Skip to main content


Return to Transcripts main page


London Police Arrest Bomber; Boy Scout Survives Bear Attack; Animal Safety Tips; British Muslims Divided

Aired July 27, 2005 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. It's 7 p.m. on the East Coast, 4 p.m. on the West. And here in London, as Big Ben just told you, it is midnight. 360 starts now.
ANNOUNCER: Pre-dawn raid. London police arrest attempted bomber suspect. Outrage because he's a British resident who received years of government assistance. Three others still at large while police find more bombs.

Plus, a bonding experience. More details about attempted bombers and the mysterious white-water rafting trip.

New witness, new hope. Authorities drain a pond where a new witness claims he saw the possible suspects late the night Natalee Holloway vanished.

What you don't know about your health. And if you stop exercising, do your muscles turn to fat? Tonight, busting exercise myths. What you should know before heading to the gym.

This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360 with Anderson Cooper in London and Heidi Collins in New York.

COOPER: Good evening. As Big Ben just chimed, it is midnight here in London. We're in this city tonight to cover a fast-moving story -- a story which today had several major developments.

First, a new photo of a suspected bomber -- a man police are right now trying to find. Take a look. The problem is, they do not know this man's name. His image was captured by a closed-circuit TV camera aboard a London bus last Thursday. Police say he got on the bus around 2:20 p.m. Now notice what he's wearing, a white shirt, no backpack. He rode the bus for about 47 minutes. And when he got off, he simply vanished.

Now another image. The same man about an hour earlier. This photo taken inside a subway station. He's wearing a blue top -- this time carrying a backpack, a backpack the man ultimately abandoned. And inside it, police later found a bomb filled with nails.

So where is this man, a suspected would-be bomber? That is the question London police are desperately trying to answer right now. No doubt that is one question police are asking his alleged accomplice, a man they arrested today in a dramatic pre-dawn raid in Birmingham about 100 miles outside London.

CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson is there covering the story.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT, (voice over): Six days on the run ending here in a nondescript subdivision in central England. The huge breakthrough came in a massive, early morning raid, capturing Yasin Hassan Omar. He is the first suspect in last week's failed bombings to be arrested. The 24-year-old Somali put up a fight.

RUSS SMITH, SUPERINTENDENT, WEST MIDLANDS POLICE: He had to be incapacitated using a Taser gun because he resisted (ph) on arrest.

KIERON WALSH, NEIGHBOR: He was handcuffed, thrown in the car and (INAUDIBLE). They didn't exactly drag him out of the house, they just pulled him.

ROBERTSON: Neighbors say they have seen a strange and sudden increase in activity at the address in the last few weeks.

KATY STEWART, NEIGHBOR: They were drawn to my attention because four mens and a car kept parking and coming and going. I saw it in my front window.

ROBERTSON: In the last two weeks?

STEWART: In the last two weeks.

ROBERTSON: Omar was taken to Paddington Green maximum security police station in Central London.

PETER CLARKE, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER: This, of course, is an important development in the investigation. However, I must stress how important it is for the public to remain watchful and alert.

ROBERTSON: To that end, police again pleaded for help catching the other bombers, releasing a new photo of the man they identify as suspect number four. Police say it shows him escaping on a bus an hour and a half after his failed bombing.

CLARKE: I must emphasize that until these men are arrested, they remain a threat.


ROBERTSON: So the key question is, can the police convince Omar to talk to them? And if they can, does he know enough to give the police any hot leads on those other three suspects?


COOPER: And, Nic, I understand you have just been getting some information, some very new information, some breaking news about possible new arrests. What's going on?

ROBERTSON: Absolutely. The very, very latest we have is from South London, the Stockwell Hill area. Very close to that Stockwell tube station, the focus of so much interest last week. We have heard that three arrests have been made. Three women have been arrested. They've been arrested to be charged with harboring suspects. That's the very latest from the Metropolitan Police in London who are leading this investigation. Three women arrested for harboring suspects.


COOPER: But, Nic, we don't know who the suspects are, but do we know if this is linked to the Birmingham arrest?

ROBERTSON: It's not clear. And we know that this is a very, very fast-moving investigation. What we do know is that three of those suspects entered the Stockwell Hill tube station together on Thursday. The police have a photograph of them all going in there together. A lot of their investigation has been there just south of the river Thames, south of the London city center, in that Stockwell area and around there.

They went back there again this afternoon and this time it appears that they have arrested the women. Not clear if they're connected with the arrest here in Birmingham. But it's all very much involved and tied up with those July the 21st bombers who failed in their bombing mission. Not clear who the women are harboring, but harboring suspects.

COOPER: All right. Nic Robertson, thanks for that report. We'll check in with you a little bit later.

As Nic said, this is a fast-moving investigation. There have been very major developments today. There are still suspects on the loose. Two of them have not yet been identified by name, though their pictures are out there. This has been the biggest manhunt in British history.

Right now there are really two separate investigations -- one into the July 7th attacks, the other into last week's attempted bombings. CNN's Kelly Wallace is following both of them.

Kelly, what do you know?

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, just as you're saying, the largest manhunt in British history. That means thousands and thousands of officers here in London, and really nationwide, trying to find these suspects, trying to prevent them from fleeing the city and the country.

So when you take a look at the airports, you have heightened security in and around the airport. Looking at the train station as we'll, you'll see a more visible police presence, extra police checks for passengers. So they are trying to do everything they can.

Also, pretty much Police Work 101. Each trip, follow another lead. Hopefully they'll find these suspects.

COOPER: Just driving down the seat earlier today, about a few blocks from the CNN bureau, I actually saw police pull aside one man, seemed to be of Middle-Eastern descent. He had bag and they were searching the bag. And it was sort of a fascinating thing to see. They quickly moved in on this person. They let him go, so it must not have been anything.

WALLACE: Yes. I mean, you are looking around the city. You're seeing that police presence. They are moving quickly.

They're also, Anderson, really relying on the public, as we saw today. You had Scotland Yard saying, just because we have one suspect in custody, doesn't mean that they need the public to be any less watchful. They really need the public to get involved. The release of these surveillance photos has led to thousands and thousands of tips and they're hoping the public can help them find this guy.

COOPER: It surprised, though, some people. And Scotland Yard and the British police have come under criticism for this, that they have not found more of these people. If these were supposed to be suicide attacks, you would think these people didn't really have backup plans. The fact that, you know, three of them are still on the loose, two of them still unidentified, alarms a lot of Londoners.

WALLACE: That is true. And it's a big concern. And just as you're saying, not likely that they had a big escape plan in place. They didn't -- most believe they thought they were going to blow themselves up. So that should help investigators.

Also, there's the point, Scotland Yard's not telling us everything, of course, and they're telling the public what they want the public to know. But they're obviously keeping other information secret, keeping other houses under surveillance so they can hopefully not compromise their own investigation.

COOPER: Kelly Wallace, thanks.

And as we just heard from Nic Robertson, there have been three arrests of women in the Stockwell area in London and that we are continuing to follow throughout this hour.

Essential to this investigation is the question of whether or not these two incidents, the one on July 7, and last Thursday's attempts were the work of suicide bombers, or were the men who carried those bombs unaware that they would die in the attacks.

You may ask why does it matter?

It matters because there's never been a suicide bombing here in England. And if that is in fact what is happening here, then the war on terror, or whatever you want to call it, has entered a whole new phase.

I spoke earlier today with Shane Brighton of the Royal United Services Institute, a British security and defense think tank. And I started by asking him what evidence there is that these men were couriers or were -- I'm sorry -- what evidence these men were in fact suicide bombers. Take a look.


SHANE BRIGHTON, ROYAL UNITED SERVICES INST.: Well, simply the fact that they were right on top of the devices when he went off, and the fact that they died. You know, that seems to be the main case. That seems to be the basis of the assumption.

COOPER: The fact that they were on top it meaning if . . .

BRIGHTON: They were physically with those explosives when they were ignited.

COOPER: OK. And then the arguments against them being suicide bombers seem more numerous.

BRIGHTON: There's a number of different points that just seem anomalous with the idea that they were giving their lives at that time. They look a lot more like a terrorist cell who thought they were going to be in business for a while than people that knew they were going to die that day.

COOPER: And you say that, what, because they bought round-trip train tickets?

BRIGHTON: They bought round-trip tickets. They left explosives in the car. The car had recently had maintenance work -- quite expensive maintenance work -- done on it. They bought a ticket to allow it to be left in the car park for some time.

COOPER: This was the car that was found on July 12.

BRIGHTON: That's correct.

COOPER: Several days after the bombing.

BRIGHTON: That's correct.

COOPER: With explosives still in the car.

BRIGHTON: That's right. And the other thing was that they were carrying IDs with them. These were people that were essentially equipped for a day in London and then a return to where they had come from.

COOPER: They also didn't make martyrdom videos or give any kind of notes, last wills.

BRIGHTON: That's quite right. If you consider, for al Qaeda, the propaganda value of recruiting British Muslims as suicide bombers, you would have thought that the symbolic value would have been used to the maximum. They would have made martyrdom tapes, they would have written letters, and they would have shown themselves for who they were in advance and exalted others to follow their example.

COOPER: So the fact that there are no martyrdom videos from these four, that we know of at this point, seems to indicate perhaps that they were, what, duped? BRIGHTON: It's certainly ground for speculation that they were duped. It may be that we never know and that the secret will go to the grave with these men. But there seems to be a lot of inconsistencies.

COOPER: There is propaganda value in them not being suicide bombers for the British government, certainly for the Western world.

BRIGHTON: That's correct. And it's going to be tough, I think, to tease out the actual facts of this matter from what will actually be a politically charged debate.

COOPER: Because if it was proven that they were not suicide bombers, that would mean what?

BRIGHTON: That's a -- it's a good argument -- a counter radicalization or a counter recruitment argument for al Qaeda in the U.K., against al Qaeda in the U.K. It's simply the fact that these men were tricked. They didn't think that they were going to die in these attacks. They thought that they were going to be part of a sustained campaign and they were effectively lied to by whomever put those bombs together.

COOPER: Because this bombing, the July 7 bombing, if they were suicide bombers, that would be the first time that there was a suicide bombing in the U.K.

BRIGHTON: That's correct. We've had U.K. nationals who have gone and been suicide bombers elsewhere in the world, but it's never happened on British soil.

COOPER: And is there anything that can be learned from the bombs themselves to determine whether or not they were suicide bombers?

BRIGHTON: There's a lot of debate about the kind of ignition device that was used, the timing devices that were used. And it's very difficult because they were destroyed in those attacks to know exactly how they were set and whether the people carrying them would have known the timing of the explosion.


COOPER: There are so many questions still unanswered. We're going to have a lot more from London coming up tonight.

But first, let's check in with Erica Hill from HEADLINE NEWS. She's got information on a big decision from NASA. She's following some other stories as well.

Hey, Erica.

ERICA HILL, ANCHOR, CNN HEADLINE NEWS: Hey, Anderson, nice to see you again.

Yes, absolutely. This coming to us not long ago. We're learning from NASA there will be no more shuttle launches until NASA can fix a problem. It surfaced during liftoff of Shuttle Discovery yesterday. You may recall a large chunk of foam insulation fell off the shuttle's external fuel tank. Now it didn't hit the shuttle, but NASA says it will put future missions on hold until it can resolve that problem. Discovery is due to return to Kennedy Space Center on August 7. And we're going to bring you more on this development coming up just a little bit later on 360.

Meantime, across the U.S., more than 40 deaths now may be linked to the brutally hot weather. Today the heat wave lingered mainly along the East Coast with temperatures once again hitting over 100 degrees in some cities. But rain or thunderstorms have arrived or are expected -- you might even say anxiously awaited in many places -- ushering in much welcomed cold front.

Palm Beach, Aruba, now where slowly this pond is being drained for evidence in the disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway. Investigators say a witnesses led them to the pond near where the three suspects in the case say they dropped off Holloway the day she disappeared.

And in about a dozen newspapers, Doonesbury disappears or it's edited. Why? Well the papers don't approve of yesterday's and today's comic strip showing a drawing of President Bush calling Karl Rove a "Turd Blossom." Well, it is, in fact, the president's nickname for his top political advisor and, you know, kind of endearing.


COOPER: "Turd Blossom"? You find that endearing, Erica?

HILL: You know, not so endearing that I would call you a "Turd Blossom".

COOPER: All right.

HILL: But, yeah.

COOPER: Well, whatever floats your boat.

Still to come on 360, I want to show you this photo. It is bizarre. Why did the bombers take an adventure trip together before their attacks? White-water rafting. We're going to investigate that.

Plus, British police (INAUDIBLE) orders shoot to kill. A new police a new policy for a polite police force. Already some critics are saying it has gone too far. We're going to investigate that.

And a little later, a Boy Scout survives a bear attack. Heidi Collins talks to him about his ordeal. And find out how you can cheat death if you ever come face-to-face with the claws of a bear.


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: A close call for a Boy Scout from Plano, Texas. Fifteen-year-old Alex Benson was hiking with his troop in the Alaskan wilderness last Friday when he came upon a wild bear. The animal, which Alex guessed was eight feet tall and about 800 pounds, sunk its teeth into the teenager's arm and leg.

I spoke with Alex earlier about his harrowing experience and how he and his troop were caught off guard.


COLLINS: Alex, your scout troop was hiking in bear country but you never really expect to see a bear on your trail. Take us back, if you would, Alex, to exactly what happened on that trail.

ALEX BENSON, SURVIVED BEAR ATTACK: Well, I was leading the group, 10, 15 feet ahead. And there was a curve in the trail. The trail curved to the right. And I went around this curve, and I looked up and I saw this gigantic grizzly bear. And it looked up at me and it just charged.

And it was about 20 feet away from me and it closed that gap in about half a second. It jumped on top of me, grabbed my arm, thrashed his head around and then bit my leg. And we haven't quite figured out why, but it went after my sleeping bag after that and started playing with it like it was a dog's toy.

When I first saw the bear, I knew I was going to get attacked because he was just that close. And I thought I was going to die. But in during the attack, I stopped thinking because you didn't really have time to think. But after the attack, I saw my arm and my leg and I realized that he didn't get my head, he didn't get my chest, just my arm and my leg and I realized I was going to be OK.

COLLINS: Tell me exactly what made the bear back off.

BENSON: Well, a number of things. There were my friends yelling and kicking and screaming. I was yelling and kicking and screaming. And Mike McFetter (ph), the adult who was with our group, fired a gun into the air and scared it off.

COLLINS: And that was what finally did it.

I know you were bleeding pretty badly too. In fact, I think you brought along a shirt to show us that your buddies actually used to help you. Can you tell me about that?

BENSON: Yes. This is the shirt that Aaron Chapman, an Eagle Scout, one of my very good friends, used to tie around my arm and make a tourniquet. He wrapped it around my arm and tied it really tight and stopped the bleeding.

COLLINS: Wow. And now we're getting a chance to see your arm there too, all bandaged up.

You are wearing a pretty special hat and a necklace. Tell me about those, too.

BENSON: Well, the hat, Aaron Chapman, Mike McFetter, and Mikey McFetter (ph), his son, they were the ones who were with me when I was attacked. They found this hat in a souvenir shop. It has three claw marks on the top and it says "bite me, Alaska" on the left.

COLLINS: And what about the necklace?

BENSON: This is a bear tooth. A black bear tooth. Paul Fletcher, the man who set up the trip, he's a hunter and this is from one of the black bears he killed.

COLLINS: We think that you pretty much deserve an "I survived a bear attack" badge. Does your troop have one of those available?

BENSON: The Boy Scout Council is considering a medal of honor for me and my friends.


COLLINS: Alex Benson tonight.

Up nest on 360, protecting yourself from an animal attack. Some survival tips for you and your family.

Also tonight, British news are asking, did the London bombers go white-water rafting together before the attacks?

Plus, breaking news on new arrests.

And a little later, what's true and what's false about exercise. Does exercise actually burn fat? And does muscle turn to fat when you stop working out? 360 MD Sanjay Gupta has the answers.


COLLINS: We just met a Boy Scout who survived a bear attack on a hike. Hiking and other summer activities can be risky if you're not careful. So how can you protect yourself against wild animals while enjoying the great outdoors?

Wildlife expert Jim Fowler has some answers. He joins us tonight from Stanford, Connecticut.

Jim, I know you think that the most important thing people need to do is to know their environment, know what animals might be in that area. If you do find yourself in bear country, how best to protect yourself?

JIM FOWLER, WILD KINGDOM: Well you, it pays to have a little bit of knowledge, that's the first thing. You should check it out. I hear he had a guide with him and luckily they had a rifle just in case. Grizzlies are nothing to fool around with. Also, this time of year, they're fattening up for the winter, so you don't want to be strolling around. You should always wear a bear bell. I wasn't able to bring one, but it's a little brass bell that lets the bears know where you are. You also have to know your environment, as you said.

COLLINS: Right. Make a lot of noise. If you're talking, singing, ringing those bells. Just so people know, it looks like jingle bells, really. I've seen them quite a bit. FOWLER: That's right.

COLLINS: And let's talk about mountain lions, too. And I'm sure you remember January 2004, a Los Angeles woman was attacked by that mountain lion while she was mountain biking on a wilderness trail. What do you do if you, you know, come in contact with a mountain lion?

FOWLER: Well, the first thing you do, you need to check and see what's in your area. Talk to the Department of Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources, the Wildlife Division, to get some recommendations. If it's in mountain lion country, it's a good idea to carry a big stick with you. And you should have a dog with you. Whether you're riding a bike or not.

But look, don't let this innate fear of animals -- don't let that destroy you from having a lot of fun in the outdoors. All you need is to know a little bit about what you're doing and you're absolutely safe. It happens much less than lightning, so let's not over- exaggerate it.

COLLINS: We do a lot of lightning stories.

Jim, do you ever turn and run from one of these animals?

FOWLER: You know, I've been involved a lot with grizzlies and black bears, and you don't want to run. No. If you see bear cubs, you better get out of there but you back up slowly. Don't ever turn and run because that triggers the predatory instinct. And, you know, I've had tigers, for example, if they see somebody running, they'll go after you. I have had a lot of experience with elephants and everything.

Bears by the way, the grizzly is more apt to leave you alone if you curl up at the last minute and protect yourself with your neck than a black bear. A black bear will actually chew on you some of the time.

COLLINS: Oh, terrific.

Quickly, before we let you go, let's talk about snakes. Quite a few people doing some rock climbing and hiking in the summer months. What do you do when confronted by a snake?

FOWLER: You know, the trick now is to be observant. We have a lot of people that didn't grow up on farms, but with snakes, if you're rock climbing and you're in that area, find out what's around. You've got to be real careful. And if you see a snake, back up slowly, but make sure you don't back into something else. In the fall of the year, you know, they're going into hibernation. In the spring, and especially the fall, they're breeding also. So they're following each other. So just be real careful. And, look, don't let it destroy your enjoyment of the great outdoors.

COLLINS: They are beautiful animals. Jim Fowler, thanks, tonight.

FOWLER: All right. ANNOUNCER: Pre-dawn raid. London police arrest an attempted bomber suspect. Outrage because he's a British resident who received years of government assistance. Three others still at large while police find more bombs.

Plus, a bonding experience. More details about attempted bombers and the mysterious white-water rafting trip.

What you don't know about your health. And if you stop exercising, do your muscles turn to fat? Tonight, busting exercise myths. What you should know before you head to the gym.

360 continues.


COOPER: Here in London, we have some breaking news to report -- new arrests in the terror investigation.

CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson has been following the late-breaking developments in a very widespread and very urgent investigation.

Nic, what's the latest?

ROBERTSON: Well, the latest is three women have been arrested in the Stockwell area of London. They've been charged with harboring offenders connected with the attempted bombings last week.

If we just take a little step back from that arrest and analyze what's been going on today, we can begin to put together some of the pieces of puzzle, which is exactly what the police are doing right now.

We know that today the police launched a new appeal for the man they call suspect number four -- the bomber from the Shepherd's Bush station. The picture the police released today, he's standing in a short sleeved, white shirt on a bus. He is a man who seems to have been at the center of the inquiries today in Stockwell.

A resident told CNN, while the police raid was going on in that area, searching the very house where the women -- those three women were arrested from, a resident in that area told us that he recognized suspect number four from the same building those three women were arrested from.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just saw on Sky News wearing a white shirt and black trousers, I think on the top deck of a bus. So can't really tell you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But, as far as I heard, he just left jumper somewhere. And they were saying, no, if you find this jumper anywhere, please contact police.


ROBERTSON: So if we put these pieces together, it appears -- appears, because we're putting the pieces together, we don't have all the information the police have -- but it appears as if suspect number four, the man that police released that new picture of today, may have been living in that very house that the three women were today arrested from for harboring a suspect -- Anderson.

COOPER: Fascinating development in a day in which we have seen many developments today. Nic Robertson, thanks. We'll check in with you a little bit later.

One of the great questions remaining is whether or not there's any connection between the man whose bombs went off, fatally, on the 7th of July and those whose bombs failed to go off two weeks later on July 21. The search for an answer to that question has led police, now, to a mind-boggling picture.

Take a look. Two bombers who died, and two who are being hunted right now, together, in of all places, an idyllic white-water rafting center in Wales.

CNN's Matthew Chance reports.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For thousands, it's an adrenaline charged, but innocent adventure, nothing more. So why this ride through the rapids at the Welsh valleys was chosen as a day out for London's bombers is a mystery. It's known at least two were photographed here, Mohammed Sadique Kahn and Shahzad Tanweer, the July 7 bombers of the Edgware Road and Aldgate train stations.

But the rafting center in this remote patch of rural Britain, the director told me he and his staff remember little of the men who went on to kill. They were just faces, he says, among 80,000 visitors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's very much face (ph) of. They would have come along. And once they got to the center, they would meet their guides. They would get fitted up in helmets, pontiers (ph) or PFPs, wet suits. And about a 15-minute safety brief, followed by a two-hour rafting session. If they stopped for a cup of tea afterwards, they would have been onsite for around three hours, really, that's about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has everyone got a hand on a handle?

CHANCE: But it is known they came in a group. Police are investigating whether the July 21 bombers were here as well. Reports have circulated in the British media of fliers from the center being found in their unexploded backpacks. Staff told us they have no record of any named suspects in that attack. Having come, it would be an unlikely place, they say, to hatch a plan. (on camera): Well, these are the rapids the bombers came down just a month before they carried out their London attacks. The big question is why did they come here so soon before? Was it some kind of weird team-building corporate style exercise? Or maybe a last bit of fun, a bit of adrenaline before the attacks took place.

(voice-over): Some who've made bomber psychology their expertise say it's the very fact the London cells appeared so normal, so British that makes them such a chilling threat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The troubling finding we have is that people who do these dreadful things are not as different from the rest of us as we would like. What seems to take them down this path is a conviction, a belief, a grievance. And in a social process, which transforms them into being capable of doing a deed.

CHANCE: And what part, if any, these rapids played remains a fascination here -- a single strand to help explain why so many were killed and injured by them.


COOPER: It's so bizarre, when you see that picture of the two bombers, I mean, was this some sort of male bonding exercise?

CHANCE: Well, there's a great deal of speculation in the British media about what is all meant. But, you know, if you cast your mind back to July the 7th, when these first three attacks, these bombs that went off. They went off in a very synchronized way, all within the space of one minute of each other. That takes a great deal of determination, a great deal of focus, exactly the kind of qualities that experiences like this white-water rafting center are meant to encourage. And so I think that. And I think a lot of terrorist analysts think as well, that that may have something to bear on why these people went there.

COOPER: It's fascinating. Also there were other groups there. Obviously, police probably have the list of those names. Have they gotten any hits from that?

CHANCE: Well, there's a lot of people went there at the same time, of course -- 25,000 people a year go there. But what police are interested in are the three groups that seem to have been there at the same time as these two bombers that have been identified.

Those two bombers, as I mentioned, went with a group themselves. Just two other groups of people described of south Asian origin -- or Asian origin of some kind -- groups of men that police are also looking into their identities. They have got the names and addresses from the actual center.

But, as I say, the only two people that have been named so far are these two people that we've been reporting on. But it is a line of inquiry that the police are following, although no actual connections between the 7th and the 21st have been made at this stage.

COOPER: All right. Matthew, thanks very much for that.

A developing story we want to tell you about now, the space shuttle fleet is being grounded. Just about an hour ago, NASA announced a halt in the shuttle program until it's fixed a problem with the exterior of the fuel tank. The problem popped up during the liftoff of Shuttle Discovery yesterday.

CNN's Miles O'Brien is in New York with the latest. Miles, what's going on?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, let me make it very clear at the outset that the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery is fine. There is no problem with Discovery. There is some evidence of debris strike or damage to the thermal protection system. But the engineers at NASA in Houston are indicating to us that it is not a significant problem.

Take a look at this, though. Look at that piece that's coming off right there. That is a part of the thing called the PAL ramp. It's a significant piece of foam, a very large piece of foam. As a matter of fact, a piece of foam about the size of foam that struck the leading edge of Columbia's wing two-and-a-half years ago, causing that fatal breach which 16 days after launch led to the disintegration of the space shuttle, and the loss of the crew.

NASA thought that they rectified the problem with that particular piece of foam.

I'll just show you right here where it is. It's located along this tube here. That's a liquid hydrogen fuel line that kind of sticks out there. And there's like a wedge of foam that goes in there. And it, over the years, has been a piece that has had a tendency to fall off. This piece of foam that they witnessed fall off, and fortunately fall harmless -- did not cause any damage to the shuttle -- is in a place which could, very well, if it had come off earlier, could have gone right into the leading edge of the wing just as we saw on Columbia. As a result, NASA is not taking any chances. They will not fly another shuttle. There will be no launches until they figure out how to fix that piece of foam.

Let's listen to the shuttle Program Manager Bill Parsons.


BILL PARSONS, SHUTTLE PROGRAM MANAGER: Is it does cause us pause, to take a step back and take a look what we might have to do. We have integrated hazards for the debris environment. And that integrated hazard will now be opened after we get more information. It will be opened. And until it's closed, we won't be ready to go fly again.


O'BRIEN: So, the shuttle fleet is grounded, ironically, even as Discovery begins its flight. After a day of euphoria yesterday, NASA is forced to reckon with this prospect. Take a look at this item right here. You'll see in that highlighted circle there a dot. We're kind of taking the tape back and forth there. That dot is a piece of tile which flew off also in that similar time frame as Discovery was rising toward orbit. We're told the damage, the little chip that is left behind, seen there, actually a little bit to the right of that, but that damage is not considered to be significant. There will be further analysis of it, but it is not, according to those engineers anything to be terribly concerned about.

But just to underscore, the crew is safe, but there will be no shuttle launches until they figure out how to fix that problem -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Miles O'Brien, thanks for that.

Coming up next, though, on 360, the fight against terror here in England, and why Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife may be at odds over suicide bombers.

Plus, Erica Hill of HEADLINE NEWS with the new development about the confessed BTK Killer.


COOPER: And welcome back. We are live in London. Of all of those killed in London this month, only one person died, not because he himself was a terrorist or because he was randomly caught up in a terrorist plot, one man died at the hands of the London police. And that death continues to raise some very difficult questions.

CNN's Alphonso Van Marsh reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you the police's shoot-to-kill policy -- do you think it's justified? We'd like to hear your views.

ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: British authorities have apologized for killing a Brazilian national they mistook for a terrorist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think the police are up against an incredible job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gordon has just sent a text message from Sterling saying, "What would have been wrong with using one of these stun gun things on the guy the police shot on Friday?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only way to stop them is to do exactly what was done on Friday.

VAN MARSH: The debate over whether more British police should carry guns to fight terrorism rages on the airwaves.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must not lose sight of the value of a single human life.

VAN MARSH: To the streets of London; to Britain's highest office.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: They should take whatever measures are necessary to try to protect the public and if you're dealing with someone who you think may be a suicide bomber, then obviously, the important thing is that they're not able to set off the bomb.

VAN MARSH (on camera): Metropolitan Police say only about 2,000 officers are actually licensed to carry firearms. That's less than 10 percent of London's entire police force.

(voice-over): And there are fears that having more armed police will result in more shooting deaths of innocent civilians. One police rights advocate says that after the bombing attacks every officer should have a gun.

NORMAN BRENNAN, DIRECTOR, PROTECT THE PROTECTORS: The unarmed British Bobbie has got to be assigned to the history books. At present, a small can of spray and handcuffs, I'm afraid are not enough to protect us and also our British subjects.

MIKE GRANNATT, FORMER HEAD OF UK CIVIL: The question that faces any democracy is this: How do you protect people from a suicide bomber under the law with due consideration for human rights?

VAN MARSH: For the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian mistakenly shot eight times in a London underground, that question has no easy answer.

Alfonso Van Marsh, CNN, London.


COOPER: Well, trying to find that balance is something that is very difficult indeed in London these days. Erica Hill from HEADLINE NEWS joins us with some of the day's other top stories. Good evening, Erica.

HILL: Hi again, Anderson.

HILL: The man convicted of planning to blow up the Los Angeles International Airport in the so-called Millennium Plot, you remember that one, well, he gets a 22-year prison term. A judge in Seattle sentenced Ahmed Ressam today. Ressam, who's a native of Algeria was trained by al Qaeda. He was convicted in 2001, two years after he was arrested while trying to enter the United States from Canada with a load of explosives.

In San Diego, California, only a November election will finally put a stop to a mayoral go-around. In the runoff, Donna Frey -- you may remember her, she narrowly lost her write-in and challenge to Dick Murphy in 2004. Well, Mayor Murphy resigned in July amidst a federal probe. And then his successor, the acting mayor resigned a few days later. Frey's runoff opponent will be Jerry Sanders, the former San Diego Police chief.

On to Wichita, Kansas now. A judge granting an emergency divorce to the long-time wife of Dennis Rader, the confessed BTK killer. Rader pled guilty to 10 murders in the Wichita area between 1974 and 1991. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 17.

And get ready for some video that is really going to be hard to watch. During last night's game against the Devil Rays, Red Sox's pitcher Matt Clement stopped a wicked line drive with his head. Ouch! Not only did it look bad, it must have hurt, too. But remarkably, Clement not seriously injured. In fact, team doctors say he never lost consciousness, but he did spend the night in the hospital for observation. Heidi, all I have to say is: Ouch!

COLLINS: I know. I saw that video. Thank goodness it wasn't the temple.

HILL: He didn't even really get his glove up in time. At least it back there.

COLLINS: Yes. It's amazing.

HILL: Yes, what a lucky guy.

COLLINS: Fast reflexes, that's for sure. Erica, thanks, we'll see you again in about 30 minutes.

Coming up on 360 now, fighting terrorism while protecting civil rights. How the first lady of Great Britain is taking on a unlikely rival: her husband.

Also tonight, separating fact from fiction when it comes to exercise. Does it burn a lot of calories and can it keep you young? 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta will answer those questions and much more after this.


COOPER: Well, with terrorists on the loose in this country, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has some very obvious problems, but one problem he didn't probably expect are comments that his wife recently made -- Cherie Blair.

Jonathan Mann reports.


JONATHAN MANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ever since terrorists killed 52 people in London earlier this month, Prime Minister Tony Blair has been fighting the fact that some bombers find sympathy here.

BLAIR: Frankly, complete nonsense.

MANN: In the British Muslim bombers and the political left wing, Palestinian suicide bombers, in particular, are viewed by some as victims who turn to terror as a last resort. A conviction expressed by two of the most visible people in British life, London Mayor Ken Livingston, and the prime minister's own wife, Cherie Blair.

Livingston has long been known as Red Ken for his views. Even so, there was widespread surprise taht even after his city was struck by suicide bombers, he defended their tactics elsewhere.

"Palestinians don't have jets and bombs," he said, "they only have their bodies to use as weapons."

Prime Minister Blair has never been close to Livingston, but he is on better terms with his wife.

CHERIE BLAIR, WIFE OF BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: So long as young people feel they've got no hope but to blow themselves up, we'll never get to make progress.

MANN: Mrs. Blair apologized almost immediately after she made the remark back in 2002. But this week, visiting Malaysia as her husband was publicly pressing for new, tough, anti-terrorism laws, she again publicly distanced herself from his policy. Though, she condemned the attacks on London, she said they shouldn't suddenly lead to the wrong kind of laws.

"It's all too easy," she said, "for us to respond to such terror in a way that undermines our commitment to our most deeply held values and convictions and which cheapens our right to call ourselves a civilized society."

Wednesday, her husband found himself sheepishly defending both his policy and his wife.

BLAIR: I think I've said myself, it's important that we balance these things, civil liberties of people, very important to protect our way of life. And it's important to protect people's security. I think probably to be fair, if you read the whole of the speech.

MANN (on camera): The difference in tone and sympathies isn't quite civil war in British rules circles, but they do point out a problem for Tony Blair. Public opinion polls, and the views of people he knows well suggest at that British don't entirely agree when it comes to the rights and wrongs of terror.

Jonathan Mann, CNN, London.


COLLINS: Let's find out what's coming up at the top of the hour on PAULA ZAHN NOW. Hi there, Paula.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, Heidi. I'm sorry, I have no idea to what you said, because I'm listening to programming from another channel by accident. But no doubt, you're talking about what we are going to talk about at the top the hour. And that is breaking news on the space shuttle. NASA's grounding the fleet because insulating foam, as you can see in this picture, fell off Discovery during yesterday's launch. What will it mean for Discovery's mission answer the future of the shuttle program? A lot of concerned people out there. Miles O'Brien will be joining us to answer a lot of questions we have on our minds tonight. Please join us at the top of the hour. Thanks, Heidi

COLLINS: All right. Paula, thanks so much.

Coming up on 360 now, exercise and its real impact on your health. We'll separate fact from fiction with 360 MD Sanjay Gupta.


COLLINS: Tonight, on 360, we've been asking lots of questions about a topic that many people struggle with: exercise. What is exercise? No.

What is the truth when it comes to exercise? How does it affect our health?

And joining us with some answers now, 360 MD Sanjay Gupta. Hey, Sanjay, let's get straight to it. Muscle turns to fat when you stop working out, true or false?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: The answer to that one is false. Interestingly enough, these are two totally different types of tissues. You hear a lot of stories about people who say, I was really muscular, then my muscle went away and it all turned to fat. That doesn't happen.

What most likely happens is you lost the muscle mass and, yes, you put on some fat as well. Two totally different types of tissues here, Heidi.

COLLINS: All right. Exercise burns away fat, true or false?

GUPTA: Actually, that one is false, as well. Exercise does not burn away fat. After puberty, you have pretty much the same number of fat cells for the rest of your life. Now, those fat cells get stored in something known as adipose tissue. More calories in, more adipose tissue, more calories out, less adipose tissue. The only way to really get rid of the fat cells is liposuction.

COLLINS: I'm sure we're going to reasons why we should be exercising any minute. Exercise stops the effects of aging, true or false?

GUPTA: That is actually false as well. No. We're going to give you some reasons to exercise. But listen, when it comes to aging, there is something known as disuse atrophy -- just simply not using your muscles. That can cause you to age more quickly. So exercising actually prevents that atrophy. And it can prevent some of the impacts of aging. But it actually doesn't slow down aging at all.

COLLINS: All right. This one has to be true. Exercise burns lot of calories, true or false? GUPTA: That one is false as well. It doesn't burn a lot of calories. Here, I'm trying to put it in context for you. Listen to this, if you run about a mile, you're going to burn about 100 calories. And that's not a lot. But if you're someone who exercises regularly, you're going to increase your metabolic rate. So, even when you're just sitting around, like you and I are now -- right now, Heidi, you burn about 50 or 60 calories an hour still. So, you need to exercise regularly to get your metabolic rate higher. And then you'll be burning calories all the time.

COLLINS: I'm sure 50 calories equals a chocolate bar somewhere.

GUPTA: Not even.

COLLINS: Weights on your legs don't actually help during exercise. True or false?

GUPTA: That is true. They actually don't help. In fact, if you're trying to get good aerobic exercise in, putting those weights on your arms and legs might just slow you down. So, keep track of what your goals are here. If you're trying to get aerobic activity in, don't slow yourself down with any weights.

COLLINS: 360 M.D., Sanjay Gupta. Thanks, Sanjay.

GUPTA: Happy to help.

COLLINS: All right. Let's go back to Anderson now in London once again -- Anderson.

COOPER: Heidi, thanks very much. As I have no muscles, I don't have any of those problems, so, thanks.

I'm going to be reporting again from here tomorrow night. But I just want to bring you up to the latest what has happening right now, the breaking news that we began this program with earlier tonight. Three women arrested here in London just a short time ago.

We got word about three or four hours ago police were raiding an apartment in Stockwell section of London. That the area that the four bombers were known to have come from the day they attempted to bomb on July 21.

We now know three arrests, three females have been arrested. We don't know their identities. Earlier today, a predawn raid, one suspected bomber is in custody tonight, as well as a number of others.

We're going to continue our coverage in CNN's primetime. Thanks very much for watching this special edition from London. I'll be back tomorrow.

Right now, I'm going to give over to Paula Zahn. Hey, Paula.



© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines