Return to Transcripts main page
CNN BREAKING NEWS
Major Anti-Terror Operation Under Way in West London
Aired July 29, 2005 - 09:31 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: While we keep our focus on London, we are also focusing on what is going on in space. Some 220 miles above us, the Space Shuttle Discovery remains docked at the International Space Station today. The crew involved in transferring cargo on to that space station. Very important since the space shuttle has not been there since November of 2002, much-needed supplies on the way there. As a matter of fact, much-needed return to Earth of things that are no longer used on the space station.
In addition, the crew will conduct a very complicated, sophisticated survey of the belly of the Space Shuttle Discovery to look at 11 problem areas where there is some dings and damage to the thermal heat shield, the thermal-protection system, to make the final determination ultimately that they are safe and sound for that blistering heat of re-entry at the end of the mission.
In the meantime, NASA is reeling over the prospect a huge piece of insulating foam fell off the external fuel tank as Discovery rocketed toward space about 2:06 after liftoff, didn't cause any harm to the orbiter. We know a smaller piece of foam did, in fact, struck the wing. No damage reported there. NASA has said the shuttle fleet will not fly again until this foam situation is rectified.
Joining me to talk a little bit about this, former NASA engineer Don Nelson. He is In Houston, Texas. And also former NASA engineer Bob Daugherty, joining us from Las Vegas.
Don Nelson, I want to begin with you. You have been talking about issues with shuttle safety for many years now, focused, I know, a lot about on the lack of a crew-escape system.
First of all, I want to get your sense now. Do you have a good feel whether Discovery is safe for return?
DON NELSON, FMR. NASA ENGINEER: I don't think we're going to know that until we get the results back of the analysis that they're doing here at JSC, and I understand that's going to be another two days, where they're analyzing this chip that's up around the forward wheel well. That's their major concern now, whether or not that chip is going to give them some problems during entry with the thermal- protection system.
M. O'BRIEN: How concerned should we be about a chip near that landing gear door?
NELSON: Landing gear doors have always been a problem for us. We've always been concerned about leaks around those doors, and any time you have a tile around there that gets chipped or whatever, you need to be very, very concerned about what's going on.
M. O'BRIEN: Bob Daugherty joining us from Las Vegas. Bob, you may remember his name was a person who's involved in sending several e-mails to fellow engineers in the shuttle program, expressing concerns about the situation with Columbia, asking some pointed questions about the way NASA was managing that problem, or perhaps not managing well. Clearly, it wasn't managed well.
I spoke to you a little while -- the day before launch, and you were concerned that some of the same management mistakes that led to Columbia are still at work inside NASA. Tell us about that.
ROBERT DAUGHERTY, FMR. NASA ENGINEER: That's right, Miles. Thanks.
Yes, two-and-a-half years ago, as you know, I wrote an e-mail where I actually used the words, are they crossing their fingers and hoping for the best? And then I -- just before launch, I see a press conference where actually the mission-management team had their fingers crossed and were hoping for the best with regard to the hydrogen-fuel sensors.
My concerns really are for the long term. I was angered when I saw that they were prepared to waive a flight rule and actually throw away a layer of safety, with one of the hydrogen fuel sensors.
M. O'BRIEN: In response to that, NASA said, well, we've made other upgrades which make it unnecessary to have four operative sensors. In other words, the black box that operates is better, therefore, we can waive that rule. And you know, the point is, that you're never going to have a perfect vehicle. What do you say to that?
DAUGHERTY: I say that is -- that's crazy. You do not throw away a safety margin on the ground. You know, that redundancy is for when you're flying. You never throw away a margin while you're sitting on the ground, in comfort. Those things are designed for when you're flying. This is an aging vehicle. Those failures and unknowns are probably there because it's an aging vehicle, and you're crazy to throw away that safety while you're sitting there on the ground.
M. O'BRIEN: Don Nelson, would you agree with that? That decision to fly with -- although ultimately those fuel sensors, we should point out, worked just fine on launch day, and all four of them were operating, but the decision was in the works there to bend the rules, change the launch rules and fly with only three. To you, does that speak to problems with the way NASA is managing the shuttle program?
NELSON: Well, it certainly does. They had two-and-a-half years to review their flight reels and their down-moding (ph) procedures, and if this was the case, they should have had it in place the day of launch before they scrubbed the mission. And coming back and just arbitrarily saying, hey, we're OK, they were on the ground for, what, a week, two weeks? And that just made the flight of the mission cost more. M. O'BRIEN: The foam that fell off, that big piece, Don, when you heard about that, what were your thoughts, and do you think that NASA has responded appropriately to that problem?
DAUGHERTY: I watched when it came off, and it's a pretty good chunk. It looked like a bird as it came off in slow motion. It was that big. And the response is, to ground the space shuttle, that's probably the thing they should do. What really bothers me is that I wrote a letter to the president telling him that we shouldn't have a full crew on this thing. We should only fly four people, because of situations like this. The Russian space programs also said only fly four people, because of the limited capability they have to use the Soyuz to bring the crew back.
Now we've got seven people up there, and we're going to have to find some way get them back. It could be -- if we get into the situation where the shuttle can't bring them back, then you've got to the first of next year. And what bothers you is that the oxygen generators have been showing all sorts of problems for the last couple of years. With nine people up there, we could have another major catastrophe.
M. O'BRIEN: Bob Daugherty, tell me a little bit about this foam, when you -- especially given your experience inside Columbia and trying to get people to focus on the possible damage foam could cause there, and much of that falling on deaf ears? When you heard about a big piece of foam falling off of Discovery's fuel tank, what went through your mind?
DAUGHERTY: Well, two-and-a-half years ago, of course, as it did to everyone who saw the impact, it was obviously a huge impact, and it appeared to me that the planning, or the plan B, if you will, to deal with any potential concerns during re-entry on that weren't there. That's what concerned me. I had no clue whether or not there actually was a hole, and I was concerned that the planning to deal with any potential problems went on. And that's why I wrote the e-mails I did.
M. O'BRIEN: Bob Daugherty, Don Nelson, both former NASA engineers, both who have had some criticism by the way NASA manages its shuttle program. We appreciate you joining us, and we should underscore for our viewers that thus far, NASA has told us that by all indications, all the evidence shows them that Discovery is fine for re-entry.
Now, the final conclusion on that will come in a couple of days, but, of course, we'll be keeping you posted on that.
We are also very focused on what is going on in the city of London once again this morning, not to tell you about an additional raft of bombings, but in this case, a widespread police operation is under way, including a siege at one location in the Notting Hill neighborhood, western part of London, that is going on right now with perhaps the focus of police attention there, not just this BMW SUV, but a flat, which might contain one of the suspects involved in those botched bombing attempts on July 21st. We're watching it closely. We're going to take a break. Back with more in a minute. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
S. O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody. Let's take you right back to London, where we are following the very latest developments there. In fact, there and ongoing at this hour in London, where it's 2:00, almost 3:00 in the afternoon.
We've been telling you about this massive raid, anti-terror raid, that is happening. And we are getting information from eyewitnesses at the scene about how this raid took place a little before 11:00 local time or around 11:00 local time. You can see their commandos with high-powered automatic weapons, with gas masks and masks on their faces and side arms. Obviously, going inside either one or two flats, we've been told by eyewitnesses.
And, also, at the same time, three men who have been taken into custody by police, stopped on the street. Three men well-dressed, said the eyewitness, with backpacks put into a white van, apparently willingly, as she described it, and then taken off. So obviously we are continuing to monitor what's happening.
And all that brings us to Dan Smith. He's a senior intelligence analyst with AKE. Dan, nice to see you again. And we appreciate you talking to us talking to us earlier in the week from London.
Are you surprised about the scope of this investigation at this point? I mean, 20 people under arrest as of last night. And you can you see by some of these pictures, this is a massive anti-terror operation.
DAN SMITH, SR. INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Absolutely. I mean, the speed of this investigation to date has been very, very impressive. I mean, I think we talked about this earlier in the week, how quickly the police have reacted. Obviously, they've reacted quickly because they feel the men still on the run, the suspects still on the run, pose a clear and present threat. And that's why the police effort has been so large and has been so speedy, as well.
S. O'BRIEN: Can I show you some pictures that I'd like explanation for? I mean, we've been seeing these guys -- look at these guys. They've got these almost like paper, or some kind of jumpsuits on, their heads covered. Sort of masks, I guess, on their face, maybe gas masks and obviously some kind of plastic gloves.
And there's somebody else who's being clearly escorted out. I can't tell if that's persons got handcuffs on in some of them or not, but it could be a suspect. What do you think we're looking at here?
SMITH: It looks like what we're seeing is an S.O.-19 operation. S.O. -19 stands for Special Operations 19. It's a highly trained police unit, I guess probably similar to your SWAT teams in some respects, in that it goes in and busts up these highly-tense situations where possibly the suspects are armed. So what we're seeing there, it looks like an S.O.-19.
What they'd be doing at this precise moment in time or what they've already done, rather, is contain the situation. They've cordoned off the area. There will be two forms of cordons. Firstly, an inner cordon. They're trying to detain the suspects from fleeing. As we understand, two houses or two residents in the Notting Hill area.
S. O'BRIEN: But why the jumpsuit? I'm sorry for interrupting again, but I'm just curious, as I look at these pictures. Why the jumpsuit? Is that because they're concerned about the chemicals? And why is the guy in the middle wearing a different colored jumpsuit? Is that because he's a suspect. We can't see his hands, so I can't tell if he's cuffed or not.
SMITH: Well, I'm not actually seeing the same pictures you are at this precise moment in time, so I wouldn't be able to comment directly. But the jumpsuits would be standard issue for S.O.-19. Obviously, these -- they could possibly be wearing CBRN suits, chemical biological radiological and nuclear suits, to protect them if they fear that the sites in question have some kind of threat coming from them, a chemical or biological threat.
S. O'BRIEN: Yes, clearly. Hang on for one second, Dan, while we bring in Pat D'Amuro, who's sitting next to me and has been with us for a couple hours now. Pat, you are getting a better look at these -- this videotape here. Does this look to you like a suspect's in custody?
PAT D'AMURO, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: That -- those suits that they're wearing are typical suits for individuals that would be on an evidence recovery team. They don't want to contaminate an area when they go into it, so they put these suits on so that they protect any evidence that may be taking out of the particular area. It's unclear why the individual in the middle is being escorted out. It may just be somebody very close to the vicinity that they wanted to get outside and, again, not contaminate anything, so they put them in a suit.
S. O'BRIEN: Interesting. All right. Let's get back to Dan Smith with AKE again. Dan, who do you think they are finding? I mean, these suspects. Give me a sense, in the hierarchy? I would imagine that anybody who's really the leader is not in the country and if they were ever in the country, they are long gone?
SMITH: Absolutely. I mean, that's our suspicion at this moment. What we are -- or rather, what the police are trying to track down at the moment are the four suspects who failed to detonate their devices. We understand one of those is in custody as of yesterday, I believe, and is now at Paddington Green Station. Possibly another has been arrested, which is what the pictures you may have seen today, that -- or what your other guest there is commenting on.
But as for the actual significant people, the really significant people had this investigation, they will be still the bomb-maker, who has this special expertise to make these devices, but also the handler, the gentlemen or the suspect, rather, who's directing these particular cells to carry out attacks in London.
S. O'BRIEN: Give me a sense of the risks to the officers involved. And we're looking at pictures which are -- I think you've seen, too -- of these guys wearing the gas masks and the navy blue jumpsuits. So they clearly don't look like they're going to be much in contact with any kind of chemicals or any sort of evidence necessarily. You know, if you're talking about suspects who may be surround by bombs and have no problem, clearly, blowing themselves up, you've got big problems and big risks?
SMITH: Absolutely. But first of all, it must be stressed that British police are actually -- or, rather specialist police, are very well adept as handling certain situations. That is actually under control at the moment, as far as we can tell. But the threat is evident. If you remember to last year when the Spanish police tracked down the suspects behind the Madrid bombings, rather than give themselves up, they refused to negotiate. And when police tried to storm the building, they detonated quite a sizable explosive device and I believe one police officer was actually killed in that operation. So the threat is evident.
S. O'BRIEN: When you consider that, to some degree, before July 7th, the London police were unaware -- I mean, they were unaware of this. They were completely blindsided by the first bombing. Does it surprise you? And, again, we're seeing videotape of a young man who looks like he has just grabbed his clothes and run because the place is being evacuated. Do you -- are you surprised at how quickly they've been able to make progress in this investigation?
SMITH: Well, the police had some advantage. I mean, the 7th of July bombings are somewhat different. Obviously, in those actual bombings, the devices went off and a lot of important forensic evidence was lost. However, on the 21st of July bombings, which we believe these suspects, or these incidents in London today, are linked, there was an awful lot -- a wealth of forensic evidence left over because simply -- because the devices failed to explode. So we have CCTV evidence. We have eyewitnesses, the people standing next to these suspects on the trains. But we also have the actual devices themselves, which were largely intact. They weren't destroyed in the fire.
S. O'BRIEN: We've heard word of an armed standoff between a suspect -- and who knows the status of it; a report a while back. Also as you commented on a little bit, there are reports of two arrests at the Liverpool Street Station, and these have not been confirmed by British police. Also reports that maybe two of the suspected bombers are under arrest. Again, not confirmed by British police yet, and a lot happening, obviously, at this hour. Does it surprise you, the speed at which this investigation is moving?
SMITH: To a certain degree, but we have to remember, the key part of this investigation to date has been the arrest of the first suspect, which was on Wednesday, Thursday. That person, I'm guessing by the fact that these incidents are happening now in London, has possibly already talked and given vital information on where the other suspects might possibly be hiding out.
S. O'BRIEN: Dan, let me interrupt there you for a moment. It looks like one of our producers, Henry Schuster, is talking with an eyewitness who's got some information from the scene. So I'm going to ask you to stand by. Let's go right to Henry and CNN International.
JONATHAN MANN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it shows us in the northwest of the city, we're looking at the housing estate that's called Dalgarno Way, and Peabody Estate. Henry Schuster now is on the line.
Henry, what are you hearing and seeing?
HENRY SCHUSTER, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Jonathan, I just talked to a resident of the Peabody Estates who laid out exactly what happened this morning. He said about 11:00 in the morning, he came out of his flat, he was trying to drive out of the estate. A policeman came and met him and said, give me your keys. He said, I'll move you out of here, we've got to move out of here. He took his keys, he said it will only be about 20 minutes. Moved him off to an area with another cordon. Shortly after that, think gentlemen said he heard a controlled explosion. He said he knew it was a controlled explosion, because the police at the cordon told him it was a controlled explosion, then probably between 30 and 45 minutes after that, he said he heard -- after a series of armed policemen had come in to the housing estate, he heard four very distinct shots. He counted them up, four very distinct shots. He said before then a group of armed policemen had sprinted into the area near where he lived, near where some of them were dressed in those white suits. Some were dressed in black uniforms with black ski masks.
After that, he said, there was a period of quiet for about another 30 to 45 minutes, and after that he said, once again, he heard four very distinct shots being fired. Since then, he has not heard any more shots being fired. He's on the outside of the cordon, like we are now, where as I -- the last time I spoke to you, there are a number of police vehicles we can see about 50 yards away from us several cordons. We cannot see the armed officers from where we are. Obviously they've pushed us far back enough that -- because they have some sort of situation. We don't know if there's a standoff going on or not. We see some more residents coming out of the...
MANN: Let me jump in, because ITN has, our sister network, ITN, a witness that it is hearing from. Let's listen in to them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... intelligence telling if something is going to happen, because there were a lot of plain-clothes that suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
UNIDENTIFIED ITN REPORTER: And after the arrests were made, what did you do? What were you told?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just kept telling us get back, kept pushing us further and further back, and pushed us right out of the station and then we're probably 400, 500 yards from the station now.
UNIDENTIFIED ITN REPORTER: Right, and what's happening around you at the moment? Is there still a cordon in place? It's certainly looks like from our television cameras.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, there's a cordon in place on the junction of (INAUDIBLE) Street, and they're just -- the police have sort of got it under control now, and it's just people just hanging around because they don't really know what to do, to be honest.
UNIDENTIFIED ITN REPORTER: Would you say there's a large police presence there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. A large amount of police down there.
UNIDENTIFIED ITN REPORTER: And there are armed police there as well?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they were when the original arrest was made. I haven't seen any more since then. One of the plainclothes officers had a handgun.
UNIDENTIFIED ITN REPORTER: OK, Scott (ph). Look, be careful. And I hope you get home safely today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, I've got no way of getting home now.
UNIDENTIFIED ITN REPORTER: Thanks, Scott.
Let's just turn our attention to Notting Hill, where during an interview with a resident, Notting Hill, the focus of operation today, an explosion can be heard. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My son is in there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ITN REPORTER: It was quite hard to identify, but residents in Notting Hill have told of seeing police carrying machine guns and gas masks as they search for suspected failed bombers. Also a number of buildings evacuated in this area, a huge area of West London Street cordoned off. Some residents reporting gunshots now. Now we're going to try and bring you that interview again, our reporter there, Amy Walton (ph), interviewing one of the residents, and during that interview you can hear evidence of an explosion. We haven't been told by Scotland Yard if there was a controlled explosion in the area, but if it was an explosion, it's highly likely that was the case.
Let's just listen in to one resident.
UNIDENTIFIED ITN REPORTER: N-I-C-O-L-A.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Nicola, tell me about what happened this morning and what your worries are?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just about 10 minutes ago I got a phone call from my mom. Sorry, I'm getting upset. She's coming back from the doctor. She explained that she had to get home. They lifted a cordon, told her to walk in middle of the road. As she's doing this, the bomb is exploded. She's in her flat by herself now, and I'm terrified for her. She's upset.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She is. She's crying her eyes out on the phone.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: She was in the middle of the road when that very last...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They told her, the police said, stay in the middle of the road, so she did. She started walking in the middle of the road, and it exploded.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What did she say? Did people react around her?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She hasn't said. She's just terrified. She's in her flat now crying.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And you're trying to try and get to her?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm trying to get to her now, because she's disabled as well.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Can I just take a note of your name as well?
UNIDENTIFIED ITN REPORTER: Speaking to one resident in Notting Hill, Nicola who tells a bomb appeared to explode as her mum walk down the street of an area cordoned off as she was allowed back into her home to collect letter belongings. If you are just joining us, there are a number of operations taking place in connection with the failed suicide bomb attacks last Thursday. During those operations, a number of arrests have been made including two arrests. The very latest, next.
UNIDENTIFIED ITN REPORTER: Amy Walton there, speaking to one resident in Notting Hill, Nicola, who described how a bomb appeared to explode as her mom walked down the street of an area that had been cordoned off, as she was allowed back into her home to collect her belongings.
If you've just joined us, our breaking news here on the ITV News Channel this afternoon. There are a number of operations taking place in connection with the failed suicide bomb attacks last Thursday. During those operations, a number of arrests have been made, including two arrests in the (INAUDIBLE). The very latest next.
S. O'BRIEN: Everybody, you've been listening to ITV, which of course is a sister network of CNN International, and us as well, and they've been -- we've been kind of sharing coverage this morning as we get analysis not only here in the United States, but in London as well, where they have a major breaking story. No bombings to report, fortunately, but a huge police operation under way right now. And, in fact, there appear to be several other police operations happening in London. The main one, the one you're looking at pictures of, is happening in Notting Hill, a fairly upscale neighborhood, and also racially and religiously diverse neighborhood as well.
Around 11:00 in the morning local time, we're told, police really began an investigation, and their move into a neighborhood with a motor bike, a man on a motorbike rode in, and then ushered in some other plainclothes police, and then they started a raid on at least one, maybe two flats, where maybe there are some suspects from the July 21st bombings. There have been various reports coming from the British media. We have had not any confirmation on some of these reports from British police at this time, but we've gotten word of two arrests at Liverpool Street Station, and also possibly that two of the suspected bombers who had been missing since the failed attacks of July 21st, that they might also be under arrest. If that second report there is true, that would bring the number to three of the four suspected bombers police are searching for.
You'll recall, nearby, the neighborhood we're looking at, Noting Hill, there was a bomb that, a failed bomb left in a backpack a couple days later. Police, though, had consistently said that they don't think there was a fifth bomber, but no further information on that.
So we've been monitoring the story, and updating you on the very latest that we know. And of course, for many people here in the U.S. watching as well, because much of what is learn in London by experts, people think about how it could can be applied here as well.
And we've asked Pat D'Amuro to kind of stick around with us. He's a CNN security analyst, and has lots of experience in these things.
Lessons learned. I mean, as you watch this unfold in front of us, what kinds of things do you think other investigator, say here's what they're doing right, here's where their made mistakes?
D'AMURO: Well, what you're seeing right now, since the tactical teams haven't left the area, my guess, is there's still concern that there may be somebody of interest inside that apartment building. Otherwise, tactical assault teams would vacate the area, the evidence recovery teams would come in, and that's all you would see.
S. O'BRIEN: So in and out, and they're still there.
D'AMURO: Right, right.
M. O'BRIEN: So what we have the makings of a siege here, and that is just one of three raids that we're watching unfold. This is the one we happen to have some pictures of, but we're told that there's another raid that was under way at the Peabody Estates about a mile away, and yet another raid, a third raid in a part of the city we don't know. So clearly, a very concerted, broad effort.
And once again, going back to that point, that if we make the assumption this is all coming out of information generated by all these arrests we've been reporting over the past few days, what you have here is a cell potentially that really had affiliations all throughout the city, which is interesting to me, because that, in theory, would be harder to keep secret.
D'AMURO: It would be. Absolutely. But it's probably a combination of somebody talking to them now, what they're finding at this different locations that they're going in. They may be finding slips of, for example, deposit slips, where there's a storage box. They may be looking for additional explosive material. That investigation is just rapidly moving and they appear to be doing a very good job of that.
M. O'BRIEN: You know, I don't want to put you on the spot and quiz you on British law here, but in general, given -- we talked a lot about the terrorism law that they employ there. Do they have similar tools or better tools or worse tools than here in the United States in situations like this?
D'AMURO: They have better tools since 9/11. Different tools than the United States. Some of what they employ, I wish we could utilize here. But a lot of our tools here, I think, are a little bit more effective, in my opinion.
For example, the ability of one organization, like the FBI, to be able to use both national security techniques and criminal techniques to disrupt these types of events all in one organization.
M. O'BRIEN: You're talking about MI-5 areas, right?
D'AMURO: Right. MI-5 works very closely with a special branch and sharing that type of intelligence. But within the FBI, that intelligence can be shared right next door with the agent working on a case. So you don't have a stove pipe. You don't have a situation (INAUDIBLE).
M. O'BRIEN: So what's the better way to do it, you think?
D'AMURO: My opinion, the better way to do it is to have it in one organization because you don't have a problem with the sharing of that information readily. If you look at the Lakawanasix (ph) situation where we picked up the -- the FBI picked up the six individuals, those arrests were conducted within a matter of hour. There was an intelligence investigation ongoing for months trying to collect the information as to what these individuals had done, what they were going to do. And once the intelligence was derived that they were in the training camps with bin Laden, talking about killing Americans, once we had that evidence, within six hours they were off the street.
M. O'BRIEN: It seems to me that investigators in this case have an advantage that I can't recall another investigation quite like this because suicide bombers, by their nature, don't leave a lot of evidence or information behind. In this case, because they were thwarted bombs, bombs that didn't go off, duds, this is an entirely different complexion to this and could, perhaps, lead to some significant arrests. Is that accurate to say? D'AMURO: Oh, exactly. The evidence obtained when those bombs didn't go off, the physical evidence, obviously, has aided this investigation. And getting their hands on one of the individuals, we can assume that there's some cooperation and some intelligence information being derived along that line of questioning, also.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk a little bit about the evidence recovery, in fact, because these pictures that we saw not long ago of the -- clearly some special forces wearing those blue -- almost that paper sort of material, jumpsuits, with somebody much smaller. Almost looked as if that person was being led -- escorted firmly out of the region. You can see it right here in the middle, in the white jumpsuit. You talk about what they're wearing is really to protect evidence.
D'AMURO: Well, it's so that they don't contaminate an evidence scene. They put those suits on so that hair and fibers from a particular investigators wouldn't be left at a crime scene. You can see that they're not wearing gas masks or they're not concerned right now at this particular point that there's something within or something that they can be affected by. But the individual coming out here is what's rather interesting because you notice the person's hiding their face. This could very well be an individual of interest that they escorted out of one of apartment buildings that they're taking back for questioning.
S. O'BRIEN: So while the guys in blue might be wearing those outfits in order to protect them for contaminating the scene, the man who might be a suspect -- I agree with you. If you look at how he's shielding his own face and he's being clearly led in a very sort of strong way by the two guys on either side. He might be in that jumpsuit to keep the material on him and link him, really, with what might be going on in that flat? Is that what you're saying?
D'AMURO: That's very possible. Very possible that when they get this individual back, if they're going to be concerned about explosive material, they're going to want to test his clothing to see if there's any of that material on there. Again, hairs and fiber. All types of physical evidence that you just don't want to contaminate a scene, you don't want his clothing contaminated. They'll want to test that when they get him back for questioning.
M. O'BRIEN: That's an extraordinary effort. I believe the material is tie vac (ph)? Isn't that what it's called? It's a kind of -- it's a pasty...
S. O'BRIEN: It's a plasticy paper.
M. O'BRIEN: Kind of plasticy paper kind of thing which is used in these kinds of circumstances. But I can't recall seeing a potential suspect being led away kind of wrap up under seal literally, but that shows you the lengths to which you have to go in order to continue this forensic kind of chain of evidence type of investigation.
S. O'BRIEN: Let's talk a little bit about some information we've been able to confirm now. This, we're told, police on Friday have arrested two people at that Liverpool Street underground station. And this is coming from British transport police. So now they are confirming that information. A man and a woman, apparently, arrested around 8:00 in the morning our time here in New York, 1:00 p.m. local time in London. No other details, though, available on that now.
And then we're told police believe a separate incident, about an hour later, the same station evacuated because of a unattended suitcase was discover on the main station concourse. One has to wonder if it's just nerves running very tightly at this point, of feelings running very high and concerns, obviously, or if this is, to some degree, a raid that has thwarted an attack that was on the cusp of happening? I mean especially when you see it spread out across the city in at least three locations and you have arrests everywhere.
M. O'BRIEN: And of most concerned at a station, too.
S. O'BRIEN: Right.
M. O'BRIEN: To have two arrests at a station. Three people picked up with backpacks. That's got to the arouse some concern, Pat.
D'AMURO: Well, it is. There may be intelligence information derived that there may be another attack. I know we're hearing that there may be additional individuals out there wishing to conduct that type of attack. So this may be coming from a cooperative.
S. O'BRIEN: Let's get right back to Dan Smith because he is in our London bureau. We've been talking to him as well. Dan is with AKE and he's a senior intelligence analyst.
Give me a sense of what happens now. As we heard, it look as if the area is still cordoned off to a large degree. It looks as if not only forensic recovery teams are inside, but also that the raid is still ongoing. What's going on right now, would you guess?
SMITH: Well, obviously, the pieces are still emerging. It's very difficult to comment with any authority on exactly what's going on at the moment. Most of what I will be saying now will be purely speculation. But what -- before what happened is, as I understand it, two further suspects connected to the bombings of the 21st (INAUDIBLE) have been taken into custody. They will be interrogated and further evidence will hopefully be gleaned from them.
But with actually regards to where they were pick up from, the police will quickly move in and try to study the scene as carefully as possible to find out what their links to other people were. The police in the back of their minds, obviously, there will be pleased to close this particular case down with rest of the four suspects. But they're also be mindful of what other groups could still be out there. Whatever cells could still be in existence in the UK at the moment. So they'll be looking for evidence linking these -- this particular cell, these suspects, two other people, and then the case will expands further and further and put those under suspicious under surveillance.
S. O'BRIEN: Yes, you describe what is certainly to be a massive task for investigators. I'm curious to know with the timing, the arrest of Yasin Hassan Omar from Somalia, and then within 48 hours you essential have this raid that's going on in various parts of cities. Arrests, the number now bringing us somewhere around the 20s at least. Could we read into this he is giving good intelligence to authorities who now have him in custody or is that premature to say?
SMITH: I mean, that would purely be hearsay, again. But superficially, the proximity of his arrest to this latest -- or these latest raids, however, would suggest that he has provided them with some further information that has been very useful to the police.
S. O'BRIEN: Let me ask you a question about CCTV. When it first came on the scene, were there many protests? I mean here in the United States, when anybody puts up a camera that's going to catch people even on a public street, there's a big hew and cry and often police and other authorities who support it have to work very hard to bring the community around to it. In some cases, they don't ever do it. It's an impossible task. Was it the same way in London? Do people first resent having cameras watching their every move down in the subway?
SMITH: To a degree there were -- or there was disquiet regarding the use of CCTV. But perhaps not so much in London. As I recall, the use of CCTV or prevalence (ph) in London sort of coincides with the IRA's mainland threat to the UK. So when it was introduced, it was actually a very clear reason why it was introduced. There was a clear threat and people understood that.
I think where people do expect disquiet about surveillance techniques by security forces is when they don't actually see a clear and present danger to their very lives or their way of living. So bringing in CCTV needs to be explained to the people so they understand why it's there.
S. O'BRIEN: It's been very interesting to me, having spent the beginning of the week in London, to see people who would say things like, well we've been told, you know, you can't change your way of life or the terrorists win. Similar things, frankly, that we were told here in New York after 9/11 and folks in D.C. and folks in Pennsylvania, obviously. And yet, at the same time, you see people sort of change what they're doing. I mean it's a very hard-line to walk. And what have you seen in London? Are you seeing people now really changing how they go about their daily routine, or not?
SMITH: To a certain degree. I understand bicycle sales in the capital have gone through the roof since the first bombing, simply because people -- or certainly people are frightened of actually using the tubes. The roads seem to be more gridlocked than they normally would be at certain times of day, which suggest people are using taxis and buses more often.
But to an impressive degree, the life in London hasn't really changed that significantly. We've seen more police on the streets but, at the same time, people have just been walking past them and so not really noticing their presence to a large degree.
S. O'BRIEN: Interesting. All right, Dan Smith, for us. Thanks for talking with us. We're going to ask you to stick around as we continue our extended coverage here.
SMITH: Thank you.
S. O'BRIEN: Obviously, AMERICAN MORNING is going into some special coverage as we have this news breaking around us.
M. O'BRIEN: CNN's Nic Robertson is at the scene there in Notting Hill where that siege continues and amid reports that perhaps two of three of the suspects were still wanted for those botched bombings of July 21st may in fact be in custody. Unclear to us at this moment precisely who is the focus of the siege. Could that be potentially the fourth person? Obviously, a dynamic situation.
In the meantime, what we've been discovering in the wake of these bombings is that we're in a whole new generation of news gathering by people. Camera phones documenting a lot of these activities and CNN's Nic Robertson ran into a witness who did just that.
Nic, what did that person see and what did they show you in the camera phone?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what they saw was the operation unfolding here. They saw the police wrestling with a man in a white t-shirt on the ground. Appeared to then pick him up and lead him away.
Now, we've talked to a number of witnesses here today who variously said that they didn't see anyone being arrested. One lady said she saw three men smartly dressed with backpacks being put into a white police van. But this is the first time -- and I looked at the video on the camera phone, very clear, of about seven, eight, nine policemen appear to be wrestling with or had a man on the ground in what appeared to be a white t-shirt. They pick him up and then lead him away.
But that took -- those images were captured immediately around the corner from where I'm standing now at this police cordon as that operation was unfolding a few hours ago. The man who took those pictures didn't speak English, didn't want to go on camera and talk about it. His brother explained to us that they were working on some scaffolding, doing some building work in the vicinity of the raid and the event literally unfolded at their feet. He pulled out his camera phone, switched it on and began video recording the events, and that's what we've been able to see. Those police, perhaps, seven, eight or nine of them appear to be wrestling a man to the ground, then he seems to be picked up and walking away in a white t-shirt.
M. O'BRIEN: Well, Nic, help us with a lay of the land a little bit. That scene that was captured there, not far from where you are, how far away is that from the apartment that is the focus of so much attention right now with an apparent siege there? Is that within walking distance? Obviously, it's in the same neighborhood, but how close?
ROBERTSON: It's about a mile away. I haven't made the journey yet myself, but I'm told that it's just about a mile away. The events, as we've heard them described by people today, appear to have unfolded at the same time. Eyewitnesses now confirm that the operations began here at about 11:00 a.m. and also began in that Peabody housing estate, about a mile away, at 11:00 a.m. as well. Both events, the police coming in, armed police coming in, taking control of the situation.
As we saw here, perhaps about an hour and a half after the events began, we saw armed police racing away from this area. Three cars full of armed police. It wasn't clear to us at that stage where they were going. We don't know where they went. It is possible they then went to back up the other police operation where we have heard reports of a controlled explosion and at least four shots being fired with this siege situation unfolding, with somebody inside one of the houses in that housing estate but just a mile from where we are.
M. O'BRIEN: All right. So let's try to do as good a tally as we possibly can, given what we know right now.
Clearly, a number of arrests have occurred and a siege is underway. And the focus of their attention is one or perhaps two of the suspects that remained at large in the wake of those botched bombings. What's your current arithmetic on this, Nic?
ROBERTSON: Well, we know the police, until today, had 20 people currently in detention that they've arrested. The tally from here seems to vary between one and three people arrested here. Again, we're waiting for the police confirm that.
For a moment, we've also heard from -- reported by our sister network, ITN, that two people were arrested at Liverpool Street tube station around about 2:00 p.m., which is a little over an hour ago. At the same time, the operation unfolded a mile away, and there appears to be one person holed up there in a standoff situation.
Those are the numbers I have. But even standing here, Miles, and hearing the reports coming in, even being so close to the situation, the reports have been coming in and then changed and revised so frequently that it is, even here, quite difficult to stay on top of them. But between one and three people it appears have been arrested at this location, or at least taken away by the police. Two people at a main central line train station in Central London, that whole station and the area around it now closed down and that standoff about a mile away from here.
M. O'BRIEN: All right. And let's try to count scenes if we can. We know that there was an arrest that unfolded right near where you are. We know about the siege which is about a mile away from where you are. We also know about something going on at the Peabody Estates. We also know about Liverpool Street. Am I missing anything?
ROBERTSON: No, I don't think you're missing anything, Miles. And maybe I'll try and add some clarity here, if I can.
The raid here this morning at this location in Notting Hill, two flats raided, right next to each other. A mile away, at the Peabody Estate, that standoff situation going on. So we have two locations involved in those raids that began at 11:00 a.m. Three hours later, two people arrested at Liverpool Street train station in the center of London. So we seem to have two primary operations followed by those arrests shortly afterwards.
M. O'BRIEN: All right. So of the two flats that were focused upon, that's not where the siege is? The siege at the Peabody Estates a mile away then. Is that right?
ROBERTSON: That is correct. That is the correct.
M. O'BRIEN: OK.
ROBERTSON: The two flats here -- the two flats next to each other, a mile away from the Peabody Estate and a standoff, yes.
M. O'BRIEN: And just to help me with the geography here, near where you are is that park where that unexploded device was found in the rucksack, as they call it there, backpack here in the U.S.?
ROBERTSON: The park, yes, Little Womosgubs (ph) Park, is actually closer to the Peabody Estate where the standoff is at the moment. Both locations relatively close to it, to the park, but that park definitely closer to the Peabody Estate from my understanding of the geography at the moment.
M. O'BRIEN: All right, Nic, that really helped me out a lot. I hoped it help our viewers get a sense of what's going on. You know, it's interesting, the bombers work with synchronicity and, in this case, so do the police. So we'll get back with you very shortly. Thank you, Nic.
S. O'BRIEN: Let's get a little more clarity, in fact, from that location at the Peabody Estates, as Nic was just describing. The second location where the raid is ongoing and where there is still at this hour, we believe, a standoff. CNN Producer Henry Schuster is there. He joins us by phone.
Henry, what's the very latest from where you are? HENRY SCHUSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Soledad, it may be that the standoff is over. Just about 15 minutes ago, a police van, sirens blaring, came out of the housing estate. And as I saw, there were about six armed policemen inside. But in the very back corner there was a man with a jacket over his head, as if this was a man who was clearly under arrest and they didn't want him identified. That drove off very quickly.
They're still not letting people back on to the estate so we don't know if, in fact, that would one (ph) person or if, in fact, the standoff is over. But it seems to go along with some of the accounts that we're getting with some of the residents of the housing estate who reported about 11:00 this morning at least one controlled explosion. Then that was followed by a series of other bangs.
Now, at least one resident said that he thought those were rifle shots. Another resident says that he thought those could have been stun grenades. There was a period of quiet. There appeared a situation where police were having some sort of dialogue with the man inside. There were another series of bangs, either rifle shots or stun grenades, and then things seem to have ended.
About 30 minutes ago, less than 30 minutes ago, I saw two more unmarked vans coming on to the housing estate. One of them was being driven by a man in a black ski mask, which matches the description of all the armed police gunman that have been going in both here and where Nic Robertson is. And then about 15 minutes after that, we had the situation where we had the police vehicle coming out with a number of armed guards inside and in the back right corner was a man who had a yellow jacket draped over his head. Now clearly it looked like he was under restraints and that jacket over his head so he could not be identified. So we do not know if he was one of the bombers. We don't know if he was one of the arrested.
But the assumption is that at least one person has been taken away from here and that's what we've seen so far. We're getting conflicting reports from the residents about whether it was rifle shots or whether it was stun grenades and the exact number of them, but there seems to be a sequence, then there was a standoff. Then there was another sequence. And now it seems to be observer.
S. O'BRIEN: No surprise, really, to a large degree, that the residents, when they're hearing the sounds of these rifle shots or stun grenades, can't make out the difference. I mea I would imagine you'd be so terrified that, you know, you could hardly keep your thoughts straight.
Is there a sense, and I know you're been going back and forth to the location where Nic Robertson is as well, as we've mentioned the Notting Hill site where we had a lot of cameras and we've been watching. Is it a sense that it all happened around the same time coordinated together, those two locations, or is it sort of a sense that one location happened first and then the location where you are, the Peabody Estates, happened next?
SCHUSTER: No, it seems now, as we're matching up the times, it seems that they didn't happen almost simultaneously. That the police were conducting raids here and raids over where Nic is beginning about 11:00 in the morning and then moving on. This one seemed maybe to have taking a little bit more time to resolve the situation here.
Again, we don't know how many people were arrested here. We've only seen one person being taken away. And that was just about 15 minutes ago.
S. O'BRIEN: Tell me about the Peabody Estates. What's it like? Is it as upscale at Notting Hill? Is it part of Notting Hill?
SCHUSTER: Oh, no, no, no. We've moved a mile away and several income grades down. This is what they call in-council (ph) housing, it's government subsidized housing. It's a, I guess in American terms, you would say it was middle to lower middle class. It's a series of flats in different blocks. It's away from the beaten path. It's a mile away but it's off the track. This is not a place where tourists would go, for example. Just that, you know, they would be familiar with Notting Hill but they would not venture the mile up the road to here.
S. O'BRIEN: Interesting to note that.
Now tell me about evacuations. Obviously you were having a chance to talk to some of the people who were there and then moved out by police. So what does it look like now? Are there just hundreds of people hanging out outside because they can't get back in? Give me sort of a picture of what you're seeing.
SCHUSTER: Well, right in front of me, I just stood back, we have what is right now the familiar sight, the police cordon, the cluster of media. We have residents, some of whom are coming -- you know, some of whom are saying, when can I get back in? They're trying to talk to the police. The police can't give them an answer.
There are other people -- I think there may still be people inside. What appeared to be the case, but there and here, was that they didn't get people out before they began their raids. If people peaked out of the houses, them they told them either evacuate or go back into your house. But both here and in Notting Hill, this seems to have happened much more quickly than that. That they're acting on information and that they're moving in. They're trying to keep people out of harm's way. So we've got some very bewildered residents, just as we have some very bewildered residents a mile away, just as we had in Birmingham two days ago when Omar was arrested. Even more people just wondering what is going on.
S. O'BRIEN: Yes, you know it's interesting because, on one hand, you can imagine that that's good to keep any kind of raid a secret, obviously. You don't want to be moving people out and evacuating them before you go in to get whoever you're searching for. At the same time, when you're talking about people who are would-be suicide bombers, I've got to imagine that is very scary for the folks there that to think they have no idea what's happening. There's a raid and there could be bombs involved. SCHUSTER: Soledad, one of the strangest things was, when I was a mile -- when I was over at the other location a mile away, I was over on the other side of the cordon from where Nic Robertson was and I was by the Portobello Street Market, which is a fairly well-known place that tourists go to. During the week it's a street market, during the weekends it's an antique market. And half a block away from the cordon, life was going on for (ph) normal. People were shopping for their fruits and vegetables, people were buying trinkets in the stalls. (INAUDIBLE) that this wasn't going on at all. Then you just walked right around the corner, you saw the cordon, you saw some of the people who were saying, when can I get back in? You had other people who were coming out clearly bewildered by the turn of events in the morning.
S. O'BRIEN: Wow. Did they know or were they just walking around and shopping for antiques in sort of a cloud of . . .
SCHUSTER: No, no, no, no. I think the people a half block away, they have no idea what's going on. That's the incongruity of this is that a half a block away it's life is going on perfectly normally and then you round the corner and you hit one of these cordoned and there are raids going on.
S. O'BRIEN: Very, very interesting. I tell you, it's been -- it certainly felt like it is widespread at this time because you have so many locations and you and Nic have been great about kind of breaking it down for us and helping us understand a little bit better.
Henry, thanks. We'll check in with you again as we get more word on what's happening here.
M. O'BRIEN: We can now report to you that British media are reporting -- so this is a bit secondhand, but these are reliable sources in the British media, are indicating that two of the three at- large suspects in the July 21st botched bombing have now been arrested in these raids that we've been witnessing here all this morning now. Two, perhaps three locations, depending on how you count. In any case, two of the three at-large have been picked up, which means three total have been arrested, leaving one suspect at least at large, although there is, of course, that fifth package. And there are numerous other arrests to throw into the mix here. So we -- clearly the British authorities have acted upon some intelligence here and are moving quickly and simultaneously to put some people in custody.
We have been getting some witness accounts in all throughout the morning. Let's listen to a series of them right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: Well, we came out after the police had come here. There's police everywhere around. The helicopters were going on in the air. They closed off every street around here. And what we saw were a lot of people -- well, a lot cars going through, screeching through. In the cars I could see there was one man in a white suit, like a forensic suit. A lot of officers wearing bullet- proof vests. Just a lot of people around.
CHARLOTTE BROWN, WITNESS: First of all this morning, around 11:00, I was in my flat and I heard some sort of shots outside in the flat below. And I didn't really -- I couldn't see any police or anything upstairs and I got really freak out so I kind of just stayed inside. And then I heard shouting and stuff from the garden below me all day. And then about in an hour or so later I looked out the window and there were armed police there with gun. And I thought, OK, (INAUDIBLE) go outside. And there had been people banging on my door and stuff anyway. I then I went outside and there were people with gas masks on and then there were about seven or eight police officers, just kind of like a carport think behind my (INAUDIBLE) and they had machine guns type things and they told me I had to get out of the area. I had to come outside the cordon.
UNIDENTIFIED PARTICIPANT: The first thing I heard was a very loud, controlled -- what sounded like a very controlled explosion. I put my head out the window it see what was going on and the policeman said, get to the back of the building. So, obviously, I did that. I went into the bathroom for about 15 minutes. After that time, obviously, I was -- I needed some cigarettes, so I decided to come out. He said, you might not be able to get back on to the block. So here I am. And then I heard six loud bangs which I found out from a policeman I believe they were stun grenades. And then I heard what I think were two shot. And that's about as much, really, as I know. Apart from the fact that everybody's been running down the road terrified.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
M. O'BRIEN: While we were listening to those witnesses, I was handed a statement which just came out from Scotland Yard and it says this. Police have today, that's the 29th of July, conducted operations at two residential addresses in West London. Ongoing investigations into the bomb attacks on the 21st. Officers in the process of securing those premises, being treated as crime scenes. We've seen plain evidence of that. And police have arrested two men at one address. A third man has been arrested at a second address. So a total of three arrests there. But British media reporting only two suspects at-large in custody from the July 21st bombing. So we're trying to get those numbers kind of squared away. It's possible, maybe, all three suspects at large have been arrested but we don't know that for sure.
S. O'BRIEN: And that's British media reports. The actual word from the police spokespeople, no confirmation yet. Although they will confirm there are arrests, they won't confirm any specific connection at this time.
Kind of an interesting information coming out of Sky News out of London. Apparently they were doing an interview with a woman named Lisa Davis who was talking about what she was hearing and seeing. She's in the building. And viewers could hear, though, while she's doing this interview on the phone, could hear police shouting in the background. And what the police were saying was, take your clothes off, exit the building, and they could hear that over her phone. She described it as five armed police with guns and shields moving in and telling everybody to get back inside their apartments. Apparently, they were referring to the man as Mohammed and they were telling him that if he left the apartment he would be safe. That is the report coming from this witness, which was identified as Lisa Davis from Sky News.
Everything happening really fast. Let's get back to Pat D'Amuro, who's been watching all of this with us. He's a CNN security analyst.
I guess I'm surprised at the speed at which this is happening, again, when you consider that it seems like the investigators were July 6th. The day before they knew nothing about any of these guys, and now are moving -- and women, as we've heard. An arrest of one woman at one subway stop. Now it seems to be moving very fast on numerous fronts?
D'AMURO: It is. And one of the things -- to go back with the description you just heard from the woman that gave the account of hearing police tell somebody to take off their clothes -- that could have been a situation where you see that individual dressed in the white garment. They're not -- obviously, not going to bring somebody out on the street that's not clothed, but they may want to make sure the individual doesn't have a bomb or a weapon attached to his body. So they are moving very quickly. The Brits, as usual, doing a very good job with this. The Metropolitan Police are very effective in this type of situations.
S. O'BRIEN: Here's a map. Because as we mentioned, things are getting confusing. And for people who are not familiar with these neighborhoods so well, you can see -- Notting Hill, we've been showing you lots of pictures there from there. And that's the upscale neighborhood where Nic Robertson's been reporting from, talking about the standoff that started around 11:00 in the morning local time there.
And you could see Liverpool Street Station, there were two arrests to tell you about there. A man and a woman arrested a of couple hours -- several hours, actually, I believe three hours, after the raids starting at Notting Hill. And one mile away from this Notting Hill location is where we have Henry Schuster. He is a CNN producer working with Nic and also giving information on the Peabody Estates, where a simultaneous raid going on. So lots happening on lots of different fronts.
M. O'BRIEN: And just to the clarify, based on that Scotland Yard statement and some other reports we've been getting, we may want to discount that Liverpool Street incident at this point as being connected. It's unclear right now. I haven't seen a direct connection yet. It's possible, but then again, given the fact that they've talked about three arrests and the siege and two residential locations, hard to say right now how Liverpool fits into this picture.
S. O'BRIEN: And we should really underscore that police at this time -- no surprise, are not confirming any connection outside of just confirming that arrests have, in fact, been made. So much of this is information that people are trying to connect the dots as more of this information comes in from various locations.
M. O'BRIEN: How much, Pat D'Amuro, does the awful experience that the authorities there have had to deal with over the years with the IRA, how much does that help them in these sorts of investigation? It occurs to me -- you know, on the one hand you're talking about bombings. But beyond that, everything else is dissimilar. I mean, the IRA used to call in warnings. It's an entirely different mindset, isn't it?
D'AMURO: Well, yes and no. The reaction to a particular event would be very similar. The reaction to moving people out, going and collecting evidence, getting the city back to normal. So those types of events would be very similar. The emergency response would be very similar to a bombing. But radical fundamentalism operates much differently than the IRA, you're correct.
M. O'BRIEN: You have no warnings. You know, a different set of rules, if there are rules in terror.
D'AMURO: Well, the only warnings that traditionally al Qaeda gives are when they issue, when bin Laden would issue a fatwa, talking religious decree, talking about wanting to kill Americans or conduct another attack.
M. O'BRIEN; And these can come, of course, years in advance of an attack and not, like, you know get out of that building in 20 minutes, a bomb is going blow. An entirely different thing.
D'AMURO: That's right.
M. O'BRIEN: Yes, I mean, it's interesting, because in the case of the IRA, the message was loud and clear, but it seemed as if fatalities weren't always necessarily the goal as it was pure terror?
D'AMURO: You're right. The IRA wasn't concerned so much with killing individuals as al Qaeda has been. And al Qaeda has said that. They want to kill the United States and its allies wherever they can.
M. O'BRIEN: Based on what we know, though, about these -- the groups of people that have been arrested thus far, does it feel like al Qaeda to you? Or does it feel like disgruntled people who, for whatever reason, are alienated and have somehow conflated the Koran into some sort of jihad?
D'AMURO: I don't think you can eliminate the arrest of Abu Hamza as a potential catalyst for this type of activity in London. Again, we use that term al Qaeda -- it's Sunni extremists. It's radical fundamentalists that have taken a twisted form of the religion and want to go out and conduct these types of attack. Again, the connection to groups like al Qaeda, bin Laden was successful in many areas of collecting and gathering, individuals that would conduct these type of attacks. He tried to unite extremists towards the infidels.
M. O'BRIEN: How much do you think these arrests sort of feed on each other? Is there a domino effect in these kinds of things? I guess that's kind of patently obvious, I mean, because information comes out. But it is very significant that we're seeing multiple arrests over a rapid period of time?
D'AMURO: Right. And you want that type of activity. And that's why, you know, the yard seems to be doing a very good job in this situation. You want to capitalize as quickly as possible on the intelligence and the information that you're gathering before giving the opportunity for individuals to escape, get away, evidence to disappear. So they want to move very aggressively and very quickly and they appear to be doing that.
S. O'BRIEN; Take a look, Pat, at these pictures, and you can see they've now updated them with captured. This is a suspect -- these are the pictures that were released really quite quickly after the failed bombing attempt on July 21st at the Oval, at the Hackney bus station, at the Warren Street Station, at the Shepherd's Bush Station. You can see, three out of four now captured. The suspect, who was never named, from the Shepherd's Bush Station, obviously still at large.
So the news we're getting here, three out of four of the July 21 bombers are now captured, now under arrest. And it's all in conjunction with this raid that we have been talking about this morning and showing you pictures of at two locations, and a third location at Liverpool Station as well, potentially, because all the details are not clear, but it's certainly seems this Notting Hill location. And another location, only about a mile away, where police with heavy manpower and heavy machinery, frankly, went in, quickly and, without any kind of advance notice to any of the people living there, quickly were able to get a situation under control.
So, I guess, in a way, we've got some big, breaking news for you on this story, and yet, it's mercifully, thankfully, not a story about any bombings to tell you about, but instead a police action where they now have succeeded in capturing two out of the three suspected bombers in the July 21st London bombings. Those bombings, which, of course, failed, did not go off. So, some information there.
We've been talking -- and you were talking, Miles, a minute ago, about the Liverpool Street Station. There's information coming from the BBC that we can talk about. Again, not confirmed by Scotland Yard or any British police at this point. A witness, though, telling the BBC that he saw a plain-clothes police officer swoop in and arresting two women. Now, that contradicts a little bit of what we've heard. We've heard a man and a woman. But two people at that station.
The station then cordoned off and police told people in the area, apparently, according to this witness, that they were going to carry out a controlled explosion. So, again, might be leading into -- I mean, I assume, a controlled explosion of something you assume to be a bomb. It's not just exploding anything.
D'AMURO: Well, they obviously have a package that they haven't, what we called proper I.D. They haven't determined whether or not it is an explosive device, so they may want it try to detonate that package to eliminate the potential hazard. S. O'BRIEN: Who knows exactly the length between those two at the Liverpool Pool Street Station and also others at Notting Hill Station, where the raid has been taking place, as well. So clearly, lots happening this morning.
Pat, let me ask you a question about -- I guess we were going to talk about this morning. Haroon Rashid Aswat. I mean, this is a guy who the U.S. red-flagged for British authorities because they were concerned about his role in setting up a terror camp, potentially, in Oregon. Turns out he's a guy connected, they believe, with the July 7th bombings. Walk us back through who this person is and what his relevance is to all of this, potentially?
D'AMURO: Well, Aswat was an individual that was connected to Abu Hamza al Masri, who is awaiting trial over in the U.K. Al Masri was responsible for wanting to establish a training camp in Bly, Oregon. Aswat was an individual that was involved with a person in Bly called Janaid (ph) that was trying to set up this training camp. From what I can best tell, is American authorities, the FBI, was putting together enough information on this individual to charge him. And they were desirous of conducting a rendition.
S. O'BRIEN: They wanted to grab the guy in Zambia. And they talked to the Zambian authorities and said, you got him. We'd like to bring him back. And the Zambian authorities, in return, said, let's talk to the British authorities, because, of course, he's a British national -- and you can see picture here of Aswat, as well -- he's a British citizen of Indian heritage. And what happened next was kind of surprising, I think, on a lot of fronts.
D'AMURO: Well, whenever you talk about doing a rendition, as opposed to an extradition, countries of where those people are citizens, especially Europe, they become a little bit hinky (ph) with that. They don't like the thought of a citizen being rendered back to another country. Again, what people have to understand, is when the FBI renders somebody, it's to bring them back on charges and they'll eventually see a court of law. So this is something that they probably entered into a discussion with the Brits and maybe there was some tenuous moments there, trying to resolve some various issues.
S. O'BRIEN: As all this of discussion went on, the guy gets out, disappears, essentially. Kind of blends into the background. And now he's perceived to be a key figure in the July 7th -- those deadly bombings that took place in Great Britain.
D'AMURO: Right. I think they're still in the process of determining where he's going to be rendered to, or who's going to be able to talk to him to find out his involvement.
S. O'BRIEN: Because they caught up to him in Zambia...
D'AMURO: Apparently, they...
S. O'BRIEN: And they're going to try to -- so who should have jurisdiction? I mean, who should get him first? If he's believed to be involved in a bombing that killed 52 people, if he's believe to wanting to set up a terror camp in Oregon, who gets first crack at him?
D'AMURO: Well, I can only give you examples of past situations where the FBI has grabbed individuals and talked to individuals and developed their cooperation, only to turn that individual over to the British authorities, because they have more value to situations in the U.K., so those situations have happened in the past. It's unclear in this situation if the British will be able to charge Aswat, and if they can't, then the American authorities can at least detain and hold him, because they have charges pending here.
S. O'BRIEN: A big web. Isn't it?
M. O'BRIEN: I guess the difficulty is, law enforcement plays by rules, and terror, of course, does not. Let me ask you this, though, as you watch this unfold, and presumably Scotland Yard is focused on this very notion, you have to wonder if some of this is part of a decoy, if there's another operation, another shoe will drop, perhaps much bigger. How do you guard against that?
D'AMURO: Well, you guard against it the only way you know how, and that's to be as aggressive as they are in trying to develop additional information, trying to run these people down. This is great news in London that they now have three of those individuals, because they're going to be able to develop a lot of leads, as they did with the physical evidence that was captured. Hopefully they'll develop additional information and investigative leads from the individuals arrested today.
S. O'BRIEN: That's such an interesting point, because when we were in London as well, people were saying that in some cases the first bombing, in a way they expected it; you know, people have been waiting for something to happen and they were -- I think people who ride the tube, I'm talking about. The second one really scared a lot of people. So quickly, the fact that even with everybody on heightened alert, it could happen again anyway, even though it didn't go off, obviously, as the bombers planned.
And I so think that you're exactly right. In a way, that horrible experience, both just physically and also psychologically for the people of London, in way has given just tons of evidence, and really probably has led to the ability to get a real inroad into a group that maybe they didn't know that much about before July 7th.
D'AMURO: Exactly. We really don't know if these individuals were connected to the July 7th bombings. We're speculating that they're attached to extremist groups who conducted these bombings, and that's what, hopefully, the Brits are going to be able to find out now.
M. O'BRIEN: Well, what's your sense of it? Is it a copycat situation? Clearly, what happened here is they were not as proficient in doing the deadly deed. What does that tell you? can we draw a conclusion there?
D'AMURO: It could be a separate cell. I think they are connected, in that they are terrorists. Do they know each other? Have they operated together? That's what's unclear. We don't know of any connection or connectivity between the two cells. That's what we very heard much about.
M. O'BRIEN: And I suppose on one hand, on one hand, the authorities would probably prefer that it was, you know, something acting concert, as opposed to these copycat scenarios, which really become kind of a malignant thing, which is very difficult to stem.
Let's clarify some arithmetic very quickly here. We want to make sure we're very clear on what's going on here. What we were reporting here is that there have been three people arrested that have some link, according to Scotland Yard, to this whole event.
However, only two suspects, specific suspects. So there's other arrests involved here, but there are two suspects that have been apprehended according to Scotland Yard. You see the two people on the top there. The one on the bottom, Yasin Hassan Omar, was picked up on Wednesday.
So -- let me just clarify for you our sourcing on this, because I want to make sure that -- this is from British media. Scotland Yard is being a little more a taciturn about it, and is just indicating, confirming the fact that they've made arrests at these locations. British media, which we believe are people we can hang this on, and we believe would not give us a bum steer, are telling us that among the arrests today, two additional suspects from the thwarted, botched attempts on July 21st. OK, I think we got that straight now.
S. O'BRIEN: Yes, I mean, I think just that clarification underscores how complicated this is. Numerous locations, numerous arrests, unclear exactly what the involvement is, even frankly before the military tactics today, it was still unclear, and it is still unclear if the July 7th bombings are necessarily related to the July 21st. Although I think a lot of people's first impressions that maybe they were bumblers, once more information came out, that that was not the case. Something went wrong in that those bombs, from their perspective obviously, didn't go off, but they were trying and would have, clearly, killed themselves, blown themselves up.
D'AMURO: Look at the type of devices -- those devices were created to kill people.
S. O'BRIEN: Oh, those pictures, I think, the X-ray picture of the nail sticking out of that one, and the simplicity. What I find both horrifying on two points is just how deadly it looks before it explodes, number one, just to create shrapnel, essentially, and then how simple it looks.
D'AMURO: It's not created to create damage. They weren't that large of devices. They were designed to expel that shrapnel and to kill individuals.
S. O'BRIEN: It's a really, I think, terrifying thing. Let's talk about -- that's the shot I think is a very, very ominous picture clearly. Let's talk a little bit about that fourth suspect, though, because from what we're hearing from British media, not yet confirmed by Scotland Yard, is that three out of the four suspects have now been captured.
The fourth one, though, is a suspect who was never name by British authorities. They were able To name two of the four that led to the arrest of one on Wednesday, Yasin Hassan Omar, and then of course the two more that we are seeing today. Curious to know if the timing, if, in fact, Omar revealed information that led to the police being able to go forward with these raids today.
But here's some information about this fourth suspect, that as far as we know right now is still at large. He was wearing a dark blue baseball cap, carrying a small rucksack, and entered the Westbourne Park Tube Station just after 12:20 local time there. He was taken -- a picture of him taken. That's the picture they were showing folks after the attempted bombing, and he caught a train headed for Shepherd's Bush, just two stops away. And in between the two station, he tried to detonate a bomb that failed to explode properly. Witnesses said at the time they heard a bang, kind of sounded like a pistol going off, and they saw a fellow passenger lying on the floor, rather, on top of a backpack that was by now smoking, and that he was able to jump right off the train at the Shepherd's Bush Station, apparently through a window at the end of the carriage. And this is the guy who ran down the tracks, and then hopped down into the neighborhood and took off. We've got an eyewitness who describes exactly what he saw.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was saying something like, you know, you need to stop running. Whether it was physical running or running away, I don't know. Anyway, he started -- the police...
QUESTION: Statements from the area. Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come out the flat with your underwear on and your arms up in the air. He was then saying to them, how do I know that you're not going to shoot me? I'm scared. How am I going to know that you're not going to shoot me? And he kept repeating that. They were saying if he actually, like, follows their guidelines, follows their rules, he'll be all right. Then he said to them, why do you want me to come out with just my underwear on? Why? They said, you need to come out into the street with your underwear on so that we know you haven't got any explosives on you, and so we know that you're not a risk to the police or the public.
QUESTION: And you could hear all of this clearly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I could heard, because after I heard, like, the first exchange to do with the running, I then came to my front door. And my front door is like facing the back of his flat where they were talking to him from, so I could hear all of this. You can see him. The windows are wide open, but he must have been at the back of the room, and he did sound scared. If I was scared, then he must have been scared. I don't know.
QUESTION: Ho how could you tell? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He sounded like he was not crying, but you when you're kind of going to -- like you're tearful. He did actually sound like he could have been crying or whatever. The police then started to say to him, you know, like, you need to maintain contact with us. You need to come out on the street. He stopped talking to them, and then, like, a more aggressive police officer came on the loud speaker and said you need to maintain contact. He didn't maintain contact. And after a while you start to see the SWAT teams arriving in the front with the blue forensic vans and the people in their white overalls. And once they came out and after about 15 minutes of them not having contact with him, you heard, like, the gunshots go off. Whether they were gunshots or like tear gas cylinders, I don't know.
So after you heard that and the SWAT team started to run around there, the forensic vans went around there as well and some of the suits went around there as well, and when the forensic -- not the forensic, sorry, the SWAT team started to come back around and take off their stuff, I asked one of them if I could come now out, and they said to me, yes, because the guy has, obviously, like, he'd been taken, but his front door is on the other side. So I can't actually see his front door; I could only hear what was going on from the window, because it's opposite mine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
S. O'BRIEN: That was a pretty riveting account from an eyewitness. She is describing the moments when a suspect surrendered eventually to police and we believe this is the suspect we were telling you, 30, 40 maybe more minutes of negotiation between police, I guess the equivalent of the SWAT team, the special SWAT team, the special forces team in there, trying to get this suspect to come out.
And what she described was first the suspect saying he was afraid, he didn't want to be shot if he came out, and then asking police to clarify why they wanted him to strip down to his underwear, essentially, before he came out. And she could listen in, she says, from her front door. Couldn't see anything, but could hear them describing and explaining to the suspect they needed him to take off his clothes off, because they wanted to make sure he wasn't booby- trapped.
They wanted to make sure that when he came out, in fact, he would not detonate himself and take out all of these special forces officers who were now at his front door trying to bring him out, negotiate him out. She said he sounded like he was not quite crying, but on the verge of, very tearful, and clearly afraid. And she said that eventually the standoff ended when he came out of the building.
So obviously, a little bit of a better eyewitness description of what exactly happened. We've been reporting, kind of without having an ability to see -- some of the pictures we've been bringing you from the scene show a lot of police action, but we don't have a good shot inside those flats, obviously. But now we're getting more word from more witnesses about what they have -- what they saw and what they heard and it's quite remarkable -- Miles. M. O'BRIEN: Once again, British media reporting two of the failed bombing suspects from July 21st have now been apprehended in the raids we have seen unfold here. There had been additional arrests, and that's why there's a little bit of confusion about the number of suspects captured and so forth. But that's what we know right now from British media, although Scotland Yard has not been quite at forthcoming.
Three locations that we've been focusing on. Underground stations, Liverpool Underground Station, a perhaps separate incident there, but we don't know. A man and woman arrested there. We're told there might be some sort of controlled explosion there, with a suspicious package, potentially. Peabody Estates, another location on the western part of London. That was a raid to lead to an arrest, but there was a standoff, a standoff which may be over, according to our producer on the scene, Henry Schuster.
And finally, Notting Hill, which is where we first became aware of all this, two apartments, or flats, as they call them in London, raided there. Generating some arrests and also causing a good portion of that neighborhood to be evacuated. A huge cordon around there.
CNN's Nic Robertson is at the end the cordon, has been watching this whole scene unfold. Nic, do you have the sense that this has turned in -- now into a forensics sort of investigation there? Or is there still concern there might be suspects and/or weapons, bombs, in those flats and thus everybody is still hanging back?
ROBERTSON: I think that it appears to have entered that -- the forensics stage of the investigation, Miles. A couple of reasons I would say that. When we arrived a couple of hours ago, we saw a number of armed officers leaving the area, a surveillance helicopter came over and moved us. So I think that was perhaps an early indication, though impossible to draw that conclusion at that stage that perhaps the intensive storm search and capture phase of the operation was ongoing.
But perhaps the best indication I've had came just a few minutes ago, when police officers approach the cordon line here, looking for residents. They want to advise those residents that there's an inquiry center opening up for them where they can go and ask questions. So it does seem that the police have moved it into the phase now where they can begin to deal with the inquiries of local residents, how long they may be held back from their houses, how long this may all take, exactly what went on. Those sorts of details seem to be -- the police seem to be ready to pass those details to the local residents.
But from what we can see here, the cordon line remains in place. There's no more high-speed activity coming in and out of this area. The police maintaining their positions on the cordon line. It was pushed back about an hour and a half ago to where we are now. The operation, though, here, as police say and have said, as we have seen not only in Birmingham a couple of days ago, where a major arrest was made, but in Leeds two weeks ago, where the police went into the houses of the bombers from the July 7th bombing there. The police go in. There's an initial raid phase. Then they seal the areas off and spend up to three or four or five days going minutely, doing forensic examination through those houses. Although we can't see what's going on right now, it appears as if that's what's happening at this location -- Miles.
M. O'BRIEN: Nic, you referred back to some of the previous raids. And to put this in context and give a little bit of the back story to remind viewers, we're at a point now where I think at least two dozen arrests have been made over the past few days in the wake of all of this. Walk us through that. And it's very difficult to come up with any sort of narrative here or any sort of thread that ties all of these disparate locations together.
ROBERTSON: It does. I think perhaps the best thread that we have is London itself. The underground network is where the most recent failed bombings started Thursday last week. Arrests began the following day. Over that weekend, last weekend -- Friday, Saturday, Sunday and early as of Monday morning, the police made five arrests. A couple of days later, they released one of those people. That left four people in police custody.
Things began to move along, accelerate with a greater speed, on Wednesday this week. In the early hours of the morning, the police arresting one of those suspect bombers from last week, Yasin Hassan Omar. Within the 24 hours following his arrest, there were three women arrested at a location in Leeds, a location in London. The following morning, another nine people arrested in London.
So currently, currently, until this morning, at least -- Let me just back up here -- until this morning, the police had 20 people in their custody from arrests over of the last week. Now, they seem to have added another five people to those people currently under arrest. The three they've talked about that have been arrested during these raids, at two different addresses in West London, and the two people that we understand to have been arrested at a central London train station, the Liverpool Street train station.
It would seem, to my mathematics at this stage, 25 people police have arrested, being held in a high security police stations in central London and three people held in Birmingham, as well. Those 25 people connected, the police say, with those failed bombings last week -- Miles.
M. O'BRIEN: Nic, let's talk about Liverpool for just a moment. Liverpool Street underground station. Do you think that -- what's your sense of that? Are you hearing anything from authorities? We don't have anything officially at this end as to whether that might be separate or a part of this whole operation?
ROBERTSON: I think the best information we have is really coming from reporters with our sister network. And they said that the police arrested the two people there at about 2:00 in the afternoon. Now, that -- that is about three hours after the raids were initiated here.
One of the things that struck me, Miles, as we drove here to the raids this afternoon, was a very high security on the entrances to the tube stations. We know that security has been stepped up by police at the tube stations, but what struck me about that was, it occurred it me, if people do try and flee the scene here, they're going to try and escape by bus and escape by tube train. And that's exactly what the suspect bombers did eight days ago. So it seemed the police were trying to stop people fleeing this area by covering the transport network.
Now, those two people arrested at Liverpool Street station, did they flee the scene three hours later to be arrested there? Were they arrested on a tip-off? Are they connected in any way? We don't have those details. But their arrest did happen three hours afterwards and the police cordoned off a very large area, according to our sister network. And, indeed, the -- our sister network ITN there, reporters said that there was possibly an indication that the police had pushed people back, had them far enough back, in case there was a possibility of some explosives being discovered or being involved in that particular arrest -- Miles.
M. O'BRIEN: Nic what do we know, as long as you mention all that -- because they certainly were prepare for the possibility of meeting with lethal force -- the authorities were, or perhaps were using it. Do we know anything about injuries? Nothing in the Scotland Yard statement indicates there were any injuries as these arrests were made.
ROBERTSON: We've had no reports from residents here about injuries. In fact, the one lady who said -- who told me earlier that she did see three people being taken into police custody. I asked her how were they being treated. She said they were being treated very well, they weren't being treated roughly. They were sort of just being led and put into this white police van that she described. She said she thought their hands were cuffed from behind their back. She couldn't see their faces. But the phase of the operation that she saw seemed to indicate that there were no casualties involved, from what she saw.
Another eyewitness, who appeared -- from her account -- appeared to live immediately above where one of the raids was taking place. She said that she heard what she thought were shots being fired at about 11:00 in the morning. Then, she said, it went quiet for about an hour or so. Then when she looked outside her flat door, inside the building where the raid had gone on, she saw a lot of policemen. Some of them were armed. And they told her at that stage that she needed to evacuate the building.
So the raids that occurred, the two addresses that occurred -- that were raided right here, things seem to have passed off relatively peacefully from all accounts that we have gathered so far -- Miles.
M. O'BRIEN: Nic Robertson, who's at the Notting Hill location, one of three places in London that we're focused on right now, as we watch the authorities there apparently focus very strongly on the July 21st incident, those bombing attempts, and apparently, according to British media, have now rounded up two of the suspects that remained at large -- at large, leaving one so far unnamed suspect not in their custody in their grasp -- Soledad.
S. O'BRIEN: Right. As we start our extended coverage in the 11:00 hour here in New York, we're going to update you on what's happening in London. It's obviously now our top story, bringing AMERICAN MORNING into almost American Afternoon, as we head that way.
Police really started this massive terror raid at 11:00 in the morning London time. A big area cordoned off, we are told by our correspondents at the scene. Two flats raided in Notting Hill. It's the western part of London.
A bomb disposal unit at that site as well. Police cordoning off that area. And then we were able to see police in protective gear, with gas masks, investigating some of the vehicles and also making their way then into two flats.
A resident there describing three well-dressed men with backpacks surrounded by police and then placed into a white van that drove away. She said at that time nothing particularly unordinary about the men.
And also, a man in the neighborhood said on Sky News that he heard a loud controlled explosion, and when he went to investigate, police told him to get back into his building. He heard then, he says, six loud bangs. Police said they were the result of stun grenades. And he also described hearing two shots as well.
About a mile away, if we can put that map back up on the screen there, Peabody Estates, that's where CNN's Henry Schuster is. And he's been telling us that he believes the standoff there is over. He saw a man let out with something over his head to conceal the identity.
He says, while it's only a mile away from Notting Hill, a very upscale neighborhood, Peabody Estates couldn't be any more different, a government-subsidized apartment building. Witnesses describing similar things there, though.
They heard a controlled explosion and armed police yelling for Mohammed to come out. Peabody Estates just a mile away, again, from Notting Hill.
And then some information to tell you about in the underground stations. Arrests of two women at the Liverpool Street Station. That comes to us according to British transport police. Arrested just before 1:00 in the afternoon local time, so that's about two hours after those simultaneous raids at Notting Hill and Peabody Estates happened. Not many details, though, available at this time.
And then, a separate incident, same station, though. Police evacuated the station after they discovered an unattended suitcase was on the main station concourse.
So that's kind of an update about what we know at this time. These reports coming to us not only from British police, also information from British media as well, and our correspondents, obviously, on the scene, giving us the very latest. Let's go right to Dan Smith. He is a senior intelligence analyst at AKE.
I'm practically out of breath describing just what we have seen in the last couple of hours really unfolding before us live, Dan. Are you surprised that in just the week since this botched bombing attempt, they have been able to round up three out of the four suspects?
DAN SMITH, SENIOR INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: In some respects, it has been surprising how quickly the police have moved. And that's probably a reflection, firstly, that they believe there's a clear and present threat from these men remaining on the loose. That would seem to be obvious. They were, as we know, suicide or attempted suicide bombers.
The second aspect of probably why this investigation has moved so quickly is that the fact they failed to go off, their devices failed to go off, left a wealth of forensic and other evidence for police to actually help track them down.
S. O'BRIEN: Yet, at the same time, I am surprised, I have to say, that they would remain in London when fairly good quality pictures of these suspects have been all over the place.
S. O'BRIEN: I mean, I guess maybe it would be even harder to get out, but I'm sort of surprised they were clearly in apartments, in the middle of people and neighbors. Does that surprise you?
SMITH: Not really. I mean, as we -- as we know, they were suspected or attempted suicide bombers. They failed to carry out that particular mission, though.
They had obviously spent months preparing for that particular mission. And obviously, they were probably, to put it mildly, in shock that their devices failed to go off.
They wouldn't have had some sort of exit strategy to get out of the capital or even get out of the country within time. So what they would have done is probably fallen back on what they know best, either friends, family, or even their own communities, which possibly is what we're seeing today. The police have finally managed to track them down.
S. O'BRIEN: We're also seeing, I think, a huge sense of urgency when you consider these simultaneous, both rather large raids. Am I right about that?
SMITH: Yes, absolutely. What we saw is simultaneous raids in south London and also northwest London in the Notting Hill area. And then I think almost two hours later, police arrested two suspects, two female suspects in Liverpool Street Station.
Now, we're not entirely convinced at this stage, or we don't entirely know whether the arrests in Liverpool Station are entirely linked to the two earlier raids, but the two earlier raids do seem to be the suspects from the 21st of July.
S. O'BRIEN: Here is what we do know about that arrest -- or those arrests of the two women at Liverpool Street Station. This coming into us.
Apparently there's an -- an eyewitness said he saw police detain two women. He described them as Asian women in their early 20s.
They were wearing backpacks, one backpack apiece, and they were carrying between them a cardboard box. But you're right, we don't actually have a link necessarily at this early time in the investigation between those arrests at the Liverpool Street Station and the bombings of July 21, or the bombing attempts, I really should say.
Twenty-five people now, by Nic Robertson's math, being held in connection with the bombing. Does that sound, that number, sound like a lot to you? Does it sound like not a lot at all, it's going to get much higher? What do you think?
SMITH: It is -- I mean, superficially, it seems like quite a large number to look after four suspects, or four people trying to flee. But we have to remember, as I said just then, these suspects, the four attempted suicide bombers, wouldn't have had an organized plan. And I suspect if they had an organized exit strategy, there would be far fewer people supporting them.
But it seems that they actually fell back on their communities, perhaps friends and family, and have drawn that high number. And there's actually 21 people, seemingly, into this.
S. O'BRIEN: When you look at -- and we were showing just a moment ago the four suspects. Three of them captured, one, the one on the bottom right of your screen, at the Shepherd's Bush Station, obviously still at large because he doesn't have the big red "captured" sign on that photo. In your mind, do you feel really British police are so close to capturing this fourth suspect?
SMITH: Yes, I mean, the arrest on Wednesday of one of the suicide bombers could have been very instrumental in the arrests today of the other two. That final attempted suicide bombing suspect I suspect will be arrested very shortly now.
S. O'BRIEN: I sort of agree with you on that. But, you know, at the same time, I've got to ask you, Dan, why do suicide bombers talk? Here people who are willing to kill themselves, I mean, why would they then sit down with authorities and fill them in on any kind of plot? It sometimes just doesn't make any sense to me.
SMITH: Yes, I mean, it's very hard to understand the psychology of a suicide bomber, especially from a western perspective, or from our own perspective. What you have there is someone who has been preparing for their own death for a long time, possibly months, certainly would be weeks. They've had counseling from spiritual leaders within their own community, and all of a sudden, they failed in their mission.
Some will feel a sense of shame and will try to play up their part in it and try to accost to that shame. Others will feel almost shocked out of it and then also feel guilty for what they have done, and possibly try to spill the beans, so to speak. But finally, some of them possibly will want to plea bargain in some way to reduce the sentences that will be likely given to them once they go before the court system in this country.
S. O'BRIEN: An interesting perspective there.
Dan Smith joining us with a little update on his perspective now. And we should fill you in on what we know at this time.
Again, three people under arrest. Two at one address, one at another address, although we are getting word that -- but not confirmation -- that three of the four now suspected bombers from July 21 -- those bombs failed to detonate -- but three of the four suspected bombers captured. One remaining bomber yet to be captured. This is the bomber at the Shepherd's Bush subway station.
This is the bomber who apparently jumped on his backpack when it failed to go off and then left without the backpack, basically blowing out the window of the train car, jumping down -- running down the tracks and then jumping down into -- behind someone's house and running out. We heard eyewitnesses talk a little bit about seeing that person.
Of course they weren't aware exactly what was going on at the time, but later being able to piece together that suspect. And that suspect they described as not having a backpack at the time.
So lots to update you on. And we continue, of course, to monitor the story as we head into extended coverage of AMERICAN MORNING -- Miles.
M. O'BRIEN: And just to give you a little geography here, most of this unfolding in the western part of London. Notting Hill is a focus of a lot of attention. We've been talking to Nic Robertson there. That's where two flats were raided. A number of the arrests occurred there.
And in addition, about a mile away at a place called the Peabody Estates, there was a siege which was under way for quite some time. We had some reports from the scene from our producer, Henry Schuster, that that siege might very well have been over and authorities might have gotten their man.
On the line with us now from that location, Peabody Estates, is Matthew Chance.
Matthew, what can you tell us?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Peabody Estates are a sort of (INAUDIBLE) estate, government -- low-rent housing in this part of west London, about a mile away, as you say. And that other raid, the action has been taking place in two locations here in west London. One in the Portobello Road area where we've been hearing from Nic Robertson. The other one is right here, where another big police raid has been taking place.
And much as in the other location, what happened at about 11:00 local time this morning, so just over about five hours ago, police came in, armed police, some forensic teams as well, bomb squads, in addition, in that hour of the morning and cleared away the residents, evacuated the local area, and then raided one house, it seems, in this area where they suspect people connected with those July 21 bombers are located. There were explosions reported by local residents. Not clear whether they were actual bombs going off or whether, which is perhaps more likely, that they were stun grenades or police blowing the hinges of doors on the house, which seems to be the case. It seems to be their sort of modus operandi when they go into locations like this.
Also reported by eyewitnesses, gunshots fired as well. It's also known that for about 15 minutes, for a period of about that long, they were in negotiations with an individual or individuals inside one of the negotiations -- inside one of the apartments, rather. They then came to an end, and there were more explosions. And later, at least one person, according to eyewitnesses, was taken away by police with a coat draped over his head in the back of a police van.
Now, it's not known who that individual is. The eyewitnesses are reporting police calling out the name of Mohammed, but that's not confirmed by the police at this stage.
And so we're waiting to hear from Scotland Yard, from the Metropolitan Police here in London, to see what they can tell us about this operation and these two operations that have been going on, and other as well across London -- Miles.
M. O'BRIEN: Matthew, so let's just clarify, though, because we had all these reports about a siege. What do we know about current or past sieges?
CHANCE: Well, I think talk of a siege was referring to what was happening here in this location. As I say, there were negotiations between the police, between police negotiators and individuals, or an individual inside one of the apartments here at (INAUDIBLE) Grove.
Those negotiations, we understood, lasted for about 15 minutes. Now, after that, eyewitnesses reported hearing explosions, possibly gunshots as well.
We know that at least one person was taken away with a coat over his head in the back of a police van after that. And we understand at the moment that if there was a siege in this location, it may well now have come to an end.
The police aren't talking to us here on the ground. They seem to be letting a few residents into the area they cordoned off to get back to their homes and to take a car away one of the residents needed. But at the moment, police are treating this as a crime scene. They're there with their forensic team, just scouring the area, presumed to be looking for whatever evidence they need to connect this individual or individuals with the various bombings that have taken place in this city over the past several weeks.
M. O'BRIEN: So I have the sense, Matthew, that "siege" might be a little too strong a term here. It might have been a little more quick than a siege would imply. But important to point out it seems as if, just as Nic reported from his location about a mile from you, what is going on now is more of a forensic nature.
CHANCE: That certainly seems to be the case. The term "siege" is perhaps banded around a bit too often when we're in situations like this.
Certainly, there was a period of negotiations. Those negotiations have ended. But they seem to have ended with one person being taken away. And what we're left with are police here at the scene treating this as a crime scene, gathering whatever evidence they can with their forensic teams, as you often see at these kinds of locations.
M. O'BRIEN: Have you had much of a chance, Matthew, to talk to residents about what they saw or heard, or what their general reaction is to what's -- what's gone on there this morning?
CHANCE: Yes, I've spoken to a couple of people. They were obviously very shocked to hear that this was the location where these suspected suicide bombers or attempted suicide bombers may have been holed up.
It is an ethnically-mixed neighborhood. It's quite a low-rent neighborhood as well. So people -- people here are very shocked to see that this is the kind of place that these kind of people work.
They were moved out, as I say, at 11:00. One 15-year-old boy that we spoke to said to have come outside of the apartment building and be confronted with police pointing pistols at him. And he was very shaken up as a result of that.
Obviously, they realized that this wasn't the person they were looking for and let him move on. But obviously, a lot of police here, a lot of people being taken out of their homes. And a lot of disruption for the locals, what is essentially a residential neighborhood in west London.
M. O'BRIEN: All right. That's not the kind of welcome you want to get in your own neighborhood, that's for sure. Matthew Chance, who as at the Peabody Estates area, watching the scene unfold there -- Soledad.
S. O'BRIEN: Not far away, we find Nic Robertson. He's been covering the story for us from Notting Hill. It's just about a mile away from those Peabody Estates.
Hey, Nic, what have you got for us?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Soledad, the police did come and look for local residents who had been evacuated to give them an update on the situation. They've advised them that there is an inquiry room being set up for them to come and get information.
The situation here definitely seems to be moving into that forensic phase. Although, we can't see what's going on because the actual raids took place on one of the side streets just a little bit down -- just a little bit down the road behind me here.
People we have been talking to here have really expressed their surprise that this could happen so closely. Some men told me before, a man running the plumbing shop on the corner, he said, "Just a couple of days ago, I was sitting outside of here with my friend in the sunshine. We were talking about all these raids in and around London, that we just couldn't imagine how people could be perpetrating these types of attacks." He said, "The last thing we would have expected would be to come and find that somebody connected with it was arrested, you know, right around the corner from where we live."
So people -- people very surprised that this is happening, and particularly because this neighborhood is perhaps a little more affluent than the neighborhoods that have generally been the target of the police raids up until now -- Soledad.
S. O'BRIEN: I was going to ask you about that. Because we heard, I think it was from Henry, who said Notting Hill and then the Peabody Estate are very night, you know, sort of night and day when it comes to the affluence of those two neighborhoods.
I guess that kind of gives you a bigger picture of maybe the extent of the -- of al Qaeda if this is indeed connected to al Qaeda, or the extent of the al Qaeda mindset across a wind range of London. That's got to be very terrifying to people.
ROBERTSON: It is. And if we step back a little bit, after those first bombings on the 7th of July in London, an internal British government document was released. That was a document that outlined the Muslims in Britain who they -- who the government thought were most likely to join groups like al Qaeda.
Now, there are 1.6 million Muslims living in Britain. The government document suspected that about one percent of those, one in 100 of those people, might be susceptible to a radical message of al Qaeda.
The people they identified as being those types of people were not just the poorly-educated people, but well-educated professionals with professional jobs. People who had been to university and had professional jobs. And that does seem to correlate with what we have seen. The types of people who have been arrested so far have been, in many cases, people with -- people with good educations in their background. Now, perhaps that gives us a clue as to why some of these raids should be in a more up-market neighborhood, and perhaps some of the raids in poorer accommodations. These houses around here, some of them are single family occupancy. These are big houses here, four stories high, many bedrooms, perhaps four, five and six bedrooms.
Some of the houses subdivided into small flats. Perhaps as many as six, seven or eight flats. So until we can get closer to the houses that were raided, we won't really -- we won't get an idea, a better idea about the people who are actually living there -- Soledad.
S. O'BRIEN: Nic, you know, as we have been following this all morning, it's gotten the sense that it's been really unfolding right before our eyes and obviously right, you know, next to you, essentially. What's the status right now? Is there a sense that everything is wrapped up, that it's done, that the forensic team is in there and things have slowed down? Or is it still very much under way?
ROBERTSON: I think the sense is that it has slowed down here, that although we can't see it, if it's normal procedure that we're seeing from the police on these raids, after that initial high intensity, the armed police, the high-speed action, the cordons go up, that's what we have now. Local residents begin to get information from the police on how long they can expect to be held back from their houses.
As that goes on, the forensic examination begins. And what we've seen, the forensic examination, for example, we saw in Birmingham, where one of those suspect bombers was picked up just two days ago, the forensic examination there appeared to be over perhaps within a matter of 12, 18 hours.
What we saw in Leeds, where the houses of the bombers who died in their bombing -- bombing missions on the 7th of July, the police spent four, five days in some of their houses, going through them in minute detail. So potentially, the police could be involved in the operation here for quite some days to come.
But until they give us more details about exactly who they arrested, and were they living at their own addresses when they were arrested, it will give us an idea of how long the forensics might last. If they were living and these were their homes, then it might be realistic to expect the police spend a long time in their forensic examinations there.
Of course, part of the forensic search is a search for information and material that could give police real-time information, real-time leads on other potential suspects. So there will be a very rapid assessment of documents inside the house, photographs inside the house, things that may lead the police on to other people they want to question.
Then they will go back, and then they will go through with that thorough examination of any traces of explosives, any traces of chemicals that would be of interest to police, what other -- what other devices may be hidden around the properties, if that's the case. So I think we can expect it to last for some time yet -- Soledad.
S. O'BRIEN: Well, clearly, those failed bombings were just a treasure trove of information for authorities who are trying to figure out just who pulled off these -- the bigger picture of who was behind the bombing attacks.
Nic, thanks. We'll check in with you again as the investigation and the raid, I guess, continues.
Nic was talking a little about the suspects. And I want to play for you an eyewitness earlier talking about what she heard, mostly heard, as police on the scene negotiated with a suspect to try to get that person to turn himself in, to come out to authorities, and also to take off his clothes, essentially to make sure he wasn't booby- trapped with any kind of bomb.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were three explosions. The first was like the kind of most alarming.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What time?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was after 11:00, 11:30.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really loud?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first one was really loud. The next ones kind of sounded like extra loud fireworks. But the first one, you knew that there was -- if I hadn't seen what was going on, I would have known that something was wrong from that explosion. No debris or anything. It was just the noise.
Afterwards, when we came out -- sorry, when I went back in, I heard like an exchange between the police and the guy. And they were saying something like, you know, "You need to stop running." Whether it was physical running or running away, I don't know.
Anyway, he started -- the police started to say to him, "You need to come out of the flat." After a while, they started to say, "You need to come out of the flat with your underwear on and your arms in the air."
He was then saying to them, "How do I know that your not going to shoot me? I'm scared. How am I going to know that you're not going to shoot me?" And he kept repeating that.
They were saying if he actually like -- you know, follows their guidelines, follows their rules, he'll be all right.
Then, he said to them, "Why do you want me to come out with just my underwear on? Why?" They said, "You need do come out into the street with your underwear on so that we know you haven't got any explosives on you and so that we know that you're not a risk to the police or the public."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you could hear this clearly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I could hear -- because after I heard the third exchange, to do with the running, I then came to my front door. And my front door is like facing the back of his block where they were talking to him from.
So I could hear all of this. You couldn't see him because he was like at the back -- the windows were wide open, but he must have been at the back of the room. And, I mean, he did sound -- he did sound scared. If I was scared, you know, he must have been scared. I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How could you tell?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He sounded like he was like -- like, not crying, but you know when you're kind of going to -- like you're tearful. He did actually sound like he could have been crying or whatever.
The police then started to say to him, you know, like "You need to maintain contact with us. You need to come out on the street."
He stopped talking to them. And then, like a more aggressive police officer came on the loud speaker and started saying to him, you know, "You need to maintain contact."
He didn't maintain contact. And after a while, you started to see the S.W.A.T. teams arrive in, in the front, with the blue forensic vans and the people in their white overalls. And once -- once they came out, and after about 15 minutes of them not having contact with him, you heard like the gunshots go off.
Whether they were gunshots or, you know, like tear gas, I don't know. But after you heard that, and the S.W.A.T. team started to run around there, the forensic vans went around there as well. And then some of the suits went around there as well.
And when the forensic -- not the forensic, sorry, the S.W.A.T. team started to come back around and take off their stuff, I asked one of them if I could now come out. And they said to me yes, because the guy had obviously -- like he had been taken.
But his front door is on the other side. So I can't actually see his front door. I could only hear what was going on from the window because it's opposite mine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you hear anymore shouting just towards the end between -- communication between the police and him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. To be honest, from the time he stopped talking to them, he wasn't talking anymore.
I mean, I don't -- as I said, I don't know what it is that they shot into the place. So I don't know whether, you know, it was something that -- whatever, you know, like knocks you out. I don't know. But I didn't hear him at all after he stopped conversating (ph) with them. I didn't hear anything else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long did all this take?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: From the beginning, from the first minute that I saw the police, I would say that I had been in my house for about four hours. The dialogue with the police and him maybe for about three hours. But the actual initial car being stopped where it is -- and it's still there now -- that I don't know.
One of the police officers actually said to me he's been there since about 5:00. So I don't know. But I know (INAUDIBLE) from about 11:00. And I've come out -- and they let me out at about 3:00, five to 3:00 they let me out. So...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the significance of the car?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The significance of the car is, one, that the first thing you see, and it's not in the place. Anybody who lives there knows that that car is not going to be there.
There's not a -- it's not a road where you really park, especially not on the corner. It's not even parked -- it looks literally like -- you know when you have been like stopped or something and you're out of the car?
Also, somebody who lives around the back there had said to me, did I not see when he was running from the car? And I didn't see him running from any car. So I can't say that. But the description that the person said to me with the car is -- the description of the car that the person said to me is the same car that I'm seeing there, a white car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So this is the man running from the car to the flat?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's what they're saying. And that was -- the time he's saying is around about the time that I heard the police saying, you know, you need to stop running. But because I didn't see any running, I can't vouch that he was actually running.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They knew who he was? They called him by name?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What car is it?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a silver -- it's a silver car. I didn't even pay no attention to, like, what make it is. It's not an estate.
It's like -- I suppose it's the shape of a...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hatchback?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it's not a hatchback. It's the shape of, like, I don't know, a Mondeo (ph) or a Passat. Or you know that kind of long...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In terms of the conversation with the police, did he exchange -- when he's still in the flat, what exactly did you hear? Did they ever name him?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, they kept calling him "Mohammed." Every time they were talking to him, they called him "Mohammed." Every single time. It wasn't -- it wasn't like, you know, just every now and again. It was literally like they had been given a name or something like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I mean, obviously, people around the -- you know, around the area, or whatever, said, like, "Oh, you know you him," blah, blah, blah. But I don't know him, and the pictures that they're showing of him I don't recognize, either.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In terms of him saying anything, what little do you know that he said in return to whatever the police said?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What he kept saying was like, you know, how is he to know, how is he guaranteed that he's not going to be shot. That was his main concern, "How do I know you're not going to shoot me?" And also, "Why do you want me to come out in my underwear?"
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he said that repeatedly?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, in the 15 minutes that they were talking to him, it was pretty much what I've said to you being repeated. I don't know if that's why he stopped talking to him. You know, at times, they did say -- when he stopped talking to them, they did actually say to him, "Is there a reason why you're unable to maintain contact?"
So I don't know if they were trying to ask if there was someone in there or something. But...
S. O'BRIEN: Another angle on that. Let's take a listen to some explosions. You'll hear them coming up on the tape as cameras are rolling.
They pick up an explosion. And then, obviously, the reaction from very concerned neighbors. That's another angle on what that woman, the eyewitness, was talking about. So let's take a listen.
The Notting Hill neighborhood. You can some hear little -- little, small shrieks, if that's not an oxymoron.
People a little bit concerned, although the reaction from the police, it does seem to be that these in fact were controlled explosions, meaning that the officers expecting them to happen. They don't go running off in any direction when they do, in fact, happen. But pretty dramatic, I think, description of what that eyewitness saw as police essentially were trying to negotiate and bring in, as they were able to I guess successfully do, that suspect from the Notting Hill location.
M. O'BRIEN: Not your typical morning in Notting Hill to hear those kinds of explosions. Whether controlled, whether police, or otherwise, that certainly was a shock to neighbors there. And I thought she offered a very compelling accounting of all of that.
CNN producer Henry Schuster had been at one of the locations earlier today, the Peabody Estate, and now is making his way toward Scotland Yard and has been gleaning information all along the way.
Henry, what can you tell us?
HENRY SCHUSTER, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Miles, I'm actually heading back to Scotland Yard, which is where I started the day. And during the day I was doing an interview with an assistant commissioner at Scotland Yard. And at that point, they were making an appeal to the -- namely to the Somali community, talked about how they were working -- trying to work through the community to get information.
They had said that clearly that all the men that there were looking for, the three suspected bombers who were still on the run, were all of east African -- east African origin, was the implication from the assistant commissioner. He said they had gone through, they had worked through the Somali community. They had gotten the Somali community leaders to send out e-mails.
And even as that was unfolding, I was actually at the location of two separate raids. The first was where Nic Robertson is, in Notting Hill, where two flats were raided. And the second was in -- the second was here. There seems to be a lot of -- I'm sorry. British transport police were going by in a truck, which could be an indication -- when there are trucks going both ways, even here at Hyde Park corner, there could be indications that something else is up in this rather confusing day.
But at Notting Hill, raid of two places. Those flats -- both people told me, that these were families of East African origin there. Then we went to the Peabody Estates neighborhood, which is where those explosions that you were talking about took place, the controlled explosions.
The people that we talked to, including that eyewitness, weren't sure whether they were rifle shots or whether they were stun grenades that the police might have been using as they were trying to resolve that standoff. At about 3:00 London time, which is about 10:00 Eastern time, we saw one police van coming out of the estate.
There was a man in there, Miles. He was in the back of that van. He had a jacket draped over his head as if he was under restraints, as if he was under arrest, but they did not want us to see who he was.
And that was the last really visible sign of activity that we saw there, Miles.
M. O'BRIEN: Now that you've kind of been able to assess what you've seen, in retrospect, do you think it's pretty likely that he might have been one of the suspects linked to the botched bombings?
SCHUSTER: Yes, I do. I think what's likely is that he is one of the -- I think that he is the person in question where they were talking about having the standoff, where the woman said they were shouting for Mohammed.
I think that it's likely that that was the person that they were bringing out at that point. We're still not clear -- they're talking about three arrests today. We're still not clear, of those three arrests, how many took place at each location.
How many took place at the location in Notting Hill, in a more sort of up-market area, if you will, where Nic Robertson is, or how many took place -- we only saw one person being brought out of the Peabody Estates location. That appeared to be at the end of the standoff.
And again, the eyewitnesses -- we talked to several of them, and you heard those explosions. They said that there was one controlled explosion, then there were those loud popping sounds. Then there was the negotiation, then there were more loud popping sounds. Those popping sounds -- one eyewitness said he though it was rifles, another rifle shots, another said that he thought it was stun grenades.
All we know is that the police talked about the first of those explosions. And they did tell some of the residents who had been pulled out of there that it was a controlled explosion. And that, Miles, is what we've got.
M. O'BRIEN: Henry.
SCHUSTER: It's a very confusing situation.
M. O'BRIEN: And to further confuse matters a little bit, I guess, is we have three arrests. But Scotland Yard is giving us just that much. Whereas there are other reports in British media that two of the suspects that remained at large are in custody.
Can you further clarify for us as to who may or may not be captured and what Scotland Yard may or may not be saying?
SCHUSTER: Well, that's why we're headed over there now. We're hoping that they'll have a briefing, maybe even within the hour, and give us some information. They tend to give their briefings after the fact. They certainly tend not to entertain questions, as they call it.
They give information, and usually that's that. But we'll be able to piece it together with what we've been hearing from these eyewitnesses at these other locations. And I should say, Miles, as we've been driving through there, you may have heard sirens in the background. There seems to be a number of vehicles going in all sorts of different locations. Some are British transport police, some of them are the Metropolitan Police. So clearly, the day doesn't seem to be over and a lot of things still seem to be on the move.
M. O'BRIEN: Henry Schuster, we'll leave it on that somewhat ominous note, there. Obviously, lots of developments still unfolding in the city of London as police continue their effort, here, to try to track down the people responsible for the bombings -- Soledad?
S. O'BRIEN: That's brings us right back to Pat D'Amuro. He is a CNN security analysts. You know, we just heard a moment ago, Henry Schuster saying the day's not over and things continue. And even though we've been talking about a noticeable reduction in the police presence -- is that what's happening, or do you think it's only just beginning to ramp up?
PAT D'AMURO, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: A reduction in the visible presence. I can tell you this. They're performing as many functions as they can right now. SO 13, the investigative arm of the Metropolitan Police -- you can rest assured that they are aggressively pursuing any additional leads.
The documents that may be coming out of these locations, trying to talk to the individuals that were arrested. They're trying to come up with as much information as possible.
S. O'BRIEN: Nic talked, really, of kind of about two tracks. One, the fast track. That's quick turnaround, looking at pictures, looking at maps, looking at notes. Because if anything is, sort of, percolating right now, they want to get on that. And then you have the slower track, the longer-term investigation. Explain to me about the difference between the two.
D'AMURO: In this type of situation, when they develop forensic evidence that may be coming out of a location, say, for example, what we said earlier, a safety deposit box, an area where there may be additional explosive material. A map, a significant telephone number that might mean something to them. They're going to be running down those leads real time, as quickly as they can.
Your longer term investigation, they'll continue to look at this same type of information; telephone numbers, bank records, anything they can get their hands on to further identify additional associates of the individuals that may be conducting these attacks.
S. O'BRIEN: I'm going to ask you to guess, but I'm curious to know if you think an arrest of the fourth suspect -- it looks like the three out of the four would-be bombers are now captured. The fourth, imminent?
D'AMURO: Well, we talked a little bit about the fact that why didn't these individuals flee London? If they were, in fact, to be suicide bombers, they may not have had that mechanism in place. They may not have had the finances. They may not have planned to try to get out of the city. S. O'BRIEN: Never thought they were going to live through it.
D'AMURO: Exactly. But I can tell you that, right now, they're trying to find ways to get out of there. Did the fourth individual get out of London? Possibly, we don't know.
S. O'BRIEN: What about the chances of it? Because at the end of the end of the day, don't you really want to -- you really have to capture the head. I mean, you can get all these other players, and to a large degree, the people who actually carry the bombs are the lower- level players. What are the chances that they're actually going to lead back to the people that matter?
D'AMURO: Well, in instances before, where Al Qaeda, and other groups like Al Qaeda have conducted these types of attack, they usually leave individuals behind to witness the attack and then to try to get out of the country. Usually the head of the attack is long gone.
S. O'BRIEN: Interesting. Pat D'Amuro, thanks for sticking it out with us. We're going to ask you stay around, also. Let's continue our discussion, now, of what exactly is happening.
For those who are just joining us, we've been telling you all morning, really, starting around what, a little after 8:00 in the morning, where we got this information about a raid going on in Notting Hill, a very upscale section of London.
Then it turned out that, actually, there were two location of the raid. And the raid was simultaneous, not only another in the Peabody Estate area, but also the Notting Hill area. Turns out there were three arrests, in total. Two at one address in Notting Hill, one at another address. Two flats raided, in fact, in Notting Hill, and some really interesting descriptions from eyewitness about what they saw.
In addition, two arrests made at the Liverpool Street Station. Two women with backpacks and carrying a cardboard box taken into custody by police. Not that much information known that this time about that as well. We're going to update you on the situation all around with -- if they are -- which I guess is the $64,000 question.
Are they connected, the arrests today, all of them, to the 21st attempted bombings? And are all of those connected to the July 7 deadly bombings? Because truly, at the end of the day, what's going to matter is trying to finding the head honcho, or honchos, who -- good chance they're not even in the country.
M. O'BRIEN: It's interesting, too, you know, going back to that Liverpool Street Station. Nothing in that Scotland Yard statement would lead you to believe that was a part of this. And that might have just been a separate indication of a suspicious package, which led to some arrests. Apparently, two women there and backpacks and a cardboard box.
And we could be putting this all in the context of everything else that has been going on in the city. And meanwhile, Henry Schuster, our producer, was on his way to Scotland Yard, said he saw some signs of additional police activity. We can say this for certain. This is a city that is on, you know, a hair-trigger edge right now after all that has occurred these past few weeks.
We're going to take a break. We're going to continue our coverage in just a few moments. Stay with us as an extended version of AMERICAN MORNING continues, right here, on CNN.
M. O'BRIEN: It's now been several hours since police executed simultaneous and lightning-quick raids on a couple of locations in west London. At least three arrests reported. Two of them, we are told by British media, are, in fact, suspects who had remained at large after the botched bombings of July 21.
We should get a little more clarity and information for you, try to connect some of these dots, when Scotland Yard holds a news conference, anticipated in the next 20 minutes, or so. And of course, you'll see that live, here on CNN.
In the meantime, we've been trying to connect some dots ourselves, leaning heavily on some of our experts. Will Geddes is in our London bureau. He is an expert on security matters, terrorism matters.
Will, good to have you back with us. What's your initial take on these separate and simultaneous incidents, and what police have been able to accomplish this morning in London?
WILL GEDDES, TERRORISM EXPERT: Well over the last couple of weeks, there's been quite a lot of intelligence gathering and communications and traffic going on. And certainly, one of the things that GCHQ, which is our version, if you like, of your NSA, has been trying to intercept a lot of communications, certainly around some of the key people under surveillance.
A little bird has been whispering in my ear that they've been incredibly successful, today. And the intervention on these two particular addresses has drawn out the fact that they could, possibly, although we have yet to have it confirmed, have two of the key players within the bombings on the 21st.
M. O'BRIEN: What else is your little bird telling you?
GEDDES: Well, there would have been a period of surveillance, certainly that would have been underway for some period, prior to, obviously, the approach, a more visible presence by the police. You would have had a number of different units involved.
You would have had SO 13, obviously which is the anti-terrorism branch, the Metropolitan Police, and SO 19, which is the tactical firearms unit. Now, in addition to that, there would have been some surveillance strands which would have been probing the properties prior to actually making any physical entry. And certainly the reports we're hearing of what could be gunfire could have been, you know, fragmentation grenades. Again, has yet to be determined. But it's very, very slow and successive spaces between each of those noises. So again, I would say there's a possibility it could be fragmentation.
M. O'BRIEN: You know, on the face of it, it, I guess, is perhaps somewhat obvious. But this comes in the wake of a series of arrests. Is it safe to say they're getting excellent intelligence from the arrests?
GEDDES: Yes, I think so. And there's a lot of different areas, as your analyst was saying before the break -- there are two different routes they're going to have to follow. The first route, which is obviously the fast route. That's the immediate information that's available.
And the second route, obviously, the more forensic-led, or based intelligence, which will be drawn from the property. And the police have been very cautious about their entry into the properties, even after they arrested the occupants. So, they wouldn't want to spoil the potential forensic environment in there.
But at the same time, we had to bear in mind, or they had to bear in mind, I should say, the issues of there possibly being booby-traps or other traps that could have been laid in wait.
M. O'BRIEN: Let's talk for just a moment about whether it's likely these could be, in fact, the bomb making facilities, a flat in a residential area. Wouldn't that be something that would be given away just by proximity to neighbors?
GEDDES: Not necessarily. You one thing about us, in London, it's little like an -- and I spent some good time in New York. You might not necessarily know who your neighbor is. We're very insular in London. And therefore, people are less likely to pry into each other's business.
There is a good likelihood, certainly within this neighborhood that I know very well, that people could come and go without too much attention being drawn to them. And they could have been moving in and out of this property, either as a bomb-making factory, a rest house, or possibly being utilized at the moment as a safe house.
M. O'BRIEN: Let's talk a little bit about how disparate all these arrests have been. It is a bit of a surprise to me that something like this, which caught the intelligence apparatus completely off-guard, could be perhaps located in so many separate locations, requiring all kind of communication, "chatter" is the term that the intel folks use, and go undetected.
GEDDES: Well again, it's very difficult. I think one of the biggest problems that I think everybody is facing across the globe, not just here in the U.K., nationally, is that we're dealing with a different framework and schematic to terrorism than we've traditionally used to. Where there's been a hierarchal structure, a reporting line, if you like.
These are much more, sort of, disparate, small insulated little groups, quite often self-financing. And therefore, they can operate below the radar with very, very little chance of detection. So when we get a significant find, and when the security service find, or establish, certain groups that are operating, then that could almost provide the first start to the big jigsaw puzzle that'll ultimately be created.
M. O'BRIEN: So the biggest break, here, was the fact that those bombs didn't go off. That provided all kinds of evidence, forensic information, and ultimately led to intelligence because of the apprehensions.
GEDDES: Well certainly, the undetonated devices would have been, as many people have been referring to it, as a gold mine, forensically. However, that would be, again, only part of a far bigger puzzle at play.
And there would be other pieces that the intelligence services would have intercepted and certainly determined elsewhere. But it's how it all fits in together. And again, the forensics is the one thing that can certainly meld or bond them together.
M. O'BRIEN: And speaking of bonding together, though, how much effort and how much success has there been in attempting to come up with any sort of link between the two attacks, July 7 and 21?
GEDDES: Well again, not a lot is being released at the moment. I think we have to wait out on that one. The Metropolitan Police and SO 13, the antiterrorism branch, are going to be very cautious about their releases of information, for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, we don't want to necessarily disclose our tactics to our potential foes. But secondly, there could be still lines of investigation being followed, where more information needs to be determined before any of that is actually disclosed in a public statement.
M. O'BRIEN: I'm curious what the sense of it is in London. I'm sure that they're gratified to see the authorities sweeping in and making these arrests, but I wonder what level of relief that might afford, at this point. Are people fearful that another shoe may drop?
GEDDES: I think people are. And I think people are realistic to that. Certainly, from our heritage with the provisional IRA, you could expect to anticipate potentially quick succession of attacks. And having, obviously, the 7th and the 21st following so quickly, I think Londoners are realistic that another attack could be imminent.
However, when you're out on the streets, walking about, there is a very, very high visible police presence. And this operation today would have been done quite visibly, and certainly in the presence of the world's media, to ensure that there are other reassuring messages being sent out to an otherwise anxious London community and British community as a whole. M. O'BRIEN: Will Geddes, who is in our London Bureau and is an expert on matters relating to security and terrorism. Thanks for your time -- Soledad?
S. O'BRIEN: Right back to Notting Hill, now. That is where we find Matthew Chance, who's covering the story for us from there.
Matthew, what does it look like now? Have you seen investigators pulling back at this point? What's going on?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well it does seem that the actual presence of police is winding down here in Notting Hill at the moment. You can see behind me, there's a good number of police officers with their vans that have come out from their area just to the right of the screen, where the raids took place, beginning at about 9:30 this morning, local time. So a good many hours away.
This was just one of the locations where police have been embarked on raids and arrests across London today. A short distance from here, also in west London, in the Ladbroke Grove area, the Peabody Estates, as we've been calling them, a sort of low-rate estates, cancel estate to say (ph), about a mile from here.
Another raid taking place, taking place at about 11:00, so just about five hours ago from now, where police came down there. They evacuated the local residents and apparently took away one individual, one man, his covered in a coat in the back of a police van.
We understand, at this stage, that at least three people have been arrested as the results of these two raids in west London. Another two people, believed to be women, in the Liverpool Street Station, in the city of London, in the east area of London, have also been arrested.
No confirmation as yet, though, from the police as to who those individuals are. The speculation is, though, and it is only speculation at this stage, they may be very closely linked, indeed, to the July 21 attempts to bomb the trains and bus in London -- Soledad?
S. O'BRIEN: Matthew, we've been talking a lot about what exactly the kind of neighborhood Notting Hill is. What's been the reaction of the people that you've been running in to about what's going on in their neighborhood this morning through afternoon?
CHANCE: It's a very strange neighborhood because it's very mixed, it's very ethnically mixed. It's mixed in terms of people's incomes as well. This location is actually quite an affluent patch of Notting Hill where people like, you know, actors and people in the arts tend to be living around here.
It's also a very ethnically mixed area, itself. The area about a mile away, Ladbroke Grove, is a bit more rent, it's a sort of cancel estate (ph), where the other raid took place, here in west London. Regardless of that, all the people that we've spoken to expressing their shock that people associated with these attacks on London should be holed up in their local neighborhoods. And also been very disrupted by the police raids, as well, of course, because they've been evacuated from the areas, and many of them still not allowed to go back into their houses, to get to their cars. They're still being kept back by this police cordon, here, and by others across western London -- Soledad?
S. O'BRIEN: Matthew Chance in Notting Hill. We're going to, of course, continue to check in with Matthew and all the CNN correspondents covering the story this afternoon, through morning through afternoon. Thanks -- Miles?
M. O'BRIEN: In addition to the CNN correspondents we have on the scene, we have seen. once again, some citizen journalists stepping up to the plate, if you'll excuse that term, using cell phone video. And this is -- I really can't amplify much more on that except to tell you that it appears to be an arrest in the Notting Hill area, not far from where Nic Robertson was a little while ago, where Matthew Chance is now.
And we don't know specifically what that is, if that is a person who is just simply trying to get to their home and got a little heated with the police, or if it has something directly to do with the investigation. But, submitted for your approval.
S. O'BRIEN: You know, I think to a large degree, it kind of underscores the idea that at this hour, in the middle of an investigation, and this investigation's been kind of unraveling and going on right before our eyes, it's unclear exactly what's going on.
I mean, we don't have confirmation yet, and we're expecting this news conference from Scotland Yard, where we should get a lot of confirmation. But we don't have confirmation yet on exactly who the people who've been arrested are. It's expected that they are two of the three remaining suspects in the 7/21 bombings that were at large.
And much more, other arrests today. Not clear exactly where they fit in as pieces of the puzzle. As soon as we get this press conference that we're expecting in about six minutes and we're going to bring to you live, we're going to be able to hopefully answer some of those questions.
A short break, we're back on the other side. Stay with us.
M. O'BRIEN: A pair of raids. Some significant arrests to report in the London bombings case, specifically the July 21 bombings. We're tracking it for you. Scotland Yard with a briefing fairly soon. As soon as it happens, you'll see it live here on CNN, of course. Lot's of questions still out here in the open, and hopefully they'll answer a bunch of them for us.
Let's go back to Pat D'Amuro before we lose him for the afternoon, as we continue our extended coverage of AMERICAN MORNING.
When you see these simultaneous raids at the same time, or within the same amount of time we're talking about -- London Underground has arrests, there's evacuations from there, and other that we've heard about, but not quite reported on. In your mind, does it feel like the police are all over this and they are really doing a good job, or does it feel like, in fact, they're playing catch up, trying to figure out where all these pieces are?
D'AMURO: Well, I work a lot with the Metropolitan Police, Scotland Yard. They're a very professional group. They're all over this particular situation and trying to react and getting as much information as possible to prevent any future attacks. I think we have some different cells, here. They may not be connected. And that's what the concern is.
They're going to have to focus those efforts on trying to identify how many different sleeper cells they have in that country. They're going to have to continue this type of fever pitch, in this particular situation, until they get to the bottom of the situation. Unfortunately, terrorism is going to be with us for some time. It's not something that's going to go away quickly.
S. O'BRIEN: If indeed, they have gotten three out of the four attempted suicide bombers, how do you interview them? What's the next step with them? One they got Wednesday, apparently, but the two others of today's raids that we've been hearing about?
D'AMURO: I think, as Dan mentioned earlier, you really have to find what button to push within your interviews. You have to know how to approach these interviews, what is going to get this individual to talk to you? I go back to the bombing in Nairobi in 1998. It was a situation where we convinced this individual -- he was a soldier and he was fighting a war.
And when we showed him the pictures of innocent Muslims that were killed in that bombing, eventually we got this individual to talk to us, Al-Owhali, who was convicted in the trial, here. He confessed and said that he wanted to tell his story and sing his song in front of the court.
S. O'BRIEN: A psychological test, I guess, too.
M. O'BRIEN: And a quick final thought, we only have about 30 seconds. How do you think this is perceived here? Do people get scared over it? Are they awakened by it, or do they think it's just over there?
D'AMURO: I think there's been some complacency since 9/11. I think much of America has forgotten about 9/11. The FBI hasn't, the CIA hasn't, the government hasn't. New York hasn't. Washington hasn't. But many parts of this country, in the private sector don't take security seriously.
M. O'BRIEN: Pat D'Amuro, good final words. Thank you.
S. O'BRIEN: Thanks. And thanks for sticking around with us all morning. We certainly appreciate it. As we mentioned, we are awaiting a news conference from Scotland Yard. We're hoping to get some answers about exactly what happened today.
Obviously, raids on several fronts, numerous arrests. Also, arrests overnight and many questions still to be answered. So we're expecting that, really, momentarily.
M. O'BRIEN: That raid coming up. Our coverage continues on CNN, stay with us.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com