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CNN LIVE TODAY
London Authorities Name two Suspects in Thursday's Attacks; Egypt Bombings; Fight for Iraq Takes Bloody Toll in Capital
Aired July 25, 2005 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BETTY NGUYEN, CNN ANCHOR: "Now in the News," London police have arrested two more suspects in last week's failed terror attacks. Officials have also named two of the four suspects in those bombings.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Tony Blair apologizes for the recent killing of a Brazilian electrician mistaken for a terrorist. We will have the very latest in a live report from London. That straight ahead.
In Maryland, at least 14 people were hurt in a bus crash in Baltimore. Look at this.
Officials say the Greyhound bus veered out of control and crashed on Interstate 95. Officials say two of those injured had to be freed from the bus. It happened during a heavy rain storm early this morning.
And in New York, a man is awaiting arraignment on felony charges after a bomb scare at one of the nation's busiest train stations. Police at Penn Station arrested the man Sunday after he allegedly threw a backpack at an Amtrak agent and claimed it was a bomb. The threat caused an evacuation and disrupted service for about an hour. Authorities say the threat turned out to be a false alarm.
And making the rounds on Capitol Hill. In Washington this morning, Supreme Court nominee John Roberts met with Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. Senator Feinstein, a Democrat, sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. It's Judge Roberts' fourth day of private meetings with senators who will judge his nomination. And we will have more in a live report in about 30 minutes.
Well, good morning on this Monday. And welcome to CNN LIVE TODAY.
It is 8:00 a.m. in Las Vegas; 5:00 p.m. in Paris; 7:00 p.m. in Baghdad. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Betty Nguyen, in for Daryn Kagan.
We have new developments to report in Thursday's failed terror attacks in London. Just minutes ago we learned that police have made two more arrests in the case. It follows a news conference just about, oh, an hour ago in which British authorities released the names of two suspects in Thursday's attacks.
Now, with more on all of these latest developments, let's go to the British capital and CNN's Jim Boulden. JIM BOULDEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Betty.
Yes, I'm standing outside of the London police headquarters known as New Scotland Yard, and we now know that five men in total have been arrested since the failed bombings on Thursday. One on -- two on Friday, one on Saturday. And as you said, two today.
The two today come after the police raided several homes, especially some homes in north London. Of course the police are continuing to go through investigating each of these houses. They go through material that they found at the scene of the failed bombings, and that's leading them further and further to other places that they're very interested in going into.
And two more arrests have been made. Now, these men can be held up for up to 14 days under the London terrorism acts, but we must stress that there is no indication that any of those arrested were the suspected failed bombers. But the police did tell us the names of two of those bombers, and let me go through those.
They believe the man who was on a bus who left his bag and ran off the bus last Thursday was a 27-year-old named Muktar Said Ibraihim. And they say that he lived in north London.
There's a house on Curtis Road, it's called. We also have some video of that house, and that's where one of the men is believed to have come from. That's where some of the raids took place earlier today.
Also, they told us the name of a 24-year-old named Yasin Hassan Omar. And they say he was on one of the trains that was on the underground between Oxford Street and Warren Street tube. Many people will know Oxford Street is a very famous and very popular shopping district. One of the men's bombs failed to go off at the Warren Street train station just after Oxford Street, and he was seen leaving that area.
Now, the police have told us details of the four men escaping from their failed bombings last Thursday. And they said a lot of members of the public have called in and told them where the men were seen.
One man even jumped a garden -- into a garden in a backyard and through somebody's house and out the front door. So the police have been able to reconstruct the escape route these men took, but the men have not been caught.
I also want to tell you that the police have confirmed that a fifth bomb found by members of the public on Saturday has been linked to the four failed bombs on Thursday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER CLARKE, LONDON ANTI-TERRORIST SQUAD: Initial forensic examination of the four partially-detonated bombs has revealed clear similarities with yet another bomb that was found by a member of the public last Saturday, the 23rd of July. This had apparently been abandoned in an open area, Little Wormwood Scrubs, in west London.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BOULDEN: Now, the police have not told us yet, and they did not mention at all the July 7 suicide bombings. And the police have not yet physically told us that they have linked the two bombings and the failed bombing last Thursday and the bombings on July 7 which of course killed 56 people here in the British capital. But we do have an interesting development from that.
Over the weekend, pictures were released of two of those men who died in the suicide bombings, two of the suspected bombers, going on a rafting trip. Now, that took place in north Wales, about three hours from here. And they were on a rafting trip on June 4.
Those men were seen together, and the police are very keen to find out whether there was some kind of summit or some kind of meeting, some kind of gathering on June 4 at this rafting center before the bombings on July 7. The police have not yet linked that to the four failed bombers last Thursday, but they are keen to see if maybe there was kind of -- a kind of a group meeting on June 4 at that center where they were going rafting -- Betty.
NGUYEN: Jim, let's talk about that Brazilian man who was shot to death on the subway on Thursday by British police. The British police have said that they are going to maintain that shoot-to-kill policy.
How are Londoners reacting to this, especially now that we've learned that that man is not connected to the terrorist attacks?
BOULDEN: Yes, obviously a terrible mistake. The prime minister has come out today and he said it was a terrible mistake. We are expecting a formal apology from the British foreign secretary when he meets with the Brazilian foreign secretary as well.
Obviously a terrible mistake, but the police say they are going to continue their shoot-to-kill policy. They are calling it a shoot- to-protect policy. And that tells you what they're saying.
They are saying that to kill to stop a suicide bomber, a potential suicide bomber, the person must be shot dead. And that -- that will continue. And there are some worries here, no doubt, Betty, that -- you know, that's very worrisome for some people. But the police say it must continue if they're going to stop this from happening again.
NGUYEN: CNN's Jim Boulden outside Scotland Yard. We thank you.
We also have new developments to report in Egypt's weekend bombings that killed 84 people, including one American. An official with Egypt's interior ministry tells CNN that authorities are searching for Pakistani individuals wanted for questioning since before the attacks. And as we hear from CNN's John O'Brien, the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh is merely the latest tourist area to be targeted.
JOHN O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Unfortunately, bombings are not new to Egypt's tourism hotspots. September 18, 1997, three men in white shirts and dress ties opened fire on a tour bus outside the Egyptian museum in Cairo. Nine German tourists and an Egyptian bus driver are killed.
November 17, 1997, gunmen kill 62 people at the world famous temple site in Luxor. Fifty-eight of the 62 killed are tourists from Japan, Switzerland and Germany.
October 7, 2004, three car bombers at Egyptian resorts on the border with Israel kill 34 people and wound over 100. The apparent target of the attack: Israeli tourists. The 400-room Hilton hotel in Taba is the site of the most destruction in casualties.
April 30, 2005, a suicide bomber blows himself up near the Egyptian museum in Cairo, wounding seven, including four tourists.
And at about 1:15 Saturday morning, three bombs detonate in Sharm el-Sheikh. One car bomb levels the reception area of the Ghazala Garden Hotel, killing more than 60 people, while another rips through a coffee shop at the city's old market, killing 17 Egyptian workers. The third bomb explodes at a shuttle stop two miles from the Ghazala Hotel, killing at least six tourists.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): At 1:00 in the morning I heard a big explosion. I had come outside the smoke and I saw all the people who were agitated, running and screaming. We came here and saw the hotel, which exploded.
O'BRIEN: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak surveyed the damage at Sharm el-Sheikh on Saturday, also taking time to visit those wounded in the attacks. The recent bombings will likely impact the Egyptian economy, which is fueled by tourism. President Mubarak is pledging to fight terrorism to keep his country safe.
HOSNI MUBARAK, EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This cowardly, criminal act is aimed at undermining Egypt's security and stability and harming its people and its guests. This will only increase our determination in chasing down terrorism, cornering it, and uprooting it.
O'BRIEN: This is the scene at Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday morning. Egyptian authorities have beefed up security at all major tourist hotspots such as Luxor and the pyramids in Cairo, but extra security won't ease the mind of tourists determined to flee the city. In a country that needs tourism to survive economically, the need for results is immediate.
John O'Brien, CNN, Atlanta.
NGUYEN: And one more note. President Bush plans to visit the Egyptian embassy in Washington this hour. He will sign a condolence book for victims of this latest terror attack. We'll have more on that from the White House a little bit later in this newscast.
The fight for Iraq once again takes a bloody toll in the capital. More than a dozen people killed at two separate security checkpoints. And suicide car bombs are again the terrorists' weapon of choice.
CNN's Aneesh Raman is in Baghdad and joins us now with the latest -- Aneesh.
ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Betty, good morning.
Two suicide attacks, as you say, rocking the Iraqi capital today. The first took place around 7:00 a.m. local. A suicide car bomb detonating at a checkpoint outside the Al Sadir hotel.
The explosion took place right next to a house where many of the guards live. At least 12 people killed in that incident alone.
Then, just a few hours later, another suicide car bomb. This time the target a major checkpoint for the Iraqi police commandos. That in western Baghdad. The explosion killed at least two police commandos.
Now, Betty, today's attacks, coupled with yesterday's massive bombing killing at least 25, once again raises the persistent question of how can this be curbed, what can be done to better secure not only the capital but Iraq? We spent the day today with the Iraqi prime minister, the minister of defense, and the national security adviser, looking at essentially the only answer out, there the Iraqi security forces.
And we saw special ops, we saw Iraqi police commandos, we saw Iraqi security forces all being trained. And you get a sense, Betty, that progress is being made. The numbers are there.
Despite all the attacks since the election, recruitment has not seen a drop in terms of those that want to join these forces. What they are dealing with now is a matter of infrastructure, the training facilities and trainers. They want all of this done by Iraqis themselves.
Now, on this trip, I spoke with the national security adviser, Dr. Mowaffak Rubaie. I asked him about any timeline that might exist for foreign troop withdrawals. He says we could see a sizable withdrawal of foreign troops by mid next year.
Now, it's also important to note that he is heading a special taskforce that's been set up by the U.S. military and the Iraqi government that has 60 days to essentially come up with a criteria for when withdrawal can take place and from where it can begin. So 60 days from now, Betty, we might get a better picture of any timeline.
NGUYEN: And we're still waiting to see how that constitution is coming. That timeline on that is August 15.
Aneesh Raman, thank you for that report out of Baghdad. Well, he is the president's pick to replace Justice O'Connor on the Supreme Court. But will Democrats agree? John Roberts continues it's charm offensive on Capitol Hill. We will tell you how he did with a key Senate Democrat.
And what do you do after you win seven straight Tour de France victories? Lance Armstrong heads for vacation, of course. A look at his amazing victory just ahead.
And riding out the heat wave across the country. A lot of you are still feeling the summer swelter this morning. We have a live weather report coming up next.
(STOCK MARKET REPORT)
NGUYEN: We're talking about heat today and a heat wave that is over much of the nation. This is a live look from Raleigh, North Carolina, where our affiliate WRAL is bringing us this picture.
A little hazy it looks like, but it's 86 degrees already. Just 11:00. The high there almost 100. Just at 99. I shouldn't say just at, because that's pretty hot -- Jacqui.
NGUYEN: Le champion. In English, that means Lance Armstrong. But how did he do it? A look at his incredible comeback after cancer and his what his plans are for the future.
Plus, counting down to liftoff. NASA looks to turn the page on a lot of painful memories with the successful launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Those details just ahead.
NGUYEN: The Space Shuttle Discovery is set to blast off from Florida tomorrow morning. This after plans to launch Discovery nearly two weeks ago were scrapped because of a fuel sensor failure. NASA officials say they are still not sure what caused that problem, but that it hasn't happened again since.
As we anticipate Discovery's planned launch, we also look back at one of NASA's worst tragedies and a woman associated with it.
Here's CNN's Miles O'Brien.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the Ham house in Houston, the beat goes on, or so it seems. The boys are practicing, playing, thriving, happy. Well, there is math homework to contend with. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that goes to millimeters, so...
M. O'BRIEN: But it's nice to have a mom who's a math major. She is Linda Ham, a space shuttle superstar...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
LINDA HAM, NASA: You might have messed it up. Did you hand it in?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
M. O'BRIEN: ... who became a scapegoat for a catastrophe.
HAM: And it's just really not a job. And it isn't something that you go to do every day. It's your life.
It's just a part of your life, seven days a week, always. Always thinking about it. So, yes, I miss -- I miss the job.
M. O'BRIEN: Ham was number two at NASA's $3.5 billion shuttle space program and a lock to be the boss one day. A smart, talented, beautiful woman, a competitive body builder, no less, in a world dominated by guys in short-sleeved shirts with pocket protectors.
HAM: I was the first woman section head in the entire division, first woman flight director. And even in the program there weren't a whole lot of women at the level of management that I was in.
M. O'BRIEN: Well, it didn't bother her a bit. She came here straight out of school from Wisconsin, hired over the phone. She came. They saw. She conquered.
HAM: Landing about 50...
And I really think I've been lucky all along, because from the day I got in there, it was one of those jobs where the shoe really fit.
M. O'BRIEN: In January 2003, she was on top of the world, running the Mission Management Team, or MMT for Columbia. The MMT met five times during Columbia's last flight, and on three occasions they talked about that falling piece of foam that hit Columbia's wing 82 seconds after liftoff. And on each occasion, Linda Ham and the others agreed it was simply a maintenance concern, which is what falling foam had always been.
HAM: Deep down inside, I didn't believe, I didn't feel we had an issue. I'm pretty intuitive. Very intuitive. And this time, I had no intuition that this was going to be an issue.
M. O'BRIEN (on camera): And why not?
HAM: I think it's back to the feeling that we lose foam every flight, it strikes the orbiter every flight. It's never a significant issue. M. O'BRIEN (voice-over): Convinced there was nothing to worry about, Ham blocked the efforts of others at NASA who wanted to ask the Pentagon to train spy satellites on Columbia while still in orbit to check for damage.
On the morning Columbia was to land, she gathered in a room that overlooks mission control with other senior shuttle managers, Ralph Roe (ph) and Ron Dittamore (ph).
HAM: I think the hardest thing is just the fact that the whole 16 days of flight, feeling extremely comfortable that everything was going great and just not knowing. Have no clue. No clue that something that terrible could happen.
M. O'BRIEN: Yet the problem was screaming for attention. Two flights before, in October, 2002, a big piece of foam from the same spot fell off as Atlantis roared to space. It left a big dent near some sensitive electronics at the base of the left solid rocket booster. The shuttle team did not answer that stark wake-up call.
(on camera): Do you have any regrets?
HAM: The biggest regret is having launched in the first place. That's the biggest regret. We should have said we're not going to launch until we resolve the foam issue.
M. O'BRIEN: The problem was deep-seated, ingrained in NASA's culture. No one person to blame. And yet for a time, she became the focus, the embodiment of all that ailed the space agency, the scapegoat.
HAM: Some people phrase it as being a lightning rod for criticism. One thing that I will say, if they're picking on the NASA -- if they were challenging the NASA culture, I was certainly a part of that culture.
M. O'BRIEN (on camera): Are you angry about how it affected you personally in the end?
HAM: I am not angry at all. I'm truly not angry. I think that NASA certainly treated me fairly. They needed to move me out of the program.
At the time it didn't really feel good, but it was the best for NASA. It was best for the program. It was best for me personally.
M. O'BRIEN: Do you think it derailed your career?
HAM: Oh yes, I certainly do.
M. O'BRIEN (voice-over): And this does not sit well with her former colleagues, still in the trenches.
PAUL HILL, NASA FLIGHT DIRECTOR: In this -- the business of flying in space is too darn large to make it down to a single person and say, boy, if Linda Ham had just been smarter in the way she conducted those MMTs, this wouldn't have happened.
M. O'BRIEN (on camera): So was Linda Ham scapegoated then?
ADM. HAL GEHMAN, COLUMBIA INV BOARD: Not at all. She shares a part of the responsibility, along with her equals in the chain of command and her senior -- her senior, Dittamore (ph), who bears ultimate responsibility.
M. O'BRIEN (voice-over): Retire Admiral Hal Gehman led the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.
GEHMAN: She should have asked for a worst-case scenario, as well as a best-case scenario. The only thing that -- the only scenario or the only option that was ever presented in these meetings was the best-case scenario.
HAM: I do think about Columbia every day. There's not -- oh, I will forever. I run a lot, and that's probably when a lot of that goes through my mind.
So that won't go away, but it was just so -- you just can't live in the past, and you certainly can't pity yourself. You've got to get up and you've got to go on.
M. O'BRIEN: Miles O'Brien, CNN, Houston.
NGUYEN: And CNN will provide special coverage of Discovery's return to space. That begins tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. The launch is set for 10:39, to be exact. And of course we will bring that to you live.
"Now in the News," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is in the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgystan to discuss that country's demand that the U.S. close its air base there. Leaders, along with neighboring Uzbekistan, want Washington to set deadlines on closing U.S. bases in central Asian countries. Those bases are used as staging posts for U.S.-led operations in nearby Afghanistan.
An Amber Alert still hangs over the case of an 8-year-old Nevada girl who disappeared from her home Friday night. Police believe Lydia Bethany-Rose Rupp was abducted by her mother's live-in boyfriend. Fernando Aguerro is also a convicted sex offender. Police say they could be headed for San Diego, Sacramento or Las Vegas.
British authorities investigating the London terror attacks have made two more arrests in connection to Thursday's failed bombings. That now means five suspects are in custody in that attack, though it is not clear if any are believed to have been the actual bombers.
Now to Baghdad. Suicide car bombers have killed at least 14 people in two separate attacks. The first strike targeted a checkpoint leading to a hotel. Hotel security guards were among the casualties. And just about two hours later, a suicide car bomb struck a police commando checkpoint in west-central Baghdad. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com