you can submit your e-mail, as well as any images, audio, or video clips that you might have and we're inviting people to go ahead and do so -- Miles?

M. O'BRIEN: Veronica De La Cruz, with a look at what's online. Thank you very much.

S. O'BRIEN: We're coming up on 4:00 in the afternoon, East Coast time, and that, of course, is 9:00 p.m. in London. A terrible day and a very sad day, as we have been reporting all morning and all afternoon long, in London in the wake of those numerous and coordinated bombing attacks there.

As more details emerge about exactly what happened in the heart of the city, in the heart of the morning commute, at last count, 37 people dead during those four explosions, 700 people wounded. The numbers, though, expected to rise and the message from the world leaders, like the prime minister, Tony Blair, like the American president, George Bush, is solidarity, determination and the message to the terrorists, frankly: That they will not win.

Focus now, on questions that lie ahead in the investigation; major questions like: Was al Qaeda behind this and how did they pull it off; the underground nature of the attack made it, of course, more deadly, even more devastation and yet, because it was underground, as in Madrid, they used the cell phones to initiate the bombs, that couldn't be the case, at least we know at this point, so far and of course, then, the big question: What's the motivation behind this attack?

M. O'BRIEN: Clearly, terror is the motivation; just outright terror and if we are to believe what we've seen on some of the Web sites, specific statements about the U.S. presence in Iraq, the British presence in Iraq.

Very early, though, to draw any conclusions on that, it's now been 11 hours since this occurred. We've been talking about this all day long and while the investigation continues and the possibility of suspects being out there exists, the sad fact is, we don't know that much right now.

There is an investigation underway, underground in London; above the surface in that bus and we will have information for you as it becomes available. Just stay with CNN for that. And a question, I guess, for all of us is: How do we change our lives going to work tomorrow? Do you run away from it or do you go to work and make sure you just double-check and look for, maybe, that backpack that looks a little funny?

S. O'BRIEN: Well, we certainly know with the elected officials, who've been really taking to the microphones -- I think a lesson learned in the wake of 9/11: Get out there, get out there strongly and firmly and get out there early -- they would say: Don't let the terrorists win. They would say: Continue on your daily activities.

But I would say: Easier said, certainly, than done. And I have to say, across the globe, certainly people have to be looking at what happened in London and feeling terribly sorry for the losses there, but also at the same time, looking back to any implications here in the U.S.

Because if London can have an attack on their transit system, why can't it happen everywhere else? I mean, it doesn't exactly take a genius to figure out that London, which is probably of any city in Europe, most attune to trying to protect itself against some kind of terror attack for decades, really, has experienced -- and outside of the sad news today, the implications, I think, are very big outside of London.

M.O'BRIEN: Well, it makes for a jittery commute, probably for all of us. And this evening, as the East Coast and the rest of you begin to think about going home, I have a feeling you'll be thinking about what has transpired today and the question is: How will we all react to it? How will we react when you see the people, the authorities with semiautomatic weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs? They call it the new normal.

Welcome back to the new normal. If you thought it was gone, it's here.

S. O'BRIEN: It's back again.

This has been an extended, very extended, edition of AMERICAN MORNING. We're going to take you now to Wolf Blitzer, who is standing by in D.C. today.

Wolf, good afternoon to you.

END

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