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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Police: Three People Killed, 20 Hurt In Parliament Terror Attack; Police: Terror Investigation Has Been Launched; London On Edge After Deadly Attack; White House Condemns London Attack. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired March 22, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Welcome to our continuing breaking news coverage of the attack here in London live just
meters away from parliament. I'm Hala Gorani.
Scotland Yard is confirming how all of this unfolded. They say a man drove a car over Westminster Bridge, mowing down tourists, ordinary citizens,
police as well. The car crashed near parliament, eventually.
A man got out and continued the attack with a knife. At least three victims are dead, 20 people are injured. Police say they believe there was
only one attacker and he was shot dead.
That's what we know this hour. Now, take a look at the dramatic scene as people ran for their lives and shots rang out right outside parliament.
GORANI: Extremely frightening. Obviously those are gunshots. Let's walk through exactly what happened in relation to the palace of Westminster.
You see that iconic building to the left of Westminster Bridge, on this map, the car drove across Westminster bridge, a site always filled with
It then crashed into the fence near the tower. The attacker ran around and through the gate to continue the attack with a knife. And just a short
time ago, we heard from the Met Police on the ongoing investigation and what Londoners can expect in the coming hours.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ROWLEY, ACTING DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, METROPOLITAN POLICE: The attack started when a car was driven over Westminster Bridge, hitting and injuring
a number of members of the public also including three police officers on their way back from a commendation ceremony.
The car then crashed near to parliament and at least one man armed with a knife continued the attack and tried to enter parliament. Sadly, I can
confirm that now four people have died. That includes the police officer who was protecting parliament and one man we believe to be the attacker
shot by a police firearms officer.
The officer's family have been made aware. At least 20 people have been injured. As part of long-established and well-rehearsed plans, parliament
has been locked down and the Met are going ahead plans of a marauding terrorist attack.
Their response included uniformed and specialist firearms officers. We now of course have an ongoing operation and whilst we believe there was one
[16:05:00]I'm sure the public will understand us taking every precaution in locking down and searching the area as thoroughly and exhaustively as
Looking forward, throughout the rest of the day, including when people are commuting home and indeed over the days that follow, the people of London
will see extra police officers armed and unarmed on our streets.
This includes our officers working longer hours and extra shifts alongside our colleagues of British transport, city of London. And of course, as
you're aware, we can call on the support of the military should we need to in the future point.
We are also in the process of opening a bureau to help those people who are worried about friends and family who may have been caught up in the attack.
Furthermore, we are reaching out to communities and community leaders across London to reassure them.
Our strength as a city depends on the ability to stand together in these terrible times. If anyone sees anything suspicious or anything that causes
concern, please do contact us, don't hesitate.
My thoughts are with all those have been affected by today's attack and as a service we've lost one of our own as acting to protect the public and the
colleagues. This is a day we plan for and hope will never happen. Sadly, it is now a reality. We will continue to do all we can to protect the
people of London.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: That was the acting Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Rowley updating reporters just a short while ago. Let's get more now from our
Phil Black, who is on the story for us in London. And of course, many people are wondering who is this attacker, do we have any information at
PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, nothing confirmed yet, Hala, who this man is, just that crucial indication from the police that they believe that
he was acting alone, at least in terms of carrying out the violence. No doubt their investigation will continue to determine to what extent if any
he had support here or any sort of help in planning and preparing for this or may have been motivated by someone else to do this. But at moment, no
word on his identity or what the motive was -- Hala.
GORANI: And this investigation, is a counterterrorism investigation, we heard that very early on, which was rather significant. What does that
entail exactly at this stage?
BLACK: It's all about drawing together the right resources from across government, different departments and so forth. And of course, it means it
falls under the counterterrorism command itself, the operation that is responsible for preparing to protect this country from terrorism attacks,
but also for investigating their aftermath, as well.
You heard an interesting piece of information there during the police briefing where they say they automatically put into place their response
for a marauding terror attack. That's one where there is more than one attacker on the run, multiple armed assailants.
This sort of attacks that we've seen in Paris and so forth. That's what they planned for. That's the worst-case scenario and that's how they
responded today they say. But obviously, it's proved not to be the case. They're pretty sure it's only one.
But tonight we know that they are still carrying out searches, police sniffer dogs have been seen in the area. They want to be very thorough to
ensure that there was no one else in the immediate area that may have had something else to do with this -- Hala.
GORANI: All right. As we're learning, three people killed, the attacker as well killed and many more injured. Three French school children we're
being told by the Foreign Ministry in France as well among those who were injured. Thanks very much, Phil Black.
I want to bring in our chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour. Christiane, the parliament account, official Twitter account,
tweeted out saying, both houses will sit on time tomorrow.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I must say it is incredible, but we know this about Britain. This is a fighting spirit
that simply will not die and we saw the same reaction after seven-seven in 2005.
I mean, the most fortunate thing is that this country has not suffered a mass casualty event since 2005 and that's because they just do it very well
here. Britain, I've been talking to counterterrorism officials and others for the last several hours, they say, you know, people around the world
look at Britain as a way of an example of how to work counterterrorism.
And I've also been chatting to experts saying they would not be surprised if the assailant and motive isn't jihadi, that it fits the pattern that we
have all seen and I was reminded actually by Peter Norman (ph), the radicalization expert.
It started in Belgium in 2014 with the attack on the Jewish center and then moved over into 2015 into France. We all covered "Charlie Hebdo" and then
at the end of that year, Bataclan, and in terms of car attacks, we had Nice and Berlin and now London.
So these attacks are getting less sophisticated so it's not a coordinated suicide bombings on the tubes, on buses. But at the same time, equally
terrifying, a mass casualty event and it can be achieved by a truck, a car and a knife.
GORANI: Everyday items turned into weapons of mass murder.
GORANI: But the big question is going to be as well, I'm sure, for Britons, if this individual came abroad, was this person born in the U.K.?
I mean, it is going to very important to determine how to prevent future attacks like that.
AMANPOUR: Yes. So far, most of the attacks we have seen, whether in the United States or in Europe, have been locals.
AMANPOUR: They have been inspired by ISIS, al Qaeda or whatever. But they have not actually, you know, they're not the 9/11 gang. They have not been
deployed from abroad. And so, that's also pretty scary.
And at the same time, as ISIS is being squeezed in Mosul, we know we have our reporters in West Mosul right now, as they plan to try to route them
from Raqqah and Syria, ISIS is getting more and more desperate and telling recruits, don't come over here because look what we are going through here.
Do whatever you can there.
GORANI: Yes. Absolutely.
AMANPOUR: And that seems to be what --
GORANI: I want to tell our viewers and as you have been reporting here on CNN as well, still extremely -- the police presence is very strong and
still tense. I mean, as you mentioned, since 2005, we haven't really seen any kind of attack like this on a symbolic soft target.
AMANPOUR: Well, we haven't. Look, this is the heart of Britain's democracy. It is called the mother of parliament. It's the parliament
that is respected around the world. It's been, you know, hundreds and hundreds of years standing there.
And yes, I would -- it probably will turn out that it was deliberate attack on the seat of British democracy and it turns -- it seems according to what
the police have said that it was a car that came across the bridge, started by slamming into people, mowing them down and then for whatever reason, out
of control or deliberate, slamming into the gates of parliament.
Apparently according to a parliamentarian, who I spoke to, the guy then climbed over the gates, brandished a knife, attacked a police officer,
that's when shots rang out. He was killed. The police officer we understand died, of course.
And we were told by the parliamentarian inside parliament before he was allowed out that a minister actually tried from inside, tried to revive the
policeman with mouth to mouth resuscitation but it was impossible. It was too late. Now look behind us. Hundreds and hundreds of people have been
GORANI: We have a member of parliament coming out. He was on lockdown for hours and hours. We were witnessing prime minister's questions today,
minutes away from all of this.
GORANI: So you saw the prime minister, the leaders of the opposition. She was inside parliament. She was then whisked away when it was clear what
happened. So it is unbelievable because this happened where we all work and walk every day back and forth. So absolutely. It can happen anywhere.
Thanks very much, Christiane Amanpour as well.
Now many politicians as we were discussing with Christiane were in parliament today for prime minister's questions, a weekly event, very
important on the political calendar. The attack happened while they were still inside and we want to play for you some of the comments that were
made while the police operation was going on right outside.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID LIDINGTON, LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS: It is clear that the advice from police, the director of security, is still that the chamber
should remain in lockdown. I think as most colleagues will realize, a number of right honorable members are also in other parts of the estate or
of the estate and for obvious reasons are unable to present for business.
Having had -- there have been conversations through the usual channels. I hope the House would agree that in the current circumstances it would not
be right to continue with today's business. Discussions between the usual channels will take place to ensure that the business that's been
interrupted can be rescheduled for another mutually convenient date.
And I know, Mr. Deputy Speaker, that you will want to keep the House although we remain locked down here, informed about any news that comes
through from the security authorities but in view of what I sense to be the mood of the House and the situation in which we find ourselves, I beg to
move that the House to adjourn.
LINDSAY HOYLE, DEPUTY SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The question is the House to adjourn? Ayes have it. As a moment I get any information I will share it
with everybody. I'm aware of that and more information to come through. Just reassured. We'll keep you informed. Please, let's make the best
this horrible situation but I'll reassure you, when I get something, I'll come back to you. We can't go anywhere and so please just let's see what
we can do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. They couldn't go anywhere. They were inside that chamber. Let's get you the perspective of someone inside parliament as the
attack happened. Kevin Brennan, a labor politician, an MP for (inaudible). Thanks for being with us. All right, so you were really confined in a
small area inside the Parliament Building, right?
[16:15:02]KEVIN BRENNAN, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Well, that's right. I mean, what happened, this incident occurred while a division was taking
place, that's a vote in the House of Commons and that means everybody converges on the Chamber of House of Commons so hundreds of MPs happened to
be on their way into the chamber when this incident occurred and immediately we got there for the vote.
We were told do not move. Stay here. We were put on lockdown for four and a half hours, really whilst the building was checked and made sure there
were no other assailants anywhere around the parliamentary estate.
GORANI: Did they sweep the building itself to make sure no one had managed to enter and cause damage inside?
BRENNAN: Absolutely they did. And in fact, during the course of that four and a half hours, we saw some of the special forces come through the
members will be in the House of Commons making sure that, you know, they cleared every area of the building. So there's no doubt at all that they
were going right through the building making sure there was nobody who shouldn't be on the parliamentary estate, making sure only one attacker
that we apparently think it was.
GORANI: And how were you being kept updated as to what was going on a few dozen meters away outside the gate?
BRENNAN: Well, actually, incredibly, at the start some of the colleagues who came in had actually, you know, heard the shots or witnessed the fact
that there were bodies down outside, immediately outside the Chamber of the House of Commons so we had some eyewitnesses who could tell us straightaway
what they had seen and happened.
And then, of course, we were being updated by the leader of the House and by the deputy speaker of the House, as well as information was coming in.
And there were some people with iPads, et cetera, and there was one television set in the division lobby where we could follow on the media,
and you know, what was going on outside.
GORANI: Many of your colleagues tweeted out also what was going on inside. What was going through your mind? I mean, you have been an MP for a long
time. This is an attack right on the Houses of Parliament. It's an attack on British democracy, really.
BRENNAN: You don't work in a place at the House of Commons without realizing you're working on -- in the number one terrorist target would be
in the country. So we all are aware on a daily basis that this sort of thing could happen and that an attacker in this case apparently armed with
a vehicle and a knife, you know, can mow down people in the streets outside parliament.
A popular area with lots of tourist and it seems tragedy some of those have been killed today, but could also, you know, attack probably what was one
of the police officers who, you know, greets people at the gate, says hello.
Maybe picture taken with the tourists who have come to have a picture in front of Big Ben. Of course, there were armed officers and, you know,
proper security people there who responded to what happened and taken down the assailant very quickly.
We'll know from (inaudible) what happened, but it may be that, you know, what else could one do other than through intelligence to stop an attack on
GORANI: I mean, yes, that is always the big question. What do you do as you put up more cinder blocks around the building, you put (inaudible).
You block rows. You make it impossible for ordinary people to cross the bridge without I.D.? It is an endless possibility of security measures but
is that -- how far should a city like London go?
BRENNAN: Well, you know, we are a free country and you can't turn this country into a police state. Nobody wants that. London and this country
is subject to terrorist attacks. I was an MP during the seven-seven attacks in 2005. You know? This is a city that is used to IRA bombs in
the past that was blitz in the Second World War. The people of this city, you know, would never give in to this kind of violence.
GORANI: Very resilient.
BRENNAN: They're very resilient. As a result of that everybody is really, really saddened by the tragic loss of life and the injuries that have been
caused to members of the public, but that won't turn us into a police state. We, you know, value our freedoms in this country and our democracy
and this is an attack on that and we will resist it in the best way possible by cherishing that democracy.
GORANI: By the way, of course, I was telling the viewers, both houses will be sitting tomorrow and on time. Is that kind of an act of defiance or
what is that?
BRENNAN: Well, I think that's the right thing to do. The leader of the House said to us before we were released from the lockdown that barring any
advice to the contrary of the security forces and so on that we would meet as normal tomorrow and what we should do because, you know, this is about
democracy, you know, the House of Commons should carry on with its business.
We will obviously have a proper statement and a pause to consider what's happened and proper tributes will be paid to those who died as a result of
the attack today but, you know, the House of Commons will go on, our democracy will continue.
GORANI: Kevin Brennan, one last one. I know one thing to know you're a target of a terrorist attack and another to be -- become the target if you
will. Are you -- I mean, do you have any concerns for your safety? Were you frightened any point? What was going through your mind in that regard?
[16:20:01]BRENNAN: Well, I think that at the moment of the attack, some of my colleagues did witness very closely what happened but at the moment of
the attack I think there was a great deal of calmness of Members of Parliament. We know that this is a possibility, a risk we take. We lost a
dearly cherished colleague last year in an attack --
GORANI: Jo Cox.
BRENNAN: -- in her constituency where you don't have the armed, you know, presence that you have around a House of Commons and we know that that's
sort of thing can be an occupational hazard. But it's, you know, democracy is far too important to give in and to lock ourselves away. In this
country, we certainly value very much members of the public and closeness of elected members of the constituents and long may that continue.
GORANI: Right. As we saw, I was telling the viewers, watching prime minister's questions today, saw many visitors and so we cross paths with
you, discussing now constituents can meet the MPs. An area inside parliament for that. It is quite open in that sense. Hopefully that won't
have to change. Thanks very much.
GORANI: Kevin Brennan, we really appreciate it.
Still ahead on THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, we'll have much more breaking news coverage of that deadly attack here in London including an offer of help
from the White House.
GORANI: You are watching our breaking news coverage of the attack right here in London. Police say they have started investigating as a terror
incident. Let's reiterate exactly what we know this hour.
Police say a man drove a car over Westminster Bridge mowing down tourists and police. He then eventually at the end of that rampage crashed the car
and then got out and continued an attack with a knife.
You're seeing some of the images there. The -- shot in the aftermath of the attack. At least three victims are dead. Twenty people are injured.
Police say they believe there was only one attacker and he was killed.
Security expert Michael Clarke is here with me now. He is a former director general of the Royal United Services Institute. Thanks so much
for being with us.
What do you think is the most significant takeaway? We have had a few hours to digest the news now. What do you think is the most significant
MICHAEL CLARKE, FORMER DIRECTOR GENERAL, RUSI: Biggest issue, this particular attack doesn't look particularly well planned or particularly
professional. The guy tried to turn into a gate that's closed and locked for a long time. So he went to the wrong place and then ran around the
front. Didn't have a firearm with him.
He had a knife so that makes it all look a bit spontaneous or not very well planned and executed. On the other hand, the security services will be
concerned whether this could be the beginning of a series of other people out there told the same sort of things and one thing they're worried about.
[16:25:00]And then secondly, is he on the radar? Is this person on the radar with the security service or the police? Chances are he will be
because everybody who commits these sort of acts turns out to be somewhere on the radar, and very often they are petty criminals.
Sometimes they are connected to friends of a friend of a friend who are dangerous people and so, and you know, where he shows up on the radar is
important to tightening up the intelligence that goes with it.
GORANI: All right. When you say the question will be is this the first of a series, what do you mean by that? What could the concern be in that
CLARKE: Well, one of the reasons that the police are flying around and have been doing for two or three hours now is that if they have some
identity on this person, they will be trying immediately to find out where he lives, who knows him, where his friends are in case there are -- he's
one of a group of three or four or five trying to do something concern. That's the first concern. Chances are the answer is no but they have to
check it out.
GORANI: No why? You would expect it to happen simultaneously if that was the case?
CLARKE: More simultaneously, and also, everything about this, we have to be careful what we say about it at this juncture, but everything about this
looks not very well thought out or planned. So four or five of them do it, I would expect it better than this, to be honest and then a question of a
beginning of an inspiration.
Have ISIS or al Qaeda in Yemen inspired a group of people to take on the British? Because so far Britain's been out of the eye of the storm. I
mean, the storm in Paris and Berlin and Brussels and Nice.
And this is only the third attack in 18 years and there have been more than 70 attempted attacks in Britain since 9/11, since 2001. Only three of them
have worked. This is the third. So we have been effective but also lucky.
GORANI: The ones that are foiled don't make headline news.
CLARKE: Absolutely, right.
GORANI: But what do you make of the fact that authorities very quickly said it was a counterterror investigation? I think about barely an hour
CLARKE: Yes, it was. Mark Rowley, the counterterrorism chief of the Met said in the last couple of hours, he said we're pretty sure it's only one
person, and which is interesting for a policeman to say that because there were earlier reports that there were two people in the car.
Now, you know, witnesses say all sorts of things and the best in the world get it wrong. Mark Rowley come out and said, no, we think it's only one
person, but they were pretty clear just by the sequence of events this wasn't an accident.
It wasn't just somebody with mental health issues. It looked like a terrorist attack drawn inspiration from what have happened in Brussels and
Nice and Berlin.
GORANI: We are living in the sad world now where we can actually look back at previous terrorist attacks that each have an element of this one.
GORANI: It's become -- you have the parliament attack in Canada for instance. You have the Orly knife attack just a few days ago. You have
the Nice truck attack. You have the Berlin, I mean, it is so common now that we can actually find similarities with many others.
CLARKE: Terrorists are creatures of fashion because they want the publicity because they want the publicity. So when the fashion for
hijacking aircraft, they hijack aircraft. The fashion for planting bombs, they plant bombs. The fashion of the moment is terrorist attacks out of
cars and knives and so on.
And while they're doing it, they think, well, that makes them more glamorous because it's been done before and that's the current fashion.
There will be a new fashion probably in a few months' time and we'll have to adjust to that.
GORANI: Sadly. Michael Clarke, thanks very much as always. It's great having you on with the context you bring to the story and your analysis.
The American president, Donald Trump, spoke with the British Prime Minister Theresa May after all of this. A White House spokesperson said Washington
stands ready to help however it can. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We obviously condemn today's attack in Westminster, which the United Kingdom is treating as an act of
terrorism. And we applaud the quick response that the British police and their first responders made to the situation, the victims in this are in
our thoughts and prayers. The city of London and her majesty's government have the full support of the U.S. government in responding to the attack
and bringing those to justice who are responsible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's go live to the White House for more reaction. We are joined by CNN political producer, Dan Merica. Has the president been briefed on
DAN MERICA, CNN POLITICAL PRODUCER: He was actually pretty quickly. It happened in the morning here in the United States and he was told by H.R.
McMaster, his national security adviser, before he was going into a meeting and cameras were at. He was told about the attack.
He then went into the meeting and apologized for being late, mentioning the incident and the attack, and apologized to the people at the meeting being
briefed on this incident.
Later, as you noted he called British Prime Minister Theresa May, expressed condolences and offered support, but the real communication seems to be
going on between deputies, people beneath the president.
There have been offers of support between our intelligence agencies and the British intelligence agencies we're told. H.R. McMaster, the National
Security Council, who have been at the forefront of that. No word, yet, though, if the British intelligence and British government has accepted
GORANI: All right. And what would cooperation entail? I mean, what exactly tangibly would this offer mean?
[16:30:03] MERICA: You know, it would probably be assets that are already on the ground in London. Now, you have to remember U.S. intelligence has
assets all over the world. London is certainly one of those places where they have the most assets.
So I've been told by a national security spokesperson that those assets will probably come from people on the ground already who know London, who
know the players in London, and would have probably, you know, a better ability to work within the British government and help them out. That
doesn't mean there won't be people coming from the United States to London, but the National Security Council spokesperson thinks that most of those
assets would come from people already in London.
GORANI: Dan Merica, at the White House, thanks very much. Much more of our breaking news coverage after a quick break.
In fact, we're staying with our live coverage. We are live from Westminster. As we mentioned before, a very intense and deadly incident
not far from where we're standing, the beating heart of the government here in the United Kingdom.
Today, it was absolute chaos after an attack near the House of Parliament that police are investigating as terrorism. Nic Robertson wraps up the
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Terror unfolding by the minute in the shadow of Big Ben today.
LINDSAY HOYLE, DEPUTY SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, UNITED KINGDOM: This house is now suspended but please wait here.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): The heart of London's government suddenly suspended. Parliament locked down just after 2:40 p.m. local time amid
reports of an attack.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I could hear is bang, bang, bang. It's, like, loud.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): At 2:52, parliamentarian Grant Shapps tweeted, "Walking thru Commons cloisters to vote, heard four gunshots. Police had
members of Parliament hit ground and crawl to cover."
Officers moved swiftly to secure MPs indoors. According to the leader of the House of Commons, at least one assailant entered the gates of London's
iconic government building, then stabbed and killed one police officer before being shot by police. One British lawmaker rushed to join first aid
responders to aid the injured officer.
All of this as Prime Minister Theresa May was in the building making her weekly visit to the heart of British government. She was swiftly evacuated
to a secure area.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, sir. We're moving back again, please! Move back.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Just outside, possible clues to the assailant's path to Parliament.
MARK ROWLEY, ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR SPECIALIST OPERATIONS, METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE: The attack started when a car was driven over Westminster
Bridge hitting and injuring a number of members of the public, also including three police officers. The car then crashed near to Parliament.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): A large SUV crumpled against the landmark's perimeter fence. Officials saying the armed attacker ran from the scene
and through the gates.
Nearby, on Westminster Bridge, another crime scene. Multiple victims with catastrophic injuries were left lying on the pavement.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bodies literally. It must've been about 10 bodies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At least, 10 or 12 bodies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're all in shock.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): At least one female victim was pulled injured but alive from the Thames River. Former Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski
captured the immediate aftermath of the attack on his cell phone.
RADEK SIKORSKI, FORMER MARSHALL OF THE SEJM (via phone): I saw, in all, five people down, mowed down by a car, including one person bleeding
heavily from the head.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Many questions still unanswered as authorities begin searching through clues. The injured and affected still trying to
make sense of it all.
GORANI: CNN is fanned out across London. Our International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson joins us live now with more.
What more do we know on this investigation? I know it's early days, Nic, but authorities are going to be scrambling to gather as much information as
ROBERTSON: Absolutely, Hala. The police say they're pursuing a number of different avenues of investigation. An open mind they say, at the moment,
to what it could be.
From our vantage point here looking into the scene of the crime, immediately behind me, it's too dark now for our camera to zoom in, is the
gate that the attacker rushed through with a knife, attacking the police officer as he went through the gate. That, of course, a central part of
the crime scene here.
These events took place late enough in the afternoon, not possible for a full sort of fingertip forensic examination of the crime scene to take
place. I think, likely, we're going to see more of that tomorrow. But here, we can still see a lot of police officers still here, a number of
ambulances still positioned around here and police crime headquarters unit or, you know, crime scene unit.
A large trailer was driven into the area within the past couple of hours, so the area remains locked down. The activity has dropped off a little
bit. I think that's what we would expect overnight, but still a large number of police officers here that we can see at least, Hala.
[16:35:06] GORANI: All right. Nic, talk to us a little bit about what to expect now in the coming hours. I mean, the areas around here where we
are, Lambert Bridge, Malbec, they're still cordoned off. These are not open to the public.
But we do know that both Houses of Parliament are going to be sitting on time tomorrow. So presumably authorities are going to want to get the city
back to normal quickly, right?
ROBERTSON: I think, Hala, if we listen to the tone of the police press briefing in the last couple of hours, they really gave the impression that
this may take a little time to clear this area. So I would be surprised if traffic is moving along these streets and around the square in front of
Parliament in the next 12 hours. I would be very surprised.
What we do know, however, is that the police say there will be additional armed and unarmed police on the streets to reassure people about security,
but also to the concerns, as well, that some of your guests have been talking about, and that is that potential for a follow-on or another type
of attack. So a very real need to have these additional officers, not just to reassure but possibly prevent something else, Hala.
GORANI: Right. And also, they're going to want to know this individual who committed this attack. Was he known to authorities? And if so, you
know, what could have been done? Lots of questions are going to be coming up, certainly, but today, it is a mood of shock.
Thanks very much, Nic Robertson. And also mourning and grief. And we're getting reactions to the attack from the United Kingdom and around the
world, as well.
Here's what former British Prime Minister David Cameron had to say, "My thoughts with the families of those injured and killed. Those seeking to
attack our democracy with these barbarous methods will never win."
The former U.K. leader and key Brexit campaigner, Nigel Farage, said, "Very upset and depressed by the terrorist attack in Westminster but,
unfortunately, not surprised."
And from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, "My thoughts are with everyone in and around Westminster caught up in this dreadful incident --
and with the brave emergency services."
From the U.S., Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State said, "We condemn these horrific acts of violence, and whether they were carried out by
troubled individuals or by terrorists, the victims know no difference."
Let's bring in Adrian Bailey. He's a Member of Parliament with the Labour Party. Thanks so much for joining us.
ADRIAN BAILEY, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, UNITED KINGDOM: Good evening.
GORANI: You were inside Parliament when this all happened?
BAILEY: That's correct.
BAILEY: I was walking from my office in Portcullis House through New Palace Yard to get to the lobby to vote when I heard a crash outside, and I
then shouts. I thought, quite honestly, it was some sort of demonstration, but I had to get in and vote.
As I went in to vote, I was almost knocked over by four burly bodyguards protecting the Prime Minister as she was being ushered out of the chamber.
And at that point, I realized that something serious was happening. I went into the lobby --
GORANI: So she was in the chamber, the Prime Minister?
BAILEY: She was just coming out, having voted, yes. And she was being ushered out by her bodyguards.
GORANI: All right. Now, you said you heard. So, presumably, what you heard was that crash of that vehicle against the gate?
BAILEY: I think that must have been what the noise that I heard was, yes.
GORANI: So what happened after you saw the Prime Minister being ushered out? Because I know then they've kind of rushed her out, put her in a
Jaguar, and drove her away.
GORANI: What happened after?
BAILEY: Well, all we as MPs know is we were voting. We duly voted but realized that, actually, everywhere was locked, so we couldn't get off out
of the immediate chamber. And it became obvious that there was something wrong.
And at that point, the Deputy Speaker came in and announced that the Leader of the House, David Lidington, would make an announcement. And he updated
members on the situation and made it clear that we would not be able to move out of the immediate vicinity of the chamber until the police had
decided that everything was clear.
GORANI: Well, what was the mood like in there?
BAILEY: First of all, I think bewilderment, apprehension. And then a realization that -- well, the first thing that most do is notify friends
and family that we're OK and everybody on their phones and so on. And then, real concern as the scale of the attack began to become evident.
And certainly, when we heard that people had been killed in it, a deep regret and feeling of sadness that people had been killed because of an
attempt to attack Parliament.
GORANI: And, I mean, this, obviously, so many tourists visit this area, visitors. I happen to have been actually witnessing Prime Minister's
Questions today, completely coincidentally.
GORANI: And so, you get a sense for just how bustling, how full of energy this part of London is. And it's one thing knowing that Parliament would
be a target and another becoming a target, right?
[16:40:04] BAILEY: Absolutely. Every time we walk into Parliament, there are screens telling us about the risk level that day. And I think members
become immune when it says dangerous and so on.
It's something that you live with and don't really think about, but today, when I went in, I suddenly realized this was for real and it could be
serious. And that really brings home to you the risk that we have and the heroic efforts that the police, the security forces, and the staff that the
House of Commons share as well. And I certainly would like to convey my appreciation for everything they have done and also my condolences and
sadness to those people who've lost loved ones as a result of this attack.
GORANI: And you'll go to Parliament tomorrow?
BAILEY: Of course.
GORANI: You'll sit in the House of Commons?
BAILEY: Of course. Yes.
GORANI: Yes, a little more of -- I mean, what will be your frame of mind? I mean, is it defiance? Is there still fear? What are you now feeling and
what do you think you'll feel tomorrow?
BAILEY: This was an attack on democracy. It was an attack on the mother of parliament, and we, as members of that Parliament, have got an
obligation to see that the parliamentary traditions and democracy in this country prevail over that sort of mindless terrorist, anti-democratic
I don't want to live in a fortress. I want a Parliament that's open for the people, where parliamentarians can engage with the people, and I'm
determined to keep it that way.
GORANI: Adrian Bailey, Member of Parliament. Thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate your time.
BAILEY: Thanks very much.
GORANI: And for talking us through what you and all your colleagues experienced.
It's now empty but there would have been thousands of people near the Houses of Parliament at the time of the attack. Earlier this afternoon,
politicians, journalists, and tourists were among those who became eyewitnesses to a horrific scene. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIR GERALD HOWARTH, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, UNITED KINGDOM (via phone): Well, the situation here is that the House of Commons was in the business
of voting. So most members of Parliament were here. The sitting was suspended. It is suspended. We are locked in as we get reports of what is
Obviously, it's very, very serious, indeed. It's confusing. Parliament is getting details just what is going on in there, you know. How in the world
do we face this threat of terrorism? And we have to live with it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're only crawling along the bridge. There was bodies literally.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Must have been about 10 bodies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At least 10 or 12 bodies.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're all in shock.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All in just --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just lying in different places along the bridge.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were shocked, yes.
ROBERTSON: It must be terrifying?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was horrendous.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely horrendous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via phone): We actually saw both of those incidents from our office windows. We are really shaken up right now as you can
imagine. And our thoughts are with the police officer who has been stabbed and anyone else hurt that's been hurt in this horrible incident. But the
entire parliamentary press gallery is up here, on lockdown and not allowed to move from our offices.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via phone): The next thing, of course, was chaos. Tourists who frequent that area, of course, were panicking. People
shouting, oh, my god, and running in all directions and then the police arrived. Including armed policemen, as well. And telling everyone to
clear away, clear away.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I walked past about nine injuries but some weren't so insignificant. Somebody was unconscious. He did regain consciousness and
was OK. I haven't -- I don't know. I was a bit --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were in shock, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: in shock to be honest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. Eyewitnesses there that watched all of that unfold. We'll be back with more coverage on the investigation after a quick break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[16:46:07] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a bind outside, you know, like a car crash, so I looked out the window. And initially, we thought there'd been
a bus crash because we can see some buses, but then I heard a lot of shouting, a lot of people running around, quite a lot of commotion. And
then I looked down to my left and I saw a man force his way through a security gate. He went straight for a police officer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, I'm just a few blocks away there from the Houses of Parliament here in London where, hours ago, an attacker killed three people
before being shot dead. Police say a man plowed a car into crowds of tourists on Westminster Bridge before ramming the fence. You see some of
these aerial images that came to us a little bit earlier.
This, by the way, is a shot of that car, crashed and smoking outside the Palace of Westminster. Police are investigating the incident as a terror
incident in the very heart of London.
Now, there have been other attacks in England, coordinated bombings, on July 7, 2005, much deadlier there, killing 52 people, injuring more than
700. Since then, two men murdered British soldier Lee Rigby by running him down with a car and hacking him to death in 2013. And just last year,
Parliament Member Jo Cox was shot and killed by a right-wing Nazi sympathizer.
Let's go live to Washington and speak to CNN's Clarissa Ward.
And, Clarissa, the big question is going to be, was this individual, the attacker, was he known to authorities? That's going to be crucial.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That is going to be crucial. And we saw, Hala, among some of the images, we saw some of those
aerials. We saw men dressed fully in white who appear to be combing through the debris of that car that crashed into the gate of Parliament.
Presumably, those men were looking for any possible explosive or biohazardous materials that could indicate a further attack was still
planned. But also, I think they were probably looking for DNA, trying to collect evidence on who the driver of this vehicle was.
As you said, the most important question now, is this person or was this person -- male or female, we simply don't know -- known to British
authorities? It is no secret, Hala, that many hundreds of young Britons have traveled to Iraq and to Syria to join ISIS, to participate in the
fight that is taking place there. And a lot of them, presumably, have returned back to the U.K., as well.
The question being, how many of those who have returned are authorities aware of? How many of those are currently in prison? How many of those
are simply being monitored?
And then, of course, you have a much larger pool of people who authorities will be looking at who simply have never traveled to the Middle East in
their lives but may have expressed sympathies in their social media profiles, who may have been hanging around with known hate preachers, of
which there are many in the U.K. So there are a lot of different options.
And, of course, it's important to underscore, once again, we don't yet know the motivation. We don't yet know what kind of a terrorist attack this
was. We simply know, as you have stated, that authorities are treating it as a terrorist attack until they hear something different, Hala.
GORANI: And we're in a period in history where we can go back to this terrorist attack or that other terror attack and find elements of this one
in many others. So, obviously, people are making the link between this and potentially either an ISIS-inspired or ISIS-directed operation, though that
has not been confirmed. And the question -- because the U.K. has been very good at protecting itself. There have been dozens and dozens of foiled
attacks, but this is going to have to be a kind of a, quote/unquote, wake- up call for them, right?
[16:49:57] WARD: I think it is a wake-up call. I think it's a moment that intelligence officials have dreaded and perhaps known would inevitably come
at some point because what you see here, Hala, in spite of the best intelligence, the best security, the best preparations, the best prevention
-- the United Kingdom is an island, that does make it much harder for returning jihadist to get into the United Kingdom -- but in spite of all
that, one man with a car and a knife is able to do an enormous amount of damage.
And you will hear counterterrorism officials tell you this all the time -- we have to be right every single time; they only have to be right one
single time. It is clear that the threat has been elevated for some time now.
As you point out, these types of attacks, whether they're ISIS-directed or ISIS-inspired or simply the works of mad men, they have become an all too
regular occurrence all across Europe. The United Kingdom, up until today, had been remarkably lucky in that regard. But clearly, it is not possible
to prevent every single attack of this nature, Hala.
GORANI: Absolutely. And as you mentioned, Clarissa, these are everyday items. I mean, a car, a knife, anyone has access to them, turn them into
these weapons of mass murder.
Thanks so much, Clarissa Ward, our senior international correspondent, with us from Washington.
Earlier, I spoke to Dal Babu, the former chief superintendent for the London Met Police. He used to, in fact, run a security detail at the House
of Commons. He knows the place inside out. He told me about how the police react to this sort of attack.
DAL BABU, FORMER CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT, LONDON METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE: I think they would have assessed the situation. They would have had a lot
more information than you and I have got this morning.
GORANI: But what kind of information would lead them to that?
BABU: Well, they may have information on the actual attacker. They would have certainly seen the scenario. There may be something that the attacker
said. They may have something like being posted on the net, you know? Somebody might have phoned up and said this is what we're going to be doing
for the contact.
ISIS is in retreat at the moment. Daesh is in retreat. It's got Raqqa, it's got Mosul, and it's actually getting a smaller and smaller base.
So they are now looking at these dramatic attempts to cause harm in other areas. And that's what they're telling people on the internet. That's
what they're telling people to go and do.
BABU: So I think the police would have had made an assessment, and they would have done it with some considerable amount of information and thought
before they made that announcement.
GORANI: But, I mean, how do you protect ordinary people, innocent people, in this case, tourists? There were kids on a school trip today that we say
BABU: Yes, that would be shocking for them.
GORANI: -- the Commons. They were just being evacuated wearing little vests there to identify them.
BABU: Yes, yes.
GORANI: I mean, it's just so sad. But how do you -- you can't just blockade your entire city, can you?
BABU: Well, actually --
GORANI: You can't put everything behind glass walls.
BABU: Absolutely. If you look down there, you'll see that this is a main thoroughfare.
BABU: You know, people -- when I used at the House of Commons, I used to commute along there. You know, these right adjacent to the House of
Commons and the House of Lords. So it gives you a real sense of how important democracy is for the people.
BABU: So they've gone for a target where they know that they've got access and there would be lots of tourists. It has the Big Ben. It is one of the
biggest tourist attractions in this great city. It's no coincidence that they've gone along Westminster Bridge, past Big Ben, and then attempted to
get into the House of Commons.
BABU: And, you know, in answer to your question --
GORANI: All right. The Prime Minister Theresa May is giving a statement outside 10 Downing Street. In fact, it's a taped statement. Let's listen
to Theresa May.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: -- what happened are still emerging. But having been updated by police and security officials,
I can confirm that this appalling incident began when a single attacker drove his vehicle into pedestrians walking across Westminster Bridge,
killing two people and injuring many more, including three police officers.
This attacker who was armed with a knife then ran towards Parliament, where he was confronted by the police officers who keep us and our democratic
institutions safe. Tragically, one officer was killed. The terrorist was also shot dead.
The United Kingdom's threat level has been set at severe for some time, and this will not change. Acting Deputy Commissioner Rowley will give a
further operational update later this evening.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected, to the victims themselves and their family and friends who waved their loved ones
off but will not, now, be welcoming them home.
For those of us who were in Parliament at the time of this attack, these events provide a particular reminder of the exceptional bravery of our
police and security services who risk their lives to keep us safe. Once again, today, these exceptional men and women ran towards the danger, even
as they encouraged others to move the other way.
[16:55:10] On behalf of the whole country, I want to pay tribute to them, and to all our emergency services, for the work they have been doing to
reassure the public and bring security back to the streets of our capital city. That they have lost one of their own in today's attack only makes
their calmness and professionalism under pressure all the more remarkable.
The location of this attack was no accident. The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our capital city, where people of all nationalities,
religions, and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy, and freedom of speech. These streets of Westminster, home to
the world's oldest parliament, are ingrained with a spirit of freedom that echoes in some of the furthest corners of the globe.
And the values our parliament represents, democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law, command the admiration and respect of free people
everywhere. That is why it is a target for those who reject those values. But let me make it clear today, as I have had cause to do before, any
attempt to defeat those values through violence and terror is doomed to failure.
Tomorrow morning, Parliament will meet as normal. We will come together as normal. And Londoners and others from around the world who have come here
to visit this great city will get up and go about their day as normal.
They will board their trains. They will leave their hotels. They will walk these streets. They will live their lives. And we will all move
forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart.
GORANI: The Prime Minister Theresa May there confirming the police account of a car going on a rampage, ramming through a crowded bridge, killing
three people. Two people on the bridge and eventually, the attacker stabbing a police officer. The attacker shot dead.
Theresa May saying it's a terror incident, mourning the victims. She, of course, as many of you know by now, was inside Parliament during the
attack. She was whisked away. One of the members of Parliament we spoke to here on air said that four big bodyguards essentially whisked her away
from the chamber and into a car and away from the Houses of Parliament.
She paid tribute to law enforcement. And it's important to note, today, that a police officer was killed, as well, in the attack. We believe
stabbed by the attacker.
Theresa May also saying that the location is no accident, that this was an attack on British democracy, and then reminding also British citizens and
people watching around the world that the Houses of Common will sit tomorrow on time. Parliament will meet and that this attack will not get
in the way of doing that.
I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you after a quick break here on CNN with more of our breaking news out of London. We'll be right back.