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Two Suspicious Devices Found, One Is A Pressure Cooker; Video Appears To Show Person Near Blast Location; Multiple People Injured, Suspect Killed in Minnesota Mall Stabbing; U.S. Expresses "Regret" For Mistaken Air Strike; The Syrian Civil War; Dozens Injured In New York Blast; President Barack Obama's Last Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Gala. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired September 18, 2016 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via telephone): -- I guess it was smoke coming toward me. Some people were running away. I walked away for a split second. I thought, I don't have any of gear or something. Then I that you, geez, somebody could be hurt. Let me go up there. Immediately the police were on scene. Credit to them and FDNY. I started to get closer. I couldn't get close enough to see where the explosion was. I could not smell gas. The cloud that I walked through smelled like something had burst, a fire, smoke smell.


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: That's just part of what some of the witnesses are saying. Others are saying it felt like a lightning bolt struck the building, struck the ground. Everyone ran into the restaurant. Fortunately getting a lot of information from the folks there. We're so grateful you're with us this morning.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Next hour starts right now.

PAUL: It's 6:00 on this Sunday. Welcome. We're so grateful for your company. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. We welcome our viewers around the world who are joining us as we cover the breaking news out of New York. The city waking up after a massive blast rocked the Chelsea community.

Investigators right now we know are analyzing surveillance video that they think could show the suspect, the person responsible for this explosion. We have other video from the moment of the blast. Watch this.

You saw it there. The front window, the front door, the glass there shattered. You will see people run by. This is from inside a fitness center in Chelsea. The camera pointing outside. We see the people there.

We know that dozens were injured as the force of the debris flying everywhere, metal, glass. You saw some people running as well. PAUL: Officials say the bomb went off in or near a dumpster. There was a second device which looked like a pressure cooker with wiring. What you're looking at there is where the first blast was. This is the second device they're talking about. This device is being analyzed as we speak.

CNN covering this story from all angles. We have CNN's Jessica Schneider at the scene of that blast in New York, Cristina Alesci outside the hospital where many of those victims have been taken, and Tom Fuentes, CNN law enforcement analyst, and Juliette Kayyem, CNN national security analyst, all here to talk about what is happening and the investigation this morning.

BLACKWELL: Let's start with Jessica Schneider who is near the scene of that blast. Jessica, get us up to speed on the latest in the investigation and what you're seeing at the scene.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Victor and Christi, we've seen teams of police officers scouring the streets with flashlights and canine in addition, about a 20 block stretch is shut down after that explosion that occurred just down 23rd Street right near the intersection with Sixth Avenue.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via telephone): It was a huge explosion. I saw the back window of the SUV pop out, I saw the glass go into the street. My wife and I looked at each other and we went into Sixth Avenue.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): New York City on high alert after an explosion rips through Manhattan. Surveillance video obtained by MSNBC captures the chaos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It felt like a lightning bolt struck the building. It shook the ground and everyone ran out of the restaurants. The whole city was in the street.

BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK MAYOR: We believe at this point in time this was an intentional act.

SCHNEIDER: The explosion happened around 8:30 p.m. in the Chelsea neighborhood and it was in or near a dumpster according to law enforcement source. Dozens of people were injured.


JAMES O'NEILL, NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER: We do have video and we see the explosion. We're going to use that to help us in our investigation.

SCHNEIDER: Several hours later police cleared a suspicious package four blocks away from the explosion site and they washed residents to stay away from their windows. Reporters had to move as well.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, we're not. SCHNEIDER: Officials say a second device appears to be a pressure cooker with wires sticking out, a cell phone attached and a piece of paper with some writing. Police confirmed the device was removed by the bomb squad for investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it was not detonated, there might be fingerprints, might be proof of purchase, there might be other things that can lead the investigation.


SCHNEIDER: Right now, the NYPD does have surveillance video that shows one person near the scene. They're looking to figure out who that person is. They also taking to Twitter to implore people to come forward with information and one person who heard this explosion is Aiden Leslie, who is here with me.

Aiden, I know you live two blocks from where the explosion happened, about one avenue over. So what did you hear? What did you experience?

AIDEN LESLIE, EYEWITNESS TO MANHATTAN EXPLOSION: Well, I was sitting at my desk on 21st Street between 7th and 8th Avenue and I heard obviously a loud explosion.

[06:50:02]It was abnormally loud. It was startlingly loud. It was very, very scary. I heard the explosion and moments later, I heard debris falling on the ground like glass shattering.

SCHNEIDER: You actually ran outside. You ran down to 23rd and 6th or as close as you could get. What did you see there?

LESLIE: Yes. So I ran out of my house. I ran to 23rd Street and I saw a ton of people coming -- going west. I was going east running actually toward the explosion or what I thought, you know, was the explosion.

And I saw some people covered with debris, soot, dust. There was smoke. There was a lot of fire engines. A lot of police presence. I saw an elderly man which was very hard to watch. He had blood on his face, blood on his arms.

SCHNEIDER: Were people panicking, screaming?

LESLIE: It was a very chaotic situation. People were scared. People were on their phones. I was around for 9/11. You know, I remember walking down the west side highway and seeing kind of obviously not to this extreme, but it was very reminiscent of that kind of a feel.

SCHNEIDER: People were scared?

LESLIE: People were scared. You could see it on their faces. I was scared, you know --

SCHNEIDER: Police told people, they said, if you're inside your apartments in this area, stay away from the windows. You actually ran to this. What was the response like that you saw?

LESLIE: You know, I ran right into it. I think a lot of people ran into it. We were scared. We were curious. This is New York City. We're New Yorkers and we don't necessarily run away from it. So that's what I was kind of getting from a lot of people in the area. People, you know, this is our neighborhood.

Obviously when you have something like this happen, we're very concerned. So maybe it wasn't the smartest thing to run into that, but at the same time, you know, we wanted to see what was going on.

SCHNEIDER: You saw a lot of it as it was unfolding. Aiden Leslie, thank you so much. We'll toss it back to Victor and Christi.

BLACKWELL: All right, Jessica Schneider there with Aiden, thank you both so much. Let's bring in CNN law enforcement analyst and former FBI assistant director, Tom Fuentes and Juliette Kayyem, CNN national security analyst. She also wrote the book "Security Mom, An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland and Your Home." Good to have both of you with us this hour.

PAUL: All right, Juliette, I'd like to start with you if I could please as we say good morning to both you. Tom last hour commented on whether or not this is terrorism. Again, just to clarify, New York City officials are not calling it terrorism, they are calling it an intentional act. Based on everything we know up to this point, Juliette, what do you say about it?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Obviously this is an intentional act. Two questions still remain to call it obviously terrorism, which is motivated for political or religious means and attack on a civilian area, like what we saw last night.

The first is obviously the "who" and the motivation, right, so what is animating that. The second, that we just, you know, have to figure out is the relationship between what happened in Chelsea and the pressure cooker.

The -- we need to just determine is that the same act. Is it two separate random ones that seems unbelievable but nonetheless, we have to treat them as separate?

How did police find out about the pressure cooker? And so right now I think it's premature to call it terrorism until we know unless you -- you know, unless you want to define terrorism as any, you know, violent act in an urban area.

But given that there's no proof of motivation, you wouldn't be able to bring a terrorism case, so to speak, today. You certainly would be able to bring other types of cases if you found the culprit.

BLACKWELL: Tom, as we look at the dumpster that was damaged in the explosion, the reports having been heard from across the river. One eyewitness telling the "The New York Times" a lot of smoke but no fire. Is this type of damage and these injuries, are they indicative of, from your experience, a pipe bomb, a backpack bomb, a pressure cooker? The question is, can you rule in or out based on the severity of what we're seeing, potentially any of these suspected devices.

TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I think, Victor, that you could not rule based on the devices that way. If you have pipe bombs, various devices you described, they could have various amounts of explosive material in them or packaged in different ways to be more powerful than the next.

[06:10:05]So that in and of itself is hard to determine. The way the authorities determine how the bomb was made is they get the pieces of it and try to put what's left back together.

No matter how large the bombs, I ran FBI operations in the summer of 2003 in Iraq. I saw a lot of explosive devices and a lot of people killed by them.

In every case there's some component, wires, pieces that enable the authorities put back some idea of how it was detonated, what the explosive material was, there will be residue of that, what kind of shrapnel if any was used.

So they'll be able to put together a pretty good description of what the devices were no matter how large they were. All of the material isn't always vaporized in an explosion.

BLACKWELL: OK, Tom, Juliette, stay with us throughout the morning. We'll get back to you in just a moment. We also want to get more information on other big stories we're following this morning.

PAUL: Yes, we'll take a pause here quickly on the situation in New York that we're watching. There are a couple other stories to bring you up to speed with regarding the investigation into multiple stabbings now at a Minnesota mall.

Police were forced to kill a man armed with a knife after he went on a rampage. This happened at Crossroads Mall in Saint Cloud about an hour outside Minneapolis.

But authorities say the attacker was dressed in a security uniform when he stabbed eight people last night. Most of them we understand are OK, but we do know one still in the hospital this morning. Police are investigating whether the stabbing has any connection to terrorism.


CHIEF WILLIAM BLAIR ANDERSON, ST. CLOUD, MINNESOTA POLICE: Tonight at approximately 8:00 an armed suspect entered the Crossroads Mall. That individual made some references to Allah and we have confirmed that he asked at least one person if they were Muslim before he assaulted them.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: Now an off duty officer at the mall confronted the attacker before shooting and killing him.

BLACKWELL: Twenty nine people injured from the explosion in Chelsea neighborhood there in New York. CNN's Cristina Alesci is outside Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan with that part of the story -- Cristina.

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right, Nick, there are 24 people treated in New York City hospitals. One in serious condition according to the NYPD. We'll have more with one of the victims in a few minutes.



PAUL: As we are sitting here talking to you this morning, investigators are analyzing additional video footage from the scene of a blast in New York trying to decipher if a person seen in that video could be connected to the explosion. Here's another piece of video showing you the moments of the blast.

BLACKWELL: People seen running past the Orange Fitness Center here. Dozens of people wounded, we know. We have more video for you. We want to make sure you know it is a bit upsetting because there is blood here.

First responders took these panic stricken victims to the hospital. Right now police are trying to make sure there are no other devices, but you see here, this woman we know was concerned about her eye.

We saw a piece of metal lodged in a woman's arm in this video as well. Those are the types of injuries we're hearing about. We know two dozen victims were taken to New York City hospitals.

PAUL: Some of the first people to get to the victims bystanders who heard the blast and then ran to help. Again, here is some more video with some sound here. I just want to give you a heads up because I don't want you to be taken off guard. It could be disturbing for you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come with me. Come with me. Come with me. I'm holding you, OK? Come with me. You're OK. Nothing's going to happen, OK? Nothing's going to happen to you. Come on. Right here. I got you. Right here. OK? It's OK. You're OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One second, Ladies. One second, Ladies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was a bomb.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, she's hurt. You have minor injuries.

(END VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: So this is what's interesting to me as we watch this. You can understand and appreciate the confusion of these people. When you have a car accident, you know what happened. You know you're hurt. When you're attacked by somebody, you know you're hurt. You know what happened.

In this case it's still so unclear what happened. A lot of these people seem dazed. They seem a little numb. You can imagine why. Not only are they dealing with injuries but there are so many questions about exactly what happened.

BLACKWELL: This is a community with restaurants, people live there, other businesses. We showed you the video from the fitness center. It was about 8:30 in the evening on a Saturday night. This would be a time when people would be strolling by on a weekend.

PAUL: Yes. 23rd Street. It was busy, we understand. One of the reporters, Cristina Alesci, said this is an area that would be bustling especially 8:30 on a Saturday night.

Another video we're getting in here at CNN, a wounded man approaching an ambulance. You see the child there sitting down who obviously also has some sort of injuries. But look at how frail this man is. He's trying to get up inside the ambulance.

Look at this little boy. This is the compassion I think that we love to see in moments like this because it's so hard to take in these moments especially at 6:19 in the morning. That is hard to wake up to sometimes.

Look at this little guy as he helps this man get into the ambulance and sit down next to the other two people who were obviously there. Those are four of the two dozen taken to hospitals to be checked out. Just wanted to share that endearing moment with you from last night.


PAUL: We should point out as the one device exploded obviously there was glass and metal that tore through the air. That is what caused most of the injuries.

[06:20:04]BLACKWELL: And the force of this explosion itself was enough to affect the people nearby. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It hit me. I flew off my feet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You flew off your feet?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You landed on your back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I landed on my elbow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How loud was it?



BLACKWELL: That was the man who was just helped into the ambulance. We're going to get more on the conditions of those who were injured.

Let's go to New York and CNN correspondent, Cristina Alesci, who is outside of Bellevue Hospital. Get us up to date on how many were taken to hospitals and the numbers of those released. I understand you also spoke to someone who was injured?

ALESCI: That's right. My colleague spoke to someone who was injured. Of the 29 who were injured, 24 were being treated at area hospitals. Some of them have been released and only one so far has been seriously injured. That's according to the NYPD.

You guys mentioned to put context around it, 23rd Street and 6th Avenue I've walked by many, many, many times. It's a residential area. It's an area with lots of restaurants, lots of bars, lots of commerce frankly, lots of stores.

So it will be perfectly reasonable as you guys said for 8:30 on a Saturday evening for people to be in the street. If you were anywhere near the explosion it's very likely that you would have been hurt in some way, shape or form.

In fact, one of the people my colleague, Rachel Crane, spoke to was driving a car nearby and he lost control of the vehicle as result of explosion. Take a listen.

So we'll have that sound for you later on, but I'm standing in front of Bellevue Hospital right now, and this is a level one trauma center in the city.

You know, I'm from New York, and this is where people come or are taken in ambulances when there is any kind of major event in midtown, Lower Manhattan. That's where Chelsea is.

This would be the place where the most serious cases would be. We have no information right now to whether or not the one person seriously injured is here.

We're certainly waiting on the information and we do -- I'm just getting word, we do have that sound for you of the victim who was in the car. Listen.


DAVID MARTINEZ, BLAST SURVIVOR: I was driving a car and next thing you know I felt an explosion and the car just tilted over halfway and came back down. And what happened is I just blacked out. Next thing you know I'm in an ambulance. A little traumatized. Just thought about that I was close to not actually seeing my son again. That was the scariest part of the night. RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What kind of injuries do you have? You're on crutches, I see.

MARTINEZ: Sprained knee and a little head injury. I have to go back and see how bad it is.

CRANE: What about your car? Was it severely damaged?

MARTINEZ: Yes, the whole left side. Glass broke out and everything.

CRANE: What about you? What are your injuries? I see you're pregnant.

BRENDA ABERO, EXPLOSION SURVIVOR: The baby is fine. Mild concussion I have.


ALESCI: So thankfully those two victims are seemingly OK. Victor, Christi, I'll have more for you in a few hours as new developments come out. Back to you.

BLACKWELL: Yes, we're expecting, of course, to hear more from city officials in the next few hours. A news conference has not been announced, but we have to assume that they'll come out and give us an update. Cristina Alesci there at Bellevue. Thanks so much.

PAUL: Thanks, Cristina. In what seems to be a very public display of frustration, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power criticizing boldly Russia for calling an emergency Security Council session.


SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Seriously? They're calling this emergency meeting? Really?




BLACKWELL: Right now investigators in New York are trying to figure out more about this massive explosion that ripped through the Chelsea neighborhood. You see the video there. We understand this can be upsetting. The moment of the blast there. The glass shattered on the door and window. Dozens of people injured.

PAUL: Yes. You can see them. There they go as they're walking past, some of them running past. These are some of the people who were injured as well. They are bloody. We know that police and sniffer dogs are searching that area after the bomb went off next to a dumpster. A second device, a pressure cooker, was removed from another area about four blocks away.

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio saying the explosion quote, "was an intentional act." But also saying they are not ready to connect it to terrorism.

BLACKWELL: We're going to get more as that comes from our reporters in New York and discuss it with our analysts.

But we want also get you to this diplomatic face-off between the United States and Russia as we approach the United Nations General Assembly. The U.S. is expressing regret over an airstrike that killed 83 Syrian regime forces.

The U.S. Central Command says they thought they were hitting ISIS targets. The bombing prompted Russia to call an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

PAUL: That caused tensions to flair between the U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power and her Russian counterpart. Listen.


POWER: Even by Russia's standards tonight's stunt, a stunt replete with moralism and grandstanding is uniquely cynical and hypocritical.

VITALY IVANOVICH CHURKIN, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: It is quite significant and, frankly, significant that the United States chose to conduct this particular airstrike at this time. In all my years of international life, I've never seen -- which is over 40 years, I've never seen such an extraordinary display of American (inaudible) as we are witnessing today.


PAUL: This is all happening as aids for the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo is stuck at the Turkish border this morning hoping to move out again today, but it's still miles away from the people who so desperately need this help.

Two convoys carrying wheat flour and food rations for 185,000 people have been waiting at the border since last Tuesday.


They're trying to get permission to travel inside Syria. For more on that, the Russian response to what's happening, we want to go to CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance who's live with us from Moscow.

We were getting to this the last hour, Matt, and I want to bring it to you. Russia is blaming the U.S. for not coordinating with them on this air strike. There's a statement from U.S. central command saying the coalition did confer with Russian military prior to the strike. They broadly described (ph) the geographic area to Russians which is customary but they didn't give a precise location. Do we know if that's normal protocol and what is Russia saying about that this morning?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's normal protocol is that whenever the United States and -- the coalition (INAUDIBLE) carries out air strikes in Syria it makes sure -- it coordinates that with the Russians because the Russians are there in force. They've got anti-aircraft systems in place. They could take out American bomber jets if they chose to. And they also don't want to sort of accidentally strike against any Russian forces or indeed any Syrian forces in case that leads to greater escalation or tensions between Russia and United States. And that's exactly what happened this time.

Of course there was an attack against, what United States say they believed were forces of ISIS. In fact it was the Syrian army, the close ally of Russia that was struck with at least 62 people, according to the Russian, officers and soldiers of the Syrian army that were killed, and at least a hundred injured. We heard the death toll could be higher than that. And that has led to absolutely -- absolute fury on the part of the Russians.

They've accused the White House of defending ISIS. Because remember the Syrian group was fighting ISIS at the time it came under coalition attack. And according to the Russians that allowed ISIS to take all of the territory and have repelled those militants by the further use of Russian air power to repel ISIS. So it was a setback in a sense for the -- for the Syrian military campaign against ISIS and that's why these allegations come about.

PAUL: All right. Matthew Chance, we appreciate the update so much. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: And in just a moment we'll get you the very latest as investigators examine the suspicious device, a pressure cooker with wires and another device connected to it after the explosion late Saturday in Chelsea. People still in hospitals. One with serious puncture wounds. The very latest in just a moment.



PAUL: Always grateful to have your company. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell.

This morning investigators are analyzing video footage from the scene of a blast in New York to see if a person in that video may be connected to that explosion. Look at another bit of video. This is not the video they're analyzing, we're told, but this is video of the moment of the blast. You saw there the window, the door, the glass there shatter. You saw people run by.

Quick warning though, we have more video here for you. It may be upsetting to watch.

PAUL: We're talking about first responders here who came to the aid of some panicked and bloodied victims at the hospital.

Right now police are trying to make sure that there aren't any other devices in the area. In fact, police saying that they have increased security across all of New York's five boroughs. Mayor Bill de Blasio calling this -- quote -- "an intentional act," but staying away from the term terrorism saying they just have not made that connection as of yet. But investigators are still on the scene as they continue to comb through the evidence at both of the scenes now.

BLACKWELL: CNN correspondent Jessica Schneider is there near the scene.

Jessica, we could see it's still cordoned off and the sun is coming up. We likely expect it will be that way for some time as they continue to search but what are you seeing there with the very latest on this investigation?

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, the enormity of the scene is incredible. But the cross streets are actually shut off for about a 20 block area while this investigation goes on. We're going into like the ninth hour of this investigation.

The explosion happened just down the street here. We're on 23rd Street. The explosion happening near the intersection of Sixth Avenue. Now throughout the past few hours we've seen investigation teams here. We've also seen teams of police officers.

They're scouring this area with their flashlights when it was dark out, now it light. We've also seen K-9 teams. They're making sure this area is safe. And the one thing they're looking at is that they do have surveillance video from near the scene of that explosion and we're told there is one person of interest on that video. Police are looking to identify them, potentially locate them to question them. In addition, NYPD, they're imploring people over Twitter. They're taking to Twitter to ask people who may have seen something, who may have some information to get in touch with them so this investigation can continue and they can determine exactly what happened here and how it happened, Christi and Victor.

PAUL: Jessica Schneider, thank you so much for the update.

BLACKWELL: Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton reacting to the explosion.

Trump was quick to call it a bomb speaking out at a rally nearly two hours before New York officials publicly confirmed any of the details. He said it's time for the U.S. to get smart, get tough and find out of course exactly what happened.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I must tell you that just before I got off the plane a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what's going on. But, boy, we are living in a time -- we better get very tough, folks. We better get very, very tough.


BLACKWELL: Hillary Clinton spoke to reporters hours later on her plane and also called the explosion a bombing. She said that -- she had spoken with New York City officials but wanted to wait for more facts before making any conclusions.


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think it's important to know the facts about any incident like this, that's why it's critical to support the first responders, the investigators who are looking into it trying to determine what did happen. I think it's always wiser to wait until you have information before making conclusions, because we are just in the beginning stages of trying to determine what happened.



BLACKWELL: We also have confirmation from the White House that President Obama has also been briefed on the explosion though. We're standing by for an official statement from the White House, President Obama's response to what happened there in Chelsea.

PAUL: And as Jessica mentioned, we're nine -- 10 hours into this investigation and we have to wonder how much progress police and analysts are able to make at this point, and the timing of it seems to be interesting as well. I mean, a week ago we were sitting here talking about the anniversary of 9/11, the 15th anniversary. And then tomorrow, on Monday, the U.N. General Assembly is set to get started -- get kicked off again. So a lot of people wondering about the timing of this as well. We'll have more analysis after the quick break.



BLACKWELL: Well, this morning right now in fact police are hunting for answers as to what caused that explosion that injured dozens of people in New York City's busy Chelsea neighborhood. We've got the video here the moment of the blast. And there it is. You see the glass shatter there on the window and the door. We know the debris, the glass and metal went flying everywhere.

PAUL: And that's what caused the majority of injuries according to authorities there in New York.

Now there was a second device. It was (INAUDIBLE) pressure cooker. Here it is. It had wires coming out of it as you can see, duct tape around. It has been removed from the area. It is with authorities as they're trying to analyze it now.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio saying the explosion itself -- quote -- "was an intentional act" but there's no specific connection to an earlier incident in New Jersey where there was an explosion that went off in a garbage can on the route of a Marine Corps charity run and saying that there's no connection at this point as it is, what? Nine, 10 hours into this investigation, that no connection he says to terrorism specifically. [06:45:14]

BLACKWELL: Let's try to get a better understanding of the investigation now and bring in CNN law enforcement analyst Matthew Horace. He's a retired ATF special agent in charge.

Matthew, good morning to you.


BLACKWELL: So we understand that suspicious device, the pressure cooker device, was taken to the gun range in the Bronx by the NYPD to deal with that. If that's detonated, how much after the detonation of the crucial evidence can still be harvested?

HORACE: Well, Victor, there's a lot of evidence that can be harvested whenever that device is detonated or if it's just dismantled.

Number one, the pressure cooker had to be purchased from somewhere. The explosives that might have been used had to be purchased from somewhere. If there was shrapnel or others things put inside the device, wires, a detonator, a timer, a cellphone -- and these are the kinds of things that investigators will be working with, hundreds of hours of work to try to determine who did this, what the motive was and what was supposed to happen.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let ask you to lean on your security bona fides here as we come up on the threshold of the U.N. General Assembly starting tomorrow and world leaders coming in from everywhere. The Mayor de Blasio has said that so far there's no evidence that connects this to the terrorism but it is an intentional act.

Do you expect that there will be some impact as these world leaders come in, this explosion just a day before?

HORACE: Well, as a security practitioner we have to evaluate everything and intelligence is a large part of what we do in our planning.

A very big event happening in here in New York. The state department, the secret service, FBI and others gathering enough information so they can manage this thing and people get into New York and out of New York in a safe manner.

BLACKWELL: We know that our federal resources there on the scene. Matthew Horace, thanks so much for being with us.

We'll continue this conversation next hour. Christi.

PAUL: Well, President Obama making a final appearance at the Congressional Black Caucus dinner as commander in chief. He attacks Donald Trump. He warns voters, you need to turn out and vote. This was a very passionate speech. We'll listen to more of it on the other side of the break.


PAUL: It is a busy morning in New York as we're sitting here talking to you, investigators are analyzing additional video footage from the scene of a blast there in the city trying to figure out if a person seen in that said video could be connected to the explosion that happened in the Chelsea neighborhood.

Now I want to show you another piece of video here. This is the moment of that blast. This video coming to us from the Orange Theory Fitness Center there in Chelsea. You can see the debris, some of the glass that has shattered. And you're going to see there as people are outside and they're starting to run from that area. We want to warn you here as we go to this next video because it can be a bit disturbing and I don't want you caught off guard.

BLACKWELL: Yes. You saw the people there (INAUDIBLE) fortunate (ph) to run but you see these people here bloodied and they couldn't get out of the way in time. Pieces of metal lodged into their skin, rushed to hospitals. And right now police are trying to make sure that there are no other devices in the area. And New York Mayor Bill de Blasio does not call this terrorism. He says there is no connection to terrorism at this moment. But he says, this is an intentional act.

We'll get more on that as it comes in and get it straight to you. Let's get to the White House though confirming that President Obama received a briefing about the explosion and the investigation. And if we get a statement from the White House, some thoughts from the president, we'll bring that as well.

PAUL: Yes. But before that briefing President Obama spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus gala. He gave a very passionate speech about the upcoming election, about his legacy and about what he thinks people need to do to get his choice, obviously Hillary Clinton, into the White House.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny has more.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: President Obama delivering a rallying cry (ph) to black voters during a speech Saturday night in Washington in some of the strongest language he has used yet. Acknowledging that he is not on the ballot but his legacy is. He delivered a blistering attack against Donald Trump and said it would be a personal insult to his legacy if Donald Trump was elected.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My name may not be on the ballot but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot.

And after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012 especially in the African-American community, I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. You want to give me a good sendoff, go vote!

ZELENY: The president has often criticized Donald Trump but not in these strong terms. He also said that Trump is simply wrong about the history of the country. He talked about his birth certificate but he also talked about more. And said the black voters in particular need to rally to Hillary Clinton's side.

Now for her part Hillary Clinton also on stage at that Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner. She came to the president's aid talking about his birth certificate.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Even when hateful nonsense is thrown their way, Barack, Michelle, their two beautiful daughters have represented our country with class, grace and integrity. Mr. President, not only do we know you are an American, you're a great American!

ZELENY: President Obama and Hillary Clinton talked backstage. There's no question that he is going to be one of the biggest components in her final election strategy here in the next 50 days. He has made that case clear to black voters and he is going to go across the country campaigning for the month of October.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN Washington.

BLACKWELL: All right. Let's get some details here. I'm bringing in CNN politics reporter Eugene Scott. Eugene, good morning to you.

All right. Hopefully we got your audio by the time I finish my question. But the question here is piggybacked what Jeff has said there about the strong terms President Obama used to attack Donald Trump. What did he say?

EUGENE SCOTT, CNN POLITICS REPORTER: Well, he made it very clear that Donald Trump's words suggest that Hillary Clinton would be the best candidate for black voters and other communities that feel under represented.


He has made it very clear that his legacy that he hopes to pass on through this next administration is one that focuses on the benefits of diversity and different people groups in this country. And he's not confident that Donald Trump would support that.

BLACKWELL: The polls show that Hillary Clinton has a 70-80 percent advantage when it comes to black voters. Why is the president so concerned that black voters will not show up in November for Clinton?

SCOTT: Well, in the primary election we saw that there was quite some disagreement among black voters about who would be the best candidate for black Americans. We saw Bernie Sanders have quite a bit of support from black voters and black millennials, activists have actually been very vocally critical against Hillary Clinton based on some policies that she has supported in the past.

And so President Obama made it very clear that this is something that black Americans cannot risk, being unsupportive this next election.

BLACKWELL: All right. Eugene Scott, watch the very latest (INAUDIBLE) bringing us what he learned at the dinner last night. We'll continue this conversation the next hour.

Eugene, thanks so much.

PAUL: And do stay with us. We're going to continue our breaking news coverage of that blast that happened overnight in New York. Sent 29 people to the hospital and we do know that police are saying now there is increased security across all five boroughs in New York. We'll have the very latest for you in just a moment. Stay close.


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAUL: We are always so grateful to have you unfold with us in the morning. I'm Christi Paul.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell. Thanks for staying with us.

And we're starting with the breaking news this morning. New York waking up after a massive blast rocked the Chelsea area.


Investigators analyzing video footage right now of what they believe may show the suspect behind the explosion.