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CNN BREAKING NEWS
Police Shoot and Kill Man on Train in Stockwell Station in London
Aired July 22, 2005 - 07:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Miles O'Brien. We are continuing our rolling coverage of the day after the bombing attacks in London. A very busy day indeed as authorities begin their efforts at investigation. And apparently, although we don't have this confirmed, might very well have shot dead one of the suspects involved in yesterday's attack.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Carol Costello, in for Soledad. Also breaking right now, you heard Betty Nguyen just say it, that they're surrounding a mosque, an East London mosque. Apparently, a bomb threat was called in. They evacuated the mosque. We don't know if a bomb is actually inside. But we do know a bomb squad and London investigators are on the scene right now.
O'BRIEN: Stockwell Station, which is on the same line as the Oval Line, which is where yesterday all of the trouble began, those small explosions, three of them underground, one of them above the surface. Stockwell just one station away from the Oval Station, is where this morning authorities shot dead someone. And we do not know precisely the circumstances surrounding it or who this person was, but there are some indications this has some link to yesterday's attacks.
Nic Robertson is on his way, we believe, to the station, or may be there -- Nic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miles, I'm standing behind the police blue cordon tape here, about several hundred yards from Stockwell Tube Station. Looking down the road, I can see police vehicles blocking the road, straddling the middle of the road. It's a four lane main thoroughfare coming from the suburbs right through the center of London. There are a lot of police in that area with fluorescent jackets on.
What we have been told by the Metropolitan Police is that armed police shot a man on a train in Stockwell station earlier on today. About an hour and a half ago, those reports started coming in. Eyewitnesses have reported seeing a man running into the station. They report him jumping over the ticket barrier, the barrier you have to go through once you board your ticket to get to the train, jumping over that barrier, and then trying -- bursting, as one witness described it, bursting onto a train.
Now, what happens then becomes a little bit confused. There are various reports that police, three un-uniformed, three plainclothes police, were chasing this man described as an Asian man. Here in England, that tends to mean Pakistani, Indian type of origin. They described him as an Asian man being chased onto the train by three un- uniformed police. Then one witness said he saw one of the policemen had a gun in his hand. The man tripped and fell to the ground. The police then, according to the eyewitnesses, fired shots at the man. Variously, we've heard described between three and six shots fired at the man.
And according to one witness, at least, he was dead. But the police at this stage will not confirm whether or not the man is dead, and they will not say whether he was involved in the attacks yesterday -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: Nic, as you were speaking, we just got word that Scotland Yard has, in fact, confirmed that he is dead. Help us understand for a moment. Do you have the sense that this pursuit began long before this person, who is now dead, made his way to that station? Or did the officers, the plainclothes officers, was this person recognized for some reason around the station?
ROBERTSON: That still isn't clear. But it would be reasonable to assume -- and this is certainly -- speaking with police yesterday. They said they did expect to be able to catch up with the bombers from yesterday, the would-be bombers yesterday. The men escaped. They would have had security cameras, and the police also would have had a lot of eyewitness accounts of what the men looked like. So it would not be unreasonable to assume that the police may well have had a tipoff about one of these men this morning, may have been on the lookout, may well have seen him. From what we've heard from the eyewitnesses, it does appear that the police were in pursuit.
And it is out of the ordinary here in England, Miles, to have armed police close to or on a station, plainclothes, with a handgun. That's out of the ordinary here. So, again, that seems to add into a picture that would suggest, at least at this stage, that the police have detected this man sometime before they gave chase to him, giving chase to him and finally shooting him. Again, it's not clear.
But again, it's not clear. There have been other media reports today that have suggested that perhaps a train near the station, an incident happened on the train. But again, all of this is very, very unclear.
But from what we now know from the police, from what they were telling us yesterday that they would have plenty of opportunity to see who the men were, see who the bombers were, it would not be unreasonable to think they had a lead on at least one of them, and obviously, chasing him down this morning -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: Nic, we do have some reports that this suspect, who is now deceased, was -- had padded clothing. Is there any reason to believe that he was carrying any sort of explosives? Have you heard anything along those lines?
ROBERTSON: The police haven't suggested that. Clearly, there is a concern among the police now that they are dealing with suicide bombers. And clearly, along with those concerns, as they will have learned from the Israelis dealing with suicide bombers, that suicide bombers sometimes wear suicide vests, don't just carry explosives in backpacks, as seem to be the way that the bombs were delivered in the last two attacks. Therefore, if the police saw him in a padded jacket, it would be reasonable to assume, I think, at this stage that the police might therefore suspect that he could potentially have been a suicide bomber.
One of the eyewitnesses who's been interviewed by the press here has said that the man tripped and fell to the ground, and then he was shot. Now that's a detail we certainly don't have any clarity on. But if it's true, it would indicate that the police were taking no chances and that, if the man was wearing padded clothing, that would have given them greater cause for concern that he might have been carrying some kind of suicide vest -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: Nic Robertson is at the Stockwell Station, where there is a lot of focus and attention right now in the wake of a police shooting. Whether it is directly linked to yesterday's bombings remains to be seen. We're obviously following that very closely -- Carol.
COSTELLO: We certainly are. You heard Nic talking about people who saw this go down. We have word from eyewitnesses now. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Going down the escalators, walked onto the platform. A tall Asian guy, shaved head, slight beard with a rucksack got on in front of me. And shortly after that, he stepped on the train. About eight or nine undercover police guys with walkie-talkies and handguns started just screaming to everyone, get out, get out, run as fast as you can, get out of the station. And because they were plainclothes, it was just surreal. People stopped and looked, and then people started running. So we all just ran quite calmly, actually, you know, up the stairs. And then there was six or seven gunshots behind us. And then people just screaming at us to get out of the station. And that's pretty much all I remember. But the guy who stepped from the tube in front of me was very calm. He wasn't running.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An Asian-looking man. Then entered -- that man came into his car, his coach, the train, and fell to the ground. And then these three cops pushed him to the ground and shot him in the head, three gunshots.
QUESTION: And how close were you to this? You were in the next carriage or further down the carriage?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were further down the carriage.
QUESTION: Could you hear the shots?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard the shots....
QUESTION: How many shots did you hear?
UNIDENTIFIED: We heard quite so much shots. Absolutely more than three, but that being said, you know, the police killed the man, fired three shots. Yes, he said, boom, boom, boom, three shots right in front of me. That's what he told me.
QUESTION: Yes, and did the person that you were talking to who actually witnessed the episode, did he say to you that the man either fell to the ground or wrestled to the ground. Was he on the ground when he was shot? Did you get that information from your colleague?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I got the information from the witness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, from the witness.
QUESTION: Did the witness say the man was on the floor, or was he still moving? Was he running when he was shot?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I remember he said that man (INAUDIBLE). Yes, and the police and the same man, the plainclothes cops pushed him to the ground.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: And what you're seeing right now, live pictures of Stockwell Station, where this man was shot inside of the tube. We went ahead to the Oxford Circuit Tube Station, also in London, and nearby the Stockwell Station in fact.
Jennifer Eccleston is standing by.
Jennifer, you went out to do a story this morning about how nervous people were to get on the subway after what happened yesterday, and now what happened this morning. How are people feeling?
JENNIFER ECCLESTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, even before the incident at stock well was announced, there was a great deal of anxiety here, Carol, among the commuters heading into Central London to work. We noticed that there were far fewer people getting out of the Oxford Circus Tube Station, which is just behind me, which is one of the busiest and the largest tube stations in Central London. We have a number of underground lines, tube stations that go through Oxford Circus. And throughout the morning, we've been here from before rush hour and through the thick of rush hour. We're just not seeing the numbers.
Normally, behind me, we could hardly move. If this were a regular Friday mid-morning, I wouldn't be able to stand here without being jostled by people, so while it looks like people are actually using the tube, it's just not what it should be. And that is largely due to the fact that many people are staying home after yesterday's events and, of course, the horrible events of July 7th. And it's perhaps best to hear it from the mouths of Londoners, those who actually make the commute every day, and I've got one of them right here.
Tell me what was going through your mind when you made the commute this morning.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you do look around. You look at the people around you. I come in overland on train and then on tube. I do this quite often, daily really, for my job, and it's not something I'm going to stop, because I want to come here.
But you look around. I saw the police this morning checking people as they were going through getting down to the tube. They were also looking in some rucksacks as well stopping people. So that to me is quite positive. You know, the presence is here all around us. We have to put our trust in the police, and I think that, again, is positive.
ECCLESTON: And now we've seen it's stepped up a notch. We have this incident, as you and I were talking about earlier, at Stockwell Station on the northern line, a very popular line. We now know that an unidentified male has been shot by police, and he is now dead. How does that make you feel?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it must have been quite shocking for the people who were there. But, again, quite positively the police are doing something, and they're doing it on our behalf. They're trying to make London safe. I've always felt safe here. People come in daily in to work. It's great to see that there are still tourists about. It is a lot quieter, but you know, people are here. They're in the shops, the tourists, so it's great. But good that the police are doing something.
ECCLESTON: We do get a sense -- and i've heard this from a number of people -- that things are different. It will never be the same again. And that Londoners now have to constantly live with this extra vigilance, always looking out, who's next to them? What are they carrying? It really does present yet another stressful image to living in a stressful environment already.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is stressful. Any major city is. But it's an amazing city. And I don't think people will ever stop coming here. We've been through so many things in London. And people bounce back. You might not shop for a few days. It could hit the retailing sector. But again, our lives are here, the restaurants, the life that we lead, and it will never stop.
ECCLESTON: Much has been said about the resolve of the British people. We've got so much -- so many comments now of just life going on. Perhaps you could just give us a little piece of what you think about that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's always gone on. But not just about London; it's about Great Britain itself. Right across England, people have been in those situations, and it's great.
ECCLESTON: All right, thank you very much. And good luck today. And that's it outside of the Oxford Circus Tube Station. As I mentioned, one of the busiest in London, and again, just stressing the resolve there amongst the passengers. Yes, there's a lot of nerves here, and people are being extra vigilant, but indeed, as we've been saying all day long, life has to go on -- Carol.
COSTELLO: It does. What a courageous and awesome attitude that woman had.
Jennifer Eccleston, many thanks to you.
O'BRIEN: That was the stiff upper lip personified right there, and Jennifer Eccleston found it very easily there on the streets of London. We're glad to hear that.
We're also glad to be joined by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Mayor, you know, we booked you to come in and talk about what happened yesterday. Let's talk about what happened this morning first.
RUDY GIULIANI, FMR. NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Yes, it's amazing. All of a sudden, a shooting. First time really a shooting. And it looks like possibly another attack, in this case, hopefully interrupted, right? Which is a plus.
COSTELLO: Talk about the psychology of this. If this guy was one of the bombers, he goes back to finish the job?
GIULIANI: They don't always do everything right, not always the best planned people. I mean, sometimes we see that result. Sometimes they do it very efficiently. Sometimes they don't. And the security in London is superb.
I was in London on the 7th, and I think the biggest surprise was to the British, and particularly the security people, that they didn't pick it up in advance, because they had picked up a significant number of these things in advance over the last two or three years. But they did catch the people right away, which gives you a sense that their intelligence base and their law-enforcement apparatus is a very, very effective one.
O'BRIEN: But two weeks to the day after July 7th, it happens again, not on the magnitude that we saw on July 7th. We're glad to report that. But nevertheless, it happens again, and it does point out some vulnerabilities.
RUDY GIULIANI, FMR. NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Oh, sure. Well, first of all, there are vulnerabilities. You're dealing with possible suicide bombers. We're all vulnerable. Any place is vulnerable. You can't watch everybody. That's physically impossible. It would have an enormous impact on human liberties if you did that. So you have to use selective techniques. And selective techniques are going to have openings. You have surveillance. You have intelligence. You have technology. But then, you know, there's so many possibilities in a place like London, like New York, Washington D.C., that we're all vulnerable. This is something we're vulnerable, too. So we kind of have to do what that woman in London said. It's a stress. We have to live with it, and then, as they say in England, move on.
COSTELLO: In New York, they're checking people's bags at metro stations now. Why didn't that come earlier?
GIULIANI: Well, I think, with each one of these thing, you sort of have a heightened sensitivity, and you say to yourself, well, now, we can do more. Maybe also the public patience will tolerate more, so you can push it a little further. It's -- you know, we do a lot more checking at an airport today than we did before September 11, 2001. If you had tried to do that before September 11, 2001, probably should have, but there would have been maybe a big public outcry.
COSTELLO: But right after September 11th, the security measures increased at airports, not so much for train stations.
GIULIANI: Right, well, I think there's a human quality, which is you keep thinking that history's going to repeat itself. So you go back, and you kind of clean up the last incident. You focus on airplanes. You focus on airplane security, trying to prevent the horrific thing that happened here, the planes attacking buildings.
But then, you know, I think what we have to say about these terrorists -- and i've been saying this for a long time -- is the main thing about them is they're very flexible. You have to protect against the last attack, but they're going to probably try a different one. They're going to try to surprise us. I would not be at all, or rule out the fact that they'll do something very, very different next. So now think about that. You can prepare for what you know. You can't prepare for all the unknowns. You just have to be flexible. You have to be relentlessly prepared. You have to try and be ready for all these different possibilities, never knowing what they're going to do next.
COSTELLO: Well, and I know I'm harping on this, but after the Madrid train bombings, you would think the checking of the bags would be instituted here in the United States. But it took the London train bombings to do that.
GIULIANI: Well, you know, port security, rail security need more attention. And you can only do so much at once. Tremendous emphasis on airline security. Going back a year ago, significant increase in port security, and train security and rail-transportation security. But the reality is you can only do so much at any one time. And if the good thing that comes out of this is there's going to be more focus now on train security and people will accept it more. I think people on the subways here in New York are much more willing to accept the possibility of somebody searching them, looking at them, doing things today than they would have been a week -- or let's say three weeks ago. And also the reality is they've got to put up with that inconvenience. And then the question is, when you do that, do you cause fear, or do you cause more confidence? And I think this morning, you cause more confidence, because it's on people's minds.
O'BRIEN: But how much good will it really do? Because it is a needle in the haystack search. And what you're going after is just average people going to work. And I wonder, if you took all that -- those resources and put them into, say, better intelligence, tracking these people, for example, would that be a better way to spend the money? It might not give people the appearance of security, which is maybe part of what this is all about. Because it determines a suicide bomber, if you open up that bag, that's not going to solve any problems. That bomb is going to go off.
GIULIANI: You need to do both. And it isn't just people you're giving an appearance of security to, it's the potential terrorists, that you're saying, you may get caught. This is a heavily-guarded, well-defended place. And there's a chance you're going to get caught. And getting caught psychologically destroys what they're trying to accomplish. And they have not...
O'BRIEN: If you can just push the button, right?
GIULIANI: Think about this, they have not attacked a very well- defended target.
O'BRIEN: I see.
GIULIANI: I think everybody on intelligence, Howard Safir, who was just on earlier this morning, my former police commissioner and good friend, part of the theory here is defend the target. It will deter them. It will say to them, there's a chance of getting caught. I think nobody does it better than the NYPD. I think Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly defend this place in a way that says, we have a chance of catching you. It doesn't mean we will catch you, but you got a big chance you're going to get caught.
O'BRIEN: Word on profiling, though. On the one hand, a lot of people would say this opens up the possibility of profiling. A lot of other people say, you know what, we should be profiling. There's 4.5 million people that use the subways. We can't just be randomly searching little old ladies, so to speak.
GIULIANI: It depends what you're profiling. If it's racial, ethnic, or religious profiling, gender profiling, or whatever, that's illegal, wrong, inconsistent with our notion of human liberties. However, if you're profiling characteristics that fit the criminal. You know, if it's reported that a 6'2" man that's has just committed a murder, you don't go look for 5'1" women; you go looking for 6'2" men. So if what you're profiling, or what you're looking at or what you're focusing on are the characteristics that fit, what validly would describe possible terrorists, well, then, that isn't. That's sensible -- it would be almost irresponsible not to use that as some factor in determining how you're going to narrow it down.
Look at the profiles or the factors they have for airport searches. You could call that profiling. It's not ethnic. It's not racial. It's not religious. It's based on certain factors -- how often people travel, where they travel, where they've been, what they've done. Those things are all fair.
O'BRIEN: How do you employ that on the streets, in the subways?
GIULIANI: It's harder.
O'BRIEN: It's harder to do.
GIULIANI: It's harder to do. So you have to have some level of intuitive operation.
O'BRIEN: I remember an operation, just seeing Howard before, that the New York City police department stopped. This was several years before September 11th, 2001. And they actually shot the guy, just as he was about to hit a toggle switch in Brooklyn that would have been used on the subways. And that came from a single New York City police officer being suspicious about a man that he saw near a Brooklyn subway. And 12 hours later, the joint terrorist task force was in their house and took out all these explosives and shot one of the men who was going to do it.
COSTELLO: I have heard all you said about increased security, and, you know, they do a terrific job, but don't you think part of the reason we haven't been attacked again is, in part, due to luck?
GIULIANI: Everything in life is due to luck. The fact that we're sitting here and something terrible -- I learned that on September 11th, 2001, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be vigilant, and you shouldn't try and you shouldn't try to reduce the risk. We can't get perfection here, but we can get significant reduction in risk. And surveillance, intelligence, showing a well-defended target, and then keeping the terrorists on the defensive by engaging them in other places like we're doing is very, very important.
Anybody -- any one of these security experts, including myself, would have told you on September 11th, 2001, we're looking at dozens and dozens and multi years of attacks like this. It hasn't been quite that bad. And even with this, it isn't at that level. So I think for the mistakes that have been made, a lot of good work has been done in stopping all these thing.
O'BRIEN: Mr. Mayor, thank you very much.
GIULIANI: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: Rudy Giuliani.
GIULIANI: Have a good weekend.
O'BRIEN: You, too.
COSTELLO: Here in the United States, Americans are on their morning commute. We've been talking about that. We've got coverage from three key locations: in New York, Allen Chernoff, in Boston, Dan Lothian, and in Washington, Kimberly Osias.
Let's head first to New York and Allen Chernoff.
Good morning, Allen.
ALLEN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol.
There have been two police officers at this station at 72nd Street and Broadway on Manhattan's upper west side for the past 50 minutes. As far as we've seen, they have not checked a single bag. But we've been checking with New Yorkers as they've been coming in and out of the station, an informal poll, to see how they feel about the new policy. So far, 15 in favor. Many saying better safe than sorry. Four have been opposed, saying they feel it's a violation of their rights. And five have simply not stopped for us. They've been too busy. And that is part of the challenge here in New York. A city where people simply hate to wait.
But people will have to stop if a police officer does want to check their bag. If they refuse, they'll have to leave the station. They won't be able to get onto the subway. The police are emphasizing that they will not do racial profiling here. They're saying they'll be looking at large bags, in particular, backpacks, that sort of thing, that potentially could carry a bomb -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Allan Chernoff live in New York.
Now let's head to Boston. Dan Lothian is standing by.
Good morning, Dan.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol.
Well, the head of the transit authority here saying that they are now at what he calls orange alert plus. They've been at orange alert since the original bombings in London. The plus is that they're adding additional law enforcement officers in and around the train stations. Earlier this morning, we saw one officer patrolling the area here with a dog.
Now, in addition to that, they're continuing their campaign of see something, say something. It's a way of for law enforcement to get additional help from the commuters. If they see anything suspicious at all, a suspicious bag or someone acting suspiciously, that they can report that person to law enforcement. There will be no checks, random checks of bags. But law enforcement saying, if they do see something acting in a suspicious nature, that that person will be checked out.
In an effort to sort of instill confidence in the train system here, yesterday the governor hopped on one of the subway trains. He says there will be no way you can make the system 100 percent safe. He says the only way to really get at that is to get at the terrorists long before they decide to strike -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Dan Lothian live in Boston.
Now to Kimberly Osias. She's at Union Station in Washington.
Good morning, Kimberly.
KIMBERLY OSIAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And good morning to you Carol. Of course, busy rush under way. We are outside Union Station,because we are not allowed inside, not allowed to shoot video for obvious security reasons. Now last night, metro transit authority took the unique step of ratcheting up security even more by shutting down the area for maintenance, having bomb-sniffing dogs going through each car. And police outside doing a full security sweep. They haven't done this in quite some time.
Of course, for the past two weeks, the metro system has been on orange alert, just under the red level, a very, very high alert. They say they will continue to be incredibly vigilant. They are certainly looking towards New York. No plans to do any kind of random searches here of bags yet, but they will be keeping an eye towards that.
Just last week, the Bush administration infused and added $200 million into the Homeland Security Bill. However, some outspoken senators, like Senator Charles Schumer, have been very critical, saying that is simply not enough money, especially for soft target areas, vulnerable areas like the rail system -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Kimberly Osias, live in Washington this morning. Thank you.
O'BRIEN: The Stockwell Tube Station, which is about a mile south of the Oval Station, where yesterday morning events unfolded with those explosions, is the focus of attention this morning. As we've been telling you, a wild scene there as undercover police officers chase down a suspect. He jumped over a turnstile. He tripped. He was shot dead. At least five shots fired, causing quite a stir in that station this morning.
Connecting the dots with this incident this morning, what happened yesterday, and for that matter, what happened on July 7th, we cannot do that just yet. Nevertheless, we are obviously focused very intently on this and whether there may be some link to the bombings.
CNN's Nic Robertson is at the Stockwell Station.
Nic, what are you seeing and hearing there?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Miles, at the moment, the area is still cordoned off. The police say they've got to cordon about 200 yards back from the station.
What police officials are telling us, Miles, is that before this man was shot, he was challenged while in the station by armed officers. Then the police say that he was shot and pronounced dead at the scene. That does conform with what the accounts that eyewitnesses have been giving us.
Of course, what it doesn't tell us is why the police came to challenge this man. What about him was suspicious? We have been told by eyewitnesses that the man appeared to be wearing a padded jacket. Eyewitnesses have not talked about him carrying a bag. We do know that bombers yesterday and two weeks ago carried explosives in backpacks. Again, why the police were following this man, why they came to challenge him is not clear. But the police have now confirmed that he was shot, pronounced dead on the scene after being shot -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: What's the scene there right now, Nic? Is the place still cordoned, or are they starting to open things up?
ROBERTSON: It's still cordoned off. As I look down the road toward Stockwell Tube Station, this is a main -- one of the main roads, commuter roads, in and out of the center of London. Four lanes of traffic here. Two would go in each direction normally. Right now there is a bus parked on the road, stopped on the side of the road, halfway between me and the tube station. Several police vehicle outside the tube station. I can see quite a large number of police officers in their luminous green safety jackets very, very close to the station itself. The situation here, stable. A lot of people coming along just to have a look and see what's happening. Local residents do seem to be walking, able to gain some access to the area and walk out of the area. So the area does seem to be secured. It has a security cordon. But at least some local residents apparently able to get into their homes behind that cordon at this time -- Miles.
O'BRIEN: All right, Nic Robertson at the stock well station, thank you very much.
We're joined now from Washington by former New York City Police Commissioner Howard Safir.
Mr. Safir, good to have you with us. Help us try to figure out what's going on here. Clearly, what you had yesterday, because there were apparently some misfired devices, a lot of forensic evidence was left on the scene that you normally won't get when you had an explosion. Presumably, that's helping investigators quite a bit this morning.
HOWARD SAFIR, FMR. NYC POLICE COMMISSIONER: Absolutely. The fact they got at least three, maybe four devices yesterday, will give them the ability to do forensic analysis of both the materials in the bombs and possibly get DNA hair samples, fingerprints. It's a real treasure trove for the intelligence services, and they very well may be what led to this individual this morning.
O'BRIEN: Of course, we don't know for sure yet, but given that a lot of what we're seeing on sort of the circumstantial evidence here, it appears that police were in hot pursuit of what they thought was a suspect in all of this.
SAFIR: Well, it sounds to me, if it's as described by the witnesses, it sounds to me that what occurred at Stockwell was the three officers were in fear that this individual was going to detonate a device, and that's probably why they shot him.
O'BRIEN: Now meanwhile, a separate event perhaps, there is a word of a cordon around a mosque in the eastern part of London. Clearly, I guess we can say what's going on here is a large net is being cast over the city of London in the wake of all this.
SAFIR: Absolutely. The British police and intelligence services are very good. When they get information, they act on it very quickly, and I'm sure that's what's happening at the mosque.
O'BRIEN: And I guess the sad fact is they've had years and years of experience, in their case, dealing with the IRA, but in the case of solving these sorts of terrorist activities they have a tremendous amount of expertise.
SAFIR: They do have a tremendous amount of expertise. But terrorism is random. And, you know, as my good friend Rudy Giuliani said just previously, you cannot predict what they're going to do. You have to be in a position to react. And the most important thing is getting the intelligence to prevent it. And, of course, what's happening in New York now, I think, is just one more layer of protection. The random searching, I think, is a very good thing.
O'BRIEN: But some would say it might be a bit of a waste of resources because you've got 4.5 million people getting on the subways. Is that really going to thwart a suicide bomber, just randomly checking bags?
SAFIR: Well, I think you just hit it. It's not a waste of resources. Mass transit, 4 million people going into subways getting on buses, you can't secure that like you secure an airport, so you have to layer security. You have to use random searches, training, technology. You have to be in the position so that the terrorist says, if I attack that target, the probability is that I'm going to get caught. So I'm going to go someplace else. That's what this is all about. It's not about the fact that searching packages is operationally effective, it's a real deterrent.
O'BRIEN: You know, a lot of talk in the wake of the July 7th attacks about how much money is spent federally here in the United States to protect mass transit systems. A small traction of the money that is spent on airplanes. In addition, there's local money, of course, that is earmarked for this. And there's been some criticism in the past that and certainly in New York City, the MTA hasn't actually even spent the money that has been allocated to it. Why has it been why have mass transit facilities been so reluctant or unable to execute a good security plan? Is it just because it's so difficult?
SAFIR: Well, it is difficult, but in fairness to the MTA, the federal money was very, very slow in coming. And now that the spigot has been turned on, the MTA is moving very rapidly. I do know that there's a lot of security planning and implementation going on in New York City. But when you have 762 miles of tunnels and all of those platforms, you can't do it overnight. But I do know they are moving very quickly.
O'BRIEN: All right. We're talking about bag searches but what else can be done and still allowing it to be a convenient system for people to use? What can be done to make these systems more secure?
SAFIR: There are lots of things. There's technology now. You know, we talk about video cameras, but there's now intelligence software that will actually determine if somebody leaves a package somewhere and set off an alarm. It will track people if you put in the right algorithms. There's ballistic material like ballistic garbage cans that you can put a bomb in and if the bomb went off, nobody would be hurt. There's lots of things that can be done with training.
You know, in Israel, for example, they use what they call watchers. They train people who do nothing but sit around in public facilities looking for suicide bombers. And that's been very effective. Whether or not we're going to have to get to that here in the states, I don't know yet.
O'BRIEN: Well, I mean, I guess what you're implying there, though, is, there really isn't a silver bullet solution. And, you know, I hearken back to the kind of security we see at the airport. We wait in line, we take off our shoes, we do all those thing. And yet at the airports, the outer perimeters of the airports are not well secured. I'm curious if there's some places we don't see in the systems, the transportation systems, that require a little more attention as well.
SAFIR: Absolutely. What you just pointed out about perimeter security at airports is right on target. And even beyond that, which really scares me, are general aviation airports. I fly on private planes from time to time and in many of the general aviation airports, there is no security. And when you think about an aircraft like a G-4 or G-5, it carries a lot of fuel.
O'BRIEN: It does indeed. Howard Safir, former New York City police commissioner.
Thanks for your insights this morning. Appreciate it.
SAFIR: Good to be with you.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We have hit the half hour now. We want to bring people up to date.
London police do confirm that an officer shot a man dead at the Stockwell Train Station in London. That's about a mile from the Oval Street Station. And, of course, that's where they found an explosive device yesterday.
Nic Robertson is reporting witnesses say this man charged through the station, lept over the turnstiles. He actually made it on to the train and that's when London authorities tripped him and they shot him dead. Apparently witnesses say he was shot three times in the head, shot five times in all. Actually, those police officers were armed with machine guns. They were coming down the escalator or up the escalator as he was coming down and they chased him on to this train. Don't know if he's connected to the bombings yesterday. They're still trying to figure that out.
O'BRIEN: Well, yes. And what were we've got to be careful here because, as we talk about it and we show the map of yesterday's incidents, viewers could come to some conclusions that we're not ready to make. But nevertheless, given what has gone on there and given the pursuit that occurred here and the fact that plainclothes officers were obviously focused on this person, we have some reason to believe there may be a connection. Cannot say so for certain at this point.
We should say, though, that one witness describing that scene that Nic helped describe for us, told the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, that this person, this suspect who's now dead, he looked like a cornered fox. He looked petrified. Leave it at that.
COSTELLO: Leave it at that. We do have some eye witness testimony that people can listen to because, as Miles said, commuters were absolutely horrified this morning. Let's listen to one of them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK WHITBEY, WITNESS: I was sitting on the tube train. It hadn't pulled out of the station at this time. The doors were still open. I heard a lot of shouting, "get down, get out." I looked to my right. I saw a chap run onto the train. Asian guy. He run onto the train and he saw and he was running so fast, he half sort of tripped. But he was being pursued by three guys, one had a black handgun in his hand left hand. And as he went down, two of them sort of dropped onto him to hold him down and the other one fired. I heard five shots basically.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) in front of you on the train?
WHITBEY: I was about maybe four or five yards along from where this actually happened. I watched it. I actually saw it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So the train had pulled into the station, and someone had come onto the train?
WHITBEY: Yes. The train was sitting in the station with the doors open, wait to pull out. It seemed to be taking quite a long time. And then I heard I heard all this "get down, get out." And as I started I looked to my right. Saw the guy run onto the train. He was running so fast, he half tripped. And bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang five shots.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right in front of you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was going through your mind at that time?
WHITBEY: I don't know. It was quite surreal, really. I think I hung around longer than I should because, by this time, (INAUDIBLE) had got off. But there was a sort of elderly woman, sort of large built, and she was having she couldn't move very fast. So I sort of tried to usher her along, help her along, get her up the escalator. As I was getting up the escalator, there must have been 15, 20 police coming down, all of them armed, submachine guns, pistols. (END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: So who was this man the police shot? Did he have any connections to the bombings yesterday? That remains a mystery this morning. But let's head live to London and Christiane Amanpour. She may be able to tell us more.
Good morning, Christiane.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning.
And that is, obviously, the question. In fact, it's still the question about yesterday's attempted bombings. And the police have not given any formal or official information about the nature of what they found. And they did have forensic evidence after yesterday's attempted bombings. And, obviously, we do not have any details about what happened today except for the eyewitnesses that you've just been quoting.
I think in terms of popular reaction now, people are beginning to get angry and jittery. And there's still a sense of defiance as well. But this is a situation now which is very, very unusual. It has not happened yet in these terrorist attacks since 9/11 where a capital has been attacked, or at least attempted to be attacked twice and then three times potentially.
So Britain is now worried. London is worried. We've been talking to people. I was talking to people privately after I finished work last night and even today before I even knew about this incident, and some of the papers are beginning to reflect that. Still, some of the tabloids are basically being defiant. "Britain Will Not Be Beaten." But a sense of what might be in store. "Is This How We Must Now Live?" And one of the broad sheet papers called London the city of fear. So there is a sense that this now becoming something very unusual and wondering how it's going to affect them.
Talking to taxi drivers, for instance, today, they're saying that they've never seen their taxies so full. They can barely move without people hailing them and some people telling them that they're simply not going into the tube. So at the moment, very fluid situation. And of course, as usual, we are waiting for official word from the police in terms of what we can specifically say about what happened yesterday and today.
COSTELLO: Christiane, I want to bring in Nic Robertson. He's at the Stockwell Station.
Nic, I wanted to ask you about the security. If this man was indeed dangerous and he was carrying some kind of explosives, which, of course, we do not know right now, that was quick work by London police.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It would be quick work, Carol. It's not normal to have armed police at London underground tube stations. Given the height security alerts that there have been recently, it is quite possible there have been more of them around. If we can look just down the road behind me right now, we can get an idea of what's happening at Stockwell Tube Station right now. If you look at if you look at the down the road here, there are a few public onlookers here. Very keen to see what's going on, not just at the scene, but with the media.
If we look down the road here, you can see down on the left-hand side a number of police vehicles parked up. That's where Stockwell Road Tube Station is. You can see another security cordon further down the road with workers. Further beyond that, buses stopped. And you see the police in their reflective green jackets.
We know down there in that area, right by the station, there's a veterinary clinic. Inside that veterinary clinic, the police are holding witnesses to what happened. Those witnesses, we would expect, that the police will begin to question them, to find out what they saw, to take their statements. And this will replicate exactly what happened yesterday and replicate the way that the police have been gathering information here and why the police seem quite certain yesterday that, after the attacks yesterday, that they would get a good idea of who was involved and therefore have a very good chance of catching them very quickly. That's not clear if that's what happened today. It's not clear if it was one of yesterday's bombers who was shot on the station. But the very fact armed police very close to this man, an indication perhaps that they were following him already, Carol.
COSTELLO: I wanted to ask you more about that and I wanted to let our viewers know we're covering this story from every angle. We have Christiane Amanpour and a number of correspondents live in London this morning.
But, Nic, what did make them suspicious? I mean this guy was wearing a heavily padded coat, was he? And it must be pretty warm there this afternoon for you.
ROBERTSON: It is relatively warm. Eyewitnesses do say the man was wearing a padded jacket and certainly the police are on a much higher alert now with a view that any of the attackers, any potential attacker, could be a suicide attacker. May not necessarily be wearing a backpack as the bombers appeared to be yesterday, and as the bombers were wearing two weeks ago when they struck. So it would have been very much on the police's mind, on their mind that if a man was wearing a padded jacket, maybe it was a suicide jacket, maybe had explosives in there, and therefore it would seem that they would not be taking too many precautions.
However, the police have been very clear. They have said that they challenged this man. Eyewitnesses say that he was running away from the three policemen, that he tripped, and then he was shot. And under normal circumstances, if there were no potential that the man could be a suicide bomber, then perhaps it would be more normal that when he fell over that police would come up and handcuff him. But the fact that he was shot, apparently, apparently, according to eyewitnesses, when he was on the ground, giving light to the impression certainly that the police thought potentially padded jacket meant suicide bomber. Carol.
COSTELLO: Thank you, Nic Robertson.
Christiane, a question for you. There are video cameras everywhere. Certainly London's security personnel were poring through the tapes last night. Could they have gleaned anything off of them so soon?
AMANPOUR: Well, look, we saw what happened two weeks ago. It was remarkably quick after the initial you know, they told us at first that the explosives were of high military capability. Then they downgraded that to say they were not, they were more sort of homemade. But it was remarkable how quickly they were able to piece together the pieces of this puzzle, show the four suspected bombers at the station, and then basically follow the leads from there. So they do have an enormous amount of surveillance at their disposal and they we expect to know a little bit more hopefully soon at a news conference that the police say that they're going to give about yesterday and what happened today.
But, you know, in this day and age of everybody having cameras, everybody having the ability to sort of zoom in on what's going on, let's just show you a little bit more of what the London papers are doing. You might want to just zoom in here. This is a very grainy picture, but it's a picture of a rucksack on yesterday's bus, the 26 bus. It was taken by someone in his flat who saw into the bus. And this is the bus driver who removed it and basically said that it contains nails, nuts, and bolts. And the speculation here is that this is the rucksack that was intended to detonate on that bus yesterday.
When we're talking, and when we've heard from the police as to, you know, connections with two weeks ago, they refuse yet to tell us per say but they do say there's a "strong resonance." It is very, very similar, the pattern of what happened yesterday to two weeks ago. And who knows what today's incident was about. But potentially, it may have something to do with that as well. But at the moment, it is speculation until we get more definite information from the police.
COSTELLO: Understand that. Because of this incident at Stockwell, though, authorities say two other stations, Highbury and Islington, have been closed down. And I ask you this question again and I know I asked you it yesterday but, was it a mistake to open up all of the subway lines again today so soon after four bombs were found yesterday?
AMANPOUR: Well, it's hard for me to say that. I've talked to people who do commute on tubes and I said, are you using them? Has it affected you? And they basically say, look, this is the only way many of us can actually get to work. We have to use them. And I think a city has to think really very, very hard before it closes down an entire mass transport system that takes three million passengers a day. And clearly they've made the decision that that would not be in the interest of this city or of their ongoing investigations. So it's hard for us to say, was it a mistake or not? They've made that calculation. They've had these incidents. They've had scares in this city before. As we've mentioned over and over again, the decades of IRA attacks in this city. We're going to see you know, obviously, from a human point of view, you want to say, look, just shut the whole thing down. But it doesn't necessarily, you know, the intelligence people don't necessarily react the way individuals might do.
COSTELLO: That's for certain. We just got word from ITN. It is reporting that the suspect who was shot at the Stockwell station today was connected to the bombing, although CNN has not confirmed that. That's what ITN is reporting this morning. Hopefully, we'll find out more soon.
O'BRIEN: We've been talking to people who were on the tubes and in the midst of that attack yesterday, that synchronized attack. Three explosions underground, one on the surface. Fortunately, not at the magnitude of July 7th. Among the people was Kim Howey, traveling on the Victoria Train Line. She and her parents were evacuated yesterday at the Warren Street Station. She joins us now from our London bureau.
Kim, how you doing today?
KIM HOWEY, EVACUATED FROM TUBE STATION: I'm fine, thanks.
O'BRIEN: It's been, I suspect, rather harrowing.
HOWEY: Yes. Now, in retrospect, we see the extent, the seriousness. But as it was happening, we just thought it was a false alarm and just remained calm.
O'BRIEN: In other words, there wasn't much time to get scared, I guess.
Why don't you tell us your story. Where were you? What did you see and hear?
HOWEY: We were traveling northbound on the Victoria Line. Just before we reached the station, we heard an announcement from the tube driver, and it was muffled. It was a little unclear. So once we reached the station, about 10 seconds later, the tube doors opened and we just heard panic and screams from the front of the train. And the passengers then just rushed down the platform. And everyone was in a panic. One girl that went by me, just buried her face in her friend's arms. Another said, I saw him, I saw him. But, generally, just chaos.
But those of us passengers who didn't know what was going on, we just were unsure of what to do. Finally, we heard an overhead announcement to leave the station. So we just calmly left the station. And then it was just minutes later that we finally heard sirens and realized that this was probably a serious threat.
O'BRIEN: I guess one of the things mass transit officials should be looking at is improving the quality of their public address systems because you really, from your position, because you weren't in the carriage where this occurred, didn't really know what was going on, did you?
HOWEY: No, we didn't. They did make the announcement, like I said, about 10 seconds before we stopped at the station, but we just didn't understand. It was muffled and the accent was thick. And for us Americans, it was hard to understand. But I did make out the word emergency. So we had a sense that something was wrong. And then when the train didn't start moving again and we heard the commotion of all the other passengers, we realized we needed to leave the train.
O'BRIEN: Would you describe the scene as panic?
HOWEY: It was panicked for those who probably were in the first carriages and could actually hear and smell the smoke. You could see --definitely see the terror on their faces for those who actually experienced it. For those of us who didn't know what was going on, it was more calm.
O'BRIEN: And at what point did you realize it had been an attempted bombing?
HOWEY: You know, we thought it was a false alarm up until we left the station. Everything was calm there. We didn't see police for several minutes or an ambulance. I assumed it was a false alarm because last week I was at a different station that was evacuated and nothing came of that.
But I took my parents to my nearby college to start sight seeing and then we started hearing more and more sirens and a helicopter. And then we tried to board the train at Houston, and Houston was closed. And one of the security officers there told us there were suspicious packages. So that's when we realized that it was probably more serious.
O'BRIEN: You didn't smell any smoke then?
HOWEY: I didn't smell any smoke. We were several carriages back.
O'BRIEN: You're there studying. You're getting your doctorate.
O'BRIEN: And you live normally in Las Vegas. You're a long way from Las Vegas. Have you thought about whether you want to stay there?
HOWEY: I do want to stay here. I love London. I think the advantages outweigh any of the disadvantages.
O'BRIEN: But it's still kind of scary, isn't it?
HOWEY: I think it's scary in any city. I mean, even in my hometown Las Vegas, there's daily murders and bad things happening, just like any other major city and even small towns across America. So you just can't live a paranoid life and exclude yourself from interesting sights and experiences.
O'BRIEN: If you could talk to the terrorists that do these things, what would you say to them?
HOWEY: I think I would like them just to see the faces of these scared, panicked victims, I would call them. Just the passengers that rushed by me yesterday. I think that was a life-changing event, seeing real terror in their faces. And if they could just see the human commotion and chaos and tragedy that they're causing, maybe that's the only solution.
O'BRIEN: Kim Howey, thank you for your time. Good luck to you in London.
HOWEY: Thank you. Thanks.
COSTELLO: She's something. Good for her.
O'BRIEN: Yes, good for he. She's staying.
COSTELLO: Yes. A short time ago, I told you that British television is reporting this man shot at the Stockwell Station in London was connected to the bombing. Well, Christiane Amanpour has talked to Scotland Yard.
Christiane, what are you hearing from them?
AMANPOUR: Well, CNN has learned that Scotland Yard is not officially saying that. They are, in fact, not saying that. It may pan out that this is the case but, at the moment, they are not saying that today's victim, today the person they shot today, was definitely connected to yesterday's attempted bombings. It may very well be some other sources are speaking, but it's not official word yet. So just a caution.
You know, part of our job, which is extremely frustrating in situations like this, is to try to sift through what's speculation and what's fact. And we're just trying to keep the record straight at the moment.
COSTELLO: The other thing I wanted to ask you about, the Associated Press is reporting that a statement posted Friday on an Islamic Web site in the name of an al Qaeda linked group claimed responsibility for these latest blasts targeting London's transport system. The group Abu Hafs al Masri Brigade also claimed responsibility for the July 7th attacks. What have you heard about that?
AMANPOUR: Well that was the case in the wake of the July 7th attack. There was, if you remember, they first a group came up that nobody had ever heard of. It was something like al Qaeda's Organization in Europe, which was claiming responsibility for that. And then there was a lot of talk about the Abu Hafs al Masri group. This is quite common in that right afterwards you can see any number of claims on these Web sites.
I think what people who've been following these kind this kind of al Qaeda trail over the years have said is, just go back to the statement from bin Laden and some of his associates a few years ago, basically laying out the cities and the locations that they were going to attack. And this seems to be falling into that pattern. There are a huge number of these Islamic extremists who claim responsibility. I mean, when we're in Iraq, for instance, you know, there's something like 38 different types of claimed responsibility for any number of the extremist terrorist attacks there. Of course, everything is blamed on Zarqawi, but it's a huge network of different people who keep claiming.
COSTELLO: You know, everybody's talking about this too this morning. Was this the work of amateurs or was this a coordinated effort? What are the authorities telling you?
AMANPOUR: Well, you know, obviously people thought that yesterday initially. People thought, whoa, this is exactly what it was two weeks ago. It's two weeks to the day. But they didn't detonate. Was it just a copycat opportunist?
Then it was clear from the police, when they finally did speak publicly late yesterday afternoon, that although they would not say that this was definitely linked, they won't say that yet, they did say that, obviously, there was a strong resemblance to the pattern. And they also said that the intention must have been to kill. People do not go and do that kind of thing with any other intention. So they are assuming that this was not some show-off attack that was designed just to sew fear and not to explode. They're assuming it was intended to kill.
And they say these were attempted explosions. In other words, there are explosions, explosives, that have not been detonated in yesterday's attacks. And that is the forensic evidence that the police will be looking for.
O'BRIEN: Christiane, there are reports from ITN, ITV, our sister network, that there is, in fact, a direct link on this particular suspect. And clearly, what we have in this case, is sort of a because of the misfiring of these bombs, a treasure trove of forensic information. Is there reason to believe at this point that this net is even expanding as we speak? Are we apt to hear about more just even today?
AMANPOUR: Potentially. I mean, this is one thing that certainly Scotland Yard, certainly the intelligence services over here have been talking about. And even in the wake of 9/11, people talked about a multi-headed hydra when it comes to this kind of terrorism. You can lop off one head and 10 more grow in its place. And this seems to be what has been going on.
The consistency with which they have been able to mount successive attacks, whether it be in the United States in 9/11, after that in other places, for instance, in Madrid, Bali, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, you name it, and now in London. This is what worries the police and those who analyze terrorism and particularly this al Qaeda terrorism. That, you know, this is something that is sort of self- generating and self-perpetuating.
What's interesting here is that, unlike the other attacks that we've reported over the few years, this is the first time that there's been multiple attacks in one city in such a short period of time, and that is what's really causing the police to really try to focus and try to see whether this is London is now in for a sustained series of these kinds of attacks or what. And that's obviously the focus of their investigations.
O'BRIEN: Christiane, just a word. This is your home. And this morning, before all of what we're talking about now occurred, what kind of a morning was it like on the tubes and in the commutes? So much is said about the British resolve, the stiff upper lip. Was that evident?
AMANPOUR: You know, it is evident. But on the other hand, people are angry. People were not so angry the first time. They were more shocked. There was profound soul searching. There was pain. There was sadness. The fact that these were homegrown terrorists, these were born and bred in Britain, who went on the subway and killed their own fellow countrymen and on the bus and did that. There was a real sense of what has happened here.
Now, after yesterday, there is a sense that people got off lucky, that these were probably faulty devices that were intended to cause much more death and destruction, that didn't cause a single casualty. So people are feeling that they were lucky, but they're angry now about this.
O'BRIEN: Christiane Amanpour, thank you very much. We have reporters all over London covering this story from every facet. Jennifer Eccleston is at Oxford Circus, which is one of the busier tube stops, and I'm hoping she can hear me now.
Jennifer Eccleston, are you there?
JENNIFER ECCLESTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am, Miles, yes.
O'BRIEN: Jennifer, you set out to do a story on what the commute was like this morning. Events have changed the story somewhat. I'm curious what people's reaction were before and now after reports of this shooting at the Stockwell Station.
ECCLESTON: Absolutely. Even before the announcement came a short while ago that there was this shooting at the Stockwell Station in South London, there was a great deal of anxiety. Nobody can doubt that or throw that into question.
And one of the most visible ways of seeing that here is I'm at Oxford Circus Station, one of the busiest in London, one of the biggest underground stations in Central London. Many tube lines go through here. And we just didn't see the numbers that you would normally expect during the busy rush hour period on a Friday morning. We just saw, you know, a handful of people coming in and out of the station whereby normally there are millions of people that travel through Oxford Circus Station.
You can see behind me there are people going in and out. But if I could just paint a picture on a normal day, at this time in the afternoon, it's lunch time, there would be thousands of people here. I would literally be standing here amongst people being jostled back and forth. But we're just not seeing that today. And I think a large part from the people I've talked to is because there is a great deal of insecurity and there is a great deal of fear that this could possibly happen again.
O'BRIEN: CNN's Jennifer Eccleston at the Oxford Circus tube stop. We'll be checking back with her and everybody else, for that matter, on the streets of London all throughout the morning.
For now, we're going to take a brief break. We'll continue our coverage in just a moment. Stay with us.
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